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(Wired)   Scientists at subby's workplace have found a signal from the beginning of time. Possibly a Nobel Prize winning discovery   (wired.com) divider line 57
    More: Spiffy, Nobel Prize, Planck epoch, Lawrence Krauss, discovery, theory of relativities, gravitational wave, accelerating universe, signals  
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13218 clicks; posted to Geek » on 17 Mar 2014 at 11:31 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



Voting Results (Smartest)
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

2014-03-17 11:47:18 AM  
4 votes:

MartinD-35: What was there before time started, would that be a negative number?  I'm a bit confused here with the concept of the infinite and all that.  Dinosaur riders need not try to help.


There was no "before" because time did not exist. You can't have anything north of the North Pole, and you can't have "before" the Big Bang.
2014-03-17 11:33:49 AM  
4 votes:
HOLY shiat they may have finally detected gravity waves?!

AND direct evidence for the inflationary epoch?!

I agree, that IS Nobel-worthy. Jebus, that's friggen awesome.
2014-03-17 03:50:31 PM  
3 votes:

Khellendros: geocentric solar system ideas were not mathematically elegant - nor were they mathematical at all.

I have no idea what you mean by the bolded statement. Astronomers from antiquity to the present usually developed their astronomical models precisely so that they can calculate astronomical positions forward and backward in time, and determine the occurrence of important astronomical events (eclipses, astrological events, etc). This was true before Ptolemy's time, and Ptolemy himself provided tables of figures that astronomers could use to easily calculate the future positions of the heavenly bodies. They were accurate models too.

Now, a lot of these models were developed around geometric notions more than algebraic or physics notions, but that doesn't mean that they weren't mathematical.

I suppose we can agree to disagree on the elegance observation, but my point was that the authors of these various systems of thinking all saw their models as particularly elegant. Others could (and did) disagree with them, but each model fills a specific role. For example, the Tychonian system was a geocentric model specifically designed to have the mathematical simplicity of the Copernican system, but retain the geocentric nature. If you were a priori convinced that a geocentric model was correct, the Tychonian system was very elegant for you.


Khellendros: I'll give you the piece on elliptical orbits - and that's where descriptions of our solar system stopped.


Nope. I'll address this down with general relativity.


Khellendros: However, they were done with Newtonian and Kepler mechanical models, and elliptical orbits didn't exist without them, so it's meaningless for you to have separated them as if they were different models.


To the people working with these models, they were very different. Kepler believed that the sun was a symbol for the Christian God the Father, and the sun provided motive force for the motion of the planets that diminished over distance (explaining why planets moved slowly at aphelion and quickly at perihelion). Newton *unified* the motion of all the planets with a single physical force- gravity.

Now, if you only care about how a model describes the motion of the stellar bodies through space, I'll grant you that there isn't a difference between Kepler and Newton. If you care about the actual models that they espoused, the details and the motive forces, there's a huge difference. For example, Newton's model allows for and well-describes the motion of an interstelllar body captured by our solar system. I'm not an expert on Kepler's system of thought, but it seems doubtful that Kepler would have believed such things to be possible.


Khellendros: General relatively didn't alter our basic idea of how our solar system worked from any kind of orbital mechanics point of view, and didn't replace the Newton/Kepler understanding of our solar system, so acting as if one replaced the other is just plain wrong.


Oh, but it did. The earliest example of GR superseding Newtonian mechanics is a case called the "Perihelion Precession of Mercury".

It was known as early as 1859 that Mercury's orbit was not fully explained by Newtonian mechanics. In particular the perihelion would advance some small amount each year (the perihelion is the point of the orbit closest to the sun). Under Newtonian mechanics in a simple two body Sun-Mercury system, such an effect does not exist. Initially people thought that the cause must be small but measurable gravitational effects from other planets such as Venus and Earth. Such models were investigated, but eventually the scientific consensus was that Newtonian mechanics could not fully describe the orbit of Mercury.

As it turned out, General Relativity predicts a slightly different gravitational force than Newtonian mechanics. This slight difference explains the difference in expected orbits, and was in fact the first validation of Einstein's theory in explaining some phenomena that could not be explained through Newtonian gravitation.

