Space-warping white dwarfs produce gravitational waves

Aug 28, 2012
This is an artist's conception of J0651 with ripples to demonstrate how the white dwarf pair is emitting gravitational waves. Credit: NASA

(Phys.org)—Gravitational waves, much like the recently discovered Higgs boson, are notoriously difficult to observe. Scientists first detected these ripples in the fabric of space-time indirectly, using radio signals from a pulsar-neutron star binary system. The find, which required exquisitely accurate timing of the radio signals, garnered its discoverers a Nobel Prize. Now a team of astronomers has detected the same effect at optical wavelengths, in light from a pair of eclipsing white dwarf stars.

"This result marks one of the cleanest and strongest detections of the effect of gravitational waves," said team member Warren Brown of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO).

The team discovered the white dwarf pair last year. ( are the remnant cores of stars like our Sun.) The system, called SDSS J065133.338+284423.37 (J0651 for short), contains two white dwarf stars so close together—one-third of the Earth-moon distance—that they make a complete orbit in less than 13 minutes.

Space-warping white dwarfs produce gravitational waves

"Every six minutes the stars in J0651 eclipse each other as seen from Earth, which makes for an unparalleled and accurate clock some 3,000 light-years away," said study lead author J.J. Hermes, a graduate student working with Professor Don Winget at The University of Texas at Austin.

Einstein's predicts that moving objects create subtle ripples in the fabric of space-time, called gravitational waves. Gravitational waves should carry away energy, causing the stars to inch closer together and orbit each other faster and faster. The team was able to detect this effect in J0651.

"Compared to April 2011, when we discovered this object, the eclipses now happen six seconds sooner than expected," said team member Mukremin Kilic of The University of Oklahoma.

"This is a general relativistic effect you could measure with a wrist watch," added SAO's Warren Brown.

J0651 will provide an opportunity to compare future direct, space-based detection of with those inferred from the orbital decay, providing important benchmark tests of our understanding of the workings of gravity.

The team expects that the period will shrink more and more each year, with eclipses happening more than 20 seconds sooner than otherwise expected by May 2013. The stars will eventually merge, in two million years. Future observations will continue to measure the orbital decay of this system, and attempt to understand how tides affect the merger of such stars.

Explore further: The entropy of black holes

More information: The study will be published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters.

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ValeriaT
1.8 / 5 (30) Aug 28, 2012
Einstein's theory of general relativity predicts that moving objects create subtle ripples in the fabric of space-time, called gravitational waves
Einstein didn't believe in gravitational waves. Their prediction is the result of simplified textbook model of relativity involving so-called pseudotensor, which enables to solve the relativistic equations analytically for college teachers - but it introduces unphysical artifacts. And the speed of gravitational waves is ASSUMED to be speed of light - it doesn't follow from any theory. The speed of gravitational wave is undefined in GR, because the same deform of space-time serves as a reference frame for definition of speed (in flat empty space-time all speeds are relative, as the name of theory implies). Gravitational waves are serving as a very successful job and salary generator for physicists involved - the costs of GW detectors reaches billions of dollars..
thermodynamics
4.5 / 5 (35) Aug 28, 2012
Where do all of the loony posters come from on this site? It seems to be a common view that scientists are only in research for the money. I have to tell you that scientists should change to investment bankers if all they want is the money. It seems to be a common view that anyone doing research in astrophysics, climate change, or particle physics is scamming every government in the world. I think someone needs to do research on the paranoids that view everyone as conspiring to take their money (of course then the paranoids would see that research as scamming them). I guess they don't know what an astrophysicist makes.
Ophelia
4.3 / 5 (3) Aug 28, 2012
"they make a complete orbit in less than 13 minutes .... [c]ompared to April 2011, when we discovered this object, the eclipses now happen six seconds sooner than expected ... The team expects that the period will shrink more and more each year, with eclipses happening more than 20 seconds sooner than otherwise expected by May 2013. The stars will eventually merge, in two million years."

So, I was doing the math in my head - less than 13 minute orbital period/3 seconds year orbital period reduction = 260 years approximately - to come up with when a merger might occur and then read the last sentence about a merger in 2 million years. Someone want to explain this to me please?
Deathclock
3.3 / 5 (11) Aug 28, 2012
"they make a complete orbit in less than 13 minutes .... [c]ompared to April 2011, when we discovered this object, the eclipses now happen six seconds sooner than expected ... The team expects that the period will shrink more and more each year, with eclipses happening more than 20 seconds sooner than otherwise expected by May 2013. The stars will eventually merge, in two million years."

So, I was doing the math in my head - less than 13 minute orbital period/3 seconds year orbital period reduction = 260 years approximately - to come up with when a merger might occur and then read the last sentence about a merger in 2 million years. Someone want to explain this to me please?


Why are you assuming a linear relationship? It's probably more complicated than that...
Ionian
5 / 5 (5) Aug 28, 2012
I remember reading that Gravity waves and Gravitational waves are not the same thing. I am sure that I do not understand the difference. Wikipedia has them as different too. Maybe ValeriaT is speaking of Gravity waves?
Ionian
5 / 5 (3) Aug 28, 2012
Gravitational wave
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Not to be confused with Gravity wave.

General relativity

Introduction
In physics, gravitational waves are ripples in the curvature of spacetime which propagate as a wave, travelling outward from the source. Predicted to exist by Albert Einstein in 1916 on the basis of his theory of general relativity,[1] gravitational waves theoretically transport energy as gravitational radiation. Sources of detectable gravitational waves could possibly include binary star systems composed of white dwarfs, neutron stars, or black holes. The existence of gravitational waves is possibly a consequence of the Lorentz invariance.

Although gravitational radiation has not been directly detected, there is indirect evidence for its existence. For example, the 1993 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded for measurements of the Hulse-Taylor binary system which suggests gravitational waves are more than mathematical anomalies. Various gravitational wave det
Ionian
5 / 5 (4) Aug 28, 2012
From wikipedia.

"Various gravitational wave detectors exist. However, they remain unsuccessful in detecting such phenomena."
Infinion
2.8 / 5 (16) Aug 28, 2012
Where do all of the loony posters come from on this site? It seems to be a common view that scientists are only in research for the money. I have to tell you that scientists should change to investment bankers if all they want is the money. It seems to be a common view that anyone doing research in astrophysics, climate change, or particle physics is scamming every government in the world. I think someone needs to do research on the paranoids that view everyone as conspiring to take their money (of course then the paranoids would see that research as scamming them). I guess they don't know what an astrophysicist makes.


Dude, let people say what they want to say - that's the point of having comments on an article - to insight discussion and have transparency.
Ophelia
5 / 5 (14) Aug 28, 2012
@Deathclock
"Why are you assuming a linear relationship? It's probably more complicated than that..."

