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Thread: SPLIT : Glenn Jacobs' Personal Theory

  1. #1 SPLIT : Glenn Jacobs' Personal Theory 
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    First they tell us that the gravity is so strong in a Black Hole that not even light can get out.

    They tell us that even if all the matter in a Black Hole were turned into energy, still, nothing would get out.

    (This seems mighty strange, because if the matter were turned into energy, there would be nothing left to, um, "generate" the gravity.)

    Then they tell us that until 13.7 Billion years ago, on October 23, at 9:37 AM, all the stuff in the universe was all compacted into a sphere the size of a golf-ball (or maybe a basketball?) -- and had always been -- and then, " S P R O I N G ! " it all came apart at escape velocity.

    So far, so good. Realizing this is a theory to account for lots and lots of things -- like the galaxies moving apart -- and it cannot be proven nor disproven.

    Only, if one Black Hole cannot come apart due to its gravity, how can this singularity, this Mother Of All Black Holes, containing all the quarks and electrons in the Universe come apart?

    - - - - - -

    Now here's my secret theory: (Not theory. Not even hypothesis. Somewhat between a wild guess and a notion.)

    Space has always been right where it is now, which is to say, all over the place.

    Time has always been marching on.

    Matter has always existed. Quarks, maybe?

    Energy has always existed. Anything moving is energy, right?

    Y'all with me up to this point?

    As quarks and electrons do their thing and stick together, they empty out vast stretches of space to come together to form those primeval hydrogen clouds and proto-star accumulation disks. This might account for the known fact that galaxies are moving apart. They have cleaned out the space between them, and the kinetic energy of their component parts hitting them might be part of their movement away from each other. (That is not how I wanted to explain it. Um, ah, if we imagine an immense cloud of BBs going in random directions, those going in a given direction impacting on proto-whatchimacallits found in those directions will impart kinetic energy in those directions, and the net result will be to move the accumulating disks away from each other because the BBs will be smacking them from in between. DRAT! In my mind it sounded reasonable.)


    Intelligence has always existed. (All right. That one might be a little hard to prove. That might be a weak link in this theory (Not theory. Guess.) even if the intelligence thing turns out to be true.)

    All right then, we all know intelligence exists. Either it is one with the primeval principles of the Universe, or it is the product of a functioning brain.

    Either way, the Universe (as we see it from close up here five feet above mean terrain level) is the greatest "Bootstrap" operation that could be imagined.


    Last edited by Glenn Jacobs; December 16th, 2013 at 11:34 AM. Reason: Remove troublesome unscientific word "Theory"
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  3. #2  
    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn Jacobs View Post
    (This seems mighty strange, because if the matter were turned into energy, there would be nothing left to, um, "generate" the gravity.)
    Oops.
    E=mc2.
    Therefore E/c2=m.
    Get enough energy and it has enough mass to generate gravity.
    (As Mercury shows).

    Now here's my secret theory
    You're using "theory" in a non-scientific sense.
    What you mean is "guess".

    Intelligence has always existed. (All right. That one might be a little hard to prove.
    You mean you can prove all the other claims?


    Last edited by Dywyddyr; December 13th, 2013 at 07:51 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn Jacobs View Post
    (This seems mighty strange, because if the matter were turned into energy, there would be nothing left to, um, "generate" the gravity.)
    I am not sure if you realise this, but all forms of energy are a source of gravity; the source term in the field equations is not just "mass", but the full stress-energy-momentum tensor.

    Only, if one Black Hole cannot come apart due to its gravity, how can this singularity, this Mother Of All Black Holes, containing all the quarks and electrons in the Universe come apart?
    The Big Bang wasn't a gravitational black hole; the geometry of these two is very different.
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    MODERATOR ACTION : Personal theories don't belong into the main "Astronomy" section, so I have split off Glenn's post into a new, dedicated discussion thread.
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    It's imaginative Jim, but it's not science. I recommend learning more of the basics before indulging in speculation.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn Jacobs View Post
    (This seems mighty strange, because if the matter were turned into energy, there would be nothing left to, um, "generate" the gravity.)
    The energy would generate exactly the same amount of gravity as the mass.

    Then they tell us that until 13.7 Billion years ago, on October 23, at 9:37 AM, all the stuff in the universe was all compacted into a sphere the size of a golf-ball (or maybe a basketball?) -- and had always been -- and then, " S P R O I N G ! " it all came apart at escape velocity.
    Who told you that? Sounds like some sort of fairy story. I don't blame you for doubting it.

    Realizing this is a theory to account for lots and lots of things -- like the galaxies moving apart -- and it cannot be proven nor disproven.
    If it couldn't be disproven, then it wouldn't be a theory.

    Only, if one Black Hole cannot come apart due to its gravity, how can this singularity, this Mother Of All Black Holes, containing all the quarks and electrons in the Universe come apart?
    There was never any such thing, so why worry about it.

    Now here's my secret theory:
    It would probably be better if it stayed secret.
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    An Australian Bushman (as intelligent as a person of any other race, but lacking a background in traffic) stands beside a freeway, astounded at the cars going eighty miles an hour in both directions.

    He invents some instruments to be able to quantify this strange happening, takes measurements -- and concludes that it is the nature of positive cars to go east at incomprehensible velocities, and for negative cars to go west at that same speed. Also that there are infinite and equal numbers of negative and positive cars.

    Well, here we are, all college-educated and cosmopolitan and mature and liberated and with great backgrounds in the sciences. We stand here with our scientific instruments and observe that the galaxies are receding from one another at wonderfully great speeds and that the farther away they are, the faster they are going.

    We conclude that the galaxies were right together at some earlier time, and that they were really tightly squeezed into a pinpoint at some time before that. Um, ah, for ALL time before that. No. Worse. That there was no time nor space before that.

    I did a no-no. My bad. I called my wild guess a theory. Naughty, naughty! Slap my hand. What follows is not a theory, nor even a hypothesis. It is derived by the well-known SWEG method -- the Scientific Wild-Eyed Guess. No. Cancel "Scientific" What follows is a "WEG" -- a Wild-Eyed Guess.

    Instead of starting out with a singularity that was always there and one day unfolded to produce Time, Space, Matter and Energy (and Intelligence!) --

    Space was always where it is now -- all over the place. No limit. No curving back on itself. No tricks. It is exactly what it looks like, and it always was. (No fair asking how it got there. You don't let me ask how the "singularlity" got there.)

    Time was always "marching on". (As the old-time philosophers answered the hard questions, "Because that is its very nature".) Always. Without beginning. Time just IS.

    Matter was always there. (Just like the BBT "singulalrity" was always there. Don't ask.) Very probably in a simpler form. ("In the beginning there were positive and negative electrons and six flavors of quarks.")

    Energy was always there. A quark drifting aimlessly thru the void (has/is/exhibits) energy.

    Are you still with me? (Did I mention the flat-earth, phlogistine and aether? No? Well, it is because we have gone beyond them.)

    Now we come to the really wild, nut-case item: Intelligence.

    Bear with me for a dozen words here. Intelligence always existed -- co-eternal with Time, Space, Matter and Energy. That's YOU.
    Last edited by Glenn Jacobs; December 26th, 2013 at 10:47 AM. Reason: Correct a spelling.
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    Me again. I forgot to mention the force that moves the galaxies apart.

    Those fundamental subatomic particles that are all over the place have energy. They don't just sit there like frozen lumps of subatomitry. They move at random velocities in random directions.

    Eventually some of them hit things. Rather more than random chance might indicate, because they are drawn by gravity and many of them bye 'n' bye hit stars and planets and other sky-thingies. We all remember the drawings of angels pushing planets around their orbits. No angels. Just little bitty thingies whacking into them. Since they move at random, from random locations, the ones going east bang into objects on the east -- and the ones going west run into things on the west. A quark hitting a star doesn't impart much momentum to it, but there are bunches and bunches of them and they just keep coming and coming.

    Furthermore, the fundamental particles have always tended to lump together and make hydrogen and stars and so on -- so that may explain how new stars come about in the spaces between other stars -- and maybe even in spaces between galaxies.
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    Strange,

    Thank you for your prompt answer.

    I didn't write that the universe never changes. Just that there is infinite Time, Infinite Space and infinite Matter/Energy, which were always there.

    New stars are formed of accumulations of matter. Old stars may nova or shrink down to pulsars or just grow cold and become traffic hazards.

    A forming star may attract most everything within a thousand cubic light years to itself, including hydrogen, dust, left-over fragments of long-blown-up stars and old candy wrappers or whatever. A million million new stars in a given space between the old, established galaxies will make a new galaxy themselves and will eventually look like they have always been there.

    Old, dead planets may crash into what is left of their stars -- or accumulate so much trash that their gravity begins to attract and hold hydrogen until they grow to become stars themselves.

    Only, as King Solomon wrote, "There is nothing new under the sun" -- or anywhere else. The Universe is not "steady state" but whatever is there now is very much like what was there a kazillion years ago.

    - - - - - -

    You are right. I have no evidence for eternal intelligences. It all comes from a yearning to be an eternal being myself -- in an eternal universe. I realize that the prevalent understanding is that intelligence is a temporary product of a temporary functioning brain. What a pity!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn Jacobs View Post
    Me again. I forgot to mention the force that moves the galaxies apart.
    Which means they must have once been closer together.

    Since they move at random, from random locations, the ones going east bang into objects on the east -- and the ones going west run into things on the west.
    So, overall no net force and no net motion.

    Note that if you are going to replace the big bang theory then you will have to come up with alternative explanations for all this evidence: Evidence for the Big Bang

    You are also contradicting general relativity which is one of the most extensively tested scientific theories.

    Good luck with those two challenges.
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    Dearly Beloved Strange,

    Did I write that the randomly-moving primeval particles hit things from random directions?

    That would not move them.

    Oh. It must have been in another thread . . .

    All right, here we go again. Air pressure consists in teeny-tiny atoms of air banging on the back of the blow-gun dart and making it move.

