(ORDO NEWS) — Stare into the sky long enough and the universe begins to resemble a city at night. Galaxies take on the characteristics of street lamps cluttering up regions of dark matter, connected by gas pipelines stretching along the shores of intergalactic nothingness.
This map of the universe was predetermined, made up of the smallest yeast by Quantum physics moments after the Big Bang led to the expansion of space and time about 13.8 billion years ago.
But what exactly these fluctuations were, and how they set in motion the physics that brought atoms together into the Massive Cosmic Structures we see today, is still far from clear.
Recent mathematical analysis of moments after a period called the inflationary epoch shows that some structure could exist even inside the boiling quantum furnace that filled the infant universe, and this could help us better understand its structure today.
Astrophysicists at the University of Göttingen in Germany and the University of Auckland in New Zealand have used a combination of ns particle motion simulations and a kind of gravitational quantum modeling to predict how structures might form when particles condense after inflation has occurred.
The scale of this simulation is a little mind blowing. We are talking about masses up to 20 kilograms, squeezed into a space with a diameter of only 10–20 meters, while the Universe was only 10–24 seconds.
“The physical space represented in our simulation would fit in one proton a million times more,” said astrophysicist Jens Niemeyer from the University of Göttingen.
“This is probably the largest simulation of the smallest region of the universe that has been performed so far.”
Much of what we know about this early stage of the universe is based on this kind of mathematical research.
The oldest light twinkling in the universe that we can still see is the cosmic background radiation (CMB), and by then the whole show had already been on the road for about 300,000 years.
But within this faint echo of ancient radiation, there are some clues as to what was going on.
CMB light was emitted when the core particles coalesced into atoms from a hot, dense soup of energy, in what is known as the era of recombination.
A map of this background radiation in the sky shows that our universe already had some sort of structure by a few hundred thousand years.
There were slightly colder and slightly warmer particles that could push matter into regions where stars would eventually light up, galaxies would spin, and masses would coalesce into the cosmic city we see today.
This raises the question
The space that makes up our universe is expanding, which means that the universe was once much smaller. So it goes without saying that everything we see around us was once squeezed into a volume too tight for such warm and cool patches to occur.
Like a cup of coffee in an oven, any part must cool before it can be reheated.
A period of inflation has been proposed as a way to solve this problem. Within trillionths of a second after the Big Bang, our universe expanded in size by an insane amount, effectively freezing any quantum-scale changes in place.
To say that it happened in the blink of an eye would still be an understatement. make it fair. It started about 10 -36 seconds after the Big Bang and ended 10 -32 seconds later. But it was enough for the space to take on proportions that prevent small fluctuations in temperature from flattening out again.
The researchers’ calculations focus on this brief moment after inflation, demonstrating how elementary particles solidify out of the foam. quantum ripples at that time could have produced brief haloes of matter dense enough to wrinkle space-time itself.
“The formation of such structures, as well as their movements and interactions, should have generated the background noise of a gravitational wave,” said astrophysicist at the University of Göttingen Benedikt Eggemeyer, the first author of the study.
“With our simulations, we can calculate the strength of this gravitational wave signal, which can be measured in the future. ”
In some cases, huge masses of such objects could pull matter into primordial black holes, objects that are thought to contribute to dark matter’s mysterious attraction.
The fact that these structures mimic the large-scale accumulation of our universe today does not necessarily mean that they are directly responsible for today’s distribution of stars, gas, and galaxies.
But the complex physics unfolding among these freshly baked particles can still be seen in the sky amidst this hilly landscape of twinkling lights and dark voids that we call the universe.
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