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Physicists keep trying to break the rules of gravity but this supermassive black hole just said 'no'

The first ever direct image of a black hole, with yellow ring surrounding black circle
This is the first ever direct image of a black hole, with yellow ring surrounding a black circle. A new analysis of that inner shadow has reaffirmed Einstein's theory of gravity.
(Image: © Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration)

 

A new test of Albert Einstein's theory of general relativity has proved the iconic physicist right again — this time by re-analyzing the famous first-ever picture of a black hole , which was released in April 2019.

That image of the supermassive black hole at the center of galaxy M87 was the first direct observation of a black hole's shadow — the imprint of the event horizon, a sphere around the black hole's singularity from which no light can escape. Einstein's theory predicts the size of the event horizon based on the mass of the black hole; and in April 2019, it was already clear that the shadow fits general relativity's prediction pretty well. 

But now, using a new technique to analyze the image, the researchers who made the picture showed just how well the shadow fits the theory. The answer: 500 times better than any test of relativity done in our solar system. That result, in turn, puts tighter limits on any theory that would seek to reconcile general relativity, which describes the behavior of massive celestial objects, with quantum mechanics, which predicts the behavior of very small things. 

General relativity's great accomplishment was to describe how gravity operates in the universe: how it pulls objects toward each other; how it warps space-time; and how it forms black holes. To test general relativity, scientists use the theory to predict how gravity will act in a certain situation. Then, they observe what actually happens. If the prediction matches the observation, general relativity has passed its test.

But no test is perfect. Watch how the sun's gravity tugs Mercury along its orbit, and you can measure general relativity in action. But telescopes can't measure the movement of Mercury down to the nanometer. And other forces — the tug of Jupiter's gravity, and Earth's gravity and the force solar wind, to name just a few — impact Mercury's movement in ways that are difficult to separate from the effects of relativity. So the result of every test is an approximation and Einstein's theory is only proven more or less.

Related: 8 ways you can see Einstein's Theory of Relativity in real life

The size of that uncertainty — the "more or less" factor — is important. When scientists test general relativity over and over, they are putting constraints on Einstein's idea. The reason this work is important is that even though general relativity keeps passing tests, physicists do expect it to eventually fail.

General relativity must be incomplete, physicists believe, because it contradicts quantum mechanics. Physicists believe that discrepancy signals the presence in our universe of some larger, all-encompassing mechanism describing both gravity and the quantum world that they have yet to uncover. Looking for cracks in relativity, they hope, might turn up clues to help them find that complete theory."We expect a complete theory of gravity to be different from general relativity, but there are many ways one can modify it," University of Arizona astrophysicist Dimitrios Psaltis said in a statement. Psaltis is lead author of a paper published Oct. 1 in the journal Physical Review Letters describing this new test, and is part of the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) team, responsible for imaging the M87 black hole's shadow.

In this new test, Psaltis and colleagues used a computer to generate artificial images of the M87 black hole based on a modified version of gravity, where the force of gravity is weaker or stronger at the event horizon. With that weakened-gravity scenario, they asked,how large or small would that black hole's event horizon be? What about with stronger gravity? Then, they checked how many of those possible modifications produced event horizons with sizes that matched that of the image EHT actually captured of M87. Some did, their slight variances from general relativity's predictions much too small to show up in the admittedly fuzzy snap of the black hole. But the vast majority did not.

Related: The 12 strangest objects in the universe

"Using the gauge we developed, we showed that the measured size of the black hole shadow in M87 tightens the wiggle room for modifications to Einstein's theory of general relativity by almost a factor of 500, compared to previous tests in the solar system," University of Arizona astrophysicist Feryal Özel, another study co-author and EHT scientist, said in the statement. 

Most alternative ways that gravity might work that they considered — theories that violate Einstein's general relativity — don't fit within this newly narrowed wiggle room.

In the future, the EHT researchers said, they might be able to tighten that wiggle room even further.

The EHT is a network of radio telescopes all over the world that work together to produce the sharpest possible images of supermassive black holes — objects that, while large, are much too small and dim for any one telescope to resolve on its own. So far, the EHT has just published one image of one black hole, in M87. But there's another, smaller black hole in our own neighborhood that the collaboration should be able to image: Sagittarius A*, the supermassive at the center of the Milky Way.

As the EHT has trained its army of radio telescopes on this more nearby target, they've refined their theoretical technique and added new telescopes to the collaboration. The next image they produce, they say, should constrain general relativity even further.

Or maybe they'll see something Einstein didn't predict at all.

Originally published on Live Science.

  • Xinhang Shen
    Dear Rafi Letzter, please be aware that Einstein's relativity has already been disproved for more than four years both experimentally and theoretically. There is no such thing called spacetime in nature, not to mention the existence of its singularities because our physical time measured with physical clocks is absolute and independent of the 3D space.

