The Big Bang Theory
The big bang, the cornerstone of cosmological physics, is a long-held theory about how the Universe began. However, it doesn’t answer many nagging questions about the development of the Universe. Are scientists missing something? Is the big bang just completely wrong? Do we need a new big bang theory?
Hopefully, this chapter will answer these questions.
The seeds for the big bang were laid in 1929, when Edwin Hubble discovered that all galaxies in the sky are receding from us in every direction. This observation lead to the concept of the expanding Universe. In the late 1940’s, the term Big Bang was coined sarcastically, and it stuck as the name of this theory. The big bang basically says that the Universe began as a small “dot” smaller than the period at the end of this sentence about 14 billion years ago and exploded. This began the expansion of our Universe, which is expanding to this day and carrying all matter — stars, galaxies, supercluster, etc. — farther out into space.
Our Universe is now believed to be roughly 30 billion light-years in diameter. (One light-year is the distance that light travels in one year. With the speed of light being around 186,000 mile per second, one light-year comes out to around 6 trillion miles.)
That the Universe is 14 billion years old is based on an extrapolation of the galaxies back to their point of origin. At their current speed and distance, they would take 14 billion years to meet at one central point. Which means, 14 billions years ago there had to be a “big bang,” the point from which our universe originated.
A galaxy, as described by NASA’s website, nasa.gov, is this:
“A galaxy is a system of stars, dust, and gas held together by gravity. Our solar system is in a galaxy called the Milky Way. Scientists estimate that there are more than 100 billion galaxies scattered throughout the visible universe. Astronomers have photographed millions of them through telescopes. The most distant galaxies ever photographed are as far as 10 billion to 13 billion light-years away. A light-year is the distance that light travels in a vacuum in a year — about 5.88 trillion miles (9.46 trillion kilometers). Galaxies range in diameter from a few thousand to a half-million light-years. Small galaxies have fewer than a billion stars. Large galaxies have more than a trillion.
“The Milky Way has a diameter of about 100,000 light-years. The solar system lies about 25,000 light-years from the center of the galaxy. There are about 100 billion stars in the Milky Way.
“Galaxies are distributed unevenly in space. Some have no close neighbor. Others occur in pairs, with each orbiting the other. But most of them are found in groups called clusters. A cluster may contain from a few dozen to several thousand galaxies. It may have a diameter as large as 10 million light-years.”
How do scientists know how fast galaxies are moving? By their “long wavelength,” also known as a “redshift.” What’s a long wavelength? A good analogy would be sound: Ever notice that the whistle of a train approaching you is a higher pitch than the same whistle leaving you? Sound travels in waves. When the train approaches you, this sound wave is “squeezed” together into shorter wavelengths, making for a higher pitched sound. When the train leaves you, this sound wave is “stretched,” creating a lower pitched sound.
You can visualize this effect by imagining you’re holding a spring at both ends. As you stretch the spring, the distance between each spiral (“wave”) increases; this is similar to “long wavelengths.” If you squeeze the spring together, the spirals come closer together, making for shorter “wavelengths.”
A similar thing happens with light. When scientists analyze light moving away from them the light seems to stretch out (making for longer wavelengths) and it gives off a reddish color called a redshift. Light moving toward them seems to squeeze together (making for shorter wavelengths) and it gives off a bluish color called blueshift.
Scientists can tell how fast an object is moving toward or away from them by the degree of these redshifts or blueshifts; the greater the shift the faster the object is moving.
There are a number of things that need to be explained before I get to the question of how solid the big bang theory is.
The next thing that needs explanation is what the “dot” that existed a moment before the big bang was. The truth is we don’t know what it was or where it came from. But if everything in the Universe came from that dot, it obviously contained everything that currently exists in the Universe, squeezed into a super compact little ball.
What kind of properties would a super-compact, little ball like that have? Again, we don’t know. But we can get some idea from similar objects that we believe exist in our current Universe — black holes.
A black hole is believed to begin with a star. The sun, with a diameter of about 865,400 miles, is considered an average sized star, and is basically a huge thermonuclear “reactor” which has enough “fuel” to keep it burning for many, many generations. But what happens when a star’s fuel burns out?
There are various scenarios, depending on the size of the star. A cold (burned out) star about one and a half times the size of the sun (which is now known as the Chandrasekhar limit) will collapse under its own weight. A live star even many times the size of the sun does not collapse because of the outward force generated by its powerful nuclear explosions. When this nuclear force is gone, however, such massive bodies undergo dramatic changes.