I have to assume something. I can't assume some complicated inverse cube law; I don't have the knowledge to do that.

If anything, the decrease in orbital period seems to be increasing since between April 2011 and now (15 months) the decrease has been 3 seconds and according to the article it will be 10 seconds by May 2013 (10 months) ("The team expects that the period will shrink more and more each year, with eclipses happening more than 20 seconds sooner than otherwise expected by May 2013.").

I suppose it could be similar to watching a marble spin around a funnel opening and they just seem to hang at the end very close to each spinning around incredibly fast.

But I don't know which is why I asked the question.
ValeriaT
2.8 / 5 (14) Aug 28, 2012
Predicted to exist by Albert Einstein in 1916 on the basis of his theory of general relativity
The prediction of GWs is way older (1936). The were predicted with Rosen, Einstein actually even opposed this idea (in similar way, like he opposed the ideas of black hole, expanding Universe or space-time, which are routinely attributed to him with half-educated journalists). It's an example of how the peer-review shouldn't work. We could consider it as an evidence, that Einstein's physical intuition was way better, than his experience with formal models.
R2Bacca
not rated yet Aug 28, 2012
If anything, the decrease in orbital period seems to be increasing since between April 2011 and now (15 months) the decrease has been 3 seconds and according to the article it will be 10 seconds by May 2013 (10 months) ("The team expects that the period will shrink more and more each year, with eclipses happening more than 20 seconds sooner than otherwise expected by May 2013."


I don't think you can assume the calculation was made from today. You'd have to read the full paper to find out what the end date for the 6-second change was.
Ophelia
4.7 / 5 (3) Aug 28, 2012
@R2Bacca: "I don't think you can assume the calculation was made from today. You'd have to read the full paper to find out what the end date for the 6-second change was."
I wasn't trying to be accurate, just an off-the-top-of-my-head calculation. The information given should be enough for rough interpolations assuming (which I am because I don't know enough to do otherwise) a linear decrease.
cantdrive85
1 / 5 (8) Aug 28, 2012
"...The equivalence of inertial and gravitational mass implies that gravity is also an electrical force. Before Einstein, some noted scientists were suggesting that the gravitational force between neutral particles might ultimately be due to electrical polarization within the particles. In 1882, Friedrich Zöllner wrote in the introduction to his book, Explanation of Universal Gravitation through the Static Action of Electricity and The General Importance of Weber's Laws, "…we are to conclude that a pair of electrical particles of opposite signs, i.e. two Weberian molecular pairs attract each other. This attraction is Gravity, it is proportional to the number of molecular pairs." Indeed, gravity can be represented as the sum of the radially aligned electric dipoles formed by all subatomic particles within a charged planet or star." continued below
cantdrive85
1 / 5 (7) Aug 28, 2012
"This new electrical concept suggests that Newton's "universal constant of gravitation," or "G," is a dependent variable. G depends upon the charge distribution within a celestial body. Highly charged objects like comets look like solid rock, yet they have a gravitational field that suggests they are fluff-balls. And as they discharge they suffer what is euphemistically called "non-gravitational" accelerations. The extreme weakness of the force of gravity, compared to the electric force, is a measure of the minuscule electric dipolar distortion of nucleons. Gravity cannot be shielded by normal electrostatic shielding because all subatomic particles within the gravitational field respond to the dipolar distortion, whether they are metals or non-metals."
Wal Thornhill

According to this POV, the hypothetical gravity well, GW or gravitrons need not exist.
Vendicar_Decarian
3.4 / 5 (10) Aug 28, 2012
Childish nonsense.

"Einstein didn't believe in gravitational waves." = ValeriaT

Einstein was fully aware of the fact that gravitational waves are essential for the correctness of the principle of energy conservation.

If there is time variance in a field then this variance can be exploited to obtain energy. If this energy must come from the field, and hence a time varying field must contain energy if energy is conserved.

Done.
Vendicar_Decarian
3.3 / 5 (7) Aug 28, 2012
A gravity wave is a wave which occurs in a medium due to the fact that the medium is under the influence of gravity.

A surface water wave is largely a gravity wave as the restoring force for the wave is largely the result of gravity - although surface tension does play a part.

Gravity waves also occur in the atmosphere, where gravity pulls on air masses of differing density, allowing density waves to manifest along a horizontal extent. The principles are the same as water waves, but in the case of the atmosphere, surface tension is many orders of magnitude smaller.
ValeriaT
2.5 / 5 (13) Aug 28, 2012
@Vendicar_Decarian:
Einstein was fully aware of the fact that gravitational waves are essential for the correctness of the principle of energy conservation.
@Sean Carroll:
Einstein and Rosen had attempted to solve the full equations without any approximations, and were able to prove that there were no non-singular solutions; they therefore claimed that gravitational waves didn't exist!

One of you two is apparent ignorant troll - I'm just unsure, if I should believe the anonymous Russian immigrant, or famous Caltech physicist.
Vendicar_Decarian
4.3 / 5 (16) Aug 28, 2012
From the article in Discover Magazine from which ValeriaT obtains the above quote "Einstein and rosen..."

"Soon after the initial formulation of general relativity, Einstein predicted the existence of gravitational waves by doing the obvious thing — examining the behavior of small fluctuations in the gravitational field using perturbation theory." - Discover.

Not even ValeriaT's own source agrees with his claim that Einstein didn't believe in gravitational waves.
Vendicar_Decarian
3.6 / 5 (9) Aug 28, 2012
Energy can be extracted from any field for which there is temporal variation.

Suppose the field is attractive. You create a platform above a solid surface that is roughly at right angles to the field normal, and you jump off the platform to the surface below.

By doing so you gain energy and convert it to heat when you hit the surface below.

Now you wait for the field intensity to decrease, and you climb back on top of the platform and wait for the field intensity to increase again.

By repeating the process unlimited amounts of energy can be generated.

This is only possible if either the principle of energy conservation is invalid, or if the time varying field propagates energy as it's intensity as a wave, as it's magnitude changes.

Done.
retrosurf
5 / 5 (5) Aug 28, 2012
Ophelia, check out the section entitled "two bodies orbiting each other" in the wikipedia article at http://en.wikiped..._period, and you'll see that nonlinear factor (square root of the cube of the semi-major axis of the orbital ellipse).
ValeriaT
2 / 5 (12) Aug 28, 2012
Not even ValeriaT's own source agrees with his claim that Einstein didn't believe in gravitational waves
Unfortunately, just this claim is not not supported with any citation with compare to my sources above linked, which claim the opposite. If Einstein did speculate about gravitational waves before Rosen, then quite non-consequentially, i.e. in similar way, like people here - it's not documented with any citation of literature. But your thinking about space-time and its deforms is naive: the deformation of space-time doesn't manifest with any apparent motion with respect to observer. The further deductions about perpetuum mobile produced in this way is a plain nonsense and quite consistent with your usual freaky rants about liberalism etc. here. Because I'm not considering you as a partner for matter-of fact discussions, I will not consider a single word of yours seriously, until it will not be supported with reliable reference.
Vendicar_Decarian
4.1 / 5 (9) Aug 28, 2012
@ValeriaT

Replace the sun with 2 orbiting neutron stars. Earth will feel a tug in gravitational strength as a closer neutron star passes closest to earth.

Time your jumping and climbing properly and you can extract energy from the Neutron star's orbiting below.

General relativity doesn't even enter the picture, and it can't prevent the extraction of energy from the field.

Einstein knew this along with all other scientists of his period.

Vendicar_Decarian
4.1 / 5 (12) Aug 28, 2012
I refer you to your own reference article in Disover Magazine. The one that I quoted 5 messages above.

You know which one.. It is the one you quoted.

"I will not consider a single word of yours seriously, until it will not be supported with reliable reference." - ValeriaT
ValeriaT
1.4 / 5 (10) Aug 28, 2012
General relativity doesn't even enter the picture
Well, this is the point - if you even don't need any general relativity for explanation of your perpetuum mobile, why to discuss it here in connection with gravitational waves? These waves don't appear in Newtonian theory. And guess what? We are even employing this way of energy generation regularly with tidal power plants. But we're not extracting an energy "from the field" in this case, but from kinetic energy of gravitational system Moon-Earth-Sun and its tidal forces.
Einstein knew this along with all other scientists of his period.
What Mr. Einstein has to do with tidal plants? No gravitational waves are involved here, the "suction of energy" from field the less..
ValeriaT
1 / 5 (9) Aug 28, 2012
Note that the change of period of Taylor-Hulce pulsar can be explained with tidal forces easily. It's the only experimental verification of gravitational waves we have - but the tidal forces were never considered in it - why? Their magnitude depends on the viscosity of stars, which cannot be estimated reliably - so it was simply neglected as a whole - and Taylor-Hulce got their Nobel prize...
Vendicar_Decarian
4.3 / 5 (6) Aug 29, 2012
Probably because gravity waves are part of classical physics provided that fields can be made to change in a time dependent manner, and the speed of field transmission is finite.

"Well, this is the point - if you even don't need any general relativity for explanation of your perpetuum mobile, why to discuss it here in connection with gravitational waves?" - ValeriaT

Your whining about scientists in the gravitational field business for the money is just childish nonsense, as is your claim that Einstein did not believe in gravity waves.
Vendicar_Decarian
4.3 / 5 (6) Aug 29, 2012
Only because Newtonian theory does not address the finite speed of propagation of gravity.

"These waves don't appear in Newtonian theory." - ValeriaT

If it had, even Newton would have concluded that gravity waves exist.

Vendicar_Decarian
4 / 5 (7) Aug 29, 2012
False.

"We are even employing this way of energy generation regularly with tidal power plants." - ValeriaT

Tidal power plants do not extract energy from the sun. They extract energy from the moving earth.

You need to learn some science.
Vendicar_Decarian
4 / 5 (4) Aug 29, 2012
Yes, and it is only through sloppy thinking that you raise these unrelated issues.

"What Mr. Einstein has to do with tidal plants? No gravitational waves are involved here" - ValeriaT
Vendicar_Decarian
4 / 5 (4) Aug 29, 2012
The period hasn't changed by 6 seconds over 2 years. The phase has changed by the equivalent of 6 seconds over 2 years.

In other words, the stars are in a position that is 6 seconds behind where they would be if the loss of gravitational energy didn't take place.

"So, I was doing the math in my head - less than 13 minute orbital period/3 seconds year orbital period reduction = 260 years" - Ophelia
spaceagesoup
3 / 5 (2) Aug 29, 2012
Einstein was a man of science, and while his work may have lead to the conclusion that gravity waves must exist, he was never a card-carrying believer - that's not what it's about, and like many scientists today, he was not convinced that gravity isn't some less fundamental phenomena which has the appearance of primacy, which it isn't.

With the two stars heading towards a merger in the future, i imagine it would be gotten to as the series of the inverse distance square approaches zero, it's sum to that term should reveal the timeframe.
GSwift7
3 / 5 (2) Aug 29, 2012
@Deathclock
"Why are you assuming a linear relationship? It's probably more complicated than that..."

I have to assume something. I can't assume some complicated inverse cube law; I don't have the knowledge to do that.


Yes, Vendicar is correct. The writer of the article doesn't seem to have a good grasp of what it going on here. GASP!! Imagine a journalist who doesn't understand physics. Don't they make journalists take advanced classes in astrophysics any more?
typicalguy
not rated yet Aug 29, 2012
Wait a second, I'm disturbed by this. This means there will be a supernova only 3,000 light years from earth in two million years. Isn't that close enough to wipe us out?
GSwift7
3 / 5 (2) Aug 29, 2012
Wait a second, I'm disturbed by this. This means there will be a supernova only 3,000 light years from earth in two million years. Isn't that close enough to wipe us out?


Nah, that's not close enough.

Doesn't matter anyway, because they shouldn't explode when they join.
typicalguy
not rated yet Aug 29, 2012
Wait a second, I'm disturbed by this. This means there will be a supernova only 3,000 light years from earth in two million years. Isn't that close enough to wipe us out?


Nah, that's not close enough.

Doesn't matter anyway, because they shouldn't explode when they join.


I thought merging white dwarves was the most common way for supernova to be created?
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (3) Aug 29, 2012
contains two white dwarf stars so close together—one-third of the Earth-moon distance—that they make a complete orbit in less than 13 minutes.

It would be a mindboggling view of one could see it from the common center of this system (add heavy radiation suit advisory here).

This means there will be a supernova only 3,000 light years from earth in two million years. Isn't that close enough to wipe us out?

3000 light years is about the limit where a supernova could have significant effect on the Earth. But since homo sapiens hasn't been around all that long I dare say that within 2 million years the probabilities of us either having gone extinct or being able to deal with it in one way or another are so high that it's not worth being unduly alarmed about.
tadchem
1 / 5 (1) Aug 29, 2012
We have been tracking gravitational waves on earth for many centuries - with tide gauges. Gravitational waves caused by the orbit of the moon and the earth around the sun raise and lower the surface of the earth and its seas regularly. The periodicity is substantially slower than the several minutes per cycle noted here.
GSwift7
4 / 5 (4) Aug 29, 2012
I thought merging white dwarves was the most common way for supernova to be created?


These are both too small. One is half and the other is a quarter the size of the sun. They would need to have a combined mass of about 1.4 solar masses to go supernova, or one of them would need to have hydrogen in order for them to nova. This pair will simply merge to form a larger white dwarf.
indio007
1 / 5 (2) Aug 29, 2012
Can a gravity wave tunnel? Does a gravity wave conform to Schrodinger's wave equation?
enigmaniac
not rated yet Aug 29, 2012
@Ophelia There is quadratic accumulation of time over a number of orbits from a linear change in period of those orbits, so that the 6 seconds accumulated timeshift over 380 days of 13 minute orbits translates to only 0.27 ms change in period per year. I went through the math on my blog, I don't think the link will pass the spam filter but you should be able to find it by googling "gravitational wave emission time shift".
RealScience
not rated yet Aug 29, 2012
Ophelia - good question. The article is not clear, and my first thought was the same as yours - 6 seconds out of 6 minutes (or 13 minutes) in one year means a merge far sooner than 2 million years.

But then I realized that the 6 seconds was cumulative (over the ~15 months) rather than 6 seconds per orbit. 6 seconds over ~15 months which is ~1/8,000,000 in ~1.25 years, or ~~1/10,000,000 years if linear.

It should be faster than linear, so 2 million years sounds reasonable.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (3) Aug 30, 2012
This pair will simply merge to form a larger white dwarf.

Still, when they start to touch we will probably see some fireworks (with some high energy gamma rays being produced)

Can a gravity wave tunnel?

The concept of 'tunneling' isn't approriate here. Tunneling only works if you have a potential barrier to overcome. As far as we know today there is nothing (at least no 'ordinary' matter) that poses a barrier for gravity (i.e. there is no known opposing force to gravity like a graviton with a negative sign).

You can't shield the gravity of the sun by putting a lead plate (or a planet) in between you and the sun.
Vendicar_Decarian
3 / 5 (2) Aug 30, 2012
I said nothing about "supernovas".

"extraction of energy from the field with pair of supernovas." - natello

A gravitational wave is a change in a gravitational field that propagates through space.

The term "propagation" implies a less than infinite speed.

By allowing an object to fall in the stronger portion of a gravitational wave energy is gained. When in the weaker phase of he wave, the object is moved back to it's original point, energy will have been gained without any net motion of the particle.

If conservation of energy is a valid principle, then it follows that the energy was gained at the expense of the gravitational wave, and hence the wave carries energy.

The energy contained within the wave comes from the objects that created the wave. In this case, two orbiting neutron stars.

Tidal forces on the other hand extract no energy from the sun, but do extract energy from the rotation of the earth. This is an entirely local effect whereas gravitational waves are
Vendicar_Decarian
3 / 5 (2) Aug 30, 2012
the effect of remote events.

Tidal forces are not the result of a variance of gravity in time. And hence tidal forces are not caused by gravitational waves. Therefor neither is the extraction of energy from tides and example of extracting energy from gravitational waves.
Tausch
1 / 5 (1) Aug 31, 2012
The period hasn't changed by 6 seconds over 2 years. The phase has changed by the equivalent of 6 seconds over 2 years. In other words, the stars are in a position that is 6 seconds behind where they would be if the loss of gravitational energy didn't take place. - VD


This has practical applications in every day life here on earth.
Although not in the context of gravitational energy, phase shift of periods is used to tune pianos!

The commentary thread here is extraordinary informative and a perfect addition to the posted article which inspired readers to comment.

Tausch
1 / 5 (1) Aug 31, 2012
When in the weaker phase of the wave... - vD


What is the 'strong' and 'weak' feature(parameter) in the phase of the/a wave that is being referred to here?

The question is motivated by my attempt to understand what creates a 'strong' or 'weak' phase as used here under the aspect of gravitational field effects and causes.
GSwift7
4 / 5 (8) Aug 31, 2012
vendicar

Still, when they start to touch we will probably see some fireworks (with some high energy gamma rays being produced)


Not as far as I understand. Since these are both white dwarfs, there's no fusionable material remaining, so no GRB or any other kind of burst. You're thinking of pairs where one of the stars is a white dwarf and the other still has hydrogen and/or helium. In this case, neither one has any of that left. The next thing these two stars could fuse would be carbon, but that takes a mass above 1.4 solar masses, which this pair does not have. The actual merger won't even happen all at once. They'll just become more and more like a single object spinning faster and faster as they compact around the center of gravity. They'll be tidally locked before they 'touch', and it should look something like a dumb-bell spinning at its center, with the two ends slowly geting closer till they become one object. There's not even very much gravity here. 3/4 of Sol.
RealScience
5 / 5 (3) Aug 31, 2012
Great comment GSwift7 - don't see how anyone could give that a 1.
Unfortunately Phys.org isn't letting me rate, but your clear and accurate description deserves a 5.
Fleetfoot
not rated yet Aug 31, 2012
"they make a complete orbit in less than 13 minutes .... [c]ompared to April 2011, when we discovered this object, the eclipses now happen six seconds sooner than expected ... The team expects that the period will shrink more and more each year, with eclipses happening more than 20 seconds sooner than otherwise expected by May 2013. The stars will eventually merge, in two million years."

So, I was doing the math in my head - less than 13 minute orbital period/3 seconds year orbital period reduction = 260 years approximately - to come up with when a merger might occur and then read the last sentence about a merger in 2 million years. Someone want to explain this to me please?


A 6 second change in 13 minutes is 2.77 degrees precession of the orbit from 2011 to 2012 (say one year without looking up which months). Divide into 360 degrees and you get 130 years for the orbit to have precessed back to the 2011 alignment, but it could still be at the same radius.
Cave_Man
1 / 5 (3) Sep 01, 2012

Can a gravity wave tunnel?

The concept of 'tunneling' isn't approriate here. Tunneling only works if you have a potential barrier to overcome. As far as we know today there is nothing (at least no 'ordinary' matter) that poses a barrier for gravity (i.e. there is no known opposing force to gravity like a graviton with a negative sign).

You can't shield the gravity of the sun by putting a lead plate (or a planet) in between you and the sun.


