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The Null Cosmos
From earliest times philosophers have balked at the proposition of creation from nothing. Probably as much as 5,000 years ago, early Aryan philosophers of northern India denied specific creation of matter. I quote Arunachalam's translation from the Sanskrit: asdva idam agra aseet; the do vai sata jayatah (the Universe was originally formless, later it differentiated into hundreds of things) ... tasnat swayama kurutha uchyata iti (the Universe is self created - it came by itself).
In the first
century B.C. Titus Lucretius Carus wrote that nothing can be created by
divine power out of nothing. This resurfaced in Kant's 1787 Latin dictum,
Igni de nihilo nihilo, in nihilum gemina posse reverti (nothing comes
from nothing, nothing can
revert to nothing), which I amended to: Omnia de nihilo gemina nasci, in nihilum gemina posse reverti (All things are created from nothing as mirror pairs, which as pairs can revert to nothing). If ever there was a universal zero, then at all times the algebraic sum of all will remain zero.
Just like the credit and debit of a new bank loan, the Null Cosmos implies that everything in the cosmos cancels-matter, energy, charge, momentum, magnetic fields, spin everything. It is natural to conceive that all charge in the cosmos cancels, and so also magnetic poles, and all momentum. A single particle in a universal void has neither velocity nor momentum. Once there are two particles, each has velocity and potential energy relative to the other.
Addition of a new particle to the Universe automatically adds new potential energy attraction to every other body in the Universe. Integration of this new added potential energy is exactly equal to the inertial mass of the added body. If a particle is accelerated its added kinetic energy is added to its relativistic mass or effective mass. Matter and energy are opposites which mutually cancel. Matter and energy are like the two sides of a coin one cannot exist without the other. Early Chinese philosophers contemplated the fundamental dichotomy of yin and yang, an inseparable duality of nature.
Moller, at the 1958 Brussels Solvay Conference, formulated a constant expression for the total energy density of the Universe, consisting of a matter part and a gravitational part. When this expression for the energy density is applied to the case of the metric for a homogeneous and isotropic Universe, "the energy density is zero at all times. This means that the positive matter energy is consistently counterbalanced by a corresponding amount of negative gravitational energy."
John Taylor has written:
But this "amazing" (Taylor), "surprising" (Einstein), and "most striking" (Tryon) fact is inevitable in a null cosmos, where mass and energy are inseparable gemini, which mutually cancel at all times. In Einstein's equation: E = mc2, c is a pure number (see Appendix 2) hence mass has the same dimensions as energy, not as an equality, but as a mirror image.
The above relation simply means that the inertial mass-energy (mc2) of any body in the Universe (that is its equivalent kinetic energy if it were moving at the velocity of light) is always equal to the potential energy of the whole Universe in its field (mGM / R). In other words, whenever a new mass is added to the Universe, the potential energy of the Universe is increased by the energy equivalent of that mass. Mass and energy are mutually cancelling opposites-yin and yang. Beginning from a void (zero), mass and energy are added pari passu; their algebraic sum remains zero at all times.
This can be stated another way. If a particle of mass m is added to the Universe, it has, according to Einstein, an internal energy: E int = mc2 (which is its equivalent kinetic energy if it were moving at the velocity of light). At the same time the addition of the particle creates new potential energy due to its interaction with all the other particles of the Universe:
E pot = -ň G mmi / r, where mi is the mass of a particle at a distance ri from m.
But ň mi / r = GM / R, which (as Tryon points out above) has been found empirically to equal c2.
So E pot = -mc2.
Hence E int + E pot = 0
Mach and later Einstein agree that the potential energy of the entire Universe is the direct cause of inertial mass. According to Mach's principle, a single particle in a void has zero inertial mass. An infinitesimally small force accelerates it. Energy is zero because inertial mass is zero, so that potential energy, mgh and kinetic energy, 1/2 mv2 are each zero. Einstein also emphasized that a single particle in a void could not have inertia, for there can be no inertia of matter against space, only inertia against other matter.
Energy is a direct first-power function of inertial mass. The primitive form is mgh, which may convert to any of the other energy modes. Universal potential energy (and from this the derivative modes) is directly proportional to the total inertial mass of the Universe. The inertial mass of any body is exactly equal to the potential energy of the Universe in its field.
We must distinguish here between universal mass-energy and the "local" mass-energy equivalence. Bodies may compact under local gravity, exchanging local potential energy for thermal kinetic energy, without change of inertial mass or universal potential energy. We may accelerate a particle to high velocity adding kinetic energy and relativistic mass by consumption of the accelerating energy source.
