Astronomers discover the largest structure in the universe

Jan 11, 2013
The coloured background indicates the peaks and troughs in the occurrence of quasars at the distance of the LQG. Darker colours indicate more quasars, lighter colours indicate fewer quasars. The LQG is clearly seen as a long chain of peaks indicated by black circles. (The red crosses mark the positions of quasars in a different and smaller LQG). The horizontal and vertical axes represent right ascension and declination, the celestial equivalent of longitude and latitude. The map covers around 29.4 by 24 degrees on the sky, indicating the huge scale of the newly discovered structure. Credit: R. G. Clowes / UCLan

(Phys.org)—An international team of astronomers, led by academics from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), has found the largest known structure in the universe. The large quasar group (LQG) is so large that it would take a vehicle travelling at the speed of light some 4 billion years to cross it. The team publish their results in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Quasars are the nuclei of galaxies from the early days of the universe that undergo brief periods of extremely high brightness that make them visible across huge distances. These periods are 'brief' in astrophysics terms but actually last 10-100 million years.

Since 1982 it has been known that tend to group together in or 'structures' of surprisingly large sizes, forming large quasar groups or LQGs.

The team, led by Dr Roger Clowes from UCLan's Jeremiah Horrocks Institute, has identified the LQG which is so significant in size it also challenges the Cosmological Principle: the assumption that the universe, when viewed at a sufficiently large scale, looks the same no matter where you are observing it from.

The modern theory of cosmology is based on the work of , and depends on the assumption of the Cosmological Principle. The Principle is assumed but has never been demonstrated observationally 'beyond reasonable doubt'.

To give some sense of scale, our galaxy, the Milky Way, is separated from its nearest neighbour, the , by about 0.75 Megaparsecs (Mpc) or 2.5 million light-years.

Whole clusters of galaxies can be 2-3 Mpc across but LQGs can be 200 Mpc or more across. Based on the Cosmological Principle and the modern theory of , calculations suggest that astrophysicists should not be able to find a structure larger than 370 Mpc.

Dr Clowes' newly discovered LQG however has a typical dimension of 500 Mpc. But because it is elongated, its longest dimension is 1200 Mpc (or 4 billion light years) - some 1600 times larger than the distance from the to Andromeda.

Dr Clowes said: "While it is difficult to fathom the scale of this LQG, we can say quite definitely it is the largest structure ever seen in the entire universe. This is hugely exciting – not least because it runs counter to our current understanding of the scale of the universe.

'Even travelling at the , it would take 4 billion light years to cross. This is significant not just because of its size but also because it challenges the Cosmological Principle, which has been widely accepted since Einstein. Our team has been looking at similar cases which add further weight to this challenge and we will be continuing to investigate these fascinating phenomena."

Explore further: Astrophysicist's passion for exotic science inspired 'Interstellar'

More information: mnras.oxfordjournals.org/conte… 07/mnras.sts497.full
arxiv.org/abs/1211.6256

Related Stories

Light from galaxy clusters confirms theory of relativity

Sep 28, 2011

All observations in astronomy are based on light emitted from stars and galaxies and, according to the general theory of relativity, the light will be affected by gravity. At the same time all interpretations ...

Using artificial intelligence to chart the universe

Sep 24, 2012

(Phys.org)—Astronomers in Germany have developed an artificial intelligence algorithm to help them chart and explain the structure and dynamics of the universe around us with unprecedented accuracy. The ...

WiggleZ survey confirms the big picture of the Universe

Aug 21, 2012

(Phys.org) -- We know that stars group together to form galaxies, galaxies clump to make clusters and clusters gather to create structures known as superclusters. At what scale though, if at all, does this ...

Shedding Light on the Cosmic Skeleton

Nov 03, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Astronomers have tracked down a gigantic, previously unknown assembly of galaxies located almost seven billion light-years away from us. The discovery, made possible by combining two of the ...

Recommended for you

User comments : 71

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

joigus
1 / 5 (3) Jan 11, 2013
Just to clarify, Dr Clowes meant "It would take 4 billion years to cross", as light-years is a unit of distance. Though it doesn't really matter, as distance and time can be given in any common unit we pick due to special relativity.
VendicarD
1 / 5 (4) Jan 11, 2013
Sub atomic particle jet.
El_Nose
4.7 / 5 (6) Jan 11, 2013
@joigus

it says quite plainly
would take a vehicle travelling at the speed of light some 4 billion years to cross it.


meaning it is 4 billion light years across -- making readers of a science article do a little math in this case was not out of the question.

My question is how does this compare to the Sloan Wall based on mass.
frajo
4.9 / 5 (8) Jan 11, 2013
My question is how does this compare to the Sloan Wall based on mass.
The arXiv article states:
Its excess mass, compared with expectations for its (main+branch) volume, is ... or ∼ 20 Sloan Great Walls.


yyz
4.8 / 5 (11) Jan 11, 2013
"how does this compare to the Sloan Wall based on mass."

