Saturday, 18 October 2014

The Kobeningrad

I was reading news past few weeks and more and more drawn to the conflict and war in and around Kobane. Upto this far Islamic  fighters of ISIl had somewhat an easy ride. They attack some minority groups and won their lands. They have also said to be trading with captured female prisoners.
One of the minorities are Yazidis.
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/aug/07/who-yazidi-isis-iraq-religion-ethnicity-mountains

We were told by media that they (Islamic fighters)  have hunted the Yazidis people down and killed many. Captured Yazidi females to be sold or already have done so.

But Kobane is different. Kurdish population in this city started to fight back.  They did not gave up easily. They are fighting for their women and children. They are fighting for their livelihoods. Their city.  Most of all they are fighting for their freedom.


This reminds me of NaZi germany's troops approaching Stalingrad. The epic battle for Stalingrad claimed 2 million lives and after five months, one week and three days later Red Army of Soviet union won.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Stalingrad#Casualties

Battle for stalingrad fought in street corners, from the rooftops, from abasements, and face to face. There are films about this battle. For the Red Army and people for Stalingrad nowhere else to go. Order was not to  leave the stalingrad. Stayed they did.
Stalingrad's embattled, hungry but  heroic soldiers:

What's happening in Kobane is in much simpler scale. Although as Nazis ISIS fighters have better weapons and more man power. They are trained. Most kurdish fighters are guerilla fighters with small weapons.  But we can see men and women fighting side by side with elders. It's heartening to see they are giving their all to stop the menacing advance. World waited and waited. Finally US and allies decided to aid their effort with air strikes.

Now I think battle is raging in street corners. Air strikes may not help much but psychological advance given to the ground resistance is enormous.

I hope for their children, for their womenfolk and for their city Kobane would not fall. So that they survived to tell the story of mini Stalingrad. The kobaningard.





Thursday, 19 June 2014

Which hell are you going to end up?

I Was talking , rather arguing with four friends (Colleagues)  about religion. One is following Jehovah's witness, other one is a muslim, third one is a Catholic and fourth one is from some new age Christian sect. Each one claims their religion is the true one,  although catholic, Jehovah's witness and Christian New Age followers supposed to follow one god. The Jehovah's witness friend said his religion follows Bible to the letter and follows truest word of the god. Muslim friend disagreed and said his religion is the most truest and correct version as Christians changed stuff. Well Catholic guy believes he has the proper God and God mother etc. New Age Christian believes they are more open , don't do bad things, not aggressive, very high on morals etc. He in fact asked me where I get my morals. It seems he thinks I don't have any. I am the crappy , no morals etc upto no good atheist so I did not bother to go and teach morals to him.

Then I asked them this question. Just one. I asked the Jehovah's witness friend that, " do  they believe that if anyone don't follow his religion he/she would end up in hell.? Well he confirmed that yes they believe that way. So I told him weather according to his religion all other 4 colleagues (Catholic, Christian, Muslim and  I who is one time Buddhist but now half Buddhist) will end up in hell, in which he reluctantly agreed.

 I asked the same question from the Muslim friend. As a true believer he told us that all four other non believers will end up in hell by the grace of god. However I reminded him that he himself will be in Jehovah's witness friends hell.

Unfortunately for us our catholic friend confirmed that according to his religion / faith except him all other 4 people present will be in Catholic hell as we all are "non-believers".

I have to say our new age christian friend is bit more liberal. He was trying hard to explain perhaps hell is not that bad. It may be this earth, a bad place etc bla bla. But we will be in that hell nonetheless when we die.
Well some part of the world some Buddhists also believe others go to hell if you are a non believer and also commit some or other this and that sins.

Now think about this, after all of us die:

A buddhist, atheist, muslim, new age christian, Jehovah's witness guy will end up in ---------> Catholic hell.
An atheist, buddhist, New Age Christian, Catholic, Jehovah's witness guy will end up in ---------> Muslim hell.
An atheist, muslim, new age christian, Catholic, Jehovah's witness guy will end up in ---------> Buddhist hell.
An atheist, muslim, Buddhist, Catholic, Jehovah's witness guy will end up in ---------> new Age Christian's modified hell.

