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Observational Cosmology: caveats and open questions in the standard model

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I will review some results of observational cosmology which critically cast doubt upon the foundations of the standard cosmology: 1) The redshifts of the galaxies are due to the expansion of the Universe; 2) The cosmic microwave background radiation and its anisotropies come from the high energy primordial Universe; 3) The abundance pattern of the light elements is to be explained in terms of the primordial nucleosynthesis; 4) The formation and evolution of galaxies can only be explained in terms of gravitation in the cold dark matter theory of an expanding Universe. The review does not pretend to argue against this standard scenario in favour of an alternative theory, but to claim that cosmology is still a very young science and should leave the door wide open to other positions.

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... Sin embargo, alguno de estos componentes ha predominado en ciertas etapas de la evolución del Universo, de tal forma que se habla de una época donde dominó la radiación (Universo temprano) y otra donde dominó la materia (Universo actual). Recientemente se han hecho revisiones de algunos resultados de la cosmología observacional [3,4], los cuales parecen indicar que la cosmología es aún una ciencia joven y que aún pudieran dejar abiertas las puertas para muchos otros modelos. El objetivo de este trabajo es deducir, a partir de la teoría Newtoniana, las ecuaciones básicas de la evolución del Universo: la ecuación de Friedmann y la ecuación termodinámica. ...
... En 1933, el científico Edward Milne nombró a estas hipótesis como el principio cosmológico el cual afirma que no existe un lugar privilegiado en el Universo. Entre 1928 y 1929, Edwin Hubble desde el telescopio de Monte Wilson, determinó la distancia a la galaxia de Andrómeda (la más cercana a la Vía Láctea donde orbita nuestro Sol), 700000 años luz, mediante estrellas de brillo variable conocidas como cefeidas [3]. Asimismo, usando un método conocido como escala de distancias cósmicas [8], encontró las distancias a diferentes nebulosas que resultaron ser extragalácticas. ...
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... Contrary to experimental, observational successes in modern astrophysics, the explanatory power of respective cosmological theories remains limited, so that the number of unsolved problems only grows, while those considered to be "solved" often resemble rather a "plausibly" looking adjustment of artificially introduced, abstract entities and free parameters (see e.g. [1]). Without entering into detailed discussion of those difficulties, we only note here a possible general origin of such situation, which is inherent in the general scholar science approach, but has particularly strong manifestations in cosmology. ...
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... According to the SQM quasars are huge black holes accreting matter [1][2][3]. Not only are the quasars' luminosities huge, but it also seems, judging by their visual magnitudes that with increasing cosmological distances quasar luminosity should increase [4,5]. On the face of it, such a conclusion could raise doubts. ...
... In the previous sections, on Figs. (3)(4)(5)(6), and on Fig. (14) the sequence of stars along with quasars were shown. There is a striking similarity when stars and quasars are compared on these figures, although respective relations for stars and quasars are not identical. ...
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... Although the standard model ("Big Bang") is the most well known and commonly accepted theory of cosmology, it is not the only possible representation of the Cosmos, and it is not clear that it is the right one, not even in an approximate way (for a discussion of some of its problems see López-Corredoira, 2003, and see also below in §2.5). There were and there are many other alternative approaches to our understanding of the Universe as a whole. ...
... All models have gaps and caveats in their explanation of certain data derived from observations. The Big Bang has a lot of problems and aspects that do not work properly or are not totally understood yet (see the reviews by López-Corredoira, 2003;Perivolaropoulos, 2008;Unzicker, 2010;Crawford, 2011;Kroupa, 2012;Baryshev & Teerikorpi, 2012). Such problems include: higher metallicity and dust content at high redshift than expected, much higher abundance of very massive galaxies at high redshift than expected, poorly understood extreme evolution of galaxy sizes, galaxies with 4 He< 24%, ill-understood deuterium abundances, failure in the predictions of Li, Be, 3 He, inhomogeneities at scales > 200 Mpc, periodicity of redshifts, correlations of objects with low redshift with objects at high redshift, flows of large-scale structure matter with excessive velocity, an intergalactic medium temperature independent of redshift, a reionization epoch different from CMBR and QSO observations, anomalies in the CMBR (alignment quadrupole/octopole, insufficient lens effect in clusters, etc.), wrong predictions at galactic scales (no cusped halos, excessive angular momentum, insufficient number of satellites, etc.), no dark matter found yet, excessive cluster densities, dark energy in excess of theoretical models by a factor 10 120 , no observation of antimatter or evidence for CP violation, problems in understanding inflation, and so forth. ...
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I review some theoretical ideas in cosmology different from the standard "Big Bang": the quasi-steady state model, the plasma cosmology model, non-cosmological redshifts, alternatives to non-baryonic dark matter and/or dark energy, and others. Cosmologists do not usually work within the framework of alternative cosmologies because they feel that these are not at present as competitive as the standard model. Certainly, they are not so developed, and they are not so developed because cosmologists do not work on them. It is a vicious circle. The fact that most cosmologists do not pay them any attention and only dedicate their research time to the standard model is to a great extent due to a sociological phenomenon (the "snowball effect" or "groupthink"). We might well wonder whether cosmology, our knowledge of the Universe as a whole, is a science like other fields of physics or a predominant ideology.
