Category Archives: Physics

What is the Hadron Epoch

The Hadron Epoch? New to this tour in physics? Start at THE BIG BANG. 

You probably have heard about The Large Hadron Collider (LHC). The biggest instrument/machine on Earth are located at CERN. See image below. The accelerator smashes hadron’s together.

From Wikipedia:

“Between 10–6 second and 1 second after the Big Bang.

In particle physics, a hadron is a composite particle made of quarks held together by the strong force (in a similar way as atoms and molecules are held together by the electromagnetic force).

In physical cosmology, the hadron epoch was the period in the evolution of the early universe during which the mass of the Universe was dominated by hadrons.

It started approximately 10−6 seconds after the Big Bang, when the temperature of the universe had fallen sufficiently to allow the quarks from the preceding quark epoch to bind together into hadrons.

Initially the temperature was high enough to allow the formation of hadron/anti-hadron pairs, which kept matter and anti-matter in thermal equilibrium.

However, as the temperature of the universe continued to fall, hadron/anti-hadron pairs were no longer produced.

Most of the hadrons and anti-hadrons were then eliminated in annihilation reactions, leaving a small residue of hadrons. The elimination of anti-hadrons was completed by one second after the Big Bang, when the following lepton epoch began.”

Take note, that after one second, the majority of anti-matter had disappeared from the physical universe.

Next lecture  THE LEPTON EPOCH.

The Hadron Epoch


What is the Quark Epoch

Quark Epoch? New to this tour in physics? Start at THE BIG BANG. 

Quarks are the elementary particles that make up protons and anti-protons. If you have heard about up-quarks and down-quarks, you have heard right. They are all part of the standard model, the most workable model for the physical universe at this day.

From Wikipedia:

“In physical cosmology the quark epoch was the period in the evolution of the early universe when the fundamental interactions of gravitation, electromagnetism, the strong interaction and the weak interaction had taken their present forms, but the temperature of the universe was still too high to allow quarks to bind together to form hadrons.

The quark epoch began approximately 10−12 seconds after the Big Bang, when the preceding electroweak epoch ended as the electroweak interaction separated into the weak interaction and electromagnetism.

During the quark epoch the universe was filled with a dense, hot quark-gluon plasma, containing quarks, leptons and their antiparticles.

Collisions between particles were too energetic to allow quarks to combine into mesons or baryons. The quark epoch ended when the universe was about 10−6 seconds old, when the average energy of particle interactions had fallen below the binding energy of hadrons. The following period, when quarks became confined within hadrons, is known as the hadron epoch.”

Next lecture  THE HADRON EPOCH.

The quark epoch

The Higgs Field

New to this tour in physics? Start at THE BIG BANG. 

From Wikipedia:

“The Higgs Field is an invisible energy field that exists throughout the universe. The field is accompanied by a fundamental particle called the Higgs Boson, which it uses to continuously interact with other particles. As particles pass through the field they are endowed with the property of mass, much as an object passing through treacle (or molasses) will become slower.

Although apparent, mass is not generated by the Higgs field, as creation of matter or energy would conflict with the laws of conservation; mass is, however, transferred to particles from the field, which contains the relative mass in the form of energy. Once the field has endowed a formerly massless particle the particle slows down because it has become heavier.

If the Higgs field did not exist particles would not have the mass required to attract one another, and would simply float around freely at light-speed.
The process of endowing a particle with mass is known as the Higgs Effect.”

Remember that The Higgs Field started giving the Universe mass within the first million’th of a second.

This is the field that physicists searched for, since the sixties. It gave the Nobel price to Peter Higgs this summer.

Next lecture  THE QUARK EPOCH.

The Higgs Field

Electroweak symmetry breaking

New to this tour in physics? Start at THE BIG BANG. 

Electroweak symmetry breaking and the quark epoch, from Wikipedia:

“Between 10–12 second and 10–6 second after the Big Bang

As the universe’s temperature falls below a certain very high energy level, it is believed that the Higgs field spontaneously acquires a vacuum expectation value, which breaks electroweak gauge symmetry. This has two related effects:

1 The weak force and electromagnetic force, and their respective bosons  manifest differently in the present universe, with different ranges;
2 Via the Higgs mechanism, all elementary particles interacting with the Higgs field become massive, having been massless at higher energy levels.

