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The Large-Scale Structure of the Universe$
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P. J. E. Peebles

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780691209838

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691209838.001.0001

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Homogeneity and Clustering

Homogeneity and Clustering

(p.3) I. Homogeneity and Clustering
(p.iii) The Large-Scale Structure of the Universe

P. J. E. Peebles

Princeton University Press

This chapter traces the history of the development of ideas on the large-scale structure of the universe. Modern discussions of the nature of the large-scale matter distribution can be traced back to three central ideas. In 1917, Albert Einstein argued that a closed homogeneous world model fits very well into general relativity theory and the requirements of Mach's principle. In 1926, Edwin Hubble showed that the large-scale distribution of galaxies is close to uniform with no indication of an edge or boundary. In 1927, Georges Lemaître showed that the uniform distribution of galaxies fits very well with the pattern of galaxy redshifts. The chapter then assesses several questions. The first is whether the universe really is homogeneous. Could the homogeneity of the universe have been deduced ahead of time from general principles? Or might it be a useful guide to new principles? It also asks how clustering evolves in an expanding universe, what its origin is, and what this reveals about the nature of the universe.

Keywords:   universe, large-scale matter distribution, Albert Einstein, homogeneous world model, Edwin Hubble, galaxies, Georges Lemaître, clustering, expanding universe

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