Are our textbooks wrong? Astronomers clash over Hubble's legacy

Apr 05, 2013 by Dan Majaess, Universe Today
Images of Galactic nebulae and a supernova remnant that were obtained via the Hubble Space Telescope, which is named after astronomer Edwin Hubble. The honor was bestowed upon E. Hubble given his seminal contributions to astronomy. Credit: spikedrocker/deviantart

Edwin Hubble's contributions to astronomy earned him the honor of having his name bestowed upon arguably the most famous space telescope (the Hubble Space Telescope, HST). Contributions that are often attributed to him include the discovery of the extragalactic scale (there exist countless other galaxies beyond the Milky Way), the expanding Universe (the Hubble constant), and a galaxy classification system (the Hubble Tuning Fork). However, certain astronomers are questioning Hubble's pre-eminence in those topics, and if all the credit is warranted.

"[The above mentioned] discoveries … are well-known … and most would associate them solely with ; yet this is a gross oversimplification. Astronomers and historians are beginning to revise that standard story and bring a more nuanced version to the public's attention," said scientist Michael J. Way, who just published a new study entitled "Dismantling Hubble's Legacy?"

Has history clouded our view of Hubble the man? Or are his contributions seminal to where we are today in astronomy?

Assigning credit for a discovery is not always straightforward, and Way 2013 notes, "How credit is awarded for a discovery is often a complex issue and should not be oversimplified – yet this happens time and again. Another well-known example in this field is the discovery of the ." Indeed, controversy surrounds the discovery of the Universe's accelerated expansion, which merely occurred in the late 1990s. Conversely, the discoveries attributed to Hubble transpired during the ~1920s.

Prior to commencing this discussion, it's emphasized that Hubble cannot defend his contribution since he died long ago (1889-1953). Moreover, we can certainly highlight the efforts of other individuals whose seminal contributions were overlooked without mitigating Hubble's pertinence. The first topic discussed here is the discovery of the extragalactic scale. Prior to the 1920s it was unclear whether the galaxy and the Universe were synonymous. In other words, was the Milky Way merely one among countless other ?

Astronomers H. Shapley and H. Curtis argued the topic in the famed Island Universe debate (1920). Curtis believed in the extragalactic Universe, whereas Shapley took the opposing view (see also Trimble 1995 for a review). In the present author's opinion, Hubble's contributions helped end that debate a few years later and changed the course of astronomy, namely since he provided evidence of an extragalactic Universe using a distance indicator that was acknowledged as being reliable. Hubble used stars called Cepheid variables to help ascertain that M31 and NGC 6822 were more distant than the estimated size of the Milky Way, which in concert with their deduced size, implied they were galaxies. Incidentally, Hubble's distances, and those of others, were not as reliable as believed (e.g., Fernie 1969, Peacock 2013). Peacock 2013 provides an interesting comparison between distance estimates cited by Hubble and Lundmark with present values, which reveals that both authors published distances that were flawed in some manner. Having said that, present-day estimates are themselves debated.

Hubble's evidence helped convince even certain staunch opponents of the extragalactic interpretation such as Shapley, who upon receiving news from Hubble concerning his new findings remarked (1924), "Here is the letter that has destroyed my universe." Way 2013 likewise notes that, "The issue [concerning the extragalactic scale] was effectively settled by two papers from Hubble in 1925 in which he derived distances from Cepheid variables found in M31 and M33 (Hubble 1925a) of 930,000 light years and in NGC 6822 (Hubble 1925c) of 700,000 light years."

However, as table 1 from Way 2013 indicates (shown below), there were numerous astronomers who published distances that implied there were galaxies beyond the Milky Way. Astronomer Ian Steer, who helps maintain the NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database of Redshift-Independent Distances (NED-D), has also compiled a list of 290 distances to galaxies published before 1930. Way 2013 added that, "Many important contributions to this story have been forgotten and most textbooks in astronomy today, if they discuss the "Island Universe" confirmation at all, bestow 100% of the credit on Hubble with scant attention to the earlier observations that clearly supported his measurements."

Way 2013 notes, “Table 1 lists all of the main distance estimates to spiral nebulae (known to this author) from the late 1800s until 1930 when standard candles began to be found in spiral nebulae [galaxies].” Credit: Way 2013/arXiv

Thus Hubble did not discover the extragalactic scale, but his work helped convince a broad array of astronomers of the Universe's enormity. However, by comparison to present-day estimates, Hubble's distances are too short owing partly to the existing Cepheid calibration he utilized (Fernie 1969, Peacock 2013 also notes that Hubble's distances were flawed for other reasons). That offset permeated into certain determinations of the expansion rate of the Universe (the ), making the estimate nearly an order of magnitude too large, and the implied age for the Universe too small.

Hubble's accreditation as the discoverer of the expanding Universe (the Hubble constant) has generated considerable discussion, which is ultimately tied to the discovery of a relationship between a galaxy's velocity and its distance. An accusation even surfaced that Hubble may have censored the publication of another scientist to retain his pre-eminence. That accusation has since been refuted, but provides the reader an indication of the tone of the debate (see Livio 2012 (Nature), and references therein).

Top, spectra for galaxies that are redshifted. Credit: JPL/Caltech/Planck

Hubble published his findings on the velocity-distance relation in 1929, under the unambiguous title, "A Relation Between Distance and Radial Velocity Among Extra-Galactic Nebulae". Hubble 1929 states at the outset that other investigations have sought, "a correlation between apparent radial velocities and distances, but so far the results have not been convincing." The key word being convincing, clearly a subjective term, but which Hubble believes is the principal impetus behind his new effort. In Lundmark 1924, where a velocity versus distance diagram is plotted for galaxies (see below), that author remarks that, "Plotting the radial velocities against these relative distances, we find that there may be a relation between the two quantities, although not a very definite one." However, Hubble 1929 also makes reference to a study by Lundmark 1925, where Lundmark underscores that, "A rather definite correlation is shown between apparent dimensions and radial velocity, in the sense that the smaller and presumably more distant spirals have the higher space velocity."

