Skip to comments.Speed of light may have changed recently
Posted on 06/30/2004 1:35:28 PM PDT by NukeMan
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You should check out Encyclopædia Britannica, 1768 edition. It's not illegal; it's not even bigamy; it's trigonometry.
I agree that there is some elements of it that have been linked with creationist theology.
But I did see a very long list of C values that was supposedely started from figures derived in the late 18th century. Now, if it was just a matter of "We're refining our measurementsand zomming in on the value" you would expect a deviation like someone learning how to throw horseshoes or something. But 9 out of ten of the figures showed a slight decrease from the previous figures.
I am interested in it from the philosophical side of science. The meaning of things, IMHO, has very little to do at all with what we're actually made of.
Eddington said as much a few times. He talks of physics as a kind of circular logic, a tautology, because there are no other ways of looking at say, an electron. There is no electron art, or electron poetry, or electron comedy.
In fact it seems to me unimportant whether we are made up of electrons and protons, or split peas and lentils.
It is the INTERACTIONS of these things that are important.
Physics is at a point where it must, by necessity, admit to something very large, and in fact to something that is (at least a small part) studiable by physics, but not contained by physics. I have coined the term "exscience" to represent things like that.
There seems to be little question that there is something underlying the physical world. The East Indians talk of the Maya, and other cultures have similar beliefs.
A decrease in C wouldn't hurt my feelings. Personally, I think if it is decreasing, it is probably somehow harmonic with whatever absolute value of T we have. At the big bang, C was infinate. Next clock tick, C was 2/1 Next clock tick, C was 3/2 next clock tick, C was 4/3 etc etc.
I also think that there is somehow a missing fundamental constant, or dimension. We need something to balance out the three dimensions (I mean the CGS or MKS dimensions) in the Lorentz invariablity theories.
When you look at the fine structure constant, something amazing pops out. The square root of a gram! What the hey is he square root of a gram? Same thing about length, we find the square root of a centimeter.
So it's all very interesting.
The c measurements actually start in the late 17th century with Roemer. Setterfield's initial list of early sightings was very skewed toward values above the modern one. Catching hell for this, he revised his theory so that c starts 11 million times modern at 6000 years ago, then crashes to a value well below modern a thousand or two years after that, then does a damped oscillation out to the present. That is to say, he accepted the below-the-line values he had once rejected and drew a squiggly line to connect them.
A decrease in C wouldn't hurt my feelings.
I'm sure, but there is no real evidence for such. With few exceptions all of the measurements made from Roemer on are within the error bars which shrink as you come forward.
When you look at the fine structure constant, something amazing pops out. The square root of a gram!
You are looking at it from a bad angle.
It was nice. I'm surprised at the lack of media coverage - NOT! clinton cut NASA's budget every year he was President.
I'm glad Cassini made it though. Otherwise it would be all over the news.
The phenomena you discuss is well known and is taken into account when examining intergalactic distances. Preferential scattering of shorter wavelength (blue) photons is the reason the sky is blue and the setting sun is red/orange. Red shift from stars and galaxies is usually associated with emission spectra of hydrogen, helium, lithium. The shift in these spectra is a Doppler-like effect. The red shift correlates with distances determined using the Cepheid variable stars and supernovae.
My point was that we launched those probes never having been in space before....we had no way of really knowing sure distances until we actually tried it, we only had mathematical extrapolations based on observations here on Earth!
Bring in this article when you want to fight a speeding ticket. "Now, officer, you are aware that radar is based on the Doppler principle and assumes a uniform speed of light, however, if the so-called fine structure 'constant' is not constant but exhibits secular variation..."
Thanks, you made my day.
In high school, the best way to get the physics teacher to go off on a tangent is to ask "What would happen to a monkey on a motor bike going close to the speed of light".
Not to mention the fact that his daughter was in the same class as I was, and didn't exactly have a stellar reputation...
Nope...it didn't change...just checked it and it's still the same...FAST!
Actually, when we view the light from a galaxy 8 billion light-years away, we are there in the sense that we see the galaxy exactly as it was 8 billion years ago.
God's word says nothing about the age of the universe. You're reading your own opinion into the Bible just as those who once claimed that the earth was the center of the universe read their own opinions into the Bible. The net result is that it makes Christianity look silly. People shouldn't leave their brains at the door when they become Christians.
Maybe, maybe not. Scripture records 17 TIMES that God "stretched" the heavens. So how do you know that galaxy was 8 billion years away when the light was generated that you are seeing?
My understanding is that triangulation has only been done on a few nearby stars. That most distances are determined by "red shift" in the light. But do we understand physics well enough to say that the only cause of that red shift is distance? I doubt it.
Also my understanding is that quantized red shifts have popped up again as an issue. I saw a recent 2004 article on it, that if memory serves me correctly said Hubble had confirmed quantized red shifts. I know this debate has gone back and forth as to whether the quantized red shifts were really statistically significant or whether more accurate measurements had dispelled them.
Without understanding how the universe came into being, I'm not convinced that the light we are seeing is 8 billion years old.
Not only are there unknowns due to our limitations in understanding physics pointed out in post 256.
But how do you know that God couldn't create the stars on the fourth day and have the rest of the universe age 14 billion years during a 24 hour period on earth?
I know there are people who say that if God allows anything to look old then He is guilty of deception. But I think it's entirely possible that he created the stars on the fourth day of creation some 6000-10,000 years ago, and that any apparent age is simply the by product of the processes God employed in order to make starlight for us. And imagination on the part of man that they know more than God and that God simply couldn't have created the universe some 6000 to 10000 years ago is simply arrogance combined with stupidity on behalf of man.
It's on the same intellectual level as accusing Levy of selling used Jeans (stonewashed) becaause everyone knows it takes 7 or 8 years and lots of washings for Jeans to fade.
Note: this topic is from 6/30/2004. Thanks NukeMan.
I have to admit to being a bit peeved that I have not heard of this study earlier...
‘Velly interesting ... but is it practical?’