The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: is the speed of light getting faster?  (Read 1574 times)

Offline percepts

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 53
    • View Profile
is the speed of light getting faster?
« on: 18/03/2013 03:58:38 »
If the universe is expanding then it seems to me that the density of the higgs field may be reducing as it expands with the universe. Therefore the electromagnetic waves passing through it should be able to travel faster. Is this a possibility or even a probability?


 

Offline yor_on

  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *******
  • Posts: 12001
  • Thanked: 4 times
  • (Ah, yes:) *a table is always good to hide under*
    • View Profile
Re: is the speed of light getting faster?
« Reply #1 on: 18/03/2013 11:28:52 »
Once it was thought that 'new energy' wouldn't be introduced in a expansion. Today it's the opposite, with a expanding space comes 'new energy', although the proportions only keeping a equilibrium constant.
 

Offline Bill S

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1830
  • Thanked: 12 times
    • View Profile
Re: is the speed of light getting faster?
« Reply #2 on: 20/03/2013 00:33:58 »
Quote
If the universe is expanding then it seems to me that the density of the higgs field may be reducing as it expands with the universe.

Are you treating the Higgs field as something that, somehow, fills space?

Matt Stassler points out: The presence of the Higgs field is NOT like having air in a room. It changes the properties of space; it does not fill space with stuff. The latter provides a notion that you could be moving relative to the stuff; the former does not change the fact that there is no meaning as to being in motion relative to space.

http://profmattstrassler.com/articles-and-posts/the-higgs-particle/the-higgs-faq-2-0/
 

Offline yor_on

  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *******
  • Posts: 12001
  • Thanked: 4 times
  • (Ah, yes:) *a table is always good to hide under*
    • View Profile
Re: is the speed of light getting faster?
« Reply #3 on: 20/03/2013 00:59:45 »
Yes, that is a possibility Bill. And it would explain how a Higg field can be defined as 'existing' everywhere. Also possible to define from macroscopic observer dependencies, as 'space' in this case don't need to have 'globally defined' positions in time and eh, space. We can let them be observer dependent.

but what it opens for is then, what is a space?
 

Offline Bill S

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1830
  • Thanked: 12 times
    • View Profile
Re: is the speed of light getting faster?
« Reply #4 on: 20/03/2013 01:31:33 »
Discussions about the nature of space often involve a solitary object in infinite nothingness, on this subject we  have to ask ourselves two questions: 

(1) What is space? 

(2) What do we mean when we talk about a void? 

We can choose to equate the void with space, in which case, what we are saying is that the solitary object is in infinite space.  This presents no problems, as long as we can regard space as being empty, but quantum theory tells us that space is not empty; so we run into some difficulties.  The second option is to say that space and the void are, at least in this case, not the same thing.  Space is something, but the void is nothing.  At first glance this might seem to be the better choice, but it lets in another problem.  If there is no space, where is our object?  Surely, we have to have space in order to have somewhere for our object to be.  What we seem to have come to here is a position in which we are saying that it is quite acceptable to have an infinite void (defined as nothingness), as long as it contains nothing.  However, as soon as we introduce matter into the picture, we have to introduce space as well.  It seems that we could have space without matter at least, we could if the laws of physics, as described by quantum theory would let us but we cannot have matter without space; and space is something. 

If a void is nothing, and a universe is something, then, logically, a void cannot be said to be a universe.  A universe must always be something.  If space is something, then it is conceivable that a universe could be composed of space alone; but space, at least in our Universe, is not empty, so, discounting other possible universes in which the laws of physics might be very different from ours, it is not possible to have a universe that does not contain, at least, virtual particles, and virtual particles, according to the uncertainty principle, will eventually give rise to real particles real matter.  Matter, as we have seen, needs space in which to exist, so it seems that space is fundamental to the Universe.

Of course, the picture is further confused by the fact that in scientific parlance it tends to be the void that is regarded as a seething mass of virtual particles, and the location of the zero point energy, so it becomes difficult to make a distinction between space and the void.
 

Offline yor_on

  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *******
  • Posts: 12001
  • Thanked: 4 times
  • (Ah, yes:) *a table is always good to hide under*
    • View Profile
Re: is the speed of light getting faster?
« Reply #5 on: 20/03/2013 10:57:07 »
In a way it becomes a question of densities, but densities that are observer defined. Locally measurable distances, locally measurable time, and a locally defined space. But I still need to see where the microscopic definitions pass over into macroscopic. And that should, ideally, be some mathematical transformation, from one scale to another. Otherwise we're still stuck.
 

Offline percepts

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 53
    • View Profile
Re: is the speed of light getting faster?
« Reply #6 on: 21/03/2013 03:58:36 »
Quote
If the universe is expanding then it seems to me that the density of the higgs field may be reducing as it expands with the universe.

Are you treating the Higgs field as something that, somehow, fills space?

Matt Stassler points out: The presence of the Higgs field is NOT like having air in a room. It changes the properties of space; it does not fill space with stuff. The latter provides a notion that you could be moving relative to the stuff; the former does not change the fact that there is no meaning as to being in motion relative to space.

http://profmattstrassler.com/articles-and-posts/the-higgs-particle/the-higgs-faq-2-0/


thanks for the link which makes understanding the basics so much easier. Being a non scientist I assumed higgs field fills space. Is it space or is it not. I'm still contemplating that one.
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

Re: is the speed of light getting faster?
« Reply #6 on: 21/03/2013 03:58:36 »

 

SMF 2.0.10 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums