PHYSICIST: THE UNIVERSE HAS LIKELY BEEN EXPANDING “ETERNALLY”
By: April Carson
The universe began with a point. Then, in a fraction of a second, the Big Bang triggered a fast, still-accelerating expansion that resulted in the formation of everything in existence.
But it will end too, eventually. The expansion that began eons ago will one day halt and then reverse itself under the relentless pull of gravity. Matter as we know it will dissipate. Stars will burn out, whither planets and finally all matter will dissolve into radiation as space becomes ever more empty.
That is, at the very least, how the typical narrative goes, implying that the universe must have begun at some point in time.
But that concept is now under greater examination, according to a University of New Hampshire physicist at New Scientist. Rather than starting with a Big Bang — which she describes as more of an expansion than an explosion — Prescod-Weinstein suggests that the universe has no defined beginning. Instead, she claims, it may have been growing for all eternity.
The Big Bang hasn't been debunked, but it's worth noting that it hasn't yet been proven. However, if the new theory is correct, then any sudden and rapid expansion marking the start of the cosmos would have happened at some point rather than an infinitely-short period.
Although this may be the case, Prescod-Weinstein states that the universe was most likely already growing in some form prior to that moment.
“There have been two developments in how physicists think about this cosmic chronology,” Prescod-Weinstein stated in New Scientist. “The first is that research on inflationary theories, which examine the exponential growth of space-time, suggests that inflation may be everlasting.”
“As in, the universe may not have had a beginning moment, and we may live in an eternally expanding universe, one that was growing exponentially even before what we understand as the big bang,” she continued. “Assuming inflation is true, this appears to be the most likely scenario — at least according to mathematics.”
The second development indicates that the universe is, in fact, infinite.
“We can’t see beyond a certain distance (which is to say, we don’t know what came before the big bang), but all indications are that it’s infinite, and has always been expanding, like an inflating balloon with a fixed amount of air,” she said. “So it’s been growing exponentially from the moment of its existence, but that exponential growth stopped at some point within the first second or so after inflation began — which is what we call the big bang.”
In the third development, “we’ve been able to measure quite precisely how fast the universe is growing today, and it turns out to be not very - that means the rate at which the universe expands has always been roughly constant,” she explained. “It would have expanded forever if there had not been some dramatic event which eventually stopped the expansion.”
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About the Blogger:
April Carson is the daughter of Billy Carson. She received her bachelor's degree in Social Sciences from Jacksonville University, where she was also on the Women's Basketball team. She now has a successful clothing company that specializes in organic baby clothes and other items. Take a look at their most popular fall fashions on bossbabymav.com
To read more of April's blogs, check out her website! She publishes new blogs on a daily basis, including the most helpful mommy advice and baby care tips! Follow on IG @bossbabymav
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