Home / Elastic Space — A Possible Alternative to Dark Matter and Dark Energy

Elastic Space — A Possible Alternative to Dark Matter and Dark Energy

Please Share...Print this pageTweet about this on TwitterShare on Facebook0Share on Google+0Pin on Pinterest0Share on Tumblr0Share on StumbleUpon0Share on Reddit0Email this to someone

How can an object in a vacuum slow down at a rate not explainable by gravity?

A few years ago I read about the Pioneer Anomaly, which is the observed deviation from predicted trajectories and velocities of various unmanned spacecraft visiting the outer solar system, most notably Pioneer 10 and Pioneer 11. Yes, they are still experiencing some sunward acceleration due to the sun's gravity outside the heliopause, but they are both slowing down slightly more than expected. As I continued reading, I found out that these are not the only mystery — there is also the flyby anomaly, wherein spacecraft that transit over Earth's polar regions (rotational AND magnetic) experience an acceleration rather than a deceleration…this is very similar to the Pioneer spacecraft's deceleration relative to the Sun. But then I noticed something in the first reference above: "The magnitude of the Pioneer effect is numerically quite close to the product of the speed of light and the Hubble constant", and the writer notes that the significance of this is not known.

So now we have three observations: the Pioneer anomaly, the flyby anomaly, and the interesting degree of the Pioneer effect. To these I added another anomaly, the galaxy rotation problem, which notes that the arms of spiral galaxies, from just outside the central bulge to the edge of the galaxy, spin at an almost constant speed…and according to Newtonian physics, such masses traveling at such speeds would tend to fly away and escape from the galaxy.

I realized that there must be some kind of spatial boundary just outside the heliopause, and close to masses such as Earth…and wondered if perhaps there was such a boundary outside spiral galaxies preventing the ejection of stellar masses orbiting the central bulge so fast that that the centripetal force should eject them from the galaxy. What would possibly explain such boundaries? At first I considered that perhaps the consistency of the fabric of space itself was not constant, that space itself was 'lighter' in proximity to masses…which would have explained to some extent the anomalies above, but left a nagging question: what would happen to the speed of light from extrastellar sources? That, and what would this mean to the current search for Dark Matter and Dark Energy?

So I spent several months ruminating over that issue, and last night (in the shower, of all places), it came to me: what if the fabric of space was stretched in proximity to masses? What if a kilometer of space in near-earth orbit did not match with a kilometer of space in interstellar regions? If this were true, then when the Pioneer craft exited the Solar System, they did not experience additional sunward acceleration (or, in more understandable terms, 'slow down'). No, instead the Pioneer craft were traveling precisely as many kilometers per hour as they should have been…but the kilometers they traversed were shortened. To observers here on Earth, the Pioneer craft appeared to slow down more than they should have, but if I'm correct, their velocity did not change more than it should have due to stellar gravity!

This would also explain the 'flyby anomaly', the apparent acceleration of spacecraft near Earth, for as they neared our planet, the fabric of space in close proximity to Earth became ever-so-slightly stretched…and — to Earthside observers — accelerated more than expected. But as with the Pioneer craft, the spacecraft near Earth did not experience an unusual change in acceleration — instead, they were traveling just as many kilometers per hour as they should, but those kilometers of space were being stretched by their proximity to Earth.

Now here's where things get interesting…because if my "Elastic Space" theory (hereafter referred to as "ES") pans out, then the positions of visible stellar objects are as we see them, and are just as far away as they appear to be…but the light that traveled from those objects had to travel further (to the view of Earthlings in a gravity well) than we had previously understood, because while the light was still traveling at 300,000 kilometers per second, each kilometer was slightly shorter than we expect them to be. In other words, all interstellar light that reaches us here has traveled many more kilometers than we expect…and are significantly more redshifted than they should be.

In 1929, Edwin Hubble proved that the velocity at which various galaxies are receding from the Earth is proportional to their distance from us. The farther away the galaxies are, the more quickly they are accelerating away from us. But ES shows that this is not the case after all, because the more distant the galaxy, the more 'shortened kilometers' the photons from that galaxy has had to traverse, and those photons will be significantly more redshifted than the apparent distance of that galaxy would warrant.

And there's another piece of the puzzle that I alluded to earlier — the observed Pioneer effect was numerically equivalent to the product of the speed of light and the Hubble constant. I think that fact has now become significant.

According to Wikipedia, "dark energy is a hypothetical form of energy that permeates all of space and tends to increase the rate of expansion of the universe. Dark energy is the most popular way to explain recent observations and experiments that the universe appears to be expanding at an accelerating rate…In the standard model of cosmology, dark energy currently accounts for 74% of the total mass-energy of the universe" The major proof of the existence of dark energy is the apparent acceleration of galaxies as evinced by the observed redshift of those galaxies. However, ES shows that the actual redshift of those galaxies is significantly less than the observed redshift.

