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Physics/C Decay


QUESTION: Science is not about getting new ideas only, it is about changing many false ideas, in which we believe.
In 1986 Settefield said in a research that the speed of light C was never constant, and that it has been quantimly decreasing since the very start of the universe:
This Theory was proven by many experiments, one of them was a study on granite rocks in Australia and the USA.In this study, and by Depending on the decay rates we know, the alpha decay experiments on these rocks indicated that these rocks are 2 million years old. However, the geological researches showed that they can not be more than few thousands years old. These outcomes support the theory that C as well as decay rates, are not constants. This experiment is explained in the following link:
This theory also gives explanations to many issues, like the existence of high red shifts values. There are many stupid ideas for explaining the existence of such high values, like this that the universe is expanding faster than the speed of light:
These phenomina is simply explained under the terms of C decay theory.
C decay theory gives accurate explanations to many ideas about some ideas regarding the big bang like the flatness and the horizon issues.
Moreover, this theory does not contradict with Einstein's and Lorentz's work, as Einsteins second theory is not actually necessary for the derivation of Lorentz transformations. In the time being there are many other ways to derive the Lorentz transformations.
No one, as far as I know, has actually prove this theory wrong, or gave another logical explanations to the items mentioned above. However, no one ever heard of this theory, neither was it mentioned as discussion issue. Why is that? how could this theory be wrong?
I think that the ignorance of this theory is because of Setterfields religious background,but, talking science, I do not feel that there is anything wrong with it.
In the terms of the invalidity of this theory, how could we possibly explain the existence of high red shifts values, and the outcomes of the granite rocks experiments?

ANSWER: I could spend weeks and months picking apart every one of these issues, but here's a couple of good reasons to put the non-constancy of the speed of light to rest:

1)  The very first table of your link to the larger paper includes values up to 1926 when measuring the value of c was high science...with error bars far too small for the time of the measurements.  If these values varied even slightly today, the tiniest bit, GPS would not work at all and we'd be WAY off course.  That value is measured constantly in the course of physics labs all over the world and does not vary.  That's provable to many more decimal places than the tables.  
2)  Science wouldn't work (lasers would constantly have to be re-tuned, for example, whole particle accelerators would have to be rebuilt every few years) to the tremendous precision that it does indeed work if this were remotely true.  

Re-examine the works individually and the backgrounds they come from.  It's not the religion, there's a clear bias.  It's the same kind of thing that keeps people believing in cold fusion (which clearly doesn't work).  Look up cold fusion.  It doesn't work, but there are people out there who are fierce believers in both the idea that it might work and that there's a conspiracy to keep it out of the hands of the public.  Hope keeps that idea burning, but hope and bias are not science.  When an idea is provably and testably wrong, it must be set aside for ideas which are testably in agreement with experiment.

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QUESTION: I did actually felt that there is something wrong when I noticed the religious background of this theory. But just to make things clear, how could we explain the existence of high red shifts values? I found no possible explanation for this !!!
The explanation that the universe is expanding faster than the speed of light does seem illogical.

ANSWER: The universe is not expanding faster than the speed of light, that's impossible.  However, during inflation something similar happened, where the amount of space itself in the universe basically expanded to the point where it looked almost like objects were accelerating away that fast.  High redshifts basically mean that objects are very far away and moving away very quickly relative to us.  That's one part of how we extrapolate standard expansion physics back to earlier in time to calculate the age of the universe (at around 14 billion years).

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QUESTION: Thank you for your answer. However, some points are still unclear to me and need to be discussed further:
1- I think I have to explain the contradiction we are led to regarding the high red shift values under the terms of the invalidity of C decay theory and to reshape my first question. As far as I know, the universe's expansion is determined by the Hubble constant, which is approximately equal to 71, measured in the technically useful but conceptually confusing units of "kilometers per second per megaparsec." and when we refer to the distance between two galaxies, we are referring to the distance between them right now -- that is, the distance we would measure if we somehow "pressed the freeze-frame button" on the universe.
Hubble found out that there is a linear relationship between speed and distance, and formulated this in the following equation : Speed = Hubble constant *  distance
According to this equation and to the high red shift values we obtained from observations that refer to values with Z=8, we could conclude  by doing simple calculations that the universe is expanding faster than the speed of light if we are not to consider  the theory of C decay as valid. Thus, taking into consideration the invalidity of C decay theory we are led to a great contradiction. And that is what I wanted to say from the first beginning. Reshaping my previous question: Is there any logical solution to this problem that does not lead us to such a contradiction, neither depend on the validity of C decay theory?
2- Regarding the 2 reasons you stated as good ones to put this theory at rest I still have something to say. Actually, not all of C measurements were dated back to 1926, some are quite recent. Thomas Van Flandern of the National Bureau of Standards noticed a slight deviation of the orbital period of the moon between 1955 and 1981 as measured by atomic clocks. He concluded "...if this result has any generality to it, this means that atomic phenomena are slowing down with respect to dynamic phenomena...though we cannot tell whether the changes are occurring at the atomic or dynamic level". This slow down of the atomic phenomena with respect to the dynamic does support the c decay theory, and explains your second point as to why we do not feel the decrease of C when obtained using atomic clocks as a time standard. The atomic clock's time would change uniformly with a change in c.
3- I am not defending this theory, but I think that the religious background of this theory does not mean that it is not true or biased. Do you think that science was fabricated for the seek of certain beliefs? I find it hard to believe, that decay rates studies on granite rocks could be simply fabricated to support some beliefs.
Further more I think that the work of Montgomery and Dolphin where the possibility that the velocity of light, c, is not a fixed constant was reconsidered by statistical analysis of the historical measurements collected from four sources is more valuable that Setterfield's work:

I'll take the easy one first, number 2.  The Moon is actually receding from the Earth very slowly in its orbit due to deformation from tidal forces.  3) Will you let the religious thing go?  I could really care less, it's just easy to see how factors of hope lead people astray when they're trying to do logical thinking...the religious aspect itself has no direct bearing here and doesn't bother me.  The first one is hard for most people to understand, but the universe is actually accelerating as it expands.  The Hubble "constant" is not really a constant.  You also say "the distance between them now," which is not a consistent statement with basic concepts of relativity.  And Z=8 does not imply anything moving faster than the speed of light, I don't know where you get that.  If something was moving away from us faster than the speed of light, we'd never see it at all.  The redshift would be meaningless.


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Dr. Stephen O. Nelson


I can answer most basic physics questions, physics questions about science fiction and everyday observations of physics, etc. I'm also usually good for science fair advice (I'm the regional science fair director). I do not answer homework problems. I will occasionally point out where a homework solution went wrong, though. I'm usually good at explaining odd observations that seem counterintuitive, energy science, nuclear physics, nuclear astrophysics, and alternative theories of physics are my specialties.


I was a physics professor at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin, research in nuclear technology and nuclear astrophysics. My travelling science show saw over 20,000 students of all ages. I taught physics, nuclear chemistry, radiation safety, vacuum technology, and answer tons of questions as I tour schools encouraging students to consider careers in science. I moved on to a non-academic job with more research just recently.

Ph. D. from Duke University in physics, research in nuclear astrophysics reactions, gamma-ray astronomy technology, and advanced nuclear reactors.

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