October 15, 2011

Nobel prize for physics - would you like a free car spot with that?

Figuring out that the universe is expanding gets you a Nobel prize for physics, and if you work at Berkley Univeristy, the prestigious award comes with something more coveted - a free reserved free parking spot, for life.
Universe is expanding, but where do I park

Indeed, we are expanding to nothingness, except, eventually, ice - enjoy the increasingly balmy weather while you can.

Local astronomer thanks his lucky stars for physics Nobel prize

By studying exploding stars, an Australian astrophysicist and his colleagues worked out that the Universe is not just expanding, but expanding faster and faster, thanks to dark energy. They pretty much single-handedly made us realise that instead of a Big Crunch, the Universe is just going to… gradually dissipate. 

Tycho’s nova, the remnant of a Type Ia supernova – the type used by Schmidt and his colleagues. Pic: NASA/MPIA/Calar Alto Observatory, Oliver Krause et al.Tycho’s nova, the remnant of a Type Ia supernova


  1. geoffff2:49 PM

    Hang on. I thought we just discovered the universe was bouncing?

  2. Those little bounces no doubt assist with the expansion.

    (Eg, think how much bouncer middle aged people are when they surrender to expansion.)

  3. geoffff3:03 PM

    With respect, me not being a scientist and all, but not sure these guys have thought this through.

    Just because the universe is expanding faster does not mean it will eventually expand into nothingness. It could mean we are just in an earlier stage of the bounce when you would expect things to be expanding faster. That happens doesn't it?

    We have no idea of knowing what point we are in the cycle. We could yet hit the Big Brakes.

    I'm not impressed. Not a bad discovery because it could confirm what you would expect. Then again it might not.

  4. geoffff3:18 PM

    It does confirm that we are in the earlier stage of the bounce and not the latter when everything would be contracting including of course time.

    But we already knew that didn't we?

    You do realise that there is an enormous personal investment for us all in all of this don't you? If the Bounce is right it could mean we are all blessed or doomed to live our lives in reverse.

    Now that would be the ultimate karma.

  5. geoffff3:40 PM

    Professor Perlmutter, 52, said a journalist woke him at his Berkeley home with the news. ''It was fun to explain something that was just so basic,'' he said. ''When we started this project we thought we were measuring how much the universe was slowing down, but it's just getting faster and faster.''

    Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/national/local-astronomer-thanks-his-lucky-stars-for-physics-nobel-prize-20111004-1l7j6.html#ixzz1ap0LO6UW

    Sorry prof but I'm not buying. Proves jackshit. So there's a force in the universe that triggered the Big Bang that is so more powerful than gravity that it will eventually obliterate it from existence along with all matter and time?

    So name it! We know about gravity. And how do they explain that time is running forward and for all we know could be speeding up? Hmmm?

    Test that one and I'll be impressed.

  6. geoffff4:54 PM

    John Passant is rapidly becoming by favourite internet crank.Not just trotskyite crank which is way out silly party enough. This guy is top of the pile.


    We could have worked on the same floor of the ATO wing of the Treasury Building and the photo certainly supports Caz's theory on bounce and expansion in the middleaged.

    Looks like a nice bloke. Seems reasonable and allowed me to post on his blog a while back enev while his comrades where demanding I be obliterated from the record. He says the most obscene things in an almost professional way. They have a place for them. These guys think they will live like kings in the workers utopia if just the bloody people would get out of the fucking way.

    Keith Hunt was a nice bloke too and spoke reasonably and passionately and by all accounts was an earnest, honest and hardworking alderman for Surfers Paradise. But he was totally deluded and had he and his comrades ever actually achieved their political objectives there little doubt he would have ordered people like me taken out and shot after a five minute procedure without the slightest qualm.

    Here the trotskyites are pushing this global "Occupation" fad against "corporate greed and inequality". This could be dangerous in Wall Street if not moved on soon but is it really apprpriate for Martin Place?

