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Gravitational constant appears constant

slo1
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8/11/2015 12:03:03 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
http://www.sciencedaily.com...

Gravitational constant appears universally constant, pulsar study suggests

....
Pulsars are the rapidly spinning, superdense remains of massive stars that detonated as supernovas. They are detected from Earth by the beams of radio waves that emanate from their magnetic poles and sweep across space as the pulsar rotates. Since they are phenomenally dense and massive, yet comparatively small -- a mere 20-25 kilometers across -- some pulsars are able to maintain their rate of spin with a consistency that rivals the best atomic clocks on Earth. This makes pulsars exceptional cosmic laboratories to study the fundamental nature of space, time, and gravity.

This particular pulsar is approximately 3,750 light-years from Earth. It orbits a companion white dwarf star and is one of the brightest, most stable pulsars known. Previous studies show that it takes about 68 days for the pulsar to orbit its white dwarf companion, meaning they share an uncommonly wide orbit. This separation is essential for the study of gravity because the effect of gravitational radiation -- the steady conversion of orbital velocity to gravitational waves as predicted by Einstein -- is incredibly small and would have negligible impact on the orbit of the pulsar. A more pronounced orbital change would confound the accuracy of the pulsar timing experiment.

"The uncanny consistency of this stellar remnant offers intriguing evidence that the fundamental force of gravity -- the big 'G' of physics -- remains rock-solid throughout space," said Weiwei Zhu, an astronomer formerly with the University of British Columbia in Canada and lead author on a study accepted for publication in the Astrophysical Journal. "This is an observation that has important implications in cosmology and some of the fundamental forces of physics."

"Gravity is the force that binds stars, planets, and galaxies together," said Scott Ransom, an astronomer with the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Charlottesville, Va. "Though it appears on Earth to be constant and universal, there are some theories in cosmology that suggest gravity may change over time or may be different in different corners of the Universe."

....
slo1
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8/11/2015 12:22:07 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
If I understand this, if gravity were stronger than what we experience in the Milkyway there would be greater variance in the orbit of the pulsar with its companion star which in turn would affect its rotation and the timing of the radio waves.

First and foremost, it is amazing to record a pulsar's radio waves for 21 years. The article did not state it, but the spin period of this pulsar is around 4.5 milliseconds. That is a crazy amount of data points. If my calculations are right 6.627 X 10^11 cycles.

I'm curious to know what type of change in this pulsar's spinning cycle was recorded.

Couple last observations:
- absolutely brilliant that science continues efforts to test and validate baseline assumptions.
- Probably need to record a few more pulsars with this type of study before putting the nail in this coffin, but a very good indication of gravity being constant and consistent.
RuvDraba
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8/11/2015 1:16:51 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/11/2015 12:22:07 AM, slo1 wrote:
If I understand this, if gravity were stronger than what we experience in the Milkyway there would be greater variance in the orbit of the pulsar with its companion star which in turn would affect its rotation and the timing of the radio waves.

Thank you for yet another interesting report, Slo! Pulsars are indeed fascinating and illuminating, though I don't claim to know much about them myself.

- absolutely brilliant that science continues efforts to test and validate baseline assumptions.

It's absolutely critical that science does this. All professional disciplines must self-examine, self-question, investigate diligently and be willing to embrace new evidence and change in this way. Any that doesn't is claiming authority and intellectual privilege without exercising professional ethics.

- Probably need to record a few more pulsars with this type of study before putting the nail in this coffin, but a very good indication of gravity being constant and consistent.

Yes. There's no prior reason to suppose that any of the 'universal constants' should not vary. It's something we can conjecture or predict, but must be verified every bit as diligently as any of the theories built on those assumptions.

It seems to me that if the public knew how diligently science examines and tests its own assumptions, there'd be a lot more trust, and substantially less criticism from some quarters.
August_Burns_Red
Posts: 1,253
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8/11/2015 1:45:37 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/11/2015 12:03:03 AM, slo1 wrote:
http://www.sciencedaily.com...

Gravitational constant appears universally constant, pulsar study suggests

....
Pulsars are the rapidly spinning, superdense remains of massive stars that detonated as supernovas. They are detected from Earth by the beams of radio waves that emanate from their magnetic poles and sweep across space as the pulsar rotates. Since they are phenomenally dense and massive, yet comparatively small -- a mere 20-25 kilometers across -- some pulsars are able to maintain their rate of spin with a consistency that rivals the best atomic clocks on Earth. This makes pulsars exceptional cosmic laboratories to study the fundamental nature of space, time, and gravity.

