Mysterious force holds back Nasa probe in deep space

Researchers say Pioneer 10, which took the first close-up pictures of Jupiter before leaving our solar system in 1983, is being pulled back to the sun by an unknown force. The effect shows no sign of getting weaker as the spacecraft travels deeper into space, and scientists are considering the possibility that the probe has revealed a new force of nature.

Decider: bobacus

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Wotak

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Dude, I straight up said that I don't know, but I have a suspicion (which is based on data, which I provided). I was pretty clear about that.

I'm glad you've finally come to a place where you can admit that you really don't have a clue, though, rather that whatever place you were in when you were saying things like, "The universe is infinite and if it were described as [irrelevant metaphor]" I like to think I had something to do with that, so self-congratulations are in order. You're awesome, me.

  • Wotak
  • Jan31 '11

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No data was provided to support your ignorant claim.

@Richard_Parker

>Dude, I straight up said that I don't know, but I have a suspicion (which is based on data, which I provided).

It is all in here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Size_of_the_universe#Size.2C_age.2C_contents.2C_structure.2C_and_laws, which I linked to already above.

That article lists and links to as sources over a dozen papers on the chemical composition of the early universe and the age and topology of the current universe; most, if not all of them have various forms of the evidence that I base my opinion on. Full disclosure, I haven't read them all, but I've read some.

I especially like this one, you should read it: http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0310253. All you have to do is read the intro for something to think about. If you have any questions, feel free to ask, and I'll answer you to the best of my abilities. Which are considerable, as you know.

Actually, now that I see all these various forms of evidence in one place, I starting to seriously doubt the possibility of a flat, infinite universe.

Well, where Richard Parker ends, I can pick up, if anyone wants to know where the current cusp of understanding concerning our "universe" is, I'll be glad to help. You can speculate on my speculation ;)

  • MstrLance
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If Richard Parker ends...

Haha, he's got some rudimentary knowledge going on

  • Lownotes
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Most of the physicists who talk to laypeople tend to say things like, "We don't know for sure. It could be infinite, or it could be finite and boundless like Asteroids or Pacman. We know what our telescopes tell us, but the math suggests all sorts of mindblowing meep like universe-sized bubbles floating on foam so meeping big your eyes roll back and your pineal gland emits strawberry jam when you think about it. Currently, we don't even know how homing pigeons find their way back to their roosts, so any assumption about the true nature of the universe should be regarded as the first wobbly steps of a monkey baby trying to catch a moth."

  • Wotak
  • Jan31 '11

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You've just posted a bunch of non-clickable links that actually prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the universe is, in fact, infinite.

Thanks for playing.

@Richard_Parker

It is all in here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Size_of_the_universe#Size.2C_age.2C_contents.2C_structure.2C_and_laws, which I linked to already above. That article lists and links to as sources over a dozen papers on the chemical composition of the early universe and the age and topology of the current universe; most, if not all of them have various forms of the evidence that I base my opinion on. Full disclosure, I haven't read them all, but I've read some. I especially like this one, you should read it: http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0310253. All you have to do is read the intro for something to think about. If you have any questions, feel free to ask, and I'll answer you to the best of my abilities. Which are considerable, as you know. Actually, now that I see all these various forms of evidence in one place, I starting to seriously doubt the possibility of a flat, infinite universe.

We've had the homing pigeon thing figured out for decades.

@Lownotes

Most of the physicists who talk to laypeople tend to say things like, "We don't know for sure. It could be infinite, or it could be finite and boundless like Asteroids or Pacman. We know what our telescopes tell us, but the math suggests all sorts of mindblowing meep like universe-sized bubbles floating on foam so meeping big your eyes roll back and your pineal gland emits strawberry jam when you think about it. Currently, we don't even know how homing pigeons find their way back to their roosts, so any assumption about the true nature of the universe should be regarded as the first wobbly steps of a monkey baby trying to catch a moth."

Kala, I'm educated and trained.

Low, most of the physicists who talk to laypeople through popular media say meep like like that. It's a polite way of telling a large group of people who you can only assume have absolutely no capacity or background to understand any explanation of an approximation of the truth to just shut the meep up and listen, because trying to understand any of these things will only lead to meep like teaching creationism in science class. I'm talking to Wotak, who, although it pains me to say this, I give more respect than that. I'm aware that he's some sort of engineer, so I assume that he's at least gotten a C in some crappy calculus class at some dipmeep community college, which is more technical thinking than the general population is capable of. Knowing this, I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt that I can use big boy sentences with him that contain things like implications and multiple levels of communication.

