Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Astronomers Deal Blow To Quantum Theories Of Time, Space, Gravity
Space Daily ^ | Huntsville - Mar 28, 2003 | Editorial Staff

Posted on 03/28/2003 5:49:29 PM PST by vannrox

Astronomers Deal Blow To Quantum Theories Of Time, Space, Gravity



Huntsville - Mar 28, 2003

For the second time in as many months, images gathered by the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) are raising questions about the structures of time and gravity, and the fabric of space.Using two HST images, astronomers from Italy and Germany looked for but did not find evidence supporting a prevailing scientific theory that says time, space and gravity are composed of tiny quantum bits.

Using existing theories, the team led by Dr. Roberto Ragazzoni from the Astrophysical Observatory of Arcetri, Italy, and the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg, Germany, calculated that infinitesimally small quantum-scale variations in space time would blur images of galaxies seen from vast distances across the universe.

Instead, when they looked at both diffraction patterns from a supernova and the raw image of a second galaxy more than five billion light years from Earth, they saw images much sharper than should be possible if quantum-scale phenomenon operated as previously supposed. Their research is scheduled to be published in the April 10, 2003, edition of Astrophysical Research - Letters.

"The basic idea is that space time should fluctuate," said Ragazzoni. "If you are looking at light from a huge distance, this light passing through space time would be subject to this fluctuation in space time. They should give a distorted image of the far universe, like a blurring.

"But you don't see a universe that is blurred. If you take any Hubble Space Telescope deep field image you see sharp images, which is enough to tell us that the light has not been distorted or perturbed by fluctuations in space time from the source to the observer. This observation is enough to rule out this effect on the quantum scale.

"You can say," said Ragazzoni, "that this measurement constrains the quantum gravity theory to certain parameters."

This report comes a month after physicists at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) announced their unsuccessful attempt to use an image from an HST interferometer to find evidence of Planck-scale effects. Taken together, the independent research findings might force physicists to reexamine the scientific underpinnings of the quantum theories of gravity, time and space.

To look for the quantum blurring effect the European team used a parameter from optics, the Strehl ratio, to calculate how sharply the telescope should be able to resolve an image of the distant light source and its first Airy ring - a signature of the interference of the rays of light entering a telescope.

If the popular quantum theories were correct, space-time effects should blur light from distant sources beyond the telescope's ability to resolve them.

They didn't.

"Without a theory to describe this, I think it's hard not to agree that it is time to start to consider theories that do not require this Planck scale, at least not like it is now," said Ragazzoni. "From an experimental point of view, there is no establishment. We are proud to have established in as rigorous a manner as possible the parameters of this quantum effect."

The Planck-scale quantum theories of time, space and gravity were derived from attempts to calculate the theoretical limits to electromagnetic energy, according to a UAH physicist, Dr. Richard Lieu.

By inverting Albert Einstein's theory of relativity (E=mc2 becomes m=E/c2), physicists could calculate how much mass should be added to a photon as it gains energy. Using that, they calculated a theoretical limit to how much energy a photon might contain before gaining so much mass it would collapse into a photon-sized black hole.

That theoretical upper limit was then used to set theoretical limits on time. One cycle of a photon carrying that much energy would last 5 x 10-44 seconds, an interval called Planck time. As the shortest potentially-measurable interval of time, theorists speculated that time moves is Planck time-sized quantum bits.

In his theory of general relativity, Einstein theorized that time, space and gravity are different manifestations of the same phenomenon, much as light and thunder are signatures of the electrical discharge in lightning. If time is made up of quantum bits, that would also mean space and gravity should also be composed of quantum units.

Since the expected blurring "signature" of quantum space time isn't seen, however, it might mean that time isn't made of quantum bits, and neither are space or gravity.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: cosmology; crevolist; knowledge; nasa; physics; realscience; science; space; stringtheory; technology; universe
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-100101-150151-200201-231 next last
WOW!
1 posted on 03/28/2003 5:49:29 PM PST by vannrox
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: vannrox
I hate to say I told you so...
2 posted on 03/28/2003 5:50:20 PM PST by IncPen (Get 'em, boys!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: VadeRetro; jennyp; Junior; longshadow; *crevo_list; RadioAstronomer; Scully; Piltdown_Woman; ...
Cosmic ping.

[This ping list is for the evolution -- not creationism -- side of evolution threads, and sometimes for other science topics. To be added (or dropped), let me know via freepmail.]

3 posted on 03/28/2003 5:54:48 PM PST by PatrickHenry (Felix, qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: vannrox
Yea yea whatever(humor)
4 posted on 03/28/2003 5:55:15 PM PST by Mister Baredog ((They wanted to kill 50,000 of us on 9/11, we will never forget!))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: vannrox
this measurement constrains the quantum gravity theory to certain parameters

These pesky observational astronomers, always putting constraints on otherwise perfectly good theories.

5 posted on 03/28/2003 5:55:33 PM PST by RightWhale (Theorems link concepts: Proofs establish links)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: vannrox
If this continues to prove out, they'll have to rename the Max Planck Institute.
6 posted on 03/28/2003 5:57:02 PM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: IncPen
Yeh, I knew it too.
7 posted on 03/28/2003 5:59:30 PM PST by js1138
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: RightWhale
If they hadn't repaired the Hubble, we'd never be in this fix.
8 posted on 03/28/2003 5:59:32 PM PST by PatrickHenry (Felix, qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Thud
This is big.
9 posted on 03/28/2003 5:59:42 PM PST by Dark Wing
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: vannrox
Wasn't Einstein very unhappy with quantum theory?
10 posted on 03/28/2003 6:00:49 PM PST by aristeides
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: aristeides
God does not play dice with the universe.

- Albert Einstein
11 posted on 03/28/2003 6:05:11 PM PST by EternalHope (Chirac is funny, France is a joke.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: PatrickHenry
If they hadn't repaired the Hubble, we'd never be in this fix.

Those crazy Creationist conspiracists! No, wait...

Nevermind...

12 posted on 03/28/2003 6:05:32 PM PST by balrog666 (When in doubt, tell the truth. - Mark Twain)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: vannrox
Quantum bits. Faugh!

When I was a kid, things were made of atoms, and I don't remember anyone complaining!

13 posted on 03/28/2003 6:05:56 PM PST by merrin
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: vannrox
I keep reading suppositions that denote time a quality when it is no more than an observance.

Time is nothing more than measurement relative to observation.

14 posted on 03/28/2003 6:10:39 PM PST by freedom9
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Dark Wing
Actually it's "bigger than big", even though the implication is "small ain't no thing".
15 posted on 03/28/2003 6:12:42 PM PST by muawiyah
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: freedom9
Time is nothing more than measurement relative to observation.

In everyday terms, the measurement of time compares the duration of the clocked event relative to an agreed-upon standard, such as the motion of the earth, etc.

16 posted on 03/28/2003 6:14:13 PM PST by PatrickHenry (Felix, qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: vannrox
Human curiosity (and human nature) always seeks neat models. The history of science demonstrates the hubris, however, in assuming that our models are absolute.

In this experiment, what is clearly proven (to me) is that there is a far deeper structure to the Cosmos than can be specified by quantum theory. The Eye of God and the photographs of Hubble behold a clarity beyond our understanding.

17 posted on 03/28/2003 6:15:18 PM PST by friendly
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: PatrickHenry; Physicist; ThinkPlease; Gordian Blade; RadioAstronomer
"continuity-is-good" bttt
18 posted on 03/28/2003 6:16:04 PM PST by longshadow
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: RightWhale
...quiet awe ping for later...
19 posted on 03/28/2003 6:17:48 PM PST by Frank_Discussion (Time is the fire in which we burn...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: merrin
When I was a kid, things were made of dirt. Small dirt, to be sure, but dirt none the less!
20 posted on 03/28/2003 6:19:29 PM PST by irishtenor (Red Green is my hero.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: EternalHope
"Stop telling God what to do." -- Neils Bohr


21 posted on 03/28/2003 6:20:00 PM PST by Grand Old Partisan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: vannrox
I knew it!!!

This is why my beer is always empty before I'm done being thirsty.
22 posted on 03/28/2003 6:21:38 PM PST by soycd
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: vannrox
To look for the quantum blurring effect the European team used a parameter from optics, the Strehl ratio, to calculate how sharply the telescope should be able to resolve an image of the distant light source and its first Airy ring - a signature of the interference of the rays of light entering a telescope.

They are now asking that not enough time has been spent looking for these effects. They are saying that the blurring inspectors be given another miilion years or so to confirm the blur.

23 posted on 03/28/2003 6:22:00 PM PST by Starstruck
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: PatrickHenry
thanks for the ping...

Reconciling quantum electrodynamics with general relativity will take some more time.

(Meanwhile we will take Baghdad).
24 posted on 03/28/2003 6:22:22 PM PST by edwin hubble
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: PatrickHenry
"In everyday terms, the measurement of time compares the duration of the clocked event relative to an agreed-upon standard, such as the motion of the earth, etc."

That's right.
But it seems some want to imbue it with a substance.

25 posted on 03/28/2003 6:23:10 PM PST by freedom9
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: vannrox
Does this mean that that guy who says he traveled in time actually did?


26 posted on 03/28/2003 6:23:54 PM PST by Only1choice____Freedom (Again, protestors have NO RIGHT TO BE HEARD, only a freedom to speak.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: vannrox
This may be one way to prove we actually exist as we perceive we do, rather than being stuck in some sort of virtual reality machine.

If we were stuck in a virtual reality machine using highly advanced forms of current technology then the computer would have a clock cycle (corresponding to a quantum of time) and resolution (corresponding to quanta of distances.)

But it seems this is not the case. We are not stuck in The Matrix!

Unless of course those sneaky computer bastards are using asynchronous clocking!

27 posted on 03/28/2003 6:24:15 PM PST by who_would_fardels_bear
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: vannrox
Since the expected blurring "signature" of quantum space time isn't seen, however, it might mean that time isn't made of quantum bits, and neither are space or gravity.

Great. Now what? Where did this come from?


28 posted on 03/28/2003 6:26:45 PM PST by AndrewC
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Dark Wing
This is big.

You might even say hugh!

29 posted on 03/28/2003 6:29:50 PM PST by AndrewC
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: vannrox


30 posted on 03/28/2003 6:34:22 PM PST by gorebegone
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: vannrox
Huh?
31 posted on 03/28/2003 6:35:09 PM PST by Trailerpark Badass
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: who_would_fardels_bear
If we were stuck in a virtual reality machine using highly advanced forms of current technology then the computer would have a clock cycle (corresponding to a quantum of time) and resolution (corresponding to quanta of distances.) But it seems this is not the case. We are not stuck in The Matrix! Unless of course those sneaky computer bastards are using asynchronous clocking!

This just shows that God runs Windows and is using the OS's timer rather than the universal hardware. I'd criticize this, but who am I to tell God which OS to run.

32 posted on 03/28/2003 6:35:31 PM PST by Rightwing Conspiratr1
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: vannrox

This sucks. The idea that the Universe is a finite-state machine was one of my favorites. I had no evidence for it of course, but it was a cool idea.


33 posted on 03/28/2003 6:37:49 PM PST by Nick Danger (More rallys planned! www.freerepublic.net)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: gorebegone
Now that's a blurry view.
34 posted on 03/28/2003 6:39:22 PM PST by js1138
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: PatrickHenry
LOL!
35 posted on 03/28/2003 6:39:26 PM PST by visualops
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: *RealScience
http://www.freerepublic.com/perl/bump-list
36 posted on 03/28/2003 6:39:28 PM PST by Libertarianize the GOP (Ideas have consequences)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: who_would_fardels_bear
But it seems this is not the case. We are not stuck in The Matrix!

They're probably running the simulation at a finer resolution than Planck time/length for better accuracy, and to make sure we don't catch on to them with experiments like this...

37 posted on 03/28/2003 6:40:56 PM PST by ThinkDifferent
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: vannrox
It seems to me a quantum fluctuation might affect the brightness, but not the sharpness.
38 posted on 03/28/2003 6:41:51 PM PST by djf
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Rightwing Conspiratr1
AwC'mon. God runs unix.
39 posted on 03/28/2003 6:42:14 PM PST by old3030
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: Only1choice____Freedom
Not yet.
40 posted on 03/28/2003 6:45:56 PM PST by Dimensio
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: old3030
Eunuchs run unix.

God runs MVS!!!
41 posted on 03/28/2003 6:46:17 PM PST by djf
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]

To: old3030
12 billion years without a reboot.

But come to think of it, the last reboot was a lulu.

42 posted on 03/28/2003 6:46:28 PM PST by js1138
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]

To: vannrox
Time to dust off my old college paper on the long range stabilization of interstellar vacuum fluctuations by cooperative macroscopic effects of virtual rotating wormholes. Maybe they'll pass it now.
43 posted on 03/28/2003 6:46:31 PM PST by MilleniumBug
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: friendly
The history of science demonstrates the hubris, however, in assuming that our models are absolute.

I know, really. Next they're going to be telling us that hubris is made up of something called hubrons.

44 posted on 03/28/2003 6:49:13 PM PST by inquest
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: vannrox
How will this affect "StarTrek" ? Can we still go Warp?
45 posted on 03/28/2003 6:50:43 PM PST by bluecollarman
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: js1138
How can we be sure? Perhaps the universe requires frequent restarts, but since it gets recalled from a backup each time, we don't remember it.
46 posted on 03/28/2003 6:50:46 PM PST by Dimensio
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 42 | View Replies]

To: MilleniumBug
This is just the point I've been trying to make for a long time...
47 posted on 03/28/2003 6:51:28 PM PST by JusPasenThru (Eliminate the ninnies and the twits...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 43 | View Replies]

To: Dimensio
There's a movie in that somewhere.
48 posted on 03/28/2003 6:52:25 PM PST by js1138
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 46 | View Replies]

To: vannrox
rats! Now they'll have to make up a whole new confusing set of erroneous terms!
49 posted on 03/28/2003 6:52:41 PM PST by ALS
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: MilleniumBug
We need a new paradigm. Einstein was demonstrably wrong about a couple of things. After he perfected Special, he came out with the general theory. Some mathematician saw it and decided to work out the general theory with 4 space dimensions and one time dimension. He played around with the equations he generated and POOF!. Out popped Maxwells field theories.
Then, Bell came along and proved quantum logic correct, which trashed EPR and locality. Whatever is happening, we might not be able to put it into numbers... etc
50 posted on 03/28/2003 6:55:38 PM PST by djf
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 43 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-100101-150151-200201-231 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson