Einstein’s ‘Gravitational Waves’, Ripples in Space-Time & Seeking the MULTIVERSE…

Posted: February 12, 2016 in (All Things) CULTURE, And Now... The Weird Stuff, Random, This Week's News (From a Certain Point of View)
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gravitational-waves

One hundred years ago Albert Einstein, in his General Theory of Relativity, predicted the existence of a Dark Side of the Force to the cosmos.

He postulated the presence of invisible “gravitational waves” – ripples in space-time produced by some of the most violent events in our vast cosmic timeline; exploding stars, black hole collisions, and even the primordial violence of the Big Bang itself.

For decades, astronomers have accumulated evidence to support the existence of these gravitational waves. But they had never been directly detected – until now. These waves were the last element of Einstein’s General Theory that still needed to be verified; and now they apparently have been.

The discovery dates back to last September, when two giant measuring devices in different parts of America (one in Livingston, Louisiana, and the other in Hanford, Washington), called LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory), are said to have detected a passing gravitational wave – ripples in the fabric of space-time – from the collision of two massive black holes.

This first ever direct detection of gravitational waves was announced yesterday. We are told that the two black holes that collided were respectively about 29 times and 36 times the mass of our sun. It is also cited as the first direct evidence that black holes even exist, that they can exist in a pair, and that they can collide and merge.

The collision occurred a long time ago (in a galaxy far, far away); more than one billion light years from Earth. The event is said to have converted three times the mass of our sun into ‘gravitational wave energy’. In just a fraction of a second, the unfathomable power radiated through those waves is said to have been more than ten times greater than the combined luminosity of every star and galaxy in the observable universe. This event was so massive that it is said to have significantly warped the fabric of space-time, creating ripples that spread out across the universe – only having been detected by science just months ago.

Listen to what colliding black holes sound like: http://www.space.com/31910-what-colliding-black-holes-sound-like-video.html

The excitement generated over this announcement has predictably been met by apathy or scepticism in some quarters – mostly by the same people that are generally suspicious of science anyway or whose reaction to any scientific breakthrough or announcement tends to be along the lines of ‘well, why don’t they stop exploring all these useless things and just focus on curing diseases and ending world hunger?’

The discovery isn’t only about confirming Einstein’s theory, however. As Gren Ireson, Professor of Science Education, Research Coordinator within the School of Education at Nottingham Trent University, writes; ‘Now that we know that they exist, the hope is that gravitational waves could open up the door to answering some of the biggest mysteries in science, such as what the majority of the universe is made of. Only 5% of the universe is ordinary matter with 27% being dark matter and the remaining 65% being dark energy, with the latter two being called “dark” as we don’t understand what they are. Gravitational waves may now provide a tool with which to probe these mysteries in a similar way that X-rays and MRI have allowed us to probe the human body’.

Detecting gravitational waves will help to probe the extreme realms of the cosmos; regions that are otherwise inaccessible to telescopes. Davide Castelvecchi, writing on Nature, highlights six cosmic questions that might be easier to answer in light of this confirmation of gravitational waves.

_______________________

While most scientific institutions remain sceptical about time-travel (which some enthusiasts believe could be enabled by study of gravitational waves), there is something just as interesting – perhaps even more so – that could also be reinforced by the LIGO discovery. Scientists have hypothesised for a while that Einstein’s gravitational waves might indicate the likelihood of the multiverse – a greater universe made up of multiple and diverse universes.

Most models of Inflation Theory suggest different parts of that hyper-dense early universe would have expanded at differing speeds, creating ‘bubbles’ of space-time; these ‘bubbles’ would effectively be cut off from one another, resulting in numerous ‘bubble universes’ that co-exist but are unable to interact with each other.

Stanford University theoretical physicist, Professor Andrei Linde (one of the authors of inflationary theory and of the theory of an eternal inflationary multiverse), points to the role of quantum fluctuations being produced during the inflation process and being a cause of galaxy formation. In some places, those quantum fluctuations would be so large that they can produce new and rapidly expanding parts of the universe, the process turning the universe into a multiverse, consisting of many constituent universes with different laws of physics operating in each of them. Says Professor Linde, ‘Every experiment that brings better credence to inflationary theory brings us much closer to hints that the multiverse is real.”

The existence of the multiverse would explain a number of things that presently trouble cosmologists about the nature of our universe and reality.

A classic example often cited by multiverse enthusiasts is the 1998 discovery that galaxies in our universe seem to be spreading apart at an accelerating rate, when their mutual gravitational attraction should be slowing them down. This observation is held to imply the existence of a Dark Energy that counteracts gravity on cosmic scales. The nature of this ‘Dark Side of the Force’ has been a profound mystery for the most part.

