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George Gearless

Earth is faster than the speed of light?

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15 hours ago, Sunshine said:

Agreed, any theory must first be backed by a hefty dose of evidence, unfortunately though, many very enlightened people cannot agree on what is defined as a "Big Bang" some say the visible universe began from a single infinitely small point.

Others say the big bang occurred everywhere at once, BANG! not like an explosion which throws material in an expanding sphere.  What's beyond the visible universe?, if the big bang has occurred some 14billion years ago, from where did all the matter required for there to be a big bang come from? what was before everything we know was? some things we may never know. 

 

Can't help but see so much misunderstanding here , perhaps the result of too many an eager TV producer with CGI overuse (Chris - aka McCavity may well throw brick bats at Brian Cox)   - there is no confusion within the scientific community.

The "Big Bang" theory is the populist name  for the conditions which cosmologists and particle physics regard as defining the earliest state of the universe.  If you look no further than that catchy name then confusion and misinterpretation will certainly prevail.    As for evidence,   the "Big Bang" / the Lambda CDM model (Standard model)  is  imho the  best supported and most complete model of modern Physics which describe the nature of universe with a remarkable degree of conformity. From the correlation of predicted / measured abundance of light elements, the fine structure of the CMB and recessional velocity of galaxies v distance (Hubble's law), the evidence to support Lemaitre's  "primeval atom" model is nothing but compelling.  Forget Hoyel's pejorative "Big Bang" - he used that tag with purpose to ridicule a theory he did not support and the confusion he caused appears to have lingered.      

Lamaitre's model placed the origin of the universe at a single particular state which would later be termed a singularity. There was no "bang" rather something much more exotic "inflation" or exponential expansion of space. Inflation (theorised in the late 1970) explains the large scale structure that is seen in the universe (structure which arose from quantum fluctuations in the pre inflationary period). Evidence for inflation is again well supported: the isotropic observation of our universe (it looks the same no matter where we look), the even distribution of the CMB and the lack of magnetic monopoles (at least not detected ).  This utterly bizarre and little understood inflationary period is estimated to have occurred at t minus 1 x 10 ^-33 s following the singularity pitching up and announcing its arrival.  It lasted for approximately 1 x 10^-36 s  (supported by data drawn from particle collisions at the likes of CERN ) . And therein is the "Big Bang" killer  - there was no bang  - rather  it was a strange "inflation" where the universe went from existence as a singularity to, well I've read different accounts ranging from the size of an orange to a basket ball - but no bang , no explosion.  Ok now we turn to matter.    Matter was not created at the "Big Bang"  - hey let's now call it "the very short and not very well understood period of inflation"  - not as catchy as Hoyel's pejorative Big Bang but more accurate :)   Anyway, the universe, while at a state of singularity and during inflation was simply too hot for matter to form - more correctly for it to exist in its baryonic form (atoms and stuff) - it was simply present as energy.  Visit CERN and they will tell you (supported by their collision data) that it took some 400, 000 years until the universe had cooled (energy dissipated) until normal (baryonic) matter could form (electrons captured by the nucleus). So, what do we have  - no shattering or scattering of matter at the start of the universe in some kind of cosmic fire work but rather " the very short period and not very well understood period of inflation". Oh and a theory that remains intact,  and fits remarkably well observations made of the present state of the universe  :)

 

Jim 

Edited by saac
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That is the thing about theoretical..... it’s theoretical..... and a very good standard of living can be realised from these theories ? thus due to the financial reward most must be taken with a pinch of salt. The positive is that it all leads to progression ?

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16 minutes ago, Pig said:

and a very good standard of living can be realised from these theories ? thus due to the financial reward most must be taken with a pinch of salt. 

Not sure I would agree with any of that. :( 

Jim 

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2 minutes ago, saac said:

Not sure I would agree with any of that. :( 

Jim 

There are many theoretical physicists about .... quite a few of them are very wealthy. Thus I am not sure how you cannot agree with it ! Unless you simply can’t accept it. 

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6 minutes ago, Pig said:

There are many theoretical physicists about .... quite a few of them are very wealthy.

 

????

The vast majority of folks who as trained (to the Ph. D. level) as theoretical physics do not work in physics at all, i.e., if they are wealthy it is they work in areas like commercial data mining or finance.

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5 minutes ago, George Jones said:

 

????

The vast majority of folks who as trained (to the Ph. D. level) as theoretical physics do not work in physics at all, i.e., if they are wealthy it is they work in areas like commercial data mining or finance.

