Do we still need to build models beyond the Standard Model of particle physics ?

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At the end of this month, I will attend a public event called TimeWorld 2022 Paris, that is dedicated to discussions on challenging questions between industrial actors, scientific researchers and the general public. As can be seen on the conference website, it consists of about 100 conferences, some round tables and the event is also a place for artists to show up their art.

The topic of this year is about construction, and it is focused on a variety of topics including science (and in particular physics, of course!) as well as finance, cryptography, economics, literature, arts, etc. In fact, many topics that could be of some interests for Hive community members.

I have been invited to discuss the general context of my research during this event. Embedded in the theme of this year (i.e. construction), I plan to provide hints to build an answer to the question raised in the title of this blog: do we still need to build models beyond the Standard Model of particle physics?


[Credits: Original image from ATLAS @ CERN]

Whereas I can tell you that the answer to that question is positive, this is something that could have been guessed by those reading me, week after week. It is clear that in the case of a negative answer, I would have stopped writing on this topic for quite a while already (and I would have probably changed job too)…

For the first time since I joined this chain almost 6 years ago (40 days are left before my Hive birthday ;) ), I decided to use my blog on Hive to provide an expanded summary/abstract of my talk at TimeWorld, and share it on Twitter (that is one of the media used by the organisers to advertise the event). Could this be a way to increase my audience off-chain, and attract new users on Hive? I don’t know the answer to that question, but I would like to try it out. We will see!

To finish this short introduction, if you are by any chance in Paris on June 29 - July 1st, feel free to let me know and pass by the event! From now on, in the rest of this blog it is time for science!


The Standard Model of particle physics - the starting point


Before discussing whether it is needed to go beyond the Standard Model of particle physics, it is instructive to start with a summary on what the Standard Model of particle physics is. I wrote a few blogs about this topic a while ago (see here and there, for instance), so that in the following I really focus on a summary. I know that I am not good in writing in a compact way. Let’s see how I can manage such an exercise…

So, what is the Standard Model of particle physics exactly? In one line, it consists of a theoretical framework describing how matter works at its most fundamental level. This includes details about the constituents of matter, and how they interact with each other. Moreover, the fact that the Standard Model is a theoretical framework means that it can be tested through predictions to compare with data.

In order to understand how the Standard Model has been built, we must go back to the end of the 19th century. This consists of the moment at which Lord Kelvin said that ‘there was nothing new to be discovered in physics, and that all that remained was more and more precise measurement’ (see also here). Luckily for us, he was very wrong on this, so that physics is by far not a boring field (at least for physicists)!

Almost 30 years later, physicists had discovered (among others) that all atoms were made of protons, neutrons and electrons, that the microscopic world was quantum, and that certain radioactive decays yielded the production of an invisible particle called a neutrino.

Four particles and … there was possibly nothing anymore to be discovered in physics again. There was no more Lord Kelvin at that time, but it is today clear that his quote was still very wrong…


[Credits: IceCube (NSF)]

In the next 20 years, many challenging observations were made. In particular, weird particles were observed in cosmic rays (the detectors of that time were simple photographic plates), as well as in the outcome of the first particle collider experiments (like at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider, but in a not so large and less energetic version).

Those weirdos made our understanding of nature very messy, and we ended with dozens of new subatomic particles mostly characterised by fancy Greek names: 𝜋’s, K’s (beware as this one is not Greek), 𝛺’s, 𝜮’s, 𝜩’s, 𝜔’s, 𝚫’s, 𝜇, 𝜈e, 𝜈𝜇, etc.

Physicists needed to understand how to order this zoo. This is precisely how the Standard Model has been built in the 1960s-1970s.


Quarks, leptons and the fundamental interactions


It took a few dozens of extra years for physicists to replace all this zoo of particles by a table including only a few elementary particles.

The cornerstone of the approach is to say that all particles discovered in the first half of the 19th century were composite particles. These composite particles are thus made of a small number of elementary entities coined quarks, that can combine with each other thanks to one of the three fundamental interactions called the strong force.

Initially, the proposed model was made of 3 quarks, but we know today that nature includes 6 of them: the up quark, the down quark, the strange quark, the charm quark, the bottom quark and the top quark.

As a side note, the top quark is the heaviest of all known particles, so that whereas it has been proposed in the 1970s, we had to wait until 1995 for its discovery. Heavy stuff is hard to produce, and this stays very true those days.


[Credits: OLCF (CC BY 2.0)]

On top of these 6 quarks, the Standard Model includes 6 elementary particles that are not sensitive to the strong force. These are named leptons.

Leptons include three electrically-charged beasts (the electron, the muon and the tau) and three electrically-neutral invisibles (the electron neutrino, the muon neutrino and the tau neutrino). All of these have been observed and discovered today, the last neutrino requiring a donut for its discovery (@riverflows: running jokes are never bad).

In addition to the strong force that we already mentioned, the Standard Model describes two others fundamental interactions: electromagnetism and weak interactions. The three interactions form the theory framework that dictates how elementary particles live, drink and dance.

Through the concept of gauge symmetries, interactions can be seen as exchanges of force carriers that include photons (electromagnetism), W-bosons and Z-bosons (weak interactions), and gluons (strong interactions). Such a principle underlying these gauge symmetries works extremely well, as demonstrated by hundred years of data.

However, there is a small issue. Whereas gauge symmetries are successful in describing how the world functions at its fundamental level, they require all matter and all force carriers to be massless. This of course contradicts experimental results.


One Higgs boson to rule them all!


As we don’t want to use the bin for a theory that worked so well, physicists came up with a way to keep the concept of gauge symmetries whilst providing masses for all elementary particles. This is what we call the Brout-Englert-Higgs mechanism (that carries the name of those who proposed it in the 1960s).

To explain how it works, I like to use the image used in the Nobel prize press release:


[Credits: Nobel Prize]

Let’s travel back in time, when our universe was super young (i.e. that’s right after the Big Bang). We can see ourselves as the ball in the bowl in the image above. The full picture is symmetric in the sense that it can rotate around the vertical axis without undergoing any change.

In other words, in the early universe nature is gauge-symmetric. If we push the ball a little bit away from the centre of the bowl, it goes back where it was. Gauge symmetries are there, stay there, life has no mass (and too bad for it!).

A tiny moment later (at 10-11 second after the Big Bang to be precise) something happened. A bump rose at the centre of the bowl, which corresponds to the so-called electroweak phase transition. The reason behind this motivates many present studies. Why did it happen? That’s a problem that will hopefully be solved within my lifetime.

This bump makes a lot of differences. If I now push the ball away from the centre of the bowl, it falls and does not come back anymore to the centre. Whereas the symmetry is still there (we have a bumpy bowl that can rotate on itself and stay unchanged), the fact that the ball is away from the centre hides it. From the perspective of the bowl+ball system, the symmetry has been broken.

This is how particles get masses. Nature is gauge symmetric, but it has chosen a direction (i.e. a way to fall from the centre of the bowl) to hide this symmetry. The fundamental particles get massive in the process. Technically, we say that the gauge symmetries are spontaneously broken.


[Credits: CERN]

The price to pay for this mechanism to be realised lies in its remnant, one new particle called the Higgs boson, and that has been observed exactly 10 years ago (on July 4th 2012).

We have thus discovered all the fantastic beasts of the Standard Model. However, we still do not know today whether the Higgs boson has the right properties. We may need more than 100 years of future data to be able to answer that question.

Particle physics is thus not over, despite of Lord Kelvin (who is therefore still very wrong)…


Going beyond the Standard Model?


We are now ready to (finally) try to provide an answer to the question raised in the title of this blog.

Whereas the Standard Model itself is not complete (this word is used by many physicists, and I strongly disagree with anyone saying that the Standard Model is complete), there are very good other reasons to see it only as the tip of the iceberg.

The Standard Model is plagued by many conceptual issues and practical limitations. It is consequently clear to most of us that it must be embedded into a more fundamental theory yet to be discovered. But why are physicists certain about this?

First of all, in the Standard Model the three neutrinos have no mass. We however have observed that neutrinos change nature while they travel. For instance, an electron neutrino produced at a given place in the universe could be detected on Earth as an electron neutrino, a muon neutrino or a tau neutrino on Earth. All three options are possible (with different probabilities).


[Credits: CERN (CC BY-4.0)]

In order for this phenomenon to be possible, neutrinos must be massive. This requires to extend the Standard Model, and there are various ways to do it. Each possibility comes with some new particles and new (potentially) observable phenomena, as detailed a bit more in this blog.

In addition, if we consider the standard model of cosmology that provides the best fit to cosmological data, then the universe has to be full of dark matter. And by full, I actually mean: ‘full’. 85% of all matter is indeed expected to be dark.

If we now make another assumption, and enforce that there is a dark matter particle, then we have a problem. There is no such a dark particle in the Standard Model, that must thus be extended. Doing so makes the theory full of new particles and phenomena. However, we do not know much about the nature of dark matter, so that hundreds of possibilities are available.

Here the (experimental) difficulty is clearly not to miss any, especially as any possibility offers several ways to search for dark matter. We therefore must be pragmatic, and (try to) explore all options. Not finding anything in spite of numerous searches is fine. Missing something because there are unexplored possibilities would be catastrophic.


[Credits: CERN]

This is not all. On a more theoretical side, we solved the problem of the particle masses with the Brout-Englert-Higgs mechanism. Therefore, the Standard Model masses, and in particular those of the W and Z bosons, are related to the properties of the Higgs boson. Let’s now see why this is a problem.

In the Standard Model, all parameters are interconnected through quantum effects (because the microscopic world is quantum). As a consequence, parameters of the theory have to be fixed up to their 30th digit to make sure the theory does not collapse.

In particular, we must guarantee that the W, the Z and the Higgs boson all have masses in agreement with data. This enforces us to make sure that the mass of the Higgs boson is not sent to 100,000,000,000,000,000 times its value. This is actually what we successfully achieve by fixing those 30-figure number.

This is highly non-elegant, and makes us thinking that there must be some stabilising mechanism hidden behind the scene. This triggered a lot of development of beyond the Standard Model theories, and each potential solution comes with a bunch of new particles and new observable phenomena.

Again, this shows us that Lord Kelvin is still wrong today… Physics is not done!

I could continue and ask many more questions. For instance, why does the Standard Model include (about) two dozens of free parameters. Could all known particles be organised so that they could be different facets of a single object? How could gravity be embedded in the Standard Model? Where is antimatter gone? And so on…


[Credits: ThomasWolter (Pixabay)]


To conclude: YES! We still need to build new models!


The Standard Model is the current paradigm explaining how fundamental particles play, dance, sing and get wild. Whereas this theory has been built following the discoveries of the last hundred years, physics is still far from being done (hi Lord Kelvin…). Every decade, new observations appear and challenge our understanding of how our universe works, which opens the door to new theoretical and experimental developments.

The Standard Model is thus only the tip of the iceberg. Whereas it works like a charm, many questions are still unanswered, and many puzzles still wait to be solved. For these reasons, physicists usually pick their favourite questions/issues and build (often varied) theories aiming at providing an explanation to them. Generally, this comes with a bunch of new phenomena and particles that could be observed in present and future data. Doing so will help us to sharpen our vision of the microscopic world.

So far, our searches for new phenomena have found nothing. However, this is not a big deal, because we explore how the universe could and could not function. There is no guarantee to find anything behind the corner (although we all agree that this would be amazing), and we may need to push our searches a little bit further. Isn’t it precisely what is exciting: probing deeply the unknown?

I will stop writing for now. For more information, feel free to ask questions in the comments to this blog, or to join me at TimeWorld 2022 at the end of the month. I promise, my speech will include many (physicist’s) jokes!



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Wow, thanks for this update in "particules anatomy" (sorry I am a biologist) , so ok, maybe there is still some stuff to discover in particles, and new models to come. Do you think there is an end to that? Well, good luck with your event!
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Thanks for passing by, the comment and the support!

Wow, thanks for this update in "particules anatomy" (sorry I am a biologist)

Ahaha! I is the first time I see that word used in this context. That's funny and you made me smile. ^^

maybe there is still some stuff to discover in particles, and new models to come.

There is clearly more stuff somewhere, as the Standard Model has many shortcomings for which explanations are needed. The unknown of the problem is precisely the nature of this "more stuff". It could be right behind the corner, visible or hidden. It could me much further. We don't know.

Finally, this is precisely what exploration is about, as I wrote in the blog. We don't know what we will find.

