100 BILLION YEAR OLD UNIVERSE?

Abstract: Dark Energy is a fact. Dark Energy is not an extrapolation such as the Big Bang, or an extrapolation of extrapolations, such as Cosmic Inflation. Dark Energy enables a completely different cosmology. Taking Dark Energy seriously renders Cosmic Inflation and the Big Bang superfluous… And the universe very old.

The basic reasoning establishing the Big Bang is of primary school level. And yet, from recent observations, it is probably erroneous. I propose that the universe is rather of the order of 100 billion years old rather than 13.7 billion [sic!]. Why do I think the universe is much bigger, and much older than most accredited, professional cosmologists do? Why are celebrity physicists misinforming the public?

Galaxies To Infinity. 100 Billion Years Old, I Say.

Galaxies To Infinity. 100 Billion Years Old, I Say.

[One photon a minute to get this picture!]

Boldly averaging observations of red shifts in our neighborhood, it has been artistically found that galaxies located 3.2 million light years away recede at 72 kilometers per second (that art was involved is obvious when one gets in the detail… And why Hubble got the numbers wrong by a factor of two initially).

Divide that inter-galactic distance by that speed, and that should tell a primary school student when the universe started. The good news: physicists understand this. The bad news: it’s all too simple, reality seems to disagree.

Let’s do the computation in detail.

(We will use the notation “^” to indicate powers; so 10^2 is (10) (10), 10^4 is 10,000, etc.)

Light covers (3) (10^5) kilometers in one second, and there are around 100,000 = 10^5 seconds in a day. So light covers (3) (10^10) ( 3) (10^2) ~ 10^13 kilometers in a year (=10,000 billion kilometers). Multiply that by (3) (10^6), the distance to that receding galaxy, to get:

(3) 10^19) kilometers (3 times ten billion billion kilometers). Divide by 70 kilometers per second, to find how many seconds it took for galaxies to separate 3.2 million light years: that’s ½ (10^18) seconds. Now there are around (3) (10^5)(10^2) seconds in a year. One gets roughly 14 billion years.

14 billion years ago, or so, the material of that 3.2 million light year away galaxy was next door.

From, there, applying the Principle of Homogeneity (PH: that everything is everywhere roughly the same), one deduces that all those things that became galaxies were next to each other. Notice that this recourse to PH is a philosophical jump: it seems likely, because it is the simplest we can think of, but it’s not a sure thing.

The only way this could have happened is if this expansion all started in the same place… in time (not space!). Presto, you have the result that the history of the universe is that of a Big Bang that started 14 billion years ago. So far, so good.

Notice a second philosophical jump occurred: to get to the conclusion that there was a Big Bang, we assumed that the expansion happened at the same rate, all along. That sounded like the easiest hypothesis, 80 years ago (or when the Big Bang was explicitly formulated, around 60 years ago). But there was NO proof, that the expansion had been at that rate all along, and some observers of things cosmological, or theoreticians, begged to differ (even during the 1960s).

I certainly did not agree with the certainty that the preceding reasoning was a sure thing, because it was not. I do not trust concept that are viewed as sure things, when obviously they are not. I view in them probable examples of herd effects.

However, in the last ten years, it turned out that, to everyone’s amazement, a fact unanticipated by the majority of cosmologists emerged. The rate of expansion was found to be increasing noticeably.

A force expanded the fabric of space ever more. It was called “Dark Energy” (energy, because that’s what one needs to expand space, dark, because the force vector itself could be not be seen; also there already was one problem, called “Dark Matter”, mass distributed all over, dwarfing the visible mass).

I Propose Doing Away With Weird Stuff On Left Side Of the Sketch (Explosion, Cosmic Inflation, etc.)

I Propose Doing Away With Weird Stuff On Left Side Of the Sketch (Explosion, Cosmic Inflation, etc.)

The very existence of “Dark Energy” immediately busted the “universe is 14 billion years old” conclusion. Indeed, one cannot assume the expansion was 71 kilometers per second, all along, when we see that this expansion is now accelerating. It’s changing: get it? C H A N G E… It’s changing now, so it should have been changing in the past.

It’s more logical to suppose the expansion was always there, and accelerated all along, that the expansion accelerated in the past as it does now. So as the expansion of the universe is NOT linear now, it’s only simpler, logically, to suppose that it was NOT linear in the past. Instead, it looks as if, in first approximation,the expansion of the universe was some sort of exponential tapering fading in the past.

(In other words, since its rate is accelerating now, we may as well suppose it accelerated similarly, all along! Instead the extrapolated Big Bang + extrapolated Cosmic Inflation + Observed Dark Energy implies that the rate of acceleration of the Universe varied enormously in the past: first accelerating gigantically, then slowing down, then coming to a standstill, then re-accelerating… Weird!)

On the back of an envelope, considering the present rate of acceleration of the expansion, and extrapolating that acceleration in the past, your generous servant can determine the universe ought to be 100 billion years old, rather than 14 billion years.

Some will whine: and what of the Cosmological Background Radiation? Well I have a Quantum answer to that. There are also other explanations available such as Olbers Paradox, and Tired Light.

Why is it that physicists are presenting the date of 13.7 billion years for the age of the universe with so much certainty? Because smug, god like certainty, is what sells. To know things that only an oligarchy knows, especially if this esoteric knowledge violates common sense, can only make one famous. Hence well fed, the pelt lustrous and the mien proud.

Some do not require more than this: they are simple apes, greed is their event horizon. Real thinkers are made of nobler stuff. Meanwhile, the universe is out there: let’s look carefully, but emotionally, at the picture above: millions of galaxies, as far as we can see. One cannot avoid the feeling that this universe is much older than simply thrice the age of the Earth.

And now that’s what the simplest logic, clinging to the established facts, embraces.

Patrice Aymé

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54 Responses to “100 BILLION YEAR OLD UNIVERSE?”

  1. richard reinhofer Says:

    Interesting stuff Ms. Ayme

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Thanks, Richard! I much appreciate! Another cry from the heart! :-)!
      [BTW, there was a typo at the very end, saying roughly the opposite of what I wanted to say... I had got distracted by my 4 year old daughter, I fixed it.]
      PA

  2. thadroberts Says:

    I’ve been following your posts for a couple of years now, and I always love your spunk and willingness to call bull shit out for being bull shit. As an astrophysicists/philosopher of physics, I’d like to commend you for opening this topic up. All things taken as “known” in science should be questioned regularly. Nevertheless, I wonder how your proposed solution is meant to account for what inflation was constructed to account for???. I agree with you, that the current model is a bit ad hoc, designed to simply account for observation without really telling a full causal story for that model, but this is no reason to propose a model that cannot match up with the data. I think the real thing to attack here is that we don’t have an explanation for the current model. We don’t have any idea what dark energy is (or dark matter), and for this reason postulating dark energy does no real work towards answering the question of ultimate origins. What is needed is a full causal story for why expansion occurred, for what dark energy is, or an entirely different causal story. Whatever story we tell – it must match up with the data. How does your story, the claim that expansion has been roughly constant (cutting off the inflationary period at the beginning) give us a way to match up the model with our observations. How does it explain why the universe appears so flat, homogeneous, and isotropic? These are the problems inflation was invoked to explain away. I agree, that by invoking inflation we get rid of those problems, but we simply trade them for the problem of inflation – not knowing why it occurred or how. Do you feel that you can account for these problems? It was recognized long ago that the assumption that the universe was even 150 billion years old would not give us the condition of flatness, homogeneity, and isotropy that we observe.

    • Paul Handover Says:

      OK! Now read PA’s essay and your reply carefully a couple of times. I was surprised to read that science has no idea what dark energy is. That feels like no insignificant mystery!

      But I have a fundamental question. It is this. Would our understanding of the nature of dark energy and the age of the universe have any significant affect on our modern lives? In other words, would we have to rewrite any part of how we believe our present world operates?

      (Now where did I leave my headache pills?)

      • Patrice Ayme Says:

        Dear Paul: Anything that exposes the naivety of our previous patterns of thought feeds progress all over.

        When Buridan proposed the heliocentric model, he explicitly made the geocentric model supported by the Church something only supported by “scripture”.

        The present “elitist” structure of science goes together well with the plutocratic model: they encourage each other, in their priestly worship.
        PA

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear Thadroberts: Thanks for the appreciation. And thank you for commending my opening up of this topic. Indeed “things taken as known in science should be questioned regularly”. It’s only when they reach the level of technological perfection that we can relax.

      Now, of course in astronomy, we have presently a very perplexing situation: the long-ago doubts about mass, and, or, the validity of the Newton/Einstein is in question. The basic equation of that theory was found by a French astronomer, before Newton was born. Either it is false, or Dark Matter looms.

      http://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2009/12/24/dark-matter-dark-energy-gravitation-etc/

      All I propose is that, at this point the logically leanest theory is not the Bib Bang (nice typo: I have to prepare breakfast for my daughter!). It is to suppose that the universe is much older and much bigger.

      I know Einstein introduce the Cosmological Constant to stabilize his view of the universe, but that was a much smaller universe. In a universe that is big enough, I don’t see why:
      “It was recognized long ago that the assumption that the universe was even 150 billion years old would not give us the condition of flatness, homogeneity, and isotropy that we observe.”

      OK, more to say, and ask, but my child is going to (pre) school, and I have to take care of her, for now…
      PA

      • thadroberts Says:

        Patrice,

        I understood that you were claiming that the most logical thing would be to suppose that the universe is much older and much bigger. I am just encouraging you to back your case in a way that satisfies the data as well as (or better than) the inflationary big bang model does.

        One thing worth noting is that physicists have no clue how big the Universe is. We know that it is bigger than the visible universe, but how much bigger? We have no idea. It remains possible that it is infinite. This is perhaps the most favored expectation. The inflationary big bang model works just as well under the assumption that the Universe is infinite in size, because inflation is not an initiator of size – it is an initiator of specific characters endowed in the vacuum. Those characters need to be explained. If you could come up with a way that a 100 billion year old universe (independent of its total size) would be endowed with the flatness, homogeneity, and isotropy that astronomers observe, then you’d be making some progress. I’m not discouraging your attempt to do this at all – just to be clear. There are profound mysteries in this topic still, and we need more people that are willing to challenge everything.

        Something else that I’d like to say is that, despite your assertion that when science reaches a level of technological perfection we can relax, I submit that us relaxing under these conditions is also inappropriate. Quantum mechanics is the most successful theory of all time. It has made more accurate predictions than any other theory by far, and it is considered entirely mathematically rigorous. If anything counts as having reached a level of technological perfection it does. Yet, there are dozens of equally valid interpretations of quantum mechanics, each leading to the exact same end math, the exact same predictions. There is no empirical way to tease these interpretations apart, yet the claims they make about reality are wildly different from each other. I would submit this as a case for why we still cannot relax even when we are very comfortable with our technological perfection.

