Did BICEP2 Detect Gravitational Waves Directly or Indirectly?

A few weeks ago there was (justified) hullabaloo following the release of results from the BICEP2 experiment, which (if correct as an experiment, and if correctly interpreted) may indicate the detection of gravitational waves that were generated at an extremely early stage in the universe (or at least in its current phase)… during a (still hypothetical but increasingly plausible) stage known as cosmic inflation.  (Here’s my description of the history of the early universe as we currently understand it, and my cautionary tale on which parts of the history are well understood (and why) and which parts are not.)

During that wild day or two following the announcement, a number of scientists stated that this was “the first direct observation of gravitational waves”.  Others, including me, emphasized that this was an “indirect observation of gravitational waves.”  I’m sure many readers noticed this discrepancy.  Who was right?

No one was wrong, not on this point anyway.  It was a matter of perspective. Since I think some readers would be interested to understand this point, here’s the story, and you can make your own judgment.

I’ll describe

  1. a past observation of gravitational waves that everyone agrees is indirect;
  2. a future observation of gravitational waves that we expect to happen fairly soon, one that I believe everyone will agree is direct;
  3. BICEP2, and how you can view it either way, depending on your perspective.

A Past Indirect Observation of Gravitational Waves

First, let me describe what everyone agrees was the first observation of gravitational waves, and was definitely indirect.  In 1974, two scientists (Joseph Taylor and his graduate student Russell Hulse) discovered a pulsar.  A pulsar is a city-sized neutron star (made entirely from neutrons and resulting from a Type IIa supernova) that spins rapidly — rotating many times per second — and, due to its powerful magnetic field, sends strong radio beams into space, which sweep past the Earth as the pulsar spins.  We observe this as a pulsing radio signal from the location of the star.

Pulsars are common, but this one was special.  Its frequency of pulsing (i.e. how many times per second does it pulse) varied slightly, growing and shrinking every 7 hours and 45 minutes.  It quickly became clear this was due to the Doppler effect for radio waves; the pulsar was sometimes moving toward us, and sometimes away, because it was in orbit around something else.  Detailed study (using the Newton/Einstein laws of gravity) allowed Hulse and Taylor to infer that what they were seeing was a pulsar orbiting a second neutron star.  They could even figure out the orientation and size of the orbit!

Having figured this out, they could do one more thing.  Einstein’s laws of gravity predict that the gravitational waves — waves in space itself — that are created by these two stars as they orbit one another, and these waves should be carrying energy out into space, reducing the energy available to the two stars.  The effect of this loss of energy would be a very mild reduction in the time (or “period”) that it takes for the two stars to orbit each other — but not by very much!  The period of the orbit, about 28,000 seconds, is predicted by Einstein’s equations to be shrinking by a bit more than one second per year.

Fortunately, pulsars are stable enough, and Hulse and Taylor’s measurements were easily accurate enough, that this change of about a second per year was relatively easy for them to measure during the ensuing decade.  And they could compare their measurements of the change in the period with the predictions of Einstein’s theory of gravity.  Remarkably, the agreement of the theory with the data is excellent!  For this confirmation of Einstein’s theory’s prediction of gravitational waves, Hulse and Taylor received the Nobel Prize in 1993.

Graph showing the cumulative shift of periastron time for PSR 1913+16. This shows the decrease of the orbital period as the two stars spiral together.

Hulse and Taylor’s data (black dots) for the reduction in the period of the neutron stars’ orbit compared to Einstein’s theory’s prediction (solid line) of how the orbit should change due to the emission of gravitational waves. (General Relativity is the name of Einstein’s Theory of gravity.) Notice how remarkably precise is the agreement over decades!

Hulse and Taylor had thus observed the effect of gravitational waves for the first time in human history. But they hadn’t observed the waves themselves; they’d observed the loss of energy, in the neutron star pair, due to the waves, but not the waving of space, compressing and expanding as the waves move by. Clearly, this detection of gravitational waves was indirect.

A Future, Likely Direct Detection of Gravitational Waves

A direct search for gravitational waves is underway now, at experiments known as LIGO and VIRGO.  When a gravitational wave passes by the Earth, space itself grows and shrinks a little bit, and the distances between objects increases and decreases.  It’s an incredibly tiny effect even for powerful gravitational waves; you and I would never notice it.  But this shrinking and growing of space can potentially be observed with extremely stable, carefully designed lasers looking for the distance between two mirrors to shift by less than the radius of a proton, which itself is 100,000 times smaller than the radius of an atom!  [The principles involved are not so different from those used in the famous Michelson-Morley experiment — but the experimental requirements are vastly greater!]

When the repeated changing of the distance between mirrors due to a stretching and compression of space is actually observed, that will clearly be direct observation of waves of space itself — gravitational waves.  This hasn’t happened yet, but the “Advanced” phase of LIGO is coming up very soon, starting this year.  We may well see LIGO make discoveries within the decade.

BICEP2: Direct or Indirect?

I think it’s very clear that BICEP2 — IF the experiment’s results are correct (they have not been confirmed by another experiment yet) and IF they are correctly interpreted as due to gravitational waves (which is still an open question) —represents an advance over the Hulse-Taylor discovery.  But it’s not as direct as LIGO, either.

BICEP2’s measurement [see here for some details]  is actually of the polarization of light  that was released 380,000 years after the Hot Big Bang began, at the time when the universe cooled enough to become transparent. This light has now become the “cosmic microwave background” [CMB] which we observe today coming from all directions in the sky.  So really they’re directly observing light (microwaves rather than visible light), not waves in space itself — gravitational waves.