Dark matter was a harder nut to crack. Again, according to the Wikipedia, "In astronomy and cosmology, dark matter is a theoretical form of matter that is undetectable by its emitted radiation, but whose presence can be inferred from gravitational effects on visible matter. According to present observations of structures larger than galaxies, as well as Big Bang cosmology, dark matter and dark energy could account for the vast majority of the mass in the observable universe." How could ES explain dark matter? Could the apparent elasticity of the fabric of space account for the dark matter's apparent gravitational effects on visible matter? Perhaps, because a large portion of the evidence for dark matter is the galaxy rotation problem mentioned earlier in this article.

With ES, the fabric of space is stretched to some extent everywhere within the volume of a star's heliopause, and more so near any planets therein. Stars and planets have mass that is easily measurable by today's instrumentation. However, if the space within the heliopause is stretched, effectively making a bubble of stretched space within the surrounding vicinity of interstellar normal (non-stretched) space, then would that make the volume of the heliopause lighter, or effectively less massive than would be predicted by current models? Perhaps, for as weak as the Pioneer effect and the flyby anomalies were, if such differences were applied to the entire volume inside a heliopause, the total effect on that volume, on that bubble of stretched space, might well explain the gravitational rotation problem and put the issue of dark matter to rest.

In all honesty, ES may well turn out to be a manifestation (or extension) of "frame-dragging", first predicted by Einstein's Theory of General Relativity. Frame-dragging predicts that the rotation of an object would alter space and time, dragging a nearby object out of position compared with the predictions of Newtonian physics.

Is there a way to test ES? I don't know yet. Perhaps if we could measure the observed velocity of the light from a known source as it travels near a massive object and is slightly warped by that object such as happens with gravitational lenses. If the light travels more quickly than expected — after allowing for the curvature of the measured volume of space — then that might be considered proof of ES. Another way might be to send a very high-speed object between two major masses — say between the Earth and the Moon — and measure changes in apparent velocity along the path of travel.

Most new theories give rise to as many questions as answers, and here are other questions that ES raises:

1 – How would ES affect the flow of time?
2 – How might violent stellar events affect and be affected by ES?
3 – Does ES infer that stars are not at the presently observed distance, but are actually at the observed distance slightly modified (probably somewhat diminished) by the Hubble constant?

I know that I am not a physicist by any means. Nor am I in any way qualified to presume to knock the life's work of Edwin Hubble and that of thousands of other physicists and astronomers, famous and not-so-famous. It is better to assume that I am wildly inaccurate in my observations and conclusions, and to remind myself the danger inherent in a little knowledge. But who knows? Maybe I hit on something, the layman's physics equivalent of winning the lottery. I expect to receive scorn, derision, and perhaps a little pity from those who do know far more about physics than I will ever learn…but maybe I'm right! Time will tell.

Powered by

About Glenn Contrarian

White. Male. Raised in the deepest of the Deep South. Retired Navy. Strong Christian. Proud Liberal. Thus, Contrarian!
  • mark b

    bye for now…..
    mark a. bartholomew

  • mark b

    so the next time you see a ufo,… tilt… and speed of in an opposite direction…. well… we’ll do the same… in maybe twenty years…..

  • mark b

    peloc’s are “perfectly elastic lines of communication”…
    siloc’s …. semi-elastic …..
    iloc’s….. inelastic lines of communication
    ke’s…. kinetic effects… of dissimilar fields commumicating.

  • mark b

    i’ve had to make some changes in the current mathematical language(s)…. by deconstucting the physics concepts,…. and deconstructing the mathematical operators…. a morphing equation … like a key…. turns events into state-like functional performances….

  • mark b

    an internal mileau would need to be engineered as well…. to accomodate the human cellular structures…..

  • mark b

    to propulse…. faster than the speed of light…. one need only engineer, an organized, phasic array of ae’s… autonomous entities…. atoms,… molecules… and communicate some distance away….. (could be light years away)

  • mark b

    once the “line of communication” is lost…. the tension is gone…. no more structure in space…. until the next communication….

  • mark b

    things like standing waves,… traveling waves…. are explained…. here….

  • mark b

    once two autonomous entities, atoms, places of entropic change,…. communicate… they create a “tension” around them…. this tension, then may communicate with itself,…. and so on…. depending on the duration of the communication….

  • mark b

    atoms communicate with each other…. i found out that “entaglement” is what physicists call it…. except they do not have the dynamic correct.