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The universal symmetry, or conservation, of complexity underlies any law or principle of system dynamics and describes the unceasing transformation of dynamic information into dynamic entropy as the unique way to conserve their sum, the total dynamic complexity. Here we describe the real world structure emergence and dynamics as manifestation of the universal symmetry of complexity of initially homogeneous interaction between two protofields. It provides the unified complex-dynamic, causally complete origin of physically real, 3D space, time, elementary particles, their properties (mass, charge, spin, etc.), quantum, relativistic, and classical behaviour, as well as fundamental interaction forces, including naturally quantized gravitation. The old and new cosmological problems (including "dark" mass and energy) are basically solved for this explicitly emerging, self-tuning world structure characterised by strictly positive (and large) energy-complexity. A general relation is obtained between the numbers of world dimensions and fundamental forces, excluding plausible existence of hidden dimensions. The unified, causally explained quantum, classical, and relativistic properties (and types of behaviour) are generalised to all higher levels of complex world dynamics. The real world structure, dynamics, and evolution are exactly reproduced by the probabilistic dynamical fractal, which is obtained as the truly complete general solution of a problem and the unique structure of the new mathematics of complexity. We outline particular, problem-solving applications of always exact, but irregularly structured symmetry of unreduced dynamic complexity to microworld dynamics, including particle physics, genuine quantum chaos, real nanobiotechnology, and reliable genomics.
... This provides a consistent and causally complete alternative to the Big Bang contradictions, while other proposed or implied alternatives (that can be generalised as "steady-state" or "infinite-universe" models) often involve well-specified criticism of the Big-Bang deficiencies (e.g. [51][52][53][54]) but can hardly suggest a suitably complete picture replacing it as they tend to use the same, dynamically single-valued interaction description excluding any intrinsic structure emergence and thus the real time flow (which is a practically important problem in cosmology). They propose thus various unrealistic cases of generalised steady-state cosmology, where the standard unitary model of the conventional Big Bang is replaced by other, presumably less deficient but still unitary and therefore improbable models. ...
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We show that critically accumulating "difficult" problems, contradictions and stagnation in modern science have the unified and well-specified mathematical origin in the explicit, artificial reduction of any interaction problem solution to an "exact", dynamically single-valued (or unitary) function, while in reality any unreduced interaction development leads to a dynamically multivalued solution describing many incompatible system configurations, or "realisations", that permanently replace one another in causally random order. We obtain thus the universal concept of dynamic complexity and chaos impossible in unitary mathematics. This huge difference between the unreduced mathematics of real-world dynamics and strongly limited unitary "models" of traditional mathematics inevitably induces a growing series of "unsolvable" problems and other "mysteries" that culminate now in the crisis of the "end of science", where the stagnating unitary "science" in question includes only the described limitation of the traditional mathematical framework (unfortunately accepted as the unique possible basis for any scientific knowledge). In this brief review, we show that science extension to the unreduced, dynamically multivalued mathematics of the intrinsically complex real-world dynamics provides stagnating problem solutions and reconstitution of the intrinsic causality and unity of science desperately missing in its artificially limited unitary framework. Painful stagnation of the latter should be replaced now by the unlimited new progress of the extended, causally complete knowledge of the universal science of complexity, which provides the urgently needed issue from the current impasse of the global civilisation development.
... Contrary to experimental, observational successes in modern astro-physics, the explanatory power of the corresponding cosmological theories remains limited, so that the number of unsolved problems only grows, while those considered to be " solved " often resemble rather a " plausibly " looking adjustment of artificially introduced, abstract entities and free parameters (see e.g. ref. [1] for a critical review). Without going into detailed discussion of those difficulties, we only note here that one can see a possible general origin of such situation, which is inherent in the conventional theory, but have specific, more distinct manifestations in cosmology. ...
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Universe structure emerges in the unreduced, complex-dynamic interaction process with the simplest initial configuration (two attracting homogeneous fields, quant-ph/9902015). The unreduced interaction analysis gives intrinsically creative cosmology, describing the real, explicitly emerging world structure with dynamic randomness on each scale. Without imposing any postulates or entities, we obtain physically real space, time, elementary particles with their detailed structure and intrinsic properties, causally complete and unified version of quantum and relativistic behaviour, the origin and number of naturally unified fundamental forces, and classical behaviour emergence in closed systems (gr-qc/9906077). Main problems of standard cosmology and astrophysics are consistently solved in this extended picture (without introduction of any additional entities), including those of quantum cosmology and gravity, entropy growth and time, "hierarchy" of elementary particles, "anthropic" difficulties, space-time flatness, and "missing" ("dark") mass and energy. The observed universe structure and laws can be presented as manifestations of the universal symmetry (conservation) of complexity providing the unified, irregular, but exact (never "broken") Order of the World (physics/0404006).
