“The Genesis of the Universe”: A brief history of everything, featuring Neil deGrasse Tyson

By on July 22, 2015

If you’ve got eight spare minutes and an open mind, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson explains “The Genesis of the Universe” on this latest episode of MinutePhysics — written and narrated by Tyson, with an accompanying soundtrack by Igor Stravinsky’s “The Firebird Suite,” and illustrations by Henry Reich.

Genesis of the Universe 1

Tyson explains the entire history of the Universe and the formation of stars, galaxies and solar systems, beginning at the genesis of it all, 13.7 billion years ago, back when all the space, matter, and energy was locked up in a volume less than one trillionth of the size of the point of a pen. Mind blown? Keep listening.

Genesis of the Universe 3
Not the center of the Universe: NASA produced this more recent “Blue Marble” by integrating satellite data from 2012.

Tyson goes on to explain how this trillionth-of-a-pen-point space began to expand when everything around it was an inconceivable 1030 degrees Celsius and the Universe was a mere 10-43 seconds old.

Genesis of the Universe 5

“Under these extreme conditions, and what is admittedly speculative physics, the structure of space and time became curved, and it gurgled into a spongy, foam-like form,” Tyson says. “During this epic, phenomena described by Einstein’s general theory of relativity – the modern theory of gravity – and quantum mechanics – the description of matter at its smallest scales – were indistinguishable from one another.”

Genesis of the Universe 4

It’s all a little overwhelming, but as Tyson says at the end of nearly everything he does these days, we’re going to “keep looking up.” And, keep listening, too.

If you enjoy posts about the universe and its creation, you might wanna check out this, and this too.

About Bryan Thomas

Bryan Thomas has been a freelancing writer/critic for All Music Guide, and a contributor to Launch, Music Connection, Big Takeover and numerous other publications and entertainment websites, blogs and zines, most of them long gone. He's written more than sixty sets of liner notes. He’s also worked for over twenty years at mostly reissue record labels -- prior to that he worked in bookstores and record stores, going all the way back to the original vinyl daze. He lives in the Miracle Mile neighborhood of Los Angeles, CA.