We hear so much about the Big Bang in astronomy and astrophysics nowadays that we all have a minimum idea about what the theory claims. All matter, time and space were once cramped into a singularity smaller than the tip of a needle. For apparently no reason, the singularity violently erupted, making all its material to engage into an everlasting expansion.
Most astronomers rely on the Big Bang theory as an explanation for how the Universe was born. Einstein’s general relativity, the permanent expansion of space, as well as the cosmic microwave background radiation are all considered solid proof that the theory is correct. But there are still some shortcomings, whether scientists admit it or not. What existed before the Big Bang? Where did the singularity get that much matter? How did the laws of physics were born? These are only three of many other questions that don’t seem to have a compelling answer.
Nobel Laureate comes to shed some light on the mystery
Phillip James Edwin Peebles (more known as Jim Peebles) is one of the world’s leading theoretical cosmologists and a Nobel Laureate. During an exclusive e-mail interview for The Business Standard, Peebles spoke about the Big Bang and other aspects of cosmology. Although the great scientist doesn’t deny the veridicality of the famous theory, he says the following:
Incidentally, the name big bang is misleading because it connotes an event in space time. The theory describes the close to homogenous evolution of the universe from very large densities and temperatures. But the name seems fixed so I use it.
He continued by saying:
And I might add that there are ideas about what the universe was doing before it was expanding, as inflation, but we have little in the way of tests.
Jim Peebles had major theoretical contributions in topics like dark matter, the cosmic microwave background, primordial nucleosynthesis, and structure formation. The scientist was also awarded half of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2019 for theoretical discoveries in cosmology.