The First Three Minutes of the Universe
The birth of the universe is a phenomenon which has long captured the interest of many, yet the exact circumstances of its beginning remain elusive. The most widely accepted theory for the birth of our universe is that of the Big Bang, an explosion from an initial singularity. At this point in time, physics as we now know it didn't exist. The four main forces that govern interactions were combined together and many of the particles that make up our current universe were not yet present. It has been theorized that starting at an approximate age of 10^(-35) seconds, the universe began to undergo an exponential expansion, known as inflation. There was then a transition from a "hot soup" of quarks and gluons (known as the quark-gluon plasma) to a hadron gas, followed by Big Bang nucleosynthesis, when the first nuclei were formed. In my talk, I will review what is known and theorized about the first three minutes of the universe's lifetime.