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Author Topic: light travels at speed of accelerating universe?  (Read 1962 times)

Offline snapchamp

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light travels at speed of accelerating universe?
« on: 21/04/2009 09:50:25 »

I casually study cosmology-read all the books (Kaku, Hawking, Greene, Davies, etc.)... I came across Gene Brewer's website (a big fan of the movie K-PAX-he is the author of the book) and saw this as his speculation:


In his new book, Faster than the Speed of Light, Dr. Joao Magueijo suggests that his variable speed of light (VSL) theory explains many of the mysteries of the Big Bang universe in much the same way as does Alan Guth’s inflation (variable expansion rate of the universe) theory. I suggest that both are variations on the same theme, namely, that the speed of light is a direct function of the expansion of the universe. That is, the speed of light in the early universe varied because of inflation and, furthermore, it varies today in intimate proportion to the present expansion rate.To put it another way, light travels because the universe is expanding.

The principal ramification of this hypothesis is that photons do not travel through space-time—they are dragged along with it. According to this proposal, the speed of light (and other electromagnetic radiation) through space is an illusion; it is, in fact, 0 km/sec. It is the universe which is expanding at the present rate of 300 kkm/sec., and taking these massless wave/particles with it.

I suggest further that objects with mass are not pulled along by the expansion. Indeed, such objects resist this “force,” and therefore tend to slow down the universe’s expansion rate. This can be observed, for example, in the effect of celestial objects on the path of photons in space-time and, in particular, the gravitational effect of black holes. Thus, the latter do not prevent light from escaping them; they prevent space-time itself from expanding around them.

It follows also from this proposal that if the expansion rate of the universe is increasing, we will eventually be able to see objects that we cannot now see and, conversely, if the universe is slowing down, that such objects will twinkle out. If the expansion rate becomes zero, and therefore photons stop moving with space-time, we will be able to see nothing at all. This concept is in direct opposition to predictions currently associated with the rate of expansion of the universe. The correct interpretation is experimentally verifiable by currently available methods.


Gene Brewer
March 9, 2003

I think this is an interesting theory that light travel at a speed of zero, but because photons have no mass they are pulled at the speed of the universe's expansion rate.  Is that any possible truth to this, as I have never seen anything close to this mentioned in any of the books I have read.  Thanks in advance for all intelligent replies!


Offline yor_on

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light travels at speed of accelerating universe?
« Reply #1 on: 21/04/2009 21:57:16 »
Are you serious? Think about how this universe would be expected to expand for a second, to make those photons moving in all and any direction possible, simultaneously?

Offline JP

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light travels at speed of accelerating universe?
« Reply #2 on: 21/04/2009 23:12:00 »
Here's my problem with this idea.  If all light is moving as a result of the universe's local expansion, then how can we explain that all light seems to be moving at a constant speed, regardless of how we move?  If I'm standing here on earth and I shine a light off into space, I definitely see it moving away at a speed, c.  If I get in a rocket ship and blast off at a speed of c/2 after that light beam, I still see the light it moving away from me at a speed c.  I would think that's impossible if the speed of light is due to the local expansion of the universe.

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light travels at speed of accelerating universe?
« Reply #2 on: 21/04/2009 23:12:00 »


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