This page contains news of recent papers which challenge Big Bang cosmology, what I am currently thinking, and some discussions from sci.astro.research. For recent discussions on sci.astro.research and sci.physics.research, please this link . I may also be discussing things on the Yahoo Group QM2 which is for discussion of improvements to Quantum Mechanics.
The News and Contents section has the latest additions last. The latest update is 2007-04-10.
Please see the main page of this site: ../ - especially if Google beamed you down to this page and you don't know the context.
Robin Whittle email@example.com
Contributions to sci.astro.research discussions:
Critiques relevant to my theory or any similar plasma redshift theory:
- 2005 October Conjecture on Baez's 'Quasar without a host galaxy'.
- 2005 November Conjecture on Baez's 'Quasar without a host galaxy'.
- 2005 March Redshift of lines near the solar limb and Thomas Smid's plasma redshift theory.
Includes links to some of David G. Russel's recent papers on galaxies with intrinsic redshift.
2006-09-08 - How much acceleration of an ion or electron would be required to explain the solar wind? With notes on experiments on Earth to replicate the acceleration of the solar wind.2007
2006-09-11 An impulse with the same spectral characteristics as sunlight.
2007-02-01 Two papers mentioned in the Alternative Cosmology Group Newsletter are really interesting. The ACG Newsletter is a treasure trove of such material. I have only read the abstracts and looked at these two papers quickly so far. Both are supportive of the notion of non-Doppler redshift of light in the vicinity of the quasar, radio galaxy etc.
Dynamic Multiple Scattering, Frequency Shift and Possible Effects on Quasar Astronomy
Sisir Roy, Malabika Roy, Joydip Ghosh, Menas Kafatos Center for Earth Observing and Space Research, George Mason University, Virginia 2007-01-03
The shifting of spectral lines due to induced correlation effect, discovered first by Wolf for the single scattering case which mimics the Doppler mechanism has been extended and developed further by the present authors known as Dynamic Multiple scattering (DMS). We have explored DMS theory for explaining anomalous redshifts in quasars. Our recent work, based on the statistical analysis of the Veron-Cetty data (2003) supports that quasar redshifts fit the overall Hubble expansion law, as in the case of galaxies, for z less than equal to 0.295 but not for higher redshifts, indicating clearly the inadequacy of the Doppler effect as the sole mechanism in explaining the redshifts for high redshift quasars for z greater than equal to 0.295. We found that the redshift possesses an additive, discordant component due to frequency shifting from the correlation induced mechanism which increases gradually for ~ 0.295 < z < 3.0, however, appearing to follow the evolutionary picture of the universe with absolute dependence on the physical characteristics i.e., environmental aspects of the relevant sources through which the light rays pass, after being multiply scattered.
Here is a better version of Figure 3 from this paper, sent to me by Sisir Roy: Fig-3-astro-ph-0701093v1.pdf .
My first impression of this is that they are extending the well known, slight redshift mechanism known as the Wolf Effect (Wikipedia page with links to earlier papers including by Roy et al.) to show that most of the redshift of the light of quasars, beyond about 0.295 must be occurring in the space near to them.
2007-02-02 to 2007-02-03 new notes:
I will look again at the Wolf Effect and see how it relates to my ideas about redshift and the deposition of energy and momentum in sparse plasma. I recall that it is generally considered to be a slight effect, and is not generally accepted as being capable of explaining large redshifts such as the cosmological redshift of the high redshifts seen in most quasars. Looking at the Wikipedia page it seems two somewhat coherent sources of light are required, with their radiance pattern being non-Lambertian (not like an ordinary black-body emitting surface) and ordinarily the redshift is only a fraction of the line-width of the narrow (emission, I guess) line concerned. Looking quickly at the above paper, it is my impression that low density, turbulent, molecular gas clouds are the preferred medium for the redshift to occur in. I will have to read this paper carefully, and those it cites, to understand exactly how the Wolf Effect is proposed to account for high levels of redshift near some of the quasars.
I understand that the authors assume an expanding universe in accordance with the Big Bang Theory (BBT), but that they contemplate that some quasars and supernovae light we observe has extra redshift in addition to that which arises from the BBT's Doppler/expansion. This is in fact a major critique of the BBT, since the whole BBT is based on the interpretation of almost all redshift as being Doppler, and that virtually all of it for distant objects is due to expansion of the Universe. The remainder is gravitational redshift as emr rises against gravity from its source.
To my mind, the most interesting part of the paper (and I have only read parts of it) is Figure 1 or Figure 3. Figure 3 does not come out well in the current (v1) version of the paper, but a new, good version is provided above as a PDF file. Here is a small .GIF version. Click the image or here for a larger version.
I haven't figured out the vertical scale yet. Fig 1a has redshift figures, which seem to be the ordinary redshift minus 1. So no redshift is 1.0, and appears as 0 in Fig 1a.
In my hypothesis, there is probably no expansion of the Universe, so the diagonal baseline represents the increasing redshift with distance traveled, and most of that distance from quasars and galaxies will be in the inter-cluster (void) IGM. I figure this is generally the same, low, density and therefore gives rise to a pretty consistent redshift per mega-parsec, as indicated by the "Hubble Constant". (See ../plasma-redshift-1/#IGM-voids-structure and discussions below on how I think the void plasma is extremely hot and at the same pressure in all voids, corralling the galaxies like soapy water between bubbles.)
I predict the redshift of light from quasars is occurring, by my proposed mechanism, in the voids and at a higher rate per mega-parsec in smaller distances of significantly denser plasma closer to the quasar, at least in the case of quasars above the baseline in the above diagram. I understand the IGM and other open space plasmas are primarily electrons, protons and helium nuclei. I guess that molecular clouds don't exist very much near quasars, firstly because there are not many molecular clouds in the first place and secondly because they would probably be broken into atoms and then the atoms ionized by the quasar's radiation. Also, if there were extensive molecular clouds, such as H2, then we would know all about them through absorption lines.
I also suspect that the Lyman Alpha Forest is caused by clouds where some atomic hydrogen exists at low levels in these areas of space nearer to quasars which are otherwise a somewhat denser version of the IGM. If this is the case, then I would expect to see more Lyman Alpha Forest features in the spectrum of a quasar which is well above the diagonal baseline than in the spectra of those close to that line. The ones above the baseline have much higher redshifts than can be explained by the passage of their light through the voids (or due to Doppler due to expansion of the Universe in the model of Sisir Roy and colleagues) so Roy et al. and I would agree that these quasars must have a more substantial cloud of molecular gas (Roy et al.) or plasma (me) around them.
This hypothesis should be easy to test with a little research using the VERONCAT http://heasarc.nasa.gov/W3Browse/all/veroncat.html and then visual inspection of the spectra of a sample of quasars well above the line and of those near it.
An Abrupt Upper Envelope Cut-off in the Distribution of Angular Motions in Quasar Jets is Compatible in all Respects with a Simple Non-Relativistic Ejection Model
M.B. Bell, D.R McDiarmid Herzberg Institute for Astrophysics, National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa 2007-01-04
A remarkable correlation is found in radio-loud quasars and BLLacs when the directly observed angular motions, µ, of features ejected in the innermost regions of their jets are plotted on logarithmic scales versus the directly observed 15 GHz ux density, S, of their central engines: an abrupt upper envelope cut-off with a slope of 0.5 is obtained. This upper envelope and slope can be explained in a simple non-relativistic ejection model if (a), radio-loud quasars are radio standard candles and (b), for the sources defining the cut-off, the features are all ejected with similar speeds. The upper envelope is then due to the maximum projected velocity seen when the accretion disk is edge-on, and ejections are in the plane of the sky. In our simple ejection model, where S is a good measure of relative distance, the observed distribution of angular motions can be explained if the radio luminosity of the source is a function of viewing angle, increasing towards face-on. In this scenario the ux densities of many of the sources with small viewing angles are increased above the detection limit, significantly altering the expected velocity distribution. This argument cannot be used in the cosmological redshift model, where Doppler boosting is then required. Here we show that when µ is plotted versus redshift, z, the same upper envelope cut-off is seen. It is not as sharply defined, since, in this simple model, the µ upper envelope will be smeared out by sources lying at different cosmological distances, zc. Normalizing all sources to the same distance (1 Jy) using the ux density, S, removes this smearing and improves the sharpness of the upper envelope, supporting our assumption that S is a measure of relative distance. In this model the redshift of quasars cannot be a reliable indication of their distance.
An earlier paper by Morley Bell is:
Evidence that Quasars and Related Active Galaxies are Good Radio Standard Candles and that they are Likely to be a Lot Closer than their Redshifts Imply
http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0602242 and http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2006astro.ph..2242BThis was submitted to the Astrophysical Journal in February 2006, but there is no sign of it being published. Morley Bell and Donald McDiarmid are at the Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics, Ottawa. They use the 2004 Kellermann catalog adsabs_2004ApJ...609..539K (10.1086/421289 and astro-ph/0403320) of VLBI measurements of velocities of blobs in jets. Morley Bell's papers include some written with David G. Russel #dgr.
This paper (as best I understand it) assumes BBT-like expansion and proposes that some part of the redshift of BB Lac objects and quasars is due to the "Machian mass" theory proposed by Halton Arp, where quasars are ejected as new matter which has low mass per particle, and therefore higher redshift. I can think of many objections to this theory. I think the interesting thing about this paper is not the proposed redshift mechanism, but the analysis which shows that the 15GHz radio flux, when viewed at 90 degrees from the axis of the jet(s) provides a good measure of the true distance of the object, meaning that the optical redshifts are not reliable distance indicators and that the objects, viewed side-on, are reliable standard candles, at least for their peak 15GHz (observed on Earth) emission.
I wouldn't have used (1 + z) as a multiplier for the vertical dimension in their Fig 1, because I think redshift is due not to recessional velocity, but is a function of redshift near the object ("intrinsic") and redshift in the rest of the trip to Earth through the IGM. (Perhaps I have misunderstood their analysis - I need to read it again. I don't understand/support some of their later analysis, with various corrections and with their invocation of time dilation, also presumably due to this Machian mass process.)
By the way, I added to the misc-files directory (../misc-files/3C-273-HST-image-kparsec-scale.pdf) an HST coronagraph image of 3C 273 with a scale (which I added) showing kiloparsecs, according to the conventional redshift distance. This is derived from the paper "Coronagraphic Imaging of 3C 273 with the Advanced Camera for Surveys" adsabs_2003AJ....125.2964M (I found a gzipped Postscript version here: http://acs.pha.jhu.edu/science/papers/documents/3c273.ps.gz Let me know if you want a PDF of it.) On this basis, the main luminous area is around 15,000 parsecs across. Can one or both of the above papers imply a closer distance, and therefore a smaller size for what we observe? Here is a .JPG derived from the above .PDF file:
In September 2006 I pursued something I should have figured out a year or two ago. Lets assume that the ions and electrons which arrive at 1AU (the distance from the Sun of the Earth's orbit) are accelerated by radiation pressure of sunlight. As far as I know, this has never been seriously contemplated by solar physicists. (Please let me know if there are such instances! If there are none, then I think this raises a number of interesting philosophy of science questions regarding the photon paradigm and other conventional ways of thinking).
