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Questions About Hubble Expansion

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Posted by Luis Hamburgh on November 20, 2001 02:36:53 UTC

Normally I'd start a thread like this thus: "Most physicists think the universe is expanding, so I wonder...", but this seems to be dangerous grounds nowadays, as someone might just challenge me with, "have you personally confirmed this?" -or- "you're just quoting what others say," etc.

I shall hereby forego any such attacks by apologizing for my ignorance; I have never personally observed a redshift or worked Hubble's Constant into a formula. I am not a physicist, an astronomer, nor a telescope maintainer. I can barely complete 7th grade physics homework, and I can only type 25 words a minute.

Now then, if the space expansion model is correct, then please consider the following:

1) What is expanding? Everything, even down to the subatomic level? Electrons?

2) If everything is expanding, then how can we tell that everything is expanding? Would not the domain of natural laws be absolutely commensurate with this very expansion? I mean, I understand that longer/shorter wavelengths move with same velocity, but why should the 'photon' wavelength within e/m not be subjected to this universal expansion?

3) If we can observe the effect of this expansion on e/m wavelengths, then does this means that not everything is expanding? If not everything, then what is the boundary between what is and what isn't expanding? Do we believe that everything except e/m wavelength is expanding?

Thanks in advance for responding.

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