An Indian and an American scientist have questioned the Big Bang theory, saying it does not serve as a viable explanation for the origin of the universe.
The research papers of Ashwini Kumar Lal of India's Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation and Rhawn Joseph of Northern California's Brain Research Laboratory have been accepted for publication in the April issue of the peer-reviewed Harvard journal, Journal of Cosmology.
The research papers come even as scientists at Geneva's European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) are in the midst of experiments on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) recreating conditions of the beginning of the universe.
"The two scientific papers cast shadows of suspicion over the efficacy of the Big Bang model. The scientific community may have to ponder afresh over the issue relating to the origin of the universe," Lal told IANS in New Delhi.
He also noted that CERN scientists "are trying to jigsaw a theory which fits the conditions of the Big Bang model".
"The Big Bang is said to have occurred 13.75 billion years. But there is evidence, as I have written in my paper, that there were fully formed distant galaxies that must have already been billions of years old at the time," he added.
In his paper "Big Bang? A Critical Review", Lal says: "There is a growing body of evidence which demonstrates the Universe could not have begun with a Big Bang 13.75 billion years ago.
"Indeed, the day may come when it is determined there never was a Big Bang and cosmologists of the future will only gaze back in wonder at how anyone could have believed in a creation event which was refuted by so much contradictory evidence," he adds.
According to the paper, one of the "acid tests" relating to the validity of the Big Bang model is the "detection of remnants of gravity waves from the earliest epoch of the universe.
"Existence of gravitational wave background, as predicted by Einstein in 1916 in his general theory of relativity, is expected from the violent early moments of the Big Bang much like the cosmic microwave background that fills the sky with radio waves from the early universe," Lal says.
While the microwave background presumably originated 380,000 years after the Big Bang, the gravitational wave background purportedly comes directly from events in the first minute after the Big Bang, the scientist says.
"The cataclysmic Big Bang is believed to have created a flood of gravitational waves; ripples in the fabric of space-time. These gravitational waves should still fill the universe.
"However, presumably they are at a very feeble strength and cannot be detected by conventional astronomical tools. Nevertheless, they should carry information about the universe as it was in the immediate aftermath of the Big Bang.
"If these waves cannot be detected, this challenges the Big Bang," Lal maintains.
He also points out that lots of metal has been detected in distant quasars and galaxies, "and if distance is related to age, this means that many of the oldest, most distant galaxies are metal rich; and this defies the predictions of the Big Bang".
This means there are "fully formed distant galaxies that must have already been billions of years old over 13 billion years ago, which would make them older than the Big Bang", Lal contends.
Lal closely studied 38 research works in the areas of astrophysics, physics and cosmology before writing his paper. This is his third paper on the subject to be published in a foreign journal. The others are Origin of Life (Astrophysics and Space Science, October 2008) and Searching for Life on Habitable Planets and Moons (Journal of Cosmology, February 2010). He also has to his credit some 30-research papers published in Indian journals.