PDA

View Full Version : Did Eddington fudge his 1919 Eclipse results?



parejkoj
2007-Sep-10, 02:26 AM
No! (http://arxiv.org/abs/0709.0685)

An interesting, and well researched review. I've heard many times the refrain that Eddington's results from the 1919 eclipse are invalid because of one reason or another, and that he quite possibly falsified them because he wanted Einstein to be right. Turns out---as one might expect---the story is a lot more complicated.

Also, I wasn't aware of the 1979 rereduction of the plates, which essentially confirmed Eddington's results. Boy, doing astronomy in the early 1900s was hard!

Nowhere Man
2007-Sep-10, 02:58 AM
Well, it doesn't really matter whether he did or not, since his photos are not the only evidence that has been gathered for gravitational lensing in the last 90-odd years.

Fred

publius
2007-Sep-10, 05:15 AM
That was a good read, thanks. I laughed out loud at the comparison (by an Englishman) of (the German) Einstein, Riemann, et all, bringing tensors in to the sinking of the Lusitania. Of course, it wasn't funny then............................it was deadly serious.

-Richard

Jerry
2007-Sep-10, 09:18 PM
Note that the revised 4-inch result places the Einstein prediction even further outside the limits of the error bars for this instrument. In general eclipse expeditions often recovered a value in excess of the GR prediction and were only sporadically successful in wrestling Einstein’s prediction within their error-bars. This situation had barely improved even by the time of the last such expeditions in the mid-1970s. It is only with radio telescopes measuring quasars being occulted by the relatively radio-quiet Sun, thus with no need for an eclipse, that the Einstein value has been precisely confirmed (Will 1993).

Interesting statement, given that radio telescope positons of quasers are notoriously fuzzy.

parejkoj
2007-Sep-10, 10:22 PM
Interesting statement, given that radio telescope positons of quasers are notoriously fuzzy.

What exactly do you mean by this?

Nereid
2007-Sep-10, 10:39 PM
Interesting statement, given that radio telescope positons of quasers are notoriously fuzzy.What exactly do you mean by this?I'll add a more specific question: what are the stated errors of the estimated quasar positions, given in (Will 1993)?

Oh, and yes, it is a most interesting paper! :)

Not least because of the myths (if that's the right word) that seem to have developed over what the observations actually showed, what the relevant scientists actually said, and what we can now determine about the observations, from re-analysis of the plates (the ones that are still extant anyway).

Jerry
2007-Sep-11, 02:04 PM
From ~ 1970 to somewhere in the early 90's, astrometrists often used the positions of one or two quasars to lay out star charts. But then they realized systemic and non-systemic errors were creeping in; many quasars with apparent proper motion much greater than anticipated or predicted. Radio mapping of quasar sources are quite blobbly, and the central mass can move about like an uncooked egg yoke. I don't think this apparent variability in proper motion would effect the results of a measurement during an eclipse; but from our Pioneer 6 experiment and every other radio occulting of the sun, we know that the suns magnetic field bends and disperses radio waves in unpredictable ways.

I don't have access to the Will paper - I'll look it up when I get a chance - But I think we know a little more about the sun than we did in 1993 and my gut take on this is that even when the sun is radio quiet, there is a strong field effect that could distorted the position of a radio source relative to the solar sphere in a reproducible manner.

It is interesting to say the least, that (most?) of the attempts to measure the gravimetric displacement of stars have returned results that show bending greater than Einstein predicted. Such measurements will always be fickle, given the unpredictable nature of the solar wind.

Another interesting though is how much does the rotation of Mercury effect the procession of Mercury? One would expect the effect to be ignorably small, but Mercury's rotation was unknown prior to the late 19th century.

Cougar
2007-Sep-11, 03:04 PM
...then they realized systemic and non-systemic errors were creeping in; many quasars with apparent proper motion much greater than anticipated or predicted....

...from our Pioneer 6 experiment and every other radio occulting of the sun, we know that the suns magnetic field bends and disperses radio waves in unpredictable ways....

...my gut take on this is that even when the sun is radio quiet, there is a strong field effect that could distort the position of a radio source relative to the solar sphere in a reproducible manner....

....the attempts to measure the gravimetric displacement of stars have returned results that show bending greater than Einstein predicted....

...One would expect the effect to be ignorably small, but Mercury's rotation was unknown prior to the late 19th century.
Lots of claims.... no supporting documentation.

Celestial Mechanic
2007-Sep-11, 03:15 PM
[Snip!] Another interesting though is how much does the rotation of Mercury effect the procession of Mercury? One would expect the effect to be ignorably small, but Mercury's rotation was unknown prior to the late 19th century.
It wasn't even known then. It was assumed to be in a 1:1 resonance with the orbital period. Only from the 1960's as a result of radar experiments has it been known to be in a 3:2 resonance (3 rotations to 2 revolutions).

The rotation period of Mercury is one of the first things I remember "unlearning". Another early bit of unlearning for me was that the "inert" gases didn't form compounds. Oops! Xenon-platinohexafluoride and xenon trioxide anyone? (They're called "noble gases" now.)

Jerry
2007-Sep-11, 06:10 PM
...then they realized systemic and non-systemic errors were creeping in; many quasars with apparent proper motion much greater than anticipated or predicted....
Personal conversations with astrometricist, who had to work backwards and repair a bunch of charts. Very exasperating work!


from our Pioneer 6 experiment and every other radio occulting of the sun, we know that the sun's magnetic field bends and disperses radio waves in unpredictable ways...
We have discussed the Pioneer 6 anomalies exhaustively on ATM threads: Later studies in multiple bandwidths, including optical, showed that the Pioneer 6 attempt to use radio waves to verified GR failed because of magnetic field distortions of the radio signals near the limb of the sun. I'm hoping someone has a reference to the Willl paper that explains how radio measurements ultimately became more accurate than optical limb measurements.


my gut take on this is that even when the sun is radio quiet, there is a strong field effect that could distort the position of a radio source relative to the solar sphere in a reproducible mannersource=my gut, but then I went looking and found:

THE MAGNETISM OF THE SOLAR INTERIOR FOR A COMPLETE MHD SOLAR VISION

http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/astro-ph/pdf/0510/0510854v1.pdf



The solar magnetism is no more considered as a purely superficial phenomenon. The SoHO community has shown that the length of the solar cycle depends on the transition region between radiation and convection. Nevertheless, the internal solar (stellar) magnetism stays poorly known.
This does imply limb measurements may be magnetically distorted, even when solar activity is low.