Researchers have so far found no adequate explanation for the heating and acceleration of the solar corona and wind (see ../plasma-redshift-1/#Cranmer). This is a great big fat stinking mystery of science. I don't think any theories of the Universe can be taken seriously if we can't figure out for sure what is heating and driving the coronae and winds of stars, and of galaxies. It is possible that a currently unrecognised interaction between light and sparse plasma is involved. Since such an interaction would affect our interpretation of the cosmological redshift and microwave background radiation, I think it is bad science to be overly confident about the Big Bang Theory, or any other such theory which depends so heavily on correct understanding of the passage of electromagnetic waves through the sparse plasmas which fill space.
In the future I should be able to extrapolate from the strength of the proposed light-plasma-particle interaction back to the light intensities and plasma densities in the transition region and corona. Hopefully, this will roughly match estimates of how much energy needs to be deposited there to account for the heating and acceleration. The light near the Sun is coming from half the sky - from all directions. Maybe this contributes to heating, since the ripples of light can easily be imagined to be pushing the particles around randomly (in the direction parallel to the surface of the photosphere) in addition to pushing them generally away from the Sun (at right angles to the surface of the photosphere). Far from the Sun, when the light has no such sideways component, there is not so much heating - just acceleration of the solar wind, and in particular the heaviest particles of the wind.
Sidebar on current corona/wind theories of different types of star:I think conventional theory is probably largely adequate for explaining the winds of O-B hot stars. Here, the intensity of the light is so extreme (since it scales with the fourth power of the temperature, and these stars can be 4 or more times hotter than our Sun) that absorption of narrow lines ("line absorption") by well recognised resonant absorption in atoms and ions is able to couple enough momentum to lift the wind against gravity. However, if a sparse particle mechanism such as I am proposing, really exists, then I would expect it to be important in the winds of O-B stars once the inter-particle spacing became big enough. These hot stars have emissions centred in the UV, so the required inter-particle distance might be only 20% or so of that required for the Sun's light.
Stan Owoki has some lecture notes and an encyclopedia article on the winds of several types of star:
http://www.bartol.udel.edu/~owocki/talks/Oleron-Oct03/My understanding of what he writes, which I think reflects the conventional understanding at present, is that stars like our Sun have a wind driven by expansion from a very hot corona, where the corona is heated by processes (which the conventional researchers claim to only partly understand) driven by absorption of energy from magnetic fields which are created by convection currents in (and below?) the photosphere. However, see ../plasma-redshift-1/#Cranmer for notes on how expansion from a hot corona can't explain observations of the wind (momentum is being coupled to the wind at all distances from the Sun), and for many problems to do with the generation of these theorised magnetic waves and with the ability of the corona to absorb their energy.
Stan Owoki also discusses the winds of cool stars. Dust - and perhaps cycles of cooling, resulting in dust formation - are invoked to explain sufficient absorption of light to lift the material away from the photosphere, which has relatively low gravitation due to the star being rather large. My impression is that the conventional understanding of O-B and cool stars is probably realistic.
My understanding of what he wrote about Wolf-Rayet stars is that there is currently no proper theory to explain their very high mass loss.
So I think we have a major scientific mystery regarding ordinary stars like our Sun. Maybe solving that will also solve or partially solve the Wolf-Rayet mysteries too.
I have been reliably informed that for stars like our Sun, researchers have considered and rejected the process of "line absorption", since it is believed to couple energy about 5 or 6 orders of magnitude too small to explain the heating and/or acceleration.
Philosophy of science sidebarSomehow there is physics at work near the Sun, and in the solar wind, which we could understand but which conventional researchers have not yet discovered. This must be due to some kind of shared blind-spot - because these are smart people who are working really hard! I suspect that the shared blind spot is the "photon" notion of electromagnetic radiation, which considers light etc. to be made of particles which travel from source to destination independently. There are many critiques of this, not least the interference between two in-phase, but separate, sources of electromagnetic radiation. "Photons" can be a helpful construct in some settings, but I think it is a mistake to view the radiation itself as being quantized, although there are many reasons to believe its absorption and generation often, or always, is quantized. I can't say exactly how unquantized waves result in quantized deposition of energy and momentum.
My developing theory is not complete or entirely satisfying. However, I believe this is a promising line of research, since I am viewing light in a way which I think is valid, but which most other researchers cannot see, due to their immersion in the photon paradigm.
I have been trying to devise an experiment to measure the effect of sunlight on an ion, or perhaps on a neutral atom, where the particle is more than a few microns away from other particles. The redshift (if any) would surely be undetectable, but the force on the particle might be observable. Since something (I believe sunlight) is accelerating the wind to about 600km a second at 1AU, and since we have plenty of sunlight and arc-lamps here on Earth, one would think we could subject some suitably isolated ions to some black-body spectrum light and observe them being pushed by it. I reckon it can be done, but its not a trivial home-brew experiment. This experiment would not assume that redshift and/or scattering was involved - it would simply try to create a plasma in some ways similar to the solar wind, and expose it to sunlight to see if the ions are accelerated.
I needed to know, approximately, what sort of force would be exerted on an ion - say a proton or a helium nuclei (the major mass components of the solar wind) - in the sunlight here at 1AU.
To determine this, I wrote a small program in C to run a numeric model of a particle being accelerated towards 1AU by sunlight. The input variable is a certain acceleration of the particle at 1AU. The acceleration of that particle (assuming it is purely accelerated by sunlight) scales exactly with 1/(radius from Sun)2 . There is also a gravitational attraction which scales the same way. Assuming that radiation pressure (in some form, since most researchers apparently believe there is zero or negligible radiation pressure on an isolated ion or electron) is driving the wind, then the actual pressure must exceed the force of gravity.
My C program simulated a particle starting off still at the radius of the Sun - lets say the upper transition region. In the first second it accelerates according to the inverse square of the current radius. At the end of the first second, it has traveled to a greater radius (and therefore gets less force the next second) and it has built up a certain velocity. The process repeats until the particle reaches 1AU, where it has a certain velocity.
I tried various numbers until I found one which gave 600km/sec velocity at 1AU - a reasonable figure for the fast, unimpeded, solar wind. (In reality, the various species of ion are moving at different speeds.) The magic number was 5.62 mm/sec2. I regard this as a reasonable (say within a factor of 2 or 3) estimate of how much a particle of the solar wind is accelerated at 1AU. I calculated the acceleration towards the Sun at 1AU due to the Sun's gravity as about 0.601 mm/sec2 so theoretically, in this crude model, the acceleration due to the interaction with sunlight is 6.2 mm/sec2.
With this model, the particle accelerates at 258 metre/sec2 in the first second! This is 26 times the acceleration of gravity on Earth. Just after 1400 1500 (say 23.5 minutes) it has reached 300km/sec and has traveled 260 million km. About 45 minutes after starting, it has ascended to 1 solar radius above the transition region, and is traveling at 427km/sec. So we can see that in this model, the bright light near the Sun kicks the particle off to a fast start, and it it spends most of the next 70 hours accelerating less dramatically.
I want to re-check these calculations, so before taking them seriously, please check with me or figure it out yourself. The C program and an edited version of its output, depicting the travel of an ion from the transition region to 1U are here:
solar-wind-ion-accel-edited.txt <<< Please take a look at this.
Here are some values of acceleration at 1AU I tried, and the outcomes of this model:
accel_1au Total seconds Final velocity km/secA 10:1 variation in acceleration at 1AU only produced a 3:1 variation in final velocity. So while there are variations in the speed of the wind at 1AU, and the model is extremely crude, I figure the 0.0056 result gives a reasonable estimate, within a factor of two or so, of the acceleration at 1AU, if such a process does exist.
0.001 599517 166 253
0.0015 489498 136 310
0.0018 446846 124 339
0.002 423914 118 358
0.0025 379157 105 400
0.003 346119 96 438
0.004 299744 83 506
0.005 268096 74 566
0.005626 252739 70 600.055
0.006 244734 68 620
0.007 226578 63 669
0.008 211942 59 716
0.009 199819 56 759
0.01 189564 52 800
This 6.2 mm/sec2 acceleration would be tricky to detect on Earth, since ions are typically moving at hundreds or thousands of meters per second. Still, I think it could be done with concentrated sunlight using mirrors, or some super bright arc lamps shining across the path of an ion beam. For instance an 18kW arc lamp HMI 18000W/XS VS1 http://www.osram.com/products/display_optic/entertainment/hmi_hti_hsr.html producing 2.5kW of light, with a colour temperature of about 6000K.) The light would need to be chopped on and off and we would need to measure the deflection in the ion beam.
To properly characterise the effect I am proposing, we would want to see:
- The deflection be reduced to nothing, or at least a low level, when the density of the ions was raised to the point where the inter-particle spacing was significantly less than the coherence length of the black-body light.
- The deflection being reduced to zero when very long coherence-length light was used instead - for instance the output of a laser. (Getting 2.5kW of reasonably coherent visible laser light could be tricky.)
Now, back to the solar wind. Imagine that the ion absorbed a certain amount of sunlight, as if it was transparent apart from a small black disk facing the Sun. That absorption of light would also absorb momentum, leading to the acceleration. For a proton I calculated a disc with a diameter of 1.7 x 10-12 metres (1.7 picometres). Therefore an absorption diameter of 3.4 picometres would be needed to accelerate a helium nucleus in the same manner. (I need to check all these calculations, so I apologise in advance if I got something wrong.)
This 1.7 picometre black disc - or black sphere - absorption for a proton would do the trick of explaining the acceleration of the solar wind. This is about 1113 times the diameter of a a proton (~1.5 x 10-15 metres) - over a million times the frontal area. However it is a smaller disc or sphere than the size of an atom, which is around 1.2 x 10-10 metres.
If we considered the ion's optical behaviour as being a reflective sphere, the size required to give this acceleration would be very close to the 1.7 picometres of an absorbing disc, since not all the light is reflected back in the direction of the Sun, but for the light which is, the force is doubled.
Conventional thinking seems to be that an individual particle would have no interaction with light. I disagree - I say every electron, proton, ion, atom or molecule interacts with light. My argument is simple:
If you had a cloud of such things, the cloud would at least slow down the light, even if there was no absorption.
