Friday, February 01, 2008


50 years ago Explorer I became the first US satellite. As the General says, Wehrner Von Braun's Army team had promised they could launch a satellite within 90 days of a go-ahead. If the order had been given in time, the US would have been first in Space. After Sputnik the US first wasted time on the Vanguard satellite, which embarassingly blew up on the launch pad. Von Braun launched Explorer within 84 days of the order. Von Braun, Thomas Pickering, and James Van Allen truimphantly held up a model of Explorer.

Unlike Sputnik, which carried only a radio transmitter, Explorer I carried a scientific payload, a radiation detector. The Van Allen radiation belts were the first scientific discovery by a spacecraft. The belts are caused by cosmic rays encountering Earth's atmosphere. Protons in the 10-100 MeV range and higher become trapped by Earth's magnetic field. The belts reach their intensity by accumulating particles over years.

Like other planets such as Jupiter, Earth has a dipolar magnetic field. The "North" pole is where the positive or North end of a compass needle points. In fact Earth's North magnetic pole is the negative pole, and Earth's positive pole is in the South. (Confused yet?) Postive particles like protons are repelled by Earth's South Pole and are attracted by the North Pole. Lighter electrons travel from North Pole to South, creating an outer streams of particles.

The giant planet Saturn's magnetic poles nearly coincide with the geographic poles. The jets of charged particles exit and enter there, creating "hot spots" in the atmosphere. At Saturn's North Pole, the outgoing and ingoing streams crowd together. This crowding forces the field lines into a six-sided shape, the "Great Hexagon of Saturn."

Magnetic fields and polar jets of charged particles are telltale signs of a Black Hole. These would be tiny objects, relics of the Big Bang. Their continued presence would explain both Earth's core heat and magnetic field. The centres of Earth and Saturn would be excellent places to find them.


Blogger nige said...

A mainly excellent post and an interesting historic film.

One little bit is confusing:

"Postive particles like protons are repelled by Earth's South Pole and are attracted by the North Pole. Lighter electrons travel from North Pole to South, creating an outer streams of particles."

Electric charges are not subjected to any force whatsoever while travelling along (parallel to) magnetic field lines, regardless which direction (towards North or towards South).

A moving electric charge can only experiences a force from a magnetic field because it's motion creates a magnetic field which acts at right angles to the direction of motion: a moving electric charge has a transverse magnetic field so it only interacts with another magnetic field when the charge is cutting across magnetic field lines (not moving along them or parallel to them).

So electric charges are only relatively free to travel in a direction generally parallel to magnetic field lines, not across them. In practice, it is too great a coincidence to find any electrons going exactly parallel to magnetic field lines, so most have some transverse motion as well, which simply makes them "spiral around the magnetic field lines", as the charges travel between the mirror points at each pole.

Both electrons and ions are equally able to go towards either a North or a South magnetic pole; the difference is simply whether they are spiralling around the magnetic field lines clockwise or anticlockwise as they travel:

"Opposite charges circle [spiral] in opposite directions; around a field line pointing towards the viewer, ions [or protons] circle [spiral] clockwise, electrons counterclockwise."

When electric charges get near the pole, the magnetic field lines converge together, so that all the electric charges travelling along those magnetic field lines also converge into a smaller volume of space. This makes the charge density increase until it is strong enough to repel approaching particles back they way that they came (Coulomb "reflection" or "mirroring", which is similar to the Coulomb reflection of alpha particles by positive nuclei which Rutherford's assistants used in their famous experiment of backscatter from gold foil, or you get a similar kind of effect when you fire low energy beta particles at metals, where some percentage of the beta particles scattered back towards the source by Coulomb repulsion of atomic electrons).

A fairly clear page that illustrates all the motions of charges in Earth's magnetic field is, particularly how mirroring occurs above poles, is:

If there was an excess of positive electric charge at the North pole and negative at the south pole, the earth would be a giant electric dipole (in addition to being a magnetic dipole).

