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Before the Beginning

?and why time moves from yesterday to tomorrow - What scientists call the Big Bang brought the universe about, but can we get a glimpse of what things were like BEFORE the Big Bang? NASA astronomers think they've been able to do just that. In doing so, they may also be able to explain why we experience time moving in a straight line from yesterday to tomorrow.

They've done it by studying cosmic microwave background (CMB), which is light that was emitted when the universe was just a youngster: 400,000 years old. Their research suggests that new universes could be created spontaneously from apparently empty space.

In BBC News, Chris Lintott quotes researcher Sean Carroll as saying, "A universe could form inside this room and we'd never know."

The laws that govern physics on a quantum scale are completely reversible, but Lintott quotes Carroll as saying, "[yet] no one gets confused about which is yesterday and which is tomorrow." This one-way movement is known as the "arrow of time" and is part of the second law of thermodynamics, which states that systems move over time from order to disorder. Lintott quotes Carroll as saying, "Every time you break an egg or spill a glass of water you're learning about the Big Bang."

Art credit: gimp-savvy.com

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