Discovery that quasars don't show time dilation mystifies astronomers

Apr 09, 2010 by Lisa Zyga report
This X-ray image shows the quasar PKS 1127-145, a highly luminous source of X-rays and visible light located about 10 billion light years from Earth. Its X-ray jet extends at least a million light years from the quasar. Credit: NASA.

(PhysOrg.com) -- The phenomenon of time dilation is a strange yet experimentally confirmed effect of relativity theory. One of its implications is that events occurring in distant parts of the universe should appear to occur more slowly than events located closer to us. For example, when observing supernovae, scientists have found that distant explosions seem to fade more slowly than the quickly-fading nearby supernovae.

The effect can be explained because (1) the is a constant (independent of how fast a is moving toward or away from an observer) and (2) the universe is expanding at an accelerating rate, which causes light from distant objects to redshift (i.e. the wavelengths to become longer) in relation to how far away the objects are from observers on Earth. In other words, as space expands, the interval between light pulses also lengthens. Since expansion occurs throughout the universe, it seems that time dilation should be a property of the universe that holds true everywhere, regardless of the specific object or event being observed. However, a new study has found that this doesn’t seem to be the case - quasars, it seems, give off light pulses at the same rate no matter their distance from the Earth, without a hint of time dilation.

Astronomer Mike Hawkins from the Royal Observatory in Edinburgh came to this conclusion after looking at nearly 900 quasars over periods of up to 28 years. When comparing the light patterns of quasars located about 6 billion from us and those located 10 billion light years away, he was surprised to find that the light signatures of the two samples were exactly the same. If these quasars were like the previously observed supernovae, an observer would expect to see longer, “stretched” timescales for the distant, “stretched” high-redshift quasars. But even though the distant quasars were more strongly redshifted than the closer quasars, there was no difference in the time it took the light to reach Earth.

This quasar conundrum doesn’t seem to have an obvious explanation, although Hawkins has a few ideas. For some background, quasars are extreme objects in many ways: they are the most luminous and energetic objects known in the universe, and also one of the most distant (and thus, oldest) known objects. Officially called “quasi-stellar radio sources,” quasars are dense regions surrounding the central supermassive in the centers of massive galaxies. They feed off an accretion disc that surrounds each black hole, which powers the quasars’ extreme luminosity and makes them visible to Earth.

One of Hawkins’ possible explanations for quasars’ lack of time dilation is that light from the quasars is being bent by black holes scattered throughout the universe. These black holes, which may have formed shortly after the big bang, would have a gravitational distortion that affects the time dilation of distant quasars. However, this idea of “gravitational microlensing” is a controversial suggestion, as it requires that there be enough black holes to account for all of the universe’s dark matter. As Hawkins explains, most physicists predict that dark matter consists of undiscovered subatomic particles rather than primordial black holes.

There’s also a possibility that the explanation could be even more far-reaching, such as that the universe is not expanding and that the big bang theory is wrong. Or, may not be located at the distances indicated by their redshifts, although this suggestion has previously been discredited. Although these explanations are controversial, Hawkins plans to continue investigating the quasar mystery, and maybe solve a few other problems along the way.

Hawkins’ paper will be published in an upcoming issue of the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Explore further: Mysterious molecules in space

More information: * On time dilation in quasar light curves, M. R. S. Hawkins, DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2010.16581.x
Via: New Scientist

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shockr
4.9 / 5 (15) Apr 09, 2010
Forgive me if I'm wrong. But there's no way gavitational lensing from different black holes could effect each quaser in an identical fashion. The chances of the quasar jets all being focused just right for viewing here in Sol is slim to none. right? Is redshift really that reliable?
Shootist
3.7 / 5 (16) Apr 09, 2010
I don't see how lensing of any kind could produce the effects noted.

However, I do prefer the theory that so-called 'dark matter' consists of such 'normal' things as singularities, rather than "ghostly" wimps and other boojums and bandersnatchi.
angelhkrillin
2.5 / 5 (4) Apr 09, 2010
Forgive me if I'm wrong. But there's no way gavitational lensing from different black holes could effect each quaser in an identical fashion. The chances of the quasar jets all being focused just right for viewing here in Sol is slim to none. right? Is redshift really that reliable?


I agree, I think this is where the theory of relativity goes into effect. The immense amount of gravity is bending space causing the discrepancy. Maybe they need to solve the bending in space around first and then make appropriate adjustments.
Royale
1 / 5 (1) Apr 09, 2010
I guess it depends on what you mean by "that reliable" IMHO, no redshift isn't all that reliable, but I'd have no suggestions as to a better way of measuring for the physicists.
in7x
2.5 / 5 (11) Apr 09, 2010
"the universe is not expanding and that the big bang theory is wrong"

UNPOSSIBLE! Let us never speak of this heresy again. You better wise up, Hawkins.
Skeptic_Heretic
3.7 / 5 (13) Apr 09, 2010
Guys, you're WAAAAY off the mark. The dilation is not expected to be occuring because there's a blackhole, It's occuring because the matter being ejected from either end of the BH is not experiencing time fluxuation. Considering it's being ejected at almost the speed of light (faster than the LHC speeds by a significant amount) those particles should appear to undergo relatively slow to almost no decay.

The odd and interesting piece is that as the universe expands these distant quasars should be moving away from us at ever increasing speeds or moving closer to us at ever decreasing speeds. From observation of the jets we're not seeing this phenomina and that is nonsensical as either the speed of the material or the speed of the galaxy should correspond to standard observational extrapolation.

In essence it appears we're viewing these distant objects in realtime as opposed to slow motion as we should view them.
SteveL
2.9 / 5 (15) Apr 09, 2010
What, is science a religion now? All dissenters shall be executed or burned at the stake for heresy? if it walks like a religion, talks and acts like one too, what is the significant difference?

It should always be expected for people to have differences. Likely Mr. Hawkins was put on the spot when someone asked him the question and he threw out a few not-so-well thought out suppositions. Those who think they know everything usually have quite a bit left to learn, and lets face it; we keep learning new things about our universe, and as long as we continue to do so, we shouldn't be in such a hurry to act as if we know it all.
Snowhare
4.8 / 5 (5) Apr 09, 2010
The summary is poor. They are not suggesting that somehow microlensing 'undoes' the time dilation. They are suggesting that the variability they are measuring might not be generated by the quasar itself but by fluctuations in the light path caused by (much closer) black holes in-between us and the quasars - which would imply a *lot* of black holes are out there.
LuckyBrandon
3.2 / 5 (11) Apr 09, 2010
if it walks like a religion, talks and acts like one too, what is the significant difference?

The significant difference, and I think we all know this, is whether you consider science a religion or not, that science postualtes a theory and attempts to prove or disprove that theory through observation and testing. Religion just says it is, so it is....
mikehevans
2.2 / 5 (6) Apr 09, 2010
The expanding universe is a well-established principle. The actual nature of the quasar, as well as their assumed great distance, is poorly understood. One of the assumed facts about the nature of quasars must be false if we are to believe their observed properties. The simplest answer would be that they are not distant objects, but nearby objects with properties not present in other objects. I remember a science-fictiony explanation that they were nearby artificial devices used for signaling across very large distances. I doubt that this is true, but it removes some of the obstacles to acceptance of the observed properties.
interceptor
1.5 / 5 (10) Apr 09, 2010
Heres a thought, if the universe is expanding....where is the center and which direction are we going. If the quasar (or any object) was travelling in parrallel to us then their would be no red shift. Just a thought. It is unlikely that the 900 quasars observed were all travelling in parrellel to us.
eachus
4 / 5 (4) Apr 09, 2010
There is a much simpler explanation. If the power spectrum of quasars is proportional to the wavelength, then the reason we are seeing no effect of distance is that we are observing highly red-shifted quasars in different parts of the ultraviolet/gamma ray spectrum.

If this is true, the easiest way to prove it would be to look at a single quasar in different frequency bands--either infrared for distant quasars, or UV for a (realatively) nearby quasar. If the power spectra of the light variations are different at different wavelengths, the problem goes away.

Alternatively, look at the variations at one particular source wavelength. (Say, one of the highly ionized iron lines.) If this power spectrum shows the expected effect, no problem.

Why should this be true? The accretion disk around a supermassive black hole will be hotter nearer the black hole. This will allow us to see higher frequency changes at higher frequencies.
randyb
Apr 09, 2010
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
JayK
1.8 / 5 (5) Apr 09, 2010
I can't decide if randyb is a Poe (http://rationalwi...'s_Law) or real. Answers in Genesis is so incredibly bad it must be. Next time add some sort of smiley.

Can anyone explain, though, how they determine the distances of the quasars if not through standard EM methodologies? How do they know the 6 vs 10 billion LY?
Glyndwr
4.3 / 5 (6) Apr 09, 2010
if it walks like a religion, talks and acts like one too, what is the significant difference?

The significant difference, and I think we all know this, is whether you consider science a religion or not, that science postualtes a theory and attempts to prove or disprove that theory through observation and testing. Religion just says it is, so it is....


Not sure how religion got brought into the mix but your statement does not apply to all religions. There is an abundance of credible evidence in favor of Christian beliefs. One among thousands of excellent resources is: http://www.answer...-answers

As for the article, I find it very interesting but I cannot think of any logical reason for the strange behavior of the quasars. I look forward to hearing both the well thought out hypothesis and the amusing far-out theories.


That link is full of waffle
mgmirkin
3.2 / 5 (9) Apr 09, 2010
Golly, you mean quasar redshifts may have been mis-interpreted? Who'd have thought it?

I can think of at least one person, but I think it's forbidden to mention Halton Arp's name... Oops. My bad.
Royale
5 / 5 (3) Apr 09, 2010
I hope you're not implying that the link is delicious (to the mind) as waffles are to the tongue. I imagine waffle is used in a more derogatory context here and if so, I have to agree. I'd even venture to agree before visiting the page. But that would be "unscientific", right? Bah, I'd rather continue on to other physorg articles than visit the page.
Simonsez
5 / 5 (1) Apr 09, 2010
The apparent lack of time dilation expressed in the article, and the accompanying rebuttals leaves me with a question: this math is all done considering accepted Standard Model (naturally). Do these problems go away when considering a three-dimensional static spacetime geometry as opposed to expanding sphere? (for example a toroidal universe)
PinkElephant
3.7 / 5 (6) Apr 09, 2010
This is what science is all about. I really hope this proves to be a real phenomenon, and not just a measurement or interpretation error.

