Cosmologists cast doubt on inflation evidence

Mar 25, 2014 by Jason Major, Universe Today
Some physicists still have questions on the true origin of the BICEP2 findings.

It was just a week ago that the news blew through the scientific world like a storm: researchers from the BICEP2 project at the South Pole Telescope had detected unambiguous evidence of primordial gravitational waves in the cosmic microwave background, the residual rippling of space and time created by the sudden inflation of the Universe less than a billionth of a billionth of a second after the Big Bang. With whispers of Nobel nominations quickly rising in the science news wings, the team's findings were hailed as the best direct evidence yet of cosmic inflation, possibly even supporting the existence of a multitude of other universes besides our own.

That is, if they really do indicate what they appear to. Some theorists are advising that we "put the champagne back in the fridge"… at least for now.

Theoretical physicists and cosmologists James Dent, Lawrence Krauss, and Harsh Mathur have submitted a brief paper (arXiv:1403.5166 [astro-ph.CO]) stating that, while groundbreaking, the BICEP2 Collaboration findings have yet to rule out all possible non- sources of the observed B-mode polarization patterns and the "surprisingly large value of r, the ratio of power in tensor modes to scalar density perturbations."

"However, while there is little doubt that inflation at the Grand Unified Scale is the best motivated source of such primordial waves, it is important to demonstrate that other possible sources cannot account for the current BICEP2 data before definitely claiming Inflation has been proved. " – Dent, Krauss, and Mathur (arXiv:1403.5166 [astro-ph.CO])

Inflation may very well be the cause—and Dent and company state right off the bat that "there is little doubt that inflation at the Grand Unified Scale is the best motivated source of such primordial waves" –  but there's also a possibility, however remote, that some other, later cosmic event is responsible for at least some if not all of the BICEP2 measurements. (Hence the name of the paper: "Killing the Straw Man: Does BICEP Prove Inflation?")

Not intending to entirely rain out the celebration, Dent, Krauss, and Mathur do laud the BICEP2 findings as invaluable to physics, stating that they "will be very important for constraining physics beyond the standard model, whether or not inflation is responsible for the entire BICEP2 signal, even though existing data from cosmology is strongly suggestive that it does."

The history of the universe starting the with the Big Bang. Credit: grandunificationtheory.com

Now I'm no physicist, cosmologist, or astronomer. Actually I barely passed high school algebra (and I have the transcripts to prove it) so if you want to get into the finer details of this particular argument I invite you to read the team's paper for yourself here and check out a complementary article on The Physics arXiv Blog.

And so, for better or worse (just kidding—it's definitely better) this is how science works and how science is supposed to work. A claim is presented, and, regardless of how attractive its implications may be, it must stand up to any other possibilities before deemed the decisive winner. It's not a popularity contest, it's not a beauty contest, and it's not up for vote. What it is up for is scrutiny, and this is just an example of scientists behaving as they should.

Still, I'd  keep that champagne nicely chilled.

Explore further: Setting a trap for gravity waves

More information: "Killing the Straw Man: Does BICEP Prove Inflation?" James B. Dent, Lawrence M. Krauss, Harsh Mathur. arXiv:1403.5166v1 [astro-ph.CO] Thu, 20 Mar 2014

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indio007
3 / 5 (10) Mar 25, 2014
Collaboration findings have yet to rule out all possible non-inflation sources of the observed B-mode polarization

Some guy was saying this in comments last week but got ignored. Maybe Capt. Cornhole and his merry men will call these guys crackpots too.

Doug_Huffman
4.3 / 5 (7) Mar 25, 2014
Science proceeds by falsification of hypotheses and not mere proposal of alternatives. Put up or shut up, so to speak.
Jizby
Mar 25, 2014
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Jizby
Mar 25, 2014
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cantdrive85
1.6 / 5 (13) Mar 25, 2014
Maybe Capt. Cornhole and his merry men will call these guys crackpots too.


Now it's just official and where all critics are? Can you use your brains during voting at al? Such an unanimous stance just indicates the immense social pressure, which exists on behalf of inflationary and gravitational wavy interpretation of the BICEP finding.


LOL

http://www.youtub..._zMLCRNg

Jizby
Mar 25, 2014
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Jizby
Mar 25, 2014
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Eikka
4.6 / 5 (13) Mar 25, 2014
I was downvoted furiously with more than twenty people here. Now it's just official and where all critics are?


That's because you're just another alter-ego of a known pseudo-science crank who tries to peddle his nonsense by any excuse, and you seem to attempt to collect positive ratings in a desperate attempt to gain credibility on the site. Mostly by uprating yourself using other accounts.

You've already flashed your aether wind theories on numerous occasions, so it's not working.
MaxwellsDemon
4.9 / 5 (18) Mar 25, 2014
@AetherWaveFanaticOfInfinteSockPuppets
This paper doesn't support your objections to the BICEP2 findings, so your outrage at being down-voted is totally unwarranted. You had said:
IMO the B-mode is related to dark matter fluctuations

and
Currently the mainstream science suffers with social pressure for experimental proof of gravitational waves and inflation

But Dent and Krauss very clearly state that the data shows a gravitational wave signal that originated in the first moments of the Big Bang. Their question pertains solely to the source of the gravity waves:
Finally we note that while current data cannot definitively rule out a SOSF transition as the source of gravitational waves, it nevertheless does imply that the source for such waves is at, or near the Grand Unified Scale.

So you're still wrong for challenging the detection of gravitational waves, and also wrong about the era when this signal was generated.

