Where did the matter come from that was created during the Big Bang?

According to the Law of Conservation of Mass - matter cannot be created nor destroyed. Is there an alternate source for the creation of the mas from the Big Bang or does this Law not apply in this situation?

1 Answer
Sep 18, 2016

From the energy stored in the singularity that existed immediately prior to the big bang.


When Einstein came up with his revolutionary equation #E=MC^2# he was stating that energy equals mass as it travels at the speed of light squared. This mean energy and mass are interchangeable.

At the billionth of a second past the big bang the entire universe was pure energy and extremely hot. But also in those first few billionths of a second energy was coalescing into the most basic building blocks of all elements, bosons, mesons, gluons, etc.

As the energy and the matter it produced started to cool those parts that make up the nucleus of every atom started to come together to form hydrogen.

This hydrogen in turn formed rotating pools which as their collective mass increased, stars were formed. It is quite likely that a large majority of the earliest stars were extremely large. Astrophysics tells us that the lifespan of a star is inversely proportional to the size of a star. The largest stars burn out relatively quickly, maybe even in the hundreds of millions of years.

Those early giants, however, most likely all went to super nova at their life's end. Supernova stars are capable of making every natural element on the periodic table. Smaller stars at the end of their lives also make elements but only through element number 6, carbon. All stars which cannot go to super novae will stop by the time they reach iron. This is because the mass of the star dictates how much fusion can happen.