BIG BANG THEORY UNDER FIRE by William C. Mitchel
The very old big bang problems (of the singularity, smoothness, horizon, and flatness) and the failed solutions of inflation theory; newer BB problems relating to missing mass (as required for a flat inflationary universe), the age of the universe, radiation from the “decoupling” (“smearing” of black body spectrum), a contrived BB chronology, the abundances of light elements, and red shift anomalies; and problems, newer yet, regarding inconsistencies of red shift interpretation, curved space, inflation theory, the decelerating expansion of a BB universe, and some additional logical inconsistencies of BB theory are presented.
In one of its several variations the big bang cosmological theory is almost universally accepted as the most reasonable theory for the origin and evolution of the universe. In fact, it is so well accepted that virtually every media article, story or program that touches on the subjects of astronomy or cosmology presents the big bang (BB) as a virtual proven fact. As a result, the great majority of the literate populace of the world, including most of the scientists of the world, accepts big bang theory (BBT) as scientific fact.
Education establishments involved in the fields of astronomy, astrophysics, theoretical physics and cosmology are dominated by those who have accepted BB as the theory to be pursued. Scientists who seriously question the BB are generally considered disruptive, ridiculed and derogatorily referred to as big bang bashers.
As a result of that attitude alternate cosmological possibilities are left uninvestigated. Untold man-hours and vast sums of money are spent in pursuit of data in support of the prevailing theory. Such endeavors are not in keeping with the ideals of impartial scientific investigation. It is all but forgotten that the BB is not fact, but an unproven theory.
Fortunately there long has been an un-indoctrinated minority of scientists, both amateur and professional, who continue to discover and present observational evidence and logic that provides reason to doubt the accepted paradigm. Some of better known and most effective of the scientists in this struggle are Halton Arp of the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics in Germany, Anthony Peratt of the Los Alamos National Laboratories, and Jayant Narlikar of the Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics in India. Other well known astronomers/cosmologists who have long fought for the proper consideration of alternate cosmologies include Geoffrey and Margaret Burbidge, Fred Hoyle, Herman Bondi, Thomas Gold and Eric Lerner.
Due to the efforts of those and other fighters for evenhanded cosmological investigation and, despite the powerful influence of mainstream BB cosmologists, evidence against the BB has been building to the point where the world may soon start to doubt it. Some of that evidence is briefly reviewed in this paper.
1. IS A SINGULARITY ACCEPTABLE?
The oldest and perhaps best known problem of BBT is that of the singularity. At the first instant of the BB universe, in which its density and temperature were infinitely high, is what is known to mathematicians as a singularity. That situation is considered to be a breakdown of theory. That is, it cannot be assumed that the laws of physics as we know them can apply to that event, thus presenting serious questions about it.
In addition, the postulated creation of the entire mass and energy of the universe out of nothing in the first instant of time, seems to represent an extreme violation of the law of conservation of mass/energy.
According to prevailing theory, before that instant, space and time did not exist. Although to some, who confuse their religious ideas with science, this is seen as a reasonable interpretation of their religious beliefs, to others the beginning of space and time might represent a significant problem.
If there were a BB, it would seem that events during the first instant of time would involve the instantaneous acceleration of the enormous number of particles (the entire mass) of the universe to relativistic velocity; and some variations of BBT postulate velocities well above the speed of light.(1) Because the acceleration of even a minute particle to the speed of light requires an infinite amount of energy, the BB might have required on the order of an infinity times and infinity of ergs; not to mention the additional energy that would be required to overcome the gravitational attraction of the entire mass of the universe.
It has been suggested that this singularity problem can be solved by postulating a universe of zero net energy;(2) a universe wherein the positive kinetic energy, the potential energy, and the Einsteinian equivalent energy of the mass of the universe is equal and opposite to the negative energy of gravity. Somehow, if the universe is to collapse in the future as some believe, all the energy that was expended in the birth and expansion of the BB universe was only borrowed; someday to be paid back. However, that doesn’t provide an adequate explanation for the source of the energy requirement described above.
It should be noted that this zero net energy explanation couldn’t reasonably be postulated for other than a recollapsing universe. However, as will be discussed further on, observational evidence has all but ruled out the possibility of the collapsing BB universe case, thus adding to the incredibility of zero net energy; and certainly it would seem that the positive energy of the potential, kinetic and the enormous mass equivalent energy of the of the universe must be far greater than the negative energy of its gravity. For any BB universe case the postulated zero net energy idea appears to be unrealistic.
Inflation theory,(3,4) which will be discussed further on, has claimed to solve the singularity problem (and other BB problems as well) but it requires an enormous quantum theory vacuum fluctuation(2) and, according to some, an enormous cosmic repulsive force to provide for a BB. These are purely speculative ideas that have no known means of experimental verification.
2. IS THE UNIVERSE SMOOTH?
One of the older problems of BBT, that of its postulated large-scale smoothness of the universe, appears to be the result of what was originally a simplifying assumption(5-8) that was made to aid in the solution of Einstein’s equations of general relativity on which the BB is based. That apparently resulted in the establishment of smoothness as a basic tenet of BBT; that is, the universe is isotropic (the same in all directions) and homogeneous (the same everywhere). Those ideas, combined with curved space, provide the basis for the BB concepts of space expansion (rather than simple expansion of matter in space), for a “BB that happened everywhere”, and for a centerless universe.
However, the observed irregularities of the universe, which include vast galactic formations,(9) gigantic voids and sheets of galaxies,(10) and the “Great Wall”,(11,12) that is estimated to stretch across one half billion light years of space, tend to deny that smoothness.
The smoothness of the distribution of the matter of the universe is said to be verified by the smoothness of microwave background radiation (MBR) that is received from all directions of space. That radiation is believed by adherents of BBT to have come directly from a smooth BB. However, it would seem that both the improbability of a smooth BB explosion (explosions experienced in our time certainly are not smooth), and presently observed irregularities of the universe, tend to deny a BB as the direct source of MBR.
(Regarding the plasma universe explosion postulated by Hannes Alfven, a leading advocate of BB cosmology P. J. E. Peebles wrote, “It would be hard to imagine that the explosion produced a spherically symmetric expanding system of galaxies….” (13) One wonders why similar doubt is not expressed about a smooth BB.)
The enormous expansion of the early universe at speeds far in excess of that of light, in accordance with inflation theory, is said to solve the BB smoothness problem. However, postulating a different form of expansion doesn’t change the present state of the universe, and, as will be discussed further on, it is not clear that inflation can provide an adequate explanation for the expansion of the universe at speeds far in excess of that of light.
3. ORIGINAL SMOOTHNESS OR SMOOTHING?
Another old BB problem that is related to the smoothness problem is called the horizon problem. In the event, however unlikely, that the universe should ultimately prove to be smooth (on an extremely large scale), an additional problem would have to be faced. Regardless of whether the BB was chaotic or smooth, how it might have become smooth or remained smooth is not explained. Because of the enormous initial rate of expansion of a BB universe, faster-than-light signaling would have been necessary for gravitational (or other) forces to produce or retain that smoothness over billions of years. However, even the transmission of information at or above the speed of light is a violation of the theory of relativity.
The rapid expansion of the very early BB universe in accordance with inflation theory is thought to provide a solution to this horizon problem. As Peebles has also written, “The recent tendency is to assume this embarrassment can be resolved by inflation or some other adjustment of the physics of the very early universe”.(13) But again, it is not clear just how the more rapid expansion of inflation might solve this problem.
4. IS THE UNIVERSE FLAT?
An additional older problem of BBT is the flatness problem. A special theory is required to explain a flat “Euclidian” BB universe of uncurved space that is accepted by many mainstream cosmologists. In that universe the average density would be at a critical level, that is, at a balance between the average density of a “closed” BB universe (expanding at less than escape velocity) that would eventually collapse, and the average density of an “open” BB universe (expanding at greater than escape velocity) whose expansion would continue to increase, but at an ever decreasing rate. The postulated expansion of this flat BB universe (just at escape velocity) would eventually cease to increase, and thereafter remain at a fixed size.
It has been postulated that a universe of zero net energy, in addition to solving the singularity problem, might solve this flatness problem. However, as mentioned above, that concept is highly suspect. Additionally, the observed low average density of the universe, probably not more than a few percent of the critical amount, appears to deny the possibility of the flat universe case.
As in the case of the previously mentioned problems, the enormous rate of expansion of the early BB universe as postulated by inflation theory, is said to provide a solution to the flatness problem. However, it is not clear how an enormously fast rate of expansion might result in an average density at the critical level; and the low observed density of the universe represents an especially severe problem to inflation theory. That situation has provided the incentive for a frantic search for the “missing mass” that would be necessary to increase the average density to the expectations of inflation theory.
5. IS DENSITY TOO LOW?
Actually, the density of the universe appears to be insufficient to support any BB universe case: closed, flat or somewhat open. That situation presents what is called the missing mass problem.
The directly observed density of the universe is estimated at only one to two percent of the required density for the above cases. Calculations based on observed dynamics of galactic rotation of a small sample of galaxies indicate there may be as much as ten times that amount of matter in their vicinities.
There is insufficient evidence to indicate that is true of the majority of galaxies, and little evidence that the average density of intergalactic space is nearly that high. However, even if the density of all of space were found to be as high as in the vicinity of those sample galaxies, resulting in an average density on the order of ten percent of the critical amount, that is still far short of the level necessary for the usual BB cases.