Do you think there is an end to that? Well, good luck with your event!

Will it end one day? There is no way to answer this. It strongly depends on what is found. But we can be sure physicist will always try to find a more elegant way to describe our world (which often mean new particles and/or new phenomena to be discovered).

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Maybe looking at the work of Jean Pierre Petit and his Cosmological model Janus, may be a way for developing a new model.

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Thanks for the suggestion. I am however afraid that the answer is "probably not".

The reason is that I focus on particle physics whereas the model of Petit focuses on cosmology. The goals of the two are different (microscopic world versus our universe). In the context of the standard model of cosmology, there is dark matter, so that there is a way to relate particle physics and cosmology by introducing the concept of a dark matter particle. In the model of Petit, there is no dark matter, so that the two stay disconnected. In this sense, the model of Petit won't help us to go beyond the Standard Model of particle physics.

As a side note, I have noticed that the model of Petit (which I didn't know) has not been well received by cosmologists. The reason seems that since its proposal in the end of the 1970s, there are still no predictions that are unique to his model, and no evidence supporting it. I however have not studied this more, but this thread is interesting, on that topic.

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  • As to the usage of Janus model for particle physics I must admit I have no clue, but I though that his model bring a new way of seeing matter so it maybe of some usage.

  • As to the reception of Petit model, he mainly have a bad reputation, because of his unconventional views on ufo phenomenon. But from what I understand, the math behind are solid, and his model evolved since 1970.

  • You can watch his video from 2020 where he sum's up his model. (at 1h30 he start describing how the model fits to observation so far and make one prediction about lab dark matter that will fall down)

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As to the usage of Janus model for particle physics I must admit I have no clue, but I though that his model bring a new way of seeing matter so it maybe of some usage.

It really depends on the goal pursued. Here, in terms of particle physics, the intersection is just empty, so that the model cannot bring any insight (except maybe if you push for a no-dark-matter option, which is not only specific to this model by the way).

We must in fact keep it mind that matter at the elementary particle level is not governed by the same laws as at the macroscopic level. We are dealing with different energy (or scale) regimes.

As to the reception of Petit model, he mainly have a bad reputation, because of his unconventional views on ufo phenomenon. But from what I understand, the math behind are solid, and his model evolved since 1970.

I have indeed noticed this, which is a part of the information I found I completely skipped (for me, UFOs are a "no thanks").

ou can watch his video from 2020 where he sum's up his model. (at 1h30 he start describing how the model fits to observation so far and make one prediction about lab dark matter that will fall down)

Sorry but that is way too long for the time I have (people on chain tried to have me watching 20 minutes videos without success ;) ). I am very happy to read anything (or to add it to my to-read list), but not to watch.

What I meant is that other models of cosmology can explain many observations made in the universe (structure formation, cosmic microwave background, etc., to quote a few). In contrast, from what I see the model of Petit is not as good. This is maybe (I am not sure as this is quite far from what I work on) the reason why most cosmologists just dismissed it. If someone proposes a new model, the new model must do at least as good as what anything else on the market does.

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I think the title is catchy, it's sure to appeal.
I find I much more enjoy these introductory posts of yours, probably because I can understand them much better!

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Thanks for this feedback!

Is this a motivation to use more often questions in title? I must admit that I rarely do that, but if you now tell me that this is much more appealing, I will definitely reconsider.

I find I much more enjoy these introductory posts of yours, probably because I can understand them much better!

I agree that I should write those more often. Even if the topic has been covered several times in the past, such posts provide good reminders to new readers, are always more accessible than those in which I discuss my own research works. However, it is not always easy to bring something more, that was not there in previous posts, so that each post keeps its seeds of originality.

Anyway, this is well noted and I will try to go back regularly to the basics. The quest for the Higgs boson will be the next of such topics (as on July 4th, its discovery will be 10 years old).

Cheers!

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I thought the subject was interesting, but now that you mention it, maybe it also has to do with the subject being framed as a question. I know for a fact that many you tube channels title almost all their videos in the form of a question, so they must know something! I watched one such video just today, and here's an example of recent video titles from their channel:

Why Does Russia Own This Old Piece of Germany?
Why Nobody Wants This Part of Europe
Why Russia is Fighting Japan Over These Islands
Why Russia is Invading Ukraine
Why the Ukraine No-Fly Zone Won't Ever Happen
Why Turkey is Transforming Istanbul Into an Island
Will China Invade Taiwan Next?
Will the Higgs boson ever be found?

I made up the last one, but it hopefully caught your attention, thus demonstrating the effectiveness of framing titles as questions!

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Thanks for this enlightening comment. Indeed, starting a blog with a question is probably a useful thing to do. I like it and will adopt it!

Let's now discuss a bit some physics.

Will the Higgs boson ever be found?

The answer is that the Higgs boson has been found precisely 10 years ago, and this is the topic of my next (to next) blog, The real question is thus: 'Have we found the Higgs boson'. Note the determiner...

This may actually be a nice question for the title of my next blog. We will see :)

Cheers, and thanks again for passing by and the chat!

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Hello @lemouth,

It is quite exciting that you have been invited to the TimeWorld 2022 Paris conference. What an honor, and how exciting. I looked at the website for this event. It is the sort of event where, at another time and given different circumstances, I would be most comfortable. All those different disciplines (I hate that word) coming together, like a picnic :)

As for your blog today...it is a perfect summation of the development of the Standard Model and the direction of current research in particle physics. There are certain junctures in your summary that I find particularly fascinating, for example the 'bump'.

A tiny moment later (at 10-11 second after the Big Bang to be precise) something happened. A bump rose at the centre of the bowl...the reason behind this motivates many present studies. Why did it happen?

It's almost like a second Big Bang. Why did it happen? This opens the door for explanations that might be more mystical than physicists might entertain.

I am not inclined in that direction, but the door is open to speculation as long as these mysteries, the "spontaneous" ruptures exist.

Have a wonderful, rich experience at the conference. I hope the symptoms of your COVID bout have cleared. My daughter is back at work, but very tired.

Take care....

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I am quite excited too. My talk is now ready (I have just finalised the slides, that are in French but I can translate them if you are interested). I am looking forward to this event, that is happening very close to my office :)

I was actually sure this was the kind of event that you may enjoy. There was one organised in Montreal last May, which is a bit closer to where you live. I do not know where the next one will be organised (I will let you know if it will be in North America)

It's almost like a second Big Bang. Why did it happen? This opens the door for explanations that might be more mystical than physicists might entertain.

You can look at "electroweak phase transition" to get a taste of this. There are many proposals for an explanation, and all of them have testable consequences (new phenomena and new particles).

I hope the symptoms of your COVID bout have cleared. My daughter is back at work, but very tired.

I thought I was better and started to live as normal again. I am paying a hard price for this since yesterday... I am exhausted again, and this time I have no option to rest... Damned COVID... :(

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I am paying a hard price for this since yesterday... I am exhausted again, and this time I have no option to rest.

I am so, so sorry. You must listen to your body. I think your wife must be frustrated and worried about you. Protect yourself, @lemouth. This is a nasty, nasty virus. Yes, Damned COVID. Rest is an investment in yourself and your future. It's not wasted time. It's invested time.

As for the the conference. Precisely because of COVID, I don't go out in crowds at all, and when I am around people I wear a high-quality mask. There is a sense of time wasted, years now, but I am productive although sheltered. As you know I am 75!! Also, I take immune suppressant drugs to control an autoimmune condition. So, I am very high risk. Being productive and enjoying life, but staying away from possible sources of infection is my strategy. If I catch it (it seems unavoidable, doesn't it?) then I'm in for a fight.

So, I will read about the conference. I think I can read your slides in French. Somehow I am able to sort most Romance languages (read them, with effort). Years of studying Spanish in school and listening to relatives speak Sicilian when I was growing up might be the reason. If there were a way to virtually attend the conference, I would do that. My granddaughter is graduating this Sunday and it is being live streamed. So, in a sense, I will be there. Afterwards, we meet outside in the backyard.

Life, with COVID.

Please take care of yourself. It's the best investment you can make.

Warm regards....

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I think your wife must be frustrated and worried about you

My wife being a nurse, she is even very angry about me not listening to both her and my body. I however plan to enjoy the week-end, offline.

As for the the conference. Precisely because of COVID, I don't go out in crowds at all, and when I am around people I wear a high-quality mask. There is a sense of time wasted, years now, but I am productive although sheltered. As you know I am 75!! Also, I take immune suppressant drugs to control an autoimmune condition. So, I am very high risk. Being productive and enjoying life, but staying away from possible sources of infection is my strategy. If I catch it (it seems unavoidable, doesn't it?) then I'm in for a fight.

You should definitely be careful. And this may not be sufficient. I got COVID at a conference, wearing a mask, paying attention, etc. It didn't prevent the virus to find me. We should not underestimate how nasty this little beast is...

So, I will read about the conference. I think I can read your slides in French. Somehow I am able to sort most Romance languages (read them, with effort). Years of studying Spanish in school and listening to relatives speak Sicilian when I was growing up might be the reason. If there were a way to virtually attend the conference, I would do that. My granddaughter is graduating this Sunday and it is being live streamed. So, in a sense, I will be there. Afterwards, we meet outside in the backyard.

As the organisers may ask me for an English version soon, both a French and an English version may become available very shortly. In the meantime, here is a link to the French version of my slides. Note that there is a part that I have not covered in my post, as it is good to keep some surprises for those who will actually come to listen to me. ;)

Have a nice week-end (a little bit in advance)!

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I love the slides. The illustrations are lovely, and clear. I did not read all of them yet, but so much of what you present you have discussed here and the science vocabulary is fairly consistent. Thank you so much for the link. I look forward to reading these as I go to sleep (on my iPad). They will be very relaxing.

As for your COVID fight: no one loves you more than your wife. She is smart, a health professional. It's hard (I never listen to my husband 😆), but listen to her on this one. Life is precious, and more fragile than most of us realize.

Enjoy your weekend offline. More sun, more vitamin D.

Take care, @lemouth.

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Hehe! We had a nice week-end, although with a so so weather. How was yours?

From today, I am better from the COVID stand point, but stiff neck finished me... Yeah.... my body seems to be falling into pieces... I am happy to have my wife to take care of me :p

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I am so happy to hear from you. Worried 😇

I am happy to have my wife to take care of me

Yes!!!

stiff neck

I think that is all part of the virus. It is fighting you. You fight back. Rest.

We are OK here. My granddaughter's graduation yesterday made me proud (I watched it online!!!!) but saddened me. Time passes. Hard to accept the end of an era. We spent a lot of time together.

Take care of yourself🌞

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I deeply appreciate your succinct and forthright explanation of the Standard Model in layman's terms. I hope your presentation achieves all your goals for it. I have great reticence in sharing my rude grasp of physics as an unlearned layman, but I seem to understand gravity differently than I have heard expressed by anyone I have read more extensively. From Einstein's description of gravity as the warping of spacetime I note that gravity is not a force anymore than volume is a force. Dropping a stone into a pond results in pressure on the water to move to accept the volume displaced by the stone, and similarly mass affecting spacetime produces warping as a result, and neither volume nor gravity are forces per se, although producing affects involving forces.

Since gravity affects spacetime, which is neither space nor time, I understand it's affects to extend across the full breadth of that medium, and it seems to me that dark matter is proposed to account for the affects of matter at other times that is not apparent presently in the visible space.

This does not accord with the standard model as I understand it, and I am incompetent to even contemplate treating this understanding mathematically. Frankly I can count past twenty if I am without pants, so am curious if my understanding has any basis in such facts as you believe demonstrable, or if it is contradicted.

Thanks!

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Here, one important point to keep in mind is that I discuss particle physics. This means that our problem lies in the context of the elementary particles and their interactions. Gravitational effects are here tiny, as they are proportional to the masses involved. Elementary particle masses are indeed so small that anything related to gravity is negligible compared to the effects associated with any of the other three fundamental interactions. This obviously change at super high energies, much higher than anything we can conceive as humans (we are talking about a factor of 1015 more or less).

In addition, we do not know how to include gravity in the Standard Model, and this lies at the heart of many on-going researches today. But for anything that concerns us, this problem is a non problem (as whatever is the way gravity will be incorporated to the Standard Model, it will have a non-measurable effect on any observable).

Dropping a stone into a pond results in pressure on the water to move to accept the volume displaced by the stone, and similarly mass affecting spacetime produces warping as a result, and neither volume nor gravity are forces per se, although producing affects involving forces.

