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Oldest light shows universe grew fast, researchers say [inflationary cosmology gets a big boost]
Houston Chronicle (www.chron.com) ^ | March 17, 2006 | Dennis O'Brien

Posted on 03/17/2006 3:46:30 AM PST by snarks_when_bored

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March 17, 2006, 12:51AM

Oldest light shows universe grew fast, researchers say

First stars arose 400 million years after big bang, not 200 million years, as once thought

By DENNIS O'BRIEN

Baltimore Sun

Scientists examining the oldest light in the universe say they've found clear evidence that matter expanded at an almost inconceivable rate after the big bang, creating conditions that led to the formation of the first stars.

Light from the big bang's afterglow shows that the universe grew from the size of a marble to an astronomical size in just a trillionth of a second after its birth 13.7 billion years ago, researchers from Johns Hopkins and Princeton universities said.

Readings from a NASA probe also show that the earliest stars formed about 400 million years after the big bang — not 200 million years afterward, as the research team once thought.

"With this new data, theories about the early universe have just taken their first exam, and they passed with flying colors," said David Spergel, a Princeton astrophysicist and co-author of the findings published Thursday.

The results are based on readings from the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe, a robotic instrument with two telescopes that sweeps the sky every six months in an orbit a million miles from Earth.

Light from the probe also has confirmed a theory that the universe is made up mostly of dark energy, a mysterious force that continues to cause the universe's expansion, said Johns Hopkins astrophysicist Charles Bennett, the probe's principal investigator.

"This light is just invaluable. It's really the only fossil we have from that time," Bennett said.

Inflationary theorists argue that at the time of the big bang, the universe was at first microscopic. But three events changed things: fluctuations in temperature, bursts that transformed energy into matter and a rapid expansion of the universe that ultimately enabled stars and galaxies to form.

By polarizing and filtering out light from the earliest stars, the researchers were able to uncover evidence of those inflationary moments — fluctuations in brightness of the light scattered around the big bang's afterglow. "It amazes me that we can say anything about the first trillionth of a second of the universe, but we can," Bennett said.

The researchers say the findings also confirm that only 4 percent of the universe is composed of the familiar atoms that make up what we see around us.

Another 22 percent is dark matter — a gravitational force made up of cold particles — and 74 percent is dark energy, a force that appears to be causing the universe to expand.

Experts say the findings will help scientists for years as they try to unravel mysteries about the early universe.




TOPICS: Extended News; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: bigbang; cmbr; cosmology; crevolist; earlyuniverse; inflation; physics; stringtheory; wmap
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...from the size of a marble to larger than the currently observable universe in a trillionth of a trillionth of a second.

Enough said.

1 posted on 03/17/2006 3:46:38 AM PST by snarks_when_bored
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To: RadioAstronomer; longshadow; grey_whiskers; headsonpikes; Junior; PatrickHenry; Iris7

Ping


2 posted on 03/17/2006 3:47:34 AM PST by snarks_when_bored
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To: snarks_when_bored

God's work is truly amazing. Of course one must understand that his "timepiece" is quite different from ours.


3 posted on 03/17/2006 3:50:03 AM PST by FerdieMurphy (For English, Press One. (Tookie, you won the Pulitzer and Nobel prizes. Oh, too late.))
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To: All
Dennis Overbye's take in the New York Times:

Astronomers Find the Earliest Signs Yet of a Violent Baby Universe

4 posted on 03/17/2006 3:51:36 AM PST by snarks_when_bored
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To: snarks_when_bored; All
What would you call the place where the marble-sized universe was located? What were its physical properties? Do we say that an infinitely large space containing nothing, a total vacuum, was then and has since been filled by a universe of objects ranging from galaxies to sub-atomic particles?

Would you want to stand next to the marble-sized universe, if you could be assured of escaping to a safe distance before detonation?

