Physical Eric J Lerner comes to the point:
For all who see them, the new images of the cosmos from the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) are wonderfully impressive. But to most professional astronomers and cosmologists, they are also extremely surprising, not at all what the theory predicted. In the spate of technical astronomy articles posted online since July 12, authors report again and again that the images show surprisingly many galaxies — galaxies that are surprisingly smooth, surprisingly small, and surprisingly old. Many surprises, and not necessarily pleasant ones. The title of an article begins with the candid exclamation: “Panic!”
Why are the JWST images inspiring panic among cosmologists? And what predictions of the theory are they contradicting? The papers don’t really say. The truth that these papers fail to report is that the hypothesis that the JWST images blatantly and repeatedly contradict is the Big Bang hypothesis that the universe began 14 billion years ago in an incredibly hot and dense state and has been expanding ever since. Since that hypothesis has been defended for decades as an unquestionable truth by the vast majority of cosmological theorists, the new data is causing these theorists to panic. “Right now I find myself awake at three in the morning,” says Alison Kirkpatrick, an astronomer at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, “and wondering if everything I’ve done is wrong.”
Eric J Lerner“The Big Bang didn’t happen” a IAI.TV (August 11, 2022)
Although we normally didn’t hear about it, there has been discontent with the standard model, that begins with Big Bang, Since it was first proposed by George Lemaitre nearly a century ago. But no one expected James Webb Space Telescope to contribute to the discussion.
Now, Lerner is the author of a book called The Big Bang never happened (1992) but, while that makes it a stakeholder, it does not make it a mistake. He will be speaking at HowTheLightEnters festival in London (September 17 and 18, 2022) sponsored by the Institute of Art and Ideas (IAI), as a participant in the “Cosmology and the Great Bust” debate.
The next debate, featuring the philosopher of science. Bjorn Ekeberg and Yale astrophysicist priyamvada Natarajan, along with Lerner, is based on the following:
The Big Bang theory depends crucially on the “inflation” hypothesis that the universe initially expanded many orders of magnitude faster than the speed of light. But experiments have failed to prove the evidence for cosmic inflation, and the theory has been plagued with profound enigmas since its inception. Now one of its founders, Paul Steinhardt, has denounced the theory as flawed and ‘scientifically meaningless’.
Do we have to abandon the theory of cosmic inflation and look for a radical alternative? Could alternative theories like the Big Bounce or dropping out of the speed of light provide a solution? Or are these alternatives just plasters to avoid the more radical conclusion that it’s time to give up the Big Bang altogether?
Here’s a discussion on this general theme from last year’s festival (but no data from JWST). Has a theoretical physicist Sabine Hossenfelder, author of Lost in Math: How beauty leads physics astray, along with Ekeberg and the particle physicist Sam Henry.
So yeah, it’s been a serious topic of discussion for a while now. Now what to do with Eric Lerner’s approach? experimental physicist rob sheldon offered Mind Matters News Some thoughts and a possible solution:
Current thinking is that the Big Bang Nucleosynthesis era produced 75% Hydrogen and 25% Helium (by weight) and a dash of Lithium, but not much else. Then, after 300,000 years, the universe cooled enough to produce atoms, and gravitational pull slowly built stars. The first ones were big enough to explode, and the shock waves sent through the hydrogen gas caused pockets to form that began forming stars in earnest. But it still took 500 million years to get enough stars for a galaxy. Now, the earlier a galaxy forms, the further back in time and farther it is from astronomers today, and the further away it is, the faster it is receding from us. This movement causes the light to shift towards the red. So robust is this relationship that astronomers replace “time” with “redshift.” But the Hubble Space Telescope could only see visible light, and those early galaxies were so redshifted that they were only “visible” in the infrared, which is where the James Webb telescope shines. So one of the goals of the James Webb Telescope was to see the first galaxies, and in fact they are seeing a lot of them.
So what does this mean for the standard model?
Theorists have an answer. Lots of clumpy dark matter for hydrogen gas to clump together first. Which leads to the question, “why isn’t dark matter clumpy now?”
I don’t have the stamina to go through all the rabbit trails proposed by cosmologists. Instead, I propose that the first stars were not made of hydrogen, but ice. The Big Bang synthesized abundant C and O which combined with H to form H20, CO2, CH4, etc. These gases freeze relatively early in the time frame of the universe, so the accumulation was not gravitational but physicochemical, in the same way that snowflakes form. So we didn’t have to wait 500 million years for snowflakes to accumulate, it happened very quickly once the universe cooled below freezing. Therefore, James Webb sees many redshifted galaxies from the early universe.
The paper on that (and maybe the prediction of what James Webb would find?) is in my open access paper in Blythe Institute Communications in 2021.
That is a possible solution. We know it’s science when it always presents challenges.
This sometimes comes up: Could the universe have always existed? The problem is that if the universe had existed for an infinite amount of time, everything that could happen must have happened an infinite number of times already, including the fact that we don’t exist and never exist. But we know that we exist. What robert j marks has pointed out, playing with infinity quickly results in an absurdity. To do science, we must accept that some events are real and not contradictory to each other. So we can assume that the universe began, but now we’re a little less sure how it happened.
You may also want to read: Did physicists open a portal for extra Time Dimension, how is it stated? This is how you read the story in Scientific American. But experimental physicist Rob Sheldon says not so fast… Physicists, building “time crystals,” came up with an error-correcting technique for quantum computers. The rest is the story we all wish we were in.
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