[Fwd: Re: Accelerating Expansion of the Universe]

George Murphy (gmurphy@raex.com)
Wed, 30 Dec 1998 07:26:24 -0500

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George L. Murphy

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Hi Group,

So will the Universe become a scattering of dust, or an Omega Point? That's the $6.4*10^4 dollar question...

>Date: Tue, 29 Dec 1998 07:58:01 -0500 >From: George Murphy <gmurphy@raex.com> >To: RDehaan237@aol.com >CC: qraal@hotmail.com, asa-owner@udomo3.calvin.edu, asa@calvin.edu >Subject: Re: Accelerating Expansion of the Universe > >RDehaan237@aol.com wrote: > .................. >> "A positive cosmological constant it seems, though this finding is in >> conflict with other lines of evidence. Frank Tipler pointed me to >> studies which suggest that until we measure distances accurately out to >> ~ z = 3, then local motions will probably distort the apparent value of >> Hubble's "constant". That'll take some doing yet." > > A little hermeneutic of suspicion: The announced result, _if_ it holds up, >would wreck Tipler's "physics of immortality". > Hence why I ask him for his opinion. Still there are other lines of evidence that cast doubt on a non-zero lambda. Specifically, studies that have gotten different results for Omega, placing it close to 1. Ned Wright mentions one at his Cosmology Web-site, and I've read others over time. Non-cosmological motions of galaxies could be the culprit masking the real value of Omega. The "kink" in the super-novae plots seems rather sharp to me, a bit peculiar...

> >> "What does it mean for the Universe, is more to the point? Never ending >> expansion and separation of all non-bound systems... a very lonely >> Universe in the distant future. All non-bound masses will disappear over >> each other's c-boundary. Maybe. That's if the lambda factor is >> well-behaved. In the far future it may reverse and bring it all back to >> a Big Crunch. There's no theoretical way of knowing what the long term >> behaviour of lambda will be. It's a vacuum energy phenomenon and that's >> something physics still has a poor grasp on." > > Lambda may be entirely a vacuum energy phenomenon - if you come at the issue >from a particle physicist/quantum field theorist position. If you approach it from >the geometrically-minded general relativist's position, lambda may be a fundamental >feature of the laws of physics - e.g., to _define_ a metric in terms of curvature in the >sort of affine theory which Schroedinger explored. > Any Web-references for that? I'd have to dig it up from my friendly [but far away] University library otherwise. IMO the Universe is a rather perverse mix of Platonic forms and rascally matter, so geometric arguments may be more sirens of the mind than sure guides to truth.


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