    The most reliable and well-known experimental evidence for the absolute time is that the atomic clocks on the GPS satellites, after corrections, are synchronized to show the same absolute time relative to all reference frames (the ground frame, the satellite frames, etc), while special relativity claims that time is relative and thus clocks can never be synchronized relative to more than one inertial reference frame no matter how you correct them.

    Einstein made a fatal mistake in his special relativity. He postulates that the speed of light should be the same relative to all inertial reference frames, which forces the change of the definition of space and time. But he never verified that the newly defined time was still the time measured with physical clocks. Please be aware that our physical time i.e. clock time won't change with the change of the definition of the space and time. Actually, the newly defined relativistic time is indeed not the time measured with physical clocks any longer. It is just a mathematical variable without physical meaning, which can be easily verified as follows:

    We know physical time T has a relationship with the relativistic time t in Einstein's special relativity: T = tf/k where f is the relativistic frequency of the clock and k is a calibration constant, that is, a clock uses the change of the status of a physical process to indirectly measure time. Now We would like to use the behavior of our physical time in Lorentz Transformation to demonstrate that the relativistic time t defined by Lorentz Transformation is no longer our physical time T.

    If you have a clock (clock 1) with you and watch my clock (clock 2) in motion and both clocks are set to be synchronized to show the same physical time T relative to your inertial reference frame at relativistic time t, you will see your clock time: T1 = tf1/k1 = T and my clock time: T2 = tf2/k2 = T, where t is the relativistic time of your reference frame, f1 and f2 are the relativistic frequencies of clock 1 and clock 2 respectively, k1 and k2 are calibration constants of the clocks. The two events (Clock1, T1=T, x1=0, y1=0, z1=0, t1=t) and (Clock2, T2=T, x2=vt, y2=0, z2=0, t2=t) are simultaneous measured with both relativistic time t and clock time T in your reference frame. When these two clocks are observed by me in the moving inertial reference frame, according to special relativity, we can use Lorentz Transformation to get the events in my frame (x', y', z', t'): (clock1, T1', x1'=-vt1', y1'=0, z1'=0, t1'=t/γ) and (clock2, T2', x2'=0, y2'=0, z2'=0, t2'=γt), where T1' = t1'f1'/k1 = (t/γ)(γf1)/k1 = tf1/k1 = T1 = T and T2' = t2'f2'/k2 = (γt)(f2/γ)/k2 = tf2/k2 = T2 = T, where γ = 1/sqrt(1-v^2/c^2). That is, no matter observed from which inertial reference frame, the events are still simultaneous measured with physical time T i.e. the two clocks are always synchronized measured with physical time T, but not synchronized measured with relativistic time t'. Therefore, our physical time and the relativistic time behave differently in Lorentz Transformation and thus they are not the same thing. The change of the reference frame only makes changes of the relativistic time from t to t' and the relativistic frequency from f to f', which cancel each other in the formula: T = tf/k to make the physical time T unchanged i.e. our physical time is still absolute in special relativity. Based on the artificial relativistic time, special relativity is wrong, so is general relativity. There is no such thing called spacetime in nature, not to mention the expansion, singularities, ripples of spacetime. For more details, please check:

    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/297527784_Challenge_to_the_Special_Theory_of_Relativity
    Reply
  • Bob Mogy
    Xinhang Shen said:
    Einstein made a fatal mistake in his special relativity. He postulates that the speed of light should be the same relative to all inertial reference frames
    Dude, constant speed of light is a consequence of Maxwell's equations and was known before Einstein. Before arguing with fundamentals you probably should learn them first.
    Reply
  • Xinhang Shen
    Bob Mogy said:
    Dude, constant speed of light is a consequence of Maxwell's equations and was known before Einstein. Before arguing with fundamentals you probably should learn them first.
    Don't assume that people don't know such simple thing. Actually I would remind you that you should not make any irresponsible comment before understanding what I presented here. Please read it carefully. If you find any error in my reasoning, please refute it and let's have a rational debate.

    The disproof of special relativity means the existence of aether - a fluid medium for all electromagnetic phenomena. Regarding Maxwell's equations, please be aware that there is no electric field and no magnetic field in nature. These are just direct modelings of the forces on a charged particle exerted by aether, which are similar to the forces on an airplane exerted by air where you can't find resistance field and lift field but just air flow field. The speed of light can be isotropic only relative to aether, the same as the speed of sound can be isotropic only relative to air.
    Reply
  • Bob Mogy
    Xinhang Shen said:
    Don't ... you should not ... read ... let's have ...
    You should not put so many imperatives in one paragraph when you address me. I will do whatever I want that is within the rules of this forum. In order to have a rational debate with me you must possess the fundamental knowledge equal to mine. You don't. If you are going to be modest and humble, and ask the right question instead of making claims that the science is wrong, I might be able to explain to you how the things really are, though I am not sure, the prognosis is bad.

