The universe may have been born spinning, according to new findings on the symmetry of the cosmos

Jul 08, 2011
A new study found an excess of counter-clockwise rotating or "left-handed" spiral galaxies like this one, compared to their right-handed counterparts. This provides evidence that the universe does not have mirror symmetry. Credit: NASA, ESA

(PhysOrg.com) -- Physicists and astronomers have long believed that the universe has mirror symmetry, like a basketball. But recent findings from the University of Michigan suggest that the shape of the Big Bang might be more complicated than previously thought, and that the early universe spun on an axis.

To test for the assumed mirror symmetry, physics professor Michael Longo and a team of five undergraduates catalogued the rotation direction of tens of thousands of spiral galaxies photographed in the .

The of a counter-clockwise rotating galaxy would have clockwise rotation. More of one type than the other would be evidence for a breakdown of symmetry, or, in physics speak, a on cosmic scales, Longo said.

The researchers found evidence that galaxies tend to rotate in a preferred direction. They uncovered an excess of left-handed, or counter-clockwise rotating, in the part of the sky toward the north pole of the Milky Way. The effect extended beyond 600 million light years away.

"The excess is small, about 7 percent, but the chance that it could be a cosmic accident is something like one in a million," Longo said. "These results are extremely important because they appear to contradict the almost universally accepted notion that on sufficiently large scales the universe is isotropic, with no special direction."

The work provides new insights about the shape of the . A symmetric and isotropic universe would have begun with a spherically symmetric explosion shaped like a basketball. If the universe was born rotating, like a spinning basketball, Longo said, it would have a preferred axis, and galaxies would have retained that initial motion.

Is the still spinning?

"It could be," Longo said. "I think this result suggests that it is."

Because the Sloan telescope is in New Mexico, the data the researchers analyzed for their recent paper came mostly from the northern hemisphere of the sky. An important test of the findings will be to see if there is an excess of right-handed spiral galaxies in the southern hemisphere. This research is currently underway.

A paper on the findings, Detection of a Dipole in the Handedness of Spiral Galaxies with Redshifts z~0.04 is published in Physics Letters B.

Explore further: Astronomers release most detailed catalogue ever made of the visible Milky Way

More information: www.sciencedirect.com/science/… ii/S0370269311003947

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Mayday
1 / 5 (1) Jul 08, 2011
What percentage of galaxies are assumed to be hidden behind foreground galaxies?
david534
2.2 / 5 (10) Jul 08, 2011
Part 1:

I must be missing something.

The apparent handedness of a galaxy depends on the side from which it is viewed (galaxies viewed edge-on have no handedness). Since all the observations reported in this article were presumably made from Earth, and since there is no preferred location in the Universe (it has no edges), the apparent handedness of any galaxy is completely random.

Therefore, the entire article seems to be nonsensical.

Even if we could detect the actual spin direction of a galaxy (such as by observing its structure for hundreds of years), it would still be random, because spin directions are only relative, since there is no preferred direction in the Universe or in any underlying aether or medium, should one happen to exist.
david534
2.1 / 5 (8) Jul 08, 2011
Part 2:

Just to make this clear: the Earth is located at a random place in a Universe that has no edges. Therefore, any catalog of galaxy spin directions must be random. Since random sets of two-valued observations are almost never equal (by basic probability), it is expected that a good enough catalog of spin observations will show one handedness as being more common than another.

Therefore, unlike the handedness of protein molecules in living things, this fact is insignificant.

Finally, even if all galaxies were "left handed", that would still indicate nothing about whether the Universe itself were born spinning, since these two types of spins are independent.
dogbert
1.3 / 5 (13) Jul 08, 2011
The numbers seem insignificant and probably are.

Is the universe still spinning?

"It could be," Longo said. "I think this result suggests that it is."


If it began spinning, it would of course still be spinning. Where would the angular momentum go? It would just be spinning slower.
lengould100
3.7 / 5 (3) Jul 08, 2011
I'm not so interested in
Where would the angular momentum go?
as in "Where would the angular momentum have come from?"

Though now I think of it, does anyone know if slight irregularities in the shape of a charge of conventional explosive impart any rotation to the debris?
Raygunner
1.5 / 5 (4) Jul 08, 2011
We are measuring this from Earth's point of view. Unless we are in the center of the Universe looking outwards I agree with david534, it makes no sense. It's likely we are on the outer parts looking around but we have no idea where the center is. So we could see a handedness favoring one galaxy rotation direction or another depending on a) our location, b) expansion rates in our neighborhood, c) universal rotation and rotation direction, and d) the possibility that we are looking THROUGH the Universal center of rotation to the far side without knowing this.