At the end of this epoch, the fundamental interactions of gravitation, electromagnetism, the strong interaction and the weak interaction have now taken their present forms, and fundamental particles have mass, but the temperature of the universe is still too high to allow quarks to bind together to form hadrons.”

Editors note:

1. Popularly a boson is a force-carrying particle.
2. Now all four forces are separated, the universe has mass, as the Higgs mechanism has started. And the universe has only existed in 1/million’th of a second.

What is the Higgs field and what is a hadron???

Next lecture THE HIGGS FIELD and after THE QUARK EPOCH we will get to THE HADRON EPOCH.

Electroweak symmetry and the quark epoch

What is Baryogenesis?

New to this tour in physics? Start at THE BIG BANG. 

What is Baryogenesis, from Wikipedia:

“There is currently insufficient observational evidence to explain why the universe contains far more baryons than antibaryons.”

Editors note, popularly you could define baryons as protons, and anti-baryons as anti-protons. The Baryogenesis, is the time epoch, where matter took control over anti-matter.

Back to Wikipedia:

“The Dirac equation,formulated by Paul Dirac around 1928 as part of the development of relativistic quantum mechanics, predicts the existence of antiparticles along with the expected solutions for the corresponding particles. Since that time, it has been verified experimentally that every known kind of particle has a corresponding antiparticle. It is puzzling that the universe does not have equal amounts of matter and antimatter. Indeed, there is no experimental evidence that there are any significant concentrations of antimatter in the observable universe.

There are two main interpretations for this disparity: either the universe began with a small preference for matter, or the universe was originally perfectly symmetric, but somehow a set of phenomena contributed to a small imbalance in favor of matter over time. The second point of view is preferred, although there is no clear experimental evidence indicating either of them to be the correct one.”

So, here you go, the Baryogenesis is where matter separates from antimatter in Big Bang Theory.


Gods hands in the Baryogenesis?

The Electroweak Epoch

New to this tour in physics? Start at THE BIG BANG. 

The Electro Weak Epoch from Wikipedia:

“In traditional big bang cosmology, the Electroweak epoch begins 10−36 second after the Big Bang, when the temperature of the universe is low enough (1028 K) to separate the strong force from the electroweak force (the name for the unified forces of electromagnetism and the weak interaction). In inflationary cosmology, the electroweak epoch begins when the inflationary epoch ends, at roughly 10−32 second.

In physical cosmology the electroweak epoch was the period in the evolution of the early universe when the temperature of the universe was high enough to merge electromagnetism and the weak interaction into a single electroweak interaction (> 100 GeV).

The electroweak epoch began when the strong force separated from the electroweak interaction. Some cosmologists place this event at the start of the inflationary epoch, approximately 10−36 seconds after the Big Bang.[1][2][3] Others place it at approximately 10−32 seconds after the Big Bang when the potential energy of the inflaton field that had driven the inflation of the universe during the inflationary epoch was released, filling the universe with a dense, hot quark–gluon plasma.[4] ”

Take note, that the theory of Big Bang explains that gravity separated from all the other forces in THE PLANCK EPOCH.

Now the strong force is separated from electromagnetism and the weak force.


The Electroweak Epoch

Gravity, electromagnetism, strong and weak force

New to this tour in physics? Start at THE BIG BANG. 

The gravitational force.
Gravity is a natural phenomenon by which all physical bodies attract each other. It is most commonly experienced as the agent that gives weight to objects with mass and causes them to fall to the ground when dropped. Einsteins general relativity explains gravity.

The electromagnetic force,
This is the interaction responsible for almost all the phenomena encountered in daily life, with the exception of gravity. Electrons are bound by electromagnetic wave mechanics into orbitals around atomic nuclei to form atoms, which are the building blocks of molecules. Visible light is electromagnetism, as well as radio waves and x-rays. Photons is the carrier of the force from one atom to another.

The strong force.
At atomic scale, it is about 100 times stronger than electromagnetism, which in turn is orders of magnitude stronger than the weak force interaction and gravitation. In the context of binding protons and neutrons together to form atoms, the strong interaction is called the nuclear force (or residual strong force).The binding energy related to the residual strong force is used in nuclear power and nuclear weapons.

