This CNN Story is about the first trillionth of a second after the Big Bang. In that instant, the universe ‘popped’ from the size of a marble to a size larger than we can see with our most powerful telescopes. Our galaxy is 100 million light years across, and we can see galaxies much further away. I’ll just say 100 million lights years, and let that represent the ridiculous distances involved.
I suppose more of an explanation will be forthcoming from the experts. In the meantime, I will speculate wildly. I see two problems with this.
My first problem is that matter just isn’t supposed to move that fast. !00 million light years is a long way to go in a trillionth of a second. According to Einstein, the matter bursting out of the Big Bang is exceeding the speed limit… by a lot. The faster you go, the slower forward in time you go, so by the time Big Bang Bits got moving, they were going back in time, causing our universe to get stuck in that first trillionth of a second, forever repeating that explosion.
My second problem may help solve the first. As we wind back the clock to the beginning of the universe, time no longer makes sense like it does now. It bends back on itself for the reasons I was talking about a minute ago. The simplest explanation is that time is twisted to such a degree that the instant before, the instant of, and the instant after the Big Bang all happen simultaneously. Relativity says that there’s no such thing as “simultaneous-ness”, unless you happen to be in the right place at the right time. So, the Big Bang only happened to a select audience, everyone else saw something else entirely. We can’t know what happened in those other cases, because we’re “trapped” in this relative universe. So, time lurched back and forth while all these realities hung in the balance. We exist today, so we can assume things worked out well enough to brew up creatures that can ponder their existence and origins.
I was able to find some more info at the Nasa site. The name of the probe is WMAP. It’s been recording background radiation “echos” of the universe since 2001. It’s a telescope that doesn’t look at a single part of the sky. Instead, it collects radiation like a piece of film. The energy it’s detecting is so faint, that it has to absorb energy for a while before it can give useful information.
Here is the WMAP home site at the Goddard Flight Reasearch Center
Here is the press release that AP picked up, which CNN picked up, which I picked up.
They don’t address the realitve problem on either site. One of the scientists mentions it, but doesn’t expand on it.
Maybe the answer lies in some of the raw results pages. That stuff is way beyond me.