The Origin of the 3 K Radiation.

Paul Marmet (1932-2005)

Updated extract from: Apeiron, Vol. 2, Nr. 1 January 1995

( Last checked 2018/01/16 - The estate of Paul Marmet )
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     It is recalled that one of the most fundamental laws of physics leads to the prediction that all matter emits electromagnetic radiation. That radiation, called Planck's radiation, covers an electromagnetic spectrum that is characterized by the absolute temperature of the emitting matter. From astronomical observations we observe that most matter in the universe is in the gas phase at 3 K. Stars of course are much hotter. The characteristic Planck's spectrum, corresponding to 3 K, is actually observed in the universe exactly as required.
        However, in the standard model of the universe, the simple fundamental Planck's law has been ignored. It is claimed that the observed radiation comes from a combination of complicated hypotheses, involving an elaborate "creation mechanism" called the Big Bang. After this event, the radiation would have been emitted at a single instant when matter became decoupled from radiation. Finally, that radiation would have been shifted increasing its wavelength about 1000 times. We show that the 3 K radiation spectrum observed is simply the Planck's radiation emitted by gaseous matter at 3 K.

        1 - Usual Interpretation of the 3 K Radiation.
        One of the most frequently used arguments in favor of the Big Bang hypothesis is the observation of the 3 K radiation from space. In this hypothesis it is considered that the universe started as an expanding mass of matter at an extremely high temperature. The density of that very dense matter was originally so high that it was then opaque and light could not pass through it. During the expansion, the temperature and the density of the universe were gradually decreasing, so that the universe became more and more transparent. When the temperature of this young universe reached about 3000 K, about 15 billion years ago the universe became sufficiently transparent so that the radiation emitted could move across cosmological distances without being absorbed significantly. It is said that the radiation became then decoupled with matter. It is that radiation that is still traveling through space today and that we would observe under the "appearance" of 3 K radiation.
        We must further notice that nothing in the description given above has ever been witnessed directly. It is like a tale. The Big Bang hypothesis must be submitted to tests. Many examples of failures of those tests have been shown. For example, if the universe started as a very high concentration of matter, it can be calculated that it was then a Black Hole. However, relativity shows that Black Holes cannot expand. The Big Bang is therefore incompatible with the early expansion of the universe when relativity is taken into account as shown previously. As mentioned previously, the Big Bang hypothesis is another "creationist theory" for which the only difference with the usual "creationist theory" claiming that universe started 4000 B.C. is by changing the number 4000 B.C. by 15 billion years.

2 - a) Structure of Atomic H and Molecular Hydrogen H2.
        Before understanding the origin of the 3 K radiation observed in space, we need to know the properties of matter filling space. Astronomical observations show that there is a very large quantity of atomic hydrogen (H) in the universe. Atomic hydrogen is composed of an electron electrically bound to a proton forming neutral hydrogen. Protons, just as electrons have a fundamental property called "spin". In a hydrogen atom, those spins are coupled either parallel or anti parallel. The interesting point is that a transition from a parallel to an anti parallel coupling of spins in hydrogen (and vice versa) takes place when hydrogen is emitting (or absorbing) electromagnetic radiation at a wavelength of 21 cm. Consequently, one can determine the amount of atomic hydrogen H in the universe by measuring the amount of radiation absorbed (or emitted) at 21 cm. The actual observation of the 21 cm. line proves that there is a very abundant amount of atomic hydrogen in the universe.
        It is well known in basic physics and chemistry that atomic hydrogen H is quite unstable. Spectroscopy reveals that when one has a given quantity of atomic hydrogen in a given volume, these atoms react between themselves to form molecular hydrogen (H2). This is unlike helium and other inert gases that remain mono-atomic. Atomic hydrogen reacts so readily, that it is impossible to buy or keep any quantity of stable atomic hydrogen, because atoms of atomic hydrogen combine in pairs, to produce very stable bound H2 molecules. Molecular H2 is extremely stable at normal pressure down to the most extreme vacuum. One can expect that, after billions of years, an important fraction of atomic hydrogen H in the universe is already combined to form the extremely stable molecular hydrogen (H2). The recombination mechanisms will be discussed below. One might then ask why we do not report the detection of a large amount of molecular hydrogen H2 in space. We are told that it is simply because it does not exist. Such a naive answer requires further study.
        Let us examine how molecular hydrogen H2 can be detected in space. In molecular hydrogen, there are two protons and two electrons bound together. The bounding of those particles is such that interaction with visible or infrared light cannot break or even excite that bounding. The transition is forbidden for a dipole transition. Molecular H2 is among the most transparent gases in the universe. Consequently, one cannot hope to detect free H2 in space by usual spectroscopic means.

