"Dark Energy" --Does the Mysterious Anti-Gravitational Force Really Exist? (Weekend Feature)
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June 16, 2012

"Dark Energy" --Does the Mysterious Anti-Gravitational Force Really Exist? (Weekend Feature)

 

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Remember a little thing called the space-time continuum? Well what if the time part of the equation was literally running out? New evidence is suggesting that time is slowly disappearing from our universe, and will one day vanish completely. This radical theory may explain a cosmological mystery that has baffled scientists for years.

Scientists previously have measured the light from distant exploding stars to show that the universe is expanding at an accelerating rate. They assumed that these supernovae are spreading apart faster as the universe ages. Physicists also assumed that a kind of anti-gravitational force must be driving the galaxies apart, and started to call this unidentified force "dark energy".

The idea that time itself could cease to be in billions of years - and everything will grind to a halt - has been proposed by Professor José Senovilla, Marc Mars and Raül Vera of the University of the Basque Country, Bilbao, and University of Salamanca, Spain. The corollary to this radical end to time itself is an alternative explanation for "dark energy" - the mysterious antigravitational force that has been suggested to explain a cosmic phenomenon that has baffled scientists.

However, to this day no one actually knows what dark energy is, or where it comes from. Professor Senovilla, and colleagues have proposed a mind-bending alternative. They propose that there is no such thing as dark energy at all, and we’re looking at things backwards.

Senovilla proposes that we have been fooled into thinking the expansion of the universe is accelerating, when in reality, time itself is slowing down. At an everyday level, the change would not be perceptible. However, it would be obvious from cosmic scale measurements tracking the course of the universe over billions of years. The change would be infinitesimally slow from a human perspective, but in terms of the vast perspective of cosmology, the study of ancient light from suns that shone billions of years ago, it could easily be measured.

The team's proposal, published in the journal Physical Review D, dismisses dark energy as fiction. Instead, Senovilla says, the appearance of acceleration is caused by time itself gradually slowing down, like a clock with a run-down battery.* “We do not say that the expansion of the universe itself is an illusion," he explains. "What we say it may be an illusion is the acceleration of this expansion - that is, the possibility that the expansion is, and has been, increasing its rate."

If time gradually slows "but we naively kept using our equations to derive the changes of the expansion with respect of 'a standard flow of time', then the simple models that we have constructed in our paper show that an "effective accelerated rate of the expansion" takes place."*Currently, astronomers are able to discern the expansion speed of the universe using the so-called "red shift" technique. This technique relies on the understanding that stars moving away appear redder in color than ones moving towards us. Scientists look for supernovae of certain types that provide a sort of benchmark.

However, the accuracy of these measurements depends on time remaining invariable throughout the universe. If time is slowing down, according to this new theory, our solitary time dimension is slowly turning into a new space dimension. Therefore the far-distant, ancient stars seen by cosmologists would from our perspective, look as though they were accelerating.

"Our calculations show that we would think that the expansion of the universe is accelerating," says Prof Senovilla. The theory bases it’s idea on one particular variant of superstring theory, in which our universe is confined to the surface of a membrane, or brane, floating in a higher-dimensional space, known as the "bulk". In billions of years, time would cease to be time altogether.

"Then everything will be frozen, like a snapshot of one instant, forever," Senovilla told New Scientist magazine. "Our planet will be long gone by then."

Though radical and in many way unprecedented, these ideas are not without support. Gary Gibbons, a cosmologist at Cambridge University, says the concept has merit. "We believe that time emerged during the Big Bang, and if time can emerge, it can also disappear - that's just the reverse effect."

The Daily Galaxy via ukpress.google.com, newscientist.com, telegraph.co.uk

Comments

Time is turning into space.

If only physicists were capable of math as are math majors...

Sigh

This is mind blowing. Does this mean that everything will be invisible in the distant future?

As space expands, so does time, which makes it seem slower and therefore space appears to be speeding up since ya need more time for the same space! But, does this mean that the universe really is only 7000 years old?(sic)
On a serious note, I keep saying that the speed of light is directly proportianal to space and the expansion means time has to constantly cover more territory so this is what sets the speed and makes time seem slower, but nobody listens.

Or was it that time is longer for the same distance.

When travelling at the speed of light and it is Tuesday, then it must be Belgium!

Mo, maybe it was distance seems to be covered faster in the same time!


Arrrgggh!

