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Author Topic: Dark Energy Not Needed to Explain Universe?  (Read 3312 times)
RandallS
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« Topic Start: December 29, 2007, 12:32:59 pm »

According to a new paper published in Physical Review Letters, Dark Energy may not be needed to explain the observed expansion of the universe -- after accounting for the fact that matter is not distributed evenly throughout the universe, but is instead clumped around great voids.  I haven't read the paper, but this news article makes it sound very interesting:

Quote
Wiltshire's paper, published this week in the journal Physical Review Letters, focuses on the lumpy distribution of matter in the universe as it evolved, rather than a smooth distribution that Einstein assumed.

Once this uneven distribution is taken into account, he says, we don't need dark energy to explain the accelerating expansion of the universe.

Read the full news article

It will be very interesting to see what other astrophysicists think of this.
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« Reply #1: December 29, 2007, 01:33:17 pm »


if i understood that article, Time isn't treated as a constant across the universe.

I'm at a loss how its any better as a solution although its certainly an Interesting alternative
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juniperrr
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« Reply #2: December 29, 2007, 02:31:43 pm »

According to a new paper published in Physical Review Letters, Dark Energy may not be needed to explain the observed expansion of the universe -- after accounting for the fact that matter is not distributed evenly throughout the universe, but is instead clumped around great voids.  I haven't read the paper, but this news article makes it sound very interesting:

Read the full news article

It will be very interesting to see what other astrophysicists think of this.


Well, that is fascinating. So, from our vantage point, the universe appears to be expanding because, due to the gravitaional pull slowing us and therefore time down, we are going slower than these really huge voids along the 'edges' who, due to less gravitational interference, are moving faster through time. Is that what Dr Wiltshire is saying? That it is expanding because of huge bits of nothing, as opposed to something, i.e. dark energy. Einstein would have loved it. But is a void nothing? Is it gravity that has the universe clumped up, and where there is little mass to cause large gravitational effects, time is free to run swiftly, much closer to light speed? I really would like to hear from astrophysicists think as well, I do not have the knowledge base (duh!) to really 'get' it.

So, lets see, the galaxy on the far side of a void to us would appear to be moving away quickly, yet in actuality is experiencing time at a rate that could be similar to ours, depending on mass. It is the time jump up over the void that is responsible for the expanding universe, or perhaps even the illusion of expansion, as opposed to dark energy... hmmm. Well, it is right in step with Special Relativity. It will be interesting to see the reactions. Time is such a fascinating subject. *Juniper wanders off, muttering more questions, getting more confused by the minute*
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RandallS
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« Reply #3: December 29, 2007, 03:19:45 pm »

if i understood that article, Time isn't treated as a constant across the universe.

That's correct, although nothing really new. Relatively makes time dependent on one's frame of reference. The universe has been treated as if it were one frame of reference because the density of matter/energy was assumed to be about the same everywhere in the universe. We now know this is not true.

Quote
I'm at a loss how its any better as a solution although its certainly an Interesting alternative

It's "better" because it requires neither a new force (dark energy) or a new theory. According to Dr. Wiltshire, normal relativity theory explains the observed data once you stop assuming the density of the universe is uniform and instead solve the equations for lumpy universe we actually see.
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Randall
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RandallS
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« Reply #4: December 29, 2007, 03:21:27 pm »

Well, that is fascinating. So, from our vantage point, the universe appears to be expanding because, due to the gravitaional pull slowing us and therefore time down, we are going slower than these really huge voids along the 'edges' who, due to less gravitational interference, are moving faster through time. Is that what Dr Wiltshire is saying?

I'm not really sure if this is exactly what he is saying. The news article plays fast and loose with the hard science (as usual). I'd need to see the paper (and hope I'm able to understand it) to know for sure.
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« Reply #5: December 29, 2007, 03:33:01 pm »

I'm not really sure if this is exactly what he is saying. The news article plays fast and loose with the hard science (as usual). I'd need to see the paper (and hope I'm able to understand it) to know for sure.

I, for one, am rarely sure exactly what these guys are saying  Grin

Yes, I'd need more data to really get it, but it is fun to ponder over until more is forthcoming.
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« Reply #6: December 29, 2007, 03:56:36 pm »

I'm not really sure if this is exactly what he is saying. The news article plays fast and loose with the hard science (as usual). I'd need to see the paper (and hope I'm able to understand it) to know for sure.

I think you are right there. I got the lumpy vs uniform idea which sounds interesting, but the vantage point of time concept was confusing. However, I suppose looking at the paper wouldn't help me any, I would need the For Dummies version of the paper.  Grin
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RandallS
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« Reply #7: December 29, 2007, 05:16:06 pm »

However, I suppose looking at the paper wouldn't help me any, I would need the For Dummies version of the paper.  Grin

I can generally get the gist of what is being discussed before things sail so far over my head that it is like watching a shooting star, although I'm know I miss a lot of the details.
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