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kovil
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Post by kovil » Mon Apr 30, 2007 3:05 pm

Ok, even tho we speak a different language and have ourselves oriented to different conceptualizations, we can still speak of 'what is out there', based on observations.

I subscribe to the idea that 'space-time' is NOT expanding like the Cosmological Constant implies. I believe we are mis-interpreting the redshift, the universe is NOT expanding. Redshift is not explained by recessional velocity alone. Changing this one assumption that so much of the BBT etal is building upon causes that entire segment of astrophysics conjecture to collapse.

When you ask for a 'quantitative' response, what do you mean? I looked up webster's and it says, 'able to be specified in a quantity' , 'expressible in a quantity'.
In order to get numbers out, one must have numbers in. I was not speaking in specific terms of numbers, as I do not have specific data from observations. I was speaking in general terms, of how the activity progresses and what kind of parameters it follows in its behaviour. Theoretically if you will.

So when Galileo and Voyager were occulted by the sun, and their signal showed distortion, I would say that the suns field's, gravity or magnetic or plasma effects, which got inbetween the signal and us, affected that signal in a way that caused whatever effects we experienced.

Why are you so hostile? Are my ideas that much of a threat? If I am correct then I guess I would be a threat to your ideas, and your defensiveness would be understandable. If I am full of BS, then I am no threat, except to myself, as I do not know the Truth.

One thing I do find, the more I write and express ideas, the better I begin to understand what it is I'm trying to say. And feedback from others tells me what they think.

I was hoping you would find these ideas interesting and worthy of further thought. Oh well.

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Post by Nereid » Mon Apr 30, 2007 4:00 pm

makc wrote:
Nereid wrote:
makc wrote:...What did I missed?
I don't think you missed anything ... but as it was kovil who posted it, let's see how he answers your post, shall we?
But my question was directed to you, not kovil. Let me continue this, so you could see what my problem is. Suppose all the stars in above imaginary universe are located at the nodes of cubic lattice with an edge = 1. This way, we can find the direction (actually, any number of them) such that 1st star will be encountered at arbitrary distance x in that direction, x >> 1. This star will itself look pretty faint. And above calculation shows that even if stars were "transparent" (or re-emitting light, whatever) and we add all the light from infinite number of stars in that direction, we will have only (pi^2)/6 ~ 1.645 times more light than if we would had only 1st star in that direction. Which is still pretty faint.

Hence was the question, what did I missed.
Sorry, I misunderstood.

Olbers' paradox works like this (a short version):

Assume the universe is homogeneous and isotropic (we'll come to some clarifications on this later).

Assume the universe is infinite (in size).

Take a sight-line, at random.

Q: For visible waveband photons, what is at the 'end' of this sight-line?

A: the surface of a (typical) star, or a giant molecular cloud (remember, we assumed the universe to be infinite, isotropic, and homogeneous).

You get pretty much the same answer in all other wavebands, except that giant molecular clouds are transparent in many wavebands, and in the EUV and VLF much of interstellar space is not transparent at all.

There are other steps in the paradox - addressing the GMCs, interstellar space, how bright the surface of a typical star is, etc - but we don't need to invoke these: sight-lines do not end on stars (check out the HUDF, for example).

Homogeneous and isotropic (1): typical stars and GMCs are what populate the 'local' part of the universe we have taken many a good hard looks at. Of course there may be ways to address Olbers' paradox by assuming an inhomogeneous or non-isotropic universe (see (2) below, for example), or by assuming what populates space is, on average, something other than stars and GMCs. Tracking all those down, and showing that Olbers' paradox remains, can be done, but let's leave it for another post.

Homogeneous and isotropic (2): in an Alfvén paper which Michael put on the table, there is a class of universes that is not homogeneous and isotropic - it has a hierarchical structure. Provided the average density in such a hierarchical universe decreased sufficiently quickly as the scale increased, not all sight-lines would end on stars, even in an infinite such universe. Unfortunately, the observed large-scale structure of our universe does not seem to have that kind of hierarchical structure, so Olbers' paradox remains a paradox.

Any more questions?

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Post by Nereid » Mon Apr 30, 2007 4:16 pm

kovil wrote:[snip]

Why are you so hostile? Are my ideas that much of a threat? If I am correct then I guess I would be a threat to your ideas, and your defensiveness would be understandable. If I am full of BS, then I am no threat, except to myself, as I do not know the Truth.

[snip]
Is this the same kovil who wrote the following?
In the beginning, Astrophysicists and Cosmologists did not study electrical engineering, so electrical ideas did not cross their minds when pondering what is going on in our galaxy and between galaxies. Plasma was not well understood by the cosmological community at that time either. Subsequent to the first half of the 20th century new instruments and new investigations have brought plasma and electrical effects into the scope of interstellar investigations and astrophysics.
the establishment is so obviously ignoring new data, that it is most apparent they are in denial, so don't bother with playing the 'anti conspiracy theory card', as that is just as invalid an argument that you are accusing me of doing in playing the conspiracy card.
In that he/she ignores the spirit of the posting and wants to try and scuttle the mainframe of the argument by nitpicking with the details, and does not spend any effort to understand what the poster is actually trying to say.
To go another step further and pissoff the moderators who do not want political rants here; There is a political, power, social and cultural psychological agenda afoot as well in the institutionalizing of BBT; which is, by the nature of the electrical theory of the cosmos, I can see the newspaper headline someday, " Scientists prove sun could go nova at any time in the next ten years. Pictures at eleven." If this was media dispersed, everyone would quit their jobs, society would break down and law and order could disappear. BBT and the standard solar model predict another 5 billion years of solar stability. It would be rather disconcerting to the common man that the sun's stability is completely dependent on the vagaries of galactic magnetic field strengths and local electrical galactic currents. Who would obey the Law? Who would believe in God anymore? Who would think we are 'special' and live in a chosen place of goodness? So I can see the benefits to preserving social order and harmony by having the general population believe a 'myth' that the sun will be stable for another 5 billion years.
The same kovil who has not acknowledged any of the dozens of posts setting the record straight, with references to material appropriate to a scientific forum?

The same kovil who seems to be continuing harry's record of promoting crank ideas, pseudoscience, etc ... despite being given a chance to answer questions on those ideas (and defend them), and despite having the misconceptions, misrepresentations, (and worse) pointed out, in some detail?

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Post by Nereid » Mon Apr 30, 2007 4:35 pm

kovil wrote:[snip]

One thing I do find, the more I write and express ideas, the better I begin to understand what it is I'm trying to say. And feedback from others tells me what they think.
And this is A GOOD THING, especially if, at the end of the day, you have a deeper and more accurate appreciation for the science of astronomy.

However,
I was hoping you would find these ideas interesting and worthy of further thought. Oh well.
if all that you present is bald assertions (not questions) which are just a whisker away from declaring most professional astronomers charlatans, frauds (and worse), or nonsense (not questions) recycled from crank or pseudoscience websites with (apparently) no attempt at critical thinking, then don't you think you'd be wearing out your welcome?

Especially as you are far from a newbie in this forum.

Let's take an example, from your post:
I subscribe to the idea that 'space-time' is NOT expanding like the Cosmological Constant implies. I believe we are mis-interpreting the redshift, the universe is NOT expanding. Redshift is not explained by recessional velocity alone. Changing this one assumption that so much of the BBT etal is building upon causes that entire segment of astrophysics conjecture to collapse.
Of course you can subscribe to any ideas you wish, even ones which are seriously mutually inconsistent.

However, in this scientific forum assertions like these are unwelcome ... as assertions.

You have the choice to ask, rather than assert; for example: "why do astronomical observations of redshift, in galaxies and quasars, lead astronomers to conclude that the universe is expanding?" or "how thoroughly have possible causes of the observed redshifts of galaxies and quasars (other than expansion of the universe) been investigated, by astronomers?"

What's annoying to me personally is that I know you've read the many posts in this thread, and others here, where these questions have been asked, and answered, from many different perspectives. Further, those who have stated similar ideas have had the opportunity to present a scientific case for them ... and have conspicuously failed to do so*.

Those who have failed to avail themselves of the open invitation includes kovil.

*With the sole possible exception, AFAIK, of addressing the seven unpublished Brynjolfsson papers.

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Post by Nereid » Mon Apr 30, 2007 4:53 pm

kovil wrote:[snip]

When you ask for a 'quantitative' response, what do you mean? I looked up webster's and it says, 'able to be specified in a quantity' , 'expressible in a quantity'.
In order to get numbers out, one must have numbers in. I was not speaking in specific terms of numbers, as I do not have specific data from observations. I was speaking in general terms, of how the activity progresses and what kind of parameters it follows in its behaviour. Theoretically if you will.

So when Galileo and Voyager were occulted by the sun, and their signal showed distortion, I would say that the suns field's, gravity or magnetic or plasma effects, which got inbetween the signal and us, affected that signal in a way that caused whatever effects we experienced.

[snip]
Once again, this is a scientific forum.

Let's look at 'quantitative' in our daily lives, shall we?

You are stopped for speeding; the policeman says you were driving 25 km/hr above the local speed limit. Do you reply with words about not having specific data from observations?

Your doctor prescribes some medicine, a 200 mg tablet to be taken once a day, with breakfast let's say. Do you interpret the doctor's prescription in general terms, of how your {condition} progresses and what kind of parameters it follows in its behaviour?

Of course not. Your life depends critically upon a great many things being not only quantitative, but rather narrowly so too.

And that's just daily life; what about science? what about astronomy??

From such early results as the Chaldean's discovery of the Saros cycle, through the Copernican revolution, to modern (astronomical) tests of GR, astronomy has been quintessentially quantitative.

While we can of course talk about astronomy and astronomical results in non-quantitative terms, for almost everything astronomers do there is a quantitative foundation.