Does this not depend on your point of view or is it the same result no matter where you are? I'm not sure now that I chew this over in my mind. I guess visualizing 3D spinning galaxies around a center point of universal rotation while taking into account expansion rates and moving mentally around this point of rotation requires a computer - not my poor attempt to see this relationship my head. So, I dunno!
Nevertheless
3.6 / 5 (11) Jul 08, 2011
Our "visible universe," the only universe we can now ponder from the earth, goes as far in every direction as light can travel in 13.7 billion years. The actual size of the universe wrought from the Big Bang may be orders of magnitude larger than this. In that case, a 7% statistical difference in what we can see implies nothing about the way the overall universe actually is.
ChrisC
4.9 / 5 (16) Jul 08, 2011
The point of observation should be moot: if the Universe is assumed to be uniform, then it doesn't matter which side you are looking from, nor exactly where your vantage point is, you should see the same distribution of CW and CCW spins.
LuckyBrandon
1 / 5 (12) Jul 08, 2011
"To test for the assumed mirror symmetry, physics professor Michael Longo and a team of five undergraduates catalogued the rotation direction of tens of thousands of spiral galaxies photographed in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey"

What a waste of 5 undergraduates....the work and data already exist on galaxyzoo...just sneak a peek at their database of images and call it a day...
kevinrtrs
1.2 / 5 (34) Jul 08, 2011
@david534 and Raygunner:
If it doesn't make sense from an Isotropic universe model, then perhaps the model needs to be changed. Raygunner has mentioned the apparent solution to the mystery: "Unless we are in the center of the Universe...". Well, it turns out that if one uses redshift as a means of location/distance, one can calculate that we are within one million light years of the center of the Universe. AND that the universe is rotating about an axis. To get to this result one has to let go of the "non-special" place idea. Here you have additional evidence that suggest that we are indeed in a special place. The other evidence is the non-uniform distribution of galaxies. It's clearly time to move away from the homogeneous Big Bang model and start figuring out another.
david534
3.3 / 5 (6) Jul 08, 2011
@Raygunner Objects that are very tiny or very large as compared to those we can sense directly have characteristics that do not conform to common sense. You have implied that the Universe has a center; it actually does not. In spite of its having a diameter, it is all that exists, and therefore there is nothing outside of it and no distinguishable place in it.

If this article is nonsense, how did the work get by reviews by Prof. Longo, their publishing institution, and this website? Seems strange. Good reviewing is at the heart of good science.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (10) Jul 08, 2011
If it began spinning, it would of course still be spinning. Where would the angular momentum go? It would just be spinning slower.
An expanding usiverse would slow to a point of terminal spin, similar to a figure skater streching their arms out during a pirouhette. As the universe expanded, the angular momentum would be dispersed over the larger volume of the universe.
SteWe
5 / 5 (7) Jul 08, 2011
And the best thing is - Galaxyzoo.org did exactly the same study, with a larger set of data (the whole SDSS survey), and they found NO preference for clock- or anti-clockwise rotation.

They DID find, though, that humans have a preference for choosing "anti-clockwise" when looking at blurry and fuzzy pictures of distant galaxies:
http://blogs.zoon...eholder/

On the other hand, maybe both groups are right, insofar as there might be a LOCAL "handedness" of galaxies, which equals out over when looking at a bigger part of the sky and galaxies at different distances.
david534
4.8 / 5 (4) Jul 08, 2011
@kevinrtrs Perhaps you can contribute better theories than physics has managed to develop so far. Science is open to all provable and consistent contributions. However, our present accepted understanding is that we are neither at the center nor near an edge of the Universe (it has neither). The Red Shift is peculiar to observation from Earth; it is not absolute and cannot give us information about the Universe as an object. We are, of course, near the edge of our galaxy, which is a relatively small object. The modified "big bang" theory is also accepted, although weakly so.
mrlewish
1 / 5 (1) Jul 08, 2011
The folks on the other side of those galaxies are wondering why so many spin clockwise.
Raygunner
1 / 5 (3) Jul 08, 2011
I just realized something - even if the Universe is rotating, all objects within are rotating and we are rotating with it so there is no way to "see" this. Whether this has anything to do with galaxy handedness I don't know. I've taking part in the Galaxy Zoo project so I think this research could easily make use of the millions of observations. Just do a counterclockwise vs clockwise galaxy project.

One last observation, assuming for a moment that the universe IS rotating at x rotational rate, could this help explain the expansion acceleration taking place? Could the universal rotational velocity and centrifugal forces be causing accelerated expansion speeds being measured in different regions? Could this explain away dark matter (as in get rid of it)? I'm just a layman before anyone starts in on me!
Javinator
5 / 5 (8) Jul 08, 2011
Well, it turns out that if one uses redshift as a means of location/distance, one can calculate that we are within one million light years of the center of the Universe.


Cite a source.
yyz
5 / 5 (9) Jul 08, 2011
"And the best thing is - Galaxyzoo.org did exactly the same study, with a larger set of data (the whole SDSS survey), and they found NO preference for clock- or anti-clockwise rotation."

SteWe, Longo does mention the earlier paper by Lintott et al and the work by Galaxy Zoo, but claims differences in the galaxy criteria used make the two studies difficult to compare: http://arxiv.org/...2815.pdf

But after reading this current paper and a similar 2007 paper by Longo ( http://arxiv.org/...3793.pdf ) I'm still unconvinced by his arguments, especially in light of the incompleteness of the surveys used.