  • mark b

    im not educated in physics…. i taught myself. i was a musical prod….. and derived mac lauren’s series in my head, one night in high school…. so i began to write…. and write…. and write….

  • mark b

    we shouldn’t be but ten years or so from an entirely new physics…… no more particle accelerators…. acceleration does not exist….. we simply cannot measure the cascading velocities….

  • mark b

    what one finds….. are peloc’s, siloc’s, iloc’s and ke’s….. four new fields. they replace concepts like force, gravity, bla bla bla… time becomes manageable. a lot of incredible things are possible. oh,…. speed of light is irrelevant.

  • mark b

    if anyone wants a copy…. of say, an eighty page summary….
    i might be able to accomodate you….

    i’ve sent all the above to the national academy of sciences…. oxford, yale, harvard, mit, bla bla bla…. department heads…. in the past two years….. or so.

  • mark b

    if so…. well…. i’ve worked on elastic space for 25 years…..

    i have roughly three thousand pages of new formula’s, models, and philosophies….

  • mark b

    anyone still around…?

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Paul –

    I really don’t have any idea when it comes to the passage of time. I would think that time would indeed pass more quickly in stretched space – as observed, but not for the observer. But for the purposes of the Pioneer Anomaly, I don’t think this would apply because I suspect that the astrophysics community already allowed for any differences in the passage of time.

    I e-mailed a much-shortened version of my theory to two scientists at JPL who are doing research on the Pioneer Anomaly, and I’m waiting for their reply. If they do reply (and when it comes to a nobody posing non-mainstream theories to PhD’s, replies are uncommon and rightly so), I’ll post it here ASAP.

  • Glenn –

    Does the ES theory say that time also passes faster in stretched space as observed from lesser stretched space and vice-versa? (just an extension, but you said you have no idea of ES implication on time.)

    Why I think this, is because if space is stretched in the vicinity of large objects and the travelling speed of an object is constant no matter what space it is travelling in, and you saying that observed distances vary (the kilometer analogy, where it shortens or lengthens in compressed and depressed space as observed from a neutral POV external to the two models), but then if you look at it, speed also varies (only apparently; from an observer’s POV) so obviously time also varies in speed except it’s not apparent from an observer’s POV but obviously is from within the two models (compressed and depressed space). If you take the two scalars (m/s) and compare them they would be different because time has changed speed while distance remained the same.

    I’m not used to think like this but I like reading science and couldn’t help making my own mental model. I hope I make some sense.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Duane –

    I gave it some thought, and I will e-mail Turyshev. You helped me to organize and focus my thoughts, and I think I can make ES more understandable…and more than ever, I think ES is right. If things go as I hope, you will deserve credit as well.

    Roger –

    Thanks for the advice – no offense, but I’ll stick to the more widely-accepted scientists and organizations for now. If Turyshev doesn’t pan out, there’s a Planetary Society meeting coming up this February, and one of the matters scheduled to be addressed is the Pioneer Anomaly. If I can get their attention, maybe, just maybe….

    If all these don’t work out, then I’ll check out Noory. But in the end, it’s the mainstream scientific establishment that I must convince, and if my views are ‘tainted’ by association with those too far outside the mainstream, I’ll stand no chance at all. But again, I am sincerely grateful for the suggestion.

  • owe it to …

  • Interesting you’re bringing up Fred Hoyle and “steady state” theory, Duane.


    You should look up the George Noory’s site, “Coast-to-Coast AM.” Oftentimes features controversial physical theories, like only a couple of nights ago.

    Japanese physicist, Kaku, is a frequent visitor. You own it to yourself to check it out.

  • duane


    I love that Pope quote, and I appreciate your sentiments as well.

    I should say that I’ve enjoyed the discussion, and I was pleasantly surprised to see your article on the Pioneer anomaly. Not only that, but you had been thinking about it to the point of proposing an explanation. Very refreshing to see that kind of thing at BC. I’m impressed by your willingness to read through some of the internet literature on this subject. Turyshev at JPL appears to be the main guy doing this research. Here’s a pretty good paper (a bit verbose, but clear) that you can get as a pdf file. He might be the best person to contact. His address is on the paper.

    Scientists argue with each other every day, but not in the same way as one might argue about health care or Afghanistan. Unlike the case of politics, there is always a right answer, although the answer may not be immediately forthcoming. It can sometimes take centuries — look at Evolution and the beginning of life as an example of a problem whose solution is not immediately clear. Nature always knows the answer, or as Ruvy would put it, G-d always knows the answer. Scientists interpret data in different ways, but when they argue, it’s not out of the need to “win” for the sake of ego gratification. It’s, as you mention, to learn, to sharpen, to find holes, and to always ask the “what if” question. This is very healthy. Which is not to say that scientists don’t have big egos — they do indeed. They have to. But they are always kept in line by the constant knowledge that there is an objective reality that is not under the sway of opinions.