I think it is reasonable to liken any measurement near the limb of the sun to an attempt to determine the size of a distant ship on a raging ocean.


....the attempts to measure the gravimetric displacement of stars have returned results that show bending greater than Einstein predicted....
This is right from the paper defending Eddington!


...One would expect the effect to be ignorably small, but Mercury's rotation was unknown prior to the late 19th century.
I actually meant the last century, the 20th century, which CM confirmed.

To the best of my knowledge, the tightest constraints on the GR predictions of gravity are found in the laser ranging experiments with the moon, not solar limb studies.

StupendousMan
2007-Sep-11, 07:28 PM
I'm hoping someone has a reference to the Willl paper that explains how radio measurements ultimately became more accurate than optical limb measurements.

Go to Astrophysics Data Service:

http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abstract_service.html

Type the words "general relativity quasar solar limb" into the "Abstract words" box. Then press the "Send Query" button.

You'll receive a list of hundreds of papers, many of which are relevant to this topic. Read the titles -- pick the best ones. Read those abstracts -- pick the best ones. Read the entire articles.

I have just done so. It took five minutes. Anyone who really wants to understand this topic will do so instead of waiting for someone else to do the work for him.

Sheesh.

parejkoj
2007-Sep-11, 09:16 PM
many quasars with apparent proper motion much greater than anticipated or predicted.


O rly? I can has example?

Proper motion within some quasar broad-line regions is known from VLBI studies. But proper motion of quasars themselves? I'd like to see that!



Personal conversations with astrometricist, who had to work backwards and repair a bunch of charts. Very exasperating work!


Huh... is that published anywhere? Are any of those quasars the same ones that were used for the solar limb measurements? What, exactly, was the proper motion that was being corrected? I know of precisely 0 quasars that have proper motions measurable without VLBI, and only a very small number with.



Radio mapping of quasar sources are quite blobbly, and the central mass can move about like an uncooked egg yoke


Are you saying that all quasars are blobby and wobbly at the level of resolution of, say, the Greenbank telescope? That's quite a claim.

And what is this "central mass" that you are claiming moves around so much? In all quasars? Most of the quasars I've seen from VLA FIRST look like point sources at ~5" resolution, unless they have jets. And jets are pretty easy to distinguish.

Am I missing something? Or are you?

rtomes
2007-Sep-11, 10:16 PM
I find this part in the paper interesting:

When, as a result of the eclipse expedition, Einstein was almost awarded the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society for 1919/20???, a heavy backlash amongst members of the Society prevented the award being made at all for that year, in spite of Eddington’s best efforts to prevent this.

Not only was Eddington swimming against the tide politically, his view that general relativity was correct placed him in a small minority within the astronomy community (and probably also, but to a less extreme extent, within the physics community). Most astronomers were skeptical of, or frankly hostile to, this theory, in so far as they understood it at all, though Einstein’s great reputation and the gradual acceptance which special relativity had achieved demanded that the theory be accorded a very respectful reception.
It seems that the scientific establishment have always been against new ideas even when the results demonstrate them to be true. This applied to Einstein even after SR was accepted. The only conclusion that I can reach that makes sense of these things is that as a whole people have no ability to think and reason, and generally just learn a set of "facts" at school and University and cannot cope with them changing. If it hadn't been for Eddington, GR would never have got accepted.

Nereid
2007-Sep-11, 10:29 PM
I find this part in the paper interesting:

It seems that the scientific establishment have always been against new ideas even when the results demonstrate them to be true. This applied to Einstein even after SR was accepted. The only conclusion that I can reach that makes sense of these things is that as a whole people have no ability to think and reason, and generally just learn a set of "facts" at school and University and cannot cope with them changing. If it hadn't been for Eddington, GR would never have got accepted.I think if you look into this more deeply, you'll find it a much richer tapestry.

Or, saying it in another way, it's all too easy to project today's understanding onto what we read of modern summaries, much less materials from the time.

The historical acceptance of GR, for example, has far more threads to it than just Eddington's support or the 1919 eclipse expeditions.

On top of which "as a whole people have no ability to think and reason, and generally just learn a set of "facts" at school and University and cannot cope with them changing" is, I think, reaching way beyond what an open-eyed reading of the history of physics (for example) shows ... just in the last few decades, and just in cosmology (to take just one example), the history of 'dark energy' would seem to be inconsistent with your characterisation.

More generally, but still within the last century, look at Zwicky's work (http://www.bautforum.com/astronomy/36128-just-call-zwicky-whatever-done.html) - lots of mould-breaking ideas, despite his, shall we say, abrasive personality.

Van Rijn
2007-Sep-12, 12:24 AM
It seems that the scientific establishment have always been against new ideas even when the results demonstrate them to be true.[snip]The only conclusion that I can reach that makes sense of these things is that as a whole people have no ability to think and reason, and generally just learn a set of "facts" at school and University and cannot cope with them changing.


The view of the solar system and the universe are very different from when I was a kid, and when I left the university. Compared to what I "knew" then:

Black holes went from a highly theoretical idea to a key component of galaxies. Neutron stars were discovered. Neutrinos gained mass. Pluto lost planet status, but the solar system gained many worlds like it. Mercury started spinning. Ganymede became the largest moon in the solar system. Io developed volcanoes. Titan shrank. All the gas giants gained rings, and many moons. An asteroid had killed the dinosaurs. The dark energy issue was discovered, and the dark matter issue evolved radically. We found many exoplanets.

I could go on like that for pages, and there are many things in astronomy and physics (not to mention biology and other sciences) that I would miss. Science does require validation, and it often can take a bit of time for good ideas to gain general acceptance. But, views definitely do change. The universe isn't viewed the way it was when I was a kid.

rtomes
2007-Sep-12, 02:04 AM
...
The historical acceptance of GR, for example, has far more threads to it than just Eddington's support or the 1919 eclipse expeditions.
That is true. Eddington had a hand in many of those other threads also, such as the realization that atomic energy was the cause of solar energy.

...
More generally, but still within the last century, look at Zwicky's work (http://www.bautforum.com/astronomy/36128-just-call-zwicky-whatever-done.html) - lots of mould-breaking ideas, despite his, shall we say, abrasive personality.
I am not speaking against Zwicky. He clearly could think. Although I think that the virial theorum may get executed soon that does not argue against it being a great idea. I am talking about the people that learn science by rote and then think that anything that they didn't learn is wrong. There are 10, 100 or 1000 of these for every Zwicky, Eddington or Einstein. Those were the ones that didn't want to accept Einstein's success. There is no logic in it at all - it is simply "that is not what I learned in school".

