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In the 1940s British scientists Hermann Bondi, Thomas Gold, and Fred Hoyle were philosophically opposed to the requirements that the big bang theory put forth for the extreme conditions in the early universe. The big bang theory was framed in terms of what they called the cosmological principle—that the universe is homogeneous (the same in all locations) and isotropic (looks the same in all directions) on a large scale. Bondi, Gold, and Hoyle suggested an additional postulate, which they called the perfect cosmological principle.

This principle stated that the universe is not only homogeneous and isotropic but also looks the same at all times. Since the universe is expanding, though, one might think that the density of the universe would decrease. Such a decrease would be a change that would not fit with the perfect cosmological principle. Bondi, Gold, and Hoyle thus suggested that matter could be continuously created out of nothing to maintain the density over time. The rate at which matter would have to be created was much too low to be observationally testable, however. They called this theory the steady-state theory.


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