This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
“Space is big. Really big. You just won’t believe how vastly hugely mindbogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist, but that’s peanuts to space.” Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. This chapter opens the story as we discuss the observed Universe and note the apparent problems we ﬁnd in trying to describe that universe. We will see that the standard Big Bang picture is very useful for explaining the observable Universe, but is not quite enough to solve the problems where the Universe came from and how it evolved. It appears that the Universe could not have arisen from generic initial conditions, but seems to have evolved from a very ﬁnely-tuned origin.
What Do We See?
Looking out at the night sky, one can’t help but be awed by the vast scales open before them. Even the naked eye can detect hundreds or thousands of stars (depending on whether you’re looking from the city or middle of nowhere). The eye of the Hubble space telescope has detected countless more. Figure 1 shows the Ultra Deep Field . This image was formed over a period of several months by focusing the Hubble telescope on a patch of sky roughly one-tenth of the size of the full moon. This patch was previously thought to be empty, when viewed from other telescopes. Almost every point of light in the image is a galaxy, containing roughly a hundred billion stars! This image shows the Universe as it was roughly 13 billion years ago, which is only a few hundred million years after the Big Bang. It is already easy to see that the Universe is big! It is the goal of physics in general (and cosmology, speciﬁcally) to try to explain where the Universe came from and how it evolves. As we will see, this will not be an easy task, in general. The attempt to describe the Universe will lead us into new and exciting areas of physics, including Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity, as well as the laws of quantum mechanics. The work done in achieving the goal will be well-worth it, however. To begin our journey, let’s start by making some observations about the Universe. We will ﬁnd that these observations lead to some very interesting puzzles which will require some new ideas to address. It will, in fact, be our goal to solve these puzzles. We will discuss these observations and puzzles in quantitative detail later, and so we now focus on a qualitative discussion. 1.0.1 The Universe is Very Old and Very Big.
We’ve already seen that the Universe is extremely large. The visible Universe extends out to some 1026 meters. However, there are many reasons to expect that the actual Universe is much larger! Clearly for these sorts of distances the meter is a very bad unit of measure to use. Just as when we use nanometers to discuss quantum-level phenomenon, we should like to ﬁnd a more convenient unit of measure for very large distances.
Figure 1: The Hubble Ultra Deep Field, shows an estimated 10,000 galaxies. Nearly every point of light in the image is a galaxy!
One useful method of measuring distance would be to use the distance that light travels in some amount of time, typically taken to be one year. This distance, which is about 9.5 × 1015 meters, is called a light-year, and measures distance and not time! This is a very large distance; Pluto orbits the Sun at an average distance on order of about 10−5 light years. Proxima Centauri, the nearest star (other than the Sun), is about 4.22 light years away. The observable Universe extends out to about 5 × 1010 light years. The light year is still not the conventional unit of measurement, however. The unit that has been adopted is the megaparsec, Mpc, or one million parsecs. A parsec is deﬁned as the distance away such that the Earth-Sun separation distance (about 150 million kilometers) subtends an angle of one second of arc, and corresponds to a distance of about 3.1 × 1016 meters, or about 3.26 light years. So, a megaparsec is about 3.26 million light years, and corresponds roughly to the distance between galaxies. The observable Universe is of order 14,000 Mpc. We might expect that such a large system has been around for a long time, one might even expect inﬁnitely long. Even based only on the observations from carbon-dating rocks here on Earth, we know that the Universe must be billions of years old. This measurement is also corroborated by our observations of the amounts of hydrogen and helium in the Sun, and knowledge of the fusion reaction rates, and so on. We will get a better estimate in our discussion below where we actually ﬁnd a ﬁnite lifetime for the Universe!
originally discovered back in 1964. are of the order ∼ O (10−5 )! 3 . The Universe on the biggest observable scales looks both homogeneous and isotropic. or even images like that in Figure 1. Then. comprised of about 100 billion stars. The solar system certainly doesn’t look the same from place to place as we move around. Homogeneity means that the Universe is the same from one place to another (meaning that there is no preferred place). instead of stars. but it is not homogeneous. Suppose we instead go out to very large scales. the asteroid belt. Figure 2 shows the galaxy map. since we can move from place to place and still see the same ﬁeld. and place ourselves midway between the Sun and Proxima Centauri. a uniform electric ﬁeld pointing everywhere along the x direction. Although we do have some diﬀerences here and there. and our view in every direction would be very much like that in Figure 1. for example. but not isotropic. At such scales. obtained by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey  over a period of eight years. since the ﬁeld looks very diﬀerent if we move anywhere at all.2 The Universe Looks Pretty Much the Same Everywhere. on the order of megaparsecs. The CMB has a spectrum as though it was emitted by a blackbody. Suppose we pull back far from our solar system. However. while isotropy means that it is the same in every direction (meaning that there is no preferred direction). to imagine the homogeneity and isotropy of the Universe. called the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB). it seems like the Universe does not look the same in every direction. forming galactic ﬁlaments which are the largest known structures in the Universe. in every direction. The units of redshift will be discussed later. Figure 2 ranges over a distance of a little more than half a megaparsec.1. but it is not isotropic since the ﬁeld points along a speciﬁc direction. the Universe is homogeneous and isotropic. δT /T . The temperature ﬂuctuations. then we might see the Andromeda Galaxy in one direction. Consider. So. We can see the homogeneity and isotropy of the Universe in a much more dramatic way. If we look up. and is seen in the whole sky map in ﬁgure 3. A system can be everywhere homogeneous. On very large scales. and the color denotes the age of the stars in the galaxy with redder points showing galaxies comprised of mostly older stars. Looking out into the sky. The electric ﬁeld of a point charge is isotropic about that charge. In this case we are looking at the sky in terms of galaxies. we become blind to the small details that diﬀerentiate one place or direction from another. some nearby planets. If we look out at the sky in our own solar system we see a nice variety of things: the Sun. has been measured very precisely by the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) . if we look around. with the Earth at the center. We don’t need to rely only on our intuition about the Universe on large scales. etc. as well. with an average temperature of about 2. Even on these “small” scales we can begin to see some of the homogeneity and isotropy of the Universe. the view is a little bit more similar in each direction.0. a system that is isotropic about every point is necessarily homogeneous. covering a quarter of the sky.000 galaxies. This glow. covering more than 930. We can also begin to see the web-like structure of the galaxies. This system is everywhere homogeneous. which is about 2 billion light years. out of the plane of our own galaxy. and not in the other.725 Kelvins to an extraordinary accuracy. Each point is a galaxy. but may be taken to be an indication of distance. Homogeneity and isotropy are not the same things. we see a faint microwave glow.
If we were to draw to 4 . the CMB is a snapshot of the early Universe. while the more blue regions are cooler. then δρ/ρ ∼ O (10−5 )).” which is again inhomogeneous.3 Parallel Lines Never Seem to Intersect. This is only true on a plane. To ignore the tiny deviations from homogeneity would be to ignore stars. not only explain the large-scale properties of the Universe. The map has a range of about 2 billion light years. and even individual galaxies. corresponding to regions which are slightly underdense.Figure 2: The SDSS Galaxy Map. As we’ll discuss in detail later. We will discuss these ideas in more detail later. we must not forget that it seems very inhomogeneous on the smallest scales. and that two parallel lines never intersect. there is reason to believe that our observable Universe may be only an “island” Universe in a larger structure often called the “Multiverse. Furthermore. Each point on the map is a galaxy.0. Any theory of the Universe must. While we have seen that the Universe is homogeneous and isotropic on the largest observable scales. with the Earth at the center. if the background density is ρ. As we will see later. corresponding to regions that are slightly overdense (these density ﬂuctuations are also of the same order as the temperature ﬂuctuations. and provides the most striking evidence of the homogeneity and isotropy that we have found. with redder points corresponding to older galaxies. the environment in the neighborhood of a star looks very diﬀerent from that in interstellar space. but also the tiny variations. It’s a well-known fact that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. as we will discuss later. the redder regions are slightly warmer. 1. therefore.
