For almost 40 years, researchers have known that the Big Bang isn’t actually the beginning of the universe.
According to one astrophysicist and scientific author named Ethan Siegel, this is considered “one of the biggest misconceptions in science” so far.
It is commonly known that the universe actually emerged from a hot, dense state, and at this moment is expanding and cooling. If this was true, the universe would become “denser, warmer and more compact” until the point where temperature and density rise to infinite levels and here all energy and matter in the universe are concentrated.
The single point where everything is concentrated is called singularity.
The author of the article argues that this point if singularity is actually “the end point” where all the laws of physics “break”. This represents the origins of time and space, according to Siegal.
In his words: “The Universe does not have different temperatures in different directions, even though an area billions of light-years away in one area never had time (since the Big Bang) to interact with or exchange information with a region billions of light-years in the opposite direction.”
This brings us back in 1979 when the American researcher Alan Guth offered an alternative to the singularity of the Big Bang: All these problems could be solved by “the theory of cosmic inflation, which consisted of an early phase of exponential expansion before the Big Bang.”
Regions with slightly lower or slightly higher energy densities would actually be created by the quantum fluctuations that are spreading across the universe, as space expanded.
“The energy would become matter and radiation, creating the hot and dense state synonymous with the Big Bang, ” Siegel explained.
This idea was tested by measuring fluctuations by the surplus glow of the Big Bang and resulted in finding a certain pattern which is consistent with inflation predictions. Starting from the 1990s, scientists have measured these fluctuations in detail and have found the very same result, even when they compared the measurements of the following years (in 2000 and 2010).
The scientist explains: “The big Big Bang definitely happened but after the cosmic inflation phase. What happened before inflation – or whether inflation was eternal in the past – is still an open issue, but one thing remains certain: the Big Bang is not the beginning of the universe. “