RELATIVITY + QUANTUM = CRAZY


Gravity Versus Quantum Seen Through SIMPLICIAL DECONSTRUCTION. Relations With Oligarchy.

[Lots Of Physics For Inquiring Minds.]

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Abstract: Once, long ago, some unknown author gave a joint physics-mathematics conference in Stanford on Black Holes. Some math-physics celebrities were in attendance. The author concluded that General Relativity cannot be used to demonstrate  singularities in spacetime, because of Quantum effects. At the time, the author was accused of “meditation”.

Several years later, Hawking (in a “Brief History of Time”), adopted that conclusion, that Quantum overwhelmed Relativity. It seems to have become standard. The source of ideas are not always where they seem. But, to those for whom thinking is the prime motivation, it does not matter, they proceed, through fire, objections, dejections, the ashes of illusions washed away…

Present physics abound in deep paradoxes in plain sight. I ponder here another: Why are Black Holes not Total Holes? Indeed if photons cannot come out of a Black Hole, how come gravitons do? The Theory of Gravitation and the Quantum contradict each other.

Here I search for truth through simplicial deconstruction. If the logical skeleton makes no sense, how could the logical body around it survive?

This complex essay ponders the nature not just of nature, but also of the scientific oligarchy, and how it connects with the plutocracy. This explains the insufficient funding for deep science, when deep questions lay all around, untouched. The usual suspects are brought out for the traditional perp walk.

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I MEEK, THEREFORE I GOOD:

There ought to be such a thing as a theory of theories. The philosopher (and scientist!) Karl Popper said that falsification was important in science, but he did not present a new technique of falsification. When Derida proclaimed deconstruction, he did not really forge a new insight, either, as thinkers have been busy falsifying and deconstructing, as this is what thinking is all about.

Falsification does not reduce to computation: only parts of science are amenable to computation. Most of the most important falsifications, historically speaking, did not rest on computation.

For example the heliocentric theory was proven right computationally by Kepler. Kepler followed pointed advice from Tycho, who thought, rightly so, that Ptolemy and his friends had cheated. However, both followed the work of Buridan, 250 years earlier (rehabilitated by Copernicus), or even Aristarchus and his predecessors, 19 centuries before.

Those theoreticians had already falsified the geocentric theory by presenting something more plausible. Buridan hinted, and Copernic said, that heliocentrism was true, before excruciating computations could verify it (that certainty was the motivation for the expensive multi decades effort to establish the orbit of Mars). And Ptolemy had cheated, to prove the opposite, through the sophistry of mathematical lies.

By the same token, even though Kepler had demonstrated, in his “War On Mars“, that Mars followed an ellipse with the sun on a focus, he was not believed. Until about 1700 CE, in spite of Galileo, Newton, and all their numerous fellow travelers, most scientists did not believe in the heliocentric theory.

Why? Because the scientific establishment is an oligarchy which is mostly anxious to find out who is in, and who is out (as Feynman put it, before he resigned from the academy in protest). The Bible said that the sun turned around the Earth, and the Bible was the foundation of established order. That was good enough a reason for the scientific oligarchy.

The scientific oligarchy augments its power to the max by ingratiating itself with the plutocracy in command. And plutocracy prefers its rabble meek and reeking of the same old thoughts, and the more inconsequential, uncontroversial, and incoherent, the better. If the meek and weak venerates incoherence, they will never make sense and the mastery of force will elude them. They will stay meek and weak. Coherence is what gives a laser its punch. If yesterday’s venerated idea can reveal itself a lie, could not all the evidences which make Plutocracy’s throne also reveal themselves to be lies? 

The Catholic Church, forced by a Parisian students strike, in 1200 CE, to embrace Aristotle, embraced him with a vengeance, as a new rigidity, a new definition of evidence. That was all the more judicious, since Aristotle, brought up in the highest circle of Philippe’s Macedonian court, was most attentionate to fascism and plutocracy.

Some will scoff that it is not like that nowadays. That now reign super scientists, super qualified, super selected, the ones and only, the finest flowers of thought among 7 billion.

However, as I already showed in other essays, and will do some more, there are major problems, even blatant contradictions, in today’s physics (contrarily to the idyllic picture often haughtily presented).  This is true in theoretical physics, and thus, a fortiori, in applied physics. (Out of dozens of thousands of possible materials for  batteries, only a few hundreds have been tested in decades!)

The correct consequence to be drawn is that there are way too few physicists, and way too few experiments conducted in physics (an experiment alluded to below on the dragging of frames from a rotating mass, was mostly organized by some physicists at Stanford University, and took more than 40 years to reach orbit, from dearth of funding; the 2010 Nobel was given to physicists who made a major discovery, a new state of matter, by peeling graphite… with scotch tape!)

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 DECONSTRUCTION AS SIMPLICIAL STRIPPING:

I demonstrate a total hole in the union of the two most prestigious pillars of physics. Usually this is done in a way which is not only incomprehensible to non specialists (gravity is found to be “non renormalizable”), but also not logically compelling.

The union of the two most celebrated theories in contemporary physics, “General Relativity” (GR) and “Quantum Field Theory” (QFT) does not appear incompatible with energy conservation. My first order reasoning is ridiculously simple.

An approach to falsification uses the meta-idea of stripping down theories to lower dimensional simplicity, and see if what’s left still makes sense.