This particular pulsar is approximately 3,750 light-years from Earth. It orbits a companion white dwarf star and is one of the brightest, most stable pulsars known. Previous studies show that it takes about 68 days for the pulsar to orbit its white dwarf companion, meaning they share an uncommonly wide orbit. This separation is essential for the study of gravity because the effect of gravitational radiation -- the steady conversion of orbital velocity to gravitational waves as predicted by Einstein -- is incredibly small and would have negligible impact on the orbit of the pulsar. A more pronounced orbital change would confound the accuracy of the pulsar timing experiment.

"The uncanny consistency of this stellar remnant offers intriguing evidence that the fundamental force of gravity -- the big 'G' of physics -- remains rock-solid throughout space," said Weiwei Zhu, an astronomer formerly with the University of British Columbia in Canada and lead author on a study accepted for publication in the Astrophysical Journal. "This is an observation that has important implications in cosmology and some of the fundamental forces of physics."

"Gravity is the force that binds stars, planets, and galaxies together," said Scott Ransom, an astronomer with the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Charlottesville, Va. "Though it appears on Earth to be constant and universal, there are some theories in cosmology that suggest gravity may change over time or may be different in different corners of the Universe."

....


not so fast. I thought the discovery of Dark Energy about 10 years ago threw a big monkey wrench into the gravity Constant? Or am I confused on this? could you explain to me in simple terms how the black energy figures into your claim in the OP? Thank you sir and God Bless you. I love this stuff but much of its over my head so I like to pick the brains on those who know more than me.
Tomorrow's forecast: God reigns and the Son shines!
Mhykiel
Posts: 5,987
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8/11/2015 4:08:10 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/11/2015 1:45:37 AM, August_Burns_Red wrote:
At 8/11/2015 12:03:03 AM, slo1 wrote:
http://www.sciencedaily.com...

Gravitational constant appears universally constant, pulsar study suggests

....
Pulsars are the rapidly spinning, superdense remains of massive stars that detonated as supernovas. They are detected from Earth by the beams of radio waves that emanate from their magnetic poles and sweep across space as the pulsar rotates. Since they are phenomenally dense and massive, yet comparatively small -- a mere 20-25 kilometers across -- some pulsars are able to maintain their rate of spin with a consistency that rivals the best atomic clocks on Earth. This makes pulsars exceptional cosmic laboratories to study the fundamental nature of space, time, and gravity.

This particular pulsar is approximately 3,750 light-years from Earth. It orbits a companion white dwarf star and is one of the brightest, most stable pulsars known. Previous studies show that it takes about 68 days for the pulsar to orbit its white dwarf companion, meaning they share an uncommonly wide orbit. This separation is essential for the study of gravity because the effect of gravitational radiation -- the steady conversion of orbital velocity to gravitational waves as predicted by Einstein -- is incredibly small and would have negligible impact on the orbit of the pulsar. A more pronounced orbital change would confound the accuracy of the pulsar timing experiment.

"The uncanny consistency of this stellar remnant offers intriguing evidence that the fundamental force of gravity -- the big 'G' of physics -- remains rock-solid throughout space," said Weiwei Zhu, an astronomer formerly with the University of British Columbia in Canada and lead author on a study accepted for publication in the Astrophysical Journal. "This is an observation that has important implications in cosmology and some of the fundamental forces of physics."

"Gravity is the force that binds stars, planets, and galaxies together," said Scott Ransom, an astronomer with the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Charlottesville, Va. "Though it appears on Earth to be constant and universal, there are some theories in cosmology that suggest gravity may change over time or may be different in different corners of the Universe."

....


not so fast. I thought the discovery of Dark Energy about 10 years ago threw a big monkey wrench into the gravity Constant? Or am I confused on this? could you explain to me in simple terms how the black energy figures into your claim in the OP? Thank you sir and God Bless you. I love this stuff but much of its over my head so I like to pick the brains on those who know more than me.

The measure is to confirm that Newton's Law will give the same result whether here on Earth, on the Moon, or in another galaxy.

F=G((m1 * m2) / r^2)

Where G is 6.673"10W22;11 NewtonsR01;R01;(m/kg)2

There is still some tolerance to the exact value, but extremely small.

Assuming gravity is the same today as it was in the past, and all over the universe, Then the Universe's expansion has 3 options.

The Universe is contained in another space and the expansion slows.
The Universe is un-contained in emptiness and expands at a constant rate.

But..

