Fasten your starship seatbelt: although cosmic inflation is well known for resolving some important mysteries about the structure and evolution of the universe, other very different theories can also explain these mysteries. In some of the theories, the state of the universe preceding the Big Bang – the so-called primordial universe – was contracting instead of expanding, and the Big Bang was thus a part of a Big Bounce.
Astronomers discovered “a ringside seat into beautiful and dangerous physics that we have not seen before in our galaxy. This is the first such Wolf-Rayet star system to be discovered in our own galaxy,” explains Joseph Callingham of the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy (ASTRON), lead author of the study reporting this system. “We never expected to find such a system in our own backyard.”
“When antimatter and matter meet, they annihilate, and the result is light and nothing else. Given equal amounts of matter and antimatter, nothing would remain once the reaction was completed. As long as we don’t know why more matter exists than antimatter, we can’t know why the building blocks of anything else exist, either. This is one of the biggest unsolved problems in physics,” says quantum physicist Jens Oluf Andersen at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
“Reheating was an insane time, when everything went haywire,” says David Kaiser, the Germeshausen Professor of the History of Science and professor of physics at MIT. As the Big Bang theory goes, reports MIT, somewhere around 13.8 billion years ago the universe exploded into being, as an infinitely small, compact fireball of matter that cooled as it expanded, triggering reactions that cooked up the first stars and galaxies, and all the forms of matter that we see (and are) today.
The first “theory” of the dark cosmos was embodied in the Greek god of darkness, Erebus, one of the primordial deities born out of Chaos, the primeval void, foreshadowing the contemporary, emerging reality of the dark side of our universe. Enter Nobel-Prize Laurate, physicist Sir Roger Penrose, and his Erebon field theory, a novel explanation of dark matter that suggests that the Big Bang was not the origin of our universe. Despite ongoing searches, no signs of a dark matter particle have turned up.