I can think of a few possible explanations, outside of the currently accepted theory, but well-known nevertheless.

For instance, light speed might've been changing over time. If it was much faster in the past, it would also make all reactions (and thus perceived time) go faster. If it then slowed in proportion to the expansion of space, the two effects would cancel each other out. This dependency would need to have abated in recent times, however: because otherwise we wouldn't be observing dilation in supernovae...

Another possibility is that there is more than one mechanism contributing to redshift, so that our interpretation of it purely in terms of space expansion would be incorrect. It could be, for example, that "dark matter" and "dark energy" are responsible or involved somehow, in the nature of redshift.
kshultz222_yahoo_com
3.4 / 5 (8) Apr 09, 2010
I think the article is also stating that other observations at the same distances do show the redshift, therefore, the "light speed might've been changing over time" theory does not work unless there are problems with all the other observations.

On the religion front, it is a copout to say "Religion just says it is, so it is....". Really? Kind of like saying "Let there be global warming!"?

Look, I am not saying that there is not a true global warming, but scientists can make statistics lie, just like Christians can make a mockery of religion. That doesn't make all of religion OR science bad. I am not a new-ager, but I like the sign that says "COEXIST". I think scientists and religious people both show their ignorance when they attack the other side. Usually, it is dogmatic junk, having nothing to do with truth or Truth. Genesis is a wonderful account of evolution of the universe, if taken in its context as a non-scientific account written thousands of years ago.
kshultz222_yahoo_com
1.8 / 5 (10) Apr 09, 2010
To continue...If you want to get technical, it would appear that science has tried to steal the Genesis idea and repackage it to look like it was an original scientific thought - from the big bang to the creation and evolution of the earths biosphere. So, how then does anyone have the right to say just made it up, when evolution in science follows the script (validates Genesis) so well.
So, scientists and religious people, I say to you both: take your medicine and admit that you both could be right, but are just to prideful and stubborn to admit it!
I guess that is too big a miracle to ask for since you have so much time and effort expended in proving each other wrong.
Caliban
4.4 / 5 (7) Apr 09, 2010
Or this could be Relativistic Breakdown- perhaps relativity only holds true up to certain mass/energy scales, and then transitions into a new phase, where additional rules apply- much as the scheme seems to breakdown at subatomic scales.

Since these quasars operate at energy levels more like those in existence at the big bang- they may in some way provide evidence, as Pink Elephant suggests, that the speed of light has indeed not been constant over time, and that, in turn may provide real proof for the Inflation Model.

Which would lead to some additional insight into the fundamental nature of things. Excellent work, Dr. Hawkins!
Caliban
3 / 5 (3) Apr 09, 2010
There is no contradiction between accepted cosmological science and Genesis on a metaphoric level.

On the other hand, there is no objective, empirical proof of Genesis. You can choose to believe in Genesis, but in the end, that is what it is- belief.

Science does not require an unprovable/disprovable prime mover to explain the forces at work in the universe.
Yes
4.5 / 5 (6) Apr 09, 2010
An explanation would be that the radiation does not come from the quasar on the other side of the galaxy, but it comes from the ultra hot matter that is launched by the quasar at us at near lightspeed.
So our speed relative to that matter reduces and the spectrum tends to maybe even slightly blueshift for nearby quasars and slightly redshift for far away quasars.
Also taking into account that this is no precise science and only gives a slight idea about how far these quasars might be from us.
deatopmg
1.8 / 5 (5) Apr 09, 2010
How many of these 900 quasars are Arp objects (w/ vastly different red shifts in different parts of the object)? Could it be that they are not as far away nor traveling as fast as Z is supposed to indicate, i.e red shift is NOT a measure of age and speed? Oops, sorry, we're not allowed to suggest that lest we be ostracized too.
Simonsez
not rated yet Apr 09, 2010
Re: the tired religion vs. science debate

kshultz222 and Caliban make very good points, both.

A simpler way to analogue is this:

The biblical Genesis account just says "Up is up, down is down" whereas scientific method says "Up is up because ... and down is down because ..."
Shootist
1 / 5 (3) Apr 09, 2010
How many of these 900 quasars are Arp objects (w/ vastly different red shifts in different parts of the object)? Could it be that they are not as far away nor traveling as fast as Z is supposed to indicate, i.e red shift is NOT a measure of age and speed? Oops, sorry, we're not allowed to suggest that lest we be ostracized too.


Not a measure of age and distance? Your theory is testable. The math for GR is readily available. All you have to do is solve Einstein's equations in a manner that supports your conjecture. Einstein too tough? Try Maxwell. Or Faraday. Or Newton.

None of them agree? Guess you'll have to find a different math.
Szkeptik
4.6 / 5 (5) Apr 09, 2010
Either they made some serious error in interpreting the data (they probably have), or this is an extraordinary finding indeed. If this is really the case it could call into question a whole bunch of physical laws thought to be absolute.
deatopmg
2.5 / 5 (8) Apr 09, 2010
@shootist it's not the math - it's the evidence that doesn't quite support the math. The speed of light is clearly NOT isotropic (e.g. read the superb work of Roland de Witte, and other's) so GR is out the window. Try to use GR math to calculate GPS position - it doesn't quite work as it should, so....

Arp objects are real, not some measurement mistake, so he was ostracized by the mainstream "keepers" of the SM because it didn't fit the dogma. Obviously, something is seriously wrong w/ cosmology and the SM (unmeasurable "dark" fudges??? c'mon!) and this report is just more evidence for that camp.
Caliban
2.8 / 5 (5) Apr 09, 2010
I suppose that it is also possible that quasars are actually the elusive "white holes" of theory, and are actually injecting new material into our little universe at relativistic speeds, which will eventually cool/slow down sufficiently to either condense into matter or interact with existing matter sufficiently to produce additional mass.

Perhaps out of phase with observable matter. Perhaps Dark Matter/Energy? Damn- this stuff is freaking me out!

Ordinary matter in our universe being sucked out by black holes, while dark matter is pumped in by quasars, in a cosmic respiration or re-substantiation process. This goes hand-in-hand with this other article, I feel certain:

http://www.physor...839.html

A huge foam/membrane, with input/output singularities worming their ways throughout, simultaneously subtracting and adding space, replacing one type of matter with the other.

Quite a bit to try to wrap the mind around. But I guess that's the fun of it!
Question
1 / 5 (1) Apr 09, 2010
It is mentioned that the light from supernovae at these distances fades out more slowly than nearby supernovae. But they do not mention by what amount. Is the light from a supernova with a red-shift 5 stretched out by a factor of 5? If the universe is expanding shouldn't it be? Couldn't lesser amounts be accounted for by chromatic dispersion?
PinkElephant
4.3 / 5 (6) Apr 09, 2010
@Caliban,

Quasars are found only at great distances (multiple billions of light-years.) There are no nearby quasars. Yet there are plenty of nearby black holes. So you can forget about the white hole notion, lest you want to argue that we're once again at the center of the universe (i.e. our location in space is somehow privileged.)

It really wouldn't matter what the exact mechanism of quasar emission might be. The variations in emission should still be slowed down as the photons travel to us.

Strictly speaking, this isn't relativistic time dilation as posed by SR, because it isn't due to an object actually flying through space relative to us. Rather, it's dilation due to space expanding between us and the object. So the object itself evolves just as rapidly as we do, but the signals from that object ought to appear "slow" by the time they reach us. Yet in this study, they don't. That's the real puzzler.
Yes
5 / 5 (3) Apr 09, 2010
@article: But even though the distant quasars were more strongly redshifted than the closer quasars, there was no difference in the time it took the light to reach Earth.

I suppose they want to say, there was no difference in the light pulse interval.
It is weird unless maybe the quasar frequency is related to the root of the size of the universe or something weird like that.
Caliban
1 / 5 (2) Apr 09, 2010
@Pink Elephant,
I know. I don't know how much room there is for the argument that possibly quasars aren't emitting the same stuff as we're used to calling matter and energy, though. Perhaps the same rules don't apply.

And again, there's the question here of just exactly where are they- as in how far away?
I'm just throwing it out there- you never know when something will stick!

Also, it occurs to me that if C has not always been constant, then how much more of "our" universe is there, and how much older might it be?
If it were a few billions older, and maybe 2-5 times larger than is visible to us, might we not wake up one day, and discover that it was coming back- in the form of one or more ultra-mega-supermassive black holes?-or that maybe it already is? that would explain the apparent limits of observation, and also perhaps the mysterious flow of matter already observed-possibly just the beginning of a gravitational vortex, aka "circling the drain", CONT"D
Caliban
1 / 5 (4) Apr 09, 2010
(cont'd) as our visible universe is sucked into whatever is represented by the ultra/mega-supermassive ultimum universae black hole(one suspects a complimentary universe/universes)?

Perhaps black holes/white holes(quasars?) themselves are only manifestations of gradients in the density of matter/energy and dark matter/dark energy. Maybe that is what complementarity, parity, symmetry really consist of-in the sense of being the two sides of the same coin, yin-yang unit of duality.

Maybe as the "normal" matter of our universe is completely sucked out, space collapses and compresses dark matter/dark energy into the singularity the produces the next big bang(or Big Suck, depending on how you look at it)!

It's speculation, I know, but why not?
seneca
1 / 5 (6) Apr 09, 2010
This picture explains, what happens there

http://scienceali...ples.jpg

Due the presence of CMB noise vacuum is inhomogeneous stuff and every wave is dispersed in it into extra-dimensions. In this way, the distant waves are moving slowly, which can be interpreted like omni-directional expansion of space-time from perspective of observer inside of it. But because pulsars do not actually moving, they don't change their frequency by Doppler shift.
seneca
1 / 5 (7) Apr 09, 2010
Please note, the same model explains dark matter & dark energy stuff at the same moment. The speed of ripples doesn't decay linearly, from this the notion of dark energy arises. And from outside every source of ripples appears, like if it would be surrounded by "layer" of more dense "dark" matter, which is slowing the light. In accordance with this model the Pioneer anomalous deceleration attributed to dark matter equals product of Hubble constant and speed of light, which makes this model testable.

