Quotes & Sayings

We, and creation itself, actualize the possibilities of the God who sustains the world, towards becoming in the world in a fuller, more deeper way. - R.E. Slater

There is urgency in coming to see the world as a web of interrelated processes of which we are integral parts, so that all of our choices and actions have [consequential effects upon] the world around us. - Process Metaphysician Alfred North Whitehead

Kurt Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem says (i) all closed systems are unprovable within themselves and, that (ii) all open systems are rightly understood as incomplete. - R.E. Slater

The most true thing about you is what God has said to you in Christ, "You are My Beloved." - Tripp Fuller

The God among us is the God who refuses to be God without us, so great is God's Love. - Tripp Fuller

According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for this world to recreate, reclaim, redeem, and renew unto God's future aspiration by the power of His Spirit. - R.E. Slater

Our eschatological ethos is to love. To stand with those who are oppressed. To stand against those who are oppressing. It is that simple. Love is our only calling and Christian Hope. - R.E. Slater

Secularization theory has been massively falsified. We don't live in an age of secularity. We live in an age of explosive, pervasive religiosity... an age of religious pluralism. - Peter L. Berger

Exploring the edge of life and faith in a post-everything world. - Todd Littleton

I don't need another reason to believe, your love is all around for me to see. – Anon

Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all. - Khalil Gibran, Prayer XXIII

Be careful what you pretend to be. You become what you pretend to be. - Kurt Vonnegut

Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often shaped and adjusted by our social goals. - Jim Forest

We become who we are by what we believe and can justify. - R.E. Slater

People, even more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. – Anon

Certainly, God's love has made fools of us all. - R.E. Slater

An apocalyptic Christian faith doesn't wait for Jesus to come, but for Jesus to become in our midst. - R.E. Slater

Christian belief in God begins with the cross and resurrection of Jesus, not with rational apologetics. - Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann

Our knowledge of God is through the 'I-Thou' encounter, not in finding God at the end of a syllogism or argument. There is a grave danger in any Christian treatment of God as an object. The God of Jesus Christ and Scripture is irreducibly subject and never made as an object, a force, a power, or a principle that can be manipulated. - Emil Brunner

“Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh” means "I will be that who I have yet to become." - God (Ex 3.14) or, conversely, “I AM who I AM Becoming.”

Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. - Thomas Merton

The church is God's world-changing social experiment of bringing unlikes and differents to the Eucharist/Communion table to share life with one another as a new kind of family. When this happens, we show to the world what love, justice, peace, reconciliation, and life together is designed by God to be. The church is God's show-and-tell for the world to see how God wants us to live as a blended, global, polypluralistic family united with one will, by one Lord, and baptized by one Spirit. – Anon

The cross that is planted at the heart of the history of the world cannot be uprooted. - Jacques Ellul

The Unity in whose loving presence the universe unfolds is inside each person as a call to welcome the stranger, protect animals and the earth, respect the dignity of each person, think new thoughts, and help bring about ecological civilizations. - John Cobb & Farhan A. Shah

If you board the wrong train it is of no use running along the corridors of the train in the other direction. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

God's justice is restorative rather than punitive; His discipline is merciful rather than punishing; His power is made perfect in weakness; and His grace is sufficient for all. – Anon

Our little [biblical] systems have their day; they have their day and cease to be. They are but broken lights of Thee, and Thou, O God art more than they. - Alfred Lord Tennyson

We can’t control God; God is uncontrollable. God can’t control us; God’s love is uncontrolling! - Thomas Jay Oord

Life in perspective but always in process... as we are relational beings in process to one another, so life events are in process in relation to each event... as God is to Self, is to world, is to us... like Father, like sons and daughters, like events... life in process yet always in perspective. - R.E. Slater

To promote societal transition to sustainable ways of living and a global society founded on a shared ethical framework which includes respect and care for the community of life, ecological integrity, universal human rights, respect for diversity, economic justice, democracy, and a culture of peace. - The Earth Charter Mission Statement

Christian humanism is the belief that human freedom, individual conscience, and unencumbered rational inquiry are compatible with the practice of Christianity or even intrinsic in its doctrine. It represents a philosophical union of Christian faith and classical humanist principles. - Scott Postma

It is never wise to have a self-appointed religious institution determine a nation's moral code. The opportunities for moral compromise and failure are high; the moral codes and creeds assuredly racist, discriminatory, or subjectively and religiously defined; and the pronouncement of inhumanitarian political objectives quite predictable. - R.E. Slater

God's love must both center and define the Christian faith and all religious or human faiths seeking human and ecological balance in worlds of subtraction, harm, tragedy, and evil. - R.E. Slater

In Whitehead’s process ontology, we can think of the experiential ground of reality as an eternal pulse whereby what is objectively public in one moment becomes subjectively prehended in the next, and whereby the subject that emerges from its feelings then perishes into public expression as an object (or “superject”) aiming for novelty. There is a rhythm of Being between object and subject, not an ontological division. This rhythm powers the creative growth of the universe from one occasion of experience to the next. This is the Whiteheadian mantra: “The many become one and are increased by one.” - Matthew Segall

Without Love there is no Truth. And True Truth is always Loving. There is no dichotomy between these terms but only seamless integration. This is the premier centering focus of a Processual Theology of Love. - R.E. Slater


Note: Generally I do not respond to commentary. I may read the comments but wish to reserve my time to write (or write from the comments I read). Instead, I'd like to see our community help one another and in the helping encourage and exhort each of us towards Christian love in Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior. - re slater

Thursday, June 25, 2020

A Short Primer to the Origins of the Universe

Evolution - The Fairy Tale of Science: Why Every Christian Should ...
An illustration of my early Christian faith


For many Christians, the world of evolutionary cosmology can be a very strange thing. Being taught at an early age that God created the world in seven days the discoveries of science can be an intimidating thing to one's childhood faith.

