Friday, November 23, 2012

Solving Olbers' Paradox

The question of "Why is the night sky dark?" is perhaps the grown-up version of the question, "Why is the sky blue?"  The seemingly paradoxical question was made popular by 19th century physicist, Heinrich Olbers.  He figured that the universe must be finite because, otherwise, an infinite number of stars would eventually illuminate every region of the night sky irrespective of distance.  However, it is patently obvious that the night sky is quite dark.  Why is this?  Are we really living in a finite universe or is there another mechanism at work here?

Issac Newton took a stab at the question in his day, arguing the contrary: that the universe had to be infinite.  He claimed that the reason the sky is not lit up is because matter is lumped into scattered islands.  He said:

“If the matter was evenly diffused through an infinite space, it would never convene into one
mass but some of it convene into one mass and some into another so as to make an infinite
number of great masses scattered at great distances from one to another throughout all the
infinite space. (Correspondence, 234)” 

So, according to Newton, there may be a star in every region but some are just too far away to see.  Interestingly, this could be construed as a "prediction" of galaxies.  But Olbers' question is really about the light emanating from those lumps of matter.  Why is the sky so dark if the light has had time to reach us?

Bill Gaede, scientist and engineer has written extensively on the topic and sums up the common explanations on page 338 of his book, Why God Doesn't Exist (WGDE):

"[Relativists] offer two distinct theories for why the night sky is not ablaze. One has to do with a hypothetical moment of cosmic birth and the other with the belief that space is expanding:
“ 1. The Universe is expanding, so distant stars are red-shifted into obscurity. 2. The Universe is young. Distant light hasn’t even reached us yet.”  

This reply completely evades the pertinent questions posed by Olbers, is space infinite? Are there an infinite number of stars?  Relativists might reply that if space is expanding faster than the speed of light then the question becomes irrelevant; the space expands and carries the infinite or finite number of stars with it.

Expanding Space?

The Relativists do not realize that the enclosure of space is an integral and fundamental part of their theory.  Relativity is easy falsified because space must have a contouring medium in order to be called an object.  Astoundingly, this critical question is often brushed aside without consideration.
“ This third dimension is not mathematically necessary for two-dimensional metric expansion to
occur… This is why the question ‘what is the universe expanding into?’ is poorly phrased.
Metric expansion does not have to proceed ‘into’ anything. The universe that we inhabit does
expand and distances get larger, but that does not mean that there is a larger space into which
it is expanding.” [source:]
The relativists may not see the need for an encompassing medium, but there is no way to do Science without one.  An object cannot expand without taking up more of an encompassing medium.

But let's switch gears.  Perhaps the objects are so far away that their light hasn't reached us yet.  Top o' the field physicists say:

“ the number of photons is a conserved quantity; it doesn't change as the light travels… If one
did live in a vastly ancient universe… then light could travel for long enough that every line of
sight would end on a star.” [source:]
“ We cannot see anything beyond the cosmic particle horizon, because the travel time for light
coming from these incredibly remote distances is greater than the age of the universe.”
[source: p. 556 W. Kaufmann, Universe, Freeman (1991)].
Gaede responds:
Relativists are saying that any celestial object beyond the ‘observable universe’ would be within our ability to see it if space would just stop expanding. They theorize that if a star shoots one million photons at you along a given axis, it is a matter of time before the little balls begin to pelt you in succession. What keeps them from reaching you is the inflating balloon, the expansion of ‘empty’ space. (pg. 339, WGDE)

If only the distance between the objects was short enough, or that pesky space would stop expanding, then we'd be able to see the light... eventually.  The photons would "take their sweet time" to reach us, but we'd see them eventually.  Gaede has a simple experiment to verify whether or not this is actually the case.  Is seeing light just a matter of time?

Take a candle, not an atomic bomb or a bunch of neutrons from a world-class accelerator, but a simple candle. Steal it from your grandma if you have to. (This is going to be low tech because we need to teach relativists basic physics.) Light up the wick and place the candle somewhere in the horizon. Then walk away. Stand at a point where you can barely see the flame flicker through a straight tube leading to the flame.
Then take one step back. Verify that you can no longer see the light. The idiots of Mathematics say that it is a matter of time before the billions of photons traveling through the tube burn your right eye (Fig. 7.14).

What about wavelength?

The second justification relativists give for why the light from infinite stars hasn't reached us is that
expanding space stretches the wavelength of the travelling photons. The lower the wavelength, the dimmer light becomes, this is a process referred to as redshift. The reason why we can't see distant stars is because their wavelengths have been stretched to invisibility.

