This would create tiny temperature differences within the struck brane that, like those in the standard Big Bang model, become the seeds for galaxy formation.
The researchers "make a graceful transition from the Big Crunch to the Big Bang," says David N.
According to Steinhardt, the ekpyrotic theory does everything that Big Bang plus inflation accomplishes.
Big Bang plus inflation predicts that gravitational waves can have extremely long wavelengths, while the ekpyrotic theory does not.
Refined versions of Alpher's theory predicted that if the Big Bang hypothesis were true, hydrogen would account for about 75 percent of the mass in the universe, and helium would represent close to 24 percent, with the remaining light elements present in significantly smaller quantities.
Alpher and Rober Herman of the University of Texas in Austin also predicted that the Big Bang would produce a faint, uniform sea of radiation.
An expanding universe, the microwave background and nucleosynthesis -- these are the three key elements of the Big Bang model that seem to be very well verified observationally," says Paul J.
What makes the Big bang cosmology so appealing is that it's not just one observation but a whole bunch of observations that hang together," Krauss says.
Other new findings further strengthen the evidence in favor of a Big Bang.
We made that prediction 15 years ago, and at the time it seemed totally absurd that you could use arguments from the Big Bang to tell you how many elementary particles there are," Schramm says.
Because the Big Bang model allows one to extrapolate backwards in time to some kind of explosive beginning, the apparent age of the universe and objects within it becomes an important issue.