    Synchronization of GPS clocks works only for Earth surface. You can't do it for any reference frame. If you breath when you sleep, it doesn't mean you sleep when you breath. (C) Lewis Carroll. It's simple logic. I suggest for you to practice in using it.
    Reply
  • Xinhang Shen
    Bob Mogy said:
    Synchronization of GPS clocks works only for Earth surface. You can't do it for any reference frame.

    Please see GPS on Wikipedia: "The GPS concept is based on time and the known position of GPS specialized satellites. The satellites carry very stable atomic clocks that are synchronized with one another and with the ground clocks. " you can't deny the fact.
    Reply
  • efarina96
    General Relativity is an understanding on of our finite perception of our universe, which in reality is part of a chain of singularities with observable finite properties "culminating" in eternity. What is observed from beyond as a singularity with finite properties such as mass, spin, charge, and observable boundary, is observed from within as the physics of an infinite universe. This is because every existence, while appearing to be finite, is actually just a finite experience of an infinite singularity constrained by the limited speed of light. Simple.

    Wave-particle duality is a reflection of the possibilities intiated by observation relative to infinity and constrained by choice. There is nothing "before" the Big Bang, but rather an infinite singularity "beyond" the Big Bang that cannot be described in finite terms of time. Again, simple.

    To clarify, I take a panpsychic view of the word "choice" here, and mean to imply that experiential choice is woven into the fabric of the Universe.
    Reply
  • Prof. Tom
    I have one question. As a black hole sucks in new matter, does the surface (volume) of the condensed matter expand faster or slower than the gravity field that causes the event horizon?

    <<remembering that distance, volume and surface areas are referenced to the center of gravity of the singularity of the black hole>>

    Option 1: If the surface of the mass that makes up the singularity is expanding faster (even by a small amount) than the event horizon, then eventually the mass surface (diameter) will exceed the diameter of the event horizon and the black hole will burst back into existence and be visible. The event horizon will be below the surface or may disappear.

    If this occurred, it is likely that this reemergence of the surface of the black hole above the Schwarzschild radius would happen over a relatively short period of time making it difficult to capture the event or even recognize it for what it is.

    Option 2: If the gravity strength and the total diameter of the event horizon increases faster than the surface of the mass that causes that gravity, then there is no limit to the size of the black hole. This would imply that every black hole has the potential to suck in an entire galaxy or cluster and become a super black hole. The only known potential candidate for such an event or body might be related to the Shapley Attractor/Supercluster.

    Within 1 to 2 billion light-years, the lack of observed candidates of such super black holes may point to the likelihood that Option 1 above is a more likely scenario.

    Which is it?

    efarina96 said:
    There is nothing "before" the Big Bang, but rather an infinite singularity "beyond" the Big Bang that cannot be described in finite terms of time. Again, simple.

    This is a "simple" answer approaching dismissive religious dogma. Is there a term of time that is not finite? Words like "beyond", and "infinite singularity" sound important but have no scientific value.

    Infinite Singularity, like Infinite density and infinite temperature, are terms that science cannot relate to and are used when we don't know what or how to explain some event.

    If space is infinite and any given singularity is finite, then there must be a "before" to what we call the Big Bang.

    If space is not infinite, then we run afoul of several fundamental principles like the Cosmological Principle and the Copernican Principle and the second law of thermodynamics.
    Reply
  • efarina96
    Infinite spacetime cannot be described by finite terms. This is not debateable, not that you actually adressed my point other than to dismiss it. Simplicity is not a basis for discrediting my point.

    We have a finite experience of an infinite singularity. You missed the point quite clearly.

    Prof. Tom said:
    This is "simplicity" to the extent of dismissive religious dogma. Words like "beyond", and "infinite singularity" sound important but have not scientific value. If space is infinite and any given singularity is finite, then there must be a "before" to what we call the Big Bang.
    The universe will expand forever because general relativity governs our finite observation of infinity. The expansion of spacetime accelerates relative to an externally observed property of radius.
    r=(2GM/c^2)^∞
    Relative infinity described in terms of Schwarzchild's radius. I understand this is so simple it is hard to believe it has gone overlooked, but I am right.

    Prof. Tom said:
    This is "simplicity" to the extent of dismissive religious dogma. Words like "beyond", and "infinite singularity" sound important but have not scientific value. If space is infinite and any given singularity is finite, then there must be a "before" to what we call the Big Bang.
    6*∞=6,12,18,24...∞
    6^∞=6,36,216,1296...∞
    r=(2GM/c^2)*∞ therefore represents a static universe wherein all mass/energy is distributed equally relative to infinity, which is essentially meaningless to us.
    r=(2GM/c^2)^∞ represents a static universe that expands exponentially relative to initially observed properties.
    So you see, the accelerating expansion of spacetime can be explained quite simply as a necessary physical property of our universe.