As a side note, we cannot really discuss "volumes", because this does not involve time. Gravitational effects of massive bodies act on all four dimensions of space time, according to general relativity.

Gravity is a force in the context of mechanics. On the other hand, general relativity tells us that this force is not an ordinary force.

At the end of the day, what matters is the context. For slowly moving and not too heavy objects, Newtonian mechanics is a very good approximation, with its context of forces, acceleration, etc. Otherwise, we need to rely on relativity in which what we interpret as a force is the curvature of spacetime. This seems to agree with what you wrote, if I got it correctly.

Since gravity affects spacetime, which is neither space nor time, I understand it's affects to extend across the full breadth of that medium, and it seems to me that dark matter is proposed to account for the affects of matter at other times that is not apparent presently in the visible space.
This does not accord with the standard model as I understand it, and I am incompetent to even contemplate treating this understanding mathematically. Frankly I can count past twenty if I am without pants, so am curious if my understanding has any basis in such facts as you believe demonstrable, or if it is contradicted.

I don't understand the above paragraph. Why do you say that there is no dark matter in space today? If we assume that the standard model of cosmology is valid, with dark matter in it, then we can explain varied cosmological observations (galaxy rotation curves, the cosmic microwave background, structure formation, etc., to quote a few of them). Do you therefore mind clarifying your comment? Thanks in advance!

Cheers, and thanks again for passing by!

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Posting this on behalf of @valued-customer who contacted via discord


Across spacetime masses warp the medium when and where they occur, but mass warping spacetime is not either constrained in it’s extent of affect in time nor space, because it warps spacetime, not only space, and decreases in affect according to the inverse square law at all distances. The affect is across both space and time because spacetime is what exists, not space and time as separate entities. Thus, although observing the affects of mass on space is all we can do, because we perceive time as an instant and do not observe vectors across time as we observe them in space, mass effects spacetime warping, not merely spatial warping. We see space extensively, but only perceive time as an instant. I can see across a valley, but not a century. However the masses at other instants of time in spacetime do affect the spacetime we observe spatially, and instantly, and this is unaccounted for in the reckoning of the affects of the masses we observe spatially, because we do not observe the mass at other times.

We perceive reality as a point in time, but a field of space. Were we to observe vectors through time rather than as motion through space, we would see flashes of mass appearing and vanishing at one spatial point across time, a variable brightness rather than a streak across the sky.

Seems to me this failure to reckon the extent of mass in time is the reason the vast majority of mass in the observed space seems to be invisible, because the vast majority of mass warping spacetime is invisible, because it is warping spacetime across the spacetime continuum, and not only in the instant we perceive it. That is accounted as dark matter, IMHO. At least it is not accounted for otherwise AFAIK, leaving the vast majority of gravitational warping unnaccounted for.

Spacetime is infinite, and the warping of spacetime extends across that field, both at instants forward in time from us, and instants backwards in time from us. The warping of spacetime observed is actually due to the gravity from all mass that has ever, or will ever, exist everywhere, and not merely the mass that is instantly observable at present.

There is much more to what we look at than we see.

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@valued-customer: I am still not sure to really get your point here. I will however try to answer anyway. I hope not to be too off-topic.

Initially, dark matter was postulated to explain why the observed circular motion of stars in galaxies as a function of their distance from the galactic centres was faster than what was obtained with Newtonian mechanics only. In other words, there was some invisible mass leading to the observed effect. This observation requires measurement of times and distances, and this was done without any problem at all.

Similarly, we can assume the standard model of cosmology (with dark matter and dark energy) and fit all data we have. It works out of the box, in particular when focusing on the cosmic microwave background. Furthermore, we can simulate structure formation in our universe. Again, the observed pattern can nicely be explained in standard cosmology (with dark matter).

Now (what follows seems closer to what you pointed out), we can also discuss gravitational lensing that is a general relativity effect due to the distortion of spacetime. What we observe agrees both with general relativity and the assumption of dark matter.

To finish, I would like to comment on this:

Spacetime is infinite, and the warping of spacetime extends across that field, both at instants forward in time from us, and instants backwards in time from us. The warping of spacetime observed is actually due to the gravity from all mass that has ever, or will ever, exist everywhere, and not merely the mass that is instantly observable at present.

There is no proof spacetime is infinite. It may actually not be.

What is true is what we observe today is a picture of some part of the universe as it was in the past (as light takes some time to reach us). I however don't see why we could not account for this in calculations (and in fact we do account for it).

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(Edited)

"There is no proof spacetime is infinite. It may actually not be."

Point taken. However, that does not change what appears to be the fact that spacetime is affected by all mass that has ever or will ever exist everywhere, and which seems to not be accounted for in extant calculations in the standard model. As I understand it only the mass that is observable by us instantly, whether at hand or removed at some distance that imposes a time delay due to light taking time to reach us, is accounted for. All the mass that exerts it's warping effect on spacetime is not reckoned, because only what we observe in the instant of observation is accounted.

What I propose is that mass we do not presently observe and have not accounted as warping spacetime does warp spacetime, and the proposal that there is some form of mass that only exerts gravitational warping, dark matter, is therefore unnecessary. That mass not observed at the instant of observation, whether what we observe is now present or has been present at the time in the past the speed of light reveals to us now, is the mass our reckoning of the warping of spacetime, gravitational lensing, indicates is not observed.

Proposing dark matter (and dark energy) is therefore unnecessary, and that dark matter proposed to account for the observed warping of spacetime is substituting for the mass that effects gravitational lensing we do not observe at the instant of observation but that certainly has and will exist and affect spacetime at the instant of observation.

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I am very confuse, when you wrote this:

What I propose is that mass we do not presently observe and have not accounted as warping spacetime does warp spacetime, and the proposal that there is some form of mass that only exerts gravitational warping, dark matter, is therefore unnecessary

This is precisely a definition of dark matter, isn't it? I actually don't understand the difference.

PS: dark energy is different as this is the engine that allows the universe to expand in an accelerated way.

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(Edited)

"This is precisely a definition of dark matter, isn't it? I actually don't understand the difference."

Dark matter as I understand it's description is proposed to comprise of WIMPs, weakly interacting massive particles, which have properties specifically that do not otherwise interact with other matter than gravitationally.

That is not ordinary matter at other times. That is additional and vastly different matter than ordinary matter at other times. Dark matter has properties that make it invisible, while ordinary matter at other times is simply not observable because we perceive time as an instant, and have not understood the nature of spacetime with which ordinary matter interacts.

What I discuss is that mass that existed yesterday, and all days before yesterday, is affecting spacetime today, and mass that will exist tomorrow, and all days after tomorrow, in addition to all mass that exists today, is affecting spacetime today. Ordinary matter that we observe today but are not observing at times past nor times to come is what is invisible and not accounted in the calculation of observed spacetime warping, gravitational lensing, we observe at the time of observation.

Mass affects spacetime. There is no place from which the affect of mass does not reach a given region of spacetime (except perhaps within the Schwarzchild Radius of a black hole), and this means there is no era in which mass has existed or will exist in which it does not affect a given era of spacetime, including the specific instant in which we are observing spacetime warping. The inverse square law governs the degree of affect mass has on spacetime, and reduces the amount of warping mass will effect the more distant mass is from the spacetime being warped, but there is no spacetime that is too distant from any given mass to be affected by it. Neither is there an era of spacetime that is unaffected by a given mass because that mass existed too long ago or will exist too far into the future from the instant in which the observation of spacetime warping is undertaken.

If mass observed at the time of observation is reckoned to warp spacetime in a given region of space, such as the surface of the Earth where the amount of warping produces 1G of acceleration, then what is actually happening is that all mass everywhere in the universe at all times in the past, all times in the future, and present, is exerting that spacetime warping we measure as 1G at that point and era in spacetime on the surface of the Earth where and when we take the measurement and calculate the spacetime warping.

Since the inverse square law reduces the affect of mass distant from the surface of the Earth to a negligible amount, generally such calculations consider only the mass of the Earth when calculating the warping of spacetime at some point on the surface of the Earth (in fact, as you pointed out, such local affects as mass has on spacetime are treated as a force using Newtonian mechanics, because that is far more easily calculable and accurate enough). However, these calculations ignore that it is the mass of the Earth yesterday, and all days prior to today, and tomorrow, and all days after tomorrow, in addition to the mass of the Earth today, that produces the given warping of spacetime observed at the time and place of observation and calculated to be 1G of acceleration.

Perhaps, if this description remains opaque, you can ask specific questions about the statements I have made to describe my understanding of what is happening when mass affects spacetime. It is simply that mass does not only affect space, but spacetime, and thus includes all times in which mass exists and not only the space in which mass exists, because mass exists in spacetime and not in space or time, neither of which exist.

Note: edited to improve clarity. I also note that mass may affect spacetime less or more the earlier or later from the time of observation, like mass further away affects a given region less. Also, the inverse square law may not be exactly how the affect of mass is reduced with increasing distance. I am incompetent to treat this understanding mathematically, and can only speculate that the specific rate of reduction of affect with increasing distance in space and time may be quite different than the inverse square law, being unable to make those calculations myself.

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Sorry for the delayed answer, once again. Busy week, buy week… and this discussion is interesting. I cannot answer it in one line :)

Dark matter as I understand it's description is proposed to comprise of WIMPs, weakly interacting massive particles, which have properties specifically that do not otherwise interact with other matter than gravitationally.

WIMPs are only one possibility amongst many. Those are dark matter candidates particularly targeted at current experiments. But you have many many other options, ranging from very light particles to much heavier black holes. The only common ground is that they have gravitational effects. The rest belongs to the details of each model.

[…] ordinary matter at other times is simply not observable because we perceive time as an instant, and have not understood the nature of spacetime with which ordinary matter interacts.

We can observe it through the byproducts of what this matter did in the past. For instance: cosmic rays. We just get them on Earth after a while. For that reason, when we observe the universe far far away, we in fact observe the universe as it was a while in the past.

From the rest of what you mentioned, there is actually one point on which I disagree. The arrow of time cannot be inverted. We can observe the present and the past (which corresponds to observing far away), but not the future. If I have well understood, it seems that you want to consider what is happening now, in the past and in the future. This is not possible. We can account for the first two in the calculations (including what is happening on the way and during history), but not for the latter. How would an event happening in the future impact us? This is what needs to be clarified, and this may be in contradictions with the known laws of physics.

Cheers!

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I am happy to be patient to be availed your great understanding at your convenience to criticize my poor layman's understanding.

I, poorly read, am unfamiliar with other models of dark matter. However, any of them seem unnecessary given my understanding that spacetime, which includes all times including those we perceive as past and future times, is affected by mass such that it warps.

Regarding the arrow of time, I reckon that applies to our perception of it, rather than the actual nature of it, because time does not exist. Spacetime exists, and, as such, I see no possibility that it only exists in one 'direction', but rather is a unitary whole. We may not be able to perceive that whole, but that whole exists nonetheless, and we can observe that space is not unidirectional in any way, so there is, IMHO, essentially proof that time cannot, since spacetime is one thing.

It is not possible for us to perceive the future. However, we can conceive of it, at least estimate it. IMHO the future is an artifact of our means of perceiving, not the nature of reality. I conceive of reality as a gestalt, a crystalline clockwork that incorporates such beginning and end in it's whole.

I cannot understand how spacetime could exist otherwise. Would spacetime somehow erupt from probability in planckian quanta from the vacuum? How could the totality of the universe be inextant and only become extant per time, when time does not exist? It is our perception that is limited, not the universe, IMHO.

Thanks!

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, poorly read, am unfamiliar with other models of dark matter.

Please don’t worry. There are so many models available that is is hard to be up-to-date. I am definitely not myself fully up-to-date, although I know the big classes of models available (which is different from knowing all models taken individually).

However, any of them seem unnecessary given my understanding that spacetime, which includes all times including those we perceive as past and future times, is affected by mass such that it warps.

The issue I have with the above statement is that it has problems with various known laws of physics. For instance, causality would be deeply broken and thermodynamics too. It is all connected to the arrow of time (see below). There is a one-way observed direction of time, at least at the macroscopic level. How would your understanding deal with this? This is unclear to me.

Regarding the arrow of time, I reckon that applies to our perception of it, rather than the actual nature of it, because time does not exist.

This is another thing that is unclear to me. Time exists, and the same manner as space exists. They are both components of spacetime. The fact that we can unify them in a more general concept does not mean the individual concepts are incorrect or cannot be taken individually to solve certain problems.

