Is God right-handed? Spiral galaxies’ rotation and isotropy

Is God right-handed? Spiral galaxies’ rotation and isotropy

Title: Handedness asymmetry of spiral galaxies with z<0.3 shows cosmic parity violation and a dipole axis Authors: L. Shamir First Author’s Institution: Lawrence Technological University A cherished principle of cosmology is isotropy—that things look the same whatever direction you look.  The cosmic microwave background, radiation left over from 300,000 years after the Big Bang, is largely isotropic (down to one part in 10,000). Inflation, the theory that in the moments just following the Universe’s birth, space itself expanded faster than the speed of light, generically predicts isotropy, too.  Obviously, the Universe isn’t isotropic on very small scales.  For instance, if you look in one direction from Earth, you see the Sun, and in another, Uranus and Neptune (depending on the time of year, of course!).  But on what we call “cosmological scales”, on the order of 1 Megaparsec ( meters), cosmologists assume it is.  What if they’re wrong?The paper I discuss today suggests they might be. Lior Shamir analyzes 126,501 spiral galaxies from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) for “handedness.”  What is the handedness of a spiral galaxy? Simply the direction in which it rotates as viewed along our line of sight.  Counterclockwise (looking at its axis of rotation along our line of sight) is right-handed, just like your right-hand fingers curl counterclockwise if your right thumb is pointing up. Clockwise is left-handed, by analogy with the left hand.  Obviously, handedness cannot be determined if the spiral galaxy is edge-on (i.e. we can’t see the spiral pattern), so Shamir eliminates edge-on spirals.  His computers convert the galaxy images to intensity (how much light is received) as a function...