But are we shielded from the other half of the universes light and gravity due to some macroscale orbit of the universe which keeps us moving in a circle as fast as the light is traveling 'behind' us, therefore we may not even understand the nature of relativity in the first place. Relativity and all associated phenomenon may simple be because the universe has not resolved the initial dislocation of the big bang.
Who knows, sometimes it looks like we know it all in detail and other times it looks like we haven't a clue.
baudrunner
1 / 5 (3) Sep 01, 2012
Here's the most plausible scenario: Geeks who never put their hands up in class and muddled through school to become scientists with jobs (read: grants) and then boldly summon Dutch courage to make the announcements from which the listener is supposed to infer things, only after perusing through and sampling the contents of their very own brand new walk-in wine coolers (payed for with your money). I don't see any evidence for gravity waves per se, but I will concede that there is the hysteresis factor to consider with respect to the dynamically changing volumes of the space between bodies in motion, as determined by the displacement of the Planck scale entities of which space is made.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (2) Sep 01, 2012
But are we shielded from the other half of the universes light and gravity due to some macroscale orbit of the universe

Say whut? Macroscale orbit of the universe? Where do you get that from?

Not as far as I understand. Since these are both white dwarfs, there's no fusionable material remaining, so no GRB or any other kind of burst

I wasn't thinking in terms of fusion processes, but in terms of what kinds of energies are released in fluid dynamics when two (sub) stellar bodies with high angular momentum start to come in contact with each other.
ValeriaT
1 / 5 (5) Sep 01, 2012
This result marks one of the cleanest and strongest detections of the effect of gravitational waves
Actually just the J0651 pulsar system is influenced heavily with tidal forces, which do participate to the frequency decay in similar way, like the alleged gravitational waves. Another source of decay may be the lost of matter (evaporation) from stars. Even if the gravitational waves would be radiated, they may not be detectable as such, when they're propagating with superluminal speed. Even Einstein didn't believe in gravitational waves originally and he even opposed this idea in similar way, like he refused the ideas of black hole, expanding Universe or space-time, which are routinely attributed to him with half-educated journalists. The Einstein's case is an example of how the peer-review shouldn't work.
pauljpease
not rated yet Sep 01, 2012
All this talk of gravitational radiation makes me hope it's possible someday to make a GASEG (gravity amplification by the stimulated emission of gravitation), or something like that. Kind of like in David Brin's "Earth".
rah
1 / 5 (1) Sep 01, 2012
No. Wrong! They did not detect any gravitational waves. Wow! I can be a science editor.
lbuz
not rated yet Sep 02, 2012
On a more terrestrial note, though I disagree in priniple with baudrunner, I have been puzzled for 20 years now at the utter lack of positive detection events(as far as I am aware) at the two LIGO instruments. Occaisonal brief notes here and elsewhere mention upgrades in sensitivity to within "design speifications" and still no unambiguous hits. A fraction of the diameter of a proton is a mighty small target so its a tough job, but "At the cost of $365 million (in 2002 USD), it is the largest and most ambitious project ever funded by the NSF". Are they constraining theory with these 'negative detections' or is something wrong with their approach? Inquiring minds want to know.

Source: http://en.wikiped...iki/LIGO
Vendicar_Decarian
3 / 5 (2) Sep 02, 2012
False. As explained earlier.

Gravitational waves are an essential component of any theory of gravity - even Newtonian - where gravitational field strength varies in time and for which the speed of gravity is less than infinite.

"Even Einstein didn't believe in gravitational waves originally and he even opposed this idea in similar way, like he refused the ideas of black hole, expanding Universe or space-time," - ValeriaT

You are a nutcase.
Vendicar_Decarian
3.7 / 5 (3) Sep 02, 2012
They are not yet at the sensitivity needed to detect gravitational waves according to theory.

"Are they constraining theory with these 'negative detections' or is something wrong with their approach? Inquiring minds want to know." - Ibuz

The search for gravitational waves started decades ago with cylinders of aluminum and then crystals of sapphire. They were much more insensitive than current detectors. But of course a null experiment still tells you something, and the failure of those detectors, which was expected, confirmed that there were no large scale gravitational waves to be found, confirming theory to that extent.

Vendicar_Decarian
3 / 5 (2) Sep 02, 2012
Remember, they are composed of neutrons because of gravitational confinement. So there is a dense atmosphere just above the surface in equilibrium with the decaying neutrons at the surface interface.

And as the neutron stars get close, the gravitational pull on the star facing side will decrease, and in short order the gas/neutron interface will recede by reverse beta decay and surface will revert to hydrogen gas, which will stream to the far side of both neutron stars.

They will cocoon themselves in hydrogen gas which will then fall back to the surface after they have sufficiently coalesced.

The new shell of hydrogen will then ignite in a supernova like flash.

"They'll be tidally locked before they 'touch', and it should look something like a dumb-bell spinning at its center, with the two ends slowly geting closer till they become one object." - GSwift
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (3) Sep 02, 2012
. Are they constraining theory with these 'negative detections' or is something wrong with their approach?

Science is like that: you never know until you look. Gravity waves are predicted, but that doesn't mean that they have to exist the way we think they should (theories can be wrong - that's why scientists do experiments). Hunting for gravity waves is very difficult, and at these low signals it's a biz like hunting for the Higgs: you need many measurements and look if the 'bump' over all of them is statistically significant.

Since you can't just 'order' a gravity wave (like you can order a collision in the LHC) such experiments take time.
ValeriaT
1 / 5 (4) Sep 02, 2012
the failure of those detectors, which was expected, confirmed that there were no large scale gravitational waves to be found, confirming theory to that extent..
Question 1: Why physicists are spending tax payers money for devices, if they know in advance, they cannot work Question 2: How is it possible, the absence of some phenomena serves as a confirmation of it in mainstream physics religion? Of course you're lying again, the sensitivity of contemporary detectors is already good enough for the detection of at least some types of gravitational waves. Best of all, these waves are already detected routinely at all detectors, just the physicists don't realize it.
Science is like that: you never know until you look.
Such an approach apparently doesn't apply to cold fusion research or overunity devices, which are ignored for decades without single attempt for verification in peer-review journals.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (4) Sep 02, 2012
Question 1: Why physicists are spending tax payers money for devices, if they know in advance, they cannot work

Becase before you build a Ferrari you have to build a Model-T. Scientists aren't magicians who can give you ultra optimized stuff from scratch.

