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astrophysics

An interesting opinion from astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson

Aug. 09, 2013, under astrophysics, opinions

I came across this video today where astrophysicist Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson’s opinon of the most astounding fact about the universe (as expressed in response to a reader of Time magazine) is illustrated:

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The sky is white

Feb. 24, 2013, under astrophysics, philosophy

The universe is infinite and an open topology.  This means you could start out anywhere in space and go forever without being any closer to “the edge of space” than you were when you started.

One of the objections posed against this concept is that if the universe were truly infinite, then there would be a light source in every direction you looked.  As a result, the sky would have to be white because there would be a light source somewhere in every direction.  The dark night sky is therefore taken as refuting the idea that the universe is infinite.

Well, the sky is white – if you’re looking in the microwave portion of the electromagnetic spectrum.

Does that count?  Well, yes it does:  The more energetic photons that started out as visible light some nearly infinite distance away have passed through an unfriendly universe on their way to us:  Collisions and near misses with other photons, space warped by gravity wells, other hazards we haven’t even discovered yet – these all suck energy out of passing light.  When electromagnetic energy is lost, the photons fall down the spectrum:  Extremely energetic photons of hard X-rays become soft ones, ultraviolet becomes violet, green shifts to yellow, red to infrared, infrared to microwave.  Given enough distance, a photon will eventually run out of energy, having dissipated everything it started with into the intervening void.  We’ve been taught that a photon starts out with a certain amount of energy and always has that same amount, but it doesn’t really work that way when you look on a large enough scale.

This doesn’t bode well for the evidence assumed to be supporting the Big Bang theory – red-shift:  Instead of being a result of accelerating expansion at larger distances, red shift is caused by a much more mundane effect – light running out of energy – its energy being dissipated into the void by the nature of the universe.

There are several other problems with the Big Bang:  If the universe is expanding, what is it expanding into?  Isn’t the universe (by definition) everything that exists?  The red shift is assumed to be a measure of the rate of the universe’s expansion:  Things that are farther away are all older and red shifted more because they have been accelerating longer.  Well, no:  It has taken the light from distant objects longer to get to us than from closer ones and the photons have just had more time and distance to lose energy.  Does it really make sense that there would only be extremely old objects in the great distances and none nearby?

Gravity isn’t the result of the surface of the Earth accelerating away from the center of the core at 9.8 meters per second per second.  A much more likely explanation is that the mass of the Earth is shielding us from the skyful of photons that would bombarding us from the other side, so those from the sky above us pins us down just as if there were a mysterious vacuum pump sucking us toward the center of the Earth.

I’m working on developing TheSkyIsWhite.org to discuss and disseminate information about the physics and philosophy behind, about and derived from the concept of an open infinite universe.  Feel free to check it out.

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