You would get reflections at the start and end of the cloud where the speed of light was slowed from that of vacuum and where it rises back to that speed.
Reducing the number of particles in the cloud would reduce the effect, but not to zero - so if there is just one particle left in the cloud, its interaction with light would also be non-zero.
I want to do more work along these lines, of course, but I only do this part time.
If you think this approach has some merit, please write and say so. If you believe it is invalid, please write and say why.
(Slight change 2006 September 14.) I had written"
Please also let me know if you have any insight into the history of the solar wind investigation regarding whether straightforward radiation pressure was ever considered, and why it was either explicitly rejected, or simply never considered.But now I write:
Probably this idea has not been considered due to ideas of light being made of "photons", each with its own specific wavelength, and the fact that neither short or long coherence length light causes radiation pressure on atoms and ions etc. in dense clouds (other then with absorption within the cloud or reflection at the edges).
As noted above, I understand that photospheric light has been discounted as the force behind heating and acceleration of the solar corona and wind, due to the understanding that the absorption (in specific absorption lines) is too small to account for the effect. The conception of light as photons does not lead people to consider the perspective I have on short wavefronts traveling at light speed between the particles and being slowed down by each particle.I couldn't find any evidence that anyone has computed the impulse response which has the same spectrum as the Sun's black body radiation. That impulse would be most instructive - probably only a few microns long. (See below, where I calculate it.) I see the Sun's light as many such impulses, and I think it is a valid approach to consider the interaction of one such impulse with a solitary particle, provided the particles are generally further apart from each other then the length of the impulse (which is approximately the same thing as the coherence length of the light).
By the way, looking at some diagrams of how the Earth's upper atmosphere is heated as it gets less dense, and how it is moved by the effects of the Sun and/or solar wind, I began to suspect that momentum deposition and heating by these same processes are occurring very close to Earth, with molecules and ions which originate in the Earth's upper atmosphere - but only once the inter-particle spacing gets to be more than a few microns!
Note 2006 September 14: actually some of the momentum deposition and heating would be due to currently recognised absorption of UV in particular absorption lines. I need to investigate this further.
By calculating the Planck blackbody spectrum for the temperature of the photosphere, calculated over a set of frequency steps, it is possible to use the resulting array of energies to create a set of sine waves to be added together, forming a single impulse. The sine waves are added together with levels the square root of the energy at that frequency. By making each sine wave have a zero point halfway through the array, all the sine waves add in phase at that point, and a symmetrical impulse is formed.
A single such impulse, or a series of them, including with random timing, polarity and intensity, all mixed together, has the same spectral characteristics as the blackbody light from the photosphere (not counting absorption and emission lines).
Here are two images of the impulse I calculated with a C program. The source code is: bb-spec-impulse.c.txt
These are graphed with audio editing programs. Sorry I am not yet up to speed with a proper scientific graphing program.
The time scale is short. From right to left, the signal drops slightly, then goes up through zero to the positive peak. Then it goes through zero to a negative time-reversed version of the first part. The sample rate of this calculation was 100 petahertz. Each sample time (which can be seen as dots on the lower image) is 10-17 second, which is 3 nanometres at the speed of light. At light speed, the time between the outer zero points just mentioned is 20.8 femto seconds, which is 624nm at light speed.
Since the highest energy of the blackbody spectrum is around 500nm, (when calculated over a small increment of wavelength) its not surprising to see the impulse roughly resembling a cycle of 500nm sine wave. (When calculated over a small increment of frequency, the peak energy is at about 3.54 x 1014 Hz, which is 844nm. See the source code for details. If don't think I have made a mistake here, but if someone could cast their eye over the code and check it, I would really appreciate it.)
Although it is technically impossible with modern electronics, if this signal was sent as an electrical voltage to a small antenna, say a half micron dipole or smaller, then we would observe a brief flash of light, with the same colour as that of the Sun or of a blackbody radiator at the Sun's temperature.
By sending this same impulse as an electrical voltage to an antenna, at random times, with random amplitudes and polarities, with trillions of such impulses all adding together as they overlap each other in time, we would observe a continuous white light. This light would be indistinguishable from that emanating from a true blackbody radiator..
If we had a beam of white light, arising from a blackbody radiator at the same temperature as the Sun (I used 5700K for this calculation) and we passed it through a shutter which opened for 20 or 30 femto seconds, we would observe a brief flash of white light. (Actually, due to the random nature of the light, if we only allowed the light at one tiny point, rather than a broad wavefront, then each pulse would probably have a distinct colour, due to the shape of the impulse which passed through the shutter. However, on average, the pulses would be white.) Any narrow absorption or emission lines in that light would be smeared out due to the fast time-domain modulation of the amplitude, but this would hardly affect the main blackbody spectrum. If we chopped it into shorter and shorter time-slices, say 10 or 5 femtoseconds, we would start to lose the infra-red and visible red light, and with 2 femto seconds of the random signal, we would see only blue or violet flash.
This means that if we ignore the longer impulse times of the absorption and emission lines in the photospheric light, we can conduct a valid and potentially instructive gedanken (thought experiment) about how this brief impulse, as a plane wave traveling through space, would propagate in the sparse plasmas such as those of the solar corona or wind. With the inter-particle distance greater than several microns, the wavefront would travel at full light speed until it encountered an ion or electron (or an neutral atom or molecule). There it would slow down - we know this because we know that all plasmas and neutral gasses slow light down somewhat, so the slowing must be done by the ions, electrons and atoms etc., not by the vacuum in between them. It would probably also be partially reflected in all directions, since the particle presents a speed-changing zone to the traveling wavefront.
I think this is more appropriate method of understanding the interaction of light and matter than the idea of "photons". A "photon" model would have to involve a large number of different wavelength photons, to encompass the broad spectrum of the black body light. According to the "photon" theory, these "photons" don't interact. Each "photon", being relatively pure in its wavelength, has a much longer coherence length (impulse length) than the inter-particle spacing, so this approach would not help us understand how the very ragged waves which pass through the plasma.
This notion of light as a series of similar impulses has a much greater physical basis than the notion of entirely independent wavelength-specific "photons".
Ray Tomes wrote in support of Halton Arp's theory: that
quasar redshifts are caused by newly created matter having
longer wavelength spectral lines due to its constituent
particles being less massive. This reduced mass being a
property acquired by Machian particles which connect the
particle to other matter in a sphere which grows at the
speed of light after the particle's creation.
However all the evidence is that newly created matter is
the same mass as the old stuff.
Arp's theory has been rejected by most astronomers for this
reason and others, such as his theory being incompatible
with the vast amount of evidence showing that quasars and
the like are powered by black-holes and their accretion
If you are trying to explain quasars as being closer
then usually believed, and can't figure out how the light
could have been made in this redshifted state, then what is
needed is a "redshift mechanism" which affects the light in
There's plenty of plasma or gas the light travels through
where the average inter-particle spacing is longer than
the coherence length of the light in question. So the
wavefront (which is about as long in the direction of
travel as the "coherence length") is basically traveling at
full light speed through vacuum until part of it encounters
a lone electron, proton, ion etc.
Since we know the cloud of protons, ions and electrons slows
down the light somewhat, we must conclude that the wavefront
is slowed down by individual protons, ions and electrons,
one at a time, creating a slight dimple in the otherwise
flat wavefront as it propagates through space. In other
words, these sparse plasmas are an inhomogeneous media.
Since light carries momentum, anything which slows down the
light gets at least a temporary kick of momentum, and so can
be expected to move in the direction of the light. If
you can figure out how such an interaction can leave the
traveling wavefront somewhat redshifted, then you have a
plasma redshift mechanism which would radically alter how we
interpret the light which falls into our telescopes.
I can't see a way of doing this with the traditional idea of
a "photon" starting in one place, spreading out in space and
eventually, entirely on its own, delivering its packet of
energy to another place. Ari Brynjolfsson's "Plasma Redshift
of Photons" theory apparently works on this basis, but I
don't understand it:
An alternative to the "photon" notion of electromagnetic
radiation is to see the radiation itself as unquantized,
despite the observations that the way it is generated and
absorbed does involve quanta proportional to frequency. In
this model, the waves carry the probability of quanta being
delivered, and so they carry energy, momentum etc. - but they
are not individual "photons". Then all that is required is
a mechanism by which these em waves are generally lengthened
as they travel through sparse plasma.
Such a theory, combined with the theory that the Universe is
not expanding ala Big Bang, would require that there be
little or no observable redshift in signals such as
microwave emission and absorption signals, which are long
in wavelength compared to light, and which have a coherence
length longer than the average inter-particle spacing of the
inter-cluster medium. (I guess this is in the order of
one or a few metres.) So we would expect differing redshift
between microwave signals observed with VLB to redshift of
optical wavelengths from the same object. (Also, if the VLB
signals come from lobes at the end of jets and most of the
optical redshift happens nearer the core than the lobes.)
It would require that there be less redshift for coherent
signals such as emission and absorption lines in IR, optical
etc. wavelengths than for black-body (or synchrotron)
broadband, short coherence length, signals from the same
source - where the coherence length of the narrow band
signals is close to or exceeds the average inter-particle
spacing of the plasma it is passing through.
Then, a good way of explaining high redshift quasars is that
they are surrounded by a denser (than the inter-cluster
medium) plasma, probably due to gravitational attraction,
and that this plasma redshifts the light at a more rapid
rate per parsec than the ordinary inter-cluster medium.
In this model, the Lyman-alpha forest would be caused by
multiple neutral hydrogen clouds embedded in this halo of
plasma relatively close to the core, rather then spread
out across the Universe, as is currently believed.
A plasma-redshift explanation for the cosmological redshift
needs to redshift light at only about one part in 14 billion
per year as it travels through the inter-cluster medium.
If your plasma redshift model deposits energy in this plasma,
then you can explain the inter-cluster medium being exceedingly
hot - heated by dim starlight passing through it, and having
virtually no way of cooling itself radiatively because the
particles are so sparse they hardly ever come together in a
Coulomb interaction. Then you can explain the observation
that clusters appear like the soapy water between bubbles: the
voids are exceedingly hot and therefore at a relatively high
pressure, corralling the galaxies and their denser, cooler,
(still 100Mega K or so - I figure the voids are hotter still)
gravitationally bound coronae, into the small spaces between
the bubbles. The same process of heating and momentum
deposition would probably also explain the heating and
acceleration of the solar corona and wind.
There are a whole series of problems with this, and I won't
go on about it here. Unfortunately, due to lack of time
and my own limited knowledge, I am not able to answer
properly the thoughtful criticisms offered here in the past.
