A full disclosure to begin with: I'm a PhD student in mathematics and while I understand most of standard cosmological-astronomical terms and I've followed a one semester course on cosmology, I don't really have a deep comprehension of the well known material neither on cosmology or astronomy.

I've recently heard about the possibility of a "redshift quantization". As I understood this is not a mainstream result, which means that as 2007 was still quite debated. Anyway I couldn't understand if it really was ruled out by some more recent observations or if it's a still ongoing idea. But to be more specific what I really don't understand are the implications of this result and if this result would invalidate some current cosmological theory and why. I've heard it might have some implication on Quasar formation and change the current timeline of the Big-bang but didn't get how nor why.

Can anybody give me some hints?


1 Answer 1


There's a pretty comprehensive wikipedia page on the subject. In summary....

Throughout the 2000's conflicting results were published using the same data. The conflict seems to center on the selection effects of the surveys, and the corrections applied to account for them. I did a quick search for 'redshift quantisation' on the Arxiv and found no papers since 2009, which suggests the supporting data has been comprehensibly discredited, or explained away by natural mechanisms.

There are two explanations for the quantization that do not require exotic cosmologies. The first is the large scale clustering of galaxies that traces the cosmic web. The walls and filaments formed in this web leads to groupings of galaxies around specific redshifts along the line of sight. The second explanation is the quantisation of emission from Hydrogen, known as the Lyman series. Since photons can only be released with certain energies, the measured redshifts are also quantised (this is only true in low pressure and temperature environments, otherwise pressure and thermal broadening occur).

  • $\begingroup$ I upvoted your answer, but it wasn't really what I was looking for. I had seen the Wikipedia page and I arrived to conclusions similar to yours. What I was asking was what discredited in the theory and what were the implications of the theory. $\endgroup$
    – Dac0
    Dec 19, 2016 at 21:23

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