Jonathan

Physics Question

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I think so. I think you'd have to have general relativity be wrong, but I'm not sure about that. DF (when you resume posting)? Ba'al?

[................]

Ba'al Chatzaf

You haven't addressed the issue. Have you looked at the model Jonathan proposes -- a starting plasma, condensing galaxies, shrinking perimeters...?

I'm asking if his model could square with general relativity, not for a speech about whether general relativity will fail in a black hole and about theories vis-à-vis "The Truth."

Ellen

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I think so. I think you'd have to have general relativity be wrong, but I'm not sure about that. DF (when you resume posting)? Ba'al?

[................]

Ba'al Chatzaf

You haven't addressed the issue. Have you looked at the model Jonathan proposes -- a starting plasma, condensing galaxies, shrinking perimeters...?

I'm asking if his model could square with general relativity, not for a speech about whether general relativity will fail in a black hole and about theories vis-à-vis "The Truth."

Ellen

No I haven't. I have not the equipment or the time (or the know how) to test this model out. Have any of the professional physicists looked at it. Is it published in a vetted and refereed journal. Does it have any experimental support? Does it make predictions not made by any of the standard model? Does its predictions match all predictions which have been experimentally verified?

If there is anything in the reputable journals to support this please supply a reference and I will look at it.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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I think the only relevant question is can you (or anyone) disprove my proposed alternate model? Can you demonstrate that the laws of physics definitely rule out the idea that the distances between centers of galaxies generally remain constant and that the galaxies are shrinking in size?

J

Does your model make quantitative predictions? Have they been tested. Where is the mathematics? TV images do not constitute a theory. Does your model (assuming it has a coherent mathematical expression) predict all cosmological effects already verified by experiment? Does you model make correct predictions not made by already vetted theories?

Have you submitted this model for vetting in a reputable journal to be examined by qualified referees (they will check for gross errors and incoherency in your work). Ultimately your model has to make correct predictions (i.e. predictions borne out by experiment) to count for anything. Pretty pictures do not constitute a scientific theory.

Show us the substantial results, not video images.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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If there is anything in the reputable journals to support this please supply a reference and I will look at it.

All there is is Jonathan's wondering if shrinking galaxy perimeters would give the same red-shift data as an expanding universe. He's filling in physics from there.

Here's a repeat of most of his post #19:

I'm suspecting you wouldn't get enough distance for the cosmic red shift.

I'm thinking that there's no reason that the distances couldn't be the same as in the expanding universe model. Particles which were in contact with each other at the beginning of the Big Bang, and which are now, say, 200 lightyears apart, would have also been in contact with each other under the shrinking galaxies model, and would also now be 200 lightyears apart. And that's what my animation clips show. As I've mentioned, although the distances between centers of galaxies remain constant, the distances between perimeters increases.

How large are you picturing the starting size as being?

I'm picturing the starting size as being freaking huge. Instead of everything in the universe starting out compressed into a tiny, centralized location, everything would be roughly in the same position that it is now, except it would be multiple-times larger and multiple-times less dense.

...isn't acceleration of the rate of the condensing of matter, for example, much easier to "wrap your head around" than the acceleration of the dispersal of matter?

I don't see it as any easier to understand...

Really? I've heard quite a few scientists talking about how acceleration would make sense in a contracting system as opposed to an expanding one (which is the reason that they find acceleration in an expanding model perplexing, and which still needs an explanation). And as I mentioned earlier, black holes would be just one example of contraction and acceleration. Another would be the simple fact that objects which are attracted to each other in space accelerate as they near each other. Although the specific mechanics of such examples may not be precisely the same as what might happen in a shrinking galaxies model, it seems to me to be at least intuitively easier to grasp the idea of contraction of entities resulting in acceleration than it does to grasp the idea of expansion resulting in acceleration.

...and how are you addressing certain issues which the big bang theory at least provides some basis for explaining, such as the cosmic microwave background radiation, the proportion of elements, the formation of galaxies?

I don't know for sure. That's why I started this thread. I wanted to see if people who have a much deeper understanding of physics than I do would see any benefits or drawbacks in viewing the universe from a different perspective. The purpose of this thread is to ask: "As a thought experiment, does assuming constant distances between the centers of galaxies solve any problems that physicists currently face when dealing with the expanding universe model? And/or does a shrinking galaxies model lead to problems that the expanding model lacks?"

Now, as for background radiation, I see no reason that a shrinking galaxies model couldn't have started out as hot plasma, which, as it cooled, began shrinking into separate galaxies or galaxy clusters, and when the universe cooled enough, the radiation could no longer be fully absorbed.

