A Scientist Takes On Gravity – NYTimes.com

August 3, 2010 § Leave a comment

Once again our concepts of reality are being challenged. I just love that. This time it is the sacred gravity, what fun. This was a mind bending read, especially having just re-watched the Matrix last night. Not that there is any connection, I am just drawing a correlation to everything being an illusion.

“It’s hard to imagine a more fundamental and ubiquitous aspect of life on the Earth than gravity, from the moment you first took a step and fell on your diapered bottom to the slow terminal sagging of flesh and dreams.

But what if it’s all an illusion, a sort of cosmic frill, or a side effect of something else going on at deeper levels of reality?

So says Erik Verlinde, 48, a respected string theorist and professor of physics at the University of Amsterdam, whose contention that gravity is indeed an illusion has caused a continuing ruckus among physicists, or at least among those who profess to understand it. Reversing the logic of 300 years of science, he argued in a recent paper, titled “On the Origin of Gravity and the Laws of Newton,” that gravity is a consequence of the venerable laws of thermodynamics, which describe the behavior of heat and gases.” Please read the full Story

via A Scientist Takes On Gravity – NYTimes.com.

Hubble Bubble

August 2, 2010 § Leave a comment

Every where I look I see bubbles. Ok, I know I see them because I am looking for them. I know the psychology. But, it is still fun and fascinating in many cases such as the Hubble Bubble.

“The Copernican principle holds that humans are not privileged observers of the Universe. Copernicus stated that the Earth is not at the center of the solar system or at any particularly special position in the heavens. Modern cosmology has extended this idea to reason that the earth does not occupy any unique position in the Universe. Modern philosophy of science pushes the principle even further to conclude that every observer (even if they be they little green men) should reason as if they were the most standard observer. However, despite all these humble and rational thoughts it is still tempting to explain certain aspects of modern cosmology that seem finely tuned as consequences of observer selection effects. Namely I am speaking of dark energy or the accelerated cosmological expansion which supposedly could be explained if we occupy a privileged position near the center of a large, nonlinear, and nearly spherical void in mass density. The idea that the region of the cosmos around us could be a void is colloquially known in astronomy as the Hubble bubble.” Read full article please

via The Astronomist: Hubble Bubble.

Big Bang Abandoned in New Model of the Universe

July 29, 2010 § Leave a comment

This is one of the most exciting theories I have heard in a long time. I am going to tell you why and you are going to think I am even nuttier than you already do. But, as you know, I don’t care. One night after watching some documentary about Stephen Hawking and the black hole wars, I was lying in bed just contemplating the Universe. Suddenly and image came into focus and a said aloud to my husband.

“I get it. It has a hole but it has no hole.”

Of course he groggily responded.

“What the hell are you talking about?”

I went on to explain that I had seen an image of the Universe. That it was kind of like a doughnut. But, because we are inside the ring so we just keep going around and around. From our perspective it doesn’t have a hole. And the image I saw it was all stretched out so the “doughnut hole” was almost invisible.

“A new cosmology successfully explains the accelerating expansion of the universe without dark energy; but only if the universe has no beginning and no end.

Shu’s idea is that time and space are not independent entities but can be converted back and forth between each other. In his formulation of the geometry of spacetime, the speed of light is simply the conversion factor between the two. Similarly, mass and length are interchangeable in a relationship in which the conversion factor depends on both the gravitational constant G and the speed of light, neither of which need be constant.

So as the Universe expands, mass and time are converted to length and space and vice versa as it contracts.

This universe has no beginning or end, just alternating periods of expansion and contraction. In fact, Shu shows that singularities cannot exist in this cosmos.” Read the full article…

via Technology Review: Blogs: arXiv blog: Big Bang Abandoned in New Model of the Universe.

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