I was one of those Sunday School children. However, my one-room school education actually had prepared me to think on my own so that in the public schools and university systems I could readily grasp what the fields of astrophysics, physical sciences, and mathematics were teaching. I even took the odd evolutionary class or two but quickly dropped out as my faith was in serious conflict with evolutionary science back then. I did, however, take an early Semitic / Hebrew history coarse which I saw through thanks to my professor George Medenhall).

And so, here I was, a young adult having transferred from a major university after 3 years to attend a private Christian college and later, seminary, holding two worlds in my brain. One Christian, and the other not Christian. By the way, I no longer use the word secular as I know now that it applies equally to both the Christian and non-Christian even though Christians don't think it applies to them. But it does: Hence Trumpian Christianity and its like.

My dilemma was to merge the two worlds of faith and science in a way which might stay faithful to God and to the bible. A fidelity of sorts to an ancient faith. It began early after finishing graduate school and in the first few years of married life. I felt then, as I do now, that something valuable was missing in my education.

I knew this from wilderness camping in many, if not most, of the American National Parks and Canadian Provincial Parks where ranger-led tours across mountain tops, canyon bottoms, and even under the earth, explained a different part of earth's geologic, biologic, and anthropological history to me through park signs, park literature, lecturers, the occasional camper, and the hard evidence lying everywhere in front of my eyes.

As example, when driving west from St. Louis for the next 130 miles have you ever noticed how the land drops and drops and drops away? I did. I was paying attention as a little kid looking out the car window as dad drove west. I noticed it again the several times I drove my young family west to camp its parks. The point? You're driving into an ancient sea bed starting 30 miles west of the shorelines along the Mississippi River going down, down, down, and down, into the antidiluvian sea bottoms which spanned most of the interior of the United States. Next time you drive through that area take a look... :)

Fossils tell about earth's history (teach)

Prehistoric Michigan covered by ancient seas, tropical jungles ...

ancient inland sea - Bing Images | Ancient, History, Kansas

Map of the day | occasional links & commentary

And so, I self-taught myself even as I did in my little one-room country school where I was teaching the older kids beginning in third grade. I read books, articles, asked questions, pondered life from all its angles, read the bible, read more books, and finally decided after too many belated years that my Christian faith could adopt and rearrange its beliefs. However, what I incredulously discovered when I did this was how little resources my Christian schools and churches provided aside from the Christian literature on the subject. Which thereby explains the large void in my life.

My watershed moment began when I toured Alberta, Canada's, Royal Tyrrell Dinosaur Museum. Not that there weren't other museums and parklands that equally showed the earth's fossilized remains to me - but it was here, in this museum, with its acre of real constructed bones out in the open, walking under and around them with my young family, that the evidence somehow piled into my head and congealed in my mind and heart. And it wasn't threatening. It was actually like a large chunk of a big missing puzzle which had too easily fallen into place.

From then on I knew I needed to redesign my faith. Knowing God created the heavens and the world was the easy part. I never doubted that and still don't. And yet the task I had set before me turned out a lot easier and more sublime than I had ever thought. It was simply recognizing that God created through process and not magically or instantaneously.

Hence, I adopted a theistically-based evolutionary schemata with all the bells and whistles which science provided. Along with all of science's doubts, affirmations, queries and its questions. I accepted ALL of it and chose the harder paths of chaos, randomness, and even the position of the weak anthropic principle over the strong. Though a Christian might properly chose the strong position I had determined the Sovereign God I was writing about had placed NO conditions on the universe (this is where arminianism comes in over calvinism; see the topic list to the right).

With the weak anthropic principle, Creation became what it became with no pre-determination by God, else it wouldn't exhibit the likeness of God's image of freewill agency. But we also know as Christians that the game was rigged in that God gave Himself, His image, to the cosmos. Creation will therefore always yearn towards divine life quite naturally whether we call it evolution or not. And so this is where a different sort of cosmological and evolutionary teleology comes in, one that is process driven and yearning towards the idea of wholeness, unity, redemption, and fellowship. 

After these many journeys and years I started working out a website which might provide solid theological studies with the specific details as to why I chose the route which I have chosen. I've intentionally focused this site on expanding my Christian boundaries beyond my literate, fundamental, and later, conservative evangelical, past. Once the religious boundaries were erased I could more easily see God and His world, His people, and His ways again. My religious blinders had gotten in the way of my spiritual seeing, much like a horse pulling a buggy down a determined road instead of running free over a never ending field in all directions.

Lately, I've been working on how panentheism (vs. theism) and process theology (vs. Western philosophical logic) might project across the evolutionary sciences in a holistic overlay of cosmological metaphysics and ontology. With these latter overlays I have found the type of theological and philosophical approaches which best integrates science with faith, and faith with science. My last several articles this week and last are a small nod to how this might be done. I would also suggest to my non-Christian friends and readers to take these in. If a system works, it must work for all spectrums of humanity and not just mine own.

And so, my gift to you is the resources within Relevancy22 in hopes of shortening your spiritual journeys. And yes, I do provide solutions (my generation grew up that way) but I also try to leave every avenue open to further inspection and introspection. This is the gift of postmodernism and of post-Christianity. Thus I freely use and cite other voices than my own. In essence, I have tried to create a wikipedia of theology as respecting as many topics as I've had time to think about, learn, or am passionate about. It is also meant to propel readers outwards into the larger world of academia and spirituality.

Today I here leave this short premier to the origins of the universe. Any thoughts or insights I might have may be found in the science index or in the topics found on the right hand column of the website proper. For Google+ users that website link is at the bottom of the webpage: "view web version."


