We have all heard the story with the universe and its creation, but the theory has many holes. It is said that, first, the universe inflated fast, like a balloon, then it simply blew. Come again? How are these two periods connected? Well, there’s a new study that shows a way in which the two periods are linked.
In the first period, the universe grew from a small point to an octillion times in size in less than a trillionth – 1 and 27 zeors – of a second. This period was followed by a gradual but more violent period of expansion – The Big Bang. During the Big Bang, a hot fireball of particles, like protons, electrons, and neutrons expanded and cooled in order to form the atoms, the galaxies, and the stars that we all see today.
The Big Bang Theory, which is all about cosmic inflation, is still the most supported explanation of how the universe began, but scientists still don’t know how the two periods are connected. In order to solve the mystery, researchers from MIT simulated the transition between cosmic inflation and the Big Bang. The period was nicknamed “reheating.” The post-inflation period of “reheating” set the conditions for the Big Bang, and it puts the “bang” in theory. This comes from David Kaiser, professor of physics at MIT. It’s this specific period where “all hell breaks loose,” and matter behaves chaotically.
When the universe expanded in less than seconds during the cosmic inflation, all the matter existing was spread out, a thing that left the universe cold and empty, without the particles that needed to start the Big Bang. This is why it’s still a mystery for us.
As our second lead editor, Anna C. Mackinno provides guidance on the stories Great Lakes Ledger reporters cover. She has been instrumental in making sure the content on the site is clear and accurate for our readers. If you see a particularly clever title, you can likely thank Anna. Anna received a BA and and MA from Fordham University.