Researchers shed light on what happened in the first microseconds after the Big Bang

Shane McGlaun - May 26, 2021, 8:31am CDT
Researchers shed light on what happened in the first microseconds after the Big Bang

A group of researchers from the University of Copenhagen has completed a study on what happened to a certain kind of plasma during the first microsecond of the Big Bang. This particular type of plasma was the first matter to be present in the universe. Researchers believe the findings provide a critical piece of the puzzle to the evolution of the universe we know today.

Scientists know that the fast expansion after the Big Bang created particles, atoms, stars, galaxies, and all of the life we know today. However, exactly how everything happened is a mystery. The new study from the University of Copenhagen gives insights into how everything began. The team specifically studied a substance called Quark-Gluon Plasma (QGP).

That type of plasma was the only matter that existed during the first microsecond of the Big Bang. The results of the study show how the plasma evolved in the early stages of the universe. The plasma first consisted of quarks and gluons separated by the hot expansion of the universe.

Pieces of the quark reformed into something called hadrons, and a hadron with three quarks makes a proton, which is part of an atomic core. Those cores are the building blocks that make up the Earth, humans, and everything in the universe. QGP was present in the first 0.000001 second of the Big Bang and then disappeared because of the expansion. Using the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, researchers could re-create QGP and trace what happened to it.

The experiment results show that QGP was originally in a fluent liquid form that distinguished itself from other matter by constantly changing its shape over time. Researchers long believed the plasma was in the form of a gas, but the new analysis confirms QGP was fluent and had a smooth, soft texture like water. Researchers say that every new discovery about the Big Bang improves our chances of discovering the truth about the universe’s origins.


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