A star less massive than the Chandrasekhar limit still has the ability to stop contracting at about a radius of just a few thousand miles. In such a state it is called a “white dwarf,” and one cubic inch of its mass weighs hundreds of tons.
Another scenario for a cold star about one or two times the mass of our sun is to contract into a “neutron star.” A neutron star can have a radius of roughly ten miles and weigh as much as hundreds of millions of tons per cubic inch.
Since gravitational pull increases in proportion to mass, when stars collapse, their surface gravity become stronger the more compact they become. That’s because with a neutron star, for example, you may have a sphere with a ten-mile radius exerting a gravitation pull equivalent to a star several times the size of the sun. And that’s massive (in the colloquial sense)!
But as spectacular as such transformations seem, they are nothing compared to the collapse of a star many times the size of the sun. In such a case, the collapse is not halted at a radius of thousands or even ten miles. The force of its massive weight ensures its continued collapse until it reaches a point, according to general relativity, where it has infinite density and space-time curvature. Its radius is a fraction of that of a neutron star. And, thus, a “black hole” comes into being.
A black hole has such a strong gravitational force that nothing, not even light, can escape its pull. This renders a black hole virtually “invisible” — if you shined the most powerful light at such a body, you couldn’t see it because the light would get trapped in the black hole and never reflect back to reach your eyes. Furthermore, inside a black hole, the laws of nature as we know them would break down completely, leaving no viable method of predicting any future events within the black hole.
But if we can’t see black holes, how do we know they exist? Although direct proof of their existence still alludes us, we have evidence which seem to support their existence. We have cases of a star revolving around an invisible object, sometimes assumed to be a black hole. Occasionally we see spectacular “fireworks” in remote regions of space, which sometimes is assumed to be produced by matter spiraling into a black hole, creating powerful energy surges. (The reason this energy is capable of reaching us is because it has not yet entered the black hole’s “event horizon,” the point of no return from where nothing can escape.)
This brings us back to the dot that existed a moment before the big bang. That dot must have been the mother of all black holes. If a black hole with the mass of hundreds of suns is so powerful, you can imagine how powerful a small dot containing all the energy and mass in the universe must have been. If you can imagine that, you’re lying to yourself. If you can’t image it, then you have some idea.
Now we’re getting close to the first serious problem with the big bang. When they say the Universe is expanding it means that the fabric of space itself is expanding. (Empty space is not empty at all. It’s seething with subatomic particles that come into existence and disappearing. But we’ll get more into this later. The point here is that “empty” space is an actual entity.) The big bang didn’t just hurl everything out into space, it created space itself and is currently still expanding that space.
Why not just leave it at, the big bang hurled everything into space; why even bother with the concept of expansion? Well, here’s the problem. When we look at galaxies far out in space, their “redshifts” seem to indicate they’re receding faster than the speed of light. Einstein’s special theory of relativity, the cornerstone of modern physics, says physical objects cannot move at or faster than the speed of light. The expansion of space itself, however, can move faster than the speed of light without violating this law.
So, the extreme redshifts coming from some galaxies, scientists believe, is not the result of thrust, but mostly the result of their being carried outward with the expansion of space.
An analogy might be, several pieces of paper are glued down to a rubber mat. As the rubber mat expands by being pulled on all sides, the pieces of paper move away from each other, not because they’re actually moving, but because they’re being carried out by the expansion of the rubber mat.
So, since space can expand faster than the speed of light without violating any laws of physics, the galaxies can “hitch a ride” faster than the speed of light with the expanding Universe without violating any laws of physics.
Well, that explains everything. Or does it? Maybe not.
If space is expanding, shouldn’t everything in it expand with it? In our analogy, as the rubber mat expands, the papers would get ripped apart, since the rubber underneath the papers are also expanding.
But this is not what’s happening in space; the space between galaxies seems to be expanding but galaxies and other objects are not getting ripped apart. Why not? The space they’re in is expanding, why aren’t they expanding too?
One of the two following things should be happening:
1 – Everything from atoms to people to galaxies to the space between galaxies should be expanding with the Universe. As a result, we couldn’t even tell that the Universe was expanding since our eyes, our telescopes, light rays, galaxies and everything else would all be expanding proportionally; so everything would look the same. (It would be as if, for example, you grew up in a house that grew with you; you couldn’t tell the house was getting bigger.) And then we’d be stuck with the original question: how can the galaxies be moving faster than the speed of light.
