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Misconceptions about the Big Bang
Scientific American ^ | March 2005 | Charles H. Lineweaver and Tamara M. Davis

Posted on 02/24/2005 3:54:37 AM PST by PatrickHenry

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To: biblewonk

Flee, brother. ;O)


51 posted on 02/24/2005 8:29:48 AM PST by newgeezer (Just my opinion, of course. Your mileage may vary.)
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To: PatrickHenry
Rereading that section, I think what it's saying is that the distant objects were receding from us at sublight speeds back at the time we are observing them, but since then they have picked up speed, and are now receding from us faster than light (which may be true, I'd have to work it out). Anyway, we can't observe them as they are right now.
52 posted on 02/24/2005 8:30:25 AM PST by Physicist
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To: PatrickHenry

Exceptionally well written article. Badly needed, too.


53 posted on 02/24/2005 8:30:43 AM PST by longshadow
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To: Junior
Next time I hear some Luddite say, "In the beginning was nothing, and then it exploded," I'm going to frap him upside the head with this article.

It obviously won't help, as several people have now *responded* to this article with that same twaddle.

Beauty may be only skin deep, but ignorance goes clear to the bone.

54 posted on 02/24/2005 8:31:28 AM PST by Ichneumon
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To: PatrickHenry

That's the one paragraph I had difficulty understanding what they were trying to say....


55 posted on 02/24/2005 8:32:32 AM PST by longshadow
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To: PatrickHenry
Sciam Articles have a higher than average tendency to find their way into the Smokey Back Room. Wondering ...
56 posted on 02/24/2005 8:33:12 AM PST by VadeRetro (Liberalism is a cancer on society. Creationism is a cancer on conservatism.)
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To: TigersEye; Capitalism2003
[Like Darwinian evolution, cosmic expansion provides the context within which simple structures form and develop over time into complex structures. Without evolution and expansion, modern biology and cosmology make little sense.]

The structural complexity of the simplest one-celled organism far exceeds the complexity of joining together individual cells in a cooperative way to make multi-celled organisms.

Even if you were correct -- and from what I know of biology, you aren't, that still would make your comment a complete non sequitur to the material you were allegedly "responding" to.

Hint for the science-impaired: The "simplest one-celled organism" as we know it today is a *result* of evolution, not the *starting point* of it.

57 posted on 02/24/2005 8:36:36 AM PST by Ichneumon
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To: Dimensio

First there was NOTHING and then NOTHING exploded!

Aw... T'weren't nothing

It was gravity particles.


58 posted on 02/24/2005 8:41:53 AM PST by furball4paws (It's not the cough that carried him off - it's the coffin they carried him off in (O. Nash -I think))
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To: aruanan; PatrickHenry; RadioAstronomer; Physicist; Right Wing Professor
The supposed expansion of the universe. Once people latched on to the concept of stellar red shift as an indication of recessional velocity, everything else was redefined (or ignored as anomalous) to fit.

Nice try, but the article itself points out that your "alternative" explanation just doesn't match the evidence:

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February 21, 2005
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Misconceptions about the Big Bang: A Wearying Hypothesis
By Charles H. Lineweaver and Tamara M. Davis
Science Image: SUPERNOVAE
Image: P. CHALLIS Center for Astrophysics/STScI/NASA
SUPERNOVAE,  such as this one (indicated by arrow) in the Virgo Cluster of galaxies, serve as tracers of cosmic expansion. Their observed properties rule out alternative theories of cosmology in which space does not expand.
Every time Scientific American publishes an article on cosmology, a number of readers write in to argue that galaxies are not really receding from us--that the expansion of space is an illusion. They suggest that galactic redshifts are instead caused by light getting "tired" on its long journey. Perhaps some novel process causes light to lose energy spontaneously, and thereby redden, as it propagates through space.

Scientists first proposed this hypothesis some 75 years ago, and like any good model, it makes predictions that can be tested. But like any bad model, its predictions do not fit the observations. For example, when a star explodes as a supernova, it brightens and then dims--a process that takes about two weeks for the type of supernova that astronomers have been using to map out space. During these two weeks, the supernova emits a train of photons. The tired-light hypothesis predicts that these photons lose energy as they propagate but that the observer always sees a train that lasts two weeks.

In expanding space, however, not only do individual photons get stretched (thereby losing energy) but the entire train of photons also gets stretched. Thus, it takes longer than two weeks for all the photons to arrive on Earth. Recent observations confirm this effect. A supernova in a galaxy of redshift 0.5 appears to last three weeks; one in a galaxy of redshift 1, four weeks.

The tired-light hypothesis also conflicts with observations of the spectrum of the cosmic microwave background radiation and of the surface brightness of distant galaxies.

So the expanding universe cause for the redshift has been verified in serveral ways, and the "attenuated light" cause has been falsified -- it doesn't match the observations.

Will you now drop your adherence to your falsified model, or is your belief in it based on personal bias and dogma, rather than evidence?

59 posted on 02/24/2005 8:49:45 AM PST by Ichneumon
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To: PatrickHenry
An accelerating universe, then, resembles a black hole in that it has an event horizon, an edge beyond which we cannot see. The current distance to our cosmic event horizon is 16 billion light-years, well within our observable range. Light emitted from galaxies that are now beyond the event horizon will never be able to reach us; the distance that currently corresponds to 16 billion light-years will expand too quickly. We will still be able to see events that took place in those galaxies before they crossed the horizon, but subsequent events will be forever beyond our view.

I think this means that things we can see now are going to wink out of sight as the universe expandes and ages. We will actually see things appear to recede from us and leave us alone in the dark.

Makes me not want to stick around.

60 posted on 02/24/2005 8:50:20 AM PST by VadeRetro (Liberalism is a cancer on society. Creationism is a cancer on conservatism.)
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To: Ichneumon

FOG Index.

There are two generally recognized FOG indices.

FOG1 is defined as the number of syllables divided by the number of words. Because of the large number of Anglo-Saxon monosyllables in English, a FOG1 index greater than 2 is thick. Scientists have high FOG1 indices, since the scientific style is designed to stuff as much crap into as few words as possible and there is a penchant for all those Latinized (and Greekized) words.

FOG2 is defined as the number of words divided by the number of significant thoughts in the verbage. Scientists have very low FOG2 indices because of the aforementioned scientific style. However, Deans and University Presidents have very high FOG2 indices. The FOG2 indices of politicians is undefined since dividing by zero is not allowed.

:^))


61 posted on 02/24/2005 8:59:16 AM PST by furball4paws (It's not the cough that carried him off - it's the coffin they carried him off in (O. Nash -I think))
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To: PatrickHenry

My favorite Big Band was Glenn Miller with Benny Goodman coming in a close 2nd. And don't forget Tommy Dorsey and Les Brown, Duke Ellington, and boy could that Harry James play a hard-singing riff.
Wait a minute - your talking "BIG BANG"?

Ahhhhhh NEVERMIND


62 posted on 02/24/2005 9:02:43 AM PST by NavyCanDo
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To: PatrickHenry

PH - thank you for this ping. I liked it very much.


63 posted on 02/24/2005 9:03:04 AM PST by furball4paws (It's not the cough that carried him off - it's the coffin they carried him off in (O. Nash -I think))
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To: PatrickHenry; longshadow; Physicist; RadioAstronomer
Question: why aren't there greater consequences than the appearance of the light from these objects? Why is this motion, relative to ours, immune from the effects of special relativity?

Click on the link and read the whole article at Scientific American (and view all the sidebars, that's where most of the graphics are).

This article covers all those issues and more, and does it *very* well.

The short form is that while the distant galaxies are *separating* from us at over the speed of light, they are not *traveling* at/beyond the speed of light. "Travel" is velocity *through* space-time. But those galaxies are actually "sitting still" while space-time *itself* expands and just "carries" the galaxies with it. And Einstein's laws don't place a limit on the (relative) expansion velocity of space-time, only on the speeds of things *in* it.

For an analogy, consider a rubber sheet which has objects on it, and the rubber sheet has a high friction coefficient, so things on the sheet can't travel more than a certain speed across it because friction-based drag slows them to a crawl. But there's no limit on how fast the sheet *itself* can be stretched, separating the objects resting on it by any arbitrary velocity.

Here's one of the relevant sidebars -- the text of the article itself explains it in more detail:

And here's part of the relevant text from the body of the article (although it's best to read the whole article to get a real feel for all the interrelationships):

Notice that, according to Hubble's law, the universe does not expand at a single speed. Some galaxies recede from us at 1,000 kilometers per second, others (those twice as distant) at 2,000 km/s, and so on. In fact, Hubble's law predicts that galaxies beyond a certain distance, known as the Hubble distance, recede faster than the speed of light. For the measured value of the Hubble constant, this distance is about 14 billion light-years.

