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Big Bang alternative proposed
Posted: Fri, Apr 26, 2002, 11:48 AM ET (1548 GMT)
Hubble Deep Field (NASA/STScI) Cosmologists have published an alternative model of the universe, replacing a single Big Bang with a continuing series of expansions and contractions. Paul Steinhardt and Neil Turok published a paper in the latest issue of Science that claims that instead of a single expansion of the universe from the Big Bang, the universe expands, contracts, and expands again in an infinite cycle. Moreover, the model claims that the galaxies in our current universe can trace their formation back to instabilities from the contraction of the previous universe. So-called "dark energy", which has been postulated as the reason why the universe appears to be expanding at an accelerating rate, also plays a role in the cyclical model. This model is being treated skeptically by proponents of the Big Bang model; one called it " a very bad idea popular only among journalists."
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