Do we know the exact spot where big bang took place?

  • If you rewind the universe back 14,7 billion years, all matter were in one spot, and then started expanding. Do we know where this is in reference to our own solar system? And is there anything there? Or are all matter in the universe just blown inn all different directions and none is left at the "original" spot where it originated

    Strongly related question from the future: Did the Big Bang happen at a point?

  • You're envisioning the Big Bang as a cosmological "explosion" in space where the universe is the resulting material expanding in outward all directions.

    The problem is, the universe doesn't work like that.

    The universe isn't a region of space that is expanding outward into another thing where you can (even hypothetically) fly out to the border and say, "Yup, that's about all there is. Let's use these borders to find the center of this expanding sphere."

    The Universe is literally everything there is: space, time, and everything it contains and ever will contain. And the word contains is even a bit of a misnomer in that it suggests a container with boundaries. But the universe is simultaneously both unbounded and finite at the same time. "Finite" refers to the fixed amount of stuff this universe contains (matter, energy, etc)… and unbounded because this thing we know as "the universe" has no borders in a sense that we point to or even experience. So how would you even define a "center"? There isn't one.

    There's a famous way to help visualize an expanding universe that is both finite and unbounded without a center or borders; it's called "The Balloon Analogy." Imagine our friends in Flatland living in two-dimensional space… where everything they know (their entire universe) exists on the surface of a balloon. If you start to inflate that balloon (the expanding universe), all the little astronomers on the surface will observe that all the surrounding galaxies are moving away from them — and the farther away those galaxies are, the faster they seem to be moving away.

    That's pretty much what most cosmologists believe is happening to us.

    Going back to that balloon analogy, picture yourself existing on the surface of that balloon-universe and ask these questions again — In my expanding universe (the surface of the balloon), where is it's center? Everything is expanding outward in all directions, so if we rewind back in time, certainly everything should converge somewhere, right? Can we just find the borders of this outward expansion and calculate the exact center? So basdically… "Do we know the exact spot where big bang took place?"

    Be careful taking the balloon analogy too far, because it starts to break down in many ways. But the answer to where the expansion of the universe emanates from really is that it emanates from everywhere; everything we know is contained within the origin of our own existence, and there is no center and there are no borders by any definition of existence that we can experience.

    How do we know that the Universe is unbounded and finite?

    As regards Flatland, there is a sequel by Ian Stewart: Flatterland. Like Flatland only more so. Much better than original.

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Content dated before 7/24/2021 11:53 AM