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A Small Paragraph for an Article, a Giant Leap for Elastic Space Theory

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The front page of Discover magazine said “The Top 100 Stories of 2011,” so I had to buy it so I could have something to read on the flight to JFK airport in Queens. After we were airborne and my wife began watching a movie on the little screen in the headrest of the seat in front of her, I took out the magazine and began reading. Number one on the list of top one hundred stories was titled, “Faster Than the Speed of Light,” which referred to the announcement by a collaboration of 174 physicists at CERN that they were tracking bursts of neutrinos that were travelling faster than the speed of light.

Now according to Einstein that’s flatly impossible, and suddenly scientists all over the world were trying to search for flaws in the experiment or for independent verification of CERN’s observations. As for myself, as soon as I heard of the FTL neutrinos I remembered my article that I’d written back in January of 2010 and realized that it would fairly and easily explain the anomaly. But, I told myself, that would be self-serving, just another shot of faux seratonin for my own overblown hubris that led me (non-college-grad and certainly non-physicist that I am) to even presume to question all the world’s physicists in the first place.

That was before I read the article in Discover magazine. Now we should all bear in mind that Discover magazine is to the science community what Newsweek is to the political community – not much more than a collection of summaries of current events made sexier with all the pretty pictures. That said, both magazines still try to keep to a certain standard of accuracy as they try to present important events in language easily understandable by most people with high-school educations.

But back to the article. On the second page of the article (the full text of which is not freely available on line) I read the following:

One of the most intriguing ideas [to explain the FTL neutrinos] comes from Jarah Evslin, Emilio Ciuffoli, and Xinmin Zhang of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, who are using one unexplained phenomenon to account for another. Dark energy is a mysterious kind of antigravity thought to operate on a cosmological scale, pushing galaxies apart and causing the universe to expand ever more quickly. Evslin and colleagues propose that dark energy changes its behavior in the presence of large masses like Earth. It could be scrunching spacetime together near the planet so that the neutrinos’ rout becomes slightly shorter – 20 meters shorter, to be exact – than the measured value of 730,534.61 meters. “It creates a shortcut,” Evslin says. “The neutrinos see the distance between CERN and Gran Sasso as being less than we do.” If the particle is traversing a smaller distance (from the neutrino’s perspective) in the same amount of time, its speed dips below that speed of light, preserving relativity.

Tears came to my eyes for two reasons. One was because they were describing precisely the same effect I’d proposed in my article nearly two years earlier wherein I described a possible solution not only for the Pioneer Anomaly, the Flyby Anomaly, and the Galaxy Rotation Problem, but also for Dark Energy and maybe even Dark Matter. While the physicists from Beijing’s Chinese Academy of Sciences were suggesting a radically different set of mechanics to explain CERN’s observations, but the effect they described was precisely the same that I proposed in my article!

The second reason I had to wipe tears from my eyes was this (and here comes the braggadocio): I’m not that crazy/stupid after all! I’ve been told since I was young about my level of intelligence, but I had never accomplished anything to justify what I’d been told. But to see that I came up with an idea all my own, and to see the central facet of that idea proposed by respected physicists at a world-class institution and subsequently noted in a complimentary fashion in a fairly respected magazine…well, that’s pretty special to me. Maybe it doesn’t mean much to anyone else, but it means a great deal to me.

What’s next? I should at least try to contact those physicists (and Discover magazine) to point them to my article, because if if my theory turns out to be true, my overblown hubris demands that I be awarded at least a footnote of credit in scientific annals henceforward! More likely, I’ll be proven stupidly wrong and unceremoniously swept into that fabled dustbin of history – but hey, it’s a nice feeling while it lasts!

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About Glenn Contrarian

White. Male. Raised in the deepest of the Deep South. Retired Navy. Strong Christian. Proud Liberal. Thus, Contrarian!
  • http://viclana.blogspot.com/ Victor Lana

    Glenn, this is music to the ears of this Star Trek fan. Looks like “warp speed” might be a reality. Think how boldly we can go where no one has ever gone before.

    Keep patting yourself on the back! Congratulations.

  • Kad Mann

    “Now according to Einstein that’s flatly impossible…”

    That is false. Unfortunately these types of statements only go to show that folk science is alive and well, and how little Einstein’s work is actually understood.

