The Big Bang dominates current thinking in cosmology. But the experimental evidence that backs it up is surprisingly thin. In fact there are only two pieces of evidence: the galactic redshift and the cosmic background radiation.
The Big Bang explains these observations but only by introducing problems of their own. So are there any alternative hypotheses that do a better job? Robert Soberman and Maurice Dubin have developed an idea that they say better explains the observations. They also make some testable predictions which should be able to tell which theory is right.
The main problem with the Big Bang theory is that the cosmic background radiation does not have the characteristics you’d expect to see from a Big Bang-type event. For a start, the radiation curve has the distinct whiff of a black body about it, something that can only be produced by ordinary matter radiating at a specific temperature (according to quantum mechanics, anyway). Most theorist do not imagine the Big Bang like this. Next, the cosmic background seems to cover the sky smoothly in all directions, unlike the matter we see which is clumped into galaxies. Even the microvariations discovered by satellites such as COBE and WMAP bear no relation to the distribution of visible matter.
So what is Soberman and Dubin’s alternative? They hypothesize that interstellar space is filled with tiny clumps of hydrogen and helium atoms called cosmoids (short for cosmic meteroids). The pair have calculated that cosmoids ought to radiate at 2.735K which is exactly the temperature of the cosmic microwave background and this explains the blackbody curve (they say these cosmoids could be easily created and tested in the lab). This radiation need only be produced by a locally smooth distribution of cosmoids for it to look the same in all directions to us.
The cosmoid idea also explains the galactic redshift. Soberman and Dubin say that cosmoids absorbing and re-emitting light from distant galaxies should redshift the light albeit in a way that is subtely different from a doppler redshift generated by an expanding universe. That subtle difference shuld be relatively easy to spot with a few observations, they say.
The pair add that evidence that cosmoids exist has already been found by experiments onboard the Pioneer and Helios spacecraft.
Oh, and as a by product, the cosmoids make up the missing mass that astronomers call dark matter.
A cracking idea! I’m looking forward to seeing how the cosmologists dismantle it.
Ref: arxiv.org/abs/0803.3604: Was There A Big Bang?