The paper by Clowes et al finds a total mass for the "Huge-LQG" of ~6.1x10^18 Msun. The mass for the Sloan Great Wall, referenced in a 2011 paper, is given as 1.2x10^17 Msun: http://arxiv.org/abs/1105.3378

Compared with the mass expected to be found within a volume the size of the Huge-LQG, the Clowes paper notes the estimated mass represents a mass excess of 3.4x10^18 Msun, equivalent to ~1300 Coma Clusters or ~20 Sloan Great Walls!
Q-Star
3 / 5 (12) Jan 11, 2013
Just to clarify, Dr Clowes meant "It would take 4 billion years to cross", as light-years is a unit of distance. Though it doesn't really matter, as distance and time can be given in any common unit we pick due to special relativity.


What?

Point A to point B is always the same distance whether you use inches, meters, miles, stadia, or light-years. "due to special relativity" means you can't get across that distance faster than light can.

By the By: Are you "that" fellow again?
extinct
2.3 / 5 (18) Jan 11, 2013
so up till now, astrophysicists erroneously assumed that they should not be able to find a structure larger than appx 370 megaparsecs, and now they have found one around 1600 megaparsecs, 4 to 5 times bigger than their erroneous assumption allowed, and in fact so huge that the Cosmological Principle is in jeopardy. moral of the story: 1) do not assume, 2) we actually know only a tiny fraction of what we assume we know, 3) if we've been forming our society on comparably-arrogant assumptions, then it's no wonder that we're on the road to killing ourselves as a civilization before reaching civilization type 1 status
frajo
5 / 5 (7) Jan 11, 2013
Just another quote from the most interesting chapter "Discussion of Homogeneity" in the arXiv article http://arxiv.org/...1.6256v1 :
Of particular interest is the possibility raised by Tsagas (2012) that those living within a large-scale cosmic flow could see local acceleration of the expansion within a universe that is decelerating overall.
Torbjorn_Larsson_OM
4.7 / 5 (6) Jan 11, 2013
This is what the WMAP team says on anomalies as is pertinent here:

"(2) Monte Carlo simulations are an invaluable way to determine the expected deviations within the LCDM model. Claims of anomalies without Monte Carlo simulations are necessarily weak claims. (3) Some parameters are weak discriminants of cosmology because they take on a broad range of values for multiple realizations of the same model."

[ http://lambda.gsf...lies.pdf ]

So I'm not convinced for the time being.
cantdrive85
1.4 / 5 (9) Jan 11, 2013
If Arp's assertion that redshift is intrinsic
[ http://www.scienc...0p07.htm ]
then it's likely these objects are not the largest, but close by and dim and the Cosmological Principle is not in jeopardy.
Torbjorn_Larsson_OM
4.7 / 5 (9) Jan 11, 2013
@extinct: Of course the WMAP team didn't use that constraint ("assumed"), it is a new prediction from an unrelated group with observations unrelated to those that heretofore went into WMAP.

The WMAP team has a long history of having to respond to people pushing anomalies, see my links, and Clowes' people are yet another team proposing a slew of such to shore up their prediction.

It is not impressive compared to the impressive record of WMAP to handle those, and an extraordinary claim need extraordinare evidence. This isn't that.

Btw, "do not assume" is a fundamental misunderstanding. Everything from experiments to resulting observations to theory is based on (testable) constraints (verifiable "assumptions"), or nothing could be done. Science is based on "_do_ assume"!

The rest is not even cogent. If the constraints et cetera were wrong, society wouldn't do science/technology.

And "civilization type 1" size is impossible due to the universal speed limit, it is pseudoscience.
Torbjorn_Larsson_OM
4.7 / 5 (6) Jan 11, 2013
... OK, the last part of my first comment disappeared:

This paper do MC, but the result rests on a model [ http://arxiv.org/...0617.pdf 9 that
1) uses very old parameter values (5 year release instead of the much improved 9 year)
2) doesn't verify (3) above
3) is inconsistent with LCDM (assumes fractal dimensions so constant spectral index 1, but LCDM has a running s.i. < 1. [ http://lambda.gsf...ults.pdf ]

@ cantdrive: But Arps' claim has been soundly rejected, so that isn't working either.

No, the robust WMAP stands until extraordinary claims of anomalies gets extraordinary evidence. None of this comes close.
Phil DePayne
1.7 / 5 (6) Jan 11, 2013
Perhaps it is the 'tip of an iceberg', cosmologically speaking. There may be an unseen force creating this structure somewhere beyond the light cone. Or perhaps, a topological deformation in the hypersurface of the universe, caused by the influence of some structure external to the universe itself...
Shootist
1.7 / 5 (6) Jan 11, 2013
There may be an unseen force creating this structure somewhere beyond the light cone.


Yeah. Gravity.

Torbjorn says, "And "civilization type 1" size is impossible due to the universal speed limit, it is pseudoscience."