    Cosmic pressure (I just now made up that very scientific term!) consists of random particles coming from the space between two galaxies. Although they go in random directions, the ones that go east may hit something in a galaxy to the east. The ones that go west may hit something in a galaxy to the west. Thus these two are pushed apart. A Beauty Quark hitting a star is a statistical zero. But they don't come by ones nor by dozens but by unimaginably immense numbers, and they keep coming for billions of years. (13.7 billion years at last count!)

    The Big Bang Theory starts them out moving apart at escape velocity the instant they flash into being, like a grenade starts its fragments out at about the speed of sound the very instant they become fragments. This could be called the Low Pressure Theory, because it is about a gentle push -- continued over 13.7 billion years.

    Of course, the cosmic pressure between Galaxy East and Galaxy Even Farther East pushes back westward on Galaxy East, and this exists between every galaxy and every other galaxy.

    Every galaxy is pushing away at every other galaxy with just barely more pressure than they are drawn together by gravity.

    And there you have a universe moving apart at escape velocity.

    All those primeval particles don't just push galaxies, but lump together and make new stars and new galaxies between the old ones.

    And there you have a very old, yet ever-renewing Universe.

    And if you don't believe it, just ASK me!
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    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn Jacobs View Post
    Although they go in random directions, the ones that go east may hit something in a galaxy to the east. The ones that go west may hit something in a galaxy to the west. Thus these two are pushed apart.
    Rubbish.
    Unless you're also positing nothing to the East of the Eastward galaxy etc.

    A Beauty Quark hitting a star is a statistical zero. But they don't come by ones nor by dozens but by unimaginably immense numbers, and they keep coming for billions of years. (13.7 billion years at last count!)
    If the numbers are unimaginably immense why is it statistically zero for one to hit a star?

    The Big Bang Theory starts them out moving apart at escape velocity the instant they flash into being, like a grenade starts its fragments out at about the speed of sound the very instant they become fragments. This could be called the Low Pressure Theory, because it is about a gentle push -- continued over 13.7 billion years.

    Of course, the cosmic pressure between Galaxy East and Galaxy Even Farther East pushes back westward on Galaxy East, and this exists between every galaxy and every other galaxy.

    Every galaxy is pushing away at every other galaxy with just barely more pressure than they are drawn together by gravity.

    And there you have a universe moving apart at escape velocity.

    All those primeval particles don't just push galaxies, but lump together and make new stars and new galaxies between the old ones.

    And there you have a very old, yet ever-renewing Universe.

    And if you don't believe it, just ASK me!
    Clueless drivel.
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    Inane nonsensical rambling.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn Jacobs View Post
    Cosmic pressure (I just now made up that very scientific term!) consists of random particles coming from the space between two galaxies. Although they go in random directions, the ones that go east may hit something in a galaxy to the east. The ones that go west may hit something in a galaxy to the west. Thus these two are pushed apart. A Beauty Quark hitting a star is a statistical zero. But they don't come by ones nor by dozens but by unimaginably immense numbers, and they keep coming for billions of years. (13.7 billion years at last count!)

    Of course, the cosmic pressure between Galaxy East and Galaxy Even Farther East pushes back westward on Galaxy East, and this exists between every galaxy and every other galaxy.
    If it exists between every galaxy, then every galaxy would have the same force on all sides and so would not move.

    More importantly, what evidence do you have for this idea?

    What quantitative (i.e. numerical, mathematical) predictions does this theory make that can be tested against observation?

    What about all the other evidence that supports the big bang model; how does your idea explain those?

    The Big Bang Theory starts them out moving apart at escape velocity the instant they flash into being, like a grenade starts its fragments out at about the speed of sound the very instant they become fragments.
    No it doesn't. You really ought to learn a little bit about the theory you are criticising.

    And there you have a universe moving apart at escape velocity.
    Please demonstrate that your mythical particles produce the observed distance-redshift.

    And if you don't believe it, just ASK me!
    I see no reason to believe a series of assertions with no evidence.
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    1. Wrong. Astronomical tonnages of these itty-bitty thingies per second (TPS) hitting a star for several billion years will propel it. This Cosmic Pressure will move galaxies apart. The Universe does not have sides on it to contain this pressure nor this movement. Every galaxy is pressed away from every other galaxy, and we can see that they move.

    2.. I called one quark hitting a star a zero because I don't know any number small enough to express it. It is much smaller than a mosquito landing on an elephant, and I don't know that number either.

    Actually I went out there and put a strain gauge on it. (sarcasm!) The gauge read zero.

    3. I am greatly encouraged to find that you serious scientists don't really buy into that singularity jazz. It was wonderful to read today several of you tiptoeing around that part, and stating that at this time the Universe behaved as tho it had sprung from a point source.

    4. I am sure Strange made a typo and meant to write, "If it were to be disproven, it wouldn't be a theory." No. Wait. He meant, "If it couldn't be disproven it would be fact, not theory."

    5. Yes, the galaxies are observed to be moving apart at a remarkable clip. They must, indeed, have been closer together last week, last year, when the earth was young, before the iron and stuff fell together to form the earth. Likewise, new stars are observed to be forming in the spaces left vacant by that movement.

    6. "Clueless Drivel," "Rubbish" and "Inane Nonsensical Rambling" must mean "Different From What We Think."

    7. "Mythical particles"?! Are you claiming that the spaces between galaxies are absolute vacuums? No subatomic particles there? No dust? No hydrogen? No quarks in six flavors? No positive nor negative electrons? No fragments from long-blown-up stars? Or that these particles are known to be totally without energy? No. You are not saying that. You must be saying that they don't move in random directions and at random velocities or that none of them hit stars. No. You know better. You are saying that they hit at random and so do not create cosmic pressure. But since the Universe is not contained in a tank, the net pressure is always outward.

    8. Good parting shot! I cannot go out there and demonstrate that the existing particles produce the observed distance red-shift.

    Neither can you go out there and demonstrate that the Universe began with escape velocity.

    9. I am absolutely HONORED that all of you would attempt to educate me -- an obvious fanatic -- on the intricacies of the motion of the galaxies. Thank you. THANK you!

    You have taken a lot of your time to guide a raging Creationist. I really DO appreciate it.
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    Repeating utter rubbish doesn't make it true. Do you have any support for this crap or are you just going to repeat your inane drivel over and over again?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn Jacobs View Post
    1. Wrong. Astronomical tonnages of these itty-bitty thingies per second (TPS) hitting a star for several billion years will propel it.
    No.

    2.. I called one quark hitting a star a zero because I don't know any number small enough to express it. It is much smaller than a mosquito landing on an elephant, and I don't know that number either.
    Wrong - by YOUR OWN ARGUMENT it's astronomically LARGE.

    3. I am greatly encouraged to find that you serious scientists don't really buy into that singularity jazz.
    What?

    4. I am sure Strange made a typo
    No he didn't.

    Likewise, new stars are observed to be forming in the spaces left vacant by that movement.
    What?

    6. "Clueless Drivel," "Rubbish" and "Inane Nonsensical Rambling" must mean "Different From What We Think."
    No: it means exactly what it says.

    7. "Mythical particles"?! Are you claiming that the spaces between galaxies are absolute vacuums? No subatomic particles there? No dust? No hydrogen? No quarks in six flavors? No positive nor negative electrons? No fragments from long-blown-up stars? Or that these particles are known to be totally without energy? No. You are not saying that. You must be saying that they don't move in random directions and at random velocities or that none of them hit stars. No. You know better. You are saying that they hit at random and so do not create cosmic pressure.
    No, he's saying that your particles are mythical because they don't behave the way real ones do.

    But since the Universe is not contained in a tank, the net pressure is always outward.
    Bollocks.

    9. I am absolutely HONORED that all of you would attempt to educate me -- an obvious loon -- on the intricacies of the motion of the galaxies.
    FIFY.

    You have taken a lot of your time to guide a raging Creationist.
    That explains much of the ignorance.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn Jacobs View Post
    1. Wrong. Astronomical tonnages of these itty-bitty thingies per second (TPS) hitting a star for several billion years will propel it. This Cosmic Pressure will move galaxies apart.
    Please show the calculations to support this claim.

    2.. I called one quark hitting a star a zero because I don't know any number small enough to express it. It is much smaller than a mosquito landing on an elephant, and I don't know that number either.
    So you are basing your "theory" on something you don't know anything about and can't quantify? Not science.

    Actually I went out there and put a strain gauge on it. (sarcasm!) The gauge read zero.

    3. I am greatly encouraged to find that you serious scientists don't really buy into that singularity jazz. It was wonderful to read today several of you tiptoeing around that part, and stating that at this time the Universe behaved as tho it had sprung from a point source.
    I have no idea what that means.

    4. I am sure Strange made a typo and meant to write, "If it were to be disproven, it wouldn't be a theory." No. Wait. He meant, "If it couldn't be disproven it would be fact, not theory."
    No, I meant: "if you can't disprove it, it isn't a theory". You don't seem to know what the word "theory" means.

    If you cannot define a test that will shows that your idea is wrong, then it isn't a scientific theory. It is just mindless speculation (and therefore of no interest).

    Likewise, new stars are observed to be forming in the spaces left vacant by that movement.
    Citation required.

    Neither can you go out there and demonstrate that the Universe began with escape velocity.
    Of course it didn't. Please stop making stuff up.

    You have taken a lot of your time to guide a raging Creationist.
    Ah, that would explain the IDiocy.

    I would have thought a creationist would like the big bang and its popular (but erroneous) implication of creation.
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    Actually, I think I said everything I wanted to say.

    I suppose I was hoping for a higher level of conversation with the lot of you than "Crap," "Inane Rubbish" and "Drivel". -- and to be put in a corner.

    It is obvious that something is moving the galaxies apart. I no doubt mis-guessed it. But I am pleased to see that not all of you believe that the Universe started right out like that, going in all directions at escape velocity. I would like to hear from any of you any other ideas as to what causes this phenomenom.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn Jacobs View Post
    I suppose I was hoping for a higher level of conversation with the lot of you than "Crap," "Inane Rubbish" and "Drivel".
    Then you shouldn't have posted unsupported crap.
    And, possibly even more importantly, you shouldn't have repeated it when it was pointed out as being unsupported crap.

