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Now fierce debate over universe expansion speed

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From Emily Conover at Science:

A puzzling mismatch is plaguing two methods for measuring how fast the universe is expanding. When the discrepancy arose a few years ago, scientists suspected it would fade away, a symptom of measurement errors. But the latest, more precise measurements of the expansion rate — a number known as the Hubble constant — have only deepened the mystery.“There’s nothing obvious in the measurements or analyses that have been done that can easily explain this away, which is why I think we are paying attention,” says theoretical physicist Marc Kamionkowski of Johns Hopkins University.

If the mismatch persists, it could reveal the existence of stealthy new subatomic particles or illuminate details of the mysterious dark energy that pushes the universe to expand faster and faster. More.

See also: New physics? Conflict in universe’s expansion data

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2 Replies to “Now fierce debate over universe expansion speed

  1. 1
    BrianFraser says:

    Here are some insights from “Beyond Einstein: Non-local physics” by Brian Fraser (2015):
    *****
    Einstein recognized that a “static” Universe (the accepted view in the early 1900s) could not be a stable one. The Universe would eventually collapse due to the action of gravitation. To counter that problem, Einstein introduced the “cosmological constant” to General Relativity in 1917. It represents what is now viewed as “dark energy” which keeps the Universe from collapsing. However, it was recognized that its inclusion still did not lead to a static Universe, because the equilibrium was unstable. If stars moved closer, the gravitational force would increase, moving closer still. If stars moved farther apart, then the gravitational effect would be lessened, and “dark energy” would more readily move them even farther apart. The whole situation was unstable, and to this day the cosmological constant is still regarded as an “outstanding theoretical challenge” in cosmology.

    –snip—-

    The view that is gaining currency today is that space itself expands or is “emergent” (new spatial units are being generated by some unknown process). It is like time, in that it progresses. But it progresses in three dimensions, and we call that an expansion.

    Opposing the expansion is gravitation, which is centered on an object (planet, star, galaxy). We interpret the resulting motions in terms of forces, the cosmological expansion force, which is not affected by distance, and the gravitational force, which has a 1/d^2 dependence. Because of this, there is necessarily a distance where the forces are at equilibrium, a distance I call the “gravipause” (which, in this definition, involves only one body, and space itself). For stars it is apparently a few light years, and for galaxies it is apparently a few million light years. Inside this distance, objects come together, and outside this distance, objects move apart. This is the “beyond Einstein” view that reconciles the issues of stability and instability. It explains why globular clusters are stable, even though they do not rotate sufficiently to keep them from collapsing. It explains why stars are separated by light years, but not by light weeks. It may explain some of the problems in calculating the Hubble constant, because the “constant” would be dependent on the location from which the observations are made (a large versus small galaxy). . .
    *****

    The free 22 page paper can be downloaded from: http://scripturalphysics.org/4.....stein.html The .html file gives a link to the .pdf file but the former has additional information, and many more links and insights.

  2. 2
    tjguy says:

    Here is one interpretation of the different measurements of the expansion rate:

    If the mismatch persists, it could reveal the existence of stealthy new subatomic particles or illuminate details of the mysterious dark energy that pushes the universe to expand faster and faster.

    It’s possible.

    But, it’s also possible that some of the assumptions upon which the whole theory rests are not accurate and that this is a falsification.

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