        There is another issue at hand. When our paradigm is constructed under a certain set of assumptions and expectations, we tend to reinforce both those assumptions and expectations – until we are wildly confronted with opposition. As an long forgotten example of this, consider that when the telescope was first used, most people that looked through them did not find anything that upset their worldview, which included the idea that there were no bodies out in space with orbiting moons. Even when people allowed themselves to see what they were seeing, they assumed a communication error, that the telescope’s optics were altering reality and presenting an inaccurate representation of it. That’s just a small example. I suppose my point is, that in science we should never relax and just assume we’ve gotten things right. We should always be willing to question our most basic assumptions, to try to build new models, and to make sense of the mysteries that stand before us.

        At any rate, keep up the skepticism :-)

        If you’re interested, here’s a link to the first half of my book, which challenges much of the currently held assumptions about the vacuum, and proposes a different model (which of course I ask you to remain skeptical of).

        Thad

        https://www.dropbox.com/s/pxzcrsvt2qvb0t9/Einstein%27s%20Intuition%20%28Chapters%20w%20completed%20edits%29.pdf

        • Patrice Ayme Says:

          Dear Thad: I have been very busy today, and I’m a bit sick, although I have to run around, hence my silence. My point was some sort of Occam Razor argument.

          BTW, I am always surprised when people argue that the universe is flat and homogenized, because, last I checked, there was an enormous void next door, with not even a dwarf galaxy in sight…

          I will check your book ASAP (but that could be days with so called “vacations” looming).
          PA

        • Patrice Ayme Says:

          About the reinforcement of paradigm: Tycho was proud of the fact that, using the same exact instruments as the ancients, he had exposed the fudge factor in Ptolemaic astronomy. He told Kepler to concentrate on Mars, where the deviations were maximal.

          At this point the fudge factor all over physics is the enormous gap between the certainty celebrity physicists broadcast, and their total ignorance.

          For example Susskind peremptorily declared that Dark Matter was “just about particles“. That’s a silly statement, when considering carefully the rotation of galaxies.
          PA

    • EugenR Says:

      Dear Patrice, If may i to make a summary of your theory just to figure out if i understood you correctly, You claim, since the observations show us that the Universe expansion is accelerating, logically should be expected that this acceleration existed from the beginning of the time, (when the so called Big Bang occurred). This theory solves the problem of need for inflation, which is not coherent with the existing paradigms of the science, like speed of light etc. Yet your theory raises new problems, like how to explain the flatness, homogeneity, and isotropy of the Universe as thadroberts mentioned above.

      I want to remain to you our previous correspondence in the subject where i propose an alternative theory called the big spin viz;

      https://rodeneugen.wordpress.com/2013/07/02/pretentious-chat-about-physics/

      I am fully aware of me being very far from understanding the field and the Mathematics of it, and don’t want to be pretentious to understand to much about the subject. Yet i take the courage to suggest out of my ignorance an extra universe explanation to the very existence of all.

      My theory says, “Since everything in the Universe is in movement, and the movement is the basic bloc to the very existence, why the universe itself shouldn’t be in movement?”.
      In the link above i still suggested that the Big Bang should be called a Big Spin, while suggested all started with a Big Multi-axis spin of the universe.

      You answer to my ideas was as follows;

      Your model would fit a linear “Hubble” expansion law. Unfortunately, as I said, the usual BB model has an enormous inflation, to start with, and now apparently we observe an accelerating inflation.
      Another problem is that in a rotation appears a so called “Coriolis force”. On Earth, it causes “Trade Winds”. In space, it would cause something similar, on a larger scale, a systematic Coriolis deviation. an anisotropy of the universe. To my knowledge that has not been observed (although some other features seem present, of unknown origin). it would in particular affect cosmological photons (redder in one direction than in another).

      Still another problem would be that the tremendous acceleration necessary initially would prevent the gathering of matter long present, and observed, as gravity would be nothing relative to that acceleration.The usual Big Bang is in part here to convince the public that the “Standard Model” is of some use (that’s my cynical view of it). Although, personally, I think it’s interesting by itself. It’s true it provides a neat explanation of the 3K cosmological background radiation…
      ——————————————————–
      After thinking again as an amateur, i thought, why to stick only to circular movement, there are after all many other forms of movement we know, just to mention some, expansion and contraction, vibration,linear straight movement, etc. All of them could be created/happened at the moment of the very beginning. And if to relate the theory to your model of “100 Billion Year Universe”, if the Universe started its expansion gradually, why couldn’t be that the movement like spin, vibration, etc. started gradually too, and its acceleration continuous to this days?

      Yet i understand every mathematical model has to have some anchor presupposition. I would start with the speed of light, unless even in this phenomena were found some irregularities, which i don’t know about.

      If to continue with the idea, Mathematically i would try to see what kind of movements of a Planck scale dot are necessary to explain the expansion of the universe from one point to the today vastness, and explain all the unexplained phenomenons that oppose the existing paradigms of the science.

      As a supplementary of my naive theory of everything i would assume that the very creation happened, when certain type of movement (spin, vibration, etc.) caused the split of the nothingness at Planck scale to matter and antimatter, while certain kind of asymmetric movement made the matter more abundant then the antimatter.

      • Patrice Ayme Says:

        Dear Eugen: Your big spin is highly imaginative. Yet, if it started small, say as a dancer with arms folded, it would lead to the same inhomogeneity, anti-isotropy, lack-of flatness problem as the Big Bang. Think of those dancer’s arms: as they extend, all these irregularities develop. All these dynamics, as they unfold, irresistibly (literally!) become ever more amplified.

        By doing away with starting in a small space, I do away with that.

        The funny part is that I was entering the silly logic of the Big Bangers, by cutting away the fat. In my own theory, it seems there maybe no Dark Energy, just Dark Matter.

        BTW, I am perfectly aware of BB nucleosynthesis, including the Deuterium and He4 problems. I just think that, it’s not because we don’t know everything, that we should say whatever (the mathematician in me resurfacing!).
        PA

  3. Paul Handover Says:

    Oh dear, here comes another headache! Not being helped by thadroberts I’m bound to say! ;-)

    What an amazing essay. Well I think it is if I could really understand it. Need several re-reads to see if that understanding arrives.

    At the risk of lowering the tone, could I turn to the question of other inhabited planets. Am I correct in saying that as man’s ability to look deeper into the heavens improves we are seeing more and more suns surrounded by planetary systems?

    From this then must flow the question, possibly a philosophical question, of what likelihood there is for discovering an inhabited planet elsewhere?

    I appreciate the complex odds involved but it still remains, for me, the most tantalising question of all.

  4. thadroberts Says:

    Paul Handover,
    In reference to your question, you might enjoy pouring over this:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drake_equation

  5. de Foucaud Paul Says:

    Patrice,
    Less than a century ago, speed of sound was impossible to manage.
    Why tomorrow C should
    not be managable ?
    Yours.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Well, Paul, if one looks at a lightning strike, for example, or a shooting star, one observes phenomena clearly faster than the speed of sound. So the ancients could have known sound could be superseded. And man made canon balls and rockets exceeded the speed of sound long ago.

      However, as Poincare’ observed, the fact that one has never observed a phenomenon faster than c should be called by what it is, a LAW OF NATURE (Poincare’, 1904, visiting a conference in Saint Louis USA, and before that). The Einstein cult makes a huge deal of the notion, as a foundation to their religion (yet, it has to keep on being checked… as it is a… non-observation.)

      This being said, I agreed with you that this sort of reasoning where ignorance is turned into knowledge is no sure thing. There is a difference between observing something to happen, and observing something is not observed.

      In any case any object with a mass m is observed to not approach the speed of light, however hard it is accelerated with energy E (all this in vacuum, it’s not true otherwise). The object just acquires momentum p, not velocity. EE = ppcc + mcc…
      PA

      • de Foucaud Paul Says:

        Thank’s Patrice for this answer.
        The only thing from what I am sure nowadays is uncertitude about anythings a part the maths, as an unsefull tool inbound to have an approach about physic laws !
        Happy Christmas

  6. Patrice Ayme Says:

    Alexi Helligar I too noticed the confusing ending before the edit.

    In response to “thadroberts”, I think you are trying to say that the assumption that the Universe expanded at the constant rate of expansion that we see in our local group of galaxies is not supported by anything we see to today. In other words, Universal extrapolation of an expansion rate of 72 km/s for the entire age of the Universe could be wrong.

    From my understanding that is what inflation intends to address. Inflation says that early in the life of the current Universe, it grew very quickly — almost to its current size. Then settled down into a more steady expansion and is now entering a new period for accelerated expansion. Again there is not a lot of evidence for this other than the apparent flatness and homogeneity of the Universe.

    So why do you want to do away with inflation? It seems to fit your thinking well. Have a look at this article: http://phys.org/news199591806.html

    Model describes universe with no big bang, no beginning, and no end
    phys.org

    (PhysOrg.com) — By suggesting that mass, time, and length can be converted into one another as the universe evolves, Wun-Yi Shu has proposed a new class of cosmological models that may fit observations of the universe better than the current big bang model. What this means specifically is that the…

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      I was under the weather, and busy, hence my delayed resurfacing. Big Bangists do what their tribe do: prove the Big Bang. Inflation is the only way to solve some problems that the Big Bang causes. In its hard core version, inflation is the most grotesque theory in physics, ever: it lays universes as geese lay golden eggs.

      Beats crystal spheres epicycling.

      In BB madness, the expansion had been slowing down, until, miracle of miracles, it reaccelerates, and, presto, here we are! Funny they keep on finding proofs of the BB, when it’s known that basically gravity does not work out of the solar system, and, or, Dark Matter is overwhelming. Ah, also the large distribution of matter is not homogenous (that’s like the numero uno consequence of the BB). There is worse: the total surface of galaxies is that of the BB universe. Und so weiter…
      PA

  7. Patrice Ayme Says:

    Alexi Helligar The evidence for Inflation seems to be rising: http://goo.gl/TujjnO

    New Patterns in the Big Bang Afterglow Discovered –”Hailed as Major Breakthrough Revealing…
    http://www.dailygalaxy.com

    The scientists at the Antarctica South Pole Telescope have observed twisting patterns in the polarization of the cosmic microwave background—light that last interacted with matter very early in the history of the universe, less than 400,000 years after the Big…

  8. Alexi Helligar Says:

    The “Big Bang” is recognized as a flawed metaphor by serious physicists. First, there was no bang. Second, it happened everywhere at once so is not like a every day explosion. Third, it produced no light. Fourth, it is still happening.

    Also, the appearance of the Universe accelerating expansion could be an emergent effect of gravitational time dilation.

    Further, I think the equations of physics have yet to fully come to grips with the mass/energy of empty space.

    I’m sure some young genius will make it all clear.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      The name “Big Bang” was intended as a mockery and originated from, or at least was used by Fred Hoyle in 1952… Or maybe even Gamow (who is the one who got the idea to start with). Weinberg, and many others, who have endorsed the Bang, are certainly serious physicists (although some of their colleagues were aghast, there were aghast behind closed doors…). I don’t understand why the “accelerating expansion” originated from time latation due to mass, as, presumably the mass density goes down (absent Dark Energy).
      PA

  9. Alexi Helligar Says:

    How do you correlate density with empty space? The problem is that the absence of any discernible entity is by itself massive.

    In other words, zero density appears to be itself exceedingly energetic and therefore massive. It is a huge problem.

    Most physicists I have heard speak on the subject treat the notion of a Big Bang as an oversimplification made for popular consumption.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Well maybe the doubt about the Bang are spreading then… But I did not notice this on my end recently. Yes, people are starting to criticize… The psychology of it all is fascinating, especially the way inflation was supposed to rescue physics (if you can’t understand something, “explain” it by an even greater mystery).

      Nobody knows what the vacuum is made of. “The absence of any discernible entity is by itself massive” is the way physicists look at QED/QCD. It’s obviously absurd. Ergo the 0 point energy ought to be discarded. Keep the harmonic oscillator, declare 0 point unphysical. This is what’s done, implicitly. I don’t see any energy in the vacuum, especially with my 2 cut-offs (finite numbers + physical Planck Length).
      PA

  10. Alexi Helligar Says:

    I don’t see how zero-point energy can be simply discarded when its presence is responsible for such physical phenomena as Hawking radiation.

    It is sometimes shocking how easy it is for you to dismiss ideas you do not like or find is absurd: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J3xLuZNKhlY

    Empty Space is NOT Empty
    An atom is mostly empty space, but empty space is mostly not empty. it looks empty is because electrons and photons don’t interact with the stuff …

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      First what space is, is unknown. At best, an entangled truth. Second either space is empty, or not. Zero Point Energy and Hawking radiation are disjoint phenomena. The former is controversial, the latter so far unobserved, and would be relevant only close to the Planck Length.

      As it is ZPE as used in QFT is, indeed absurd: colossal energy at every single point of space makes for an super giant amount of it, contradicting gravitation’s barest bone. Not my fault, but certainly infuriating, I must admit.
      PA

  11. Alexi Helligar Says:

    “The basic question what is a vacuum, and what is nothing, goes beyond science. It’s embedded deeply in the base not only of theoretical physics, but of our philosophical perception of everything—of reality, of life, even the religious question of could the world have come from nothing.”

    Read more at: http://phys.org/…/2010-12-theoretical-physics…

    Theoretical physics breakthrough: Generating matter and antimatter from the vacuum
    phys.org

    Under just the right conditions — which involve an ultra-high-intensity laser beam and a two-mile-long particle accelerator — it could be possible to create something out of nothing, according to University of Michigan researchers.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear Alexi: What is the vacuum is a central question in physics, going all the way back to antiquity. Progress was made by Pascal and company, further questions asked by Newton, emphasized by Mach, sort of answered by Maxwell, contradicted by Michelson-Morley, before entering the total vacuum of Poincare’-Einstein. And all hell broke loose with Quantum Field Theory.

      Confusion is now absolute. Con-fusion:

      BTW the phys.org article proposes to break electrons, it’s not really about the vacuum. It’s of course completely unknown whether that can be done or not. But it’s worth trying. ICF is going that way anyway.
      ICF = Inertial Confinement Fusion, the present breakthrough technique for controlled thermonuclear fusion.
      PA

  12. Alexi Helligar Says:

    First, I would say that space is not an “entangled truth” but a “superpositioned truth”. Second, I would say that space is full and has to be so in order to “feel” empty.

    The intersection between Zero Point Energy (ZPE) and Hawking radiation is very near the event horizon (EH) of a black hole (BH). Near the EH when empty space generates a matter-antimatter pair, sometimes one of the pair will fall past the EH and be lost, while the other will escape away from the EH. This radiation saps the gravitational energy of the BH causing it to slowly evaporate.

    A similar technique using high energy lasers is what is being practised in the PHYS.org article I attached above to propagate electrons from the vacuum.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      I invented independently the reasoning you quoted as a teen (without knowing QFT beyond the pretty pictures). However Jeffrey Sachs, a relativist, did not know what to make of this, and found my little drawings befuddling. It’s how Hawking’s presumed radiation is now presented, though (initial Hawking computations were hermetic).

      But there are gaps in the logic, so it remains an experimental question, to be explored when energy densities in accelerators are a billion times higher, or so.