    Prof. Tom said:
    This is "simplicity" to the extent of dismissive religious dogma. Words like "beyond", and "infinite singularity" sound important but have not scientific value. If space is infinite and any given singularity is finite, then there must be a "before" to what we call the Big Bang.
    I need to refine the terninology, you are right. I am a layman after all. But the point is, all along the solution was simple. The implications are endless. A singularity is infinite, but its observed finite properties of mass, charge, spin, and boundary give it context. Infinity relative to finite observation. Do you get it now?

    Prof. Tom said:
    This is a "simple" answer approaching dismissive religious dogma. Is there a term of time that is not finite? Words like "beyond", and "infinite singularity" sound important but have no scientific value.

    Infinite Singularity, like Infinite density and infinite temperature, are terms that science cannot relate to and are used when we don't know what or how to explain some event.

    If space is infinite and any given singularity is finite, then there must be a "before" to what we call the Big Bang.

    If space is not infinite, then we run afoul of several fundamental principles like the Cosmological Principle and the Copernican Principle and the second law of thermodynamics.
    I am explaining how to relate to infinity. We need to establish context, and we do so using definite observable properties. There is no better explanation.

    Prof. Tom said:
    I have one question. As a black hole sucks in new matter, does the surface (volume) of the condensed matter expand faster or slower than the gravity field that causes the event horizon?

    <<remembering that distance, volume and surface areas are referenced to the center of gravity of the singularity of the black hole>>

    Option 1: If the surface of the mass that makes up the singularity is expanding faster (even by a small amount) than the event horizon, then eventually the mass surface (diameter) will exceed the diameter of the event horizon and the black hole will burst back into existence and be visible. The event horizon will be below the surface or may disappear.

    If this occurred, it is likely that this reemergence of the surface of the black hole above the Schwarzschild radius would happen over a relatively short period of time making it difficult to capture the event or even recognize it for what it is.

    Option 2: If the gravity strength and the total diameter of the event horizon increases faster than the surface of the mass that causes that gravity, then there is no limit to the size of the black hole. This would imply that every black hole has the potential to suck in an entire galaxy or cluster and become a super black hole. The only known potential candidate for such an event or body might be related to the Shapley Attractor/Supercluster.

    Within 1 to 2 billion light-years, the lack of observed candidates of such super black holes may point to the likelihood that Option 1 above is a more likely scenario.

    Which is it?

    B, if I understand you correctly, excepting your assumption that entire galaxies will get sucked in. Because a singularity has definite mass, the force of gravity acting on any body with mass around it remains finite in proportion to the mass of the singularity. Any mass that crosses the event horizon gets stretched to infinity according to the path prescribed by observed finite properties, adding to the force of gravity exerted by the singularity.

    Prof. Tom said:
    This is a "simple" answer approaching dismissive religious dogma. Is there a term of time that is not finite? Words like "beyond", and "infinite singularity" sound important but have no scientific value.

    Infinite Singularity, like Infinite density and infinite temperature, are terms that science cannot relate to and are used when we don't know what or how to explain some event.

    If space is infinite and any given singularity is finite, then there must be a "before" to what we call the Big Bang.

    If space is not infinite, then we run afoul of several fundamental principles like the Cosmological Principle and the Copernican Principle and the second law of thermodynamics.
    No singularity is finite, it is infinite relative to observed finite properties. I mean no disrespect when I say, is that really so difficult to understand? And I know I may offend some when I adamantly insist I am right, but either you are capable of evaluating my words on their merit or not. It shouldn't have anything to do with my level of confidence. Clarifying questions are always welcome.
    Reply
  • Prof. Tom
    efarina96 said:
    No singularity is finite, it is infinite relative to observed finite properties. I mean no disrespect when I say, is that really so difficult to understand? And I know I may offend some when I adamantly insist I am right, but either you are capable of evaluating my words on their merit or not. It shouldn't have anything to do with my level of confidence. Clarifying questions are always welcome.

    I think I see our problem. Before I got my physics degree, I had an engineering degree. A scientist will defend a theory because the math says so. An engineer will defend a theory because he observed it happen. The difference often comes down to semantics. I avoid using the word infinity or infinite as much as you do because it more often than not indicated a flaw or a gap in the theory. Here is one quote that expresses this idea:

    "Singularities are predicted to exist in black holes by Einstein's theory of general relativity, which is a theory that has done remarkably well at matching experimental results. The problem is that infinities never exist in the real world. Whenever an infinity pops out of a theory, it is simply a sign that your theory is too simple to handle extreme cases."

    "A black hole forms when a massive star runs out of the fuel needed to balance out gravity and collapses under its own gravity to a very small size. General relativity predicts that the star collapses to an infinitely small point with infinite density. But, as should now be clear, such a beast does not really exist in the real world. The appearance of a black hole singularity in general relativity simply indicates that general relativity is inaccurate at very small sizes, which we already knew. You need quantum field theory to describe objects of small sizes. But, quantum field theory does not include gravitational effects, which is the main feature of a black hole. This fact means that we will not know exactly what is going on in a black hole until scientists can successfully create a new theory that accurately describes small sizes and strong gravitational effects at the same time. Whatever the new theory ends up telling us, it will most certainly not say that there are singularities in black holes. If it did, that outcome would simply indicate that the new theory is just as bad as the old theory. In fact, one of the requirements for the future theory of everything is that it not predict singularities in black holes. :"

    I am somewhat of a critic of my own profession in that I over-react to hardcore scientists that make statements that express the "generally accepted theory" but are, in fact, wrong.