5 posted on 03/17/2006 3:54:01 AM PST by ExGeeEye (All Hail the Great Folger, creator of hot brown goodness.)
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To: snarks_when_bored
Thanks, but there's already a thread on this topic (although not this specific title). I'll pass on this one: Evidence for Universe Expansion Found.
6 posted on 03/17/2006 3:56:02 AM PST by PatrickHenry (Virtual Ignore for trolls, lunatics, dotards, scolds, & incurable ignoramuses.)
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To: ExGeeEye
Good questions. I think we're still trying to find the answers.

But as for your last question, there's no escaping the birth expansion of a cosmos! If you're anywhere nearby when it starts, you'll be gone in a trillionth of a second or less.

7 posted on 03/17/2006 3:57:44 AM PST by snarks_when_bored
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To: PatrickHenry

Should've known you were up a little earlier...didn't see your thread. Sorry...


8 posted on 03/17/2006 3:58:41 AM PST by snarks_when_bored
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To: ExGeeEye

String theory would seem to suggest that our universe can be imagined as one of many, like bubbles in a froth, and as each expands (or contracts) it 'merely' inflates or conflates the froth. In that manner of envisioning the universe, there's nothing 'next' to the universe within our timespace; you cannot travel to the 'edge' of the universe because there is no edge, except as a purely abstract mental construct.


9 posted on 03/17/2006 4:01:32 AM PST by AntiGuv
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To: snarks_when_bored
...from the size of a marble to larger than the currently observable universe in a trillionth of a trillionth of a second.

Source please? Thanks.

10 posted on 03/17/2006 4:02:54 AM PST by ordinaryguy
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To: ordinaryguy
Source please? Thanks.

Ah, found it in the next article.

11 posted on 03/17/2006 4:04:37 AM PST by ordinaryguy
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To: FerdieMurphy

But I thought the earth and Universe were only 6,000 years old?


12 posted on 03/17/2006 4:06:01 AM PST by Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit (God is such a good idea that if He didn't exist we would have to invent Him)
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To: ordinaryguy
First paragraph:

http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060317/NEWS07/603170441/1009

Most of the other stories I've seen say "less than a trillionth of a second". Some clarity on this is probably desirable.

13 posted on 03/17/2006 4:06:38 AM PST by snarks_when_bored
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To: Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit

The Earth and the Universe came into existence last Thursday. They merely had the appearance of age built in.


14 posted on 03/17/2006 4:08:45 AM PST by AntiGuv
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To: snarks_when_bored

My feeble understanding of science, is that you can't make something out of nothing. How can you take mass the size of a marble and generate the relative mass of the universe, much less our solar system, or even my back yard, without adding something along the line?


15 posted on 03/17/2006 4:10:23 AM PST by pageonetoo (You'll spot their posts soon enough!)
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To: AntiGuv

Well could you ask the guy who built it why he made me late on for an important meeting last Wednesday? I don't think that was necessary.


16 posted on 03/17/2006 4:12:51 AM PST by Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit (God is such a good idea that if He didn't exist we would have to invent Him)
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To: FerdieMurphy

It's not his timepiece that is different, it's his point of view. Our timepiece is the one out of sync when it comes to viewing the past. And it's because there is much we do not and likely cannot ever know. Scientists are like latecomers to the OJ case. When all they have is a picture of Mark Fuhrman and a few facts about the murder, they conclude Fuhrman must have done it - just look at the evidence....
They get scraps of metal shavings and want to make a skyscraper of it - thinking themselves intelligent and wise.


17 posted on 03/17/2006 4:13:28 AM PST by Havoc (Evolutionists and Democrats: "We aren't getting our message out" (coincidence?))
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To: pageonetoo

"My feeble understanding of science, is that you can't make something out of nothing. How can you take mass the size of a marble and generate the relative mass of the universe, much less our solar system, or even my back yard, without adding something along the line?"

Ask God.


18 posted on 03/17/2006 4:14:27 AM PST by Rock N Jones
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To: snarks_when_bored

Someone ping me when we have answers to questions such as: Where did the marble-size universe come from? If the Big Bang happened at time X, what was there before time X? Seems to me any Theory of Everything must explain how space-time started and what existed (if that's the right word) before it started (if that concept means anything).