An atheist, muslim, Buddhist, Catholic, New Age Christian will end up in ---------> Jehovah's witness hell.

And also all of them believed they would go to heaven following their respective religious heavens that is.

So Muslim heaven is Buddhist, Catholic, Jehovah's witness, Christian hell. Catholic heaven is  muslim, Buddhist,  Jehovah's witness, Christian hell.
 Jehovah's witness heaven is everyone else's hell. etc etc.

All of us somehow end up in each others hell except if you are an atheist.

If you are an atheist:
A muslim, new age christian, Catholic, Buddhist will end up in ---------> no where as atheist's don't care about hells. We don't care where you guys will end up anyway.

What I can say: Choose wisely.


Sunday, 18 May 2014

Laclau's Floating signifier, Gamow Peak and Intensity of Struggles

I was reading an article written in Sinhala language regarding political struggles. Some of the main points of the article were based on Ernesto Laclau's' floating signifiers. What Laclau is saying here is this. He is using a picture shown below for this explanation. In here he was trying to present the notion of 'empty signifier' at its purest.

 He took Tsarism (Ts) as an an example for a regime which was oppressive and it was separated by a political frontier from the demands of most sectors of society (D1, D2, D3 ,D4• • • etc.). Each demand is different to all the others in it's  articularity. This particularity is shown in the above diagram by the lower semicircle in the representation of each of them.  However they are all united in their common opposition to the Tsarist oppressive regime.
Laclau claims, this in turn leads to one of the demands stepping in and becoming the signifier of the whole chain - a tendentially empty signifier. He says that the whole model depends on the presence of the dichotomic frontier: without this, the equivalential relation would collapse and the identity of each demand would be
exhausted in its differential particularity. However when  the oppressive regime itself becoming hegemonic then the dichotomic frontier, without disappearing,
becoming blurred i.e trying to interrupt the equivalential chain of the
popular camp by an alternative equivalential chain, in which some of the
popular demands are articulated to entirely different links .

 The same democratic demands receive the structural pressure of rival hegemonic projects in such a case. This generates an autonomy of the popular signifiers different from the earlier ones and its meaning is indeterminate between alternative equivalential frontiers It is no longer that the particularism
of the demand becomes self-sufficient and independent of any equivalential articulation. Laclau call signifiers whose meaning is 'suspended' in that way 'floating signifiers'. Their operation is shown here in this diagram.
I am directly quoting from Laclau here. "As we can see, D1 is submitted to the structural pressure of two antagonistic equivalential chains represented by the dotted lines: the horizontal corresponds to the popular camp opposing Tsarism, as in the first diagram. The diagonal, however, establishes an equivalential link between D' belonging to the popular camp, and two other demands that the latter would oppose as belonging to the camp of Tsarism. So we have two antagonistic ways of constituting the 'people' as a historical actor. The way in which the meaning of DI is going to be fixed will depend on the result of a hegemonic struggle. So the 'floating' dimension becomes most visible in periods of organic crisis, when the symbolic system needs to be radically recast. And, for that reason, that dimension has, as a necessary pattern, the unfixing of the relationship between the two semicircles in the representation of the demands: the upper semicircle is always the one that becomes autonomous in any floating, for it is in its equivalential virtualities that the representation of the (absent) fullness of society lies." - On populist Reason -Ernesto Laclau

Now what we can see is that even though Ernesto Laclau's approach here is correct for the struggles his diagrams do not consider the intensity of struggles. The struggles are not  the same if you consider the intensity of them. They have different intensities. They acted in different ways in different circumstances. Laclau takes example of Tsarism. If we consider the two definitive struggles from the same era, namely in 1905 and in 1917, each of these struggles has different intensities and one which managed better reached the turning point in 1917. (Please see the diagram below.)
Intensity of Struggles On X-Axis Time

In my opinion what is important is not that D1 is becoming floating signifier. Laclau's idea that floating signifier D1's meaning is going to be fixed by the result of a hegemonic struggle is to be understood differently. As the struggle intensifies the leading forces would act differently. There will be obvious two antagonistic forces will be evident. 