Question 2: How is it possible, the absence of some phenomena serves as a confirmation of it in mainstream physics

It's not and no one is saying so. So don't bother constructing strawmen. If they had already discovered some with the crude detectors then that would have been interesting (read: necessitated a rethink of some aspects of the standard model)

What you fail to realize is that scientists aren't trying to confirm the standard model. They are trying to find discrepancies with it so it can be expanded/refined.
ValeriaT
1 / 5 (4) Sep 02, 2012
theories can be wrong - that's why scientists do experiments
The contemporary science is very similar to Holy Church of medieval era. The Church didn't prohibit the scientific research, but it was very selective in decision, what is perspective theory and what not. Everything, what could threat the social or economical position of Holy Church was strictly ignored. The contemporary physics does the very same: it spends the huge money in neverending research of useless concepts, but it ignores all ideas and phenomenas, which could make this research more straightforward. In another words, it just generates the profit and jobs for itself, but not for the rest of society in similar way, like the priests of medieval alchemists. The research itself, not the results of research is what drives the contemporary science, the physics in particular, as the former president of APS recognized and named before years already.
ValeriaT
1 / 5 (4) Sep 02, 2012
that scientists aren't trying to confirm the standard model
They refuse to check and confirm another models, because it helps them to keep their jobs, salaries and social profit. From simple water surface model of space-time follows, the CMBR noise is forming the alleged gravitational waves and the changes in the amplitude of that noise is, how the gravitational waves should manifest. But this model is ignored, despite we have fifty years old derivations of it. As Eddington pointed out already before many years, gravitational waves do not have a unique speed of propagation. The speed of the alleged waves is coordinate dependent. A different set of coordinates yields a different speed of propagation and such waves would propagate like noise. Hermann Weyl proved in 1944 already, that GWs are result of linearization of the field equations with introduction of pseudotensor, which wouldn't otherwise exist.
ValeriaT
1 / 5 (4) Sep 02, 2012
So, the current situation is, we have correct and simple theories for gravitational waves and their experimental confirmation would be very cheap and simple (sic!) - but the billion dollars are still spending in futile attempts for confirmation of fringe models. Can you explain it? Of course the explanation exists: the more money we are spending in search of gravitational waves, the more the corresponding lobby of physicists and private companies involved becomes powerful and biased into its own approach. It's very easy to deduce it: it's just we, tax payers, who are doing this bias and ignorance with careless financing of expensive and wasteful scientific projects. Even some physicists are getting to realize it. No more money, but less money and better redistribution of it would make the science more insightful and inquisitive.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (3) Sep 02, 2012
The contemporary science is very similar to Holy Church of medieval era

I take it you have never worked in a scientific capacity. I have. You're wrong. Don't talk about things you have no knowledge or experience of. It makes you look like fool.

Every scientist is on the lookout for that freaky bit of data that would indicate that there is something utterly new to work on. That's the most fun part of doing science.

it spends the huge money in neverending research of useless concepts

Just because you are incapable of understanding something does not mean it's useless to the rest of the world.

They refuse to check and confirm another models

Other models must not just fit some as yet unexplained phenomenon. It must ALSO fit everything that the old one fits. Otherwise it's not worth checking (like your pet crank theories. Because they have already been proven wrong by all observations).
ValeriaT
1 / 5 (5) Sep 02, 2012
Every scientist is on the lookout for that freaky bit of data that would indicate that there is something utterly new to work on.
Negative. The cold fusion at nickel was never validated during last twenty years with mainstream physics, the possibility of CMBR origin of gravitational waves the less. If the physicists would be at least infinitesimally interested about it, they would do some experiments already.
Fleetfoot
not rated yet Sep 03, 2012
This result marks one of the cleanest and strongest detections of the effect of gravitational waves
Actually just the J0651 pulsar system is influenced heavily with tidal forces, which do participate to the frequency decay in similar way, like the alleged gravitational waves.


Tides do cause some effects but the energy levels are far below what is emitted as GW in a system like this.

Another source of decay may be the lost of matter (evaporation) from stars.


The gravity well of the binary is so deep that losses will be small, however as other have said it will produce a transfer flow between the stars.

Even if the gravitational waves would be radiated, they may not be detectable as such ..


Certainly, the 13 minute period is a frequency of ~0.0013Hz while current detectors are drowned by seismic noise below 10Hz.

when they're propagating with superluminal speed.


Please, keep the crank nonsense out of phys.org.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (4) Sep 03, 2012
If the physicists would be at least infinitesimally interested about it, they would do some experiments already.

They did. They spent many man-years and a lot of money trying to replicate the effect and came up empty (not eventhe authors of the original paper could replicate it). At some point it's just time to let go of an idea that turns out not to work.
If you can't get something to work then there are many other fields that scientists can spend their time on more productively (it's not like scientists don't have enough imagination to find stuff that is interesting)

But if YOU think that more work should be done in these areas why don't YOU do it? It sesms you are perfectly qualified since you know everything about it and are supremely motivated. So have at it.
Fleetfoot
5 / 5 (3) Sep 03, 2012
Tides do cause some effects but the energy levels are far below what is emitted as GW in a system like this.
Nope, at the case of J0651 binary it was estimated, they contribute with 8% percent to the total frequency decay. It's not "far bellow", but at the same range.


A factor of 12 is reasonably called "far below", I didn't say "orders of magnitude".

The question is, how the scope of tidal effects has been determined, because it depends on the elasticity of stars, which cannot be estimated so easily.


This paper gives an analysis of the impact:

http://arxiv.org/...44v1.pdf
Fleetfoot
5 / 5 (3) Sep 03, 2012
keep the crank nonsense out of phys.org
It demonstrates exactly the approach, in which the mainstream physicists are "on the lookout for that freaky bit of data that would indicate that there is something utterly new to work on".. :-) Anyway, the physicists who really understand the relativity [are dealing](http://cerncourie...n/28606) with superluminal gravity seriously. If CERN Courier can write about it, why not just me?


The difference is that article you quote discusses photon propagation in regions where curvature is extremely high such as near the event horizon of a black hole whereas we were discussing gravitational wave propagation through free space where curvature is negligible. Trying to apply conclusions reached in one set of special circumstances to a situation where exactly the opposite conditions apply is what makes your post crank pseudoscience.
Fleetfoot
5 / 5 (1) Sep 04, 2012
The http://arxiv.org/.../9706082 did demonstrate velocities for electrical and gravitational phase propagation in excess of the speed of light. This was predicted by Feynman's 1963 calculations, and does not contradict conventional theory. Walker and Dual also tentatively reported superluminal group electrical wave propagation, and wrote that this may violate causality.


If you read the paper, you will see they are talking of phase velocity which can exceed c without violating causality, it is the group velocity which determines the rate at which energy propagates and that is less than c so the propagation isn't superluminal. You can learn more on the topic here:

http://en.wikiped...velocity

http://en.wikiped...velocity
Fleetfoot
not rated yet Sep 04, 2012
http://arxiv.org/pdf/gr-qc/9706082


That is from 15 years ago, he released a more recent paper here:

http://arxiv.org/.../0304090

From the top of page 6:

".. a moving mass must push off another mass. .. resulting in a linear quadupole source".

A quadrupole source is like two perpendicular dipoles as shown here:

http://en.wikiped...adrupole

so his description of the masses being "linear" doesn't make sense.

