yayavar wrote:Testing is certainly to be expected. I was puzzled by revealing that it was all false when papers were to be published on the said signal. That seems like going to some extreme length...

Saar,

they were actually putting the careers of all these analysts in danger by allowing them to write papers and publications on faked signals. And the most curious part is that they called it a success when obviously it was a failure. I mean, they said that the false signals are inject to see if the analysts can catch it and to keep them on their toes. Now, the analysts obviously failed to catch it in 2010 and actually believed them to be true. Yet, they call it a successful event.

So far, I have not made any allegation or proposed any theory. Strictly speaking, I haven't even doubted anything so far. I just point out some simple facts related to this episode. That seems to have to have caused hysterical reactions from some. Such abuses, allegations, over-the-top reactions...etc are pretty common way to deflect when one is not able to actually counter the points. It actually just exposes the bankruptcy of their own position.

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Anyway, enough with abuses and counter-abuses and lets concentrate on the actual science:

It seems the whole thing started with Relativity theory of Einstein in 1915. Einstein became a celebrity with this theory. Around the same time, Bohr came up with an Atomic model. Now, Heisenberg tried to solve some of the issues in Bohr's atomic model and he came up with theory of uncertainty in doing so. This was the birth of Quantum Mechanics in 1920s based on Atomic Model of Bohr along with Planck's constant.

It seems that Einstein only provided with approximate solutions to his Relativity equations. So, another german Karl Schwarzschild was trying to solve Relativity Field equations. And he did solve it and was appreciated by Einstein himself. But, it seems a niggle developed. It seems Schwarzschild solution showed that Relativity equations give an answer of infinite or 'undefined' (depending on how you define division by zero) in certain circumstances. That means it shows that space-time curvature become undefined or infinite in certain values of the Einstein Equation.

Now, there are 3 options to a problem like this:

a) say that Einstein made some mistake and his equations are wrong.

b) say that Einstein's equations don't hold in certain conditions even though they are right in other conditions.

c) say that Einstein's equation 'predict' a new kind of entity which is unknown until now.

To cut the story short, Oppenheimer(of the atom bomb fame) came up with the theory of Gravitational Collapse using the Einstein equations and Schwarzschild solutions. In short, Oppenheimer took the option (c) and 'predicted' until then unknown entity called 'Black Holes'. Now, what is a black hole and what is gravitational collapse? In simple terms, Black holes are basically points with infinite space-time curvature. Since, Einstein relativity says that gravity is a property of space, it means that Black holes have infinite gravity also. Oppenheimer used the Relativity theory and quantum mechanics to theorize that the gravity of a star keeps increasing to the extent that it becomes a black hole. There are various stages in this collapse according to him. The most noticeable point(on the basis of which this phenomenon is called black hole) is that all matter(including light) is pulled in by the black hole. Since nothing escapes from black hole, its a black hole. This is how the theory of black holes was born. And it seems to have caught the fascination of the people.

Now, the most interesting part is that the Einstein himself disagreed with both Quantum Mechanics and Black hole theory. He seems to have tried to stop both these theories. That means the only person who actually saw that perhaps his equations were wrong and tried to rectify them was Einstein himself.

Einstein Didn't Grok His Own Revolution

He thought black holes and quantum mechanics were too weird to be true.

By Tim Folger|Monday, March 10, 2008

RELATED TAGS: EINSTEIN, DARK MATTER, COSMOLOGY, STRING THEORY, LIGHT, MATH, SUBATOMIC PARTICLES

einsteinart

Illustration by Guy Crittenden

Albert Einstein—creator of relativity, godfather of quantum physics, bender of space and time—had a little problem that dogged him all his career: lack of vision.

It may seem an unlikely charge to levy against the greatest scientific visionary of modern times, but even Einstein had his limits. Despite the extraordinary intuitive leaps he made, he often found himself unable to see what lay beyond his basic insights. As a result, many of the most stunning ideas associated with the theory of relativity were developed not by Einstein but by other scientists interpreting his work. In quantum physics, too, Einstein set out the fundamental concepts but initially failed to recognize where they would lead. And in his final, grandest search for a theory that unified all of physics, he simply never moved far enough beyond the math and science he had learned during his student years.

More surprising, Einstein resisted the full implications of his work even after those implications were pointed out to him. Repeatedly he sought to undercut many of his colleagues’ interpretations or to explain them away because they seemed too absurd to be true. These rejections recall the words of Arthur Eddington, a brilliant British physicist and one of Einstein’s most tireless champions: “Not only is the universe stranger than we imagine, it is stranger than we can imagine.” One of history’s most expansive minds was no match for the boundless oddity of nature.

