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Beginning of Space and Time





phys10NEK
I am just a beginner in the physics world but I have a lot of questions. First off I will start basic: How did space and time come to be?
ocalhoun
Does it have to have a beginning? Maybe it was always there.
Indi
That's not really a basic question. ^_^; There is no scientific answer to that question yet, but lots of speculation. Unfortunately, none of the speculation is "basic"... and it involves lots of deep theorizing about unrolling dimensions. You might want to start with a simpler question, or you'll be swamped quickly.
badai
here, the most relevant explanation

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minkowski_space

it's kind of old, 1907. where were you all this while?
Bikerman
badai wrote:
here, the most relevant explanation

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minkowski_space

it's kind of old, 1907. where were you all this while?

I think you misunderstood the question.
Minkowski space is just a method of displaying spacetime (4 dimensional) which is very useful when working with relativity. It doesn't explain where space and time came from.
_AVG_
Well, the most commonly accepted theory, The Big Bang Theory, simplistically put is that "space and time" were created during the Big Bang (some sort of a huge explosion that occured that gave birth to the universe)

And, just to get into a few rudimentary details, at the instant the Big Bang occured, the Universe was infinitely dense (some sort of an egg - akin to an atom I thinK?) and all the four fundamental forces were one. Correct me if I'm wrong .. I'm not sure.
Bikerman
_AVG_ wrote:
Well, the most commonly accepted theory, The Big Bang Theory, simplistically put is that "space and time" were created during the Big Bang (some sort of a huge explosion that occured that gave birth to the universe)

And, just to get into a few rudimentary details, at the instant the Big Bang occured, the Universe was infinitely dense (some sort of an egg - akin to an atom I thinK?) and all the four fundamental forces were one. Correct me if I'm wrong .. I'm not sure.

OK I will.
(This, incidentally, highlights the problem with a lot of science programming that tends to show the BB as an explosion and talk about an infinitely dense infinitely small 'entity'. I used to love the Horizon prog on the BBC - fantastic science prog. It is now dumbed down to the point of idiocy and it makes me very angry and sad).
We simply cannot say how 'big' the singularity was, since that would involve a tautology. We know roughly how large the 'visible' universe is, but beyond that....well...
It is mathematically possible for the initial singularity to have been infinite, although it 'feels' wrong to most people.
All we can say is that from a fraction of time after the BB (such a small fraction of a second after that we cannot really imagine it - 10^-43 seconds, otherwise known as the 'planck era') the four forces were the same strength (symmetrical). This is not too hard to get your head around. We know that extreme temperatures does funny things to matter (consider a Bose-Einstein Condensate for example) so it isn't that strange that the impossibly high temp at this early point meant that forces were also fundamentally different.
Between about 10^-43 and 10^-36 seconds we have 'grand unification' where gravity splits off.

At about 10^-18 seconds the temperature has dropped to about 10^28 K and at this temperature the electroweak forces split (electromagnetism and the weak nuclear force as we now know them).
Sometime around here (maybe before maybe after - we don't know) inflation kicks-in and the universe expands at a phenomenal rate.
(This, incidentally, is the part I have the most difficulty with. The 'sums' appear to work OK, but if I had to speculate about which part of the model would be amended first, it would be this).

The rest is, as they say, cosmic history....
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