Epochs of the Universe – Mission 04: Particle Era

You are embarking on a journey through space and time itself. Back through time, you traverse the eras of the universe, closer and closer to the beginning of everything. Your voyage explores all stages, or epochs of the universe, from the start until this moment.

Plus, you have the only CosmoControl, to rewind, fast-forward, pause or resume space and time.

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PARTICLE ERA: MISSION TIMELINE

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Epochs of the Universe Timeline Particle Eraepochs of the universe diagram electroweak era

PARTICLE ERA: MISSION MAP

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epochs of the universe diagram particle era

PARTICLE ERA: MISSION DATA

Current Epoch: Particle Era
Age of the Universe: One hundred billionths of a second
Size of the Universe: 124 million miles
Current Temperature: 18 trillion degrees F
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Mission Briefing

Suddenly, your universal mission resumes. Instantly, you begin as the Electroweak Era closes, in the Particle Era. Finally, the infant universe has expanded into a vast, “cooling” realm. Perhaps, “cool” is still a relative concept. Yet, the universe slowly begins looking like the mysterious and deep place we know today. But, some major changes are about to take place, right before your very eyes!

What do you see?

At last, all four fundamental forces of the universe are separate and unique. Now, each force eagerly waits to help form the existence we know today!

At this time, the universe has both cooled and expanded. However, temperatures still swell at around 18 trillion degrees! Although, in its rapid expansion, the young universe now spans tens of millions of miles across. Yet, still only a dense quark soup fills the universe. Still, no protons, neutrons nor electrons have been born!

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BREAKING NEWS: MATTER VS. ANTIMATTER BATTLE HAS BEGUN!

Suddenly, the still infant universe begins pumping out a strange particle! In fact, your data tells you the odd particles are identical to quarks, except have an opposite charge. Yes, you recall learning about these particles in a physics course. They are known as antiquarks, or antimatter!

Now, the universe is rapidly pumping out perfectly equal amounts of quarks and antiquarks. But, strangely, as the two particles bump into each other, they instantly destroy one another. Not to mention, as the matter destroys each other, only pure energy is left behind.

Amazed, you watch the matter vs. antimatter battle play out. New twin particles appear, destroy each other, and disappear. Over and over, this war wages on as the universe continues to grow and cool rapidly. How exciting!

Finally, right before your eyes, matter wins the sensational war! Now, in a flash, this “regular” matter permeates the entire universe, leaving its evil twin all but extinct.

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Finally, matter mysteriously wins out over antimatter throughout the universe. At this time, one of the fundamental forces, strong force, begins taking effect!

For the first time, quarks are pulled tightly together, able to permanently combine. At last, protons and neutrons are born! Because of this, real atoms begin forming as you eagerly watch.

Yet, the universe’s first photon of light has not yet been born. However, as the universe turns a mere millisecond old, you admire its drastic changes. In fact, before your very eyes, the matter that defines our existence has emerged.

In fact, the legendary battle you observed paved the way for everything we know today. Our homes, our friends and families and everything else came from this tiny moment in the universe’s nearly 14-billion-year life. Indeed, you watched one of the most important, and least understood events in history.

 

What is really happening? Scientific explanation.

Nuclear strong force:

As its name indicates, this strongest of the fundamental forces binds particles firmly together. In fact, it was this force that created the universe’s first atoms, hydrogen. Therefore, all elements, foods, and everything else technically stem from this binding force.

Matter vs. antimatter:

In arguably one of astronomy’s most important events, matter and antimatter duke it out! As the ultimate arch rivals, the two opposite-charged materials instantly destroy each other upon contact. Plus, contact occurs almost immediately after each particle is created.

This battle would have been truly amazing. After all, the stuff that makes up literally everything in our existence was created in an epoch dual that only lasted mere fractions of a single second.

Ultimately, the reason for why or how matter won the war is still unknown. In fact, this legendary outcome remains one of astronomy’s greatest mysteries.

Alternatively, had antimatter won, we would not be here. In fact, we would never have existed at all. You would not be reading this article. I would have never existed to write this article. Actually, writing, nor articles would have ever been a concept, because concepts would have never existed. Mind blown yet?

However, if neither team won and both remained equally throughout the universe, a different universe would have risen. In fact, nothing but photons of pure gamma ray energy would exist in the universe. Essentially, the universe would have remained an opaque soup, like a more expanded version of the big bang

Astronimate deeply explains the infamous battle of matter and antimatter in this article!

Mission Summary

Finally, matter is born! You were fortunate enough to witness the very moment that the stuff that makes up everything we know was created. Easily, this event has been one of the most fascinating steps in your Epochs of the Universe journey!

Unfortunately, your human eyes still long for light. However, with matter now created, you know anything is possible.

After all, the universe has now expanded wildly, continued cooling and will only continue to do so. Perhaps, the next mission in your journey will be even greater. Eagerly, you hit the skip button on your CosmoControl, zipping toward the next epoch, the Nucleosynthesis Era!

 

[thrive_link color=’red’ link=’http://astronimate.com/article/epochs-of-the-universe-electroweak-era/’ target=’_self’ size=’medium’ align=’aligncenter’]PREVIOUS: Electroweak Era[/thrive_link]

[thrive_link color=’red’ link=’http://astronimate.com/article/epochs-of-the-universe-nucleosynthesis-era/’ target=’_self’ size=’medium’ align=’aligncenter’]NEXT: Nucleosynthesis Era[/thrive_link]

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ADDITIONAL MISSION RESOURCES

Take a quiz on mission 04: Particle Era

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Read a top 10 list on mission 04: Particle Era

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EPOCHS OF THE UNIVERSE: MISSION SELECTION