adding the angles of triangles) would have negligible errors and the space would look ﬂat. This can lead to some very interesting behavior. If the intervening space is curved. The temperature ﬂuctuation “spots” on the CMB have a certain angular separation on the sky. this does not necessarily have to be the case. We could be living in a curved space. However. In order to see any deviations from ﬂatness we would need to draw a big triangle.Figure 3: The Cosmic Microwave Background pervades the entire Universe and has a blackbody spectrum with a temperature of about 2. is a curved path. the sum of the angles of a triangle can be diﬀerent than 180◦ . Because the surface over which the line is being drawn is curved. on a sphere the angles are greater than 180◦ (again . Theoretical calculations can predict the size of these spots. like a sphere.. and the apparent size of the spots would be diﬀerent. Also. If the space is ﬂat then the spots would have the angular size predicted by 5 . whose sides are of the order of the radius of the sphere. This observation allows for a method of determining whether a surface is curved without actually looking at it from the outside: draw a triangle and see if the angles add up to 180◦ . Because space is so large we would need to look at the biggest things in the Universe. but rather curved paths. on a sphere two parallel lines can intersect (think about lines of longitude meeting at the north pole). If the size of the sphere was large enough. while on a saddle the angles can be less (the verticies get pinched together). which provides our triangle for measuring ﬂatness. a section of a great circle. with ﬂuctuations of only about 10−5 . You may know that airplanes do not travel along straight line paths. This is because if we get in close enough to a curved surface. then things may not be so simple. like the surface of the Earth. parallel lines on a ball.think of the triangle formed by the equator and two lines of longitude). or on the surface of a saddle. While it’s often taken for granted that the space that we live in is ﬂat. which is the whole-sky CMB map seen in ﬁgure 3. one has to be careful.725 Kelvins. the line itself will be curved.e. then any measurements (i. For example. it eventually looks ﬂat. then the light would also travel along curves. This is because (as we’ll discuss in detail later) the shortest distance between two points on a sphere (the Earth).
There are six diﬀerent “ﬂavors” of quark. Each of the particles listed in Tables 1 and 2 is a spin 1/2 fermion. giving a net charge of +1. it is found that the Universe is approximately ﬂat. we will return to these issues later. as well as it’s electric charge. Also given in the table is the mass of each quark. expressed in terms of the proton charge. 1.003 0. The various leptons are listed in Table 2.3 0. qp . and so would appear smaller. of the Universe. There is another class of elementary particles which do not interact via the strong force.0. which we’ll discuss soon. The quarks comprise one class of particles which interact through the strong force. the most familiar of which is the electron. 6 . and therefore are made out of atoms. If the geometry of space was like a sphere.3 Particle Up (u) Down (d) Charm (c) Strange (s) Top (t) Bottom (b) Charge (qp ) 2/3 -1/3 2/3 -1/3 2/3 -1/3 Table 1: The Six Flavors of Quarks. If the geometry of space was like a saddle. but the protons and neutrons have been found to be composite particles. Quarks Mass (GeV/c2 ) 0. It is ﬁlled with stars. in units of GeV/c2 (as is common in particle physics). then the light coming from the spots would span a larger angle and so would appear larger.006 1. clustered together into galaxies. The electrons are elementary particles (as far as we can tell). The stars are mostly hydrogen and helium (and trace amounts of heavier elements). a Universe of zero or negative curvature (like a plane or a saddle. Each of the three charged leptons has an associated neutrino.1 175 4. Just a glance at ﬁgure 1 tells us that the Universe is not empty. The proton is composed of two up quarks and one down quark. including again the mass and charge.4 The Universe is Filled with “Good” Things.theoretical calculations. then the light coming from the spots would span a smaller angle. listed in Table 1. circled by electrons in orbit around them. constructed of quarks which are elementary. As we will see. while one of positive curvature (like a sphere) will not! Again. and interacts via at least two forces. The neutron is composed of two down quarks and one up quark for a net charge of zero. Let’s take a moment to recall the diﬀerent forces. and ultimately the fate. To a very good degree. This class of strongly-interacting particles are called hadrons (hadrons actually refer to the strongly-interacting quark composites. The atoms are composed of protons and neutrons in the nucleus. This class is called leptons. respectively) will exist indeﬁnitely into the future. baryons and mesons). This will turn out to have very important consequences for the evolution.
it is really the quarks interacting through the force. There is. The weak force is also a short-range force. but has a ﬁnite range. or so. holding the nucleus together. One example of a system undergoing beta decay is a free neutron. Einstein says that. because it has energy. light should be aﬀected by gravitational ﬁelds. we come to perhaps the most familiar of all forces . an electron and the antimatter partner to the electron-type neutrino (we’ll discuss antimatter soon). where beta particles (electrons) are emitted. It decays into a proton.000511 -1 Muon (µ) 0. electromagnetism.02 0 Table 2: The Six Leptons. This means that the strong force is not long-range.7771 -1 −8 Electron neutrino (νe ) < 10 0 Muon neutrino (νµ ) < 0. It was Maxwell’s grand discovery in the 19th century that blended together not only electricity. Outside the nucleus a neutron is not stable. and neutrinos are not electrically charged.Leptons Particle Mass (GeV/c2 ) Charge (qp ) Electron (e) 0. this force can’t be either the strong force. There are other types of nuclear decay. The force is “weak” because it is much weaker than either the electromagnetic or strong force. then the strong force doesn’t quite hold it together . It was discovered long ago that electricity and magnetism are not two diﬀerent phenomena. if the nucleus gets too big. but the leptons do not experience the strong force. Electromagnetism is responsible for holding together atoms and molecules. So. and therefore everyday objects such as tables and people. It has been 7 . plus an electron and antineutrino. as we’ll discuss in detail later.106 -1 Tau (τ ) 1. The positively-charged protons would tend to blow apart the nucleus if there was not some additional non-electrical force holding it together. which gives an interaction between electrical charges. for example beta decay. of course. In alpha decay an α particle (a helium nucleus) breaks oﬀ of a larger nucleus (say uranium).some pieces might ﬂy oﬀ. and operates on both protons and neutrons. with a down quark decaying into an up quark. it must be a new force. Einstein later told us that energy and mass are equivalent since E = mc2 . as in alpha-decay. or electromagnetism. So. However. light. operating on even shorter distances than the strong force! Finally. but decays after about 15 minutes. which has no mass. Newton told us that anything with mass gravitates. called the weak force. This new force is called the strong force. typically operating on nuclear scales. This is a unique prediction of Einstein’s theory. This interaction has to be mediated by some force.0002 0 Tau neutrino (ντ ) < 0. this suggests that anything with energy gravitates. should not be aﬀected by gravitational ﬁelds. which is a direct prediction of Einstein’s General Relativity. but are really diﬀerent aspects of the same electromagnetic ﬁeld.gravity. Because the protons and neutrinos are not elementary. ∼ 10−15 meters. According to Newton. but also light into one elegant theory. and magnetism. diﬀering from Newton’s theory of gravity.
The strong force holds the quarks together inside the protons or neutrons 8 . seen in the Feynman diagram in Figure 4. This idea has proven to be most useful in particle physics. details may be found on any book on particle physics or quantum ﬁeld theory. This diagram represents the simplest interaction of two electrons (the straight lines labeled e− ). accelerating in response to these forces. This gives evidence for Einstein’s theory. for example. there is a bit of good luck. in fact. In this diagram. These are the four known fundamental forces. QED (as well as each of the forces described below) is a beautiful theory. time runs along the vertical axis. which we unfortunately do not have time to discuss properly. as we’ll discuss later. while space runs along the horizontal. which couple to electric charge. There has never been a prediction of QED which did not agree with experiment.gravity gravitates! This property of nonlinearity makes problems involving gravity very diﬃcult to solve exactly. This makes it the easiest of the forces to understand and compute. Quantum mechanics changes the interpretation somewhat. It seems like this would be an impossible task. obtaining extremely accurate results which agree precisely with experiment to many decimal places. Can we explain the other three in a similar way? Let’s start with the strong force. since more complicated diagrams contribute less to the ﬁnal answer. the individual quanta of light. We have discussed the electromagnetic force from the modern viewpoint. Gravity interacts between any systems that have energy. The photon. and the modern viewpoint is that all of the forces are transmitted via the exchange of diﬀerent bosonic mediator particles. All other forces can be understood in terms of these forces (particularly electromagnetism). This is only the ﬁrstorder diagram. The fundamental theory of electromagnetism is called “Quantum Electrodynamics” (QED). electric charges interact via the exchange of photons. All of the diagrams must be added together to obtain the ﬁnal answer. This means they interact with (are absorbed and emitted by) electric charge.found that light from distant sources is deﬂected gravitationally around massive objects (such as galaxies) through gravitational lensing. and so photons don’t interact with each other (at least to a ﬁrst approximation). we are then led to believe that the electromagnetic force is carried by photons. and is the pride and joy of theoretical physics. which we’ll discuss in detail later. This means that electromagnetism is a linear theory. Upon applying quantum mechanics to the electromagnetic ﬁeld. one ﬁnds that it is made up of a large number of photons. As we’ve discussed. is not charged. itself . the electromagnetic force is carried by spin-1 photons. obeying the principle of superposition. itself. by means of a photon (the wiggly line labeled γ). Because the electromagnetic force is transmitted via the electromagnetic ﬁeld. It was the ﬁrst theory of the forces to be understood in a deep way. there are. an inﬁnite number of increasingly complicated diagrams. The classical interpretation of forces is that sources set up ﬁelds in the surrounding space (for example. We would like to try to understand these forces at a deeper level. The interaction of electric charges via the exchange of photons can be visualized in a very nice manner using a method developed by Richard Feynman. adding up all of the diﬀerent diagrams. including gravity. We also need to have the quarks interact by exchanging some sort of particle. We would say that the photons mediate the electromagnetic force. but this is only one of the fundamental forces. One ﬁnds that the ﬁrst few (relatively easy to calculate) diagrams tell the majority of the story. electric or gravitational) that other objects respond to. That is. However.