I fully realize that many people do not have the intellectual capabilities to create and test theories. In that case they ought at least learn to have some humility when others do it. Einstein himself had humility and even when people with a bit crazy ideas came to him he encouraged them to work out the details of their ideas in scientific ways so that they either learned why they were wrong, or managed to convince others that they were right. That is the mark of a great person.

rtomes
2007-Sep-12, 02:13 AM
Science does require validation, and it often can take a bit of time for good ideas to gain general acceptance. But, views definitely do change. The universe isn't viewed the way it was when I was a kid.
You are right that views do change. There was a joke amongst the early quantum mechanics developers that it changes when the old ones die off and you get to educate the new ones differently. Of course there is inertia in the system, and of course new ideas have to prove themselves. But we are talking about one that did and the lack of recognition for that.

The scientific community, in all its branches, does treat its brightest stars very badly. Take the discovery of germs, associations between galaxies and quasars at very different redshifts, continental drift, and any idea that is a break with previous understanding. Sure it needs proof but it doesn't need people to be treated like lepers, which is the norm and not the exception. Human beings are emotional and tribal, and people learn at a young age how to viciously persecute anyone that is different in any way, especially thinking.

Nereid
2007-Sep-12, 02:36 AM
The historical acceptance of GR, for example, has far more threads to it than just Eddington's support or the 1919 eclipse expeditions.That is true. Eddington had a hand in many of those other threads also, such as the realization that atomic energy was the cause of solar energy.

[snip]You've lost me; what does (or did) "the realization that atomic energy was the cause of solar energy" have to do with GR and acceptance of it among physicists (and astronomers)?

I'd have to go check, but I think you'll find that the acceptance of GR was already widespread before the 1919 eclipse expeditions - there were several supporting papers by leading lights of the day (Hilbert, for example) shortly after Einstein's 1915 one, and the primary observational evidence was the (accurate) account it gave of the motion of the perihelion of Mercury, an (astronomical) puzzle that had been known quite precisely for over 30 years.

rtomes
2007-Sep-12, 04:01 AM
You've lost me; what does (or did) "the realization that atomic energy was the cause of solar energy" have to do with GR and acceptance of it among physicists (and astronomers)?...

Before GR, Eddington had realized that stars had to be driven by a new form of energy and had calculated the temperature inside the Sun that would give the correct brightness. His answer was a little high due to having to make a few assumptions about gas properties that were not known at the time. But essentially he was ready and waiting when Einstein said E=mc^2 and saw immediately that a process of turning H into He would fuel the Sun. Thus he argued that Einstein's GR was correct on these grounds also. He was a huge supporter of Einstein because he more fully understood the repercussions than any other person.

There is the old joke about when Eddington was asked by someone "Is it true that only three people understand GR?" he looked thoughtful before saying "I can't think of who the third person is". :lol:

Nereid
2007-Sep-12, 04:22 AM
Before GR, Eddington had realized that stars had to be driven by a new form of energy and had calculated the temperature inside the Sun that would give the correct brightness. His answer was a little high due to having to make a few assumptions about gas properties that were not known at the time. But essentially he was ready and waiting when Einstein said E=mc^2 and saw immediately that a process of turning H into He would fuel the Sun. Thus he argued that Einstein's GR was correct on these grounds also. He was a huge supporter of Einstein because he more fully understood the repercussions than any other person.

There is the old joke about when Eddington was asked by someone "Is it true that only three people understand GR?" he looked thoughtful before saying "I can't think of who the third person is". :lol:Hmm ... are you sure of your history here?

While Eddington was a big fan of Einstein (and GR), and did much to promote it in the English-speaking world, the connection between relativity and what powers the Sun wasn't discovered by Eddington, and he didn't get the 'fusion connection' until 1920 (at the earliest). Besides, what does E = mc^2 have to do with GR?

Oh, and as I already noted, GR was accepted by leading physicists before the 1919 eclipse expeditions (just after its first publication, in 1915, in fact).

parejkoj
2007-Sep-12, 04:41 AM
...the discovery of germs, associations between galaxies and quasars at very different redshifts, continental drift...

Everybody sing with me!

One of these things is not like the other,
One of these things, just doesn't belong.

Can you tell which thing is not like the others
By the time I finish my song?

Jerry
2007-Sep-13, 04:23 AM
O rly? I can has example?

Proper motion within some quasar broad-line regions is known from VLBI studies. But proper motion of quasars themselves? I'd like to see that!
Quasar Apparent Proper Motion Observed by Geodetic VLBI Networks
D. S. MacMillan
http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/astro-ph/pdf/0309/0309826v1.pdf



Huh... is that published anywhere?
I don't think so, but I'll try to find out.


Are any of those quasars the same ones that were used for the solar limb measurements? What, exactly, was the proper motion that was being corrected? I know of precisely 0 quasars that have proper motions measurable without VLBI, and only a very small number with.
Interesting.

I hope to hear your take on the MacMillan paper. I don't think the motion MacMillan came up with would have been significant enough to effect the limb studies during eclipses, but the Eddington defense paper makes it clear many of the optical studies come up with deflection values ~125% of the GR prediction.


Are you saying that all quasars are blobby and wobbly at the level of resolution of, say, the Greenbank telescope? That's quite a claim.
I am saying MacMillan found motions that don't make sense. I have never seen a definitive rebuttal of MacMillan's paper; I am surprised that it seems to be ignored.


And what is this "central mass" that you are claiming moves around so much? In all quasars? Most of the quasars I've seen from VLA FIRST look like point sources at ~5" resolution, unless they have jets. And jets are pretty easy to distinguish.

Am I missing something? Or are you?
Probably me, but the screwed up astrometrics comes out of an Ivy League school - an Iron solid source. They weren't surprised by, nor could they explain, the MacMillan paper.

parejkoj
2007-Sep-13, 03:19 PM
Quasar Apparent Proper Motion Observed by Geodetic VLBI Networks
D. S. MacMillan
http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/astro-ph/pdf/0309/0309826v1.pdf


Hmmm... Interesting, but I did say, "proper motions measurable without VLBI" and it looks like at most a handful of the objects in that survey count. One should note:



Since the observations of sources have not been very even, the uncertainties of the source proper motion estimates range from less than 50 µas/yr to more than 1 mas/yr. The formal uncertainties for 167 sources are better than 20 µas/yr and better than 50 µas/yr for 348 sources. There are about 50-60 sources with observed proper motion with at least 3 sigma significance.