We may raise the oxidation state of lead with local energy input and thereafter use this added chemical energy in a battery to do useful work. Of the natural elements, hydrogen and uranium have high configurational energy in their nuclei, which can be released by fusion or fission toward iron (which has the lowest configurational energy per nucleon) with release of energy and loss of configurational mass.
But neither fission nor fusion energy can be released from iron. In all such mass-energy exchanges, Einstein's equation remains valid, but none of these operations affect the universal equivalence of mass and energy, as cancelling opposites, born together and ultimately annihilating together. "Local" transactions are quantitatively small compared with the fundamental inertial mass and intrinsic universal potential energy. The mutual destruction when an electron meets a positron is described as mutual "annihilation", whereas this phenomenon involves the mutual cancellation of their positive and negative charges, yielding light and heat energy 1040 times the energy of their trivial masses (10-27 grams each).
The null Universe reinstates a steady-state Universe as an everlasting stata of zero, but without the crucial difficulty of previous steady-state theories of continuously producing matter from nothing. Whereas matter cannot be created from nothing, matter with its cognate energy can be mutually created from nothing or mutually cancelled to zero.
Infinitely in the past, matter and energy have appeared together from nothing as yin-yang gemini, continued to grow, continued to condense to stars and galaxies, which have mutually dispersed. The radius of the knowable Universe from any point has always been limited to the distance where the apparent velocity of recession relative to the observer appears to him to approach the velocity of light.
The mass and energy of the knowable Universe from any point has always been and always will be limited by the velocity of propagation of a gravity potential-energy field. The steady-state cosmos needs no initial trigger because the time-probability of vacuum fluctuations on minuscule scales is trivial in an infinite time field, and recurs indefinitely.
In a random walk, every state of zero would eventually occur. In the null Universe, all the laws of nature and the perfect cosmological principle are universally true, with no unique time, no unique place, no beginning, and no end.
Universe and cosmos
As the velocity of recession from an observer of a distant body increases, the body must eventually appear to him to reach the velocity of light, although another observer on that body would consider himself to be at rest and the first observer to be receding from him at the velocity of light, like the reciprocal relations of two mariners who each sees the other on his horizon.
There are as many horizons as there are mariners, and there are as many Universes as there are observers to define them. Universal recession is only relative (like the mutual recession of spots on the surface of an expanding balloon). This distance (c/H - about 1010 light-years) is the limit of our physically knowable Universe.
In the balloon model, no spot moves, but all spots diverge with velocity proportional to distance. There is no expansion center Space itself expands.
Galaxies continue to exist beyond to infinity, but we cannot know of them by any physical means, because all radiation from bodies receding relative to us at the velocity of light is Doppler-shifted, eventually to infinite wavelength, zero temperature, and zero energy.
The apparent universal Hubble expansion is the evidence that the galaxies continue to infinity, because if their distribution were limited, their collective attraction would cause cosmic collapse. (The distant galaxies certainly lack sufficient transverse velocity to prevent such collapse).
The boundary of the Universe is an "event horizon" comparable to the boundary within which neither matter nor light can escape from a black hole. No communication is possible from within the event horizon that surrounds a black hole, and no communication is possible across the event horizon that bounds the Universe. Each of these event horizons is a function of the velocity of light.
Hitherto, Universe and cosmos have been used as synonyms. I have defined the Universe as our physically knowable space, with an infinity of other Universes filling the infinite cosmos beyond. The boundary of a Universe is an artefact of the observer, and it has no other physical reality in the infinite cosmos. This is the Cosmological Principle first enunciated in 1917 by Einstein, namely that any observer anywhere in the cosmos sees a similar Universe to any other observer elsewhere in the cosmos. This was extended through all time, past present and future, as the Perfect Cosmological Principle.
Bodies at the limit of our knowable Universe would appear to us to be receding at the velocity of light. Bodies beyond (if we could see them) would appear to us to be receding at velocity greater than the velocity of light. But an observer there would know that he was at rest and that we would appear to him to be receding faster than light. Each spot on the expanding balloon appears to be at rest while all other spots recede.
The velocity of light (and hence the mass density of the cosmos) determines the diameter of the knowable Universe. Some structures of super-galaxy groups are so large that some cosmologists deny the cosmological principle; but this is a matter of scale.
