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FQXi FORUM
November 22, 2019

CATEGORY: Is Reality Digital or Analog? Essay Contest (2010-2011) [back]
TOPIC: The Nature of Gravitational Singularities and a Heuristic Introduction to HBCS Cosmology by Dan T. Benedict [refresh]
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Author Dan T Benedict wrote on Jan. 24, 2011 @ 15:33 GMT
Essay Abstract

In this essay we maintain that certain physical properties, originate from the fundamental nature of the universe as a whole and are not independent of it. Therefore, we will take a naïve but novel approach and introduce a simple, yet powerful cosmological principle to develop a new interpretation of General Relativity (GR), one that will provisionally describe gravitational singularities, thereby initiating a new direction toward a complete theory without the explicit utilization of any of the current theories of Quantum Gravity (QG). We will further use this new principle to investigate the nature of spacetime’s inherent duality and, in support of our approach, discuss: the beginning and end of the universe, the nature of black holes (BHs) from a “cosmic perspective”, and we will offer elegant hypotheses for the formation of local structure and for the anomalous observations that lead to the concept of dark matter.

Author Bio

Dan Benedict completed two Bachelor of Science Degrees, one in Physics and one in Mathematics from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. He is currently an independent researcher with a variety of interests, including the foundations of Cosmology, the philosophy of Physics, and anomalies in nature.

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Author Dan T Benedict wrote on Jan. 24, 2011 @ 20:50 GMT
To All Readers,

Unfortunately, much of the details of my graphs are difficult to discern. Please use the zoom function of your PDF viewer to regain this detail, with my apologies, as they are key to my essay. The PDF version looks much different than my word processor version. If you have any questions, I be more than happy to address them.

Thanks sincerely for your consideration,

Dan Benedict

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John Merryman wrote on Jan. 25, 2011 @ 03:26 GMT
Dan,

Stephen Hawking proposed cosmic expansion as one of his three arrows of time, along with entropy and psychological perception. Though he never stated it as such and argued against arrows of time, I think that Einstein's model of gravity amounts to an arrow of time and that it counters a cosmic expansion arrow. So there is an arrow of unknown expansion into the future and an arrow of...

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Author Dan T Benedict replied on Jan. 25, 2011 @ 06:08 GMT
John,

Thanks for your comments. Let me address a few of them as they pertain to my model. You wrote:

"So while the theory of black holes remains as a conceptual edifice, the reality is becoming ever more apparent that whatever visible mass and energy pulled into them is not transported into some other dimension, but is radiated out in other parts of the spectrum that were not...

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John Merryman replied on Jan. 25, 2011 @ 18:51 GMT
Dan,

I realize quasars present an age/stage issue, there are any number of other, macro-phenomena, such as the "axis of evil," which do ask ever larger question that we doubtfully will ever get full answers to. That doesn't necessarily mean this validates an expanding, or cyclically expanding universe over a steady state one, because there could well be much larger processes at work, which would cause cycles of quasars to occur relatively simultaneously.

The issues I have with current cosmology are varied and I don't fully stand behind any explanation. I simply would like the issues I see as meriting questioning have some response before I fully agree with them. Let's say that Big Bang theory was a savings bond. While the cosmological community would put a triple A rating on it, I would view it as speculative at best.

It would seem to me that at such a ratio, space would have an appreciable curvature.

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Author Dan T Benedict wrote on Jan. 25, 2011 @ 20:23 GMT
John,

I appreciated your correspondence. My model is so new that it is uncertain if it will pass scrutiny and the test of time. I had much more to include, and it may seem somewhat off topic, since I had to severely cut my original rough draft which ran over 60,000 characters. You might say that my essay had it's character assassinated ;)

Still, it is my hope that the ideas resonate with the judges, since it appears to solve many issues including: the formation of structure problem, gives an alternative hypothesis for DM (which can be checked using only GR and computer simulations), eliminates the singularity as the point (or event) at which all of the laws of physics breakdown, and it should be tested against the data that lead to the DE hypothesis, of which I am currently working. It may not be the model that you would choose, but I still believe it is a big step in the right direction.

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T H Ray wrote on Jan. 26, 2011 @ 15:32 GMT
Dan,

Nice job. Althugh I cannot offhand discern how the results of your graphic method differ from those of more conventional tools (e.g., Minkowski lightcones for time-event analysis, Poincare recurrence for system dynamics), I appreciate very much your emphasis on the philosophical foundation of general relativity in Mach's Principle, a term coined by Einstein himself. It shows an understanding of the real physics as contrasted to the rootless speculation that often dominates these forums.

Einstein always recognized the cosmological problem. In Mach's mechanics, the world is finite and bounded. Einstein transformed that into a model that is finite and unbounded -- therefore adding the dimension of nonlocal curvature that frees inertial effects from dependence on "action at a distance," in favor of locality. And that's another point that you obviously understand deeply, for one cannot connect to an idea of hypersurface without going through the geometry of spherical coordinates in contrast to the flat Euclidean spacetime we apparently inhabit.

That said, and though I generally agree with your approach and I agree that avoiding the singularity is desirable (indeed, quantum gravity is not conceivable otherwise), I think your statement of "FPC" is far too weak to be useful in any technical sense. It is, in fact, only a restatement of Mach's mechanics and doesn't go beyond, as Einstein did with general relativity. I would drop the FPC entirely, and focus on the relationship between Black Hole thermodynamics and quantum mechanics, a la Hawking.

My $.02.

Tom

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Author Dan T Benedict wrote on Jan. 26, 2011 @ 18:51 GMT
Tom,

Thanks, for your comments. The two pillars of my model are the FPC and primary role that BH's have in evolution and the very definition of the cosmos. With the FPC, we have a principle with which to define more than just motion, such as the very nature of existence. "A physical property only has meaning only in relation to universe as a whole". It frees us from having to use GR globally, which has only been tested locally.

