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RECENT POSTS IN THIS TOPIC

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FQXi FORUM

October 18, 2019

CATEGORY:
Trick or Truth Essay Contest (2015)
[back]

TOPIC: On Mathematical Misconceptions Masquerading as Physics by Thomas Erwin Phipps [refresh]

TOPIC: On Mathematical Misconceptions Masquerading as Physics by Thomas Erwin Phipps [refresh]

Foundational aspects of classical physics, including special relativity and Maxwell's equations, are adversely criticized on the basis of the claim that covariance is inferior to genuine invariance. In each case invariant alternatives are adduced and their superiority established. An invariant form of Maxwell's field equations due to Hertz is demonstrated to entail an electromagnetic force law similar to that of Lorentz, but containing an extra force term. The presence of this extra term may explain why hot fusion experiments have been destabilized by what amount to (supposedly non-existent) Ampere longitudinal forces.

The author was born in Champaign, Illinois on 26 January, 1925, the son a a Physical Chemistry Professor at the University of Illinois. He was educated at Harvard, where he received a PhD in Nuclear Physics under Norman Ramsey in 1951. Prior to that, he did war work in Operations Research (later called Systems Analysis) for the Navy Department under Professor P. M. Morse of MIT. Later employments included work at the Naval Ordnance Test Station, China Lake, California and the Naval Ordnance Laboratory in Maryland. He retired in 1980 to do physics research in a home laboratory.

Dear Edwin Phipps,

I read and enjoyed your essay, and received food for thought, though I regret I am not familiar enough with some of the mathematical descriptions you mention to be able to comment on them. I think you did a great idea presenting your ideas.

I found it interesting that you approached the essay theme so differently than I did. More food for thought.

I wonder: do you have a view on Bondi's k calculus?

Best wishes.

Bob Shour

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I read and enjoyed your essay, and received food for thought, though I regret I am not familiar enough with some of the mathematical descriptions you mention to be able to comment on them. I think you did a great idea presenting your ideas.

I found it interesting that you approached the essay theme so differently than I did. More food for thought.

I wonder: do you have a view on Bondi's k calculus?

Best wishes.

Bob Shour

report post as inappropriate

Dear Thomas Erwin Phipps,

A number of essays express the belief that physics has jumped the track and that mathematics is the problem. Your essay says it better than most. And acquaintance with 'real' physicists (those currently working for the establishment) reveals Jack Horner-like self-satisfaction, and, as you say, "second thoughts are heresy." Only the old guys, retired from the rat...

view entire post

A number of essays express the belief that physics has jumped the track and that mathematics is the problem. Your essay says it better than most. And acquaintance with 'real' physicists (those currently working for the establishment) reveals Jack Horner-like self-satisfaction, and, as you say, "second thoughts are heresy." Only the old guys, retired from the rat...

view entire post

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Thank you for the most explicit and insightful comments I have received. I have my own tweaks I would like to make to the math of quantum mechanics -- but that is a separate topic. Good luck with your essay.

Best, Tom

Best, Tom

Dear Tom,

I'm pleased you found my comments insightful. Reading some comments below, I see it would be helpful to provide a link to my essay:

The Nature of Bell's Hidden Constraints

also, a link to all of the current [2015] essays is here:

2015 FQXi essays

My very best to you,

Edwin Eugene Klingman

report post as inappropriate

I'm pleased you found my comments insightful. Reading some comments below, I see it would be helpful to provide a link to my essay:

The Nature of Bell's Hidden Constraints

also, a link to all of the current [2015] essays is here:

2015 FQXi essays

My very best to you,

Edwin Eugene Klingman

report post as inappropriate

Wonderful presentation. Box’s quote is right on target. It seems many forget the currently popular models are not correct but wrong and will be replaced although the entrenched society is defending the status quo at all costs.

The pendulum swings. One side is the experimental with a new model starting the swing. The new data shows holes in the model. As the troublesome data builds, the theorists add ad hoc additions to defend the status quo. Then comes complex math and ignoring the new by rejecting the papers. As the data builds as you suggest, eventually a new model with new and wildly different assumptions finally produces a revolution if we are lucky. Today there is already enough data to construct a new model. You point out some that is `misinterpreted’ or ignored. The theorists must take center stage for now. Unfortunately, the `defend the status quo’ seems to be winning and physics is becoming entrenched. One side effect is that with little really new, funding from politicians dries up. Want funding - produce a radically new, exciting (not metaphysics) model.

Thanks for the excellent job of addressing the problem with standards.

report post as inappropriate

The pendulum swings. One side is the experimental with a new model starting the swing. The new data shows holes in the model. As the troublesome data builds, the theorists add ad hoc additions to defend the status quo. Then comes complex math and ignoring the new by rejecting the papers. As the data builds as you suggest, eventually a new model with new and wildly different assumptions finally produces a revolution if we are lucky. Today there is already enough data to construct a new model. You point out some that is `misinterpreted’ or ignored. The theorists must take center stage for now. Unfortunately, the `defend the status quo’ seems to be winning and physics is becoming entrenched. One side effect is that with little really new, funding from politicians dries up. Want funding - produce a radically new, exciting (not metaphysics) model.

Thanks for the excellent job of addressing the problem with standards.

report post as inappropriate

Dear Thomas E. Phipps Jr.,

Per aspera ad astra.

When I quoted you in essay 1364 I already understood you as follows: "Phipps [25] pointed out that the lacking covariance was built into the [= Maxwell's] equations according to [Michelson's null result]."

Meanwhile I am sure, Michelson's 1881/1887 (Potsdam/Cleveland) null result was correct. Just the expectation by Michelson, Morley, Lorentz, etc. was not warranted.

An unwarranted trick can definitely not be the truth. That's why your essay is by far my favorite one despite of minor imperfections.

Thank you and all the best to you,

Eckard

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Per aspera ad astra.

When I quoted you in essay 1364 I already understood you as follows: "Phipps [25] pointed out that the lacking covariance was built into the [= Maxwell's] equations according to [Michelson's null result]."

