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SCI/TECH: Einstein's Cosmological Constant Might Actually be Correct

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posted on Nov, 24 2005 @ 01:58 AM
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When Einstein worked out his theory of relativity, he and everyone else believed that the universe was static. To account for the attractive force of gravity, which would otherwise cause the universe to collapse, Einstein added a "cosmological constant," a kind of "fudge factor," if you will, to account for cosmological stasis. When Edwin Hubble found that the universe was expanding, Einstein called the "cosmological constant" his biggest blunder and dropped it from his theories. When it was discovered that the universe is much "flatter" than would be predicted based on the amount of visible matter in the universe, the theory of "dark energy" was posited to account for this feature and scientists began to take a closer look at Einstein's "blunder." Now, Professor Ray Carlberg of the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics at University of Toronto has announced that the the theories regarding "dark energy" are flawed and that "dark energy" behaves a lot like the "cosmological constant" and he has the evidence to prove it.
 



www.cfht.hawaii.edu
The enigmatic dark energy that drives the accelerating
expansion of the universe behaves just like Einstein's famed
cosmological constant, according to the Supernova Legacy
Survey (SNLS), an international team of researchers in France and Canada that collaborated with large telescope observers at Oxford, Caltech and Berkeley. Their observations reveal that the dark energy behaves like Einstein's cosmological constant to a precision of 10 per cent.

"The significance is huge," said Professor Ray Carlberg of the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics at U of T. "Our observation is at odds with a number of theoretical ideas about the nature of dark energy that predict
that it should change as the universe expands, and as far as we can see, it doesn't." The results will be published in an upcoming issue of the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics.

"The Supernova Legacy Survey is arguably the world leader in our quest to understand the nature of dark energy," said study co-author Chris Pritchet, a professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, Canada.

The researchers made their discovery using an innovative,
340-million pixel camera called MegaCam, built by the
Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope and the French atomic energy agency, Commissariat à l'Énergie Atomique. "Because of its wide field of view (you can fit four moons in an image) it allows us to measure simultaneously, and very precisely, several supernovae, which are rare events," said Pierre Astier, one of the scientists with the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) in France.



Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


These are very interesting times we live in. I used to think that my grandfather's life was perhaps the most interesting period of human history. He lived to see the automobile displace the horse, air travel become commonplace, atomic fission, and men walk on the moon. He died in 1980. Perhaps, these times are not quite so revolutionary. Fission has not transformed energy production, cars are better, but essentially the same, there are no flying cars, and it's been thirty years since a man walked on the moon. However, our understanding of our universe is growing now and we seem to be on the verge of extraordinary discoveries that really could revolutionize our existence.

Related News Links:
super.colorado.edu
www.cfht.hawaii.edu
pancake.uchicago.edu

Related AboveTopSecret.com Discussion Threads:
Space probes feel cosmic tug of bizarre forces
Dark matter - alternative

[edit on 2005/11/24 by GradyPhilpott]




posted on Nov, 24 2005 @ 04:31 AM
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Originally posted by GradyPhilpott
"The significance is huge," said Professor Ray Carlberg

Wow. I can't even imagine the significance. Really I cannot as I understood less then half of it. Will have to do some googling in the near future to understand more about Einsteins Cosmological Constant. Sounds sort of like the Ether that had Physists convinced that it exists, is this sort of the same thing dressed in physics jargon?



posted on Nov, 24 2005 @ 08:20 AM
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Originally posted by sardion2000

(RE) Einsteins Cosmological Constant. Sounds sort of like the Ether that had Physists convinced that it exists, is this sort of the same thing dressed in physics jargon?




Seems like it to me. But you know more physics than I do, so my opinion doesn't mean much.


Good find Grady. ...I saw it, filed it, but didn't know what to do with it. So thanks.



posted on Nov, 24 2005 @ 08:29 AM
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So if this is correct then we actually knew more about the universe than we thought and have known it for around 75 years!

Then again the concept of the aether has been around in mystic traditions forever known commonly as the akashic record, or the record of everything.
It explaines such things as telepathy to wormholes to timetravel or so my understanding goes.

Good book on the topic is "Science and the akashic field an integral theory of everything", by Ervin Laszio, ISBN:159477042-5
There's a lot of "questionable" theory and speculation, but overall it is a good read and explains alot in simple terms



posted on Nov, 24 2005 @ 08:34 AM
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Originally posted by mrjones
So if this is correct then we actually knew more about the universe than we thought and have known it for around 75 years!



Actually, NO. In my opinion that would be an erroneous interpretation. What this means is that 75 years ago Einstein was more honest than the scientists of the past decade have been. He was humble enough to admit he didn't know everything he needed to know about the universe in order to mathematically portray it in its entirety, so he created a constant - a fudge factor - that held a place for things he hadn't yet defined. He did that in lieu of the more dishonest decision to proclaim the unverified existence of "dark matter" as a scientific certain.

