Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Astronomers Falsify MOND

Pretty, but false:


MOND, a competing theory of gravity, has been falsified by a large and long study by astronomers. Also known as TeVeS for Tensor-Vector-Scalar gravity theory, it proposed an alternative explanation to gravity in which dark energy and dark matter needn't exist.

Oh well, we'll toss that one on the LeSage gravity pile of nice ideas but back to the drawing board.

Space.com breaks the bad news ==> here.

3 comments:

Jérôme CHAUVET said...

What's the point in trying to supplant General Relativity? It's wasted time anyway...

Steven Colyer said...

I think the point is in trying to find an alternative explanation for Dark Matter and Dark Energy.

MOND is dead. Next up? John Moffat and MOG.

ErkDemon said...

Jérôme, the current general theory of relativity has some major structural issues, and while it used to have a decent claim to being scientifically falsifiable, that aspect of the theory has been weakened by our recent (somewhat arbitrary) addition of "dark energy" and "dark matter" into the mix - these are two new things that weren't predicted using any currently-respectable theoretical route, they were basically invented for the sole purpose of hauling GR's predictions back into line with the available evidence.

And we also have the general theory's current incompatibility with quantum mechanics ... and since QM is so intimately related to a range of general statistical laws and principles, GR may currently be incompatible with some of those, too.

The surface mathematics of general relativity is pretty, but the deep structure ... the shape of the theory's definitions and operational procedures ... currently has some very ugly parts. The current structure may not be optimal. Parts of it might actually be wrong. But it's difficult to see potential flaws in the theory from inside the theory, unless we have some sort of outside reference to use for comparison.