But the nature and size of the polarization effect they observe (“B-mode” polarization, across large swathes of sky) is believed to have only one possible source: gravitational waves, created in the early universe and ringing for 380,000 years, and then interacting with the light that is now the CMB.  It is the squeezing and stretching of space within which the light is moving that causes the light to end up polarized in a unique way.

In this sense, you could say that the CMB is providing a sort of unusual photograph of gravitational waves, taken at 380,000 years post-Big-Bang.  It gives far, far more detail about their nature than does the Hulse-Taylor measurement; it confirms more and different things that Einstein predicted, such as the fact that these gravitational waves have “spin two”, which is necessary for them to give B-mode polarization.  If you think of it as a photograph, BICEP2’s measurement seems pretty direct.

But on the other hand, it’s nowhere near as direct as LIGO would be, where mirrors that humans have set up will actually move back and forth as a gravitational wave’s crests and troughs pass by.  Far, far more detail will be available when that happens — and there will be little or no ambiguity about the interpretation of the data.  For BICEP2, it’s still conceivable (though no one has thought of anything specific) that the B-mode polarization actually is not due to gravitational waves but is due to something else.  The very fact that this is conceivable — that maybe the polarization comes from something other than waves in space itself — reflects the fact that the BICEP2 data involves looking at something that happened billions of years ago in very distant locations, and drawing inferences.  BICEP2 isn’t itself seeing space shrink and expand; it’s observing polarized light created long ago, and then scientists are inferring that the pattern of its polarization is due to space shrinking and expanding. From that point of view, BICEP2’s detection is still rather indirect.

So call it what you will, it’s clearly (if correct and correctly interpreted) more direct than Hulse and Taylor’s measurement, and less direct than a detection at LIGO would be.  Maybe we should call it “(…nnnn)direct”?  In any case, what we call it isn’t important; what’s important is to figure out whether it’s correct, and what it means.

61 responses to “Did BICEP2 Detect Gravitational Waves Directly or Indirectly?

  1. If space is the medium for those waves , then space is a thing ….is it possible that spaceness is not fundamental ? Does the status of space as a continuous or discrete medium affect what we see ? Is space is Quantized what does that mean for those waves ?

  2. Correction : ” IF space is …..”

    • The characteristics of “empty space” suggest to me that this space or “vacuum” is indeed quantized. And that it is the dynamic structure of “empty space” that determines the universal basis for time and the Higgs field. The “CMB” is evidence of the dynamic nature and “temperature” of the structure of empty open space; variations in the “CMB” is indicative of the shape of this structure.

  3. How come gravitational waves cause light passing through them to end up with a particular polarization?

    • This is due to geometry and statistics. It is similar to how a lens can focus light from many points into one focal point; the original light comes from random directions while the focused light heads towards a specific point. Gravitational waves alter space that light is passing through and (very, very roughly speaking) ‘lens’ the polarization in a specific kind of way.

      This is a poor explanation but I hope it suffices.

  4. At this point we’ve left physics and are only talking about nomenclature. If you want to be pedantic about it, all experimental measurements are indirect. We take physical phenomena and convert them to other types of physical phenomena which we’re better at measuring.

    The simplest example is converting a force on a spring into a displacement. A spring scale is a force-displacement transducer. A more modern version uses piezoelectric elements to convert (force) into (frequency shift) into (voltage) into (bits).

    Now the indirect BICEP2 measurement: (gravitational waves) into (quadrupolar radiation fields) into (polarized radiation) into (current in a phased array antenna) into (raising the temperature of a load on a bolometer) into (resistivity of a TES) into (magnetic flux through a SQUID) into (volts) into (bits).

    Compare that to what LIGO will do: (gravitational waves) into (electric field phase difference in an interferometer) into (power incident on a photodiode) into (volts) into (bits). Still indirect, just fewer steps in the process.

    But again, this is now nomenclature, not physics.

    • Jorma Reinikainen

      You’re not even wrong here. The crucial difference between an indirect and a direct measurement is how well the physics of the intermediate steps are known. The early universe might do bizarre things we have no idea about; this is even expectable. Whereas, how a gravitational wave might cancel out its own signal in an interferometer would require a very contrived explanation or new physics. Slipping into solipsism is the result if your logic is followed.

      • Torbjörn Larsson, OM

        You are not completely wrong here. =D The number of steps isn’t crucial, just pointing out the problem of quantifying “direct” in a measurable way.

        Your “how well the physics of the intermediate steps are known” has a similar problem. Ordinarily knowledge is that goes into specifying uncertainty based on random and relative errors. But you allude to “unknown unknowns” and how contrived they can be. By definition those are unmeasurable and contrivance impossible to specify, again raising the head of solipsism. Kudos for “new physics” vs “no new physics” though. But that would go into the area of open field/possible not yet eliminated alternative theories (physics)/possible not yet eliminated ingressing mechanisms, which by definition is the constraint a new measurement always work with.

      • Torbjörn Larsson, OM

        Also, about “new physics”. That (possible ingressing mechanisms) is peculiar of this new measurement. Others may take place in more familiar territory.

  5. I’m pretty sure vector modes sourced by cosmic strings can also produce low-l primordial B-mode polarization. See arxiv:1403.6105. Those aren’t tensor perturbations of the metric, so we don’t usually think of them as gravitational waves. But we might just have a semantic difference somewhere.

