According to the most accepted theory regarding the origin of the universe, the latter would have been born with an initial big bang. However, shortly before or at the same time or shortly thereafter (it depends on the various versions of theories) a phenomenon, called cosmic inflation, would have taken place which lasted less than a trillionth of a second, which would have produced a much larger inflationary expansion than is taking place with the big bang itself.
During cosmic inflation, according to the theory, a cold and homogeneous “soup” swelled exponentially before the processes themselves of the big bang and its expansion took over.
The two processes, that of cosmic inflation and that of the big bang, are very different from each other so much that scientists have always struggled to connect them and to understand what could have acted as a “bridge” between these two phases.
According to a new study conducted by physicists from MIT, Kenyon College and other institutes, a third phase known as “warm-up” would have acted as a “bridge” between these two phases. This brief phase would have occurred at the end of cosmic inflation and in a sense would have triggered the “bang” of the big bang, as stated by David Kaiser, professor of History of Science of Germeshausen and professor of physics at MIT. According to the scientist during this brief period of the history of the universe, hell would have unleashed and matter would have behaved in very strange ways that go beyond our understanding.
According to Kaiser, during the early stages of “warming” a form of high energy matter dominated. This matter stirred back and forth synchronously across large expanses of space and this led to the explosive production of new particles. Once this energy moved to a second form of matter, these oscillations became more unstable and irregular in space. It would have been a “crazy period,” as Kaiser himself calls it, a period during which matter interacted so strongly that it could also suddenly relax to lay the foundations for the big bang.
The researcher, together with his colleagues, tried to simulate the final stage of inflation on the computer to understand how it could have developed. They realized that the extreme energy that triggered inflation could have been redistributed very quickly, we are talking about very small fractions of a second, and in such a way as to produce those conditions necessary for the start of the big bang. This change would have been even more efficient, and therefore more acceptable at a theoretical level, if we take into account the quantum effects: the latter would have changed the ways in which the “soup” of matter responded to gravity at very high energies. In this way, the physics of the universe itself could deviate significantly from Einstein’s theory of general relativity.
“This allows us to tell an uninterrupted story, from inflation to the post-inflation period, to the Big Bang and beyond,” says Kaiser. “We can trace a continuous series of processes, all with known physics, to say that this is a plausible way in which the universe has come to be as we see it today.”