I thought "time" doesn't actually exist as a property of the universe, and that instead light has a fixed maximum speed that governs the behavior of everything else? If that's the case, then how is it possible for "time" to slow down? Doesn't that imply the speed of light is variable, breaking the laws of relativity?

This is ridiculous. These "smart" men see extinction in everything they look at because they are misanthropic nihilists who just want to see us all die.

This is ridiculous. These "smart" men see extinction in everything they look at because they are misanthropic nihilists who just want to see us all die.

This is ridiculous. These "smart" men see extinction in everything they look at because they are misanthropic nihilists who just want to see us all die.

Could everything back to the very beginning (although the universe existed before the beginning as well) of this universe then forever after be derived (and revisited) from the final eternally frozen one amazing snapshot of crystals and galaxies which is exactly what’s left when time finally runs out (like watching a movie in reverse)?
Or will time just carry on slowing down forever (maybe slowing down at a slower and slower tempo)?
Time could also reach a certain as yet undiscovered minimum tempo and stabilize on that forever.
What happens in the meantime to all the other snapshots of this universe, like for instance the one that’s taking place right now?
What happened to the multiple universes on the tip of your nose?
Smile …. You’re on candid camera ….
You thought it was just a rehearsal, but it was actually the real thing ….
I am familiar with the fact that humans expire, but have up to now been unaware that the same thing happens to time itself ….
I think if humans could ever get by without the concept of time, they would have done so long ago. Time is probably not only a concept, but something quite real.
And please get used to the fact that the speed of light is variable, not only in space but also in time.
If we just look at space for now (because it already gets a bit technical) then we see for instance that the following has been reported on July 10, 2003:
Light travels at a speed of 300 million metres per second in a vacuum, but in recent years physicists have managed to slow laser pulses down to speeds of metres per second - or to bring them to a complete halt - in ultracold gases. In similar experiments physicists have observed superluminal or faster-than-light pulse propagation. These effects have also been observed in crystals at cryogenic temperatures and in “hot” gases. Now Matthew Bigelow, Nick Lepeshkin and Robert Boyd have observed the same effects in a much simpler system - a crystal at room temperature.
All the experiments exploit changes in the refractive index of an optical medium caused by quantum interference effects. Whereas previous experiments relied on a process known as “electromagnetically induced transparency”, the Rochester team exploited “coherent population oscillations” in the crystal. This involves shining two lasers - a pump beam and a weaker probe beam - at the crystal. Under certain conditions the probe beam experiences reduced absorption over a narrow range of wavelengths. The refractive index also increases rapidly in this “spectral hole”, which leads to a much reduced group velocity - the velocity at which a laser pulse travels - for the probe beam.
Earlier this year, the Rochester team used this technique to reduce the group velocity of a laser pulse to 58 metres per second in a ruby crystal at room temperature. Bigelow and co-workers have now repeated this feat in a crystal of alexandrite. Moreover, by using different wavelengths they can make a spectral “antihole” in which the absorption is higher, and which leads to superluminal propagation. They observed light speeds of 91 metres per second for a laser with a wavelength of 488 nanometres, and minus 800 metres per second for wavelengths of 476 nanometres. Negative speeds indicate superluminal velocities because the pulses appear to leave the crystal before they enter it under these conditions.
“Our technique is applicable to many solid materials, not just alexandrite,” Lepeshkin told PhysicsWeb. “Another important feature of our approach is the ability to cover a fairly broad range of optical frequencies.” The researchers will now investigate solid state materials with higher bandwidth to use in their system that are suitable for communication applications.

Crazed Leper, I'm not sure about the "smart men" but after reading your triple posts I'm impatiently waiting for your death

Ancient Indian scriptures consider that time is life and vice verse. Thus, time ends and creation vanish can be understood in terms of time vanishing. Space is the only relevant concept in cosmology. It is a better way to deal with mysterious dark energy that also defies normal gravity. However, the mysterious dark matter still needs to be understood! I have indicated in an earlier comment that dark and visible matter are both arising from primordial matter. The Strength of the unified field potential before creation, may have been on a decreasing trend initially giving rise to dark matter which is a consequence of primordial matter getting frozen. It may thus by not baryonic in nature and may well be some kind of very heavy quarks. The visible matter is a result of decay products that formed the six quarks we know presently of which only three lighter ones play a part in forming protons and neutrons while the purpose of other three heavier quarks is still unknown, as these may well be lying as in between products of dark and visible matter, as per the description i present here!

