Origin of Cosmic Background Radiation

Origin of Cosmic Background Radiation
by John David Best

Radiation arriving from all directions in the cosmos, including directions without visible radiating objects, has been detected. This radiation, with no visible object as its source, has a peak intensity in the microwave region of the wavelength spectrum, so it has been termed Cosmic Microwave Background radiation, or CMB. The current mainstream view of the CMB is that it is comprised of electromagnetic “farfields”, which became detached and independent of the electric charges that produced them in the distant past during a phase of the hypothetical “Big Bang”. These detached far-fields are thought to be traveling in all directions sort of like fish in a crowded aquarium. A simple question comes to mind: if this radiation was emitted in the distant past and is not currently being emitted, why has it not traveled away from where it was emitted?

The “Big Bang” theory, the idea that the entire universe expanded from an infinitely small point or singularity and continues to expand, is one of the dominant theories of modern physics. It is held by many prominent physicists to be indisputable fact. The empirical support for this theory is primarily two observed phenomena:

The first is the observation by Edwin Hubble (who did not believe in cosmic inflation), that light from very distant galaxies or quasars is redshifted relative to light from nearby galaxies, and the magnitude of this redshift bears a direct linear relationship to the distance of the galaxy from the observer. This was interpreted as evidence that the distant galaxies are receding from us, with the redshift being attributed to a Doppler-like effect. Proponents of this interpretation claim that the recession velocity is related to the distance from the observer by Hubble’s law:

v = H0D,


  • v is the recessional velocity of the galaxy or other distant object,
  • D is the comoving distance to the object, and
  • H0 is Hubble’s constant

It should be clearly understood, that although the v in Hubble’s law has been interpreted by Big Bang proponents as being velocity, Hubble’s actual observation was that it is redshift that is directly proportional to the distance.

The second phenomenon commonly cited as evidence for the Big Bang (BB) is the above-mentioned Cosmic Microwave Background radiation, or CMB. Proponents of the Big Bang claim that this is radiation “leftover” from the distant past, that was emitted during early phases of the Big Bang. Experimental results have been interpreted as indicating that the concentration of this radiation is nearly isotropic or close to uniform everywhere. The claim that the existence of an isotropic CMB supports the Big Bang theory, is based on a theoretical predictions that the CMB is thought to fulfill1. One could however argue that to the contrary; the isotropy of the CMB provides strong evidence against the Big Bang.

The reason why an isotropic concentration of the CMB across the universe argues against the validity of the universal expansion idea, is because all electromagnetic radiation possesses velocity. The velocity of EM radiation in a vacuum is in fact held to be a fundamental constant of nature. Because EM radiation has velocity, radiation that was emitted in the past would have travelled away from the point that was the center of the universal expansion when the radiation was released. This would leave a void or area of reduced radiation density at the center of the expansion. To see that this is the case, let us look at two universal expansion scenarios, both of which assume that there has been no source of new radiation to replenish the radiation that has travelled away from the center:

The first scenario envisions that everything in the universe, including matter, energy, and radiation, expanded from a singularity into an infinite empty space. If the radiation which is claimed to comprise the CMB was emitted in all directions, the radiation with velocity away from the center of the expansion would simply travel away from the center. The radiation with velocity toward the center would eventually pass the center then continue away from the center. Over time, with nothing to impede it, all the radiation would travel away from the center of the expansion.

The second scenario, the one that is currently embraced by the physics establishment, is called “metric expansion of space”. In this scenario, space itself is expanding. According to this idea, all points in space are separating or moving away from each other with a velocity that is proportional to the distance between them. When the CMB radiation was first emitted, it is supposed that the radiation filled all of space, which must have had a finite size if it had expanded from a singularity. As in the first scenario, EM radiation would still travel away from the center of the expansion because it has velocity. If at the time the radiation was emitted, the boundary of space was expanding away from the points where the radiation was emitted at less than the velocity of the radiation, then the outward travel of the radiation must have been stopped by the boundary of space. It would have had to disappear, accumulate, or be reflected, at the boundary of space. Cosmologists now claim that the boundary of space is expanding away from us on earth, according to Hubble’s law, at a velocity greater than the speed of light2. This signifies that it is also moving at faster than the speed of light away from the point that was at the center of the universal expansion at the time the CMB was emitted. Therefore the boundary of space or the universe cannot at this time impede the outward movement of the CMB radiation away from the center of the universal expansion. It may be claimed that EM radiation itself is expanding along with space, so that the velocity of light, c, is additive to the velocity at which space is expanding. This still provides no impediment to EM radiation traveling away from where it was emitted.

