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a question for the knowledgeable

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Where exactly is it supposed that the Big Bang happened in the universe? And what is the evidence?

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Good question, I once saw a 3-d representation of the alleged shape of our universe and surprisingly it wasn't a sphere which if it was an explsion traveling outwards you would think it should be.

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*grabs popcorn and sunglasses and runs towards the nearest chair*

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Posted (edited)

For one thing, the universe is the Big Bang. We are inside the BB, so the BB happened everywhere.

By the way, I don't want to imply I am one of the knowledgeable ones.

Edited by StarMountainKid
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For one thing, the universe is the Big Bang. We are inside the BB, so the BB happened everywhere.

Then let me reformulate that: What is the point where all matter was concentrated when the big bang happened.

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Then let me reformulate that: What is the point where all matter was concentrated when the big bang happened.

Today, that point would be everywhere in the universe, because when the BB happened, the whole universe was at that point.

By the way, I don't want to imply I am one of the knowledgeable ones.

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Today, that point would be everywhere in the universe, because when the BB happened, the whole universe was at that point.

By the way, I don't want to imply I am one of the knowledgeable ones.

I understand what you are trying to say, which from a philosophical point of view is totally correct. But just as you can determine where a fire started in a room by finding the most scorched place there must be a way to determine where the expansion started, was it in the center, somewhere in the periphery?

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Posted (edited)

I understand what you are trying to say, which from a philosophical point of view is totally correct. But just as you can determine where a fire started in a room by finding the most scorched place there must be a way to determine where the expansion started, was it in the center, somewhere in the periphery?

I would say my previous answer is not a philosophical point at all. The Big Bang didn't start in the universe. The Big Bang is the universe.

The expansion didn't start at some point within the universe. For that to have happened, the universe would have had to already existed when the BB occurred. The BB is not like an explosion where the center of the explosion can be determined.

No matter in which direction you look, everything is expanding away from you, and from every other position in space you observe the same phenomenon. And, the farther away you look, the faster the expansion is in all directions.

If there were a center of expansion, looking in that direction the expansion would be observed as occurring at a slower rate than looking away from the center. This phenomena is not observed.

I don't want to imply I am one of the knowledgeable ones.

Edited by StarMountainKid
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I would say my previous answer is not a philosophical point at all. The Big Bang didn't start in the universe. The Big Bang is the universe.

The expansion didn't start at some point within the universe. For that to have happened, the universe would have had to already existed when the BB occurred. The BB is not like an explosion where the center of the explosion can be determined.

No matter in which direction you look, everything is expanding away from you, and from every other position in space you observe the same phenomenon. And, the farther away you look, the faster the expansion is in all directions.

If there were a center of expansion, looking in that direction the expansion would be observed as occurring at a slower rate than looking away from the center. This phenomena is not observed.

I don't want to imply I am one of the knowledgeable ones.

Again, imagine your are blowing up a balloon, that balloon gets bigger. Now this balloon is the universe. There is a definable circumference where the balloon was when you started to blow air in it, right?

And don't try it with your standard answer, we have seen it 3 times.

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Again, imagine your are blowing up a balloon, that balloon gets bigger. Now this balloon is the universe. There is a definable circumference where the balloon was when you started to blow air in it, right?

It is commonly accepted that the initial circumference was zero; i.e. the Universe truly had no spatial extent at the instant of the Big Bang.

It could also be argued from a philosophical point that if the entire mass/energy content of the Universe was a homogeneous plasma then the very concept of spatial extent is rather meaningless. (If everywhere you go looks exactly the same, are you really moving?)

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Again, imagine your are blowing up a balloon, that balloon gets bigger. Now this balloon is the universe. There is a definable circumference where the balloon was when you started to blow air in it, right?

And don't try it with your standard answer, we have seen it 3 times.

When using the balloon anology one needs to remember that the 2-dimensional surface of the balloon is analogous to the 3 dimensions of space. The center of the baloon is not supposed to be seen as anything physical (only the surfae of the balloon is).