Hubble 1929 provides a velocity-distance diagram (featured below) and also notes that, "the data indicate a linear correlation between distances and velocities". However, Hubble 1929 explicitly cautioned that, "New data to be expected in the near future may modify the significance of the present investigation, or, if confirmatory, will lead to a solution having many times the weight. For this reason it is thought premature to discuss in detail the obvious consequences of the present results … the linear relation found in the present discussion is a first approximation representing a restricted range in distance." Hubble implied that additional effort was required to acquire observational data and place the relation on firm (convincing) footing, which would appear in Hubble and Humason 1931. Perhaps that may partly explain, in concert with the natural tendency of most humans to desire recognition and fame, why Hubble subsequently tried to retain credit for the establishment of the velocity-distance relation.

Hubble 1929 conveyed that he was aware of prior (but unconvincing to him) investigations on the topic of the velocity-distance relation. That is further confirmed by van den Bergh 2011, who cites the following pertinent quote recounted by Hubble's assistant (Humason) for an oral history project, "The velocity-distance relationship started after one of the IAU meetings, I think it was in Holland [1928]. And Dr. Hubble came home rather excited about the fact that two or three scientists over there, astronomers, had suggested that the fainter the nebulae were, the more distant they were and the larger the red shifts would be. And he talked to me and asked if I would try and check that out."

Hubble 1929 elaborated that, "The outstanding feature, however, is the possibility that the velocity-distance relation may represent the de Sitter effect, and hence that numerical data may be introduced into discussions of the general curvature of space." de Sitter had proposed a model for the Universe whereby light is redshifted as it travels further from the emitting source. Hubble suspected that perhaps his findings may represent the de Sitter effect, however, Way 2013 notes that, "Thus far historians have unearthed no evidence that Hubble was searching for the clues to an expanding universe when he published his 1929 paper (Hubble 1929b)." Indeed, nearly two decades after the 1929 publication, Hubble 1947 remarks that better data may indicate that, "redshifts may not be due to an expanding universe, and much of the current speculation on the structure of the universe may require re-examination." It is thus somewhat of a paradox that, in tandem with the other reasons outlined, Hubble is credited with discovering that the Universe is expanding.

The term redshift stems from the fact that when astronomers (e.g., V. Slipher) examined the spectra of certain galaxies, they noticed that although a particular spectral line should have appeared in the blue region of the spectrum (as measured in a laboratory): the line was actually shifted redward. Hubble 1947 explained that, "light-waves from distant nebulae [galaxies] seem to grow longer in proportion to the distance they have travelled It is as though the stations on your radio dial were all shifted toward the longer wavelengths in proportion to the distances of the stations. In the nebular [galaxy] spectra the stations (or lines) are shifted toward the red, and these redshifts vary directly with distance–an approximately linear relation. This interpretation lends itself directly to theories of an expanding universe. The interpretation is not universally accepted, but even the most cautious of us admit that redshifts are evidence either of an expanding universe or of some hitherto unknown principle of nature."

As noted above, Hubble was not the first to deduce a velocity-distance relation for galaxies, and Way 2013 notes that, "Lundmark (1924b): first distance vs. velocity plot for spiral nebulae [galaxies] …Georges Lemaitre (1927): derived a non–static solution to Einstein's equations and coupled it to observations to reveal a linear distance vs. redshift relation with a slope of 670 or 575 km/s/Mpc (depending on how the data is grouped) …" Although Hubble was aware of Lundmark's research, he and numerous other astronomers were likely unaware of the now famous 1927 Lemaitre study, which was published in an obscure journal (see Livio 2012 (Nature), and discussion therein). Steer 2013 notes that, "Lundmark's [1924] distance estimates were consistent with a Hubble constant of 75 km/s/Mpc [which is close to recent estimates]." (see also the interpretation of Peacock 2013). Certain distances established by Lundmark appear close to present determinations (e.g., M31, see the table above).

So why was Hubble credited with discovering the expanding Universe? Way 2013 suggests that, "Hubble's success in gaining credit for his … linear distance-velocity relation may be related to his verification of the Island Universe hypothesis –after the latter, his prominence as a major player in astronomy was affirmed. As pointed out by Merton (1968) credit for simultaneous (or nearly so) discoveries is usually given to eminent scientists over lesser-known ones." Steer told Universe Today that, "Lundmark in his own words did not find a definite relation between redshift and distance, and there is no linear relation overplotted in his redshift-distance graph. Where Lundmark used a single unproven distance indicator (galaxy diameters), cross-checked by a single unproven distance to the Andromeda galaxy, Hubble used multiple indicators including one still in use (brightest stars), cross-checked with distances to multiple galaxies based on Cepheids variables stars."

Concerning assigning credit for the discovery of the expansion of the Universe, Way 2013 concludes that, "Overall we find that Lemaitre was the first to seek and find a linear relation between distance and velocity in the context of an expanding universe, but that a number of other actors (e.g. Carl Wirtz, Ludwik Silberstein, Knut Lundmark, Edwin Hubble, Willem de Sitter) were looking for a relation that fit into the context of de Sitter's [Universe] Model B world with its spurious radial velocities [the redshift]." A partial list of the various contributors highlighted by van den Bergh 2011 is provided below.

“The history of the discovery of the expansion of the Universe may be summarized [above],” van den Bergh 2011. Credit: van den Bergh/JRASC/arXiv

Way and Nussbaumer 2011 assert that, "It is still widely held that in 1929 Edwin Hubble discovered the expanding Universe … that is incorrect. There is little excuse for this, since there exists sufficient well-supported evidence about the circumstances of the discovery."

In sum, the author's personal opinion is that Hubble's contributions to astronomy were seminal. Hubble helped convince astronomers of the extragalactic distance scale and that a relationship existed between the distance to a galaxy and its velocity, thus propelling the field and science forward. His extragalactic distances, albeit flawed, were also used to draw important conclusions (e.g., by Lemaitre 1927). However, it is likewise clear that other individuals are meritorious and deserve significant praise. The contributions of those scientists should be highlighted in parallel to Hubble's research, and astronomy textbooks should be revised to emphasize those achievements A fuller account should be cited of the admirable achievements made by numerous astronomers working in synergy during the 1920s.

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There are a diverse set of opinions on the topics discussed, and the reader should remain skeptical (of the present article and other interpretations), particularly since knowledge of the topic is evolving and more is yet to emerge. Two talks from the "Origins of the Expanding Universe: 1912-1932" conference are posted below (by H. Nussbaumer and M. Way), in addition to a talk by I. Steer from a separate event.