    Good-o. I mean this is seriously nutty isn't it? A retired public servant who enjoyed tenure and model working and living conditions for himself and his family throughout his career as a functionary in a key section of the machinery of state, quite possibly the luckiest and cosiest life that a society could provide in the history of the world, especially for someone who didn't - dare I say it - actually do any of the heavy lifting, who believes that the economy and foreign policy of that country is so irretrievably bad, unjust anf unfair that the only option that presents is to tear it down, and all its allies, through a process of revolutionary socialism led by them.

    This must be in an alliance with militant Islam which is a legitimate expression of the oppressed Arabs as victims of imperialism of which Israel is the cutting edge. Israel is an apartheid state that is guilty of genocide.

    They actually say this. These cults have to compete to out-crazy each other to distinguish themselves in the market they say they hate.

  7. Passant - he's a Collingwood support; expect little and and even less, and you shall never be disappointed.

    I notice he mentions nothing of his prosaic public servant life (which would have been the bulk of it), with no hint that he's lived anything other than a pure and politically radical existence, perhaps eking out a living selling a socialist rag on street corners. Pig's arse!

    Treasury - as in the real one? If so, we might all three have crossed paths. How bizarre! Although I don't think ATO was co-located in the years I was there.

  8. geoffff8:35 PM

    Yep, the real one pretty much opposite the old Parliament House. John Stone had just taken over as Treasury boss, John Howard was Treasurer and Bill O'Reilly was Tax Commissioner.

    I was only there for two years. The ATO relocated to its own building later.

  9. Yes, before my time ... I was there under Ralph Willis, and for Costello's first year (his taste in artwork for his parliamentary office was hideous).

    Mostly, my time there was the glory days of the Keating gov't - *sigh*.

  10. The Universe, having found out that it is expanding, is going to give the Atkins diet a go next week.

  11. geoffff8:52 AM

    At least I have an excuse for getting fat. It's all the bloody hot chocolate I have to drink. What's John Passant's excuse?

  12. We can put the universe in the hands of Liz Hurley, that ought to fix the expansion problem.

    Geoff - they make you drink it? Hmmm?

  13. geoffff2:15 PM

    Y'know, I think I've finally figured out the logic of boycotting a chain of hot chocolate shops with menus as long as Four Seasons.

    It's an antisemitic plot! It's well known that Ashkenazi Jews in particular already have a genetic predisposition to diabetes and heart disease. They're trying to kill us all.

  14. geoffff3:19 PM

    Here's the state of play on life, the universe and everything as I see it.

    Big Bang is pretty much a dead duck on Sunday unless you believe in God. These guys have proved that Big Bang means there is a force so much more powerful than that that created the universe, including all matter,gravity, space and time, black holes and all, that it can and must obliterate it into nothingness. In time. Including time?

    Fine. Name it. Observe it. Find it.

    An atheist, depending on the definition, should have little difficulty in accepting the Big Bounce. Big Bounce only makes sense if it includes time. They all seem to say that as far as I can see. How could it be otherwise?

    A militant atheist, depending on the definition, would believe there is nothing but oblivion. A memory for those who themselves will soon be oblivion and perhaps sooner than we thought.

    A militant atheist with an open mind, depending on the definition, would have to allow for the possibility of Big Bounce. Big Bounce to make sense means that the universe will continue to expand at an accelerating rate but at some point will hit the Big Brakes. Then it will slow down and at some point, stop. This could only be for an instant because time too would stop. It will then begin to wind back.

    The contraction of the universe must mean every single element, force, atom and life form in sequence. That is what time means. Why would it exclude human life? Every human life?

    If you believe in oblivion at the point of death, and if you accept the possibility at least of Big Bounce, then you might also have to accept the possibility that you will begin reliving your life from the point of death in exact reverse. Whether that will be hell or paradise, or something in between, will depend on your state of enlightenment at the point of death and how good a person you have been throughout your life. This is knowledge that can and must be passed on to others for their own sakes.

