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A Different Approach to Cosmology: From a Static Universe through the Big Bang towards Reality 1st Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0521662239
ISBN-10: 0521662230
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Editorial Reviews

From Scientific American

For modern readers, raised on 1984 and Kurt Cobain, anything that smacks of the mainstream arouses suspicion. So after every cosmology article in Scientific American, editors brace for an onslaught of letters demanding that alternatives to conventional theories be given their due. This book describes the best-developed such alternative: the quasi-steady-state theory, the latest incarnation of the steady-state theory that Fred Hoyle first devised in 1948. It argues that the famous cosmic microwave background radiation is diffuse starlight rather than the afterglow of a hot big bang; that stars synthesized the chemical elements usually attributed to the bang; and that matter is continuously created and ejected from the cores of galaxies. The heterodoxy is seductive. But in a commentary in the April 1999 issue of Physics Today, cosmologist Andreas Albrecht outlined the failings of the theory and the tests it would need to pass before being taken seriously by most cosmologists. If nothing else, a critical reading of this book shows that "mainstream" isn't such a dirty word after all. Science is tricky. Seemingly plausible ideas can have subtle flaws, and it takes a collective effort of problem solving to find them out.


"Professor Sir Fred Hoyle, Britain's greatest living astrophysicist...launches his most comprehensive attack against the Big Bang theory, in a book with the archly subversive title A Different Approach to Cosmology...when Hoyle makes a cosmic pronouncement, it is invariably worth hearing...Together with two other respected astrophysicists, Hoyle systematically reviews the evidence for the Big Bang theory, and gives it a good kicking...it's hard not to be impressed with the audacity of the demolition job...I can only hope that I possess one-thousandth of Hoyles' fighting spirit when I, like him, have reached my 85th year." The Sunday Telegraph

"The writing style is lively and personal, and the scientific arguments are written in such a way as to be accessible to upper-division undergraduate students in physics and astrophysics. The book is very well referenced and illustrated with suitable and approproate illustrations. Recommended for upper-division undergraduates, graduate students, and two-year technical program students." Choice

"This is a fascinating book, expressing the views of three scientists who choose to go against the conventional cosmological wisdom. It is extremely important for such skepticism to exist and for such books to be written." Physics Today

"The book is a serious and professional contribution to scientific cosmology." Sky & Telescope

"Throughout the last few decades, Fred Hoyle, Geoffrey Burbidge, and Jayant Narlikar have done the cosmology community a great service by developing and defending a serious alternative to Big Bang models of cosmic origins. A Different Approach to Cosmology is a summary of their work...by elucidating one of the hot Big Bang's competitors, the authors provide a good educational exercise for any graduate student interested in fundamental cosmology." Science

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 369 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 1 edition (March 13, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521662230
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521662239
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 1.3 x 9.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,435,141 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Sir Fred Hoyle and fellow authors, Geoffrey Burbidge and Jayant Narlikar show why the paradigm debates in modern cosmology ended too soon! Their sweeping analysis includes the early static universe concepts, the Einstein, de Sitter, and Friedmann-Lemaitre relativistic models, the controversy of the classic Steady-State vs. the Big Bang, and the contemporary Big Bang paradigm. As participants, they discuss the controversies over interpretation of the Hubble velocity-distance relation, light element origins, the radio sources and their fabled distributions, the quasars, the cosmic microwave background, and large-scale matter distribution.
They summarize the accumulating evidences for intrinsic-peculiar redshifts, and ejection of compact X-ray and optical sources from active galactic nuclei. The Big Bang is found wanting both in theoretical assumption and observationally. Building on their Quasi-Steady-State cosmology, the authors propose that both observation and scale-invariant gravitational equations require us to consider an ongoing-episodic creation of matter within the universe. . . .
Don't let prevailing theory (or episodic mathematical equations) keep you from reading this important book!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A rare and well balanced scientific discussion of the relative merits of the new Quasi Steady State versus Big Bang concept of the Universe. This book gives the reader a feel for the basis of our understanding of the Universe. A feeling for the vast uncertainties concerning our interpretation of distant objects, such as Quasars.
Please note: This book is for serious students of cosmology. The authors presume the reader has an understanding of general relativity.
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Format: Paperback
In all fields of human endeavor, one must exhibit a commitment to the Truth in that arena. It is in that spirit that this book is written, it is a search for discovering a more truthful cosmological model of the observable universe.

The first 12 chapters of this book is a trenchant analysis of the existing observational evidence in support of the standard Big Bang model as well its critique.

The authors then review the Friedman solution and proceed with a brief discussion of the standard cosmological model - the Big Bang model - which is followed by a discussion of the (Quasi)-Steady-State cosmological model and its observational ramifications (chapters 15, to 21).

[There is a one-page exposition of the Steady-State model in the book "Tensors, Relativity, and Cosmology" by Eric A Lord that I found useful.]

Overall, I believe that the authors have done a decent job of making a strong case for the (Quasi)-Steady-State cosmological model as an Big Bang model and the (Quasi)-Steady-State model suffer from the fact that they require new and hitherto unobserved fields. In the Big Bang model, that would be the Inflation field and in the (Quasi)-Steady-State model, the creation field. Clearly, the observations cannot be explained by the known physics - new physics has to be invented to account for the observations.

There is one major difference between the 2 models from a physical point of view: the (Quasi)-Steady-State model has the merit of respecting the Principle of the Conservation of Energy.

I note here that the intrinsic Redshift of the Quasars may be caused by the so-called Wolf effect (Emil Wolf et al., Redshifts and blueshifts of spectral lines caused by source correlations" (1987) Optics Communications 62: 12--16. Mark F.
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Format: Paperback
The tone of "A Different Approach to Cosmology," by Sir Fred Hoyle, Geoffrey Burbidge and Jayant V. Narlikar is set in the book's Introduction whereby the authors lay down their challenge to conventionally accepted ideas concerning the Universe. Citing Agnes Clerke's book "The System of the Stars" ( 1905 ) in which the Milky Way galaxy was considered as constituting the entirety of the Universe, and then citing Einstein's fixed notion of a static Universe, the three authors argue their core point that the same type of boxed thinking is prevalent in the scientific community today especially regarding the accepted "fact" of Big Bang cosmology as a means of explaining the Universe.

The format of the book follows a chronological sequence of the development of cosmology from the beginning to the end of the 20th century. The previous century witnessed the development of big science funded by organisations such as NASA in the US and the Science Research Council in the UK. Hoyle, Burbidge and Narlikar claim that scientists utilising the facilities provided by the funding from such like organisations must not only make "extravegent claims" ( p. viii in the Preface ) regarding what they expect to find, but, that after having conducted their research activities, they have indeed actually found what they expected to find, with the woeful result that "....there is no room for the discovery of phenomena which has not already been expected" ( p. viii in the Preface ).

The second chapter entitled "Early Relatavistic Cosmology" demonstrates that cosmological thinking during the opening years of the 20th century centred around a Universe that was static, homogeneous and isotropic.
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