This isn't the case, because electric charges trapped in the Van Allen belts are free to move between the poles. Charges merely spiral a different way around the magnetic field lines if they are positive or negative.

Were you thinking of about the Earth's North pole being tilted away from the sun in summer, so that at any time, one pole intercepts more of the sun's solar wind of charged particles?

8:35 AM  
Blogger nige said...

Sorry for my typing errors above. Here is a bit more. The page I linked to says there is a slow drift of charges against the magnetic field lines, presumably daily around the Earth, so in addition to the main (rapid) motion from pole to pole.

Trapped electrons typically go from pole to pole in a second or less, but take a day to drift around the earth. All the charged radiation also loses some energy when it gets reflected at mirror points. If the altitude of the mirror points for the magnetic field lines in question is low in the strong charge density near the poles, then the mirror points may be within the atmosphere so that particles hit air molecules and give off auroral radiations, instead of being reflected back. The Van Allen belts are continually being replenished by charged particles from the solar wind and other charged radiation from space.

The person who first analysed the mechanism of a magnetic field trapping radiation in space was the Greek elevator engineer Nicholas Christofilos.

He invented and patented a synchrotron for high energy particle physics research, which was initially ignored by physicists, then he realised that electrons will be trapped in a fairly similar way in space by the Earth's magnetic field.

He didn't predict that such radiation belts already exist in space, and instead wanted to test his theory by putting a source of electrons into space. He impressed Edward Teller who got the American government to fund Operation Argus, sending 3 nuclear bombs into space in 1958, to see if the radiation would be trapped by the Earth's magnetic field.

While Argus was still being planned, Van Allen discovered the natural belts because he had a geiger counter in Explorer I. The count rate initially went up to the maximum rate measurable, then fell to zero, indicating that the tube was saturated (fully ionized) by such intense radiation that it could no longer give out individual pulses. The later Explorer satellites had to utilise shielded geiger counters that were less sensitive.

Explorer IV in summer of 1958 mapped out the artificial radiation belts created by the high altitude Argus nuclear tests.

9:05 AM  
Blogger nige said...

Sorry, I didn't understand the "mirroring" mechanism at work at the poles. I thought it was just Coulomb repulsion due to the abundance of electric charges where the magnetic field lines are converging near the poles.

In fact, it is entirely different and very subtle indeed, see the illustrated section headed "Mirroring" at

Even a single electron spiralling around a magnetic field line will be reflected at a mirror point (without any requirement for other charges to be concentrated there):



"The fact that the magnetic force is perpendicular to magnetic field lines means that when a particle spirals around a cone of converging field lines, that force is always slightly tilted backwards (drawing).

"By the laws of motion, any force can always be resolved into the sum of mutually perpendicular forces, each controlling the motion in its direction. The "radial force" perpendicular to the axis of the cone (drawing) keeps the ion or electron turning in a circle around that axis, and is balanced (as noted above) by the centrifugal force of that rotation.

"In addition, however, there will also exist a small force parallel to the axis, repelling the particle away from the tip of the cone. That added force gradually slows down the particle's advance down the axis and finally reverses it, causing it to "mirror" and bounce back."

9:50 AM  
Anonymous Tony Smith said...

As Louise has pointed out before, the Earth's magnetic poles flip, exchanging North and South, from time to time.

I think that the last pole reversal on Earth was about 788,000 years ago,
and maybe now there are some indications that Earth's magnetic field may be weakening and entering a transition phase. If we are entering such a period of weak and changing magnetic field,
would there be any environmental consequences ?

For example, in his book Earth and Life Through Time (Freeman 2nd ed 1989) Steven Stanley said:
"...Intervals between such magnetic reversals vary considerably, but during the Cenozoic Era [roughly the past 65 million years or so] they have averaged about a half-million years in length ...".
From a chart on page 125 of Steven Stanley's book, there were about 50 reversals in the past 30 million years, and about 25 reversals in the 30 million years before that,
so there seems to be a more general trend toward shorter phases with more rapid reversals during the past 30 million years or so compared to the period from about 60 million years ago to about 30 million years ago.

