Ask Ethan: Does Dark Energy Mean We’re Losing Information About The Universe? (Synopsis)

“The history of astronomy is a history of receding horizons.” -Edwin Hubble

As you look to greater and greater distances, you’re looking back in time in the Universe. But thanks to dark energy, what we can see and access today isn’t always going to be accessible. As galaxies grow more distant with the accelerated expansion of the Universe, they eventually recede faster than the speed of light. At present, 97% of the galaxies in the Universe aren’t reachable by us, even at the speed of light.

The observable (yellow) and reachable (magenta) portions of the Universe, which are what they are thanks to the expansion of space and the energy components of the Universe. Image credit: E. Siegel, based on work by Wikimedia Commons users Azcolvin 429 and Frédéric MICHEL.
The observable (yellow) and reachable (magenta) portions of the Universe, which are what they are thanks to the expansion of space and the energy components of the Universe. Image credit: E. Siegel, based on work by Wikimedia Commons users Azcolvin 429 and Frédéric MICHEL.

But that isn’t the same as losing information. As a galaxy crosses over the horizon, its information never disappears from the Universe connected to us entirely. Instead, it gets imprinted on the cosmic horizon, the same way that information falling into a black hole gets imprinted on its event horizon. But there’s a fundamental difference between a black hole’s decaying horizon to the cosmic horizon’s eternal persistence, and that makes all the difference.

When something falls into a black hole, the information is preserved on the surface of the event horizon. That's analogous to what happens to a galaxy pushed over the cosmic horizon, and everything is still okay. Image credit: ESO, ESA/Hubble, M. Kornmesser.
When something falls into a black hole, the information is preserved on the surface of the event horizon. That’s analogous to what happens to a galaxy pushed over the cosmic horizon, and everything is still okay. Image credit: ESO, ESA/Hubble, M. Kornmesser.

Come learn why even with dark energy, we don’t lose information about the Universe, but why the black hole information paradox is real!

32 thoughts on “Ask Ethan: Does Dark Energy Mean We’re Losing Information About The Universe? (Synopsis)

  1. So many articles speak of the galaxies expanding away from us. So, we’re at the Center of the universe again??????????
    And here’s another problem with that theory…..yes, some galaxies are moving away from us…..but…..some are coming directly towards us….others are sailing through each other far in front of us…..and on it goes….here’s problem with the “Big Bang idea…..it comes from the observation of dozens of galaxies…..what about the other billion trillion zillion ????????

  2. @Paul wrote:

    So, we’re at the Center of the universe again??????????

    No. We’re at the center of our perspective. Everything in the universe is accelerating away from everything else in the universe. Other forces can overcome dark energy push, so gravitationally bound bodies stay bound, but dark energy is trying to move everything away from everything else. We’re not special.

    @Paul wrote:

    here’s problem with the “Big Bang idea…..it comes from the observation of dozens of galaxies

    No. It doesn’t. In fact one of the first major proofs of the Big Bang was from signal hiss detected by Bell Labs’ Crawford Hill Horn Antenna. They weren’t looking at galaxies at all.

  3. ” So, we’re at the Center of the universe again”

    No.

    There is no center. Every point in the universe (as far as we can tell) is expanding from every other part, therefore if this were to be called the center of the universe, so is every other point.

    “some galaxies are moving away from us…..but…..some are coming directly towards us”

    Yes. Your problem? When you’re whoosing along a train and you walk to the rear of the fast moving train, do you find it weird that you’re moving back but still going forward to the destination of the train?

    Space is expanding. And things are moving on that space. Some in our direction, some away. And if the expansion of the space between us is smaller than the speed they’re moving toward us in that space, their net movement will be toward us.

    Where, exactly, is your problem here?

    When you whine about “what about the trillions of others” you really do need to relook at your earlier claim about “some” there.

    Spot your hypocrisy, Paul?

