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Author Topic: How do we know the age of the universe?  (Read 4179 times)

PL YOUNG

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How do we know the age of the universe?
« on: 21/04/2011 02:01:03 »
PL YOUNG  asked the Naked Scientists:
   
Hullo
 
Paul from Woldingham here
 
Currently we can see the most distant galaxies at around 13.7bn light years or so and that seems to be close to the age of the visible universe.
 
Since the light took that time to get to us are we just in a lucky time in history when we can actually see these galaxies
 
In other words if we were able to stand on the earth just after the creation of the solar system ie about 4bn - 5 bn years ago and look out into space with our telescopes would we be able to see these distant galaxies or would the light still be travelling to us and we wouldnt then know of their existence?
 
Which leads me to the overall question - if the answer to the above is no we wouldnt be able to see these galaxies back then, then how can we be sure that what we are seeing at 13.7bn light years now is really
the most distant galaxies and therefore be sure about the age of the universe?
 
Thanks for the great show
 
Paul

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 21/04/2011 02:01:03 by _system »


 

Offline yor_on

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How do we know the age of the universe?
« Reply #1 on: 21/04/2011 17:24:47 »
You're thinking of the inflationary period when the universe 'grew' faster than light, right? And then of 'times arrow' and if those two differ. Yes, they do. Light as such has only one speed in a 'perfect' vacuum, no slower, no faster. The inflation as such was outside of time. If it took some time from a observer inside the universe or not I do not know, but I would expect it to ignore our definitions of time, much the same as a entanglement seems to be able to do so.

The 'arrow of time' we trust in seems to have a lot to do with our macroscopic definitions, and those have a lot to do with 'invariant mass'. We use 'time' to split it into chunks of 'time' and then we use those equally spaced 'time-amounts' for defining 'speeds' to stuff we measure in time and distance.

So there is a difference, a hundred thousand years after the Big Bang the universe already was 'infinite' due to the inflation. Distance as such is, as I pointed out, a definition coming from 'times arrow' combined with 'space' creating a 'distance'. So even though the light hitting the observer then only could have traveled a hundred thousand years the universe was so much bigger.

But it is also a question of definitions. You might want to define the 'existing universe' as the one existing inside the time-sphere light at its most could travel under that 'arrow of time' regulating our universe.  I haven't thought of it but I wonder what would happen to any object outside that hundred thousand years sphere. Would the light from it ever reach us, or would those objects constantly be incommunicado?

It's a interesting question as we might define the universe as the one where light can communicate with us. After all, guessing or believing us having plausible evidence for a inflation still won't tell us a thing of what we never can be able to measure?

to short; Although times 'propagation' (and so the 'speed' of light) is of a finite quality/quantity, the inflation and 'distance' could be 'infinite', as described from us measuring.
==

And yes, there must be objects for ever incommunicado with us, having been unable to communicate by radiation, even from the direct 'start', after that 'inflationary period' 'ended'. We just need to apply the logic of a infinite universe to see that.

A nice question with a weird conclusion. On the other hand, if we are to believe in symmetry we will be able to expect what we never to see to be much the same as what we can see. In the end it's all about definitions:) And, all this building on the concept of a 'expansion' still taking place.
« Last Edit: 21/04/2011 17:50:12 by yor_on »
 

Offline MikeS

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How do we know the age of the universe?
« Reply #2 on: 25/04/2011 13:07:51 »
This isn’t really in answer to your question but is to dispute the age of the universe.

Having said that, I think it is fair to say that the original “inflation” took place, in a sense outside of time.  As inflation ended so, the two components of time, the arrow of time and the rate of flow of time came into their own.  In that epoch, the rate of flow of time was many orders of magnitude faster than it is now.  This in no way affected the speed of light, which is always a constant.    However, the two components of speed are distance and time. As the rate of flow of time is a variable, if the rate of flow of time was for instance infinite then the speed of light would also be infinite.  This in no way affects the speed of light, which is always a constant.  Although the universe inflated (in a sense outside of time), the inflation was finite in both time and space.

I believe that what we see and interpret as representing the universe as 13.7 billion years old is completely wrong; ‘she’ is much younger.

To measure the most distant and hence oldest objects in the universe we use Hubbles Law which measures the Doppler shift of quasars.  Quasars only appear in the first 20% of the age of the universe.  Observation indicates that many quasars are physically connected to their associated galaxies.  However, the galaxies and associated quasars often have a red shift anomaly.  That is the quasar appears many orders of magnitude further away than the galaxy.  If they are connected this cannot be.

So what's going on?  My take on this is that quasars are actually white holes (black holes, left over from the previous cycle of the universe and the creators of this cycle). 