The reverse is also true: in astronomy, an idea which remains purely qualitative cannot be anything more than (idle) speculation.

So, if you cannot show - quantitatively - that the data obtained by the Galileo, Voyager 2, etc teams fits your non-GR idea, then why should we give it any further consideration?

Especially as, it seems, your word salad assertions constitute the foundation of your rejection of the years' of work of dozens of scientists.

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Post by makc » Mon Apr 30, 2007 9:25 pm

Nereid wrote:sight-lines do not end on stars (check out the HUDF, for example).
When I look up at the sky, I see only few thousands of stars, the rest (if there's no Moon or city lights) looks pitch-black tome, because my eyes as a tool are limited. So, how do we know that there is no anything "really really far" too faint to see?

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Post by kovil » Mon Apr 30, 2007 9:34 pm

Neried,

I apologize for irritating/frustrating you. I'm sorry.

Yes, I don't know the same things you do. I appreciate your effort to enlighten me. I do like it when you explain things. It helps me understand what you know, and what is. Yes, I am the same Kovil who does all the posts under that ID.

Written language does not communicate, tone of voice, intonation, and more subtle communications as in-person talking can do. So we have a deficit of subtle communication in this posting forum. I'm sorry if I seem antagonistic at times, that is not my intent. I did like your comment about the 'grand daughter of Nicolas Bourbaski' ! ( a most interesting character, I knew nothing of it before, merci!) My comment about 'The Living Theater' was meant to be of a similar nature of roots as Bourbaski. If you are female, consider it a flirtation. :-)

Yes, I have some catching up to do. Thanks for bearing with me. I would like to become proficient at finding Papers to reference when I do write a paper of my own on this subject. So far finding suitable papers to quote has not met with overwhelming success. I will do my best to be 'scientific' in future posts. The 'America Has a Thinking Problem' post was meant to be for humorous purposes (which may not have an appropriate place on this forum, sorry. The topic seemed like it would support that post. 'Bud' posted that on another forum 2 1/2 years ago in '04. The extended metaphor is so well written. [tho all the German philosophers mentioned are not my personal orientation, I considered changing the names, but the line of 'What are we really doing here at work?' seemed to fit them, so I did not make any changes to Bud's post, other than a couple of misspelling errors.] Maybe P.J. O'Rourke wrote it. I will delete it if you would like me to.) I ran across it in My Documents while trolling through looking at the many APJ papers I have saved in PDF, to find those ones I referenced in the 'Why is the Night Sky Dark' post.

I need to 'get my chops up' to be able to 'argue' points of science in the attempt to steer future science investigations in a new direction.

Is there a standard reference text that explains all the Greek letters and special symbols mathematics uses in its nomenclature? And what they mean. I find myself handicapped in reading the math on APJ papers. I understand some, but not nearly enough of the symbols.

Not having access to expensive equipment to gather data prohibits me from being able to write a paper that discovers or supports my own positions with new data. I must therefor rely on existing published papers. Even those papers are summaries and do not contain the raw or 'cleaned' data.

Mainstream science has done many great things, but it seems to me that science has 'lost its way' lately (the theory portion of science that is, not the data gathering portion of science), and is ignoring new data from the new space-based platforms of observation of the last 5-10 years (Spitzer, Chandra, Helios, Stereo A&B, etc; there are at least 12 new satellites gathering data presently, that did not exist 11 years ago). So much new data is arriving, science has not had time to process it all and incorporate it into theory yet. One of my beefs is how a certain world view of the universe has its implications of conjecture spun into news stories, and that frustration on my part, in part, powers my dogmatic statements.

Bon Apetite ! Kovil

ps. . . I find myself short for time and mental energy to reply to all of your requests yet. That is only an excuse, and if I am serious about becoming a better science writer I need to take your suggested tasks seriously. I printed out 5 pages of your posts with the relevant tasks to contemplate this summer, and write a response to. They will help me to become better, in thinking and writing. It is a very big subject for one person to comprehend all in one grasp. It took me 5 years [maybe 3] to understand all of what Dobson is saying (and there are still some areas I am weak on). Then many explanations of what he is saying, to hear myself and understand it better. One of my tasks is to find papers that support various aspects of Dobson, gather them together and write something explaining Dobson that has good references and proof of what he is saying. My present endeavour is to break Dobson up into a dozen pieces and do an in-depth paper on each part, then stitch them together. It is almost too many hoops to keep rolling at once, and the decision on where to start is still being pondered. It may take me 5 years to do this, but I've got all the time in the world, so I'm not in a hurry.

Be at peace, and don't let this APOD board drive you crazy.

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Post by Nereid » Tue May 01, 2007 2:07 am

makc wrote:
Nereid wrote:sight-lines do not end on stars (check out the HUDF, for example).
When I look up at the sky, I see only few thousands of stars, the rest (if there's no Moon or city lights) looks pitch-black tome, because my eyes as a tool are limited. So, how do we know that there is no anything "really really far" too faint to see?
The key is surface brightness ... imagine each star is a uniformly bright disk (i.e. ignore limb darkening, etc).

The total energy you receive from this disk (assume from photons; assume the inverse square law) falls as the square of the distance between you and the disk.

But the apparent area of the disk also falls as the square of the distance ... ergo, ceteris paribus, the apparent surface brightness remains constant.

Thus, if all sight-lines end on the surface of a star, the sky will have a uniform brightness ... that of the average star!

Conversely, if the sky is not as bright as the surface of an average star, then not all sight-lines so end.

This is a very powerful test of any cosmological model, especially any which assumes an infinite universe, in either time or size ...

(So we can rule out all those alternatives harry, kovil, and Michael Mozina have put on the table, including Alfvén's proposed Charlier hierarchical ones ... or at least we can say that none of them have yet shown - quantitatively - how any of their preferred alternatives resolves Olbers' paradox.)

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Post by BMAONE23 » Tue May 01, 2007 4:36 am

Olbers' Paradox
Why isn't every portion of the night sky as bright as the surface of the Sun? If there are an infinite number of stars in the Universe, then it should be. After all, if you move the Sun twice as far away from us, we will see one quarter as many photons, but the Sun will cover one quarter of the angular area. So the perceived intensity remains the same. If there were an infinite number of stars, every direction you look in the sky you should see a star, and the entire night sky should be as bright as the sun. This is Olbers' paradox.
Several of the possible reasons for this not to be the case are:
1) There's too much interstellar dust to see the distant stars.
This first explanation cannot be right. In a black body, the dust will heat up too. It would act like a radiation shield, exponentially damping the distant starlight. But you can't put enough dust into the universe to get rid of enough starlight without also slightly obscuring our own Sun. So this idea doesn‘t work. A similar argument could be made that the dust is not interstellar but rather intergalactic, having been forced out of the main galactic body from the combined solar wind forces of billions of stars. This might be somewhat possible but then the dust would tend to obscure the more distant galaxies. And again, for the proper amount of dust to be present, we wouldn’t be able to see as many distant galaxies as we currently do.
2) The Universe has only a finite number of stars.
The idea of this explanation may technically be correct. But even with a finite number of stars, the quantity is still large enough to light up the entire sky, i.e., the Universe still has too much luminous/stellar matter for this to be correct. The number of stars is close enough to infinite for the purpose of lighting up the entire night sky. Big bang would demand this to be part of the explanation. As stars would only have been created for 13.7Gyr., there simply wouldn’t have been enough time to fill every angle with a star between the beginning and now.
3) Stars are not distributed uniformly through out the universe. So, for example, there could be an infinite quantity of stars, but they hide behind one another so that only a finite angular area is covered by them.
This third explanation might be partially correct. We just don't know. If the stars are distributed fractally, then there could be large patches of empty space, and the sky could appear dark except in small areas. Add to this the fact that we see gravitational lensing occurring in so many astronomical photographs which indicates this to be an actual occurrence.
4) The Universe is expanding, so distant stars are red-shifted into obscurity.

5) The Universe is young. Distant light hasn't even reached us yet.


This was the argument given in favor of the final two possibilities
“But these final two possibilities are surely each correct and partly responsible. There are numerical arguments that suggest that the effect of the finite age of the Universe is the larger effect. We live inside a spherical shell of "Observable Universe" which has radius equal to the lifetime of the Universe. Objects more than about 13.7 thousand million years old (the latest figure) are too far away for their light ever to reach us.”

I agree that areas within the universe are expanding relative to each other and that the universe might be expanding as a whole. Something is needed to explain the red shift observed in Deep Field imagery, and universal expansion fills the need quite well. Expansion would also be necessary for Big Bang to be correct. In order for “5” to be correct as stated though, and to rule out the need for initial >C rapid expansion, Big bang would need to have occurred not from a singularity but in an area covering thousands of light years simultaneously. Then expansion could occur at .9999C and we still wouldn’t be able to observe the entire universe today.
I think the answer to the paradox lies in the fact that the direct effect of light disperses as it moves away from its source. It is possible that there might be light all around us but the photons aren’t viewable unless you look in the direction of their source, and that the source is close enough to allow for direct viewing. It is possible that there are sources in most every line of sight but the light form the more distant sources is diluted too the point that it is not directly viewable without the aid of a telescope and photographic equipment to allow for the gathering of sufficient quantities of light. If this weren’t the fact, I could look up at the night sky and see ALL of M31 http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap061228.html
and it would appear like this without the aide of photographic equipment. The night sky would be full of light but we cannot see it because our eyes process and refresh light at a rate of about 25 to 30 times per second and that is too fast to see the minute amount of light that reaches us from our close neighbor without visual assistance.

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Post by Nereid » Tue May 01, 2007 8:15 am

It would seem that the quote*, after point #5, comes from here.

