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Non-Cosmological Interpretation of Redshift

  1. May 28, 2005 #1

    SpaceTiger

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    In order to quell complaints from those members of the board who feel they are being discriminated against in my recent threads, I would like to directly address the issue of a non-cosmological interpretation of redshift. If you're a layman trying to learn about astronomy, I advise you to disregard this thread and read my other one on the mainstream view. Only a very small portion of the community even takes this seriously. In the interest of open scientific debate, however, I will present the following challenges to nay-sayers:

    1) Explain the CMB, including the acoustic oscillations.
    2) Explain the abundances of light elements.
    3) Explain the formation of large scale structure.
    4) Explain the correlation of strong absorption systems in QSOs with galaxies on the sky.
    5) Explain gravitationally lensed quasars.

    There's much more, but I'd be happy to see an explanation of even one of those things, preferably mathematical.
     
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  3. May 28, 2005 #2

    Chronos

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    You are joking, right? I've been asking the same kind of questions for years and guess what... you don't get a reply. Why is that?
     
  4. May 28, 2005 #3

    Nereid

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    It may not come as a surprise to regular readers of PF that I too have been asking questions of this kind to everyone who proposes an alternative to the cosmological interpretation.

    Here is some of what I've learned:
    - there are many who only throw rocks; they have their pet lists of 'exceptions' or 'anomalies' which they claim 'don't fit' ... but they have no alternative to offer (and are quite honest about this, or sometimes not); maybe more on this line of opposition later
    - there are several who can wave their hands, sometimes clearly, in well constructed paragraphs, with all manner of erudite sounding terms; however, almost all of these have failed to come through when pressed to give some math or OOM calculations (again, some - most - are honest about their inability to 'step up to the plate', but some not)
    - there is a well-known camp who take pains to say their 'alternative' is 'purely empirical' ... i.e. they have a bunch of observations, and when they analyse them, certain (non-cosmological redshift) trends pop out. I find it particularly frustrating engaging with these folk, not least because their 'empirical relationships' are so loosely (dare one say, 'arbitrarily'?) constructed as to (apparently) preclude any serious tests
    - the only folk I've come across (so far) who do seem to be at least attempting to put together a consistent, quantitative alternative are various 'plasma cosmologists' ... if they are serious, I admire their courage and fortitude, and I look forward to reading what they produce.

    Oh, and one last comment: have any PF readers come across the 'but what about the Wolf effect?' challenge? Many of you, I'm sure. Has any such challenger yet presented even a vaguely plausible proposal for how to test the extent to which the Wolf effect might be the cause of at least some of the observed 'cosmological redshifts'?
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2005
  5. May 29, 2005 #4

    turbo

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    If any of you will drop me a PM with your email address, I will be pleased to send you a concise overview of my ZPE gravitation model. It is necessarily non-technical, since I am math-challenged (having ditched engineering school to pursue a double major in English Lit and Philosophy). The model is logically rigorous and is falsifiable by at least 5 methods, including predicted short-term variability in WMAP small-angle anisotropies, CERN's Athena measurement of the gravitational infall rate of anti-hydrogen and several more. To the folks that have already seen a prior version of the overview, the basics have not changed in the least, but there have been several refinements and extensions, including predictions regarding experimental results and observations.
     
  6. May 29, 2005 #5

    turbo

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    You're joking, right? I have been giving you answers whenever possible. With regard to the formation of large-scale structure (ST's #3), I have pointed out many times that the observation of quasars as large as 10G Msol embedded in host galaxies of Trillions of Msol as far back as z~6.5 poses a real challenge to the heirarchical model, especially since these objects typically exhibit solar or super-solar metallicities. Quasars have been shown to cluster, not unlike local galaxies, posing the question of how these supermassive objects formed larger-scale structure so early in the life of the universe. This is not a problem in a steady state universe.

    As for the nature of the CMB (ST's #1), I have also explained at length how that arises in my model, including the nature of the WMAP anisotropies. Please note that Eddington predicted that empty space would have a ground temperature of about 3K back in 1926, which he later refined to 2.8K.
     
