Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

9 Billion-Year-Old "Dark Energy" Reported

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the leaving-it-there-for-safekeeping dept.

118

loid_void writes to mention a New York Times article about the discovery that dark energy, or antigravity, was present at the formation of the universe. A team of 'dark energy prospectors' at the Space Telescope Science Institute theorizes that this may have directed the evolution of the cosmos. By observing supernova activity almost 8 billion years in the past, the team was able to study whether or not dark energy has changed over the millennia. From the article: "The data suggest that, in fact, dark energy has changed little, if at all, over the course of cosmic history. Though hardly conclusive, that finding lends more support to what has become the conventional theory, that the source of cosmic antigravity is the cosmological constant, a sort of fudge factor that Einstein inserted into his cosmological equations in 1917 to represent a cosmic repulsion embedded in space. Although Einstein later abandoned the cosmological constant, calling it a blunder, it would not go away. It is the one theorized form of dark energy that does not change with time. Sean Carroll, a cosmologist at the California Institute of Technology who was not on the team, said: 'Had they found the evolution was not constant, that would have been an incredibly earthshaking discovery. They looked where no one had been able to look before.'"

cancel ×

118 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

but the bible says... (-1, Offtopic)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 7 years ago | (#16894776)

.. THE WORLD IS 6000 YEARS OLD???

Got a 1-day-old dark energy In the toilet still (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16901264)

Got a 1-day-old dark energy In the toilet still. Wonder what it'll look like tomorrow, let alone 9 billion tomorrows. Want to see?

More from Sean Carroll (5, Informative)

joebebel (923241) | more than 7 years ago | (#16894796)

Sean Carroll (and some other notable physicists) have a blog which covered this in more detail. See http://cosmicvariance.com/2006/11/16/dark-energy-h as-long-been-dark-energy-like/ [cosmicvariance.com]

He provides a great explanation for the reader without familiarity with advanced physics, but at a level which is still interesting to the technical reader.

Does this really mean anything... (2, Interesting)

MassiveForces (991813) | more than 7 years ago | (#16894854)

A while ago I was reading a similar post on slashdot about dark matter, energy etc. One gentleman calld it all bs and pointed out a link to a website http://www.holoscience.com/news.php?article=knb8hx 39&keywords=darkenergy#dest [holoscience.com] which I decided to follow for the heck of it that basically had conventional eletromagnetic explanations for absolutely every mystery in astrophyics. Apparently the whole dark energy fiasco in astrophysics arises only because astronomers don't study the physics surrounding plasma and electricity enough to recognise the kind of events that are really happening in space. I think the idea is enticing. So in short this could be more evidence that really dark energy is a misinterpretation of real physics or data from redshifts and so on that is a systemic error, always leading to the same result

Re:Does this really mean anything... (-1, Offtopic)

qbwiz (87077) | more than 7 years ago | (#16894894)

Hah, the electric universe theory, including the idea that the sun is powered by a magical source of electricity. How did this get an "insightful?"

Re:Does this really mean anything... (2, Interesting)

MassiveForces (991813) | more than 7 years ago | (#16894924)

I'm not sure what that sun comment is about but in any case it's not relevant to the argument about dark energy. Really, it sounds like a lot less fudge than dark energy which, lets face it, is hypothesized to exist because the big bang theory doesn't work without it... not because we see it. Besides, there are 'magical sources of electricity' in the sun, even the earth. That's where teh powerful magnetic feilds we're surrounded by come from. Nobody can explain that too well yet.

Re:Does this really mean anything... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16895122)

Mod Parent -1 Crackpot

Re:Does this really mean anything... (2, Informative)

feitingen (889125) | more than 7 years ago | (#16895220)

This is probably well off topic, but the magnetic field surrounding the earth come from the fact that we are living on the crust of a molten iron ball which the core spins faster than the rest, thus creating electric currents in the magma and therefore creating a magnetic field.
Nobody can explain that too well yet.
Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] can.

Re:Does this really mean anything... (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 7 years ago | (#16895402)

thus creating electric currents in the magma and therefore creating a magnetic field.

      For some people it's much easier to make things up or believe in utter horse-shit rather than actually take a little time to read up on something and learn the truth. I'll never understand why most humans are that way. I guess it's part of being on the _other_ side of the Gauss curve...

Re:Does this really mean anything... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16896074)

Well, I wonder which side of that curve you are on myself, given that you were easily fooled by a rather simplistic and unsophisticated troll.

Don't feel as much holier than thou, do you?

Re:Does this really mean anything... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16896464)

Moving metal in a magnetic field creates a current.
Moving current in a metal creates a magnetic field.

Which came first?

Re:Does this really mean anything... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16896560)

I did, in your mom.

Re:Does this really mean anything... (2, Funny)

MoeDrippins (769977) | more than 7 years ago | (#16897834)

I wonder if people think it clever to claim possible parenthood of people they're trying to insult.

Re:Does this really mean anything... (0)

arminw (717974) | more than 7 years ago | (#16899078)

....Apparently the whole dark energy fiasco in astrophysics arises only because astronomers don't study the physics surrounding plasma and electricity enough.......

It's more likely that the cosmologists make some basic assumptions to fit the preconceived evolutionary philosophy of immense periods of time for all cosmological processes. Another assumptions made is that gravity was and is the dominant force controlling the formation and operation of the universe on the large scale as well as it small beginning. Another assumption is that certain "constants", such as the permittivity and permeability of free space have never changed much if at all, since the so called big bang. If that assumption is thrown out, then convoluted fictional constructs such as dark matter and energy also disappear. If the properties of free space have changed greatly over time, other 'constants' such as the speed of light and others derived therefrom must of necessity also be vastly different now than when the universe first began. Theories that allow these "constants" to vary and postulating that gravity is NOT the dominant force, especially in the beginning, will make for a lot simpler, more elegant explanations of current observations.

If a theory or whole body of theories has to resort to phenomena and processes that cannot be observed today, then perhaps it is time to examine the assumptions that make it necessary to resort to nebulous constructs, such as dark matter and energy. Any explanation of current observations that provides for a huge reduction of the time to bring the universe into completion, much as we observe it today, is automatically discounted, because it is philosophically repugnant. A young, quickly formed universe flies in the face of current scientific dogma and beliefs just as much as Galileo and Kepler's assertions irked the religious establishments of their day.

Re:Does this really mean anything... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16899368)

It's more likely that the cosmologists make some basic assumptions to fit the preconceived evolutionary philosophy of immense periods of time for all cosmological processes.