Kardashev scale? A Type I civilization is capable of orbital spaceflight and colonization, medical and technological singularity, planetary engineering, trade and defense, and stellar system-scale influence:

What. Does. G. R. Have. To. Do. With. It?
LarryD
1 / 5 (3) Jan 11, 2013
'...is so large that it would take a vehicle travelling at the speed of light some 4 billion years to cross it...'
Is this is Earth time and or 'on board time?


Meyer
1 / 5 (1) Jan 11, 2013
'...is so large that it would take a vehicle travelling at the speed of light some 4 billion years to cross it...'
Is this is Earth time and or 'on board time?

Earth time for two reasons:

1. A vehicle moving at the speed of light wouldn't experience any passage of time.

2. It's 4 billion light years as seen from Earth. It could be larger or smaller to other observers, depending on how they are moving.
fmfbrestel
5 / 5 (5) Jan 12, 2013
their erroneous assumption

Thats just how science works. Hypothesis and test.
I will not argue that some scientists are not arrogant, but they test their assumptions.
I suggest you test your own assumptions before trying to pass judgement.
GSwift7
2 / 5 (4) Jan 12, 2013
So I'm not convinced for the time being


I agree. Monte Carlo isn't deterministic.
ValeriaT
1.6 / 5 (7) Jan 12, 2013
The structure, known simply as the Large Quasar Group (LQG), appears to break the rules of a widely accepted cosmological principle, which  says that the universe would look pretty much uniform when observed at the largest scales. Calculations suggest that structures larger than about 1.2 billion light-years should not exist. Such an observation poses no problem for steady state universe model of AWT, which predicts/expects fractal unparticle geometry of the Universe at the largest scale. In the discussion section of this article you can find another fifty observational evidences against Big Bang model - so please, don't tell me, you weren't warned and that the science "doesn't work so"...;-)
Husky
5 / 5 (2) Jan 12, 2013
or it could mean that we havent viewed the universe at the largest scales yet and there be more megastructures near or over the edge of our lightcone
ValeriaT
1 / 5 (6) Jan 12, 2013
It could, but the Big bang model prohibits the existence of larger Universe than the visible area of Universe. In Big Bang cosmology the dark era begins just at the particle horizon of the observable Universe. That is to say, the Big Bang cosmology allows somewhat larger Universe than the 13.7 GLyrs in diameter, but these areas are filled with no particle matter.
kvantti
2.6 / 5 (5) Jan 12, 2013
All I see is that there are alot of quasars in that region of space. I wouldn't call it a "structure" since it can be just a random anomaly - and certainly not one contradicting the BB Cosmology!
kvantti
5 / 5 (5) Jan 12, 2013
It could, but the Big bang model prohibits the existence of larger Universe than the visible area of Universe. In Big Bang cosmology the http://en.wikiped...Dark_Era begins just at the particle horizon of the observable Universe. That is to say, the Big Bang cosmology allows somewhat larger Universe than the 13.7 GLyrs in diameter, but these areas are filled with no particle matter.


What...? This is untrue. According to the Big Bang theory the universe can be infinite in size with infinite amount of galaxies - and according to observations, it probably is (the blobal geometry of the universe is flat to a 99% observational accuracy). The observable universe does not equal the universe itself. I can't believe the misconceptions people have on this site...
ValeriaT
1.4 / 5 (10) Jan 12, 2013
According to the Big Bang theory the universe can be infinite in size with infinite amount of galaxies
Not true. According to recent observations (like this one above discussed) the Universe is not even homogeneous, If it would support the Big Bang theory, I wouldn't introduce it into this discussion at all.
kvantti
5 / 5 (5) Jan 12, 2013
According to the Big Bang theory the universe can be infinite in size with infinite amount of galaxies
Not true. If it would support the Big Bang theory, I wouldn't introduce it into this discussion at all.


Are you trolling?

The Universe is immensely large and possibly infinite in volume. The region visible from Earth (the observable Universe) is a sphere with a radius of about 47 billion light years, based on where the expansion of space has taken the most distant objects observed.

