A solution to the cosmological problem of relativity theory
After nearly a century of scientific investigation, the standard cosmological theory continues to have many unexplained problems, which invariably amount to one troubling statement: we know of no good reason for the Universe to appear just as it does, which is described extremely well by the flat ΛCDM cosmological model. Therefore, the problem is not that the physical model is at all incompatible with observation, but that, as our empirical results have been increasingly constrained, it has also become increasingly obvious that the Universe does not meet our prior expectations; e.g., the evidence suggests that the Universe began from a singularity of the theory that is used to describe it, and with space expanding thereafter in cosmic time, even though relativity theory is thought to imply that no such objective foliation of the spacetime continuum should reasonably exist. Furthermore, the expanding Universe is well-described as being flat, isotropic, and homogeneous, even though its shape and expansion rate are everywhere supposed to be the products of local energy-content—and the necessary prior uniform distribution, of just the right amount of matter for all three of these conditions to be met, could not have been causally determined to begin with. And finally, the empirically constrained density parameters now indicate that all of the matter that we directly observe should make up only four percent of the total, so that the dominant forms of energy in the Universe should be dark energy in the form of a cosmological constant, Λ, and cold dark matter (CDM). The most common ways of attacking these problems have been: to apply modifications to the basic physical model, e.g. as in the inflation and quintessence theories which strive to resolve the horizon, flatness, and cosmological constant problems; to use particle physics techniques in order to formulate the description of dark matter candidates that might fit with observations; and, in the case of the Big Bang singularity, to appeal to the need for a quantum theory of gravity. This thesis takes a very different approach to the problem, in hypothesising that, because our physical model really does appear to do a very good job of describing the observed cosmic expansion rate, and all the data indicate that our Universe might well expand precisely according to the flat ΛCDM scale-factor, it may not be the model, but our basic expectations that need to be modified in order to derive a physical theory that stands in reasonable agreement with the empirical results; i.e., that it may actually be that we need to re-examine, and rationally modify our expectations of what should theoretically be, so that we might derive a theory to explain the empirical results of cosmology, which would be based solely on reasonably acceptable first principles. Therefore, a self-consistent theory is constructed here, upon re-consideration of the cosmological foundations of relativity theory, which eventually does afford an explanation of the cosmological problem, as it provides good reason to actually expect observations in the fundamental rest-frame to be described precisely by the flat ΛCDM scale-factor which has been empirically constrained.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
DepartmentPhysics and Engineering Physics
CommitteeSmolyakov, Andrei; Sowa, Artur; Tanaka, Kaori; Ghezelbash, Masoud; Callender, Craig
Copyright DateMarch 2012
relativity of time