“In an expanding universe, time is on the side of the outcast. Those who once inhabited the suburbs of human contempt find that without changing their address they eventually live in the metropolis.” -Quentin Crisp
The Universe is expanding. The farther away a galaxy is, the faster it appears to be receding from us. The standard story tells us that space itself is expanding, and that’s the cause, but it’s only natural to wonder if perhaps space is static, and everything else within it isn’t shrinking instead? Many laypersons choose to go this route, and question the entire field of cosmology as a result.
The various galaxies of the Virgo Supercluster, grouped and clustered together. On the largest scales, the Universe is uniform, but as you look to galaxy or cluster scales, overdense and underdense regions dominate, and the Universe appears very non-uniform. Image credit: Andrew Z. Colvin, via Wikimedia Commons.
But is this fair? Or is this a road to not only ruin, but to physical inconsistencies? Could we flip the story on its head, and do some sort of test to see if atoms, the planet, or some other ‘local’ entity is shrinking, instead? Or, using the principle ...