2 – If matter is not expanding with the space that it resides in, it should get ripped apart, as in our rubber mat analogy.
But neither of the above seems to be happening; space does seem to be expanding, but not everything in it is expanding with it. Yet, nothing’s getting ripped apart. How is this possible?
The question why atoms are not being ripped apart by the expansion of space was presented to a Nobel prize-winning scientist. Reportedly, this was his answer: “The expansion of the universe doesn’t actually affect the spaces between particles. The universe’s expansion is not a force that will rip particles, molecules or even objects apart. The ‘fabric of space’ is not stretching — just the distances between really large things like galaxies. So while the distance between the milky way and its nearest neighbor may increase over the next billion years, the distance between the proton and neutron in a deuterium atom’s nucleus will not.”
What this scientist was saying, in effect, is that the question is the answer. Question: Why don’t particles and galaxies get ripped apart? Answer: “The expansion of the universe … is not a force that will rip particles, molecules or even objects apart … just the distances between really large things like galaxies.”
Wasn’t the question: why?
One reason I heard was that gravity was keeping galaxies together.
Are galaxy clusters and super clusters (groups and “super groups” of galaxies) expanding? If not, why not; there’s plenty of space between their member galaxies? If they are, why; shouldn’t gravity keep them together? And what’s the critical gravity strength to keep galaxies or galaxy clusters together?
But here’s the real problem with the notion that a galaxy’s gravity can stand up against the expansion of the Universe. This same expansion ripped apart that big bang “dot,” the most powerful “black hole” ever to exist, that dot that contained all the energy/matter in the Universe. This expansion does not have the power to rip apart a mere galaxy?
Perhaps the big bang only expanded space, and the energy/mass in it simply exploded on its own? Then we’d have to invent a whole new force that’s capable of ripping apart such a massive black hole. We don’t know of a force that can rip apart an average black hole today, let alone the enormously powerful big bang’s.
So, it must be that it was the big bang expansion itself that “blew up” that big bang dot. And if that dot contained everything that exists today, the expansion must be capable of expanding anything; space, energy or mass. But matter isn’t expanding; planets aren’t blowing up. And energy isn’t expanding, either; stars aren’t blowing up. Only space between galaxies is expanding? How, when and why did this happen? Something’s wrong with this picture.
Could the expansion today have gotten weaker? Perhaps. But how weak could it have gotten if it’s still expanding a Universe containing billions of galaxies, and, to add to the mystery, the rate of expansion is increasing (discussed later)?
So, the expansion problem boils down to this: If the Universe is still expanding, why are portions of it not expanding. And if the “fabric of space is not stretching,” how can galaxies be receding faster than the speed light?
This is not the only serious problem with the big bang. There’s quite list, which I’d like to delineate here. After listing these problems, I’d like to present a new big bang theory that will solve the above and the following cosmological mysteries: (For the benefit of those who may not be familiar with the following concepts, I’ll try explaining them in as non-technical terms as possible.
But I would suggest reading this chapter next to a computer so you can google those areas that may still not be that clear to you after explanation.)
* What dark matter is.
* The Horizon problem: The uniformity of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB).
* The Flatness problem: The very curious “coincidence” that there seems to be just enough matter in the universe to keep it from expanding forever and not enough for it to collapse under its own gravity.
* Inflation theory: This unlikely and counter-intuitive theory is not necessary with my new big bang theory.
* How the universe can appear so “clumpy,” containing galaxies, superclusters, large-scale structures and huge areas of relatively empty space, when it started off so smooth.
* What dark energy is.
* How can the Universe have large-scale structures when there wasn’t enough time for them to develop?
Some of the above issues remain mysteries and some are explained by theories in, I believe, a very tenuous way. One widely accepted theory in particular, “inflation,” which will be discussed later, comes off like a very contrived “patch” to the big bang, and I think it’s highly questionable whether it even explains what it’s supposed to.
My new big bang theory explains the issues that inflation supposedly explains, but does so in a far more elegant manner as part of the overall theory, without the need for contrived patchwork. Additionally, my new big bang theory explains most, if not all, those issues that remain cosmological mysteries at this point.
But first, here are some of the other problems with the big bang.