I agree with your remark on the LOCAL handedness of galaxies.
Husky
5 / 5 (2) Jul 08, 2011
i pondered already about this and it would be interesting to check to compare all the axis (relative to us) these galaxies are spinning, maybe the big bang looked more like a Jet Bang (like jets in the LHC collision quark plasma or those gargantuan jets shooting out black holes) it just could be that what we call dark energy driving the universe expansion is just the beam loosing magnetic self-pinching plasma effect, like its very hard to keep particle beams concentrated over distance, megastructures like the Dark Flow, having a stream like motion could maybe support this idea, anyway a lot more measurements need to be done/combined and more parameters need to be considered before the hypothesis gains weight, but i do see the value of feeding and crunching all these large datasets that we can do now with large computers/telescopes online we have today
jdbertron
1.6 / 5 (7) Jul 08, 2011
A great example of "Publish rubbish or perish".
Without a frame of reference talking about the universe's rotation is nonsense.
If the universe had some initial vorticity during the big bang, it would have had a scale and an orientation, which could only carry over to galaxy rotation with a specific rate of expansion so as to crush the small and large scale angular momentum and preserve only the vorticity at galaxy scales. If true it's another instance of the anthropomorphic principle.

jjoensuu
not rated yet Jul 08, 2011
ok but would they not look at the spinning direction either as: 1) towards the direction of the galaxies arms, or 2) away from the direction of the galaxies arms...?

This way it would not be like some "towards left of centerpoint" versus "towards right of centerpoint" which would be dependent on the side from which it is viewed.
omatumr
1.2 / 5 (18) Jul 08, 2011
They uncovered an excess of left-handed, or counter-clockwise rotating, spirals in the part of the sky toward the north pole of the Milky Way. The effect extended beyond 600 million light years away.


What fraction of the infinite universe is represented by these observations?

See "Is the Universe Expanding?" [The Journal of Cosmology 13, 4187-4190 (2011)]

http://journalofc...102.html

With kind regards,
Oliver K. Manuel
Former NASA Principal
Investigator for Apollo
TheWalrus
5 / 5 (10) Jul 08, 2011
@david534:

My initial reaction was the same. Then I realized that with a random distribution of galaxies, exactly half of them would be spinning one way and the other half spinning the other direction. While it's meaningless to say that the universe has a left- or right-handed spin, it is meaningful to say that it has a spin, and that more than half of the galaxies are spinning that way.

Imagine you have a big bag of clear plastic discs, like poker chips. Each disc has an arrow inside representing a direction of spin. From one side, the arrow points clockwise, but if you flip it over the arrow goes counter-clockwise. You throw all the discs into the air and let them scatter on the ground. You'd expect to find exactly half of them with clockwise arrows. But if 57% of them are clockwise, you have to explain why. This analogy is imperfect because the arrows themselves don't determine which way the discs will fall, but it should point you in the right direction (pun intended).
Pyle
4.3 / 5 (12) Jul 08, 2011
What fraction of the infinite universe is represented by these observations?
That could be his funniest comment yet.

yyz, sounds like the Galaxy Zoo project had a lot more thought behind it regarding biases. I don't understand why the bias is less in the current study. Smaller sample so less bias? Huh? maybe his grad students, or the way they only identified "easy" ones (<15% of looked at) makes it less biased? How would Longo's study avoid the "human pattern recognition effect that was shared by all their volunteers" in the Galaxy Zoo project?

Look at me, idiot commenter on a website second guessing peer reviewed research!!! Note that I still hit Submit.
omatumr
1.2 / 5 (20) Jul 08, 2011
What fraction of the infinite universe is represented by these observations?
That could be his funniest comment yet.

yyz, sounds like the Galaxy Zoo project had a lot more thought behind it regarding biases. I don't understand why the bias is less in the current study. Smaller sample so less bias? Huh? maybe his grad students, or the way they only identified "easy" ones (<15% of looked at) makes it less biased? How would Longo's study avoid the "human pattern recognition effect that was shared by all their volunteers" in the Galaxy Zoo project?

Look at me, idiot commenter on a website second guessing peer reviewed research!!! Note that I still hit Submit.


That's okay, we are all trying to figure out the the great Reality that surrounds and sustains us - Bountiful Earth, Cosmos, God, Higher Power, Truth, Universe -What is revealed by cause and effect, coincidence, destiny, experimentation, fate, insight, karma, meditation, observation, prayer, providence, etc
KevinB
4.4 / 5 (7) Jul 08, 2011
A spinning universe proposed by Kurt Godel as a solution to Einstein's field equations has closed timelike curves allowing time travel
thermodynamics
2.5 / 5 (2) Jul 08, 2011
KevinB: Thank you for this information. I was not aware that Godel had made that proposition. Do you have a citation for the proposition? I would like to see what he said. Godel is not one to ignore.
Raygunner
5 / 5 (1) Jul 08, 2011
If the cyclical big bang theory is right, I can see how contraction/expansion could result in a rotation - just like a neutron star or black hole. Contraction would cause an increase in rotational speed, and expansion would slow down. If these cycles repeat, the spin could increase in an additive way, getting faster and faster with each cycle unless there is an attenuating factor. A neighboring universe (the Great Attractor?) could have a dramatic effect on this spin. Indeed, it might be analogous to two galaxies colliding - throwing interior star systems everywhere but in this case millions of galaxies or entire regions of the universe would be thrown awry or be affected. It would be like a cup of coffee just stirred and sticking a spoon in the spinning liquid.