      “Entangled” is different from superposed. “Entangled” it is. ZPE and pair formations are two different problems. And the Casimir Force, still another. Casimir = ZPE is only a slogan to seduce the masses… But I will use it. Today!
      PA

    • thadroberts Says:

      Patrice,
      Perhaps you are in favor of a variant of the ekpyrotic model, called the cyclic model that was developed by Paul J. Steinhardt and Neil Turok in 2002? I believe your points are best aligned with that model.

      • Patrice Ayme Says:

        Happy New Year, Thad! That’s something I believe in, the heliocentric theory. That ekpyrotic model (into the fire) pre-supposes the collisions of branes… Something even less observed than cosmic inflation. So it’s like avoiding hot mud to jump in the… fire.

        I will put the rest of my answer in an independent comments to mitigate nestling…
        PA

  13. Alexi Helligar Says:

    I think I understand how entangled differs from superpositioned. Your insistence on entanglement makes me think of the spin information of a matter-antimatter pair (MAP) when one falls beyond the EH of a BH and other other escapes. Are the spins of a MAP entangled? If so, could we not get some information about the particle beyond the EH from the entangled particle that manages to escape.

    I know scientific answers to these questions rest on the outcomes of physical experiments. We currently do not have BH in our laboratories to test these ideas. Perhaps the colossal energies needed to explore the realm of the BH will come from a technical mastery of ZPE. I cannot help but think that BH and ZPE are intertwined. For now, our thinking reach into a realm beyond physics. But since we fancy ourselves to be philosophers, we do not fear metaphysics.

    Also, I think that energy densities are not as important as energy gradients.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Black Holes are interesting, even fundamental, on a galactic scale, and they block conventional Quantum Mechanics in some ways. But of course gravity itself is arguably unchanged in nearly 4 centuries (before Newton’s birth!).

      In General Relativity, both densities and gradients are important, both contributing (non linearly) to curvature (now that there is only curvature, and not torsion too, Cartan took more than a decade to explain to Einstein that it was a philosophical choice…). All physicists, and, a fortiori those interested by physics, are FORCED to be philosophers. Whether they are bright is another question. Happy Xmass. (X boson!)
      PA

  14. Merril Ch Says:

    I’m not a physicist, but even without my physics degree, I think your explanation is completely plausible. There seems to be a dearth of explanations for dark energy and the cosmic acceleration. I hadn’t thought about the “big bang” age implications of a current acceleration, but it seems like it’s a very plausible application of the acceleration data.

    It reminds me a little of the struggle to explain the constant speed of light measurement by M&M. And efforts to explain it away. Once the fact was accepted, then the implications led to a lot more than the confusion about relative light speed. Maybe that’s what the physicists need to do, accept the new measurable facts, and move on to reconstructing a history that’s consistent with the facts.

    It might be difficult to give up the 13.7 billion year figure since it’s so tidy. Watch for religious to attack the crack in the armor…..they love to watch scientists argue. Still….. 100 billion or 13.7 billion, still keeps the bible out of the story.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Hi Merrill! I’m not even sure Dark Energy is real (because I have my own explanation, which also fits Dark Matter… the latter being real… according to me!) I am going to write that one up.

      So my argument is perfidious: if there is Dark Energy, then no bang needed. But then I see no DE (but new physics).
      They are starting to change the date to13.8 billion (from 13.7!). I love the precision.

      An argument for the BB is nucleosynthesis (Deuterium, etc.). However, I don’t think the cosmic jungle is known enough to exclude that. There may be super giant stars with 600 solar masses, etc.
      PA

  15. Patrice Ayme Says:

    Dear Thad:(continuing)

    Amusingly, come to think of it, the Dark Energy models fall under the general continuous creation family… Fred Hoyle is having his revenge?

    Some of what I am just saying is that, if one can cut out wild axiomatics, the only thing the BB model has to go for it is the Cosmic Background (but I have a possible very different interpretation for that… tested on no less than Feynman (!!!!)) and BB nucleosynthesis (He4 and Deuterium).

    For the latter I’m not too sure that we understand star theory enough to be sure (there seems to be hyperstars above the theoretical limit of 150 solar masses).

    Nothing prevents super giant stars top crash into each other, in those big clouds out there. Then one should make the nucleosynthesis theory of a star 1,000 solar mass, and see what happens…

    Maybe surprises…
    Little Big Bangs…
    PA

  16. Alexi Helligar Says:

    I thought you would enjoy this. “The Big Bang” is a horrible name for the start of the Universe: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3MWRvLndzs

    Science, Religion, and the Big Bang

    Support MinutePhysics and MinuteEarth on Subbable – http://www.subbable.com/minuteearth AND http://www.subbable.com/minutephysics MinutePhysics is on Google+….

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Patrice Ayme Very nice! I did indeed appreciate very much. I have made forever the point that the Big Bang had to do with the Bible’s cosmology, but that’s said here in a funny way. He could have made clearer that the Cosmic Inflation is not needed in a cyclic universe. It’s pretty clear from his cosmic drawing. Cyclicity solves the nucleosynthesis problem.
      Thus the Cyclic Universe removes the two pillars of the BB. I remove even more, the cyclicality itself…
      I am not even sure about DE…

      PA

  17. Patrice Ayme Says:

    Big Bangers say they can create a universe out of nothing (they equate the energy to create it with the potential energy it represents, subtract one, from the other!).

    Similar mathematical salad show, by that token, that the International Space Station is created out of nothing too.

    Anything, then is nothing. Demonstrating the emptiness of Big Bangers.
    The confusion can be tracked to abusing the notion of time.

