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New Physics? Fundamental Cosmic Constant Now Seems Shifty

 
Anonymous Coward
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09/17/2010 01:55 PM
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New Physics? Fundamental Cosmic Constant Now Seems Shifty
Recent observations of distant galaxies suggest that the strength of the electromagnetic force – the so-called fine-structure constant – actually varies throughout the universe. In one direction, the constant seemed to grow larger the farther astronomers looked; in another direction the constant took on smaller values with greater distance.

If confirmed, this revelation could reshape physicists' understanding of cosmology from the ground up. It may even help solve a major conundrum: Why are all the constants of nature perfectly tuned for life to exist?

...A changing constant

Astrophysicists have been studying the fine-structure constant – known as the alpha constant – for years, searching for hints that it might change. Some projects have found evidence that the constant does vary, while other probes confirmed the constant's constancy. [The Greatest Mysteries in Science]
...

...For Flambaum and others, it seemed like too much of a coincidence that the universe's constants – which includes the alpha constant and others like the value of the strength of gravity, or the strength of the strong interaction that binds atomic nuclei together – should be perfect for building stars and planets and life.

"Now we have an explanation," Flambaum said."If fundamental constants vary in space, we just appear in the area of the universe where constants are good for us."

[link to www.space.com]
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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09/17/2010 01:56 PM
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Re: New Physics? Fundamental Cosmic Constant Now Seems Shifty
This is a good example of why science is so fucking crazy now...they have begun to claim that CONSTANTS vary... wtf
OTOC

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09/17/2010 01:58 PM
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Re: New Physics? Fundamental Cosmic Constant Now Seems Shifty
Here we go again.

Constants.. in flux.
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Anonymous Coward (OP)
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09/17/2010 01:59 PM
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Re: New Physics? Fundamental Cosmic Constant Now Seems Shifty
Here we go again.

Constants.. in flux.
 Quoting: OTOC


It is fucking CRAZY! Instead of changing some 'laws', or rewriting some of the science, they do stuff like claim...changing constants.

Are they for real!? Come on!
OTOC

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09/17/2010 02:02 PM
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Re: New Physics? Fundamental Cosmic Constant Now Seems Shifty
Here we go again.

Constants.. in flux.


It is fucking CRAZY! Instead of changing some 'laws', or rewriting some of the science, they do stuff like claim...changing constants.

Are they fucking for real!? Come on!
 Quoting: Sickscent


lol, some of the stupidity is near unbelievable.

The whole idea that a constant ... changes.. kinda makes it.. not a constant wouldn't ya think lmao
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Truthseekr

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09/17/2010 02:05 PM
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Re: New Physics? Fundamental Cosmic Constant Now Seems Shifty
isnt that fitting withe the theory of mr Wilcok? it just sounded alike. the ripples coming from a source- which is sending out the perfect ripples of vibration through the perfect parts of the infinite space- causing life and evolution at certain intervals... a new ripple hits- new evolving process..... thats what many think 2012 is.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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09/17/2010 02:06 PM
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Re: New Physics? Fundamental Cosmic Constant Now Seems Shifty
Here we go again.

Constants.. in flux.


It is fucking CRAZY! Instead of changing some 'laws', or rewriting some of the science, they do stuff like claim...changing constants.

Are they fucking for real!? Come on!


lol, some of the stupidity is near unbelievable.

The whole idea that a constant ... changes.. kinda makes it.. not a constant wouldn't ya think lmao
 Quoting: OTOC


cruise

It shows how difficult it is for these guys to let go of something.
BadMoonRising

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09/17/2010 02:06 PM
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Re: New Physics? Fundamental Cosmic Constant Now Seems Shifty
I'm a bit pissed right now - what does this mean in simple English?

Thanks.
"What The HELL Is Going On?..."

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09/17/2010 02:06 PM
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Re: New Physics? Fundamental Cosmic Constant Now Seems Shifty
Buddha was right---"There is no place to stand"...lol...even in physics 1dunno1
<<LOOK`n thru YOU>>

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09/17/2010 02:07 PM
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Re: New Physics? Fundamental Cosmic Constant Now Seems Shifty
I'm a bit pissed right now - what does this mean in simple English?

Thanks.
 Quoting: BadMoonRising



LMFAO
OTOC

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09/17/2010 02:08 PM
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Re: New Physics? Fundamental Cosmic Constant Now Seems Shifty
cruise

It shows how difficult it is for these guys to let go of something.
 Quoting: Sickscent



The problem here is that they are trying to twist facts to suit theories.. not theories to suit facts.
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Anonymous Coward
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09/17/2010 02:12 PM
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Re: New Physics? Fundamental Cosmic Constant Now Seems Shifty
cruise

It shows how difficult it is for these guys to let go of something.



