Spectroscopy is the study of the absorption and emission of light by atoms and molecules, and how this relates to the wavelengths of light. It is a science of the spectrum, a set of energy bands of varying wavelengths (colours) produced by electromagnetic radiation. It is typified for a visually oriented species like humans by the rainbow band of colours that emerges when you pass white light through a prism (or sunlight through raindrops). This property of light became the domain of Isaac Newton in the late 17th century. In his 1704 masterpiece of theoretical dualism, Opticks, Newton defined many of the ground rules 200 years before spectroscopy was first seriously applied.
It’s amazing how progress in astronomy has followed in huge leaps upon the development of new observational technology. The Middle Eastern scholars of the first five hundred years AD gave us the basis for mapping the sky when they devised the concept of degrees of arc—the novel idea that cycles can be represented by circles, quantitatively divided up into equal segments we today call degrees. They also invented the astrolabe, an instrument for measuring celestial angles. This technology carried us through the revelations of Copernicus, the eye-watering accuracy of Tycho Brahe’s observational catalogues, and subsequent analysis by Johann Kepler which resulted in our understanding of orbital motion and which led ultimately to Newton’s laws of motion and gravitation.
The stars are what they are irrespective of the opinions expressed in the field of cosmology. It amazes me that pronouncements are made about distant objects with such unshakeable certainty when in the cold light of day the reach of verifiable science is not nearly so self-assured. I am reminded of Al Gore’s brazen assertion that “the science is settled” in climatology, a field which rivals cosmology in chaotic outcomes. The most daunting challenge facing space science is that of scale. In an infinite Universe, we will always be infinitely more ignorant than we are wise. In my view, we have more than enough to keep us occupied in the celestial neighbourhood, and would do well to take things one step at a time. Compare the science proposed in Hannes Alfven and Gustav Arrhenius “The Evolution of the Solar System” with Alan Guth’s pronouncements on Inflation Theory, or George Smoot’s take on the CMB, or indeed, even the core principles of General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics. The question I like to ask myself is “How does this theory connect to observed reality?” In a sitting room conversation with Halton Arp a few years ago, the late Fred Hoyle said, “I suppose that in the end, Chip, the Universe will have its say.”
From chapter 3 of the third edition of The Virtue of Heresy:
The tidal wave caused jointly by Max Planck’s 1900 quantum hypothesis and Einstein’s relativity swept the scientific world, and by 1930, physics was standing on its head. As professor of mathematics at the University of Leningrad, Alexander Friedmann enthusiastically promoted these ideas, and his students took them and ran.
One young man in particular would go on to become world-renowned on the stages of mathematics, nuclear physics, genetics, and cosmology, and without him this story could not be told.
Georgy Antonovich Gamov was born in Odessa, Ukraine, in 1904. He showed an exceptional gift for mathematics and science, and in due course found himself in the mathematics classes of Alexander Friedmann, who was then at the height of his fame. Before the adventurous Friedmann’s premature death of typhus fever in 1925, he spent long hours discussing his ideas of the cosmos with Gamov, and these naturally included the notion of an expanding Universe. Gamov, strangely enough, was not convinced. Not yet!
What is this blog about? Let me state some assumptions that I make, and you are welcome to comment.
1. The Universe is infinite in both space and time.
2. Space is 3D Euclidean. No other space exists besides that.
3. A vacuum does not exist.
4. The Universe is the product of pre-emptive design.
5. The speed of light, though constant in any medium, is not absolute.
6. Rotation of astrophysical objects, and therefore the structure of systems, is somehow linked to electro-magnetic polarity.
7. In terms of physics and chemistry, Big Bang Theory fails in every key respect.
8. The Standard Solar Model and the standard model for the Solar System are defective in some important areas.
9. Anthropogenic Global Warming is a myth.
10. The Hubble Law is without basis in fact.
11. Systematic universal expansion is unfounded.
12. Empiricism rules!
I am writing two books simultaneously, much to the chagrin of my collaborators and publishers. Book two, “The Static Universe – A Challenge to Scientific Prejudice”, a fairly technical, scholarly work with Sir Patrick Moore, is nearly complete, and I intend taking the manuscript and a bottle of tranquilisers to Sir Patrick’s home in Selsey, England, in the New Year. The third of my tomes,“Unseemly Haste – The Catastrophe of Modern Science” hovers at around 200 pages, and changes colour like a chameleon.
One of the issues that raised the blood pressure of a few – very few – Virtue of Heresy readers concerns the question of evolution. The evolutionary scheme espoused by Big Bang Theory just doesn’t work, and I say so. Chapter 5 in Heresy lays out my arguments quite clearly, and is purely secular. It has nothing at all to do with religion. So relax, please, those at left and right extremes of the creation divide. Just use your common sense. That should be sufficient to clarify the need for BB theorists to go back to the drawing board and rework the way they suggest the Universe grew to what it appears to be today.
Here is a paragraph from book three for you to mull over while you save up to buy a gilt-edged, leather-bound hardback of the first edition:
“If we look at two parameters of biological organisms – diversity and complexity – and suggest, according to a purely evolutionary theory, that both conditions came about fortuitously because of interaction events over long periods of time, then we should expect that the phenomena of diversity and complexity should be scale invariant. Tiny things and gigantic things on the universal scale should also be diverse and complex.”