Big Bang ‘gravitational waves’ claims under attack

Posted: May 14, 2014 by oldbrew in Astrophysics, Celestial Mechanics, Gravity, solar system dynamics

Big Bang  [credit: Wikipedia]

Big Bang
[credit: Wikipedia]

An orchestrated media blitz to push claims that ‘spectacular’ evidence of cosmic inflation had been detected by researchers could be turning sour only a few weeks later.

The story broke in a blaze of publicity – but before peer review:
‘First direct evidence for cosmic inflation announced’

Now it seems the BICEP2 results are looking a bit flabby according to one commentator close to the action.

‘Blogger claims BICEP2 team acknowledging possible error in discovery of evidence of gravitational waves’

Maybe pre-empting peer review wasn’t so smart?

History of the Universe (Wikipedia graphic)

*** UPDATE 26/09/14: Bang goes the theory, or so it seems ***

  1. oldbrew says:

    The original announcement was greeted with amusement in some quarters.

  2. Raghu Singh says:

    1. Folks have been trying, I would say sincerely, to detect gravitational waves/radiation (GWR) for the past several decades at some of famous labs (LIGO, LISA, et al.). These labs, sorry to say, have not been successful– maybe due to the weak GWR arriving at the earth. Hopefully e-LIGO would have better luck.
    2. Then, Hulse and Taylor explained the shrinking of the orbits of the pulsars PSR B1913+16 using general relativity’s GWR. They got the Nobel Prizes for that. But those calculations did not include some salient non-gravitational effects, such the enormous magnetic fields of the pulsars. They are neutron stars, you know at 21,000 light years from us. And they are way bigger than our sun. Other gravitation models yield the same results. See my paper on this website.
    3. Then, they claim that the distortions in the microwaves (wavelengths 1 mm – 30 cm), emanated at the Big Bang and detected at the South Pole very recently, were due to the GWR given off, again, at the Big Bang. The problem is that how do they know that those distortions were not due to other em waves? There were lots of em waves out there and they were very intense.
    4. Astrophysics needs to be rescued. (I have never seen so much inferences made from so little data!) The mainstream physicists/astrophysicists won’t progress and won’t let any outsider progress either. Well, welcome to the post-modern science.
    Raghu Singh

  3. Doug Proctor says:

    It is a shame that research grants, not just egos, are at stake with big announcements. Egos get trimmed back and the guy in the next office is more careful after a fiasco. Everyone understands the drive for a spotlight with grants, however, and a crash-and-burn is no real problem. More a sign you are trying (“More than doofus in the next office!”)

    Ya gotta try if ya wanna win.

  4. oldbrew says:

    ‘Astrophysics needs to be rescued. (I have never seen so much inferences made from so little data!) The mainstream physicists/astrophysicists won’t progress and won’t let any outsider progress either. Well, welcome to the post-modern science’

    Raghu: other branches of science may well have similar problems. Climate science obviously springs to mind. ‘Post-modern’ = ‘make something up’?

  5. Truthseeker says:

    I would have thought that this site would have been a little less inclined to follow the “it must be peer reviewed” dogma given what happened with Pattern Recognition in Physics. “Peer review” is no guarantee of good science. You should not be throwing rocks because it was not “peer reviewed”. You should be more critical of the science itself.

  6. Orson says:

    My understanding is that the Harvard-lead research group was quite careful.

    The advantage of BICEP2 was that it seized hold of the capacity of advancing technology of signal processing power from the beginning, in the design of the experiment. The group well-understands the necessity of confirmation by other groups.

    If technology behind the design is the key to confirmation, I’m sure the group will wait patiently for the few or several years it may take. And then – if it cannot be done – admit that they didn’t have the ‘goods.’

  7. Konrad says:

    The Earth is the centre of the universe…
    Our Sun is the centre of the universe…
    Our solar system is the centre of the universe…

    Each time it has been anthropocentric conceit.

    So too with “big bang”, the stench of anthropocentric conceit hangs heavy. A beginning, a middle and an end, just like the little lives we know.

    Cannot the human mind cope with the concept of a “snap, crackle and pop” universe with no beginning or end?

    I think it can, but the problem here is scientists are human and science is a human concern. The scientific method has been devised in part to circumvent tribal pressure, however it has proved powerless against the goupthink of global warming. Imagine trying to challenge the inanity of “big bang”?

  8. kuhnkat says:


    “Each time it has been anthropocentric conceit.”

    You have heard of the “Fingers of God??”


  9. oldbrew says:

    Truthseeker: the problem was they called in the international news media and made some strong claims that are now unravelling, without undergoing peer review.

    The PRP documents WERE peer-reviewed.

  10. Wayne Job says:

    “Astrophysics needs to be rescued” as it stands it is beyond rescue, it is a closed shop with no original thought allowed. Monty Pythonish, it is a dead parrot, as in particle physics, if it does not fit the theory make up some imaginary friends to make the theory work, as in dark energy and matter.

    One has to wonder how much stuff that does not fit the theory has to happen before they start to think.