    For instance: Dark Matter is NOT a response to excess mass in the universe. Dark Matter is a response to excess gravity in the universe. We have no evidence that Dark Matter is matter. It is only speculation that DM is the result of some, as yet, undetected particles - (WIMPs?).

    This over-reaction extends to descriptions of zero-volume singularities that also appear to have very large mass and gravity.

    Pointing to an equation in which you divide by zero is not sufficient proof of infinity.

    Call it a pet peeve.
    Reply
  • efarina96
    Prof. Tom said:
    I think I see our problem. Before I got my physics degree, I had an engineering degree. A scientist will defend a theory because the math says so. An engineer will defend a theory because he observed it happen. The difference often comes down to semantics. I avoid using the word infinity or infinite as much as you do because it more often than not indicated a flaw or a gap in the theory. Here is one quote that expresses this idea:

    "Singularities are predicted to exist in black holes by Einstein's theory of general relativity, which is a theory that has done remarkably well at matching experimental results. The problem is that infinities never exist in the real world. Whenever an infinity pops out of a theory, it is simply a sign that your theory is too simple to handle extreme cases."

    "A black hole forms when a massive star runs out of the fuel needed to balance out gravity and collapses under its own gravity to a very small size. General relativity predicts that the star collapses to an infinitely small point with infinite density. But, as should now be clear, such a beast does not really exist in the real world. The appearance of a black hole singularity in general relativity simply indicates that general relativity is inaccurate at very small sizes, which we already knew. You need quantum field theory to describe objects of small sizes. But, quantum field theory does not include gravitational effects, which is the main feature of a black hole. This fact means that we will not know exactly what is going on in a black hole until scientists can successfully create a new theory that accurately describes small sizes and strong gravitational effects at the same time. Whatever the new theory ends up telling us, it will most certainly not say that there are singularities in black holes. If it did, that outcome would simply indicate that the new theory is just as bad as the old theory. In fact, one of the requirements for the future theory of everything is that it not predict singularities in black holes. :"

    I am somewhat of a critic of my own profession in that I over-react to hardcore scientists that make statements that express the "generally accepted theory" but are, in fact, wrong.

    For instance: Dark Matter is NOT a response to excess mass in the universe. Dark Matter is a response to excess gravity in the universe. We have no evidence that Dark Matter is matter. It is only speculation that DM is the result of some, as yet, undetected particles - (WIMPs?).

    This over-reaction extends to descriptions of zero-volume singularities that also appear to have very large mass and gravity.

    Pointing to an equation in which you divide by zero is not sufficient proof of infinity.

    Call it a pet peeve.
    I totally understand your position!
    "Singularities are predicted to exist in black holes by Einstein's theory of general relativity, which is a theory that has done remarkably well at matching experimental results. The problem is that infinities never exist in the real world. Whenever an infinity pops out of a theory, it is simply a sign that your theory is too simple to handle extreme cases."
    My point, is that I believe this is exactly the wrong way of looking at it. Infinity cannot be viewed as a barrier to a theory of everything, because "everything" implies infinity. My point, is that general relativity establishes rules governing finite observation of infinity, therefore nothing is actually finite, it only appears to be. Singularities emerge because of the limited capacity to make observations based on interactions of light with our environment, these limitations being a direct result of light's speed limit. Fundamentally, spacetime is infinite, and every particle exists infinitely but is observed via finite rules of observation and contextualized by choice.

    Prof. Tom said:
    I think I see our problem. Before I got my physics degree, I had an engineering degree. A scientist will defend a theory because the math says so. An engineer will defend a theory because he observed it happen. The difference often comes down to semantics. I avoid using the word infinity or infinite as much as you do because it more often than not indicated a flaw or a gap in the theory. Here is one quote that expresses this idea:

    "Singularities are predicted to exist in black holes by Einstein's theory of general relativity, which is a theory that has done remarkably well at matching experimental results. The problem is that infinities never exist in the real world. Whenever an infinity pops out of a theory, it is simply a sign that your theory is too simple to handle extreme cases."