The weak force.
This force is termed weak because its field strength over a given distance is typically several orders of magnitude less than that of the strong nuclear force and electromagnetism. The weak interaction is responsible for both the radioactive decay and nuclear fusion of subatomic particles. It is best described as a non-contact force field having a finite range, albeit very short. In 1968 Sheldon Glashow, Abdus Salam and Steven Weinberg unified the electromagnetic force and the weak interaction by showing them to be two aspects of a single force, now termed the electro-weak force.

The GUT, Grand Unification Theory, theorizes today, that electromagnetism, strong and weak force could be considered as one force. Einsteins general relativity, explaining gravity, cannot merge with these forces. If you remember from the The Grand Unification,  gravity separated from the other forces at the end of the Planck Epoch.


These diagrams illustrates how the three forces merge at very high energies, and how the fourth, gravity, stand alone.

All other forces combine nicely at high energies. Gravity is not close.

Gravity and big bang

Gravity is an outsider

The Grand Unification

New to this tour in physics? Start at THE BIG BANG. 

From Wikipedia:

“In physical cosmology, assuming that nature is described by a Grand unification theory, the grand unification epoch was the period in the evolution of the early universe following the Planck epoch, starting at about 10−43 seconds after the Big Bang, in which the temperature of the universe was comparable to the characteristic temperatures of grand unified theories.

During this period, three of the four fundamental interactions—electromagnetism, the strong interaction, and the weak interaction—were unified as the electronuclear force.

Gravity had separated from the electronuclear force at the end of the Planck era. During the grand unification epoch, physical characteristics such as mass, charge, flavour and colour charge were meaningless.

The grand unification epoch ended at approximately 10−36 seconds after the Big Bang. At this point several key events took place. The strong force separated from the other fundamental forces. The temperature fell below the threshold at which X and Y bosons could be created, and the remaining X and Y bosons decayed.[citation needed] It is possible that some part of this decay process violated the conservation of baryon number and gave rise to a small excess of matter over antimatter (see baryogenesis). This phase transition is also thought to have triggered the process of cosmic inflation that dominated the development of the universe during the following inflationary epoch.”

Take note that after the Planck Epoch, gravity had separated from the three remaining forces. It is important to grasp the four forces of nature before we continue.



The Grand Unification

TOE = Theory of everything

GUT = Grand Unified Theory

The Quark Soup

New to this tour in physics? Start at THE BIG BANG. 

From Wikipedia:

“The earliest phases of the Big Bang are subject to much speculation. In the most common models the Universe was filled homogeneously and isotropically with an incredibly high energy density and huge temperatures and pressures and was very rapidly expanding and cooling.

Approximately 10−37 seconds into the expansion, a phase transition caused a cosmic inflation, during which the Universe grew exponentially.[23] After inflation stopped, the Universe consisted of a quark–gluon plasma, as well as all other elementary particles.[24] Temperatures were so high that the random motions of particles were at relativistic speeds, and particle–antiparticle pairs of all kinds were being continuously created and destroyed in collisions.

At some point an unknown reaction called baryogenesis violated the conservation of baryon number, leading to a very small excess of quarks and leptons over antiquarks and antileptons—of the order of one part in 30 million. This resulted in the predominance of matter over antimatter in the present Universe.[25]”



The Planck Epoch

New to this tour in physics? Start at THE BIG BANG. 

From Wikipedia:

“In physical cosmology, the Planck epoch (or Planck era) is the earliest period of time in the history of the universe, from zero to approximately 10−43 seconds (Planck time).

It is believed that, due to the extraordinarily small scale of the universe at the time, quantum effects of gravity dominated physical interactions.

During this period approximately 13.8 billion years ago gravitation is believed to have been as strong as the other fundamental forces, and all the forces may have been unified.

Inconceivably hot and dense, the state of the universe during the Planck epoch was unstable, tending to evolve, giving rise to the familiar manifestations of the fundamental forces through a process known as symmetry breaking. This has also been theorized to be the earliest moment of time that can be meaningfully described.”

Next lecture THE QUARK SOUP