The Way 2013 findings will appear in the "Origins of the Expanding Universe: 1912-1932", and a preprint is available on arXiv. The topic concerning the discovery of the galaxy (i.e., the Hubble diagram) was omitted from the present discussion, but is discussed by Way 2013.

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cantdrive85
1.8 / 5 (10) Apr 05, 2013
Indeed, nearly two decades after the 1929 publication, Hubble 1947 remarks that better data may indicate that, "redshifts may not be due to an expanding universe, and much of the current speculation on the structure of the universe may require re-examination." It is thus somewhat of a paradox that, in tandem with the other reasons outlined, Hubble is credited with discovering that the Universe is expanding.

No paradox here, just a superior scientist who understands how science works.

BTW, the image at the heading displays some remarkable plasma discharges, doesn't it?
Q-Star
3.9 / 5 (14) Apr 05, 2013
In Associated Press the Hubble says that ..."after a six-year study, evidence does not support what we now call the Big Bang theory.. The universe probably is not exploding but is a quiet, peaceful place and possibly just about infinite in size."


Zephyr, ya posted all this before. It was explained to ya that ya are misrepresenting what Hubble said. That article was published EIGHT years before the term "big bang" was even coined. Instead of quoting some 2011 journalist paraphrasing some 1941 era journalist, why don't ya quote Hubble from the original 1941 article?

Q-Star
3.8 / 5 (14) Apr 05, 2013
In "The Problem of the Expanding Universe" he expands its opinion further: "Thus the use of dimming corrections leads to a particular kind of universe, but one which most students are likely to reject as highly improbable. Furthermore, the strange features of this universe are merely the dimming corrections expressed in different terms.


Ya left out the part where he goes on to explain why the evidence couldn't definitively explain the phenomena. He DID say that it would bigger & better telescopes to resolve the questions. He freely admitted to not being up to the physics.

And since he made that interview, we've built much bigger, & much better telescopes. We've come a long way since the days of aether & only viewing things in the narrow visible light spectrum.

When Hubble was writing, the fields of observational cosmology, observational astrophysics, theoretical cosmology & theoretical astrophysics were infant areas of studies, they are much more robust & developed today.

Maggnus
3.6 / 5 (5) Apr 05, 2013
And there goes Zephyr, preaching naked in an empty field. Seriously what does it take to get through that stubborn head of yours? Q-star is right, we had this very discussion not a month or so ago.

Give your head a shake Zephyr, your eyes are stuck.
Maggnus
4 / 5 (4) Apr 05, 2013
In his later age Hubble was http://ladailymir...e231.png regarding his stance toward expanding Universe model and the progress of astronomy didn't change his opinion. We needn't to reinterpret him.

Exactly the same article as last time!!! Geezus thundering margaret Zephyr, when are you going to learn!!
Q-Star
4 / 5 (12) Apr 05, 2013
In his later age Hubble was http://ladailymir...e231.png regarding his stance toward expanding Universe model and the progress of astronomy didn't change his opinion. We needn't to reinterpret him.


Zephyr, 1941 was NOT his "later age". In 1941 the largest telescope in the world was still the 100" at Mount Wilson. In 1941 we were still viewing only in the visible light spectrum. A 1941 era quality spectrometer and photometer can be purchased today on-line for under $5000.00. In 1941 Hubble admitted that he was not up to the physics involved in the newer physics of cosmology and astrophysics.

Oh, yeah, I almost forgot,,,, In 1941 and throughout his life, Hubble denied that there was, is, or ever will be any aether.
Maggnus
4.2 / 5 (5) Apr 05, 2013
Mr. Hubble would be probably disappointed with AWT anyway.


No, he would be puzzled that anyone could be so stupid as to promote it, then dismiss it without another thought.
ValeriaT
1 / 5 (4) Apr 05, 2013
AWT is not based on expanding or steady state Universe model, but a random model. Currently we are in the epoch, when the mainstream cosmology could be falsified easily with steady-state model, but this model would face another problems in near future.
Rabbi Shlomo Riskin: "When you're one step ahead of the crowd you're a genius. When you're two steps ahead, you're a crackpot".
Q-Star
3.5 / 5 (11) Apr 05, 2013
AWT is not based on expanding or steady state Universe model, but a random model.


Ya didn't need to point that out. Everyone would agree with that observation.

Currently we are in the epoch, when the mainstream cosmology could be falsified easily with steady-state model, but this model would face another problems in near future.


So easy to do that everyone quite trying to do it decades ago.

Rabbi Shlomo Riskin: "When you're one step ahead of the crowd you're a genius. When you're two steps ahead, you're a crackpot".


How many steps ahead has science taken since the aether quit walking?
Maggnus
4 / 5 (4) Apr 05, 2013
What do you call it Zeph, when you're stepping on an imaginary path? Delusion?
ValeriaT
1 / 5 (6) Apr 05, 2013
So easy to do that everyone quite trying to do it decades ago.
I explained it here already. The proponents of steady state Universe model were forced to explain the Hubble red shift, so they proposed the scattering of light with fluctuations of vacuum. Which is correct explanation, but they did use the Stokes model for it. So that their model didn't fit the black body spectrum of CMBR, so they were ridiculed.
The same thing happened with proponents of aether model before one hundred years after all. They believed in luminiferous aether model, but they didn't realize, that such an aether must be very dense instead of sparse gas and therefore it predicts the zero result of M-M experiment, not the opposite. So they were ridiculed too.

Being an aetherist doesn't mean, you're smarter than the rest of people automatically. My experience is, most of aetherists are rather naive: they attribute the aether various ad-hoced properties, which have nothing in common with aether concept.
Q-Star
3.7 / 5 (13) Apr 05, 2013
So that their model didn't fit the black body spectrum of CMBR, so they were ridiculed.


No, they weren't ridiculed. They were convinced. (A fine distinction I know.) The ones who are ridiculed are the ones who, here, a hundred years after the smart were people convinced, try to revive it as some great new insight into physics.

Being an aetherist doesn't mean, you're smarter than the rest of people automatically.


But it does mean something automatically. Care to speculate on what it automatically means?

My experience is, most of aetherists are rather naive: they attribute the aether various ad-hoced properties,


And ya never tire of sharing your experience in that area with any site that will allow ya post.
ValeriaT
1 / 5 (4) Apr 05, 2013
No, they weren't ridiculed. They were convinced.
I seriously doubt it. According to Planck new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.

