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9.9.10 1 Tyson The Greatest Story Ever Told

9.9.10 1 Tyson The Greatest Story Ever Told - 1 THE...

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1 “THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD” From Origins: Fourteen Billion Years of Cosmic Evolution . Tyson, Neil deGrasse, and Donald Goldsmith. New York: Norton, 2004. Some 14 billion years ago, at the beginning of time, all the space and all the matter and all the energy of the known universe fit within a pinhead. The universe was then so hot that the basic forces of nature, which collectively describe the universe, were merged into a single, unified force. When the universe was a roaring 10 30 degrees and just 10 -43 seconds old -- the time before which all of our theories of matter and space lose their meaning -- black holes spontaneously formed, disappeared, and formed again out of the energy contained within the unified force field. Under these extreme conditions, in what is admittedly speculative physics, the structure of space and time became severely curved as it gurgled into a spongy, foamlike structure. During this epoch, phenomena described by Einstein's general theory of relativity (the modern theory of gravity) and quantum mechanics (the description of matter on its smallest scales) were indistinguishable. As the universe expanded and cooled, gravity split from the other forces. Soon thereafter, the strong nuclear force and the electro-weak force split from each other, an event accompanied by an enormous release of stored energy that induced a rapid, fifty-power-of-ten increase in the size of the universe. The rapid expansion of the universe, known as the "epoch of inflation," stretched and smoothed matter and energy so that any variation in density from one part of the universe to the next became less than one part in a hundred thousand. Continuing onward with what is now laboratory-confirmed physics, the universe was hot enough for photons to spontaneously convert their energy into matter-antimatter particle pairs, which immediately thereafter annihilated each other, returning their energy back to photons. For
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  • Spring '10
  • fd
  • electro-weak force split, free flying photons, moleculehostile ultraviolet photons, matter-antimatter particle pairs

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9.9.10 1 Tyson The Greatest Story Ever Told - 1 THE...

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