If we consider the evolution of the very early universe, primordial nucleosynthesis, star formation or planetary formation, evolutionary history of life we can see the chaotic way it works. We can find the formulas and mathematical equations to explain all these events, transactions, creations but the very fact is that they just happens with different intensity and amid the chaos of things. We only know how to explain them.
If we take a look at what happens inside the stars and nucleosyntheis in stars we find these.
The point that interest me from the article above is this. The particle motion inside stars are very chaotic. They don't happen according to some god's plan or some other pre-determined fashion..  That's why we have to calculate Mean Free Path to find houd how these particles are interacting with each other.
"Mean Free Path- Identical particles travelling through a medium of targets travel different distances before interacting. The average distance they travel prior to reaction is called the mean free path l, and is a useful indicator of the condition of the target medium and the strength of the interaction. - Stellar Evolution and Nucleosynthesis" 

The struggles are happening the same way. We cannot say where and when the struggles will start and what problem or demand would create the particular struggle. We all know that there is this dialectical nature of the struggle between classes. We can  approximate the times and what the percentage of the masses participating in each struggle.  They happen in different intensity and a political entity  which learned the best way to manage the intensity can take the struggle through the potential barrier. (Barrier penetration).

 Let's think about what happened with  Euro Maidan in Ukraine. It started as a small protest against Yanukovych regime. (I am not taking any side here. That's not the idea) . But it was managed so cleverly by the (perhaps US/EU funding, perhaps from the oligarchs which were on their side) money they have received they could mobilise forces outside their reach by any means, propaganda money etc. The media war was managed so cleverly by leading western press and opinion in Europe was swayed protesters way. The intensity of the struggle went up by day when the killing started the struggle was at it's peak.  That was the turning point. We all know what happened after that.

The leftists parties should not intervene in every struggles for democracy. There are certain struggles by the capitalist leaning social democratic parties that leftist parties cannot participate. They can certainly support certain issues to save the democratic freedom and  other struggles which address cost of living, student fees etc. A leftist party should select the struggles they should just participate as a voice of support and select the struggles that they can manage and control separately. They have to use their time and energy to increase the intensity of the struggle and direct it towards abolishing the capitalist system.
Therefore I think it is necessary for a party to have intelligence gathering and analysis unit purely to collect and analyse data on struggles happening in any particular country of their concern. Then they should advice politburo of the party to take necessary action. Through out any struggle this process should carry on and they should maintain the link between each struggles themselves and with the party. They would then easily recognise turning point of any major struggle.

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Will New Russia is turning back to socialism? Victory Parade of 9th of May

The victory parade in Moscow on 9th of May is somewhat a chilling reminder of old soviet days. The parade comes after  the annexation of Crimea. Ok we all know what Nikita Khrushchev did. After all he is the man who took out his shoe in UN while addressing the general assembly. He handed Crimea to Ukraine and after Putin's annexation of Crimea back to Russia,  Russian National pride is all time high. However this parade was quite similar to the ones conducted in former USSR, which I used to watch since 1984. I was somewhat perplexed by this flag shown below behind the military vehicles.  It has hammer and sickle in it. And not only that. Flag on the left has CCCP printed on it, which is  USSR in russian.
 Most interesting thing is the words used by the generals and soldiers. The Commanding General addressed the soldiers as comrade soldiers. Then the soldiers replied to him calling him "thovarish genaral" in Russian meaning comrade general. Then the General reported to Defence minister the readiness of the troops to the possession.  He addressed the minister as comrade minister and minister replied to him addressing as comrade general. Most intriguing part is that the minister addressed the  president putin as comrade Vladimir Putin and not as his excellency the president. Then  putin addressed the soldiers as  comrade soldiers. Is this normal? Or is it that Russia is firmly heading back to Soviet system with some sort of a mixed capitalist system like in China. In that case this day will be a memorable one. 