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Certain results of observational cosmology cast critical doubt on the foundations of standard cosmology but leave most cosmologists untroubled. Alternative cosmological models that differ from the Big Bang have been published and defended by heterodox scientists; however, most cosmologists do not heed these. This may be because standard theory is correct and all other ideas and criticisms are incorrect, but it is also to a great extent due to sociological phenomena such as the "snowball effect" or "groupthink". We might wonder whether cosmology, the study of the Universe as a whole, is a science like other branches of physics or just a dominant ideology. Comment: invited talk, to be published in the proceedings of the conference "Cosmology across Cultures" (held at Granada, Spain, on 2008, September 8th to 12th), J. A. Belmonte, F. Prada, J. A. Rubino Martin, & A. Alberdi, Eds., ASP, S. Francisco
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Assuming the standard cosmological model to be correct, the average linear size of the galaxies with the same luminosity is six times smaller at z = 3.2 than at z = 0; and their average angular size for a given luminosity is approximately proportional to z ⁻¹ . Neither the hypothesis that galaxies which formed earlier have much higher densities nor their luminosity evolution, merger ratio, and massive outflows due to a quasar feedback mechanism are enough to justify such a strong size evolution. Also, at high redshift, the intrinsic ultraviolet surface brightness would be prohibitively high with this evolution, and the velocity dispersion much higher than observed. We explore here another possibility of overcoming this problem: considering different cosmological scenarios, which might make the observed angular sizes compatible with a weaker evolution. One of the explored models, a very simple phenomenological extrapolation of the linear Hubble law in a Euclidean static universe, fits quite well the angular size versus redshift dependence, also approximately proportional to z ⁻¹ with this cosmological model. There are no free parameters derived ad hoc, although the error bars allow a slight size/luminosity evolution. The supernova Ia Hubble diagram can also be explained in terms of this model without any ad-hoc-fitted parameter. NB: I do not argue here that the true universe is static. My intention is just to discuss which intellectual theoretical models fit better some data of the observational cosmology.
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In this manuscript we initiate a systematic examination of the physical basis for the time concept in cosmology. We discuss and defend the idea that the physical basis of the time concept is necessarily related to physical processes which could conceivably take place among the material constituents available in the universe. It is common practice to link the concept of cosmic time with a space-time metric set up to describe the universe at large scales, and then define a cosmic time $t$ as what is measured by a comoving standard clock. We want to examine, however, the physical basis for setting up a comoving reference frame and, in particular, what could be meant by a standard clock. For this purpose we introduce the concept of a `core' of a clock (which, for a standard clock in cosmology, is a scale-setting physical process) and we ask if such a core can--in principle--be found in the available physics contemplated in the various `stages' of the early universe. We find that a first problem arises above the quark-gluon phase transition (which roughly occurs when the cosmological model is extrapolated back to $\sim 10^{-5}$ seconds) where there might be no bound systems left, and the concept of a physical length scale to a certain extent disappears. A more serious problem appears above the electroweak phase transition believed to occur at $\sim 10^{-11}$ seconds. At this point the property of mass (almost) disappears and it becomes difficult to identify a physical basis for concepts like length scale, energy scale and temperature -- which are all intimately linked to the concept of time in modern cosmology. This situation suggests that the concept of a time scale in `very early' universe cosmology lacks a physical basis or, at least, that the time scale will have to be based on speculative new physics.
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This study provides new arguments for the existence of local quasars, i.e. quasars in the vicinity of low redshift galaxies. Local quasars are probably ejected from respective parent galaxy. The sample includes 74 quasars in the vicinity of 8 different galaxies. Assuming for quasars the same distances from the observer, as for their respective parent galaxy, simple calculations lead to the quasars luminosities and radii. Furthermore, the assumption is made that the major part of redshifts of quasars are due to gravitational reddening, i.e. they are intrinsic in origin. In this way, data for masses and densities of quasars are obtained and a diagram Density-Redshift is constructed. Relationships are also found for: Abso-lute mag. – Radius, Absolute mag – Mass, Mass – Radius, and Mass -Luminosity for this sample of local quasars. Com-parison with the same diagrams for stars suggests a possible connection between stars and quasars. All these relationships are compelling evidence that the assumptions and the procedure in this study are correct. The relationships found imply that local quasars behave like single bodies, or at least the bulk of the quasar's mass is a single body, close to its gravita-tional radius. The theory of such strange bodies does not yet exist. Local quasars show signs of evolution: their redshifts decrease with time, as their densities decrease. The physics behind this evolution is not yet clear. However, yet unknown physical processes might be involved, which cause the ejection of quasars by active galactic nuclei and the subsequent disintegration of matter of quasars. The end-product of this evolution (disintegration) could be small-mass companion galaxies. A relation "mass – density" is found, which could be explained if the speed of evolution (disintegration) depends on the mass of the quasar: more massive quasars evolve more rapidly.