 

 

Confirmation of a multiverse might also help explain one of the more frustrating paradoxes about our reality, sometimes called the “anthropic” principle: essentially, the fact that we are here to observe the universe at all.

As Dan Vergano notes in this National Geographic article from two years ago; ‘To cosmologists, our universe looks disturbingly fine-tuned for life. Without its Goldilocks-perfect alignment of the physical constants — everything from the strength of the force attaching electrons to atoms to the relative weakness of gravity — planets and suns, biochemistry, and life itself would be impossible. Atoms wouldn’t stick together in a universe with more than four dimensions. If ours was the only cosmos spawned by a Big Bang, these life-friendly properties would seem impossibly unlikely. But in a multiverse containing zillions of universes, a small number of life-friendly ones would arise by chance — and we could just happen to reside in one of them’.

“A multiverse offers one good possible explanation for a lot of the unique observations we have made about our universe,” says the physicist Alan Guth, who first wrote about inflation theory in 1980.

The apparent confirmation of Einstein’s gravitational waves may, according to some scientists, qualify as one of those unique observations that might be construed to support a multi-versal nature to reality.

 

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Comments
  1. Can’t help but think of cartoons about scientists from Gary Larson’s “Far Side” when getting into physics, cosmology, etc. Credit for taking on such mind-bending topics… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Norman Pilon says:

    Merely to throw a bit of controversy into the mix, you might be interested in reading a bit of Paul Marmet, Ph.D.:

    The Deflection of Light by the Sun’s Gravitational Field: An Analysis of the 1919 Solar Eclipse Expeditions.

    http://www.newtonphysics.on.ca/einstein/appendix2.html

    — i.e., proof that Eddington and Dyson could not have measure the sun deflecting light.

    &

    Relativistic Deflection of Light Near the Sun / Using Radio Signals and Visible Light

    http://www.newtonphysics.on.ca/eclipse/index.html

    — i.e., more proof that no interaction between gravity and electromagnetic phenomena has ever been measured or documented

    &

    http://www.newtonphysics.on.ca/einstein/index.html

    — i.e., a fascinating little book demonstrating that both Newtonian and quantum mechanics are adequate to describe all phenomena claimed to be accountable only by Relativity . . .

    And then some really interesting work being done by Dr. Pierre-Marie Robitaille:

    http://normanpilon.com/2015/05/13/evidence-that-the-cosmic-microwave-background-one-of-the-three-pillars-of-big-bang-cosmology-was-never-measured-or-detected-a-talk-and-two-papers-by-dr-pierre-marie-robitaille/

    — i.e., Evidence that the ‘Cosmic Microwave Background’ — one of the three pillars of Big Bang Cosmology — was never measured or detected: a talk and two papers by Dr. Pierre-Marie Robitaille

    &

    http://normanpilon.com/2015/05/12/dr-pierre-marie-robitaille-sun-on-trial-eu2014/

    — i.e., some additional observations supporting Robitaille’s contentions . . .

    If you decide to follow up the links to Robitaille’s work, be sure to scroll down below the videos, where you will find additional links to other relevant material.

    Of course, Marmet and Robitaille aren’t the only researchers whose work is a serious challenge to both modern cosmology and Einsteinian relativity, but their work is solid and well grounded in empirical observation.

    Another name that comes to mind, BTW, is that of Stephen J. Crothers. See, for example, this list of some of his works, here:

    http://www.sjcrothers.plasmaresources.com/papers.html

    Crothers, more than Robitaille and Marmet, is theoretical. My preference lies with the latter as their theorizing is substantiated by observation.

    I hope I’m not being overly importunate. Just wanted to share some things that I found to be fascinating and thought that you might find it equally so . . .

    Best,

    –N

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good Lord, Norman, that’s a lot of homework 🙂
      Thanks for sharing – balance and alternative is everything. I look forward to reading some of these links shortly. So what, if I may ask, are your thoughts regarding the LIGO experiment and this announcement about the gravitational waves..?

      Like

  3. Norman Pilon says:

    Well, since I’m admittedly under the sway of Marmet and Robitaille (and, yes, even under that of Crothers, albeit less so), I’m skeptical about the claim being made.

    Marmet’s work does a good job of disposing of all claims that ‘gravitational lensing’ or the ‘deflection of light by gravity’ has ever been corroborated empirically, either by Eddington and Dyson — with their primitive telescopes — or by more recent studies conducted with modern multi-million dollar equipment. Therefore, in this respect, nothing about General Relativity has ever actually been empirically validated.

    Marmet also does a very good job of demonstrating the internal incoherence of Relativity, a sufficient reason for discarding the theory.

