There's more to the beginning of the universe than a loud noise

Have you ever wondered where we come from? Or perhaps questioned the origin of everything that exists? Then you have come to the right place. Naturally, there is a limit to how far back we can go, but how does "the beginning of the universe we live in" sound for starters?
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There is not a lack of information on this subject. On the contrary, there is often too much. Scientific knowledge has grown over thousands of years and developed dramatically in the last century, and now we are at a point where there is more data about the first couple of seconds of the big bang than any one astrophysicist could learn in a lifetime. Despite all this, the general public is not much the wiser as to how it all fits together, a situation not greatly helped by the badly misleading title - the big bang. It conjurs up imagery of explosions and lots of stuff flying out. Not only is this a bit of an empty catchphrase for billions of years of history, but it is also completely incorrect.

Just to clear that up - the universe did not begin with a bang, and it wasn't big. Whatever was there in the beginning was absolutely unbelievably tiny, and it was more of an inflation of space itself than an explosion within it. The story of the science has much more of a narrative than this. It tells us that the universe diversified, evolved, and grew. At times it was silent, at other times creative. The universe has at times been surreal, simple, complex, irregular, balanced, destructive and magical. It is a brilliant story that needs to be told in many chapters, which is lucky, because that is exactly what is on this website.

The pages on this site will relate many wacky and wondrous concepts, but the truly incredible part which you can reflect on later is that us humans, who have emerged on a miniscule but beautiful green and blue planet and have occupied less than a dot of a fraction of a speck of time in the whole scheme of things, have come so far in figuring it out. This website attempts to set the knowledge of the beginning free, through the medium of easy-to-understand-language, some pretty pictures, and good old fashioned storytelling. Please press the arrow below below to start your journey, and click on the illustrations in each chapter to bounce between history and metaphor.
Next: The Inflation
Next: The Inflation
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Next: The Inflation