Maybe the Mesozoic-Cenozoic asteroid impact of about 65 million years ago damped out rapid fluctuations for the following 30 million years or so ?

Maybe the separation of Antarctica from South America and Australia (about 30 million years ago) might be related to the relatively rapid fluctuations since then ?

I don't see a lot of coincidences between reversals and big events, but maybe they are there and I am just not seeing them.

On the other hand, maybe we are the first communities of beings that are sufficiently dependent on electromagnetic power and signalling that we would be the first to be seriously impacted by a reversal.

Tony Smith

10:11 AM  
Blogger CarlBrannen said...

Louise, another detail in your favor. See the Jan. 2008 Scientific American article Hotspots Unplugged:

"Long considered fixed founts of molten material from deep within the planet, the hotspots that raise islands now join the list of the earth's moving parts."

9:30 PM  
Blogger nige said...


I'd like to revisit the following scientific points:

1. There's a lot of mass (galaxies, etc.) almost isotropically distributed around us in the universe. (I don't think anyone disputes that.)

2. If it wasn't receding, i.e., if it was static and nothing was keeping it there, from our reference frame it might be expected to collapse (we'd see it falling towards us).

3. The collapse would turn gravitational potential energy into kinetic energy of material coming together.

4. The average distance matter would fall would be some fraction of the radius of the universe, say half the radius of the universe for a very rough first approximation.

5. The argument used to get the potential energy of the universe can be compared to a collapsing star. If you had a star of uniform density and radius R, and it collapsed, the energy release from gravitational potential energy being turned into explosive (kinetic and radiation) energy is E = (3/5)(M^2)G/R. The 3/5 factor from the integration which produces this result is not applicable to the universe where the density rises with apparent distance because of spacetime (you are looking to earlier, more compressed and dense, epochs of the big bang when you look to larger distances). It's more sensible to just remember that the gravitational potential energy of mass m located at distance R from mass M is simply E = mMG/R. In a supernova explosion, the gravitational collapse of distributed matter releases energy.

The gravitational potential energy released in the collapse would be on the approximate order of magnitude

E = (M^2)G/r = (M^2)G/(ct)

where t is age of universe, where r is the average distance the matter falls before it hits other matter.

6. The gravitational field energy needed to keep this from occurring is therefore a similar amount of expansion kinetic energy:

E = Mc^2.

The relativistic equation for total energy is:

E = Mc^2

where M is the actual mass (which is a function of velocity), and

E = M_0 c^2 (1 - v^2 /c^2)^(-1/2)

where M_0 is the rest mass (not the actual mass), because

M = M_0 (1 - v^2 /c^2)^(-1/2).

Since by the equivalence principle inertial mass (which increases with velocity by the formula just given) is equivalent to gravitational mass, it is the true mass M not the rest mass M_0 which we need to consider.


E = Mc^2

is the formula to use.

Since the energy of the big bang E = Mc^2 caused the expansion (against inertial and gravitation) in the first place, it must be at least equal to the approximate gravitational potential energy E = (M^2)G/(ct), or the universe wouldn't have been able to expand in the first place because it would have become a black hole (Professor Susskind, in an interview about his book "The Cosmic Landscape" argued that the universe simply had enough outward explosive or expansive force to counter the gravitational pull which would otherwise have turned it into a black hole). So:

Mc^2 {is greater than or equal to} M^2G/(ct)

Hence at least as an approximation:

tc^3 = MG.

What part of the above "derivation" is wrong?

It's pretty straightforward.

Let's take a serious look at a comment which was abusively attacking my competence on 29 March 2007 by an anonymous commentator using the name "Guess Who" on Tommaso Dorigo's blog (the same comment was copied that day to a posting on Mahndisa's blog after she wrote after ignoring the content of a comment of mine: "We have gone over this already. You are not applying the equations correctly. The conclusions are incorrect due to a misapplication of physical law. See my comments above. I am turning comments off for this." She then quoted the "Guess Who" comment I'm about to discuss as alleged evidence of my incompetence: "You are not defending science; you are defending misguided and incompetently performed calculations, which I cannot abide.").

