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Sean Carroll

True Facts About Cosmology (or, Misconceptions Skewered)

12 Jan 2019, 20:31 UTC
True Facts About Cosmology (or, Misconceptions Skewered)
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A talked a bit on Twitter last night about the Past Hypothesis and the low entropy of the early universe. Responses reminded me that there are still some significant misconceptions about the universe (and the state of our knowledge thereof) lurking out there. So I’ve decided to quickly list, in Tweet-length form, some true facts about cosmology that might serve as a useful corrective. I’m also putting the list on Twitter itself, and you can see comments there as well.

The Big Bang model is simply the idea that our universe expanded and cooled from a hot, dense, earlier state. We have overwhelming evidence that it is true.The Big Bang event is not a point in space, but a moment in time: a singularity of infinite density and curvature. It is completely hypothetical, and probably not even strictly true. (It’s a classical prediction, ignoring quantum mechanics.)People sometimes also use “the Big Bang” as shorthand for “the hot, dense state approximately 14 billion years ago.” I do that all the time. That’s fine, as long as it’s clear what you’re referring to.The Big Bang might have been the beginning of the universe. Or it might not have been; there could have ...

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