Thanks to Prof. Geraint Lewis for input on earlier drafts of this video.
The expanding universe is a complicated place. During inflation the universe expanded faster than light, but that’s something that actually happens all the time, it’s happening right now. This doesn’t violate Einstein’s theory of relativity since nothing is moving through space faster than light, it’s just that space itself is expanding such that far away objects are receding rapidly from each other. Common sense would dictate that objects moving away from us faster than light should be invisible, but they aren’t. This is because light can travel from regions of space which are superluminal relative to us into regions that are subluminal. So our observable universe is bigger than our Hubble sphere - it’s limited by the particle horizon, the distance light could travel to us since the beginning of time as we know it.
Scientists are getting closer than ever to understanding the origins of the Universe. For the first time, they have glimpsed behind the veil that covers the ‘Big Bang’ with the announcement that the Background Imaging of Cosmic Extragalactic Polarisation — BICEP2 — experiment at the South Pole had spotted the footprints of something called primordial gravitational waves. These waves may be a sign that a theory known as cosmic inflation can be confirmed. For those studying the Big Bang — the beginning of the Universe — this is big news.
We all know the theory surrounding the early development of the universe thanks to the cosmological model of this development called the Big Bang Theory. With the age of the universe pinned at 13.798 billion years ago, the universe has been around for an extremely long time.
There are many theories on how the universe will end or maybe it will never end and will continue expand forever. Dark energy, the equation of state and the shape of the universe all play a role on the fate of the universe.
Check out our latest video which goes over ways the universe could end!
Gravitational Wave Discovery! Evidence of Cosmic Inflation
Baby photos of our universe show huge early growth spurt!
- The lengthening of wavelengths is not strictly due to stretching by the expanding universe but by the way the photons were emitted and absorbed in different frames of reference.
- The effects of gravitational waves have been observed in the decaying orbital periods of some binary star systems, however detectors built to measure gravitational waves stretching and squeezing matter on Earth have not as yet detected them.
- In the video I sometimes use the term Big Bang to refer to the beginning of time as we know it. The Big Bang actually refers to the whole process from the formation of our universe, through inflation, to the expanding mass of plasma in the early universe (not just the first instant).
- Quantum gravity is by no means established by this observation but it is suggestive that General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics are working together here.
Thank you to Professor Geraint Lewis and Henry Reich for comments on earlier drafts of this video (even if I haven’t accepted all of your corrections).
The atoms around you have existed for billions of years — and most originated in the flaming, gaseous core of a star. Dennis Wildfogel tells the captivating tale of these atoms’ long journeys from the Big Bang to the molecules they form today.
Beakus were commissioned to create three animated films that explain key concepts about our universe, with humour helping to explain the ‘almost’ unexplainable! Director Amaël Isnard also designed the films.
In ‘How Big Is The Universe?’ ROG astronomer Liz shows us the expanding nature of the Universe and how this affects the light reaching us from distant galaxies, some of which will remain forever hidden from our view.
The Countdown №44 - 5 Essential Facts About Gravity Waves from the Big Bang
On March 17th, physicists with the BICEP2 experiment announced they had detected the remnant of gravity waves in the cosmic background radiation, the light left over from the big bang. While still needing confirmation, the discovery lends weight to the idea that the early universe underwent rapid expansion.
You might be surprised to know that you’re living in a very special time in the Universe. And in the far future, our descendent astronomers will wish they could live in such an exciting time Let’s find out why.