  7. May 29, 2005 #6

    wolram

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    I have no problem with Red shift, my problem is understanding," expanding
    space", It seems even the ST and QLG people are still in a quandary also.
    May be it makes perfect sense to some, but i do not know a robust way of
    describing this action.
    Space can "carry", galaxies with it as it expands, but can not break the
    weakest gravitational bond? Why should it "carry" galaxies with it, why does
    it not ignore ,"non gravitationally bound mass", as it does," G Bound mass"?
     
  8. May 29, 2005 #7

    SpaceTiger

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    There's no need for that. Please address the above points in the context of your model, even if there's no math. If you need to cut parts from or refer to other posts, that's fine. Your posts in this thread so far contain only one nitpick of the standard model (based on very sketchy observations, no lses) and a vague allusion to how you can explain the CMB acoustic oscillations. Obviously, that's not very satisfying.
     
  9. May 29, 2005 #8

    turbo

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    In my model (which assumes an infinite Steady State universe), the virtual pairs of the quantum vacuum are polarized by the presence of matter, with antiparticles preferentially orient toward the dominant mass. In the standard model, particles and antiparticles are assumed to have equivalent gravitational mass, but that has never been experimentally demonstrated. A crucial experiment of CERN's Athena project will measure the gravitational infall rate of neutral antihydrogen, once the team has gotten past the hurdles of trapping and cooling the component particles - no small feat.

    This vacuum polarization (arising from differential in gravitational infall) results in densification of the vacuum field, since as the antiparticles are preferentially oriented toward the dominant mass of matter, their partner particles are oriented outward from the dominant mass, presenting a unified front to attract and orient the antiparticles of pairs further out. This self-attractive gravitational effect does not result in collapse of the vacuum field, because the fermionic behavior of the particles and antiparticles generate an opposing pressure as they progressively resist being crowded toward the same quantum state (per the Pauli exclusion principle). The PEP pressure and the gravitational attraction are everywhere in dynamical balance to 120 OOM, explaining why the universe has not collapsed to a few thousand kilometers under the gravitational energy of the vacuum fields. The fact that the vacuum energy is so finely balanced is proof that both the pressure and the gravitational energy are aspects of the same field. If the pressure (cosmological constant if you prefer) and gravitational energy of the quantum vacuum were not features of the very same field, it would be impossible to explain the exquisite fine-tuning, and any little imbalance in the contributing fields would have long ago have caused the universe to either collapse or disintegrate.

    Now for non-cosmological redshift in this model. The vacuum fields are the aether through which EM waves propagate. Einstein needed a dynamical gravitational aether to model GR, and he admitted that an EM aether was essential for the transmission of light. The problem was that he couldn't accomodate a dynamical EM aether in GR so he punted and said that although the EM aether must exist, it can have no sensible properties. In my model, the gravitational aether and the EM aether are one and the same. EM waves traversing the aether (the EM fields of the quantum vacuum) do not get a free ride. They interact with the fields and lose energy in the process. The more energetic the EM (higher frequency), the more interactions, and the more they will be slowed and redshifted, so there is a level of frequency-dependance in the model. I expect for example that gamma rays will be slowed and redshifted more than infrared, proportional to the frequency difference. If light interacts with the aether, light coming from sufficiently far away will ultimately be redshifted into indetectability. This is analagous to how AC current can be rectified and smoothed into a DC signal which contributes to the ground state of the circuit, but is no longer sensible as AC. EM of a sufficiently long wavelength is no longer sensible to us as EM. This redshifting mechanism moots Olber's Paradox as an objection to an infinite universe, since the EM from objects sufficiently far away is redshifted into undetectability. It cannot be differentiated from the ground state of the vacuum.