You mean, like inflation, which took place in an infinitesimal fraction of a second? Oops, scratch that claim.

Another assumptions made is that gravity was and is the dominant force controlling the formation and operation of the universe on the large scale as well as it small beginning.

It's pretty reasonable, as gravity is the only known long-range force which can act over cosmological distances. (Electromagnetism can, but there isn't enough charged matter out there to influence dynamics on cosmological scales, contrary to the claims of the electric universe / plasma cosmology nuts.)

Another assumption is that certain "constants", such as the permittivity and permeability of free space have never changed much if at all, since the so called big bang.

That's not an assumption, that's an observation. There is some tentative evidence that such constants may have varied slightly (e.g., the variable-alpha literature), but likely not enough to have any significant cosmological influence; there are many astrophysical processes that place bounds on how strong such effects could have been.

The quintessence theory of dark energy also posits a time-varying cosmological "constant", but the results discussed in the Slashdot story slightly disfavor that scenario. (You can always bring it back if you make the variations small/slow enough.)

If that assumption is thrown out, then convoluted fictional constructs such as dark matter and energy also disappear.

That's wrong; time-varying "constants" do not easily solve dark matter or dark energy in a way that is compatible with observations.

Theories that allow these "constants" to vary and postulating that gravity is NOT the dominant force, especially in the beginning, will make for a lot simpler, more elegant explanations of current observations.

This is an assertion of yours. However, when you look at such theories, which have been discussed in the literature, you find out that they generally do not actually lead to simpler, more elegant explanations. In fact, observational constraints make it quite difficult to construct any such theory in a realistic way. Cosmologists are not stupid; the current paradigms are accepted because they work better than the alternatives you propose, not because prejudices have prevented them from considering such alternatives.

Re:Does this really mean anything... (2, Insightful)

gilroy (155262) | more than 7 years ago | (#16900716)

Blockquoth the poster:

If a theory or whole body of theories has to resort to phenomena and processes that cannot be observed today, then perhaps it is time to examine the assumptions that make it necessary to resort to nebulous constructs, such as dark matter and energ

I totally agree! And while we're at it, what's the deal with these so-called "a-toms"? Have you ever seen an atom? No! No one has. Atoms are just hypothetical constructs invented to maintain the dominance of the currently-funded paradigm, reinforcing the existing pattern of power-exercise by societal gatekeepers. I mean, sure there are patterns in chemistry, and you can make a useful shortcut by arranging elements into a sort of table-like pattern. But that's just a calculational convenience -- it doesn't really represent reality. And there are holes in it anwya, which the so-called "atomic" chemists retroactively explain as elements we haven't discovered yet...

And before you roll your eyes too much, exactly that "criticism" could have been levelled at the atomic theory for, oh, most of its history.

It's indisputable that the current model could be wrong. But it's getting kind of tiresome for all these people to keep banging the drum and saying, "No one follows my pet theory. It must because of a giant academic consipracy, because it certainly can't be because I might be wrong."

I love naked Korean women! (-1, Offtopic)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 7 years ago | (#16894846)

Yum! Tastes like kimchi.

Dark energy=just a guy? (0, Redundant)

dotslashdot (694478) | more than 7 years ago | (#16894852)

"The data suggest that, in fact, dark energy has changed little, if at all, over the course of cosmic history. Though hardly conclusive, that finding lends more support to what has become the conventional theory, that the source of cosmic antigravity is the cosmological constant, a sort of fudge factor that Einstein inserted into his cosmological equations in 1917 to represent a cosmic repulsion embedded in space. Although Einstein later abandoned the cosmological constant, calling it a blunder, it would not go away. It is the one theorized form of dark energy that does not change with time." Could this dark energy just be a guy? Like dark energy, we change little, if at all, over comic history. Our wives are always calling us fudge factor. And we really know how to bring gravity down. And now Einstein calls us a blunder that will not go away. I mean really, we get the message: we suck like a black hole.

This history is getting twisted (4, Interesting)

jarek (2469) | more than 7 years ago | (#16894978)

When Einsteins introduced the general theory of relativity, the universe was believed to be static. Hence, Einstein introduced a constant to make it so. The expansion of space is inherent to the original formulation. Later when Hubble presented his findings that the universe was in fact not static, Einstein realized that he made, what he called, the blunder of his life.

Re:This history is getting twisted (3, Informative)

jpflip (670957) | more than 7 years ago | (#16896124)

That's true, and thanks for reminding us of it - too many people get the erroneous idea that Einstein predicted all of this 90 years ago.

Nonetheless, Einstein's cosmological constant is not just a fudge factor he introduced. The equations of general relativity are the most general equations you can write down consistent with certain principles (the equivalence of gravitational and inertial mass, among others). The main terms relate the curvature of space to the local matter/energy distribution, but there is one more term which is consistent with the principles and should be included - the cosmological constant. The constant may be zero, of course, but a priori it's something you need to understand. Einstein chose a particular value of the constant to produce a static universe - a blunder, since he could have realized that almost any value of the constant gives an expanding or contracting universe.

Suppose that gravity is conserved (2, Interesting)

ribuck (943217) | more than 7 years ago | (#16894998)

Just trying to wildly "think outside the box" here: suppose that gravity is conserved - for every quantity of gravity that is exerted by matter, an equal quantity of antigravity is left behind in the "ether".

The antigravity drives the expansion of the universe, and the gravity drives the accretion of matter into stars and planets. The "big bang" then was some kind of probabalistic quantum event that separated out some gravity and antigravity.

This is not science, I know. But sooner or latter all of these complicated theories are going to be superseded by something simpler and more encompassing, as surely as nested epicycles were inevitably superseded by the idea of the sun at the center of the solar system.

Re:Suppose that gravity is conserved (1)

jacksonj04 (800021) | more than 7 years ago | (#16895334)

Similar to Einstein saying "God doesn't play dice", then quantum uncertainty taking off. It's possible that quantum mechanics is the basic set of rules and particles behind the universe, but I doubt it. Who's to say what we know now is as good as it gets?

Even more outside the box, is antimatter affected by gravity? If you throw a positron (the antiparticle of an electron) into an electric field it will behave oppositely to an electron. Logically, if you throw any particle with antimatter into a gravitational field it will behave oppositely to conventional matter.

Re:Suppose that gravity is conserved (1)

Proud like a god (656928) | more than 7 years ago | (#16895614)

Antimatter != dark matter ?

