Everything you know is wrong – or is it ?

There is a paradox at the heart of science. The root of science is scepticism; doubt authority and do the experiment. However the result of all that scepticism and experiment over four hundred years is the most secure body of knowledge ever produced. If you go around doubting Newton’s Laws every day you’re a nutter.

Around the edges of the clearing, where we still face the darkness of the forest, its a different story. We could be hacking uselessly into dense growth, when the path to the meadow is hidden just a few yards away to the left. Its fashionable now to be sceptical about String Theory  – see Lee Smolin’s book The Trouble With Physics – but inflationary cosmology worries others, and some folks are still nervous about the logical basis of quantum mechanics. Three years ago in Warsaw I saw David Gross and and Roger Penrose  give alternating public talks. This was very entertaining. Penrose’s title was “Faith, Fashion, and Fantasy in Modern Physics” – thats Quantum Mechanics, Inflation, and String Theory. You could almost hear David Gross’ teeth grinding. More recently, Robert Simpson (the Orbiting Frog) wrote a lovely post called Five Scientific Ideas that could just be Bullsh*t . Do give it a read.

Of course some people are just career long rebels. Recently on astro-ph Geoff Burbidge set out his dish of sour grapes yet again. Mostly this was quietly ignored, but over at Cosmic Variance Sean Carroll picked it apart. But its not just Burbidge you know. Accomplished, distinguished and terribly serious young cosmologist Douglas Scott, along with his possibly even more distinguished colleague Dr Frolop, has written a series of three papers questioning many of the key assumptions of modern cosmology : see here, here, and here.

So here’s some fun. Below I paraphrase a few statements from Burbidge and Scott, not saying which is which. A big no-prize for who-ever can give the best one-sentence rebuttal or confirmation of each statement. John Peacock has to wait until everybody else has finished.

(1) Dark Energy is just Hoyle and Narlikar’s C-field, so the Steady State Universe can come back.

(2) H_0 * t_0 is consistent with 1.0 to within 3%;  there is no reason this should be the case, so it tells us we are missing something obvious.

(3) We believe in a hot Big Bang because there isn’t time to make the Helium in stars; but if the Universe is cyclic, with a bounce before the Big Crunch, some stars could be much much older, and the Helium can be easily made.

(4) We believe that black holes powering radio galaxies are 10% efficient; however, man made particle accelerators like SLAC are a thousand times less efficient than this, so we are almost certainly kidding ourselves.

(5) The biggest galaxies have the oldest stars; younger galaxies are smaller; therefore galaxies are coming apart.

(6) If likewise clusters of galaxies are breaking up, the virial theorem doesn’t apply, and there is no need for dark matter.

(7) The energy density in the CMB is almost exactly the energy density associated with converting Hydrogen to the observed density of Helium; therefore the latter is the cause of the former.

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16 Responses to Everything you know is wrong – or is it ?

  1. Well, H_0 * t_0 being around 1.0 is easy to explain, but what about h = 0.7 and Omega_Lambda = 0.7? Spooky!

  2. andyxl says:

    I’m sorry, I don’t think an entire wikipedia article counts as one sentence….

  3. David says:

    (-4) Yeah, but the universe just gets on with things, worrying neither about understanding what’s going on nor Health and Safety, so judging what it can build in 13 billion years by what we can do in a few thousand is a pants idea.

  4. Dave S says:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/dec/01/charlie-brooker

    If you’ve found yourself wondering why you follow this blog so religiously, here’s one that’s not quite as lame.

  5. MikeW says:

    Andy, I was initially impressed by your wide ranging and in-depth knowledge of the literature, but now I wonder if you should be sure Douglas is so serious

    maybe the second author name is a clue

    or possibly the submission dates

  6. andyxl says:

    Mike – I must overdoing the gentle sarcasm … it was supposed to be obvious that Douglas was not serious ! Except that half the time he kind of is as well… If you read the papers, its great fun. At first it seems deadly serious, then you start to think – hang on – then as you read the citations, it becomes obvious and in fact is absolutely hilarious. But he has pulled off a lovely trick, because the jokes are not arbitrrary, but start at least from things that have an interesting point to them ..