I am not suggesting this is solid science, yet. I am
addressing Big Bang critics, not supporters. I wish Big
Bang critics would leave the Machian mass theory of quasars
behind and work on something more promising, such as novel
redshift mechanisms in the space the light travels through.
I am not surprised that a quasar has been recognised as
"naked". I think they are not so big or far away as usually
believed, and that they are not necessarily found in the
middle of huge galaxies. Maybe some of them are relatively
close - black holes which were ejected from galaxies after
close encounters with other dense objects, and have a lonely
life traveling through and between clusters, concentrating
and devouring the otherwise sparse plasma in their general
Phillip Hellbig wrote:
> Any such mechanism would have to give the same redshift for
> every frequency. Any concrete mechanism has to be
> frequency-independent (since the observed redshift is
> independent of frequency).Yes, at least around the frequencies of light, for plasma
such as the inter-cluster medium, which is where most of the
redshift of distant galaxies presumably takes place in the
model I am developing. However, there would be less or no
redshift for long wavelengths and for any signal such as a
very narrow absorption or emission line where the coherence
length (length of the wavefront in the direction it travels)
approximately equals or exceeds the average inter-particle
spacing in the plasma or neutral gas.
Also, I expect that very small wavelength signals such as
X-rays and gamma-rays would not be affected so much by the
inter-cluster medium, since the particles (electrons, protons
and ions) only affect the wavefront in a radius roughly on the
scale of the wavelength. For X-rays etc. each particle's
"sphere of influence" is exceedingly small, compared to the
1 or 2 micron diameter for visible light - so I would expect
X-rays to pass almost unaffected. On the other hand, if the
X-rays have a short coherence length, then I would expect
such a redshift mechanism to work at much greater particle
densities, such as the upper atmosphere, than with visible
light. As far as I know, we don't have really fine
spectroscopy for X-rays or gamma rays, nor do we have
reasonably narrow sources of them in distant galaxies.
> A non-expanding universe would have to have an explanation
> as to WHY it is static.
I think that a non-expanding Universe has no obligations
(By "exploding" I mean expansion at the rapid rate predicted
by the BBT - as a result of an explosion. By expansion,
I mean that maybe the Universe is expanding in some way
at a relatively leisurely pace. I don't know whether it
is "expanding" or "contracting" moderately. All I am
suggesting is that there is Doppler/explosive-expansion
is not the explanation for the cosmological redshift.)
It would be nice to understand the Universe's true nature,
including why it is not exploding, if this is what we are
arguing - but there is no obligation on scientists to do so.
In the absence of tape-measures reaching to distant galaxies,
it seems that the best approach to disproving the BBT is to
show by one means or another that the cosmological redshift
is caused by some non-exploding mechanism. It would also be
necessary to refute other arguments for expansion, such as
those based on supernovae observations. (Jerry Jensen
astro-ph/0404207 made a start on this.)
> So, apart from playing devil's advocate, what's the point in
> trying to shoehorn a static universe with close quasars into
> the framework specified by observations?
I am not sure what framework you refer to, but I don't see
how observations can specify anything.
I am not suggesting the Universe is necessarily static - all
that I am pursuing is a redshift mechanism which would
disprove the BBT and show that it is not exploding. Also, I
think that such a mechanism could explain the heating and
acceleration of stellar coronae and winds.
My theory requires accepting em waves as just that - waves -
and accepting what we already know, that they carry the
probability of energy and momentum deposition. We know that
such waves couple momentum temporarily to objects which slow
them down. (Consider a pulse of light entering a block of
glass, coupling some momentum to the block as it enters and
slows, and kicking back at the block when it speeds up when
exiting the far surface. If you doubt this, consider how a
prism bending light traveling along the X axis must, at each
surface, couple some of the light's momentum in the Y
dimension, since both surfaces of the prism bend the light
Now consider the wavefront washing over a particle - say an
electron. The electron temporarily gains some of the
wavefront's momentum just as the glass block or prism does.
If the electron gives all that momentum back to the wavefront
as the wavefront passes onwards, I figure there will be no
redshift. But in gaining a little of the momentum, for a
short time, the electron will be accelerated in the direction
of the wavefront's travel. If this was a lossless process,
I figure all the momentum the electron gains from the
wavefront would be coupled back to the wavefront as it kicks
off, and the electron would have moved a little, but remain
"stationary" with respect to its prior position. (It can't
be said that the electron has zero effect on the wavefront,
since any block of glass, droplet of water or cloud of gas
or plasma slows light - and an electron is simply a small
However, let's imagine this small, temporary, acceleration } This
of the electron causing a separate em wave, which removes } is
some energy - meaning that the electron's velocity is } the
somewhat less than it would have been without this loss. } crucial
Then, as the original wavefront kicks off from the electron, } local
it is kicking against something which doesn't quite have all } heating
the energy given to it by the wavefront during its approach. } and
So I figure the dimpled, delayed, part of the wavefront isn't } energy
just delayed (which would not give redshift, as far as I know) } loss
but that it is somewhat redshifted because the thing it is } mechanism.
kicking against doesn't quite have the kick to give back that }
it would have if it hadn't lost any energy due to em }
radiation resulting from its acceleration. }
(To understand this, it is necessary to go beyond the
photon paradigm of electromagnetic radiation. Short
coherence length emr consists of isolated, short, wavefronts
which exist independently of the source and destination.
Each little wavefront carries energy and therefore momentum.
It carries with it the probability of depositing quanta of
energy when it is absorbed by matter.)
All I am pursuing at present is a mechanism which would be
non-zero. If it exists, it is surely a small mechanism, but
with profound consequences. I look forward to developing a
I feel that the BBT is in terrible shape and that disproving
it would be an act of mercy.
QM has its share of problems too. The most popular conception
seems to be the nonsensical idea that em radiation can be both
a particle or a wave but never both at the same time.
Imre Lakatos is quoted (I don't have the original) in
"Methodology of Scientific Research Programs in Philosophical
Papers Vol.I., Cambridge Univ. Press, 1978":
In the new post-1925 quantum theory the anarchist
position became dominant and modern quantum physics,
in its Copenhagen interpretation, became one of the
main standard bearers of philosophical obscurantism.
In the ~new~ theory Bohr's notorious "complementarity
principle" enthroned inconsistency as a basic
ultimate feature of nature and merged subjectivist
positivism and anti-logical dialectic, and even ordinary
language philosophy, into one unholy alliance. After
1925 Bohr and his associates introduced a new and
unprecedented lowering of critical standards for
scientific theories. This lead to a defeat of reason
within modern physics and to an anarchist cult of
I think that the BBT is stuck in people's minds because they
can't imagine light being redshifted by passing through the
IGM. I think this is primarily due to most people thinking
of em radiation as involving "photons", each of which is an
individual entity, transporting the electromagnetic force
from exactly one piece of matter to exactly one other piece
of matter. A review of the various conceptions of "photon"
Arguments Concerning Photon Concepts
John Manchak 2003
Manchak concludes the best model of a "photon" is the QED/QTR
model, but I don't think this model gives the insight into
Nature we need when thinking about short wavefronts of light
etc. traveling for billions of years through a plasma which
is so sparse that it forms an inhomogeneous medium.
Quantum Mechanics is a troubled field and I think the way
forward is to forget about "photons" and recognise that em
waves carry the probability of delivering quanta, and so
carry energy and momentum. We know that em waves interfere
with each other. All we need to find is a mechanism which
slows down the frequency of the short wavefronts of light
which fall into our telescopes, for instance by stretching
them out in time and space. Why matter ~seems~ to accept
energy only in the quanta proportional to the em frequency
is a separate question.
Redshift of solar limb and in cosmology
Debate about anomalous redshift in absorption lines near the limb
of the Sun began about 1907 - and as far as I know the questions
have not been completely resolved.
Please see the section "Why isn't the required redshift observed?"
at my page: http://astroneu.com/plasma-redshift-1/ . The earliest
paper I know of in English is from 1916, in the Indian Kodaikanal
Observatory Bulletin XLIX, which the library there has kindly
provided me with a photocopy of:
On the Change of the Wave-length of the Iron Lines in Passing
From the Centre of the Sun's Disc to the Limb
J. Evershed and T. Royds
I have a PDF of this and links to other relevant papers at:
Probably the initial paper is:
Über eine bisher unbekannte Verschiebung der Fraunhoferschen
Linien des Sonnenspektrums
Halm, J. Astronomische Nachrichten, volume 173, p.273
Can anyone provide an English summary?
The redshift of lines at the limb could have a variety of
explanations, and the total explanation must involve consideration
of outflows (blueshift) at the centre of the disc, where in the
Sun's atmosphere the lines originate, and the effects we expect
from general relativity (gravitational redshift).
Most (all?) mainstream discussion on this matter ignores the
possibility that the light is redshifted by transit through a
sparse plasma or non-ionized gas. If such a process exists, then
we would expect greater redshift at the limb due to the light
passing through a larger distance of the low corona.
The late Paul Marmet had a redshift theory involving neutral
hydrogen. I couldn't figure out how this works, but it prompted
me to develop my own hypothesis.
Ari Brynjolfsson (http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0401420) has a
plasma redshift theory which I so far do not understand.
My tentative hypothesis may be easier to understand.
Below I discuss how such a redshift process (or maybe Ari
Brynjolfsson's) might behave. Although Ari Brynjolfsson
mentions "photons" I will assume that radiation is not quantized.
Plasma redshift involves stretching short coherence-length
electromagnetic radiation (emr) in time and longitudinal distance,
where the coherence length is generally shorter than the average
inter-particle spacing of the plasma (or maybe also neutral gas
in my hypothesis). These short coherence-length components
experience the medium as inhomogeneous - they are travelling
through vacuum most of the time, but occasionally encounter a
lone ion, electron, atom etc.
The wavefront carries energy and momentum. Anything which slows
it down, even temporarily, receives a fraction of that momentum -
at least temporarily. (Consider how a prism must temporarily
couple the momentum of a short burst of light which enters at one
face, changes direction, then changes direction again on exit.)
A wavefront encountering a cloud of gas or plasma (just like a
block of glass or a drop of transparent liquid) would be slowed
down as it enters and would kick back against the cloud as it
exits on the other side, regaining its full vacuum speed again.
A particle such as an ion is a cloud, albeit a very small one.
A cloud of any density at all above zero, including a large space
with a single particle, will slow the light down to some extent -
there is no inter-particle spacing large enough to completely
eliminate the slowing of light, so we must conclude that each
particle individually slows the wavefront, with the wavefront
travelling at full light speed in the vacuum between the
My hypothesis is that the wavefront temporarily couples some
momentum to the particle, and does not recover all this when it
kicks back against it, due to the (charged) particle being
accelerated and so losing some of this kinetic energy to the
surrounding space as emr.
