The mass of the universe can be estimated from observations of density and size.
Newton’s second empirical law F = ma relates a force to mass and acceleration.
The gravity cross-section is calculable from Feynman’s rules, by scaling an observed nuclear weak force cross-section to gravitation using the observed ratio of gravitational to Fermi (weak force) coupling.
What I’ve found however, from Physical Review Letters nonsense (here and here) as well as bigoted nonsense in Physics Forums and from physics friends, some with research PhD’s like Mario Rabinowitz, is that the above list of simple facts which predicted quantitatively a good, accurate estimate of dark energy in 1996, two years before observation, is hated.
It’s either falsely deemed “speculative” when it’s not, or it’s deemed to predict nothing, when it factually predicted a discovery in 1998 that won a Nobel prize for Perlmutter who observed evidence for dark energy in supernovae redshifts, or it’s simply hated for being “unorthodox”.
The gravitational-wave event GW150914 observed by the LIGO Hanford (H1, left column panels) and Livingston (L1, right column panels) detectors. Times are shown relative to September 14, 2015 at 09:50:45 UTC:
The two detectors used simply a long, large mass (a tunnel in the ground) whose position was monitored by laser beams. Black holes of about 30 solar masses each collided 1.3 billion years ago – and 1.3 billion light years away (since gravity travels at light speed) released enough gravitational wave energy to be detected here. The delay time between each detector station measuring the gravitational waveform was 7 milliseconds, corresponding to the light-speed difference in arrival time for the two stations. The difficulty in detecting gravitational waves, requiring immense detectors and immensely massive, rapidly accelerating masses, stems from the relatively small gravitational coupling, which is a factor of about 10^40 times smaller than that of electromagnetism. The seismic background activity on the earth (small tremors of masses, due to tidal forces from the moon’s orbit) covers up small gravitational wave signals, so it takes a massive event to be detectable.
(Similarly, the very first innovator to correctly calculate the anomalous magnetic moment of the electron in 1948, quantum field theorist Julian Schwinger, in 1991 resigned his fellowship from the American Physical Society after its lead journal, Physical Review Letters, refused to publish his papers on a controversial topic! Schwinger’s 1991 resignation letter infamously stated: “The pressure for conformity is enormous. I have experienced it in editors’ rejection of submitted papers, based on venomous criticism of anonymous referees. The replacement of impartial reviewing by censorship will be the death of science.” Like Einstein, Schwinger was a Nobel Laureate. Even such celebrities feel coerced and censored by fashion bigots!)
Wolfgang Steinick’s article, “Einstein and the Gravitational Waves”, Astron. Nachr. / AN 326 (2005), No. 7, points out that Einstein’s approach predicts quadrupole moment source gravitational waves, i.e. gravitational waves from pair of mass rotating around one another (and spiralling inwards towards one another, due to the conversion of kinetic energy into gravitational wave energy!). Such masses have acceleration a = (v^2)/r where v is orbital velocity and r is radius of orbit. However, you get a similar feature in classical (not quantum!) electrodynamics, e.g. the classic problem of radiation emission from orbital charges. Steinick simply ignores this analogy and speciously (wrongly) claims classical electrodynamics makes a totally different wave prediction:
In reality, a pair of electric charges in orbit around one another are predicted to emit electromagnetic waves by classical electromagnetism, so there IS indeed a valid analogy to the quadrupole moment source in general relativity. In other words, both theories (Maxwell with a coupling 10^40 times smaller for masses not charges, and general relativity) predict gravitational waves under the circumstances of the black hole collision, so it’s just nasty hype to claim that one particular celebrity-hyped theory rather than another was “proved” by observation. By analogy, I predicted dark energy quantitatively from an entirely fact based theory in 1996, but this is censored out and even ignored by friends for precisely the same reason: I’m not a celebrity (I don’t want to be), and anything that doesn’t appeal to mass cult populism and sci fi hype is taboo. The media won’t report the death of your grandma unless she is a princess, politician, queen or has some other call to fame or cult following that demands to know the “news”. News is just celebrity hype. Notice also that in 1975, Hulse and Taylor did discover gravitational wave effects, from the speeding up of radio pulses from the binary pulsar PSR 1913 + 16, due to a contracting orbit caused by loss of kinetic energy in gravitational waves. This could thus be considered a discovery of gravitational waves. The oscillation of a large mass in GIGO may seem more direct than the contraction of an orbit, but it’s also convincing evidence.
Thus, an analogy to electromagnetic radiation emitted by accelerating charge and to dark energy as a source of gravitation, predicts small gravitational waves from accelerating masses, the smallness being due to the small ratio of the gravitational coupling to that of electromagnetism, but this doesn’t require the usual specious arguments for spin-2. In fact a simple prediction of gravitational waves by analogy to electromagnetism was done long before Einstein (who in 1935 wrongly dismissed gravitational waves using a spurious argument that led to him refusing to publish ever again in the Physical Review).
It looks like a circular argument to me: they’ve spend months running a model of collapsing black holes to try to replicate the gravitational wave results LIGO detected. They then announce not only their data, but a claim that they know what the source was in great detail. Isn’t that a circular argument?
