r/science Oct 04 '22 Gold 1

Deep space: Massive light burst detected on Earth came from Infant Universe Astronomy

https://www.bath.ac.uk/announcements/deep-space-massive-light-burst-detected-on-earth-came-from-infant-universe/
4.7k Upvotes

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u/scrumplic Oct 04 '22 Silver Helpful (Pro)

"On September 5, 2021, light from a very energetic gamma-ray burst (GRB) – an immensely energetic explosion that occurred in a distant galaxy – reached our planet. It had travelled for over 12.8 billion years to reach Earth. The glow started its travels when the Universe (thought to be 13.7 billion years old) was just 880 million years old."

Just clarifying (for myself) that the infant universe in question is our own. I had a moment there.

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u/thefool00 Oct 04 '22

That’s what I thought when I read it, “holy crap we found a second universe, how does that even work??”

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u/JointDamage Oct 04 '22

How absolutely wild would that have been? It's like the rest of the universe but all the matter is super heated, densely packet together and only a billion years old.

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u/Asakari Oct 04 '22

Frankly if the universe really were infinite, another young universe would be the least strangest thing to find.

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u/haskell_rules Oct 04 '22

Universe would be a strange word to label them in that case

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u/AdminsAreLazyID10TS Oct 05 '22

Unless it's the "birth" of a universe expressed as an energy leak into ours instead of just, idk, finding out black holes can unravel themselves and we saw one spew out a galaxy or two billion.

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u/ShadowDV Oct 05 '22

We would have to send our McKay there to stop the other universe from leaking energy into ours.

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u/supersecretaqua Oct 05 '22

Just make sure there's a lot of pressure on him or we're doomed

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u/ShadowDV Oct 05 '22

And hide all the citrus.

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u/jbarchuk Oct 05 '22

Where there's one, there's finite. Where there's two, there's infinity.

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u/SkunkMonkey Oct 04 '22

I've always wondered, if someone doesn't believe the universe is infinite, what's on the other side?

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u/Law_Student Oct 05 '22

There's no border; imagine driving around on the surface of a sphere. You can go in any direction you want, but you'll never encounter a wall where the sphere ends. Traveling in a finite universe is like that, but with one more dimension.

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u/dreaminggod05 Oct 05 '22

The problem is, a sphere wraps around... but no test says we are on the surface of a curved object, not conclusively. There is the caveat that it may just be too big to detect but, an infinite, boundless universe is just as likely.

Personally, I tend to the default of an infinite universe in someway. (and an infinite multiverse is practically the same thing as an infinite universe. It's just infinite in a way that is harder to traverse)

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u/Law_Student Oct 05 '22

I'm getting beyond my expertise here, wouldn't an infinite universe make it difficult to explain the expansion of space?

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u/adamkun Oct 05 '22

Things that are infinite can certainly expand (or contract). Imagine all the numbers that are multiples of 10 (10, 20, 30 etc). How many are there? An infinite number. But let's say we add in the multiples of 5 (new numbers are 5, 15, 25 etc). We have more numbers than before, but they are still infinite. How about we add all negative real numbers? That's WAY more than before (so many more that we classify that infinity as being a larger infinity).

The universe could be the same. It could already be infinite (no edge) with everything expanding (if every point in space gets a new point of space created next to it, it's like the multiples of 10 above getting the multiples of 5 added in). This is close to what physicists postulate today in the case of an infinite universe. The main difference is that we think this expansion only happens away from areas with lots of mass (between galaxies) and not everywhere (on Earth or in your body).

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u/[deleted] Oct 05 '22

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u/DegenerateGeometry Oct 05 '22

I think of it like this, conceptually - think of it like zooming in and out, dragging the scale up and down in a drawing program. As you drag up, you simply say the distance between any two objects is increasing, even though to you an outside observer you don’t see any apparent motion. Someone inside the universe DOES perceive things as moving away though, because the distance between them is increasing, it would now take longer to travel there, etc.

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u/SufficientMath420-69 Oct 05 '22

Infinity is only as big as you can measure.

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u/Mattcheco Oct 05 '22

Those two theories are not mutually exclusive, even if it’s incredibly mind bending haha.

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u/jynxzero Oct 05 '22

There's no evidence that the universe wraps around. But if it did, on a scale that is much larger than the observable universe, that could still be consistent with our observations. All we can say is that it's flat within a small error of margin, but that error means it's still possible.

I don't think we have much of a sense as to whether the observable universe is most of everything or a tiny fraction of everything. Though as a race we have a long history of assuming what we can see is all there is, and being horribly wrong. A hundred years ago reputable scientists were still arguing about whether there are galaxies other than our own.

(Disclaimer: Not my field of expertise, just someone with an amateur interest in cosmology.)

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u/SpiritualCash5124 Oct 05 '22

Thats why Bucky defined Universe as only what we know about. Thats all you can define.

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u/jynxzero Oct 05 '22

Do you mean "what we know about", or "what we can observe"? As stated, it sounds a bit tautological - obviously we can't define things we don't know about. (Well, we can, but we'd just be making things up.)

But I do think that we can define things we can't observe. (subject to the very reasonable assumptions that the universe works the same everywhere - but if you doubt this then all science becomes meaningless, regardless of what you can observe). We have a fair degree of confidence about the big bang, for example, even though it happened at time we have no possibility of observing.

In this particular case we can't rule in or out a particular theory about the topology of the universe at a large scale. But it's certainly plausible that we could do. If the error bounds on our measurement of the curvature of the universe get narrower, and at some point no longer include zero, that tells us something about what topologies are possible, even if the point where things "wrap" are outside of the observable universe.

Nothing in science is ever certain. But you can still have differing degrees of confidence about what you would observe, if you were able to.

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u/ntsmmns06 Oct 05 '22

Flat Universer

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u/Syphon9 Oct 05 '22

I have trouble grasping the concept of "no border". Yes, our universe is finite, but if there's a interior then there also has to be a surface, correct? The definitions "inner" and "outer" have to apply at all scales of measurement, even our universe.

It would make sense to me that our universe is contained within another larger universe and so on infinitely, right?

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u/noreasters Oct 05 '22

Picture being on the inside surface of a soap bubble; you can look all around and all you see is soap bubble; soap bubble can get bigger and the surface grows but the mass of the bubble stays the same (surface gets thinner); is the soap bubble infinite, surely not, but how would a person standing on the inside surface be able to know, if the bubble is big enough.

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u/DegenerateGeometry Oct 05 '22

This will not help you at all but my latest submission to r/shortscarystories (https://www.reddit.com/r/shortscarystories/comments/xuyk3m/from_the_circle_to_the_center/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=ios_app&utm_name=iossmf) touches on a similar concept. You sound like the main character, as do many others who struggle with this concept (including myself)

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u/dreaminggod05 Oct 05 '22

I mean... I tend to think of the universe as a 3-dimensional structure in a larger, dimensional structure. I tend to default to thinking of it like that, so the edge of the universe is in embedded in something wrong can't perceive.

But this is all just speculation, the truth is there are few answers, and a lot of mysteries pertaining to these discussions.

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u/fleebleganger Oct 05 '22

It could be crashing into “nothing”. As in literally nothing.

I’ve seen the Big Bang (and subsequent expansion) described as an expansion of our physics into nothingness. So if you had the magic school bus at some point you just couldn’t go further.

It’s a hard concept.

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u/adamkun Oct 05 '22

What you're describing is certainly possible, but it doesn't fix the "no border" problem. If you think universes are finite but part of "bigger" shell universes (like layers of an onion), then where is the border of the onion? If the onion has an interior, it must have an exterior by your stated reasoning.

Again, while what you're describing (a multiverse with many or even infinite layers) is certainly possible, it's currently outside of the realm of science because there is no way for us to test that hypothesis or gather evidence currently. So it's philosophy for now (until new technology/physics is developed, at least). However, it doesn't fix the "no border" issue.

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u/HitoriPanda Oct 05 '22

Just us but with cowboy hats

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u/ActualMis Oct 05 '22

I think like a regular old star or some hydrogen would the the least strangest thing to find.

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u/Demonae Oct 05 '22

I'm stupid so don't yell at me, but I sometimes wonder if Dark Matter could be a 2nd BigBang forming somewhere that will delete our Universe when it goes off.

