# Thread: Is the universe expanding or ?

1. Is the universe expanding or is all the matter within it undergoing a uniform condensation, creating the illusion of expansion ?

2.

3. Yes to the former, no to the latter.

4. How can you be sure ?

5. Because it contradicts all observations and all physics.

It's been brought up and dismissed many, many times before.

Take my answers however you want, but I'm not re-re-re-re-arguing this crank proposal.

6. My understanding is that it is possible to choose different systems of coordinates to describe the expansion of the universe. One of these would have no expansion and replace that with constantly changing lengths (i.e. the metre today is shorted than it was yesterday) and a variable speed of light. This is counter-intuitive and provides no benefit and so it is not used.

Note that any such coordinate choice does not tell you anything new or change what is going on (e.g. the accelerating expansion due to dark energy becomes an accelerating shrinking of rulers dues to dark energy, and so on).

However, if by "uniform condensation" you mean something other than swapping "expanding space" for "shrinking rulers" then there is the whole question of different predictions, evidence, etc.

7. If matter does not take in space itself, and only the space in between. Then only the space in between matter, matters..... In abscence of an easier explanation, it is eiter that all space is connected at 1 point in another dimension. So all space is simply an infinitely small pinprick, so it only looks bigger. Or, it does expand, and the universe actually becomes bigger.

8. Originally Posted by Strange
My understanding is that it is possible to choose different systems of coordinates to describe the expansion of the universe. One of these would have no expansion and replace that with constantly changing lengths (i.e. the metre today is shorted than it was yesterday) and a variable speed of light. This is counter-intuitive and provides no benefit and so it is not used.
Why would it have a variable speed of light ?

Originally Posted by Strange
Note that any such coordinate choice does not tell you anything new or change what is going on (e.g. the accelerating expansion due to dark energy becomes an accelerating shrinking of rulers dues to dark energy, and so on).
Maybe not, but would it not lead to a different conclusion ?

9. Originally Posted by Martinaston
Why would it have a variable speed of light ?
Because your metres are getting shorter over time.

Maybe not, but would it not lead to a different conclusion ?
If it is the same model but with different coordinates then it must, by definition, produce the same results.

Note that I don't claim to understand GR well enough to justify or explain this in any more detail; I am just repeating what I have heard those who do understand it say...

10. Originally Posted by Strange
If it is the same model but with different coordinates then it must, by definition, produce the same results.

Ah, ok. let me see if i can make it less gobeldegook, its not the meters getting shorter (ish).

Its all the matter that constitutes us, the planets and the stars loosing energy as the universe ages.
So all the atoms are uniformley condensing, similar to way they shed electrons to reach a lower energy state.

But in this case, without loosing electrons. The atoms are just getting weaker and becoming more concentrated (or smaller).

As this is happening simultaneously on a universal scale it is imperceptible to us.
Light traveling from one galaxy to another would also be subject to this reduction so would not undergo any visible change. From our perspective it would appear that the univers is expanding, but to the outside observer it is fading away.

Would that still produce the same result ?

11. Originally Posted by Martinaston
Would that still produce the same result ?
It would seem unlikely. Have you worked out any details and come up with testable predictions?

It sounds almost identical to forrest noble's idea. Unfortunately, he hasn't got any mathematics for his model. (Other than asserting, with no proof, that it gives the same results as general relativity.)

12. There is an inconsistency in there.

If atoms are becoming smaller on a universal scale, and you say light travelling from one galaxy to another would also be subject to this reduction, then what is happening to the distance to that galaxy? Is that distance remaining the same (to your outside observer), whilst the atoms in our rulers become smaller (and thus so do our rulers, so we actually measure the distance to increase!), or is the distance to that galaxy also shrinking (to your outside observer) along with everything else in order to keep the speed of light constant, in which case it would not reflect what we see, observationally.

You cannot have it both ways.

13. Originally Posted by Martinaston
Light traveling from one galaxy to another would also be subject to this reduction so would not undergo any visible change.
Hang on, that doesn't sound right... Shouldn't you say that light is not subject to this reduction; so we see it with a relatively longer wavelength (red shifted)?

14. Originally Posted by Martinaston
The atoms are just getting weaker and becoming more concentrated (or smaller).
Yes, that's precisely why the model doesn't work - the above would mean that the fine structure constant would have had to have a different value in the past, which is not the case as we know from such things as spectral lines of far away objects, and the Oklo natural fission reactor :

Natural nuclear fission reactor - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The other major problem with this model is that total energy must remain conserved - atoms somehow "loosing" energy would result in an increase in ambient temperature throughout the ( now static !!! ) universe, which is a violation of the second law of thermodynamics, and in any case not what we observe.
The third downfall of this is that the model cannot explain why there is a limit as to how far out we can see in the universe - the BB model provides a natural cut-off point, but the shrinking matter model proposes a static, everlasting universe, and thus we should be seeing objects far beyond the currently observed "horizon". Lastly then, the shrinking matter model cannot explain why objects appear more redshifted the further away they are.

There are other compelling reasons why this is a no-go, and as AlexG has rightly pointed out this model has been discussed in great detail on several occasions, and conclusively shown not to work.

15. Originally Posted by SpeedFreek
There is an inconsistency in there.

If atoms are becoming smaller on a universal scale, and you say light travelling from one galaxy to another would also be subject to this reduction, then what is happening to the distance to that galaxy? Is that distance remaining the same (to your outside observer), whilst the atoms in our rulers become smaller (and thus so do our rulers, so we actually measure the distance to increase!), or is the distance to that galaxy also shrinking (to your outside observer) along with everything else in order to keep the speed of light constant, in which case it would not reflect what we see, observationally.

You cannot have it both ways.

SpeedFreek
To the outside observer, the distance between galaxies would remain the same, So they would see them dissolve/fade away, not drift away.

16. Originally Posted by Strange
Originally Posted by Martinaston
Light traveling from one galaxy to another would also be subject to this reduction so would not undergo any visible change.
Hang on, that doesn't sound right... Shouldn't you say that light is not subject to this reduction; so we see it with a relatively longer wavelength (red shifted)?

Strange
What i should have put on the end of that is,
Light traveling from one galaxy to another would also be subject to this reduction so would not undergo any visible change "from what we observe today"
If light did not undergo this reduction then we would not recieve it, as per the Bohr model.

17. Originally Posted by Markus Hanke
Originally Posted by Martinaston
The atoms are just getting weaker and becoming more concentrated (or smaller).
Yes, that's precisely why the model doesn't work - the above would mean that the fine structure constant would have had to have a different value in the past, which is not the case as we know from such things as spectral lines of far away objects, and the Oklo natural fission reactor :

Natural nuclear fission reactor - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The other major problem with this model is that total energy must remain conserved - atoms somehow "loosing" energy would result in an increase in ambient temperature throughout the ( now static !!! ) universe, which is a violation of the second law of thermodynamics, and in any case not what we observe.
The third downfall of this is that the model cannot explain why there is a limit as to how far out we can see in the universe - the BB model provides a natural cut-off point, but the shrinking matter model proposes a static, everlasting universe, and thus we should be seeing objects far beyond the currently observed "horizon". Lastly then, the shrinking matter model cannot explain why objects appear more redshifted the further away they are.

There are other compelling reasons why this is a no-go, and as AlexG has rightly pointed out this model has been discussed in great detail on several occasions, and conclusively shown not to work.
Markus Hanke
Well not exactly, The atom would not be reducing down to a ground state from one classical period to the next, as such. Because the nucleus would also be reducing at the same rate, allowing the size of the electron orbits to remain linea with respect to the size of the nucleus.

Therefore making any change in the fine structure constant imperceptible to us.

As for the conservation of energy, i never stated that (or static).

For the second law of thermodynamics to apply your assuming the loss has to be heat.

As to how "far" we can see out into the universe, the only limit i know of is the instruments we use.

As for redshift, again, reduction gives the illusion of expansion.
Recession speed still applies.

As for other reasons, well if AlexG want's to throw his hand, thats his call.

18. Originally Posted by Martinaston
As for redshift, again, reduction gives the illusion of expansion.
Recession speed still applies.
I'm not sure I understand that. We see a linear relationship between distance and red-shift which is interpreted as increasing velocity with distance. You imply that you are keeping that relationship. But not expansion.

How can you have increasing recessional velocity in all directions but not have everything getting further apart? Or have I completely misunderstood what you are saying?

19. Sorry should clarify, I meant the recession speed of light. Giving you red shift. Not recession speed between galaxies.

20. Originally Posted by Martinaston
Sorry should clarify, I meant the recession speed of light. Giving you red shift. Not recession speed between galaxies.
I'm not sure what you mean by "recession speed of light" ... you are proposing a variable speed of light depending on how far away the source is? or something? And what would cause this? Is this supposed to be a direct result of your "shrinking matter" idea?

21. Originally Posted by Martinaston
Light traveling from one galaxy to another would also be subject to this reduction so would not undergo any visible change "from what we observe today"
But we do see a change from what we observe today: red shift.

If light did not undergo this reduction then we would not recieve it, as per the Bohr model.
The Bohr model of the atom? What is the connection to receiving light from distant galaxies? (Apart from the fact we now know the Bohr model to be inaccurate.)