    Furthermore, one of his specialized fields of interests pertains to the interaction between light and ionized molecular hydrogen; in his opinion, this interaction is more than adequate to explain “away” the so called ‘cosmic redshift,’ i.e., enough ionized molecular hydrogen exists in the voids of space to cause the light of distant stars and galaxies to shift toward the red end of the electromagnetic spectrum. Consequently, on the assumption that Marmet’s work is substantive (– and in my humble opinion, it very much is), nothing about either distance or recession can actually be reliably deduced from “red-shifted” starlight. In other words, Marmet’s work suggests that the fundamental theoretical presuppositions informing the work of LIGO are, at best, highly speculative.

    As for Robitaille — who is an imaging specialist — his work is a serious challenge to the claim that the ‘Cosmic Microwave Background’ was ever detected; consequently, his work, too, calls into question another one of the more fundamental tenets of LIGO’s interpretative conceptual framework.

    Therefore, unless you buy into both General Relativity and Big Bang Cosmology, LIGO’s claims may strike you as being more fanciful than likely. The work of Marmet and Robitaille, taken together or separately, highlight what would appear to be serious deficiencies in both of these theories.
    __________________________

    BTW:

    An introduction to Pierre-Marie Robitaille’s work for the layman, by Alexander Unzicker (Unzider’s website and credentials: http://alexander-unzicker.com/index.html ):

    Is Astrophysics Ready to Draw a Lesson from Thomas Kuhn?

    http://www.euroscientist.com/astrophysics-ready-draw-lesson-thomas-kuhn/#ixzz3Zw65fveW

    _________________________

    And then there is this splendid summary of the relevance and point of Robitaille’s work, a comment left by Tom Barnaby that I stumbled upon here:

    http://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/110330/do-oceans-produce-the-cosmic-microwave-background

    To quote Barnaby’s comment:

    Quote:

    “Those here who dispute Robitaille have revealed that they have not understood his work or have not bothered to study his papers before uttering their comments. It is irrefutable that water absorbs and emits in microwave. In the liquid phase it does so in a continuous spectrum. In the gas phase it does so only in narrow bands. The glass of water in a microwave oven attests to absorption by water of microwaves. Similarly, radio communications in microwave is not used for submarines because under water microwaves are readily absorbed by the surrounding water. That which is a good absorber is also a good emitter, in the same frequencies. A good reflector is a poor absorber and hence a poor emitter.

    “The so-called CMB mean temperature (~3K) is resident in what is termed the monopole signal. The so-called anisotropies are in micro K. No monopole signal has ever been detected beyond Earth influence. COBE was in obrit at an altitude of ~950 km. WMAP and Planck were at L2, some 1.5 million km from Earth. WMAP was a differential instrument and therefore incapable of monopole detection. Plank’s Low Frequency Instrument (LFI) had both absolute and differential capability. No monopole signal at L2 has been detected. The galactic foreground is in milli K. Thus, the alleged anisotropies are ~1000 times weaker than the noise. Laboratory experience attests that it is impossible to extract such a weak signal from such a large surrounding noise unless the experimenter has at his disposal at least one of two options: (1) a priori knowledge of the nature of the signal source, (2) the ability to manipulate the signal source. Neither option was available to any anisotropy probe. All talk of CMB and CMB anisotropies without a monopole signal beyond Earth influence is baseless. COBE DMR, WMAP, Planck etc; none can separate noise from signal. COBE FIRAS had tremendous signal to noise. It detected microwave emission from the oceans, but the COBE team erroneously assigned it to the Cosmos, because they wanted a Cosmic signal. Penzias and Wilson observed from the ground. They did not take account of microwave emission from the oceans. The finding by Penzias and Wilson was immediately assigned to the Cosmos by Dicke, Wilkinson, Peebles, and Roll, without knowledge of microwave emission from the oceans, and in ignorance of the nature of the hydrogen bond.

    “About 70% of Earth’s surface is covered by water. The oceans are not microwave silent. Microwaves emitted by the oceans are scattered by the atmosphere. The conditions are steady-state. COBE’s shield could not protect it from microwave emissions from below.

    “The species by which water emits in microwave is the hydrogen bond, at an apparent temperature of ~3K as a blackbody source. It is known that an atomic explosion over water causes the water in near vicinity to turn black for a short time, recovering its normal appearance after the shock wave has passed. This is plain evidence that water then acts as a blackbody in the visible bands. The black appearance is due to compression of the water lattice by the shock wave. Water has a hexagonal planar lattice, like graphite.

