James Peebles won this year's Nobel Prize in physics to help turn the cosmology field into a respected science, but if there is a term he hates to hear, it is "Big Bang Theory."
The leading explanation of the universe in its earliest periods has kept for decades, with Peeble's early work exploring cosmic background radiation that helps cement many of the details.
But "the first thing to understand about my area is that its name, Big Bang Theory, is pretty inappropriate," the 84-year-old told a rapt audience at an event honoring US-based Nobel laureates at a Swedish Embassy event in Washington at Wednesday.
The notion of an event and a position, both of which are quite wrong, he went on to add that there is in fact no concrete evidence of a gigantic explosion.
The Nobel Committee last month honored Peebles for his work since the mid-1960s to develop the current theoretical framework of the young universe.
But he is careful to note that he does not know the "beginning."
"It is very unfortunate that you think about the beginning, while we actually have no good theory about such a thing as the beginning," he told AFP in an interview.
However, we have a "well-tested theory of evolution from an early state" to the present state, beginning with "the first seconds of expansion" – literally the first seconds of time, which have left cosmological signatures called "fossils."
Fossils in paleontology mean the preserved remains of living things from earlier geological ages. The oldest cosmological fossils are the creation of helium and other particles as a result of nucleosynthesis when the universe was very hot and very dense.
These theories are well argued for the preponderance of evidence and control, unlike the theories of the mysterious phase in the past.
"We do not have a strong test of what happened in the past," said Peebles, a professor emeritus at Princeton. "We have theories, but not tested."
"I give up"
"Theories, ideas are wonderful, but to me they become established when they pass tests," he continued.
"Theories, of course, a bright physicist They can have nothing to do with reality.
" You discover which theories are close to reality by comparing with experiments. We just have no experimental evidence of what happened before. "
One of these theories is known as the 'inflation model', which says that the early universe expanded rapidly in a small, tiny fraction of a second before the expansion phase.
" It's a beautiful theory, "Peebles said. thinks it is so beautiful that it is certainly right. But the evidence of it is very sparse. "
Asked which term he would prefer to" Big Bang, "Peebles replies: I dislike it.
"But for several years some of us have been trying to convince society to find a better term without success. So "Big Bang" it is. It's unfortunate, but everyone knows that name. So I give up. "
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© 2019 AFP
The top cosmologist's lone fight against the & # 39; Big Bang & # 39; theory (2019, November 14)
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