        3 - a) Absence of Optical Transitions in H2.
        Since there are no optically allowed electronic transitions in H2 in the currently observed range of frequencies, one might argue that one could make H2 vibrate or rotate using the appropriate frequency of electromagnetic radiation. Those mechanisms do exist in principle, but they are forbidden in practice due to the absence of electric or magnetic dipole. Let us illustrate the extreme insensibility of H2 to detection.
        Rotational transitions of H2 are located in the radio range where one has about the maximum sensitivity of detection of E-M radiation. In spectroscopy, we are used to dipole transitions that take place in about 10-8 sec. However, the lifetime of the first rotational state of hydrogen H2 is so long that the spontaneous emission is practically nonexistent. A transition from the second rotational state, which is relatively much more probable, would require about 25 billion seconds (1000 years). One must reach the sixth state before the transition time becomes 25 million seconds. This last transition is about 1015 times less probable that a normal dipole transition. Different values are given on Table 1.

 Lifetimes of Transitions in Molecular H2.

Nature of Transition
Lifetime (in seconds)
Normal Dipole Transitions
H from v=1
>2.5 x 1012
H2 from v=2
>2.5 x 1010
.   .   .   .
.   .   .
.   .   .   .
.   .   .
H2 from v=6
>2.5 x 107

Table 1

        Transitions in hydrogen are millions of millions of times slower than normal transitions.

      4- Stability of H2 Due to Ionizing Radiation.
        We will see now, that the presence of ionizing radiation cannot explain a serious decrease of concentration of H2. It has been claimed that H2 cannot exist in space, because it would dissociate due to space radiation. Such an assertion is not acceptable prior to a serious evaluation of the probability of reaction of the H2 molecule with the ionizing radiation of space.
        Astrophysicists argue that not long after the Big Bang, radiation was decoupled with matter and the density of the universe was so low, that E-M radiation could travel through most of the universe without being absorbed. If that radiation is decoupled with matter, there is no reason that this radiation could ionize or dissociate so much H2. The decoupling of radiation in the universe is contradictory with the hypothesis of dissociation or ionization of matter in space.
        A second argument appears when one compares the probability of ionizing H with H2 due to the ionizing radiation in space. Ionizing radiation in space, can ionize atomic H, at least as easily as it can ionize molecular hydrogen H2. In fact, atomic H is somehow easier to ionize than H2, since it takes only 13.6 eV to ionize H and 15.4 eV to ionize H2. All the photons in space between 13.6 and 15.4 eV can ionize H without ionizing H2. This leaves molecular hydrogen without being disturbed.
        One knows that an important amount of atomic hydrogen H is actually observed in space. This proves that the amount of radiation in space is insufficient to ionize a too large proportion of H. This is quite in agreement with the argument that radiation is decoupled with matter as seen above. Since there is not enough radiation to ionize (destroy) atomic hydrogen H in space, one must conclude that the same amount of radiation is insufficient to ionize (or dissociate) H2.

      5 - Relative Recombining in H and H2.
        We know that the recombination of a proton and an electron is a two-body recombination just as in the case of binding two atomic hydrogen atoms H forming H2. In order to evaluate the relative importance between the recombination of a pair of H into H2, and the recombination of an electron and proton into H, let us compare the two mechanisms. Since H is observed, it means that there is enough two-body recombination of p+ + e- in space to produce H. Even if an electron attracts a proton, a collision does not lead to a recombination unless radiation is emitted. However, one can see that the recombination of a pair of H (into H2) is using the same two-body recombination mechanism as the electron-proton recombination (forming H).
        We conclude from the above that, not only there is not enough radiation in space to destroy H2 (since H is submitted to the same radiation and is actually observed) but furthermore H2 can be recombined by a similar two-body mechanism as for H (from a proton plus an electron).

        6 - Perfect Isotropy of Planck's Radiation.
        Since we are fully surrounded by the matter of the universe, it is well known that Planck's radiation observed from inside our local volume of space at 3 K (during the last billion years) must be perfectly isotropic. This is in perfect agreement with observational data.
        It is inconceivable that the matter in space around us (a billion light year around us) would not emit Planck's radiation. Why should that matter not be emitting Planck's radiation during the last billion years? Where is that radiation?

