Sunday, July 30, 2006

Common misconceptions about the Big Bang

The Angry Astronomer has a good explanation of some common misunderstandings about the Big Bang.

The first, and perhaps the most common, is that the Big Bang was like an explosion. That's not correct. The best analogy for the Big Bang is of a balloon inflating. If you imagine the surface of the balloon covered in dots, as the balloon expands, each dot gets further away from all of its neighbours, while at the same time staying in the same place. Now, imagine three-dimensional space expanding instead of the two-dimensional surface of the balloon. What's actually happening is that the space itself is expanding, rather than the particles of matter flying apart through space.

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