If it is assumed that space has expanded uniformly in all directions from the singularity, then the center of space or the universe should be and should have always been, at the location in the current universe of where the singularity was and the expansion began. If the CMB is indeed “leftover” radiation which was emitted in the distant past, there should be a void in the CMB surrounding that point. According to astronomers, there is no such void, and the CMB is nearly uniform everywhere. Therefore we must reject the idea that the CMB radiation was emitted in the distant past and is not currently being emitted.

One must question whether the failure of the idea that the CMB was emitted in the distant past by events postulated by the Big Bang theory implies that the Big Bang theory itself is faulty. How about the Hubble’s law correlation between redshift of light from remote galaxies and the distance to them? Isn’t this strong evidence that the galaxies are moving away from us due to expanding space?

If we are to accept the Big Bang “expanding space” explanation for the redshift, then we must also accept supporting elements of the Big Bang theory, including the existence of “dark energy” and “dark matter”, the notion that an enormous universe and space itself originated from an infinitely small point, and the validity of the Einsteinian relativity theories. Acceptance of the Big Bang also entails acknowledging that there was a time when physical laws as we know them did not exist, and in fact time itself did not exist2. This is quite a lot of very radical assumptions required to support a theory for which a much more reasonable explanation exists. There is a far simpler explanation for the redshift of light arriving from distant astronomical emission sources that is based upon well-established phenomena. This explanation can be summarized as follows:

  1. Electromagnetic radiation from distant galaxies encounters a substantial amount of matter in interstellar/intergalactic space in the form of gases and dust, on its way to earth. (see Appendix)
  2. Electromagnetic radiation loses energy to matter that it encounters3.
  3. When electromagnetic radiation loses energy to matter, it must shift to a longer wavelength in order to maintain (regain) its characteristic velocity, c, subsequent to its interaction with matter4,18.

The Big Bang theory itself is not the subject of this treatise, so the above points will not be elaborated upon here. Additionally, the idea that the observed redshift of radiation from distant galaxies can be accounted for by matter that the radiation encounters on its way to earth is not new. A rigorous theory based on this idea is that of Paul Marmet in “A New Non-Doppler Redshift5, which this author believes, reaches valid conclusions. In “Discovery of H2 in Space Explains Dark Matter and Redshift”6, presenting and discussing evidence supporting his theory, Marmet states: Since a much larger amount of molecular hydrogen than previously admitted has been observed in the universe, we can now see how this hydrogen is responsible for the redshift observed. That molecular hydrogen is responsible for the redshift which is erroneously believed to have a cosmological Doppler origin. Despite Dr. Marmets impressive credentials, which include: Director of the Laboratory for Atomic and Molecular Physics – Université Laval, Senior Researcher- Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics, and President of the Canadian Association of Physicists, Dr. Marmet’s work was rejected by mainstream scientific journals, and has garnered little interest from the physics/astronomy establishment7.

An article entitled ”Bucking the Big Bang”, which included an open letter to the scientific community decrying censorship of ideas disagreeing with the big bang theory, was published in “New Scientist” in the 22 May 2004 edition. Including Marmet, thirty three cosmologists and physicists, from respected institutions worldwide, signed this letter8. The letter had been rejected for publication by the more prestigious scientific journal, “Nature”. Censorship is not the worst fate to befall opponents of the Big Bang. Fred Hoyle is thought by many to have been unjustly deprived of a Nobel Prize for his opposition to the Big Bang9. Proponents of the Big Bang claim that evidence does not support alternative views. However, to claim the existence of dark matter and dark energy, and that the entire universe originated from an infinitesimally small point, could itself generously be regarded as lacking support. Speaking of “dark energy”, proponents of the Big Bang universal expansion must suppose an enormous amount of it, for this would be required to expand against the infinitely strong gravitational pull which would be exerted by something infinitely dense, as the primordial singularity was said to be.