    “Here are Robitaille’s papers on the COBE and WMAP:

    “Robitaille P.-M. WMAP: A Radiological Analysis http://www.ptep-online.com/index_files/2007/PP-08-01.PDF

    “Robitaille P.-M. COBE: A Radiological Analysis http://www.ptep-online.com/index_files/2009/PP-19-03.PDF

    “Robitaille has adduced a wealth of observational data that proves that the Sun is not a gas ball but is condensed matter. He proposes a liquid metallic hydrogen form for the Sun. I will not lengthen this post by further comment on the Sun. Robitaille’s paper on the sun is also freely available at the website of the journal Progress in Physics.”

    Unquote.

    ________

    Unfortunately, then, to get a sense of why I’m skeptical of LIGO’s ‘gravitational waves,’ Marmet and Robitaille would be required reading. Of course, no one is required to read anything. On the other hand, I think these men are first rate thinkers and may have something important to say . . . The effort might be worth your while . . . Or at least I think that it might be . . . Their thinking certainly falls outside the mainstream cosmological consensus . . .

    Best regards,

    –N

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re nothing if not thorough, Norman, and incredibly well-argued.
      As I said, a lot of homework there. Which I intend to get to, as I’m naturally fascinated. It is always preferable to be exposed to as wide a breadth of view or theory as possible. I personally am not dogmatically attached to any particular hypothesis or ‘camp’, so I look forward to reading these materials.
      Thanks very much for providing honest and rich discussion, insight and alternative. I have never before heard it suggested that oceans could be producing what is thought of otherwise as cosmic microwave background radiation; so with that alone, you’ve pointed me to a new avenue of discovery/contemplation.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Norman Pilon says:

        BTW: here is another fascinating piece of (obscure) work by Louis Joseph Rancourt (another Canadian!!!) that my enthusiasm for all things cosmological impels me to share with you:

        “Effect of light on gravitational attraction”

        https://www.researchgate.net/publication/258546838_Effect_of_light_on_gravitational_attraction

        You want to scroll down to the paper being highlighted in the online PDF reader, which you can also download for future reference (there are 9 of 9 pages for perusal at hand, but the paper is actually quite short, requiring but a few minutes to absorb).

        What is interesting about Rancourt’s work is that there seems to be an interaction between light and gravity, but not at all in the manner theorized by General Relativity.

        The upshot of the experiment at hand is that ‘gravity’ is a ‘push’ rather than a ‘pull,’ or if you will, the result of some kind of ‘radiation pressure’ emanating from all parts of the universe.

        Theoretically speaking, the result of Rancourt’s ‘experiment’ — which has been replicated thousands of times and is even captured on film — is a resurrection or vindication “of sorts” of Le Sage’s theory of gravity and provides eminently rational grounds for theorizing a non-expanding, non-imploding universe, or what has been theorized as and called the “static universe.”

        The latter model was long ago rejected on account of the phenomenon of gravity conceived as a ‘pulling force.’

        But if what we observe as the effects of what we call gravity is the result of some kind of ambient radiation pressure interacting with ‘mass’ (and apparently light), then no ‘expansionary’ force operating contra-gravity is necessary as an explanation as to why ‘everything’ isn’t becoming increasingly concentrated, that galaxies and stars do not appear to be moving toward one another under the ineluctable impulse of gravity, but rather appear on the whole either to keep their distance or to seemingly recede from one another.

        So Marmet and Robitaille and Rancourt (and Halton Arp) all seem to be producing empirical grounded work that undermines both ‘GR’ and ‘BBC’ and, moreover, that appears to be mutually reinforcing if quite independently produced.

        Really, because looking into Rancourt’s work requires so little effort and time, but is so astounding in its implications, you have to have a peek.

        I’ll let the matter drop here, as I don’t want to pester you too much although I may have crossed that line already. It’s just that like you, I’m ‘naturally fascinated’ by these things, and my enthusiasm sometimes gets the better of me. So please accept my apologies for going on and on . . .

        Anyway, I hope you find these particular references interesting and thereby worthy of having been considered.

        All the best,

        –N

        Like

      • Thanks Norman, I will definitely read the paper, along with the other links. Certainly don’t apologise for sharing information or sharing your views – probably the main reason I post on those subjects is to be engaged by highly intelligent individuals such as yourself; and you’ve certainly guided my focus towards some material and some ideas I haven’t looked into before – which is great.
        Hopefully anyone else reading this too will benefit from that too.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. It is certain that LIGO did not detect black holes or Einstein’s gravitational waves. The mathematical theory of black holes violates the rules of pure mathematics, and so it is false. Gravitational energy cannot be localised by General Relativity and so Einstein’s gravitational waves do not exist.

    Crothers, S.J., A Critical Analysis of LIGO’s Recent Detection of Gravitational Waves Caused by Merging Black Holes, Hadronic Journal, Vol. 39, 2016, http://viXra.org/abs/1603.0127

    Stephen J. Crothers

    Like

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