The expansion of the Universe is accelerating. It's growing bigger faster by the second. To account for this there must be a force now exerting an outward "pressure" that was not as strong in an early universe. This "negative pressure" is said to come an interaction of Dark Energy's.

The strength of Gravity for X amount of mass towards another Y amount of mass stays unchallenged by Dark Energy.

Hope that helps.
kp98
Posts: 729
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8/11/2015 9:39:13 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Then the Universe's expansion has 3 options.

The Universe is contained in another space and the expansion slows.
The Universe is un-contained in emptiness and expands at a constant rate.


I make that 2 options !
slo1
Posts: 4,320
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8/11/2015 1:21:59 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/11/2015 1:45:37 AM, August_Burns_Red wrote:
At 8/11/2015 12:03:03 AM, slo1 wrote:
http://www.sciencedaily.com...

Gravitational constant appears universally constant, pulsar study suggests

....
Pulsars are the rapidly spinning, superdense remains of massive stars that detonated as supernovas. They are detected from Earth by the beams of radio waves that emanate from their magnetic poles and sweep across space as the pulsar rotates. Since they are phenomenally dense and massive, yet comparatively small -- a mere 20-25 kilometers across -- some pulsars are able to maintain their rate of spin with a consistency that rivals the best atomic clocks on Earth. This makes pulsars exceptional cosmic laboratories to study the fundamental nature of space, time, and gravity.

This particular pulsar is approximately 3,750 light-years from Earth. It orbits a companion white dwarf star and is one of the brightest, most stable pulsars known. Previous studies show that it takes about 68 days for the pulsar to orbit its white dwarf companion, meaning they share an uncommonly wide orbit. This separation is essential for the study of gravity because the effect of gravitational radiation -- the steady conversion of orbital velocity to gravitational waves as predicted by Einstein -- is incredibly small and would have negligible impact on the orbit of the pulsar. A more pronounced orbital change would confound the accuracy of the pulsar timing experiment.

"The uncanny consistency of this stellar remnant offers intriguing evidence that the fundamental force of gravity -- the big 'G' of physics -- remains rock-solid throughout space," said Weiwei Zhu, an astronomer formerly with the University of British Columbia in Canada and lead author on a study accepted for publication in the Astrophysical Journal. "This is an observation that has important implications in cosmology and some of the fundamental forces of physics."

"Gravity is the force that binds stars, planets, and galaxies together," said Scott Ransom, an astronomer with the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Charlottesville, Va. "Though it appears on Earth to be constant and universal, there are some theories in cosmology that suggest gravity may change over time or may be different in different corners of the Universe."

....


not so fast. I thought the discovery of Dark Energy about 10 years ago threw a big monkey wrench into the gravity Constant? Or am I confused on this? could you explain to me in simple terms how the black energy figures into your claim in the OP? Thank you sir and God Bless you. I love this stuff but much of its over my head so I like to pick the brains on those who know more than me.

A few things to get you squared away. Dark Energy and gravity are two very different forces. This study is only dealing with gravity, which in most of physics is assumed to be consistent in space and time. This was just an empirical study to validate whether we would detect a change in the strength of gravity to confirm it is consistent over regardless of position in the universe and over time.

Dark energy is a theory that was developed to explain why it appears the objects in the universe are moving away from each other at a faster rate over time. Everything seems to be speeding up. It has not been discovered or confirmed.

If there were only gravity in the universe things would begin to decelerate over time because of the attraction. In fact, they would eventually stop and start moving towards each other until everything came back together.

Hope that helps.
slo1
Posts: 4,320
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8/11/2015 1:26:43 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/11/2015 4:08:10 AM, Mhykiel wrote:
At 8/11/2015 1:45:37 AM, August_Burns_Red wrote:
At 8/11/2015 12:03:03 AM, slo1 wrote:
http://www.sciencedaily.com...

Gravitational constant appears universally constant, pulsar study suggests

....
Pulsars are the rapidly spinning, superdense remains of massive stars that detonated as supernovas. They are detected from Earth by the beams of radio waves that emanate from their magnetic poles and sweep across space as the pulsar rotates. Since they are phenomenally dense and massive, yet comparatively small -- a mere 20-25 kilometers across -- some pulsars are able to maintain their rate of spin with a consistency that rivals the best atomic clocks on Earth. This makes pulsars exceptional cosmic laboratories to study the fundamental nature of space, time, and gravity.