    • I was impressed with the careful detail of you thoughtful reply. Your train analogy makes sense. Thank you for taking the time to share…..:)
      Paul

  4. Wow,
    If only your understanding was equal to your arrogance, you would be near omniscient.
    .
    Dark matter is a fudge factor used to prop up failing cosmological assumptions and calculations based on those assumptions (no dark energy/matter has actually been detected, WIMPS or otherwise, it has been assumed to shore up existing theory). If space was actually expanding as claimed, it would be doing so everywhere (not just in select places), including inside of galaxies, solar systems, ad nausea. For Dark energy to be doing what is claimed, it would also have to be far more powerful than what we call gravity in order to move entire galactic structures apart as quickly as required to match theory, mere gravity would not be able to maintain the stable orbits of planets around stars, much less stars around galactic cores if such repulsive Dark energy were at play.
    .
    As for the Cosmic background radiation hiss, Occam’s razor can answer that very neatly without employing a Big Bang. About seventy percent of the earth is covered in water, and our atmosphere is saturated with it. Water is an excellent absorber and emitter of microwave radiation, it is why microwave ovens work so well on food. If you have any kind of detection device on the earth or in near orbit (like the satellites used), how are you going to filter out the ambient microwave radiation from your immediate surroundings? Wasn’t everyone just speaking about light pollution? Do you honestly think ‘light’ is the only kind of electromagnetic interference you have to consider? Anyone familiar with radio signal processing can tell you that if your signal to noise ratio is very minute, you aren’t going to be able to detect your signal accurately, or at all, even if you already know exactly what your signal is. There is some excellent reading on the engineering of the satellites used in COBE etc, for CMB detection, the baffles employed to ‘screen’ out local background microwave radiation would really not be able to shield from a highly scattered microwave radiation source (like the earth’s atmosphere and oceans) right behind the satellite. The microwave detector would have no way to differentiate between microwaves coming from the earth or outer space.

    http://www.ptep-online.com/index_files/2008/PP-13-24.PDF

  5. “If only your understanding was equal to your arrogance, you would be near omniscient.”

    If you were any form honest, that would have been worth acting on. As it is, nope, not a bit.

    “Water is an excellent absorber and emitter of microwave radiation, it is why microwave ovens work so well on food. ”

    Oh dear.

    No, you retard.

    Just no.

    There’s so much concentrated fail in your claims in that paragraph, it really isn’t worth going any more than “fuck, no”.

  6. CFT:

    space was actually expanding as claimed, it would be doing so everywhere (not just in select places), including inside of galaxies, solar systems, ad nausea.

    It *is* doing so everywhere. It’s just that (a) it’s incredibly tiny, and (b) at smaller scales the other forces overwhelm it.

    We’ll take them in turn. For (a), let’s first assume there are no counteracting forces. In that case, the cosmic expansion would be separating the atoms in your body at a rate of 0.000000002 nanometers per second per meter of distance between two things. It would take 10 years for the tip of your head to move away from your feet by even a nanometer, which is negligible given that your body itself is growing (or even shrinking) at a much faster rate due to biology.

    But that ignores (b), which guarantees that the expansion isn’t just small, it doesn’t happen at all between locally bound objects. Right now gravity is pulling me towards the center of the Earth. But I’m not sinking at 9.8 m/s^2, because the electromagnetic forces between the atoms of my body and the material around me “push back” much much stronger than gravity pulls. I could sit here for years, decades, billions of years, and I still won’t slowly pass through my couch, my floor, my basement, etc…and travel towards the center of the earth. The expansion is like a force. If it’s pushing two things apart but some other force is pulling them together with greater force, they simply don’t move apart. And that is the case for the atoms of your body, the earth, heck even the objects in the solar system. These things are all bound too tightly together for the cosmic expansion to ever pull them apart. Even nanometers per decade doesn’t happen.

    The cosmic expansion is going to mostly affect things very far apart, because while it is incredibly weak compared to the other forces, the other forces fall off as a square of distance.

  7. Wow,
    Go wash your potty mouth out with soap, what are you seven years old? Your immaturity is breathtaking.
    .
    Yes, it is primarily the water molecules in the food which are heated by the microwaves.

    eric,
    if you could manage you keep your self intact somehow over billions of year, yes you would pass through both the couch and the floor as they both decomposed and broke down (while you did not), and eventually you would be subducted into the mantle of the earth along with the tectonic plate you are presently perched on.
    .
    Your argument for cosmic expansion is very weak and untestable, basically, it’s just theoretical speculation. The scale of ‘0.000000002’ nanometers is below any known form of measurability that could even detect such ‘expansion’. Once you are down to the atomic scale, things simply are not going to sit still enough to measure with any such absurd precision, as atoms, electrons, and photons are always moving, and it is impossible to obtain much less measure anything at zero Kelvin. This is the same reason I scoff at the recent LIGO ‘gravity wave’ detection based on a laser beam. The very atoms of the mirror the laser was bouncing off of were vibrating far more than the signal they were supposedly detecting which was less than the width of a proton. What utter rubbish. At that scale you can not make measurements with any such precision or certainty much less screen out all possible sources of atomic vibration but for two speculated black holes that have never even been confirmed to exist. Just because you can produce a number with many decimal spaces in a calculation by inference does not mean you have actually measured something.

