GRAVITY WAVES – WHAT’S THE FUSS?

BIG-BANG AND INFLATION MADE TODAY’S UNIVERSE

Scientist Sean Carroll, has written a professionally well received summation of the possible and alleged discovery of gravitational waves at the moment of the Big-Bang. His article (link below) acts as a transformer between the utterly incomprehensible mathematics and logic of pre-particle physics – and non-scientific observers such as me. I very much hope to here further simplify and transform his article down into language that more people, and I, can better understand. 

Here is a try at saying it in a few words: “Supporting the INFLATION theory that the early universe expanded from a dot to immensity in a nanosecond – BICEP2 scientists find ancient light 13.75 billion years old, distinctively polarized into a “swirly pattern” by the first ever gravity-waves; waves that alter the detector’s length by 1 in 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (LIGO).” 

* BICEP2 – The Background Imaging of Cosmic Extragalactic Polarization 2.

Let us not forget The Infamous Higgs Boson, discovered last year by the Large Hadron Collider. I have not read any comprehensible claim by Professor Higgs or other experts that The Higgs Field is the primary and first mechanism that converted or converts “pure” energy into matter – spins straw into gold. But, all the journalistic metaphors indicate that that is precisely what it does – so somebody is selling that message. They say The Higgs “confers mass” onto sub-atomic particles “like an an ant wading through thick custard” etc. What “they” are trying to not say is that at the very beginning of space-time, at the Big-Bang in the above picture, The Higgs Boson or something like it, acted as a catalyst before disintegrating into photons (light), to give birth to the first particles of matter – possibly Quarks (rhymes with Corks) – by somehow compressing energy. If this did happen, it would have been at the time of “Inflation”, trillionths of seconds after the birth of the universe. If this extrapolation and interpretation is entirely wrong; Professor Higgs or CERN will undoubtedly say so. My EIG theory incorporates the idea that as energy was and is compressed into matter (E=MC2) the cohering, probably sentient, energy field forces “let go” allowing inflation; via what science calls Dark Energy. 


To have any chance of incorporating the scientific information and encompassing it logically, needs a framework, a universal theory, however flawed, to hang it all on. My theory, my T.O.E. is called Expansion is Gravity – EIG, which is extremely simple, written in a thousand words on 23 slides, and is undoubtedly deeply flawed. But it provides me with a reference point for trying to comprehend this week’s news and fit it into common understanding. It might help other non-scientists, who use words not mathematics, to comprehend the major questions. (NB – Inertia).
WHAT IS REAL – WHAT DO WE ACTUALLY OBSERVE? Current knowledge of The (observable/ see-able) Universe is mainly based on just two proven and fully accepted scientific astronomical observations of light waves (the electromagnetic spectrum): 

Firstly Hubble Red Shift Expansion – American astronomer Edwin Hubble (1889 – 1953) noted that most galaxies are moving apart, by measuring the “red-shift” of the light (the red part of the rainbow from distant objects, propagates differently from the blue part of the spectrum). It is from the rate of Hubble Expansion that the Age of the Universe is calculated as about 13.798 billion years

And secondly, we observed The Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) when in 1964/65 astronomers, Arno Penzias & Robert Wilson at Bell Labs in New Jersey realized after thorough cleaning that interference in the signals from space was not pigeon crap on the radar dish, nor traffic on the nearby motorway, but was the “snow” displayed by all cathode-ray analogue (not digital *) TV screens that are not tuned to a man-made broadcast frequency. The snow-signal turned out to be everywhere in the observable universe (including the space surrounding you as you read this – and in the remotest empty spaces we can “see”) and was found to be the signal from a background temperature of a freezing 3 degrees Kelvin (minus 270 degrees centigrade /Celsius); at zero degrees Kelvin everything stops, frozen to death, except tiny “quantum” jiggling inside atoms. (* “digital” or “binary” signals are real “analogue” radio signals re-organised by computers as dot-dash Morse Code or 0s and 1s packaged in Bytes, transmitted from e.g. a TV studio to your TV set computer-chip which reads the Code. It is this reading that causes the pause in long-distance digital TV interviews.

WHAT DO WE EXTRAPOLATE FROM HUBBLE-EXPANSION AND CMB? Because this Cosmic Microwave Background  is the same in every direction and distance, science logically demonstrates that the light, this minuscule 3 degrees of heat above absolute zero, (all heat is light and vice-versa. All light is radio signals) was created (cause and effect) at the Big-Bang, the propagation (light does not speed it propagates) and expansion of which (Hubble Expansion) spread the CMB microwaves everywhere evenly – hence “background”. The Big-Bang, the alleged moment of creation from a “White-Hole” is assumed, by relying on Hubble-Expansion measurements, and on Newton’s and Einstein’s measurements of Gravity (and from millions of other brilliant scientific discoveries), to tell us how far away is the edge of our observable-universe.  Then by mathematically winding universal observed expansion backwards in time – the mathematicians compress the expanding universe back into its original box – where it disappears. Strangely, for the sake of balance and tidiness, science assumes that everything came from nothing – “In the beginning was darkness and the void”. 

