Black Hole is Eating Our Galaxy Slower Than Previously Thought

From Daily Tech

Jason Mick (Blog) – January 6, 2010 4:50 PM

The Milky Way’s black hole is causing a mess, but isn’t gobbling matter as fast as was thought

One of the most complex and intriguing astrophysical phenomenon is the supermassive black hole.  A superdense cluster of mass, the supermassive black hole gobbles up surrounding matter, sucking it into its gravity well.  Despite the tremendous importance of these celestial bodies to the structure of our universe, scientists still remain confused about specifics of how they operate.

Supermassive black holes help to shape our universe, but their behavior is still poorly understood

.  (Source: PureInsight.org)

A new NASA study examined the supermassive black hole at our galaxy’s center and found that it sucks up less matter than previously thought, due to pressure from radiation.  (Source: NASA/CXC/MIT/F.K. Baganoff et al.)

It is a well known fact that there is a supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy, the Milky Way.  Dubbed Sagittarius A* (Sgr A*), the black hole is rather weak, due to its inability to successfully capture significant mass.  The black hole is bordered by dozens of young stars.  It pulls gas off these stars, but is only able to suck in a small percentage of this high velocity stream.

Past estimates put its consumption rate at a mere 1 percent of the gas it pulls away from the stars.  Now a new study, using data garnered from the NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, has determined that the black hole is likely eating far less than that figure even — new models indicate it to be consuming a mere 0.01 percent of the gas it sucks off.

Read the rest of the story here.

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317 thoughts on “Black Hole is Eating Our Galaxy Slower Than Previously Thought

  1. There are no black holes. But there are supermassive neutron stars.
    Repulsive forces between neutrons prevent the collapse of a neutron star into a black hole.
    With kind regards,
    Oliver K. Manuel

  2. First thought: Now why does this remind me of the Federal budget?
    Second thought: Carbon capture!
    All kidding aside, thanks for posting this story. We live in a universe full of wonder.

  3. Quick! Send Gordon ‘Flat earth’ Brown, Obama, Kevin Rudd and the rest of them off to investigate…..

  4. Just another turn in the endless cosmological debate.
    Unfortunately for Climate, it has been frozen into a ‘settled’ state, and the debate is likewise arbitrarily stifled (The politcally correct word is ‘polarized’) .

  5. I am bit sceptical about this entire business of the black holes. I hope not another ‘fixation’ of the top scientist perpetrated on the simpleminded ‘flateEarthers’ like myself.
    Over to you.

  6. In school I was fascinated by gravitation enough to take Diff Geometry, and the Gravitation. Based on what DG was indicating, any singularity connects to another Riemann surface. So with multiple singularities, how many Riemann surfaces are there? In the real world, so to speak, are there other spaces connected to ours via the singularity portals? Is that the source of the Dark Matter that vexes astronomer so much? Curvature in this space time caused by lumps in another space time.
    It was fun to speculate.

  7. new models indicate it to be consuming a mere 0.01 percent of the gas it sucks off.
    “new models sucks.” Fixed, as in AGW. I’m just in that kind of mood today. :~P

  8. Black hole denialist!
    Next you’ll be claiming there’s no upper limit to black hole carbon sequestration.

  9. “It is a well known fact that there is a supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy, the Milky Way.”
    Is it? Well known? You’d very likely get blank stares from most people on the street if you said that to them.
    Tell them the climate’s not warming and they’re all over that.

  10. This is a really good story for illustrating the ‘observation vs faith in models’ problem. The more accurate summary than that presented in the article is that over the past decade it has been observed that Sgr A* is weaker in X-ray frequencies than most central black holes. The mystery has been why does Sgr A* appear so weak in the X-ray. The error was in the modelling not the observations. With the correction of the radiation pressure term, Sgr A* is now seen to be behaving as one would expect a mature central black hole to behave – more slowly accreting stellar wind material than a younger more active central black hole.

  11. They just don’t make ’em like they used to, eh?
    Why, when I were a lad they ‘ad proper black holes, fearsome things. Disney even made a film, it had killer robots and everything, the ones ‘ya see now are like kittens.
    ‘snot the same anymore…

  12. Isi t possible to change “…Eating Our Galaxy Slower Than Previously Thought” to “…Eating Our Galaxy More Slowly Than Previously Thought”?

  13. “It is a well known fact that there is a supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy, the Milky Way.”
    Another science that is settled? I guess the learning curve is falling on its nose…
    “The black hole is bordered by dozens of young stars. It pulls gas off these stars,..”
    It’s supposed to be a supermassive black hole but with only a few dozens of young stars around it??? How many stars again at the center of our galaxy? I bet there are more than just a few dozens. Also, how could a supermassive object only suck up gas from those stars… why not suck the whole stars?
    If this supermassive black hole sucks up so much hot gas… it’s not sucking hard enough… still to much hot gas from our politicians are accumulating here..

  14. Righhhhtttt….so something that can’t be seen, uses complex computer models to describe it, and uses a proxy instead of a genuine observation isn’t behaving like the models say it should?
    Sound familiar?
    Black Holes,….the rich scientists carbon.

  15. Either way, living with a black hole in the neighborhood … really sucks.
    Any sign of a new tax scheme to remediate for anthropogenic black holes?

  16. Just wondering about Black Holes and the conservation of angular momentum. Lumps of matter in orbit around them ought to whizz around faster and faster as they get closer and closer, and so would they emit visible radiation?
    If this is so, why shouldn’t black holes be visible?

    • “If this is so, why shouldn’t black holes be visible?”
      Black holes in orbit around stars do tend to accumulate matter in accretion disks, which do generate infrared as well as xray emissions that are observable by scientists.

  17. Those black holes only to be found in the minds of “De la Belle Epoque” scientists…Kind of “daliesque”nightmare, concocted for scaring children by dividing reality by zero and justifying the existence of evil ghosts.
    Black hole: A big, big coal dark round thing where bad kids who deny global warming are sent to…
    Those nasty beasts, as told by a phantom physicist who made the travel through, from time to time, expel a kind of bright jet of incandescent farts..
    so we don’t really know if it swallows or sh…ts.

  18. Seriously talking….buy more popcorn!. Siberian hackers will soon reveal the “Astro-Gate” closely associated to “Climate-Gate” scandal. This one promises to be a real black hole for the established Hollywood Science of armageddon scenarios. WUWT hit will reach a billion!

  19. supercritical (13:16:58) :
    “Just wondering about Black Holes and the conservation of angular momentum. Lumps of matter in orbit around them ought to whizz around faster and faster as they get closer and closer, and so would they emit visible radiation?
    If this is so, why shouldn’t black holes be visible?”
    Black holes are visible when enough matter is being fed into them – they are called quasars then and are the brightest objects in the known universe.

  20. @ Mike (12:07:30)
    Thanks for making me spit my Diet Pepsi all over the floor 🙂 At least I turned in to to avoid having to buy a new laptop.

  21. I find this story a bit odd because it has been known for quite some time that the matter actually entering the black hole tends to fall in phases. In other words, things are stable for quite a while, the matter builds up, and at some point a big clump falls in or something disrupts the order and a bunch of stuff continues falling in for a while and then it gets stable again.
    Sounds to me like a project’s funding cycle is coming around again and someone needs to drum up support. The 1% figure was, as I understood it, a long term average, not an constant. I thought it was understood that consumption rates would vary from periods of nearly no consumption to periods of massive amounts of matter falling in. Anyone observing for a period of a few years would be able to only verify that the current period is one of relative stability.

  22. If the black hole has been ‘eating the galaxy’, then there is less galaxy left to eat. The low hanging fruit, so to speak has, already fallen; now the ‘hole’ has to work much harder to satisfy its appetite.
    As with all energy transformations, inefficiencies result in excess heat. In this case, the heat gain is referred to as the Aggregate Galactic Warming, or AGW. It’s been in the news for years; our science has, though, confused itself with its perpetually parochial persective.

  23. Interesting that they call this thing “rather weak” given that it’s guestimated to weigh in at 3 million solar masses? Guess that means the others are “rather bigger/stronger?”
    I was going to say something about models, but nevermind.

  24. Fitzy (13:07:39) :
    “Righhhhtttt….so something that can’t be seen, uses complex computer models to describe it, and uses a proxy instead of a genuine observation isn’t behaving like the models say it should?”
    While some might say that a black hole can’t be seen, how about look at it from a different perspective.
    You can’t see through a black hole.
    This discussion about not ‘seeing’ a back hole is misleading.
    You can’t see something that sucks light into it.
    Gravity, in the form of magnetism, attracts material, to the source of that gravitational pull.
    If you watch closely, stars orbiting the center of the galaxy, warp around and diminish as they orbit behind the center of the galaxy.
    Some people rely on facts, others pretend that the facts are falsified.
    Ray (13:02:27) :
    “It’s supposed to be a supermassive black hole but with only a few dozens of young stars around it??? How many stars again at the center of our galaxy? I bet there are more than just a few dozens. Also, how could a supermassive object only suck up gas from those stars… why not suck the whole stars?”
    Think about satellite Io. It orbits Jupiter. Io emits gases much like the stars in near proximity to our solar systems black hole. And in both circumstances, neither the moon of Jupiter nor the stars near the center of our galaxy are sucked in. Not yet. Given time, this too shall pass. Gravity affects discharges emitted from objects more greatly because of its mass. The greater the mass, the more time it takes to wheel in that mass.
    This post here states:
    “It is a well known fact that there is a supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy, the Milky Way. Dubbed Sagittarius A* (Sgr A*), the black hole is rather weak, due to its inability to successfully capture significant mass. ”
    How do we know a black hole can capture mass?
    Observations.
    How do we know a black hole is at the center of our galaxy?
    Observations.
    If you don’t agree with observed facts, I can only conclude that ones decision to deny the facts is lack of understanding of the science, or the denial of the existence only helps someone with a different agenda they wish to politicize.
    And the pedaling of pseudo-science, regarding the denial of black holes, is very much like the pseudo-scientists pedaling global warming.
    In both cases, neither belief has facts from observed science and both deal with a large amount of faith.
    Stick to the facts and leave the faith in things to the religious and mythological.

  25. Oliver K. Manuel (12:06:45) :
    There are no black holes. But there are supermassive neutron stars.
    Repulsive forces between neutrons prevent the collapse of a neutron star into a black hole.

    A black hole is an object whose mass causes it to have a gravitational escape velocity that equals the speed of light. A sufficient mass of neutrons will form a black hole.

  26. David Alan (14:38:05) :
    “Gravity, in the form of magnetism, attracts material, to the source of that gravitational pull.”
    What?
    “If you watch closely, stars orbiting the center of the galaxy, warp around and diminish as they orbit behind the center of the galaxy.”
    Again, what?

  27. First they tell us that nothing can escape a black hole. Now they tell us:
    “This radiation heats up the gas in the stream surrounding the black hole, and creates an outward pressure, driving gas away from the black hole.”
    So which is it?

  28. The black holes aren’t eating right???? Oh NO!!!! We must do something quick. We don’t have time to actually study the issue to see if there is actually a problem. We must convene a UN committee to decide on when a where a conference will be held to determine what type of treaty will be discussed so then all the diplomats can fly over, grab some booze and hookers, listen to the US president give a speech, applaud the stark raving socialist/commies that give speeches, then tax the snot out of everyone that actually produces anything. But we can’t wait, so let’s get started by 2020.

  29. Correction:
    But we can’t wait, so let’s get the committee formed by 2020 with a treaty done by 2030.

  30. The only Black Hole that exist are the one that billions of dollars are thrown down for research into nothing of any real value.
    There are no
    Black Holes,
    No Dark Matter,
    No Dark Energy,
    No God Particle
    No Neutron Stars and definitely no
    Big Bang.
    Every single one of these concepts is nothing more than an mathematical assumption built on top of another assumption built on top of an erroneous conclusion about an observation that was misunderstood from the very beginning.
    The guy in the wheelchair is a moron
    An extremely intelligent moron
    But a moron none the less.
    “There is nothing complicated about the universe. It is only made complicated by people too intelligent to see how simple it really is.” – Paul M

  31. “David Alan (14:38:05) :
    […]
    Gravity, in the form of magnetism, attracts material, to the source of that gravitational pull.
    […]
    Some people rely on facts, others pretend that the facts are falsified.”
    Others again rely on the idea that magnetism is a form of gravity. Which it isn’t.

  32. Sorry… i crack myself up, i have to post this…
    Did someone ever consider that it might be dark matter that the black hole is preferredly swallowing,…
    …and that that’s why it’s so BLACK?

  33. ad (14:50:14) :
    David Alan (14:38:05) :
    [“Gravity, in the form of magnetism, attracts material, to the source of that gravitational pull.”
    What?]
    Our galaxy, has at its center, an object that has sufficient gravity to draw gases, plasma, matter and light unto itself. That object also causes the magnetic planes that surround it, to capture those materials.
    [“If you watch closely, stars orbiting the center of the galaxy, warp around and diminish as they orbit behind the center of the galaxy.”
    Again, what?]
    Through observations, stars orbiting in near Sagittarius A, have been measured to show variances in emitted light wave propagation as they orbit around Sagittarius A. Mainly speaking, as those stars orbit around behind the mass of Sagittarius A, observers witnessed a minimization in light wave intensity, because the mass of Sagittarius A somewhat blocks our perspective of those objects as they pass around Sagittarius A.
    If you still have any more ‘whats’ in you, feel free to research more in depth in the matter. There are wonderful papers written on the subject.
    Yeah, no links. I doubt you would trust any links I might provide.

  34. I dunno, the black hole at the center of our galaxy may be sucking less, but it is far more than compensated from the black hole sucking all matter into its inky event horizon here on earth. I speak of course of the various governments and organizations that wish to insure that we and the planet are well taken care of, according to their standards, whether we want to be or not. I wonder how much matter Al Gore et al, suck in when they open their mouths?

  35. I do most sincerely wish that persons on this thread were familiar with basic physics. If one does not allow for relativity, sufficient matter put in the same place will accumulate to the point where the escape velocity at the surface exceeds the speed of light. This was posited by Fritz Zwicky in the 1930s. He wanted to use large objective prisms to detect the characteristic change in the spectra of stars occulted by black holes. The same conclusion was arrived at by Chanrasekhar, who was denied the freedom to publish by Eddington (who did not believe such objects existed).
    Applying general relativity to the situation is difficult, but comes to the same conclusion. Black holes exist, as a consequence of the lack of an energy source to overcome gravity once the low point (iron point) of the nuclear packing fraction is reached. This happens when one exceeds the Chandrasekhar limit. Of course his results depend on quantum mechanics, as he computed that there would be insufficient separate quantum (Pauli exclusion) states above his limit.
    I agree that there are many who do not accept quantum mechanics; Einstein certainly did not, even at the end of his life. If you do not accept quantum mechanics, there are a large number of laboratory observations which must be otherwise explained, for the purpose of consistency.
    It is unfortunate that the center of our galaxy is wrapped in dust. That makes observations difficult. This is not house dust; it is molecular interstellar material which absorbs light and makes Sag A* hard to observe. There have been fierce arguments during the past 40 years about the nature of Sag A*. These arguments are in the scientific literature.
    Stars and gas orbit Sag A*. Their spectra are red- or blue-shifted by their velocities. These stars and the gas are very difficult to observe. Simply because Sag A* is massive does not mean that the gravitational field is infinite; it simply means that the gravity field is very large. All stars vent gas; near Sag A* the gas interacts with the gravity field and swirls in toward the accretion disk, from which infall takes place.
    Of course Sag A* is invisible; its event horizon does not allow any radiation of any form to escape. I am not counting Hawking radiation here; this (again) depends on quantum mechanics, quantum foam, and other esoteric theories.
    To account for the observed flows of matter around Sag A* (most have been done with radio astronomy), the “simplest” solution is a black hole. All other theories have not explained the observed phenomena.
    It is all scientific theories. If you can account for the observed phenomena by some other means, go ahead.

  36. Myron Mesecke (14:57:21) :
    First they tell us that nothing can escape a black hole. Now they tell us:
    “This radiation heats up the gas in the stream surrounding the black hole, and creates an outward pressure, driving gas away from the black hole.”
    So which is it?

    Both!
    Once matter/energy (light etc.) crosses the event horizon it cannot get back out due to the high gravitation. However, material that is pulled toward the black hole almost always has some radial velocity (not headed directly for the center of the singularity. As a result it enters into a orbit and accumulates in an accretion disk (sort of like Saturn’s rings). This material orbits faster and faster as it gets closer to the event horizon, and is heated to very high temperatures. As a result of these very high temperatures, it radiates a great deal of energy that tends to blow other material away from the black hole due to the radiation pressure. This then limits how much and how fast new material can be drawn toward the black hole. Black holes can also eject some matter/energy from their poles as jets but the mechanics of this process is not fully understood (as are all the other details of black hole behavior).
    http://www.physorg.com/news79361214.html
    Black holes also tend to “evaporate” slightly as a small amount of material can leak across the event horizon, but this leakage is only significant as I understand it in very small black holes.
    Larry

  37. I should add that when i say ‘stars orbit around behind’, i’m referring to those stars mean orbits that travel the far side of Sag A, and not directly behind it.
    There is term for that, just can’t remember what its called.

  38. “Oliver K. Manuel (12:06:45) :
    There are no black holes. But there are supermassive neutron stars.
    Repulsive forces between neutrons prevent the collapse of a neutron star into a black hole.”
    ———-
    Can someone briefly explain the “repulsive forces between neutrons” for me? I can understand the repulsive forces of like charges. I am unclear on the repulsive forces between neutral particles.
    Thank you.

  39. It’s worse than we thought!
    A black hole that has been fasting for so long has got to be getting really hungry! You don’t want to be in or even in a nearby galaxy when there is a blackhole feeding frenzy going on.
    The problem isn’t some risk of falling in and becoming dessert but rather the inhospitable climate that surrounds a galaxy containing a gluttonous blackhole.
    It’s been known for some time now that there was a very heavy, very small object at the center of our galaxy. What’s interesting is that there is nothing there we can detect. Rather we can see and track the orbit of stars that orbit around this object. As it turns out, if you can determine the orbit of an object, you can calculate the mass of the object it is orbiting. The object turns out to be a few million solar masses. On the other hand, there are no stars observed which even approach several hundred solar masses and those very few stars over ten times the mass of the Sun are extremely bright and die very young.
    Gravity, even that at a distance from a massive object or black hole is plain old gravity – just like Earth’s or for that matter, just like the gravity caused by a fruit on your kitchen table. We’ve all got it (it’s worse than we thought?). The difference is that for the Earth, the maximum gravity occurs at the surface and as you go down from there, gravity gets less. If the Earth shrunk to the size of a marble, you could get much closer to all the mass and the amount of gravitational force (classical) or warping of space (general relativity) would be far greater.
    For small black holes, that means extremely high density – amount of mass per volume. A neutron star has the density of the nucleus of an atom. Neutron stars form when the mass is greater than the ability of the matter making it up to have atoms. This occurs when you have about 1.4 or more solar masses collapsed into a white dwarf star. Once you go beyond something between 3 and 10 solar masses, the neutrons can no longer oppose the gravity so they collapse. What happens then is called a black hole. There is nothing KNOWN that will support the matter against gravity.
    Science being science is never settled, even when there is a significant concensus. Pretty much, everyone in astronomy, professional and amateur alike accepts the notion of the black hole as described by general relativity models with an event horizon (or two) where nothing including light escapes. Many also ascribe super high density to them in order to exist within the event horizon and potentially some other myths about them.
    However, there are other alternative ideas, probably far less popular than climate skepticism, but they nevertheless exist and some have evidence to suggest they are real.
    One possibility is the concept of a quark star. This assumes that a collapsing neutron star will be supported by the quark components. None have ever been detected, but then no one knows just what is going to happen here at the extreme.
    Another possibility is the MECO, magnetospheric eternally collapsing object. This is something that never fully collapses because radiation pressure limits the collapse because of an Eddington limitation on how much radiation can escape due to its small size. There does appear to possibly be some evidence observed that suggest this could be the case associated with the magnetic field location of the object. It also been claimed that there cannot be both the black hole and the MECO (nonmagnetic version ECO) and that all must be one or the other. Essentially, you get an extremely small object but it never creates a true black hole with the matter inside of an event horizon.
    It’ll be interesting to see just how this turns out. Which will be right and just how will that be determined – if it can be. Whatever the case, we can have extremely small objects – like a star twice the mass of the Sun collapsing into an object smaller in diameter than some cities and even something with several million times the mass of the Sun fitting into something significantly smaller than the size of our solar system.
    While the neutron star has the density of a atomic nucleus, the super massive black hole achieves the condition of all mass within the event horizon with an average density of only that of liquid water – at least in the nonrotating original theoretical case.
    Remember now, the one thing we do know is that there are stars we can see and measure that are orbiting an object that has the mass of millions of Suns and that the orbits come really close to this object – meaning it is tiny, and that we cannot see this object because it’s radiating very little.
    Also, whatever it actually is, one might as well call it a black hole, even if it is not exactly what theory describes as a black hole.

  40. MartinGAtkins (14:40:06) :
    Oliver K. Manuel (12:06:45) :

    A neutron star is not dense enough to form a black hole.  Google  “Schwarzschild radius”.
    The strong force is what prevents neutrons from collapsing further.  Remember that to get to a neutron star in the first place the electron degeneracy pressure had to be overcome by a gravitational force caused by greater than 1.38 solar masses.  The electrons and protons are squeezed together into neutrons.
    It takes something on the order of two solar masses to generate enough gravitational force to overcome neutron degeneracy pressure.  After which there is nothing we currently know of to stop a collapse down to a singularity.  Presto! The radius of the collapsing mass becomes less than the Schwarzschild radius and a black hole is born.
    Proof that black holes exist was found as far back as 2002.  http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/blackhole_milkyway_021016.html
    Of course since then we have also seen our central blac hole per the article at the top of this thread.

  41. So, this is it. We’re going to die.
    Oh, hang on. I mean , DON’T PANIC.
    Whew, that was close. Carry on.
    Um, now what was I doing?

  42. UK readers of a certain age may remember this slogan: “Milky Way, the sweet you can eat between meals.”

  43. A neutron star is not dense enough to form a black hole. Google “Schwarzschild radius”.
    Better still just go here for the good news.
    Schwarzschild solution and his so-called radius are as bogus as global warming theory. Schwartzchild’s solution is no ever Sshwartzchild’s it’s an error filled attempt by Hilbert.
    The Black Hole, the Big Bang, and Modern Physics
    It’s amazing how a basic error can be believed as sacrosanct by so many so-called geniuses because no one bothered to check the data. They just accepted it at face value and kept teaching it as a “fact”, denouncing anyone who dared to question the core belief.
    http://www.sjcrothers.plasmaresources.com/index.html

  44. tallbloke (16:30:34) :
    “It is a well known fact”
    This has to be one of the most over-abused phrases in the world.

    Yeah, I agree, it seems that most posters don’t know squat about anything.

  45. I’m sure we could solve this problem by creating a huge gas trading market. We could buy gas offsets for those poor stars to keep them from going extinct. We should picket against gas steeling black holes and call them names and such. I am certain that this would nudge these nasty black holes into finally quitting this universe killing process all together. The author of this article is just a “gas eating” denier! We could literally be out of young stars by the end of the next 10 billion millennium or so, much sooner than we had previously thought. We need to build a one galaxy government to help us keep this under control.

  46. cba (16:26:19) :
    It’s worse than we thought!
    A black hole that has been fasting for so long has got to be getting really hungry! You don’t want to be in or even in a nearby galaxy when there is a blackhole feeding frenzy going on.

