Discoveries in astronomy and physics have shown beyond a reasonable doubt that our universe did have a beginning: It all started with an explosion known as the Big Bang (BB). It is the English astronomer Fred Hoyle ( 1915 - 2001) who is credited with coming up with this name during a 1949 radio broadcast.
The BB theory and the term BB generally refers to the idea that this mysterious universe has expanded from a very hot and dense initial condition at some time in the past, and it continues to expand.
As it turned out protons and neutrons are also made up of smaller particles. These are called quarks and this was discovered in the mid 60ies. Below is a picture showing the subatomic particles
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More about Quarks here:
M Theory would go even further, but to understand M theory an explanation of the term string theory must be made.
String theory emerged in the 1980s and it showed how all the particles, and all of the forms of energy in the universe, could be constructed by hypothetical one-dimensional "strings".
These small building-blocks would only have the dimension of length and no height or width. Furthermore, string theory suggested that the universe is made up of multiple dimensions. We are familiar with height, width, and length as three dimensional space, and time gives a total of four observable dimensions. However, string theories supported the possibility of ten dimensions -the remaining 6 of which we can't detect directly.Five major string theories
These "strings" vibrate in multiple dimensions, and depending on how they vibrate, they might be seen in 3-dimensional space as matter, light, or gravity. It is the vibration of the string which determines whether it appears to be matter or energy, and every form of matter or energy is the result of the vibration of strings. String theory then ran into a problem. Another version of the equations was discovered. Then another, and then another. Eventually, there were five major string theories, all based on a 10-dimensional universe, and all of them appeared to be correct.
That was a problem, because science can't have five seemingly contradictory sets of equations to describe the same thing. In the mid 90s, a string theorist named Edward Witten of the Institute for Advanced Study and other important researchers considered that the five different versions of string theory might be describing the same thing seen from different perspectives. They proposed a unifying theory called "M-Theory", in which the "M" is not specifically defined, but is generally understood to stand for "membrane." M-Theory brought all of the string theories together. It did this by asserting that strings are really 1-dimensional slices of a 2-dimensional membrane vibrating in 11-dimensional space."
In other words String Theories are theories that use one dimensional objects (strings) as the basic building block of the universe including matter. M-Theory is a theory that unifies five different versions of the string theories and super gravity together, all under one single framework.
I was rocketing away from the planet on the stream of Life. I saw the earth fly away. The solar system, in all its splendor, whizzed by and disappeared. At faster than light speed, I flew through the center of the galaxy, absorbing more knowledge as I went. I learned that this galaxy, and all of the Universe, is bursting with many different varieties of LIFE. I saw many worlds.
I was in pre-creation, before the Big Bang. I had crossed over the beginning of time/the First Word/the First vibration. I was in the Eye of Creation. I felt as if I was touching the Face of God. It was not a religious feeling. Simply I was at one with Absolute Life and Consciousness. Scientists perceive the Big Bang as a single event which created the Universe. I saw during my life after death experience that the Big Bang is only one of an infinite number of Big Bangs creating Universes endlessly and simultaneously. The only images that even come close in human terms would be those created by super computers using fractal geometry equations.
The book The Paradox of Creation covers more about the origin of the universe and how the BB is just one of many BBs. Everything is Mind - a Cosmic Mind that is both asleep and awake at the same time. The awakened part of the Mind is our Universe. The conscious part. Our space-time construct. See videos and read more here.
Is there more than one universe? BBC has made a series about parallel universes explaining how this can be. You can see the first part below:
Parallel universe part 1