Uncorrected Mistakes Result in a Crisis for Cosmology
Lately there are stories of cosmology being in a crisis, or even confronting a mystery.
This crisis is the result of mistakes made about 80 years ago. Because they were not fixed at the time, though there were reasons to justify a timely correction, cosmology continued to find observations which were a problem when using those assumptions, which were uncorrected mistakes.
Still lacking explanations, cosmologists eventually confront a crisis.
The first mistake:
Red shift is treated as the velocity of a galaxy. It is not.
In 1912, Vesto Slipher measured the first Doppler shift of a "spiral nebula" (spiral nebula is the obsolete term for spiral galaxies), and soon discovered that almost all such nebulae were receding from Earth. He did not grasp the cosmological implications of this fact, and indeed at the time it was highly controversial whether or not these nebulae were "island universes" outside our Milky Way.
Combining his measurements of galaxy distances with Vesto Slipher and Milton Humason's measurements of the redshifts associated with the galaxies, Hubble discovered a rough proportionality between redshift of an object and its distance. Though there was considerable scatter (now known to be caused by peculiar velocities—the 'Hubble flow' is used to refer to the region of space far enough out that the recession velocity is larger than local peculiar velocities), Hubble was able to plot a trend line from the 46 galaxies he studied and obtain a value for the Hubble constant of 500 km/s/Mpc (much higher than the currently accepted value due to errors in his distance calibrations).
The observations showed 'considerable scatter' suggesting this is not truly a linear relationship between red shift and distance.
Cepheid variable stars were known by 1921 through Leavitt's work using the Small Magellanic Cloud.
Henrietta Swan Leavitt was a Harvard "computer" — one of several women in the early 1900s who studied photographic plates for fundamental properties of stars. Leavitt is best known for discovering about 2,400 variable stars between 1907 and 1921 (when she died).
She discovered that some of these stars have a consistent brightness no matter where they are located, making these so-called Cepheid variables a good measuring stick for astronomical distances. Her work helped American astronomer Edwin Hubble measure galaxy distances in the 1920s, which led to his realization that the universe is expanding.
Hubble recognized a problem, noted in his 1936 book.
M31 galaxy and several others in its direction were found to have blue shifts, not red shifts, while both Magellanic Clouds, though near, have large red shifts.
These observations of red shifts and blue shifts in our Local Group were not consistent.
The 1999 paper in arxiv-org is titled:
THE LOCAL GROUP OF GALAXIES
from that paper:
Hubble’s (1936, p. 125) view that the Local Group (LG) is "a typical,
small group of nebulae which is isolated in the general field" is confirmed by
The zero-velocity surface, which separates the Local Group from the field that is expanding with the Hubble flow, has a radius Ro = 1.18 " 0.15 Mpc.
In Hubble's 1936 book he proposed this solution for this problem: treat the Local Group as unique, essentially ignoring the inconsistency.
Astronomers have 'confirmed (through 1999) this 'zero-velocity surface' so rather than questioning Hubble's assumptions, astronomers continue unperturbed.
The critical statement:
"Hubble discovered a rough proportionality between redshift of an object and its distance. "
Hubble recognized the hydrogen absorption line red shift is proportional to distance.
Researchers later concluded hydrogen atoms in the intergalactic medium cause this red shift which varies by the density in the path so the red shift is roughly distance related but with a varying ratio.
This red shift has nothing to do with velocity. It is a mistake to relate them.
Hubble found red shifts and blue shifts in the Local Group so astronomers placed them on a 'zero-velocity surface' for these inconsistent objects separate from the Hubble Flow.
In 1936 the universe expansion had a known problem but astronomers continue unperturbed even today.
from a biography===
Hubble was the first to classify galaxies based on what he observed, from 1922 to 1923. He classified these based on shapes: elliptical, spiral, and irregular, called a galaxy’s visual morphology. Hubble’s classification led to his Hubble Galactic Tuning Fork or Hubble Sequence — how he thought galaxies evolve.
The second mistake:
The universe is not expanding.
Hubble recognized in 1936 the inconsistency of that proposal by suggesting an island.
The third mistake:
There is no dark matter in galaxy clusters.
from a biography of Zwicky ===
While studying Coma galaxy cluster in 1933, Zwicky was the first person to use the viral theorem to deduce the existence of the unseen matter. This was referred to as the ‘dark matter’. After calculating gravitational mass of galaxies within the cluster, he obtained a value that was 400 times greater that than expected luminosity. He concluded that most of matter must be dark.
Hubble finished his galaxy evolution theory in 1923.
Cornell excerpt relevant to Zwicky ===
The virial theorem states that, for a stable, self-gravitating, spherical distribution of equal mass objects (stars, galaxies, etc), the total kinetic energy of the objects is equal to minus 1/2 times the total gravitational potential energy. In other words, the potential energy must equal the kinetic energy, within a factor of two.
Just 10 years after Hubble (since 1923) Zwicky presumed to know the kinetic energy of these objects.
The kinetic energy is the combination of mass and velocity.
In 1933 both were just guesses.
A red shift could be used (incorrectly) as a relative velocity to Earth but there are no data on a transverse velocity; that requires monitoring positions for thousands of years to detect any transverse motion and even longer to determine a 3-D velocity.
Zwicky had no valid basis for his calculation requiring kinetic energies so the conclusion was invalid.