Here’s a quick intro to the puzzle of “Dark Matter” as it appeared on NASA’s website in July 2009:
“When the Universe was young, it was nearly smooth and featureless. As it grew older and developed, it became organized. We know that our solar system is organized into planets (including the Earth!) orbiting around the Sun. On a scale much larger than the solar system (about 100 million times larger!), stars collect themselves into galaxies. Our Sun is an average star in an average galaxy called the Milky Way. The Milky Way contains about 100 billion stars. Yes, that’s 100,000,000,000 stars! On still larger scales, individual galaxies are concentrated into groups, or what astronomers call clusters of galaxies.
“The cluster includes the galaxies and any material which is in the space between the galaxies. The force, or glue, that holds the cluster together is gravity — the mutual attraction of everything in the Universe for everything else. The space between galaxies in clusters is filled with a hot gas. In fact, the gas is so hot (tens of millions of degrees!) that it shines in X-rays instead of visible light.
“By studying the distribution and temperature of the hot gas we can measure how much it is being squeezed by the force of gravity from all the material in the cluster. This allows scientists to determine how much total material (matter) there is in that part of space.
“Remarkably, it turns out there is five times more material in clusters of galaxies than we would expect from the galaxies and hot gas we can see. Most of the stuff in clusters of galaxies is invisible and, since these are the largest structures in the Universe held together by gravity, scientists then conclude that most of the matter in the entire Universe is invisible. This invisible stuff is called ‘dark matter’. There is currently much ongoing research by scientists attempting to discover exactly what this dark matter is, how much there is, and what effect it may have on the future of the Universe as a whole.”
“… five times more material … than we would expect … ” is a large chunk of our world for us to have no idea what it’s made of. And if it affects our universe today, it had to effect the big bang, somehow? But how? My new big bang theory will explain what dark matter is and its connection to the big bang.
To describe some of the other problems with the big bang it is necessary to explain what the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (CMBR) is. Very briefly, shortly after the big bang, all the energy in the Universe was extremely hot. The radiation of this heat spread throughout the cosmos, and to this day we can detect a very low energy leftover from this radiation. No matter where in space you look, the radiation is almost exactly the same temperature, save for a slight fluctuation here and there.
The Horizon problem
Now, this is where the “horizon problem” comes in. A quote from the website www.zmescience.com describes it well:
“[The “horizon problem” is something] scientists have had many problems with, to say the least. The truth is despite the fact that there are some solutions that would partially (or even totally) explain the issue, there is no satisfactory explanation to this Big Bang related topic.
“Basically, our universe appears to be uniform; look in one part of the universe [one horizon], you’ll find microwave background radiation filling it, at mostly the same temperature. Look in the opposite direction [another horizon], you’ll find the same thing … You have to keep in mind that nothing travels faster than the speed of light, and this is not about just matter, it’s about physical properties and information too.
“The two edges of the Universe are 28 billion light years apart, and the universe is just 14 billion years old, so according to our understanding there is no way that heat radiation could have traveled between these horizons to even out the temperature difference. So the hot and cold spots that resulted after the Big Bang couldn’t have been evened out; but they have. [How?] This has given scientists huge headaches, and solutions are just wishful thinking.
“The solution that seems to somewhat satisfy scientists is called ‘inflation.’ Inflationary theory relies on the idea that just after the Big Bang, the universe expanded by a factor of [many times] in [a small fraction of a] second. So this just solves [one] mystery to give another one.”
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In other words, the “inflation” theory says that for one moment after the big bang the Universe expanded at super speed from that big bang “dot” to the size of a ball. One opinion holds it expanded to the size of our solar system; but that’s irrelevant.
During this inflation period, all parts of the Universe were in causal contact with each other (that is, any area of the Universe could have affected any other area) and therefore the heat radiation was able to smooth or spread out evenly without the need for faster-than-light communication. So when the Universe subsequently expanded to 28 billion light-years, the smoothness of the heat radiation simply expanded with the Universe.
One of the problems with inflation theory, though, is that it’s a counter-intuitive concept that’s not based on empirical evidence, or even an extrapolation of known events. It’s a theory concocted for
the express purpose of solving some vexing cosmological problems. And even some scientists don’t know if it makes much sense. Here are just a few responses to the inflation theory:
Andreas Albrecht, Professor of Physics, UC Davis, on his CalTech website:
“There are a number of interesting open questions connected with inflation. The origin of the Inflaton [the theoretical field/particle that purportedly caused inflation]: It is far from clear what the inflaton actually is and where its potential comes from … Currently, there is much confusion about physics at the relevant energy scales, and thus there is much speculation about different possible classes of inflaton potentials. One can hope that a clearer picture will eventually appear as some deeper theory … emerges to dictate the fundamental laws of physics at the inflation scale.”
