Yes, the universe itself will eventually outpace the speed of light. Just how this will happen is a bit complicated, so let's begin at the very beginning: the big bang. Around 14 billion years ago, all matter in the universe was thrown in every direction. That first explosion is still pushing galaxies outward. Scientists know this because of the Doppler effect, among other reasons. The wavelengths of light from other galaxies shift as they move away from us, just as the pitch of an ambulance siren changes as it moves past.
Take Hydra, a cluster of galaxies about three billion light years away. Astronomers have measured the distance from the Earth to Hydra by looking at the light coming from the cluster. Through a prism, Hydra's hydrogen looks like four strips of red, blue-green, blue-violet and violet. But during the time it takes Hydra's light to reach us, the bands of color have shifted down toward the red end—the low-energy end—of the spectrum. On their journey across the universe, the wavelengths of light have stretched. The farther the light travels, the more stretched it gets. The farther the bands shift toward the red end, the farther the light has traveled. The size of the shift is called the redshift, and it helps scientists figure out the movement of stars in space. Hydra isn't the only distant cluster of galaxies that displays a redshift, though. Everything is shifting, because the universe is expanding. It's just easier to see Hydra's redshift because the farther a galaxy is from our own, the faster it is moving away.
There is no limit to how fast the universe can expand, says physicist Charles Bennett of Johns Hopkins University. Einstein's theory that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light in a vacuum still holds true, because space itself is stretching, and space is nothing. Galaxies aren't moving through space and away from each other but with space—like raisins in a rising loaf of bread. Some galaxies are already so far away from us, and moving away so quickly, that their light will never reach Earth. "It's like running a 5K race, but the track expands while you're running," Bennett says. "If it expands faster than you can run, you'll never get where you're going."
This article originally appeared in the October 2011 issue of Popular Science magazine.
So you mean to tell me that it's not the objects in space that are expanding away from each other but the space itself?
If space (i.e. vacuum) is nothing and it's the nothing that's expanding, how is that different from objects moving away from each other in nothing?
Also, if solid matter expanding through the void of space can eventually exceed the speed of light (obviously by some force -- dark energy maybe -- ), whats to say that technology can not be developed to exploit the properties of the energy effecting space for relativistic travel to any point in space?
There's only one truth (not fact but a common truth on this world at least); the universe is infinite. We understand much, but we don't know it all yet, so we can not pretend that the universe will adhere to all of our preconceptions.
Whenever there's a will, there's a way. The more we learn, the more outlandish concepts will eventually be legitimized through our evolved understanding.
I'm sure once we become a type 3 civilization we will just build some huge freaking thing that will keep everything here.
..Leonard Simon Nimoy, may of said, once upon a time ago.
Hubble & Cosmic Expansion
The theory of Cosmic Expansion is based on the red shift seen in the photos from the Hubble Telescope. The theory assumes that the red shift is entirely due to the Doppler Effect and concludes that the farther away something is, the faster it is going away. To accelerate all the mass in increasing expansion requires a tremendous amount of power and energy. This theory of expansion violates the law of conservation of energy if the energy source is not identified. To balance the energy equation, the theory suggests the existence of Dark Energy.
IMO, the theory of Cosmic Expansion is wrong because it is based on a wrong assumption (that the red shift is entirely due to the Doppler Effect). Conclusions of the Cosmic Expansion theory violate the law of conservation of energy unless some unknown force is powering it.
A simpler explanation is that the red shift is not entirely due to the Doppler Effect. The red shift is the result of the Doppler Effect and Frequency Decay.
Are the frequencies of a photon constant for the life of the photon? Do the frequencies decay, like signal degradation of an analog signal? If the frequency decays over time and length, then the wavelength will increase, causing a red shift. Older photons from farther away will have more Frequency Decay and red shift than newer photons from a source that is nearer. Red shift from Frequency Decay is different than red shift from the Doppler Effect. Frequency Decay and the Doppler Effect both contribute to the total red shift.
If the red shift is not entirely due to the Doppler Effect, then measurements of the red shift can not prove that “the farther away something is, the faster it is going away.” The red shift measurements do not prove that the universe is ever expanding at an accelerating pace powered by a mysterious force and energy. More likely, measurements of the red shift indicate that “the farther away something is, the older the photons are when they get here.”