R.E. Slater
June 25, 2020

Pin on ourano>oneiro '' i '' - heaven is greater than any dream ...

A dynamic, graphic presentation of latest theory about how the universe, space, time, energy and matter evolved from the Big Bang. Learn some of the mystery about how it grew from the size of an atom to encompass everything in existence today.

The chronology of the universe describes the history and future of the universe according to Big Bang cosmology. The earliest stages of the universe's existence are estimated as taking place 13.8 billion years ago, with an uncertainty of around 21 million years at the 68% confidence level.

For the purposes of this summary, it is convenient to divide the chronology of the universe since it originated, into five parts. It is generally considered meaningless or unclear whether time existed before this chronology:

1 - The very early universe

The first picosecond (10−12) of cosmic time. It includes the Planck epoch, during which currently understood laws of physics may not apply; the emergence in stages of the four known fundamental interactions or forces—first gravitation, and later the strong nuclear, weak nuclear, and electromagnetic force interactions; the expansion of space itself; and, the supercooling of the still immensely hot universe due to cosmic inflation, which is believed to have been triggered by the separation of the nuclear strong and electroweak interaction.

Tiny ripples, or differences, in the universe at this stage are believed to be the basis of large-scale structures that formed much later. Different stages of the very early universe are understood to different extents. The earlier parts are beyond the grasp of practical experiments in particle physics but can be explored through other means.

Scientific American link

2 - The early universe

Lasting around 370,000 years. Initially, various kinds of subatomic particles are formed in stages. These particles include almost equal amounts of matter and antimatter, so most of it quickly annihilates, leaving a small excess of matter in the universe.

At about one second, neutrinos decouple; these neutrinos form the cosmic neutrino background (CνB). If primordial black holes exist, they are also formed at about one second of cosmic time. Composite subatomic particles emerge—including protons and neutrons—and from about 2 minutes, conditions are suitable for nucleosynthesis: around 25% of the protons and all the neutrons fuse into heavier elements, initially deuterium which itself quickly fuses into mainly helium-4.

By 20 minutes, the universe is no longer hot enough for nuclear fusion, but far too hot for neutral atoms to exist or photons to travel far. It is therefore an opaque plasma. At around 47,000 years,[2] as the universe cools, its behaviour begins to be dominated by matter rather than radiation. At about 100,000 years, helium hydride is the first molecule. (Much later, hydrogen and helium hydride react to form molecular hydrogen, the fuel needed for the first stars.)

At about 370,000 years,[3] the universe finally becomes cool enough for neutral atoms to form ("recombination"), and as a result it also became transparent for the first time. The newly formed atoms—mainly hydrogen and helium with traces of lithium—quickly reach their lowest energy state (ground state) by releasing photons ("photon decoupling"), and these photons can still be detected today as the cosmic microwave background (CMB). This is currently the oldest observation we have of the universe.

3 - The Dark Ages and large-scale structure emergence

From 370,000 years until about 1 billion years. After recombination and decoupling, the universe was transparent but the clouds of hydrogen only collapsed very slowly to form stars and galaxies, so there were no new sources of light. The only photons (electromagnetic radiation, or "light") in the universe were those released during decoupling (visible today as the cosmic microwave background) and 21 cm radio emissions occasionally emitted by hydrogen atoms. The decoupled photons would have filled the universe with a brilliant pale orange glow at first, gradually redshifting to non-visible wavelengths after about 3 million years, leaving it without visible light. This period is known as the cosmic Dark Ages.

Between about 10 and 17 million years the universe's average temperature was suitable for liquid water 273–373 K (0–100 °C) and there has been speculation whether rocky planets or indeed life could have arisen briefly, since statistically a tiny part of the universe could have had different conditions from the rest as a result of a very unlikely statistical fluctuation, and gained warmth from the universe as a whole.[4]

At some point around 200 to 500 million years, the earliest generations of stars and galaxies form (exact timings are still being researched), and early large structures gradually emerge, drawn to the foam-like dark matter filaments which have already begun to draw together throughout the universe. The earliest generations of stars have not yet been observed astronomically. They may have been huge (100-300 solar masses) and non-metallic, with very short lifetimes compared to most stars we see today, so they commonly finish burning their hydrogen fuel and explode as highly energetic pair-instability supernovae after mere millions of years.[5] Other theories suggest that they may have included small stars, some perhaps still burning today. In either case, these early generations of supernovae created most of the everyday elements we see around us today, and seeded the universe with them.

Galaxy clusters and superclusters emerge over time. At some point, high energy photons from the earliest stars, dwarf galaxies and perhaps quasars leads to a period of reionization that commences gradually between about 250-500 million years, is complete by about 700-900 million years, and diminishes by about 1 billion years (exact timings still being researched). The universe gradually transitioned into the universe we see around us today, and the Dark Ages only fully came to an end at about 1 billion years.

4 - The universe as it appears today

From 1 billion years, and for about 12.8 billion years, the universe has looked much as it does today. It will continue to appear very similar for many billions of years into the future. The thin disk of our galaxy began to form at about 5 billion years (8.8 Gya),[6] and our Solar System formed at about 9.2 billion years (4.6 Gya), with the earliest traces of life on Earth emerging by about 10.3 billion years (3.5 Gya).

From about 9.8 billion years of cosmic time,[7] the slowing expansion of space gradually begins to accelerate under the influence of dark energy, which may be a scalar field throughout our universe. The present-day universe is understood quite well, but beyond about 100 billion years of cosmic time (about 86 billion years in the future), uncertainties in current knowledge mean that we are less sure which path our universe will take.