The coherence length of the main black-body spectrum of white
light from the Sun is probably no more than 3 microns. I would
expect a redshift process to be quite noticeable at inter-particle
spacings exceeding this. The only trouble is that we can't really
detect such redshift, since it is likely to be slight, and we
don't have a way of analysing the photospheric light except by
looking at it through a putatively redshifting plasma. The
heating and acceleration of the solar corona and wind is not
explained by conventional theories:
Plasma redshift might explain this deposition of energy and
There is a huge range in inter-particle spacings from the
photosphere to the solar wind, and I think that the onset of
really intense heating in the transition region and low corona
coincides pretty closely (within this very large range) with the
inter-particle distances above a few microns, at which I expect
plasma redshift to occur.
It would be hard to investigate this redshift on Earth. Low
density plasmas could be made, but the redshift is so slight, and
only occurs with short coherence-length light - which makes the
actual redshift impossible to detect due to the broad spectral
characteristics of such light.
It might be thought that the redshift would move the entire
spectrum down, including the absorption lines. But that would
only be the case if we accept that the photosphere produces a
bunch of finely tuned "photons", that the absorption process weeds
out certain narrow bands of these, and that the subsequent
redshift process moves all the other "photons" down evenly.
We would not expect much plasma redshift of photospheric emission
lines in the solar corona, due to their coherence-length being
generally longer than the inter-particle spacing. I believe we
should not expect much redshift of the absorption lines either.
If we think of the light as a signal, the main part of the black
body spectrum can be represented adequately as lots of very short
wiggles (impulses), each with a short coherence length. Passing a
single one of these impulses through a band-reject filter - which
is what the absorption line process involves - results in a much
longer wiggle. I think the impulse response of the absorption
line filter creates a signal which has a much longer
coherence-length - and so which would be only very slightly
affected by passing through the sparse plasma in the low corona.
My tentative hypothesis is that the main light of the Sun is being
redshifted by about 1 part in 10,000, which provides the energy
budget needed to explain the heating and acceleration of the
solar corona. However, we have no way of observing this redshift
I guess that some emission and absorption lines which originate
below or within the transition region and low corona will be
subject to very much smaller redshifts, because they pass through
enough of the corona that the wavefront encounters some gaps
between particles which are comparable to its coherence length.
So this longer coherence-length wavefront, which carries the
signal which subtracts the absorbed wavelength from the total
signal, would occasionally be slowed down by isolated particles,
and so be subject to a slight amount of redshift, rather than
being continually slowed down (and so not redshifted at all) by
lots of particles all the time, as it is in the photosphere or
the Earth's atmosphere.
If that is the case, I would expect to see more redshift of lines
at the limb, because that light travels through a greater distance
of redshifting plasma in the low corona. I figure the high corona
and the wind is so sparse that it contributes little redshift -
and it is only at the limb that the light we see travels for a
significantly greater distance in the low corona.
There are a variety of processes discussed in the solar redshift
literature which may give rise to at least some of the observed
anomalous redshift at the limb. It would be a huge task to read
and understand all this material.
I think it may be possible to detect the effects of such a
redshift process on Earth. For instance a sparse gas of ionized
heavy gas atoms should be dragged (by the redshift depositing
energy and therefore momentum on each ion) by passing sunlight.
I figure focussed sunlight might push thoron or radon ions along
a glass tube, and so with inter-ion spacings of a few microns, we
might expect more radioactivity at one end of the tube.
Alternatively, an experiment on a spacecraft in the solar wind
might be able to alter the light falling on particles of the
wind to see how this affects their acceleration. (Explaining
the acceleration of the wind requires a source of momentum,
which conventional researchers have not yet found with magnetic
fields in the required amounts. Also, heavy ions receive more
acceleration than light ions, and this might be explained by
a plasma redshift process interacting more strongly with
heavy ions - just as heavy atoms in a gas tend to slow light
Philip Helbig wrote:
> Presumably, you mean that this theory could have a cosmological
> redshift with no expansion.Yes. If we find plasma redshift under our noses in the solar
corona, its reasonable to expect it in the inter-cluster medium.
There, I guess the inter-particle spacing is a metre or so, which
should be long enough to redshift both the main black-body light
and its absorption and emission lines by about the same amount.
I wouldn't expect much redshift of microwave emission lines, since
their coherence length is likely to be many metres. Nor would I
expect much plasma redshift of X-rays because they have such a
short wavelength that they experience the Universe as being very
empty.> However, if the universe is static, you have to explain WHY it
> is static.
I disagree. Big-bang theorists are not required to explain why
there was a big-bang. A good day's work in science can be done by
disproving a theory, without offering any replacement to explain
the things which were supposedly explained by the defunct theory.
I am not suggesting the Universe is necessarily absolutely static
- just that the cosmological redshift is not (or is mainly not)
Doppler / expansion. So I am suggesting that if there was a
"bang" then it was much longer ago than 13.7 billion years.
- Robin Melbourne Australia
Here, in green, is some material I originally submitted at the end,
but which I removed after the moderator rejected it as being
I am not suggesting the Universe is necessarily static - just that
the cosmological redshift is not (or is mainly not)
Doppler/expansion. However, you will probably never be able to
imagine this if you think that emr consists of "photons" each of
which arises in one place, travels in its inscrutable way, and
deposits its total energy in another place, without interaction
with any other "photons". If you consider emr as being a bunch of
un-quantized waves, with each little ripple carrying energy and
momentum, and them all combining to create a total waveform at
some point at which energy can be deposited (most likely in quanta
proportional to frequency), then I think that a process like
plasma redshift becomes a lot easier to imagine.
This approach, abandoning the "particle" idea of emr, and
relegating the term photon to the dustbin, or at least limiting it
to the interaction of emr and matter, seems to be the only way of
explaining some phenomena, for instance:
1 - The Hanbury Brown - Twiss effect.
2 - Zeeman split light creating GHz beats on a photo-cathode:
Forrester, Gudmundsen and Johnson 1955:
" . . .the emission probability for electrons is
proportional to the square of the resultant electric field
amplitude, implying an interference between light
originating in independent sources."
3 - Optical heterodyning, of which the above is an example.
Please don't write that I am required to explain how unquantized
emr interacts with matter in an apparently quantized fashion! I
don't know and I am not required to explain everything which was
supposedly explained by theories which are invalidated by
observations such as the above.
To which I would add the "three polarizer paradox" which is only
a paradox if one assumes light is individual photons which the
polarizer can only absorb, not rotate:
Thomas, I have linked to your page
http://www.plasmaphysics.org.uk/research/redshift.htm as a
plasma redshift theory along with Ari Brynjolfsson's and mine.
The basis of your theory, as I understand it, is that a
wavefront of light (or microwaves etc.) which has a coherence length
shorter than the average inter-particle spacing will be stretched by
the electric field between those particles. I can't see exactly how
that would occur, but I think it warrants consideration.
Lets think of a left-to-right travelling wavefront as having energy
and momentum - and therefore mass - distributed along it. (With a
short enough wavelength the wavefront can congeal into an electron-
positron pair. Likewise, a flashlight in a spaceship loses mass to
the light beam it creates and the light beam deposits energy and
therefore mass on whatever part of the spaceship absorbs it, but the
total mass of the spaceship remains the same.)
The question is whether the electric field between a particle A, to
the left, which the wavefront is receding from and particle B, which
is is moving towards, can stretch the wavefront. Particle A has more
of an effect on the trailing end of the wavefront and B has more of
an effect on the leading edge. All we need is a mechanism by which
individual parts of the wavefront are attracted to a charged particle
of either polarity. Not much of an effect is required to explain the
cosmological redshift - one part in 13 billion or so per year the
light travels in the inter-cluster medium.
Maybe it is not an electrical attraction, but a gravitational one.
Whatever the nature of the stretching process, it would need to be
shown that the wavefront wasn't similarly compressed to the same
degree when it has one or more particles in its middle.
Such a stretching, redshifting, process would be subject to various
challenges, such as whether it would predict sideways scattering of
the light to a degree greater than that which is observed.
I disagree with your statement that the coherence length of the light
from stars is 100 microns. I estimate that an impulse which has the
spectral characteristics of the Sun's black body light would have
most (say 90%) of its energy in about 2 to 4 microns. The peak
energy is at about 0.5 microns. The coherence length of the emission
and absorption lines would be much longer than this.
I agree in broad principle with the notion of emr being redshifted
pervasively in the inter-galactic or inter-cluster medium by some
kind of plasma redshift process until it attains a wavelength or
coherence length which prevents further redshifting. How well that
would explain the CMB, I am not sure. When thinking about the CMB
and plasma redshift, the the Sunyaev-Zeldovich Effect may be worth
bearing in mind. This involves the CMB seeming to be slightly
shorter wavelength when looking towards galaxy clusters, supposedly
due to CMB being altered by the inter-cluster medium.
(http://www.astro.ucla.edu/~wright/distance.htm#SZ). I tentatively
suggest that this could be explained by the CMB emanating from the
cluster (by whatever mechanism) being not plasma redshifted at that
point compared to the CMB from more distant galaxies having been
plasma redshifted by its passage through a greater distance of
Plasma Theory of Galactic Redshifts and 'Gravitational Lensing' of LightSteve Wilner wrote:
Responding to Steve Wilner's message of March 23.
> Is this redshift supposed to be proportional to column
> density along the line of sight? If so, why do we see the
> same redshift-distance relation in different directions?
Sorry this is long. I include references to papers which
argue that some of the observed redshift of galaxies cannot
be explained directly by Hubble Doppler redshift.
I can't speak about Thomas Smid's theory, which I don't
understand. Here is my response for a plasma redshift theory
in general, such as Ari Brynjolfsson's or my own tentative
If it can be shown that the relationship between distance
and redshift is more even than the established differences
in overall column density of plasma in the various
directions, then this would favour the BBT over a theory of
a relatively static universe with most of the cosmological
redshift being explained by plasma redshift.
However, I am not sure that the distance / redshift ratio is
so clear and predictable. If it was, I would have expected
less variation in the various estimates than are evident in:
Also, I think there are a lot of questions about the nature
of the Inter Cluster Medium (ICM) and the plasma between the
galaxies in the clusters - which I will call the Inter
Galactic Medium (IGM).
For the purposes of this discussion I will ignore various
challenges to the plasma redshift theory, and just
concentrate on how the redshift of visible lines might occur.
Here are some postulates:
1 - Most of the distance travelled by the light of objects
in which the cosmological redshift is clearly visible,
is in the ICM.
