Zwicky Constant bumps Big-Bang cuckoo from astronomical nest

When American astronomer Edwin Hubble noted red shifts in the spectral lines from distant galaxies, some astronomers viewed these to mean that these galaxies were receding.

Others, including Hubble himself, and the brilliant Swiss-American astronomer Fritz Zwicky, did not accept this view. Zwicky did an extensive mathematical analysis, and concluded that the red shifts were due to “gravitational drag” exerted on light as it travelled long distances through the cosmos.

He arranged for Ten Bruggencate, a fellow astronomer, to do practical measurements on the relation between red-shift and the distribution of matter in space. The results supported Zwicky’s view.


Zwicky was a giant innovator of his times. He was the first to investigate and define such topics as dark matter, supernovas, gravitational lensing, and use of supernovas as standard candles. He predicted the existence of neutron stars, forty years before they were found.

Unfortunately, the view that red-shifts were due to galaxies receding, and at a rate increasing with their distance from the Earth, came to gain the popular cachet of most astronomers. It led to the “Big Bang Theory”. According to this, the whole of our cosmos sprang from an infinitesimal point, creating matter and energy galaxies which are still expanding.

Although “Big Bang” was little more than a creation myth which defied all laws of physics, proof that it is a fallacy has been slow to find acceptance. “Big Bang” is complex and esoteric, with ‘inflation’ at greater than the speed of light, Einstein’s “Cosmological Constant” to fix relativity problems, and more.

Now Australian scientist David Noel has reinstated Zwicky’s original take on the Red Shift, defining the “Zwicky Constant” as the distance over which light travels for Gravitational Drag to double its wavelength (lose half its energy).

The treatment is simple and elegant, jettisoning all the complications and fudges of “Big Bang”.

He compares the current situation to that of a cuckoo egg in a nest. Initially the cuckoo egg looks that of its host parents, but it hatches first and immediately dumps its nestmates over the side.

Its poor host parents struggle to feed the cuckoo chick, which grows to five times their size, and turns into an alien monster. The host parents do not reject the monster because they regard it as “their own child”, however grotesque. So too with “Big Bang” and the astrophysics community.

The source article is at: Refining the Zwicky Constant: A new more soundly-based constant for inter-galactic distances, replacing the Hubble Constant .


  • Stuart  On 2014 December 1 Monday at 9:52 pm

    It’s great to read someone write so clearly about the big (bang?) “elephant in the room”.

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