The only thing I can tel you for sure folks, is that as you get older,time goes faster.

Ask any senior citizen!

I heard one good expaination for this. As a young 5 year old child a year makes up 20% of your life, yet when we are fifty a year is only 2% of our life and therefore seems so much faster!

I think that it is fantastic that theorists are prepared to dissent with popularly held positions on Dark Matter, accelerated expansion and so on.

We are now, however, exploring phenomenological issues with regard to time, the perception of events in space-time and so on.

More pragmatically, the absolute velocity of clusters of galaxies in our region of space-time, the orbital motion of our arm of the Milky Way itself, our orbital movement around the sun and the spinning of the surface of Earth must all come to bear on our perception of events across billions of light-years... and in other possibly distinctly formed regions of the universe.

It seems that BB creates more ifs and buts than are probably a part of it.

Let's say that the universe is infinite in time and space. Eleven words.
We know stars radiate their energy in all directions.
We know that whatever that energy strikes it becomes a part of what it has struck.
Nothing is lost.Nothing is gained.
All can be radiated back into space . Even the light from your torch.
Nothing radiated can be lost.
Solar wind may redirect it.
Gravity will pull it. Meaning that a meteorite not only has mass from it's solid source - it also has mass from all the light that has hit it.
This wonderful balance cannot be proven a falacy. Therefore a beginning and or an end cannot be possible.
We know all these material components exist.
If something called dark matter does exist it is a part of the balanced continuum.

"Genesis Continuous"

Re: David Calder Hardy

Is there any part of it which anybody does'nt understand?

*AHEM!* "This radical theory" - nope.

This is NOT A THEORY, it is a Hypothesis.

It sets my teeth to grinding every time I see "Theory" used incorrectly. I think I'm going to start a section of my blog an start calling this out.

Well spotted, Robert!

Funny idea! It actually states - all physics laws are shit and the Universe doesn't exist!

Robert is dead on with the difference betwee a HYPOTHESIS and a THEORY, now if we could only teach that distinction to the Creationists!

We need to have some respect for the laws of physics. They were deduced (deducted) from ages of observation. But we also need to realize that our new powers of observation may change them, modify them or demolish them. There is actually a slight difference between science and religion. However passionate we may feel about science, it is actually quite indifferent and completely dispassionate.

NOTHING NEW!!!

muslims know this for more than 1400 years! it's written in the quran :
((we (lord) have built heaven with hands and we who are expanding it.)) surat 51.47

our prophet mohammad Sallâ Allahu 'alayhi wa sallam said that befor the end of time it will be :((a day like a year. a day like a month. And a day like a week )). saheeh muslim

It's a sort of "wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey stuff."

At this point, neither the Dark Energy idea nor the Time Into Space idea really qualifies as a theory in either the scientific sense of the word or even the popular sense; I'd call them conjectures. Neither can be tested with what we have, or expect to have in the foreseeable future, even to see if one is "on the right track." Physicists can crunch numbers based on existing data, but not much else.

Eventually, I think either idea discovered as fact could be used to aid deep-space exploration. But that's not likely to happen in our lifetime.

Internet police are out in force I see. Next Ruth will add to it! If wrongly used words or misspelled words or bad grammar bother you THAT much, then I will have to use them more often and laugh. Since only you "highly educated" people seem to care about it while most of the rest are only interested in the content and less worried about looking down our verrry long noses and judging every misspell or wrongly used word. The entire world didnt go to Harvard or even finish high school. Keep pretending this makes them less smart if you want, if makes it that much funnier. I would go on a little more but I just read Im running out of time!

Slowing down with regard to what? Measuring time is the way we decide whether events are fast or slow.

It's worth noting that every metaphor, description, theory, or hypothesis assumes time. Even the laughable but usual metaphor of time being like a ruler, so that there is a "past" and a "future," and "the present" is "where our viewpoint is now," assumes a moving viewpoint. How, without time, does the viewpoint move?

Einstein suggested that time be considered as a sort of fourth dimension of measurement, a phenomenon inseparable from space. Perhaps it's even more inseparable than we think.

Perhaps if we considered every dimension a bifold of time and space--requiring two numbers and thus making our scalar measurements vectors--we could create a more exact model. The math would be a lot more complicated, of course--what we currently consider two-dimensional problems would look more like four-dimensional ones.


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