Does this prediction of faster-than-light galaxies mean that Hubble's law is wrong? Doesn't Einstein's special theory of relativity say that nothing can have a velocity exceeding that of light? This question has confused generations of students. The solution is that special relativity applies only to "normal" velocities--motion through space. The velocity in Hubble's law is a recession velocity caused by the expansion of space, not a motion through space. It is a general relativistic effect and is not bound by the special relativistic limit. Having a recession velocity greater than the speed of light does not violate special relativity. It is still true that nothing ever overtakes a light beam.

Another surprising result of this is that we can still "see" galaxies which are receding from us at well over the speed of light. One would think that the Hubble limit (the edge of the "observable universe" from where we are) would be at the point where galaxies are receding from us at the speed of light, but it's actually well *beyond* that. Again, the article explains all this in easily understandable terms if you read the whole thing.

It's well worth the time. I read it yesterday standing at the magazine rack while waiting for a prescription to be filled, and I'm glad someone posted it already -- I'd have done so myself otherwise, it's *that* good.

64 posted on 02/24/2005 9:06:41 AM PST by Ichneumon
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To: VadeRetro
I think this means that things we can see now are going to wink out of sight as the universe expandes and ages. We will actually see things appear to recede from us and leave us alone in the dark. Makes me not want to stick around.

We'll always have the Local Group of galaxies. Just as Rick and Elsa will always have Paris.

65 posted on 02/24/2005 9:08:52 AM PST by PatrickHenry (<-- Click on my name. The List-O-Links for evolution threads is at my freeper homepage.)
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To: Ichneumon; Physicist; longshadow
The article says:
The solution is that special relativity applies only to "normal" velocities--motion through space. The velocity in Hubble's law is a recession velocity caused by the expansion of space, not a motion through space. It is a general relativistic effect and is not bound by the special relativistic limit. Having a recession velocity greater than the speed of light does not violate special relativity. It is still true that nothing ever overtakes a light beam.

Yes, I read that before I posted my question. I understand that it's due to the expansion of space. Still, those galaxies are moving (so to speak) faster than lightspeed with respect to us. Shouldn't their mass be rather ... large?

I understand that we're moving at that speed relative to them, and I assume we don't notice such a crushing mass because, locally, we're in free fall, so we wouldn't notice it. Nor would they, locally. But we should notice it as to them, and vice versa. Or so it seems to my limited understanding.

66 posted on 02/24/2005 9:16:43 AM PST by PatrickHenry (<-- Click on my name. The List-O-Links for evolution threads is at my freeper homepage.)
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To: doc30
You mean it is Turtles all the way down?
67 posted on 02/24/2005 9:28:04 AM PST by Old Professer (As truth and fiction blend in the Mixmaster of History almost any sauce can be made palatable.)
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To: PatrickHenry
And Finch and Stifler's Mom will always have the pool table. (Sniff!) Thanks.
68 posted on 02/24/2005 9:28:16 AM PST by VadeRetro (Liberalism is a cancer on society. Creationism is a cancer on conservatism.)
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To: Ichneumon
Even if you were correct -- and from what I know of biology, you aren't, ...

You don't know much about biology then.

Hint for the science-impaired: The "simplest one-celled organism" as we know it today is a *result* of evolution, not the *starting point* of it.

Life started with an organism of less than one cell? One fifth? One twentieth maybe?

69 posted on 02/24/2005 9:37:18 AM PST by TigersEye (Intellectuals only exist if you think they do.)
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To: Ichneumon
...that still would make your comment a complete non sequitur to the material you were allegedly "responding" to.

[Like Darwinian evolution, cosmic expansion provides the context within which simple structures form and develop over time into complex structures. Without evolution and expansion, modern biology and cosmology make little sense.]

So, I say multi-cellular organisms are more complex in their basic design than the evolved mechanisms of multi-cellular organisms in comparison, yet that is non-sequitur to the statement "...the context within which simple structures form and develop over time into complex structures?" That's not logical.

The "simplest one-celled organism" as we know it today is a *result* of evolution, not the *starting point* of it.

What example, artifactual, experimental or theoretical, do you have of a one-celled organism that is more simple than the simplest known one-celled organism? Without one your refutation is empty.

70 posted on 02/24/2005 9:52:34 AM PST by TigersEye (Intellectuals only exist if you think they do.)
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To: TigersEye

"What example, artifactual, experimental or theoretical, do you have of a one-celled organism that is more simple than the simplest known one-celled organism? Without one your refutation is empty."