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Quantum tunnelling and Gamow Energy

Quantum tunnelling:
Quantum tunnelling also known as the barrier penetration, is the key to the occurrence of fusion reactions in stars. If the particle's total energy is less than the potential energy of some barrier it cannot pass that barrier. Think about throwing a ball over a wall. Unless there is sufficient kinetic energy to attain a height greater than the wall, there is no way the ball will reach the other side. Kinetic energy of the ball, once transformed to gravitational potential energy should exceed the gravitational potential energy of the wall.
However this restriction does not apply to quantum mechanics. We have to consider the wave properties of the particle in quantum mechanics. The amplitude of particle's wave function goes to zero only for an infinitely high barrier although the wave function associated with a particle is attenuated by a potential barrier.

As we know that the finite potential barriers exist in reality, the wave function inside and beyond the barrier is non-zero. Hence the position probability density is also non-zero. (position probability density).  Therefore there is a small but non-zero probability that a particle will make its way through a barrier, in such a case and even though that may appear impenetrable or insurmountable in normal circumstances. If we think about the ball again, if a ball and the wall were small enough for quantum properties to dominate over the classical scenario, it would be possible for a ball to reach the other side. That is even if it did not have enough kinetic energy to overcome the gravitational potential energy at the wall's top. This seems strange but this is precisely what happens during collisions of nuclei.

For the nucleus to be stable, the nucleons in a nucleus sit in a potential well surrounded by a Coulomb potential barrier of finite height and width. There is a non-zero probability of a particle with energy less than the height of the barrier would make its way from outside the barrier to inside due to barrier penetration to reach the nucleus.

The Gamow energy
The  barrier potentials do vary with separation, i.e. V is a function of r. For the Coulomb barrier, the penetration probability may be expressed in terms of the particle energy E, and the Gamow energy EG which depends on the atomic number of the interacting nuclei, and hence the size of the Coulomb barrier:

Therefor Gamow Energy:

where α is the fine structure constant ≈ 1/137.0.  and and C is Speed of light.
The rate of nuclear fusion therefore depends on the penetration probability of the Coulomb barrier. This penetration probability in turn is described by its Gamow energy.
A higher EG reduces the probability that the barrier will be penetrated. The Gamow energy measures the strength of the Coulomb repulsion, which determines the height of the Coulomb barrier.

The Gamow energy is named for George Gamow (1904–1968), a Russian physicist and cosmologist who escaped to the USA in 1934. His paper ‘The origin of chemical elements’ (1948) by Alpher, Bethe & Gamow attempted to explain much of astrophysical nucleosynthesis in the big bang and also predicted the existence of the cosmic microwave background radiation.

The Gamow Peak: 
The fusion probability as a function of energy for nuclei.  The energy at which the fusion rate is a maximum is called the Gamow peak. The region on either side of the peak in which the fusion probability is significant is called the Gamow window.

Ref: Stellar Evolution and Nucleosynthesis - Sean G Ryan, Andrew J Norton

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Predicting the Abundances and Successes of the Standard Model

Predicting the Abundances: 
There are a few complications predicting the abundances. One of the complications is tracking the abundances of few dif ferent nuclei instead of just a single element hydrogen. Next problem is that neutrons are unstable when not in a nucleus. They have a half-life of about 11 minutes. Third, several light nuclei end products have very small binding energies, therefore delaying the freeze-out.