2 - While the IGM is denser (and therefore likely to create
more redshift per light year travelled), the distances
travelled are shorter, so the dominant source of the
cosmological redshift is still the ICM in the voids.
In my understanding of plasma redshift, short coherence
length light, such as black body starlight, is substantially
redshifted in relatively dense plasmas with inter-particle
spacings of more than 2 to 5 microns - such as anywhere
above the solar transition region (2,200 km above the
However, these plasmas only have a high column density for a
very short distance, and it is hard to observe the resultant
small shifts in the black body spectrum. If plasma redshift
explains the heating of the solar corona, then the redshift
is likely to be around 0.0001 which is the required fraction
of the Sun's radiant energy.
I expect these denser plasmas (such as in the coronae close
to stars) to redshift the emission or absorption lines to a
much lesser degree than for the black body signal - because
the coherence length of these signals is longer than the
average inter-particle spacing. (However, there may be
a very slight redshift because occasionally a wavefront
of X coherence length encounters a space between the
particles which is about as long, or longer than X, due to
the random spacing of plasma particles.)
I expect the particles of the ICM to be far enough apart to
redshift all visible light, black body and emission and
absorption lines, to the same degree - because I figure the
average inter-particle spacing is a metre or so, which is
longer than the coherence length of the lines. No-one
really knows the density or temperature of the ICM, but on
my page http://astroneu.com/plasma-redshift-1/ I point to a
paper which suggests a temperature of 440 mega-kelvin:
Field, G. B.; Perrenod, S. C. 1977
Constraints on a dense hot intergalactic medium.
ApJ vol. 215, 717-722. 1977ApJ...215..717F
I guess there is a lot of debate about this, but I just want
to suggest that such temperatures - and presumably densities
such as one particle per cubic metre or so - cannot be ruled
Here is a third postulate, which I argue for at my site. This
is for a non-exploding Universe, with no obvious bounds, and
with an age much older than in the BBT. By "non-exploding",
I mean not expanding anywhere near as rapidly as the BBT
predicts. Maybe there was a "bang" in the far distant past -
maybe not. This model does not attempt to explain the
formation of matter or galaxies.
3 - The ICM in the voids is at about the same density and
temperature all over the Universe. This is due to ICM
being illuminated by about the same amount of starlight
(and AGN/quasar light, CMB, X-ray background etc.) at
all locations in the Universe, and this light being
redshifted to heat the ICM approximately uniformly. The
IGM over the billions of years (far longer than 13.7
etc.) has been heated and expanded, exerting a similar
pressure everywhere. The denser IGM, in the clusters,
is pushed around into the gaps between the voids, and
this is where we find the galaxies, which are lighter
than their surrounding clouds of intra-cluster medium
(IGM) and so are gravitationally bound* within these
squished blobs of IGM. The IGM is not so hot - and
therefore not as dense at the same pressure - as the
ICM, because it's greater density enables it to radiate
more heat via bremsstrahlung. In short, the galaxy
clusters are corralled by the pressure of the voids like
soapy water is formed into bubbles by the pressure of
the gas in the bubbles.
* (Actually, there needs to be a way of making the
galaxies aerodynamically stick in the cluster plasma,
but I won't pursue this further here.)
This would lead to most of the visible plasma redshift for
distant galaxies occurring in the ICM all over the Universe,
which has a reasonably consistent density and therefore
average inter-particle spacing. This is the answer to Steve
Wilner's question, but it does not predict an absolutely
direct relationship between distance and redshift. In order
for a plasma redshift theory to survive scrutiny, there
are quite a few implications of such a theory which can be
tested with existing observations. Please see the thread
"Redshift of solar limb and in cosmology" and my response to
some apparently successful critiques from Jonathan
(Note that Bill Keel wrote a message which lends
some evidence against one of these critiques.)
One difference from the direct distance - redshift
relationship I predict is that quasars have additional
redshift, due to them attracting a large amount of plasma
closer to themselves and/or for some other reason relating
to the nature of the plasma which surrounds them. I
predict that most of the Lyman alpha forest occurs close
to the quasar (or some other object such as a galaxy with
high "intrinsic" redshift).
In this scenario, we would also expect extra plasma
redshift, including detectable redshift of emission and
absorption lines, in the plasma closer to galaxies - in the
intra-cluster medium (IGM) and the plasma around each galaxy,
which may be known as the galaxy's corona.
This would result in excessive redshift for galaxies which
are at the back side of the cluster, from Earth, and so
which are viewed through a lot of cluster IGM compared to
galaxies which are on the Earthward edge of the cluster.
This would be observable as an always redward scatter of
galaxy redshifts in addition to the redshift of the cluster,
which is primarily caused by the intervening ICM, and any
actual velocity the cluster has with respect to Earth.
The "finger-of-god" effect is a scatter of redshifts for
galaxies in the same cluster. It is conventionally
attributed to relative motion of those galaxies, which
surely does occur to some extent, and would produce a
symmetrical scatter in both higher and lower redshifts.
In order for a plasma redshift theory to survive scrutiny, I
believe it would be necessary to show that such "finger of
god" effects have a redward bias - that they are the sum
of both plasma redshift effects in the cluster's IGM and of
the relative motions of the galaxies. I haven't tried to
investigate this in further detail. The CFA Redshift Catalog
would be a good source of galaxy redshifts from several
surveys to do this work.
There is another effect which I think a plasma redshift
theory would predict about galaxy redshifts: To the extent
that different galaxies have different coronae - differing in
their extent and density, and perhaps in other ways such as
composition and temperature - then we would expect to see
different redshifts for those galaxies.
Assuming that different galaxy types (based on morphology
apparent size, spectral type etc.) have different types of
coronae, then in this plasma redshift scenario, we would
expect to see statistically different redshifts for
different types of galaxies in the same same cluster.
Some papers which finds such correlations are:
Evidence for Intrinsic Redshifts in Normal Spiral Galaxies
David G. Russell
Astrophys.Space Sci. 298 (2005) 577-602
Further Evidence for Intrinsic Redshifts in Normal Spiral
David G. Russell
Astrophys.Space Sci. 299 (2005) 387-403
Intrinsic Redshifts and the Tully-Fisher Distance Scale
David G. Russell
Astrophys.Space Sci. 299 (2005) 405-418
Halton Arp, whose theories I do not support, wrote about
a similar effect with nearby hot blue stars having higher
than expected redshift.
Redshifts of high-luminosity stars - The K effect, the
Trumpler effect and mass-loss corrections
If such an effect could be demonstrated, a possible
explanation is that the hotter stars have a more extended
corona and that this causes more redshift of the light we
observe. In this case, it would have to be shown that the
absorption lines were redshifted by the plasma in the
stellar corona and wind and I suspect this would be a very
slight effect compared to the redshift of the black body
signal due to the stellar corona having a generally short
distance between its particles compared to the coherence
length of the absorption line signal. However, I haven't
tried to estimate the coherence length of those lines, or
the inter-particle distance in these stars' coronae. Nor
have I tried to verify the redshifts Arp discusses. I guess
there would still be a very slight redshift when the average
inter-particle distance was significantly less than the
coherence length of the light in question.
Redshift of solar limb and in cosmologyOn 4 April 2006 I wrote something further, but I never saw it in the newsgroup:
Responding to Bill Keel's message and Thomas Smid's message.
Thanks Bill for pointing out this apparently foreground
object having a redshift about 0.01 higher than a background
I can't imagine an explanation other than the two objects
moving towards each other at 0.01 the speed of light.
Thanks too for your extensive site!
In a message I wrote in the thread "Plasma Theory of
Galactic Redshifts and 'Gravitational Lensing' of Light" I
cite three papers by David G. Russell which argue for higher
redshift differences between members of the same cluster.
However, he argues these are not due, primarily, to velocity
differences but to some kind of intrinsic redshift mechanism.
Thanks Thomas for your response.
I can't imagine how a very large scale electric field could
develop between a galaxy and its surrounding plasma, or how
such a field could redshift light.
> You seem to assume that the overall width of a spectrum is
> always a measure of the coherency of the radiation.
Yes. I think of light like radio waves and signals in
audio and RF circuits. I do not think of it as "photons" -
I think the radiation is not quantized, but it seems that
its interaction with matter often, or always, is.
If I had electronic circuits small enough and fast enough I
could generate a perfect facsimile of the Sun's black-body
radiation by sending a randomly phased series of impulses to
a small antenna. The impulse would look something like I
sketched in my previous message. Each such impulse would
have the spectrum of the black body light. A single such
impulse of sufficient energy would deposit energy in lots of
"photons" distributed over the detector of a spectrograph
with the same statistics as the black body light from the
Sun. I argue that since I can make light which is
indistinguishable from that of the Sun (not counting
absorption lines etc.) out of a bunch of tiny impulses, and
that since we can predict many aspects of the behaviour of
the entire stream of impulses by thinking about just one
impulse, that it is valid to think of the light being made
up of such impulses. I know this may seem a little forced,
but it makes no sense to me what you suggest:
> The continuum of the stars is not produced by a single
> wave-train with a very short duration, but by long
> wave-trains which merely have different frequencies: if a
> free electron recombines into a certain atomic level, it
> produces a sharp line according to the difference of the
> energy of the free electron and the atomic level, and it
> is only the fact that the free electron energies are
> distributed continuously over a rather wide range which
> lead to the apparent continuum.
I don't believe that the maelstrom of atoms, ions and
electrons at the photosphere, or the vibrations in a hot
filament, can usefully be seen in terms of neat transitions
between clearly defined quantum energies of atoms. It looks
to me like a vast number of antennae all of which are
radiating in "random" ways, according to some common
Theoretically I think you could make black body light with
an infinitely (or near infinitely) large number of narrow
transmitters as you suggest - but this seems less physically
satisfying to me than the idea of lots of tiny impulses.
> . . . broadening does not imply a reduction of the
An eternal sine wave is infinitely coherent. Any random
or regular modulation of its amplitude or frequency produces
a broader spectrum which is inherently less coherent. I
don't think one has to consider how the signal was made -
just see it as an electrical signal in space and subject
it to spectrum analysis, electronically, with a prism or via
some other method such as a diffraction grating or an attempt
to detect it with a narrow filter such as an atom or
molecule which is ready to absorb this particular wavelength.
> . . . during the emission the atoms undergo collisions
> with free electrons in the plasma, and the associated
> phase jumps during the emission reduce, according to my
> estimate, the coherence time to about 10^-12 sec in the
> photosphere (for visible light) which translates into a
> coherence length of about 10^-2 cm.
