A Standard Ruler for the Cosmic Dawn – Incredible New Method to Study the Formation of the Universe

  • New method to research the redshift period of early universe formation.
  • Universe matter comes in two flavors: dark and baryonic.
  • Munoz's work allows calculations that open up the study of the Cosmic Dawn epoch that was previously impossible, including Hubble Constant measurements of the universe's expansion.

An American astrophysicist Julian B. Muñoz found a process to study the universe during an earlier era of its formation. Muñoz is a theoretical cosmologist at Harvard. After the Massive Explosion (Big Bang), the universe was hot quark gluon plasma, that cooled during the expansion of space. A gluon is an elementary particle that acts as the exchange particle for the strong force between quarks.

Source exploratorium.edu

According to the majority of astrophysicists, all the matter found in the universe today– even the matter in people, plants, animals, the earth, stars, and galaxies– was created at the very first moment of time, thought to be around 13 billion years ago.  The universe began, scientists believe, with every speck of its energy jammed into a very tiny point. This extremely dense point exploded with unimaginable force, creating matter and propelling it outward to make the billions of galaxies of our vast universe. Rapid cooling allowed matter to form in the universe, although physicists do not have a consensus about how the cooling occurred.

After the cooling phase of the universe, the dark ages followed, due to the relic radiation loosing the majority of its energy because of the space expansion. Hence, no new electromagnetic waves, only hydrogen atoms provided weak illumination.  The cosmic microwave background (CMB, CMBR), in Big Bang cosmology, is electromagnetic radiation as a remnant from an early stage of the universe, also known as “relic radiation.”

Source: earthsky.org

The stage of darkness lasted close to 100 million years until the redshift, a phenomenon where electromagnetic radiation (such as light) from an object undergoes an increase in wavelength.

After the matter reached dense formations, the first stars formed and the Cosmic Dawn occurred, ending the dark ages. The first galaxies started to form and, approximately 250 million years after the Big Bang, the cosmic dawn entered the era of reionization, which is the process that caused the matter in the universe to reionize after the lapse of the “dark ages.” Reionization is the second of two major phase transitions of gas in the universe.

Source: Astrobites.org

Julian Muñoz’s abstract entitled “Standard Ruler at Cosmic Dawn” has been published in Physical Review Letters and Physical Review D. According to his abstract, matter in the universe comes in two flavors: dark and baryonic. In astronomy and cosmology, baryonic dark matter is dark matter composed of baryons. Only a small proportion of the dark matter in the universe is likely to be baryonic.

Source: Chandra x-ray observatory.

Of these, only the latter couples to photons, giving rise to the well-known Baryon Acoustic Oscillations (BAO) and, in the process, generating supersonic relative velocities between dark matter and baryons. BAOs are fluctuations in the density of the visible baryonic matter (normal matter) of the universe, caused by acoustic density waves in the primordial plasma of the early universe. In the same way that supernovae provide a “standard candle” for astronomical observations

These velocities—imprinted with the acoustic scale in their genesis—impeded the formation of the first stars during the Cosmic Dawn. Therefore, his proposal includes a new method to study the Cosmic Dawn epoch. To simplify his work, he suggests the process brings character space in the distribution of the matter, which can be registered in the future.  Additionally, the difference in speed of the two types of matter (dark matter and BAO) can reach supersonic values. Supersonic travel is a rate of travel of an object that exceeds the speed of sound.

Source: NASA.gov

Munoz’s work allows calculations that open up the study of the Cosmic Dawn epoch that was previously impossible, including Hubble Constant measurements of the universe’s expansion. The Hubble Constant is the unit of measurement used to describe the expansion of the universe. The cosmos has been getting bigger since the Big Bang kick-started the growth about 13.82 billion years ago. In fact, the rate of increase is accelerating as the universe gets bigger.

Source: futurism

Hubble’s law, also known as the Hubble–Lemaître law, is the observation in physical cosmology that: Objects observed in deep space—extragalactic space, 10 megaparsecs or more—are found to have a redshift. The author believes his method will also allow scientists to study the Cosmic Dawn on redshift 15-20, which is an earlier era than any other research was capable of studying before.

The proposal is extremely intriguing and could be a breakthrough in the field. The Cosmic Dawn period is one of the most unique and interesting periods in the formation of the universe.

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Christina Kitova

I spent most of my professional life in finance, insurance risk management litigation.

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