At the end of the day, science is based on observation so he needs to conduct the experiment he describes, it sounds like another "cold fusion" claim to me.
Fleetfoot
not rated yet Sep 04, 2012
The superluminal gravitational waves wouldn't violate the light wave mediated causality just because they're superluminal.


Whether the information is carried by EM or GW doesn't matter, any method that propagates faster than c will violate causality and permit what is known as the Grandfather Paradox.

They would propagate like the noise, which appears from all directions at the same moment ...


"Noise" is a random waveform with a flat spectrum:

http://en.wikiped...te_noise

Such a signal can still be transmitted and propagates away from the source just like any other radio wave. It is after all just the sum of many sine waves (you said once that you understood the Fourier Transform).
Fleetfoot
not rated yet Sep 04, 2012
Astronomical observations indicate that the Earth's acceleration is toward the gravitational center of the sun even though it is moving around the sun, whereas light from the sun is observed to be aberated....


Right, the Schwarzschild Metric is a static solution to the field equations so there is no propagation involved, the gravitational potential around the Sun has been the same for over 4 billion years. That's why you need something like a binary system with two neutron stars to create detectable gravitational waves and even that is only in the final stages of the inspiral when the frequency becomes high enough. LIGO as I said is limited to around 10Hz minimum.
ValeriaT
1 / 5 (3) Sep 04, 2012
Whether the information is carried by EM or GW doesn't matter, any method that propagates faster than c will violate causality and permit what is known as the Grandfather Paradox.
I've no problem with it, the quantum mechanics violates the causality all the time and gravitational waves belong into quantum mechanics phenomena, rather than relativistic ones...
It is after all just the sum of many sine waves
What is observable from it is the sum of their amplitudes, i.e. the probability wave in similar way, like during observation of quantum waves. In this sense the gravitational waves are just new name for old artifact - note that the quantum wave function must propagate superluminaly for being able to mediate probability wave of photons in similar way, like the gravitational waves must propagate superluminaly for being able to mediate the gravity field of photons.
Fleetfoot
not rated yet Sep 04, 2012
Whether the information is carried by EM or GW doesn't matter, any method that propagates faster than c will violate causality and permit what is known as the Grandfather Paradox.
I've no problem with it, the quantum mechanics violates the causality all the time and gravitational waves belong into quantum mechanics phenomena, rather than relativistic ones...


Wrong on both counts, QM doesn't violate causality even in entanglement and gravitational waves are a solution to GR so purely classical.

[white noise] is after all just the sum of many sine waves
What is observable from it is the sum of their amplitudes, ..


Not at all, just look at the waveform of static.

note that the quantum wave function must propagate superluminaly for being able to mediate probability wave of photons in similar way, like the gravitational waves must propagate superluminaly for being able to mediate the gravity field of photons.


Pseudoscientific nonsense again.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (3) Sep 04, 2012
the quantum mechanics violates the causality all the time

Qm does not violate causality, since in entanglement no information is transmitted. This is a subtle business with how information is defined. To have information transmission you have to have a priori information of the state (which you cannot have while entanglement is in place).

This is why entanglement cannot be used for FTL information transmission applications.
ValeriaT
1 / 5 (3) Sep 04, 2012
QM does not violate causality
In QM the observable reality is of probabilistic character and as such indeterministic by its very nature. If the observable reality wouldn't violate causality, it couldn't be called indeterministic anymore. It has no meaning to dispute it, the quantum mechanics and general relativity are simply describing dual aspects of the stochastic reality. One theory can see only the holes in the Swiss cheese, the other one can describe cheese only. It's important to realize, these theories overlap mutually, so we can observe the violations of both of them - just in different aspects.
This is why entanglement cannot be used for FTL information transmission applications
It can, just this information cannot be fully deterministic in the relativistic sense. For example, you may not be completely sure with its source, which is typical for transmissions which are using longitudinal waves or photons entangled from multiple sources.
ValeriaT
1 / 5 (4) Sep 04, 2012
The very similar situation exists at the common water surface, when only surface ripples are allowed for observations. Under such a situation no underwater phenomena should be observable. But as we know, this principle may be violated easily, if the Brownian noise or underwater sound waves are taken into account. In very strict deterministic sense we should never observe CMBR noise or gravitational lensing. Such a lensing allows violation of causality as well: you can observe the multiple stars and their flashes at the different places of Einstein's ring. It's apparent violation of causality at the minute scale, because the gravitational lens is the same violation of the Lorentz symmetry, like the photon of CMBR noise. In strictly flat space-time no deforms of path of light should be observable, because it would enable spreading of information along different multiple paths in indeterministic way.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (2) Sep 04, 2012
Jeeez...not the 'water surface' thing again. Don't you ever get tired of dragging out that wrong analogy?

The rest of your posts make no sense whatsoever.
ValeriaT
1 / 5 (4) Sep 04, 2012
Why do you consider the water surface analogy wrong? Maybe you like it, maybe not - but don't remember, you ever proved it wrong.
The rest of your posts make no sense whatsoever.
This is not provable, because it could just mean, you're not able to comprehend it (which is solely your private problem, not mine one). You should prove the violation of logics at some place of my post for being able to say, it has no logics not only for you, but for everyone here.
Fleetfoot
not rated yet Sep 05, 2012
QM does not violate causality
In QM the observable reality is of probabilistic character and as such indeterministic by its very nature. If the observable reality wouldn't violate causality, it couldn't be called indeterministic anymore.


Wrong again, in QM, events are often random, such as the decay of radioactive particles, but obviously that does not violate causality, it is merely unpredictable.

This is why entanglement cannot be used for FTL information transmission applications
It can ..


Nope, the result of the first measurement in an entanglement experiment is random so no information can be transferred even though the second will always be determined by the first.

Watch this space though, the field is developing at some pace.
Fleetfoot
5 / 5 (1) Sep 05, 2012
In very strict deterministic sense we should never observe CMBR noise or gravitational lensing. Such a lensing allows violation of causality as well: you can observe the multiple stars and their flashes at the different places of Einstein's ring.


Complete rubbish, we observe the stars long after the light was emitted so there is no violation of causality. You don't seem to even understand the term, it means that the effects of some event can influence the past history of that event.

In strictly flat space-time no deforms of path of light should be observable, ..


Obviously, just as a flat piece of glass isn't a lens.

because it would enable spreading of information along different multiple paths in indeterministic way.


