My adventure exploring the ‘Big Bounce’ theory

big bounce
Photo by Nathan Anderson on Unsplash
By: Brandon Tucker – Sunday Assembly Pittsburgh Marketing Coordinator

Full disclosure: I am not an astrophysicist, which is probably why I’m just discovering a decades-old theory in 2019. The theme for the next Assembly is, ‘Adventure’ so I figured I’d go on an adventure through the ‘Big Bounce’ theory. Like most people, I was mainly familiar with the Big Bang before I started my journey.

What exactly is the Big Bounce? Simply put, the Big Bounce is the theory the beginning of our university is the result of another universe before us “contracting”, and then “bouncing” into expansion. Based on the Big Bounce, the universe goes through constant phases of expansion and contraction.

A significant difference between the Big Bounce and the Big Bang is there is no singularity in the Big Bounce theory.  Singularity is a point in space that is infinitely hot, infinitely dense, and has no mass.  The Big Bang theory states the universe expanded rapidly from a point of singularity.

The Big Bounce is based on the theory our universe was so small in the beginning, the laws of physics were based on quantum mechanics. Quantum mechanics is a branch of physics that describes the motion and interactions of subatomic particles (photons, atoms etc.). Based on quantum mechanics, it would be impossible for the universe to condense into a point of singularity (the Big Bang). However, the point would still be very hot and dense. This theory leads to the conclusion there had to be a universe before ours that compressed into the extremely dense point, and then expanded to create our universe (the Big Bounce).

The Big Bang and the Big Bounce theories both explain the expansion of the universe. However, based on the Big Bounce the universe is in an expansion period and is constantly cooling (losing energy). When the universe runs out of energy (heat), it will contract again until it reaches a point where it has enough energy to expand, starting the process over and creating another universe.

There is still much evidence that needs to be gathered to the support the Big Bounce theory. However, I once heard the purpose of knowledge is to discover more questions.

The Next Assembly is Sunday, February 17, 2019 at 10 AM – 11:30 AM at
Community Forge, 1256 Franklin Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15221

For more info visit: sapgh.org/events

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