2015 / Gerco Onderwater
CosmologyParticle physics : understand nature at the smallest scale
needs special relativity and quantum mechanics
Cosmology : understand nature at the largest scale (universe) needs general relativity
Both have a very successful Standard Model
In recent years, more and more links
Beginning of timeMerger of - special relativity : c = 3108 m/s- quantum mechanics : = 110-34 m2kg/s- general relativity : G = 710-11 m3/kg/s2
Can we form a time from c, and G?And a length, mass and temperature?
=51044 s l p=c t p=(Gc3
M p=( cG
=2108 kgT p=( c5
CERNs outreach postersStandard Model of Cosmology
At the instant of the Big Bang, all the matter in the Universe was condensed into a single point*. Other than that, we know nothing about what went on in the first instants of the Universe's existence. But by looking far out into today's Universe and peering deeply into the world of fundamental particles, scientists have managed to piece together the evolution of the universe from the inconceivably short time of just 10-43 seconds after the Big Bang.
The father of the Big Bang was the Belgian Jesuit priest Lematre, who found in 1927 a solution in which the Universe starts out with a Big Bang, as it was later called
*The Big Bang theory is a cosmological model, developed in the 20th century, based on the 1916 theory of General Relativity applied to the Universe, and motivated by the observation of the expansion of the Universe by Hubble
The very beginning ...
The spectral lines of a moving star or galaxy are Doppler-shifted by =obslabRedshift is z=/lab and thus the velocity is v=cz
Hubble used the new Mt. Wilson telescope to observe variable stars in the nearby nebula Andromeda. He realized that the fuzzy patches called nebulae were actually distant galaxies, outside of our own Milky Way.
This implies a uniform and homogeneous expansion of the Universe with time!
Discovery of the expanding universe
From his data, Hubble deduced the relation:v = H0d = cz
v = velocity from spectral line measurement d = distance to object H0 = Hubble constant in km s-1 Mpc-1 z = the redshift
At that point in time, things were happening very fast. When the Universe was 10-43 seconds old Nature's forces were indistinguishable*. Particles of matter and antimatter (the white circles in the picture) existed in equal portions. They were constantly annihilating to produce radiation, represented by red spirals, and being recreated from that radiation. Matter was compressed so densely that even light could not travel far and the Universe was opaque. Just before this time physicists think that Universe expanded at a dizzying rate. This period of so-called Cosmic Inflation** is necessary in the Big Bang theory to explain the large scale uniformity of the Universe today.
*This is the (unproven) hypothesis of the existence of a Grand Unified Theory of particle physics.
** This (unproven) theory of inflationis due to Alan Guth (1981).
During the next phase of the Universe's existence, up to around 10 -34 seconds after the Big Bang, the strong force that binds particles called quarks together into protons and neutrons became distinct from the electromagnetic and weak forces which remained indistinguishable. Protons and neutrons did not start to form, however, because any groupings of quarks were rapidly broken up by the high-energy radiation that still pervaded the Universe. Matter was a sort of high-density cosmic soup * called the quark-gluon plasma . The carriers of the weak force, W and Z particles, were as abundant as photons and they behaved in the same way.To understand fully this phase of the Universe's existence, physicists try to recreate the quark-gluon plasma in the laboratory, for instance at Brookhaven's Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC)
* The strong interaction between quarks & gluons has some very curious properties:
- at short distances quarks & gluons do not interact; this is the famous asymptotic freedom- quarks and gluons are confined (locked up) in protons, neutrons and other nuclear particles
Collision @ RHIC
Also around this time a tiny excess of matter over antimatter , just one matter particle surviving for every thousand million particles to annihilate with antimatter, began to develop. It is these survivors that make up our Universe today*. The precise mechanism that has allowed some matter to survive is poorly measured up to now, but it is another phenomenon that will be studied in depth at the LHC and elsewhere.