    All of which is to say that my notes here are an attempt to bring out some of the various aspects of your ideas that may deserve further scrutiny. I’m not trying to “shoot you down.” On the contrary. Devil’s advocacy is the way science is done. I think it’s great that you’re interested in this problem, and I wish more people had your knowledge and curiosity. I hope you will continue to bring more scientific issues to light here at BC. Obviously, your article was well received.

    Why should the Pioneer anomaly be of such interest to scientists? It’s only a one part in 10 billion effect. Everyone’s favorite example, Einstein, solved such a problem around about 1915. The orbit of Mercury had a very small precession in excess of what could be explained by Newtonian gravitation — an almost negligible effect. He used his new theory of general relativity to explain this tiny anomaly. But the theory eventually became the underpinning of the theory of black holes, quasars, neutron stars, gravitational lensing, gravitational waves, ideas of time travel, not to mention the Big Bang cosmology.

    So as conventional explanations for the PA fell by the wayside. more and more scientists began to take notice. Many wild ideas have been thrown out there, and there’s an example of how scientists play the “what if?” game. Authors may not even believe what they’re proposing. But an idea, crazy or not, gets others thinking, a way to rule out candidate explanations, patching up holes in their own explanations, etc. It’s tossing out many seeds, some of which might eventually bear fruit. It’s a real puzzle, and who knows what the payoff might be?

    On your comment about getting credit: take heart. Einstein got (almost) all the credit for Special Relativity, although Lorentz had already figured out the relativistic transformation laws. It happens to the best of them. Newton gets most of the credit for inventing calculus, although Leibniz was on to the same thing.

    Like you, the eminent astronomer Fred Hoyle never believed in the Big Bang model. In fact, the term “Big Bang” was introduced by Hoyle, his way of poking fun at it. You might go look him up, and the various controversies associated with the idea of expanding space.

    I’m in no position to advise you on a course of action. If you want to continue the discussion, that’s fine. If you want to stop here, that’s fine too. It’s been my fear that you might end up disheartened. I hope that hasn’t happened. As far as knowledge, of course, get more. No one knows everything. I think you will find it to be fascinating.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Duane –

    Over in the politics section, I’ve often said that I enjoy being proved wrong, for losing one’s ignorance is far better than winning an argument, and what is being proved wrong but a loss of ignorance? To me, that is a good thing for which I’m always grateful. I try to bear in mind something that Alexander Pope said: “A little learning is a dangerous thing; drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring: there shallow draughts intoxicate the brain, and drinking largely sobers us again.” If one abides too strictly by Pope’s maxim, one may stop questioning. Therefore, in my opinion one should certainly question and consider to fill one’s curiosity…but with utmost courtesy and deference to those who deign to answer, who have drunk deeply from that Pierian spring.

    So please don’t apologize – you’ve spent much in coin and sweat to get where you are, and I am grateful indeed.

    According to this 02/09/09 article on the Planetary Society website, it looks as if there’s a significant possibility that they will soon be able to account for the anomaly through ‘mundane’ explanations. However, this coming February there will be a meeting of the American Physical Society, and one of the presentations will concern an indication that the presence of dark matter may explain the Pioneer anomaly – but only if the mass of the sun has been misjudged.

    People tend to be partial to their own theories, and I’m no exception. My gut reaction tells me there is no such thing as dark matter or dark energy, and that it is unlikely that the further away galaxies are, the faster they’re accelerating away from us…and I believed I’d happened upon a possible way to explain all three (and the galaxy rotation problem besides). But I also know the danger of the little learning I have, and that if Einstein had listened to his own ‘gut reaction’, he’d likely have never been credited for General Relativity.

    You’re absolutely right that ES doesn’t have to work as gravity does, and I certainly didn’t help matters by using wrong terminology and wrong data. Seeing now that the deceleration has been constant, I’m actually heartened somewhat – I was rather uncomfortable with the idea of a ‘boundary’.

    I still think I’m on to something (as humans tend to be partial to their own personal theories), but I don’t have the wherewithal to prove it – so if I’m right, then someone else will get the credit, and that’s as it should be.

    I’m loath to end the discussion, but I need your advice – should I continue this line of thought? Or should I step back and wait until I have more than a little knowledge?

  • duane


    We should probably clear up a few terms.

    …the velocity of each object was changed – however slightly – whether entering or leaving a gravity well.