  6. The BICEP2 results actually deal with the only gravitational waves thinkable in context of 4D general relativity: i.e. these stationary ones. From this perspective the BICEP2 observation is about true gravitational waves.

  7. Marshall Eubanks

    To me, a direct measurement of gravitational waves requires in some fashion measuring or observing the change in spacetime due to the waves. The binary pulsar decay doesn’t do that, but the Pulsar timing array, should it have success, would and thus would be a direct observation of gravitational waves. From that perspective, the BISON2 results come close, but they are still not there, and so are indirect.

  8. I heard someone from BICEP2 -I think it was Chao-Lin Kuo- describe the detection as semi-direct. I thin that is fair.
    He made the comparison with detecting waves on the surface of the ocean. You could measure them by watching a floating object move up and down (what A-LIGO will do) or you could take a still picture and see the wavy pattern on the surface (sort of the BICEP2, although of course the analogy breaks down in that specific palarization patterns require tensors).

  9. Let’s hope dust is not causing this polarization.

  10. Harald Fillinger

    Hi Mat,

    As a layman I’m a great fan of your website.

    I read recently something about newly discovered galactic foreground structures that are not included in BICEP2 foreground models and hence may have an Impact on B-mode polarization measurement results… (galactic foreground emission caused by magnetic dipole radiation from dust grains enriched by metallic iron etc.) See: http://arxiv.org/abs/1404.1899

    Well, you’d pointed out repeatedly in earlier posts to be cautious with BICEP2 results (and Interpretation) unless they are confirmed by other experiment…

    Is this paper just ‘experts’ talks’ about ‘details’ or can this have a major Impact on BICEP2 results? Any idea?

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  12. Minor correction, the period of the binary pulsar is not changing by 1s per year. That’s the cumulative change in periastron time.

  13. It’s my understanding that gravitational lensing is another source of B-Mode polarization, however its contribution to polarized light can be predicted (or measured?) Or maybe it is more correct to say that one can place an upper bound on the contribution of gravitational lensing to B-Mode polarization? In any case, I beieve that the success of the BICEP2 exaperiment hinges on establishing (in the 5-sigma sense) that the amount of B-mode polarization that was experimently detected exceeds whatever contribution gravitational lensing could possibly provide.

  14. Very well, Matt, just to be sure, I subscribe to all three parts of your appraisal.

    • Who cares?

      • That’s just rude. You may not think much of Lubos Motl, but he’s a well-known figure in HEP theory, having taught at places like Harvard that mostly don’t tend to hire doofuses, having obtained right academic degrees to have an opinion worth considering (versus we’ve no idea about you), he works in this area (versus we’ve no clue whatsoever what if anything you do), and I expect Matt Strassler appreciates his reaction to this article.

  15. Folks I show in my paper http://www.worldscientific.com/doi/abs/10.1142/S0219887814500595 that gravitons are propapagated through spacetime in the same manner as heat. This implies that LIGO is actually detecting the thermal activity of gravitons. If my research is correct we will never detect an undulation propagating at light speed which is what we are expecting to see in all gravity wave detectors.

  16. kashyap vasavada

    Matt: Question about interpretation of BICEP2. Some people say these gravitational waves follow from classical GR. So it has nothing to do with quantum gravity. Some others say that actually quantum fluctuations took place in Gravitational field. So it proves quantum gravity. What is your opinion?

    • Yes, I would love to see a discussion of this. I think I know the answer, but so many people have said strange and contradictory things about it that I feel that there is an urgent need for clarification from someone who knows what he is talking about…

    • Torbjörn Larsson, OM

      Isn’t that a moot question? Krauss and Wilczek has found that it can only be quantized waves.

      “Thus the gravitational radiation background, measured invariantly, is proportional to ¯h^2. Since this is a positive power of ¯h, we infer the essentially quantum-mechanical nature of that phenomenon. Since no field other than gravity is involved, we infer that quantization of the gravitational field is an essential ingredient.” [ http://arxiv.org/abs/1309.5343 ]

      • Torbjörn Larsson, OM

        Oh, I forgot: They also ask for consistency checks, the ones BICEP2 has avoided so far.

  17. Richard Goldhor

    Matt, You say, “But the…polarization effect they observe … is believed to have only one possible source: gravitational waves, created in the early universe and ringing for 380,000 years….”

    When I think of “ringing” waves I think of standing waves, which implies a structure with reflective boundaries–which in this case would be ??? Or when you said “ringing” did you mean a traveling gravitational wave that was still propagating across the universe 380,000 years after the Big Bang?

  18. Hello Matt, I red in your post that the fact that the gravitational waves have “spin two”, is necessary for them to give B-mode polarization.
    It is possible for you to give us some explanation or hint about why spin two is necessary for B-mode polarization ?
    Thank you very much for your time

  19. I have a maybe pretty hairy question: Is there anything like fine-tuning of the universe for intelligent life? I know that there is the thory that a mutliverse allows for all possible options to be relaized and we just happen to be in this version of a universe where human life is supported. Is that the final answer?

    • This comes in two flavors of ‘anthropomorphic principle'; the weak which says ‘Isn’t it interesting that the universe is just right for us to exist’ and the strong which says ‘The universe can be no other way than it is now’

      For the universe to support human life specifically a number of variables need to have rather specific values. Gravity is remarkably weak for example. So it can be argued the universe is ‘fine tuned’ but this begs the questions ‘why?’ and ‘by whom?’ As a christian you can guess my take on the matter.