5 - The far future and ultimate fate

At some time the Stelliferous Era will end as stars are no longer being born, and the expansion of the universe will mean that the observable universe becomes limited to local galaxies. There are various scenarios for the far future and ultimate fate of the universe. More exact knowledge of our current universe will allow these to be better understood.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

WMAP Big Bang Inflation

WMAP is a spacecraft which measures differences in the temperature of the Big Bang's remnant radiant heat - the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation - across the full sky. The WMAP mission succeeds the COBE space mission and was launched 2001 and retrieved 2009. In 2012, the Nine-year WMAP data and related images were released and the study found that "95-percent" of the early universe is composed of dark matter and energy, the curvature of space is less than 0.4 percent of "flat" and the universe emerged from the cosmic Dark Ages "about 400 million years" after the Big Bang.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Cosmic Microwave Background

The cosmic microwave background (CMB, CMBR), in Big Bang cosmology, is electromagnetic radiation as a remnant from an early stage of the universe, also known as "relic radiation". The CMB is faint cosmic background radiation filling all space. It is an important source of data on the early universe because it is the oldest electromagnetic radiation in the universe, dating to the epoch of recombination. With a traditional optical telescope, the space between stars and galaxies (the background) is completely dark. However, a sufficiently sensitive radio telescope shows a faint background noise, or glow, almost isotropic, that is not associated with any star, galaxy, or other object. This glow is strongest in the microwave region of the radio spectrum. The accidental discovery of the CMB in 1964 by American radio astronomers Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson[1][2] was the culmination of work initiated in the 1940s, and earned the discoverers the 1978 Nobel Prize in Physics.

CMB is landmark evidence of the Big Bang origin of the universe. When the universe was young, before the formation of stars and planets, it was denser, much hotter, and filled with a uniform glow from a white-hot fog of hydrogen plasma. As the universe expanded, both the plasma and the radiation filling it grew cooler. When the universe cooled enough, protons and electrons combined to form neutral hydrogen atoms. Unlike the uncombined protons and electrons, these newly conceived atoms could not scatter the thermal radiation by Thomson scattering, and so the universe became transparent instead of being an opaque fog.[3] Cosmologists refer to the time period when neutral atoms first formed as the recombination epoch, and the event shortly afterwards when photons started to travel freely through space rather than constantly being scattered by electrons and protons in plasma is referred to as photon decoupling. The photons that existed at the time of photon decoupling have been propagating ever since, though growing fainter and less energetic, since the expansion of space causes their wavelength to increase over time (and wavelength is inversely proportional to energy according to Planck's relation). This is the source of the alternative term relic radiation. The surface of last scattering refers to the set of points in space at the right distance from us so that we are now receiving photons originally emitted from those points at the time of photon decoupling.

Cosmic Background Explorer logo.jpg

Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE)

Examining small areas of the Cosmic Microwave Backgroun (CMB), very small fluctuations are seen. Though these fluctuations are only at the part-per-million level, they are enough to produce variations in density, and thus determine where matter is more likely to coalesce due to gravity, eventually producing larger and larger lumps of matter. NASA's Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) satellite first discovered these slight variations by in 1992. The Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) provided much greater detail.

The Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE /ˈkoʊbi/), also referred to as Explorer 66, was a satellite dedicated to cosmology, which operated from 1989 to 1993. Its goals were to investigate the cosmic microwave background radiation (CMB) of the universe and provide measurements that would help shape our understanding of the cosmos.

COBE's measurements provided two key pieces of evidence that supported the Big Bang theory of the universe: that the CMB has a near-perfect black-body spectrum, and that it has very faint anisotropies. Two of COBE's principal investigators, George Smoot and John Mather, received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2006 for their work on the project. According to the Nobel Prize committee, "the COBE-project can also be regarded as the starting point for cosmology as a precision science".[5]

COBE was followed by two more advanced spacecraft: the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe operated from 2001-2010 and the Planck spacecraft from 2009–2013.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

The Cosmic Dawn

Witnessing the birth of stars would require a telescope larger in diameter than many cities. Say hello to ALMA. Located on a plateu in the Atacama desert of Peru, ALMA (Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array) When completed next year there will be one large and a smaller array with a total of 80 gigantic antennas each weighing a hundred tons that need to swivel together on command and point at the same target in the sky within a second and a half of one another. To merge their signals coherently, a massive supercomputer had to be installed on-site that was capable of adjusting, to within the width of a human hair. When all of the antennas come on line later this year, ALMA will penetrate the curtains of dust and gas that shroud galaxies, swirl around stars, and stretch through the expanses of interstellar space and conjure even finer details for graphic renderings of cosmic inflation after the big bang.

The Cosmic Dawn Center 

The Cosmic Dawn Center is an Astronomy/Cosmology research center, founded as a collaboration between the Niels Bohr Institute of the University of Copenhagen and DTU Space of the Danish Technical University (DTU). The center is led by center director and NBI Professor Sune Toft and center co-director Thomas Greve, Professor at DTU and UCL.[1] The main objective of the center is to investigate the period known as the Cosmic Dawn (the transition period following the Cosmic Dark Ages[2]), i.e. the reionization of the Universe and the formation of the first galaxies, through observations as well as through theory and simulations.[3][4][5] The Cosmic Dawn Center also runs two summer programs for mainly U.S. undergraduates, the DAWN-IRES program, funded by National Science Foundation,[6] and a SURF (Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship).[7] program for California Institute of Technology students[8]

The Earth: One Strange Rock

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A Short History of the Universe
NatGeo, New Eyes on the Universe, January 1994

Although the Hubble garners the most attention, another orbiting observatory has sent back pehaps the most profound data. A satellite called COBE, or the Cosmic Background Explorer, has strongly supported the theory that the universe began expanding in a great explosion nicknamed the big bang.