If the BB universe is flat, requiring its average density to be at the critical level (somewhat less for the open BB universe and somewhat more for the closed BB universe), as much as 99 percent of its mass might consist of non-baryonic matter of no known characteristics other than gravitational attraction. Investigators have made valiant efforts, both theoretical and observational, to find that missing matter, both cold dark matter (CDM) and hot dark matter (HDM). All sorts of exotic stuff, including photinos, gravitinos, small black holes, magnetic monopoles, solitons, cosmic strings and sheets, MACHOS (massive astrophysical halo objects), WIMPS (weakly interacting massive particles), massive neutrinos (meaning neutrinos that have mass), and several others have been proposed, but no significant observational evidence in support of those has been discovered.
[Because it has been said that the universe, in addition to photons, is flooded with neutrinos from the BB, some theorists had suggested that electron neutrinos are more massive than previously thought by particle physicists; possibly as much as 30 eV (rather than less than 10 eV) which might be sufficient to solve the missing mass problem. For the same reason, it has more recently been suggested that muon neutrinos might have a mass of about 2500 MeV, more than 10,000 times greater than previously estimated. However, experiments failed to support an electron neutrino of 30 eV,(14) and there is no experimental evidence in support of a muon neutrino of 2500 MeV.]
Inflation theory, that is claimed to solve several of the major problems of conventional BBT, postulates a flat universe.(15) For that reason the significance of the missing mass problem has in recent years increased in the minds of those who support that theory. As mentioned, that has provided increased incentive for the as yet unsuccessful search for missing mass.
6. UNIVERSE TOO OLD?
A major problem, known as the age paradox,(16) plagues BBT: The postulated age of the BB universe may be incompatible with observations.
Despite the insistence of some BB advocates on a lower value, recent observations of distant galaxies have confirmed the Hubble constant to be approximately 80 km/sec/Megaparsec (about 24.5 km/sec/million light years).(13,17) Hubble time, the age 2 billion years. The age of a flat or near flat BB universe, as postulated by BB theorists in recent years, would be two thirds of that, or about 8 billion years; somewhat more than that for an open BB universe, and somewhat less than that for a closed BB universe. That age is only about one half of the known age of some stars and galaxies,(18,19) presenting an obviously impossible situation.
Conversely, a flat BB universe having an age of 15 billion years, would require a Hubble time of 22.5 billion years and a Hubble constant of about 42.2 km/sec/Mpc; little more than one half of the observed value.
Even if the age of the BB universe was considerably more than 8 billion years (and the Hubble constant correspondingly smaller), there may not have been time for the formation of observed gigantic galactic configurations. The time required for those to form (due to gravity Ð in accordance with BBT) has been estimated to be on the order of 100 billion years.
The heavy elements observed in the solar system, and in other stars and galaxies, require at least one previous stellar cycle.(20,21)The formation of those stars, their life time, their collapse, explosion and dispersal, and the subsequent formation of our galaxy, sun and planets might well have required a period considerably greater than 8 billion years. Because of the high probability of more than one previous stellar cycle in this process, an age of at least tens of billions of years may have been required.
Astronomical observations support a period of rotation of our galaxy of 1/4 billion years.(22,23) At that rate, if the BB had occurred on the order of 10 billion years ago, there would have been time for only 40 rotations. However, astronomical theory tells us that the rate of rotation has increased from a much lower rate as the galaxy has evolved,(24) providing time for considerably less than 40 rotations. As judged by the present spiral form of the galaxy, it might be expected that an order of magnitude more revolutions, and thus an order of magnitude more that 10 billion years, may have been required for the formation of our galaxy. These comments apply to other spiral galaxies as well as our own.
Possibly adding to this age problem, there have been observations of polarization of radiation received from distant quasars indicating the presence of relatively strong magnetic fields. Some of those quasars are reckoned by BB theorists to be observed as they were at less than one tenth of the age of the universe,(25) far sooner than such fields might have developed in accordance with BBT.
On the whole it would seem that the age of the universe is more likely to be at least several tens of billions of years, rather than 10 to 15 billion years as believed by BB advocates. As in the case of the missing mass problem, BB age problems alone appear to provide convincing evidence against all of BBT.
It should be noted that BB theorists’ estimates of the age of the universe are based on their belief in an expanding universe. That in turn is based on the accepted Doppler interpretation of red shift which, as we will see, may present additional difficulties.
7. SOURCE OF RADIATION?
The microwave background radiation (MBR), that is received uniformly from all directions of space, considered by many to be the most important evidence in support of BBT, may be inconsistent with that theory.
In addition to the previous comment that one would expect the observed gigantic galactic formations to cause irregularities in the isotropy of MBR reception, the observed spectrum of the MBR, corresponding to a near perfect black body temperature of 2.7 K, doesn’t agree very well with temperatures predicted by various BB theorists. Those predictions had varied over a range of 5 to 50 K.(26) History also shows that some BB cosmologists’ “predictions” of MBR temperature have been “adjusted” after-the-fact to agree with observed temperatures.