The "Guess Who" comment made a long series of ignorant claims, so let's go through them all:

1. "You are using the expression for rest mass. That means literally mass at rest in some reference frame. But you know that the early universe was radiative: all particles were moving randomly and very close to the speed of light, so almost all their energy was in the momentum (p) part of the full expression E = sqrt((p*c)^2 + (m*c^2)^2). Because of the randomness, there was no reference frame in which p = 0."

This is wrong, because the relativistic equation for energy only includes momentum where it is written in terms of rest mass. If you are dealing with the actual mass, which increases with velocity, which is what we're concerned with, the E = Mc^2. So this person doesn't know that the relativistic correction applies to rest masses (which are imaginary in practice, becauses masses are in motion and the energy of their motion adds to their mass!).

"> the gravitational potential energy E = MMG/R = (M^2)G/(ct).

Most quantities which you put in this expression are ill- or un-defined."

I don't think that energy, mass G, radius, c and t are ill-defined. The person just needs to bother to read the definitions.

"In general relativity, which you must (and claim to) use in this context, energy does not stand alone as a separately conserved quantity: it’s just one component of the 4×4 energy-momentum tensor."

I know the 16 component energy-momentum tensor: it has components for energy density, energy flux, momentum density, momentum flux, pressure and vicosity. All of these quantities get translated into energy density. You can measure energy many ways, and all energy contributes to gravitation. For our purposes, the rest-mass energy of the universe includes all of these contributions.

"Your M is supposed to be the rest mass of the universe, which is neither at rest nor, to the best of our knowledge, finite. So you have an infinity squared there."

No, M is the mass of the universe, which depends on velocity, M_0 is rest mass. (In any case, unless v is a significant fraction of c, the difference between M and M_0 is not major. You don't know what you're talking about. You're just playing with things you don't understand: physics concepts can always be extended to include more and more correction factors for known, factual physical processes. That's not the issue. What's the issue is whether the basic concepts are right. They are in this case.)

"Your R = c*t looks like it could be the Hubble radius (up to some factor of order unity, e.g. 2 in a radiative universe) but you say that it’s “defined as the effective distance the majority of the mass would be moving if the universe
collapsed”. Excuse me, but that would make R = 0."

No, if the majority of the universe had zero distance to move if the universe collapsed, it would be here already. It isn't. It's at a great distance, and would have a fraction of the radius of the universe to fall to reach here.

"So, you are equating an incorrect expression for an ill-defined E with an undefined quantity containing a square of an ill-defined, presumably infinite M divided by 0."

Wrong, E, M and the distance have all be precisely defined. In the case of the fall distance, the details are complex due to quantum gravity effects and density variation with distance/time past (see my calculations on my blog) and we're using an approximation here just to get the basic principle across. The mass of the surrounding universe is located between radii of 0 to R where R = ct. This is because, as discovered by Perlmutter in 1998, gravity isn't causing the universe to decelerate, so the old Friedmann solution to general relativity for the scale factor or effective radius of the universe, R = (2/3)ct is false; the (2/3) factor came from gravitation and this solution from Robertson/Walker/Friedmann's metric is wrong empirically. The Hubble expansion rate shows that the gravitational deceleration is not occurring at that rate. Quantum gravity suggests that the reason is that gravitons exchanged between receding masses are redshifted to lower energy, reducing the effective gravitational coupling constant over cosmologically large distances, although the mainstream solution is to ignore quantum gravity, assuming that general relativity needs to instead be supplemented by dark energy to provide repulsion that over cosmologically large distances offsets the attractive force of gravity.

