Photons before the matter-energy

From: John Croft (
Date: Thu Jan 31 2002 - 08:21:53 GMT

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    Ted Dace asked

    > Let me ask you this. If a theoretical "entity,"
    > capable of vision in the early universe, had been
    > looking around, what would this "eye" have seen?

    Assuming our eing was not turned into plasma as a
    result of the temperatures (greater than the surface
    photosphere of the sun).... i.e. a completely
    impossible "being" to have "eyes" but lets engage then
    in the virtual world. OK?

    > Ordinarily when we think of radiation, we imagine
    > waves of photons traveling according to a particular
    > frequency/wavelength. The higher the frequency
    > the shorter the wavelength. Let's give our entity
    > universal eyesight, so that it can detect everything
    > from radio on up to gamma. What does it see?
    > Is anything there?

    Can you imagine being "inside" the solar photosphere,
    with light being scattered every which way by the
    excited complete ionization of all material
    components. The solar photosphere is a zone a couple
    of thousand kilometres thick. In the case of the big
    bang, what we are talking about at before 300,000
    years would be a zone 300,000 light years "thick". It
    would be like being on the inside of a bright
    lightfilled fog, coming at you at every wavelength.
    Everything is there. Nothing is "not there".

    When we see the Cosmic Microwave Background what we
    are gazing at is the "edge" of this "fireball". After
    that point in time the universe went transparent -
    electrons were bound around the nuclei to make atoms,
    and light was free to travel, uninterupted from the
    "edge" to the COBE observer (or Penzias and Wilson's
    "horn" at Bell Labs).

    Does this help?



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