(Submitted February 20, 1997)
In light of your answer
regarding light life, would it be theoretically possible to construct a
container that would contain and preserve light energy for use later?
As a follow-up to the question regarding the big bang, if the energy
that was emitted in the form of light at the time of the big bang has a
direction away from the center, how is it possible to observe it? Are we
observing the cosmic energy that it leaves behind as it passes each
point in space or is that energy emitted by the expanding sphere in a
direction opposite to its expansion?
Yes, it would be theoretically possible to construct a
container to preserve light energy. It would have to be
made of a material that was perfectly reflecting so that
when the light hit the walls, it would bounce off without
losing any energy.
In reference to the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB), when we called it a
gas, it was not just an analogy. The air in a room has no
"source", and the same is true for the photons that make up CMB.
of the CMB since the Big Bang is determined from essentially the same equations
that you would use to figure out how much any other gas cools when it expands.
No, the cosmic background should not be thought of as
emanating from a single central location in space. Remember
to think of it as "gas" of photons that has no
or "source", just as the air in a room. Hence, the cosmic
background permeates the entire Universe uniformly
essence, the radiation expanded outward with the Universe
as the Universe expanded. The background radiation observable
to infrared detectors by looking at any empty region of
space (i.e. a region without a star or a galaxy).
for Imagine the Universe!