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New Theory of Gravity Decouples Space & Time

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the paging-hal-clement dept.

Space 575

eldavojohn writes "Petr Horava, a physicist at the University of California in Berkeley, has a new theory about gravity and spacetime. At high energies, it actually snips any ties between space and time, yet at low energies devolves to equivalence with the theory of General Relativity, which binds them together. The theory is gaining popularity with physicists because it fits some observations better than Einstein's or Newton's solutions. It better predicts the movement of the planets (in an idealized case) and has a potential to create the illusion of dark matter. Another physicist calculated that under Horava Gravity, our universe would experience not a Big Bang but a Big Bounce — and the new theory reproduces the ripples from such an event in a way that matches measurements of the cosmic microwave background."

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575 comments

Oh no... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30218532)

You mean the space-time continuum doesn't exist? Star Trek is wrong?

Re:Oh no... (5, Funny)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 4 years ago | (#30218828)

If you reverse the polarity, inject some chroniton particles, and rub Patrick Stewart's head for good luck, it'll still work.

Not again (1, Interesting)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 4 years ago | (#30218534)

Every few years, there is yet another theory that claims to be better suited for our models than Einstein's. Then they realize they overlooked something and find Einstein's idea fit better than ever.

Re:Not again (5, Insightful)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 4 years ago | (#30218604)

Behold, science.

The catch is, eventually one will be right, and explain things that are out of the scope of Einstein's theories or more accurately explain in-scope things.

Or do you believe we are at the pinnacle of the field, and can achieve no more?

Re:Not again (5, Funny)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#30218622)

We have reached enlightenment. We shall now call ourselves Q.

(huuummmm)

Man this is dull.

Re:Not again (5, Funny)

CyberLord Seven (525173) | more than 4 years ago | (#30218802)

To differentiate myself from the lot of you bores I shall take a first name: Fah. From this point on I am Fah Q! :)

Re:Not again (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30219316)

A laughed at this far more than I should have.

Re:Not again (0, Offtopic)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 4 years ago | (#30219184)

We have reached enlightenment.

Yes - thanks to Samsung!

Re:Not again (5, Funny)

flyneye (84093) | more than 4 years ago | (#30218706)

I believe they will all be right, but it will only be from the perspective of the observer/believer which is right at the moment. However when it isn't being observed it will be both right and wrong until observed again. Therefore there are multiple pinnacles and it won't matter which are right or highest. Just have your towel ready because on top of the pinnacle is a little man who is only going to apologize for the inconvenience.
Always have a towell ready.

Correction: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30218806)

Behold, science.

The catch is, eventually one will more closely match the observed universe than General Reletivity , and explain things that are out of the scope of Einstein's theories or more accurately explain in-scope things.

Or do you believe we are at the pinnacle of the field, and can achieve no more?

There fixed that for you.

Re:Correction: (4, Funny)

rhathar (1247530) | more than 4 years ago | (#30218968)

You fixed it by misspelling General Relativity?

Or maybe you actually meant the theory would be better than 'Reletivity'. That could work.

Re:Not again (2, Insightful)

CheshireCatCO (185193) | more than 4 years ago | (#30219178)

The catch is, eventually one will be right,

This is, perhaps, a minor quibble with wording. (Depending on what you meant.) But no, neither is likely to be right. One will be shown to be wrong before the other, however. Or, if you prefer, one will probably be more accurate.

Re:Not again (1)

cthulu_mt (1124113) | more than 4 years ago | (#30218730)

How is this bad?

It seems like science doing it's thing.

Re:Not again (4, Insightful)

coastwalker (307620) | more than 4 years ago | (#30218874)

This is healthy. Science can only progress if we accept that thinking outside the box is admissable. If the idea works ehen it will be testable.
 

Re:Not again (1, Funny)

ikono (1180291) | more than 4 years ago | (#30219218)

[quote]thinking outside the box is admissable.[/quote] Jesus is thinking outside the box, right?

Re:Not again (4, Insightful)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 4 years ago | (#30218798)

Every few years, there is yet another theory that claims to be better suited for our models than Einstein's. Then they realize they overlooked something and find Einstein's idea fit better than ever.