Indeed, all that preceeds it seems to be a paraphrase of the Baez/Chase article - did I get that right?

If so, you might like to check out Ap. J. 367, 399 (1991), the Paul Wesson paper referred to at the bottom of the page (click on either the PDF or GIF "Full Referred Journal/Scanned Article" link near the top of the page).

*"But these final two possibilities are surely each correct and partly responsible. There are numerical arguments that suggest that the effect of the finite age of the Universe is the larger effect. We live inside a spherical shell of "Observable Universe" which has radius equal to the lifetime of the Universe. Objects more than about 13.7 thousand million years old (the latest figure) are too far away for their light ever to reach us."

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Post by BMAONE23 » Tue May 01, 2007 1:05 pm

Thanks Nereid,
I"ll have to go through that when I have a little more time. You are correct as to the source information. I thought I had included a link to it though. Thanks again for being on top of things.

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Post by Nereid » Tue May 01, 2007 2:17 pm

Nereid wrote:
Michael Mozina wrote:[snip]

On the other hand, I doubt she will sit down and actually seriously critique any of those last few papers on redshift that I provided.

[snip]
To refresh everyone's memory: "those last few papers" are seven preprints on the arXiv server; all have Ari Brynjolfsson as the sole author, none have been published in any peer-reviewed journal, even though v1 of the oldest is now over three years' old.

The key paper is the first (#7 in the list); it describes a new physical effect ("plasma redshift") that Brynjolfsson proposes.

Before delving into this idea, students of irony will find many rich pickings here; for example:

* this so-called plasma redshift has never been demonstrated in any lab experiment anywhere on Earth - how ironic then that one who expresses such vehement opinions about black holes and neutron stars (let alone dark matter or dark energy) and praise for Birkeland and Alfvén should consider it worthy of mention

* a universe filled with 'Brynjolfsson plasma' is quite inconsistent with any plasma universe Alfvén or Perratt ever published - how ironic that an unpublished paper or three which so contradicts these heros should be promoted in the same post as one promoting Alfvénic cosmology.

Needless to say, it's not hard to understand why none of the Brynjolfsson papers has been published yet; a relatively cursory read will turn up quite a few howlers.

Fortunately (or not), the whole series of claims and conclusions follow from the so-called "plasma redshift", so, unlike almost all of modern astrophysics*, it resembles a house of cards.

Let me remove one card, and allow the whole lot to collapse.

In the first paper, on p26, Figure 4 (entitled "SOLAR REDSHIFT Comparing plasma redshift theory with experiments") allegedly presents data from observations (not "experiments") by Adam and Higgs (as well as two sets of predictions). If you track down the sources - papers written in 1959 and 1960 respectively - you'll find that Brynjolfsson's omission of the error bars on the original observations creates a very different impression concerning the match. Further, reading the literature on 'the limb effect', you quickly find that Brynjolfsson has been highly selective in his choice of "experimental" results to present. He has also rather too quickly dealt with the dozens (hundreds?) of papers which examine other physical mechanisms as possible contributors to this effect. Finally, after v1 of the first paper appeared on the preprint server, but before v3, a paper giving a detailed calculation of the expected gravitational redshift for the relevant solar lines came out. This paper seems pretty clear: the purported "redshift predicted by Einstein's classical gravitational theory" of Brynjolfsson's Figure 4 isn't.

(to be continued)

*Pace Michael, harry, kovil, ...
(continued)

Brynjolfsson's 'plasma redshift' is purely theoretical - other than the redshift of solar spectral lines I covered above, there is no detailed, quantitative test presented in any of the papers*.

I don't have the quantum physics textbook he apparently uses to build his idea (Brynjolfsson's 'plasma redshift' is a quantum phenomenon, allegedly arising from some quantum nature of photons; it is not a Compton scattering, nor a Raman scattering), so I haven't checked the consistency. However, Brynjolfsson's quantum photons are very strange beasts indeed - they seem to have well-defined 'lengths' and 'widths', which would seem - to me - to be easily tested, using some variation of a two-slit experiment, or of an entangled (photon) pair one. Perhaps some reader - Michael? - might like to explain why such tests do not rule out Brynjolfsson's 'plasma redshift'?

More seriously, Brynjolfsson is candid about the need to introduce a modification of General Relativity, to account for 'plasma redshift'; he calls this modification 'quantum mechanically modified GTR'. Brynjolfsson says, albeit somewhat obliquely, that this violates the Einstein equivalence principle; specifically, local position invariance ('LPI'; the outcome of any local non-gravitational experiment is independent of where and when in the universe it is performed). And when you think about it, the 'plasma redshift' described in the papers must do just that.

Unfortunately, for the Brynjolfsson idea, LPI has been tested extensively, far more so than the limited number of cases Brynjolfsson discusses in the second of the unpublished papers.

And, like all other tests of GR, the match is within the error bars ... except for tests of α, the fine structure constant; in one such test, over cosmological time, one team found a non-null variation (other teams have found no variation, so the question is still open). See Will for more details.

