There are many points of contact because they are all part of a single natural system that obeys a consistent set of laws so far as we can tell. Also, according to Big Bang cosmology, when the universe was far less than a microsecond old, the laws of physics that dictated the structure of the universe were, in fact, the quantum mechanical laws that now dictate the structure of the atomic world. The universe emerged from a state where it was so small that its size was comparable to that of an atom or less. Under these conditions, macrophysics became microphysics. We are only now beginning to see fully all of the ramifications of such a state.
For example, Big Bang theory was used to predict that there would be only three distinct families of neutrinos, a fact later confirmed at various high energy physics labs such as CERN and Fermilab where 'atom smashers' probe the innermost structure of matter. The NASA COBE satellite discovered blotches in the structure of the so-called cosmic microwave background radiation. These blotches, according to Big Bang cosmology, are the fingerprints left over in spacetime from a time when the universe was one trillion trillion trillionth of a second old, and represent quantum irregularities in a primordial quantum field which have been magnified to cosmic size following the expansion of the universe.
Big Bang cosmology demands that there be no more than three different types of neutrinos, and the laboratory measurements of atomic processes show that this is indeed the case for the accessible physics below an energy of 1,00 GeV.
There are many more of these connections between cosmic structure and quantum law that are fascinating to ponder, and give a richness to our universe that was unimaginable by any other modern theories of the universe.
Copyright 1997 Dr. Sten Odenwald
Return to Ask the Astronomer.