@Tony_Who...interesting comment, this stuff has always fascinated me, however, i have not heard of your hypothesis before, do you have any sources that refer to this or is it just your own thought experiment? cheers
OK people.. back up a bit. Space is not "nothing" Nor is it a true vacuum. We need to stop and redefine "Space" using a centries old definition is counter productive. We have found that "Space"... the area between everything, is actually "Space-Time" and actually acts very fabric like.
Nasa has proven that our own planet is screwing with space-time. The simple weight and rotation of your planet has skewed space-time around us. Since we know almost nothing (proven factual information, not abscure theory or math) about the mechanics of space-time itself we really can't jump to any actually conclusions here. What if those objects are not spacially moving away, just the area's of space-time between them are growing denser.
I have a huge pet-peeve with the whole "everything moving away" crap. Earth is not the center of the "Big Bang" we are just a surfer on the wave so to speak, so shouldn't something be coming towards up at some speed? Why is EVERYTHING we see out there moving away from us? And when we calculate distance to figure age, we are not taking measurements from the center of the "Big Bang" we are taking measurements from Earth. So saying just because Galaxy ABC is XYZ away from earth, than the age of Galaxy ABC is XYZ. That's not how that works, why can't you super smart scientists realize that. Now, if earth was somehow the center of everything, then yes, that method of age calculation works fine. But it's more like we are looking across a field at someone walking at a vector to ourselves, we cannot gauge how long said person has been walking by the distance between us. That person across the field could have just left their house... or they could have been out for hours/months/days/years, just because they are 100 yards away, doesn't mean they are 100 yards old.
Sorry for the triad/threadjack... it's just one of the many things that gets me going when so called super-geniuses talk about space. Like.. why almost all orbits of celestial bodies within a 20 degree band (give or take) of a perceived horizontal? Looking at our own solar system from the side, everything pretty much lines up within a 20 degree band. Why, if space is truely 3d.. we should be a ball of objects. When we look at massive galaxies, the same thing is prevolent. When people talk about black holes, it again is done so in a horizontal fashion, like looking at it as if it were a whirlpool. We are missing something huge if this is the case and all things tend to fall into a linear band rather than utilizing all possible directions.
Playing Devil's Advocate since 1978
"The only constant in the universe is change"
-Heraclitus of Ephesus 535 BC - 475 BC
Do they have on single point of which they gage the spead and accelaration of everything else and what is that point?
Tony, on your theory, I can see one major flaw. Ok, so we assume that red shift is a product of distance and time resulting in photon decay. If this were the case, and that the source was not moving away, then the output recieved would only ever decay at the same rate. Thus it would never change at the recievers end.
IE, if there was a water source outputting water at a constant speed, and 10 people each dipped their cups into this stream at the same time, the ammount of water left for each person in the row would always be the same, regardless of how much the previous people extracted. The only way the amount of water available for each person would decrease is if additional people were added.
So if the output was 10 liters, and each cup held a liter, all took water at the same time, the water level would decrease by the same amount each time, adding additional cups would further decrease the amount.
In this analogy, the people are the distance and time between the source and the receiver. If there is only ever a constant distance, the shift and decay would always be the same, but since it is continuing to shift down the red spectrum we have 2 options, either A) the source is growing dimmer from fuel consumption, or B) it's moving away.
Playing Devil's Advocate since 1978
"The only constant in the universe is change"
-Heraclitus of Ephesus 535 BC - 475 BC
While reading this article it made me think of a few questions....
Where does matter and energy come from?
Will science ever figure this out?
I know there are no answers to these questions, I just want to hear what some of you think.
I like the picture!!! :)
Unfortunately, this entire article is based on the Big Bang theory, I would like to hear an explanation of this from someone who believes in the Intelligent Design theory, and before a bunch of people start to say WELL DUH THERE IS NONE BECAUSE INTELLIGENT DESIGN IS JUST STUPID, lets take into account there are many things that have yet to be explained by the Big Bang theory, such as, oh I don't know, how life started?
