What processes took place in the universe when its age was less than one second? Have the cells of the original state of the universe, in particular the primary magnetic fields, survived? What can they tell? And also: what would our world look like if “something would have gone wrong”? Scientists of the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv are looking for answers to these and other questions .
Eduard Gorbar, the project’s supervisor, says that in recent years there has been evidence that large-scale magnetic fields are present in the largest voids in the universe, where there is very little ordinary matter: stars, galaxies, gas. Most likely, they have a cosmological nature, i.e. they did not form in some astrophysical objects (for example, galaxies), but in the early universe. This means that these fields can provide unique information about physical processes in the early universe, which cannot currently be obtained in any other way.
When the age of the universe was less than a second…
– The prevailing opinion among scientists is that at the very beginning of the history of our universe, when its age was much less than 1 second, it passed the stage of rapid expansion, – explains Mr. Eduard. – In a short period of time, the universe has increased in size by trillions of trillions of times. This stage is called inflation (by analogy with the economic term) and is very important for the entire subsequent evolution of the universe, both in terms of cosmology and in terms of fundamental particle physics. It was at this stage that the primary inhomogeneities (fluctuations) of the energy density of the Universe were formed, from which the protogalaxies, protozoa, and then the stars themselves, the planets around them, and us were formed. Were it not for these primordial embryos, the universe would look very dull today: the whole space would be uniformly filled with scattered matter and no complex objects would exist.
According to scientists (both Ukrainian and foreign), at the stage of inflation, the primary gravitational waves arose, which humanity has yet to detect. It is natural to assume that the magnetic fields in the voids may also originate from the inflationary stage. The origin of these magnetic fields is being studied by scientists from Mr. Eduard’s team.
Scientists hope that the study will shed light on the earliest stages of the history of the universe.
How electromagnetic fields were generated
We ask the supervisor: “What has already been done, and what else do you plan to explore?”.
We have now developed a formalism that allows us to describe the process of generating electromagnetic fields, taking into account their reverse effect on the expansion of the universe, as well as the Schwinger effect. – Mr. Eduard says.
Researchers also plan to consider how the presence of electromagnetic fields during inflation affects primary inhomogeneities.
The equations that scientists have to work with are extremely complex. To solve them, a powerful computer station was purchased with grant funds.
According to the results of the study, one work has already been published, three more publications are planned for 2021. Scientists also plan to talk about the results of their work at seminars, conferences, lectures and more.
As for the final results, it may be possible to understand what experiments and observations need to be conducted to confirm or refute the hypothesis of inflationary magnetogenesis.
Not giving in to difficulties
Eduard Gorbar advises his colleagues who are planning to apply for calls not to hesitate and to try their hand.