  7. telescoper says:

    Well the answer to (4) is easy. Black holes are efficient at releasing energy because they do with it gravity, whereas our own puny gizmos have to make do with electromagnetic or nuclear forces. I’ll leave the others to John Peacock.

  8. Michael Merrifield says:

    So, (5) would argue that since bigger people are grownups and smaller people are children, clearly adults are coming apart? My 5-year-old may have me tearing my hair out from time to time, but I wouldn’t go that far…

  9. MikeW says:

    Andy – way to subtle for me. Can’t quite see why you didn’t just say the Douglas Scott papers were spoofs albeit containing some provocative questions. Guess you wanted to make sure we did our homework.

  10. MikeW says:

    sorry: “too subtle” would be better

  11. John Peacock says:

    Andy: having spent too much of today debating how our poor long-suffering university is supposed to implement the police-state edicts of the Border Agency in terms of monitoring the whereabout of our non-EU students and staff, I have to say all these statements seem the height of reasonableness by comparison. Our union will fight to the death to win us an extra few % on our pay (in order to bankrupt out institutions), but when there’s a big moral issue that cries out for a general strike in universities, what do we hear from them?

    By the way, your title breaches copyright of Peacock’s Law, which states that “All well-known facts in astronomy are wrong”. I keep meaning to compile an exhaustive list of things that were once universally believed in, but the planet around Barnard’s Star and cooling flows are two good examples. Perhaps readers have their own favourites, and suggestions for future additions to the scrapheap?

  12. andyxl says:

    John – try my post on nebulium

  13. David says:

    Is Peacock’s Law a well known fact?

  14. telescoper says:

    I always wanted to discover a Law of Physics because they would have to call it Coleslaw.

  15. NiteSkyGirl says:

    A reader of my post sent me this site , very informative! a keeper.

  16. Joe Nahhas says:

    It is 51 % fraud

    Einstein’s Nemesis: DI Herculis Eclipsing Binary Stars Solution
    The problem that the 100,000 PHD Physicists could not solve

    This is the solution to DI Her “Quarter of a century” Smithsonian-NASA Posted motion puzzle that Einstein and the 100,000 space-time physicists including 109 years of Nobel prize winner physics and physicists and 400 years of astronomy and Astrophysicists could not solve and solved here and dedicated to Drs Edward Guinan and Frank Maloney
    Of Villanova University Pennsylvania who posted this motion puzzle and started the search collections of stars with motion that can not be explained by any published physics
    For 350 years Physicists Astrophysicists and Mathematicians and all others including Newton and Kepler themselves missed the time-dependent Newton’s equation and time dependent Kepler’s equation that accounts for Quantum – relativistic effects and it explains these effects as visual effects. Here it is

    Universal- Mechanics

    All there is in the Universe is objects of mass m moving in space (x, y, z) at a location
    r = r (x, y, z). The state of any object in the Universe can be expressed as the product

    S = m r; State = mass x location

    P = d S/d t = m (d r/dt) + (dm/dt) r = Total moment

    = change of location + change of mass

    = m v + m’ r; v = velocity = d r/d t; m’ = mass change rate

    F = d P/d t = d²S/dt² = Force = m (d²r/dt²) +2(dm/d t) (d r/d t) + (d²m/dt²) r

    = m γ + 2m’v +m”r; γ = acceleration; m” = mass acceleration rate

    In polar coordinates system

    r = r r(1) ;v = r’ r(1) + r θ’ θ(1) ; γ = (r” – rθ’²)r(1) + (2r’θ’ + rθ”)θ(1)

    F = m[(r”-rθ’²)r(1) + (2r’θ’ + rθ”)θ(1)] + 2m'[r’r(1) + rθ’θ(1)] + (m”r) r(1)