Re:Suppose that gravity is conserved (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16895718)

No. Antimatter particles have positive mass equal to their regular matter counterparts, and behave in the same way gravitationally. If an antiparticle had mass opposite to a regular particle (namely, negative), they would annihilate to produce nothing (positive mass + negative mass). Instead, they annihilate to produce positive energy (positive mass + positive mass). Antimatter is not the opposite of matter in every respect.

Re:Suppose that gravity is conserved (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16897512)

Antimatter has a fairly misleading name. It is still a form of matter (that is, it has positive mass). The way it differs from the matter we have grown to know and love is that it has the opposite charge. That is, an electron and a positron have the same (positive) mass, yet a different (-1 and +1 respectively) charge. This charge difference is why they react differently in an electric field (as an electric field is definined as E=f/q_0, or the force on a positive test charge at that location) Therefore, a positive charge will have a force acting upon it in some (i, j, k) vector, whereas a negative charge will have a force acting upon it in (-i, -j, -k).

Gravity works on different principles. Gravity works on the mass of the particle, not the charge. Because the mass of antimatter is positive (and, in fact, equal to their 'normal' matter counterparts), gravity would work the same on antimatter as it would on normal matter.

Of course, I have never actually read any papers to this effect (never thought to look it up before), so I could be wrong.

Re:Suppose that gravity is conserved (1)

Almost-Retired (637760) | more than 7 years ago | (#16902224)

Even more outside the box, is antimatter affected by gravity? If you throw a positron (the antiparticle of an electron) into an electric field it will behave oppositely to an electron. Logically, if you throw any particle with antimatter into a gravitational field it will behave oppositely to conventional matter.

Somehow I have my doubts about that because that would imply a negative mass too would it not? Given this assumption though, then there is only one speed that antimatter would be traveling at, 100% of C speed. AFAIK, they weigh the same, not a -1 lb for a "pound" of antimatter. Of course we've never had a pound of it, a few micrograms at best.

But here's a WAT (Wild Assed Theory) for you:

We all know that like charges repel each other, just as the same poles on a magnet repel the next magnet when oriented so the like poles are adjacent.

What it there were a similar repulsion force between matter and matter and between antimatter and antimatter? Thats to preserve the simitry(sp) of course. BUT, since the universe we see is apparently 99.9999% (or more) matter, could it be that like is repeling like with enough push to match Einstiens "cosmological constant".

Building the detector for such a measurement might be interesting. Or has it already been done and the results say that I'm full of it?

Food for thought on an otherwise boring evening, except for the google video by Mr. Bassard, target of another post this evening. Now thats interesting as all get out to this old fart.

--
Cheers, Gene

Re:Suppose that gravity is conserved (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16895350)

You're just making things up on the spot. And here I was thinking the string theory is too speculative.

I love it when people who are not physicists try to think "wildly outside the box" ...about physics.

Re:Suppose that gravity is conserved (4, Interesting)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 7 years ago | (#16895460)

I love it when people who are not physicists try to think "wildly outside the box" ...about physics.

      Or anyone who tries to speculate about anything that is not their field. Human knowledge has become specialized for a reason. Anyone who has completed a university degree at the doctorate or masters level knows exactly how much detail you have to learn about something to really understand it. This doesn't apply to only physics. As a physician I know more about human bodies than most people - despite the fact they've lived their entire lives in one.

      Still I cannot fault the GP - such "speculation" is what drives the whole scientific process anyway. It's the first step. If only everyone would back up their pet hypothesis with experimentation we'd advance our knowledge even faster!

Re:Suppose that gravity is conserved (1)

GnuDiff (705847) | more than 7 years ago | (#16895870)

Oh yes, I know the feeling :)

Only the other way round - I love it when physicists, computer guys and basically anybody with a bit of spare time, think that because they are recognized specialists in their field, they can authoritatively speak about philosophy, arts, literature, etc.

Re:Suppose that gravity is conserved (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16896804)

Only the other way round - I love it when physicists, computer guys and basically anybody with a bit of spare time, think that because they are recognized specialists in their field, they can authoritatively speak about philosophy, arts, literature, etc.

Yeah... Sean Carroll, a guy quoted in the article, was spotting in the act of making these semi-bogus pontifications [cosmicvariance.com] a few weeks ago.

But what would the blogosphere be without all the half-baked retreads of arguments that were already expressed ten times better when they were first brought up by philosophers who have now been in the grave for several hundred years? Not much, I assure you of that.

Re:Suppose that gravity is conserved (1)

finity (535067) | more than 7 years ago | (#16897390)

What? Arts require creativity and thinking. If you're a recognized specialist in any scientific field, you probably have some ability to think, and think creatively. Also, you might just have time and money to take in some of the arts, or think philosophically. Maybe I read your post wrong, but there is a reason why many people (like Newton) are recognized for their unique philosophy as well as their contribution to the sciences.

On the other hand, it is pretty annoying when someone thinks they know everything just because they know a lot about one specific thing...

Re:Suppose that gravity is conserved (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 7 years ago | (#16899578)

"I love it when physicists, computer guys..."

I love it when art snobs think their opinion matterrs.

Re:Suppose that gravity is conserved (1)

metlin (258108) | more than 7 years ago | (#16896054)

Still I cannot fault the GP - such "speculation" is what drives the whole scientific process anyway. It's the first step. If only everyone would back up their pet hypothesis with experimentation we'd advance our knowledge even faster!

Exactly. Not to mention the number of IANAL posts that abound on Slashdot on any law-related topic.

Re:Suppose that gravity is conserved (1)

The_Wilschon (782534) | more than 7 years ago | (#16896070)

Except that it is actually quite important for the general public to understand the laws. Physics and friends, while much more interesting IMHO, are not required, for the good functioning of our country (or any halfway democracy), to be understood by the lay public.

Re:Suppose that gravity is conserved (1)

abigor (540274) | more than 7 years ago | (#16896942)

This is particularly true for evolution, where all kinds of "common sense" types come out of the woodwork. They read somewhere that evolution = animals magically splitting into new species, plus they are often religious anyway, so off they go to argue about something they know nothing about. I guess it's because the overall gist of evolutionary theory can be communicated in layman's terms. so they somehow feel they are qualified to debate its fundamentals.

Re:Suppose that gravity is conserved (1)

glitch23 (557124) | more than 7 years ago | (#16897832)

Still I cannot fault the GP - such "speculation" is what drives the whole scientific process anyway. It's the first step. If only everyone would back up their pet hypothesis with experimentation we'd advance our knowledge even faster!

Exactly, because Einstein verified his theories through experimentation we have advanced so much faster because of it. He wasn't even in his field either.

