At the beginning of class today, I gazed upon the screen that read “The Big Bang Theory and Origin of the Universe” and I immediately thought about the vast knowledge and information regarding such phenomenon’s and how I did not really know anything about them. The more I thought, the quicker I came to realize that I in fact do not know anything about the Big Bang or the origin or the Universe. Baffled, I sat prepared to listen to a conversation from our guest, Professor Kocevski whom apparently had an extensive, yet impressive, background in the world of astronomy and physics. As a psychology major with previous experience in the natural sciences, I felt ready to approach a theory that seemed so concrete yet so abstract.
While listening to the lecture, certain words and concepts were new but nevertheless confusing. Initially I found myself jotting down big words and their definitions and then I came to realize that that was not at all helpful because I was missing the big picture Professor Kocevski was drawing. As the lecture continued, I began noticing a trend and pattern in what he was saying. Yes, he enlightened us about this explosion of matter that to this day is expanding and how all of the stars and galaxies we know about today came from this explosion (i.e. Big Bang Theory) but subliminally underscored the importance of time and perception. Although I have very little knowledge on the topic, concluding that understanding time and perception was crucial to realizing the impact it has on debates such as the Big Bang Theory.
Time and distance of objects relative to each other was often the core of theories that Professor Kocevski presented as potential rationalizations of the beginning of the Universe. While describing the evolutionary manner of the Universes’ formation in order to describe its “origin”, it was evident that time and change does happen within or beyond physical notion. He digressed to converse about the theories that didn’t quite seem to support the idea of an origin or boundary for expansion. Among these were theories like the No Boundary Theory proposed by Stephen Hawking in which he believed that although you may think you have reached a point or boundary, when you proceed further, there continues to be other things similar to what existed before this “point” or “boundary”. Another interesting concept regarding time and perception was the impact distance has on the way we see, hear, or feel things. Take for example the Doppler shift that accounts for the wavelength change caused by our position in relation to an object or sound. This, once again, underscores the importance of understanding the interconnectedness of relativity, time, and distance.
Essentially, what I mostly drew from this lecture was the idea that, in a way, there is no absolute measure of time. Interestingly, as much background and scientific evidence was given about the theory and supporting evidence, there was always a subliminal hint of the science ambiguity and abstract nature of science. Before, hearing people calling time a social construct made little sense to me. Now, I feel more comfortably describing it as a socially constructed phenomenon where things such as distance, speed, and objects are a function of time.