Also I can already think of way of explaining this 1.2 Gpc cluster of quasars in the BB Cosmology as one of the densest regions of our nearby space in the very dense early universe where galaxies hadn't even formed yet. It's an anomaly - not a contradiction. Let's see when this gets truly peer reviewed by credible BB researchers who know what they are talking about.
LarryD
1.5 / 5 (8) Jan 12, 2013
Thank you Meyer, I was aware but wondered if others were. I think it is time we stopped conditioning our minds to believe that SR and GR or even SS theory are true outside our own back yard. Greeks, Newton, Einstein, each human era believes it has the answers. When will we learn that there is always a 'next step' and perhaps the next step to explain such gigantic structures is a 4D ( perhaps a biperiodic time element) that degenerates affecting our own 3D. In which case we wouldn't need a BB theory. Maybe the BB was just a 'firework' in our local 'back yard. To even consider 'type 1 civilizations' (see shootist)if anything does travel from '...infinite volume...47 billion light years..." (see kvantti) we may be somewhere else but we definitely won't be here to talk about it. So what 'next step' might explain the 'anomaly'. Oh, fmfbrestel, get real! Most scientists work for for private organizations whose bosses don't give a hoot for SM or testing assumptions.
ValeriaT
1 / 5 (5) Jan 12, 2013
It's an anomaly - not a contradiction.
By its author it defies Big Bang theory. I'd rather say, it introduces a stress into it, but we have number of such an "anomalies" already. I know about it, because I do collect them.
Maybe the BB was just a 'firework' in our local 'back yard.
No comment;-) But you shouldn't prohibit the others in spreading of their personal theories, after then...;-)
ValeriaT
1.8 / 5 (10) Jan 12, 2013
The people who are protecting the Big Bang theory here so much should learn a bit about its actual meaning and assumptions for not to appear like scientific ignorants. In this theory our Universe originated from the initial singularity of the size of a dime. In Big Bang theory the infinite universe is impossible, because it is of finite age and it only expands during it.
Pkunk_
1 / 5 (3) Jan 12, 2013
Does the fact that something so huge can exist as an overarching structure indicate that gravity can propogate faster than C ?

Also what does something so humongous imply for the idea that gravity is propagated through "graviton" particles , i.e does it instead favor the idea that gravity acts as a field effect almost instantly even over light year distances?
ValeriaT
1 / 5 (5) Jan 12, 2013
Does the fact that something so huge can exist as an overarching structure indicate that gravity can propagate faster than C?
Yes, but not conclusively.
.. does something so humongous imply for the idea that gravity is propagated through "graviton" particles
I don't understand how/why the superluminal gravity should imply the existence of graviton particles. Do you? I would rather say, the superluminal gravity would disfavor particle model of interactions (gravitons would be tachyons in such case and as such unstable).
kvantti
5 / 5 (6) Jan 12, 2013
The people who are protecting the Big Bang theory here so much should learn a bit about its actual meaning and assumptions for not to appear like scientific ignorants.


No offense but the ignorant one seems to be you. You didn't even know the observable universe is different from the universe itself - and now you try to preach people to learn about the Big Bang theory? And a link to the Aether Wave Theory site for "evidence" against the BB with unverified crackpot sources, really? Please don't try to be an expert on a field you clearly don't seem to understand, and please refrain from misguiding people who actually want to learn stuff. Regards, a physics student.
kvantti
5 / 5 (4) Jan 12, 2013
In Big Bang theory the infinite universe is impossible, because it is of finite age and it only expands during it.


If the global curvature/geometry of the universe is flat, then according to General Relativity (and the BB theory therefore) the universe is infinite in size containing infinite amount of galaxies and will continue to expand infinitely. So no, an infinite universe is not impossible in BB theory. In fact, it's one of it's predictions.
LarryD
3 / 5 (2) Jan 12, 2013
ValeriaT'No comment;-) But you shouldn't prohibit the others in spreading of their personal theories, after then...;-)

Obviously didn't get my point...that's precisely what I was asking for.
ValeriaT
1 / 5 (7) Jan 12, 2013
an infinite universe is not impossible in BB theory. In fact, it's one of it's predictions
Expanding object of finite age cannot be of finite size. But the Universe in BB theory cannot be even larger than the observable Universe way too much (do you know why?). The global curvature/geometry of Universe isn't flat, because it expands with increasing rate (dark energy).
LarryD
1 / 5 (2) Jan 12, 2013
Can someone please enlighten me. Assume that the BB occurred (in round figures) 14 By ago can we further assume that this radius vector is 'striaght'? I don't recall reading material that suggests the origin, that is a projection back in time to some point. Where is this projected origin and what structures exist in that 'direction' that might hint at a possible solution. Might also Quintessence have a possible influence? Two forms of gravity meeting a some point to produce large scale structures? Would G have some other value at that point perhaps eliminating the need for any change in the CC.
kvantti
4.3 / 5 (6) Jan 13, 2013
an infinite universe is not impossible in BB theory. In fact, it's one of it's predictions
Expanding object of finite age cannot be of finite size.


Assuming you mean "of INfinite size", you are wrong. If the universe is of infinite size, it was alrady infinite at the time of the Big Bang. In this case singularity doesn't mean an infinitesimal point but a state where relative distances were non-existent and the density of the universe was at it's maximum.

Please stop posting nonsense that is only true inside your own head. Dark energy doesn't affect the global curvature. The global geometry of the universe is flat up to a 99.6% observational accuracy, as stated by NASA:

"We now know (as of 2013) that the universe is flat with only a 0.4% margin of error. This suggests that the Universe is infinite in extent; however, since the Universe has a finite age, we can only observe a finite volume of the Universe."
Ojorf
2 / 5 (4) Jan 13, 2013
Expanding object of finite age cannot be of finite size.

