Home Lighting Control Micro Fusion Electricity Climate Change Contacts Links



By Charles Rhodes, P.Eng., Ph.D.

This web page compares conflicting data from different astronomical measurements. This data prompts us to question our understanding of physical reality on the scale of inter-galactic distances.

Consider two observers, one at position "a" and one at position "b" where positions "a" and "b" are separated by many light years.

Both observers use an atom such as cesium with a well defined energy transition in a field free vacuum as a standard of time. This energy transition has a corresponding frequency F due to the relationship:
F = DeltaE / h
where h is the Planck constant.

For observer "a" an element of elapsed time is:
dT = (dN / Fa) where dN is a number of cycles of frequency Fa (typically 1).

Observer "a" assumes that the speed of light C is everywhere constant and uses it to convert the standard unit of time into a standard unit of distance.

Then for observer "a" an element of distance dX is:
dX = C dT = C (dN / Fa)

For observer "b" an element of elapsed time is:
dT = (dN / Fb) where dN is a number of cycles of frequency Fb (typically 1).

Observer "b" assumes that the speed of light C is everywhere constant and uses it to convert the standard unit of time into a standard unit of distance.

Then for observer "b" an element of distance dX is:
dX = C (dN / Fb)

Now assume that someone travels in a spaceship from point "a" to point "b". This space traveller uses the same cesium clock apparatus to determine how far he has travelled. To the space traveller the distance D is given by:
D = Integral from a to b of dX
= Integral from a to b of [C dN / F(N)]
where we allow for F to change along the spaceship path. Note that N is the number of cycles (or wave fronts) transversed along the space ship path from point "a" to the space ship location. Thus the change in F along the space ship path is:
Integral from a to b of dF
= (Fb - Fa).

This change in F is necessary because the separation distance between points "a" and "b" may change while the spaceship is travelling. Also energy wells at points "a" and "b" may change while the space ship is travelling causing acceleration and/or deceleration along the transit path.

The elapsed time in transit experienced by the space traveller is:
(Tb - Ta) = Integral from Ta to Tb of dT
= Integral from Na to Nb of [dN / F(N)].

Today astronomers are able to accurately measure Fb / Fa, where Fb is the frequency of a photon received from a distant star.

However, there are several elements of potential confusion in determination of:
(Fb / Fa),
one is the doppler effect, the second is special relativity and the third is general relativity. There might also be another yet to be discovered element of confusion.

(Fb / Fa) < 1
and is known as a red shift.

For a some stars:
(Fb / Fa) > 1 and is known as a blue shift.

For a century this spectral shifting has been primarily attributed to the doppler effect which is due to a differential velocity V of point "b" with respect to point "a" along the path between point "a" and point "b".

If points "a" and "b" are at a constant separation:
Fb = Fa = C / Lamda
C = speed of light
Lamda = wavelength

However if the separation between points "a" and "b" is increasing at speed V then the apparent frequency at point "b" is:
Fb = (C - V) / Lamda
= (C - V) / (C / Fa)
= Fa [1 - (V / C)]
where C = speed of light and V can be either positive or negative corresponding to a increasing or decreasing distance between point "a" and point "b".

There is a second correction factor due to special relativity which affects the perception of time. The correct expression taking special relativity into account is:
Fb = Fa [1 - (U / C)^2]^0.5 (1 - (V / C))
where U is the velocity of point "a" in the frame of reference of point "b". Special relativity assumes that neither point "a" nor point "b" are accelerating.

For the special case of U = V:
Fb = Fa [1 - (V / C)^2]^0.5 [(1 - (V / C))^2]^0.5
= Fa [(1 - (V / C)) (1 + (V / C))]^0.5 [(1 - (V / C))^2]^0.5
= Fa {(1 - (V / C))^3 (1 + (V / C))}^0.5

For (V / C) << 1 this expression simplifies to:
Fb = Fa [1 - (V / C)]

General Relativity can cause the fraction (Fb / Fa) to decrease if point "a" is located deeper in a gravitational potential energy well with respect to point "b". Such a potential energy well can exist close to a dense star or a gravitational black hole.

Circa 1970 a US astronomer named Vera Rubin discovered a major apparent problem with spiral galaxies. They seem to defy the laws of physics. The issue can be described as follows:

The doppler effect indicates that the tangential velocity V of stars on the radial arms of a spiral galaxy is almost constant from near the galaxy hub out to the tips of the radial arms where the stars cease to be visible.

A spiral galaxy can be modelled as a spoked (armed) wheel with a hub radius Ro, a hub thickness To and a hub mass per unit volume Rhoo. Then the hub mass Mo is given by:
Mo = Rhoo Pi Ro^2 To

A star of mass Ms at radius Ro from the galactic center held in place by gravity should satisfy the Newtonian force balance equation:
G Mo Ms / Ro^2 = Ms V^2 / Ro
G Mo / Ro = V^2

Let Mr be the galactic mass inside radius R. Note that along the galactic arms Mr increases with radius R. Then for any peripheral arm star where R > Ro:
G Mr / R = V^2
dMr / dR = [V^2 / G]

Thus along the galactic arms where V = constant:
dMr / dR = [V^2 / G] = constant.

Along the galactic arms:
dMr = [Rhoo 2 Pi R Fr Tr dR]
Fr = (R / Ro) due to increasing space between the radial arms with increasing R;
Tr = decreases with increasing R.

dMr = Rhoo 2 Pi R Fr Tr dR
= Rhoo 2 Pi R (R / Ro) Tr dR
= Rhoo 2 Pi Ro (R / Ro)^2 Tr dR

Try Tr = To (Ro / R)^2

Then along the galactic arms:
dMr / dR = Rhoo 2 Pi Ro To
which keeps (dMr / dR) constant along the galactic arms.

Recall that: dMr / dR = V^2 / G

Hence equating the two expressions for (dMr / dR) gives:
V^2 / G = 2 Rhoo Pi Ro To
= (Rhoo Pi Ro^2 To)(2 / Ro)
= 2 Mo / Ro
V^2 = 2 G Mo / Ro
V = [2 G Mo / Ro]^0.5

In astronomical observations: Ro = D Theta
D = distance from Earth to the remote galaxy:
Theta = angle subtended by Ro as measured on Earth.

V = [2 G Mo / D Theta]^0.5

For remote galaxies V is calculated from the observed red and blue doppler shifts, Mo is calculated from the observed amount of luminous matter in the galactic hub and the distance to galaxy D is obtained from "standard candle" distance calculations.

Is = solar irradiance
= sun's incident light intensity on Earth

I = observed light intensity from galaxy hub

N = number of stars in galaxy hub

Ds = Earth-sun distance

Ms = solar mass

I / Is = N Ds^2 / D^2
N = [D^2 / Ds^2] [I / Is]
Mo = N Ms
= [D^2 / Ds^2] [I / Is] Ms

V = [2 G Mo / D Theta]^0.5
= {2 G [D^2 / Ds^2] [I / Is] Ms / D Theta}^0.5
= [1 / Ds] [2 G Ms / Is]^0.5 [(D I) / Theta]^0.5

The problem is that the measured [(D I)/ Theta] values are consistently two orders of magnitude smaller than the corresponding measured V values. If one believes simple gravitational theory there is a systematic problem with the measured [(D I) / Theta] values being too small and hence not indicating the full extent of the galactic mass. The present presumed explanation for this effect is that there is a lot of non-luminous galactic mass (dark matter) present in addition to the luminous mass.

Note that if there is photon scattering along the photon path through space the measured value of I will be too small but the corresponding value of D obtained by the standard candle method will be too large to the same extent, so photon scattering error in the (D I) product should cancel.