Briefly:- a white holes[antimatter] (quasar) expels matter particles along its axis which creates a bar, as this rotates it forms a barred spiral galaxy with the quasar at its center.  Eventually the gravitational repulsion between the galaxy and quasar expel the quasar along the line of the axis of the galaxy.  The quasar continues to feed the galaxy with material (this is the opposite of traditional belief).

White holes are time reversed in relation to their associated galaxies and the universe in general. They alter the rate of flow of time in their localities.  White holes by attempting to reverse time around them slow down the universal rate of flow of time in their localities.  This slow down of the rate of flow of time (time dilation) results in light leaving the white holes being far red shifted at source.

If the above is, correct and I am sure time will prove that it is then Hubbles Law should not be applied to quasars as it gives a result many orders of magnitude further away than they are.  Therefore, the universe is much smaller and much younger than it is generally believed to be.

I know that many of the traditionalists amongst you will not agree with the above but if any of you can prove any or all of it to be wrong then I would love to hear from you.


Mike
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Offline imatfaal

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How do we know the age of the universe?
« Reply #3 on: 26/04/2011 12:55:22 »
I know that many of the traditionalists amongst you will not agree with the above but if any of you can prove any or all of it to be wrong then I would love to hear from you.


Mike
[/i]

Luckily science doesn't work like that - before being a theory that can be disproved it needs to cogent and coherent enough to be predictive.  Your post/idea is nice and poetic - but its not falsifiable in the above synopsis.  If you have developed the maths to a point where it is debatable in a science context - why not post it in the New Theories section
 

Offline MikeS

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« Reply #4 on: 26/04/2011 20:00:38 »
imatfaal

I know science does not work like that.  It was meant to provoke a response, some kind of feedback, hopefully based on fact.

Mike
 

Offline Bill S

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How do we know the age of the universe?
« Reply #5 on: 26/04/2011 23:17:54 »
Quote from: MikeS
In that epoch, the rate of flow of time was many orders of magnitude faster than it is now.

Do you have evidence for this?  Surely there would have to be some agreement as to whether time was "tensed" or "untensed" before such a claim could have any validity. 
 

Offline MikeS

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« Reply #6 on: 27/04/2011 11:08:25 »
Quote from: MikeS
In that epoch, the rate of flow of time was many orders of magnitude faster than it is now.

Do you have evidence for this?  Surely there would have to be some agreement as to whether time was "tensed" or "untensed" before such a claim could have any validity. 

I do have good reason to believe it but it involves a new theory.  I guess I should post it in new theories.
However, it does not affect the rest of the reply.  Briefly I believe the rate of flow of time Rt = E/m + -ma where E = energy, m = mass and ma antimatter.

Mike
 

Offline imatfaal

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How do we know the age of the universe?
« Reply #7 on: 27/04/2011 12:44:42 »
Quote from: MikeS
In that epoch, the rate of flow of time was many orders of magnitude faster than it is now.

Do you have evidence for this?  Surely there would have to be some agreement as to whether time was "tensed" or "untensed" before such a claim could have any validity. 

I do have good reason to believe it but it involves a new theory.  I guess I should post it in new theories.
However, it does not affect the rest of the reply.  Briefly I believe the rate of flow of time Rt = E/m + -ma where E = energy, m = mass and ma antimatter.

Mike

OK I'll bite - what quantification do we use for rate of flow of time and for anti-matter, ie firstly how to quantify them and secondly what SI units you would want to use ? 
 

Offline spook1456

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How do we know the age of the universe?
« Reply #8 on: 27/04/2011 13:54:26 »
the age of the universe is a big gigantic hypothesis hence scientists are trying to recreate ( Has been accomplished ) the big-bang we are also currently trying to use our most powerful telescopes to view into the core of our current universe but the current figure still stands at about 10.1 billion years
 

Offline imatfaal

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« Reply #9 on: 27/04/2011 16:31:36 »
Hi Spoook - where did you get 10.1 from?  More usual answer is, as per OP, about 13.7 billion.  I think we have evidence of stars that, providing the ideas of stellar development are correct, are over 10 billion years.  We have galaxies that are red-shifted to an extent that we put them at about 13.1 billion years.
 

Offline MikeS

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« Reply #10 on: 30/04/2011 11:40:37 »
imatfaal

I have since written a short hypothesis on time.  Its in the new theories section under The Speed of Light is Infinite.  It answers your question about the rate of flow of time.  I assume antimatter to be exactly the same as matter but with the arrow of time reversed.  I don’t see what difference the choice of S1 units would make?
 

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How do we know the age of the universe?
« Reply #10 on: 30/04/2011 11:40:37 »

 

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