Cosmologists speculate that before the big bang all of space - the totality of our universe - was an extremely concentrated speck far smaller than an atom. Perhaps our universe was but one part of a foam of tiny black holes, some of which occasionally exploded. No one knows - and we may never know. If our current understanding of physics is correct, all history of that initial, infinitesimal slice of time is irretrievably lost. And our knowledge of the events that followed soon after depends on the insight of theorists, on mathematics, and on experiments using high-energy particle accelerators. While still a speck, cosmologists calculate, the universe would have had a temperature of a million trillion trillion degrees. Ordinary matter did no exist under those conditions. Our familiar laws of physics did not apply.

As that speck expanded, it cooled, and the components of the universe we know began to emerge. By the time the universe was one second old, protons, neutrons, and electrons - the building blocks of atoms - had come into being. So had photons. But the stew of matter and energy was so concentrated that photons could not move about within it. Not until the universe was 300,000 years old did light break away from matter and begin to travel freely through our expanded speck of space. The moment of light's emancipation left a faint haze of photons - an afterglow of the big bang. Called cosmic background radiation, it permeates the universe. The haze is extremely cold now, 2.7 Kelvins, or minus 455 degrees F. First detected in 1964, its structure is being revealed by extremely sensitive microwave detectors, like those carried into orbit by COBE in 1989. COBE had a major question to resolve: Why are we here? "matter isn't distributed evenly in the universe today," explains John Mater, COBE chief scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. "It's clumped into stars and galaxies and planets like earth." Gravity formed those structures, but there must have been an initial uneveness for it to act on. We should see that in the afterglow of the big bang. Before COBE we couldn't. "Our earth-based detectors were getting more and more sensitive," says Mather, "but we just kept seeing the same thing - smooth, homogeneous radiation all across the sky."

If COBE saw from space only smooth radiation, then the entire big bang scenario would be threatened. A mild panic set in when the first data came back. Thje radiation still looked homogeneous. Then over months, as more data were processed, huge patches emerged in which the temperature of the background photons varied by a few hundred-thousandths of a degree. Not much, but enough to silence those who were ready to re-write the physics of the early universe. The COBE results have raised some new questions about details of the big bang scenario, but most theorists believe the satellite has buttressed it at its weakest link. Many now regard the question of the mysterious "dark matter" as the most burning issue in astrophysics.

Here again, a new international orbiting X-ray observatory named ROSAT, or Roentgen Satellite, for the German physicist who discovered X rays, has found new evidence for the existence of dark matter. Examining three galaxies known as the NGC 2300 Group, ROSAT detected a huge cloud of plasma, or ionized gas, glowing in X rays around the group. "That cloud," explains astronomer David Burstein of Arizona State University, "is much too immense for the group to gravitationally hold onto - unless the group has 15 to 25 more mass than we can see."

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Cosmic Inflation (Cosmology)

Cosmologists have shown that it's theoretically possible for a contracting universe to bounce and expand. The new work resuscitates an old idea that directly challenges the Big Bang theory of cosmic origins - standard stuff of textbooks and television shows that enjoys strong support among today's cosmologists. In the most popular modern version of the theory, the Big Bang began with an episode called "cosmic inflation" - a burst of exponential expansion during which an infinitesimal speck of space-time ballooned into a smooth, flat, macroscopic cosmos, which expanded more gently thereafter. But as an origin story, inflation is lacking; it raises questions about what preceded it and where that initial, inflaton-laden speck came from. In the past few years, a growing number of cosmologists have cautiously revisited the alternative. They say the Big Bang might instead have been a Big Bounce. Some cosmologists favor a picture in which the universe expands and contracts cyclically like a lung, bouncing each time it shrinks to a certain size, while others propose that the cosmos only bounced once - that it had been contracting, before the bounce, since the infinite past, and that it will expand forever after. In either model, time continues into the past and future without end.

Cosmic Inflation after the Big Bang

In physical cosmology, cosmic inflation, cosmological inflation, or just inflation, is a theory of exponential expansion of space in the early universe. The inflationary epoch lasted from 10−36 seconds after the conjectured Big Bang singularity to some time between 10−33 and 10−32 seconds after the singularity. Following the inflationary period, the universe continued to expand, but at a slower rate. The acceleration of this expansion due to dark energy began after the universe was already over 9 billion years old (~4 billion years ago).[1]

Inflation theory was developed in the late 1970s and early 80s, with notable contributions by several theoretical physicists, including Alexei Starobinsky at Landau Institute for Theoretical Physics, Alan Guth at Cornell University, and Andrei Linde at Lebedev Physical Institute. Alexei Starobinsky, Alan Guth, and Andrei Linde won the 2014 Kavli Prize "for pioneering the theory of cosmic inflation."[2] It was developed further in the early 1980s. It explains the origin of the large-scale structure of the cosmos. Quantum fluctuations in the microscopic inflationary region, magnified to cosmic size, become the seeds for the growth of structure in the Universe (see galaxy formation and evolution and structure formation).[3] Many physicists also believe that inflation explains why the universe appears to be the same in all directions (isotropic), why the cosmic microwave background radiation is distributed evenly, why the universe is flat, and why no magnetic monopoles have been observed.

The detailed particle physics mechanism responsible for inflation is unknown. The basic inflationary paradigm is accepted by most physicists, as a number of inflation model predictions have been confirmed by observation;[4] however, a substantial minority of scientists dissent from this position.[5][6][7] The hypothetical field thought to be responsible for inflation is called the inflaton.[8]

In 2002, three of the original architects of the theory were recognized for their major contributions; physicists Alan Guth of M.I.T., Andrei Linde of Stanford, and Paul Steinhardt of Princeton shared the prestigious Dirac Prize "for development of the concept of inflation in cosmology".[9] In 2012, Alan Guth and Andrei Linde were awarded the Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics for their invention and development of inflationary cosmology.[10]

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Detailed Big Bang Inflation Timeline

Once upon a timeless, most cosmologists believe, all that is our universe was incredibly small and dense. Neither space nor time as we know then existed.

