8 Cosmological Conclusions


Cosmological Conclusions

Any consideration of the large-scale structure and action of the universe such as that in Chapters 6 and 7 inevitably leads to questions as to how the universe originated, what its eventual fate will be, and how the physical processes that take place are related to the initial and final states. These are the primary concerns of the branch of knowledge known as cosmology. The study of the origin is separately classified as cosmology, but where so little information is available the separate classification is a nonessential refinement, and the present tendency is to apply the term cosmology to the whole field. In earlier times the only information bearing on cosmological issues was that claimed to have been derived by religious revelation, and therefore not open to scientific investigation. More recently some astronomical knowledge has been recognized as relevant, and at present scientific cosmology is regarded as a branch of astronomy.

Two general theories have emerged from the work of the astronomers. Both theories accept what is known as the Cosmological Principle, which asserts that the large-scale aspects of the universe appear the same from all locations in space. The Steady-State theory extends this to what the originators call the Perfect Cosmological Principle. This extension asserts that the large-scale aspects also appear the same from all locations in time. The Big Bang theory rejects this broader principle, and postulates an evolutionary development from an earlier to a later state. I n the simple theory these are initial and final conditions. A variation of the theory postulates a reversal at each end of this evolutionary path, leading to a never-ending oscillation between the two extremes.

Neither theory has more than a very few aspects that can be checked against observation, and both are therefore highly speculative. Their relative degree of acceptance has fluctuated as the small amount of relevant observational data has increased. At present the Steady State theory is at a low ebb, because its supporters have not yet been able to find acceptable explanations, within the theory, for some of the more recent observations. The results of this work indicate that such explanations exist, and if it were not for the fact that those results rule out the Steady State theory for other reasons, it could be put back on its feet again.

The crucial observation that any proposal must be prepared to explain (or explain away) is the recession of the distant galaxies. An explanation of the observed high degree of uniformity in space is also required, whether or not the Cosmological Principle is accepted. These items clearly have a direct relation to the pattern of evolution, whatever it may be. The status of the other items currently being offered as evidence is less critical. Much stress is being laid on the “bIack body” background radiation recently discovered, but it is difficult to see why the ability of a theory to explain the existence of this radiation has any more significance than ability to explain any other currently obscure feature of the universe, the similar x-ray background radiation, for instance, or the cosmic rays, or the origin of galaxies, or any one of dozens of other items.

The ability of a theory to explain any one of these observed phenomena is a point in its favor, to be sure, but when there are so many other equally significant items that it cannot explain, it is clearly a gross exaggeration to brand this particular item as crucial. What has happened is that because neither theory can explain hardly anything, the significance of this one item that the Big Bang theory has some kind of an explanation for has been blown up all out of proportion to its real importance. The sad fact is that while almost everything that happens in the universe is relevant to this issue in one way or another, none of the theories heretofore advanced has a broad enough base to enable it to deal with more than an insignificant number of these items.

The Big Bang theory assumes ad hoc that at some time in the past the entire contents of the universe were gathered together in a limited amount of space, and that a gigantic explosion occurred for some unspecified reason, ejecting all, or most, of these contents into space at the speeds that are now observed. It offers no explanation of the situation existing prior to the hypothetical explosion, or of the explosion process itself. It accepts the Cosmological Principle, but has no explanation of the uniformity that the principle requires. As noted earlier, the existence of the recently discovered background radiation, an explanation of which is provided by the theory, is not of major importance from the standpoint of verifying the validity of the theory, but it does give the Big Bang an edge over its current rival. The significance of this advantage is greatly exaggerated in current astronomical thought. The following comment from a 1980 publication is typical of the general attitude:

Why are we here taking for granted that there was a Big Bang origin of the Universe? The reason is that the existence of the 3K radiation field is incompatible with the steady-state theory.91

This so-called “reason” is totally illogical. The validity of a theory has to be established affirmatively; it cannot be proved by eliminating the known competitors, because no one can say how many unknown competitors may exist. Indeed, a number of alternative ideas, or variations of the two principal theories, have already been advanced. None of these has thus far received much support, but their existence is sufficient in itself to demonstrate the wide open nature of this issue.

Many efforts have been made to obtain affirmative support for an evolutionary type of theory, such as the Big Bang, by finding a difference in the density of some class of astronomical objects between those nearby and those at great distances. The radiation now reaching us from the most distant objects within observational range was emitted in an earlier era when the density, according to this type of theory, was greater than it is now. Some success in this endeavor is claimed on the basis of counts of radio sources. These appear to show that faint sources are more numerous than would be expected from a uniform distribution, tending to support the assertion that the sources have moved apart in the intervening time. However, the significance of the observations has been questioned because most, if not all, of the distant sources are quasars, and the astronomers’ current understanding of these objects is too limited to give them much confidence in arguments based on assumptions about their properties. The information developed in the preceding chapter shows that this skepticism is well-founded, as it indicates that the assumption of a three-dimensional distribution, on which the density calculations are based, is not valid for the distant quasars.