Yeah: http://yfrog.com/b9sciencevsfaithbigp [yfrog.com]

This sentiment is rather old, I'm sure before and when Einstein came about, people were saying the same thing about Newtonian physics. Skepticism about new theories are fine, but I'm sure the science will come to a point where we do discover something better than Einstein's formulas in some areas.

BTW, my physics is really rusty, doesn't one of Einstein's equations devolve into a newtonian equation at slow speed? Which just shows that things are truly built on top of one another.

Re:Not again (5, Insightful)

Nevynxxx (932175) | more than 4 years ago | (#30218978)

BTW, my physics is really rusty, doesn't one of Einstein's equations devolve into a newtonian equation at slow speed?

Wouldn't be correct if it didn't. Newton wasn't *wrong*, he just didn't specify the parts he couldn't see. Same with Einstein, same with this.

Re:Not again (4, Interesting)

Rand310 (264407) | more than 4 years ago | (#30219112)

Yep. It's called the Correspondence Principle [wikipedia.org] when applied to quantum/classical mechanics. Basically, Newton's equations 'fall out' of Einstein's when you assume the speed of light is a big number relative to all other speeds.
Recently, paradigms in physics have been interesting in this respect as the new perfectly subsume the prior in their limits. I am not sure that this is a tautology of science, but it is an elegant means of progression.

Re:Not again (3, Insightful)

theIsovist (1348209) | more than 4 years ago | (#30219264)

I'm really going to destroy my karma here, but I think that diagram isn't correct. I would argue that personal faith is almost identical to the path of the science in the diagram. There are those of us out there who hold beliefs but aren't afraid that our beliefs might be changed by what evidence we are presented with. Faith will always be there for the things we do not have the tools to understand. Whether or not you apply a god to it doesn't matter, because in the end, past what our science is able to tell us, everything comes down to a belief.

The problem with faith is when it becomes blind faith. Some people think what they've found is the be all end all and refuse to search anymore. It's not specific to the religious either. If you notice, there are "science" folk in here mocking this new theory because it contradicts the old one. Think about this next time you want to take a swing at someone who holds faith.

Re:Not again (1)

z4ns4stu (1607909) | more than 4 years ago | (#30219042)

If this didn't happen, it wouldn't be science; it'd be religion.

Re:Not again (1)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 4 years ago | (#30219176)

This can only work so long (and that may be centuries), but eventually better & more accurate observations will displace Einstein's lofty (and most well-deserved) place in Scientific Knowledge. The man was brilliant, but he wasn't omniscient in his understanding of natural law. Eventually an observation he couldn't have had access to will present itself to humanity and knock the old man's findings on its ass.

Re:Not again (1, Insightful)

ircmaxell (1117387) | more than 4 years ago | (#30219198)

Take a read through Thomas Kuhn's Structure Of Scientific Revolutions [amazon.com] Quite a fascinating book describing scientific paradigms and revolutions in thought.

This process is science at its best. Problem doesn't fit solution, so find new problem without bending and complicating either... It's happened before, and will happen again (until we know everything, in which case what's the point?)...

Excellent! (1)

GarretSidzaka (1417217) | more than 4 years ago | (#30218538)

this article was covered by SciAm too. I think that this is a first step in the right direction as far as innovation in the theory. i read that some of the theory used math from helium super-fluids.

It needs to be rigorously tested, and with the LHC seeming to be working, we will be able to start.

Re:Excellent! (1)

discord5 (798235) | more than 4 years ago | (#30218600)

with the LHC seeming to be working

Is it working again? Last I heard a bird dropped a baguette on it and it croaked. Then again, I don't really keep up to speed on my particle accelerator news anyway.

Re:Excellent! (1)

click2005 (921437) | more than 4 years ago | (#30218640)

They started collisions yesterday (all 4 teams i believe). I dont think its up to the energy levels of the Tevatron/Fermilab yet but its getting there.

Re:Excellent! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30218794)

soon you can buy a miniature blackhole in a snowglobe at the LHC giftshop

Re:Excellent! (2, Funny)

Dr. Evil (3501) | more than 4 years ago | (#30219104)

In my home reality, we had machines to jump into parallel dimensions, but baguettes were outlawed when Palin took the U.S. presidency and invaded France.