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Previously, the author proposed that graviton energy and photon energy are everywhere being interconverted at fractional rates proportional to the Hubble constant H0. Evidence for the postulated graviton decay was suggested to lie in observable planetary heating and expansion. The greatest quantity of gravitational potential energy associated with a mass resides in its interactions with the most distant matter of the visible universe. Assuming that this graviton energy is also decaying to photons, then long wavelength electromagnetic radiation is being generated almost uniformly at every point in space. A universe in equilibrium requires that this radiation is reconverted to gravitons at the same relative rate, closing the energy cycle. Supposing that photons are reconverted to gravitons through absorption by matter, a simple mechanism for universal gravitation can be developed. In a mechanism analogous to Le Sage's and Brush's theories of gravity, bodies mutually screen each other from a portion of the radio photon background and consequently are pushed towards each other. It is shown that Newton's law is reproduced and some possible connections to the General Theory of Relativity are
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Constraints of the laboratory physics on the model of the universe are considered. The constraints are derived from the measurement procedure for the flux of electromagnetic radiation and valid for any model of the universe. In classical physics, an observer in the frame of the detector can measure the transformation (1+z)−1 for the energy flux of the electromagnetic wave emitted in the frame of the source but cannot any transformation for space and time between the frames of the source and detector. In quantum mechanics, the energy of the electromagnetic radiation as a function of the distance may be measured as a redshifted frequency of photon (1+z) or as a decrease of the intensity of radiation (1+z).
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In order to test the expansion of the universe and its geometry, we carry out an Alcock-Paczy?ski cosmological test, that is, an evaluation of the ratio of observed angular size to radial/redshift size. The main advantage of this test is that it does not depend on the evolution of the galaxies but only on the geometry of the universe. However, the redshift distortions produced by the peculiar velocities of the gravitational infall also have an influence, which should be separated from the cosmological effect. We derive the anisotropic correlation function of sources in three surveys within the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS): galaxies from SDSS-III/Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey Data Release 10 (BOSS-DR10) and QSOs from SDSS-II and SDSS-III/BOSS-DR10. From these, we are able to disentangle the dynamic and geometric distortions and thus derive the ratio of observed angular size to radial/redshift size at different redshifts. We also add some other values available in the literature. Then we use the data to evaluate which cosmological model fits them. We used six different models: concordance ?CDM, Einstein-de Sitter, open-Friedman cosmology without dark energy, flat quasi-steady state cosmology, a static universe with a linear Hubble law, and a static universe with tired-light redshift. Only two of the six models above fit the data of the Alcock-Paczy?ski test: concordance ?CDM and static universe with tired-light redshift, whereas the rest of them are excluded at a >95% confidence level. If we assume that ?CDM is the correct one, the best fit with a free ?m is produced for .
Chapter
Amidst the success story of standard cosmology one should not lose sight of healthy reminders of why also off-the-mainstream ideas can be useful and have the right to exist in contemporary science. First, the finite observable part of the possibly infinite universe does not allow one to test directly the initial hypotheses on the universe as a whole. The possibility of a major reform is not excluded. Second, even the known phenomena may have different interpretations, each corresponding to a specific choice of the basic framework able to explain key observations. Third, theoretical physics is a developing subject and “new physics” may offer a variety of cosmological applications. Fourth, observations and theoretical understanding are always limited, hence even a quite credible world model has its limitations, too (in current cosmology the nature of 95% of the substance is unknown).
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The Tully-Fisher relationship (TFR) has been shown to have a relatively small observed scatter of ~ +/-0.35 mag implying an intrinsic scatter < +/-0.30 mag. However, when the TFR is calibrated from distances derived from the Hubble relation for field galaxies scatter is consistently found to be +/-0.64 to +/-0.84 mag. This significantly larger scatter requires that intrinsic TFR scatter is actually much larger than +/-0.30 mag, that field galaxies have an intrinsic TFR scatter much larger than cluster spirals, or that field galaxies have a velocity dispersion relative to the Hubble flow in excess of 1000 km s-1. Each of these potential explanations faces difficulties contradicted by available data and the results of previous studies. An alternative explanation is that the measured redshifts of galaxies are composed of a cosmological redshift component predicted from the value of the Hubble Constant and a superimposed intrinsic redshift component previously identified in other studies. This intrinsic redshift component may exceed 5000 km s-1 in individual galaxies. In this alternative scenario a possible value for the Hubble Constant is 55-60 km s-1 Mpc-1. Comment: 15 pages, Astrophysics&Space Science - Accepted for publication
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We combine new results from the search for microlensing towards the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) by EROS2 (Expérience de Recherche d'Objets Sombres) with limits previously reported by EROS1 and EROS2 towards both Magellanic Clouds. The derived upper limit on the abundance of stellar mass MACHOS rules out such objects as an important component of the Galactic halo if their mass is smaller than 1M⊙.
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Burbidge et al. (1997) argue that the observed number of quasar pairs with small angular separations and different redshifts (typically ∆θ ≤ 5 and ∆z > 0.1) is not compatible with a random distribution of quasars over the sky. After a brief review of all known quasar pairs with different redshifts, we show by means of very simple calculations that the probability of finding the three accepted pairs accidentally is of the order of 10%. We conclude that, under realistic hypotheses, the observed number of quasar pairs with different redshifts is not unlikely. We also present arguments showing that gravitational lensing biases are probably not strong enough to significantly increase the expected number of quasar pairs. The failure to detect with HST a secondary lensed image of the background quasar near the foreground one in these three pairs supports this view.
