Tired Light & Red Shift Problems

It looks like there’s some big issues brewing in Cosmology. (H/T to Pouncer who brought up this issue here.)

The basic problem is that as the newer James West IR Telescope looks further back in time (father out in space) it is finding ever more stuff that refutes the Big Bang Theory. Too many galaxies, that look a lot like our galaxies now, and not enough of things the BBT predicts would exist.

You can read about all that here:


In the flood of technical astronomical papers published online since July 12, the authors report again and again that the images show surprisingly many galaxies, galaxies that are surprisingly smooth, surprisingly small and surprisingly old. Lots of surprises, and not necessarily pleasant ones. One paper’s title begins with the candid exclamation: “Panic!”

Why do the JWST’s images inspire panic among cosmologists? And what theory’s predictions are they contradicting? The papers don’t actually say. The truth that these papers don’t report is that the hypothesis that the JWST’s images are blatantly and repeatedly contradicting is the Big Bang Hypothesis that the universe began 14 billion years ago in an incredibly hot, dense state and has been expanding ever since. Since that hypothesis has been defended for decades as unquestionable truth by the vast majority of cosmological theorists, the new data is causing these theorists to panic. “Right now I find myself lying awake at three in the morning,” says Alison Kirkpatrick, an astronomer at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, “and wondering if everything I’ve done is wrong.”

[related id=2045] It is not too complicated to explain why these too small, too smooth, too old and too numerous galaxies are completely incompatible with the Big Bang hypothesis. Let’s begin with “too small”. If the universe is expanding, a strange optical illusion must exist. Galaxies (or any other objects) in expanding space do not continue to look smaller and smaller with increasing distance. Beyond a certain point, they start looking larger and larger. (This is because their light is supposed to have left them when they were closer to us.) This is in sharp contrast to ordinary, non-expanding space, where objects look smaller in proportion to their distance.


Put another way, the galaxies that the JWST shows are just the same size as the galaxies near to us, assuming that the universe is not expanding and redshift is proportional to distance.


Smaller and smaller is exactly what the JWST images show. Even galaxies with greater luminosity and mass than our own Milky Way galaxy appear in these images to be two to three times smaller than in similar images observed with the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), and the new galaxies have redshifts which are also two to three times greater.

This is not at all what is expected with an expanding universe, but it is just exactly what I and my colleague Riccardo Scarpa predicted based on a non-expanding universe, with redshift proportional to distance. Starting in 2014, we had already published results, based on HST images, that showed that galaxies with redshifts all the way up to 5 matched the expectations of non-expanding, ordinary space. So we were confident the JWST would show the same thing—which it already has, for galaxies having redshifts as high as 12. Put another way, the galaxies that the JWST shows are just the same size as the galaxies near to us, if it is assumed that the universe is not expanding and redshift is proportional to distance.

[related id= 2080] But from the standpoint of the Big Bang, expanding-universe hypothesis, these distant galaxies must be intrinsically extremely tiny to compensate for the hypothesized optical illusion—implausibly tiny. One galaxy noted in the papers, called GHz2, is far more luminous that the Milky Way, yet is calculated to be only 300 light years in radius—150 times smaller than the radius of our Milky Way. Its surface brightness—brightness per unit area– would be 600 times that of the brightest galaxy in the local universe. Its density (and that of several other galaxies in the new images) would be tens of thousands of times that of present-day galaxies.


Tiny and smooth galaxies mean no expansion and thus no Big Bang.


Big Bang theorists have known for years from the HST images that their assumptions necessitate the existence of these tiny, ultra-dense “Mighty Mouse” galaxies. JWST has made the problem far worse. The same theorists have speculated that the tiny galaxies grow up into present day galaxies by colliding with each other—merging to become more spread out. An analogy to this hypothetical merger process would be to imagine a magical toy car a centimeter long that nonetheless weighs as much as a SUV and grows up into a real SUV by colliding with many other toy cars.

Bang goes the Big Bang: With Roger Penrose, John Ellis and Laura Mersini-Houghton
But the JWST has shot through this far-out scenario as well. If you could believe the toy car story, you would at least expect some fender dents in the colliding cars. And Big Bang theorists did expect to see badly mangled galaxies scrambled by many collisions or mergers. What the JWST actually showed was overwhelmingly smooth disks and neat spiral forms, just as we see in today’s galaxies. The data in the “Panic!” article showed that smooth spiral galaxies were about “10 times” as numerous as what theory had predicted and that this “would challenge our ideas about mergers being a very common process”. In plain language, this data utterly destroys the merger theory.

With few or no mergers, there is no way tiny galaxies could grow to be a hundred times bigger. Therefore, they were not tiny to begin with, and thus the optical illusion predicted from the expanding universe hypothesis does not exist. But no illusion means no expansion: the illusion is an unavoidable prediction from expansion. Thus, the panic among Big Bang supporters. Tiny and smooth galaxies mean no expansion and thus no Big Bang.

Since nothing could have originated before the Big Bang, the existence of these galaxies demonstrates that the Big Bang did not occur.


Too old and too many galaxies mean the same thing. The JWST uses many different filters to take its images in the infrared part of the spectrum. Thus, it can see the colors of the distant galaxies. This in turn allows astronomers to estimate the age of the stars in these galaxies because young, hot stars are blue in color and older, cooler stars, like our sun, are yellow or red in color. According to Big Bang theory, the most distant galaxies in the JWST images are seen as they were only 400-500 million years after the origin of the universe. Yet already some of the galaxies have shown stellar populations that are over a billion years old. Since nothing could have originated before the Big Bang, the existence of these galaxies demonstrates that the Big Bang did not occur.

Just as there must be no galaxies older than the Big Bang, if the Big Bang hypothesis were valid, so theorists expected that as the JWST looked out further in space and back in time, there would be fewer and fewer galaxies and eventually none—a Dark Age in the cosmos. But a paper to be published in Nature demonstrates that galaxies as massive as the Milky Way are common even a few hundred million years after the hypothesized Bang. The authors state that the new images show that there are at least 100,000 times as many galaxies as theorists predicted at redshifts more than 10. There is no way that so many large galaxies can be generated in so little time, so again– no Big Bang.

While Big Bang theorists were shocked and panicked by these new results, Riccardo and I (and a few others) were not. In fact, a week before the JWST images were released we published online a paper that detailed accurately what the images would show. We could do this with confidence because more and more data of all kinds has been contradicting the Big Bang hypothesis for years. The widely-publicized crisis in cosmology has drawn general attention to the failed predictions of the Big Bang hypothesis for the Hubble constant relating redshift to distance. But our papers, published over the past decades, have pointed to far more contradictions, each individually acknowledged by other researchers.

Based on the published literature, right now the Big Bang makes 16 wrong predictions and only one right one—the abundance of deuterium, an isotope of hydrogen.


Big Bang learner

The Big Bang prediction of the abundance of helium is off by a factor of two, the prediction for the abundance of lithium is off by a factor of 20. In addition to the absence of the larger-more-distant optical illusion, there is also the existence of large-scale structures too big to have formed in the times since the Big Bang, wrong predictions for the density of matter in the universe, and well-known asymmetries in the cosmic microwave background that should not exist according to theory. There are many more contradictions.
In early July I published two comprehensive papers summarizing the situation. Based on the published literature, right now the Big Bang makes 16 wrong predictions and only one right one—the abundance of deuterium, an isotope of hydrogen.

[related id=1503] Readers may well be wondering at this point why they have not read of this collapse of the Big Bang hypothesis in major media outlets by now and why the authors of so many recent papers have not pointed to this collapse themselves. The answer lies in what I term the “Emperor’s New Clothes Effect”—if anyone questions the Big Bang, they are labeled stupid and unfit for their jobs. Unfortunately, funding for cosmology comes from a very few government sources controlled by a handful of committees that are dominated by Big Bang theorists. These theorists have spent their lives building the Big Bang theory. Those who openly question the theory simply don’t get funded.

