Tired light red shift hypothesis


I don't think any new means to falsify "tired light" are required, as the present ones are sufficient. I believe the strongest is the following - which is recent in the sense that it has become very strong evidence in the last 15 years.

The light curve peaks of Type Ia supernova become broader at higher redshifts. The amount of broadening is exactly in proportion to the amount of redshift $(1+z)$. i.e the cosmological time dilation works as expected for an expanding universe, see for example Blondin et al. (2008). A "gradual redshifting" of light as it travelled a distance cannot explain this time dilation.

The plot below shows how the measured "de-dilation factor" from supernova light curves depends on their redshift (from Blondin et al. 2008). It goes as $1/(1+z)$, exactly as expected (well to within 10%). The horizontal dashed line is what would be expected from "tired light" and is rejected at 10 sigma.

This method was proposed by Wilson (1939) as a test of the expanding universe theory rather than the "gradual dissipation of photonic energy" (aka "tired light"). The test has been passed with flying colours.

Any alternative hypothesis for why the redshift of galaxies is proportional to their distance (for small $z$; it is a more complicated relationship at high $z$) must also explain why the duration of type Ia supernovae is also stretched by the same factor $(1+z)$. Or, if it is not to be some arbitrary change in the properties of type Ia supernovae with time, then an alternative theory must explain why photons emitted at the start of a supernova explosion appear to take take less time to get to us than those emitted towards the end of the supernova. Both appear to be a stretch, if you'll forgive the astrophysicists's pun.

"Stretching of light curve width in Type 1a supernovae from Blondin et al. (2008)


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Bill Wesley
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Updated on October 01, 2020


  • Bill Wesley
    Bill Wesley about 3 years

    Have there been any recent attempts to falsify the tired light hypothesis alternative to the Doppler shift explanation for the red shift, or is it simply ignored like the pilot wave quantum mechanical hypothesis alternative to the Copenhagen hypothesis of quantum mechanics has been? What new evidence would it take to get the tired light hypothesis for the red shift reexamined as the recent fluid dynamics oil drop experiments have done for the pilot wave hypothesis of quantum mechanics?

    • CuriousOne
      CuriousOne almost 9 years
      What purpose would it serve to spend more taxpayer money on falsifying old ideas that have been plenty falsified?
    • David Hammen
      David Hammen almost 9 years
      Even though Bohmenian mechanics is a bit (or perhaps more than a bit) non-standard, there's a big difference between Bohmenian mechanics and so-called "tired light". One of these ideas has been falsified. The other has not.
    • Bill Wesley
      Bill Wesley almost 9 years
      Curiosity take no taxpayer money, Funding often acts to compromise free investigation, Relativity was formulated with zero tax dollars. It is not enough to falsify a theory once and never think of it again because new evidence may come up, for example we are currently waiting on what we have yet to observe to keep current observations from falsifying the current model. the terms "dark mater" and "dark energy" have been invented to prevent the current model from being falsified by actual observation, instead there is only an effort to prove the current model and not one to falsify it
  • Jim
    Jim almost 9 years
    Photons are indivisible units for their specific wavelength. You can alter the wavelength and, thus, change the energy without dividing the photon. They do lose energy as they travel through space due to metric expansion. Gravitational redshift does not explain why the CMB is highly red-shifted.
  • Bill Wesley
    Bill Wesley almost 9 years
    Gravitational red shift as currently understood that is, a new theory of gravitational interaction with photons would be required, there are methods in electronics of downshifting the frequency of waves, a Theory By the late Physicist J P Wesley suggests that photons are reordered into lower frequencies without expansion or a Doppler shift with the energy lost going towards increasing gravitational energy, thus gravitational field energy is increased when light passes through it. This would explain the red shift in a way not related to ether a Doppler shift or expansion/inflation
  • Admin
    Admin over 7 years
    Might be worth noting here that rxiv is vixra (I didn't realise this at first).
  • Qmechanic
    Qmechanic about 6 years
    Dear John Kierein: Are you in any way connected to the links? For your information, Physics.SE has a policy that it is OK to cite oneself, but it should be stated clearly and explicitly in the answer itself, not in attached links.
  • ProfRob
    ProfRob about 6 years
    They "refute" ... but not in any peer-reviewed journal.