called “Quantum Chromodynamics. binding the quarks together. and this force leaks out of the nucleons just a little bit. In this case.Figure 4: The Simplest Electromagnetic Interaction. since higher-order diagrams contribute about as much as the simpler ones.” or QCD. and there are eight of them! This is to be contrasted with the photon. are a bit more complicated than those of QED. the force acts like glue. for which there is only one. exchanging a gluon. (the nucleons). holding the nucleus together. Beta decay proceeds due to the weak force and has a negatively-charged down quark becoming a positively-charged up quark. That’s two forces down . like those seen in the ﬁrst-order diagram in Figure 5. with the 9 ¡ ¡ e− e− γ e− e− u d a gµ u d . So. one can perform calculations using Feynman diagrams for QCD. For this reason.what about the weak force? Once again we postulate that the force comes from the exchange of a particle. the summation of the diagrams is not so simple. which represents the interaction of an up quark with a down quark. The equations describing the quantum theory of the strong force. However. the messenger particles have been called gluons. and are not fully understood. but is instead the quantity deﬁned in analogy with electric charge which couples strongly-interacting particles to the gluons. Figure 5: The Simplest Strong Force Interaction. however.” This charge has nothing to do with real color. The gluons couple to a generalized charge called “color charge.
a muon neutrino can interact with a down quark. the W must be negative. One would like to try to formulate a quantum mechanical theory of gravity. there are still more interactions which preserve the electric charge (often called “neutral currents”) and are mediated by still another messenger particle. in other words. Finally. The particle. while the negatively-charged down quark becomes a positively-charged up quark. We can draw the simplest gravitational Feynman diagrams. This is completely consistent with all ideas of causality and poses no problem . So. The neutrino carries no electrical charge. and so this interaction could not go via photons (also. coupling the energy of 10 ¡ u νe ¯ e− W− d . Figure 6: The Simplest Weak Force Interaction. For example. photons don’t change the type of particle). producing a muon and an up quark. This means that the mediator particle is charged. The weak bosons also have another very interesting property compared to the other force mediators: they are massive! The W ± particles have a mass equivalent to roughly 80 protons. we come to gravity. In this process. This property actually caused some theoretical diﬃculties in trying to formulate a quantum theory of the weak interactions. while the Z 0 has a mass of roughly 92 protons. with the same charge as the electron. technically called a “vector intermediate boson. as has been done with the other forces. W + . in analogy with QED. The neutrino starts oﬀ neutral. This means that we need a positively charged mediator particle. and then becomes a negatively-charged muon. where an antiparticle may be viewed as a regular particle propagating backwards in time. Although the total charge was conserved in this process. like that in Figure 7. and was only satisfactorily solved by merging the weak and electromagnetic forces into a single “electroweak” theory which is discussed below. altogether there are three diﬀerent messenger particles.” is usually just called a “W” particle. called Z 0 . We can draw the (simplest) Feynman diagram for this decay in Figure 6. The neutrino had to lose a +1 amount of charge to the down quark. the charge of the initial and ﬁnal quarks was diﬀerent. Finally. it seems to be running backward in time! This is actually a convention.it’s only a convention. Beta decay is not the only possible weak interaction. We also have another diﬀerence in this diagram in that the arrow for the antineutrino is running from top to bottom.emission of a negative electron and neutral particle.
the leptons. EPlanck ∼ 1018 GeV. The four forces appear to be very diﬀerent. However. but this is still unknown at present. when we try to do this we immediately run into problems. As we will see. the relative interaction strength (normalizing the strong force to unity). Unfortunately. and the graviton remains experimentally undiscovered. and the messenger bosons.” in much the same way as electricity and magnetism are not two separate forces. Finally. but really are just diﬀerent manifestations of the same electromagnetic force. This hope has already been partially realized when the electromagnetic and weak forces have been uniﬁed in the electroweak theory at energy scales above roughly 100 GeV. with the ratio of the gravitational to electric forces between two protons FG /FE ∼ 10−38 . quantum gravitational interactions are expected to be negligible. we have the diﬀerent force mediator particles in Table 3. as long as we limit the energy densities of our investigations to scales smaller than the Planck scale. In the case of gravity. This is important for understanding systems in which quantum gravity is important. At energy scales currently available in particle accelerators. Continuing our list of the particles populating the Universe. the interactions actually become stronger at higher energies. Figure 7: The Simplest Gravitational Interaction. At the Planck energy. A theory of quantum gravity contains numerous conceptual issues which have not been satisfactorily overcome. such as black holes and the initial Big Bang singularity. there is some expectation that all of the forces might be uniﬁed at the Planck scale. There is some theoretical evidence that the strong force might merge with the electroweak force at energies of about 1016 GeV to a single “Grand Uniﬁed Theory. and the eﬀective range of the force.” (GUT) but the current experimental range of particle accelerators is far too low to conﬁrm this. the strength of forces actually change depending on the energies available. it is expected that gravity will become the dominant interaction. inﬂationary dynamics will often take place at sub-Planckian scales and hence will be describable by General Relativity. quantum gravitational interactions are inﬁnitesimally small.two particles to a gravitational messenger particle called a “graviton. All of these particles (except the graviton) are part of the 11 ¡ T (1) T (2) hµν T (1) T (2) . We can already see that there are lots of particles in the Universe! We have the quarks. but it is the hope that these forces may turn out to actually be just diﬀerent aspects of the same “Uniﬁed Force. However.” energy is the “charge” of gravity. including the spin (in units of ).