A disturbance of this magnitude, especially with rotation factored in, should be readily detectable by measured galaxy motions. That is if we can see enough of the universe from our local viewpoint.
tkjtkj
1.3 / 5 (3) Jul 08, 2011
@Raygunner Objects that are very tiny or very large as compared to those we can sense directly have characteristics that do not conform to common sense. You have implied that the Universe has a center; it actually does not. In spite of its having a diameter, it is all that exists, and therefore there is nothing outside of it and no distinguishable place in it.

If this article is nonsense, how did the work get by reviews by Prof. Longo, their publishing institution, and this website? Seems strange. Good reviewing is at the heart of good science.

i think you guys should define what you mean by 'the universe'. Some here believe its 'space' .. without end, infinite. Others are saying it refers to the distribution of matter, starting at the BB and propelled out to the distance that light can travel in 13.7 billion years. These are not congruent ideas!!!

omatumr
1 / 5 (19) Jul 08, 2011
These results are extremely important because they appear to contradict the almost universally accepted notion that on sufficiently large scales the universe is isotropic, with no special direction."

A symmetric and isotropic universe would have begun with a spherically symmetric explosion shaped like a basketball. If the universe was born rotating, like a spinning basketball, Longo said, it would have a preferred axis, and galaxies would have retained that initial motion.


Professor Michael Longo's finding confirms that the "Big Bang" is an illusion, a failed attempt to define the universe as finite.

It is not finite, but neutron repulsion causes the infinite universe to expand during the current expansive phase.

See "Is the Universe Expanding?" [The Journal of Cosmology 13, 4187-4190 (2011)]

With kind regards,
Oliver K. Manuel



Pyle
3 / 5 (6) Jul 08, 2011
thermo: Start with going to wikipedia for "Gödel metric". They have some good references there.
I enjoyed Yourgrau's book "A World Without Time: The Forgotten Legacy of Gödel and Einstein". But it is more a biographical piece with broad reaching philosophical ideas than a technical book digging into the Godel universe and CTCs.
Cave_Man
1.4 / 5 (12) Jul 08, 2011
The point of observation should be moot: if the Universe is assumed to be uniform, then it doesn't matter which side you are looking from, nor exactly where your vantage point is, you should see the same distribution of CW and CCW spins.


If the universe were uniform then planets, galaxies and people would be identical and arranged in a perfect grid and we wouldn't ever have opinions about anything..........
Modernmystic
2.2 / 5 (13) Jul 09, 2011
This got me thinking about fractals. How large scale structures repeat patterns as you zoom in or zoom out.

I seem to remember reading somewhere that CP violation is why there is more matter than anti-matter in the universe.

Could a spinning big bang and the resultant angular momentum account for the "preference" of matter over anti-matter? Do particles and anti-particles "prefer" to display angular momentum in any way? Did matter "steal" some of this momentum to get an edge over it's opposite manifestation?
yyz
5 / 5 (9) Jul 09, 2011
"The apparent handedness of a galaxy depends on the side from which it is viewed (galaxies viewed edge-on have no handedness)."

_

"Even if we could detect the actual spin direction of a galaxy (such as by observing its structure for hundreds of years), it would still be random"

@david534, astronomers can determine the direction of rotation in suitable galaxies (in a timely manner) through spectroscopy, as it will reveal which portions of a galaxy are approaching or receding from us WRT the rest velocity of the galaxy. This was not done for the ~200k galaxies in this current study AFAIK.

In addition, some galaxies are known to be rotating "backwards"; that is, the spiral arms seem to 'lead' instead of 'follow' the direction of rotation. Tidal interactions/mergers are thought to be responsible.

NGC 4622 is a well known example: http://bama.ua.ed....08.html

NGC 4622 paper: http://arxiv.org/...02v1.pdf
jcamjr
1 / 5 (1) Jul 09, 2011
What would it be rotating in?
Deesky
5 / 5 (2) Jul 09, 2011
In addition, some galaxies are known to be rotating "backwards"; that is, the spiral arms seem to 'lead' instead of 'follow' the direction of rotation.

I didn't know that - thanks yyz!
david534
1.8 / 5 (4) Jul 09, 2011
@jcamjr Galaxies are spinning in a near-vacuum. The only friction comes from intergalactic dust, which probably means a slight interaction with other galaxies.

The Universe is not an object as you are used to objects (it is too large to conform to common sense). In spite of this article, no one yet knows much about its birth, if any. The "hot early Universe in the first few seconds" is speculation based on models and observations of a young science. Speculations about its overall spin are just that--there is nothing known for the Universe to be spinning within.

The Universe is all there is, by Occam's Razor and all our knowledge so far. In fact, the apparent diameter of just under 14 billion light years might be an illusion caused by relativity (the actual diameter might be infinite, especially if the Universe is actually steady-state after all). Not knowing for sure is a good thing: it fuels interest in cosmology and science in general.
_nigmatic10
4.5 / 5 (2) Jul 09, 2011
Any form of rotation must be relative to the environment the object is in. Therefore, to say the universe spins implies it is spinning in something else.
sstritt
1.7 / 5 (6) Jul 09, 2011
Any form of rotation must be relative to the environment the object is in. Therefore, to say the universe spins implies it is spinning in something else.

Exactly the point I was about to make. Does this have implications for the possible existence of a pre-bang universe?
dogbert
1.7 / 5 (11) Jul 09, 2011
Any form of rotation must be relative to the environment the object is in. Therefore, to say the universe spins implies it is spinning in something else.