Of course it can!
I assume you meant 'infinite' size.
But even so, of course it can!
Ojorf
2.3 / 5 (3) Jan 13, 2013
Expanding object of finite age cannot be of finite size.

Of course it can!
I assume you meant 'infinite' size.
But even so, of course it can!
ValeriaT
1.4 / 5 (9) Jan 13, 2013
If the universe is of infinite size, it was already infinite at the time of the Big Bang. In this case singularity doesn't mean an infinitesimal point
This was my point. Big Bang theory NEVER considered the infinitely large Universe at its very beginning.
guillaume_pussetto
3.4 / 5 (5) Jan 13, 2013
@ ValeriaT : "The age of the universe is about 13.75 billion years, but due to the expansion of space humans are observing objects that were originally much closer but are now considerably farther away (as defined in terms of cosmological proper distance, which is equal to the comoving distance at the present time) than a static 13.75 billion light-years distance.[2] The diameter of the observable universe is estimated at about 28 billion parsecs (93 billion light-years),[3] putting the edge of the observable universe at about 46–47 billion light-years away." http://en.wikiped...universe

Also, the dark era has nothing to do with the possibility of larger structures that we cannot see due to the limitations imposed by the special relativity and the expansion of the universe.
Gigel
1 / 5 (4) Jan 13, 2013
@joigus

it says quite plainly
would take a vehicle travelling at the speed of light some 4 billion years to cross it.


meaning it is 4 billion light years across -- making readers of a science article do a little math in this case was not out of the question.

My question is how does this compare to the Sloan Wall based on mass.


The meaning is quite unclear. If you travel for 4 billion years at light speed you might experience space expansion. Thus you may be actually traveling for more than 4 billion light-years. A distance that big should not be given in time travel units, but in space units.
mayan
1.5 / 5 (8) Jan 13, 2013
Universal Cosmological Constant etc is just an axiom but not correct, its just a temporary property, Look at Laghima, Anima, Garima described by certain books........
mayan
1.5 / 5 (8) Jan 13, 2013
Just to clarify, Dr Clowes meant "It would take 4 billion years to cross", as light-years is a unit of distance. Though it doesn't really matter, as distance and time can be given in any common unit we pick due to special relativity.


Universal Cosmological Constant etc is just an axiom but not correct, its just a temporary property, Look at Laghima, Anima, Garima described by certain books........
rubberman
3 / 5 (8) Jan 13, 2013
The farther we can see, the denser it will get. We are looking at the past. Beyond one dense structure of quasars we will find more structures as large or larger.
Benni
1 / 5 (5) Jan 13, 2013
The global geometry of the universe is flat up to a 99.6% observational accuracy....

"We now know (as of 2013) that the universe is flat with only a 0.4% margin of error. This suggests that the Universe is infinite in extent; however, since the Universe has a finite age, we can only observe a finite volume of the Universe."


If it can be observed to be "flat" then by no stretch of the finite imagination can it be "infinite", certainly not in Einstein's GR.Any object that is flat in appearance must by definition be an object with a boundary or it could not appear "flat" & thus cannot be "infinite" which by definition means "without boundary of any shape", flat or otherwise.

The present data really suggests we cannot see 99.6% of the Universe which is why we see only a 0.4% rise/run curvature of the sphere of the universe that Einstein discusses in his GR on the shape of the Universe. You should read what he more emphatically stated about the "spherical universe".
Torbjorn_Larsson_OM
5 / 5 (1) Jan 14, 2013
@Shootist: A thanks, I forgot that there is a local planetbound civilization on that scale. But let's not exchange one pseudoscience (galaxy wide civilization) for another (Kurtzweils' "singularity").

@GSwift7: "Monte Carlo isn't deterministic." That is not a problem, it is a statistical valid method. WMAP recommends it.

@ValeriaT: The result isn't the extraordinary evidence that would be needed to make the extraordinary claim standard cosmology is wrong. And there is no aether, it has been known for over a century now, it only looks extraordinary stupid to try to inject it on science blogs.

WMAP has shown over an over, now latest in its 9 year data release, that the universe is perfectly homogeneous and can't be else. That is alsoe predicted from inflation.

@Husky: No, we see ~ 10 times the current radius out due to cosmic variance, see the WMAP papers I linked to.
Torbjorn_Larsson_OM
5 / 5 (1) Jan 14, 2013
FWIW, the current estimate of universe age is now ~ 13.78 years (WMAP9).

The inflationary standard cosmology universe can have a topology admitting infinite spatial extent several ways. The simplest is eternal inflation infinite space.

But if new vacuums tunnel out of old, such bubble universes will internally have a topology that makes them behave spatially infinite. The wonders of GR in many dimensions. Simplest way to see that is to study Linde's pocket universes, since they grow as the embedding still inflating universe grows and it is evident even for a 3D guy looking at a 2D image that it works out.