(1) Nothing is known of this earliest instant. Scientists use the term big bang to describe this moment of creation. Somehow the universe - all matter, energy, space, and time exploded from the original singularity.

(2) Because time did not yet exist, there is no way to measure this event, but scientists have agreed to start the universal clock at Planck time - a moment defined as 10-43 second, which is a decimal point followed by 42 zeroes and a 1. Named for the father of quantum physics, Planck time is the point at which the universe begins to differentiate.

(3) Gravity becomes a separate force, tearing away from the other still unified basic forces of nature.

(4) Separation of the strong force (10-36 second). Although atoms do not yet exist, the force that will hold their nuclei together becomes an individual entity.

(5) Inflation (10-36 to 10-32 second). Triggered by separation of the strong force, the universe expands more in this instant than it has in the roughly 15 billion years since.

(6) Quarks and antiquarks (10-32 to 10-5 second). As inflation ends, the still expanding universe now teems with quarks and antiquarks the smallest known constituents of matter along with electrons (L in the illustration) and exotic particles (W and Z). Quarks and antiquarks annihilate each other upon contact. But a surplus of quarks one per billion pairs survives. This surplus of quarks will ultimately combine to form matter. At 10-12 second the final two forces split off.

(7) Electromagnetism - the attraction of negatively and positively charged particles is carried by photons, the basic units of electromagnetic energy.

(8) The weak force controls certain forms of radioactive decay.

(9) Quark confinement (10-5 second). As the universe cools to one trillion K, trios of quarks form protons and neutrons.

(10) Nucleosynthesis (less than one second to three minutes). Cooling continues. Protons and neutrons bind to form the nuclei of soon-to-be-formed atoms.

(11) Energy domination (10-32 second to 3,000 years). Because of high temperatures, radiant energy generates most of the gravity in the universe during this period.

(12) Matter domination (3,000 years onward). With cooling, matter becomes the primary source of gravity. Matter begins to clump and form structures. In theory, particles of so-called dark matter (depicted as gray bubbles) would have come into existence by this time. They may account for as much as 99 percent of all matter.

(13) Decoupling (300,000 years). Continued expansion and cooling allow matter and electromagnetic energy to go their separate ways. Nuclei capture electrons to form complete atoms of hydrogen, helium, and lithium. The universe becomes transparent: Radiant energy, or photons, travels freely. These photons now exist throughout the universe as microwave radiation. They reveal ripple-like concentrations of primordial matter - seeds for the structure of the universe that arose during the era of inflation.

(14) The ripples are shown in a 1992 COBE satellite image.

(15) Galaxy formation (200 million years onward). Matter continues to clump in the areas of concentration and over eons is condensed by gravity.

(16) This gives rise to quasars pictured in a radio image emitting bursts of energy.

(17) Quasars emitting galaxies.

(18-19) Continued expansion of the universe. Galaxies cluster in an overall structure of sheets separated by huge voids containing relatively few galaxies.

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Magnetic Fields around the singularity of a Black Hole

Big Bang Gravitational Waves

Big Bang's "Smoking Gun" Observations confirm "inflation" of early universe to cosmological sizes in early instant by Dan Vergano National Geographic Magazine, March 17, 2014. Astronomers find surprisingly strong gravitational waves rippled through the fiery aftermath of the Big Bang, confirming that the cosmos grew to a stunningly vast size in its very first instant. The finding means that in little more than a century, humanity has figured out not only the age of the universe - it was born about 13.82 billion years ago in the Big Bang but also how its birth unfolded. Gravity waves are distortions in the fabric of space-time predicted by Albert Einstein's theory of general relativity. The gravitational waves travel at the speed of light, but they are so weak that scientists expect to detect only those created during colossal cosmic events, such as black hole mergers like the one shown above. LIGO is a detector designed to spot the elusive waves.

Additional References

From the Big Bang to Black Holes and Gravitational Waves
by Kip Thorne, March 11, 2016

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Large Scale Cosmic Structures

Large Scale Cosmic Web held in place by Dark Matter and Dark Energy

Cosmic Supercluster Map

Cosmologists have now concluded... that all the stars and galaxies they see in the sky make up only 5 percent of the observable universe. The invisible majority consists of 27 percent dark matter and 68 percent dark energy. Both of them are mysteries. When quantum theorists try to calculate how much energy resides in, say a quant of seemingly empty space, they get a big number. But astronomers calculating the same quantity from their dark energy observations get a small number. The difference between the two numbers is staggering: it's ten to the 121st power, a one followed by 121 zeroes, an amount far exceeding the number of stars in the observable universe or grains of sand on the planet. That's the largest disparity between theory and observation in the entire history of science. Clearly something fundamentally important about space - and therefore about everything, since galaxies, stars, planets, and people are made mostly of space - remains to be learned.