  11. mkelly says:

    Kuhnkat here is a link to the “hand of God” not just His fingers.

  12. Chaeremon says:

    Here is a prediction, published as note on several other papers in 2009, that Einstein gravitational waves cannot be predicted with mathematics because the latter is not just flawed but completely wrong on scientific grounds: Why Einstein gravitational waves are fictitious.

    The author of the note Stephen J. Crothers got email (February 2014) from Germany’s top Almighty Max Planck Institute (MPI) who want to see him dead, and that they will throw a party to celebrate his death >(the parts in English are the emails, look what Alexander Khalaidovski of MPI had to say): Letter of complaint to the President of the Max Planck Institute (but, as one may expect from the top Almighty: no response).

    Death threads to critics of anthropogenic global warming hoax, death wishes in reponse to mathematical mistakes shown in gravitational waves theology, what a world this is!

  13. p.g.sharrow says:

    Gravity is not a wave function. It is a static field. There may be waves in that field caused by outside interference just as waves are created in ocean waters. Gravity is not caused by special particles ,gravitons. It is a function of matter.
    Matter, protons, is a low charge, positive, condition that is attractive to the high charge, negative, of space and the electron shells of other mater. This causes warpage of the dielectric. That is the position of the nuclear mass within the electron shell surface. This condition is also the cause of mass/inertia. The mass of the atom is within a very tiny central nucleus that wants to be centered inside the huge electron shell that is the surface of the atom. If the proton were the size of a basketball/soccer-ball (1foot), the electron shell would be the size of the U.S. (3000 miles) The attempt of the atom to center it’s dielectric is the acceleration moment that is gravity, mass/inertia effects. pg

  14. Raghu Singh says:

    If you want to realize where physics stands, please read Lee Smolin’s The Trouble with Physics.

    To p.g. sharrow: There are two kinds of waves: one needs a medium; the other does not. Sound waves and water waves need mediums, em waves do not. I am sure you know why.
    Then the question is: to which gravitational waves belong? If in the first, what is the medium (is it space-time geometry field?). If in the second, what are the two fields that are oscillating and generating each other?

  15. p.g.sharrow says:

    @Raghu; as an electrician I require an EMF medium for my examinations of the universe. I have been aware of the short comings of the standard physics model for over 50 years. So I wrote my own to serve my needs. An examination of light, mass/inertia and gravity leads me to posit an Aether filled universe for everything to work.
    I have read much of your comments and I agree with most of your observations. At least on this blog we can examine each others different view points on how the facts fit with the theories. pg

  16. Wayne Job says:

    P.G. I agree about the aether needed to make the universe work. As others more sagacious than I have postulated it is likely seething in the vacuum with low spun photons. This is the medium of propagation, stack theirs spins high enough you get electrons, appearing like magic in the vacuum.

    No need to borrow imaginary particles to make particle physics work, no imaginary friends to make the cosmos complete, just common sense.

  17. oldbrew says:

    ‘If space were a vacuum, then the Sun’s magnetic dipole field, about 10^−4 teslas at the surface of the sun, would reduce with the inverse cube of the distance to about 10^−11 teslas. But satellite observations show that it is about 100 times greater at around 10^−9 teslas.’

  18. p.g.sharrow says:

    @Wayne Job; I have much the same opinion. If you wish see;

    My blog, this is the start entry on this subject.

    All subatomic particles may well be the same thing, with different spin, wobble and travel caused EMF signatures.
    A researcher examined over 10,000 “track” plates from Lawrence Radiation Laboratories, Berkeley and Livermore and published a paper in the early 1990s, wish I could remember authors name and which Journal, maybe Scientific American or Nature. But he posited that Photons,Electrons and Neutrinos were the same thing, just different EMF signatures as they changed from one to another on collision.
    Modern researchers using larger and larger “Atom Smashers” to create greater kinds of shards of glass so that they can classify a new one and collect a Nobel. But “glass” is made of metal oxides and not glass shards. 😉 pg

  19. p.g.sharrow says:

    @Oldbrew, The argument over the existence of Aether has been going on for along time. Even Albert Einstein preferred it, but, his peers had rejected it and had married themselves to the concept of real Photons, Electrons and Neutrinos, and the nonexistence of Aether. Too bad as that precludes the solution to gravity, something that Einstein had been working on from his earliest days. To investigate gravity you must start with the solution to light and it’s behavior in space. This must be solved for a quanta of energy that behaves like a wave! A thing that is not. This can only be solved with Aether. I see no other solution. Declare light a particle and the nonexistence of Aether and preclude any real understanding of gravity. Look to the test devices. They all require 3 quanta photons of energy to discharge 1 quanta electron to create an event signal. When you discharge energy from a wave it doesn’t make any difference where it is done, the energy is drained out, the signal can appear and be drained at any point along the wave. A particle that can a be in many places at once but only one will be detected. A particle that travel faster in more dense material has to be a wave and a wave requires some kind of medium to travel in. I need Aether to understand the Universe. pg

  20. Wayne Job says:

    Thanks PG I had a good look around your site, you are as crazy as I am, meant in a nice way of course.