Sorry if I am missing the obvious. I think I need to come back to this with a fresh eye tomorrow.

22. Originally Posted by Martinaston
Because the nucleus would also be reducing at the same rate, allowing the size of the electron orbits to remain linea with respect to the size of the nucleus.
That is not possible, because neither the weak nor the strong nuclear forces scale that way, so the nucleus could not remain stable.
Even if they did, you would still get a change in the fine structure constant in order to keep the electron shells the same - remember, these are electrons, they don't move in orbits like planets do. We are talking quantum mechanics here !

As for the conservation of energy, i never stated that (or static).
That's the whole point of the model, isn't it ? You reject expansion, and substitute it with condensing matter. If you reject expansion, you get a static universe. Or what is it you are proposing, exactly ? Expanding universe and condensing matter ??

For the second law of thermodynamics to apply your assuming the loss has to be heat.
Not at all, the second law has nothing to do with heat per se, it concerns only entropy. That is why I said ambient temperature, and never mentioned heat. Any form of radiation will increase temperature, even if it is not heat.

As to how "far" we can see out into the universe, the only limit i know of is the instruments we use.
That is totally wrong. The limit is set only by the time it takes light to reach us.

As for redshift, again, reduction gives the illusion of expansion.
Recession speed still applies.
Again, that is wrong, and also does not explain why the red shift increases with increasing distance, since the speed of light is constant.
And what do you mean by "recession speed" ?

as per the Bohr model.
You realise that the Bohr model is only a very rough approximation to the real thing, do you ?

23. Originally Posted by Martinaston
Is the universe expanding or is all the matter within it undergoing a uniform condensation, creating the illusion of expansion ?
Martinaston,

If the universe were condensing most galaxies would be blueshifted instead of redshifted which they are not. The only way that I can think of that could create the illusion that the universe is expanding is if matter, not the universe, was very slowly becoming smaller at the same rate as the universe appears to be expanding. This seemingly would be indistinguishable from an expanding universe. The rate of this diminution would need to be at a rate that would decrease the volume of matter by about half every 6 billion years.

Fred Hoyle and Jayant Narlikar made such a proposal about 1965 which they called the variable mass model, whereby electrons get closer to the nucleus of atoms over time.

24. Ok here's an idea. Say the massive black hole in the center of a galaxy is consuming space/time at a growing rate. Literally streching the space between galaxies faster and faster, causing the illusion of dark energy and red light shift. Been thinking this for years. Why would it be ruled out?

25. Originally Posted by BrandonGibbs
Ok here's an idea. Say the massive black hole in the center of a galaxy is consuming space/time at a growing rate. Literally streching the space between galaxies faster and faster, causing the illusion of dark energy and red light shift. Been thinking this for years. Why would it be ruled out?
Because it hasn't even consumed the stars in it's own galaxy. How can it be having the effect you describe between the galaxies without having the same effect inside its own galaxy?

26. Time. The perception of time. Is there an exact mph the galaxies are expanding? To even calculate the possibility? Could it be a very small expantion barely growing faster (relative to us)?

27. Galaxies aren't expanding. The gaps in between galactic clusters are expanding at an average of around 70 km/s/Mpc, which is 70 km/s per 3.26 million light-years.

28. Right. I never ment to imply our galaxy itself was expanding, but slightly shrinking as the massive black hole cosumes space time. An the closer we get to the center of our galaxy our perception of time slightly changes. in better words, galaxies aren't physicly moving much, but pulling in space like a funnel, I just need to write a book to fully explain it lol

29. You know that a black hole doesn't "suck in" stuff any more than anything else with gravity, don't you?

For instance, if the Sun were to somehow become a black hole, the Earth would continue to orbit at the same distance as before, and would not be sucked in.

The effects of a black hole only affect stuff that is very close to the black hole, due to the inverse square law of gravity.

30. Originally Posted by SpeedFreek
You know that a black hole doesn't "suck in" stuff any more than anything else with gravity, don't you?

For instance, if the Sun were to somehow become a black hole, the Earth would continue to orbit at the same distance as before, and would not be sucked in.

The effects of a black hole only affect stuff that is very close to the black hole, due to the inverse square law of gravity.
Excellent reminder, SpeedFreek, and one that should probably be issued periodically. For some reason, there are many people who think that a black hole is some kind of a Galactic Electrolux. They forget, or perhaps never knew, that a black hole exerts the same gravitational force as any other mass of the same value (at any radius beyond the mass, natch).

31. the universe will expand forever, due to dark energy.

32. Possibly. But it's too soon to tell and not all factors have been discovered.

33. black hole cosumes space time
Space-time is not some material substance that can be "consumed". Furthermore, since there is energy associated with the vacuum, this would violate the law of energy conservation.

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