You must be at least this smart to develop new theories of gravitation

johnboy 8 May 2009 33

ANU informs us that the ANU Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics, lead by Dr Helmut Jerjen, has debunked that hack, Sir Isaac Newton:

    “Our studies of satellite galaxies have revealed some astonishing phenomena,” said Dr Jerjen. “First of all, there is something wrong about their distribution. Standard Cold Dark Matter theory tells us the satellites should be uniformly arranged around their mother galaxy, but this is not what we see. In fact, they all lie more or less in the same plane – they are forming some sort of disc in the sky.”

    ….

    “A possible solution to this contradiction would be to reject Newton’s classical theory of gravitation. We might live in a non-Newton universe. And if this is true, then our observations could be explained without dark matter. This conclusion has far-reaching consequences for fundamental physics and for cosmological theories,” he said. “The Stromlo Missing Satellites Survey project at ANU will perform crucial tests to verify this subtle hint nature threw at us.”

I realise I am not a Doctor of Astronomy and Astrophysics. But I’d be having another look at the newer and less tested “Standard Cold Dark Matter theory” before worrying too much about living in a non-Newton universe.

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33 Responses to You must be at least this smart to develop new theories of gravitation
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Skidbladnir Skidbladnir 11:09 pm 09 May 09
Skidbladnir Skidbladnir 11:07 pm 09 May 09

ScienceDaily has more of an explanation, and fewer disparaging remarks.

Bonn, Universitaet. “Study Plunges Standard Theory Of Cosmology Into Crisis.” ScienceDaily 5 May 2009
http://www.sciencedaily.com­ /releases/2009/05/090505061949.htm

Bundybear Bundybear 7:37 pm 08 May 09

Nicely done Emlyn @ 21, proving my point beautifully. Did I dare to question the inviolable theory of climate change, better tell him to shutup quickly because he’s just wrong. I actually prefer Spectra’s idealism.

And in fact I didn’t question it, just an example of lack of open minded review IMHO.

monomania monomania 5:10 pm 08 May 09

farnarkler said :

Why is there such curiosity about space, planets, stars, etc??? Yes it looks pretty through a telescope, yes there might be little green men out there and yes sometimes stars explode. The $6 billion already spent on Hubble could have funded quite a few hospitals in the US.

Of course the Hubble telescope was not only funded by NASA. The European Space Agency chipped in a bit.

The technology and medicine used in the hospitals are based on knowledge derived from pure research.

Skidbladnir Skidbladnir 4:38 pm 08 May 09

farnarkler said :

Why is there such curiosity about space, planets, stars, etc???

Its a search for truth, and observation of (and research into) exotic phenomena can pay off dividends.
While its nice to be a shareholder in commercial research (_especially_ if you are a shareholder in a product that pays off big), pure research has unintended consequences in applied sciences and engineering, in that the scientific research requires better tools to have more precise and accurate observations, which in turn lead to more need for calculation, etc.

DARPANET wasn’t much more than a military research network originally, then it grew to eventually become used with US Dept of Energy, then CERN in Europe helped create the modern World Wide Web on it to facilitate research, and was still similarly academic when Australia first connected to it.
The Internet was the name of researching Out There.
The mankind-built Large Hardon Collider is an attempt to research down here on earth the things we’ve observed Out There and theorised about.

farnarkler farnarkler 4:32 pm 08 May 09

Won’t happen in our lifetime.

peterh peterh 4:29 pm 08 May 09

farnarkler said :

Is it though? Can you imagine the meltdown if we knew we were all going to die from a meteor impact. I would rather not know, look up and go “oh f…”

True, but the movie industry have already given us some really farfetched scenarios, like the sun expanding, etc.

peterh peterh 4:23 pm 08 May 09

Emlyn Ward said :

Bundybear said :

…just making the point that your definition of science is a tad idealistic. I’m not sure all theories are subjected to this ongoing process of open-minded review, so much as the “Theory of biggest bucks/popular culture/loudest yellers/pushiest media becomes the accepted and if you don’t agree shutup”. Another good example is global warming/climate change.

Yes, “global warming/climate change” is another good example of observed facts being accumulated through experiment and observation into a theory.