  18. Alexi Helligar Says:

    Zero is both Presence and Absence. There are many ways to show the paradoxical nature of zero. It drives some mathematicians so batty that they say that we should do what you do with infinity (1/0) and eliminate zero.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Zero is perfectly OK with me. Even a clever dog can understand it very well. I have never met a research mathematician batty about zero. And, of all social groups, those I have met most, are of that persuasion. Unsurprisingly.

  19. Garcol Says:

    The linear approximation of Hubble Constant generates the approximate age as you have described; however, there are two elements which need to be considered in addition:
    1) Despite the non-linear character of the rate of expansion, the integration of the expansion over velocity could infact yield a linear approximation of what is currently defined as the Hubble constant of 71 km/s/Mpc, and,
    2) there are other dissimilar methods for obtaining an age range for the known universe: White Dwarf cooling, Magnitude of Globular Clusters and relative abundance of radioactive decay.
    These all seem to agree on an estimated age of 12-14 GYr.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Garcol: Welcome to the comments. You are entirely correct that one can twist the known data to make it fit a 13.8 GYr age.
      However, sometimes it’s not so clear: in the very latest news I heard, some quasar at extreme distance was shedding energy at the normal average rate these beasts tend to have. In the “a universe from nothing” officialdom, that makes little sense.

      The point I was making is that we have a NEW phenomenon, apparently confirmed, COSMIC EXPANSION (= “Dark Energy”). With that engine, anything is possible, as we have no idea how it works. So I just pointed out all the extrapolation of known (or hoped to be known, such as gravity) equations, way back was more than suspicious. I am happy to report that the esteemed physicist Matt Strassler espoused that line in his blog, six months later.

      I have even sharper criticism in that area to bring forth, what I call HOLONOMIC time (if one knows what holonomy is, my semantics pretty much describes the problem).

      I am of course looking forward to more observations from you, and I’m sorry I don’t remember the details about this latest cosmological quasar (there is also a new strange local galactic quasar, above the Eddington limit, but that’s a completely different, and understood, story). I tend to do speed reading.
      PA

  20. Garcol Says:

    With caveats, as I admit to being totally baffled by your response:
    Four non-congruous validations of 12-14 GY do not seem to be “twisting the known data”;
    One anomalous fact, without verification or venue, does not support an opposing theory;
    You seem to be flirting with DM and DE, using either one as the moment requires – yet nothing is known about their properties – yet you postulate that is/are the explanation/description for the universe expansion/age;
    While the inference of a string manifold somehow re-defining spacetime is interesting, I don’t see how re-defining time expands the definition (or adds any clarity). Three peanuts may be part of a homomorphic group, but they are still peanuts.
    How DO you arrive at “100 billion years old”?

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear Garcol: To say nothing is known of DE and DM is a severe stretch. I would say more is known that about them than about what time is supposed to mean, while Big Banging.

      The exclusively Big Bangist approach to cosmology is, according to me, and others, a sociological phenomenon. Certainly I can’t understand the arrogance. We had extreme precision for the BB, and suddenly it shifted by about 100 million years.

      Similarly the interpretation of the result about the whirling CMB seem silly: how do we even know for sure they are of cosmological origin?

      Don’t put down one weird cosmological quasar. After all DM came from decades of astronomers rolling out gravitational anomalies. And even DE was long suspected by some (that’s why it was checked).

      I keep on putting off writing an essay on “holomorphic” time, sorry, but, well, lots to do.
      PA

  21. Chris Snuggs Says:

    Nobody knows or can ever know. We have more important things to worry about.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Not so. Learning to thing better is what it’s all about. By learning to think better, we will learn about 100 billion years ago, and maybe we can apply this to 100 trillions of dollar ago. Or a more refined socio-economy.

      • Chris Snuggs Says:

        “I am incredibly busy just now, so give me time. However, discussing the origin of the universe is like discussing “God”, a waste of precious moments of life. And suppose we find out how the universe started? How the hell is that going to help us undo the damage caused by socialists and fascists – often the same thing of course.”

  22. Patrice Ayme Says:

    [Sent to Scienta Salon 5/6/14]

    In the Middle Ages officials made theories about angels on a pinhead, now we make universes on a pinhead. With progress like that, who needs madness?

    Where in physics is it demonstrated that a “quantum fluctuation” can grow in a universe. What’s the law? What’s the experimental evidence? Is the so called “Big Bang” itself the evidence that proves the theory that gave rise to it?

    It may be time to cut the Gordian Knot. The Gordian Knot of unobservable universes. Perhaps, maybe, lets’ be honest, we just don’t need the Big Bang. All the computations about light elements may be rethought, in light of galactic core explosions and the like (those are assuredly very hot).

    All we have is the expansion, and we even have a mechanism for it: Dark Energy. If we just do with what we have, the universe is immensely old. Sorry for those who have universes in their head, though… Sounds like fun, while it lasts.

    Yet, science is about what can be checked, and making theories with what exist: the universe and Dark Energy exist, and have been checked. The multi-universes, with their inflation out of quantum fluctuation are just the stuff of bad science fiction, and when we get to zombie brains (another consequence of this weird derangement), you just will make guys in the street laugh. Hard.

