Timeline From Big Bang to Today
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Timeline from Big Bang to Today

Timeline from the Big Bang to today and the analogy with 3-D Minkowski spacetime

Minkowski 3-D spacetime  
3-D light cone and the Minkowski spacetime interval, ds2 = (c dt)2 - dx2 - dy2

Effect of density ratio on Spacetime Curvature
3-D (x,y,t) spacetime geometries with various curvature
 

General Relativity states the geometry of spacetime depends on average mass-energy density. For a Euclidian or flat universe the average mass-energy density is defined as rc which is also known as the critical density. The curvature (K) of a flat universe is zero when the ratio of mass-energy density to critical density (W) equals 1. Similarly, if the ratio of average mass-energy density to critical density is greater than 1 then the Universe is considered closed having positive curvature like a sphere. Finally, if the ratio of average mass-energy density to critical density is less than 1 then the Universe is considered open having negative curvature like a saddle.

The present Universe is considered flat because the overall mass-energy density is very nearly equal to the critical density (
rc) required for flat spacetime.