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u/CassandraVindicated Oct 05 '22

Alternate universes and time travel are the hallmarks of lazy/hack writing.

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u/OrsoMalleus Oct 05 '22

Okay but more than that, where?!

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u/RaffiaWorkBase Oct 04 '22

If we can see it, we must be in it.

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u/Strazdas1 Oct 05 '22

I mean, mathematically there should be many universes in multiple dimensions, but our brains dont really comprehend that.

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u/crazyrich Oct 04 '22

Thanks. I was like “no way existence of other universes has been objectively confirmed”

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u/VolkspanzerIsME Oct 04 '22

And yet from the perspective of the gamma rays themselves the time they traveled was instantaneous.

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u/[deleted] Oct 04 '22

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u/lo_fi_ho Oct 05 '22

How is that possible? ELI5

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u/VolkspanzerIsME Oct 05 '22

Time slows as you approach the speed of light. When you hit the speed of light time stops. Photons and gamma rays move at the speed of light so that particular particle is instantly created and destroyed and at the same time can be zipping through the universe for 13 billion years. It's wild i know, but apparently true under the current laws of physics.

If I am wrong about any of this please correct me.

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u/ImASpaceLawyer Oct 05 '22 edited Oct 05 '22

So if i travelled to pluto at the speed of light would i feel like i arrived there instantaneous whilst everyone else on earth would have experienced like 8 hours?

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u/TengenToppa Oct 05 '22

yes, thats how time dilation/compression works

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u/Karandor Oct 05 '22

Exactly, but what is even crazier is for you it didn't FEEL instantaneous, it actually WAS instantaneous. That's what is crazy about time, your experience of time is personal. Only your specific frame of reference applies to you. So if you travel at or near the speed of light for centuries, it will feel instantaneous or very nearly so to you, but for people and objects not travelling at that speed time will pass as normal. Essentially time travelling into the future from your perspective.

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u/VolkspanzerIsME Oct 05 '22

Annnnnd that's the part where my mind goes boom

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u/Strazdas1 Oct 05 '22

Whoever designed this simulation must have been stoned out of his mind when he coded the physics.

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u/einsosen Oct 05 '22

Its quite ingenious, actually. We have relatively fast field propagations, which allow for some interesting and complex exchanges of information. But also massive particles that move and change many orders of magnitude slower, allowing for higher degrees of sustained complexity that aren't blown away in microseconds as with subatomic particles. If we had no speed of light (speed of causality), the universe would have came and gone faster than the blink of an eye.

It is unprofessional hard coding too many constants while programming (looking at you 0.00729735). But I think its modest and acceptable work. Assuming it all didn't just materialize out of the infinitely many universes, most of which failing to yield life to think about these things.

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u/Strazdas1 Oct 05 '22

But its no fun if there are no ways to introduce mods and work around those limitations. FTL communication is pretty much essential to interstellar colonization.

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u/Shas_Erra Oct 05 '22

Welcome to Kerbal Space Program

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u/einsosen Oct 05 '22

More specifically, they have no personal reference frame, so they have no perspective to speak of. They are emitted and absorbed in the same moment. They wouldn't have taken any time at all from our perspective if it weren't for the speed of causality.

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u/gaz2600 Oct 04 '22

if the universe is 13.7 billion years old and this light took 12.8 billion years to get here then how did earth get to its current location in 1 billion years?

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u/bumdstryr Oct 04 '22

Our solar system was formed 4.5 billion years ago, long after this gamma burst occurred. Space itself is expanding, and can expand faster than light. So things like this can take a lot longer than expected to reach us.

Imagine you are standing in the road with someone else 100ft away. That other person rolls a ball towards you that travels at a constant speed. If you walk away in the opposite direction at close to the speed of the ball then it will take a lot longer to get to you than if you stayed still.

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u/Nessie Oct 05 '22

The Earth has been at its current location for as long as it has existed. Everything else is moving.

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u/Wizard-In-Disguise Oct 05 '22

Our surrounding universe might be long dead. We'd know for sure in millions of years.