19 posted on 03/17/2006 4:14:29 AM PST by ZeitgeistSurfer (Visit the Iran Crater in 2008)
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To: pageonetoo

Well, part of the answer is that spacetime (or timespace) was compressed into the marble, and just 'stretched out' to a universal scale. Now, of course it's rather hard (impossible) to imagine the entire universe compressed to the size of a marble, but that's because all our experience is of the stretched-out universe as it is today, and the hyperextreme conditions in the compressed universe are unvisualizable.


20 posted on 03/17/2006 4:14:30 AM PST by AntiGuv
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To: Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit
But I thought the earth and Universe were only 6,000 years old?

According to Bishop Ussher, maybe, but his timeline is not the standard accepted. It is derived from his studies, which were just as good as anybody else's, in his day. The only sure thing for a theist, is the old standby, "In the beginning, God created..."

He "spoke", and it came into existence... It's quite easily defended with articles like this, which defy accepted critical theory...

21 posted on 03/17/2006 4:15:15 AM PST by pageonetoo (You'll spot their posts soon enough!)
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To: Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit

The guy works in mysterious ways, and would not answer even if I asked. Quite to the contrary, he would likely punish me for my impudence, so why don't you ask instead! :)


22 posted on 03/17/2006 4:15:38 AM PST by AntiGuv
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To: pageonetoo
My feeble understanding of science, is that you can't make something out of nothing. How can you take mass the size of a marble and generate the relative mass of the universe, much less our solar system, or even my back yard, without adding something along the line?

Alan Guth, one of the co-developers of inflationary cosmology, has called the universe the ultimate free lunch. The 'marble' is made up of something called 'false vacuum', which has negative pressure. As it expands, it heats up and the resultant heat energy starts to congeal (as it were) into the ordinary types of elementary particles we see today.

23 posted on 03/17/2006 4:17:10 AM PST by snarks_when_bored
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To: Havoc

A second to God is like a lifetime to us mortals.


24 posted on 03/17/2006 4:19:50 AM PST by FerdieMurphy (For English, Press One. (Tookie, you won the Pulitzer and Nobel prizes. Oh, too late.))
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To: AntiGuv
The Earth and the Universe came into existence last Thursday. They merely had the appearance of age built in.

Everything was created about 1/2 hour ago, when I got up.

25 posted on 03/17/2006 4:20:06 AM PST by Tax Government (Defeat the evil miscreant donkeys and their rhino lackeys.)
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To: AntiGuv; Rock N Jones
Well, part of the answer is that spacetime (or timespace) was compressed into the marble, and just 'stretched out' to a universal scale....

Do you actually believe that crap, guv? I don't need to "ask God"! He's already revealed the answer. It takes a lot of "faith" to believe the impossible, and it's easier to believe Him...


26 posted on 03/17/2006 4:21:50 AM PST by pageonetoo (You'll spot their posts soon enough!)
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To: PatrickHenry
Thanks, but there's already a thread on this topic (although not this specific title).

But wait, I have some math...
27 posted on 03/17/2006 4:22:10 AM PST by beezdotcom
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To: pageonetoo
This process of inflation is never-ending, in most models. Here's a nice passage from one of Guth's articles:

...the exponential decay of the false vacuum is slower than the exponential expansion. Even though the false vacuum is decaying, the expansion outruns the decay and the total volume of false vacuum actually increases with time rather than decreases. Thus inflation does not end everywhere at once, but instead inflation ends in localized patches, in a succession that continues ad infinitum. Each patch is essentially a whole universe — at least its residents will consider it a whole universe — and so inflation can be said to produce not just one universe, but an infinite number of universes. These universes are sometimes called bubble universes, but I prefer to use the phrase “pocket universe,” to avoid the implication that they are approximately round.

Some researchers are also now working on the idea that not only is inflation future-eternal (i.e., there's no end to it) but it's also past-eternal (i.e., there was no beginning to it). So inflation was, is and always will be. Sound familiar?

But, clearly, this is work in progress...