"General relativity fully contains special relativity. To do serious cosmology, you need to solve the equations of general relativity. You are not doing

No, general relativity is incompatible with general relativity because it is a generally covariant theory and special relativity isn't, and if you don't believe me, try reading some papers on general relativity by someone called Albert Einstein:

‘The special theory of relativity ... does not extend to non-uniform motion ... The laws of physics must be of such a nature that they apply to systems of reference in any kind of motion. ... The general laws of nature are to be expressed by equations which hold good for all systems of co-ordinates, that is, are co-variant with respect to any substitutions whatever (generally co-variant).’ – Albert Einstein, ‘The Foundation of the General Theory of Relativity’, Annalen der Physik, v49, 1916 (italics are Einstein’s own).

‘But ... the general theory of relativity cannot retain this [SR] law. On the contrary, we arrived at the result according to this latter theory, the velocity of light must always depend on the coordinates when a gravitational field is present.’ - Albert Einstein, Relativity, The Special and General Theory, Henry Holt and Co., 1920, p111.

‘Special relativity was the result of 10 years of intellectual struggle, yet Einstein had convinced himself it was wrong within two years of publishing it. He rejected his theory, even before most physicists had come to accept it, for reasons that only he cared about. For another 10 years, as the world of physics slowly absorbed special relativity, Einstein pursued a lonely path away from it.’ - Einstein’s Legacy - Where are the “Einsteinians?”, by Lee Smolin,

"Again ill-defined. But let’s say you take the standard FRW solutions of Einstein’s equations, put yourself in the comoving frame and compute the gravitational potential of a test particle according to your prescription. Since the FRW solutions are isotropic, your result will = 0. So now you’re saying that taking the square of an ill-defined, presumably infinite M and dividing by 0 yields 0."

This is just trash. The FRW solutions to general relativity wrong by observation, and adding an epicycle in effect by unobserved dark energy, ignores graviton redshift energy degradation in quantum gravity.

Since gravitons will be redshifted towards zero energy as redshift goes towards infinity (recession velocities approaching c), there can be no "curvature" on the largest distance scales in the universe. Hence, apart form Perlmutter's actual observations of no gravitational deceleration using automated CCD telescope observations of supernovas, quantum gravity itself tells you that general relativity is wrong when applied to cosmology, i.e. massive distances in an expanding universe.

A lot of personally-directed, ignorant, abusive garbage directed towards me follows in the comment which I need not quote here because it is just a list of quotes of me followed by sneers which ignore my work.

I'll copy this to my blog, because I think it is a useful defense of the conceptual derivation of tc^3 = MG, and Mahndisa has closed the comments section on the relevant post on her blog, preventing any response being made there. I don't agree with everything you suggest(I've investigated changes in G rather than c), but I agree with the general concept tc^3 = MG.

What's interesting is that there are lots of other physicists around who could be investigating this critically and checking it.

Instead, they don't tend to make scientifically useful comments.

I think that there should be a lot more support for people like Dr Peter Woit who standing up against the hypocrisy of physically vacuous mainstream M-theory which predicts nothing and is "not even wrong". Dr Lee Smolin too, although in his case he's been accused (unfairly) of being critical of the mainstream in order to get attention for his own ideas which are maybe not immensely better than string theory (although Smolin's "doubly special relativity" does make some predictions than may be tested).

One interesting thing I've mentioned is the fact that general relativity is a failure at describing cosmology scientifically. There's no curvature on cosmologically large scales (e.g., the scale of the universe or its effective radius) indicated by observations of redshifts. It also won't occur theoretically, if quantum gravity involves exchange of gravitons between receding masses, because those gravitons will be received with lower energy due to the recession of gravitational charges in the universe.

I think from memory that the two critics of all this stuff have been Professor Distler commenting using his actual name on Professor Johnson's Asymptotia blog, both people working on mainstream string theory, and "Guess Who". Neither of them have come up with any physical discussion at all, if we discount the false claims by "Guess Who" and the claim by Distler that tensors are needed. Anyone can take tc^3 = MG and put into into a tensor field equation simply by writing it as a definition of G = (tc^3)/M and putting that into Einstein's field equation. However, the equation tc^3 = MG relates to cosmology, where Einstein's field equation fails to make falsifiable predictions (the small ad hoc cosmological constant wasn't predicted). So Distler is missing the point.