It is not possible for us to perceive the future. However, we can conceive of it, at least estimate it. IMHO the future is an artifact of our means of perceiving, not the nature of reality. I conceive of reality as a gestalt, a crystalline clockwork that incorporates such beginning and end in it's whole.

Finally, predicting the future is different from having the future impacting the present. This is where causality hits us. As said above, this is where I don't understand your reasoning and where I would need more clarifications.

I cannot understand how spacetime could exist otherwise. Would spacetime somehow erupt from probability in planckian quanta from the vacuum? How could the totality of the universe be inextant and only become extant per time, when time does not exist? It is our perception that is limited, not the universe, IMHO.

Actually, you are not the only one who cannot understand this. This is a good question and hopefully we will see an answer, at least some day.

Have a nice week-end!

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(Edited)

"...causality would be deeply broken..."

Because of how we perceive reality, we perceive events as proceeding through time. However, as the time aspect of spacetime is a field just as much as space is a field, our perception of time as a procession of instants that each replace the other is utterly inaccurate. Conceiving of time as a whole removes the complication of chaos from consideration. While I cannot calculate - or even reasonably estimate - the sum of the involved values, I can only conceive of this gestalt being utterly equitable, and not conceive of any way in which it could fail to resolve perfectly.

The universe cannot be anything but this, IMHO. It is a whole, a unitary thing. Because time is an aspect of spacetime and therefore part of a field extending from beginning to end, just as space is part of that field extending from end to end, chaos is an illusion we perceive due to our perception of time as a directional sequence of instants. In fact the universe is a crystalline gestalt, and all factors are perfectly resolved equitably because that is the only possible way the universe can be, since spacetime is a field that is whole and entire.

"The fact that we can unify them in a more general concept does not mean the individual concepts are incorrect or cannot be taken individually to solve certain problems."

We don't unify them in a more general concept, IMHO. We perceive them very differently, and have been fortunate enough to grasp that our perceptions do not convey what actually exists, because spacetime is what exists. Neither space nor time can exist independently, except as we conceive them due to our perception of them separately. In space frozen in time, nothing happens, and in time constrained to a point in space equity does not exist (as our present understanding of quantum foam is chaotic) and only chaos exists. Only spacetime does enable reality to exist and equitably resolve, and only as a totality.

While we can conceive of space and time as separate things (in fact it is difficult for us to not conceive of them as separate things because we perceive them as separate things) GR shows that their singular existence as spacetime creates specific metrics that aren't possible to conceive unless we correctly consider spacetime as the reality, rather than space and time as separate things. The vector of anything in spacetime has the exact same value (relative to it's mass) when it is reckoned that the faster it moves through space the slower it moves through time, and vice versa. Only conceiving of spacetime enables reckoning this balance, and considering space or time as separate entities fails to reckon this equitable resolution, creating the illusion of chaos.

In just this way that vectors of mass through spacetime always balance, the whole universe equitably resolves. Chaos and the arrow of time are illusions caused by our inability to perceive spacetime as a field, whole and entire.

I reckon the appearance of chaotic eruption of virtual particles from quantum foam simply reveals our inability to perceive spacetime in which causality works directionlessly to produce the eruption of virtual pairs necessary to resolve the sum total of forces equitably. The arrow of time is an illusion produced by our perception of time as a sequence of instants rather than as part of the unitary field of spacetime, and the subsequent illusion of chaos arises from our inability to perceive reality as it exists.

Indeed, the fact of spacetime warping across time as well as space due to the presence of mass everywhen and everywhere is the essential crux of conceiving the unitary nature of reality, since that warping does not propagate through space over time, but simply exists as mass exists in the unitary field of spacetime. This is exactly like the volume of a stone does not take time to wrap around the stone, but simple exists as the stone exists. Whatever impacts the stone impacts the volume of the stone without delay because the volume of the stone does not propagate across spacetime, but is a property of the stone, exactly as the shape of spacetime is a property of spacetime. Gravity is just the shape of spacetime.

The invisibility of mass at other times effecting spacetime warping is because light moves at the speed of light, which takes time to propagate through space and thus does not affect our observations of spacetime warping due to mass present at other times because that warping does not propagate across spacetime like forces do. That warping is an aspect of spacetime itself.

Edit: I have sought to better grasp these issues and what metrics by which they can be reckoned, and have only just discovered that Hermann Minkowski has treated my hypothesis more than a century ago, in his 1908 paper "The Fundamental Equations for Electromagnetic Processes in Moving Bodies", or so I gather from the statement "From his reformulation he concluded that time and space should be treated equally, and so arose his concept of events taking place in a unified four-dimensional spacetime continuum." However, somehow in the gullywash of gibberish, it seems that despite this statement, it appears that "At a time when Minkowski was giving the geometrical interpretation of special relativity by extending the Euclidean three-space to a quasi-Euclidean four-space that included time, Einstein was already aware that this is not valid, because it excludes the phenomenon of gravitation."

I do not agree with this. It does not follow that treating spacetime as a four dimensional whole excludes gravity, and instead I see that the affect of mass reaches across time as it does space, since what the affect of mass is actually reaching across is spacetime. The whole of my speculation is that the affect of mass is acting on spacetime within spacetime, and while we see that gravity reaches across space natively, because we perceive space as a field, gravity is actually acting on spacetime and not only space, because spacetime is the actual medium. Because spacetime is a field, it's spatial aspect is a field as we perceive it to be. For the same reason, time is a field, despite we do not perceive time as a field, but perceive time as a successive sequence of instants. Time is not a successive sequence of instants. There is no arrow of time.

The arrow of time is an artifact of our imperfect perception of spacetime (and perhaps of mathematical description, which I am incompetent to address, since I have no comprehension of how spacetime is described mathematically), and specifically of time as a sequence of instants succeeding one another. In fact time and space aren't actual separate things but are both aspects of spacetime, which is a unitary whole that extends entirely from such beginning to such end as exist in the universe, a continuum warped by the presence of mass.

Given that mass warps spacetime, it follows that mass we observe as well as mass we do not observe in our imperfect perception of spacetime is effecting that warping, because while we perceive mass in a present instant, mass actually exists in a continuum, not a sequence of instants succeeding one another. Exactly as we see that mass a meter from a point of observation effects spacetime warping, and mass 10 meters away effects spacetime warping, moderated by the inverse square law, mass 1 second from the moment of observation effects spacetime warping, and mass 1 week from the moment of observation effects spacetime warping, moderated by the inverse square law.

I cannot grasp that mass cannot effect spacetime warping across the spacetime continuum when the difference from the point of observation is delay rather than distance, which gravity does reach across. If gravity does reach across distance it is also reaching across delay, because what it is reaching across is spacetime and every distance necessarily includes delay. Delay cannot exist without distance, nor distance without delay. Both are actually aspects of what mass exists in and affects, and do not exist otherwise.

Mass cannot cross space instantly. It always takes time to cross space. This is why what mass is crossing is not space, but spacetime. However gravity does not cross spacetime. Gravity is a feature of spacetime. Gravity does not take time to exist. Time is an aspect of spacetime just as is gravity. The shape of spacetime is gravity.

Mass warps spacetime. It is this warping that is called gravity. This warping does not cross space over time, because what is warping is spacetime. This is why I say gravity is not a force and does not propagate across spacetime like light or other forces do. Gravity is the shape of spacetime itself, and thus does not propagate across spacetime. Gravity is the form of spacetime, it's nature, like the volume of a stone does not take time to form around the stone, but simply is an aspect of the stone, gravity is an aspect of spacetime.

However, when mass is moving in spacetime, the warping of spacetime moves across the continuum as a result of the movement of the mass and at the rate of movement of the mass, because the mass effect is moderated by the inverse square law, and is not effected without moderation, so the shape of spacetime changes at the speed of the movement of mass. This is why when the ripples of spacetime warping proceeded across the spacetime continuum when two massive black holes collided, which we detected in 2017, they moved across the continuum at the speed of light.

That speed of the movement of the ripples was not the speed of gravity, but of the pressure wave produced by the collision of masses that cannot move or interact faster than the speed of light, which collision speed is not gravity anymore than mass is gravity. The collision of the black holes changed the warping of spacetime turbulently as the collision was not smooth, but turbulent. This turbulence produced the pressure wave, and the speed of the turbulence is the detected speed of the ripple across spacetime, not the speed of gravity.

Gravity has no speed, just as volume has no speed. Gravity is an aspect of spacetime, just like space and time. Speaking of a speed of gravity is the same as speaking of the speed of space, or the speed of time.

While I have utterly no ability to understand any of the relevant math, I am told by @Shaula on Cosmoquest that the affect of "a mass 1 second away in time would have a gravitational effect 30,000,000,000,000,000x greater than a mass 1m away. So you need to introduce some scaling factor for masses displaced in time to counter that - and if you make it 1 / c^2 then the effects rapidly become unmeasurable. If we use that scaling then an object would need to be almost stationary for about 300x the age of the universe to experience the same effect as having a similar object a metre away."

It makes no sense to me that the stated calculable affect is 3x10^16 larger for a mass 1 second removed from the instant of observation than a mass 1 meter distant, and should be reduced by some factor, and particularly a factor that so reduces it as to require it to exert it's affect for 300x the age of the universe before it compares to a similar mass a meter distant. It seems to me that somewhere something is being reckoned wrongly, since both scales mentioned are outside of reasonable consideration. As I do not have, and never expect to, the ability to so reckon I guess I am just grateful that I have glimpsed something my betters have considered.

Further, I am unable to find any recent incorporation of this seemingly necessary recognition that spacetime is affected by mass in Hermann Minkowski's four dimensional continuum, and find instead that dark matter is introduced and no affect of mass elsewhen is reckoned at all. Since mass cannot affect across distance without also affecting across delay, I am baffled. I am further baffled at the contention that the shape of spacetime is claimed to take time to propagate, that there is a speed of gravity.

I am left humbler, if more mystified, and with a deeper appreciation for your kindness in spending time in discussion with me.

Thank you.

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Thanks for this very long answer. That would be a perfect discussion for a science cafe or something similar (which would be much more suitable than writing and writhing and writing). Anyway I guess we have to deal with written comments at the moment.

While I cannot calculate - or even reasonably estimate - the sum of the involved values, I can only conceive of this gestalt being utterly equitable, and not conceive of any way in which it could fail to resolve perfectly.

That’s somewhat a problem because calculations are required to be able to compare predictions with data. And data will tell us whether your idea is possible or not.

All data known so far show that causality is satisfied (especially in the context of relativity that matters here), and agree with relativity. Therefore, if someone wants to replace the currently admitted paradigm by something else, or even generalise it (which is not impossible; this already happened in the past), this person has to show that the new framework does at least as good as the previous one (or in other words that there is a gain), and that the theory is equipped with unique predictions so that there are ways to test it in the future and unambiguously show that it is working (or not; both a positive and a negative conclusion are useful).

We perceive them very differently, and have been fortunate enough to grasp that our perceptions do not convey what actually exists, because spacetime is what exists. […] Only spacetime does enable reality to exist and equitably resolve, and only as a totality.

What I don’t get here is that physics has nothing to do with perceptions. For instance, we can perceive Earth as being flat at our scale. Of course it is not.

At the end we have a mathematical framework that can be used not only to describe past results, but also to make predictions. This is more or less the mere definition of a theory. It is not because we, as humans, perceive something, that it happens like that in nature. Nature has nothing to do with our human perception.

The fact that we have space, time and spacetime does not lead to any specific issue to me. In some domains we can consider space and time as separate entities (for instance when I walk or drive a car), and sometimes we cannot do this (cosmology, particle physics). I do not see any contradiction here.

I reckon the appearance of chaotic eruption of virtual particles from quantum foam simply reveals our inability to perceive spacetime in which causality works directionlessly to produce the eruption of virtual pairs necessary to resolve the sum total of forces equitably.

Here I don’t understand because it seems to be unrelated to the rest of the discussion. That’s a particle physics thing and not a cosmology one, except if you want to discuss particle models of inflation (that have a connection with cosmology). In particle physics, there is a well-defined way to handle virtual particles, higher order corrections, etc. and it works. Theory and data agree to a very high level of precision.

Indeed, the fact of spacetime warping across time as well as space due to the presence of mass everywhen and everywhere is the essential crux of conceiving the unitary nature of reality, since that warping does not propagate through space over time, but simply exists as mass exists in the unitary field of spacetime.