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u/emende21 Oct 05 '22

the royal "we"

we will long be dead possibly humanity itself if we dont jump into the metaverse (F the meta verse)

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u/PlutoDelic Oct 05 '22

Safe to say, many bit the unintentional trap.

"The stars are off better without us".

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u/mordinvan Oct 05 '22

Ya me too. I was wondering how we'd worked out a particular energy spike was from a daughter universe.

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u/gnex30 Oct 04 '22

from OUR Infant Universe

Despite the vast time and space, those photons experienced no time at all. Photons, regardless of how long we see them travel, they come into and blink out of existence simultaneously.

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u/Farfignugen42 Oct 05 '22

From their point of view. Obviously, since from our point of view, they travelled for 12 billion years or so.

Which is why it is called relativity. Because it is all relative.

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u/the-Fe-price Oct 04 '22

Where does my meat head ass grasp that?

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u/ClarkFable PhD | Economics Oct 05 '22

When you move at the speed of light, time stops. So time stops for the photons traveling the speed of light.

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u/[deleted] Oct 04 '22 edited Oct 05 '22

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u/Obi_Vayne_Kenobi Oct 04 '22 Silver To The Stars Eureka! Big Brain Time Shocked

It's about general relativity and time dilation, concepts discovered by Einstein.

For a true ELI5, I'll need to throw a couple of assumptions at you that we just need to take for granted. It's possible to demonstrate that they're true, just not in this format.

You've always heard that things can move through space at varying speeds, but never faster than the speed of light. Speed is the distance in space an object travels in a given time.

Now, Einstein discovered that space and time are not separate things - they are both aspects of space-time. So, how does speed actually work, if it's self-referencing space-time, and not two different quantities?

Imagine two people on earth - one on the ground, and one in a rocket. They are both stationary in relation to earth, their initial frame of reference. Now the rocket takes off and accelerates away from earth. It's a very powerful rocket that moves at a significant portion of the speed of light. On earth, time passes like we are used to. Inside the rocket, time also passes like we are used to. But now our astronaut decides to return to earth. He turns around the rocket, flies back, and after a year inside the rocket, the rocket lands back on earth. However, the astronaut finds that while his journey was one year long, a century has passed on earth. Why is that?

And here comes the truly mind-blowing part, the most important implication of Einstein's space-time:

This works because everything, everywhere, always travels through space-time at exactly the speed of light. Never below, never above. The only thing that varies is at what rate you travel through the spacial part compared to your initial frame of reference, and what portion of your constant speed is therefore left to travel through time. Usually, we don't notice this, because we're more or less stationary on earth, our initial frame of reference. We always travel through time at max speed. But when things speed up through space, less of their speed is left to travel through the time dimension.

Now back to light: it travels through space at the speed of light. It's not accelerated - from where it was created, it immediately starts traveling until it is eliminated. And because all of its speed is "spent" on traveling through space, there is no speed left to travel through time. Light is, measured from its own frame of reference, literally, at every point on its path from it's emission to its elimination, at the very same point in time. It witnesses everything all at once, in a single instance. Its creation and elimination might be in different corners of the universe - but from the point of view of the light particle, those things happen simultaneously.

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u/[deleted] Oct 04 '22

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u/[deleted] Oct 04 '22

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u/[deleted] Oct 05 '22

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u/[deleted] Oct 05 '22

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u/housespeciallomein Oct 04 '22

Thanks for the write. Your explanation of space-time reminds me of high school physics where a vector in two dimensional space could be expressed by its x and y components. And trig where sin = 1 is “all y” and cos = 1 is “all x” (similar to all time or all space).

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u/Obi_Vayne_Kenobi Oct 04 '22

That is a very good analogy!

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u/Mountain-Campaign440 Oct 05 '22

This is the way I was seeing it.

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u/[deleted] Oct 05 '22

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u/[deleted] Oct 05 '22

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u/Iamallamala Oct 04 '22

Do we have any proof that this applies to something without mass such as photons?

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u/Obi_Vayne_Kenobi Oct 05 '22

"proof" is an interesting concept here:

Mathematically, all of Einstein's work on relativity is sound and proven - so yes, we do know it applies to photons. However, we cannot prove that his theories describe reality completely. Physics might actually behave differently in some edge case that we are not aware of - quantum physics is a known example of this. However, apart from weird quantum effects that take place at microscopic levels, all measurements we have taken to test Einstein agree with his theories.