      But there are many objections to this. Firstly if the universe is different it is quite possible life would be different. There might be living stars the size of basketballs sitting and marveling at how gravity was just strong enough to allow their existence. We simply do not have a good enough grasp at present as to what other options are out there.

      Secondly scientists hate a ‘just because'; all values of all variables should arise ‘naturally’ out of a theory and there are a lot at present that ‘just are’ with no explanation as to why they take those values. It is the hope of physics that at some future point a ‘theory of everything’ will be found that shows how our universe isn’t special at all and in fact could not be anything else.

      Multiverse theories are one attempt at doing this (As well as tackling a number of other problems\ideas); in this case the values aren’t fine tuned, our universe would *have* to appear *somewhere* so it’s not special.But these theories are mostly speculation with no definitive evidence at present.

      • Thank you, Kudzu. I apologize for being so late in responding. Too caught up with other things… In the meantime I saw that Luke Barnes, Sydney Institute for Astronomy, has posted a reading list and an article on the topic http://letterstonature.wordpress.com/2013/09/10/what-to-read-the-fine-tuning-of-the-universe-for-intelligent-life/
        I might look into it.

      • Torbjörn Larsson, OM

        Well, “gap theory” makes your magical agency very powerless, doesn’t it? From “making” universes” to hiding in our not yet elaborated science.

        I would say that the gaps has gone, since inflation both made our observable universe from a spontaneous end of inflation going back to blown up quantum fluctuations and populated it with structure from similar quantum fluctuations. Indeed, the “magical seed” of a spacetime with physics that you propose, has been diluted by at least 10^100 which is far more insanely wrong (or weak, in your interpretation) than standard 10^30 dilution of the “magical seed” in homeopathy!

        Mostly, I wish that a science site wouldn’t have this unnecessary discussion of non-functional magical ideas. Why is it seen as acceptable? We aren’t pre-enlightenment pre-science pre-functional anymore…

        • I find it a strength in this blog that such ideas are discussed. In many places there are strong limits imposed on what can be discussed. And these ideas are far from some lunatic fringe, they are real questions and issues people have. They should be addressed.

          Dismissing them as ‘pre-science pre-functional’ is about as useful as trying to convert atheists by saying ‘I’ll pray for you.’

    • Torbjörn Larsson, OM

      If the universe was fine-tuned for life, it obviously should have more that the 0.00000000001 % or so habitable volume than it has. =D

      There is one or two possibly fine-tuned parameters (cosmological constant, lifetime of the vacuum), all else has an open parameter space. E.g. Victor Stenger, and others, find that covarying parameters leave ~ 50 % or so livable universes. Then you can ask why those correlations, but no one has pinned such to anthropic (environmental) theory yet.

      • Stenger isn’t reliable. Who are the others you refer to?

      • I don’t see logically what the percentage habitable volume of the universe has to do with anything. A knife was meant to cut things but only a tiny percentage of it is cutting edge, the rest is uncutting support for that edge or a handle.

        Of course maybe most of the universe *is* habitable… for dark matter photino birds and we’re just some weird accident.

  20. I have an unrelated question concerning the masses of particles. I have heard that the reason that the masses of particles are fixed and not a mushy mix of energy is due to the Schrödinger equation, for example it takes 0.511 MeV to make one electron and only one because 0.511 MeV is the electrons rest mass. But does this apply to photons? or gluons? I mean the electromagnetic spectrum suggests that photons have absolutely no quantization in terms of how much energy a photon can have.(what i mean is there is no specific amount of energy that you require to make a photon eny amount of energy seems to do something to the electromagnetic field unlike the electron field. The main question is that does this have something to do with the higgs field. What i mean is that if the electron interacted with the higgs field more than it does now (therefore having more mass) then it must take more energy to create an electron from the electron field. The idea that I have basically fabricated is that the higgs field is responsible for the energy in particles when there at rest, and that the amount of energy it takes to make a particle from its underlying field is the energy that it takes to have a wave in that field that can exist while it interacts with the non-zero higgs field. And the reason it can take an arbitrary amount of energy to make a photon is that the photon particle does not interact with the higgs field. Please correct me if I am wrong because the whole quantization of electron quarks ect.. and the seemingly unquantization of photons (in terms of energy) has bean very confusing.

    • A particle is a ‘stable, long-lived’ wave in a field. In order to create a particle you need to fulfill several conditions.(For example you need to ‘wiggle’ the field in a regular way so the resulting wave is nice and neat.) If you do not meet these requirements you will get a ‘virtual particle’ which cal ‘fall apart’ and give you your energy back.

      For massless particles energy is not a condition needed to make a particle. (There are some minor issues with uncertainty, two particles of similar energy will be indistinguishable because the uncertainties in their measurements will overlap.) In theory you could have photons and gluons of infinitely low energy.

      The Higgs field can be considered as taking two ‘photon-like’ fields and connecting them.so that a stable wave in one creates a stable wave in the other. But this requires ‘extra’ energy if the waves are to both be stable; it adds another condition. So while I can excite the electron-left field with any amount of energy the wave I create cannot be stable unless I give it enough energy (0.511 MeV or more) to stably excite the electron-right field too.

      It may help then to view the Higgs field as a ‘destabilizer’ that requires extra energy to overcome.