 Dark Matter

Dark matter is something unknown thought to account for approximately 85% of the matter in the universe and about a quarter of its total mass–energy density or about 2.241×10−27 kg/m3. Its presence is implied in a variety of astrophysical observations, including gravitational effects that cannot be explained by accepted theories of gravity unless more matter is present than can be seen. For this reason, most experts think that dark matter is abundant in the universe and that it has had a strong influence on its structure and evolution. Dark matter is called dark because it does not appear to interact with the electromagnetic field, which means it doesn't absorb, reflect or emit electromagnetic radiation, and is therefore difficult to detect.[1]

Primary evidence for dark matter comes from calculations showing that many galaxies would fly apart, or that they would not have formed or would not move as they do, if they did not contain a large amount of unseen matter.[2] Other lines of evidence include observations in gravitational lensing[3] and in the cosmic microwave background, along with astronomical observations of the observable universe's current structure, the formation and evolution of galaxies, mass location during galactic collisions,[4] and the motion of galaxies within galaxy clusters. In the standard Lambda-CDM model of cosmology, the total mass–energy of the universe contains 5% ordinary matter and energy, 27% dark matter and 68% of a form of energy known as dark energy.[5][6][7][8] Thus, dark matter constitutes 85%[a] of total mass, while dark energy plus dark matter constitute 95% of total mass–energy content.[9][10][11][12]

Because dark matter has not yet been observed directly, if it exists, it must barely interact with ordinary baryonic matter and radiation, except through gravity. Most dark matter is thought to be non-baryonic in nature; it may be composed of some as-yet undiscovered subatomic particles.[b] The primary candidate for dark matter is some new kind of elementary particle that has not yet been discovered, in particular, weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPs).[13] Many experiments to directly detect and study dark matter particles are being actively undertaken, but none have yet succeeded.[14] Dark matter is classified as "cold", "warm", or "hot" according to its velocity (more precisely, its free streaming length). Current models favor a cold dark matter scenario, in which structures emerge by gradual accumulation of particles.

Although the existence of dark matter is generally accepted by the scientific community, some astrophysicists, intrigued by certain observations which do not fit some dark matter theories, argue for various modifications of the standard laws of general relativity, such as modified Newtonian dynamics, tensor–vector–scalar gravity, or entropic gravity. These models attempt to account for all observations without invoking supplemental non-baryonic matter.[15]

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Illustration of Dark Energy

Dark Energy

In physical cosmology and astronomy, dark energy is an unknown form of energy that affects the universe on the largest scales. The first observational evidence for its existence came from supernovae measurements, which showed that the universe does not expand at a constant rate; rather, the expansion of the universe is accelerating.[1][2] Understanding the evolution of the universe requires knowledge of the starting conditions and what it consists of. Prior to these observations, the only forms of matter-energy known to exist were ordinary matter, dark matter, and radiation. Measurements of the cosmic microwave background suggest the universe began in a hot Big Bang, from which general relativity explains its evolution and the subsequent large scale motion. Without introducing a new form of energy, there was no way to explain how an accelerating universe could be measured. Since the 1990s, dark energy has been the most accepted premise to account for the accelerated expansion. As of 2020, there are active areas of cosmology research aimed at understanding the fundamental nature of dark energy: is it a feature of measurement errors, or do modifications to general relativity need to be made?[3]

Assuming that the concordance model of cosmology is correct, the best current measurements indicate that dark energy contributes 68% of the total energy in the present-day observable universe. The mass–energy of dark matter and ordinary (baryonic) matter contributes 27% and 5%, respectively, and other components such as neutrinos and photons contribute a very small amount.[4][5][6][7] The density of dark energy is very low (~ 7 × 10−30 g/cm3), much less than the density of ordinary matter or dark matter within galaxies. However, it dominates the mass–energy of the universe because it is uniform across space.[8][9][10]

Two proposed forms of dark energy are the cosmological constant,[11][12] representing a constant energy density filling space homogeneously, and scalar fields such as quintessence or moduli, dynamic quantities whose energy density can vary in time and space. Contributions from scalar fields that are constant in space are usually also included in the cosmological constant. The cosmological constant can be formulated to be equivalent to the zero-point radiation of space i.e. the vacuum energy.[13] Scalar fields that change in space can be difficult to distinguish from a cosmological constant because the change may be extremely slow.

Due to the toy model nature of concordance cosmology, some experts believe[14] that a more accurate general relativistic treatment of the structures that exist on all scales[15] in the real Universe may do away with the need to invoke dark energy. Inhomogeneous cosmologies, which attempt to account for the backreaction of structure formation on the metric, generally do not acknowledge any dark energy contribution to the energy density of the Universe.

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Dark Futures


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How It All Works
Quantum Physics

The Standard Model

The Standard Model of particle physics is the theory describing three of the four known fundamental forces (the electromagnetic, weak, and strong interactions, and not including the gravitational force) in the universe, as well as classifying all known elementary particles. It was developed in stages throughout the latter half of the 20th century, through the work of many scientists around the world,[1] with the current formulation being finalized in the mid-1970s upon experimental confirmation of the existence of quarks. Since then, confirmation of the top quark (1995), the tau neutrino (2000), and the Higgs boson (2012) have added further credence to the Standard Model. In addition, the Standard Model has predicted various properties of weak neutral currents and the W and Z bosons with great accuracy.

Although the Standard Model is believed to be theoretically self-consistent[2] and has demonstrated huge successes in providing experimental predictions, it leaves some phenomena unexplained and falls short of being a complete theory of fundamental interactions. It does not fully explain baryon asymmetry, incorporate the full theory of gravitation[3] as described by general relativity, or account for the accelerating expansion of the Universe as possibly described by dark energy. The model does not contain any viable dark matter particle that possesses all of the required properties deduced from observational cosmology. It also does not incorporate neutrino oscillations and their non-zero masses.

The development of the Standard Model was driven by theoretical and experimental particle physicists alike. For theorists, the Standard Model is a paradigm of a quantum field theory, which exhibits a wide range of phenomena including spontaneous symmetry breaking, anomalies and non-perturbative behavior. It is used as a basis for building more exotic models that incorporate hypothetical particles, extra dimensions, and elaborate symmetries (such as supersymmetry) in an attempt to explain experimental results at variance with the Standard Model, such as the existence of dark matter and neutrino oscillations.


Wednesday, June 24, 2020

What Happened Before the Big Bang?

