The Plank Era

Big Bang

We do not know what conditions were like during the Plank Era.  This lasted from the initial singularity until 10-43 seconds after the Big Bang.  That moment is referred to as Planck time.  At that time the universe's size was about 10-33 cm across. 10-32 cm to 10-35 cm is called the Planck width or Planck length or Planck distance.  At this time the quantum wavelength of the universe was larger than the size of the universe itself.  The universe has complete symmetry: all four forces we know today were unified. We do not know what happened before this time, because our knowledge of physics breaks down at this point.   Our present-day formulation of physics fails in principle to be able to explain what was going on.  A quantum theory of gravity is required if we can proceed any farther back toward the beginning.

American astrophysicist Richard Gott has taken advantage of this infinitesimal period about which we know nothing. He proposes that there is an infinite loss of information about events before 10-43 seconds. With this total loss of information, he says, anything becomes possible, including the ability to make an infinite number of universes. Quantum tunneling is the process by which quantum mechanical particles penetrate barriers that would be insurmountable to classical objects.

Grand Unified Theory era

At the Planck time, symmetry breaks (this has been compared to Lurianic Kabbalah) and gravity becomes a distinct force. The other forces are still unified as the GUT  (Grand Unified Theory) force. This is the start of the GUT era.  Here we have the beginning of Quantum theory and classical general relativity
The Plank Era
The Inflationary Era
The Quark-Lepton Era
The Radiation Era
The Matter Era

Big Bang page
Big Bang page

Universe page


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page uploaded 31 March 2000