I'd rather this not get into a huge debate, and before you try to respond to me, I will not be checking back on this post because I get sick of people who take simple requests like this and make it into a huge religious debate. No, really, its never a debate, its generally an argument. A debate uses facts, those are few and far between when I start to read those arguments.
I thought an excellent question from above was, where did the original matter come from in the first place? Where did the stuff for the big bang originate from in the first place?
So what happens when the edges of the Universe are expanding away from us at a relative rate equal to the speed of light? According to relativity wouldn't then the edges of the Universe and the space of which it consists be frozen in time relative to us? Would that create some kind of precieved edge or end of the Universe? If I'm not mistaken the closer to the speed of light an object gets relative to an observer (Earth) it slows in time, increases in mass and turns to pure energy? I think that is accurate, if not please correct me according to the latest ACCEPTED theory, not your take on things. I dont care to argue your personal theory any more than I want to argue who's god is more real.
But is this a possible way of looking at things?
Before anyone else bites your head off, may I say that Intelligent design is not a stupid theory. The possibility of an omnisient being in the universe is not any more impossible that the existence of any other life in the universe. At some point some species must have reached a non-corporeal 4 dimensional state of existence. from there it isnt a far leap to omniscience. Thus god. The better question is, if god started just as we did, is god still perfect? I say yes, omniscience is still omniscience. Second if there are multiple universes as many theorize, is god the god of all of them or does he have a god? Omniscience over one Universe doesn't necessarily mean Omniscience over every Dimension.
Bah Rhetorical nonsense...LOL
Yes religious history makes GOD out to be perfect, but if this is just putting someone up on a pedestal, simply because that what past people did for unanswered questions. Now if we remove the concept of perfect. Is it possible to have one incredible intelligent super being for accomplishing a lot of stuff creativity and making of things? It’s just a question. Don't get all upset or anything, anybody. Are we changing to far from the topic? Can we continue this discussion or not?
Hey, I am just happy to find a neat icon picture today.
TertiusGuy, you are refering to the Twin Paradox, which actually has been proven to be truthful and measureable. Hawkings also talks about different aspects of this Paradox, one involving the use of video equipment to view each other, the twin traveling at speed would be viewed by his earth based twin as frozen in time, while the twin in orbit would watch the twin age quickly. Hokey as it is/was, the latest "Time Machine" movie shows a pretty decent example of what someone traveling at/near the speed of light might witness in the surrounding area if it were possible to both travel at the speed of light and not move.
Now your idea on what happens when all objects are moving at terminal velocity, they would in fact appear to remain stable in relation to everything else that is traveling in the same direction, however this is not the case for objects moving at any other vector. Think of 2 trains traveling side by side at X speed. Neither moving away from each other and if there were no outside gauge of speed, travel, time etc. It would appear as if neither of you were moving (viewers are on the train itself). However if you now move train A away from train B and train B retains it's course, again with no visual markers to denote spacial orientation, both trains would view the other as shrinking away. If both trains were traveling in opposing directions, again with no visual makers to denote spacial orientation, each train would see the other as speeding towards it, while retaining the idea that they are remaining still. All observations from a 3rd party would see movement.
Playing Devil's Advocate since 1978
"The only constant in the universe is change"
-Heraclitus of Ephesus 535 BC - 475 BC
@TertiusGuy & mp Yes I lied I came back to check but my curiosity was peaked when I saw how fast people responded, I am thankful that some people understand how I feel about this, although I do wish someone would agree that they would like to see an Intelligent Design take on this idea if something could go faster than light..
codezero, you comments bring me to my previous question. What is the single point of origin of which all speed and acceleration is calculated from? Is the point of origins for calculations the earth, or something else? I am not a math wiz like you. Do you know the origin single point of calculation?
remember your Heisenburg.
Nothing is truly infinite and nothing is impossible, just improbable.
@CodeZero: 'I have a huge pet-peeve with the whole "everything moving away" crap. Earth is not the center of the "Big Bang" we are just a surfer on the wave so to speak, so shouldn't something be coming towards up at some speed?'
No, because, if we believe the theories put forth in this article, the further away from the center of the Big Bang something is, the faster it is moving away from that center, so anything moving away from that point toward us is moving at a slower rate than we are and would thus be observed as moving "away" from us.
