If you ask a scientist where the Universe originated, the “Big Bang” is the answer you will probably find. Our starry heavens, the galaxies, and the vast expanse of the vast Universe, all of which are divided by the size of the space between you, were not born that way and have never existed in this form forever. Instead, the Universe became this way because it expanded and cooled from the hot, dense, uniform atmosphere filled with objects and rays other than galaxies, stars, and even atoms that initially existed.
Everything, as it is in its present form, was not how it was today back 13.8 billion years ago. Moreover, all of that history was discovered over a hundred years ago. But with all of this, there are a lot of facts that most people – even many scientists – do not fully understand.
Here are our top 10 facts about the Big Bang!
Einstein began to dismiss it when he introduced it as a possibility.
Einstein’s standard theory of relativism was the theory of gravity, proposed in 1915 as a follower of Newton’s theory. It predicted Mercury’s movement with the accuracy of Newton’s unpredictable theory, the mass extinction of astronomical observations confirmed in 1919, and the presence of gravitational waves, which had just been established a few months ago. But it also foretold that the atmosphere, full of matter and shape, would not change for the better or worse.
When Belgian priest and scientist Georges Lemaître, 1927, expressed the view that the fabric of the Universe could be enormous and expanding, as it appeared in a small, dense, very similar shape before, Einstein wrote to him. “Vos calculs sont corrects, Mais Votre physique est abominable,” which means “Your calculations are correct, but your physics is enticing!”
Hubble’s discovery of the ever-expanding Universe transformed it into an important concept.
Although many scientists thought that spirals and nebulae in the sky were distant galaxies even before Einstein, Edwin Hubble’s work in the 1920s showed that this was not only true but also that the galaxy was farther away and much faster. It was retreating away from us. Hubble’s Law, which describes the expansion of the Universe, led to a more precise explanation for the Big Bang theory: if the Universe was growing today, then it was smaller and crowded in the past!
This idea has been around since 1922 but has been widely disputed for decades.
Soviet physicist Alexander Friedmann came up with his theory in 1922, when Einstein criticized him, and Einstein also overthrew Lemaître’s work in 1927. Even after Hubble’s work in 1929, the idea that the Universe was smaller, cramped, and more uniform in the past was just a challenging idea. Hubble provided observations that would give the most substantial evidence for the ever-expanding Universe, but he did not explicitly endorse this theory until much later.
Critically, however, Lemaître added the view that this expansion of the Universe could explain the red galaxies of the galaxy and that there must have been a first “creative moment” at the beginning known as the “first atom” or “cosmic egg” for decades.
Theory rose to prominence in the 1940s with a set of shocking predictions.
George Gamow, an American scientist, fascinated by Lemaître’s ideas, realized that if the Universe expanded today, the wavelength of light in it would increase over time so that the Universe would cool down. If it cools today, it must have been sweltering in the past.
Going back, he realized there was a time when it was too hot for neutral atoms to form, and then a period before that was too hot for even atomic nuclei to form. Thus, as the Universe grew and cooled, it must have formed elements of light and then neutralized atoms, resulting in the formation of a “front fireball,” or background of cold radiation just a few degrees above zero.
The term “Big Bang” came from the fiercest opponent of theory, Fred Hoyle.
The theory that makes a different set of predictions – the Steady-State Theory of the Universe – was the leading theory of the Universe in the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s, as the claim that most atoms from stars died and not from this the first, hot, dense state, was confirmed by nuclear physics. Hoyle, speaking to the BBC, coined the term in a 1949 radio talk show,
“Another [view] was that the Universe began its life in a relatively short period of time with just one major explosion, and that the current expansion is a remnant of the aftermath of this eruption. This idea seemed overwhelming to me even before the detailed study showed that it was leading to serious complications.”