Re:Suppose that gravity is conserved (1)

MAurelius (565652) | more than 7 years ago | (#16902124)

You forget Einstein was a Patent Office Examiner in Switzerland in 1905 when he published four papers that revolutionized physics. One of those articles won him a Nobel prize. When he wrote those articles he was not yet a physicist; he only held a teaching diploma and had been unable to find a teaching post. He received his doctorate in 1905 at which point he was a physicist. Here's a quote from wiki about his breakthrough articles:

During 1905, in his spare time, he wrote four articles that participated in the foundation of modern physics, without much scientific literature to which he could refer or many scientific colleagues with whom he could discuss the theories.

Based on the current state of disarray of string theory, wherein there is not yet a single testable hypothesis, I would recommend you not sneer quite so much at people thinking outside the box.

Re:Suppose that gravity is conserved (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16895376)

Your theory is pretty much pointless without hard physics/math to back it up.

Re:Suppose that gravity is conserved (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16895770)

Superseded by something simpler? How do you know? People have been struggling to identify, stratify, categorize, and detail the universe for thousands of years, and we still don't know much. To guess that it will be simple is a stab in the dark. I'm going to go out on a limb, and say that it's going to be more complex. But someone, somewhere, will want to make it sound simple for people like you who seem to constantly insist on something simple. It might NEVER be simple. It might be an ever-changing theory.

Re:Suppose that gravity is conserved (1)

The_Wilschon (782534) | more than 7 years ago | (#16896120)

Pretty much all physicists worth their salt share an aesthetic which biases us towards simple theories. Now, the GP is just wild speculation, as is your post, but nonetheless, it is the specialists, not the lay public, who are driving for simple theories.

Additionally, history has shown that as a general rule, simpler theories tend to be more successful.

Re:Suppose that gravity is conserved (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16896468)

Thing is it's not even a theory. It's not even wrong, if you know what I mean.

Re:Suppose that gravity is conserved (1)

toddhisattva (127032) | more than 7 years ago | (#16897004)

gravity is conserved - for every quantity of gravity that is exerted by matter, an equal quantity of antigravity is left behind in the "ether".

The antigravity drives the expansion of the universe, and the gravity drives the accretion of matter into stars and planets.


You need to read



The Inflationary Universe [amazon.com] by Alan Guth [mit.edu] .



Your "out of the box" thinking has been formalized already! :-)

Oh no... (-1, Offtopic)

erroneus (253617) | more than 7 years ago | (#16895224)

...I have a bad feeling about this...

Dark Energy... only if it was a big bang (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16895344)

Honestly, there are real alternatives to the big bang theory. One of them is the idea that our "universe" is at the center of a black hole, which effectively places the same limits (you can't get out, and neither can light) on the boundary.

If that's the case, the "big bang" turns into the initial collapse; and the "dark energy" that drives expansion becomes the space-energy expansion inside the schwarzschild radius that is needed for conservation of energy.

I have a relative who is working on some of this...

http://absimage.aps.org/image/MWS_SES06-2006-00005 4.pdf [aps.org]
http://physics.fau.edu/Events/Gulf_Coast_2006/Talk s/Rudmin/POSTER0H.PDF [fau.edu]

Re:Dark Energy... only if it was a big bang (4, Interesting)

Decaff (42676) | more than 7 years ago | (#16895682)

Honestly, there are real alternatives to the big bang theory. One of them is the idea that our "universe" is at the center of a black hole, which effectively places the same limits (you can't get out, and neither can light) on the boundary.

If that's the case, the "big bang" turns into the initial collapse; and the "dark energy" that drives expansion becomes the space-energy expansion inside the schwarzschild radius that is needed for conservation of energy.


This needs a lot more explanation. There is no expansion at the centre of a black hole, only an inevitable collapse. A black hole analogy make have made some kind of sense if the universe was closed, but it isn't - it is not only open, but accelerating. If anything, the accelerating universe is more like a white hole (where separation becomes inevitable) than a black hole. There are other types of model that approximate the universe, like gravastars, but surely not black holes.

White holes and black holes... drumroll.. please (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16896948)

Perhaps the universe is doing BOTH which is exapanding and collapsing - at the same time.


Ps: I believe it was Einstein who suggested that "Imagination is more important than knowledge".. So, please, let others expand their imaginaition and stop pretending like you know everything - you limit your own potential through your inability to consider the implications of what is being offered.

Just a thought, cheers.

reversed timeline singularity theory .. (1)

rs232 (849320) | more than 7 years ago | (#16897022)

If that's the case, the "big bang" turns into the initial collapse; and the "dark energy" that drives expansion becomes the space-energy expansion inside the schwarzschild radius that is needed for conservation of energy
"This needs a lot more explanation. There is no expansion at the centre of a black hole, only an inevitable collapse .."

There is a collapse only the timeline is reversed so we see the universe expanding .. :)

Re:Dark Energy... only if it was a big bang (Score:5, Interesting)

Re:reversed timeline singularity theory .. (1)

Decaff (42676) | more than 7 years ago | (#16897294)

There is a collapse only the timeline is reversed so we see the universe expanding .. :)

That is why I said it was more like a white hole.

Also, it just doesn't work to reverse things. For example, if you reverse the timeline of the expansion of the universe you would get a decelerating collapse. Inside a black hole there is an accelerating collapse.

Re:reversed timeline singularity theory .. (1)

rs232 (849320) | more than 7 years ago | (#16897500)

"Also, it just doesn't work to reverse things. For example, if you reverse the timeline of the expansion of the universe you would get a decelerating collapse. Inside a black hole there is an accelerating collapse"

The universe is in a state of accelerating collapse. The timeline is reversed. That's why you see it expanding.

reversed timeline singularity theory doesn't work (1)

Decaff (42676) | more than 7 years ago | (#16897612)

The universe is in a state of accelerating collapse. The timeline is reversed. That's why you see it expanding.

In our timeline we see the universe in a state of accelerating expansion. If you reverse that, you get decelerating collapse.

No amount of timeline flipping will produce a state of accelerating collapse.

The reverse of accelerating collapse is decelerating expansion. But we don't see that - supernova data at the end of the last decade revealed we see accelerating expansion.

Re:reversed timeline singularity theory doesn't wo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16897850)

If our universe is a black hole in some other universe, who says that the natural laws of that uber-universe are anything like ours?

