Big Bang: Proof that the Universe is Expanding Page 4

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By Rahul Gladwin | July, 2000.

Is the Universe Expanding?

The universe, therefore, is undoubtedly expanding. A galaxy one billion light-years away recedes half as fast as the one that is two billion light-years away. In a given time every galaxy increases its distance from every other by the same percentage (Born 55). A uniformly expanding universe may look roughly the same from any place in it.

The Big Bang Theory:

From all the proofs of universal expansion, there have been numerous theories about the expansion of the universe. The most convincing of them all is the Big Bang theory. It states that at the dawn of time, when neither space nor matter existed, all the known matter was compressed into a Primeval Atom: a super-hot and super-dense object (Gribbin 18). The density of the Atom was tremendous roughly equal to that of a trillion suns compressed into a single proton. Temperature was infinite: not even protons existed as individual particles. The object exploded and created space and time as we know it. Even a million years after the explosion, the universe was too unstable and galaxies did not acquire their present shape. Empty space consisted of a uniform gaseous medium in which space and matter were at the same temperature. Tiny subatomic particles like electrons had such huge energies that a collusion of an electron with a bulldozer may have ripped the machine to shreds (Taylor 11). As time passed on, the universe became less and less dense and conditions became less inhospitable. Matter only existed as plasma, but as energy began to freeze, matter, as we know of it, began to form. The first matter formed was gas. Huge clouds of gasses were pulled together by gravitational force and the distance between individual clouds increased. As the temperature dropped, gasses became more and more compressed and arranged themselves into shapes that resembled present day galaxies; the first galaxies were created. Further, more complex interactions began to take place within the galaxies, and the distance between the individual galaxies increased. The young universe may have then seen the first star lights, as stars began to appear within galaxies releasing immense amounts of microwave radiation (Bergman 25). The temperature of empty space today in the universe is about 3K but the process of expansion in still continuing and microwave radiation is still coming from outer space (Taylor 226). Will the universe expand forever ? Nobody knows, however, the end of the universe has been anticipated as a Big Crunch (Taylor 53). As the universe reaches its outer limits of expansion, it will fall back on itself just as a ball thrown into the air falls back on earth due to gravity. The gravitational force will pull all existing matter back to the starting point: all our garbage will be recycled, and this will be followed by another Big Bang.

Age of the Universe:

The Big Bang model is the most convincing model of the universe (Stenger 196). It has presented far more proof of universal expansion than any other model. The Big Bang model also accurately predicts the age of the universe. The age of the universe, previously calculated form the natural radioactivity of the Uranium238 atom, was about 10-15 billion years and the age calculated using the Big Bang model comes out to be the same (Cupra 93).

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