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The 2011 Nobel prize for physics

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#1
The expansion of the universe is accelerating! Yay!!!

October 4, 2011: Nobel prize for physics was awarded for what was, in a sense literally, the biggest discovery ever made in physics—that the universe is not only expanding (which had been known since the 1920s), but that the rate of expansion is increasing. Something, in other words, is actively pushing it apart.

This was worked out by two groups who, in the 1990s, were studying exploding stars called supernovae. One was the Supernova Cosmology Project, at the University of California, Berkeley, led by Saul Perlmutter. The other was the High-z Supernova Search Team, an international project led by Brian Schmidt and involving Adam Riess, both of Harvard University. It is these three gentlemen who have shared the prize.

Supernovae come in various types. One particular sort, though, known as type Ia supernovae, always explode with about the same energy and are therefore equally bright. That means they can be used to estimate quite precisely how far away they (and thus the galaxy they inhabit) are. In addition, the speed at which an object such as a star or galaxy is moving away from Earth, because of the expansion of the universe, can be worked out from its red-shift. This is a fall in the frequency of its light towards the red end of the spectrum. It is caused by the Doppler effect (something similar happens when a police car or fire engine with its siren blaring drives past you, and the pitch of the sound suddenly drops).

What both groups found was that the light from distant supernovae was fainter than predicted. In other words, the supernovae were further away than their red-shifts indicated they should be, based on the existing model of the universe. Something, then, was pushing space itself apart.

What that something is, remains conjecture. It has been labelled "dark energy", but that is really physicists' short-hand for "we haven't got a clue". It may, though, relate to a mathematical term called the cosmological constant that appears in Einstein's general theory of relativity, and which Einstein thought, before the discovery of the expansion of the universe, was necessary to stop the universe collapsing.


The expansion of the Universe began with the Big Bang 14 billion years ago, but slowed down during the first several billion years. Eventually it started to accelerate. The acceleration is believed to be driven by dark energy, which in the beginning constituted only a small part of the Universe. But as matter got diluted by the expansion, the dark energy became more dominant.
http://news.discovery.com/space/nobel-prize-physics-111004.html

Meh dark matter and energy are still hiding.
 
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#2
Actually, the answer is simple. The universe isn't being "pushed apart" by the Dark Force. TIME itself is slowing down. You saw it here first.
 

Kreij

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#3
What that something is, remains conjecture. It has been labelled "dark energy", but that is really physicists' short-hand for "we haven't got a clue".

YAY !! Give out Nobel prizes for the people with the best guess. :shadedshu
The Nobel prizes have become a joke. Especially the peace prize.
 
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#4
The Nobel Peace Prize is such a laughable farce is has discredited the whole Nobel thing. I remember as a young lad, "Nobel" was it. The ultimate. The most revered. The smartest. The people that gave their professional best and dedicated their lives in the pursuit of what they are being credited for.

But now, particularly after a nonsense of peace prizes, the term Nobel has lost brand and credibility.
 
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#6
YAY !! Give out Nobel prizes for the people with the best guess. :shadedshu
Finding dark matter wasn't the goal of their work. Observing supernovae gave them clue that universe is expanding faster. They didn't guess anything.

Could it just still be the initial acceleration form the big bang?
Interesting point. But that initial acceleration would rather decrease by time. But on the contrary it's only increasing. So there's something else than Inflation which lasted no more than 10^−32 seconds after the Big Bang. But if Inflation was faster than light (which it really was) then maybe you're right and in this case the decrease of the expansion will appear .. someday ... who knows when.

http://curious.astro.cornell.edu/question.php?number=167
 
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#7
So there's something else than Inflation which lasted no more than 10^%u221232 seconds after the Big Bang
Thanks to the link on cosmological inflation. OK, I have a new theory that solves both apparent acceleration and also the "flat universe": TIME is not consistent in the x, y and z. In fact, even along x, y, and z themselves, time might not be consistent and might asymptotically decline.

This might be proven if universe flatness and universe acceleration are correlated, and the observed supernova shifts are in one cosmological plane, and if the colour shift is greater the further away the event is from the reference point.