Because we have had 3.6-3.8 billion years of evolution. Evolutionary processes have touched all organisms, including single celled ones. Basically our Ichneumonoid friend is telling you that just because there is no 3.8 billion year old microbe in existence today and I can't show it to you under my microscope, doesn't mean that there never was one.


71 posted on 02/24/2005 9:58:58 AM PST by furball4paws (It's not the cough that carried him off - it's the coffin they carried him off in (O. Nash -I think))
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To: furball4paws

So you believe, on faith, that there must have been a simpler one-celled organism than exists today? You have no proof in any form. I don't believe things on faith.


72 posted on 02/24/2005 10:01:16 AM PST by TigersEye (Intellectuals only exist if you think they do.)
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To: TigersEye

No one said anything about faith. We have 3.6-3.8 billion year old fossil microbes. They existed - no faith. The fact that they no longer exist does not make them less real, just as the fact that Tyrannosaurus no longer exists makes it any less real. I also understand evolutionary processes and a 3.5 billion year old bug wouldn't stand a chance in today's more highly evolved and more highly competitive environments. Not to mention that the environments of today are much changed from those of 3.5 billion years ago.

Since we don't know the details of a 3.5 billion year old bug, your point as to the complexity of single celled bugs is meaningless. You may be right, but IMHO you are most likely wrong.


73 posted on 02/24/2005 10:12:29 AM PST by furball4paws (It's not the cough that carried him off - it's the coffin they carried him off in (O. Nash -I think))
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To: PatrickHenry
Still, those galaxies are moving...

No; the galaxies are just sitting there minding their business; it's the expansion of the intervening space (between the distant galaxies and us) that creates the sense of movement.

Think of it this way; if no force acts on the mass in the galaxies, it's velocity hasn't changed, and thus there are no associated Special Relativistic effects, e.g. the effective mass of the galaxy doesn't get larger.

The relativistic effects that we DO see (redshift) are, as the article points out, due to General, not Special, Relativity, and are a consequence of the spatial expansion.

74 posted on 02/24/2005 10:21:57 AM PST by longshadow
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To: Old Professer

As in the Hindu (I think) description of the universe? Maybe it could be that strange.


75 posted on 02/24/2005 10:22:33 AM PST by doc30 (Democrats are to morals what and Etch-A-Sketch is to Art.)
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To: furball4paws
...but IMHO you are most likely wrong

So it is on faith. As I said, you have no proof.

What you are telling me is beside the point anyway. Evolution theory is based on the proposed increase in complexity of known organisms over time as evidenced by the fossil record. Yet the most advanced multi-celled org. known is far less complex in its additional design than the basics of cellular biology.

It seems counterintuitive to the "simple to complex" view that the latest designs contain nothing in them, structurally or functionally, that comes anywhere near the fantastic complexity of basic cellular function.

76 posted on 02/24/2005 10:24:07 AM PST by TigersEye (Intellectuals only exist if you think they do.)
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To: RadioAstronomer; All
See post 34

Thanks. I've perused that page before, but to my untrained brain, it does not appear to explain the nature of the vacuum energy.

I apprehend that the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle predicts fluctuations in the energy of a vacuum, even though the energy averages out to zero. Otherwise the vacuum energy would certainly be zero at all times, and this is not allowed by the HUP. Did I get that right?

Causality still seems to be a problem--what causes the virtual pairs to come into existance? Or, if the answer to this question is "a vacuum fluctuation," then what causes the fluctuation?

Does the energy of a vacuum consist entirely in the virtual particles, or does it consist in the vacuum's other attributes--such as the space the vacuum occupies? Space is a real "thing," isn't it? If space exists, then it would not seem proper to call the vacuum "nothing."

I believe I read or heard that energy can be contained in the curvature of space. Is this correct? Does the vacuum energy come from the curvature of the entire universe? Does the vacuum near a massive object contain more energy than the vacuum in inter-galactic space?

I hope I haven't pestered you with too many questions. Anyone who wishes to answer, feel free.

77 posted on 02/24/2005 10:37:03 AM PST by TigerTale ("I don't care. I'm still free. You can't take the sky from me.")
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To: longshadow
No; the galaxies are just sitting there minding their business; it's the expansion of the intervening space (between the distant galaxies and us) that creates the sense of movement.