My graphical method has also freed us from the conventional tools, which are difficult at best to work with, and shows how the nature of BHs from the "cosmic perspective" differs from conventional theory.

I believe the FLRW models fail because they assume that the universe's geometry is simply connected. The HBCS model is neither simply connected nor multiply connected in the traditional sense, but something altogether different. New maths may be needed. Besides as they say "a picture's worth a thousand words" (I'm not sure how many math symbols that equates to).

There was mounting evidence for DM, long before Vera Rubin published her results showing the flat rotation curves of galaxies, which is historically viewed as the definitive evidence in favor of DM. Something about her graphs "leapt to the eye" and caught the attention of the community. Of course, her graphs were empirical evidence, mine are just based on principle and reasoning. I'm the first to admit that this model needs a more rigorous treatment, but I'm fairly satisfied with the results and implications so far. This is just the beginning. The hard work is yet to done.

Dan

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T H Ray replied on Jan. 26, 2011 @ 19:02 GMT
Mach's mechanics also assumes a simply connected universe (finite, bounded). If you're departing from that assumption, you have one more reason to drop FPC. I honestly don't grasp what value you think that it adds.

Tom

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Author Dan T Benedict replied on Jan. 26, 2011 @ 22:34 GMT
Tom,

The FPC limits the interpretation of the equivalence principle to the exterior and ultimately the boundary of the BH. The orthodox interpretation allows a dual existence, at least temporarily, for a test particle that "falls into" the BH. For exterior observers, the test particle ends up and remains at the boundary until the end of the universe. From the test particles' frame of reference, it passes the event horizon and continues falling ultimately ending in an unknown state at the singularity. This is a paradox! The FPC removes the paradox, since the particle's very existence is defined only w.r.t. the rest of universe, which is the exterior of the BH and its boundary. This doesn't negate the equivalence principle, since at the boundary, the test particle remains in a locally timeless state and experiences nothing, that is until it's energy is eventually liberated by a extremely long period of cosmic expansion. Without the FPC, we have dual existence and unknown states. With the FPC, everything has a unique existence and the singularity is understood as just a point in cosmic time. The remains of the star interior to and immediately after the horizon is formed, exists in a new set of expanding spacetimes, with the BH's event horizon equivalent to the cosmic horizon in their infinite future.

Dan

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T H Ray replied on Jan. 28, 2011 @ 13:41 GMT
Dan,

The equivalence principle (between gravitational and inertial mass) is classical. The effect of a particle crossing the black hole horizon, so that to a distant observer it appears frozen on the horizon, is not a paradox but the result of the known phenomenon of time dilation. It eventually takes infinite time for the image of the frozen particle to reach the outside observer.

The restatement of Mach's Principle that you call FPC is superfluous to the classical explanation of relativistic spacetime effects in Einstein's relativity. Yes, Mach was the true relativist, but that's precisely why his philosophy is wrong -- Einstein's absolutism, with the incorporation of the constant speed of light into a mathematically complete theory, makes gravity a local theory. Mach's philosophy and yours begs action at a distance.

Saying that something exists only because the rest of the universe exists isn't really a scientific claim, is it?

Tom

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Author Dan T Benedict wrote on Jan. 28, 2011 @ 22:19 GMT
Tom,

Hopefully this helps:

The FPC is an extension of Leibniz's relational philosophy (on which Mach's principle is based) that has fundamental physical implications. It is not a scientific claim, since it cannot be verified directly by experiment, only its implications are verifiable. (BTW continuation across the event horizon cannot be verified either, it's just the accepted interpretation within the current framework.) The FPC is philosophically appealing because it insists that we precisely define physical properties and events and that relationships are logically consistent. It allows us to define cosmic spacetime, without resorting to the a priori global application of GR, which is a local theory, and has only been proven on the local scale. I'm not claiming that GR is wrong (in fact it must be correct for the model to be valid), only the interpretation that allows continuation across the event horizon.

Since the FPC has physical implications and is philosophically more appealing, the resulting HBCS Cosmology deserves our attention and scrutiny. The implications are far reaching and profound as they relate to our conceptual understanding of the formation of structure, DE (which was not covered in the essay), and in particular, DM. DM has been and is currently still thought of (by most of the community) as a particle physics problem. The HBCS model claims that the observations that lead to the DM hypothesis are a general relativistic effect and can be understood using only GR in the given background. This is would be a major breakthrough if it can be proven correct. Thus, the implications of the HBCS model will be the ultimate test of whether the FPC is valid and useful.

So we have a new model, in which singularities can be understood, and if proven correct, will seamlessly resolve many of the open questions in cosmology and astrophysics. I would say that not allowing continuation across the event horizon is a small price to pay, especially since we're not really giving up anything substantial. The equivalence principle is still valid up to the event horizon, which is defined by the model to be a closed (inclusive) local boundary of the universe in the present era. So, if the model's implications hold up to scrutiny after comparison to super computer simulations and the empirical evidence, we have made much progress in our understanding of the universe.

Dan

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T H Ray replied on Jan. 29, 2011 @ 09:56 GMT
Dan,

"Relational" and "relativity" are not the same thing. Mach's relativity is a physical dynamic which purports to explain the origin of inertia as identical to the origin of mechanics. IOW, motion is primary. Einstein incorporated the absolute speed of light into Mach's mechanics to show that motion is not primary, but that rest states are relative and therefore all physics is local, since relative rest states beg observer dependence.

To speak of things in relation requires no physics at all.

Tom

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Author Dan T Benedict wrote on Jan. 30, 2011 @ 00:14 GMT
Tom,

We're in the domain where philosophy meets physics, the playground where truly fundamental physics takes place! FPC leads to a model that has physical consequences, so new physics is required, but not immediate. I don't know if you've read Kip Thorne's "Black Holes and Time Warps". It"s mostly about the history of BH physics, except for the last few chapters, which are worth the price...