As you can see, it's all basically about physics of Victorian era and it can be understood quite easily in this way as a product of energy dispersion inside of inhomogeneous environment.
Thrasymachus
2.5 / 5 (16) Apr 09, 2010
Pulsars are fast spinning neutron stars. Quasars are actively feeding supermassive black holes at the center of distant galaxies. If you're gonna make stuff up, seneca, at least try to keep up with the vocabulary.
seneca
1.4 / 5 (10) Apr 09, 2010
.. If you're gonna make stuff up, seneca, at least try to keep up with the vocabulary...
Yep, thank you for correction. Anyway, you shouldn't throw out the child along with the bath just because the bath watter is dirty. Aether theory explains a much more stuffs, then just some quasars, red shifts, dark matter or Big bangs. It's a whole new paradigm in thinking about Universe.
Thrasymachus
2.6 / 5 (17) Apr 09, 2010
Oh goodie, Aether theory! I thought they ran you nuts out of here months ago. You know, I've got another theory for you to consider. It's called the phlogiston theory. It's similar to the old theory of phlogiston, but I've updated it by throwing in the vocabulary of modern physics in random parts. No equations yet, but not only does it explain fire, it's also a new theory of space, time, and why socks keep disappearing from the dryer. (It has to do with particles of negative mass opening wormholes from the hot, spinning dryer to the universe of the underpants gnomes.)
seneca
1.5 / 5 (8) Apr 09, 2010
I've got another theory for you to consider. It's called the phlogiston theory
Phlogiston theory doesn't work here, with compare to dense aether theory. Anyway, it's interesting, many people are willing to think about black hole model of Universe, but they still refute to admit, vacuum is formed by dense matter.

Sorry, but the predicate logics doesn't work in such way. If you admit A, then you should admit B, providing the A implies B. Because every black hole is formed by dense matter, then the vacuum of Universe, formed by interior of black hole must be of material nature, too.
Thrasymachus
1.3 / 5 (12) Apr 09, 2010
Went completely over your head, didn't I?
seneca
1.4 / 5 (9) Apr 09, 2010
The whole trick is, physicists never considered Aether model seriously. They talked about "luminiferous aether", but they considered it as a thin sparse gas FILLING the space, albeit such gas could never spread light waves of arbitrary energy density. Luminiferous Aether must FORM the space, instead. In such way, whole physics of last century is based on wrong assumption, and as the result Big Bang theory and many others are wrong too. I'd expect, it would take another century for many people to swallow such trivial missunderstanding, because thinking of people is religious, not logical regarding fundamental concepts.
KBK
1.8 / 5 (5) Apr 09, 2010
Polarization, which is voltage, which is also differential, is temporal/differential in nature.

That just about covers it.

Electric universe.
Thrasymachus
1.7 / 5 (12) Apr 09, 2010
I know, it sucks. They never really took the theory of phlogiston seriously either. I mean, really, particles of negative mass solves so many lingering questions! Damn Lavoisier and his so-called "oxygen!"
seneca
2.2 / 5 (10) Apr 09, 2010
Whereas in sparse gas the energy spread in longitudinal waves like sound waves through air, in dense gas the energy spreads in transversal waves, i.e. in similar way, like the waves at the water surface. Therefore the concept of luminiferous aether explains transversal character of light waves naturally and we can use water ripples model for explanation of light spreading through vacuum, including dispersion. There is absolutely nothing ad-hoced on this model, everything fits here at robust logical level. All things like relativity, CMB noise, red shift or inflation are emerging in this model naturally and we can demonstrate them by their analogies with wave spreading at water surface. Even the wavelength of CMB noise corresponds the wavelength of capillary waves at water surface: in this wavelength both models appear as large as possible.
MorituriMax
5 / 5 (1) Apr 09, 2010
@PinkElephant
For instance, light speed might've been changing over time. If it was much faster in the past, it would also make all reactions (and thus perceived time) go faster. If it then slowed in proportion to the expansion of space, the two effects would cancel each other out. This dependency would need to have abated in recent times, however: because otherwise we wouldn't be observing dilation in supernovae...


And this affects ONLY quasars WHY exactly? Thanks for any further info, have a good one!
seneca
2.5 / 5 (8) Apr 09, 2010
They never really took the theory of phlogiston seriously either.
The approach of contemporary science is rather analogous to proponents of epicycle model of Ptolemos. This model worked pretty well at numeric level, it was supported by complex math, so it was used for predictions of eclipses and conjunctions whole medieval times. Because it fitted observations well (being fitted into it, in fact), there was absolutely no reason to replace it by something different. Only isolated observations (order of Venus phases, Lunar craters shadows) were in contradictions with it.

Now the whole situation just repeats at another level: existing model seems to be working well, only isolated observations are indicating, there may be something completely wrong with it.
seneca
1.9 / 5 (9) Apr 09, 2010
And this affects ONLY quasars WHY exactly? Thanks for any further info, have a good one!
The variable light speed theory is wrong here in the same way, like the constant light speed model. Because in Aether model this effect is completely relative - every distant observer would see our light slowed down in similar way, like we can see his remote light. The light of distant galaxies isn't actually slowed down or reddish - it just appears so from large distance. And these galaxies simply doesn't expand - the distance between remote galaxies aren't smaller, then the distance between galaxies by now, as everyone can see at Hubble depth field. If our Universe would really expand, we should see all galaxies arranged very tightly at distant parts of Universe.
seneca
2 / 5 (8) Apr 09, 2010
If we could visit these remote galaxies instantly, we could see, they're all appear quite normally and no sign of young Universe formation exist there. Instead of it, our Milky Way or Andromeda galaxies would appear like young galaxies with strong red shift from distance: we could see only their hot cores formed by black holes. In this way, whole Universe history assumed by Big Bang theory is just a virtual thing - it never happened, or even better: it's still continuing everywhere and Universe as a whole has no single global history.
PinkElephant
4.7 / 5 (3) Apr 09, 2010
@MorituriMax
And this affects ONLY quasars WHY exactly? Thanks for any further info, have a good one!
Because they're farther away than the bulk of the supernovae we've observed to date. So if this mechanism is itself non-constant over time (i.e. it worked in the ancient past differently than in more recent past), then it would affect quasars differently.

To test this, one would look at super-distant supernovae, and try to see if their time-evolution is similarly affected. Trouble is, they're so faint at these distances that one needs very large and very sensitive telescopes focusing on them for a very long time, to collect even a quasi-static picture as the photons trickle in, never mind generating a movie. To even detect supernovae at such distances, is a herculean task. Quasars are much more easily detected, imaged, and reliably observable, which evidences the availability of time-series data for them.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (6) Apr 09, 2010
@seneca,

There were fewer large galaxies (detectable at large distances) in the past. That's why they don't look as crowded as you imagined they should. There were correspondingly many more dwarf galaxies, but you can't see them with the current generation of telescopes at these distances.

Aside from its other failings, your aether idea would fail to explain the time dilation in supernovae (as mentioned in the article above.) It's not just a redshift; it's a literal time dilation -- meaning the further away they are, the slower they appear to evolve.

By the way, to correct another misunderstanding of yours: redshift is not due to light "slowing down". Light of all wavelengths propagates in vacuum at the same speed. Redshift is an increase in wavelength (or reduction in frequency, whichever you prefer).
CyberRat
1 / 5 (3) Apr 09, 2010
The Universe is not expanding, it is 'time' that is fooling us. The more mass the slower time goes (GPS. anyone?) Red shift is caused by change of time. 1 sec of time far away (in the past) and in vacuum (less mass) would go relative faster then 1 sec here.

Other way: Close to a black hole (or big mass), or when traveling close to the speed of light, time slows down (proven fact).

So, light-speed itself doesn't change, but the energy state of light (and any other radiation) compensates for the slowing down of time.
CyberRat
1 / 5 (2) Apr 10, 2010
[quote]
Sorry, but the predicate logics doesn't work in such way. If you admit A, then you should admit B, providing the A implies B. Because every black hole is formed by dense matter, then the vacuum of Universe, formed by interior of black hole must be of material nature, too.[/quote]

No, vacuum is (potential) energy, energy at ground state.
1 cm3 of vacuum would contain so much energy it can vaporize the whole milky way.
hush1
2.3 / 5 (3) Apr 10, 2010
Sorry everybody.

Popper's Partypooper:

“The criterion of falsifiability… says that statements or systems of statements, in order to
be ranked as scientific, must be capable of conflicting with possible, or conceivable,
observations.”

The research simply attempts to established criterion of falsifiability. Alternate criterion actually appears in the comments above - conceivably helpful in Hawkin's quest for criterion.

in7x said it best in jest:

"the universe is not expanding and that the big bang theory is wrong"

UNPOSSIBLE! Let us never speak of this heresy again. You better wise up, Hawkins.[q/] [/blockquote]
Husky
not rated yet Apr 10, 2010
ill give it a try: far away quasars are also older right? What if in the old days space was not only accellerating at a different rate, but that cosmological constants/gravitons etc were less diluted and hence time was running faster ? Wouldn't this make up for dilution afterwards and lead to zer o sum observation, just a wild guess.
Husky
1 / 5 (1) Apr 10, 2010
i mean, what if the speed of light was faster way back?
Robin_Whittle
1 / 5 (2) Apr 10, 2010
People shouldn't be too confident about ruling out redshift and heating in the sparse plasma of the intergalactic medium (IGM - and inter-cluster medium too). At present, we have no satisfactory explanation for the heating and acceleration of the solar corona and wind - so some currently undocumented effect of sunlight on the sparse plasma can't be ruled out.

If a quasar is a black hole sucking in the IGM, then the density of the IGM nearby will be greater and the light from the quasar's core will be redshifted more than in the uncompressed IGM. This would explain the wide variations in quasar redshift with respect to their observed luminosity. It would mean quasars are closer and smaller than assumed in the Big Bang Theory - and that we would observe none of the time-dilation which is required if the BBT is true.

