back to article H0LiCOW! Hubble's constant update paves way for 'new physics'

The latest measurement of the Hubble constant is higher than previous values, prompting scientists to believe there may be “new physics” beyond the standard model of cosmology yet to be discovered. Named after the physicist Edwin Hubble, the Hubble constant is a measurement of how fast the cosmos is expanding. It provides a …

Paywalled article

Just in case someone wants to read the actual paper:

https://arxiv.org/abs/1607.01790

Thank God for arXiv!

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"The Hubble constant has changed over time."

ITYM estimates of it have changed over time. This is normal with difficult to measure properties.

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No, it's actually true in both senses. The current value keeps getting revised but that Nobel prize mentioned at the bottom was for establishing it isn't a constant at all, but getting larger over time.

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Compare and contrast:

>the universe is expanding at an accelerated pace.

"the universe is expanding at an accelerating pace."

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"Mysterious Dr X says, Universe is NOT Expanding" at CanadaFreePress

Bored to tears writing about Carbon climate forcing at CFP, I wrote a series of articles on 'big bang' and discovered a Dec 14, 1936 interview, "Shift on Shift" in Time magazine, with the father of 'big bang' where he stated it was a hoax, but needed to get funding for the 200 inch Mt Palomar telescope. This led to my next article on the suppressed rotational Universe model, and that limited time travel was axiomatic in this reality.

"Federally Funded Frankenscience" at CanadaFreePress

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Re: "Mysterious Dr X says, Universe is NOT Expanding" at CanadaFreePress

Just admit it, you're the TimeCube guy, aren't you?

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Childcatcher

Paradox

I have never been clear to whether this has been explained or not and if the following has been factored into the calculations.

When we observe distant object we are also looking at the universe at an older state; further object are older than nearer ones. Is it not the case that OLDER object are faster than nearer ones. It is age that gives the velocity not distance. This thought is prompted by Big Bang theory and that from a single point there are some objects more distant than others i.e. they are going faster.

However if the Hubble constant is measured to be the same in all directions and this says that we are at the centre of the Big Bang. I think this has been disproved.

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Re: Paradox

> further object are older than nearer ones.<

Piffle sir!. I think you'll find that further objects are YOUNGER than nearer ones (in a space-time relativistic manner). It takes the light longer to get here and therefore the information it delivers comes from an earlier time frame than our current one.

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Hi, There is now a very simple way to calculate Hubble's Constant, by inputting to an equation, the numerical value of Pi and the speed of light (C) from Maxwell's equations. NO space probe measurements (with their inevitable small measuring / interpretation errors) are now required. Hubble's Constant is 'fixed' at 70.98047 PRECISELY. This maths method removes the errors / tolerances that is always a part of attempting to measuring something as 'elusive' as Hubble's Constant.

The equation to perform this can be found in 'The Principle of Astrogeometry' on Amazon Kindle Books, David.

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Boffin

If something changes over time can it really be called a constant?

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Osborn's Law applies

Variables Won't; Constants Aren't.

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As your skills and tools get better so do the measurements. Look at measuring the speed of light for example,

1638 Galileo: at least 10 times faster than sound

1675 Ole Roemer: 200,000 Km/sec

1728 James Bradley: 301,000 Km/s

1849 Hippolyte Louis Fizeau: 313,300 Km/s

1862 Leon Foucault 299,796 Km/s

Today: 299792.458 km/s

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Today: 299792.458 km/s

Pedantic note: the last measurement in the sequence should be 299792456.2±1.1 m/s from the 1970s

As the majority of the uncertainty was due to that of the length of the metre, the metre was redefined in terms of c and seconds (1975 I think) which is why the current value of 299792458 is exact.

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Re: Today: 299792.458 km/s

Generally in cosmology, c=1

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Trollface

Looks like Galileo is still the most accurate!

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Anonymous Coward

H0LiCOW (for H0 Lenses in COSMOGRAIL’s Wellspring)

The smartest people on the planet came up with that acronym.

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Yeah, when I read the acronym expansion, I thought to myself "that's pretty painful"

Damn they tried hard to make a nice acronym - too hard.

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I dunno. Maybe it was the aliens wot thunk it up. If they're listening in to our ancient and archaic UHF broadcasts they probably caught wind of Brexit and Trump: "Holy cow... there goes the neighbourhood. Better accelerate our withdrawal .."