which postulates that particles are actually tiny vibrating bits of “string. hµν 2 ∼ 10−38 ∞ Table 3: The Force Mediator Particles. In this way uniﬁcation is achieved since all the particles come from the same fundamental string. However. There are even more speculative idea emerging from string theory. which also includes one more particle. Supersymmetry has not been found experimentally either. which relates bosons and fermions. for example the antiproton. while every fermion has an associated bosonic partner. Interaction Particle Spin ( ) Strength Range (cm) Electromagnetism Photon. which we’ll discuss below. When a particle and it’s antiparnter interact. with the uniﬁcation becoming much more exact. leading to a total of 10 or 11. There is also hope that SUSY might provide a possible explanation for dark matter. Standard Model of Particle Physics. and depending on how the strings vibrate. In the case of an electron and positron reaction. Conversely. the extra dimensions could even be inﬁnitely 12 . These extra dimensions are often taken to be rolled up into tiny little shapes undetectable by current accelerators. as the photon is). with the construction of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) there is every expectation that the Higgs will be found. doubling the number of particles in our list above. The Higgs is thought to be the origin of mass by interacting with the the other particles which are initially massless. Furthermore. each of these particles has an associated antimatter partner (although in some cases the particle is it’s own antiparticle. SUSY predicts that every boson has an associated fermionic partner. The Higgs is theoretically predicted. Aµ 1 ∼ 1/137 ∞ Weak Force W ±. but there are high hopes for ﬁnding supersymmetric particles at the LHC. Z 0 1 ∼ 10−5 10−16 a Strong Force Gluons. All the rest of the antimatter are simply called the “anti”-particle. and was discovered ﬁrst. they mutually annihilate. producing new particles. all of the particles listed above have been discovered experimentally. the most common products are two gamma rays (two being required by momentum conservation). depending on the theory. depending on the initial energies of the particles. one obtains diﬀerent particles. but also even the graviton . String theory also naturally includes not only SUSY. The inclusion of SUSY provides even better evidence for GUTs.” Depending on whether the strings were open or closed loops. Modern high-energy physics theories also contain more speculative ideas including supersymmetry (SUSY). The antimatter partner for the electron is the positron.string theory is a natural theory of gravity! String theory also predicts that the Universe contains extra spatial dimensions. With the exception of the graviton (and also the Higgs. called the Higgs. but remains (as of this writing) the last part of the Standard Model that has yet to be found experimentally. etc. the antineutrino. but other products are possible. Antimatter was originally predicted in Dirac’s relativistic theory of the electron.Force Mediators. gµ 1 1 10−13 Gravitation Graviton. and then was extended to all the particles. though possibly for not much longer).
the ideas are very speculative.5 The Universe Doesn’t Have Any “Bad” Things. then it would explain why electric charge is quantized. it is not at all diﬃcult to reformulate Maxwell’s equations to include magnetic monopoles. A magnetic domain is a region of a magnetic material in which all the magnetic moments line up and point in a single direction. GUTs often predict that monopoles will be produced at high energies. breaking a symmetry in the theory. A cosmic sting is a very dense. A topological defect is formed during a phase transition in the early Universe. splitting the fundamental quanta of the electroweak theory into the photon and W ± and Z 0 particles. and are unlikely to be experimentally veriﬁed for a very long time. Unfortunately. According to Maxwell’s equations of electrodynamics. then they must be in such small numbers that we never see them. Phase transitions in the early Universe involve the Universe transitioning from one vacuum state into another as it cools. These currents always produce a north and south magnetic pole. Furthermore. if monopoles did exist. In fact. there is never just a magnetic north pole without the corresponding magnetic south pole (and vice-versa). but magnetic ﬁelds come from electric currents. We have quite a list of particles . in fact. electric charges come in single units (called monopoles). rendering them unobserved. experimentally. Maxwell’s equations explicitly forbid any magnetic monopoles. This stems from the tininess of the strings. However. However. leading to a deﬂection of light around the string. zero! However. or so. for example. which would produce an interesting gravitational eﬀect. when the state transforms from one state to another. Phase transitions are familiar from when ice melts into water.large.0. If monopoles do exist in the Universe. which are ∼ 10−33 centimeters. Another example of a topological defect may be found in a ferromagnetic material.” Overall string theory appears very favorable. Dirac originally predicted that.a good theory of the Universe should explain where they came from! 1. Magnetic monopoles and cosmic strings are examples of topological defects. and current observations have found none. A magnetic material is made up of a large 13 . it is likely to be unobserved for a very long time (although there are some indirect observations which would lend credence to string theory). the string has an eﬀect on the surrounding space. but our Universe could be conﬁned to a 3-dimensional slice (or brane) of the extra dimensions. The only reason that they do not include them is because magnetic monopoles have not been found. The actual gravitational attraction of an extended cosmic string is. If string theory is correct. String theory also provides possible answers for some other questions including why the forces appear to be so diﬀerent in scale. one-dimensional string-like object.” (TOE). a more symmetric system has broken down into a less symmetric system via a phase transition. holding out the possibility of being a “Theory of Everything. which is far below current (or even projected) experimental scales. The electroweak theory does the same thing. one can place limits on the number of cosmic strings in the Universe. Einstein’s General Relativity allows for a particular type of object called a cosmic string. like iron. there are many speculative theories of physics which do include magnetic monopoles. which is the so-called “hierarchy problem. under tremendous tension. Because gravitational lensing is seen regularly in astronomical observations.
which we’ve actually discussed already. M ∝ r.” The domain wall is the topological defect. Observations of galaxies have shown some very peculiar behavior. show that the velocity does not fall oﬀ with distance! In fact. in exactly the same way that planets more distant from the Sun move more slowly than those closer to the Sun. In order for the velocity curve to go to a constant at large distances we would need the mass to increase as we move out. i. The antimatter annihilated with the matter. and two-dimensional defects are domain walls. The question of why we see so little antimatter relative to matter is still unanswered. separating one magnetic domain from another. Simply setting the Gravitational force law. FG = GM m/r2 equal to the centripetal force FC = mv 2 /r suggests that the stars should move with speeds v = GM/r. Zero-dimensional topological defects are the magnetic monopoles. leaving only the excess matter particles which then populated the Universe. If we count up the visible stars then the majority of the stars lie near the center of the galaxy. For every billion particles of antimatter produced there were about a billion and one of matter. if they do exist then their numbers should be very small. most of the mass should be concentrated in the center. Thus. we do actually see some antimatter occurring naturally. A good theory of the Universe should not only explain where the good things come from. and each domain is separated from the other domains by a “domain wall. although naturally-occuring antimatter in bulk is rare. Observations have not shown any of these objects. We can explain the diﬀerent speeds by immersing the visible galaxy in a large roughly 14 . but it is thought that the mechanism that produced matter and antimatter in the early Universe produced a very slight excess of matter. Our discussion of the constituents of the Universe actually leaves out two pieces (that we know about) The identity of these pieces are completely unknown. where r is the distance from the center. the outer stars should move at a diﬀerent rate in their orbits than do the stars closer to the center. In other words. One might include antimatter in the list of “bad things” that we don’t see since the Universe seems to have so much more matter than antimatter. but is rather dispersed throughout the galaxy (extending even past the visible stars).” and are dark matter and dark energy. Careful observations. However. the stars further out from the center of the galaxy should move more slowly than do those closer to the center.e. Since gravity gets weaker as we move away from a mass. with the stellar density decreasing as we move outward. So. but GUTs often predict that they should exist. Again. Topological defects formed during phase transitions in the Universe come in several diﬀerent varieties. it is not a “bad” thing.0.. one-dimensional defects are the cosmic strings.6 There Are “Dark” Things. What this suggests is that the matter in a galaxy is not concentrated in the center. Due to the still-mysterious nature of these pieces they are called “dark. the speeds tend to approach a constant value as the radius increases. but they provide very interesting eﬀects which we’ll discuss now. beginning with Zwicky in the 1930s.number of these magnetic domains. and then discuss dark energy in the next section. We’ll start with dark matter. but also why we don’t see any bad things! 1.
We have attributed it to a dark matter particle. becoming instead FG ∼ 1/r at large distances. the dynamics here are well-described by Newtonian gravity. Shouldn’t we have used Einstein’s theory of gravity? For these distance scales. However. the gravitational force on a mass inside a material is diﬀerent from the force from a point mass. to the modiﬁcation of Newtonian gravity on large scales. the gravitational force is proportional to the distance away from the center. but the gases comprising the galaxies interact electromagnetically leading to friction and therefore heating to temperatures 15 . for example. If Newton’s theory of gravity changes from the usual inverse-square law. This discussion on galactic rotation rates relied very heavily on the correctness of Newtonian dynamics at large distance (galactic) scales. As is well-known. and has been considered for some time.spherically-symmetric “cloud” of massive particles. also called a halo. but one might wonder if the dynamics might be due. Figure 8: The Bullet Cluster shows the best evidence for dark matter particles. based on Newton’s theory of gravity. During the collision. A possible modiﬁcation of gravity is called modiﬁed Newtonian dynamics. where “dark” means that it doesn’t interact electromagnetically. or when the gravitational ﬁelds are extremely strong. The Bullet cluster is a system of two colliding clusters of galaxies. most of the stars miss each other. we ﬁnd very diﬀerent behavior for the galaxy rotation rates than we expect. concentrating the particles near the center. it turns out that Newtonian gravity is a good enough approximation such that it is perfectly ﬁne to use it. but then a very interesting observation was made of the Bullet cluster . and so doesn’t emit light. instead. These hypothetical particles are called dark matter. MOND was considered a serious contender to the particle theory of dark matter for quite a while. inside a constant density cloud. then the galactic rotation curves will have the observed behavior. or MOND. as in black holes. General relativity is really only needed on very large distance scales (say megaparsec scales). as seen in Figure 8. In order for the mass to be proportional to distance. the density of these particles needs to fall oﬀ as ρ ∼ r−2 at large distances.