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T H Ray replied on Jan. 31, 2011 @ 12:27 GMT
Yes, I have Kip Thorne's book. This isn't about paradigms, nor about the alleged intersection of physics with philosophy. It's about the difference between physics and philosophy.

Einstein took Mach's philosophy of a finite and bounded universe, and converted it to the physics of a finite and unbounded universe. If you want your universe to be bounded at the black hole horizon, you're doing physics and your FPC is superfluous. If you want your model to be bounded at the interior of the black hole, you're doing philosophy.

Tom

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Author Dan T Benedict wrote on Jan. 31, 2011 @ 19:46 GMT
Tom,

Yes, the universe is bounded locally at the black hole horizon. Thus, as a boundary, everything exterior to it, including the boundary itself ( it is a closed boundary) belongs to the universe, everything interior to the boundary is subject to speculation, since there can be no experiment or observation conducted there that can be conveyed to the exterior. One can choose the prevalent view of the WSP, that the horizon is just empty curved space and an observer falling toward a large enough BH would not experience anything unusual, or one can choose to believe the view from the MP, and the the observer would experience an electrically charged membrane at the horizon, or finally one can choose to believe the FSP and that the horizon is where space, time, matter, and energy are poorly defined. So for now, the interior of the BH is a matter for philosophy.

Now, remember that I used the FPC to also define cosmic time and hence cosmic spacetime, which are not really new concepts either, except I was able to define them without reference to GR, a local theory. GR is viewed as fundamental and it is natural to want to use it to understand the global aspects of the universe, but what if it's a false assumption that GR applies globally? It may or may not. This is why I believe the my method is a more fundamental procedure to build a cosmological model. It relies only on simple definitions and relationships and assumes GR is valid on the local scale, the scale of which it has been tested most thoroughly.

Finally, when we allow cosmic time to approach infinity, the null surface through cosmic time approach the surface of the hypersphere. Once again, this is where space, time, matter, and energy are all poorly defined. The cosmic horizon in the infinite future is indistinguishable from the horizon of the interior of the BH. Is this philosophy or a conclusion based on a physical model? You say that the FPC is superfluous. I say it is a guiding principle that lead to a unique model.

If DM is found to be the result of a general relativistic effect and not a particle physics problem, if DE and inflation are better understood, and if the formation of structure is determined to result from the transition of BHs at the singularity and re-transition at the SLS, then I guess I won't care if the FPC is deemed unnecessary. For these are examples where the physics needs to be developed.

Dan

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T H Ray replied on Feb. 1, 2011 @ 11:36 GMT
Dan,

The whole purpose of general relativity is to preserve locality ("All physics is local") and therefore eliminate the problem in Newtonian physics of "action at a distance." GR isn't expected to apply globally -- the reason that we think it does, is under an assumption that the laws of physics are uniform throughout the universe. You don't seem to be saying anything different -- so why add a superfluous assumption?

I'm trying to understand what value you think you derive from assuming an "FPC" which, as I said, is just a restatement of Mach's Principle. I don't see the value. Indeed, taking it prima facie, it is a step back to a universe finite and bounded, which invalidates the basis of general relativity.

Tom

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Author Dan T Benedict replied on Feb. 1, 2011 @ 20:42 GMT
Tom,

Let me quote from the introduction of Lee Smolin's, Life of the Cosmos : "Even the simple act of describing where something is, or when something happened, involves implicit reference to the rest of the world. Because of this, all the theories that describe parts of the world actually need the rest of the world in order to make complete sense." This is the FPC in a nutshell. It is nothing new, it does not undermine GR, I just see the need to elevate this basic concept to the status of a principle, mainly due to the misunderstanding of the nature of time. The warped (no pun intended) view of spacetime has allowed all sorts of "fantasical" unphysical solutions to Einstein's equations and are taken seriously because the physicist that discovered the solution, and those who take it seriously, forgot that "parts of the world actually need the rest of the world in order to make complete sense." They are looking only at the mathematics and not the context. The FPC may be superfluous to the classical explanation of relativistic spacetime effects of Einstein's relativity, but not to the context of that explanation.

Dan

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T H Ray replied on Feb. 2, 2011 @ 13:39 GMT
Dan,

The thing is, that taking Mach's principle as Mach formulated it, _does_ undermine general relativity. Since you brought up Smolin, consider this 2005 preprint, particularly p. 8. When Smolin speaks of a relational theory, it is in the context of background independence, not relationalism as a physical principle.

Dynamic physical relations in Mach assumed acceleration as absolute. In Einstein, the roles played by absolute spacetime and the constant speed of light disallow this assumption.

Tom

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sridattadev wrote on Feb. 1, 2011 @ 20:25 GMT
If we consider universe to be a set of continuous events, space and time are just coordinates of these events, singularity is the only absolute eventless state and hence does not require any coordinates. At the heart of all things is this singularity and this can be experienced by us if we choose to. Death to a person is like a black hole to a star, when one dies, another one is born. We are the universe our self. Our inner most self, which we call I is the singularity. I or singularity does not age and has no boundaries.

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Author Dan T Benedict replied on Feb. 1, 2011 @ 21:10 GMT
Sridattadev,

Thanks, for your comments. I have a question for you. If our inner most self does not age and has no boundaries, why is it that we find ourselves in our present state? For if we are truly eternal, omniscient, and omnipotent, shouldn't we have progressed to a state of perfection?

Dan

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Peter Jackson wrote on Feb. 9, 2011 @ 17:03 GMT
Dan

Absolutely excellent essay. In fact I had a sense of Deja vu, as the concepts were so close to those of a recent paper of mine (currently being reviewed - still unpublished to date) that it almost made me believe in quantum nonlocality! They follow from but had to be mainly left out of my essay, until published and for space reasons.

My essay, not so well written as yours, argues the case for Locality and Reality, represented by the discrete field around mass (so particularly a smbh), which is in the same frame, moving and rotating with it.

Put simply; em waves change propagation speed between frames to always move at 'c' locally. But all is observer dependent.