Meanwhile I am sure, Michelson's 1881/1887 (Potsdam/Cleveland) null result was correct. Just the expectation by Michelson, Morley, Lorentz, etc. was not warranted.

An unwarranted trick can definitely not be the truth. That's why your essay is by far my favorite one despite of minor imperfections.

Thank you and all the best to you,

Eckard

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Thanks for your comments. I agree with you about Michelson-Morley.

Good luck with your essay.

Best, Tom

Good luck with your essay.

Best, Tom

Dear Tom,

I will be lucky if you could read my essay and comment critically on it. We shouldn't expect luck with the scores. Some author who did definitely not yet take part in the discussion of your essay rated it 1. At least he understood its implications.

Best,

Eckard

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I will be lucky if you could read my essay and comment critically on it. We shouldn't expect luck with the scores. Some author who did definitely not yet take part in the discussion of your essay rated it 1. At least he understood its implications.

Best,

Eckard

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At age 90 I am not of that generation that is computer savvy at birth. It is not obvious to me how to get hold of your essay. Can you send me a link? I must admit I find the consequences of submitting an essay to be bewildering.

Best, Tom

Best, Tom

Dear Erwin Phipps,

I agree with you: 'mathematical concepts' masquerade as 'physical concepts', and this is the major problem in present-day physics. Equations are just tools. Different tools can be used in different situations. But the argument that the tool can tell the whole tale is incorrect. Space-time, curved space, expanding space, mass-less particles, mass-giving particle, force particle, etc. are examples of meaningless physical concepts derived from equations. The present philosophy can be termed 'mathematicalism', the view that the real nature of the physical world can be understood based on equations alone. I argue for 'physicalism': an equation can be interpreted in many ways; out of these, physically meaningful interpretations alone need be considered. My essay will soon be available.

report post as inappropriate

I agree with you: 'mathematical concepts' masquerade as 'physical concepts', and this is the major problem in present-day physics. Equations are just tools. Different tools can be used in different situations. But the argument that the tool can tell the whole tale is incorrect. Space-time, curved space, expanding space, mass-less particles, mass-giving particle, force particle, etc. are examples of meaningless physical concepts derived from equations. The present philosophy can be termed 'mathematicalism', the view that the real nature of the physical world can be understood based on equations alone. I argue for 'physicalism': an equation can be interpreted in many ways; out of these, physically meaningful interpretations alone need be considered. My essay will soon be available.

report post as inappropriate

Honourable Sir,

I'm quite impressed with your essay. Your work is very thoughtful.

Simply great!

Kindly,

Miss. Sujatha Jagannathan

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I'm quite impressed with your essay. Your work is very thoughtful.

Simply great!

Kindly,

Miss. Sujatha Jagannathan

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I am reading through these essays. Some are about a disconnect between physics and math. These papers have this in common. Then these papers use examples to demonstrate the disconnect as does my own essay. The examples vary widely. This is my observation. My main goal here is to applaud your point of view of the disconnect of which you get some of my points. I suspect pressure from people like you are going to change the face of physics. Thank you.

Al Schneider

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Al Schneider

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I should like to think that my rather impassioned attempts to reform physics might succeed. But, realistically, I doubt that is possible. I have never participated in the academic life. This means I am an outsider. My impression is that the Worldwide Professors United, though not a recognized organization, nevertheless exists and knows how to close ranks in defense of a status quo. This means that progress can occur only from inside, and at a snail's pace. It is to be hoped that the snail increments are more or less in the right direction. But the creature responds only to its own internal rumblings.

Best, Tom

Best, Tom

Dear Dr. Phipps,

I read your essay with great interest. I will have to read it more carefully before making substantive comments.

Incidentally, I remember your advisor Prof. Ramsey. I worked in his atomic beams laboratory in 1974, before moving on to a thesis project in superconductivity.

You might be interested in my essay "Remove the Blinders: How Mathematics Distorted the Development of Quantum Theory"

I argue that premature adoption of an abstract mathematical framework prevented consideration of a simple, consistent, realistic model of quantum mechanics, avoiding paradoxes of indeterminacy, entanglement, and non-locality. What’s more, this realistic model should be directly testable using little more than Stern-Gerlach magnets.

An earlier FQXi essay was entitled "Watching the Clock: Quantum Rotation and Relative Time"

But I have not been critical of classical mechanics. Maybe I should reconsider that, as well.

Alan Kadin

report post as inappropriate

I read your essay with great interest. I will have to read it more carefully before making substantive comments.

Incidentally, I remember your advisor Prof. Ramsey. I worked in his atomic beams laboratory in 1974, before moving on to a thesis project in superconductivity.

You might be interested in my essay "Remove the Blinders: How Mathematics Distorted the Development of Quantum Theory"

I argue that premature adoption of an abstract mathematical framework prevented consideration of a simple, consistent, realistic model of quantum mechanics, avoiding paradoxes of indeterminacy, entanglement, and non-locality. What’s more, this realistic model should be directly testable using little more than Stern-Gerlach magnets.

An earlier FQXi essay was entitled "Watching the Clock: Quantum Rotation and Relative Time"

But I have not been critical of classical mechanics. Maybe I should reconsider that, as well.

Alan Kadin

report post as inappropriate

I will read your "Blinders" essay with interest. Thanks for the link.

My first and only Phys. Rev. publication was in 1960, called "Generalization of Quantum Mechanics." It was about hidden variables. It disturbed me that a whole class of classical canonical variables, the "New Canonical Variables" or constants of the motion, were absent from QM. What kind of "formal Correspondence" omits a whole class of formal variables? So, I explored the possibility of restoring those variables to the formalism. I claimed advantages from so doing. That paper was several years in the refereeing, and I learned my lesson: Don't bother.

Best, Tom

My first and only Phys. Rev. publication was in 1960, called "Generalization of Quantum Mechanics." It was about hidden variables. It disturbed me that a whole class of classical canonical variables, the "New Canonical Variables" or constants of the motion, were absent from QM. What kind of "formal Correspondence" omits a whole class of formal variables? So, I explored the possibility of restoring those variables to the formalism. I claimed advantages from so doing. That paper was several years in the refereeing, and I learned my lesson: Don't bother.

