Posts Tagged ‘Hubble Constant’

Einstein presented a set of equations, now known as the Einstein field equations, that became the framework of his theory of general relativity. The equations explain how matter and energy warp the fabric of space and time to create the force of gravity. At the time, both Einstein and astronomers agreed that the universe was fixed in size and that the overall space between galaxies did not change. However, when Einstein applied general relativity to the universe as a whole, his theory predicted an unstable universe that would either expand or contract. To force the universe to be static, Einstein tacked on the cosmological constant.

A single number, called the cosmological constant, bridges the microscopic world of quantum mechanics and the macroscopic world of Einstein’s theory of general relativity. But neither theory can agree on its value.

A decade later Edwin Hubble discovered that our universe is not static, but expanding. The light from distant galaxies showed they were all moving away from each other. This revelation persuaded Einstein to abandon the cosmological constant from his field equations as it was no longer necessary to explain an expanding universe. In 1998, observations of distant supernovas showed the universe wasn’t just expanding, but the expansion was speeding up. Galaxies were accelerating away from each other as if some unknown force was overcoming gravity and shoving those galaxies apart. Physicists have named this enigmatic phenomenon dark energy.

It is so dark no one has come up with a plausible answer. Think of the Emperors New clothes. Predicament of royal tailors must be somewhat like Physics grappling with the problem of dark energy.

So one way is to simply call the cosmological constant as dark energy. “The cosmological constant [or dark energy] currently constitutes about 70% of the energy content in our universe, which is what we can infer from the observed accelerated expansion that our universe is presently undergoing. Yet this constant is not understood,” Lombriser* said. “Attempts to explain it have failed, and there seems to be something fundamental that we are missing in how we understand the cosmos. (*Lucas Lombriser, an assistant professor of theoretical physics at the University of Geneva in Switzerland)

What is certain is that there is a fundamental problem in physics.  One need not be surprised if we have Hubble constant also showing different readings ( see my posts titled Hubble (In)constant ) It is like missing a single buttonhole in my shirt and always getting button through the button holes thereafter is a waste of time. It is thus with Science trying to explain how our physical universe works.( Ack: Live Science/tom childers/Einstein’s biggest blunder etc.,)

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Pascal had in his Pensées observed thus ‘Nature has made all her truths independent of one another’ Nature is like the elephant of the Indian folk tale. Each of the five men of Benares, who focused on one aspect,- astrophysicists, biologists chemists and what have you, were all engaged in seeking truth but failed. Only their blindness stood in the way. God is Truth and without knowing Truth what the five collated were truths independent of one another. This is what Hubble Constant signifies.

Had Science worked from Truth down to its several parts truths of which would be set on a firm line of reasoning since Truth the frame of reference known; whatever results obtained must be compared with it; the process of eliminating the irrelevant and ever narrowing down to Truth could have settled the matter. So this method works from the whole to study the several parts without having to work in dark.

Whereas Science works just the opposite. Uncertainty principle consequently ought to warn chances of error are far greater in this case. Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle states that there is inherent uncertainty in the act of measuring a variable of a particle. Commonly applied to the position and momentum of a particle, the principle states that the more precisely the position is known the more uncertain the momentum is and vice versa. Similarly the Pauli exclusion principle is the quantum mechanical principle which states that two or more identical fermions cannot occupy the same quantum state within a quantum system simultaneously. Do we not see exclusion principle in the manner history never repeats itself? There was an attempt to recreate caliphate in 2014. It failed thoroughly because what propped it up, many factors in the medieval times have moved on and combined with many others to make history of present times. Similar a Woodstock repeat to match the 1969 event  was an impossibility. Exclusion principle applies to charged fundamental particles and its effect on human events are equally palpable.

Science for that matter shall draw different results meaning the yardstick is flawed to begin with.

Man and Woman set a family but how an infant born out their union responds to his environment is uncertain. So holding individual number of man and woman as fixed gives an uncertain outcome considering the infant in his generation shall have to interact with altogether different imponderables. If cosmos throw up uncertainty principle in case of fundamental particles is it too farfetched to think similar correspondence will not show in the manner human societies evolve?  Numbers are man made; when hitched to human condition numbers do not tell the full story. Taking the above mentioned analogy further one man and one woman together represent something else. The sum is not two but a family; and give it hundred years it spreads into so many opinions and divided loyalties. Pascal had in his Pensées observed of man’s innate difficulty to conceive the largest circle and it would still come short of infinity. Suppose I chuck a ball at you and it elicits an automatic response that is outside your will. You duck involuntarily. Man can make hypotheses and observe,- from data he collected he tries to prove them. There is an inherent flaw in his brain that he misses changes already happening in between. so the cosmos he looks at, gives only what he is looking for. Had he the mind of God, he would not need Uncertainty principle or Exclusion principle. Science at best is man’s attempt to lift his brain (still evolving) to build a model of cosmos.Whereas God as Omnipotent and omnipresent has in his mind conceived the whole and every part in development in relation to other. Whereas man in time and space adding up what is observed. Hubble (In)Constant is the problem.

Science has its uncertainty principle and for a Christian accepting God as the creator of heaven and the earth has faith to base his life upon. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen./ Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear (He.11:1,3)”.

(My post ‘The Clean Slate principle of Feb,18, 2010 also relates to the topic)


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There’s a puzzling mystery going on in the universe. Measurements of the rate of cosmic expansion using different methods keep showing different readings. Darwin’s Natural Selection brought a crisis of faith to the Victorian Establishment and now a similar crisis faces the Scientific community.

The crisis centers about the Hubble constant. Named for American astronomer Edwin Hubble, this unit describes how fast the universe is expanding at different distances from Earth. Using data from the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Planck satellite, scientists estimate the rate to be 46,200 mph per million light-years (or, using cosmologists’ units, 67.4 kilometers/second per megaparsec). But calculations using pulsating stars called Cepheids suggest it is 50,400 mph per million light-years (73.4 km/s/Mpc).

If the first number is right, it means scientists have been measuring distances to faraway objects in the universe wrong for many decades. But if the second is correct, then researchers might have to accept the existence of exotic, new physics.

The trouble starts with Edwin Hubble himself. Back in 1929, he noticed that more-distant galaxies were moving away from Earth faster than their closer-in counterparts. He found a linear relationship between the distance an object was from our planet and the speed at which it was receding. Hubble realized that the universe was expanding, and it seemed to be doing so at a constant rate — hence, the Hubble constant. But in the late 1990s, when two teams of astronomers noticed that distant supernovas were dimmer, and therefore farther away, than expected. This indicated that not only was the universe expanding, but it was also accelerating in its expansion. Astronomers named the cause of this mysterious phenomenon to dark energy.

Calculating the constant on the basis of Planck satellite do not match the numbers crunched from observing Cepheids.These stars flicker at a constant rate depending on their brightness, so researchers can tell exactly how bright it is from their pulsations. From its dimness or brightness the astronomers can calculate their position. As in the case of triangulation method the astronomers used another point and using two readings came to mediating  the data obtained. For this they had settled on the light of red giant stars. (These objects reach the same peak brightness at the end of their lives) These also behave like with the Cepheids,  so astronomers can look at how dim they appear from Earth to get a good estimate of their distance and, therefore, calculate the Hubble constant. Their results have come this July and we have a number squarely between the two prior measurements: 47,300 mph per million light-years (69.8 km/s/Mpc). And the uncertainty contained enough overlap to potentially agree with Planck’s results. (Ack: LiveScience/One number shows something fundamentally wrong with our conception of our universe/Adam Mann)

Where did Science go wrong? We are considering the same cosmos right? God at one end has set these explosion of stellar material to take shape as eternal Mind has shaped. For me He is in control whereas Science sees it all as from far end of the telescope. And mathematics is a matter of numbers, but in his very world of existence the man of science seek answer for which he relies on data, value of which he has not got control since it is light years he is looking into. Vast space and time in which light operates do not tell the whole story. His own mind is fine-tuning his vision and collective memory along with many other impressions his life experience have deposited. Science expects his experiment to act according to what he has trained himself to think.

Like our memory and where our distortion occurred cannot be said.The psychologist Elizabeth Loftus, for instance, has famously demonstrated that, in the process of recalling events, people can erroneously integrate imagined elements into their memories – even if these fictional memories can feel exactly like true memories.

Take the very nature of numbers. One plus one is two says mathematician.  Add one man and woman is not two but a family of divided loyalties opinions and what have you given some 100 years. Give the same family a million of two years it is not a tight-knit family but nations divided over ideological differences.

Science shall of course go back to their readings and suggest another hypothesis to finetune their understanding on cosmos


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Our universe expands and the unit of measurement used to describe the expansion is called the Hubble Constant, after 20th Century astronomer Edwin Hubble. There is also an orbiting space observatory named after him. Recently Prof Riess, who is based at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, (was one of three scientists who shared the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics) made news. He avers that a mathematical discrepancy in the expansion rate of the Universe was now “pretty serious”, and could point the way to a major discovery in physics. Be that as it may while that is being fixed something else shall come up creating yet ‘another rethink and fix’ and it shall go on till kingdom come. Many more discoveries shall follow but not find what is the real culprit. There is a bug in the system.

In my opinion the whole theoretical Physics being governed by what man sets parameters and trying to prove an hypothesis contains a bug and it shall not go away. It is similar to the US politics. There is a clear indication of Russia having meddled in the 2016 election. It is vital for the nation’s existence how and why it occurred. Instead of getting to the bottom what are we seeing? Those who stand to benefit from calling off the national Inquiry as ‘witch hunt’ are crying foul. So by politicizing it the parties are trivializing a serious probe. Similarly scientific probes without fixing the role of God in the equation shall find many dazzling features of our cosmos. String theory, black holes, white holes, spooky science and what have you. Rational mind of man is that bug and he is fixing it in time, which is not how God’s laws work. His Time is tied to the time of man and it is what faith means. While studying the Book of Genesis we need remember that there is a ladder similar to *cosmic ladder which is used in calculation of the Hubble Constant.

*To calculate the Hubble Constant, Prof Riess and others use the “cosmic ladder” approach, which relies on known quantities – so-called “standard candles” – such as the brightness of certain types of supernova to calibrate distances across space.



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