    "A black hole forms when a massive star runs out of the fuel needed to balance out gravity and collapses under its own gravity to a very small size. General relativity predicts that the star collapses to an infinitely small point with infinite density. But, as should now be clear, such a beast does not really exist in the real world. The appearance of a black hole singularity in general relativity simply indicates that general relativity is inaccurate at very small sizes, which we already knew. You need quantum field theory to describe objects of small sizes. But, quantum field theory does not include gravitational effects, which is the main feature of a black hole. This fact means that we will not know exactly what is going on in a black hole until scientists can successfully create a new theory that accurately describes small sizes and strong gravitational effects at the same time. Whatever the new theory ends up telling us, it will most certainly not say that there are singularities in black holes. If it did, that outcome would simply indicate that the new theory is just as bad as the old theory. In fact, one of the requirements for the future theory of everything is that it not predict singularities in black holes. :"

    I am somewhat of a critic of my own profession in that I over-react to hardcore scientists that make statements that express the "generally accepted theory" but are, in fact, wrong.

    For instance: Dark Matter is NOT a response to excess mass in the universe. Dark Matter is a response to excess gravity in the universe. We have no evidence that Dark Matter is matter. It is only speculation that DM is the result of some, as yet, undetected particles - (WIMPs?).

    This over-reaction extends to descriptions of zero-volume singularities that also appear to have very large mass and gravity.

    Pointing to an equation in which you divide by zero is not sufficient proof of infinity.

    Call it a pet peeve.
    Wave-particle duality could also be described as infinite-finite duality, where the particle is essentially a constrained version of the wave accounting for past choices, i.e. the passage of time. Hopefully I am making sense here...

    Prof. Tom said:
    I think I see our problem. Before I got my physics degree, I had an engineering degree. A scientist will defend a theory because the math says so. An engineer will defend a theory because he observed it happen. The difference often comes down to semantics. I avoid using the word infinity or infinite as much as you do because it more often than not indicated a flaw or a gap in the theory. Here is one quote that expresses this idea:

    "Singularities are predicted to exist in black holes by Einstein's theory of general relativity, which is a theory that has done remarkably well at matching experimental results. The problem is that infinities never exist in the real world. Whenever an infinity pops out of a theory, it is simply a sign that your theory is too simple to handle extreme cases."

    "A black hole forms when a massive star runs out of the fuel needed to balance out gravity and collapses under its own gravity to a very small size. General relativity predicts that the star collapses to an infinitely small point with infinite density. But, as should now be clear, such a beast does not really exist in the real world. The appearance of a black hole singularity in general relativity simply indicates that general relativity is inaccurate at very small sizes, which we already knew. You need quantum field theory to describe objects of small sizes. But, quantum field theory does not include gravitational effects, which is the main feature of a black hole. This fact means that we will not know exactly what is going on in a black hole until scientists can successfully create a new theory that accurately describes small sizes and strong gravitational effects at the same time. Whatever the new theory ends up telling us, it will most certainly not say that there are singularities in black holes. If it did, that outcome would simply indicate that the new theory is just as bad as the old theory. In fact, one of the requirements for the future theory of everything is that it not predict singularities in black holes. :"

    I am somewhat of a critic of my own profession in that I over-react to hardcore scientists that make statements that express the "generally accepted theory" but are, in fact, wrong.

    For instance: Dark Matter is NOT a response to excess mass in the universe. Dark Matter is a response to excess gravity in the universe. We have no evidence that Dark Matter is matter. It is only speculation that DM is the result of some, as yet, undetected particles - (WIMPs?).

    This over-reaction extends to descriptions of zero-volume singularities that also appear to have very large mass and gravity.

    Pointing to an equation in which you divide by zero is not sufficient proof of infinity.

    Call it a pet peeve.

    Basically, what I am suggesting is that we need to move forward utilizing infinity as a critical concept by establishing the context of infinity in any given situation. Remember that the earliest human math, if I am correct, did not incorporate a concept of zero. I am suggesting, that in like fashion we have inadequately dealt with concepts of infinity across the board.

    Prof. Tom said:
    I think I see our problem. Before I got my physics degree, I had an engineering degree. A scientist will defend a theory because the math says so. An engineer will defend a theory because he observed it happen. The difference often comes down to semantics. I avoid using the word infinity or infinite as much as you do because it more often than not indicated a flaw or a gap in the theory. Here is one quote that expresses this idea:

    "Singularities are predicted to exist in black holes by Einstein's theory of general relativity, which is a theory that has done remarkably well at matching experimental results. The problem is that infinities never exist in the real world. Whenever an infinity pops out of a theory, it is simply a sign that your theory is too simple to handle extreme cases."

    "A black hole forms when a massive star runs out of the fuel needed to balance out gravity and collapses under its own gravity to a very small size. General relativity predicts that the star collapses to an infinitely small point with infinite density. But, as should now be clear, such a beast does not really exist in the real world. The appearance of a black hole singularity in general relativity simply indicates that general relativity is inaccurate at very small sizes, which we already knew. You need quantum field theory to describe objects of small sizes. But, quantum field theory does not include gravitational effects, which is the main feature of a black hole. This fact means that we will not know exactly what is going on in a black hole until scientists can successfully create a new theory that accurately describes small sizes and strong gravitational effects at the same time. Whatever the new theory ends up telling us, it will most certainly not say that there are singularities in black holes. If it did, that outcome would simply indicate that the new theory is just as bad as the old theory. In fact, one of the requirements for the future theory of everything is that it not predict singularities in black holes. :"

    I am somewhat of a critic of my own profession in that I over-react to hardcore scientists that make statements that express the "generally accepted theory" but are, in fact, wrong.