Gee… the same “Pal Review” and squashing of opposing views we see all over “modern science”…

The Author looks to be involved in the Electric Universe model.

While many researchers have been funded to study these processes on the scale of the sun and the solar system, work on larger scales has been hobbled by the straightjacket of the Big Bang hypothesis, which has diverted hundreds or thousands of talented researchers into futile calculations of the imaginary entities, like dark matter and dark energy, that have been invented to prop up a failing theory. Open debate can clear away that failed theory and lead to the reorientation of cosmology to the study of real phenomena, advancing technology here on earth. It is time to end the censorship and to let the debate begin. Cosmology can emerge from its crisis once it is recognized that the Big Bang never happened.

It would be nice to dump the fantasies of Dark Energy and Dark Matter and other ideas that have zero observational evidence for their even existing at all. Just made up out of nothing.

There was this bit in comments that I also found intriguing:

Roy Lofquist12 August 2022

Summary: Radio astronomy observations of Pulsars indicate that the Hubble Red Shift is caused by “Tired Light” rather than the expansion of the universe.

When Hubble published his observations of red shifted light from distant objects there were two possible explanations that came to the fore. One, originated by Georges Lemaitre, was that the Universe was expanding. The other, from Fritz Zwicky, was that light lost energy as it traveled, termed “tired light”. At that time, ca. 1930, interstellar and intergalactic space were assumed to be perfect vacuums and thus there was no mechanism to redden the light. Now, 90 years later, we have actual observational evidence that Zwicky was right.

In the radio astronomy of Pulsars we find that the shorter wavelengths of the leading edge of the pulse arrive before longer wavelengths. The velocity of light, c, is NOT constant but varies by wavelength. This time dispersion is proportional to the distance from us of the pulsar, indicating that the reduction in velocity is cumulative. The observed effect is isotropic. The interstellar medium is not a vacuum but rather affects light waves in a way best described as having an Index of Refraction greater than 1, unity. We find the same phenomenon in the observation of Fast Radio Bursts from other galaxies, thus indicating that the intergalactic media is not an electromagnetic vacuum.

I’d not heard of Tired Light before, and it has been around since the 1930’s.

Which has me wondering what could cause light to lose energy in transit? Gravity? Presence of extremely small amounts of matter like 1 atom per cubic mile?

It does look like the effect is minor enough to require many light years to manifest enough for us to measure.

Might this be some evidence for the lack of perfect Conservation Of Energy? That as the EM wave swaps back and forth between Electric and Magnetic fields, something is lost in the transition, but only a tiny bit?

Whatever “it” is, it is causing a big stir in physics…

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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69 Responses to Tired Light & Red Shift Problems

  1. Pouncer says:

    Classical physics from Newton and “Optiks” shows that the speed of light varies by wavelength, in a transparent medium. Like glass. Like with a prism. So the spectrum shows up as different wavelengths more quickly or slowly wend their way through the angled glass. Nobody disputes the variations of lightspeed in that scenario.

    We also have the dramatic case of light moving “faster than light” in a transparent medium, and producing Cherenkov (blue) radiation. An “extra” bit of light jumps out of apparently nowhere, just to balance the equations. (This is obviously words not math…)

    So, to discover that light from distant stars moves at different speeds through space is to discover that space is a transparent medium. Not “empty”, just very very easy for light (of all wavelengths) to move through (albeit at different speeds).

    It’s balancing the equations AFTER that that will be interesting. Just for instance, does space light produce a version of extra Cherenkov light, near the source? As the medium attenuates that first burst of faster-than-lightspeed light’s speed, does the spectrum “shift”? Is the attenuation steady across space or, prism-like, a function of the local thickness and shape of the medium?

    And, since the military tends to fund such research, how do we weaponize the answers to such questions?

  2. Simon Derricutt says:

    Another situation where standard theory (agreed as being correct by all right-thinking practitioners) doesn’t quite explain the experimental evidence.

    Mike McCulloch’s QI theory explains the gravitational anomalies in far galaxies far better than Dark Matter and Dark Energy can do, but also assumes the Big Bang and that the size of the universe has increased from zero around 13.8 billion years ago, with the boundary spreading at the speed of light since then. His theory has no adjustable parameters to make it fit – it either works or it doesn’t. However, the idea that there’s a boundary (horizon) that is so far away, but where its actual distance has effects here and now on things like the inertia of a body, is a little hard to accept philosophically since that implies instantaneous communication from that amazingly-large distance. However, the calculations based on this hypothesis give the right answers, and experiments based on what we expect to happen as a result of this seem to be delivering real-world results (electric thrusters, for example).

    What this suggests is that there’s a wave of “reality” spreading out at the speed of light from a point in space 13.8 billion years ago, where what’s inside that bubble of reality is what can possibly have an effect on us, and what’s outside cannot have an effect on us. It also implies that what is currently outside that bubble, and will at some point in our time be inside it, already existed.

    Though the “tired light” idea seems workable, it’s probably something different actually happening. I don’t see a lot of benefit in spending a lot of time figuring out why the light gets tired, therefore, but instead we should be trying to figure out a different explanation. Here I’ll dump in some experimental evidence that the speed of light depends on how you measure it: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/361736479_Experimental_detection_of_superluminal_far-field_radio_waves_with_transverse_plasma_antennas . Other stuff by Steffen Kühn implies that we can send signals down a coax faster than light pretty easily, and that c isn’t a hard limit to velocity (although it is pretty important). This itself makes the Unruh wave explanation of Mike McCulloch easier to swallow, maybe, but still doesn’t answer the problem of what the horizon actually is.

    One idea I’m playing with is that from the moment a particle is created it sends out waves in all directions (at the speed of light) and that near the source those waves act like particles and their intensity drops off with distance, with no wave outside the current horizon. Bit like dropping a pebble into a lake, and watching the ripples spread, except that anything those ripples encounter also has an effect on the centre point. Thus each particle overlaps with every other one and affects each other one in real time – this explains why inertia acts instantaneously as well as why gravity acts (or appears to act) instantaneously. So yep, possibly all the matter we are made of was produced 13.8 billion years ago, and our bubble of reality is limited by the Hubble horizon, but there’s other matter around that had its own Bang at different times that we can now be affected by. Not one Big Bang for everything, just local events at different times that create energy/matter. Might also imply that the intensity of those matter-waves we are made of is decreasing over time, and that various constants of matter aren’t constant but are changing currently at a rate of 1 part in around 14 billion every year (probably very hard to actually measure that amount of change).

    I’m of course more interested in the practical applications of these ideas. Apart from the possibility of producing energy cheaply, also makes hoverboards, flying cars, and space-travel cheap if it all works in practice. May also mean that we can travel FTL and reach the stars in a reasonable time. Maybe some problems initially with a collision of said spacecraft with a micrometeor when travelling extremely fast, but I expect that problem to have a solution too.

    Maybe the underlying lesson here is that the universe really is weirder than we thought, and that we need to be prepared to drop theories where the experimental evidence shows that they aren’t correct. We may also need to drop axioms, such as the one that says energy is always conserved (in fact, that may need to be dropped by the end of this year). We don’t know what matter and energy actually are yet, but instead can only say what they do in the situations we’ve seen so far, and there may well be situations where something different happens.

  3. “Right now I find myself lying awake at three in the morning,” says Alison Kirkpatrick, an astronomer at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, “and wondering if everything I’ve done is wrong.”

    Wow, A theory that distorts science, who’d have thunk it?
    What’s next that needs a major theoretical reassessment?
    Climate Science perhaps?

  4. beng135 says:

    Well that’s cool. There’s been a fair amount of disagreement recently with the cold dark matter theory. Besides still not detecting any such particle, some aspects of observations match it, but others don’t. Disagreements with the Hubble constant too.

  5. cdquarles says:

    It is here that I imagine a sigmoidal curve. Starts slow then rises or falls quickly, and finally slows down. Then I imagine how that affects the standard model. How much that we think we know just isn’t so? Lots, I’d say. Change the model (axioms, givens, measurements), change the result. That 13.8 billion is based on a model. What if that’s not correct, either? /rhetorical question and I may be as off as the next bloke, nor am I special. Plus, with the very small or very fast, doing measurements affect the system. There will always be contingencies and uncertainty, in this life.