Re:reversed timeline singularity theory doesn't wo (1)

bar-agent (698856) | more than 7 years ago | (#16898088)

If our universe is a black hole in some other universe, who says that the natural laws of that uber-universe are anything like ours?
We haven't even got the laws of this universe figured out, and you want to toss in another universe? Okay, sure, why not. If you just want to start making crap up, then who's to say the external universe even has laws that allow black holes?

Re:reversed timeline singularity theory doesn't wo (1)

gilroy (155262) | more than 7 years ago | (#16900772)

Blockquoth the poster:

If you just want to start making crap up, then who's to say the external universe even has laws that allow black holes?

Well, clearly it must or we couldn't be inside one. Jeesh, think about these things before you post...

Sarcasm aside, you've hit the nail on the head for these "alternate theories". We should be poking around looking for new ways to understand things, but most of these people are cracked.

Re:reversed timeline singularity theory doesn't wo (1)

Decaff (42676) | more than 7 years ago | (#16898206)

If our universe is a black hole in some other universe, who says that the natural laws of that uber-universe are anything like ours?

If it doesn't act like a black hole, it isn't a black hole. Black holes accelerate matter towards their centres. We have models of condensed states where that does not happen, but we don't call them black holes. An example is the gravastar.

woah... that's got a ring to it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16898166)

"The universe is in a state of accelerating collapse. The timeline is reversed. That's why you see it expanding."


Ok... Let me get this right.
So, what you're suggesting is that if a tree falls in the forest making a sound, it doesn't really fall, it grunts and stands up - in reverse ?

Re:Dark Energy... only if it was a big bang (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16895848)

I hate to tell you, but your relative makes some pretty, well, dubious claims about black holes. The second link gives a metric which is supposedly "better" than the Schwarzschild metric in terms of describing a black hole. Its supposed advantages include:

"Distortion of the circumference is consistent with the bending of geodesics."

Since the notes are terse, I can't quite figure out what that means, but it suffices to note that in the Schwarzschild metric, there is no inconsistency between "distortion of the circumference" and geodesics.

"Isotropy accommodates expansion of new cosmoses in black hole halo."

Even if this were true, that doesn't mean that it describes actual black holes better than the Schwarzschild metric; it just has properties that he wishes black holes would have.

"G^mu^nu is nonzero"

That implies the spacetime is non-vacuum, which certainly doesn't seem to describe black holes.

"Gravitational fields have negative mass"

I don't know what the mass of a gravitational field is, unless he's talking about ADM mass or something, but the mass of a black hole spacetime is certainly positive!

"The mass as calculated from the gravitational stress energy tensor is consistent with that calculated by scaling it with the metric."

I don't know what that means, either; you can't calculate a mass from stress-energy; it can't be integrated in a curved spacetime, unlike in a flat spacetime. You don't calculate the mass by "scasling it with the metric", either. One way is to compute orbits in the spacetime towards asymptotically flat infinity and equate them with the Newtonian result.

Then he lists "problems" with the Schwarzschild metric:

"Azimuthal geodesics unaffected by gravity."

People don't talk about azimuthal geodesics much, but a radial geodesic is a trajectory that falls radially inward (i.e., is entirely in a radial direction). Presumably then an azimuthal geodesic is one entirely in the azimuthal direction, i.e. a circular orbit. Circular orbits are certainly affected by gravity — that's why they exist in the first place. All geodesics are affected by gravity, since they are determined by the spacetime geometry. Perhaps he's got some weird definition of what it means to be "affected by gravity", but he has no explanation for why this is "bad" in Schwarzschild geometry.

"Expansion of space only along the radius"

Space does not expand in Schwarzschild geometry at all; it's static. Or at least, outside the horizon. Maybe he's talking about the geometry inside the horizon. The spacetime inside a black hole is not anything like what we would call an expanding universe, but beside that, the Schwarzschild solution is supposed to be spherically symmetric, since it arises from spherical collapse. It sounds like he wants to make a black hole solution whose interior looks like an expanding Friedmann spacetime, but that is not a "problem" with the Schwarzschild solution, which is supposed to describe the end result of a collapsing star, not a Big Bang.

"Objects cross the event horizon"

How is that a "problem"? That's kind of the definition of a black hole: things fall into it, but can't come out.

"G^mu^nu = 0"

Again not a problem, it just means that black holes are vacuum, not solid bodies (barring anything transient that happens to fall into them). There are singularity theorems in general relativity that demonstrate that this is the endpoint of sufficiently strong gravitational collapse: pressure builds up enough that its own self-gravitation hastens collapse, instead of halting it, until all the matter is compressed to a (near-?) singularity.

Re:Dark Energy... only if it was a big bang (1)

Bloater (12932) | more than 7 years ago | (#16896950)

> definition of a black hole: things fall into it, but can't come out.

Not quite, objects approach the event horizon and find it increasingly difficult to move away from it, but they don't cross it. They never even reach it. That also means a black hole cannot acrete mass, in turn meaning it can't even form to begin with.

Re:Dark Energy... only if it was a big bang (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16898388)

No, that's completely wrong. It is trivial to see from a Kruskal-Szekeres diagram that objects do cross the event horizon, and in fact impact the interior singularity in finite proper time. Black holes do form — the event horizon does exist — and do accrete mass.

Re:Dark Energy... only if it was a big bang (1)

Bloater (12932) | more than 7 years ago | (#16899858)

> objects do cross the event horizon, and in fact impact the interior singularity in finite proper time.

That's from the viewpoint of the falling object; from our point of view observing them they never finish forming. Your representation of the experience of the faller is also wrong:

Since every object that falls even a tiny moment after another sees the nearer one take an infinite time to reach the event horizon it, too, cannot reach the event horizon until an infinite time has passed (else it would overtake the nearer one). Thus all objects must experience reaching the event horizon at the same moment as all the others that reach it, and that moment must be at an infinite time in the future in time proper to each object.

Therefore: nothing in the universe can experience the formation of a black hole and they, thusly, do not form. QED

However, neither of us are talking about science because this cannot be tested (except to disprove, also, general relativity - if we observed something passing what should be an event horizon, something that no subscriber to general relativity expects).

Re:Dark Energy... only if it was a big bang (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16900050)

That's from the viewpoint of the falling object; from our point of view observing them they never finish forming.

Again, that's wrong; look at a K-S spacetime diagram of the Schwarzschild metric. You can see that the horizon exists at a finite event (not at future infinity). An outsider observer can never receive information from the formation of the horizon, but it does occur.

Since every object that falls even a tiny moment after another sees the nearer one take an infinite time to reach the event horizon it, too, cannot reach the event horizon until an infinite time has passed (else it would overtake the nearer one).