I hadn't heard of the croaking bird dimension though. I'll have to visit.

Excellence: Biography of Petr Hoava (4, Informative)

reporter (666905) | more than 4 years ago | (#30218862)

Professor Petr Hoava has proposed a new theory of gravity; it is winning accolades from the physics community.

Yet, who is Petr Hoava? He maintains a Web page [berkeley.edu] that offers the following biography.

"Petr Horava received his Ph.D. in 1991 at the Institute of Physics of the Czech Academy of Sciences in Prague. He was awarded the Robert McCormick Research Fellowship at the Enrico Fermi Institute at the University of Chicago, worked as a Research Associate at Princeton University, and won a Sherman Fairchild Senior Research Fellowship at Caltech, before joining the New High Energy Theory Center at Rutgers University in 2000 as an Associate Professor. In 1997, he was awarded the Junior Prize of the Czech Learned Society, and in 1999 he appeared on the list of top three scientists of the Czech Republic of the 90's. He joined the Physics Department at UC Berkeley in 2001."

The liberation of Eastern Europe in 1989 has unleashed an intellectual force that will advance human knowledge by leaps and bounds. 2009 is the 20th anniversary of that liberation.

Buddha bless the Eastern Europeans.

Re:Excellent! (3, Interesting)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#30219032)

i read that some of the theory used math from helium super-fluids.

Hoava likens this emergence to the way some exotic substances change phase. For instance, at low temperatures liquid helium's properties change dramatically, becoming a "superfluid" that can overcome friction. In fact, he has co-opted the mathematics of exotic phase transitions to build his theory of gravity. So far it seems to be working: the infinities that plague other theories of quantum gravity have been tamed, and the theory spits out a well-behaved graviton. It also seems to match with computer simulations of quantum gravity.

As I'm no math nerd, perhaps someone who is can explain why infinity is disallowed? I finally figured out why you can't divide by zero; 10/2=5, 5/2=2.5, but if you use numbers smaller than one it is reversed; 1/.5=2, 1/.05=20, so anything divided by zero would be infinity. Is the universe infinite? If so, how can it be studied mathematically?

I found this intrigueing:

If Hoava gravity is true, argues cosmologist Robert Brandenberger of McGill University in a paper published in the August Physical Review D, then the universe didn't bang--it bounced. "A universe filled with matter will contract down to a small--but finite--size and then bounce out again, giving us the expanding cosmos we see today," he says. Brandenberger's calculations show that ripples produced by the bounce match those already detected by satellites measuring the cosmic microwave background, and he is now looking for signatures that could distinguish the bounce from the big bang scenario.

I'm no physicist, but that occurred to me when I first herd of the big band theory. If so, would it bounce an infinite number of times?

Re:Excellent! (1)

EMG at MU (1194965) | more than 4 years ago | (#30219328)

I finally figured out why you can't divide by zero; 10/2=5, 5/2=2.5, but if you use numbers smaller than one it is reversed; 1/.5=2, 1/.05=20, so anything divided by zero would be infinity. Is the universe infinite?

You can't divide by zero because it is irrational. Take a set of objects in you home and divide them into 0 groups. You are correct, however, that as you take the limit of x as it approaches zero, 1/x goes to infinity. Taking limits as numbers approach zero or infinity (positive or negative) is a fundamental of differential calculus. Limits is how we work around the cant divide by zero problem. BTW, if you get a correct answer about the nature of the universe, let me know. I don't believe we have determined that yet.

This is Heresy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30218546)

and he should be punished.

It is also not a complete and consistent theory (4, Insightful)

Giant Electronic Bra (1229876) | more than 4 years ago | (#30218630)

Horavec's formulation works for certain (perfectly spherical) cases of the stress-energy tensor, not in other cases. In fact it produces some wildly inaccurate results in more realistic cases. Nor is he the first to try this kind of thing. Still, it sounds interesting and further refinements could produce a fully consistent theory which can match observation. When and if that happens then it will be a really major advance. It certainly seems like we're edging closer to something.

