A Short History of Nearly Everything Short Essay - Answer Key

Bill Bryson
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1. Describe some of the theories regarding what might have caused the Big Bang.

While nobody is quite sure what caused the Big Bang, theories abound. Some scientists think it was the result of a collapsing universe. Others think it was caused by instability in a "nothingness" region. Still others theorize that space and time were different prior to the Big Bang. Some scientists believe that big bangs happen all the time as new universes are formed in various dimensions.

2. Explain Albert Einstein's theory of space curvature using a tennis ball and an ant.

Albert Einstein believed that the nature of space is such that it curves. Picture an ant on a tennis ball. As it walks in a straight line, it will eventually end up right back where it started. Einstein postulated that space is like a tennis ball. If we could travel far enough, eventually we would end up back where we began.

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