    Actually, I think I said everything I wanted to say
    Well my fingers are crossed that that's the case.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn Jacobs View Post
    But I am pleased to see that not all of you believe that the Universe started right out like that, going in all directions at escape velocity.
    Metric expansion is not a belief ( unlike Creationism ), it is an empirically observable process - that is why I provided the link over on the other thread for your to read.
    And it has nothing to do with "escape velocity".
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn Jacobs View Post
    I suppose I was hoping for a higher level of conversation with the lot of you than "Crap," "Inane Rubbish" and "Drivel". -- and to be put in a corner.
    I was hoping for a higher level of discussion than, "here's what I think even though I have no evidence for it and it is not a scientific theory".
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    Sometimes education is hard to take. Nevertheless, I thank you for your great efforts to educate (and civilize!) me.

    Perhaps I have some education for y'all.

    Here's another, um, "Parable".

    Three men who had never heard of horses nor of horse-racing stood by a grandstand and watched the horses and jockeys thundering by, greatly impressed by the spectacle.

    From their position they could not see the beginning nor end of the races.

    They improvised scientific instruments from discarded popsicle sticks and beer-bottle caps, and took measurements on race after race.

    They came up with three Laws of Running Horses.

    1. That the faster horses were getting ahead of the slower ones and would be even farther ahead at the end of the race.

    2. That, extrapolating their positions backward in time, they had all started each race at the same time and from the same distance "back there".

    3. That all the horses had been kind of overlapped and all-in-one and occupying the same physical space when they started each race.

    The moral to the story is that no matter how exquisite the mathematical model, when it leads to a ludicrous conclusion at T=0, it is, indeed, as some of you have said, time to decide that the model is only good back to T=1 or T=one billion or something.

    Come on, now -- that "singularity" bit is an inside joke that leaked out to the popular press, isn't it?
    Last edited by Glenn Jacobs; December 14th, 2013 at 11:11 PM. Reason: separating a paragraph
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn Jacobs View Post
    Here's another, um, "Parable".
    Well that was an utterly meaningless piece of nonsense...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn Jacobs View Post
    Here's another, um, "Parable".
    This is a science forum. How about some evidence or theoretical justification for your ideas?

    Or, as a crazy alternative, why not ask some questions about the parts of the big bang model you don't understand (most of it, apparently).

    Come on, now -- that "singularity" bit is an inside joke that leaked out to the popular press, isn't it?
    Close. It is more like "we don't know what happened that early" but the popular press don't like that and prefer to go with silly headlines.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn Jacobs View Post
    Come on, now -- that "singularity" bit is an inside joke that leaked out to the popular press, isn't it?
    The singularity is what happens if we attempt to extrapolate the theory ( GR ) beyond its domain of applicability. GR is a purely classical model in that it does not account for any quantum effects - but we know of course that quantum effects are important in the early universe. Once we have a model of quantum gravity ( currently a very active area of research ), we can reasonably expect the mathematical singularity to disappear.
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    Marcus Hanke and Strange,

    Thank you for your reasoned answers and for your patience with me.

    Technical question: What are quantum effects and quantum gravity? (Keep it to words of one syllable: I just yesterday first heard that energy generates gravity.)

    Glenn
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn Jacobs View Post
    What are quantum effects and quantum gravity?
    Quantum effects just means the variety of (often counter-intuitive) effects that occur when you look at things at very small scales. Like even light being quantised, things not having a well defined position/momentum, or the fact that behaviour is probabilistic rather than purely deterministic, and so on.

    Quantum gravity just refers to a theory that would combine our current best theory of time-space-gravity (General Relativity) with quantum theory. They are currently irreconcilable in various ways.
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    Strange,

    Thank you for the reply.

    Let me see if I understand anything you just told me about quantum effects:

    Light acts somewhat like water coming out of a firehose. But when a single photon is considered, it's kind of a crapshoot where it goes and what it does.

    I have never understood a thing about gravity except that is is proportional to mass and inversely proportional to some power of distance, center to center. Only yesterday someone told me that energy generates gravity, too. Would "quantumizing" it be to consider it neutron by neutron?
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    When I hear science metaphors, I cringe. It's what they did in Star Trek to get you to not question their phoney baloney science.
    "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." -Calvin
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    Flick Montana,

    The fire hose? The horses? Both?

    I realize y'all speak in mathematical sentences and eat equations for breakfast.

    That stuff just mystifies me. At the age of 72, I am just a little baby scientist, eating pablum instead of corn on the cob.

    Glenn

    But then, it is the metaphor about the starting place that brought the Big Bang Theory so much ridicule.
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    I just don't like, "quantum gravity is like..." instead of "quantum gravity is..."

    I know metaphors are often used to help someone get a basic grasp on something and I can appreciate that. It's just a nail-on-a-chalk-board thing to me.
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    Strange,

    You got me to thinking about theory. As I understand your statement, it does no good to make an experiment that backs up a theory, because ten thousand anecdotes in its favor do not prove it. However, since a single experiment that solidly contradicts a theory -- blows it clear out of the water. " Back to the drawing board!"

    The person who thinks he has a theory has to come up with an experiment that would prove his theory is bunk (if such were the result). Then he has to let the whole world try to prove him wrong. If they can't, then his wild guess gets raised to a working hypothesis. Then, given a generation or two more without being disproved, it might get promoted to theory.

    Glenn
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    I just don't like, "quantum gravity is like..." instead of "quantum gravity is..."

    I know metaphors are often used to help someone get a basic grasp on something and I can appreciate that. It's just a nail-on-a-chalk-board thing to me.
    Metaphors are like nails on a blackboard?
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    Flick Montana,

    Then, how about, "Quantum gravity is the pull that a single neutron or proton has on another. Regular gravity is made up of quantums (quanti?) of gravity from billions of tons of them."

    Closer?

    Glenn
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    Nails on the blackboard. A device for getting students' attention.

    You put an actual nail in the chalkboard before class.

    Then you let them watch you draw a pretend nail in the same place and astound them all by "hanging your cap on it".
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    I just don't like, "quantum gravity is like..." instead of "quantum gravity is..."

    I know metaphors are often used to help someone get a basic grasp on something and I can appreciate that. It's just a nail-on-a-chalk-board thing to me.
    Metaphors are like nails on a blackboard?
    Okay okay. Here are my internets. Happy now?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn Jacobs View Post
    Light acts somewhat like water coming out of a firehose. But when a single photon is considered, it's kind of a crapshoot where it goes and what it does.
    Very crudely. No, let me rephrase that: very, very, very crudely.

    For some of the more surprising aspects of quantum effects, you might want to read up on the double slit experiment (the single particle version): Double-slit experiment - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Or entanglement: Quantum entanglement - Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Although, it is important to note that when you read popular accounts of these, you will often be told things that aren't true - particularly with respect to entanglement, where many journalists describe it as "faster than light communication" (that should be grounds for instant dismissal). The Wikipedia article seems quite good in this respect.

    I have never understood a thing about gravity except that is is proportional to mass and inversely proportional to some power of distance, center to center. Only yesterday someone told me that energy generates gravity, too.
    I am pleased to see you have moved on from asserting an idea rather forcefully (even though, as you admit, it is based on little knowledge of the subject) to wanting to learn. I expect others could recommend some good popular books on the subject.

    Would "quantumizing" it be to consider it neutron by neutron?
    Almost. It is more about having a theory to predict effects at very small scales or very high energies (or both). The problem, ultimately, comes down to the fact that theories of gravity (general relativity) requires space and time to be smooth and continuous) whereas quantum theories tend to assume everything is discrete (i.e. there are smallest possible steps).
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    "Very, very, very crudely." Ah! Progress. The first approximation was only "crude-cubed". I shall read the reading you recommended and see if I can make a crude-squared second approximation.

    Maybe instead of starting out my rant with "Here's my theory" I should have just ended every sentence with a question mark.

    Thank you for the free education.
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    Strange,

    I'm back.

    More crudity.

    I read Wikipedia.

    I looked at the enlightening illustrations for the double-slit experiment.

    I remembered seeing wood-grain-like interference-patterns between two layers of glass.

    (If something ain't a hoss an' ain't a cow, maybe it's an antelope?)

    Maybe mass cannot be transposed into energy. Maybe mass IS energy?

    TECHNICAL QUESTION: Could the very edges of the slits be interfering with the straight-line movement of particles or waves? Could the very gravity of the slit edges be turning the moving particles? Heaven forbid the crudity of this question, but could waves and particles bounce off the slit edges? If one photon or electron at a time seems to interfere with itself does that indicate that something ELSE is interfering with it? (In the old days we would have just joked that the Phlogistine caused this effect.)

    The probability thing you said was not to say, This photon will probably land right HERE. It was to say that of the next thousand photos (one at a time) they will form this interference pattern.

    I hope to be down to crudity-squared with this second approximation.

    Glenn
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn Jacobs View Post
    Maybe instead of starting out my rant with "Here's my theory" I should have just ended every sentence with a question mark.
    It does seem that there are quite a lot of people who like to ask questions by making statements!

    Thank you for the free education.
    You're welcome!

    I just remembered a good example of quantum behaviour that was used in an introduction on the radio recently.

    Imagine a sheet of glass which is acting as a "half mirror" - in other words, you can see through it but you can also see a reflection in it. In classic terms (light as a wave) this is easy enough: the wave splits in half; one half goes through the glass, the other half bounces off the surface.

    But when you think of this in terms of photons of light it gets more interesting. Each photon of light has to act as an indivisible whole. They are all identical. And each photon is also completely independent of all the others. So how come half get reflected and half transmitted? It comes down to probabilities. Each photon has a 50% chance of being reflected or transmitted so, just from that probabilistic nature of photons we end up with the same result as the classical model.

    Now, it can get even more interesting. Under some circumstances, the amount of light reflected from the surface depends on the thickness. But how does each photon know how thick the glass is without going all the way through... (If you want to know more, look for videos of Feynman's QED lectures online - they are aimed at a non-technical audience so they are (relatively) easy to understand.)
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    The photons that hit point-first go right thru, but the ones that hit flat-side first bounce?

    The aether, Man! The aether!

    (Crude to the fourth power. Someone stop me!)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn Jacobs View Post
    I remembered seeing wood-grain-like interference-patterns between two layers of glass.
    That is a similar effect.

    Maybe mass cannot be transposed into energy. Maybe mass IS energy?
    Well, they have some properties in common. But they are very distinct (for example, mass tends to be localised in one place).

    Could the very edges of the slits be interfering with the straight-line movement of particles or waves?
    You do get some diffraction from the edges of slits but it is a much smaller effect than the interference pattern caused by the path through the two slits.

    Could the very gravity of the slit edges be turning the moving particles?
    Gravity does affect the path of light (look up gravitational lensing for more info). But it requires more mass than a metal sheet to have a detectable effect.

    Heaven forbid the crudity of this question, but could waves and particles bounce off the slit edges?
    They can, and probably do, but again it is a very small effect - most photons go through the slit unimpeded.

    If one photon or electron at a time seems to interfere with itself does that indicate that something ELSE is interfering with it?
    There are various ways of interpreting the result but I don't think that is one of them. The effect depends on the nature of the particle and nothing else. (A popular one is that the particle somehow goes through both slits - not keen on that myself.)

    The probability thing you said was not to say, This photon will probably land right HERE. It was to say that of the next thousand photos (one at a time) they will form this interference pattern.
    Exactly. Somehow the presence of the two slits changes the probability of where the photons will hits so that, after sufficient photons have arrived the pattern appears.
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    (Double-question-mark fore-and-aft)

    ??The photons/particles/waves are always interfering with each other in a random way??

    ??Running them thru the two slits removes some of the randomness?

    ??Ripples on the surface of water interfere with each other?? ??That isn't the same order of magnitude but is is the same sort of interference??

    ??Photons are some kin to light-waves?? ??A discrete particle could not go thru both slits at the same time?? ?? But a wave could?? ?? Are the little beasties both particles and waves at the same time?? ??And does this have to do with its origins in Northamptonshire??
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn Jacobs View Post
    ??The photons/particles/waves are always interfering with each other in a random way??
    Not entirely random. Quantum theory is able to calculate results with incredible accuracy. It is said to be the most accurate theory we have. However, some things can only be determined as a probability of some event happening. But when you sum up the probabilities over a large time and/or a large number of particles you get very predictable behaviour.

    ??Ripples on the surface of water interfere with each other?? ??That isn't the same order of magnitude but is is the same sort of interference??
    It is an exact equivalent; you always have the possibility of interference when you have waves. Have you ever heard two notes that are very close (like when tuning a guitar)? You hear "beats" - that is the two notes interfering with each other.

    ??Photons are some kin to light-waves?? ??A discrete particle could not go thru both slits at the same time?? ?? But a wave could?? ?? Are the little beasties both particles and waves at the same time??
    Yes, exactly. They are not little balls and they are not waves. They are both. Or, more precisely, they have some properties that correspond to things we think of as particles and waves in the big world. (And some extra properties that are quite unfamiliar to us.)

    ??And does this have to do with its origins in Northamptonshire??
    Good question.
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    One day I asked a Priest a hard ecclesiastical question. He answered, "That's a Holy Mystery, Son."


    I shall have to regard the facts of the propagation of light as a Holy Mystery.

    TECHNICAL QUESTION: Do the longer (radio) waves sometimes act like particles also?

    TECHNICAL QUESTION: Light as waves gets dimmer at a distance. When light is doing its photon thing, does each photon get dimmer at a distance? Do the photons just get farther apart?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn Jacobs View Post
    TECHNICAL QUESTION: Do the longer (radio) waves sometimes act like particles also?
    Radio waves are just light. Light consists of photons. Photons have a particle character.

    TECHNICAL QUESTION: Light as waves gets dimmer at a distance. When light is doing its photon thing, does each photon get dimmer at a distance? Do the photons just get farther apart?
    Light gets dimmer because its energy is spread over an increasingly larger area as it propagates. However, the total energy remains constant (each photon retains whatever energy it started with), unless it encounters something and is absorbed, etc.
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    TECHNICAL QUESTIONS: As a wave, the wave-front gets exceedingly broad in a mile or two, and the light is seen dimly.

    As particulate photons, so many billion per second from a given source, do the photons hit like BBs the same at a mile as at a foot, only much farther apart?

    Is that a quantum thing? Is each photon a quantum? If it gets there at all, does it have the same energy at a mile as at a foot?

    ?? Is this a whole different beast?? ?? Does it have a whole different nature than, say a proton or an electron in motion??

    ?? Do all light and radio and cosmic waves have the same nature as each other??

    ??Is the nature of these waves anything like the nature of the waves one makes in a flag-rope on or the frog-pond??
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn Jacobs View Post
    TECHNICAL QUESTIONS: As a wave, the wave-front gets exceedingly broad in a mile or two, and the light is seen dimly.

    As particulate photons, so many billion per second from a given source, do the photons hit like BBs the same at a mile as at a foot, only much farther apart?

    Is that a quantum thing? Is each photon a quantum? If it gets there at all, does it have the same energy at a mile as at a foot?
    Yes, each photon is a quantum and behaves identically at a foot or a mile.

    ?? Is this a whole different beast?? ?? Does it have a whole different nature than, say a proton or an electron in motion??
    They have some things in common (e.g. their wave-particle nature, the same probabilistic laws, etc). But details of their properties (charge, spin, mass, etc) are different.

    ?? Do all light and radio and cosmic waves have the same nature as each other??
    All light, radio, infra-red, gamma, X rays have the same form; they are all forms of electromagnetic radiation. They just have different frequency (the wave view) or energy (the particle view).

    ("Cosmic waves" isn't a thing.)

    ??Is the nature of these waves anything like the nature of the waves one makes in a flag-rope on or the frog-pond??
    Yes and no. All waves have cyclic, sine wave characteristics. However, waves in water, rope or air (sound) require a medium. But electromagnetic waves don't; they are effectively their own medium (*): the changing electric field part generates a magnetic field, which is changing. That changing magnetic component generates a changing electric field....

    (*) I have never thought of it that way before...
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    Cosmic waves ain't gamma waves? Cosmic rays ain't hard X-rays?

    Fifty years ago they told us there is no Phlogistine and no Aether. They told us that rockets don't need atmosphere to "push against". Now there are no cosmic rays? Times change.

    ??AH! These speed-of-light things are little photon BBs while they are crossing the vast empty light years, but when they see a double slit ahead, they shift to waves and back to BBs??

    (QUICK! Throw a net over me! I'm doing it again!)

    ??The wave is a changing electromagnetic field, and it does what such fields do and induces a current somewhat out of phase AHEAD OF ITSELF in the empty space, which generates a changing electromagnetic field which induces a changing current somewhat ahead of itself somewhat out of phase -- and it does it very quickly, not to say instantly, all the way from Andromeda to here. Then, when it sees photographic film in its path, it changes to little BBs -- um, ah, photons??

    ??When the wavefront gets so broad that it cannot sustain itself as a continuous sheet of whatchamacallitry, it separates.?? ??But it cannot separate infinitely, and when it has come apart as much as it can, each little bitty fragment of wavefront continues as a quantum, inseparable, photon??
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn Jacobs View Post
    Cosmic waves ain't gamma waves? Cosmic rays ain't hard X-rays?
    Cosmic rays are (usually) high energy protons. I think. Hang on a sec .... Ah, OK. "Protons and atomic nuclei" (*). So not really "rays", but they were named that when it wasn't known what they were.

    Fifty years ago they told us there is no Phlogistine and no Aether.
    But, of course, we have known that for a lot longer!

    They told us that rockets don't need atmosphere to "push against".
    Quite right!

    Now there are no cosmic rays? Times change.
    No! You misunderstand; it was purely the phrase "cosmic waves" I was commenting on. I didn't immediately make the connection to cosmic rays. (I can be a bit slow - and literal-minded - like that sometimes.)

    ??These speed-of-light things are little photon BBs while they are crossing the vast empty light years, but when they see a double slit ahead, they shift to waves and back to BBs??
    As you said before, it is probably better to think of them being both, at the same time. It just depends what we measure. If we measure something that is a property of waves then they will, not surprisingly, appear wavelike. If we measure something which is a property of particles, they wll appear particle-like. They just have some properties that we (as macroscopic humans) associate with both those things.

    ??The wave is a changing electromagnetic field, and it does what such fields do and induces a current somewhat out of phase AHEAD OF ITSELF in the empty space, which generates a changing electromagnetic field which induces a changing current somewhat ahead of itself somewhat out of phase -- and it does it very quickly, not to say instantly, all the way from Andromeda to here.
    Yeah. Kinda. But definitely not instantly. The waves / photons travel at a fixed speed (which, not surprisingly, we call "the speed of light"). And the oscillations happen at a rate dependent on the frequency of the wave or the energy of the photon (which are actually the same thing, expressed in different ways).

    Then, when it sees photographic film in its path, it changes to little BBs -- um, ah, photons??
    It doesn't change. But hitting a point on a film is one of the "particle-like" things. It takes an entire photon - no more, no less - to make a dot on the film. Einstein got his Nobel Prize for something very similar to this (the photoelectric effect) because it established without doubt that light is quantised (made up of photons).

    ??When the wavefront gets so broad that it cannot sustain itself as a continuous sheet of whatchamacallitry, it separates.?? ??But it cannot separate infinitely, and when it has come apart as much as it can, each little bitty fragment of wavefront continues as a quantum, inseparable, photon??
    Nah. It is always separated into photons. They just get less "dense" (more spread out) as the wavefront propagates.

    (*) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmic_ray
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    Put your fingers in your ears, Dr. Strange! I feel a parable coming on.



    A baseball is only a baseball.

    When it is in your hand it is a baseball.

    When it is clocked going ninety two miles an hour on the way to home plate is is a fastball.

    When it is noticed doing its physically-impossible sideways shuffle, it is a curveball.

    When it is found laying on the ground, it is a deadball.



    Maybe I should leave this line of study as a Holy Mystery.
    Last edited by Glenn Jacobs; December 29th, 2013 at 05:29 PM. Reason: Added paragraph spaces for easier reading.
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    zinjanthropos and RedPanda like this.
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    TECHNICAL QUESTION:

    Is one, um, wave, of light still considered a "wavefront" when it has become so difuse that the photons thereof are ninety-seven nautical miles apart in three-dimensional space?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn Jacobs View Post
    TECHNICAL QUESTION:

    Is one, um, wave, of light still considered a "wavefront" when it has become so difuse that the photons thereof are ninety-seven nautical miles apart in three-dimensional space?
    In the classical view, yes. This is compatible with the fact it might be made up of just two photons because we don't know (can't know) where those two photons are until we detect them.
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    TECHNICAL QUESTION: When light goes thru a dense filter are the photons that don't make it out, (A) extinguished, (B) attenuated, (C) snagged in the filter and stay there?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn Jacobs View Post
    TECHNICAL QUESTION: When light goes thru a dense filter are the photons that don't make it out, (A) extinguished, (B) attenuated, (C) snagged in the filter and stay there?
    They are absorbed ("snagged" I guess ?) by the atoms in the filter.
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    ??The Jello Theory??

    ??Each photon is like a blob of Jello, flung across the kitchen by an unappreciative child with a spoon??

    ??Each blob of Jello has the same approximate size, direction and velocity due to their common origin??

    ??Each blob jiggles as it goes, with a frequency determined by dimension and geometry??

    ??Unknown forces cause each blob to land much more often than random chance would indicate on clothing, carpet, curtains and the cat -- than on the vinyl-tile floor??

    TECHNICAL QUESTION: Is a photon of red light the same size, mass and frequency as every other photon of the same shade of red?

    TECHNICAL QUESTION: Is a photon of blue light the same size and mass as those red ones?

    TECHNICAL QUESTION: On a photographic plate, how big a dot does a photon make?

    TECHNICAL QUESTION: Compared to the mass of an electron, what is the mass of a photon?

    TECHNICAL QUESTION: Does a photon cease to exist, turn into something else, or just sit there when it is snagged (absorbed) by some atom?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn Jacobs View Post
    TECHNICAL QUESTION: Is a photon of red light the same size, mass and frequency as every other photon of the same shade of red?
    A photon is completely defined (I think) by one thing: it's frequency, energy and momentum. All photons with the same frequency/energy/momentum are identical.

    TECHNICAL QUESTION: Is a photon of blue light the same size and mass as those red ones?
    All photons have zero mass.

    TECHNICAL QUESTION: On a photographic plate, how big a dot does a photon make?
    It will be as big as the grain of silver that is changed by it. I'm not sure if photons themselves have a well defined size. The smallest 'dot' a photon could make would be one atom, I suppose.

    TECHNICAL QUESTION: Compared to the mass of an electron, what is the mass of a photon?
    The mass of a photon is zero. The mass of an electron is about 9x10-31kg

    TECHNICAL QUESTION: Does a photon cease to exist, turn into something else, or just sit there when it is snagged (absorbed) by some atom?
    It ceases to exist; it is turned into some other form of energy, typically raising an electron to a higher energy level in that atom.
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    It took me until now to absorb what you said about an atom of silver that is hit by a proton being changed by raising an electron to a higher (voltage? orbit? energy shell? caliber?).

    That must be when it does its photographic thing and turn dark.

    Do my eyes work something like that?

    When I stand in "total" darkness, I perceive little tiny flecks/flashes of light.

    Are those individual photons hitting my retinas?

    Are they false positives of my optic nerve?

    Are they figments of my imagination?

    Back to photons crossing the void:

    ?? Seventeen years out of Andromeda, particulate photons must be several meters apart as they fly along??

    ??However, a given wave-front could still act together as a wave-front??

    ??The wave-front hits curved glass and is refracted because one part of the wave-front is slowed somewhat more than another?? (Or did variable speeds of light go out with Phlogistine?)

    ??The individual photon hits the curved glass and is refracted because it sort of skids on the curved surface?? ??Like a motorcycle tire hitting the edge of a gravel spill??



    Back to "theory".

    This old-time dude has a notion that either photons are like electrons, or that they are not.

    Since the idea fascinates him, he reads up on it and nobody had yet answered that question.

    He cannot get a cup of photons nor electrons at the friendly neighborhood Science Mart.

    His hold on advanced math does not give him a clue.

    He calls himself Steinhart and writes that photons and electrons are somewhat alike.

    He calls himself Smythe and writes that photons and electrons are vastly different.

    He calls himself Stachkowski and writes that photons sometimes act like electrons but that electrons never act like photons.

    Then the Peers review his Literature and they all call him an idiot and propose to break his science-sword over their knees and to ceremonially drum him out of the Science Corps.

    They explain why. Then from the criticism, he learns something and makes a second or third approximation. (Not a theory. Not even a hypothesis. Just a somewhat refined notion.)

    Fifty years later he writes A Tentative Hypothesis Concerning the Behavior of Electrons and Photons Exposed to Extreme High Frequency Electromagnetic Fields: an Application for a Grant for Funds to Use the University Cyclotron for a Simple Thirty-Minute Anecdotal Test.


    Na-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-h!
    Last edited by Glenn Jacobs; December 29th, 2013 at 09:27 PM. Reason: Add one sentence.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn Jacobs View Post
    It took me until now to absorb what you said about an atom of silver that is hit by a proton being changed by raising an electron to a higher (voltage? orbit? energy shell? caliber?).

    That must be when it does its photographic thing and turn dark.
    Exactly. The bumping of the electron to a higher energy level causes a chemical change that means that, when the film is developed, that crystal will turn black. (Note that chemistry is all about electrons.)

    Do my eyes work something like that?
    Similar. The photon stimulates an electron in one of the chemicals in the retina, which (eventually) causes a signal down the optic nerve.
    Photopsin - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    When I stand in "total" darkness, I perceive little tiny flecks/flashes of light.
    Are those individual photons hitting my retinas?
    Are they false positives of my optic nerve?
    Are they figments of my imagination?
    Quite a lot of people report this. I'm fairly sure it isn't individual photons. I think it is more likely to be "noise" - random firings of the sensors in the retina. But I'm not sure.

    ?? Seventeen years out of Andromeda, particulate photons must be several meters apart as they fly along??
    I think that there are so many photons that , even at that distance, they are still closely packed together - that is why Andromeda can be seen with the naked eye after 2.5 million years!

    ??However, a given wave-front could still act together as a wave-front??
    In many instances, the classical (wave front) view can be used as an alternative. There are few "real world" applications where light or radio waves need to be considered as photons.

    ??The wave-front hits curved glass and is refracted because one part of the wave-front is slowed somewhat more than another?? (Or did variable speeds of light go out with Phlogistine?)
    That is the classical description and perfectly correct.

    ??The individual photon hits the curved glass and is refracted because it sort of skids on the curved surface?? ??Like a motorcycle tire hitting the edge of a gravel spill??
    The photon description is somewhat more complicated. Photons travel through a material by being constantly absorbed and re-emitted by the atoms. This is what slows the light down (in the classical view) and causes the change of direction. (The full details are pretty complex and beyond me.)
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    ??Atoms are mostly empty space??

    ??Photons and other subatomitry slip right thru without much chance of hitting a nucleus or even an electron??

    ??Quantum arithmetic shows that a given photon either slips thru that empty space or does not??

    ??Some photons hit an electron and disappear, turned into a different form of energy??

    ??Some photons are snagged in the nucleus, which has no idea what to do with photons, and which spit them out as soon as they realize they don't taste good??

    ??The thicker the glass at a given point, the more photons are quantumly snagged and therefore slowed, and their part of the wave-front gets bent??

    ??Only, some photons are slowed and others are not??

    ??So some wave fronts are bent and others are not??

    ??So a split image results?? ??No. Wait! The split image thing was reflection / transmission on/in flat glass??

    ?? So some wave fronts are bent and they drag the others around with them and take an average??

    Back to light propagation being a Holy Mystery!
    Last edited by Glenn Jacobs; January 2nd, 2014 at 03:42 PM. Reason: Removing a couple of excess words.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn Jacobs View Post
    ??Atoms are mostly empty space??
    Yes. Look up the size of a typical nucleus, an electron, and a typical atom. Compare and contrast.

    ??Photons and other subatomitry slip right thru without much chance of hitting a nucleus or even an electron??
    It depends on what you are shooting at the atom (you've neglected the important option that an interaction could involve other than "hitting"). You would find Rutherford's experiments of a century ago highly enlightening. Ditto for Fermi's neutron-bombardment experiments in the late 1930s. Ditto, too, "Compton scattering."

    ??Quantum arithmetic shows that a given photon either slips thru that empty space or does not??
    See above.


    ??Some photons hit an electron and disappear, turned into a different form of energy??
    Photon number isn't a conserved quantity. Energy and momentum are.

    Sunlight shines on you, you get warm. Photons are killed in the process.

    ??Some photons are snagged in the nucleus, which has no idea what to do with photons, and which spit them out as soon as they realize they don't taste good??
    Forget the nucleus. If you shake an electron, you create photons. Again, photons are not a conserved quantity. There are no photons "hiding" in the electron. They are created when you shake the electron.

    ??The thicker the glass at a given point, the more photons are quantumly snagged and therefore slowed, and their part of the wave-front gets bent??
    No. Photons exert forces on charges in the glass. Because shaking electrons emit light, what you observe is the superposition of the incident photons and the stimulated (re-radiated) ones. In classical language, one says that "light is slowed" in a refractive medium. I don't much like that language myself, but there you have it.

    ??Only, some photons are slowed and others are not??
    Light always travels at the speed of ... light.

    ??So some wave fronts are bent and others are not??
    Without a specific geometry, one cannot provide a definite answer.

    ??So a split image results?? ??No. Wait! The split image thing was reflection / transmission on/in flat glass??
    Huh?

    ?? So some wave fronts are bent and they drag the others around with them and take an average??
    Huh? The answer is no, whatever your question means.

    Back to light propagation being a Holy Mystery!
    That's only because you haven't studied the subject much. Think back: Wasn't algebra a "holy mystery" when you were in kindergarten? Wasn't calculus a "holy mystery" when you were in middle school?

    What one calls a "holy mystery" is more a statement of one's ignorance, rather than a reflection of anything fundamental associated with the subject under consideration. The cure, of course, is an education.

    "There is no royal road to knowledge," so if you sincerely want to understand the answers to your questions, there's no substitute for grabbing some textbooks and going through them. Casual perusal of popsci articles will not do. Vague recollections of statements made by a high school science teacher aren't going to do it, either. You can't become a virtuoso pianist without practicing some scales, and you won't become a star footballer by reading news reports about it.
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    Thank you for taking a considerable amount of time to attempt to civilize me.

    The "Holy Mystery" thing was referring to an answer a Priest gave me when I asked him an ecclesiastical question he either didn't want to answer to a snot-nosed kid like me -- or couldn't.

    I was hoping someone would explain in words of one syllable how light wavefronts are refracted by glass and other media, and how photons are be so refracted.

    (As for calculus, I passed a beginner's course in it once, and it remains a Holy Mystery to me.)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn Jacobs View Post
    I was hoping someone would explain in words of one syllable how light wavefronts are refracted by glass and other media, and how photons are be so refracted.
    In the case of wavefronts, it really is just the change of velocity. You see exactly the same effect when water waves experience a change in dpeth (which alters their speed). Because the waves are travelling slower, they get closer together which changes their direction.


    The description in terms of photons is equivalent but slightly more complex.
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    Let me see if I have this right:

    ??Photon hits something in an atom and ceases to exist??

    ??Energy is conserved and an electron vibrates more violently than usual??

    ??Electron' excess load of energy is conserved and creates a new photon??

    ???????New photon goes off in the same direction and is of the same frequency as old photon which ceased to exist?????

    ??Photon nearly hits something in an atom and something else happens?

    Glenn
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn Jacobs View Post
    Photon hits something in an atom and ceases to exist?

    Energy is conserved and an electron vibrates more violently than usual?
    Not so much vibrates, but is raised to a higher energy level (you can think of this, crudely, as distance from the nucleus).

    Electron' excess load of energy is conserved and creates a new photon?
    Yes.

    New photon goes off in the same direction and is of the same frequency as old photon which ceased to exist?
    Yes. In the case of photons passing through a transparent material. In other cases, the emitted photons may have a different frequency (as in fluorescence). And in some materials a photon can be split into two of half the frequency.

    Photon nearly hits something in an atom and something else happens?
    Not sure about that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn Jacobs View Post
    We stand here with our scientific instruments and observe that the galaxies are receding from one another at wonderfully great speeds and that the farther away they are, the faster they are going.
    I wish simply to point out that what has been observed is that more and more distant objects are more and more redshifted. It is the Doppler effect interpretation that they are moving apart. This conclusion is also bolstered by 1) the jibing of the calculated ages of the oldest stars with that of running the expansion backwards, 2) specific interpretations of the fine structure of the cosmic microwave background radiation, and 3) the theory of hot nucleosynthesis being consistent with a hot "Big Bang." I soon will be posting here my "personal theory" (although the germinal ideas did not originate with me) that reasons to the conclusion that there was no Big Bang, but instead a "Big Crystallization" of a matrix of vortex structures in the aether, each composed of myriad axially-spinning needle-like fundamental corpuscles, termed "gyrons."
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    Quote Originally Posted by hkyriazi View Post
    I soon will be posting here my "personal theory" (although the germinal ideas did not originate with me) that reasons to the conclusion that there was no Big Bang, but instead a "Big Crystallization" of a matrix of vortex structures in the aether, each composed of myriad axially-spinning needle-like fundamental corpuscles, termed "gyrons."
    Please don't. You have embarrassed yourself enough already.
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    Hkyiazi,

    Occam proposed a "razor" to sift these things out. The simplest theory that explains all the observable facts is most likely the most correct.

    What I offer you is not a theory, nor even a working hypothesis, but a "WEG" (Wild-Eyed Guess).

    Here goes: In the beginning (only there was no actual beginning) there were a large infinity of the following five principles:

    1. Space. It is, and always was, all over the place. It was and is just as it appears. No curves. No limits. No tricks. Three dimensional and infinite. (Four dimension if you like, because Space is "everywhen".)

    2. Time. There never was any time when there was not Time. It just IS. No beginning nor end. You might imagine an empty universe, but not one without limitless Time.

    3. Matter. Perhaps just negative and positive electrons, plus six flavors of quarks. But they were always there, and always doing what they do now. Limitless supply.

    4. Energy. Likewise in boundless supply, converting to matter and back, conserved in every transaction, even if dispersed into entropy. Matter that is useless due to entropy is swept up into Black Holes and never heard from again, so the Universe continues and continues like the Engergizer Bunny.

    5. Intelligence. A brain is a switchboard. Intelligence is what operates it. The fractal principle is in action, as there are lots more, um, ah, "intelligences" suitable for doodle-bugs and Senators than for dogs and horses and men. Discrete "chunks" of intelligence, in different sizes, infinity in number, existing of themselves without beginning or end, like neutrons or whatever. (If you don't like this one, then you are reduced to whatever intelligence a functioning protein brain can generate.)

    The pressure of an infinitude of particles with an infinitude of energy between them, zipping around at random, whacking into things, generates the Cosmic Pressure that drives the very galaxies apart at an appreciable fraction of the speed of light. They also accumulate and form new stars, planets and other sky-thingies, so the Universe is continually expanding and continually filling in the empty spaces.
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    Dr. Strange,

    I am still mulling over the fascinating double-slit effect.

    ??The slits do not have any effect whatsoever aside from masking out the other areas??

    ??The photons go exactly where they would have gone anyway??

    ??The "unslits" block the other 99% of the photons from getting to the photographic paper and confusing the slit pattern by producing a completely random pattern??

    Glenn
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn Jacobs View Post
    ??The slits do not have any effect whatsoever aside from masking out the other areas??

    ??The photons go exactly where they would have gone anyway??

    ??The "unslits" block the other 99% of the photons from getting to the photographic paper and confusing the slit pattern by producing a completely random pattern??
    Pretty much. The basic idea is that the light from each slit has to travel a different distance to get to the screen. This means there is a varying phase relationship across the screen so sometimes the light constructively interferes and sometimes destructively. Hence, light and dark. The same thing happens with photons (although the explanation is slightly more complex).
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    Thank you.
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    Glenn, I agree with you on space and time most likely being infinite. I think matter is also infinite (to fill up an infinite space), but think electrons, positrons, quarks, etc., are all composed of much smaller, truly fundamental things that Frank Meno termed "gyrons." (See "Gyron Aether Theory (GAT)" in this section on "personal theories.") I also don't believe energy is fundamental, other than gyron motion, whose collisions are postulated to be totally elastic, and hence whose motion is eternal. Intelligence - that's a tough one. Logic tells me that it necessarily disappears when matter winks out of existence at the end of each cycle of the universe (in GAT, this is due to a "Big Dissolution" of all vortex structure - see the manuscript for how and why it occurs - it's related to the redshift-distance relationship and the proposed need for dark energy). But there's always the question of what - if anything - was responsible for creating the "First Mover" - not God in this case, but gyrons, which fulfill all the functions traditionally reserved for God - (existing eternally, and responsible for creating all the structure in the Universe).
    Last edited by hkyriazi; January 7th, 2014 at 03:27 AM. Reason: typo
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    You already have several threads for your "theory"; please refrain from polluting/hijacking others.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hkyriazi View Post
    Glenn, I agree with you on space and time most likely being infinite. I think matter is also infinite (to fill up an infinite space), but think electrons, positrons, quarks, etc., are all composed of much smaller, truly fundamental things that Frank Meno termed "gyrons." (See "Gyron Aether Theory (GAT)" in this section on "personal theories.") I also don't believe energy is fundamental, other than gyron motion, whose collisions are postulated to be totally elastic, and hence whose motion is eternal. Intelligence - that's a tough one. Logic tells me that it necessarily disappears when matter winks out of existence at the end of each cycle of the universe (in GAT, this is due to a "Big Dissolution" of all vortex structure - see the manuscript for how and why it occurs - it's related to the redshift-distance relationship and the proposed need for dark energy). But there's always the question of what - if anything - was responsible for creating the "First Mover" - not God in this case, but gyrons, which fulfill all the functions traditionally reserved for God - (existing eternally, and responsible for creating all the structure in the Universe).
    MODERATOR NOTE : hkyriazi, please keep your personal theory within your own thread, and don't try to spread it across the forum. Thank you.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    You already have several threads for your "theory"; please refrain from polluting/hijacking others.
    The original poster, Glenn Jacobs, specifically invited me, by name, to comment (perhaps I should have quoted him), so I didn't think it was hijacking. Am I wrong about this?
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    Quote Originally Posted by hkyriazi View Post
    The original poster, Glenn Jacobs, specifically invited me, by name, to comment (perhaps I should have quoted him), so I didn't think it was hijacking. Am I wrong about this?
    Ok, that is fine then, I wasn't aware of that.
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    Dear Moderator,

    That is right. I specifically invited hkyriazi to explain that to me, and my thread is already polluted beyond redemption with my own un-theories -- WEGs -- Wild-Eyed Guessesj.

    Somehow I cannot think that one is physically able to comment on anything without bringing in his own background and concerns.

    Thank you.

