Cosmology and the Origin of Life
Two main observations:
Universal Expansion means the universe used to be a small place where all the matter was together as the universe expands (ages) its density goes down
The Microwave Background:
The observed ratio of photons (400 per cubic centimeter) to hydrogen in the Universe is about 1 billion to 1. That is, for every H-atom there are one billion microwave background photons. This will be extremely important later.
Now remember . Why is this a big deal?
A Framework for describing the Thermal Evolution of the Universe:
photon + photon --- particle +antiparticle
Average photon energy depends on the Temperature of the Universe
This temperature is steadily in decline and therefore the average energy per photon declines as the Universe expands and cools
At any given time in the Universe, the distribution of photon energies looks like this (this is the blackbody curve) (and refer to the applet linked above)
Repeat:
If E_{photon} < m_{p}c^{2} then that photon has insufficient energy to spontaneously convert itself to m_{p} + its anti-particle
So what really is a particle? Good Question:
Schematic of a proton:
Now it gets really weird: The Universe at times less than 0.0000000000000000000001 seconds.
The uncertainty principle is important as the universe is in a quantum state initially (?)
What this all means is that if quantum mechanics holds at very early times then large energy fluctuations (on which our universe is one) had no choice but to happen.
So, are these quantum fluctuations supposed to evolve and ask questions?
At very early times: