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Thread: Is the universe accelerating?

  1. #1 Is the universe accelerating? 
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    Is it still believed today that the expansion of the universe is accelerating?
    Why does it seem so?

    The only reason why im asking is because, they say that further away galaxies seem to be moving faster away.

    In my mind that proves quite the opposite. Since further away galaxies are younger and younger, it implies that the epxansion is in fact slowing down... ?

    Thank you!


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    The expansion of the universe is, indeed, accelerating (and accelerating at an increasing rate as far as I'm aware). It is something to do with Dark Energy and the average density of the universe, as far as I know- if the universe density is below the critical density value then it will continue expanding forever, if it is above the critical density value then it will cause a contraction (the Big Crunch scenario, which I think is unlikely) and if it is close to the critical value then it will expand towards a limit expanding at an ever decreasing rate (asymptotic).


    "Nature doesn't care what we call it, she just does it anyway" - R. Feynman
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  4. #3 Re: Is the universe accelerating? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by bulle
    The only reason why im asking is because, they say that further away galaxies seem to be moving faster away.

    In my mind that proves quite the opposite. Since further away galaxies are younger and younger, it implies that the epxansion is in fact slowing down... ?
    As we look at galaxies that are still pretty near to us, but that are farther and farther away, we are not looking back far enough that we are looking at a signifcantly younger universe.

    If the rate of expansion were constant, we would see galaxies farther away from us moving away from us at a faster rate. Simply put: because there is more space between us, there is more space to expand.

    When we look even farther away we can start looking at a significantly younger universe. When we do that we see an expansion rate that is slower than it is now.

    When we look back really, really far, we see the expansion rate was faster then.

    So the history of the universe went from really fast expansion that slowed down for a while and then started to pick back up again.
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    I am currently a bit stuck trying to understand this as well.

    Is this more related to distances calculated using redshift vs distances calculated by other means?

    Can you see the expansion of the universe is accelerating only from redshift values, or do you need to bring in other measurements like angular size, brightness of known objects or periods/brightness of recognized binaries, supernova, etc.?
    I believe in nothing, but trust gravity to hold me down and the electromagnetic force to stop me falling through
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    With ANY form of metric expansion, be it decelerating, constant or accelerating, the further away something is the faster it recedes.

    Consider a balloon with dots on its surface. Now inflate the balloon. Whichever dot you pick as your "origin", as you inflate the balloon, the further away across the surface another dot is, the faster it moves away from your dot.

    It doesn't matter whether you start off blowing the balloon up slowly and get quicker and quicker, or start off blowing it up really quickly and get slower and slower, or blow it up at a constant rate, the further away one dot is from another, when measured across the surface of the balloon, the faster they will be separating, at any given time.

    So, it is not the fact that the further away a galaxy is, the faster it recedes, that tells us the expansion is accelerating.

    What tells us the expansion of the universe is accelerating is that, after careful measurements using "standard candle" data, things were found to be further away than they should have been if the universe were still decelerating. Compared to the rate of separation in the distant past, the rate of separation in the recent past is larger than it would be if the rate were still decelerating as it was in the distant past.

    Does that help?
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    You guys should know by now is that the it is only our perception is that the Universe is accelerating. From observational evidence, and from what we know from Doppler shifting of photons of light.

    But we still do not have claimed to fully understand whether this is something due to our fundamental theories being wrong...GR etc or actual an observational fact.

    It is only inferred from what we know, which is limited at best.
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  8. #7  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael_Roberts
    You guys should know by now is that the it is only our perception is that the Universe is accelerating. From observational evidence, and from what we know from Doppler shifting of photons of light.
    I don't know this. The reason I don't know this is because, having looked at the relevant evidence, I noted that Doppler shifts play no role in cosmological expansion.
    But we still do not have claimed to fully understand whether this is something due to our fundamental theories being wrong...GR etc or actual an observational fact.

    It is only inferred from what we know, which is limited at best.
    Welcome to science.
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    I don't know this. The reason I don't know this is because, having looked at the relevant evidence, I noted that Doppler shifts play no role in cosmological expansion.
    What the hell do you mean? Doppler shifting is the only way to infer Hubble's Law?
    and any subsequent expansion of space time!