But it does mean something automatically. Care to speculate on what it automatically means?
It for example means, you're preferring synthetic emergent thinking based on synthesis of many facts over analytical thinking. Because, you know, aether itself is composed of many particles too, it's emergent model of reality. Aetherists therefore prefer intuitive holistic way of thinking, which was disadvantage until now - but in the contemporary stage or reality understanding it gradually becomes advantage instead.
ya never tire of sharing your experience in that area
Repetition is the mother of wisdom. Most of people will not understand things after first listening in single context.
Q-Star
3.4 / 5 (10) Apr 05, 2013
Repetition is the mother of wisdom.


Zeph, with all due respect (ha), that is about the easiest to falsify propositions ya have ever made. We'll remember it fondly and call it the RMW model of smartness.

I posit that inadequate thinking is the mother of repetition. We'll call my counter theory the ITMR model of smartness.

Now that we've proposed our two theories on smartness, how can we experimentally test them?

Most of people will not understand things after first listening in single context.


That may or may not be true. But I can feel sure that if ya explain something to the same reasonably smart people, 1000 times and they still don't understand, then there is probably something wrong with the person explaining it, or something wrong with the thing being explained,,,, not the people who still don't understand it after listening to it explained 1000 times.
ValeriaT
1 / 5 (4) Apr 05, 2013
Now that we've proposed our two theories on smartness, how can we experimentally test them?
These two theories are actually two complementary parts of the single one. The repetition is indeed good for pupils, but bad for their teacher, as it makes him shallow and religious. From this reason I'm struggling to explain aether model in as many connections and contexts, as possible. I have to repeat it or I would be ignored, but I don't want to remain repetitive.

Recently I've read an interesting thought, that the informational explosion has made us disoriented and apathetic to breakthrough ideas: only the ideas which are repeated again and again have to chance to influent the mainstream. The people must realize, some idea is a fundamental - or they would listen it and forget like many others.

I'm facing many ideas on the web (even those of mainstream scientists), which are really interesting - but because they're not widely publicized, they're simply forgotten after while.
Fleetfoot
5 / 5 (6) Apr 05, 2013
The proponents of steady state Universe model were forced to explain the Hubble red shift, so they proposed the scattering of light with fluctuations of vacuum.


Who proposed that? Not Zwicky, he said it was common knowledge that scattering couldn't work when he first suggested Tired Light.

So that their model didn't fit the black body spectrum of CMBR, so they were ridiculed.


They would be if they said that, cosmological redshift doesn't have a "spectrum", it is a fractional change of wavelength irrespective of intensity.

The reason you are ridiculed in this forum is because you don't even know what the words mean, never mind understanding the physics behind them.
Maggnus
5 / 5 (5) Apr 05, 2013
I have to repeat it or I would be ignored, but I don't want to remain repetitive.


Zephyr, you are ignored anyway, by every single person who has even a high-school understanding of physics. You manage to rope in the occasional person for a short time, until someone like Fleetfoot comes along and in a paragraph or two demolishes your imaginary bubble of aether blather.

I have watched it happen to you dozens or more times over many forums, most of which you are now banned from because of your stubborn and unyielding determination NOT TO LEARN. There is not one single person, not one Zephyr, who comes to your defence. BECAUSE of your misunderstandings and stubborn refusals to learn, not IN SPITE of them. Can you understand the difference?
ValeriaT
1 / 5 (4) Apr 05, 2013
until someone like Fleetfoot comes along and in a paragraph or two demolishes
Demolishes? He opposes the things like the "Who proposed that? Not Zwicky" or "cosmological redshift doesn't have a "spectrum" which I never claimed before. It's a classical straw man fallacy based on (attempt for) misrepresentation of an opponent's position, in particularly with demonstrative disapproval the (apparently false if not nonsensical) statement, which never appeared before.

Do you think, I'm discussing first time at the web?
ValeriaT
1 / 5 (5) Apr 05, 2013
..he said it was common knowledge that scattering couldn't work when he first suggested Tired Light...
But the tired light model is based just on the scattering. Zwicky suggested that photons might slowly lose energy as they travel vast distances through a static universe by interaction with another particles. Such a process is commonly called the scattering in physics, inelastic scattering being more specific (during which the energy is gradually dissipated). So that the sentence of yours not only doesn't disprove, what I said before - but it even lack the (physical) meaning for me.
ValeriaT
1 / 5 (4) Apr 05, 2013
cosmological redshift doesn't have a "spectrum", it is a fractional change of wavelength irrespective of intensity
You're mixing two arguments against tired light hypothesis together - so it's just you, who is confused here - not me. It's believed, that the tired light model can not provide a blackbody spectrum for the CMBR. Whereas Zwicky argued instead, that the scattering is frequency dependent while cosmological redshift is not. These are two different things.
Maggnus
5 / 5 (2) Apr 05, 2013
Demolishes? He opposes the things like the "Who proposed that? Not Zwicky" or "cosmological redshift doesn't have a "spectrum" which I never claimed before. It's a classical straw man fallacy based on (attempt for) misrepresentation of an opponent's position, in particularly with demonstrative disapproval the (apparently false if not nonsensical) statement, which never appeared before.


And that's what you got out of what I said? Thick as a brick.

Do you think, I'm discussing first time at the web?


Do you think I am? Come on Zephyr, show me just one person who supports you. Besides your mother.
Fleetfoot
5 / 5 (2) Apr 06, 2013
..he said it was common knowledge that scattering couldn't work when he first suggested Tired Light...
But the tired light model is based just on the scattering. Zwicky suggested that photons might slowly lose energy as they travel vast distances through a static universe by interaction with another particles. Such a process is commonly called the scattering in physics, inelastic scattering being more specific (during which the energy is gradually dissipated). So that the sentence of yours not only doesn't disprove, what I said before - but it even lack the (physical) meaning for me.


To be specific, Zwicky considered Compton Scattering. You should have known that if you had ever read the paper:

http://www.pnas.o...full.pdf

[to be continued due to the Phys.org character limit]
Fleetfoot
5 / 5 (2) Apr 06, 2013
But the tired light model is based just on the scattering. Zwicky suggested that photons might slowly lose energy as they travel vast distances through a static universe by interaction with another particles.


