Big bang theory and origin of universe

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A lot of astronomers agree that the universe began with a mega explosion of matter and
energy. This hypothesis is known as the Big Bang Theory, which is not exactly a theory but a
model about the beginning of the universe. The model is believed by astronomers to be the best
theory for the origin of the universe given that new observations seem to be consistent with the
arguments for the theory. DeYoung and Whitcomb (1983 pg. 1) note that the prevailing theme in
the Big Bang theory is based on the idea of fragments of matter that have been expanding slowly
and gradually. This expansion resulted in the formation of stars, planets, and people. The three
major concepts of the model are the expansion of the universe, the presence of cosmic
background radiation, and the presence of abundant helium and deuterium. The model tries to
make an accurate, precise, and testable hypothesis in each of the three observations. The
construction of the model has followed different stages with the latest one incorporating a
detailed explanation of the universe and large scale structure (Uzan 2016 pg.1). However, the
model fails to explain where the initial energy came from, what caused the explosion and what
causes it to expand. Nonetheless, new observations have allowed the model to further reconstruct
its initial expansion details, making it radically different from the model astronomers had in
mind at its conception. This paper looks at the three building concepts of the big bang theory
and new observations that have made it consistent with scientific facts.
Key Concepts of Big Bang Theory
There are key concepts of the big bang theory that have made the model gain worldwide
acceptance. These ideas are the expansion of the universe, the existence of cosmic background
radiation and the relative amount of deuterium and helium. These concepts present numerous
facts about the nature of the universe. According to the theory, expansion of the universe started
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at an unknown time in the past and at a high state of pressure and density (Alles, 2013 pg. 6).
The universe was cooling down and it grew bigger as different physical processes produced
complex stars and galaxies (Rhee, 2013 pg. 38). Planck time is the name given to the earliest
period that has significance in cosmology (Lemonick, 2004). This time, with an interval of 10 -
43 of a second can be used to describe the interplay between matter and radiation within space.
Scientific observations supporting Big Bang theory
Expansion of the universe
Evidence for the expansion of the universe has been supported by the redshift of light. As
light travels from other galaxies to earth, the distance from the galaxy and the earth increases.
This results to the wavelength of the light getting longer. Longer wavelengths of visible light are
called red shift because they are red (Drayer, 2016). The red shift or light allows scientists to
determine the speed of light and direction of stars. This implies that starts are not just moving
away from the earth, but also moving far away from each other (Gentry, 2004) pg. 4). One such
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scientist who was able to demonstrate that starts are moving far away from earth was Edwin
Hubble, who managed to measure their distance (1977). According to Hubble's law, the further
away one galaxy is from one another in space, the faster it appears to move.. Objects observed in
space have a Doppler Shift which can be interpreted as the relative velocity from the earth
(Tiwari, 2004) The stars appear moving away from the earth, but given that all galaxies move
away from each other, it looks like the earth is not moving. Galaxies also obey Hubble's law and
therefore were once close together.
This leads to the conclusion that the universe is evolving; it was different in the past and
will be different in the future. The question that should follow is what causes the galaxies to have
different speeds and what causes the movement? Astronomers have made it clear that it is not the
objects in space that are moving, but it is the fabric of space that is expanding. Using this
information- Hubble's constant-, scientists have been able to estimate the age of the universe.
This has been achieved by knowing the current distance and velocity of a given galaxy to tell
how long it took to reach the distance from earth. Time is given by distance divided by velocity,
which is equal to one divided by Hubble's constant for each galaxy. The answer becomes
approximately 14 billion years for the age of the closest galaxy (Ball, 2003 pg. 3).
The redshift presents the expansion factor that can be used to think about the expansion
of the universe. The earth surface receives light with a wavelength longer from the time it was
emitted. The ratio of the two wavelengths is the amount of time the universe has expanded since
the big bang theory and the time light traveled to earth (Rhee, 2013 pg. 6). If the universe has
expanded by a factor of three, the wavelength will also have expanded by a factor of three. Given
that the universe has been expanding since the big bang, it is believed that the expansion factor
has also been increasing. Also, the expansion of the universe will go on forever. It is argued that
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the Milky Way galaxy will merge with the nearby Andromeda galaxy in billions of years to
come (Block, 2006). The expansion factor equals the redshift plus one. If astronomers
observe the galaxy at the redshift of one, then it can be argued that the universe has expanded by
a factor of 2 since the light from one galaxy started traveling to earth. The moon is seen one
second ago because that is the distance light takes to reach us from the moon. The sun is seen 8
minutes ago because is the distance light takes to reach earth from the sun. The time light takes
to travel from the nearest spiral galaxy, known as the Andromeda nebula, is 2 million years. This
object can be seen with naked eyes at night, although the light people see from this galaxy is 2
million years old.
Cosmic background radiation
The discovery of cosmic background radiation added to the evidence of big bang theory.
Background radiation allows astronomers to see the universe during its initial stages of evolution
and presents information about the origin of structures that resulted to galaxies. Since objects
were much closer in the past than they are today, the density of the universe was higher in the
past (Linde and Mezhlumian, 1994). The density of the universe is calculated by dividing the
mass by the volume. By adding the mass in stars and the gas between galaxies, the density
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becomes 0.1 atoms per cubic meter (Rhee, 2013). Going by the redshift of five, which is the
redshift distance of galaxies, the expansion factor reduces by a factor of six and the volume will
have shrunk by 200. Therefore, the density of universe must have been 200 atoms per cubic
meter at that time of the explosion.
