10 alternatives to the traditional Big Bang theory

Terry Pratchett described the traditional view ofcreation of the universe is like this: "In the beginning there was nothing that exploded." The modern cosmological point of view implies that the expanding Universe arose as a result of the Big Bang, and it is well supported by evidence in the form of relict radiation and the shift of far light towards the red part of the spectrum: the Universe is expanding constantly.

And yet not all managed to convince of this. For many years, a variety of alternatives and different opinions have been offered. Some interesting assumptions remain, alas, unverifiable using our modern technology. Others are flights of fantasy, rebelled against the incomprehensibility of the Universe, which seems to challenge human notions of common sense.

Theory of Stationary Universe

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According to a recently restored manuscriptAlbert Einstein, the great scientist paid tribute to the British astrophysicist Fred Hoyle for the theory that space can expand for an indefinite time, maintaining a uniform density, if new matter constantly appears in the process of spontaneous generation. For many decades, many considered Hoyle's ideas nonsense, but a recently discovered document shows that Einstein at least seriously considered his theory.

The theory of the stationary universe was proposed in1948 by Hermann Bondi, Thomas Gold and Fred Hoyle. It emerged from the ideal cosmological principle, which states that the universe looks essentially the same at every point at any time (in a macroscopic sense). From a philosophical point of view, he is attractive, because then the universe has no beginning and end. The theory was popular in the 50's and 60's. Faced with indications that the universe was expanding, its supporters suggested that new matter is constantly being born in the universe, at a constant but moderate pace — a few atoms per cubic kilometer per year.

Observations of quasars in the distant (and old, with ourpoints of view) of galaxies, which do not exist in our stellar environs, cooled the enthusiasm of theorists, and it was finally debunked when scientists discovered cosmic background radiation. Nevertheless, although Hoyle’s theory did not bring him laurels, he conducted a series of studies that showed how atoms appeared heavier than helium in the universe. (They appeared during the life cycle of the first stars at high temperatures and pressure). Ironically, he was also one of the creators of the term “big bang”.

Tired light

Edwin Hubble noticed that the wavelengths of light are distantgalaxies are shifted in the direction of the red part of the spectrum, when compared with the light emitted by stellar bodies nearby, which indicates the loss of photon energy. “Redshift” is explained in the context of the expansion after the Big Bang as a function of the Doppler effect. Proponents of the stationary universe models instead suggested that photons of light lose energy gradually as they move through space, moving to long waves, less energetic at the red end of the spectrum. This theory was first proposed by Fritz Zwicky in 1929.

There are a number of problems associated with tired light. Firstly, there is no way to change the energy of a photon without changing its momentum, which should lead to a blurring effect, which we do not observe. Secondly, he does not explain the observed patterns of light emission from supernovae, which are perfectly correlated with the model of an expanding universe and special relativity. Finally, most models of tired light are based on a non-expanding universe, but this leads to a spectrum of background radiation that does not match our observations. In numerical terms, if the hypothesis of tired light were correct, all the observed cosmic background radiation would have come from sources that are closer to us than the Andromeda galaxy (the closest galaxy to us), and everything that comes after it invisibly.

Eternal inflation

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Most modern models of the early universepostulate a short period of exponential growth (known as inflation), caused by vacuum energy, during which neighboring particles were quickly separated by huge areas of space. After this inflation, the vacuum energy disintegrated into a hot plasma broth in which atoms, molecules, and so on were formed. In the theory of perpetual inflation, this inflation process never ended. Instead, the space bubbles would stop swelling and enter a low-energy state in order to expand into inflationary space afterwards. Such bubbles would be like steam bubbles in a boiling pot of water, but this time the pot would constantly increase.

According to this theory, our universe is one of the bubbles.a multiple universe characterized by constant inflation. One aspect of this theory that could be tested is the assumption that two universes that are close enough to meet will cause disturbances in the space-time of each universe. The best support of such a theory would be the discovery of evidence of such a violation against the background of relic radiation.

The first inflationary model was proposed by the Sovietscientist Alexey Starobinsky, but in the west she became famous thanks to physicist Alan Guta, who suggested that the early universe could supercool and allow exponential growth to begin even before the Big Bang. Andrei Linde took these theories and developed on their basis the theory of "perpetual chaotic expansion", according to which instead of the need for the Big Bang, with the necessary potential energy, the expansion can begin at any point of scalar space and occur constantly throughout the multiverse.

This is what Linde says: “Instead of a universe with one law of physics, perpetual chaotic inflation implies a self-replicating and ever-existing multiverse in which everything is possible.”

Mirage of a four-dimensional black hole

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The standard Big Bang model claimsthat the universe exploded from an infinitely dense singularity, but this does not make it easier to explain its almost uniform temperature, given the relatively short time (by the standards of space) that has passed since the days of this cruel event. Some believe that this could be explained by an unknown form of energy, which led to the fact that the universe expanded faster than the speed of light. A group of physicists from the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics suggested that the universe could be essentially a three-dimensional mirage created on the horizon of events of a four-dimensional star collapsing into a black hole.