The prediction of 5 K (by Ralph Alpher and Robert Herman in 1948),(27) which has been selected as a basis for agreement with the observed temperature, was made by those who had accepted a BB scenario that included concepts that were incorrect. Those included the idea that all of the elements of the universe were produced in the BB, which was later determined to be erroneous.
If the temperature of the universe was at absolute zero, all matter would collapse. The temperature of radiation from space might reasonably be expected to be some small number of degrees above that temperature. In fact, some physicists (including Sir Arthur Eddington in 1926 and Andrew McKeller in 1942)(28) had estimated temperatures in the range of 2 to 3 K; closer to that of the MBR than has been estimated by BB cosmologists.
According to BB theorists, the “decoupling era”, from whence MBR is said to have originated, may have lasted at least several hundred thousand years.(29) It has occurred to me that, if radiation comes to us directly from that period, later radiation would have lower source temperature and less red shift, resulting in distortion, “smearing”,(24)of the postulated black body spectrum from the decoupling. Bers may have assumed that the temperature and red shift changes of that period would cancel; but unless the universe had linear (fixed-rate) expansion, that cancellation could not be perfect. Because BB theorists believe, not in a fixed rate of expansion, but in a nonlinear decelerating expansion, it would seem reasonable to suppose that a less than perfect black body spectrum might be received from the BB decoupling than that which is observed.
Smearing of a black body spectrum from the decoupling would also result if the shape of the BB universe were less than perfectly spherical during that period. Although BB advocates believe in that smoothness, it may be difficult for others to accept an explosion of such symmetry.
If MBR from the decoupling had caused thermal equalization (thermalization) of the matter of the space that surrounds us, as other theorists have suggested, and that matter were quite remote, the large irregularities of galactic formations might be expected to cause fairly large directional variations of the MBR. If the MBR is radiated from thermalized matter relatively close to us (but perhaps outside of our galaxy), the MBR might possess the observed isotropy. However, the possibility should not be overlooked that, as the work of Eddington, McKeller and others indicates, the observed MBR may be the result of sources of
energy other than the BB decoupling.
Some BB cosmologists have contended that thermalization of surrounding space could not produce a spectrum so closely resembling that of black body radiation. However there is theoretical support for the existence of particles in space (called whiskers) (30-32) that in turn supports the possibility of thermalization. Physical evidence of these particles has been found in meteorites that have struck the earth.(33,34)
Further doubt about the BB as a source of the MBR results from consideration of the amplitude of MBR signal strength received here on earth. Calculations indicate that the received energy may be orders of magnitude lower than would be expected from the enormous energy release of the postulated BB decoupling.(24)
According to BBT, positively curved space provides the explanation for omni directional reception of MBR from the decoupling. However, characteristics of the positively curved space of a closed universe cannot be ascribed to the flat or somewhat open universe that is accepted by the majority of BB theorists.
As presented above, the closed BB universe would seem to be ruled out by age and density considerations. But if that had not been the case, and space were positively curved as postulated for the closed BB universe case, neutrinos from the BB would be raining on us as well as photons. Those have not been detected. By similar reasoning, in a BB universe of positively curved space, rather than being “clumped” at great distances (as they are perceived to be by the presently accepted interpretation of red shift data), quasars would be more evenly distributed in direction, distance and speed. If that were found to be true it might tend to deny one of the alleged proofs of BBT, that of an evolving universe.
Photons [that is, electromagnetic radiation (EMR) in the infrared region] are believed to originate from the BB decoupling, to be red-shifted by about 1,000, and to be received from all directions of space as MBR. According to BBT, neutrinos are also said to originate from the BB, but at a much earlier time. They, like the MBR, are believed to fill the space that surrounds us. According to quantum wave theory, although they are particles rather than EMR, they are considered to have a red shift much greater than that of BB photons. Their energy is therefore too low to allow their detection: their frequency below the capability of available technology. Although neutrinos from nearby sources (from the sun and from Supernova 1987A) have been detected, the treatment of BB neutrinos as waves is said to provide an explanation for the lack of their detection. However, the application of wave theory to neutrinos, but not to other particles (electrons, protons, neutrons, etc.) believed to have originated in the BB at or before the time of the decoupling, appears to present a logical inconsistency.
It would seem that, upon consideration of the available evidence, rather than supporting BBT, the presence of MBR might actually be counted against it. It seems more reasonable to postulate natural radiation from matter or energetic processes in relatively nearby space as the source of MBR.
8. CONTRIVED CHRONOLOGY?
The time line of events from the first instant of the BB until the present time, as presented by various cosmologists in their attempts to reconcile BBT with quantum theory, have been inconsistent with their own versions of BBT thus presenting serious chronology problems.
