The Placid Universe Model
Why the Universe is NOT Expanding
The real origin of CMBR, Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation

David Noel
Ben Franklin Centre for Theoretical Research
PO Box 27, Subiaco, WA 6008, Australia.

* * * * * * * * *

What Scientists Tell Us

But Scientists, who ought to know/ Assure us that they must be so..../ Oh! let us never, never doubt/ What nobody is sure about!/ (From 'The Microbe', by Hillaire Belloc)
Quotation PUQ-1

About the Universe
This is the tale of an amazing misconception which has established itself as 'a truth' in the scientific world: the concept that the Universe is expanding, and that it began with a 'Big Bang'.

It's also a bit of a case study into how such things come about. How theories about the real world can be quite reasonable at the time they are introduced, and then, with increases in knowledge, how they have to be more and more stretched and distorted to cope with the new knowledge.

Some initial theories may be crude to start off with, but if their basis is sound, they can be refined and improved to accommodate new data. Other theories may have widespread acceptance, but turn out to be using one or more faulty assumptions. That is the case here.

We'll see that the idea that the universe is expanding was just one of several alternative ways of explaining new facts, and that, unfortunately, the correct one was not chosen.

Instead, what is here called the Expanding Universe (EU) model, the current paradigm accepted by 'the experts', moved in and took over the field.

How it all came about
The idea that the Universe is expanding came from measurements on the spectral lines of distant stars, made by Edwin Hubble in 1929 [1]. Hubble was the first to use a new, large American telescope, and with this he was able to show that the galaxy we are in (the 'Milky Way') was just one of many in the total Universe. Before that, people thought that our galaxy included everything in the Universe.

The light from distant astronomical objects is spread over a range of wavelengths, but this range contains a number of sharp lines which stem from particular atoms or molecules. Hubble was able to show that with distant stars, these lines were shifted towards the red end of the spectrum, and this 'Red Shift' was generally larger, the further away the source was.

How the Red Shift was interpreted
When something is moving away from or toward you, any waveform it is emitting, such as sound or light, has its wavelength shifted. This 'Doppler Effect' is because the wavelengths are stretched or compressed by the relative movement. The usual example is of a train whistle, which has a higher pitch as it approaches, normal pitch when alongside, and lower as it recedes.

Figure PUF-1 is a simple graph of red shift (interpreted as recessional velocity) against distance for some stars beyond the local galaxy.

Figure PUF-1. From

Clearly there is a good, but not perfect, correlation between the calculated distance of stars and the speed they are moving away, assuming this red shift is due to recession. The factor relating red shift to distance is called the Hubble Constant, and the relationship is known as Hubble's Law.

And it is this assumption, quite reasonable at the time it was assumed, that red shifts are due to movement away, which led to the whole Expanding Universe / Big Bang misconception. Let's look now at the history.

Don't blame Mr Doppler for everything
The Doppler Effect is a valid interpretation of relative movements of closer stars, say within our local galaxy. These stars can show blue shifts, indicating they are approaching, as well as red shifts.

 For objects outside our own galaxy, these shifts are always toward the red (lower-energy) direction, and so, as more distant objects show bigger shifts, it indicates that the light is losing energy as it travels.

 This is not a new observation, it was made in Hubble's day, as one of the possible explanations of red-shifting. In the very early 1930s, the British astronomer Sir James Jeans pointed out [3] that reddening of light could occur for a number of reasons, including the "gravitational pull of stars and nebulae".

 He refers to work by the brilliant but little-known American scientist Fritz Zwicky, born in Bulgaria to Swiss parents [8]:

"Dr Zwicky ... has suggested that still another cause of reddening may be found in the gravitational pull of stars and nebulae on light passing near them -- the same pull as causes the observed bending of starlight at an eclipse of the sun ... to test this suggestion , ten Bruggencate has examined the light from a number of globular clusters, all at about the same distance from us, but so selected that the amount of intervening gravitational matter varied greatly ... light from these shewed a reddening, and if this were caused by the expansion of space, it ought to have been the same for all the clusters ... actually it was much more nearly proportional to the amount of intervening matter, exactly as required by Zwicky's theory, and its actual amount agreed well enough with that predicted by the theoretical formula".

 These articles by Zwicky [4] and ten Bruggencate [5] are interesting, though quite technical, and both are now available on the Internet.

 In what follows it will be shown that the evidence overwhelmingly supports a model of the Universe where red-shifting is due to gravity acting on light (the Placid Universe, PU model), rather than one where red-shifting is due to movement (the Expanding Universe, EU model).

But first let's look at the current EU model and see how it stacks up against reality.

What the EU model says
According to the EU model, the whole Universe is expanding and has been doing so since its beginning. The model takes as its 'beginning' the time, around 11 to 14 billion years ago (the currently-quoted value is 13.7 billion), which is reached by running the expansion backwards until all the visible Universe contracts back down to a single point.

 We'll look at some details of how the 13.7 billion-year figure was arrived at later. A good explanation can be found on Wikipedia

 From this single point, in what's called the 'Big Bang', the whole Universe is supposed to have expanded to its present state. A gigantic mass of theoretical work tells you that this proceeded through an early stage called 'inflation', at the end of which 'normal' matter was evolved, followed by ever more rapid movement apart of the galaxies and clusters then produced.

 Over more than 70 years, some of the world's most brilliant minds have worked on this model, developing and expanding its implications to try and account for new data coming in. However, even brilliant minds can make mistakes, particularly when, as here, they are working with bad assumptions.

What the Universe is really like
Over the years, improvements in instruments and techniques have continuously expanded the scale of the Universe which we know something about. From the naked-eye beginnings, invention of the telescope allowed Galileo to detect the moons of Jupiter, and the new large telescope used by Edwin Hubble pushed our knowledge, for the first time, beyond our local galaxy.

 Since then, advances such as radio telescopes detecting electromagnetic waves of longer wavelengths than visible light, optical telescopes in space like the Hubble Telescope named in honour of Edwin Hubble, and a variety of smart computational techniques, have pushed the barrier out to the edge of what has been called 'the observable Universe'.

 This theoretical limit is because the speed of light, or more accurately electromagnetic waves in space, is fixed, at about 0.3 million kilometres per second. Distances between stars are quoted in light-years, the distance light travels in one year.

 As an example, the distance of the star nearest to us (Proxima Centauri) from our Sun is about 4 light-years. Light travels from the Sun to the Earth in around 9 minutes, for the outer planets of our solar system it takes hours.

 Measuring big interstellar distances in light-years is not just a convenient way of denoting those distances, it also tells us how long light from a distant star has taken to reach us. When we look at Proxima Centauri with a telescope, we see the star as it was 4 years ago.

 So as we move closer and closer to being able to detect objects 13.7 billion years away, the EU model says we are looking at light which started out closer and closer to the time of the 'Big Bang', that is, we are seeing conditions which existed approaching 13.7 billion years ago.

Unfortunately for the EU model, the facts just do not fit. The overall general picture observed as we go further and further out from Earth is that things are pretty much the same as those closer by, say within our own galaxy.

 So, very baldly, the EU model does not give an accurate picture of the Universe as it is observed.

The EU (Expanding Universe) model implies that more distant astronomical objects are seen with light from earlier in the Universe's history, when it was less expanded, and so should be more closely packed. Actual observations do not agree.
(Critique point PUCP-1)
Critique point PUCP-1

Applying a little logic
The EU model also breaks down on application of a little simple logic. If the Universe had really undergone expansion, then when it was half-way expanded, all the galaxies would have been twice as close together. At a quarter expansion, they would have been 4 times as close, and so on. There just isn't the room between them for this to have happened.

 There's also the question of the gravitational forces acting between them, and the question of where, if expansion had occurred, it took place.