I view any theory as a simplicial topology made of simplicial complexes (I will detail that theory of theories some other time). The reason for doing this is that complex reasonings can hide simpler, more fundamental truths, just as a WWI destroyer could hide behind a smoke screen. If the lower dimensional part of a theory cannot be reorganized so as to make sense,  danger signals should go up. Not only this gives some punch to Popper’s and Derida’s vague slogans, but it is worthy to remake all of science and mathematics that way. The essences come out…

This approach deserves a name: SIMPLICIAL STRIPPING (roll over Derrida!). Simplicial Stripping does not have to be restricted to science. It works even better throughout politics, ethics, philosophy. Look at Israel: a contradiction onto itself (and putting it back into its 1967 cage won’t change that!). Or look at the economic rescue plan since 2008: save the plutocrats! (From themselves.)   

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EINSTEIN’S THEORY OF GRAVITATION, IN FIRST ORDER :

Here is the skeleton of Einstein’s Theory of Gravitation, so called “General Relativity”. The idea is actually not Einstein’s, but Riemann’s, in 1860 CE: gravitation is  inertia in an elaborated geometry defined by mass-energy.

In its most primitive form, the idea that inertia can replace force originated with Buridan, around 1320 CE. Buridan brandished the disappearance of force to explain that planets, submitted to no force, were going around the sun. It was a big progress over the completely silly Aristotle, who thought force was needed to keep on going (so things would stop in vacuum, according to him and his clueless followers).

If you never heard of Buridan, Johannes Buridanus, please thank the fascist plutocrats of the Inquisition for simplifying your mind. Buridan, an adviser to kings, head of the university, mathematician, physicist, philosopher, and teacher to major mental heavy weights such as Oresme, was much more famous, and inflected civilization much more than a modest contributor to thinking such as Einstein. That is precisely why the Inquisition forbid his works, more than a century after his death, just when Copernicus was a young man. 

Whether gravitation is no force (Buridan-Riemann-Einstein) or whether it is a battle between the centrifugal force and Ismaël Bullialdus’ inverse square law, as Newton had it, was solved in the favor of the first… By Einstein. The zero order reason for the switch is that the concept of “centrifugal force” is not clear (it has no Lagrangian).

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 I TAUTOLOGIZE, THEREFORE I LOGICAL:

“The Foundation of the General Theory of Relativity”, by Albert Einstein, Annalen der Physik, 49, 1916 contains the following revealing statement by Einstein:

“It will be seen from these reflections that in pursuing the general theory of relativity we shall be led to a theory of gravitation, since we are able to “produce” a gravitational field merely by changing the system of co-ordinates.”

OK, fine, so everything is relative, and out pops gravity. I can reflect too. From my point of view, Einstein described everything, and explained nothing. He was proud to have identified acceleration with gravitation, but the problem is that any force, including gravitation, shows up as acceleration.  If the sheep formally identifies grass as food, did anything happen?

(Some are bound to scoff that General Relativity is well checked, GPS, bla, bla, bla; indeed, such is the property of any tautology! Tautologies are the definition of absolute truth. The non trivial effects of GR can be obtained directly; for example the prediction of gravitational waves is immediate from the belief that gravity is a field. The slowing down of the clocks next to a mass is caused by energy conservation, etc.)

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QUANTUM FIELD THEORY GETS FORCE FROM A LAGRANGIAN:

Riemann’s insight, as implemented by Einstein, Hilbert and company looked fine. Until an interloper showed up on the scene. Studying elementary particle collisions, physicists discovered an unending zoo of particles accelerating here and there, thus exhibiting new forces in action.

These were new notions of force, same as the old one, the one before Einstein. Indeed the same old notion of force as in the seventeenth century, by Bullialdus, or electricity, in the eighteenth century, by Coulomb. Namely anything which causes an acceleration.

This can of worms was a deviously obscure scheme, Quantum Field Theory, QFT. Einstein got lessons from one of the top early practitioner of that dark art, and gave up.  Einstein believed in the big idea, whereas QFT was a bunch of cooking recipes with stuff found in bubble and spark chambers.

The basic scheme of QFT is to guess a Lagrangian (an expression depicting force), taking consideration of what has been found experimentally (such as the strong force, or the weak force, or what has been imagined, such as the inflaton force, etc… It’s like a modern salad). 

Thus there is no big idea: force is whatever acts funny. To accommodate all the new forces, according to the basic Riemannian scheme, one would have to augment considerably the number of dimensions of the universe.

It was found possible to add just one dimension to accommodate electromagnetism (Kaluza-Klein), but electromagnetism, as Bullialdus had already (knowingly) pointed out, is similar to gravitation, whereas the strong force is very strong, and very short range, and the geometry for that, obscure.

As it turns out the strong force is described best by curvature in an SU(3) fiber bundle over spacetime, Quantum Chromo Dynamics, QCD. Beautiful math, but spacetime found itself relegated to playing the role of base space of a fiber bundle (“base” here has both a technical, and poetic meaning…)

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WHY GRAVITONS? BECAUSE ONE CAN VIEW QFT AS EXCHANGING VIRTUAL PARTICLES:

When people think of science, especially physics, they think of irresistible logic. And so it is for very well established physics. But when it’s really not well established at all, on the theoretical edge, anything goes (see the deeply grotesque “multiple infinite universe” theory). And, as Bohr said, nothing presented yet is crazy enough. (Although I am trying my best!)

The most intuitive and handy way to depict the development in series of Lagrangians has been through a pictorial scheme found by Feynman, Feynman Diagrams. De facto, it depicts interactions as exchanges of particles, which are called “virtual particles”. Whether those virtual particles really happen is a matter of debate (rigorists refuse the abstraction of “virtual particles” as they cling to equations, like infant monkeys to their mummies). Feynman himself was coy on the subject, as behooves a higher type. However, in practice, experimental physicists view forces as particle exchanges, this is the essence of QFT.

More exactly, the essence of QFT is the Lagrangian. As one tries to develop it in series, virtual particles show up, exploiting, and allowed, thus “caused” by the time-energy uncertainty of Quantum Mechanics (higher dimensional idea).  The higher the mass, hence energy, of said virtual particle, the less time it can stay directly undetected, thus big mass, short range (and big force too, to create said mass). 

So QFT says, in practice, that forces are depicted by particle exchanges. It certainly looks so for all forces known, thus so should it  be for gravitation (it’s an emotional reasoning: physicists are human beings too).

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FORCE AS GEODESICS’ DISTANCIATION:

OK, let’s go back to how Einstein’s theory of gravitation is an implementation of Riemann’s proposition that all forces can be viewed as suitably curved spacetime geometries.

What is this splendid idea? (“Riemannian”) geodesics are defined by the distance function (aka “metric”). In a curved space, geodesics, if close enough, will either converge, or diverge (contrarily to Euclid’s straight lines).

In Einstein’s 4 dimensional spacetime, crawling along the geodesics correspond to the flow of time, and particles follow said geodesics. Thus, according to whether geodesics diverge or converge, particles will either approach each other, or flee each other. But that is exactly how an acceleration, and thus a force is detected: how the distance varies in the fullness of time. In other words, how the distance between geodesics varies describe a force.

Some mathematics then show that how the distance between geodesics varies is equivalent to curvature. [Here is a philosophico-mathematical proof of that: both curvature and how the distance between geodesics varies are the only two infinitesimal variables of the geometry, but it’s relatively easy to prove that there is only one connection, id est only one geometry compatible with the Riemannian distance, so they have to be the same, because, if they were not, there would be two different geometries!]

Hence, to describe the gravitational force, one needs a space with the appropriate curvature. Newton, following Ismaël Bullialdus’ inverse square law, plus Huyghens’ balance of centrifugal and attractive, and contributions from Hooke and Borelli exploited the notion that gravitation was proportional to the mass.

Thus Einstein (in collaboration with Hilbert, among others) needed an equation such as:

curvature = mass. This is, basically, Einstein’s gravitational equation.

That’s all (the rest is complicated details; including that ‘mass’ is mass-energy, and that’s a 16 dimensional tensor, whereas, at first sight, the left hand side of the equation is a 256 dimensional tensor; so one needs tricks to reduce the dimensions on the left to write an equation…by making the riemannian tensor into a lower dimensional Ricci tensor).

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LAPLACE’S BLACK HOLE DISCOVERY:

The nature of matter is not clear, because the nature of particles is not clear, and that’s not clear because particles are always Quantum Mechanically entangled, and entanglements are non local. But today, we will, exceptionally, ignore that fascinating subject, which is more fundamental than space and time, and is what the true order of the universe is really made of (the realm of my pet, TOW).

The Greeks thought matter was made of atoms. That was confirmed 20 centuries later. However, what atoms were made of revealed Quantum Mechanics. Atoms were made of protons, electrons, and, first of all, vacuum. It turned out that the electrons were found where their waves added up nicely (Bohr-De Broglie).

And what was light made of? Huyghens in the seventeenth century suggested waves, Newton suggested particles. A century later, Laplace arrived on the scene. Assuming that light was made of particles, he observed that they would be submitted to gravitational attraction. Thus, if a star was massive enough, it would pull on light, and light would lose energy (that’s known as the “Gravitational redshift” in Einstein’s gravitation). If the star was dense enough, the pull would be so hard that no light could escape. Laplace (and a less well known English polymath named Mitchell) concluded that the brightest objects in the universe may well not be seen. They had discovered Black Holes. At least Black Holes in the light-as-massive-particle theory. Development in the subject stopped when Young (another english polymath1) and Poisson (another French matematician!) demonstrated, beyond any suspicion, that light was “made” of waves. Waves were thought impervious to gravity (curious, because it is not so in the ocean). 

The prediction of Black Hole in Einstein’s gravitation is not much different. The photons have no mass, so they follow spacetime geodesics perfectly. But mass pulls on the geodesics, and if it pulls hard enough, those will spiral in. Thus light can’t escape.
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IF THERE IS NO GRAVITATIONAL FORCE, WHY SHOULD PARTICLES CARRY IT?

In conventional physics, a force is anything that accelerates. According to the essence of QFT, a force is enacted by an exchange of particles. Thus gravitation is caused by an imagined, hypothetical particle, the graviton.

Notice that this logic makes no sense in Einstein’s theory of gravitation, since, according to said theory, its essence is that gravitation is just inertia. (Said inertia is determined by geodesics, determined in turn by the mass-energy field, and if the mass-energy moves, as when it rotates, the sense of inertia should be dragged around, an effect verified in 2011 by gyroscopes in low Earth orbit.)

So if there is no force, so why should there be a particles exchange depicting said force?

Some sophisticated, mathematically competent physicists, will have a sophisticated piece of sophistry to answer that one. They will argue that interactions are wavy fields, and particles are their lowest excited states. So, be it gluon or photon, or W or Z boson, by “particles” we mean those primary excitations, these “virtual particles”.

By the same token, those sophisticated types would define the graviton as the lowest excited state of the wavy field known as spacetime geometry.  

Thus, the Theory of Gravitation, looked at face value, cannot be a force, and thus exchange virtual gravitons, but, looked at as a Quantum metatheory, it has both! The smallest conceptual incorporation of the simplest piece of QFT in the Theory of Gravitation generalizes the concept of “force”. Usually a force displaces an object, within a geometry, here the force deforms geometry itself. A meta-objection to that meta-interpretation is that this destroys the intuition of Riemann. But of course, nowadays, geometry of geometries are a standard tool: that’s what the Ricci Flow is all about, a flow from one geometry to the next, until a sphere is reached.  

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Conclusion: THE MORE WE KNOW, THE MORE QUESTIONS: The edge of physics is stuffed with questions of the deepest philosophical nature. In his lectures on physics, Feynman whined that philosophers are always around, talking a lot and having nothing important to say. An immediate consequence was that Feynman’s son graduated in philosophy. Feynman should also have realized that the closest mirror would bring to light a philosopher he knew all too well. Actually, he obviously did.

But, of course, in one sense Feynman is right, because all too many of today’s philosophers are ignorant of science. Can one be ignorant and wise? Socrates thought so, exhibiting his ignorance. And driving civilization into the ground.

In first order of understanding, if gravity respected the basic principles of Quantum Field Theory, a gravitational field which is strong enough will prevent gravitational quanta to come out. Just as it prevents  electromagnetic quanta (photons) to come out, and for the same reason.

A major problem has been whether “virtual particles” are real or not.  The abstraction of virtual particles brings into question the very notion of existence,  what “real” means, and even what abstraction is, and how the mind works.

Let’s make a joke mathematicians will get. Are complex numbers “real” or not? The human brain makes abstraction “real”, because real means the way the brain is.

Kant had decided that there was such a notion of “thing in itself” “das Ding an sich“, causing a great disservice to philosophy, by declaring it unknowable. As it is, the greatest task of the edge of physics is to figure out what exists, and what does not. The line between essence and appearance is where the edge of science is. By claiming it is obvious, an entire school of philosophy made itself ridiculous (philosopher-physicists such as Mach, also disagreed with Kant).

Does gravitation exist? Obviously it does, a monkey could tell you that. Is it just inertia, as Einstein had it? If it is, and gravitons follow spacetime geodesics, how come gravitons come out of Black Holes? Or do Black Holes, when sufficiently black, all together drop off the universe? That would violate (local) energy conservation.

As I pointed in “Dark Demon Energy” energy conservation is probably violated (it is a well known problem that Cosmological Expansion violates energy conservation, in a global fashion, let it be said in passing, and I know of no convincing hand waving that explains that away).

I will explore some of these questions later. Science teaches modesty to those who learn it well, but also the pride and elation of reason well deployed.

There are not enough scientists, and not enough science made. Just as there is not enough common sense deployed in government (example: the refusal of the Japanese government to consider virtual tsunamis real, which is seconded by the same attitude on the West Coast of the USA, by the way).

The dearth of science, scientists, and common sense are related phenomena: after all, science is just common sense, thoroughly deployed. Plutocracy can be achieved only when enough common sense has been reduced to the bleating of sheep. That is exactly why the West is deploying just enough science to survive, but not enough to thrive. 

The tragi-comical spectacle of a few lawyers, “elected” to decide in secrecy the fate of the world at a French resort, flows along the same geodesics, the inertia of plutocracy and its servants, attracted by the darkest side, imprisoning even light. What do those know, and what are they talking about? And it’s all too real.

If the major Western countries had dozens of millions of scientists, it’s unlikely that the  plutocrats and their lawyer-servants could keep on hypnotizing the masses with tales for children. That works well only with a scientific oligarchy, where the few scientists can be bought off with enough toys and ribbons.

One can buy a few people all the time, and all the people some of the time, but not all the people, all the time. A scientific massocracy cannot be bought (if I dare to borrow the term “massocracy” from my nemesis Libyan dictator Qaddafi).

Where to find the resources, the money? Agricultural subsidies ought to be reduced. Those who want to live dangerously will propose, as the foolishly bold Dominique Strauss Kahn did, to augment government and tax and regulate the pirates of finance into oblivion. But who wants the New York Attorney paid by Goldman Sachs and its partners in crime, accusing them of attempted rape on the closest tall mammal that they can find?

“Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac.” said Kissinger in 1973. Plutocracy is all about the obsession with power. But power is what physicists study.  Let’s not forget that the most powerful Soviet dissidents, Solzhenitsyn, a mathematician, or Sakharov, a master of the H bomb, and a top theoretical physicist, were scientists. That was no coincidence. Honing the capability to distinguish what is real, and what is not, and how energy flows, is intrinsically revolutionary.

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Patrice Ayme

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29 Responses to “RELATIVITY + QUANTUM = CRAZY”

  1. Rr Says:

    The dynamics of the meta-force are circumspect in all regards. That being so the cosmos transbabulated in the fourth dimension. The unified theory of everything is as follows: E=Q3(2)/3! This in effect refutes Einstein’s theory of general relativity and answers the question Why is there something rather than nothing.

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    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      At this point, I do not believe that a theory of everything is in order, considering that we cannot figure out entanglement theory, as proven by our inability to construct a Quantum Computer. I know that some will scoff that I confuse high energy physics and low energy physics, but that’s better than practicing apartheid against physical reality as they do.
      PA

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      • Rr Says:

        I have indeed discovered the unified theory. As proof consider the fact that I was able to open up the fourth dimension with a quantum irradiator with the use of solar energy and irradium. I have now the capacity to teletransport across the cosmos and between universes.

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  2. Patrice Says:

    Instead of all these unintelligible divagations, you just read Brian Greene’s book, The Hidden Reality.

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    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      To the person with the same name as me: Insults are easy, especially when very broad. I understand that my “divagations” are at a higher level than Mr. Greene’s book. My level of reflection is deeper than that of Mr. Greene, somebody I talked to, long ago. Instead of broadly insulting, maybe you should make an effort of reflection to ask a pointed question on something you find ‘unintelligible’. That would be interesting, since what I wrote was not in Mr. Greene’s book (I know more math than Mr. Greene, by the way).

      Aggression is not that interesting. Wittgenstein said that: “Of what one does not know, one should remain silent.” A fortiori, one should not use what one does not know to attack people with.

      One of the reasons I write to the masses, is precisely to have a dialogue, because I think that even modest critters can stumble upon great ideas. I have exchanged ideas with some of the best (including Feynman; I even tested, my pet theory, TOW, on him). However, I think that everybody is at sea about the edge of physical theory. Trying to understand why people do not understand may help with further understanding.

      Mr. Greene makes an effort of exposing some of the ideas, and that’s great. His books are well written, and he makes money from them, as he does, giving talks to law firms and the like. I own his books. Please don’t hesitate to ask me questions about them.

      I was at one of Greene’s money making events, once, at an IP law firm, and no one understood a thing (except me, of course, but I was not really a guest). Greene was a student of a friend of mine. small world, all too small, as I said in the essay.

      I write, because i want to share ideas, and to understand more. Otherwise maybe I would find a more renumerative occupation…. And go commercial, like Mr. Greene… No doubt easier than to write ten pages with all too many ideas coming from myself and I… Solamente. Instead of rehashing common wisdom…

      By the way, I would not call a book about physics “the HIDDEN reality”. In truth, Quantum Physics is in plain sight and everywhere. There is nothing hidden about it. This is one of my long held points of view. There is an article on that in the latest Scientific American.
      PA

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    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      BTW, Ms “Patrice”, I have wasted some time looking through the index of Brian Greene’s book, and he does not even have the word “geodesic” in it, although he speaks of Eisntein (gravitation) equation. Now “geodesic” is the fundamental concept of Einstein style gravity. Greene speaks forever of “multiverses”, a fundamentally absurd theory which respects neither semantics (the union of all multiverses is a… universe), nor energy conservation…
      I rest my case, insulting no one: the facts speak for themselves…
      PA

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  3. multumnonmulta Says:

    I’ve just finished reading this piece–the first one of this type you’ve written. If the situation in physics is like this, it goes downhill fast as soon as you enter humanistic academic endeavors. Not to say anything about which one affects society more.

    It’s interesting when you bring the conversation close to the edge, and make explicit, albeit too briefly, your non/anti-religious paradigm, represented in physics by, say, Einstein quest for some unifying uber-theory. In other words, you seem inclined to prefer incremental steps, at the margin of the experimental as opposed to some overall model theoretically driven by equations and such. If I’m not mistaken, this is closer to Popperian science.

    When I write these, I’m seeking correspondences in the social science world. You make some cursory references, yet I’m not sure in the end if the whole approach to science is more than reflections of the key individuals.

    The financing of science is something with practical implications and immediate consequences. Indeed, if anyone in power understood a bit of the epistemological journey, fundamental science would get so much more funding. However, as you make it explicit in the end, the people with the hands on the public purse have enough intuition to regulate access to science so that their power goes unchallenged. Indeed, if you make anything clear that must also be the need for financing science research with little strings attached. The “show me the money” attitude with respect to fundamental science is the self serving idiocy of the semi-cultured. Had it not been for the imagined cold war, we’d have been so much poorer by now.

    So much for progress! Nietzsche, Spengler, Toynbee, Camus, Celine… saw it a while back.

    P.S. Complex numbers, just like any number, are representations. So, they cannot be real, nor can the natural numbers.
    P.P.S. There had been a time in America when any European who came here and created anything was considered greatness on earth. For some strange reason, that mythology goes on even when we supposedly know better.
    P.P.P.S. Mr. Greene should only be credited for opening the door to science. Friends would not let friends be (mis-)guided by the likes of Mr. Greene a moment too late.
    P.P.P.P.S. The number of scientists, assuming enough funds, would still be regulated by the normal distribution. In the case of America, this had been taken care of by leveraging the mighty dollar into the importation of such above-average endowed individuals. Things have changed, Obama will soon have a chance to change them yet again, though I would not expect wonders.

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    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear Multumnonmulta: Einstein’s destiny is fascinating. He believed in, and contributed to, several concepts, which, under his horrified eyes, came to contradict each other. He believed in classical fields, extended, with Lorentz, relativity to electromagnetism. He also discovered and demonstrated, brought back to life, using Hertz’s work, Newton’s concept of the elementary particle of light, named photon later.

      Then it came to light that, if one could write an equation, the particles would come. Dirac showed this with the electron, spin, and the positron. At that point, Riemann scheme was broken, and einstein would have been aghast, had he not been busy with de Broglie, Schrodinger and Popper resisting the Copehhagen interpretation of Quantum Physics. Out came the NON LOCAL EPR scheme. Amusingly, although everybody was the best and the brightest, and very hot under the collar, everybody missed the obvious NON LOCAL nature of the De Broglie-Schrodinger equation. Bohm (with Aharanov) found that, as he noticed that the potential was on the right side of the equation.

      Einstein died, observing he was treated as a dinosaur. However, his will to unify all through geometry was renewed when mathematics advanced enough, and the notion of curvature was extended to fiber bundles.

      I do believe in conceptual revolution, and I believe it tends to be repressed by the powers that be, because they have a general hostility to those who tend to cognitive leaps. As some can reach as high as the plutocracy in power. After all that is how the Egyptian dynasty went down (eaten from inside by Libyans). I also have my own Totally Objective Wave theory, which considers that the collpase of the wave packet/decoherence/pilot wave is ONE conceptual package, the ultimate atom of reality. As revolutionary as one can get, and falsifiable (because it should show up as deviation from absolute non locality).

      The case of the heliocentric theory is strange, because it was pretty obvious, and was around for 2,000 years before imposing itself. Clearly the powers that be were hostile to it. through many regimes, and many languages…
      PA

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      • Rr Says:

        You fail to consider the decoupling of the fourth dimension which through the intersubstantiazing of the forces of gravity has demonstrated that quantum effects at -21^2 planck scale do indeed rupture Einsteinian relativity. Via equation q=3(6)/2 the potential for cross-universe travel has opened up. I am the only human who has transcended this dimension.

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  4. multumnonmulta Says:

    Anywhere one can get acquainted with the general idea of your TOW?

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    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      I mentioned it at least once in some detail. The first order idea is that the ultimate speed in the universe is not, contrarily to appearances, the speed of light. As Einstein himself observed, the seep of light, although a local absolute (in the infinitesimal sense, namely in the tangent bundle to be more modernly technical), is not conserved, even in neighborhoods.
      My basic reasoning is this:”spooky interactions at a distance” (Einstein) are real physical processes, and actually the ULTIMATE physical processes. They create space and time.
      If one admits that, the next question is:”how do you get a topology out of it?” This is the question which has blocked Quantum Computer engineering. well, my ultimate speed, TAU, allows to do that, by giving a local, entangled metric. Looking at the cosmological redshift allowed to evaluate it at at least ten to the ten times the speed of light.
      It will show up when the EPR is set-up on a near cosmological scale (so far only 100 kilometers or so, although I think some Europeans are thinking about conducting it in Low Earth Orbit), or from fluctuations of some radioactive decays (which may have been observed in 2006). This is documented in one of my previous essays, where a correspondent kindly attracted my attention on the latter fact.
      PA

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  5. multumnonmulta Says:

    “At this point, I do not believe that a theory of everything is in order, considering that we cannot figure out entanglement theory, as proven by our inability to construct a Quantum Computer.” How much of a litmus test can this be?

    “particles are always Quantum Mechanically entangled, and entanglements are non local” in social science this is reflexivity. I’m not sure what you mean by ‘non local;’ could you explain? What if these entanglements ought to be described with a different metaphor/within a different paradigm?

    Have we entered the diminishing returns area of the current type of science? Do we need to restart the conversation, or we’d have to wait a bit on the experimentalists’ results at CERN?

    Like

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Multumnonmulta: Check for EPR and Alain Aspect in search engines.
      The most important characteristic of Quantum Mechanics is NON LOCALITY (I say, since I take myself for super Greene, I define what’s important). Quantum Mathematically, an experimental set-up is equivalent to a Hilbert Space. Particles show up in eigenstates of that Hilbert, with probabilities computed through waves. Time enters only as an evolution operator over the whole Hilbert, in other words as Newtonian time, not relative, local, light driven Einsteinian time, a hint that the speed of light is not as fundamental as most physicists have been led to believe.
      That’s a simplicial reasoning: go the bare bones, deduce. (Actually Einstein was pretty good at simplicial reasoning, but he was left behind by the shock wave of QM, and its non locality, as he himself demonstrated!)
      PA

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  6. keith Says:

    Patrice,

    Regarding puzzles concerning why a photon (spin 1) has inertia — E/c^2 — and thus can be deflected in a gravitational field, even to the point where one or many can become trapped in a black hole’s gravitational field, but ‘gravtions’ (assuming these spin 2 theoretical constucts even exist) as you point out, are presumably immune from such gravitational trapping, here is a little model, just a fantasy model, to show why the two cases are very different.

    (Forget for the moment that spin 2 is a tensor particle, and spin 1 a vector.)

    This fantasy graviton will be emitted by a massive body and thereby help to increase the body’s gravitational potential — makes it ‘gravitate’, yes?

    A simple way for a massive body to increase such potential is simply for it to gain mass. Right?

    So if this fantasy graviton has a negative mass, then when it departs from the gravitating massive body, it will leave the body heavier — subtracting a negative mass would do this. And at the same time increase gravitational potential, as gravitons are imagined to do.

    Now, if this fantasy graviton DOES have negative mass in order to achieve it’s accomplished aims, consider it now flying near the emitting massive body — which has positive mass.

    Take these as two massive particles M and m, where M is the mass of the emitting massive body and is M > 0, and m is the absolute value of the mass of the negative mass graviton, so m < 0 or negative.

    In the first order Newtonian model, to find the force between these, we take GMm/R^2 (inverse square law, product of the masses — G is the famous constant).

    But that product, in our fantasy graviton model is NEGATIVE, and thus the graviton is repelled and scoots on, never to be trapped like a falling light ray or photon!

    For your amusement.

    Like

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Keith:
      Amusing indeed. good try. But gravitons can’t have negative mass, otherwise the force they depict would be short range, repulsive. It’s in the math of the Lagrangian.

      “Force” particles are “virtual”. The notion “virtual particle” is rejected by field theory purists. But as I more or less said, if it quacks like a duck, walks like a duck, etc… I may put out a dialogue on that, one of these days. “Virtual particles” correspond to the lowest excited states of the field (and this is practical problem, as it’s not clear when a hump in the experimental graphs is a particle). There is much more philosophy in today’s physics than physicists are comfortable to admit.
      Relativity is also a philosophical morass. Some of the incantations there are not above any suspicion.
      PA

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  7. keith Says:

    meant m is the value of the fantasy gravitons mass, NOT absolute value of same.

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  8. Rr Says:

    Patrice loves to censor comments that contradict his views. That says it all.

    Like

  9. keith Says:

    He seems to know that gravitons (completely theoretical constructs) have positive mass, whereas anyone with a real education in physics will tell you that these constructs are mass-less spin 2 particles.

    Mass-less as in zero rest mass, like the photon. Because nothing with non-zero rest mass can travel at the speed of light, as gravitational radiation (also not found experimentally) and gravitons are presumed to do in the formalisms of present day physics.

    You would think Patrice, expert on everything, might at least know that about traveling at the speed of light.

    Like

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Keith: Touche’! Sorry, that was a real bad typo, indeed, I corrected it. I had entered your own fancy reasoning too readily. The problem with answering complicated stuff, at the speed of light, when doing other things… OK, don’t take that last remark too literally either, but thanks for picking it up… The way it was written sounded real bad…
      Lots of things are said in this area, but not much is really proven. Before the crash of AF447, the science of stall said to put take-off power on, and keep the nose up. It seems, though, that, on some types of planes, it prevents to get out of the stall, as the recordings of AF447 show. So now the official guidelines are being changed. Speak about egg on the face…

      When people say, for example that photons have to have mass zero to go at the speed of light, the statement is fraught with many non logical aspects (which interest no one, thus those who evoke them are viewed as slightly deranged). The question of the “rest” mass of the photon (which always go, locally, at c, so is never really at rest, except in a comoving frame, and then it looks like a virtual particle…) is not obvious. There are people studying carefully Jupiter’s magnetic field to get the photon’s mass below ten to power minus 60…

      People push paradigms to the max, until such a time that they will break down. However, it’s also possible to avoid breaking them, by not looking at where they could break. The multiverse theory, that absurdity, is a good example: mainstream physicists don’t want to study the collapse of the wavepacket (although that’s changing now).

      Another of my approaches is to be scrupulously rigorous. For example the statement found in Wikipedia on the article on the speed of light: “In QED, photons are massless particles and thus, according to special relativity, they travel at the speed of light in vacuum.” is illogical to me. More exactly, it is ALOGICAL.
      PA

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      • Rr Says:

        Not so. Photons, when decoupled through transitivity, show deflated mass (as Einstein saw and Heiddeger intuited)– via equation q=3(4)/2. You are therefore wrong. Haha

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        • Patrice Ayme Says:

          I will let that go, on the ground that your alogical equation has become simple enough for neoconservative reaganophile Paul Ryan (R, WI) to understand.

          Like

  10. Rr Says:

    You have to resort to ad hominem attack because you are humiliated that I refuted you. Haha

    Like

  11. keith Says:

    …Another of my approaches is to be scrupulously rigorous. For example the statement found in Wikipedia on the article on the speed of light: “In QED, photons are massless particles and thus, according to special relativity, they travel at the speed of light in vacuum.” is illogical to me. More exactly, it is ALOGICAL.
    PA

    Yes, well, don’t feel so bad about that. Far sillier is the fact that according to “the standard model” of particle physics NONE of the particles have masses. The solution for this was to invent the Higgs field and it’s vector boson, which is supposedly what they are doing at the huge CERN super-conducting collider, which would be a fairly silly thing to believe. But playing along, OK, sure, the Higgs particle, yes, she will not only endow all the nice other particles with their masses, no, not at all. Somehow (this of course is not discussed too much) she will do this in just such a way that they have all the exact specific rest masses needed to make the whole world maintain its incredible balance and breed conscious life and so on. And so the mystery is just hidden somewhere else. This is what happens when people believe they can reduce the world to small pieces.

    And of course you know that Godel showed just how limited any logic can be and staunchly promoted intuition, rigorous and precise as any man could be though he certainly was. And that was simply within mathematics — an anthropologist would say as much.

    And life is not fair, plain and simple. Although that is getting off the track a bit. I only bring it up because so many people of the best intentions and a sense of justice too often lose sight of this simple fact — that life is not fair — however amazing and wonderful it may be to behold and live, at times. Overlooking this simple fact has led to almost as much grief and agony, it sometimes seems, as that caused by the unfairness.

    The anthropic principle, in weak or strong form, is about as far as the human mind in its most recent form, will ever get when pondering the vast mysteries of the universe from the standpoint of quantitative and elemental neediness. From the perspective or lack of it, of this particularly limited form of human consciousness an unusual and flabbergasting array of things seem to have to be just so in order for us to be here able to think about it all. But without dissecting and measuring everything under creation as high priests forever do these sorts of ideas might never have occurred. It would not dignify the profession to stand intuitively in awe of a vast harmony. No, then they might seem too common, and far less empowered.

    Much of the modern myth is meant just as much to terrify, oppress and control as the older myths, and their bloody abject human sacrifices. From the big bang and big crunch, to multiverse fantasies and simply the endless citation of vast interstellar distances, they all serve to reinforce the sense of human insignificance. There is no need to buy into it with one’s whole being.

    Lagrange, a palpable part of the universe, wrote down Lagrangians, and people have been imitating him for a couple of centuries. So I suppose one could say that eventually, somehow or other, the universe manages, while doing immeasurably many other things, to write down Lagrangians and tries to solve them. But that is playing with words.

    Yes, the rest mass being zero of the photon may seem illogical, but only to experience conditioned in non-relativistic realms. We did not grow up or evolve in places traveling at relativistic speeds. Take some heart in that it has intrinsic spin in any reference frame, and it is hard not to associate angular momentum with something as very real as a pebble.

    In 700,000 years I wonder what might be going on on earth? Certainly there will be no human beings as we know of them now if evolution proceeds at a roughly linear pace or as in the past at least, however that actually may have been? Or might the same historic follies recur numerous times like themes with variations? Perhaps so, if Heisenberg was onto something when he told his students in atomic physics to think of the world more as music than as matter. Why trouble myself overly much with plutocracy, meritocracy and hypocrisy when they seem to be the result of vast impersonal forces for which no individual can rightly be held to account any more than they can be for the distance to the north star?

    Like

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear Keith: many issues you are bringing up here. This Lagrangian approach is just empirism systematized, indeed. And a lot of what is going on in high energy physics reminds me all too much of a glorified Fourier series development. certianly that is what riled up Einstein: the beautifully simple Riemannian approach, applied to spacetime, was not enough. Personally I have no idea where this zoo is going. the only dog I have in the fight is SUSY, because I have a grand stand on its math. I would love SUSY to be true, and people to have to using anticommuting numbers. But that’s purely from liking a pretty toy.

      I did not want to give the impression I found the zero mass of the photon illogical. Since it always go at c, thus is not at rest, it can’t have a zero rest mass, or then as that would be in the co-moving frame, which goes at c, and so has no metric (~ no space!)… In any case, it’s an experimental situation. It would show up if the photon was no going at c in vaccuum… never heard that quote from Heisenberg. But course, if all particles are associated to waves (de Broglie), then they are all music…

      My basic approach to all is that of the hunter-gatherer. Solving practical problems. the NON LOCALITY of QM is a very practical problem, I always thought, and Quantum Computer engineers will agree. It’s also the deepest philosophical problem… We hunter-gatherers trouble ourselves with knowledge because, as Obama would say, that’s who we are
      PA

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  12. multumnonmulta Says:

    To me, the remote observer, you either work your way out by analogy or metaphor. The next step in physics is prevented by the excessive institutionalization of the research practice–I wonder if MBA-driven nonsense hasn’t made it in the physics labs just as in HMOs. Not to mention the mask of civility.

    I think it’s time some returned to a state of playfulness and irreverence. Otherwise, we just keep adding layers to the existing models and leave the ‘gift’ of actual (experimental) proof to the next generation.

    There is also the distinct possibility that we are approaching the end station at our stage of development. And that’s independent of what the theorists of science say.

    Can you all think of why the Romans failed to develop the steam engine? I would also put the typical explanations aside for a while (e.g., the advent of Christianity).

    Like

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear Multumnonmulta: I have actually written about Romans and the steam engine. We know, from explicit statments from Roman emperors, that advanced technology was viewed as SOCIALLY DISRUPTIVE. So, although the steam engine did exist, steam paddle boats did not appear, although (nearly) all the pieces of the technology existed, and were in use.

      I general Christianity was aggravating (my thesis) not ultimately causative (Gibbon’s thesis). Emperors embraced Christianity, used it, for its worst aspects. Same thing with Islam later, in mimetic fashion. When Obama makes his incantations about America under God, it’s a pale reflection of how the Indians got erradicated.

      Playfullness: last Nobel in physics had to do with scotch tape. High energy phusics was funded massively, while research in the foundations of QM was ignored, precisely because the former is needed for Star Wars. There was talk of “death rays” already in the 1930s. Mussolini was a fan. Nowadays, table immensely powerful top accelerators are under study… I am not against it, BTW. Just the opposite. But I am definitively against under funding worthy deep blue science, out there, in the unknown, from logic to radioactive plate tectonics…
      PA

      Like

  13. multumnonmulta Says:

    “advanced technology was viewed as SOCIALLY DISRUPTIVE.”

    How is this different from the information technology that enabled off-shoring and outsourcing?

    Like

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Multumnonmulta: Just saw your comment. Good point. First one has to distinguish off shore and on shore. I am preparing a dialogue on Rome. Roman emperors riled against on shore tech (while off shoring the empire). I am for on shore tech always. More soon, sort of…
      PA

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