The Big Bang: The Event that Formed the Universe

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The Big Bang. CREDIT: Paul F. Nunes, Ivey Business Journal

13.8 billion years ago, every speck of our universe’s energy was compacted into an extremely dense, small point. This point erupted with unimaginable power, creating matter and shooting it outward to create millions of galaxies and billions of planets. This momentous event has been dubbed by astrophysicists “The Big Bang”.

Humans can’t even begin to believe how much force the Big Bang carried. For a reference, a hydrogen bomb explosion (the most powerful bomb in existence) has a center that registers approximately 100 million degrees Celsius, and moves through the air at about 300 m/s. The Big Bang, however, expelled energy at the speed of light, or a million times faster than a hydrogen bomb. In addition to that, cosmologists believe that the entire universe was 1 quadrillion degrees Celsius a split second after the Big Bang occurred. Even the cores of the hottest stars in the universe are practically freezing compared to that.

CREDIT: Geralt, Pixabay

For a time after the Big Bang, the universe was still much too hot for anything but the essential particles, like quarks and photons. However, as time progressed, and the universe kept expanding, the temperature cooled down. This is because, according to the Second Law of Thermodynamics, the universe yearns for entropy. Simply put, as the universe expands, there is more space where heat needs to be spread out in order to create a state of equilibrium. As the universe cooled down, the matter in it was also able to cool, which led to the formation of planets.

Even today, the universe is still expanding. In fact, scientists believe that this effect may very well lead to the end of the universe. As the universe expands, the temperature will keep on dropping, until it reaches the absolute coldest temperature possible. This is known as absolute zero. Absolute zero means that it is so cold that not even atoms can move. There is no heat energy that is created. This will eventually plunge the universe into its death. However, this will take billions of years to happen, as the universe is still very young. So for now, we should enjoy the universe while we can.