Astrophysics (index)

Big Bang

(theoretical event when the universe expanded from a point)

The Big Bang is a theoretical event when the universe began its expansion from a single point, i.e., began assuming space dimensions. Observation shows the universe expanding, and if that expansion has "always" happened, projecting back sufficient time, there would be an instant when the universe expanded from a single point. Current observation places the moment at about 13.8 billion years ago, a precise time requiring determination of the Hubble Constant and its variation over time (Cosmological Constant/Dark Energy).

Though the finite speed of light allows us to observe past times by looking long distances, our ability to observe detail in the era of such a theoretical big bang is limited, i.e., we can't say with much certainty what happened. However, the fact that expansion has persisted since that general time (the Big Bang Theory) is well-established by observation and generally accepted, and no alternative scenario to a big-bang instant has any more evidence. Cosmology does explore scenarios all the way back to the apparent instant of the big bang, applying the known laws of physics.

(event,cosmology,early universe)
/Lookback Years
~inf4.28Gpc13.97GlyBig Bang

Referenced by:
Black Hole (BH)
Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB)
Cosmic Time
Dark Age
Epoch of Reionization (EOR)
False Vacuum
First Galaxies
Helium (He)
Illustris Project
Lambda-CDM model (ΛCDM)
Lithium (Li)
Metallicity (Z)
Star Formation Rate (SFR)