He first discusses the observational facts:

(2) The relative shift of frequency dv/v representing the velocity of recession is apparently independent of the frequency."

(3) No appreciable absorption or scattering of light can be related to the above shift of spectral lines.

(4) The optical image of an extragalactic nebula seems to be as well defined as can be expected from the resolving power of the telescopes. The distance apparently is only geometrically involved and no additional blurring of the images occurs due to some such process as multiple scattering and superposition of incoherent light beams.

[to be continued]
Fleetfoot
5 / 5 (1) Apr 06, 2013
But the tired light model is based just on the scattering. Zwicky suggested ...


In section D, he considers the "Compton-Doppler" effect and says:

"One then might expect that the light coming from distant nebulae would undergo a shift to the red by Compton effect on those free electrons. ... But then the light scattered in all directions would make the interstellar space intolerably opaque which disposes of the above explanation.

It is possible, of course, that a great number of the electrons possess very high speed. ... But still the difficulty of obtaining too much scattered light in all directions can hardly be avoided, ... Also, it is evident that any explanation based on a scattering process like the Compton effect or the Raman effect, etc., will be in a hopeless position regarding the good definition of the images as mentioned under B4."

As you can see, the truth is that Zwicky was well aware of the physics and completely dismissed scattering as a possible explanation.
Fleetfoot
5 / 5 (1) Apr 06, 2013
It is possible, of course, that a great number of the electrons possess very high speed. ... But still the difficulty of obtaining too much scattered light in all directions can hardly be avoided


Incidentally, Zwicky was almost right about the physics of that too, we now use the Inverse Compton effect whereby the energy of CMBR photons is _increased_ by the hot gas in the centre of galaxy clusters, i.e. it blue-shifts the photons as well as scattering them in all directions.
Fleetfoot
5 / 5 (1) Apr 06, 2013
cosmological redshift doesn't have a "spectrum", it is a fractional change of wavelength irrespective of intensity
You're mixing two arguments against tired light hypothesis together - so it's just you, who is confused here - not me. It's believed, that the tired light model can not provide a blackbody spectrum for the CMBR. Whereas Zwicky argued instead, that the scattering is frequency dependent while cosmological redshift is not. These are two different things.


Zwicky stated: "The relative shift of frequency dv/v representing the velocity of recession is apparently independent of the frequency." He went on to note that the range of observation at that time was limited but did not argue that there was a dependence anywhere in the paper.

Ned Wright page notes that the CMBR cannot be explained by applying Tired Light energy loss to a hypothetical thermal source at z=0.1, Tired Light on its own doesn't offer any explanation for the CMBR hence doesn't predict a spectrum.
geekgroupie
not rated yet Apr 06, 2013
Oh wait... I thought this was my soap opera forum.
ValeriaT
1 / 5 (2) Apr 06, 2013
No appreciable absorption or scattering of light can be related to the above shift of spectral lines
But such a scattering is quite common at the water surface. The nature has already model prepared for it. Note that for certain wavelength the red shift effect disappears and it's subsequently replaced with blue shift (and positive violation of inverse square law). We are observing all these effects on the sky as well - so I've at least triple evidence, that this tired light model is correct.
Q-Star
3.2 / 5 (9) Apr 06, 2013
No appreciable absorption or scattering of light can be related to the above shift of spectral lines
But such a scattering is quite common at http://www.aether...ples.jpg of inverse square law). We are observing all these effects on the sky as well - so I've at least triple evidence, that this tired light model is correct.


Pssst, Zeph, I know how fond ya are of your water ripple-waves and such,,,, but I thought ya might like to know that we've recently discovered that light behaves differently in water, in air, and in space. And it really shows this difference in a pronounced way as it crosses the space/water/air boundaries. Cutting edge stuff, I know, but at some point ya'll need to incorporate that into your pictures and analogies.
ValeriaT
1 / 5 (3) Apr 06, 2013
The AWT analogy for light in vacuum are transverse waves at the water surface. Is it really so difficult to understand it for contemporary people? The spreading of light in water has nothing to do with it...
Fleetfoot
5 / 5 (3) Apr 07, 2013
No appreciable absorption or scattering of light can be related to the above shift of spectral lines
But such a scattering is quite common at the water surface ...


Yes, here's a picture showing it:

http://www.compad...1-07.jpg

and it happens with light too. However, like all competent physicists, Zwicky knew the characteristics of scattering and they don't match Tired Light, you don't.

The point though is that you claimed Zwicky argued in favour of scattering whereas the truth is that he dismissed it completely because he understood the physics. You have obviously never even read his paper and know nothing of the physics of scattering.
ValeriaT
1 / 5 (2) Apr 07, 2013
Zwicky knew the characteristics of scattering and they don't match Tired Light

But Zwicky considered Compton scattering (as you said) - not the scattering of ripples at the water surface (which doesn't work with particles at all - only with waves). He rejected false model. Or do you think, that the scattering of ripples can be described with Compton scattering? How can you explain its negative trend (i.e. "blue shift") for certain range of scattering after then? The Compton scattering doesn't predict something like it.
You have obviously never even read his paper and know nothing of the physics of scattering.
My reading experience and qualification is completely irrelevant for matter-of-fact discussion. Please avoid ad-hominem fallacies.
ValeriaT
1 / 5 (2) Apr 07, 2013
Yes, here's a picture showing it:
http://www.compad...1-07.jpg
That picture is completely irrelevant to the scattering of light in visible range. If you have understood the water surface analogy of Hubble shift, you should be able to explain, why is it so. The water surface model isn't as free analogy, as you probably think: the scale chosen is important there too.
Fleetfoot
5 / 5 (1) Apr 07, 2013
The AWT analogy for light in vacuum are transverse waves at the water surface.


You never see water moving side-to-side horizontaly as a wave, this is impossible because water has no shear strength. Only solids can propagate such waves.

Is it really so difficult to understand it for contemporary people?


You are describing something that doesn't exist. Vertically displaced waves are gravity waves, not bulk transverse waves. Everybody understands what you are saying, you simply have no clue about the physics.

The spreading of light in water has nothing to do with it...


Agreed, nobody suggested it did.
Fleetfoot
5 / 5 (2) Apr 07, 2013
Zwicky knew the characteristics of scattering and they don't match Tired Light

But Zwicky considered Compton scattering .... He rejected false model.