> So you really can not tell anything about the coherency of
> a radiation field just by looking at the width of the
I completely disagree. I have already tried to explain why
I estimate the coherence length of black body sunlight is
just a few microns. I don't think it is necessary to
consider how the light is made. The spectrum alone tells us
how coherent it is.
If I get some random noise - white noise, which is
completely random values per sample (in a sampled digital
signal processing system) - this has no coherence at all.
Its coherence length is zero. If I filter it to give it
a spectrum identical to a black body spectrum, I introduce
some correlation between the value of one sample the values
of the samples which precede it. This gives it some
coherency - probably a few samples long, depending on
exactly how "coherence length" is defined.
If I then take this sample and pass it through a band-reject
filter, say one which only reduces frequencies in a range
of 0.0001 of the entire frequency range, as happens when
black body light passes through a gas or plasma which absorbs
narrow lines, then the result can be seen as the original
unfiltered signal plus a second, very narrow spectrum,
highly coherent, signal. That second signal nulls out the
energy which was in the original signal only in a very
narrow range of frequencies. A similar narrow (long
coherence length) signal is added if I use a narrow band
pass filter - its just that its phase constructively adds
to a narrow range of frequencies in the original.
> The photospheric temperature is irrelevant for the corona
> and the solar wind. The latter arise from material that
> penetrates *through* the photosphere from the region below
> (which has a temperature of 10^7 K according to the
> gravitational energy of the sun).
OK - I understand you see the photosphere as a kind of
barrier with a few particles passing through it, carrying
their thermal and kinetic energy. I had assumed you were
invoking your plasma redshift theory to account for the
heating and acceleration of the corona and wind.
I can't imagine how this penetration of the photosphere
could occur, and I can't see how any such process could
explain the rising temperature gradient, the thinning plasma
and the increasing velocity well into the corona. Nor do I
see how your theory could explain delivery of momentum to
ions etc. in the wind, way out past the Earth's orbit. I
understand they are still being accelerated all through the
distances we have so far been able to observe, such as with
the Pioneer spacecraft.
With volcanoes, we observe the lava getting cooler and
slowing down with gravity as it emerges. Completely the
opposite occurs with the solar corona and wind.
Here are some clarifications and additions to my long
message which appeared on March 27 and again, for some
reason, on April 7.
> The denser IGM, in the clusters,
> is pushed around into the gaps between the voids, and
> this is where we find the galaxies, which are lighter
The galaxies, collectively, are less massive . . .
> than their surrounding clouds of intra-cluster medium
> (IGM) and so are gravitationally bound within these
> squished blobs of IGM. The IGM is not so hot - and
> therefore not as dense
Should be: "and therefore is denser (smaller inter-particle
spacing, which should redshift light more per megaparsec)"
at the same pressure - than the void ICM, because the IGM's
greater density enables it to radiate more heat via
An image showing the bubble like structure of the voids and
"fingers of god" is:
Here are some thoughts on what a plasma redshift theory
would have to do in order to explain such an image.
In the BBT, it is expected that there is a good relationship
between distance and redshift, due to the expansion.
However, to explain these redshifts as being primarily due
to plasma redshift, and not due to expansion at all, we need
to be able to explain why there is a consistent redshift
between galaxies at the less dense parts of clusters and
Earth. In the denser parts of the clusters, there is a lot
of scatter. This may be partly Doppler from relative
movement of the galaxies within the cluster. In a plasma
redshift theory, a lot of the scatter would be positive due
to galaxies at the far side of a dense cluster having their
light suffer extra redshift as it traversed the denser
plasma (IGM) inside the cluster.
Ignoring this scatter, we see reasonably fine detail of
"bubble-like" voids and clusters between them. This looks
like it involves a relationship between redshift and
distance which is consistent to about +/- 4%, at least over
one sector of the sky. To explain this with plasma redshift,
it would be necessary to show that the great majority of
redshift of those galaxies was due to passage through the
voids (the ICM) rather than the denser cluster IGM of the
cluster the galaxy is in, and of other clusters which the
light passes through en-route to Earth. It would also be
necessary to show that the density of plasma in those
voids (or at least the rate of redshift per megaparsec) was
consistent within a few percent, at least within these
distances and over a 10 or 20 degree sector of the sky from
Earth. More likely, if this was true, the density of the
voids, or at least the larger voids, would be highly
consistent all over the Universe.
To explain such consistent density of the voids with a
plasma redshift theory, I think it would be necessary to
show something like:
1 - The voids are illuminated by consistent levels
of light (and potentially UV, X-rays, IR,
microwaves etc.) which they redshift.
2 - The redshift process deposits energy which heats
the void plasma to the required temperatures.
3 - This energy deposition does not result in net
momentum deposition, which would push the void
plasma one way or another. This is easily shown
if the light illuminating the void comes from
4 - The Universe is old enough that the pressure of
the voids has substantially equalised. The bubble
like structure suggests that the equalisation was
by bubbles either expanding, pushing clusters
around, or by settling down to their current size,
temperature and density, whilst confining the
clusters without moving them around much.
If there was "leakage" between the voids, they
would presumably join to be a single sphere,
rather than remaining as independent roughly
spherical bubbles as we seem to observe.
The Wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fingers_of_God
mentions a second mechanism, other than random galaxy
movements, for these fingers: the "Kaiser Effect", due to
galaxies falling inwards towards the centre of the cluster.
In the non-BBT model I am exploring, I think that there is
little or no infall, and probably a lot less random movement
than is currently widely believed. I think the galaxies are
relatively static, suspended in their jelly/Jello-like IGM.
I suggest that the visible galaxies make up only a small
fraction of the mass of the cluster. The rest of the mass
is made up by:
1 - The cluster IGM - the plasma, which is comprised
of the multiple "coronae" of each of the
galaxies (I assume galaxies give off a stream of
plasma just like stars do) merging into a
general cloud of plasma, which is cooler, denser
and gravitationally attracted by the total mass
of the cluster, but which is primarily bound by
the pressure of the surrounding, roughly
spherical, exceedingly hot, low-density voids.
2 - A large amount of the mass of the cluster,
perhaps the majority being made up of "black
dwarfs" and their collision by-products.
In this model, the galaxies are very old and have produced a
vast number of stars in the past, many of which died and
became black dwarfs. I suggest that these did not remain in
the disk-shaped orbits of the spiral galaxies, but that over
very long time periods they were flung out into a cloud of
uncorrelated orbits (just like the visible stars in an
elliptical galaxy) by gravitational interactions with active
stars and with each other.
Stars generally can't survive such close gravitational
encounters as would fling them out of the galaxy - they
would be torn apart by tidal forces. But black dwarfs are
very small, compact and presumably solid. (I guess many
neutron stars could be subject to the same process.)
Black dwarfs and old neutron stars would eventually be
ejected into a much larger, diffuse, cloud surrounding the
visible spiral galaxy. Over time, they would collide, in
addition to their occasional collisions in the galactic
plane where they originated, and these fragments of black
dwarfs would cause further collisions. This is analogous to
the feared runaway pattern of collisions and fragmentation
of artificial satellites around the Earth.
I suggest that each spiral galaxy has a cloud of black
dwarfs and collision fragments which form the "dark matter
halo" which would explain the currently unexplained
galactic rotation curves. No-doubt some of these black
dwarfs etc. would be flung further afield and leave the
gravitational bounds of the galaxy. They would wind up in
the cluster IGM, broadly gravitationally bound by the mass
of the cluster, which is mainly IGM plasma and other black
I don't attempt to explain everything. There needs to be a
way of showing that the visible galaxies are gravitationally
bound to their black dwarf etc. halos (which is easy if the
halos are more massive) and that these assemblies of stars,
galactic ISM and black dwarf halos are somehow
aerodynamically or otherwise stuck in the cluster IGM.
For a theory such as mine to pass muster, it would be
necessary to explain why a galaxy could be constrained
gravitationally and/or aerodynamically to the cluster IGM in
which it is embedded. I won't try to explore that now,
other than the above suggestions, but I think it is worth
considering the problem of how one would suggest that a
single star might be constrained by the plasma it is
The star is pumping out a coronae and wind which contributes
to that plasma. Any plasma which is near the star is
immediately accelerated away by whatever process drives the
wind (I suggest plasma redshift or something similar).
Assuming the driving force for the wind is the light itself,
then how could we explain the star itself receiving any
force at all from the surrounding plasma? I don't see how
we could, since the force on the plasma arises from the
star's light, and the star shines its light out in all
directions evenly, so there is no net force on the star.
(If the driving force was magnetic, then it might be
possible to show that the force exerted on the wind is
driven from the star itself, which would cause the star
to be constrained by its surrounding plasma. However,
attempts to explain coronal/wind heating/acceleration in
terms of magnetic fields have not been successful:
In this model, there probably needs to be some long-term
source of matter to create new stars to drive this long-term
production of black dwarfs.
I have no theories about this, or about the origin of the
dimensions, time, matter and forces in the Universe. I
don't think the BBT explains these either, but at least my
theories attempt to explain the heating of stellar coronae,
the acceleration of stellar winds, the rotation curves of
spiral galaxies and the large-scale bubble-like structure of
the voids and clusters.
Craig Markwardt has also made two critiques relevant to my theory.
Firstly, on 2005 April 12 in "Galaxy cluster at z=1.4 challenges BBT" on sci.astro.research, he wrote a detailed message:
http://groups.google.com/group/sci.astro.research/msg/5600ca4f1af2978eI regret that I have not responded to this critique.
Secondly, on 2005 March 3 he wrote in the about the anomalous redshift of lines near the limb of the Sun in a message on the sci.astro.research "Redshift of solar limb and in cosmology" thread :
A quick consultation of the literature suggests that it has
been known for decades that the solar limb redshift effect can be
explained by asymmetric absorption line profiles, viewed at different
angles. (e.g. Dravins Lindegren & Nordlund 1981)
In fact, the web site you refer to does admit that [ref. Marmet],
: ... One must conclude that the red shift resulting from
: bremsstrahlung, as predicted , , leads naturally to
: asymmetries of the type observed in solar spectra.
On the other hand, there is ample evidence for redshifts of a
cosmological nature. [eg. ref. Markwardt]
Dravins, D., Lindegren, L., & Nordlund, A. 1981, A&A, 96, 345
Solar granulation - Influence of convection on spectral line asymmetries and wavelength shifts
In the above thread: http://groups.google.com/group/sci.astro.research/browse_frm/thread/ebcc6ba3f8911426/ Jonathan Silverlight cites two papers which indicate that both 21cm (absorption) line and X-ray (emission) lines have been observed with redshifts the same as the distant object's optical redshift. With a brief reading of the papers cited and with my limited expertise, I can't find anything wrong with these observations or their interpretations, such as misidentification of the lines etc.