There might be some other interesting corollaries, such as the universe might be more-infinite, but due to the time itself changing towards our "observed boundary"we think the universe is more-bounded when it might not be.

You could argue that if time does slow down from our reference point the further away you are then we are actually unable to ever know or measure with any certainty anything close to or beyond this boundary.

Enough brainbending already! Back to internet pr0n. ;)
 
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#8
Is the universe being pushed apart by dark energy? Or are there other universes out there PULLING it apart with gravity? RIDDLE ME THIS
 
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#9
You could argue that if time does slow down from our reference point the further away you are then we are actually unable to ever know or measure with any certainty anything close to or beyond this boundary.

Enough brainbending already! Back to internet pr0n. ;)
Yes that can be the case. We can't receive any information faster than the speed of light and this limitation creates a "horizon". What happens beyond that horizon is out of our reach. If we imagine that there are some galaxies that got pushed further away with the speed greater than light we can't observe that. That's why we can't see big bang which happened 14 billion years ago. But if it was only possible to travel really really far where the Big Bang's information didn't get yet then we could watch the Big Bang from there. In this case by moving really really far in space we could see the past. It only makes me think that maybe time doesn't even exist maybe it's just some kind of byproduct of space. Because events at the atomic and subatomic level seem to depend on the future as well as the past which is really strange.

But yeah let's go back to pron :)

Is the universe being pushed apart by dark energy? Or are there other universes out there PULLING it apart with gravity? RIDDLE ME THIS
Interesting. If there are other universes, then do they lie in our space-time? And if they not then can their gravity still affect our world
 
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#11
That cat looks like my cat
 
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#12
Yes that can be the case. We can't receive any information faster than the speed of light and this limitation creates a "horizon". What happens beyond that horizon is out of our reach. If we imagine that there are some galaxies that got pushed further away with the speed greater than light we can't observe that. That's why we can't see big bang which happened 14 billion years ago. But if it was only possible to travel really really far where the Big Bang's information didn't get yet then we could watch the Big Bang from there. In this case by moving really really far in space we could see the past. It only makes me think that maybe time doesn't even exist maybe it's just some kind of byproduct of space. Because events at the atomic and subatomic level seem to depend on the future as well as the past which is really strange.

But yeah let's go back to pron :)


Interesting. If there are other universes, then do they lie in our space-time? And if they not then can their gravity still affect our world
Mm.. The reason we cant see the big bang is because of the massive cosmic microwave radiation. It's like a huge wall to our telescopes. Otherwise the light has had sufficient time to travel to us.
As for other universes sharing space time with us, they probably dont or else they would be apart of our universe.

In this image, some of the blue spots are thought to be "bruises" from other universes-IE their gravity or somesuch force. Look up Kashlinksy's Dark Flow theory


Here is an interesting link or two:
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/...-multiverse-big-bang-space-science-microwave/
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/03/100322-dark-flow-matter-outside-universe-multiverse/
 
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#13
Interesting thread, I am some what of a space buff and subscribe to many space related podcasts to keep upto date and find space totally amazing, the advancements in telescopes in the last 20 years has been incredible, I dont know if we will ever know what "dark energy" is though.

The fact that we can only see about 4% of the known universe tells you it is full of stuff we cant see, ie dark energy/matter.

When the JWST gets launched we will find out more, the next few decades will be very interesting :)
 
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#14
Mm.. The reason we cant see the big bang is because of the massive cosmic microwave radiation. It's like a huge wall to our telescopes. Otherwise the light has had sufficient time to travel to us.


Relic radiation hm... I thought it was too faint. I just remember Hawking said that slight variations in the temperature of CMBR lead to formation of galaxies. Will read more about. Here's a nice link:

http://skyserver.sdss.org/dr1/en/astro/universe/universe.asp


Soon after, the Universe expanded enough, and thus the background radiation cooled enough, so that the electrons could combine with the nuclei to form atoms. Because atoms were electrically neutral, the photons of the background radiation no longer collided with them.