  8. “Wow,
    Go wash your potty mouth out with soap”

    No you fucking retard, I won’t. Why don’t you go find an adult education center and learn something. That, at least, is something that is demonstrably necessary and beneficial.

    “Your argument for cosmic expansion is very weak and untestable”

    Given that wasn’t his argument for cosmic expansion, this whinge is irrelevant. It was his xplanation why your asshat complaint was null and void.

    IOW your retread here was even more “Fuck no”.

    When you have a grasp on reality and sanity, come back and try again.

  9. “Yes, it is primarily the water molecules in the food which are heated by the microwaves. ”

    Never said otherwise fuckwit. But it isn’t the frequency used by radiotelescopes.

    You pull from your arse every mindturd that you can and NOBODY knows what the hell is wrong with you.

  10. John, not saying that your attempt shouldn’t be done, but CFT is an anti-science type who has been infesting this site for years and he won’t listen, no matter how few swear words you use.

    Sure, try it yourself, but get ready for it to fail utterly and either gird yourself to that fact or plan a different method.

  11. It would probably be saner to ask others for their take on quiffed. He’s hardly going to give you a straight answer if it’s not stroking his ego.

  12. CFT:

    Your argument for cosmic expansion is very weak and untestable, basically, it’s just theoretical speculation.

    No, that’s the measured rate from cosmology. It’s 67 km/s per Mpc; I just converted the units down to human scale.

    Your first claim was that it was arbitrarily applied to different places and if it was a legit theory, it should be happening everywhere. What I pointed out to you is that observed data is consistent with it happening everywhere, because you would not expect to see an effect from it on human scales.

    The very atoms of the mirror the laser was bouncing off of were vibrating far more than the signal they were supposedly detecting which was less than the width of a proton. What utter rubbish.

    This is just the argument from incredulity; you don’t understand how science can do it, so you don’t think it can be done. But look up interferometry; it’s the technique used to detect differences in signals much much smaller than the signals themselves. LIGO uses interferometry.

  13. eric,
    There never has been any detected ‘cosmic spatial expansion within matter’ due to ‘dark anything’ that we can observe, if you know of any experiment that proves molecular structures are growing wider apart, please by all means correct me and post a link. You would seem to be taking an unproven assumption or speculation of what is going on in the regions of space beyond our solar system and merely doing a conversion calculation down to human scale. That is still nothing but an unsupported assumption with math drizzled on top (GIGO), not evidence. The article I posted earlier actually talks about the fact that cosmic expansion is running into quite a few problems…namely, it isn’t being detected as theorized, and it isn’t really testable as a scientific theory much like the ‘multimess’, which probably calls for some new approaches.
    .
    https://www.cfa.harvard.edu/~loeb/sciam3.pdf
    .
    There are some like Sean Carroll who feel differently, they wish to redefine science in order to treat their theoretical beliefs like facts without ever being tested…which is actually just called metaphysics…or a con game for suckers.
    .
    I trust the people at LIGO were just about as honest as the people at BICEP when they claimed a “5 sigma, r of .2.” confidence of discovery. If you don’t like my incredulity, perhaps you should familiarize yourself with a more foundational problem of the ‘orbiting black holes’ detection problem/paradox. Einstein’s GR has no known solution for two or more bodies, and the only way you get a singular black hole ( as Hilbert actually did, not Einstein) is if you set your energy momentum tensor to zero (Ric = 0), which removes all matter and energy from your mathematical space, then surreptitiously put your mass back into the tensor space with the magic of the linguistic “outside a body” or without physical extension, as you have already removed all of it from the matrix. Side note, black holes as formulated under GR exist forever in a flat space time (no spatial curvature), which isn’t very compatible with the various flavors of Big Bang, gravity waves rippling etc. ad nausea, etc. Google it if you like, it’s fascinating how often even educated people are impressed by circular logic when they should know better, it’s also considered a logical fallacy, but what the hell, if you believe lines and points have actual material properties and can exert forces without a volume, you probably can believe in just about anything contradictory. In addition, how exactly are they formulating a theorized template of gravity waves from a theory which can not calculate two bodies interacting or even model two bodies being gravitationally attracted to move towards one another? GR is highly non-linear. If X and Y are both non-linear, you can’t add them up and get a solution, at least not mathematically. To detect any gravitational influence also takes at least two objects at minimum last I checked. If you have only one object, you can hardly observe it interacting gravitationally with anything else. I know Ethan loves to post those ridiculous space time rubber fishnets with multiple planets hovering over them causing multiple space time dimple or curvatures , but Einstein’s GR can’t actually do that (please prove me wrong Ethan, you could become instantly famous!!!), Each separate mass can exist in a separate time space geometry of course…but not actually be combined into one. I was very disappointed when I discovered this as it basically cuts off at the root all possible Einstein Rosen conjecture about time travel plot devices…alas poor Star Trek. Newtonian Gravity can easily accommodate two objects, but it even that gets fiendishly complicated with three or more objects. While Newton did play around with ‘black bodies’, they were distinctly different than ‘black holes’ in many ways, as a black body can have any escape velocity required, even faster than light, and a black hole ( via Hilbert) is limited to the contradiction of the speed of light being both an escape velocity, and not an escape velocity (event horizon, whatever).

