According to the definition given by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, or NASA, the universe is a system consisting of all matter and energy, as well as all of the contents of space as a whole. (Dunbar, Canright) The birth of the universe resulted in the creation of all of the things that we know today, yet, its true origin is unknown.
I know what you’re thinking. “If the origin of the universe is unknown, then how do we know how the universe began”? Well, this question has baffled scientists for decades. No exact answer has been discovered which could put this highly debated topic to rest; however, scientists have come up with numerous theories over the years which have attempted to explain just how it all began. The most popular of all the theories, the Big Bang Theory, has been widely accepted and believed to be the true origin of the universe for decades. The Big Bang Theory manages to explain the origin of the universe, how the universe has evolved and what the universe is destined to be.
I’ll bet that you’ve been hearing about the Big Bang Theory since you were in kindergarten, but you still don’t understand what all of the fuss is about! In short, the Big Bang Theory is a hypothesis which speculated that the universe was created by an explosion, or a “big bang”.
The basis of the Big Bang Theory was first proposed by the curious Belgian priest and astronomer, Georges Lemaitre. In 1927, Lemaitre discovered that the other galaxies in our universe were moving away from us. Lemaitre published his findings in the Annals of the Scientific Society of Brussels. However, Lemaitre’s findings were published in French and wouldn’t be translated to English until 1931. (Taylor-Redd) In 1929, American astronomer, Edwin Hubble, also discovered that other galaxies were moving away from our own. Because Lemaitre’s publication wasn’t released in English until 1931 and because Lemaitre omitted his findings from the English translation of his publication, Edwin Hubble is often credited with this discovery. Yet, it wasn’t until 1948 that the Big Bang Theory was truly born. Scientist George Gamow theorized that the universe may have originated from an explosion based off of his findings of the chemical elements which existed in our universe. Gamow, along with Ralph Alpher, published “The Origin of Chemical Elements,” to support his theory. In 1964, Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson further confirmed the Big Bang Theory when they discovered an afterglow speculated to be left over from the Big Bang; and in 1991, NASA’s COBE spacecraft captured images of this afterglow which confirmed the Big Bang Theory even more. But this isn’t all, the Big Bang Theory continues to be supported and confirmed by scientists to this very day.
Today, much is still unknown about our universe due to its vastness. Scientists have yet to calculate exactly how big the universe is, but it is speculated that majority of it has yet to be discovered. Yet, some of the universe’s...