    It’s worse than we thought:
    You better watch out for
    The eggplant that ate Chicago
    If he’s still hungry
    The whole country’s doomed

  47. Quote: Rick K (16:19:06) :
    quotes: Oliver K. Manuel (12:06:45) :
    ‘There are no black holes. But there are supermassive neutron stars.
    Repulsive forces between neutrons prevent the collapse of a neutron star into a black hole.’
    ———-
    “Can someone briefly explain the “repulsive forces between neutrons” for me? I can understand the repulsive forces of like charges. I am unclear on the repulsive forces between neutral particles.
    Thank you.”
    Hi Rick,
    Good question!
    The idea of black holes was proposed before repulsive forces between neutrons were discovered in rest mass data of the 3,000 types of atoms that comprise the visible universe.
    Here are links to a few of the early papers:
    1. “Attraction and repulsion of nucleons: Sources of stellar energy”, Journal of Fusion Energy 19 (2001) 93-98:
    http://www.omatumr.com/abstracts/jfeinterbetnuc.pdf
    2. “Nuclear systematics” Journal of Radioanalytical & Nuclear Chememistry 252 (2002) 3-7:
    http://www.omatumr.com/abstracts2001/nuc_sym3.pdf
    3. “Neutron repulsion confirmed as energy source”, Journal of Fusion Energy 20 (2003) 197-201:
    http://www.omatumr.com/abstracts2003/jfe-neutronrep.pdf
    Please read these and then ask if you still have questions.
    With kind regards,
    Oliver K. Manuel

  48. This is an opinion I’ve come to that can never be scientifically tested.
    At the initiation of Universal Inflation (aka Big Bang) the universe is at its hottest. Those most basic quanta that form everything that exists in the universe are so hot that a balance of attractive and repulsive forces cannot exist and no structures can form. As the universe cools, these forces come into play and basic particles form and eventually there is a universe that is initially about 75 percent hydrogen, 24 percent helium, and 1 percent lithium with a few other minor players thrown in. Massive amounts of hydrogen coalesce at the center of what will become galaxies. The hydrogen fuzes into helium and the process continues through the normal fuzing order that leads to a supernova in massive stars. This leads to a collapse that results in the Singularity colloquially known as a “black hole”. These singularities have been described as having a temperature of a few billionths of a degree greater than absolute zero. Absolute zero is the more likely actual temperature. This is because the quanta in the singularity are locked in actual physical contact with one another and cannot move at all. The absence of all motion reflects a temperature of absolute zero, exactly the opposite of conditions at initiation of the Big Bang. The universe will eventually cool to absolute zero. When this happens all quanta in the universe will collapse to, or have become part of singularities. These singularities will coalesce into one and the next big bang will occur. This means, of course, that the universe is an infinitely repeating structure.
    And this explains your deja vu moments, the things you “knew” were going to happen in your life, clairvoyance, and prophecy. A universe that infinitely repeats must eventually produce the same situation(s) that exist for us. How are they manifested in our minds? Probably coded by your DNA when it builds your brain are the memories of your previous existences. As to the massive amounts of time required for universal cycles, remember this. Your brain is the source of your awareness, which ends when the brain shuts down. You cannot be aware that you are unaware. Ergo, you can only be aware. Time does not exist for you while you are unaware.

  49. Black Hole is Eating Our Galaxy Slower Than Previously Thought
    What a relief !
    .
    As a side note, the line should be :
    Black Hole is Eating Our Galaxy More Slowly Than Previously Thought
    Regards,
    Mike
    humble grammar n*zi

  50. Awww geez, now we’re not all going to die.
    (that is a joke for those who didn’t know)

  51. Mike Ramsey (16:39:51) :
    You said to me.
    A neutron star is not dense enough to form a black hole. Google “Schwarzschild radius”.
    Please read what I said again.

    A black hole is an object whose mass causes it to have a gravitational escape velocity that equals the speed of light. A sufficient mass of neutrons will form a black hole.

    No mention of a neutron star. However if two neutron stars should fuse then given sufficient mass a black hole may be the result.

  52. Some people think the idea that cosmic rays can cause more cloud formation on earth is nutty.
    Thinking a new idea is crazy is nothing new.
    When Einstein came out with General Relativity and its ideas of black holes, curved space, etc, some thought he was completely nuts. One scientist thought he was a mad man and should be killed—literally.

  53. ========================================================
    You may want to see this presentation to get some clues why black holes are so puzzling for “mainstream scientists”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_rwCUq_kSk
    It’s a grand unification theory which was already successful in predicting some phenomena which is unexplainable by our current models. As far as I know is has been experimentally verified to be the right direction.
    The site is http://theresonanceproject.org/
    If you like the research and presentation, consider purchasing the DVD or small donation to the creators 😉 They deserve it.
    ========================================================

  54. actuator (19:33:47) :
    These singularities will coalesce into one and the next big bang will occur. This means, of course, that the universe is an infinitely repeating structure.
    There should be no ‘of course’ here, as this does not follow from what you posted. Observations show that the universe’s expansion is accelerating, so no coalesce will occur. Be careful with what you state as impossible to prove or disprove. Just a few years before Kirchhoff discovered how to tell the chemical composition from spectral analysis of light, the French philosopher Auguste Comte stated that the chemical composition of the stars could never be known, as an example of something that was unknowable….

  55. photon without a Higgs (20:27:03) :
    When Einstein came out with General Relativity and its ideas of black holes, curved space, etc, some thought he was completely nuts. One scientist thought he was a mad man and should be killed—literally.
    Of course, every nut thinks he is Einstein [or better]. That is part of what makes him a nut.

  56. photon without a Higgs (20:27:03) :
    When Einstein came out with General Relativity and its ideas of black holes, curved space, etc, some thought he was completely nuts.
    It seems that there are several tedious posters here that still thinks Einstein was a nut… So, perhaps that was a bad example. How about Eddington: “”The great Arthur Eddington gave a lecture about his alleged deviation of the fine structure constant from fundamental theory. Goudsmit and Kramers were both in the audience. Goudsmit understood little but recognized it as far-fetched nonsense. After the discussion, Goudsmit went to his friend and mentor Kramers and asked him, “Do all physicists go off on crazy tangents when they grow old? I am afraid”. Kramers answered, “No Sam, you don’t have to be scared. A genius like Eddington may perhaps go nuts but a fellow like you just gets dumber and dumber.”

  57. hotrod (16:05:23) : “Black holes also tend to “evaporate” slightly as a small amount of material can leak across the event horizon, but this leakage is only significant as I understand it in very small black holes.”
    One of the most far-out articles I ever read was a short news report (over a decade ago) in Scientific American. Some cosmologists far more ambitious than the IPCC had “projected” our universe to the year 10^116. Even then there would be no “heat death of the universe” (as famously depicted by Isaac Asimov in his short story “The Last Question”), because evaporation of the plentiful black holes would still be providing a trickle of energy.
    Perhaps this view is no longer valid because of more recent discoveries, but I fondly recall it as the epiphany that gave me the strength to go on. 🙂

    After writing the above, I decided to use that other wonder of our universe, the InterGore, to check my memory. This may be the paper in question, although I don’t see the year 10^116 anywhere in it:
    http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/astro-ph/pdf/9701/9701131v1.pdf

  58. DocattheAutopsy (12:33:38) :
    Looks like I’m not the only one who’s eating less for the New Year!
    Witty.

  59. Theres a couple of themes running through this thread;
    ONE – Black Holes & Big Bang Theory is BS
    TWO – People who don’t accept the peer reviewed material that Black Holes and Big Bang Theory are idiots.
    Theres a turn up for the books.
    Apply the same rigour to Cosmology and Astrophysics, that is demanded by AGW skeptics, and we have a repeat of two old issues; Over reliance on computer modelling and Strong personalities riding over the top of counter arguments.
    List one prestigious University strongly funded to research counter theories to the big-bang theory, black holes, dark matter or dark energy. Anyone?,…
    If we are open minded, surely a theory or theories that counter consensus cosmology are also worthy of funding and research?. Or, have we reached two dead ends in science – Climate science and Cosmology?
    Are we to accept that consensus in Cosmology is not the same as concensus in Climate science? What are the odds that accolade, wealth and status are absent as motivators in the field of Cosmology? Climategate surely, has removed the hubris that allows for sacred cows in any field of science, no matter how elegant the equations.
    Just my three cents worth.

  60. mdjackson (12:37:03) :
    “It is a well known fact that there is a supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy,
    Maybe I’m not up to date but isn’t it two?

  61. kadaka (12:38:27) :
    So we will have enough time to evacuate this galaxy and head off to the next?
    They’ll just get on Michio Kaku’s space fabric bending machine and take the short cuts to other parts of the universe that it creates.

  62. actuator (19:33:47) :
    Interesting in so far as I have actually had the exact same thought occur to me after I read a story in which two black holes came together.
    Leif, I noted your response to the above comment and another in which you had said that a universe of infinite size had been debunked (I may be wrong as to exactly what you had said, but I believe that was it). I was wondering something. Do scientists now view the universe as something that will simply continue to expand, never to recede? If the universe is not infinite in size, what would be beyond the edge?
    Not putting any theories together here, really just curious.

  63. Deadman (12:59:34) :
    Eating Our Galaxy More Slowly Than Previously Thought”?
    Black holes and what they do is not well understood now. So using the word ‘eating’ today will be replaced with something more elegant and interesting in the future.
    But, today, black holes are believed, by some, to be ‘eating’ everything around them—even light— because of their overwhelming gravity.
    “Eating’ is a primitive word to use—IMO.
    And i am in no way criticizing Anthony Watts for using the word in the post. Black holes ‘eating ‘ everything in their path is the commonly accepted concept.

  64. Dave F (21:25:07) :
    Leif, I noted your response to the above comment and another in which you had said that a universe of infinite size had been debunked (I may be wrong as to exactly what you had said, but I believe that was it).
    I didn’t say or meant that [perhaps I included some other comment by mistake]. The current dogma [well supported by observations and theory] is that the Universe is flat, thus does not curve in on itself. Since it is not the matter in the universe that is expanding, but space itself, I think that most would say that indicates an infinite Universe. Perhaps some people have a semantic problem: if the Universe is all there is how can it be finite if flat?
    Maybe the comment was just deliberately sloppy: ‘infinite space/age universe’ or some such, and THAT is a good straw man, because most believe that space is infinite, but age is not, so how to interpret the clause?

  65. mikelorrey (13:21:18) :
    “If this is so, why shouldn’t black holes be visible?”
    Black holes in orbit around stars do tend to accumulate matter in accretion disks, which do generate infrared as well as xray emissions that are observable by scientists.

    True. This is why to compare black holes to co2 controlling climate is wrong.
    There is no evidence that co2 controls climate. There is evidence for black hole existing.

  66. If some people here are having trouble getting their heads around the idea of Einstein’s black holes try this quote from Einstein on for size:
    “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”

  67. supercritical (13:16:58) :
    Just wondering about Black Holes and the conservation of angular momentum. Lumps of matter in orbit around them ought to whizz around faster and faster as they get closer and closer, and so would they emit visible radiation?
    If this is so, why shouldn’t black holes be visible?
    Forgive me if my physics seems a bit rusty boot when I were lad we were told that matter aproaching a black hole excelerates to a velocity whereby it starts to emit gamma rays and x-rays and the like. At this point the radiating matter is still outside the event horizon and therefore the “light” can escape and be seen futher out in the galaxy.
    Has there been any update on this?
    Today I’ve eaten 1.5% of my body weight. Ian 1 black hole 0

  68. I dont know alot about black holes but how does a star with a set mass when it goes nova it must still have about the same mass why does its gravity increase ?.

  69. Fitzy (21:10:49) :
    Theres a couple of themes running through this thread;
    ONE – Black Holes & Big Bang Theory is BS

    ——————————————-
    Einstein didn’t think there was a big bang (as it was first thought to have happened). Lemaître thought there was.
    The big bang may have not been the beginning but happened right after. Guth’s inflation, if it’s right, is Lemaître’s Big Bang.

  70. Mike McMillan (20:07:29) :
    Black Hole is Eating Our Galaxy Slower Than Previously Thought
    What a relief !
    .
    As a side note, the line should be :
    Black Hole is Eating Our Galaxy More Slowly Than Previously Thought
    —————-
    Of all the things one might object to in this headline, “Slower” instead of “More Slowly” is the easiest to justify. It is completely unambiguous and the interchangeability of adverbs and adjectives has a strong tradition in German, which is one of the parents of English. Pedants used to insist on “quickly”instead of “fast”, but they got over it eventually.
    My own confusion arises from not knowing who Black Hole and Previously are.

  71. From the post: “It is a well known fact that there is a supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy, the Milky Way.”
    Bunk!
    So-called “black holes” are theoretical constructs based on dubious mathematical assumptions such as “singularities”.
    So-called “singularities” don’t have a physical equivalent — nobody really knows what a “singularity” is — It’s no better than string theory — meaning nobody has directly observed & measured a “black hole”.
    And notice how the descriptions of supposed “black hole” have changed over time, from sucking all light (and everything else) into it, to propelling all manner of energies and matter out into the Universe.
    It’s like the scientists at the Large Haldron Super Collider who wrote when it broke down: (paraphrase) “A higgs particles from the future sabotaged the collider because it didn’t want to be discovered.”
    I kid you not! These scientists even wrote a “scientific” paper about it.
    And about Einstein: He never subscribed to the “black hole” hypothesis.
    So what is at the center of the Milky Way?
    At this point it’s a black hole masquerading as knowledge…

  72. So we’re good to create a micro black hole with the LHC for sequestering the hot air from the alarmists then? It should just about do the trick although we might need two micro black holes to get the job done… [:)]
    Ah I hate to be the one to ask, what does this have to do with the climate on Earth? Auroras I can get the possible connection, black holes? They mediate cosmic rays?

  73. photon without a Higgs (21:20:45) :
    They’ll just get on Michio Kaku’s space fabric bending machine and take the short cuts to other parts of the universe that it creates.

    But will the pulsar-based Galactic GPS know where we are? Or will we have to upgrade to the Uni-Galactic model? They get pricey.

  74. Dirk H (above) touches on a serious question I don’t recall ever
    seeing addressed in the published or peer-reviewed liturature:
    Do black holes (assuming they exist) consume dark matter
    (assuming that exists) and how can the process be observed or inferred?
    The science isn’t close to being settled in this area !

  75. kadaka (23:13:26) :
    But will the pulsar-based Galactic GPS know where we are? Or will we have to upgrade to the Uni-Galactic model? They get pricey.
    Just drop bread crumbs.

  76. Leif Svalgaard (21:51:17) :
    No, I am not setting up a strawman, I thought I actually read a comment from you along those lines, but I can’t find it anymore. Usually, I will quote someone exactly to prevent context issues and such, but the comment is eluding me. I wasn’t even arguing anything, just wondering how the Universe could be everything, yet have an edge.
    In your response, you say:
    because most believe that space is infinite, but age is not
    I recently read that the Hubble telescope was trained on the “oldest parts” of the universe. Were they carbon-dated? 😉
    When I read this, I assumed that age was relative to distance, but then found myself wondering how you could be sure what you were looking at was as old as you think it is. What if that object you think is 40 million light years away is actually just newer and closer than you thought? How do you guys at NASA determine the age of stuff in far space?

  77. TheGoodLocust (14:00:59) :
    Black holes are visible when enough matter is being fed into them – they are called quasars then and are the brightest objects in the known universe.

    Making the next best and brightest look dim.

  78. James F. Evans (23:03:17) :
    And about Einstein: He never subscribed to the “black hole” hypothesis.
    ————————————————–
    Huh? Is there an Einstein I don’t know about?

  79. kadaka (23:13:26) :
    But will the pulsar-based Galactic GPS know where we are? Or will we have to upgrade to the Uni-Galactic model? They get pricey.
    ————————————————————–
    Hey, you ever heard of Dixie cups and string? So you need a couple million light years of string. So what? Just make the worm hole shorter.

  80. Perhaps the big bang was the after effect of the previous universe before us collapsing on itself, after all the black holes in the previous universe sucked up all the gases and materials around them, that there was nothing left but black holes. in the end they became attracted to each other joining into one singularity, and thus the cycle began.
    Me thinks I need to stay off the green stuff 😉

  81. Vote Quimby (01:35:08) :
    Perhaps the big bang was the after effect of the previous universe before us collapsing on itself, after all the black holes in the previous universe sucked up all the gases and materials around them, that there was nothing left but black holes. in the end they became attracted to each other joining into one singularity, and thus the cycle began.
    Me thinks I need to stay off the green stuff 😉

    So in the next cycle, everything would be opposite sign, antimatter would be matter, colours would be reversed etc.
    When that happens, remind me to stay off the red stuff. :o)

  82. Over the past 15y I’ve become more and more worried about the state of science and how it is being conducted.
    This quote from the article:-
    “It is a well known fact that there is a supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy, the Milky Way.”
    This type of quote from the article makes my blood boil. It is wrong at so many levels that it’s risible…
    Black holes are theoretical constructs.
    The hypothesis that a dimensionless singularity can exist is a ludicrous, with no observation evidence, only mathematical constructs and a desire to preserve a crumbling ‘big bang’ cosmological model.
    Supermassive black holes are an even more non-nonsensical idea. If they really existed at the centre of a galaxy, their inherent gravity would stop any expansion and prevent the production of younger stars which seem thrive so close to this hypothesised destructive object.
    There are many other example of ‘pixie dust’ being used to support the standard model – dark matter, dark energy, mond e.t.c
    Seems it’s not just climatology which is having trouble with observation failing to match prediction. Time to throw the whole lot out and have a rethink!
    Babcock-Leighton model

  83. Mark.R (22:48:09) :
    I dont know alot about black holes but how does a star with a set mass when it goes nova it must still have about the same mass why does its gravity increase ?.

    Well for one thing, a star large enough to form a black hole is a better candidate to go supernova, but I digress.
    A normal luminous star is a bunch of hot air. After its “death” what is left doesn’t have the energy to stay expanded, and it compresses into a denser form. As it gets smaller, the gravity felt at the surface increases.
    Think of a giant interstellar cloud of gas, highly dispersed. If you’re at the edge of the cloud, its surface, you likely won’t notice its gravity. Now compress it down to the size of a planet. Same mass, but at the surface its gravity now is much stronger.
    With gravity, you get the concept of escape velocity, you have to have enough speed to overcome the pull of gravity. Well, at that former star, the pull of gravity is getting rather strong. And the speed of light in vacuum is the fastest anything can travel. The thing compacts so much, the gravity at the surface gets so strong, that the escape velocity required would exceed that speed of light. Thus nothing gets away from it, not even light. You get a black hole. Note also the pull of gravity decreases with distance, but in the case of black holes it can still be so strong away from the surface that stuff near the surface also cannot escape, thus we get the boundary known as the event horizon.
    Of course, what exactly is under the event horizon is the mysterious thing, and still talking about the former star’s “surface” is likely inaccurate. But, well, it’ll do for a quick explanation.

  84. photon without a Higgs (00:39:38) :
    Hey, you ever heard of Dixie cups and string? So you need a couple million light years of string. So what? Just make the worm hole shorter.

    Hey, you proposed it, now you figure out how to get the string taut enough. 🙂

  85. Paulmwho (18:09:09) :
    [snip]
    Schwarzschild solution and his so-called radius are as bogus as global warming theory. Schwartzchild’s solution is no ever Sshwartzchild’s it’s an error filled attempt by Hilbert.
    Good luck with that.
    Mike Ramsey


  86.  Mark.R (22:48:09) :
    I don’t know a lot about black holes but how does a star with a set mass when it goes nova it must still have about the same mass why does its gravity increase ?
    It is not that the gravity increases but rather that the outward pressure balancing the gravitational pull ceases and gravity wins.  Kind of like a person failing through a weak floor; the boards can’t balance the person’s weight,
    A star with  say 4 to 8 solar masses has the inward gravitational pull of all that mass balanced by the outward push of “radiation pressure” of energy released by the core due to fusion.
    When the lighter elements are used up, fusion at the core fails, the radiation pressure ceases and the star’s core collapses in a so called core collapse supernova.  The pressure is enough to smash the electrons and protons together to form a neutron core.  The shock rebounds off this dense core blowing the outer layers into space.
    Curiosity is the reason that people become physicist.  Stay curious 🙂
    Mike Ramsey

  87. MartinGAtkins (20:09:49) :
    Mike Ramsey (16:39:51) :
    You said to me.
    A neutron star is not dense enough to form a black hole. Google “Schwarzschild radius”.
    Please read what I said again.

    A black hole is an object whose mass causes it to have a gravitational escape velocity that equals the speed of light. A sufficient mass of neutrons will form a black hole.

    No mention of a neutron star. However if two neutron stars should fuse then given sufficient mass a black hole may be the result.
    I was more responding to Oliver K. Manuel who did mention neutron stars.  What you say is true.  A sufficient mass of neutrons will over power the strong force and collapse into a black hole.  It helps to understand the steps involved.

  88. ‘mdjackson (12:42:52) :
    Obviously somebody has to be taxed to fix this problem.’
    That’s very funny (but keep quiet just in case).

  89. Can anybody kindly explain why should black holes attract and capture any more matter than the equivalent normal star?

  90. “”
    Fitzy (21:10:49) :
    Theres a couple of themes running through this thread;
    ONE – Black Holes & Big Bang Theory is BS
    TWO – People who don’t accept the peer reviewed material that Black Holes and Big Bang Theory are idiots.
    “”
    Really?
    What is meant by the concept “accept”? Do you think peer review means some stamp of approval on the validity of the material beyond a few people with some expertise have deemed it to not be brainless BS written by a highschool dropout? Most of peer reviewed literature these days turns out to be proven wrong within 5 years of publishing. Taking it as gospel, like in climate, is more foolish than to totally ignore it.
    “”
    Theres a turn up for the books.
    Apply the same rigour to Cosmology and Astrophysics, that is demanded by AGW skeptics, and we have a repeat of two old issues; Over reliance on computer modelling and Strong personalities riding over the top of counter arguments.
    “”
    Cosmology and astrophysics are quite old. They are products of the scientific method and proof that over time the scientific method advances our understanding. They are also areas that are not so subject to total domination by strong personalities,perhaps because there’s been so many.
    “”
    List one prestigious University strongly funded to research counter theories to the big-bang theory, black holes, dark matter or dark energy. Anyone?,…
    “”
    How about R. Schild at the Harvard Center for Astrophysics? He’s published in the area of MECOs as desribed in an above post. It’s based upon a concept from the great Authur Eddington and the claim is made somewhere that either MECOs can exist or black holes can exist but not both. Another area that he has published in is cold lyman alpha clouds and the prospects of non radiating baryonic matter effects. That potentially goes in to the effects of the assumed dark energy and may also point towards dark matter as being nonradiating normal matter.
    As for the big bang and cosmological orthodoxy, try search for quasi steady state theory.
    Whether any of these are the right path or whether none of them are of value may not truly be discerned on the relative short term. Cosmology and astronomy have been around long enough to show that some apparent falsifications aren’t necessarily real (stellar parallax) or that better verifiable results in predictions actually come from the more correct theory (epicycles in an Earth centered universe) or that two competing theories actually include the correct theory (Earth centered vs. Sun centered universe).
    “”
    If we are open minded, surely a theory or theories that counter consensus cosmology are also worthy of funding and research?. Or, have we reached two dead ends in science – Climate science and Cosmology?
    Are we to accept that consensus in Cosmology is not the same as concensus in Climate science? What are the odds that accolade, wealth and status are absent as motivators in the field of Cosmology? Climategate surely, has removed the hubris that allows for sacred cows in any field of science, no matter how elegant the equations.
    “”
    Climate ‘science’ appears driven primarily by politics with financial input from politics and results being fed into a political agenda. Perhaps it should not be called a science.
    Cosmology has a concensus, just like there is often a concensus on the outcome of next week’s monday night football game. It is not tied to a political agenda like climate science. It’s amazing how fast the concensus can change. Dark energy is now mainstream, yet came about over scarcely 15 years from nothing.
    Suffice to say that cosmology is alive and well and is ripe for even more fundamental revelations over the coming years.
    “”
    Just my three cents worth
    “”
    hyperinflation has begun?