I think that is wrong. If the only thing in existence were a single planet, for example, and that planet was rotating, there would be centripetal forces generated due to the rotation. Those forces would not be predicated on anything outside the object. The existence of those forces would be evidence of rotation even though there was nothing else to measure movement against.
sstritt
2.1 / 5 (7) Jul 09, 2011
If the only thing in existence were a single planet, for example, and that planet was rotating,

Again, rotating with respect to WHAT? By what means are you to determine rotation? I'm not certain enough to argue the point, just to question it. Mach's Principle seems relevant here.
yyz
5 / 5 (4) Jul 09, 2011
@Pyle:

"yyz, sounds like the Galaxy Zoo project had a lot more thought behind it regarding biases. I don't understand why the bias is less in the current study. Smaller sample so less bias? Huh?"

Agree, I was similarly confused on that too. The 2007 Longo paper (link above) also offered this:

"Many spiral galaxies have undergone collisions with other galaxies since their formation. Such collisions tend to mix "orbital" angular momentum[AM] of the galaxies with any primordial spin AM they may have formed with. Collisions between galaxies trigger prolific star formation[SF]. Galaxies with recent SF tend to be bluish. In order to enhance any signal for a preferred handedness, the bluest galaxies were removed from the sample"(pg5)

Pretty surprising since enhanced star formation in galaxies (starburst galaxies, for example) are known to occur from events other than galactic mergers. I notice different criteria are used in his recent 2011 paper, though. Looks like shoddy science to me.
dogbert
1 / 5 (4) Jul 09, 2011
Again, rotating with respect to WHAT? By what means are you to determine rotation?


Rotating with respect to its axis of rotation.

If that is not clear, try it like this:

On a rotating sphere, points at the same latitude but opposite sides of the sphere are moving at equal speed in opposite direction.
sstritt
2.6 / 5 (7) Jul 09, 2011
Again, rotating with respect to WHAT? By what means are you to determine rotation?


Rotating with respect to its axis of rotation.

If that is not clear, try it like this:

On a rotating sphere, points at the same latitude but opposite sides of the sphere are moving at equal speed in opposite direction.

From Mach's Principle: http://en.wikiped...rinciple
"The idea is that the local motion of a rotating reference frame is determined by the large scale distribution of matter"
"This concept was a guiding factor in Einstein's development of the general theory of relativity. Einstein realized that the overall distribution of matter would determine the metric tensor, which tells you which frame is rotationally stationary."
So the question of whether rotation can even have meaning in the absence of some inertial reference frame is non-trivial.
blento
1 / 5 (3) Jul 09, 2011
Couldn't rotation be causing the accelerated expansion as mass picks up speed from centrifugal force? This doesn't explain the Big Bang but it does offer more questions....
david534
not rated yet Jul 09, 2011
@blento You are using meaningful words, but putting them together in ways that make no sense. When I don't understand something, I read the discussion and think, but do not try to contribute. Knowing that one does not know is the greatest form of discrimination. Sharing nonsense is a waste of time.

@dogbert The Universe is not a sphere, since it has no edges. That may be non-intuitive, but so is much of the physics of the very large, very small, and very fast (time dilation, a limit to the amount of acceleration, and, yes, many of the properties of the Universe).

@sstritt Yes, indeed.

So, does this website have no editor to realize the flaws of this article and, perhaps, apologize and withdraw it?
thermodynamics
5 / 5 (1) Jul 09, 2011
pyle and sstritt: Great references. It is threads like this that make my day.
dogbert
1 / 5 (5) Jul 09, 2011
david534,
@dogbert The Universe is not a sphere, since it has no edges. That may be non-intuitive, but so is much of the physics of the very large, very small, and very fast (time dilation, a limit to the amount of acceleration, and, yes, many of the properties of the Universe).


I was not stating or implying the shape of the universe. I was merely using a sphere as an example to show that rotational motion does not have to be relative to some external standard to be measurable.
jsa09
1.5 / 5 (6) Jul 10, 2011
I think this study shows more of the prejudices of those performing the study than it does of any results achieved. The universe is observed in 3 dimensions not two dimensions. Therefore we have to decide arbitrarily to allocate directions to universe seen overhead as well as those seen below and to right and left.

Since the observers are viewing photos they may well have no idea in which direction the photographer was looking. Therefore direction becomes arbitrary. add to this those galaxies in the same photo that may be seen in vertical vs horizontal positions and we have nothing more than an exercise if futility.
Tachyon
1.6 / 5 (5) Jul 10, 2011
Yeah, but for example in the LenseThirring effect we find that the rotation of a massive object would distort spacetime metric, making the orbit of a nearby test particle precess. This does not happen in Newtonian mechanics for which the gravitational field of a body depends only on its mass, not on its rotation. http://en.wikiped...dragging . And what about gravitomagnetism effects? Are they in this 'equation'?
ubavontuba
1.3 / 5 (9) Jul 10, 2011
This doesn't make sense on the face of it, as it would imply a "shape" to the universe. A "hyperdisk" (if you will). Simply put, we wouldn't be able to see to the same distances in all directions.

It's fun to think about though...

omatumr
1 / 5 (9) Jul 10, 2011
The basic problem is just this:

Limitations on finite objects do
not necessarily translate into
limitations on infinite objects.

