Klein-Alfvén Cosmology

Klein-Alfvén Cosmology (sometimes Alfvén-Klein cosmology,[1] and also “symmetric cosmology”[2]) is based on work by Oskar Klein, on a universe containing equal amounts of matter and antimatter, that was further developed with Hannes Alfvén. The Professor of history of science and technology at the University of Aarhus, Helge Kragh,[3] writes:

“Developing ideas due to his senior colleague, the theoretical physicist Oskar Klein, he [Hannes Alfvén] arrived in the early 1960s at a cosmological view which differed from both big-bang and steady-state cosmology… Klein and Alfvén rejected the big-bang theory, which they found unscientific and mythical. [..]
“The characteristic feature of the cosmological view of Klein and Alfvén was that it assumed a universe with equal amounts of matter and antimatter separated by cosmic electromagnetic fields. Ordinary matter was called “koinomatter,” and for a plasma of both koinomatter and antimatter Alfvén coined the name “ambiplasma”. [..]
“It was ignored by most astronomers and cosmologists”.[4]

Alfvén writes:

“As a consequence of Dirac’s theory, Oskar Klein (1966,[5] 1971 [6]) suggested that the Universe might be matter–antimatter symmetric [..] The Plasma Universe model introduces important new arguments in this discussion.”[7]

Klein-Alfvén Cosmology

Klein’s Metagalactic theory

After work by Oskar Klein (1894-1977)[8] [9] [10] [11], collaboration with Hannes Alfvén further investigated the merits of a cosmology in which the universe might be matter-antimatter symmetric.[12]

“Klein (1953, 1958, 1961, 1962) put forward a theory on the development of the metagalaxy which formed the basis of the concept that the initial state of the Universe was made up of a thin ambiplasma consisting of equal amounts of ionized matter and antimatter. This approach was developed by Alfvén and Klein (1962) and Alfvén (1965) who questioned the plausibility of asymmetry inherent in the big bang model of the Universe. To explain the lack of symmetry, it was considered necessary either to invoke a new physical law of nature or to assume the presence of asymmetry at time –∞. Since none of these alternatives appeared feasible (cf. Stecker, 1981, however), several authors adopted a general approach of symmetric cosmology (Alfvén, 1965, 1967, 1975a, b; Alfvén and Klein, 1962; Alfvén and Elvius, 1969; Bonnevier, 1964; Carlquvist and Laurent, 1976a, b; Ekspong et al., 1966; Harrison, 1967, 1968; Klein, 1966; Laurent and Söderholm, 1969; Lehnert, 1977, 1978; Omnès, 1971; Sofia and Van Horn, 1974; Thompson, 1978; Vincent, 1976). If such an approach appears to be desirable, it is also imperative to look for evidence for the existence of antimatter in the Universe. A number of authors have examined the question of presence of antimatter in the Universe. Alfvén (1978) argued that the kinetic energy presently associated with the Hubble expansion is so enormous that matter-antimatter annihilation appears to be the most likely source. Alfvén (1979) also regarded matter-antimatter annihilation to be most important single mechanism which can account for the large release of energy in quasi-stellar objects (QSOs).”[13]

Klein-Alfvén Cosmology

Klein-Alfvén Cosmology tries to:

“.. construct a universe such that: i) It is essentially matter-antimatter symmetric; ii) the Hubble expansion is caused by well-known processes (among them, energy release by annihilation) in a region of 109 light years (a bigger “Big Bang”); iii) it does not contain large quantities of missing mass; and iv) it is highly inhomogeneous and has a cellular structure.”[14]

Alfvén further notes:

“..we do not know enough to exclude a Dirac Klein symmetry. On the other hand there is no decisive observational argument in favour of antimatter. (In Chapter VI of Cosmic Plasma this problem is discussed in some detail.) Hence it must be considered legitimate to study the consequences of both hypothesis; the Plasma Universe is symmetric or it consists of exclusively ordinary matter.[15]

Alfvén also writes that:

“Oskar Klein (Alfven and Klein, 1963) has suggested a cosmology often referred to as the symmetric cosmology, according to which there should be equal amounts of koinomatter and antimatter in the universe”.[16]

See also: Alpha-Centauri medal.