If you want to quibble about what the "basic idea" really means, I would again contend that the mere paths that stellar bodies take through space is only a small part of the theory as a whole. General relativity unifies space and time into spacetime, and provides a radically different (relativistic) view of the universe and solar system. If you're just interested in calculating the positions of stars and planets in the sky we might as well have stopped with Ptolemy. If you want to understand *why* the universe behaves the way it does, you have to keep going.


Khellendros: And none of that has ANYTHING to do with understanding multiverse theory, which makes your final statement completely throw-away, and not connected to the previous ideas at all.  Then, with your added bit about not having the scientific education on such things shows that your assertion that multiverse theory has no "staying power" or that you can somehow balance it in your mind in terms of "beauty" is completely empty.


So first off, I hope you can tell at this point that I'm educated on the subjects at hand. I'm not some yahoo just looking stuff up on Wikipedia. What I did say was that I'm not a cosmologist orastrophysicist. All that meant was that I'm not an  expert. As a point of order, I'd like to say that my ideas could rather be judged on their own merit, rather than you dismissing them because of your (mis-) understanding of my background.

Anyway, you missed the fundamental point I was making. All through history we have these people who think that their theories are simple and beautiful and parsimonious,  at the time, they were. In retrospect, it's easy to see the mathematical contortions in Brahe's system as brutish and ugly, but he really believed that his theory most closely matched all available evidence, both scientific and theological. At his point in time, both the Copernican and the Tychonian system both described the solar system to the same degree of accuracy, and the Tychonian system even had slightly more evidence because the contemporary astronomers of the time were unable to detect the stellar parallax predicted by the Copernican system.

In our modern day, the multiverse theory (and associated anthropic principle) are very simple and elegant ways of explaining away all of the parameter tuning problems various models have. In my mind, they are a cheap way of getting around the fundamental problem, which is that we don't presently know why our universe behaves in certain ways. Like I said above, I'm not an expert, so I can't prognosticate on this in any technical detail, but from a pedagogical point of view this doesn't sound any better to me than the ancients saying that the planets move because the natural state of the aether is motion. To me, both arguments boil down to, "Because that's the way it is!"

To the ancients in their day, the concept of the aether had just as much explanatory power as the multiverse does today. Both explain how the universe functions, but neither explains  why the universe does what it does.
2014-03-17 11:39:30 AM  
3 votes:
img.fark.net
2014-03-17 11:29:28 AM  
3 votes:
"Hello Sweetie"?  The fark?
2014-03-17 06:50:49 PM  
2 votes:

4seasons85!: Can someone give me an explanation of this finding? I understand biology well but I struggle with physics. I find it fascinating though.


Short answer: Evidence has been found that light (i.e., background radiation) that we can see from the earliest milliseconds of the universe is polarized in a way that can only be explained by the effects of gravity - and a particular kind of gravity at that. This discovery confirms major theories that explain why the background radiation of the big bang is "smooth" and uniform, rather than "lumpy," which had been a major mystery. This is not only confirmation that the big bang happened the way most cosmologists theorize, but the evidence from this discovery is much stronger than the cosmologists had hoped.

Still needs to be confirmed and reproduced, but it looks like existing data may already allow that confirmation, so it could be only a matter of weeks or months before this discovery becomes peer-reviewed fact.

The Bad Astronomer (paging Phil to thread 8182681!) has a good write-up that doesn't hurt the head too much.

/GED in astronomy ;)
//farkers who make their living from the stars and universe, feel free to fix
2014-03-17 02:28:45 PM  
2 votes:

Orgasmatron138: Does the big bounce theory coincide with the theory that the universe isn't expanding indefinitely, but is actually slowing down?


What?  The universe is expanding at an accelerated rate.  And what's more, some people smarter than me have determined that there is not enough mass to have gravity to slow it down, even counting predicted amounts of dark matter.
2014-03-17 12:32:08 PM  
2 votes:
It's just been decoded:

scienceblogs.com
2014-03-17 12:21:08 PM  
2 votes:

MartinD-35: What was there before time started, would that be a negative number?  I'm a bit confused here with the concept of the infinite and all that.  Dinosaur riders need not try to help.


Since nobody has a good combination of gravity with quantum theory, nobody really understands the big bang. Alternative notions such as "big bounce" can't be ruled out.

math.ucr.edu
2014-03-17 11:52:02 AM  
2 votes:
You mean the beginning of *this* time.
2014-03-17 11:44:00 AM  
2 votes:

MartinD-35: What was there before time started, would that be a negative number?  I'm a bit confused here with the concept of the infinite and all that.  Dinosaur riders need not try to help.


Thaaattt depends on what cosmological model you look at, but the concept of 'before' the universe/before time is tricky.

Especially since first you have to define what 'time' is, and we're kinda still arguing about *THAT*.
2014-03-17 11:39:13 AM  
2 votes:
"HOLD MY BEER AND WATCH THIS."
2014-03-17 11:36:45 AM  
2 votes:

Felgraf: AND direct evidence for the inflationary epoch?!


And if I'm not mistaken, the inflationary universe model also implies (requires, actually) a multiverse.
2014-03-17 11:36:17 AM  
2 votes:
It was "One! Two! One, two, three, four!"
2014-03-17 11:35:56 AM  
2 votes:
Cool subby! One of my coworkers DIDN'T burn her popcorn this morning, so that was pretty nice, too.
2014-03-17 11:33:35 AM  
2 votes:

AirForceVet: So Subby works at the South Pole?


Subby pretends to work at the South Pole. Subby Farks at the South Pole.
2014-03-17 06:53:32 PM  
1 votes:

Fubini: am saying the exact opposite. The beauty, simplicity, or elegance of an idea does not guarantee it any measure of success. The point I made is that we had all these theories that were once thought to be beautiful, simple, and elegant. The procession demonstrates a whole line of such theories.

Ergo, the fact that the multiverse theory is a simple explanation for many problems in modern physics does not lend it any credibility. It is simple, it is beautiful, but that does not mean it is good. We are making the same point. Good God man I'm exasperated with you.



Ok, let me put this as simply as possible - your approach to evaluating the multiverse concept (as you've written it above) is completely non-scientific.  I am an arbiter of what is a worthwhile discussion because I am requiring you to attack the hypothesis based on what is in the hypothesis.  You are looking at it from some pseudo-historical perspective of continuity, writing styles, and elegant approach, and not from the required perspective of the testability or predictive ability of the model.  In short, you're not using the scientific method in evaluating the idea.

You pointed it out as a "step in the wrong direction", and yet you have provided no counter to the elements of the hypothesis.  Instead you put forth arguments one way or the other based off of how these ideas will be "perceived" and "accepted", or their place in a historical context.  Neither matter to whether the hypothesis has predictive value, or is correct.  At all.

I suppose I'm being a pedantic pain, but your approach adds to the incredibly unscientific approach to ideas that pervades our culture.  People put forth their impressions and opinions on ideas based off of total irrelevancies, and not challenging the idea on its merits.
2014-03-17 04:24:16 PM  
1 votes:
The preprint is up.

If you're into that sort of thing. I'll be reading this to my kids at bedtime, for sure.
2014-03-17 04:23:40 PM  
1 votes:

Fubini: As a point of order, I'd like to say that my ideas could rather be judged on their own merit, rather than you dismissing them because of your (mis-) understanding of my background.



I dismissed them because your progression example is absurd - an over generalization that doesn't make the point you claim it's making.  Your long justification for geocentrism as a mathematical model or asserting that general relativity changed the way we view how our solar system works is just a long, winding stretch to attempt to make a point that you don't feel multiverse ideas have "beauty" or "staying power".  You're using an exceptionally bent view of the history of science to make a point on model simplicity as a direct challenge to a new idea.

For all of our quibbling on history - and how poorly I feel you grasp it - it's fairly minor to my challenge of your initial statement.  Challenging a hypothesis of the multiverse by appealing to a historical progression of evolving theories (correctly or incorrectly stated) can do nothing to challenge its validity, explanatory power, or worth in development.  Your thoughts on how it "feels" or how "sturdy" it is doesn't hold any weight, nor is that opinion valuable for discussion.

Now, if you had some counter example that would show where this concept can't hold up, fails in predicative power, or is inherently untestable, THEN we have something worth developing in further discussion.  But as you've admitted you don't have the background as a physicist or cosmologist to challenge it, I'm still wondering why you thought that train of thought was valuable.
2014-03-17 04:10:05 PM  
1 votes:

QuantuMechanic: error 303: Fubini: QuantuMechanic: Why not? The WMAP got it in '06

This work is scientifically impressive, but it's impact is going to be of a much more technical nature. This isn't going to fundamentally change how we see the universe overnight.

And the Higgs just got it. That's quite technical stuff in my (MS CMP) opinion.


It'll be interesting to see if the discovery of the Higgs field and now experimental confirmation of inflation revives any thoughts on the Higgs feild gives rise to inflation. I believe this was Guth's original proposal which has since dropped out of favor. If those two discoveries wind up intertwined that would just make this all the more awesome to me. Not that it needs to be any more awesome to be really really awesome...
2014-03-17 03:53:40 PM  
1 votes:

jylcat: pkellmey: I don't see a Nobel in it, but interesting nonetheless.

http://blog.vixra.org/2014/03/16/who-should-get-the-nobel-prize-for- co smic-inflation/


I say YES to Alan Guth. He's the one who should get the Nobel all right - I remember when he proposed inflation in 1980. It was the only theory that really matched observations then, and it's the same way now.
2014-03-17 03:11:53 PM  
1 votes:

Jubeebee: MartinD-35: What was there before time started, would that be a negative number?  I'm a bit confused here with the concept of the infinite and all that.  Dinosaur riders need not try to help.

There was no "before" because time did not exist. You can't have anything north of the North Pole, and you can't have "before" the Big Bang.


True.  And on top of that, at small enough distances, time doesn't even exist now.  When the entire universe was that small (even after the Big Bang), we can't really even say that a definitive order of events existed, let alone quantized spacetime.
 

Felgraf: MartinD-35: What was there before time started, would that be a negative number?  I'm a bit confused here with the concept of the infinite and all that.  Dinosaur riders need not try to help.

Thaaattt depends on what cosmological model you look at, but the concept of 'before' the universe/before time is tricky.

Especially since first you have to define what 'time' is, and we're kinda still arguing about *THAT*.


Yeah.  If you define time as "that which is measured by clocks", and the fundamental forces that allow clocks to exist aren't exactly functioning as we know them, it's hard to say whether time exists or not.
2014-03-17 02:44:04 PM  
1 votes:

Fubini: Khellendros: The number of things wrong with your above progression is simply staggering.  You could have just written the final statement, and left the rest out.  The mass above makes your final statement redundant.

Please, O Wise One, please illuminate my ignorance. What specifically did I get wrong?

At all stages of human history, people have formulated models that seemed to explain the observable evidence most simply. As our knowledge about the universe expands, the theories that once seemed simple and beautiful no longer do. I think that the multiverse theory is going to fall into the category of ideas that seemed beautiful in the lack of further evidence, but don't have staying power.



If you insist - geocentric solar system ideas were not mathematically elegant - nor were they mathematical at all.  Circular orbits were not mathematical at all.  I'll give you the piece on elliptical orbits - and that's where descriptions of our solar system stopped.  However, they were done with Newtonian and Kepler mechanical models, and elliptical orbits didn't exist without them, so it's meaningless for you to have separated them as if they were different models.  General relatively didn't alter our basic idea of how our solar system worked from any kind of orbital mechanics point of view, and didn't replace the Newton/Kepler understanding of our solar system, so acting as if one replaced the other is just plain wrong.

And none of that has ANYTHING to do with understanding multiverse theory, which makes your final statement completely throw-away, and not connected to the previous ideas at all.  Then, with your added bit about not having the scientific education on such things shows that your assertion that multiverse theory has no "staying power" or that you can somehow balance it in your mind in terms of "beauty" is completely empty.

You admit ignorance on the science needed to understand a topic, then attack the outcome based on your feeling on the consequences, not a rational evaluation of the concept.  I'm trying to figure out why you said it at all.
2014-03-17 02:30:36 PM  
1 votes:

Fubini: QuantuMechanic: Why not? The WMAP got it in '06

This work is scientifically impressive, but it's impact is going to be of a much more technical nature. This isn't going to fundamentally change how we see the universe overnight.



Well, the inflationary model was a pretty radical change to how we see the universe when it was proposed in 1980, and now we have experimental verification. To me, big things like this should have awards for theory shown to be correct, and for the experiment verifying the theory.
2014-03-17 02:19:49 PM  
1 votes:

Max Awesome: Awesome. I love this field of science.

Okay, so the inflation occurred just before the Big Bang - there was a sudden expansion. But where did the universe expand into? Just a featureless void with no matter, energy, stuff?

Or did the universe displace something that was alreadythere? Was our creation also an act of destruction?


Well, inflation happened essentially immediatly after the big bang. Regarding what we're expanding into, I feel like the answer is largely "nothing" or maybe "nothingness" would be a better description. Or just that the universe isnt expanding into anything, it's just expanding. I've always thought it was at best a moot question, or at least one more geared towards philosophy.

Now if you mean outside our "observable" universe, the answer is largely "more of the same". The fac that our universe is 13.8 billion LY across really only refers to our observable universe, and I think at this point it's pretty well established that the "actual" universe extends well beyond that.
2014-03-17 02:16:28 PM  
1 votes:

Khellendros: The number of things wrong with your above progression is simply staggering.  You could have just written the final statement, and left the rest out.  The mass above makes your final statement redundant.


Please, O Wise One, please illuminate my ignorance. What specifically did I get wrong?

At all stages of human history, people have formulated models that seemed to explain the observable evidence most simply. As our knowledge about the universe expands, the theories that once seemed simple and beautiful no longer do. I think that the multiverse theory is going to fall into the category of ideas that seemed beautiful in the lack of further evidence, but don't have staying power.
2014-03-17 02:05:25 PM  
1 votes:

Felgraf: Fubini: Then there was a time when circular orbits were beautifully simple and mathematically elegant description of the solar system, according to all known data at the time.

Actually,we sort of went from Geocentric to Eliptical, didn't we? The problem with circular was that the math DIDN'T predict as well as the (Now highly refined and with epicycles) Geocentric version did. That was one of the problems Copernicus had,if I remember right.


Depends on where you lived, whose science you had heard of, and who you chose to believe.

Astronmers knew that orbits couldn't be perfectly circular maybe as far back as antiquity, I don't know. Thus, Ptolemy used a two-circle system (a circular orbit with an epicycle) to describe the motion of the planets as early as the 100's AD. It wasn't until 1605 that Johannes Kepler realized that the orbit of Mars was best described by an ellipse rather than a circle or ovoid (egg shape). Between those two times, there were several major geocentric and heliocentric theories advanced.

The Copernican system (1543) was heliocentric and had circular orbits modified by more epicycles.  The Tychonian system (1570's) was a more sophisticated geocentric system that combined Ptolemaic and Copernican ideas, but also had essentially circular orbits.

Much later, in 1687, Issac Newton showed that Newtonian physics gave rise to the elliptical orbits that Kepler described.


So yes, on an absolute scale there was a period of time where we had heliocentrism with non-elliptical orbits. The funny circular orbits modified by epicycles actually predicted planetary motion pretty well in accordance with what data they had at the time. As before, that idea goes back to Ptolemy, which was used in order to explain the apparent retrograde motion of the planets.
2014-03-17 01:57:51 PM  
1 votes:

Fubini: Shepherd: Agreed.  But just because it's the simplest way doesn't mean it's proof.  We might just have a single universe that happens to have had inflation.

Yep. There was a time when a geocentric solar system was a beautifully simple and mathematically elegant description of the universe, according to all known data at the time. Then there was a time when circular orbits were beautifully simple and mathematically elegant description of the solar system, according to all known data at the time. Then there was a time when elliptical orbits were a beautifully simple and mathematically elegant description of the solar system, according to all known data at the time. Then there was a time when newtonian physics provided a beautifully simple and mathematically elegant description of the solar system, according to all known data at the time. Then there was a time when general relativity provided a beautifully simple and mathematically elegant description of the solar system, according to all known data at the time...