    Glenn


    Dear Hkyriazi,

    By "each cycle," I take it you mean that the universe is not at escape velocity with itself, and that it falls back into a big jumble, wiping out all progress -- then starts all over again.


    However, gyrons (whatever they may be!) are not the only item to conserve energy. Energy is turned into heat or momentum or photons or even into matter at every transaction.

    And, although we cannot yet calculate it, it seems that galaxies thirteen billion light years away and going at a significant fraction of the speed of light are likely to have escape velocity, and to keep going forever.

    I cannot calculate "cosmic pressure" either, but the random movement of loose particles whacking into space thingies provides a pressure on everything to move apart.

    It has been pointed out very politely and nicely that the cosmic pressure pushes BACK on everything, too, and that is necessarily also true.

    However, since the universe is not confined in a pressure vessel, the net pressure is onward, outward, forward, and like "High Ho Silver!" -- AWAY!

    Also, the particles may stick when they hit one another or anything else, and eventually accumulate in such clods that some tiny fraction of them may form into stars and galaxies, thereby eternally renewing the dissipating universe.

    The original stars in the thirteen-billion year old galaxies at the edge of the visible universe likely have already burned out, exploded, imploded, converted to Black Holes, red-shifted themselves clean out of sight -- or perhaps some few have even been renewed by thirteen thousand million years of infall replenishing their hydrogen fuel.

    Entropy would have already made the universe luke-warm and the great heat-engines of astrophysics useless -- but such matter is swept -- along with everything else in the area -- into the famed Black Holes -- therefore permanently out of reach of the working Universe.

    From this we may gather that regardless of what Einstein's alcolytes preach, the Universe contains limitless Space, Time, Matter and Energy.

    As for Intelligence, either Intelligence is an eternal principle along with Space, Time, Matter and Energy -- or else it is limited to whatever a functioning protein brain can generate.

    Glenn
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    TECHNICAL QUESTION: Could the famed "Background Radiation" supposedly left over from the postulated Big Bang be just plain, old-fashioned entropy washing around our ankles??
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    Hi Glenn. Just a couple of points. One, if you really think space and matter are limitless (as do I), how can you also conceive of most galaxies receding from one another (those not bound together gravitationally)? What space is empty for them to be rushing into? (There is none; I don't think the redshift-distance relationship is due to recession.) Two, the CMBR "pressure" (photon pressure) comes pretty much equally from all directions - much like the "omnidirectional flux of Le Sage corpuscles" in the most well-known instantiation of "push gravity." Three, no, I've totally rejected the notion of the "expanding space" of the Big Bang theory, due to having found what I consider a reasonable explanation (I do not say "much more reasonable" because I find no part of "expanding nothing" - or "expanding 'spacetime'" reasonable), similar to what famed astronomer Fritz Zwicky proposed back in 1929 or so with his "tired light" hypothesis. Please see if you can follow the logic I present in my manuscript. Black holes are discussed, too, within an intuitively understandable framework.

    Oh, and thanks for coming to my rescue RE the moderator's admonition.

    Finally, I do wholeheartedly agree with the moderator's implicit point about keeping a discussion compact and linear. Let's move any discussion about my theory to that thread [Gyron Aether Theory (GAT)], as I'm feeling torn apart enough as it is with two separate threads about it going there (the other one being "Push Gravity (hkyriazi)").
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    Quote Originally Posted by hkyriazi View Post
    I do not say "much more reasonable" because I find no part of "expanding nothing" - or "expanding 'spacetime'" reasonable
    Not that your personal feelings about something being "reasonable" or not have any bearing on how the universe actually works...
    And I, for example, don't find it unreasonable in the least.
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    The man is right. "Reasonable" has nothing to do with how the things actually work.

    Shift to mathematics: Supposing someone calculates something that just ain't so. That would not make it so.

    Some alcolytes of Einstein expound that Space is limited, and that it courves back on itself. Now, either it does or it does not.

    Neither what I believe about space nor what they claim their calculations prove -- makes the slightest bit of difference.

    Shift to religion: Supposing someone preaches something that just ain't so. No matter how skillfully he preaches, it just stays not so.

    The learned Inquisitors explained very neatly why Jupiter could not possibly have satellites. But the moons of Jupiter stayed in orbit.

    Now shift to philosophy: It is reasonable and it makes sense for Space to be a certain way -- but it simply IS whatever it is.

    Push gravity makes sense to you. To me it sounds like insanity. BAck to the old-time philosophers cop-out: It is the NATURE of heavy bodies to attract one another.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn Jacobs View Post
    TECHNICAL QUESTION: Could the famed "Background Radiation" supposedly left over from the postulated Big Bang be just plain, old-fashioned entropy washing around our ankles??
    Plain? No -- far from it. The significant part is not the mere presence of background radiation. The important parts are, in part:

    1) The radiation's spectrum conforms exquisitely to that of a perfect blackbody. That implies that the universe attained thermal equilibrium early on.

    2) The radiation looks the same, no matter where you look. That says that the universe evolved from an incredibly uniform (isotropic) state.

    3) There are tiny deviations from this perfection. Those tiny deviations represent the necessary tiny departures from perfect uniformity to permit the formation of galaxies, etc.

    4) The temperature of that blackbody radiation fits into a larger picture that explains things such as observed light element ratios, etc.

    Factors such as these are so compelling that the discovery and characterization of the CMB pretty much killed off steady-state theories.
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    TECHNICAL QUESTIONS:

    1. Is space a blackbody? What is the difference between space and a perfect blackbody?

    2. Has the universe attained thermal equilibrium?

    3. Does background radiation travel in straight lines or does it go around and come back again?

    4. Did the background radiation source send it out all at once, or does it continue billions of years later to send?

    5. Why would there NOT be background radiation in the universe? Fifty billion observable galaxies and probably fifty billion more redshifted beyond our ability to recognize them would be continually sending scads of radiation in all directions. Therefore it would be coming from all directions and beyond our ability to separate one from another -- ah, "resolution".

    6. PERMIT?! Um, perhaps you mean that the presence of nearby galaxies slightly interferes with the perfect distribution of this background radiation.

    7. Temperature? How does radiation from a faint and faraway source have a temperature? Frequency? Bandwidth? Intensity? Color?

    7. Is the backgound radiation composed of photons / waves in the familiar format of light and X-rays and radio transmissions?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn Jacobs View Post
    TECHNICAL QUESTIONS:

    1. Is space a blackbody?
    No. Space is not even a body.

    What is the difference between space and a perfect blackbody?
    It's the difference between an egg and a Buick.

    2. Has the universe attained thermal equilibrium?
    In the context of what I wrote, what attained thermal equilibrium was the primordial universe. The CMB we are measuring is the radiation from the "surface of last scattering" (google it).

    3. Does background radiation travel in straight lines or does it go around and come back again?
    It does all the things that light does, because it's light. So it travels in "straight" lines unless deflected, scattered, refracted, etc.

    4. Did the background radiation source send it out all at once, or does it continue billions of years later to send?
    Think of an incandescent ball that cools as it expands. It continues to radiate as it does so.

    ]5. Why would there NOT be background radiation in the universe?
    You're rather missing the entire point of the first part of my post. It isn't the existence of some random radiation that is particularly significant. Please read what I actually wrote. I took some pains to write it.

    Fifty billion observable galaxies and probably fifty billion more redshifted beyond our ability to recognize them would be continually sending scads of radiation in all directions. Therefore it would be coming from all directions and beyond our ability to separate one from another -- ah, "resolution".
    And again, please read what I wrote. You are fixating on the trivial part.

    6. PERMIT?! Um, perhaps you mean that the presence of nearby galaxies slightly interferes with the perfect distribution of this background radiation.
    No, I meant precisely what I wrote. Think logically: If the primordial universe were truly completely homogeneous, then how could matter form? You need to have some nonuniformity. That nonuniformity should be noticeable as fluctuations in the CMB. We see it.

    The CMB is light from the universe before galaxies formed. It's the first snapshot of a newborn.

    7. Temperature? How does radiation from a faint and faraway source have a temperature? Frequency? Bandwidth? Intensity? Color?
    You need to do some work yourself. Look up "CMB" online, for example. Look up "blackbody radiation." Developing a habit of actually studying would do you a lot more good than simply firing off an endless series of questions each time you get answers to previous questions. That is, I could keep giving you fish, but it would be vastly preferable for you to learn how to fish.

    7. Is the backgound radiation composed of photons / waves in the familiar format of light and X-rays and radio transmissions?
    Yup, it's all light (dominated by microwaves in this case). Two Bell Labs engineers, Arno Penzias and Bob Wilson, were puzzled by a persistent noise in their satellite receiver. After extensive investigation, they concluded the source of the noise was not in their equipment, but that it was coming from all directions in the sky. Their measurements corresponded with the predictions of cosmologists. For this Penzias and Wilson won a Nobel.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Markus Hanke View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by hkyriazi View Post
    I do not say "much more reasonable" because I find no part of "expanding nothing" - or "expanding 'spacetime'" reasonable
    Not that your personal feelings about something being "reasonable" or not have any bearing on how the universe actually works...
    True. Nevertheless, I think it safe to say that almost everyone - perhaps not you, though - would prefer an intuitively obvious, mechanical explanation of the universe to one involving such unimaginable (dare I say nonsensical?) notions as "expanding space" (as distinct from objects in space moving apart), warped space, spatial singularities, incomprehensible (but mathematically well-defined) wave functions, etc., if the former could both explain and predict everything quantitatively, with the latter simply describing how things behave.