Once we work out the implications of that one statement all physics resolves to simple relationships.

I also offer the quantum mechanism, which is established physics and takes us most of the way to quantum gravity, via equivalence.

In the paper, the big bang is indeed a scaled up smbh quasar, but a Tokamak toroid (they have intrinsic rotation) giving a continuous double helix bipolar field. They recycle whole galaxies and spit them out as gas jets (the receding jet red shifted to a radio source). See my HH34 Fig, and also look carefully for the Toroid outlined by the lensing.

This does of course solve the re-ionisation 'epoch' issue, and there are some other very fundamental implications, which I won't mention now. (though I've already touched on them in the blogs and strings.) Please do read my essay first and comment.

There are some parts of yours which are rather different, and I'd need to think on those.

Essentialy I'm convinced we have the correct model, which is also consistent with Edwin's, Georgina's, Willard's etc. and I hope I can contribute the key to making it run, which is CSL wrt receiver, unifying without paradox.

I think the (apparently) hardest bit, conceiving of infinitely many co-moving frames, you may be familiar enough with anyway having already got there.

Best wishes

Peter

PS; Tom; As you said, wisely; "Einstein incorporated the absolute speed of light into Mach's mechanics to show that motion is not primary, but that rest states are relative and therefore ALL PHYSICS IS LOCAL, since relative rest states beg observer dependence."

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Anonymous replied on Feb. 9, 2011 @ 19:24 GMT
Peter,

Thanks, for your kind words. I do think that we are on the verge of being able to supplant the Standard Model of Cosmology with a cyclical model that envelopes many of the current open questions and gives us a better fundamental understanding. The ideas that went into my essay have been stewing for several years. Little did I know that none other than the likes of Anthony Aguirre here, Sean Carroll with his Heraclitian Cosmology (see his essay in the Nature of Time Contest), and Roger Penrose's Conformal Cyclical Cosmology have set a precedence for serious consideration of such an alternative cosmology. I believe that in my simple way (conceptual and graphical), I've given the mechanism for such a cosmology through the primacy of BHs in the overall scheme. The best case scenario is that my ideas would provide the tipping point, but I'm not naive enough to believe that totally. But that's what makes these contests great!

While I agree that all physics is local and while my FPC may have been worded a little too broadly, some of us need to be reminded that all local spacetimes are a subset of a cosmological spacetime, and all cosmological spacetimes are a superposition of many local spacetimes.

I've have read your essay, twice now, and will leave on comment there soon.

Thanks again,

Dan

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Author Dan T Benedict replied on Feb. 21, 2011 @ 21:28 GMT
My apologies to Steve Gratton. He was the co-author with Anthony Aguirre of the paper referred to in this post. His omission was an unintentional oversight. These impressive papers, among others, hopefully will eventually convince the community of cosmologists of inferiority of the Standard Model. Unfortunately, IMO I believe they will not concede until an alternative model definitively explains away dark matter and dark energy. My model is hopefully a small step in this direction.

Dan

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Anton W.M. Biermans wrote on Feb. 20, 2011 @ 04:08 GMT
Dear Dan,

You write in your post at Emmanuel Moulay's thread:

---"In this essay we maintain that certain physical properties, originate from the fundamental nature of the universe as a whole and are not independent of it."---

The 'nature of the universe as a whole' is a meaningless concept as there's nothing outside of with respect to which it can express its 'nature' to: it...

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Author Dan T Benedict wrote on Feb. 20, 2011 @ 22:11 GMT
Dear Anton,

Let's see if I can clarify the meaning of the expressions of which you have questions. Some of it comes from the misinterpretation of certain words that may have multiple meanings and were not defined explicitly due to essay constraints.

By universe as a whole, I am referring to the cosmic spacetime (which has a local nature, this is the realm in which physics is...

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Steve Dufourny wrote on Feb. 21, 2011 @ 16:38 GMT
congratulations,a very creative idea in all case.

Good luck

Steve

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Author Dan T Benedict replied on Feb. 21, 2011 @ 19:18 GMT
Dear Steve,

Thanks for your kind words. They are very much appreciated.

Dan

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Steve Dufourny replied on Feb. 22, 2011 @ 14:04 GMT
you are welcome, sincerely.

Steve

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Anton W.M. Biermans wrote on Feb. 25, 2011 @ 02:11 GMT
Dear Dan,

Thank you very much for reading and even comprehending (at least partly) what I'm trying to do! What I do not, however, is saying that the universe doesn't evolve. Though things inside of it certainly evolve with respect to each other, the universe as a whole does not evolve as a whole with respect to some imaginary Outside Observer. My point is that to obey conservation laws, in...

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Author Dan T Benedict wrote on Feb. 26, 2011 @ 01:15 GMT
Dear Anton,

After reading your last comment, I don't believe you fully read my essay.

You wrote: " if particles create each other, if they preserve and express their properties by continuously exchanging energy, then they would vanish if we could cut off this exchange like the image on a TV screen when we pull its plug".

I completely agree with this statement. This is why I proposed the FPC, so that particles aren't seen as just their own source. But in that principle, I referred to the universe as a whole, and that is IMO where you must have lost my meaning. By reading the entire essay you missed the most profound part, that is of the role of the BHs in the creation cycles of the universe! The universe doesn't contract in a Big Crunch (that would violate second law), but as it expands the mass-energy that was lost to BHs is eventually recovered in the new cycle. My model actually gives your model a mechanism for self-creation!

Your statement above is exactly why I proposed that mass-energy doesn't actually "fall into" a BH, as orthodox BH theory indicates, because it ceases to have any distinguishable meaning at the event horizons. This makes it a local boundary of the cosmos. I know it's against your philosophy, that the universe can have boundaries, so how does your model deal with BHs and the mass-energy that is lost to them? The universe can have boundaries *and* can still have the self creating aspects in which you embrace.