Having failed to read the paper and understand these vital distinctions, you deserve to be vigorously down-voted for your previous comments and your latest comment as well. Have a nice day :)
HannesAlfven
1.6 / 5 (8) Mar 25, 2014
Re: "Such an unanimous stance just indicates the immense social pressure, which exists on behalf of inflationary and gravitational wavy interpretation of the BICEP finding. And which you don't probably realize, despite it manifest itself clearly in your instinctive attitude. If you tell the people something, which these people want to hear, it brings a wave of pleasure to them."

Yes, a Nobel Prize was recently given to Daniel Kahneman for his work on this very subject. He published in his book, Thinking, Fast and Slow. The system you are referring to is the fast thinking. It is designed to keep us alive, and therefore has to rely on something more primitive than rationality. Rationality is the slow system. Fast thinking is based upon what he calls "associative coherence" -- which is a measure of how congruent the pieces of information are. We don't really have a choice in having these thoughts. They happen TO us, and most people don't realize that it's happening.
HannesAlfven
1.6 / 5 (9) Mar 25, 2014
It is unfortunately fashionable today for people to imagine that they can have accurate cosmological beliefs without cultivating a profound understanding of how they think. It's going to take many years for our culture to come to grips with associative coherence (which Kahneman calls System 1 thinking). Until that tipping point, the simplistic narratives will dominate peoples' awarenesses.

Kahneman has numerous lectures on YouTube. I encourage anybody who wants to think clearly in science to listen to the questions he asks his audience to think about, and follow along. You will observe that he is making accurate claims about the way that YOU ... and I, and all of us ... think.

The next step is to build discourse systems which take us past the simplistic narratives using philosophy as a guide. But, for now, the idea that the universe started -- that it had a creation event billions of years ago -- is one of these narratives. And we will culturally continue to try to prove it.
Jizby
Mar 25, 2014
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Jizby
Mar 25, 2014
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MaxwellsDemon
5 / 5 (11) Mar 25, 2014
@Jiz-B

There's nothing irrational about recognizing a preponderance of evidence when you see it.

But you don't know the meaning of "at or near the Grand Unified Scale." It means "at or near the time when electroweak symmetry breaking occurred," roughly 10e-12 to 10e-6 second after the Big Bang. And you said:

IMO the B-mode is related to dark matter fluctuations instead and they appear everywhere in our universe. It just indicates the density gradients of dark matter, which manifest itself like the rings around galaxies (they were filtered out from data as a "lensing") and the streaks of dark matter between them (the weren't)(sic).

Then you go on about "dark matter fiber" between the galaxies creating the signal "much later," attributing the B-mode signal to a galactic era 150 million to 1 billion years after the Big Bang.

So you're off by at least 13 to 20 orders of magnitude, silly rabbit. Which is why it's perfectly rational to vote you down. And I shall do so now.
Jizby
Mar 25, 2014
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Jizby
Mar 25, 2014
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Jizby
Mar 25, 2014
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big_hairy_jimbo
5 / 5 (7) Mar 25, 2014
Please keep in mind this quote from the article.

"However, while there is little doubt that inflation at the Grand Unified Scale is the best motivated source of such primordial waves, it is important to demonstrate that other possible sources cannot account for the current BICEP2 data before definitely claiming Inflation has been proved. "

Finally, I love the articles authors statement.

"And so, for better or worse (just kidding—it's definitely better) this is how science works and how science is supposed to work. A claim is presented, and, regardless of how attractive its implications may be, it must stand up to any other possibilities before deemed the decisive winner. It's not a popularity contest, it's not a beauty contest, and it's not up for vote. What it is up for is scrutiny, and this is just an example of scientists behaving as they should"

So let's wait and see what scrutiny reveals.
Jizby
Mar 25, 2014
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indio007
2 / 5 (8) Mar 25, 2014
Seriously, all these CMB experiments are garbage. The signal to noise is over 1 in 10000 as well as being band limited. This is just silliness.
Jizby
Mar 25, 2014
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Caliban
4.6 / 5 (10) Mar 25, 2014
As I recall, the researchers only claimed that their findings were the "best evidence yet" --not a fait accompli-- and that further data gathering and analysis would be needed in order to achieve the level of confidence necessary to rule out the few remaining possibilities that could alter or eliminate Inflation as the source of the observed CMB B-mode polarization.

All this "I told you so" from Zephyr, indio, Hannes, et al, is entirely without merit, as it is merely an attempt to legitimize their "skepticism" --which, as most of us are already aware, is an attempt to justify their individual pet cosmological/conspiracy "theories", i.e. --crackpot pseudoscience.

Sad, since --occasionally-- they each have something relevant to add to the discussion.
DavidW
1.5 / 5 (10) Mar 25, 2014
"A claim is presented, and, regardless of how attractive its implications may be, it must stand up to any other possibilities before deemed the decisive winner."

Claim: "Life is most important in life"
Attractiveness level: Presented as the truthful, prevention and cure, for all malicious injury caused to life.
This truth's ability to stand unchallenged: Infinite, undebatable, eternal, and self-evident.
Implications: We are most important, life, truth, equal, and what is proved most important is most important, and if we accept life and truth as real in discussion we can have a real discussion because when we stay consistent in the most important truth in our words our words do remain truthful and so we can speaks of what truthfully is, and to deny this truth is speaking in dreams of fantastic illusions, lying, hypocrisy, etc., and it is consistent with every aspect of a "True" "Living" God, and that killing animals for personal gratification (taste, fun, unneeded nutrition) is evil.
Jizby
Mar 25, 2014
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DavidW
1 / 5 (12) Mar 25, 2014
@ Antialias....