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This review examines current efforts to find find and exploit more powerful methods of measurement of the magnetic fields of the Ap stars. The methods now being explored include (1) the measurement of various moments of spectral lines in intensity and polarization spectra, and their interpretation in terms of moments of the observed fields, and (2) field mapping by direct comparison of synthesized lines with observed IQUV spectra.
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A new method is developed to calculate the amplitude of the galactic warps generated by a torque due to external forces. This takes into account that the warp is produced as a reorientation of the different rings which constitute the disc in order to compensate the differential precession generated by the external force, yielding a uniform asymptotic precession for all rings. Application of this method to gravitational tidal forces in the Milky Way due to the Magellanic Clouds leads to a very low amplitude of the warp. If the force were due to an extragalactic magnetic field, its intensity would have to be very high, to generate the observed warps. An alternative hypothesis is explored: the accretion of the intergalactic medium over the disk. A cup-shaped distortion is expected, due to the transmission of the linear momentum; but, this effect is small and the predominant effect turns out to be the transmission of angular momentum, i.e. a torque giving an integral-sign shape warp. The torque produced by a flow of velocity ~100 km/s and baryon density \~10^{-25} kg/m^3 is enough to generate the observed warps and this mechanism offers quite a plausible explanation. First, because this order of accretion rate is inferred from other processes observed in the Galaxy, notably its chemical evolution. The inferred rate of infall of matter, ~1 solar-mass/yr, to the Galactic disc that this theory predicts agrees with the quantitative predictions of this chemical evolution resolving key issues, notably the G-dwarf problem. Second, because the required density of the intergalactic medium is within the range of values compatible with observation. By this mechanism, we can explain the warp phenomenon in terms of intergalactic accretion flows onto the disk of the galaxy. Comment: 18 pages, 11 figures, accepted to be published in A&A
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R-band intensity measurements along the light curve of Type Ia supernovae discovered by the Supernova Cosmology Project (SCP) are fitted in brightness to templates allowing a free parameter the time-axis width factor w = s(1+z). The data points are then individually aligned in the time-axis, normalized and K-corrected back to the rest frame, after which the nearly 1300 normalized intensity measurements are found to lie on a well-determined common rest-frame B-band curve which we call the ``composite curve''. The same procedure is applied to 18 low-redshift Calan/Tololo SNe with z < 0.11; these nearly 300 B-band photometry points are found to lie on the composite curve equally well. The SCP search technique produces several measurements before maximum light for each supernova. We demonstrate that the linear stretch factor, s, which parameterizes the light-curve timescale appears independent of z,and applies equally well to the declining and rising parts of the light curve. In fact, the B-band template that best fits this composite curve fits the individual supernova photometry data when stretched by a factor s with chi^2/DoF approx = 1, thus as well as any parameterization can, given the current data sets. The measurement of the date of explosion, however, is model dependent and not tightly constrained by the current data. We also demonstrate the 1+z light-curve time-axis broadening expected from cosmological expansion. This argues strongly against alternative explanations, such as tired light, for the redshift of distant objects. Comment: 27 pages,3 figures, accepted by ApJ
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The Cosmic Microwave Background radiation is a fundamental prediction of Hot Big Bang cosmology. The temperature of its black-body spectrum has been measured at the present time, $T_{\rm CMBR,0}$ = 2.726$\pm$ 0.010 K, and is predicted to have been higher in the past. At earlier time, the temperature can be measured, in principle, using the excitation of atomic fine structure levels by the radiation field. All previous measurements however give only upper limits as they assume that no other significant source of excitation is present. Here we report the detection of absorption from the first {\sl and} second fine-structure levels of neutral carbon atoms in an isolated remote cloud at a redshift of 2.33771. In addition, the unusual detection of molecular hydrogen in several rotational levels and the presence of ionized carbon in its excited fine structure level make the absorption system unique to constrain, directly from observation, the different excitation processes at play. It is shown for the first time that the cosmic radiation was warmer in the past. We find 6.0 < T_{\rm CMBR} < 14 K at z = 2.33771 when 9.1 K is expected in the Hot Big Bang cosmology.
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The amplitudes of peaks in the angular power spectrum of anisotropies in the microwave background radiation depend on the mass content of the universe. The second peak should be prominent when cold dark matter is dominant, but is depressed when baryons dominate. Recent microwave background data are consistent with a purely baryonic universe with Omega(matter) = Omega(baryon) ~ 0.03 and Omega(Lambda) ~ 1. Comment: 10 pages AASTeX with 1 color postscript figure. Accepted for publication in ApJ Letters. And yes, the prediction was in the literature before the data
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A number of authors have reported filaments connecting bright structures in high-resolution X-ray images, and in some cases these have been taken as evidence for a physical connection between the structures, which might be thought to provide support for a model with non-cosmological redshifts. In this paper I point out two problems which are inherent in the interpretation of smoothed photon-limited data of this kind, and develop some simple techniques for the assessment of the reality of X-ray filaments, which can be applied to either simply smoothed or adaptively smoothed data. To illustrate the usefulness of these techniques, I apply them to archival ROSAT observations of galaxies and quasars previously analysed by others. I show that several reported filamentary structures connecting X-ray sources are not in fact significantly detected.
