Monday, June 22, 2009

Compliments Get You Nowhere, But Keep Talking


From a student's short paper published in 2004, after some years' work. The hand-drawn line shows that either the universe is accelerating relative to light (violating the First Law of Thermodynamics) OR that light itself is slowing down. Prediction of GM=tc^3 precisely matches the "accelerating" curve. Despite this fit to data, scientists continue to peddle an accelerating universe with a repulsive "dark energy."

However, more and more people are seeing the light. This year the International Astronomical Union is devoting a 3-day symposium to the student's question:

Are the Fundamental Constants Varying With Space/Time?.

A recent commenter asked something so evocative that it should be printed here:

"So, you say that you can better 'conceptualise' this than all the thousands of physicists in the last about 90 years who have studied General Relativity, and better than the even more thousands of mathematicians who have studied Riemannian geometry for even more decades?"

This could be the week's biggest compliment, or a sympton of why new ideas meet such a high potential barrier. It is simliar to what our Czech friend wrote in his 2006 blog post.

"Start to advocate the nice Riofrio, a full-time researcher in cosmology who is suppressed by the sexist pigs in cosmology, despite having her "GM=tc^3" theory of the Cosmos that is far simpler, more important, and more testable than anything that Sean Carroll or any of his colleagues have ever invented during decades if not centuries of their fruitless and expensive efforts."

All one can reply is that discoveries like Relativity or Gravity are almost always made by lone researchers. A good idea takes almost no time to be processed by a single brain. However, a collaboration of 1000 physicists will take forever to accept a new idea. Some of those 1000 minds will not even read their group e-mails. A few of them will never, never accept the new idea. Somewhere along the way the originators of the idea will be told to shut up if they want to stay in physics. It should be axiomatic that a single determined mind is more capable than the group of 1000 minds.

History also shows that one determined mind will work 10, 20 years or however long it takes to solve a problem. No collaboration of 1000 minds could hold together that long, or agree on anything at the end. Epicycles, string theory, inflation and "dark energy" have all led to a divergence of ideas with no solution. Group minds are better for engineering projects like building spacecraft or bigger accelerators.

A student's education has uncovered great resistance to new ideas. It is a great surprise when a young mind solves a problem that has baffled many minds. Possibly for that reason, a "potential barrier" forms among all those jealous physicists. However, history has also shown that a single determined mind is more nimble than a group mind. Quantum mechanics shows that even high potential barriers can be tunnelled through.

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11 Comments:

Blogger Kea said...

Groupthinkers (god knows how) believe that criticism of your (supposed) lack of humility is a valid criticism of the scientific idea itself - for which I have seen absolutely no evidence that they ever looked at it - after all these years! And now the data agrees with your predictions and disagrees with their postdictions! And now even the string theorists say that Space/Time are emergent, and a GR metric cannot be a fundamental entity, but at the same time LCDM is supposed to be valid!

A TWO YEAR OLD could see the fault with all this logic.

3:54 AM  
Anonymous Bjoern said...

I'm the commenter to whom Louise refers here. Apparently she misunderstood me - when I was talking about "conceptualising this", I wasn't talking about here changing c concept; I merely referred to an expanding S^3 sphere. Louise, you seemed to imply (in e-mail) that (few or no) other people can't conceptualise such an expanding S^3 sphere; I merely pointed out that thousands of physicists and mathematicians have no problem with conceptualising this. This has close to nothing to do with your idea of changing c.

@Kea: I have looked at Louise's idea; in fact, I have been in e-mail contact with her for several weeks now. In the moment, I'm trying to understanding her calculations and postulates. Oh, and I don't see a contradiction between "a GR metric cannot be a fundamental entity" and "LCDM is supposed to be valid". There is no contradiction between those two statements; I wonder why you think there is?

5:30 AM  
Blogger nige said...

"... I don't see a contradiction between "a GR metric cannot be a fundamental entity" and "LCDM is supposed to be valid". There is no contradiction between those two statements; I wonder why you think there is?"

GR metrics are just classical approximations to quantum gravity valid where tested (which isn't cosmology; GR is compatible via an appropriate value of "lambda/dark energy" plus a suitable amount of unobserved "dark matter", with any kind of cosmology - closed, open, cyclic, etc. - thus is "not even wrong" when seen as a cosmological model, which has nothing to do with its successful predictions based on it being a relativistic correction to Newtonian gravity, incorporating conservation of mass-energy and thus predicting the deflection of sunlight, etc., correctly). Thus the LCDM based on classical gravitation (GR) is wrong to begin with; it's not going to model the exchange of gravitons between receding gravitational charges (masses) in the universe on large scales any more than it is going to tell us anything about gravity on very smal scales. GR is just a classical relativistic model for gravity: it's not a quantum field theory of gravity. The LCDM based on GR is automatically based on a model which doesn't apply to cosmology!

