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date: 15 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Since about 1970 the broadly accepted theory of the universe has been the standard hot big-bang model. However, there is and has always been alternative theories which challenge one or more features of the standard model or, more radically, question the scientific nature of cosmology. Is the universe governed by Einstein’s field equations? Is it really in a state of expansion? Did it begin with a big bang? The chapter discusses various alternative or heterodox theories in the period from about 1930 to 1980, among them the idea of a static universe and the conception that our universe evolves cyclically in infinite cosmic time. While some of these theories have been abandoned long ago, others still live on and are cultivated by a minority of cosmologists and other scientists.

Keywords: orthodoxy, varying constants, Milne’s cosmology, plasma universe, antimatter, tired light, cyclic models, Paul Dirac, Fritz Zwicky.

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