As an example of this, although there are few if any BB adherents who believe in a universe that has expanded at a constant rate since the BB, the chronology that is most often presented indicates a fixed-rate universe that is 10 billion years old.(3,35,36)
That chronology, indicating a Hubble time of 10 billion years, requires a Hubble constant of almost 100 km/sec/mpc (30 km/sec/million light years), a value far in excess of that accepted by BB supporters. For a Hubble constant of that value, all of the usual BB cosmological cases (somewhat open, flat or closed) would require the BB to have occurred at about 2/3 of Hubble time, or approximately 6-2/3 billion years ago, which is incompatible with current BB thinking.
The great majority of BB advocates believe in a considerable degree of gravitational deceleration of the expansion of the universe since the BB for either a somewhat open, a flat or a closed universe. For those cases the plot of energy and temperature vs. time would require considerable decreasing slope as time progresses, rather than the linear expansion that is usually depicted.
Furthermore, the nonlinearity required for a decelerating expansion, would require considerable modification to the occurrence of quantum theory events (and other events, such as the decoupling), in the BB chronology as customarily presented.
Study of this matter leads one to suspect that the timing of the events of the BBT chronology as usually shown may merely have been contrived. Any amount of energy, measured or theoretical, required for the creation of particles of quantum theory can be placed between the infinite energy (infinite temperature and density) of the BB singularity and the present low energy level of space (a temperature of 2.7 K).
Adding to these inconsistencies is the lack of consideration of the impact of inflation theory on BB chronology. Although many of those who present chronological information have accepted inflation theory, and must be aware of its impact, they continue to describe BB events essentially in accordance with a chronology, already inconsistent with pre-inflation BBT, that shows a linear decrease in energy and a linear increase in size as functions of time.
9. SOURCE OF LIGHT ELEMENTS?
The agreement of the observed abundances of light elements in the universe with those predicted by various BB cosmologists is frequently cited as one of the primary proofs of their theory, but this proof also faces some difficulties.
The study of historical data shows that over the years predictions of the ratio of helium to hydrogen in a BB universe have been repeatedly adjusted to agree with the latest available estimates of that ratio as observed in the real universe. The estimated ratio is dependent on a ratio of baryons to photons (the baryon number) that has also been arbitrarily adjusted to agree with the currently established helium to hydrogen ratio. These appear to have not been predictions, but merely adjustments of theory (“retrodictions”) to accommodate current data.
BB cosmologists tell us that the observed ratio of helium to hydrogen in the universe could only have been the result of BB thermonucleosynthesis. However, that presumes, not only a precise knowledge of the the processes of a BB, but a precise knowledge of the processes of other possible cosmologies. If, for example, another cosmology should suggest that helium has accumulated as a result of other processes(37,38) (such as stellar nucleosynthesis over tens of billions of years), having given other cosmological possibilities little or no consideration, on what basis might a BB theorist deny that?
In addition to helium, BB theorists have in the past maintained that other light elements including boron, beryllium and lithium, can only have been produced by BB nucleosynthesis (fusion). However, it has been found that these elements can be produced by cosmic rays acting on supernovae remnants (fission).(29) It is also possible for deuterium to have been produced by processes in the formation of galaxies, rather than in BB nucleosynthesis as claimed by those theorists.
Adding to those problems, recent observations have shown that the abundance of helium is less than that indicated by standard BBT, and that the ratios of beryllium and boron are inconsistent with that theory.(39-41)
10. DOPPLER RED SHIFT?
Inconsistencies regarding the current interpretation of observed red shift present many problems to BBT. Many of those have to do with the distant massive bodies that are called quasars.
As presently utilized, red shift data results in the perception of extremely great masses and brilliances of quasars. Variations in the level of radiation from these sources(27,42) require their size to be extremely small and their densities to be extremely great. These extreme characteristics suggest that the present interpretation of red shift data as Doppler shift doesn’t tell the whole story about the speed and distance of remote massive bodies in space.
Red shift data as presently used also shows quasars to be “clumped” at great distances (great relative velocities). According to BBT that would require the formation of large numbers of quasars too soon after the BB. That interpretation of red shift data also results in the anomaly of quasars at various distances, and thus of various ages, that are observed to have similar electromagnetic spectrums.
But perhaps even in greater conflict with BBT, the clumping of distant quasars in all directions would appear to put us at the center of the universe. That situation, known as the Copernican Problem, is in direct conflict with the basic BBT tenet of smoothness; that is, isotropy and homogeneity.
Dependence on Doppler red shift for the determination of velocity and distance also results in the perception of an unreasonably large number of distant quasars having associated superluminal flares.(32,43) Some simple mathematics can show that, if the perceived distance of those quasars was less, fewer of such flares would be indicated.
(Also, mathematical investigation of the velocity relationships between quasars perceived to be at great distances and their perceived superluminal flares, has provided unintelligible results.)