You're confusing what an observer sees (which is determined by what light does in between an event and the observer) with what actually happens. It is an elementary exercise in general relativity to integrate the proper time along an infalling observer's worldline and find that they reach the horizon in finite proper time.

Thus all objects must experience reaching the event horizon at the same moment as all the others that reach it, and that moment must be at an infinite time in the future in time proper to each object.

No, what happens is that light from all of the objects crossing the horizon remains trapped at the horizon, so their crossing can't be visually seen until the observer reaches the horizon itself. However, they do cross the horizon ahead of the observer, and if sufficiently close, can be seen by the observer even inside the horizon.

However, neither of us are talking about science because this cannot be tested

Wrong again. Science can predict things that we cannot experience, and we can be confident in those predictions on the basis of how well the theory agrees with things we can experience. Furthermore, you can certainly experience it in principle if you go jump in a black hole. (Of course, you couldn't tell anyone on Earth what the result was.) Our inability to perform an experiment at a given time does not make predictions about the outcome of that experiment unscientific. Scientific theories have been making predictions about future experiments since science was invented.

The Many Directions of Time (1)

CodeArt (540731) | more than 7 years ago | (#16900486)

Bing bang theory is the equivalent of the theory that is saying that earth is flat and that earth or sun is the center of the Universe. At the beginning is the wrong assumption that time is liner and unidirectional. Alexander Franklin Mayer thinks this is not true and I full agree. Some very exciting stuff can be found here: http://www.afmayer.net/ [afmayer.net] . Basically Universe is eternal, doesn't have beginning nor have end as a whole because time has no beginning or end. Universe is finite but unbounded.

Antigravity? I for one ... (1, Informative)

Youx (988716) | more than 7 years ago | (#16895416)

... welcome our new matrix-like gravity-defying overlords.

Anyone here care to try to poke holes in this? (4, Interesting)

Pictish Prince (988570) | more than 7 years ago | (#16895500)

Dark energy doesn't exist. Rather, the strong equivalence principle [wikipedia.org] is exactly correct: Matter creates space-time and gravitational effects are due to space being created by a massive body, making a reference frame at rest with respect to the massive body an accelerated frame.

This obviates the need for "dark energy". If matter creates space then of course the universe will expand. No need for a fudge factor. I have read through James Lawler's "photonic theory of matter" [owt.com] several times and I can't find much wrong with it.

Re:Anyone here care to try to poke holes in this? (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 7 years ago | (#16895668)

I'm no astrophysicist and no formal education on the subject, but from what I understand (from reading Stephen Hawking's books and various other sources) is matter and energy can simply be created at the expense of creating more gravity.

But if that were the case why isn't the universe collapsing due to the fact matter naturally collects and eventually forms black holes.

Even with the fact that matter creates space-time and gravitational effects, why doesn't matter simply attract all other matter in the universe?

If not itself then there would have to be something else, but it isn't just matter. I'm not going to say dark energy, but perhaps it is just space time itself as more matter collects the more light and various other forms of energy (like x-rays and radio waves) are attracted towards those objects of grouping of matter.

Actually, I think I just agreed with you except if that were the case then that would mean the universe isn't actually expanding, but rather the observations we are getting from other galaxies is itself changing because of increased gravity we get the shift in the spectrum by getting less and less of that energy from other galaxy.

I mean if an entire galaxy became a super black hole and created extreme massive amounts of gravity than it would of course cause light to bend towards it and take longer to travel from one point in the universe to another and appear to be getting further away when all it is really doing is becoming more massive and increasing in gravity.

Of course I am a complete layman when it comes to these things, but I think that gravity has to be affecting our observations of other galaxies in someway.

Still... Why doesn't the universe collapse then? Or maybe it is and we can't really observe it? So I don't know if that works either.

Re:Anyone here care to try to poke holes in this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16896042)

Actually, I think I just agreed with you [...]

I love quantum mechanics. It turns everything upside down, including self-awareness!

Re:Anyone here care to try to poke holes in this? (2, Informative)

Decaff (42676) | more than 7 years ago | (#16896922)

Even with the fact that matter creates space-time and gravitational effects, why doesn't matter simply attract all other matter in the universe?

It does.

Actually, I think I just agreed with you except if that were the case then that would mean the universe isn't actually expanding, but rather the observations we are getting from other galaxies is itself changing because of increased gravity we get the shift in the spectrum by getting less and less of that energy from other galaxy.

This is a sensible suggestion - it is called the 'tired light' idea. The reason we know it isn't the case is that light is not red shifting down the spectrum, but signals are getting stretched in length as well - space really is expanding.

Of course I am a complete layman when it comes to these things, but I think that gravity has to be affecting our observations of other galaxies in someway.

It certainly does. This is why we get gravitational lensing.

Still... Why doesn't the universe collapse then? Or maybe it is and we can't really observe it? So I don't know if that works either.

Because there may be more forces that just gravity.

Re:Anyone here care to try to poke holes in this? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16895940)

Dark energy doesn't exist. Rather, the strong equivalence principle is exactly correct:

Dark energy does not violate the strong equivalence principle.

Matter creates space-time and gravitational effects are due to space being created by a massive body

That's not what the strong equivalence principle says. Read your own link.

making a reference frame at rest with respect to the massive body an accelerated frame

That exists in ordinary general relativity: you have to accelerate to hover at rest above a gravitating body, remaining in accelerated non-geodesic motion. It has nothing to do with the accelerating expansion of the universe.

This obviates the need for "dark energy". If matter creates space then of course the universe will expand.

There is no "of course". I don't even know how you can geometrically define the "creation" of space. What is the metric describing the geometry of a space in which new space is being "created"?

I have read through James Lawler's "photonic theory of matter" several times and I can't find much wrong with it.

Well no offense, but given your claims about gravity, I don't have a lot of faith that you would be capable of detecting something wrong with it; you don't even know what's wrong with your own statements. Glancing at it, I can see that his gravitational "theory" isn't even relativistically invariant; it's a mish-mash trying to wedge a few of Einstein's special relativity concepts into Newtonian gravity.

Re:Anyone here care to try to poke holes in this? (1)

jpflip (670957) | more than 7 years ago | (#16896606)

First off, the problem dark energy tries to solve isn't the expansion of the universe, it's the acceleration of that expansion over time. This is not something the Lawler piece tries to address, so it's not relevant to this discussion.

