Letter | Published:

Interpretation of observed cosmic microwave background radiation

Naturevolume 266pages698699 (1977) | Download Citation

Subjects

Abstract

THE observed cosmic microwave background radiation, which has a high degree of spatial isotropy (ΔT/T≤10−3) and which closely fits a 2.7 K black body spectrum, is generally claimed to be the strongest piece of evidence in support of hot big bang cosmologies by its proponents (for a recent review see ref. 1). Alternative explanations in terms of the integrated effect of a suitable population of extragalactic radio sources2–6 have been criticised, essentially on the ground that there is no known population of extragalactic objects with a source density sufficient to explain the observed small-scale isotropy of the microwave background7. We report here that the ‘surface of last-scattering’ of the observed microwave background radiation corresponds to the distribution of dust in galaxies or proto-galaxies with a temperature ≈110 K at the epoch corresponding to Z 40, and not to a plasma of temperature 3,000 K at an earlier epoch (Z 1,000), as given by the canonical model of big bang cosmologies. The claim that this radiation lends strong support to hot big bang cosmologies is without foundation.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

References

  1. 1

    Alpher, R. A. & Herman, R. Proc. Am. Phil. Soc. 119, 325 (1975).

  2. 2

    Sciama, D. W. Nature 211, 277 (1966).

  3. 3

    Gold, T. & Pacini, F. Astrophys. J. Lett. 152, L115 (1968).

  4. 4

    Pariiski, Y. N. Soviet astr. A. J. 12, 219 (1968).

  5. 5

    Narlikar, J. V. & Wickramasinghe, N. C. Nature 217, 1236 (1968).

  6. 6

    Wolfe, A. M. & Burbidge, G. R. Astrophys. J. 156, 345 (1969).

  7. 7

    Hazard, C. & Saltpeter, E. E. Astrophys. J. Lett. 157, L87 (1969).

  8. 8

    Wickramasinghe, N. C., Edmunds, M. G., Chitre, S. M., Narlikar, J. V. & Ramadurai, S. Astrophys. Space Sci. 35, L9 (1975).

  9. 9

    Nickerson, B. G. & Partridge, R. B. Astrophys. J. 169, 203 (1971).

  10. 10

    Karachentsev, L. D. & Lipovetski, V. A. Astr. J. 45, 1148 (1968).

  11. 11

    Gearhart, M. R. et al. Nature 249, 743 (1974).

  12. 12

    Noonen, T. W. Astr. J. 76, 190 (1971).

  13. 13

    Wickramasinghe, N. C. Interstellar Grains, 105 (Chapman and Hall, London, 1967).

  14. 14

    Hoyle, F. & Wickramasinghe, N. C. Nature 223, 459 (1969).

  15. 15

    Campbell, M. F. et al. Astrophys. J. 208, 396 (1976).

  16. 16

    Spitzer, L. Diffuse Matter in Space, 67 (Interscience, New York, 1968).

  17. 17

    Gott, J. R. III, Gunn, J. E., Schramm, D. N. & Tinsley, B. M. Astrophys. J. 194, 543 (1974).

  18. 18

    Field, G. B. Galaxies and the Universe (eds Sandage, A., Sandage, M. & Kristian, K.), 359 (University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1976).

  19. 19

    Davis, M. Frontiers of Astrophysics (ed. Averett, E. H.), 472 (Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 1976).

  20. 20

    Alvén, H. & Klein, O. Ark. Fys. 23, 187 (1962).

  21. 21

    Alvén, H. Phys. Today 24, 28 (1971).

  22. 22

    Alvén, H. TRITA-EPP-76-14 (Trans. Inst. Tech. Stockholm, 1976).

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Department of Applied Physics and Information Science, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California, 92093

    • HANNES ALFVEN
    •  & ASOKA MENDIS

Authors

  1. Search for HANNES ALFVEN in:

  2. Search for ASOKA MENDIS in:

About this article

Publication history

Received

Accepted

Issue Date

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/266698a0

Further reading

Comments

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.