It sounds like most of the sources in Figure one have errors comparable to the supposed proper motion. Figure 2 seems to bear this out. Proper motion less than a few tenths mas/yr (most of the sources are way below that) requires VLBI, so my point still stands. Also, MacMillan notes, "One problem is that we do not know how much of this observed linear variation is due to structure variation." which is what I said above: VLBI observed motion of structures around quasars is well known. How much of the observed variation in this paper is due to internal motions? We don't know, but I have a guess. :whistle:

Also, I don't fully know anything about the software used in the analysis, but I'd like to see a plot similar to Figure 3 (4c39.25, which has known structure effects) for the other sources with large apparent proper motions, to see how much they have varied for a ~20 year baseline. Differences in precision as the instruments are improved should show up.





I know of precisely 0 quasars that have proper motions measurable without VLBI, and only a very small number with.

I hope to hear your take on the MacMillan paper. I don't think the motion MacMillan came up with would have been significant enough to effect the limb studies during eclipses, but the Eddington defense paper makes it clear many of the optical studies come up with deflection values ~125% of the GR prediction.


I don't think I have to eat my words yet: at best a couple of the sources listed in that paper might have proper motions observable with, e.g., the VLA (~0.1" resolution @ 3cm). And that's the highest resolution non-VLBI telescope there is.

Even if *all* the proper motions in the paper are real, only perhaps 5-10 of the source motions are even remotely large enough to affect the error bars of an eclipse study: remember, the GR predicted shift is of order 1". What is the largest proper motion in MacMillan? How many years would it take for such a PM to mess up an eclipse measurement?



I am saying MacMillan found motions that don't make sense. I have never seen a definitive rebuttal of MacMillan's paper; I am surprised that it seems to be ignored.


I am vaguely surprised myself: it is only cited once, by a very odd, non-published paper. I'd expect at least a comment or letter, but if there is one, it isn't in citebase (of course, not everything is). But, it also isn't actually published anywhere besides arxiv. It was a talk given at a VLBA celebration meeting (http://www.aoc.nrao.edu/events/VLBA10th/), but the presentation is not linked there, so it might just be unknown because it's unknown.

Again, though, this has absolutely no bearing on the eclipse GR lensing. There are several orders of magnitude difference between the effects. It might have an effect on the ICRF errors, but even then, the effect noted in the paper is still below the IRCF error floor.

As a side note, what are Arp and company's predicted quasar proper motions? I thought it was of order a few mas/yr. :whistle:

Nereid
2007-Sep-13, 03:50 PM
We have covered this paper, and several others on 'quasar proper motion', at least once before, here in BAUT.

I'm pretty sure Jerry was active in at least one of the threads on this paper.

If so, then this is another example of a problem I think BAUT has.

I have started a thread (http://www.bautforum.com/about-baut/64543-what-do-about-jerry-posts.html#post1069091), in the About BAUT section, on what to do about this kind of thing.

In another thread where this (or something similar) is happening, another BAUT member asks "This is the spamming approach to scientific inference, then?" I think it's a fair question; I for one find it tiring to have to keep responding to such posts, over and over again.

Jerry
2007-Sep-14, 03:34 AM
Astrophysics is not a static venture. parejkoj obviously has some insight and experience with using quasars as astrometric anchors, but he was not aware of possible limitations. Optical telescopes have only recently exceeded the accuracy - at - great - distance that radio astronomy has known for two decades.

It should be of great interest to everyone if the optical scopes find the same proper motions in quasars identified by MacMillan. If they are not aware this is a possibility, how much work will be tainted by poor assumptions about quasars as fixed references?

I'm still trying to validate MacMillan. As you know, a paper without collaboration is almost meaningless. I keep bringing up the limitations of the Hipparcos star positions, because I wonder if the table is compromised by moving quasars.

It amazes me when so many are surprised when I mention quasar positions are iffy. The most likely reason, by the way, is lensing, not true proper motion. It may take another 20 years to pin this down. The more parejkoj's looking into this, the better.

StupendousMan
2007-Sep-14, 12:31 PM
Optical telescopes have only recently exceeded the accuracy - at - great - distance that radio astronomy has known for two decades.

In what way have optical telescopes exceeded the accuracy of radio telescopes? Do you mean "precision" instead of "accuracy"? The angular resolution of optical telescopes is still far, far worse than the angular resolution of radio interferometers.



It amazes me when so many are surprised when I mention quasar positions are iffy. The most likely reason, by the way, is lensing, not true proper motion. It may take another 20 years to pin this down. The more parejkoj's looking into this, the better.

Well, I'm amazed that you believe all of astronomy needs to be replaced because of a single paper which appeared without peer review and has since been ignored.

But we should both be aware that the astronomical community at large doesn't care how we feel. I can be as amazed as possible, and it still doesn't matter. The scientific community pays attention to the preponderance of evidence from the physical world.

parejkoj
2007-Sep-14, 02:21 PM
Optical telescopes have only recently exceeded the accuracy - at - great - distance that radio astronomy has known for two decades.


Or rly? I can has example?

To echo StupendousMan: Name one optical telescope system that has a resolution of even 1 mas. Name one optical telescope system that has a positional precision of tens of micro-arcseconds. Heck, name one that is planned to come online in the next 15-20 years with either of those features! I'm aware of perhaps two systems that are a bit worse than these limits, but they only work on bright sources, and are still rather quirky.



It should be of great interest to everyone if the optical scopes find the same proper motions in quasars identified by MacMillan. If they are not aware this is a possibility, how much work will be tainted by poor assumptions about quasars as fixed references?


Did you even read my post? I told you, I (and astronomers who study quasars) was aware of VLBI-observed motions within quasars. MacMillan himself states that it is unknown whether the 3-sigma motions in his paper are from internal quasar motions or proper motions. Do you know how small a proper motion of 0.1 mas/yr is? Most of the sources from MacMillan are well below that, and thus can only have their proper motions determined by VLBI. Again, did you read my post?

As a side note, I accidentally found the published version of the MacMillan paper:
http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2005ASPC..340..477M
I'm at home, so can't access it to see if it is different from the one in ADS. But since it is a conference proceeding, it probably did not undergo significant (if any) peer review.



