Understanding gravitational collapse requires understanding how ∼1058 nucleons can be destroyed in ∼10−5 seconds. The recent proposal that the endpoint of gravitational collapse can be a “dark energy star” implies that the mass‐energy of the nucleons undergoing gravitational collapse can be converted to vacuum energy when one gets near to conditions where classical general relativity predicts that a trapped surface would form. The negative pressure associated with a large vacuum energy prevents an event horizon from forming, thus resolving the long‐standing puzzle as to why gravitational collapse always leads to an explosion. An indirect consequence is that the reverse process — creation of matter from vacuum energy — should also be possible. Indeed this process may be responsible for the “big bang”. In this new cosmology the observable universe began as a fluctuation in an overall steady state universe. The fluctuations in the CMB in this picture are the result of quantum turbulence associated with vorticity. This explanation for the CMB fluctuations is superior to inflationary scenarios because there is a natural explanation for both the level of CMB fluctuations and the deviation from a scale invariant spectrum at large scales.

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