    If I understand you correctly, it sounds like you’re suggesting that a gravity well has a boundary. It doesn’t. The Sun’s gravitational field doesn’t end abruptly at the heliopause. The heliopause is related to the termination of the solar wind, which CAN have a more-or-less abrupt boundary. You can’t actually enter or leave a gravity well. There are some ifs, ands, and buts, but the term gravity well is more of an expression than a reality.

    It’s important to keep the distinction between velocity and acceleration.

    So, what I’ve read is that the anomalous deceleration has been constant since the Jupiter/Saturn flyby. The data prior to that are sketchy. That means that the anomalous velocity change over that time is just the product of the time and the deceleration — delta v = a x t, where ‘a’ is a negative number. The odd thing is that the deceleration is constant. There is so far only one explanation that can cause a constant deceleration over solar system distance scales. Gravity won’t do it — look at cometary orbits. Drag won’t do it — the deceleration would decrease as the velocity decreased. Heat loss could do it, but so far it doesn’t account for it in terms of the magnitude — but it’s pretty close. This is being looked at, but it ain’t easy.

    Re my question in #41 “…would you require the effect of stretching to be direction-dependent?” Your answer in #42 refers to position dependence, not direction dependence. For example, the gravitational field strength of Earth depends on your distance from Earth (of course). But it doesn’t depend on your speed through the field, and therefore it doesn’t depend on the direction of motion through the field. It depends only on position. For a comparison, the force on charged particles moving through magnetic fields depends on both the position and the velocity (including the direction). Gravity doesn’t work that way. But your elastic theory doesn’t have to be the same as gravity. You’ve already convinced me that you’re trying to move beyond what is known.

    So, still the problem is to account for acceleration in the one case, and deceleration in the other, using the model of elasticity-related-to-mass-proximity.

    I hope I didn’t misunderstand you, but if so, I apologize for the pedantic tone.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Duane –

    I think my first sentence in #42 should not have included ‘must’, because regardless of what I think the theory should be, the velocity of each object was changed – however slightly – whether entering or leaving a gravity well. What is it that makes the boundary relatively sudden, rather than gradual? I don’t know…but so far I’ve seen no better explanation, especially since the events are so similar at the heliopause and near earth that it would be logical that they were due to the same effect. But the ‘boundary’ question still needs to be examined closely.

    And I’ve got a good answer for your second observation – we would not have detected the change in velocity because IIRC their encounters with Jupiter and/or Saturn also required attitude adjustments – and any application of artificial force great enough to change the vector of the craft would mask the ES effect.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Good morning, Duane –

    The effect of ‘stretching’ (and I really don’t like that particular description, but it’s the most accessible I can think of), must be direction-dependent; the deeper inside a gravity well, the greater the degree of stretching.

    However, your next comment is much thornier. Please give me a day to research and ruminate, because I’ve got to answer not only that, but also why it is the Pioneer and flyby anomalies were relatively sudden and not gradual as they traveled respectively out of and into gravity wells. One day, please…and please accept my gratitude for forcing me to consider this more deeply.

  • duane

    But isn’t true that detections of anomalous acceleration should be independent of the direction of motion? For example, if Pioneer were headed towards us instead of away from us, we should still measure an excess acceleration above what’s calculated. Or would you require the effect of stretching to be direction-dependent?

    It’s also worth mentioning that the anomalous acceleration of the Pioneer spacecraft is constant, at least once they moved beyond their encounters with Jupiter/Saturn, which suggests that it has nothing to do with mass proximity.

  • duane

    Ooops, forgot point (5). Well, never mind. That should do.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Duane –

    So, the question is, how can stretching account simultaneously for deceleration in one case and acceleration in the other case, if stretching is related to the proximity of massive objects?

    Because the deceleration was detected on objects that were leaving a gravity well (the sun’s), whereas the acceleration was detected on objects entering a gravity well (Earth’s).

  • duane

    Glenn, no apologies are necessary. I should tell you that my questions are just an attempt to help you sharpen your ideas a bit. I hope it’s not a waste of your time.

    The basic points, in leading up to the question you might want to think about, are:

    (1) The two Pioneers are decelerating.
    (2) Instances of anomalous acceleration (just the opposite) of satellites in Earth orbit have been observed.
    (3) Stretching is caused by the presence of massive objects, and presumably, the nearer to a massive object, the more the stretching.
    (4) We are closer to a massive object than any of these craft, so we live in a space that is stretched more than the environment of any spacecraft. This is consistent with the Pioneer anomaly.
    (6) The near-Earth satellites, since they appear to accelerate (anomalously), must be moving through space that is stretched more than on Earth’s surface, which is a contradiction.