In general, the Lawler piece looks like an exercise in numerology and formula hunting. In chapter 2, for example, he appears to use his composite photon model to explain the spectral lines of halogens, and suggests that this relationship is startling. But this is just the 1/r law of the electrostatic potential in action - it's not news, and has nothing to do with whether photons are composite. Each of these gases also has countless other spectral lines at many frequencies, from ultraviolet through radio waves. I can predict them all accurately to numerous decimal places using quantum mechanics - can his theory predict more than just the "easy" one?

Further, some of his computations are somewhat tautological. For example, in chapter 2 he also claims to derive the proton/electron mass ratio. The derives (actually sort of makes up) a formula relating this ratio to his photon scale factor, but of course this photon scale factor is just asserted at the top of the page - it was chosen to make things come out right.

A composite photon at the scale he describes would also be apparent in precision experiments at accelerators and in labs. If a photon has two charged objects in it, then it should be possible to affect its frequency by passing it between two charged plates.

Coiled space/time (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16897094)

I thought matter was coiled space / time bound by some form of energy... Isn't it?

Re:Anyone here care to try to poke holes in this? (1)

QuantumFTL (197300) | more than 7 years ago | (#16899916)

Yay! Yet another crackpot GUT on /.! Congratulations.

Considering that GUT is at least PhD level material, I would suggest that no GUT be taken seriously until it has been peer reviewed by experts - something that does not appear to apply to Dr. James H. L. Lawler's theory (what you linked).

I did some searching on this name and found a variety of things, something about "electrical rockets," and a website purporting to show his "Professor Dr.James H.L.Lawler's revolutionary oil recovery method designed to end the oil crisis." Needless to say that web site is no longer up, and our oil problems have not yet been remotely solved.

It is a lot easier to create a GUT than to disprove it. IANAP but I do have a degree in physics, and it's fairly clear to me that what he describes would not work (photons moving at non-lightspeed?!) Interesting reading though.

9 Billion Years Ago just called (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16895588)

They want their dark energy back.

i, for one.. (1)

oedneil (871555) | more than 7 years ago | (#16895666)

welcome our Dark Overlords. Voldemort will rise again!

If he does... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16896098)

If he does, I'm a gonna cap his ass!

I for one (0, Troll)

Admodieus (918728) | more than 7 years ago | (#16895670)

would like to welcome our synth-producing, human assimilating, Combine overlords.

Re:I for one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16900276)

"Combine" was the first thing that sprang up to my mind when I saw the story title. Guess I've been playing too much Half-life 2 lately...

Not Ripped Off (1)

Decaff (42676) | more than 7 years ago | (#16895754)

A constant vacuum energy of about -1 probably rules out some of the wilder ideas about the future of the universe, like the Big Rip [aip.org] , in which the end of the universe could be only a few tens of billions of years away.

So this is kind of good news....

9 Billion-Year-Old 'Dark Energy'? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16895842)

9 Billion-Year-Old 'Dark Energy'? Sounds like a super villain to me. :)

Tanks for the Nemories (0)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 7 years ago | (#16895866)

A strange thing happened to the universe five billion years ago. As if God had turned on an antigravity machine, the expansion of the cosmos speeded up, and galaxies began moving away from one another at an ever faster pace.


Matter is denser energy. And energy is denser information.

NASA scientists estimate that 23% of matter is dark, and 73% of that dark matter is dark energy. Likewise, the majority of that dark energy is dark info.

Dark info is all that would have transpired in our universe once it ends/rebegins, minus what can already be known in this moment, including what won't have happened.

Another event dating to 5Bya is the origin of the Earth.

So the schneidics exploration of nemory [uncyclopedia.org] is the key to knowing the universe, as it will be, and even as it won't have been.

Re:Tanks for the Nemories (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16896010)

There is a formula for converting energy to matter:

E=mc2

You better have a formula for converting information to energy, else I'll call "Bullshit".

Re:Tanks for the Nemories (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 7 years ago | (#16896262)

Read the linked article. And do some of your own schneidics, instead of acting like a nerdy science bully.

Quote from article (2, Interesting)

theskipper (461997) | more than 7 years ago | (#16895892)

"Dark energy makes us nervous."

This topic has been worn out on /. before but this quote is a good example of what's been discussed. Does it bother anyone else when a scientist makes a statement like this to a layman audience (i.e. majority of NYT's readership)?

It makes it seem like refinement or going back to the drawing board is a bad thing. As opposed to what it really is, a step forward to discovering the correct basis of how the universe works through the scientific method. Using words like "nervous" implies a thought process where science is equivalent to religion based on unwavering doctrine. Imho, half of the problem with the perception of science today is due to this (as an obvious example, ID).

It's kind of like if the original Ohm's Law was E=IR+1 and the "+1" was swamped out by tolerance. Then someone comes along and says that we haven't been looking at this right. Wouldn't the correct response be "Well, it's really exciting that we're discovering that E=IR may be the correct equation. If it pans out, it will add to scientific knowledge and open up all sorts of possibilities. If not, then we'll just keep searching."

Versus "This fundamental change to Ohm's equation makes us nervous."

Re:Quote from article (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 7 years ago | (#16898170)

Using words like "nervous" implies a thought process where science is equivalent to religion based on unwavering doctrine.

"Nervous" is a scientists way to saying that something odd is happening in which they don't have enough information or have a big hole in a model. It does not mean they won't look into it. It is just a human way of expressing the encounter of a rough spot.
           

Re:Quote from article (1)

AlanS2002 (580378) | more than 7 years ago | (#16901132)

"This topic has been worn out on /. before but this quote is a good example of what's been discussed. Does it bother anyone else when a scientist makes a statement like this to a layman audience (i.e. majority of NYT's readership)?"

Does it bother anyone else when "scientists" engage in rational metaphysics and invent new forces/particles, that can not be observed or directly measured, in order to explain some theory. Does this invention of forces/particles not strike others as being unscientific.

I'm not a physicist but... (2, Funny)

LinuxKitten (1020289) | more than 7 years ago | (#16896190)

Can someone tell me when I get my anti-grav car?

Re:I'm not a physicist but... (1)

greylion3 (555507) | more than 7 years ago | (#16902856)

Can someone tell me when I get my anti-grav car?

When you build it. The info is out there, if you can find it, and tell it apart from the hoaxes.
The energy cartels of the world are not going to let anyone put anti-grav cars into production, at least not in the first half of this century, by my guess. Have you noticed how hard it is just to start production of an electric car, no matter which country you try in, even though the first electric car was built over 150 years ago?

