baudrunner's space: Who is right and who is wrong?
"Philosophy to Science - Quark to Cosmos. Musings on the Fundamental Nature of reality"

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Friday, January 18, 2008

Who is right and who is wrong?

The greatest thinker of them all, Albert Einstein, admitted one time to "The greatest blunder of my life". In nineteen twenty-nine, the noted British Astronomer Edwin Hubble observed that the Universe was expanding, thereby rendering Einstein's Static Universe Theory obsolete. Some time before, a young student had approached him, asking him, "..but Dr. Einstein, wouldn't gravity tend to pull all the objects in a static Universe together?". That required some reformulation, so the good doctor came up with what he termed the "cosmological constant" which, when incorporated into his relativity equations, introduced an anti-gravity component, thereby satisfying the requirements for a static Universe.

There is an important lesson here. Mathematics is not the holy grail. Mathematics can prove the impossible. Therefore mathematics is a potentially misleading and dangerous tool if misused.

So string theory will always be theory and should be taken with a grain of salt (as this very entertaining slideshow demonstrates), for it is impossible to prove, completely untestable, and therefore a figment of the imagination. It falls into the category of interesting mathematical proposition. For my part, I will not even consider it, because it falls outside of the realm of logic and reason. As I've said, mathematics can prove the impossible.

We are all entitled to be wrong. I once believed that the expansion of the Universe occurs in cycles, accelerating until this expansion attains the speed of light which creates a boundary of infinite mass which explains dark matter all around, then beginning the creation process beyond this boundary once again, a different kind of colossal heartbeat.

I am certain now that this is wrong. The Universe is expanding at a constant rate. The observation that it is accelerating is but an illusion which can be proved with a simple demonstration, to wit:

Take an elastic band and snip it open and size it to exactly six inches. Draw the universal symbol for the sun, a point with a circle around it, at the two- inch mark. Draw a point to represent a near star at the one-inch mark and another to represent a far star at the five-inch mark. Now stretch the rubber band until it is twelve inches in length. You will see in the time it took the near star to move one inch farther away from the sun that the far star has moved three inches farther away. The observation is that the farther something is away from our point of reference in this Universe, the faster it is moving away, even though expansion is occurring at a constant rate. And because this Universe is dynamic - ie. it is always expanding, the illusion, based on actual observation, is that this expansion is accelerating. The scientific community currently believes in a misleading perception of what is really happening, a misconstruence if you will, but we know better don't we?

In a Universe which is expanding at a constant rate, there is no requirement and no reason to believe in a cycle of contraction and expansion. Paul Frampton is simply wrong.

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