Quotes of The Week

There have been attempts to observe time lags in gamma flares and in gamma-ray bursts, but we have never seen something like this….

said Daniel Ferenc of U.C. Davis, discussing the new MAGIC result.

The observation of this group of galaxies that is almost devoid of dark matter flies in the face of our current understanding of the cosmos

said Arif Babul of the University of Victoria, discussing the Abell 520 cluster.

Not only has no one ever found a void this big, but we never even expected to find one this size

said Lawrence Rudnick of U. Minnesota regarding the void that corresponds to a cold spot on the WMAP map.

The Concorde cosmology is ready to crash

said Louise Riofrio on her blog.

7 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Matti Pitkanen said,

    This is a highly interesting anomaly. I wrote about TGD based interpretation relying on the notion of large gravitational Planck constant for some time ago: see this.

    a) Astrophysical quantum states of dark matter cannot follow cosmic expansion smoothly since stationary states have constant size with respect to M^4 metric and expansion would require smoot growth or this size. This explains also why planetary system does not seem to follow expansion (findings of Masreliez).

    b) The expansion occurs in average sense in quantum phase transitions increasing Planck constant and thus the size of quantum states. These periods give rise to accelerated cosmic expansion (jerks). Decomposition of solar system to inner and outer planets with h_gr differing by a factor of 5 could be due to this kind of phase transition.

    c) In particular, the large voids remain stationary for long periods of time and phase transitions occur at values of cosmic time which should come as octaves by p-adic length scale hypothesis. This allows to understand the jerk which about 13 billion light years ago (I hope I remember correctly).

    This interpretation is supported by the fact that the size of the large cold spot is that of a large void: about 10^8 light years.

  2. 2

    L. Riofrio said,

    Discovery of the Big Hole is good news for us and bad news for the Concorde. Thanks.

  3. 3

    nige said,

    Thanks for the link to the news of the breakdown of relativity:

    Scientific American

    Hints of a breakdown of relativity theory?

    The MAGIC gamma-ray telescope team has just released an eye-popping preprint (following up earlier work) describing a search for an observational hint of quantum gravity. What they’ve seen is that higher-energy gamma rays from an extragalactic flare arrive later than lower-energy ones. Is this because they travel through space a little bit slower, contrary to one of the postulates underlying Einstein’s special theory of relativity — namely, that radiation travels through the vacuum at the same speed no matter what? …

    Either the high-energy gammas were released later (because of how they were generated) or they propagated more slowly. The team ruled out the most obvious conventional effect, but will have to do more to prove that new physics is at work — this is one of those “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence” situations. …

    I like the honesty of the prejudice here, where they say that extraordinary evidence is required to discredit special relativity, just as extraordinary evidence is required to discredit religion.

    Some things – like mainstream string theory – require no evidence whatsoever to be taken seriously.

    Certain aspects of special relativity were just ad hoc “post-dictions”, particularly E=mc^2 and the Lorentz transformation.

    Maxwell’s famous January 1862 paper “predicts” the speed using a wave equation like Newton’s original law for sound speed without LaPlace’s correction for the adiabatic effect; Maxwell’s 1862 aetherial mechanics equation for light speed states that the square root of the ratio of the energy density to the mass density in an electromagnetic wave is the wave speed, i.e. [(E/V)/(m/V)]^{1/2} = c, where V is volume, so this simplifies to (E/m)^{1/2} = c, or Einstein’s E=mc^2.

    In addition, FitzGerald’s (1889) and Lorentz’s (1893) contraction led to a transformation which predicted E=mc^2. FitzGerald in 1889 discovered that if the Michelson-Morley instrument was contracted in the direction of motion by the factor [1-(v/c)^2]^{1/2}, then a light-carrying aether could still exist without contradicting the null-result of the Michelson-Morley experiment.

    Lorentz confirmed this result of FitzGerald’s, and later extended it by showing that time-dilation and mass-increase are also produced in the moving object. Because the radius of an electron (discovered in 1897 and predicted by Maxwell in his 1873 treatise) gets contracted in the direction of motion, its mass increases inversely as the length contraction, according to the J.J. Thomson’s electron radius formula. This means that mass is m/[1-(v/c)^2]^{1/2}, which when expanded to two terms by the binomial expression and compared to the classical kinetic energy law E=(1/2)mv^2, implies that there is another term for energy, E = mc^2. So Einstein’s special relativity just duplicated the aether theory, while subtracting the physical mechanism.

    It’s funny that in the E=mc^2 business there are lots of contradictory ways of getting the same correct equations, but the mainstream is prejudiced that some of these approaches are heretical (Maxwell, FitzGerald, and Lorentz are considered fools by comparison to Einstein the genius) even though their predictions are not only mathematically identical to Einstein’s, they came many years earlier. That’s the conquest of the scientific method by insanity, I suppose. (I should add that the FitzGerald-Lorentz-Maxwell aether model is wrong in detail; the spacetime fabric is not a fermionic fluid material over long distances but is exchange radiation as suggested by the SM of QFT. But people should be correcting classical models to make them compatible with QFT, not brainwashing themselves that the artificial distinctions between classical and quantum are natural ones.)

  4. 4

    Mahndisa S. Rigmaiden said,

    08 26 07

    I was wondering how this new discovery fits into ideas discussed in category theory. Is there a clear connexion? As to the refutation of the existance of dark matter, well before this discovery, I never got an answer as to why some of you said it doesn’t exist. And I am not sure if this discovery shows that it doesn’t exist or not!

  5. 5

    Kea said,

    Mahndisa, that observation is about the lack of dark matter in only one cluster, so nobody is saying dark matter doesn’t exist – just that it behaves VERY differently to anything in ‘conservative’ approaches.

    As to the category theory … well the proof that it matters must come from concrete predictions for eg. the LHC, and we are working on gluon amplitudes which should differ from other estimates, but there is still a lot of work to do.

  6. 6

    Peter Fred said,

    The Tully Fisher law could mean what it says it means.

    The spreading infrared luminosity from the central cloud of hot gas in between the two clusters of Abell 520 could actually be causing the gravitational light bending. In the 1919 solar eclipse study, it could have been the hot spreading luminosity from the sun that was causing the light bending an not the yet-to-be-specified property of the mass of the sun that was producing the warping of the nearby space so that the background starlight would appear as bent.

    I have been trying for years to get someone to replicate my experiments so someone besides myself would begin to believe that spreading infrared radiation is gravitationally attractive. And now maybe Mahdavi et al have found evidence that support the notion that spreading heat is attractive.

    Peter Fred

  7. 7

    Kea said,

    Peter, although I like unpopular ideas on this blog, I have nothing but the highest respect for GR. No doubt it has a limited range of applicability, but its success means that any alternative theories of gravity are required to reproduce its results, in detail mathematically – otherwise they are not science. The same goes for the Standard Model. Since Dark Matter is outside the scope of both GR and the Standard Model (neither of which predicted it) any theory purporting to explain Dark Matter properly must be able to potentially reproduce both GR and the Standard Model, in detail mathematically, in appropriate limits. Anything short of this does not qualify as a proper physical theory, as much as one might like it too. So even if one has brilliant ideas, and even if they are correct, one is still required to join the queue of people trying to work out how such ideas might fit into a full mathematical description of gravity.

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