This particular pulsar is approximately 3,750 light-years from Earth. It orbits a companion white dwarf star and is one of the brightest, most stable pulsars known. Previous studies show that it takes about 68 days for the pulsar to orbit its white dwarf companion, meaning they share an uncommonly wide orbit. This separation is essential for the study of gravity because the effect of gravitational radiation -- the steady conversion of orbital velocity to gravitational waves as predicted by Einstein -- is incredibly small and would have negligible impact on the orbit of the pulsar. A more pronounced orbital change would confound the accuracy of the pulsar timing experiment.

"The uncanny consistency of this stellar remnant offers intriguing evidence that the fundamental force of gravity -- the big 'G' of physics -- remains rock-solid throughout space," said Weiwei Zhu, an astronomer formerly with the University of British Columbia in Canada and lead author on a study accepted for publication in the Astrophysical Journal. "This is an observation that has important implications in cosmology and some of the fundamental forces of physics."

"Gravity is the force that binds stars, planets, and galaxies together," said Scott Ransom, an astronomer with the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Charlottesville, Va. "Though it appears on Earth to be constant and universal, there are some theories in cosmology that suggest gravity may change over time or may be different in different corners of the Universe."

....


not so fast. I thought the discovery of Dark Energy about 10 years ago threw a big monkey wrench into the gravity Constant? Or am I confused on this? could you explain to me in simple terms how the black energy figures into your claim in the OP? Thank you sir and God Bless you. I love this stuff but much of its over my head so I like to pick the brains on those who know more than me.

The measure is to confirm that Newton's Law will give the same result whether here on Earth, on the Moon, or in another galaxy.

F=G((m1 * m2) / r^2)

Where G is 6.673"10W22;11 NewtonsR01;R01;(m/kg)2

There is still some tolerance to the exact value, but extremely small.

Assuming gravity is the same today as it was in the past, and all over the universe, Then the Universe's expansion has 3 options.

The Universe is contained in another space and the expansion slows.
The Universe is un-contained in emptiness and expands at a constant rate.

But..

The expansion of the Universe is accelerating. It's growing bigger faster by the second. To account for this there must be a force now exerting an outward "pressure" that was not as strong in an early universe. This "negative pressure" is said to come an interaction of Dark Energy's.

The strength of Gravity for X amount of mass towards another Y amount of mass stays unchallenged by Dark Energy.

Hope that helps.

I'm still hoping gravity gets reconciled and brought in to quantum field theory. It makes it so much easier to imagine all the forces as fields. Even matter as a field rather than particle is much easier to conceive than the particle/wave duality.
slo1
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8/11/2015 1:49:01 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/11/2015 1:16:51 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 8/11/2015 12:22:07 AM, slo1 wrote:
If I understand this, if gravity were stronger than what we experience in the Milkyway there would be greater variance in the orbit of the pulsar with its companion star which in turn would affect its rotation and the timing of the radio waves.

Thank you for yet another interesting report, Slo! Pulsars are indeed fascinating and illuminating, though I don't claim to know much about them myself.

- absolutely brilliant that science continues efforts to test and validate baseline assumptions.

It's absolutely critical that science does this. All professional disciplines must self-examine, self-question, investigate diligently and be willing to embrace new evidence and change in this way. Any that doesn't is claiming authority and intellectual privilege without exercising professional ethics.

That is why I am a science geek. There is no comparable philosophy, religion, method of obtaining truth, which airs its dirty laundry like science does. It is not perfect, but it is the best method to discover truths that can be had.

- Probably need to record a few more pulsars with this type of study before putting the nail in this coffin, but a very good indication of gravity being constant and consistent.

Yes. There's no prior reason to suppose that any of the 'universal constants' should not vary. It's something we can conjecture or predict, but must be verified every bit as diligently as any of the theories built on those assumptions.

It seems to me that if the public knew how diligently science examines and tests its own assumptions, there'd be a lot more trust, and substantially less criticism from some quarters.

There are plenty of dirtiness in science. There was a Japanese group a little while back that claimed they could make pluopotent stem cells just by placing an some sort of cell in an acid bath. It turns out it was a complete sham. It turns out the genius of science is that nothing is unquestionable in the long run. There are definitely times when things are unquestionable, such as could be seen in quantum physics. People like to rail against science to point out its limitations, failures, and restrictions.

It is somewhat pathetic because it is usually done to make an equivocation to a belief system which can not have the rigor of empirical exploration applied to it. Usually the equivocation is used to show that science relies on assumptions which are taken on faith so it is similar to their belief on faith.