When I was constructing my model, I asked myself, is the universe in a continual mode of creation? I came to the conclusion that it had to be cyclical due to 1) constancy of a finite velocity of light for all observers in the universe, 2) the simplest explanation for redshift is cosmic expansion, 3) the isotropic distribution of unusual astronomical objects only at high red-shift; and I determined that most of the SMBHs in the universe are in a "white hole" mode currently (as in right now), but they only reveal this mode to extremely distant observers (i.e. in the extreme distant future)! This mode is then followed by the quasar/GRB mode and a galaxy forming mode all in the subsequent cycle. This model explains a lot of phenomena. Can your model explain why there are two separate sets of empirical correlations between SMBHs and their galaxies? Does your model give an elegant alternative hypothesis for dark matter? This is what you missed if you didn't read the whole essay.

Perhaps I didn't word like you would have, but if you re-read my essay and looked past the statements that you disagree with, you may just see the beauty in it.

Dan

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Peter Jackson wrote on Feb. 26, 2011 @ 14:41 GMT
Dan

I meant to post a link to a recent preprint of mine underpinning a paper recently accepted for peer review, which I think has some close parallels to your own theories; http://vixra.org/abs/1102.0016

Thanks for your support on the blog, I've just posted a 2nd debagging of poor and complacent science with a number of Einstein quotes in what seems to be becoming a well supported and (eventually) irresistible assault on the 'tipping point' you refer to. I'm hope you've by now, as well as Johns' James etc, also read the essays of Edwin, Georgina, Constantinos, Robert Spoljaric, Rafeal Castel and others, all with the consistent "new level of awareness" Einstein knew would be needed to solve the problems created by the old level.

I would like to see all working together, as the power of the whole would certainly still be needed. I see your essay is languishing just below mine a little off the pace, which I shall help with the top score it deserves, and hope you may consider mine (and perhaps the others) worth the same.

Do also give me your views on the preprint. I'd like to be able to also cite your own work in future.

Best wishes.

Peter

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Author Dan T Benedict replied on Feb. 26, 2011 @ 23:51 GMT
Thanks, Peter.

I've committed to read five essays a day, and unfortunately having a hard time getting everything done. I do look forward to reading your preprint. I just never realized how exhausting these essays would be. I try to give them equal time. Some are just not worth it, while others are worth 2-3 readings.

I have read Edwin's, Georgina's, Robert's and I believe I read Rafeal's, but I'll have to double check.

These essays along with yours and Christian Cordas' essay are all worth high scores. I would suggest Irvin Shirazi's essay as being top notch also. One of those worth a couple readings as it is a little more abstract, but I believe he's onto something both fundamental and profound. I'm quite puzzled by Ayind Mahamba's essay. He comes across as being very intelligent, claims a TOE, and even has 3 equations that relate a lot of the mathematical numbers together, such as e, phi, i, etc. but I don't really know what to make of it.

I'll try to give feedback on your preprint as soon as possible.

Dan

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Peter Jackson wrote on Feb. 27, 2011 @ 00:35 GMT
Thanks Dan

You may like the one from Jarmo I just helped boost to No.1 with a 10 as well - Anothe deja vu. I had to confess about his lost papers! I'll read Irvin Shirazriz's.

Peter

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Author Dan T Benedict wrote on Feb. 27, 2011 @ 16:49 GMT
Dear Readers,

I am coping the following post from the "time travelers" blog. There still exist a community of physicists who believe in backward time travel on the macroscopic scale since there is no formal proof against it and there are solutions to Einstein's Equations that allow for the possibility of closed time-like curves. The existence of CTCs and the block universe therefore allow...

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J.C.N. Smith replied on Apr. 9, 2011 @ 16:15 GMT
Sorry, but I couldn't let a post on time travel slip by without adding a link to my FQXi essay 'On the Impossibility of Time Travel,' which may be found here.

jcns

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Author Dan T Benedict replied on Apr. 12, 2011 @ 19:10 GMT
J.C.N. Smith and all readers,

You may be interested in another excellent paper from Joy Christian. He is affiliated with both Oxford Univ. and the Perimeter Institute. He has been one of the most reasonable minded physicists that I found recently, although some of his work can get quite technical. His paper on a generalized SR (combined SR with Hamiltonian mechanics) argues for a Heraclitean universe and against the "block universe". The first half of this paper is assessable for physicists and laymen alike, the second half gets more technical. This paper represents the best in foundational physics IMHO. He starts with a solid philosophical and historical base, builds his theory on proper mathematics, then suggests possible observations to determine its legitimacy. His paper can be found here (http://arxiv.org/abs/gr-qc/0610049v2)

Best Regards,

Dan

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Anton W.M. Biermans wrote on Mar. 1, 2011 @ 03:37 GMT
Author Anton W.M. Biermans wrote on Mar. 1, 2011 @ 03:36 GMT

Dear Dan,

I admit that I haven't understood you essay completely because my knowledge of GR is very limited. I do see that your FPC in some respects is equivalent to a Self-Creating Universe. However, as in a SCU the grand total of everything in it, including space and time itself, remains nil, it cannot have a beginning as...

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Author Dan T Benedict replied on Mar. 1, 2011 @ 19:32 GMT
Dear Anton,

I believe we have made much progress in understanding each others positions, and I think we are much closer in agreement than I first thought, although we still have our differences.

You wrote: "so if with cosmic time you mean the time since the bang, then you've lost me."

No, cosmic time only means that all mass-energy, all spacetime, everything that we define...

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Mar. 2, 2011 @ 21:11 GMT
Dear Dan,

Your ideas sounds like a variation of other credible ideas I've heard before.

You said: "Thus, the direct application of the FPC w.r.t. the extreme future of a BH allows us to infer that the light and matter that “falls into” a BH will be recycled into the extreme future of expanding cosmic spacetime, rather than entering into a state of nonexistence at the BH’s singularity, as orthodox BH theory presently indicates."