* This profound idea of baryogenesis is due to Andrej Sakharov
Between 10 -34 seconds to 10 -10 seconds the electromagnetic and weak forces separated*. There was no longer enough energy to produce W and Z particles and those that had already been made decayed away. The energy of the radiation had also fallen sufficiently to allow protons (red) and neutrons (green) to form ** as well as short-lived particles, called mesons, made of a quark and an antiquark (blue).Antimatter started to disappear because when quarks annihilated with antiquarks there was no longer enough energy in the radiation to recreate them.Particle physics experiments have begun to probe back in time as far as this by crashing particles together with enough energy to recreate the conditions of the early Universe at laboratories like CERN.
*According to the unified electroweak theory, formulated by Glashow, Weinberg & Salam, and proven consistent by t Hooft & Veltman.
**The proof of this quark confinement in QCD is still lacking (prize: M 1,-)
Up to about 10 -5 seconds proton and neutron building continued. The remaining antimatter, in the form of positrons, disappeared as the radiation energy density dropped below that necessary to create electron-positron pairs. With no antimatter left in the Universe other than a few particles locked up inside mesons, all that is left is the one-in-a-thousand-million matter particles* resulting from Nature's apparent preference for matter.
*The Standard Model of particle physics fails to explain this: it does not have enough breaking of a mirror symmetry called CP-invariance.
After that, things really started to slow down. Up to around three minutes * protons and neutrons started to combine to produce light atomic nuclei . Only deuterium (heavy hydrogen), helium and a tiny amount of lithium were made. The Universe was like a giant thermonuclear reactor until, at around three minutes, the reactions stopped leaving a Universe composed of hydrogen, deuterium, helium, and a little lithium**. Even today, the Universe is made up of about 75% hydrogen and 25% helium, with just traces of heavier elements cooked up in stars to make everything else that we consider to be "ordinary" matter.
*cf. S. Weinberg: The First 3 Minutes.
**This primordial or Big Bang Nucleosynthesis provides very strong support for the Big Bang model.
Agreement of abundancesover 10 orders of magnitude
Major success of Big Bang
= nB/ng = (41)x10-10
CMB: ng = 411 cm-3
Conclusion of BBN: - most matter is not nucleons
Abundances of the light elements
After about 5 minutes, the elemental composition of the Universe remains unchanged until the first stars form several billion years later
Time evolution of BBN
Most protons remain free
Most neutrons in 4He nuclei
Rest of neutrons decay away
During the next 380,000 years the Universe became transparent as photons no longer interacted * as soon as they were made. Electrons became captured by the hydrogen, deuterium, helium and lithium nuclei to form the first atoms.
The CMB anisotropies contain important information about cosmological parameters and will be measured with even higher precision by Planck, launched in 2009.
*These photons cooled as the Universe expanded, resulting in todays Cosmic Microwave Background of 2.7 Kelvin, a nearly-perfect black-body spectrum. The CMB was discovered by accident in 1965 by Penzias & Wilson. Fluctuations in the CMB were detected by the COBE satellite and studied in detail by the WMAP & Planck satellite missions.
Wilson Penzias(+Robert Dicke)
Discovered in 1965 as excess noise (Noble Prize in 1978)
George Gamow (1904-1968)
Gamow (1946), Alpher & Herman (1949) predict 5 K relic radiation from Big Bang
Cosmic Microwave Background
First observation of the CMB
The microwave light captured in this picture is from 379.000 years after the Big Bang, over 13 billion years ago: the equivalent of taking a picture of an 80-year-old person on the day of their birth.
Isotropy of the universe
*Then, the dark ages start, which only end when clustering of matter leads to the re-ionization period and the first generation of stars and, later, galaxies. This period will be studied in depth by LOFAR, a digital radio telescope, under construction in Drenthe, designed to detect the 21 cm line of hydrogen red-shifted to radio frequencies.
Cosmological dark ages
Galaxy formation took 100