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Transcript of The Universe
Formation of the Universe
People believe many different things about how the universe came about being.
When the Universe was still trillions of times smaller than an atom, and trillions of times younger than a second, it expanded, doubling in size over 90 times,between 10^-33 and 10^-32 seconds. It consisted of photons, electrons, neutrinos and quarks. This period was called inflation. After the inflation, it continued to grow slowly, and cool down.This allowed basic forces to be created, such as gravity, the force that holds the nuclei of atoms together, and electromagnetic forces.
Within three minutes, as the universe was taking shape, protons and neutrons began to bond together to create the nuclei of some basic elements - Hydrogen and Helium. It takes very high temperatures to create these elements, such as bombs and the centers of stars, neither of which existed at the time.
The observable universe today is still mostly made up of these elements.
The Radiation Era occured between 4 minutes and 10,000 years after the Big Bang. The temperature of the universe dropped to be cooler than the temperature of the sun, and protons began to bond together to create Deuterons.At this time, everything in the universe absorbed radiation. This radiation still exists today - in the form of microwave background radiation.
MATTER DOMINATION ERA
At about 300,000 years, the pressure in the universe dropped along with the temperature, allowing matter to dominate over radiation. Matter then began to collapse into stars and galaxies. Large stars formed new elements at their centers, and supernovas were created. This period lasted somewhere between 100 million and 200 billion years.
BIRTH OF THE SUN
The sun was formed the same way the rest of the stars were - by gravity swirling different particles together. It started out as mostly Hydrogen and Helium, and over a period of 50 million years continuously increased in temperature, eventually forming a disk. In the middle of the disk a prostar was formed, which would later become the sun, and the disk would become the planets in our solar system.
As it says in the Bible, God created the universe. The earth began as a shapeless mass covered in darkness. Gods spirit hovered over the waters, and said
"Let there be light!" and so there was. God saw that this was good, and continued on this way, creating plants, animals, ect. Eventually god created man - in his own image- called Adam. From Adam's rib came Eve. God granted humans authority over all living things, as they were created in his likeness, and the most important of god's creations.
In the Qur'an, it is told that Allah created the universe, and from there, the creation of man happened in a series of gradual stages, bearing likeness to evolution. Allah's underlying wisdom here is that through this slow development, defects would be eliminated from his constitution and nature. There are four stages:
; a stage of non-existence.
; body creation, but no brain.
; production of species through sex.
In this final stage, humans formed a brain and gained a highly developed intelligence and awareness. This allowed humans to develop a system of life, create culture, start on the road to civilization and working in co-operation with other humans.
Buddhism tells that all life and the universe is inconceivable, and that there is no beginning or end to to it. It is a never-ending cycle of births and deaths.
'Infinite is the sky, infinite is the number of beings,
Infinite are the worlds in the vast universe,
Infinite in wisdom the Buddha teaches these,
Infinite are the virtues of Him who teaches these.' - (Sri Ramachandra)
The Big Bang
The Universe started as a tiny spec, which is called a singularity. A singularity is what is found in the middle of black holes - a seemingly impossibly dense, hot, ball. Suddenly, this tiny ball began to expand. As it expanded, it got cooler and less dense, forming the stars and planets. It is still expanding to this day. We still have no idea what existed before, or what exists outside of our universe, but scientists are working to figure it out. Because of quantum fluctuations within the theory of the Big Bang, it suggests that there could be many other universes.
"It means everything and anything that can happen, will," - Paul Steinhardt
HUMANS HAVE PLAYED A TREMENDOUSLY LARGE ROLE IN THE DESTRUCTION OF OUR PLANET.
Human populations can have an enormous effect on our world. Larger societies naturally consume more resources - but it doesn't stop there. All different societies throughout time have had different consumption patterns. For example, hunter-gatherer societies had lower population densities, making it easier to co-exist with other wildlife. Pastoral societies use(d) animals for both transportation and food, and generally kept them in herd, allowing them to wipe out the plants on a section of land and move on, giving the previous time to re-grow. Similarly, Horticultural societies periodically let the land they live on revert completely back to wilderness. High population densities (especially paired with high consumption) can have very negative effects on the earth and it's inhabitants.