Exactly, so stop claiming that physicists have tried to explain Tired Light with scattering, they haven't.

Or do you think, that the scattering of ripples can be described with Compton scattering?


No, YOU are telling everyone that water waves are an analogy for Compton scattering. I am telling you that it is NOT a good analogy just as many other people in the group have told you before.

How can you explain its negative trend (i.e. "blue shift") for certain range of scattering after then? The Compton scattering doesn't predict something like it.


As I said, inverse Compton scattering creates a blue shift and is a useful tool for cosmology, but that is really a different topic.
Fleetfoot
5 / 5 (1) Apr 07, 2013
You have obviously never even read his paper and know nothing of the physics of scattering.
My reading experience and qualification is completely irrelevant for matter-of-fact discussion. Please avoid ad-hominem fallacies.


Please don't try to use strawman arguments, this is about facts, not qualifications. This is what you said:

"Whereas Zwicky argued instead, that the scattering is frequency dependent while cosmological redshift is not.

Zwicky actually said:

"(2) The relative shift of frequency dv/v representing the velocity of recession is apparently independent of the frequency."

[to be continued]
Fleetfoot
5 / 5 (1) Apr 07, 2013
You have obviously never even read his paper and know nothing of the physics of scattering.


My reading experience and qualification is completely irrelevant for matter-of-fact discussion.


These are the facts being discussed - you said:

"Zwicky suggested that photons might slowly lose energy as they travel vast distances through a static universe by interaction with another particles. Such a process is commonly called the scattering in physics, inelastic scattering being more specific (during which the energy is gradually dissipated)."

However, Zwicky said:

"One then might expect that the light coming from distant nebulae would undergo a shift to the red by Compton effect on those free electrons. ... But then the light scattered in all directions would make the interstellar space intolerably opaque which disposes of the above explanation."

You claim about what Zwicky said is the opposite of the fact of what he actually said.
Fleetfoot
5 / 5 (1) Apr 07, 2013
Yes, here's a picture showing it:
http://www.compad...1-07.jpg
That picture is completely irrelevant to the scattering of light in visible range.


I agree, but you keep claiming that the scattering of water waves is an analogy for light for some unfathomable reason. The above picture shows water waves being scattered from rocks into a different direction (and diffraction and interference too), the one you linked had no scattering object in it whatsoever. If you want to illustrate your point so that others can understand what you are saying, you need find an image that is related to what you are claiming.
vidyunmaya
1 / 5 (2) Apr 07, 2013
Sub: Astronomy in transition to Cosmological Index-origins Vedas
An excellent update and subjects can be explored further.
Base concepts:Resource : Reflectors,3-Tier Consciousness, Source, Fields and Flows :Add Protection.
These lead to Prime Functional Concepts.
A few tips can be offered on the Frequency shifts and How to improve observatories as well. One has to segragate into 3 Tiers beyond Milkyway Galactic frame, heart of Universe Frame and beyond 10^9-10^12 typical Zonal Frame. Even new types of Galaxies can be added to understand space-Time-energy distribution. Down-end or at the edge is our sun-Earth planetary System tha limits our perception to catch-up with Cosmic vision Index.
http://vidyardhic...ion.html
vidyunmaya
1 / 5 (2) Apr 07, 2013
Sub: Astronomy in transition to Cosmological Index-origins Vedas
An excellent update and subjects can be explored further.
Base concepts:Resource : Reflectors,3-Tier Consciousness, Source, Fields and Flows :Add Protection.
These lead to Prime Functional Concepts.
A few tips can be offered on the Frequency shifts and How to improve observatories as well. One has to segragate into 3 Tiers beyond Milkyway Galactic frame, heart of Universe Frame and beyond 10^9-10^12 Light Years typical Zonal Frame. Even new types of Galaxies can be added to understand space-Time-energy distribution. Down-end or at the edge is our sun-Earth planetary System tha limits our perception to catch-up with Cosmic vision Index.
http://vidyardhic...ion.html
Q-Star
3.7 / 5 (6) Apr 07, 2013
Sub: Astronomy in transition to Cosmological Index-origins Vedas
An excellent update and subjects can be explored further.
Base concepts:Resource : Reflectors,3-Tier Consciousness, Source, Fields and Flows :Add Protection.
These lead to Prime Functional Concepts.
A few tips can be offered on the Frequency shifts and How to improve observatories as well. One has to segragate into 3 Tiers beyond Milkyway Galactic frame, heart of Universe Frame and beyond 10^9-10^12 Light Years typical Zonal Frame. Even new types of Galaxies can be added to understand space-Time-energy distribution. Down-end or at the edge is our sun-Earth planetary System tha limits our perception to catch-up with Cosmic vision Index.
http://vidyardhic...ion.html


I just thought that was so enlightening that it should be posted THREE times.

Carry on.
ValeriaT
2.3 / 5 (3) Apr 07, 2013
Only solids can propagate such (transverse) waves.
Capillary waves are transverse waves. Repeat the Victorian era physics.
stop claiming that physicists have tried to explain Tired Light with scattering
For example the Hubble or Zwicky had tried it if he opposed the Big Bang model.
YOU are telling everyone that water waves are an analogy for Compton scattering
This is nonsense. As I already said, the Compton scattering cannot model the wavelength dependent scattering at the water surface. You cannot remember even single post of mine..;-) Because you're motivated with its disapproval, now with its understanding.
inverse Compton scattering creates a blue shift and is a useful tool for cosmology
But it's not still wavelength dependent. Scattering of light with vacuum fluctuations can be modeled only with scattering of water surface ripples, not with Compton scattering, because there are no charged particles.
Q-Star
3.2 / 5 (9) Apr 07, 2013
Scattering of light with vacuum fluctuations can be modeled only with scattering of water surface ripples, not with Compton scattering, because there are no charged particles.


How can ya model vacuum fluctuations with water surface ripples? That would be like trying to model birds using earthworms. Ya trying to work science using only the constraints of art. That is why not a single person has ever, in all these years, been able to accept your "intuition generated models". (Which are only models in the artistic sense, not in the scientific sense of the word.)

The reason that math is the language of physics, is because it is consistent, universal and less ambiguous.