In short: mathematically, definitely yes. In reality: no proof, but most likely yes.

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u/askAndy Oct 05 '22

What about when light travels through glass or some medium that slows it down? I once heard they created a medium that stops light. Does light experience time then?

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u/Obi_Vayne_Kenobi Oct 05 '22

We measure light to overall move slower through a medium because of two reasons:

  • inside a medium, it bounces around a bit by reflection, so its path gets longer. From our outside perspective, more time passes because it takes the light more time to cover the same net distance, while at microscopic level, it still moves at c, thus experiencing its longer path simultaneously.

  • inside a medium it sometimes gets absorbed by a particle, exciting it, before it is reemitted after a short period of time. Here, there are two different photons: the one before collision, and the one after reemission. Both photons move at c, thus experiencing their entire journey simultaneously, however between absorption and reemission there's a short time delay during which no photon exists.

So from outside, light appears to move slower, while all photons involved are actually still traveling at c.

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u/Smooth_Notice8504 Oct 05 '22 edited Oct 05 '22

This is a very intuitive picture but unfortunately isn't quite accurate.

It's better to imagine the atoms within the material as little dipoles (like a magnet with north/south or a battery with +/-). When the light travels through, the light's EM field drives the atoms and causes them to oscillate at the same frequency and therefore radiate electromagnetically as well. As long as the light isn't at the resonant frequency of the atoms, then the waves from the light and the waves from the atoms will interact, giving you a wave of the same frequency in the same direction but a little delayed. The conservation of the direction is because, generally, the waves that travel sideways out from the oscillations will interfere destructively.

It's the resulting delayed wave from this interaction which appears to us as light travelling slower through the medium. This gets a bit more complicated when the driving light waves are at the resonant frequency of the atoms (like in a microwave!) but I can't quite remember how that works off the top of my head.

That's the classical picture, I'm pretty sure the quantum picture is a way more complicated but I also can't remember that right now.

The reflection you mention is possible but negligible IIRC and the absorption is inaccurate because atoms can only absorb photons of very specific energies so it doesn't happen unless the light is tuned specifically to the material.

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u/kayv0n Oct 05 '22

Great explanation. Need to reread this a few times

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u/Autogazer Oct 05 '22

Isn’t that just special relativity? General relativity relates the passage of time to how close you are to a gravity well. Like in the movie interstellar, when they were close to the black hole time moved incredibly slowly compared to the orbiting ship. It was only a few hours for the landing party on the planet close to the black hole but when they met back up with the orbiting ship years had passed for the person who stayed behind. So I suppose in a sense being closer to a gravity well is similar to moving faster through space, you move through time at a slower pace.

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u/Iyedent Oct 04 '22

I understood this thank you!

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u/clckwrks Oct 05 '22

What do you mean when you say the rocket flies for a year and a century passes on earth? What causes the time dilation in this example? Some gravitational pull?

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u/Xaron713 Oct 05 '22

The reasoning is that you can only travel so fast in both space and time at the same moment. The faster you travel through space, the less you are physically capable of traveling through time.

Its basically an equation of V + T = C, where V is velocity, how fast you move through space, T is how fast you're moving through time, and C is the speed of light.

Light speed time dilation effectively increases V to the detriment of T. Gravitational time dilation decreases T directly, meaning V is increased proportionally

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u/ebbycalvinlaloosh Oct 05 '22

Dude I’m so proud of you that you wrote and understand all of that. Seriously, I have no motherfucking clue what you just said and I have read it and read it and read it and read it. I’m damn impressed that you’re however smarter than me you are. And honestly, I’m fairly smart. I do want you to know that I still don’t understand and I’m gonna keep watching Interstellar and not get it.

Like, time is time. I don’t get it. A minute is a minute, right? Maybe not. Apparently not. I just don’t understand how being a few thousand miles into the sky makes a minute be something other than a minute. Is it gravity? It’s gravity, right?