'The hand-drawn graph shows that either the universe is accelerating relative to light (violating the First Law of Thermodynamics) OR that light itself is slowing down. Prediction of GM=tc^3 precisely matches the "accelerating" curve. Despite this fit to data, scientists continue to peddle an accelerating universe with a repulsive "dark energy."' - Louise

Louise, thanks for this argument and the link to your paper on the speed of light slowing inversely with the cube-root of the age of the universe, where you write on page 3:

"When light of redshift Z was emitted, c was greater by factor
(1 + Z)^{1/2}. Apparent
redshift is therefore decreased. This effect is only apparent at high Z. For supernovae of Absolute Z = 0.5, apparent z = .38. For Absolute Z = 1.0, apparent z = .57. Supernova energy output E = mc^2 is also affected up to
factor (ci/c0)^2 = 1 + Z. For Z = 0.5, Ei/E0 = 1.5 for a maximum magnitude change of −.44. For Z = 1.0, maximum magnitude change is −.75. Compared with the curve of supernova redshifts, Theory produces an unprecedented fit with data."

So you have two effects working in combination here, first the light emitted by distant (large redshift) supernovae travelled faster than light does today, and secondly, the energy release was bigger due to the factor of c in E = mc^2.

I hope you can emphasize the physics in blog posts instead of making statements about dark energy and cosmological acceleration which are not going to help increase understanding.

E.g., the statement that dark energy violates conservation of energy/1st law of thermodynamics, should not be made unless you have a detailed analysis to back it up. You haven't addressed quantum gravity: with spin-1 gravitons you get repulsion of large masses (galaxy clusters etc) and attraction of smaller masses (small masses simply get pushed together due to the stronger exchange of gravitons which converge inwards from big surrounding masses, clusters of galaxies, than the weak exchange of gravitons between two small masses). Apart from predicting the strength of graviton correctly, this model is also justified because it disproves the Pauli-Fierz spin-2 graviton "proof" which contains the error of ignoring the inward graviton contributions from the 3 × 10^52 kg of matter surrounding us at immense distances (as measured by the Hubble Space Telescope: p. 5 of the NASA report http://www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/K-12/Numbers/Math/documents/ON_the_EXPANSION_of_the_UNIVERSE.pdf ). This neglect of 99.9999... % of the mass of the universe from the Pauli-Fierz proof makes it not even wrong. As soon as converging gravitons from the 3 × 10^52 kg around us is included, gravitation ceases to be possible with spin-2 gravitons and instead requires spin-1 gravitons.

8:01 AM  
Blogger L. Riofrio said...

For Kea: Once again your suport is appreciated. People will accuse a writer of "lack of humility" even if not true. Funny, this blog post talks about the impact of a student's paper without mentioning who the student was.

For bjoern: I hope to have time to answer your questions sometime.

For nige: YOur study of this is appreciated too, including the alternative approaches you have followed.

1:21 PM  
Blogger CarlBrannen said...

The problem with humility is that it is horribly self limiting. One needs a little madness to butt one's head, for year after year, against these problems that have stumped thousands.

Where Motl goes over the edge is not in lack of humility but in failure to adequately cloak it.

9:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The graph is not yours, apart from the line you drew on it. It originally appeared this 2003 Physics Today article by Perlmutter: http://supernova.lbl.gov/PhysicsTodayArticle.pdf.

Come on - if you're going to use other people's work, at least cite them.

11:59 PM  
Blogger Kea said...

I merely referred to an expanding S^3 sphere ... I merely pointed out that thousands of physicists and mathematicians have no problem with conceptualising this.

Unfortunately, this is true. They are indeed very stuck on a classical picture of cosmology. Sigh.

12:00 AM  
Blogger Kea said...

Louise, Subir Sarkar gave a very nice talk this week, and it made me wonder about using Ice Cube to look for Earth black hole signatures. I guess you've thought a bit about this. Would be good to have some solid predictions.

One possibility that came to mind was the central BH as a neutrino beam source (at 1:2:0 perhaps), which would of course be very unexpected in any other theory.

3:33 AM  
Anonymous Tim said...

Louise, in your paper I can't see how you get the "apparent" redshift z from the "absolute" redshift Z eg. how does z = 0.38 lead to Z = 0.5?

Can you please give me the formula that relates z to Z?

Best
Tim

4:39 PM  
Blogger L. Riofrio said...

P.S. Nige, the IAU is also investigating whether G changes.

For Kea: Subir's talk must be fascinating; he has long been skeptical about "dark energy."

For tim: The standard formula for redshift is too lengthy to write here; you will have to look it up. An object of redshift Z= 0.5 is receding at 38% of today's value of c. That is only 33% of c at time of photon emission, so apparent redshift is smaller.

I hope these replies inspire people to read more books, especially those written by Einstein.

1:02 AM  
Blogger Zephir said...

/*..now even the string theorists say that Space/Time are emergent...*/

The true is, these most clever ones said this before fifty years already:

Ed Witten: "One thing I can tell you, though, is that most string theorist’s suspect that spacetime is a emergent Phenomena in the language of condensed matter physics". Well, not all of them, but it doesn't change the point.

While some others denied it even before two years:

"101 years after the discovery of special relativity, some people still think that the luminiferous aether was a well motivated idea."

Everything is in people, indeed. Anyway, "GM=tc^3" is pretty neat stuff, worth to replace E=mc^2 or Bekenstein-Hawking formula at least.

11:22 AM  

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