When the first atoms formed, the universe had slight variations in density, which grew into the density variations we see today - galaxies and clusters. These density variations should have led to slight variations in the temperature of the background radiation, and these variations should still be detectable today. Scientists realized that they had an exciting possibility: by measuring the temperature variations of the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation over different regions of the sky, they would have a direct measurement of the density variations in the early universe, over 10 billion years ago.

As for other universes sharing space time with us, they probably dont or else they would be apart of our universe.
String theory says that Big Bang (aka creation of our universe) was caused by other Universe. So there was some kind of "tunnel" or what? Maybe after inflation it got shut?


And thanks for links. I also found a couple of links

http://universe-review.ca/F05-galaxy.htm
http://cmb.physics.wisc.edu/polar/ezexp.html
http://www.enotes.com/earth-science/cosmic-microwave-background-radiation
 
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#15
Interesting thread, I am some what of a space buff and subscribe to many space related podcasts to keep upto date and find space totally amazing, the advancements in telescopes in the last 20 years has been incredible, I dont know if we will ever know what "dark energy" is though.

The fact that we can only see about 4% of the known universe tells you it is full of stuff we cant see, ie dark energy/matter.

When the JWST gets launched we will find out more, the next few decades will be very interesting :)
Yeah and the funny thing is back in the day (14 billion years ago) there wasn't dark energy but lots of dark matter. The universe was more shiny.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_matter.
 
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#16
SK-1 is right
It will come a day when space and time will be unified. It means that time is still the same since the first bing bang and einstein was wrong about his constant if you all know. In fact that formula is right(at least we take it) When space and time will unify that formula is going to be the unification.
Although einstein was wrong about the "logic" in physics about time. That way, he could never unify time and space.
@SK-1
happy nobel price man :)

Also, scientists at CERN found neutrino to be faster than light....
The bigger the universe, the less "part" it takes the same mass from time.
(I will win nobel for this :) )
 
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#17
YAY !! Give out Nobel prizes for the people with the best guess. :shadedshu
The Nobel prizes have become a joke. Especially the peace prize.
I lost respect for the Nobel when Castro was a candidate one year.

 
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#18
SK-1 is right
It will come a day when space and time will be unified. It means that time is still the same since the first bing bang and einstein was wrong about his constant if you all know. In fact that formula is right(at least we take it) When space and time will unify that formula is going to be the unification.
Although einstein was wrong about the "logic" in physics about time. That way, he could never unify time and space.
@SK-1
happy nobel price man :)

Also, scientists at CERN found neutrino to be faster than light....
The bigger the universe, the less "part" it takes the same mass from time.
(I will win nobel for this :) )
I was under the impression that space/time is already unified. That is why they are always referred to together. Do you mean one day we will have a "Theory of everything?" Like String theory?

And the neutrino that was recorded faster than light hasnt been verified yet.
 
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#19
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#20
Actually what spacetime is, this formula: x+y+z+T
I don't mean this kind of unification though :p
Also, you cannot verify something faster than light, with the speed of light....
 

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#23
As noted in a recent issue of new scientist, the expansion of the universe causes a lot of problems for quantum mechanics since qm sees every unit of space as encoding information. So either each unit gets bigger, which distorts the information it stores or information is not being conserved. It's a real problem.

An by the way, most physicists are coming to the belief that neither space nor time are real but are just constructs that happen to arise from more basic principles.

Please try to collect all the little chunks of what was once your mind before you leave. Thanks. :D :toast:
 
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#24
If space-time is built of "bricks" then where are those "bricks" located? Inside some other space-time? That's scary.
 
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#25
As noted in a recent issue of new scientist, the expansion of the universe causes a lot of problems for quantum mechanics since qm sees every unit of space as encoding information. So either each unit gets bigger, which distorts the information it stores or information is not being conserved. It's a real problem.

An by the way, most physicists are coming to the belief that neither space nor time are real but are just constructs that happen to arise from more basic principles.

Please try to collect all the little chunks of what was once your mind before you leave. Thanks. :D :toast:
Any man with a drop of common sense never put much weight into quantum mechanics. A dead cat in a box doesnt bring on fits of logic IMO. Quantum mechanics seemed more like "We have no clue. Therefore it MUST BE quantum mechanics at work."