  21. p.g.sharrow says:

    I have aspired to be an eccentric. The only difference between an eccentric and a crazy old man is money! I haven’t got the money part yet. Wizards are generally a bit shabby and perhaps a little crazy! I guess I’ll have to settle for that. <l8-) pg

  22. mpc755 says:

    There is no such thing as non-baryonic dark matter anchored to matter. Matter moves through and displaces the aether. Aether has mass.

    The Milky Way’s halo is the state of displacement of the aether.

    The Milky Way’s halo is physical evidence of curved spacetime.

    What is referred to geometrically as curved spacetime physically exists in nature as the state of displacement of the aether.

    ‘The Milky Way’s dark matter halo appears to be lopsided’

    “The emerging picture of the asymmetric dark matter halo is supported by the \Lambda CDM halos formed in the cosmological N-body simulation.”

    The Milky Way’s ‘dark matter halo’ is lopsided due to the matter in the Milky Way moving through and displacing the aether.

    ‘Offset between dark matter and ordinary matter: evidence from a sample of 38 lensing clusters of galaxies’

    “Our data strongly support the idea that the gravitational potential in clusters is mainly due to a non-baryonic fluid, and any exotic field in gravitational theory must resemble that of CDM fields very closely.”

    The offset is due to the galaxy clusters moving through the aether. The analogy is a submarine moving through the water. You are under water. Two miles away from you are many lights. Moving between you and the lights one mile away is a submarine. The submarine displaces the water. The state of displacement of the water causes the center of the lensing of the light propagating through the water to be offset from the center of the submarine itself. The offset between the center of the lensing of the light propagating through the water displaced by the submarine and the center of the submarine itself is going to remain the same as the submarine moves through the water. The submarine continually displaces different regions of the water. The state of the water connected to and neighboring the submarine remains the same as the submarine moves through the water even though it is not the same water the submarine continually displaces. This is what is occurring as the galaxy clusters move through and displace the aether.

    The state of displacement of the aether is gravity.

  23. oldbrew says:

    Update: ‘It could be a large error, but it could also be a rather minor one.’

  24. oldbrew says:

    Tim Cullen queries ‘mainstream’ gravity theory and proposes an alternative.

  25. p.g.sharrow says:

    @Oldbrew; Thanks for the links, interesting reads. I don’t often have time to search for these things. pg

  26. oldbrew says:

    More flak coming in…

    ‘Experts cast doubt on Big Bang bolstering discovery’

    Paul Steinhardt, director of Princeton University’s Center for Theoretical Science, addressed the issue in the prestigious British journal Nature in early June.

    “Serious flaws in the analysis have been revealed that transform the sure detection into no detection,” Steinhardt wrote, citing an independent analysis of the BICEP2 findings.
    The report ends:
    ‘At the time of their announcement in March, the scientists said they spent three years analyzing their data to rule out any errors.’

    Only took a few weeks for others to put the skids under that.

  27. oldbrew says:

    Oh no…The Register says: ‘ “Big Bang echo” may have been grit on the scanner – boffins’

    The Reg.: “It’s not completely definitive – but it’s pretty powerful. BICEP2 did indeed observe the signal that they said they observed; but the smart money right now is betting that the signal didn’t come from the early universe,” blogged physicist Sean Carroll of Caltech.

    Also: ‘Cosmic inflation: BICEP ‘underestimated’ dust problem’

    ‘BICEP2 gravitational wave result bites the dust’

  28. oldbrew says:

    BICEP2: the inquest starts…

    ‘A look back at how the dust fell on BICEP2’

    ‘Suffice to say that with the way the entire BICEP2 ding-dong has played out in the public eye, BICEP2 itself is now most likely left with egg on its face. The cosmology community at large is either embarrassed or annoyed and the public is unsure what to believe. But maybe, in some way, this will help give a better and more realistic view of how science is done – someone makes a claim and it is then rigorously checked and re-checked before it can be accepted as scientific fact. But this is normally done behind closed laboratory doors and blind peer-review and only the final “correct” finding is made public.’ [bold added]

    ‘While the BICEP2 findings’ fate still rests on a knife-edge, what with the ongoing combined analysis with the Planck collaboration, the entire situation has given the physics community a lot to talk, debate and think about.’

    Such are the perils of ‘sticking your neck out’ 😉

  29. oldbrew says:

    BICEP theory RIP.

    ‘Cosmic inflation: New study says BICEP detection was wrong’

    ‘Cosmic inflation’s ‘smoking gun’ goes up in smoke’

    Shame about all the media coverage and TV press conferences with hordes of grinning scientists 😉

    Quote: ‘Steinhardt fears that inflation is so flexible it cannot be proved false. Once started, inflation is hard to stop, and should have spawned a zoo of universes, each with different properties. “Any result can fit somewhere in the multiverse,” Steinhardt says.’

    Anyone think of another ‘science’ theory that might be ‘so flexible it cannot be proved false’? Take your time 😉