    There is no issue with something travelling faster than light if it was born travelling faster than light. In addition, electromagnetic fields around some quasars are known to be rotating faster than light, and some galaxies are receding away from ours faster than light.

    Einstein said that light in the same frame of reference will always travel at the same speed. He did not say that it is impossible for some thing to move faster than light.

  • Kad Mann

    Post Script: It is Hubble’s Law that necessarily entails faster than light velocities for galaxies at great distance.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Kad –

    Excuse me – nothing that is slower than light can accelerate to exceed the speed of light in the frame of any coincident observer, to wit:

    It maintains the principle that no object can accelerate to the speed of light in the reference frame of any coincident observer.[citation needed][clarification needed] However, it permits distortions in spacetime that allow an object to move faster than light from the point of view of a distant observer.

    But that’s not really what my article’s about.

    Most of what you’re referring to are instances where the velocity of objects – when added to the vector of our own velocity – makes it seem that those objects are travelling faster than light. However, in their own perspective those objects are not traveling faster than light.

    Furthermore, when it comes to the receding galaxies, present theory – the ‘dark energy’ theory – holds that the velocity of the galaxy is being added to the accelerating rate of expansion of the universe, and that makes it seem that they are travelling FTL when in fact they are not doing so. Think about it, Kad – if those objects were indeed travelling FTL away from us, we’d never see their light.

    And btw, check out my original article referenced above – if my theory holds true, then it shows precisely how Hubble was wrong – I repeat, how Hubble was wrong – when he said that the farther away an object is, the more its acceleration away from us. From the first time I heard that when I was young, something seemed wrong with that proposition, and I believe I’ve shown that there is more than one possible explanation for his observations of the redshift of distant celestial objects.

  • Kad Mann

    “Excuse me – nothing that is slower than light can accelerate to exceed the speed of light…”

    Who said it could?

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Kad –

    No offense, but we’re splitting hairs here. The much more important issue is that if I’m right, then Hubble and every physicist that has ever bought into ‘dark energy’ is wrong. IIRC, I said in the first article that I sort of wish that some good physicist could show me where I’m wrong so I could get this out of my head and back to real life…but so far, I don’t see much in the way of obstacles to Elastic Space.

  • Kad Mann

    No offense taken. I’ll take the advice you offered in your original article about elastic space and assume that you are wildly inaccurate in your observations and conclusions, and will remind you of the danger inherent in a little knowledge.

    :)

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Kad –

    That’s good – just show me where and how I’m so very wrong – that’s all I ask.

    :)

  • Igor

    It isn’t that there’s a single glaring fault in your theory, it’s that your understanding of the whole business is spotty and incomplete. I suggest you read Hawkings book on the history of time, which is imminently readable, BTW. I like the audio-book version.

    Hawkings treats anomalies with Hubble, among other things.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    If you’re referring to “A Brief History of Time”, I read that not long after it came out. It was a great book.

  • Igor

    Are you suggesting, Glenn, that you mastered the material, and have no more need of it?

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Igor –

    Much of what Hubble and what today’s physicists believe is based upon the assumption that except for the immediate vicinity of black holes, there is little or no difference in the density, the very consistency of spacetime…in other words, that there’s no real difference between the spacetime you and I feel around us and the spacetime beyond the heliopause or in intergalactic space. I’m calling that assumption into question.

    The key phrase, the most important factor in my orignal article is:

    “The magnitude of the Pioneer effect is numerically quite close to the product of the speed of light and the Hubble constant”

    Igor, there are coincidences and there are coincidences…and the more profound the coincidence, the less likely that it’s a coincidence at all. Think about the above statement – why would the degree, the magnitude of an observed effect in space be so close to the degree of another observed effect in space? All I did was to examine a possible explanation and found that it may also explain several other anomalies as well…

    …and the article I referenced in Discover magazine shows that some very credible physicists are considering the same effect (though with a different set of mechanics) that I described two years ago tomorrow.

    So to answer your question, no, I have not mastered the material…but the I may have found something that calls much of what we now know about the nature of spacetime (and particularly the as-yet unobserved and unproven ‘dark energy’ and ‘dark matter’) into question, and in my article I even described a fairly easy way to test my assertion. But I have neither the education nor the resources to do so.

