TED Conversations

John Wilenchik

This conversation is closed. Start a new conversation
or join one »

What if galaxies are "atoms," and stars are "light"?

What if galaxies "emit" and "absorb" stars, just like atoms emit and absorb light? Are stars being "absorbed" in black holes? Isaac Newton's theory of light was that it is made of little bodies, or "corpuscular." Could he be right? And if stars were "light," does that mean that light is actually made of little "stars"? If light is not actually a wave, then the interpretation of redshift as a Doppler shift, and therefore the theory of a Big Bang, is without foundation.

Lord Kelvin and J.J. Thomson originally proposed a "vortex" model for the atom, and galaxies exhibit spiral structures. Is the "vortex" model correct, and do atoms and galaxies share it?

Here's a test. What if the color of a star is also its color of "light"? In other words, what if big blue stars are also high-energy blue "light"? An atom only emits particular colors of light, known as atomic spectra. If you tally all the colors of star in a particular galaxy, does it match atomic spectra?

The evidence says "yes." Many galaxies share a unique "bimodal" distribution of star colors.

Here's another test. Atoms have discrete numbers of neutrons, which when ejected from the atom become protons, or atoms of hydrogen. Different elements have different mass, or "size," and "larger" elements can be identified by their increasing number of neutrons. Larger galaxies have been found to contain smaller galaxies in very close proximity, which are known as "dwarf galaxies." What if "dwarf galaxies" are "neutrons"? Then the number of "dwarf" galaxies "inside" a large galaxy should match the number of neutrons in an element. In addition, larger galaxies form small groups, such as the Local Group or M81 Group. The positions of galaxies in a group should match the geometry of atoms in a molecule containing the same "elements" that are identified from counting their dwarf galaxies.

In fact, the Milky Way has around 20 identified dwarf galaxies inside it, and the nearest large galaxy Andromeda has around 14 nearby.

0
Share:

Closing Statement from John Wilenchik

This is a radical theory that would undermine a great deal of convential theoretical physics. On the other hand, it may lead to a comprehensive explanation for phenomena as diverse as spiral galaxies, large scale galaxy structure (the "cellular" distribution of galaxies), and the bimodal or trimodal distribution of colors of stars, for which current physics and cosmology have no single explanation. It may also lead to a greater understanding of atomic physics and the structure of atom, based on observations of galaxies and other celestial bodies. It may allow us to "see" atoms, which atomic physicists have only dreamed of.

The easiest way to start with a proof of this theory is to disprove the theory of a Big Bang, by testing whether spectra actually Doppler shift. If spectra do not actually Doppler shift, then there is no basis for the theory that the redshift observed in nearly every galaxy is caused by movement away from from the earth. High-resolution spectroscopy should be performed on a planet in our solar system with a high radial velocity with respect to the earth, e.g. Mercury, such that a spectral shift could theoretically be detected. My prediction is that Mercury's spectra will not shift as its radial velocity changes, or at all, because spectra do not Doppler shift. This is in turn because light is "corpuscular," as Newton believed, and not wavelike, and in fact light may be composed of little "stars."

I personally cannot conscience the belief that nearly every galaxy in the universe is moving away from the earth. To me the "Big Bang" theory is, if nothing else, a fatally terracentric theory, which may one day be viewed with as much credibility as we view the early theories that planets revolve around the earth. I do not believe that the earth or our galaxy is at the center of the universe, or that the universe has a "center," because it is infinite. Like the "little old lady" in a Brief History of Time, I believe it's "Galaxies All the Way Down."

progress indicator
  • thumb
    Jun 18 2012: You're just making connections where there aren't any. Light doesn't theoretically have a colour, just different wavelengths and it is the human brain which generates colour which is true. Light is part of a particle/wave called a photon which is contained within a quanta which is a packet of energy which can't exceed a certain limit. Also most atoms don't emit light, merely reflect it, the stars and the sun emit light and other atoms in certain scenarios. And really the deal breaker for your idea is the fact that we don't share stars with other galaxies, we've never observed a star flying off towards the andromeda and vice versa. Also you've a lot of work to then prove how planets form.
    • Jun 21 2012: Absolutely. According to this theory, there must be stars "traveling" in between galaxies. Of course, they are hard to spot, and they would be moving very, very slowly. How slowly? If stars behave like "light" to galaxies, then stars must travel at a speed relative to galaxies comparable to the speed that light travels relative to the atom. In other words, (the speed of stars) ~ (size of an atom) / (size of a galaxy) * (speed of light).
      • thumb
        Jun 21 2012: Well the galaxies are moving incredibly fast, around 500Km/s so the stars would be moving quite quickly, which they aren't they stay fixed.
        • Jun 24 2012: Galaxies are thought be moving away from the earth at incredible speeds because redshift is attributed to a Doppler shift in waves of light. (This theory originates from Edwin Hubble.) However, if stars behave like "light," then light may actually consist of little "stars," and not be wavelike. (The wave theory of light originates from Christiaan Huygens.) Light may be "corpuscular," like Newton thought. If light is not wavelike, then there may be no evidence for a relationship between redshift and Doppler shift/radial velocity, and galaxies may be stationary. (Redshift may have other causes related to the distance of an emitting body - e.g., a "dying light" theory.) Here is the test: there should be no actual Doppler shift in the spectra of a moving body under laboratory conditions. Because the speeds involved are difficult to reproduce in a lab, we could study the spectra of a celestial body with known orbital mechanics, e.g. one of the other planets in our solar system, with high-resolution spectroscopy. If this theory is correct, then the spectra of a celestial body should not Doppler shift along with its (known) changing radial velocity relative to the earth.

          Currently, to my knowledge, there has been limited high-resolution spectroscopy done on the planets. (Most of it is done on stars or other bodies with unknown mechanics.)
  • thumb
    Jun 20 2012: A lot of things don't add up in you theory. The main things being that stars aren't on the electromagnetic spectrum, emit light themselves and are not made of single particles, but of atoms. even If stars were traveling at the speed of light, they would gain infinite mass and be obliterated.
    • Jun 21 2012: The theory is that stars may behave like "light" to the galaxies, which may behave like "atoms." The corollary is that "light" may consist of little "stars," which may be made of little "atoms." So instead of "turtles all the way down," like Hawking wrote, it's "atoms all the way down."

      If stars behave like "light," then stars must travel in between galaxies, at a speed relative to galaxies that is comparable to the speed that light travels relative to an atom. In other words, (the "speed" of stars) ~ (size of an atom) / (size of a galaxy) * (speed of light).
  • thumb
    Jun 19 2012: There are parallels in how we observe and model atoms and galaxies but there are enough differences that I don't think that macrocosm and microcosm literally 'wrap around'.

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e7/Hydrogen_Density_Plots.png

    http://www.astro.cornell.edu/academics/courses/astro201/galaxies/images/tuningf.gif

    It seems to me that there is no level of the universe in which any phenomenon is reproduced entirely on another level. Every type of form in the universe can be readily distinguished from types on a different scale, so that we don't see galaxies bonded together as mega molecules and cells.

    That doesn't mean, however that there is no significance to the repetition of the morphological themes of spirals or gyres, radial symmetry, etc in the universe. It may be the case that microcosm and macrocosm do indeed wrap around figuratively, as bookends to the sense that we can make of the universe as human beings, by virtue of the scope of our capacity to detect and interpret it.
  • thumb
    Jun 18 2012: What if atoms are galaxies ?

    in fact galaxies are galaxies and atoms are atoms but they share the same level of hierarchy in complexity and it is a wonderful framework to view the world ... gives us an idea of our real place in the universe. much bigger than atoms , much smaller than galaxies ...