Grumble, grumble ... maybe, but I donno. God not only doesn't play dice, he doesn't toss Frisbees either.

78 posted on 02/24/2005 10:38:26 AM PST by PatrickHenry (<-- Click on my name. The List-O-Links for evolution threads is at my freeper homepage.)
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To: TigerTale

DISCLAIMER: I am not a physicist, so any of the following may not be entirely correct:
Vacuum energy is a result of the Heisneburg Uncertainty Principle. According to this principle, the energy of the vacuum can assume a nonzero level for some short amount of time, the amount of time depending on the amount by which the energy differs from zero, the more energy, the shorter the time. The end result is that a particle-antiparticle pair can form so long as they annihilate each other within some short time span. (I still fail to understand why we don't see gamma rays formed by this process. I understand that the energy must return to zero, but what happens to the gamma rays formed in a p-ap annihilation?)

As far as causality goes, it may seem counterintuitive, but quantum mechanics has shown that the idea of causality may not be particularly useful in describing the microscopic world. For example, in a sample of radioactive material, we can predict pretty precisely how many decay events will occur in a given time. However we cannot predict the amount of time that will pass before a GIVEN radioactive atom will decay. What is the cause that causes that atom to decay at the time it does and not some earlier or later time? There doesn't appear to be any causality behind such microscopic events.

As far as whether or not space is really a "something" and whether the curvature of space can contain energy, general relativity sure seems to me to treat space-time as a thing. It speaks of the curvature of space-time and postulates that gravity is caused by this curvature. Since there is energy associated with gravity, there is also energy associated with curvature of space-time. If I understand it correctly, that's one of the problems with a quantum theory of gravity. It would have gravitational interactions occurring via exchange of particles known as gravitons. However, the graviton, which would be a quantum of space curvature, would have an energy associated with it. This energy would tend to cause further curvature, according to GR. This would result in more gravitons and further curvature. This leads to the prediction of infinite energies from a quantum gravitational theory, which clearly is problematic for a theory in physics. Hopefully this helps some, and I of course am anxiously waiting for some of the resident physics experts to tear what I've said apart.


79 posted on 02/24/2005 11:11:24 AM PST by stremba
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To: stremba
The end result is that a particle-antiparticle pair can form so long as they annihilate each other within some short time span.

Thank you for your reply.

So, does the vacuum energy consist entirely in the particle-antiparticle pairs? In other words, is the energy of a given volume of vacuum zero when there are no pairs present in that volume? Or are the paricle-antiparticle pairs the result of a non-zero energy state which subsequently manifests itself as virtual particles? Can the energy volume of a vacuum be non-zero when no virtual particles are present?

80 posted on 02/24/2005 11:19:29 AM PST by TigerTale ("I don't care. I'm still free. You can't take the sky from me.")
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To: TigersEye

I ask you to reconsider the simple -> complexity part of evolution. More highly evolved does not necessarily mean more complex. It just means better suited to its environment.

IMHO in my case is based on 40 years as a professional microbiologist. My opinion is still speculative, but my speculations get better with each passing year. All the evidence supports my previous posts to you. It is not totally conclusive, but would you mind showing me the evidence to back up your opinions?


81 posted on 02/24/2005 11:19:40 AM PST by furball4paws (It's not the cough that carried him off - it's the coffin they carried him off in (O. Nash -I think))
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To: TigerTale

AFAIK, the production of a virtual particle pair would require a relatively large amount of energy. Smaller amounts of energy uncertainty could be associated with the vaccuum, which would, I guess, manifest themselves in the curvature of space-time at that point in the vaccuum. Again, this isn't really my field, so, while this is the best of my understanding, I'm not sure I am right here. BTW, in my previous post, I had stated that I don't know what happens to the gamma photons from a virtual pair annihilation. After reading the link given by another poster on this thread, I realize that no annihilation actually occurs. The particles disappear after a short interval as the energy returns to zero.


82 posted on 02/24/2005 11:25:40 AM PST by stremba
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To: TigerTale
It appears from the experimental evidence, that what we call "empty space" is actually made up of a froth of "stuff". It is a little like the air we breath. You can't see it, but is has effects you can measure.

In the current wave/particle quantum models, this is described as particles and their anti particles suddenly materializing in free space. The now real, virtual particles, recombine before anyone notices that they are there, usually.

There are exceptions that make it so one can notice. Near the event horizon of a black hole, one particle could fall in, while the other escapes. This is the effect that causes black holes to gradually evaporate.