The problem here is that they are trying to twist facts to suit theories.. not theories to suit facts.
 Quoting: OTOC


Nailed.

Fine tuning was supposed to be inevitable, according to multiverse theory.
Anonymous Coward
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09/17/2010 02:14 PM
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Re: New Physics? Fundamental Cosmic Constant Now Seems Shifty
probly the medium it is traveling thru, like light slows down in water
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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09/17/2010 02:16 PM
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Re: New Physics? Fundamental Cosmic Constant Now Seems Shifty
I'm a bit pissed right now - what does this mean in simple English?

Thanks.
 Quoting: BadMoonRising


They are talking about the alpha constant, or the fine-structure constant.

[link to en.wikipedia.org]
In physics, the fine-structure constant (usually denoted &#945;, the Greek letter alpha) is a fundamental physical constant, namely the coupling constant characterizing the strength of the electromagnetic interaction. The numerical value of &#945; is the same in all systems of units, because &#945; is a dimensionless quantity...

...Physicists have pondered for many years whether the fine structure constant is in fact constant, i.e., whether or not its value differs by location and over time. Specifically, a varying &#945; has been proposed as a way of solving problems in cosmology and astrophysics...

...The anthropic principle is a controversial explanation of why the fine-structure constant takes on the value it does: stable matter, and therefore life and intelligent beings, could not exist if its value were much different.
Anonymous Coward
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09/17/2010 02:16 PM
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Re: New Physics? Fundamental Cosmic Constant Now Seems Shifty
Here we go again.

Constants.. in flux.


It is fucking CRAZY! Instead of changing some 'laws', or rewriting some of the science, they do stuff like claim...changing constants.

Are they fucking for real!? Come on!


lol, some of the stupidity is near unbelievable.

The whole idea that a constant ... changes.. kinda makes it.. not a constant wouldn't ya think lmao
 Quoting: OTOC


Yes. Yes, it would. If this turns out to be true, they might rename it: 'the fine structure parameter', perhaps.

Then again, they might not. What's in a name, after all? 'Atom' means 'indivisible', which must come as news to every nuclear physicist in the world. Ohm's law applies to Ohmic resistors; you'll not find one in any laboratory, and neither will you find the Ideal Gas that the Ideal Gas Law describes. And was it Benjamin Franklin who established as a standard that the direction of electric current flow ran from positive to negative - before the discovery of the electron proved it was the other way round?
Anonymous Coward
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09/17/2010 02:17 PM
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Re: New Physics? Fundamental Cosmic Constant Now Seems Shifty
Red shift will turn out to be wrong, the universe will shrink, you'll see.
Anonymous Coward
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09/17/2010 02:18 PM
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Re: New Physics? Fundamental Cosmic Constant Now Seems Shifty
Seems there are no constants
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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09/17/2010 02:19 PM
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Re: New Physics? Fundamental Cosmic Constant Now Seems Shifty
I'm a bit pissed right now - what does this mean in simple English?

Thanks.


They are talking about the alpha constant, or the fine-structure constant.

[link to en.wikipedia.org]
In physics, the fine-structure constant (usually denoted &#945;, the Greek letter alpha) is a fundamental physical constant, namely the coupling constant characterizing the strength of the electromagnetic interaction. The numerical value of &#945; is the same in all systems of units, because &#945; is a dimensionless quantity...

...Physicists have pondered for many years whether the fine structure constant is in fact constant, i.e., whether or not its value differs by location and over time. Specifically, a varying &#945; has been proposed as a way of solving problems in cosmology and astrophysics...

...The anthropic principle is a controversial explanation of why the fine-structure constant takes on the value it does: stable matter, and therefore life and intelligent beings, could not exist if its value were much different.

 Quoting: Sickscent


So, scientist thought that it was crazy odds that the alpha constant just happened to be what it is across the entire universe, because the constant is PERFECT for life to exist.

If alpha [the fine structure constant] were bigger than it really is, we should not be able to distinguish matter from ether [the vacuum, nothingness], and our task to disentangle the natural laws would be hopelessly difficult. The fact however that alpha has just its value 1/137 is certainly no chance but itself a law of nature. It is clear that the explanation of this number must be the central problem of natural philosophy.
—Max Born



So, now they are finding out that it is NOT a constant throughout the universe.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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09/17/2010 02:20 PM
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Re: New Physics? Fundamental Cosmic Constant Now Seems Shifty
Here we go again.

Constants.. in flux.