The case in favor of the Big Bang theory (as distinguished from the case against its rival, the Steady State theory, which we will examine shortly) can be summarized as follows:

1. It is an explanation (a second-class explanation, we might say, as it is purely ad hoc) of the recession of the distant galaxies.

2. It is consistent with the observed large-scale uniformity of the universe.

3. It produces an explanation for the black-body background radiation.

A similar summary of the case in favor of the Steady State theory consists of these items:

1. It is an explanation (likewise a second-class explanation, because it is lacking in detail) of the recession of the galaxies.

2. It is consistent with the large-scale uniformity of the universe.

3. It incorporates the space-time symmetry of the Perfect Cosmological Principle.

The most striking feature of both of these lists is how little they explain in covering such an immense subject area. As Verschuur sees the situation, “It is undoubtedly true that we know very little about the cosmological questions that have been posed so far.”92 As a result, the case in favor of either theory is argued mainly on the basis of whatever points can be scored against its opponent. The lists of negative evidence are formidable. First, the Big Bang:

l. The fundamental premise of the theory is entirely ad hoc.

2. The theory offers no explanation of its basic elements. Neither the antecedents of the postulated explosion, the special conditions assumed to exist at the time of the event, nor the mechanism by means of which this event was initiated, is in any way accounted for.

3. The scale of the magnitudes involved is far out of line with experience, or even a reasonable extrapolation of experience.

4. No explanation is provided for the degree of isotropy now observed in the universe.

5. The theory provides no explanation for a large number of physical phenomena that are directly connected with the evolution of the hypothetical explosion products (aside from the background radiation).

6. Because of this lack of detail, it is untestable.

The case against the Steady State theory rests on these points:

1. The theory violates the conservation laws by requiring continuous creation of matter.

2. It provides no mechanism whereby the newly created matter can exert the force that is assumed to cause the outward motion of the previously existing matter.

3. It provides no mechanism for removing old matter from the system to keep the age distribution at the postulated constant level. (The oldest galaxies are presumed to disappear over the “time horizon,” but even if this is considered to remove them from the universe—an assumption that rests on rather shaky ground—it serves the purpose only until the galaxy from which the time horizon is observed becomes the oldest. Thereafter, the age of the oldest galaxy in the observable system continually increases.)

4. It provides no explanation for a large number of physical phenomena (including the background radiation) that are directly connected with the evolution from diffuse newly created matter to old receding galaxies.

5. Because of this lack of detail, it is untestable.

It is clear that the evidence in support of either of these theories is ridiculously inadequate for verification. But because of the tendency to pass judgment on the basis of the arguments against one or the other, which are strong in both cases, the recent discovery of the background radiation has tipped the balance in favor of the Big Bang. The prevailing attitude in astronomical circles is described by Jay Pasachoff in these words:

So at present almost all astronomers consider it settled that radiation has been detected that could only have been produced in a big bang.93

This is a particularly outrageous example of the “This is the only way” fallacy discussed in Chapter 3. It assumes first that since the background radiation has not been explained in terms of the Steady State theory, it cannot be so explained. This is pure nonsense. It should be obvious that no one is in a position to say what is impossible for an open-ended theory of this kind. There is still less justification for the assumption, likewise implicit in the conclusion, that no other tenable cosmological theory is conceivable.

Some observers do see the weaknesses in the case for the Big Bang, and take a more cautious stand, as in the following statements:

Even if this general picture (the Big Bang) seems consistent with what is known at the moment, it would be rash to bet too heavily on it being correct, even in outline.94 (Martin Rees)

No one acquainted with the contortions of theoretical astrophysicists in the attempt to interpret the successive observations of the past few decades would exhibit great confidence that the solution in favor of the hot big bang would be the final pronouncement in cosmology.95 (Bernard Lovell)

In any event, the “no other way” argument is immediately and totally demolished when, as in this case, the allegedly impossible alternative is actually produced. Emphasizing the absurdity of the “only way” argument, it also turns out that the alternative explanation of the background radiation supplied by the present development was previously suggested by Fred Hoyle as a means by which that radiation could be accommodated within the Steady State theory. Hoyle’s suggestion, admittedly ad hoc and given scant attention by his adversaries, was that the background radiation comes from an unseen region of the universe.96 This is essentially the same conclusion reached deductively from factual premises in this work.