So you're saying that black holes collect all of the energy and eventually recycle the energy by creating a new universe.

You said: "Nothing ever crosses the event horizon, although as the null surface approaches to within one Planck length of it, the horizon and the null surface become indistinguishable. All forms of matter and energy are transformed into gravitational potential energy and then retransformed into matter and energy in a reverse process after sufficient cosmic expansion."

I agree with you that gravity acts like an energy sink or an energy bank. What you're suggesting is progressive within the accepted physics paradigm. I tried to follow your explanation of dark matter as being caused by black holes at the galactic center; also the frame dragging of the entire galaxy (which produces a miscalculation that looks like dark matter).

From the point of view of the scientific community, it's a very good paper.

Unfortunately, I think the paradigm of the physics community is an ideological dead end. Nobody is thinking about how to build FTL spaceships so that we can fly out to a black hole, drop in a probe, and test our hypothesis close up. More accurately, physicists are too squeamish to acknowledge the mounting evidence of alien spacecraft sightings. Admittedly, it's neither proof nor experimental evidence.

It's more like a hint that the laws of physics allow this kind of technology.

What I do know is that you have quite a bit subject matter knowledge. We have much to discuss about gravity.

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Author Dan T Benedict wrote on Mar. 3, 2011 @ 04:32 GMT
Jason,

I thought it might interest you. I really appreciate your feedback. My next step is to get it up to peer review standards. I don't think I did too bad for my first attempt. I'll need the follow up to be more rigorous though. It's tough with the character limit, but it's a good thing, too. Reading all these essays is exhausting.

Thanks,

Dan

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Anton W.M. Biermans wrote on Mar. 4, 2011 @ 02:58 GMT
Dear Dan,

If I understand your term 'cosmic time' correctly, then black holes are much older than the 14 billion years of light-emitting objects: the heavier, the older they are.

"Gravity is not the major influence on the universe on the large scale, expansion is."

As to fairy tales, in my essay (and posts to your forum) I try to show that gravity is responsible for both the contraction of masses, the creation of energy at one scale and the simultaneous creation, the expansion of spacetime between the mass concentrations: they are the two sides of the same coin. In my view (weak) gravity powers or is powered by this expansion so we need no dark energy to explain why that expansion doesn't slow down. It is only the bigbang tale which needs inflation and dark energy to keep standing.

As to paradigm's, I think that a lot of theories have been built upon some fundamental misconceptions, theories on which have been built more theories, the latter theories granting the former ones a false respectability nobody dares to doubt anymore. So I find it hard to learn and use the lingo of the present paradigm without succumbing to the same errors. If to dispute the present paradigm requires me to learn it, to believe in assumptions which to me are misconceptions, then I cannot from within that paradigm attack it: I can only ignore it or point to the many contradictions it contains. As I've become suspicious about many statements of present physics, I had no other choice but to try to re-invent physics, starting from the assumption that QM and relativity theory describe the engineering principles of a self-creating universe. I find it easier to start afresh, to try a different approach since following the beaten path apparently hasn't led to any useful idea. As far as I'm concerned, string theory and the Higgs boson are useless as the problems they are supposed to solve are based on some fundamental misconceptions. To study, to learn all the intricacies of these theories knowing that they won't solve anything but are part of the problem, to me seems a waste of time.

Regards, Anton

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Author Dan T Benedict wrote on Mar. 4, 2011 @ 18:50 GMT
Anton,

"If I understand your term 'cosmic time' correctly, then black holes are much older than the 14 billion years of light-emitting objects: the heavier, the older they are."

In general I would agree with this statement. There is no method to actually determine the age of a BH. For example, an IMBH could have a recent origin from the merging of two or more less massive BHs or it could be quite old. I would say that most SMBHs are old.

"As to fairy tales..."

You should read the third reference from my essay, I think you would really enjoy it. Here a copy of the reference and the link: [3] American Scientist, September-October 2007, Volume 95, Number 5, Modern Cosmology: Science or Folktale?, by Michael J. Disney, http://www.americanscientist.org/issues/pub/2007/9/modern-co
smology-science-or-folktale


"So I find it hard to learn and use the lingo of the present paradigm without succumbing to the same errors."

I meant that in response to your statement: "I admit that I haven't understood you essay completely because my knowledge of GR is very limited."

GR is fundamental. IMO, it has some misinterpretations that have lead to incorrect understanding in cosmology and BH theory. These misinterpretations are what I'm exposing in my theories.

"I had no other choice but to try to re-invent physics, starting from the assumption that QM and relativity theory describe the engineering principles of a self-creating universe."

You've done a more than admirable job in presenting an alternative. But, my essay would be more comprehendible with a better understanding of GR. How do you know if your lack of GR knowledge hasn't caused you to omit something from your theory? That's all I was implying.

Dan

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James Lee Hoover wrote on Mar. 8, 2011 @ 00:48 GMT
Dan,

You describe your part "V. The Cosmic Singularity - Transition and Scale" with much more detail but my take on the nature of a recycling of the cosmos does have some resemblance.

Jim Hoover

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Author Dan T Benedict replied on Mar. 8, 2011 @ 19:15 GMT
Jim,

Thanks, for your comment. I haven't yet read your essay. I will make sure it is the next one I read.

Have a great day,

Dan

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James Lee Hoover replied on Mar. 12, 2011 @ 04:43 GMT
Dan,

Thanks for reading my essay and thanks for your kind words.

Jim

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Paul Halpern wrote on Mar. 11, 2011 @ 17:03 GMT
Dan,

You raise many interesting points in your essay. The issue of the mass gap between ordinary and supermassive black holes is intriguing. With regard to your proposal that frame-dragging is the cause of the flat rotation curves for galaxies, I'm wondering if you have calculated the amount of Lense-Thirring procession in the peripheral galactic regions that were analyzed by Rubin and others. All in all, it is a well-crafted essay.

