Animation to explain the balance of celestial bodies of the universe

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I am trying to find an animation (from the internet) explaining the intricate balance of heavenly bodies (stars, planets, satellites, comets etc) in their own orbits.

What happens if there is a sudden change in any one of characteristics of those heavenly bodies. Is a small perturbation in any one of a small body, going to affect the whole universe by altering the forces of attractions on each other?

What keeps this universe in balance and prevents from being collapsed into each other? If one body's attractive force increased for some reason, it greatly attracts another body, so the combination gains more attractive force cascading into dangerous attractive force such as to attract every other bodies into it, thus triggering a collapse.

Newton famously said about the hand of God in keeping this order and preventing the collapse.

I want to explain to my students using some animation about the effect of bodies of the universe having on each other by changing or removing a body from it's location/acceleration/mass etc.

Is there an animation or video available in the internet?
 

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  • #2
phinds
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What happens if there is a sudden change in any one of characteristics of those heavenly bodies. Is a small perturbation in any one of a small body, going to affect the whole universe by altering the forces of attractions on each other?
Why would you think that? The distance from the solar system to other solar systems in the Milky Way is such that our whole solar system could collapse and it would retain the same center of mass and thus have zero affect on the rest of the universe. Same for the Milky Way against other galaxies.

Newton famously said about the hand of God in keeping this order and preventing the collapse.
Scientists in long previous generations did invoke divine attribution for some things. That doesn't make it right and in any event, it's not appropriate for PF where we discuss science, not religion.
 
  • #3
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My thinking is, if in a galaxy the balance is lost, it will collapse. This collapsed galaxy would affect the nearest galaxy causing it to collapse and so on cascading into a universal collapse.

The universe is balanced by the zero net effect of changes.

This is my surmise.
 
  • #4
phinds
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My thinking is, if in a galaxy the balance is lost, it will collapse. This collapsed galaxy would affect the nearest galaxy causing it to collapse and so on cascading into a universal collapse..
I think you need to study some physics with some focus on celestial mechanics.
 
  • #6
Drakkith
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My thinking is, if in a galaxy the balance is lost, it will collapse. This collapsed galaxy would affect the nearest galaxy causing it to collapse and so on cascading into a universal collapse.

The universe is balanced by the zero net effect of changes.

This is my surmise.
This is incorrect. As phinds says, what happens in our galaxy does not affect other galaxies except in a very miniscule manner. There certainly won't be a cascading collapse. The universe isn't even "balanced" in the long term.

What keeps this universe in balance and prevents from being collapsed into each other? If one body's attractive force increased for some reason, it greatly attracts another body, so the combination gains more attractive force cascading into dangerous attractive force such as to attract every other bodies into it, thus triggering a collapse.
This isn't how gravity works. Objects are not attracted to other objects like dirt is attracted to a vacuum cleaner. Their paths through space under the influence of gravity are subject to several other conditions and the details are difficult to explain.
 
  • #7
davenn
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What keeps this universe in balance and prevents from being collapsed into each other?
why do you think it's in balance ? .... I definitely don think that .... observations tell me it isn't
there's images available that show galaxies colliding

as Drakkith suggested in general most galaxies ( stuff on a large scale) are too far apart
to cause much influence ... so hence you are unlikely to have any cascading effect

small scale tho ... say, within our solar system, is a whole different ball game, where there is a lot of gravitation influence between objects.
eg. Jupiter diverting path of asteroids and comets


Dave
 
  • #8
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From the book Big Bang by Simon Singh,

Chapter 2 - Theories of the Universe..
(page 146 through 148)

.. When Einstein applied general relativity and his gravity formula to the universe at large, he was a little surprised and disappointed by the theory's prediction of how the universe operates. What he found implied that the universe was ominously unstable. Einstein's gravity formula showed that every object in the universe was pulled towards every other object on a cosmic scale. This would cause every object to move closer to every other object. The attraction might start as a steady creep, but it would gradually turn into an avalanche which would end in an almighty crunch - the universe was apparently destined to destroy itself...

.. Not surprisingly, Einstein disliked the notion of a collapsing universe: "To admit such a possibility seems senseless".

Although Isaac Newton's theory of gravity was different, it also gave rise to a collapsing universe and Newton had also been troubled by this implication of his theory....

.. for example a comet passing through the solar system would momentarily increase the mass density of each part of space through which it passed, attracting more material towards those regions and thus initiating the process of total collapse...

.. To solve the problem, Newton suggested that God intervened from time to time to keep the stars and other celestial objects apart... Einstein was not prepared to acknowledge a role for God in holding the universe apart, but at the same time he was anxious to find a way to maintain an eternal and static universe in keeping with the scientific consensus...

(This led to his theory of static and eternal universe by adding a anti-gravity constant called cosmological constant to his general theory of relativity, which he later called it his biggest blunder in his scientific life. He had abandoned the idea with relish when the universe was observed to have been expanding continuously)
 
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  • #9
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My understanding is that the expanding universe is compensating well such disturbances in the balance. It is this expanding universe that keeps it being collapsed. But for this expansion, the universe might have collapsed. All I wanted to explain is how universe would have been if not for this expanding universe.
 
  • #10
ZapperZ
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My understanding is that the expanding universe is compensating well such disturbances in the balance. It is this expanding universe that keeps it being collapsed. But for this expansion, the universe might have collapsed. All I wanted to explain is how universe would have been if not for this expanding universe.
I've been reading your posts here and there's something puzzling in your claims, even at the most elementary level.