No room between the stars
Let's put some figures on what we are dealing with. Most of these figures come from the truly superb book Universe: the definitive visual guide
[6]. In our solar system, the Sun and the planets lie in a disc. The Sun is at the centre, and the outermost planet, Neptune, circles some 4.5 billion kilometres away (poor Pluto has recently been downgraded to 'minor planet' status).

 But we now know about members of the solar family which are very much further away. Beyond Neptune, but still in the plane of the solar system, is a vast conglomeration of minor planets and comets in what's called the 'Kuiper Belt'. This takes us out to about 12 billion kilometres from the Sun.

 Beyond the Kuiper Belt, this time in an even vaster cloud forming a spherical mass around the Sun, like the very thick skin of an orange, is the 'Oort Cloud'. This extends out to about 15,000 billion kilometres, or 1.5 light years.

 Among this population there are some sizeable bodies, such as Sedna, a minor planet two-thirds the size of Pluto. Sedna has a very elliptical orbit. In 2077, Sedna will be only 11.4 billion kilometres out from the Sun, but when it reaches its furthest from the Sun, in around AD 8207, it will be about 1,500 billion kilometres away, but still only one-tenth of the distance to the edge of the Oort Cloud.

 The nearest star to the Sun is Proxima Centauri, about 4 light years away. So if Proxima Centauri has an Oort Cloud of its own, of similar size to ours, it won't be far off brushing against our Oort Cloud. Another way of describing the situation might be to say that interstellar space is everywhere populated by small bodies, which are classed as belonging to one particular star or another, just according to which has the higher gravitational effect at the time of reckoning.

 So there isn't room for our solar system to have been greatly smaller in the past.

Our Solar System extends almost halfway to the nearest star. The EU model implies stars were previously closer together, when expansion was less. For reasons of gravitational attraction and space available, this is not possible. (Critique point PUCP-2)
Critique point PUCP-2

No room between galaxies
Our sun lies on an arm of a large spiral galaxy which we call the Milky Way. The Milky Way has a radius of about 50 thousand light-years, and the Sun is about halfway to the edge

 Although some other galaxies may be larger, some being 20 times the luminosity of the Milky Way, there are huge numbers of smaller ones, some quite close. The Sagittarius Dwarf Elliptical Galaxy, otherwise SagDEG, has a radius of about 5 thousand light-years, and is about 88 thousand light-years away.

 So the 'gap' between us and them is about 33 thousand light-years. If the Universe had once been even half its present size, the separation between the centres of the two galaxies would have been 44 thousand light-years, and the two would have been meshed together.

 This is clearly not possible. Galaxies can collide, with spectacular emission of energy, but this is fairly rare. Our galaxy is said to be about 13.5 billion years old, and its history shows no obvious evidence of having been crushed against another galaxy in the past -- and if it had, how could they have separated out?

 Of course it could be postulated that the force of gravity changes with time, so everything could have been closer under different gravity, but this really just begs the question. There is no evidence for it, and as gravitational forces vary with the square of the separating distances, a simple linear scaling-down could not represent the observed situation.

Our Galaxy is less than twice its own diameter away from the nearest other galaxy. The EU model implies galaxies were previously closer together, when expansion was less. For reasons of gravitational attraction and space available, this is not possible. (Critique point PUCP-3)
Critique point PUCP-3

The Centre of the Universe
Does the Universe have a centre, and if so, where is it? As mentioned earlier, everything we have been able to see of it so far supports the idea that it is close to having large-scale uniformity everywhere, and since the farther observations relate to very 'old' light from billions of years ago, this uniformity applies over time as well as space.

 If the Universe was really 13.7 billion years old, as the EU model says, and we can see, say, 12 billion light years in one direction, and the same in the opposite direction, that would only be possible if the Earth just happened to be very close to the original Big Bang point. There is nothing to suggest that our particular galaxy is specially favoured in such a way.

Since we can see objects 12 billion light years away from Earth in opposite directions, this would not be possible for a Universe only 13.7 billion years old unless the Earth happened to be close to the 'centre of the Universe', of which there is no evidence. (Critique point PUCP-4)
Critique point PUCP-4

 Let's bring out the first of some speculative ideas about the Universe, ideas which at present appear neither proved nor unproved.

Speculation: The Universe has no centre. (Speculation PUSP-1)
Speculation PUSP-1

The most distant object
If the Universe was really 13.7 billion years old, as with the EU model, then without introducing massive changes in the speed of light, we could only see objects 13.7 billion light-years distant at the most.

 Yet according to a US Government website
[9], the most distant object known is 27 billion light-years away. Here is an extract from that site:

"This quasar had the highest red shift ever seen, corresponding to a distance of 27 billion light years from Earth. Red shift (meaning the light appears shifted to the red end of the spectrum) is used as a measure of the distance of celestial objects. Because the universe is expanding, the quasar was only about 4 billion light years from Earth when the light seen now was emitted -- at a time when the universe was very young, less than 1 billion years old. "

 Clearly it is not possible to have light 27 billion years old coming to us in a Universe only 13.7 billion years old.

The highest currently measured red shift corresponds to light from 27 billion light-years away, and hence 27 billion years old. This is not possible in a Universe only 13.7 billion years old. (Critique point PUCP-5)
Critique point PUCP-5

Conservation of Mass/Energy
One of the really fundamental physical laws is that of the Conservation of Mass/Energy. Briefly, this states that energy and mass can each be converted into various forms, and can also be converted into the other, but the total energy content must remain unchanged.

 A simple example is of electrical energy fed into an ordinary light globe. Much of this is converted into light energy, while a bit more is converted into heat. These are all different forms of energy, but careful measurements will always show that the total energy involved is unchanged.

 Similarly, careful measurement of the masses of substances involved in a chemical reaction will always show that the total mass is unchanged, whatever the form and nature of the starting and final substances.

 Examples of inter-conversion of mass and energy are less familiar. The best-known one is perhaps that of radioactive decay. When heavy radioactive atoms break down, they give out various particles and radiation, leaving behind somewhat lighter atoms.

 The point is, that the total mass of all the particles left behind after radioactive decay is very slightly less than the mass of the atoms which went into the decay reaction. This 'missing' mass has been converted into energy in the form of gamma rays, high-energy electromagnetic radiation.

 Another example, of a process vital for life on Earth, is the origin of all the light and other radiation which reaches us from the Sun. All this energy comes from the tiny amount of mass lost when hydrogen atoms are converted into helium in the Sun's interior.

 The formula giving the amount of energy resulting from the loss of mass is the famous Einstein equation, which says E=mc2, or energy is equal to the mass converted times the velocity of light squared.

No exceptions to the Law of Conservation of Mass/Energy have ever been demonstrated. For a comment on this, go to Supplement 1.

 The EU model very clearly violates this fundamental law. Even supposing there had been a source of energy to cause the original expansion, there has never been a source demonstrated which would cause components of the Universe to continue to move apart at a fixed speed, and certainly not at at increasing rate, as EU proponents currently claim.

The Expanding Universe model breaches the fundamental Law of Conservation of Mass/Energy, which on current understanding of physical laws, renders this model invalid. (Critique point PUCP-6)
Critique point PUCP-6

Natural laws are not suspended for even the most eminent of scientists, so it is rather surprising that so many scientists have supported the EU model, even tacitly or by default. For a comment on this, go to Supplement 1.

Later on we'll look at more evidence on the matter. But we already have enough at this point to grasp the nettle, and point out that in Hans Christian Andersen terms, "The Emperor Has No Clothes".

The concept of an Expanding Universe is a fallacy which is not supported by the evidence. (Naked Emperor point PUNEP-1)
Naked Emperor point PUNEP-1

So, if the Expanding Universe model is wrong (that is, it doesn't accord with observed facts), is there a better one? One notable attempt to provide one was the Steady State Theory put forward by the brilliant British scientist Fred Hoyle [11] and his colleagues Thomas Gold and Hermann Bondi.

