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Author Topic:   Evidence for the Slowing Down of Light
blitz77
Inactive Member


Message 1 of 14 (14984)
08-07-2002 7:15 PM


Australian scientists have discovered that light isn't quite as fast as it used to be.

quote:
Dr Charley Lineweaver, one of Davies' co-authors, along with graduate student Tamara Davis, explains that their paper works the other way around. They have taken observations and plugged the data into known mathematical formulas to determine that the speed of light has slowed.

"Theorists always play with all kinds of crazy things," Lineweaver says. "The important thing here is we have experimental evidence . . . that's what's new here."

The theory is based on observations made at the University of New South Wales by Dr John Webb in 1999 and further observations by one of his PhD students, Michael Murphy.

It is hair-curling science. They looked at light from the most distant objects in the universe, quasars up to a billion times the size of our sun, which are 10 billion or 12 billion light years away.

"The light that comes to you from a quasar has been travelling for most of the age of the universe - several billion years - and it carries with it information about what happened to it along the way," Murphy says.

On its long journey, the light from those quasars has passed through gas clouds full of metals. The photons in the light - little packets of energy that make up the light itself - interact with the electrons in the gas clouds, charged particles that orbit the nuclei of the metal atoms. This leaves a fingerprint on the light as it arrives on Earth, called the fine structure constant, Murphy explains.

When they measured the fine structure constant of this 12 billion-year-old light, Webb and Murphy found it was slightly higher than it would be today. Mathematically, there were two possible reasons for this - either the electric charge of the electrons had increased, or the speed of light had fallen.

Using Stephen Hawking's formula for black hole thermodynamics, Davies, Davis and Lineweaver ruled out the electric charge possibility. By adapting Hawking's formula, they determined that an increase in electric charge would break the second law of thermodynamics, which says energy can only flow from hot spots to cold spots.

"That's illegal. It would be like a cup of coffee sitting on your desk getting hotter," Lineweaver says.

But while he is still cautious about the quasar observations, he says the implications are revolutionary if they hold true. "Supposing we do take it seriously, then we have some very profound things to worry about. One is, why is it doing this?"


[This message has been edited by blitz77, 08-07-2002]


Replies to this message:
 Message 2 by Joe Meert, posted 08-07-2002 7:23 PM blitz77 has responded

  
Joe Meert
Member (Idle past 3788 days)
Posts: 913
From: Gainesville
Joined: 03-02-2002


Message 2 of 14 (14985)
08-07-2002 7:23 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by blitz77
08-07-2002 7:15 PM


quote:

It is hair-curling science. They looked at light from the most distant objects in the universe, quasars up to a billion times the size of our sun, which are 10 billion or 12 billion light years away.

JM: Isn't that still a little too old a Universe for you young earth folk?

Cheers

Joe Meert


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by blitz77, posted 08-07-2002 7:15 PM blitz77 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 3 by blitz77, posted 08-07-2002 8:22 PM Joe Meert has responded
 Message 4 by Tranquility Base, posted 08-07-2002 8:48 PM Joe Meert has not yet responded

    
blitz77
Inactive Member


Message 3 of 14 (14987)
08-07-2002 8:22 PM
Reply to: Message 2 by Joe Meert
08-07-2002 7:23 PM


Current light years you mean... and if light was faster in the past it would have a smaller distance to travel since there would be less time for the universe to expand. If you want the actual Nature article, here it is.

This paper argues that it must be c slowing down, as a change in e would violate 2LoT.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 2 by Joe Meert, posted 08-07-2002 7:23 PM Joe Meert has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 5 by Joe Meert, posted 08-07-2002 8:48 PM blitz77 has not yet responded

  
Tranquility Base
Inactive Member


Message 4 of 14 (14992)
08-07-2002 8:48 PM
Reply to: Message 2 by Joe Meert
08-07-2002 7:23 PM


Joe

With quantized redshifts and a probable centre to the universe (unlike the big Bang model which has no centre) then the creationist cosmology really does become the default model for cosmology. It leaps out of General Relativity. If you have an expanding universe from one originally high density location you will have a universe with time running billions of time slower at the centre. The naive creation week story of Scripture, so ridiculed, with stars and galaxies appearing during the week actually becomes the default cosmology. No kidding. High denisty with a centre = slow time. Fact of GR. Already proven by atomic clocks as I'm sure you know.

This new analysis of the earlier fine-structure constant results are interesting and, if confirmed, will almost certainly become important in both mainstream and creationist cosmology.

I agree with you that the slowing down of light speed per se does not really enter into the issue of age of the universe.

[This message has been edited by Tranquility Base, 08-07-2002]


This message is a reply to:
 Message 2 by Joe Meert, posted 08-07-2002 7:23 PM Joe Meert has not yet responded

  
Joe Meert
Member (Idle past 3788 days)
Posts: 913
From: Gainesville
Joined: 03-02-2002


Message 5 of 14 (14993)
08-07-2002 8:48 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by blitz77
08-07-2002 8:22 PM


quote:
Originally posted by blitz77:
Current light years you mean... and if light was faster in the past it would have a smaller distance to travel since there would be less time for the universe to expand. If you want the actual Nature article, here it is.

This paper argues that it must be c slowing down, as a change in e would violate 2LoT.


This paper is supporting a change in light speed near the beginning of the Universe and has nothing to do with decreasing the age of the Universe from 12-15 billion years down to 6000-10000 years. Sorry.

Cheers

Joe Meert


This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by blitz77, posted 08-07-2002 8:22 PM blitz77 has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 6 by frank, posted 08-08-2002 1:06 PM Joe Meert has not yet responded
 Message 7 by halcyonwaters, posted 08-11-2002 4:54 AM Joe Meert has not yet responded

    
frank
Inactive Member


Message 6 of 14 (15033)
08-08-2002 1:06 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by Joe Meert
08-07-2002 8:48 PM


Joe,

I concur. It seems to me from the link provided and the following link that scientists are being really cautious.

http://www.cnn.com/2002/WORLD/asiapcf/auspac/08/07/australia.lightspeed/index.html

I would not like to see anyone jump to any wild conclusions.

Clear Skies !

Frank


This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by Joe Meert, posted 08-07-2002 8:48 PM Joe Meert has not yet responded

  
halcyonwaters
Inactive Member


Message 7 of 14 (15180)
08-11-2002 4:54 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by Joe Meert
08-07-2002 8:48 PM


--This paper is supporting a change in light speed near the beginning of the Universe and has nothing to do with decreasing the age of the Universe from 12-15 billion years down to 6000-10000 years. Sorry.

Cheers

Joe Meert--

If we see a ray of light that appears to be 12 billion years old, we're basing that off of saying it's 12 billion light years away, no?

So if light has actually slown down, wouldn't that change how we estimate the ray of light's age?

David


This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by Joe Meert, posted 08-07-2002 8:48 PM Joe Meert has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 8 by John, posted 08-11-2002 10:39 AM halcyonwaters has responded

  
John
Inactive Member


Message 8 of 14 (15197)
08-11-2002 10:39 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by halcyonwaters
08-11-2002 4:54 AM


quote:
Originally posted by halcyonwaters:
If we see a ray of light that appears to be 12 billion years old, we're basing that off of saying it's 12 billion light years away, no?

The calculation is based on the constancy of the speed of light, yes. However, if the speed of light was greater than it is now for the first few seconds or few hundred million years after the big bang and then stablized at its current rate, the consequences for creationism are nil. The universe is still, basically far too old for Biblical Creation.

quote:
So if light has actually slown down, wouldn't that change how we estimate the ray of light's age?

Yup, the consequences of this discovery, if it holds, could be very dramatic. But, as above, the rate of slowdown isn't enough to drag us into the Biblical age of the universe.

------------------
www.hells-handmaiden.com


This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by halcyonwaters, posted 08-11-2002 4:54 AM halcyonwaters has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 9 by halcyonwaters, posted 08-11-2002 1:49 PM John has responded

  
halcyonwaters
Inactive Member


Message 9 of 14 (15205)
08-11-2002 1:49 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by John
08-11-2002 10:39 AM


--The calculation is based on the constancy of the speed of light, yes. However, if the speed of light was greater than it is now for the first few seconds or few hundred million years after the big bang and then stablized at its current rate, the consequences for creationism are nil. The universe is still, basically far too old for Biblical Creation.--

Davies is a Scientist who believes in evolution. His assumptions no doubt will be different than that of a creationist. But I do know what you're saying, so I'm not getting excited over anything. It will just be interesting to see how Scientist on the creation side react to this.

One thing I did think of...

Assumption of 12 Billion Years
Total Difference between Original Speed and Speed Now = D
Rate of Slow Down = 12,000,000,000/D

= Slow Rate of Change at beginning

Assumption of 6,000 years
Total Difference = D
Rate = 6,000/D

= Fast Rate of Change at beginning

Not being a astrophysicist, I don't know if that makes sense when all things considered. I noticed AiG mentioned this without talking about that, so I'm sure I've missed something. Nonetheless it could be an illustration on how assumptions change the outcome.

David


This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by John, posted 08-11-2002 10:39 AM John has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 10 by Tranquility Base, posted 08-11-2002 9:02 PM halcyonwaters has responded
 Message 12 by John, posted 08-11-2002 9:27 PM halcyonwaters has not yet responded

  
Tranquility Base
Inactive Member


Message 10 of 14 (15225)
08-11-2002 9:02 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by halcyonwaters
08-11-2002 1:49 PM


Halycon

Are you aware of the creationits 'Big Bang' ideas of Rusell Humphreys? They are pretty much (creationist) mainstream now that the universe expanded fom a point near us automatically generating a time dilation so that the outer part of the universe experienced billions of years whereas the cental part only a short time. This is a breakthrouhg for us that I alwasy suspected - I never agreed that the galaxies were not billionos of years old. After the early part of expansion the two time zones run at the same rate. It's simply general relativity on a bounded space-time continuum. So the light speed issue may have more to do with ideas on decay constant changes than makling us able to see all of the stars although undoubtedly (in our scensario) both the light speed issue and the time dilation work together.

The time dilation isn't a crack-pot idea - everybody knows that you get different rates of time near black holes. The creationist Big Bang is essentially the same thing. Humphreys started dropping his objections to the expansion/age of the universe when he noted that

(i) the Bible talks about the stretching of the heavens
(ii) redshift quantization suggests we might be at the centre of the universe and hence the cosmological principle may be wrong and
(iii) without the cosmological principle the Big Bang automatically has time dilation built in!

[This message has been edited by Tranquility Base, 08-11-2002]


This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by halcyonwaters, posted 08-11-2002 1:49 PM halcyonwaters has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 11 by halcyonwaters, posted 08-11-2002 9:11 PM Tranquility Base has not yet responded
 Message 13 by Mike Holland, posted 10-12-2002 10:02 AM Tranquility Base has not yet responded

  
halcyonwaters
Inactive Member


Message 11 of 14 (15228)
08-11-2002 9:11 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by Tranquility Base
08-11-2002 9:02 PM


<>

Not yet. By the way, don't feel bad about posting the TJ article. When I read what you said about quantized red-shifts, I went to AiG, ordered his book, and subscribed to both magazines. You made a sale!

I'm just hoping they send me the last issue they sent out, not make me wait til the next one is produced.

David


This message is a reply to:
 Message 10 by Tranquility Base, posted 08-11-2002 9:02 PM Tranquility Base has not yet responded

  
John
Inactive Member


Message 12 of 14 (15232)
08-11-2002 9:27 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by halcyonwaters
08-11-2002 1:49 PM


quote:
Originally posted by halcyonwaters:
Assumption of 12 Billion Years
Total Difference between Original Speed and Speed Now = D
Rate of Slow Down = 12,000,000,000/D

= Slow Rate of Change at beginning

Assumption of 6,000 years
Total Difference = D
Rate = 6,000/D

= Fast Rate of Change at beginning

Not being a astrophysicist, I don't know if that makes sense when all things considered.

David


Not being an astrophysicist, I'm not sure it makes sense either but I don't get it. Sorry, but I have completely missed your point.

------------------
www.hells-handmaiden.com


This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by halcyonwaters, posted 08-11-2002 1:49 PM halcyonwaters has not yet responded

  
Mike Holland
Member
Posts: 168
From: Sydney, NSW,Auistralia
Joined: 08-30-2002


Message 13 of 14 (19713)
10-12-2002 10:02 AM
Reply to: Message 10 by Tranquility Base
08-11-2002 9:02 PM


What is your game, TB?

Humphrey's theories have been pulled to bits elsewhere, and quantized redshifts as evidence for Earth being the centre of the universe is the topic of another discussion, where it too has been criticized.

Now here you are, expounding these silly theories again as if none of the perevious discussion had ever occurred!

Looking for a new audience who you can hoodwink? First reply to the (dead) discussion about quantized redshifts.

Mike H.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 10 by Tranquility Base, posted 08-11-2002 9:02 PM Tranquility Base has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 14 by Mike Holland, posted 10-13-2002 10:25 PM Mike Holland has not yet responded

    
Mike Holland
Member
Posts: 168
From: Sydney, NSW,Auistralia
Joined: 08-30-2002


Message 14 of 14 (19809)
10-13-2002 10:25 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by Mike Holland
10-12-2002 10:02 AM


Sorry, TB, but my previous reply was too personal and aggressive. I must remember to keep a tone of friendly banter.
But if you want to bring up the subject of Humphreys theory, and quantized redshifts, then you should refer to the existing discussions, so that we don't have to repeat eveything here.
Mike.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 13 by Mike Holland, posted 10-12-2002 10:02 AM Mike Holland has not yet responded

    
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