I'm still trying to validate MacMillan. As you know, a paper without collaboration is almost meaningless. I keep bringing up the limitations of the Hipparcos star positions, because I wonder if the table is compromised by moving quasars.


(I assume collaboration->corroboration?)

What are these limitations of the Hipparcos positions (beyond those that are already well known to the astronomical community)? The Hipparcos base catalog has nothing to do with quasars and their positions. However, the Hipparcos catalog has already been linked to the ICRF, and they match quite well:
http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1998ASPC..144..381L

Again, do you know what the difference between a milli-arcsecond/yr and a ~20 micro-arcsecond/yr proper motion is? Which one of those is within the precision of Hipparcos? What are the supposed proper motions determined by MacMillan?



It amazes me when so many are surprised when I mention quasar positions are iffy.


We are certainly surprised, because they are not iffy. A shift of ~50 micro-arcsecond/yr (with big error bars) for perhaps 50 quasars do not "iffy positions" make.



The most likely reason, by the way, is lensing, not true proper motion.


Or internal motion, as both MacMillan and myself have stated.



The more parejkoj's looking into this, the better.

I'm not looking into anything related to this: I'm currently doing other work, and am by no means an expert on VLBI techniques, nor do I currently wish to become one. I was genuinely curious if there were examples of non-VLBI quasar proper motions, but you still haven't shown me any.

As a side note, do you know what VLBI is, and what the many caveats are of doing VLBI? Do you know what happens when the typical source structure is significantly larger than the beam size?

Jerry
2007-Sep-14, 07:34 PM
The real question is why hasn't there been a follow-up on the MacMillan research? Why hasn't MacMillan ever been published? 50 micro arc seconds is way much to much for an object at a z shift of > 0.5; so this measurement can reasonably be written-off as a systemic error UNLESS there is some degree intrinsic redshift in the quasars population. That would be important.

I can think of many ways to investigate this: Intrinsic redshifting due to extended quasar medium would likely involve line broadening, so finding a statistical correlation between quasar line width, redshift and apparent proper motion could be revealing.

I didn't know what 50 micro arc seconds of apparent motion in a quasar would mean, so I took the MacMillan paper to a major university astrometrics department, and they told me about the difficulties encountered when they used a small sample of quasar positions to map stars. I wish I knew more. There are a dozen papers out there cautioning about absolute errors in the Hipparcos' charts; and publish a number of corrections. What I wonder is if ten-twenty years from now, will similar errors start to appear in optical quasar positioning?

There is an abstract on the gravity-B probe website about lesson's learn using a quasar to help find the exact position of a guide star - the paper should be available in December. The question in my mind is: Are we dealing with absolute measurment limits, or limits constrained by unexpected motions/lensing/magnitude/distance ranges?

parejkoj
2007-Sep-14, 08:26 PM
The real question is why hasn't there been a follow-up on the MacMillan research? Why hasn't MacMillan ever been published? 50 micro arc seconds is way much to much for an object at a z shift of > 0.5; so this measurement can reasonably be written-off as a systemic error UNLESS there is some degree intrinsic redshift in the quasars population. That would be important.


Did you even read my two posts above?

VanderL
2007-Sep-14, 09:44 PM
The MacMillan paper was discussed before (Nereid imo, nothing was resolved during that discussion, I don't see any reason to stop asking questions like Jerry did), and to me the most important observation can be seen if Figure 2:


Figure 2 shows the magnitude of observed proper motion versus redshift for sources where the proper motion uncertainty is at least as good as 50 µas/yr. The available redshifts were taken from Archinal (1997), which contains radio source characteristics compiled from a number of sources. The observed quasars (355 sources) have redshifts as large as 4.3. The observed radio galaxies (54 sources) and BL Lac objects (56 sources) generally have redshifts less than 1.There may be a trend toward lower proper motion with increasing redshift but it is not very clear

The uncertainty in the measurements are undoubtedly influenced by internal motion, but these uncertainties should diminish (just as the proper motion) with increasing redshift. I don't see this trend in figure 2, it would be nice to be able to distinguish the radio galaxies and BL Lac's in this Figure 2, but this paper has not (yet?) been followed up, unfortunately.

What I also fail to see is how the number of citations is relevant for the quality of this paper. And a question for parejkoj: why would a small number (or even one for that matter) of high redshift quasars with measurable proper motion not be an observation of major importance?

Cheers.

parejkoj
2007-Sep-15, 01:48 AM
The uncertainty in the measurements are undoubtedly influenced by internal motion, but these uncertainties should diminish (just as the proper motion) with increasing redshift. I don't see this trend in figure 2, it would be nice to be able to distinguish the radio galaxies and BL Lac's in this Figure 2, but this paper has not (yet?) been followed up, unfortunately.


No, the apparent proper motions themselves may well be due to internal motion. See Figure and Section 3 in MacMillan for an example. As I've said repeatedly above (and a quick search of ADS will reveal), VLBI observations of nearby quasars and AGN often show significant internal motion on scales similar to the supposed proper motions given in MacMillan. Here's one example, from the 2006 Summer AAS meeting:
http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2006AAS...208.7106R

The physical source of the radio-bright regions is not always known: it may be the accretion disk itself, it may be the base of the jet, it may be a knot in the jet several parsecs away from the disk, or it may be something else. 1mas at ~2 Gpc is about 10pc physical size. There's a lot that can go on within that 10 parsecs, and if the radio peak is a knot in the jet, it can move a considerable distance in 20 years. Voila, observed "proper motion."

Also: "it would be nice to be able to distinguish the radio galaxies and BL Lac's in this Figure 2" -- Why do you ask? And how does one distinguish an BL Lac vs. a radio galaxy, in general? (please don't cite wikipedia: their articles are far too general in this case)



What I also fail to see is how the number of citations is relevant for the quality of this paper.


I said nothing about quality, just that I found it odd that there were no citations listed in citebase. (That does not mean that there are no citations, just none contained in that database.) In general though, the impact, and thus importance of a paper is often judged by the number of citations. Plus, as I noted, it is a conference proceeding and thus underwent little to no peer review. That doesn't invalidate the results, but it definitely leaves it on a bit shakier ground: conference proceedings are where you give your cutting-edge, not-yet-reviewed results.



And a question for parejkoj: why would a small number (or even one for that matter) of high redshift quasars with measurable proper motion not be an observation of major importance?


