Tests of Big Bang Cosmology
http://edu-observatory.org/olli/tobbc/Week5.html   or   index.html


Heisenberg's uncertainty principle

  Heisenberg's uncertainty principle tells us that it is
  impossible to simultaneously measure the position and momentum
  of a particle with infinite precision. In our everyday lives
  we virtually never come up against this limit, hence why it
  seems peculiar. In this experiment a laser is shone through a
  narrow slit onto a screen. As the slit is made narrower, the
  spot on the screen also becomes narrower. But at a certain
  point, the spot starts becoming wider. This is because the
  photons of light have been so localised at the slit that their
  horizontal momentum must become less well defined in order to
  satisfy Heisenberg's uncertainty principle.

Quantum vacuum fluctuation (or Quantum Fluctuation for short)

Quoting from the above Wikipedia page:

  "In quantum physics, a quantum vacuum fluctuation (or quantum
  fluctuation or vacuum fluctuation) is the temporary change in
  the amount of energy in a point in space, arising from Werner
  Heisenberg's uncertainty principle.

  "According to one formulation of the principle, energy and time
  can be related by the relation


  "That means that conservation of energy can appear to be
  violated, but only for small times. This allows the creation of
  particle-antiparticle pairs of virtual particles. The effects
  of these particles are measurable, for example, in the
  effective charge of the electron, different from its "naked"

  "In the modern view, energy is always conserved, but the
  eigenstates of the Hamiltonian (energy observable) are not the
  same as (i.e., the Hamiltonian doesn't commute with) the
  particle number operators.

  "Quantum fluctuations may have been very important in the origin
  of the structure of the universe: according to the model of
  inflation the ones that existed when inflation began were
  amplified and formed the seed of all current observed structure."

Empty Space is not Empty (as one would expect from Uncertainty)


Quoting from A USENET Posting by Steve Carlip (UC Davis):

  "CMB fluctuations give evidence for (though not proof of)

  "So far, I haven't said anything about where the initial
  density variations of the pre-recombination plasma came from.
  There are many possibilities. We know, at least, that they
  must be there -- even if we try to start with a perfectly
  smooth, unvarying plasma, the Heisenberg uncertainty principle
  tells us that there must be a minimum level of quantum


  "Inflationary" models propose that the very early Universe --
  before the time of primordial nucleosynthesis -- underwent a
  very rapid expansion. Such an expansion would smooth
  out/dilute any earlier inhomogeneities, leaving only the
  quantum fluctuations, which would be "stretched" in size by
  the rapidly expanding space.

  "Such models predict a special pattern of fluctuations. In
  particular, although any particular fluctuation is random, the
  average number at any particular scale is predictable.  This
  pattern on initial variations, in turn, should show up in the
  details of the CMB variations. So far, observations match the
  predictions of inflation very well. Most people in the field
  don't consider this conclusive -- one can imagine other ways
  of getting a similar pattern of initial perturbations -- but
  it is suggestive."

Inflation (cosmology)

  "In physical cosmology, cosmic inflation, cosmological
  inflation, or just inflation is the extremely rapid
  exponential expansion of the early universe by a factor of at
  least 10^78 in volume, driven by a negative-pressure vacuum
  energy density.[1] The inflationary epoch comprises the first
  part of the electroweak epoch following the grand unification
  epoch. It lasted from 10^-36 seconds after the Big Bang to
  sometime between 10^-33 and 10^-32 seconds. Following the
  inflationary period, the universe continued to expand, but at
  a slower rate.

  "The term "inflation" is also used to refer to the hypothesis
  that inflation occurred, to the theory of inflation, or to
  the inflationary epoch. The inflationary hypothesis was
  originally proposed in 1980 by American physicist Alan Guth,
  who named it "inflation".[2] It was also proposed by
  Katsuhiko Sato in 1981.[3]

  "As a direct consequence of this expansion, all of the
  observable universe originated in a small causally connected
  region. Inflation answers the classic conundrum of the Big
  Bang cosmology: why does the universe appear flat,
  homogeneous, and isotropic in accordance with the
  cosmological principle when one would expect, on the basis of
  the physics of the Big Bang, a highly curved, heterogeneous
  universe? Inflation also explains the origin of the
  large-scale structure of the cosmos. Quantum fluctuations in
  the microscopic inflationary region, magnified to cosmic
  size, become the seeds for the growth of structure in the
  universe (see galaxy formation and evolution and structure

Cosmic Inflation and the Accelerating Universe - Part 1 - Alan Guth

  Alan H. Guth describes the theory of inflation and presents
  evidence that indicates our universe very likely underwent a
  perod of inflation in its early existence. He also discusses
  the surprising observation that the expansion of the universe
  is accelerating, offers possible explanations for this
  acceleration, and describes its impact on particle physics.

Cosmology Lecture -- Leonard Susskind (Stanford)

  Leonard Susskind presents the theory of cosmological inflation
  under which the early universe expanded exponentially before
  the Big Bang. This theory explains the lack of observed
  magnetic monopoles and the uniformity of the cosmic microwave
  background radiation.

What if we are wrong?
Inflationary cosmology on trial

Physics Nobel Prize 2011 - Brian Schmidt

  The Nobel Prize for physics in 2011 was awarded to Brian
  Schmidt, Adam Riess, and Saul Perlmutter for discovering that
  the universe is expanding at an accelerating rate. This
  finding was completely unexpected because it was thought that
  gravity should slow the expansion of the cosmos. The best
  current explanation of why the universe is accelerating is
  that there is some energy tied to empty space which pushes
  matter apart. This 'Dark Energy' makes up 73% of the universe
  but is very difficult to detect. Images courtesy of
  NASA/NASAimages.org and Maritza A. Lara-Lopez

No Center

Also see Ned Wright's Cosmology Tutorial

WMAP: Foundations of the Big Bang theory

WMAP: Tests of Big Bang Cosmology