As Willy Wonka said: Wait, reverse that, try again. We just rewound 75 years...maybe we'll do better in the next 75 years.



posted on Nov, 24 2005 @ 06:31 PM
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Valhall, I don't think that this discovery is contradicting the existance of dark matter. What it seems to prove is that dark matter behaves, or is behaving as far as we can see, like the cosmological constant with only a 10% discrepancy.

I always found that I agree with Hannes Alfvén's alternative cosmology. Alfven believed that it was only because of Lemaitre's reconciliation between science and St. Thomas Aquinas' theological dictum of creatio ex nihilo (creation out of nothing) that the Big Bang theory was even proposed.

Alfven could not understand how it was possible for today's clumpy heterogenous universe, which is affected by plasmas processes, to be the product from the homogenous and smooth universe of the Big Bang dominated by gravity.

According to this man it is only myth that attempts to explain that the universe was created. Alfven saw the Universe as being infinitely old, and always evolving.

Who is to say that the expansion of the Universe we are witnessing today, and which has been happening for billions of years, will remain a constant?

Who is to say whether or not 20 billion years is nothing more than a second in the true age of an infinite Universe, and we are witnessing but one cycle.

Can we really explain the processes of an infinite universe by examining one cycle? Not imo.



[edit on 24-11-2005 by Muaddib]



posted on Nov, 24 2005 @ 07:56 PM
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Time has meaning only to the mortal and the finite. I have read that quite a few scientists have not been particularly happy with the dark matter/energy theory, considering it more like black magic. I don't think the new findings have eradicated the dark energy theory, but it does leave the door open to other possibilities. The 10% discrepancy is expected to resolve to a finer degree when all the data is in. So far, they have only looked at about 10% of the data.



posted on Nov, 24 2005 @ 08:34 PM
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Another good book close to this topic is "the universe in a nutshell" by steven hawking.
That and "a brief history of time", same author

Hawking is a genious in the way he portrays things so anyone can understand them.



posted on Nov, 24 2005 @ 08:52 PM
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Grady, this was an excellent article with a personal touch. I liked the addition of the analogy with your grandfather. I also have thought that since Hubble found that the universe was expanding, that astronomers really don't know the cause.

I think the problem may lie in the fact that we are actually looking back in time, when observing through telescopes. I am sure they take this into consideration, but everything is a different distance from our viewpoint, thus is being observed at a different point in time. I think there could be interpolating error between observation points. IMHO, this would add to the confusion, and make it harder to prove either theory.



posted on Nov, 24 2005 @ 09:14 PM
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I think that the fact that looking out into space gives a view of the past is a good thing. It is the only way we would have any possibilty of finding out just how it all began and that, of course, is the question that has troubled man since we first developed the capacity for abstract thought. It's kind of neat the way that works, huh. Kinda like someone planned it that way. But, of course, we know that's nonsense.



[edit on 2005/11/24 by GradyPhilpott]



posted on Nov, 25 2005 @ 03:15 AM
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Originally posted by GradyPhilpott
I think that the fact that looking out into space gives a view of the past is a good thing. It is the only way we would have any possibilty of finding out just how it all began and that, of course, is the question that has troubled man since we first developed the capacity for abstract thought. It's kind of neat the way that works, huh. Kinda like someone planned it that way. But, of course, we know that's nonsense.


For some reason most men/women find it necessary to give a timeline to everything, even something as big as the Universe. It is almost as if most men/women need the universe to share their own mortality, so that we don't feel as small as we really are in the grand design of the Universe.

Who is to say that there is only one Universe?

How do we know for certain that the expansion of the Universe that we are witnessing will continue for billions of years and will end?

What if there is another, or many other universes expanding?

Isn't it presumtuous for us to think that we can unravel all the mysteries of the Universe? or that we can put a beginning and an end to something which we cannot really witness, but our finite minds try to unravel anyways?

If an ant had any vestige of a concious mind, no matter how small, could it really unravel all the mysteries of a more complex and bigger world, one which the ant couldn't possibly witness first hand?

I am not saying that we should stop trying to unravel the mysteries of the Universe, but it is quite presumtuous for a species, even men, to think that we can gather all the knowledge, and find all the anwsers to the mysteries of the Universe in the tiny fraction of time we spend in the physical life.

Anyways, as for dark matter, it is supposed to explain the 90% of missing mass of the Universe and the unexplained phenomena we continue to witness, such as gravitational anomalies.

We know that there are at least several dimensions, not just three, I think the latest count is around 8-13 different dimensions.

There are so many mysteries we haven't been able to explain, such as the ability of atoms that can communicate faster than light, or what we call the "non local interactions."

How is it possible for atoms that have never been in contact to be entangled as if they were one particle?

Is it the particle/wave duality of entities that allows such interactions?

Even light has been observed to behave as both, particle and wave in certain experiments, yet we do not know the exact reason for this.

I don't believe we will ever "unravel" all the mysteries of the Universe, or multiverses if there are more than one, but as i was saying, I find it extremely interesting that there are a lot of people that need to believe that the Universe must be finite, which in itself is a contradiction to some of the laws of physics, such as the conservation laws.