Figure 1

        Figure 1 shows the region of the heaven around the earth filled with molecular H2 at 3 K. Such a gas emits 3 K Planck's radiation in all directions. This leads to the 3 K isotropic radiation as observed in space. However, on the contrary, the primeval radiation has been calculated to be non isotropic.

Figure 2
        In the Big Bang scenario, matter would have been scattered in the universe and it should move away at a relativistic velocity. This matter is presumed to be moving in clumps since galaxies had to have formed at some point. This is the reason why the Big Bang model leads to an anisotropic 3 K radiation in space. Yet, such a high degree of anisotropy has never been observed in the sky.

        7 - The 3 K Radiation Explains the Olbers Paradox.
        The astronomer Heinrich Olbers was curious as to why the night sky should be dark. He conceived the following paradox. When an observer is looking in a particular direction toward an unlimited homogeneous universe, a star should always be visible in any direction since there is no limit in the distance of observation and since the volume increases as the third power of the radius. Consequently, Olbers logically concluded that the night sky should be bright. Some excellent books (e.g. Harrison 1987) have discussed various aspects of this paradox.
        If we adopt the view of the universe at 3 K described here, the Olbers paradox vanishes in the following way. We must recall that Olbers did not know Planck's law of radiation. He assumed that only the hottest bodies in the universe were emitting E-M radiation. Olbers did not realize that, at the temperature of the universe, radiation is also emitted at 3 K from all matter.

Figure 3
        Figure 3 illustrates the Olbers' paradox (Top). At Night, an observer sees only the hottest bodies (stars) because his eyes are not sensitive to very long wavelengths (3 K radiation). (Bottom) At night, an observer using a special device (called 3 K glasses) would see that the sky is as white as it could possibly be at 3K (as given by the Planck function) when observed at the characteristic E-M frequency.
        When Olbers claimed that the night sky must be bright, he did not specify at which wavelength. It is an accident of nature that our eyes can see only in the range of wavelengths called visible light. Since the temperature of the universe is 3 K, Olbers was right to claim that the night sky should be bright, because it is actually observed with exactly the same maximum brigthness (and the same spectral distribution around 1 mm) as predicted by the Planck equation for an extended  source at the temperature (3 K), which is the temperature of the interstellar gas in the universe. 
        This solution of the Olbers' paradox was first explained in Science in 1988 by the author (Marmet 1988). It shows that the 3 K radiation comes from all gases at 3 K in the universe. The high isotropy of the observed 3 K radiation proves the gaseous origin of the 3 K emitter of radiation. Thus, this solution of the Olbers' paradox is also the solution to the origin of the 3 K radiation in the universe, i.e. this radiation is the Planck radiation emitted by most of the interstellar gas in the universe.   The problem of the 3K cosmic radiation is also considered in relation with the problem of "stellar aberration".

        8 - Conclusion.
        Since we have seen that the normal chemical reaction in space strongly favors the recombination of H into H2 (and not the reverse), we must conclude that there has to be a large amount of H2 in space.
        The high homogeneity of the 3 K radiation, the absolute need of having H2 in space and the absence of the hypothetical anisotropic radiation expected from the Big Bang, showing the non primeval origin of the background radiation observed from space, constitute an experimental proof that the Big Bang never happened. More complete arguments in favor of the Planck's radiation as the ultimate source of the 3 K radiation in the Universe were recently presented in international meeting. (Marmet 1994).

        9- References.
        1- Marmet P. 1988, A New Non-Doppler Redshift Physics Essays, Vol. 1 (1), 24-32.
        2- Marmet P. 1992, "The Cosmological Constant and the Redshift of Quasars", IEEE Trans. on Plasma Science, 6: 958-964.
        3- Marmet P. and Reber G. 1989, Cosmic Matter and the Non-Expanding Universe, IEEE Trans. on Plasma Science 17(2): 264-268 (1989).
        4- Marmet P. 1990, Relativity and the Formation of Black Holes, Apeiron, 7: 8-10.
        5- Harrison Edward 1987, Darkness at Night, Harvard University Press, pp. 293.
        6- Marmet P. 1988, ...........................   Science, 240: 705.
        7- Marmet P. 1994, Challenges in Modern Physics, Proceedings of the Pacific Division AAAS Meeting, San Francisco State University, June 20-24.


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