The Universe - Cosmos, God, Reality,
Higher Power, What is - not finite.

We are finite and forever puzzled by Reality.

With kind regards,
Oliver K. Manuel
Former NASA Principal
Investigator for Apollo

rjhuntington
5 / 5 (4) Jul 10, 2011
See what happens when assumption is pile atop assumption atop assumption and then conclusions are drawn from which additional assumptions are presumed and these are used to decide the origins and fate of the cosmos! This is not science. This is nonsense.

Just because a system of mathematical equations is solvable does not mean they model reality. There are no substitutes for observation, experimentation, and just plain good sense.

Show me someone who has the courage to question their own beliefs in the quest for truth and I'll show you a scientist.

Show me someone who refuses to question their beliefs in the face of contradictory evidence and I'll show you a religious adherent.
rjhuntington
not rated yet Jul 10, 2011

"If the universe was born rotating..."
Relative to what, exactly?

.
Turritopsis
1 / 5 (3) Jul 10, 2011
The universe may or may not have a centre. This depends on the theory.

In an infinite universe (and some finite models) all points may be referred to as central. (therefore, no true center)

In a finite universe there are two distinct possibilities:

1. Big Bang scenario model (closed system[no energy being added]). in this big bang model the center of the universe existed (it is the point we would have emerged from), but it is like a thrown football: after the throw the football is no longer at the starting point. The universe in a closed confined big bang model would be confined to a spherical shell that is expanding out from the original point of emergence, but like the football, there is no physical connection to the center. In the shell all points can be viewed as central, and with an outward trajectory all points are gaining distance relative to others.
Turritopsis
1 / 5 (3) Jul 10, 2011
2. White hole scenario model (open system[energy being added]). In this scenario we have a center of the universe. The whitehole that is the point of origin is adding energy into our universe causing expansion (no bang required).

There may be many deviations present here within the 2 finite models but the major distinction is that one system is closed: no added energy, and the other is open: energy being added.

The infinite universe doesn't require a center for definition. From any given point the radial distance to the end of the universe is infinite. There is no center, or every point is the center. It doesn't matter how you define it.
vidyunmaya
1.3 / 5 (14) Jul 10, 2011
Sub: Cosmology under revision -reality Index
Big-Bang Concepts mislead and Science to progress !
Search origins and set mode -Comprehension.
Knowledge base means -Vision index- to know Right-left and neutral mode Cosmological Index out of Universe that links up Galactic Frame and then to Multi-Universe concepts out of Cosmos.
Cosmology vedas interlinks-see projections and Interact.Open mind approach helps -no dogmatic Psychology
COSMOLOGY VEDAS INTERLINKS-BOOKS INFORMATION May 2011
THE SCIENCE OF COSMOLOGY-VEDAS: UNITY IN DIVERSITY
[COSMOLOGY WORLD PEACE]-
Dr Vidyardhi Nanduri promotes the Unity in Science and Philosophy
through Cosmology Vedas Interlinks
PURPOSE OF INTERLINKS:
1. The Science of Philosophy: Divinity, Vedas, Upanishads, Temples & Cosmos Yoga,2. Philosophy of Science : Plasmas, Electro-magnetic fields and Cosmology,3. Resource:Reflectors,3-Tier Consciousness, Source, Fields and Flows,4. Noble Cause:Human-Being, Environment,Divine Nature and Harmony.
omatumr
1 / 5 (7) Jul 10, 2011
Show me someone who refuses to question their beliefs in the face of contradictory evidence and I'll show you a religious adherent.


Thanks for your comment.

We should all be encouraged by reports that even Einstein encountered strong vocal opposition from the gullible "mainstream."

www.hindu.com/fli...2600.htm

With kind regards,
Oliver K. Manuel
Former NASA Principal
Investigator for Apollo
Grizzled
3.2 / 5 (5) Jul 10, 2011
Any form of rotation must be relative to the environment the object is in. Therefore, to say the universe spins implies it is spinning in something else.


This isn't as obvious as it may seem. See Mach's principle (or Mach's conjecture) for more discussion but basically, it's a hypothetical question: Can you detect rotation (by measuring centrifugal or Coriolis effects) in the absence of external reference frame (aka "universe").

If you apply the same to the universe itself, the question becomes even more murky since you equate rotating object and the Universe. So I wouldn't say it's an obvious "therefore" as you maintain.
Jordian1
not rated yet Jul 12, 2011
Interestingly enough, DNA is "left" spun too.
GSwift7
2.2 / 5 (10) Jul 12, 2011
to Nevertheless:

The actual size of the universe wrought from the Big Bang may be orders of magnitude larger than this. In that case, a 7% statistical difference in what we can see implies nothing


Exactly what I was going to point out.

To Kevin:

A spinning universe proposed by Kurt Godel as a solution to Einstein's field equations has closed timelike curves allowing time travel


Exactly the second thing I was going to point out. Our observations do not seem to agree with some of the implications of a spinning Universe.