The new factual information derived from the scalar motion investigation, and reported in the preceding pages of this volume, now enables us to put together a factual alternative to the existing unsatisfactory cosmological theories, a new understanding, we may call it, to distinguish it from a theory. Cosmological questions have been in the realm of speculation and theory for so long a time that it may be hard for many individuals (particularly astronomers) to believe that some of the most significant of these issues can now be approached as matters of fact. Yet even a casual consideration of the conclusions derived from purely factual premises in the preceding pages will show that they go directly to the heart of major cosmological issues. The Big Bang, for instance, is automatically ruled out by the finding that the galactic recession originates from a different cause. Other facts disclosed by the scalar motion study, and the necessary consequences of those facts, similarly serve as guideposts by which we can trace the evolutionary path that the contents of the universe actually follow. The path thus defined differs in many respects from the course of events portrayed in present-day astronomical theory, but it is in full agreement with the results of observation, as a purely factual development necessarily must be.

Let us now review the principal factual findings that are pertinent to the cosmological issues.

1. Because of the reciprocal relation between space and time in scalar motion, there is an inverse sector of the universe in which motion takes place in time rather than in space. All scalar motion phenomena in three-dimensional space are thus duplicated in the cosmic sector, the sector of motion in time.

2. There is a limiting size for galaxies, and at least some of those that reach this limit explode, ejecting fragments, known as quasars, at speeds in the ultra high range, between two and three times the speed of light.

3. When the retarding effect of gravitation is reduced enough by distance to bring the net speed of a quasar above two units (twice the speed of light) the gravitational effect inverts, and the constituents of the quasar are dispersed into three-dimensional time (the cosmic sector of the universe).

4. The effect of the explosion and its aftermath is to transform a quantity of matter from a state in which it is highly concentrated in space to a state in which it is widely dispersed in time.

5. By reason of the reciprocal relation between space and time in scalar phenomena, it follows that the inverse of the foregoing processes likewise take place, the net effect of which is to transform a quantity of matter from a state in which it is highly concentrated in time to a state in which it is widely dispersed in three-dimensional space.

We thus find that there is a constant inflow of widely dispersed matter into the material sector from the cosmic sector. It seems rather obvious that this incoming matter can be identified with the cosmic rays, but this identification is not necessary to the development of thought in the subsequent pages. The essential point is that this inflow of matter takes place in some dispersed form.

We have thus identified, on a purely factual basis, the initial state of matter in the material sector of the universe, the sector accessible to observation. This matter arrives in the form of basic units, which we can identify as atoms and sub-atomic particles. We have similarly identified the final state of matter in the material sector as highly concentrated spatially in massive galaxies. It follows that the essential process in this sector, the process by which matter is brought from the initial state to the final state, is a process of aggregation.

We know from observation that there are three such aggregation processes. Some of the sub-atomic particles and primitive atoms combine to form larger atoms (atoms of heavier elements). The dispersed material condenses into stars, incorporating whatever heavy elements have formed up to the time of condensation. The stars then aggregate into clusters and galaxies, while the other two processes continue. It will be convenient to examine these processes in the reverse order.

According to our findings, the agency by means of which the aggregation takes place is gravitation. On this basis, the evolutionary stage is indicated by the size of the aggregate. It follows that the smallest self-sufficient stellar aggregate, the globular cluster, is the initial product of the aggregation process, and the various types of galaxies follow in the order of size.

Here we come into direct collision with current astronomical theory. The current belief is that the galaxies were formed directly from the original material of the universe in approximately their present form, and are all about the same age. Jastrow and Thompson give us this explanation:

According to current ideas in astrophysics, the galaxies were born first in the universe, and the stars within the galaxies were born afterward. The main reason for believing this to be true is the fact that stars can be seen forming in galaxies at the present time, out of gas and dust. If all the stars were formed first, and then were clustered together later to form the galaxies, there would be no star formation going on today.97

Most astronomers are apparently convinced that stars are forming in certain locations in the galaxies, as indicated in this statement, but, as many of them have pointed out, there is no actual evidence to support this belief. I.S. Shklovskii, for instance, characterizes the “star formation problem” as still in the “realm of pure speculation.”98 Simon Mitton says that it is “almost a total mystery.”99 And even if there is some star formation in these locations in the galaxies, there certainly is no evidence that this process accounts for all, or even any more than a small portion, of the total star formation. Thus the conclusion expressed in the foregoing quotation is no more than speculative.