    That this might resonate with every decent religious and philosophical theory from Moses to the Dalai Lama, including Jesus and Confucious, is entirely incidental. I do believe we have enough material here for a new religion.

    See how easy it is?

  15. geoffff7:11 PM

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    I don't know.

    My complaint is about the almost hysterical anti-Israel leaning of everything you report. Tonight I just witnessed for the second night in a row a report on the evil extortion from Israel and the Jews of a 1000 terrorists, including the murderer of an Australian teenage girl, for what remains of the life of a young Israeli servicemen kept in some filthy Hamas dungeon for five years.

    You reported entirely from the the point of view of the families of the killers who likely will be freed to murder some more innnocent non-Muslims, for the life of this boy.

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  16. OK, so what you're saying is that one of my favorite telly shows will have to change its name, right?

  17. And that last one got spammed!

  18. Oblivion, for humans, will come with a bang or a bounce, it's neither here nor there Geoffff. The Earth's sun only has a billion years to go, or thereabouts.

    I would imagine that, a goodly amount of time prior to a billion years ticking over, life on Earth will find it a tad too chilly to survive.

  19. Anonymous9:43 PM

    The Universe, that was about as far as I got at (mis)understanding anything about the aforementioned noun, of the proper variety.

    One might ask if the Uni-verse means one verse then why didn't we just call it the Verse - would have saved a syllable and heaps of ink over the years.


  20. But it might really be a Uni ... which would have saved a great deal more ink, keystrokes and a couple of vowels.

  21. Meh.. Just looks like a half a passionfruit to me. Probably is too. ;)

  22. geoffff8:24 AM

    Ah yes, this is no doubt true; but if the universe is bouncing it will eventually find its way back to this exact second even if it takes two billion years. Dead and cold stars will be reborn in reverse. For the dead, that will be perceived as a split second. They will wake in their death beds surrounded by whoever was there when they died, waiting to greet them.

    As everyone else will know what is going on except them ("bounce" being understood as clearly as the rising and setting sun) how they are met will depend on how they treated others.

    Can you imagine the reception committee for Hitler in the bunker?

  23. geoffff8:27 AM

    I bags the job of arranging the 72 virgins for the suicide bombers.

  24. geoffff11:58 AM

    I once posted a link from a scientific magazine on the end of the universe to WD that I can't find now when someone demanded an apology. Was it Marilyn Shepherd? No. I think it was that other South Australian [self deleted out of respect for the site] woman.

    It wasn't Stephen Hawkings but his evidence will do as the generally accepted respectable opinion.


    He reckons 20 billion years.

    Here's another recent expert witness.


    I think he's saying we don't know but it is probably infinite.

    I beg to differ.

    As bright as they are they have not factored in Big Bounce let alone Big Brakes*.

    It is true we don't know when the universe will end until it actually begins to happen. Only then if we or whatever spark of intelligence that descends from us survives to observe that time has begun to slow down as predicted it would.

    The only thing we can say with certainty right now is that the life of the universe is more than 27.5 + -.26 billion years. That is twice its current age.

    Given that the universe is still exploding it seems intuitive that its life is very much more than that but even that isn't necessarily true. We have no way of knowing when when it will run out of bounce because we still have no idea of what incredible force of energy created it in the first place. That won't happen until the scientists prove that time is indeed speeding up and if so at what rate.

    The universe could begin to end at any second for all we know and for certain this planet and it's life forms would have been churned around the washing machine a million times by then. But that's not the point. The point is the bounce. And when the point when we can measure the force of the Big Brakes*. Apparently gravity isn't enough.

    You do have to acknowledge the potential theological appeal of this concept* don't you? Once the idea* catches on we can all begin to prepare for our receptions. Funerals will be held early and will be parties thrown on by the dying who know in a second they will met by the people who just farewelled them forever in that life time.