As for the location of the 'center' of the universe. The center is literally everywhere. That single point has expanded in all directions. There is no place that isn't the center. ...so the theory says. No matter where you are, it should look the same, on cosmic scales.
GSwift7
1.8 / 5 (10) Jul 12, 2011
Continued:

Also note that if you are taking the Godel solutions seriously, then they imply rigid spinning. So as the Universe expands, the outer bounds, if there is such a thing, would spin ever faster. That would be observable in several ways, if it were the case, according to the theory.

The Godel solutions are probably just an artefact of the math though, and you have to set up the equations just right in order to find a solution that doesn't have sigularities.
GSwift7
1.3 / 5 (9) Jul 12, 2011
Here's an interesting hypothetical:

If you flip a coin and give it a flat spin when you launch it, then it will tend to spend slightly more time in the air in its original orientation as opposed to the opposite side up. This results in a small but statistically significant bias for the coin to land the same way it started. If the Universe was spinning, then would there be a Universal bias in random chance for such things as a coin toss? That line of reasoning would lead to the expected observation that slightly more galaxies would be oriented in one direction than any other direction relative to direction of spin. If the observations in the above story are Universal then that would be strong evidence. This is entirely untestable though, because you can't ever know whether you are observing Universal or merely local conditions.
Pyle
2 / 5 (4) Jul 12, 2011
Gswift7 - Huh? Spinning coins? I am not sure that is a very good analogy. Way too simple. We have spinning things inside a bigger thing, that may be spinning. The system is complex, more like ocean currents and winds on Earth, at least in the sense that it is really complicated and not just a bias caused by spinning the flipping coin. If the Earth were tidally locked to the Sun the currents and winds would be different. If the Universe is/was indeed spinning then a bias for left or right handed galaxies might be a way to detect it. Or not.

Good points on Godel. I think Godel decided that the evidence pointed away from our universe being a Godel universe, based on red shift data. btw GR solutions without singularities... You don't like black holes either? ;)
GSwift7
1 / 5 (5) Jul 12, 2011
Gswift7 - Huh? Spinning coins? I am not sure that is a very good analogy.


which is why i proposed it as a question. Just trying to get some thoughtful discussion about what 'spinning' might mean in terms of frames of reference. Galaxies, solar systems and planets do spin relative to local inertial frame of reference though.
GSwift7
1.4 / 5 (9) Jul 12, 2011
We have spinning things inside a bigger thing, that may be spinning.


The idea of a spinning Universe is a bit more complex than that. The Godel solutions indicate that 'reality' itself would be spinning, not just the physical universe. If you can imagine the "time" component of spacetime also spinning then you begin to get the idea. ;) That along with the requirement that it would be rigid spinning has some really profound implications for the relative flow of time in different parts of the Universe. Farther from the 'center' of rotation would mean slower time, higher mass, etc.

The idea of a spinning Universe would also greatly change the total mass/energy content of the Universe, and thereby change the solution for the overall geometry of the Universe, (ie. flat versus curved).
Pyle
3 / 5 (6) Jul 12, 2011
The Godel solutions indicate that 'reality' itself would be spinning, not just the physical universe. If you can imagine the "time" component of spacetime also spinning then you begin to get the idea.
Um, I don't think that is quite it. CTC's in the Godel universe provide a path by which a traveling "particle" returns to its previous position/time kind of Mobius strip like. This doesn't mean spinning time really, though. You could accelerate back to a position you were already at. "Spacetime" spinning sounds rather more aether-like and I think strays a bit from current accepted theory.
The idea of a spinning Universe would also greatly change the total mass/energy content of the Universe, and thereby change the solution for the overall geometry of the Universe, (ie. flat versus curved).
Right. Our extrapolations from our observations (BB simulations and such) would need to be tweaked dramatically for a "spinning" universe.

btw - getting out of my depth...
GSwift7
1.4 / 5 (9) Jul 13, 2011
This doesn't mean spinning time really, though


Essentially it would have to. That's one reason that we think it isn't spinning. It goes back to the rigid spin concept again. The rigid spin concept is mathimatically the same as saying that time itself would be spinning. Not all of those math terms need to have real world analogues though. Anyway, the idea I proposed was completely arbitrary, and just for the point of "what if". I'm pretty sure the guys from the article above aren't mainstream-ers, so I won't be surprised if their results are questioned.

btw, hitting the limit of my understanding of the litterature too.
david534
5 / 5 (1) Jul 13, 2011
It's fun to conjecture, especially beyond our range of knowledge. Meanwhile, this otherwise fine and informative site gets away with publishing an article filled with bad science.
Pyle
3 / 5 (6) Jul 13, 2011
Don't call it bad science yet. I'll admit I have questions about the bias and the sampling method, but they may be on to something. I am not familiar enough with their data set to know whether they "broke any rules" in their study. It could be they really did remove the bias the other study ran up against.

The conclusion that more righties or lefties means the universe is spinning could be way off though. That part is just a guess. It could be a "local" phenomenon that is explained by something else entirely.

"Bad science" just makes it sound so ... um ... bad.
GSwift7
1.4 / 5 (9) Jul 13, 2011
Agreed. There is plenty of good science which might suggest that a given theory should be questioned at first, but which later turns out to be explained through some other mechanism. The idea that it is bad science just because the answer to thier question might later turn out to be "no" isn't the case 100% of the time. The guys above might have done really great work and just mis-interpreted the results because of some incompleteness in the data or something. Maybe even someone in some other, related, field will have an explanation. That's why they publish in journals, you know.

