Did Galaxies Grow from Quantum Static?

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Did Galaxies Grow from Quantum Static?


A new test could determine whether large-scale cosmic structures have microscopic origins

Did Galaxies Grow from Quantum Static?
Quantum fluctuations in the early universe may have seeded the formation of large cosmic structures, such as this galaxy cluster. Credit: NASA, ESA, Hubble and RELICS

Some 13.8 billion years ago, the universe as we know it began in the instant of time we call the big bang. At this moment, very hot and dense energy and matter suffused the cosmos, fueling the expansion of space. In the first split second afterward, many physicists posit, the universe went through a phase of extremely rapid expansion: a process called inflation. One of the most marvelous predictions of this theory is that the arrangement of all the galaxies throughout the universe—the placement of all the “stuff” in the cosmos at the largest conceivable scales—was set by events taking place at the smallest possible level of measurement: the quantum realm. Proponents of this idea, however, have long faced a tricky question:

Can we ever confirm this microscopic origin story if all we can see today are the macroscopic results?

Source: www.scientificamerican.com/article/did-galaxies-grow-from-quantum-static/

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