BB theorists accept special relativity, and thus the application of the Lorentz transformations to the red shift of radiation from galaxies and quasars that are believe to be at great distances and receding from us at “relativistic” speeds. Those speeds are thus believed to result in red shifts that are greater than would be expected by the linear application of a Hubble constant. That would appear to be reasonable for a universe consisting of matter that is expanding as the normal result of an explosion. However, because BB theorists insist that it is not the matter of the universe, but the space of the universe that is expanding, I have suggested an additional problem: Although the Lorentz transformations may apply to matter, they do not apply to massless space. It is therefore inappropriate to apply them to a BB universe.
In addition to quasar related problems, there is considerable observational evidence indicating that the presently accepted interpretation of red shift data is to some degree erroneous. Observations over many years by highly regarded astronomers have shown many “companion galaxies”(27) to have considerably higher red shifts than those of unmistakably neighboring galaxies. Most notable among those astronomers is Halton Arp, who has also provided considerable evidence that radiation from newly formed galaxies is in some manner red shifted by other than Doppler effect.(44)
There are a number of highly regarded scientists, including Dr. Grote Reber of the University of Tasmania and Dr. Paul Marmet of the Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics in Ottawa, who support “tired light” or Compton scattering concepts.(45-48) They postulate that, as radiation travels through intergalactic space, it looses energy and its wavelength is increased, perhaps adding to the Doppler shift that is the result of relative speed. However, some of those scientists believe that all red shift is due to causes other than expansion, in other words, that the universe is static.
Although it has long ago been ruled out by BB cosmologists as an important factor, massive dense bodies, that may not be massive enough and dense enough to become black holes, may be massive enough and dense enough to cause appreciable amounts of gravitational red shift (Einstein shift)(24,49) of their radiation.
In support of this it is known, for example, that even our sun has a small gravitational red shift (z Å 0.000002); and it is suggested that the differences in masses and radii of stars of some binary pairs(50) may be the cause of observed differences in their average red shift.
Any of these possible causes of red shift may add to Doppler red shift (if that exists) and thus cause the appearance of greater relative speed and distance of quasars and other massive bodies in space. If that should prove to be so, problems regarding the interpretation of red shift data might be eased or eliminated.
It seems obvious that, if other causes of the red shift of radiation from massive bodies were given consideration, problems resulting from the conventional interpretation of red shift might be eased. Quasars might be found to be much closer and their velocity much lower, thus solving the perception of excessive brilliance, mass, density, large numbers of superluminal flares and other problems, including the clumping of quasars at great distances.
(If red shift were found to have causes other than or in addition to Doppler effects, the velocity of distant quasars would fall on a lower, more linear portion of a plot of velocity vs. red shift that incorporates relativistic effects [as derived from the Einstein- Lorentz transformations]. The perception of clumping would thus be reduced.)
It should be pointed out that Hubble himself was not convinced that red shift was exclusively due to Doppler effect. Up to the time of his death he maintained that velocities inferred from red shift measurements should be referred to as apparent velocities.(45,51)
11. WHAT SPACE CURVATURE?
No references to negatively curved space can be found in Einstein’s Relativity, The Special and General Theories, or in other early books on Einstein’s work such as Biography of Physics by George Gamow or Understanding Relativity by Stanley Goldberg. In all of those there is only discussion of positively curved space resulting from gravitational attraction (or equivalent acceleration).
Not only have BBers thoroughly accepted the questionable concept of positively curved space but, based on some later interpretations of relativity,(5,8) they have decided that space may be negatively curved. Accordingly, the closed BB universe has positively curved space, the flat BB universe has uncurved space, and the open BB universe has negatively curved “saddle shaped” space. (In the second two of these space doesn’t close on itself, and it has no edge.)
According to Einstein, space is curved due to the presence of matter, but is only positively curved. Therefore, if it is believed that space is uncurved or negatively curved, it has occurred to me that there must be something in the BB universe to overcome the positive curvature resulting from the presence of the matter of the universe.
If the universe is flat, that “something” must be just sufficient to compensate for the gravitational influence of the matter of the universe and, if the universe is open, it must be sufficient to overpower that influence.
In other words, logic would seem to indicate that BB theorists’ acceptance of uncurved space of a flat universe, or the negatively curved space of an open universe, implicitly acknowledges the existence of negative gravity. There must be more than an equation to provide the rationale for flat or negative curvature in a universe of significant mass; the mathematics must represent some physical phenomena; something like cosmic repulsion.(24)
For many years it had been thought that a term in Einstein’s equations known as cosmic repulsion was his “greatest mistake”; even he had reached that conclusion. But it would seem that BB cosmologists have changed their minds on that score. Some of them have now accepted cosmic repulsion, now called the cosmological constant, as an essential feature of inflation theory.(1)
Some BB theorists have also suggested (quite logically) that cosmic repulsion provides the solution to the age paradox. If it is like negative gravity, and of sufficient magnitude, the expansion of the universe in the past may have been slower than indicated by the presently observed Hubble constant. If that is so, the BB may have occurred sufficiently long ago for their universe to be older than some stars are observed to be, thus rescuing the BB from its age problem. That, of course, would result in a kind of universe not normally envisioned by BB enthusiasts; one that has an ever increasing rate of expansion.