I don’t see any reason why this would not be accounted for in existing calculations. Gravitational lensing is a good examples where this is actually done.

The invisibility of mass at other times effecting spacetime warping is because light moves at the speed of light, which takes time to propagate through space and thus does not affect our observations of spacetime warping due to mass present at other times because that warping does not propagate across spacetime like forces do. That warping is an aspect of spacetime itself.

This is true. But this also mean light can go back in time. Therefore, as I wrote before, it is only the proposal of events in the future having an influence on events in the past that worries me. I do not see how this would be acceptable in light of current data.

It does not follow that treating spacetime as a four dimensional whole excludes gravity, and instead I see that the affect of mass reaches across time as it does space, since what the affect of mass is actually reaching across is spacetime.

I also don't understand why gravity should be excluded. In general relativity, it is not. Minkowski spacetime is used for calculations involving special relativity from many years. And it has a causal structure.

Given that mass warps spacetime, it follows that mass we observe as well as mass we do not observe in our imperfect perception of spacetime is effecting that warping, because while we perceive mass in a present instant, mass actually exists in a continuum, not a sequence of instants succeeding one another. Exactly as we see that mass a meter from a point of observation effects spacetime warping, and mass 10 meters away effects spacetime warping, moderated by the inverse square law, mass 1 second from the moment of observation effects spacetime warping, and mass 1 week from the moment of observation effects spacetime warping, moderated by the inverse square law.

This is actually one of the things that we do to ‘detect’ invisible mass. We use their effect on the warping of spacetime to get a grasp on it.

While I have utterly no ability to understand any of the relevant math, I am told by @Shaula on Cosmoquest that the affect of "a mass 1 second away in time would have a gravitational effect 30,000,000,000,000,000x greater than a mass 1m away. So you need to introduce some scaling factor for masses displaced in time to counter that - and if you make it 1 / c^2 then the effects rapidly become unmeasurable. If we use that scaling then an object would need to be almost stationary for about 300x the age of the universe to experience the same effect as having a similar object a metre away."

That’s an interesting forum discussion (it seems that many people there are telling. What the people there told you is basically what I told you above in terms of having a theoretical framework. Without doing the math themselves, I am afraid there is no way to get further. At the end of the day, physics is always numerical.

Cheers!

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I know you're very busy, and greatly appreciate such consideration and so far very gentle criticism as you provide. It is very kind of you.

...physics has nothing to do with perceptions.

I agree, but we can only do science insofar as we can conceive of experiments whose results we can perceive. How we experience time seems the reason that the Arrow of Time exists theoretically, since it seems irrelevant to a unitary spacetime continuum. How we conceive of reality stems from what we perceive of reality, and there is more to what we look at than we see.

"...we have a mathematical framework that can be used not only to describe past results, but also to make predictions."

This is why I have quit using the word hypothesis and now use speculation regarding my understanding, because without that framework it cannot be tested. I really should never have quit learning math. I am sure it is only nearly Godlike patience that enables you to suffer this discussion with a math illiterate.

"...it seems to be unrelated to the rest of the discussion."

The point I make about the universe being unitary and equitable is why I find this pertinent. Math, or statements in any language, can be open ended, wrong, or incomplete. Physical reality cannot. A stone is just exactly what it is, completely and wholly that stone and nothing else, and short nothing that is a part of that stone. How I'd describe that stone would leave a whole lot of things unstated, such as 'it weighs a kilogram' or it's 11 by 8 centimeters'. The stone itself is utterly complete, not short any detail as my descriptions are, or burdened with anything it is not, as we conceptually add to the Kaaba. As the universe seems to have sprang from the big bang (leaving branes aside, E8 tesseracts, strings, and etc.) all it's parts have necessarily derived from that unitary state, and absent other creation events, remain linked through that initial union presently, via whatever processes and transformations have followed thereafter involving only itself. Just as it's beginning is complete, it must be now, and will be at whatever end there is. I see reality as a clockwork in which every aspect of it physically is part of a whole that cannot be missing or added any bits or pieces, from both it's beginning and from it's end, whatever end may come to it. It has to be entire.

Given spacetime is a whole and not a sequence of instants, the future and past are complete, and causality not necessarily limited to our perception of time as directional. A future need for particles today to balance the mechanism of spacetime indwelt with forces and matter is just as potentially causal as a past precursor event in unitary spacetime as I envision it. Who is to say if the butterfly flapping it's wings caused the hurricane or if the hurricane required the butterfly to fly? If time is directionless, causality should also be. What matters is the resolution of the forces in the whole, which cannot fail to equate, and which direction you view the clockwork gears turning immaterial to that equity.

"This is true. But this also mean light can go back in time. Therefore, as I wrote before, it is only the proposal of events in the future having an influence on events in the past that worries me. I do not see how this would be acceptable in light of current data."

While I am ignorant of much that is relevant, I am not aware that Einstein considered data Newton did not have in his insight that gravity and acceleration were identical in affect. He interpreted information differently than Newton, and that changed everything.

The statement '...light can go back in time.' confuses me. Do you mean that light from distant, ancient events only reaches us long after such events, or is there a Nobel in your future?

I hope everything goes great tomorrow when ya'll crank it up to 11, and went well yesterday (I recall you spoke), and happy Independence Day from America, today, the Fourth of July. We owe everything to France, or it's all your fault, depending on your viewpoint ;).

Thanks!

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I am pleased to answer. As I said, a good conversation has never hurt anyone (even if we disagree).

I agree, but we can only do science insofar as we can conceive of experiments whose results we can perceive.

Yes, but there is a missing step. Between the perception and the comparison with data, we need a mathematical description of perception, that could be used for predictions and the actual comparison with data. Without this, ideas only stay ideas, and cannot be promoted to being theories.

How we experience time seems the reason that the Arrow of Time exists theoretically, since it seems irrelevant to a unitary spacetime continuum.

What about thermodynamics, or the expansion of the universe. To me, these are more than just ideas. And this is the starting point that shakes all the rest of the reasoning in your reply. Why would the arrow of time be reversible as we have data showing us that it is not.

This is why I have quit using the word hypothesis and now use speculation regarding my understanding, because without that framework it cannot be tested. I really should never have quit learning math.

That’s a pity as this missing step is really needed to go further. Otherwise, I can only provide observations that could put the speculation into troubles, but there is no way to have a final conclusive (quantitative) statement on this.

I am sure it is only nearly Godlike patience that enables you to suffer this discussion with a math illiterate.

Don’t worry. If I would have been bored, I would have stopped answering ^^

Math, or statements in any language, can be open ended, wrong, or incomplete. Physical reality cannot.

I don’t understand this. Physics uses math to express itself. Am I missing anything?

causality not necessarily limited to our perception of time as directional

This is another item I don’t get fully. We observe events and we can order them, can’t we? Therefore, we definitely 'make use' of the arrow of time.

The statement '...light can go back in time.' confuses me. Do you mean that light from distant, ancient events only reaches us long after such events, or is there a Nobel in your future?

No, nothing can go back in time. This is in fact how I understood your next-to-last reply. If events from the future can influence us, this means that light could go back in time. One step further, this means that we are in big troubles relative to existing data, at least at macroscopic scales.

We owe everything to France, or it's all your fault, depending on your viewpoint ;).

As I am not French, this is definitely not my fault. I hope you enjoyed your fourth of July! :)

Cheers!

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I am glad to benefit from your expertise, as well as your good nature, even if you're not French.

"What about thermodynamics, or the expansion of the universe. To me, these are more than just ideas. And this is the starting point that shakes all the rest of the reasoning in your reply. Why would the arrow of time be reversible as we have data showing us that it is not."

It can be impossible to see the forest for the trees, and this is what I think is happening. Details like thermodynamics and inflation need to be interpreted against the backdrop of the forest as a whole, because aspects of the ecosystem unknown to us yet connect each of the trees of the forest unseen by us from our viewpoint. We know this has to be so because all the universe was in one point at one instant. All the forest has grown from one seed. It clearly is one thing.

I'm unaware of any cosmology currently advocated that asserts space and time are separate, or that mass expends force when effecting gravity, or that there are some places and times mass doesn't effect gravity, or that spacetime is separated into bits and pieces and instants and moments. None of these assertions, that spacetime is one thing from end to end, that gravity is an aspect of spacetime affected by mass, or that gravity isn't a force, originate with me, or are even controversial, to my knowledge. Better men than I showed these things were so and they have been affirmed by repeated observations.

Gravity is not a force and does not run low after warping spacetime for a while. The effect doesn't expire, wear out, or need refueling. It's just the shape of spacetime, spacetime's 4D topology, which takes no ergs or joules of energy to maintain or cause, any more than the volume of a rock does.

It does wane per the inverse square law with increasing displacement of mass from a given placera (place plus era. Catchy right?) of spacetime, but doesn't require fuel to cause it's effect, so the effect it had yesterday doesn't count against the effect it has today, or will tomorrow.

If mass that cannot be perceived today is effecting gravity today from yesterday and tomorrow, that mass is invisible, but it's affect can be calculated from gravitational lensing seen today, or the position of the Bullet Cluster being displaced from it's apparent center of gravity, or galactic arms moving faster than the matter we observe can pull them.

Those are observations that are said to require dark matter. But from the description of the universe we have already, there is lots of invisible matter causing the observed gravity. Almost all the matter in spacetime is invisible. Ordinary matter warps spacetime and transforms it to gravitospacetime, which is a whole and not chopped into past, present, and future, not east and west, and left and right, nor gravity, space, and time. So not only mass in the past is affecting gravitospacetime, but mass in the future, even as the universe expands and that mass moves away from galactic centers to pull on galactic arms, or the Bullet Cluster keeps colliding and mass long after today pulls it towards it's center of gravity after that mass has moved past that center.

But when we observe warped spacetime and the matter and forces in it, we see across space, perceiving time only as an instant, and can only reckon from a theoretical time of origin to the present, or estimate what future may come. We perceive an arrow of time that does not exist because spacetime is a whole. It's not broken into the past, present, and future like we experience. We are trapped in warped spacetime, like light.

All I am attempting is to synthesize the stated attributes of the trees into a forest. Mass warps spacetime moderated by the inverse square law, and there's no part of spacetime that effect does not reach. The 4D topology of spacetime does not take time to effect. It just is the shape of spacetime. Spacetime has not been claimed to be partial, erupting from the vacuum instant by instant, by any credible mechanism I am aware of. We perceive an arrow of time, because we are matter and forces like light, trapped in spacetime, but that is not a limitation suffered by spacetime, so spacetime should be what it appears to be, which is whole and entire, from beginning to end .

The existence of spacetime as a unitary thing is pretty solidly supported by a lot of different evidence. Data showing an arrow of time starts off weak, because time is only an aspect of spacetime, and space doesn't have a direction. Given our perception of time as a series of instants, it would be awfully hard to produce data that showed anything else. I note that every experimental result must be interpreted, and I can't think of a way to interpret any experimental result to show the future.

Conceptually, the only way to interpret spacetime being whole is to understand that the future is complete. If spacetime isn't entire, it needs to be shown that spacetime is somehow being created, or transformed from the past, everywhere across it's entire breadth, at every instant. That's a tall order.

"...Physics uses math to express itself."

Math is a language, not the physical reality it is used to describe. People can make incomplete, false, and inconclusive statements in math. String Theory is notorious for it, I am told. I do not think the universe can be any of those things. When I drop my hammer it hits something conclusively, for real. If I estimate what would happen if I drop my hammer, I am just writing a story.

Physical reality is not it's description. Math cannot fully describe a thing, no matter how it is attempted. If I say a stone is a certain width, I have left out it's mass, it's color(s), and on and on.

"We observe events and we can order them..."

The arrow of time and causality are artifacts of our perception, of our existence as matter and forces in spacetime. In a complete universe comprised of past, present, and future, we still see our existence arising instant by instant, because we are not spacetime. We are trapped in it, blinded to the future, and severed from the past.

Math does not have an inherent arrow of time. E=IR is completely reversible. If so much of the universe can be described so elegantly without an arrow of time by such a simple thing as Ohm's Law, it seems likely to me the arrow of time is only a product of our perceptions, rather than physical reality. More to the point, there seems to be no credible mechanism for warped spacetime to be partial. Short the future, it would be erupting at all times everywhere, and this is not even hinted at. It seems to be complete and entire.

We just can't see it.