  14. “There never has been any detected ‘cosmic spatial expansion within matter’ due to ‘dark anything’ that we can observe”

    Yes there is, quiffed. That accelerating departure rather than slowing down is why Dark Energy was hypothesised. The detection of the effect, like with the gravitational effect of Dark Matter, was detected first.

    Hell, you even mischaracterise that relationship earlier when you called it a fudge factor. You don’t invent a fudge factor BEFORE the thing you need to fudge for, you moron. So at that time you were happy to claim the hypothesis came second. This time you want the hypothesis to come first.

    Even you don’t listen to you, you moron.

  15. CFT:

    if you know of any experiment that proves molecular structures are growing wider apart, please by all means correct me and post a link

    As I told you in @13 (b), this is not predicted by mainstream science and it shows you don’t really understand what I’m talking about. Space can be expanding ‘under’ molecules, but they won’t “grow wider apart” because the EM force is orders of magnitude stronger. Just like if I sat your butt down on a rubber sheet and had people pull the edges, your butt wouldn’t split in two. The forces holding your body together would be stronger than the friction force pulling them apart. Is that easy enough to understand?

    The article I posted earlier actually talks about the fact that cosmic expansion is running into quite a few problems

    A single article from 2008 from what appears to be a journal that publishes cranks (see here) hardly qualifies as evidence that cosmological theories on the origin of the CMB are in trouble. Where did you even hear of “Progress in Physics?” It doesn’t sound at all reputable.

    assumption or speculation of what is going on in the regions of space beyond our solar system and merely doing a conversion calculation down to human scale….

    Once again, not just going on beyond the solar system. Going on everywhere including our solar system. Primarily observed between objects very far (millions of light years) apart because the effect is extremely small but is proportional to the distance between things.

    As for your other stuff, SciAm is hardly a peer reviewed journal (though I’d have to say its a step up from your previous Progress in Physics citation). That 2013 article about Plank measurements refuting inflation seems to be inconsistent with what the ESA and the Plank team themselves actually say about it. Your other stuff appears to be just a non-sequitur attempt to dodge. I tell you interferometry allows for extremely precise experimental observations and instead of agreeing or disagreeing, you go on about how GR theory can’t calculate things you want it to calculate. [shrug]

  16. If Black Holes store information, about particles falling in, on their event horizon, and also Hawking Radiation is created from the event horizon then I would guess particles created thru Hawking Radiation must be absorbing the available information around and taking it back to the rest of the Universe.

  17. Wow,
    You presently have two major theories of gravity at work in physics, both have severe limitations and both are clearly incomplete or wrong as presently stated. Classical physics gravity under Newton, and General relativity gravity under Einstein.