Best, Tom

After reading your "Blinders" essay, I must say I am struck by how different intuitions can be about a problem. We agree that something is not right about QM, but have gone about looking for the flaw in almost diametrically opposite directions. You have discarded Hilbert space and looked at a nonlinear alternative. I stuck to Hilbert space and looked for a rigorized formal Correspondence. It has been over half a century, but what I vaguely recollect ia that when I included formal analogs of the classical constants of the motion, these attached themselves to the wave function in such a way that by assigning numerical values to them one could sever phase connections. So, instead of everything being phase-connected forever, the equations of motion contained parameters that could cut the connections. That was my approach to improving the theory's relationship to reality.

After all, as long as phases are uninterrupted everything stays in a pure state and is therefore unobservable. Sorry, this is not helping you, since you have chosen a different path. I see it as rather bad news for physics, if nonlinearity is needed from the start. The beauty of QM via formal Correspondence is that it connects directly to the grand Newtonian tradition (through the canonical version of that, due to Hamilton and the rest).

After all, as long as phases are uninterrupted everything stays in a pure state and is therefore unobservable. Sorry, this is not helping you, since you have chosen a different path. I see it as rather bad news for physics, if nonlinearity is needed from the start. The beauty of QM via formal Correspondence is that it connects directly to the grand Newtonian tradition (through the canonical version of that, due to Hamilton and the rest).

Dear Tom,

when I first read your fantastic essay I knew it would attract many positive comments and votes. Congratulations! It seems still worthwhile to try to stem the tide of mainstream concordance in physics.

Best Lutz Kayser

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when I first read your fantastic essay I knew it would attract many positive comments and votes. Congratulations! It seems still worthwhile to try to stem the tide of mainstream concordance in physics.

Best Lutz Kayser

report post as inappropriate

Dear Thomas,

John Archibald Wheeler left to physicists and mathematicians a good philosophical precept:**"Philosophy is too important to be left to the philosophers."**

When physicists and mathematicians speak about the structure and the laws of Universum for some reason they forget about lyricists. I believe that the scientific picture of the world should be the same rich senses of the "LifeWorld» (E.Husserl), as a picture of the world lyricists , poets and philosophers:

*We do not see the world in detail,*

Everything is insignificant and fractional ...

Sadness takes me from all this.(Alexander Vvedensky,1930)

*It is by a mathematical point only that we are wise, *

as the sailor or the fugitive slave keeps the polestar in his eye;

but that is sufficient guidance for all our life.

We may not arrive at our port within a calculable period,

but we would preserve the true course. (Henry David Thoreau,1854)

Do you agree with Henry David Thoreau?

Kind regards,

Vladimir

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John Archibald Wheeler left to physicists and mathematicians a good philosophical precept:

When physicists and mathematicians speak about the structure and the laws of Universum for some reason they forget about lyricists. I believe that the scientific picture of the world should be the same rich senses of the "LifeWorld» (E.Husserl), as a picture of the world lyricists , poets and philosophers:

Everything is insignificant and fractional ...

Sadness takes me from all this.

as the sailor or the fugitive slave keeps the polestar in his eye;

but that is sufficient guidance for all our life.

We may not arrive at our port within a calculable period,

but we would preserve the true course.

Do you agree with Henry David Thoreau?

Kind regards,

Vladimir

report post as inappropriate

I do not have any particular religion of my own. That would partly close my mind, which I prefer to keep open. I do, however, have a sort of frankly irrational suspicion -- which is akin to faith -- that when we understand the fundamental ways in which nature works we shall be far more stunned, shocked, amazed than even the lyricists, poets, etc. have it in their power to imagine.

Best, Tom

Best, Tom

Welcome outsider from another mainstream outsider with a radical new model of the big and the small. I’m also retired and went back to my original love - physics.

We join Einstein (a clerk because he was rejected by the academic community when he first publish), Newton (he isolated himself), some who were excommunicated, and others outside the status quo.

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We join Einstein (a clerk because he was rejected by the academic community when he first publish), Newton (he isolated himself), some who were excommunicated, and others outside the status quo.

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Respected Sir,

Once again you have proved the adage: old is gold. There is so much similarity between your views and our essay “REASONABLE EFFECTIVENESS OF MATHEMATICS” here that one author wanted us to comment on the central theme of your marvelous essay. We have covered the same points in a different style to finally suggest the need for scrapping the modern text books and rewrite physics afresh.

Mathematics describes only the quantitative aspect of Nature - how much one quantity, whether scalar or vector; accumulate or reduce linearly or non-linearly in interactions involving similar or partly similar quantities and not what, why, when, where, or with whom about the objects. These are subject matters of physics. Thus, you have correctly described them as parallel tracks. Welcome to read our essay on this forum.

Regards,

basudeba

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Once again you have proved the adage: old is gold. There is so much similarity between your views and our essay “REASONABLE EFFECTIVENESS OF MATHEMATICS” here that one author wanted us to comment on the central theme of your marvelous essay. We have covered the same points in a different style to finally suggest the need for scrapping the modern text books and rewrite physics afresh.

Mathematics describes only the quantitative aspect of Nature - how much one quantity, whether scalar or vector; accumulate or reduce linearly or non-linearly in interactions involving similar or partly similar quantities and not what, why, when, where, or with whom about the objects. These are subject matters of physics. Thus, you have correctly described them as parallel tracks. Welcome to read our essay on this forum.

Regards,

basudeba

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Hello, are you maybe mixing Lorentz covariance with vector contravariance? In relativity Lorentz covariance is a local phenomenon. Also spacetime symmetry does not mean space and time symmetry. You deny the mathematical foundation but what you propose instead? GT does not work in particle accelerators. It does not even work for planet Mercury. Anything else you may suggest?

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Dear me! So, "universal covariance" has gone out of style, and covariance is now a "local phenomenon." I would doubt that it is a phenomenon at all, as I understand the word. But let us not quibble.