      • Many thanks Mr. Kudzu, /there are some minor issues with uncertainty, two particles of similar energy will be “indistinguishable”* because the uncertainties in their measurements will overlap.
        The Higgs field can be considered as taking two ‘photon-like’ fields and connecting them.so that a stable wave in one creates a stable wave in the other./
        So one of the “photon-like field” was polarized (distinguished*) during inflation by gravitational waves ?

        In the spontaneity of spontaneous symmetry breaking (weak mixing angle), W± and Z0 bosons, and the photon, are produced by the spontaneous symmetry breaking of the electroweak symmetry, by the Higgs mechanism.
        “I spent the years 1965-67 happily developing the implications of spontaneous symmetry breaking for the strong interactions”- Weinberg.

        Higgs field stabilize the “rest mass” or shielding the containment – unlike gluons, which have its own antiparticle to have the short distance force. In weak interaction’s short distance force, it needs Higgs mechanism.
        Higgs mechanism was used to unite weak and electromagnetic interactions – making, short distance weak interaction, but not for photons, due to zero mass.
        This means “gauge bosons can get rest mass through Higgs mechanism”.

        But due to polarization, photons can take arbitrary amount of energy or give energy back (radiation) – means, photon field is massless (ZERO) and stable but Higgs field is massive and non-ZERO (distabilizer) ?

        • A few points:

          When I was talking about ‘photon-like’ fields I meant those of particles affected by the Higgs. Gravitational waves polarize light by a different mechanism. It is rather tricky and I am not sure I understand it entirely but basically since the waves alter space itself in a certain way as they pass by they can ‘tweak’ the polarization of light in that space (which is initially undefined.) It is similar to how a lens can focus light from everywhere onto one point. (And gravitational lenses can also change the polarization of light.)

          Electroweak symmetry breaking is different from the Higgs mechanism. (If you like the Higgs mechanism happens with what is left of the Higgs particles AFTER electroweak symmetry breaking.) It does not unite the weak and electromagnetic forces; instead it MAKES them from two totally different forces (Isocharge and isospin) Both of these forces *were* long range with massless bosons but now only the electromagnetic one is.Symmetry breaking in effect created a ‘crippled’ weak force.

          The Higgs field doesn’t ‘stabilize’ rest mass, it *causes* it. (And not all of it either, the Higgs boson for example has a rest mass, but it doesn’t give itself that rest mass.) It can do this because it is nonzero all across the universe. Imagine if the electron field were like that; the universe would be filled with electricity, protons would not repel each other, all their positive charge would be blocked and so on.

          Polarization is a property of waves, they don’t need to be massless . If you wiggle a piece of string up and down that is polarization. Photons are massless because that is how ALL particles are ‘at the start’ unless something changes them and nothing changed the photon. (Well, it’s a little more tricky than that actually, but close enough.)

  21. I have heard about how particles with fixed rest mass is just a consequence of quantum mechanics. But then why are photons completely free from such fixed energy’s and this must have something to do with the higgs field because interaction which the higgs field is what gives rest mass and thus sets the bar for how much energy it takes to make a particle with that rest mass. This is just a clarification of my previous post, i don’t want to cause confusion.

  22. The ensembled phenomena of Higgs mechanism is, unphysical scalar particles called the Goldstone bosons who have a derivative (thermodynamical axioms) mixing with the massive gauge bosons.
    Once the axioms are fixed, you can discuss the existence of undecidable propositions – like spontaneity in spontaneous symmetry breaking.

    The set of equations designed to describe some aspect of nature may have multiple `vacua’ (i.e. multiple solutions that each represent different ways that the universe could be configured — what empty space could be like, and what types of fields, forces and particles could be found in the universe).

    “it seemed obvious that the strong interactions are not mediated by massless particles” – Weinberg.

    Does photon interacts with higgs field to make photo electric effect (particle nature with physical force)?

    Incomplete ZERO mass into complete non-ZERO ?

  23. Im sorry but this does not answer my question please read it through again if you wish to give it another go.

  24. elusiveparticle

    Hello, I have some very important information for you, if you would, please share it with as many people as you can as soon as possible.

    No Well Water is safe or suitable for animal consumption or plant growth, Fluorine is the 13th most abundant element in the earths crust, and water obtained from the ground will be contaminated with very high levels of Fluorides (fluorine + a positive ion). One small glass of Well Water, on average, contains the Fluoride equivalent of one pea sized dab of Fluoridated Toothpaste, this is about 0.7 parts per million of fluoride, however, any amount of fluoride exposure is incredibly harmful for all biological life.

    We have effectively increased our exposure to Fluorides on average by 50,000% when we choose to expose our selves to this water source, that is in comparison to the majority of our evolutionary history of drinking surface waters that contain which contain roughly 500x less fluoride, although, some wells may even be contaminated with levels as high as 12+ ppm.

    I believe that most people do not understand the science of why fluoride’s are so dangerous, so I’d like to explain why, but first I’d like to point out the fact that we are the only life on this planet to dig deep holes in the ground to obtain water to drink, at least deep enough to contaminate our water with high levels of fluoride in this way.

    The safest alternative is distilled water, or rain water (I suggest a collection time during long periods of rain to avoid polluted air contamination), filters like reverse osmosis do not do enough and they hardly filter the majority of fluorides at all because most naturally occurring fluorides are relatively small compounds, but they may help filter many larger fluoride compounds like those which may be additionally added to water supplies by many city water suppliers. Regardless of which fluorides are getting through, distilled water, or rain, will remove them all, except those leached into water droplets through out atmosphere, rain will be especially vulnerable to this and there are about 50 parts per billion of hydrogen fluoride / other fluoride gasses in our atmosphere, but rain collected should contain less than 0.008 parts per million of fluorides on average.