If we examine, say, the solar system, the major "glue" that is keeping all the planets in place is the sun. So what would you think will happen if the sun suddenly goes away? Do you think that all the planets will simply "collapse" together into a lump? Or do you think they will fly apart since the major source of the central force is now gone? This is without invoking any "expanding universe" scenario yet, just basic mechanics.

This is why I can't understand all of these highly-simplified claims about something as complex (and, in many instances, still unsettled) as the dynamics of the universe. You spoke with such certainty so much so that you seem to think that there's an animation that models the entire universe!

Edit: BTW, you post-and-run in one of the thread you created without replying to the questions being asked:

https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/em-wave-penetration-through-walls.899323/

Zz.
 
  • #11
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If the sun were to suddenly disappear, I think the planets would fly forward in their motion, certainly would not orbiting in the current part. This would disturb the balance wherever they go, causing a cascade of imbalances.
 
  • #12
ZapperZ
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If the sun were to suddenly disappear, I think the planets would fly forward in their motion, certainly would not orbiting in the current part. This would disturb the balance wherever they go, causing a cascade of imbalances.
Causing a "cascade of imbalances"? Can you show me when this has happened?

Celestial objects have been known to go away. Stars explodes all the time! One is even being consumed by a black hole for the past decade! So where is such "cascade of imbalances"?

You have made many statements without providing observational evidence.

Zz.
 
  • #13
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...What he (Einstein) found implied that the universe was ominously unstable. Einstein's gravity formula showed that every object in the universe was pulled towards every other object on a cosmic scale. This would cause every object to move closer to every other object. The attraction might start as a steady creep, but it would gradually turn into an avalanche which would end in an almighty crunch - the universe was apparently destined to destroy itself..
The above quote is from the book, Big Bang by Simon Singh published by Harper Perennial 2005. A great book on cosmology explained in ever so simple terms.

My stand is,
  • Universe has not collapsed yet.
  • It is a thought experiment - what would happen if something is disturbed.
Please go through the book (I have quoted earlier too).
Thanks.
 
  • #14
ZapperZ
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The above quote is from the book, Big Bang by Simon Singh published by Harper Perennial 2005. A great book on cosmology explained in ever so simple terms.

My stand is,
  • Universe has not collapsed yet.
  • It is a thought experiment - what would happen if something is disturbed.
Please go through the book (I have quoted earlier too).
Thanks.
The book is an account of history. It is NOT a physics book, and you need to have a recalibration of your sources if you are actually learning physics from it!

It is difficult to get through to you. Something HAS happened in our universe all the time. Stars explodes, get consumed, and go POOF! It is no longer a "what if" situation!

Zz.
 
  • #15
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Ok. Thanks.
 
  • #16
phinds
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The above quote is from the book, Big Bang by Simon Singh published by Harper Perennial 2005. A great book on cosmology explained in ever so simple terms.
The problem with explaining a lot of physics in "ever so simple terms" is that such explanations tend to be wrong. You have persisted throughout this thread in taking a point of view that is far more metaphysical and mystical rather than being grounded in actual physics. I repeat my earlier suggestion: learn some actual physics, with emphasis on celestial mechanics. Doing so will help you understand why your comments in this thread have not been received favorably.
 
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  • #17
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Good God (is there no place for him, here?) I have never intended this innocuous thought experiment to be taken to such a level.

Thanks any way
 
  • #18
phinds
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Good God (is there no place for him, here?) I have never intended this innocuous thought experiment to be taken to such a level.

Thanks any way
You asked a perfectly legitimate physics question, albeit with some apparent misunderstandings about what the answer would be, and we have attempted to help you work towards an understanding of the physics involved. Why do you see that as a bad thing?

As for God, this is a science forum, not a religion forum.
 
  • #19
ZapperZ
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Good God (is there no place for him, here?) I have never intended this innocuous thought experiment to be taken to such a level.

Thanks any way
Your "innocuous" thought experiment wasn't based on reality. I gave you mine (the vanishing sun) to show how what you stated was wrong. But somehow, you persisted your line of thought. Were you expecting us to go along with a false starting premise?

Zz.
 
  • #20
Drakkith
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I want to explain to my students using some animation about the effect of bodies of the universe having on each other by changing or removing a body from it's location/acceleration/mass etc.
If you'd like a program that lets you add/remove objects and see how the system evolves over time, then I recommend Universe Sandbox. It's not free, but I think it is well worth the price. It has plenty of preset systems set up, including multiple models of the Solar System, galactic merger, and even a few very small scale systems (billiard balls interacting under gravity).
 
  • #21
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Op, I recommend you study the 3 body and many body problem, you can add or subtract celestial bodies at will and see the resulting trajectories.
 
  • #22
CWatters
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Mktsgm...

On what scale do you think the universe is "in balance"?

On large scales the universe appears to be expanding and the rate of expansion is getting faster. On smaller scales you have some areas in ballance (whatever that means) and other areas collapsing into black holes.
 
  • #23
Khashishi
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.. When Einstein applied general relativity and his gravity formula to the universe at large, he was a little surprised and disappointed by the theory's prediction of how the universe operates. What he found implied that the universe was ominously unstable. Einstein's gravity formula showed that every object in the universe was pulled towards every other object on a cosmic scale. This would cause every object to move closer to every other object. The attraction might start as a steady creep, but it would gradually turn into an avalanche which would end in an almighty crunch - the universe was apparently destined to destroy itself...
This quote is referring to the big crunch, which is a hypothetical end of the universe. However, it is now believed that the universe will expand forever, so this big crunch will not occur. Measurements of expansion show an accelerating expansion.

The planets are in stable orbits. If you push on them, they will simply go into other orbits. They won't suddenly spiral into the Sun or something. Gravity doesn't work like that.
 

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