The Steady State Theory
The Steady State theory argued that the large-scale structure of the Universe was unchanging over long time, although of course on the smaller scale (where 'small' here refers to things of similar size to galaxies!) evolution and change were everywhere visible.

 This description appears at first sight to be similar to the Placid Universe model described here, but there is a fundamental difference.

 Hoyle assumed that the Universe was expanding. To keep the large-scale structure of the Universe constant, he proposed that matter was being spontaneously created to fill the spaces between galaxies as they moved apart.

 Unfortunately for Hoyle's theory, no evidence was found for such spontaneous creation of matter. Such a process would also, of course, contravene the Law of Conservation of Mass/Energy.

 Interestingly enough, it was Fred Hoyle who coined the term 'Big Bang', during a 1949 BBC radio program, in encapsulating the impact of the model which he opposed. Hoyle always denied that he was being insulting and said it was just a striking image meant to emphasize the difference between the two theories for radio listeners.

The Placid Universe Model and the Jungle
Like the Steady-State Theory, the PU model also assumes that the large-scale structure of the Universe is unchanging over time. This is in accord with the observed facts. Because it also assumes there is no expansion occurring, there is no need to rely on spontaneous creation of matter or other processes to keep things steady.

Although PU says that the large-scale appearance of the Universe is always the same, on smaller scales the activity may be intense.

 If you flew over an area of dense tropical jungle at an altitude of 10,000 metres, typical of jet flights, you would gain a good impression of its appearance. Fly over again one year, or ten years, later, and the impression might be much the same. Even after a hundred, or maybe a thousand years, you might not spot any marked change. It might seem very placid.

 But travel within the jungle itself, and the constant activity and change would be very apparent. Animals would be born, grow to maturity, and die, within a few years. Ant colonies would appear, hold dominance for a while, then succumb. Seeds of plants would germinate and struggle with their neighbours, giant trees would crash down and open up the sunlit ground for a brief while, till rampant growth filled the glades and restored the canopy.

 The very expression "It's a Jungle Out There" gives the sense of constant struggle and competition. And jungles are actually complex structures made up of a sandwich of many layers.

 Each of these layers is its own world. A bee species may be totally adapted to an intermediate layer, below the canopy which thrusts out into the light, but above the jungle floor, and this species may spend its entire life in its own layer, never venturing below or above.

 So then with the Placid Universe. View from a distance, and it might seem unchanged after a million, a billion years or more, move closer in and it's seen to be seething. Advances in astronomy over the last 20 or 30 years have revealed more and more of this intense activity.

 Our understanding of the processes occurring in the formation, evolution, and death of stars, galaxies, and nebulas has increased by leaps and bounds. For comprehensive detail on this, see the book Universe: the definitive visual guide

 Let's move on now to look at some of the other observations which have been thought to support the EU model.

Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation
An important feature of the universe we can observe around us is called the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation or CMBR. CMBR has been repeatedly and vigorously put forward as allegedly 'proving' the occurrence of the 'Big Bang'.

Figure PUF-2. The spectrum of cosmic microwave background radiation. From

 Figure PUF-2 shows the spectrum for this radiation, that is, how its intensity varies with wavelength. The intensity has a peak at about 2 mm wavelength, falling away steeply for longer wavelengths, but for shorter wavelengths the curve is what is called 'asymptotic', that is, it approaches closer and closer to some value (here zero) without ever reaching it.

 This spectral curve happens to coincide very closely with a theoretical curve for what's called 'black body radiation'. A Black Body is an abstract concept [15], an object that absorbs all electromagnetic radiation that falls onto it. No radiation passes through it and none is reflected.

 A property of 'black body radiation' is that the wavelength of its intensity peak depends directly on the temperature of the black-body object itself. Hotter objects radiate at shorter wavelengths. If the CMBR radiation was emitted by a theoretical black body, that body would be at a very low temperature, only about 2.7 deg above absolute zero (about minus 270 deg C).

 There is an everyday observation which reflects this feature. If a bar of iron is heated up from room temperature, it starts to glow in a dull red. Further heating brings it to a brighter red, then to a 'white-hot' colour. The colours of stars also indicate their temperature, with cooler stars yellow, hotter ones white, and very hot ones a blue-white.

The BS Detector
A Geiger Counter clicks and chatters when it detects sources of ionizing radiation. If you had a BS Detector, which would respond similarly when pointed at dodgy elements of a scientific theory, you would be deafened by the noise if used on the CMBR-Big Bang proposition.

 The ideal BS Detector would react to plausible but erroneous explanations and misleading analogies, whether intentional or not. Let's look at the CMBR and what has been claimed about it.

What we know about CMBR
The CMBR is a highly uniform pattern of microwave radiation which comes in from all over the celestial sphere. Microwaves are, like light, part of the electromagnetic spectrum, but are of longer wavelength (lower energy) than visible light. Their measurement has been an important area of science, but their interpretation as proving the Big Bang has been a major blunder.

 Because microwaves fall in a part of the spectrum which is largely absorbed by Earth's atmosphere, not much was known about CMBR until it was possible to put up satellites to detect it, beyond the atmosphere. These satellites have yielded more and more information.

 In 2003 a purpose-designed satellite called WMAP (for Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe) was put into orbit 1.5 million kilometres away, at one of the Lagrange points. These are stable points in the Earth's own orbit, which stay ahead of or behind the Earth itself. They are well beyond the Moon.

 Here is an extract from the Wikipedia article on WMAP

The Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) is a NASA satellite mission whose mission is to survey the sky to measure the temperature of the radiant heat left over from the Big Bang. WMAP was the Breakthrough of the Year for 2003 according to Science magazine.

 The goal of WMAP is to map out minute temperature differences in the Cosmic Microwave Background radiation in order to help test theories of the nature of the universe.

 So far so good. The WMAP data is important stuff, but in my view its interpretation has been badly mishandled. The intention of BS, and its companion term 'truthiness' -- not truth, but distortion plausibly presented as truth -- is described in [13].

How CMBR has been interpreted
When the existence of CMBR was experimentally confirmed, naturally enough the question of its origin was keenly sought. The Big Bang model already included a prediction that the event would be accompanied by emission of radiation. Here is an extract from Tom Siegfried's recent book Strange Matters: undiscovered ideas at the frontiers of space and time [16].

"Years earlier, [George] Gamow had foreseen that the big bang should have generated ... high intensity radiation from the original stage of expanding universe ... calculations of the radiation's temperature today were made by Gamow's collaborators ... who found that this microwave background should measure about 5 deg Kelvin. (Today's best measurements give a temperature of 2.7 deg)" .

 The first part of this, Gamow's own work, is fair enough. Gamow was one of the leaders in promoting the Big Bang model, and presumably was well able to calculate some of its consequences. It's the second part which wakes up the BS Detector.

Somehow, the idea was seized on that the CMBR was the embodiment of the Big Bang radiation prediction, and after that all efforts went into trying to force the two things to fit. On the way, a number of BS-alerting phrases were generated.

 Siegfried writes above that "calculations of the radiation's temperature today were made", and many other explanations talk about "the temperature of the CMBR radiation", which is supposed to be "the echo of the Big Bang, reverberating around the Universe".

 These are nonsense phrases. Temperature is a property which may be possessed by matter, not by radiation. Radiation cannot be said to have a given temperature, where did the idea of saying so come from?

Temperature is a property which may be possessed by forms of matter. Radiation cannot have a temperature, statements which imply it does are erroneous. (Critique point PUCP-7)
Critique point PUCP-7

Apparently it comes from the fact that the CMBR spectrum almost exactly corresponds with the theoretical spectrum of emission from an abstract 'black body' at a temperature of around 2.7 deg K. So what has this got to do with the Big Bang?