    For instance: Dark Matter is NOT a response to excess mass in the universe. Dark Matter is a response to excess gravity in the universe. We have no evidence that Dark Matter is matter. It is only speculation that DM is the result of some, as yet, undetected particles - (WIMPs?).

    This over-reaction extends to descriptions of zero-volume singularities that also appear to have very large mass and gravity.

    Pointing to an equation in which you divide by zero is not sufficient proof of infinity.

    Call it a pet peeve.
    It is not a coincidence that General Relativity tells us a singularity exists "before" the big bang and also at the heart of a black hole. Think of it as two ends of the same candle.

    Prof. Tom said:
    I think I see our problem. Before I got my physics degree, I had an engineering degree. A scientist will defend a theory because the math says so. An engineer will defend a theory because he observed it happen. The difference often comes down to semantics. I avoid using the word infinity or infinite as much as you do because it more often than not indicated a flaw or a gap in the theory. Here is one quote that expresses this idea:

    "Singularities are predicted to exist in black holes by Einstein's theory of general relativity, which is a theory that has done remarkably well at matching experimental results. The problem is that infinities never exist in the real world. Whenever an infinity pops out of a theory, it is simply a sign that your theory is too simple to handle extreme cases."

    "A black hole forms when a massive star runs out of the fuel needed to balance out gravity and collapses under its own gravity to a very small size. General relativity predicts that the star collapses to an infinitely small point with infinite density. But, as should now be clear, such a beast does not really exist in the real world. The appearance of a black hole singularity in general relativity simply indicates that general relativity is inaccurate at very small sizes, which we already knew. You need quantum field theory to describe objects of small sizes. But, quantum field theory does not include gravitational effects, which is the main feature of a black hole. This fact means that we will not know exactly what is going on in a black hole until scientists can successfully create a new theory that accurately describes small sizes and strong gravitational effects at the same time. Whatever the new theory ends up telling us, it will most certainly not say that there are singularities in black holes. If it did, that outcome would simply indicate that the new theory is just as bad as the old theory. In fact, one of the requirements for the future theory of everything is that it not predict singularities in black holes. :"

    I am somewhat of a critic of my own profession in that I over-react to hardcore scientists that make statements that express the "generally accepted theory" but are, in fact, wrong.

    For instance: Dark Matter is NOT a response to excess mass in the universe. Dark Matter is a response to excess gravity in the universe. We have no evidence that Dark Matter is matter. It is only speculation that DM is the result of some, as yet, undetected particles - (WIMPs?).

    This over-reaction extends to descriptions of zero-volume singularities that also appear to have very large mass and gravity.

    Pointing to an equation in which you divide by zero is not sufficient proof of infinity.

    Call it a pet peeve.
    Nothing is truly finite, which is why matter cannot be created or destroyed. The mass of our universe relative to infinity must remain constant or our physics break down, which is 100% consistent with my idea.

    Prof. Tom said:
    I think I see our problem. Before I got my physics degree, I had an engineering degree. A scientist will defend a theory because the math says so. An engineer will defend a theory because he observed it happen. The difference often comes down to semantics. I avoid using the word infinity or infinite as much as you do because it more often than not indicated a flaw or a gap in the theory. Here is one quote that expresses this idea:

    "Singularities are predicted to exist in black holes by Einstein's theory of general relativity, which is a theory that has done remarkably well at matching experimental results. The problem is that infinities never exist in the real world. Whenever an infinity pops out of a theory, it is simply a sign that your theory is too simple to handle extreme cases."

    "A black hole forms when a massive star runs out of the fuel needed to balance out gravity and collapses under its own gravity to a very small size. General relativity predicts that the star collapses to an infinitely small point with infinite density. But, as should now be clear, such a beast does not really exist in the real world. The appearance of a black hole singularity in general relativity simply indicates that general relativity is inaccurate at very small sizes, which we already knew. You need quantum field theory to describe objects of small sizes. But, quantum field theory does not include gravitational effects, which is the main feature of a black hole. This fact means that we will not know exactly what is going on in a black hole until scientists can successfully create a new theory that accurately describes small sizes and strong gravitational effects at the same time. Whatever the new theory ends up telling us, it will most certainly not say that there are singularities in black holes. If it did, that outcome would simply indicate that the new theory is just as bad as the old theory. In fact, one of the requirements for the future theory of everything is that it not predict singularities in black holes. :"

    I am somewhat of a critic of my own profession in that I over-react to hardcore scientists that make statements that express the "generally accepted theory" but are, in fact, wrong.

