I’ve been reading Einstein’s bio on the commute to work. Naturally, that’s got me re-reading books like The Dancing Wu Li Masters and thinking about Relativity. It’s neat to think about. Sometimes, you can think you are really understanding it and then sometimes, it crumbles like a house of cards, so you re-read and try and build back up.
This has also led to some reading about Cosmology, because, as the readers know, I’ve been an armchair Cosmologist for 20 years now. And in those 20 years, the big breakthrough has been Dark Energy. Yes, I tried to explain it to my 5.5 year old–I thought I did a decent job.
But I had a thought about what the solution to Dark Energy is and it’s driving me nuts now. I am toobing up all sorts of lectures and videos trying to get answers, because, I am thinking, I CAN’T be right. So I just want to hear why what I’m thinking, ISN’T right. Make sense? I am joking with Mrs. Pinetar that I am going to win the Nobel Prize in Physics for this (I can think of a guy who won one who didn’t do diddly for it).
Dark Energy is not understood. It’s a placeholder to explain the observed acceleration of the farthest galaxies from us, as they speed away from us and everything else. The Universe is expanding at a more and more rapid rate, right? Easy. If all the stuff in the Universe was gravitationally tugging at everything else, we’d expect to see a DE-celeration, and yet we see the opposite. We don’t have a law of physics that explains that, so they said “it’s Dark Energy” and it’s either a repulsive force, or something else. And there are many theories and have not looked at them all, nor would I understand them all if I did.
But the instant they lay this problem out, I immediately think of this: Relativity-101. When things go very fast, “Relativistic speeds”, which is another way of saying, “a speed that is a fair fraction of the speed of light”; when things go very fast, they get heavier. They gain Mass. Mass is responsible for gravity.
When you read cosmology and they get to Hubble in the 1920′s, the first thing you read is that, “…the farther away the galaxy, the bigger the redshift” (Bigger redshift = faster speed away from us). So the galaxies on the edge of the expanding bubble are going the fastest, so then, due to Relativity, aren’t they also the heaviest? And if you’ve seen a curve of the equation, the curve is steep as you approach lightspeed, so the bump up in mass is going to go off the charts! (I’ll try and find a chart).
This leads to a model whereby the edges of the expanding bubble are ridiculously heavy. Almost all the gravity in the universe should be concentrated at the extreme edge of the bubble. If it’s a gravity tug-of-war, then the edges are going to blow away the middle and wah-lah, the expansion rate will increase. There’s a nice, smoothly accelerating universe that uses the laws we already have proven out, thanks to Herr Einstein. You don’t need any dopey “Dark Energy”. You don’t need to make up new laws or repulsive forces.
Questions and assumptions about this? Sure, here goes:
This assumes that the galaxies furthest out are and always were, going the fastest. I think this is the view held. The opposite of this is that it’s only the space between things that’s expanding and since there’s simply more space between the further objects then they appear to be going faster.
#2 when an object is moving at relativistic speeds and therefore gains mass, does that mass warp space and create gravity? Or is it simply relative mass, or somehow, “virtual mass”? I think it’s true mass, but I don’t know.
There are other “questions” but these are two that stand out for me. I would need to find a physicist to answer them. I don’t know any.
How would I test my theory? Well, I think you could write a basic computer program to model a few thousand galaxies and give them the appropriate behavior for gravitational interaction as well as Relativistic “weight”. Play around with the starting parameters, speeds, etc., and see if you can’t get it to run and replicate a steadily expanding universe, like the one now posited (or observed, however you wish).
I haven’t read anything addressing my idea here so I tend to think that there’s something just basically wrong with it–something so fundamentally off about it, that it doesn’t merit a mention as a possible solution. And with all the uber-smart guys who get paid to do this stuff, I can’t imagine that something so basic would be overlooked.
I’m not saying I’m right or anything. What I’m really doing is asking, “WHY isn’t this valid?”. I want to know what would invalidate this line, and I haven’t read anything that does…yet. And I haven’t read much, so that’s not even a big shocker.
This is a perfect example of why I like armchair Cosmology: because you can do these kind of thought experiments and you can often follow along with the big boys and get all wrapped up in something like this. And sure, while you can’t do the x’s and o’s “science”, you can follow along at 30,000 feet.
So I’m throwing it out to the readers. Does anyone know a physicist? Can we get some clarification? Whoever it is, they can have the idea, just put my name somewhere on the paper and give me a couple G’s of the prize money if we win big in Stockholm.