He then goes on to list a few other (too technical for this treatise) issues with inflation.
The following appears on the Chemistry Encyclopedia website, ChemistryDaily.com:
“One theoretical challenge for inflation arises from the need to fine tune the potentials for the fields which may give rise to inflation … inflation causes rapid cooling of the universe and so it must be followed by a period of reheating before the hot big bang can begin. It is not known how reheating occurs, although several models have been proposed.
“Observationally, it is hoped that improved measurements of the cosmic microwave background will tell us more about inflation. In particular, high precision measurements of … the background radiation will tell us if the energy scale of inflation predicted by the simplest models is correct, and … if our naive models of inflation can produce the correct primordial fluctuations.”
Dr. Ben Mathiesen, a research astrophysicist specializing in X-ray astronomy, the numerical simulation of astrophysical fluids, and the evolution of the universe, in an article on the science and physics website www.physorg.com:
“The fine-tuning problem [of inflation] has [as a result of the discovery that the Universe’s expansion is accelerating] returned … The initial density of vacuum energy had to be very close to zero at the Big Bang, or else an accelerating expansion would have driven apart all the matter before stars could form. Inflation can’t solve the problem this time … Once again, cosmologists find themselves debating the initial conditions of the universe.”
The Flatness Problem
Inflation theory supposedly resolves the “Flatness problem.” The website for the Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing, Swinburne University of Technology, explains the Flatness problem well (in brackets, are my insertions):
“A flat Universe is one in which the amount of [gravity from the] matter present is just sufficient to halt its expansion but insufficient to re-collapse it. This would represent a very fine balancing act indeed! Imagine the surprise of astronomers to find that, as near as we can tell, the Universe has exactly the required density [called “critical density”] of matter to be ‘flat.’ This seems like a truly remarkable coincidence and has become known as the ‘flatness problem.’
“The ‘problem’ is that for the Universe to be so close to critical density after 14 billion years of expansion and evolution, it must have been even closer at earlier times.
“There is no known reason for the density of the Universe to be so close to the critical density, and this appears to be an unacceptably strange coincidence in the view of most astronomers. Hence the flatness ‘problem.’
“Many attempts have been made to explain the flatness problem, and modern theories now include the idea of inflation which predicts the observed flatness of the Universe. [In the infinitesimal fraction of a second that inflation expanded the Universe from a dot to a ball, all energy and/or matter supposedly redistributed itself to the critical density, and throughout the next 14 billion years of expansion the Universe purportedly maintained that same density level.] However, not all scientists have accepted inflation, and the matter remains a subject of much debate and research.”
The Flatness problem as well as other big bang mysteries, will, as mentioned, be resolved by my new big bang theory.
The Lumpy Universe Problem
Now we have the “lumpy Universe problem,” as explained by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center:
Heading: “If [the Universe] Starts Out Smooth, How Does It Become Lumpy?
“The Universe that we see today is very lumpy. There are planets, stars, galaxies, and clusters of galaxies. Yet when we look at the afterglow [of the Background Radiation] from the Big Bang, we see an incredibly smooth glow across the sky. So how did the matter in the Universe get to be so lumpy after starting out so smooth?
“Most astronomers believe that gravity shaped the evolution of the lumps we see in the Universe today. The force of gravity between different chunks of matter caused the chunks to pull together into one body, and then that body pulled in more material. However, it takes time for gravity to do this job and the Universe is only about 15 billion years old. Has there been enough time? Only if most of the matter in the Universe is some kind of strange material which does not interact with light (so-called “dark matter”). The young Universe was so hot that normal matter, i.e. matter as we know it here on Earth, would not have been able to clump together until time passed and the Universe expanded and cooled. The Universe is probably not old enough for the gravitational attraction of ordinary matter to be responsible for the structures we see today.
“The clumping discussed above could have started early on only if there is a lot of material in the Universe known as dark matter, which behaves differently. If the clumping could have started when the Universe was still quite hot, there has probably been enough time for structures such as stars and galaxies and clusters of galaxies to evolve.