Finally, for now, Brynjolfsson doesn't present any analysis of observations of gravitational redshift from any astronomical source, other than the Sun; he merely asserts "The observed redshifts of dwarf stars, such as the white dwarf Sirius B, can be explained as plasma redshifts without the conventionally assumed gravitational redshifts [...]".

*Caveat: other than the astronomical ones, which I will get to later.

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Post by Nereid » Tue May 01, 2007 4:18 pm

Michael Mozina wrote:
Nereid wrote:Let's look at 'quantitative' in our daily lives, shall we?

You are stopped for speeding; the policeman says you were driving 25 km/hr above the local speed limit. Do you reply with words about not having specific data from observations?

Your doctor prescribes some medicine, a 200 mg tablet to be taken once a day, with breakfast let's say. Do you interpret the doctor's prescription in general terms, of how your {condition} progresses and what kind of parameters it follows in its behaviour?

Of course not. Your life depends critically upon a great many things being not only quantitative, but rather narrowly so too.

And that's just daily life; what about science? what about astronomy??
Last time I checked it was impossible to buy any quantity of inflation fields, dark energy or dark matter at Walmart or anywhere else on earth. Quantification is all well and good, but how about some qualification of ideas?

Good point - the science of astronomy includes considerably more than mere quantification ... it is, like all of modern science, driven by the engine of theory development and testing.

The criteria for a successful theory may be summarised as:

a) internal consistency; as theories in astronomy are quantitative (with numbers and equations, math and stuff), this criterion is automatically quantitative

b) consistency with well-established theories in regimes where the domains of applicability overlap; again, this is automatically quantitative, if only because well-established theories are

c) consistency with relevant, good observational and experimental results; as nearly all (modern) astronomical data is quantitative, this too is almost always automatically quantitative.

So, wrt inflation fields, dark energy, and dark matter, the tests have nothing to do with whether you can buy some in WalMart, and everything to do with how well they meet a), b), and (above all) c).

If you can show that any of these (inflation etc) fail any of these (criteria), by all means please do so (quantitatively, of course).
Especially as, it seems, your word salad assertions constitute the foundation of your rejection of the years' of work of dozens of scientists.
So what if he does reject it? Like years worth of scientific research from dozens of scientists never went up in smoke before?
Which is, obviously, unrelated to what I wrote.

Of course years, or decades, of astronomical research can be, and has been, shown to fail criterion c)*.

However, I doubt that a paragraph of two of word salad assertions alone has ever been sufficient to trash decades of solid research.

But I could be wrong; do you have any pertinent examples?
I guess my complaint about standard astronomy is that it is far too dependent upon a quantification mechanism and expression and too few of those mechanisms have ever been scientifically qualified in any controlled scientific test.

I intend to explore this at some length in a new thread I will start soon, on the nature of 'observations', 'interpretation', and 'theory' in modern astronomy (astrophysics, cosmology).

For now, just briefly, I will note that no "controlled scientific test" has ever been done on a ~10^30 kg body comprised of ~75% H and ~25% He, much less a system of 100 billion such bodies spread out over a volume of ~10^60 cubic metres.
It's all well and good to talk about the amount of "dark energy" in the universe and to quantify it in elegant ways, but if you don't know what it is, you still don't have a scientific clue what causes the phenomenon in question. Calling a force of nature "dark energy" is no better than calling it magic IMO. Nothing like DE has ever been shown to have any affect whatsoever on normal matter. Until I see a controlled test that shows us where DE comes from and how it interacts with matter, it's just plain goofy IMO to be blaming the acceleration of the physical universe on "dark energy".
We've been over this, and over it, and over it, and ...

And I will go over it, again, in the new thread - it will make an excellent case study of many of the aspects of the intricate relationship between theory and observation that is at the heart of modern astronomy and cosmology.

Just briefly, for now, 'dark energy' is like the elephant the six blind men touched - the term is used in several different ways, with different meanings.

One such is quite innocuous - it is merely a placeholder, a succinct summary of a conclusion drawn from lots of observations (of at least three different kinds - distant supernovae, the CMB, and large-scale structure) - within the framework of one of the two most successful theories in modern science - General Relativity.
Same deal with inflation, dark matter, monopoles, strings, etc.
An obvious way to banish all** these, Michael, is to come up with a cosmological/astrophysical theory (or theories) which can account for - quantitatively - the relevant, good observational results.

So far as I know, no such alternative theories exist (despite repeated requests to harry, kovil, yourself, ... to please provide references to any such, published in a relevant, peer-reviewed journal).

*It's rare that it takes years of work to get to use criteria a) or b); string/M theory is an obvious exception.
**We need to exclude 'strings' from this list - whatever relevance they may have for astronomy, their relevance in particle physics (and hence potentially amenable to "controlled scientific test") is surely greater.