Yes dude, it was the truth above that got Vice President Gore. Delivered personally by guess who? You were given your shot to show public integrity before him, but you blew it. Will your ego still get in your way now? Most important trumps all. If you can't accept that in a convo, then find better friends that speak honestly and you'll soon learn the value of integrity.

I'm sick to death of people talking science and then in the next moment killing some animals and then implying to anyone, me or someone else, that somehow our ability to come to logical conclusion on this issue is in question as if our brain doesn't function properly. If you must kill because your brain is too sick to stop, then admit it. Stop implying to us that there has gotta be another excuse and that truth isn't real!

You will never stand up in public with a great discovery without shame in your public denial of the most important truth in life, unless you yield to the most important truth first
Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (8) Mar 25, 2014
to justify their individual pet cosmological/conspiracy "theories"
It's not about theories
@Jiz Zeph
actually, it is about your theories. in this thread alone you have posted 12 times, and at least ten of those times you are referencing your personal philosophies or conspiratorial ranting's, which makes Caliban's comment even more cogent
you should pay attention to his last line specifically
You will never stand up in public with a great discovery without shame in your public denial of the most important truth in life, unless you yield to the most important truth first
@DavidW
WTF are you ranting about? this is a science site.Antialias isn't even IN this thread!
your argument belongs elsewhere... try these links:
godlikeproductions.com
http://christianc...acy.html
http://www.christ...7666241/
http://www.abovet...5405/pg1

TheGhostofOtto1923
3.9 / 5 (13) Mar 25, 2014
Claim: "Life is most important in life"
Attractiveness level: Presented as the truthful, prevention and cure, for all malicious injury caused to life
It is obvious because of your compulsive fixation symptoms that major parts if your brain are dead. You should seek recompense for the malicious injury done to it.
"True" "Living" God, and that killing animals for personal gratification (taste, fun, unneeded nutrition) is evil
Eat burgers and die you freak.
Returners
1.7 / 5 (6) Mar 25, 2014
Collaboration findings have yet to rule out all possible non-inflation sources of the observed B-mode polarization

Some guy was saying this in comments last week but got ignored. Maybe Capt. Cornhole and his merry men will call these guys crackpots too.



That would be me, I think.

At least I was going to post that, I don't recall if I actually did so.
HannesAlfven
1.6 / 5 (7) Mar 25, 2014
Re: "All this "I told you so" from Zephyr, indio, Hannes, et al, is entirely without merit, as it is merely an attempt to legitimize their "skepticism" --which, as most of us are already aware, is an attempt to justify their individual pet cosmological/conspiracy "theories", i.e. --crackpot pseudoscience."

Actually, I think it's obvious that people need to understand how their minds work in order to think more like a scientist. Most people are not aware of what associative coherence is, nor how it affects their thinking, nor that it involves post-rationalizations. These are the simplistic narratives (irrational thinking) which people use as shortcuts to actual rational thought based upon arguments.

These narratives undermine rationality in science, and they are relied upon very commonly, so regardless of your cosmological views, they are of vital importance in shaping our beliefs in science. Those who refuse to learn about them are most susceptible.
GuruShabu
1.8 / 5 (10) Mar 25, 2014
On that article I was the first to comment (and there goes my list of 1s)
The Big Bang Never Happened.
Just read the book The Virtue of Heresy - Confessions of a Dissident Astronomer by Hilton Ratcliffe (ISBN:1-4196-9556-8)
Also read the beautiful work of Halton C. Arp Seeing Red: Red shifts, Cosmology and Academic Science (Apeiron, Montreal, 1998).
It show experimental data (not mathematical theory) clerkly showing Quasars are not that far away and (again) the red shift is inconsistent with expansion.
The Hubble Ultra Deep Field, the Sloan Digital Survey, the CfA2 survey and the published 6-year summary of Chandra deep sky X-ray measurements show no evidence of linear evolution with time. The paper Static Universe of Walther Nerst, Peter Huber and Tuivo Jaakkola says: In modern cosmology data there is nothing whatsoever to support a global increase of entropy. Distant galaxies observed as they were long ago are similar to present nearby galaxies.
HannesAlfven
1.6 / 5 (7) Mar 25, 2014
Physorg didn't even announce Arp's recent passing.

There's not a whole lot of concern about being wrong with this bunch. There is no hedging of bets going on at the Astrophysical Journal. All we see is doubling down, and a presumption that no mistakes have been made early in the process.

There is actually a $2.5 billion mission being considered to Titan right now which will probably involve a probe that is designed to float for several months in the methane lakes there. The problem is that it's not entirely clear that these structures actually are lakes. They appear to be a form of electrically-machined glass. What a waste of money ...

I think part of the problem is that there are no repercussions for being wrong. Each failed thought experiment is simply an opportunity to conjure up another possibility, and publish. What seems to matter most is how many people agree. Regardless of the uncertainty, they shoot for agreement, then try to build additional conjectures.
GuruShabu
1 / 5 (9) Mar 26, 2014
to HannesAlven,
I share your frustration mate.
What about the more than 100 billion dollars waste of the ISS?
It was primarily designed for ZERO gravity experiments...
There is no such a thing in the ISS.
Any step an astronaut does and docking, any door closed causes a bump on the entire structure...the ISS shakes as a blender with al this equipments turning on and off...
Not to mention the COBE and all CBR experiments designed to PROVE the existence of something before hand. Quite an unscientific approach. Even Hubble did not believe red shift was due to the universe expansion. He was inducted the same way Robert Wilson and Arno Penzias were by the mouth watering supporters of the religious based (abbot Georges Lamaitre+Pope Pius Xll) "mathematical theory" of the big Bang.
However, I understand when entire professional carriers were devoted to a chimera how honest and couragious one should be to admit publicly he or she was blatantly wrong
barakn
3.8 / 5 (10) Mar 26, 2014
There is actually a $2.5 billion mission being considered to Titan right now which will probably involve a probe that is designed to float for several months in the methane lakes there. The problem is that it's not entirely clear that these structures actually are lakes. They appear to be a form of electrically-machined glass. What a waste of money ...
Debunked here http://phys.org/n...oth.html . You sure do have a crappy memory and a short attention span.
GuruShabu
1 / 5 (6) Mar 26, 2014
to barakn
Why are you so aggressive and unkind telling Hannes he has a crappy memory?
Why do you search on such a "crappy" source as Physorg?

