Everything in the Universe has a beginning and an end, and sometimes we need to take things too literally because that principle even applies to the Universe itself. The Big Bang event is considered one of the most important ones ever, as most astrophysicists agree that it marked the birth of the Universe itself.
There was a time when not even atoms existed in the Cosmos, not to mention all the huge stuff that currently exist out there, such as stars, planets, or entire galaxies. Shortly after the Big Bang, the Universe was way too hot. But after it started to cool down, quarks and electrons began to form. It took about 300,000 years after the Big Bang for the first atoms to form.
In the beginning, there was hydrogen
Hydrogen was the first type of atom that started to exist in the Universe. Even today, hydrogen is the most widespread and simple chemical element. You can find it in planets, stars, water, fire, even in the human body, and so on. There’s no wonder why the hydrogen atom is so widespread and simple since it has only one electron.
On the other hand, Oganesson is the heaviest chemical element known by humans. Its atom has 118 electrons. The element was named after the Russian physicist Yuri Oganessian.
As of now, 13.7 billion years after the Big Bang, many more chemical elements emerged. The heaviest ones, such as gold or uranium, can form only under the highest temperatures and pressures, such as those occurring in supernovae.
Finding out if there was anything before the Big Bang still represents one of the biggest challenges in science today, although there’s a lot of debate about this subject among scientists. Some physicists, such as Stephen Hawking, say that there’s no point at all in asking what existed before the major event since there was no time for anything to exist. That’s because time itself was created along with the Big Bang.