    Supernovae Type Ia are used as standard candles. They allow the expansion history of the Universe to be measured by looking at the relationship between the distance to an object and its redshift, which gives how fast it is receding from us. The relationship is roughly linear, according to Hubble's law. It is relatively easy to measure REDSHIFT, but finding the distance to an object is more difficult. Usually, astronomers use standard candles: objects for which the intrinsic brightness, the absolute magnitude, is known. This allows the object's distance to be measured from its actual observed brightness, or apparent magnitude. Type Ia supernovae are the best-known standard candles across cosmological distances because of their extreme, and extremely consistent, brightness.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael_Roberts
    What the hell do you mean? Doppler shifting is the only way to infer Hubble's Law?
    and any subsequent expansion of space time!
    I suggest that you take the time to do a little more research on cosmology. You will find that the Doppler interpretation of redshift is inconsistent with the redshift data and that cosmologists use an entirely different source of redshift, one originating from general relativity.
    Supernovae Type Ia are used as standard candles. They allow the expansion history of the Universe to be measured by looking at the relationship between the distance to an object and its redshift, which gives how fast it is receding from us. The relationship is roughly linear, according to Hubble's law. It is relatively easy to measure REDSHIFT, but finding the distance to an object is more difficult. Usually, astronomers use standard candles: objects for which the intrinsic brightness, the absolute magnitude, is known. This allows the object's distance to be measured from its actual observed brightness, or apparent magnitude. Type Ia supernovae are the best-known standard candles across cosmological distances because of their extreme, and extremely consistent, brightness.
    You are so almost correct!

    Type Ia supernovae are not standard candles because they do not have consistent brightness. However, there are established correlations between the brightness of type Ia supernovae and their change in brightness over time that can be used to determine just how bright any given type Ia supernova actually is. This is used to make a determination of distance which can be used to establish a relationship between redshift and distance.

    These supernovae are used, mainly, for showing that the relationship between redshift and distance is not linear at the largest scales. This is important for determining the mass-energy densities associated with matter and with the cosmological constant.
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  11. #10 Inflation Theory Unnecessary -- It's Simple Physics 
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    Hi all. I'm new here, looking for places where I might be able to post this relevant article of mine. Because of the nature of this particular article, it was easier to make a video than explain it using text, but here it goes in text form, because I'm sure you guys will understand it without even seeing the video.

    Inflation is not necessary because the redshifts we are seeing from "all" galaxies makes them all appear to be moving apart. I say "all" because it's not all. Remember, we're gravitating towards our nearest galaxy, Andromeda. So no weird inflation is really going on.

    It's simple explosion physics. The particles coming out first go fastest, then a little slower, and slower and slower till it's done. So the particles (say, galaxies) drift off in different directions at different rates. The net effect is that all of them appear to be moving apart from all of the other ones. It's just simple physics.

    See the video for a more detailed explanation...
    www.youtube.com/watch?v=2s4mYUoXjNo
    It's entitled "debunking inflation theory" and will come up 1st on a google search for that exact phrase.

    Thanks for listening.

    Comments are appreciated...

    Alex Kaye
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  12. #11  
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    I don't think you actually understand the detailed reasons that inflation was proposed. You say you didn't want to explain it using text. I think any debunking of inflation is going to use maths. Is there any maths in your video?
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    No, it has no math. Math can prove just about anything you want it to. That's the problem. Everyone seems to love inflation theory and it's just a false notion. I haven't liked it since I've heard of it because it doesn't sound rational. So I finally realized why all the galaxies "appear" to be moving apart -- they simply ARE all (mostly) moving apart (gravity has tweaked that here and there), due to the simple physics of an explosion.

    Why is inflation necessary? This Big Bang thing could have exploded in pre-existing space. It didn't have to "create" space. Space was already here for it. It's just a simple explosion. It could have been caused by something already existing in this very universe, like a black hole.

    Let me ask you, how big can a black hole get? What if it has a limit? What if, at some point, it blows back up again, re-releasing all of it's captive matter/energy/time I dunno -- whatever wonderful stuff you think is in there.

    What if black holes don't explode -- unless they slam into each other at near light speed from across the distance of our universe. I think that would cause a pretty good dead-on, head-on explosion. I don't think supermassive black holes of this magnitude (universe-sized) can hold together if they slam into each other at, say, 99.99% of light speed, but that's just me.