In his 1993 book, theoretical cosmologist Jim Peebles criticized the cosmology of Klein (1971)[17], and Alfvén’s 1966 book, Worlds-Antiworlds,[18] writing that “there is no way that the results can be consistent with the isotropy of the cosmic microwave background radiation and X-ray backgrounds”[19]

A 1967 paper by J. H. Hunter Jr. noted that:

“An approximate treatment of the Alfvén-Klein metagalaxy is presented with a view of determining whether this cosmology could account for the background black-body radiation in the Universe. It is shown that no non-rotating cosmological model of this type would have been able to establish a black-body radiation field at the epoch of minimum radius and then re-expand to infinity”[20]


  1. M N Doja, International Encyclopaedia of Engineering and Technology, Mittal Publications, 2007, ISBN 8182930472, ISBN 9788182930476 page 64
  2. Hannes Alfvén, “Symmetric CosmologyNature 229, 184 (1971)
  3. Prof. Helge Kragh, U. Aarhus Home page.
  4. Helge Kragh, Cosmology and controversy: the historical development of two theories of the universe, Princeton University Press, 1999, ISBN 069100546X, ISBN 9780691005461, 488 pages. Page 383
  5. O. Klein, “Instead of Cosmology“, PEER REVIEWED Nature, 211, 1337 – 1341 (1966)
  6. Oskar Klein, “Arguments concerning Relativity and CosmologyPEER REVIEWED Science 29 January 1971: Vol. 171. no. 3969, pp. 339 – 345
  7. Hannes Alfvén, “Cosmology in the Plasma Universe”, Laser & Particle Beams, Vol 6 Part 3 (Aug 1988)]. Republished as “Cosmology in the plasma universe: an introductory exposition]” PEER REVIEWED, in IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science Vol. 18 No.1 (Feb 1990)
  8. Klein, O., “Some Cosmological Considerations in Connection with the Problem of the Origin of the Elements”, FULL TEXT Les processus nucléaires dans les astres, Societe royale des sciences de Liege, 1953, pp. 42-51. PEER REVIEWED
  9. Klein, O, La structure et l’evolution de l’univers, Institut international de physique Solvay, Bruxelles, 1958, pp. 33-51. PEER REVIEWED
  10. Klein, O, “Einige Probleme der allgemeinen Relativitâtstheone,” in Werner Heisenberg and die Physik unserer Zeit. Braunschweig, 1961, pp. 58-72. ACADEMIC BOOK
  11. Klein, O., “Mach’s Principle and Cosmology in Their Relation to General Relativity, in Recent Developments in General Relativity, Pergamon Press Ltd., Oxford, and Polish Scientific Publishers, Warsaw, 1962, pp. 293-302. ACADEMIC BOOK
  12. H Alfvén, O Klein, “Matter-Antimatter Annihilation and Cosmology” (1962) Arkiv Fysik 23, 187 PEER REVIEWED
  13. G. L. Kalra And Bhupinder Singh, “Size Of Ambiplasma Domains In The Universe]” FULL TEXT PEER REVIEWED (1984) in Astrophysics and Space Science 103 (1984) 321-329
  14. Hannes Alfvén, “Cosmology in the Plasma Universe: An Introductory Exposition” (1990) IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science (ISSN 0093-3813), vol. 18, Feb. 1990, p. 5-10
  15. Alfven, Hannes, “Cosmology in the plasma universe” (1988) Laser and Particle Beams (ISSN 0263-0346), vol. 6, Aug. 1988, p. 389-398
  16. “Ch. 6: Cosmology”, Cosmic Plasma, Publ. 1981, Springer Science & Business Media, ISBN 9400983743, 9789400983748 (page 132), referring to Alfven, H . and Klein, O. “Matter-antimatter Annihilation and Cosmology“, Arkiv for fysik, 23, 187 (1962, publ. 1963).
  17. Oskar Klein, “Arguments concerning Relativity and Cosmology“, Science 29 January 1971: Vol. 171. no. 3969, pp. 339 – 345 PEER REVIEWED
  18. H Alfven, Worlds-Antiworlds: Antimatter in Cosmology, 1966, WH Freeman, San Francisco, ISBN 978-0716703174
  19. P. J. E. Peebles, Principles of Physical Cosmology, (1993) Princeton University Press, p. 207, ISBN 978-0691074283 ACADEMIC BOOK
  20. Hunter, J. H., Jr., “On the cosmology of Alfvén and KleinFULL TEXT, (1967) Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 137, p.27 PEER REVIEWED

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