It could well be an observation of major importance. But see everything I've said above. Proper motions of the central component of high-z quasars have not yet been demonstrated. And certainly no quasar motions at all have been seen with anything besides VLBI, which is highly sensitive to small variations in source position and brightness.

And I repeat my question from before: what are the predicted quasar proper motions from Arp and company, if quasars are ejected from nearby galaxies?

And by the way, another conference proceeding is relevant here: Frey, Veres and Vida (2006) (http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2006evn..confE..72F) (I love Hungarian names!) compared SDSS and VLBI quasar positions. They found a very good coincidence between the catalogs, in general (within the astrometry limits of SDSS). But for 29 AGN with large optical-radio separations, they note



When comparing directly the radio and optical positions, we naturally assume that the optical and radio emission peaks physically coincide. Because the activity of these AGNs is driven by their central supermassive black holes, this assumption seems plausible in general. However, there may exist objects for which it is not necessarily true. For high-accuracy reference frame inter-connections in the future, it is essential to understand this behaviour and to identify the outliers. Such objects should be avoided when the radio and optical reference frames are linked. On the other hand, these AGNs may well be of astrophysical interest.


I certainly agree with those last points: the outliers are almost always the most interesting.

And now we're far afield of my original post about Eddington... oh-well.

Ari Jokimaki
2007-Sep-15, 04:24 AM
what are the predicted quasar proper motions from Arp and company, if quasars are ejected from nearby galaxies?
Burbidge et al. (2003) (http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2003ApJ...591..690B) give 6-18 mas per year for quasars near M82.

parejkoj
2007-Sep-15, 05:50 AM
what are the predicted quasar proper motions from Arp and company, if quasars are ejected from nearby galaxies?

Burbidge et al. (2003) (http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2003ApJ...591..690B) give 6-18 mas per year for quasars near M82.

Thank you Ari. Anyone want to check if any of the quasars in that paper have VLBI observations, or are part of the ICRF? I'd estimate that one to two of them could be, considering the ratio of radio loud to radio quiet quasars.

Assuming all of the 3-sigma proper motions (~50) listed in MacMillan represent real motion of some kind, they are still around 1-2 orders of magnitude below the level predicted in Burbidge et al. 2003.

VanderL
2007-Sep-15, 02:40 PM
The uncertainty in the measurements are undoubtedly influenced by internal motion, but these uncertainties should diminish (just as the proper motion) with increasing redshift. I don't see this trend in figure 2, it would be nice to be able to distinguish the radio galaxies and BL Lac's in this Figure 2, but this paper has not (yet?) been followed up, unfortunately.
No, the apparent proper motions themselves may well be due to internal motion. See Figure and Section 3 in MacMillan for an example.

Sorry, I was unclear I think, what I tried to indicate is that internal motion of a quasar should diminish with increasing distance because these objects are smaller. So that would mean that in higher redshift quasars the measured motion would be more likely to reflect proper motion.


As I've said repeatedly above (and a quick search of ADS will reveal), VLBI observations of nearby quasars and AGN often show significant internal motion on scales similar to the supposed proper motions given in MacMillan. Here's one example, from the 2006 Summer AAS meeting:
http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2006AAS...208.7106R

The physical source of the radio-bright regions is not always known: it may be the accretion disk itself, it may be the base of the jet, it may be a knot in the jet several parsecs away from the disk, or it may be something else. 1mas at ~2 Gpc is about 10pc physical size. There's a lot that can go on within that 10 parsecs, and if the radio peak is a knot in the jet, it can move a considerable distance in 20 years. Voila, observed "proper motion."

Thanks for this, I guess the only way to clarify such uncertainties is in producing more observations with even longer baselines.


Also: "it would be nice to be able to distinguish the radio galaxies and BL Lac's in this Figure 2" -- Why do you ask? And how does one distinguish an BL Lac vs. a radio galaxy, in general? (please don't cite wikipedia: their articles are far too general in this case)

I was unclear here too, I would like to see Figure 2 without BL-Lac's and radio-galaxies in order to better interpret the absence of a trend of lower proper motion with increasing redshift.


I said nothing about quality, just that I found it odd that there were no citations listed in citebase. (That does not mean that there are no citations, just none contained in that database.) In general though, the impact, and thus importance of a paper is often judged by the number of citations. Plus, as I noted, it is a conference proceeding and thus underwent little to no peer review. That doesn't invalidate the results, but it definitely leaves it on a bit shakier ground: conference proceedings are where you give your cutting-edge, not-yet-reviewed results.

I would be surprised if the paper was cited many times, after all who would want to cite a paper with results that no one knows what to make of.


And now we're far afield of my original post about Eddington... oh-well.

Sorry for that, I always felt the MacMillan paper needed follow-up and this thread is the first I have come across where the problems and uncertainties in the data are discussed, thanks for that. Btw as mentioned by many people before, Arp's ejection model is best falsified by exactly this kind of approach: measuring proper motions of quasars.

Cheers.

parejkoj
2007-Sep-15, 03:47 PM
Sorry, I was unclear I think, what I tried to indicate is that internal motion of a quasar should diminish with increasing distance because these objects are smaller. So that would mean that in higher redshift quasars the measured motion would be more likely to reflect proper motion.


Not necessarily: the quasars we can see at high redshift have higher energy (they have to be, since we can see them at larger distances), thus likely higher jet velocity and disk instability. That translates to potentially larger internal motions. How these two effects intertwine (distance => small apparent motion vs. distance => bright => large internal variation), I don't know, and don't want to compute.

A completely separate issue is variability: if part of the source is variable, and part is not, that can produce a result that looks like motion, but is simply due to one area "turning off" while another stays on (I'm not sure I made that clear: I'm eating breakfast). Quasars are known to be quite variable, and MacMillan does not give enough details of his analysis to know whether this was taken into effect. I'm not even sure how one would; perhaps looking at the time evolution of the 2-d light curve? For hundreds of sources? Ugh!



Thanks for this, I guess the only way to clarify such uncertainties is in producing more observations with even longer baselines.


That's always true! But, for radio studies, we've run out of baseline. We're already using the whole Earth!




Why do you ask? And how does one distinguish an BL Lac vs. a radio galaxy, in general? (please don't cite wikipedia: their articles are far too general in this case)
I was unclear here too, I would like to see Figure 2 without BL-Lac's and radio-galaxies in order to better interpret the absence of a trend of lower proper motion with increasing redshift.


And my point still stands: what distinguishes a BL Lac from a radio galaxy from a quasar? And why do you think that would help clarify figure 2?

