Before stars, planets, and black holes, before even atoms or rays of light, the universe resonated with something amazing: sound.
This “primordial hum” moved at more than half the speed of light through an extremely hot plasma made up of baryons, photons and dark matter.
They arose from a “tug of war” between powerful ancient fundamental forces that produce sound waves, until they disappeared after a few hundred thousand years of existence. The universe suddenly became silent.
However, experts say it is still possible to pick up the echoes of those first sound waves that spread throughout the early universe. The ripples they created have left a lasting imprint on the distribution of matter around the universe, while also providing astronomers with clues to one of the deepest questions about our universe today, the mysterious force known as…dark energy(Dark energy).
Primordial sound waves – also known as baryonic acoustic oscillations (BAO operations) – formed when particles in the early universe began to be pulled together by gravity, reports the BBC.
“The gravitational force of dark matter in the early universe created ‘potential wells,’ pulling the plasma inward,” says Larissa Santos, a professor at the Center for Gravity and Cosmology at Yangzhou University in China. However, the creature was so hot that it also created an opposing external force. “The photons created radiation pressure that fought gravity and pushed everything back together. This battle created acoustic vibrations – sound waves.
BAOs erupt outward from countless potential wells, forming expanding, concentric fields of acoustic energy. They join together to sculpt the plasma into amazingly complex 3D interference patterns.
If humans had somehow existed in the era of “baryonic acoustic oscillations” (BAOs), they would not have heard anything. The sounds were about 47 octaves lower than the bottom note of the piano at huge wavelengths of about 450,000 light-years.
This incredibly deep, inaudible hum traveled through a medium that even our most powerful telescopes cannot penetrate. The deeper we look into the universe, the further back we go into its history because of the time it takes for light to reach us.
The Planck Space Telescope was able to capture echoes of BAOs from the early universe, and scientists were able to translate them into sound frequencies, in the example below. Tinnitus consists of a lower pitch and higher pitch. Audible noise is part of the processing used to create the audio file.
Then, at about 379,000 years ago, the universe cooled enough so that protons and electrons could “pair up” and form the first neutral hydrogen atoms. The creature disappeared, leaving the universe suddenly transparent to light. Meanwhile, the battle between radiation and gravity ended, BAO operations ceased, and the universe fell silent.
Scientists hope to learn more about dark energy
The burst of light energy now spreading across the universe was so powerful that it is still shaking radio telescopes and challenging physicists more than 13 billion years later as a signal known as the cosmic microwave background. The CMB is the oldest and most detailed visible record of the early universe, and scientists can see a “fossil record” of the universe’s first sounds.
But BAOs not only hint at what the early universe looked like, they also serve as a barometer to measure the effects of another unseen phenomenon: dark energy!
the dark energy Causes the expansion of the universe. Its effects are everywhere, but its nature is unknown. So studying the size of BAOs at different distances from Earth tells a story about how the effects of dark energy have changed over the course of the universe’s history.
It is part of the radio telescope project.Bingo“, which is under construction in the northeastern Brazilian state of Paraíba. The Bingo game (which stands for “BAOs from Integrated Neutral Gas Observations”) is tuned to the distinctive radiation signatures of hydrogen, the simplest, oldest and most abundant atom in the universe.
Hydrogen atoms emit radiation with a wavelength of 21 cm, which is invisible to the human eye, but can be detected by a radio telescope. This radiation from distant hydrogen clouds is expanded by dark energy, increasing the wavelength observed here on Earth. The farther you travel, the more it stretches.
BINGO is designed to map the distribution of hydrogen between one and four billion light-years – relatively close to the cosmic scale of space and time.
Using sophisticated statistical calculations, Santos will analyze its data Discovering millions of galaxiesto examine them Appropriate Distances between them And dig deeper in How dark energy affected BAO patterns During this era.
“Bingo will look toward the late Universe when dark energy is already dominating the expansion,” he explained. “It is very complementary to other experiments. Many of these other experiments are already planned or are underway.”
- You can listen here The primordial buzz of the universe. The sound waves were recorded by the Planck Space Telescope and translated into frequencies we can hear. The document in question was published by NASA in 2013.
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