Higher population densities put a strain on many of our resources. Water - something we all need to live - is one of our quick depleting resources. Less than one percent of all water on earth is suitable for humans, and with high populations it can become a bit of a competition. Many countries are already facing water shortages. Food is another - on average, 1 in 7 people go hungry everyday. Higher populations also mean more crop land. In the U.S especially, farming is very industrialized and often little attention is given to the health of the soil, ruining land for plants and animals.
Pollution is one of the biggest problems we are facing. For years we have been releasing chemicals that later produce Chlorine and Bromine (Ozone Depleting Substances - ODS) in to atmosphere through air conditioners, cars, aerosols, ect. Too many ODS in the atmosphere begins to break down the Ozone layer. As the Ozone depletes, it allows more and more U.V. rays to reach earth. These rays can cause cancer and cataracts in humans and animals. They heavily effect plant life- lowering the amount of seeds produced, shrinking the actual sizes of plants through adaptation (the less surface area, the less U.V. rays absorbed). In the future, U.V. resistant plants may overtake the others. They also effect the reproduction of algae - in turn effecting everything in that algae s ecosystem because algae is at the bottom of the food chain. Pollution in the form of trash, fertilizers/pesticides, mining waste, ect. cause major harm to marine life, as these things collect in bodies of water and kill its inhabitants and destroy the ecosystem.
There are three types of human impact on habitats: Destruction, Fragmentation, and Degradation. Destruction can include, among other things, the removal of sediments from bodies of water (dredging), moving fields, excessive crops/planting, and filling in wetlands. This includes the agriculture business, which accounts for most deforestation, along with the conversion of habitats to buildings/houses/factories. The second, fragmentation, refers to things like dams and roads. Dams split a body of water into parts - disrupting the biochemistry of the waters because minerals cannot flow properly. This can ruin its ability to remain a habitat for wildlife that rely on those minerals, and make it more difficult for fish and the like to find food or mates. Roads and buildings can, along with the destruction of habitats, impede on many animals migration and make it difficult for them to find a safe place to rest. The final type is degradation, which includes things like pollution and man made fires - things that can make a habitat un-livableto its native life.
Global warming is the result of excess amounts of air pollutants such as carbon dioxide moving up into the atmosphere and creating a layer thick enough to insulate the earth's heat, causing the globe to gradually warm up. The United States is the largest contributor to this type of pollution - we emit 25% of the worlds carbon dioxide, even though our population only equals 4% of the earth's. That's more Carbon dioxide than India, Japan and China emit combined. Global warming causes many problems. For example, due to global warming, Antarctica's land mass has been decreasing about 150 billion tons every year. It also increases the amount of wildfires, dust storms due to drought, floods, the strength of hurricanes, and increased melting glaciers. And of course, rising temperature increase of 9% a year and rising sea levels of 0.14 inches a year.
WHAT CAN BE DONE?
The biggest polluters are often coal burning companies - which means new laws need to be put in place. Creating a cap on how much Carbon Dioxide they can emit would be a good start, or at least make these companies pay for what they emit. Contacting a local official and encouraging this is a small help. On a more personal level, there are many things you can do:
Choosing a Green-e certified energy supplier is a great idea because they use at least half natural energy like solar panels and wind turbines.
Buying an energy-efficient car and driving as little as possible, and tuning up your car regularly for maximum fuel efficiency.
Installing low-flow fixtures in your home to conserve water, taking shorter showers
Growing only native plants in your garden also to conserve water
Buying/using as much compost able/recyclable items or item packaging, purchasing less in general
Carpooling, using public transport, biking/walking
Use Compact Flourescent Bulbs (use a half-ton less carbon dioxide)
Weatherizing your home to reduce cooling/heating energy