There's 100 characters left ... More on all this at http://astroneu.com

- Robin
ubavontuba
1 / 5 (3) Apr 10, 2010
Oh goodie, Aether theory! I thought they ran you nuts out of here months ago. You know, I've got another theory for you to consider. It's called the phlogiston theory. It's similar to the old theory of phlogiston, but I've updated it by throwing in the vocabulary of modern physics in random parts. No equations yet, but not only does it explain fire, it's also a new theory of space, time, and why socks keep disappearing from the dryer. (It has to do with particles of negative mass opening wormholes from the hot, spinning dryer to the universe of the underpants gnomes.)
Dang! And here I thought my socks were being taken by garden gnomes to be worn as mittens and hats!
ubavontuba
1 / 5 (4) Apr 10, 2010
A more serious consideration:
Has anyone thought to calculate the relative motion of the quasar to the plasma jet? I mean, isn't it odd that these plasma jets which stream out over tremendous distances remain straight relative to their source? Shouldn't they curve over time (unless of course they are always in line with the quasar's trajectory)?
Skeptic_Heretic
3 / 5 (2) Apr 10, 2010
A more serious consideration:
Has anyone thought to calculate the relative motion of the quasar to the plasma jet? I mean, isn't it odd that these plasma jets which stream out over tremendous distances remain straight relative to their source? Shouldn't they curve over time (unless of course they are always in line with the quasar's trajectory)?

Why in the world would the jet curve? Especially when there are no forces acting upon it to do so?
seneca
1 / 5 (4) Apr 10, 2010
Some black holes have jets deformed and this discussion has no meaning here. We cannot solve all astronomical problems in discussion bellow every article with people, who simply cannot focus on particular problem.

http://bymyart.fi...big1.jpg

http://www.legis....mages/74 black hole jets_tif.jpg
seneca
1 / 5 (5) Apr 10, 2010
your aether idea would fail to explain the time dilation in supernovae ... Couldn't lesser amounts be accounted for by chromatic dispersion?
In general, the more distant supernova is, the more massive the explosion is and the more slowly the flare of the same relative brightness would decay. Therefore I don't see it as a quite convictive evidence of expanding Universe.
Skeptic_Heretic
4 / 5 (4) Apr 10, 2010
In general, the more distant supernova is, the more massive the explosion is and the more slowly the flare of the same relative brightness would decay.

Why would the explosion be more massive simply because it's further away?
ubavontuba
1 / 5 (6) Apr 10, 2010
A more serious consideration:
Has anyone thought to calculate the relative motion of the quasar to the plasma jet? I mean, isn't it odd that these plasma jets which stream out over tremendous distances remain straight relative to their source? Shouldn't they curve over time (unless of course they are always in line with the quasar's trajectory)?

Why in the world would the jet curve? Especially when there are no forces acting upon it to do so?
Try thinking three-dimensionally:

If the jet is coming toward us at a tangent, and space/time is accelerating the quasar away from us, there should be an apparent (but slight) drift of the ejected matter's alignment with its source (the space/time acceleration rates should differ by relative distance).
toejam
not rated yet Apr 10, 2010
"I suppose that it is also possible that quasars are actually the elusive "white holes" of theory"

Just maybe Swartzschild worm holes are not unstable under certain conditions. Were quasars white holes they would be connected to future black holes through an Einstein-Rosen bridge (wormhole) and exhibit higher levels of radiation in shorter periods of time depending on age, not distance. This could indeed explain Hawkins findings. All very unsettling because this could validate multiple universes, branes of higher dimensions, etc.
Skeptic_Heretic
3 / 5 (2) Apr 10, 2010

Why in the world would the jet curve? Especially when there are no forces acting upon it to do so?
Try thinking three-dimensionally:

If the jet is coming toward us at a tangent, and space/time is accelerating the quasar away from us, there should be an apparent (but slight) drift of the ejected matter's alignment with its source (the space/time acceleration rates should differ by relative distance).

Except for the fact that all of space is expanding, not just accelerating away from us. If anything the jets should appear to not be perturbed to our observation unless at utterly extreme distances and well outside of our observable wavelenghts with minor exception as noted by the perceived perturbation in those objects that are satisfying those considerations.
ubavontuba
1.7 / 5 (6) Apr 10, 2010
Except for the fact that all of space is expanding, not just accelerating away from us. If anything the jets should appear to not be perturbed to our observation unless at utterly extreme distances and well outside of our observable wavelenghts with minor exception as noted by the perceived perturbation in those objects that are satisfying those considerations.
From our perspective, all of space is not expanding equally. The farther away an object is, the faster it must accelerate relative to us to maintain homogeny. Otherwise, the universe would look like a train that left us at the platform (expansion would only be local).

This is why redshifts change with distance.
Caliban
1 / 5 (1) Apr 10, 2010

Why in the world would the jet curve? Especially when there are no forces acting upon it to do so?
Try thinking three-dimensionally:

If the jet is coming toward us at a tangent, and space/time is accelerating the quasar away from us, there should be an apparent (but slight) drift of the ejected matter's alignment with its source (the space/time acceleration rates should differ by relative distance).

Except for the fact that all of space is expanding, not just accelerating away from us. If anything the jets should appear to not be perturbed to our observation unless at utterly extreme distances and well outside of our observable wavelenghts with minor exception as noted by the perceived perturbation in those objects that are satisfying those considerations.


I think uvavont may be right- but the apparent lack of curvature in the jet is probably the result of its relatively quick loss of heat/energy/coherency, and thus visibility.
ubavontuba
1 / 5 (4) Apr 10, 2010
I think uvavont may be right- but the apparent lack of curvature in the jet is probably the result of its relatively quick loss of heat/energy/coherency, and thus visibility.

Well, the visible portion is quite huge. I imagine it's even better in other frequencies. A measurement of this curvature could provide accurate answers to the rate of expansion. With this information, by comparing the expansion rate to the redshift, we could more accurately determine and verify distances, expansion, and dark energy acceleration.

Of course, this is supposing such a measurement is possible.

(Don't forget to give me credit if you use this idea)
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (4) Apr 10, 2010
@ubavontuba,

Imagine spacetime as a sheet of flat rubber. Initially relaxed. On this, you draw a straight line segment (the jet.) You also draw a point far away, which represents our position as observers. Now, tug on the sheet so as to stretch it UNIFORMLY along the segment-observer direction. The projection of the segment onto the observer will remain straight. Not only that, but even the perceived length of that projection will not change -- quite regardless of the segment's orientation with respect to the observer's line of sight (unless you stretched the sheet in ALL directions simultaneously...)

What will change, is the length of the segment on the rubber sheet (in space.) The observer could conceivably measure that (through redshift.) But the segment itself isn't typically long enough to detect significant change in redshift between its origin and its terminus (just one million light-years worth, even if it's parallel to the observer's line of sight...)
Caliban
1 / 5 (1) Apr 10, 2010
[q
Well, the visible portion is quite huge. I imagine it's even better in other frequencies. A measurement of this curvature could provide accurate answers to the rate of expansion. With this information, by comparing the expansion rate to the redshift, we could more accurately determine and verify distances, expansion, and dark energy acceleration.

Of course, this is supposing such a measurement is possible.

(Don't forget to give me credit if you use this idea)

Crikey! Do I sound like someone who possesses the maths to develop such a model? I appreciate the compliment, but really all I'm doing is conceptualizing. A terrible lot of fun, though.
And at the same time time serious- like I said earlier, you can never be sure when something might stick!
Caliban
1 / 5 (1) Apr 10, 2010

-- quite regardless of the segment's orientation with respect to the observer's line of sight (unless you stretched the sheet in ALL directions simultaneously...)


@Pink Elephant,
Isn't this actually the case?
This is the basis of my problem with relativity- objects at a distance are supposed, in conformity with the notion, to behave differently from nearby objects.

For instance- it is possible for a(apparently, very) nearby object to approach us, but, the way I understand it, an object at a distance is ALWAYS moving away from us, and the further away it is, the faster it is fleeing.

Please feel free to correct any errors in regards to my understanding of cosmology.
Husky
not rated yet Apr 10, 2010
agreed, JETCURVE or JETWARPING should be an interesting point for investigation, might provide important clues
ubavontuba
1 / 5 (5) Apr 10, 2010
Imagine spacetime as a sheet of flat rubber. Initially relaxed. On this, you draw a straight line segment (the jet.) You also draw a point far away, which represents our position as observers. Now, tug on the sheet so as to stretch it UNIFORMLY along the segment-observer direction. The projection of the segment onto the observer will remain straight. Not only that, but even the perceived length of that projection will not change -- quite regardless of the segment's orientation with respect to the observer's line of sight (unless you stretched the sheet in ALL directions simultaneously...)
This is a bad model. As an outside observer it looks like your sheet stretches uniformly, but to the embedded central observer, it doesn't. Farther objects move away faster than closer ones.
ubavontuba
1 / 5 (3) Apr 10, 2010
agreed, JETCURVE or JETWARPING should be an interesting point for investigation, might provide important clues
Ooh! I like those terms! Of the two, I prefer jetwarping.
ubavontuba
1 / 5 (4) Apr 10, 2010
Additional note to PinkElephant:

I suppose your 2D central observer might actually see the whole system turning away (but not a curvature). I think a 3D observer should detect a curve.

The line isn't static. It's made of material moving away from the quasar.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (2) Apr 10, 2010
This is a bad model. As an outside observer it looks like your sheet stretches uniformly, but to the embedded central observer, it doesn't. Farther objects move away faster than closer ones.
That's the very definition of uniformity. Separation velocity = distance * amount of stretch per unit distance.
ubavontuba
1 / 5 (4) Apr 10, 2010
This is a bad model. As an outside observer it looks like your sheet stretches uniformly, but to the embedded central observer, it doesn't. Farther objects move away faster than closer ones.
That's the very definition of uniformity. Separation velocity = distance * amount of stretch per unit distance.
Unlike your model, The quasar jet isn't a static line. It's made of material moving away from, and relative to, the quasar.
Skeptic_Heretic
1 / 5 (1) Apr 10, 2010
Unlike your model, The quasar jet isn't a static line. It's made of material moving away from, and relative to, the quasar.