Basically, where the Big Bang is often seen as an explosion (or at least somewhat like an explosion), a shrinking galaxies model would be seen as being akin to a cloud of gas condensing into millions of separate droplets of liquid, and then eventually solidifying into smaller bits.

Btw, as I said earlier, my intention here was to contrast the expanding universe model against a shrinking galaxies model. That doesn't mean that I'm advocating or opposing one or the other, or that they are necessarily mutually exclusive of each other. I think that in theory, parts of both could exist at the same time -- galaxies could be shrinking while moving away from each other.

J

What I'm asking you about is just the gross-theory question if a "shrinking galaxies model [...] akin to a cloud of gas condensing [etc.]" would contradict general relativity.

Einstein -- am I correct? -- originally assumed a steady-state model and put in the cosmological constant *to keep the universe from expanding*, since he thought that otherwise his theory would produce expansion. Yes? (Then he later called "the cosmological constant" his "biggest mistake.")

I'll consult the resident physicist on the question tomorrow over dinner. He's been too busy to be bugged with cosmology questions lately.

Ellen

Edited by Ellen Stuttle

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Supposing the balloon were a large surface and one was inside one of the coins (which would be embedded in the film, not on top of it, if we're trying for a semblance of accuracy to the universe), I think one wouldn't be able to tell visually if the film was expanding and the other coins being carried farther away or if the other coins were contracting. One might have *other* ways of telling besides visually, but I think there wouldn't be a way to tell just from the appearance.

Right, and I suspect that there probably are ways to determine in reality that the universe is expanding and that galaxies are not shrinking. I think that my shrinking galaxies theory is most likely wrong -- that it is visually accurate, and that it is geometrically precise, but that I, not being a physicist, am overlooking or unaware or something. Which is why I started this thread. I recognize that I'm a layman.

Honestly, when I started this thread, I thought that someone would very quickly be able to show me how and why my theory is in error. I thought this would be an easy one for professional physicists to disprove.

I don't agree that the only relevant question is whether one can disprove a proposed model. Can anyone disprove that the moon orbits the earth because a chain of undetectable gremlins pushes it along an undetectable wire?

I would think that if any theories should be compared to claiming that undetectable gremlins are the cause behind certain observations, it would be the ones which actually propose undetectable gremlins in order to make their predictions work, but which give their undetectable gremlins scientific-sounding names such as undetectable "dark" this or undetectable "dark" that.

I think you need some testable predictions.

I'm not a physicist. Which predictions would you propose that might disprove my model? I can't think of any predictions for a shrinking galaxies model that might end with different results from those made in a expanding universe model.

J

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Does your model make quantitative predictions? Have they been tested. Where is the mathematics? TV images do not constitute a theory. Does your model (assuming it has a coherent mathematical expression) predict all cosmological effects already verified by experiment? Does you model make correct predictions not made by already vetted theories?

Those are basically the questions I'm asking. I'm not a physicist. I'm an artist whose curiosity led him to use a computer program, which very precisely simulates objects, actions and forces, to create visual/spatial representations of the proportionally expanding universe. When doing so, I recognized that the results appeared to be exactly the same as what one gets when simulating the galaxies as maintaining their positions and shrinking proportionally. I find that interesting. If it does nothing to pique your curiosity, and you have no interest in helping a layman like me learn something, then there's no reason for you to be posting on this thread.

Have you submitted this model for vetting in a reputable journal to be examined by qualified referees (they will check for gross errors and incoherency in your work). Ultimately your model has to make correct predictions (i.e. predictions borne out by experiment) to count for anything.

So, my first step should not have been to casually present my little computer simulation experiment in an online discussion forum to people who I know have an interest in physics and much more knowledge than I do, but to submit it for vetting to a reputable journal to be examined by qualified referees?

Pretty pictures do not constitute a scientific theory.

I agree that "pretty pictures" don't constitute a scientific theory. But I do think that spatial computer simulations, which accurately portray the constant of proportionality applied to two opposite scenarios showing the same visual results, to be interesting and worthy of further thought. Not so with you, huh?

Show us the substantial results, not video images.

In other words, instead of asking physicists (and non-physicists who have a strong interest in physics) about an issue within their area of expertise, and outside of mine, I should invest the time in changing careers and becoming a physicist myself in order to properly present my questions in a manner which physicists would prefer?

J

Edited by Jonathan

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[...] I suspect that there probably are ways to determine in reality that the universe is expanding and that galaxies are not shrinking.

