Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Part Two: The Speed of Light May Be Slowing Down

(More from the GM=tc^3 thread at Counterparts, whose moderators have much bigger brains than arxiv. The thread originator is nice enough not to draw too much attention to this writer. Some refer to "Krasinsky's Theory," though the linked paper and illustration came from this blog. In his papers, Krasinsky doesn't favour changing c. Someone should check the order of magnitude.)


Measurements of the distance between the Earth and the Sun have become increasingly precise in recent decades.

But a mystery has emerged, indeed several mysteries.

The astronomical unit (AU) is the mean distance from Earth to Sol. Astronomers use the AU as a baseline in calculating the parallax distance to nearby stars.

Recent experiments seem to indicate that the AU itself is growing.

By analyzing radio echoes from the planets, G.A. Krasinsky et al measured a change in the AU at about 7 cm/yr. (See G.A. Krasinsky and V.A. Brumberg, "Secular increase of astronomical unit from analysis of the major planets motions, and its interpretation," Celest. Mech. & Dyn. Astron. 90:267, 2004.) Other astronomers working independently have found a change of about 5 cm/yr.

Unlike Luna's slow drift from the Earth, growth in the AU can not be explained by tidal effects (gravitational tugging).

Recently Krasinsky and others have published a summary of Various anomalies that have been observed in the orbits of space craft placed in Solar orbit over the decades.

*"Fly-by anomaly." It has been observed at various occasions that satellites after an Earth swing–by possess a significant and unexplained velocity increase by a few mm/s.

*"The Pioneer Anomaly." An unexplained acceleration of the Pioneer 10 and 11 spacecraft as they approached the Sun.

If one factors in the slight change in AU over time, these anomalies essentially vanish. Moreover, tiny discrepancies in the measured distances to distant galaxies and quasars also vanish if a similar adjustment is made factoring in time.


Why would there be any correlation between the Earth-Sun system drift and those of distant galaxies and quasars?

Lacking any gravitational explanation for the tiny growth, and taking into account that a similar observation seems to apply outside our solar system as well, Krasinsky and colleagues have suggested a radical solution.

The speed of light is slowing down over time.

Here is a somewhat technical explanation from Krasinsky:

Page One

Page 2

In summary, If the value of c was slowly reducing, the time for radio waves to return would increase over time, making the AU appear to grow. But Krasinsky and colleagues have also drafted a theorem to determine the size of the effect.

GM = tc^3

to solve for c we use:

c(t) = (GM)^{1/3} t^{-1/3}

Using 14 billion years as the age of the universe, and factoring an AU of 149 million kilometers, that distance will appear to increase by:

-(149E9 meters)/(42 Gyr) = 3.5 cm/yr

This 3.5 cm change in AU per year is in the ball park of the effects being observed in our Solar System, the distance anomalies to distant objects and even the behaviour of black holes.

To refine these results we just need a more accurate age for the universe. Our present estimates are a bit fuzzy, and range from 13-16 billion years. More accurate data for t will yield more accurate measures.

Radiometric data depends on the speed of light. A changing c will affect all such measurements in approximately the same proportion.

This hypothesis is not only simple and elegant, if it holds up to further scrutiny it will eliminate the need for the increasingly serpentine Inflation Theory, dispense with the need for Dark Energy and provide a unified explanation for various anomalous observations of different parts of the universe. There is no need for Inflatons (particles that make space bigger) or Scaler Fields (a headache-inducing concept I won't bother explaining)or any of the other mathematical hoops the Big Bang model has had to jump through since 1980.

In any significant measure, the need for these Ptolemaic elaborations go away with the application of GM = tc^3.

The predictions of Inflation Theory have also failed to match observations of angular correlation between objects in the universe. According to the Inflation model, the universe should be topographically flat. If you plot the corresponding angles of various objects in the universe on a large scale, the result would be a neat "s-curve."

Neither the COBE or WMAP sattelites have found such a relationship. Instead, the corresponding angles flat-line as they would if the topography of the universe was curved. If the value of c decreases over time, the space-time curvature would correspond to actual observation much better.

Lunar Laser Ranging data (derived from lasers being bounced off a mirror left behind on the Moon by the Apollo program) correlate to the change in AU, as do observations of Type Ia supernovae just outside the galactic disk. As measurements become more accurate, the similarity of all these anomalies to each other is becoming clearer.

This theory is falsifiable by fine-tuned measurements over time, while Inflation Theory has become increasingly a dead-end avenue.

When the chips are down, c may be demoted from the status of a fundamental constant to some kind of hypervariable.

Ah, science marches on.



Blogger Kea said...

The Krasinsky business is really very odd. Such blatant plagiarism of your blog must be intended to be noticed. Perhaps it is a clever way of seeing how much more seriously people take a guy called Krasinsky than a woman named Riofrio.

12:01 PM  
Blogger L. Riofrio said...

Not to worry, there is enough of a publishing trail to prove who came up with the idea. From the info presented, the poster has read much of this site..

1:49 PM  
Blogger Kea said...

The fact that you clearly came up with this cosmology yourself, if history is any guide, will not necessarily help you. The establishment will happily give credit to whoever it feels like.

3:43 PM  
Blogger CarlBrannen said...

In the age of the internet, I hope that history is not much of a guide.

6:26 AM  
Blogger CarlBrannen said...

Interestingly, Lorenzo Iorio has a long running p-match with Kris Krugh, who regularly comments positively on my blog.

The data on the secular change in the distance to the sun is fascinating. I will have to drop by the U Wash and download the article.

6:33 AM  
Blogger CarlBrannen said...

