Author Topic: Nobel Prize competition distorts science ...  (Read 217 times)

Offline Baruch

Nobel Prize competition distorts science ...
« on: September 10, 2019, 01:32:12 AM »
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How BICEP2 went astray.
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Re: Nobel Prize competition distorts science ...
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2019, 01:40:25 PM »
The Ekpyrotic cyclic model predicts that there are no primordial gravity waves. I rather like the cyclic model, so I was glad when it turned out the BICEP2 announcement was premature. I just don't like the idea that the universe is a one-shot deal.

I wonder how long they'll keep looking for the PGWs before they realize they aren't there to find - much like alien intelligences.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2019, 01:42:04 PM by Unbeliever »
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Offline Baruch

Re: Nobel Prize competition distorts science ...
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2019, 05:03:41 PM »
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The Ekpyrotic cyclic model predicts that there are no primordial gravity waves. I rather like the cyclic model, so I was glad when it turned out the BICEP2 announcement was premature. I just don't like the idea that the universe is a one-shot deal.

I wonder how long they'll keep looking for the PGWs before they realize they aren't there to find - much like alien intelligences.

A null case experiment (looking for something barely above zero, which is generally true of gravitational waves) is tricky ... in more detail, their measurement showed a value twice what was expected.  And then it was found the whole experiment was flawed.  Instead, if the experiment had found half of what was expected (an even smaller measurement), and it was confirmed, then your Ekpyrotic cycle model would be shown to be false, along with much of the other theories (that predicted a different non-zero value).

The point of my post is that ... is Falsification right or not?  As with the problems with superstring theory, if something is in principle impossible to disprove, is it still science?  Where does this come in, in this case?  A measurement near zero, establishes a bound, closer and closer to zero, but not at zero.  There is alway hope, there is some effect, just smaller than yet measured.  To me that is the Science of the Gaps, not G-d of the Gaps ;-)  But some situations don't offer us any better than that.  Famously in GR, the Eotvos experiment is a very sensitive null experiment (do two different substances fall in gravity at the same rate (same place, same time))?  It is crucial that it not be material dependent, or GR is wrong.  The error boundary on that is very small, but non-zero.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2019, 05:05:13 PM by Baruch »
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Re: Nobel Prize competition distorts science ...
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2019, 01:58:50 PM »
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A null case experiment (looking for something barely above zero, which is generally true of gravitational waves) is tricky ... in more detail, their measurement showed a value twice what was expected.  And then it was found the whole experiment was flawed.  Instead, if the experiment had found half of what was expected (an even smaller measurement), and it was confirmed, then your Ekpyrotic cycle model would be shown to be false, along with much of the other theories (that predicted a different non-zero value).

One of the things I like about it is it's falsifiability. I'm not sure how to falsify inflation.
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Offline Cavebear

Re: Nobel Prize competition distorts science ...
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2019, 02:06:34 PM »
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One of the things I like about it is it's falsifiability. I'm not sure how to falsify inflation.

If you mean early expansion of the universe, contrary facts would falsify.  Not that I know of any, but in general, that would work.  Personally, I would rather there be a cyclical crunch and bang.  The idea of an endlessly expanding universe into effective nothingness disturbs even me and THAT takes some work.
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!

Offline Baruch

Re: Nobel Prize competition distorts science ...
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2019, 04:41:05 PM »
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If you mean early expansion of the universe, contrary facts would falsify.  Not that I know of any, but in general, that would work.  Personally, I would rather there be a cyclical crunch and bang.  The idea of an endlessly expanding universe into effective nothingness disturbs even me and THAT takes some work.

Accelerating into nothingness!
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Offline Cavebear

Re: Nobel Prize competition distorts science ...
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2019, 06:24:10 PM »
Accelerating into the universe as it expands.  Remember, lightspeed is a universe constant.  The universe itself can expand as fast as it wants.
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!

Offline Baruch

Re: Nobel Prize competition distorts science ...
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2019, 08:37:34 PM »
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Accelerating into the universe as it expands.  Remember, lightspeed is a universe constant.  The universe itself can expand as fast as it wants.

Yes, a poor metaphor (expansion into nothingness).  But expanding into yourself sounds like Fat Albert.

Per Inflation, the Universe can expand as fast as it wants.  But per the other discussion, I think Inflation is wrong, if SR is right.  There is only one speed for everything.  On the other hand, what does "expand faster than parts of the universe can move" mean, if you can't measure outside the universe?

It is correct that time can seem to slow down, per gravity (per Equivalence Principle) or relative to different paths thru space-time (Twin pParadox).
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