I'm not convinced the universe is expanding -- though the alternatives aren't limited to universe expanding versus galaxies shrinking. I'm not sure exactly all the reasons why the universe is thought to be expanding. The red-shift data is one. I think that general relativity and its success is another. And that the CMB radiation is another. And quasars. And the distribution of elements. And considerations (on which I'm not clear) from the Standard Model of sub-atomic particles and forces.

I shall inquire regarding the full list of reasons (and the reasons why they're reasons).

I think that my shrinking galaxies theory is most likely wrong -- that it is visually accurate, and that it is geometrically precise, but that I, not being a physicist, am overlooking or unaware or something. Which is why I started this thread. I recognize that I'm a layman.

But, Jonathan, your animation visualizations are NOT "visually accurate" or "geometrically precise," which point I've been trying to get through but I guess failing at getting through. What you're showing isn't at all like what we see (and "see," since not all the information is from visible light) through telescopes.

Honestly, when I started this thread, I thought that someone would very quickly be able to show me how and why my theory is in error. I thought this would be an easy one for professional physicists to disprove.

You aren't actually presenting a theory. You're just asking, would we get the same red-shift data from contracting galaxies as from an expanding universe? I don't know the answer to that. As to the rest, you're just coming up with suggestions which I'm not seeing any reason to posit *except* to produce contracting galaxies. And I suspect that the basic idea, from your post #19, does contradict general relativity. Question to be asked. (Remember, DF is in process of moving. He might have been able to answer in a moment had he been here.)

I don't agree that the only relevant question is whether one can disprove a proposed model. Can anyone disprove that the moon orbits the earth because a chain of undetectable gremlins pushes it along an undetectable wire?

I would think that if any theories should be compared to claiming that undetectable gremlins are the cause behind certain observations, it would be the ones which actually propose undetectable gremlins in order to make their predictions work, but which give their undetectable gremlins scientific-sounding names such as undetectable "dark" this or undetectable "dark" that.

That isn't how it goes with the dark matter and dark energy. And I don't know of folks saying they're undetectable. Dark matter is posited to get the right amount of total mass. The amount which comes out of the equations is significantly more than the amount which has been found, so the question is, well, where is the rest of it?

Dark energy...I'm not sure what the issue is there, although I attended what I think qualified as a brilliant talk by Lawrence Krauss on the topic. This was in 2005 at M.I.T, part of the celebration of the centennial of Einstein's "Annus Mirabilis." (See for a Wikipedia piece on the "Annus Mirabilis [1905] papers.") Krauss was arguing that "dark energy" was the "cosmological constant" transmogrified and coming back in on the other side of the equation -- or a thesis of this sort. I felt that I was following it at the time. I can't reproduce it.

I think you need some testable predictions.

I'm not a physicist. Which predictions would you propose that might disprove my model? I can't think of any predictions for a shrinking galaxies model that might end with different results from those made in a expanding universe model.

I have no idea what predictions you could make, since thus far you haven't posited anything which has any actual physics as its basis. Your exploring starts with a measurement question, whether we'd get the same red-shift from shrinking galaxies as from an expanding universe. From there you just posit an initial condition (why?) and a condensation (why?) to produce shrinking galaxies. So, really, you aren't in the category yet of having anything even to disprove (falsify) by testing because there isn't any physics theory provided *for* testing.

Ellen

Edited by Ellen Stuttle

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I think that my shrinking galaxies theory is most likely wrong -- that it is visually accurate, and that it is geometrically precise, but that I, not being a physicist, am overlooking or unaware or something. Which is why I started this thread. I recognize that I'm a layman.

But, Jonathan, your animation visualizations are NOT "visually accurate" or "geometrically precise," which point I've been trying to get through but I guess failing at getting through. What you're showing isn't at all like what we see (and "see," since not all the information is from visible light) through telescopes.

What I meant by visually accurate and geometrically precise is that the animations on this thread accurately and precisely represent what is seen (both from outside and inside the systems) when proportionality is applied to an expanding system and to a static system with contracting entities.

And I understand that what I'm showing isn't exactly what we see in reality. The fact that I've used gray spherical blobs, a perfectly spherical blue balloon with no lip, and two-headed dimes which are identical clones of each other should have made it obvious that I'm not trying to depict every aspect of what we see in reality (since there aren't similar giant blobs, balloons and dimes surrounding us in reality, but stars, planets, asteroids, etc.). The point has only been to depict proportionality applied to each model from various perspectives. That's what I've done. The clips are indeed visually accurate and geometrically precise representations of proportional expansion and contraction.

J

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In other words, instead of asking physicists (and non-physicists who have a strong interest in physics) about an issue within their area of expertise, and outside of mine, I should invest the time in changing careers and becoming a physicist myself in order to properly present my questions in a manner which physicists would prefer?