I hate to post once more, but I think Louise needs to send a letter to the authors of "Is the Physics Within the Solar System Understood?" asking for attribution to her work. Even for people in academia it's easy to get overlooked.

It appears to me that "member 333" was assuming that Louise copied the stuff from others.

But there really is too much out there for someone else to steal the idea.

AND I have to add that this is looking better and better as each few months go by.

6:47 AM  
Blogger L. Riofrio said...

Every comment form carl is enjoyed. Even more than a century ago, there is resistance to ideas coming from 26-year olds or patent clerks.

Stage 3: Of course it's right, we thought of it all along.

8:40 AM  
Blogger QUASAR9 said...

lol Riofrio
seems nothing can beat the speed of light

1:59 PM  
Anonymous Mendo said...

Hi Louise,

Just wanted to check the units you quote in this post:

1AU = 149x10^6 kilometer = 149x10^9 meter
Age of Universe ~ 14x10^9 year -> 1/3t ~ 1/(42x10^9 year)

Then your calculation of d(AU)/dt as (AU) x cdot/c = (AU) x 1/3t (?) gives

(AU)*1/3t = (149x10^9 m)/(42X10^9 yr) = 3.5 meter/year

rather than the 3.5 centimeter/year you quote. I can't spot anything wrong with the values for the AU or age of the universe (give or take uncertainties), so is there a typo - or am I missing something in the units/calculation?

Would you also mind showing your derivation for d(AU)/dt? I only ask because it looks like it come out as

d(AU)/dt = (AU) x cdot/c

and since cdot/c is negative, then d(AU)/dt should be negative and hence the AU would be decreasing with time (rather than the observed increase)?



3:20 AM  
Blogger L. Riofrio said...

HI Mendo: The correct figure is 3.5 m/yr, though I decided not to change anything in the Counterparts post. If c is decreasing, that would have a positive effect (increasing) the apparent AU. See my June 4 post.

The AU could be shrinking and Earth moving closer to the Sun. We would be prevented from seeing this by the assumption that c is constant.

5:09 AM  
Anonymous mendo said...

Hi Louise

Thanks for the clarification - I agree that if c is decreasing the apparent AU would increase, because the apparent time delay (assuming radar ranging measurement and fixed physical AU) would increase. Thats why I was interested in your derivation of da/dt, because if its a x cdot/c then with cdot being negative, so is da/dt - so the apparent AU decreases with t, just considering the derivatives and their signs.

Given that an increase of 3.5m/yr is ruled out by the measurements, what mechanism(s) could account for the decrease in the physical AU needed to compensate for this? You mentioned in your June 4 post about theories of the solar system predicting this, but I couldn't find anything in the literature. Does VSL give predictions for perturbing accelerations that you can plug into the Lagrange planetary equations to get da/dt, de/dt etc?



1:57 PM  
Blogger L. Riofrio said...

For mendo: Most theories of the solar system suggest that the planets formed further from the Sun, then migrated inwards due to drag from dust. Discovery of "hot Jupiters" orbiting extremely close to stars has been explained by those planets forming further out (though it could also be explained if those planets formed around Black Holes.)

Measurements of AU are so inaccurate that they are not used in any published papers about changing c. If the AU is decreasing, that could be due to residual dust or unseen "dark" mass in the solar system. As with the speed of light, decrease in the AU is very possible.

7:07 PM  
Anonymous mendo said...

Hi Louise,

I'm not sure what you mean by 'Measurements of the AU are so inaccurate..' as the current set of measurements seem precise enough, or are in sufficient quantity, to show a secular increase in the AU of a few cm/yr. They are certainly used to place limits on new gravity theories (much as Einstein did!) and the quantity of dark mass in the solar system.

I don't disagree that a decreasing AU is possible - my point is that you need to calculate the amount of mass needed (dust or dark matter) to give the decrease of ~3.5m/yr in the AU required to compensate for your (excluded by observation) prediction of the AU increasing by 3.5m/yr. I think that's a
pretty simple calculation, and much the same as in




Calculating this number would give you another check on your theory - is the
dust mass compatible with observations? If it's dark mass, is it compatible with other orbital data, and depending on the form it takes, is it detectable?

Better still, since in your earlier posts you have a metric, calculate the orbit in your theory and see what corrections come in - that's what Einstein did for GR, and is a pretty standard thing for testing all beyond-GR theories. Perhaps an appropriate correction comes about that way?


10:45 AM  
Anonymous Asmodelle said...

Hi Louise

Interesting reading. Although, over the years I've read similar treatments about VLS etc,and many other failings of SR and GR. A full general relativistic treatment would be beneficial to your hypothesis, rather than Friedman conjecture.

Being a student of Cosmology and have been for some time. I personally, always liked the 'Tired Light', hypothesis, it felt right even though it fails the Tolman test. Your approach is different again, but I'm still not entirely convinced its mathematically rigorous enough yet.

I too am a female, and because of discrimination early in my career I left Physics and pursued Computing Science, but now I'm back again - working hard.

I would say that, if the world is not that much different than it was before, then you are subject to more sexism than you even realise. Keep up the attitude - it's what is needed.

Back on track - in reference to the 'fly by anomaly' MOND seems to also suggest corrections to this, that also work.

Warmest Regards
In theoretical cyberspace.

5:53 PM  
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8:40 PM  
Blogger Randy (John) Snider said...

3.5 meters per year, is that a sample of now, i.e. is it possible that the rate of slowing is also slowing? When most objects begin to slow the greatest changes occur early in the slow down, with the rate of slowing decreasing over time.

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