What we have is a problem similar to a political innovation situation well explained in Nicolo Machiavelli’s classic work, published in 1531 A.D.:

“Because the innovator has for enemies all those who have done well under the old conditions, and lukewarm defenders in those who may do well under the new. This coolness arises partly from fear of the opponents, who have the laws on their side, and partly from the incredulity of men, who do not readily believe in new things until they have had a long experience of them. Thus it happens that whenever those who are hostile have the opportunity to attack they do it like partisans, whilst the others defend lukewarmly, in such wise that the prince is endangered along with them.”

Tony Smith quotes the problems which Feynman had at the Pocono Conference in 1948, where leading physicists Teller, Pauli and Bohr all dismissed Feynman's work. See

“... My way of looking at things was completely new, and I could not deduce it from other known mathematical schemes, but I knew what I had done was right.

... For instance,

take the exclusion principle ... it turns out that you don’t have to pay much attention to that in the intermediate states in the perturbation theory. I had discovered from empirical rules that if you don’t pay attention to it, you get the right answers anyway .... Teller said: “... It is fundamentally wrong that you don’t have to take the exclusion principle into account.” ...

... Dirac asked “Is it unitary?” ... Dirac had proved ... that in quantum mechanics, since you progress only forward in time, you have to have a unitary operator. But there is no unitary way of dealing with a single electron. Dirac could not think of going forwards and backwards ... in time ...

... Bohr ... said: “... one could not talk about the trajectory of an electron in the atom, because it was something not observable.” ... Bohr thought that I didn’t know the uncertainty principle ...

... it didn’t make me angry, it just made me realize that ... [ they ] ... didn’t know what I was talking about, and it was hopeless to try to explain it further.

I gave up, I simply gave up ...”.

- “The Beat of a Different Drum: The Life and Sciece of Richard Feynman”, by Jagdish Mehra (Oxford 1994) (pp. 245-248).

Feynman's idea was explained to Oppenheimer by Dyson, who had no time for new ideas from youngsters and was abusive towards Dyson until Bethe intervened on Dyson's behalf, as Dyson explains in an interview.

Tony Smith also mentions on his page the work of Ernst Stückelberg who came up with Feynman's key ideas about 5 years earlier, but had them rejected by the Physical Review in 1943.

Another example is George Zweig, whose quark model called Aces was rejected by Physical Review Letters.

It's unsurprising that after his experience of 1948, with ignorant attacks from a consensus of the top physicists who were all certain Feynman was wrong, Feynman went on to write things like:

‘Science is the organized skepticism in the reliability of expert opinion.’ - R. P. Feynman (quoted by Smolin, TTWP, 2006, p. 307)


‘Science is the belief in the ignorance of [committees of speculative] experts.’ - R. P. Feynman, The Pleasure of Finding Things Out, 1999, p187.

The real challenge is overcoming groupthink:

’Groupthink is a type of thought exhibited by group members who try to minimize conflict and reach consensus without critically testing, analyzing, and evaluating ideas. During Groupthink, members of the group avoid promoting viewpoints outside the comfort zone of consensus thinking. A variety of motives for this may exist such as a desire to avoid being seen as foolish, or a desire to avoid embarrassing or angering other members of the group. Groupthink may cause groups to make hasty, irrational decisions, where individual doubts are set aside, for fear of upsetting the group’s balance.’ - Wikipedia.

‘[Groupthink is a] mode of thinking that people engage in when they are deeply involved in a cohesive in-group, when the members’ strivings for unanimity override their motivation to realistically appraise alternative courses of action.’ - Irving Janis.

