Saturday, November 18, 2006

Fun In the Dark


Thank you to all the hundreds who have visited this site each day. All things considered, this has been a good week. The big announcement on "dark energy" Thursday was either a big snooze or an embarassment. Except for the discovery that firefly luminosity is constant (like the speed of light), it was nothing new. At the same time there has been a surge of interest in GM=tc^3 as an alternative to DE.

A big round of appreciation to the divine Kea who has been tirelessly supportive. I share Kea's impatience at the way science has gone. We have been told to shut up and wait while others peddle imaginary energies. Waiting time is over. Big advances in physics are coming from Australia and New Zealand.

We do owe a debt to supernova researchers who gather data indicating c change. Their data verifies the prediction quite precisely. The observers who gather data can't yet see what is in front of their face. They have left the job of explaining the Universe to others.

This week's press conference was very much like another NASA briefing in 2004. Ed Regis wrote about it in February 2005 Smithsonian AIR AND SPACE. The writer and magazine usually deal with aeroplanes, spacecraft and things that work. Physicists, this is how the world sees you:

IN THE DARK

"Today's cosmologists might use computers instead of pencils, but otherwise their latest theories bear a suspicious resemblance to the World Classics of Crackpottery. Consider, for example, a briefing held last May at NASA headquarters in Washington, D.C., broadcast live to NASA centers around the country and Webcast over the internet. The stage of the James E. Webb Auditorium, tucked away in a glassy, modern building a few blocks from the National Mall, is ablaze with light and crawling with television cameras, monitors, microphones, and crew members, as if this were the 400,000th "Oprah" show. Instead, it's the latest episode of what might be called the Dark Matter/Dark Energy Follies, a series in which a bunch of astrophysicists repeatedly confess that they no longer fathom the universe it is their sworn duty to understand and explain."

Physicists spend an inordinate amount of time trying to look good in the eyes of others. In trying to please colleagues, we often forget how the outside world sees us. The vast majority of humans will never get PhD's or enjoy the opportunities that we have. Their taxes and tuitions pay scientist's salaries. They rely upon us to explain the universe for them and their children. The image of physics is in a tailspin. That is why the LHC is in Europe rather than the US and funding for JDEM is iffy.

Quietly, out of the spotlight, the real discoveries are being made by people you may not have heard of. They work with little or no funding because they are truly dedicated to finding the truth. I am glad that so many of you question how the universe really works. It is a lot more interesting than "dark energy."

2 Comments:

Blogger Kea said...

Thanks, Louise. I had no doubt at all that the new data would fit your curve (even though I'm the sort of person that is usually full of doubt). Cheers.

2:02 PM  
Blogger L. Riofrio said...

Thanks. Some days look dark, but last week shows that we will win this game.

7:14 PM  

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