Is it true that spacetime symmetry has acquired a new, more subtle meaning than what the words suggest? I suppose this should not surprise me, as relativity can evolve only toward the more arcane. By this time Einstein might say of physics, as he did of mathematics, that he no longer could understand it.

I thought I was specially explicit about the alternative I support -- namely, invariant formulations of Maxwell's field equations and relativity. I freely admit that although it is easy to propose a crucial experiment, and I have done this elsewhere (Physics Essays), I have not tried to analyze the huge number of experiments credited with supporting conventional relativity.

The form of GT I support uses GPS time for the time parameter. This automatically brings in time dilation via the "Lorentz factor" correction for motion but it does not bring in a spatial Lorentz contraction. Any empirical evidence for that immediately refutes my proposals.

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Is it true that spacetime symmetry has acquired a new, more subtle meaning than what the words suggest? I suppose this should not surprise me, as relativity can evolve only toward the more arcane. By this time Einstein might say of physics, as he did of mathematics, that he no longer could understand it.

I thought I was specially explicit about the alternative I support -- namely, invariant formulations of Maxwell's field equations and relativity. I freely admit that although it is easy to propose a crucial experiment, and I have done this elsewhere (Physics Essays), I have not tried to analyze the huge number of experiments credited with supporting conventional relativity.

The form of GT I support uses GPS time for the time parameter. This automatically brings in time dilation via the "Lorentz factor" correction for motion but it does not bring in a spatial Lorentz contraction. Any empirical evidence for that immediately refutes my proposals.

report post as inappropriate

Thomas,

Many, many thanks. From the bottom of my heart, many thanks.

Your explanation of how clock timing for the GPS system works is something I have desired to know for years. It makes perfect sense to me. All the clocks are adjusted to be consistent in the receiver's frame of reference. I may use your essay as a citation for this subject.

The v/c correction that you include in the equation for Lorentz force is very interesting to me. I am working with quaternions and attempting to express physics using them. I have proposed that the LT be expressed as follows:

LT = cos(theta) + i*sin(theta) = sqrt(1 - v^2/c^2) + (v/c)*i.

I have not yet attempted to place this into the Maxwell Equations, but when I do, I suspect that the term you have added will be present. Now I have a plausible explanation for it.

Best Regards and Good Luck,

Gary Simpson

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Many, many thanks. From the bottom of my heart, many thanks.

Your explanation of how clock timing for the GPS system works is something I have desired to know for years. It makes perfect sense to me. All the clocks are adjusted to be consistent in the receiver's frame of reference. I may use your essay as a citation for this subject.

The v/c correction that you include in the equation for Lorentz force is very interesting to me. I am working with quaternions and attempting to express physics using them. I have proposed that the LT be expressed as follows:

LT = cos(theta) + i*sin(theta) = sqrt(1 - v^2/c^2) + (v/c)*i.

I have not yet attempted to place this into the Maxwell Equations, but when I do, I suspect that the term you have added will be present. Now I have a plausible explanation for it.

Best Regards and Good Luck,

Gary Simpson

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Dear Tom,

It is a saying in Africa that if you want to hear the truth, go to an elderly man. At 90, you are no longer looking for money, grants, job promotion, etc. All you wish for now is that Truth should rise again in our physics. Only those you called 'first class citizens' will oppose you.

Your analysis of the Maxwell equations was superb. Although you mentioned GPS, I observe that you did not make mention other experiments showing that earth motion can affect light arrival times, contrary to the Michelson-Morley findings. The challenge is how to reconcile the two seemingly discordant findings. I use Galilean transformation and invariance principles to suggest a solution in this paper.

My essay is also here, and I will be happy for a truth seeker to view and criticize.

Best regards,

Akinbo

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It is a saying in Africa that if you want to hear the truth, go to an elderly man. At 90, you are no longer looking for money, grants, job promotion, etc. All you wish for now is that Truth should rise again in our physics. Only those you called 'first class citizens' will oppose you.

Your analysis of the Maxwell equations was superb. Although you mentioned GPS, I observe that you did not make mention other experiments showing that earth motion can affect light arrival times, contrary to the Michelson-Morley findings. The challenge is how to reconcile the two seemingly discordant findings. I use Galilean transformation and invariance principles to suggest a solution in this paper.

My essay is also here, and I will be happy for a truth seeker to view and criticize.

Best regards,

Akinbo

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Dear Tom,

It's great to hear from you again after all these years! (Jeff K. of "The Alternate View" fame was quite happy to be told you had appeared here.) I'm sorry that we just went unconnected for awhile. I appreciate your giving a good Referee report to get my first journal publication, for*Physics* Essays. I find your gadfly Socratic challenges to be refreshing and thought-provoking, even if I am not convinced of your grand vision. I do think it's important to look into longitudinal field issues, whatever the explanation.

You (and others) will surely be interested in my own offering this time. It's about EM interactions extrapolated to higher-dimensional spaces. In particular, I take up the problem you referred to in*Heretical Verities* as the "left-behind potential hill". This is in essence the "4/3 paradox" about electromagnetic mass, and how does one explain it "directly" in terms of primary EM interactions PLUS that special correction from the internal stresses. I show how to solve that not just in 3-D space, but all spaces with analogous physics - and find that it will not work OK unless D = 3, number of spatial dimensions (taking one of time for granted.)

Then I give my philosophical thoughts, which I hope are interesting but I'm proud I could provide some actual physics meat there too. Well an email address is given in my essay, so drop me a line sometime. And still going strong at 90, that is great. You remind me of my 87 y.o. mother. Cheers.

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It's great to hear from you again after all these years! (Jeff K. of "The Alternate View" fame was quite happy to be told you had appeared here.) I'm sorry that we just went unconnected for awhile. I appreciate your giving a good Referee report to get my first journal publication, for

You (and others) will surely be interested in my own offering this time. It's about EM interactions extrapolated to higher-dimensional spaces. In particular, I take up the problem you referred to in

Then I give my philosophical thoughts, which I hope are interesting but I'm proud I could provide some actual physics meat there too. Well an email address is given in my essay, so drop me a line sometime. And still going strong at 90, that is great. You remind me of my 87 y.o. mother. Cheers.