  6. The True Nolan says:

    @Pouncer: “Just for instance, does space light produce a version of extra Cherenkov light, near the source?”

    That would (perhaps) explain the “Cosmic Background Microwave Radiation”.

    @Simon Derricutt “Other stuff by Steffen Kühn implies that we can send signals down a coax faster than light pretty easily, and that c isn’t a hard limit to velocity (although it is pretty important).”

    It has been a couple decades since I read Feynman’s book QED about Quantum Electro-Dynamics, so forgive me if I get the details wrong. In quantum physics, the different possible paths through space ALL sum up (via wave equations) to explain why light travels in straight lines. The paths nearest a straight line have the least variation in length, whereas the paths farther from a straight line vary so much they cancel out; consequently, the straight line path contributes most of the value to the final result. Put a zone plate, a lens, or some diffraction grating along the path and you can block or enhance certain possible paths to alter light from it’s normal straight line propagation.

    My memory is that transmission speed is something similar. The photon travels all possible paths at all possible speeds as well, some faster than c, some slower than c, but again, the paths which are traversed closer to c have the least variation and hence contribute the most weight to the final result. It should be possible to have some form of “temporal zone plate” which blocks the paths of photons at c or slower, but which allows the passage of faster than c photons. Perhaps a series of “windows” along the path which open and close in sequence, done with a timing that only allows those faster than c paths to pass photons?

  7. E.M.Smith says:

    per a signal on a coax:

    Saw a video that was proving that an electric flow on a wire is the propagation of a FIELD in SPACE, not an actual movement of electrons down the wire.

    essentially a loop antenna where the “signal” arrives at the far side of the loop at C from origin on a line from origin to the far side of the loop (i.e. field in space) not at the time required to move an electron all the way around the loop to that point…

  8. Ossqss says:

    #EM, would that theory not conflict with measurable resistance in a given wire size?

  9. rhoda klapp says:

    I like the notion of tired light. I can relate to it. Not like that pesky dark matter. Indeed it occurs to me that maybe the light got tired looking for the dark matter. Where does one post a cosmological theory? Do you think it needs more work or can I go with that?

  10. The True Nolan says:

    Regarding “tired light”, Halton Arp, the astronomer, found multiple cases where quasars with very high red shift were attached via filaments of gas and stars to nearby low red shift galaxies. That situation is difficult to describe by either the official narrative or by the tired light theory. Maybe some electrical or gravitational component shifting the light? Maybe multiple ways to shift light…

  11. Ossqss says:

    Go for it, Rhoda! After a couple Busch lights it sounds even better :-)

    So, tired light could actually be LED? Light exhaustion disorder.

  12. Pouncer says:

    A point to hold in mind about ANY theory (conjecture, hypothesis, model…) is that it can be useful, even if and when wrong. The panicked cosmologist at University of Kansas might consider how useful a “Flat Earth” model of geography can be when laying out roads, fences, utility lines, etc — at least. when doing so in Kansas.

    (To be strictly fair, KU at Lawrence is in one of the few “Wrinkled” parts of our generally flat topography.)

  13. H.R. says:

    If you have Tired Light®, Geritol might help.

    (30 seconds. Worth the click if you were born before 1960 or maybe a little later.)

  14. cdquarles says:

    Lol, H. R. Remember Black Draught?

  15. p.g.sharrow says:

    There is not nothing in space. Space is packed full with something. Think of it more as filled with Energy, an ocean of energies in motion.

  16. David A says:

    I am glad of this post EM, as I have not studied these things like some here have, and here folk respond, discuss, etc. The expanding space, now thought to be moving these millions of galaxies much faster than light away from us, is a bit of a grand idea, so in thinking about red shift I have a few questions.’ Tired light, space dust, and or…

    This “Red Shift is a bit confusing, as we are measuring the past yes? And the degree of past is, of course, variable to the distance, so we are measuring where things WERE thousands, millions, and billions of years ago. So how do we know we are not measuring how fast space WAS expanding, thousands, millions, and billions of years ago?

    Is it possible that space (whatever that is, and I will try to understand “virtual” particles”) WAS expanding ever faster, the further back in time we perceive? If this is true, then possibly the further away one looked, the greater the red shift would be, for THAT light which left that star however long ago. ( It possibly WAS red shifted via more rapid expansion THEN, and has encountered ever slower expansion over an ever longer journey) The correlation between time and distance could create a FALSE idea that expansion is currently accelerating, when in fact it may be slowing down or staying the same now. A steady slowing of the expansion rate over time, may create a steady appearance of accelerating expansion over distance, and do we assume steady expansion over all space, and all time. (Why would “space” expand the same everywhere all the time.)

    After all, if the impossible happened, and a galaxy 10 billion light years away instantly reversed its motion towards us, it appears we would not know that happened for about 10 billion years. In the Doppler effect, a race car moving away transmits a deeper sound. If the race car is 3 seconds away, and instantly reversed towards us ( ignore the the physics of that instant reversal) we would not hear the higher sound until AFTER the Doppler affected lower sound passed our ears, three seconds later. For three seconds we would think the car was still moving away. I am uncertain why light is said not to have a Doppler affect.

    Also what is the error margin of this measurement? For Instance, what space gases between our perception exist over millions and billions of light years, and how does this phase shift light perception? I understand the JWST telescope is finding immense gas fields we were previously not as aware of. I understand we do not see the expected blurring, yet those gases do exist.

    And when we map these vast thousands, millions and billions of light years distant galaxies, in order to know where they are NOW we would have to know what there motion was over the past thousands, millions and billions of years, as well as know how said space was expanding during that variable time, and this would completely change the map. In ten billion years a galaxy, a galaxy cluster and a super cluster, and variable space expansion, can move stuff a long way. Can we even map the current physical location of our own galaxy, and does gravity propagate at light speed.

  17. Simon Derricutt says:

    EM – on that “electric field in a wire propagating through space” video, I saw that a while back and haven’t yet fully made sense of it. As Ossqss says, there’s a problem with the wire resistance. Seeing a voltage change is however not the same as seeing a current flow, so maybe this needs a bit more digging before coming to a conclusion. Taking this video to its logical end would imply that how long it takes to send a signal down a coax would depend on the line-of-sight distance between the ends, and a simple test using ‘scope probes shows that that is not true – the time it takes depends on the length of the cable which is why we have the same lengths of cable for each channel so that we don’t get a phasing error on the measurements. The calibration sequence for my ‘scope checks for the phase error between channels using a splitter and specifically equal-length cables to each channel.

    Thus maybe good to question that experimental result and check precisely what is happening there. It’s done with unshielded wires (basically antennae) that will obviously transmit and receive via line-of-sight timings as well as the delay through the conductor.

    For Erl Happ’s kebab, see http://physicsfromtheedge.blogspot.com/2019/10/digesting-arps-kebab.html as maybe a start to explain that – possibly what we’re seeing is local creation events (Big Bangs except they’re somewhat smaller and happening more often). Not quite the same as the “continuous creation” that Fred Hoyle thought, but instead occasional bursts of it when conditions are right. Maybe the weirdest bit here, and hardest to explain, is the quantisation of the redshift.

  18. Simon Derricutt says:

    David A – light definitely has a Döppler effect, otherwise those radar guns for measuring the speed of a vehicle wouldn’t work. The question is whether the red-shift (which is measured) is purely from Döppler effect, from *something else*, or from a combination of those.

    Does gravity propagate at light speed? Einstein said that it does, and spent a long time figuring out a way that gravitons, limited to propagating at the speed of light, could produce a gravitational effect that pulls towards where the object (planet, star, etc.) actually is at that point in time (which is what measurably happens) rather than to where the object appears to be given the light-speed delay. Since he’d stated that the speed of light was a universal speed-limit, and orbital mechanics tells you that an attraction to where the star is seen would lead to an orbit decay pretty fast and we wouldn’t be here to discuss it, he had to do some clever tricks with the maths that still left some paradoxical stuff in the theory.

