The structure of galaxies

It is well-known that the structure of galaxies that are observed by astronomers is hard to explain using standard physics. This problem was noticed already by Lord Kelvin in the 1880s, when only one galaxy was known, and despite nearly a century and a half of work by many thousands of people, it has not yet been solved. That doesn’t stop many people from claiming that it has. But the evidence doesn’t go away, and describes some new evidence that the “dark matter” paradigm simply doesn’t work.

The essence of the problem as described there is that there is no known (physical) mechanism that can make galaxies as flat as they actually are. The inescapable conclusion is that we simply do not understand gravity. There must be some property of gravity that makes things like galaxies, the Solar System, etc, flat. But we don’t know what it is. Newtonian gravity doesn’t do it. Einsteinian gravity doesn’t do it. So what does?

It is quite obvious, and many people have pointed this out for many years, that only quantum gravity can do this. But we haven’t got a plausible quantum theory of gravity, so we are no nearer to a solution. And the reason we haven’t got a plausible quantum theory of gravity is because the theorists who try to create such a theory are too busy navel-gazing, and not paying enough attention to the experimental evidence. And, because they are theorists, they believe in the existing successful theories, and do not question them robustly enough.

It is several years ago now that it first occurred to me that neutrinos must be responsible for propagating the gravitational field. Even then I knew that this contradicted the basic assumptions of theoretical physics, but from a layman’s common-sense point of view, there was no alternative. First of all, neutrinos do travel across the entire universe, almost but not quite ignoring everything in their path, so that they must necessarily create a force, which must necessarily be extremely weak compared to all the other forces. Either this force is gravity, or it is a new force not already known to science. Conversely, no other particle, or “graviton” has ever been found that could do the job.

Be that as it may, neutrinos have a remarkable property that they come in three different “flavours”, but when you look at them, they appear to have a different flavour from the one you expected. Physicists claim that they now understand this, but if you look more closely, you’ll find that in fact they don’t. You see, what actually happens is that a neutrino of a particular flavour is created in a nuclear reactor or some other facility, and travels hundreds or thousands of miles through the Earth, before being detected somewhere else as a different flavour. What has changed?

Physicists say the particle has changed. There is no evidence whatsoever for this assertion. The only thing that obviously has changed is the gravitational field – the direction “down” in London is not the same as the direction “down” in New York. Does the neutrino know which direction is “down”? No, of course it doesn’t. It has to hit something in order to find out which direction is down. The thing it hits, for example an electron, knows which way is down, and after the interaction the neutrino is entangled with the electron, so it also knows which way is down.

Then the neutrino carries this information with it across the universe, until it hits something else. At which point, it tells the thing it hit which way is down in the place it came from. Now think about it. Newtonian gravity doesn’t do this. Einsteinian gravity doesn’t do this. But quantum gravity does do this. This is the information the galaxy needs in order to stay flat.


15 Responses to “The structure of galaxies”

  1. brodix Says:

    Wouldn’t it be some larger, macrocosmic effect?
    Galaxies are a spiral around a pole. Could it be some combination of centripetal effect pulling them in, along with a centrifugal effect flattening them out?

    • Robert A. Wilson Says:

      That doesn’t seem to be enough. The stars seem to know not only *where* the centre of the galaxy is, but also how it is rotating. My model of gravity contains a physical mechanism for transferring this information – no other model of gravity that I know of does this.

      • brodix Says:

        Yes, but isn’t what you are describing, “entanglement” and doesn’t it make more sense if the “particles” are composed of waves and the waves are synchronizing? Or we could just say the particles are synchronizing.
        Which does amount to a macrocosmic situation, where everything is either synchronized, or effectively harmonized in the larger network, ie, in some entropic equalization.
        Galaxies of contracting energy and the spaces in-between of expanding energy.

    • Robert A. Wilson Says:

      Yes, indeed, it is exactly entanglement. Now the experimental properties of entanglement are consistent with waves made out of particles, but are not consistent with particles made out of waves. That is why I reject the standard assumptions that almost all physicists use, which makes the waves fundamental and the particles emergent. The only consistent way to construct the foundations is to make the particles fundamental and the waves emergent. This isn’t philosophy or even physics, it is just mathematics.

      • brodix Says:

        To refer to the point I keep making about time, that energy effectively goes past to future, as this state of the present, while the patterns generated, basically all forms of information, go future to past, the way I think of it is that both waves and particles are forms of information that emerge from the ways we test the energy.
        As such, information is an event. Not only does it quickly recede into the past, but it is only preserved to the extent it is stored and enforced by more energy and information.
        Then when we consider galaxies, not only does energy move to the future, but it radiates out, while any form of information is the structural consolidation back in. We can’t “see” light, except as how it is measured, which entails absorption and thus entanglement and synchronization with some physically more dense property.
        So the particles are more concise and focused degrees of information, than waves. Logically then, when the ideal is clarity, particles, specific points of absorption, present more detail than waves, which only express a spectrum.
        Is there some physical object that is the particle, otherwise? String theory argues it’s some tiny vibrating string, but isn’t that really saying there is some wave action generating its properties?
        Energy drives the wave, the fluctuations rise and fall, coming and going, future to past.

        So my question is, how much of what we see is a function of how we see it?

    • Robert A. Wilson Says:

      My answer would be, a lot more than most people think. Even energy is a function of how we see it. This is proved by the fact that particle physicists see a huge amount of energy in the vacuum, and cosmologists see virtually none.

