presentation I will describe events that occurred in the first second of the
life of the universe. There have been
approximately four-hundred-thousand-million-million seconds since the beginning
of the universe, so to concentrate on only one of them might seem the ultimate
degree of overspecialization. But the
very first second was really something special.
In some sense cosmology is
history; it is the science of history.
If history of science is a
well established field, I see no reason why there can't be something known as science of history. Indeed, my approach to cosmology is that
of a historian, and certainly not that of an antiquarian. An antiquarian is interested in old things
simply because they are old. To an
antiquarian, a laundry list from 1215 is just as significant as the Magna Carta
since it is equally old. A historian,
on the other hand, is interested in the past because past events shape the
present. Of course, not every past
event is equally significant. It is the
job of an historian to sort through the past to find the most important events,
those that shape the future. Studying
the past helps us understand the present.
I am interested in the first
second of the universe because events during that time are responsible for
shaping the structure of the present universe.
Just as in history, in cosmology the past shapes the present. We will never have a complete understanding
of the present universe without at least a rudimentary understanding of the
origin of the universe.
Contributed by: Dr. Edward Kolb