@LarryD: We know GR is true on all scales (down to um), it is what the standard cosmology predicts and what is observed. No way to move that observation, since it is self consistent.

@mayan: No axioms are used in these theories. You use testable constraint. That is how we can observe the cc and its value.

@rubberman: Missing the point. SC predicts an upper limit, and it is seen.
Benni
1 / 5 (5) Jan 14, 2013
The inflationary standard cosmology universe can have a topology admitting infinite spatial extent several ways. The simplest is eternal inflation infinite space.

But if new vacuums tunnel out of old, such bubble universes will internally have a topology that makes them behave spatially infinite.

The wonders of GR in many dimensions.


@LarryD: We know GR is true on all scales (down to um), it is what the standard cosmology predicts and what is observed.


Then you should comport your conclusions to what Einstein actually stated before you start lecturing: In Section 30, Part 3: The Structure of Space according to General Relativity. Give it a read.

That is how we can observe the cc and its value.


That's for sure, in the meantime give Section 30, Part 3 of GR a good read. Einstein knew a lot about Conservation of Energy that the rest of you who don't work in the field find incomprehensible.

Benni
1 / 5 (5) Jan 14, 2013
Albert Einstein:Relativity-Section 30
Written: 1916 (this revised edition 1924)
Part III: Considerations on the Universe as a Whole

The Structure of Space According to the General Theory of Relativity

If we are to have in the universe an average density of matter which differs from zero, however small may be that difference, then the universe cannot be quasi-Euclidean. On the contrary, the results of calculation indicate that if matter be distributed uniformly, the universe would necessarily be spherical (or elliptical) . Since in reality the detailed distribution of matter is not uniform, the real universe will deviate in individual parts from the spherical, that is the universe will be quasi-spherical. But it will be necessarily finite. In fact the theory supplies us with a simple connection between the space-expanse of the universe and the average density of matter in it.

(See also Mach's Principle which was the basis for Einstein's concept of a "closed universe")

....cont'd
Benni
1 / 5 (5) Jan 14, 2013
.....cont'd.....so rather than have you "infinitely flat" universe non-scientific experts argue with me, I simply put up Einstein's quote from his GR which "flatly" refutes your claims that he made a statement in his GR that the universe is infinite & flat.
rubberman
1.2 / 5 (5) Jan 14, 2013
"The inflationary standard cosmology universe can have a topology admitting infinite spatial extent several ways. The simplest is eternal inflation infinite space."

@rubberman: Missing the point. SC predicts an upper limit, and it is seen.

You cannot impose an upper limit on anything capable of eternal inflation in infinite space. So yes there is a limit. Is it seen?not by us..... a nanosecond prior to inflation is where the finite upper limit of energy density is found. Hence the reason these structures are not anomalous, but a logical occurrence when performing a measuremental regression to the beginning of the universe.

Benni - The most important thing Einstein ever said was: "There can be no matter without a field to hold it".
Paraphasing this means that there can be no energy without a field to hold it. Fortunately, the properties are emergent so where you have a field, you have energy that creates it and where you have energy, you have a field that binds it. Cont...
rubberman
1 / 5 (4) Jan 14, 2013
The closer we get to the magnetic moment at the inflation boundary, the more magnetically powerful the quasars get and the larger the structures become. Compared to today those EM fields are monsters. We've all seen the visual representation of the filamentary "structure" showing the baryonic mass/energy of the universe as it exists today. Every bond, down to the atom, in this structure is magnetic in nature.

http://phys.org/n...lds.html

The above link demonstrates an induced magnetic effect on a body that could easily be earth, the sun, the heliosphere...
Gravity is the induced magnetic effect on each atom within the sphere of influence of the largest magnetic body inside said sphere. An EM model predicts everything from Earths magnetic pole flips, to the structure of plasma both inside and outside the heliosphere, galactic stellar motion and structure, relatavistic jets, lensing...the list ends when the "mysteries" do...
rubberman
1 / 5 (4) Jan 14, 2013
As far as this discussion and the relevance: The universe is a dissipating EM field that will fuse plasma into heavier elements until there isn't any left. As the magnetic force reduces over distance, rate of expansion increases. This is why the structures increase in size and EM intensity the further back you go. If you think you have an astronomical anomaly that EM can't explain send me a PM and if it really can't I'll issue a formal apology to all posters and supporters of SC.

Sorry for the flood folks.
Fleetfoot
5 / 5 (3) Jan 15, 2013
If the universe is of infinite size, it was already infinite at the time of the Big Bang. In this case singularity doesn't mean an infinitesimal point
This was my point. Big Bang theory NEVER considered the infinitely large Universe at its very beginning.


The "very beginning" was Friedmann's publication of the equations that bear his name which he derived from GR. For a flat or negatively curved universe, those equations give an infinite universe so you are wrong again, the spatially infinite solution has been part of the model from the very first day.
Fleetfoot
5 / 5 (4) Jan 15, 2013
If it can be observed to be "flat" then by no stretch of the finite imagination can it be "infinite", certainly not in Einstein's GR.


