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  • The universe,

  • rather beautiful, isn't it?

  • It's quite literally got everything,

  • from the very big

  • to the very small.

  • Sure, there are some less than savory elements in there,

  • but on the whole, scholars agree that its existence

  • is probably a good thing.

  • Such a good thing, that an entire field

  • of scientific endeavor is devoted to its study.

  • This is known as cosmology.

  • Cosmologists look at what's out there in space

  • and piece together the tale of how our universe evolved:

  • what it's doing now,

  • what it's going to be doing,

  • and how it all began in the first place.

  • It was Edwin Hubble who first noticed

  • that our universe is expanding

  • by noting that galaxies seem to be flying

  • further and further apart.

  • This implied that everything should have started

  • with the monumental explosion

  • of an infinitely hot,

  • infinitely small point.

  • This idea was jokingly referred to at the time

  • as the "Big Bang,"

  • but as the evidence piled up,

  • the notion

  • and the name

  • actually stuck.

  • We know that after the Big Bang,

  • the universe cooled down

  • to form the stars and galaxies that we see today.

  • Cosmologist have plenty of ideas

  • about how this happened.

  • But we can also probe the origins of the universe

  • by recreating the hot, dense conditions that existed

  • at the beginning of time in the laboratory.

  • This is done by particle physicists.

  • Over the past century,

  • particle physicists have been studying

  • matter and forces at higher and higher energies.

  • Firstly with cosmic rays,

  • and then with particle accelerators,

  • machines that smash together

  • subatomic particles at great energies.

  • The greater the energy of accelerator,

  • the further back in time they can effectively peek.

  • Today, things are largely made up of atoms,

  • but a hundreds of seconds after the Big Bang,

  • it was too hot for electrons to join

  • atomic nuclei to make atoms.

  • Instead, the universe consisted of

  • a swirling sea of subatomic matter.

  • A few seconds after the Big Bang,

  • it was hotter still,

  • hot enough to overpower the forces

  • that usually hold protons and neutrons together

  • in atomic nuclei.

  • Further back, microseconds after the Big Bang,

  • and the protons and neutrons were only just beginning

  • to form from quarks,

  • one of the fundamental building blocks

  • of the standard model of particle physics.

  • Further back still,

  • and the energy was too great even

  • for the quarks to stick together.

  • Physicists hope that by going to even greater energies,

  • they can see back to a time

  • when all the forces were one in the same,

  • which would make understanding

  • the origins of the universe a lot easier.

  • To do that, they'll not only need to build bigger colliders,

  • but also work hard to combine our knowledge

  • of the very, very big

  • with the very, very small

  • and share these fascinating insights

  • with each other and with,

  • well, you.

  • And that's how it should be!

  • Because, after all,

  • when it comes to our universe,

  • we're all in this one together.

The universe,

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B2 TED-Ed universe big bang particle subatomic atomic

【TED-Ed】The beginning of the universe, for beginners - Tom Whyntie

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    VoiceTube posted on 2013/04/23
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