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Background from Eric Lerner, Chief Scientist, LPPFusion, Inc.
Q1: What is the connection between LPPFusion’s research into fusion energy and your new paper showing that galaxy-size data contradict predictions based on the universal expansion hypothesis?
A1: The effort to understand the universe and the effort to create fusion energy on earth have been tied together for 80 years. Hans Bethe first discovered the process of fusion as an explanation of what powers the Sun and other stars. The Sun is basically a giant ball of plasma powered by nuclear reactions which fuse hydrogen atoms into helium. Ninety-nine percent of the observable universe is made up of plasma—the electrically conducting 4th state of matter. The same plasma processes that shape the universe are the ones needed to understand how to recreate and control fusion here on earth. And, in both fields, scientific truth can only be uncovered by focusing on the data, on observation, not on what the best-known authorities believe.
Q2: You refer to both galaxy-size and surface brightness. What is the relationship between the two?
A2: The surface brightness is the apparent luminosity of an object, such as a galaxy, divided by its apparent surface area. Mathematically, measurements of the radius of objects at fixed luminosity, which we look at in this paper, are equivalent to measurements of surface brightness, which my colleagues and I looked at in an earlier paper. In a non-expanding universe, if the radius of galaxies of a given luminosity does not vary with redshift, then their surface brightness will not vary either. That is what we found in both papers for both spiral and elliptical galaxies.
Q3: In comparing the non-expanding universe predictions with observations, you assume that the redshift, z, is linearly proportional to distance at all redshifts. Why do you assume that? Is that assumption compatible with other data?
A3: In order to test a hypothesis about radius or surface brightness, you need a formula that connects redshift with distance, so you can always compare galaxies of the same intrinsic luminosity. The linear relationship of redshift with distance is well-confirmed in the local universe. But in addition, a linear relation very closely fits the abundant data of the apparent luminosity of type SNe Ia supernova (Figure 1). There is very little difference between the predictions of this simple formula and the Big Bang formula that requires dark matter and dark energy.
Figure 1. The apparent brightness of Type 1 supernovae (x and plus signs) are plotted against redshift (the dimmer the star, the higher the distance modulus). The predictions of the non-expanding linear relationship (solid line) hardly differ from that of the dark matter, dark energy Big Bang theory (dashed line).
Q4: At the end of the paper you write that the expanding universe hypothesis that underlies the Big Bang theory needs to be tested against many data sets. Has this been done? What is the conclusion?
The new evidence on galaxy-size is by no means the only recent research that contradicts the predictions of the Big Bang theory. Despite the continuing popularity of the theory, essentially every prediction of the theory has been increasingly contradicted by better and better data, as shown by many teams of researchers. The observations are, on the other hand, consistent with a non-expanding universe with no Big Bang. Some of this has been pulled together in recent reviews, but a broader debate within the astrophysical community is needed.
The response of most cosmologists to this growing body of evidence has, unfortunately, not been to decide the Big Bang theory has been falsified, but to add new “parameters” and hypotheses, like dark energy. The theory is now far more complex and speculative than the Ptolemaic epicycles that were destroyed by the Scientific Revolution. Each contradiction with observation is taken as a mere “anomaly” that does not undermine the theory as a whole.
It’s as if researchers are saying “I can see the Emperor’s elbow through his New Clothes,” “I can see the Emperor’s knee though his New Clothes” and so on. It’s time to say: “The Emperor is not wearing any clothes.” This theory has no correct predictions.
I can summarize the predictions that have been falsified by observations.
First, any superhot explosion throughout the universe, like the Big Bang, would have generated by nuclear fusion a certain small amount of the light element lithium and a large amount of helium. The Big Bang theory makes very specific predictions about these amounts. This means that even the oldest stars in the galaxy, formed from material produced by the Big Bang, should have at least these predicted amounts of lithium and helium.
But they don’t. We can measure the amount of lithium directly through spectroscopy in the stars that have the least amounts of heavy metals in them, so have been least contaminated with elements produced in other stars. The amount is lower than that predicted by the Big Bang, and it gets still lower the purer the star’s material is. In addition, we can measure the amount of helium in nearby stars indirectly through measuring their pulsations. Again, in the oldest, purest stars the amount of helium drops below that predicted by the Big Bang and also seems to be dropping down to zero for stars with no heavy metals. (Figure 2.)
