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Discovery That Quasars Don't Show Time Dilation Mystifies Astronomers

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jayfish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-09-10 08:54 PM
Original message
Discovery That Quasars Don't Show Time Dilation Mystifies Astronomers
Edited on Fri Apr-09-10 08:55 PM by jayfish
http://www.physorg.com/news190027752.html

(PhysOrg.com) -- The phenomenon of time dilation is a strange yet experimentally confirmed effect of relativity theory. One of its implications is that events occurring in distant parts of the universe should appear to occur more slowly than events located closer to us. For example, when observing supernovae, scientists have found that distant explosions seem to fade more slowly than the quickly-fading nearby supernovae.

The effect can be explained because (1) the speed of light is a constant (independent of how fast a light source is moving toward or away from an observer) and (2) the universe is expanding at an accelerating rate, which causes light from distant objects to redshift (i.e. the wavelengths to become longer) in relation to how far away the objects are from observers on Earth. In other words, as space expands, the interval between light pulses also lengthens. Since expansion occurs throughout the universe, it seems that time dilation should be a property of the universe that holds true everywhere, regardless of the specific object or event being observed. However, a new study has found that this doesnt seem to be the case - quasars, it seems, give off light pulses at the same rate no matter their distance from the Earth, without a hint of time dilation.

Astronomer Mike Hawkins from the Royal Observatory in Edinburgh came to this conclusion after looking at nearly 900 quasars over periods of up to 28 years. When comparing the light patterns of quasars located about 6 billion light years from us and those located 10 billion light years away, he was surprised to find that the light signatures of the two samples were exactly the same. If these quasars were like the previously observed supernovae, an observer would expect to see longer, stretched timescales for the distant, stretched high-redshift quasars. But even though the distant quasars were more strongly redshifted than the closer quasars, there was no difference in the time it took the light to reach Earth.


Man, every time I think I'm starting to get a handle on this stuff the Universe comes along and throws a monkey wrench into the whole shebang. I can't imagine what real scientists are going through. Are we on the cusp of some scientific Renaissance? It seems many ideas we've come to regard as fact have had gaping holes punched through them.

FSH
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WheelWalker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-09-10 09:38 PM
Response to Original message
1. There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth...
Edited on Fri Apr-09-10 09:40 PM by WheelWalker
not going all the way, and not starting

-- Gautama Siddhartha
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opihimoimoi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-09-10 09:49 PM
Response to Original message
2. I think this has yet to be confirmed.....it might be a flawed data thingy or the sources might be of
equal distance but mistakenly placed apart??

We need much more research to determine these aspects of science
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Vinnie From Indy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-09-10 10:47 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. I agree
Einstein ain't going down that easy!

The article mentions,"But even though the distant quasars were more strongly redshifted than the closer quasars, there was no difference in the time it took the light to reach Earth"

This is the part I had a hard time with. Until more is known, I am sticking with Albert E.
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opihimoimoi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 01:09 AM
Response to Reply #3
6. just a thought...,,.might iust just be somethings are faster than light?
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jayfish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 07:48 AM
Response to Reply #2
8. If The Quasars Were Equidistant Wouldn't They Be Able To...
tell by looking observing the gravitational interaction between them?

FSH
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opihimoimoi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 08:18 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. I'm not sure of that... Srry....
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jayfish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 08:31 AM
Response to Reply #9
10. Now That My Brain Is Sufficiently Bathed In Coffee; I Think...
my assumption is incorrect. Just because they are at the same distance doesn't mean they are in close enough proximity interact gravitationally.

FSH
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TankLV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-09-10 11:01 PM
Response to Original message
4. Hey - my ever increasing belly still mystifies me - and I started out REAL skinny...
Edited on Fri Apr-09-10 11:01 PM by TankLV
go figure...
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jayfish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 07:44 AM
Response to Reply #4
7. I Figured That One Out Some Time Ago
The potential energy in a Boston Cream roll is converted to potential energy in my fat stores. Unfortunately, it's a cascading chain reaction and there doesn't seem to be anything I can do about it.

FSH
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Dogmudgeon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 11:29 AM
Response to Reply #7
12. The answer lies in the common semantic conception of non-realtivistic velocity
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jayfish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 04:01 PM
Response to Reply #12
15. LMAO!
Very nice.

FSH
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-09-10 11:49 PM
Response to Original message
5. I can't figure out from the article exactly what Hawkins is saying. Quasars have
significant redshifts; assuming these shifts are mainly cosmological would give some indication of distance; but if quasars are beams from distant galactic center massive black hole accretion disks, then one might expect gravitational redshift also; to sort out the redshifts, it seems to me one then needs a second indicator of distance, and magnitude alone probably doesn't help, because it depends on beam directionality
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dickthegrouch Donating Member (838 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 11:04 AM
Response to Original message
11. I've never quite understood how we measure such vast distances
When all we can go by is the infinitesimal angular difference between the positions of a speck in the sky at two different points of Earth's orbit, and the supposed size of the object we think we're looking at.
What I'm getting at is that to know the height of the tree we have to know the angle and one of the lengths. I have never understood how we get that length when talking astronomical distances.

How do we know that the light took n-million light-years to get to us? Is there some measurement of the decay of the wave aspect rather than the particular that the scientists use to make assertions?

A slightly related question would be why do we see stars at all? What energy propels a light particle across millions of light years of space? Why is there no decay (especially when it gets to our atmosphere)? Neither particle nor wave physics ever adequately answered that for me.
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benEzra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-11-10 02:15 PM
Response to Reply #11
18. Here you go...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmic_distance_ladder

Basically, parallax only works for things that are pretty close (within our own little corner of the Milky Way galaxy). Other methods have to be used for things further than that.
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HysteryDiagnosis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 02:44 PM
Response to Original message
13. Redshift has been contested by some, rightly or wrongly it has
been contested.

>> The Astronomer Halton Arp, known best for his Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies, published his most important work in "Seeing Red: Redshifts, Cosmology and Academic Science" and "Catalogue of Discordant Redshift Associations." His breakthrough was to recognize and prove that Edwin Hubble's "other" explanation for the redshift/faintness relationship was the correct one.

Hubble wrote, "If the redshifts are a Doppler shift ... the observations as they stand lead to the anomaly of a closed universe, curiously small and dense, and, it may be added, suspiciously young. On the other hand, if redshifts are not Doppler effects, these anomalies disappear and the region observed appears as a small, homogeneous, but insignificant portion of a universe extended indefinitely both in space and time." (Royal Astronomical Society Monthly Notices, 17, 506, 1937).


http://www.amazon.com/Seeing-Red-Redshifts-Cosmology-Academic/dp/0968368905/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1270928298&sr=8-1

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51kjatdVECL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA300_SH20_OU01_.jpg
Review
This book lays down a lifetime of seeing the world differently, looking at alternative explanations for a complex, beautiful universe. -- Sky & Telescope, June 1999
Product Description
Arp's new book is a frontal assault on the standard model of the universe, replete with anecdotes and illustrations, including 8 pages of colour plates.
"Seeing Red" represents a senior scientist's personal account of the crisis in moderrn astronomy. Dr. Arp presents observations showing that extragalactic redshifts are not caused by an expanding universe. He crafts up an empirical picture of the birth and evolution of quasars and galaxies, demonstrating that crucial observations have been ignored and suppressed by the astronomy community. Finally, he cites examples of how academic science fails its ideals and potential.


61 of 64 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and extremely disturbing, October 1, 2003
By Eric B. Norris (Santa Clara, California USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)
This review is from: Seeing Red: Redshifts, Cosmology and Academic Science (Paperback)
If Dr. Arp's earlier book, "Quasars, Redshifts, and Controversies" put a few pinpricks into the Big Bang and Redshift-Distance Relation theories, this book blows open a hole so large you could drive a Mack truck through it. Dr. Arp shows us a number of galaxies that appear to be associated with quasars or other extremely compact, radio-emitting objects that have grossly different redshifts. If these objects are indeed related then the inconsistent redshifts mean the accepted distances for these objects are bogus, to use a scientific term. Dr. Arp states in the preface that if you are math-impaired you will still be able to follow the book easily because the eye-popping evidence is all in the pictures. And so it is.
What is so disturbing is the effect on Halton Arp's career this decades-long search for the truth has wrought. In the earlier book one of the appendices is the letter from CalTech throwing him off the 200-inch Hale telescope on Mt. Palomar. In this book he describes how difficult or impossible it has been for him to publish his research. Dr. Arp is no crackpot claiming aliens are making crop circles or the Bermuda Triangle is swallowing up ships--he received his Ph.D with honors from CalTech itself, and created the Catalog of Peculiar Galaxies (using of course the same 200-inch Hale telescope he was later denied). In the later part of the book Dr. Arp also catalogs several other scientific theories, such as continental drift, which were heresy at the time they were published but later became universally accepted. He discusses the sometimes stifiling atmosphere of academia, and how it impedes the investigation of new ideas. Finally, Dr. Arp offers some intriguing ideas on just where those quasars and other active objects came from in the first place.

This book is a page-turner, and you don't need to understand calculus or anything else to read it. A basic understanding of statistics would help but is not necessary.

My only gripe is that the paper used is so thin the illustrations can be seen somewhat on the opposite side of the page.

If you have any interest in astronomy or cosmology I would say this book is a must read.
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jayfish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 04:00 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. Does That Have Anything To Do With The "Electric Universe" Line Of Thinking?
Edited on Sat Apr-10-10 04:01 PM by jayfish
There's a huge argument about it on another board (which shall remain nameless) I frequent. I thought the guy that started the whole thing was full of crappola. Until I read this story that is.

FSH
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HysteryDiagnosis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 04:03 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. No comment. n/t
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jayfish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 09:49 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. Do You Know If That Is Available As An Audio Book Anywhere?
I've got a 5-hour drive tomorrow and burned up all my podcasts for the week.

FSH
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HysteryDiagnosis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-11-10 05:24 PM
Response to Reply #17
19. Sorry I returned too late to help you out, hope your drive was a pleasant
one...

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