It is fucking CRAZY! Instead of changing some 'laws', or rewriting some of the science, they do stuff like claim...changing constants.

Are they fucking for real!? Come on!


lol, some of the stupidity is near unbelievable.

The whole idea that a constant ... changes.. kinda makes it.. not a constant wouldn't ya think lmao


Yes. Yes, it would. If this turns out to be true, they might rename it: 'the fine structure parameter', perhaps.

Then again, they might not. What's in a name, after all? 'Atom' means 'indivisible', which must come as news to every nuclear physicist in the world. Ohm's law applies to Ohmic resistors; you'll not find one in any laboratory, and neither will you find the Ideal Gas that the Ideal Gas Law describes. And was it Benjamin Franklin who established as a standard that the direction of electric current flow ran from positive to negative - before the discovery of the electron proved it was the other way round?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 896179


Point taken, but what's in a name is important when putting it to mathematical concepts...in math, a constant doesn't change in value. That's pretty damn important of a word in mathematical formulas.
OTOC

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09/17/2010 02:21 PM
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Re: New Physics? Fundamental Cosmic Constant Now Seems Shifty
I would of thought that you would find that throughout the universe everything is not a constant.
Solar Storms, Your basic guide: Thread: Solar Storms, Your Basic Guide.

AC 1082864 - "This post was sponsored by OTOC. If you watch any doom on November 4, watch katla!"

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Anonymous Coward (OP)
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09/17/2010 02:22 PM
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Re: New Physics? Fundamental Cosmic Constant Now Seems Shifty
I would of thought that you would find that throughout the universe everything is not a constant.
 Quoting: OTOC


When it is understood that the universe is an open-system, it will nullify ALL constants.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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09/17/2010 02:23 PM
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Re: New Physics? Fundamental Cosmic Constant Now Seems Shifty
Seems there are no constants
 Quoting: Indy @


The sooner this is recognized, the faster science can advance again.
Anonymous Coward
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09/17/2010 02:24 PM
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Re: New Physics? Fundamental Cosmic Constant Now Seems Shifty
I would of thought that you would find that throughout the universe everything is not a constant.


When it is understood that the universe is an open-system, it will nullify ALL constants.
 Quoting: Sickscent


Infinities. There's the path to madness.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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09/17/2010 02:25 PM
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Re: New Physics? Fundamental Cosmic Constant Now Seems Shifty
I would of thought that you would find that throughout the universe everything is not a constant.


When it is understood that the universe is an open-system, it will nullify ALL constants.


Infinities. There's the path to madness.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 1057985


chuckle

That's a hard concept to swallow for the academia...
OTOC

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09/17/2010 02:26 PM
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Re: New Physics? Fundamental Cosmic Constant Now Seems Shifty
I would of thought that you would find that throughout the universe everything is not a constant.


When it is understood that the universe is an open-system, it will nullify ALL constants.


Infinities. There's the path to madness.


chuckle

That's a hard concept to swallow for the academia...
 Quoting: Sickscent


Leaves behind a bitter taste as well.
Solar Storms, Your basic guide: Thread: Solar Storms, Your Basic Guide.

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Anonymous Coward
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09/17/2010 02:28 PM
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Re: New Physics? Fundamental Cosmic Constant Now Seems Shifty
Here we go again.

Constants.. in flux.


It is fucking CRAZY! Instead of changing some 'laws', or rewriting some of the science, they do stuff like claim...changing constants.

Are they fucking for real!? Come on!


lol, some of the stupidity is near unbelievable.

The whole idea that a constant ... changes.. kinda makes it.. not a constant wouldn't ya think lmao


Yes. Yes, it would. If this turns out to be true, they might rename it: 'the fine structure parameter', perhaps.

Then again, they might not. What's in a name, after all? 'Atom' means 'indivisible', which must come as news to every nuclear physicist in the world. Ohm's law applies to Ohmic resistors; you'll not find one in any laboratory, and neither will you find the Ideal Gas that the Ideal Gas Law describes. And was it Benjamin Franklin who established as a standard that the direction of electric current flow ran from positive to negative - before the discovery of the electron proved it was the other way round?


Point taken, but what's in a name is important when putting it to mathematical concepts...in math, a constant doesn't change in value. That's pretty damn important of a word in mathematical formulas.
 Quoting: Sickscent


Sure. So what we're really finding out here is that something we thought was constant really wasn't. We may have to rethink some of those formulas as a result.