Best regards,

Paul

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Anonymous wrote on Mar. 11, 2011 @ 20:46 GMT
Paul,

Thank you for taking time out of your day to read and respond to my essay. The mass gap that you mentioned has been an ongoing astrophysical mystery, that was even more conspicuous until the recent discoveries of IMBHs in GCs and some dwarf galaxies, that has narrowed the gap somewhat.

As to the Lense-Thirring procession, I have not, as of yet, done any calculations. So this remains as only a contingent hypothesis that needs a more rigorous treatment. DM has always seemed to me to be more than just a particle physics problem. It also seem suspicious that the two empirical correlations between galaxies and their SBMHs have a exponential relationship. As you can see, I have plenty of work to do, but I believe I'm on the right track. Just last night, I came across this statement from the book Cosmos: An Illustrated History of Astronomy and Cosmology by John North;

"In 1928 James Jeans, searching for the origin of spiral nebula suggested that their centers might be places where matter 'poured into the universe, from some other and entirely extraneous, spatial dimension'."

In the light of my model, this seems to be almost a prophetic statement.

Thanks once again for your correspondence, it is much appreciated.

Dan

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Joel Mayer wrote on Mar. 14, 2011 @ 23:39 GMT
Dear Mister Benedict- Sometimes, when I try to argue with someone that electrons move from place to place over the arc of the curtate cycloid. They tell me I am wasting time with a function out of a high school geometry text book. Have you ever heard of the problems of the Brachistochrone and the Tautochrone? Did you know that the cycloid is the answer to both of these knotty challenges? If I am correct, that electrons motion is, by and large, cyloidal motion. Wouldn't that mean that I have solved the Brachistochrone and Tautochrone problems at the atomic level?

Good luck in the contest! Joel Mayer (author: Is Reality Digital or Analog?)

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Sreenath B N wrote on Mar. 15, 2011 @ 16:56 GMT
Dear Dan T Benedict,

Just now I read your essay and I strongly urge you to read not only my essay but also my 'Blog' mentioned in it.Soon after I hear from you,we will discuss the implications of our essay connections.Then you will be able to judge your position much better.

Thanks for your wonderful (surprising?) essay.

Good luck and all the best.

Sreenath B N.

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Sreenath B N replied on Mar. 16, 2011 @ 09:48 GMT
Dear Dan,

Thanks for your positive response.The moment I saw your essay last night I called on you because of intimate relationship between our ideas.If you base your views on the basis of QG field,it would be enthralling.

Regarding why I cannot admit BHs of smaller size than,R= 10^5 cm is because of the intrinsic relationship between micro (quantum) and macro (classical) world according to the relation r/R = 2πGβ/c2 .If the radius of BH is 10^2 cm,then the value of 'r'(Interaction-range) becomes 10^-33 cm,that is the Planck's length.That is why BHs of size smaller than 10^2 cm cannot be admitted (but I commit myself to 10^5 cm).Similarly you cannot go on increasing the gravitational radius above 10^33 cm (in my article I have restricted it to 10^30 cm),because then the value of Interaction-range 'r' correspondingly increases.For example,if R= 10^30 cm then 'r'=10^-5 cm; if R= 10^33 cm then 'r' = 10^-2 cm.Now you see the reason.If this conclusion contradicts (it will) Hawking's idea of 'Baby-BHs',it is natural.It is because his theory does n't limit the size of BHs and that is the flaw of all existing theories on BHs.

Thanks for your suggestions on my web-article.On your suggestion, I would like to contact "Corda'.I would be glad if you too participate in this.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Best regards and good luck.

Sreenath.

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Author Dan T Benedict replied on Mar. 16, 2011 @ 18:07 GMT
Dear Sreenath,

Thank you for clarifying the small BH issue. I new that you had a reason within your theory, but I meant that since Hawking is seen as the authority, that this might be an issue for a journal. Since your theory seems to be consistent, can you suggest any experiments or observations that would be able to support it if they were conducted? This is another important step to getting acceptance from the mainstream physics community. Since your theory doesn't admit gravity waves (I have had doubts about them, myself), it may be difficult to get any experiment support, due to scale at which QG acts. Nevertheless, I'm glad you have considered my suggestion.

I had always suspected that there must be some connection between my model and the quantum world, but had never made any connections of my own. You can imagine my surprise, when I read your paper. All of my ideas came from contemplation of the nature of time and from the limited knowledge that I have on GR.

I plan to reread your paper and will assist you however I am able.

Sincerely,

Dan

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Peter Jackson wrote on Mar. 16, 2011 @ 17:15 GMT
Dan

Well done for getting in. Stay in touch (Email on essay)

Do try to read Dr Ionescue essay too, I misssed it till quite late. He's very excited by mine, and Constantinos maths, etc.

Peter

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Author Dan T Benedict wrote on Mar. 16, 2011 @ 18:14 GMT
Peter,

Thank you for all of your support. Getting my essay before the judges is very satisfying, especially in light of the competition. It was touch and go there for a while, but now I can relax for a bit. I have read Constantinos' essay and it was quite good. I will read Dr Ionescue's today.

Sincerely,

Dan

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Sreenath B N wrote on Mar. 17, 2011 @ 18:08 GMT
Dear Dan,

Congrats for making it to the last 35 and in sight a hard prize to earn.You deserved that because of a lot of stress and strain you put in to your essay thro' your wisdom and imagination.

Soon I will be in touch with you.

Sincerely

Sreenath.

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Author Dan T Benedict wrote on Mar. 17, 2011 @ 18:20 GMT
Dear Sreenath,

Thank You. I feel honored to have my essay evaluated by the judges. I was a little nervous on the last day since there was a lot of fluctuations in the voting of some of the essays. In the end, it was all good.

Have a great day!