Just go to NASA Cassini Solstice Mission and you will find out
http://saturn.jpl...ckfacts/

Program

Partners: NASA, European Space Agency (ESA), Italian space agency Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ASI); total of 17 countries involved
U.S. states in which Cassini work was carried out: 33
Number of people who worked on some portion of Cassini-Huygens: More than 5,000
Cost of mission: $1.422 billion pre-launch development; $710 million mission operations; $54 million tracking; $422 million launch vehicle; $500 million ESA; $160 million ASI; total about $3.27 billion, of which U.S. contribution is $2.6 billion and European partners' contribution $660 million
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.8 / 5 (9) Mar 26, 2014
It was primarily designed for ZERO gravity experiments...
There is no such a thing in the ISS.
Any step an astronaut does and docking, any door closed causes a bump on the entire structure...the ISS shakes as a blender with al this equipments turning on and off...
The ISS was an engineering prototype. It is critical to know how to build such a structure in space and how it would function with all this activity going on inside of it. And building it was the only way to learn how. Just wait til we hook up the VASIMR engines to it.

Can you imagine sending a construct of such size and complexity beyond earths orbit and out of the range of service and repair missions?

Building and occupying it was far more important than anything we would actually do there.

Oh BTW you're way off topic.
Distant galaxies observed as they were long ago are similar to present nearby galaxies
Youll be able to foist this until they fly the Webb.
AmritSorli
2.7 / 5 (7) Mar 26, 2014
HOW TO GET OUT OF PRESENT EPISTEMOLOGICAL CRISIS OF TODAY PHYSICS
Inflation model of the universe is against first law of thermodynamics
In his book The Brief History of Now Hawking represents inflation phase of the universe as: in the universe energy of matter is positive and gravitational energy is negative. The sum of matter energy and gravitational energy is always zero. In inflation phase happens that energy of matter and gravitational energy are multiplying in but their sum remains zero; this goes in the same way as by multiplying natural numbers: -1+1=0, -2+2=0, -3+3=0…….. His explanation of inflation phase has no scientific validity; actually inflation phase is a "magical" theory, because only in magic things appear out of nothing. And now BICEP2 will prove inflation model. I see all that not sincere and against established procedure of scientific research according to which: 1. we observe a given phenomenon. 2. We build a physical model of the phenomenon (not mathematical one). Than we carry out experiment which will prove or disprove our model. This is not the case with Higgs field, and will be not the case with BICEP2. What is happening with Physics today? How we will get out of this crisis of searching for some indirect proves of purely abstract mathematical models of physical reality which have no direct epistemological correlation with physical world?
johanfprins
2 / 5 (4) Mar 26, 2014
How can a 4D "space-time"-manifold exist when the coordinates x, y, z, and ict are not linearly independent as is DEMANDED by rational mathematics? If it cannot exist for these coordinates why will it exist for curved coordinates?
antialias_physorg
4.6 / 5 (12) Mar 26, 2014
@ Antialias....

Huh? I didn't even comment on this article and you're already trying to attack me? That's new. Are you paranoid?
And what exactly do I have to do with Al Gore?

If you can't accept that in a convo,

What's a convo?
Most important trumps all.

What does that even mean? Is that proper english?

Dude, one of us is confused...and I'm pretty sure it isn't me.
HannesAlfven
1.8 / 5 (5) Mar 26, 2014
@barakn

I realize that you think that you are applying the scientific method, but if what you wrote in the Titan thread is what you call "debunking", then you have redefined debunking from rational argumentation into thought experiment. What you are doing is arguing against one worldview on the basis of arguments which stem from a completely different worldview. It is the assumptions within your worldview which are being argued against -- in particular, this idea that where we see electricity that it is localized and the side-effect of other more fundamental forces.

This idea that you can argue between worldviews in the same way that you argue between models that exist within the same worldview suggests that you do not understand what a worldview is.

This part: "Titan's rocks are made of water ice. Electromachining of this surface would lead to a lava... of water. A "glass" that cooled from this lava would be .... water ice. You're implying ..."

You have to back up much further.
HannesAlfven
1.8 / 5 (5) Mar 26, 2014
What you are doing is trying to isolate this single problem, without considering the larger effects of altering this assumption. You're imagining that you only need to back up a few steps in logic in order to explain away competing worldviews. The problem is that making this one change alters the entire fabric of planetary science -- the history associated with those planets, the way in which they originated, the processes at work in shaping their landscapes, and the interpretations used for making inferences.

You can't just back up a few steps, and base arguments from there. The only way to argue between worldviews is to elaborate their implications independently, from the beginning, with the alternative assumption in place -- and then, after many years of doing this within a collaborating community of scientists, compare each emergent observation to both worldviews to see which one better explains it.

Your shortcut to this difficult work leads to nonsense.
HannesAlfven
1.8 / 5 (5) Mar 26, 2014
I know that you mean well. Ultimately, you and I want the same thing: To understand what is happening. The problem is that your community has developed bad habits, and there is nobody that can force this community to listen to critiques. So, you are encouraged to think this way because you see the people around you thinking this way.

But, the inherent cost to this approach is the ever-increasing risk of being wrong. Healthy communities listen to critiques. The system of science cannot work with intellectual barriers guarding conventional wisdom. When the communication breaks down and all of the thoughts about models are designed -- to the exclusion of emergent arguments based upon a holistic, re-analysis of observations, as Wal Thornhill has done -- then this is how we stall innovation in science to a crawl.

If you want to understand why your thought experiment about Titan is wrong, the first step would be to look in depth at what Wal Thornhill has written on the subject.
Maggnus
4.6 / 5 (9) Mar 26, 2014
The problem is that it's not entirely clear that these structures actually are lakes. They appear to be a form of electrically-machined glass. What a waste of money ...


Wow, talk about being subjugated to the group think of pseudo-scientific panderers of deceit.

HannesAlfven
2 / 5 (4) Mar 26, 2014
Wal has thought more about the implications of an electrodynamic universe than anybody on the planet. He has dedicated his life to this one single issue, and he goes out of his way to write for comprehension. The most effective way forward is to take a very close look at what he has come up with, and use that as our basis for argumentation.

There are divergent inferences, based upon the competing worldview, for numerous observations. Each of the individual inferences is simple, but taken as a whole, the system of inferences -- the models -- are quite different than what you are used to.

So, the question is: Why are you pretending that you can argue against one worldview on the basis of another?
HannesAlfven
2 / 5 (4) Mar 26, 2014
Re: "Wow, talk about being subjugated to the group think of pseudo-scientific panderers of deceit."

You seem intent on thinking it at least. Notice what I've said is that we should be STARTING with Wal's arguments -- not ENDING. What we should specifically NOT do is imagine that we can -- ourselves -- fully imagine what an electrodynamic universe would look like.

And yet, that's precisely what this community tries and fails to do with each thought experiment it proposes against the EU.

If you want to argue against it, then first learn it. And to learn it, you have to actually listen for a while. You can't start arguing right away. That approach will ALWAYS lead to nonsense.

Honestly, I think most of the people here already know this, because for those who actually got a degree in physics, you didn't argue with THAT idea the first second the professor started talking. And if you had, you fully understand at this current point that YOU WOULD HAVE NEVER LEARNED IT.
Maggnus
5 / 5 (9) Mar 26, 2014
Honestly, I think most of the people here already know this, because for those who actually got a degree in physics, you didn't argue with THAT idea the first second the professor started talking. And if you had, you fully understand at this current point that YOU WOULD HAVE NEVER LEARNED IT.
Honestly, I think your insular world of tunnel-viewed thinking leaves you incapable of appreciating the irony of the comments you have just made.
HannesAlfven
1.7 / 5 (6) Mar 26, 2014
Re: "Honestly, I think your insular world of tunnel-viewed thinking leaves you incapable of appreciating the irony of the comments you have just made."

No, I'm quite sure that we are proposing two different forms of learning: There is conceptual learning -- which is simply learning what a worldview says -- and there is mathematical learning, which is learning how to apply the model. Concepts are the fundamental building blocks of thought. Math qualifies those concepts. Although paradigm changes can be inspired by math, they do not happen IN math.

So, ultimately, there is no irony here -- because you are thinking that people need to understand the mathematics of astrophysics and cosmology in order to engage in worldview disputes. What you're not getting is the value to breadth of knowledge. You think depth of analysis is most important, but then notice that that leaves no time to explore alternative ideas.

We understand the concepts involved in both worldviews. You don't.
HannesAlfven
1.7 / 5 (6) Mar 26, 2014
If you want to engage in worldview disputes with any effectiveness, you're going to have to learn to budget your time. And you're going to have to LEARN TO LEARN things which you don't necessarily agree with. This can take practice and determination.

If you think that you can do it without learning the concepts of the worldview you're arguing against, then you are wasting everybody's time -- including, most importantly, your own.

If you think that people can't understand things without learning the mathematics behind them, then that raises all sorts of questions about how you manage to survive through each day. Astrophysicists only know formulae for this tiny slice of knowledge. Does that mean that they DON'T understand anything about all of those subjects which they have not learned the formulae for?
Jizby
Mar 26, 2014
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Jizby
Mar 26, 2014
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
HannesAlfven
2.2 / 5 (5) Mar 26, 2014
That's a very interesting Feynman video. He does quite well with his concept-based response to the question. The video reinforces the fact that we fundamentally argue/discuss worldviews based upon concepts. The math is there to support us in that endeavor, and the math will never guide us in reasoning about the assumptions and philosophy which apply to our decisions.

Re: "The water surface analogy illustrates it well ..."

Water acts as an excellent source for analogies. Look at the videos of ants drinking water. The water to them are spheres because the Van der Waals dominates at their scale. But, if you simply back off from the Earth enough to see a puddle, the water is flat because gravity dominates. And if you back off further, the water adheres to the surface of the planet.

Now, imagine that we are the ants, and we are using our direct interaction with water to infer that the Van der Waals is the universe's fundamental force ...

Unlike ants, we have telescopes, so ...
indio007
2.3 / 5 (6) Mar 26, 2014
Re: "All this "I told you so" from Zephyr, indio, Hannes, et al, is entirely without merit, as it is merely an attempt to legitimize their "skepticism" --


Hogwash.
The authors of the paper cite a paper that explicitly states that the polarization could be from vortices. The authors chose the interpretatino they wanted and omitted data (or never gathered it ) that would point to a cause other than gravity waves.

I also pointed out that this could be caused by superoscillations which happens to be an optical vortex. Their measurement technique fits the situation under which they would be observed. i.e. Band limited, exponentially weak, and post selected measurement.

I can't speak for the others but I was simply poo-pooing their interpretation to be a contrarian.

There are other phenomena that could explain this as well the least of which being the capabilities of the measurement apparatus.

Your painting with too broad of a brush.
indio007
2.7 / 5 (7) Mar 26, 2014


Yes, a Nobel Prize was recently given to Daniel Kahneman for his work on this very subject.

Obama won a Nobel too. Just sayin'.
barakn
4.5 / 5 (8) Mar 26, 2014
to barakn
Why are you so aggressive and unkind telling Hannes he has a crappy memory?
Why do you search on such a "crappy" source as Physorg? -GuruShamoo

Apparently you were too lazy to look at the physorg article I linked to, which bears a conversation between Hannes and I with many links to outside material including original papers. You really out to look at it, it's quite funny. Hannes has not provided a single relevant counterargument and has finally resorted to quotemining.
rah
5 / 5 (5) Mar 26, 2014
I'm surprised that cold fusion was not solved with this discovery. How could something so revolutionary be announced via press release and You Tube video's instead of a peer review publication? It seems like they were hoping that getting the announcement out to the general public would make it harder for anyone to challenge their findings once it became common knowledge.
GuruShabu
4 / 5 (2) Mar 26, 2014
to barakn
Why are you so aggressive and unkind telling Hannes he has a crappy memory?
Why do you search on such a "crappy" source as Physorg? -GuruShamoo

Apparently you were too lazy to look at the physorg article I linked to, which bears a conversation between Hannes and I with many links to outside material including original papers. You really out to look at it, it's quite funny. Hannes has not provided a single relevant counterargument and has finally resorted to quotemining.

Barakn I am sorry.
I was not lazy but I made a wrong assumption when I saw the link with a Physorg on it...
I couldn't care about any "science' link from this webpage. I did not realise it was a link to a previous argumentation between you two.
Anyway, I still think we should keep the highest possible level (within our means and power) on our comments regardless the other side opinion. Otherwise we end up fighting like kids and the overall level goes down.
Hope you agree with that. Regards
Torbjorn_Larsson_OM
4.2 / 5 (5) Mar 28, 2014
Krauss and Mathur are big guns.

The paper shows that this mechanism is marginally included if it stands for all the gravitational signature, which would be an unlikely coincidence. By itself it would then need something to replace vital predictions of inflation (flat space, horizon problem, no primordial defects). Or it could save the ekpyrotic or cyclic models, just.

More likely it can be a component of the whole signature, if it is involved at all.
Torbjorn_Larsson_OM
5 / 5 (5) Mar 28, 2014
... and now that I read the thread I find it is a generic crackpot me-so-sad-party (with some sane voices rebutting) instead of about the science, making me regret the previous comment. :-/
no fate
1.3 / 5 (3) Mar 28, 2014
... and now that I read the thread I find it is a generic crackpot me-so-sad-party (with some sane voices rebutting) instead of about the science, making me regret the previous comment. :-/


The untestable/unproven hypothesis that gravity can polarize photons is considered sane? Assuming it happens and incorporating it to support a theory which defies all proven laws of physics is sane?

Define sane.
Uncle Ira
1 / 5 (2) Mar 28, 2014
Define sane.


A coonass after him get in the bed and is sleeping. But I tell this to you Cher, you better want a real good reason if you wake him before it's time.

Laissez les bons temps rouler No-Skippy you want to let that sleeping Cajun lay there Skippy.
no fate
not rated yet Mar 28, 2014
Define sane.


A coonass after him get in the bed and is sleeping. But I tell this to you Cher, you better want a real good reason if you wake him before it's time.

Laissez les bons temps rouler No-Skippy you want to let that sleeping Cajun lay there Skippy.


This fits.
Returners
1 / 5 (6) Mar 28, 2014
The paper Static Universe of Walther Nerst, Peter Huber and Tuivo Jaakkola says: In modern cosmology data there is nothing whatsoever to support a global increase of entropy.


If you could prove that you'd get a Nobel, because it would be the biggest discovery in science since Newton's Gravity and the Laws of Thermodynamics.

Local entropy increase is provable, so in order to disprove cosmic entropy increase, you would need to propose, and prove, a mechanism of reducing entropy or otherwise offsetting the increased entropy.

I've concluded that Entropy is a form of Order, it just isn't the type of Order we think of on a daily basis.

If you break a ceramic cup, you say that Order has decreased and Entropy has increased. That is evidently true.

However, in the greater scheme of things, all things work to an expected end, and this is a form of order.

According to 2nd law, in order to remove Entropy, you'd need a source of energy or order from outside the Universe.
Returners
1.6 / 5 (7) Mar 28, 2014
So:

Big Bang violates a fundamental principal of all science and philosophy, "From nothing comes nothing," therefore it only works if there is an eternal, omnipotent God as the origin of all things.

Steady state theory (as proven,) is not steady, and would result in a maximal entropy state requiring an Omnipotent God to put more energy back in the system to fix the entropy problem.

Either way, you still need an omnipotent God.

Have fun kiddos.

Hope you guys come to see the real truth.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.4 / 5 (5) Mar 28, 2014
all things work to an expected end, and this is a form of order
And just where did you get this notion Lrrkrr? Oh I know

"I am God, and there is none like me,
declaring the end from the beginning
and from ancient times things not yet done." Isaiah 46:9

-Havent you learned yet not to mix superstition with science? It just makes you look silly.

-Ah- I didnt read your 2nd post...
Big Bang violates a fundamental principal of all science and philosophy, "From nothing comes nothing," therefore it only works if there is an eternal, omnipotent God
Well this couldnt be YOUR god could it? You know, the god who writes a book describing things which never happened and people who never existed?

THAT god is either an incompetent or a liar. No, the creator god, if he exists, produced a creation which gives absolutely no indication that there is a hereafter or souls to dwell therein.

Which, when you think about it, is as silly as a god who thinks rabbits have cuds.
Reg Mundy
1 / 5 (4) Mar 29, 2014
@Returners
If you could prove that you'd get a Nobel, because it would be the biggest discovery in science since Newton's Gravity and the Laws of Thermodynamics.

Newton didn't DISCOVER gravity, he INVENTED it to explain observed phenomena. I think he must have been using hallucinogenic substances at the time....
Uncle Ira
3 / 5 (6) Mar 29, 2014
@Returners
If you could prove that you'd get a Nobel, because it would be the biggest discovery in science since Newton's Gravity and the Laws of Thermodynamics.

Newton didn't DISCOVER gravity, he INVENTED it to explain observed phenomena. I think he must have been using hallucinogenic substances at the time....


So what you discover Skippy? Something we all heard of or is the Reg-Skippy's great discovering secret from the rest of us like the Really-Skippy?

Laissez les bons temps rouler Reg-Skippy. Take care of your manners because I got the silly looking pointy cap for you if you act up Cher and it's hard to play the scientist man with one of those on your head.

Reg Mundy
1.7 / 5 (6) Mar 29, 2014
@Ira-ass
Hey, who dis Skippy? You sound a bit acey-deucey to me, Uncle. One of these creeps with a touch of the "Laissez les bons", eh? And got a funny hat to go with it! You are on the wrong site, pal, the one for psychopathic idiots is reserved just for you....
Uncle Ira
3 / 5 (6) Mar 29, 2014
@Ira-ass
Hey, who dis Skippy? You sound a bit acey-deucey to me, Uncle. One of these creeps with a touch of the "Laissez les bons", eh? And got a funny hat to go with it! You are on the wrong site, pal, the one for psychopathic idiots is reserved just for you....


First to start Skippy, its Ira-coonass. Comprands? And Skippy if you were a real scientist man that "psychopathic idiots" thing would hurt the feelings but you are not one and no bothered by it me.

But tell me this thing Cher, What you mean when you say the ""Laissez les bons", eh? ", eh? What you want Ira to fill the blank spaces for you? To me you look pretty stupid so I'm sorry Cher, I have to give you the bad karma point me. Now why don't you sit down before one of the smart peoples happens by to make you the more the couyon, eh mon ami?
Jizby
Mar 29, 2014
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
typicalguy
4.3 / 5 (6) Mar 29, 2014
What's this I see, "smart" people in the phys.org comments section talking about how they're smarter than everyone else on the planet and that their pet idea is better than any idea anyone else ever made? What's that you ask? You want them to give you formulas, data, and disprovable hypothesis? You are obviously part of a vast science conspiracy to create jobs for loser scientists that do nothing but sit on their butt all day and drink coffee and tea!
Jizby
Mar 29, 2014
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
typicalguy
3.7 / 5 (3) Mar 29, 2014
I'm just showing, where the physicists are doing mistakes when proposing various particular models. IMO the reason is, the mainstream physicists are deriving various hypothesis about formation of universe, and when their number exceeds certain limit, then the simple logical thinking becomes more effective. My strategy is, don't assume anything about Universe (...no big bang, branes, inflation, collisions, etc...), just consider it random and follow the consequences. Hypotheses non fingo.

WAT? They're trying to find the underlying laws of physics. Various theories are proposed with what we know about the Universe. They've done a good job so far but need more data from further back in time and at higher energy levels to progress further. Following your line of thinking, we'd be sitting in caves trying to figure out how to make fire still because...you know...C'est la vie amirite?
Jizby
Mar 29, 2014
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Jizby
Mar 29, 2014
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
gculpex
1 / 5 (2) Mar 29, 2014
"I am God, and there is none like me,
declaring the end from the beginning
and from ancient times things not yet done." Isaiah 46:9

-Ah- I didnt read your 2nd post...
Big Bang violates a fundamental principal of all science and philosophy, "From nothing comes nothing," therefore it only works if there is an eternal, omnipotent God
Well this couldnt be YOUR god could it? You know, the god who writes a book describing things which never happened and people who never existed?

Well, look who knows everything. I am sure glad you can see beyond all things seen and unseen to tell us what is there.

Oh wait, You already know I was going to write this but failed to response before I wrote this!
MandoZink
4.4 / 5 (7) Mar 29, 2014
I've concluded that Entropy is a form of Order...
- Returners

Yes. One can observe that on "Opposite Day". I saw it on SpongeBob Squarepants. On that day we celebrate (mourn) the brilliant (stupid) ideas (crap) that one can come up with.

"Light is a form of Darkness"
- another Opposite Day deduction.
OZGuy
3 / 5 (2) Mar 30, 2014
"Theoretical physicists and cosmologists James Dent, Lawrence Krauss, and Harsh Mathur have submitted a brief paper..."

That carries weight; a post in Physorg stating you don't believe in or agree with BICEP2 Collaboration findings is merely a personal opinion/comment.

The paper by Dent et al DOES NOT make your personal opinion correct. Please submit formal papers supporting your disagreement if you wish it to be considered as anything more than a personal comment or STOP WHINING that you weren't taken seriously.

TheGhostofOtto1923
2 / 5 (4) Mar 30, 2014
Well, look who knows everything. I am sure glad you can see beyond all things seen and unseen to tell us what is there
I am always gratified when godders give me the chance to present evidence.