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If you are fine with the fact that I am not French, then it is alright ^^ To be honest, I should apply one day for citizenship (I live here for almost 15 years). I am just too lazy to go through all the paperwork…

It can be impossible to see the forest for the trees, and this is what I think is happening. Details like thermodynamics and inflation need to be interpreted against the backdrop of the forest as a whole, because aspects of the ecosystem unknown to us yet connect each of the trees of the forest unseen by us from our viewpoint. We know this has to be so because all the universe was in one point at one instant. All the forest has grown from one seed. It clearly is one thing.

This is precisely the point of my previous message. It is not a matter of “seeing” or “perceiving”. We have a theory, which means a mathematical framework dedicated to explain physical phenomena, that can make predictions and be compared with data. That’s a very different thing from “ideas” or “thoughts”. In order for something else to take over, we need this something else to be promoted to a full theoretical framework with all mathematical aspects built in, predictions and comparisons with data. This is how to proceed to see one theory being eventually replaced by another (or generalised as often domains of application play a role).

I'm unaware of any cosmology currently advocated that asserts space and time are separate, or that mass expends force when effecting gravity, or that there are some places and times mass doesn't effect gravity, or that spacetime is separated into bits and pieces and instants and moments. None of these assertions, that spacetime is one thing from end to end, that gravity is an aspect of spacetime affected by mass, or that gravity isn't a force, originate with me, or are even controversial, to my knowledge. Better men than I showed these things were so and they have been affirmed by repeated observations.

Not everything you mentioned has already been studied and assessed. However, some of the points raised are. For instance, the fact that gravity arises from spacetime deformations is fully embedded in general relativity, isn’t it? Of course, there are new ideas in your proposal. As I wrote before, some of them seem to be in contradictions with current data and lead to problems.

Gravity is not a force and does not run low after warping spacetime for a while. The effect doesn't expire, wear out, or need refueling. It's just the shape of spacetime, spacetime's 4D topology, which takes no ergs or joules of energy to maintain or cause, any more than the volume of a rock does.

In general relativity, gravity arises from deformations of spacetime. We call it a force, even if it has a different origin from that of the other forces. I have the impression that here, it is just semantics, isn’t it?

It does wane per the inverse square law with increasing displacement of mass from a given placera (place plus era. Catchy right?) of spacetime, but doesn't require fuel to cause it's effect, so the effect it had yesterday doesn't count against the effect it has today, or will tomorrow.

Newton’s law of gravitation, with its typical 1/r2 behaviour, is generalised in general relativity. I am not sure to follow the reason why the two should be incompatible. They just have different domains/regimes of application.

If mass that cannot be perceived today is effecting gravity today from yesterday and tomorrow, that mass is invisible, but it's affect can be calculated from gravitational lensing seen today, or the position of the Bullet Cluster being displaced from it's apparent center of gravity, or galactic arms moving faster than the matter we observe can pull them. […]

As already mentioned, my problem is not the today/yesterday part, which we can include in calculations without any problem, but the tomorrow part. There is no way for the future to impact us without being in contradictions with common physics (that is backed up by centuries of data). As I said earlier, causality is important. If you want to convince me that the future can have a role, I am afraid that there is no other way except going into the mathematical foundations of your idea.

Conceptually, the only way to interpret spacetime being whole is to understand that the future is complete. If spacetime isn't entire, it needs to be shown that spacetime is somehow being created, or transformed from the past, everywhere across it's entire breadth, at every instant. That's a tall order.

What does ‘the future is complete’ mean? I don’t get this. Does it mean spacetime is finite and that there is an upper limit on time?

Math is a language, not the physical reality it is used to describe.

Yes it is, And it is used as a language in physics, so that we could make predictions, and especially so that we could make any theory falsifiable (or tested if you prefer). Qualitative statements are rapidly not sufficient anymore when developing new ideas. I know that you already mentioned that this is an issue for the current discussion, but I am afraid that this is the only way to move further.

Math does not have an inherent arrow of time. E=IR is completely reversible.

What about the formulation of physics laws with maths? In the same way, math does not have any inherent notion of physics too. For a physicist, math is a tool, and is used as such. The mathematical framework describing any theory allow us to use the theory to go beyond a qualitative description.

Cheers!

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"This is how to proceed to see one theory being eventually replaced by another..."

I agree. It is a strong reason I am so grateful for your criticism.

"...some of them seem to be in contradictions with current data and lead to problems."

Other than temporal issues with causality, I have not grasped the contradictions (which I don't think a contradiction, but simply unaccounted for practical reasons). I am loathe to burden you, but humbly request specifics that I might better wrap my head around what I am conceiving that is novel and outrageous, because I consider what I (try to) say as simply a comprehensive conception of the sum of established conventions. I am really not an inventor of original thoughts, but more of a slow, if thorough, considerer of those of my betters, I think.

"...it is just semantics..."

Mathematically there is no difference between discussing a force or a dimension. However, the difference between Newton and Einstein is that the universe is completely different in form, despite the math describing orbital mechanics producing quite similar orbits in either, so similar that the simpler math reckoning force of gravity rather than the topology of spacetime is used in rocket science.

I can note the similarity between a legal person and a natural person for legal purposes, while the difference between a living breathing soul and an agreement between such persons (a corporation) is quite substantial, and results in love, suffering, and birth and death only applying to natural persons, which yet fails, largely, to affect some law (with sometimes horrific consequences).

"There is no way for the future to impact us without being in contradictions with common physics (that is backed up by centuries of data)."

Because we are confined in spacetime as are all matter and forces, the tree of time conceals the extent of the forest from us in our interpretation of experimental results. I suspect that reconsidering many such in a cosmological context in which spacetime completely extended from the East to the West, and from the Beginning to the End, while it would not alter the mathematical formulae or calculations relevant to the experiment (if such experiment were not differentiating between those conceptions of spacetime), would be quite different in terms of the underlying mechanisms being reckoned, just as Newtonian cosmology required a luminous aether which the Einsteinian cannot abide.

"...spacetime is finite and that there is an upper limit on time?"

Yes. Spacetime, if there is a beginning to it, is finite. I here note that originally I stated that spacetime was infinite, and you pointed out there was no specific basis for that assumption. Mathematically it is possible in (at least) three ways for infinity to be stated. Something that neither begins nor ends is infinite, and if it ends or begins but not the inverse.

However, if there was a big bang in which all the universe was contained in a point at an instant the physical fact of the universe, as distinct from description of concepts of it, constrain that physical entity to forms that reference that origin. A clock can only be the sum of it's parts, while the description of a clock will both embellish and neglect aspects of that discrete reality and can (must) perpetually approach that reality without actually conforming to it.

No statement in any language, including math, can be complete as a physical thing is necessarily complete and cannot embellish or neglect aspects of it. Even math must necessarily lie by omission, at least, or by embellishment, unavoidably. Heisenberg showed this, IMHO.

"What about the formulation of physics laws with maths?"

While I used Ohm's Law to demonstrate that concision of formulae is a consilient principle of physics, Ohm's Law also fails to fully encompass physical reality. I do not seek to disparage math, but to correctly consider it's proper role, which, while essential, is not all that is necessary to encompass physics. You correctly note that I cannot do physics without the necessary math, but physics also has arisen from insights and conceptions that have not been derived from math, even if they have later been described with math. Apples fall from trees, and the acceleration they undergo is due to the shape of spacetime, calculably identical to if they were rocket powered.

So, I attempt to convey what I conceive quantitatively in English, which limits the quantities to none or all, and estimates those in between. A poor substitute for math, I concur, but competent to that degree. When I say spacetime is complete I mean that all events that can be described are fully actualized (they 'have' happened), including those which are at times to come and which are concealed from us by the constraints of time on forces that cannot reach us from those placeras. We cannot perceive them. That does not mean they don't exist, or that gravity from them, not being a force, doesn't affect the full breadth of spacetime. Mass anywhere or anytime in spacetime affects all spacetime, and the statements 'anywhere' and 'anytime' are false in physics, because there is no where without a when, nor a when without a where, and all subject to gravity.

While the evolution of mathematics has necessarily proceeded from our evolving conception of physics, Euclidean geometry becoming Riemannian geometry complicates the conceptual picture of reality with 'lies' (I say this having only (limited) comprehension of Euclidean geometry). Euclidean geometry only pertains to theoretical concepts, and not to actual reality in which space cannot exist without time. I am not trying to be pedantic, but to here consider actual functional ability of math to pertain to what is real. As a carpenter I use Euclidean geometry daily shaping structures, and, like rocket scientists using Newtonian force calculations to reckon orbits, precisely conforming to actual reality in my calculations would hopelessly complicate my work. Such is the human condition.

In reality at the scales under discussion this humanity is relevant to our consideration of the future insofar as light from there doesn't reach us and we can only speculatively predict events. That is not a constraint on gravity which is not matter and forces as we are. Being unable to perceive the future cause of an event from our viewpoint in the present creates the appearance of chaos, which cannot exist in a clockwork universe that actually physically exists and utterly resolves all forces equitably. The gears in a clock have specific form, and cannot estimate or miscalculate the force they express or impart. Calculations do unavoidably estimate and miscalculate by their nature (lying by omission or embellishment), and we can only consider what we conceive, which is yet only partially accurate, because we largely evolve our conceptions from our perceptions. Physics is not conceptually limited to our perceptions, but is practically limited today by our human nature.

We estimate with probability chaotic events, but the universe resolves equitably by causing events appearing to us to be chaotic through it's nature we cannot perceive because we are human. While physics is theoretically able to be conceptually accurate and complete, it isn't yet, because of the dichotomy between what we perceive and have yet to conceive correctly.

Otherwise you'd do other work.

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Other than temporal issues with causality, I have not grasped the contradictions (which I don't think a contradiction, but simply unaccounted for practical reasons). I am loathe to burden you, but humbly request specifics that I might better wrap my head around what I am conceiving that is novel and outrageous, because I consider what I (try to) say as simply a comprehensive conception of the sum of established conventions. I am really not an inventor of original thoughts, but more of a slow, if thorough, considerer of those of my betters, I think.

No problem with the burden, as soon as I will have time I will answer (you may however need to be patient when week-ends approach… :)

To clarify what I mean with contradictions, let’s say that the standard model of cosmology allows for an explanation to a lot of observations (galaxy rotation curves, the cosmic microwave background, gravitational lensing, structure formation, etc.). In order for any new model to be considered seriously, it should be shown (quantitatively) that this new model does (at least) as good as the standard model. I do not see how your proposal could do this (although as I said, I only ask to be convinced quantitatively).

However, the difference between Newton and Einstein is that the universe is completely different in form, despite the math describing orbital mechanics producing quite similar orbits in either, so similar that the simpler math reckoning force of gravity rather than the topology of spacetime is used in rocket science.

This does not mean that one is incorrect and the other one is correct. Both have their own domains of application. Depending on the system we study, we may want to use Newtonian gravity or general relativity.

Because we are confined in spacetime as are all matter and forces, the tree of time conceals the extent of the forest from us in our interpretation of experimental results. I suspect that reconsidering many such in a cosmological context in which spacetime completely extended from the East to the West, and from the Beginning to the End, while it would not alter the mathematical formulae or calculations relevant to the experiment (if such experiment were not differentiating between those conceptions of spacetime), would be quite different in terms of the underlying mechanisms being reckoned, just as Newtonian cosmology required a luminous aether which the Einsteinian cannot abide.

Although I would like to see how that works mathematically, I still don’t see how to future events could impact present and past events (even when including spacetime deformations and so on). Moreover, you actually assume that there is a beginning and an end. That is a strong assumption. Whereas we can define what beginning means (more or less, as this is more complicated than it seems), how would you define the end?

Yes. Spacetime, if there is a beginning to it, is finite. I here note that originally I stated that spacetime was infinite, and you pointed out there was no specific basis for that assumption. Mathematically it is possible in (at least) three ways for infinity to be stated. Something that neither begins nor ends is infinite, and if it ends or begins but not the inverse.

Indeed, here there is a need for some assumptions, that belong to the details of the model. See also the paragraph just above.

However, if there was a big bang in which all the universe was contained in a point at an instant the physical fact of the universe, as distinct from description of concepts of it, constrain that physical entity to forms that reference that origin. A clock can only be the sum of it's parts, while the description of a clock will both embellish and neglect aspects of that discrete reality and can (must) perpetually approach that reality without actually conforming to it.

This is where the model is quite undefined. In the early days, time is actually undefined and general relativity is not a correct description. We need to unify general relativity and quantum mechanics here, and such a description is still missing.