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The Beginning of Everything -- The Big Bang

Origins of the Universe 101 | National Geographic

[*NOTE - The First Element formed is Hydrogen,
The Second Element formed is Helium,
the NatGeo vid has it backwards. - res]

What Came Before the Big Bang?

Dark Universe 101 | National Geographic

Stephen Hawking: the origins of the universe

The Origin of the Universe - Prof Stephen Hawking

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What Happened Before the Big Bang?
by Stephanie Pappas
April 17, 2019

The Big Bang is commonly thought of as the start of it all: About 13.8 billion years ago, the observable universe went boom and expanded into being.

But what were things like before the Big Bang?

Short answer: We don't know. Long answer: It could have been a lot of things, each mind-bending in its own way.

In the beginning

The first thing to understand is what the Big Bang actually was.

"The Big Bang is a moment in time, not a point in space," said Sean Carroll, a theoretical physicist at the California Institute of Technology and author of "The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning and the Universe Itself" (Dutton, 2016).

Thus, it's possible that the universe at the Big Bang was teeny-tiny or infinitely large, Carroll said, because there’s no way to look back in time at the stuff we can’t even see today. All we really know is that it was very, very dense and that it very quickly got less dense.

As a corollary, there really isn't anything outside the universe, because the universe is, by definition, everything. So, at the Big Bang, everything was denser and hotter than it is now, but there was no more an "outside" of it than there is today. As tempting as it is to take a godlike view and imagine you could stand in a void and look at the scrunched-up baby universe right before the Big Bang, that would be impossible, Carroll said. The universe didn't expand into space; space itself expanded.

"No matter where you are in the universe, if you trace yourself back 14 billion years, you come to this point where it was extremely hot, dense and rapidly expanding," he said.

No one knows exactly what was happening in the universe until 1 second after the Big Bang, when the universe cooled off enough for protons and neutrons to collide and stick together. Many scientists do think that the universe went through a process of exponential expansion called inflation during that first second. This would have smoothed out the fabric of space-time and could explain why matter is so evenly distributed in the universe today.

Before the bang

It's possible that before the Big Bang, the universe was an infinite stretch of an ultrahot, dense material, persisting in a steady state until, for some reason, the Big Bang occured. This extra-dense universe may have been governed by quantum mechanics, the physics of the extremely small scale, Carroll said. The Big Bang, then, would have represented the moment that classical physics took over as the major driver of the universe's evolution. 

For Stephen Hawking, this moment was all that mattered: Before the Big Bang, he said, events are unmeasurable, and thus undefined. Hawking called this the no-boundary proposal: Time and space, he said, are finite, but they don’t have any boundaries or starting or ending points, the same way that the planet Earth is finite but has no edge.

"Since events before the Big Bang have no observational consequences, one may as well cut them out of the theory and say that time began at the Big Bang," he said in an interview on the National Geographic show "StarTalk" in 2018.

Theory 1a

Or perhaps there was something else before the Big Bang that's worth pondering. One idea is that the Big Bang isn't the beginning of time, but rather that it was a moment of symmetry. In this idea, prior to the Big Bang, there was another universe, identical to this one but with entropy increasing toward the past instead of toward the future. [*sic, think of decay as running backwards, not forwards - res]

Increasing entropy, or increasing disorder in a system, is essentially the arrow of time, Carroll said, so in this mirror universe, time would run opposite to time in the modern universe and our universe would be in the past. Proponents of this theory also suggest that other properties of the universe would be flip-flopped in this mirror universe. For example, physicist David Sloan wrote in the University of Oxford Science Blog, asymmetries in molecules and ions (called chiralities) would be in opposite orientations to what they are in our universe.

Theory 1b

A similar theory holds that the Big Bang wasn't the beginning of everything, but rather a moment in time when the universe switched from a period of contraction to a period of expansion. This "Big Bounce" notion suggests that there could be infinite Big Bangs as the universe expands, contracts and expands again. The problem with these ideas, Carroll said, is that there's no explanation for why or how an expanding universe would contract and return to a low-entropy state.

Theory 2

Carroll and his colleague Jennifer Chen have their own pre-Big Bang vision. In 2004, the physicists suggested that perhaps the universe as we know it is the offspring of a parent universe from which a bit of space-time has ripped off.

It's like a radioactive nucleus decaying, Carroll said: When a nucleus decays, it spits out an alpha or beta particle. The parent universe could do the same thing, except instead of particles, it spits out baby universes, perhaps infinitely. "It's just a quantum fluctuation that lets it happen," Carroll said. These baby universes are "literally parallel universes," Carroll said, and don't interact with or influence one another.

If that all sounds rather trippy, it is — because scientists don't yet have a way to peer back to even the instant of the Big Bang, much less what came before it. There's room to explore, though, Carroll said. The detection of gravitational waves from powerful galactic collisions in 2015 opens the possibility that these waves could be used to solve fundamental mysteries about the universes' expansion in that first crucial second.

Theoretical physicists also have work to do, Carroll said, like making more-precise predictions about how quantum forces like quantum gravity might work.

"We don't even know what we're looking for," Carroll said, "until we have a theory."

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How To Remake the Big Bang

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Geneva's Cern SuperCollider

Cern SuperCollider Facility, Geneva, Switzerland

Cern's SuperCollider Accelerator Loops

Inspecting a Cern SuperCollider Accelerator Loop

A Cern SuperCollider Accelerator Loop

The Cern SuperCollider

The Cern SuperCollider

The Cern SuperCollider

Theoretical Physicist Peter Higgs at Cern

Theoretical Physicists Peter Higgs and Stephen Hawking

Theoretical Physicist Peter Higgs

Theoretical Physicist Peter Higgs