The first few moments of the development of our universe from the Big Bang are described as follows:
First the point of singularity: a huge explosion forming a glob of hot plasma consisting of fundamental
particles: quarks, leptons and bosons. This glob was so hot that atomic nuclei could not be formed. It
took about 380,000 years for the plasma to cool off sufficiently for these nuclei to form and allow photons
to escape. This process is thought to be similar to what happens in our sun. The core of the sun is too hot
for photons to escape, only in the outer layers can the light escape and be sent on its way to our eyes. The
moment of nucleosynthesis is the moment the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) radiation was released and this is
what we see today after it has traveled 13.8 billion light years.
There are at least five questions asking for an explanation:
(1) The Rabbit Hole Problem: we see the center of the Big Bang far away around us.
Credit: NASA - Chronology of the Universe
The situation seems inside out: what should be a faraway point appears as an enormous sphere around us.
Credit: NASA - Chronology of the Universe Chronology of the Universe - NASA
The image we see of the CMB is 13.8 billion years old and dates back to 380,000 years after the Big Bang.
That was when the universe was still relatively small and it has been expanding ever since. How come we see it
all the way around us as though the universe had a diameter of 27.6 billion light years, rather than in the
form of a very distant ball?
(2) The Horizon Problem.
Credit: Theresa Knott at English Wikipedia
Horizon of the CMB too far away for 380,000 years of expansion at the speed of light.
Credit: Theresa Knott at English Wikipedia Horizon of the CMB too far away for 380,000 years of expansion
How can areas of the CMB have common properties if they are much further away than 380,000 light years? If
the original plasma expanded in that relatively short period of time to a radius of 13.8 billion light years,
matter must have travelled at a speed far exceeding that of light. This is called the inflation period.
Although general relativity allows for speeds greater than the limit imposed by special relativity this has
not been observed and the physics during this period would be completely alien to what we experience today.
(3) The centricity problem.
The CMB observation would indicate we are in the center of the universe. It is very improbable that we are.
Our position relative to the center of the universe
The likelihood we are at the center of the universe is very small, especially if you consider our solar system
was born 8 billion years after the Big Bang. We can also see the movement of Earth relative to the CMB and we
have presumably been moving at the same speed for 4 billion years. Why then is the distance to the CMB the
same in all directions?
In our expanding universe objects are moving faster the farther away they are. The distance at which the
recession speed is the speed of light is called the Hubble sphere. This is also the limit of visibility and it
is 13.7 billion light-years. Rather than seeing the edge of the cosmos we may just have reached the edge of the
portion visible to us.
(4) The apparent acceleration of the expansion.
Modified from Perlmutter
The acceleration of expansion calls for a mysterious external force (dark energy). A different
interpretation could support the Snap Crackle Pop theory.
Modified from Perlmutter Supernova project interpretation (after Perlmutter)
Next there is the problem of the apparent acceleration of the expansion of our universe. Saul Perlmutter of
Berkeley is leading the Supernova Cosmology Project (not to be confused with the SCP of Snap Crackle Pop),
which is analyzing the distances and recession speeds of
type Ia supernovae in relation to the Hubble constant. The Hubble constant is the avrage expansion rate of our
universe. The type Ia supernova has been chosen for its uniform size and brightness. This allows
the determination of distance of an object to be made on the apparent brightness of the object alone
independent of the redshift.
In the graphical representation supernovae at a greater distance (older) are moving slower than
the Hubble constant. A consistent increase in recession speed as the observed supernovae are younger would
An alternate interpretation of the graph might suggest several clusters or groupings which each lie on a
different line than the Hubble constant. The slope indicates the expansion rate for the cluster and can be
backtracked to zero on the redshift axis. The age of the cluster can then be
determined by dividing the distance of any point on that line by the corresponding recession speed. In doing
so, some clusters appear older than the Big Bang and others younger.
(5) The lost time problem.
Credit: V. Tilvi, S.L. Finkelstein, C. Papovich and Koekemoer, CANDELS and STScl/NASA
Galaxies have been discovered as far away as 13.1 billion light years (the image is 13.1 bilion years old - it took that long to reach us). It
takes billions of years to fully
develop galaxies with supernovas and black holes. This would predate their birth to billions of years before
the Big Bang.
Credit: V. Tilvi, S.L. Finkelstein, C. Papovich and Koekemoer, CANDELS
and STScl/NASA Galaxy Z8_GND_5296, 13.1 billion years old
Very old galaxies have been detected. Galaxy Z8 GND 5296 is 13.1 billion years old. Could it have
been formed so soon after the Big Bang? BX442 is another galaxy with surprisingly advanced development
(flat disk, spiral arms) as was reported in the
Daily Galaxy magazine of January 17, 2015.
Other 11 billion year old "dark" galaxies are
at the end of their life cycle: all stars have consumed their hydrogen and are burnt out.
This process takes
billions of years. Our sun for example is halfway through its fuel after four billion years. The stars in
the dark galaxies must have been formed at least 8 billion years before the image was released we see
today. This makes their birth date at least 6 billion years before the Big Bang.
(6) Large Structures.
Credit: Richard Powell - atlasoftheuniverse.com CC BY-SA 2.5
The universe is disobeying the cosmological principle: the notion that the distribution of
mass is uniform when seen on a large enough scale.
This notion is an essential part of the Big Bang theory which supposes a unique occurrence (singularity) in
the middle of empty space with no boundary condition and an expansion of cosmic matter evenly in all
Credit: Richard Powell - atlasoftheuniverse.com CC BY-SA 2.5 Atlas of the Universe
Far from uniformity our universe seems to consist of clumps, filaments and walls with concentrations of
countless galaxies and quasars, separated by enormous voids. This was initially discovered by Margaret Geller
and John Huchra in 1989 when analyzing the Redshift Survey of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astronomy by
building a three-dimensional map of the measured objects.
A list of large structure objects is available, the most salient of which are the CfA2 Great Wall, 750 million
light years across and the Hercules-Corona Borealis Great Wall (discovered in 2014) with a maximum dimension
of 10 trillion light years.
How such things could have been formed is under discussion, but the consensus is that they are incompatible
with the cosmological principle.
A tantalizing question would be if this could be evidence of the interference effect from the many points of
divergence associated with the Snap Crackle Pop model, similar to sand patterns on a Chladni plate.
Credit: Kerry Montgomery Chladni plate in the Physics Lab of the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI)
The mechanism for this transportation is standing waves in a resonant medium, which is different from the
situation of multiple expanding systems in vacuo. Here one might expect the accumulation of stellar matter in
areas of convergence where the forward motion is overcome by mutual gravitational attraction. Galaxies from
different points of origin would merge and form the building blocks of large structural features like great
walls and great attractors.
Modified from: Richard Powell - atlasoftheuniverse.com CC BY-SA 2.5 Galaxies from different bangs may converge and become caught in common gravity forces,
forming great walls, super clusters and large voids in between