There is no equivocation there though. This is a good example. Many theories have been built upon gravity being a constant, so there has been a practical application of faith so new theories can be developed, but science will continue to work until enough empirical evidence has been found to substantiate the assumption. If this study showed that there was a variance to gravity, it would launch more empirical studies to confirm and if confirmed every theory which was based upon gravity as a constant would need to be reexamined to fit the new finding or abandoned.

In other terms it is much better to take a stance of "faith" in science as long as one is willing to admit it was wrong when evidence shows it was wrong than it is to take a stance of faith on something which can not obtain any empirical evidence to support the stance.

As an example it explains why there are a million and one different types of Christians on this earth. Odd are that a majority of them are severely wrong on an important tenant of their faith and have no mechanism that can help them correct the incorrect belief.

I hate to bring this type of stuff into a pure science post, but it seem that is what most these posts in the science section are about.
Mhykiel
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8/11/2015 4:20:43 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/11/2015 9:39:13 AM, kp98 wrote:
Then the Universe's expansion has 3 options.

The Universe is contained in another space and the expansion slows.
The Universe is un-contained in emptiness and expands at a constant rate.


I make that 2 options !

3rd is accelerated expansion from force inside universe. Sorry for the confusion.
Mhykiel
Posts: 5,987
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8/11/2015 4:21:47 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/11/2015 1:26:43 PM, slo1 wrote:
At 8/11/2015 4:08:10 AM, Mhykiel wrote:
At 8/11/2015 1:45:37 AM, August_Burns_Red wrote:
At 8/11/2015 12:03:03 AM, slo1 wrote:
http://www.sciencedaily.com...

Gravitational constant appears universally constant, pulsar study suggests

....
Pulsars are the rapidly spinning, superdense remains of massive stars that detonated as supernovas. They are detected from Earth by the beams of radio waves that emanate from their magnetic poles and sweep across space as the pulsar rotates. Since they are phenomenally dense and massive, yet comparatively small -- a mere 20-25 kilometers across -- some pulsars are able to maintain their rate of spin with a consistency that rivals the best atomic clocks on Earth. This makes pulsars exceptional cosmic laboratories to study the fundamental nature of space, time, and gravity.

This particular pulsar is approximately 3,750 light-years from Earth. It orbits a companion white dwarf star and is one of the brightest, most stable pulsars known. Previous studies show that it takes about 68 days for the pulsar to orbit its white dwarf companion, meaning they share an uncommonly wide orbit. This separation is essential for the study of gravity because the effect of gravitational radiation -- the steady conversion of orbital velocity to gravitational waves as predicted by Einstein -- is incredibly small and would have negligible impact on the orbit of the pulsar. A more pronounced orbital change would confound the accuracy of the pulsar timing experiment.

"The uncanny consistency of this stellar remnant offers intriguing evidence that the fundamental force of gravity -- the big 'G' of physics -- remains rock-solid throughout space," said Weiwei Zhu, an astronomer formerly with the University of British Columbia in Canada and lead author on a study accepted for publication in the Astrophysical Journal. "This is an observation that has important implications in cosmology and some of the fundamental forces of physics."

"Gravity is the force that binds stars, planets, and galaxies together," said Scott Ransom, an astronomer with the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Charlottesville, Va. "Though it appears on Earth to be constant and universal, there are some theories in cosmology that suggest gravity may change over time or may be different in different corners of the Universe."

....


not so fast. I thought the discovery of Dark Energy about 10 years ago threw a big monkey wrench into the gravity Constant? Or am I confused on this? could you explain to me in simple terms how the black energy figures into your claim in the OP? Thank you sir and God Bless you. I love this stuff but much of its over my head so I like to pick the brains on those who know more than me.

The measure is to confirm that Newton's Law will give the same result whether here on Earth, on the Moon, or in another galaxy.

F=G((m1 * m2) / r^2)

Where G is 6.673"10W22;11 NewtonsR01;R01;(m/kg)2

There is still some tolerance to the exact value, but extremely small.

Assuming gravity is the same today as it was in the past, and all over the universe, Then the Universe's expansion has 3 options.

The Universe is contained in another space and the expansion slows.
The Universe is un-contained in emptiness and expands at a constant rate.

But..

The expansion of the Universe is accelerating. It's growing bigger faster by the second. To account for this there must be a force now exerting an outward "pressure" that was not as strong in an early universe. This "negative pressure" is said to come an interaction of Dark Energy's.

The strength of Gravity for X amount of mass towards another Y amount of mass stays unchallenged by Dark Energy.

Hope that helps.