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The iron abundance relative to alpha-elements in the circumnuclear region of quasars is regarded as a clock of the star formation history and, more specifically, of the enrichment by SNIa. We investigate the iron abundance in a sample of 22 quasars in the redshift range 3.0<z<6.4 by measuring their rest frame UV FeII bump, which is shifted into the near-IR, and by comparing it with the MgII 2798 flux. The observations were performed with a device that can obtain near-IR spectra in the range 0.8-2.4 um in one shot, thereby enabling an optimal removal of the continuum underlying the FeII bump. We detect iron in all quasars including the highest redshift (z=6.4) quasar currently known. The uniform observational technique and the wide redshift range allows a reliable study of the trend of the FeII/MgII ratio with redshift. We find the FeII/MgII ratio is nearly constant at all redshifts, although there is marginal evidence for a higher FeII/MgII ratio in the quasars at z~6. If the FeII/MgII ratio reflects the Fe/alpha abundance, this result suggests that the z~6 quasars have already undergone a major episode of iron enrichment. We discuss the possible implications of this finding for the star formation history at z>6. We also detect a population of weak iron emitters at z~4.5, which are possibly hosted in systems that evolved more slowly. Alternatively, the trend of the FeII/MgII ratio at high redshift may reflect significantly different physical conditions of the circumnuclear gas in such high redshift quasars. Comment: Replaced to match the accepted version (ApJL in press), 5 pages
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We calculate the expected angular power spectrum of the temperature fluctuations in the microwave background radiation (MBR) generated in the quasi-steady state cosmology (QSSC). The paper begins with a brief description of how the background is produced and thermalized in the QSSC. We then discuss within the framework of a simple model, the likely sources of fluctuations in the background due to astrophysical and cosmological causes. Power spectrum peaks at $l \approx 6-10$, 180-220 and 600-900 are shown to be related in this cosmology respectively to curvature effects at the last minimum of the scale factor, clusters and groups of galaxies. The effect of clusters is shown to be related to their distribution in space as indicated by a toy model of structure formation in the QSSC. We derive and parameterize the angular power spectrum using six parameters related to the sources of temperature fluctuations at three characteristic scales. We are able to obtain a satisfactory fit to the observational band power estimates of MBR temperature fluctuation spectrum. Moreover, the values of `best fit' parameters are consistent with the range of expected values. Comment: 27 pages, including 5 figures; to appear in Astrophys. J
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It is generally argued that the present cosmological observations support the accelerating models of the universe, as driven by the cosmological constant or `dark energy'. We argue here that an alternative model of the universe is possible which explains the current observations of the universe. We demonstrate this with a reinterpretation of the magnitude-redshift relation for Type Ia supernovae, since this was the test that gave a spurt to the current trend in favour of the cosmological constant. Comment: 12 pages including 2 figures, minor revision, references added, a paragraph on the interpretation of the CMB anisotropy in the QSSC added in conclusion, general results unchanged. To appear in the October 2002 issue of the "Publications of the Astronmical Society of the Pacific"
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NGC3628 is a well-studied starburst/low level AGN galaxy in the Leo Triplet noted for its extensive outgassed plumes of neutral hydrogen. QSOs are shown to be concentrated around NGC3628 and aligned with the HI plumes. The closest high redshift quasar has z=2.15 and is at the tip of an X-ray filament emerging along the minor axis HI plume. Location at this point has an accidental probability of ~2x10^-4. In addition a coincident chain of optical objects coming out along the minor axis ends on this quasar. More recent measures on a pair of strong X-ray sources situated at 3.2 and 5.4 arcmin on either side of NGC3628 along its minor axis, reveal that they have nearly identical redshifts of z=0.995 and 0.981. The closer quasar lies directly in the same X-ray filament which extends from the nucleus out 4.1 arcmin to end on the quasar of z=2.15. The chain of objects SW along the minor axis of NGC3628 has been imaged in four colors with the VLT. Images and spectra of individual objects within the filament are reported. It is suggested that material in various physical states and differing intrinsic redshifts is ejected out along the minor axis of this active, disturbed galaxy. Comment: 8 pages, 5 figures. Accepted for publication in A&A. Postscript file including full resolution figures at http://www.eso.org/~fpatat/ngc3628/paper_ngc3628.ps.gz
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The observational evidences of the fractality of the large-scale distribution of galaxies are reviewed. A perfect linearity of the redshift-distance relation deeply inside the inhomogeneity cell in the fractal structure are stressed upon being contradictory to the traditional interpretation of the Hubble law as a consequence of homogeneity. It is shown that this contradiction could be resolved with allowance for the effect of gravitational cosmological redshift within a fractal structure with the fractal dimension DF ≃ 2.