Incidentally, I've started a thread, What in the Dicken's is a Quasar? (http://www.bautforum.com/astronomy/64730-what-dickens-quasar.html) to discuss these issues. See Ari: I didn't forget.



I would be surprised if the paper was cited many times, after all who would want to cite a paper with results that no one knows what to make of.


Those are the kinds of result that get citations as people rush to confirm or tear them apart. Papers that are "sure shots" will garner a lot of citations once they've been proven, in the introductions to papers giving new methods and results. Papers that are controversial but plausible will be cited by those wanting to shoot them down. Lack of citations could mean that no one thinks it's worth bothering with, no one knows about it, or no one has a good response beyond the very basic things I've listed here, which aren't worth a paper themselves. Heck, MacMillan has mentioned most of them already! Plus, VLBI time is hard to come by.



Sorry for that, I always felt the MacMillan paper needed follow-up and this thread is the first I have come across where the problems and uncertainties in the data are discussed, thanks for that.


I don't know if there are problems in the data, just a lot of uncertainties, and MacMillan makes note of them. This was presented at a conference as a warning to those who use the ICRF that it may require some periodic corrections. The added uncertainty in the ICRF from these corrections is below the current noise floor (see the Section 5), but must be understood and corrected for, if the ICRF is to be improved.

As I've said repeatedly above, this has no effect on Hipparcos data, other astrometric studies, or solar limb occultation confirmations of GR. To bring it back to the OP... :whistle:



Btw as mentioned by many people before, Arp's ejection model is best falsified by exactly this kind of approach: measuring proper motions of quasars.


This isn't the only way to ruin Arp's model, but that's for a different thread. But I think MacMillan's paper ends up being a pretty good refutation of Arp et al.'s model, even if it wasn't intended as such.

Jerry
2007-Sep-15, 03:48 PM
Hmm ... are you sure of your history here?

While Eddington was a big fan of Einstein (and GR), and did much to promote it in the English-speaking world, the connection between relativity and what powers the Sun wasn't discovered by Eddington, and he didn't get the 'fusion connection' until 1920 (at the earliest). Besides, what does E = mc^2 have to do with GR?
E=mc^2 falls out of special relativity, but there was a problem: Special relativity predicted that clocks near the poles should move faster than clocks at the equator, and there were accurate enough time pieces available in 1910 to make this unlikely. This is where Einstein's elevator steps in and resolves the issue, the weak equivalance principle.


Oh, and as I already noted, GR was accepted by leading physicists before the 1919 eclipse expeditions (just after its first publication, in 1915, in fact).
Young theorists yes, but your run-of-the-mill older generation of physicist resisted GR for a long time. Michelson Morley tests were funded up to the late thirties. (I had teachers in the 60's who told antecdotal stories about their teachers who did not grasp GR.)

I wonder if the failure to award Einstein a Nobel Prize for either special or general relativity is was primarily do to race, religion, nationality, or failure to accept the theories by old school scientists. I suspect it was a combination - that and envy - scientists are a curiously jealous lot.

StupendousMan
2007-Sep-16, 02:31 AM
Special relativity predicted that clocks near the poles should move faster than clocks at the equator, and there were accurate enough time pieces available in 1910 to make this unlikely.


The magnitude of the time dilation due to special relativity for two clocks, one motionless and one moving with the speed of an object on the Earth's equator, is of the order of 10^(-13); that is, one clock will lose 10^(-13) seconds each second to the other clock.

I have read several articles describing the state of the art in clocks used at astronomical observatories between 1900 and 1920; for example,

http://articles.adsabs.harvard.edu/full/1919PA.....27..566W

http://articles.adsabs.harvard.edu/full/1913PASP...25..291T

The clocks described in these articles have errors of very roughly 0.06 seconds over one week; this corresponds roughly to a fractional precision of 10^(-7).

These numbers suggest that scientists did not have clocks accurate enough to test special relativity in the year 1910. In fact, they suggest that technology was still several orders of magnitude away from the required level.

Do you have other information to support your claim? Or are you just making statements up out of thin air?



I wonder if the failure to award Einstein a Nobel Prize for either special or general relativity is was primarily do to race, religion, nationality, or failure to accept the theories by old school scientists. I suspect it was a combination - that and envy - scientists are a curiously jealous lot.

Certainly scientists can be jealous; after all, we're human.

Have you read the speech given by the Nobel Prize committee when awarding the 1921 Prize in Physics to Einstein?

http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/1921/press.html

The text mentions three parts of Einstein's work: relativity, Brownian motion, and the photoelectric effect. It does give the greatest weight to the photoelectric effect, true, but I do not see it as



failure to award Einstein a Nobel Prize for either special or general relativity


Would you care to explain this claim?

Ari Jokimaki
2007-Sep-16, 05:24 AM
But I think MacMillan's paper ends up being a pretty good refutation of Arp et al.'s model, even if it wasn't intended as such.
Why, because of Burbidge et al. estimate of proper motion of 6-18 mas/yr for quasars near M82 being much higher than proper motions found by MacMillan? You have to remember that M82 is very closeby galaxy, and the proper motions at that distance are not average, they are more like upper limits. So, under the assumption (which is not generally accepted by astronomical community) that quasars would be associated with galaxies, most quasars would still not be as close as M82 quasars, and hence the expected proper motions for most quasars would be less than 6-18 mas/yr estimated for M82 quasars. It would be nice to know what quasars were in MacMillan's sample.

(Sorry about this off-topic, ATM flavor post, but parejkoj did start this part of discussion by asking about Arp's ejection model.)

Nereid
2007-Sep-17, 03:10 AM
[snip]
Oh, and as I already noted, GR was accepted by leading physicists before the 1919 eclipse expeditions (just after its first publication, in 1915, in fact).Young theorists yes, but your run-of-the-mill older generation of physicist resisted GR for a long time. Michelson Morley tests were funded up to the late thirties. (I had teachers in the 60's who told antecdotal stories about their teachers who did not grasp GR.)

I wonder if the failure to award Einstein a Nobel Prize for either special or general relativity is was primarily do to race, religion, nationality, or failure to accept the theories by old school scientists. I suspect it was a combination - that and envy - scientists are a curiously jealous lot.The thing that (greatly) disturbs me about this kind of post, Jerry, is its tone of certainty.

If you had provided some references, or had asked open questions, my concerns would be less.