    So, why are fluorides dangerous…?

    Besides specific bond formations that may occur within the body and disrupt normal biological processes, like that of calcium bonds in our bones rather than our teeth due to excessive fluorides in the blood stream, here is the key issue behind fluorides disastrous effects, which continue be disastrous even after bonds like this occur.

    “Electronegativity”, which is the tendency to draw in electron mass, is a fundamental atomic property of all the elements on the periodic table, out of all these 118 elements of the Periodic Table, the element fluorine has the highest Electronegativity, and, more importantly, one eighth of the entire spectrum of Electronegativy for these Elements on the Periodic Table, is a gap between Element Oxygen, and Element Fluorine.

    Let me just repeat that once again…

    1/8th, of the entire spectrum of Electronegativity, for the elements on the periodic table, is a gap, between elements oxygen and fluorine.

    That kind of Electronegative energy, drawing in electrons in a biological system, (which is a finely tuned system of exchanging electrons), will extremely distort functions of biological systems, especially systems that have not evolved to cope with the levels of Fluoride they are being exposed to.

    We are 70% water like most life on this planet, and only throughout roughly the last 100,000 years or so have we begun digging these holes in the ground to obtain water.

    Evolution does not occur rapidly enough for this fluoride contaminated water to really be called “safe” by now, one quick example of the the slow progression of evolution is that we split from Chimpanzee’s / Bonobo’s nearly 7 million years ago.

    There is roughly 500 times less fluoride in natural sources of water like rain, or springs, even rivers and lakes, than there is in this water from holes in the ground. Drinking and using this water for farming, globally, is destroying our bodies, developing a wide spectrum of health issues for us, our pets, and our plants, I’m sure you’ve noticed we are the only wild animals getting cancer.

    A good example of the powerful Electronegativity that the Element Fluorine has is when experiments are done in it’s pure state as a Gas, in this state, it is so reactive, that almost any substance, Glass, Metals, or even WATER, BURN, with a Bright Flame in a Jet of Fluorine Gas, WITHOUT the need for a Spark.

    This incredibly high Electronegativite Energy still lingers even after Fluorine forms a bond with positive ions, and these are what we call “Fluoride’s”.

    Among the wide spectrum of various health Issues fluoride can cause, Cancer is a big one, but i’d like to focus on another not so obvious symptom of fluoride exposure.

    I think it is crucial to understand this particular issue, i’ll start with the fact that we are 70% water, we need a lot of water each and every day, and our body can detect the amounts of Fluoride, along with the minerals that end up in our water as it is processed for use in the blood stream, and if this amount is higher than the natural levels we have evolved to cope with, our brains have evolved a coping mechanism which attempts to put a damper on precious processes such as higher cognitive functions involved with imagination, functions that are involved with implementing new neurons, or functions that strengthen new neurons and neurons already in use for more reliable access. This damper is done as a way to preserve these functions for more significant moments, which will be judged by your conscious thought and with emotions, rather than just allowing these functions to be used all the time, because doing so would damage neurons your trying to strengthen if there are fluorides present in the blood stream. (this is hard for me to explain so I hope you understand.)

    This damper is the reason why cognitive dissonance occurs in the minds of so many people, many of us who are so heavily poisoned by these fluorides would much rather rely on a set of neurons that are already hardwired and therefore reliable, than to risk developing new ones that may be distorted by the presence of excessive amounts of fluorides.

    Stress, Anxiety, and Depression, are emotions that help you to overcome this damper that the Human Brain Implements, these emotions help your conscious mind in ways that get you “worked up” enough to use these higher cognitive functions, it is like forcing your brain to use these parts it’s trying to preserve (imagination and functions that are involved with implementing new neurons) because your consciously telling it that you think what your doing is extremely important. A good example of this, is if your having a discussion with your boss at work and he is noticeably upset because you didn’t do your job right, you’ll stress your self out over this kind of event in order to strengthen particular neurons for more reliable access so it won’t happen again.

    That sort of behavior can cause someone to act impulsively, i’m sure you’ve seen it many times even with your self, we want to stick to a set of reliable and hardwired neurons, as if we know it all and we don’t need improvement on our methods or awareness of particular things… and many times cognitive dissonance will occur as we try to avoid stress, anxiety, and depression, as we are met with concepts perhaps true, which seem counter intuitive to us.

    To make it short, excessive fluoride in the blood stream can literally makes it stressful to try to imagine and develop new ways of thinking… Your brain is telling you not too do something via these emotions, because of fluorides present in your blood stream, and unless you overcome this stress with your conscious judgement of importance, like realization of truth and excitement for learning this truth, cognitive dissonance will occur.

    Money, and other various ways of cultures, will keep us plugging along sticking to Hardwired Neurons doing something we wish we weren’t doing, or preforming a job which barely pays at all, perhaps worthless and unsustainable as well. There are many various ways our cultures promote these bad ideas, among each other in this adversity, must stand up for the rights of our planet, to live sustainability, to do so we must use our consciousness to it’s utmost potential, that means getting off of fluoride as soon as possible…. that’s the first step I believe. Money is evil in the sense that it is a false incentive and provides many unconscious opportunity’s for the destruction of our planet, it will promote the success of particular neurons, meanwhile demoting others, and we rewarded our selves self chemically when we receive “money” for doing a job right, or when we receive / spend / have money, this strengthens those neurons even further, it’s all about money sometimes, and not the actual thing it’s self.

