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How the Universe Was Created According to Physics Essay

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Updated: May 5th, 2022

Introduction

Mankind has always been faced with the challenge of explaining how the Universe came into existence. Many individuals have from antiquity attempted to develop theories that provide explanations of how the universe was formed. However, as time moved by, most scientists have come to believe that the universe created itself (Zuckerman and Malkan 15). They argue that it is formed through a process that takes place when random chemicals are mixed together resulting in a volatile reaction and consequently the creation of the Universe. An estimation of the time that the Universe formed dates back several billion years long before the existence of mankind. Different times are characterized by dominant theories advanced by scientists, particularly by physicists. Some of these theories include; the Big Bang theory to the most recent String theory (Grupen 214). At the beginning of the book, Greene puts forward provocative questions concerning the nature of the universe. He observes that space and time have remained to be the most mysterious of the concepts of the universe. Some of the questions that need to be reflected upon include whether space is a physical entity, the reasons that make time have direction, and the possibility of the universe existing without there being no space and time (Greene 325). This paper explores how the universe came into existence according to the writings of one of the prominent physicists, Professor Greene.

Before the Big Bang

In his book, Professor Greene elaborates on the concept of the universe from a number of perspectives and offers the readers an understanding of Newtonian physics, quantum mechanics, cosmological studies, and string theory. It has been difficult to provide a sequential explanation of how the universe came into existence due to a lack of adequate facts about what existed before the “Big Bang”, the supposed birth of the universe. According to Greene (341), space and time constitute the very fabric of the cosmos, a platform upon which all occurrences, both human and non-human, take place. Most of the early scientists like Newton believed that, despite being invisible, considered space to be an almost physical entity. That it was a substance that could permit, for instance, light to propagate from one point to the next. According to these scientists, space provided the medium through which light could travel as water provides the medium through which waves can travel (Zuckerman and Malkan 19).

Scientists have remained skeptical as far as what was there before the bang is concerned. One may wonder whether there was a condensed universe suspended in an empty field. However, even if it did, it would be interesting to know what this emptiness had in respect to mankind. Due to inadequate explanation, it is believed that the universe was condensed millions of billions of times much smaller than a millimeter which is approximately 10-26 of a centimeter (Grupen 194). This condensed universe must have existed in “something”. Scientists have provided a much easier explanation of the existence of the Higg’s field which exists in all of space. The uniqueness of this “field” is the fact that its highest value is 0. This implies that reactions and effects concerning the field operate on a scale that could be less than 0. The proponents of this theory argue that the Higg’s field fluctuated at some point and when it accidentally reached a value of 0, the “Big Bang” occurred simultaneously (Grupen 214). It is at this point that most scientists trace the origin of the universe.

The Big Bang Theory

The Big Bang, according to many cosmological scientists, refers to an event that resulted in the formation of the universe (Grupen 213). The fundamental assumption of the theory is that the universe was initially very hot and in a state of high density that it started to expand rapidly. The continuing expansion has caused the universe to cool to its current dilute state (Zuckerman and Malkan 38). It is estimated that the initial state of the universe dates back to about 13.7 billion years. Many scientists have confirmed this theory as being the most reliable since it is based on empirical evidence and observations (Greene 367). However, this model implies that the universe was initially in a near-infinite state. It was at this point that known laws of physics failed to apply and hence there was a need to develop a new theory that combine general laws of relativity with those of quantum mechanics (Grupen 227).

This forced a focus on what existed before the epic Big Bang. Therefore, attempts have been made to offer some explanation of the pre-Bang period. Many believe that this side of the universe was packed with highly uniform microwave energy. This kind of energy was high uniform with only about.01% being different from the majority. When the “Big Bang” occurred, the universe expanded to a size that was about 1030 of its original (Greene 386). This occurred within an extremely short time, a billion billionth of a second which was about (10-35). Due to the conflicts arising from backdating the creation of the universe, the modern physicists have tried reconciling relativity and Einstein’s quantum perspectives and this has given birth to the most recent theory, the String theory (Greene 3). The theory has 11 dimensions; 10 of space and 1 of time.