Try and regard points off the surface as not being part of the universe at all.

A normal explosion, as we know it, behaves a certain way in space.. The big bang was an explosion of space. We know of no central point of the Universe.

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Posted (edited)

It was an explosion of space, not an explosion in space. According to the standard models there was no space and time before the Big Bang. There was not even a "before" to speak of. So, the Big Bang was very different from any explosion we are accustomed to and it does not need to have a central point.

Here's a short page that gives some good info: http://math.ucr.edu/.../GR/centre.html

As for evidence, here is a short blurb from wiki:

The earliest and most direct kinds of observational evidence are the Hubble-type expansion seen in the redshifts of galaxies, the detailed measurements of the cosmic microwave background, the relative abundances of light elements produced by Big Bang nucleosynthesis, and today also the large scale distribution and apparentevolution of galaxies[54] predicted to occur due to gravitational growth of structure in the standard theory. These are sometimes called "the four pillars of the Big Bang theory".[55]
Edited by Imaginarynumber1

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Posted (edited)

May an unknowledgeable participate Q ? I have no answers but i think i might have a good question too.

I keep hearing that the universe is expanding equally . I also keep hearing that it is expanding faster, "farther away" .

WHICH IS IT ? If there is no center.. then the question becomes... farther away from what? Is our position in a center less universe somehow significant?¿? .. other than to us?

IF we could travel to one of these points "FARTHER" away that appear to be expanding "faster" and look back HERE... Which has now become FARTHER away, . . . then HERE should be expanding faster from our new perspective farther away? .. unless it's some sort of cumulative effect ... and expansion APPEARS to increase at a distance.. from any point.

Hm, this bit from the first of imaginarynumber1's links seems to agree with what i just said!

In 1929 Edwin Hubble announced that he had measured the speed of galaxies at different distances from us, and had discovered that the farther they were, the faster they were receding. This might suggest that we are at the centre of the expanding universe, but in fact if the universe is expanding uniformly according to Hubble's law, then it will appear to do so from any vantage point.

** as long as i'm in this deep... it isn't weird that the universe has no center, because the "center" is EVERYWHERE. The weird thing is that the universe has no edges!

*resists temptation to say circle*

Edited by lightly

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It is commonly accepted that the initial circumference was zero; i.e. the Universe truly had no spatial extent at the instant of the Big Bang.

It could also be argued from a philosophical point that if the entire mass/energy content of the Universe was a homogeneous plasma then the very concept of spatial extent is rather meaningless. (If everywhere you go looks exactly the same, are you really moving?)

yes, you are unless standing still. And that is precisely the point.

But I passed on this question to several profs of several universities, and the answer I got is that they don't know as it all depends on the expansion model being used, the best I got is from Wolfgang Besgen (Emeritus Marburg, Germany) who said that if we use the inflationary model, for example, the expansion occurred very much like a cell binary fission and the expansion course would be undefinable in retrospective.

Thanks to all for your input.

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i aint knowledgeble either but didnt they have a picture of the universe with a little "old school original video game sprite" red man looking area in the center? and i also thought they said our universe was on the outside of a "bubble"? i saw it on the computer somewhere.

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From a "big bang" stand point it would have to happened where the largest galaxy structure is....If that helps you... :hmm:

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So where did the BB come from ? what is outside of the BB or Universe? How did it come from nothing?

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From a "big bang" stand point it would have to happened where the largest galaxy structure is....If that helps you... :hmm:

Um... no, not really. Dunno why you think that.

As far we know, "center of the universe" doesn't exist. All things are expanding from each other at the same rate, with each from their perspective being the center of the expansion.

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Again, imagine your are blowing up a balloon, that balloon gets bigger. Now this balloon is the universe. There is a definable circumference where the balloon was when you started to blow air in it, right?

And don't try it with your standard answer, we have seen it 3 times.