    Rain (Like Distillation) = Averages 0.008 ppm (parts per million) fluoride.
    Surface Waters (For example, Lakes, Rivers, Springs) = Averages 0.05 ppm fluoride.
    Bottled Water = Averages 0.1 ppm fluoride.
    Well Water = Ranges from 0.7 – 12+ ppm fluoride .
    Tap Water = Ranges from 0.7 – 12+ ppm fluoride (In america, the maximum allowance is 4.0 ppm, regulated by the FDA).

    Additionally fluoridated water supplies often use chemicals we’ve never even come into contact with throughout the last 3.5 billion years of evolution here on earth, for example, chemicals like Sodium fluorosilicate (Na2SiF6)and HydroFluorosilicic acid (H2SiF6). Fluoridation of a public water supply is medication without consent.

    Some Of The Easiest Thing And Most Important Thing You Can And Should Do Immediately to avoid the majority of Fluoride Exposure, Is to drink distilled water, and to avoid tea or tobacco, they both contain very high levels of fluoride.

    Distilled water is very inexpensive, it cost roughly $0.88 for a 1 Gallon jug which is available at nearly every grocery store, otherwise you can order it from a water supplier like “Culigan”, for nearly the same price.

    Please start drinking distilled water, or rain water (collected sometime near the end of a storm, during a long duration of rain preferably, to give time to clean the atmosphere and avoid polluted air contamination) as soon as possible, drink, cook, and process your foods with this water.

    Distilled water and rain water, are the process of evaporating water, collecting and condensing the Vapors, which will leave you with 100% uncontaminated (no dissolved solids) h2o.

    If your worried about not getting enough minerals anymore once you switch to distilled water, let me assure you that if you eat acidic fruits, or add some lime or lemon (Organic) to your distilled water, you will be completeeeely fine… and feeling much better than you were before.

    For water with more alkalinity, you can add coconut water to your distilled water, and there are plenty more options out there for you to try, but a proper food diet is all that is necessary, many fruits will contain all the minerals you need in your diet, Banana, Cantaloupe, Water Melon, etc, fruit is incredibly healthy, especially raw fresh fruit, which happens to contain incredibly low levels of fluoride as well, especially if grown organically.

    Home Water Distilling Units range in Price from 100$ which is sufficient to start drinking, to 1000$ which will be ridiculously efficient, supporting your entire Family and a Home Garden as well, although rain can be very sufficient for a home garden if unpolluted, rain water (<0.008 ppm fluoride)

    If you decide to distill rain, or even reverse osmosis water, you will never have to clean your distillation unit, you will only need to drain the water from the boiling tank occasionally and replace the post filter every 2-5 months.

    Fluorine is in low friction "plastics" such as Teflon which is a molecule comprised of only carbon and fluorine atoms, when Teflon Coated Cookware is Heated, it will release Carbon Fluoride Vapors into the Air or into your Food, do not use Teflon for this reason, and it is well known to cause cancer,

    Aluminum is very dangerous as well, it will increase the toxic build up of Fluorides in the Human Body, avoid aluminum cookware because it aluminum has a low melting point and if scraped, bits of it will end up in your food, small amounts may boil off into water or evaporate like Teflon as well.

    Aluminum is the 3rd most abundant element in the Earth's Crust, and Fluorine is the 13th most abundant element in the Earths Crust: An average of 950 ppm of Fluoride are contained in it. Top Soils contain approximately 330 ppm of Fluorine, ranging from 150 to 400 ppm. Some Soils can have as much as 1000 ppm, and contaminated soils from industrial processes have been found with 3500 ppm.

    Rain water has 0.008 ppm as I've mentioned, and it is what the majority of the water that the Life on this Planet has evolved to cope with, waters are further contaminated when they make contact with the surface of this planet, and the further down those waters go before they are dug up from wells for various human purposes, the more contaminated they are going to be.

    Fluorine that is located in Soils may potentially accumulate in Plants, Especially the Tobacco or Tea plants, i'd like to suggest to you that you avoid exposing your body to these two plants in particular, you can find very credible information on wikipedia about them and their fluoride contamination.

    The amount of uptake of fluoride by Plants depends upon the type of Plant, and the type of Soil, and the amount and type of Fluoride found in the Soil / Water.

    Too much Fluoride, whether taken in from the Soil by Roots, or absorbed from the Atmosphere by the Leaves, retards the growth of Plants and reduces Crop Yields. Growing plants with well water is like pumping the fluoride equivalent of 25 to 100+ tubes of fluoridated tooth paste in with the soil throughout the plants life… that's because well water averages a 0.7 ppm contamination of fluoride… and unfortunately that is what I assume the majority of our foods are grown with at this time.

    With Plants that are Sensitive to Fluoride Exposure, even Low Concentrations of Fluoride can cause Leaf Damage, and a Decline in Growth.

    Although Fluoride was once considered an Essential Nutrient, the U.S. National Research Council has since removed this Designation due to the lack of Studies showing it is essential for Human growth.

    It is important to note that if Fluorides are absorbed too frequently it will cause Calcification of the mammalian Pineal Gland. The Pineal Gland is Biological Filter for Fluoride. It has the most Profuse Blood Flow 2nd only to the Kidneys, with the Highest Concentrations of Fluoride throughout the entire Mammalian Body, ranging from 20,000 ppm to 25,000 ppm.