    Newton didn’t try and pretend to know what gravity was or how it worked, How do we know? He said so, clearly, and admitted such action at a distance without mediation was logically absurd. He just worked out equations that treated gravity as a ‘force’ that described gravity interactions, and used observation and experiment to test the accuracy of those theories on moving bodies.
    .
    Einstein took a different route, he didn’t want to describe any kind of ‘force at a distance’ at all, which really is a BIG problem if at a later time (like now for instance) you want to invoke gravity waves or a gravitons to mediate or carry your gravitational forces about and explain a laser wiggling around due to vibration. Einstein chose to use geometry (curved space) to ‘pseudo’ carry his gravitational forces to evade the question entirely. The problem of this solution is that hyperbolic math (or non – Euclidean geometry) is now being used to carry your gravitational forces…which is first of all, meaningless, curved math is not a cause, it can’t cause something to curve because the math IS the source of the curve, and can not carry physical forces that make planets round or curve orbits, at best it’s a shallow tautology. According to GR, all energy and matter is the source of gravity (which is an idea I can really get behind) but…the math used in GR is non-linear and pseudo Riemannian, so you can’t plonk down more than one source of mass ( like you can in Newtonian gravity) in a given space time matrix, and you can’t combine space times of different masses/objects to get a composite linear solution like in the silly science PR graphics Ethan keeps posting (which is the reason I don’t get behind GR’s geometric non-explanation of gravity). How does such a toy mathematical model than can accommodate only one mass even describe gravity or anything else in our universe interacting gravitationally? It can’t and doesn’t. This does not mean I think everything Einstein did is wrong and that he didn’t contribute a great deal to understanding, far from it. Parts of what he did do aren’t correct however, which is something he himself admitted multiple times before he died (you should read up on that before you contest it). For all his ability and all his personal faults, Einstein did have considerable professional humility, published several retractions, and very much unlike you, Wow, he could admit he was wrong sometimes.
    .
    Insults and your over use of the word ‘moron’ aside,
    I did not mischaracterize DM. Dark matter is actually the ultimate fudge factor (or cheesy plot device), as (A.) you don’t really know exactly where it is, and (B.) you clearly do not know what it is, and in truth, IF it is, only that: (C.) you need to believe in DM/E otherwise you would have to admit the gravitational model(s) you are using are inaccurate and/or wrong (heaven and your ego forbid) since they do not agree with non-local observation on a large scale. So by keeping a flawed model(s) and inserting an unknown/undetected element to keep the model(s) in agreement with observation, how is that not a fudge factor? It would certainly keep it in fine company with many of the other big theoretical physics models.The Big bang depends upon an unknown fudge factor or three to even decide which way it’s going, and the Standard Model has many (over forty) it requires arbitrarily (they just call it undefined free parameters and hand tuning so they don’t have to call it ‘fudging’).

  18. you need to believe in DM/E otherwise you would have to admit the gravitational model(s) you are using are inaccurate and/or wrong…

    …The Big bang depends upon an unknown fudge factor or three to even decide which way it’s going, and the Standard Model has many (over forty) it requires arbitrarily (they just call it undefined free parameters and hand tuning so they don’t have to call it ‘fudging’).

    Yes yes, standard cosmological theory is the worst form of cosmological theory, except for all the others.

    And you are shocked, shocked! to find that scientists sometimes add empirical or semi-empirical factors to their models to account for observed behavior!

    What dastardly crime will we commit next? Positing neutrinos before we observe them? Hypothesizing explanations which can’t yet be tested? Oh it all so horrible. Please, CFT, lead us to the promised land. Tell us how we should be doing it.

  19. “You presently have two major theories of gravity …. Classical physics gravity under Newton, and General relativity gravity under Einstein.”

    No, we don’t have those two, you fucking retard. We’ve got quantum gravity and general relativity. Given you have such a basic issue completely wrong right out of the gate, do you reconsider what you’re bullshitting about? ‘course not.

  20. CFT,

    Your whole “water theory” for the origin of the CMB is cute, but there’s just one problem. When the detectors on the satellites that measure the CMB are pointed AWAY from earth, they measure the same CMB intensity as when they are pointed toward earth. Electromagnetic radiation does not behave this way. For instance, if you point a visible light detector toward the sun, you get a much higher measured intensity than when you point the same detector in a direction 180 degrees opposite. The intensity of the CMB is independent of the orientation of the detector with respect to the earth, hence the earth cannot be the source of the measured microwaves.

  21. Yeah, Wow, thanks for reminding me. I keep forgetting that fairy tales of Bronze Age sheep herders are a much more reliable authority than any modern scientific knowledge.

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