Skip to content

Cosmology: Part-2: The First Three Minutes:




Greetings friends!

Welcome to second part of Cosmology Series.

Please read introductory part. Link is given below.

Cosmology: Origin of our Universe:- Part-1

What happened right after “The Big Bang”?

Big Bang Timeline

Short Read; Read minutely; Enjoy:

Before proceeding further let me introduce few books which I have studied to learn Cosmology. The study of books on the Big Bang, such as “The First Three Minutes” by Steven Weinberg and “After the First Three Minutes” by T. Padmanabhan, has greatly helped me in my understanding of the origins and evolution of the universe. Name of the other books will be added on successive posts.


This book by T. Padmanabhan is an informative and engaging book that provides a comprehensive overview of the origins of the universe and the early stages of its evolution. It is suitable for both the general reader and the student of cosmology and is an excellent resource for anyone interested in the fascinating field of cosmology.

In this post, I will simply focus on some events with related pictures. Pictures will give you most of the information you need.

Here are the epochs right after the Big Bang given in sequence with time:



  1. THE BIG BANG: t =0 seconds
  2. PLANCK EPOCH- (0 to 10-43 seconds after the Big Bang)
  3. GRAND UNIFICATION EPOCH- All the fundamental forces are combined into one force because of the incredibly high temperature. t = 10-43 to 10-36
  4. INFLATIONARY EPOCH-When the Grand Unified force splits into strong and electroweak, which may have triggered a massive expansion to a size of almost 84 million light years.
  5. ELECTROWEAK EPOCH: The weak force and EM are combined. 10-36 to 10-12 seconds after the Big Bang
  6. QUARK EPOCH- The electroweak force divides into the weak nuclear force and the EM force. The Universe is a hot, dense quark gluon plasma. t = 10-12 seconds to 10-3 seconds
  7. HADRON EPOCH: – Quarks begin to join together into hydrogen nuclei. t = 1 second.

All these Epochs happened in the first second of the beginning of the Universe.

After the first second, matter and antimatter came together and annihilated each other.

First protons and anti-protons annihilated. Electrons and anti-electrons annihilated.

There was slightly more matter than anti matter (reason not known). As a result, this Universe and we exist.

Now, let us look into each epoch with a Diagram.

The Planck epoch:

The Planck Epoch.

Planck Epoch is the time from 0 to 10-43 It is known as Planck Time. At this period, the universe’s temperature was 1032 K, so high that all the four fundamental forces (gravitational force, electromagnetic force, weak force, and the strong force) of nature existed together as one super force.


During this period, the fundamental force of Gravity split apart from the other three fundamental forces, as shown in the diagram. The Electroweak force, the strong force, and the Electromagnetic force were one in Grand Unified Theory era. The temperature had fallen to 1029 K from 1032K.

The inflationary and electroweak epoch:

In this Epoch, cosmic inflation started when the universe was just 10-33 seconds. During inflation, the universe expanded exponentially and grew up from the size of a proton to a size equivalent to that of a fist. By now, the universe is 10-32 seconds old, the temperature has fallen to 100 trillion trillion (1026) K.

The quark epoch:

The electroweak epoch ended 10-12 seconds after the big bang and then began the quark epoch. Electromagnetic force and the weak force to split away from each other.  However, the temperature is still very high for the quarks to merge to form hadrons such as protons and neutrons. 

The hadron era:

Hadrons are a class of particles that are formed from two or more quarks. By this time, the temperature had fallen to an extent to allow the quarks from the previous era to combine to form hadrons. 

In the first three minutes after the Big Bang, the protons and neutrons began fusing, forming deuterium, and the deuterium atoms then joined up with each other, forming helium 4. 

The first three minutes after the big bang the most crucial minutes in the history of the evolution of our universe.

The lepton epoch:

Universe became one second old:

When the universe became one second old, its temperature became favourable enough to form another class of elementary particles, the leptons.  By this time, leptons and anti-leptons started forming, and this production continued for 10 seconds. However, the universe was still opaque as the photons could easily get scattered by these free electrons.

After 3 minutes of the big bang:

Finally, after 3 minutes of the big bang, the temperature of the universe dropped below 1 billion degrees kelvin.

At the age of 3 minutes, deuterium, protons, and neutrons combined via different possible processes to form helium nuclei.

