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The theory I've recently come to postulates that:

  1. The volume of space filling the universe is finite and is constantly growing, thus the boundaries of the universe are constantly expanding.

  2. The expansion of the universe's boundaries is caused by light that is converted into fresh space while reaching the universe's boundaries from within.

  3. The expansion of the universe's matter is caused not by kinetic reasons of a big bang somewhere in a distant past but instead by the tendency of the matter to distribute itself evenly across the ever-increasing volume of space (which is perhaps connected to the cosmological constant).

Well, is it worth any constructive discussion (any existing theories if this kind?) or is it another example of why amateur physicists should not post their lunatic theories on this forum? And I like the second postulate best. Is there a way for it to branch into a separate theory if the combination of the three doesn't work out?

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closed as off-topic by Nathaniel, Ben Crowell, Chris White, Manishearth Jul 5 '13 at 14:04

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "We deal with mainstream physics here. Anything that couldn't be published in a reputable journal is not appropriate on this site." – Nathaniel, Ben Crowell, Chris White, Manishearth
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Like everything in life, it helps if you look at the motive behind you creating this little theory of yours: - fun and entertainment - Knowledge about how the world really works - show the world I'm an undiscovered genius, and don't see myself as delusional If it's the second point, then I would suggest you study what is currently known about the universe via a text book, and be prepared for sacrificing some of your time investing in study. – Physiks lover May 10 '12 at 18:15
Can it be used to do a future prediction in a controlled setting? If not, then don't bother it is just speculation. If yes, then you have a testable theory. – ja72 May 10 '12 at 19:27
I don't think there's any evidence for points 1 or 2, but the third one sounds a bit like the second law of thermodynamics, depending on what you mean by "the expansion of the universe's matter". – Dan May 10 '12 at 22:01
This is not a theory, it is a bunch of words with no precise meaning. – Ron Maimon May 11 '12 at 0:24
Not appropriate for this forum. That said, the world is better for people thinking for themselves and coming up with ideas. On the other hand, it was hundreds of years ago when last physics moved forward as a result of one person thinking on their own, without spending every single day, for years on end, studying the results of others before adding something new. Physics has just grown too much for that to happen. – Chris White Jul 1 '13 at 4:52
up vote 10 down vote accepted

What you are describing looks like a hypothesis to me. A hypothesis is an idea. You have an idea. A theory, in the sense it is used by modern physics, is an idea about how the universe works which is supported by some rigorous elements, whether we're talking about some mathematical explorations (such as in the case of string theory, or back in the day, relativity), or observations (early chemical experiments). A theory has withstood challenges and attempts to discredit it by very knowledgeable and determined people.

In short, you should explore your ideas, but you should always have a way to eliminate invalid ideas by testing them or finding their flaws.

Most important of all, a theory should be considered nill (not bad, just without proven utility) if there are no justifications for it outside of your own intuition. Having said that, if your intuition tells you there is a good chance of there being something there, then you definitely should try developing it.

The important aspects of a new theory should be:

A) it explains our universe as well or better as existing theories

B) explains currently unexplained things

C) can make predictions about things not yet observed.

If such predictions from your theory turn out to be false, then your theory has been falsified and you have competently practiced science. If on the other hand the predictions are accurate, then you have joined the club of frontier physicists!

The better a theory is, the more it seems valid as a function of how much people try to tear it apart, and fail. This process often leads to additional unexpected discovery.

Don't get discouraged by your first or currently favorite idea not turning out to be good - in a class I took a few years ago on evolutionary computation, our teacher told us that Einstein invented and mentally tested several ideas PER MINUTE when he was a patent clerk. This is less impressive (yet still very impressive) than it sounds if you understand that in science often discovery is a process of search-and-evaluate. Ideas are a dime a dozen, quite literally. What makes good ideas live longer than bad ones is that they withstand scrutiny.

The toolkit that competent scientists have which many regular citizens lack is refined training for knowing what is plausible and what not, in the physical world. You can have a theory that contradicts existing theories, but it had better be EXPLANATORY, not just POSTULATORY. Because existing theories explain a lot, a new theory that hopes to replace existing ones needs to be better at everything the other theories do.

Harsh, honest and educated scrutiny is the best way to sort good ideas from bad ones.

Good luck!

