Present at the Creation

The universe is 13.8 billion years old, give or take a few tens of millions. A lot happened at the beginning. Starting January 1st, just after midnight (Mountain Time Zone; sorry East Coasters), I’ll launch a burst of tweets covering this earliest history. I’ll give times as “time since the beginning,” in seconds, minutes, or years. Fractions of a second will be given in exponential form. So10^-43 or 10-43 seconds is 1/10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 seconds. (Yes, there are 43 0’s in that fraction. This is the smallest physically meaningful unit of time – the Planck time, a quantum limit. You can’t get any closer to Zero Time than that.)

From January 2 on, I’ll report time in “years ago” not “time since the beginning,” until sometime in September, when I’ll switch to BCE/CE (equivalent to BC/AD).

There will be two big bouts of tweeting in January. January 1st will cover the beginning of the universe; inflation; the Big Bang; origins of fundamental forces, particles, atomic nuclei, and atoms; and formation of the first stars and galaxies (including the Milky Way). And January 20, and just after will cover the formation of the solar system, Earth and Moon, Earth’s first rocks and minerals, and the origin of life. Tweeting won’t be quite so intense during the rest of January.

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