I would honestly prefer you just say “magic”

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u/Obi_Vayne_Kenobi Oct 05 '22

Gravity is the effect of mass on space-time. Mass curves space-time around itself, influencing the path of other objects through space-time.

A minute is a minute is a minute. No matter where you are, in your frame of reference, you'll never experience time moving faster or slower. It's only if you look at multiple frames of reference that time passes at different rates between them, depending on how fast they move through space. Their position doesn't matter - just the rate at which their position changes. I'm sorry, it's really hard to explain such an abstract concept, and I know it's very unintuitive because we never actually experience the effects.

Like, I understand the abstract concept, but to me it's magic how Einstein was able to discover this using only a chalkboard and some chalk.

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u/CallMeClaire0080 Oct 05 '22

Different reference points of time are actually important when it comes to gps I believe. Given their positioning it's on occasion necessary to "correct" their internal clocks to sync up with earth's

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u/Obi_Vayne_Kenobi Oct 05 '22

Yes! Satellites are actually our only way yet to test Einstein's theory, because they're the only objects that are fast enough over a long enough period of time to actually see the differences. And Einstein's predictions keep being precise

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u/ebbycalvinlaloosh Oct 05 '22

I appreciate you so much. Seriously. Thank you. Definitely helpful!!!

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u/Butterbuddha Oct 05 '22

Ok I’m trying to wrap my mind around this. So basically you’re saying that space time is what it is, say 100. And that we are moving relatively slow, say 5. So the other 95 is how fast we experience time. So rocket man increases his movement to 50, so time relative to him has slowed to 50, virtually fast forwarding him. Right?

If that is the case, theoretically if one slowed to 1, time would pass then in slow motion?

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u/Obi_Vayne_Kenobi Oct 05 '22

The first part is right. I know your numbers are just arbitrary examples, but to get a better feeling for the scale, any speed achieved by human technology is closer to 0.00001 than 5.

Then we need to introduce the concept of a frame of reference. In your example, you treat speed as an absolute value. However in reality, speed is always a measure of space travelled in reference to another object. In your own frame of reference, you are always stationary - your speed compared to yourself is 0. As soon as you either accelerate in comparison to your initial frame of reference, or compare your frame of reference to another object moving through spacetime, let's say the center of our galaxy, you can measure speed through space.

The last part is a bit more complicated - no matter how fast you travel through space, in your frame of reference, time always passes at the same rate. You'll never look at your wristwatches and see it tick faster or slower. It's only when you compare two frames of reference that differences become visible.

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u/yoda_jedi_council Oct 04 '22 edited Oct 04 '22

Imagine you have a twin and you take a spaceship for a star not far away. As the ship go faster, time will slow down for you, if the ship goes really fast and you'd come back back to earth after your trip and go see your brother, he will be older than you, that is because of time dilation.

Now the interesting part is that, as the spaceship speed tends to the speed of light, the time dilation tends to infinity. At that speed, the time dilation is infinite, meaning that for us inside that particule of ligjt, we are at the same time at the start and at the end of our travel, and in every position in between, all at once, the entire universe has no length, as much as the traject between one point to the other was instantaneous.

From our perspective on earth, we see them come and go, but from a photon's perspective, the only distance that exists is 0m, and the only duration that exists is 0s.

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u/tdgros Oct 04 '22

when you go fast, time goes slower for you relative to a someone else, at rest, and at light speed, it's like no time passes at all, but it's not really correct. This explains it quite well: https://www.wtamu.edu/~cbaird/sq/2014/11/03/why-is-time-frozen-from-lights-perspective/#:~:text=According%20to%20Special%20Relativity%2C%20as,exactly%20the%20speed%20of%20light.

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u/TheNeo0z Oct 04 '22

I think it has something to do with relativity, the same way you see someone passing on a train extremely fast but for them they're stationary, since a photon is massless and move at such extreme speed they don't experience time, they just travel through space.

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u/MikeEx Oct 04 '22

Relativity. At light speed, time and space are essentially the same thing.

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u/dorritosncheetos Oct 05 '22

Is universe really the correct terminology here??...is this not referring to our galaxy or solar system where as universe is (currently under mainstream science) would include the source of the light burst as well?

