There was no big bang
There have been many theories and stories about where the Universe came from. The most widely accepted model is the Big Bang theory. There was originally just a lot of energy, which expanded rapidly and then cooled enough to allow sub-atomic particles to form. In due course, this resulted in the formation of atoms and the matter and energy all around us today is thus accounted for. More or less.
But now a bunch of scientists have come up with a new idea …
When I first heard about the observation that the Universe was expanding, I was confused. Everything seemed to be hurtling away from us in every direction. That made no sense. Why should we be the center of the expansion? Aside from some theological perspectives, most people agree that we live in part of the Universe that is not particularly special [other than the fact that we live here]. So, why should the expansion be centered here?
A physicist explained it to me. He said that the objects in the Universe are not moving away from one another – the actual fabric of space is expanding. He suggested that I use an analogy. Imagine that we live in a 2-dimensional Universe [instead of 3], which is like the outside skin of a balloon. Make [say] 3 marks on the balloon and inflate it a bit more. All the marks are further away from one another; no particular mark was the center of expansion.
This analogy was useful to me recently when I saw an article in Nature about a new theory of the Universe’s formation. If you think of a black hole, it has an outer “skin”, the Event Horizon, out of which nothing, not even light, can escape. As the black hole takes in more material, it expands, stretching the event horizon. Now consider the idea that our Universe is actually contained within another “hyperverse”, which has 4, instead of 3, spacial dimensions. In that hyperverse is an expanding black hole. Its event horizon is a 3-dimensional structure and that is our Universe.
If you can truly imagine that, you have a better brain than I do!
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