There is no dark matter for this basis.
Despite this mistake astronomers continue unperturbed, assuming dark matter exists.
The fourth mistake:
There is no dark matter in spiral galaxies.
Interview with Vera Rubin (in Physics Today 2006) ===
Our 1970 paper included optical observations out to 120 arcmin but did not include the superposed image of M31, or the 1975 radio observations shown in the figure. This composite of the galaxy and velocities emphasizes the extent of the optical image and the “flatness” of the velocities. We found it puzzling that stars far from the center traveled as fast as those much closer to the center. However, we chose not to extend the curve beyond the final measurement by using a decreasing Newtonian inverse square velocity, the common practice at that time. Instead, we wrote “extrapolation beyond that point is clearly a matter of taste.”
Isaac Newton showed that the force on a mass at radius r from the center of a symmetrical mass distribution is proportional to the mass interior to that r. High-school students learn that in a gravitationally bound system like our solar system, a planet moves in a closed orbit, such that MG = V^2 r where M is the mass of the Sun, G is the gravitational constant, and V and r are the velocity of a planet and its distance from the Sun. In M31, the same relation between mass, velocity, and distance holds. A flat rotation curve (V = constant) implies that mass increases linearly with distance from the center. Enormous amounts of nonluminous matter extend far beyond the optical image of M31.
High-school students learn of planet orbits but perhaps they should learn the barycenter (the center of gravity) is critical, not to make the mistake of assuming the Sun alone is critical.
Our solar system has less than a dozen bodies involved with this barycenter.
A galaxy like M31 has billions of stars in its disk.
This is a mistake to assume billions of stars distributed within distinct arms in the disk move about a galactic barycenter just like the 8 planets in simple ellipses in a limited system of Sun and 8 planets.
Recent studies of M31 concluded the M31 galactic magnetic field and its Lorentz force explain the observed rotation curve.
This is not a valid basis for dark matter.
interview excerpt continued ===
Although in the 1930s Fritz Zwicky and Sinclair Smith had suggested that dark matter stabilizes clusters of galaxies, their ideas were largely ignored. Our M31 study offered new evidence for dark matter in the universe. After our 1970 paper, it would take a decade of more observations of flat rotation curves and brilliant theoretical ideas for the scientific community to embrace the concept that most matter in the universe is dark.
The mistake by Zwicky became justification for Rubin's claim of dark matter in a very different context, the rotation of a spiral galaxy.
Despite this mistake astronomers continue unperturbed, assuming dark matter exists.
Dark matter as a single named entity has no definition.
It cannot be defined because dark matter has no clear function other than as an excuse for unexplained behaviors either in galaxy clusters or in spiral galaxies.
It cannot be found until it has been defined. The current search is futile.
The fifth mistake:
There is no universe expansion.
excerpt from Sloan Digital Sky Survey / SkyServer ===
In 1929 Edwin Hubble, working at the Carnegie Observatories in Pasadena, California, measured the redshifts of a number of distant galaxies. He also measured their relative distances by measuring the apparent brightness of a class of variable stars called Cepheids in each galaxy. When he plotted redshift against relative distance, he found that the redshift of distant galaxies increased as a linear function of their distance. The only explanation for this observation is that the universe was expanding.
Once scientists understood that the universe was expanding, they immediately realized that it would have been smaller in the past. At some point in the past, the entire universe would have been a single point. This point, later called the big bang, was the beginning of the universe as we understand it today.
Hubble's conclusion of red shift to distance connection is repeated.
The clear mistake here is the blatantly false statement:
The only explanation for this observation is that the universe was expanding."
The correct explanation is the red shift is from hydrogen atoms in the intergalactic medium, not a velocity.
With Hubble's mistake never fixed, astronomers continue unperturbed to propose an expanding universe.
The universe is not expanding.
The sixth and latest mistake:
There is no dark energy.
Dark energy as described by NASA ===
What Is Dark Energy?
More is unknown than is known. We know how much dark energy there is because we know how it affects the universe's expansion. Other than that, it is a complete mystery. But it is an important mystery. It turns out that roughly 68% of the universe is dark energy. Dark matter makes up about 27%. The rest - everything on Earth, everything ever observed with all of our instruments, all normal matter - adds up to less than 5% of the universe. Come to think of it, maybe it shouldn't be called "normal" matter at all, since it is such a small fraction of the universe.
A last possibility is that Einstein's theory of gravity is not correct. That would not only affect the expansion of the universe, but it would also affect the way that normal matter in galaxies and clusters of galaxies behaved. This fact would provide a way to decide if the solution to the dark energy problem is a new gravity theory or not: we could observe how galaxies come together in clusters. But if it does turn out that a new theory of gravity is needed, what kind of theory would it be? How could it correctly describe the motion of the bodies in the Solar System, as Einstein's theory is known to do, and still give us the different prediction for the universe that we need? There are candidate theories, but none are compelling. So the mystery continues.
At the end of never correcting mistakes made long ago, cosmologists reached this point:
"We know how much dark energy there is because we know how it affects the universe's expansion. " The 'because' is invalid.
This final mistake in this 'mystery':
The mistake of universe expansion is not recognized so the expansion is NOT understood enough to know how [dark energy] affects it.
When understanding its history the present controversy in cosmology is clearer.
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