The process of galaxy formation is even more speculative than the star formation process. W. H. MeCrea points out that “We do not yet know how to tackle the problem.”100 Laurie H. John gives us this assessment of the present situation:

The encyclopaedias and popular astronomical books are full of plausible tales of condensation from vortices, turbulent gas clouds and the like, but the sad truth is that we do not know how the galaxies came into being.101

Two recent developments have eroded what little support the current ideas about galaxy formation were able to claim at an earlier stage of observational knowledge. First is the growing evidence of galactic “cannibalism.” M. J. Rees points out that the prevailing ideas are inconsistent with the new information. “One may not be justified in considering a galaxy as a self-contained isolated system,” he says, and cites some of the evidence:

We can see many instances where galaxies seem to be colliding and merging with each other, and in rich clusters such as Coma the large central galaxies may be cannibalizing their smaller neighbors… Maybe in a few billion years this fate will affect our own Milky Way and the Andromeda galaxy, transforming the local group into a single amorphous elliptical galaxy. Many big galaxies—particularly the so-called CD galaxies in the centres of clusters—may indeed be the result of such mergers.102

The second discovery of recent years that has a bearing on this situation is the abundance of small elliptical and irregular galaxies. Most observations of galaxies have been made on the larger objects, because only the nearest of the small galaxies are visible. The large number of additional dwarf galaxies discovered within the Local Group quite recently, increasing the already high ratio of elliptical to spiral in the region most accessible to observation, has emphasized the extent to which previous conclusions have been shaped by this selection effect. It is now beginning to be realized that, as noted in a 1980 news item, the dwarf ellipticals “may be the most common type of galaxy in the universe.”103

The significance of the abundance of these dwarf galaxies, containing from a million to perhaps 100 million stars of the same type as those in the globular clusters, is that it closes the gap between galaxy and cluster. There is now no valid reason for regarding these as two different classes of objects. “We see that there is no absolutely sharp cutoff distinguishing galaxies from globular clusters,”104 admits Harwit. The globular cluster, too, is a galaxy; a galaxy, junior grade, we may say. Thus, these clusters are the original stellar aggregates, from which the larger galaxies are formed by the capture process.

In addition to fitting into the overall aggregation process of the material sector in a natural and logical way, the identification of the globular clusters as the original products of the star formation process carries with it the identification of the nature of the process, the key element that has been lacking in previous attempts to explain the origin of the stars. The description of the structure of the globular clusters in Chapter 6 is equally applicable to the pre-cluster cloud of dust and gas. If we consider successively larger spherical aggregates of dispersed matter, the particles of this matter are subject to the same motions (forces) as the stars in the clusters. The individual particles are moving outward away from each other by reason of the progression of the natural reference system. Coincidentally they are moving inward toward each other gravitationally, and also inward toward the center of the aggregate under the gravitational influence of the aggregate as a whole. In the central regions of this aggregate, the net motion is outward, but the gravitational effect on the outer particles increases with the radius of the sphere, and at some very large distance, the inward and outward motions reach equality. Beyond this distance, the net motion is inward. As in the star cluster, the result is an equilibrium between the inward motion of the outer particles and the outward motion of the inner particles.

While the end result of this process is an equilibrium, not a condensation, the action does not stop at this point. It was brought out in the preceding chapter that there is a continuous inflow of matter from the cosmic sector of the universe. This matter is dispersed throughout all of the space of the material sector, and the mass contained within the equilibrium system is therefore slowly increased. This strengthens the gravitational forces, and initiates a contraction of the aggregate. Once begun, the contraction is self-reinforcing and it continues at an accelerating rate. Meanwhile, some subsidiary concentrations of matter form within the aggregate, and since these leave increasing amounts of vacant space, the original aggregate separates into a large group of sub—aggregates. Eventually, the sub-aggregates become stars, and the aggregate as a whole becomes a globular cluster.

This initial phase of the aggregation process is unobservable, and cannot be verified directly. There is, however, an increasing amount of evidence indicating that very large dust clouds are being pulled into the Galaxy. A rather obvious explanation of these clouds (the only one that has appeared thus far) is that they are unconsolidated globular clusters, aggregates of the kind that we have been discussing, that have been captured before they have had time to complete the condensation process.

Condensation of the aggregates that escape this fate should produce a large population of globular clusters scattered throughout inter-galactic space. This is another conclusion that cannot be verified observationally, as matters now stand, although individual clusters have been located as far out as 500,000 light years. But if the clusters are as plentiful as the foregoing conclusions would indicate, a substantial number of them should be in the process of being pulled in to the galaxies.

Here we come within the observational range, and we find full agreement. The number of globular clusters surrounding a galaxy is a function of the galactic mass, as would be expected if the clusters were originally distributed somewhat uniformly in the environment. There are a few clusters accompanying the small member of the Local Group located in Fornax, two dozen or more in the Large Magellanic Cloud, our own Milky Way galaxy has about 200, NGC 4594, the “Sombrero,” is reported to have several hundred, while the number surrounding M 87, the giant of our neighborhood, is estimated at from one to two thousand. These numbers of clusters are definitely in the order of the galactic masses.

In all of the large galaxies, the clusters are located in symmetrical patterns similar to the distribution around our own galaxy, which is a roughly spherical distribution around the galactic center. These clusters do not participate, to any significant extent, in the rotation of the galaxy. Instead, as reported by Struve, they move “much as freely falling bodies attracted by the galactic center.”105 This is just what they are, according to our new findings.

