Tuesday, May 14, 2013

More New Papers Examining the Copernican Principle

The remarkable proliferation of papers examining the Copernican Principle continues apace.

The problem- the fact that the Universe is not Copernican, and our FLRW solutions for General Relativity require that it be Copernican- is now making its way inexorably toward the "mainstream".

Here are a few recent additions from the arxiv.org site:

"Testing the Copernican Principle by constraining spatial homogeneity", posted September 18, 2012
includes this excerpt:

"The Copernican principle states that humans are not privileged observers of the universe and provides our philosophical basis for assuming that on the largest scales the universe is spatially homogeneous. While it is one of the foundational aspects of modern cosmology, this assumption remains untested outside of the standard paradigm. Though it may seem pedantic to test something so obvious, the standard paradigm itself is built on shaky foundations, relying on an unexplained, gravitationally repulsive, dark-energy component for observations to fit the model. The implications of this cannot be overstated. Assuming that the laws of physics do apply equally everywhere in the universe, the only non- copernican configuration possible is one in which we live in a place that originates from special initial conditions."

This post of May 1, 2013 tells us that "(f)or the first time, the standard FL background geometry may be showing its limits to interpret the cosmological data with the accuracy they require."

And, quite remarkably, this paper from the European Journal of Physics, accepted for publication on January 16, 2013, which includes this:

According to Newton’s laws, it is impossible for small Earth to keep the big Sun in its orbit: the gravitational pull is just too weak. This argument is very strong, and it seemed to settle the question for good.

But in the end of 19th century, the famous physicist and philosopher Ernst Mach (1839-1916) came with the principle which states the equivalence of non-inertial frames. Using the famous “Newton’s bucket” argument, Mach argues that all so-called pseudo- forces (forces which result from accelerated motion of the reference frame) are in fact real forces originating form the accelerated motion of distant masses in the Universe, as observed by the observer in the non-inertial frame. Some go even further, stating that “every single physical property and behavioral aspect of isolated systems is determined by the whole Universe” [3]. According to Mach’s principle, the Earth could be considered as the “pivot point” of the Universe: the fact that the Universe is orbiting around the Earth will create the exact same forces that we usually ascribe to the motion of the Earth.

Mach’s principle played a major role in the development of the Einstein’s General Theory of Relavity [4], as well as other developments in gravitation theory, and has inspired some interesting experiments [5]. This principle still serves as a guideline for some physicists who attempt to reformulate (“Machianize”) Newtonian dynamics [6, 7], or try to construct new theories of mechanics [8]. Some arguments and critiques against Mach’s principle have also been raised [9]. Since the time of it’s original appearance [10, 11, 12], Mach’s principle has been reformulated in numbers of different ways [13, 14]. For the purpose of this paper, we will only focus on the one of the consequences of Mach’s principle: that the inertial forces can be seen as resulting from real interactions with distant matter in the Universe, as was for example shown by A. Zylbersztajn [15].

The only question remains: are these forces by themselves enough to explain all translational motions that we observe from Earth, and can they reproduce the Tycho Brahe’s model? The discussion in this paper will show that the answer to this question is positive. 

Interesting times!

Much more to come, here at Magisterial Fundies, and also in "The Principle".


  1. Nice finds Rick...

    Heres some more juicy snipetts from the second paper:

    "But what is less known is that Tycho Brahe, Kepler’s tutor, developed a geostatic system that was just as accurate and elegant as Kepler’s: the Sun orbits around the Earth, and all the other planets orbit around the Sun. The trajectories are ellipses, and all the Kepler’s laws are satisfied."


    "We can therefore conclude that the Sun’s orbit in the Earth’s pseudo-potential is equivalent to that observed from the Earth in the heliocentric system."


    "The analysis of planetary motions has been performed in the Newtonian framework with the assumption of Mach’s principle. The kinematical equivalence of the Copernican (heliocentric) and the Neo-tychonian (geocentric) systems is shown to be a consequence of the presence of pseudo-potential (4.4) in the geocentric system, which, according to Mach, must be regarded as the real potential originating from the fact of the simultaneous acceleration of the Universe."


    "If one could put the whole Universe in accelerated motion around the Earth, the pseudo-potential corresponding to pseudo-force (4.2) will immediately be generated. That same pseudo- potential then causes the Universe to stay in that very state of motion, without any need of exterior forces acting on it."

    - 'Newton-Machian analysis of Neo-tychonian model of planetary motions' : Luka Popov, University of Zagreb, Department of Physics, Bijeniˇcka cesta 32, Zagreb, Croatia

    LINK: http://arxiv.org/pdf/1301.6045.pdf

  2. Rick,

    You might want to consider contacting the authors of such papers when you think the timing is right and give them a personal heads up concerning the movie.

    At least some of them -- hopefully all of them -- would perhaps feel rather honored/privileged to have been contacted by the producer/director and feel especially favorable to you and the movie since you had read their papers.

    Then they might very well feel one privileged step ahead of many of their peers in keeping a special eye open for the movie. Thus, they could be more intellectually and perhaps even emotionally "primed" for the movie even before they saw it. This hopefully would result in an even more favorable word coming from them afterwards concerning the movie.

    So.....if things played out right they would more likely be more prepped then ever to fully weigh in on the movie with their credentialed opinions of same. Then they could be more favorably disposed than ever to go out and "talk up" (in speaking and in writing) the movie to their peers who would, of course, be key to making the movie a real game changer on the "Joe Friday -- just the facts ma'am" scientist crowd playing field.

    1. The authors of these paperds are doing the cutting edge science which is building on and advancing the discoveries we bring to a broader audience in "The Principle"

      They are well aware of the stakes, and it is we who have been honored to speak with them, and their peers, on all "sides" of thge issue.

      I'm just making a movie- these guys are doing the science, and as I said, the stakes are very high.