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Thank you. Your answer would make a good article or a blog post. Now I see that word "hypothesis" would do better and that I should have added some explanatory foundation to it, like the explanation of the Pioneer anomaly which could be caused by a lower "density" of light and therefore a lower "density" of space encountered by Pioneer outside the Solar system, which made Pioneer to slow down, but maybe because it sounded too ridiculous even to me I didn't even think of adding this explanatory part to the question =) But thanks again for the guidelines hopefully not only me will find helpful. – Desmond Hume May 10 '12 at 15:34
You're completely welcome! Regarding Pioneer, I'm not sure if you saw news recently: apparently its been slowing down due to its surfaces having imbalanced (not spherically symmetric) thermal emission properties. This is interestingly reminiscent of what you speak of, 'light density', though perhaps existing optics/quantum mechanics/relativity (whereby momentum can be gained or lost due to photonic interactions) is sufficient to explain the observed behavior ^_^ Its really good that you're actively seeking these answers. That already gives you a start in the right direction. – ruggy May 10 '12 at 16:03
Einstein did nothing unusual as a patent clerk, aside from publishing great scientific papers. And how would your teacher know anything about it anyway? It is wrong to think that Einstein was somehow uniquely gifted in brain, he was great, but not because of genetic endowment, but because of his nose of what is the right thing to investigate (as he himself explained). – Ron Maimon May 11 '12 at 0:32
Ron, I'm not familiar with the entirety of Einstein's public work. I simply recalled what a teacher of mine once said, a teacher whose input I always benefited from, so I didn't think I needed to verify his every claim. As for Einstein himself, I have no doubt he was special but I was trying to suggest that he did something that many people could do if they thought to and wanted to. However, the subject of evolutionary algorithms is a tangent that occurred to me, but which is not the subject we started here. – ruggy May 11 '12 at 2:30

The current theory for describing the large scale structure of the universe is General Relativity and in particular the FLRW metric. GR gives us a set of equations into which we can feed experimental data and from which get predictions. So far the predictions have agreed with every experiment we've done, and that's why we all believe GR.

To get anyone to take your ideas seriously you'll have to make them quantitative. To take your suggestion 2, what equations describe the conversions of photons into space? How do these equations avoid perturbing the behaviour of photons we observe in the lab? To take your suggestion 3, we know all matter/energy attacts all other matter/energy due to gravitation so matter tends to clump together not spread apart as you suggest - that's why we see stars and galaxies. What equations describe your suggestion that matter tends to spread itself evenly, and why don't we see deviations from the matter distribution predicted by gravity?

It's fun to think about new theories, and even the most old and boring of us did this as excitable young students, but most of us have had to admit that Einstein did it first and he did it best. Unless you can firm up your ideas to something I can do calculations with, you're unlikely to get many physicists to be interested.

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Quite true. Thanks for attention. – Desmond Hume May 10 '12 at 16:09

Your theory is ridiculous, it is not a theory, but a bunch of words you strung together with no meaning at all. It is vaguely related to the much more persuasive "steady state universe" of Hoyle, where matter constantly expanded due to a cosmological constant as new matter was created.

The reason your theory is nonsense:

  • "light turns into space":

This doesn't mean anything.

  • "The universe is finite".

Yes it is. So what.

  • The expansion is not bang, but spreading into new space.

What's the difference? How is "spreading into new space" different from a "big bang". The words you use are not important, if the observations are the same, the theory is the same. A theory is formulated as a set of predictions about what you would see if you do such and so, and you didn't give anything that makes different predictions from the usual.

So no, not worth pursuing. It's not an idea.

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-2 "light turns into space" means what it says and is speculative. Contrary to what you say, all of this is still an idea of the universe, albeit worthless compared to what's known. – Physiks lover May 11 '12 at 14:26
@Physikslover: It does not mean anything! What does it mean for "light to turn into space"? Does it mean that light hits the edge, and each photon turns into an extra volume? Does a high frequency photon turn into more volume? More area? More what? Before the light gets there, how can we tell if there was space there or not? It's nonsense. You need to learn Mach positivism before you can say anything sensible about physics, otherwise you will not see why your ideas are not ideas, but blathering. It is not a matter of "quality" of ideas that makes it worthless, but lack of positivism. – Ron Maimon May 11 '12 at 14:29

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