 The Big Bang model does not mention anything in the Universe's early times at such cool temperatures. Matter in the Universe then was supposedly very hot, averaging around 3000 deg C. Radiation produced then would be of visible-light wavelength, far more energetic than microwaves.

 So a giant assumption was made to shoehorn reality into the theory box. The 'Big Bang' radiation was supposedly transformed into the CMBR radiation by the expansion of the Universe itself, which "stretched out the waves" from visible-light size to microwave size as it went.

 Really, this is just another nonsense. An expanding universe would not, of itself, stretch the wavelengths of radiation travelling within it. If it did, then all radiation from distant galaxies billions of light-years away, and hence billions of years old, would also be stretched down towards microwave length, far far more than observed red shifts.

An expanding universe would not, in itself, lead to stretching of 'big-bang' radiation from visible to microwave wavelengths. If it did, all early radiation would be similarly affected, and this is not observed. (Critique point PUCP-8)
Critique point PUCP-8

 Another point is that the CMBR is very uniform from all over the celestial sphere. It fits onto the theoretical black-body curve to an accuracy of about 1 in 100,000.

 If the CMBR had really originated from the Big Bang, and was coming in from all over, it's really most unlikely to have all been created at such a tight wavelength, and even more unlikely to have retained this precision during its subsequent history in different parts of the Universe.

 According to EU theory, the CMBR peak should still be shifting in wavelength as the Universe expands. Although this could be considered as an experimental test point, in practice the above deficiencies in the theory make such a test pointless.

The likelihood that the Big Bang could create radiation at a single extremely tight wavelength, and that this could retain its tightness on stretching to become microwaves through varied history, must be judged as negligible. (Critique point PUCP-9)
Critique point PUCP-9

More claims from WMAP
Applying theory to the CMBR measurements from WMAP has led to some amazing claims about the nature of the Universe. Here is another extract from

WMAP provided much higher accuracy measurements of many cosmological parameters than had been available from previous instruments. According to current models of the universe, WMAP data show:
* The universe is 13.7 +/- 0.2 billion years old.
* The universe is composed of:
* * 4% ordinary baryonic matter;
* * 22% an unknown type of dark matter, which does not emit or absorb light;
* * 74% a mysterious dark energy, which acts to accelerate expansion.

 We'll look at dark matter and dark energy later on. For the moment, it's enough to comment that these theorists say only 4% of our Universe is the stuff known to physics, everything else is something weird we don't know anything about. Bring out the BS Detector!

How old is the Solar System?
We have a pretty good idea of the age of the solid Earth, from rock samples taken from all over the surface and from boreholes up to 12 km deep. The oldest of these samples is around 4.7 billion years.

 The rest of the solar system, including all the planets, comets, asteroids, and the Sun itself, is likely a little older than this, around 5 billion years. Nothing in the way of meteorites, rocks from the sky believed to have come from other planetary bodies, is older than this.

 It seems likely that the Solar System formed from a large blob of dust and gas, maybe 2 or 3 light years across. Most of the gas would be hydrogen -- most of the Universe is hydrogen, in fact, other elements make up only a small percentage.

 A small, perhaps chance, knot of denser material formed in this blob would tend to attract in other material by gravity. As this nucleus grew, it would tend to rotate from the accumulated momentum of material drawn in, and this would settle into a disc, the future disc of the planets in orbit round the Sun.

The ages of stars
By the early 20th century, astronomers had built up much data on the stars in our local galaxy, the Milky Way. In particular, their intrinsic brightness, colour, and so on were well known. A valuable graphical picture, known as the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram, was put together to show these star particulars and star ages (Figure PUF-3).

Figure PUF-3. The Hertzsprung-Russell diagram. From

 This diagram was created around 1910 by Ejnar Hertzsprung and Henry Norris Russell, and represented a huge leap forward in understanding stellar evolution, or the 'lives of stars'.

 The diagram shows luminosity (amount of light radiated) plotted against surface temperatures of stars. This temperature determines colour, with red stars at under 3000 deg, moving higher through orange, yellow, white, and blue, and ending at violet for stars at over 30,000 deg.

 The big majority of stars were found to fall on a diagonal line, called the 'Main Sequence', running from bottom right to top left. This was an exciting practical result which gave a real boost to understanding star evolution. As well as the luminosity/temperature plots, the main-sequence stars classified themselves neatly in three other ways.

 Redder stars were found to be ones of smaller radius (white diagonal lines marked 'solar radius'), smaller mass (purple ticks marked 'MSun', showing mass as a multiple of that of our Sun), and longer lifetime (green bars marked 'lifetime'). The violet stars showed the reverse.

 The closest star to our Sun, Proxima Centauri, is a red star with a mass and a radius each one-tenth of the Sun's, and a long lifetime of around 1000 billion years (which could be contrasted with the supposed age of the Universe, of 13.7 billion years).

 At the other end of the scale, the star Beta Centauri emits blue-violet light, is about 15 times the Sun's mass, 10 times its radius, and has a lifetime of perhaps 8 million years (far smaller than the current age of the Earth, around 4700 million years).

 Of course these relationships are extremely useful for working out information about any main-sequence stars. From their colour, mass and size can be directly found, and from their calculated and apparent brightnesses, their distance from Earth can be worked out.

 It was perhaps a surprise to find that larger, more massive stars had very much shorter lifetimes than smaller, less massive ones. A very massive new star can be expected to last only a million years, about as long as Man has been on the Earth. Our Sun has an expected lifetime of around 10 billion years, so is currently about half-way through its life.

 What's important in the present context, is that our galaxy is clearly populated by stars with a big spread of ages. It doesn't give a picture of a galaxy which was created in some event, and is now evolving towards its death. Instead, like the Universe itself, it appears to show the same large-scale uniformity, over space and time. A Universe of micro-change and macro-stability.

So asking a question like "How old is our galaxy?" is like asking how old is your great-grandfather's axe, passed down to you through the generations, during which time it has had five new handles and three new heads.

Our galaxy contains stars with calculated lifetimes ranging from 1000 billion years down to a million years or less. This range is not compatible with the EU, 'Big-Bang' model of a Universe created 13.7 billion years ago. (Critique point PUCP-10)
Critique point PUCP-10.

The evolution of the Universe
The Hertzsprung-Russell diagram was created some 20 years before it was known that the Universe contains many other galaxies besides our own. However, what observations have been made of other galaxies have not suggested that the stars within these are any different to the local ones.

 What has been built up in recent years is a huge bank of information on other galaxies and inter-galactic objects, which have themselves become classified into types, groups, ages, and so on. While these have not been formally plotted in an analogue of the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram, a good general understanding has been arrived at.

 As a simplification, it appears that galaxies, like solar systems, start off as roughly spherical blobs of gas and dust, maybe 10-250 thousand light-years across. The same processes of aggregation and separation into a spinning disc take place, accompanied at various stages and in various parts by individual star formation.

 Some stunning photographs have been taken by the Hubble Telescope of galaxies in which lines of new, hot stars are being formed along swirling galaxy bands, like brilliant pearls sewn onto the edge of a swirling cloak

And, as with stars, galaxies are seen at every stage of development, from young incipient galactic clouds, through to mature disc galaxies which have built up significant mass concentrations at their centres. This, again, is not what would be expected from a Universe which came into being ready-made 13.7 billion years ago.

The Universe contains a big range of types of galaxy and intergalactic objects which appear at different stages of evolution. This is not compatible with the EU, 'Big-Bang' model of a Universe created 13.7 billion years ago. (Critique point PUCP-11)
Critique point PUCP-11.

 Sometimes two, or even three, galaxies can be seen which are colliding. In some cases a 'young' galaxy appears in collision with an 'old' one. During its evolution to a 'mature' galaxy, a galaxy may build up an enormous concentration of mass at its centre, equal to a billion times that of the Sun. These concentrations are called Supermassive Black Holes.