The balloon analogy doesn't really work when explaining the universe. When scientist talk of the expanding universe and big bang, the expansion in this case also means expanding through time. The universe is measured in 4 dimensions, not 3, you have to account for time. It gets very complicated and is not an easy concept to grasp, especially when dealing with it on the scale of the universe.

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The balloon analogy doesn't really work when explaining the universe. When scientist talk of the expanding universe and big bang, the expansion in this case also means expanding through time. The universe is measured in 4 dimensions, not 3, you have to account for time. It gets very complicated and is not an easy concept to grasp, especially when dealing with it on the scale of the universe.

complicated and impossible to grasp is only synonymous for "we don't know". Factual is easy and self evident.

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Posted (edited)

When the Big Bang first happen, dark matter quickly spread through the universe at the speed of light, spreading quickly throughout the universe in clumps. Non-heavy elements then followed at a much slower rate. As the Big Bang cooled, the Non-Heavy Elements collected into galaxies that exhibit mass (God Particle) that can be slowed by Dark Matter as they collided with each other. Dark Matter creates its own gravitational pull but doesn't interact with normal matter we see in our universe today. This creates galaxies that lag behind the others, making the universe not evenly circle that you would suspect from a big explosion.

As the older Non-Heavy Element stars exploded, they recycle their material to create heavier elements that can interact with the Dark Matters gravitational pull to slow the galaxies down even further. Because of this we also see galaxies colliding with each other because one is moving faster than the other, meaning some galaxies are catching up to the older galaxies and colliding to create mergers between the two.

This is the best I can explain it with the limited knowledge we have today... of course dumb down as much as I can.

Side note: 4th dimension the other hand is a conceptional module that was created to explain the expansion of the universe, starting from the initial big bang till the present we see today. While the concept of time was created to keep track of the orbits around the sun. Of course they didn't know that we orbited the sun at the time, they thought the sun orbited us and we were the center of the universe.

Edited by Uncle Sam
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complicated and impossible to grasp is only synonymous for "we don't know". Factual is easy and self evident.

Ok, let me re-phrase that. The question being asked is 'where' did the big bang happen. That's not a valid question, the question is when did it happen, at what point in time did it occur. The location is a measurement of time not it's physical space.

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complicated and impossible to grasp is only synonymous for "we don't know". Factual is easy and self evident.

Not really, no.

Or actually yes. It's been said several times, your question misunderstands the reality. Asking where the center is is a bit like asking where the starting point is on a circle.

It's simple enough to say there's no center of the universe, but to break it down to the intricaies...

To take it from a ancient civilizations perspective, we can quickly talk about the Egyptian religion, but to explain would be rather complicated.

And we evolved with concepts of gods and goddesses.

Here we're talking about attempting to describe something in 4 dimensions with a language intended to scream at the monkeys in the other tree.

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Not really, no.

Or actually yes. It's been said several times, your question misunderstands the reality. Asking where the center is is a bit like asking where the starting point is on a circle.

It's simple enough to say there's no center of the universe, but to break it down to the intricaies...

To take it from a ancient civilizations perspective, we can quickly talk about the Egyptian religion, but to explain would be rather complicated.

And we evolved with concepts of gods and goddesses.

Here we're talking about attempting to describe something in 4 dimensions with a language intended to scream at the monkeys in the other tree.

We are not talking 4 dimensions because the when is completely irrelevant to the question. The question is the point in which the universe was the smallest not when the universe was the smallest (which we know pretty well, between 12 and 14 billion years ago).

From what I know now is that we cannot possible know that not because we are talking 20 dimensions but because we don't know how the universe expanded, we just know it does.

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Um... no, not really. Dunno why you think that.

As far we know, "center of the universe" doesn't exist. All things are expanding from each other at the same rate, with each from their perspective being the center of the expansion.

That's not exactly correct, considering the fact that within the supposed future we will have the Andromeda and milky way galaxies colliding with one another. So it does have an actual center if you will, much like a slingshot does.

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