Mr. G.L.R. sent along this article this week, and I found it so utterly fascinating that I have to blog about it in my usual hack-from-South-Dakota high octane way. If a scientist at the University of Geneva's ideas should be proven to be true, then one fundamental conceptual pillar of the modern scientific cosmology, dark matter, may go the way of the old aether lumeniferous of the 19th century, while the latter may have just been "updated" a bit. Here's the article:
What really caught my eye in this was the following paragraph:
The way we represent the universe and its history are described by Einstein’s equations of general relativity, Newton’s universal gravitation and quantum mechanics. The model-consensus at present is that of a big bang followed by an expansion. “In this model, there is a starting hypothesis that hasn’t been taken into account, in my opinion”, says André Maeder, honorary professor in the Department of Astronomy in UNIGE’s Faculty of Science. “By that I mean the scale invariance of the empty space; in other words, the empty space and its properties do not change following a dilatation or contraction.” The empty space plays a primordial role in Einstein’s equations as it operates in a quantity known as a “cosmological constant”, and the resulting universe model depends on it. Based on this hypothesis, Maeder is now re-examining the model of the universe, pointing out that the scale invariance of the empty space is also present in the fundamental theory of electromagnetism. (All emphases added)
In effect, what Dr. Maeder is saying is that in any large explosion - such as the Big Bang - the properties or, if one will, the "lattice structure" of space remains unchanged, they are "scale invariant" (which is to oversimplify what "scale invariance" means). This, he is arguing, is the hidden and unchallenged assumption lurking beneath modern cosmological physics, and it is this assumption that has led to the hypothesized "dark matter" and "dark energy."
But what if a large enough explosion actually cause compressions and rarefactions within that lattice work itself? In other words, what if a sufficiently large explosion could, like a large mass in Einstein's general relativity, cause space-time to warp into "compressed" and "stretched" regions? What if such explosions actually sent out longitudinal waves in the medium itself? With this idea, we're back, in some respects, to the old 19th century idea of an aether lumeniferous, but unlike that idea, of a "compressible" aether.
Now, for readers of my books, and particularly of The Nazi International, this idea is going to sound very familiar, for a similar idea was posed by the Nazi scientist, Dr. Ronald Richter, working with his plasmas and the idea of nuclear fusion for Juan Peron in the 1950s, and it will sound an awfully lot like the speculation that a very large nuclear or thermonuclear explosion could itself create a similar longitudinal wave or warp of compression and rarefaction in the medium. Indeed, many within the realm of Ufology have speculated for years that one reason Ufos show up so quickly and in such large numbers after World War Two is precisely that "they" somehow "detected" the first nuclear explosions, and I have speculated on the idea that if this hypothesis is true, then it may be because "they" had some means of detecting such longitudinal waves.
So what's Maeder's twist? Judging from the article and crawling way out on the twig of speculation, it would appear that what he is saying is that space remains scale invariant even after these temporary "dilations and compressions," or, if one reads into it a great deal, one might infer that the size of the event - the Big Bang, or a much smaller nuclear explosion - will inevitably create such dilations and compressions in each and every case, and that eventually, space "snaps back" into its ground state configuration, i.e., that it is invariant over a period of time, notwithstanding temporary alterations. If that be the case, then it would also appear that he is saying that space, at every point, is in a state of (scalar!) stress and equilibrium, and that the slightest disturbance will create those ripples. And, if one recalls Dr. Richter, a natural detector and transducer of such a phenomenon would be a plasma under stress, for as those "ripples and dilations" move through it, they could add (and could conceivably damp under certain conditions) energy in its reactions. If all this be true, then Dr. Maeder's hypothesis would also go a long way to explain why calculations of early thermonuclear explosive yields, such as in the infamous Castle Bravo test, could be so significantly awry of what actually took place, without resorting to the clumsy and inadequate explanations that our thermonuclear chemists did not know that the lithium-7 in the fuel mixture would also enter the reaction, an historically problematical explanation, as I pointed out in The Nazi International.
Here, as always, science moves slowly and deliberately, and time, of course, will tell...
See you on the flip side...