    So, the question is, how can stretching account simultaneously for deceleration in one case and acceleration in the other case, if stretching is related to the proximity of massive objects?

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Duane –

    Sorry – I should have directly answered your questions.

    But we observers don’t properly account for the stretching, so it seems to be moving too fast. Right?

    Yes…and we don’t account for the ‘unstretching’ of space just outside the heliopause, so the Pioneer craft seem to be moving too slowly.

    But then don’t we on the surface of Earth live in stretched space?

    I honestly am not sure on this one, but I would suspect that yes, we do live in stretched space…but since we’ve lived here since the dawn of man, we cannot naturally know that it’s different than elsewhere. This is ‘normal’ to us.

    So the satellite is moving through space that is less stretched than our own space, the space where the measuring instruments are operating. So wouldn’t we measure a decrease in the velocity, since our space is more stretched than that of the satellite?

    We would only detect a measurable difference when (1) the craft was not being accelerated by any other source of propulsion (other than gravity), (2) when the craft crosses a ‘boundary’ between space that is stretched and space that is not stretched (or not stretched quite so much), and, it seems, on spacecraft that are not spin-stabilized, for apparently the effect is so slight that the spin stabilization makes it effectively undetectable.

    These are why this effect has only been detected on non-spin-stabilized craft that are no longer being propelled by artificial means and which cross one of the aforementioned boundaries.

    I hope this doesn’t sound like I’m tap-dancing to avoid hard answers, but these are the only explanations I can see…and I really do appreciate your patience.

  • duane

    Glenn: “No, it’s not the effect of space on massive bodies. It’s the effect of massive bodies on space…”

    That’s what I said. You transposed the “of” and the “on.” No big deal.

    Could you respond to my questions in #33? That would be helpful to me. My question concerned the flyby anomaly specifically, and the idea of stretching on Earth’s surface, not the PA. Thanks.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Duane –

    No, it’s not the effect of space on massive bodies. It’s the effect of massive bodies on space…not just gravitation as we presently understand and measure it, but also the stretching of the fabric of space in the vicinity of those massive bodies.

    Concerning the last paragraph in #33, if a spacecraft is moving outward away from Earth (or any other massive body), there would indeed seem to be an apparent decrease in speed. However, the spacecraft leaving the vicinity of Earth have all been using some type of propulsion, and the effect is so slight that it would be very difficult (if not impossible) to detect this variation in a craft that is being accelerated by some type of reactive propulsion. This effect is so slight that it has not been measured in spin-balanced craft AFAIK. Furthermore, the craft that have experienced the fly-by anomaly have all been unpowered craft returning to the close vicinity of Earth.

    But that’s the key – the effect is so slight, so nearly unmeasurable, yet it applies to the entire volume contained within the heliopause, and more so within the close proximity of the planets and larger moons. I see no other possible explanation (other than dark matter that we can’t physically detect) for the effects presently attributed to dark matter.

  • Glenn, this is the answer I got from Dr. Schroeder:

    As daph d (page 4) of Bruchot (a book in the Talmud) says, “teach your tongue to say ‘I do not know'”. I don’t know.

  • duane

    Glenn: “You see, I’m not trying to make my ‘Elastic Space’ theory fit other accepted theories.”

    Ah, yes. I see. Sorry to have missed that. You’re arguing for a complete overthrow of GR. Whew!

    The flyby anomaly. OK, that’s a fact. So, let me see if I understand your argument. As we on Earth measure the speed of an orbiting satellite, it accelerates relative to the predictions of all accepted theories. The reason it that it traverses a region of stretched space. In the satellite frame, the satellite is cruising along at the speed it would have in ANY space with the same gravitational field. But we observers don’t properly account for the stretching, so it seems to be moving too fast. Right?

    But you say that this has something to do with the effect on space of massive bodies, in this case, Earth. So, it’s akin to gravitation in that sense. But then don’t we on the surface of Earth live in stretched space? Conventional gravitation says that the field is strongest on the surface, decreasing inward AND outward. So the satellite is moving through space that is less stretched than our own space, the space where the measuring instruments are operating. So wouldn’t we measure a decrease in the velocity, since our space is more stretched than that of the satellite?

  • Ruvy

    Hi Duane,

    I’m not going to argue with you over these issues. As I pointed out above, it is not worth it. But for some atheists, the attitude is not one of hate or indifference – it reads like utter and total contempt. No names need be mentioned, eh?

    Nice to read that the accordion theory seems to be hard to sustain though….

    Dig through Glenn’s theory. He admits to not being a physicist or cosmologist by training, so he needs the help.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    duane –

    When it comes to a spacecraft moving faster as it nears Earth, that’s not a theory – that’s recorded observation, now known as the ‘flyby anomaly’.

