My Dinner With Saul
The weather in Marina Del Rey last week was a battle between darkness and light. The UCLA Dark Matter/Energy conference is held here biennially. Thursday morning the Sun peeked out to give us this view from the Marriott's top floor. Between talks I chatted with Wendy Freedman, Max Tegmark, Joel Primack, and many others. Wednesday I was fortunate to be invited for dinner by SAUL PERLMUTTER, and we talked about many things. His group's data may be the first good evidence that the speed of light is slowing down.
While members of the Supernova Cosmology Project have been promoting "dark energy," that inferrence has not led to any solutions. Study of DE has moved to include theories like modified gravity (or a changing speed of light.) Saul keeps to observations and does not get behind any one theory. We have Saul's group to thank for supernova data.
Wendy Freedman privately noted how many scientists have skewed the data to fit their pet theories. Eddington in his 1919 eclipse expedition is said to have included only the observations that fit Realtivity's prediction. A JDEM mission will not be launched until 2016 or later. By the time it returns data everyone will know what GM=tc^3 predicts.
2008 is the 10th anniversary of an "accelerating" Universe (or a slowing speed of light.) In 1998 two groups were in competition to study study the same phenomenon of Type Ia supernova redshifts. The conference noted that authors of two "independent" papers had offices 500 meters apart on the Berkeley campus. History may show that "dark energy" was pressured upon physics by this intense competition.
(A certain "Cosmic" blogger allegedly lives nearby. He was co-author on some other early papers promoting "dark energy," but was nowhere to be seen.)
History may also show that if one stays firm to convictions, success can be achieved despite imposing odds. It is good to be accepted in physics without compromising one's beliefs. Someday we may not need those cracked labels. Old ideas fade, and a "c change" is coming to the physics community.