In the 1950s, there were two competing theories regarding the origin of the universe.

The first or the Steady State Theory was formulated by Hermann Bondi, Thomas Gold, and Fred Hoyle.  It postulated that the universe was homogeneous in space and time and had remained that way forever.

The second is called the Big Bang theory, which is based on the observations made by Edwin Hubble in 1929 that the universe was expanding.

However a few physicists led by George Gamow a proponent of the big bang model showed an expanding universe meant that it might have had its beginning in a very hot infinitely dense environment, which then expanded to generate the one we live in today.

They were able to show only radiation emitted approximately 300,000 years after the beginnings of the expansion should be visible today because before that time the universe was so hot that protons and electrons existed only as free ions making the universe opaque to radiation.  This period is referred as the age of "recombination". 

Dr. Amy Mainzer
The cosmic
background radiation

Additionally they predicted this Cosmic Background Radiation or what was left over from the age of recombination would have cooled form several thousand degrees Kelvin back when it was generated to 2.7 today due to the expansion of the universe.

The conflict between the Steady State and Big Bang Theory was resolved when it was discovered by Penzias and Wilson in 1965 because it showed the temperature of the universe had changed through time, which was a direct contradiction to the Steady State Model". 

However, if the universe began as an expansion of in an infinitely dense hot environment one would expect the universe and the Cosmic Background Radiation to be homogeneous because an infinitely dense environment must have been, by definition homogeneous.  Therefore, if the universe was homogeneous when it began it should still be.

But the existence of galactic clusters and the variations in the intensity of the cosmic background radiation discovered by NASA’s WMAP satellite showed the universe is not and therefore, was not homogeneous either now or at the time of creation.

Many proponents of the big bang model assume that these "anisotropy" in the universe are caused by quantum fluctuations in the energy density of space.  They define quantum fluctuations as a temporary change in the energy of space caused by the uncertainty principle.

They have been able to mathematically show that very small quantum fluctuations in the energy content of the universe back when it first formed would have expanded enough to not only the create the observed variations in the intensity of the CBR but also the existence of galactic clusters.

However, there is an equally valid alternative interpretation of the existence of galactic clusters and the variations in the intensity of the CBR that has not been given serious consideration by modern science.

The law of conservation of energy/mass tells us the origins of the energy associated with the big bang must originate within its mass/energy.  This is because the universe is a closed system, the sum of the energy associated with its rest mass components and its kinetic or thermal energy is constant.

However, not all of the energy of the big bang is directed towards its expansion because of the random motion of its energy/mass components.  For example, observations indicate that some stars and galaxies are moving towards not away us as would be expected if the expansion were uniform.  Therefore, not all of the energy present at the time of the big bang is directed towards its expansion.

Yet as mentioned earlier because the universe is a closed system the law of conservation of energy/mass tells us that the kinetic energy of its comments cannot exceed their the gravitational contractive energy. Therefore, because as was also mentioned earlier not all of the universe kenotic energy is directed towards it expansion at some point in time the gravitational contractive potential of its energy/mass must exceed the kinetic energy of its expansion.  At that point, in time the universe will enter a contractive phase.

There can be no other conclusion if the universe is a closed system and one accepts the validity of the law of conservation of energy/mass. 

The heat generated by its collapse would raise its temperature to a point where all matter would become ionized, including that contained in black holes making the universe opaque to radiation.  While the radiation pressure generated by its increasing temperature would eventually halt the contraction and allow it to enter an expansion phase, which would generate another Age of Recombination, as cosmologists like to call it when the cosmic background radiation was emitted.

Many cosmologists do not accept the cyclical scenario of expansion and contractions because they believe a collapsing universe would end in the formation of a singularity similar to the ones found in a black hole and therefore, it could not re-expand.

However, according to the first law of thermodynamic the universe would have to begin expanding before it reached a singularity because that law states that energy in an isolated system can neither be created nor destroyed.

Therefore, because the universe is by definition an isolated system; the energy generated by its gravitational collapse cannot be radiated to another volume. This means the radiation pressure exerted by its collapse must eventually exceed momentum of its contraction and the universe would have to enter an expansion phase because its momentum will carry it beyond the equilibrium point were the radiation pressure is greater that the momentum of its mass.  This will cause the mass/energy of the universe to oscillate around a point in space.

(The reason a singularity can form in black hole is because it is not an isolate system therefore the thermal radiation associated with its collapse can be radiated into the surrounding space.  Therefore, its collapse can continue because momentum of its mass can exceed the radiation pressure cause by its collapse in the volume of space surrounding a black hole.)

If this were true, it would mean that the expansion of the universe did not begin from an infinitely dense environment but from an extended less dense spatial environment.  This also means that the variations in the intensity of the CBR and the formation of galactic clusters would be explainable in terms of variations in the energy density of the universe cause by the non-uniformity of its contraction.

This theoretical concept is verifiable because one could use the first law of thermodynamics and observations to determine if the momentum of the collapsing energy/mass would generate enough heat to ionize enough of the universe particular matter to account for its observed properties of the Cosmic Background Radiation.

This conclusion is supported by Marc Kamionkowski, Caltech’s Robinson Professor of Theoretical Physics and Astrophysics in the Scientific Frontline article "Researchers Interpret Asymmetry in Early Universe" Tuesday, December 16, 2008.  In that article he suggests that today’s computer technology give researchers the ability to extrapolate perturbations in a cyclical universe back in time to a point where the contraction reverses and its expansion begins.  This, as the article points out would allow researchers the first glimpse at what came before the Big Bang"

This alternative explanation of the observed "anisotropy" of the Cosmic Background Radiation, if verifiable as Marc Kamionkowski suggests it should have more creditability than one derived from quantum fluctuations because it would be based on direct real time observations of our present environment instead of an unobservable environment of quantum fluctuation at the time of a "Big Bang"

This shows there may be an alternative explanation for the observed properties of the cosmic background radiation that can be analytically verified by extrapolating the properties of our present universe backwards in time to the period when it began.

Later Jeff

Copyright 2009 Jeffrey O’Callaghan


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  12. Dr Fivish — April 22, 2011 @ 5:18 pm

    The calculated value for the BBT CBR was significantly higher than the value proposed for the simple black body temperature of space, 2.7K. When Penzias and Wilson found it to be 2.7K they had to revise their equations to get them to come out at 2.7K. This is the long sad story of the BBT, every new observation requires an adjustment to the theory!
    Sorry, but this realy is not good enough, its not science!
    The BBT is discredited yet plods on creating new mysterious energies and matters. Enough already. Just accept that the universe is infinite in time and space and is not expanding.

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