Dimensionally, the Hubble constant H is T-1, so c/H is a distance L, and c4/H4 is a volume, L4, in four-dimensional space-time. As the velocity of light is isotropic, the knowable Universe (and any other Universe) is a finite hypersphere, with a volume c4/H4, as Einstein proposed, but the cosmos is an infinite hyper-hyperboloid as proposed by William de Sitter
Although de Sitter's solution of Einstein's field equations correctly predicted universal recession in accord with Hubble's empiricism, it was not taken seriously because it yielded an empty null cosmos, but this rejection was wrong because the mass-energy sum of the cosmos was, is, and always will be zero, born together and expiring together.
The nature of matter
Titus Lucretius Carus, a century before the Christian straitjacket, wrote a six-book didactic poem, De rurum natura (on the nature of matter). Now, two thousand years later, orthodox science is no nearer ultimate understanding.
The belief that matter is ultimately composed of particles goes back to the dawn of philosophy. Already in the fifth century B.C., Anaxagoras of Abdera taught that the whole Universe consists of an infinite number of atoms (a-tom = indivisible). Likewise his pupil Leucippus, who is often credited as the founder of the atomistic theory, and in turn his pupil Democritus (born about 460 B.C.) developed the atomistic concept further.
In 1661, Robert Boyle introduced the concept of chemical elements, each with its specific kind of atom. In 1704, Newton concluded that even light is made up of corpuscles-photons. In 1730 he wrote:
In 1900, Max Planck, like Newton two centuries earlier, concluded that light came in discrete packets-corpuscular particles. In 1901, Rutherford and Soddy discovered alpha particles.
In 1905, Einstein, to explain photo-electric phenomena, also decided that light must be corpuscular, notwithstanding the abundant evidence that light was waves. Could both be true? Certainly, solitons are waves which propagate indefinitely without attenuation, but behave like corpuscles. Planck's empirical packets were merely the energy of the fundamental wave of that wavelength. In 1906, Max Planck received the Nobel Prize for physics for his discovery that all kinds of atoms contain identical electrons with the same charge.
In 1911, Rutherford, by firing alpha particles through metal foil where something massive scattered them, proved the existence of the atomic nucleus, where nearly all the mass and all the positive charge of an atom were concentrated in a small core 1/10,000 of the diameter of the atom.
In 1932, James Chadwick proved the existence of the neutron. The rash of subnuclear particles commenced with Carl Anderson's 1935 discovery of the muon in cosmic-ray cascades, then called the meson, but in 1946 Yukawa discovered the pion, and since then the sub-nuclear particles, many of them empirical but many deduced theoretically, proliferated to 163 by 1988.
Otto Frisah, discoverer of nuclear fission, believed that:
To most people, matter is solid and material, in contrast with energy which is a mental concept. The solidity of substance is but a deception of our senses. We feel a quartz crystal and know its solidity. But Light and X ray diffraction show that quartz is mostly empty space, with distances between atoms very much greater than their size. (The average size of atoms is 10-10 m, whereas the average distance between atoms in a crystal is 10-5 m, so the volume of atoms is 10-15 of the volume of the crystal).
But at least the atoms are solid-until Rutherford showed that an atom is mostly empty, with a diffuse electron cloud and the volume of the nucleus only some 10-12 of the volume of the atom, the rest being mostly empty space! But at least the nucleus is matter of substance, until the nucleus is found to be mostly empty space like a planetary system of protons, neutrons and many kinds of subnuclear particles.
By now it is quite apparent that the proportion of empty space to the total volume of the substance of the "solid" quartz crystal is at least as much as the proportion of empty space between the stars of a galaxy! But at least the protons, neutrons, electrons, and mesons are solid particles. Are they? Because particle physicists claim that any kind of particle can appear spontaneously from nothing by vacuum fluctuation, it follows that every kind of particle would be merely some kind of *strain in the "Šther" or space or what other term you choose for the medium.
Let us attempt to develop David Bohm's suggestion that the vast proliferation of sub-atomic particles is a myth. Assuming matter and energy to be equal and opposite, the most fundamental matter must be without charge as energy is normally without charge. Assume a neutron to be fundamental, created from nothing being only a strain in the other balanced by its potential energy which extends to zero at infinite distance. An electron (its charge assumed to be a dextral rotation, the balancing sinistral rotation being left with the residue now a proton) could be extracted from it, and would fall into orbit because of the opposite charges, so now we have a hydrogen atom.
For a helium atom, add three more neutrons, balanced by the fourfold potential energy *elastic-strain of the Šther and extract another dextral-charge electron to orbit the sinistral double charge at the core. Atoms scarcely increase in diameter even with hundreds of nucleons, so the core charge increases in steps but not as individual protons, and the neutrons simply fuse as a mantle. There are no imaginary gluons or quarks. For stability the number of neutrons robbed of an electron are roughly equal to the number in the surrounding mantle.
In my model, a particle is created paired with energy, and once created the mass of a particle remains constant until it is annihilated along with its energy counterpart. Apt ( 1994) takes m = m (x,t ) as his starting point for the general solution to Einstein's field equation, so mass grows with time, electric or magnetic if polarized in planes normal to each other and normal to the radial direction.
The particle concept at the sub-atomic level is a meme [a fiction]. I would replace it by "Šther stress". Radial tension is called mass. The tension diminishes with the square of distance, and at the Newton-Hubble null it is submerged in the general tension from all other similar attracting centres. The radial energy of this stressed Šther is potential energy. Gravity waves would be oscillation of this Šther stress, but has not been observed. Human organs do not detect this kind of energy. Šther stress oscillating in the plane normal to the radius from its source is electromagnetic energy-gamma radiation, light, heat, or radio, according to its frequency. It too diminishes with radial distance until it is submerged in the universal background radiation near absolute zero. Animals have evolved sensitivity to the light frequencies of this spectrum but only to high intensity of heat radiation and not at all to other frequencies of this spectrum. Man has developed instruments to detect all frequencies of the electromagnetic spectrum.
Mass has been defined as the quantitative measure of inertia, a measure of the force needed to accelerate a body. As stated above, mass and energy are equal and opposite, yin and yang, mirror images. Mass is fundamental and permanent and independent of the presence or absence of other mass. Most regard mass as particles. Many regard energy as particles-light as photons, mass as gravitons, electricity as electrons. But how can a photon cope with the increasing area of its growing propagation sphere? This particle model is only the ultimate of our visualization. We start with a "solid" body, therefore the ultimate subdivision is a "particle". The particle concept is a meme, a fiction. The medium Šther - that is the fundamental concept. Mass and energy are [but] strains imposed on it.
Mass and energy are complementary: E=mc2 C is a pure number (see Appendix 2). Energy is not a solid, so neither is mass. Solitons (self-limiting waves) have properties of particles. A Universe devoid of mass would also be devoid of energy, because all energy is strain in the Šther, [i.e.] gravity tensional strain ["compressional waves" which always require a propagating "medium" which serves to limit the velocity of wave propagation] or electromagnetic transverse strain.
The radial tension field is the potential energy associated with that mass. Electrical and magnetic fields are normal to the radius, and normal to each other. Electromagnetic radiation (light, heat, radio, etc.) are propagating oscillating strains in the Šther - the frequency of oscillation determines whether it is light or heat or radio etc. The velocity of light determines the minimum energy quantum for any frequency - for a complete cycle of the oscillation to be completed, that is in 10-14 second for visible light. The energy corresponding to one cycle per second is Planck's constant (h--6.6256 x 10-27 erg-seconds) The energy corresponding to a higher frequency (n) is hn.
As mass is a strain, that is, a pure number, what then is an electron? If an electron is a soliton, there seems to be no place for it in the electromagnetic spectrum, unless it is the Planck minimum soliton which completes its cycle in one light cycle. It also has charge. This could be its spin-whatever that may be - perhaps dextral for a negatively charged electron, sinistral for a positively charged positron. For all substances or circumstances, there would be only one kind of electron and one kind of. positron. Neither such an electron nor positron has mass.
E = mc2 has another singularity - when c2 becomes infinite, which might determine the proton [i.e.] proton if positively charged, antiproton if negatively charged, neutron if not charged. They would of course be much more massive than an electron, and there are no other possibilities.
Nearly 200 subnuclear particles have now been postulated, most of them theoretically. Certainly when cosmic rays interact with the atmosphere, a swarm of very transient "particles" leave ionization tracks. The smashed atom proton-neutron composites have binding energy which, when the atom is disintegrated must be released as a transient flash of energy (= mass). I agree with Bohm in doubting whether the elaborate citadel of nuclear "particles" has any real significance.
Since the beginning of thought, philosophers have debated whether the cosmos always existed and always will, or whether it had a definite beginning, progressive evolution, and perhaps a future climactic end.
An everlasting steady-state concept was taught by Heraclitus of Ephesus (535-475 B.C.), whose living Universe had neither beginning nor end, with constant turmoil of generation and destruction, but without overall progressive change.
A century later, Plato reverted to a definite beginning when God created the world and established the laws of nature. Then Aristotle rejected a beginning of time, and again argued that land and sea and the heavens above had existed forever in a steady state of flux without progression.
Meanwhile the Hebrews had adopted the revelations to Abraham and Moses by a single god who had created the Earth and the heavens. This doctrine was followed by the Christians and Muslims, through to the twentieth century.
Einstein's cosmology, published in 1916, conceived a static eternal Universe, finite in the fourth dimension, and satisfying the cosmological principle, that the Universe viewed from any point is the same as the Universe viewed from any other point, and the perfect cosmological principle, that this also remains true through infinite past and future time.
Such steady-state theories visualize continuous flux without overall change, like a river which remains the same, even though new water continuously enters and passes on, or like a forest, which remains essentially the same forest, even though individual seeds sprout, mature and shed new seeds before expiring and rotting away. More recently, the magnitude and extent of variation in the Universe has caused many to doubt the cosmological principle.
Vesto Melvin Slipher (1922), of Lowell Observatory, had observed since 1910 that spectral lines of distant objects were shifted toward the red, which he and astrophysicists generally interpreted as the Doppler effect of receding velocities (although other interpretations were possible).
In the late 'twenties Edwin Hubble broke quite new ground. In addition to the billions of stars that remained points of light even in the best telescopes, there were also many nebulosity's which were globular patches of light, that many astronomers believed were within the Milky Way system, which was then the Universe. At greater distance, they too would merge to points of light.
Hubble (1924) confirmed the earlier conclusion of Thomas Wright (1750) that at least some of these nebulae were outside our Milky Way galaxy and were separate siblings of it, and in 1929, that they were receding from us with velocities increasing with distance. The Universe was expanding!
An expanding Universe was not such a surprise. Indeed, Einstein had laboured long and hard to modify his field equations to stop continuous expansion.
But George Lemaitre, a Jesuit priest, reversed Hubble's expansion through a progressively shrinking Universe to its hatching from his ylem primeval egg.
In 1937 Dirac wrote,
However the Lemaitre-Dirac ultra-massive primeval atom involves another assumption not inherent in the Hubble expansion - the assumed constancy of mass. Could matter be created? And could existing matter disappear?
Sir James Jeans in his l928 Essays on Cosmogony wrote:
In 1974, Dirac debated the relative merits of "multiplicative creation" with matter entering the Universe where it is already most concentrated as Jeans and McRea would have it, and "additive creation" that would satisfy Stothers' model of matter appearing in the most tenuous space. Regression of the Jeans or McRea models would combine shrinking size with shrinking mass, to a singular point, perhaps with no mass at all!
Progressive confirmation of Hubble's law of galactic recession led George Gamov to propose in 1940 that the Universe commenced some 20 billion years ago as a "big bang" (sarcastically so-named by Fred Hoyle) and was still blowing apart. Indeed, the attenuated flash of this initial searing fireball might still be detectable, but at a temperature only some 50o above absolute zero. But Gamov did not receive much support.
In 1948, the steady-state concept was resurrected by Hermann Bondi and Tom Gold, and independently in the same year by Fred Hoyle, restating the cosmological principle. In their model the cosmos was infinite and was expanding as Hubble had found, but new matter was appearing, either as hydrogen atoms, or as whole stars, or even as embryo galaxies, so that the mass-density of the cosmos remained constant.
During the 'fifties and early sixties the competing steady state and big bang theories each had their protagonists. In 1948 Alpher, Bethe, and Gamow (nicknamed Alpha Beta Gamma by Gamow) had presented their paper on nucleosynthesis from initial pure radiation, in which the whole of the matter of the Universe, with hydrogen and helium with their present cosmic relative abundances, had been produced in the first five minutes after their big bang.
The big-bang disciples, assuming that the velocity of recession is what is left of the velocity each galaxy got in the initial explosion, debate whether the Universe will go on expanding forever or will slow down and eventually collapse under Newton's universal gravitation, perhaps to a big crunch, whence another big bang would incubate still another phoenix Universe, destined in turn to crunch and bang again and again forever, like a cosmic diesel.
Then in I965, Penzias and Wilson of the Bell Laboratory, while attempting to eliminate a persistent background noise from their horn antenna, stumbled by serendipity on the 2.7 degrees K background radiation, and this was found to be isotropic and universal, and was acclaimed as the residual flash of the "big bang" , which Alpher and Herman Bondi had predicted in their 1948 paper in Nature.