    Both the Pineal Gland and The Kidneys turn Fluorides from our Diet / Blood Stream (note: Smoking, Vaporizing, Water Vapors in the shower, Air (15-50 ppb) into Calcium Fluorides, which are safer to process out of the body. The Pineal Gland processes built up calcium fluorides to safely exit the body through urine at night, the process involves the molecule n,n-DMT which is produced naturally in the Pineal Gland, many plants contain this molecule, and this molecule is good medicine for decalcification of the Pineal Gland if taken before your sleep as concentrated dried plant matter (nearly boil plant matter containing n,n-DMT, let settle for an hour, scoop off top layer of water and dry it in a glass dish), the urge to urinate will increase and you should wake up to do so accordingly. The molecule n,n-dmt neutralizes the electronegative effects of fluorides in the blood stream by clumping together with fluorides to help them safely exit the body.

    If these two filters cannot handle the fluoride they are being exposed to, then Fluorides may end up in other calcium deposits throughout our bodies, like our Bones, which can cause Skeletal Flurosis, (which may lead to Arthritis or Joint Pains), this may even be the general cause of Arthritis.

    Dental Flurosis (White spots on Teeth) which may lead to Tooth Decay, is an obvious sign of wider systemic damage.

    This information is updated as frequently as I can update it at DamageReport.org

    An obvious indication of a significant reduction in fluoride exposure to your body is remembering your dreams from each time you sleep, and vividly.

    (You are experiencing a subjective reality, and there are many others experiencing a subjective reality as well, but we are all the universe it's self, and so we must not activate neural pain networks.)

    Much Love,

    – И

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  26. Marshall Eubanks

    A related question is, could the CMB provide a direct detection of gravitational waves? I think in principle it could. The scale at that time was about 300,000 light years, and of course gravitational waves move at c, so in principle the pattern would move at ~ 3 x 10^-6 radians / year, EXCEPT that these patterns are (of course) redshifted by a factor of ~ 1500, so the pattern would move (for us) at ~ 2 x 10^-9 radians / year. I think that’s beyond the resolution of our instruments, but if you waited (say) a million years, it would be pretty observable. I think that would qualify as a direct detection.

  27. Last Friday (May 2) Marc Kamionkowski (Johns Hopkins Univ.), who developed the concepts underlying the BICEP experiment, gave a colloquium at the University of Maryland. His talk was extremely clear and cautious. First, about the mechanism. Consider a gwave (from inflation or not) having a long wavelength at the time of emission of the radiation that we now receive as the Cosmic Microwave Background. At one moment, a single linearly polarized gwave compresses physical distances along one axis, while expanding those along the perpendicular axis (where both axes are perpendicular to the wave’s travel). Half a cycle later, the formerly compressed axis becomes the expanded axis, and vice versa. This produces a quadrupole perturbation in the local temperature. The light that scatters from the electrons having that perturbed distribution of velocities is linearly polarized thereby, and we detect that polarization when the light enters our instrument. It follows directly from the mechanism described above that the pattern of the directions of the linear polarization of the scattered light directions will curve around, so that the field of little polarization vectors will have a curl. Approximately quoting Kamionkowski, “Density perturbations have no handedness, so they cannot produce a polarization pattern with curl. The perturbations produced by long wavelength gwaves do have a handedness, so they can and do produce a polarization with curl.” Based on models of inflation, Kamionkowski and colleagues had predicted predicted in the 1990s that the angular scale of the curled patterns would be about half a degree. (Their power spectrum would peak at el = 200.) Several other distinctive features were predicted. They all seem to be borne out by the BICEP2 data. But, as noted in the comment by Terry Ambiel, before concluding that the observed curling patterns of linear polarization are due to gwaves, it is essential to be sure that they are not mainly an artifact of scattering by the uneven distribution of dust in our own Galaxy. (The mere existence of that possibility verifies the indirectness of BICEP2’s indication of gwaves.) The BICEP2 teams has worked very hard on that possibility. Depending on how you count them, four to six tests all suggest that dust does not dominate the production of the observed pattern. None of the tests are individually conclusive, because anything concerning interstellar dust suffers from significant uncertainties. It is reassuring – but not conclusive – that none of the tests suggest dust as the cause. Other experiments now in progress should reduce the ambiguities considerably. One of them is named CLASS.

  28. It seem obvious that the quality of “direct/indirect” is used to label observations and theories that people find likable/strong or unlikable/weak. See the BICEP2 analysis here, or the problem that “direct” detection of gravitational waves are done in instruments that uses light to read of changes in lengths caused by the waves, ultimately converting them to descriptive data after arduous analysis.

    If I ask for a measure or better yet a test of the quality, I don’t seem to get an answer.

    I don’t necessarily agree with the idea that if something isn’t quantifiable, it isn’t science, a physics theory, an idea described here previously. In a weakened sense of science, anything that can be used as constraint, even qualitative properties, should be amenable. That is, if the core of science is hypothesis testing descriptions of observations and theories.

    But if “direct/indirect” isn’t quantifiable, it seems to point to a pre-science history. Scientists seems to find it useful, so maybe it shouldn’t be dumped outright. But [why] isn’t there a measurement theory describing “directness” or strongness?

  29. Please consider this:

  30. Curious Mayhem

    It’s hard to see what the controversy is here. The detection, if that is what it was, was indirect. No one has detected gravitational waves. What has been detected, both in the CBR polarization measurement and in the neutron star orbital decay, is the indirect effect of otherwise unseen gravitational waves.

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