Miriam English wrote:
> > > I actually think the steady-state theory makes a LOT more sense than the
> > > entire universe popping into existence in one instant,...
> >I'd agree that the Big Bang is bunk.
> <big, wonderfully informative snip>
> What a great post, Pat!
Thank you, that's nice of you to say. Sorry about the crummy formatting.
> The idea that light could traverse millions of lightyears without losing
> energy always seemed to me a dubious one. Because light can't lose energy
> in its intensity like sound does, it would need to lose it in its
> wavelength. You would end up with a redshift coupled with distance. It
> would also be likely to lose lots of energy climbing out of deep gravity
> wells. I guess that is the "tired light" concept you mentioned in your
> wonderful post.
Yes. I guess light could be redshifted for several reasons...Doppler shift
recessional velocity, climbing out of gravity wells...and then there's the
absorption and remission of light as it travels through atmospheres or space.
A redshift from the interaction of photons with atoms in the galactic and
intergalactic media has been denied because the resulting angular dispersion
would cause their images to become blurred, and our images of other galaxies
are, indeed, not blurred.
Physicists understand that when a beam of light passes through the atmosphere, a
fraction of the photons interacts with the medium and loses energy to it,
undergoing angular dispersion. This is known as Rayleigh scattering after
British physicist John Rayleigh. I guess most physicists assume that the rest of
the light, which suffers no dispersion, passes through the medium without
interaction. Given the density of the atoms and molecules of the atmosphere,
however, this seems improbable.
At a distance of 100 meters, for example, it is everyday experience that light
is transmitted through calm air without any noticeable angular dispersion and
does not produce any visible fuzziness - even when images are observed through a
telescope. The index of refraction of air (n=1.0003) shows that interactions or
collisions of photons on air molecules are such that the
photons are delayed by 3 centimeter in a trajectory of 100 meters, with respect
to transmission in a vacuum. It would seem that a large number of
photon-molecule collisions would be needed to explain that delay of 3 cm.
A sensible inference from this evidence is that most interactions involve an
atom or molecule absorbing a photon and reemitting it in the forward direction,
and that these interactions are inelastic; that is, the reemitted photons have
lost some of the original energy to the atom or molecule, and hence their
wavelengths are longer.
In space, where the gas density is lower by orders of magnitude, the same
phenomenon takes place. A photon undergoes some interaction due to the index of
refraction, with no angular dispersion, as it is absorbed and reemitted
traveling through space. Rayleigh scattering producing diffusion in all
directions, is enormously less frequent just as in the atmosphere. Hence, almost
all interactions of photons with gas molecules should take place without any
measurable angular dispersion.
Experimental confirmation of this theory of the redshift has been claimed in
several instances. For example, in the case of the Sun, where the theory has
been applied to the redshift anomaly associated with the solar chromosphere.
When spectroscopic measurements are made of light from the center of the Sun's
disk and compared with those from the limb (edge of the disk), the latter are
found to be redshifted with respect to the former - Above and beyond the Doppler
shift that arise from the Sun's rotation. This anomaly was first reported in
Attempts have been made to explain this redshift as a Doppler effect on the
basis of the motion of masses of gas in the photosphere and chromosphere, or
such motions in the solar granules (convection cells).
If, however, the redshift arises from the increasing number of photon-atom
interactions between source and observer as the spectroscope samples positions
nearer the limb, the theory mentioned here applies, and provides an accurate
prediction of the observed curve [see graph at
http://www.newtonphysics.on.ca/BIGBANG/Bigbang.html]. The theory is also
successful in explaining the absence of redshifting for several spectral lines
in terms of their known origin in very high layers of the Sun, and in explaining
a stronger redshift for the iron line at 5,250 angstroms in terms of its known
origin in a deeper layer.
Is there enough matter in space to account for the observed redshift in terms of
the theory offered here? Perhaps not, but our
ability to detect such matter is still very imperfect. Almost all of our methods
of detection are selective and can detect only one kind of matter. Most methods
use spectroscopy to detect radiation emitted or absorbed by the matter. There
are strong reasons for thinking that there is much more matter in space than has
> The universe is shaping up to be a real beauty for transhumans: a truly
> infinite playground!
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