A’ thoughts’ post born of a sleepless couple of hours one night.
Not exactly meditating which would be an inward trip, but trying to understand the big picture.
An attempt to incite a serious response.
Unlike the classic Indian tribe response of “we’re the Sioux” to the lost white explorers’ question “wherethefukarewe”?, the answer reaches far beyond the human imagination.
How many galaxies are there in the Universe?
“While estimates among different experts vary, an acceptable range is between 100 billion and 200 billion galaxies, Mario Livio, an astrophysicist at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, told Space.com. – See more at: http://www.space.com/25303-how-many-galaxies-are-in-the-universe.html#sthash.NkCBzCWs.dpuf”
In other words – unknown! Without going into the arithmetic, it is obvious that our knowledge is somewhat nebulous when we talk about the number of galaxies, stars and planets in existence today, or have existed but still show a time-shifted picture because of the delay due to a finite speed of light.
A serious question arises – does a beam of light disappear instantaneously when the source terminates, or does it travel independently forever, ceasing to be visible when its “tail” reaches the viewer?
A lack of personal understanding prompts the following comments:
Scientists seem to agree about the expansion of the universe but are not in agreement about the expansion being linear or accelerating. On the other hand these are new theories, according to “Physicists at one time were so assured of the deceleration of the universe’s expansion that they introduced a so-called deceleration parameter . ” Are there any ‘old’ theories that have withstood the passage of time and new information and understanding?
What possible phenomenon could explain an accelerating expansion of the universe? If the ‘Big Bang’ theory is correct, the furthest masses would have a higher velocity but would require additional energy to actually accelerate. They might slow because of gravitational forces from inner masses, remain substantially unchanged because of inertia, but any acceleration would negate the ‘Big Bang Theory’.
A lot of current theory depends on ‘red-shift’ observations. How reliable is this? Do all light sources consist of white light in the first place?
Again, not enough certainty is possible to enable confidence.
Gravitational forces are real and measurable but no-one KNOWS the mechanics involved. A gravitation field seems to exist in its own right, but, is it that simple? Or does the existence of mass create the attraction? Take away all masses and what would result?
Not that being able to imagine something precludes any possibility, but a gravitational field in an otherwise empty space without boundaries, is an especially difficult phenomenon to grasp. Easier to consider gravitation as a consequence of there first existing a mass.
Gravitational waves or a gravitational field? Not too dissimilar from magnetic or electric fields, except we can be sure that in the latter case, they are created from a point, or similar, source. Therefore do not require a second body to play a part in detecting the force.
The paradox of light speed.
This parodox is a classic element of our physics, not regarding light having a finite and absolute speed, but that humans are incapable of measuring the actual value. There exists no static frame of reference within which a distance/time relationship can be independently established. Therefore only relative speeds, more correctly velocities, can be measured.
Nowhere can we create a measuring system that is not itself ‘flying’ through space in a non-linear pattern. The planet rotates at a surface velocity of approx. 1000Km/hour. We orbit the sun at about 30 Km/second, interesting is it not? 108,000K/hour. The sun itself is assessed as having a velocity through our galaxy at about 486,000 miles per hour. (~770 Km/hour). The “Milky Way” has velocity relative to Andromeda Galaxy of 300 kilometers per second or so.” (1,080,000 Km/hour).
If we picture a remote observer witnessing two light beams approaching each other each travelling at ‘c’ (the accepted speed of light), it is absolute that their exists a relative velocity of ‘2c’. Yet we are unable to quantify any such relative speed.
If we attempt to measure the speed of a light beam coming towards us while we are obviously moving ourselves at an opposing direction speed (therefore velocity), we are apparently incapable of measuring meaningfully anything other than the relative speed difference. When this turns out to be “independent” from our own speed and “constant”, it is concluded therefore that our own actual speed has introduced a time rate shift. Our ‘clock’ ‘runs’ at a different rate because we have a velocity of our own. But our velocity is simply a relative velocity, how can that affect our physical time rate?
If we do the same measurement with a light beam coming from “behind” when the relative speed is reduced by our opposite direction, it should follow that our ‘clock’, which may run at a rate dependent on our actual velocity, but this would therefore provide us with a different ‘speed of light’ result, in fact still fails to detect the correct relative light-observer figure.
It is indeed paradoxical, or perhaps incorrect, that the results do not make technical sense. Actual velocity may affect our time interval measurement, ie., clock speed, but it is inconceivable that our clock speed changes in relation to the relative speed of the clock in relation to a light source.
What is this theory about ‘space being curved’?
The currently accepted theory of gravitation and the subsequent orbital relationship between two moving masses is considered to be because of space curvature, or ? space-time curvature.
- Space is surely 3 dimensional, forgetting for the moment the time factor creating a theoretical fourth dimension, in what way can a 3-dimensional entity be curved in such a way that two masses have an orbital relationship in a two dimensional pattern regardless of their orientation to another orbital pair, perhaps having a 90 degree relativity to the first pair?
- What parameter of space exists such that a shape can be contributed to it?
Big Bang Theory.
The “Big Bang Theory’ seems to be recognized as an acceptable scientific theory, sort of ‘best-fit’ to the known observations, but not one without dissenters.
Perhaps it is realistic to say that no-one has the wherewithal to make definitive conclusions that could be anything other than speculations about the Universe’ origin.
Just as it reasonable to speculate about our human race evolution, the existence of ‘God’ or other spiritual creator or influence and many other material or immaterial issues, we would perhaps do well to avoid making pedantic decisions regarding our own beliefs and theories.
It seems we risk our reputations nearly every time a theory is claimed to be correct.
However, it is in our character to endlessly search for understanding. An excellent parameter of human nature, but naive to ever think that the we know anything absolute!