Skip to comments.Discovering a more precise age of the universe
Posted on 06/13/2009 12:04:51 PM PDT by OldNavyVet
Wendy Freedman, director of the Carnegie Observatories in Pasadena, and two colleagues were named this month as recipients of the $500,000 Gruber Prize, one of the world's top awards in the field of cosmology.
The Freedman team's work helped scientists to arrive at the currently accepted age of the universe: 13.7 billion years.
(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...
I wonder what occupied all that space 14 billion years ago.
Can anything really “occupy” space? The Universe is still expanding... what is it expanding into?
Our capability to “see” distant things is a function of mam-made instruments.
There’s probably far more out there than seen so far.
That's the dilemma that both Einstein and Hawking came up against; science has no explanation for the other side of the big bang.
Not only don't we know, we can't know. Some things are unknowable.
People have beliefs about such things, but they don't have knowledge.
This question comes up regularly, but it's based upon a misconception that, unfortunately, physicists do more to perpetuate than to correct. Let me see whether I can set you straight.
The problem is that the expanding universe is typically visualized as something like a stretching rubber sheet, or a raisin-laden plum pudding expanding as it bakes. The problem is that these are physical objects that exist in--and take up--some region of space. Over time, these growing objects take up more space, leaving less space for other objects, and either displacing those objects or reaching the limits of the available space. Once the plum pudding fills the oven, there's a problem.
The expansion of the universe isn't like that. The universe is not an object; it doesn't "take up space". It is space. As it grows, it doesn't mean that there is less space for objects; it means there is more space for objects. Nothing needs to be displaced to admit its expansion.
I can tell by the look on your face--as I imagine it--that you aren't satisfied. So here's another way to think about the problem. Don't say that the universe is expanding. Insist that it remains fixed. Say instead that the things in the universe--galaxies, rulers, paper plates, Brooklyn (sorry, Mrs. Allen), atoms, people, Dukakis/Bentsen campaign buttons--are all shrinking. It's mathematically equivalent, right? But it doesn't require you to postulate that anything is "outside".
So why don't you have the same conceptual problem that you had when you viewed it the other (equivalent) way? Think about it.--Physicist
under this theory - nothing.
This is a great thread with excellent replies. This subject has always fried my mind when I try to think about it.
People don don’t know how big or how old the universe is.
It’s nothing more than speculation.
These people that claim the earth is 13.7 billion years old know about as much about that as those people that believe it is 6000 years old.
It’s more like dividing by zero
What’s it expanding through?
“Not only don’t we know, we can’t know. Some things are unknowable.
People have beliefs about such things, but they don’t have knowledge.”
Why don’t they just ask Helen Thomas?
My dating for the age of the universe (13,700,000,005 billion years and counting) is more accurate so I should get some of the prize money.
“These people that claim the earth is 13.7 billion years old know about as much about ...”
Actually, the Moon rocks collected on Apollo missions provide the best estimate of Earth’s age — 4.7 billion years.
Scientists tell us that the Moon and Earth were once one, and that some gigantic collision separated the original mass into two spheres.
The physical analysis of Moon rocks tell us that the composition of Earth and Moon rocks are similar, and - since little to no erosion happens on the Moon - that Moon rocks provide the best estimate for Earth’s age.
Radioactive dating tells us that rocks from the bottom of the Grand Canyon are not quite 2 bilion years old, and that Moon rocks are 4.7 billion years old.
The Universe is creating the very space that it is expanding into???
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