but the more speculative theories (particularly SUSY) provide excellent candidates. It turns out that if the particles interact via the weak force then the dark matter density comes out right. then neutrinos could not help. but are more speculative than even SUSY. as well). this relativistic (hot) component must contribute only a small amount. The gases are comprised of the usual baryonic matter and account for the visible matter in the galaxies. and the Higgs particle. As we will discuss later. Due to the frictional slowing caused by both electromagnetic and gravitational interactions. then we wouldn’t get the observed dark matter density. We thus expect dark matter to be cold. Upon heating the gases emit X-rays. Now. and so the gravitational lensing eﬀect would be centered on the gas. the photon. The lightest superpartner (LSP) is stable. If the dark matter in the early Universe (called primordial dark matter) provided the initial gravitational seeds to form galaxies. leading to the separation of pink and blue. Observationally. It is expected that the dark matter provides the initial seeds for structure (like galaxy) formation in the early Universe. The blue areas show the distribution of mass in the system via gravitational lensing. of ever increasing masses. However. since heavy particles don’t move as fast. and is actually a mixture of the superpartners of the Z boson.of around 107 Kelvins. we expect the dark matter particles to be weakly-interacting massive particles (WIMPS). leading to no separation between the pink and blue areas. If the particles interact either electromagnetically (which is already ruled out since we don’t see any light coming from them). There are no good candidates in the Standard Model of particle physics. weak seems just right. and provides a possible dark matter candidate. and having no lighter superparticles to decay into. 16 . which provided plenty of energy to create particles of every type. According to MOND the hot gas is still the most massive component in the galaxies. While neutrinos might contribute some amount to dark matter. the question is “what is the dark matter particle?” There could be all sorts of different contributions to the extra mass of the galaxies. Some of these particles annihilated or decayed. For example. enforcing the we need for a “dark” particle. predicting the correct relic abundance of dark matter. If the particles only interact gravitationally then the decay rate is far too slow. the Bullet cluster seems to rule out MOND as a viable theory. and so move at highly relativistic speeds which would not allow them to clump together under their mutual gravitation. which are seen as the pink areas of the image (the galaxies are seen optically in the picture. These particles also have the potential to describe dark matter. and so is dark. So. which in fact comprises the majority of matter in the Universe. This means that the dark matter particles will be massive. neutrinos seem to ﬁt the bill. or non-relativistic. neutrinos are nearly massless. and so will tend to clump together gravitationally. and the leftover ones (including dark matter) ﬁlled the Universe. protected by a particular symmetry (called “R”-parity). The most likely superpartner is called the neutralino. χ. Notice that the pink and blue areas overlap only slightly. as well as contributing to anisotropies in the CMB. the very early Universe was extremely hot. If the particles decayed too fast or too slowly. or strongly then the decay rate is too fast. meaning that most of the matter comprising the galaxy is not emitting X-rays. String theory also predicts an inﬁnite number additional particles (called a Kaluza-Klein or KK tower). the baryonic matter moves slightly more slowly than the non-baryonic matter which interacts only gravitationally at these large distance scales. since they don’t interact electromagnetically.
Hubble was the ﬁrst to note this relationship. which has since been called Hubble’s law. while others drift apart. There is a very clear dependence of velocity on distance. we know what sort of light we should expect to see. we see a blanket of stars which seems unchanging. We’ll return to this discussion below. overall. The stars wouldn’t collapse towards the center of mass. we see that observations require the existence of a brand new particle. However. If the Universe was inﬁnite and uniformly distributed with stars.0. then it could form a static gravitational system. then any line of sight should end on a star. and Figure 9 shows his plot of recessional velocity of the galaxy. The explanation for this may be found in the familiar Doppler eﬀect: we know that light emitted from a source moving away from us has its wavelength stretched out. One possible way out of Olber’s paradox is that the stars turned on at some point in the past. Since the stars in these galaxies are the same. versus the distance to that galaxy. 1. This means that the distant galaxies are moving away from us! This discovery was made by Hubble in the 1920’s. Therefore the night sky should be as bright as the daytime sky. However. leading to a redshift. this actually leads to several apparent problems. Any slight perturbation of the stars. leading to a blueshift. This causes some stars to collapse together. and this is the case. 17 . the light from the most distant galaxies is redder than we should expect. to which we now turn. This leads to a runaway gravitational collapse which would eventually lead to a sky devoid of any stars at all. Among the ﬁrst to be thought up.7 The Universe is Expanding! Looking out at the night sky. this is not the only unexpected observation that has been found. The answer of whether the Universe is static or evolving was ﬁnally answered only near the start of the 20th century. and was done by observing the light from distant galaxies. The dust would absorb the starlight and heat up. pushing two any closer to each other by even a small amount would lead to a gravitational instability. but this doesn’t solve the problem. this system is extremely unstable. in megaparsecs . upon looking at this light we see that it is not quite right. so far undiscovered by experiment. like a pencil balanced on the tip. leading to a single area of greater mass. as the stars in our own. Observations in the early 20th century found that distant galaxies are moving away from us with a speed depending on their distance. but it turns out that there is an even bigger problem. This led to a fundamental understanding that the Universe is expanding. suggesting that it has a ﬁnite lifetime. eventually reaching the same temperature as the star and re-radiating the light to us. Olber suggested that if the Universe was inﬁnite and uniformly distributed with stars.So. save perhaps for large collections of them in individual areas. leading to a linear relationship. known as Olber’s paradaox. moving together. v ∝ d. since there would be no center of mass to collapse to! However. This surprising observation was compounded in the late 20th century with the additional observation that the rate of the expansion is actually accelerating! Physics is now faced with the non-trivial task of explaining where this acceleration is coming from and leads to the idea of dark energy. However. asks why the night sky is dark. The two stars would attract. A source which is moving towards us would have it’s wavelength compressed. One might think that the starlight could be absorbed by intervening dust and gas. and it would be natural to expect that the Universe has always been as we see it.
At this point. it’s enough to realize that the Universe is expanding. counteracting the collapse. Figure 9: Hubble found that the Universe was expanding. The core then begins to gravitationally collapse forming neutrons. as seen here in his original plot from 1929.We’ll discuss Hubble’s law in detail later. Once iron forms in the core. occurring when the mass reaches the Chandrasekhar limit. Einstein originally believed the Universe to be static. which then resist further compression via neutron degeneracy pressure. for example) to blow away the outer layers of the white dwarf in a tremendous explosion (which. Type Ia supernovae occur in binary star systems where a white dwarf accretes material from a nearby red giant star. 7]. When Hubble discovered the expanding Universe. This resistance leads to a rebound eﬀect. blows the companion red giant star away). The gravitational collapse raises the temperature of the white dwarf fusing heavier elements in the core until iron is reached. Einstein no longer saw a need for the new term and banished the cosmological constant from his equations.4 solar masses. the white dwarf can no longer support itself via electron degeneracy pressure (an eﬀect of the Pauli exclusion principle) against gravity and it begins to collapse. but he knew of the problems with stability. when he applied his theory of gravity to the Universe. calling it his “biggest blunder. By a process that is still not completely understood. in some cases. The mass of the white dwarf increases until it reaches about 1. this term was believed to be zero. but everything changed in 1998 when two teams of astronomers looked at distant type Ia supernovae [6. called the Chandrasekhar limit. creating an outward shockwave.” For the better part of a century. This intrinsic luminosity 18 . he tried to add an additional constant term to his equations that could provide a repulsive force. it takes more energy to fuse it than is released in the fusion process. for now. the explosion has a characteristic power released (called the luminosity). Therefore. which waxes and wanes in a predictable manner. For a brief while the supernova explosion is brighter than all the rest of the stars in the galaxy combined (see Figure 10)! Because the mechanism of type Ia supernova is so regular. this shockwave acts with other processes (involving neutrinos.