    Quote Originally Posted by Markus Hanke View Post
    And I, for example, don't find it unreasonable in the least.
    Really?! Did you ever? Perhaps you're now so familiar with the Friedmann equations and GR that you're not viewing it with fresh eyes - you're so used to seeing a few trees up close that you can't notice how barren the forest is. Even Einstein, in 1920, admitted the necessity of having a kind of watered down aether, if only to provide a home for the various fields. Dirac, in 1951, penned a Nature article entitled "Is there an Aether?" But those guys were raised in an era where it wasn't considered passe to actually try to explain reality rather than just describe/predict its various behaviors. A physics professor of mine in college (back in 1973 or so), named Lawrence Slifkin (at UNC-CH), after discussing the vacuum's electrical permittivity, magnetic permeability, and transmission of light at c, said pointedly, "the vacuum may be nothing, but it's a pretty complicated nothing."
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    Quote Originally Posted by hkyriazi View Post
    I think it safe to say that almost everyone - perhaps not you, though - would prefer an intuitively obvious, mechanical explanation of the universe
    The general principles of GR are intuitively obvious to me, albeit not mechanical in nature. Like I said, I see no reason for the universe to necessarily be intrinsically "mechanical" - in fact we can be reasonably sure that it isn't.

    one involving such unimaginable (dare I say nonsensical?) notions as "expanding space" (as distinct from objects in space moving apart), warped space, spatial singularities, incomprehensible (but mathematically well-defined) wave functions, etc.
    None of this is unimaginable, nonsensical, or incomprehensible to me, or to anyone else in the scientific community. Granted, when I first started learning physics there was much that was utterly incomprehensible to me because I was lacking the knowledge, but then, when I learned the principles and maths underlying it, things became clear and fitted together very nicely. It took some time and quite a bit of work. Tell me, how much do you actually know about GR ? And I don't mean ridiculous pop-sci misconceptions such as the "rubber sheet analogy", but rather the proper maths and physics underlying it. For example, if I was to ask you to explain the simple relation in my signature - which is the basic reason why GR works the way it does - would you be able to do it ?

    By the way, rejecting all of quantum mechanics as well now will not exactly help your case. Quite the opposite, actually.

    Really?! Did you ever?
    No, it was never "unreasonable" to me in the least. The very first time I heard about GR and curved space-time ( I remember very well - it was an illustrated physics book in our school library, and I was around 11 years or so ), it immediately "clicked", and the sheer beauty of the concept struck me straight away. I remember finding the maths behind it pretty incomprehensible ( hardly a surprise at that age ), but the concept struck true straight away.

    Perhaps you're now so familiar with the Friedmann equations and GR that you're not viewing it with fresh eyes
    There is no interpretive layer to this that could be seen "with fresh eyes"; GR boils down to a conceptionally very simple tensor equation, it is "just" differential geometry. As such, all elements are rigorously defined in mathematical terms, and had been long before Einstein. What is there to see with fresh eyes ?
    Btw, the FLRW metric is only one particular solution of the field equations for a homogeneous and isotropic region. It is the geometrodynamic law that provides the fundamental principle, not the Friedman equations.

    you're so used to seeing a few trees up close that you can't notice how barren the forest is.
    Actually to this day I regularly get surprised by how rich the geometric and topological structure of even the simplest solutions to the field equations really is. Did you know for example that a simple spherically symmetric space-time such as Schwarzschild can be multiply connected at asymptotic infinity, and how, and why ? I suspect not. Just an example

    From my point of view, you are so fixated on looking at a single tree ( classical mechanics ) that you fail to see the forest around it, the sky above it, and the ground that anchors and nourishes it. Could you elaborate ( without reference to subjective notions such as comprehensibility ) why you insist that the universe must be classically mechanic ? What law of nature do you base this claim on ?

    Even Einstein, in 1920, admitted the necessity of having a kind of watered down aether, if only to provide a home for the various fields.
    If you are referring to the Leyden address, then I suggest you read the transcript again, and pay careful attention. Or better still, if you are able to, read the German version. Just saying

    But those guys were raised in an era where it wasn't considered passe to actually try to explain reality rather than just describe/predict its various behaviors.
    GR both explains and describes gravity perfectly within its domain of applicability.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hkyriazi
    True. Nevertheless, I think it safe to say that almost everyone - perhaps not you, though - would prefer an intuitively obvious, mechanical explanation of the universe to one involving such unimaginable (dare I say nonsensical?) notions as "expanding space" (as distinct from objects in space moving apart), warped space, spatial singularities, incomprehensible (but mathematically well-defined) wave functions, etc., if the former could both explain and predict everything quantitatively, with the latter simply describing how things behave.


    Sorry to butt in, but let me stop you right there. No.

    Quit using your computer. Quit using your telephone. Quit using your TV. Quit using your toothpaste and pre-packaged foods. Quit using everything science has every created that you take for granted. You don't get any of that stuff by preferring intuitively obvious over what actually works. Go back to alchemy or the four classical elements or the geocentric universe or the miasma model of disease. Those were intuitively obvious to most people at the time, but ultimately wrong.

    So no thanks. I prefer we actually understand the universe rather than giving in to faulty human intuition.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MagiMaster View Post

    Sorry to butt in, but let me stop you right there. No.

    Quit using your computer. Quit using your telephone. Quit using your TV. Quit using your toothpaste and pre-packaged foods. Quit using everything science has every created that you take for granted. You don't get any of that stuff by preferring intuitively obvious over what actually works. Go back to alchemy or the four classical elements or the geocentric universe or the miasma model of disease. Those were intuitively obvious to most people at the time, but ultimately wrong.

    So no thanks. I prefer we actually understand the universe rather than giving in to faulty human intuition.
    Precisely It is this insistence that everything must be classically mechanic that is utterly incomprehensible to me - the universe just doesn't work that way.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hkyriazi View Post
    True. Nevertheless, I think it safe to say that almost everyone - perhaps not you, though - would prefer an intuitively obvious, mechanical explanation of the universe to one involving such unimaginable (dare I say nonsensical?) notions as "expanding space" (as distinct from objects in space moving apart), warped space, spatial singularities, incomprehensible (but mathematically well-defined) wave functions, etc., if the former could both explain and predict everything quantitatively, with the latter simply describing how things behave.
    What makes you think that our preferences would have any influence on the nature of the universe? That is either remarkably foolish, or mind numbingly arrogant.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by hkyriazi View Post
    True. Nevertheless, I think it safe to say that almost everyone - perhaps not you, though - would prefer an intuitively obvious, mechanical explanation of the universe to one involving such unimaginable (dare I say nonsensical?) notions as "expanding space" (as distinct from objects in space moving apart), warped space, spatial singularities, incomprehensible (but mathematically well-defined) wave functions, etc., if the former could both explain and predict everything quantitatively, with the latter simply describing how things behave.
    What makes you think that our preferences would have any influence on the nature of the universe? That is either remarkably foolish, or mind numbingly arrogant.
    I thought it was clear that I was talking about our thoughts about the universe - the model of it we choose to adopt - not the universe itself.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hkyriazi View Post
    I thought it was clear that I was talking about our thoughts about the universe - the model of it we choose to adopt - not the universe itself.
    So, you appear to be saying that we should choose a model that we prefer, rather than one that best fits the facts. In what way is that not either remarkably foolish, or mind numbingly arrogant?
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    I want my thoughts about the universe to be correct images of the universe and its workings.

    It is just that above a certain measure of complexity, my thinking-machine bogs down and I get to wanting a simpler model.

    If there is background radiation (and there is) I want to understand that something is (or was) radiating.

    If the radiation is coming from all around, then I want to understand that, among other sources, the galaxies at the limit of our observation power were radiating thirteen thousand million years ago, and it's just now getting here.

    My mind bogs down at radiation that was produced at the first bust-up somehow coming back to us rather than continuing on and on into the infinitude of space.

    All them liddle sky-thangies keep movin' right along, as they have energy (or ARE energy) and when they whack one another, they tend to give out radiation.

    At any given time, thirty-seven-point four nine time ten to some power or another per cubic light year smack violently enough to radiate.

    And then, allowing for the distance away, years later or billions of years later, some random photon hits our equipment and we detect background radiation.

    The radiation that radiated during some past billion years is long gone. It went away, at the speed of light and isn't coming back as an echo.

    (Unless, of course, the Universe is limited and curves back in on itself like a three dimensional Moibus strip to let us hear the echos of byegone times.)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn Jacobs
    The radiation that radiated during some past billion years is long gone. It went away, at the speed of light and isn't coming back as an echo.


    Actually, that's not wrong. It's just that the same can be said about the radiation that started 13.8 billion light years over that way and is just now reaching us. All the radiation that started here is long gone and as best as we know we'd never be able to see it. And now when we look up, we see the radiation emitted 13.8 billion years and a few minutes ago, etc.
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    I think that is what I just said.

    But radiation that just now got here after traveling 13.8 times ten to the ninth years would be just ordinary radiation??

    Also, the bodies that radiated that radiation were considerably closer when they radiated it than now??

    Those stars could now be cold, dead clinkers by now -- or they might be still running on the hydrogen infall from the past 13.79 billion years??

    By the same token, some of the light that left Sol as you read the first of this sentence might arrive THERE in 21.027 billion years (because they moved farther away) and be part of the background radiation??

    TECHNICAL QUESTION: How do we tell that kind of background radiation from Big Bang echoes?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn Jacobs View Post
    I think that is what I just said. But radiation that just now got here after traveling 13.8 times ten to the ninth years would be just ordinary radiation?? Also, the bodies that radiated that radiation were considerably closer when they radiated it than now?? Those stars could now be cold, dead clinkers by now -- or they might be still running on the hydrogen infall from the past 13.79 billion years?? By the same token, some of the light that left Sol as you read the first of this sentence might arrive THERE in 21.027 billion years (because they moved farther away) and be part of the background radiation?? TECHNICAL QUESTION: How do we tell that kind of background radiation from Big Bang echoes?
    Cosmic Microwave Background - FAQs That, and Ned Wright's Cosmology faq and tutorial, are good starters for you to learn the art of fishing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn Jacobs View Post
    TECHNICAL QUESTION: How do we tell that kind of background radiation from Big Bang echoes?
    By its spectrum. The CMB is an almost perfect black body. Starlight, even when scattered, has a distinct signature.
    Without wishing to overstate my case, everything in the observable universe definitely has its origins in Northamptonshire -- Alan Moore
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