    For instance: Dark Matter is NOT a response to excess mass in the universe. Dark Matter is a response to excess gravity in the universe. We have no evidence that Dark Matter is matter. It is only speculation that DM is the result of some, as yet, undetected particles - (WIMPs?).

    This over-reaction extends to descriptions of zero-volume singularities that also appear to have very large mass and gravity.

    Pointing to an equation in which you divide by zero is not sufficient proof of infinity.

    Call it a pet peeve.
    Dark matter and dark energy are the result of a principle of math. That is why it's invisible, it is a property of relative infinity

    Am I making sense here?

    Prof. Tom said:
    This is a "simple" answer approaching dismissive religious dogma. Is there a term of time that is not finite? Words like "beyond", and "infinite singularity" sound important but have no scientific value.

    Infinite Singularity, like Infinite density and infinite temperature, are terms that science cannot relate to and are used when we don't know what or how to explain some event.

    If space is infinite and any given singularity is finite, then there must be a "before" to what we call the Big Bang.

    If space is not infinite, then we run afoul of several fundamental principles like the Cosmological Principle and the Copernican Principle and the second law of thermodynamics.
    Okay so everybody who addresses what I am saying, wants to say I am wrong but can't give any reason except that "infinity isn't real". That is not a legitimate argument. The finite could not exist without the infinite. Dark Matter and Dark Energy are invisible because, as stated, they are properties of relative infinity. you are all barking up the wrong tree and you can't even justify yourselves. Facts are facts, logic is logic. Infinity is and must be real, if it wasn't we wouldn't exist. Join me in reality any time you like.

    efarina96 said:
    Okay so everybody who addresses what I am saying, wants to say I am wrong but can't give any reason except that "infinity isn't real". That is not a legitimate argument. The finite could not exist without the infinite. Dark Matter and Dark Energy are invisible because, as stated, they are properties of relative infinity. you are all barking up the wrong tree and you can't even justify yourselves. Facts are facts, logic is logic. Infinity is and must be real, if it wasn't we wouldn't exist. Join me in reality any time you like.
    Observation is finite, reality is infinite. Once again, not complicated.

    Prof. Tom said:
    I think I see our problem. Before I got my physics degree, I had an engineering degree. A scientist will defend a theory because the math says so. An engineer will defend a theory because he observed it happen. The difference often comes down to semantics. I avoid using the word infinity or infinite as much as you do because it more often than not indicated a flaw or a gap in the theory. Here is one quote that expresses this idea:

    "Singularities are predicted to exist in black holes by Einstein's theory of general relativity, which is a theory that has done remarkably well at matching experimental results. The problem is that infinities never exist in the real world. Whenever an infinity pops out of a theory, it is simply a sign that your theory is too simple to handle extreme cases."

    "A black hole forms when a massive star runs out of the fuel needed to balance out gravity and collapses under its own gravity to a very small size. General relativity predicts that the star collapses to an infinitely small point with infinite density. But, as should now be clear, such a beast does not really exist in the real world. The appearance of a black hole singularity in general relativity simply indicates that general relativity is inaccurate at very small sizes, which we already knew. You need quantum field theory to describe objects of small sizes. But, quantum field theory does not include gravitational effects, which is the main feature of a black hole. This fact means that we will not know exactly what is going on in a black hole until scientists can successfully create a new theory that accurately describes small sizes and strong gravitational effects at the same time. Whatever the new theory ends up telling us, it will most certainly not say that there are singularities in black holes. If it did, that outcome would simply indicate that the new theory is just as bad as the old theory. In fact, one of the requirements for the future theory of everything is that it not predict singularities in black holes. :"

    I am somewhat of a critic of my own profession in that I over-react to hardcore scientists that make statements that express the "generally accepted theory" but are, in fact, wrong.

    For instance: Dark Matter is NOT a response to excess mass in the universe. Dark Matter is a response to excess gravity in the universe. We have no evidence that Dark Matter is matter. It is only speculation that DM is the result of some, as yet, undetected particles - (WIMPs?).

    This over-reaction extends to descriptions of zero-volume singularities that also appear to have very large mass and gravity.

    Pointing to an equation in which you divide by zero is not sufficient proof of infinity.

    Call it a pet peeve.
    I explain the excess gravity in the universe as well as the expansion of spacetime as a principle of math relating to the finite characteristics of infinity. If Earth spontaneously collapsed into a black hole and the sun spontaneously collapsed into a black hole, each would contain a singularity with finite properties of mass. In other words, the mas of the Earth and the mass of the Sun respectively would each be stretched to infinity, and any physics that emerge within would be rules governing finite observation of these singularities with defined mass and therefore defined complexity relative to infinity. I am frustrated because this seems pretty straightforward and I am stumped as to the basis for everybody pretending infinity can't be real or that it is somehow a concept that is impossible to work with (perhaps I need to make a clear distinction between infinity and eternity?) But all the same thanks for taking the time to respond.
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