“I swear to you, this would be the most profound thing you will ever hear in your lifetime”.
“The sound, or the story?”
“The sound, or the story? What’s the difference?”
These were the words from the movie “Hawking“, by the character Arno Penzias, while being interviewed, who together with Robert Wilson won the 1978 Nobel Prize in Physics; for their 1964 discovery of: Well, turn on your TV’s, I’ll show you. Switch on your television, without any channel on. Disconnect the cable. You see it? This static noise (snow) is the most fascinating thing, you’ll ever see.
Headphone users, reduce volume please!
Do you know what this is? This is the radiation around you that your TV is picking up when not tuned in. It’s coming from every direction, from other devices in your home, the telephone lines, the radio antenna, the cell tower, etc, and, some of it, is the radiation emitted by the early Universe. Roughly 1% of the noise that you are seeing, is, if you like, the live picture of the baby Universe, from 13.4 billion years ago. Universe is that old, 13.8 billion years old! This Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) radiation has taken that long to reach us. This fossil, is roughly from 380,000 years after the Big Bang, but if you compare it with the total age of 13.8 billion years, it’s equivalent to a 25 year old person seeing a picture of themselves when they were 6 hours old. It is truly a baby picture!
The logo of my blog (look above), represents the expansion of the universe from the big bang, and planetary system forming. The coloured image you see, is the Cosmic Microwave Background. This image, is the Planck’s missing CMB map, courtesy European Space Agency.
That’s the leftover heat/ the radiation/ the noise coming from the early universe, just 380,000 years old.
Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson discovered this radiation, this heat as noise, by using a radio telescope, in the form of a giant 15 meter Holmdel Horn Antenna, shown here.
There was no space, no time, nothing before the Big Bang. It wasn’t an explosion, just an expansion of nothingness into everything. It was the expansion of space. So don’t visualise it as seeing an explosion from a distance, but an expansion of space happening all around you. The leftover heat from the Big Bang, is everywhere.
Next time you want to blow someone’s mind off, tell them this story. It’s profound.