“However, if the young Universe started perfectly smoothly, then we would see no clumping today. Things must have been at least a little tiny bit unsmooth in the beginning. Such slight variations were first discovered by NASA’s Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) satellite in 1992. Astronomers believe that the Universe started out with very tiny lumps and that a type of dark matter helped gravity along to develop much of the larger lumps we observe today.
“The questions then remain: what caused the original tiny lumps? What is this exotic dark matter? Does this picture really hold together?”
The Large-Scale Structures Problem
Here’s another picture that doesn’t hold together: large-scale structures in space. An April 2009 article on NewScientist.com, entitled “New cosmic map reveals colossal structures,” reported:
“Enormous cosmic voids and giant concentrations of matter have been observed in a new galaxy survey … One of the voids is so large that it is difficult to explain where it came from.
“In fact the newly found void is so large that it is difficult to fit into our present understanding of the universe on the largest scales. Computer simulations show that gravity causes galaxies and galaxy clusters to get closer together over time, with voids growing between the clusters.
“But the finite time [14 billion years] available since the big bang makes it difficult to explain a void as large as the one found in this survey …
“‘It’s not easy to make voids that large in any of the current models of large scale structure formation,’ Huchra says. [John Huchra is a survey team member of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center.]
This bewilderment over large cosmic voids is also echoed in a paper entitled “Puzzles of Large Scale Structure and Gravitation” by The International Institute for Applicable Mathematics & Information Sciences:
“These voids would have dimensions of the order of a 100 million light years. This has been a puzzle thrown up in the late 20th century: Exactly why do we have the voids and why do we have polymer like two-dimensional structures on the surfaces of these voids? The puzzle is compounded by the fact that given the dispersion velocities of the galaxies of the order of a 1000 km/s, it would still take periods of time greater than the age of the universe [28 billion years] for them to move out of an otherwise uniform distribution, leaving voids in their wake.”
There are also questions as to whether superclusters of galaxies had enough time to evolve in 13 billion years, as expressed by the website metaresearch.org:
“These huge structures [superclusters of galaxies] would take perhaps 100 billion years to form, given the typical relative speed of galaxies. The same problem applies to ‘great walls’ of galaxies, which are even vaster structures. There is no clear way to form structures on such large scales in the time available [by the current age of the Universe] unless relative velocities were much higher in the past.”
The next couple of cosmological problems may make the above pale in comparison. They alone are enough to create serious doubts that the current version of the big bang is correct.
From the NASA Science Astrophysics website, NSASScience.nasa.gov:
“In the early 1990’s, one thing was fairly certain about the expansion of the Universe. It might have enough energy density to stop its expansion and recollapse, it might have so little energy density that it would never stop expanding, but gravity was certain to slow the expansion as time went on. Granted, the slowing had not been observed, but, theoretically, the Universe had to slow. The Universe is full of matter and the attractive force of gravity pulls all matter together. Then came 1998 and the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) observations of very distant supernovae that showed that, a long time ago, the Universe was actually expanding more slowly than it is today. So the expansion of the Universe has not been slowing due to gravity, as everyone thought, it has been accelerating. No one expected this, no one knew how to explain it. But something was causing it.
“Eventually theorists came up with three sorts of explanations. Maybe it was a result of a long-discarded version of Einstein’s theory of gravity, one that contained what was called a ‘cosmological constant.’ Maybe there was some strange kind of energy-fluid that filled space. Maybe there is something wrong with Einstein’s theory of gravity and a new theory could include some kind of field that creates this cosmic acceleration. Theorists still don’t know what the correct explanation is, but they have given the solution a name. It is called dark energy.
“What Is Dark Energy?
“More is unknown than is known. We know how much dark energy there is because we know how it affects the Universe’s expansion. Other than that, it is a complete mystery. But it is an important mystery. It turns out that roughly 70% of the Universe is dark energy. Dark matter makes up about 25%. The rest – everything on Earth, everything ever observed with all of our instruments, all normal matter – adds up to less than 5% of the Universe. Come to think of it, maybe it shouldn’t be called “normal” matter at all, since it is such a small fraction of the Universe.”
What all this adds up to is, after all these years of probing the cosmos, how much knowledge do we really have about the Universe we live it? Or is it all just one big theory?