The spoken/written word is too ambiguous, inconsistent, arbitrary, and whimsical, unless ya take very great pains to restrict AND agree to the meanings and usages.

Analogies are only good when they are TRUE.They must TRULY reflect BOTH of the two themes.Just "sounding" good to analogizer is not good enough.
Fleetfoot
5 / 5 (3) Apr 07, 2013
Only solids can propagate such (transverse) waves.


Capillary waves are transverse waves.


Don't edit the quotes, this is what I actually said:

You never see water moving side-to-side horizontaly as a wave, this is impossible because water has no shear strength. Only solids can propagate such waves.


Capillary waves do not move side to side, i.e. horizontally in water, which is how transverse waves in the bulk of the medium are oriented. A light wave in the aether would be a bulk wave and would have to have been transverse to explain birefringence. That's why historically it was viewed as rigid, i.e crystalline.

stop claiming that physicists have tried to explain Tired Light with scattering
For example the Hubble or Zwicky had tried it if he opposed the Big Bang model.

Nope, you have seen the quotes from the paper, Zwicky explained why Compton scattering could NOT produce the effects of tired light, you are lying again.
ValeriaT
1 / 5 (3) Apr 07, 2013
How can ya model vacuum fluctuations with water surface ripples
I'm not modeling vacuum fluctuations with water surface ripples. Vacuum fluctuations correspond the density fluctuations of underwater due the Brownian motion. The surface ripples are completely different phenomena.
The reason that math is the language of physics, is because it is consistent, universal and less ambiguous
Only until the physical system remains low dimensional ("spatially simple") and well conditioned ("temporally stable"). For example the system of three or more gravitating bodies isn't such a system already, not to say about more extensive particle systems. These systems can be still modeled with using of computers, but their analytical solution brings more questions than answers. Which of course isn't problem for theoretical physicists, until they're payed from taxes for bringing of questionable analytical solutions without practical value.
ValeriaT
1 / 5 (2) Apr 07, 2013
Only solids can propagate such (transverse) waves. Capillary waves are transverse waves. Don't edit the quotes, this is what I actually said
You told, that the water cannot model transverse waves, as it doesn't exhibit sheer stress. But the capillary waves are water waves and they're transverse. How is it possible, you told us it, after then? So can be transverse waves modeled with water or they cannot?
Zwicky explained why Compton scattering could NOT produce the effects of tired light
But Zwicky still promoted tired light model, so he was forced to find another model for scattering of light. Yes or not?
Fleetfoot
5 / 5 (2) Apr 07, 2013
YOU are telling everyone that water waves are an analogy for Compton scattering
This is nonsense. As I already said, the Compton scattering cannot model the wavelength dependent scattering at the water surface. You cannot remember even single post of mine.. ;-)


I remember very clearly, this is what you said:

Zwicky suggested that photons might slowly lose energy as they travel vast distances through a static universe by interaction with another particles. Such a process is commonly called the scattering in physics, ..


Such a process is called Compton (or Thomson) scattering.

inverse Compton scattering creates a blue shift and is a useful tool for cosmology
But it's not still wavelength dependent.


Yes it is, but cosmlogical redshift is not.
ValeriaT
1 / 5 (2) Apr 07, 2013
When Edwin Hubble discovered linear relationship between the distance to a galaxy and its redshift, Zwicky pointed out that this correlation had a discrepancy too large to fit in the distance's error margins. So he proposed that the reddening effect was not due to motions of the galaxies, but to a phenomenon that caused photons to lose energy as they traveled through space. He considered the most likely candidate process to be a drag effect in which photons transfer momentum to surrounding masses through gravitational interactions. He also considered and rejected explanations involving interactions with free electrons or the expansion of space (i.e. the Compton scattering and inverse Compton scattering).
Such a process is called Compton (or Thomson) scattering.
This is only the scattering of photons with particle collisions, charged particles in particular. But the waves at the water surface don't collide with anything, yet they're scattered. Are you confused? I'd say yes.
Fleetfoot
5 / 5 (1) Apr 07, 2013
Only solids can propagate such (transverse) waves. Capillary waves are transverse waves. Don't edit the quotes, this is what I actually said
You told, that the water cannot model transverse waves, ...


Don't lie about what I said, the quote above is what YOU posted, not what I wrote.
ValeriaT
1 / 5 (2) Apr 07, 2013
You told us explicitly:
You never see water moving side-to-side horizontally as a wave, this is impossible because water has no shear strength. Only solids can propagate such waves..
Did you mean the transverse waves with it, or longitudinal waves or what? IMO you had transverse waves on your mind - but one can be never sure here...;-)
Until you're remain confused at the trivial logical level, you can forget about derivation of more complex mathematical models, which would be based on this logics. And this is essentially my memo for all contemporary theorists.
Q-Star
3.2 / 5 (9) Apr 07, 2013
How can ya model vacuum fluctuations with water surface ripples
I'm not modeling vacuum fluctuations with water surface ripples. Vacuum fluctuations correspond the density fluctuations of underwater due the Brownian motion. The surface ripples are completely different phenomena.


That is proof that language alone is not enough Zephyr, because this is what ya said,,,,,

Scattering of light with vacuum fluctuations can be modeled only with scattering of water surface ripples, not with Compton scattering, because there are no charged particles.


I quote if ya missed it:

can be modeled only with


Unless "only" means something different in the Czech Republic, then that is exactly what ya said. Sorry. But ya said it. I didn't make ya say it, I only commented on it AFTER ya said it.
ValeriaT
1 / 5 (2) Apr 07, 2013
this is what ya said... "Scattering of light with vacuum fluctuations can be modeled only with scattering of water surface ripples"
Of course, the scattering of light waves with vacuum fluctuations can be modeled only with scattering of water surface ripples with density fluctuations of water. Do you still have some semantic problem with it? I'm not linguistic expert, but I'd say, this sentence is not ambivalent anymore.
Q-Star
3.2 / 5 (9) Apr 07, 2013
this is what ya said... "Scattering of light with vacuum fluctuations can be modeled only with scattering of water surface ripples"
Of course, the scattering of light waves with vacuum fluctuations can be modeled only with scattering of water surface ripples with density fluctuations of water. Do you still have some semantic problem with it?

Only when ya follow it with:
I'm not modeling vacuum fluctuations with water surface ripples.