And FTL, too (4, Interesting)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | more than 4 years ago | (#30218576)

Special relativity, of course, forbids sending information faster than light. A theory supplanting the space-time unification of General Relativity would also supplant special relativity, and hence might not have that limitation. Here's an inteersting tidbit from the article: "Gia Dvali, a quantum gravity expert at CERN, remains cautious. A few years ago he tried a similar trick, breaking apart space and time in an attempt to explain dark energy. But he abandoned his model because it allowed information to be communicated faster than the speed of light."

I'd call that a feature, not a bug!

Re:And FTL, too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30218616)

We believe this feature is currently working as intended.

Sincerely,
Universe Development Team

Re:And FTL, too (1)

Tekfactory (937086) | more than 4 years ago | (#30218868)

The skills of the live (maintenance) team are never as good as the original development team, who have by now certainly moved on to new projects.

Re:And FTL, too (1)

necro81 (917438) | more than 4 years ago | (#30218936)

No no: we believe this bug is currently working as intended.

Re:And FTL, too (0, Offtopic)

happy_place (632005) | more than 4 years ago | (#30218664)

Communicating faster than the speed of light? Isn't that straight out of Science Fiction? The Ansible in Ender's Game/Speaker for the Dead/Xenocide fame... Sweeeet... can't wait to meet a bugger.

Re:And FTL, too (4, Interesting)

realityimpaired (1668397) | more than 4 years ago | (#30218922)

Actually, faster-than-light transmission of information has already been observed in science. [wikipedia.org]

It's a long way from observing and indirectly influencing quantum entanglement to a Star Trek-esque subspace communication, but the fact that Quantum Entanglement exists in the first place lends credence to the notion that c is not a hard limit, or at least, that it's not a hard limit outside of the 4 dimensions that we can observe.

Re:And FTL, too (2, Funny)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 4 years ago | (#30218986)

Your cited experiment seems to show entanglement by observation is FTL.

But really, what's faster than a two-year old? Therein is the true upper-end limit of c.

Re:And FTL, too (4, Informative)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | more than 4 years ago | (#30219016)

Well, yes, I suppose... as long as your definition of "transmission" of information is sufficiently flexible. The quantum correlation is "transmitted" faster than light, but you can't get information out of it unless you receive the (slower than light) classical part.

Re:And FTL, too (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 4 years ago | (#30219034)

That's assuming you use an interpretation where there's a causal connection between the measurements of the entangled partners. Those interpretations are supported only by a minority of physicists.

Note that quantum mechanics fulfills the no-signaling condition: You cannot use entanglement (or any other quantum effect) to communicate faster than light.

Re:And FTL, too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30219056)

Communicating faster than the speed of light? Isn't that straight out of Science Fiction?

Not that I'm aware of - I watch and read a *lot* of science fiction, and I've never ever seen or read anything that showed communicating faster than the speed of light.

I'm pretty sure that nobody has ever though of such a thing before.

Re:And FTL, too (5, Insightful)

mea37 (1201159) | more than 4 years ago | (#30218770)

Whether it's a feature or a bug depends on whether it reflects reality.

It's strange to me that Dvali would abandon his model for allowing FTL propagation of information unless he experimentally checked the conditions in question to see if information really could propagate FTL in those cases. I have to assume he did not - lacking clarification on the matter I'm left to assume that the conditions were not something simple he could test no a whim.

Without the experimental results, it's meaningless to call such an artifact in the model "good" or "bad".

Re:And FTL, too (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30219256)

I have to assume he did not - lacking clarification on the matter I'm left to assume that the conditions were not something simple he could test no a whim.

Wow. Anyone else see that? From my location, the n arrived before the o; however, the parent clearly typed them in order (o before n) in our reference frame, so I think we've just witnessed information traveling faster than light! Woohoo!

Re:And FTL, too (1)

mbone (558574) | more than 4 years ago | (#30218816)

Remember, faster than light means time travel (&, thus, causality violations), so I can understand caution. But, I bet in reality his theory had more serious problems.

