Thursday, August 03, 2006


HMB ENDEAVOUR is a working replica of Captain James Cook's first command. In 1768-1771, Cook circled the world and produced detailed charts of New Zealand and Australia. Onboard is a piece of the original ENDEAVOUR, salvaged from the reef where Cook threw it overboard to lighten the ship. One of the nails was flown into orbit by the shuttle Endeavour. The thoroughness of Cook's mapmaking is extraordinary. How many Naval personnel today can draw their own charts? One has to step aboard a ship like this to appreciate the magnitude of Cook's achievements.

This is the deck containing the officer's quarters. As you can see, the overhead beams are barely 150 cm from the deck! If you didn't bump your head, there were many ropes and lines to toughen one's hands on. How often today do we spend 3 years out of communication making life-or-death decisions? Cook's ENDEAVOUR inspires us to show courage in lonely and difficult spots.

My two cents were added to a Cosmic Variance discussion on the Arrows of Time:
The Universe is based upon a very simple principle: Expansion of Space is indistinguishable from the forward flow of Time. In math terms, R = ct. Scale R of the Universe is its age t, multiplied by factor c. That is why, as t increases, the Universe expands. That is the first arrow of time, the Cosmological Arrow.

The Universe can't expand at the same rate continuously, for gravitation slows it down. Factor c is further related to t by GM = tc^3, where GM combines the Mass and Newton constant of the Universe. When t was tiny, c was enormous and the Universe expanded like a bang. As t increases, expansion slows and contnues asymptotically to this day.

Since the product hc is constant, h increases proportional to t^(1/3). As R increases proportional to t^(2/3), the number of available quantum states in this volume increases. A growing h leads to increasing entropy. That is the second arrow of time, the Thermodynamic Arrow.

If one calculates, the total energy of the Universe E = O! It's the ultimate free lunch, which is how the Universe expanded from a tiny volume to the complexity we observe today. You needn't add any energy to the system. Increasing h leads to complexity in the Universe.

Now we can state some initial conditions: At time t = O, R = O and the Universe resembles an initial singularity. We also have h = O, for in zero size there is no uncertainty in position of anything. The value of c here approaches infinity. These conditions are highly unstable, an initial extremum. A nearly infinite c caused the Universe to expand at an enormous rate, slowed by gravity.

Thoughtful replies are surprising and welcome! (From the assembled big brains, there was one reply: "huh?") Perhaps one day they will look at the math and see how GM =tc^3 fits the data better than other models, without any imaginary inflatons or dark energies. In the meantime, amazing things are discovered every day. James Cook is an inspiration to go where no one has dared go before.


Blogger Mahndisa S. Rigmaiden said...

08 03 06

Nice read Louise:
I like how you explained your theory and how you juxtaposed that against the history of the ship etc. It must be quite exciting to have all of those adventures in different corners of the world!

Now, as I told you all those years ago I didn't know enough about GR or Cosmology to comment on your paper, but wished you well nonetheless. I still feel the same way, but have added to my lexicon a bit off information;)

I wonder Louise, if your initial equation R=ct is viewing things from a classical perspective. But later on, you give the equation with a factor proportional to 2/3, which sounds like a QM fermion snuck in there somehow. It looks like you are going between classical and quantum pictures.

Do you consider your theory to be semiclassical? Thanks, when you have the time:)

10:36 AM  
Blogger Rae Ann said...

"How many Naval personnel today can draw their own charts?"

That's a good point, and it applies to many other fields too. We seem to let technology do all of our thinking for us. Enjoy your endeavours!

11:01 AM  
Blogger Kea said...

Hi Louise

I just added some comments to the CosmicVariance thread. Cheers!

2:26 PM  
Blogger L. Riofrio said...

Thank you all! It is always good when women do the talking about science.

Mahndisa, from your posts I can tell that you know a huge amount of physics. Since R = ct and c ~ t^(-1/3), we get R ~ t^(2/3). The 2/3 factor sounds like a quantum charge, doesn't it? After Einstein realised that the Universe was expanding, he adopted R ~ t^(2/3) as his favourite model. He described this in a paper with Wilhelm de Sitter in 1932.

Initially, the Universe must have been somewhat classical, since h was so small. This allows us to extrapolate conditions of an initial singularity. The amount of quantum uncertainty appears to increase with h.

Rae Ann, you are absolutely right about letting technology do the thinking. When chained to the computer, it is easy to imagine us being assimilated by the Borg.

Kea, your replies here and on CV are among the best. What is "dark" is how Americans in science seem to turn on each other these days. I have found that people here "down under" still have the frontier spirit of limitless horizons. I hope my replies are worthy of yours.

4:49 PM  
Blogger Gebar said...

Hi Louise

I just found out about your theory and it really ties up with what I have come up with. You might have a look at I have built a Java simulation of an expanding circle (a simple 2D curved closed expanding universe), and it turns out that this explains the Lorentz transformation and the phenomena of Special Relativity. I would like to here any comments you may have. (This goes also for Kea and Q9.) You can leave your comments in my blog (link at the site).

2:36 AM  
Blogger Dimitri Terryn said...


My name is Dimitri Terryn, finishing my master in String Theory. I have my own blog At String School. I'm actively searching out new physics blogs, and I just found your's through the comments on Not Even Wrong. You have a great blog here, and I've added it to my blogroll.
I look forward to reading more.

With best regards,


7:06 AM  
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10:49 PM  
Anonymous surffer said...

cool sexy picture

7:43 PM  
Anonymous Medical Blog said...

That is the first arrow of time, the Cosmological Arrow.

12:40 AM  

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