Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Space : a discussion.

Science is always reassuring.
You know, scientists give you answers for this and that, answers that you can trust, because of the scientific method and such. Its very reassuring. As long as you keep in the realms of the mid scale, not too far from or too close to the edges of infinity, stuff seems to be well understood and its a general confident feeling of knowing what to expect. Yeah, the earth is melting, but at least we know its happening. We know what to expect. In a way, its kind of soothing.

But when it comes to space, then the anguished and the scared have every reasons to shit slime. When the science guys tell you that 20% of the universe is made up of "ordinary matter" and the rest is filled up with "dark matter", it gives you an idea of how much of a clue we dont have about all of this. Dark matter : stuff of a nature that is not understood, stuff they're not even sure it even exists. 80%!!!

And then there's the big bang.
I hate this notion. I've always hated it.
13 750 000 000 years ago, this little ball of energy got tired of whizzing around in a great void and decided all of a sudden to go psssshhhBANG! and then a few micro seconds later the universe was born.
When you look at this explanation, you cant really hold it against the creationists, I mean, at least their ideas show a minimum of imagination.

One of the reasons they say the universe is that old is that when they point their ultra-hyper-telescopes in any direction in space, the further they can observe, the edge of the observable universe, is always 13.7 billion light years away.
Now to me, this doesnt support the Big Bang notion.

Let me try to explain why, and I wish one of you geeks could tell me what I'm missing.

When you look at something that's close to 13.7 billion light years away, you're basically looking at the big bang, or at the moments right after it. Now how can you look in any direction, and see young galaxies all over the fucking place, when the big bang is supposed to be a single point event!!!


Napoleon Bonerpants said...

Good question! I once had a perfect article that explained it. I’ll look for it. But it has to do with the accelerating rate of expansion. The universe is supposedly expanding in such a way that galaxies or clusters of galaxies (not bound by the effects of gravity) are moving away from each other at an increasing speed.

This principle is the basis for the use of red shift in the Doppler Effect to determine the distance of a galaxy. The faster a galaxy is moving away from us, the farther away it is. Should this principle be proven wrong, we're all fucked but anyways…

There is no point relative to us for where the Big bang occurred. All galaxies are still within that point (imagine an expanding chocolate chip cookie). The universe is, however, way more than 13.5 billion light years in radius. We don't see the entirety of the cosmos; we only see the part for which the light has caught up to us (equates to the speed of light minus the speed of our expansion from the light source). And because the expansion of the universe supposedly isn’t bound by the limits of the speed of light, it is possible to only now see objects that once were closer to us. I think that the theory of inflation best explains this phenomenon. And objects outside of our field of view will never be seen again as our expansion relative to them is greater than the speed of light.

So yeah, they have no fucking clue.

Napoleon Bonerpants said...

Here's one article:

I forgot to mention Dark Energy, yet another recourse for having no idea.

Master of the Craw said...

There's a couple of things. First we see shit from all over time all around us because we're not on the edge of the universe but rather somewhere inside of it. We don't know where but we know we're not on the edge (it's trivial to show this because galaxies are more or less equally distributed in all directions).
So the radiation we see from the big bang so to speak is radiation that started at a central point and has expanded in all directions at once simultaneously. Because we expand at the same time as that radiation expands and because of some rotational properties of the universe (read basically everything more or less rotates) the data we get is coming from all around us and not just in a single direction as would be expected.

More to your question though is that the big bang is actually an expansion of space rather than an explosion of matter.
The best way to explain this is imagine a water balloon filled with sparkles. Initially the volume is small and the sparkles are fairly concentrated in the middle (in the extreme case there is no water and there's only sparkles in which case you could argue the sparkle/water density is infinite). As you fill the balloon with water the volume expands but the sparkles don't stay on the edge of the balloon rather they'll tend to spread around evenly.
These sparkles are clumps of matter (probably hundreds if not thousands of galaxies) and they are formed not only at the center or the edge but all over the place.
This is a gross over simplification of course. There are other factors at play that would take too long to explain.