Switzerland: The first winter was snowy Universe

06.12.2004

06.12.2004


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In the very first winter snow in the universe was — say two Swiss physicist. Soaring flakes, possibly in complete darkness and silence filled the space. However, it was not snow flakes, and "snowflakes" of hydrogen.

According to the calculations of Daniel Pfenningera the University of Geneva and Denis Pugh from the University of Zurich, even before any stars and planets, which could drop snow, diatomic molecules of hydrogen gas to condense into solid flakes. However, this winter was not white, as if there was simply no light, which could reflect the flakes.

Hydrogen — the most abundant element in the universe. It is three-quarters of a known substance, mainly scattered in space as a gas or condensed in the star. At a pressure of one atmosphere of hydrogen freezing point — 14 degrees above absolute zero. At lower pressure, the freezing point is even lower.

After about 300,000 years after the unimaginable violence of the Big Bang, the universe cooled sufficiently (about 3 thousand degrees) to the subatomic constituents of the hydrogen atoms were formed. It was only after about 500 million years formed the first stars and galaxies. This interim period astronomers call the cosmic "dark ages." Pfenninger and Pugh believe that hydrogen snow appeared in the first space winter — in a short period before the end of the "dark times" when the universe was less than a billion years. The necessary conditions are the result of achieving the delicate balance between constant cooling of the universe and its gradual expansion.

Scientists have speculated that then formed flakes frozen hydrogen, because hydrogen is cooled during expansion. That is, the hydrogen in the early universe could be cooled to a lower temperature than that created the cosmic microwave background radiation of the Big Bang. Today, it maintains the temperature of the radiation of empty space at the level of -269 degrees.

If hydrogen snow did appear, its existence was short-lived. Its very formation of hydrogen increases the ability to absorb cosmic microwave background radiation and therefore heat up. In any case, with the advent of ultra-violet light stars ionized any flakes formed and tore them apart. Blizzard dark times was only a prelude to space the spring, zalivshey the universe in a new light.

Battery News, 03.12.2004 17:29
Source: NTR.ru

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