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How the Universe Formed

Discussion in 'Science and Nature' started by ThePhantom, Jan 16, 2010.

  1. Yesterday I received my Essentials of Geology textbook for college, and I looked over it a bit. But then when I was really high at night, I read most of the first chapter, and learned how the Universe formed. It is some crazy shit, and I was surprised I didn't know it before, so I will explain it here.

    It all begins with the big bang, which started with a huge amount of energy condensed in a hot ball. There were no atoms or molecules, it was just pure energy. Then it "exploded" and expanded very rapidly. During the course of this expansion, the energy quickly took form into the most basic atoms: Hydrogen. Through something known as big bang nucleosynthesis, the atoms collided into each other so hard they fused, creating helium. Therefore, essentially all the matter in the Universe was hydrogen and helium.

    The hydrogen and helium would come together in large clouds known as nebula. Gravity would pull the nebula in on itself, until it began to get so hot in the center that fusion reactions could begin. This is the birth of a star.

    Now here is where things get interesting. The stars that formed were powerful enough to fuse atoms into higher elements, which is known as stellar nucleosynthesis. This process can produce elements with atomic numbers higher than 5, while big bang nucleosynthesis was mainly limited to hydrogen and helium. Essentially, stars are what produced the higher elements that we see around us today. Many elements are so large that they cannot be produced during the lifetime of a star, but during its death, when it explodes in a supernova. This is when the heaviest elements are released.

    As the Universe evolved, the first generation of stars gave way to larger atoms (new elements) that produced new stars, and then those new stars gave way to even larger atoms. What is most amazing is that since all the heavier elements were composed in stars or during supernovas, that means that all of us, and all of this world, was once inside a star, being created through stellar nucleosynthesis. That's crazy as shit!

    It is also pretty interesting how the planets formed, but I feel this thread is long enough as it is, so thanks for reading!
     
  2. always thought God created the earth in 6 days, but hey to each his own:wave:
     

  3. You probably shouldn't be on the 'science' board then. :p

    An even crazier thing to think about is that all the matter in the universe was condensed into a space smaller than an atom.. and that all those heavier elements were spread around the universe from supernovas
     
  4. The craziest to think of is "why?" is there anything. That pretty much blows my mind just thinking about it
     
  5. You want a super-trip? Watch Carl Sagan blazed out of your mind. :) He's cool, the shit he says blows my mind when high, (or even sober).
     
  6. Good old Carl Sagan. As for that "why" question, that is the craziest. From a metaphysical, logical standpoint, there should have been nonexistence for eternity (although in nonexistence there is no time, so just nonexistence). But for some reason this came up! Crazy.
     
  7. It is a pretty incredibly concept. For some reason learning about the early universe and other cosmological models feels very empowering, I find.
     
  8. Yeah when you sit there and think about it is crazy. That is why I think there has to be something after death because why the fuck is the anything at all so why would death be nothingness
     
  9. What was it like before you were born?
     
  10. +1 qft.
     

  11. I used to ask myself the same question.
     
  12. And what conclusion did you arrive at?

    Is it possible that since your biological framework would exist in a similar state after death as it did prior to your birth that your experience may be comparatively similar?
     
  13. Exactly Sam Spade. Death is the exact same thing as pre-birth, except after death you have lived your life. The point is, it is just nonexistence. If you want to know what nonexistence is like, it's like when you are asleep. Just nothingness. But you can't imagine it, is the problem. If you try to, you just imagine darkness, and silence, and your thoughts always pop in. Nonexistence is even more complex than sleep, but both are pretty similar superficially.

    The fact is, when we die, it probably is nonexistence, for eternity. I don't believe the Universe was created with us in mind, and I base that belief on observations of the world. I could of course be wrong, but that's just my theory, and I believe it has a significant amount of validity.
     
  14. Interesting - always found the universe fascinating... If you like that kind of stuff you should check out the movie "Journey to the edge of the universe"... its on discovery sometimes but I think it's a national geographic film... While ripped, its probably my second favorite movie of choice - behind dazed and confused... Also, there's a few torrents of it available too.
     
  15. Not only that, the carbon and other heavy elements in your body come from several stars that went bust in a very spectacular manner. Not just one star.

    Cosmology is a truly fascinating field of research. It provides such a perspective and narrative, that it makes the mind boggle.
     
  16. Of course it wasn't just in one star, we are all comprised of components from probably billions of stars. But what matters is it started off in a star, and that is awesome.
     

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