    I have talked with highly educated people who, when their hear about these absurdities, want to cut money even to place that make excellent physics such as CERN. Madness has its drawbacks.

    http://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2013/12/19/universe-100-billion-years-old/

  23. Alexi Helligar Says:

    Making progress in science is extraordinarily difficult. My friend Patrice Ayme will find this supports his view that any talk of the Multiverse is “insanity” and “stupidity”. Philosophically, I am still agnostic.

    Big Bang blunder bursts the multiverse bubble

    Premature hype over gravitational waves highlights gaping holes in models for the origins and evolution of the Universe, argues Paul Steinhardt.

    03 June 2014

    When a team of cosmologists announced at a press conference in March that they had detected gravitational waves generated in the first instants after the Big Bang, the origins of the Universe were once again major news. The reported discovery created a worldwide sensation in the scientific community, the media and the public at large (see Nature 507, 281–283; 2014).

    Related stories
    •Big Bang finding challenged
    •Gravitational-wave finding causes ‘spring cleaning’ in physics
    •Experts hail the gravitational-wave revolution

    According to the team at the BICEP2 South Pole telescope, the detection is at the 5–7 sigma level, so there is less than one chance in two million of it being a random occurrence. The results were hailed as proof of the Big Bang inflationary theory and its progeny, the multiverse. Nobel prizes were predicted and scores of theoretical models spawned. The announcement also influenced decisions about academic appointments and the rejections of papers and grants. It even had a role in governmental planning of large-scale projects.

    The BICEP2 team identified a twisty (B-mode) pattern in its maps of polarization of the cosmic microwave background, concluding that this was a detection of primordial gravitational waves. Now, serious flaws in the analysis have been revealed that transform the sure detection into no detection. The search for gravitational waves must begin anew. The problem is that other effects, including light scattering from dust and the synchrotron radiation generated by electrons moving around galactic magnetic fields within our own Galaxy, can also produce these twists.

    The BICEP2 instrument detects radiation at only one frequency, so cannot distinguish the cosmic contribution from other sources. To do so, the BICEP2 team used measurements of galactic dust collected by the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe and Planck satellites, each of which operates over a range of other frequencies. When the BICEP2 team did its analysis, the Planck dust map had not yet been published, so the team extracted data from a preliminary map that had been presented several months earlier. Now a careful reanalysis by scientists at Princeton University and the Institute for Advanced Study, also in Princeton, has concluded that the BICEP2 B-mode pattern could be the result mostly or entirely of foreground effects without any contribution from gravitational waves. Other dust models considered by the BICEP2 team do not change this negative conclusion, the Princetonteam showed (R. Flauger, J. C. Hill and D. N. Spergel, preprint at http://arxiv.org/abs/1405.7351; 2014).

    The sudden reversal should make the scientific community contemplate the implications for the future of cosmology experimentation and theory. The search for gravitational waves is not stymied. At least eight experiments, including BICEP3, the Keck Array and Planck, are already aiming at the same goal.

    “The inflationary paradigm is fundamentally untestable, and hence scientifically meaningless.”

    This time, the teams can be assured that the world will be paying close attention. This time, acceptance will require measurements over a range of frequencies to discriminate from foreground effects, as well as tests to rule out other sources of confusion. And this time, the announcements should be made after submission to journals and vetting by expert referees. If there must be a press conference, hopefully the scientific community and the media will demand that it is accompanied by a complete set of documents, including details of the systematic analysis and sufficient data to enable objective verification.

    The BICEP2 incident has also revealed a truth about inflationary theory. The common view is that it is a highly predictive theory. If that was the case and the detection of gravitational waves was the ‘smoking gun’ proof of inflation, one would think that non-detection means that the theory fails. Such is the nature of normal science. Yet some proponents of inflation who celebrated the BICEP2 announcement already insist that the theory is equally valid whether or not gravitational waves are detected. How is this possible?

    The answer given by proponents is alarming: the inflationary paradigm is so flexible that it is immune to experimental and observational tests. First, inflation is driven by a hypothetical scalar field, the inflaton, which has properties that can be adjusted to produce effectively any outcome. Second, inflation does not end with a universe with uniform properties, but almost inevitably leads to a multiverse with an infinite number of bubbles, in which the cosmic and physical properties vary from bubble to bubble. The part of the multiverse that we observe corresponds to a piece of just one such bubble. Scanning over all possible bubbles in the multi­verse, every­thing that can physically happen does happen an infinite number of times. No experiment can rule out a theory that allows for all possible outcomes. Hence, the paradigm of inflation is unfalsifiable.

    This may seem confusing given the hundreds of theoretical papers on the predictions of this or that inflationary model. What these papers typically fail to acknowledge is that they ignore the multiverse and that, even with this unjustified choice, there exists a spectrum of other models which produce all manner of diverse cosmological outcomes. Taking this into account, it is clear that the inflationary paradigm is fundamentally untestable, and hence scientifically meaningless.

    Cosmology is an extraordinary science at an extraordinary time. Advances, including the search for gravitational waves, will continue to be made and it will be exciting to see what is discovered in the coming years. With these future results in hand, the challenge for theorists will be to identify a truly explanatory and predictive scientific paradigm describing the origin, evolution and future of the Universe.
    Nature 510, 9 (05 June 2014) doi:10.1038/510009a

  24. Big Bang Proof Turns To Dust | Patrice Ayme's Thoughts Says:

    […] NO NEED FOR INFLATION: DARK ENERGY IMPLIES 100 BILLION YEAR UNIVERSE: […]

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