Hence the observed bending of the Hubble "constant"

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Devil

Cry H0LICOW!

and release the Hounds of Science! Blood is scented. The great hunt resumes!

On the other hand, my conspiracy-minded friend will now tell me that this is evidence that it's all a lie and this proves it's really turtles all the way down (or whatever it is this week, it was electrogravitics last week).

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Joke

Re: Cry H0LICOW!

>> turtles all the way down.

Granted. But what does "down" mean, cosmologically speaking...?

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Thumb Up

Yes! Another "hang on, that's wierd" moment

Science is advancing again !

And it is important, since the slightest microscopic change in value could have an immense impact when multiplied by the billions of light-years we're already looking at.

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Anonymous Coward

67.8±0.9 kilometres per second per megaparsec

Now that's what I call proper big units.

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Joke

Re: 67.8±0.9 kilometres per second per megaparsec

So what is that in the El Reg Measurement Soviet?

Is it the velocity of a sheep in a vacuum per megaparsec?

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Re: 67.8±0.9 kilometres per second per megaparsec

Now that's what I call proper big units.

It's actually quite a small unit, which is just as well because if it was a big enough one we'd have to deal with red and blue shift every time we went out in the car.

On the other hand the inverse femtobarn, which sounds tiny, is enormous; one of them is about 1012 proton/proton collisions.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 67.8±0.9 kilometres per second per megaparsec

Fair enough: it's a huge unit divided by a ridiculously huge unit.

I reckon it equates to 74.9 kilometres per hour per lightyear. I can almost get my head around that.

Normalising it further, I get 2.20*10^-15 metres per second per metre - at which point you can drop "metre" entirely, or substitute any other unit of length you like.

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So is there now more or less dark stuff?

Given that dark energy & matter are currently just holes in maths equations and can't be proved, and that I have a theory that they don't actually exist beyond being maths and/or measurement errors, is there now more or less dark stuff?

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Re: So is there now more or less dark stuff?

The amount of Dark Stuff remains constant over time, any time a little bit of Dark Stuff is brought into the Light another little bit of Dark Stuff is discovered to replace it.

'It could mean that there’s something beyond the standard model that scientists don’t know about yet.'

there are whole universes of stuff beyond the current standard model that scientists don't know about yet but they are working on it

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Headmaster

Re: So is there now more or less dark stuff?

Yes

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Re: So is there now more or less dark stuff?

It could be that the stuff beyond the standard model that scientists don't know about yet is unlimited, it may be that as soon as science discovers anything new, another thing they don't yet know about blinks into existence and hangs around waiting to be discovered. After all once the question of Life , The Universe and Everything really turns out to be 42, it will be quite boring. If new stuff keeps turning up it will keep science on it's toes (or Turtles).

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Re: So is there now more or less dark stuff?

"But now, seriously, where the hell's my hoverboard?"

Recent observations showing yet more galaxies in the bits we previously thought might be empty strongly indicates to me that there must less dark matter than was thought just weeks or months ago.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: So is there now more or less dark stuff?

<q>Recent observations showing yet more galaxies in the bits we previously thought might be empty strongly indicates to me that there must less dark matter than was thought just weeks or months ago.</q>

My (weak) understanding is that the opposite is true. There is already enough light matter known about so that the universe should be collapsing, but measurements show that it is actually expanding - the difference has been termed Dark. So the more light matter that gets found the bigger the discrepency with the expansion measurement. Thus more Dark stuff needed to fill the gap and make a balance.

What is needed is either finding and measuring the Dark stuff, or figuring out how the Gravity works and hoping that will explain the acceleration so there is no more gap. Meanwhile the astro-boffins just keep finding more and more light matter and making things worse. Much to our entertainment.

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Re: So is there now more or less dark stuff?

If you accept the various Dark Stuff's...

Then yes, the amount of Dark Stuff (specifically Dark Energy) does increase over time.

Dark Energy is the energy of the vacuum of space. The vacuum of space is not a perfect vacuum, in addition to a tiny amount of matter (the odd atom of hydrogen or helium, photons passing through etc) it also contains a small amount of energy, known as Dark Energy.

As space expands, there is more vacuum, therefore there is more Dark Energy.

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Boffin

Re: So is there now more or less dark stuff?

More vacuum?

