The Big Bang Vs. Steady State


It is always a mystery about how the universe began, and when it will end. Astronomers construct hypotheses called cosmological models that try to find the answer. There are two types of models: Big Bang and Steady State. However, through many observational evidences, the Big Bang theory can best explain the creation of the universe. The Big Bang model postulates that about 15 to 20 billion years ago, the universe violently exploded into being, in an event called the Big Bang. Before the Big Bang, all of the matter and radiation of our present universe were packed together in the primeval fireball--an extremely hot dense state from which the universe rapidly expanded. The Big Bang was the start of time and space. The matter and radiation of that early stage rapidly expanded and cooled. Several million years later, it condensed into galaxies. The universe has continued to expand, and the galaxies have continued moving away from each other ever since. Today the universe is still expanding, as astronomers have observed. The Steady State model says that the universe does not evolve or change in time. There was no beginning in the past, nor will there be change in the future. This model assumes the perfect cosmological principle. This principle says that the universe is the same everywhere on the large scale, at all times. It maintains the same average density of matter forever. There are observational evidences found that can prove the Big Bang model is more reasonable than the Steady State model. First, the red shifts of distant galaxies. Red shift is a Doppler effect, which states that if a galaxy is moving away, the spectral line of that galaxy observed, will have a shift to the red end. The faster the galaxy moves the more shift it has. If the galaxy is moving closer, the spectral line will show a blue shift. If the galaxy is not moving, there is no shift at all. However, as astronomers observed, the more distance a galaxy is located from Earth, the more red shift it shows on the spectrum. This means the further a galaxy is, the faster it moves. Therefore, the universe is expanding, and the Big Bang model seems more reasonable than the Steady State model. The second observational evidence is the radiation produced by the Big Bang. The Big Bang model predicts that the universe should still be filled with a small remnant of radiation left over from the original violent explosion of the primeval fireball in the past. The primeval fireball would have sent strong short-wave radiation in all directions into space. In time, that radiation would spread out, cool, and fill the expanding universe uniformly. By now, it would strike Earth as microwave radiation. In 1965 physicists Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson detected microwave radiation coming equally from all directions in the sky, day and night, all year. Therefore, it appears that astronomers have detected the fireball radiation that was produced by the Big Bang. This casts serious doubt on the Steady State model. The Steady State could not explain the existence of this radiation, so the model cannot best explain the beginning of the universe. Since the Big Bang model is the better model, the existence and the future of the universe can also be explained. Around 15 to 20 billion years ago, time began. The points that were to become the universe exploded in the primeval fireball called the Big Bang. The exact nature of this explosion may never be known.


Before the universe began, this chaos was all there was. At some time, a portion of this randomness happened to form a bubble, with a temperature in excess of 10 to the 1,000th power of 34 degrees Kelvin. Being that hot, naturally it expanded. For an extremely brief and short period, billionths of billionths of a second, it inflated. The temperature had cooled enough for particles of matter and antimatter to form, and they instantly destroy each other, producing fire and a thin haze of matter-apparently because slightly more matter than antimatter was formed. The fireball, and the smoke of its burning, was the universe at an age of trillionth of a second. The temperature of the expanding fireball dropped