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The Universe at Large presents a unique survey of key questions outstanding in contemporary astronomy and cosmology. In this timely volume, eleven of the world's greatest living astronomers and cosmologists present their personal views of what problems must be addressed by future research. Allan Sandage presents a 23-point plan to reach a full understanding of the largescale structure in the Universe; Geoffrey Burbidge looks at the future of the Quasi Steady State alternative to the Big Bang; active galactic nuclei (AGN) are discussed by E. Margaret Burbidge, Donald Osterbrock and Malcolm Longair; Igor Novikov, Donald Lynden-Bell, Martin Rees and Rashid Sunyaev look at the physics of black holes; and Bernard Pagel and Hubert Reeves concentrate on what we don't yet understand about elements in the cosmos. This book provides a unique review of our current understanding in astronomy and cosmology, and a host of ideas for profitable future research - for graduate students and researchers.
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The evidence for positive cosmological constant Λ from Type Ia supernovae is re-examined. Both high redshift supernova teams are found to underestimate the effects of host galaxy extinction. The evidence for an absolute magnitude–decay time relation is much weakened if supernovae not observed before maximum light are excluded. Inclusion of such objects artificially suppresses the scatter about the mean relation. With a consistent treatment of host galaxy extinction and elimination of supernovae not observed before maximum, the evidence for a positive lambda is not very significant (3–4σ). A factor which may contribute to apparent faintness of high-z supernovae is evolution of the host galaxy extinction with z. The Hubble diagram using all high-z distance estimates, including SZ clusters and gravitational lens time-delay estimates, does not appear inconsistent with an Ωo=1 model. Although a positive Λ can provide an (albeit physically unmotivated) resolution of the low curvature implied by cosmic microwave background (CMB) experiments and evidence that Ωo<1 from large-scale structure, the direct evidence from Type Ia supernovae seems at present to be inconclusive.
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The history and current status of Hubble's cosmological hypothesis (CH), which attributes the redshifts of all extragalactic objects to the expansion of the universe, are reviewed, with a focus on recent observational evidence of noncosmological redshift components. Sections are devoted to methods of assessment, evidence consistent with the CH, neutral evidence, evidence in conflict with the CH, and proposed noncosmological explanations. Particular attention is given to a nonlinear Hubble relation, periodicities in the redshift distribution, galaxy-galaxy associations, associations of QSOs with bright galaxies, close pairs of QSOs, alignments and redshift bunching, galactic morphology, and Faraday rotations. Diagrams, graphs, and sample images are provided.
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Over the past fifteen years, observations of some quasars with the techniques of very-long-baseline interferometry have shown that the angular separation between pairs of radio-emitting regions in their cores is increasing year after year. If the quasars are indeed as far away as implied by Hubble’s law, then these angular motions translate into linear speeds several times the speed of light. Several theoretical scenarios have been proposed to show that the observed motions are illusory. The leading contender in this field — the relativistic beam model — and an alternative offered by the concept of a gravitational screen are described and compared in the light of recent observational data.
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The first half of this thesis is a study on the growth of perturbations in the early universe which might lead to galaxies, clusters of galaxies, or regions void of galaxies. The growth of self-similar perturbations in an Einstein-deSitter universe with cold, collisionless particles is investigated. Three classes of solutions are obtained; one each with planar, cylindrical, and spherical symmetry. The solutions follow the development of structure in both the linear and nonlinear regimes. Self-similar spherical voids which develop from initially underdense regions are also investigated. The character of each solution depends upon the initial density deficit. The second half of this thesis details solutions of steady-state axisymmetric models of elliptical and disk galaxies, and considers which observable properties can be used as diagnostics of the kinematic configuration of the spheroidal component of these systems. Two component mass models are fitted to surface brightness measurements and used to fit kinematic models to the velocity data.
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The existence of the cosmic microwave background radiation is a fundamental prediction of hot Big Bang cosmology, and its temperature should increase with increasing redshift. At the present time (redshift z = 0), the temperature has been determined with high precision to be T(CMBR)(0) = 2.726 +/- 0.010 K. In principle, the background temperature can be determined using measurements of the relative populations of atomic fine-structure levels, which are excited by the background radiation. But all previous measurements have achieved only upper limits, thus still formally permitting the radiation temperature to be constant with increasing redshift. Here we report the detection of absorption lines from the first and second fine-structure levels of neutral carbon atoms in an isolated cloud of gas at z = 2.3371. We also detected absorption due to several rotational transitions of molecular hydrogen, and fine-structure lines of singly ionized carbon. These constraints enable us to determine that the background radiation was indeed warmer in the past: we find that T(CMBR)(z = 2.3371) is between 6.0 and 14 K. This is in accord with the temperature of 9.1 K predicted by hot Big Bang cosmology.
