Cosmology's 5 Big Things You Need to Know
from the May 2007 Issue of Astronomy Magazine
My comments are added in italics, bold, and in red.
The universe is expanding and cooling: It was smaller, hotter, and denser in the past - the basis of the Big Bang model. Everything that is said below is based on an assumption that this is the correct interpretation of the experimental data!
13.7 billon years: the universe's age, give or take a few hundred million years. This extremely precise number is probably too low by a factor of ten.
93 billion light-years: This is the observable universe's present size. If the age were truly about 14 billion years, the size would be about 28 billion light years! This incredible inconsistency is theoretically justified by an argument of relativistic distortion!!
2.752 Kelvin: The average temperature of the cosmic microwave background (CBM). Note that experimental fluctuations in the 5th significant figure are the theoretical basis for explaining how galactic structures grow!
4%: The amount of ordinary matter humans, planets, stars --- the universe contains. This is an incredibly small fraction! It is too small to be true.
22%: The amount of dark-matter in the universe. This is an unidentified substance that interacts gravitationally with ordinary matter, but not with the other three fundamental forces (electromagnetism, and the weak and strong nuclear forces). Somehow, this doesn't fit with the idea of unification of the 4 fundamental forces.
74%: The amount of dark energy in the universe. Dark energy is an unidentified force that accelerates cosmic expansion. This idea of acceleration is based on the measurement of the distances and redshifts of about 30 supernova Type-1 explosions, which seem to plot on the high side of the Hubble curve. It should be noted that the procedure of bootstrap measurement of distance using these "standard candles" produces a cumulative uncertainty error that propagates according to a square root functional dependence.
Uniform Expansion of the Universe
Here's a two-dimensional experiment that gets to the heart of the matter. Draw many dots on a piece of paper. Now, make an enlarged copy as a transparency. Place the copy on the original, and pick one dot - any dot - to be the viewpoint. "Regardless of where the dot is, "observers in each dot will see other dots moving away," explains Asantha Cooray of the University of California, Irvine, "This is exactly what happens in the universe with each galaxy moving away from each other."
Another way to imagine cosmic expansion is to picture a loaf of raisin bread. As the bread (space) expands, each raisin (a galaxy) sees the other raisins receding from it. The raisins themselves don't change - the underlying structure does. And each raisin has an identical point of view: All other raisins are moving away from it. John Mather, a cosmologist and 2006 Nobel laureate at NASA`s Goddard Space Flight Center, says, "Picture a full space that expands with everything in it"
Both these statements, made by reputable cosmologists and shown in the above illustration, assume is that the dots, galaxy clusters, and raisins stay the same size during the expansion! But we all know that this cannot be true. The dots would surely expand when the photo was enlarged. And the galaxys in a cluster would surely move farther away from each other. So these illustrations are a rationalization of the expansion process, to make it agree with the Big Bang theory, but in so doing they distort the picture!