J

Yes. If you want to join the team then you have to learn to play. Your charming images do not constitute a physics theory. You have not provided empirical reasons for your notions to be taken seriously.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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Far be it for me to defend Jonathan, but I think he was just asking a layman's question, an interesting speculation, not proposing a paper for a professional journal.

Lighten up.

Edited by Philip Coates

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Jonathan, I realize that you don't think we see coins, blobs, etc. But do you think that we see an expansion?

Ellen

Yes, I do. Do you recognize that the simulations I've presented contain precisely measurable objects, proportions and relationships, and that anyone could do the same, including with a ruler and a compass? The results are not what I had expected visually, and I think it's pretty clear that they are not what you had expected, but that doesn't change the fact that, yes, we see an expansion.

Perhaps the problem is that in your mind you're visualizing non-proportional expansions, and still aren't getting your mind around the fact that proportional expansion does indeed look like what I've presented here?

J

Edited to add: It occurs to me that perhaps you were asking something other than what I answered above. I took you to be asking if we see an expansion in my animations. Were you instead asking me if I believe that galaxies are moving away from us fast enough to reduce in scale visually at the same rate as they do in my animations? If so, then, no, I'm not suggesting that the rate of change shown in my clips represents the rate of change in reality. I'm not suggesting that a galaxy that we look at through a telescope will appear to become half its size in 8 seconds. I condensed the timeframe in my animations so that the effects of change could be seen in a short amount of time.

Edited by Jonathan

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In other words, instead of asking physicists (and non-physicists who have a strong interest in physics) about an issue within their area of expertise, and outside of mine, I should invest the time in changing careers and becoming a physicist myself in order to properly present my questions in a manner which physicists would prefer?

J

Yes. If you want to join the team then you have to learn to play.

Okay, thanks, Einstein. Next time that I have a layman's question about physics, I'll take your brilliant advice, change careers and become a physicist, submit my hunches to peer-reviewed journals, and then, and only then, come to OL's science sub-forum to see if it's worthy of anyone's attention.

Your charming images do not constitute a physics theory. You have not provided empirical reasons for your notions to be taken seriously.

Well, now I suspect that you don't have the knowledge to answer my questions.

J

Edited by Jonathan

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Far be it for me to defend Jonathan, but I think he was just asking a layman's question, an interesting speculation, not proposing a paper for a professional journal.

Lighten up.

Thank you, Phil.

J

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Ask me after you show me the mathematics. No math, no physics.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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I think the only relevant question is can you (or anyone) disprove my proposed alternate model? Can you demonstrate that the laws of physics definitely rule out the idea that the distances between centers of galaxies generally remain constant and that the galaxies are shrinking in size?

Two possible answers, depending on what you're implying with your model:

1. If you mean that the galaxies are shrinking in the usual sense, standards of measures based on atomic data (like a coalescing gas cloud): the answer is no, as no such systematic shrinking is observed. If it were true, we would observe it in our own Milky Way, that the distances of all the stars in the Milky Way would systematically decrease. This is definitely not the case.

2. If you mean that not only the galaxies, but also all the matter, atoms, wavelengths etc. are shrinking, the answer is that you're merely assigning a new meaning to commonly used words, without changing any of the physics, see my post here.

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Ask me after you show me the mathematics. No math, no physics.

Ba'al Chatzaf

Poor Stephen Hawking--he had no idea.

If I go up in a "tall" tower and simultaneously drop two cannonballs one of which is half the weight of the other and they both hit the ground at the same time, I can tell Jonathan nought about this because there is "No math, no physics"?

--Brant

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1. If you mean that the galaxies are shrinking in the usual sense, standards of measures based on atomic data (like a coalescing gas cloud): the answer is no, as no such systematic shrinking is observed. If it were true, we would observe it in our own Milky Way, that the distances of all the stars in the Milky Way would systematically decrease. This is definitely not the case.

Another empirical falsification of this version of the shrinking theory: the observed redshift of galaxies would be independent of the distance. The distance between the centers of the galaxies would remain the same, the only increase in distance would be due to the simultaneous shrinking of any two galaxies, independent of the mutual distance of their centers. In fact the redshift increases with increasing distance, so this theory is not correct.

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Ask me after you show me the mathematics. No math, no physics.

Ba'al Chatzaf

Poor Stephen Hawking--he had no idea.

If I go up in a "tall" tower and simultaneously drop two cannonballs one of which is half the weight of the other and they both hit the ground at the same time, I can tell Jonathan nought about this because there is "No math, no physics"?