    However, looks like gravity really does propagate at a near-infinite velocity (if not actually infinite, we can’t measure it anyway) and we can speculate that it’s a quantum thing and thus an infinite speed is possible. Personally, I think it’s the effect of matter on the rate of time that produces gravity, rather than gravity causing time dilation, and that the cause and effect are reversed from the official explanation. Note that the LIGO experiments could be measuring events inside the Earth and explaining them as events at the conjugate points many light-years away in a certain direction. With the various LIGO interferometers spread around the surface of a near-sphere, a specific time-sequence of measuring the same event has two mathematical solutions, one inside the sphere and one outside. Thus we could be misinterpreting the LIGO data by ignoring the other explanation.

    I’ve shown that logically momentum is not an absolutely conserved quantity, and that it can be created and destroyed fairly simply in thought-experiments using forces whose propagation-speed is limited to that of light (and experiments show this, too). Also logically, if that is true, then energy is also not fundamentally conserved. We may soon have experimental evidence of that, too. There’s experimental evidence of being able to send signals faster than light, so c is not an absolute speed-limit even though it remains important. Could be some useful technologies coming pretty soon. Despite the normal tendency for Science to hold the previous theories to be absolutely true, enough people are pushing the boundaries and finding unexpected results that the underpinnings will need to change, though making sense of the experimental results and putting a theory together that gets rid of paradox may take a while longer. Still, faced with something that indubitably works makes it difficult to assert that in theory it can’t work, so I expect theory will catch up.

  19. H.R. says:

    @cdq – I have no recollection of Black Draught. I had to look it up. I checked out the links that came up and still, nothing rang a bell.

    I’m not sure how I missed it, because I read anything and everything, even matchbook covers, when I was growing up.

    I saw that the company was in Tennessee, so maybe it just didn’t get marketed in our area to the North and was sold more in the South.

    It sounds to me like Black Draught could get anyone moving faster than the speed of light after it kicked in. 😉

  20. bob sykes says:

    Fred Hoyle would be happy to hear this.

  21. David A says:

    So Simon, then is it possible that the Hubble Constant is primarily a slowing down of space expansion rate over time, creating the appearance of accelerated expansion over distance?

  22. p.g.sharrow says:

    @David A, you seem to have a good grasp of the condition of physics understanding. Mostly great globs of various BS mainly Piled Higher and Deeper.
    The accepted model has more holes in it then a Swiss Cheese.
    The so-called Constants, aren’t ! they are merely placeholders for things that need defining.
    I never heard of “Black Draught” before and had to look it up just now…..
    Thanks guys…….not! More useless garbage in my brain.
    I’m trying to figure out how Simon and I can save the world !

  23. cdquarles says:

    Yeah, it must have been a southern thing, for both were advertised widely in the early ’60s, here. That is likely why that ad brought Black Draught to my mind.

    Back to the “Big Bang” and the current fads in physics. All human endeavors are subject to fads. The current almost religious culture that has grown up around the scientific-technological elite that dominates our GEB “rulers” doesn’t help. Medicine and lawyering are both heavily affected, to the point of doing harm to many.

  24. beng135 says:

    And the question how fast gravity travels has been answered by the gravity wave detectors — there have been incidences when the detector recorded signals were seen with accompanying light images at the spot the detector indicated it originated. So, the gravity waves traveled along w/the light….

  25. p.g.sharrow says:

    I think it would be more correct to say there are waves in gravity rather then gravity was a wave function.
    Febuary 11 2016 LIGO cal.tech article

    Discovery of Gravity Waves?

  26. Pinroot says:

    I remember seeing a video six or eight years ago talking about the electric/plasma universe (they are similar theories, but with slight differences). One of the things that was pointed out was if you are trying to get into the field of cosmology, you had better not go against the prevailing theory, which is the Big Bang theory. Doing so was a sure way to kill your career before even starting it. It reminded me a lot of the science of climate change, where you had better accept that CO2 is the control knob for the climate and humans are the only cause of climate change. Apparently this is common in science and medicine. Once a particular theory is accepted at The Truth(TM) you absolutely cannot go against it in any way and everything you do has to be in support of the theory.

  27. Marcello Vignoli says:

    Thank you for this E.M. Glad to know that you work with Riccardo, as an inspiration for some insights I suugest to read the free book by John A. Macken “onlyspacetime”, certainly is not a Bible but is fun and some interesting insights.

  28. cdquarles says:

    That’s true. Dissenters to the ‘prevailing’ wisdom are treated horribly, until they are shown to be correct. Then that becomes the ‘prevailing’ wisdom. So long as the prevailing wisdom is in concordance with The Real Truth (that is He That Is ;p) and reality as it is, there isn’t any, or shouldn’t be any problems (other than politics).

  29. The True Nolan says:

    Black Draught? I am guessing not to be confused with the purgative Yaupon Holly “Black Drink”.

  30. The True Nolan says:

    @Simon Derricutt “However, looks like gravity really does propagate at a near-infinite velocity (if not actually infinite, we can’t measure it anyway) ”

    Consider this thought experiment. Imagine a binary star with two equal mass stars, in circular orbits, orbiting around their center of mass. Imagine they are each 1 light hour from the other. If gravity propagates at the speed of light, each star is attracted to where the other star was one hour ago. The gravitational force vector is NOT directly pointing directly across the orbit and through the center of mass at where the other star is right now. True, the majority of the force is pointed at right angles to its orbit, but a small vector component is accelerating the star at a tangent to its orbit. Result? Each star should accelerate along its orbit ever so slightly. A binary star system (or a planetary system) ought to sling itself apart in a matter of only a few thousand years. But they don’t. Seems like a good argument for a VERY high speed of gravitational propagation.

    (One hopes that there is some neat Relativistic way to untangle this, but I have not heard it.)

  31. David A says:

    PG says “@David A, you seem to have a good grasp of the condition of physics understanding. Mostly great globs of various BS mainly Piled Higher and Deeper.”

    LOL, well my understanding is certainly no better, although likely more humble. I am proud to say I am humble about my understanding of this universe.

    Although if space (whatever that is) did once expand very rapidly, it would appear possible that it would slow down in a somewhat linear pattern, possibly creating the observed Hubble “constant”, where the further one looked into the past, the more rapid the expansion was then. Closer celestial objects are done via triangulation, taking observations from earth every six months to get as wide a perspective as possible. Yet how do they account for the solar systems motion through space over that six month period? I will end by agreeing with Einstein, ” Space is suspicious.”

  32. David A says:

    PG, I do get confused when some claim there is no center to the big bang concept, and then show a man circling a two dimensional expanding sphere and say, “See, no matter how he moves, he gets no closer to the center.” This sorta breaks my brain, causing it to rattle in a “NO” pattern, as I know we are in a three dimensional sphere of existence and I just want the man to turn 90 degrees and point to the center of the sphere. ( Not certain how I feel about these flat universers)

    I actually kind of think the three dimensions we observe go together and cannot be separated. Draw a single line, and the length MUST have width yes? And there must be some depth to the line as well. It feels like one dimension requires the other two, and I certainly cannot imagine them not existing. Grasping the concept of other dimensions requires a rather different perspective to me, as it feels like those dimensions must exist within the three we experience. To me other dimensions must just be disparate vibrational planes that don’t directly or obviously interact.

  33. Simon Derricutt says:

    David – “Although if space (whatever that is) did once expand very rapidly, it would appear possible that it would slow down in a somewhat linear pattern, possibly creating the observed Hubble “constant”, where the further one looked into the past, the more rapid the expansion was then.”

    Sneaky idea, but consider the concept of space expanding for a bit. It’s pretty illogical, and is used as a hand-wave to get over the difficulties of explaining what we see as the results, when we hold that the Big Bang happened and that the speed of light is constant. Thus the way of getting through that paradox is to state that the distance between two points in space, each itself stationary, increases for some unstated reason and the distance that photon has traversed becomes larger than the distance it has actually traversed.