I'm not a cosmologist or astrophysicist, but the multiverse theory seems like a step in the wrong direction.



The number of things wrong with your above progression is simply staggering.  You could have just written the final statement, and left the rest out.  The mass above makes your final statement redundant.
2014-03-17 01:43:23 PM  
1 votes:
img.fark.net
2014-03-17 01:03:42 PM  
1 votes:

Shepherd: Agreed.  But just because it's the simplest way doesn't mean it's proof.  We might just have a single universe that happens to have had inflation.


Yep. There was a time when a geocentric solar system was a beautifully simple and mathematically elegant description of the universe, according to all known data at the time. Then there was a time when circular orbits were beautifully simple and mathematically elegant description of the solar system, according to all known data at the time. Then there was a time when elliptical orbits were a beautifully simple and mathematically elegant description of the solar system, according to all known data at the time. Then there was a time when newtonian physics provided a beautifully simple and mathematically elegant description of the solar system, according to all known data at the time. Then there was a time when general relativity provided a beautifully simple and mathematically elegant description of the solar system, according to all known data at the time...

I'm not a cosmologist or astrophysicist, but the multiverse theory seems like a step in the wrong direction.
2014-03-17 12:47:09 PM  
1 votes:

error 303: The Crepes of Wrath: Felgraf: AND direct evidence for the inflationary epoch?!

And if I'm not mistaken, the inflationary universe model also implies (requires, actually) a multiverse.

Not entirely the case. Inflationary cosmology allows for "multiverses", i.e. separate bubbles of space-time, and an eternal inflation model will always produce an infinite number of separate universes, but I believe even with this discovery it's still possible to reconcile inflation with a single universe. Some one may correct me if I'm wrong though.

/lapsed astrophysicist


In short, there may be, might be, could be some multiverses-- there is the possibility-- but we cannot know the degree of probability yet.

/yet
2014-03-17 12:44:29 PM  
1 votes:

tinyarena: "At the tone the time will be 00:01"


"At the tone, the time will be 00:00.0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 000000001."
2014-03-17 12:44:23 PM  
1 votes:
Everyone wants to speculate about time and space and how it all began when we could just ask the one thing we know was there in the beginning: Galactus.
2014-03-17 12:13:13 PM  
1 votes:
The more a read, the less I understand cosmology. How did gravity waves modify background radiation. They were headed away from the original singularity before gravity wells were formed, weren't they? For that matter, how is the background radiation just now getting to us if the matter on earf also came from the big bang.

I am not saying cosologists are wrong. I am saying I don't get it.
2014-03-17 12:08:05 PM  
1 votes:

ValisIV: jylcat: Heh, A tweet from one of our scientists (i yam subby):

"Randall Smith @smith_randallk 2h
@planet4589 Scientists researching in Antarctica return with major news. Why am I afraid we'll hear they've awakened an ancient terror?

Yeah, if it's 6' tall albino penguins, I am going to freak out.



images.tcj.com
"... not a penguin."
2014-03-17 12:06:45 PM  
1 votes:
So you do the working with Larry King?
2014-03-17 12:04:34 PM  
1 votes:

Reverend J: http://www.cfa.harvard.edu/news/conferences for the press conference, but good luck getting through the site it already hammered.

You'd think $30 billion endowment they could get a website that could handle a bunch of people trying to view a press conference.


Another good link is Space.com's -  http://www.space.com/25078-universe-inflation-gravitational-waves-dis c overy.html
2014-03-17 12:01:19 PM  
1 votes:
It's pretty awesome, one of the people who regularly comes into the letterpress I run has been live-Tweeting the conference, complete with graphs and images. Pretty cool shiat. Also this:

pbs.twimg.com
2014-03-17 12:00:18 PM  
1 votes:
http://www.cfa.harvard.edu/news/conferences for the press conference, but good luck getting through the site it already hammered.

You'd think $30 billion endowment they could get a website that could handle a bunch of people trying to view a press conference.
2014-03-17 11:58:55 AM  
1 votes:

FlashHarry: a 6,000-year-old signal? very cool!


I also have a signal from the beginning of time.

It's called The Holy Bible!

Suck it, libs!

*runs away*
2014-03-17 11:53:00 AM  
1 votes:
When converted to audio "Achoo" is easily heard.
2014-03-17 11:49:14 AM  
1 votes:

Headso: cool place to be a janitor, subs...


Hey I get to do math on the boards at night.
2014-03-17 11:49:02 AM  
1 votes:
Amazing! I knew those steady-state punks were full of it!
2014-03-17 11:47:16 AM  
1 votes:

The Crepes of Wrath: Felgraf: AND direct evidence for the inflationary epoch?!

And if I'm not mistaken, the inflationary universe model also implies (requires, actually) a multiverse.


Inflation doesn't require a multiverse.  The multiverse is the simplest way to avoid the anthropic principle -- 'why did the universe inflate in just such a way that life was possible' -- but you can still have inflation without a multiverse.
2014-03-17 11:46:54 AM  
1 votes:
To solve this conundrum, theorists in the 1980s speculated that the very early universe must have been even smaller than we presume. Approximately 0.000000000000000000000000000000000001 seconds after the Big Bang, it suddenly went through an accelerated expansion that drove it to become one thousand quadrillion quadrillion quadrillion quadrillion quadrillion times bigger than it previously was. Inflation brings the universe to the right size for the Big Bang model and all our other observations to make sense.

Extremely small numbers referencing extremely large numbers makes brain go to goo.
2014-03-17 11:46:20 AM  
1 votes:

The Crepes of Wrath: Felgraf: AND direct evidence for the inflationary epoch?!

And if I'm not mistaken, the inflationary universe model also implies (requires, actually) a multiverse.


Not entirely the case. Inflationary cosmology allows for "multiverses", i.e. seprate bubbles of space-time, and an eternal inflation model will always produce an infinite number of seprate universes, but I believe even with this discovery it's still possible to reconcile inflation with a single universe. Some one may correct me if I'm wrong though.

/lapsed astrophysicist
2014-03-17 11:45:41 AM  
1 votes:

Felgraf: MartinD-35: What was there before time started, would that be a negative number?  I'm a bit confused here with the concept of the infinite and all that.  Dinosaur riders need not try to help.

Thaaattt depends on what cosmological model you look at, but the concept of 'before' the universe/before time is tricky.

Especially since first you have to define what 'time' is, and we're kinda still arguing about *THAT*.


here's a graphical representation:

media.tumblr.com
2014-03-17 11:44:50 AM  
1 votes:
When things like this happen I find myself saying "Wow...this is fantastic, and by that I mean, I'm just going to take your word for it that its fantastic because I so thoroughly can't even begin to wrap my mind around the magnitude of this finding.
2014-03-17 11:44:26 AM  
1 votes:
Turns out the Big Bang sounded more like one of those squeaky, long farts.
2014-03-17 11:44:16 AM  
1 votes:
"We apologize for the inconvenience."
2014-03-17 11:43:54 AM  
1 votes:
cool place to be a janitor, subs...
2014-03-17 11:42:59 AM  
1 votes:
Ex-Texan: What's the long distance charge on that call?

42.
2014-03-17 11:41:10 AM  
1 votes:

grokca: It's just a theory.


img.fark.net
2014-03-17 11:40:12 AM  
1 votes:
This is going to get trolled on Twitter.
2014-03-17 11:30:45 AM  
1 votes:
Heh, A tweet from one of our scientists (i yam subby):

"Randall Smith @smith_randallk 2h
@planet4589 Scientists researching in Antarctica return with major news. Why am I afraid we'll hear they've awakened an ancient terror?
2014-03-17 11:24:47 AM  
1 votes:
Pffft.

Let me know when they track down a recording of a booming voice calling out, "Let there be light".
2014-03-17 11:20:49 AM  
1 votes:
a 6,000-year-old signal? very cool!
 
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