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The Big Bang no longer means what it used to

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If there’s one hallmark inherent to science, it’s that our understanding of how the Universe works is always open to revision in the face of new evidence. Whenever our prevailing picture of reality — including the rules it plays by, the physical contents of a system, and how it evolved from its initial conditions to the present time — gets challenged by new experimental or observational data, we must open our minds to changing our conceptual picture of the cosmos. This has happened many times since the dawn of the 20th century, and the words we use to describe our Universe have shifted in meaning as our understanding has evolved.

Yet, there are always those who cling to the old definitions, much like linguistic prescriptivists, who refuse to acknowledge that these changes have occurred. But unlike the evolution of colloquial language, which is largely arbitrary, the evolution of scientific terms must reflect our current understanding of reality. Whenever we talk about the origin of our Universe, the term “the Big Bang” comes to mind, but our understanding of our cosmic origins have evolved tremendously since the idea that our Universe even had an origin, scientifically, was first put forth. Here’s how to resolve the confusion and bring you up to speed on what the Big Bang originally meant versus what it means today.

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https://bigthink.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/https___specials-images.forbesimg.com_imageserve_5fa0a88e21fec1f57da23ea2_When-a-black-hole-is-formed-one-idea-is-that-it-gives-birth-to-a-new-baby-Universe-_960x0.jpg?lb=960,540From a pre-existing state, inflation predicts that a series of universes will be spawned as inflation continues, with each one being completely disconnected from every other one, separated by more inflating space. One of these “bubbles,” where inflation ended, gave birth to our Universe some 13.8 billion years ago, where our entire visible Universe is just a tiny portion of that bubble’s volume. Each individual bubble is disconnected from all of the others, and each place where inflation ends gives rise to its own hot Big Bang.  Credit: Nicolle Rager Fuller)

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Click the link below for the article:

https://bigthink.com/starts-with-a-bang/big-bang-meaning/?utm_source=pocket_discover

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