Nope, Snell's Law predicts the behaviour of lenses quite adequately. You are talking rubbish again.
ValeriaT
1 / 5 (2) Sep 05, 2012
we observe the stars long after the light was emitted so there is no violation of causality
You didn't understand this problem: due the gravitational lens we could observe the single event at two or more difference places of the Universe at different time. It's apparent violation of determinism, if not causality.
but obviously that does not violate causality, it is merely unpredictable
quantum mechanics fluctuations violate causality quite regularly: the quantum objects travel along time dimension back and forth. In similar way like the random fluctuations of molecules, which may lead to occasional boiling of cold coffee at some place of it. It's leads to the reversal of entropic time arrow, on which the causality is based.
in an entanglement experiment is random so no information can be transferred
You should tell it to editors of Nature, not me. You're not authority for me.
Fleetfoot
5 / 5 (1) Sep 05, 2012
we observe the stars long after the light was emitted so there is no violation of causality
You didn't understand this problem: due the gravitational lens we could observe the single event at two or more difference places of the Universe at different time. It's apparent violation of determinism, if not causality.


Nope, it doesn't violate either, any more than looking at one light blub in two mirrors at the same time.

unpredictable quantum mechanics fluctuations violate causality quite regularly: ..It's leads to the reversal of entropic time arrow, on which the causality is based.


No, just normal statistical variations.

in an entanglement experiment is random so no information can be transferred
You should tell it to editors of Nature, not me. You're not authority for me.


The article is perfectly valid if somewhat melodramatically written. What I told you is standard physics and common knowledge, no need to take my word for it.
ValeriaT
1 / 5 (3) Sep 05, 2012
Nope, it doesn't violate either, any more than looking at one light blub in two mirrors at the same time.
Gravity lens is only low-dimensional object, the mirrors can indeed violate the causality in way larger extend, being highly hyperdimensional objects.
No, just normal statistical variations.
In general relativity theory no statistical variations are normal - it's highly deterministic theory.
ubavontuba
1 / 5 (3) Sep 06, 2012
What I find interesting is, no one seems to be asking the obvious question: How did this system form in the first place? Do we even have a model which could explain a system like this forming within the time constraints of the hypothesized age of the universe?
Infinion
1 / 5 (2) Sep 06, 2012
people with 5/5 rank: comments based on mainstream physics

people with 1/5 rank: comments not based on mainstream physics or comments that which questions mainstream physics

if anything, rank is more like Red vs Blue, revealing what side you're on :P. Anyways go on, just wanted to say that
antialias_physorg
4.3 / 5 (6) Sep 06, 2012
people with 1/5 rank: comments not based on mainstream physics or comments that which questions mainstream physics

Or it could be that people who post stuff that makes sense (i.e. is bolstered by observation, and a solid experimental and mathematical framework) get upvoted while people who just pull unsubstantiated (or downright wrong/self-contradictory) stuff out of their rears get downvoted.

Take your pick.

The reason why crank posts get downvoted is the same why religious posts get downvoted. Both these types of posts are simply "I think it's thus - but I won't show my work" posts.

Is it really so hard to understand that those kinds of posts garner little respect?
antialias_physorg
4.2 / 5 (5) Sep 06, 2012
My deductions are indeed based on observations and solid experimental framework and robust logics in addition

Then why are you wasting your time on a discussion forum? Go publish.
What if such empty space contains some tiny gravitational lens or CMBR noise.

I think you should first look up what a gravitatinoal lens is (and also what CMBR is).
This is exactly what I meant in the other thread by: If you want your ideas to be accepted then make double damn sure that you know what you talk about.
Fleetfoot
5 / 5 (2) Sep 07, 2012
Nope, it doesn't violate either, any more than looking at one light blub in two mirrors at the same time.
Gravity lens is only low-dimensional object, the mirrors can indeed violate the causality in way larger extend, being highly hyperdimensional objects.


Are you aware of what you are claiming? You just said that you can violate causality using two mirrors and a light bulb!

OK here's the plan: The lottery is drawn on Saturday. You watch the results on Sunday. You use two mirrors and a light bulb to violate causality by sending the winning numbers back to Thursday. You buy your ticket on Friday. On Saturday, the numbers drawn are those you selected, but you already knew that.

If you are right, I expect you to will the lottery every week from now on, if you don't, I'll continue to treat you as a crank.
Fleetfoot
not rated yet Sep 07, 2012
What I find interesting is, no one seems to be asking the obvious question: How did this system form in the first place? Do we even have a model which could explain a system like this forming within the time constraints of the hypothesized age of the universe?


Nice to see a sensible question for a change.

No, AFAIK this is a unique measurement so nobody has really thought about it yet. It is unlikely that any generic change to our understanding would explain one star being so different from all the others in the same cluster so perhaps some sort of merger or recently absorbed planet might be involved. The chemistry will give clues so I expect further detailed spectra will be needed to really start the detective work.
ValeriaT
1 / 5 (2) Sep 07, 2012
You just said that you can violate causality using two mirrors and a light bulb!
Of course, here's how. With using of mirrors you can delay the signals as you wish. The signals from single event will arrive at different moment to the observer, so that causality is violated. Such a stuff could never happen in strictly 3D space, where the light is always spreading along straight path.
Fleetfoot
5 / 5 (1) Sep 08, 2012
You just said that you can violate causality using two mirrors and a light bulb!
Of course, here's http://i47.tinypi...pok.gif. With using of mirrors you can delay the signals as you wish. The signals from single event will arrive at different moment to the observer, so that causality is violated.


Ah, you don't understand the term. Normally a cause precedes its consequences. We say causality is violated if a consequence happens before its cause and can be used to transfer information. In my example, the winning numbers transmitted on Sunday were received on the preceding Thursday allowing you to buy the ticket before the draw.

In what you have drawn, the light on each path arrives at different times but in both cases that is some time after it was emitted so causality is not violated.
ValeriaT
1 / 5 (2) Sep 08, 2012
Normally a cause precedes its consequences.
But if you would have two perfectly reflective (and as such invisible) mirrors, such a double event would still appear like complete miracle for you. You can even believe, that the later event is consequence of the first one without problem. You can remain closed inside of hall of mirrors, when every event comes way later, then the isolated observation, which would be mediated without mirrors. Under such a situation such an isolated observation would violate the causality in similar way, like the accidental observation of superluminal neutrino: such an event will appear BEFORE all other remaining events. Isn't it what the violation of causality is?
Fleetfoot
5 / 5 (1) Sep 08, 2012
Normally a cause precedes its consequences.
.. like the accidental observation of superluminal neutrino: such an event will appear BEFORE all other remaining events. Isn't it what the violation of causality is?


No. Violation of causality would occur only when detection of the particle could occur before it's emission. If the neutrinos at CERN had really travelled faster than c than in some coordinate frame that would have been true (as we know, it was just a badly terminated fibre-optic cable).

The example you have given isn't even close to violating causality, both detections happen a long time after the emission.