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Hi Tom,

Once again you have encapsulated so concisely and elegantly the philosophical and mathematical woes of the current physics paradigm. I think specifically your discussion of the GPS clocks makes clear the inconsistencies that many present physicists are happy to accept. Fortunately the GPS system was developed by engineers who were quite happy to accept "Newtonian" time if that was required to make the system measure unambiguous locations on earth. This demonstrates that the mathematics of falsifiable engineering is always more useful than the fanciest of untestable field theories.

I thought your development of a new way of expressing the Ampere force by combining the methodology of Ampere, Neumann and Weber is an interesting development and one I look forward to exploring further.

In the meantime, I encourage your continuing efforts to try and make the scientific funding bodies aware of how unimaginative and wasteful their current grant awarding strategies are. Maybe this essay will bring this to their attention and we can see more research into longitudinal forces in fusion plasmas and other technologies in which unclosed or flexible circuits will highlight the existence and potential benefits of longitudinal EM force.

Congratulations on a very encouraging and poignant essay.

Regards

Neal

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Once again you have encapsulated so concisely and elegantly the philosophical and mathematical woes of the current physics paradigm. I think specifically your discussion of the GPS clocks makes clear the inconsistencies that many present physicists are happy to accept. Fortunately the GPS system was developed by engineers who were quite happy to accept "Newtonian" time if that was required to make the system measure unambiguous locations on earth. This demonstrates that the mathematics of falsifiable engineering is always more useful than the fanciest of untestable field theories.

I thought your development of a new way of expressing the Ampere force by combining the methodology of Ampere, Neumann and Weber is an interesting development and one I look forward to exploring further.

In the meantime, I encourage your continuing efforts to try and make the scientific funding bodies aware of how unimaginative and wasteful their current grant awarding strategies are. Maybe this essay will bring this to their attention and we can see more research into longitudinal forces in fusion plasmas and other technologies in which unclosed or flexible circuits will highlight the existence and potential benefits of longitudinal EM force.

Congratulations on a very encouraging and poignant essay.

Regards

Neal

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Tom

This is one of the best essays, I've read in a long time. All of it was good including your comments on relativity and Maxwell's Eqs. Particularly good were your comments about covariance and invariance. Many are with you on the surface problems (e.g., relativity), but those comments provide even deeper insight!

Nick Percival

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This is one of the best essays, I've read in a long time. All of it was good including your comments on relativity and Maxwell's Eqs. Particularly good were your comments about covariance and invariance. Many are with you on the surface problems (e.g., relativity), but those comments provide even deeper insight!

Nick Percival

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Dear Nick,

Thanks for the words of encouragement.

For Neal Graneau:

I have been thinking a bit more about the plasma instability problem. Deep within the body of a plasma there must be perfect symmetry in all directions. So, any new force term can be expected to exert no net observable effect. But near any boundary there is asymmetry, and a new force term may produce unexpected results. That is as far as I can go without calculation.

Best, Tom

Thanks for the words of encouragement.

For Neal Graneau:

I have been thinking a bit more about the plasma instability problem. Deep within the body of a plasma there must be perfect symmetry in all directions. So, any new force term can be expected to exert no net observable effect. But near any boundary there is asymmetry, and a new force term may produce unexpected results. That is as far as I can go without calculation.

Best, Tom

Tom,

I see the "genuinely modern physics" as that which uses the quantum world to explain the macro to be quite intriguing. I marvel at the unfolding understanding of the classical world by studying the very small in the field of quantum biology regarding navigation of birds, DNA, and the LHC. I do believe "reality checks" can be warped by false interpretations, but see progress in modern studies like peer-reviewed BICEP2 and searching for the origins of Earth's water -- asteroids vs. comets -- by landing on comets and studying them.

Not being a mathematician, I don't know if "over-mathematized" is a continuing threat. I do believe that its worship as divorced from pure physics is not good.

I also see too much attribution of the classical world's behavior to the quantum world.

Enjoyed your essay, Tom. Thanks for sharing.

Jim

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I see the "genuinely modern physics" as that which uses the quantum world to explain the macro to be quite intriguing. I marvel at the unfolding understanding of the classical world by studying the very small in the field of quantum biology regarding navigation of birds, DNA, and the LHC. I do believe "reality checks" can be warped by false interpretations, but see progress in modern studies like peer-reviewed BICEP2 and searching for the origins of Earth's water -- asteroids vs. comets -- by landing on comets and studying them.

Not being a mathematician, I don't know if "over-mathematized" is a continuing threat. I do believe that its worship as divorced from pure physics is not good.

I also see too much attribution of the classical world's behavior to the quantum world.

Enjoyed your essay, Tom. Thanks for sharing.

Jim

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Dear Jim,

Yes, the quantum world is much used to explain the world of our senses. But the opposite is also true. For instance there is the Drude theory of electrical and thermal conduction, which uses the classical kinetic theory of gas dynamics to treat the valence electrons in a conductor as a gas. And so on. That might fit your observation about "attribution of the classical world's behavior to the quantum world."

I am glad you could tolerate my essay. I think most physicists would not feel that way about it.

Best, Tom

Yes, the quantum world is much used to explain the world of our senses. But the opposite is also true. For instance there is the Drude theory of electrical and thermal conduction, which uses the classical kinetic theory of gas dynamics to treat the valence electrons in a conductor as a gas. And so on. That might fit your observation about "attribution of the classical world's behavior to the quantum world."

I am glad you could tolerate my essay. I think most physicists would not feel that way about it.

Best, Tom

Incidentally, Tom, I worked for a short time at NOTS, later called Naval Weapons Station, in 1968. The sand was bad for my pregnant wife and we went to the Naval undersea Warfare Center.

Jim

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Jim

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Dear Professor Phipps,

I think Newton was wrong about abstract gravity; Einstein was wrong about abstract space/time, and Hawking was wrong about the explosive capability of NOTHING.

All I ask is that you give my essay WHY THE REAL UNIVERSE IS NOT MATHEMATICAL a fair reading and that you allow me to answer any objections you may leave in my comment box about it.