WHAT DON’T WE KNOW – AND WHY “OBSERVABLE UNIVERSE”? We do not know what gravity is. Einstein and others predicted that “gravity waves” will be detected by looking on very, very large scales across the universe – but nobody knows what a gravity wave is. We talk of the observable universe because, so far, no center or any hint of the direction or location of a center has been found – the distribution of matter (galaxies, hydrogen clouds etc) and radio signals in the universe are almost the same in every direction. Taking Earth as the precise center, we can see with astronomical telescopes to a horizon – about 13.75 billion light years away (to get the distance in kilometers, multiply seconds in a year by 13.75 billion by “the speed of light “C”, the assumption being that light always has, does and always will travel at the currently observed and measured rate of propagation of about 300,000 km per second). But science has had to cheat and vary the sacrosanct “speed of light” to fit the mathematics of the assumed Big-Bang with observations of CMB and the even spread of universal matter. They do this by inserting “Inflation” in the first seconds of The Big Bang, which assumes the universe expanded faster than the speed of light from a pin-prick of infinitely dense hot energy (scalding light) to an enormous size in the blink of an eye. So, due to inflation, the horizon of what we can “see” – the observable universe – is thought to be 47.5 billion light years distant – instead of the age of the universe (if light always propagates at 300,000 km per second) of 13.75 billion (slow) light years distant.  “Inflation” allegedly gave us a horizon 3.5 times more distant than the current speed of light could have given us. Science thinks that the universe might be infinite but we humans like to define and confine subjects of study – so we study only that which we can detect; in this case the immense Observable Universe. 

…AND GOD SAID “LET THERE BE LIGHT”

WHAT IS THE CURRENT GRAVITY WAVES FUSS ALL ABOUT?
A team of astronomers led by John M. Kovac of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics detected ripples in the fabric of space-time — so-called gravitational waves” The kernel of the conundrum being investigated, as reported in March 2014,  is the physical history of the entire universe. 


Science based on observations, interpretations of the observations and mathematical modelling of the interpretations, currently theorizes that God (God is the bit we don’t have any theory for), in the dimensionless void of no-where and no-thing before space-time existed (stood out), did his-her-or-its miracle with the creative finger and triggered a speck of energy, even smaller than the smallest thing that Max Planck 1858-1947 figured out could exist (Planck minimum Length is 0.00000000000000000000000000000000001 meters – Max Planck discovered “quantum leaps” or energy changing not smoothly as expected but in measurable steps or jumps, by experimenting with the heat (light) from his iron cooking stove – see Black Body Radiation) a speck that contained the potential for the entire universe and all events, such as you and me, that would follow. Some scientists refer to the primordial speck as a “white hole” – a place without dimensions that produced (may still be producing) infinite energy and density; containing all of space-time for all of existence. 

WHY IS THE TELESCOPE AT THE SOUTH POLE? The astronomers and cosmologists are searching for gravity waves, which cannot be seen directly. Instead they look for peculiar patterns of light, affected by gravity waves. These patterns are of very particular polarized light – the same sort of polarizing used by sunglasses to shield eyes from glare – polarized by passing through gravity waves. The light, which like all light is of the electromagnetic spectrum and thus detectable like radio waves, is allegedly from the very first trillionth, trillionth, trillionth of a second after the Big-Bang. The entire universe was then very small so the first light waves and gravity waves were in every part of the universe, which then expanded, spreading the wave signals to every part of the universe. Thus, the strange ancient light that is being looked for is everywhere, as is the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) light, described above. What the scientists seek is here, all around us and in all parts of the universe. But these 13.75 billion years old signals are faint and obscured by all the events between then and now. Siting the telescope at the South Pole and focusing it at the emptiest possible space helps to eliminate interference from all the other universal phenomena. The scientists have sifted years of data; hope to have eliminated all other phenomena; and claim to have found polarized light patterns that are or were affected by gravity waves. Gravity waves are supposedly like light waves but more elusive – and they cannot be stopped by anything we know of. The faint polarized light patterns look as if they are part of spirals. Similar to and contained in the CMB light, these traces will have a signature temperature. The discovery is the ghost of a ghost of a ghost of a 13.75 billion year old ghost. 

SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN

Proof of gravitational waves created by cosmic inflation is shown here in this image of the cosmic microwave background radiation collected by the BICEP2 experiment at the South Pole. The proof comes in the form of a signature called B-mode polarization, a curling of the orientation, or polarization, of the light, denoted by the black lines on the image. The color indicates small temperature fluctuations in the cosmic microwave background that correspond to density fluctuations in the early universe.
BICEP2 Collaboration


WHY ARE GRAVITY WAVES SO IMPORTANT AND WHAT IS A T.O.E.? 
The universe is built with 4 fundamental forces (1) Strong nuclear force that compresses light into the nucleus of atoms and holds it tight – hence nuclear explosions of blinding light when we prise them open (2) Weak nuclear force that holds electrons in orbit or clouds around the nucleus – where we observe electrons doing “quantum leaps” (3) Electromagnetic force that binds or joins separate atoms into molecules and makes all chemical connectors (4) Gravity that pulls all matter and energy into clumps and makes stars, planets, alleged black-holes and us. Energy, or light, was observed to be subject to gravity as predicted and precisely calculated by Einstein when beams of distant starlight were bent as they passed by The Sun and were measured by Eddington during an eclipse in 1919. 

BUT, only the first three forces, which we largely understand and can manipulate to make our TVs and mobile phones operate, are integrated into The Standard Model of atoms and sub-atomic (smaller than atoms) particles. We do not understand how gravity works and we have so far failed to create A Theory of Everything (TOE) that will make a model of the 4 forces working together. It seems that Gravity – which we assume holds the universe together (Astrophysics & Cosmology) cannot yet be reconciled with the sub-atomic forces (Particle-physics). A Theory of Everything, the bridge between macro and micro events, is the Holy Grail for all scientists. Understanding gravity is a necessary cornerstone of any T.O.E. That is why science is so excited by the news released this month. 

Next article – 

Read this for a quantum leap forward in understanding the science:

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