Volume 3: Pages 275-280, 1990
The Behavior of Light and Matter in the Expanding Universe
Peter Smith 1
111 Warren Lane, Long Ashton, Bristol BS18 9DA England
Special relativity has conditioned us to certain habits of thought which are difficult to break. As a result, the big‐bang model of the expanding universe is usually seen in the light of special relativity, which leads to paradoxical results. The model presented here is based on the Robertson‐Walker metric, derived from general relativity, and is the limiting case of more complex Friedmann models. It shows how light in the expanding universe does not behave the same as it does in the laboratory or the solar system; instead, light from distant sources may initially recede from us before speeding towards us, until it reaches us at the usual speed c. As a result, a different picture of the size of the universe and the ages of sources, such as quasars, emerges. The model is extended to explain the uniformity of the background radiation and to reveal the constant‐temperature universe.
Keywords: cosmology, big bang, expanding universe, redshift, Mach's principle, size of the universe, Olbers' paradox, constant‐temperature universe, background radiation, background neutrinos
Received: May 3, 1989; Published Online: December 15, 2008