Before twenty years we'll laugh at Einstein and the Big Bang

Text: Hans Berens  Photographs: Jean Paul Yska

Physics and astronomy took a wrong turn with Albert Einstein and Newton was wrong with his ideas about gravity. That's how Eit Gaastra (41) is thinking. “Before twenty years we will laugh at the Big Bang-theory, the idea of a universe originating from a point smaller than an atom, and also about black holes that would swallow everything.”

“A paradigm shift within astronomy is at hand, as was the case five hundred years ago, when Copernicus argued that the Earth orbited the Sun instead of the Sun orbiting the Earth, as scientists thought at that time. After a paradigm shift within astronomy a paradigm shift within physics will follow: Einstein's relativity and Newtonian gravity will be left for theories that can explain things in a better and more coherent way. The Universe is infinite and eternal, and there's no doubt about other life existing. Our current thoughts about a universe that is only fifteen billion years old will turn out to be untenable; galaxies are much older than fifteen billion years.”

Gaastra, a chemical engineer, is fascinated by fundamental questions concerning physics and astronomy. With interest he read about the physics before Einstein's theory of relativity came to the front and concluded that relativity being dominant in today's physics and astronomy is something that has to be changed. “Einstein said that the velocity of light is always constant relative to an observer and turned this into a fundamental law of physics. But the velocity of light only appears to be constant relative to an observer and this can easily be explained with an ether theory. One hundred years ago, before Einstein published his special theory of relativity in 1905, scientists were thinking about a medium, the so-called ether, that was needed by light in order to propagate itself. As sound needs air molecules to propagate, light also would have a medium in which it propagates. This vision vanished in 1919 when Einstein's theory more or less became holy because scientists measured, during an eclipse of the Sun, that starlight speeding to the Earth while passing the Sun at a short distance bends, as was predicted by Einstein. In the 1920's a Russian mathematician mathematically proved that we ought to live in an expanding universe if the formulas of the theory of relativity were correct. My idea, supported by many scientists independently working, is that light adjusts its velocity to ether particles, possibly gravitons. With an ether theory one obtains completely different physics, and from there a completely different astronomy.”

Big bang
“In 1965 the so-called cosmic background radiation was discovered. This background radiation was predicted by astronomers with the concept of a big bang creating our Universe. With the discovery of the background radiation the Big Bang was considered to be proven. But the cosmic background radiation was earlier and more accurate predicted by astronomers who worked with an infinite universe model, infinite in both time and space. A universe without a beginning or ending is difficult to understand, because we, as humans, are finite; but the thought of an infinite universe is more acceptable to me than the ugliness of a Big Bang universe.”

“The current idea is that our Universe originated from a Big Bang that took place fifteen billion years ago. But there are many observations suggesting that the Universe is much older. The formation of galaxies, stars and solar systems is much easier to understand with an endless old universe. Following Einstein also leads to other contradictions. Black holes, for instance, which come out of the heads of mathematicians running wild the formulas of relativity, would suck up everything, even light. Black holes are just a theoretical concept. According to astronomers black holes would hide themselves from view in the centres of galaxies and quasars. But the very strong concentrations of mass in the centres of galaxies and quasars are nothing but shrunken remnants of extremely old galaxies.”

“If you come to talk with conventional scientists about things like this, one sometimes literally hears: ‘I believe in Einstein.’ As 500 years ago it was taken for granted that the Sun orbited the Earth today it is taken for granted that the theory of relativity is The Indisputable Truth. Blindly following Einstein leads to all kind of outgrowths, like the assumption that there are more than three dimensions. According to the string theory, which tries to connect the theory of relativity with quantum mechanics by mathematics, there are even many more. Einstein began by pronouncing time as the fourth dimension, and now the mathematicians of the string theory are singing hallelujah with a fifth, sixth and even eleventh dimension. Eventually the string theory will explode as a scientific soap-bubble, and the same will happen to the theory of relativity, quantum mechanics, the idea of a Big Bang and Newtonian gravity.”

According to Gaastra there are dilemmas within physics and astronomy that can't be solved with relativity and quantum mechanics. “Current theories are under pressure because many observations can't be explained with it. We have to return to the discussion prior to Einstein; we even must go back to Newton because an alternative for Newtonian gravity was contemplated 300 years ago by a contemporary of Newton. In the last decade strong alternatives have been developed for today's conventional physics by physicists who have come to think differently, for instance the physics professor Assis in Brazil. Many scientists have joined the Natural Philosophy Alliance, which was founded in California by the late Dr. John. E. Chappell, Jr. This organization tries to change the course of science, especially where it concerns physics.”

It is hard for Gaastra to be part of conventional science: “Physics has closed itself in order to protect itself. Within astronomy I see possibilities because within astronomy more and more observations come to the front that strain current astronomical models. More and more problems are ravaging the beloved Big Bang model. When astronomy encounters a paradigm shift physics will follow shortly after.”

The wondrous ways of a romantic chemist
Eit Gaastra studied chemistry at the Technical University of Delft in the 1980's. In addition, he also experienced a strong urge to express himself in novels and paintings.
But at the age of 21 he did not feel enough confidence to take off in a total different direction and decided to complete his study of chemical engineering and work as an engineer for a few years.

After getting his MSc diploma Gaastra indeed worked as an environmental researcher at the universities of Rotterdam and Amsterdam. Blood is thicker than water and after two years working he quit his job and started writing his first novel ‘The seven ways of madness’ under the pseudonym Durk Wille, about a chemical engineer trying to get rid of his frustrations in Barcelona. In the novel, published in 1995, Gaastra/Wille philosophizes about a theory that tries to connect different scientific disciplines, such as philosophy, psychology, biology and physics.

During his search for the ‘meaning of life’ Gaastra more and more became interested in physics and astronomy. Where former fellow students have careers in multinationals Gaastra sits in a social security situation advancing his life's work: changing the course of astronomy which is, according to Gaastra, at a dead end. Gaastra thinks that a revolution within astronomy will be followed by a revolution within conventional physics, on which today's astronomy has been built. He has recorded his ideas on a website:

Since 1996 Gaastra lives and works in Groningen.