Maybe more zero point field with energy coming from 'somewhere'.

Our universe isn't expanding 'on its own', something else is afoot.

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Anonymous Coward

It's Hubbles all the way out!

Lessee ... to estimate the distance to the lensing galaxy, they would have to measure its redshift and use the Hubble constant. Yes? No?

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Re: It's Hubbles all the way out!

They could measure the apparent brightness of certain types of stars known to have a fixed absolute brightness, then apply the inverse square relationship to derive the distance.

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Re: It's Hubbles all the way out!

"They could..." ...and they do, for instance Cepheid Variable stars. And not only those but type 1a supernovae if I recall correctly, which were used in the discovery of the acceleration of the universe.

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Paris Hilton

Is "42" the "Adams Constant?"

Since I saw the Hubble Deep Field image I have been wondering about the CMB.

What if it could be wholly or partly explained by redshifted light from the many galaxies that undoubtedly exist on or just next to our universe's event horizon?

Even a 20% proportion due to this could explain such a discrepancy.

You saw it here first!

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Re: Is "42" the "Adams Constant?"

Because the wavelength is the CMBR was predicted from Big Bang theory a long time before the CMBR was discovered. It was discovered by accident, It is almost by definition the perfect evidence for any scientific theory, First the theory is postulated, then the consequences are computed and from that predictions made. Usually you then carry our observations to see if your theory is not false. However at the time this was impossible as the required detectors has not been invented.

Which is why Penzias and WIlsons discovery was so great, they didnt even know about the theory, where not looking for it and tried their damndest to stop their equipment keep coming up with the "troubling" observations. It was only by chance that someone else put two and two together. Definitely no fixing the observations to match your theory there.

Besides your theory is a little flawed. If the CMBR is from light "beyond our event horizon" how do we see it? Or do you mean it is just light from even further redshifted galaxies than we can see? If so why do we only see the Microwave part of the spectrum from all those galaxies, surely some would be even further away, more red shifted and so we would have a spectrum of "colours" from microwave to radio waves, we dont.

What we do see is a almost completely uniform frequency (colour) of microwave everywhere we look. Just as predicted.

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Re: Is "42" the "Adams Constant?"

That's interesting you must have been looking over my shoulder by quoting me as saying "beyond the event horizon", that was in fact in my first draft but I saw the folly of it and corrected it before posting.

Spooky.

Anyhow a quick google reveals that "The spectral radiance dEν/dν peaks at 160.23 GHz, in the microwave range of frequencies", yes it "peaks", in fact it's not a single spectral line, but a thermal black body spectrum.

So yes, the CMB itself will extend down into the tens of GHz and up to a terahertz or more.

There is plenty of room for tens of percent of energy to be added into the spectrum here and there without anyone noticing. it's hard enough to get a power reading in the lab off my 100mW 2GHz basestation without a 10% fluctuation on the band edges, with calibrated kit and a conducted connection, let alone waving a microwave horn in the air and measuring at 100x the frequency.

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Re: Is "42" the "Adams Constant?"

MMMM have we been cherry picking?

"The spectral radiance dEν/dν peaks at 160.23 GHz, in the microwave range of frequencies"

adam 40

"The CMB has a thermal black body spectrum at a temperature of 2.72548±0.00057 K. The spectral radiance dEν/dν peaks at 160.23 GHz, in the microwave range of frequencies. (Alternatively, if spectral radiance is defined as dEλ/dλ, then the peak wavelength is 1.063 mm.) The glow is very nearly uniform in all directions, but the tiny residual variations show a very specific pattern, the same as that expected of a fairly uniformly distributed hot gas that has expanded to the current size of the universe."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/space/universe/sights/cosmic_microwave_background_radiation

Are you being serious? Your idea would result in a spectrum not peaks.

"There is plenty of room for tens of percent of energy to be added into the spectrum here and there without anyone noticing. it's hard enough to get a power reading in the lab off my 100mW 2GHz basestation without a 10% fluctuation on the band edges, with calibrated kit and a conducted connection, let alone waving a microwave horn in the air and measuring at 100x the frequency."

Mmmm. DB Satellites typically output 200w. Think about that. Sky uses those and transmits that signal to the vast majority of Europe. 200w/Area of Europe in Square meters is a pretty damn small signal and can be detected by kit that is given away. I suggest your method/equipment is not up to the task in hand.