Oddly enough, this changes the argument entirely.  Previously we were told to assume that the number of photons emitted remains constant, but now these particles have been morphed into waves.  The relativists invoke the wave when it suits their argument, and then instantly forget about it when they switch back to particles to explain other phenomena.  Indeed, for the purposes of Quantum Mechanics, light travels as a wave and is only a particle upon contact.  Relativity and Quantum frequently debunk and contradict each other with nary a second glance from the mathematical physicists who have staked their livelihood on such nonsense.

Regardless, the wave model by itself is totally bunk. Gaede points out the most glaring contradiction of the theory involving the stretching of individual photons themselves:
Indeed, Wright [a physicist] illustrates the most ridiculous contradiction coming out of the mind of a graduate.
He shows the 3-D space-time balloon expanding, stretching the waves but leaving the islands (galaxies) intact. [source:]
It seems as though Wright doesn't realize that a galaxy itself is mostly light and should itself be expanding like a balloon.  Each and every atom in the universe emits light to another, so how can the light and space between atoms expand while the distance between those atoms remains the same?  Most relativists will respond with some explanation invoking gravity.

Gaede responds by putting the final nail in the General Relativist's coffin:

But then, gravity is also said to affect light. If as relativity holds, one atom is attracted to another because they roll down a gravity well, what stops the photon particle from falling into the same well? In fact, that was Einstein’s explanation for the gravitational lens which is one of the ‘solid’ confirmations of General Relativity!
Therefore, the expansion of space should not even be a factor in the analysis of Olbers’ Paradox. If a source of light is beyond the observable universe, the space that is allegedly expanding between us and the photon will not push the photon further from us. I can just as well argue that the space lying between the star and the photon expands and pushes the photon faster in our direction. If I couple this with the gravity well created by our galaxy, the photon should be falling faster towards us and be blue-shifted. (pg, 340 WGDE)
The final issues here when analyzing the relativist's position are the odd assumptions that the Universe had a beginning and that space is expanding. It's tough to tell exactly what they are referring to when they use the word, "Universe".  Do they mean matter, space or both?  What exactly is expanding and what exactly is it that begun?  The most fundamental law of physics is that matter cannot morph into space and space cannot morph into matter- therefore the amount of atoms in the universe is fixed.  As Gaede puts it, "Space is a place, a where rather than a what. This rule disallows a moment of creation and denies space the ability to expand." (340, WGDE)  As it turns out, any theory that postulates the creation of matter from nothing is irrational and belongs in the category of religion.  To learn more about that please visit

But let's get back on topic...

Why is the night sky dark?

Bill Gaede really explains it best, so I'll leave it up to him to do the heavy lifting of this explanation.  Firstly, I would recommend watching parts 1 and 2 of The Rope Hypothesis on youtube for an introduction to rational physics.  Essentially, all atoms are interconnected by Electromagnetic ropes and atoms are structures made by those ropes.  Light is the torsion signal moving along those ropes.  Following this basic assumption, we can understand Olbers' Paradox.

Fig. 7.15 Tired light? Take Geritol!
Relativists cannot explain how light can become red-shifted unless it collides with something in space.
The source of their troubles is their hypothesis. In relativity, light is both a particle and a wave. So it is not surprising that in the context of a malleable hypothesis they have no explanation for tired light.
Question: How can two waves collide and lose momentum? Answer: They don’t. Light consists of particles. Question: So how can a series of particles become red-shifted? Answer: They can’t. It is the transverse wave that stretches.
With the rope, tired light is easily explained (i.e., relativity = predict). All atoms in the Universe
are mutually bound by EM ropes. The illustration shows an H-atom in Galaxy A bound to an H-atom in Galaxy B. If the EM rope is anything like the ordinary rope of the macro world, it should have longer wavelength towards the center between the two atoms. Nevertheless, without invoking any collision mechanism whatsoever, as one galaxy approaches the other, the atom compresses the wave in the direction of motion (blue-shifted). Conversely, when a galaxy recedes, it stretches the links (redshifted).
The speed of the torque along the rope is not affected. What changes is the number of links
per unit length (i.e., frequency). (pg, 342 WGDE)

 So it turns out that Newton was right.  The darkness is a function of distance.  The links in the ropes connecting the Earth to other celestial objects can simply become over extended and thus fall below the visible range.  This is what Gaede refers to as 'tired light'.  The earth is connected to all other atoms in the universe, but if we cannot see light in a particular direction it is because the links in the ropes have been extended beyond visibility.  This also accounts for the background radiation we find in every direction in the cosmos.  With this riddle solved you can now gaze up at the night sky and still feel connected to that incredible darkness.

1 comment:

  1. I don't understand (very much a lay person) how does the rope theory explain the cosmic background radiation?