The Big Bang Theory- excellent essay, got a very very good mark

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s): 231
  • Published: February 14, 2004
Read full document
Text Preview
Abstract This paper presents a new theory of the universe which updates the Big Bang Theory, and explains more of the phenomena that have been observed over the past 120 years.


Since the 1880's, scientists have observed that light coming from distant stars has a red shift, indicating that those stars are moving away from us at high speeds. In the 1920's George Gamow proposed the Big Bang Theory, that the universe was created by a huge explosion, and that all the matter in the universe is still flying away from that explosion at enormous speeds.

The Big Bang Theory explains why stars in every direction show this red shift. The theory assumed that the Earth is located close to the gravitational centre of the universe, which is the presumed site of the Big Bang. So objects speeding away from explosion will also be speeding away from Earth at roughly the same speed.

There are, however, several things that the Big Bang Theory does not explain, such as the distribution of matter in the universe, pulsars, the apparent lack of anti-matter, the lack of sufficient mass to hold galaxies together, the seeming acceleration in the rate the universe is expanding, and the discovery of objects that are apparently older than the Big Bang. The purpose of the paper is to present a more comprehensive theory of the universe which explains all of these observations.


The newest telescopes have allowed us to glimpse galactic clusters more than 13 billion light years from earth. The apparent distance of such objects is one of the primary indicators of the age of the universe. The universe must be at least as old as the amount of time it took light from these objects to reach us.

Objects that are very far away are receding from us at extremely high speeds. This causes the light from the objects to shift in wavelength. Light of a given wavelength will appear stretched out, that is, the wavelength will be longer. This lengthening is called the Doppler effect, or the red shift, since red has the longest wavelength of any visible light. We know that certain chemical elements, such as hydrogen, emit light with known frequencies. We also know the general composition of stars, primarily hydrogen and helium. Thus we can compare these known frequencies against the observed light. The faster the object is moving away, the greater this lengthening becomes. This tells us the speed of the object, and the speed tells us the distance.

Each time an extremely distant object is sighted, we need to revise the age of the universe upwards. For example, suppose we observe a galactic cluster 13 billion light years away, and receding at a speed of 0.75 times the speed of light. If that object had been created by the Big Bang, then we know that the object took a bit over 17 billion years to reach that position, so the universe must be at least 17 billion years old.

However, since the light from that object took 13 billion years to reach us, we know that 13 billion years ago the object was 13 billion light-years away, hence 17 billion years old, so it is now 30 billion years old.

There is a widespread theory that tries to explain away these very old objects by saying that, since the object is moving away at ¾ the speed of light, the light coming towards us is only travelling at ¼ the speed of light, and so the object is only ¼ as far away as it appears. This theory is nonsense. Light always travels at the same speed, regardless of the speed of the source or the speed of the observer. The absurdity becomes even more apparent if you consider a series of objects further and further away, receding at greater and greater speeds. Under this theory, the furthest objects would be deemed the closest.

There seems to be no limit to the process of discovery. Every time a new stronger telescope is deployed we find more distant objects than ever before, and the size and age of the universe need to be revised upwards.

tracking img