Joe Fisher

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I think Newton was wrong about abstract gravity; Einstein was wrong about abstract space/time, and Hawking was wrong about the explosive capability of NOTHING.

All I ask is that you give my essay WHY THE REAL UNIVERSE IS NOT MATHEMATICAL a fair reading and that you allow me to answer any objections you may leave in my comment box about it.

Joe Fisher

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Dear Tom,

All surfaces must travel at the same constant speed no matter the apparent separation and seeming solid, liquid or vaporous physical conditions of observed surfaces.

One must only be able to see real surface. Dreamers can only ever see dream surfaces. Alert mirage watchers can only ever see mirage surfaces. LSD shooters can only ever see psychedelic surfaces.

Unfortunately, telescopes and microscopes and cameras utterly distort all real human observation of surface. But even those instruments confirm that it is physically impossible to identify a non-surface, therefore all surfaces must travel at the same constant speed at all times.

Gratefully,

Joe Fisher

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All surfaces must travel at the same constant speed no matter the apparent separation and seeming solid, liquid or vaporous physical conditions of observed surfaces.

One must only be able to see real surface. Dreamers can only ever see dream surfaces. Alert mirage watchers can only ever see mirage surfaces. LSD shooters can only ever see psychedelic surfaces.

Unfortunately, telescopes and microscopes and cameras utterly distort all real human observation of surface. But even those instruments confirm that it is physically impossible to identify a non-surface, therefore all surfaces must travel at the same constant speed at all times.

Gratefully,

Joe Fisher

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Please keep in mind that you have always had a real complete skin surface. All natural objects such as real planets, real trees, real mountains, and real blades of grass each have a real complete surface. The real surface of a fabricated sphere could only travel at the same constant speed as the real surface of a fabricated cube whether the sphere had been physically induced to spin or not. All you have to do to prove this is to look at a real spinning sphere that has been placed on a flat surface next to a real cube. You see both partial surfaces instantaneously and simultaneously.

As I advised you, Newton, and Einstein were completely wrong about the abstract motion of abstract objects.

Joe Fisher

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As I advised you, Newton, and Einstein were completely wrong about the abstract motion of abstract objects.

Joe Fisher

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There are many things that you state that are true and consistent with observations and there are many things that you state that are demonstrably inconsistent with observations. Math has nothing to to with it.

You do not mention whether mass is equivalent to energy in your model...it if is, then LT follows. If MEE is not well enough demonstrated by the countless observations including nuclear defects, it is not clear what observations would invalidate MEE for you.

You mention GPS clock corrections for gravity, which are true. GPS clocks are synchronized for gravity and that change is constant, but that does not invalidate the fact that gravity affects clocks. You also state that GPS accounts for velocity by changing clocks, but this is not true. The relative velocity of a GPS sattelite does affect its clock and that change must accounted for continuously by knowing velocity.

Since the Lorentz transformation works so well and satellite velocity relative to the ground an easy calc, the LT is an easy calc and GPS gives very precise locations. But there is no such thing as a uniform GPS time.

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You do not mention whether mass is equivalent to energy in your model...it if is, then LT follows. If MEE is not well enough demonstrated by the countless observations including nuclear defects, it is not clear what observations would invalidate MEE for you.

You mention GPS clock corrections for gravity, which are true. GPS clocks are synchronized for gravity and that change is constant, but that does not invalidate the fact that gravity affects clocks. You also state that GPS accounts for velocity by changing clocks, but this is not true. The relative velocity of a GPS sattelite does affect its clock and that change must accounted for continuously by knowing velocity.

Since the Lorentz transformation works so well and satellite velocity relative to the ground an easy calc, the LT is an easy calc and GPS gives very precise locations. But there is no such thing as a uniform GPS time.

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Dear Steve,

I take it you are a relativist. If so. thanks for taking the time to set me straight. Most would not bother.

That said, I must confess to being mystified, rather than enlightened, by your two criticisms.

First, you bring up E = mc^2 as justifying the LT. The LT does not refer to mass or energy, so this is a bit of a stretch. There are even some who attribute E = mc^2 to others than Einstein.

Your second point, about GPS time, escapes me. But let us suppose you are right, and GPS time does not flow uniformly. ("There is no such thing as a uniform GPS time.") In that case forget GPS time and call uniformly flowing time by some other name, say, Collective Time (CT). This is achieved in the way I described. Namely, by correcting clock running rates for gravity and motion, so that all clocks run in step. Yes, the motion corrections have to be continually up-dated to bring this about. Then CT flows uniformly, just as Newton said. "Time" is freed from the infirmities of clocks. Just as, in thermodynamics, "temperature" is freed (by corrections) from the infirmities of thermometers. No? Impossible? Impossible only if we live "in" Minkowski space.

I should like to end our argument here, since otherwise I fear (as in the case of Joe Fisher) we shall merely begin to repeat ourselves, so that argument is reduced to the dueling of mantras.

Best, Tom

I take it you are a relativist. If so. thanks for taking the time to set me straight. Most would not bother.

That said, I must confess to being mystified, rather than enlightened, by your two criticisms.

First, you bring up E = mc^2 as justifying the LT. The LT does not refer to mass or energy, so this is a bit of a stretch. There are even some who attribute E = mc^2 to others than Einstein.

Your second point, about GPS time, escapes me. But let us suppose you are right, and GPS time does not flow uniformly. ("There is no such thing as a uniform GPS time.") In that case forget GPS time and call uniformly flowing time by some other name, say, Collective Time (CT). This is achieved in the way I described. Namely, by correcting clock running rates for gravity and motion, so that all clocks run in step. Yes, the motion corrections have to be continually up-dated to bring this about. Then CT flows uniformly, just as Newton said. "Time" is freed from the infirmities of clocks. Just as, in thermodynamics, "temperature" is freed (by corrections) from the infirmities of thermometers. No? Impossible? Impossible only if we live "in" Minkowski space.

I should like to end our argument here, since otherwise I fear (as in the case of Joe Fisher) we shall merely begin to repeat ourselves, so that argument is reduced to the dueling of mantras.

