I searched for 'Big Bang Temperatures' on the internet and came up with the following link which has a table of what physics, at least physics at the U. of Calif. San Diego, thinks happened in the big bang as a function of time and temperature:
I'll copy here the pertinent aspects regarding the electro-weak force.
The Big Bang
Time sinceBig Bang T (K) Comment
· < 10^-43s Quantum Universe consists of "soup" of leptons & quarks
· ~ 10^-43s 10^32K Grand Unification Era Gravity separates from other Grand Unified Forces
· ~ 10^-35s 10^27K End of Grand UnificationStrong Force breaks symmetry w/ ElectroWeak Force.
· ~ 10^-35s - 10^-33s Inflationary epoch Universe inflates by a factor of 10^30 or more("observable Universe" expands from size of an atomic nucleusto size of a cherry pit).
· ~ 10^-12s 10^15K Particle Era Electromagnetic force and Weak Force break symmetry.
· ~ 10^-6s 10^13K Quark --> Hadron transition. Protons and neutrons (plus antiprotons and anti neutrons) are formed from quarks - at this time the "matter" particles have an excess of ~ one in a billion over "antimatter" particles.
· 0.01s 10^11K(100 billion K) The Universe is expanding rapidly, scale is doubling every 0.02s.
The pertinent era is at 10^-12s where the weak force and the EM force separate. The temperature is 10^15K. High energy colliders can achieve this level of energy, but they have not yet found the Higgs particle which gives mass to the other particles. So mass exists by 10^-12s of the big bang.
It is quite interesting to me that matter and anti-matter, in the form of protons and electrons forms at still lower energies than the Higgs particle. They can form at 100K less the the Higgs temperature,assuming that Higgs is coincident with electro-weak symmetry breaking.
That tells me that I am incorrect in saying that the cyclic universe contracts to the electro-weak level above which mass ceases to exist and the universe bounces. If this were true, the universe would first get to the level of producing matter and anti-matter in such huge quantities that the mass of the universe would increase by a factor of two billion, and a bounce would not be possible.
I have always thought that this is the best argument against the existence of a big bang. If it came from a singularity, then mass would come into existence when the amount of matter in the universe was 2 billion times more massive than what now exists. If so according to Einstein's GR, the universe should immediately contract back into a black hole and disappear as its omega would greater than one billion.
So the cyclic universe is likely true, based on this argument, and the bounce happens before particle pair production becomes dominant. The bounce then requirs some new force that is not present in the above table.
When I get the chance I'll look at Steinhardt's papers to see just how he establishes that the universe will bounce.