This is virtually impossible to do. The tactic of mainstream (groupthink) people who have no evidence simply throwing up garbage and personal abuse from under cover of anonymity which others are misled into believing to be correct, is appalling.

There is very little that can be done against it. If you attack it as being ignorant, most bystanders will think you are the villain because they don't know anything about physics. They can't tell what's right by looking at the facts, so they side with the majority instead.

I'm writing a book as time permits but don't hold your breath. It's a hell of an undertaking as there are thousands of details I must get right and if I do succeed scientifically, nobody will read it anyway. A book that is long enough to contain sufficient detail to convince people, will almost by definition be too long for anyone to bother reading.

I'm sticking to this project because there is factual evidence that nobody listens to, and I don't like dictatorship. Dictatorship was supposed to have been ended by freedom-winning wars. Instead, there is dictatorship everywhere, even in science. You expect problems with democracy, but it's just too much that in science - a subject where I was taught that facts are the things which count, not prejudices - fundamental physics is run by physically ignorant dictators who can't tell apart facts of nature from orthodox wishful thinking.

3:38 PM  
Anonymous Tony Smith said...

nige, thanks for your comment and for "... writing a book ... A book that is long enough to contain sufficient detail to convince people, will almost by definition be too long for anyone to bother reading ...".
Maybe it won't be read by enough people to make it a commercial best-seller,
but the fact that you quoted some stuff from my large web site (over 7,000 pages in pdf format) web site shows that such stuff does get read by at least a few people who find it useful,
and I am looking forward to returning the favor when your book is written.

Like you, I grew up thinking that "... science ...[is]... a subject where ... facts are the things which count, not prejudices ..."
and it is only late in life that I realized that I should have studied Machiavelli as much as Mathematics.

However, there are a few people (Louise, Tommaso, Kea, ... (NOT a complete list thankfully)) who are both smart and open-minded,
so it seems to me that that a useful course of action is to write ideas up and make them available on the web,
so that it will be there for any who might be willing and able to make use of the ideas.

Of course, that is a long-term plan (and I for one am getting pretty old and somewhat less healthy) so we might be long dead before the ideas bear fruit, but that is OK with me.

Tony Smith

8:23 PM  
Blogger L. Riofrio said...

Another thoughtful comment from nige and Tony. No time to properly comment on it all, but:

1) If the Universe were infinite, it would have infinite mass and could not expand at all.

2) Conventional Special Relativity does not allow for gravity. This all started as an attempt to merge the local conditions of SR with the curved Space/Time of General Relativity.

3) As for groupgrope, it is quite amusing when one mind can think of something that 100 minds can not. That makes groupgrope look pretty bad.

For Tony: The threat of dictatorship is always with us

10:46 PM  
Blogger L. Riofrio said...

For nige: I should also add that the particle paths are not straight but spiral around the field lines. Don't let the critics get you down, such people aren't even worth the price of a bullet.

9:48 PM  
Blogger nige said...

Hi Tony,

Thank you, there is a great deal of very useful information on your site. It seems to me that if extra spatial dimensions were the correct way to approach unification, then the way you are suggesting - i.e. 26-dimensional string theory without 1:1 boson:fermion supersymmetry - would be the way forward.

The compactification of 6 spatial dimensions in 10-dimensional superstring theory using a Calabi-Yau manifold which has to be stabilised by just over a hundred unknown moduli, is the cause of the main failure of superstring theory, the 10^500 metastable vacua in the "landscape" of solutions which prevent it from making falsifiable predictions or from even modelling the observed vacua in an ad hoc fashion.

So clearly it is shameful of arXiv to have censored your paper e.g.

I recognise that you can make some predictions about Higgs mass from the masses of weak gauge bosons and top quark. It will be interesting to see how well experiments confirm them.

While you have checkable predictions that could falsify your model if the predictions are firmly dscredited by experiments, there is no way to really confirm the theory: the mainstream ideas could accommodate whatever data comes out of LHC by adding suitable epicycle-like "corrections" and "fine-tuning" to their theory.

