How are big bang theorists responding to the boy genius?

Jacob Barnett claims there is too much carbon for the Universe to be less than 21 billion years old, contradicting the Big Bang theory's estimate.

http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=...

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  • eri
    Lv 7
    10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    They're not. He hasn't read any of the literature in the field. Carbon was not formed in the big bang. It was formed in stellar outflows and grows in molecular clouds. He needs to do the background reading before making claims like this, no matter how old he is. There are experts in this field at Princeton, so he really has no excuse.

  • 10 years ago

    I don't care how smart this kid is, or how smart people thinks he is. He doesn't have anything on the WMAP/SN1A results of concordance cosmology. If you want a more complete argument on why he's wrong:

    In primordial nucleosynthesis you only get H, He and trace amounts of lithium (and Be also I think). His claim that there was carbon is dead wrong and frankly pretty damn poor. The problem is you have neutrino decoupling as time rolls forward which in conjunction with a "neutron freeze-out", tells you that you can't really make anything besides helium in the early universe (with aforementioned trace higher elements) - you need neutrons to stick heavier nuclei together and you run out of them. The decoupling is primarily related to the rapid temperature decrease.

    Also, how about the plethora of classical novae systems which dredge up degenerate material from C/O white dwarfs providing enrichment of the ISM, not to mention the more obvious primary element factories: stars.

    It's obvious he's capable at math, however you need to read and learn more in a field as others have suggested before you are ready to make contributions. Likely a large part of this is just related to his capabilities as a mathematician far exceeding his maturity and/or his awareness of the expansiveness of the field. It is exceedingly obvious to anyone in the field that he has at best a very tenuous grasp of basic principles at work. It reflects badly on the publisher that they didn't run this by a professor who would shred this stuff far more than I have.

    Source(s): graduate cosmology
  • 10 years ago

    I don't think they're bothering at the moment. Measurements of distant supernovas and the Cosmic Microwave Background pin the age of the Universe at 13.7 billion years. The uncertainty from these observations is regarded as being about 100 million years, and even if some of our assumptions turned out to be incorrect, the maximum age still wouldn't be pushed past about 15 billion years. The 21 billion year figure is insanely high and doesn't fit with our current understanding of what was going on back then.

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    So far, its just a claim, not a theory, not even a hypothesis, just a claim.

    If he's just contradicting the Big Bang theory's estimate, then hes saying the bag bang happened sooner and the universe is older. Its an interesting idea. I'm not sure what he's basing his estimate of the volume of carbon on, though I think I know what he is basing his estimate of how the carbon was formed on. Its possible that either or both of THESE two facts is wrong.... what if the estimate of the amount of carbon is a little too high and it takes a little less time to form than we thought? then the age of the universe is correct.

    So far he hasnt changed the "model" he's just asking some VERY good questions about a few of the numbers involved. He hasnt "doubled" or "halved" anything so its just a tweak. Good for him.

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  • 10 years ago

    The word for today, boys and girls is "science".

    Is Jacob right? Dunno. What do we do about it? Find out. In "science" we do a great deal more than just say something. We collect facts and subject our hypothesis to peer review.

    If after all that, it seems that Jakob has a point, do we throw out the big bang theory? Hell no. That doesn't happen. What does is we modify the working theory to accommodate the new ideas.

    "Science". It's not just for breakfast anymore. It's the other white meat. The real thing. Just do it.

  • 4 years ago

    earlier the great bang there substitute into something we don't yet know. One concept is this universe grows and shrinks. So there substitute into great crunch, while all count accrued in same, very small spot. there is mostly a danger, that count to this universe popped in here via a hollow in older universes area. Or the size can variety, so it substitute into not a side in any respect. Black hollow could be as good as any guesses in this. count gathers in a black hollow and travels via some measurement our eyes can't yet see and our technology can't yet know. Our theory of time might additionally be incorrect. Even thou our clocks on earth circulate from the start to the tip, the clock of universe could be different. So all there is might have been here consistently and could consistently be, through fact there is not time (or there is countless volume of count referred to as time). in spite of the undeniable fact that i know, the place it somewhat is coming from. So i advise you tell me, the place your god got here from earlier asking me an identical ol question approximately the place the bang got here from. earlier all of us know for particular, all our guesses are the two actual.

  • zabel
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Jacob Barnett Theory

  • 10 years ago

    Well, ..., you have to remember that the time frames of our current theory are based on estimates that arise from our current understanding / observations of naturally occurring processes in our universe. That those estimates are constantly refined based on logic, understanding, observational data is well, ..., science.

    He has an interesting theory about Carbon. It quite frankly has been over looked, as well as, the fact that not all of the elements in the periodic table can be created through the fusion/fission model. So, I'd say let's not poo poo the idea yet but rather, as in all good science, understand the model (hypothesis), design repeatable experiments to test it, repeat the experiments in true trial fashion, evaluate the data, reach a fair and honest conclusion based on the results, and then publish / modify our understanding based on those results ... after all that is the scientific method.

  • Lola F
    Lv 7
    10 years ago

    By pointing him to the classes he needs to take, the literature he needs to read, and the data we actually have before being able to make meaningful comments about it.

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    Based on another of his insights Johns Hopkins are exploring the possibility that girls do have Cooties.

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