  91. “”supercritical (06:17:17) :
    Can anybody kindly explain why should black holes attract and capture any more matter than the equivalent normal star?
    “”
    They don’t. There’s a big misunderstanding going on out there.
    The geometry of things is partly the culprit. All matter attracts other matter by gravity, an inverse square law. It turns out that this gravitational attraction by an object at distance R is the same for a sphere of radius r – like the Earth – as it is to assume all the mass is located at a single point at the center of the Earth. If you go deep into a mine, you will go closer to the center, but only the material under your feet (imaginary sphere of that size under your feet) still attracts you to the center of the Earth will the material above your head pulls you upward and reduces your weight or attraction. There’s less material pulling on you in the down direction even though you’re closer to the center. When you get to the center, Earth’s material is all around you pulling in all directions so you are weightless.
    If you compressed Earth’s material to the size of a marble at its center except for a small platform located at the original surface, the gravity at that platform would be the same as before you compressed the Earth down. But now, if you step off the platform, you’ll fall down to the center and gravity will increase as you get closer and closer because of the inverse square law distance is decreasing and there is no increasing amount of material above your head cancelling out it’s effect. When you get to marble, the forces will be so great that they will rip you apart.
    It’s the same thing with a black hole versus a star. Gravity increases as you get closer and the closer you can get without going inside the stronger it will get. If the object is smaller, you can get closer.

  92. supercritical (06:17:17) :
    Can anybody kindly explain why should black holes attract and capture any more matter than the equivalent normal star?
    Gravity is what attracts matter to both.  The amount of gravity is proportional to the amount of mass/energy.  The black hole at the center of the Milkyway has a mass on the order of hundreds of thousands to billions of solar masses and like the genie in Aladin, squeezed into a tiny space.
    Mike Ramsey

  93. To those who replied to my question:
    “Can anybody kindly explain why should black holes attract and capture any more matter than the equivalent normal star?”
    Thanks for those responses. I suppose for a black hole that is say equivalent to three solar masses, we could expect to find planets, comets, asteroids etc., orbiting it, normally .
    And as I understand it, for an object travelling in space there is quite a narrow combination of trajectories that will lead to actual collision with a star; all others will result in deflections and orbits of some kind. This will involve angular momentum to be accounted for. So, objects falling into a black hole must be about as common as stuff colliding with the equivalent sun’s surface.
    And so , there would seem to be no essential difference between a ‘black hole’ and an ordinary star, in terms of gravitational behaviour.
    Then, there is the behaviour of the gravitational field within the body itself. I suppose that the gravitational force (weight) exerted on an object is at a maximum at the surface of the body, and then reduces to zero at the centre of the body. In this case, if the gravitational force really is zero at the centre of a body, what exactly IS the force that keeps the black-hole together?
    Also, the behaviour of the gravitational field within a body seems to be similar to that of static electrical fields. And so if we had a hollow body, could this be the equivalent of a Faraday-cage for gravity?

  94. For the people having problems with the concepts of black holes and neutron stars: google for quark stars and strange matter, they’re even stranger (or quarkier).

  95. After reading the article and comments, I’m reminded of some quotes from Einstein.
    “Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage — to move in the opposite direction.”
    “The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education.”
    “Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods.”
    “As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain, as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.”
    “Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence.”
    peace

  96. supercritical (06:17:17) :
    Can anybody kindly explain why should black holes attract and capture any more matter than the equivalent normal star?
    Try this:

  97. DirkH (08:25:09) :
    For the people having problems with the concepts of black holes and neutron stars: google for quark stars and strange matter, they’re even stranger (or quarkier).
    So now their head will hurt even more.

  98. photon without a Higgs (00:35:01)
    Yes, that’s right Albert Einstein never subscribed to “black holes”.
    It was not Einstein who argued that General Relativity suggested “black holes”, but others who used General Relativity to suggest the existence of “black holes.”

  99. James F. Evans (08:59:52) :
    Well, he did talk about the characteristics of light around black holes. That’s one of the times when some people thought he was a mad man.

  100. James F. Evans (08:59:52) :
    Yes, that’s right Albert Einstein never subscribed to “black holes”.
    And as you said:
    James F. Evans (23:20:40) :
    Old scientists don’t change their opinions with new evidence…they just pass from the scene and new scientists more open to new ideas take their place.
    This is precisely what happened to Einstein. Thanks for understanding this so clearly.

  101. This paper would seem to contradict SgrA* “eating more slowly” as it was discovered that the magnetic field in the center of the Milky Way is much stronger than previously thought. Couldn’t that indicate something other than a quiescent “black hole” going on there?
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100106193219.htm

    “This research will challenge current thinking among astronomers,” Dr Crocker says. “For the last 30 years there has been considerable uncertainty of the exact value of the magnetic field in the centre of the Milky Way. The strength of this field enters into most calculations in astronomy, since almost all of space is magnetised,” he says.
    Dr Jones says the findings will affect diverse fields, from star formation theory to cosmology.
    “If our Galactic Centre’s magnetic field is stronger than we thought, this raises additional questions of how it got so strong when fields in the early universe are, in contrast, quite weak. We know now that more than 10% of the Galaxy’s magnetic energy is concentrated in less than 0.1% of its volume, right at its centre,” he says.

    The closer we look, magnetic fields (charged particles moving in field aligned filaments and sheets within plasma?) are stronger and play a more important role than standard models account for, across the board pretty much. But mention any skepticism of standard cosmology and the response from some is, well just plain meansprited and ill-informed.

    Yeah, I agree, it seems that most posters don’t know squat about anything.

    No dude, you don’t know squat about what any of these posters may or may not know and I’m sure all of them have their own individual talents, skills and interests and people who love them for those things and more.
    There are some AGW skeptics here, who fail to see their own hypocrisy, that treat those who are skeptical of standard cosmology the same (like dirt), or worse, as they are treated by the AGW alarmists.

  102. supercritical (06:17:17) :
    You can learn almost anything through the internet. Here’s a huge tip for you, go to these links and start watching:
    http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Michio+Kako+black+holes&search_type=&aq=f
    and
    http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Alex+Filippenko+black+holes&search_type=&aq=f
    and
    http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Leonard+Susskind++black+holes&search_type=&aq=f
    From there you can go on searches for years in the internet to learn everything you’d want about Black Holes.

  103. kadaka (03:06:51) :
    Hey, you proposed it, now you figure out how to get the string taut enough.:)
    Hey, come on, that’s a cinch! Just adjust the length of the worm hole till you get the right tension. 😉

  104. solrey (09:22:28) :
    “Yeah, I agree, it seems that most posters don’t know squat about anything.”
    No dude, you don’t know squat about what any of these posters may or may not know

    Their lack of depth of their knowledge of the topics at hand speaks for itself. It is OK not know something, as long as you don’t believe that is a virtue.

  105. Science Daily – January 7, 2010 – Milky Way’s Magnetic Attraction Ten Times Stronger Than Rest of Galaxy:
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100106193219.htm
    “Researchers from the Max-Planck-Institute for Nuclear Physics, the University of Adelaide, Monash University and the United States have recently published their findings in Nature.”
    As opposed to some who claim Science doesn’t know where magnetism comes from, others take an empirical approach and note that repeated observation & measurement both in the plasma physics laboratory and in situ probes show charged particles in motion (not necessarily an electric current as such) cause a magnetic field.
    So, based on empirical evidence of intense magnetic fields at the galactic center there is a possibility that at the galactic center of the Milky Way is a concentrated formation of charged particles in motion.
    Some call this a plasmoid.
    This phenomenon has been studied in the laboratory. And this concept has been studied for over 50 years. Please see the paper linked below:
    http://articles.adsabs.harvard.edu/full/1958IAUS….6…87B
    Title: Experimental Study of Plasmoids
    Authors: Bostick, W. H.
    Journal: Electromagnetic Phenomena in Cosmical Physics, Proceedings from IAU Symposium no. 6. Edited by Bo Lehnert. International Astronomical Union. Symposium no. 6, Cambridge University Press, p.87
    More study is needed on plasmoids, both in the laboratory and in situ.
    The gravity “only” model of astronomy (so-called “black holes” being the best known aspect) has been falsified many times…still believers cling to it by additions of “pixie dust” like so-called “dark matter”, “dark energy”, and even “dark flow” (all NEVER observed & measured), and probably more imaginary substances will be added on an ad hoc basis as needed to keep the “gravity” only model from being cast into the ash heap of discarded scientific ideas.

  106. Leif Svalgaard (09:19:27) wrote: “This [passed by as new evidence was observed & measured] is precisely what happened to Einstein. Thanks for understanding this so clearly.”
    Tusche.

  107. photon without a Higgs (09:00:58) : I could bet that there are common characteristics in the psychological phenomena of Climate Gate and currently hidden “Astro Gate”.
    Both though look like conspiracies, they are not, they just begin with an idea of one man or a group…the rest goes just like “roses, roses”, and like being attracted by a “black hole” or a spider´s web, those “scientists” who share some common personality characteristics like “pride”, “prejudice”, “self esteem”, “self indulgement”, who, since childhood have been convinced that they are “mom´s predilect offspring”, inevitably get caught in it….
    Only a few seconds afterwards they begin wiseacreing about their new and trascendental nany discoveries…

  108. James F. Evans (10:14:41) :
    Leif Svalgaard (09:19:27) wrote: “This [passed by as new evidence was observed & measured] is precisely what happened to Einstein. Thanks for understanding this so clearly.”
    Perhaps I overrated your understanding…
    ‘As new ideas about black holes took hold by new scientists more open to new ideas took their place’ is what happened to him.
    James F. Evans (10:06:49) :
    Science Daily – January 7, 2010 – Milky Way’s Magnetic Attraction Ten Times Stronger Than Rest of Galaxy
    Is pure nonsense. What they discovered is that the magnetic field strength is 50 microgauss. That is 0.000,050 Gauss compared to the Earth’s field of 0.5 Gauss. The rest of your post displays your deep ignorance of basic physics [but fits with many similar posts].

  109. Dr. Svalggard:
    Read the paper published in Nature if you don’t like the Science Daily headline for their report on the paper, I’m fine with that.
    Besides, you are distracting from the salient point: The galactic centerof the Milky Way is the source of intense magnetic fields.
    So, Dr. Svalgaard, you subscribe to “black holes”. Do you also subscribe to “dark matter”, “dark energy”, and “dark flow” as well?
    None of these have been observed & measured, they are ad hocs to keep the “gravity” only model from being fasified.
    But for the failure of the “gravity” only model to explain spiral galaxy rotation (the edges spin as fast as the core in contradiction to gravity models), so-called “dark matter” would never have neen thought of.
    Dr. Svalgaard, please give a physical description of a “singularity”.

  110. “If our Galactic Centre’s magnetic field is stronger than we thought, this raises additional questions of how it got so strong when fields in the early universe are, in contrast, quite weak. We know now that more than 10% of the Galaxy’s magnetic energy is concentrated in less than 0.1% of its volume, right at its centre.” — Dr Roland Crocker, the lead author of paper published in Nature.
    Dr. Svalgaard, if you have a problem with the above quote or any of the other quotes in the Science Daily article which speak for themselves, I suggest you take it up with Dr. Crocker or Dr. Jones.

  111. photon without a Higgs (09:00:58) :
    What ever any could argue about that video, that gathering of scientists around a table looks like a spiritist´s round table with a medium presiding it, a kind of “sabbath”of witches concocting a deadly beverage, something like a “black hole”.
    Again, the common characteristic of psychic infection it is that it is easily transmissible through “self-pride”, “egotism”, waves…:
    OH! how wise we are!, the proof that we are the most intelligent and beautiful people is that NOBODY, NOBODY, but we, the chosen ones, are able to understand our brilliant theories!!!.
    It is not surprising then, that politicians, sharing with these predilect sons and daughters of their dear mamas, the same psychic profile, are the first ones in “buying” that kind of phantasies.
    The law which governs this phenomenon it is called, by sages of all epochs, the “law of the match striking”.

  112. James F. Evans (11:05:28) :
    Do you have more links besides the one Nature paper? I am interested to read more. But I will want to read up on as much as possible. One paper won’t be enough.

  113. James F. Evans (11:05:28) :
    I don’t know of the ‘gravity only’ model of the Universe. There are scientists who say gravity is the only force that matters?

  114. James F. Evans (11:05:28) :
    Besides, you are distracting from the salient point: The galactic centerof the Milky Way is the source of intense magnetic fields.
    Absolutely not. The general magnetic field in the Galaxy is about 5 microGauss, 100,000 times weaker than the Earth’s field or 500 million times weaker than that of a typical sunspot. The report has indeed a poor title – but it is poor of you to fall for such nonsense]. Right at the center where the giant black hole pulls in the matter, matter and magnetic field frozen into it as in any space plasma become compressed and so the field ends up 10 times stronger, i.e. 50 million times weaker than a sunspot. No ‘intense’ magnetic fields here.
    So, Dr. Svalgaard, you subscribe to “black holes”. Do you also subscribe to “dark matter”, “dark energy”, and “dark flow” as well?
    I don’t know what ‘dark flow’ is, but dark matter and dark energy seem well established from observations, e.g. of the rotation curve as you have noticed.
    Dr. Svalgaard, please give a physical description of a “singularity”.
    One could give one to any level of detail. To give me an idea of what level you are capable of understanding may I ask you first give me a physical description of that favorite object of yours: the electron at the level you think you can manage, then I’ll be happy to return the favor for a singularity to the same level.

  115. James F. Evans (11:29:10) :
    Dr. Svalgaard, if you have a problem with the above quote
    Only with your nonsensical interpretation of it. Perhaps you take that up with them and get them to endorse your view?

  116. supercritical (08:24:20) :
    [snip]
    Thanks for those responses. I suppose for a black hole that is say equivalent to three solar masses, we could expect to find planets, comets, asteroids etc., orbiting it, normally .
    http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0306213
    And as I understand it, for an object travelling in space there is quite a narrow combination of trajectories that will lead to actual collision with a star; all others will result in deflections and orbits of some kind. This will involve angular momentum to be accounted for. So, objects falling into a black hole must be about as common as stuff colliding with the equivalent sun’s surface.
    http://www.nrao.edu/pr/2002/xmark/index-p.shtml
    And so , there would seem to be no essential difference between a ‘black hole’ and an ordinary star, in terms of gravitational behaviour.
    Then, there is the behavior of the gravitational field within the body itself. I suppose that the gravitational force (weight) exerted on an object is at a maximum at the surface of the body, and then reduces to zero at the centre of the body. In this case, if the gravitational force really is zero at the centre of a body, what exactly IS the force that keeps the black-hole together?
    http://burro.astr.cwru.edu/Academics/Astr221/SolarSys/hydrostat.html
    Also, the behavior of the gravitational field within a body seems to be similar to that of static electrical fields. And so if we had a hollow body, could this be the equivalent of a Faraday-cage for gravity?
      Faraday cages block electric fields but not slow varying magnetic fields.  Mass does not screen gravitational fields.  Water under the surface of the ocean still feels the tug of the moons gravity.

  117. photon without a Higgs (11:29:40):
    I’m sorry, no additional papers, but a UCLA press release that reviews another paper published in Nature:
    “Astronomers Report Unprecedented Double Helix Nebula Near Center of the Milky Way”
    http://www.physicalsciences.ucla.edu/research/doublehelix.asp
    From the UCLA press release:
    “Astronomers report an unprecedented elongated double helix nebula near the center of our Milky Way galaxy, using observations from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope. The part of the nebula the astronomers observed stretches 80 light years in length. The research is published March 16 in the journal Nature.”
    Further:
    “We see two intertwining strands wrapped around each other as in a DNA molecule,” said Mark Morris, a UCLA professor of physics and astronomy, and lead author. “Nobody has ever seen anything like that before in the cosmic realm. Most nebulae are either spiral galaxies full of stars or formless amorphous conglomerations of dust and gas — space weather. What we see indicates a high degree of order.”
    An “order” close into the galactic center that contradicts “theories” about so-called “black holes”.
    How so?
    The double helix would likely be ripped apart by the intense gravity of a “black hole” (however, it’s noted that the authors of the paper give proper allegiance to “black holes”).
    From the UCLA press release:
    “We know the galactic center has a strong magnetic field that is highly ordered and that the magnetic field lines are oriented perpendicular to the plane of the galaxy,” Morris said. “If you take these magnetic field lines and twist them at their base, that sends what is called a torsional wave up the magnetic field lines.”
    Further:
    “This magnetic field is strong enough to cause activity that does not occur elsewhere in the galaxy; the magnetic energy near the galactic center is capable of altering the activity of our galactic nucleus and by analogy the nuclei of many galaxies, including quasars, which are among the most luminous objects in the universe. All galaxies that have a well-concentrated galactic center may also have a strong magnetic field at their center, Morris said, but so far, ours is the only galaxy where the view is good enough to study it.”
    Plasmoid, anyone?

  118. Leif Svalgaard (11:34:51) :
    James F. Evans (11:05:28) :
    [snip]
    So, Dr. Svalgaard, you subscribe to “black holes”. Do you also subscribe to “dark matter”, “dark energy”, and “dark flow” as well?
    I don’t know what ‘dark flow’ is, but dark matter and dark energy seem well established from observations, e.g. of the rotation curve as you have noticed.

    Alternative theories of gravity have not been ruled out to explain galactic rotation rates.  But dark energy seems necessary to explain cosmic acceleration.

    Dr. Svalgaard, please give a physical description of a “singularity”.
    One could give one to any level of detail. To give me an idea of what level you are capable of understanding may I ask you first give me a physical description of that favorite object of yours: the electron at the level you think you can manage, then I’ll be happy to return the favor for a singularity to the same level.

    Solomon would have been proud of you.  Well answered!  🙂
    Mike Ramsey

  119. Leif,
    I said there was no way to scientifically test my belief in an infinitely repeating universe because I base it on a single concept as follows: The behavior of quanta is determined by only one thing, temperature. At inflation quanta cannot form structures due to heat and at abolute zero all quanta are locked in singularities. In order to test that you must create temperatures that exist at the instant universal inflation begins and shortly thereafter and you must achieve absolute zero in the laboratory. In a brief email exchange with Dr. N.D. Tyson a couple of years ago he pointed out that the law of thermodynamics precluded obtaining absolute zero in the lab. (I kind of thought that all the neutrinos zipping through the experiment would have that effect. Also, if I was right and you succeeded, what would you do about the black hole in your lab?) After that I altered my position to the one stated above. If the universe becomes totally singular in nature, it would seem repulsive forces would no longer exist. In a universe then totally dominated by attractive force(s), the result should be coalescing of the singularities no matter how far flung they may be.

  120. James F. Evans (12:02:09) :
    Plasmoid, anyone?
    No, not even the authors suggest anything like that. The ‘strong magnetic field’, is only relatively strong compared to the incredibly weak general magnetic field in the Galaxy, and thousands times smaller than the field of the Sun [which is again ten thousand times smaller than that of a sunspot]. And the nonsense about this being the only nebula with structure. Almost all nebula in the Galaxy have lots of internal structure.

  121. Leif Svalgaard (11:34:51) wrote: “.. but dark matter and dark energy seem well established from observations…”
    A misleading statement.
    Anybody, who knows anything about the scientific discussion of so-called “dark matter” or “dark energy” and responds in good faith, knows that a vigorous debate rages in scientific circles about the existence of “dark matter” and “dark energy” and the continued failure to directly observe & measure either of these “pixie dust” ad hocs.
    When a scientific model fails to predict or explain physical observations & measurements, that constitutes a falsification of the model.
    It’s poor science to just invent something that never has been observed so the model isn’t falsified.
    Dr. Svalgaard wrote: “One could give one to any level of detail.” in response to a request: “please give a physical description of a “singularity”.
    It’s an evasive answer because as Dr. Svalgaard knows a “singularity” is a mathematical construct that NEVER been observed & measured — it can’t because it’s an abstract concept.
    But let me clarify for Dr. Svalgaard, please explain a “singularity” in relation to so-called “black hole” theory.

  122. actuator (12:14:35) :
    In a universe then totally dominated by attractive force(s), the result should be coalescing of the singularities no matter how far flung they may be.
    It seems that on the largest scales, our universe is dominated by repulsive forces causing the expansion to accelerate.

  123. Mike Ramsey (12:12:48) :
    Alternative theories of gravity have not been ruled out to explain galactic rotation rates.
    Gravitational lensing can be [and has been] used to detect and actually map the distribution of dark matter. Now, one can always posit alternative theories, but they seem ad hoc and, so far, General Relativity has passed a lot of good tests.

  124. Leif Svalgaard (12:26:54) :
    actuator (12:14:35) :
    In a universe then totally dominated by attractive force(s), the result should be coalescing of the singularities no matter how far flung they may be.
    It seems that on the largest scales, our universe is dominated by repulsive forces causing the expansion to accelerate.

    What is the physical mechanism proposed for this repulsive force Leif?

  125. Leif Svalgaard (11:34:51) :
    To give me an idea of what level you are capable of understanding may I ask you first give me a physical description of that favorite object of yours: the electron at the level you think you can manage, then I’ll be happy to return the favor for a singularity to the same level.

    I can’t physically describe an electron, but I can show you a photo of an electron shell cloud:
    http://insidescience.org/polopoly_fs/1.918!image/671260397.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_490/671260397.jpg
    Got any photos of singularities? 🙂

  126. Dr. Svalgaard:
    Again, you’ll have to take your objections up with Dr. Mark Morris, a UCLA professor of physics and astronomy, and lead author, he seems to take a different view than you do.
    As for plasmoids, Dr. Anthony L. Peratt of Los Alamos National Laboratory, a former close associate of the late 1970 Nobel Prize winner in physics, Hannes Alfven takes a different view.
    Readers, Dr.Svalgaard is a talented and well known helio-astrophysicist, I respect his work in that specialty.
    But when he steps out of his specialty and casts his opinion farther afield and provides the impression that his opinion is the only one with any merit, it is misleading, as his opinion is only one of many in the astrophysical scientific arena.

  127. ” photon without a Higgs (09:31:47) :
    supercritical (06:17:17) :
    You can learn almost anything through the internet. Here’s a huge tip for you, go to these links and start watching:”
    Thanks for your huge tip. I value your patronage.
    What I am really interested in, however, is not particularly the cosmology of black holes, but the metaphysics. Those who work in the Universities on such things require funding, which is generally from the State. And the nature of the transaction in interesting. In exchange for the wherewithal, what does the worker have to deliver as his part of the bargain? What use is made of his work, when delivered into the hands of others?
    One thing in common between cosmology and climatology is that there seems to be a subsequent generation of metaphysical concepts, ‘spins’ if you like, mainly by the MSM. A good example is the spin given to Black Holes as mysterious pac-man gobblers who will eat up everything. Harmless enough, as they are no more a danger than any other star, but the State gains kudos and will continue to fund such infotainment studies.
    What is interesting is the that those administering such scientific programmes are well-aware of the erroneous spins, yet will not disabuse the public, despite the necessity for utmost objective honesty that is the very definition of the scientific method. One gets the feeling that the potential for such spins is in fact an integral part of the process; and so much for the objectivity of science!
    But while the public knows that Cosmology has no real-world consequence, and the resulting metaphysics /metaphorics have entertainment value on several levels, the same cannot be said for Climatology. Here, the deliverable was direct to the politicians themselves. There really is a constituency for totalitarianism as the last century showed us, and the administrators of the various Climatology progammes were happy to go along with the metaphysics that would produce totalitarianism.
    Personally, I suspect that in the UK at least, the Universities will soon be forced to scale down all such ‘meta-science’ programmes ….. perhaps in favour of cosmetology instead?
    But ‘photon without a Higgs’, let me patronise you a little;
    What are your thoughts on the societal effect should the LHC not come up with the Higgs particle?

