Big Bang

As the expanding universe cooled after the Big Bang, protons and electrons found each other and made hydrogen atoms, with a little helium and lithium. Illustration: CERN

The existence of hydrogen in our universe was touch-and-go. During the Big Bang, it depended on a minuscule mass difference between two subatomic particles called quarks.

From Forbes, Feb. 10, 2021: Fermilab scientist Don Lincoln explains why there should be equal amounts of matter and antimatter in the universe. There aren’t. He discusses several current theories that try to explain the discrepancy. Better understanding this imbalance is an aim of ongoing experiments, such as DUNE, which is being built at Fermilab.

From New Scientist, Jan. 25, 2021: The Big Bang left us the universe — and a major set of mysteries around antimatter, dark matter, dark energy, and cosmic inflation. While the Large Hadron Collider looks at what the laws of physics were like a trillionth of a second after the Big Bang, Dan Hooper, head of theoretical astrophysics at Fermilab, thinks the answers to these puzzles may depend on better understanding that first fraction of a second — even closer to the universe’s beginning.

We know very little about what happened in the first seconds after the Big Bang. In this public lecture, author and Fermilab physicist Dan Hooper examines how physicists are using the Large Hadron Collider and other experiments to re-create the conditions of the Big Bang and to address mysteries such as how our universe came to contain so much matter and so little antimatter.

Understanding how the universe began has been a goal for scientists, philosophers, and theologians for millennia. In this 14-minute video, Fermilab scientist Don Lincoln describes the scientific view on this topic. He covers what we know, what we think and what we may forever never know.