    Alex Kaye
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  14. #13  
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    @ Alex Kaye, Actually, I would like to see you use math to prove that 1+1=3.
    In all actuality, math as it stand's will prove no such ridiculous thing.
    Now, you should go see this thread; http://www.thescienceforum.com/viewt...=28430&start=0
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    http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=1%2FH_0

    1/(H_0 (Hubble parameter)) = 410^17 seconds = 12.68 billion years

    so if the diameter of the universe is increasing at a constant rate then the universe would be 12.68 billion years old.

    the universe is said to be 13.5 billion years old so the rate must be changing.
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  16. #15  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Kaye
    No, it has no math.
    So it is nothing more than a wild assed, unsubstantiated, mind fart.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Kaye
    Math can prove just about anything you want it to.
    This demonstrates that your understanding of mathematics is as profound as your understanding of Big Bang theory.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Kaye
    Everyone seems to love inflation theory and it's just a false notion.
    Setting your peculiar grammatical structure and inappropriate hyperbole aside, people 'love' inflation theory because it offers the best explanation thus far for observation and consistency with theory. The validity of that approach is based upon the research, theoretical and practical, of thousands of scientists. On the other hand we have a throw away line from you that it is a 'false notion'. Pardon me if I don't fall in awe to worship at your feet.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Kaye
    So I finally realized why all the galaxies "appear" to be moving apart -- they simply ARE all (mostly) moving apart (gravity has tweaked that here and there), due to the simple physics of an explosion.
    There was no explosion. The explosion analogy is something the cosmologists came up with to try to explain the idea to children who can't handle the maths.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Kaye
    Why is inflation necessary?
    In order to explain observations.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Kaye
    I don't think supermassive black holes of this magnitude (universe-sized) can hold together if they slam into each other at, say, 99.99% of light speed, but that's just me.
    Yes, Alex, it probably is.

    Thinking and speculating about this sort of thing is a good way of expressing an interest in the scientific investigation of the universe. It becomes dangerous when you start believing your speculations may carry some weight.
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    I think Ophiolite is forgetting inflation is just an add on. Because the first theory was not quite good enough to explain various observations.

    And it is just that: a theory. With several problems.

    In order for the inflation theory of Linde, Albrecht and Steinhardt to be successful there is a requirement that the universe must have a scalar field with an especially FLAT potential and VERY special initial conditions.

    At present, however, whilst inflation is understood principally by its detailed predictions of the initial conditions for the hot early universe, the particle physics is largely just ad hoc modelling.

    And as such, though predictions of inflation have been consistent with the results of observational tests, there are many open questions about the theory.

    But I'm sure Ophiolite knows all this. :wink:
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    Quote Originally Posted by granpa
    http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=1%2FH_0

    1/(H_0 (Hubble parameter)) = 410^17 seconds = 12.68 billion years

    so if the diameter of the universe is increasing at a constant rate then the universe would be 12.68 billion years old.

    the universe is said to be 13.5 billion years old so the rate must be changing.
    I don't think things are quite that simple.
    Our view of the universe comes from deep inside the universe's large scale structure.
    It does look that there is a risk that our local view of things could bias our calculations of the Hubble parameter.
    I think it is safe to assume the large scale structure of the universe is still evolving, and the visible universe is only part of the large scale structure and could be collapsing or rebounding.
    A convincing model or evidence for what dark matter is would realy help at this point.
    I believe in nothing, but trust gravity to hold me down and the electromagnetic force to stop me falling through
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael_Roberts
    I think Ophiolite is forgetting inflation is just an add on.
    I am not forgetting it at all. As with all theories they evolve and develop over time, sometimes reaching a point where they collapse and are replaced by something better, or become cemented as solid description of how things are.

    Personally, I am opposed to Big Bang theory on philosophical grounds. However, this is a science forum and the scientific evidence is solidly behind Big Bang theory as the best current explanation of that aspect of the universe. Alex Kaye's attempted explanation has all the rigour of an anorexic toad's post luncheon fart. It has already had more discussion and contemplation than it merits. If Alex is unable to see its inherent weaknesses then perhaps he should concentrate on remedial basket weaving in future.
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    Ophiolite, has anyone ever told you you're a megalomaniac? I think your head is so far up your math than you can't really see straight. You get a kick out of putting down people with your Mighty Math superpowers, right? You know it all, and we're all little children that must be told bedtime stories about the beginnings of the universe.

    If copernicus was wrong, and newton after him, what makes you think Einstein is so golden? He's just another stepping stone in a permanently faulty math system that can't barely describe anything at all without crap like "the universe had an incredible, faster than-light expansion when it was a fraction of a second old." That's just made up! No body knows that. Inflation is stupid.

    Listen to me close...you'll never find a TOE or GUT because it won't explain LIFE. When I see your calculation for how life evolved, I'll start to listen to you.

    And, as to how to make 1 + 1 = 3, it so happens you can do it in biology. I've done it. I have a child. That's how 1 and 1 makes 3, and that's the difference between being a free thinking philosopher and a closed-minded mathematician.

    Alex K
    p.s. sorry I went so far off topic, but I don't like getting attacked online by psychopaths with physics degrees.
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    I'm glad Alex Kaye has stuck up for himself.
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  22. #21  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Kaye
    Ophiolite, has anyone ever told you you're a megalomaniac? I think your head is so far up your math than you can't really see straight. You get a kick out of putting down people with your Mighty Math superpowers, right? You know it all, and we're all little children that must be told bedtime stories about the beginnings of the universe.

    If copernicus was wrong, and newton after him, what makes you think Einstein is so golden? He's just another stepping stone in a permanently faulty math system that can't barely describe anything at all without crap like "the universe had an incredible, faster than-light expansion when it was a fraction of a second old." That's just made up! No body knows that. Inflation is stupid.

    Listen to me close...you'll never find a TOE or GUT because it won't explain LIFE. When I see your calculation for how life evolved, I'll start to listen to you.

    And, as to how to make 1 + 1 = 3, it so happens you can do it in biology. I've done it. I have a child. That's how 1 and 1 makes 3, and that's the difference between being a free thinking philosopher and a closed-minded mathematician.

    Alex K
    p.s. sorry I went so far off topic, but I don't like getting attacked online by psychopaths with physics degrees.
    You are not a free thinker, or any thinker at all. Rather, you a stereotypical fool and you have just proved it.

    Before you attack a theory it is a good idea to first understand it. You clearly understand very little. There is a hell of a lot more to general relativity and the big bang than just the observed recession of distant galaxies, and an ordinary explosion model cannot account for all of those things.

    What is really disheartening is to learn that you have procreated. Stupidity can be, and often is, inherited.
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  23. #22  
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    Let's not concentrate too much on single posters. And for those who have only a skewed and poor understanding of physics (which is by the way very much based on math, without which it would be useless), please accept that there quite skilled forum members around here from which you might even learn something.

    So, let's get back to the topic.

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  24. #23  
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    @Alex Kaye.
    It is misfortunate that you are such a mathephobe, as it is your own potential which you harm through such.

    You speak of biology, well biology is but one aspect of a multifaceted universe.
    In attempting to use biology, literally or metaphorically, to speak of other things within the spectrum of the universes being, one will run up against semantic dissonance.
    Herein is one of the great powers of mathematics, abstraction.
    Whichever aspect or facet of the existential one seeks to describe, mathematics may be used without risk of semantic dissonance.
    Humanity, as a whole, and throughout all it's known history, has not produced any other language so pure as to transcend circumstantial and cultural context's in such an empirical manner as mathematics does.
    If the universe has a prime principle, then mathematics is the only language currently in our possession by which we might hope to speak of it.

    Oh, by the way, with all your hand waving and woo about philosophy, can you tell me who my avatar is, and what his profession was in addition to philosopher?