If the expansion rate is slowing down due to mutual gravitational attraction. just as is the light from distant galaxies. then the light that we see should be brighter than we should expect based on the redshift. The wavelength of the light is stretched out on it’s way to us by the Universal expansion. the brightness that we see depends on the distance that the supernova is now. If gravity is slowing down the expansion. which we can also use as a method for determining distance. in which the distance can be inferred from measurements of the brightness are called standard candles. outshining all the rest of the stars in the galaxy. This is because the light was emitted from the supernova at some point in the past. required from conservation of energy). just as gravity slows the rise of a ball thrown in to the air. The teams set out to measure that rate of slowing. is a single star going supernova! leads to a speciﬁc brightness (apparent magnitude) at a speciﬁc distance. The very bright spot. then the supernova would appear to be moving faster. light from distant supernovae should be redshifted. Because the Universe is expanding. In 1998 two teams of astronomers looked at dozens of type Ia supernovae. and depends on the speed that the supernova had when the light was emitted (i. because the light is spread out over a spherical surface area (this is just the ﬂux law.e. and it is expected that gravity should be slowing that expansion rate. and are among the most important distance measurement techniques in astronomy. based on the redshift. and we would expect that the distance to them is smaller than it would be if 19 . They knew that the Universe is expanding. then we can determine the distance. So. falling oﬀ inversely as the square of the distance to the supernova. the speed of the expansion in the past). Objects of this type. if we measure the distance to the supernova..Figure 10: Hubble Space Telescope Image of Supernova 1994D in Galaxy NGC 4526 . However.
However. The currently prevailing theory. but only an eﬀective theory. with the contributions from all the particles being canceled by contributions from their superpartners. in fact. This means that our theory is no longer fundamental. 1 ω. accelerating the Universe’s expansion. the identity of dark energy is still completely unknown. This diﬀerence in brightness is exactly what the two teams set out to measure. 20 . “what is it?” This unknown “whatever-it-is” has been called Dark Energy. The vacuum energy obtained upon the breaking of SUSY then looks to be again inﬁnite. The inﬁnite vacuum energy sets the background. against which all other energies are measured. The question now is. While there are many theories. which says that you can’t know the exact energy of a system to arbitrary accuracy. Since only the diﬀerences are important. A familiar example of this is Special Relativity reducing to Newton’s laws at low speeds. the Universe is expanding faster today than it was yesterday! This is completely contrary to the expected result. and so anything with energy gravitates. One might suggest that we don’t get contributions to the vacuum energy from all of the frequencies. then the supernova would be brighter than expected. if we use the distance given by the redshift. and so it is a broken symmetry. so too is the case here. subtracting away the inﬁnite contribution. This means that the inﬁnte background should create an inﬁnite gravitational eﬀect! There are artiﬁcial ways out of this problem. When the astronomers actually made the measurements. which are most familiar in the quantum mechanical harmonic oscillator. So. The Cosmological Constant (CC) ﬁts the bill. the inﬁnite eﬀect becomes ﬁnite. Each oscillator carries a zero-point energy. Above the cutoﬀ scale. is that dark energy could be Einstein’s old nemesis. In this case. Einstein tells us that mass and energy are equivalent. however. Furthermore. giving a repulsive force acting on megaparsec scales. dimmer than they were expecting! This implies that the Universal expansion rate is speeding up. However. but this is only a name for our ignorance. Typically this is not actually a problem. Adding the contributions from all the diﬀerent frequencies gives an inﬁnite energy. but fails above it. it means that there must be some sort of agent. which can be dealt with. For example. in exact supersymmetry one ﬁnds that the total vacuum energy is precisely zero. The problem with this idea is that the natural cutoﬀ is of the order of the Planck energy. it also has a very straightforward interpretation coming from quantum mechanics: it is the energy of the vacuum! Remember the uncertainty principle. This uncertainty leads to ﬂuctuations in the energy about it’s ground state (called zero-point ﬂuctuations). resisting the gravitational collapse. we don’t see SUSY at everyday energies. if the Universe is slowing down it’s rate of expansion. which works well below the cutoﬀ scale. one can rescale the energy. one ﬁnds a problem when applying this idea to gravitation. since the distance is smaller than we would expect based on the redshift. which contributes to the overall energy of the 2 system. they found that the supernovae were. So. one needs the truly fundamental (but unknown) theory (often called the UV completion of the theory) to which the eﬀective theory is only an approximation. the Cosmological Constant. beyond which our theory breaks down. just as only diﬀerences in potential energy is physically relevant. but rather only up to a certain cutoﬀ frequency. the supernova would look brighter than we would expect.the rate was constant. which will then give a vacuum energy.
i. as we will see. or dark energy) dominates. We’ve already seen that there is far more dark matter than baryonic matter. If the density is too small. leading to an open Universe. then it just barely escapes with no extra speed. and so the dark matter density will contribute more. the Universe is spatially ﬂat. telling us that the density is extremely close to critical. and has been called the “Biggest Mystery in Physics. in analogy with a closed Universe. it is zero for 120 decimal places. This completes the mosaic of the Universe. as in the critical (ﬂat) Universe case. and about 73% dark energy. However. 21 . This ﬂatness tells us something about the density of the Universe. and so we expect that the dark energy density will also be important. If the density is critical (just right). Since the total density is determined by the densities of the individual components (ordinary or baryonic matter. When the projectile is ﬁred at escape velocity.or about 1018 GeV. then the Universe expands forever. and not precisely zero (as would be the case with unbroken SUSY). the observational properties of the Universal expansion are a subject of great theoretical interest. We now know that the Universe is made up of about 4% baryonic material. dark matter. but instead the tiny value that it is. If the initial velocity is too small then the object is pulled back to Earth. but asymptoting to a ﬁnite acceleration. then the CC takes over and blows the Universe apart at an ever-increasing rate. taking the same value everywhere in the Universe. As has already been discussed..e.” Why is the CC so small? It is the job of modern theoretical physics to answer why the CC is not inﬁnite (as predicted by quantum mechanics). the majority of the Universe is not only dark.the Universe is closed. regardless of the small Cosmological Constant . If the density was too large. then the Universe would recollapse at some point due to mutual gravitational attraction. the densities must add up to critical. The ﬂatness places constraints on the total density of the Universe. One particular area of interest regarding the Cosmological Constant asks “is it really a constant?” The simplest description of dark energy is a constant vacuum energy. one ﬁnds that the observed value of the CC is ∼ 10−120 of the theoretical result. for example a slowly-varying scalar ﬁeld can approximate the eﬀect of a CC to arbitrary accuracy. on large scales the dark energy is the important part. as in an open Universe. but completely unknown as well! As we will see later. Finally. which gives a CC so large that the Universe would immediately have blown itself apart! Upon performing this straightforward calculation. then one can rule out a CC. changes as the Universe evolves. If it is found that the rate of acceleration changes with time. which component of the Universe (matter. Because dark energy is so completely unknown. 23% dark matter. Observations from the redshift of supernovae have placed fairly precise values on each of these densities. If the initial velocity is larger than escape. then the projectile escapes with extra velocity. and dark energy). and describes the subsequent evolution. and then nonzero! This wildly diﬀering expanse between theory and experiment is called the Cosmological Constant Problem. with dark energy becoming important only at late times. This behavior is analogous to the escape velocity of a projectile. and proceed to even more interesting explanations. there are other objects that can mimic a CC.