To use a car analogy (it's always cars), imagine a car taking off from a starting line, accelerating at 10 mph². One second later, another car takes off from the same starting point, accelerating in the same direction at 5 mph². The second car will never catch up to the first, and because the first car is accelerating at a higher rate, the distance between the two cars will constantly increase. Relative to the driver in the first car, then, the second car is perceived to be moving away.
@mp and CodeZero...current theory says space is expanding at an ever increasing rate, no matter where you are in the universe other galaxies would appear to be moving away from you, cheers
i have an explanation why everythign is movign away from us yet we are still not the center of the big bang, think of it as a shotgun blast and our universe is a pellet amoung that blast, now while that pellet is moving away from the blast the other pellets will move away from it as well, the distance between our pellet is increasing while all the pellet are respectivley moving from the blast. This explanation is very layman(sp?) i think it holds true
I believe in intelligent design. But what I see as not so intelligent is to believe the universe is infinite and expanding infinitely. Where in nature do we see a system that is infinite? Then why do we assume the universe infinite? Because that was the easy way out. The big bang theory contradicts itself because how is the universe still expanding 14 billion years later?
Scientists point to the distance between galaxies increasing in distance as proof of the big bang. But there is another explanation of this phenomenon.
The universe is a double torus that is constantly turning itself inside out. Right now we could be on the “top” of the torus and as we move to the bottom it seems like the space is expanding, but once on the bottom it will soon contract and do it all over again endlessly.
Here is one paper trying to explain it.
Here is the graphic of the universe.
As the Universe expands so does time !
And everything we have to measure speed of light !
My single wild guess of no one yet knows the origins of the cosmos, but I guess there is a higher intelligence sprinkling seeds of life among the goldy locks planets and helping intelligence grow. The locals of the planets may call this great farmer a god and indicating towards perfection. I do not go with the perfection idea, but just a higher intelligence, much older than the rest of us. I have nothing to back up my thoughts. It’s just out there.
Ok, my still original question is earth being point B, what is point A to calculate speed and acceleration. Is it simply the center of the cosmos as being point A?
Hey Shak, since Intelligent Design is an evolutionary theory, and this is a topological/cosmological discussion, you either misunderstand ID, or the subject matter of this article. I wonder why they don't use economic theory when discussing farming, or material science when discussing music theory. Oh!, that's right. Because they are COMPLETELY unrelated. Please go read more about Intelligent Design, so you will at least know what it is , and what it covers. As far as the subject goes, I have no issue with intelligent design. You can add "but God is the reason it happened" to the end of any statement you want to, if that is your belief and it makes you happy, then so be it. It doesn't affect me. But please, don't get the impression that ID is anything but faith, not science. It all comes down to stating God is in some way involved, which is unprovable scientifically, so it is faith. Again, no issue with you or your God, just saying faith =/= science.
A lot of great stuff here today.
That's an interesting question regarding light and frequency. Anecdotally I'd suggest that yes, the frequency of light can change over great distances. But I think its more related to that photon being absorbed and remitted. Think of shining a light through colored glass. The light "takes on" the color of that glass through the process of absorption and radiance on the part of the glass. That has happened and unknown number of times as billions-year old light traverses the galaxy on its way to our humble telescopes. This process also slows light down, so it might not be as far away as it appears. We also have to take into account that light "bending" as its effected by gravity. So imagine shooting an arrow at a balloon, if the balloon's position were static you'd hit it dead on. But if that balloon were free and it drifts upward in the time it took you to shoot your arrow, you may miss it. This is a rough analogy, but simply saying that the object's we're viewing are presently very far away from where their light suggests they are. Its possible that at some time, some massive cloud of gas altered the path of that light to resemble something more exotic than what's apparent. The path of light very well could have taken on a W shape, making it seam like that object is very far off when it could in fact be quite near, or vice versa. I'd imagine all these changes would affect the color of the light.