--Brant

I am talking about theories, not empirical observations. No math, no theory. It has been thus since the time of Galileo of Newton. In order to account for the marvelous fact that things fall the same regardless of mass (ignoring stuff like air resistance) one needs a theory. Newton proposed his famous inverse square law for a hypothesized gravitational force between bodies. He also postulated laws that linked force and momentum to motion all done mathematically.

No math, no physical theory.

Ba'al Chatzaf

Ba'al Chatzaf

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Another empirical falsification of this version of the shrinking theory: the observed redshift of galaxies would be independent of the distance. The distance between the centers of the galaxies would remain the same, the only increase in distance would be due to the simultaneous shrinking of any two galaxies, independent of the mutual distance of their centers. In fact the redshift increases with increasing distance, so this theory is not correct.

But what of an observer on the shrinking arm of a galaxy observing a star on the shrinking arm of another galaxy? Could a redshift be observed?

Ellen

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Another empirical falsification of this version of the shrinking theory: the observed redshift of galaxies would be independent of the distance. The distance between the centers of the galaxies would remain the same, the only increase in distance would be due to the simultaneous shrinking of any two galaxies, independent of the mutual distance of their centers. In fact the redshift increases with increasing distance, so this theory is not correct.

But what of an observer on the shrinking arm of a galaxy observing a star on the shrinking arm of another galaxy? Could a redshift be observed?

I didn't say that you wouldn't observe a redshift, shrinking galaxies would in general result in some change in distance, but independent of the distance between the centers of those galaxies, and moreover, in one half of the cases the change would be a decrease in distance (if the observers are sitting on the relatively distant arms of those galaxies), so you'd see as much blueshifts as redshifts.

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Another empirical falsification of this version of the shrinking theory: the observed redshift of galaxies would be independent of the distance. The distance between the centers of the galaxies would remain the same, the only increase in distance would be due to the simultaneous shrinking of any two galaxies, independent of the mutual distance of their centers. In fact the redshift increases with increasing distance, so this theory is not correct.

But what of an observer on the shrinking arm of a galaxy observing a star on the shrinking arm of another galaxy? Could a redshift be observed?

I didn't say that you wouldn't observe a redshift, shrinking galaxies would in general result in some change in distance, but independent of the distance between the centers of those galaxies, and moreover, in one half of the cases the change would be a decrease in distance (if the observers are sitting on the relatively distant arms of those galaxies), so you'd see as much blueshifts as redshifts.

Just a minute: who, reputable whom, is claiming the universe is not expanding and why?

--Brant

not heard of it

sorry to have missed this conversation's nuance

Edited by Brant Gaede

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Another empirical falsification of this version of the shrinking theory: the observed redshift of galaxies would be independent of the distance. The distance between the centers of the galaxies would remain the same, the only increase in distance would be due to the simultaneous shrinking of any two galaxies, independent of the mutual distance of their centers. In fact the redshift increases with increasing distance, so this theory is not correct.

But what of an observer on the shrinking arm of a galaxy observing a star on the shrinking arm of another galaxy? Could a redshift be observed?

I didn't say that you wouldn't observe a redshift, shrinking galaxies would in general result in some change in distance, but independent of the distance between the centers of those galaxies, and moreover, in one half of the cases the change would be a decrease in distance (if the observers are sitting on the relatively distant arms of those galaxies), so you'd see as much blueshifts as redshifts.

Synopsizing: If the distribution of galaxies was fixed distances between centers and shrinking perimeters, whatever redshifting we observed wouldn't match that which we do observe.

-

I've been getting an astronomy-history lesson (from Larry) pertaining to how we ever got a measure of distances of stars beyond those stars close enough that we can use parallax. It's a story of complicated inference building on inference. I'd heard it before, but this time it was sinking in better because of trying to answer a particular question.

-

Revising something I wrote in post #54

Einstein -- am I correct? -- originally assumed a steady-state model and put in the cosmological constant *to keep the universe from expanding*, since he thought that otherwise his theory would produce expansion. Yes? (Then he later called "the cosmological constant" his "biggest mistake.")

Einstein assumed that the universe wasn't expanding, but the "steady-state model" wasn't developed until 1948, thirty-three years after the 1915 paper in which Einstein proposed general relativity.

In 1915 no one had a clue of the size of the universe. People thought our galaxy was it. Even the visible galaxy (which looks like a fuzzy area) in Andromeda wasn't known to be a galaxy. The steady-state model was proposed after a lot more had been learned using telescopes and questions arose about the distribution of elements.

Ellen

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Just a minute: who, reputable whom, is claiming the universe is not expanding and why?

--Brant

not heard of it

sorry to have missed this conversation's nuance

That is in fact what this whole discussion is about. I suggest you start to read the thread from the beginning.

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