About Black Holes
The concept of a celestial object so massive that nothing, not even light, could escape its gravity, was suggested as long ago as 1784 by John Michell
[18]. Nowadays he would be called a scientist, but the term was not in use in his day. The Wikipedia article on him includes the following.

John Michell was an English natural philosopher and geologist, whose work spanned a wide range of subjects, from astronomy to geology, optics, and gravitation. He was both a theorist and an experimenter.

 Michell was educated at Queens' College, Cambridge and later became a Fellow of Queens'. In 1760 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, in the same year as Henry Cavendish. In 1762 he was appointed Woodwardian Professor of Geology, and in 1767 he became rector of Thornhill, West Yorkshire, near Dewsbury, where he died in 1793.

 He was thus described by a contemporary commentator: "John Michell is a little short Man, of a black Complexion, and fat; but having no acquaintance with him, can say little of him. I think he had the care of St. Botolph's Church Cambridge, while he continued Fellow of Queen's College, where he was esteemed a very ingenious Man, and an excellent Philosopher. He has published some things in that way, on the Magnet and Electricity."

 Of course the term 'Black Hole' is quite recent, invented by John Wheeler in the 1960s, when scientists were becoming more confident that these entities actually existed.

 We now know that Michell's idea was not really correct, since the entities regarded as black holes can emit matter and radiation. Theoretically, gravitational red shift, of which more later, could reduce an emitted beam of radiation down to very low-energy wavelengths, but not stop it altogether.

 However, Michell was working with the theories of light and optics developed over a century earlier by Isaac Newton, according to which light consisted of 'corpuscles', that is particles. Particles with mass could be trapped by a big enough gravitational field, as he suggested.

We now have ample evidence that black holes, in particular the supermassive black holes at the centre of galaxies, do emit both matter and radiation (Figure PUF-4).

Figure PUF-4. From

 This image, of the nucleus of a galaxy, resembles a gyroscope. The stars and other galactic objects which contain its mass form a rotating disc.

 Above and below the disc, like the spindle of a gyroscope, jets of material are seen being emitted. This material contains both high-energy radiation (x-rays and gamma rays) and high-energy matter, particles moving at a high percentage of the speed of light. The material is visible to us because of its interaction with existing gas particles it encounters, which glow under the impact with the jets.

Some more speculation
We should now look at some further implications which could be drawn from the evidence so far.

Speculation: The Universe is infinite in space. (Speculation PUSP-2)
Speculation PUSP-2

 This suggestion is similar to PUSP-1, that the Universe has no centre. It goes a little further, in that the Universe could lack a centre but even so not be infinite.

Speculation: The Universe is infinite in time. (Speculation PUSP-3)
Speculation PUSP-3

 Accepting this speculation is a big step, but it is implied from relativity considerations, in that space and time dimensions are in some circumstances interchangeable.

Mass/Energy balance in a Placid Universe
Our knowledge of the celestial objects around us has come from observing the radiation they emit, at first with visible light, and more recently with other wavelengths too.

 It was mentioned earlier that the radiation we receive from our Sun is generated by conversion of a little of its mass. The same is true of the radiation from other stars. Almost all the energy we receive on Earth is from the Sun.

 Conversion of energy into mass is not a familiar part of modern science, being limited to a very few experimental products from atomic colliders, where particles are accelerated into high speeds. So it has seemed until recently that the Universe's main mass/energy direction has been conversion of mass to release energy.

 All this has changed with recognition of the huge amounts of mass produced, along with radiation, from supermassive black holes.

Figure PUF-5. From

 In Figure PUF-5 the black-hole radiation picture is shown with additional information. These energy-emitting galaxy centres are sometimes called active galactic nuclei (AGNs).

 Here is an extract from the 2007 NASA article referring to this picture.

An international team of astronomers using NASA's Swift satellite and the Japanese/U.S. Suzaku X-ray observatory has discovered a new class of active galactic nuclei (AGN).

 By now, you'd think that astronomers would have found all the different classes of AGN -- extraordinarily energetic cores of galaxies powered by accreting supermassive black holes. AGN such as quasars, blazars, and Seyfert galaxies are among the most luminous objects in our Universe, often pouring out the energy of billions of stars from a region no larger than our solar system.

 In the newly discovered type of AGN, the disk and torus surrounding the black hole are so deeply obscured by gas and dust that no visible light escapes, making them very difficult to detect. This illustration shows the scene from a more distant perspective than does the other image.

 But by using Swift and Suzaku, the team has discovered that a relatively common class of AGN has escaped detection -- until now. These objects are so heavily shrouded in gas and dust that virtually no light gets out.

 Evidence for this new type of AGN began surfacing over the past two years. Many were previously missed because their visible and ultraviolet light was smothered by gas and dust. The BAT was able to detect high-energy X-rays from these heavily blanketed AGNs because, unlike visible light, high-energy X-rays can punch through thick gas and dust.

 The image brings out an important point. Depending on how they look to our instruments in space, AGNs have been classified under such names as Seyfert Galaxies, Quasars, and Blazars.

 It now appears that these classifications are just a reflection of the direction at which the AGN is viewed. Blazars are particularly significant, they are active galaxies which just happen to be aligned so we are looking straight down the AGN jet -- the spindle of the 'gyroscope'.

 This view gives us the 'raw' output of the AGN -- as well as very high-energy radiation, also particles moving at up to 99% of the speed of light, likely including particles such as positrons, the antimatter partner of the electron.

 The radiation includes rare ultra-high-energy cosmic rays some 100 million times more energetic than those produced by Earth's best particle accelerators. The rays have energies of up to 100 x 1018 electron-volts.

 Most AGN views show marked red-shifting of their spectral lines, but blazars have featureless spectra, lacking lines. This is probably a reflection of the fact that in all views apart from the axial one, what we actually see is only the radiation generated by interaction of the raw jets with existing material they run into.

When you look at the mass/energy balances, it seems very possible that the amount of mass spewing out along AGN spindles is of the same order of magnitude as all the mass being converted into energy in stars. AGNs, supermassive black holes, may be recycling much of the Universe's radiation into mass.

Speculation: Supermassive Black Holes or AGNs may be the mass/energy recycling factories of the Universe. (Speculation PUSP-4
Speculation PUSP-4

 This allows justification of a further speculation, that the Universe is (and always has been) in large-scale equilibrium. The concept of 'history' will only have meaning over local areas, although 'local' here may mean aggregations of clusters of galaxies!

Speculation: The Universe is in large-scale, long-term, equilibrium. Only localized history has meaning. (Speculation PUSP-5)
Speculation PUSP-5

 Figure PUF-5 was actually an artist's impression of the situation, but now actual images have been obtained, of the galaxy NGC 4261, which show the same thing (Figure PUF-6).

Figure PUF-6. From [21]

 The following is part of the description of this image.

The image shows a composite of ground based optical and radio telescope images of the galaxy NGC 4261, and a high resolution Hubble Space Telescope image of the core of this galaxy.

 NGC 4261 has enormous jets shooting from its core and very strong radio frequency emission. It is thought that the jets are powered by a gargantuan black hole of perhaps a billion solar masses, and that the ring in the Hubble image is an accretion disk feeding the black hole. The black hole itself presumably lies inside the bright spot at the center. Even a billion-solar-mass black hole would be too small to see in this image, for it would only be the size of the solar system.

More about Red Shift
One of the bases of the Placid Universe model described here is that most of the red-shift observed in distant celestial objects is due to Gravitational Red Shift (GRS), rather than motion away of those objects due to an expanding Universe.

 The concept that light is red-shifted when subjected to a gravitational field is not disputed at this time. For example, the phenomenon is described in Stephen Hawking's book A Brief History of Time
[22], and has been confirmed with various satellite experiments.

