Without access to a time machine, we can't head back to witness how the universe began. However, that doesn't mean scientists are clueless. Physicists don't need a time machine - they have math. In fact, with an analog radio set, you too can hear the echos of our universe's beginnings, the expansion theory that we call the Big Bang.


1. How The Big Bang Got Its Name

Despite the name, the Big Bang was not an explosion. Instead, it was the rapid change of a tiny point of matter into a vast and expanding universe. Before the Big Bang, there was no universe for an explosion to happen in. The Big Bang literally formed space as it happened. The obvious question is what is the universe expanding into? More on that later. The original term for the theory was a primeval or singularity origin and was proposed by Georges Lemaîtrein in 1931. The main opposing idea was called the Steady State Model, supporters of which believed the universe had no beginning but stretched back in time eternally. Physicist Fred Hoyle supported the steady-state model. On March 28th, 1949, Hoyle gave an interview where he disparagingly referred to the singularity origin as "this big bang idea," later calling it irrational. Nevertheless, the name stuck.

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