Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Gravitational Waves of Excitement

All exciting stuff as somebody discovers the gravitational waves that prove something or other to do with the Big Bang.

Basically, and I realise I'm getting technical here, the Universe was very small. And now it is very big. And the bit between it being so absolutely tiny you couldn't even see it (not least as your body would be blown to pieces by the enormous explosion that was about to happen), and the bit where it's very very big - is history.

The scientists have been looking for a "swirly b-mode pattern". Yes, I know. I've got a picture of Matt Smith as Dr Who at this point as well. Often do have, actually. But let's move on.

All the really interesting stuff in the Universe happened between 0 and trillionths of a second, as can be shown by this useful graph:

So all the key stuff happened very early. In fact, the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics being what it is, you could argue it's pretty well been downhill all the way since supersymmetry went west (and east, and north. But not south. That's the thing about supersymmetry breaking down).

The other thing that is a relic of the Big Bang is the cosmic background radiation. It's in the microwave region of the electromagnetic spectrum, which is why the universe smells very faintly of baked beans. I only mention this so I can do the microwave / baked beans joke.

What does this tell us about God, the creation of the world etc etc? Nothing, to be honest. But it does give me the chance to remind you that the person who came up with the whole Big Bang theory was a priest. Not only that, but a Belgian. Not a famous Belgian, but he probably ought to be. Ladeezngennulmun, I give you Fr Georges Lemaitre.

Personally I reckon the ex nihilo  sense of the Big Bang would have been very attractive to a Christian cosmologist. Even a steady-state universe wouldn't say there was no God - as there's nothing to say that the Creation exists within Time at all (or at least not in a meaningful way). But still - let there be light!  And there was baryogenesis. As Norman Clegg woulld say, "I like it!"

Dunno what this was all about, really. But isn't God great?


  1. Yes of course he is - unless of course he isn't.

  2. Or possibly is both great and not great at the same time

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. "Not a famous Belgian"

    Is the denial of an oxymoron a tautology?

    Meanwhile at that in-between time the universe was supposed to be the size of a grapefruit. Or was it a grape? Anyway, it's a good thing some cosmic fruit loving health nut didn't pick it when it was that size and put it in their juicer. Or perhaps they did, and that explains the current state of the fruit, I mean, the world.


Drop a thoughtful pebble in the comments bowl