Re:And FTL, too (0)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 4 years ago | (#30219050)

faster than light means time travel (&, thus, causality violations)

Or causality support. What if the time traveling foo-fighters from 40750 never shot down the Nazi planes, killed Hitler in his bunker, or performed a few experiments on cows (which are now extinct in 40750)? What if they never gave the secret of the transistor to Shockley? We'd not have the internet yet (or it would be telephone lines connecting the 10 or so ENIACs worldwide), and Midwestern farmers would have larger livestock herds (and cows wouldn't be extinct in 40750).

Re:And FTL, too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30219110)

Here's what I've always wondered about that. How does traveling faster than light let something return to a certain point in space before it left that point? And if you can't return to a point in space before you left it, you can't violate causality, right? Let's say a star blows up 30 light years away and an alien spaceship flies faster than light to warn us about it. I don't see how it violates causality to tell us about the explosion before we could conventionally learn about it. We still can't travel back to the star and somehow stop it from exploding. When we got there, it would still have already happened.

Re:And FTL, too (4, Interesting)

megamerican (1073936) | more than 4 years ago | (#30219260)

Remember, faster than light means time travel (&, thus, causality violations), so I can understand caution. But, I bet in reality his theory had more serious problems.

If his theory is correct and space and time are decoupled then faster than light travel wouldn't allow you to travel back in time.

Re:And FTL, too (4, Interesting)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 4 years ago | (#30218836)

"But he abandoned his model because it allowed information to be communicated faster than the speed of light."
I'd call that a feature, not a bug!

Exactly! "Oh no, my theory doesn't match the theory it's replacing!" Well, experiment, dummy! Did Einstein say "oh no, my theory allows light rays to bend and makes C the absolute speed!"? No! He got together with other scientists in 1919 and watched starshine bend around an eclipse.

Re:And FTL, too (5, Interesting)

PuckSR (1073464) | more than 4 years ago | (#30219274)

Actually, HE DID!

He added the cosmological constant to his general theory of relativity, because if he followed his models...it indicated that the universe was expanding.
Einstein didn't like the idea that it was expanding(because it didn't fit the current thinking), so he added the cosmological constant to his equations to make the universe "static".

so, even Einstein fell prey to conventional wisdom and thinking.

Re:And FTL, too (1)

Henk Poley (308046) | more than 4 years ago | (#30218914)

It does build on the M Theory though, which is part of string theory. Those always seem like more of a good higher math research topic than anything really practical. Not that I even come close to understanding any of that, but that's what the people supporting the standard model usually slap the string theorists around with.

Re:And FTL, too (1, Interesting)

megamerican (1073936) | more than 4 years ago | (#30218964)

"Gia Dvali, a quantum gravity expert at CERN, remains cautious. A few years ago he tried a similar trick, breaking apart space and time in an attempt to explain dark energy. But he abandoned his model because it allowed information to be communicated faster than the speed of light."

I'd call that a feature, not a bug!

A good scientist would be saying, "Stockholm, baby!"

If you're a scientist looking to improve upon a theory it may be helpful to realize that something assumed by the current theory has to not be correct.

This is what gets me as a person who loves science. There are way too many people who view religion as silly, yet their views on science are just as dogmatic.

Re:And FTL, too (0, Offtopic)

MeatBag PussRocket (1475317) | more than 4 years ago | (#30219308)

Thank You!

i was actually thinking of saying something similar but chose not to, so as to avoid another debate about God. it always baffles me how stiff-necked the scientific community can be at times. the only times when things progress is when they can get over themselves and say, "hey maybe theres something we dont know here"

Re:And FTL, too (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#30219186)

I don't think we've ever stumbled upon a phenomena that suggests FTL in our universe. I'd say that's a good hint...

So help me out here. (5, Funny)

ErikTheRed (162431) | more than 4 years ago | (#30218648)

Does this theory suck or is there some pull to it? It just seems so weighty to me.

I don't know... (1)

ickeicke (927264) | more than 4 years ago | (#30218786)

I don't know, let's hope that someone has the time to shed some light on this matter...

Re:So help me out here. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30218860)

Does this theory suck or is there some pull to it? It just seems so weighty to me.

You underestimate the gravity of the situation.