I agree. Its strange to think that everything is moving away from us, but its also perfectly plausable. Several people have attempted to explain this phenomenon, but perhaps not as in depth as may be necessary. Imagine three cars. They all have the same starting point, but depart from that point 5 minutes apart. The first departure reaches a cruising speed of 15 mph. The second reaches a speed of 10 mph. The last only goes 5 mph. From the perspective of the very first departure, the other two behind it are moving away... when in fact they are moving TOWARDS it... only that first departure is moving so fast that the others fade in the distance. From the perspective of the second departure, the first (one ahead of it) is moving away. The third (one behind it) is moving away as well, but again, this is all because of perspective. That last departure is in fact moving towards the second, its that the second departure is moving away at a rate faster than the third is moving towards it. And lastly, from the perspective of the third, the other two are zooming away.
But this all implies two things. First, it implies an order of creation. Second, it implies the big bang didn't happen all at once, in that, this proto-matter/object shed in stages, even if only femtoseconds apart.
So imagine if you will the Earth exploding and creating all the matter in the universe. The crust would form the first order of galaxies, these would be the 15mph "fast movers." The mantle would then explode and create the 10mph "middle movers." Then the core would explode, creating the 5mph "slow movers." How do I know this model results in what I described above? Because if we were all moving at the same speed everything would appear to be static.
So lets play with this theory for a moment. If its true, whatever group we are not apart of (lets say we are middle movers, then I'm talking about fast and slow movers) might have some interesting new elements we've never seen. It also implies that perhaps there are or is, a single or multiple remnants of "proto" matter that may still exist, though we'll never be able to reah it unless some is in our own galaxy. And lastly, lets not forget that unless each puff a gas that came out of the big bang at unique moments, there must be a galaxy somewhere moving in roughly the same direction and speed as we are!
I believe that God created the Universe or perhaps the Big Bang with the intent of it leading to us, and other bings. No point in making a galaxy a billion light years away, further than we will ever go, if nobody is ever going to use it, right?! Do I believe that God literally picked up dirt and made us? Not exactly, but I believe he intended for us to be as we are, and he had that intent when we made everything/the big bang.
Another thing is that God probably put challenges like space in our way to lead us to challenge ourselves and on to greater glory. If we were, in the sense of knowledge, perfect, we'd aspire to nothing.
Do I believe we can evolve into a higher dimension and be god-like? No. That doesn't make sense. True enough, "higher dimensions" enable unique ways of working in and around time and space, but that doesn't equate to how we define God. AND, we don't fully understand these other "dimensions" let alone posit that life exists there and to furhter compound the entire issue, that we could perhaps pierce the barrier (with out fragile bodies) and change dimensions. Of course, this is all that other stuff people talk about like consciousness etc. And true, we don't know everything and I may be utterly wrong. But while I believe in FTL travel, I don't believe we can necessarily exist in 4 dimensions, physically, energetically, or mentally.
Think about this. If I say: Today it is sunny. You understood that, right? What if I say, "Yesterday was sunny." Understood? Cool. Waht if I say "Today is tomorrow's yesterday." Understood? Took a little more effort but sure, why not. Here we go!
Yesterday's tomorrow is today yesterday's future.
A little more effort, right?
Human spatial, temporal reasoning weakens as we introduce more dimensions of time, even though it may be perfectly logical. Now does it seem all that likely to be able to evolve to a point where you could manifest in and out of different times, with your level of intellignece? (No offense, we're all on the same playing field, but I'm pretty sure I couldn't make it).
"Intelligent design was developed by a group of American creationists who revised their argument in the creation–evolution controversy to circumvent court rulings such as the United States Supreme Court Edwards v. Aguillard ruling, which barred the teaching of "creation science" in public schools as breaching the separation of church and state." it is a belief that people masqqrades as science, that is not an opinion but fact, there is 0 evidence to support ID than the notion the universe is too complicated to be chance, "the 2005 Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District trial, where U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III ruled that intelligent design is not science, that it "cannot uncouple itself from its creationist, and thus religious, antecedents", and that the school district's promotion of it therefore violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution." thus it too has been kicked out of the schools, so please refrain from including this in a scientific discussion of the cosmos, but of course it will continue to be brought up to spread the faith
For the record not everything is moving away from us. The Andromeda Galaxy for example, is actually blue shifted and headed right towards us on a collision course with the Milky Way Galaxy.
Trivia question. It comes from an artical I recently read.
Can anything travel faster than the speed of light?