BBN has it's own shortcomings earlier on like not being able to produce the observed abundances of all of the element isotopes, primarily due to the unstable nuclei with atomic number A = 5 and A = 8. Therefore as Burbidge et al. (1957) correctly noted stellar nucleosynthesis caught attention of the astrophysicists. If we assumes that 4He is entirely of stellar origin, then we should be able to find places in the universe in which the 4He mass fraction 25% . The data for 4He ( The helium(Y) vs oxygen (O=H) abundances in extragalactic HII regions emphasized
the lack of low 4He regions. [ref: Olive (1999)] shows the fact that no such region with low 4He has been observed and that leads to a conclusion that BBN nucleosynthesis is responsible for 4He abundance and should be part of any cosmological model.

The element abundances depend on the number of baryons per photon, or on or  .
 Big Bang nucleosyntheis therefore makes very clear predictions for the
primordial abundances of elements created in the first half hour of the Universe's
existence. These predictions can be tested, and the overall level of agreement with
observations is one of the many successes of the Big Bang model. However, the
tricky part of the experiment is to determine primordial abundance of baryonic
matter that has remained in its primordial condition for the ~ 13.7 billion years
since the nucleosyntheis epoch.

Burles et al. (1999b) noted that, the predicted abundances of the light elements
 have been used to test the consistency of the hot big bang model at very early times (t ~0.01200sec). Fields et al. (1996) pointed out that the abundances of 4He and 7Li alone are su cient to probe and test the theory
and determine the single remaining parameter in the standard model, the baryon to
photon ratio.

Successes of the Standard Model

The assumptions that the standard model is based on are the laws of physics, which have been verifi ed at the present time by experiments, are also valid in the early universe. The cosmological principle described above holds. The temperature at early time t1 is greater than and contents of the universe are in thermal equilibrium.

It is suggested that (t1) is very close to 1. A baryon asymmetry is consistent with
observed radiation density.  It is assumed also that the initial density fluctuations gave rise to later formation of structures. The standard cosmology model nonetheless achieved success.

Close connections have been developed between theory and observations for Standard Big Bang Nucleosynthesis (SBBN), and observations are more and more reliable now. The BBN model leads to a deeper understanding of the creation of primordial elements and the predictions of the CMB. The most important of all is predicting abundances of   and explaining it through a single free parameter  .  The value of baryon density    agrees with other estimated values. Astrophysicists up to now used SBBN predictions and measured abundances to successfully estimate best values for cosmological parameters of baryon density  and baryon to photon ratio   . Generally one uses the low D/H ratio as the decent estimator for find for the baryon density. The next chapter will show that, the observed abundances of elements D, 4He and 7Li are close to the primordial abundances predicted by SBBN.

References:
1.E. M. Burbidge, G. R. Burbidge, W. A. Fowler, and F. Hoyle. Synthesis of
the elements in stars. Rev. Mod. Phys., 29:547{650, Oct 1957. doi: 10.1103/
RevModPhys.29.547. URL http://link.aps.org/doi/10.1103/RevModPhys.
29.547.
2. S. Burles, K. M. Nollett, J. W. Truran, and M. S. Turner. Sharpening the predictions of big-bang nucleosynthesis. Physical Review Letters, 82:4176{4179, May 1999b. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.82.4176.
3. B. D. Fields, K. Kainulainen, K. A. Olive, and D. Thomas. Model independent
predictions of big bang nucleosynthesis from ^4He and ^7Li: consistency and
implications. New A, 1:77{96, July 1996. doi: 10.1016/S1384-1076(96)00007-3.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

BBN - Reactions Explained

Deuterium bottleneck - At high temperatures and densities, according to Hawley and Holcomb (1997) neutrons and protons can fuse directly to form deuterium (also called heavy hydrogen) nuclei, or deuterons.

Deuterium is the isotope of hydrogen, and it contains one proton and one neutron
in its nucleus. The reaction that formed the deuterium is shown here is on of the first reactions
of key fusion reactions . The in this reaction represents a photon.This reaction liberates the binding energy (energy equal to the energy liberated when a nucleus is created from other nucleons or nuclei -Wikipedia)  of the deuterium nucleus in the form of photon. Deuterium then fuses with a proton or another deuterium as in here shown in the second reaction, 
 to form the helium nucleus 3He or as shown in below 3rd reaction, 
fuses with neutron to create a tritium 3H. As shown in following reaction 4 


 both these nuclei (3He and 3H) then react with additional particles, 3He with a neutron or a deuteron, and the tritium with a proton or a deuteron, to form 4He. This is the most common isotope in the universe and almost all helium in the universe was created in this nucleosynthesis epoch, shortly after the big bang.