Re:So help me out here. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30219046)

Who modded this troll? Are you people completely devoid of humor? Something must have sucked the fun out of your lives.

Re:So help me out here. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30219072)

I don't know but if everyone could mod it "underrated" then we could give him a nice +5 Troll which would be cool and funny (to go along with the funny post).

New theory on funding? (0, Troll)

ubergeek65536 (862868) | more than 4 years ago | (#30218666)

They are all scrambling for new theories on how to get research money now that string theory is loosing momentum. What Brian Greene has been up to lately?

Much more mathematical detail... (3, Informative)

Lord Grey (463613) | more than 4 years ago | (#30218682)

... in a presentation [ksc.re.kr] from the 30th Workshop on Gravitation and Numerical Relativity at Jungwon University. It's a PDF version of a PowerPoint deck, so it's not exactly easy to read.

Re:Much more mathematical detail... (4, Funny)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#30218752)

It's a PDF version of a PowerPoint deck, so it's not exactly easy to read.

Indeed, informative link but I think your signature should be at the start of your post. I was doing pretty good right up until they plugged the ansatz into the Horava’s action to produce the reduced Lagrangian.

Re:Much more mathematical detail... (5, Funny)

Lord Grey (463613) | more than 4 years ago | (#30218842)

... until they plugged the ansatz into the Horava’s action to produce the reduced Lagrangian.

Huh. I didn't get that far. And I'm pretty sure that whatever it that is, it's illegal in Texas.

Re:Much more mathematical detail... (1)

owlstead (636356) | more than 4 years ago | (#30218870)

If you're not a math student it is probably pretty hard to read in any form, not just PDF from PowerDeck. So if you're a code-head like me don't bother.

String Theory (4, Interesting)

Statecraftsman (718862) | more than 4 years ago | (#30218694)

So does this compete with string theory or have a chance modifying it to an eventual theory of everything?

Re:String Theory (3, Informative)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 4 years ago | (#30218952)

"String theory" is actually a collection of several competing theories and this theory appears to be another version. I can't really say for sure as the presentation on the theory seemed to me to be rather limited.

Re:String Theory (3, Informative)

skynexus (778600) | more than 4 years ago | (#30219210)

I think it is an alternative to string theory.

From http://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=313565 [physicsforums.com] :

Compared to string theory - much simpler and works in 3+1 dimensions
Compared to LQG - the classical limit is not a problem

Re:String Theory (1)

lugannerd (698512) | more than 4 years ago | (#30219222)

Its not string theory anymore - Its evovled to M theory and a bunch of brains.....

Here's the actual article (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30218734)

http://arxiv.org/abs/0901.3775 [arxiv.org] PS Slashdot has the slowest comment preview of any website I know.

ZZZTTT ! (3, Informative)

mbone (558574) | more than 4 years ago | (#30218764)

it fits some observations better than Einstein's or Newton's solutions. It better predicts the movement of the planets (in an idealized case)

Oh. In an idealized case. Imaginary physics. Of course, in the actual case, it does not (it requires patching to allow for non-spherical planets).

At any rate, there are at present no known relativistic measurements that are not consistent with General Relativity, so I am not clear where the "better than" comes from.

And, from the standpoint of a General Relativist, the stubborn desire of the particle physicists to have a flat spacetime at high enough energies, no matter what, seems, well, quaint.

Re:ZZZTTT ! (2, Informative)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 4 years ago | (#30218994)

It isn't the expectation of a flat space-time at quantum scales that is the problem, it is the infinities and negative probabilities that are the trouble. Relativity is wrong at some level; this much is pretty well established. The real tricky part is welding our understanding of space-time with quantum physics in a signle theory without breaking everything.

The Original Article is here.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30218808)

Just Because... (2, Insightful)

KingPin27 (1290730) | more than 4 years ago | (#30218826)

Just because communication at FTL speeds doesn't fit the model as we can understand it doesnt mean that it doesn't or cannot occur. We should stop dismissing ideas of science simply because they don't fit with what we believe should happen. It is entirely plausible that there are things that happen in the universe that we cannot yet mathematically explain - but because we cannot fully mathematically explain them they should not be dismissed.