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Post by Nereid » Tue May 01, 2007 6:13 pm

Nereid wrote:
makc wrote:Oh and there she is back. Look, Nereid, I take it you are actually enjoy running threads like this in circles, but don't you think 40+ pages are more than enough? Isn't it time to use the magic button?
I'm keen to ensure that everyone has had an opportunity to put their 'origin of the universe' ideas on the table, and for us to see the extent to which they can be considered scientific (in the standard meaning of that term, wrt astronomy).

The status is, in my mind, something like this:

* all of harry's "BBT is wrong!!!!!!!!!" ideas have been discussed; CLOSED

* all Electric Universe (Thornhill et al) ideas have been covered; CLOSED

* at least some of Alfvén's Plasma Cosmology ideas have been put on the table, and discussed; perhaps not quite closed yet (let's wait a week or so)

* lots of questions have been asked, and answered; CLOSED

* kovil has some homework: I don't think we need to keep this thread open for that (unless he makes a huge amount of progress in the next week or so); CLOSED

* Michael Mozina has put some unpublished papers by Ari Brynjolfsson on the table; OPEN

Of course, if harry (or anyone else) comes up with *scientific* answers to the many questions (or any!) about the CLOSED items, then we can discuss those.

Did I miss anything significant?
*Update*

With kovil's recent post*, nothing from anyone on Alfvén's cosmology (much less anything quantitative), and Olbers' paradox pretty much covered, I think we can close this thread a day or so after my next (and last) post on Brynjolfsson's 'plasma redshift'.

*When he develops something on Dobson, it can be in a new thread.

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Post by Nereid » Tue May 01, 2007 7:56 pm

Michael Mozina wrote:
Nereid wrote:
Nereid wrote: I'm keen to ensure that everyone has had an opportunity to put their 'origin of the universe' ideas on the table, and for us to see the extent to which they can be considered scientific (in the standard meaning of that term, wrt astronomy).

The status is, in my mind, something like this:

* all of harry's "BBT is wrong!!!!!!!!!" ideas have been discussed; CLOSED

* all Electric Universe (Thornhill et al) ideas have been covered; CLOSED

* lots of questions have been asked, and answered; CLOSED

* kovil has some homework: I don't think we need to keep this thread open for that (unless he makes a huge amount of progress in the next week or so); CLOSED
From my perspective your statements only suggest that your mind is CLOSED to any and all new possibilities, including every electric universe idea. That hardly sounds like a scientific attitude to me.
I note that you chose to omit two key sentences in the post (of mine) that you quoted:

Of course, if harry (or anyone else) comes up with *scientific* answers to the many questions (or any!) about the CLOSED items, then we can discuss those.

Did I miss anything significant?
* Michael Mozina has put some unpublished papers by Ari Brynjolfsson on the table; OPEN
Well, I'm glad to hear that you are at least open minded toward some of Alfven's idea and some of the other papers I have cited, but your fixation on when and how things are "published" is one of those self defense mechanisms from my perspective.

Did I not state that this is a scientific forum?

Or do you not understand how science works, today?

Sorry; let me try again.

The Night Sky Live forum, a.k.a. The Asterisk*, which includes this Asterisk Cafe, is a scientific forum, devoted to astronomy and related sciences.

The core means by which modern astronomy, as a science, is made public is publication of papers in relevant, peer-reviewed journals.

Specifically, astronomical theories, hypotheses, observations, etc are available - to working scientists and the general public alike - principally through such papers.

These are the primary sources.

Any questions?
Any and all ideas which are contrary to the status quo will undoubtedly be difficult to get published, and something as complex as plasma cosmology is better presented in book form in the first place. If you want a mathematical presentation of plasma cosmology theory, I *strongly* suggest you begin with the book Cosmic Plasma by Hannes Alfven. He and his students literally wrote the book on plasma cosmology. If you don't read this book, and you insist on only considering papers that have been published in specific journals, you'll find exactly what you seek, a mainstream party line presentation of reality. If you want real answers, you'll have to look outside that narrow minded approach toward science and read some actually books on plasma cosmology. Yes, Nereid (any other opponents of EU theory), they really do exist.
This is hardly the first time such promotion of EU ideas* has been made here.

And, despite what I think are clear statements concerning guidelines, etc, hardly the last.

Despite numerous opportunities, AFAIK, not one proponent of this so-called EU theory has presented, in this thread or elsewhere in the Cafe, a quantitative case showing consistency with even one of the following:

a) resolution of Olbers' paradox

b) the Hubble relationship, including observational data from high-z SNe

c) the CMB, including the blackbody SED, the dipole, and the angular power spectrum

d) the primordial abundance of light nuclides (H, D, 3He, 4He)

e) the large-scale structure of the observed universe.

Unless we see at least a serious attempt to do just that, I think we can CLOSE this thread to further discussion relating to any such EU ideas.
I really like the openness of this forum, and the way it has allowed for free discussion. It would be a pity to see it deevolve into another political forum where all dissent is controlled by brute force and ridicule.
Here's what I just don't get, Michael: why should these ideas you are so keen on be given special dispensation?