We can fi nd that the equilibrium Hydrogen density is proportional to exp(B/kT) where B = 13:6eV is the binding energy of the hydrogen atom. The most strongly bound light nucleus is 4He, with binding energy B4 =28:5MeV . So most of the nucleons end up as Helium in equilibrium and that's why we should have Helium abundances now. As the universe cooled down and expanded di fferent nuclear reactions froze out, leaving the relic abundances of the stable nuclei.

Key Fusion Reactions:
Below are the Key fusion reactions of Big Bang nucleosynthesis taken from lecture
from Steven Weinberg:
4He is a very stable nuclei with close to 28MeV binding energy. However, a nuclei with atomic number A = 5 is unstable. Therefore the further fusion is rare with lower binding energies. However this would be overcome and the production of 7Li will proceeds through. These further reactions with Li production are shown here:
The weak interaction rates responsible for n - p equilibrium freeze -out at 
T ~0:8MeV . The neutron to proton ratio at this is about 1/6. However when taking
into account the fact that free neutron decays prior to deuterium formation, this
ratio drops to n/p ~ 1/7. Then the 4He mass fraction is  ~ 0:25.

Reference:
1. J. Hawley and K. Holcomb. Foundations of Modern Cosmology. Oxford University Press, USA, 1997. ISBN 9780195104974. URL http://books.google.co.uk/
books?id=eBFawfP8ak8C.
2.http://star-www.st-and.ac.uk/ kdh1/cos/cos17.pdf
3 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steven Weinberg

Monday, 24 March 2014

Big Bang Nucleosynthesis (BBN) -Historical background

Historical background: The early universe behaved like a nuclear explosion or like a fusion bomb, creating the temperatures required for the creation of light elements. After that first minute with the temperature close to perhaps a billion kelvins nuclear reactions started. Approximately 180 seconds after the big bang, the temperature of the universe was  according to Hawley and Holcomb (1997). The content of the Universe consisted of a dilute gas of free streaming neutrinos , photons ,
 electron positron pairs
 and trace amount of nucleons(the protons and neutrons) as noted by Boesgaard and Steigman (1985). The temperature and densities were still very high, but dropped sufficiently so that the nuclei of atom could remain stable. The creation of atomic nuclei through nuclear reactions called nucleosinthesis, thought to be commenced at this point. Hence, this period in the big bang is known as the nucleosynthesis epoch. Olive (1999) noted that Big Bang Nucleosunthesis (BBN) is the theory explaining the origins of the light elements D;3 He;4 He and 7Li and their primordial abundances. Ellis (2011) commented that, the theoretical framework for BBN is based on Friedmann-Lemaitre-Robertson-Walker cosmology and a network of nuclear reactions.

BBN requires temperatures greater than 100keV and corresponds to time scales less than 200 seconds. It was necessary to achieve a density n  . The current density of visible matter is

 and we can estimate  the current temperature of the universe as  ~ 10K. 

In the early Universe at temperatures T < or ~ to 1MeV , conditions for the synthesis of the light elements were attained. Weak interactions were in equilibrium at higher temperatures. The following processes fix the ratio of number densities of neutrons to protons. 

(a neutron plus a positive electron (positron)  create  a proton and an anti-nuetrino and vice-versa, a neutron plus a nuetrino create a proton and electron,  from a  nuetron  a proton, electron and antinuerino is fixed).



