Space, Time, The Expanding Universe, and the Speed of Light

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Jerromy

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I think I like the loop quantum idea but without the quantum part. I can't believe inflation any more than I believe quantum (sub-atomic) particles can defy general relativity. Nothing moves faster than the speed of light... but it is not a constant. The speed of light was initially infinite at the moment of the big bang. It has gradually slowed EQUALLY across the visible universe to the speed it appears to us now. Check again in a million years and it will be slower than it is now, but since our reference of existence is dependant of what we see it would in fact appear the same as time would slow at the same rate. Only an omnipotent immortal being could discern the variation. This does not mean that light which has been travelling for millions of years has slowed in relation to light emitted today, it means that all light is slowing down in a uniform manner. Space-time is not expanding, but rather the time factor is slowing, causing space to appear larger over time, hence the misunderstanding that the universe is expanding faster. Just keep one simple fact in mind... it's all relative. ;)
 
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just_curious

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Re: Alan Guth vs Joao Maguelijo

I personally don't believe that the big bang or a singularity for that matter is correct.

Just because it appears that things are expanding and so if we reverse it eventually we come to a conclsuion of a this singularity.
Why? If you look at any wave formula at any point on that wave looking forward it would appear the wave is moving towards a point higher or lower than the actual top and bottom of the wave.

So what makes the wave change its directon? Whatever it might be it does change. So who is to say, with our lack of info, that if you traced the universe back that it doesn't actually come to a singularity but begins to expand once again.

Even if there is not enough mass to cause our universe to collapse, there could be other factors that cause it do so. Maybe space can only be expanded or compressed so much. Causing a wave function for the continuous expansion and contraction of space. We might also be limited to how far we can see because of the properties of light, making our perspective even more minute.
 
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csmyth3025

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by Jerromy » Thu Sep 17, 2009 11:28 pm

Check again in a million years and it will be slower than it is now, but since our reference of existence is dependant of what we see it would in fact appear the same as time would slow at the same rate.
I believe your statement is commonly described as a circular argument. You say that the speed of light slows as the universe expands, but that time also slows in the same proportion as the universe expands. Therefore, the speed of light appears to be the same for any given observer at any time.

Wouldn't it simplify matters if we just say that the speed of light is the same for any given observer at any time - and leave out all the slowing down parts?

Chris
 
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Jerromy

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Wouldn't it simplify matters if we just say that the speed of light is the same for any given observer at any time - and leave out all the slowing down parts?

Chris
If one wanted to look at their narrow window of observance as the only important observations then we'd not care about the ramifications of the inevitable collapse of the universe. I believe space is the only constant in our universe. We exist in an infinite void of a supposed "fabric" which is currently occupied by a 27.4 billion light year diameter sphere of stuff. As far as we can see... the only problem with that is we are looking as an infant lifting their wobbly head off the floor to look around. We have hardly a clue what we see let alone what to imply it means to physics. We infer that there are gravitationally omnipotent specks holding galaxies together but that doesn't even add up. As far as I'm concerned our entire universe is a black hole and we as well as all the light we see and everything around us is trapped inside the event horizon. Since everything is winding down at the same pace it doesn't mean much for our existence or for our observations until it stops, but at some point all the stars will burn out and all the light will stop shining. Will the universe again return to a singularity then explode with another big bang? Only time, or the speed of light, or mass of atoms, will tell.
 
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Jerromy

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Lemme break it down for ya'll... Space is a constant "grid" in which motion "waves" through the threads of fabric. Anything that moves through space has a wave/particle duality relating to speed, mass, temperature and time.

Time is the most significant part of the equation. When this universe started how ever many billions of years ago time was infinite as was the speed of light but atoms did not exist at that moment. There was nothing but infinite space.

As the first moment passed and photons began to collide the first protons were formed. As protons began to aquire "mass" and attracted more photons the chain reaction continued to create the first hydrogen atoms. As these hydrogen atoms seeked partners to couple with the excitement of molecules (temperature) was tremendous.

The moment these molecules formed they were ignited in such an intense environment that the result was a helium atom. Most of you know where it goes from there.