If the CMB radiation didn’t come from the Big Bang, then where did or does it come from? As noted in earlier discussion, if the radiation was emitted in the past without ongoing current emission, the radiation would have traveled away from the location where it was emitted. Since evidence shows that the CMB is homogeneous and largely isotropic, we must conclude that the emission of the radiation is ongoing and it is currently being emitted. For this to be the case, the emission must have a current source. Visible massive sources of radiation such as stars and planets would not alone account for the observed homogeneity and isotropy of the radiation. Two possible sources of the CMB come to mind:

First, if we reject the Big Bang theory as we must, we are left with the possibility that the universe is infinite, both spatially and temporally. If it is infinite spatially, presumably, there are an infinite number of radiation sources that are undetectable to us as point sources. They are undetectable as point sources because their radiation is widely dispersed due to their great distance from us. If the universe is temporally infinite, then radiation from the entire universe would be arriving to our location, regardless of the velocity of the radiation. However as noted previously, this radiation would not appear to originate from point sources, and on average, would be homogeneous throughout the universe. We cannot identify individual sources of radiation beyond a certain distance, but we can detect their radiation in aggregate as the CMB.

A second possibility is called the interstellar medium. The very same hydrogen molecules that are cited by Paul Marmet as being the cause of the observed cosmic redshift, as mentioned above, may also be responsible for the CMB. Spectroscopic measurements from radio-telescopes show that the CMB radiation has a wavelength with the peak in the microwave region with a temperature calculated from Wein’s law, corresponding to about 30 K 10. This temperature, slightly above absolute zero, seems like a reasonable one for interstellar and intergalactic space. Gas molecules at equilibrium at this temperature would be expected to emit thermal “blackbody” radiation with a peak in the microwave range, identical to that which has been denominated as the CMB. Since space is thought to be filled with hydrogen everywhere, with a mostly isotropic and homogenous distribution6,11, this provides the ongoing source of emission that is needed to explain the observed evidence of background radiation arriving from space. Molecular hydrogen is the most transparent substance for visible wavelengths known6, so it would cause little blurring or distortion of astronomical objects, contrary to claims of Big Bang proponents who say that intervening matter in the light’s path would cause blurring.

So far we have identified possible sources of the CMB in a general sense, but have not touched upon how it is actually produced. There are three bases for the explanation of how this occurs: One is that temperature is associated with motion; molecular motion and/or sub-molecular motion. The second is that all matter contains electric charges. The third is that acceleration or deceleration of electric charges produces electromagnetic radiation (called Larmor or bremsstrahlung radiation).

Current mainstream theory may adequately account for observations of “near field” radiation effects in close proximity to the electric charges that produce it, but the mainstream explanation for “far field” radiation, that which we commonly know as electromagnetic radiation such as light and radio waves, is highly suspect. It depends on the questionable notion that an electric field can become detached from the electric charge to which it was associated, and have a “stand-alone” existence independent from any electric charge. This presents logical problems, one of which is; if we accept that the CMB was created by the Big Bang, the detached far fields that are alleged to comprise the CMB have been in existence for over 13 billion years, during which time they would have undergone a countless number of collisions or interactions with particles of matter. This author has seen no convincing evidence that an electromagnetic field can exist independently of a charge. In this author’s view, this idea was motivated by the desire to find a means so that electromagnetic radiation can propagate without a medium or “ether, in order to justify Einstein’s relativity theory.

If we reject the idea of EM radiation being detached electromagnetic far-fields as logically untenable, and accept that EM radiation requires some sort of medium through which to propagate; what sort of medium could it be? This author proposes that it is a cubic lattice, universal in extent, that is comprised of elementary electric charges, with charges of alternating polarities at the vertices12. Such a lattice is electrically neutral with equal numbers of charges of both polarities, and lacks most qualities associated with matter, so it is undetectable to our senses. If electromagnetic radiation is not “kinks” in detached far-fields, then how does acceleration of electric charges cause electromagnetic radiation? An explanation may be found in interaction between the electric charges that comprise the universal background lattice, and electric charges moving through it, such as accelerating charges contained in matter.

For an entity not otherwise constrained, the force that opposes its acceleration is called inertia. Inertia has typically been explained as an intrinsic or inherent property, something that just is. A better explanation is that inertia is the reaction force provided by the lattice charges, thar opposes the force causing charges external to the lattice structure to accelerate through the lattice. When charges travel in the lattice by passing through voids in the lattice structure, they exert some force on the lattice charges surrounding the window or lattice cell that they are passing through (and vice versa), causing a slight displacement of the charges comprising the lattice cell. When the charges passing through the lattice are in steady motion, the force they exert on the lattice in front of them is compensated for by the force the lattice charges exert on them as the lattice charges return to their original position behind the moving charges. This causes no cyclical disturbance to the lattice structure that can be transmitted as a vibration or wave. Accelerations however, are not steady motion. Accelerations that cause electromagnetic radiation are cyclical changes in the motion of charges. This must be true for a wave or vibration to have a frequency. A non-cyclical or non-circular acceleration of a charge can produce a disturbance in the lattice that propagates, but not an ongoing one with a frequency. The wave-form of electromagnetic radiation is typically a sinusoidal wave such as what would be produced by circular, rotational, orbital, or reciprocating motion. The actual nature of an electromagnetic wave is a vibration or wave that is a transmission of a cyclical acceleration of electrical charges that propagates through the medium of the universal lattice.