  128. James F. Evans (12:26:33) :
    Anybody, who knows anything about the scientific discussion of so-called “dark matter” or “dark energy” and responds in good faith, knows that a vigorous debate rages in scientific circles about the existence of “dark matter” and “dark energy”
    The debate is not about the existence, but about the nature of dark matter. As I have commented, dark matter can be [and has been] observed and mapped by gravitational lensing.
    It’s an evasive answer because as Dr. Svalgaard knows a “singularity” is a mathematical construct
    Everything in physics is at the bottom mathematical constructs. We understand nature by capturing it in mathematical theory, e.g. Maxwell’s mathematical equations express what we know of electromagnetism [at the level of classical physics]. Now, many people do not understand the mathematical formalisms [and no wonder as it takes about a decade of hard study to do that] so various images and hand-waving notions [e.g. the Bohr atom] are employed, but they are only crutches. Some of language that must be used will sound too strange so people write it off as unintelligible [which indeed it may be to them]. For example, Galilean space-time G is but a fiber bundle with base space E1and fiber E3 [ordinary Euclidean 3-space], and ‘time’ is just a canonical projection from G to E1 [Aristotelian time]. The next step up consists of Newtonian space-time N which is also a fiber bundle with base space E1 and fiber E3, but now there is a structure on N different from that of G, because the family of straight world lines that represents inertial motions is different. Moving on to Relativity, at any point [i.e. an ‘event’] p in space-time, we can envision the family of all different rays of light that pass through p, called the description of world lines through p. We can call such a description the family of ‘photon histories’ through p. In the neighborhood of p, this family describes a cone in space-time, sometimes called the light cone at p. At better name would be the ‘null cone’ for this structure in the tangent space Tp at p. The cone has two parts: a past cone and a future cone. Relativity sostulates that the speed of light is the same in all directions at p, so a light flash must have spherical shape around p. This means that the cone is given by an equation in the tangent space of the form g[ab]v(a)v(b) = 0 where g[ab] is the index form of some non-singular symmetric [0,2]-tensor g of Lorentzian signature. The ‘null’ in null cone now refers to the fact that the vector v has a zero length |v|^2 = 0 with respect to the pseudometric g. Now finally moving General Relativity we have the Einsteinian spacetime E. The difference with N is that in E null cones do not have to have a uniform arrangement, but can have a much more general distribution. Now, a pseudometric g determines a unique torsion-free ‘connection’ D for which Dg = 0. This tells us that Einstein’s concept of inertial motion is completely determined by the spacetime metric. This is good, because g is now non-degenerate, so that D is completely detrmined by it. The connection D has a curvature tensor R. We can now describe the collapse to a black hole. Matter collapses inwards, through the 3-surface that becomes the absolute event horizon, H. The null cones are tangent to the horizon and allow matter or signals to pass inwards, but not outwards. This can be seen to be an effect of the tilting of the cones inwards, so that find themselves to be tangent to H. Any world line that crosses from the inside to the outside of H would violate the causality defined by the cones [remember the past and present parts of the cones]. The event horizon is not a material substance. It is just a particular [hyper]surface in spacetime, separating those places from which signals can escape to infinity from places where they are trapped inside the horizon. The back hole is not a material [more correctly: ponderable] body. The tipping of the null cones is such that an observer would encounter rapidly increasing tidal effects from increasing spacetime curvature, R, that will diverge to infinity, and this is what we call a spacetime singularity.

  129. “One of the most complex and intriguing astrophysical phenomenon…”
    If it’s one of many, shouldn’t it be “phenomena” (plural)?

  130. tallbloke (12:32:59) :
    What is the physical mechanism proposed for this repulsive force Leif?
    At this point is mainly an observational fact. But people are working on it 🙂 We have to go [like it or not] where the observations lead us.
    tallbloke (12:40:51) :
    Got any photos of singularities? 🙂
    Here is one: [ ] between the two two brackets. Remember they cannot be seen because they are behind the horizon. Now, there are lots of photos of black holes drawing in stuff.
    James F. Evans (12:49:00) :
    Again, you’ll have to take your objections up with Dr. Mark Morris,
    I have no objections to his paper, just to your nonsense.
    But when he steps out of his specialty
    I worked ten years at “The Institute for Plasma Research” at Stanford University…

  131. Leif Svalgaard (12:32:38 wrote: “Gravitational lensing can be [and has been] used to detect and actually map the distribution of dark matter.”
    Again, this is misleading, so-called “dark matter” has never been “detected”. Supposed maps of “dark matter” are conjecture based on where gravity would have to act to make spiral galaxies work as actually observed & measured.
    Need some gravity, here, then postulate some “dark matter”, here; need some gravity, there, then postulate some “dark matter”, there.
    This is the hight of poor science.
    But because the models are so regularly falsified by observation & measurement this is what astronomy has come to.
    Astronomers cling to outdated ideas.

  132. Supercritical – could one not theoretically produce a Higgs, not because its naturally occuring, but because the LHC energies involved fabricate it?
    If they produce a single positve result, but fail to repeat it, will it become the Yamal/Boson that proves there is no debate. A lot of money has been spent, I can imagine BIG results are being demanded.
    How many positive results are needed to conclusively demonstrate the properties of a Higgs? And, since there’s only one LHC, how does one go about replicating the experiment? Will those scientists doubtful of the Higgs be allowed to run their own experiments on the LHC?
    Genuinely curious.

  133. Leif Svalgaard (13:45:20) :
    tallbloke (12:32:59) :
    What is the physical mechanism proposed for this repulsive force Leif?
    At this point is mainly an observational fact. But people are working on it 🙂 We have to go [like it or not] where the observations lead us.

    We can agree to disagree about whether the conditions for something being regarded as an ‘observation’ have been met here. However, my conclusion is that there is no conceivable repulsive force accelerating a universal expansion and we are being led up the garden path of Big Bang Bung here.
    Maybe the turtle is on ice skates and has pulled it’s legs in. 🙂
    tallbloke (12:40:51) :
    Got any photos of singularities? 🙂
    Here is one: [ ] between the two two brackets. Remember they cannot be seen because they are behind the horizon. Now, there are lots of photos of black holes drawing in stuff.

    Cool, I’ll have hunt for the photos.

  134. supercritical (12:54:50) :
    What is interesting is the that those administering such scientific programmes are well-aware of the erroneous spins, yet will not disabuse the public, despite the necessity for utmost objective honesty that is the very definition of the scientific method.
    A much more serious problem is the pseudo-scientists and ‘alternative’ science-nuts that misunderstand and misappropriate the spins for their own purposes. Just look up-thread [or almost any other one] so find glaring examples of such patent nonsense. One might wish for a tighter ship to maintain the credence of WUWT, but all such have failed in the past.

  135. “”
    Mike D. (08:52:29) :
    You’re all a buncha flat universers.
    “”
    if the data fits, live with it.

  136. Leif Svalgaard (12:32:38) :
    Mike Ramsey (12:12:48) :
    Alternative theories of gravity have not been ruled out to explain galactic rotation rates.
    Gravitational lensing can be [and has been] used to detect and actually map the distribution of dark matter. Now, one can always posit alternative theories, but they seem ad hoc and, so far, General Relativity has passed a lot of good tests.

    Yes, I’ll concede that something is gravatating out there that we can’t see.
    Mike Ramsey

  137. James F. Evans (12:02:09) :
    I’m sorry, no additional papers,
    In the one paper you posted it is interesting what he found. But with so little work done in that area it’s too hard for me to say where that finding lay in the grand scheme.
    It will be on my mind though. The ‘gravity only’ thing will be too.

  138. As with most topics on this so called science blog, words fail me when I read the bulk of these comments.

  139. tallbloke (14:03:17) :
    We can agree to disagree about whether the conditions for something being regarded as an ‘observation’ have been met here.
    Not quite good enough. Take the specific papers [some referred to upthread] and criticize them as why they do not meet the conditions. Clearly you must have read these already, otherwise you cannot pontificate on whether they describe observations.

  140. James F. Evans (12:02:09) :
    Plasmoid, anyone?
    It is interesting. But much more study has to be done.

  141. Benjamin P. (14:19:41) :
    As with most topics on this so called science blog, words fail me when I read the bulk of these comments.
    Words didn’t fail you. You just gave the blog a slap backhanded.

  142. supercritical (12:54:50) :
    Thanks for your huge tip. I value your patronage
    I wasn’t intending to be condescending. It must have come across that way. I really was trying to be helpful.

  143. Leif Svalgaard (14:34:26) :
    tallbloke (14:03:17) :
    We can agree to disagree about whether the conditions for something being regarded as an ‘observation’ have been met here.
    Not quite good enough.

    It’ll have to do, my reply has been binned.

  144. supercritical (12:54:50) :
    What are your thoughts on the societal effect should the LHC not come up with the Higgs particle?
    I’m not one who thinks LHC was worth it in the first place. Whether a Higgs field is proven by it or not I already wish the money had gone in to getting electricity in to Africa, better agricultural methods and jobs creation for the Philippines, and well water for Haiti and certain locations in Africa and India.
    ——————————————
    The societal impact? People won’t like it and maybe most think LHC is a huge waste in the first place. If nothing big ever comes from LHC no one would be surprised.
    ——————————
    Now I’ll ask you: what if there is really a Higgs field? And i am not meaning what would the societal impact be. I am meaning the scientific impact.

  145. I found this a very entertaining discussion actually. I followed some hints given by Leiff and mathman and some links from the plasma faction.
    Zwicky must have been a rather outstanding person, fascinating. He seems to be behind the dark matter idea and black holes (together with others). Interestingly, he used the virial theorem which is also being used by Ferenc M. Miskolczi. Read up on Zwicky, it’s worth it.
    OTOH, some people seem to disagree about the possibility of a singularity:
    Abrams 1989
    http://www.sjcrothers.plasmaresources.com/Abrams1989.pdf
    and Crothers 2008
    http://www.physicsfoundations.org/PIRT_XI/papers/CROTHERS%20PAPER%202008.pdf
    I’m not taking a position, just wanted to share what i found while you kept arguing….

  146. photon without a Higgs (15:58:27) :
    that beam in the second photo can poke an eye out

    So don’t run with it!
    Didn’t your mother teach you anything?

    • tallbloke
      2010/01/09 at 4:14pm
      “Interesting images, thanks Mike.
      Whatever is in the middle looks pretty bright though. :-)”
      I suspect that bright spot is either a star getting sucked in (I think that image is of a galactic core supermassive black hole) or is the hawking radiation at the event horizon, as I believe this is an IR image.

  147. Mike Lorrey, picture one, the donut, is a natural shape formed by plasma which is reproducible in the lab.
    http://elikelehan.artician.com/portfolio/plasma-donut/
    Picture 2, a collated beam of x-rays and electrons you can do this one at home.
    http://nursemyra.wordpress.com/2009/01/27/how-to-make-your-own-x-ray-machine/
    So given that these observations of mysteries of the universe can be knocked up in your own garage by what logic are black holes and any other invisible entities needed?

    • Keith, those pictures are of cosmological structures hundreds or in the case of the second, tens of thousands of light years wide. Given the scale, the amount of energy involved in moving that much mass that energetically forces the driving entity to exist extremely far down a very very deep gravity well, far deeper than a neutron star. A supermassive black hole has a mass in the hundreds of thousands to millions of solar masses. Now, if you are capable, try calculating what the gravitational force will be vs the forces keeping neutrons separate. Calculate what the gravitational acceleration is and the terminal velocity is at the event horizon vs light speed. Try doing some math before spouting off.

  148. The images provided in the above comment contradict the “black hole” theory in that originally at least, nothing could escape “black hole” gravity field. Obviously, plenty is escaping. And, once the escaping energy and matter was too common to ignore, ad hocs were layered onto the original model.
    Regarding the second image, the cigar galaxy, it is consistent with how plasmoids act in the laboratory, energy and matter are drawn into the galactic center in plasma flows which can be observed & measured by their magnetic signature and build up, at some unknown threshold the energy is ejected out along the polar axis, notice the radio lobe on the bottom half of the image.
    Dr. Svalgaard wants to keep the focus on my opinion, but Dr. Morris’ statement stands on its own:
    “We know the galactic center has a strong magnetic field that is highly ordered and that the magnetic field lines are oriented perpendicular to the plane of the galaxy,” — Dr. Mark Morris, UCLA professor of physics and astronomy
    And, again, Dr. Svalgaard wants to put the focus on my opinion reagarding plasmoids, but it is Dr. Winston H. Bostick that did the work and published the paper. And, it is Dr. Anthony L. Peratt of the Los Alamos National Laboratory that did the work and published papers regarding plasmoids as galactic phenomenon.
    DirkH (15:11:58)
    Yes, Crothers has done work that strongly suggests there is no theoretical, mathematical underpinning for so-called “black holes”.
    It was a concept that people wanted to believe in so they made up mathematical models to support their beliefs. This is called a priori assumptions controlling the construct and then searching for observations that back up the assumptions.
    Axiom, then plug in observations that back up the axiom.
    Mathematics is essential in quantifying physical relationships of energy and matter, but if disconnected from rigorous observation & measurement like “string theory” is, then it is a dangerous delusion which gives credibility where none is deserved, similar to the many mathematical models used in climate computer models.
    To be concise: Garbage in equals garbage out.
    But why is this post and comment section relevant to climate science?
    It demonstrates the danger of consensus thinking in the sciences.
    Once enough people in the community “agree”, even on a clearly erroneous idea, it is very hard to dispel the idea because people have established careers, grant money, and professional ego based on that idea.
    Obviously, these people will be hard pressed to give up the idea.
    And in astronomy where everything is observed & measured at a distance — long distance, and interpretation & analysis is hard to objectively contradict, it is doubly hard to dislodge.
    This danger should promote a high degree of reasonable scepticism and a willingness to keep an open-mind to alternative ideas, but on the contrary as can be seen, here, in this comment section, those that should be the most conscious of these dangers are the most preemptive and dismissive.
    How much is this like the climate scientists at the CRU?
    Strikingly similar.

    • James F. Evans
      2010/01/09 at 5:31pm
      “The images provided in the above comment contradict the “black hole” theory in that originally at least, nothing could escape “black hole” gravity field. Obviously, plenty is escaping.”
      OBVIOUSLY, you dont understand what is meant by a black hole gravity field. It is quite possible to escape a black hole’s gravity field while outside its event horizon. The event horizon exists because it delineates the point at which light cannot escape. Light outside the event horizon can escape it just fine.

  149. Those pictures are images, they don’t come annotated with forces or even how much mass is in there. if I can reproduce the same morphological structure using charged particles in my garage without the aid of gravity, or a pet black hole to provide some. Then your statement about it needing a lot of gravity to make a shape that big is proven false.
    Plasma structures scale over magnitudes of 10^14 or more, so its perfectly do-able.

  150. mikelorrey: I estimated the calculation that you suggested, the amount of gravity it would need to pull that amount of matter into that shape is for all practical purposes zero.
    My knowledge of gravity, based upon observing a falling apple, leads me to believe that the only shapes it will produce are straight lines. Two apples next to each other will have minimal effect on each other, so they will not make any interesting shapes by spiralling around each other as they fall.
    In the gravity model where would the singualrity be to make this shape? http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cygnus-loop.gif#file
    Charged particles in plasma on the other hand do spiral around each other as they move. My knowledge of electric and magnetic fields, and the observations as to what shapes plasma can make in the presence of electric fields, give many interesting shapes.
    For example, currents do not ever just flow through space with a homogeneous density. Particles in the solar wind for example do not move in a straight line. It is more efficient for them to coalesce into filaments that twist around each other. This coalescence can accrete matter and the matter can be observed to show you the shape of the fields, as seen in the Cynus Loop above. In the gravity model where would the singualrity be to make this shape?
    If further proof was needed, again where is the gravitational signularity that forms this shape? It’s a helix for goodness sake, and it does not have a centre. Please dont tell me that this must be a fortuitous result of Dark Matter.
    http://www.everythingselectric.com/images/the-double-helix-nebula-birkeland-current-banner.jpg

  151. One question to the illuminati: Is it possible that light suffers a redshift when it escapes a deep gravity well (i.e. one that can still be escaped)?

  152. photon without a Higgs (15:58:27) : Hey, that thing how is it manage to eat and defecate at the same time through the same hole?
    Just cool it down!, what common sense tell us is that as above so below, do not entangle the universe with your entangled ideas and so sophisticated and cool inventions. There are no other thing that logically a series of three dimensional universes…more than three dimensions, ya know, it´s pure witchcraft, it is the phantom´s realm, kind of new age “The teachings of Don Juan”, beware! you could end up in the asylum.

  153. mikelorrey (17:39:25) wrote: “…you [Evans] dont understand what is meant by a black hole gravity field.”
    Yes, I understand the theory and the so-called “event horizon” and all that.
    But a gravity field not quite strong enough to suck in light (the area just beyond the supposed “event horizon”) would still have tremendous forces of gravity pulling into the “black hole”, this gravity field would disrupt most if not all organized energy and matter structures.
    But as Dr. Mark Morris, UCLA professor of physics and astronomy, so eloquently points out there is substantial structure in this region, “We know the galactic center has a strong magnetic field that is highly ordered and that the magnetic field lines are oriented perpendicular to the plane of the galaxy”, and a “black hole’s” supposed existence is entirely based on mathematical equations, one needs to explain the energy and matter relaionships of these structures mathematically.
    On the contrary, there is no mathematical formula that explains these magnetic stuctures so close to the supposed “event horizon” or any mathematical equations expressing energy and matter relationships that explain the ejection of all this energy and matter from areas “in front” of the supposed “event horizon”. As astromers like to say, “it’s all hand waving and word salad.”
    You know, live by the mathematical sword, die by the mathematical sword.
    And remember, electromotive force is 39 orders of magnitude stronger than gravity.
    Gravity is weak in comparison, that is why mathematicians jump the density of a “black hole” up to infinity to make their model work.
    (Science doesn’t even know what stength of gravity is needed to overpower light or if it can be done at all — it’s all naked theoretics without any supporting physical confirmation — flying without a plane with wings, if you will.)
    And, by the way, since “infinity” can’t be quantified — it goes on forever — and “infinity” is intrinsic in the mathematical definition of a “black hole”, a so-called “black hole” can’t be quantified.
    So violates all requirements that mathematics when applied to natural forces, actually quantify those natural forces.
    So-called “black holes” are as much, if not more, a hoax than AGW.
    Both rest on the desired perception of men, not empirical science.

  154. I usually don’t like to quote wikipedia, but this logic seems to be pretty sound (assuming the references actually support the statements, of course):
    * The star S2 follows an elliptical orbit with a period of 15.2 years and a pericenter (closest distance) of 17 light hours from the center of the central object.[9]
    * From the motion of star S2, we estimate the object’s mass as 4.1 million solar masses.[10]
    * We also know that the radius of the central object is significantly less than 17 light hours, because otherwise, S2 would either collide with it or be ripped apart by tidal forces. In fact, recent observations[11] indicate that the radius is no more than 6.25 light-hours, about the diameter of Uranus’ orbit.
    * The only known object which can pack 4.1 million solar masses into a volume that small is a black hole.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supermassive_black_hole
    BTW: an interesting alternative idea to black holes (not the existence of highly compact astrophysical objects, just the prediction of GR of a singularity and its associated event horizon) was presented in a paper at the Texas Conference on Relativistic Astrophysics at Stanford in Dec of 2004 by George Chapline of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (http://arxiv.org/ftp/astro-ph/papers/0503/0503200.pdf). The prediction is that these objects are actually Dark Energy Stars. Here is an article in NewScientist about Dark Energy Stars: http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg18925423.600-three-cosmic-enigmas-one-audacious-answer.html, and here is an interview with Dr. Chapline on the topic: http://www.universetoday.com/2006/04/11/podcast-dark-energy-stars/. What I like about his theory is that it makes testable predictions which can easily falsify the theory. I don’t detect any pseudo-science here, but what do I know – I’m not a physicist.
    RE: ( Leif Svalgaard (13:28:26) ) – I understand that you’re a practicing scientist and so it may be difficult to convey your knowledge without resorting to the mathematical details when you’re frustrated by pseudo-scientific nonsense, but dazzling us with math-speak only reminds me of the note a pastor taped to his lectern: “When you get to the weak part of the sermon, pound harder and shout louder.” The posts of James F. Evans do not persuade me that he understands deeply the physical theories and has carefully weighed the options for each, but rather is only persuaded by the rhetoric of others. That doesn’t mean he is wrong – I am just not persuaded by his arguments. However, I think I do have some familiarity at a general philosophical level with the concepts you are speaking of, and I think I should point out that one need not accept that the mathematical constructs of the theory of General Relativity, such as Minkowski spacetime, actually correspond to entities in the real world. The ontology of GR is still quite a hot topic of debate amongst philosophers of science – many of whom are physicists who have put in the years needed to understand the math. It may just turn out that Minkowski spacetime is just a convenient way to do the math. If that is the case, then maybe singularities do not actually exist in the real world, in which case the massive, compact astrophysical objects – which certainly do exist in the real world and which we currently call “Black Holes” – may be something else entirely different… maybe they are Dark Energy Stars? Who knows? But it is exciting to know that there are such intriguing theories for areas of science that are so often presented as “settled” to the lay public.
    An enlightening tome on the subject of the ontology of Relativity is “Time and the Metaphysics of Relativity”, http://books.google.com/books?id=EY8KVI-05P0C&pg=PA79&lpg=PA79&dq=einstein+relativity+and+absolute+simultaneity&source=bl&ots=SMtaJPZaAf&sig=EyR5Dl6afyOh7ZwxGTrz9Ue8XG4&hl=en&ei=9UxJS47qOpOmswOI_MDmBw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=10&ved=0CDAQ6AEwCQ#v=onepage&q=einstein%20relativity%20and%20absolute%20simultaneity&f=false.

  155. James F. Evans (12:49:00) :
    But when he steps out of his specialty
    I worked ten years at “The Institute for Plasma Research” at Stanford University…So space plasma physics IS my specialty. My colleagues were Oscar Buneman, Peter Sturrock, John Wilcox [look them up] among others.
    What is branch of plasma physics is your specialty field?
    James F. Evans (17:31:39) :
    Dr. Morris’ statement stands on its own:
    “We know the galactic center has a strong magnetic field that is highly ordered and that the magnetic field lines are oriented perpendicular to the plane of the galaxy,” — Dr. Mark Morris, UCLA professor of physics and astronomy

    Nothing wrong with that statement, and nothing surprising either. And ‘strong’ is relative. The field is millions of times weaker than a sunspot’s.
    What is wrong is your notion of ‘intense magnetic fields’ and plasmoids and non-gravity universes and all the rest of the nonsense. Combined with being learning-resistant.
    Leif Svalgaard (13:28:26) :
    James F. Evans (12:26:33) :
    Anybody, who knows anything about the scientific discussion of so-called “dark matter” or “dark energy” and responds in good faith, knows that a vigorous debate rages in scientific circles about the existence of “dark matter” and “dark energy”
    The debate is not about the existence, but about the nature of dark matter. As I have commented, dark matter can be [and has been] observed and mapped by gravitational lensing.
    James F. Evans (12:26:33) :
    It’s an evasive answer because as Dr. Svalgaard knows a “singularity” is a mathematical construct.
    Me: “Everything in physics is at the bottom mathematical constructs. followed by long description of singularity …

    You went strangely quiet on asking for a description, so i take it that my replay was satisfactory. At any rate, my reply was close to how physicists actually describe and understand these things. So there you have it. Now, I’m waiting for your description of an electron…
    JonesII (18:51:16) :
    “what common sense tell us…
    It seems that common sense is not so common…
    tallbloke (15:09:25) :
    Leif Svalgaard (14:34:26) :
    tallbloke (14:03:17) :
    “Not quite good enough.”
    It’ll have to do, my reply has been binned.

    If you could behave civilly, your voice could have been heard and we would have enlightened. Now you hide [equals zero credibility in my book].

  156. Patrick (20:06:22) :
    RE: ( Leif Svalgaard (13:28:26) ) – I understand that you’re a practicing scientist and so it may be difficult to convey your knowledge without resorting to the mathematical details when you’re frustrated by pseudo-scientific nonsense, but dazzling us with math-speak only reminds me of the note a pastor taped to his lectern: “When you get to the weak part of the sermon, pound harder and shout louder.”
    I’m not frustrated and it is not difficult to convey these things. I have always said that if you really understand something, you can explain it to a six-year old. I had given Evans the change to specify what level of description he had in mind. Since he was unresponsive to that, I simply resorted to the terms we physicists normally use [not all use the same formalism] in describing such matter. This description is highly mathematical, but the math describes reality very well. I could probably in book of a thousand pages give a description that he might understand [actually Roger Penrose has already done that: “The Road to Reality”, 1100 pages], but it would be completely wasted as I’m convinced that Evans really didn’t want to learn about singularities, black holes, etc, simply because those things clash with what he believes, e.g. that “Astronomers cling to outdated ideas”.

  157. Patrick (20:06:22) :
    But it is exciting to know that there are such intriguing theories for areas of science that are so often presented as “settled” to the lay public.
    Scientists are always probing the outer edge of what they think they know and that is how progress in eventually made, but as anna v pointed out, you need to know the lay of the land first before you can extend the frontier.