Best, Tom

I actually am a quantumologist, not really a relativist per se. The equation for LT, gamma, comes from the ratio of energies or masses, and so is dimensionless. However, equating mass and energy is the key to LT and that is my point.

There are some serious flaws in GR, but LT is not one of them. The equivalence of mass and energy (MEE) is the underpinning of my universe and yet there are many things misleading about obsessing with the speed of light being constant. While that is a useful principle in many contexts, it is MEE that is the overarching principle, not LT.

While it is possible to synchronize clocks in gravity fields as GPS time, a moving clock ticks slower than a clock at rest. If you synchronize rest and moving frame GPS clocks, the direction of motion no longer dilates, but the other two dimensions then expand, so then you need to account for that change. The bottom line is that GPS clocks time more slowly according to their relative velocities.

There is an absolute clock in the CMB, which is a z = 1091, so if you want an absolute time, that would be the clock to use. Local time is our Cs-133 atomic clock, but we actually need both dimensions of time to know what time it is, absolute time and local time. This is the proper time of relativity, but velocity still makes moving clocks tick more slowly than the CMB clock, which is the clock of the universe.

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There are some serious flaws in GR, but LT is not one of them. The equivalence of mass and energy (MEE) is the underpinning of my universe and yet there are many things misleading about obsessing with the speed of light being constant. While that is a useful principle in many contexts, it is MEE that is the overarching principle, not LT.

While it is possible to synchronize clocks in gravity fields as GPS time, a moving clock ticks slower than a clock at rest. If you synchronize rest and moving frame GPS clocks, the direction of motion no longer dilates, but the other two dimensions then expand, so then you need to account for that change. The bottom line is that GPS clocks time more slowly according to their relative velocities.

There is an absolute clock in the CMB, which is a z = 1091, so if you want an absolute time, that would be the clock to use. Local time is our Cs-133 atomic clock, but we actually need both dimensions of time to know what time it is, absolute time and local time. This is the proper time of relativity, but velocity still makes moving clocks tick more slowly than the CMB clock, which is the clock of the universe.

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Dear Steve,

In 1960, before you were born, I published my one and only Phys. Rev. paper, "Generalization of Quantum Mechanics." I guess I was a quantumologist then, without knowing it. But, needless to say, I failed to revolutionize quantumology.

I do not know about those other two dimensions expanding that you speak of. That's not standard 1905 SRT in any case. And about needing "to account for that change," I am also at sea. Account how? The moving clock has already been set in a certain way. Are we to reset it, or does it reset itself? In any case, we agree "that GPS clocks time more slowly according to their relative velocities" -- provided we are talking about proper time and uncompensated clocks. If the clocks have been fiddled with, they could run faster, slower, or anything.

I agree that one can get fooled by over-emphasizing light speed constancy. The definition of speed depends on the way time is measured. In fact the modification of Maxwell's equations I proposed predicts variable light speed, when the wave equation is solved. I did not want to get into that, since a recent paper of mine in Physics Essays does so.

I completely buy the mass-energy equivalence as physics. It is the logical link to the LT that I question. But, as I said, we are in danger of merely reiterating our positions. Remember, "time" in the LT is always proper time. Deviate from that and it is a new ballgame.

GPS time or CT, as I choose to see it, requires a "Master Clock" showing its proper time, at rest in any inertial system. ("Slave" clocks in other states of motion are corrected to run in step with this Master.) That could include your CMB system, but does not require it.

Best, Tom

In 1960, before you were born, I published my one and only Phys. Rev. paper, "Generalization of Quantum Mechanics." I guess I was a quantumologist then, without knowing it. But, needless to say, I failed to revolutionize quantumology.

I do not know about those other two dimensions expanding that you speak of. That's not standard 1905 SRT in any case. And about needing "to account for that change," I am also at sea. Account how? The moving clock has already been set in a certain way. Are we to reset it, or does it reset itself? In any case, we agree "that GPS clocks time more slowly according to their relative velocities" -- provided we are talking about proper time and uncompensated clocks. If the clocks have been fiddled with, they could run faster, slower, or anything.

I agree that one can get fooled by over-emphasizing light speed constancy. The definition of speed depends on the way time is measured. In fact the modification of Maxwell's equations I proposed predicts variable light speed, when the wave equation is solved. I did not want to get into that, since a recent paper of mine in Physics Essays does so.

I completely buy the mass-energy equivalence as physics. It is the logical link to the LT that I question. But, as I said, we are in danger of merely reiterating our positions. Remember, "time" in the LT is always proper time. Deviate from that and it is a new ballgame.

GPS time or CT, as I choose to see it, requires a "Master Clock" showing its proper time, at rest in any inertial system. ("Slave" clocks in other states of motion are corrected to run in step with this Master.) That could include your CMB system, but does not require it.

Best, Tom

Tom,

Time grows short, so I am revisiting essays I’ve read to assure I’ve rated them. I find that I rated yours on 3/28, rating it as one I could immediately relate to. I hope you get a chance to look at mine: http://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/2345.

Jim

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Time grows short, so I am revisiting essays I’ve read to assure I’ve rated them. I find that I rated yours on 3/28, rating it as one I could immediately relate to. I hope you get a chance to look at mine: http://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/2345.

Jim

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Dear Professor Phipps

I enjoyed your essay - the sense of indignation at what is being fobbed on us as physics, and reading your assured corrections (Maxwell Eq.) or demolitions (the alleged symmetry of space and time).

In my Beautiful Universe Theory (BU) I have proposed a universal theory starting from scratch - in which time is nonexistent, just the accounting of the 'now' state of an evolving universe. No time dilation just changing clock time as you propose. And certainly no space contraction, just physical change in the length of meter sticks. In BU effects are local, discrete and causal, and 'spacetime' a dirty word. Clever mathematics has allowed Einstein to propose a fixed speed of light c and everything else, space and time contort according to an observer. Why is an observer - your Tom Thumb or his cousin, perhaps - necessary? Gravity works much better without a fixed c, but one in which light slows down in a gravitational field, as Eddington proposed. You mention Hertz - he died too soon without explaining his concept of an electric universe: an ether encompassing both space and matter made of the same stuff - much as in my theory - explaining the Michelson Morely experiments.