Article
Scattering and absorption of light by a homogeneous distribution of intergalactic large dust grains has been proposed as an alternative, non-cosmological explanation for the faintness of Type Ia supernovae at $z\s im 0.5$. We investigate the differential extinction for high-redshift sources caused by extragalactic dust along the line of sight. Future observations of Type Ia supernovae up to $z\sim 2$, e.g. by the proposed SNAP satellite, will allow the measurement of the properties of dust over cosmological distances. We show that 1% {\em relative} spectrophotometric accuracy (or broadband photometry) in the wavelength interval 0.7--1.5 $\mu$m is required to measure the extinction caused by ``grey'' dust down to $\delta m=0.02$ magnitudes. We also argue that the presence of grey dust is not necessarily inconsistent with the recent measurement of the brightness of a supernova at $z=1.7$ (SN 1997ff), in the absence of accurate spectrophotometric information of the supernova. Comment: Accepted by A&A
Article
The correlation between the far-infrared (FIR) and radio emission is well established for nearby star forming galaxies. Many applications, in particular the radio-to-submm spectral index redshift indicator, tacitly assume that the relation holds well beyond our local neighbourhood, to systems located at cosmological distances. In order to test this assumption I have constructed a sample of 22 HDF-N galaxies, all with measured spectroscopic redshifts, and all detected by both ISO and the WSRT at 15 micron and 1.4 GHz respectively. The galaxies span a wide range of redshift with a median value of z ~ 0.7. The ISO 15 micron data were k-corrected and extrapolated to the FIR (60 and 100 micron) by assuming a starburst (M82) spectral energy distribution (SED) for the entire sample. An initial analysis of the data suggests that the correlation between the FIR and the radio emission continues to apply at high redshift with no obvious indication that it fails to apply beyond z ~ 1.3. The sample is ``contaminated'' by at least 1 distant (z=4.4), radio-loud AGN, VLA J123642+621331. This source has recently been detected by the first deep field VLBI observations of the HDF-N and is clearly identified as an ``outlier'' in the FIR/radio correlation. I briefly comment on the impact upgraded and next generation radio instruments (such as e-MERLIN and the Square Km Array) can have in studies of star formation in the early Universe.
Article
This paper presents alternative ideas on the physics of time that lead to a new interpretation of cosmological redshifts. These ideas are based on the close relationship between the speed of time and entropy processes in our universe. I give numerical estimates and describe laboratory experiments and observational effects that can test the new theory. Comment: 6 pages, 3figures, JENAM-2000 ;the 13-th Annual October Astrophysics Conference in Maryland
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We review the topic of rotation curves of spiral galaxies emphasizing the standard interpretation as evidence for the existence of dark matter halos. Galaxies other than spirals and late-type dwarfs may also possess great amounts of dark matter, and therefore ellipticals, dwarf spirals, lenticulars and polar ring galaxies are also considered. Furthermore, other methods for determining galactic dark matter, such as those provided by binaries, satellites or globular clusters, have to be included. Cold dark matter hierarchical models constitute the standard way to explain rotation curves, and thus the problem becomes just one aspect of a more general theory explaining structure and galaxy formation. Alternative theories also are included. In the magnetic model, rotation curves could also be a particular aspect of the whole history of cosmic magnetism during different epochs of the Universe. Modifications of Newtonian Dynamics provide another interesting possibility which is discussed here.
Article
We investigate the constraints on basic cosmological parameters set by the first compact-configuration observations of the Very Small Array (VSA), and other cosmological data sets, in the standard inflationary ΛCDM model. Using the weak priors 40 < H0 < 90 km s−1 Mpc−1 and 0 < τ < 0.5, we find that the VSA and COBE-DMR data alone produce the constraints Ωtot= 1.03+0.12−0.12, Ωbh2= 0.029+0.009−0.009, Ωcdmh2= 0.13+0.08−0.05 and ns= 1.04+0.11−0.08 at the 68 per cent confidence level. Adding in the Type Ia supernova constraints, we additionally find Ωm= 0.32+0.09−0.06 and ΩΛ= 0.71+0.07−0.07. These constraints are consistent with those found by the BOOMERanG, DASI and MAXIMA experiments. We also find that, by combining all these cosmic microwave background experiments and assuming the Hubble Space Telescope Key Project limits for H0 (for which the X-ray plus Sunyaev–Zel'dovich route gives a similar result), we obtain the tight constraints Ωm= 0.28+0.14−0.07 and ΩΛ= 0.72+0.07−0.13, which are consistent with, but independent of, those obtained using the supernova data.
Article
The idea that the radio jets in AGN contain material in relativistic motion is supported by many lines of observational evidence, including morphology, brightness temperature estimated with interferometers and with intrinsic variations, interstellar scintillations, X-rays, and superluminal motion. These are largely independent, and taken together make an irrefutable case for relativistic motion. Comment: 16 pages, 8 Figures. To appear in "Radio Astronomy at 70: from Karl Jansky to microjansky", eds. L.I.Gurvits, S.Frey, S.Rawlings, 2004, EDP Sciences, in press
Article
It is argued that some of the recent claims for cosmology are grossly overblown. Cosmology rests on a very small database: it suffers from many fundamental difficulties as a science (if it is a science at all) whilst observations of distant phenomena are difficult to make and harder to interpret. It is suggested that cosmological inferences should be tentatively made and sceptically received.
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