Why should they not be subject to the same degree of scrutiny as any part of modern astronomy?

Why should there be a double-standard - EU ideas not required to be shown to be *quantitatively* consistent with relevant good observational results; everything (else) in cosmology is required to meet such criteria?

Why insist that peer-review is unnecessary?

If this were a brand-new set of concepts, as in only developed this year or last, there might, maybe just might, be a case to be made for some kind of special treatment (but I also note that plenty of brand new ideas, some of them pretty wild indeed, do manage to get published without much trouble).

But they're not; as you and others are very keen to point out, these ideas have been around, in one form or another for a century! And still there are no published papers (in relevant, peer-reviewed journals**)!!

*Despite many attempts to get clear answers, I have yet to find a coherent statement on just what this "EU theory" is! Note that I distinguish this from plasma physics, and from Alfvén's "plasma cosmology"; the former is part of mainstream physics (and astrophysics includes much of this), the latter is one of many failed ideas - it clearly fails the key test in science, namely consistency with relevant, good observational results.

**Other than those of Alfvén (which are about plasma cosmology, not 'EU theory'), and Peratt, which, understandably, you don't wish to try to defend.
Last edited by Nereid on Tue May 01, 2007 7:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Nereid » Tue May 01, 2007 7:58 pm

Michael Mozina wrote:Hereare some other interesting looking books devoted to explaining the mathematics behind plasma cosmology theory by the way.
And what does this have to do with 'EU theory'?

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Post by Nereid » Wed May 02, 2007 1:14 am

Michael Mozina wrote:
Nereid wrote:With kovil's recent post*, nothing from anyone on Alfvén's cosmology (much less anything quantitative), and Olbers' paradox pretty much covered, I think we can close this thread a day or so after my next (and last) post on Brynjolfsson's 'plasma redshift'.
Do you really think that a single rebuttal of a 95 page presentation of Brynjolfsson's redshift ideas is going to end all debate on that topic too?
a) there were two posts, with one more to come

b) my comments relate principally to the first, 95-page, one, but also the other six

c) if you think that the Brynjolfsson 'plasma redshift' mechanism has been presented, in a peer-reviewed paper, published in a relevant journal, by all means please provide a reference

d) if you would like to show how - quantitatively - Brynjolfsson's concept of the quantum nature of photons is consistent with the various, well-known two-slit and entangled photon (pair) experiments, please do so

e) if you can explain - quantitatively - how Brynjolfsson's "quantum mechanically modified GTR" is consistent with the many LPI experiments*, please do so

f) if you know of a (published) review paper (in a relevant peer-reviewed journal) on the gravitational redshift of solar spectral lines that includes Brynjolfsson's 'plasma redshift', please provide a reference.

Otherwise, after my next post on those papers, that topic will be CLOSED.

*Starting with those covered in Will.
Last edited by Nereid on Wed May 02, 2007 1:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Nereid » Wed May 02, 2007 1:32 am

Michael Mozina wrote:
Nereid wrote:
Michael Mozina wrote:Hereare some other interesting looking books devoted to explaining the mathematics behind plasma cosmology theory by the way.
And what does this have to do with 'EU theory'?
It's a plasma physics approach to cosmology Nereid. I can't tell you everything it contains (yet) since I just ordered his most recent (and most expensive) book today. I'll be happy to keep you posted. Did you ever read the book Cosmic Plasma by Hannes Alfven?
Clarification please.

"Plasma cosmology"

"EU theory"

"Cosmic electrodynamics"

"plasma cosmology theory"

(and maybe more)

One thing? four things? overlaps??

AFAIK, "plasma cosmology" and "cosmic electrodynamics" are terms Alfvén used (but I don't know how he intended their meanings to be distinguished). I don't know the provenance of the others - maybe you made them up?
Cosmic electrodynamics is the specific branch of plasma physics which studies electromagnetic phenomena -- mostly the role of electromagnetic forces in dynamics of highly-conducting compressible medium in the solar interior and atmosphere, solar wind, in the Earth's magnetosphere and magnetospheres of other planets as well as pulsars and other astrophysical objects.
This textbook is written to be used at several different levels. It is aimed primarily at beginning graduate students who are assumed to have a knowledge of basic physics. Starting from the language of plasma physics, from Maxwell's equations, the author guides the reader into the more specialized concepts of cosmic electrodynamics.
The main attention in the book is paid to physics rather than maths. However, the clear mathematical image of physical processes in space plasma is presented and spelled out in the surrounding text. There is not another way to work in modern astrophysics at the quantitative level.
The book will also be useful for professional astronomers and for specialists, who investigate cosmic plasmas from space, as well as for everybody who is interested in modern astrophysics.
No mention of cosmology (nor galaxies, nor large-scale structure, nor ...).

Curious that if, as you assert, it is a "book[..] devoted to explaining the mathematics behind plasma cosmology theory", the term "plasma cosmology theory" is not used in this explanatory note.