On March 7, Jonathan Silverlight wrote (I added the further information in green):
The problem is that you find visible-light and radio redshifts which areThe first paper concerns redshifts around z = 0.0047 for both a calcium optical absorption line and a long coherence-length narrow microwave absorption line from hydrogen, at 21cm. These both presumably occur in the gas associated with a galaxy which is the line of sight to a quasar (z = 1.05).
the same. Here's an example
Discovery of low-redshift, neutral hydrogen absorption in the radio spectrum of PKS 2020-370And red shifted X-ray lines have also been observed
Carilli, C. L.; van Gorkom, J. H.
Astrophysical Journal, Part 1, vol. 319, Aug. 15, 1987, p. 683-686.
The first XMM-Newton spectrum of a high redshift quasar - PKS 0537-286
Reeves, J. N et al.
Astronomy and Astrophysics, v.365, p.L116-L121 (2001)
As far as I can tell, the plasma redshift mechanism I propose won't work to any significant degree with long coherence length electromagnetic radiation such as 21cm emission or (I believe) absorption lines. So if, as I argue, there is no BBT-style expansion of the Universe and plasma redshift is the cause of the cosmological redshift - and therefore presumably the optical redshift of this galaxy (NGC 3067, x = 0.0049) - then I can't explain the redshift of this 21cm line with plasma redshift. In other words, assuming the visible light of the galaxy and the 21cm absorption line in its vicinity are redshifted by the same mechanism, then I don't see how that mechanism could be something like my idea of plasma redshift. That leaves two possibilities:
The absorption line is relatively slight (~2.8%) and its exact frequency and width cannot be properly resolved, but as far as I can see the researchers have established that it is real.
- There is no expansion of the Universe and the redshift is Doppler, caused by relative movement between the Sun and this galaxy.
- The movement of the galaxy with respect to the Sun is due to the expansion of the Universe, so the BBT is true.
The second case involves an X-ray emission line, believed by the researches to be from iron, which matches the optical redshift of a high redshift quasar. I have not read this paper in detail and I am not familiar with the details of the XMM-Newton satellite (http://xmm.vilspa.esa.es/). The paper's abstract includes:
" . . . there is evidence for weak Compton reflection. A redshifted iron K line, observed at 1.5 keV - corresponding to ~6.15 keV in the quasar rest frame - is detected at 95% confidence. If confirmed, this is the most distant iron K line known. The line equivalent width is small (33 eV), consistent with the 'X-ray Baldwin effect' observed in other luminous quasars."If quasars really are moving away from us with the velocities implied by their redshift (z = 3.104 in this case), then (ignoring low redshift quasars for the moment), it seems that the Universe really is expanding as predicted by the BBT. My plasma redshift theory is tentative and I envisage that X-rays would not be affected by such a mechanism as much as visible light. So if there really are X-rays and visible light arriving from quasars with the same redshift, then as far as I know, my theory doesn't provide an explanation for that redshift.
It is possible that both these papers involve a misidentification of these lines or some other misinterpretation. I don't argue that they do, so they constitute a serious critique of plasma redshift. However, I see so many things wrong with the BBT (for instance, where are the quasars or their remnants now?) that I will keep pursuing plasma redshift as a potential explanation for the cosmological redshift on the basis that these observations might have some other explanation.
I think plasma redshift, or something similar to it, is a strong candidate for explaining the heating and acceleration of the solar corona and wind. Something must be delivering momentum to particles far out into the wind, way past Earth. In the absence of new particles or forces, I believe the delivery mechanism must be electromagnetic. The conventional theories invoke very long wavelength magnetic waves, but as Steven Cranmer notes ( http://astroneu.com/plasma-redshift-1/#Cranmer ) these can't explain the momentum deposition. I think the very small, short coherence-length, wavefronts of visible light are the only likely candidate for delivering this momentum. Each wavefront contains energy and momentum, and my theory (or something like it) provides a mechanism by which these wavefronts experience the vacuum with occasional particles as an inhomogeneous medium, tripping up on the particles in a way which delivers some energy and momentum to them.
I contribute to discussions on http://groups.google.com/group/sci.astro.research and http://groups.google.com/group/sci.physics.research .
I am keen to read and understand the work of A. F. Kracklauer. His site is:
http://nonloco-physics.0catch.com/ (This is A. F. Kracklauer's new site in July 2011. Previously, his site was at http://www.nonloco-physics.000freehosting.com.)
Some of his papers are at:
A recent paper at his site reviews various paradigms for the interaction of electromagnetic radiation and matter: Oh Photon, Photon, whither art thou gone? A. F. Kracklauer also has a number of English translations of historic quantum mechanics papers, including papers by Werner Heisenberg and Louis-Victor de Broglie. If the PDFs at this site don't appear in your browser at first, try Reload.
I am also keen to read the work of Edwin T. Jaynes (1992 - 1998) http://bayes.wustl.edu .
Ari Brynjolfsson has no website, but his papers are available at:
http://arxiv.org/find/astro-ph/1/au:+Brynjolfsson_A/0/1/0/all/0/1I am reading up on the work of Robert Hanbury-Brown (1916 - 2002 http://www.science.org.au/academy/memoirs/brown.htm ) and Richard Twiss ( ? - 2005 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Q._Twiss ), who developed an optical intensity interferometer for measuring the apparent diameter of stars. As I understand it, the system works and cannot be explained by the prevailing photon paradigm. The "Hanbury Brown Twiss effect" turns up in various contexts.
The late Caroline Thompson was the first to suggest to me that there was no such thing as photons. I didn't believe her at the time. This thread in sci.physics (11 Feb 2006) "nightlight" wrote of her passing: http://groups.google.com/group/sci.physics/browse_frm/thread/8a70061c009e2b90/ Her site is: http://freespace.virgin.net/ch.thompson1/ In the event that her site disappears, some or all of it may be available at http://archive.org. Also, I have archived her entire site. Please let me know if you would like a copy.
Thomas Smid has a Plasma Redshift Theory based on the idea that short coherence length wavefronts are stretched by the electric field between the charged particles in low-density plasma: http://www.plasmaphysics.org.uk/research/redshift.htm . This was discussed in sci.astro.research in March 2006 "Plasma Theory of Galactic Redshifts and 'Gravitational Lensing' of Light". See also the discussion around then: "Redshift of solar limb and in cosmology". In the March discussion, Thomas Smid cites two papers which he says indicate that there are different redshifts of certain lines from quasars, including http://arxiv.org/pdf/astro-ph/9301001 .
The Alternative Cosmology Newsletter http://www.cosmology.info/newsletter/2006.03.htm points to an analysis by R.G. Vishwakarma of recent supernovae observations, with the intriguing title: Recent Supernovae Ia observations tend to rule out all the cosmologies: http://xxx.lanl.gov/pdf/astro-ph/0511628 . There have been frequent discussions about supernovae type 1a in sci.astro.research . Jerry Jensen hasn't published anything about this since his paper nearly two years ago: http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0404207 "Supernovae Light Curves: An Argument for a New Distance Modulus". Some discussion of this paper appears at: http://cosmocoffee.info/viewtopic.php?t=419 .2006 June 23:
I stumbled across a collection of PDFs at the Aperion site http://redshift.vif.com/files/Redshifts/ , which includes a PDF of my main page http://astroneu.com/plasma-redshift-1/. All these were created in October 2005. Google found them, but I can't find any page at the Apeiron site which links to these. Of potential interest to anyone pursuing tired-light theories are the files listed below. I have only looked at them briefly. (I have an archive of them, in case they disappear.)
I haven't got time to go through them all at present.
- http://redshift.vif.com/files/Redshifts/2619_001.pdf "Cold Plasma Waves", Chapter 4 of "Plasma Astrophysics", by Arnold O. Benz.
- http://redshift.vif.com/files/Redshifts/Ashmore%20-%20Redshift%20due%20to%20Photon-Electron%20Interaction%20in%20Plasma.pdf From Lyndon Ashmore's site.
- http://redshift.vif.com/files/Redshifts/Crawford%201979%20-%20Redshift.pdf "Photon decay in curved space time" D. F. Crawford, Nature, 22 February 1979.
- http://redshift.vif.com/files/Redshifts/deBroglie%20-%20Redshift.pdf "Remarques sur l'interpretation de la dualite des ondes et des
corpuscles." Louis de Broglie, in French, Cahiers de Physique, Nr. 147, October 1962, S. 425-445. I wonder if there is a translation somewhere. (I found the source in a thesis: http://smithers.physnet2.uni-hamburg.de/archive/THESIS/H.Sievers/db_33.pdf.gz - a pesky Gzipped PDF, which Mozilla somehow reads OK.)
- http://redshift.vif.com/files/Redshifts/Errors%20in%20Tired%20Light%20Cosmology.pdf (Archive of Ned Wright's http://www.astro.ucla.edu/%7Ewright/tiredlit.htm .)
- http://redshift.vif.com/files/Redshifts/Finlay-Freundlich%20Redshifts%201954.pdf Several papers including "Redshifts in the spectra of celestial bodies" from ~1954 by Finlay-Freundlich and one by Max Born.
- http://redshift.vif.com/files/Redshifts/Fuerth%201964%20Redshift.pdf "A new hypothesis to account for the red-shift in the spectra of distant stars" R. Furth, Physics Letters 1 December 1964. (Refers to Finlay-Freundlich and Max Born's pieces just mentioned.)
Robert S. Fritzius has a short paper: "Cosmological Redshift": http://www.datasync.com/~rsf1/cosmo_rs.htm with a bunch of references, including a link to my site. (Thanks Robert, I think your link may be the first!)
2005 November 2 Initial "Simmering" page established..
2005 December 9 Fixed some expression errors and added a few notes in brackets.
2006 February 26 Added some links.
2006 March 3 Added my initial post to s.p.r on the solar limb redshift problem.
2006 March 6 Revised the above post.
2006 March 9 Added material about critiques by Craig Markwardt and Jonathan Silverlight.
2006 March 11 Added link to Thomas Smid's theory and my discussion of it on sci.astro.research.
2006 March 15 Added link to R.G. Vishwakarma paper.
2006 June 23 Added another response I wrote to sci.astro.research and linked to Robert S. Fritzius' paper and to the dossier of redshift files at the Apeiron site.
2006 September 8 Added new section at the start on my estimate of the acceleration due to sunlight at 1AU, and some thoughts about experiments. Minor additions made on 11 September.
2006 September 11 Added images and discussion of the "blackbody impulse".
2006 September 14 Added a few small notes.
2007 February 01 Reorganised the start of the page to be News and Contents. Most updates after today will be obvious from this section.