The ratio of neutrons to protons at equilibrium at temperature T is given by a Boltzman factor: 
where Nn and Np are number densities of neutrons and protons, delta m
 is the neutron proton mass difference,1.3 MeV. Olive (1999) notes that, when the temperature  the ratio of neutron to proton was
.
Reference: 
1. K. A. Olive. Primordial big bang nucleosynthesis. ArXiv Astrophysics e-prints, Jan. 1999. URL http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/9901231.
2. A. M. Boesgaard and G. Steigman. Big bang nucleosynthesis - theories and observations. ARA&A, 23:319{378, 1985. doi: 10.1146/annurev.aa.23.090185.001535.
3. G. F. R. Ellis. Inhomogeneity eff ects in cosmology. Classical and Quantum Gravity, 28(16):164001, Aug. 2011. doi: 10.1088/0264-9381/28/16/164001.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

The Thermal History of the universe - 2

Continuing from previous post: about the Thermal history of the universe. When the time is around
and a temperature of
the weak interaction (see previous post)  thought to be decoupled from the electromagnetic force. Now all four forces mentioned earlier were separated. During the transition the carrier particles of the uni fied electroweak force were transformed (hypothetically) into 4 new particles.
Three of them are called bosons
which acquired mass and the other one is massless photon. 

To discuss this further, according to Phillips (1994), it is generally accepted that, within the first nano seconds the universe was filled with a gas of fundamental particles
like leptons, anti-leptons, quarks, anti-quarks, neutrinos, ant-neutrinos, gluons and photons. We assume that quarks, anti-quarks and gluons annihilated and transformed to less massive particles when the temperature fell below . However, the number of quarks very slightly exceeded the number of anti-quarks. The small number of quarks remaining were thought to be responsible for the present number of protons and neutrons of the universe. when the temperature decreased further the heavier leptons and anti-leptons were annihilated as well.

When the cosmic time was
quarks formed neutrons and protons while 
Therefore between a millisecond to a second after the big bang the universe was consisted of electrons, positrons, neutrons, protons, neutrinos, antineutrinos and photons. At about 1s when
neutrinos started to decouple.


Soon after this, all of the positrons and most of the electrons were removed by annihilation of electron-positron pairs. This seems to have occurred when cosmic time was approximately 4 seconds and
. Phillips (1994) further states that, when 
t~3min and 
neutrons combined with protons to form light nuclei - Helium and other light particles, which lead to a universe with approximately 75% of its mass consisting of hydrogen and 25% of helium. 
After around 300,000 years later
and the temperature was around 4000k, it was a low enough temperature for the formation of stable atoms, and photons to decouple. Hydrogen and helium nuclei combined with electrons and

formed neutral hydrogen and helium atoms which lead to photons stopping to interact strongly with matter. The universe became transparent to electro-magnetic radiation which cooled down to about 3k at present time because of the expansion of the universe. This is the so-called cosmic microwave background detected by Penzias and Wilson. Olive (1999) claimed that, the connection between the BBN and the CMB is a key test to the Standard Big Bang Model.

About Penzias and Wilson: The accidental discovery of cosmic microwave background radiation is a major development in modern physical cosmology. Although predicted by earlier theories, it was first found accidentally by Arno Penzias and Robert Woodrow Wilson as they experimented with the Holmdel Horn Antenna. The discovery was evidence for an expanding universe, (big bang theory) and was evidence against the steady state model. In 1978, Penzias and Wilson were awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics for their joint discovery. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discovery_of_cosmic_microwave_background_radiation

Reference: 
1. J. Hawley and K. Holcomb. Foundations of Modern Cosmology. Oxford University

Press, USA, 1997. ISBN 9780195104974. URL http://books.google.co.uk/
books?id=eBFawfP8ak8C.
2. A. Phillips. The Physics of Stars. Manchester Physics Series. John Wiley &
Sons, 1994. ISBN 9780471941552. URL http://books.google.co.uk/books?
id=4SZpQgAACAAJ.
3. K. A. Olive. Primordial big bang nucleosynthesis. ArXiv Astrophysics e-prints, Jan.
1999. URL http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/9901231.