Almost as soon as Einstein completed his 1905 paper introducing the special theory of relativity, he found his ideas taking on a life of their own. That paper spelled out how an observer’s motion through space affects his motion through time (to someone traveling at nearly the speed of light, time slows to a crawl), but it said nothing about treating time as a fourth dimension in a continuum of space-time. That concept, which today’s students learn as quintessential Einstein, was actually the work of German mathematician Hermann Minkowski. Einstein was at first nonplussed by Minkowski’s elaboration of his theory, shaking it off as “superfluous erudition.” Only years later did he recognize space-time as integral to special relativity and to the grander general theory of relativity that followed.

After Einstein published the definitive version of general relativity in 1916, he again found that his theory was full of oddities that he neither expected nor accepted. Just months later, Karl Schwarzschild, a 42-year-old physicist serving in the German army during the First World War, successfully applied Einstein’s abstract equations of space and time to a realistic physical problem, modeling the geometry of space surrounding a star. His solution impressed Einstein. Yet Einstein expressed one deep concern: Schwarzschild’s calculations showed that if the mass of a star were compressed into a small enough volume, Einstein’s equations went haywire. Time froze; space became infinite. Physicists call that a singularity, a place where the normal laws of nature break down. Schwarzschild had stumbled onto the first clue that black holes might exist.

For years no one paid much attention to Schwarzschild’s discovery, but in 1939 Einstein attempted to disprove the annoying singularity. He argued that a star could not exist under the conditions described by Schwarzschild because the material within it would have to reach orbital velocities equaling the speed of light. But Einstein assumed that the star had to remain stable, whereas the universe is full of objects that explode or collapse violently. In that same year, J. Robert Oppenheimer—the physicist who would soon direct the Manhattan Project—and one of his students showed that highly massive stars could implode under their own gravity, getting denser and more extreme until their gravity trapped even light. That is exactly how astronomers now believe most black holes form.

Not long after Schwarzschild’s discovery came another, even more troubling prediction from general relativity. Like most scientists of the time, Einstein was convinced that the universe (stars included) was static and eternal. So it came as a shock when, in 1922, an obscure Russian physicist and meteorologist named Alexander Friedmann showed that Einstein’s masterpiece theory described a universe that should either collapse on itself or fly apart. Einstein initially rejected Friedmann’s analysis as “suspicious,” then reconsidered and judged that the results might be mathematically correct but physically irrelevant. To fix what appeared to be a flaw in general relativity, Einstein adjusted his equations, adding a factor he called the cosmological constant—a kind of antigravity force—so that the equations yielded an unchanging cosmos.

Not until nearly a decade later did Einstein acknowledge his error. In 1929 the American astronomer Edwin Hubble discovered that all the galaxies appear to be hurtling away from one another at tremendous speeds. The universe was not static; it was expanding, just as general relativity had suggested. Two years later Einstein publicly denounced his cosmological constant. If he had trusted Friedmann —if he had trusted his own theory—back in 1922, he might have predicted that the universe was expanding, and he wouldn’t have had to scramble to adjust his theory after Hubble’s discovery.

“Einstein was furious with himself,” says Carlo Rovelli, a physicist at the University of the Mediterranean in Marseille, France. “He could have said, ‘My theory says this, so therefore I predict that the universe is expanding.’ But he didn’t have the courage to say that.”

LinkActually, this article is not completely right because Einstein never actually accepted Black Hole or Quantum Mechanics as far as I know.

It seems that Einstein realized the whole problem started with his own equations and he seems to have thought that his equations had some mistake. So, he tried to rectify them in 1939. But, by this time, the Quantum Mechanics and Black Hole had already caught the imagination(literally) and even Einstein couldn't stop them.

Anyway, continuing the story further: so, basically at that point they believed that Black holes existed but can't be detected because Black holes absorb everything because they have infinite gravity. Its almost like saying that I believe Unicorns exist but I can't detect them. This is where Stephen Hawkings comes in around 1975. Stephen Hawkings basically tried to redefine Black Holes. He came up with the theory that some radiation does escape the Black Holes. Now, this actually goes against the very fundamental reason why black holes theory came to be. The whole reason the black hole theory had to come, was to account for the infinite or undefined space-time curvature(and thereby gravity) of black hole. If the black hole radiate something out, then they are not black holes at all.

Now, Hawkings views are established and the theory is that some radiation does escape the Black hole even though it has infinite space, time and gravity and that even light can't escape. Obviously, now, they want to detect this black hole. And now, they actually detected a collision of two black holes!

So, Black holes are infinite in space, time and gravity. Now, please apply some common sense: If a black hole is infinite in space and time and gravity, then how the hell is there going to be two black holes? Even one black hole is a big problem, and people are talking about two?