[edit on 25-11-2005 by Muaddib]



posted on Nov, 25 2005 @ 03:18 AM
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oh, btw Grady, there are flying cars, we just don't have the amount that 10-20 years ago we were told we would have by this time.





www.moller.com...

[edit on 25-11-2005 by Muaddib]



posted on Nov, 25 2005 @ 03:29 AM
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Originally posted by GradyPhilpott
.............................
It's kind of neat the way that works, huh. Kinda like someone planned it that way. But, of course, we know that's nonsense.



Ah Grady, but herein lies another riddle. If God is eternal and existed always, then the universe or some part of it must have been eternal also. How can there be nothing before the creation of the Universe if God existed?

If he existed then we can't say there was nothing before creation, unless God is nothing.

Anyways why is it that people call God/Elohim a he?... Couldn't it be a she? or an it? Is it human? if it is human, then it is not a God.

Ahhh, soo many questions.


BTW, i am not trying to insult anyone, or their beliefs with any of these questions or statements.



[edit on 25-11-2005 by Muaddib]



posted on Nov, 26 2005 @ 12:15 AM
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The answer to all that lies without lies within. Articulating what we know in a logical fashion to the satisfaction of others is the challenge. Having the opportunity to focus our attention on such things is, indeed, a luxury.

Some sort of centrifugal force is overwhelming the centripetal force of what we call gravity in what we perceive as the continued expansion of our universe. It is interesting to note that these forces appear to be in enough balance on the surface of the Earth to hold us here and not send us flying off into space or crush us down into the molten core of this planet we call home.

Einstein sensed it. This is the continued effort to define and quantify it.



posted on Nov, 26 2005 @ 07:40 AM
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Originally posted by Valhall


Actually, NO. In my opinion that would be an erroneous interpretation. What this means is that 75 years ago Einstein was more honest than the scientists of the past decade have been.


"You have voted Valhall for the Way Above Top Secret award. You have one more vote left for this month."

That does sum up how i feel about the lack of scientific honesty the last century.... If scientist would stick to telling us what they know for sure ( goodluck to them on that score) it would soon become apparent how little they know and with how much unwarranted authority they speak about most of what they do not.

Stellar



posted on Nov, 26 2005 @ 10:55 AM
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Nice story Grady.


Here's some additional reading material you may want to look at.


Research News: Finding a Way to Test for Dark Energy

For Einstein's cosmological constant to result in the universe we see today, the energy scale would have to be many orders of magnitude smaller than anything else in the universe. While this may be possible, Linder says, it does not seem likely. Enter the concept of "quintessence," named after the fifth element of the ancient Greeks, in addition to air, earth, fire, and water; they believed it to be the force that held the moon and stars in place.



Vacuum Energy Density, or How Can Nothing Weigh Something?

However, there is a basic flaw in this Einstein static model: it is unstable - like a pencil balanced on its point. For imagine that the Universe grew slightly: say by 1 part per million in size. Then the vacuum energy density stays the same, but the matter energy density goes down by 3 parts per million. This gives a net negative gravitational acceleration, which makes the Universe grow even more! If instead the Universe shrank slightly, one gets a net positive gravitational acceleration, which makes it shrink more! Any small deviation gets magnified, and the model is fundamentally flawed.
In addition to this flaw of instability, the static model's premise of a static Universe was shown by Hubble to be incorrect. This led Einstein to refer to the cosmological constant as his greatest blunder, and to drop it from his equations. But it still exists as a possibility -- a coefficient that should be determined from observations or fundamental theory.



Stephen Hawking's Universe

Three excellent reasons exist for believing in the big-bang theory. First, and most obvious, the universe is expanding. Second, the theory predicts that 25 percent of the total mass of the universe should be the helium that formed during the first few minutes, an amount that agrees with observations. Finally, and most convincing, is the presence of the cosmic background radiation. The big-bang theory predicted this remnant radiation, which now glows at a temperature just 3 degrees above absolute zero, well before radio astronomers chanced upon it.


Most people are probably unaware that Einstein introduced the cosmological constant because of his philosophical beliefs. He didn't like the idea of a universe that had a "creation" point, thus, to him, implying a personal creator God...which was not a belief he held. I'll be the first to admit that most of the physics involved in this debate (static -vs- BB) are WAY over my head. But from what i understand the cosmological constant doesn't neccesarily negate the BB model. You need it in a steady-state model to keep all the matter in the universe from 'clumping' together and you need it in a BB model to explain the accelerating expansion of the universe.

I realize i've already gave too much to read here...but i'll give one more pretty thorough question and answer page. This one is usually my "go to" page when trying to understand the concepts and evidence for the BB model (you can submit your own question if not included in the list
)


Frequently Asked Questions in Cosmology

I personally like the BB model over a steady-state one, but i'm SEVERLY under-qualified to back that up. Actually this stuff is in Valhall's expertise (i think) and i've seen a few physicists around ATS, i would be very interested to know what their, qualified, opinion is....what say you experts...Big Bang or steady state?











[edit on 26-11-2005 by Rren]

[edit on 26-11-2005 by Rren]

[edit on 26-11-2005 by Rren]



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