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Re: Is "42" the "Adams Constant?"

>> Are you being serious? Your idea would result in a spectrum not peaks. <<

That's exacly what I said above isn't it? The CMB is a spectrum.

10% measurement uncertainty in part of the spectrum is under half a dB.

What I'm talking about is the measurement of a level, let's say my basestation outputs +20dBm and for type approval purposes the spectrum outside the intended range has to be below -30dBm (i.e.50dB below carrier).Good RF measurement kit can measure this, but you will see the level fluctuating, half a dB +/- isn't uncommon, for example my basestation spurious output might show up as -52.7dBm but fluctuate between -53.2dBm and -52.4dBm.

This is exactly the type of measurement you must make of the spectrum to determine if it's come purely from a black-body source as postulated, or is possibly an additive combination of sources.

What you haven't explained is whether this qualitative analysis has taken place? Or are we just looking at the "broad brush" and saying "that'll do?".

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“new physics” beyond the standard model of cosmology yet to be discovered.

In reality, we probably know considerably less than we think we know about the universe and physics. So it is not surprising as we muddle around the edges of knowledge we dimly become aware how little we know and have to rewrite or replace some of our cherished models and theories.

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Re: “new physics” beyond the standard model of cosmology yet to be discovered.

a.y.l. Ain't that the beauty of science right there? There are no cherished models and theories. Just the ones that we have as our current understanding goes, and constantly evolving. Gravity was once Newton's domain, until along came Einstein.

I'm fascinated by all this stuff, but it's increasingly hard to understand all the science behind everything for me as a pleb.

Long live the boffins!

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JWG

What "Standard Model"?

The major problem I have with concept of the "increasingly rapid expansion of the universe" is that it was increasingly rapidly expanding in the past (because that's all we can really see). As to what is happening right "now" is an unknown and unknowable. There is no possible way to place ourselves outside the universe to actually "observe" what's happening in "real time". The "Standard Model" is at best an educated guess, therefore the model is only as good as our observations, which are limited by "c" - the speed of light in a (kinda) vacuum, and our observations are based on limited data (about 50 years of real data compared the estimated age of the universe at 13.8 billion years). Physicists are also beginning to question Einstein's "cosmological constant". So, if the "Standard Model" is wrong, it's back to the drawing board, guys. It's should be obvious that we aren't as intelligent as we believe we are (that means you boffins as well) and therefore don't really have a good handle on how the universe actually works (or the climate either - just had to throw that one in).

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Re: What "Standard Model"?

Didn't Einstein refer to the cosmological constant as the biggest mistake of his life/career?

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Re: What "Standard Model"?

It is just that, a model. I don't think it's accurate to say "we aren't as intelligent as we believe we are " because "we", ie. they, ie. the boffins, don't claim to know it all (that would be the cranks). They just claim that this is what we observe, and it fits this model, now let's go and find more evidence that supports it or refutes it...and the latter is when science becomes interesting!

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Re: What "Standard Model"?

Hi, It's now possible to calculate Hubble's Constant using only a simple algebra equation described in 'The Principle of Astrogeometry' on Amazon Kindle Books. All that is needed is to 'input' the numerical value of Pi, and light speed (C) into that equation. This maths method 'fixes' Hubble's Constant at 70.98047 PRECISELY. There are no small % deviations in results, as will always be found when attempting to physically measure something as 'elusive' as Hubble's Constant. This now 'simplifies' interpreting the universe 'model', as there can now only be ONE model. I don't know what that is, but it's certainly controlled by a very 'firm' mathematical 'framework', Regards, David.

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Interesting that a figure that has a margin of error in absolute terms 300% that of the original figure (1.33% margin of error vs 3.76%) is regarded as more accurate...

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"Interesting that a figure that has a margin of error in absolute terms 300% that of the original figure (1.33% margin of error vs 3.76%) is regarded as more accurate."

You're confusing accuracy with precision.

I have a tape measure graduated in cms & mms. I can use it to measure with a precision of 1mm. Unfortunately it's stretched so I can only measure with an accuracy of 10%.

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I'm no scientist, but in know that galaxies contain multiple light sources. Where are we accounting for light interference over distance? Do longer waves win out over distance as the shorter waves cancel out more quickly causing the appearance of a red shift? Such an affect could help account for other mysteries as well.

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