Can you see the Big Bang?


The question is sometimes also asked why we do not see the Big Bang itself at a distance of 13.8 billion years from us? After all, if the Big Bang was 13.8 billion years ago, then it was in 13.8 billion years that the light from it should have reached us.

To answer this question, you need to understand what the Big Bang is. Many people understand the Big Bang as the explosion of some kind of bomb in a void, as a result of which matter began to scatter over this void in all directions. But this understanding of the Big Bang is erroneous. The Big Bang is a very rapid expansion of our universe from an initial compressed state to an unimaginably small state.

In the initial state, as well as in the first several hundred thousand years (slightly less than 400 thousand years) after the Big Bang, the universe was opaque to light. It was filled with quark-gluon plasma, and then a plasma of electrons, baryons, neutrinos, mesons and other particles.

Due to the expansion of the universe, this plasma cooled down and atoms of hydrogen and helium appeared, as a result, the universe became transparent to light. This first light we can now observe how

The existence of this radiation was predicted by Georgy Gamow in the 50s, and it was discovered experimentally (largely by accident) by the physicists Penzias and Wilson in 1965. The discovery of the relict radiation and the coincidence of its parameters with the values predicted by Gamow based on the Big Bang theory has become one of its important proofs.

Thus, although when we look into the distance, we do see the past, we still cannot see the Big Bang, since the universe in the first hundreds of thousands of years after it was opaque to light.