Real physicists in the real world have varying levels of confidence about every issue, and rarely do those levels approach "no opinion," unless the issue is relatively new and no more than one or two reliable experiments have been done. They might tell laymen they have no opinion, and even that special breed of stubbornly agnostic-on-principle physicist will tell other physicists that they have no opinion, but they have them, agnostic or not. And the important thing, here, is that there is usually a scientific consensus.

"Tak, I'm sorry, but I'm not willing to buy subscriptions to physical journals for you. That's your responsibility, but I suspect that you don't feel the need to justify your convictions enough to actually pay money. I considered pasting some that your request into word and emailing them to you, but I decided I doubt very much that you give enough of a meep for it to be worth it. And even if you did, you'd continue to maintain that the universe is infinite just to meep with me.

  • MstrLance
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I don't know for sure, but in my opinion that last sentence is true.

I don't doubt you are Richard, but when you take a self-appointed position of authority on any matter, it's going to aggravate people above and below. I was just illustrating that in my own way to you.

Though a jab, in actuality, I am quite up to snuff in this regard, so I wasn't lying, just agitated. Best way to get someone to listen and learn is to talk to them on their side of the fence.

BTW, I subscribe to certain scientific journals if, lol, that apparently is a sign of authenticity when validating a supposed education on any matter.

I downloaded 300+ issues of Scientific American, so I'm an expert on just about everything.

  • MstrLance
  • Feb01 '11

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My subscription to Discover ran out eons ago.

  • Wotak
  • Feb01 '11

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I prefer National Geographic because it has photographic evidence of real things that don't require imagination-theory and pseudo-scientific-douchbaggery to prove that they exist.

And for anyone just joining this conversation, the universe is infinite; get over it. If you posses the type of mind that cannot grasp the concept of infinity, then, by all means, use your imagination to dream up an alternative reality that doesn't blow your mind.

Firefox can't find the server at www.scientificphilosophy.com.

  • GrapeApe
  • Feb01 '11

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@Wotak

I prefer National Geographic because it has photographic evidence of real things that don't require imagination-theory and pseudo-scientific-douchbaggery to prove that they exist.

Like how man formed from monkeez!?!?!?

Well Wotak, whether something is finite and/or infinite, is subject to measurement and to measure anything you must have a greater understanding then what is being measured, i.e. trying to measure something that is the entirety of existence (as we know it), may just be impossible. Also, the successor to the Big Bang Theory, is looking to be Inflation. As far as logic goes, since our Universe's design goes beyond our brain's capabilities, we rely on math and observation as a foundation for all scientific theory. Currently we see everything in three dimensions for example, but illogically, everything may be in two dimensions. The Universe is fundamentally beyond our current cognitive abilities, and that includes our powers of logic.

It's better to just speculate then to assume since no one will ever be fully right in such regards.

BTW both Scientific American, and Discover magazine are much superior commercial magazines concerning cosmology, cosmogony, astrophysics, quantum mechanics, (basically anything to deal with physics, and our "Universe"). You can't take a picture of a singularity ;).

'Tak, did you read that thing you linked, man? In the second paragraph of the introduction he says, "At present, however, most cosmologists are pretty certain
that the universe is finite."

Kala, mang, that's some serious meep-talking you're doing about the universe being beyong our powers of logic. Many of the most respected physicists ever would take issue with you.

  • Lownotes
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The homing pigeon thing was recently refuted according to an NPR thing I heard. This is the only reason I mention it, as I am no expert on the matter. @spankerchief

Interesting.

I'll look it up. I was kind of wondering what a naturally occurring fusion of nerve to ferrous metal would look like.

@Lownotes

  • Lownotes
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From what I remember, they said the magnetic field thing was definitely part of their powers, but it didn't fully explain how they could be put in a box and transported hundreds of miles and still find their way back. They likened it to having a compass in the middle of the ocean; you still wouldn't know which way to start paddling. Also, there are weird dead zones where homing pigeons will clump together and get confused, but scientists have no idea why because there is nothing magnetically peculiar about these spots. @spankerchief

  • Lownotes
  • Feb01 '11

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Hay guise, I thought the consensus was the OBSERVABLE universe was finite but boundless, but this didn't rule out the idea that our expanding space-time egg was inside a larger, infinite...something. Wikilink

It's not ruled out that the universe is infinite. There's just very little, if any, evidence to support the idea. It's also not ruled out that the universe is the result of a "particle collision," and that all our galaxies are really particles of some larger existence. Both ideas are similarly likely philisophically (given the knowledge we have today).

Cosmologists who believe the universe to be infinite either misunderstand the popular argument in some way, have some special understanding of the popular argument that others don't, or simply choose to believe so because it feels better than the alternative to them, which they aren't certain about. This isn't to say they're wrong. It just means that today, the body of evidence, in general, points toward a finite universe, in the opinion of most cosmologists.

And a finite but unbounded universe is still finite, in the sense that Wotak meant it.

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