While I used Ohm's Law to demonstrate that concision of formulae is a consilient principle of physics, Ohm's Law also fails to fully encompass physical reality.

It is however sufficient to describe many cases…

I do not seek to disparage math, but to correctly consider it's proper role, which, while essential, is not all that is necessary to encompass physics

I disagree here. A mathematical formulation is what defines a physics theory. Otherwise, we only get bold statements.

When I say spacetime is complete I mean that all events that can be described are fully actualized (they 'have' happened), including those which are at times to come and which are concealed from us by the constraints of time on forces that cannot reach us from those placeras. We cannot perceive them. That does not mean they don't exist, or that gravity from them, not being a force, doesn't affect the full breadth of spacetime. Mass anywhere or anytime in spacetime affects all spacetime, and the statements 'anywhere' and 'anytime' are false in physics, because there is no where without a when, nor a when without a where, and all subject to gravity.

This is hard to grasp. Future events have not happened. They will happen, but they have not yet happened. Even if time is part of spacetime, time is time and means something. I think this is the same issue I don’t fully understand since the very beginning of our conversation. How can the future affect present and past observations?

As a carpenter I use Euclidean geometry daily shaping structures, and, like rocket scientists using Newtonian force calculations to reckon orbits, precisely conforming to actual reality in my calculations would hopelessly complicate my work. Such is the human condition.

Again, this is true. Depending on what you study, this or that formalism is more appropriate. For the dynamics of the universe however, Newtonian mechanics is not enough.

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"...as I will have time I will answer..."

I could ask no more of you, and am happy to await your convenience.

"...the standard model of cosmology allows for an explanation to a lot of observations (galaxy rotation curves, the cosmic microwave background, gravitational lensing, structure formation, etc.). In order for any new model to be considered seriously, it should be shown (quantitatively) that this new model does (at least) as good as the standard model."

I consider my speculation regarding spacetime as more conservative of the standard model than dark matter is, because no such strange properties of matter as WIMPs require need to be demonstrated, and spacetime's failure to be shown to be constantly erupting is also explained by the same mechanism.

"...you actually assume that there is a beginning and an end."

I reckon that if there is a beginning, there must be an end, because that is the nature of physical things that I have observed, like clocks and rocks. However, conceptually, I do not have a problem with an unending universe, although I feel that such would also not have a beginning. I am not particularly wedded to any specifics, but more intent on grasping what is extant, regardless of whether it began or ends. I can't possibly see either beginning or end and can only speculate regarding them.

I am comfortable with my incapacity to perceive some things. It only takes a few hours to get far enough away from land to no longer be able to see it, and I have been familiar with this phenomenon from my early youth. I am quite confident that though I can't see the land that it is there, just as I left it when going to sea. Time is a little different, but my experience is that the future always comes, even though I didn't just leave it, like a distant shore. I am comfortable accepting that the future comes despite I cannot perceive it coming and can only experience a present that was once the future when what was the present became the past. It's just how matter and forces experience reality, a constraint on our perception.

Just as I can conceive of a distant shore I am confident is extant but cannot perceive, I can conceive of a future that is extant but that I cannot perceive. Either the present is constantly erupting from something, or it already exists. I am unaware of any observations of such eruption, or of some cataclysmic destruction of the former present when it becomes the past, which doesn't exist anymore than the future does - or exists just as much as the future does.

Since neither eruption nor cataclysmic destruction of the present is suggested by any observations, a whole spacetime seems suggested. This is also supported by light bringing us news of distant events that happened long ago, but are only perceivable by us now as light enables us to be informed. Unless the past continued to exist, spacetime couldn't exist, and light couldn't bring us information from the past. There would be no lightspeed, and the universe would be static. No motion could occur.

Since spacetime must include the past, it similarly includes the future, because it is a field without an arrow. There is no arrow of space, and since spacetime is what actually exists, there can neither be an arrow of time. Our difficulty regarding the existence of the future is very relevant to my comments regarding how our perceptions limit our conceptions of spacetime. It is a fact that our brains are <1400 cc of potential neuronal connections, which creates a limit on the intellectual capacity potential to humans. Our eyes perceive only a very limited spectrum of light, and only perceive for a limited number of hours. These are constraints on our ability to see and understand what exists, and not limitations on what exists. I expect to be unable to perceive almost all that exists, and similarly expect to be unable to conceive of almost all that exists, because I am such an infinitesimal speck of goo.

I think this is why we yet debate such basic fundamental aspects of reality. We are not particularly suited to understand them. We are designed to hunt and forage for food, and, if we are lucky, to pass our genes to our posterity.

"We need to unify general relativity and quantum mechanics here, and such a description is still missing."

The appearance of events in spacetime to us as chaotic is due to our perception of an arrow of time because we are matter and are constrained by time as is light. I suggest that causality has no arrow of time and such events aren't chaotic at all, simply caused by future requirements. Chaos is an aspect of our existence as matter, but causality is no more constrained by time than is gravity, as I conceive of gravitospacetime.

However, chaos is not quantum structure. I confess lacking the ability to discuss in math constrains my ability to understand the existence of quanta, and such grasp as I have comes from my primitive grasp of the orbitals of electrons in chemistry. I do not understand why electrons are proscribed from intermediate existences but must be in particular orbitals, only grasping that such is what is observed.

I note that the nature of matter is poorly understood and the quite inadequate attempts to understand the dual slit experimental results as observer effect demonstrates our present incapacity to understand what matter is.

"A mathematical formulation is what defines a physics theory. Otherwise, we only get bold statements."

Mathematical descriptions of events do not necessarily convey understanding of what is actually happening. Noting quantitative evolutions does not equate to actually understanding the nature of matter. I am utterly certain that matter is what it is whether or not it is being observed. Given the above discussion of our potential to conceive of reality due to the constraints both of physics and our infinitesimal and gooey persons, I reckon expectation we are inherently able to understand such things is unreasonable.

We are necessarily able to reckon whether bashing something on the head with a rock will enable us to eat it. This does not encompass an ability to understand the nature of the constituents of the rock, which we have not evolved naturally to conceive. I do not think our conception of quantum mechanics, despite that we can note and use some aspects of quantum effects, are necessarily accurate descriptions of what is real and actual.

I can bash something on the head with a rock without understanding the physical matter comprising the rock, and making use of the Hall effect is conceptually similar. Understanding math is not the same as understanding the underlying physical reality, and this is the difference between a thing and a description of a thing. As I noted we cannot accurately and completely describe a clock in any language, but the clock must actually and really be exactly and specifically what it is, and not anything else. This is a fact of math and physics, and of any language we can use to discuss it.

Stating this does not mean that math isn't essential to physics. Accurate quantization of effects is essential to grasping the existence of such effects, despite that such quantization doesn't automatically convey complete understanding of those effects. However, our incapacity to conceive of fundamental aspects of gravitospacetime isn't due to failure to quantize the fundament, but of our ability to perceive it at all. Our limited capacity to conceive evolved from our natural ecological function in which reckoning the ballistics of a rock flung at a fleeing antelope's head has limited applicability to such matters, and this makes grasping what math means problematic.

Math and understanding the reality underlying quanta reckoned aren't the same thing.

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Here I am again, even faster this time ^^

I consider my speculation regarding spacetime as more conservative of the standard model than dark matter is, because no such strange properties of matter as WIMPs require need to be demonstrated, and spacetime's failure to be shown to be constantly erupting is also explained by the same mechanism.

Maybe. However, as already pointed out, dark matter can also be different from WIMPs. In fact, a lot of WIMPy possibilities are now strongly constrained.

There are tons of potential explanation and options for dark matter. The one that any individual prefers is at the end of the day a matter of subjectivity. Provided a given model allows for quantitative predictions and that predictions agree with data, we are fine. (I guess you may see me coming here, so that I will restrain from further commenting on this.)

I reckon that if there is a beginning, there must be an end, because that is the nature of physical things that I have observed, like clocks and rocks. However, conceptually, I do not have a problem with an unending universe, although I feel that such would also not have a beginning.

In standard cosmology, the notion of beginning is very undefined too. However, this does not matter much for predictions to be made in the standard model of cosmology. In your scenario, however, this is a different story because it is required to account for anything (if I got the idea correctly). For that reason, precise definitions are in order (or at least a precise procedure to handle computations).

This is also supported by light bringing us news of distant events that happened long ago, but are only perceivable by us now as light enables us to be informed. Unless the past continued to exist, spacetime couldn't exist, and light couldn't bring us information from the past.

Note here that light does not bring us information from the very early day. Light we see today cannot date from any moment prior to the recombination epoch.

Since spacetime must include the past, it similarly includes the future, because it is a field without an arrow. There is no arrow of space, and since spacetime is what actually exists, there can neither be an arrow of time. Our difficulty regarding the existence of the future is very relevant to my comments regarding how our perceptions limit our conceptions of spacetime. It is a fact that our brains are <1400 cc of potential neuronal connections, which creates a limit on the intellectual capacity potential to humans. Our eyes perceive only a very limited spectrum of light, and only perceive for a limited number of hours. These are constraints on our ability to see and understand what exists, and not limitations on what exists. I expect to be unable to perceive almost all that exists, and similarly expect to be unable to conceive of almost all that exists, because I am such an infinitesimal speck of goo.

OK. Let’s proceed differently (despite all the criticisms that I have already made relative to this idea). How should I detect anything coming from the future? In other words, how anything from the future would influence any measurement? How could I falsify this idea? Without a clear answer to this, I don’t know how to move on further with the discussion. It's like discussing an idea that can neither influence anything we will ever measure, so that it is hard to get the goal of it.

I think this is why we yet debate such basic fundamental aspects of reality. We are not particularly suited to understand them. We are designed to hunt and forage for food, and, if we are lucky, to pass our genes to our posterity.

I can emphasise the last sentence I wrote.

All of this sounds a bit like there is an idea, but there is no way to neither express it, nor make it testable. In other words, there is an idea that leads to no predictions, and therefore no possible comparison with data. I am then asking about the point of this? What is the purpose if it cannot be confronted to reality (i.e. measurements)?

Mathematical descriptions of events do not necessarily convey understanding of what is actually happening. Noting quantitative evolutions does not equate to actually understanding the nature of matter.[…]

I don’t follow here.

Math is the language used by physics to describe the world. This is how it is. Moreover, predictions are crucial to test ideas (and thus to test our understanding). No math means no predictions, and thus no way to test anything (and thus no way to test our understanding).

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"There are tons of potential explanation and options for dark matter."

Absent some ongoing event that is creating the time aspect of spacetime, which no observation supports, spacetime is extant as a field, which we observe of it's spatial aspect. Given that space is visibly a field, how could time not be, since spacetime is one thing?

We have evidence that mass in the past and future do effect gravity in the past - the same evidence used to claim some other form of matter must exist - of more gravity being effected than matter observed effects in a given instant. The matter observed presently isn't extant presently. It is present at various times in the past, depending on how far away from us it is and how long it took light from there to reach us. It is assumed to only effect gravity in a series of sequential instants, across a spatial field. But spacetime is a field and time is not separate from that field, not only occurring as a sequence of instants that confine the affect of matter in that field to such instants.

"Math is the language used by physics to describe the world. This is how it is."

Heisenberg points out that math cannot encompass all that is. What description is undertaken is only a partial description of what is. What physically exists is unable to be described fully in math. The incapacity of math to describe it fully does not prevent it from being fully extant. Physics is necessarily more than can be stated in any language, including math. A description of something cannot fully describe it. Math can describe a clock's function, but not all the aspects of the clock.

From the mathematical description of the electrical draw of a clock and the display, the function of the clock can be ascertained. But only a close look at the circuit board can enable understanding of how the specific clock achieves that function. Simply describing the relationship of the display to the power draw does not provide that level of detailed understanding. For some things the clock may do, describing the display and it's relationship to the power draw may provide no insight at all, such as for a clock radio that provides weather information for Singapore. Math is very powerful, but it is not the only thing necessary to understand physical reality.

"How could I falsify this idea?"

I note that Einstein pointed out that the acceleration of gravity is indistinguishable from any other acceleration force. On Earth the gravitational acceleration is described as 144m/s/s. According to the inverse square law, as stated here https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/engineering/inverse-square-law

"The inverse square law states that for a point source of waves that is capable of radiating omnidirectionally and with no obstructions in the vicinity, the intensity I decreases with the square of the distance, d, from the source."

The acceleration from visible mass is estimable by this means, both by the distances between masses involved in motion of galactic arms, the Bullet Cluster collision, and even tides, for example, and the time difference between such masses and the time of a given measurement.