 Errrmm take a chill I didn’t say they did..... but the “vast majority” is a bit of a guess on your behalf. So unless you know all of them then I will stand corrected .... a theory is a theory until it isn’t ?

Edited by Pig

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12 minutes ago, Pig said:

There are many theoretical physicists about .... quite a few of them are very wealthy. Thus I am not sure how you cannot agree with it ! Unless you simply can’t accept it. 

Perhaps some of them can afford to be theoretical physicists because they were wealthy before they started :)

I don't follow research jobs in academia closely at all, but the ones I do see often appear to be very short term and not particularly well-paid.  If you're lecturing as well then I don't know if the "write a book and tell your students it's their course text" approach still works as an additional income stream.  It certainly seemed fairly common when I was an undergrad.  If there's a lot more money in theoretical physics than I realised then I wonder where it's all coming from.

James

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3 minutes ago, JamesF said:

Perhaps some of them can afford to be theoretical physicists because they were wealthy before they started :)

I don't follow research jobs in academia closely at all, but the ones I do see often appear to be very short term and not particularly well-paid.  If you're lecturing as well then I don't know if the "write a book and tell your students it's their course text" approach still works as an additional income stream.  It certainly seemed fairly common when I was an undergrad.  If there's a lot more money in theoretical physics than I realised then I wonder where it's all coming from.

James

Perhaps ? seemed ? wonder ? appear.... all a theory James.

Edited by Pig

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5 minutes ago, Pig said:

Perhaps ? seemed ? wonder ? appear.... all a theory James.

No.  A hypothesis :D

James

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2 hours ago, Pig said:

There are many theoretical physicists about .... quite a few of them are very wealthy. Thus I am not sure how you cannot agree with it ! Unless you simply can’t accept it. 

The originator of the Big Bang theory was a Catholic priest, not entirely sure how that particular profession  ranks alongside others in terms of remuneration. I think Lamaitre's motivation was other than financial. 

As for output of theoretical physicists being  influenced by pay then peer review exposes that easy cynicism.  Many a lowly paid research assistant would relish the opportunity to discover flaws in a paper.  Show me a research physicist that is in it for the money and I'll show you somebody in the wrong job.  

What aspect of the Big bang theory do you take with a pinch of salt anyway and why?  What level of confidence in evidence do you look for before you declare a "theory is a theory until it isn't" ?

CERN Salaries

 

Jim 

Edited by saac

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2 minutes ago, saac said:

What aspect of the Big bang theory do you take with a pinch of salt anyway and why?

CERN Salaries

 

Jim 

I find it very difficult to believe that everything in the observable universe came from a relatively single tiny source. Why ? It’s a theory. Should it ever be proven then all is good. There were only 9 planets not so many years in the past.... my, how that theory has changed !! 

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19 minutes ago, Pig said:

I find it very difficult to believe that everything in the observable universe came from a relatively single tiny source. Why ?

Try this book  I think it covers the basics pretty well whilst avoiding getting bogged down.

James

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28 minutes ago, Pig said:

It’s a theory. Should it ever be proven then all is good.

 

Science is not in the business of proving theories.

As an example, consider Newton's theory of gravity. Given the masses of any two objects and the distance that separates the objects, Newtonian gravity gives a maths expression for the gravitational force between the objects. To prove that Newtonian gravity is true, we would have to verify experimentally the maths expression for gravitational force for all possible masses and all possible separation distances. It is impossible, even in principle, to verify this infinite set of possibilities. Even if we verify it a zillion times, tomorrow we could make a measurement that we can't square with its force expression. It only takes one (set of) measurement(s) to prove it wrong.

A good scientific theory is consistent with known observational evidence, but being consistent with known observations does not constitute a proof of a theory.

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3 hours ago, Pig said:

I find it very difficult to believe that everything in the observable universe came from a relatively single tiny source. Why ? It’s a theory. Should it ever be proven then all is good. There were only 9 planets not so many years in the past.... my, how that theory has changed !! 

"I find it very difficult to believe that everything in the observable universe came from a relatively single tiny source."

 

I am with you on that Pig - anybody who finds it easy does not understand what is being asked of them.