 In a way, GRS in radiation is only the analogue of momentum loss in matter under gravity. If you try to fire the shell from a large gun into space, it has to battle gravity to rise, and has to expend energy to do this. This loss of energy is expressed in a slowing of the shell's rate of rise as it climbs.

 In the same way, if you shine a laser searchlight into space, the beam actually loses a little energy as it rises through the Earth's gravitational field, although the effect is so tiny that it would normally not be noticed. But it does happen. And since the speed of light is fixed, the energy loss can only be expressed by moving the light to a lower-energy (redder) wavelength.

 In Fritz Zwicky's original paper [4], GRS is explained as a consequence of relativity theory, and specifically for the case of a light quantum passing a body with mass. He gives a formula for calculating the red shift, and shows it is in general agreement with measurements of globular clusters in our own galaxy. A recent summary of GRS is at [23].

 The biggest GRS effects are likely to be noticed where light is rising out of a very deep gravity well, that is, directly away from a very large mass. An example is light coming from a supermassive black hole.

 Since Zwicky's time, great advances in recording red shifts for more and more distant objects have occurred, but their interpretation has always been as showing recession in an expanding universe. Local red-shift variations have been correctly ascribed to actual movements, for example in viewing a distant galaxy side-on, its rate and direction of rotation can be worked out from the small difference in red-shift between light from its two sides, one rotating towards the observer and the other away.

In the PU model, these what might be called 'true-doppler' variations have exactly the same explanation, but the big basic red shifts on which these are imposed are due to gravity, GRS, and not expansion. There is an important difference between PU and EU here.

The EU model does not deny the existence of gravitational red shift (GRS), but unjustifiably ignores it completely in its calculations. In the PU model GRS is the basis of red shift, and expansional red shift is not needed. (Critique point PUCP-12)
Critique point PUCP-12

 Because GRS is most marked in light coming from very massive bodies, neglecting its effects can lead to error in calculation of distances of very bright objects such as quasars and other AGNs. Some of the red shift from these will be due to the light having first climbed out of their very deep gravity wells. Neglecting this will exaggerate their apparent distance when Hubble's Law is applied.

The EU model neglects the effects of Gravitational Red Shift (GRS) in its use of Hubble's Law, and so may give inaccurate values for the distances of massive objects. In the PU model, GRS is allowed for. (Critique point PUCP-13)
Critique point PUCP-13

 It may be possible to verify this point if independent methods of evaluating the distance of very remote objects are available.

Red-shift quantization -- galaxy 'clumping'
There are other aspects of the Universe which are more easily explained by PU than by the EU model. One of these concerns red-shift quantization, where when red shifts of large numbers of galaxies are plotted, they are not evenly spread, but instead form clumps.

 This conclusion comes from observations by William G Tifft of the University of Arizona and others that red shifts are 'quantized'
[25], that is, the observed values tend to cluster around multiples of a base number which, in the Expanding Universe (EU) model, would correspond to an expansion speed step of about 12 kilometres per second. Tifft's work started in the early 1970s.

 Subsequent work by Sandra Faber and her colleagues at the University of California, Santa Cruz, starting in 1991, provided much more detail on this. With their DEEP project (Deep Extragalactic Evolutionary Probe), the UCSC team built up a picture of a 'lumpy' universe, with the red-shift data aggregated into cells, walls, and voids in any cross-sectional view out from the observer.

Figure PUF-7. From [24]

 Figure PUF-7 is an illustration of this clumping. The galaxies involved are not physically clumped together, what the clumps show are groups of galaxies with rather similar red shifts.

 It is hard to find any reason for this clustering of expansion speeds implied in the EU model. In the PU model, however, this clustering is a natural consequence of the fact that matter in the universe is aggregated into galaxies, and the red-shift quantization number merely reflects the number of galaxies or galactic clusters between source and observer.

Reddening of light from the galactic centre
The Sun is about half-way out from the centre of our galaxy, the Milky Way. As in most galaxies, ours has the form of a spinning disc.

 When we look towards the galactic centre, the light we see has passed through quite a thickness of the matter which is concentrated in the disc. This light is observed to be reddened, an effect attributed to "scattering in the intervening dust".

 Maybe this explanation is OK, but it does seem a bit dubious to expect the mechanism which makes the Sun appear redder when it is on the horizon, called Rayleigh scattering, to apply to light from the galactic centre.

 This light is making its way up a very deep gravity well in order to reach us, and it does seem possible that some or all the reddening is due to GRS. It can't be due to doppler shifting, because the Sun and the galactic centre are at a more or less fixed distance apart.

The Gravitational Red Shift (GRS) feature of the PU model provides an alternative explanation for reddening of the light coming from our galaxy centre. (Critique point PUCP-14)
Critique point PUCP-14

A practical test, PU vs EU
There is a difference between the EU and PU models which can be tested. If a distant galactic source is truly expanding away from the observer, the red-shift values observed for two different lines in its spectrum must be absolutely identical, as they reflect its Doppler movement. In the PU model, the gravitational braking might be slightly different for different wavelengths, resulting in slightly different shifts for the two lines.

 Here is a practical test which could prove PU a better descriptor of the Universe than EU. The red-shift differences involved would be greater for light from more distant objects, so a check on these first would be the way to go. An associated scientific paper on this is at

The red shifts of two lines in the spectrum of light from a distant object must be identical under EU, as they would reflect movement. Values for these lines can be checked, and PU/GRS would allow the shifts to differ for different wavelengths. (Test point PUTest-1)
Test point PUTest-1

 The fact that light of different wavelengths behaves differently in relation to mass is not in dispute. Isaac Newton demonstrated this in the 1600s when he split white light into its spectrum by passing it through a prism.

 There is a simple mathematical treatment which might apply here. Using Einstein's mass/energy equivalence equation, E=mc2, the light observed in a spectral study can be treated as an equivalent mass, and its deceleration and energy loss as the mass travels through a gravitational field can be calculated routinely. This energy loss can then be back-converted to a wavelength reddening.

 This treatment gives a physical basis to the PU test just mentioned. Two different masses travelling together through a gravitational field would be expected to lose the same proportion of their energy, not a fixed amount of energy. Two different spectral lines would equate to different equivalent masses, and so their absolute energy losses should be different.

The real source of CMBR
Considerable evidence has been given above that Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation, CMBR, has nothing to do with a Big Bang or an expanding universe. What, then, is its source?

 If the previous Speculations about the nature of our Universe are valid, then CMBR cannot result from an Event of any sort. Instead, it must come from a Process, and this process must be a continuing one without any historical variation.

 Accepting this, there is one particular candidate which leaps out as obvious -- quanta passing between the hydrogen atoms of the intergalactic and interstellar voids.

Speculation: CMBR is the interchange of microwave quanta passing between hydrogen atoms of the interstellar and intergalactic voids. (Speculation PUSP-6)
Speculation PUSP-6

 Really, this explanation is 'a natural' which fits in neatly with everything we know about CMBR. All hot bodies radiate heat, the heat on our faces from the Sun is infrared radiation, of longer wavelength than visible light.

 In the theory of this, 'hot' means anything above absolute zero, 0 deg K. Even at 2.7 deg K these atoms will still radiate, even if very infrequently and at a long, low-energy wavelength.

 To be precise, a single atom in interstellar space cannot have a specific temperature. But if all the atoms are treated as an all-pervading gas, that gas can have a temperature, and that temperature appears to be around 2.7 deg K.

 The radiation involved will be quantized, that is, it can only have one of a selection of possible values. The CMBR spectrum will be very uniform because the quanta involved are passed on and back throughout the Universe.

 This situation should be amenable to treatment by quantum mechanics, which deals with the physics of situations where quanta are produced or absorbed. The theory of black-body radiation, mentioned earlier, already has tie-ins with quantum mechanics. And hydrogen is the simplest type of atom, to which quantum mechanics is easily applied.