    We could look to the past. The families of suicide victims who thought they were helping could all be there to gently ease them down and unknot the rope.

    It all depends on those earnest Europeans proving that light andthis acknowledges time are indeed speeding up if that is in fact what they are trying to prove.

    * Any copyright or other property right attaching to any new term or concept here is jointly owned and at the joint disposal of me and the blog owner. (if that's alright with her)

  25. geofffff11:59 AM

    Jesus. That last para should read

    It all depends on those earnest Europeans proving that light and time are indeed speeding up if that is in fact what they are trying to prove.

  26. geoffff12:13 PM

    If Big Brakes* is right it means everyone would know who was at their funerals. You couldn't avoid knowing.

  27. geoffff1:05 PM

    I almost forgot this Hawking quote.

    The downside of my celebrity is that I cannot go anywhere in the world without being recognized. It is not enough for me to wear dark sunglasses and a wig. The wheelchair gives me away.

    Interview on Israeli television, as quoted in "Happy 65th Birthday to Prof. Stephen Hawking!" at StarTrek.com (8 January 2007

  28. Hawking will be 70 in January?


    A sitting miracle.

  29. You need not have bothered with all that thinking Geoff, Harold Camping is at it again (much like the gossip mags claiming that a celebutard is pregnant: say it for long enough and it will eventually be true) - this time the world will end on Friday, very quietly, which might mean we won't notice if we're not paying attention or have an iPod plugged into our ears:


    As far as I know, quantum levitation is not at fault re: world ending on Friday:


    Not everyone believes in having a funeral. Can those people just wander off and do whatever they want?

    All those people choosing cremation will miss out on the big reunion, right?

    Mostly, the multinational collective working in Europe is in search of the Higgs Boson.

    Big Brakes™©.

  30. The first captured Israeli soldier in 26 years to be returned alive, now free after five years Geoffff.

    What a ghastly exchange. Hardly what you'd call proportional.

    Many of the turds to be freed were serving life sentences for their real crimes (real "life", as opposed to "life" handed down in our courts, which is generally about three minute, taking into account good behavior).

  31. geoffff7:28 AM

    No Caz, cremation works for bounce theory too except that things might be pretty hot to start with. It's probably better to have a gravestone though in case no one shows up for the reverse birth and you have forgotten who you are.

    This is religion Caz. It's all about getting bums on pews.

  32. geoffff7:41 AM

    The Jewish and pro-Israel blogs have been alive with this for days. It is quite literally nauseating to watch these with filthy killers reunited with the evil psychopath nursery these perverted pinheads call a religion.

    There's huge relief about getting the young soldier back alive. This was not expected. As you noted it rarely happens. Any Israeli or Jew who falls into the hands of any of these Islamist groups can expect a brutal and sadistic death.

  33. geoffff9:18 AM

    At least the religion I made up is a nice religion. No end of the universe for billions of years and even then a lineal replay for eternity. Eternal life (albeit in an AC DC kind of way and interrupted by the occasional 10 billion year temporary absence). Hardly any non-Bouncers need be put to the sword.

  34. I'm not sure that your BB followed by BB™© is wildly different - except in time span - than some religions touting for followers to await Armageddon, which would be proceeded by paradise on Earth and ever lasting life for the believers.

    Oh wait: you're not offering ever lasting life, or paradise ... I see.

  35. geoffff4:35 PM

    I am offering everlasting life but in a rather punctuated sought of way. Once every bounce for eternity. I'm nominating that Sydney graffiti guy as prophet.

    Also offering paradise on earth in this lifetime because once you accept the tenets of the faith everyone has to be nice to everyone because otherwise they'll be around next time in reverse.

    Neat hey?

    God Arie Brand annoys the shit out of me.

  36. Anonymous10:03 PM

    Geoff, I'm in mate, where do I sign up? You've sold me on this everlasting life thing.

    Can I buy three {lives}, and another 27 for me cat?


  37. Who the hell is this Arie Brand?!