"Tel Aviv University archaeologist Ze'ev Herzog wrote in the Haaretz newspaper:
This is what archaeologists have learned from their excavations in the Land of Israel: the Israelites were never in Egypt, did not wander in the desert, did not conquer the land in a military campaign and did not pass it on to the 12 tribes of Israel. Perhaps even harder to swallow is that the united monarchy of David and Solomon, which is described by the Bible as a regional power, was at most a small tribal kingdom. And it will come as an unpleasant shock to many that the God of Israel, YHWH, had a female consort and that the early Israelite religion adopted monotheism only in the waning period of the monarchy and not at Mount Sinai."

-And this is a CONSENSUS among biblical scholars.

-Again, thanks.
11791
5 / 5 (1) Mar 30, 2014
If we would have microwave eyes, then our universe would appear something http://www.davidd...tion.jpg (a strange dense mesh across the whole sky). Now, the BICEP2 astronomers detected this lensing and they subtracted the yellow spots from the signal and attributed the rest to gravitational waves of inflation. But the location of these gravitational wave should be completely independent of location of galaxies, because they were formed way before (from cosmological perspective). What we are supposed to do by now is to map the position of alleged gravitational waves to the location of actual galaxies for to make sure, these two distributions don't overlap spatially. Another indicia can be the shape of B-mode fluctuations. The chaotic inflation model predicts random or spherical harmonic distribution, these fluctuations should NOT have the shape of fibers. Is it clear for everyone here?


Your explanation is perfect! I now understand!
Bob Osaka
1 / 5 (4) Mar 31, 2014
I am not sure I want to join this conversation. Most of you sound like raving lunatics. None are trying to stay on point. Jizby seems OK. I don't know why he/she bothers.

Inflation may be true. A gravity wave flying through nothingness at billions of times the speed of light. Eloquent explanation of the present observed size of the universe.

Have we seen evidence of inflation? Ground based and satellite gravitational wave detectors have as of yet detected nothing.

Interpretation of datum so far away is open to speculation.

Perhaps dark matter and dark energy are actually observationally based errors. Dark matter being the current space/time and dark energy being a distortion of our surrounding space caused by two super massive black holes closing proximity. Andromeda's and ours. We'll know in one hundred and twenty thousand years or so, when we are no longer between them. Perhaps then
galaxies will appear rushing toward us. Or maybe dark energy is just our ignorance with a name.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (2) Mar 31, 2014
Ground based and satellite gravitational wave detectors have as of yet detected nothing.

That's a bold statement. (Hint: There are no sattelite based detectors, yet. And the first ground based detector with the required sensitivity (Advanced LIGO) is going through acceptance tests this month.)
Have we seen evidence of inflation?

The uniformity of the cosmic microwave background is a pretty good hint. Also the fact that the universe didn't immediately collapse into a black hole after the big bang.

being a distortion of our surrounding space caused by two super massive black holes closing proximity

The distortions would look totally different if that were the case.

Or maybe dark energy is just our ignorance with a name.

That's why we call it dark energy. Very little is known about it, apart from its measurable effects.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (2) Mar 31, 2014
I am not sure I want to join this conversation. Most of you sound like raving lunatics. None are trying to stay on point. Jizby seems OK
Ahaahaaa you made a wrong decision.
That's a bold statement. (Hint: There are no sattelite based detectors, yet. And the first ground based detector with the required sensitivity (Advanced LIGO) is going through acceptance tests this month.)
"Since the 1960s gravitational-wave detectors have been built and constantly improved."

-These were built and operated with the understanding, however misguided, that they were sensitive enough to detect waves. And it is not yet known if this next gen will be sensitive enough either.
osnova
Mar 31, 2014
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
RealityCheck
1 / 5 (3) Mar 31, 2014
Hi a_p. :)
Have we seen evidence of inflation?

The uniformity of the cosmic microwave background is a pretty good hint. Also the fact that the universe didn't immediately collapse into a black hole after the big bang.
Have you already forgotten that Ocam's Razor would have the universe being eternal and infinite in extent such that the equilibration of eon upon eon of past CMB radiation from regions far beyond our presently observable patch has been crossing our local patch for eons, mixing with the local contribution to CMB by processes within our patch so that we observe it as we do, without any BB/Inflation hypothetical overlays/interpretations needed or wanted? Haven't you learned anything from the flaws and 'confirmation biased' assumptions/interpretations that infest the latest BB/Inflation/Gravity wave 'publish or perish' BS offering which has inbuilt assumptions/interpretations bias due to inane hypothesis and 'understandings' of the observed CMB? Caution, guys! :)
RealityCheck
1 / 5 (4) Mar 31, 2014
PS: a_p, why should a supposed BB 'singularity' already containing 'everything' energy not already BE a black hole? Why should such a 'singularity 'inflate/expand at all? And if it did inflate/expand, why do you assume for your argument that it would collapse without hypothesized 'inflation' ad hoc speculation to 'explain away' the obvious fact that the supposed BB 'singularity existed but allegedly 'inflated' from such 'singularity'? Face it, the BB/Inflation attempted 'fix' is untenable (even on its starting premises!), and is silly anti-Ocam's fantasy from the get go. If universe was 'everything', then it has no logical or physical spatio-temporal boundaries/limit to it. Hence it always existed, always processed and always created infinitely distributed 'CMB background' radiation levels which every local region would detect much as we have. Broken hypotheses like BB/Inflation go against Ocam's, but are still promulgated via 'confirmation biased' BS 'work/papers'. Get real, guys. :)