Bad science would be more like if the observations didn't match their theory, but they tried to say that it must be the observations that are wrong.
omatumr
1 / 5 (8) Jul 13, 2011
The universe may have been born spinning, . . .


This imaginary problem stems from the assumption that the universe

a.) Is finite, and
b.) Was born.

Both assumptions are fictional [1,2].

1. "Neutron Repulsion", The APEIRON Journal, in press, 19 pages (2011):

http://arxiv.org/...2.1499v1

2. "Is the Universe Expanding?", The Journal of Cosmology 13, 4187-4190 (2011):

http://journalofc...102.html

With kind regards,
Oliver K. Manuel
Former NASA Principal
Investigator for Apollo

Turritopsis
1 / 5 (4) Jul 13, 2011
Can't prove expansion. Lensing shifts light. The universe could be expanding or could appear to do so. All testing equipment is reality derived the equipment is extremely biased and as long as we are the ones making the calculations on energy derivation a bias shall exist. No ones proved anything their assertions have proven realistic but not real. There is a difference. The bias is one of relativity. How can we know everything? We can't understand the processes in our universe. What about those outside of it? Who cares? It's not about what is. It's about what you do with what is, use the real components around you to construct something real. Like Nikola Tesla (the father of modern civilizations) or anyone else. It's not about the small, we don't need to scale down, as molecularly composed beings we're fragile, deterioration is due to pressures (as in compressive) energy burns out matter. Run a current through a wire and the wire breaks up (fragments). Going down to neutrons is scalin
Turritopsis
1 / 5 (4) Jul 13, 2011
g out of reality. (atoms are neutral components too). Besides neutrons are not the end of the run. The neutrons are composed of smaller components still (quarks) and those components for all intents and purposes could be composed of even smaller components still and one things correct reality is infinitely scalar, our relativistic view is confined to a small range (molecular compounds comprising us)
Turritopsis
1 / 5 (5) Jul 14, 2011
Most definitely finite. We know reproduction takes place. Humans reproduce. Take their energy and create something - offspring. So do stars, they radiate out. The universe emerged at somepoint just as everything else. What did it emerge from? From it's parent. A good parent protects.
Sean_W
1.2 / 5 (6) Jul 14, 2011
Is there any explanation as to how the initial spin didn't violate conservation of angular momentum? I have heard of theories about how the expansion of the universe can offset the creation of matter/energy so conservation of energy is not violated. Is there a way that the spin can be offset for a conservation of angular momentum?
Turritopsis
1 / 5 (4) Jul 15, 2011
Charge parity. A negative & positive charge interaction taking place in the higgs field equals no energy violation because the sum of charge equals zero, neutral charge.

Momentum is not conserved but is captured and translated. If the universe has spin that spin has been captured from opposite spin. A moment of energy translation exists for every system.

There is no way to neutralize angular momentum without envoking parental dimensions, only they can produce directionality.
JadedIdealist
not rated yet Jul 15, 2011
IF this isn't just measurement bias and if this isn't a cyclic universe then the rotation would have to come from somewhere else.
Just wondering - what if angular momentum was Not conserved at an earlier epoch - eg during inflation.
If the laws of physics were not rotation invariant at an earlier time then angular momentum would not be a conserved property, has anyone tried playing with rotation dependent physics?
Pyle
2.4 / 5 (5) Jul 15, 2011
Just wondering - what if angular momentum was Not conserved at an earlier epoch
The problem is that we like to keep the same laws of physics. The preferred explanations for inflation has to do with mass/energy density and not the laws of physics changing. Doesn't mean they are right, we don't know, but that is the focus of mainstream physics. The thing that bothers me is the equivalency people put on angular momentum and quantum spin. Quantum spin is not mechanical, don't conflate the two.

As far as angular momentum goes, I think initial spin WOULD violate the conservation of momentum. In my pea brain I keep coming back to anti-matter traveling backward in time to balance everything out. Nonsense, I know. Hopefully our measurements of anti-matter will help explain where it is and/or why we have so much matter around us.
sstritt
1 / 5 (5) Jul 15, 2011
Is there any explanation as to how the initial spin didn't violate conservation of angular momentum?

if this isn't a cyclic universe

Maybe the initial angular momentum (if it really exists) is evidence of a cyclic universe?
GSwift7
1 / 5 (5) Jul 19, 2011
Is there a way that the spin can be offset for a conservation of angular momentum?


That isn't necessary. Conservation of angular momentum only applies to things inside the Universe. Things inside the frame of reference of the Universe must obey the laws of physics. The same does not need to be true for the Universe as a whole, as it would only need to obey the laws that apply to whatever frame of reference it exists inside, if there is such a thing as we would understand it.

Taking the discussion farther in that direction gets into several philosophical catch 22's, such as the anthropic principle. That's the point where you start to run into things that are neither provable nor disprovable, and therefore are not very scientific according to some people. If you go far enough down the rabit hole, does there eventually have to be a "Creation Event", for example?
Titto
1 / 5 (5) Jul 24, 2011
The "clever" scientists should first try and find out about oour Micro-Cosmas, which is endless so by the way, and then wonder about the Macro-Cosmas.
Then if the insight might be given to them, they might finally see and believe there is a Creator!!!