What I want from observations is data, not data interpretation, which is a hybrid of theory and data, that suffers from bigotry in fitting the data to fashionable theories.
Take general relativity. In 1919, the deflection of starlight by gravity was found to follow Einstein’s model (twice the deflection of the Newtonian bullet). Fair enough, but aside from a geometric model of spacetime, the actual physics in Einstein’s equations come from imposing energy conservation (the contraction effect causing the doubling of the Newtonian deflection) which may also work in all other models of gravity that impose energy conservation. So you have a hyped theory, you test it, it agrees with the observations, then you claim it’s the one true final theory and we don’t need to worry about alternative models that might do the same, plus more, or provide better understanding.
Then you fit GR to cosmology (with help from dark matter and later dark energy too, after discarding Einstein’s 1917 static uinverse prediction, without ridiculing GR for that error of Einstein), and you measure gravitational redshift of gamma rays going upwards, and the 1975 gravitational waves from a pulsar which caused it to speed up (loss of kinetic energy, thus a decreasing orbit size and faster orbits) and now gravitational wave strains on tunnels.
Each time, the new observation which has been “explained” by the theory is hyped as “yet another test”, while alternative possibilities are not being researched. It’s the “Matthew effect”. All research goes into the first theory to have a real success, which becomes a celebrity, a fashion cult. Sure, it’s one way to interpret the data successfully. But is it the best theory just because it’s the first one to make checkable predictions? It is the “only” theory merely because other ideas have been censored out as taboo without the work that has gone into the mainstream model?
It’s clear from an analogy to electromagnetic theory that if you accelerate a gravitational charge (mass-energy) you will get some radiation, i.e. gravitational waves. That’s not rocket science. But you are going to get a very low signal strength due to the small gravitational coupling relative to electromagnetism, and that’s going to be hard to distinguish clearly from seismic background effects on the large masses used as gravitational wave detectors. By correlating arrival times of gravitational waves from sensors in different places on the planet, you can tell their direction and speed (c) and thus correlate them to the part of sky where they originated and maybe find some supernova or black hole collision that may have caused them. But there’s going to be a lot of uncertainties in an attempt at a quantitative check, and it’s likely to be a communist-style “big science” mutual backslapping, “pay us more cash, we’re clever” celebrity hype event. The opposite of objectivity. Fools could predict gravitational waves and detect them by bouncing laser beams off large massive weights, given enough cash. That’s not hard science, just groupthink technology. It doesn’t put any theories under pressure!
“Sorry, Nigel, the gravitational waves from the Cosmos are weak but they may be separated and/or distinguished from the seismic activity and, as tomorrow’s announcement will clarify, the people who have worked on exactly this problem have mastered this purely technical problem pretty well – and it will unavoidably get better in the future. So your cynical remarks are just garbage.”
“By the way, there are various technicalities they must have mastered but they are bothering me. One of them is that the two LIGO clones’ signals shouldn’t differ just by the overall intensity and a time delay. They measure polarizations with respect to slightly different axes (a “plus” in Washington state, a combination of “plus” and “cross” in Louisiana) so the precise functions of time may differ as well, right? Appreciate that the incoming signal may be partly circularly polarized, i.e. an out-of-sync superposition of the two “cross/plus” polarizations. I think it would be helpful to have at least 8 clones of LIGO, to measure the location of the source more accurately and to be more clear about the different polarizations.”
My point made clear, repeated again for the stupid: knock any big masses together and any quantum theory of gravity will predict some gravitational radiation. What I would have found impressive in a theoretical interpretation paper is a visual observation of the source of the gravitational waves and a set of predictions based on that of what the amplitude and waveform of the instrument would be from a variety of different theories, and a comparison of those predictions with the observation. Instead, we have just more political PRL crap again, a mixture of data with fashionable theory designed to hype it.
“Changing someone’s opinion is arguably one of the most important challenges of social interaction. The underlying process proves difficult to study: it is hard to know how someone’s opinions are formed and whether and how someone’s views shift. … We find that persuasive arguments are characterized by interesting patterns of interaction dynamics, such as participant entry-order and degree of back-and-forth exchange.”[Hence, refusals to engage in discussion by “peer reviewers” and others is a defensive mechanism to avoid even going in the direction of rational debate and objective discussions.]
… Respond in groups: You’re more persuasive to the person you’re arguing with if other people are arguing your side, too.
Have a few back-and-forth exchanges with your opponent, but never go past three or four. Up to that point, your chance of persuading them is pretty good. But Tan says that “when the back-and-forth goes on for too long, your chances at persuasion become very low.” …
All of these quoted “tips” are of course impossible if you’re really innovating and doing something unfashionable. You won’t have a group (the whole reason for criticising orthodoxy and giving alternative ideas is that you’re trying to create a group to work on alternative ideas, by debating with people; in other words that’s a catch-22 situation), opponents just want to ignore your points and make irrelevant comments or jokes, anything to close the discussion down without having a scientific debate.
http://vixra.org/abs/1511.0067 Hubris: general populist autism used by mass media to censor any real innovation until fashionable enough to sell using false hype arguments (popularity-based hype, not evidence-based).