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Chapter One — How to build a universe

A Short History of Nearly Everything – by Bill Bryson

Chapter 1 —  How To Build A Universe

  • Protons are so small that the dot on this ” i ” can hold 500 billion of them.
  • The consensus of cosmologists is that our universe is about 13.7 billion years old, and the visible edge of our universe is 90 billion trillion miles away. One light year equals about 6 trillion miles, so the edge of the Universe is about 15 billion light years away.
  • “Inflation Theory” states that our universe went from “nothing” to 100 billion light-years across in 10 ^ -30 seconds, and 10 ^ 89 each of protons, neutrons, electrons, and photons came into existence in that same instant.
  • Most star systems in the cosmos are binary (double-starred), making our Sun a slight oddity.
  • The total amount of radiation energy collected by all the radio telescopes on Earth since 1951 (when collection first started) is less than the energy of a single snowflake striking the ground.
  • The cosmos (space) curves in such a way that it is boundless and yet finite at the same time.  As J.B.S. Haldane stated, “The universe is queerer than we suppose; it is queerer than we can suppose.”
  • For the universe to exist as it does requires that hydrogen be converted to helium in a precise way that converts 7/1000’s of it mass to energy.  If that number were 6/1000’s, no transformations would occur and the entire universe would consist of hydrogen and nothing else. If that number were 8/1000’s, and the bonding would be so prolific that all hydrogen would have been expended long ago.

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