Next Post: The beginning of nucleosynthesis:

9 thoughts on “Cosmology: Part-2: The First Three Minutes:”

  1. Sir, How introspective are the mysteries of universe, your scientific knowledge is sprinkled all over on this post which justifies the interest on this vast subject. To concise this, About 3 minutes after the big bang, the temperature of the universe had decreased to a point where it was below 1 billion degrees Kelvin. During this time, deuterium, protons, and neutrons combined in various ways to form helium nuclei. This reminds me of expansion and contraction theory of Big Bang which is equated to the nuance of Aum from mandukya Upanishad. Like how human breathe is important similarly Virat is experiential in essence that cannot be objectified. A famous Vedanta proponent say “We need subtle instruments to do subtle and sensitive jobs. We use a big axe to cut a huge tree; but a laser to remove cataract in the eye. Similarly, we need a sharp and subtle mind to understand subtler aspects of the Self.” – Swami Paramarthananda Saraswati Ji Thank you for invoking the analysis of the self knowledge through cosmological perspective, it is thoughtful and informative 🙏😊

    1. Vishnupriya,
      Thank you so much for adding an excellent insight to my post on Big Bang Theory, The first three minutes. I have always thought this as a true picture what is written in CHITRA DIPA PRAKARANA, from Panchadashi, by Swami Vidyaranya.
      I find here the manifestation of Saguna Brahman from Nirguna Brahman. The appearance of the Virat.
      Indeed, we need subtle instruments to do subtle and sensitive job. Furthermore, just as the subtle aspects of Nirguna Brahman give rise to the gross aspects of the manifest universe, the various forces and particles that are postulated by the GUT are believed to have emerged from a single, unified force in the aftermath of the Big Bang. Thus, the idea of the Grand Unified Theory can be seen as a scientific attempt to understand the subtle causal aspects of the universe that give rise to its gross manifestations, in a way that is similar to the metaphysical framework of Advaita Vedanta.
      In the context of Advaita Vedanta, the concept of Nirguna Brahman can be seen as a metaphorical parallel to the concept of the singularity that is believed to have existed at the moment of the Big Bang. Just as Nirguna Brahman is the ultimate reality that is beyond all attributes and characteristics, the singularity is believed to be the ultimate reality that existed before the universe as we know it came into being.
      Your statement //This reminds me of expansion and contraction theory of Big Bang which is equated to the nuance of Aum from mandukya Upanishad.// This is absolutely true in this context. Perfectly okay.
      Aum, which is considered to be the primordial sound that gives rise to the universe. Aum is said to have three aspects – A, U, and M – which represent the waking, dream, and deep sleep states of consciousness, as well as the three fundamental aspects of the universe – creation, preservation, and destruction.

      Similarly, the expansion and contraction theory of the Big Bang can also be seen as having three phases – the expansion phase, the steady state phase, and the contraction phase. During the expansion phase, the universe underwent rapid expansion and cooling, leading to the formation of matter and the emergence of the fundamental forces. In the steady state phase, the universe was in a state of equilibrium, with the rate of expansion and the formation of matter being balanced by the force of gravity. Finally, during the contraction phase, the universe began to collapse in on itself, eventually leading to another singularity and the possibility of a new Big Bang.

      In this way, the expansion and contraction theory of the Big Bang can be seen as a scientific parallel to the nuance of Aum from the Mandukya Upanishad. Both teachings emphasize the cyclical nature of the universe, and the idea that creation, preservation, and destruction are all integral aspects of the cosmic order. By recognizing the interplay between these phases, we can gain a deeper understanding of the nature of reality and our place within it.

      Thanks a lot for sharing your thoughts. This concept should reach to the people. That is all my aim for a hard work to share with devotion and dedication. To find the proper figures, I have spent lots of hours.
      I am happy with this cosmology contents.
      Best wishes.
      Take care.😊🙏

  2. Arun, First off, I wanted to thank you for all the “likes” on my blog. I am honored and totally humbled… especially when I read this post. It is way too advanced for me. I wish I had the background and intelligence to comprehend all that this post advances. The facts about “AUM” are fascinating. I am swamped with reading right now. A basic book by Stephen Hawkings among Yogananda and Pamlesh Patel (Daaji). I will keep this post on my blog so I can refer back to it. There is so much packed in there. In any case, I especially wanted to thank you for visiting my blog and “likes”. Namaste, Ellen🙏

    1. Thank you so much Ellen for your comments 😊🙏
      I will be back to you with more information about merging Cosmology and Vedanta Darshan.
      Please continue your studies and practice with the most important three steps of mindfulness.
      Sravana: listen
      Manana: think
      Nididhyaona: practice
      Then you are right there which is our reality. The Absolute.
      Thank you so much for your support and encouragement with details.
      Best regards 🙏

        1. Thank you so much Ellen, for your comments.
          You have the best ability and you are already on the right path.
          Take care of yourself.
          Best wishes and regards 😊🙏

    2. Together we learn more. That is why I learn and share.
      In the Taittiriya Upanishad, the first part, known as “Siksha Valli”, the Rishi is teaching to the outgoing students lessons of life.
      There is the sentence ” Learn and teach”
      Have a blissful day 😊🙏

Leave a Reply

Discover more from ARUNSINGHA

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue Reading