  158. Dr. Svalaard, such a long explanation in the face of such limited empirical observation & measurement is not persuasive. It seems more like a cover and distraction from the the limited observations & measurements available.
    In law, it would be seen as overstating the case.

  159. Dr. Svalgaard wrote: “[Evans’] non-gravity universes…”
    No, I never stated that gravity doesn’t have a role in the Universe.
    Gravity does have a role along with electromagnetic forces.
    Actually, Hannes Alfven had a good quote along these lines: “Gravitational systems are the ashes of prior electrical systems.”
    And, considering the relative strength of gravity versus the electromotive force, Alfven makes sense.

  160. James F. Evans (21:45:15) :
    such a long explanation in the face of such limited empirical observation & measurement is not persuasive.
    The description of spacetime [and its consequences] are based on a large body of exquisite experiments and observations. General Relativity has passed every test we have put it too. ‘Persuasive’? It is about your understanding, not persuasion. Now, there were several other questions I had put to you. Do I really have to repeat them?

  161. Dr. Svalgaard wrote: “The debate is not about the existence, but about the nature of dark matter.”
    I’ve read enough reports and reviewed papers to know that the above statement is misleading, plenty of physicists question the existence of “dark matter”, and if the nature of “dark matter” can’t be determined, then there is question as to whether it exists at all.

  162. James F. Evans (22:32:14) :
    the nature of “dark matter” can’t be determined, then there is question as to whether it exists at all.
    We don’t know the nature of mass, yet there is no question [in my mind at least] that mass exists.
    At any rate, the effect of dark matter has been directly observed, so we have now to try to figure out what its nature is. This may be as difficult as figuring out what mass is.

  163. Leif Svalgaard (20:52:55) :
    <>
    Yeah, me too – I just thought it would be kinda rude to throw that out there on top of my other criticism. But I understand now the point you were trying to make.
    However, I do think an insistence of, for example, the existence of Minkowskian spacetime or relative simultaneity just because GR (and STR) have been “proven” empirically, is where physicists overstate their case. As I understand it, there are other ways of understanding the ontology of the Lorentz Transformations which form the core of Einstein’s relativity, and the same empirical facts support both. That is, until Bell’s inequalities were experimentally violated by Aspect et. al. In perhaps a naive and simplistic understanding, absolute simultaneity appears to violate the restriction on faster than light causality assumed by STR. Of course, really smart people are working on reconciling this new data with what has been up ’til now an amazingly successful theory, but to a non-mathematical, naive lay person like myself, it would seem to be very much an open question as to whether or not Minkowskian spacetime and relative simultaneity really are the best way to describe reality, or if, perhaps, they are rather convenient instrumentalisms for theorists.

  164. Leif Svalgaard (12:26:54) :
    It seems that on the largest scales, our universe is dominated by repulsive forces causing the expansion to accelerate.
    tallbloke (12:32:59) :
    What is the physical mechanism proposed for this repulsive force Leif?
    Leif Svalgaard (13:45:20) :
    At this point is mainly an observational fact. But people are working on it 🙂 We have to go [like it or not] where the observations lead us.
    tallbloke (14:03:17) :
    We can agree to disagree about whether the conditions for something being regarded as an ‘observation’ have been met here. However, my conclusion is that there is no conceivable repulsive force accelerating a universal expansion and we are being led up the garden path of Big Bang Bung here.
    Maybe the turtle is on ice skates and has pulled it’s legs in. 🙂
    Leif Svalgaard (14:34:26) :
    Not quite good enough. Take the specific papers [some referred to upthread] and criticize them as why they do not meet the conditions. Clearly you must have read these already, otherwise you cannot pontificate on whether they describe observations.
    tallbloke (15:09:25) :
    “Not quite good enough.”
    It’ll have to do, my reply has been binned.
    Leif Svalgaard (20:37:45) :
    If you could behave civilly, your voice could have been heard and we would have enlightened. Now you hide [equals zero credibility in my book].
    tallbloke :
    I haven’t been hiding, I went to sleep as it was late here. And I did behave civilly, my response was; “you cannot pontificate” I wouldn’t dream of trying to emulate your speciality 😉 complete with winky smiley. Humour and brevity seemed appropriate. I’ll give you the long version now in carefully chosen words.
    The danger with consensus science, as James F. Evans pointed out above, is that we end up with nonsense like co2 driven climatology. Cosmological hypotheses used to jostle for position, with different possible explanations for the weird and wonderful phenomena we observe far out in space swapping positions with each new discovery. Now, we have an entrenched dogma which holds sway by shouting down or censoring alternative interpretations with appeals to authority, official positions and defamation of proponents with accusations of heresy. This is the real pontification, because it the creation of a false papal infallibility. The news is, all cosmological theories are speculative. They are interesting, informative, and of benefit, provided that no-one is foolish enough to take any single theory as being sufficiently well grounded that it can legitimately be used to dismiss alternative interpretations of phenomena whose nature is still unknown.
    Some people prefer the certainty of assumption, others prefer the uncertainty of exploration and adventure. Each of these two approaches should provide checks and balances to the other. On this blog the institutionalized dogmas of consensus cosmology and climatology are both getting the periodic shake-up all sciences need from time to time.
    Everyone here, including you, should be able to live with that without resort to accusations of pseudoscience, zero credibility or any other unpleasantness.
    Have a nice day.

  165. Leif Svalgaard (22:16:52) :
    The description of spacetime [and its consequences] are based on a large body of exquisite experiments and observations. General Relativity has passed every test we have put it too. (…)

    Yet, one thing I liked from General Relativity is the concept of the curvature of spacetime, and the thought model of heading out on a straight course from wherever and eventually ending up right where you started from.
    Yet based on the WMAP measurements, the geometry appears flat, with no curvature, to within a 2% error margin.
    I had mused that everything moving outward from the Big Bang at an increasing rate, leading to an ever-expanding universe, was really not that much of a problem. Since by the curvature, wouldn’t everything just end up back at the starting point anyway? Insufficient mass for gravity to lead to the Big Crunch didn’t matter, because while the mass was rushing apart it was also rushing together.
    Still, we are only aware of so much of our universe, with more of it being revealed as the photons of other areas finally reach us. And to an ant on the inside surface of a spherical shell the size of a planet, only aware of what might be within a meter around it, the surface does indeed seem flat. So the hope remains that this universe is not a one-shot event.

  166. James F. Evans (22:32:14) :
    Dr. Svalgaard wrote: “The debate is not about the existence, but about the nature of dark matter.”
    I’ve read enough reports and reviewed papers to know that the above statement is misleading…

    Uh-oh. Is this another “the science is settled — there’s no more need to debate” thang?

  167. tallbloke (00:57:59) :
    The danger with consensus science, as James F. Evans pointed out above, is that we end up with nonsense like co2 driven climatology. Cosmological hypotheses used to jostle for position, with different possible explanations for the weird and wonderful phenomena we observe
    What has happened the last few decades is that Cosmology has gone from being speculative flights of fancy to become a precision science driven by observations and data. ‘Consensus’ science happens when the data become overwhelmingly in favor of one of the many speculations jostling for position such as to leave only one standing. A more appropriate term would be ‘Generally Accepted Science’. The bedrock on which further progress rests. An example is the Heliocentric System where the Earth orbits the Sun, rather than the other way around. There is no ‘danger’ in accepting that.
    Everyone here, including you, should be able to live with that without resort to accusations of pseudoscience, zero credibility or any other unpleasantness.
    Critique of a theory should be based on real knowledge about it. Not on the shallowness found in ‘alternative’ explanations. In your particular case “We can agree to disagree about whether the conditions for something being regarded as an ‘observation’ have been met here” you could have simply picked the most convincing of the observations and shown that it did not meet established criteria for an ‘observation’ which is all I asked and which is necessary for maintaining that the criteria have not been met. I’ll assume that you are well-versed in the literature on this [otherwise you could not make your statement in the first place] so it should be easy to do what I asked.
    kadaka (01:14:04) :
    Yet based on the WMAP measurements, the geometry appears flat, with no curvature, to within a 2% error margin.
    That is for the overall geometry. Locally, e.g. near a massive body there is a lot of curvature. And in a singularity, infinitely much.
    So the hope remains that this universe is not a one-shot event.
    One can always hope so [and humans seem to have a yearning for doing so], but so far the prospects look grim.
    Bill Tuttle (01:29:20) :
    Is this another “the science is settled — there’s no more need to debate” thang?
    The debate has shifted from ‘is it there?’ to ‘what is it?’; as simple as that. And THAT debate is raging.

  168. Leif Svalgaard (06:35:03) :
    In your particular case “We can agree to disagree about whether the conditions for something being regarded as an ‘observation’ have been met here” you could have simply picked the most convincing of the observations and shown that it did not meet established criteria for an ‘observation’ which is all I asked and which is necessary for maintaining that the criteria have not been met. I’ll assume that you are well-versed in the literature on this [otherwise you could not make your statement in the first place] so it should be easy to do what I asked.

    Unlikely we’re going to accomplish this here without bringing in long and trying debate involving people like Narlikar and Arp. We’e tried it before, and it wasn’t pretty. I’m not going to try Anthony’s patience with it.

  169. I’ll elaborate a little bit on the concept of ‘Consensus Science’ and the ‘resistance to acceptance of new ideas’. Three major scientific revolutions can serve as examples: the Heliocentric System, Plate Tectonics, and Big Bang/Dark Matter/Energy. In all cases the ‘ideas’ were not new, going back [approximately] 2000, 300, and 100 years. At the time they were put forward, the data was not compelling enough and other explanations were viable. But in each case, once precision data [and enough of it] began to pile up, the conversion of thought and acceptance of the ideas were swift and the debate quickly abated [there are always die-hards and ignorants so it takes a generation or two to clear the underbrush and get rid off the weeds]. The consensus is always forced upon the community by the data and scientists are a conservative lot who do not easily give up what previously was hard-fought [being forced upon them by earlier data and interpretations], but the data always win in the end, leaving only one viable possibility standing [for the moment]. Every scientist understands this although the public at large may not.

  170. tallbloke (08:01:45) :
    Unlikely we’re going to accomplish this here without bringing in long and trying debate involving people like Narlikar and Arp.
    Narlikar and Arp have long been passed by the newer data and, indeed, it would be silly to discuss them any further.

  171. The science is settled! Of the well under 10% of the universe’s contents that we can see (visible matter), we know something about it. Of the over 90% of the remaining, we haven’t got a clue – other than that there’s a lot of different pieces of evidence that suggests it must exist.
    Anyone interested in wagers as to the presence of intergalactic baryonic dust bunnies being a key part of the dark matter?

  172. OK having read all this I have a problem with the concept of “spacetime”. Time seems only to exist in our minds. We
    1) Receive data (through our senses)
    2) Interpret and Record data (in our brains)
    3) Recall data (brains again)
    4) Sequentially analyze data
    All of these have been enhanced by electro-mechanical devices that in some ways are superior to brains.
    Break the sequence above and time doesn’t exist for an individual. A case reflecting this occurred in 1953 when a 27 year old man had brain surgery to alleviate severe epileptic seizures. An area of the brain was destroyed which helped with problem, but had an horrific side effect. The area destroyed was also the conduit for recordiing observations into memory. After the surgery he could recall events prior to the surgery. Afterwards his recall was on the order of 5 – 6 seconds and he woke up every morning for more than 50 years expecting to see his 27 year old face in the mirror.
    Consider what is measured to establish time. We take one rotation of the planet divide it into 24 segments, those into 60 segments, those into 60 segments and so on. We also multiply that rotation by 7, or 28,29, 30, 31 and 365 for calendar purposes. But all we have effectively measured is the earth’s movement and that movement relative to Sol. What is a date? As the real estate agents say, “location, location, location”. If someone wanted to travel back to a specific date and time, say 9:00 AM, 9/10/2001 the earth must be returned to the place it occupied relative to the sun and by extension every thing in the universe would also have to be returned to the position held at that time and date. Every galaxy, star, planet, photon (with or without a Higgs), and neutrino. This being the case how would time travel be possible and how can time be a dimension? In one dimension you can travel back and forth on a line, in two, in various directions on a plane, in 3 in various directions cubically. But you can’t travel in time without being able to move the entire universe. Seems to me that time is nothing more than a way of measuring the motion of the universe and other events relative to the motion of our planet and it’s all in our heads and the storage devices we manufacture.

  173. actuator (09:03:43) :
    Time seems only to exist in our minds.
    The perception of ‘time’ is in your mind. ‘Time’ as part of spacetime is a very real thing. Instead of a long discussion here, simple google spacetime. The more fundamental concept is that of ‘an event’.

  174. cba (08:32:05) :
    Anyone interested in wagers as to the presence of intergalactic baryonic dust bunnies being a key part of the dark matter?

    I’ll see your dust bunnies and raise you three synchronised skating turtles.

  175. Leif Svalgaard (20:46:25) :
    It seems that there are several tedious posters here that still thinks Einstein was a nut… So, perhaps that was a bad example. How about Eddington: “”The great Arthur Eddington gave a lecture about his alleged deviation of the fine structure constant from fundamental theory. …”

    Einstein once allowed as how he may have defined relativity, but he said Eddington was the only man who actually understood it.
    Mike
    humble grammar pedant

  176. Leif Svalgaard (08:26:57) :
    tallbloke (08:01:45) :
    Unlikely we’re going to accomplish this here without bringing in long and trying debate involving people like Narlikar and Arp.
    Narlikar and Arp have long been passed by the newer data and, indeed, it would be silly to discuss them any further.

    A bit like it was silly (and strongly discouraged) to discuss Aristarchus’ heliocentric model after it had been passed by the newer Ptolemaic data and the epicyclic theory based on an Earth centred model?

  177. tallbloke (10:23:01) :
    A bit like it was silly (and strongly discouraged) to discuss Aristarchus’ heliocentric model after it had been passed by the newer Ptolemaic data and the epicyclic theory based on an Earth centred model?
    What a bunch of nonsense. You have no sense of proportion and knowledge of how astronomy works. I was precisely saying that the idea was old [2000 years], but only became accepted much later [~1600] when overwhelming data made it clear that it was correct after all.

  178. Mike McMillan (10:16:48) :
    Einstein once allowed as how he may have defined relativity, but he said Eddington was the only man who actually understood it.
    There is an anecdote that a journalist once brought that up with Eddington. He asked: ‘it is said that only three people understand general relativity, do you agree?’. Eddington became pensive, and replied: “I’m trying to think of who that third man might be…”.

  179. Mike McMillan (10:16:48) :
    Leif Svalgaard (20:46:25) :
    It seems that there are several tedious posters here that still thinks Einstein was a nut… So, perhaps that was a bad example. How about Eddington: “”The great Arthur Eddington gave a lecture about his alleged deviation of the fine structure constant from fundamental theory. …”
    Einstein once allowed as how he may have defined relativity, but he said Eddington was the only man who actually understood it.

    Einstein stated he wasn’t happy with the prediction or result of the Mercury perihelion experiment. With good reason as it turns out:
    “ROZELOT, PIREAUX AND LEFEBRVE (2004)
    suggested that the effect on Mercury’s orbit by the internal
    shifting of the Sun’s mass may require a re-appraisal of
    Eddington’s test and therefore of the veracity of General
    Relativity as the best available account of gravity. Mercury is the
    innermost of the four terrestrial planets in the solar system,
    moving with a high velocity in the sun’s gravitational field. As a
    result of slight undulations in this field due to movements of the
    sun’s mass within it, the advance in the perihelion of Mercurys’
    orbit could be affected. As outlined above, it has also been
    conjectured that Mercury and the other planets could contribute to
    the dynamic spatial and temporal internal distribution of the sun’s
    mass through any or all of the processes summarised above.
    The gravitational interaction between the sun and the planets
    causes the barycentric motion of the sun, which is non-linear,
    stochastic and periodic. There is, therefore, a feedback process
    between two non-linear, stochastic and periodic processes: the
    internal shifting mass of the sun affecting planetary orbits and the
    planetary orbits affecting the internal mass of the sun by shifting it
    around, perhaps throughout the entire body of the sun.”
    Further discussion getting underway here:
    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2010/01/10/planetary-solar-theory-a-brief-history/

  180. Leif Svalgaard (10:47:47) :
    tallbloke (10:23:01) :
    A bit like it was silly (and strongly discouraged) to discuss Aristarchus’ heliocentric model after it had been passed by the newer Ptolemaic data and the epicyclic theory based on an Earth centred model?
    What a bunch of nonsense. You have no sense of proportion and knowledge of how astronomy works. I was precisely saying that the idea was old [2000 years], but only became accepted much later [~1600] when overwhelming data made it clear that it was correct after all.

    You missed out the bit where the Scions of the then current orthodoxy burned Giodorni Bruno at the stake and banged Galileo Galilei up under house arrest for 20 years and confiscated his telescope.
    A tactic still in use 500 years later when Halton Arp was denied telescope time after daring to discover that highly redshifted Quasars were associated with lower redshifted galaxies.

  181. Leif,
    I didn’t realize plate tech. went back further than 30 years prior to its acceptance.
    As for the helio vs. geo centric cosmologies. It’s even more interesting in the details. The two theories were practically contemporaries. The big gun scientists (or natural philospher) behind the geocentric cosmology was the truly big gun, Aristotle, better known and more capable at straight philosophy compared to natural philosophy. On the heliocentric side, we have Aristarchus, no slouch, but not in the same league reputation wise. Consequently, when it came to prestige, funding, reputation, … one finds the geocentric guys on top from the very beginning and this is crucial.
    The geocentric theory proponents had more to overcome in developing their theory for obvious reasons. However, the reputation of the originators, the funding, etc. permitted this to happen and all of the work necessary to achieve a good match between observation and theory went in. With a bit of smoke, elves, and mirrors, the guys managed to determine that by adding epicycles, marvelous results could be achieve that explained everything of importance, but definitely not of everything.
    A crucial factor too was the apparent falsification of a key element in the heliocentric case. That is parallax. It wasn’t present, at least in amounts measurable at the time. Actually, it wasn’t measureable 400 years ago either despite the switchover in concensus. Another problem was that the Greek view of perfection considered circles perfect and ellipses imperfect so the notion of elliptical orbits was problematic.
    As a consequence of orbits being elliptical, failure to observe parallax of stars with the naked eye and the extra funding (and/or the investment more of effort), the perfecting of theories and the existing prestige and concensus of the geocentric model, it both provided results closer to measurements than did circular orbits around the Sun and didn’t have any really glaring falsification problems. That the Moon had phases wasn’t really a problem but the advent of the telescope brought out that Venus did have phases and Mars, Saturn, and Jupiter did not and the observations of Jupiter brought out that it appeared to have 4 moons that orbited the planet like clockwork.
    This is a great example of the scientific method in operation. Progress was made but it took a thousand years plus for things to settle down. Theories were falsified, yet it turned out in the parallax case that it was merely the hypothesis that the universe was far smaller than thought and not with the hypothesis that there should be measurable parallax. With adavancing technology, it was finally possible to make those measurements, in the 19th century?, We have the example of the grossly incorrect theory providing better agreement with observed data than the more correct theory (the one closer to describing what is actually going on), apparently due to greater investment of time / resources used to perfect it. We have the opposition to change to the new theory. And finally, while we have verified that the Earth goes around the Sun, we now know that neither the Sun nor the Earth are the center of the universe, falsifying both of the competing theories. We also have had other theories, some of which have been falsified. We have learned that the universe is not merely the milky way whose center was also thought to be the center of the universe, but also that all sorts of these little nebulae were in fact galaxies like the milky way. And finally, here we sit, fairly comfortable in the theories of the big bang and general relativity, having dispatched the infinite age/sized steady state univervse once and for all (famous last words) and don’t mind so much the cracks in the ediface starting to show up or the bandaides, chewing gum, and bailing wire holding it together. These include dark energy, dark matter, the inflation era, expansion rate increase, the uniformity of WMAP, etc.
    Here we have the final rule of the scientific method. Nothing is ever really solved as every question that appears to be answered tends to spawn many more questions that need to be answered and also runs the risk of turning out to be answered (at least in part) incorrectly.
    Thinking back to the old Saturday morning movie serials, it looks like we are pretty close to the end of this week’s installment. We’re about due for a doozey of a cliff hanger and the last episode of the series with its ultimate resolution is nowhere in sight. Where will the plot take us next?

  182. Leif Svalgaard (06:35:03) wrote: “What has happened the last few decades is that Cosmology has gone from being speculative flights of fancy to become a precision science driven by observations and data.”
    And, yet, you generally maintain that what was known in 1960, at the birth of the space age, is still at the cutting edge of astrophysics.
    And, you still go on about “hot gas” in space, now that is pre-1960 thinking.
    There seems to be a contradiction there.
    Leif Svalgaard (08:04:40) wrote: “…there are always die-hards and ignorants so it takes a generation or two to clear the underbrush and get rid off the weeds…”
    Dr. Svalgaard, have you ever considered the above statement applies to you?
    No, not for one second, I’m sure — the die-hards never do — they just pass from the scene.
    A so-called “black hole” is a “singularity” with infinite density? And with an infinitely small volume? Such an idea can’t be quantified, it isn’t scientific, rather, it’s metaphysics.
    (But such is the power of self-deception in the human species that mathematicians can reify an abstract concept if they can string enough equations together.)
    But it’s the only way to theorize that gravity, a weak force in the Universe, can over power light.
    And since I’m sure some readers consider me a heretic, why don’t I prove the point:
    Relativity is a “thought experiment”, which in reality is a glorified hypothesis.
    Einstein disdained actual physical experiments, he gloried in his “thought experiments” — his laboratory was his living room in his two-room apartment in Bern Switzerland.
    Science knows that men’s perceptions of physical reality are not the physical reality, itself — the map is not the territory. So repeated experiments are conducted to minimize the problem of Man’s unreliable perception.
    How much more unreliable is imaginary perception — “thought experiments”?
    No matter how logical, objective, and disciplined the man might be in his attempts at “thought experiments”, it is still fraught with unreliability — such is human nature.
    Actually, this is one of the biggest scientific myths out there: General Relativity has been proven many different ways.
    Every supposed “confirmation” of General Relativity by way of scientific observation & measurement has an alternative physical explanation.
    General Relativity relies on a “thought experiment” that relies on “frame of reference”, namely, Man’s perception is different depending on where his “frame of reference” is located.
    But physical reality only has one frame of reference — for a specific time and location there is only one set of physical conditions, an “event”, if you will. There are not multiple realities depending on your “frame of reference”.
    This was Einstein’s mistake, he counted “thought experiments” that changed reality by human “frame of reference” as having validity, they don’t.
    Example: (One of Einstein’s famous “thought experiments”.)
    A man sitting in a falling elevator is weightless by his reckoning.
    But he is not weightless, in fact, his weight is what is causing him to fall.
    The perception of “weightlessness” for the man as his “frame of reference” is false and a self-deception.
    Weight is still acting on his body.
    Einstein made the fatal assumption that the man’s perception is reality — it is not.
    And this kind of assumption is riddled through General Relativity.
    Empirical science strictly depending on observation & measurement while not perfect is the only way for Man to understand his world.

  183. James F. Evans (13:07:20) :
    General Relativity relies on a “thought experiment” that relies on “frame of reference”, namely, Man’s perception is different depending on where his “frame of reference” is located.
    But physical reality only has one frame of reference — for a specific time and location there is only one set of physical conditions, an “event”, if you will. There are not multiple realities depending on your “frame of reference”.
    This was Einstein’s mistake, he counted “thought experiments” that changed reality by human “frame of reference” as having validity, they don’t.

    Einsteins point was that you could account for the different ‘viewpoints’ in different frames of reference via the Lorenz Transformation. For that, you need to go to his actual theory rather then his popular book with it’s imperfect analogies.
    Einstein was a subtle thinker. This is why he didn’t refer to his own frame of reference in mission control Bern as a rigidly defined thing. He referred instead to the ‘mollusc of reference’.