The other effect, an I have forgotten its name, takes place when the vacuum is very thin between two metal plates. In this case, the virtual particles made real get trapped in the metal and can't recombine with their partners. This causes a measurable force between the plates.
83 posted on 02/24/2005 12:12:51 PM PST by SubMareener (Become a monthly donor! Free FreeRepublic.com from Quarterly FReepathons!)
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To: SubMareener; RadioAstronomer
The other effect, an I have forgotten its name, takes place when the vacuum is very thin between two metal plates.

The Casimir Effect.

That brings up another point which confuses me. The link provided by RadioAstronomer in Post 34 states that the particle pairs disappear before they can be measured directly, thereby avoiding a violation of the law of the conservation. Due to the Casimir Effect, however, one can measure the energy of the vacuum. Doesn't this demonstrate the creation of energy in violation of the previously mentioned physical law?

84 posted on 02/24/2005 12:26:32 PM PST by TigerTale ("I don't care. I'm still free. You can't take the sky from me.")
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To: PatrickHenry

The ant analogy is wrong. An ant standing on the surface of a balloon has height from the surface of the balloon. Therefor, he DOES have a sense of up and down. He has to.
As for the specious use of Darwinism in this piece, give it a rest!


85 posted on 02/24/2005 12:35:31 PM PST by Doc Savage (...because they stand on a wall, and they say nothing is going to hurt you tonight, not on my watch!)
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To: longshadow
Exceptionally poorly written article. The actual question is always who?? If the universe was condensed into the an almost infinitesimal size prior to the big bang, who condensed it? Who unified the mathematical principles need to accomplish the Big Bang? Who are we? Who made us? Who created the the person or force that created us? Ants on balloons! Yeah, a great article!
86 posted on 02/24/2005 12:40:43 PM PST by Doc Savage (...because they stand on a wall, and they say nothing is going to hurt you tonight, not on my watch!)
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To: Doc Savage
Exceptionally poorly written article.

When you are older, perhaps your ability to understand it will improve.

As for your questions, you appear to be terminally confused, and I doubt there is anything I can say that would unravel the misapprehensions you appear to be under. You'd probably be happier on some other thread, such as one discussing the relative merits of plastic versus paper bags at the grocery store.

Go in peace...

87 posted on 02/24/2005 1:06:22 PM PST by longshadow
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To: PatrickHenry

Great article. Thank you.


88 posted on 02/24/2005 2:42:13 PM PST by 2ndreconmarine
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To: Physicist; PatrickHenry
The article is just wrong about that. 1+z = sqrt((1+beta)/(1-beta)), where beta is the velocity/c. Obviously as v goes to c, the redshift z blows up to infinity

Are you sure??? I am on travel and don't have my textbooks, but I believe you have quoted the Lorentz transformation from Special Relativity. The article makes the point that this diverges from the General Relativity Equations. I confess, I do not know the General Relativity Equations.

89 posted on 02/24/2005 2:50:01 PM PST by 2ndreconmarine
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To: PatrickHenry; Ichneumon; Physicist; longshadow
The article says: The solution is that special relativity applies only to "normal" velocities--motion through space. The velocity in Hubble's law is a recession velocity caused by the expansion of space, not a motion through space. It is a general relativistic effect and is not bound by the special relativistic limit. Having a recession velocity greater than the speed of light does not violate special relativity. It is still true that nothing ever overtakes a light beam.

Yes, I read that before I posted my question. I understand that it's due to the expansion of space. Still, those galaxies are moving (so to speak) faster than lightspeed with respect to us. Shouldn't their mass be rather ... large?

I understand that we're moving at that speed relative to them, and I assume we don't notice such a crushing mass because, locally, we're in free fall, so we wouldn't notice it. Nor would they, locally. But we should notice it as to them, and vice versa. Or so it seems to my limited understanding.

The way I like to view it is this: Special Relativity has to do with observations from one frame of reference to another. That is the key: one observer in one (inertial) frame of reference observes something in another frame of reference, that is moving. So, when you consider the Lorentz expansion of the mass, it means that one observer, looking at an object in another frame of reference that is moving fast (relative to the first observer), notices an increase in mass. HOwever, the mass is unchanged for the second observer who is "moving" in the second frame of reference. Indeed, to him, it is the first observer that is moving fast (in the opposite direction) and it is the first observer who has the large mass.

