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Tom B

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About Tom B

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  1. I posted this in the physics section, but it probably fits here better. I would like to post a few questions and offer a thought experiment or two. I do not have a background in these fields, but I enjoy reading and watching science shows. First, there is widespread agreement on the Big Bang Theory and the age of the universe The age of the universe is largely based upon the residual microwave radiation that is thought to be the oldest observable portion of our universe. We are surrounded by this radiation and it is the same in all directions. First question. In some respects, that seems to put us at the center of the universe. We can see the same distance in every direction. Does that seem mathematically probable? Though experiment. A solar system exists 10 billion light years from earth. Scientists in this solar system have the same understanding, theories, and tools that we have. If they were to look in our direction today and could detect us, they would see us as we were 10 billion years ago. If the universe is 13 billion years old, they would observe the background microwave radiation about 3 billion light years beyond us. Beyond that, galaxies that are clearly detected by us are invisible to them. This assumes the big bang theory and the assumptions of the age of the universe are correct. Now, they look in the opposite direction. What do they see? Is it the background radiation at a distance of 3 billion light years? Would they be unable to see beyond it? Might it have moved further away or evolved into something else? If everything was born from this energy, why not in 10 billion years while so much happened on our side of the universe? Now, if they see more galaxies, can you move another 10 billion light years and repeat this experiment? If the universe is infinite, it seems you could keep doing this, but what does that tell us? If the universe is finite, might an object leaving from their side of the universe enter our side? Could it be that the universe is finite and the region of microwave radiation is at the boundary? At the boundary you simply move in a similar manner as you do when you fly east from New York long enough. You end up back in New York. In this view the universe is a closed system, much as a planet or other geometrical shape with the galaxies on the surface of this shape. If this is the case, couldn't astrophysicists detect an interaction of the galaxies at one side of the universe with those on the other? Gravity would act across the radiation boundary. I know that some unseen interactions have been detected at the far reaches of the universe which have yet to be fully explained. This closed, finite universe could still be expanding. Picture it on the surface of an inflating balloon or a bubble. If this radiation is 13 billion light years from us and has been traveling towards us at the speed of light, how did it get so far away in 13 billion years? Was the early period of expansion after the big bang so extreme to account for these great distances?
  2. I am a retired engineer (EE) with a general interest in many of the questions raised by physics and astronomy. I would like to post a few questions and offer a thought experiment or two. I do not have an extensive background in these fields, but I enjoy reading and watching science shows. First, there is widespread agreement on the Big Bang Theory and the age of the universe. The age of the universe is largely based upon the residual microwave radiation that is thought to be the oldest observable portion of our universe. We are surrounded by this radiation and it is the same in all directions. First question. In some respects, that seems to put us at the center of the universe. We can see the same distance in every direction. Does that seem mathematically probable? Though experiment. A solar system exists 10 billion light years from earth. Scientist in this solar system have the same understanding, theories, and tools that we have. If they were to look in our direction and could detect us, they would see us as we were 10 billion years ago. If the universe is 13 billion years old, they would observe the background microwave radiation about 3 billion light years beyond us. Now, they look in the opposite direction. What do they see? Is it the background radiation at a distance of 3 billion light years? Would they be unable to see beyond it? Might it have dissipated or evolved into something else? If everything was born from this energy, why not? Now, if they do see more galaxies, can you keep extrapolating this out into infinity? If the universe is finite, might an object leaving from their side of the universe enter our side? If these other galaxies exist in a finite universe, but are beyond where we can see them, could there mass explain the "Dark Flow?" Could these galaxies be the same ones that we can see, but seen from a different point of view? Could it be that the universe is finite and the region of microwave radiation is the boundary? At the boundary you simply move in a similar manner as you do when you fly east from New York long enough. You end up back in New York. If this radiation is 13 billion light years from us and has been traveling towards us at the speed of light, how did it get so far away in 13 billion years? Was the early period of expansion so extreme to account for these great distances? Another property of light that I have long known, but little understood is the constant speed of light. Light is always measured at the same speed regardless of the velocities of the source and observer. That raises the question of why can't the speed of light be infinitely variable such that the sum of the velocities of the light, the source, and the observer are constant? Another question is, "If time slows as you travel faster, why can't photons be standing still in a timeless "bubble" and be warping space time around them? I think that implies that they would have to be infinitely massive. Thanks for any help. I'm probably missing some key facts.
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