Re:Just Because... (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#30219242)

...but we also haven't observed those "things" that you talk about, AFAIK.

some modest hypotheses (4, Funny)

czarangelus (805501) | more than 4 years ago | (#30218844)

1. Gravity is still spooky action at a distance with no causal mechanism defined.

2. I don't think time, as in "time lines" or some kind of unidirectional movement through a medium exists. Now exists, hypostatized out of a past (which stops existing when it stops being now) and which in turn hypostatizes the future (which does not exist.)

3. Electromagnetism is the dominant force in the heavens as it is on Earth.

4. Stars are organisms and they reproduce through fission.

5. Galaxies are powered by vast electric circuits; beads on a string.

Re:some modest hypotheses (1)

tylersoze (789256) | more than 4 years ago | (#30219064)

Now exists, hypostatized out of a past (which stops existing when it stops being now) and which in turn hypostatizes the future (which does not exist.)

Which Now [wikipedia.org] would that be exactly? :)

Theory or Hypothesis? (3, Interesting)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 4 years ago | (#30218846)

Sounds to me like this is just an hypothesis as there doesn't appear to much experimental evidence supporting it. This is an extraordinary claim and so need extraordinary proof.

And, the interchanging of hypothesis and theory by scientific magazines is a bad thing. If scientists, science fans, and science writers do not use the words correctly how are we to defend the difference when creationists come around misusing the words?

Re:Theory or Hypothesis? (2, Insightful)

MontyApollo (849862) | more than 4 years ago | (#30219144)

The theory of special relativity and of general relativity existed before there was any experimental proof.

I think when you are dealing with theoretical physics, if you can get a mathematical model to "work," then it is a theory. Like String Theory.

Re:Theory or Hypothesis? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30219208)

And, the interchanging of hypothesis and theory by scientific magazines is a bad thing. If scientists, science fans, and science writers do not use the words correctly how are we to defend the difference when creationists come around misusing the words?

By not falling into the word-games trap. Language evolves. Letting someone play gotcha on definitions instead of ideas, insights and evidence means you're battling on shifting terrain.

Re:Theory or Hypothesis? (1)

Aaron_Pike (528044) | more than 4 years ago | (#30219292)

Actually, I believe one might find that Horava gravity is a theory, and that the hypothesis is that it is an accurate theory that matches with reality. But I agree with you in principle.

Re:Theory or Hypothesis? (1)

glwtta (532858) | more than 4 years ago | (#30219322)

If scientists, science fans, and science writers do not use the words correctly how are we to defend the difference when creationists come around misusing the words?

Oh get off it. They are using the word correctly, they are just using it in the common sense, rather than the strictly technical sense. And yes, here it means "hypothesis".

Words can have multiple meanings, you can't always demand that people only use the ones you like.

Do you want them to rename it "Hypothetical Physics", too?

Just wondering out loud... (3, Interesting)

mmell (832646) | more than 4 years ago | (#30218894)

Einstein's theories of relativity basically start by saying something to the effect of "Let us assume the speed of light to be the fastest anything can travel. If we assume this, then..."

Sounds like this guy's saying "Let us assume the speed of light is not necessarily the fastest anything can travel. If we assume this, then..."

The reason for Einstein's initial assumption is that we have never to date observed anything which has moved faster than light. Then again, would we know such a thing if we observed it, and have we actively looked for such a thing? If so, how have we looked?

Re:Just wondering out loud... (1)

czarangelus (805501) | more than 4 years ago | (#30219006)

Schwatzchild gave us the idea of black holes by postulating a region of infinite mass - because he divided by zero! Doesn't every grade school student know that dividing by zero gives an incoherent result?

Re:Just wondering out loud... (1)

NEDHead (1651195) | more than 4 years ago | (#30219220)

Singularities have to do with dividing by zero, black hole event horizons do not. Do not attribute erroneous thoughts to others. Embrace them yourself.

Travel... (1)

TheGreatOrangePeel (618581) | more than 4 years ago | (#30218912)

If it means that we can travel through space at FTL speeds, I'll buy it. Heck. I'll take two, but if I do, you have to let me be Worf.