Not when we view it as snapshots and do a compare and contrast.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (3) Apr 10, 2010
Unlike your model, The quasar jet isn't a static line. It's made of material moving away from, and relative to, the quasar.
As long as the motion is inertial, it follows a straight line through space. If space is expanding at every point and in every direction uniformly, then this is equivalent to adding a fixed constant increment to any linear velocity in any direction, relative to any inertial observer. This might make the jet appear to travel through space slightly faster than it really does. But it cannot alter the curvature of the jet's trajectory.
ubavontuba
1 / 5 (4) Apr 10, 2010
As long as the motion is inertial, it follows a straight line through space. If space is expanding at every point and in every direction uniformly, then this is equivalent to adding a fixed constant increment to any linear velocity in any direction, relative to any inertial observer. This might make the jet appear to travel through space slightly faster than it really does. But it cannot alter the curvature of the jet's trajectory.
But that's the whole point. Space is supposedly NOT expanding uniformly. Dark energy is supposedly accelerating the expansion. Relative distance/time should show a curvature that reflects this acceleration.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (1) Apr 10, 2010
Space is supposedly NOT expanding uniformly.
No, it is supposedly expanding uniformly. The rate of expansion may be accelerating, but at any given instant it is the same at every point in space, and in every direction. It is a linear scaling. If you are acquainted with linear algebra, you would understand that linear transformations of coordinate space mathematically cannot change angles between objects embedded in that coordinate space.
ubavontuba
1 / 5 (3) Apr 10, 2010
Space is supposedly NOT expanding uniformly.
No, it is supposedly expanding uniformly. The rate of expansion may be accelerating, but at any given instant it is the same at every point in space, and in every direction. It is a linear scaling. If you are acquainted with linear algebra, you would understand that linear transformations of coordinate space mathematically cannot change angles between objects represented in that coordinate space.
But we don't view "any given moment." We view time, relative to distance.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (3) Apr 10, 2010
But we don't view "any given moment." We view time, relative to distance.
That doesn't matter. If relative angles don't change, then observed spatial geometry doesn't change. Bits of matter, photons, emitters, and observers, all sit on the same expanding membrane of space.

Cosmologists talk about "open" vs. "closed" spacetime -- either of which is a nonlinear/non-Euclidean geometry -- but this applies only to the combined 4-dimensional space-time. When plotting object or photon trajectories on a 4-D spacetime diagram, you can indeed observe curves due to space expansion or contraction. However, within space itself those curves don't exist. These curves are created only by connecting corresponding points across instantaneous spacelike snapshots of the universe.
danajohnson0
5 / 5 (1) Apr 11, 2010
Too bad we can't study the neutrino counts by type for an analysis of this object/structure and others.
The LHC may give some added fuel to the fire soon. Will it be sufficient to open a new door to items not bound by speed, EM, or photonic, interaction?
Will we find items which transition to varied force responses at timings?
Why does the jet appear very straight in our perception over a timing of millions of light years travel? Why does the entire structure (distance) of millions of 'light years' appear cohesive and structurally stable? We have a variance of that magnitude, with a snapshot of the greater distance, in alignment to our movement across our galaxy. Impressions of many types give illusions of stable force and positioning but the Jet should define a pattern of local timing/angles. Does the jet show variance measurable? Too much noise at the jet? Needing more resolution?
Rich_H
not rated yet Apr 11, 2010
"But even though the distant quasars were more strongly redshifted than the closer quasars, there was no difference in the time it took the light to reach Earth."

Does anyone else have a problem with this sentence?
albthere
1 / 5 (1) Apr 11, 2010
It may be time to fundamentally change some assumptions about Cosmology, hey the church acknowledge their obtuseness( albeit hundreds of year later) hope the high tenured priests have the courage to say they may have it wrong....( in a couple of centuries )
frajo
1 / 5 (2) Apr 11, 2010
"But even though the distant quasars were more strongly redshifted than the closer quasars, there was no difference in the time it took the light to reach Earth."
Does anyone else have a problem with this sentence?
I do. This wrong wording doesn't help in understanding.
Obviously the author wanted to express that the "light signatures" (whatever this is supposed to mean) of quasars at different distances don't show any time dilation effect.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (4) Apr 11, 2010
The abstract of the paper in question is linked from the article (at the bottom). From the abstract:
In order to detect the effects of time dilation, sets of light curves from two monitoring programmes are used to construct Fourier power spectra covering time-scales from 50 d to 28 yr. Data from high- and low-redshift samples are compared to look for the changes expected from time dilation.
And in the abstract, they even proposed a couple of explanations:
the possibility that time dilation effects are exactly offset by an increase in time-scale of variation associated with black hole growth, or that the variations are caused by microlensing in which case time dilation would not be expected.
The first hypothesis sounds intriguing, even if somewhat of an odd coincidence. The second is mentioned in the article, and seems unlikely. Whatever the answer, it'll be interesting.
seneca
1 / 5 (5) Apr 11, 2010
The NSF is apparently embarrassed by how many Americans reject evolution and the Big Bang, so they left the poll results out of their recent report on nationwide scientific literacy.

http://news.scien...ted.html

Most funny thing is, these Americans are probably right regarding Big Bang theory and they can serve as an evidence of the power of human intuition over science. The religiosity of contemporary science is in censorship and the point, it prefers straightforwardly computable models over these multicomponent ones (typically systems of many particles).
seneca
2.3 / 5 (9) Apr 11, 2010
The religious character of proponents of mainstream science is apparent even in this discussion.

What prohibits us to think about vacuum like about dense dispersing superfluid? Absolutely nothing, in fact - it's boring physical model like many others. Nevertheless, due its resemblance to ancient luminiferous aether model this model is widely ignored by mainstream physicists for fear of being accused from incompetence. In such way, mainstream science proponents are psychologically trapped into black hole of their own ignorance. I'm just describing, how human society is working.
Skeptic_Heretic
3.5 / 5 (8) Apr 11, 2010
The religious character of proponents of mainstream science is apparent even in this discussion.

What prohibits us to think about vacuum like about dense dispersing superfluid? Absolutely nothing, in fact - it's boring physical model like many others. Nevertheless, due its resemblance to ancient luminiferous aether model this model is widely ignored by mainstream physicists for fear of being accused from incompetence. In such way, mainstream science proponents are psychologically trapped into black hole of their own ignorance. I'm just describing, how human society is working.

It's called plasma physics. We study it often, especially when theorizing the superfluidic nature of neutron stars and other degenerate objects.

We do not assume that the universe is composed of such things because there is not a shred of evidence for it.
seneca
1.5 / 5 (8) Apr 11, 2010
I never find a peer-reviewed theory, vacuum is a plasma. Can you provide some (link!) - or you're just lying again? And if there is not "a shred of evidence" for it, why do you provide it as an example of mainstream supported replacement of Aether model?
mollymalone
not rated yet Apr 11, 2010
From here
"For example, when observing supernovae, scientists have found that distant explosions seem to fade more slowly than the quickly-fading nearby supernovae."

From
http://www.scienc...3934.htm

"The intrinsically brighter .. flare and fade more slowly, and the correlation between brightness and light curve allows ... astronomers measure the light curve of a type 1a supernova, calculate its intrinsic brightness, and then determine how far away it is, since the apparent brightness diminishes with distance "

You'd like to see the detail but it seems one direct observation, the time to "flare and fade", is used to infer the intrinsic luminosity and a second the "observed luminosity", is used to infer the distance.

Surely a third direct observation is required to be able to talk about variation due to relativistic dilation?
seneca
1.6 / 5 (7) Apr 11, 2010
Aether model of vacuum represented by watter surface is more detailed, then the relativity, because it predicts, only the ripples of wavelength smaller then the capillary waves are really collapsing with distance due the dispersion. If you would watch the ripples at watter surface carefully, you would see, the ripples of larger wavelength then the wavelength of capillary waves do exactly the opposite and they expand with distance, instead.

We can compare the light spreading through vacuum foam to the dark Apollonian band between primary and secondary rainbows, which can be observed during heavy rain - the closeness of droplets gives a foam character. It would mean, for remote radio-wave sources we should observe a BLUE shift with distance - only sources of light with wavelength smaller then the CMB wavelength would exhibit normal red shift.

And this prediction is testable by observation of remote radio sources - and it would enable to falsify whole aether model in this way easily.
danajohnson0
not rated yet Apr 11, 2010
In the brighter nodes along the 'jet', the 2nd is at the quasar upper boundary, the 4th is the last bright node, w/ one faint 5th node at the upper reach of the jet. The 4th node matches the detailing and angles of the 2nd. Looking at the lower boundary of the quasar, the 1st node is a paired light source, as are 4 of the 5. The quasar diameter is matched by the 2nd to 3rd, and 3rd to 4th nodes lengths, including fine detail at and between the nodes. Working the simple JPG shows a matching of the gravitational lensing effect in the two node lengths. The faint 5th(top) node has vague similar details again. Is the jet displaying a vortex focus of the EM quasar boundaries in a repeat of 5 synchronized coalescing focal points, or is this 2-3 repeats of the active quasar details, seen as lensing?
Image overlay on the 3 sections shows some pattern repeats. Jet curvature is repeated, but node 'stars' and the jet are differing in angles, largely at the quasar itself.


ubavontuba
1 / 5 (3) Apr 11, 2010
@PinkElephant:

Okay. I've worked on this enough to tentatively concede that my initial gut instinct was most likely wrong and a curvature would probably not be detectable.

However, I'm getting some very interesting results. I'm beginning to think this article is more poorly written than it first appears. I think the redshift problem they're talking about might be the expected redshift variation along the length of the jet.

I'll have to work on this one for awhile...
KometKaj
not rated yet Apr 11, 2010
But this is not a new discovery!?
Just a very interesting issue being discussed at RAS, of which i am a member.
See the arXiv posting from M.R.S. Hawkins in May 4th 2001 here: http://arxiv.org/...105073v1

/Best regards Henrik

KometKaj
5 / 5 (1) Apr 11, 2010
To Ubavontuba et al.:

The problem is not that the light from the most distant quasars is not delayed or redshiftet, but that the extra-redshift - which should shorten the duration of events - does not have this effect.

H.M.S. Hawkins describes the problem in this manner:
"..We find that the timescale of quasar variation does not increase with redshift as required by time dilation"

/BR Henrik
Ant
not rated yet Apr 11, 2010
if the universe was growing rather than expanding as I have read on two occasions in the past from notable periodices, would the shift still be red
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (6) Apr 11, 2010
@ubavontuba, KometKaj,

The article isn't talking about any problems with redshift. They're talking about patterns in light variation over time. It seems quasars are variable-brightness light sources, varying rapidly enough for us to detect the changes over relatively brief periods of observation. The variation has a certain time-scale, which would show up as specific harmonics on a Fourier spectrum of light intensity as a function of time.