The Inflation Theory

There is a newer theory that refutes the claim that the universe was created as a result of an explosion. Instead, it claims that it was due to rapid inflation. The inflation theory states that the universe expanded and continues to expand at the moment. The mechanism that facilitated the expansion was gravity’s repulsive effect, which takes place when there is negative pressure around it.

The proponents of the inflation theory posit that upon the expansion of the universe, all the energy that was released from the form increased the temperature. The resultant small irregularities condensed into the universe and which existed in the pre-Bang period were scattered (Zuckerman and Malkan 27). However, as the Higg’s field started cooling from the initial increase in temperature, these irregularities formed the protons, neutrons, and electrons, which ended up forming the first forms of matter. Further cooling of the Higg’s field caused the protons to separate into two particles; the weak nuclear forces that are, the W and Z particles. Continued cooling of the Higg’s field caused these to separate further resulting in the creation of strong nuclear particles, the gluons (Greene 435). Moreover, the Higg’s field led to the creation of resistance for these particles when it came to traveling through space, causing them to have masses.

As time passed by, the protons, neutrons, and electrons begin to group in spatial un-uniformities and begin to grow in size. As these particles are brought together in large numbers, they are bound by the gravity of their surrounding un-uniformed space. As they grow larger and larger, the masses begin to assert their own gravitational field (Grupen 241). As the gravity of the individual masses become stronger, it pulls even more particles towards it, resulting in increased size. Eventually, when the object becomes reasonably big and as long as it has enough energy from all of its constituent particles, it will burn up hence making a star.

It is the continued ignition of the star that will lead to the next stage of element formation. The intense heat generated within the star will cause hydrogen atoms which are made of one electron orbiting a nucleus to weld to another hydrogen atom. Consequently, a new element (helium) will be formed which will, in turn, be welded to another hydrogen atom to make a three-electron element, lithium. This trend will continue, resulting in the formation of more elements within a single star with a possible maximum of making the 26 electron element, iron (Zuckerman and Malkan 42).

The Destiny of the Universe

The highly energized star will continue to live and burn and eventually weld all of its hydrogen atoms to others, and eventually run out of pure hydrogen. In spite of the fact this process may take billions of years, it is at that point in time that it will run out of nuclear fuel. This implies that the star will not be able to sustain its own mass (Grupen 242). The star will subsequently collapse under its weight and spew out its contents. The remains of the collapsed stars will result in the formation of stardust. The heat energy generated from the exploded star will cause the stardust to continue being welded to other particles and form more other elements, with the possibility of making every imaginable element. The stardust will remain suspended around the area and a number of things will happen.

The first possibility is the star exploding or going supernova resulting in the creation of more disturbances in the uniformity of space, causing more celestial bodies to form. It is this particular process that will facilitate the self-catalytic renewal of stars, and hence the rapid formation of second generation stars (Grupen 253). One of the most visible stars is the sun. The next possibility for the star going supernova is the creation of a planetoid which occurs when there is not enough nuclear fuel to cause the star to burn up. The planet may either have all the elements on or inside its core. This argument is reinforced by the fact that our planet has all of the occurring elements in spite of having any real origin other than cosmic intervention.

Furthermore, the conditions on the planet earth are ripe enough for basic organisms to come into existence from the compounds left in the wake of the planet formation. This perspective provides an explanation of how we eventually came into being and became inhabitants of this section of the larger universe. Cosmologists have argued that the destiny of the universe will either be in the Big Freeze or the Big Crunch depending on the density and hence gravity of the universe (Zuckerman and Malkan 53).

Conclusion

Despite the complex nature of the universe and our approximately 14 billion-year journey from nowhere to the present vast, highly unexplored universe, our responsibilities seem to have just started and the seemingly unending frontier for us to explore. As human intelligence continues to grow, there are possibilities of discovering more about the universe since what we currently know seems like a grain of sand on the sea-show compared to those in the earth. It can be concluded, therefore, that if the conflicting opinions raised by physicists is anything to go by, the nobody real knows how and the time when the universe came into existence and how it will eventually die out!

Works Cited

Greene, Brian. The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality. A. A. Knopf, 2004: pp. 325-471.

Grupen, Claus. Astroparticle Physics. 2005: pp. 191-264.

Zuckerman, Ben & Malkan, M. Arnold. The origin and evolution of the universe. John and Bartlett Publishers, Inc. 1996: pp. 15-56.

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