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View Full Version : Varying Speed of Light - What Do You Think?



Fiery Phoenix
2008-Dec-25, 02:08 PM
Well, like two weeks ago, I was at my cousin's watching television. While I was going through the channels, I saw Discovery Science. There was a very interesting documentary show airing, on which this Portuguese cosmologist and theoretical physicist, whose name has totally escaped my head, talks about crazy and yet fascinating stuff. He talked about lots of things in the episode I watched, including the idea of VSL (varying speed of light) and how it might well be cosmology and modern physics' ultimate downfall - if it was true, that is.


I don't remember everything he said, but I guess I do remember the gist of it. Essentially, when he first started talking about VSL, he mentioned something like the speed of light must have been MUCH higher in the early Universe, and is slowly getting lower as time continues to pass. Apparently, this would explain much of all that big-bang-related stuff. Moreover, and what got me surprised the most, is that, if the concept of VSL turns out to be true, then hundreds of cosmological and modern mathematical equations automatically go downhill. Meaning, we assume that the speed of light (denoted by C) is ALWAYS 3x10^8 m/sec, since the very beginning of the Universe; which affects the outcomes considerably. He said the speed of light is 3x10^8 m/sec indeed, but ONLY in the time period we're living in.

That's pretty much all I remember there. I, for one, am speechless at best, which is why I thought I would start this thread to see what you, guys, have to say about it. I'm sure some of you have heard of VSL before; just not me (until I watched the documentary).

Discuss.

Durakken
2008-Dec-25, 02:20 PM
It's been around for a while I know it was proposed as early as around 2003 and I remember them saying that had some sort of proof, but Obviously all that didn't pan out as I haven't heard much else about it.

antoniseb
2008-Dec-25, 02:43 PM
The ideas of inflation and variable speed of light are different from each other.

Fiery Phoenix
2008-Dec-25, 02:51 PM
The ideas of inflation and variable speed of light are different from each other.

He did mention something about the inflation of the Universe, prior to the VSL scene. And both sounded clearly different. I just don't remember a lot from the documentary. Sorry.

grant hutchison
2008-Dec-25, 02:55 PM
... on which this Portuguese cosmologist and theoretical physicist, whose name has totally escaped my head, talks about crazy and yet fascinating stuff. He talked about lots of things in the episode I watched, including the idea of VSL (varying speed of light) and how it might well be cosmology and modern physics' ultimate downfall - if it was true, that is.Sound's like Joćo Magueijo and his "varying speed of light cosmology". A search of the ATM forum should turn up some discussion. He wrote a popsci entitled "Faster then the Speed of Light", in which he comes over as a bit peevish, to say the least.

Grant Hutchison

gzhpcu
2008-Dec-25, 02:58 PM
You will find more here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Variable_speed_of_light


The idea from Moffat and the team Albrecht-Magueijo is that light propagated as much as 60 orders of magnitude faster in the early universe, thus distant regions of the expanding universe have had time to interact since the beginning of the universe.

Fiery Phoenix
2008-Dec-25, 03:36 PM
Sound's like Joćo Magueijo and his "varying speed of light cosmology". A search of the ATM forum should turn up some discussion. He wrote a popsci entitled "Faster then the Speed of Light", in which he comes over as a bit peevish, to say the least.

Grant Hutchison

That's him!

Thanks, Grant, and gzhpcu for the useful link.

Tim Thompson
2008-Dec-25, 07:27 PM
The variable speed of light cosmology was first proposed in Albrecht & Magueijo, 1999 (http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1999PhRvD..59d3516A) (which was posted as a pre-print in 1998). Barrow & Magueijo, 1998 (http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1998PhLB..443..104B) (which actually appeared after Albrecht & Magueijo, 1999) incorporates the idea of a variable speed of light into a variable fine structure constant. You can follow the numerous citations to these papers to see that Magueijo's ideas have sparked quite a bit of consequent attention, though it remains a minority viewpoint.

Magueijo continues to concentrate on the idea that the "constants" of physics may in fact be variable, and he is not alone in paying attention to that possibility. For instance, Webb, et al., 1999 (http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1999PhRvL..82..884W), which created quite a stir when it came out, claims observational evidence for a time variable fine structure constant (most easily interpreted as a time variable speed of light, i.e. Peres, 2003 (http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2003IJMPD..12.1751P)) in quasar spectra (I saw the earlier preprints, and the referees clearly forced them to tone back the strength of their claim, and change the title from "Evidence for ..." to "Search for ..."). Their results remain controversial and not generally accepted, but neither has Webb's group backed down (i.e., Murphy, et al., 2003 (http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2003MNRAS.345..609M)).

So the mainstream view continues to be that the "fundamental constants" of physics are in fact constant. But there is a constant background of scientists continuing to probe the theoretical & observational consequences of their variability. The difference with Magueijo's variable speed of light cosmology is that his idea is intended to replace inflation and so dominates in an era of the universe where its effect cannot be observed today. Hence, his is primarily a theoretical argument and not an observational one.

weirdwarp.com
2009-May-22, 09:04 AM
There was a decent TV programme about this done by Maguijo and this inspired me to take an out of the box look at the subject at my site. I am no big brain but enjoy delving into the wonders.

I thinks he has something, there are just too many things not fitting together with our present theorys. The big and small the most noticeable. Obviously no one likes this theory as it tears E=MC2 up and too many people have there lives revolving around it.

Perhaps he should grow a beard and dye it gray.