Even though all of the available information as to the nature and properties of the clusters is in agreement with this conclusion, it will be regarded by the astronomers as outrageous, because it conflicts with their current beliefs as to the ages of the stars of which the clusters are composed. The ironic feature of the situation is that the astronomical evidence of age is fully in accord with the conclusion of this present investigation that the stars of the globular clusters are the youngest of the observable stars. But the astronomers reject the observational evidence from their own field in order to accommodate their theories to an assumption that has been made by the physicists.

This crucial assumption concerns the nature of the process by which energy is generated in the stars. Although most of their assertions sound fully confident, the physicists do not claim that they actually know what this process is. W hen they want to be careful not to overstate their case, they say something like the following from an article entitled “The Energy of the Stars,” by Robert E. Marshak, “So we can safely assume that the stars produce energy by the combination of light elements through the collisions of their swiftly moving nuclei.”106 No matter how “safe” an assumption may be, it is still an assumption, not a fact, and it cannot legitimately be treated as an incontestable fact in the way in which the astronomers are now using it.

The assumption seems “safe” to the physicists only because they see no alternative at the moment. In itself, the assumption involves an extrapolation of the kind characterized by Bridgman as “perfectly hair-raising.” Even in a day when hair-raising extrapolations are somewhat commonplace, this one sets some kind of a record. In view of the gigantic extrapolation that is required to pass from the relatively insignificant temperatures and pressures that we deal with on earth to the immensely greater magnitudes which we believe (also on the strength of extrapolation) exist in the stellar interiors, even the thought that the answers thus obtained might be correct calls for the exercise of no small amount of faith in the validity of theoretical procedures. Any contention that the extrapolated results constitute firm knowledge is simply preposterous.

Nevertheless, this “safe” assumption would certainly be acceptable on a tentative basis (the highest status that can legitimately be accorded to any assumption), in spite of its lack of tangible support, if it agreed with all of the relevant empirical information from astronomical sources. But the truth is that in almost all cases where a meaningful comparison can be made, this assumption conflicts with the astronomical observations.

One very significant point is that the physicists’ process is not powerful enough to meet the astronomers’ requirements. Even before the extremely energetic compact objects were discovered, leading astronomers were asserting that “a more powerful source of energy must be assumed”107 in order to account for the emission from the blue giant stars. The recent discoveries have exacerbated the problem, as many of the new objects are emitting energy at prodigious rates. W ith respect to one of these, Jastrow and Thompson make this comment:

Pound for pound, the Seyfert galaxy may be emitting as much as one hundred times more energy than our Galaxy. Even more so than in the case of M 82, this energy release seems difficult to explain in terms of nuclear reactions in stars.”87

If the energy of the stars is generated by the conversion of hydrogen to successively heavier elements in accordance with the physicists’ hypothesis, the hot massive stars at the upper end of the main sequence must be young, inasmuch as their supply of hydrogen would quickly be exhausted at the present rate of energy output. But this conclusion that the most massive and energetic of all stars are young and short-lived is an inherently improbable hypothesis, and the astronomers recognize this, even though they are reluctant to implement their calls for a “radical revision of the laws of physics”77 by challenging this particular conclusion reached by the physicists. “It is no small matter to accept as proven the conclusion that some of our most conspicuous supergiants, like Rigel, were formed so very recently on the cosmic scale of time measurement,”108 X Bart J. Bok tells us.

There are good reasons for the skepticism revealed in this statement. As Bok evidently realized, at least vaguely, the association of product with process in incongruous. No one is suggesting that ordinary stars are products of catastrophic processes. Even those who place the principal star formation in the early stages of a Big Bang universe envision the stars as being produced by condensation of dust clouds. Furthermore, the only dust clouds available for star formation in the current stage of the universe (if there ever were any earlier stages) are cold dust clouds. The initial product of condensation must therefore be a cool star.

This point is conceded by those who have undertaken to develop the details of the star formation process. These investigators realize that star formation is not a catastrophic process. Such processes are destructive. They may produce some new combinations of the previously existing basic units, but these are no more than fragments. The general effect of such a process is to disintegrate whatever structure or structures were involved in the event. Natural building processes, on the other hand, are slow and gradual. In star formation, the dust cloud must first pass through a stage in which it is some kind of a cool and diffuse “protostar,” and then gradually evolve into a stage in which it has the characteristics of a normal star. The very nature of the production of a hot massive star from a cool dust cloud thus requires it to be a slow cumulative process extending over a long period of time.

The existence of a mass limit at which some or all stars undergo explosive processes also argues strongly against the hypothesis that the massive stars are young. A limit normally marks the end of a process, not the beginning. It implies the existence of a previous process of addition of the limited quantities, in this case, mass and temperature. All of the foregoing considerations point in the same direction. They all agree that the cool stars newly emerged from the protostar stage are young, and the hot massive stars, together with other classes of stars that have reached equilibrium states, are old.