 An associated scientific paper on this is at

Quantum mechanics should be readily applicable to the concept that CMBR is the exchange of microwave quanta between hydrogen atoms in space, and should yield further predictions which are testable. (Critique point PUCP-15))
Critique point PUCP-15

Dark Energy and Dark Matter
The concepts of Dark Energy and Dark Matter are currently in a huge state of flux and won't be looked at in detail here. The Wikipedia article on Dark Matter says "It has been noted that the names 'dark matter' and 'dark energy' serve mainly as expressions of our ignorance, much as the marking of early maps with 'terra incognita' ".

 It was mentioned above that the EU model and CMBR data led to a prediction that 96% of the Universe is in forms which have not been detected and measured. When we look at these concepts, it's apparent that 'dark energy' is a fake, while 'dark matter' is not, though our understanding of it is far from settled.

Dark Energy
The Wikipedia article on Dark Energy [27] says:

In physical cosmology, dark energy is a hypothetical form of energy that permeates all of space and tends to increase the rate of expansion of the universe. Assuming the existence of dark energy is the most popular way to explain recent observations that the universe appears to be expanding at an accelerating rate.

 Since the evidence in the present article leads to the conclusion that the Universe is not expanding, there is no need to invoke dark energy, a hypothetical entity which has never been detected.

The concept of 'dark energy' was developed to try and explain features of the Expanding Universe model. If the Universe is not expanding, there is no need for this concept. (Critique point PUCP-16)
Critique point PUCP-16

Dark Matter
In our Solar System, movement of the planets occurs in close conformity with Newton's gravitational laws, according to which the rates of movement around the Sun are slower for planets further out. When this behaviour is extrapolated up to apply to distant spiral galaxies, it is natural to assume that these, also, would show slower rates of movement in spiral arms further from the centres of the galaxies.

 It was therefore a surprise when measurements by the astronomer Jan Oort in the late 1920s indicated that orbital velocities of stars in the Milky Way do not decrease with increasing distance from our galactic centre.

 In 1933, Fritz Zwicky noted the same behaviour in galaxies forming galactic clusters. This is the same brilliant but little-known Fritz Zwicky whose comments on red shifts were noted earlier.

Figure PUF-8. Fritz Zwicky. From

 The same effect was confirmed in more modern work. In 1970 Vera Rubin and W K Ford [28] found the same behaviour in the neighbouring Andromeda Nebula, and later found the same behaviour in over 60 other spiral galaxies. All these measurements were ascribed to Doppler redshifts, and all were taken to confirm the existence of dark matter throughout the intergalactic space observed.

Figure PUF-9. Galactic rotations. From Wikipedia

 Figure PUF-9 shows observed rates of rotation, almost steady (solid line), and rates calculated by Newton's law of gravitation assuming the galaxies had ordinary masses (broken line). The inference made has been that galaxy clusters must contain invisible 'dark matter', with a mass perhaps 400 times that of the galaxies involved, distributed out among the galaxies, in order to keep the rotation rates the same.

 In the article quoted [28], it says "Zwicky suggested that it was due to unidentified 'dark matter' which 'balanced out' the masses at the centres of galaxies".

 While it is true that Zwicky did make this suggestion, it is not the whole truth. In fact it was only one of various possibilities he considered to explain the observations.

 If you go back to Zwicky's original paper [29] he says:

It should also be noticed that the virial theorem ... provides for a test of the validity of the inverse square law of gravitational forces. This is of fundamental interest because of the enormous distances which separate the gravitating bodies whose motions are investigated.

 And, very importantly:

The distribution of nebulae in the Coma cluster ... rather suggests that stationary conditions prevail in this cluster.

 Incidentally, Zwicky also suggests that this is not what would be expected of an expanding Universe.

 So if the observations that some galaxies and galactic clusters do not appear to be rotating are taken at their face value, there is no need to invoke any theoretical 'dark matter' to explain the position.

Speculation: Large-scale celestial objects such as galactic clusters are not rotating. This is in full agreement with observations. The 'dark matter' invoked to make this observation agree with a simple application of planetary gravitational laws is unnecessary. (Speculation PUSP-7)
Speculation PUSP-7

 The first reaction to the suggestion that galaxies and galactic clusters are not rotating may well be: If these entities are not rotating about their gravitational centres, why wouldn't they just collapse inward?

 This view can be seen to be defective by considering the whole universe, clearly subject to the same constraints as its constituent galaxies. We have no evidence that the universe has a gravitational centre to rotate about -- if it had, it would have outer boundaries -- and so the universe must be held from collapsing by its intrinsic nature. This applies whether or not we know the details of the forces involved.

 In fact, the "Dark Matter" which was postulated to explain rotational anomalies as above may be merely the known matter existing to infinity outside any particular galaxy considered. In other words, the simple 'planetary' use of Newton's gravitational laws works perfectly well for the Solar System, because the the attractions involved are overwhelmingly large compared to those from beyond the Solar System.

 When the calculations are scaled up to treat clusters of galaxies as independent entities, this no longer applies. As well as the gravitational interactions within the cluster, the summed gravitational attractions of the rest of the Universe, out to infinity, must be taken into account.

Speculation: In applying Newton's law of gravitation to large-scale celestial objects such as galactic clusters, the summed gravitational effects of the rest of the Universe out to infinity must be considered. (Speculation PUSP-8)
Speculation PUSP-8

 An associated scientific paper on this, Gravitational forces at very large distances, is at [34]. Incidentally, the reasoning in this paper does lend further support to Speculation PUSP-2, that the Universe is infinite in space.

Where does this leave Hubble's Law?
Hubble's Law is an experimentally-derived relationship between the distance of a celestial object from Earth and red shifts in its spectrum. Nothing in the Placid Universe model described here goes against that, it still applies.

 But in the PU interpretation, the red shifts are due to gravitational drag on the light quanta as they pass through matter fields, rather than due to movement away of the sources. So red shifts can be used in the PU model to calculate the masses of both the source star or galaxy and of intervening galaxies and matter clouds through which the light passes.

 The 'Hubble Constant' is the numerical factor in the distance/red-shift equation. Currently-accepted values for it derived from the EU model differ by up to 30%, not very good for a fundamental constant of the universe. The GRS approach may be able to improve this accuracy.

 If the gravitational field was uniform throughout the universe, then 'Hubble's Constant' would have an exact value, with the redshift directly reflecting the distance travelled. In the real world, matter and hence gravitational fields are aggregated, so the actual redshift observed in light from a given source will depend on the energy losses accumulated as the light travels through the varying gravitational fields between source and observer.

 It is sometimes wrongly claimed that Hubble discovered that the Universe is expanding, for example in
[30] it says:

In 1929, Edwin Hubble discovered the expansion of the Universe, noting that most galaxies have Doppler shifts in their spectra indicating motion away from us, with the most distant receding the fastest.

 Hubble never claimed this, he rejected it. For example, in [7] it says:

Hubble believed that his count data gave a more reasonable result concerning spatial curvature if the redshift correction was made assuming no recession [my non-italics]. To the very end of his writings he maintained this position, favouring (or at the very least keeping open) the model where no true expansion exists, and therefore that the redshift "represents a hitherto unrecognized principle of nature."

Don't forget to check with William (c. 1288 - c. 1347)
Way back in thirteenth century England, a boy was born in Ockham, Surrey who was to formulate a principle still very valuable today.

 In adult life he became a Franciscan friar, known as William of Ockham (or Occam -- spelling was more casual in those days), and his 'principle of parsimony' is today best known as Ockham's Razor.

Figure PUF-10. William of Ockham. From

 What his principle states, in brief, is that if you have more than one possible explanation for a phenomenon, you should always choose the simplest one.