    You also get the same sort of thing if you speculated that, once created, everything started shrinking whereas the distance between them stayed the same. Alice through the looking-glass sort of logic.

    If you need something illogical to explain a paradoxical result, it seems likely that we’ve got the explanation wrong. How do we measure distance – basically we use the constant speed of light over a specific timespan. How do we measure time, then – we count the number of oscillations of something we think is a stable oscillator. However, it’s pretty obvious that (measured) time slows in a high gravitational field, and that our relative movement to something else affects how we perceive time passing in that something else. Thus our time standard is somewhat flexible and rubbery and our measurement of distance depends on both this and that the speed of light is constant even though we’ve just stated that it’s going to be variable depending on circumstances. Was that speed of light the same in the past? We don’t really know.

    An interesting point is the minimum (gravitational) acceleration in the outskirts of a galaxy. The higher the redshift of that galaxy, the further away we think it is, and the further back in time we think we’re looking. That minimum acceleration rises as we look further back, following (within experimental error) the relationship that Mike McCulloch worked out. Note that MoND (an alternative explanation of the deviation of gravitational attraction in galaxies) does not have this relationship with the current size of the universe at the time (assuming Big Bang hypothesis of course) and so fails to explain the experimental evidence from 6 billion-odd years ago. This doesn’t say Mike’s explanation (with Big Bang) is actually the right one, just that it’s probably got more truth in it and that *something* is expanding at the speed of light and that the current Hubble radius affects what’s happening here and now. I’m not saying that’s an easy answer to swallow, though, since it implies some other stuff that seems paradoxical and against the axiom that c is the universal speed limit.

    Jason – “Seems like a good argument for a VERY high speed of gravitational propagation.”
    Yep, that derivation is basically what I used, too. There is a sneaky relativistic explanation (General Relativity) using curved space, which took Einstein many years of trying to find it but which I still think doesn’t actually work if gravitons are limited to the speed of light. Such an explanation would fall apart for the situation you used, though it would pretty-well hold for a solar system with a huge central mass and much smaller planets. Odd thing there is that two Black Holes orbiting each other are supposed to get closer until they merge (those LIGO events) but the Moon is measured as gradually getting further away from the Earth as the gravitational energy gets dissipated in tides. Which happens – the theoretical moving together of two orbiting masses or the measured moving apart? Incidentally, the explanation of a Black Hole as having time as the only dimension beyond the event horizon, and that time points inwards, is also illogical. Since time stops at the event horizon, nothing exists any further in – the Black Hole is actually two-dimensional in some ways, having a spheroidal surface with nothing (no space and no time) within that surface.

    Might be interesting to point out that people can get fooled by the maths and thus think things exist when they may not. Main thing here is extra dimensions, and treating time as an equivalent dimension to space to get 4-dimensional spacetime. I figure that time is totally different from space, and that the mixing-up here is purely a result of using light (and its defined-as-constant speed) as our yardstick. You can’t go back in time, and I think there are only 3 physical dimensions. Other things act similar to dimensions in the maths, and will give the right answers if treated as such in the calculations, so we get to the 11-dimensional maths of Brane theory and the 8-dimensional maths of Octonions (Alzofon’s theory). Forces and fields can act as dimensions here, using imaginary numbers to get the required orthogonality, and though the answers match reality pretty well it’s probably not what’s actually happening.

    I’m looking at these competing theories and looking for a practical use of what they predict. Rather than being wedded to any one theory or hypothesis, I run a lot of what-ifs on each new theory I come across and see if there’s something that can be tested fairly easily. Mike McCulloch’s ideas are pretty easy to test, with a prediction of thrust from a leaky capacitor, so I’m running that at the moment. Others are obviously doing the same. Some other ideas need a lot more money to test, so I may think about them but can’t do anything practical, but I know people who are testing them. Thus looks like one way or another some “impossible” inventions may appear by the end of this year.

  34. E.M.Smith says:


    Um, I thought it was the singularity point at the center of the Black Hole where time and space ceased to exist; and that the Event Horizon was just where you could no longer see inside because photons could not climb out of the gravity well?

    But that if you had an event horizon diameter of your Black Hole of, say, 1 million km, there was still 1/2 million km of space and time inside the Black Hole (from any direction) until you reached the point in the middle where it was zero. (Though with various bizarre artifacts from the shrinking of space and time such as “spaghettification” of matter). No?

  35. p.g.sharrow says:

    @Simon; “thrust from a leaky capacitor”

    The use of capacitance to manipulate Inertia & Gravity really intrigues me.
    I was watching the creation of homemade Super capacitors and it dawned on me that I really need to build some for experimentation on massed Electron capacitance.

  36. Simon Derricutt says:

    EM – point is that time stops at that boundary, therefore nothing can travel past that barrier. There’s a question as to whether stuff that arrived earlier stays where it is (however you actually measure that) when something else arrives at the surface, or whether the surface is all there is. However, the singularity people talk about can’t really exist, but is a failure in the maths/physics used to describe things – basically it’s a divide-by-zero error. In theory, when time is stopped, things won’t be moving, but again that’s a theoretical error in that time gets slower and slower but never actually stops, just takes longer for each subsequent halving of time-rate. Thus also the matter density never reaches infinity either (that’s the definition of a singularity). However, we can argue about what’s inside a Black Hole, and we can see that they exist, but we really can’t know for sure what’s happening inside that event horizon. We haven’t got infinite time to wait to see what is happening there.

    As far as we can tell, it’s the surface area of the Black Hole that corresponds to the mass, which would imply that the mass is all at the surface. However, we can’t really measure the physical dimensions of a Black hole that well even though we can get a good estimate of its gravitational mass, so I suspect the surface area/mass relationship isn’t that certain either.

    Looks to me that we simply won’t have experimental verification of what exists behind that event horizon.

    Given that bit of thinking, I’d probably change my opinion a bit. Time isn’t stopped inside a Black Hole, just runs so extremely slow that we approximate it to being stopped. Possibly the actual net gravitational force at the centre would be zero, as with any other spherical object, but the matter-wave density would be huge and thus time would run even slower there. Assuming matter is still particulate (maybe not a valid assumption) then it would still be moving, but with the extremely slow time-rate we couldn’t measure that. However, it won’t reflect light (no electrons able to move in response to an EM wave) and any vibrations between particles will be very slow (so it won’t radiate except at very long wavelengths, and the bigger the Black Hole the longer the wavelength). There would be no place internally where time is actually stopped, or where matter density would become infinite. Just very high density and very slow time. I’m not that sure of the surface area=mass proposal, which would specify that the matter is at the surface alone, so wait for better observations on that.

    Thus really, apart from the very slow time and the very high matter-density, you could say it’s much like normal space with the matter in it close to absolute zero temperature. Still, Black Holes are pretty weird. I hadn’t really parsed the normal explanations of them properly before.

  37. E.M.Smith says:


    Um, your explanation (that it isn’t really zero / stopped) is in keeping with my assertion. I’m not talking about that, though.

    My point was just that the math “goes to zero” at one POINT only. That point is the singularity point at the center of the Black Hole. From the Event Horizon TO that point, we still have some time and some space (though time slowing ever more the closer to the singularity point and space getting more distorted toward zero).

    The bit I was questioning is this:

    Incidentally, the explanation of a Black Hole as having time as the only dimension beyond the event horizon, and that time points inwards, is also illogical. Since time stops at the event horizon, nothing exists any further in – the Black Hole is actually two-dimensional in some ways, having a spheroidal surface with nothing (no space and no time) within that surface.

    It was my understanding that there IS space and their IS time inside that surface; but that it asymptotically approaches zero as you approach the singularity point at the center.

  38. H.R. says:

    David A: “I actually kind of think the three dimensions we observe go together and cannot be separated. Draw a single line, and the length MUST have width yes? And there must be some depth to the line as well. It feels like one dimension requires the other two, and I certainly cannot imagine them not existing.”