    Now to the CMB. The CMB is simply the average temperature of the quantum vacuum - the sum of all the energy contributions from all the sources in the visible universe. Eddington calculated this temperature to be 3K in 1926 and later refined it to 2.8K which was pretty astute. Penzias and Wilson confirmed this prediction closely in 1965, and it has since been measured to be very close to Eddington's 2.8K. The CMB happens to be a fine experimental confirmation for a prediction based on a steady state universe. Gamow in his book "Creation of the Universe" had predicted that the CMB resulting from the Big Bang would be 50K. Interestingly, the Penzias and Wilson result was trumpeted as a successful confirmation for Gamow's BB model, not for Eddington's.

    As to the anisotropies of the CMB as seen in WMAP data: These anisotropies are due to our motions relative to the vacuum fields, which are a semi-Machian reference frame. The motion of the MW gives us the large dipole anisotropy. Smaller anisotropies arise from the rotation of the MW, the Sun's motion through the galactic arm, and the motion of the Earth (and WMAP at L2) around the sun. If my model is correct, the gross features of the WMAP2 data will agree with WMAP1 results, but the small-angle anisotropies will not agree. This is because the small-angle anisotropies are artifacts of the movement of the WMAP probe relative to the vacuum fields.

    Even the smallest-angle anisotropies in the WMAP data cover immense areas of space when projected back to the era of recombination. These areas are so large that they cannot possibly have conspired to change between years one and two. I predict that there are significant differences in the small-angle anisotropies between the data sets of the first two years, and that the changes will ultimately be found to be due to the orientation of the WMAP detectors relative to WMAPs motion through the vacuum field. In other words, the temperature measured in a particular spot in the celestial background is a sum of all the motions I mentioned above relative to the vacuum field plus the orientation of the detectors with respect to those motions. Higher temperatures in the forward direction and lower temperatures facing away from the direction of motion.

    As for the "nitpick" about large-scale structure and high metallicity in the very early universe, some very smart people have been studying and publishing about this. I have cited many of these papers in earlier threads. The Standard Model, being time-limited, can be constrained by things like accretion rates of stars, galaxies, and black holes, the evolution of metallicity, mass budget, etc which is why these authors are interested. They seem to be serious folks, not nitpickers, and you can bet that the observational astronomers among them are already clamoring to reserve time on the LBT and the Webb to push observations far past z=6.5.

    http://cosmos.as.arizona.edu/~thompson/pubdb/docs/freudling03a.pdf
    http://cosmos.as.arizona.edu/~thompson/pubdb/docs/barth03a.pdf
    http://citebase.eprints.org/cgi-bin...pdf&identifier=oai:arXiv.org:astro-ph/0112075
    http://citebase.eprints.org/cgi-bin...pdf&identifier=oai:arXiv.org:astro-ph/0205143
    http://citebase.eprints.org/cgi-bin/citations?id=oai:arXiv.org:astro-ph/0311008
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2005
  10. May 29, 2005 #9

    hellfire

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    I am sure you had this in mind, but may be just for completeness and since they are not often explicitely stated, I will add two phenomena which, together with redshift, are a proof for the cosmological expansion of space:

    6) Cosmological time dilation
    7) Tolman surface brightness test
     
  11. May 29, 2005 #10

    Chronos

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    Good one, hellfire, time dilation of supernova light curves should be a stake in the heart of any non-cosmological redshift model. Of course there are others, but this one is a no brainer.
     
  12. May 29, 2005 #11

    turbo

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    From my way-long post above:

    This smears the luminosity curve of a rapid broad-spectrum event, with the forerunner waves being in the long wavelength end of the object's spectrum. If this is true, and if we are lucky enough to have a Webb observation of a supernova host galaxy just before the SN becomes visible in optical wavelengths, the Webb image should show anomalous brightness in the IR prior to the optical brightening.
     
  13. May 29, 2005 #12

    Chronos

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    I would be very interested in reviewing any observational evidence of frequency dependent redshift differentials. Would not this effect be apparent in quasar emission lines when they fluctuate in brightness?
     
  14. May 29, 2005 #13

    turbo

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    Frequency-dependent differentials not just in the amount of redshift, but also in light speed. I have looked very hard for evidence of this in papers regarding SN with no luck. Fotini Markopoulou Kalamara expects to see evidence of frequency-dependant delay of high frequency EM in Glast observations (2006 launch). She is a LQG researcher hoping to probe the fine structure of the vacuum by this means. Quick overview here:

    http://www.sciscoop.com/story/2003/2/16/152235/209

    More detail in Lee Smolin's paper here:

    http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/hep-th/pdf/0501/0501091.pdf

    Considering the length of the typical quasar light curve and the integration time required for making spectra of very faint sources, I doubt that the effect could be discerned unequivocably. We would get our best chance to see this effect if an IR telescope detected an anomalous brightening in a distant object, and on short notice an optical-or-shorter wavelength instrument could be trained on that location to catch the rise in luminosity in those wavelengths. In other words, an IR-wavelength detector on a Swift-type platform could catch a SN or perhaps a GRB before the fireworks started in the shorter wavelengths.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2005
  15. May 29, 2005 #14

    SpaceTiger

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    Let's start here, since this seems to be your explanation for the redshift. If the particles and anti-particles had different masses, they would tend align with the gravitational field, as you say. This would create a giant polarization field around massive bodies. As in dielectrics, the level of polarization would determine the speed with which light propagated through it. Thus, we should expect that the speed of light will depend on the strength of the local gravitational field? Is that correct?
     
  16. May 30, 2005 #15

    Nereid

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    Nice one turbo-1.

    Without math or numbers, I'm not sure we can get very far, but let's try.
    Fast forward a couple of years ... the Athena results are in, and they are:
    a) that matter and antimatter 'fall' at the same rate, to within the limits of the experimental errors. Is this a 'killer blow' to turbo-1's idea? If not, why not?
    b) that they fall at a different rate, 0.1% different. Is this confirmation of turbo-1's idea?
    Just want to make sure I'm reading this correctly ... so we could test the idea by comparing the redshift observed in 'radio lines' with that in the NIR/optical/UV and with that in X-rays? We could plot any observed 'discrepancies' (e.g. (zradio - zUV) against z, and see if there is a correlation?
    Again, just to make sure I'm following this right ... as the universe is infinite, and steady-state, it's 'turtles (a.k.a. galaxies), all the way down'? IOW, we will eventually be able to 'see' galaxies with z = 10, 100, 1000, 10,000, ...?

    SpaceTiger also listed "Explain the abundances of light elements." - does your idea address this too?
     
  17. May 30, 2005 #16

    turbo

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    a) Yes, it's a killer blow. I can envision no other mechanism for vacuum polarization. It must be a mechanism that arises from a fundamental property of elementary particles (followed by all particles and antiparticles everywhere in the universe).
    b) One-tenth of one percent? Theoretically that would provide some force for vacuum polarization, but given the strong lensing and the excess binding we observe in clusters, my gut feeling is that the gravitation infall rates will be found to differ by something (considerably) more than that.

    It may be possible to estimate the infall rate differential from the energy ascribed to the gravitation of the vacuum fields, but I'm not that talented. Since that theoretical energy is about 120 OOM larger than what we actually observe (due to the dynamical balance of the field's gravitation with the pressure of the Pauli exclusion principle) one would naively expect a substantial differential.

    Yes. For any very distant celestial event that is luminous in a broad range of frequencies and shows a rapid rise in luminosity, we should see a rise in radio luminosity, followed by a rise in IR, an increase in optical flux, etc. An object exhibiting a rapid drop in luminosity should show the same time variation, with the lower frequencies falling off first. The arrival times of the various frequencies will be smeared because longer wavelengths propagate through the aether with less "friction" (they lose proportionately less energy through interaction with the aether than short wavelengths). The signature of this activity in a distant SN is a temporal stretching of the luminosity curve and a compression of the overall spectrum, with higher frequencies being redshifted proportionately more than lower frequencies.