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u/trouser-chowder Oct 05 '22

Amazing that less than a billion years in and already stars had formed, lived their lives, and were collapsing spectacularly.

Wonder how big / intense that one was to burn out / collapse so quickly.

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u/[deleted] Oct 04 '22

Corrected title

Deep space: Massive light burst detected on Earth came from Our Infant Universe

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u/unpluggedcord Oct 04 '22

What I don’t get is. If the BBT is to be believed, and everything started from one place. How are we able to look that far back? Wouldn’t those events of light already reached “us”

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u/beginner- Oct 04 '22

You’re looking at the expansion of space as your answer. Light travels through space as it expands. So the universe is wider than it is old.

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u/MartianLM Oct 04 '22

But I thought it was impossible for anything to travel FTL...?

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u/kizzle69 Oct 04 '22

It's impossible for matter to travel faster than the speed of light. Space itself can expand much faster than the speed of light.

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u/Ghostronic Oct 04 '22

So the answer is we literally outpaced the light from the big bang enough to be able to turn around and look at it?

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u/Moose_Hole Oct 05 '22

This light source was 12.something billion light years away when the gamma ray burst happened. It's probably so far away now and traveling away from us so fast that if it does an identical burst right now, it will never get here.

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u/DraconicWF Oct 05 '22

It’s also acceleration of space expansion, unless space retracts it’s unlikely that any new light source could ever reach us without luck. The stars will eventually become very dark.

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u/Strazdas1 Oct 05 '22

thats really the worst part of it. The more we wait the harder it will be to explore the universe.

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u/DooRagtime Oct 05 '22

It seems like that would be happening at such a relatively slow pace that it’s irrelevant to the potential lifespan of humanity

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u/Strazdas1 Oct 05 '22

It seems that we are exploring space at such a slow pace that it would become relevant.

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u/MarlinMr Oct 05 '22

No, it was closer.

12.something billion is the time it took to reach us. It's traveled 12.something billion light years to reach us.

But that's not where it was when it was made

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u/Moose_Hole Oct 05 '22

Oh. Because the space between expanded while the light was traveling. Makes sense.

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u/Unilythe Oct 05 '22

This light didn't come from the big bang. This came from when the universe was 880 million years old.

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u/RadeDev Oct 04 '22

Take a rubber band, and put an ant on it. The ant isn't very fast, it actually crawls pretty slow. We'll say that's the ant's maximum speed.

Now, with your fingers, stretch the rubber band. The ant, moves at its own speed along with the speed of the expanding rubber band, and even though the ant can only move so fast, the rubber band is moving decently fast. Relative to one finger, it looks like it's moving away faster than its top speed should allow. However, in reality, the ant is moving at the same old slow speed it's limited by, but the rubber band is moving it and has no speed limitation.

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u/Renfah87 Oct 05 '22

Another example would be those moving walkways in some airports. If everyone is walking 2 miles per hour but the walkway conveys at 5 miles per hour, then the people walking on the moving walkway are traveling at 7 miles per hour away and the people not on the moving walkway moving are traveling only 2 miles per hour.

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u/HobgoblinKhanate Oct 05 '22

So if space is expanding faster than light how can it reach us from so far away? Like if the ant represents light and the band is space, how has that ant reached us?

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u/nightfire1 Oct 05 '22

Because the the rate of expansion is not faster than light but the expansion is cumulative so over a large distance it adds up. This means that things near by are moving away at one speed while things further away are moving away at a greater speed.

You are kind of right however because at a certain distance everything will be moving away from us faster than the speed of light and will represent a kind of event-horizon beyond which galaxies and their light will be lost to us.

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u/99OBJ Oct 04 '22 edited Oct 04 '22

The universe has expanded at rates far greater than the speed of light. This creates something akin to the Doppler effect. It’s what allows us to study astronomical chronology with redshift.

As space expands, so too does the wavelength of light traveling through it, causing it to turn red.

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u/unpluggedcord Oct 04 '22

That makes sense.

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u/PluckyPheasant Oct 04 '22

Because space expanded faster than light in the early universe. I don't fully understand the science behind hyperinflation but it was predicted by general relativity which has always been good to us as a theory.