    Imagine a line between two points. The two points just are. The line between them exists, but then simultaneously, so too does a line exist from a chosen point to every other point in the universe. Every point in the universe simultaneously has that ‘property’.

    Simon D adds to what I’m getting at with this:

    “Might be interesting to point out that people can get fooled by the maths and thus think things exist when they may not. Main thing here is extra dimensions, and treating time as an equivalent dimension to space to get 4-dimensional spacetime. I figure that time is totally different from space, and that the mixing-up here is purely a result of using light (and its defined-as-constant speed) as our yardstick. You can’t go back in time, and I think there are only 3 physical dimensions.

    IM – infinitely ignorant – O, time is the fundamental unit of the universe. It goes from every point to every other point in the universe simultaneously. What we observe as forces or physical relationships between points is just our view of the relationships in time. The points do exist. They just ‘are’. You can get a nasty knock on the noggin running full tilt into a bunch of points.

    The length of the line between points that David mentions depends on our viewpoint. If you look down the length of a line between points, the length of the line appears to be zero and the points appear to be one and the same, except you can’t even perceive that you are looking at two points.

    If you look at the line from any side, you can see the length of the line, but there is nothing on either ‘side’ of it and we are seeing time in between the boundaries of nothing. If you view the line from any non-orthogonal point, you get a false view of the relationship. Time is orthogonal from every point to every other point, otherwise reality wouldn’t exist.

    Time is how you get something from nothing. We will find smaller and smaller particles until we finally surround the fundamental particle which will be a point. Points exist. But all those points add up to something as they are tied to every other particle in the universe, which is what we see, hear, taste, touch, and observe in galaxies far away.

    Here’s where [a jump in the train tracks of logic occurs] we find that matter can be neither created nor destroyed. The relationships between points do change, and the change is due to time. When something seemingly disappears, it’s really just a change in the relationship between points, same as when something appears.

    Time is motion. It would explain how a universe could seemingly come into existence out of nothing. All of the points of the universe have always existed. All it took was motion (time) to get the ball rolling and that’s the universe we see given our view in time. Where did time come from? I dunno, but maybe time goes away now and then and when it comes back around, the universe seems to just come into existence and really starts hopping. Time is what gets the band back together again.

    Sorry to put y’all through a mental midget’s dive from the 10-meter platform into the shallow end of the pool, but I was thinking about pg’s aether and mater and Simon D’s observations that inviolate laws may actually only be suggestions. David A’s observations about lines set me off; it all depends on how you look at lines and what they connect.

    Where I was going with all that was that if you look at the inviolate laws from a different viewpoint, say the end, instead of the usual side view, you may discover there is something that wasn’t visible before that you can grab onto and so have the ability to change the results of that ‘law’ entirely. You’re not violating that ‘law’ but just taking advantage of a feature that’s hidden from the normal view.

    The other thing that I think about is pg’s views of what we perceive as the nothingness of space and idea of time and points is what gives nothing (big air quotes there) the ability to allow waves to propagate and for gravity to work across space instantly.

    I’m out of time. Gotta run. But I must say that the classical views are a bit limiting. You can’t say, “Well that’s all done and dusted” just because you can’t think of anything else.

  39. Simon Derricutt says:

    EM – yep, I started with the standard explanation and then realised it couldn’t quite be true.

    The maths says it goes to zero at a point, but I’m thinking that the physics can’t be that. The singularity is a problem in the maths, but physically can’t exist. Also, time cannot stop totally at the surface of the Black Hole (same reason) and density can’t become infinite. Thus during writing the comment I saw the holes in the standard explanation. Still somewhat odd if the gravitational mass is proportional to the surface area, but that could happen if the gravitational effect of what’s inside is shielded by the matter at the surface (that is, it’s reached maximum and can’t go any higher). That would imply that the actual amount of matter in the Black Hole is defined by its volume, but the gravitational effect is defined by its surface area.

    The rate of time inside the Black hole would not asymptotically approach zero at the centre, but ought to be slower at the centre than at the edge. Also means that the normal explanation of time reaching zero rate at the event horizon can’t be true – it’s just slow enough there that we think it’s stopped. Also means that light can escape a Black Hole, it’ll just be a very long wavelength, and the Event Horizon doesn’t actually exist either. Maybe a bit too many ideal assumptions in the standard descriptions.

  40. Simon Derricutt says:

    H.R. – “Where I was going with all that was that if you look at the inviolate laws from a different viewpoint, say the end, instead of the usual side view, you may discover there is something that wasn’t visible before that you can grab onto and so have the ability to change the results of that ‘law’ entirely. You’re not violating that ‘law’ but just taking advantage of a feature that’s hidden from the normal view.”


    Yep, squinting sideways at these rules and finding what we missed from having the normal viewpoint is where I’ve been heading for a while. Some things I’ve just accepted because it’s standard lore (like Black Holes above) and then I get challenged and have to justify the standard view and find that I can’t – there’s something been missed. There’s so much standard thinking I’ve absorbed over my life, and some of it doesn’t get much exercise and not much deep thought, and let’s face it the interior of Black Holes probably doesn’t have a lot of relevance to normal life. Maybe it does have some relevance to the thrusters, though.

  41. Simon Derricutt says:

    pg – I’ve been anodising Titanium sheet to get the capacitor dielectric. Currently running at 20V in a solution of Borax, which gives a nice purple colour. Not sure of the actual thickness yet, but there should be a colour-chart somewhere to convert to microns. Testing this insulator on the ‘scope in XY mode seem to have a slight conduction up to around 10V, then gets a breakthrough, so I’m leaving the anodising running a lot longer (maybe a day) to get all the weak points in the oxide layer. Then use a Gold-leaf counter-plate for the other capacitor electrode, and use an elastomer to hold that in place and in contact, then see what happens when it’s powered and if I can control the leakage-rate well-enough to get a result. High resistance in series with the power-supply should reduce the sparks and damage, and the higher work-function of the Gold leaf relative to Titanium adds to the accelerating field. Still, I’ll put up a full recipe for making them once I’ve got results. Easy to replicate, I think.

    Tests on Aluminium (again 20V in Borax solution) give a breakdown at around a few volts (3 or so) which likely isn’t good enough – means the layer has too many pinholes. Titanium, Tantalum, or Niobium look a better bet, though they cost more.

  42. E.M.Smith says:

    My “problem” with Black Holes is that what I “know” of them is just hear-say level from folks who claim to know the physics. I’ve not tried to look at the math (for the simple reason that it has some ‘goes to zero’ spots and so hits “undefined” according to the things I’ve been told – and I figured it will just be “not quite right” math anyway.)

    Oh Well. I leave that for the “professional” physicists to ponder. All I really care about is what they seem to do in the universe we can observe: and that looks to be “create galaxies” and “consume them near the core”… (Though the EOL Stars making random “suck you down the rabbit hole” holes in space could be a problem if you ran into one… in a rocket or as a planet…)

  43. cdquarles says:

    Interesting philosophy here, folks. For me, time is simply rate of change. Can’t change (at all, which is very strict), no time exists, for that being. Change, also, does not have to be movement. That’s one kind of change. There are others, some potential, some actual.

    Math is an abstraction. It may describe reality, but doesn’t have to, nor is it anything other than something that exists within intellects. What is and what we think is are two different things. Part of where the current idolatry of science goes wrong is the conflation of those two things. Also, in a contingent physical universe, change will and must be there to varying degrees. That means it cannot, according to axioms I accept, bring itself into being. How could it?

  44. Simon Derricutt says:

    EM – maths has a good way of getting around those divide by zero errors, which turn up pretty often. It’s called “renormalisation”, which basically treats the unwanted infinity as not existing, and looking only at the bits that give the right answer. In practice, it gives answers that seem reasonable, but enabled people to skip over the problems that gave rise to the divide by zero errors, and so those errors didn’t get designed out. For most purposes, the answers are good enough, but the underlying physics is probably not being properly described.