The first difficulty is that when V is calculated one finds that V is too large with repect to the amount of observed luminous matter in the galaxies. It is presumed that the spiral galaxy arms are held in place by gravity. However, there is no visible or otherwise readily detectable source of the required amount of gravity. Scientists have tried very hard to find or identify the missing galactic matter without success. This missing non-luminous matter is referred to as "dark matter".

The second difficulty is that based on the doppler shift measurements and the best estimates of galactic distance it appears that other galaxies are receding from our own at an ever increasing rate. There is no widely accepted physical explanation for this phenomena. This phenomena has been attributed by some to "Dark Energy".

The third difficulty is that there do not appear to be sufficient black holes or other large galactic mass sources that might explain the large observed red and blue shifts along the galactic radial arms.

The fourth difficulty lies in explaining how the universe came to exist in the first place. One explanation consistent with observed data but unsupported by existing physics suggests that the universe came into being at a point singularity and almost instantaneously expanded to a form close to its present geometry. There are further unexplained issues relating to the imbalance between matter and anti-matter.

There is no deep understanding of any of the aforementioned mechanisms, or even any assurance that they are not fictions concealing a fundamental lack of physical knowledge and understanding.

At the large hydron collider there has been an extensive search for particles that might contribute to dark matter, with no success.

Electric and magnetic fields have a positive energy density. However, gravitational fields have a negative energy density. When two initially widely separated particles bind together they emit radiant energy to deep space and thus create a mutual negative potential energy well in which they are trapped. The process for formation of stars and solar systems is analogous. Each star sits at the center of a large negative gravitational potential energy well.

The local strength of the gravitational field is an indication of the local depth of the gravitational potential energy well with respect to immediately surrounding space. However, in a galaxy due to the presence of other stars the surrounding space may also have a significant negative potential energy density, analogous to the work function of a metal.

If a photon wave front passes tangentially near a star its direction of propagation is altered because the portion of the wave front that is nearer the star and hence is deeper in the gravitational potential energy well is in a region where clocks tick less quickly than further away from the star. Thus deep in the potential energy well the photon wavelength is less than outside the well which has the effect of slightly bending the direction of photon propagation around the star.

The negative energy content of a potential energy well is equal to the amount of energy that was carried away by radiation to form the potential energy well. The edges of gravitational potential energy wells have characteristic slopes which determine the force between neighbouring gravitational potential energy wells.

An issue that needs further investigation is the extent to which the optics of gravitational potential energy wells cause the observed angle Theta of radiation emerging from a distant galaxy to grow over the photon path length. When photons emerge from the gravitational potential well of a remote galaxy Theta will be significantly magnified causing the apparent linear dimensions of that galaxy to be too large, which likely explains other effects.

A fruitful line of investigation might be to model stable galaxy sizes from first principles. If calculated stable galaxy linear dimenstions are substantially smaller than the apparent observed galaxy dimensions then the source of apparent "dark matter" may simply be magnification of Theta by the optics of the galaxy gravitational potential energy well.

The gravitational potential energy well will act like a spherical graded index lens. The galaxy hub is at the center of this lens so to an external observer the hub will appear enlarged. If this enlargement is sufficient to account for the observed data the entire "Dark Matter" controversy will disappear.

Potential energy wells form by net emission of radiant energy to deep space.

The red shift of light from distant stars is in part an expression of the depth of the gravitational energy well at the location where the photon originated.

If we hypothesize that the universe oscillates and that at present net radiant energy is being captured by black holes, then the average depth of the gravitational energy wells is decreasing which corresponds to an increase in the size of the region occupied by visible stars. Hence the apparent distance between galaxies is increasing.

The rate of radiant energy capture by black holes will be proportional to the radiant energy density in deep space. For electromagnetic radiation these photons are known as the cosmic background. The issue of the graviton background needs further investigation.

This web page last updated November 29, 2020.

Home Lighting Control Micro Fusion Electricity Climate Change Contacts Links