A Canadian physicist has an interesting webpage which makes some good arguments against the Big Bang. His major point is that the Galactic doppler redshift which is seen as a major bit of evidence for the big bang can be explained by understanding space as a lossy medium rather than pure vacuum. He points out a few objects which apparently are too old for the current Big Bang cosmology and goes on to state that the there are several other problems with Big Bang. The most glaring issue I can see is that his model invokes Einstein's static universe constant.
Tom- true, although he does explain a bit of that with his elemental hydrogen explanation.
I wonder how this man's ideas are taken by his peers; I did a websearch on his name and found very few references to him outside his own work. Is he generally a good scientist with a crackpot cosmology? Does he have a more accurate cosmology than most other scientists? Are there key weaknesses to his theory which the big bang does not have?
quote: Marmet [is] a steady-stater, not a young-earther at all. Marmet was one of several scientists whose ideas were discussed in an article entitled "Silenced by Science: Dissidents face ridicule for challenging mainstream ideas", published Sunday, 19 June in the Ottawa Citizen.
Marmet has written a book called _Absurdities in Modern Physics: A Solution_, which he sent free to 600 universities (if he sent one here, we didn't keep it: it's not in the catalog). Basically, he seems to object to BB, and to the Copenhagen interpretation of QM. Marmet does hold legitimate scientific credentials at NRC, the Herzberg Institute and U of Ottawa, and appears to be an authority in his particular field (electron spectroscopy). He's also written a paper which was to be presented at a San Francisco meeting called "Challenges to Contemporary Views in Physics and Astronomy", sponsored by the AAAS (held Monday, 20 June, if it was).
So he has some physics credibility but appears to be frequently misused to support young earth creationism.
I didn't find anything in the http://arxiv.org/ which is rather surprising. The arxiv, or peer reviewed publication in a relevant journal are generally the methods needed to get thoughtful discussion on a physics paper.
quote: 21st Century Science & Technology magazine challenges the assumptions of modern scientific dogma, including quantum mechanics, relativity theory, biological reductionism, and the formalization and separation of mathematics from physics. We demand a science based on constructible (intelligible) representation of concepts, but shun the simple empiricist or sense-certainty methods associated with the Newton-Galileo paradigm.
Our unique collection of editors and scientific advisers maintain an ongoing intellectual dialogue with leading thinkers in many areas, including biology, physics, space science, oceanography, nuclear energy, and ancient epigraphy. Original studies by the controversial economist Lyndon LaRouche have challenged the epistemological foundations of the von Neumann and Wiener-Shannon information theory, and located physical science as a branch of physical economy. In science policy areas, we have challenged sacred cows, from the theory of global warming to the linear threshold concept of radiation.
The few articles I read were of mediocre to poor quality, but that could have been just unlucky choice of articles.
I'll search later and see if I can find some thoughtful criticism of his ideas.
quote: From a quick reading of the paper, it seems that Marmet assumes that relativistic mass follows the relationship: m = gm0 It is not made clear why this should be the case, since this is normally a consequence of Einstein's postulates (which the author does not endorse).
quote: First pass through Marmet's work (without sitting down and reworking all of his math) finds what appear to be two inconsistencies: 1) Marmet argues from a position of mass and energy conservation, but he freely uses relativistic mass without unambiguously defining the frames he's referring to (it may be that he feels he has defined them unambiguously, but I found it difficult to follow what he means by an "s" frame and "v" frame where these are defined with respect to observers). In this case you can't expect relativistic mass to be conserved where observers aren't tracked. 2) Early on in the piece Marmet equates the deBroglie wavelength for n=1 with the velocity of the elctron he calls ve. Technically this is only correct for non-relativistic velocities, which Marmet doesn't mention because he's out to show that relativity is wrong. Later on he concludes that relativity is incorrect because it doesn't account for "mass increase due to kinetic energy" (very sloppy physics) as shown by the deBroglie wavelength. Which appears to me, at first glance, to be because he neglected to include the gamma factor in his earlier definition.
I've been reading through the article mentioned in the first post, and I'm not entirely impressed. A few of his comments, like the cosmological redshift being due to the Doppler effect (it's not) don't inspire me with confidence that he really understands the standard cosmological models. Later he writes:
quote: Nor can Einstein's general theory of relativity be applied in a consistent manner to the Big Bang model. According to the model, when the universe was the size of an electron and was 10^-23 second old, it was clearly a black hole - a concentration of mass so great that its self-gravitation would prevent the escape of any mass or radiation. Consequently, according to Einsteinian relativity, it could not have expanded. Therefore, one would have to assume that gravity started to exist only gradually after the creation of the universe, but that amounts to changing the laws of physics arbitrarily to save the Big Bang model.
This is entirely incorrect, although it is an argument one often hears. All the details about the black holes are derived from a black hole embedded in a stationary space-time, and just do not hold true in an expanding one (except, as always, in 'local' conditions where space-time can be considered Minkowskian - i.e. flat).
He is right that current cosmological models have trouble with the very early appearance of galaxies, although that is hardly reason to throw out the whole class of big bang models en masse. Likewise with irregularities in redshifts, although the whole business of measuring redshifts can be rather tenuous at times, at least for some objects. But he doesn't present anything that argues that another theory is necessary, and he certainly doesn't show that his theory does a better job that the big bang models do.
This is going to sound slightly ad hominem, but on the whole his paper reads like a typical crank piece, rather than any attempt at genuine science. On the basis of a few specialised difficulties (which may well be solvable in the present cosmological framework) he proposes throwing out the whole thing and replacing it with a new theory that quite probably has more serious problems when looked at in as much detail as the big bang models are (all theories, even entirely correct ones, will appear to be in violent disagreement with reality at some point, until more of the subtleties and horrendously complicated systems are worked out).
He may well be right that photon propgation through a vacuum or near vacuum can generate 'tired light' phenomena, where the photon loses energy as it travels. A number of schemes of how this might happen have been proposed in the scientific literature. Until such time as an effect is detected and confirmed by other experimenters then it will be assumed to be negligible since there is no evidence suggesting the existence of such an effect.
Incidentally, I may have missed something, but it seems like there are some rather large conceptual holes in his theory. Assuming for the sake of argument that he is right, his theory appears to require a universe of a similar sort of age to that proposed by big bang models. Or possibly an infinitely old universe in which physical processes were prevented from occuring until 15 billion years ago (or whenever). He apparently has to postulate some finite age to avoid the heat death in any given region of the universe, but offers no explanation of why the universe sprang in to being X years ago as a large volume of space filled with mostly molecular hydrogen. He doesn't explain how his universe avoids gravitational collapse - does he have some theory of gravity that reduces the force to exactly zero over cosmological distances, or does he have a 'cosmological constant' type force keeping the balance (or is his universe expanding too...)?
While it is possible that his argument about contributions to the 3k background or redshifts may have some merit (remains to be seen) , he doesn't offer any meaningful arguments against the big bang and doesn't offer anything resembling an alternative.
EDIT: just to pointlessly ad hominem a little more, and pick holes in the next bit of his website I read. http://www.newtonphysics.on.ca/faq/invalidation.html mentions experimental tests contradicting relativity. Well, one test anyway. He mentions the Sagnac effect, which wipes out any credilibility he may have had in my mind (and which suddenly reminded me where I'd come across him before, on sci.astro IIRC). If you don't know what it is the read the URL. His problem is that he is entirely wrong. The Sagnac effect is real enough (and as he mentions in passing, has to be compensated for in the GPS satellite system). It is also absolutely in keeping with general relativity, despite what he says. His argument appears to be based on a 'Scientific American' level of understanding of relativity (as with the black hole thing above). When you actually calculate the time differences for the Sagnac effect in relativity (I did it myself, as it's pretty trivial) you find that relativity matches the experiments to within the accuracy of the measurements. In the past he has refused to believe this (and re-iterated some out of context results from special (not general) relativity) and seems incapable of doing the calculations himself.
ANOTHER EDIT: There's nothing wrong per se with the use of the 'cosmological constant'; the motivation behind Einstein introducing it may have been slightly dubious, but it is back in favour and appears in the standard cosmology used nowadays. General relativity, withouth the constant, is the simplest possible field theory of its type. The evidence now suggests that this doesn't match up that well with the more recent studies of supernovae. The next simplest theory is GR plus cosmological constant, which is essentially general relativity at small scales, plus the extra force only on very large scales. This is the current 'best fit' model used. I don't know what the next 'level' of complexity beyond that one looks like
[This message has been edited by vulture (edited September 10, 2002).]
[This message has been edited by vulture (edited September 10, 2002).]
quote:...the cosmological redshift being due to the Doppler effect (it's not)...
I'm confused here, vulture. I understood that the red shift we see in distant stars is caused by the Doppler effect, in that the farther away a star is the faster it is moving away from us. Am I mistaken in that understanding, or did I misread your sentence?
quote:I'm confused here, vulture. I understood that the red shift we see in distant stars is caused by the Doppler effect, in that the farther away a star is the faster it is moving away from us. Am I mistaken in that understanding, or did I misread your sentence?
You read me correctly. It's often explained in terms of the Doppler shift, as it is more or less analogous to it. If you want to be pedantic, the red/blue shift due to moving sources isn't strictly a Doppler shift either, since a Doppler shift is caused by movement relative to the medium in which a wave travels, which isn't applicable to light. But in the case of moving sources, it's an informative enough analogy.
For the cosmological red shift, it's due to the change in the distance scale of the universe between the time of emission and the time of reception. At low redshifts, there isn't much difference between this and assuming that the redshift is due to the relative movements of the galaxies. At high redshifts (IIRC) differences begin to appear. I.e. the cosmological redshift (as predicted by the expanding universe models) changes with distance in a different manner to the redshift predicted by 'Doppler' models, but at for low redshifts the difference is negligible.