As these molecules formed they presented a "drag" on the speed of light. This is observed today as light travels fastest in the absence of atoms. In relation to the beginning of this universe it appears to be the same factor of distance through space per time passed because time is a direct result of motion which is a direct relation to the speed of light. Matter cannot move faster than the speed of light because it is composed of light and at that speed the photons would be freed to move independently from the photons they were bound to at the beginning of their existence, as in a nuclear explosion the atoms are accelerated to seperation causing the photons colliding to accelerate more atom's seperation.

Since gravity pulls on mass and mass is relative to velocity it keeps the system in check, if the universe were expanding faster the mass would be greater and gravity would pull harder. I'm very distracted at the moment and feel that i'm rambling so I'll try to continue to get to the point later.
 
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SpeedFreek

Guest
Why are you making this stuff up in a serious science forum?
 
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csmyth3025

Guest
Einstein, after nearly 10 years of effort, was able to resolve the relationship between space, time and matter into a set of non-linear partial differential equations. I wonder if Jerromy has been able to similarly codify his thoughts.

Chris
 
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Jerromy

Guest
Why are you making this stuff up in a serious science forum?
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SpeedFreek
I thought that was how science started... make something up that makes sense, explain it in a rational manner and verify the validity of the theory through observations. Some Greek made up the term "atom" and theorized that all matter is made up of these tiny, inseperable units. Once we developed the means to "see" these units of matter however many thousands of years later it was indisputable. Many variations of these blocks exist in our observations but the simple fact is once an atom is broken up it either constitutes other smaller blocks or is no longer considered matter. Perhaps Hubble's fantastic photos can start to verify what theory of physics will hold weight or perhaps a binocular system of space telescope needs to be developed to infer true distances but sooner or later man's insatiable quest for facts will discover the truth, whether it is made up first or you get whacked in the face is irrelevant.
 
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Jerromy

Guest
Where was I? Oh, yes. Gravity. Gravity affects everything. Let us picture the early universe as I've described before as a black hole. Imagine for argument's sake our universe is alone in space. Imagine that every single photon emitted from an initial explosion either directly impacted another photon or was on a trajectory away from a central "core" of mass. The photons which are at a constant velocity away from the central mass of matter forming reach a point at the apex of their travel where the gravity in this well has steered them from a departure course to an approach course. As the approach reaches it's climax the photon comes across another "free" photon. Having found a suitable mate the pair are locked in a speed of light dance known as a "free" electron.

Back to the other photons which have directly collided. What happens when two indestructable, unstopable objects collide at an equal velocity? Their inertial kinetic energy is converted to gravitational potential energy known to some as a quark, others may prefer the term proton or neutron. The only difference is the direction of rotation relative to the rest of the universe. Protons spin the same direction and neutrons spin opposite.

As these first particles capable of being described as "having specific gravity" attract each other the union of the first magnetically attracted particles becomes what is commonly referred to in electronics as "ground".

Now that the universe has these two "electrical" properties known as ground and power... anyone want to guess what happens next? Oh, yes... those free electrons would like to find some ground. Hydrogen anyone? But wait there's more... There are two parts to the ground and only one electron. What now? Either we find another electron to obtain a balance... or find another hydrogen atom and share electrons. Share electrons? It is way to hot for that... let's just combine into helium! Two protons hugging two neutrons with two electrons? I see a trend forming here... let's hug another helium atom while we are at it! Ahh the first peace in a newly chaotic universe.
 
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MeteorWayne

Guest
Photons don't dance, and they have nothing to do with electrons. You're just making stuff up that makes no sense whatsoever.
 
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csmyth3025

Guest
Jerromy":30oakz0a said:
Where was I? Oh, yes. Gravity. Gravity affects everything. Let us picture the early universe as I've described before as a black hole. Imagine for argument's sake our universe is alone in space. Imagine that every single photon emitted from an initial explosion either directly impacted another photon or was on a trajectory away from a central "core" of mass. The photons which are at a constant velocity away from the central mass of matter forming reach a point at the apex of their travel where the gravity in this well has steered them from a departure course to an approach course. As the approach reaches it's climax the photon comes across another "free" photon. Having found a suitable mate the pair are locked in a speed of light dance known as a "free" electron..
One major stumbling block to your description of the creation of an electron is the matter of charge. In your scenario the two "dancing" photons have no charge whereas the electron has a negative charge.