    I reckon that nothing is actually a point, so treating any fundamental particle as being a point will have errors in the physics that will reflect back as paradoxes (infinities or zeroes) in the maths. The formulae produced by pretending that points exist, though, are much simpler than what is needed for the reality of some distribution over a volume and how that affects another such distribution over a volume. Given that most of the time we are dealing with distances much greater than the particle size, the definition as a point is normally good enough.

    Somewhat falls apart, though, when we get to thinking about what actually happens in a Black Hole. Luckily we’re far enough away from them that it’s probably not going to be that important. However, there was a theory a while back that stated that all fundamental particles are actually Black Holes, with a size depending on the Schwartzschild limit for that amount of matter. At the time they started up the LHC there was some discussion about whether the collisions there would produce a somewhat larger Black Hole that would eat up the Earth. It appears to have not happened, though.

  45. cdquarles says:

    This is reminding me of a discussion long ago, about abstract geometry. Points, in two dimensions, don’t have area nor in three dimensions do they have volume. Lines, or line segments, don’t have area, though you can have area between two of them. The edges of cubes don’t have area or volume either, but between edges you can have area or volume or both. Physical examples, though, must have properties the abstractions do not have. In most of life, the abstract approximations are good enough. In the very small or very fast, the realities may not match the abstract approximations at all.

  46. p.g.sharrow says:

    I think you are making an error in logic here.” Time” is an absolute thing that we are measuring with a clock. If outside forces change the activity of the clock, so that it indicates a different output, does that change Time ? or merely the clocks output?.

    An Atomic clock is merely another human construct that measures Time under standard conditions, Conditions that change under the influence of mater / energy density, I would say that “Time” has not changed, merely your yardstick, “clock machinery”, that has changed. The speed of atomic process change with changes in Mater / energy density, Fission / Fusion events depend on this fact.

  47. David A says:

    “If you look down the length of a line between points, the length of the line appears to be zero and the points appear to be one and the same, except you can’t even perceive that you are looking at two points.”

    David’s brain still hurts, cd says , “Math is an abstraction. It may describe reality, but doesn’t have to, nor is it anything other than something that exists within an intellect.”
    Brain feels better!

    In my mind for any line to exist, it must have width and depth, even if only on an atomic scale. Looking down the length of lead for a lead pencil, does not mean it has no length, just that the length is not known from that perspective. The point of the line would be perceivable as whatever the width and depth of the line was. In the case of cylindrical lead, the width and depth would be equal and define the size of the point.

    So using math to claim one dimension of a line is length, is fine, yet the actual line, for it to exist, must also have width and depth. Just not including that measurement is to have an incomplete description of what must be. Mathematics, like science, is always incomplete, ever more precise and accurate perceptions are possible.

    Perhaps the pixel size of the lines width and depth is not discernible to the instrument perceiving, yet said width and depth MUST be there. Math is not reality, just a means of describing it. I am asserting that all objects are three dimensional. We say a piece of paper is two dimensional, yet clearly it is always three dimensional, we are just not usually concerned about its depth. As soon as that paper has no depth, it no longer exists. Remove in actuality any one dimension, the other two are gone as well. One can ignore the math of the required three dimensions, but that is simply incomplete math.

    I think…

  48. Simon Derricutt says:

    pg – yep, the rate of time is a bit tricky, but as far as we can tell all processes get slowed by the same amount when time slows, so if you are in a region of slower time everything you can see seems to happen at the same rate. A pendulum swings at the same number of swings per second, a tuning forks rings at the same frequency, a dead rabbit rots at the same rate, etc.. Whether this can be said to be time itself slowing, or just all processes going slower whilst time itself continues at the same rate, is a matter of preference. Though time itself is obviously a natural thing, our measurement of it and the division into ticks of (we think) equal length involves assumptions that something that appears to be regular actually is regular. In real systems, though, there is always some degree of jitter that we measure by comparing the ticks to either another similar device or some other way of measuring time. What’s the smallest tick we can measure? Is time itself quantised in some smaller tick (Planck time)? Kind of hard to be certain on things like that. See Terry Pratchett’s idea (in “Thief of Time”) that between such elemental ticks the universe ceases to exist and is recreated for the next tick, like frames in a movie reel.

    If you shine a torch upwards, the light from it is red-shifted by the time you see it some distance from Earth, and the normal explanation here is that gravity produces that red-shift as the photons lose energy as they travel upwards. An alternative view is that the frequency doesn’t actually change, but that the rate of time was slower at the point of emission and that at the point high up where we measure it our clocks are running faster so we see a longer wave. However, that alternative view, while it generally seems logical, wouldn’t give the gravitational lensing we actually see, and thus it’s probably closer to the truth to propose that the local rate of time varies and it’s proportional to the local gravitational field. Odd thing here is that where standard theory says that gravity causes time to go slower, I think that’s probably switching cause and effect, and that it’s the slower rate of time in a volume of space that is the cause of gravity, and that slower rate seems to be related to the local density of the matter-waves. Thus I’d predict that time runs a bit slower at Lagrange points and at the centre of a planet (that is, where net gravity is zero), whereas if gravity were the cause of time running slower those locations would be places where time runs faster. Thus this idea is testable and could be disproved by experiment.

    This also applies to the Hubble redshift and “tired light” problem, where maybe part of the problem is that we assume that time has always run at the same rate. Instead, figure out what we’d see if the rate of time has been changing, and running faster each year since it started. Yep, probably makes the head hurt to think about this viewpoint, but it would also give the effects we see and measure. These sorts of conditions (very slow time-rate) pertain inside a Black Hole, so maybe there are some conditions in which a Black Hole can explode (giving a localised “Big Bang” condition) and thus create a new sub-universe, and we are living in such a sub-universe and looking out at the boundaries where time was running very slowly. Maybe every Black Hole we see could in future become another new sub-universe.

    David – whereas a line that we draw or a point that we draw must have 3 dimensions, the idea behind that line will only have one dimension, and the idea of a point has zero dimensions. The logic of dealing with these thought-constructs is much cleaner than real-life – whereas I know that using a compass I can theoretically draw a circle and divide it into 6 equal segments, when I actually try to use that to construct a hexagon on paper (or more-often on a piece of steel) and check the last segment length there’s always a mismatch from not being able to set the compass point precisely where the lines cross.

    Yep, maths can describe reality, though often an idealised reality that can’t in practice be achieved, but also often contains hidden assumptions that may not be true. Thus given that time works as if it’s a physical dimension in parts of the maths leads people to think of it as a physical dimension you can go backwards in, whereas in reality you can’t do that. This idea of being able to go back in time pervades fundamental physics (ideas such as time-parity and time-symmetry) and can have subtle effects, as well as predicting that things can happen that actually can’t. The basic assumptions of the maths also allows predictions of things being impossible where in fact they are possible. Assumptions can be hidden in the definitions of the variables, which makes them very hard to find because it’s in the language we use to think about stuff. That was the problem with 2LoT. Could be some interesting developments there this year.

  49. jim2 says:

    From what I read, when they calculate the mass of a point electron, it is lower than what is measured. Renormalization takes into account the mass of the electric field and virtual particles associated with the electron, and the calculated mass agrees with the measured mass.

  50. Ossqss says:

    Is not time relative to the Sun and Earth’s rotation?

  51. p.g.sharrow says:

    @Ossqss; “Is not time relative to the Sun and Earth’s rotation?”

    That is the problem. generally the rotation of the Earth is slowing but this last year it sped up. ? !. What the heck is going on here?
    The gravitational drag of the Sun and moon as well as that caused by the Tides is supposed to be slowing the Earth’s rotation slightly every year. How in this world can something counter this and cause a tiny amount of increase in rotational speed

  52. Obvious, carbon dioxide did it

  53. philjourdan says:

    I love real science! And thankfully it exists in some places, even if it is attacked by the luddites.