(As interpreted from red shift data in the usual manner, out to a red shift of one [z = 1], astronomical evidence would appear to indicate a universe having a fixed rate of expansion.(13) However, because of measurement uncertainties and possible relativistic effects at a relative distance of about one billion light years and beyond, there is considerable doubt concerning the constancy of the Hubble “constant”.)
It would seem that logical inconsistencies regarding the curvature of space might tend to discredit the prevailing BB cosmology.
12. DOES INFLATION FIX THE BIG BANG?
Inflation theory, that was invented for the purpose, is said to provide simple solutions to some of the problems of pre-inflation BBT.(3,4) However, convincing support for claims of solutions to the singularity, smoothness, horizon, and flatness problems is lacking.
Inflation theorists have alleged that the inflationary expansion of the early BB universe, involving speeds orders of magnitude greater than that of light,(3,4) did not involve the travel of mass or energy, and thus did not violate the theory of relativity in solving the singularity problem. But how inflation, as opposed to ordinary expansion, can in some manner displace all the mass or energy of the universe without physically moving it, defies common understanding. A violation of Einstein’s prohibition of speeds in excess of that of light seems to be inherent in that process.
The quantum concept of false vacuum, previously postulated only to deal with the spontaneous generation of the tiny fundamental particles of modern physics, is called upon by inflation theory to instantaneously produce the mass and energy of the entire universe. But this sudden appearance of the universe from the energy of vacuum,(1) still essentially out-of-nothing, does not escape the perception of an enormous violation of the law of conservation of mass/energy.
Inflation theorists have also explained that an enormous cosmic repulsive force (an enormously large cosmological constant)(1) provided the expansive force necessary for an exponential expansion of the universe. However, as previously noted, both the birth of the universe from a gigantic vacuum fluctuation(2,52) and the expansion of the universe from a gigantic cosmic repulsive force are speculations that have no means of verification.
Perhaps as a form of insurance for their claim of inflation’s enormous expansion of the early universe without violation of the conservation of mass/energy, some inflation theorists have borrowed the BB zero net energy idea that an equivalent amount of energy is merely on loan from the energy of the vacuum; that loan to be repaid upon the ultimate collapse of the universe.
Because of the apparent impossibility of a collapsing closed universe, that repayment might be put off indefinitely. However, even if the BB universe were some day to collapse, that wouldn’t happen for many billions of years: seemingly a long time for the loan of all of its mass and energy to go unpaid. Furthermore, those who support inflation theory espouse, not a closed universe, but a flat one, so the zero-net-energy idea appears to conflict with their own beliefs.
It would seem that inflation has also failed to solve the other old problems of BBT. To state that inflation smoothed the universe by stretching out irregularities of the first instant of the BB, but left just enough of them to provide the “seeds” for the later formation of galaxies may be a matter of faith, not science. To state that inflation at orders of magnitude faster than the speed of light solved the horizon problem that had been attributed to the high rate of expansion of pre-inflation BBT, may be illogical. To state that inflation, that is said to result in an exponential expansion of somewhere between 10 to the 50th power (Guth’s original inflation)(3) and 10 to the 1,000,000th power (Linde’s new inflation),(4) would cause anything greater than a minutely low average density, far less than the critical density required for a flat BB universe, seems difficult to accept.
Inflation theorists postulate a universe that expanded to unimaginable size, and thus claim that we can observe only a tiny portion of it. But they continue to tell us that quasars can be seen to within a small percentage of the distance to the BB; two very conflicting ideas. In addition, some BB cosmologists who have accepted inflation, continue to describe events essentially in accordance with the typical chronology of pre-inflation BB, having a linear decrease in temperature (energy) and a linear increase in size as functions of time, without consideration of the appropriate changes necessary to accommodate inflation.
In addition to its apparent failure to solve pre-inflation BB problems, it would seem that inflation has introduced some new problems and complexities.
As an example of new complexities, multiple domains(4) (multiple worlds or universes)(52,53) are introduced, and with them, massive walls. But domain walls, along with magnetic monopoles(3,4) (a theoretical problem of early inflation theory), are dispersed by the greatly increased exponential expansion of new inflation theory, to the edge of our domain where they no longer trouble us. These are just a couple of the many fanciful ideas that have resulted from speculation about such things as grand unified theories (GUTs) and a theory of everything (TOE) in the quest for support of BBT.