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Excerpts from an article on the New Scientist Website, newscientist.com, put it well:
“Like the decorator who strips away a layer of wallpaper to reveal a crumbling wall, cosmologists are realizing that their findings [that the universe’s expansion rate is increasing] point to serious problems with their models of the structure of the universe. ” … it is beginning to sink in that there is no easy way to understand what dark energy might be. The problem has become so intractable that many now see it as the greatest challenge facing physics.”
And how did such a powerful force as dark energy, which is effecting the entire universe today, effect the big bang? The big bang is basically the same theory now as it was before the
discovery of dark energy. This is like claiming to have the design for a car, but the engine is not included in the design. If the big bang does not incorporate dark energy, it simply can’t be correct.
The Big Bang Problem
There’s even confusion about what exactly the expansion of the Universe means. Here’s a generally accepted view of the big bang, as described by The University of Michigan’s website, umich.edu:
“About 15 billion years ago a tremendous explosion started the expansion of the universe. This explosion is known as the Big Bang. At the point of this event all of the matter and energy of space was contained at one point. What existed prior to this event is completely unknown and is a matter of pure speculation. This occurrence was not a conventional explosion but rather an event filling all of space with all of the particles of the embryonic universe rushing away from each other. The Big Bang actually consisted of an explosion of space within itself unlike an explosion of a bomb where fragments are thrown outward. The galaxies were not all clumped together, but rather the Big Bang lay the foundations for the universe.
“In the minuscule fractions of the first second after creation what was once a complete vacuum began to evolve into what we now know as the universe. In the very beginning there was nothing except for a plasma soup. What is known of these brief moments in time, at the start of our study of cosmology, is largely conjectural. However, science has devised some sketch of what probably happened, based on what is known about the universe today.
“Immediately after the Big Bang, as one might imagine, the universe was tremendously hot as a result of particles of both matter and antimatter rushing apart in all directions. As it began to cool, [a fraction of a second] after creation, there existed an almost equal yet asymmetrical amount of matter and antimatter. As these two materials are created together, they collide and destroy one another creating pure energy. Fortunately for us, there was an asymmetry in favor of matter. As a direct result of an excess of about one part per billion, the universe was able to mature in a way favorable for matter to persist. As the universe first began to expand, this discrepancy grew larger. The particles which began to dominate were those of matter. They were created and they decayed without the accompaniment of an equal creation or decay of an antiparticle.
“As the universe expanded further, and thus cooled, common particles began to form. These particles are called baryons and include photons, neutrinos, electrons and quarks that would become the building blocks of matter and life as we know it. During the baryon genesis period there were no recognizable heavy particles such as protons or neutrons because of the still intense heat. At this moment, there was only a quark soup. As the universe began to cool and expand even more, we begin to understand more clearly what exactly happened.”
A confusion common in science literature that attempts to describe the big bang is there doesn’t seem to be a clear cut understanding of what exploded and what expanded. Did space expand, did the stuff inside space explode, or was it a combination of both? And although it’s usually made clear that the big bang was an “expansion,” not a common “explosion,” the two words are often used interchangeably.
The UMICH description above states, “About 15 billion years ago a tremendous explosion started the expansion of the universe.”
Did an explosion precede the expansion? Wasn’t the expansion the beginning of our universe?
Then, “This occurrence was not a conventional explosion but rather an event filling all of space …”
What space? There was no space before the expansion.
“In the minuscule fractions of the first second after creation what was once a complete vacuum … ”
What vacuum? If there was no space, there was no vacuum.
And what kind of power was it that ripped apart the big bang dot? I know scientists don’t generally deal with things that happened before the big bang, so this is not a question of how that power behind the big bang came to be. But once the big bang did explode/expand, in that moment it became “our Universe.” The ripping apart of this densely packed dot that contained all the energy/matter that will ever exist, happened in our universe, not before the big bang. How? What kind of power can rip apart such a densely packed “singularity?”
A singularity, as defined by the Cornell University website, is, “…a point where some property is infinite. For example, at the center of a black hole, according to classical theory, the density is infinite (because a finite mass is compressed to a zero volume). Hence it is a singularity. Similarly, if you extrapolate the properties of the universe to the instant of the Big Bang, you will find that both the density and the temperature go to infinity, and so that also is a singularity.”
If there’s no power in the Universe that we know of that can even rip apart a massive black hole, how could anything have ripped apart the far greater concentration of energy/mass that was in the big bang dot?