A more realistic (and more widely accepted) explanation of particle production can be found in the short Wikipedia articles here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pair_production
and here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two-photon_physics

A more technical explanation of the process can be found here: http://www.hep.ucl.ac.uk/~opal/gammagam ... orial.html

Although these explanations lack the poetic imagery of your proposed dancing photons, they're grounded in real science rather than whimsical thinking. There are frequent posts in this forum that propose theories about the universe which are imaginative but almost entirely devoid of scientific thought. Imagination is a good thing and I encourage you to continue asking "what if...". Before you formulate a full blown theory in your mind, however, you need to do the hard work of learning the history of the scientific research and theoretical thinking that has already been applied to your area of interest.

You should also remember that in the scientific community any theory is, at best, just a good guess unless it has some rigorous mathematics to back it up.

Chris
 
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warpfactor

Guest
If the speed of light could be broken .
1) Would we be seen when travelling at these speeds ?
2) If we would not be seen, could there be all sorts of things going on around us we can't see ?
 
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csmyth3025

Guest
warpfactor":2axjiboz said:
If the speed of light could be broken .
1) Would we be seen when travelling at these speeds ?
2) If we would not be seen, could there be all sorts of things going on around us we can't see ?
A good Wikipedia article on tachyons (theoretical particles that always travel faster than light) can be found here:

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

Aside from the technical description in this article, I think the answer to your questions would be no - we wouldn't be seen traveling at these speeds and yes - there are probably all sorts of things going on around us we can't see. Quantum mechanics is chocked full of things we can't see ("virtual particles", for instance).

Chris
 
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Jerromy

Guest
Thank you, Chris, for the links to Quantum mechanics. While more entertaining than my dancing photon descriptions they are just as theoretical but based on visual interpretations. How can one possibly visualize optical evidence of photonic annihilation? It seems to me the act of observing distorts the interaction. Our eyes, hungry for photonic excitement, will see what we want to see. Who cares what the light wants?

Quantum mechanics is the Star Wars of the universe... a fanciful battle of the force versus the dark side. I'm more in tune with Star Trek... mostly known fact with a little bit of fantasy to make the story exciting as well as plausible. I haven't figured out how to tap the warp potential of dilithium crystals but the concept is sound. Or is it light? The concept is light... energy = mass times the speed of light times the speed of light. How then is the speed of light squared into mass? God only knows. Lucky Him to not have to wonder... he just KNOWS.
 
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warpfactor

Guest
CSmyth,
As a new member myself it's nice to receive reply. Here's to future discussions.
 
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warpfactor

Guest
Question/ I recently saw a T.V programme on the universe
which stated the most popular description is that our universe is one of many bubble universes, it also stated our universe as flat and endless, surely these are contradictions ?
 
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SpeedFreek

Guest
The universe can be flat and endless, but can also be finite.

Forget the flat part for now, and let's concentrate on how it can be finite but endless. Well, in this context endless does not mean infinite, it means the universe has no end or edge. It is a similar situation to the surface of the Earth (but with the universe, the concept involves more dimensions).

The surface of the Earth is endless. You can travel across the surface of the Earth forever and you will find no edge, you will find no place where the surface of the Earth ends. But the surface is finite. So this means you can have many surfaces that are endless. Imagine a million Earths - there you have a million endless surfaces, all of which are finite.

Now we have to try to apply this concept to the universe, which is obviously not a 2 dimensional surface like the surface of the Earth. But could the universe perhaps be a 3 dimensional surface? If so, what 4 dimensional shape does it act like the surface of? Depending on the shape chosen, you can have a finite universe that is flat and endless (more commonly termed as boundless).

Which shapes are flat and why are they considered flat? Let's start with a sphere. This is not a flat surface. If you draw a triangle on the surface of a sphere you find the internal angles don't add up to 180 degrees. If you draw parallel lines on a small section of the surface and then extend those lines, you find those lines eventually meet.

But a torus is flat (in terms of topology). If you draw a triangle on the surface of a torus, you will find that the internal angles add up to exactly 180 degrees, and if you draw parallel lines on a small section of its surface, they never meet.

Now imagine that the 3 spacial dimensions we perceive for the universe actually form the surface of a 4 dimensional torus and you have a flat, endless finite universe. You could stack as many of these universes next to each other as you like and they would all be flat and endless to their occupants. None of those occupants would be aware of any of the other universes as their own universe "loops back" on itself in a higher dimension!
 
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