28 posted on 03/17/2006 4:22:15 AM PST by snarks_when_bored
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To: Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit
Whatever we think is irrelevant in respect to God and (mortal) time.

It's difficult for mere mortals like us to comprehend that God always was and always will be because we measure the short time between our birth and death in minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years.

That short span is like an instant.

29 posted on 03/17/2006 4:23:28 AM PST by FerdieMurphy (For English, Press One. (Tookie, you won the Pulitzer and Nobel prizes. Oh, too late.))
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To: snarks_when_bored
"Some clarity on this is probably desirable."

Clarity?...We don't need no stinkin clarity.
I just say that it is all Greek to me, and move on with my life, hahaha

I know, it is interesting to know the origin of life, but
we have enough problems dealing with just a few years.
30 posted on 03/17/2006 4:25:26 AM PST by AlexW (Reporting from Bratislava, Slovakia)
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To: snarks_when_bored
...The 'marble' is made up of something called 'false vacuum', which has negative pressure. As it expands, it heats up and the resultant heat energy starts to congeal (as it were) into the ordinary types of elementary particles we see today.

So, in other words, it does exactly what scientists have taught is impossible, historically? Instead, he makes up this nice theory to fit his suppositions. Unbelievable, at best. He can ask God...

31 posted on 03/17/2006 4:26:15 AM PST by pageonetoo (You'll spot their posts soon enough!)
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To: pageonetoo

It's no easier to believe in God than it is to believe in Santa Claus; the former is just more customary.


32 posted on 03/17/2006 4:27:50 AM PST by AntiGuv
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To: pageonetoo

It's no easier to believe in God than it is to believe in Santa Claus; the former is just more customary.


33 posted on 03/17/2006 4:27:59 AM PST by AntiGuv
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To: pageonetoo

If you wish, you can view the research work of these folks as asking God. The problem is, we have to try to figure out for ourselves what His answer is since He's been pretty close-mouthed in recent centuries.


34 posted on 03/17/2006 4:29:05 AM PST by snarks_when_bored
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To: pageonetoo
So, in other words, it does exactly what scientists have taught is impossible, historically?

I'll ask you what I asked someone in the other thread about this: Why is it that you think that just because you're ignorant about something that everyone is ignorant about something?

35 posted on 03/17/2006 4:29:59 AM PST by AntiGuv
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To: FerdieMurphy; Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit
It's difficult for mere mortals like us to comprehend that God always was and always will be...

I remember laying on the nets beside the DASH hangar, hanging over the south China sea, on a tin can in 1967. In the dark, there were so many stars visible, as to be incomprehensible. The ocean waters, flowing past the ship, roiled to reveal a glowing phospohorescence, lighting sea creatures as we passed. It looked like neon lights, in the dark waters. It was a deeply moving experience.

I remember thinking of how it could not possibly have come from nothing, and I am still convinced. It is much easier to believe in God...

36 posted on 03/17/2006 4:33:50 AM PST by pageonetoo (You'll spot their posts soon enough!)
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To: pageonetoo

Who said it came from 'nothing'? Actually, it is much easier to believe the truth, but most people are innately resistent to acknowledging the truth for some reason. Do you want to know what the truth is?


37 posted on 03/17/2006 4:37:06 AM PST by AntiGuv
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To: ZeitgeistSurfer
It's quite likely that 'nothingness' is unstable. If even the slightest blip of false vacuum were to appear out of nothingness, that would suffice to start inflation rolling. And then, as Guth points out in the passage I quoted in Post #28,

"[e]ven though the false vacuum is decaying, the expansion outruns the decay and the total volume of false vacuum actually increases with time rather than decreases. Thus inflation does not end everywhere at once, but instead inflation ends in localized patches, in a succession that continues ad infinitum."

38 posted on 03/17/2006 4:38:18 AM PST by snarks_when_bored
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To: AntiGuv; snarks_when_bored
It's no easier to believe in God than it is to believe in Santa Claus; the former is just more customary.

I never taught my kids there was a Santa Claus. I don't teach myths, as truth...