I'm still hoping gravity gets reconciled and brought in to quantum field theory. It makes it so much easier to imagine all the forces as fields. Even matter as a field rather than particle is much easier to conceive than the particle/wave duality.

I like lattice QCD.
RuvDraba
Posts: 6,033
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8/11/2015 8:02:18 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/11/2015 1:49:01 PM, slo1 wrote:
At 8/11/2015 1:16:51 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 8/11/2015 12:22:07 AM, slo1 wrote:
If I understand this, if gravity were stronger than what we experience in the Milkyway there would be greater variance in the orbit of the pulsar with its companion star which in turn would affect its rotation and the timing of the radio waves.

Thank you for yet another interesting report, Slo! Pulsars are indeed fascinating and illuminating, though I don't claim to know much about them myself.

- absolutely brilliant that science continues efforts to test and validate baseline assumptions.

It's absolutely critical that science does this. All professional disciplines must self-examine, self-question, investigate diligently and be willing to embrace new evidence and change in this way. Any that doesn't is claiming authority and intellectual privilege without exercising professional ethics.

That is why I am a science geek. There is no comparable philosophy, religion, method of obtaining truth, which airs its dirty laundry like science does. It is not perfect, but it is the best method to discover truths that can be had.

Exactly, Slo. I sometimes see the accusation from the science-phobic quarter that science has been wrong in the past.

That rather misses the point, doesn't it? Science specialises in empirically discovering and amending its errors as quickly as it can. Really, that's almost its whole job description. Few other fields are as diligent in reasoning about and testing uncertainty as science is, nor as humble and frank about admitting ignorance and error.

I often feel that the more bloviating areas of intellectual contention -- politics and theology in particular -- ought to take note.

- Probably need to record a few more pulsars with this type of study before putting the nail in this coffin, but a very good indication of gravity being constant and consistent.

Yes. There's no prior reason to suppose that any of the 'universal constants' should not vary. It's something we can conjecture or predict, but must be verified every bit as diligently as any of the theories built on those assumptions.

It seems to me that if the public knew how diligently science examines and tests its own assumptions, there'd be a lot more trust, and substantially less criticism from some quarters.

There are plenty of dirtiness in science. There was a Japanese group a little while back that claimed they could make pluopotent stem cells just by placing an some sort of cell in an acid bath. It turns out it was a complete sham. It turns out the genius of science is that nothing is unquestionable in the long run.

Exactly. Everything gets examined and re-examined. So outright false claims get detected relatively quickly, and even methodological errors -- like those in Mendel's century-old pea experiments, eventually get exposed.

It is somewhat pathetic because it is usually done to make an equivocation to a belief system which can not have the rigor of empirical exploration applied to it. Usually the equivocation is used to show that science relies on assumptions which are taken on faith so it is similar to their belief on faith.

Yes. We could have a long talk about how little science actually takes on faith. :)

There is no equivocation there though. This is a good example. Many theories have been built upon gravity being a constant, so there has been a practical application of faith so new theories can be developed, but science will continue to work until enough empirical evidence has been found to substantiate the assumption. If this study showed that there was a variance to gravity, it would launch more empirical studies to confirm and if confirmed every theory which was based upon gravity as a constant would need to be reexamined to fit the new finding or abandoned.

Yes. Both paths are interesting, but having a constant throughout time and space and knowing it to be constant to a high level of precision is a bit marvelous.

In other terms it is much better to take a stance of "faith" in science as long as one is willing to admit it was wrong when evidence shows it was wrong than it is to take a stance of faith on something which can not obtain any empirical evidence to support the stance.

That's an interesting way to say it, Slo, however I often say it the other way: sufficient diligence. Being of a fairly curious mindset, I don't like taking much on faith alone. I like to know how ideas were produced, and what else was considered, but I also like to apply sufficient diligence to the information -- that is, enough to satisfy my interest, curiosity and stakes. As they shift, my diligence shifts accordingly. For example, I'm now much more interested in pulsars as a source of metaphysical insight than I was interested in them as curious cosmological clocks. :) So this report has enhanced my interest, and therefore broadened my world, and I sincerely thank you for it.

I hate to bring this type of stuff into a pure science post, but it seem that is what most these posts in the science section are about.

Yes. I'm of two minds about that too. On the one hand, it has very little to do with scientific output and development. But on the other hand, epistemology has everything to do with science. Really, the question: 'why are we exploring it this way and not some other?' is fundamental to the professional ethics underpinning scientific inquiry. I don't believe that we should ever stop asking or endeavouring to answer that question.

(Even if it's asked of the same handful of people endlessly. :p)