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Tue Mar 31, 2015, 09:29 AM

The Big Bang is going down

The Big Bang is about to collapse catastrophically, and that's a good thing.
BY RICK ROSNER
First postulated in 1931, the Big Bang has been the standard theory of the origin and structure of the universe for 50 years. In my opinion, (the opinion of a TV comedy writer, stripper and bar bouncer who does physics on the side) the Big Bang is about to collapse catastrophically, and that's a good thing.

According to Big Bang theory, the universe exploded into existence from basically nothing 13.7-something billion years ago. But we're at the beginning of a wave of discoveries of stuff that's older than 13.7 billion years.

For instance, there's SDSS J0100+2802, a quasar containing a black hole with a mass of 12 billion suns that's only 900 million years younger than the Big Bang. Black holes take a long time to accumulate mass, and 900 million years probably isn't enough. Astronomers have discovered more than 200,000 quasars, and with improving search techniques allowing them look closer and closer to the Big Bang, they'll find more of these highly developed quasars the cosmic equivalent of 42-year-old strippers who are somehow only as old as toddlers when their ages are reckoned by the Big Bang.

Then we have dust made out of heavy elements in a galaxy that's only 700 million years younger than the Big Bang. Heavy elements form as stars near the ends of their life cycles, which are generally many billions of years long. So that's some fast-forming dust.



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http://boingboing.net/2015/03/30/the-big-bang-9s-going-down.html

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Arrow 23 replies Author Time Post
Reply The Big Bang is going down (Original post)
n2doc Mar 2015 OP
Erich Bloodaxe BSN Mar 2015 #1
Ghost Dog Mar 2015 #9
tridim Mar 2015 #2
BillZBubb Mar 2015 #5
BillZBubb Mar 2015 #3
rhett o rick Mar 2015 #4
BillZBubb Mar 2015 #6
rhett o rick Mar 2015 #7
demwing Mar 2015 #8
Igel Mar 2015 #23
packman Mar 2015 #10
InAbLuEsTaTe Mar 2015 #11
Romeo.lima333 Mar 2015 #13
jeff47 Mar 2015 #15
Romeo.lima333 Mar 2015 #12
jeff47 Mar 2015 #14
progressoid Mar 2015 #16
Binkie The Clown Mar 2015 #17
SoLeftIAmRight Mar 2015 #18
LongTomH Mar 2015 #19
caraher Mar 2015 #20
Fumesucker Mar 2015 #21
awoke_in_2003 Mar 2015 #22

Response to n2doc (Original post)

Tue Mar 31, 2015, 09:34 AM

1. Well, that's the way science works.

You go for decades on one assumption, racking up all sorts of studies that 'support' (ie, don't disprove) your theory, until somebody gets around to studying or finding something that doesn't work with it. Then you have to find a new theory that isn't disproven by any of the old stuff or any of the new.

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Response to Erich Bloodaxe BSN (Reply #1)

Tue Mar 31, 2015, 10:38 AM

9. Correct. Proof is impossible; only disproof

can shift paradigms, and cause changes in theories and in the hypotheses and experimental methodologies designed (never infallibly, surely) to test them.

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Tue Mar 31, 2015, 09:34 AM

2. In my mind it went down as soon as we determined the rate of expansion is increasing.

Because when I visualize the graph of expansion it is not linear, and therefore it can never approach zero at the "beginning". No big bang.

There is so much more to discover.

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Response to tridim (Reply #2)

Tue Mar 31, 2015, 10:03 AM

5. General relativity predicts the expansion rate should increase. No contradiction there.

The "inflationary period" was highly non-linear. I don't see how you can extrapolate from that there was no singularity at the beginning. It explains how a singularity could be there, not the opposite.

You are correct that there is much more to discover, but as of now the Big Bang is still on very solid scientific ground.

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Tue Mar 31, 2015, 09:57 AM

3. The Big Bang isn't going anywhere.

These discoveries may force some changes in the understanding of mechanism of the Big Bang or the age of the universe. But, the Cosmic Background Radiation remains--and that points to a singularity at the beginning of the universe.

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Tue Mar 31, 2015, 09:59 AM

4. Isn't this discussion revolving about our current concept of time?

 

I am not sure we have a clue about what time really is.

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #4)

Tue Mar 31, 2015, 10:04 AM

6. Hey, it's all relative!

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Response to BillZBubb (Reply #6)

Tue Mar 31, 2015, 10:15 AM

7. Albert? Is that you? What's your twitter handle? nm

 

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Tue Mar 31, 2015, 10:24 AM

8. "Heavy elements form as stars near the ends of their life cycles"

 

I imagine we'll be adjusting our thoughts on this as well.

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Response to demwing (Reply #8)

Tue Mar 31, 2015, 08:18 PM

23. It's the most common explanation.

But recently I read about another explanation. (Both are right; neither is wrong.)