    No, we will not. The universe is steady state and infinite, but our visible universe is limited. The light from sufficiently distant objects will never be sensible as light because it is redshifted into undetectability. If we want to see further into the universe than we do now, we will have to do so at longer and longer wavelengths. At some distance, though, the EM from these distant galaxies will be redshifted so strongly that it will be indistinguishable from the CMB.

    I have only been working on the model for about a year and have not gotten into the chemistry. I have been concentrating on the mechanics of gravitation, the optical effects of the polarized vacuum fields, and the fine-tuning of the gravitational energy of the vacuum with the expansive pressure (CC). I also have a full-time (and more!) job.

    Regarding elemental abundances, an infinite steady-state universe requires a mindset somewhat different than that required by a BB cosmology. An interesting side-effect of this model is that due to the polarization of the virtual particle pairs, black holes will preferentially capture antiparticles, producing a net excess of real matter particles in the form of Hawking radiation. A tiny effect, but in a temporally infinite universe.......?
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2005
  18. May 30, 2005 #17

    turbo

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    That is correct. This allows us to model gravitational lensing in the terms of classical optics. The density gradient of the field, the shape of the lensing area, the angle at which an impinging wave-front encounters the gradient, etc, all contribute to the lensing.

    QFT tells us that there is no such thing as empty space, even at 0 deg. K. Once we admit the principle of vacuum polarization, the "speed of light in a vacuum" must be variable, based on the density of the field through which the light propagates. In the experimental predictions of my ZPE gravity model, I postulated an increase in the speed of light in a rarified quantum vacuum (between the plates of a conventional Casimir device). I was pretty proud of that, until a prominent ZPE researcher pointed out that Klaus Scharnhorst had proposed this back in 1990. I'm a little late to the cosmology party, so there's a lot of research to catch up on.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2005
  19. May 30, 2005 #18

    SpaceTiger

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    So let me get this straight. You're challenging not only standard cosmology, but also general relativity, a theory that has been tested to high precision in the weak field? Furthermore, your implication of a non-constant speed of light and the explanation of gravitational lensing by classical optics negates the mass-energy equivalence (since lensing is expected even from SR). In order to be consistent with observations, your theory needs to explain everything that SR and GR explain within the bounds of experimental tests. In other words, you're challenging a large portion of modern physics and yet haven't done a single calculation. That sir, is crackpottery.
     
  20. May 30, 2005 #19

    turbo

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    My initial motivation (about a year ago) was to describe a mechanism for gravitation that is consistent with quantum theory and can produce observed optical effects (lensing, redshift, etc) without inventing any entities beyond those already proven to exist. I first looked for intersections where GR and QFT are incompatible. The curved space-time model of gravitation seems to be a real sticking point for QFT. The fine-tuning of the gravitational attraction of the quantum vacuum field (nulled to 120 OOM) poses a bit of a quandry for GR, as does the fine-tuning of the CC. Intractible problems are usually signs that we are not asking ourselves the right questions or have framed the problem incorrectly. I asked myself questions about what we know and what we "assume" we know (epistemology), and decided that GR's mathematical gravitational model of curved space-time needed to be underpinned by a mechanical process, and that perhaps the vacuum fields were part of the process. A few months into the process, I found out that Sakharov had suggested years ago that mass and inertia arise from the interaction of matter with the vacuum fields. That was encouraging, but I found no significant extensions of that idea, so I continued on my own. You have not seen all of the model, but I guarantee you that it is logical, self-consistent, and falsifiable by several experiments, including two that are ongoing.

    If you see logical inconsistencies with my model, feel free to point them out. Simply dismissing it out-of-hand because it challenges things that are widely believed is illogical. My model can explain the fine-tuning of the CC. How does the standard model explain it?
     
  21. May 30, 2005 #20

    SpaceTiger

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    No, what's illogical is believing in a theory with no mathematical backbone. Relativity is widely believed because it is widely tested. You need to show that you can produce the same results in the regimes in which relativity is tested, otherwise your talk is gibberish. Anybody can wave their hands, point out problematic observations, and claim they've solved physics, but unless you can actually show your theory to be consistent with the observations that have already been done, you should really keep quiet about it.
     
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