If you learn the maths you'll find that in GR a flat universe MUST be infinite.

Any object that is flat in appearance must by definition be an object with a boundary or it could not appear "flat" ..


Rubbish, an infinite plane is flat even in high school geometry.

In this case "flat" means that the interior angles of a triangle sum to 180 degrees hence even the surface of a cylinder is mathematically "flat" and in 4D you can even have a flat torus:

http://en.wikiped...at_torus

Try learning something about the subject instead of spouting disinformation.
Fleetfoot
5 / 5 (2) Jan 15, 2013
If we are to have in the universe an average density of matter which differs from zero, however small may be that difference, then the universe cannot be quasi-Euclidean. On the contrary, the results of calculation indicate that if matter be distributed uniformly, the universe would necessarily be spherical (or elliptical).


You omitted the preceding paragraph where he said

"We might imagine that, as regards geometry, our universe behaves analogously to a surface which is irregularly curved in its individual parts, but which nowhere departs appreciably from a plane: something like the rippled surface of a lake. Such a universe might fittingly be called a quasi-Euclidean universe. As regards its space it would be infinite."

What you quoted is true of the Einstein-deSitter model but that has a zero cosmological constant. Including the non-zero value of the modern model gives Einstein's "quasi-Euclidean" infinite plane.
Benni
1 / 5 (4) Jan 15, 2013
Footnote:

The results of calculation indicate that if matter be distributed uniformly, the universe would necessarily be spherical. I must not fail to mention that a theoretical argument can be adduced in favor of the hypothesis of a finite universe. The general theory of relativity teaches that the inertia of a given body is greater as there are more ponderable masses in proximity to it, and the other bodies in the universe, as indeed, ever since Newton's time, gravity has been completely reduced to interactions between two bodies. (Albert Einstein 1954)

Closed Universe- density of the matter is above critical density producing a spherical universe caused by gravitational attraction exceeding outward expansion.

Open Universe- density of matter is below critical density curved like a saddle because gravitational attraction is insufficient to stop outward expansion.

Flat Universe- density of matter is equal to critical density causing expansion to cease after infinite time.

Benni
1 / 5 (4) Jan 15, 2013
What you quoted is true of the Einstein-deSitter model but that has a zero cosmological constant. Including the non-zero value of the modern model gives Einstein's "quasi-Euclidean" infinite plane.


Your problem is a fundamental lack of knowledge of Conservation of Energy. You need to bone up on ENTROPY & learn about why Entropy cannot occur in a "space" that has no boundaries, Einstein understood that, and, well, so do I.
El_Nose
not rated yet Jan 15, 2013
If you are argueing with someone that believes that the BB behaved like an explosion from a point like source -- STOP -- they don't understand the BB and there is no reason to argue with them. You will just get tired. Instead try reexplaining that the BB is a point in time, not space. The BB is a point in time where the universe rapidly got larger in all directions at the same time at every point in the universe.

Think of the BB like this. At first all you had were the Integers and then some deity said - let there be Reals. And the real numbers came into existence and made a continuum between every point that existed before. the BB is like that. there was obviously something before the BB -- but we recognize it is probably pretty impossible to look back before the BB. But it getting bigger left a lot of energy out there to observe today.
Fleetfoot
5 / 5 (2) Jan 15, 2013
These equations are http://i.stack.imgur.com/lymXY.jpg, for example


That's correct but those graphs only show the scale factor as a function of time. The graph marked "open" is applies to a universe which is spatially infinite.

and they're apparently NOT based on infinite universe model.


You're thinking about it the wrong way round, the models are built on the maths of GR. Friedmann solved the equations based on the assumption that the universe was homogenous and isotropic. The big bang model is the outcome of the calculation, not the basis for it.

so I really don't understand, from where you got the infinite Universe into Big Bang model?


Calculate for an average energy density of exactly the critical value or less, the maths tells you the model is spatially infinite, if the density is above critical, it is finite.

Observations say it is within 0.4% of the critical value but not whether it is above or below.
Fleetfoot
4 / 5 (4) Jan 15, 2013
Closed Universe- density of the matter is above critical density producing a spherical universe caused by gravitational attraction exceeding outward expansion.

Open Universe- density of matter is below critical density curved like a saddle because gravitational attraction is insufficient to stop outward expansion.

Flat Universe- density of matter is equal to critical density causing expansion to cease after infinite time.


And the open and flat universes are infinite. Einstein assumed it was closed.

All the above is correct for a universe where lambda is zero but you still haven't covered the case of a non-zero cosmological constant. Einstein died in 1955, Perlmutter showed the CC was non-zero in 1998 so you won't find much in his writings about what he mistakenly called his "greatest blunder", you need to look at modern sources. Add the CC and the open and flat cases expand forever.
Fleetfoot
5 / 5 (1) Jan 15, 2013
Your problem is a fundamental lack of knowledge of Conservation of Energy.