Niaesh Afshordi and his colleagues studied the proposal2000, made by the team of the University of Ludwig Maximilian in Munich, on the theme that our Universe can only be one membrane that exists in a “three-dimensional universe” with four dimensions. They decided that if this three-dimensional universe also contains four-dimensional stars, they can behave like their three-dimensional counterparts in our universe — exploding into supernovae and collapsing into black holes.

Three-dimensional black holes are surrounded by a sphericalsurface - the horizon of events. While the surface of the event horizon of a three-dimensional black hole is two-dimensional, the shape of the event horizon of a four-dimensional black hole should be three-dimensional — the hypersphere. When Afshordi's team modeled the death of a four-dimensional star, she discovered that the erupting material formed a three-dimensional brane (membrane) around the event horizon and slowly expanded. The team suggested that our Universe could be a mirage formed from debris from the outer layers of a four-dimensional collapsing star.

Because the four dimensional volumetric universe canto be much older, or even infinitely old, this explains the homogeneous temperature observed in our Universe, although some of the latest data suggests that there may be deviations due to which the traditional model fits better.

Mirror Universe

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One of the intricate problems of physics is thatalmost all accepted models, including gravity, electrodynamics and relativity, work equally well in the description of the Universe, regardless of whether it is going forward or backward. In the real world, we know that time moves only in one direction, and the standard explanation for this is that our perception of time is only a product of entropy, during which order dissolves in disorder. The problem with this theory is that it results from the fact that our universe began with a highly ordered state and low entropy. Many scientists disagree with the concept of a low-entropic early universe, fixing the direction of time.

Julian Barbour of Oxford University, TimKozlowski from the University of New Brunswick and Flavio Mercati from the Institute of Theoretical Physics of Perimeter developed a theory according to which gravity caused time to flow forward. They studied computer simulation of particles in 1000 points interacting with each other under the influence of Newtonian gravity. It turned out that regardless of their size or size, the particles ultimately form a low complexity state with a minimum size and maximum density. Then this system of particles expands in both directions, creating two symmetrical and opposite “arrows of time”, and with it more ordered and complex structures on both sides.

This suggests that the Big Bang led to the creation of not one, but two universes, in each of which time flows in the opposite direction from the other. According to Barbour:

"This two future situation will beto demonstrate a single chaotic past in both directions, meaning that there will be essentially two universes, on each side of the central state. If they are complicated enough, both sides will support observers who can perceive the passage of time in the opposite direction. Any intelligent creatures will define their arrow of time as a distance from the central state. They will think that we now live in their distant past. "

Conformal cyclic cosmology

Sir Roger Penrose, Oxford physicistUniversity, believes that the Big Bang was not the beginning of the universe, but only a transition as it goes through cycles of expansion and contraction. Penrose suggested that the geometry of space changes with time and becomes more confusing, as described by the mathematical concept of the Weyl curvature tensor, which starts from zero and increases with time. He believes that black holes act by reducing the entropy of the Universe, and when the latter reaches the end of expansion, black holes absorb matter and energy and, eventually, each other. As matter decays in black holes, it disappears in the process of Hawking radiation, space becomes homogeneous and filled with useless energy.

This leads to the concept of conformal invariance,symmetries of geometries with different scales, but of the same form. When the Universe can no longer meet the initial conditions, Penrose believes that the conformal transformation will result in smoothing the geometry of space, and degraded particles will return to the state of zero entropy. The universe collapses into itself, ready to burst into a new Big Bang. It follows that the Universe is characterized by a recurring process of expansion and contraction, which Penrose divided into periods called “eons”.

Panrose and his partner, Vahagn (Vahe) Gurzadyan fromThe Yerevan Institute of Physics in Armenia collected NASA satellite relic radiation data and stated that they found 12 distinct concentric rings in these data, which, in their opinion, could be evidence of gravitational waves caused by the collision of supermassive black holes at the end of the previous eon. So far this is the main proof of the theory of conformal cyclic cosmology.

Cold Big Bang and a shrinking Universe

The standard Big Bang model says thatafter all matter exploded out of a singularity, it expanded into a hot and dense Universe and began to slowly cool over billions of years. But this singularity creates a number of problems when trying to cram it into the general theory of relativity and quantum mechanics, therefore cosmologist Krishtof Wetterich of the University of Heidelberg suggested that the Universe could start with a cold and huge empty space that becomes active only because it is compressed and not expands according to the standard model.

In this model, the redshift observedastronomers may be caused by an increase in the mass of the universe as it is compressed. Light emitted by atoms is determined by the mass of the particles, more energy appears as the light moves to the blue part of the spectrum and less to the red.

The main problem of Wetterich’s theory is thatit is impossible to confirm with measurements, since we compare only the ratios of different masses, and not the masses themselves. One physicist complained that this model is akin to the statement that the Universe is not expanding, but the ruler with which we measure it is contracting. Wetterich said he did not consider his theory a substitute for the Big Bang; he only noted that it correlates with all known observations of the Universe and may be a more “natural” explanation.

