Why is the Universe expanding? What is Cosmic Back Ground Radiation (CBR)? There are many questions asked about our Universe, which we know so little about. Scientists, in their attempt to answer these and other confrontations, have found one idea that seems to explain much of what we don't understand: The Big Bang Theory.
An explosion of incomprehensible speed was the beginning of our known Universe and existence. At that time matter as small as the head of a pin inflated to become larger than the visible Universe of today in less than one millisecond. The newly born Universe cooled very quickly and continued to grow. Still, the heat was too great for normal elementary particles like protons and neutrons to be bound together. Instead, the particles were in their free form and were called quarks. These quarks and the massive amount of radiation released form the explosion made up most of the Universe in the first microsecond.
Within the quarks, matter and antimatter (elementary particles such as protons and electrons, yet with an opposite charge) was distributed in a 2:1 ratio. The matter and antimatter soon began to cancel each other out, for antimatter and matter cannot coexist in close range for more than a few seconds without annihilating each other. Because the matter had more particles then the antimatter, there was a little residue left over. It was this leftover debris that created the galaxies, the stars, the planets, and even you and me.
At this point the Universe was one second old, and it began fusing lighter elements like helium. This nuclear activity only lasted a few minutes, but it is one of the reasons the Universe has an abundance of light elements.
The Universe continued to grow and cool, later fusing the heavier elements and then what we see around us today. All of it began at the Big Bang.
The Big Bang is a well known and believed theory of how the universe was created. It is described as a tremendous explosion that has a certain place and time. In fact, the Big Bang is considered to be the beginning of time as well as the beginning of the universe.
Scientists today, don?t know what happened before the Big Bang. However, they have concluded that if something had happened, it would not have effected the explosion in any way. Most have agreed that what ever there was, or wasn?t before the Big...
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...being blown up. As the balloon becomes larger and larger its front tends to look flat. Apply this idea to the Universe. It is expanding, because of the inflation theory, just like the balloon and appears to be flat when looking straight at it.
The Universe may not always be expanding though. Scientists have come up with three possible fates for the Universe depending on its mass as it continues to grow. If the Universe is not dense enough to utilize gravity, it will keep expanding forever. This is called an open universe. If the density is just right, the universe will continue expanding but will slow down and ultimately stop completely. This is called a flat Universe. The third option has almost been ruled out, but there is always a possibility. If the universe is denser than we think, gravity will eventually become stronger than the expansion, perhaps resulting in the universe collapsing in on itself in a ?Big Crunch?.
We may not know where our Universe is heading, but the Big Bang theory helps us understand where we have come from. Although there are still many unanswered questions, there is plenty of time left in this young Universe, and plenty of places to explore.
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