    F = [d²(m r)/dt² – (m r)θ’²]r(1) + (1/mr)[d(m²r²θ’)/d t]θ(1) = [-GmM/r²]r(1)

    d² (m r)/dt² – (m r) θ’² = -GmM/r²; d (m²r²θ’)/d t = 0

    Let m =constant: M=constant

    d²r/dt² – r θ’²=-GM/r² —— I

    d(r²θ’)/d t = 0 —————–II
    r²θ’=h = constant ————– II
    r = 1/u; r’ = -u’/u² = – r²u’ = – r²θ'(d u/d θ) = -h (d u/d θ)
    d (r²θ’)/d t = 2rr’θ’ + r²θ” = 0 r” = – h d/d t (du/d θ) = – h θ'(d²u/d θ²) = – (h²/r²)(d²u/dθ²)
    [- (h²/r²) (d²u/dθ²)] – r [(h/r²)²] = -GM/r²
    2(r’/r) = – (θ”/θ’) = 2[λ + ỉ ω (t)] – h²u² (d²u/dθ²) – h²u³ = -GMu²
    d²u/dθ² + u = GM/h²
    r(θ, t) = r (θ, 0) Exp [λ + ỉ ω (t)] u(θ,0) = GM/h² + Acosθ; r (θ, 0) = 1/(GM/h² + Acosθ)
    r ( θ, 0) = h²/GM/[1 + (Ah²/Gm)cosθ]
    r(θ,0) = a(1-ε²)/(1+εcosθ) ; h²/GM = a(1-ε²); ε = Ah²/GM

    r(0,t)= Exp[λ(r) + ỉ ω (r)]t; Exp = Exponential

    r = r(θ , t)=r(θ,0)r(0,t)=[a(1-ε²)/(1+εcosθ)]{Exp[λ(r) + ì ω(r)]t} Nahhas’ Solution

    If λ(r) ≈ 0; then:

    r (θ, t) = [(1-ε²)/(1+εcosθ)]{Exp[ỉ ω(r)t]

    θ'(r, t) = θ'[r(θ,0), 0] Exp{-2ỉ[ω(r)t]}

    h = 2π a b/T; b=a√ (1-ε²); a = mean distance value; ε = eccentricity
    h = 2πa²√ (1-ε²); r (0, 0) = a (1-ε)

    θ’ (0,0) = h/r²(0,0) = 2π[√(1-ε²)]/T(1-ε)²
    θ’ (0,t) = θ'(0,0)Exp(-2ỉwt)={2π[√(1-ε²)]/T(1-ε)²} Exp (-2iwt)

    θ'(0,t) = θ'(0,0) [cosine 2(wt) – ỉ sine 2(wt)] = θ'(0,0) [1- 2sine² (wt) – ỉ sin 2(wt)]
    θ'(0,t) = θ'(0,t)(x) + θ'(0,t)(y); θ'(0,t)(x) = θ'(0,0)[ 1- 2sine² (wt)]
    θ'(0,t)(x) – θ'(0,0) = – 2θ'(0,0)sine²(wt) = – 2θ'(0,0)(v/c)² v/c=sine wt; c=light speed

    Δ θ’ = [θ'(0, t) – θ'(0, 0)] = -4π {[√ (1-ε) ²]/T (1-ε) ²} (v/c) ²} radians/second
    {(180/π=degrees) x (36526=century)

    Δ θ’ = [-720×36526/ T (days)] {[√ (1-ε) ²]/ (1-ε) ²}(v/c) = 1.04°/century

    This is the T-Rex equation that is going to demolished Einstein’s space-jail of time

    The circumference of an ellipse: 2πa (1 – ε²/4 + 3/16(ε²)²—) ≈ 2πa (1-ε²/4); R =a (1-ε²/4)
    v (m) = √ [GM²/ (m + M) a (1-ε²/4)] ≈ √ [GM/a (1-ε²/4)]; m<<M; Solar system

    v = v (center of mass); v is the sum of orbital/rotational velocities = v(cm) for DI Her
    Let m = mass of primary; M = mass of secondary

    v (m) = primary speed; v(M) = secondary speed = √[Gm²/(m+M)a(1-ε²/4)]
    v (cm) = [m v(m) + M v(M)]/(m + M) All rights reserved. joenahhas1958@yahoo.com

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