SCIENCE | By Ethan Gysbertsen
Hello, and welcome to The Universe's Instruction Manual where our motto is, "You don't need math to know stuff." It is also where I hope to tell you about how awesome the universe we live in really is.
THE STORY SO FAR
It is December 2015 on planet Earth. We are orbiting 149,600,000 kilometers from the sun, and we have our moon orbiting us at a distance of 384,400 kilometres. All very stable. But let’s back track, and see how December 2015 came to be. We start at the present day, and take the first step backwards, to about:
We humans have only been around for 200 000 years, our species is a pin prick compared to the Earth's time scale, and we haven't even gotten to the good stuff yet. By the way, if you are wondering, mammals started 200 million (200,000,000) years ago, a bit after the dinosaurs. Let's speed up a little:
Before this the Universe was dark, composed of mostly hydrogen, some helium, if you were lucky some lithium, and was quite a bit smaller than it is today.
The Universe started as a point smaller than an atom, but in 10^-35 seconds it spontaneously inflated to the size of something you could hold in your hand. At three minutes, protons and neutrons were created. This dense ball of plasma, energy and space continued to expand outwards, spreading out all the energy of the billions of billions of galaxies that populate the Universe today, emitting the stuff that became everything you have ever known.
Before that, we don't really know. The Big Bang was the beginning of everything, not just energy and matter, but the very concepts of space, of time itself. Meaning there was no Time before the Universe. The Universe is everything there ever has been, all time and space; so to say, "What was there before the big bang?" is a paradox in itself, and your guess is as good as mine.