13. WHAT IS DECELERATING?
A new quandary, that I have called the BB deceleration problem, has occurred to me.(24) If the universe is expanding and, if that expansion is decelerating due to gravitational attraction of the mass of the universe, as BB theorists believe, they have not made it clear whether the expansion of space is decelerating, or whether the expansion of the matter of space is decelerating.
Most BBers agree that, rather than the matter of space, space itself is expanding. However, if the expansion of space is decelerating, the physical law that relates the deceleration of space with gravitation has not been made clear.
It would seem reasonable to expect the expansion of the matter of a BB universe to be decelerating, but, if that is so, matter must have an increasing inward velocity relative to expanding space; or perhaps the expansion of both matter and space is decelerating possibly doubling the effect of gravity. A lack of clarity regarding this matter would seem to add to the difficulties of BBT.
14. DOES LOGIC PREVAIL?
In addition to those suggested above, some miscellaneous logical oversights regarding BBT are presented in the these closing paragraphs. The first of these has been alluded to, but is repeated for emphasis. BB cosmologists repeatedly ascribe closed universe attributes to the flat and open BB universe cases. Those attributes include the concepts of closed, curved, expanding space that has no edge, and a centerless universe in which the BB happened everywhere: ideas that do not apply to a flat Euclidian universe or an open universe of saddle shaped space. It would seem that in those cases the universe must have a center at which the BB once occurred, thus denying a basic tenet of BBT.
Because they believe it solves one of BBT’s major problems (despite its apparent unlikelihood), some BB cosmologists still favor a closed cycling BB universe. They feel that, because it didn’t come out-of-nothing, but from the remains of a previous universe, the explosion of a collapsed universe avoids the singularity problem. However, there is no theory in physics that can account for the re-explosion, or “bounce”, of the universe.(2) Famous physics professor John Archibald Wheeler, who believed in the bounce, once said that black holes are “laboratory models” for the collapsing universe case.(54) However, prevailing theory denies that a giant black hole might explode.(55)
BB advocates have criticized the once competing steady state cosmology of Hoyle, Bondi and Gold because it provided no explanation for the origin of the universe. However, at the same time, some of those espouse a cycling BB universe, that has repeatedly collapsed and re-exploded in the past (and that might continue to do so in the future), which exhibits the same no-origin flaw that they ascribed to steady state theory.
BB theorists have in the past indicated that all galactic formation had started in the same early era, that is, within the first billion years following the BB. However, recent evidence has increasingly indicated much later and continuing formation of galaxies.(56,57) In the light of this evidence the previous view is no longer stressed. However, it would seem that such “waffling” might tend to discredit BBT.
Furthermore, it seems unlikely for galaxies to have formed from particles of matter that were initially departing from each other at or above the speed of light. No known force, gravity, electrodynamics or other, may have been strong enough to cause those particles to accrete. This problem has been recognized by some BB theorists in the past who have postulated that turbulence in the early BB could have started the necessary accumulation. However, it is difficult to imagine, even in the presence of turbulence, how the great departing speed of particles could allow their accretion. Furthermore, the insistence of most BB theorists on extreme smoothness of the BB explosion would also seem to deny that possibility.
Theorists insist that an expanding universe provides important evidence in support of BBT. However, they seem to ignore the fact that expansion (if true) might support other cosmologies, including the rejected steady state cosmology.
Recent convincing evidence that the number of families of fundamental particles in the universe is limited to just three, and recently observed “lensing”(49,58) of radiation from distant matter by the gravitational fields of closer matter in space (as predicted by Einstein) have both been cited as added proof of BBT. However, as in the cases of Hubble expansion, the presence of MBR, and the abundance of light elements, these observations might provide support to alternate cosmologies equally well.
BB theorists have implied that their solution to Olber’s paradox,(24,27,59) that the relativistic speeds (large red shifts) of distant bodies of the universe dim the sky, provides proof of BBT. But, instead of relying on that solution, it might be more reasonable to accept the straightforward solution that Olber himself had long ago offered, that closer, smaller, cooler matter can obscure visible radiation from more distant, larger, warmer matter of space. In his discussion of C. V. L. Charlier’s clustering hierarchical universe(13), P. J. E. Peebles has recognized that the view of distant galaxies is obscured by dust in our galaxy. And certainly telescopic images of supernovae appear to show that “dust” hides more distant matter. If correct, that solution would seem to support no cosmology in particular.
There has been a consistent pattern of neglect of evidence that might tend to discredit the prevailing BB cosmology. Examples of this are the vast amount of data compiled over many years by Halton Arp that shows the proximity of objects of higher red shifts to galaxies of lower red shift,(44) and by Anthony Peratt regarding the role of plasma physics in the formation of galaxies.(60) Although that data is well known, its impact on the field of cosmology is all but ignored.
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William C. Mitchell
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