Article Begins Big Bang Debate

Top figure aug 17 | lpp fusion

“The Big Bang didn’t happen: What do the James Webb images really show?” reads the headline in a news article on the high-profile Institute of Arts and Ideas (IAI) website. The article, published Aug.11 and written by LPPFusion Chief Scientist Eric Lerner, is the first reporting in any news media that the images from the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) are blatantly and repeatedly contradicting the Big Bang Hypothesis. While news media are widely reporting how surprised cosmologist are by the images, this article is the first to explain why cosmologists like Allison Kirkpatrick are “lying awake at three in the morning and wondering if everything I’ve done is wrong.”

The article is a first big step to opening up a long-overdue debate over the validity of the Big Bang idea that the universe began 14 billion years ago in an incredibly hot, dense state and has been expanding ever since. For years, as the evidence built up against the theory, supporters simply ignored those who said the theory was way overdue for rejection. But the growing flood of JWST findings are changing that.

A second step in launching this debate will occur October 1, when the IAI will host a debate on Cosmology and the Big Bust , asking “Is it time to give up the Big Bang altogether?”. Participants will include Lerner, physicist Julian Barbour and University of Portsmouth  astrophysicist Dr. Claudia Maraston. The debate will be part of IAI’s festival HowTheLightGetsIn to be held in London October 1-2. The IAI is a particularly appropriate for the debate as its goal is “to challenge the notion that our present accepted wisdom is the truth.“ In addition to the in-person audience, the debate will be seen on IAI-TV and will be available  on their website.

In the IAI article Lerner emphasized the connection between the debates about the cosmos and technology here on earth. “To use fusion energy, the power that drives the universe and gives light to the Sun and all the stars, we need to understand the processes that drive cosmic evolution, “ Lerner writes. “Just as the Wright Brothers developed the airplane by studying how birds controlled their flight, so today we can only control the ultra-hot plasma where fusion reactions occur by studying how plasmas behave at all scales in cosmos.” To understand the cosmos, free debate has to sweep aside the straitjacket of the Big Bang, he emphasizes.

As described in previous LPPFusion reports, Lerner and colleague Riccardo Scarpa of Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias predicted in a paper published online what the JWST would see that would contradict the Big Bang and confirm that the universe is not expanding. Specifically, that paper predicted that JWST would see NO evidence for an optical illusion that is inevitable if the universe is expanding—namely that, beyond a certain point,  objects look bigger, rather than smaller, on the sky with increasing distance. Another way of putting this illusion is that objects surface brightness (their apparent brightness divided by their apparent area on the sky) would decline sharply with increasing distance, and thus increasing redshift. Instead, Lerner and Scarpa predicted that surface brightness would remain constant, just as it does in ordinary non-expanding space. This prediction had been borne out by Hubble Space Telescope (HST) images and the two researchers were certain that they would also be borne out by JWST images.

That is exactly what has occurred.  In the figure  below we plot the latest published observations of the surface brightness of galaxies versus their redshifts. The dots at redshifts below 5 come from HST observations, the others are new ones from JWST. Despite the large scatter, it is clear that the surface brightness of the galaxies is exactly the same at high redshift as at lower redshift, exactly as predicted by the non-expanding hypothesis.

But from the standpoint of the Big Bang, expanding-universe hypothesis, these distant galaxies must be intrinsically extremely tiny to compensate for the hypothesized optical illusion—implausibly tiny. One galaxy noted in published papers, called GHz2, is far more luminous that the Milky Way, yet is calculated to be only 300 light years in radius—150 times smaller than the radius of our Milky Way. Its surface brightness—brightness per unit area– would be 600 times that of the brightest galaxy in the local universe. Its density (and that of several other galaxies in the new images) would be tens of thousands of times that of present-day galaxies.

Fig 2 rev | lpp fusion
Surface brightness of galaxies is plotted against the redshift, z. Surface brightens remains the same, as in ordinary, non-expanding space, just as Scarpa and Lerner predicted. The different colors represent different teams of observers. The red and grey dots in the lower right are two teams measurements of the same galaxy, showing good agreement. The rest of the dots have no duplicate galaxies.

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