  184. tallbloke (10:51:23) :
    Einstein stated he wasn’t happy with the prediction or result of the Mercury perihelion experiment
    Link please.
    With good reason as it turns out
    No, not at all. As I said there are always people with suggestions left and right. Everybody wants to prove Einstein wrong. Accurate measurements of the Sun’s oblateness [Fivian and Hudson] shows that it is just what we would expect from its rotation rate. Any shifting around of the interior would introduce a quadrupolar moment which is not observed.
    James F. Evans (13:07:20) :
    And, yet, you generally maintain that what was known in 1960, at the birth of the space age, is still at the cutting edge of astrophysics.
    What nonsense. It was also known in 1960 that the Earth was round, and that still holds.
    And who conjures up Birkeland?
    Dr. Svalgaard, have you ever considered the above statement applies to you?
    Of course not. And certainly not the ignoramus bit.
    A so-called “black hole” is a “singularity” with infinite density? And with an infinitely small volume? Such an idea can’t be quantified, it isn’t scientific, rather, it’s metaphysics.
    A black hole is not a body and has no density nor volume. The singularity is where the tidal forces have no limit. Different thing. Didn’t you read my explanation?
    Every supposed “confirmation” of General Relativity by way of scientific observation & measurement has an alternative physical explanation.
    Of course. That is true of every physical theory. You can always invent an ad-hoc explanation for anything. The difficult part is to find the one and only alternative explanation that explains every one of GR’s confirmations. None exists to my knowledge.
    But he is not weightless, in fact, his weight is what is causing him to fall.
    No, if that were so, then bodies of different weights should fall at different rates. Heavier should fall faster, lighter should fall slower, and those with no weight should not fall at all [if weight is what makes them fall – Galileo clarified that for us, by experiment and by thought experiment]. I think you have just disqualified yourself from any serious discussion.
    Empirical science strictly depending on observation & measurement while not perfect is the only way for Man to understand his world.
    But even with all the observations of modern science, it seems that your understanding of your world is lacking.
    But it’s the only way to theorize that gravity, a weak force in the Universe, can over power light.
    Light photons that are climbing out of the gravity well of any material body lose energy [become red-shifted]. This has been experimentally observed over and over again with incredible accuracy. We even have to take this into effect by measurements of TSI. The deeper the well, the more energy is lost. With the well deep enough [at a singularity] all energy is lost. Again, you show that you have no idea of what you talking about.

  185. cba (11:06:15) :
    I didn’t realize plate tech. went back further than 30 years prior to its acceptance.
    Plate tec went by other names: e.g. Continental Drift. Suggestions go as far back as the first maps of the Atlantic Ocean that showed that the East coast of South America looked like a mirror image of the West coast of Africa. Abraham Ortelius (1597), Francis Bacon (1625), even Benjamin Franklin, and others suggested that the Americas were torn away from Europe and Africa.

  186. James F. Evans (13:07:20) :
    Einstein disdained actual physical experiments, he gloried in his “thought experiments” — his laboratory was his living room in his two-room apartment in Bern Switzerland.
    You are completely off base. You’ve lost me.
    So you are excited about a single paper for one hypothesis. But the many proofs for General Relativity aren’t enough.

  187. James F. Evans (13:07:20) :
    Every supposed “confirmation” of General Relativity by way of scientific observation & measurement has an alternative physical explanation.
    I am certain there are alternate explanations to your plasmoid hypothesis. It looks like you say this single paper is the only proof needed.

  188. Every once in a while I run in to a person that thinks they are smarter than Einstein.

  189. photon without a Higgs (16:12:43) :
    I am certain there are alternate explanations to your plasmoid hypothesis. It looks like you say this single paper is the only proof needed.
    The paper he cites does not mention, suggest, or demonstrate the presence of plasmoids. That is Evans’ invention.

  190. Leif Svalgaard (15:02:45) :
    Any shifting around of the interior would introduce a quadrupolar moment which is not observed.

    The constraint on the quadrupole moment (2+-0.4)10^-7 isn’t so tight as to be able to be definite about that. Quite small movements in the dense solar interior would set up much larger flows on the much less dense solar surface.

  191. Leif Svalgaard (16:28:26) :
    The paper is an interesting work. The photo of the twisting helix is beautiful and fascinating. But I can’t conclude anything from one work myself. Just like I can’t take one puzzle piece and conclude what the finished puzzle looks like.

  192. tallbloke (16:30:57) :
    Quite small movements in the dense solar interior would set up much larger flows on the much less dense solar surface.
    The oblateness is measured at the surface, and it is there that no deviations from the standard model with the observed solar rotation are observed.

  193. photon without a Higgs (16:38:48) :
    But I can’t conclude anything from one work myself. Just like I can’t take one puzzle piece and conclude what the finished puzzle looks like.
    There are much structure in almost all nebulae [contrary to what the paper or at least the PR hints at]. The real finding of the paper is a measurement of the magnetic field at the center. It is 10 times larger than further out in the Galaxy [not really a surprise because plasma becomes compressed near the center] and it is incredibly weak [millions of times weaker than in a sunspot] but extends through a large volume [although by definition much smaller than the rest of the Galaxy], so contains a fair amount of magnetic energy [which goes up with the square of the field strength]. This particular piece fits well with the rest of the puzzle as we already knew. Having firmer numbers is, of course, good, and that is what the paper provides.

  194. tallbloke (10:51:23) :
    With good reason as it turns out
    Some of my colleagues at Berkeley [Martin Fivian and Hugh Hudson] has analyzed the shape of the Sun using the RHESSI satellite date:
    http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2008/02oct_oblatesun.htm
    From the PR: “makes it possible for investigators to trace the shape of the sun with systematic errors much less than any previous study.”
    “We have found that the surface of the sun has rough structure: bright ridges arranged in a network pattern, as on the surface of a cantaloupe but much more subtle,” describes Hudson. During active phases of the solar cycle, these ridges emerge around the sun’s equator, brightening and fattening the “stellar waist.”
    “Tiny departures from perfect roundness can, for example, affect the sun’s gravitational pull on Mercury and skew tests of Einstein’s theory of relativity that depend on careful measurements of the inner planet’s orbit. Small bulges are also telltale signs of hidden motions inside the sun. For instance, if the sun had a rapidly rotating core left over from early stages of star formation, and if that core were tilted with respect to its outer layers, the result would be surface bulging. “RHESSI’s precision measurements place severe constraints on any such models.”
    When corrected for the effect of magnetic solar activity, the solar oblateness is just what is expected from current solar models and solar rotation.
    “These results have far ranging implications for solar physics and theories of gravity,” comments solar physicist David Hathaway of the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center. “They indicate that the core of the sun cannot be rotating much more rapidly than the surface, and that the sun’s oblateness is too small to change the orbit of Mercury outside the bounds of Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity.”
    Being a colleague in research I naturally know their work in great detail, and their data rule out any changes in or about the Sun that could disturb the agreement with Einstein’s prediction of the perihelion advance of Mercury.

  195. Leif Svalgaard (20:43:46) :
    Some of my colleagues at Berkeley [Martin Fivian and Hugh Hudson] has analyzed the shape of the Sun using the RHESSI satellite date:
    http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2008/02oct_oblatesun.htm
    When corrected for the effect of magnetic solar activity, the solar oblateness is just what is expected from current solar models and solar rotation.

    Thanks for the link Leif. One of the things I find interesting from that press release is the rapidity with which the 6km high lumps around sunspots smooth out again to the average oblateness. The Sun’s outer layers are obviously very fluid and mobile, so it would be expected that any internal lumpiness raised by tidal or gravitational forces from orbiting bodies would be compensated for quite quickly at the surface in flows from the low mid latitudes to the equator, which might explain the shifting of sunspots towards the equator throughout the solar cycle. The vertical tide on the Surface raised by the biggest of the orbiting bodies is only in the order of mm as you have pointed out before. However the horizontal tides are much bigger, in the order of hundreds of km. Much the same as the Moon’s tidal action on the Earth, it is the horizontal tides which will cause most of the rising and falling of the surface. Further analysis is showing that at perihelion, Mercury causes a much bigger horizontal tide on the sun than Jupiter does. So does the synodic variation of Earth and Venus. Work on quantifying these and looking at their periodicities and phasing is ongoing. Anthony doesn’t want this discussed here, so I’ll be posting about it on my blog for further discussion once more is known.

  196. tallbloke (01:18:27) :
    Anthony doesn’t want this discussed here
    And for good reason. There is a tradition for that kind of speculation in Eastern Europe, you might like to email an old friend of mine for more info: bumba@asu.cas.cz on the subject of periodicities in solar activity.

  197. Hermey (05:40:06) : What is being tried at Geneva’s Haldron collider it is utterly funny: It is (explained in common terms) the performing of a particles’ gay marriage, which, obviously won’t produce any offspring, be it a black hole or whatever. Please take note: It will be a total fiasco.

  198. Leif Svalgaard (09:48:18) November 5, 2009, wrote: “No, the solar wind is not electromagnetic in nature. It is just a hot gas that happens to have an embedded weak magnetic field in it.”
    “just a hot gas”: Sounds pre-1960 to me.
    Leif Svalgaard (15:02:45) wrote: “And who conjures up Birkeland?”
    When I bring Birkeland up, it is to note that he was a pioneer in investigating electromagnetic forces in the solar system, not that he was right in every respect — pioneers rarely are — but they do point in the right direction as Birkeland did as was acknowledged by Birkeland currents being named in his honor.
    Leif Svalgaard (15:02:45) wrote: “A black hole is not a body and has no density nor volume. The singularity is where the tidal forces have no limit. Different thing. Didn’t you read my explanation?”
    Well, that’s not what I stated: infinite density and infinitely small volume, or “no” volume as stated in Wikipedia:
    “At the center of a black hole lies the singularity, where matter is crushed to infinite density, the pull of gravity is infinitely strong, and spacetime has infinite curvature. This means that a black hole’s mass becomes entirely compressed into a region with zero volume. This zero-volume, infinitely dense region at the center of a black hole is called a gravitational singularity.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_hole
    As I stated, infinity can’t be quantified, and obviously, “zero volume” is non-sense and can’t be quantified, either.
    Your rendition which I did read was as equally dubious as the Wikipedia entry. Your rendition is an alternative explanation designed to cover for the obvious failings of the Wikipedia version which regularly gets taught in astronomy classes at university level.
    Evans (13:07:20) wrote: “Every supposed “confirmation” of General Relativity by way of scientific observation & measurement has an alternative physical explanation.”
    Leif Svalgaard (15:02:45) responded: “Of course. That is true of every physical theory. You can always invent an ad-hoc explanation for anything. The difficult part is to find the one and only alternative explanation that explains every one of GR’s confirmations. None exists to my knowledge.”
    Since you subscribe to “dark matter”, then you know about inventing ad-hoc explanations after a “theory” has failed.
    But the important point is that “no”, you don’t have to have only “one” alternative explanation for every observation & measurement because different “events” can have different physical explanations depending on the specific set of physical conditions.
    Evans (13:07:20) wrote: “But he is not weightless, in fact, his weight is what is causing him to fall.”
    Leif Svalgaard (15:02:45) responded: “No, if that were so, then bodies of different weights should fall at different rates. Heavier should fall faster, lighter should fall slower, and those with no weight should not fall at all [if weight is what makes them fall – Galileo clarified that for us, by experiment and by thought experiment]. I think you have just disqualified yourself from any serious discussion.”
    Dr. Svalgaard, please don’t distort or twist what I stated so you can make a strawman and then knock it down.
    I never addressed the issue of different weights falling at different rates.
    I simply stated that the man sitting in the elevator would not be “weightless” without addressing rates of fall.
    That you would have to resort to distorting my statement by adding rates of fall in order to create a strawman and knock it down is poor form.
    Leif Svalgaard (15:02:45) wrote: “Light photons that are climbing out of the gravity well of any material body lose energy [become red-shifted]. This has been experimentally observed over and over again with incredible accuracy.”
    Citation or link, please.
    photon without a Higgs (16:06:48) wrote: “But the many proofs for General Relativity aren’t enough?”
    As stated above every “proof” for General Relativity has an alternative physical explanation, which Dr. Svalgaard doesn’t deny (although, he disputes them).
    Leif Svalgaard (16:28:26) wrote: ‘The paper he cites does not mention, suggest, or demonstrate the presence of plasmoids. That is Evans’ invention.”
    The Bostick paper lays the foundation for laboratory study of plasmoids being analogous to spiral galaxy formation based on plasma laboratory experiments and if you review the paper one clearly sees that the morphology of the plasmoidformation is the same as a spiral galaxy and it is clear that Bostick, himself, thought of it as a foundational work, if one reviews the news reports covering his work at the time it was published.
    It is false to claim plasmoids as a basis of galaxy formation is my “invention”.
    Please review the following papers by Anthony L. Peratt, Los Alamos National Laboratory:
    Evolution of the Plasma Universe: I. Double Radio Galaxies, Quasars, and Extragalactic Jets by Anthony L. Peratt, Los Alamos National Laboratory:
    http://plasmascience.net/tpu/downloadsCosmo/Peratt86TPS-I.pdf
    Evolution of the Plasma Universe: II. The Formation of Systems of Galaxies by Anthony L. Peratt, Los Alamos National Laboratory:
    http://plasmascience.net/tpu/downloadsCosmo/Peratt86TPS-II.pdf
    Anthony L Peratt’s curriculum vitae:
    http://www.ieee.org/organizations/pubs/newsletters/npss/0306/peratt.html
    Readers will note Dr. Peratt attained high positions of responsibility at Los Alamos National Laboratory.
    And, by the way, the plasmoid explanation doesn’t have the “rotational curves” problem that falsified the “gravity” only model of galaxy formation.
    In other words, no need to invent “dark matter” or “dark energy”.

  199. James F. Evans (12:50:51) :
    This has been experimentally observed over and over again with incredible accuracy.”
    Citation or link, please.

    Since you have already disqualified yourself, I’ll just notice that my statement cited is what every physicist knows.

  200. Pretty weak response, Dr. Svalgaard.
    Sure, you can dress up a strawman and knock it down.
    But when it comes to Bostick’s paper and Peratt’s papers…
    Nothing but crickets chirping…the silence is deafening.
    And considering your request of tallbloke, Svalgaard (15:02:45): “Link please.”
    Your failure to recipricate my request is telling.
    Bostick’s paper and Peratt’s papers speak for themselves.
    Too bad you can’t.

  201. James you are wasting you’re time, he apparently believes the stuff. He is
    simply lame. The only Black Holes in existence are the ones gobbling up the minds of scientists who wish to give them serious consideration!

  202. James F. Evans (15:42:39) :
    “Link please.”
    Your failure to recipricate my request is telling.

    If I must [although it is a simple google search to find one yourself]
    www-hep.phys.cmu.edu/Tests_of_Gravity-Kopeikin.ppt
    That gravity can control light is known by every schoolchild [at least where I come from]: bending at solar eclipses, gravitational lensing, etc. So to ask for a link to this is as you say ‘telling’

  203. Leif Svalgaard (15:02:45) :
    tallbloke (10:51:23) :
    Einstein stated he wasn’t happy with the prediction or result of the Mercury perihelion experiment
    Link please.

    I can’t find the one I was looking for, so this one will have to do. Einstein was great scientist in his own way, and a humble one. I wish more of today’s scientists had his humility and appreciation of uncertainty.
    “You imagine that I look back on my life’s work with calm satisfaction. But from nearby it looks quite different. There is not a single concept of which I am convinced that it will stand firm, and I feel uncertain whether I am in general on the right track.”
    — Albert Einstein, on his 70th birthday, in a letter to Maurice Solovine, 28 March 1949 (in B. Hoffman Albert Einstein: Creator and Rebel 1972, p.328)
    When I look at the tortuous process of reconciling geometrical relativity with quantum electro-dynamic theory, I am forced to share his doubts.

  204. tallbloke (18:45:15) :
    I can’t find the one I was looking for, so this one will have to do.
    It is generally understood that Einstein was not on the right track in his denial of quantum mechanics being valid. Almost every concept will eventually be overthrown, so his statement is sort of vacuous and you must have a good feeling being right up there with him. But all that is just general prattle. I have never seen a paper where Einstein stated that he wasn’t happy with the prediction or result of the Mercury perihelion experiment, so your statement to that effect stands without foundation.

  205. Leif Svalgaard (20:04:46) :
    Almost every concept will eventually be overthrown, so his statement is sort of vacuous

    Especially the concept of the vacuuity of space. Einstein knew Shankland did a hatchet job on Dayton Miller.
    “My opinion about Miller’s experiments is the following. … Should the positive result be confirmed, then the special theory of relativity and with it the general theory of relativity, in its current form, would be invalid. Experimentum summus judex. Only the equivalence of inertia and gravitation would remain, however, they would have to lead to a significantly different theory.”
    — Albert Einstein, in a letter to Edwin E. Slosson, July 1925
    “I believe that I have really found the relationship between gravitation and electricity, assuming that the Miller experiments are based on a fundamental error. Otherwise, the whole relativity theory collapses like a house of cards.”
    — Albert Einstein, in a letter to Robert Millikan, June 1921 (in Clark 1971, p.328)
    Einstein always was a bit ambivalent about the Ether. It’s existence was proven by Miller in his 1933 paper, and confirmed in 2002 by Russian scientist Yuri M. Galaev.
    http://www.spacetime.narod.ru/0015-pdf.zip
    Millers estimate of 208km/s for the ether drift matches estimates for the velocity of the solar system through space obtained by other means very well, and the upshot of that doesn’t bode well for Big Bang.
    Cosmology is up for grabs again.
    Hooray!
    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2010/01/12/confirmation-of-transmissive-medium-pervading-space/

  206. tallbloke (21:32:15) :
    Millers estimate of 208km/s for the ether drift matches estimates for the velocity of the solar system through space obtained by other means very well, and the upshot of that doesn’t bode well for Big Bang.
    Cosmology is up for grabs again.

    What a crock. The solar system partakes in simple Galactic rotation which is superposed on the 627 km/s movement towards the center of the Local Group with respect to the Cosmic Microwave Background giving rise to the strong dipole component of said CMB.. You are completely missing that Cosmology the last 15 years has become a precision science and is on very firm ground. But I fear that you – like so many here – are education-resistant for various [and diverse] non-scientific grounds.

  207. Leif Svalgaard (22:03:43) :
    But I fear that you – like so many here – are education-resistant for various [and diverse] non-scientific grounds.

    I suspect that statement will come back to haunt you. I for one care passionately about scientific truth, and about the way honest experimentalists like Dayton Miller, Halton Arp, and Galileo Galilei get treated by the propagandists of institutional science. Other people round here have been waking up to that too, especially in the light of the climategate revalations.
    The solar system partakes in simple Galactic rotation which is superposed on the 627 km/s movement towards the center of the Local Group with respect to the Cosmic Microwave Background giving rise to the strong dipole component of said CMB.
    Modern astrophysics has lots of great data. But is a bit deficient in the good theory department in my view. But not to worry, we are all free to work on the data and see what we can come up with. Assuming the data we paid for the aquisition of is freely available to us…
    Given the measured ether drift is slowed to 10km/s at Earth’s surface I’d expect it gets dragged around quite a lot by the local branch of the spiral arm of the galaxy too, and by our local cluster.
    Now, I must go and stir the soup. 🙂
    Bye for now.

  208. tallbloke (22:08:18) :
    Got your selectaspex on Leif?
    I we could stick to the science, I might continue your education a bit more: The Galaxy [with our Sun and the Earth] and all the other galaxies do not move [apart from some proper motions around the center of the various Groups or Clusters they belong to]. They are all basically motionless in space and do not move through space at all. The expansion of the Universe is expansion of space itself, not of the stuff in space. The proper motion around the center of clusters is the same kind as we see in our solar system: motions held in check and orbits by gravitation. The speeds are rather large [e.g. our 627 km/s] and often much larger than the escape velocity of the cluster based on gravity from the matter we can see, hence show the existence of dark matter to augment the gravity of the cluster and prevent it from flying apart, as deduced from the virial theorem so long ago by Zwicky. This is simple Newtonian physics which is perfectly applicable here.

  209. Dr. Svalgaard: Light, the photon, has no mass, therefore, gravity does not act upon light because gravity only acts on objects that have mass.
    As to you example that light bends around the Sun’s gravity as seen at solar eclipses. Of course, school children are told things that aren’t true and if you repeat it often enough, the school children will believe it — so will adults — repeating something doesn’t necessarily make it true.
    Please consider the Magneto-optic effect per Wikipedia:
    “A magneto-optic effect is any one of a number of phenomena in which an electromagnetic wave propagates through a medium that has been altered by the presence of a quasistatic magnetic field. In such a material, which is also called gyrotropic or gyromagnetic, left- and right-rotating elliptical polarizations can propagate at different speeds, leading to a number of important phenomena. When light is transmitted through a layer of magneto-optic material, the result is called the Faraday effect: the plane of polarization can be rotated, forming a Faraday rotator. The results of reflection from a magneto-optic material are known as the magneto-optic Kerr effect (not to be confused with the nonlinear Kerr effect).”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magneto-optic_effect
    “Essentially, the combination of plasma and magnetic fields can bend light much like water in a bucket bends light.”
    So, when light goes through the magnetized plasma of the corona which extends out from the surface of the sun it is bent.
    No, not some magic space-time, but electromagnetic waves (visible light) proceeding through a magnetized plasma (or magnetized medium).
    As to your next item, gravitational lensing, the Einstein Cross is often invoked as an example. But how well does the image fit the theory? Einstein predicted that light from a distant object that was gravitationally warped around a massive foreground object would form arcs or even a full circle. Here we see four bright spots and no ring-like elongations. In fact, all four of the bright spots are elongated in the wrong direction: they stretch toward the galaxy center.
    Mathematical analysis, too, casts doubt on the gravitational lens theory. The faint foreground galaxy would need to be much bigger and brighter in order to accomplish this lensing feat: In fact, it would have to be 2 magnitudes brighter than “conventional quasars,” the brightest objects known.
    Gravitational lensing is another thing that has been repeatedly hyped, but has little objective observation & measurement to back it up. Close inspection is wanting.
    As to your citation to the Moscow associate professor power point presentation — I’m not inpressed…seems like you are reaching…too far.

  210. Leif Svalgaard (22:46:59) :
    tallbloke (22:08:18) :
    Got your selectaspex on Leif?
    I we could stick to the science, I might continue your education a bit more: The Galaxy [with our Sun and the Earth] and all the other galaxies do not move [apart from some proper motions around the center of the various Groups or Clusters they belong to]. They are all basically motionless in space and do not move through space at all. The expansion of the Universe is expansion of space itself, not of the stuff in space. The proper motion around the center of clusters is the same kind as we see in our solar system: motions held in check and orbits by gravitation. The speeds are rather large [e.g. our 627 km/s] and often much larger than the escape velocity of the cluster based on gravity from the matter we can see, hence show the existence of dark matter to augment the gravity of the cluster and prevent it from flying apart, as deduced from the virial theorem so long ago by Zwicky. This is simple Newtonian physics which is perfectly applicable here.

    I do enjoy learning from you when you are reasonable and polite Leif, and even though I don’t hold to the Big Bang cosmology as you do, there is much of value to learn about the detail and specifics of the cosmos which you are very knowledgeable about.
    Since as you say, the empty vacuum of Le Maitre’s day is now full of plasma, ether, hydrogen molecules we can’t see, all of which slow light down and redshift it; why are we still in need of unobserved assumptions like “expanding nothingness” and “dark matter”?
    Time to get Occam’s razor out and have a penitential shave before donning a thinking cap it seems to me.
    It’s fine to hang on to the Big Bang theory if you like having something familiar to cling to in the meantime, but surely a re-assessment and a bit of effort from competing universities put into generating alternative possibilities wouldn’t go amiss.
    We could make it a competition with annual debates. It would be highly entertaining and mutually informative and productive. The debates could be televised for the general edification of the public.
    Lord knows we could do with something of real spark and interest on the box.