According to Weinberg, in his book the First Three Minutes, the existence of background
radiation could have been confirmed when the prediction was made (1977). If there was no
background at the time of the explosion, the nuclear reaction would have happened so rapidly
that a lot of the hydrogen present would have become heavier elements. This could not have
taken place given that most of the matter in the universe is made of hydrogen. The only thing
that could have stopped the rapid nuclear reaction from taking place was the intense radiation
with extremely high temperatures and short wavelengths. This radiation would have successfully
blasted apart nuclei that were forming fast. Cosmic radiation has survived since the explosion
although its temperature has decreased as the universe continues to expand. Therefore, the
current universe must be full of radiation but with an equivalent temperature which is less than
its initial value.
The Abundances of Deuterium and Helium
The big bang theory explains why nearly 90% of atoms in the universe is hydrogen
atoms. The model provides an accurate explanation for the abundance of lighter atoms such as
deuterium, helium, and lithium. Astronomers have discovered that stars are made of atoms of the
same kind as those of earth. In every 10 000 hydrogen atoms, there are 975 helium atoms, 6
oxygen atoms and one carbon atom (Rhee, 2013 pg. 12). The sun makes energy by converting
hydrogen into helium. However, the nuclear fusion in stars cannot be used to explain for all the
helium in the universe. Creation of elements using hydrogen requires high temperatures that the
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sun cannot produce. For the nuclear fusion to occur, scientists argue that the process might have
taken place in the first few minutes of the big bang explosion which produced the right amount
of helium to match the ones seen in the stars. This is the same process that explains the
abundance of lithium and deuterium. According to Robert (2006, pg. 343), Deuterium formed
during the big bang theory and has since been destroyed in the stars. The conclusion is that it's
only the lightest atoms that were created during the big bang and the heavier ones were made
inside the stars.
As the explosion of matter during the big bang continued, temperature reduced to 3
degrees Centigrade after about 14 seconds. The temperature at this point was low enough for
electrons and positrons to be eliminated faster than they could be created (Robert, 2006). The
energy released in the annihilation of electrons and positrons slowed the cooling process
although temperatures continued dropping to about 109 degrees Centigrade in three minutes.
This temperature was sufficient enough for the formation of deuterium and helium. By the end of
the three minutes, the universe was made of photons, neutrinos, a small amount of nuclear
material and a few electrons. The matter kept pulling apart as it increasingly cooled and became
less dense. According to Alvarenga at al. (2001, pg. 5), after a few hundred years, it had cooled
enough for electrons to merge with nuclei to make hydrogen and helium atoms. The gas
produced, under the influence of gravity, condensed to create galaxies and stars.
The big bang theory is currently the most common explanation for the origin of the
universe and the most consistent with modern scientific facts. New discoveries supporting the
big bang theory claim that the universe expansion started at a finite time in a state of high density
and pressure. The universe then started cooling and formed complex structures such as stars and
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galaxies. The redshift of light emitted from galaxies enabled cosmologists to estimate the age of
the universe. By understanding the current distance and velocity of a particular galaxy- using
Hubble's constant,-the age of the universe has been found to be approximately 14 billion years.
Additionally, the presence of a cosmic background radiation has made it possible to see the
universe at its initial stages of creation. This radiation must have existed to ensure nuclear fusion
produced just the right amount of energy, and that hydrogen did not explode to form heavier
elements. The big bang model also explains why there are lighter elements in the universe, such
as hydrogen, helium, and delirium. Since the sun could not produce the right amount of energy
needed for nuclear fusion, it has been argued that the big bang produced just the much-needed
energy to produce helium seen in the stars. Although the theory fails to account for the origin of
matter and energy that exploded, it has gone a long way to provide detailed explanation for the
expansion of the universe than any other theory. Hopefully, technological advancements and
further discoveries in the future will help fill the cracks in Big Bang theory.
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Alles, D.L., 2013. The Evolution of the Universe. Western Washington University
Alvarenga, F.G., Fabris, J.C., Gonçalves, S.V.D.B. and Marinho, J.A.O., 2001. An analysis of
helium primordial nucleosynthesis with a variable cosmological coupling. Brazilian
journal of physics, 31(4), pp.546-551.
Ball, S., 2003. A Christian Physicist Examines the Big Bang Theory.
Block, D.L., Bournaud, F., Combes, F., Gross, R., Barmby, P., Ashby, M.L.N., Fazio, G.G.,
Pahre, M.A. and Willner, S.P., 2006. An almost head-on collision as the origin of two
off-centre rings in the Andromeda galaxy. Nature, 443(7113), pp.832-834.
DeYoung, D.B. and Whitcomb, J.C., 1983. The Origin of the Universe, Design, and Origins in
Astronomy, G. Mulfinger, Editor, pp.11-26.
Drayer, David. (2016).How does a redshift give evidence to the Big Bang Theory?Socratic.
Available at:
Gentry, R.V., 2004. The collapse of Big Bang Cosmology and the Emergence of the New
Cosmic Center Model of the Universe. Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith, 56,
Lemonick, M. D. (2004). Before the Big Bang. Discover magazine. Available at:
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Linde, A., Linde, D., and Mezhlumian, A., 1994. From the Big Bang theory to the theory of a
stationary universe. Physical Review D, 49(4), p.1783.
Rhee, G., 2013. The Three Pillars of the Big Bang Theory. In Cosmic Dawn (pp. 37-61).
Springer New York.
Robert, F., 2006. Solar system deuterium/hydrogen ratio. Meteorites and the Early Solar System
II, 943, pp.341-351.
Tiwari, S.C., 2004. Doppler effect and frequency-shift in optics. arXiv preprint quant-
Uzan, J.P., 2016. The big-bang theory: construction, evolution, and status. arXiv preprint
Weinberg, S., 1977. The first three minutes (Vol. 154). New York: Basic Books.

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