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Observations, Patterns, and Hypotheses

  1. Jan 28, 2016 #1
    Points A, B and C form an isosceles triangle. A is 6 lightyears away from C, B is 6 lightyears away from C, and A and B are 1 lightyear away from each other. Oh, and C is Earth. So it's point A, point B, and a telescope on/around Earth. An astronomer on Earth observers an incredibly brief gamma-ray flash originating from point A. In an incredibly short period of time, she observers the gamma-ray flash red-shift through the radio range and beyond until it's completely undetectable; until the wavelength "flatlines," so to speak. So I call it a gamma-ray flash but only because that's how it starts out, It doesn't even linger in the gamma ray range for very long; it red-shifts into undetectability almost instantaneously. One hour later, we detect a radio wave that originated at point B, but it doesn't remain a radio wave for long. Instead, it almost instantaneously blue-shifts up to the gamma ray range and then vanishes just as quickly as the first flash came and went. Given that the two locations are a lightyear apart and the events were an hour apart, it is safe to infer that the two events were well outside each other's light cones.

    Now imagine a point D which is about 5.5 lightyears away from Earth and 1.5 lightyears away from point A. A year or so later, we detect a radio flash that instantaneously blue-shifts into the gamma range and then disappears from point D. A little over a year later, basically 1 year and 90 minutes, we detect a gamma ray flash that quickly red-shifts beyond the radio range into indetectibility from point A. After doing the math, it is discovered that the events at points A and D are also outside each other's light cones.

    Now imagine a point E which is 6.5 lightyears from Earth and 1.5 lightyears from point A. We observe a gamma flash that instantly red-shifts into nothingness at point A. A little less than a year later, basically 1 year minus 90 minutes, we observe a radio flash that instantly blue-shifts through the gamma range and then ends at point E. Again, the math shows that the two events were outside each other's light cones.

    If you were the astronomer who noticed this pattern, what would you induce?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 28, 2016 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Do you have an answer, or are you asking?
  4. Jan 29, 2016 #3
    I do and I don't. I have a hypothesis in mind and I'm wondering if other people would arrive at the same hypothesis, so this is more of a poll than a riddle. There's no correct or incorrect answer, really. I want to see if my hypothesis is, at least, reasonable based on the hypotheses that others advance
  5. Jan 29, 2016 #4


    Staff: Mentor

    Well, any hypothesis other than coincidence, which I assume is not what you have in mind, can't be evaluated using our present physical laws, since it would involve these pairs of events being causally linked even though they are spacelike separated. So I don't see how we can have a useful discussion.
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