Try reading the Physics FAQ before claiming you understand conservation of energy in GR:

http://math.ucr.e..._gr.html
vidyunmaya
1.6 / 5 (7) Jan 15, 2013
It is better to go with open mind at this scale. Big-Bang Theory has many self-contradictions and cannot form a cover up.
Cosmology needs best of brains trust where cosmic function of the Universe can high-light with better space vision.
vidyunmaya
1.9 / 5 (9) Jan 15, 2013
It is better to go with open mind at this scale. Big-Bang Theory has many self-contradictions and cannot form a cover up.
Cosmology needs best of brains trust where cosmic function of the Universe can high-light with better space vision.
vidyunmaya
1.5 / 5 (8) Jan 15, 2013
My information:Surprise Pancake Structure in Andromeda Galaxy Upends Galactic Understanding
The study reveals almost 30 dwarf galaxies orbiting the larger Andromeda galaxy in this regular, solar system-like plane.
I do expect more according to my Cosmology Vedas Interlinks-projectections
rubberman
1.8 / 5 (5) Jan 16, 2013
My information:Surprise Pancake Structure in Andromeda Galaxy Upends Galactic Understanding
The study reveals almost 30 dwarf galaxies orbiting the larger Andromeda galaxy in this regular, solar system-like plane.
I do expect more according to my Cosmology Vedas Interlinks-projectections


Have another look at the video simulation of the motion Vid. That isn't a solar system like plane, the vector co-ordinates of the satelite galaxies is spread out over several degrees of north/south space, it is actually closer to perpendicular to a solar system like plane, and it is co-rotating.
Hev
1 / 5 (3) Jan 16, 2013
The more and better we can see then we will keep observing new structures etc. as well as more of the same. But when we are looking at things at the outer reaches of our telescopes so far, then we should be able to view the larger structures first and more easily. As we see better the apparently weird becomes the explainable. The "Big Bang" is more of a human construct than reality. It was a new creation theory and received inspiration from the first nuclear explosions. It may still fit the data so far but that doesn't make it right, any more than Ptolemy's universe. Which fitted the observable data for many centuries but with improved technology and better instruments and methods, was found to be totally wrong as a model for the universe. In my own 70 years have seen the universe "expand" and hope to see more exciting and interesting discoveries.
yash17
1 / 5 (5) Jan 21, 2013
Largest LQG?
The Big Bang Theory followers; please enjoy this finding.
kevinrtrs
1.4 / 5 (10) Jan 21, 2013
According to the Big Bang theory the universe can be infinite in size with infinite amount of galaxies
If this is so then you've got a whole lot of explaining to do with regards to the even distribution of background microwave radiation:
How did light travel accross such a vast infinite distance to give such an even radiation? There's not enough time at current light speed. Are you proposing an earlier much faster speed of light?
If you now want to throw in the so-called "inflation" then it raises the question of what started that miracle and even more miraculous - what stopped it once it got started?
This research clearly shows that the copernican principle is bogus - the universe is much more non-homogeneous than the scientists would like.
Soon after the initial proposal, they of course discovered galactic clusters and paths and realized that it cannot apply anymore. So, to bring theory in line with the observations, they changed it.
Now, they'll repeat that trick.
Fleetfoot
5 / 5 (4) Jan 21, 2013
According to the Big Bang theory the universe can be infinite in size with infinite amount of galaxies
If this is so then you've got a whole lot of explaining to do with regards to the even distribution of background microwave radiation:
How did light travel accross such a vast infinite distance to give such an even radiation?


It didn't, we can only see a tiny fraction of the universe. The contents were almost uniform everywhere.

There's not enough time at current light speed. Are you proposing an earlier much faster speed of light?


No, the speed of light has been measured in material in a distant source 10 billion years ago. It has the same value as today. The measurements have an accuracy of about 5 parts per million.

This grouping is interesting but previous similar false claims (e.g the "dark flow") have later been shown to be within normal statistical variations.
kvantti
5 / 5 (2) Jan 24, 2013
People here seem to have the strangest misconceptions about the Big Bang theory. Before making ignorant claims saying "the BB can't explain that and that" please double check the validity of your claims or you just make yourself look stupid.

The Big Bang theory (or the researchers working on it) doesn't claim to have all the answers to all the open questions, but saying the BB theory is straight out wrong is just being ignorant towards how physical theories work. Physical theories are not absolute truths written in stone tablets; they are - or atleast try to be - the best mathematical descriptions of the observed dynamics of the universe, ie. the qualitive and quantative descriptions of the "laws of nature".

That in mind, the standard Lambda Cold Dark Model (ΛCDM) of the Big Bang does a wonderful job explaining the properties of the earliest, oldest universe we can see: http://www.astro....-DT.html

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.