The mass doesn't change, it is just the observer who sees it differently.

This last point is essential. Otherwise, I could "increase" the mass of the earth just by getting into a fast rocket ship and zipping by it.f

The way that I understand Special Relativity vs. General Relativity is somewhat different than the article. The article talks about "space" as if it were some kind of, well, ether. And the ether theory was discredited with the Michelson-Morley experiment.

The way that I understand Special vs. General Relativity is that Special Relativity is essentially a local phenomenon. That is, Special Relativity was derived, and the experimental basis for it was done in a local space. Indeed, the classic examples of Special Relativity all involve two frames of reference and two observers who observe one another as they zip by each other. Therefore, at the time of observation, they are close. Special Relativity simply wasn't derived for long distance scales.

This observation is crucial. If the General Relativity postulate is correct, then space is curved. However, for short distances, space appears Euclidean. The effect is identical to the observation that the Earth seems flat to us, because locally, the curvature is very small. Special Relativity was derived in a flat space. Locally, space is flat enough that the correction terms to the Special Relativity formulae is negligible. However, for large distances, the effect is that the Special Relativity formulae are no longer correct.

90 posted on 02/24/2005 3:06:28 PM PST by 2ndreconmarine
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To: RadioAstronomer
there is an uncertainty in the amount of energy which can be contained in the vacuum

And the energy came from where?

91 posted on 02/24/2005 3:15:37 PM PST by fortheDeclaration
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To: munchtipq
Awesome article. I thought I understood the Big Bang. I didn't. I still don't, not really, but at least now I know that I don't.

LOL!

92 posted on 02/24/2005 3:16:18 PM PST by fortheDeclaration
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To: longshadow

I am really surprised that saying "Go away" worked.


93 posted on 02/24/2005 3:16:34 PM PST by furball4paws (It's not the cough that carried him off - it's the coffin they carried him off in (O. Nash -I think))
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To: Physicist
But the universe doesn't have any requirement--mathematical or philosophical--that anything come "before" it, just as there's no requirement for anything to be south of the South Pole. Causality presupposes time, and time presupposes the universe. The universe doesn't require a cause.

Causality presupposes an effect and the Universe was either uncaused (always existed) or is the effect of something else.

94 posted on 02/24/2005 3:24:50 PM PST by fortheDeclaration
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To: fortheDeclaration

It is never bad to admit ignorance and the need to learn something. That quality is sorely lacking on the non-science (or should I say "nonsense"?) side of these threads.


95 posted on 02/24/2005 3:32:55 PM PST by furball4paws (It's not the cough that carried him off - it's the coffin they carried him off in (O. Nash -I think))
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To: furball4paws
It is never bad to admit ignorance and the need to learn something. That quality is sorely lacking on the non-science (or should I say "nonsense"?) side of these threads.

It is pretty funny when after 'science' attempts to explain something, one leaves more confused then when one started out!

Either the teaching is bad, or they are simply doing a lot of fancy footwork.

96 posted on 02/24/2005 3:40:36 PM PST by fortheDeclaration
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To: Dimensio
Please don't, I do not think I could handle that much nonsense this early in the morning. I guess that's one way to avoid uncomfortable facts. Take comfort in your ignorance by declaring knowledge to be "nonsense".

It is nonsense, when it is not based on facts, but supposition.

Then it is not science, but philosophy.

97 posted on 02/24/2005 3:42:44 PM PST by fortheDeclaration
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To: Dimensio
Yes, that is exactly the kind of idiotic misconception that this article seeks to dispell.

Well, is doesn't do a very good job of it!

Does scientific theory surmise there was ever a time (no pun intended) where space/time did not exist?

98 posted on 02/24/2005 3:44:07 PM PST by sirchtruth (Words Mean Things...)
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To: PatrickHenry

Bookmark to go over in more detail later. Like somebody else said, I thought I somewhat understood this but now it looks like I don't.


99 posted on 02/24/2005 3:55:57 PM PST by ThinkDifferent (These pretzels are making me thirsty)
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To: sirchtruth
Does scientific theory surmise there was ever a time (no pun intended) where space/time did not exist?

My understanding is that the known laws of physics break down at Planck time and there's no very good way of addressing what happens until right affter that period. Someone with a stronger physics background might have better informaiton.
100 posted on 02/24/2005 4:09:56 PM PST by Dimensio (http://angryflower.com/bobsqu.gif <-- required reading before you use your next apostrophe!)
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