  211. James F. Evans (22:49:56) :
    Light, the photon, has no mass, therefore, gravity does not act upon light because gravity only acts on objects that have mass.
    A photon traveling in empty space has a relativistic mass, which is its energy divided by c2.
    When light is transmitted through a layer of magneto-optic material, the result is called the Faraday effect: the plane of polarization can be rotated, forming a Faraday rotator.
    The Faraday rotation is of the plane of polarization [and we use this effect to estimate magnetic fields], but does not bend the overall direction in which the photon travels. You think of the photon spiraling around its otherwise straight path.
    Einstein predicted that light from a distant object that was gravitationally warped around a massive foreground object would form arcs or even a full circle.
    Here are some very nice arcs for you: http://csep10.phys.utk.edu/astr162/lect/galaxies/lensing.html
    The faint foreground galaxy would need to be much bigger and brighter in order to accomplish this lensing feat
    That is where dark matter comes to the rescue. Lensing is, in fact, one of the very direct ways used to map out the distribution of dark matter.
    As to your citation to the Moscow associate professor power point presentation — I’m not inpressed…seems like you are reaching…too far.
    Yeah, I was afraid that it would be way over your head, and it apparently was. Perhaps some of the links in the link I gave above will be more accessible to you. You can always ask if there is something you do not understand.

  212. Leif Svalgaard (22:55:52) :
    …deviations of the CMB from a perfect blackbody radiation are well understood and were predicted long before they were observed.
    That is because you simply do not know the theory. Here is a little bit: http://background.uchicago.edu/~whu/intermediate/intermediate.html

    Leif, I’m a historian of science. I know the CMB temperature and anisotropy was more accurately predicted by steady state theorists than it was by the Hubble constant changing Big Bangers of the time.
    Hubble himself had strong doubts about Big Bang.
    Thanks for the link though. I’ll have a read of where it’s up to. Better the devil you know and all that. 😉
    Cheers

  213. The so-called “big bang” — precision science? Not at all.
    Hannes Alfven, 1970 Nobel Prize winner, physics:
    “I was there when Abbe Georges Lemaitre first proposed this theory,” he recalls. Lemaitre was, at the time, both a member of the Catholic hierarchy and an accomplished scientist. He said in private that this theory was a way to reconcile science with St. Thomas Aquinas’ theological dictum of creatio ex nihilo — creation out of nothing.”
    Precision science? An attempt to reconcile faith and science resulting in more faith than science.

  214. tallbloke (23:09:36) :
    Since as you say, the empty vacuum of Le Maitre’s day is now full of plasma, ether, hydrogen molecules we can’t see,
    That was not what I meant. Rather the vacuum is a seething mass of [virtual] particles popping in and out of existence at incredible frequency. Even after you have removed all the plasma, etc. Go here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casimir_effect to learn about the Casimir effect and associated phenomena.
    We could make it a competition with annual debates.
    This would be silly in the extreme. Like having a public debate about whether the Earth is flat or round, like this one:

    guess which one you would be like 🙂
    PS. you should really take the trouble to study carefully ALL the material at http://background.uchicago.edu/~whu/intermediate/intermediate.html including the links down the left side. I estimate some six hours of study and thinking would give you an idea what we are talking about, should you be truly interested. If not, well, your loss.

  215. Dr. Svalgaard: So, what you’re really saying is that both “gravity” only galaxy mechanics and gravitational lensing have been falsified, but for the invention of “dark matter”.
    “…dark matter comes to the rescue.”
    I think you let the cat out of the bag…

  216. James F. Evans (23:28:00) :
    Hannes Alfven, 1970 Nobel Prize winner, physics:
    “I was there when Abbe Georges Lemaitre first proposed this theory,” he recalls.

    BTW, I have often discussed these things with Hannes [“I was there”] and, with all due respect, he was reluctant to accept much of the scientific progress after about 1975. He even doubted that we could measure the Sun’s magnetic field [mostly because we found values that he did not expect, e.g. that it reversed]. No need for you to regress to astronomy of almost a century ago.

  217. tallbloke (23:24:40) :
    Leif, I’m a historian of science. I know the CMB temperature and anisotropy was more accurately predicted by steady state theorists than it was by the Hubble constant changing Big Bangers of the time.
    Nonsense, link please. The CMB temperature was predicted by the ultimate banger, Gamov.
    Hubble himself had strong doubts about Big Bang.
    Hubble maintained that “no true expansion exists, and therefore that the redshift represents a hitherto unrecognized principle of nature”, and that is how we see the situation today. The galaxies do not recede through space [i.e. the redshift is NOT a Doppler shift], but partake in a hitherto unrecognized principle of nature, namely the expansion of space itself, with galaxies motionless [apart from the gravitational interactions].

  218. James F. Evans (23:34:46) :
    “…dark matter comes to the rescue.”
    I think you let the cat out of the bag…

    The same way as gravity itself came to the rescue in explaining the movements of planets once the crystal spheres had been shattered. Both ‘gravity’, ‘dark matter, even ‘electricity’ are just words we use for phenomena that we have observed.
    BTW, you still owe me a description of an electron and about which branch of plasma physics is your professional field of specialty.
    Did you like the nice arcs? or this nice Einstein Ring: http://www.universetoday.com/2008/01/10/hubble-sees-a-double-einstein-ring/
    Double, to boot!

  219. tallbloke (23:09:36) :
    Since as you say, the empty vacuum of Le Maitre’s day is now full of plasma, ether, hydrogen molecules we can’t see
    As I said, this is not what I meant. Let me excerpt a few sentences from the Casimir link:
    “The vacuum has a vastly complex structure. The vacuum has, implicitly, all of the properties that a particle may have: spin, or polarization in the case of light, energy, and so on. On average, all of these properties cancel out: the vacuum is, after all, “empty” in this sense”
    The clash between classical physics and quantum mechanics is apparent in the above statement, as the energy in the vacuum sums to infinity if we allow oscillators of all possible sizes. Perhaps at the deepest level space is discrete rather than continuous. In a century, schoolchildren will be taught how all this works out.

  220. Leif Svalgaard (23:28:22) :
    tallbloke (23:09:36) :
    Since as you say, the empty vacuum of Le Maitre’s day is now full of plasma, ether, hydrogen molecules we can’t see, all of which slow light down and redshift it; why are we still in need of unobserved assumptions like “expanding nothingness” and “dark matter”?
    That was not what I meant. Rather the vacuum is a seething mass of [virtual] particles popping in and out of existence at incredible frequency. Even after you have removed all the plasma, etc. Go here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casimir_effect to learn about the Casimir effect and associated phenomena.
    We could make it a competition with annual debates.
    This would be silly in the extreme. Like having a public debate about whether the Earth is flat or round, like this one:

    guess which one you would be like 🙂

    Ahh, back to ridicule already. I think you’ll find it’s the telescope confiscators who are the ‘flat earthers’ if you do your history though.
    Anyway, some progress at least. With your theoretical ‘particles popping in and out of existence’ (how cool is that!), and my observed and measured ether drift, we’ll soon be agreeing that space is an electric soup. 😉
    Maybe we’ll find the mysterious repulsive force you claim drives the expansion of nothingness there. But then, you are at the same time claiming that space is expanding rather than galaxies moving, and simultaneously having that space filled with theoretical popping particles.
    This is a good party trick. Not only having your cake and eating it, but having the remaining portion increase in size too!
    Bye for now.

  221. Leif Svaalgard,
    Why would you think that public debates on the fudamentals of science would be ‘silly in the extreme’? I am genuinely interested in the chain of thought that gets you to this statement.

  222. Leif Svalgaard (23:51:41) :
    tallbloke (23:24:40) :
    Leif, I’m a historian of science. I know the CMB temperature and anisotropy was more accurately predicted by steady state theorists than it was by the Hubble constant changing Big Bangers of the time.
    Nonsense, link please. The CMB temperature was predicted by the ultimate banger, Gamov.

    http://www.astro.ucla.edu/~wright/CMB.html
    The first observations of the CMB were made by McKellar using interstellar molecules in 1940. The image at right shows a spectrum of the star zeta Oph taken in 1940 which shows the weak R(1) line from rotationally excited CN. The significance of these data was not realized at the time, and there is even a line in the 1950 book Spectra of Diatomic Molecules by the Nobel-prize winning physicist Gerhard Herzberg, noting the 2.3 K rotational temperature of the cyanogen molecule (CN) in interstellar space but stating that it had “only a very restricted meaning.”
    One person did make the connection between McKellar’s 2.3 K and the Universe, and that was [steady state theorist] Fred Hoyle in a 1950 review (1950, Observatory, 70, 194-195) of a book by Gamow and Critchfield (1949, “Theory of Atomic Nucleus and Nuclear Energy-Sources”). Hoyle was one of the three inventors of the Steady State model which was the main competitor to Gamow’s Big Bang model. Hoyle wrote: “[the Big Bang model] would lead to a temperature of the radiation at present maintained throughout the whole of space much greater than McKellar’s determination for some regions within the Galaxy [Anisotropy].” The appendix with Gamow’s cosmological model gives values from which To = 11 K can be computed, which certainly is larger than the observation of 2.3 K. But Hoyle did not consider Alpher and Herman’s paper (1949, Phys. Rev., 75, 1089-1095) which gave two versions of the Big Bang, one with To = 1 K and one with To = 5 K. Thus the uncertainties in the cosmological parameters easily allowed for McKellar’s CN data to be a confirmation of the Big Bang instead of a refutation of it. But none of the participants in this debate ever looked further into the interstellar CN data, and thus the CMB remained undiscovered until 1965. In fact Gamow seemed to conspicuously ignore this discrepancy, and gives To = 50 K in his book “Creation of the Universe” (1955, 1961).
    http://wapedia.mobi/en/Cosmic_microwave_background_radiation
    Timeline of the CMB
    Important people and dates
    1941 Andrew McKellar reported the observation of an average bolometric temperature of 2.3 K based on the study of interstellar absorption lines. [nb 6] [16] [17]
    1946 Robert Dicke predicts “.. radiation from cosmic matter” at <20 K but did not refer to background radiation [18]
    1948 George Gamow calculates a temperature of 50 K (assuming a 3-billion-year old Universe), [19] commenting it “.. is in reasonable agreement with the actual temperature of interstellar space”, but does not mention background radiation.
    1948 Ralph Alpher and Robert Herman estimate “the temperature in the Universe” at 5 K. Although they do not specifically mention microwave background radiation, it may be inferred. [20]
    1950 Ralph Alpher and Robert Herman re-estimate the temperature at 28 K.
    1953 George Gamow estimates 7 K. [18]
    1955 Émile Le Roux of the Nançay Radio Observatory, in a sky survey at λ=33 cm, reported a near-isotropic background radiation of 3 kelvins, plus or minus 2. [18]
    1956 George Gamow estimates 6 K. [18]
    1957 Tigran Shmaonov reports that “the absolute effective temperature of the radioemission background … is 4±3K”. [21] It is noted that the “measurements showed that radiation intensity was independent of either time or direction of observation… it is now clear that Shmaonov did observe the cosmic microwave background at a wavelength of 3.2 cm” [22]
    1960s Robert Dicke re-estimates a MBR (microwave background radiation) temperature of 40 K [18]
    1964 A. G. Doroshkevich and Igor Novikov publish a brief paper, where they name the CMB radiation phenomenon as detectable. [23]
    1964-65 Arno Penzias and Robert Woodrow Wilson measure the temperature to be approximately 3 K. Robert Dicke, P. J. E. Peebles, P. G. Roll, and D. T. Wilkinson interpret this radiation as a signature of the big bang.
    So it looks like Alpher and Herman get the laurels for the Big Bangers, and Gamow gets a booby prize for multiple gross mis-estimations.
    What was that you said about “predict early, predict often”? 😉

  223. Leif Svalgaard: “Perhaps at the deepest level space is discrete rather than continuous”
    In this regard: Do you think loop quantum gravity theory looks promising?

  224. supercritical (01:19:05) :
    Why would you think that public debates on the fundamentals of science would be ’silly in the extreme’? I am genuinely interested in the chain of thought that gets you to this statement.

    In general such debates would be a good thing [there were actually such debates in the past: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Great_Debate ].
    The silliness comes in with the particular debate tallbloke proposes, as there is no great schism among astronomers on which to base the debate. There is a need for education of the public [including tallbloke].
    Similarly, equally silly would be debates about the age of the Earth, Evolution, Plate Tectonics, and other established facts.
    tallbloke (05:27:38) :
    I know the CMB temperature and anisotropy was more accurately predicted by steady state theorists than it was by the Hubble constant changing Big Bangers of the time.
    It is hard to keep you to the facts. Hoyle did not predict anything, he referred to an observation. Gamow et al. made a real prediction from basic physics.
    Espen (05:35:28) :
    In this regard: Do you think loop quantum gravity theory looks promising?
    There are some good ideas there, but it is too early in the game to tilt one way or the other. Since our current picture of the Universe is driven by observations we are not critically dependent on the theory at the deepest level. In the end, though, that is where the true understanding will come from.

  225. Leif Svalgaard (07:59:19) :
    There is a need for education of the public [including tallbloke].

    I’m always willing to learn, but never willing to be force fed shallow and inaccurate historical revisionism or false claims of certainty.

  226. Experimentum summus judex – experiment is the ultimate judge.
    But I do find theories interesting. – All of them.
    However, experiment and observation leading to correct theoretical prediction is king.
    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2010/01/12/confirmation-of-transmissive-medium-pervading-space/
    It’s great that proponents of the Big Bang theory have made some too.
    Perhaps in a hundred years we’ll be teaching kids how they were reconciled rather than sweeping one of them under the carpet. I hope so for the sake of science.
    Bye for now.

  227. tallbloke (09:11:31) :
    I’m always willing to learn, but never willing to be force fed shallow and inaccurate historical revisionism or false claims of certainty.
    In that case, you might look in the mirror and reconsider your own inaccurate or unfounded statements.

  228. tallbloke (09:30:08) :
    Perhaps in a hundred years we’ll be teaching kids how they were reconciled rather than sweeping one of them under the carpet. I hope so for the sake of science.
    Wrong ideas and inaccurate data are not reconciled nor swept under the rug. They are blissfully forgotten, ignored, and discarded.

  229. Leif Svalgaard (09:49:54) :
    Wrong ideas and inaccurate data are not reconciled nor swept under the rug. They are blissfully forgotten, ignored, and discarded.

    The measurements Miller made of the Ether Drift in 1926 were not wrong, nor innacurate, and were confirmed in 2002 by Yuri M. Galaev.
    THE MEASURING OF ETHER-DRIFT VELOCITY AND
    KINEMATIC ETHER VISCOSITY WITHIN OPTICAL
    WAVES BAND
    The Institute of Radiophysics and Electronics of NSA in Ukraine,
    12 Ac. Proskury St., Kharkov, 61085 Ukraine
    Furthermore there are other independent confirmations. The non-interferometer coaxial cable experiments of DeWitte (1991) and Torr and Kolen (1984) show results of motion equal to Miller’s 1925 data. In the midst of analyzing the results Cahill concludes: “So the effect is certainly cosmological and not associated with any daily thermal effects, which in any case would be very small as the cable is buried” (Novel Gravity Probe B Gravitational Wave Detection, Flinders University, August 21, 2004, pp. 16-17).
    “My opinion about Miller’s experiments is the following. … Should the positive result be confirmed, then the special theory of relativity and with it the general theory of relativity, in its current form, would be invalid. Experimentum summus judex. Only the equivalence of inertia and gravitation would remain, however, they would have to lead to a significantly different theory.”
    — Albert Einstein, in a letter to Edwin E. Slosson, July 1925
    Those interested are welcome to join rational discussion here:
    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2010/01/12/confirmation-of-transmissive-medium-pervading-space/
    Thank you and goodbye.

  230. tallbloke (10:13:08) :
    The measurements Miller made of the Ether Drift in 1926 were not wrong, nor innacurate, and were confirmed in 2002 by Yuri M. Galaev.
    I think you are confusing ‘ether drift’ with the dipole component of the CMB. Since relativity is experimentally confirmed over and over, claiming it to be invalid is an extraordinary claim and as such requires extraordinary evidence. What you refer to does not rise to that. If Miller was measuring the solar systems movement through the Galaxy, then to error would be to assume that the Galaxy is stationary in the ‘ether’. Again, your whole edifice on this is the usual pseudo-scientific mish-mash. Educate yourself a bit instead.

  231. Ok, time to weigh in. So lets talk observations. Problems for cosmology
    started in earnest with the discovery of Quasars. Note:Quasars were discovered after the Hubble Law which led to the expanding universe. Quasars appear as starlike points in the sky frequently blue in color. They populate regions around spiral galaxies and are an optical and X-ray source. Now to the problem: If one plots apparent brightness against their apparent redshift as one does for other galaxies one gets an unexpected scatter on the diagram not the smooth curve as one gets from plotting other galaxies. Thus it seems quasars do NOT follow the hubble law as do other objects in space. Hence there is no direct indication that quasars are actually at their PROPOSED redshift distances. In fact it has been argued that if Hubble had been given the plots for quasars he and other astronomers would never have concluded the universe is expanding! Quasars are very small compact objects sometimes only a light year across. So if quasars are really at their extreme redshift distances then they must be the most brightest and most energetic objects known to astronomers. So energetic in fact that untestable almost metaphysical mechanisms must be applied to explain the phenomena. On the other hand quasars when placed at their observed distances (in the neighbourhood of nearby galaxies) their brigtness and energies become NORMAL and no special mechanisms need be invoked.
    Halton C. Arp’s (who was branded a quasar heretic by the consensus) book of peculiar galaxies contains an outstanding example of the problem of redshift with galaxy NGC7603 (seyfert-very active galaxy). In it you have the main galaxy connected by a luminous bridge to a secondary galaxy. Within the luminous bridge are two more objects. All objects have verry different redshifts: 8700km/s, 117,000km/s, 72,000km/s and 17,000km/s have been measured. According to current redshift understanding all four objects and especially the two located within the luminous bridge should be at wildly varying distances. They are not. This is pretty conclusive observational evidence that there is a NON COSMOLOGICAL COMPONENT to redshift.
    The big bang never happened!
    Mr. Svalgaard you’re so called watertight physics and precise observations
    are a fantasy as are black holes. How do YOU explain this problem or do you claim observational error? Kudos to James Evans and Tallbloke for giving you a hard time!

  232. tallbloke (10:13:08) :
    In the midst of analyzing the results Cahill concludes: “So the effect is certainly cosmological and not associated with any daily thermal effects, which in any case would be very small as the cable is buried” (Novel Gravity Probe B Gravitational Wave Detection,
    Cahill’s result and his ‘Novel’ theory of gravity predicting a large frame-dragging has been shot down by the Gravity B probe that again has vindicated Einstein. Here is their latest mission status report:
    http://einstein.stanford.edu/highlights/hl_021609.html
    PS. I regularly attend their seminars as the group is in the same building at Stanford as I.

  233. Brian (10:31:10) :
    This is pretty conclusive observational evidence that there is a NON COSMOLOGICAL COMPONENT to redshift.
    More than 200,000 quasars are now known and the observational evidence strongly favor cosmological distances. you can learn more about quasars here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quasar before moving on to more demanding stuff.
    One of the best pieces of evidence is the gravitational lensing of quasars by distant galaxies [at cosmological distances] between us and the quasar. Here is a particularly beautiful example:
    http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap060524.html

  234. Per PHYSORG.com
    Sagittarius A*: Peering Into The Heart of Darkness
    January 5, 2010
    “These stars are located a relatively large distance away from Sgr A*, where the gravity of the black hole is weak…”
    Hmmm?
    “The image also contains several mysterious X-ray filaments, some of which may be huge magnetic structures interacting with streams of energetic electrons produced by rapidly spinning neutron stars.”
    More questions than answers.
    “…lobes of hot gas…”
    Might that be plasma, free electrons and ions?

  235. Einstein’s General Relativity predicted “gravitational waves”.
    None have been detected even after two generations of detection apparatus.
    No “gravitational waves”…well then that calls into question…

  236. James F. Evans (13:22:32) :
    “These stars are located a relatively large distance away from Sgr A*, where the gravity of the black hole is weak…”
    Hmmm?

    As everywhere and always, gravity decreases with the square of the distance.
    “The image also contains several mysterious X-ray filaments, some of which may be huge magnetic structures interacting with streams of energetic electrons produced by rapidly spinning neutron stars.”
    Electrons are always guided by large magnetic structures
    “…lobes of hot gas…”
    Might that be plasma, free electrons and ions?

    All hot gases are electrically neutral plasmas with equal mixtures of free electrons and free ions.

  237. James F. Evans (13:33:03) :
    Einstein’s General Relativity predicted “gravitational waves”.
    None have been detected even after two generations of detection apparatus.
    No “gravitational waves”…well then that calls into question…

    Since gravity is so weak it takes a very large and sensitive apparatus here on Earth to detect them. Several detectors are being build and the experimenters expect positive results. In the meantime Mother Nature’s big laboratory has already given us our first observations of the effect of such waves. All it takes is a close binary of two pulsars, like this pair http://www.astro.cornell.edu/academics/courses/astro201/psr1913.htm
    Perhaps knowing a little bit of modern Astronomy might guide your quest. Be assured that you can always come here to seek answers.

  238. Mr. Evans: I read your posts. I look for sense in them. I try to follow your arguments. The facts are unfortunately ambiguous. Any true student of distances to celestial objects will know that there are uncertainties at every step of the argument. I ask you, Mr. Evans, to look to the details. Parallax (even using the data from Hipparchos) does not go out very far. We then must use other means to estimate (estimate) distances to other objects. So we use double and multiple stars. We hope to find among them some Cepheid variables, and use them to estimate distances to globular clusters. Hopefully estimates of the behavior of stars on the H-R diagram are consistent, and so Cepheids can be properly identified by period as to absolute magnitude.
    Estimates of distances based on gas clouds are beset with greater uncertainties.
    I am old enough to remember when there were first identified differences between Cepheids in Population I and Population II stars, and the distance to M51 had to be revised.
    At any rate, one uses a chain of estimation and conjecture to find distances to objects outside the Milky Way Galaxy. There is not absolute agreement even on dimensions within the Milky Way.
    When one gets into the redshift/distance relation, one encounters theories of inflation, which make still more assumptions.
    On my desktop is a marvelous Hubble photograph: Galaxy Cluster SDSS J1004+4112:Quintuple Quasar. This photograph has it all: Einstein lensing, a marvelous jet, and an object which is arguably much further away then the lensing object. Plus lots of other arcs.
    Details. Details. Please consider the details.
    I should like very much to see an explanation of the photograph on my desktop which did not rely upon a massive black hole!

  239. mathman (15:00:30) :
    I appreciate your concern with the uncertainties beyond our solar system.
    It is best to be reasonably sceptical and keep an open-mind.
    You are right! Science doesn’t have all the details…
    Let me be clear: I’m not original in my thinking, I haven’t invented anything, but I do the best I can to apply logic & reason and to insist on the primacy of observation & measurement — the empirical scientific method.
    Man’s ability to observe & measure beyond our solar system is entering a “golden age”, now is not the time to be locked into any one set of ideas.
    Follow the evidence to where it leads…and don’t let any pre-existing dogmas prevent you from following the evidence to where it leads.
    Since you ask for an explanation that doesn’t rely on “a massive black hole”, consider this:
    3 – Dimentional Particle-In-Cell Simulations of Spiral Galaxies
    A. L. Peratt, W. Peter, and C. M. Snell
    Los Alamos National Laboratory
    1990 International Astronomical Union – Provided by the NASA Astrophysical Data System
    http://articles.adsabs.harvard.edu/cgi-bin/nph-iarticle_query?1990IAUS..140..143P&data_type=PDF_HIGH&whole_paper=YES&type=PRINTER&filetype=.pdf
    “Abstract: …fully relatavistic particle simulations allow a detailed study of a magnetized plasma galaxy model…Simulation derived morphologies, radiation intensities, frequency spectra and isophote patterns are produced by the model which can be directly compared to observational data…of barred spiral galaxies…”
    Hold both models (this one and the black hole model) in the back of your mind and as more data is produced from observation & measurement, see which model does a better job of explaining the observations & measurements.
    Plasmoid: Plasma-Magnetic-Enity
    Maybe there is a reason Dr. Svalgaard was so quick to dismiss observations & measurements that suggest the Galactic Core of the Milky Way has a high value of magnetic energy…
    From the ScienceDaily report:
    “This research will challenge current thinking among astronomers,” Dr Crocker says. “For the last 30 years there has been considerable uncertainty of the exact value of the magnetic field in the centre of the Milky Way. The strength of this field enters into most calculations in astronomy, since almost all of space is magnetised,” he says.
    Dr Jones says the findings will affect diverse fields, from star formation theory to cosmology.
    “If our Galactic Centre’s magnetic field is stronger than we thought, this raises additional questions of how it got so strong when fields in the early universe are, in contrast, quite weak. We know now that more than 10% of the Galaxy’s magnetic energy is concentrated in less than 0.1% of its volume, right at its centre,” he says…
    “The Milky Way just glows in radio waves and in gamma-rays produced by collisions of energetic particles, and is brightest near its centre. Knowing the magnetic field there helps us understand the source of the radio and gamma-rays better,” says Dr Protheroe.
    Now, consider the simulation in the paper by Anthony L. Peratt et al.
    Most of all keep an open-mind.
    That’s all I can ask.

