How to Bake a Universe (Please allow time)
To start your universe, you will need to purchase nothing, but it is important to choose nothing with a lot of potential. Many of the nothings sold at lower-end supermarkets are low in price because they have no potential, or short-lived potential. It is worth shopping around and spending a little bit more.
Leave your nothing to stand.
Set your oven’s timer to Planck Time.
You will notice the oven’s timer ping in about 10 to -37th second, when the nothing creates time and space.
It is important to make sure your oven is roomy as your universe should rise very rapidly.
If your universe does not rise and spread rapidly, check you have sprinkled in some Higgs Field.
Take your universe out of the oven and allow to cool.
You may notice smears of dark matter and dark energy, do not try to wipe them oﬀ, they will prove very useful. Do not worry if you cannot see the dark energy and dark matter, you can go poking around in the mix looking for it but it might disturb the expansion.
If all is going well, you should notice the development of four forces – strong nuclear force, weak nuclear force, electromagnetic force and gravity. If you can’t see them, return your nothing to the shop and complain that nothing did not contain all the ingredients it said on the label.
After ten seconds you should see electrons and positrons, do not worry about them annihilating each other, you may get a slightly burnt caramel smell.
The next stage requires patience. Have some good books to ﬁll your time, in fact, have all the good books to ﬁll your time. This will be a good time to read Ulysses, Remembrance of Things Past and Alan Moore’s Jerusalem.
After 200 million years, you should be able to turn oﬀ your reading light and use the ﬁrst starlight instead. Now prepare for quasars and galaxies.
Congratulations, you have made your ﬁrst universe, now prepare to rule it like a malevolent deity or with utter indiﬀerence.
DISCLAIMER: Monkey Cage takes no responsibility for any household damage or existential crises should your universe lead to sentient life perpetually complaining of the confusion of existence.
The above is an extract taken from How to Build a Universe by Brian Cox and Robin Ince and Alexandra Feachem, which is available now online and in bookstores.
The Infinite Monkey Cage, the legendary BBC Radio 4 programme, brings you this irreverent celebration of scientific marvels. Join us on a hectic leap through the grand and bizarre ideas conjured up by human imagination, from dark matter to consciousness via neutrinos and earthworms.
Professor Brian Cox and Robin Ince muse on multifaceted subjects involved in building a universe, with pearls of wisdom from leading scientists and comedians peppered throughout.
Covering billions of concepts and conundrums, they tackle everything from the Big Bang to parallel universes, fierce creatures to extraterrestrial life, brain science to artificial intelligence. How to Build a Universe is an illuminating and inspirational celebration of science – sometimes silly, sometimes astounding and very occasionally facetious.
Posted on December 2, 2017 by Andrea Johnson