The Theory of the Big Bang started from observations and scientific facts. The Big Bang theory states that after the “Big Bang” the universe expanded from its original pea-sized origin to astronomical proportions, and the expansion of the universe still continues today but at a much slower rate. In the twentieth century many scientific developments were made by scientists that contributed to the creation of the Big Bang Theory.
In 1910 Vesto Slipher was the first person to observe shifts in spectral lines in galaxies. What he had discovered was the galactic redshifts. A galactic redshift is a displacement of spectral lines toward longer wavelengths. What Slipher specifically observed was that the spectral lines of many nebulas exhibited a red shift that indicated motion away from planet earth.
Around 1912 Carl Wilhelm Wirtz like Vesto Slipher observed a systematic redshift of nebulae. While observing the redshift he came to the conclusion that relative to the present location of the solar system the spiral nebulae is moving away from the solar system. He later discovered that it is moving away from the solar system at 656 kilometers per second. This provided observational evidence that the universe was expanding.
In 1916 Albert Einstein published his Theory of General relativity. The General relativity Theory states that gravitation arises from the curvature of space and time. It also said that the universe was either contracting or expanding. Today the theory is used to describe gravitation in physics. Einstein’s theory was influential to the development of the Big Bang theory because it created the cosmological constant.
Alexander Friedmann used Einstein’s theory in order to come up with his own findings. He applied general relativity to cosmology without using the cosmological constant. He found solutions to field equations that created the preliminary work of the Big Bang Theory. His solutions created the Friedmann-Lemaître-Robertson-Walker Universe. Friedmann’s work was crucial to the advancement of the Big Bang Theory because his work showed that it is possibility of a changing universe.
Georges Lemaître stated that the universe began with an explosion of a primeval atom in 1927. This idea was later called the Big Bang. Lemaître used the Friedmann-Lemaître-Robertson-Walker Universe and Einstein’s General Relativity as a base to his hypothesis. With his hypothesis he created a model of the universe to observe the shifts in the Spiral Nebulae. With this model he was able to prove that the universe was in fact expanding.
Edwin Hubble discovered that other galaxies exist other than the Milky Way Galaxy. With this discovery it made the possibility of a “Bang” more plausible. In 1929 Edwin Hubble published “Hubble’s Law”. This law states that the recession velocity of a distant extragalactic object is directly proportional to its distance. His observation concluded that the universe was once compacted matter. His law led to the creation of the Big Bang Model.
All of these scientists contributed to the creation to the Big Bang theory, as we know it is to be today. Many of these scientists used each other’s work I order to advance or explain their own observations or findings. Even though these scientists were eventually able to explain the process of the Big Bang they were not successful in clarifying why the Big Bang occurred.
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