    You see, I’m not trying to make my ‘Elastic Space’ theory fit other accepted theories. Instead, I’m trying to make my theory fit the facts, the observations that other current theories cannot explain. Now as I stated at the end of my article, I’m not sure how ES affects or is affected by time – I’m not that well-versed in general relativity. Be that as it may, if current theories doesn’t explain the anomalies I presented, then those current theories are lacking.

    For instance, none of the current theories of which I am aware really give a concrete explanation of Einstein’s ‘cosmological constant’ that he disowned, but that science has since found to play some part in the observed expansion of the universe. My theory gives a concrete explanation for that ‘cosmological constant’.

  • duane

    I’m not sure I follow your argument, Glenn. The idea of ‘stretched’ space is familiar in the context of general relativity. In your comment #1 you say (imply) that an observer far from Earth would see a spacecraft moving faster and faster as it nears Earth, above and beyond that implied by Newtonian gravitation. But general relativity says just the opposite — it would seem to be moving slower, albeit by a small amount, since the Earth’s gravitation has only a small effect on its local spacetime. The effect is known as gravitational time dilation.

    To Ruvy (#26). First, hello. It’s been a while. Hope all’s well with you.

    Atheists don’t hate the idea of God. They simply have no use for it. It’s not hate, just indifference.

    The idea of an accordion universe has been among the scientific possibilities for some time now, an idea that also finds resonance (I think) in Hindu philosophy. However, the current models predict that the universe will expand forever. This is coupled to the dark energy term (the cosmological constant) in general relativity. The accordion or non-accordion nature of the universe has been an open question until recently. Previously, there was no data to decide one way or the other.

    Finally, scientists certainly do not “fail to realize” that the Genesis account could be in some ways compatible with modern scientific views. This is an idea as old as science itself. It is not an especially deep idea. One postulates a beginning, then asks, “How did it begin?” Ah, surely someone or something greater than ourselves must have been the cause. Enter God. Read some Norse mythology.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Ruvy –

    Thank you very much for contacting Dr. Schroeder – I’d really appreciate that.

    Your mention about younger minds is interesting, because both Newton and Einstein were at their peak at 26 – it’s been shown that men tend to be at their most creative at or about that age. That’s also when insurance agencies greatly lower the auto insurance prices…meaning that’s when we men finally get a clue about life, and then it’s all downhill from there!

    But that’s quite a compliment – thank you very much!

  • #25 OMG Roger that is exactly what Einstein proved mathematically…ha ha

    You would never think i know about this theory, but i do..we are all here simultaneously at every age..it’s the bend in space that will not allow us to physically see each other…thus Glens elastic space theory makes sense..even for me!

  • Well, it’s a fascinating account.

  • Ruvy


    Do note that this article comes from the website of Aish haTorah, a yeshiva in the Old City of Jerusalem, not far from the Western Wall. And the author is a physicist giving you in simple form his thesis for the book, “Genesis and the Big Bang” which was written twenty years ago.

    Many of my ideas that I’ve been telling you come from the hand of a scientist turned religious scholar, Roger. Science and religion can converge, and there is no reason why the Creation, as understood by NaHmanides, should not be analogous to the Big Bang.

    Bear in mind that the atheists who hate the idea of G-d insist that there can be an accordion-like universe that blows up, expands (re-shifts) and contracts (blue-shifts) into a tiny molecule that blows up again. What they fail to realize is that this too could be true, and still have a Creator doing the initial creating.

    But hey, I’m not really interested in arguing the point. It is impossible to prove one way or another; the future will reveal the Truth.

  • Sharp guy, Ruvy.

    I like the following discussion.

  • Ruvy


    Fine article. Excellent thoughts. I admire that you could even imagine such a thing. Such imagination is usually found in younger minds. Anyway, I’ll e-mail Dr. Gerald Schroeder with a link and ask him what he thinks. No promises as to results.

    At least with this there is no political bullshit to deal with. There are no liberal or conservative electrons running around, last I read. And none of them are trying to destroy Israel!

    Nice job!

  • You might like the following site, Glenn.

  • How does your idea square with Richard Feynman’s work?

  • I wouldn’t call that arrogance, Glenn, to follow ideas that make sense to you.

    Many a discovery had very humble beginnings. And I’ll look up your link.

    I really think you should discuss your ideas with competent people. Think of copyrighting, though.

  • Brian Greene on dark matter.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Roger –

    I don’t have the link anymore (my last PC crashed and burned so I finally broke down and got a Mac last week), but there was one small association of scientists who were.