Substituting estimated values into the inverse square law formula is possible with both distance and time, since both meters and seconds are variables in the equation. Estimating the movements of the masses involved over time would be necessary to estimate the intensity of the acceleration from masses in former and future positions than observed presently, as well as the impact of the inverse square law on mass earlier or later than the time of observation.

While I have only hammers and saws and cannot undertake such estimations and calculations, these are the kinds of calculations that have produced the claim ~85% of the mass effecting gravity is invisible, and that I speculate is simply acting per the inverse square law applied in the spacetime continuum, rather than only as sequential instants.

If such calculations closely resembles observations, within reasonable estimations, then my hypothesis is not falsified. If such calculations are grossly different than observations, the hypothesis is falsified.

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Absent some ongoing event that is creating the time aspect of spacetime, which no observation supports, spacetime is extant as a field, which we observe of it's spatial aspect. Given that space is visibly a field, how could time not be, since spacetime is one thing?

This idea is absent from the list because it has no mathematical formulation. Qualitatively, there are issues with it (we already discussed them) and without any way to make predictions to be compared with data, there is no way to get it considered by physicists. For this, a way to make predictions is unavoidably needed.

We have evidence that mass in the past and future do effect gravity in the past - the same evidence used to claim some other form of matter must exist - of more gravity being effected than matter observed effects in a given instant. The matter observed presently isn't extant presently. It is present at various times in the past, depending on how far away from us it is and how long it took light from there to reach us. It is assumed to only effect gravity in a series of sequential instants, across a spatial field. But spacetime is a field and time is not separate from that field, not only occurring as a sequence of instants that confine the affect of matter in that field to such instants.

Do you mind showing me which evidence we have that future events impact us? I am not aware of any.

Note that there is no direct evidence for dark matter. The only thing we know is that the simplest explanation for many cosmological observations requires it. This is not an evidence, which is actively searched for today.

Moreover, it is not a proof we need dark matter at all costs. Maybe the greatest explanation has not been invented yet. Who knows? In the meantime, this is a model (which is slightly different from a theory) that works well.

[…] Math is very powerful, but it is not the only thing necessary to understand physical reality.

The purpose of physics is to provide a description of any phenomenon from a small number of fundamental principles. There, we rely on what we call a theory. In common parlance the word “theory” describes an attempt to explain events. In scientific language, it is different. A theory is a mathematical structure which precisely explains all known experimental facts in a certain domain.

Therefore, maths are needed for physics. Also, the example of the clock you raised, I don’t see how it does not agree with what I wrote. For each aspect, there are laws allowing to understand it, that we can formulate mathematically.


Let me know move on with the discussion on falsification.

Estimating the movements of the masses involved over time would be necessary to estimate the intensity of the acceleration from masses in former and future positions than observed presently, as well as the impact of the inverse square law on mass earlier or later than the time of observation.

How is this possible? You could this estimation be done? How should I modify the calculations to account for this? Without this, the idea is neither testable nor falsifiable, isn’t it? This is what puzzles me from the beginning.

these are the kinds of calculations that have produced the claim ~85% of the mass effecting gravity is invisible,

I disagree with this. Classical mechanics and observations of visible objects in the universe have shown a disagreement. Adding some invisible mass and redoing the calculations using the same laws allowed to obtain agreement between theory and data.

However, the story does not stop with galaxy rotation curves. There are many cosmological observations for which predictions can be made and that feature agreement with data once the same dark matter is accounted for. For that reason, I insisted several time on the fact that the standard model of cosmology will only be replaced by something that does as good related to data.

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You are quite correct to state that physics is utterly dependent on math. While I cannot understand the math, it is clear from having a look at gauge fields, charge carriers, and Lagrangians, that we'd have no standard model without math. The language of math is vital to the purpose of physics, and I am not a physicist because I am incompetent to communicate in that primary language of physics, at least.

"This idea is absent from the list because it has no mathematical formulation."

Einstein's explanation for why the speed of light is the absolute limit points out that the faster an object is moving across space, the slower it is moving across time, until at lightspeed time is frozen. His famous equation, E=MC^2, relates space and time such that they are inextricable. How seconds to meters is accounted I remain blithely unaware, but this is not my original concept, rather that of Einstein. I only point out that when gravity affects a region of this continuum, it is reaching across both aspects of it, and not space alone.

However, observations reveal that the universe is expanding, and the farther away something is, the faster it is moving away. The general consensus regarding this phenomenon is that spacetime is erupting into being between gravitationally bound systems. I am unaware of any source of this creation of spacetime, of any cost of it, or of any disturbance it's birth may cause. There's no explanation for it at all, but it fits the observation that the universe is expanding in the way it is.

"While the detailed particle physics mechanism responsible for inflation is not known, the basic picture makes a number of predictions that have been confirmed by observational tests. Inflation is thus now considered part of the standard hot big bang cosmology. The hypothetical particle or field thought to be responsible for inflation is called the inflaton."

https://www.cs.mcgill.ca/~rwest/wikispeedia/wpcd/wp/c/Cosmic_inflation.htm

How there can be a spacetime continuum that is complete, yet erupts from the vacuum in bits and pieces, I can neither explain. It seems that observation trumps speculation and things are what they are whether we can derive the reason they are that way or not.

The visible mass observed is calculated to be insufficient to account for observed motion of galactic arms, or the collision of the Bullet Cluster, and these are amongst the observations that are the basis for theories proposing dark matter.

Such observations depend on estimations of how matter is distributed across time and space. That estimation clearly is undertaken and considered rigorous enough to have mathematical validity, or such claims would not bother physicists much, as you state.

"This idea is absent from the list because it has no mathematical formulation. Qualitatively, there are issues with it (we already discussed them) and without any way to make predictions to be compared with data, there is no way to get it considered by physicists. For this, a way to make predictions is unavoidably needed."

Such estimation is not solely potential to theories proposing novel forms of matter, and should be no different undertaken to consider mass affecting spacetime from other moments. Both are theories involving dark, or invisible, matter, although one involves novel form(s) of matter and the other normal matter effecting gravity across time. It seems the estimations have been done and dark matter theories just plug in enough mass where and when it needs to be to satisfy those estimations, as you state.

"Adding some invisible mass and redoing the calculations using the same laws allowed to obtain agreement between theory and data."

Just stating that ordinary matter satisfies those estimations isn't any different, except in that it doesn't require adding to the bestiary of particles in the standard model, and treats spacetime as Einstein showed it to be, a unitary field, a continuum.

While the effect of gravity across time seems a novel concept, it is the only way gravity occurs. There is no universal instant of time across the spacetime continuum, but an objects time and movement through it is relative to it's movement through space. All gravity has to be effected across time, because time for every massive object is unique to it's inertial frame, and there is no universal instant of shared time. All time is relative. The inverse square law is sufficient to cover all gravity, since all gravity is effected across time.

"Do you mind showing me which evidence we have that future events impact us? I am not aware of any."

We are matter. We cannot peer into the future because light cannot reveal it to us. Gravity is not matter, not a force, and is not constrained by time like we are. Physicists can show the gravity caused by unseen mass, but cannot see mass causing the gravity across the spacetime continuum.

I have attempted to discuss spacetime as a field. How can a thing that is a field, that we observe to be a field in which mass exists, be somehow not a field? Space is not something that exists. Space cannot be mathematically treated without time and reflect physical reality, as Einstein pointed out.

Both dimensions of distance and delay, of space and time, are part of the spacetime continuum. Gravity warps spacetime spatiotemporally, not spatially and temporally. How can it reach across the spatial aspect but not the temporal? It makes no sense that gravity is considered to be not reaching across time to affect spacetime. How can time be excluded from spacetime for that purpose?

If the aspects of spacetime are labeled, S=space, T=time, and G=gravity, the calculation can be represented such that (matter in STG affects ST = G) = (matter in (STG)). While math can be used to state (matter in STG affects (S)(T) = G), this is not what happens in the actual universe, because S and T are not different things that are added together, but features of one thing. STG is unitary. It isn't separate parts that can be added together, despite math having rules that allows separate parts to be added together, because math is a language that can be used on things that are separate parts that can be added together, like apples. STG isn't separate apples. It is one apple.

Just following grammatical rules does not create true statements. Just like I can say in English following grammatical rules 'Valued-customer is a horrible person.' and that statement is grammatically correct but completely false, just so the mathematical statement (matter affects (S)(T) = G) is just as false. S and T aren't different things that can be added together, just like valued-customer and horrible person aren't things that can be added together in this way to make a true statement. This is an example of how we can lie in any language, including math.

Just like people, spacetime is not the sum of it's parts. If you break valued-customer into constituent parts you would not be able to spot little bits of horribleness, because I only am valued-customer as a whole. Gravity is an aspect of spacetime and not of it's parts, which do not exist separately but only emerges as a whole. Regardless of whether some novel form of matter does or does not exist, matter affects spacetime it exists in, and since time is relative to a massive object's inertial frame, and there is no universal instant during which gravity is effected, it can only reach across time and space together.

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Note that this may be my last answer for the next 3-4 weeks as I will soon take some long offline time. I will come back to you at my return or during the break if I have enough strength to connect.

[…] I am unaware of any source of this creation of spacetime, of any cost of it, or of any disturbance it's birth may cause. There's no explanation for it at all, but it fits the observation that the universe is expanding in the way it is.

I don’t understand what you mean by “creation of spacetime”. The universe is in a state of accelerated expansion (a fact). What are the cosmic ingredients behind this? Well we don’t know and this is an open question.

How there can be a spacetime continuum that is complete, yet erupts from the vacuum in bits and pieces, I can neither explain. It seems that observation trumps speculation and things are what they are whether we can derive the reason they are that way or not.

What do you mean by “complete”? I don’t understand this word in this context. If you discuss the ingredients I mentioned above, then well, we don’t know.

The visible mass observed is calculated to be insufficient to account for observed motion of galactic arms, or the collision of the Bullet Cluster, and these are amongst the observations that are the basis for theories proposing dark matter.

Such observations depend on estimations of how matter is distributed across time and space. That estimation clearly is undertaken and considered rigorous enough to have mathematical validity, or such claims would not bother physicists much, as you state.

There is no fundamental principle behind the model, but it works. Moreover, the standard model of cosmology is mathematically sound, and you seem to ignore structure formation and the cosmic microwave background that are important indirect support for it. From there, finding the fundamental principles behind all of this consist of open questions. Many work on this.

In other words, the standard model offers us a way to get an idea about the true nature of cosmology and to make predictions in the meantime we have a better framework that does at least as good.

Just stating that ordinary matter satisfies those estimations isn't any different, except in that it doesn't require adding to the bestiary of particles in the standard model, and treats spacetime as Einstein showed it to be, a unitary field, a continuum.

Maybe. Then show me the associated predictions and let's compare them with data. As in the beginning of this thread, I don’t understand how the future could impact the present (even within a curved spacetime).

While the effect of gravity across time seems a novel concept, it is the only way gravity occurs. There is no universal instant of time across the spacetime continuum, but an objects time and movement through it is relative to it's movement through space. All gravity has to be effected across time, because time for every massive object is unique to it's inertial frame, and there is no universal instant of shared time. All time is relative. The inverse square law is sufficient to cover all gravity, since all gravity is effected across time.

Again, how could we integrate the future in calculations? Even if time is relative, causality and the arrow of time are important. This applies to the rest of the previous comment: we observe events today, that date from the past (light takes time to travel). I don’t see how to explain present observations with future ones.

I need to see the theoretical formulation to try to understand this. It is clear that gravity and spacetime are related and no one has ever said that we should ignore relativistic effects. This is not the problem. The problem is how something happening in the future could affect us today.

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I have realized I can make a prediction based on my idea that ordinary matter is the dark matter causing excess gravity. It is that where ordinary matter is observed to be, dark matter should be, since it is the ordinary matter we observe I propose is the dark matter affecting spacetime across time.

It is my understanding that observation has not shown this to be so. Instead, dark matter appears to be locally flat, and it's effect is negligible and lost in the large gravitational field caused by normal matter hereabouts, while having significant impact from places we do not observe matter to be.

My speculation appears to be falsified.

I hope you have a great vacation, and I am very grateful for the kindness you showed me.

Thanks!

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I agree with your conclusion. We know precisely where dark matter should be, and it is not everywhere where we have normal matter. This therefore seems to contradict your predictions.

See you in three weeks! (I will disconnect in 2 days.)

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