Alternatively, you could ask the U.S. government for an old UFO they don't use anymore - they've been flying those around the planet and beyond for the last 50 years or more. The Russians have some too. Good luck with that.

Like muscle cars out of a tollbooth? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16896596)

The author lost me at this analogy... I started wondering what the cosmic equivalence of Easypass was and started oogling the celestial body in the car next to me who was putting on her makeup while driving...

I sneeze on your theory .. (2, Funny)

rs232 (849320) | more than 7 years ago | (#16897182)

"the Jatravartid people of Viltvodle VI believe that the entire Universe was in fact sneezed [wikipedia.org] out of the nose of a being called the Great Green Arkleseizure"

If you're so clever answer this then. If a dropped cat always lands on its feet and dropped toast always lands butter side down, what happens if you strap a slab of toast butterside up, to the back of a cat and drop it out a window.

Re:I sneeze on your theory .. (1)

no reason to be here (218628) | more than 7 years ago | (#16897734)

ahh, but the mythbusters have already proven that buttered toast does not, in fact, always land buttered side down.

Re:I sneeze on your theory .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16901214)

The cat lands on its feet and rolls over.

Re:I sneeze on your theory .. (1)

LouisZepher (643097) | more than 7 years ago | (#16897966)

Well, some would say that some form of singularity would form from the contradicting factors. However, I believe the cat will just get bored from being dropped out of a window and occasionally getting toast smeared on it, and decide to walk off.

(A test for mods to see if they can find humor in a more-than-usual obscure, yet obvious reference...)

Re:I sneeze on your theory .. (3, Funny)

Dausha (546002) | more than 7 years ago | (#16900700)

"If you're so clever answer this then. If a dropped cat always lands on its feet and dropped toast always lands butter side down, what happens if you strap a slab of toast butterside up, to the back of a cat and drop it out a window."

I'm sorry, but you're intruding on my patent. See, I patented this technology several years ago as a means of contragravity. But you've made a serious mistake in your description. Quite simply, the cat/spread begins to spin and hovers. The distance above the surface at which the invention hovers is based on a complex formula, but contains four variables: species and age of the cat, the type of spread, and the quality of the material below the invention.

That is, if you use butter and drop an adolescent tabby cat out the window, the cat invariably will land on its feet. This is because the spread/material quotient is non-optimized. If instead you drop the same tabby cat over an expensive, light-colored, Persian carpet and the spread is grape jam, then the cat will typically hover about 16.1415 cm above the surface. Naturally, other species of cats will vary the height, as will the age of the cat--so left to its own devices, the older cat will cause the balance to tip in favor of the spread and the carpet will be stained. (This was important when responding to a USPTO office action as they initially thought the invention might be a perpetual motion devices, and therefore, unpatentable.) Conversely, a kitten would spin so fast as to create instability in the system or even cause poor kitty to fly apart from the force.

My company's current project is to manufacture an enclosure that allows the cat to be used to create lift. The goal is to create a vehicle useful for local commutes. It operates similarly to the Wankel rotary engine, in that the walls are all lined with the same quality carpet (to maintain stability) and the spread is added as needed from an intake port. A slightly opened area on the bottom allows the force of the cat's rotation to generate lift (the exhaust port) on the appropriate surface. We believe if roadways were repaved with green outdoor carpeting, then we can solve reliance on petroleum-based fuels. Propulsion is generated by having two pairs of these devices that rotate as needed to push the vehicle forward.

Naturally, the cats will need to be changed out every few days due to nausea, dehydration and hunger. We also recommend that cats be replaced every six months for optimum performance.

Hey, if dark energy is possible, then so is the catatronic (tm) drive.

If it is a Schroedinger's cat (1)

Wooky_linuxer (685371) | more than 7 years ago | (#16903718)

then it will be in a quantum state that is 50% up and 50% down. That was easy, though I guess we need a Schroedinger's pot of butter too.

cart before th horse (2)

FishCalledOscar (691194) | more than 7 years ago | (#16898064)

It's funny when people say things like "the source of cosmic antigravity is the cosmological constant". It's like saying that airplanes are kept aloft by bernoulli's equations.

No, equations and models do not give rise to physical effects. They attempt to describe the observed effect.

Re:cart before th horse (1)

Dausha (546002) | more than 7 years ago | (#16900732)

"[E]quations and models do not give rise to physical effects. They attempt to describe the observed effect."

So, the assumption is what we're observing is correct, and so the equations and models are correct. That's what is great about assumptions---they can be completely wrong and still justify the outcome. I believe this falls into a circular reasoning fallacy. We observe X and use formulas to prove that X is true.

So, if we're all color-blind, then our observations would be totally off---but at least the math is right.

Dark Matter is not Antigravity (1)

bstoneaz (661994) | more than 7 years ago | (#16898174)

Very bad article from the NY Times.

But... (1)

kitsunewarlock (971818) | more than 7 years ago | (#16898564)

Will the scientists exploring this metal become the first team of costumed superheroes, evolving themselves due to the cosmic radiation.

Am I the only one who giggles at the prospect of "radiation allowing you to stretch your cells". I still think Dr. Fantastic (PHD) should just call himself "Tumor Man" and let all speculative debate about his powers lie to rest.

What does Stephen Hawking have to say? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16900990)

I would look to him to understand and properly tell the rest of us. It amazes me that everyone has an opinion, but theories backed up by observation make more sense.

Of course, it seems that the more we know, the more we have to explain, sort of backwards.

Re:What does Stephen Hawking have to say? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16901120)

Why would you look to him? He's more of a quantum cosmologist. For questions of the nature of dark energy during the epoch in question, you want to talk to someone who does observational post-recombination cosmology, like the guys who did the study being discussed here.

Dark energy smells like religious mysticism to me (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 7 years ago | (#16901738)

The existence of neither dark energy nor dark matter have been materially proven, yet already "scientists" are treating them as gospel and trying hang yet more theories off the presumption that they exist. There's a word to describe such mentality: religion. Physicists and cosmologists hellbent on identifying a Unifying Theory of the Universe would be wise to take a dozen steps back and reflect: a Unifying Theory sounds an awful lot like a monotheistic god. Jehovah/Allah is the original "unifying theory" for billions of believers. People who now believe in dark energy might just as well be attending church services. It's the same neurology at work.

debates about the constancy of the "constant" (1)

rdbrittain1 (1023125) | more than 7 years ago | (#16902364)

loid_void says "It is the one theorized form of dark energy that does not change with time." There are some now who accept the "constant" but who think that it is a variable, yielding various results concerning the expansion of the universe.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>