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Q & A: cosmology questions

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Most recent answer: 05/28/2013
Q:
Is the universe endless? Is there a centre of the universe? Is there a black hole where the Big Bang happened? Is the Big Bang a good theory or is there some downfalls?
- Jess (age 13)
Sydney, NSW, Australia
A:

1. We don't know if the universe goes on forever or wraps back on itself.

2. Standard theories have no particular center. The universe looks the same everywhere, on a large scale, supporting the idea that there's no special center.

3. The Big Bang happened equally at all places now in the universe. Since there are many black holes, there are many black holes where the Big Bang happened.

4. The Big Bang looks like an excellent theory agreeing with many pieces of data if you don't push it too far back. There are some theoretical disputes about a very early hypothetical stage (first 10-32 seconds or so) called inflation, although at this point the data seem to support that part of the picture too. If you push back right toward the very Bang, quantum gravity would become important at a scale of say 10-43 seconds. At that point theory becomes shaky and the picture becomes uncertain.

 

Mike W.


(published on 05/28/2013)

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