This contradicts the Big Bang predictions, but confirms published predictions made decades ago in my papers and those of others that lithium and helium were produced in stars in the early stages of galaxy formation, not by the Big Bang, and thus the oldest stars in the galaxy will have none of these elements. Lithium, as is well known, is produced by cosmic rays, emitted by early stars, crashing into carbon and oxygen nuclei, as well as by stars in their giant phase. The same stellar processes, my paper back in 1989 showed, could produce the observed abundance of helium—from fusion reactions in early intermediate-mass stars—and deuterium (again from cosmic rays), while producing the observed amounts of heavier elements like carbon and oxygen.
Fig 2. (top) Observed log abundances of lithium plotted against the log abundance of iron. The Big Bang prediction is the additional line drawn in above the chart. (Matsuno et al) (bottom) Abundance of helium determined by two methods plotted against the abundance of heavy metals. The prediction of the Big Bang theory is 0.24. Data from Potinari. In both cases, the abundance trends to zero, in contradiction of Big Bang predictions.
Second, the Big Bang theory hypothesizes that the universe came into existence with an almost perfectly homogenous—even—distribution of matter, and that structures built up gradually from stars to galaxies to clusters to superclusters. Yet larger and larger structures have been found at earlier and earlier times. For example, Shirokov et al analyzed several ultra-deep surveys of galaxies in 2016 and found concentrations that spanned as much as 1000 Mpc (3 billion light years). This is more than five times larger than the largest structures that were predicted to have been formed in the Big Bang theory. Indeed, there simply is not nearly enough time to form such huge structures in the 14 billion years since the hypothesized Big Bang.
However, in a non-expanding universe, with no Big Bang and no beginning in time, such large structures do have time to form. Plasma physics predicts that huge current filaments should develop in space, which through the interaction of gravity with electromagnetic forces will lead to the formation of these giant structures and a hierarchy of smaller structures. In a 1986 paper, I used such plasma physics to correctly predict the existence of just such large structures.
Third, the ultra-rapid inflation of the universe that was supposed to have occurred during the Big Bang should have smoothed out any large-scale asymmetries in the universe. The cosmic background radiation (CBR), the theory predicted, should be perfectly symmetrical as well, since it was supposed to have been created in the early phases of the Big Bang.
The CBR in fact shows strong evidence of asymmetries from one side of the sky to the other that, although small, could not have been produced by the ultra-symmetric “inflation” that hypothetically occurred in the Big Bang. The latest results from the Planck satellite confirmed what had been known for years, that there are non-random alignments on the sky of the small fluctuations in the intensity of the CBR. (These are only the most prominent contradictions of inflation predictions by Planck data).
These are not by any means the only contradictions of Big Bang predictions. Others have been pointed out in review papers.
Q5: You are testing the hypothesis of a non-expanding universe. Is this the same as the old Steady State theory or the Einstein-de Sitter Universe?
No, the Steady State hypothesis did assume expansion, but also hypothesized matter creation to maintain a constant density. The galaxy-size data are consistent with a universe that is not expanding at all. The Einstein-de Sitter universe is not expanding, but has a curved geometry. The SEU hypothesis we have tested here is that the geometry of the universe is Euclidean, the same as the space we measure on earth and in the Solar System.
Q6: When you say “static” universe, does that mean no evolution or change?
No, we are referring to its geometry alone—static here means non-expanding. Evolution and change can easily occur, and certainly does occur, in non-expanding space. The earth for example, has undergone enormous geological, chemical, and biological evolution over time, yet it is not expanding.
Q7: What implications do your results have for dark matter and dark energy?
There is no requirement from these results for either dark matter or dark energy, so ordinary matter is the main constituent of the Universe.
Q8: Doesn’t Olber’s paradox about the dark night sky prove the universe is expanding?
No. Again, evolution is obviously occurring in the universe, accelerating as time goes forward. As long as there was a period before any stars and galaxies existed, then the night sky would still be black even with no expansion. Plasmas emitting almost no light could have existed indefinitely before galaxies and stars first emerged.