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Weird Physics of New Theories of the Origin of Our Universe

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  • derhexer@aol.com
    URL to an interesting article in Daily Galaxy _http://tinyurl.com/83j4sbp_ (http://tinyurl.com/83j4sbp) Speed of sound greater than speed of light? I m having
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 3, 2012
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      URL to an interesting article in Daily Galaxy
      _http://tinyurl.com/83j4sbp_ (http://tinyurl.com/83j4sbp)

      Speed of sound greater than speed of light? I'm having trouble wrapping
      my mind around. I know that the speed of light greater than speed of sound
      means that many people appear bright until you hear them speak, but the
      other way 'round?

      First few paragraphs "
      The standard theory of cosmic inflation states that our universe expanded
      rapidly in the moments after its birth at the Big Bang, which explains why
      the universe is billions of years old, as well as why the universe is nearly
      flat. The theory's conclusions about how the universe should look match
      observations by NASA's Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP).




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      But University at Buffalo physicists Ghazal Geshnizjani, Will Kinney and
      Azadeh Moradinezhad Dizgah have challenged the accepted wisdom with their
      radiocal study: "General Conditions for Scale-Invariant Perturbations in an
      Expanding Universe," which finds that that while inflation isn't the only
      viable model of the early universe, other possibilities would require strange
      physics -- such as a speed of sound faster than the speed of light.
      The team found that only three kinds of early universe theories can explain
      the distribution of matter in today's universe, assuming that the standard
      theory of gravity is correct and that the universe was expanding in early
      times (both widely accepted suppositions).
      According to the physicists' calculations, viable early universe theories
      must incorporate either an accelerated cosmic expansion (inflation); a speed
      of sound faster than the speed of light; or energies so high that
      scientists would need to invoke a theory of quantum gravity such as string theory,
      which predicts the existence of extra dimensions of space-time.
      "The takeaway result here is that this idea of inflation turns out to be
      the only way to do it within the context of standard physics," said Kinney,
      an associate professor of physics who credits UB research scientist
      Geshnizjani, with formulating the idea for the study. "I think in many ways it puts
      the idea of inflation on a much stronger footing, because the available
      alternatives have problems, or weirdnesses, with them.
      "It may well be that you can come up with a speed of sound faster than the
      speed of light, but I think people, as a general rule, would be more
      comfortable with something that doesn't involve super-luminal propagation,"
      Kinney continued. "Inflation doesn't require any exotic physics. It's just
      standard particle physics."
      Cosmic inflation accounts for the distribution of the matter in the
      universe by incorporating quantum field theory, which states that under "normal"
      circumstances, particles of matter and something called antimatter can pop
      into existence suddenly -- before meeting and annihilating each other almost
      instantly.
      According to cosmic inflation, materializing pairs of matter and antimatter
      particles flew apart so quickly in the rapidly expanding early universe
      that they did not have time to recombine. The same principle applied to
      gravitons and antigravitons, which form gravity waves.
      These particles became the basis of all structure in the universe today,
      with tiny fluctuations in the matter in the universe collapsing to form
      stars, planets and galaxies. The concept relies on widely studied ideas to
      explain how the universe began and evolved.
      Still, however bizarre alternatives to inflation might seem, Kinney
      acknowledges that other models are possible. His own work has included exploring
      other theories, including ones that rely on superluminal sound speeds."



      Chris

      (Madness takes it toll. Please have exact change)


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