About 13.8 billion years ago, in a fraction of a second, the universe was born. The mystery of creation is hidden in this first second after the Big Bang.
How, when there is nothing, no energy, no matter, no time, suddenly a formidable explosion gives birth to space, to matter, to time?
It is from this first second, that from nothingness will arise a burning chaos of unimaginable heat.
A shapeless porridge will swell, spread in all directions and cool down very slowly.
This "initial moment" is ours, that of our clock, that of the beginning. Even today, we capture in the sky the traces of the first moments (380,000 years after the first second) which we call "fossil radiation" or "sky background".
This low-temperature microwave radiation, close to absolute zero, arrives on the Earth's surface from all directions in the cosmos. This trace is part of the background of all radio sources that our radio telescopes have detected since its discovery by Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson in 1965. This is proof that our observable Universe had a beginning.
The first second of our Universe remains the greatest mystery of modern science. It seems that our mathematical formulas are shattered on the wall of creation. In the beginning there is nothing, no matter, no void, time and space do not exist.
The explosion of a luminous point smaller than an atom and of infinite heat, will generate the universe.
It all begins a tiny fraction of a second after the original explosion, the Big Bang. Time begins to unfold and in the space of a second the entire cosmos will take shape.
There is no zero time, before time does not exist. The cosmic clock strikes its first blow at 10 -43 seconds.
The universe is at this moment a bubbling void of very dense, incredibly hot energy, then we assume it suddenly swells up, it's cosmic inflation.
At 10 -32 seconds, during this short period, the Universe filled with particles of all kinds. Elementary particles and their antiparticles emerge from space in rapid expansion.
The first elements of matter accompanied by antimatter, quarks, electrons, neutrinos and the photons bathe in a cosmic soup.
At 10 -6 seconds that is to say 1 millionth of a second later, a first force comes into play, the strong nuclear force. This force will cause the 3 by 3 quarks to emerge from the vacuum to give the protons and neutrons and form the nuclei of hydrogen and helium.
After this mysterious first second, a very long and even more mysterious story will be written, that of our existence.
"To fully understand our place in the universe, we have to go back to the very beginning and how it all came about." Professor Lawrence Krauss (University of Case Western Reserve).
| || |
Image: Simulated image of the first second that begins 10 -43 seconds (Planck time) after the Big Bang, 13.77 billion years ago.