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COOKING UP A COSMOS Will our descendants create a universe in a laboratory YOU DONT HAVE TO BE A MASTER CHEF TO MAKE meringue Simply combine egg whites and sugar in a large bowl and beat vigorously until the mixture is light and fluffy Spread in a pan and put in an oven preheated to 300 degrees F Bake for 40 to 45 minutes and voile Could it be just as easy to make a universe Since the big bang theory implies that the entire observed universe can evolve from a tiny speck its tempting to ask whether a universe can in principle be created in a laboratory Given what we know of the laws of physics would it be possible for an extraordinarily advanced civilization to create new universes at will The first thing to think about is the list of necessary ingredients Curiously scientific theories continue to offer an enormous range of answers to the question of what the universe was made from One of the most dramatic differences between the standard big bang theory without inflation and the inflationary universe theory is the answer that each gives to this fundamental question If the recipe for the standard big bang universe were written in a Cosmic Cookbook how would it read To begin the universe at an age of one second the ingredient list would include 10sup 89 photons 10sup 89 electrons 10sup 89 positrons 10sup 89 neutrinos 10sup 89 antineutrinos 10sup 79 protons and 10sup 79 neutrons The ingredients should be stirred vigorously to produce a uniform batter which should then be heated to a temperature of 10sup 10 kelvins After heating the total massenergy of the mix would be about 10sup 65 grams or 10sup 32 solar masses This number by the way is about 10 billion times larger than the total mass in the visible universe today So to produce a universe by the standard big-bang description one must start
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