So the combination of Hubble's discovery of universal cosmic recession, the accidental discovery of the universal background radiation by Penzias and Wilson, and the successful prediction of the cosmic abundance of hydrogen and helium by their nucleo-synthesis model, up-graded the big bang from a speculative theory to adoption as acknowledged fact.
But, although now almost universally accepted, the big bang is a myth. Let us go back to fundamentals:
The proposition, that at a point in time a universal void of zero mass-energy was replaced by the mass- energy of 1020 stars, denies the most fundamental law of nature-the conservation law. So it is claimed that the four dimensions of space-time commenced from zero and the laws of physics themselves began with the big bang, when God created God.
Time did not exist before the big bang! Surely even chaos exists in time. This is not physics, but metaphysics-the birth of a 20th century religious revelation to Alpha-Beta-Gamma!
Before Copernicus, Earth was "known" to be unique and special, and stationary at the centre of the Universe. Relativity, in contrast, has x, y, z, t as four identical and interchangeable co-ordinates without a zero point for any of them. But the big bang has a special t 0, when time began. The big bang accepts the cosmological principle, but not the perfect cosmological principle. At t 0 all four co-ordinates were zero; matter and energy did not expand into empty space (which did not exist) but space itself came into being with the big bang. Earth's point in time is unique, but not her place in space.
Physics must not be asked about anything prior to the big bang, because there was no time prior, and to apply the conservation laws to the big bang is forbidden. Stephen Hawking has said, if the laws of physics could break down at the beginning of time, they could break down anytime, anywhere.
Some escaped the conservation paradox by adopting the endless bang-crunch-bang diesel model. But to most people, Hubble's universal expansion, plus the accurate prediction of the universal background radiation, and the prediction of the cosmic abundance of hydrogen and helium seemed compelling.
But to me, the laws of nature must be universal. Besides, as detailed below, both the background micro-wave radiation and the universal recession are inevitable in any infinite cosmos, so the raison d'etre of the big bang is a myth.
Simple logic implies that if ever there was an absolute void, then any cosmos derived from it must always be a function of zero; hence every parameter of the cosmos must have a cancelling partner.
If I have nothing and borrow billions from a bank, I have the assets to create immense real estate but I also have an equal debt, so that at all times my equity is zero. Similarly the cosmos. According to the big-bang model, the initial singularity was solely radiation, pure energy. Nothing to balance the books!
The big bangers adopt the illegal creation from nullity followed by illegal mathematics where equations are divided by infinity and validity claimed for the dividends. Physicists realize that they shouldn't do this. The big bang beginning amounts to a "free lunch", hauling themselves up by their own boot-straps, like Munchhausen. But because it is now agreed that as the big bang really happened, the illegitimate mathematics must be "normalized".
Moreover the claim that the Hubble recession of the galaxies records the recession from the initial big bang implies that the recession velocities should decrease with distance as they are retarded by gravity, not increase directly with distance, as Hubble found.
A possible trap here! The red shift recession velocities of remote galaxies are what they were in remote time, but we compare them with local velocities now.
A universal background radiation is also inevitable in any steady-state Universe, being none other than the real answer to Olbers' Paradox.
Olbers' Paradox was so-named by Hermann Bondi in the 1950s, after Heinrich Olbers who in 1823 discussed the problem: why is the sky dark at night, indeed why do we see only the Sun by day? If the Universe is infinite with uniform distribution of stars, every ray must sooner or later hit a star, and there would be continuous light.
Let us start from Olbers' basic assumptions:
the Universe is infinite;
(2) stars are uniformly distributed throughout the Universe;
(3) the Universe does not vary with time;
(4) stars are permanent and unchanging.
Now compare a thin shell of space around the Earth with radius r and thickness dr containing n stars, with another shell with twice the radius.
The area of the second shell is four times the area of the first, and if each has the same thickness, the volume and number of stars in the second will also be four times those in the the first. But as the light received at Earth diminishes by the square of the distance, the Earth receives from a star in the outer shell one quarter of the light from each star in the inner shell, but as there are four times as many stars in the outer shell, Earth receives the same amount of light from each shell.
If you go on taking shells right out to infinity, each shell gives us the same amount of light. If an outer star happens to be hidden by a nearer star, the latter permanently receives the radiation from the outer one, and in due time equilibrium must be reached where the nearer star radiates the output from both. Hence the whole sky should be as bright and as hot as the surface of the Sun, both day and night! As this is clearly not so, one or more of the three assumptions above, must be false. In Oblers' time, only stars were considered, but the argument is the same if galaxies are substituted.