One may ask how the concept of a photon fits into this picture of electromagnetic radiation as vibrations or waves in the medium of a universal lattice of charges. The same question could in fact be asked regarding how the concept of a photon fits with the mainstream view of electromagnetic radiation as being disturbances or “kinks” in electromagnetic fields of charges. The answer is that the concept of a photon is not a property of the radiation itself, but rather a property of the matter with which it interacts. Matter absorbs EM radiation in discrete quantities called quanta, but this in no way requires that the radiation itself be packaged in discrete quantities. There is no valid reason why the evidence claimed for photons or a particle nature of EM radiation cannot be entirely explained by the interaction of EM radiation in the form of waves, with matter. The only knowledge we have concerning EM radiation is due to how it interacts with matter, regardless of whether the matter is in the form of the biological mechanism of human sight, or mechanisms of instruments. If it were not for its interaction with matter, we would not even be able to detect, or be aware of the existence of EM radiation.

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Appendix: Comparison of how much matter light from distant stars, and light from the sun at sunrise and sunset, encounter on the way to earth –


  • Typical interstellar density – 1 particle/cubic centimeter13
  • Typical molecular density of air on earth – 1019 molecules/cubic centimeter13
  • If entire mass of earth’s atmosphere had uniform density, it would extend to 8.50 km14
  • Total mean mass of earth’s atmosphere – 5.14×1018 kg16
  • Average molecular mass of air – 28.96g/mol17
  • Radius of earth – 6371 km

Volume of earth’s atmosphere (based on above uniform density assumption):

4π(6379.53 – 63713)/3 = 4.341x109 km3

Mean mass density of air (dry):

5.1480×1018/4.341×109 = 1.186×109 kg/km3

Travel distance of light at sunrise and sunset through earth’s atmosphere:

1/2 chord length of earth+atmosphere circle at radius of earth, by pythagorean theorem –

2(6379.52 – 63712)-2/2 = 329.2 km

Ratio of distance light travels to earth from galaxy at 9.460×1022 km (10gly) to distance light travels through earth’s atmosphere at sunrise and sunset:

9.460×1022 km/329.2 km = 2.873×1020

Ratio of mean gas molecular density of earth’s atmosphere to interstellar particle density:

(1019 mol/cc )/(1 mol/cc) = 1019

Ratio of number of particles encountered by light arriving from galaxy at 10 gly distance (not counting those encountered in earth’s atmosphere), to number of particles (gas molecules) light encounters during passage through earth’s atmosphere at sunrise and sunset:

2.873×1020/1019 = 28.73 so light encounters almost 29 times as many gas molecules or particles in space during passage from a distant galaxy as it does during passage through the earth’s atmosphere at sunrise or sunset


1. https://thecuriousastronomer.wordpress.com/2015/07/14/the-prediction-of-the-cosmic-microwave-background-the-original-paper/

2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metric_expansion_of_space

3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Absorption_(electromagnetic_radiation)

4. http://csep10.phys.utk.edu/astr162/lect/light/radiation.html

5. http://www.newtonphysics.on.ca/hubble/index.html

6. http://www.newtonphysics.on.ca/hydrogen/index.html

7. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Marmet

8. http://www.holoscience.com/wp/an-open-letter-to-closed-minds/

9. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fred_Hoyle

10. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmic_microwave_background

11. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interstellar_medium

12. Universal Lattice Theory, http://vidainstitute.org/?page_id=32

13. http://genesismission.jpl.nasa.gov

14. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atmosphere-of-Earth

15. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres (1984–2012)Volume 99, Issue D11, published online: 21 SEP 2012

16. http://acd.ucar.edu/~lsmith/massERA40JC.pdf

17. http://ruc.noaa.gov/AMB_Publications_bj/2009 Schlatter_Atmospheric%20Composition%20and%20Vertical%20Structure_eae319MS-1.pdf

18. http://hubblesite.org/reference_desk/faq/answer.php.id=73&cat=light