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what if redshift theory is incorrect aren't there other ways of detecting or proving expansion?

there are a lot of adjustable parameters needed with redshift, shouldn't an expanding universe be easier to prove or detect by now?

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    Aug 8 2012: You have posed a great question Jesse,
    In answer, red-shift isn't a theory – it is a measurement of light from distant stars.
    Expansion (hence the idea that all originally came from a big-bang) is the theory (idea) based on the measurement.

    I think that the idea that all originated from a big-bang requires a large amount of good-will to accept. In order to sustain the idea, it requires a period called 'inflation'. During this period the universe is required to have expanded at faster than the speed of light. In addition the idea requires there to be extraordinary amounts of undetectable (dark) matter. The total amount of dark matter energy required to sustain the current idea of cosmology is 96%. i.e. we can only detect and measure 4% of what they think must be there to sustain the story.

    I think we've got it wrong!
    • Aug 8 2012: Thank you for responding. I know about inflation, and that the term redshift explains incread wave lengths of light and that light traveling away from us has an increased wavelength or is shifted to the red side of the spectrum but I still thought it was a theory because there are many question marks surrounding expansion, the big bang and redshift in general (Einsteins cross)

      I don't know if we've got it wrong, but I'm keeping an open mind... it's all better than any mystery I've ever read.
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    Aug 8 2012: In physics, theories evolve to explain observable and deducible phenomena. As physicists learn more about the physical reality, they propose extensions to theories to account for things that seem to invalidate previous thinking. Newton thought he understood the motion of planets and gravity. Einstein then added special and general relativity to the Newtonian theory.

    If red shift is incorrect, most likely an extension to the theory will fix that.

    Occasionally, physicists stumble upon small inconsistencies that completely invalidate an existing theory. Many physicists dream of finding these! These are incredibly exciting occasions as it allows us to completely rethink a part of of understanding of reality. When neutrinos were detected to exceed the speed of light last year, there was a lot of excitement. Imagine proving Einstein wrong? A huge chunk of our current physics would collapse into a heap. We now know that it was due to a faulty "wire" in the neutrino speed measurement.

    The big bang and the expanding universe still have huge question marks beside them. We should not be surprised to see a big evolution of that thinking in our lifetime. But when that happens, I strongly suspect that it would not prove the big bang and the expansion wrong, they would "merely" become a special case of something bigger.
    • Aug 8 2012: great response, thank you!

      Yes I remember when Neutrinos were detected traveling faster than the speed of light... I couldn't believe it.. but I also laughed at the 'faulty wire' explanation.



      I agree 100% with what you said below and think it was well said!

      "The big bang and the expanding universe still have huge question marks beside them. We should not be surprised to see a big evolution of that thinking in our lifetime. But when that happens, I strongly suspect that it would not prove the big bang and the expansion wrong, they would "merely" become a special case of something bigger."
    • Aug 8 2012: It just seems like there should be another way to detect an increasingly expanding massive universe, especially since we are in it!
  • Aug 16 2012: Check this out:

    http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/1998/nov/06/evidence-mounts-that-the-expansion-of-the-universe-is-accele

    Evidence from type 1A supernovae are another measuring stick.
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    Aug 8 2012: redshift is no theory, it is part of the nature of light.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Redshift