That is from Crash Course Astronomy. The sentence it was used in is at 5:41. Here it goes:

Then at T+20 minutes the universe cooled enough that fusion stopped.

I have looked it up in the internet, and what appeared is that it is an abbreviation meaning to think positive, but I cannot make head or tail of the sentence with this definition.

2 Answers 2


You use T minus [time] to denote a countdown to the time an event occurs. You use T plus [time] to track the elapsed time since that event. This is language you might hear in a technical setting. Wikipedia gives the example of a rocket launch:

After a launch, most countdown clocks begin to show Mission Elapsed Time, which is typically shown as "T plus." The picture to the right shows "+ 00:00:07", approximately seven seconds after liftoff.
enter image description here

In the video, the man is explaining the events that occurred after the Big Bang. He called the time of the Big Bang "time zero". At T plus twenty minutes , he means twenty minutes after the Big Bang.


Basically, T = time of some event

In the video 'T' is the instant the "Big Bang" began. So T+20minutes is 20 minutes after the initial start of the event.

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