Although Bondi gave Olbers the honour of pioneer, the problem had already been raised many times before him. Thomas Digges in 1576 recognized the problem, but explained it by increasing faintness of stars with distance, which from the above discussion in not valid. Johannes Kepler, in 1610, found no problem, because he rejected the idea of an infinite Universe, and believed that most rays reached the boundary of the Universe without meeting a star For him, the dark night sky proved that the Universe was not infinite. In 1721, Edmund Halley returned to Digges' false explanation.
In 1750, the Swiss astronomer Jean-Philippe de Cheseaux, after thorough consideration of the distribution and brightness of stars visible in his observatory telescope, developed the geometrical argument stated above, that the decreasing luminosity of stars with distance should be exactly compensated by their increasing numbers. However, he did not abandon any of the four premises, but instead concluded that space must absorb radiation, so stars did fade out with distance.
This was essentially the explanation adopted by Olbers in 1823. He suggested that interstellar clouds and dispersed gases absorb the radiation. But this explanation fails in an infinite Universe, because the radiation absorbed by the interstellar gases does not disappear, it simply heats them up, so that in due time they radiate as much as they receive, and re-establish the searing sky.
Lord Kelvin "solved" the problem in l868 because he knew of no other source of solar or stellar energy than gravitational contraction, which was incapable of maintaining the observed energy output of the Sun for more than 100 million years, so that any star that many light-years away would have burnt out before its initial light could reach us. This solution lapsed with the discovery of nuclear energy.
The Hebrew, Christian, and Muslim doctrines, of course, had an adequate answer in their initial divine creation, because no stars could precede the creation, and even if they had since been receding with the velocity of light (a limiting asymptote) none would yet be 6,000 light-years away, less than a twentieth of the radius of our galaxy, or a millionth of the most distant galaxies visible by telescope.
Indeed, in 1848, the American writer, Edgar Allan Poe, stated that the blackness of space between the stars was a glimpse of featureless chaos before creation. In Ireland, sixty years later, Fournier d'Albe developed similar propositions. Indeed, modern big bangers are really saying the same thing!
However, I pointed out a decade ago that the universal background radiation discovered by Penzias and Wilson, far from being the relict of Gamow's imaginary big-bang fireball, is in fact the real solution to Olbers' Paradox.
At the limit of the best telescopes (at red shift z ~ 4), there are as many galaxies as there are stars in our Milky Way galaxy. But they are already so faint as to be scarcely detectable, and the angle separating galaxies averages only 4p x 10-14 steradians, an extremely small angle.
But they continue on beyond, until the decreasing angular separation between them reaches the Raleigh criterion, which limits of resolution of the radio telescopes. This depends only on focal length and aperture. (Resolution of two wavelengths of equal intensity is just possible when the maximum of one falls on the first diffraction minimum of the other).
Beyond this distance the images cannot be separated by the telescopes and fuse into a continuous field of radiation. But at this distance, the Hubble redshift has gone far beyond the visible spectrum into the microwave band a couple of degrees above absolute zero. Here indeed is the universal whiteout predicted by Olbers. In the best optical telescopes, galaxies fade out before reaching the Raleigh limit of separation. Those pairs within that limit appear as single sources, not as an Olbers continuum. Indeed, the last sources to fade would be such optically fused pairs and triplets. At progressively longer wavelengths, Wien's law indicates that blackbody emission peaks at Wien's constant (2897/T m) that is a wavelength of about 0.2 cm.
At shorter wavelengths, the flux declines rapidly to a tenth at 0.1 cm, but declines more slowly at longer wave-lengths. At the limit of resolution of radio telescopes, Oblers' whiteout then dawns redshifted far into the microwave bands (12 cm-1 cm), not far above absolute zero.
implying a big bang, it would be impossible to have a Universe without
such a background radiation near absolute zero. At the limit of our knowable
Universe, the redshift parameter would indeed reach infinity corresponding
to absolute zero temperature, and the energy reaching us would be attenuated
This background radiation is the same for any observer anywhere in the cosmos at any time, past or future. I have named the appearance of this universal radiation "Olbers' Window" (Figure 127).
Value of the Hubble Constant
Measurements of the Hubble constant, crucial to knowing the age of the mythical big-bang Universe, have varied by a factor of 2 from 50 to 100 billion years. Since the repair of the Hubble telescope, cepheids have been identified in the M100 spiral galaxy in the Virgo cluster 17 megaparsecs distant, which have indicated a value for the Hubble constant of 80 sec-1, which implies that the big-bang Universe is only about ten billion years old--quite significantly less than the age of some stars in our own galaxy! Work is still proceeding to eliminate possible errors. (Schwarzschild 1994, Pierce et al. 1994, Freedman, et al. 1994).
