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Is cosmology “in crisis” over how to measure the universe?

This image represents the evolution of the Universe, starting with the Big Bang. The red arrow marks the flow of time.
Big Bang/NASA

We are told that the Standard Model just doesn’t work:

Every night, astronomers post new ideas to arXiv, the open access publishing site. Cosmologists, in particular, use arXiv to engage in timely back-and-forths that formal journals don’t permit. “We’re just holding on for dear life, trying to keep up with what’s coming out,” says Scolnic. And trying to figure out why the Hubble constant calculations don’t match, where they’ve gone wrong, where they go from here, and how our conception of the universe might change from that new vantage point.

Something big may be about to happen to cosmology. It’s easy to see where the cosmologists are coming from, in their glee at the possibility that they’ve been wrong about the cosmos. Which makes sense: Who wouldn’t like to live in a universe that’s more interesting than we’d thought?Sarah Scoles, “Cosmology Is in Crisis over How to Measure the Universe” at Wired

One wonders how much of the problem stems from the need for a different universe from the one we have.

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See also: Does time exist and do we experience it?


If quantum mecha nics were a researcher, she’d be fired

RS at 2. Link does not work for me. Belfast
RS@2 What I've noticed is all the hoo-rah over quasars. Halton Arp noticed anomalies and was poo-pooed. Now the anomalies (and thus Arp) are back. Abstract Bill Worraker Journal of Creation
The big bang paradigm assumes that extragalactic redshifts are mainly cosmological in origin. Thus, high redshift quasars (quasi-stellar objects) are thought to provide a glimpse of the very early universe. However, recent X-ray and radio studies present major problems for this interpretation because such quasars apparently possess large central masses (probably supermassive black holes) and are very similar in elemental composition to much lower redshift quasars. Thus, they appear mature, despite the ‘young’ ages ascribed to them (1 billion years). Furthermore, the length and timing of reionization within the big bang paradigm as deduced from the spectra of the high redshift quasars conflict with figures based on recent Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe data. These results add to mounting evidence of surprisingly mature high-redshift objects, which is difficult to explain within the big bang paradigm. However, the evidence appears to fit within a creationist cosmological framework. Further investigation of these phenomena may help to develop a model in line with a biblical explanation.
Full journal article here. High-redshift quasars produce more big bang surprises Latemarch
The problem outlined by Wired is that the Hubble constant is unknown, but converging to two different answers. This is deja vu all over again. Read astronomer Virginia Trimble's account of "the incredible shrinking constant" at http://adsbit.harvard.edu/full/1996PASP..108.1073T More telling is HOW they derived H0. One group used models (Planck). The other group used direct measurements (cosmic ladder). It seems rather unlikely that the direct measurement method has a systematic error (though Trimble reports exactly that problem in the 1950's). But much more likely that the model has systematic error. Partly the blame is on the modellers, who claim more precision than they deserve. They run thousands of models of different parameters to estimate their error bars, but never once change the assumptions in the 1-D homogeneous, non-magnetic, isotropic model. The systematic error arises because (pax Pearlman) they have optimized around the wrong minima in parameter space. It remains to be seen when some brave soul will venture out into the limitless unknown and try out another minima. But until then, expect many more of these dilemmas with "new physics" being offered as the solution--dark energy, dark matter, dark sector, inflaton, multiverses, sterile neutrinos, ... the list is endless. Robert Sheldon
SPIRAL cosmological redshift hypothesis and model is likely the way to reconcile the factual natural observations and the math/science. If SPIRAL we would predict CR but do not predict/require the missing dark energy and matter! No ongoing cosmic expansion. The entire universe approximates the sphere that is the visible universe that has a radius of up to about 2B LY SPI-RALL where hyper dense proto galactic formation preceded cosmic inflation expansion.. Pearlman

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