      • brodix Says:

        It’s really a continuation of geocentric cosmology. Which sets up a similar dynamic, that once the dam breaks and a serious reality check occurs, the issue of these conceptual lenses will be under as much examination, as what we see through them.
        The sociologists will be studying this for decades, if not centuries, no matter how much the physicists try to move on.

        I recently posted a prediction about the James Webb, up on medium;
        View at

  2. Robert A. Wilson Says:

    It may perhaps make more intuitive sense if I say that the three generations of neutrino carry the “down”, “North” and “East” information respectively. It needs all three to keep the galaxy flat. After cosmological times, the galaxy has made a collective decision about which way is North.

  3. Math Światek Says:

    Huh, i knew the issue with the rotation speed of galaxies was still largely open, but didn’t know there was an issue with the flatness, too.

    Looking at other things like our solar system and the rings of saturn i would have though the reason why gravity has a tendency to reduce the dimensions of any system down to just two is rather simple.

    I mean, if you look at a chaotic system of many independent bodies floating around a gravity center, then really chaos does this job of averaging things out. if you look at the eigenvalues of the stochastic Markov kernel describing that you will find that the ones where particle orbits are all over the place have very short lived mixing times, hence die out quickly – as in, such orbits will be subject to most chaotic interactions between particles the which makes the least stable thus shortest lived.

    The chronology is more or less this: everything with too much energy leaves the system very early. Then everything starts to collapse towards the plane which has the larges mass contribution. Later, the different elliptic orbits still allow for quite some interaction which is why they die out or rather change towards circular orbits. And finally periodicy gives the highest amount of stability which leads to a strong preference for orbital resonance meaning that even the orbit ratios of individual bodies start following certain regularity. Physically i think you could try to reword everything of that in terms of entropy.

    What’s the difference when we look towards galaxies? i mean sure, there is some unknown mechanic involved causing the untypical rotation speed distribution but is that enough to somehow prevent galaxies to fatten out?.

    • Robert A. Wilson Says:

      Well, yes, it was news to me as well. I am just going by the link I put up, which seems to be a set of simulations that shows LCDM doesn’t produce enough flat galaxies. Sure, the arguments you give do encourage structures to flatten out, but if I understand correctly, this isn’t enough to explain what is observed. Apparently, MOND on the other hand *is* enough to stop the galaxies fattening out, as you suggest. My objective here is, ultimately, to quantise MOND.

  4. Math Światek Says:

    Oh, nice, that’s my university. Anyhow, so it seems dark matter may introduce more issues then it solves. It’s also a question how much “friction” such models have.

    I mean look at the rings of any planet how perfectly flat they are. same goes for our solar system. these systems work with the same force just on a different scale (minus the dark matter stuff) and produce this result.

    Though the main issue seems to be galaxy collisions diminishing too much of the angular momentum for a flat shape to form. Then again, stars pass by another often enough such that solar systems do collide in a similar way. but naturally they still converge towards the flat plane circular orbits state. I guess the question governing the shape will therefore be time between collisions, since convergence simply needs its time.

    • Robert A. Wilson Says:

      I guess I’ve slightly misrepresented what the work I referred to actually says: the flatness problem only arises because the supposed dark matter de-stabilises the galaxy. Without dark matter, there is no flatness problem. So the point of the work is that it is yet another reason not to believe in dark matter.

  5. Math Światek Says:

    Yes, that’s how i read the result as well. In terms of dark matter we still seems to be mostly in the dark.

    That said, maybe you remember me in my mails talking about Riemann geometry seemingly offering way more perspectives on space time geometry then general relativity is willing to use.

    In the mean time i have came to the conclusion that the reason for this are actually physical conventions. GRT uses a very specific choice of clocks, metric measure and clock sync procedure while Riemann geometry may freely transform between all choices. It turns out that the geometry is actually more dominated by these conventions then anything else. Furthermore one can sketch geometric situations where Einsteins clock synchronization scheme breaks down and becomes not well defined thus GRT won’t be able to describe such cases. Basically such a case of a space-time curl creates a situation where there is relative rotation yet the angular momentum stays zero. This may be related to the problem of galaxy rotation speeds for which dark matter was supposed to offer a solution.

    • Robert A. Wilson Says:

      There may well be something in that. I think there are still some big questions about the relativity of rotation, and to what extent “absolute” rotation can be detected. In a sense, that is what most of this blog is devoted to, although I don’t pretend to answer the question. What I do claim to do, however, is point out that relative rotation can be detected in far more ways than even Einstein imagined.

      • Math Światek Says:

        Hmm, yeah “absolute” things are always an issue. But when it comes to rotation it can be looked at from two angles which Riemann geometry indicates may be in general be independent degrees of freedom.

        For one there is the one way speed of light which we cannot measure. But when we take a closed universe like a cylinder, then this because possible. Taking the idea from there, we can build large closed loops and send light both ways through them and see if one direction is faster then the other.

        in relativity the frame where both directions are equally fast must have zero angular momentum. But Riemann allows a case where the angular momentum can be nonzero adding a new degree of freedom of rotation. But incidentally as Einstein synch relies on light signaling it will becomes unreliable in these circumstance because the shortest way for light from A to B will differ from the shortest path from B to A. So the semi-metric tensor of GRT would lose its symmetry. The easiest way to heal it is to transform back to a Galilean geometry with a metric tensor, though this comes along with other problems.

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