Ignorance is one thing, easily curable. Theory does not prove anything. it just gives thought a chance to roam!

I see no proof, just another man's thinking! Nothing new, here, move along...

39 posted on 03/17/2006 4:39:47 AM PST by pageonetoo (You'll spot their posts soon enough!)
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To: FerdieMurphy

I am searching for it, but there seems some theory to suggest that time doesnt actually exist. Nor does depth and the the universe is really only 2 dimensions and that it is the peculiarities of time/space caused by gravity taht makes our reality appear this way.

Time is just a dimension and God would surely not be constrained by it.


40 posted on 03/17/2006 4:41:52 AM PST by Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit (God is such a good idea that if He didn't exist we would have to invent Him)
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To: snarks_when_bored

"Oldest light shows universe grew fast, researchers say [inflationary cosmology gets a big boost]"

Faster than you think. Seven days, in fact.


41 posted on 03/17/2006 4:47:33 AM PST by RoadTest ("- - a popular government cannot flourish without virtue in the people." - Richard Henry Lee, 1786)
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To: snarks_when_bored
"Most of the other stories I've seen say "less than a trillionth of a second". Some clarity on this is probably desirable."

Hey a half a trillionth here a half a trillionth there - pretty soon you're talking real time.......

McGovern I think.

42 posted on 03/17/2006 4:51:04 AM PST by patriot_wes (papal infallibility - a proud tradition since 1869)
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To: RoadTest
Faster than I think? Seven days? That's faster than less than a trillionth of a second?

Have some coffee...(smile).

43 posted on 03/17/2006 4:52:36 AM PST by snarks_when_bored
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To: RoadTest

I don't think you can use the afterglow radiation from the Big Bang to "show" inflation happened in trillionth trillionth of a second.

The "musing" in this article is just that "musing".

The conclusion one would have to come to is that after the first trillionth of a second, all matter and energy in the universe just sat around doing nothing for the next 300,000 years because it took that long for protons and neutrons to form and anti-matter to be annihilated after the big bang. That event is what the big bang afterglow is from.


44 posted on 03/17/2006 4:55:39 AM PST by JustDoItAlways
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To: snarks_when_bored
...from the size of a marble to an astronomical size in just a trillionth of a second...

And these guys will laugh when somebody says it was created in seven days???

45 posted on 03/17/2006 5:00:39 AM PST by Sir Francis Dashwood (LET'S ROLL!)
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To: JustDoItAlways
“the big bang afterglow”

I have had a few of those. Married two of them...

46 posted on 03/17/2006 5:08:57 AM PST by Sir Francis Dashwood (LET'S ROLL!)
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To: Sir Francis Dashwood

Who laughs at that? It just seems to be the sort of thing that a guy who knows very little about the strucuture and workings of the cosmos might come up with. You can't blame somebody for having been born long before the scientific method was discovered.


47 posted on 03/17/2006 5:09:13 AM PST by snarks_when_bored
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To: Sir Francis Dashwood

Umm, yeah, because your mythical allegory claims more than that the universe came in existence in seven days. Your mythical allegory claims that: (a) light; (b) water; (c) ground; (d) the sun & moon; (e) the birds & fish; (f) land animals; and (g) humans were created in seven days. Do you see now why these guys would not only laugh at you saying all that was created in seven days, but that they would laugh even harder at what you thought passed for witticism?

As for the only part that is actually anologous, "these guys" and your mythical allegory match perfectly: BAM! There was light.


48 posted on 03/17/2006 5:14:29 AM PST by AntiGuv
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To: Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit
You are so right!

und Gott mit uns.

49 posted on 03/17/2006 5:23:09 AM PST by FerdieMurphy (For English, Press One. (Tookie, you won the Pulitzer and Nobel prizes. Oh, too late.))
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To: AntiGuv

42


50 posted on 03/17/2006 5:26:42 AM PST by Cronos (Remember 9/11. Restore Hagia Sophia! Ultra-Catholic: Sola Scriptura leads to solo scriptura.)
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