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Paper: Hubble's Cosmology: From a Finite Expanding Universe to a Static Endless Universe
Volume: 413, 2nd Crisis in Cosmology Conference, CCC-2
Page: 255
Authors: Assis, A. K. T.; Neves, M. C. D.; Soares, D. S. L.
Abstract: We analyze the views of Edwin Hubble (1889-1953) as regards the large scale structure of the universe. In 1929 he initially accepted a finite expanding universe in order to explain the redshifts of distant galaxies. Later on he turned to an infinite stationary universe and a new principle of nature in order to explain the same phenomena. Initially, he was impressed by the agreement of his redshift-distance relation with one of the predictions of de Sitter's cosmological model, namely, the so-called "de Sitter effect'', the phenomenon of the scattering of material particles, leading to an expanding universe. A number of observational evidences, though, made him highly skeptical with such a scenario. They were better accounted for by an infinite static universe. The evidences he found were: (i) the huge values he was getting for the "recession'' velocities of the nebulae (1,800 km s-1 in 1929 up to 42,000 km s-1 in 1942, leading to v/c = 1/7), with the redshifts interpreted as velocity-shifts. All other known real velocities of large astronomical bodies are much smaller than these. (ii) The "number effect'' test, which is the running of nebulae luminosity with redshift. Hubble found that a static universe is, within the observational uncertainties, slightly favored. The test is equivalent to the modern "Tolman effect,'' for galaxy surface brightnesses, whose results are still a matter of dispute. (iii) The smallness of the size and the age of the curved expanding universe, implied by the expansion rate that he had determined, and, (iv) the fact that a uniform distribution of galaxies on large scales is more easily obtained from galaxy counts, when a static and flat model is considered. In an expanding and closed universe, Hubble found that homogeneity was only obtained at the cost of a large curvature. We show, by quoting his works, that Hubble remained cautiously against the big bang until the end of his life, contrary to the statements of many modern authors. In order to account for redshifts, in a non-expanding universe, Hubble called for a new principle of nature, like the "tired-light'' mechanism proposed by Fritz Zwicky in 1929. On the other hand, he was aware of the theoretical difficulties of such a radical assumption. Hubble's approach to cosmology strongly suggests that he would not agree with the present status of the modern cosmological paradigm, since he was, above all, driven by observations and by the consequences derived from them.
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