"can be modeled only with" and "I'm not modeling" mean two opposite things if the same person is saying them.
ValeriaT
1 / 5 (2) Apr 07, 2013
It doesn't mean the same things at the moment, when you compare "can be modeled only with waves" and "I'm not modeling waves". If you would judge my sentences separated into fragments out of context, then you indeed can never understand anything in spoken form.
I'd say, you're trying to apply the strictly linear chain of mathematical derivations to spoken language. Some derivations can be really realized with single chain of implications in math, so you can compare the logical validity of any member in the chain and you'll always remain correct. But such single threaded derivations are quite rare even in formal math, not to say about theoretical physics. And the spoken language is even more multi-threaded. The separation of fragments from sentence is not allowable without risk of lost of logical meaning there. But you can describe way more complex connections with it in unambiguous way with compare to linear logics of math.
ValeriaT
1 / 5 (2) Apr 07, 2013
Back to the subject. Zwicky was rather close to the final understanding of tired light model, when he proposed that not Compton scattering, but a various gravitational interactions between photons could serve as a mechanism of tired light model. Because in the water surface analogy of space-time the surface waves are scattered with density fluctuations of the underwater, which correspond just the gravitational waves in AWT model. The CMBR photons are dispersed by itself, so to say - with 2-spin component of their field equations. So Fritz Zwicky wasn't so stupid - but he later both lost motivation in pursuing of tired light model, both he was ostracized with his colleagues, who just hated him for his social success and sometimes way too assertive behavior. Which is why the tired light model never penetrated the cosmology.
ValeriaT
1 / 5 (2) Apr 07, 2013
The physicists are essentially formed with army of mathematicians and this army got the Einstein's field equations as a new tool into their hands. And because it turned out that the red shift it's possible to interpret with metric expansion of space-time and to model the Universe with crippled black hole geometry, the theorists were suddenly able to produce the pile of articles about newly revealed connections, which appeared quite relevant to observation at the first look. The occupation motivation won over the common sense again.

The general relativity and deSiter models cannot be applied to cosmology, because the black holes are stationary models. The time inside of black hole is essentially equivalent to the time at its surface during formation of black hole - but in general relativity these two times are deeply different. Due the time dilatation each event horizon of every black hole actually reflects the universe in its "very beginning", not just distant past.
Egleton
1 / 5 (2) Apr 08, 2013
I'm with Zeph on this one.
There are too many kludges in the standard model. Inflation, dark energy, dark matter, the Great Attractor. (Make up your own list, it's easy)
How about just admitting that we have a dud model? Beautiful, but dud.
How about something much simpler? The redshift means nothing. We had high hopes of explaining the Universe. Sigh! It is just plain random.
The Big Bang is a model of reality. We should be able to toss it in the bin without rancour.
Egleton
1 / 5 (2) Apr 08, 2013
Thank you for your comment Natello. Your links exercise my powers of comprehension.
I saw Sir Roger Penrose mentioned. He put forward the idea, if I understand it correctly, that there are anomalous carbon rods embedded in the dendrites of our nerves that might act as resonators of quantum wave functions. In essence, putting us "in touch" with the underlying mathematical foundations of Reality.

"Every idea is represented by dense cluster of standing waves of electrochemical activity inside of our brain, which can become shared and entangled between brains of many members of human society. The process of understanding/sharing of such ideas corresponds the collapse of their wave functions: as the result, these ideas aren't chaotic and invariant for us anymore, they become a component of more general order, characterized by higher level of ideas."

We haven't even begun to cover the implications.
Fleetfoot
5 / 5 (3) Apr 08, 2013
You told us explicitly:
You never see water moving side-to-side horizontally as a wave, this is impossible because water has no shear strength. Only solids can propagate such waves..
Did you mean the transverse waves with it, or longitudinal waves or what?


I meant exactly what I said. This is the method by which it was discovered that the Earth has a molten core. Seismic waves from earthquakes propagating through the planet start out with both transverse longitudinal components but only the longitudinal waves are able to pass through the core.

The same would apply to an aether theory, in order to explain birefringence, 19th century physicists knew that if light was waves in the bulk of the aether, then it must be a solid.

SR removed the need for an aether and GR eliminated Lorentz's aether but it is still worth knowing the history of such failed attempts, at the turn of the century there simply wasn't the experimental evidence to decide the question.
Fleetfoot
5 / 5 (3) Apr 08, 2013
Back to the subject. Zwicky was rather close to the final understanding of tired light model, when he proposed that not Compton scattering, but a various gravitational interactions between photons could serve as a mechanism of tired light model. Because in the water surface analogy of space-time the surface waves are scattered with density fluctuations of the underwater, which correspond just the gravitational waves ...


Waves don't scatter, they pass through each other, it's called superposition, but you could speculate that the waves are quantised as gravitons. The same problem remains though, as Zwicky pointed out, scattering doesn't work.

His thoughts were that it could be a side effect of gravitational lensing or 'drag' but if you work through it logically (you don't even need maths), you'll find they don't work either.

So, now that you have read the paper and found he didn't propose scattering was the mechanism, are you going to stop lying about it?
ValeriaT
1 / 5 (2) Apr 08, 2013
Waves don't scatter, they pass through each other
The ripples at the water surface change their wavelength with distance in typical way: the small waves are getting even smaller whereas the waves larger than some threshold are getting even larger. In remaining case the wavelength doesn't change. No process which Zwicky described is behaving so.
19th century physicists knew that if light was waves in the bulk of the aether, then it must be a solid
Maxwell described the aether like the dense fluid. Which other description do you mean?
Fleetfoot
5 / 5 (2) Apr 09, 2013
Waves don't scatter, they pass through each other

The ripples at the water surface change their wavelength with distance in typical way: the small waves are getting even smaller whereas the waves larger than some threshold are getting even larger.


Wavelengths can change if the depth changes because that affects the speed but the frequency doesn't change. The photo you posted doesn't show either.

19th century physicists knew that if light was waves in the bulk of the aether, then it must be a solid

Maxwell described the aether like the dense fluid. Which other description do you mean?


The page you cited describes visco-elastic material and links the following introduction to the subject:

http://web.mit.ed...isco.pdf

At low temperatures, such materials behave like glass, at high temperature like a viscous fluid and inbetween like leather. Behaving like glass or leather would support transverse waves but not in the fluid mode.