However, it takes but a few minutes of searching on the internet to learn that:
* David Hilbert enthusiastically endorsed GR, and even worked with Einstein on 'getting it right'; he was 53 in 1915, and was then one of the undisputed leading mathematicians of his time
* Karl Schwarzschild developed important results from GR, which were published them (in 1916?); he was 42 in 1915, and was a leading physicist
* Eddington (!), as has already been noted in this thread, was a strong supporter of GR (in 1916?), and a leading light behind the eclipse expeditions.

Do you see why I, for one, now consider everything you post as suspect? Why I am concerned about how certain prolific contributors to the Astronomy section may be dragging its integrity down?

Of course, BAUT's focus is astronomy and space science, so our ability to adequately address the early 20th century history of physics - with its rich tapestry of people, ideas, experiments, and so on - may be less than what we wish it to be.

Jerry
2007-Sep-17, 05:30 PM
Have you read the speech given by the Nobel Prize committee when awarding the 1921 Prize in Physics to Einstein?

http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/p...921/press.html

The text mentions three parts of Einstein's work: relativity, Brownian motion, and the photoelectric effect. It does give the greatest weight to the photoelectric effect, true, but I do not see it as
?????
Arrhenius' speech made it absolutely clear that the Nobel prize had nothing to do with either Brownian motion or Einstein's 'Philosophical' argument about relativity!


There is probably no physicist living today whose name has become so widely known as that of Albert Einstein. Most discussion centres on his theory of relativity. This pertains essentially to epistemology and has therefore been the subject of lively debate in philosophical circles. It will be no secret that the famous philosopher Bergson in Paris has challenged this theory, while other philosophers have acclaimed it wholeheartedly. The theory in question also has astrophysical implications which are being rigorously examined at the present time.

Throughout the first decade of this century the so-called Brownian movement stimulated the keenest interest. In 1905 Einstein founded a kinetic theory to account for this movement by means of which he derived the chief properties of suspensions, i.e. liquids with solid particles suspended in them. This theory, based on classical mechanics, helps to explain the behaviour of what are known as colloidal solutions, a behaviour which has been studied by Svedberg, Perrin, Zsigmondy and countless other scientists within the context of what has grown into a large branch of science, colloid chemistry.

A third group of studies, for which in particular Einstein has received the Nobel Prize, falls within the domain of the quantum theory founded by Planck in 1900. This theory asserts that radiant energy consists of individual particles, termed "quanta", approximately in the same way as matter is made up of particles, i.e. atoms.

Arrhenius was impressed with Einstein's classical motion studies, but was really waving-off GR as a philosophical concern. (Or, perhaps he was making it clear there could or should be another prize in the future.)


However, it takes but a few minutes of searching on the internet to learn that:
* David Hilbert enthusiastically endorsed GR, and even worked with Einstein on 'getting it right'; he was 53 in 1915, and was then one of the undisputed leading mathematicians of his time
* Karl Schwarzschild developed important results from GR, which were published them (in 1916?); he was 42 in 1915, and was a leading physicist
* Eddington (!), as has already been noted in this thread, was a strong supporter of GR (in 1916?), and a leading light behind the eclipse expeditions.

Do you see why I, for one, now consider everything you post as suspect? Why I am concerned about how certain prolific contributors to the Astronomy section may be dragging its integrity down?

History is written by the victors. In scientific circles, this somewhat translates into those who's theories are accepted. Who today knows of 'the famous philosopher Bergson?' Hell, Arrherius went out of his way to observe that relativity was - at that time- epistemological and therefore philosophical. Patronizing.

The lukewarm reception of GR is evident in funding: Find any funding for relativistic research prior to secret war projects in ~1938: A trip to see the the solar eclipse, a few professor Einsteins at even fewer institutions. There was a lot more money spent in the interm trying to figure out what Michealson and Morley did wrong.

If you want to know the real history, you have to dig a lot deeper. I think it was Bohr who complained 'New theories are accepted when the proponents of older theories die off.' Over time, those who's arguments were not accepted are first dropped to footnotes, then forgotten all together.

See the Wiki article:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luminiferous_ether

For those of us who first studied science in encyclopedias written before 1950, we learned a lot more about aether than GR. As a kid, it angered me that Einstein died without a Nobel prize for his greatest contribution. He had my vote!

The world was very polarized in the early 19th century in terms of race and religion. The Eddington article makes it clear that for and Englishman to champion a german theoriest was unusual. I STILL think it is a BAD footnote on the politics of science that General and Special relativity were never given Nobel recognition. It's just like demoting the American planet, Pluto.

Jerry
2007-Sep-17, 06:05 PM
...

The clocks described in these articles have errors of very roughly 0.06 seconds over one week; this corresponds roughly to a fractional precision of 10^(-7).

These numbers suggest that scientists did not have clocks accurate enough to test special relativity in the year 1910. In fact, they suggest that technology was still several orders of magnitude away from the required level.

Do you have other information to support your claim? Or are you just making statements up out of thin air?

Wrong kind of clocks. In 1910, analytical balances were by-far the most accurate ways to measure, especially when used differentially. And Nuclear Decay was the most accurate clock. If you compared the mass of a gram of a slowly decaying material on a balance with a standard, and carefully measured the change in weight over time, it was possible determine the rate of change in terms of nanograms per day/month/year.

It was also possible to create and equally divide very homogenious chemical alloys.

Place one sample near the equator and another near on of the poles, then wait a couple of years and see if the decay rates of the samples remained the same while they were in exile. Switch the samples and try again.

Did anyone try this? There were labs all over the world trying to figure out what to make of the temperature-independent decay of nuclear isotopes, returning incredibly accurate tables. Einstein changed the theory. I have never seen good explanations as to why, and I don't think anyone knows. Perhaps Einstien was shown this type of null data from comparitive samples from everywhere from Athens to Helsinki.

StupendousMan
2007-Sep-17, 06:20 PM
Did anyone try this? There were labs all over the world trying to figure out what to make of the temperature-independent decay of nuclear isotopes, returning incredibly accurate tables. Einstein changed the theory. I have never seen good explanations as to why, and I don't think anyone knows.

That's it. I quit. The jump from "I have never seen good explanations as to why" to "I don't think anyone knows" is too much for me.

I will not bother to mention the conditions under which the first expeditions reached the Earth's poles in the early twentieth century. Jerry would just come up with an off-the-cuff (and incorrect) explanation for its lack of relevance.

I've placed Jerry on my ignore list, so I won't be participating in any more of the supernova discussions, I guess.