The observed abundances of the heavier elements in the various classes of stars likewise support the finding that the present views as to the stellar age sequence are wrong. The present astronomical ideas based on the physicists’ energy generation assumption lead to a situation in which old clusters of old stars are composed of young (that is, unevolved) matter. This is clearly another inherently improbable combination.

An ingenious theory has been devised by the astronomers to account for this strange state of affairs. On the basis of the physicists’ hypothesis, the processes under way in the central regions of the stars are atom-building processes, and it is assumed that the build-up continues far enough to produce heavy elements, or “metals.” According to the theory, these metals are ejected into the environment in the supernova explosions, enriching the metal content of the interstellar dust. It follows, so the theory goes, that the stars formed early in the history of the universe, those of the globular clusters, for example, were produced from matter of low metal content, whereas those formed more recently, such as the stars of the galactic arms, were produced from matter of relatively high metal content. Although this theory is the current orthodoxy, it is conceded that there are some embarrassing conflicts with observations. For example, Ivan R. King points out that

All the stars that we know, no matter how old, have some amount of heavy elements in them. Where did these heavy atoms come from?109

Also, some globular clusters contain appreciable amounts of hot stars, a fact that is very disturbing to supporters of current theories. Struve, for instance, called the presence of these hot stars an “apparent defiance” of modern stellar evolutionary theory.110 The same problem arises from the presence of unevolved, and therefore presumably young, material in some clusters. Helen S. Hogg makes this comment in an article in the Encyclopedia Brittanica:

Puzzling features in some globular clusters are dark lanes of nebulous material… t is difficult to explain the presence of distinct, separate masses of unformed material in old systems.111

Of course, the conclusion reached in the present investigation, which finds the globular clusters to be young aggregates of young stars composed of young matter, has the inverse task of accounting for the presence of old stars in these young aggregates, but this is no problem, since the region of space in which the cluster condenses from dispersed material inevitably contains some of the old stars of the low speed components of the galactic explosion products, and these are gathered in during the condensation process.

Some recent observations of the stars of the central regions of the Galaxy offer a direct challenge to the prevailing belief as to the association of low metal content with age. For example, a 1975 review article reports measurements indicating that the “dominant stellar population in the nuclear bulges of the Galaxy and M31 consists of old metal-rich stars.”112 As the author points out, this reverses previous ideas, the ideas that are set forth in the textbooks. The term “old metal-rich stars” is, in itself, a direct contradiction of current theory. Harwit comments on this situation as follows:

There also seems to exist abundant evidence that the stars, at least in our Galaxy and in M31, have an increasingly great metal abundance as the center of the galaxy is approached.104

Any systematic change in composition “as the center of the galaxy is approached” favors the aggregation explanation of galaxy formation, which identifies the central regions as the oldest part of the galaxy. The increasing metal content is thus correlated with increasing age, as our findings indicate.

Observations that define the evolutionary pattern of the clusters produce some equally conclusive evidence, not only of the validity of the reversed age sequence, but also of the participation of the globular clusters in the aggregation, or cannibalism, process of galaxy building. Globular clusters closer to the galactic center are found to be smaller than those farther out. Studies indicate a difference of 30 percent between 10,000 and 25,000 parsecs.113 If the current explanation of the movement of the clusters in “elongated orbits” were correct, the present distance from the galactic center would have no significance, as a cluster could be anywhere in its orbit. The existence of a systematic difference between the closer and more distant clusters shows that the clusters are approaching the Galaxy, and are losing mass by reason of the differential gravitational effect as they approach. This confirms the conclusion that they are on the way to capture, and are not old features of the Galaxy, as viewed by present-day astronomical theory.

During the time that these clusters are moving toward the Galaxy there is a systematic increase in the metal content. “The farther a (globular) cluster star is from the center of the galaxy, the more deficient it seems to be in heavy elements,”114 says Iben. Bok and Bok elaborate on this point:

There seem to be rather marked differences in chemical composition between the central group (of globular clusters) and the outlying clusters. The latter seem to be generally metal-poor in their spectra, whereas metallic lines do show up more prominently in the spectra of the clusters found close to the center of our Galaxy.115

There is another class of star clusters in the Galaxy, much smaller than the globular clusters, and much more numerous, numbering as many as 40,000 by some estimates. They are much closer to the galactic plane than the globular clusters, and can be considered as being located in the Galaxy, rather than around it. These clusters, the galactic, or open, clusters, are expanding at measurable rates, and can therefore have only a relatively short life before their constituent stars merge with the general background population. It follows that there must be some process in operation that continually replenishes the supply.