    But a quick search for curvature of space turned up this link from the University of Winnipeg describing General Relativity. Note the graph lines of the gravity well on the page. Each square in the graph is exactly one square in length and width…even when the square is stretched. It’s just as I said – in close proximity to masses, space is stretched…and a kilometer outside the heliopause is (by our observation) shorter than a kilometer inside the heliopause.

    I believe that, taken to its logical extensions, this explains not only the Pioneer anomaly and the flyby anomaly, and the galaxy rotation problem, but also the dark matter/energy that we cannot directly observe despite the belief that they comprise 94% of the universe.

    I expect that any physicist worth his salt will immediately disavow my argument…but I still think I’m right. My explanation is simpler than ‘dark energy/matter’, string theory, or a host of other theories…but my explanation is still in line with general relativity. No one – including Einstein – were ever able to explain the source of his ‘cosmological constant’. My theory does.

    That sounds pretty arrogant, and I must admit that when one is confident of the truth contained in one’s inspirational epiphany, it’s hard to not be arrogant. But I really do think I’m right. Time will tell.

  • #10,

    And if my memory serves, the “observable matter” constitutes only ten to fifteen percents of the stuff in the universe.

  • zingzing

    i sent this article to two friends who are physics majors. we’ll see if/how they respond.

  • Glenn, #13,

    You underestimate the extent to which philosophical thinking, in terms of metaphors and ideas, figure in most of the important scientific discoveries and theories.

    Einstein himself wasn’t as mathematically astute as some of his colleagues – had to get help from Schrödinger, for example (Schrödinger’s equations).

    His was a thought-experiment at first, which eventually prompted mathematical description.

  • well then Glen, i better leave your thread..i am mathematically challenged 🙂

  • quantum physics?

    didn’t Einstein also prove that we all exist in time at all our ages simultaneously?

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Jeannie –

    Zing is right – it’s difficult at best to describe physics without math…and it’s downright dangerous for someone not well-versed in higher math to attempt to do so. That’s why I expect for any real physicist to shake his head and snort in disgust at my article.

    But I still think I’m on to something.

  • Glenn,

    Is there anything in popular literature about science that even comes close to anything you’re saying?

  • Cannonshop

    Hmmm… I wonder how we could represent that mathematically…

  • zingzing

    my understanding is that dark matter is thought to exist because there just isn’t enough matter in the universe to explain how gravity affects that matter we can see. or in order for the rate of expansion to be explained, there must be something else out there… of course, that could be what you’re talking about, but i just missed it.

    meh. writing about physics using a language other than math is like trying to explain the beauty of english in japanese.

  • I’ll have to read it Glenn, and then comment. Perhaps you’ve found your niche.

  • Glen, You must be mistaken here

    I know that I am not a physicist by any means.

    you are a physicist if your writing this!

    i watched a show about using prisms to intensify sunlight in space and direct it to solar panels in order to produce clean energy. Would your ES theory help?

    i saw this program on planet green channel

  • please provide updates and more articles of this type. I enjoyed it

  • Well written and thought out piece, Glen. Wish I knew enough to comment on the content. Made C’s in the only two physics courses I had in pharmacy school !!
    Best of luck in getting published!

  • Shawn

    Right now I’m picturing the balls-of-various-masses-on-a-sheet-of-fabric example of gravity wells. If the physicists behind that visual aid for the layman didn’t catch on that it implied a change in size for some regions (all, really, to varying degrees) corresponding to the change in shape, they deserve a kick. I’m under the impression that they do take this into account and use it along with the ‘lensing’ effect of stars passing behind masses to check assumed distances.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Thank you both very much for the encouragement. My next move is to e-mail some physicists and try to get them to review the article so they can point out the mistakes that are obvious to them, but not to us.

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    Well, if you’re a physics laymen then I must be a physics dolt. One hell of an article and it really points out how inaccurate the Newtonian laws are becoming.

  • doug m

    Fascinating piece, at least to this layman. It does make sense for gravity of bodies to affect the space around it.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    A necessary addendum – I don’t think I explained the ‘shortened kilometers’ properly.

    If one is traveling 60 kilometers per hour, he will travel one kilometer per minute. If the kilometer in space is stretched say, 10%, he will still travel the length of that kilometer in one minute, and so to an outside observer seem to be going faster. Conversely, if the same kilometer is shortened by a lack of proximity to a gravity well, he would still take one minute to traverse that kilometer, and to an outside observer seem to be going slower…even though in both cases his velocity would not have changed.

    According to ES theory, the kilometers as measured in interstellar space would actually be ‘normal’, and ours here on Earth – since we’re in a gravity well – would be ‘stretched’.