Amazingly, scientists do not develop their theories according to your “loudest yellers/pushiest media” methods, because those are the methods of Dogma – usually religious – to push Opinions (such as Creationism/Flat-Earthism/Climate-Denialism) which are most certainly not science-based and hold no water in the world of science.

sorry, could you repeat that in smaller and easier words to understand?
lost me at dogma.

farnarkler farnarkler 4:23 pm 08 May 09

Is it though? Can you imagine the meltdown if we knew we were all going to die from a meteor impact. I would rather not know, look up and go “oh f…”

peterh peterh 4:21 pm 08 May 09

farnarkler said :

Why is there such curiosity about space, planets, stars, etc??? Yes it looks pretty through a telescope, yes there might be little green men out there and yes sometimes stars explode. The $6 billion already spent on Hubble could have funded quite a few hospitals in the US.

we have to be able to see what is coming, but we can’t move out of the way when it hits the earth. Nice to know when it is coming, isn’t it?

farnarkler farnarkler 4:14 pm 08 May 09

Why is there such curiosity about space, planets, stars, etc??? Yes it looks pretty through a telescope, yes there might be little green men out there and yes sometimes stars explode. The $6 billion already spent on Hubble could have funded quite a few hospitals in the US.

Skidbladnir Skidbladnir 3:59 pm 08 May 09

“Be smarter than Newton before daring to tell me he might be wrong!” is a really strong appeal to authority though, Jb.
Scientists can be, and frequently are, wrong.

Darwin helped refine evolutionary thought, but science moved on to the point that we started looking at chromosomes and inheritance as well. And yet, some people still refer to things as Darwin’s Theory of Evolution (and still call it Darwinism, strangely), even though is now been refined to a point far beyond what Darwin would recognise.

Back on topic though, good on Dr Jerjen for attempting to redefine the theoretical model.
Not being an astrophysicist either, if his work gets peer review, is procedurally reproducable, and the end result of which is that Newton’s more than three centuries old theory gets another update…

Good for him.

Emlyn Ward Emlyn Ward 3:21 pm 08 May 09

Bundybear said :

…just making the point that your definition of science is a tad idealistic. I’m not sure all theories are subjected to this ongoing process of open-minded review, so much as the “Theory of biggest bucks/popular culture/loudest yellers/pushiest media becomes the accepted and if you don’t agree shutup”. Another good example is global warming/climate change.

Yes, “global warming/climate change” is another good example of observed facts being accumulated through experiment and observation into a theory.

Amazingly, scientists do not develop their theories according to your “loudest yellers/pushiest media” methods, because those are the methods of Dogma – usually religious – to push Opinions (such as Creationism/Flat-Earthism/Climate-Denialism) which are most certainly not science-based and hold no water in the world of science.

Jim Jones Jim Jones 3:07 pm 08 May 09

johnboy said :

You mis-represent me Skid.

It’s the ANU claiming existing modern science still describes a “newton universe”

To be fair, the article does state:

“It would not be the first time that Newton’s theory of gravitation has needed to be modified over the last century. It has previously happened three times; when high velocities are involved (Special Theory of Relativity), in the proximity of large masses (theory of General Relativity) and on sub-atomic scales (through quantum mechanics).”

As a layman, that seems pretty reasonable to me.

johnboy johnboy 2:03 pm 08 May 09

You mis-represent me Skid.

It’s the ANU claiming existing modern science still describes a “newton universe”

Skidbladnir Skidbladnir 2:01 pm 08 May 09

I am still amused that Jb is clutching to the Newton model as the be all and end all of gravitation.
Einstein broke it open and rebuilt it in 1908, giving us general relativity and somewhat vindicating the _other_ independent developer of calculus, Leibniz.
Leibniz was way ahead of his peers in saying time, space and motion were relatives instead of absolutes as Newton held dearly to, but because his system was more complicated at working out 17th century (ie:human-scale) problems, he was sidelined by history.
And Leibniz had the added benefit of not being as mad as a hatter (literally, Newton was a fantastic abuser of mercury).

But I am not saying Helmut Jerjen is the next Leibniz, as he’d have to do a lot more before he died.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gottfried_von_Leibniz

monomania monomania 1:36 pm 08 May 09

anatoli said :

If he’s “wrong” about gravity too then it will be a similar deal – not wrong so much as innaccurate. The sort of innaccuracy that only matters on cosmic scales (hence not being noticed until now).

Not like putting a hotel in the wrong place.

Spectra Spectra 1:28 pm 08 May 09

Oh, it’s certainly idealistic – no question that any number of factors affect its implementation in real life. My point was merely that this story is simply an example of that process in action.

Bundybear Bundybear 1:07 pm 08 May 09

@#9 Spectra, Keep it light, just making the point that your definition of science is a tad idealistic. I’m not sure all theories are subjected to this ongoing process of open-minded review, so much as the “Theory of biggest bucks/popular culture/loudest yellers/pushiest media becomes the accepted and if you don’t agree shutup”. Another good example is global warming/climate change.

Jim Jones Jim Jones 12:13 pm 08 May 09

BerraBoy68 said :

who he happily sent here to be nailed to a stick.

That’s two sticks, heretic.

HOLY WAR!!!

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