Dan

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Alan Lowey wrote on Mar. 19, 2011 @ 11:18 GMT
Dear Dan,

Congratulations on your dedication to the competition and your much deserved top 35 placing. I have a bugging question for you, which I've also posed to all the potential prize winners btw:

Q: Coulomb's Law of electrostatics was modelled by Maxwell by mechanical means after his mathematical deductions as an added verification (thanks for that bit of info Edwin), which I highly admire. To me, this gives his equation some substance. I have a problem with the laws of gravity though, especially the mathematical representation that "every object attracts every other object equally in all directions." The 'fabric' of spacetime model of gravity doesn't lend itself to explain the law of electrostatics. Coulomb's law denotes two types of matter, one 'charged' positive and the opposite type 'charged' negative. An Archimedes screw model for the graviton can explain -both- the gravity law and the electrostatic law, whilst the 'fabric' of spacetime can't. Doesn't this by definition make the helical screw model better than than anything else that has been suggested for the mechanism of the gravity force?? Otherwise the unification of all the forces is an impossiblity imo. Do you have an opinion on my analysis at all?

Best wishes,

Alan

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Author Dan T Benedict replied on Mar. 24, 2011 @ 20:29 GMT
Alan,

Thanks, for your correspondence. Your "Archimedes screw" analogy is an interesting one, however, I'm not convinced that gravity is created by a gauge field like those of the three other fundamental interactions. In this case, there would be no gravitons, and your analogy would be a non-starter.

Sincerely,

Dan

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Sreenath B N wrote on Mar. 21, 2011 @ 04:36 GMT
Dear Dan,

Thanks for your response.Regarding suggesting any experiments or observations that would be able to support my theory,I want to make the following clarification.

There are two ways which allow you to verify my theory.One in the classical world by observing phenomena going on in BHs by observing their dynamics.A BH,according to me,is a Hole of 'perfect vacuum' and contains 'no' matter inside it but the mass surrounding this Hole determines its 'radius',according to the well known equation R = 2GM/C^2. This Hole is characterised by Temparature and Pressure inside it.It is the presence of this Hole (which we call BH) prevents matter from falling into Singularity, thro' the force of QG.It is the violent interaction between the crushing matter and the resistance offered by the BH results in the emission of Jets by the BH with enormous power.The jet of mass gains energy of the order of 10^14 times the initial energy with which it enters the BH at its 'event-horizon'.This is nothing but the ratio of QG energy to self (or free) energy available to particles as a result of intense gravitational interaction taking place at the 'event-horizon'.

The second way of verification is much easier. Remember that classical world is related to the micro (quantum) world by the relation r/R =2πGβ/c2 .According to this relation,the role played by QG can be seen 'directly' in explaining the energy possessed by micro-particles in the quantum-world thro' the 'Interaction-Table' (IT).To know this,please,go thro' IT and make yourself thorough with it.IT is also 'Chart of Elementary Particles' with their 'Decay-Times'.

More on this after your response.

Sincerely

Sreenath.

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Sridattadev wrote on Mar. 22, 2011 @ 20:55 GMT
Dear Dan,

I have conveyed similar thoughts in "Theory of everything" that I submitted in this contest and I hope you will have a chance to review it.

Conscience is the cosmological constant.



Love,

Sridattadev.

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J.C.N. Smith wrote on Apr. 10, 2011 @ 12:20 GMT
An interesting essay on what obviously is a hot topic these days. Not being well versed in cosmology, I can't comment intelligently on the substance of your essay. I'd find it helpful if you'd explicitly list the predictions which your ideas allow which might be subject to falsification via experimental evidence during our possible lifetimes.

Shoehorning your topic into the theme of this year's competition is a bit of a stretch, imo, but I can't blame you for trying. So far so good. Had you been just a bit more crafty you might have titled your essay 'Is Reality Digital or Analog?' and then gone on with it just as you did. (Joke)

In case you've not seen it already, there's an interesting piece suggesting a possible alternative to dark matter which may be found at http://arxiv.org/pdf/1104.0160v1

Good luck in the competition!

Cheers,

jcns

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Author Dan T Benedict replied on Apr. 10, 2011 @ 15:34 GMT
J.C.N. Smith,

Thanks, for your remarks. I had much more to say, but ran out of space. As for not fitting the topic, I definitely took a much different approach than many of the essays. I used a holistic rather than reductionist method; after all, to me, reality encompasses the whole. The main point is that all cosmic spacetimes consist of the superposition of a extremely large number of discrete spacetimes created early in the cosmic cycle and evolving continuously in a cyclic fashion for an indeterminable amount of cycles.

As for verifying evidence in our lifetime, my model will have a signature acceleration that should be revealed with the next generation of telescopes that will allow us to probe type 1A SN at an even higher redshift. Plus, IMHO, the standard model cannot support the evidence of a 13.2 billion year old galaxy that has been recently observed. Is 500 million years really long enough for a uniform gas to cool, condense, create stars, the stars to gravitate to protogalaxies, and for the the solar mass BHs to merge into the supermassive black holes (SMBHs) at their centers? I predict that we will observe even older galaxies or protogalaxies, perhaps even emerging from the SLS. I also hope to complete the Lense-Thiring precession calculations and compare them to the DM observational data.

I'm presently working on a more rigorous version of my model, that will include all of this and more and hopefully will be able to have it published in a peer-reviewed journal. I'm also presently awaiting the outcome of a second essay written for the Gravitational Research Foundation that fits nicely with this one.

Thanks, for the reference and for your interest,

Dan

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J.C.N. Smith replied on Apr. 10, 2011 @ 17:38 GMT
Dan,

Thank you for your added comments. At the risk of being a "nit-picker," I believe Thirring is spelled with two r's. I know you'd want such things to be as correct as possible.

Again, good luck! I'll look forward to following your progress in the competition and beyond.

jcns

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Author Dan T Benedict replied on Apr. 13, 2011 @ 02:43 GMT
Good catch! I usually take pride in my spelling and use a spell checker, but unfortunately it isn't linked to proper nouns.

Thanks for your words of encouragement,

Dan

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