Circles Carter

Jim Carter is an amateur scientist who developedpersonal theory of the universe, based on the eternal hierarchy of "zircons", hypothetical circular mechanical objects. He believes that the entire history of the universe can be explained as a generation of zircons, developing in the process of reproduction and division. The scientist came to this conclusion after observing the ideal ring of bubbles emerging from his breathing apparatus when he was engaged in scuba diving in the 1970s, and he perfected his theory with experiments involving controlled smoke rings, garbage cans and rubber sheets. Carter considered them the physical embodiment of the process called zirconia synchronicity.

He said that zirklonnaya synchronicity isis a better explanation of the creation of the universe than the Big Bang theory. His living universe theory postulates that at least one hydrogen atom has always existed. At the beginning, one atom of antihydrogen was floating in a three-dimensional void. This particle had the same mass as the entire universe, and it consisted of a positively charged proton and a negatively charged antiproton. The universe remained in a completed ideal duality, but the negative antiproton gravitationally expanded slightly faster than the positive proton, which led to the loss of relative mass. They expanded toward each other until a negative particle swallowed a positive particle, and they formed an antineutron.

The antineutron was also unbalanced in mass, buteventually it returned to equilibrium, which led to its splitting into two new neutrons from a particle and an antiparticle. This process caused an exponential increase in the number of neutrons, some of which were no longer split, but annihilated into photons, which formed the basis of cosmic rays. Ultimately, the universe became a mass of stable neutrons that existed for a certain time before decay, and allowed electrons to unite with protons for the first time, forming the first hydrogen atoms and filling the universe with electrons and protons, actively interacting with the formation of new elements.

A little madness won't hurt. Most physicists consider Carter’s ideas as an unbalanced delusion that is not even subject to empirical examination. Carter’s smoke ring experiments were used as evidence of the now-discredited theory of the ether 13 years ago.

Plasma Universe

If in standard cosmology, gravity remainsthe main controlling force in plasma cosmology (in the theory of the electric universe) is a big bet on electromagnetism. One of the first proponents of this theory was the Russian psychiatrist Immanuel Velikovsky, who wrote in 1946 a paper called Cosmos without gravity, in which he stated that gravity is an electromagnetic phenomenon arising from the interaction between atomic charges, free charges and magnetic fields of the sun. and planets. Later on, these theories were worked out already in the 70s by Ralph Yurgens, who asserted that the stars work on electrical rather than on thermonuclear processes.

There are many iterations of the theory, but a numberelements remains one. Plasma universe theories claim that the sun and stars are electrically powered by drift currents, that certain features of the planetary surface are caused by “supermini” and that comets tails, Martian dusty devils and the formation of galaxies are all electrical processes. According to these theories, deep space is filled with giant threads of electrons and ions, which are twisted due to the action of electromagnetic forces in space and create physical matter like galaxies. Plasma cosmologists admit that the Universe is infinite in size and age.

One of the most influential books on this subject has become“The Big Bang has never happened”, written by Eric Lerner in 1991. He argued that the Big Bang theory incorrectly predicts the density of light elements like deuterium, lithium-7 and helium-4, that the voids between the galaxies are too large to be explained by the time frames of the Big Bang theory, and that the brightness of the surface of distant galaxies is observed as constant while in an expanding universe, this brightness should decrease with distance due to redshift. He also argued that the Big Bang theory requires too many hypothetical things (inflation, dark matter, dark energy) and violates the law of conservation of energy, since the Universe was supposedly born out of nothing.

On the contrary, he says, plasma theory is correctpredicts the abundance of light elements, the macroscopic structure of the Universe and the absorption of radio waves, which are the cause of the cosmic microwave background. Many cosmologists claim that Lerner’s critique of the Big Bang cosmology is based on concepts that were considered wrong at the time of writing his book, and on his explanations that the observations of cosmologists of the Big Bang bring more problems than they can solve.

Bindu vipshot

As long as we did not affect religious ormythological stories of the creation of the universe, but we will make an exception for the Hindu creation story, since it can be easily linked with scientific theories. Karl Sagan once said that this is “the only religion in which the time frame corresponds to modern scientific cosmology. Its cycles go from our ordinary day and night to the day and night of Brahma, 8.64 billion years long. Longer than the Earth or the Sun existed, almost half the time since the Big Bang. ”

Closest to the traditional big bang ideathe universe is found in the Hindu concept of bindu Wipshot (literally “dot-blast” in Sanskrit). The Vedic hymns of ancient India stated that Bindu VipShot produced the sound waves of the syllable “om”, which means Brahman, Absolute Reality or God. The word "Brahman" has a Sanskrit root brh, meaning "big growth", which can be associated with the Big Bang, according to the scriptures of the Shabda Brahman. The first sound “om” is interpreted as the vibration of the Big Bang, detected by astronomers in the form of relic radiation.

Upanishads explain Big Bang as one(Brahman), who wants to become many, which he achieved due to the big bang as an effort of will. The creation is often depicted as a lila, or “divine game,” in the sense that the universe was created as part of the game, and launching in the form of a big bang was also part of it. But will the game be interesting if it has an omniscient player who knows how it will go?

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