I wish I had your ability to juggle algebraic concepts to beat the physicists at their own game, but I only visualize geometrically.

Congratulations on your longevity at XC years. May you enjoy happy healthy light-years at C and beyond and see your views vindicated!

Vladimir

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I enjoyed your essay - the sense of indignation at what is being fobbed on us as physics, and reading your assured corrections (Maxwell Eq.) or demolitions (the alleged symmetry of space and time).

In my Beautiful Universe Theory (BU) I have proposed a universal theory starting from scratch - in which time is nonexistent, just the accounting of the 'now' state of an evolving universe. No time dilation just changing clock time as you propose. And certainly no space contraction, just physical change in the length of meter sticks. In BU effects are local, discrete and causal, and 'spacetime' a dirty word. Clever mathematics has allowed Einstein to propose a fixed speed of light c and everything else, space and time contort according to an observer. Why is an observer - your Tom Thumb or his cousin, perhaps - necessary? Gravity works much better without a fixed c, but one in which light slows down in a gravitational field, as Eddington proposed. You mention Hertz - he died too soon without explaining his concept of an electric universe: an ether encompassing both space and matter made of the same stuff - much as in my theory - explaining the Michelson Morely experiments.

I wish I had your ability to juggle algebraic concepts to beat the physicists at their own game, but I only visualize geometrically.

Congratulations on your longevity at XC years. May you enjoy happy healthy light-years at C and beyond and see your views vindicated!

Vladimir

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Dear Thomas,

I congratulate you on an important and well written essay which I feel should be far higher up the list. However even if near the top I suspect it would be quickly passed over in the judging (I've proved the same for a few years!)

I also confess to reading your excellent book. I hope you may read and comment on my own essay which I'm sure you'll agree with, (watch the socks carefully) not to mention the 'quasi classical' QM solution of the last two essays and here; https://www.academia.edu/9216615/Quasi-classical_Entanglemen

t_Superposition_and_Bell_Inequalities._v2 I'd be honoured if you could give any suggestions re the maths.

One last point of agreement on the LT. I've found that ALL findings can be adequately reproduced by the asymptotic non-linear physical effects of plasma and light interactions approaching 'optical breakdown' mode plasma (max) density, equivalent to min wavelength at gamma. A short paper on that is here; Optical Breakdown limit as a Mechanism for the Lorentz Transformation. Of course all believe that maths is enough so editors won't touch it and it's been entirely ignored. PFC.

Very well done and I hope my score gives a boost.

Peter

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I congratulate you on an important and well written essay which I feel should be far higher up the list. However even if near the top I suspect it would be quickly passed over in the judging (I've proved the same for a few years!)

I also confess to reading your excellent book. I hope you may read and comment on my own essay which I'm sure you'll agree with, (watch the socks carefully) not to mention the 'quasi classical' QM solution of the last two essays and here; https://www.academia.edu/9216615/Quasi-classical_Entanglemen

t_Superposition_and_Bell_Inequalities._v2 I'd be honoured if you could give any suggestions re the maths.

One last point of agreement on the LT. I've found that ALL findings can be adequately reproduced by the asymptotic non-linear physical effects of plasma and light interactions approaching 'optical breakdown' mode plasma (max) density, equivalent to min wavelength at gamma. A short paper on that is here; Optical Breakdown limit as a Mechanism for the Lorentz Transformation. Of course all believe that maths is enough so editors won't touch it and it's been entirely ignored. PFC.

Very well done and I hope my score gives a boost.

Peter

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'He sounded forth the trumpet that never called retreat. His will goes marching on.'*

Thanks Tom,

I really enjoyed your lovely essay and your wonderful way with words. And it's good to have living proof that a life of whistle-blowing and dissidence produces little impairment to the writing faculties of the wise. Indeed, why should it!

And though your technical subject matter...

view entire post

Thanks Tom,

I really enjoyed your lovely essay and your wonderful way with words. And it's good to have living proof that a life of whistle-blowing and dissidence produces little impairment to the writing faculties of the wise. Indeed, why should it!

And though your technical subject matter...

view entire post

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Dear Tom,

You were not able to respond to my post during the essay competition but I have been making references to your essay on the general blog. I will appreciate your criticism on the attached. Six pages only. I hope I can benefit from some criticism/ advice.

Thanks and regards,

Akinbo

*I post the abstract below.

You may reply here or to: taojo@hotmail.com

===========================================

==============================

Abstract: Absurdities arising from Einstein's velocity-addition law have been discussed since the theory's formulation. Most of these have been dismissed as being philosophical arguments and supporters of Special relativity theory are of the opinion that if the math is not faulted they are ready to live with the paradoxes. Here, we now demonstrate a mathematical contradiction internal to the theory itself. We show that when applied to light there is no way to mathematically reconcile the Einstein velocity-addition law with the second postulate of the theory which may have a fatal consequence.

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attachments: 1__Shorter_version__Application_of_the_velocity-addition_law_to_light_itself.pdf

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You were not able to respond to my post during the essay competition but I have been making references to your essay on the general blog. I will appreciate your criticism on the attached. Six pages only. I hope I can benefit from some criticism/ advice.

Thanks and regards,

Akinbo

*I post the abstract below.

You may reply here or to: taojo@hotmail.com

===========================================

==============================

Abstract: Absurdities arising from Einstein's velocity-addition law have been discussed since the theory's formulation. Most of these have been dismissed as being philosophical arguments and supporters of Special relativity theory are of the opinion that if the math is not faulted they are ready to live with the paradoxes. Here, we now demonstrate a mathematical contradiction internal to the theory itself. We show that when applied to light there is no way to mathematically reconcile the Einstein velocity-addition law with the second postulate of the theory which may have a fatal consequence.

================================================

==========================

attachments: 1__Shorter_version__Application_of_the_velocity-addition_law_to_light_itself.pdf

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