Science: Once Upon A Time

Before the stars—before even the 92 separate elements were formed, what was the universe like?

> The material of the universe was a single clump of tight-packed sub-atomic particles—so tightly packed, in fact, that material equivalent to the present mass of the earth would barely have filled one of the present earth's good-sized gravel pits.

> A lump of this material the size of a sugar cube weighed about half a billion tons.*

> Temperature of this compact pre-stellar universe was well over 8,000,000,000° centigrade.

These are the conclusions of a small, soft-spoken Hindu astrophysicist,...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!