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The Ten Commandments

Since we use Einstein's equation to study the origin of the universe, the ten non-linear partial differential equations contained in the Einstein equation can be regarded as the ten commandments of modern genesis.Technically, only six of the ten equations have to be satisfied, so it might be said that four of the ten commandments of modern genesis are optional. Since most people now regard at least four of the...

Following the ten commandments of modern genesis, we can study the early universe so long as we can reproduce the conditions of temperature, density, and pressure expected for the epoch in question. If we extrapolate the temperature-time relation from Einstein's equation to three minutes AB, we expect that the temperature was about 1,000,000,000 K. This is an enormous temperature, but because we can reproduce the same conditions in the laboratory, we have a good understanding of the behavior of matter in this extreme environment.

Earlier than three minutes AB the universe was so hot that nuclei could not exist. Just as any atom in the universe would have melted if the temperature was hotter than 3000K, nuclei melt at temperatures hotter than 1,000,000,000 K. Three minutes AB was the birth of the nuclear age; before then, the universe was made of the constituents of nuclei: neutrons and protons.

Our extrapolation back in time is rewarded, because we can predict what sort of nuclei were produced three minutes AB when neutrons and protons formed nuclei. Using what we learn from studying nuclear reactions in the laboratory, and using the modern laws of genesis to predict how the universe cooled as it expanded, we predict that three minutes AB the primordial neutrons and protons should form 75% hydrogen and 25% helium, with just a trace of lithium.Apparently the universe needed a little lithium to make it through the first day, but it wasn't very much, only about one part in ten-billion.Furthermore, the big-bang model predicts the abundance of different isotopes of hydrogen (normal hydrogen and heavy hydrogen) and helium (helium-4 and helium-3). The agreement between predictions and observations is an astounding success. The fact that the predictions agree so well with observations of the primordial elemental abundances gives us a lot of confidence that we understand the universe three minutes AB.

Contributed by: Dr. Edward Kolb

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The Ten Commandments

Two Themes
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The Universe Today
Into the Primordial Soup
The Recipe for a Universe
The Importance of Nothing
A Cosmic Symphony


Rocky Kolb

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