    I don’t pretend to know more than any physicist – I certainly don’t, just as the child knew far less than did the emperor about ruling an empire when he pointed out that the emperor’s clothes weren’t what he thought they were. But the fact that the emperor knew far more than the child did doesn’t make the child wrong, and the fact that the physicists know far more than I do doesn’t mean that I’m wrong, either. It’s all a matter of likelihood…

    …and I have yet to see any hard-and-fast indication proving elastic space to be just another wild-eyed theory from some idiot out in the boonies.

  • Igor

    Perhaps you should content yourself with writing science-fiction stories, as so many failed students have.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Let’s be nice, Igor.

    You know this is not going to go anywhere.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Igor –

    ‘sokay – I fully realize that I have precisely zero standing within the scientific community, and because of that, I have no chance of getting any credit even if I do miraculously turn out to be right. But I’ve said my piece, and time will tell whether or not I’m right.

    And btw – if you’ll do some digging, I suspect you’ll find that science fiction writers were and are normally quite educated, with a higher incidence of PhD’s than in any other artistic field…and this is particularly true of the SF grandmasters.

    And while we’re discussing artists and science, guess whose work is used in nearly every cell phone call made today? Ever hear of a Hollywood starlet named Hedy Lamarr? Look it up sometime….

    (you know, ADD does have its advantages)

  • Glenn Contrarian

    P.S. I didn’t put in that link – that was automatically inserted without any interaction from me

  • Glenn Contrarian

    And Igor –

    I’d appreciate it if you could show me where my ES theory is wrong.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Igor should be more aware of the fact that some of the greatest inventions in science have been the result of artistic imagination, of picturing, and Einstein was no exception. Gedankt experiment has always been one of the proven methods of scientific invention; which places Einstein and other greats more in the category of philosophers and artists than just technicians.

    As a matter of fact, Einstein wasn’t the greatest mathematician of his time. He needed the help of Lorenz to formulate the transformation equations to express his conceptual imagery.

  • Igor

    Glenns writings are filled with words like ‘belief’ and ‘miracle’ and so on, which clearly illustrate that he is just fishing. Worse, he is lazy, as he seems to think that other (better) thinkers owe it to him to show where he is wrong.

    Stick to political writing where such laziness and lack of depth are actually honored. Or, perhaps, start a new career as science-fiction writer. After all, Ron Hubbard made a successful career out of that.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Actually, Igor, my advice to Glenn would be just the opposite. I find his political writings more ridden with errors than his ruminations on time and space.

    If Glenn were to acknowledge the priority of concepts over facts, as he seems to do when it comes to physics, I’m certain his political writing would improve by a great deal.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Roger –

    “Concepts over facts”…by which I think you mean “see the forest and not just the trees”.

    I appreciate the advice, for the human endeavor of politics cannot be approached in the same manner as the empirical realm of science. The scientific method is ignored and even despised in politics – as the ongoing denial of AGW readily shows. That’s also why the best and the brightest are hailed and honored in the scientific community, but the best and brightest are often reviled in the political world (“They’re elitist snobs!”). Politics is salesmanship of anger and hope, and all too often (but not always) a means to the end that is personal power.

    It’s as you said before – in political discussions, go for the heart and not the head.

    When it comes to Igor’s opinion of my scientific opinions, I’m not too worried – I take no offense, for I well know that his reaction to what I’m proposing would be no different than the reaction by most of the scientific community…and seeing as how I’m not a scientist, all I can do is bide my time. I’ll probably be proven quite wrong…but who knows? We’ll see.

    I just wish I could have as thick a skin in political discussions….

  • Håkan Sandström

    Dear Mr Contrarian,

    anyone who has ever had a crazy “scientific idea” can find a paper supporting it if he looks through the history of science as we know it.
    Just because you can fit your own scheme into another(s) does not mean that you, or they, are right.
    It doesnt even mean youre smart.
    And it certainly doesnt mean that their idea is yours.

    kind regards
    /H

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Hakan –

    You’re absolutely right. But I encourage you to look through my original article and criticize my idea, rather than criticizing the fact that someone with more standing than I’ll ever have has had a similar idea.

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