Remember why we thought the fine structure constant was constant - why we gave it that name in the first place, and wrote it down as such in the theory. People did a lot of experiments to measure it, and they always came out the same, and they did astronomical studies to see how objects far away in space worked, and they worked as if the fine structure constant was the same there too. So you've got this number that never seems to vary: well, you call it a constant. Makes the theory a lot simpler. Makes the mathematics easier to work with.

Now if these guys are right, apparently in the most distant reaches of the Universe, there's a very small difference in this value. That means it's not a constant - so we'll have to work out a new theory where it's the 'fine structure parameter' or something like that. The mathematics will probably be fiendish.

And meanwhile here on earth, for all practical purposes, we'll still call it the 'fine structure constant' - because nothing we ever actually build using the theory of electromagnetism ever goes anywhere that it will encounter any significant difference.
Truthseekr

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09/17/2010 02:30 PM
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Re: New Physics? Fundamental Cosmic Constant Now Seems Shifty
I'm a bit pissed right now - what does this mean in simple English?

Thanks.


They are talking about the alpha constant, or the fine-structure constant.

[link to en.wikipedia.org]
In physics, the fine-structure constant (usually denoted &#945;, the Greek letter alpha) is a fundamental physical constant, namely the coupling constant characterizing the strength of the electromagnetic interaction. The numerical value of &#945; is the same in all systems of units, because &#945; is a dimensionless quantity...

...Physicists have pondered for many years whether the fine structure constant is in fact constant, i.e., whether or not its value differs by location and over time. Specifically, a varying &#945; has been proposed as a way of solving problems in cosmology and astrophysics...

...The anthropic principle is a controversial explanation of why the fine-structure constant takes on the value it does: stable matter, and therefore life and intelligent beings, could not exist if its value were much different.

 Quoting: Sickscent

interesting.... so by IT changing, we would either have a forced evolution or be wiped from existence? if thats the case.. that makes sense... *ponders*... bonghit
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Re: New Physics? Fundamental Cosmic Constant Now Seems Shifty
This is why alpha (fine structure) is a fundamental constant.


According to the theory of the renormalization group, the value of the fine structure constant (the strength of the electromagnetic interaction) grows logarithmically as the energy scale is increased. The observed value of &#945; is associated with the energy scale of the electron mass; the electron is a lower bound for this energy scale because it (and the positron) is the lightest charged object whose quantum loops can contribute to the running. Therefore 1/137.036 is the value of the fine structure constant at zero energy. Moreover, as the energy scale increases, the strength of the electromagnetic interaction approaches that of the other two fundamental interactions, a fact important for grand unification theories. If quantum electrodynamics were an exact theory, the fine structure constant would actually diverge at an energy known as the Landau pole. This fact makes quantum electrodynamics inconsistent beyond the perturbative expansions.
[link to en.wikipedia.org]
Comedian

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09/17/2010 02:32 PM
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Re: New Physics? Fundamental Cosmic Constant Now Seems Shifty
This is a good example of why science is so fucking crazy now...they have begun to claim that CONSTANTS vary... wtf
 Quoting: Sickscent

Dude, you post the most consistently interesting articles.
Thanks again!
Don't run. You'll just die tired.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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09/17/2010 02:33 PM
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Re: New Physics? Fundamental Cosmic Constant Now Seems Shifty
Sure. So what we're really finding out here is that something we thought was constant really wasn't. We may have to rethink some of those formulas as a result.

Remember why we thought the fine structure constant was constant - why we gave it that name in the first place, and wrote it down as such in the theory. People did a lot of experiments to measure it, and they always came out the same, and they did astronomical studies to see how objects far away in space worked, and they worked as if the fine structure constant was the same there too. So you've got this number that never seems to vary: well, you call it a constant. Makes the theory a lot simpler. Makes the mathematics easier to work with.

Now if these guys are right, apparently in the most distant reaches of the Universe, there's a very small difference in this value. That means it's not a constant - so we'll have to work out a new theory where it's the 'fine structure parameter' or something like that. The mathematics will probably be fiendish.

And meanwhile here on earth, for all practical purposes, we'll still call it the 'fine structure constant' - because nothing we ever actually build using the theory of electromagnetism ever goes anywhere that it will encounter any significant difference.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 896179


Yeah, and the reason it is important in finding out whether it is truly a constant or not, is because it is a FUNDAMENTAL componant. All formulas or concepts that use the value of ALPHA are affected if it is found out NOT to be a constant.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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09/17/2010 02:33 PM
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Re: New Physics? Fundamental Cosmic Constant Now Seems Shifty
This is a good example of why science is so fucking crazy now...they have begun to claim that CONSTANTS vary... wtf

Dude, you post the most consistently interesting articles.
Thanks again!
 Quoting: Comedian

:coolone5:

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