Quasars that are farther away from us (the distances are estimated based on redshift), ought to feature a slow-down in their perceived (measured) brightness variation, due to time-dilation because they're rapidly "moving away from us" due to space expansion. IOW, the Fourier spectra of the variations ought to shift toward lower frequencies, the farther away the quasar is. No such pattern was detected by the study in question.

Does that make it a bit more clear?
ubavontuba
1 / 5 (3) Apr 11, 2010
Does that make it a bit more clear?
Yes. Thank you.
dfernandez
not rated yet Apr 11, 2010
this is a stretch, but some food for thought:

"Quasars are emitting light faster than the expansion of the universe and faster than the speed of light."

I am not an expert by any stretch of the imagination in this area but i feel that it might explain why the light emissions from the two very distant objects appear to be at the same distance: matter is moving faster than we expected.

If there is someone that can debunk my idea, please do so and send me a personal message with your counter-theory.

Thanks,
Dan
physpuppy
not rated yet Apr 11, 2010
@PinkElephant, that was a wonderful explanation of the issue.
broglia
2 / 5 (4) Apr 12, 2010
It's evident, people who appreciate description of the article so much cannot value any explanation of the issue, simply because they don't know, what this stuff is all about.
Skeptic_Heretic
2 / 5 (2) Apr 12, 2010
I never find a peer-reviewed theory, vacuum is a plasma. Can you provide some (link!)
That isn't my stance, nice try.
- or you're just lying again? And if there is not "a shred of evidence" for it, why do you provide it as an example of mainstream supported replacement of Aether model?

Your aether model suggests we live within a superfluid. Evidence your superfluid or step aside.
ECOnservative
1 / 5 (3) Apr 12, 2010
I've wondered if there is some other explanation for redshifted spectra in distant objects. Hubble and others have insisted that the Doppler shift of light as distant objects recede explains it all. An all-expanding universe is also somewhat difficult to grasp - do we have any evidence of blueshift in objects moving toward us? Can we accurately infer motion from only spectral data reliably?
PinkElephant
4.6 / 5 (5) Apr 12, 2010
@ECOnservative,

Do not confuse cosmological redshift with Doppler shift. Cosmological redshift is not due to objects moving through space relative to each other. It is due to photons being literally stretched out (thus increasing their wavelength) as they propagate through expanding space. Or at least that's the prevailing theory.

Expansion of space cannot result in blueshift. In an expanding space, every point is becoming more distant from every other point, and all photons traveling in all directions are being stretched.

The concept of expanding space is preferable to the concept of Doppler shift. This is because the latter would place us somehow magically at the center of the universe (i.e. we're stationary, while the rest of the universe is flying away from us in all directions.) With space expansion, everything is "moving away" from everything else (due to more space being inserted in-between), so there's no center and no privileged coordinate system.
JayK
1 / 5 (2) Apr 12, 2010
PE: Expansion is in all 4 dimensions, correct? I think people are thinking 3 dimensional expansion over time, with time being constant, which makes it hard to visualize or conceptualize.
ECOnservative
1 / 5 (2) Apr 12, 2010
PinkElephant:

Thanks for the correction, but in an ever expanding universe what inserts the "space between objects" and on what distance scale? Galaxies frequently collide and swing around each other and somewhere there has to be a galaxy that has negative velocity relative to us. It would exhibit blueshift in its spectra, would it not?

What I'm suspicious of is the prevalent theory that the universe is expanding in all directions based solely (as far as I can tell) on redshift. What if there is another explanation for redshift other than expansion? What if Hubble was wrong? The article seems to poke some doubt at it.
PinkElephant
4.8 / 5 (5) Apr 12, 2010
@JayK,

No, expansion is in 3 dimensions (i.e space is expanding in all directions.) There's nothing currently being said about time.

But think about it: how can you even conceptualize expansion, unless you relate it to the flow of time. To describe expansion (or any process whatsoever), you take imaginary instantaneous snapshots of the whole system, over time, and then compare them against each other. Whatever changes you notice between adjacent snapshots, would represent the set of processes that have been occurring over the corresponding interval of time.

Now, of course personally I think it's a conceptual misappropriation to treat time as a true dimension. It is very convenient in terms of math, but in reality I see no reason to believe that a continuum of time exists in the same way that there's a continuum of space. IMHO, there's only the present. The past is merely representational (a memory), and the future is merely an estimate (projection from the present.)
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (2) Apr 12, 2010
@ECONservative,
what inserts the "space between objects"
That's the million-dollar question.
and on what distance scale?
On all distance scales. The expansion is immeasurably small over short distances; it only becomes noticeable when you sum it up over millions and billions of light-years.
there has to be a galaxy that has negative velocity relative to us
Sure, but that would be due to the galaxy's orbital velocity, not to space expansion.
What if Hubble was wrong?
Can't rule that out altogether. However, over shorter distances (up to hundreds of millions of light-years), Type 1A supernovae are used to estimate distance. These estimates are in good agreement with those derived from redshift. So redshift definitely correlates with distance. And the article does mention time dilation in distant supernovae, which has no better explanation than space expansion. There are other supporting lines of argument, going back to CMB patterns and inflation...
JayK
1 / 5 (2) Apr 12, 2010
PE: Then possibly the perception problem stems from human perception of momentum? ECOnservative's post about blue-shift seems to be a common theme. Imagine an explosion in an Earth like free-space, much of the matter interacts and it would be difficult to say at any one single moment that 100% of the material is moving away from all other material generated at the center. If there is no loss in the system, possibly the interactions would be minimal for some amount of time, I suppose... There's that time thing again, though...
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (4) Apr 12, 2010
@JayK,

It's a common misconception to think of the Big Bang as an "explosion". It isn't an explosion. It is an expansion of space, with matter/energy embedded into the ever-stretching 3-dimensional membrane.

If you think carefully about a typical explosion, where pieces are flying away from the center, you will realize that:

1) There's a stationary center, and thus a privileged position in space. It is then statistically VERY unlikely for us to be located at such a position (yet we observe distant galaxies receding from us at the same speeds relative to distance, in all directions.)

2) The separation velocity between the ejecta and the center, is not the same as the separation velocity between nearby ejecta on the surface of a concentric sphere. Again, there's inhomogeneity in motion, and thus the presence of an implied absolute reference frame: which is anathema to Relativity.

For these reasons (and some more esoteric ones), physicists vastly prefer the space-expansion model.
frajo
2.3 / 5 (3) Apr 12, 2010
There are other supporting lines of argument, going back to CMB patterns and inflation..
Personally I see the concept of inflation as a speculative patch for an otherwise holey cosmological standard model. Postulating random quantum fluctuations which trigger a phase transition of a suitable invented field is no better than a deus ex machina or a sorcerer's wand which just can do anything.
seneca
1.8 / 5 (5) Apr 12, 2010
Your aether model suggests we live within a superfluid. Evidence your superfluid or step aside.
This is not my stance, nice try.

http://arxiv.org/.../0005091
http://arxiv.org/abs/1004.0597
http://guidetorea...rse.html
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (4) Apr 12, 2010
@frajo,
Postulating random quantum fluctuations which trigger a phase transition of a suitable invented field is no better than a deus ex machina or a sorcerer's wand which just can do anything.
:-)

That's the problem with postulates. Can't live with them, can't live without them.

For example, we postulate "space" as some sort of an abstract continuous coordinate system that is miraculously not biased in any direction even in the slightest. Is such a mathematically depicted space a real entity, or a figment of our imaginations? Or is space tangible -- made of something (i.e. does it have fine structure?) But if so, what is that fine structure made of? How is it glued together, or interrelated? In a coordinate system of some sort? So on, ad infinitum. At some point, you just have to say the hell with it, and plop down a postulate or two, until some empirical data comes along to provide a few more hints...
seneca
1.7 / 5 (6) Apr 12, 2010
The motivation of aether theory is in point, Universe cannot be empty, or we would see anything of it. Because we cannot assume any intrinsic structure of this "something", we are forced to assume, it's just "random".

After then we forced to model randomness in space and only the system of mutually colliding (i.e. countable) particles is able to model such randomness in physically relevant way. After all, entropy concept is based on Boltzmann gas, too. We don't know, from the Universe was made of, but we can estimate, how it should appear, if it would be inhomogeneous and completely random.

Most of Universe understanding consist in understanding, how very dense random system of colliding particles should appear and behave. Currently, the geometry of dense gas fluctuations is virtually ignored by mainstream science from apparent reason - while it remains completely real, it defies the attempts for description by formal math - it can be studied only by computer simulations.
seneca
1.7 / 5 (6) Apr 12, 2010
Many people believe, random gas is structureless, just because it's random, but it's not true at all. During condensation of supercritical fluid an interesting phenomena occur: the newly formed fluctuations of dense gas are behaving like 3D particles and they form another nested hyperspheric structures in recursive way. I do believe, the understanding of the geometry of these transitions is the key for understanding of the structure of observable reality.

http://tanzanite....mos.html

There exists a monster symmetry group, describing the most general geometry of kissing hyperspheres. With compare to E8 group it describes structure of hyperspheres in the hyperspace, formed by these hyperspheres itself.

http://en.wikiped...er_group
seneca
1.7 / 5 (6) Apr 12, 2010
For example, from geometry of kissing hypersheres follows, just the 3D hyperspheres are forming most compact arrangement, i.e. with the largest surface/volume ratio. This corresponds the appearance of dense condensing supercritical fluid, where just 3D fluctuations are preferred at all levels of condensation.

http://mathworld....ing.html

The surface/volume ratio is significant for creatures, who are using surface waves, i.e. transversal waves of light for mediation of information at distance. In this way aether theory explains, why just 3D space appears so large for us with compare to all other hyperspaces. We can see, even if we reduce the number of postulates to absolute minimum and if we reduce physical system to gas of colliding particles, we can still extrapolate some significant predictions about it.
seneca
1.7 / 5 (6) Apr 12, 2010
That's the problem with postulates. Can't live with them, can't live without them.
This just illustrates the duality of causual logic represented by science and intuitive belief and religion. It corresponds the duality of transversal and longitudinal wave spreading inside of dense particle systems.

The Big Bang model demonstrates, the deeper understanding of Universe we are searching for, the more counterintuitive assumptions we are required to assume for such explanation. We didn't throw out the belief in impossible at all, we only justified it in Lambda-CDM model. The Aether model just extrapolates the scope of assumptions even deeper: while providing deeper insight, the infinite hot & dense vacuum violates the conservation laws even more, then the initial singularity of Big Bang model.