The matter and antimatter annihilated. The initial energy of the Big Bang was extremely high (eﬀectively inﬁnite). Much later. This explosion has been called the Big Bang. because the initial energy of the explosion was so great.73 Kelvin background temperature of space as expansive cooling. a million years ago. which then combined into mostly hydrogen. such as photons. carried along by the energy of the explosion. Just as a cloud is opaque. these primordial elements collapsed gravitationally into stars. at all. to what we see in the sky. but also impossible under the standard picture of Universal expansion. The Big Bang model provides an excellent explanation for the Universe. At ﬁrst glance. Further back and all the stars would have been in the same place. in exactly the same way as a cloud scatters the light. Furthermore. This means that the galaxies were closer to us yesterday than they are today. This 22 . lighter constituents were formed. so too was the early Universe! About 379. As we will see. We are thus led to believe that the entire Universe exploded from a single point! The Universe has been expanding ever since. plus a smaller amount of helium via primordial nucleosynthesis. It explains why the galaxies are ﬂying apart. still. The Universe became transparent to visible light. Just as a gas-ﬁlled piston cools down as the volume is increased. The tiny Universe was ﬁlled with charged particles that scattered photons back and forth between them. we’re still not done. we can also explain the cosmic microwave background (CMB). neutrinos and quark-antiquark pairs (the pairs being required to conserve charge). We will return to these problems after we get an idea of where the Universe came from. it turns out that some of the conditions are not only unlikely. while the rest of it goes into the creation of matter (via E = mc2 ).000 years after the Big Bang. even though the majority of it is completely unknown. and since temperature is just a measure of the energy of a system. generic initial conditions do not lead. the attempt to answer this question leads to some new questions. At ﬁrst. it would appear that the Universe could only have evolved from a very ﬁnely-tuned beginning. 2. which we’ll discuss later. and some of this energy went into the expansion. so too does the Universe. Keep rolling the ﬁlm backwards and everything would have been at the same point.7 billion years. and closer. It also explains where all the “stuﬀ” in the Universe came from. we can even understand the 2.1 The Big Bang We’ve seen that the Universe is expanding. Let’s run the expansion backwards as far back as we can. leaving a slight excess of matter populating the early Universe. Right after the Big Bang. the density dropped enough such that the photons don’t easily ﬁnd a charged particle to scatter oﬀ of and they start freestreaming (this is the same reason why a cloud has a visible edge). and the CMB photons have been traveling to us ever since. Tracing the expansion of the Universe back places a lifetime of roughly 13.2 How Did It Get That Way? We now have a very good picture of the Universe. Furthermore. the density of the Universe was extremely high. Diﬀerent quarks paired up into protons and neutrons. But. distant galaxies are ﬂying away from us with a speed proportional to their distance away. Eventually all of the galaxies would have been on top of each other. We now need to consider what this picture tells us about the evolution of the Universe and how it came to be in such a state.
The CMB is the farthest back in time that we can see optically. The background energy is about 1018 GeV. but these other models have not found wide support. Topological defects (like cosmic strings) may be produced in this breaking. they started freestreaming much earlier than the photons. listing the times. We can actually trace the history of the Universe back to very early times based on the known laws of nuclear and high-energy physics. such as a “steady state” model harkening back to the static Universe idea. Let’s look at some diﬀerent important times in the history of the Universe. here. but they have not been detected. This is the Big Bang singularity. The energy has dropped to 1016 GeV. the origin of everything! The entire Universe is crammed down into a single point of eﬀectively inﬁnite density. giving a temperature of about T 1031 K. If the four forces are uniﬁed as a single force. while the temperatures drop from T ∼ 1029 to T ∼ 1017 K. and temperatures in these eras. but because neutrinos interact weakly. but the diﬃculty in detecting neutrinos has so far rendered this intractable (in fact. then it is at this point that gravity breaks away. This is the Planck era. The ambient temperature of the Universe needs to fall to such levels that quarks can form into nucleons. and are now in the microwave range. the energies drop from 1016 GeV to 104 GeV. but if string theory is true then string interactions should be important. We can see that the Big Bang model seems to work very well. There is the hope that neutrino astronomy could allow us to see further back.” The photons were initially very high-energy. energies. leaving the other three forces as a Grand Uniﬁed Theory (GUT). and so on. nucleons and electrons can form into atoms. with a temperature of T ∼ 1029 K. yet). • t ∼ 10−36 seconds. • t = 0 seconds. This era is completely beyond the known laws of physics! • t 10−43 seconds. 3 A Short History of the Universe. This era is still resides in the realm of speculative theories of physics. but have had their wavelengths stretched by the Universal expansion. Later. since an energy of 1 electron volt corresponds to roughly 12000 Kelvins. • In the range of 10−35 t 10−14 seconds. This entire range 23 . we will see that we get precision agreement with cosmological data using the Big Bang model. where the strong force decouples from the electroweak force. where the (unknown) laws of quantum gravity become important. This gives us an idea of the background energies and. augmented with the inﬂationary ideas. The temperatures and energies are also eﬀectively inﬁnite. gravitational waves would elucidate still earlier times.is why the CMB has been called the “afterglow of the Big Bang. There have been other attempted explanations from time to time. let’s look at the evolution in a little more detail. It is thought that this could be the GUT scale. temperatures which can be then linked to the time since the Big Bang. Now that we have a good basic idea of the evolution of the Universe. This era is still completely unknown.
leading to the slight excess of baryons after the particleantiparticle annihilation. which means the electron-positron pairs are not replenished when they annihilate. and form a very important check on the Big Bang theory. At these energies the nuclear reactions become important and protons and neutrons can form larger nuclei. the electric and weak forces are still uniﬁed as the electroweak theory. then it is very likely to be broken during these times.5 MeV. and below these energies the electroweak force has split into electromagnetism and the weak force. The energy is now about 0. occurs during this time (perhaps at around t ∼ 10−34 seconds).1 seconds. The observations of the abundances of primordial elements are in very good agreement with theoretical predictions. the very slight excess of electrons over positrons leads to a slight excess of electrons. which is below the temperature of the sun. or one TeV. The temperatures are still far too high to allow the free electrons to merge with the nuclei to form neutral atoms. • In the range 0. • Now we skip ahead to t ∼ 104 years. Furthermore. • t ∼ 10−5 seconds. which then ﬁx the relative numbers of protons and neutrons. The investigation of inﬂation will form the majority of our work. and the temperatures are about T ∼ 1012 K.01 t 0. The tiny baryon-antibaryon asymmetry now comes into eﬀect. • t ∼ 10−10 seconds. It is also expected that a period of accelerated expansion. the processes that keep the number of protons and neutrons in equilibrium also fall out of equilibrium. Helium and other lighter elements are formed during this Big Bang Nucleosynthesis (BBN). The relative abundances of the primordial elements are determined by these relative numbers of nucleons. and so neutrinos start to freestream. • We ﬁnally reach t ∼ 1 second. If supersymmetry (SUSY) exists. The energy is now low enough that baryon-antibaryon pairs no longer form (allowing net annihilation of the pairs). The temperature is now T ∼ 1010 K. In this region. The background quark-gluon plasma has cooled down enough for them to form baryons (such as protons and neutrons) and mesons (quark-antiquark pairs) in a way that is still not completely understood.01 MeV. and the temperature is now T ∼ 108 K. SUSY has broken. the energy drops from roughly 10 to 1 MeV. Once again. The energy is now at about 1 eV. called inﬂation. and the temperature is T ∼ 104 K. The energy density has dropped below the rest mass of the electron. and the temperatures have fallen to T ∼ 1016 K. and the temperature has fallen to T ∼ 109 K. In this range the weak interactions fall out of equilibrium since particles are getting further apart. This range is right at the edge of current accelerators. The energy has dropped to 103 GeV.is still outside of the reach of current particle accelerators (although the lower limit is just reachable at the LHC). however. However. The energy is now at about 100 MeV. still too high for neutral 24 . but there are processes that keep the number of protons and neutrons in roughly equilibrium. the temperatures are still too high for the nucleons to bond to form any more complicated nuclei (like helium). • At t ∼ 200 seconds the energy has dropped to about 0.
oﬀering us a very nice picture of the Universe and it’s evolution. The tiny density ﬂuctuations leave their imprints in the CMB and are seen as the temperature ﬂuctuations in Figure 3. or roughly the melting point of lead. and so our understanding will have to come from clues in the astronomical observations. • Skipping ahead again to t ∼ 108 years. going even further back towards the initial singularity stretches our understanding of the laws of physics past its breaking point. Extending the time back to t ∼ 10−35 seconds relies on much more speculative theories. photons don’t scatter as readily. some problems creep into the theory which aren’t addressed in the standard Big Bang picture.atoms to form. giving rise to a very pretty blue-green planet called Earth.73 × 109 years. Direct experimental evidence of the physics at these energies is not coming from particle accelerators any time soon. We’ve reached today! Based on this timeline. the energy has now dropped to about 10−2 eV. The Universe becomes transparent to radiation. in particular. but only very speciﬁc ones. the energy has fallen to energy ∼ 0. the energy is now ∼ 10−3 eV. However.” • At at time t ∼ 105 years. This era also includes the inﬂationary regime that will occupy most of our time in later chapters. 4 The Big Bang Isn’t Perfect! The Big Bang picture seems remarkably good at ﬁrst glance. overall. the background energy is on the meV scales. and the temperature has fallen to T ∼ 5 K. based on experimentally-conﬁrmed and well-known laws of high-energy physics. and the temperature to T ∼ 103 K. • At t ∼ 109 years. upon closer examination we ﬁnd that the Big Bang model doesn’t quite explain everything satisfactorily. to being dominated by matter. This begins the formation of large-scale structure.1 eV. • At t ≈ 13. and begin to freestream. The temperature is T ∼ 50 K.725 Kelvins. we see that we can understand the Universe all the way back to t ∼ 10−10 seconds after the Big Bang. eﬀects from the unknown quantum theory of gravity should not be important. Now that the Universe is neutral. By this time the tiny density perturbations in the early Universe (as seen in the CMB) have provided the initial gravitational seeds to allow for the stars to form galaxies. But now let’s look a bit closer. However. To 25 . which is below room temperature. This is also the era in which the evolution of the Universe changes from being dominated by radiation (photons and neutrinos). It is clear. Our solar system forms. The temperature has fallen so that the free electrons can join with the free nuclei to form neutral atoms in a process called recombination (which isn’t the best term. that we seem to have a pretty good picture of the evolution of the Universe. It looks as though the Universe as we see it today could not arise from generic initial conditions. however. leading to the cosmic microwave background (CMB). and the temperature has dropped to about 2. but we don’t expect there to be any big surprises. since the particles were never combined in the ﬁrst place). This era is called “matter-radiation equality.
the Universe is spatially ﬂat. The most obvious problem associated with the Big Bang is that of the initial singularity that gave rise to the Big Bang in the ﬁrst place. then it remains so forever. so that it looks ﬂat now? Unfortunately. the question now becomes “why does the Universe start out so ﬂat?” The small Cosmological Constant doesn’t help here. and could have led to a large spatial curvature.1. but this will not be clear until we have that complete theory. in the early Universe.1. Why is the Universe so old? 4. as it expanded diﬀerent parts of the Universe moved away from each other. But.3 Horizon Problem.1 4.725 K throughout the sky is remarkably uniform. if the Universe expands dominated by either matter or radiation then it actually evolves away from ﬂatness as time goes on. since it’s contribution is subdominant to matter. the solution to this problem is still unknown. this explanation is problematic. So far.answer these problems we will need to expand the Big Band theory to include an era of not just Universal expansion. We will see later that. Could the Universe have started out with a spatial curvature. although there have been suggestions as to how to think about the Big Bang.” or what caused it to “bang. the deviations from this average are of order δT /T ∼ 10−5 . in particular it should have started oﬀ extremely close to ﬂatness in the instants after the Big Bang. We say that they have fallen out of causal contact with each other. If this is the case. and especially radiation. One might ask.1 Problems Associated With the Big Bang Initial Singularity. if the Universe started out exactly ﬂat. all we can do is calculate what happens at subsequent times.” All the known laws of physics break down at the instant of creation. but evolved to ﬂatness as it expands. 4. but accelerated expansion. eventually moving so far apart that they could not communicate with each other via exchanging light signals (they are separated by horizons). The ﬂatness problem is sometimes phrased as an age problem since the spatial curvature is tied to the fate of the Universe. The theory does not address what it was that “banged. why does it have to be so ﬂat? The initial singularity had tremendous energy. This means that the the Universe should be ﬂatter in the past than it is now.1. then why should they cool oﬀ in exactly the same way? The maximum angular separation between two points on the CMB turns out to be less than 2 degrees. Consider again the cosmic microwave background (CMB) seen in the whole-sky map in Figure 3. But. The temperature of 2. This poses a very serious problem.2 Flatness Problem. Let’s look at some of these problems in a bit more detail. 4. which leads to some 1084 causally disconnected regions just in 26 . “why are distant parts of space so uniform?” The Universe started out very hot and cooled as it expanded. It is hoped that a complete theory of quantum gravity would solve at least some of the problems with the initial singularity. As we have discussed. So.
the inhomogeneity problem may only be a technical problem. For example. This means that they could evolve in the same way. by what means did two points at diﬀerent ends of the Universe come to thermal equilibrium? 4. But such an eﬀect has never been seen. the Universe is actually pushed towards ﬂatness. This is precisely what the inﬂationary theory does. but rather tweak it a little bit. we have a real paradox. then regions that originally started oﬀ in causal contact are blown up.the ﬁrst instant of time! So. One needs to ﬁgure out a way of arranging for the initial density of the Universe to be extremely uniform. communication. Turning to the horizon problem. if the Universe started out from a tiny region. there is no reason why it should not be so. in general. So. the expansion of the Universe suggests a ﬁnite lifetime. and so there hasn’t been enough time to reach thermal equilibrium. while at the same time ﬁxing up the shortcomings. Because no information can travel faster than light. how does one arrange at the same time for the small deviations from homogeneity? These deviations provide the initial seeds for galaxy formation. and is forbidden by Einstein’s theory. During this inﬂationary period. and depends on whether one believes that the initial conditions of the Universe should be contained in the theory describing it. Furthermore. If the Universe had existed forever. Here we can’t appeal to some special initial conditions to provide the answer. then it would have an inﬁnite amount of time to thermalize. An additional problem has to do with the origin of structure. The inhomogeneities in the tiny region are pushed out of the observable 27 . although the Big Bang seems to be successful in predicting the properties of the observable Universe. But then. This may not be that diﬃcult. We want to save the virtues of the Big Bang theory. We don’t want to throw out the theory. the Universe could simply have started out ﬂat from the beginning by some unknown (but not unknowable) means. we have some hope in this problem. addressing the horizon problem.4 Initial Inhomogeneities. however. The severity of these problems actually varies. either. irrespective of the initial spatial curvature. Inﬂation says that the Universe arose from a tiny region of space which expanded superluminally (inﬂated) to vast scales. it seems impossible that distant points of the Universe should be similar to such an exacting extent. While it is not ideal to be ignorant of the reason for ﬂatness. As we will see. one “simply” needs to explain why this overall average deviates.2 How To Fix Up The Problems? We can see that there are quite a few problems associated with the Big Bang theory. Similarly. Already. since perfect homogeneity would form no overdense regions to initiate gravitational collapse. The solution might seem to require some acausal. we do ﬁnd a genuine problem. But. as is required by the CMB (the horizon problem). quantum ﬂuctuations may provide the answer acting as small perturbations about the background. 4. the ﬂatness problem is not a problem in the strictest sense.1. faster-than-light. Once the average homogeneity is explained. it is not without its faults.
Riess et al. Perlmutter et al.nasa. Hubble. Sci. Acad. “A relation between distance and radial velocity among extra–galactic nebulae.” Proc.  A.” Astron.jpg.  S.org/.nasa. [Supernova Cosmology Project Collaboration].Universe.  E.sdss. “Observational Evidence from Supernovae for an Accelerating Universe and a Cosmological Constant. 28 .edu/photo/2006/1e0657/.gov/topics/ universe/features/wmap_five. http://chandra. References  The Hubble Ultra Deep image can be found on NASA’s website. //www. 168 (1929).spacetelescope. http://www. Now that we’ve had a nice tour of the Universe. We will spend most of the rest of our time ﬂeshing out this basic description of the Universe.  The Supernova image can be found on the European Homepage for the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope website. 517.html. 1009 (1998) [arXiv:astro-ph/9805201]. [Supernova Search Team Collaboration].  The Bullet Cluster image can be found on the Chandra X-Ray Observatory website. http://www. J. 15.org/images/html/ opo9919i. J. http:  The Sloan Digital Sky Survey Galaxy Map image can be found on the SDSS site. while tiny quantum ﬂuctuations are blown up to the huge scales providing the density perturbations. G.html. It is to this quantitative picture that we now turn. http://www. Nat. The previous discussion of inﬂation has been very quick and at a completely qualitative level. Astrophys.harvard. 116. we need to get more quantitative to understand it. leading to an overall homogenous Universe. 565 (1999) [arXiv:astro-ph/9812133]. as has the rest of this chapter.gov/images/content/56539main_closer.  The WMAP image can be found on NASA’s website.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.