It seems to me that there are two kinds of physical theory. The proofs that Archimedes gave for his laws of buoyancy are the kind of proof that builds on facts, and are not really speculative to begin with. His predictions may appear to be falsifiable, but actually since he has only put facts (not unknowns or speculations) as the input assumptions into his proofs to start with, they can't actually be falsified within their range of validity, unless you try to apply the laws outside the range for which the factual input assumptions are valid. Archimedes' proof was fact-based. It wasn't a speculative theory requiring eternal distrust and falsifiability. It wasn't Popperian falsifiability.

Archimedes says that if you are st the bottom of the sea, the water pressure is the same regardless of whether there is a ship floating above you or not. Hence, the total weight of water and ship above any point (producing the downward water pressure) is equal to the weight of water if there was no ship floating above you. Thus, the weight of water displaced when ship floats is equal to the weight of the ship.

You can't falsify this kind of tight physical proof, it's a theory only in the sense of showing the relationship between various established facts. It's not speculative.

I think there is something to be said for this kind of physics in particle physics, because if you can get somewhere working out the relationship between different facts without invoking any speculations, then it's pretty solid. The problem here is that there is generally disagreeemnt on what are fundamental facts. E.g., I need to ascertain if the Hubble v = HR recession of galaxies at velocity v for apparent observable distance R, is really equivalent to an acceleration of those galaxies at

a = dv/dt
= d(HR)/dt
= H*dR/dt + R*dH/dt
= H*dR/dt + R*0
= H*dR/dt
= Hv
= H(RH)
= RH^2

which is about 7 * 10^{-10} metres per second squared for the most distant receding matter (at nearly the radius of the horizon).

It's a tiny acceleration, but the mass of the universe is immense, so the outward force would be on order 7*10^43 newtons.

Newton's 3rd law then suggests an equal inward reaction force, which allows a lot of algebraic fun, resulting in an interpretation of graviton exchange as a pushing effect. Space is filled with a fabric consisting of gauge bosons, virtual particles, Dirac's sea, etc., which gets knocked out of the way when a fundamental particles moves. Like a submarine moving under the sea, the surrounding stuff doesn't pile up at the front causing ever increasing pressure that prevents motion, but rather it flows around teh moving object and into the vacated space. If the moving object is effectively accelerating, then a frictionless (perfect fluid) would accelerate in the other direction, exerting a force equal to the force of the accelerating object. Masses are pushed together by the inward force carried by graviton exchange radiation. This is because nearby masses which aren't receding significantly with respect to one another, don't fire off a significant force of gravitons in the direction of the nearby mass.

If you do some fact based calculations of this, you can predict G and a lot of cosmology without requiring dark energy (unless you treat that as the energy of the gravitons, which cause masses to repel where the masses are already accelerating from one another, but cause attraction when they aren't). However, it's a very heretical theory simply because the "facts" it is based upon aren't normally interpreted this way. Of course, if they were normally interpreted that way, then there would be nothing for me to say.

Am I correct at the first step to be calculating an acceleration with basic physics using Hubble's law? E.g, the acceleration = dv/dt = d(HR)/dt = RH^2 calculation seems to me to be a perfect example of doing real physics, calculating things from known facts using correct maths.

However, to someone who is hostile to innovative physics, it would certainly be "just plain wrong" because nobody else has done that before or because any statement of a new idea must be due to my ignorance of general relativity (which I studied at college, in addition with quantum mechanics).

However, maybe I missing some subtle point in working out acceleration from Hubble's law and applying it to outward and inward forces using Newton's laws of motion, and maybe one day someone will figure out why putting facts together my way is a crime worthy of censorship from arXiv (the censors didn't say what was wrong with my calculations).

"Don't let the critics get you down, such people aren't even worth the price of a bullet." - Louise

Thank you, I'll try to conserve ammunition in future. There is no challenge anyway in shooting back at critics who can't fire straight.

9:39 AM  

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