Can't put my finger on the reference, though, or the details.

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Tue Mar 31, 2015, 10:44 AM

10. Whew (Packman breathes sigh of relief)

It's just about the universe - I thought you were referring to the TV show. Anything dealing with the universe I can handle. Anything impacting my TV life is catastrophic.

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Tue Mar 31, 2015, 10:58 AM

11. The Big Bang fizzled when Dr. Randell Mills predicted over a decade ago that the Universe is expanding at an accelerated rate...

which prediction was verified by astrophysicists who won the Nobel Prize for their discovery years later.

Of course, as everyone knows, when something explodes, like during the supposed "Big Bang," maximum acceleration occurs instantly at the time of the explosion, after which the rate of acceleration starts to decrease, not increase.

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Response to InAbLuEsTaTe (Reply #11)

Tue Mar 31, 2015, 11:12 AM

13. like dr alan guth's theory of inflation?

 

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Response to InAbLuEsTaTe (Reply #11)

Tue Mar 31, 2015, 11:32 AM

15. Only if the explosion is the only source of acceleration.

There's no reason that there can only be one source of acceleration.

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Tue Mar 31, 2015, 11:10 AM

12. 12 billion suns ...

 

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Tue Mar 31, 2015, 11:30 AM

14. Um....no.

The main problem with this article is the assumption that things behaved right after the big bang the same way they behave now.

For example:
Then we have dust made out of heavy elements in a galaxy that's only 700 million years younger than the Big Bang. Heavy elements form as stars near the ends of their life cycles, which are generally many billions of years long.

Many billions of years long now. But now, the hydrogen that forms stars is relatively spread out.

Shortly after the big bang, the hydrogen would still be pretty dense. So a pocket of slightly higher density should have resulted in an unfathomably large quantity of hydrogen fusing at an unfathomably fast rate - way more than the biggest stable stars, way faster than the biggest stable stars.

So you don't have to wait for a star to grow old and die to make heavy metals. That new-universe fusion is gonna blow the shit out of a vast amount of material very quickly.

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Tue Mar 31, 2015, 11:36 AM

16. 42-year-old strippers?

Ah, I see.

About the Author

Richard G. "Rick" Rosner is an American television writer and media figure known for his high intelligence test scores and his unusual career. There are reports that he has achieved some of the highest scores ever recorded on IQ tests designed to measure exceptional intelligence. He has become known for taking part in activities not usually associated with geniuses. Rosner claims that he has worked as a stripper, roller-skating waiter, bouncer, and nude model. (Wikipedia)

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Tue Mar 31, 2015, 12:58 PM

17. Phsyics, once again, became too smug.

I've never cared for the big bang theory (although I love the TV show!) I've believed there must be a better explanation for Hubble's Constant ever since I was a kid with a homemade telescope in the 1950's. The assumption, unwarranted as far as I'm concerned, was that the only cause of Doppler shift is velocity. The whole edifice was built on one untested assumption based not on rigorous testing, but on confessing that we simply don't know what else might cause red shift. What if it is simply in the nature of light to red shift the further it travels? How could be possibly test that at the distances required for the effect to show itself? If that were the case then light from objects would be more red shifted with greater distance, exactly as observed, without having to hypothesize that expansion velocity was the cause.

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Tue Mar 31, 2015, 01:44 PM

18. Penrose was vocal about this in 1989

 

I think that he never felt that it would stand the test of time.

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Tue Mar 31, 2015, 02:40 PM

19. I'd take this with a grain of salt.

Long-standing scientific theories are more often revised than overturned.

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Tue Mar 31, 2015, 03:44 PM

20. Everyone - see post #16

yes, theories do get overthrown, but gravedancing about this one because of this article is premature to say the least. This is not the work of a scientist but speculation from an interested layman. Observations like the ones he mentions are not nails in the coffin of a dead theory. They are measurements we interpret, and often it turns out more prosaic interpretations work out to be more convincing than postulating the grand overthrow of a reigning unifying theory.

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Tue Mar 31, 2015, 04:08 PM

21. The part about heavy elements is way off..

Supernovas are where most elements heavier than lithium come from and all elements heavier than iron, supernovas are the death implosion/explosion of a star more massive than the Sun, at least 1.4 times and often much more massive than the Sun.

The more massive a star is the faster it evolves, for instance the closest obviously incipient supernova to us is Betelgeuse and it is ~20 to ~30 times more massive than the Sun. Betelgeuse is only about 10 million years old and will sooner or later explode and spill its heavy element guts throughout its region of space, probably within the next million years and possibly sooner than that.

In 700 million years there could have been multiple generations of ultra massive supernovas that seed space with heavy elements.



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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Tue Mar 31, 2015, 07:56 PM

22. The best bang since the big one. nt

 

This is the DU member formerly known as awoke_in_2003.

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