Gross structure of the Universe
Why is background radiation absolutely uniform and isotropic to the limits of detection (apart from a 0.1 % increase in the direction of the Virgo cluster interpreted as due to the relative motion of our galaxy of some 600 km/s in that direction), whereas distribution of matter in the visible Universe is very far from uniform, with large clusters of galaxies separated by great voids.
Numerous experiments in several countries have sought in vain to detect departure from this uniformity. The 1983 Russian Relict-1 satellite measurements at 7 million kilometers from the Earth found that at 8 mm wavelength any variation must be less than 0.0016%, and Relict-2 was scheduled for 1992 to orbit the Sun 1.5 million kilometers from the Earth on the side opposite the Sun to seek any variation in the background radiation as small as one part in a million at five wavelengths between 2 mm and I .5 cm. Relict-2 would be free from radio interference from Earth, Sun, and Moon, and the Earth would never occlude observations in the outward direction, sweeping through 360o each year. In view of the cause of Olbers' window, this intense effort is a waste of time and money. But such grand plans do not seem to have survived the current political revolution.
Meanwhile NASA launched its COBE (Cosmic Background Explorer) satellite late in l989 equipped with a differential microwave background analyser, and with great excitement announced in 1992 that COBE had discovered one thirty-millionth of a kelvin variation in the background radiation, which could have been magnified by the "inflation" (itself a theoretical meme of the big bang in which gravity was alleged to have reversed for 10-32 seconds while the Universe expanded by a factor of 1030 at many times the velocity of light!)
Are those COBE interpretations really valid? At best COBE is a very blunt tool with a resolution of some 7o (against a needed resolution of less than four arcminutes). The 1:30,000,000 variation from he mean temperature is near the limit of COBE's sensitivity. According to Corey S. Powell:
In my cosmology, where the background radiation is the integration of the radiation of billions of galaxies, each Doppler-shifted into the microwave spectrum, ultra-microscopic variation in temperature, such as COBE is reported to have detected, would not be anomalous nor surprising.
The most remote galaxies, with redshifts above 0.4, where we are seeing a very early stage in the "big-bang scenario", look very much the same as nearby galaxies. Some of the oldest stars in our own galaxy are much older than the early estimates of the age of the alleged big bang, so believers have found """ to push back the time of the big bang - the ghost of Procrastes lamenting! With repeated "inflations" and "corrections" the model has become increasingly complex, and Occam's razor has blunted.
The big bang theory does not begin to explain the statistical size of galaxies but this is correctly predicted by the Newton-Hubble null.
The helium argument was never more than a supporting feature of the big bang hypothesis. It is equally consistent with the steady state theories, but, as pointed out by George Fuller of the University of Washington, the helium abundance is actually too low, requiring adjustment to the big bang theory, but this would entail misfits in the relative abundance of deuterium and lithium.
To sum up, the facts on which the big bang was believed, namely the universal recession and the universal background radiation, have nothing to do with a big bang, the conservation laws deny it absolutely, and there are a number of inconsistencies. The big bang is a myth, and the theories of nucleosynthesis and swarms of theoretical subnuclear particles based on it have false foundations.
We must now go back to the 'forties, and re-examine the nature of matter. Rutherford and Soddy discovered the alpha particle in 1901. Max Planck received the Nobel Prize for physics in t906 for his discovery that all kinds of atoms contain identical electrons with the same charge. In 1928 Lord Rutherford proved the existence of the atomic nucleus by firing alpha particles through metal foil, where something massive scattered them. In 1932 James Chadwick proved the existence of the neutron. Stable sub-nuclear particles had already been discovered before World War II.
The rash of transient particles commenced with Carl Anderson's 1935 discovery of the muon in cosmic-ray cascades, and in 1946 Yukawa discovered the pion, and since then the transient sub-nuclear particles proliferated to a 1988 total of 163, including a large number that only exist in theory based on the mythical big bang.
Šther (or whatever else you choose to call the medium) is universal in space and time. Mass and energy are longitudinal perturbations of the Šther, equal and opposite and mutually cancelling. Particles are random disturbances of the aether, waves, similar to solitons which behave like particles, which may appear anywhere at any time, as mutually cancelling and mutually repelling pairs, which causes universal expansion. Electric charge and magnetism are normal to the matter field (gravity) and normal to each other, either as static fields (like gravity fields) or as oscillating propagating waves in the aether.