In an adult human body it is thought that there are more cells than stars in the observable universe yet it (the human body) originated from only two; one of which was at the limit of visibility to the naked eye.  Pig, to suggest that our universe originated from a singularity (an infinitely small, hot, dense place) is to many an act of insanity, it is ridiculous by any normal measure of our experience.  That is exactly the charge faced by Lamaitre. He was ridiculed, publicly by Hoyle who taunted with the term Big Bang, and  more privately by Einstein who warmed to his physics but questioned his mathematics; he would later win Einstein's support.  The Big Bang theory is  completely counter intuitive, nonsense, utterly ridiculous, owing more to fantasy than reality. And yet, it is supported by evidence.  And not any old casual evidence, it has been subjected to a level of scrutiny to support a confidence level that would put manufacturers of experimental cancer drugs, aircraft engineers, rocket designers, nuclear power plant engineers (you get the picture) to shame 100 times over.  The evidence is simply compelling particularly when taken in light of associated findings of our large high energy particle accelerators which can generate the conditions (in terms of energy density) which existed close to the big bang. From this energy density we are able to see how matter precipitated out from energy - we are seeing as close to the moment of creation as we can at present.  Yes it is a theory  - to a scientist a theory is a continuum, a moment in a spectrum of reading nature's story where we root our self in an understanding supported by the best evidence we have, tested to a confidence level that, to be honest, is as rigorous as to all intents to represent an unequivocal proof.  We are also prepared and accepting for the story to unfold, to bring a new understanding, but as yet we are still on the Big Bang chapter.  To the public a theory then means something altogether different - it is more akin to an opinion.   As for the number of planets , that was never a theory, that was an observation. 

 

Jim 

Sigma 5 - Understanding Confidence Levels In Particle Physics

 

Edited by saac

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In Science, a theory is simply a generally accepted explanation of the observable facts. A hypothesis is a speculation on what may be an explanation. If a hypothesis is repeatedly tested and 'survives' it may achieve the status of a theory.

There is no absolute figure for how much support is needed before a hypothesis becomes accepted theory, and in some cases it is possible for two differnt theories, supported by large factions in an area of science to compete, especially when the evidence that might distinguish them is thin on the ground or controversial.

The strength of the scientific method, which is often considered a weakness, is that a theory shoudl be testable and if it is disproved then a new theory has to be developed. In practice scientists are humans and it can take time and argument for such changes to happen. In practice most such change is incremental, not revolutionary, but sometimes the change is radical - a 'paradigm shift', such as the acceptance of plate tectonics in geology or inflation in cosmology.

Edited by Stub Mandrel

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These two videos will give a lot to chew on!

It may take more than one viewing  if not many more to somewhat understand for some of us.

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2 hours ago, Pig said:

I find it very difficult to believe that everything in the observable universe came from a relatively single tiny source.

That's an argument from personal incredulity. You get no points for this because it is a fallacy. 

Why ? It’s a theory.

It's where the evidence leads. That makes it more than "just an idea".

Should it ever be proven then all is good.

Mathematicians work with proofs. In science there is no such thing as proof, just evidence.

There were only 9 planets not so many years in the past.... my, how that theory has changed !! 

That's not a theory. Do you really think it is?

I think you confuse 'scientific theory' with 'just an idea'.

Edited by Ruud

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21 hours ago, JamesF said:

..... what does he actually mean when he says "the universe forgets how big it is"?

 

Penrose is referring to a state of maximal entropy, ie.  before the clock begins to tick. Time being necessary to define distance and hence 'size' is also rendered meaningless.

 

21 hours ago, JamesF said:

 

He seems to be saying that the dimensions of space are ever-increasing and time is always passing, up to a point when if we were able to wait long enough, suddenly they'd stop existing. 

 

Looking into the distant future Penrose talks of a state of maximal entropy as the last black-hole evaporates. Don't hold your breath for this one.

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20 hours ago, Thalestris24 said:

I have read that it's possible that spacetime could undergo a spontaneous phase shift thus destroying everything at the speed of light. At least it wouldn't be painful :)

Louise

Of course if the many universe theory is correct it could, if you are unlucky,  at least make your eyes smart :) 

Jim 

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1 minute ago, Pig said:

You all have it wrong ?

It's entirely possible that we do.  But at least we have it wrong an in evidence-driven internally-consistent way that allows testable hypotheses to be made about our perception of the universe :D

James

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Just now, JamesF said:

It's entirely possible that we do.  But at least we have it wrong an in evidence-driven internally-consistent way that allows testable hypotheses to be made about our perception of the universe :D

James

Dress it up how you like ..... ? 

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10 minutes ago, Pig said:

You all have it wrong ?

Your making us work for this Pig, good on you.  We need to take this down the pub :) 

Jim 

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1 minute ago, saac said:

Your making us work for this Pig, good on you.  We need to take this down the pub :) 

Jim 

He's getting the first round in :D

James

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1 minute ago, saac said:

Your making us work for this Pig, good on you.  We need to take this down the pub :) 

Jim 

Now that’s an experiment we can repeat ?

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