Sunday, March 11, 2007

Outstanding Questions

I am honoured to be scheduled to give a closing talk at a conference this month at Imperial College. Outstanding Questions for the Standard Cosmological Model will overview the evidence for and against the so-called standard model. It will also address alternative competing models. This will be an international conference attracting many important researchers. Forgetting for a moment what I will say, we will hear from some scientists previously mentioned in this blog.

Alain Blanchard of the Midi-Pyrenees Observatory is not well-enough known outside Europe. He has written the authoritative book GALAXIES AND COSMOLOGY. Using ESA's XMM-Newton satellite, he has gathered evidence that Dark Energy Doesn't Exist.

Professor Roger Blandford was once a student of (Astronomer Royal) Martin Rees. He was co-developer of the Blandford-Ivanek process for Black Hole jets. Today he is director of Stanford's Kavli Institute of Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology. Once he reluctantly lectured about "dark energy." In his own closing talks at the AAS HEAD Meeting in October and the GLAST Symposium in February, he did not mention DE. He did comment about "Lorentz Invariance," or a changing speed of light.

Lawrence Krauss of Case Western Reserve University is a prolific author and contributor to publications like Scientific American and New Scientist. He has wondered how the cosmic microwave background "proves" inflation when the scale-invariant spectrum, which is predicted by inflation, is ruled out by both COBE and WMAP data. At his AAAS talk last month he called current cosmology "observation-driven" rather than model-driven. He also said that supernova data "naively implied that the universe was accelerating." He also wrote THE PHYSICS OF STAR TREK.

The "standard model" or Concorde cosmology is a hodgepodge of speculations dominated by an invisible "dark energy." It relies on a repulsive "inflaton" driving initial expansion, another repulsive energy causing present acceleration, and our Ptolemaic world in the middle. None of these imagined energies can be observed in a laboratory, just like the Emperor's New Clothes. The Universe of this cosmology is flat, like the Earth.

I hope that other friends from Imperial College, the UK and Europe can make the trip to London. My talk is scheduled just before lunch, 12:30 PM GMT on March 29. (There will be summary talks after lunch.) In case you are not registered for the conference, nobody pays much attention to that on the last day.

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Blogger nige said...

Good luck with your presentation!

Hope they can get the press to attend...

12:03 AM  
Blogger Kea said...

Have fun! It's nice to know that you are being taken seriously.

8:52 AM  
Blogger L. Riofrio said...

Thanks to you both. Since it is London, there are at least a couple of people from New Scientist registered.

Kea, I am planning for GRG too and often wishing I were there now. Going from a land of bikinis and sugar cane to London is a trip to another world.

10:34 AM  
Blogger Kea said...

Oh, I'm looking forward to GRG18. Would you like to go on Kea's private sailing trip around the harbour - by exclusive invitation only?

10:47 AM  
Blogger L. Riofrio said...

Thanks, I would love that!

12:59 PM  
Blogger QUASAR9 said...

Hi Louise, not quite bikini land
but we had the hottest day of the year so far - A sunny 18C
Maybe you can bring more sunshine with you.
I might pop down to London and look in at Imperial College if only just to see you for 'lunch' - unless I'm away early for the Easter hols

1:36 PM  
Blogger QUASAR9 said...

However, you still haven't made it clear (to me at least) why you think the speed of light is slowing

Dark Energy may or may not exist, but remember blackholes are one form of dark energy - so saying there is no dark energy is like saying there are no black holes.

1:36 PM  
Blogger L. Riofrio said...

Q9, it would be nice to see you even if only on the last day. (They probably won't pay attention to whether someone is registered then.) Nice to hear that the weather is warm--one gets tired of cold places.

I only disagree with the idea of a repulsive DE. It is very likely that the missing 71.62% is Black Holes, perhaps hidden in "voids."

3:42 PM  
Blogger CarlBrannen said...

Of course we're holding you to the promise of putting at least a text copy of your speech up on your blog. Better would be a film, but audio would be nice too.

5:50 PM  
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