The astronomers have been unable to find such a process. Like other members of the human race, they are reluctant to admit that they are baffled, so the general tendency at present is to assume that the open clusters must originate in the course of the star formation process that is believed to be taking place in dense galactic dust clouds. But this conclusion simply cannot stand up. If the cohesive forces in these clouds are strong enough to form a cluster, they are certainly strong enough to maintain it. Those who do face the issue therefore recognize that current theory has no satisfactory answer to the problem. Bok and Bok, who discuss the question at some length, conclude that at least some classes of clusters are not being replaced. The most conspicuous clusters, the Pleiades, Hyades, etc., are disintegrating, and these authors say “there seem to be no others slated to take their place.” Likewise they conclude that the “open clusters with stars of spectral type A and later… may be a vanishing species.”116

In the context of the new understanding of the place of the globular clusters in the evolutionary scheme described in this volume, there are no such difficulties. The globular clusters that are approaching from all directions will ultimately fall into the Galaxy, where they will be broken up into smaller units by the rotational forces. Bok and Bok concede that “one might be tempted to think about dismembered globular clusters as possible Pleiades-like clusters,” but since this conflicts with the prevailing ideas about stellar evolution, they dismiss this “tempting” thought as impossible. The physicists’ assumption as to the nature of the energy production process must be supported, whatever the cost.

As noted above, the open clusters are expanding at rates that are rapid enough to be measured. Here, then, is one of the rare places in astronomy where the direction of evolution can be unequivocally determined from direct observation. As the cluster ages, the density decreases because of the expansion. Studies have been made of the cluster density, and it has been found that the average open cluster currently classified as “old” (example: M67) has a higher density, and is located higher above the galactic plane, than the average open cluster currently classified as “young” (example—the double cluster in Perseus).117 Because of the expansion effect, we can identify the clusters with the greater average density (the M67 type) as the younger, and those with the lower average density (the Perseus type) as the older. This is just the opposite of the present “official” view, which, as has been pointed out, rests entirely on a curiously unquestioning faith in the currently popular theory of the stellar energy generation process.

Current astronomical theory regards all, or at least most, of these open clusters as having originated in the spiral arms. The present locations of the M67 class, well away from the assumed place of origin therefore pose a problem. The following is an example of the kind of “explanation” that is currently being offered for this anomaly:

Older (open) clusters, whose Main Sequence does not reach to the blue stars, show no correlation with spiral arms because in the intervening years their motions have carried them far from their place of birth.118

These star clusters are not where we would expect to find them, on the basis of the accepted theory of their origin, so it is simply assumed that they must have moved. A systematic motion of an entire class of objects against the gravitational force gradient, and not in the direction of the rotational forces—a most improbable happening—is casually offered as something that we can accept without any question. Even in the absence of the definite identification of the direction of evolution provided by the relative densities of the expanding clusters, it should have been evident that the lack of “correlation with the spiral arms” is a contradiction of accepted views that cannot be resolved by an unsubstantiated assumption.

Our new findings as to the relative ages of the two classes of open clusters are in agreement with the conclusions previously reached as to the relation of metal content to age, and as to the origin of the open clusters from globular clusters that fall into the Galaxy. M 67, now seen to be one of the youngest of these clusters, is one of the highest above the galactic plane, indicating that it is still falling, as would be expected if it is a fragment of a comparatively recent arrival. Furthermore, the H-R diagram of this cluster, which indicates its stellar composition, is almost identical with that of a late type globular cluster, such as M 13, whereas the stars of the open clusters that are now seen to be older, are mainly main sequence stars, comparable to the general population in their environment.

There is now a consistent evolutionary pattern all the way from the most remote globular cluster to the most advanced open cluster, a pattern that fits in comfortably with the concept of continuous galactic aggregation that is required by our findings, and is gradually making its way into astronomical thought as more and more evidence of cannibalism is accumulated. The most distant globular clusters that are observed are relatively large, and have a very small content of heavy elements (as little as 0.1 percent of the solar abundance, according to some estimates).119 As the clusters are pulled slowly in toward the Galaxy gravitationally, the atom-building processes that are under way in all matter increase the proportion of heavy elements, while at the same time the differential gravitational effects reduce the cluster mass. A more mature cluster in the immediate vicinity of the Galaxy is thus smaller, but has increased its metal content to a substantial fraction of the solar abundance.

Disruption of the cluster on entry into the galactic disk does not alter the composition, and the clusters of the M67 type therefore have essentially the same metal abundances as the late type globular clusters. As the open clusters age, the metal abundance continues to increase, and the oldest of these clusters reach levels comparable to those of the general field stars in the environment. As indicated earlier, this is not the end of the atom-building process. The still older stars in the central regions of the Galaxy have a still greater metal content.