This issue is in fact addressed by science, as explained by The Math Department of the ucriverside University of California website:
“Sometimes people find it hard to understand why the Big Bang is not a black hole. After all, the density of matter in the first fraction of a second was much higher than that found in any star, and dense matter is supposed to curve spacetime strongly.
“The short answer is that the Big Bang gets away with it because it is expanding rapidly near the beginning and the rate of expansion is slowing down.”
Their longer answer is: “Space can be flat even when spacetime is not. Spacetime’s curvature can come from the temporal parts of the spacetime metric which measures the deceleration of the expansion of the universe. So the total curvature of spacetime is related to the density of matter, but there is a contribution to curvature from the expansion as well as from any curvature of space. The Schwarzschild solution of the gravitational equations is static and demonstrates the limits placed on a static spherical body before it must collapse to a black hole. The Schwarzschild limit does not apply to rapidly expanding matter.”
My short response to this is, this may (or may not) make sense on paper to some people, but until this is proven and verified, it remains a highly speculative response to a legitimate contradiction to the big bang.
My other response is that matter isn’t expanding at all, let alone “rapidly expanding.” When we peer into the cosmos today we find that space seems to be expanding, not matter, not energy, not planets, not stars, nothing — just space.
And according to the Nobel prize-winning scientist above, even, “The ‘fabric of space’ is not stretching — just the distances between really large things like galaxies.”
So how could the big bang expansion have involved “rapidly expanding matter?”
But then, if the big bang expanded only space and not matter, it would have created a Universe containing billions of light-years of empty space and a core black hole that still contained all energy/matter. And that’s not what our Universe looks like today.
Okay, so let’s say the big bang did expand matter as well as space. So if the Universe is still expanding, why isn’t matter still expanding, too, like it did during the big bang?
So let’s say the Universe used to expand but stopped. Why, when and how did it stop expanding? And galaxies are still flying apart, they’re doing so faster than the speed of light, and, to really complicate things, they’re flying apart at ever increasing speeds. Does this sound like the Universe stopped expanding? So what’s the answer: Is the Universe expanding or isn’t it?
There are obviously some serious problems with the theory of an expanding universe. Apparently, when it solves one problem, it’s expanding “this,” when it solves another problem, it’s expanding “that.” Something ain’t right.
This will all be explained by my new big bang theory. But we’re not through with the old one yet.
Unpacking The Big Bang Singularity
How did the big bang “unpack” the energy/matter it contained? Remember, this event happened in “our” Universe, not before the big bang, so this requires a logical, scientific explanation.
Whether the big bang was an expansion or an explosion, it must have carried everything outward with a force far more powerful than anything this Universe has even seen. When a star collapses to
form a black hole, as powerful as that collapsing force may be, it’s no match for what must have been the power of the big bang expansion/explosion.
Yet, a massive star’s collapse compresses ordinary matter into infinite density, while the big bang supposedly took energy/matter
that already had infinite density and “uncompressed” it into a soup of some sort that would eventually become the precursor to ordinary matter. How?
The big bang supposedly did the precise opposite of what physics tells us about powerful cosmic forces.
This kind of inconsistent “science” shows there are some fundamental problems with cosmology, as described on the home page of MetaResearch.org:
“Something has gone wrong in the field of astronomy. Many widely held beliefs fly in the face of observational evidence. Theories go through such contortions to resolve inconsistencies that the ideas can no longer be explained in simple language. Alternative ideas are often rejected out of hand simply because they challenge the status quo. The result: many of today’s theories are unnecessarily complex.
“Intuitively, most of us understand that an idea’s popularity is no more an appropriate measure of its validity today than it has been at any other time in history.”
The problem with the big bang even goes right down to that singularity, the moment when all matter was supposedly concentrated at a single point of infinite density, predicted by Einstein. Quantum structure limits how tightly matter can be concentrated and how strong gravity can become. This raises serious questions as to whether that big bang dot could even have existed. So much so, that some scientists have been entertaining theories about what might have happened before the big bang to explain what happened after it. They call it the “big bounce:” a Universe before ours contracted into a “big crunch,” causing a “big bounce,” which started our big bang. These are “big” theories.
The problem with these patchwork theories is that, in the best case, they may sometimes answer a few immediate concerns but invariably leave the vast majority of cosmic mysteries unanswered, and, in some case, raise more question than they answer. It’s sort of like trying to use a 9 by 9 foot canvass to cover a 10 by 10 foot hole; no matter which corner you pull it to, you uncover other corners.