Big News from the Distant Universe!

“It’s the great mystery of human life that old grief passes gradually into quiet, tender joy. The mild serenity of age takes the place of the riotous blood of youth. I bless the rising sun each day, and, as before, my heart sings to meet it, but now I love even more its setting, its long slanting rays and the soft, tender, gentle memories that come with them…” -Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

Just last week, I wrote to you about one of the deepest images of the distant Universe, the Hubble Ultra Deep Field.

Image credit: Hubble Ultra Deep Field.

And in particular, how we’re able to find and identify some incredibly ultra-distant galaxies — despite their incredibly large redshifts — thanks to the magnification from the gravity of intervening matter.

Image Credit: Hubble, STScI, and Ray Villard et al.

Those are visual candidates in the green circles, where some of the light still appears red, and purely infrared candidates in the red circles, which is right at the limit of what Hubble can detect!

Well, news was made yesterday when, from examining these images in detail, a record-breaking galaxy was discovered!

Image credit: NASA, ESA, and the HUDF09 team, Illingsworth et al.

Completely invisible in ultraviolet and visible light, the light that was emitted in the ultraviolet (UV) from this galaxy is so severely redshifted that it appears at the far edge of what Hubble can see in the infrared (IR)! In fact, this galaxy — at a redshift of 10.3 — is a record breaker, and the only one known of its kind (although there are other candidates out that far).

In addition to being so far away and so redshifted due to the expansion of the Universe, these ultra-distant galaxies — the ones beyond a redshift of 6.5 (or back when the Universe was less than 800 million years old, as opposed to the 13.7 billion years old it is today) — have to contend with something else.

Image Credit: Igor Chekalin.

There’s neutral gas out there, blocking the starlight coming from these distant galaxies! And just like you’d expect, the more neutral gas you have to pass through, the brighter you need to be in order to make it through!

Image Credit: European Southern Observatory.

Well, going to higher and higher redshifts is, to put it mildly, harsh.

  • To see something at a redshift of 7, you’ve got to go through about 50 million light-years of space where around 1% of the gas living there is neutral.
  • To see something at a redshift of 8, you’ve got to go through an extra 100 million light-years of space where around 3% of the gas living there is neutral, in addition to the stuff you need to get here from a redshift of 7.
  • And to see something at a redshift of 10, in addition to what happens at a redshift of 8, you’ve got to go through an additional 150 million light-years of space where something like 6% of the gas is neutral!

Image credit: S. Djorgovski et al. and the Digital Media Center, Caltech.

Well, unsurprisingly, people are already talking about how there should be more galaxies at this redshift than we’re seeing.

And that’s insane. First off, astronomically, you’re always going to see the brightest distant objects first. That’s a well-known effect. Second, the Universe is already 500 million years old by a redshift of 10, which means, conservatively, that we’ve had plenty of galaxies around for at least two-to-three hundred million years by then.

And finally, Hubble isn’t built for this! It’s completely remarkable that we’re able to find these things at all using it, and that speaks volumes to the ingenuity of the astronomers working with these tools and data. But this is why they’re building and excited about the James Webb Space Telescope, which is designed to look back that far.

Image credit: NASA.

But it is amazing to be seeing and identifying galaxies this young, and we’re doing it for the first time ever. And this is just the tip of the iceberg; things are only going to get better from here!

Comments

  1. #1 Mark V2
    January 27, 2011

    Man this is exciting. When I was young I would try to imagine the edge of the universe. Now we’re closing in seeing it (only now I know its not the edge–its the beginning).

    Has there ever been a better return on investment–in terms of knowledge gained to dollars spent–than the Hubble ST? Incredible!

  2. #2 Dave W.
    January 27, 2011

    Nuts. That galaxy doesn’t even show up as a blip on the IR image I used in my amateur high-redshift hunting 13 months ago, so I completely missed it.

    http://www.psorsite.com/fun/redshift.html

  3. #3 Timberwoof
    January 27, 2011

    The JWST gets folded up into a little package. Once in space, it unfolds its mirrors and sun shield. The sun shield is relatively easy; it does the same job as an extra sheet over a tent to keep it cool. But those eighteen mirrors need to move from their stowed positions to their deployed positions perfectly. “Perfectly” means what, to within a quarter-wavelength of light? I suspect they’ll use the same sorts of active focusing technology as on the Keck telescope, but still: that’s an amazing thing! (And I do hope they do a full-on optical integration test before they pack it up and give it to the shippers.)

  4. #4 Ryan
    January 28, 2011

    I suppose I should have made this post here first rather than in the string blog! Oops, sorry, here is my confused question in the correct topic(I hope!)

    I’m reading about Hubble’s latest view of a Galaxy who’s (1)”light traveled 13.2 billion years to reach Hubble”. What am I missing here? For light to travel 13.2 billion years the object producing the light must have been 13.2 billion light years less the rate of expansion of the universe away from where Hubble is now. So (1)”480 million years after the big bang” the expansion of the universe must have been significant enough to create a distance we see today equal to 13.2 billion light years less the rate of expansion over 13.2 billion years. Now this is where it gets odd for me. Light travels at (2)”299,792,458 m/s”, that’s quite quick so in 13.2 billion years the light would have travelled quite a distance. This is where I get a bit confused, partly because I don’t know the rate of expansion of the universe. In simplest terms I see that the universe must have expanded faster than light for some time to get this newly observed galaxy far enough away from Hubble’s present position so that it could take light 13.2 billion years to get to Hubble. Now I have read that the expansion of our universe is accelerating(3). The acceleration of the expansion of the universe must not have been constant, it must have decelerated before it’s current acceleration? WOW, I’m super confused here. Please point me to where I can get some context on the rate of expansion of the universe over time to help me become less confused.
    (1) http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2011/jan/HQ_11-025_Hubble_Distant_Galaxy.html
    (2) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speed_of_light
    Taking relativity into account, well my dim understanding of it, if the early universe was spinning very fast with significant gravitational force time dilation could answer the observed times and distances we are observing today.

  5. #5 Bob Carroll
    January 28, 2011

    This is terrific! I’m really going to enjoy your site.

  6. #6 heddle
    January 28, 2011

    FANTASTIC!

  7. #7 Mark Robson
    January 28, 2011

    Ryan: The thing is: the Universe is not expanding. This interpretation has led to all the problems in cosmology today. If all galaxies are receding away from us, yet we are not at the centre of expansion this makes the Universe an indescribable shape and requires an extra spacial dimension for the Universe to be expanding into (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3077398/ns/technology_and_science-science/). There is no evidence for extra dimension.
    It should be noted that Hubble (nor anybody else) has ever measured the velocity (recessional speed) of any galaxy. Hubble only measured the Redshift in spectral lines. This Redshift was (and is) being interpreted as a Doppler effect (implying movement) instead of a ‘tired light’ effect – meaning light is frequency (energy) reduced in proportional to the distance travelled. Interpreting Redshift as a tired light effect, in a relatively ‘static’ Universe (that is not expanding or contraction but evolving), removes the need to explain how ”space” can stretch/expand, and removed the need for an unscientific start.
    Given that time is a concept used as a method of describing and measuring any change: if nothing ever changed then time would not exist – it simply would have no meaning, and if time did not exist then nothing could ever change. It naturally follows that time has always existed as it is not possible to go from a situation of there being no time, to a situation of time ‘coming into existence’ as this would involve a change – and you can’t have a change without time already existing. And so the Universe has also always existed. The expanding Universe idea (and therefore the Big Bang theory) is totaly wrong and should be rejected.

  8. #8 islami sohbet
    January 28, 2011

    Gümrükçü,Avrupalı olmanın temelinde, meşru haklara sahip çıkmanın yattığına işaret ederek, “Siyasi karar vericiler, çanak tutma yerine, yapılan ortaklık anlaşmalardan doğan hakları savunma yoluna gitmelidir. Avrupalılığın temelinde rasyonel olmak, hukuki güvenceyi sağlamak için gerekli her türlü adımı atmak ve meşru haklara sahip çıkmak yatar. Bunlara sahip çıkan Türkiye, Avrupa’nın parçası olan bir Türkiye’dir” dedi

  9. #10 Samantha Vimes
    January 29, 2011

    Ryan, if I’ve understood correctly (and I’m just a reader, not a scientist), the universe can expand faster than the speed of light because it’s not a *thing* that travels, and things being dragged along by the expanding universe are not *travelling*, so to speak, because they are stationary relative to the universe.

  10. #11 James Phillips
    January 29, 2011

    Mark, the Universe IS expanding (at least the part of it we can see). Einstein’s equations simply don’t allow for a static universe without a “just right” fudge in the cosmological constant. As for a finite age of the universe, the fact that the stars are still shining is proof of that. If the universe always existed, then why is all this hydrogen still here? Attribution of the red shift to the doppler effect is the simplest explanation and a superconsenus of scientists across the world agrees that this signals an expanding universe (at least the part of it we can see.)

  11. #12 Mark Robson
    January 29, 2011

    Ethan: I’ve only just found you – via a Facebook post.
    Tired light is not a new idea (Fritz Zwicky first proposed it in 1929 as an alternative to the Doppler effect interpretation by Hubble) but there are new papers on it. The latest paper published is by Lyndon Ashmore (http://www.lyndonashmore.com/), Professor A.K.T. Assis (http://www.ifi.unicamp.br/~assis/wpapers.htm) has had many papers published – namely numbers 32, 22 and 13 (28 is also useful). My preferred explanation is by Alan H Grundy in his book: The Next Step in Physics (free P2P download with author’s representative’s permission here: http://btjunkie.org/search?q=alan+h+grundy) in which he explains exactly what light (energy) is, how it moves, and how it interacts with matter. Planck’s equation ( E = hf ) says that the energy of light is proportional to the frequency, but when light is a single particle there is no proper explanation of what the frequency refers to – it certainly does not mean that a light particle is oscillating back and forth as it moves forward. [And there are no reasonable explanations/descriptions of exactly what a 'photon' is - its shape, size, mass etc.] So Grundy simplifies the interpretation to mean that there is only one particle of light (wth a quantum of action of a Joule.sceond – that is a Joule multiplied by a second) and that the total energy is the number of particles received per second. A ray of light (stream of particles) travels via a linear succession of atoms/molecules and as light travels it spreads out and looses a particle per a given distance ‘d’ and so is frequency (energy) reduced. This ‘lost’ energy contributes to the background temperature of space and is, in fact, the cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation of 2.7 K. There is no current explanation of where the lost energy (from Redshifted light) is – apart from only stating that as light travels against expanding space, it does work so looses energy. Therefore the lost energy must be transferred to ‘space’ and so space must have a temperature (which will be different from the CMB) – so what is that temperature ? and how can you tell that the CMB is not it ?
    The tired light idea is the one that fits the observations in a simpler, explainable and understandable way.

    Samantha (and James): Given that the definition of speed (technically velocity) is the change in distance (displacement) over (change in) time, how – scientifically – can you tell whether 2 objects (say galaxies) have a relative velocity away from each other, or whether the space between them is expanding ? If you think that ‘space’ is a thing, or an object, or a material of some kind, then what is its Young’s modulus ? The notion of bending or curving of ‘space’ comes about because Einstein formulated General Relativity (GR) in geometric terms rather than (as it should be) in dynamic terms. The abstract equations of GR are NOT to betaken literally – they are only to be used as an ‘easy’ way of calculating the answer.

    James: It may have been reasonable to assume a Doppler effect, but then how was the velocity (or recessional speed) of any galaxy been verified ? It is what this assumption then leads to that causes the problems. In any direction you can see/point, the galaxies are ‘seen’ to be receding away from us. This should put us at the centre of the expansion, but we are told that we are not and that there is no centre, so please explain what shape the Universe is.
    The Big Bang/expanding Universe theory also depends on inflation to make it work. There is no evidence for inflation – and there never will be. Inflation is supposed to have happened before the Universe became transparent and is therefore unobservable.

    The following is the simplest explanation of the Universe – it accounts for all the facts/observations used to support the Big Bang theory but interprets them in a simpler way:
    As matter and energy cannot be created or destroyed they must have always existed, and the simplest arrangement of these is 1 proton with 1 electron and some binding energy – which is hydrogen. Let’s suppose that the Universe originally consisted of a vast cloud of hydrogen gas, with the molecules slowly moving about, forming denser and less dense areas. To every date one quotes, it is always possible mathematically to quote an earlier one – this is Time, which is continuous. Let’s also suppose that then the hydrogen gas was just randomly swirling in eddies, and that this is all that is necessary to produce the Universe we have today. And, no matter how far one takes the date the situation is the same – just eddying gas. When one of these regions became dense enough to collapse under its own gravity to form a star, this became the start of the present evolving Universe. This star birth, and more probably star death, would trigger further star formation. By gravity and (electro) magnetism, stars would then ‘try’ to form galaxies – ending up where we are now. As light travels through the ‘static’ (that is not expanding or contracting) Universe, it looses energy in proportion to the distance (i.e. it is redshifted) and this lost energy contributes to the background temperature of space – which, by the Universe evolving for billions of years, is thermal equilibrium and has a temperature of 2.7 Kelvin i.e. the CMB (and as the Universe is not expanding, and certainly not accelerating, I propose that this temperature will not fall as it should do if the Universe is supposed to be expanding).
    Spiral galaxies are held together partly by gravity but mostly (electro) magnetically – the arms follow the magnetic lines of force, so there is no need for Dark Matter. And because the Universe is not expanding it can’t be accelerating, so to interpret dimmer supernova ( Ia ) light curves as being caused by Dark Energy is simply ludicrous. The dimmer light curves could have any number of causes (like the star containing more metals) which should be considered before inventing extra things – science is supposed to be about simplifying explanations, not complicating them: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occam's_razor
    The Universe is finite in size (any thing is finite – infinity is an unscientific concept), and will probably be roughly spherical in shape. It exists in an infinite void (a true vacuum – the only ‘thing’ that can be infinite) and is evolving. The Universe is becoming (unconsciously) self aware, by the process of intelligent beings figuring out how it works. The problem is that there is only a finite (though vast) amount of energy in the Universe and when it is used up, all life, and the evolutionary phase will end. The Universe will still exist – probably in the form of huge lumps of iron and stone, which will be the cores of dead stars and planets.

    We can argue about interpretations of data/facts, but when assertions are made – without any evidence – to support the Big Bang theory then it really is in trouble. Stephen Hawking (here at 2.50: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xjBIsp8mS-c&feature=player_embedded) believes that ”the Universe can spontaneously create itself out of nothing.” Do you agree with that ? or do you favour the singularity ”start” to the Universe ?
    Lawrence Krauss also believes you can get an entire Universe from nothing (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NfOL_oGgRVk – there is a full version of this talk – this clip is not out of context). First, this contradicts what we have always been told when we ask, ‘what happened before the Big Bang ?’ Because the answer has always been, ‘time was created at the Big Bang, so there was no before so it is a nonsense question. Before the Big Bang there was no time, no space, no matter and no energy – these were all created at the Big Bang.’ Perhaps Krauss doesn’t see the contradiction, but in order to have ‘quantum fluctuations’, you need to have a quanta of some kind (i.e. matter or energy) and you also need to have space and time in which it can fluctuate. This contradicts Hawking and the standard ‘creationist’ Big Bang model – and it agrees with what I previously stated (and no experiment contradicts) that matter (and energy) cannot be created or destroyed.
    And remember that currently 96% of the Universe (the Dark Matter and Dark Energy) is supposed to me missing !! (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4b/DarkMatterPie.jpg) Really ?

    Shouldn’t it be a rule, in science, that if you make an extraordinary claim (that, say, Dark Energy exists), then you should have to provide the evidence before your claim becomes part of a standard theory ? And if anyone else’s theory can explain the data – without inventing anything extra, like particles, forces or dimensions etc – then that theory should become the standard.

  12. #13 OKThen
    January 31, 2011

    The universe is “apparently” expanding.

    Maybe a “future” quantum theory of gravity, will explain the “apparent” expansion of the universe without resort to a hypothetical “inflationary force.”

    Quantum electrodynamics gives different explanations of observations and makes different predictions than Maxwell’s classical theory of electricity and magnetism.

    A “future” theory of quantum gravity may give different explanations of observations and make different predictions than Einstein’s classical theory of General Relativity.

    Without a quantum theory of gravity; maybe it’s best to say “WE JUST DON’T KNOW YET.”

    The Big Bang Theory is a pragmatic patchwork (resting upon classical General Relativity theory) that is well wiggled to fit the data. Hoyle, Burbidge and Nariker’s, A Different Approach to Cosmology, 2000 is a worthy read (not because it is correct or better than Big Bang thoery); but because it shows the extent of wiggling.

    The Big Bang theory is a useful descriptive theory and framework upon which other theories can be hung (e.g. star formation, CMB); but the Big Bang Theory gives no fundamental insight into observations like “apparent redshift”, “apparent dark matter”, “apparent dark energy”, or baryon assymetry.

    The observations are real, but the fit of data to theory is like the fit of the ugly stepsister’s foot (e.g. Maxwell’s equations)into Cinderella slipper (e.g. QED).

    New physics theory is needed(e.g. maybe quantum gravity).

    “a superconsenus of scientists across the world” is not a substitute for new observation giving new insights upon which new physics of deeper understanding can be built.

    LHC is already providing new observations that are frustrating and stimulating theorists. Let’s hope for a flood of such new observations from LHC, ICECube and other excellent experiments. How else will new physics theory supercede the excellent classical theory of General Relativity and the ugly stepsister Big Bang theory?

    We don’t know the cause of “redshift” observations.
    We don’t know the cause of “dark matter” observations.
    We don’t know the cause of “dark energy” observations.
    We don’t have a theory of quantum gravity.
    The “hypothetical” graviton is not part of the standard model of elementary particles.
    The current Big Bang explanations do not takes us to a deeper level of understanding; rather they offers hypothesis as understanding.

  13. #14 kapali
    January 31, 2011

    Regarding post no4, ii may be noted that perhaps the expansion of the universe during the inflationary phase also comes into the picture.

  14. #15 brian j. mucha
    February 1, 2011

    Thanks Ethan for this map that outlines the development of the Universe for we the unknowing.Couldn’t help but think of the ancient Chinese concepts of the Tao here with all stars and galaxies emerging out of DARKNESS.Astronomers are like babies in their first days of life who look upwards to their mother and fathers face and see whole worlds and galaxies therein with blurry focused new vision and eyesight.(our latest telescopes.Are we scoping out the face of the ‘Creator’???!

  15. #16 Mark Robson
    February 1, 2011

    Why has my Sunday’s post not appeared ? Did you receive it ? Should I repost it ? Was it too long ? Am I being blocked ?

  16. #17 Ethan Siegel
    February 1, 2011

    Mark,

    I fished your comment out of spam, but yes, there is a one-link-limit per comment in general to prevent spammers.

    If you’d like to know the standard story, try reading my series here on The Greatest Story Ever Told, where I go over some of the evidence for the Big Bang, Inflation, and the rest of the standard cosmological model. I’m not certain it will convince you, but it will certainly lay out for you a lot of the major reasons why we — cosmologists — have concluded what we have.

  17. #18 Mark Robson
    February 1, 2011

    Tired light is not a new idea (Fritz Zwicky first proposed it in 1929 as an alternative to the Doppler effect interpretation by Hubble) but there are new papers on it. The latest paper published is by Lyndon Ashmore. Professor A.K.T. Assis has had many papers published – namely numbers 32, 22 and 13 (28 is also useful) – ‘Google’ then for their sites. My preferred explanation is by Alan H Grundy in his book: The Next Step in Physics ( free P2P download with author’s representative’s permission here: http://btjunkie.org/search?q=alan+h+grundy ) in which he explains exactly what light (energy) is, how it moves, and how it interacts with matter. Planck’s equation ( E = hf ) says that the energy of light is proportional to the frequency, but when light is a single particle there is no proper explanation of what the frequency refers to – it certainly does not mean that a light particle is oscillating back and forth as it moves forward. [And there are no reasonable explanations/descriptions of exactly what a 'photon' is - its shape, size, mass etc.] So Grundy simplifies the interpretation to mean that there is only one particle of light (wth a quantum of action of a Joule.sceond – that is a Joule multiplied by a second) and that the total energy is the number of particles received per second. A ray of light (stream of particles) travels via a linear succession of atoms/molecules and as light travels it spreads out and looses a particle per a given distance ‘d’ and so is frequency (energy) reduced. This ‘lost’ energy contributes to the background temperature of space and is, in fact, the cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation of 2.7 K. There is no current explanation of where the lost energy (from Redshifted light) is – apart from only stating that as light travels against expanding space, it does work so looses energy. Therefore the lost energy must be transferred to ‘space’ and so space must have a temperature (which will be different from the CMB) – so what is that temperature ? And how can you tell that the CMB is not it ?
    The tired light idea is the one that fits the observations in a simpler, explainable and understandable way.

    Samantha (and James): Given that the definition of speed (technically velocity) is the change in distance (displacement) over (change in) time, how – scientifically – can you tell whether 2 objects (say galaxies) have a relative velocity away from each other, or whether the space between them is expanding ? If you think that ‘space’ is a thing, or an object, or a material of some kind, then what is its Young’s modulus ? The notion of bending or curving of ‘space’ comes about because Einstein formulated General Relativity (GR) in geometric terms rather than (as it should be) in dynamic terms. The abstract equations of GR are NOT to betaken literally – they are only to be used as an ‘easy’ way of calculating the answer.

    James: It may have been reasonable to assume a Doppler effect, but then how was the velocity (or recessional speed) of any galaxy been verified ? It is what this assumption then leads to that causes the problems. In any direction you can see/point, the galaxies are ‘seen’ to be receding away from us. This should put us at the centre of the expansion, but we are told that we are not and that there is no centre, so please explain what shape the Universe is.
    The Big Bang/expanding Universe theory also depends on inflation to make it work. There is no evidence for inflation – and there never will be. Inflation is supposed to have happened before the Universe became transparent and is therefore unobservable.

    The following is the simplest explanation of the Universe – it accounts for all the facts/observations used to support the Big Bang theory but interprets them in a simpler way:
    As matter and energy cannot be created or destroyed they must have always existed, and the simplest arrangement of these is 1 proton with 1 electron and some binding energy – which is hydrogen. Let’s suppose that the Universe originally consisted of a vast cloud of hydrogen gas, with the molecules slowly moving about, forming denser and less dense areas. To every date one quotes, it is always possible mathematically to quote an earlier one – this is Time, which is continuous. Let’s also suppose that then the hydrogen gas was just randomly swirling in eddies, and that this is all that is necessary to produce the Universe we have today. And, no matter how far one takes the date the situation is the same – just eddying gas. When one of these regions became dense enough to collapse under its own gravity to form a star, this became the start of the present evolving Universe. This star birth, and more probably star death, would trigger further star formation. By gravity and (electro) magnetism, stars would then ‘try’ to form galaxies – ending up where we are now. As light travels through the ‘static’ (that is not expanding or contracting) Universe, it looses energy in proportion to the distance (i.e. it is redshifted) and this lost energy contributes to the background temperature of space – which, by the Universe evolving for billions of years, is thermal equilibrium and has a temperature of 2.7 Kelvin i.e. the CMB (and as the Universe is not expanding, and certainly not accelerating, I propose that this temperature will not fall as it should do if the Universe is supposed to be expanding).
    Spiral galaxies are held together partly by gravity but mostly (electro) magnetically – the arms follow the magnetic lines of force, so there is no need for Dark Matter. And because the Universe is not expanding it can’t be accelerating, so to interpret dimmer supernova ( Ia ) light curves as being caused by Dark Energy is simply ludicrous. The dimmer light curves could have any number of causes (like the star containing more metals) which should be considered before inventing extra things – science is supposed to be about simplifying explanations, not complicating them – as in Occam’s razor.
    The Universe is finite in size (any thing is finite – infinity is an unscientific concept), and will probably be roughly spherical in shape. It exists in an infinite void (a true vacuum – the only ‘thing’ that can be infinite) and is evolving. The Universe is becoming (unconsciously) self aware, by the process of intelligent beings figuring out how it works. The problem is that there is only a finite (though vast) amount of energy in the Universe and when it is used up, all life, and the evolutionary phase will end. The Universe will still exist – probably in the form of huge lumps of iron and stone, which will be the cores of dead stars and planets.

    We can argue about interpretations of data/facts, but when assertions are made – without any evidence – to support the Big Bang theory then it really is in trouble. Stephen Hawking (youtube ‘Stephen Hawking: Asking big questions about the universe’) believes that ”the Universe can spontaneously create itself out of nothing.” Do you agree with that ? or do you favour the singularity ”start” to the Universe ?
    Lawrence Krauss also believes you can get an entire Universe from nothing. (youtube ‘Lawrence Krauss – A Universe From Nothing’)
    First, this contradicts what we have always been told when we ask, ‘what happened before the Big Bang ?’ Because the answer has always been, ‘time was created at the Big Bang, so there was no before so it is a nonsense question. Before the Big Bang there was no time, no space, no matter and no energy – these were all created at the Big Bang.’ Perhaps Krauss doesn’t see the contradiction, but in order to have ‘quantum fluctuations’, you need to have a quanta of some kind (i.e. matter or energy) and you also need to have space and time in which it can fluctuate. This contradicts Hawking and the standard ‘creationist’ Big Bang model – and it agrees with what I previously stated (and no experiment contradicts) that matter (and energy) cannot be created or destroyed.
    And remember that currently 96% of the Universe (the Dark Matter and Dark Energy) is supposed to me missing !! Really ?

    Shouldn’t it be a rule, in science, that if you make an extraordinary claim (that, say, Dark Energy exists), then you should have to provide the evidence before your claim becomes part of a standard theory ? And if anyone else’s theory can explain the data – without inventing anything extra, like particles, forces or dimensions etc – then that theory should become the standard.

  18. #19 Pronoein
    February 5, 2011

    Fascinating. It’s hard to remove such a deep-rooted idea as the big bang. Mark, could you pinpoint to illustrations and models for the visual thinkers like me?

  19. #20 Pronoein
    February 5, 2011

    I was also wondering, why are you affirming an energy loss from redshift? The energy originated at the event point is still in the resulting hypersphere plane, therefore the sum remains the same, even if the energy density dismishes, since the surface of the cotemporal hyperplane is increasing. There is no loss, simply a value corresponding to the chosen size of the unity which is just a part of the whole. There is no transfert. The CMB is not the loss of energy, though it IS proportional to the spent time, as the dilation of the hypersphere and the dilution of energy are. Like Ryan I become confused.
    I could imagine that photons have conic trajectories and thus expand proportionally to the space-time ran, diluting its cloud existence. The general dilution of energy in the intersideral space is the CMB.
    Though we could mesure locally part of an expanded photon, we would be touching the equal part of an entangled supraliminal entity: the hole surface of the hypersphere or cone section of the hyperline.
    Or are you saying, Mark, that light and existence aren’t radiating or bouncing from every source of light or particle of matter?

  20. #21 WUT
    January 27, 2013

    WHOSE RESPONSIBLE THIS??

  21. #22 J-Obs
    U.S. A.
    October 20, 2013

    Mark Robson: Many scientists do not believe in a God. Some because they are great scientists suggest that there can only be a God or creator. The whole thing just would not work otherwise. Gods name as recorded by man thousands of years ago literally means “he causes to become”. Early prophets knew basic scientific truths about the universe long before worldly scholars did. That’s because God revealed these things to them. “The circle of the Earth hangs upon nothing” . When worldly scholars would not know or prove that the Earth wasn’t flat and that it was not held up by ether for centuries. Mathematicians have been unable to comprehend the literal idea of the number infinity. Potential infinity is an idea they can explain but literal infinity is incomprehensible. That makes sense because God describes himself as infinate. As having no beginning or end, as always existing. From time indefinate to time indefinate. Now the physical universe is described as having a beginning but not God. So first in order to understand God the idea that matter or energy cannot be created from nothing must be addressed as untrue. Our need to have everything explainable to us in understandable terms has always troubled the more advanced thinkers. But the idea of simply the literal number of infinity is beyond our comprehension. I think more people need to stop and think that if in fact there is no God or creator and there is only the laws of physics/time/space we can perceive logically than it has already been proven by the capacity or lack thereof in the limited understanding of even our greatest minds that some of the necessary reasonings and thinking ability in trying to understand the universe or creation on our own is like trying to stream audio and video files at processing speeds available with todays technologically advanced devices on the very first computers. That would be impossible. The hardware is not there nor the need for immense processing capability. Same with our brains. There is limited capacity in which some appropriately see as by design yet some reject and plunder on arrogantly with faulty equipment on a quest to understand what the human brain has not nor ever will fathom unaided by the superior intellelect of the designer. The idea of simply a number that never ends and our inability to rationalize it is proof of our unqualified capability at understanding the immense dimensions and workings of the universe on its literal scale. We have discredited the true beauty of it by tainting the idea of it with flawed reasonings from faulty, limited equipment. I am not against science. I love learning and continuing to advance my mind to its limits. But there is just that, a limit. It’s not that i need to believe in God, I’ve rejected the idea of him before just like many other people but it is that based on all of the evidence i’ve come to not only the intellectual decision but the rational one, that there can only be a God. There is no other way. And that it is ok to believe so. Its not shameful to tap out and just say, Ok, we can’t figure it out on our own. But i know people are hard headed and are going to believe in what they need and choose to no matter what. We all have our reasons.