    I read the article. While I agree it casts doubt on BBT, it has not destroyed it yet. But that is how science works. Not by consensus and not by dictate, but by trial and error!

    How long did Newton’s theory of gravity hang around before it was shown to be false?

    Aw the Blessed relief of real science! I am enjoying it!

  54. H.R. says:

    I brought up time as a sudden thought – actually all of that post was a bit of speculation looking at things from a different viewpoint – and it only had a few facts as best we know them.

    I was trying to look at things differently because the post was saying that what we know ain’t necessarily so and some interesting questions and observations were made by the gang here.

    I never was much interested in astrophysics, although I used to hang with the physics grad students who were arguing the latest theories vs established theory. I actually understood the concepts and the math at that time, but then I went on to more practical engineering matters. It was just a shiny thing for a matter of months. I never bothered to read further on “space, the universe, and everything.”
    So having lobbed a grenade into the thread, except for the part of it looking at things from the right viewpoint where I was quite serious, I did have things to do over the past few days.

    I’ve been keeping up with comments and I was surprised that ‘time is motion’ had raised a few comments.

    While busy, I was remembering a scifi short story – Bradbury maybe? – where the human race built the ultimate computer. After eons, the human race was about to come to an end because the universe was coming to a halt. Worried, the last great, smart humans asked the computer, “Can entropy be reversed?”

    After another billion years or so, the universe indeed came to a complete halt. The computer kept working though on that one question. There was no known passage of time, billions more years? I don’t recall the story well enough to say if the time the only thing moving in the universe was the computer working on that question.

    The ending of the story was the computer saying, “Let there be light.” Somehow, the computer finally figured out how to reverse entropy and the universe started all over again.

    I am confident that several here will recall that story and the author, which I’ve forgotten

    Anyhow, when all motion had ceased, so did time. Perhaps that story was rippling below the surface when I wrote that time is motion. I wrote that, and then the story came to me later when I was puttering.

    Lots of new looks at old things here, just like the new telescope is bringing out. Good comment thread, eh?

  55. Ossqss says:

    @HR, you said “Let there be light.”

    Make it so >:-)

  56. Ossqss says:

    Please forgive me for the fitting mashup! G’night>>>

  57. Simon Derricutt says:

    Philip got there first…. Asimov had some good ideas.

    On entropy, though, if you use the right field arrangement (with a strong-enough field) and the right particle, you can reduce entropy. An example is the humble solar cell. This same principle of conflicting equilibria can in general be used to reduce entropy, providing you can find a system where two (maybe more) equilibria coexist in the same or adjacent spaces, and where the natural movement towards equilibrium in one half pushes the other half further from equilibrium, and vice-versa.

    The reason this can happen is that heat (and kinetic energy in general) can only be carried by particles that have a momentum vector, and if the average of those momentum vectors is non-zero then the energy can do work. Since a field will direct the particles subject to it in a particular direction, if we start off with random momenta particles in a field, we end with them being non-random in the field direction.

    I’ll give another specific example of conflicting equilibria if people want it, but can’t give the best example since a friend is in the middle of sorting out IP protection for it. Practically, should be able to produce a constant temperature difference without putting any work in to maintain it, and get to kW levels of energy-transfer (though the simple example is low power and low temperature difference). Cheap and low energy-consumption air-conditioning, though it will have other uses.

    Somewhat like trying to explain the Hubble constant, where how we explain it depends on what we think is really happening. Yep, one explanation would be an expanding universe or expanding space itself, but maybe if we look we can find other explanations such as we’re looking back to when time was very slow. Which assumptions (and hidden assumptions) are the right ones? We really can’t tell until we come across predictions that turn out to be wrong, when we know (or should do) that that theory is actually wrong and we need a different one to explain what we see. Also means we may need to drop ideas we’ve taken as axioms, when experiment shows them to have exceptions.

  58. H.R. says:

    Asimov! – Thanks Philip M. – So, it was Multivac and I seem to have remembered the story well enough.

    The part that made an impression on me was the universe winking out, which was hard enough to imagine but something to think about, and time ceasing to exist.

    Everyone talks about the beginnings of the universe, but no one talks much about the end game. Maybe the theoreticians should get the end all figured out and then work back to the beginning.

    @Simon D. – Yah, but… can entropy be reversed?

    What’s that you say? You’re gonna need a bigger computer? 😉

  59. Simon Derricutt says:

    H.R. – no need for a bigger computer. Just a brain the size of a planet…. My point is that solar cells reverse entropy – random-direction energy in photons gets changed into unidirectional electrical energy. It’s an inspired use of fields, but the same design principle can produce other ways to produce order from disorder without needing to input energy. That is after all exactly what fields do.

    Thus in the far future, when the stars have burnt out and the traditional methods of getting energy stop working, we’ll still have ways to redirect the energy that’s already there, and to do work with it. Just can’t do that if we define heat and kinetic energy as purely scalar, though – it’s a language/definition problem that’s stopping us.

  60. H.R. says:

    @Simon – I had forgotten that you’ve covered that before, either here or over on pg’s blog.

  61. Simon Derricutt says:

    H.R. – yep, I get on my soap-box now and again. Some of this is however getting close to experimental verification at a worthwhile output. Also, maybe each time I try to explain things I get a bit better at it, and it might supply that satori moment to someone else. I’m hoping to get designs that can be built easily and cheaply, and are practically useful things to have, so the fact that they are currently considered impossible doesn’t matter – they will just work and people will build them.

    OK, some of the experiments I know of take a lot of knowledge and expensive kit to actually make, and are the result of decades of work. You could say the same about the computer chips, yet they’re pretty cheap now. Thus there’s also a place for high-tech when mass-manufactured, and I expect that to happen, but something useful that can be made in the back shed has a place too.

  62. H.R. says:

    Simon D.: “Also, maybe each time I try to explain things I get a bit better at it, and it might supply that satori moment to someone else.”

    Yes, you are getting better at explaining the space between the fence pickets. It reminds me of that optical illusion where one sees a profile of two people kissing or a wine glass.

    I can see both, and the images flips between the two with or without me choosing which to see. But I also can choose which one to see when I want to.

    When I first ran across that, and other examples of those dual pictures, I was surprised to learn that some people could only see one of the images and not the other.

    Anyhow, your explanations are getting clearer to me, and you are saying it better. The first few times you brought up that you were finding some ‘Laws’ were actually ‘Suggestions’ you wrote long posts trying to get your idea across.

    For now, I’m just waiting to see how your ‘Lawbreaker’ (😉) friend’s work turns out.

  63. Simon Derricutt says:

    H.R. – actually I have several “lawbreaker” friends. They’re attempting to break different laws, though. My money-supply is pretty limited, so I can pretty-well guarantee that things I design will be cheap to make, as will the things that I’m contributing to. A few other inventions are around that take a lot more finance to get done, so there I’m just cheering on and trying to get them in contact with the right people, when that’s needed.

    Should see some of them going public by the end of this year, though. Electric thrusters (CoM violation) in a few months. Phil’s 2LoT violation maybe end of next year. Eddie’s CoE violation maybe early next year. Not too long to wait. Take somewhat longer to mass-production and really useful devices, though getting a few watts of power from the thrusters may be demonstrated before the end of this year.

    As always, though, the first question is “does it actually work”, normally followed pretty swiftly with “why”. Only way of knowing the first is by building the thing.

  64. philjourdan says:

    @Philip Mulholland – Thank you for reminding me of that! I think he should have titled it “The eternal question”

  65. David A says:

    “Regarding “The last Question”
    Good link to a story I had not heard.
    As I read the wik summary it ended how I hoped it would. As little creators we reverse entropy regularly, focusing energy to create order from less order ( then we switch modes to a blow it all to hell expression ). Creation -Preservation-Destruction; are each considered in the Vedas to be one of three possible modes of action that all acts fall into.

    The Cosmos is clearly replete with the three modes of action. And the universe appears to have had a fairly chaotic start with the whirlwind of creation in the hangar of the cosmos creating one amazing self aware intelligent being derived from star dust.

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