Birth of an Idea


My interest in astronomy was sparked by the series "Cosmos" by Carl Sagan in early 1980s. Ever since, I have avidly read articles in Science magazine dealing with astronomy and watched the scientific programs broadcast on the Public Television and the Science channel, dealing with topics in astronomy . Over a period of a decade or so, I started formulating my ideas about the importance of spin in the universe; I was amazed that the scientific community mostly ignored this ever-present phenomenon as being of no consequence. Whenever this fact was observed, the astronomers came up with some explanations such as, 'conserving the angular momentum' or, they completely ignored the fact. Another area in astronomy that I couldn't agree with was the conjecture that the universe (and time) was created at an instant, in a "Big Bang" and ever since space has been expanding inexorably. Worse still, even space itself is said to be made anew ! All these assumptions were made only on the basis of spectroscopic analysis of light from far away galaxies and the observation that it was more red-shifted the farther away the galaxies were. They also cite the presence of "Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation" (CMB) in every direction in the space around the earth.

What I couldn't reconcile was the fact that there was no mention of blue-shifting of light from nearby galaxies. In other words, unless the earth is at the dead center of the universe, I argued, there must be many galaxies traveling towards us and therefore, blue-shifted. I argued further that since we are situated at the periphery of one arm of our Milky Way galaxy, and the galaxy itself was spinning, we should observe many stars approaching us and therefore their light to be blue-shifted. Along with my questioning the existing teaching in astronomy, I argued that, since all objects that exist free in the observable universe were spinning on their axes and orbiting larger bodies and even the galaxies spun on their axes, I couldn't fathom that only in the realm of the universe beyond the galaxies, the bodies were traveling outward in a straight line. To me it made more sense to assume that even the galaxies were actually orbiting the center of the universe. I argued that the red-shifting of light was actually the far away galaxies traveling faster, but in an arc.

To me it made perfect sense to give this spin of all objects a function; thus, the centrifugal force the spin imparted to the orbiting bodies counter-balanced the incessant inward pull of gravity from the mother body. This at once made a need for imaginary factors like Einstein's 'cosmological constant' or 'dark energy' or 'negative energy' and other purely imagined processes/factors to explain why the matter in the universe is not coalescing in a 'Big Crunch'. I wrote an article based on these ideas and I called it: Spinning Universe... A Hypothesis. At the same time, I knew this view would be seen as outlandish and ridiculed and, I knew nobody would accept it for publishing. After all, if the scientific community were to accept my views, they would have to rewrite astronomy! However, my strong conviction that I was correct prompted me to send this article to some scientific journals. I knew full well they would promptly decline and send the manuscript back but I picked Science magazine and Nature for these test submissions. There was another reason for sending the article, and to the best scientific journals; I wanted to establish my priority with these ideas. Thus, I sent the article to the journals by certified mail with return receipt and, I sent copies to my son Chamel and some of my colleagues. I also sent a copy of the article to myself, and kept it unopened for future proof.

On July 17, 2000 Science returned my manuscript, with the explanation that this article was more appropriate for some other journal. I will post a copy of their response, to this website, right after this article. The response from Nature was more blunt; the editor even cautioned me not to send this article back with revisions. He was that sure that I was wrong! I did keep all the mailings, including the self-addressed copies, for future proof.

In the hope that a 'rebel' astronomy publication might be more receptive to my views, I sent my article next to Tom Van Flandern's "Meta Research Bulletin". Again, I sent a copy to myself. His response did indicate that he took the time to read the article and while he also declined to publish it, he had some kind words. For example, he said " While I very much wish to encourage the innovative, "think-outside-the box" approach with proper citations in your paper, it is not yet what we are looking for by some of the above criteria…". I will also post this email reply to this website.

I had also raised these ideas with an astronomer in the University of Texas in Austin, Dr. David Lambert, in person. He listened to my ideas patiently but then went on to explain why he couldn't accept them and to explain away the phenomena with the conventional arguments. After all the above experiences, I did not do anything further with my article. Recently, I noticed that there are some websites and blogs that are dealing with the importance of spin in the universe; some of them even discuss "Spinning Universe" with the same arguments that I had raised. These discussions were spurred on by the publication by Michael Longo in Physics Letters of May 16, 2011, of an article entitled "Detection of a dipole in the handedness of spiral galaxies with redshifts z-0.04". This study of 15,158 spiral galaxies showed evidence for a counter-clockwise spin of an excess of spiral galaxies, when viewed from the Northern Hemisphere and in the reverse direction when viewed from the Southern Hemisphere.. This confirms my notion of a circumferential motion, rather than a radial motion of galaxies It is with this background that I feel compelled to include this article and these arguments in this website. I know I had always been right about these ideas and, I do not want to lose ownership to any one. Hence the urgency!