  240. James F. Evans (16:34:08) :
    Since you ask for an explanation that doesn’t rely on “a massive black hole”, consider this:
    3 – Dimentional Particle-In-Cell Simulations of Spiral Galaxies

    This is a 20+ old simulation of formation of spiral galaxies and has nothing on the extremely spatially small quasars
    as more data is produced from observation & measurement, see which model does a better job of explaining the observations & measurements.
    that data has been pouring in for twenty years and have already long ago seen the answer.
    “knowing the magnetic field there helps us understand the source of the radio and gamma-rays better,” says Dr Protheroe.
    which is true but irrelevant for the discussion, and the magnetic energy density in the Galactic core [outside of the black hole] is incredibly small [trillions of times smaller than in a sunspot. Your reply is non-responsive to the topic.
    Most of all keep an open-mind.
    Not enough. Also know the details, know the recent research, know the theory, know the math, basically: know the subject.

  241. Leif Svalgaard (17:29:15) :
    Evans wrote: “Since you ask for an explanation that doesn’t rely on “a massive black hole”, consider this:
    3 – Dimentional Particle-In-Cell Simulations of Spiral Galaxies
    Dr. Svalgaard responded: “This is a 20+ old simulation of formation of spiral galaxies…” and has nothing on the extremely spatially small quasars.”
    Do you have any specific objections to anything stated in the paper?
    Dr Svalgaard responded: “…and has nothing on the extremely spatially small quasars.”
    The issue of “quasars” goes beyond the subject matter of the paper.
    But in a Peratt paper I already provided in this comment thread the issue of “quasars” is covered:
    Evolution of the Plasma Universe: I. Double Radio Galaxies, Quasars, and Extragalactic Jets by Anthony L. Peratt, Los Alamos National Laboratory:
    http://plasmascience.net/tpu/downloadsCosmo/Peratt86TPS-I.pdf
    Review the paper and ask questions, raise objections regarding quasars as presented in the paper.
    Evans wrote: “…as more data is produced from observation & measurement, see which model does a better job of explaining the observations & measurements.”
    Dr. Svalgaard responded: “that data has been pouring in for twenty years and have already long ago seen the answer.”
    I’m not sure what you are suggesting. That Science doesn’t need to consider any more data? That the “Science is settled” move along nothing to see, here?
    What?
    Seems to me there is plenty of observations & measurements to be made in the future. The cutting edge Science is never “settled”. That’s what makes science fun, interesting, and challenging.
    From the ScienceDaily report: “knowing the magnetic field there helps us understand the source of the radio and gamma-rays better,” says Dr Protheroe.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100106193219.htm
    Apparently, “Dr Roland Crocker, the lead author, and Dr David Jones both worked on the project while based at Monash University and the University of Adelaide’s School of Chemistry and Physics. The two physicists are now based at the Max-Planck-Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg, Germany.”, don’t feel they “have already long ago seen the answer.”
    Dr. Svalgaard responded: “which is true but irrelevant for the discussion, and the magnetic energy density in the Galactic core [outside of the black hole] is incredibly small [trillions of times smaller than in a sunspot. Your reply is non-responsive to the topic.”
    Dr. Svalgaard, do you have a citation or link to support your claim that “the magnetic energy density in the Galactic core is incredibly small.”?

  242. Mr Svalgaard (11:52:06)
    Hold on there bucko! Either you’re deaf, dumb or blind I’m not sure which. One thing is for certain you have a serious academic blindspot as you didn’t even
    answer my question! Simply amazing, then you go on to push gravitational lensing! You have got to be kidding me. I know for a fact the consensus in cosmology would rather believe NGC7603 never existed. Why, because you and every other cosmologist doesn’t understand it.
    So what do you say! Can you answer my question? Got any intellectual balls? Tell you what, if you answer my question I’ll reward you with another example and I’ll even tell you how the consensus made it magically go away. Hey, while I’m at it I’ll even explain why the GPB mission (GPA also) doesn’t confirm Einstein at all. How your answer is supposed to convince me to adopt your paradigm is beyond me.
    Again your answer shows that you and most black hole theorists are (can we spell) L-A-M-E. Ignorance is bliss!

  243. James F. Evans (18:52:00) :
    Dr. Svalgaard, do you have a citation or link to support your claim that “the magnetic energy density in the Galactic core is incredibly small.”?
    According to the article the field is 50 microGauss, that is 0.000,050 Gauss. The field in a sunspot is 2500 Gauss, so the Galactic Core field is 2500/0.000,050 = 50,000,000 times smaller, or 50 million times smaller. With me so far?
    The magnetic energy density, MED, is proportional to the square of the field strength, see e.g. http://maxwell.byu.edu/~spencerr/websumm122/node93.html
    So the MED in the Galactic Core is 50,000,000×50,000,000 = 2,500 trillion times smaller than the MED of a sunspot. That is incredibly weak.
    To take another example: the Earth’s field is 0.5 Gauss, so the MED of the Galactic Core is (0.5/0.000,050)^2 = 1,000,000×1,000,000 = 1 trillion times smaller than the magnetic energy density in your living room. That is mighty small.
    Brian (19:29:45) :
    How your answer is supposed to convince me to adopt your paradigm is beyond me.
    It is not supposed to convince you at all. Some people are beyond reach.

  244. Leif Svalgaard (20:04:34) :
    To take another example: the Earth’s field is 0.5 Gauss, so the MED of the Galactic Core is (0.5/0.000,050)^2 = 1,000,000×1,000,000 = 1 trillion times smaller than the magnetic energy density in your living room. That is mighty small.
    There are even so many zeroes that I counted them wrong. The correct calculation is (0.5/0.000,050)^2 = 10,000^2 = 100 million times smaller than in your living room. Still incredibly small.

  245. seems like one of the factors of distance indications for quasars is the lyman alpha forest. What is the response for the presence of the lyman alpha forest if a quasar is not at a tremendous distant.

  246. Brian (19:29:45) :
    Lets do a thought experiment:
    Lets go to the tower of Piza and start measuring the fall of 200.000 solid objects of same size and shape, different materials. We establish that acceleration is independent of the weight of the body. Then we take a feather, and get very different results for acceleration of fall. Does this invalidate the 200.000 confirmations of the hypothesis?
    The cosmos will be full of surprises the more we can measure and see. Unless the surprises become comparable in magnitude to the data supporting the standard model they will be studied looking for reasons for the exception, as with the feathers (aerodynamics) rather than invalidate statistically supported models (gravity in the thought experiment above).

  247. Yes, Dr. Svalgaard, some people are beyond reach.
    And, apparently you have no questions or objections to Dr. Anthony L. Peratt’s papers…
    I suspect Science has further observations & measurements to make before the magnetic dynamics of the Milky Ways’s galactic core are fully known and understood.
    The future stands before us.
    Embrace the future.

  248. cba (21:03:58) :
    seems like one of the factors of distance indications for quasars is the lyman alpha forest. What is the response for the presence of the lyman alpha forest if a quasar is not at a tremendous distant.
    In order to observe the Lyman alpha forest from the ground, the redshift must be 2 to 4: e.g. http://astro.berkeley.edu/~jcohn/lya.html But if one doesn’t believe in redshift being a distance indicator in the first place, then that argument doesn’t work well.
    There is a much more direct method that does not rely on the distance ladder at all and which allows an absolute determination of the distance. Du to gravitational lensing we often observe multiple images of the same quasar. Quasars are very small in extent and often change brightness from month to month. The multiple images show the same fluctuations [because they show the same object] but not at the same time: one image may show the same fluctuations as another image but with a delay, say. The reason for this is that if the lensing object[s] is slightly off-center or not homogeneous across the object the light rays are bent differently [like looking though a glass of poor quality], and the light paths have thus different lengths. The bigger the object is in reality the bigger is the bending and the time delays in absolute terms. Since we can measure the extent of the object in angular terms [its apparent size], we can now compute its real distance combining the apparent size with the real size.

  249. Leif Svalgaard (20:04:34) :
    Evans asked: “Dr. Svalgaard, do you have a citation or link to support your claim that “the magnetic energy density in the Galactic core is incredibly small.”?
    Dr. Svalgaard responded: “According to the article the field is 50 microGauss, that is 0.000,050 Gauss.”
    Dr. Svalgaard: I reviewed the ScienceDaily article and this post, plus the links, therein.
    There is no mention of “50 microGauss”. Now, it could be in the full paper published in Nature. Please provide the quote and an abstract citation from the Nature paper.
    Otherwise, I have to conclude you made up that figure out of thin air.

  250. James F. Evans (21:55:41) :
    Otherwise, I have to conclude you made up that figure out of thin air.
    This is a serious accusation. Perhaps a Danish proverb is applicable: ‘thief thinks everybody steals’.
    Here is a link to their [free] preprint [so you don’t have to pay Nature $35]: http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/1001/1001.1275v1.pdf
    If you bump up the field to 100 microGauss [by a factor of two], the MED of 2,500 trillion times weaker becomes 600 trillion times weaker. Anyway you look at it, the magnetic energy density is incredibly weak.
    You didn’t really need to have a link to the paper. The PR says that the field was at least 10 times stronger than in the rest of the Galaxy and it is well-known that the overall Galactic field is of the order of 3-7 microGauss.

  251. Dr. Svalgaard:
    Thank you for providing the link.
    As I stated: “Now, it could be in the full paper published in Nature.”
    And it was. My apologies. Thank you, again, for providing the link.

  252. Dr. Svalgaard:
    As you wish, however, I do appreciate your time and effort to provide the paper, not just for me, but for the website and other readers as the paper provides excellent discussion and is well worth reading and study.
    I will study the paper.
    Thank you for fulfilling my request.

  253. James F. Evans (23:20:36) :
    the paper provides excellent discussion and is well worth reading and study.
    And I hope that you now realize how piddling and trifling the magnetic energy density in the Galaxy is, and that your notion of ‘intense’ magnetic fields there is not in accordance with observations. So you learned something and that is good.

  254. Leif,
    Other than to know they exist, I know little of them, but the lyman alpha forest shows myriads of these lyman alpha absorbing clouds at tremendous distances that are redshifted at all sorts of different red shift ‘velocities’, suggesting different cosmological distances. I would think that at least some of the quasars with gravitational lensing have been imaged in the uV/soft x-ray by satellite observatory and I’ve heard nothing of a blue shifted lyman alpha forest which should be present if these clouds were traveling at random velocities and directions rather than merely observing the effect of expansion.
    While not having tried to put the pencil to the back of the envelope, I have wondered whether some of the gravitational lenses observed couldn’t be just plain old lensing caused by a difference in the index of refraction between the cloud and the intergalactic gas density. Of course that has to be a real guess considering the super ultra low density and temperature involved and even by the time one reaches atmospheric pressure and temperature the index of refraction of air is 1.00 with the diference being out another digit or two. I wouldn’t be suprised to find that the index of refraction for the clouds might be in the ballpark of what would be required for some of the observed multiimaged quasars, especially with vastly separated multiple lensing clouds.

  255. cba (05:06:35) :
    I’ve heard nothing of a blue shifted lyman alpha forest which should be present if these clouds were traveling at random velocities and directions rather than merely observing the effect of expansion.
    The Doppler shifts from random movements [that do occur] would be MUCH smaller than the redshift due to expansion [or whatever] so would be completely swamped, and indeed none is observed.
    the index of refraction for the clouds might be in the ballpark of what would be required for some of the observed multiimaged quasars, especially with vastly separated multiple lensing clouds.
    The clouds are too thin for this to be important and when the lensing object is a giant elliptical galaxy without gas wouldn’t work anyway. But instead of thinking of light following straight lines [geodesics] in a curved space [near masses] one could assume that space was flat near masses but was imbued with an artificial refractive index at such places. The mathematics becomes the same and one can indeed demonstrate lensing using refraction as examples, e.g. http://doversherborn.org/~bridger/Astronomy/projects/radio/activities/demo/lensing/lensing.htm
    A difference is that gravitational lensing is achromatic. Here is a good desrciption of the difference: http://astro.berkeley.edu/~cpma/3/sci.am.wambsganss.grav.lensing.pdf

  256. Leif,
    I’m nnot sure that a cold hydrogen gas isn’t achromatic also. We already know there’s pretty much a whole bunch of them way out there. Having a big fat elliptical right smack in the middle might sorta be a tell tale sign that it is substantially gravitational but aren’t there some cases where there is not an apparent galaxy, perhaps rather a cluster in the vacinity. Some have even speculated that Eddington’s original observations on GR during the eclipse may also have a refraction factor present that wasn’t accounted for then. I doubt it was nearly enough to explain things without GR though.
    Personally, I prefer to think in simple terms and christ-awful symbols give me a headache. I prefer to think along the lines of photons having a mass = p/c being attracted to a gravitational body just like any other.

  257. Anna V. (21:38:28)
    Anna you simply must do better than the example given, although I must give you credit. You actually used a real world example and not some abstracted pie in the sky. If I dropped a thousand different objects none of them would be a feather! Why, because anybody with half a brain and two eyes can easily see that the feather won’t behave the same as the rest because of the difference in shape and composition which relates to air resistance. Yours is a weak and feeble attempt to bolster black hole physics. Oh, and go back and read my cosmologically disturbing post. I dropped a surprise on you. So tell me Anna does NGC7603 exist or not? Does it present a problem or not? Is it a hoax? I can give you more surprising examples if you like. We haven’t even started on the observations.
    Leif Svaalgard (19:49:45)
    Your one line response had me rolling with laughter. I knew you had no ability to answer with a genuine response. As a matter of fact I made a bet with a buddy that you wouldn’t answer (guess who won a free steak dinner). Thank You for that!
    Since apparently you do not [snip. personal insult -mod] understand the observation I will spell it out for ALL bangers.
    Seyfert NGC7603 has 4 objects. All are in the same region of space. All 4 objects have wildly varying redshifts. According to current consensus redshift is a function of distance. NGC7603 invalidates this belief. What really appears to be happening is that the main galaxy has ejected the other three objects. As the newborn quasars age and increase in mass they lose the high redshift values eventually arriving at the more normally observed redshifts. Conclusion: Redshift is not a measure of distance but AGE!
    As I stated before redshift has a non cosmolgical component to it.
    My dad once said to me “Son, he said, you can ignore your problems in life but, be careful, one of them may eventually come back and bite you in the ass”. Wonderful wise words they are.

  258. cba (10:03:41) :
    Personally, I prefer to think in simple terms and christ-awful symbols give me a headache. I prefer to think along the lines of photons having a mass = p/c being attracted to a gravitational body just like any other.
    One can come up with numerous ad-hoc hypotheses for each special case, but they all seem unnecessary when a single cause will do. There is even a case of a quasar being lensed by Jupiter: http://www.csa.com/discoveryguides/gravity/overview.php
    I think the observational evidence now is so strong that only people with a mind so open that their brain has fallen out will continue to torture themselves with pseudo-scientific ‘alternative science’.

  259. Brian (11:34:44) :
    According to current consensus redshift is a function of distance. NGC7603 invalidates this belief. What really appears to be happening is that the main galaxy has ejected the other three objects.
    You may just have given an explanation of that particular rare case, although you have not explained by what mechanism such tremendous speeds are obtained [maybe black holes at work], and why there are no galaxies with high blue shifts. Perhaps the galaxies know where we are located and choose to eject only away from us.
    Anyway, I glad to have provided amusement and a steak dinner for you. I’ll be happy to help you win more bets in the future.

  260. Brian (11:34:44) :
    According to current consensus redshift is a function of distance. NGC7603 invalidates this belief.
    If you want to learn more about anomalous redshifts, this is a good reference:
    http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/astro-ph/pdf/0509/0509630v2.pdf
    The flaw is your logic is, of course, that because a few cases are anomalous, all cases must be. It reminds me of the ‘demonstration’ that Geology is completely wrong. A principle of Geology is that newer strata lie on top of older strata, and that therefore a single example of older overlying newer invalidates Geology as we know it. That science also has its wackos, e.g. described here http://www.noanswersingenesis.org.au/henke_steno.htm
    So you are in good company.

  261. Leif Svaalgard
    Thanks for linking to the Lopez-Corredoira/Gutierez paper. The very last line contains an interesting statement, and whilst I cannot speak for Brian & Tallbloke, it seems to me to be stating their position on the issue. Is it yours, too?
    And, I wish you had not used the ‘flaw’ word. It is reminiscent of the AGW tactic of inference, rather than statement. I am sure that you too hold the view that scientific truths can only ever be provisional and never perfect, so why use an adjective that implies the opposite?

  262. supercritical (13:29:10) :
    it seems to me to be stating their position on the issue. Is it yours, too?
    Basically, yes. This is an interesting case that should be looked at. One reason it is not attracting much attention is the cult that has built up around this, and practicing scientists usual don’t want to be embroiled in cultist arguments. [I may be an exception :-0 ]
    And, I wish you had not used the ‘flaw’ word.
    I used the word because I think his argument [that because you have a few rare anomalies, all the rest goes out the window] is flawed. I don’t think this is question of ‘scientific truth’ in the greater sense, but simply about trying to understand the special circumstances that create the anomaly.

  263. Leif,
    you had me going for a moment there wondering how one could measure an optical lensing from Jupiter. radio interferometry does provide that extra bit of angular resolution though. Evidently that was experiment was strictly an attempt to measure the speed of a gravitational field change. While a bit crude in the result accuracy, it does seem to have passed with flying colors to be c.
    I’m not sure what your quotation of my post has to do with your comment though. It’s strictly a conceptual notion attributing gravity’s affinity for photons in a simple classical context without the need for warping space and using GR. It doesn’t have anything to do with any particular alternative theory or hypothesis.

  264. cba (13:51:35) :
    I’m not sure what your quotation of my post has to do with your comment though.
    Sometimes I use a quotation just as a weak ‘connector’ to the train of thought. The discussion at times slowly drifts off topic. I’m not even sure what our [mini-]discussion was about [too lazy to backtrack to find out], but my comments were intended to show that I [and most people working in this field] do not think that some deflections are refraction by ‘clouds’ and others are gravitational lensing. If so, one would wish to know what happened to the gravitational lensing for the cases claimed to be due to refraction, remember that refraction is due to a speed differential between two media. As far I as I am concerned, good ole Einstein has passed all tests so far. That makes it legit to explore the consequences of his theory.

  265. Brian (11:34:44) : | Reply w/ Link
    Anna V. (21:38:28)
    Anna you simply must do better than the example given,
    I think my example, though simple, is appropriate. I should have said : Make a feather ball of the same shape as the other solids.
    If I dropped a thousand different objects none of them would be a feather! Why, because anybody with half a brain and two eyes can easily see that the feather won’t behave the same as the rest because of the difference in shape and composition which relates to air resistance.
    With a feather ball you are left with air resistance which would be strong.
    If you make your solids very small, you have the terminal velocity and you “invent” viscosity in order not to throw away constant g, and invent vacuum to study non resistant fall.
    Feathers are a tiny small portion of the solids on the earth. The proportions might hold with the normal and anomalous observations quite well.
    It is not by chance that the saying exists: the exception that proves the rule.
    Exceptions make one think of how to explain them within the rule, before one throws away the rule. Usually one throws away the rule if the exceptions are so numerous to dominate statistically. This is what my example tried to illustrate.
    You see, even for everybody who has two eyes and half a brain data from the cosmos is not so prevailing and available to have given him/her the background analogous to the enormous background data base gathered continuously during everyday life on earth. These anomalies are the feathers needing explanations, had we not know of feathers almost from birth.

  266. Leif Svalgaard (12:03:42) (12:26:57) (13:44:40)
    My dear Mr. Svalgaard trying to relegate those who choose to disagree with you to the land of “wacko’s and “cultists” will score you exactly 0 points in a proper debate. Let me give you some good advice. Never in a blog or to someone’s face call him/her a “wacko” or “cultist”. The fact is you know absolutely nothing about me or anyone else in this blog except that we simply disagree on an important issue. I would never call YOU a wacko. Misguided, perhaps. Confused, maybe, but a wacko. Is this an unscientific trait of yours? Most importantly it does not solve the problem. I did in fact in the heat of the moment insult you in my post at 21:38:28 so I will be more careful in future posts and it was with good reason snipped (my first snip).
    The cult of NGC7603? I am truly disappointed.
    On the other hand it was the work of Lopez-Corredoira/Gutierez that first brought my attention to this anomaly and your link gave me a most thoroughly enjoyable read. Thank you very much. I am not quite sure why you gave me this link because it me gives me plenty more ammunition for the debate. Have you read this paper yourself? If I was in your shoes I wouldn’t have used it. The claim that that these anomalies are special and only a few exist are directly contradicted by the paper’s statement ” The sample of discordant redshift associations given in Arp’s atlas is indeed QUITE LARGE, and most of the objects remain to be analysed thoroughly”. The authors then go on to give six more examples. So, when does rare and exceptional cross the line into commom and normal. Six, ten, twenty? How about 100 anomalies would that raise your eyebrows? The very first sentence in the abstract reads “The paradox of apparent optical associations of galaxies with very different redshifts, the so-called anomalous
    redshift problem, is around 35 years old, but is still without a CLEAR solution and is SURPRISINGLY IGNORED by most of the astronomical community.” So the question is why. Why ignore something that may give us a real insight as to how the universe really works? On gravitational lensing the authors give some uncomfortable words, ” Weak gravitational lensing by dark matter has also been proposed as the cause of the statistical correlations between
    low and high redshift objects, but this seems to be insufficient to explain them, and CANNOT WORK AT ALL for the correlations with the brightest and nearest galaxies”. “Summing up, observations CHALLENGE the standard model”. Do I really need to go on? Unfortunately for you my so called logic is not mine at all but the logic of Halton C. Arp and Geoffery Burbidge and so by inference I guess these two men are wackos also. I would be quite privileged to be in the good company of these men! One last thing. I am quite aware of the principles of stratigraphy, Steno and superposition and of course overthrusts as I have studied the subject. I’m tempted but this is not the place to debate this. If you wish, maybe you could request Anthony to provide a separate blog as I would be happy to debate it with you, anytime.
    I never even got to NGC4319, another cult object and the source of a NASA coverup in the MSM. Have a nice day!

  267. Brian (12:08:26) :
    The cult of NGC7603? I am truly disappointed.
    The cult is not of NGC 7603 per se, but of ‘the Big Bang Never Happened’.
    I am not quite sure why you gave me this link because it me gives me plenty more ammunition for the debate. Have you read this paper yourself? If I was in your shoes I wouldn’t have used it.
    I gave yo that link because that is what an honest scientist would do. People who are somewhat deficient in that regard, would – as you say – not have used it.
    How about 100 anomalies would that raise your eyebrows?
    We know of 200,000 quasars, so we can live with some anomalies.
    “Summing up, observations CHALLENGE the standard model”.
    Which is not the same as invalidating it. It means that we need to find an explanation for the anomalies within the model, is all.
    We observe quasars behind galaxies at cosmological distances.
    I guess these two men are wackos also.
    At the time 35 years ago no, but at the present time, yes, if they still seriously claim that the standard model is invalid.
    The fact is you know absolutely nothing about me or anyone else in this blog except that we simply disagree on an important issue.
    If you maintained that the Earth was flat, you would say that we simply disagree on an important issue.
    Either you’re deaf, dumb or blind I’m not sure which.
    I would rather be a wacko.

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