The conclusion is, the more we understand about Universe, the more we are forced to believe about it: science=religion. We can consider it as a generalization of uncertainty principle.
Auxon
not rated yet Apr 13, 2010
Maybe quasers act like a lense made of metamaterials. Like a telescopic lense, but if you move away from it, you are moving towards the focal point, so it appears you are moving towards it at an accelerated rate, as you move away from the lense, and accelerate away from it as you approach the lense. I dunno.
ubavontuba
1 / 5 (3) Apr 13, 2010
@PinkElephant:

Okay. I officially concede that expansion acceleration effects would not be detectable in quasar jet curvature (but curvature is studied for other reasons).

Anyway, I understand why no one likes the currently proposed hypotheses for the time dilation discrepancy. M.R.S. Hawkins seems to prefer primordial black holes (as dark matter) for a solution. I don't buy that, because they should then affect all distant observations, similarly.

I would propose three hypotheses that I think make more sense (if anyone cares).

1. That these active galactic nuclei (AGN) are more populous in the past, indicates an aging process. Part of the aging process may be a slowing down of accretion activity, which just happens to correspond to our perception of their distance.

2. That at least one is detected with a redshift that would indicate it's twice as old as the universe, indicates their apparent redshifts may be distorted.

3. Is too wacky an idea to fit here..
ubavontuba
1 / 5 (3) Apr 13, 2010
...continued.

3. Optically (but not physically), they're all about the same distance away. That's to say, by looking toward their event horizons, we're looking so far into the past that the intervening physical time/distance, relative to the optically perceived time/distance, is generally irrelevant. Or to put it another way, the energy pulses we're viewing are energy fossils from a far distant past, that are irrespective of the quasars' apparent positions and activities.

Like I said, it's wacky...
caberawit
1 / 5 (1) Apr 13, 2010
Not that I'm a believer, but I think the "variable speed of light" idea (proposed as an alternative to cosmic inflation), offers an explanation for the observations reported in this article.
PS3
1 / 5 (3) Apr 13, 2010
@Caliban,

Quasars are found only at great distances (multiple billions of light-years.) There are no nearby quasars. Yet there are plenty of nearby black holes. So you can forget about the white hole notion, lest you want to argue that we're once again at the center of the universe (i.e. our location in space is somehow privileged.)

you are wrong.quasars are all over the universe because the are created when 2 supermassive black holes merge.

Michaelquerty
1 / 5 (1) Apr 13, 2010
If quasars are some, if not the oldest visible objects in the universe then the light waves/particles that are reaching earth should also be near the oldest that can be observed. Didn't the universe supposedly shift at one point from decelerating to accelerating and if it did, then the light waves near this change of pace would be uniform or near uniform for a certain range of time, perhaps the range of the oldest and newest quasars observed.
Post
1 / 5 (1) Apr 13, 2010
The speed of light is constant only locally with energy in deep space the temperature can be as low as -455 near absolute zero. The Bose-Einstein condensate experiments show that the speed of light is not constant and in the lab can be slowed to a stop at close to absolute zero. By this we may theorize that there is not 90 percent unknown, but 90 percent smaller and closer.
jj2009
3 / 5 (2) Apr 13, 2010
your right. as scientists, we should just accept what is written down in some book that was put together 2000 years ago, without question. We don't need to learn anything because its all there, written down for us, there is nothing to discover. Black holes, the theory of relativity, the explanations of the stars and planets in the universe, and the solar system, quantum theory, subatomic particles, its all written down there for us to read. Oh wait.... it isn't. It only talks about the things we knew about at the time, 2000 years ago, because thats when it was written.
Rdavid
1 / 5 (1) Apr 13, 2010
Old space fabric, old quasars, old black holes, old dark matter and we seek "real" time?
lindypalooza
1 / 5 (1) Apr 13, 2010
Hypothetically could these be beacons put there by intelligences?
cifey
1 / 5 (2) Apr 13, 2010
give off light pulses at the same rate no matter their distance
This requires a super dimensional explanation. The light is traveling via some external carrier wave which is not subject to the laws of relativity within our space.
Skeptic_Heretic
3 / 5 (2) Apr 13, 2010
give off light pulses at the same rate no matter their distance
This requires a super dimensional explanation.

Any reason why? Simple magnetics tell us why it occurs in magnetars and neutron stars, strangely requiring no mention of superdimensional carrier waves.
Caliban
1 / 5 (1) Apr 14, 2010
@PE
So, I'll leave aside the "white hole" question for now- even though I don't see how we could predict what distribution they would have in "our" universe- obviously a more fundamental objection is that they should be spewing matter at us.

I've been giving some thought to the idea of expansion of space. Is space expanding isotropically, or heterotropically? If iso- then at what rate? It couldn't be much, or else the universe would be much larger than we observe, with much larger redshift.

Is it expanding at a rate faster than the velocity of matter in the universe?

And, if there is an actual or accepted as actual maximum extent to the observable universe- then there must be a "center" or "origin"-for lack of a better term. I understand that the universe didn't explode into being, and I feel like I've got a good conceptual grip on the inflating mechanism- sort of like an expanding foam, with matter concentrated on the dividing walls that separate the voids in the "foam"
Caliban
1 / 5 (2) Apr 14, 2010
and filaments-clusters, and superclusters of galaxies and gas/dust, et c. located where numbers of these voids are in close proximity.

But if there is no center, then that means that, essentially, matter is continually being produced out of nothing, and that this is happening everywhere, and continuously, since the relative density of matter in the universe appears to be constant. Entirely possible, of course- nobody said that the big bang OR a white hole are operating in visible light- or at least not initially.

Perhaps the "Big Bang" is, in fact a White Hole, and it is ongoing, rather than being a discreet event.

None of this, however, helps with the paradox of quasars at hugely disparate distances not having differential light-pulse redshift relative to earthly observers.
Caliban
1 / 5 (1) Apr 14, 2010
And thanks, in advance, for all the explanations and insight you and others provide here in this forum. It would require massive amounts of reading to even begin to cover this much ground otherwise.

Since I'll not just be asking for my own sake, can you recommend one or two books that can manage the job of clearly and concisely explaining the currently accepted cosmology?
It has become only too apparent that there are some largish holes in my understanding of it.
frajo
2.3 / 5 (3) Apr 14, 2010
can you recommend one or two books that can manage the job of clearly and concisely explaining the currently accepted cosmology?
It would be more enlightening to have a compendium of all topics which the currently accepted cosmology can not explain.
Caliban
1 / 5 (1) Apr 14, 2010
It would be more enlightening to have a compendium of all topics which the currently accepted cosmology can not explain.


Yeah, but who's going to write that one? At least the current theory can provide a jumping-off point.
PinkElephant
not rated yet Apr 14, 2010
@Caliban,

You don't ask for much, do you? =P

Anyway, just to answer some of your questions...
Is space expanding isotropically
According to current theories (and measurements), yes.
If iso- then at what rate?
74.2 ± 3.6 (km/s)/Mpc. See here:

http://en.wikiped...le's_law

To unpack it a bit, over a span of 1 megaparsec (3.26 million light-years, or about 3 x 10^19 km), about 74 km of new space is being inserted every second.
Is it expanding at a rate faster than the velocity of matter in the universe?
Not sure what you mean by this. But certainly, at any given rate of expansion (assuming it holds constant, even though it appears to be accelerating at the moment), if you sum it up over a sufficient stretch of space, the amount of extra space added per second will exceed the amount of space light can cover per second. So, light emitted at one end of such a span, is guaranteed to never reach the other end.
PinkElephant
1 / 5 (1) Apr 14, 2010
(continued)

Indeed, since light travels in vacuum at about 300,000 km/s, then currently the absolute optical horizon is located at the _current_ distance of about (300,000/74)*3,260,000 =~ 13,000,000,000 light-years. IOW, any light emitted right now at such a distance from any observer that is stationary with respect to the emitter, will never reach the observer -- unless, of course, cosmic expansion slows down, stops, or reverses at some point in the future.
And, if there is an actual or accepted as actual maximum extent to the observable universe- then there must be a "center" or "origin"-for lack of a better term.
The actual accepted limit to the observable universe is defined by its age (estimated at 13.75 billion years), past which there were supposedly no objects, no light, and no space for the light to travel through... So this produces an absolute cut-off at 13.75 billion light-years from any observer.
PinkElephant
3 / 5 (2) Apr 14, 2010
(continued)

Note that already, some really ancient objects we might theoretically detect right now because light from them has been traveling to us almost since right after Big Bang, are already beyond the cutoff produced by expansion itself, and so in the future are doomed to fade into nothingness and become forever undetectable. If space expansion continues unabated, this fade-out will gradually engulf more and more of currently-visible distant galaxies, then closer galaxies, and eventually even our immediate neighbors.

If expansion continues to accelerate, it will eventually rip apart our galaxy, then our solar system (or what's left of it by then), then every molecule, every atom, and every elementary particle. That's the so-called "Big Rip", and it's a possible future of ours. Not to worry though, even if it does happen, it isn't scheduled to hit us for a good few billion years longer.

http://en.wikiped.../Big_Rip
caberawit
not rated yet Apr 14, 2010
@Claiban - Regarding the Hubble Constant, I find it hard to visualize the normal units (km/sec per megaparsec)so I converted it to percent per year. Surprisingly, what seems like a large number to start with turns into less than one one-hundred millionth of a percent per year. So a chunk of space 1 km long expands by about one-thousandth of a micron each year. That doesn't seem like much!
PinkElephant
3 / 5 (2) Apr 14, 2010
(continued)

As for "center" or "origin", that would be wherever a given observer (such as yourself, for example) happens to be. All observers everywhere are equivalent, and all observers everywhere, would perceive a universe that looks similar in all directions.
sort of like an expanding foam, with matter concentrated on the dividing walls that separate the voids in the "foam"
No, that's incorrect. Space is expanding everywhere, including inside dense objects and inside atoms. However, dense objects and atoms are constrained by forces that maintain their geometry and structure against this ongoing minuscule internal expansion, so the extra space sort of just "leaks" out of them.

It's true that at mega-scales, the universe looks like a bvoids surrounded by thin walls and filaments of matter. Initial inhomogeneities at Big Bang -- quantum fluctuations, inflated to cosmic proportions -- followed by subsequent gravitational condensation are responsible for such structure.
PinkElephant
3 / 5 (2) Apr 14, 2010
(finally)
matter is continually being produced out of nothing, and that this is happening everywhere, and continuously, since the relative density of matter in the universe appears to be constant.
No, as space expands, the density of matter drops overall.

Of course, this expansion is introducing extra energy into the universe (in the form of potential energy, as well as probably in the form of extra particles -- such as photons -- emitted by matter 'fighting' against the expansion.)

However, such a notion of energy imbalance over time is not a violation of conservation laws, rather it stems from a failure to consider other embedded reservoirs of energy. Current theory calls this hidden reservoir, "dark energy", and postulates that there is a whole lot more of it than all matter (including dark matter) and other types of energy, combined. There's also the somewhat fringe notion of vacuum energy. Then, there are things like ekpyrotic universe hypothesis, and other fun stuff...
PinkElephant
not rated yet Apr 14, 2010
@Caliban,
can you recommend one or two books that can manage the job of clearly and concisely explaining the currently accepted cosmology?
As far as pop sci, I've heard good things about Hawking's "Brief History of Time", and Smoot's "Wrinkles in Time." (There's probably considerable redundancy between those two... I'd probably go with Hawking...) In fact, Hawking has a more recent rehash of his classic, with updates, called "A Briefer History of Time". Of course, if you're interested in a more formal treatment (meaning, lots of complicated math), I could recommend an actual cosmology textbook...
Skeptic_Heretic
1 / 5 (1) Apr 14, 2010
@ Caliban

Brian Green - The Elegant Universe is a great one.
frajo
1 / 5 (2) Apr 14, 2010
Brian Green - The Elegant Universe is a great one.
Not all people share your view:
By Green, I think you are referring to Brian Greene, I did read his Elegant Universe and I did not appreciate it at all : I think he spends too much time explaining simple concepts, too little time explaining more important concepts, and I do not think he presents a fair view of the speculative status of string theory.
[ http://www.physic...t=393366 ]
Skeptic_Heretic
1 / 5 (1) Apr 14, 2010
Many don't when it comes to the explanitive books. I usually suggest Greene because his explanations are very readable even to the layman amongst us.
seneca
1.5 / 5 (8) Apr 14, 2010
for remote radio-wave sources we should observe a BLUE shift with distance - only sources of light with wavelength smaller then the CMB wavelength would exhibit normal red shift
Recently astronomers observed the background radio emission, which is the component smoothly distributed across the whole sky, was several times brighter than anyone was expecting. Distant galaxies early in the history of the universe must produce "extra radio emission".

Do you want to understand the Universe? Just sit down near water and throw some pebbles into it..
http://www.physor...830.html

This is an interesting observation, because from dense aether model of vacuum follows, the waves of wavelength smaller, then the wavelength of cosmic microwave background should disperse gradually, whereas the waves of longer wavelength should concentrate with distance.
Caliban
1 / 5 (1) Apr 14, 2010
@PE,
I appreciate your having taken the time for the tutorial. Very helpful.

@skeptic, frajo, et al. -thanks for chipping in.

This stuff I find endlessly fascinating, so it's important for me to have a solid grasp of the fundamentals in order to think clearly about what the implications of some of these articles are.

Think I'll go with the Hawking book- oddly enough, I was holding a copy of it in my hands only a few days ago, and I'd like to help keep my friendly neighborhood used bookseller in business.

Cheers, Everyone!
ubavontuba
1 / 5 (4) Apr 15, 2010
If the universal expansion is accelerating, shouldn't objects in the distance seem slightly flattened?

For instance, if the quasar jets were reliably straight, and the tail was facing us at a tangent, wouldn't the tail appear to be shorter and more redshifted than it would if the expansion wasn't accelerating (the actual result of the curvature I mentioned)?

The reasoning is: If the jet is a million light years long, the light from the quasar has had a million more years to travel to get to us. It not only holds the same accelerated expansion information as the tail end's light, but it also holds a slower period's information. Therefore, the tail should appear flattened a little.

Hypothetically, if we could determine the actual orientation verus the perceived orientation, couldn't we use that information to more precisely measure and map the expansion acceleration?

I doubt this particular difference would be measurable, but could it be measured in more disperse objects?
Skeptic_Heretic
1 / 5 (1) Apr 15, 2010
For instance, if the quasar jets were reliably straight, and the tail was facing us at a tangent, wouldn't the tail appear to be shorter and more redshifted than it would if the expansion wasn't accelerating (the actual result of the curvature I mentioned)?

No, there's nothing to provide drag in the depths of space.

If you're traveling at a perfect 40 miles an hour in a vaccuum and throw a penny out the window perpendicular to the car, the speed of the penny along your axis of motion remains at 40 mph.

To an external observer, a stream of pennies being tossed out the window would appear as a straight line traveling in lockstep with the car.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (1) Apr 15, 2010
@ubavontuba,

The rate of expansion appears to vary over time. It was super-high during the initial inflation period. It then spent billions of years gradually slowing down. Then, for some reason it reached an inflection point, and then began to speed up again. It is currently in the accelerating phase. Nobody knows what governs this dynamic, nor consequently what the long-term behavior will be.

The varying rate of expansion was discovered by correlating supernova brightness and redshift measurements (distance at emission time is estimated from supernova brightness, whereas total redshift imparted onto the light as it travels to us over that distance, is attributed to space expansion.)

The varying expansion will not curve jets as they project onto an observer's camera; however it can "curve" them in direction transverse to the camera (i.e. along the line of sight.) This would be analogous to the supernova brightness (distance) vs. redshift signal's deviation from linearity.
Graeme
5 / 5 (1) Apr 15, 2010
If local gravitation lensing is focusing the light from quasars, then this too should be affecting remote supernovas. Also lensing bodies do not need to be black holes, just anything with gravity, and the further away the quasar is the smaller mass you need to focus the light. Also the the further away, the more space there will be for an object to be in the line of sight. The same techniques used for measuring pulsar scintillation could be used,for example seeing if a quasar is focused at different intensities at different places in the solar system.
ubavontuba
1 / 5 (3) Apr 15, 2010
@PinkElephant:

The varying expansion will not curve jets as they project onto an observer's camera; however it can "curve" them in direction transverse to the camera (i.e. along the line of sight.) This would be analogous to the supernova brightness (distance) vs. redshift signal's deviation from linearity.
Right, that's essentially what I said. I don't mean curve,but rather slightly shortened or elongated (depending on its orientation and such). You'd most likely notice it in the redshift.

What I'm wondering is, if the expansion acceleration is always comprehensive and homogeneous. Could it vary locally?
ThJ
not rated yet Apr 17, 2010
Just a quick question . . . what is at the absolute base of a black hole? I do not understand how it exists, sucking everything possible into it, without destruction of all visible aspects known to humans.
frajo
2.3 / 5 (6) Apr 17, 2010
what is at the absolute base of a black hole? I do not understand how it exists, sucking everything possible into it, without destruction of all visible aspects known to humans.
No, it does not suck in everything possible. Just those things that come too near.
You should not pay attention to confused people like seneca/broglia/ubavontuba.
ubavontuba
1.6 / 5 (7) Apr 17, 2010
what is at the absolute base of a black hole? I do not understand how it exists, sucking everything possible into it, without destruction of all visible aspects known to humans.
No, it does not suck in everything possible. Just those things that come too near.
You should not pay attention to confused people like seneca/broglia/ubavontuba.
Oh brother. You mean like how LHC proponents presume that since a disaster won't happen on the very day they're created, it proves there's no danger?
Royale
3.7 / 5 (3) Apr 30, 2010
Us humans will never reach anywhere near the energies of the cosmos, so no the LHC won't cause "disaster" and even if it did, you wouldnt have time to think about it. If it did and only spared 25% of human life we'd be better off anyway. Lower population = lower strain on resources. Don't be a pessimist! Embrace the ::perceived:: genocide! I say perceived because once again we're back to this: the LHC will not destroy the earth. Period. Particle collisions are just that, they're not nuclear chain reactions like H bombs or simple Atom bombs. And don't go for the black hole thing either. Hawking radiation would mean they'd disappear before we see them; that's why they have such elaborate sensors around the ring.
ubavontuba
1.5 / 5 (8) May 01, 2010
...no the LHC won't cause "disaster" and even if it did, you wouldnt have time to think about it. If it did and only spared 25% of human life we'd be better off anyway...

This just serves to show that LHC proponents really don't care about life.
SteveL
not rated yet May 01, 2010
I wonder which 25% would be approved as survivors? Were the LHC capable of creating a functional black hole (which it is not) it would mean the end of all life on earth, not just 75%.
Royale
1 / 5 (1) May 03, 2010
yea. random figure. just pushing my world is overpopulated message. and it's not that i don't "care about life" i simply don't care about death.
hard2grep
1 / 5 (4) May 04, 2010
I wonder if the line of site converges on a filament? That is probably reaching. These are very large distances and time frames. I can see how lensing might color the numbers.
SmartK8
1 / 5 (2) Jun 03, 2010
@PE: Just a few notes. The expansion speed "change" (transition is a better word) is attributed to dark energy's (DE) "antigravity" effect prevalence over gravity (over time). Because in the beginning the stuff (dark + regular matter) was closer to each other so the effect of gravity was higher than the effect of DE repulsiveness. As the expansion went, it stretched the stuff enough to cancel out their gravity, and then DE become more prevalent from that moment on. Thus the transition to a different speed of expansion. About the "Big Rip", there's also this idea that DE can become attractive in the future, because we don't understand its properties (so we cannot rule out the possibility). Otherwise, keep up good work, it's refreshing to see some beacon of light here.
Caliban
1 / 5 (1) Jun 03, 2010
Once again, rampant speculation on my part- but what if the parity violation that gave rise to the baryonic matter universe we observe, and caused by the annihilation of very-nearly equal amounts of matter/antimatter- didn't annihilate the antimatter at all- but rather caused a phase/state change, and it is still with us in the form of DM/DE, and its current configuration gives rise to its proposed repulsive/attractive properties?

As SmartK8 points out, what if, at some point, DM/DE is capable of another phase/state change?