Ockham's Razor: If you have more than one possible explanation for a phenomenon, you should always choose the simplest one. (William of Ockham))
Quotation PUQ-2

 In Ockham's day, Latin was the international language, and his principle was "Entia non sunt multiplicanda sine necessitate" -- one should not multiply entities beyond necessity. Bertrand Russell's expansion of this is that if one can explain a phenomenon without assuming this or that hypothetical entity, there is no ground for assuming it, i.e. that one should always opt for an explanation in terms of the fewest possible number of causes, factors, or variables.

 Look back through what has been presented here, and you will see that Ockham's razor -- together with use of the BS Detector -- has been used to cut through and jettison a mass of theory and derivation, in favour of a simple, bare-bones structure for the Universe.

 Nothing has been said to contradict or limit actual measurements or data, these are still as valid as before. Only the interpretation of that data has changed, hopefully to produce a more accurate picture.

The art of discovery is to see what everybody sees, and think what nobody thinks. (Author not traced)
Quotation PUQ-3

Prospects for PU acceptance
It's always interesting to speculate, when faced with a new or competing theory, what its prospects for acceptance are.

 Thomas Kuhn has suggested, in his book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, that for a current paradigm to be overthrown, a better replacement must be readily on offer. I hope this article will offer a replacement for the Expanding Universe model.

 In another article, Will Greenzilla Destroy the Earth?[32], which tackles another giant fallacy, that of man-made global warming, I have suggested that large-embracing theories or paradigms can edge their way up through up to three levels of acceptance.

Level One. Scientific and Logical Analysis and Testing;

 Level Two. Commercial and Sociological Imperatives; and

 Level Three. Philosophical and Religious Beliefs.

 Man-made global warming has become accepted at all three levels, and will be exceptionally difficult to replace. The Placid Universe model has better prospects.

 The level of scientific knowledge needed to understand either article is not exceptional. It is my hope that anyone with high-school physics can take them in without difficulty. Therefore, replacement of EU with PU should not present a problem at Level One.

 At Level Two, the man-made global warming fallacy is strongly entrenched. Tens of thousands of jobs and many billions of dollars of government and other budgets hang upon it. International relations, design of power stations, and many other matters affecting us all are involved.

 Level Two encroachment of EU is not especially high. Research money is certainly being invested at quite a good level, but most of this is producing data, not theories. This data will always be of value.

 Whether the Universe is expanding or not will have little interest or effect for the vast majority of people, so they won't be bothered whether EU or PU reigns. A number of scientists might need to switch direction, but job losses are not likely, in fact jobs might well expand with a more soundly based theoretical structure to work with.

 Of course there will always be older, eminent, scientists at the top who will resist acceptance of a new theory. The younger generations will grow into a new idea, the older ones will pass from the scene.

Science advances funeral by funeral. (Attributed to Max Planck)
Quotation PUQ-4

 On Level Three, there should be no problem with replacement of EU by PU, to my knowledge there is as yet no Church of The Expanding Universe, and nobody to have their philosophy challenged. And a final quote:

I don't care if 20,000 people do not agree with me, just show me one who can prove I am wrong! (Attributed to Albert Einstein)
Quotation PUQ-5

Supplement 1

Even the most prominent and well-thought of scientists are not free from lapses in logic. Consider this quotation from Paul Davies [36], one of today's leading cosmological physicists:

Take time: (... phrase A) there is nothing in physics to distinguish one moment of time from the next. Physicists say that the world is "invariant under time translations", meaning that whether you take midnight or mid-day to be the zero of time in your measurements, it makes no difference to the description of physical phenomena. Physical processes do not depend on an absolute zero of time. It turns out that this symmetry under time translation directly implies one of the most basic, and also most useful, laws of physics: the law of conservation of energy. This law says you can move energy around and change its form but you can't create or destroy it.

 Now the above statement would generally be regarded as fundamental to our present understanding of physics and its laws, and is certainly not disputed here. But open out (... phrase A), and the position changes dramatically. Here is what (... phrase A) expands to:

apart from cosmology, where the big bang marked the beginning of time,

 So, Davies expresses one of the fundamental views of physics, but precedes it with a contradiction, the Big Bang. The Big Bang may be widely accepted, by many physicists and the public, but in Davies' own view it goes against what he thinks of as the basis of his science. It shows that even a figure at the top of a scientific field may not have the courage to go against a faulty but firmly-established status quo view.

Supplement 2

 This article proposes some paradigm shifts in the way we view the cosmos. Many would prefer a new viewpoint to evolve by correcting or amending an existing approach, but that way is not effective for a genuine paradigm shift. The following quotation from Nobel prize winner Richard Feynman gives a view on achieving such a shift.

No tricks or fancy calculations will suffice to solve the problem. The only way will be to guess the outline, the shape, the quality of the answer.

(In James Gleick's biography of Feynman, Genius).

Supplement 3

The Final Proof:

The Universe is NOT Expanding
The Big Bang Never Happened

All the above forms a comprehensive body of evidence, that the Big Bang / Expanding Universe concepts do not match with reality. But now the final proof has been derived, that these concepts are not true.

This proof is contained in a stablemate article on this website. Click on the following:

R.I.P. Expanding Universe (b. 1930, d. 2012)

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References and Links

1. E. Hubble. A Relation between Distance and Radial Velocity among Extra-Galactic Nebulae. Proceedings of The National Academy of Sciences, 1929. p.168. Online at:
2. Hubble Constant graph. From:
3. Sir James Jeans: The Mysterious Universe. Pelican Books, London, 1937, p. 85. (Reprint of 2nd edition, 1931; 1st edition, 1930).
4. F. Zwicky. On the Red Shift of Spectral Lines through Interstellar Space. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Vol. 15, No. 10 (Oct. 15, 1929), pp. 773-779. Online at:
5. P. Ten Bruggencate. The Radial Velocities of Globular Clusters. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Vol. 16, No. 2 (Feb. 15, 1930), pp. 111-118. Online at as111.pdf.
6. Universe: the definitive visual guide. Dorling Kindersley, UK, 2005.
7. Edwin Hubble.
8. Fritz Zwicky.
9. Most distant astronomical object.
10. Age of the Universe.
11. Fred Hoyle.
12. Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe.
13. Bullshit Baffles Brains.
14. Cosmic microwave background radiation.
15. Black body.
16. Tom Siegfried. Strange Matters: undiscovered ideas at the frontiers of space and time. Berkley Books, NY, 2002.
17. The Hertzsprung-Russell (HR) Diagram -- Plot of luminosity against temperature (or spectral class) for a group of stars.
18. John Michell. On the means of discovering the distance, magnitude etc. of the fixed stars. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society (1784) 35-57, & Tab III.
19. Galactic Nuclei.
20. Japanese and NASA Satellites Unveil New Type of Active Galaxy..
21. Supermassive Black Holes.
22. Stephen W Hawking. A Brief History of Time. Bantam Books, London, 1989, pp. 35, 90, 97.
23. Gravitational redshift.
24. Shapeshifting towards a New Cosmology.
25. (David A Plaisted): Red Shift Riddles.
26. Dark matter.
27. Dark energy.
28. Benjamin Johnson. Vera Rubin and Dark Matter.
29. F. Zwicky. On the masses of nebulae and of clusters of nebulae. Astrophysical Journal, October 1937, pp 217-246. On web as 1937ApJ____86__217Z.pdf at
30. Andrew Phillips. Probing the evolving universe.
31. William of Ockham.
32. Will Greenzilla Destroy the Earth?
33. David Noel. A new model for the origin of Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation.
34. David Noel. Gravitational forces at very large distances.
35. David Noel. Detecting the Gravitational Red Shift Dispersion Effect.
36. Paul Davies. In his Introduction to Richard Feynman's Six Easy Pieces, Penguin, 1995.

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Draft Versions 1.5, 1.6 on Web 2007 Nov 16, 2008 Jan 9
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