    Quote Originally Posted by PhysBang
    So the history of the universe went from really fast expansion that slowed down for a while and then started to pick back up again.
    Now this is fascinating, I hadn't heard that before. I'm planning on researching this some. But please do tell more, or provide some links. Thanks.
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  25. #24  
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    Quote Originally Posted by GiantEvil
    Quote Originally Posted by PhysBang
    So the history of the universe went from really fast expansion that slowed down for a while and then started to pick back up again.
    Now this is fascinating, I hadn't heard that before. I'm planning on researching this some. But please do tell more, or provide some links. Thanks.
    Look up anything about modern cosmology. The universe started out expanding fast and decelerated for a long time, then around 6 billion years ago the rate of expansion levelled out and started to accelerate.
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  26. #25  
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    Quote Originally Posted by GiantEvil
    Now this is fascinating, I hadn't heard that before. I'm planning on researching this some. But please do tell more, or provide some links. Thanks.
    You might want to start here: http://www.astro.ucla.edu/~wright/cosmolog.htm
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  27. #26  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Kaye
    Ophiolite, has anyone ever told you you're a megalomaniac?
    It's been mentioned, but only by the terminally inadequate.
    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Kaye
    I think your head is so far up your math than you can't really see straight. You get a kick out of putting down people with your Mighty Math superpowers, right?.
    I most certainly don't have math superpowers. I got a 'B' in my Higher maths at school in Scotland. I did not study it at university. I can do standard algebra, am comfortable with Euclidian geometry and can follow simple arguments that use basic calculus.

    What I do know is that to argue for or against inflation requires a greater level of competency in maths than either of us is prepared to admit to possessing. Therefore, when you post 'beliefs', with no mathematical groundwork whatsoever and declare that that doesn't matter, then I know I am dealing with some one in need of a change of mindset if they are to progress.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Kaye
    You get a kick out of putting down people with your Mighty Math superpowers, right?
    This merits two or three points.
    1. We've just established I am crap at maths, but smart enough to recognise its importance.
    2. If you feel I put you down then that is intrinsic recognition that your position is 'lower', that your 'beliefs' are unsound, otherwise - were you correct - no bluster on an internet forum could possibly 'put you down'.
    3. I don't get a kick out of pointing out why you are mistaken, but I do get a mild satisfaction from contemplating the possibility that you might be smart enough to realise you are wrong.


    [quote="Alex Kaye"] You know it all, and we're all little children that must be told bedtime stories about the beginnings of the universe. quote]
    1. I know almost nothing.
    2. If you behave like a child then beditme stories may be appropriate.
    3. If you are calling the Big Bang theory a bedtime story then I have to say that makes you one of the most arrogant people on this forum. For you to think that your understanding of nature is superior to that of thousands of researchers and theorists who have gathered and analysed the data that have led to, then confirmed the theory is laughable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Kaye
    If copernicus was wrong, and newton after him, what makes you think Einstein is so golden?
    It might just be the way the predictions of his theories have been borne out to a very precise degree in many different ways. Moreover, Newton was not so much wrong as inaccurate. Within the context of what he could examine his results were spot on.

    And by the way, I've expressed no opinion whatsoever of Einstein. In addition to the arrogance we identified above, you seem to want to add an ineffectual claim to telepathy.


    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Kaye
    He's just another stepping stone in a permanently faulty math system that can't barely describe anything at all without crap like "the universe had an incredible, faster than-light expansion when it was a fraction of a second old." That's just made up! No body knows that. Inflation is stupid.
    You really are frightened of people who are smarter than you. It must be hell getting a hamburger at McDonalds.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Kaye
    Listen to me close...you'll never find a TOE or GUT because it won't explain LIFE. When I see your calculation for how life evolved, I'll start to listen to you.
    Now you are just being silly. A TOE or GUT has absolutely nothing to do with the emergence or evolution of life. Life could just as easily have been created by divine intervention and it wouldn't make an iota of difference to whatever TOE we might eventually come up with.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Kaye
    And, as to how to make 1 + 1 = 3, it so happens you can do it in biology. I've done it. I have a child. That's how 1 and 1 makes 3, and that's the difference between being a free thinking philosopher and a closed-minded mathematician.
    Boy, you get a great delight out of exposing your weaknesses, don't you. Still, you don't seem in any danger of running out.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Kaye
    p.s. sorry I went so far off topic, but I don't like getting attacked online by psychopaths with physics degrees.
    1. I'm not a psychopath. I'm just a grumpy old man who is offended when fellow humans trunpet their ignorance on the internet.
    2. I don't have a physics degree.
    3. I didn't attack you. I attacked your ideas.
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