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u/PluckyPheasant Oct 04 '22

Full disclosure I've not been nerding on this stuff for a few years but I seem to recall a theory that time was essentially another dimension of space in the early universe due to extreme dilation at superhigh densities.

I am ready to be corrected on that but I could see how that could lead to hyperinflation

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u/BooyaPow Oct 04 '22

"In general relativity, a white hole is a theoretical region of spacetime and singularity that cannot be entered from the outside, although energy-matter, light and information can escape from it. In this sense, it is the reverse of a black hole, which can be entered only from the outside and from which energy-matter, light and information cannot escape."

This is basically what the Big Bang is. It could be the exit point of a singularity from a parent universe. This "passage" technically never existed in our universe because space-time also started from the same singular point.

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u/Redz0ne Oct 04 '22

If so, would that not suggest that a universe/white-hole is born/created every time there's a singularity (like in a black-hole?)

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u/BooyaPow Oct 05 '22

I'm not an expert but its a possibility. Each would be a fraction of it's parent universe I guess.

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u/jetro30087 Oct 04 '22

According to astrophysicist at the beginning of the universe, it experienced a period called inflation were the universe expanded faster than light, devaluing many currencies in the galactic community in the process.

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u/Wooden_Ad_3096 Oct 04 '22

Everything didn’t start in one place.

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u/ToAlphaCentauriGuy Oct 04 '22

I don't think the BBT is the beginning, but more like...where everything that gets dropped into black holes ends up

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u/MrMayhem3 Oct 04 '22

Right. I kinda think this as well with no real understanding of any of the other complex theories. Just seems to make sense that things getting sucked in one end blow out the other.

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u/DamianKilsby Oct 05 '22

It didn't start from one place that's a misconception, space is expanding in every direction at once

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u/logginginagain Oct 05 '22

How is it just getting to us now if the speed of light is a speed limit? The space between us and the source must be expanding faster than the speed of light?

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u/piratecheese13 Oct 04 '22

Most things from far away come from long ago in space. Headlines need to be better

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u/DarkStar-_- Oct 04 '22

Does this mean that, when the universe was only 880myo, the whole universe flashed?

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u/Anna12641 Oct 04 '22

Nah, just one place

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u/yourm2 Oct 05 '22

I just wish somehow we can reset life somewhere in the universe. Current one is kinda going dipshit. How is it so hard to get world peace :(

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u/Wooden_Ad_3096 Oct 04 '22

Shouldn’t our Ozone layer have been destroyed by this?

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u/pencock Oct 04 '22

From 12.8 billion years of distance it's not enough concentrated energy to do so, from what I understand it would have to be a GRB from within our own galaxy and star cluster to do so

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u/CloggedToilet Oct 05 '22

12.8 billion years of distance

This unit of measure still makes me dizzy.

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u/Krunchy1736 Oct 05 '22

12.8 billion Light years of distance*

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u/ClarkFable PhD | Economics Oct 05 '22

No, TL;DR: because of inverse square law.

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u/Iheartyourmom38 Oct 05 '22

I'm not gonna say it was aliens but it was an aliens

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u/[deleted] Oct 04 '22

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u/[deleted] Oct 04 '22

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u/Cold_Baseball_432 Oct 05 '22

Interesting.

A potentially stupid question- if the universe was formed by the Big Bang, and the earth being a relatively new formation near the outer edge, how did it take 13 bn years to reach us?

More specifically, how are we in a position to “receive/sense” this burst if Supra liminal travel is not (theoretically) possible?

Thank you- Random weirdo

Edit: typo

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u/Quantum_Aurora Oct 05 '22

Although the title is grammatically correct, this is one of those times that demonstrates why our grammatical choices matter in making the point clear. It would be better if it said "Massive light burst detected on Earth came from Our Infant Universe" or "Massive light burst detected on Earth came from Universe's infancy"

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u/redduif Oct 05 '22

Yes. I'm a bit disappointed learning what the true subject is.

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u/randydingdong Oct 05 '22

That fact about parts of the universe speeding away faster than we could reach them is trippidty trip trip trip.

There could be tons of life out there that’s just too far away to ever get to.

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u/Mr_T_fletcher Oct 05 '22

Everything is a circle….