Re:Travel... (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#30219206)

Let me be Kirk. He gets all the women.

Ow! (3, Insightful)

necro81 (917438) | more than 4 years ago | (#30218924)

It took me long enough to get my head around the intertwining of space and time in relativity. Now you're telling me that they might also be decoupled in special circumstances.

Ow! My brain hurts.

Re:Ow! (0, Troll)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#30219250)

Ow! My brain hurts.

Well, then, it will have to come out.

.
.
.

My brain hurts too...

Practical Application (1)

rcolbert (1631881) | more than 4 years ago | (#30219010)

Einstein's theory led to the atomic bomb. The most tangible output from any subsequent theory is "Stargate:Atlantis" at best. I doubt we'll have a satisfactory understanding of space, time, or gravity in my lifetime, and I'm not closing in on social security anytime soon.

Re:Practical Application (1)

TehCable (1351775) | more than 4 years ago | (#30219240)

From TFA...

Gia Dvali, a quantum gravity expert at CERN, remains cautious. A few years ago he tried a similar trick, breaking apart space and time in an attempt to explain dark energy. But he abandoned his model because it allowed information to be communicated faster than the speed of light.

I choose to believe that this new model will be the basis of the Subspace Communicator [memory-alpha.org] from Star Trek. Such is my approach to science. Don't judge me.

Apparent contradiction (2, Interesting)

perrin (891) | more than 4 years ago | (#30219026)

From the linked article, it seems the theory both predicts the heat death of the universe (continued accelerated expansion) and that our universe started from a "Big Crunch" scenario (gravity had pulled everything back again). This seems quite strange (although of course nature can be quite strange at times). Anyone know this theory any better and can provide some enlightenment?

How about the Big Smack? (2, Interesting)

Xaedalus (1192463) | more than 4 years ago | (#30219194)

So let's say our universe is expanding (doesn't matter if it's this theory or mainstream Big Bang). We already know there's volume beyond the visible edges of our universe. What if there's another universe expanding towards us, accelerating into heat death, and then its edges hit our own? Wouldn't that Big Smack be a Big Crunch? And thus another universe is born?

Facebook relationship status (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30219068)

So that's why Gravity's facebook relationship status switched to available. I bet the SNF totally makes a play.

Gosh darnit. Two guys I'd like to do my PhD under (3, Funny)

darkharlequin (1923) | more than 4 years ago | (#30219232)

In one day, and they are both in California. I am stuck here in New Jersey. New Jersey is Hell. When people die, they don't go under the ground, they just pop up somewhere in Newark. See, us citizens of New Jersey are immortal because if we are killed, we just pop up back again in New Jersey. Its just really hard to navigate around Newark, so that's why you don't see us again..................

Spooky action at a distance? (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 4 years ago | (#30219248)

Gia Dvali, a quantum gravity expert at CERN, remains cautious. A few years ago he tried a similar trick, breaking apart space and time in an attempt to explain dark energy. But he abandoned his model because it allowed information to be communicated faster than the speed of light.

Might this new theory explain how the speed of spooky action at a distance [wikipedia.org] is possible (below)?

A 2008 quantum physics experiment performed in Geneva, Switzerland has determined that the "speed" of the quantum non-local connection (what Einstein called spooky action at a distance) has a minimum lower bound of 10,000 times the speed of light.

Laws of physics breaking down? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30219262)

"Others have made even bolder claims for Hoava gravity, especially when it comes to explaining cosmic conundrums such as the singularity of the big bang, where the laws of physics break down".

I wish people would quit saying this. The laws of physics don't break down, just our understanding of them. Physics knows perfectly well what its up to.

Ho\v{r}rava, not Horava - fix your spelling! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30219272)

It's Horava (r with "v" above), not Horava! Fix the spelling and your unicode "support" (rendering me unable to even report the error properly)! It will soon be 2010, wake up!

I Refuse (1)

Kidro (1283296) | more than 4 years ago | (#30219282)

I refuse to read TFA. After all, the first thing I learned about gravity was that if I don't know anything about it, it can't effect me! Thank you, professor Coyote.
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