The factual information thus far available does not define the nature of the process by which the heavier elements are built up, except that it requires this process to be one that operates continuously throughout the existence of matter in the material sector. This rules out processes such as the currently favored high temperature reactions in the central regions of the stars, and it suggests some kind of a capture process. Neutrons are readily absorbed under almost any conditions, and may play the dominant role. For present purposes, however, all that we need to know is that such a process exists, a fact that is demonstrated by the observed results.

The information presented in the foregoing pages should be more than sufficient to show that the conclusion as to the nature of the aggregation process from sub-atomic particle to giant galaxy that has been derived from factual premises is fully in accord with the relevant facts disclosed by astronomical observation, even though it conflicts with some of the beliefs that currently prevail in astronomical circles. The reciprocal relation between space and time then assures us that the same kind of an aggregation process is taking place in the cosmic sector of the universe. The large-scale action of the universe can thus be summarized in this manner:

Location Process Final State
3-dimensional space aggregation concentrated in space
Intermediate region ejection dispersed in time
3-dimensional time aggregation concentrated in time
Intermediate region ejection dispersed in space

Here in a nutshell is the cosmological understanding at which we arrive by developing the necessary consequences of the new factual information uncovered in the course of the scalar motion investigation. These results show that the large-scale action of the universe is cyclic. The final products of the major aggregation processes of the material sector are ejected, pass through the intermediate, or transition, zone, and enter the cosmic sector, where they become the primitive entities of that sector. The final products of the major aggregation processes of the cosmic sector are similarly ejected back into the material sector, and become the primitive entities of that sector.

This is a steady state universe, but unlike the universe contemplated by the theory that goes by that name, it faces no problem in obtaining its raw material, or in disposing of its end products. The raw material does not have to be created in defiance of the conservation laws. It is continually being supplied from the inverse sector, and that sector is constantly available to receive the processed material.. The new understanding thus retains the desirable characteristics of the Steady State theory without its disadvantages. At the same time, it provides the key feature of the Big Bang theory, an explanation of the recession of the distant galaxies, and does so directly from the inherent nature of scalar motion, eliminating the need for any implausible ad hoc assumption such as the Big Bang.

We do not have the option of accepting or rejecting physical facts, or the necessary and unavoidable consequences thereof, as we do conclusions based on theories or assumptions. It is therefore superfluous to present a “case in favor” of the factual understanding that has just been derived, but the redundancy involved in so doing appears to be worthwhile as a means of emphasizing the difference between the results of a factual development and those of theories based on speculative assumptions. The points in favor of this new understanding can be summarized as follows:

1. There is nothing ad hoc in this understanding, nor does it depend in any way on theoretical premises. All conclusions have been derived from established facts and their necessary consequences.

2. All of the points listed in favor of either of the two current theories are equally applicable to the understanding described herein.

3. None of the points listed as objections to either of these current theories is applicable to this new understanding.

Some comment probably needs to be made concerning item number 3 in the list of objections to the Big Bang theory, which involves postulating phenomena on a scale immensely greater than anything now known. It may perhaps be argued that the new understanding is doing the same thing in asserting the existence of speeds much greater than that of light. The answer to this is that this extension of the speed limit is not an assumption. It comes from a newly discovered fact: the existence of scalar motion in three dimensions. Since it is already known that speeds approaching the speed of light can be attained in the one scalar dimension capable of representation in the conventional spatial reference system, the factual finding that motion can take place in three such dimensions automatically raises the limiting magnitude of the total speed to three times the speed of light.

It is particularly significant that this new understanding is not subject to item number 5 in the list of objections to the Big Bang theory. It is a broad-based set of established facts, and consequences thereof, that leads to many conclusions in many fields of science, as indicated in the preceding pages of this volume. The broad scope of these findings unites cosmology not only with astronomy, but also with physics, and provides a host of opportunities for correlation with reliable data from observation.

Turning now to the objections that can be raised against the new understanding, we find the following:

1. This understanding is new and unfamiliar.

2. It applies only to the physical universe, not necessarily to all existence.

3. It does not explain the origin and eventual fate of the universe. The first of these objections can be overcome in time. Whether or not it will be possible to extend our investigations into the areas to which the other two items refer is not indicated by the facts developed in the scalar motion study. Invalidation of the view of space and time as a container for all that exists leaves open the possibility that there may be existences other than the physical universe, but the facts developed herein have relevance only to that universe.

The more that has been learned about the physical universe, the more evident it has become that we are learning only what it is and what it does. There is nothing in this information to give us any clue as to how it originated, or, indeed, whether it had an origin. As it appears in the light of the findings of the scalar motion investigation, the physical universe is an existing, self-contained, and self-perpetuating mechanism. Perhaps it was created. Perhaps it may eventually be destroyed. But creation, if it took place, must have been accomplished by agencies outside the physical universe itself (as the advocates of creation contend). Likewise there can be no destruction unless some outside agency intervenes. In the absence of such intervention, the physical universe will continue operating indefinitely, without any significant change in its large-scale aspects.