Pigs and truffles: the analogy to science

“… Fermi’s Nobel Prize was partially for the discovery of the new elements Hesperium and Ausonium, which were flat wrong. Ida Noddack even pointed out the flaw in Fermi’s arguments, prior to the Nobel Prize. … As the old saying goes, though, sometimes it takes a pig to find a truffle. But, as truffle hunters know, the pig usually eats it …”

Ida Noddack the female experimental chemist versus showman Enrico Fermi the ego centric bungling physicist
Ida Noddack the female experimental chemist versus showman Enrico Fermi the ego centric bungling physicist who claimed to have discovered two fictional transuranium elements in 1934 when bombarding uranium with neutrons for the purpose of securing the Nobel Prize. In fact, he bungled it, and the brilliant chemist Ida Noddack debunked him. Naturally, he was still awarded a prize and she was ignored. It turned out that Fermi could have discovered nuclear fission in 1934 if he hadn’t used a piece of thin metal foil which stopped the fission fragments. If he had done that, the nuclear deterrent might have been available years earlier to end world war.

Dr Woit’s blog posts may often be so silly they are funny, but occasionally you find a gem in the comments section too, such as the one above, which is well worth preserving. 😉

Dr Peter Woit calls Trump supporters ignorant racists, while asking them not to vote for him

God bless America.
Comparison between the USA Today national polling average and the Biased Bigots Corrupt (aka BBC) poll of polls (discredited during the June 2016 Brexit vote).

“Most people here in New York City probably do think you’re an ignorant racist. Your problem though is that Donald Trump is one of us.”

– Dr Peter Woit, Columbia Mathematics Department quantum field theorist, http://www.math.columbia.edu/~woit/wordpress/?p=8864

How much is he being paid by Trump?  He is certainly supporting the guy.

No mention from Woit of the casualties caused by Hillary Clinton’s bombing of Libya into civil war. This is relevant for physics, because it explains the kind of elitist narcissism that has rotted all areas of academia and other establishments, like government.  Woit’s solution is dictatorship, turning off comments on his blog to avoid criticisms.  Brave hero.

Update (10 November 2016): God Bless America, and give thanks for Peter Woit’s spoof blog post and many others in the media, for contributing to Trump’s victory

I’ve compared Brexit to the 8 November 2016 election of Donald J. Trump over on my anti-war blog, here. The good doctor Woit has now published another spoof political blog post, The Day After, in which he declares he’s headed to emigrate to Paris (presumably to do the same for the hard-right French National Front’s Marine Le Pen, that he did for Trump).

Peter Woit vs. elitist snobbery by journals

Peter Woit, the wavefunction amplitude assumption by J.S. Bell and other non-relativistic 1st quantization quacks, the multiple wavefunction amplitudes for the path integral which debunk Bell’s inequality assumptions, the censorship of facts by inequality dictators, elitist snobbery by journals, and the freedom of the press barons and supposedly liberal communists to censor unfashionable facts and half-baked ideas

Here’s some less funny news for a change.  As Peter Woit finishes off his monumental and very interesting textbook, Quantum Theory, Groups and Representations: An Introduction, currently 601 pages (October 20, 2016 version), which I will review when completed, he’s taking politically correct potshots at journals which publish half baked heresies by outsiders:

Retraction at Annals of Physics

Retraction Watch reports that Annals of Physics has removed a recently published article by Joy Christian, replacing it by a publisher’s note that just says:

“This article was erroneously included in this issue. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.”

The paper is available on the arXiv here. Christian’s affiliation in the abstract is listed as “Oxford”. This refers to the Einstein Centre for Local-Realistic Physics which is not at Oxford University, but at a location in the town that I think I unknowingly walked past on my way to go punting last week. The only person involved with the centre who lists an academic affiliation is Dr. Jay R. Yablon (MIT), who appears to be a patent attorney in Schenectady.

This story brings back memories of the Bogdanov affair of 2002, one aspect of which was the publication by the Bogdanovs in Annals of Physics of a paper that, as far as I could tell, made little sense. That paper was never removed or retracted. The editor-in-chief when the Bogdanov paper was accepted was Roman Jackiw. Frank Wilczek took over from him and said at the time that he was hoping to improve the journal’s standards. The current editor-in-chief is my Columbia colleague Brian Greene.

Comments are off since I would rather not host a discussion involving the merits of this paper. I haven’t tried to seriously read it, and don’t want to spend time doing so. In the Bogdanov case I spent (wasted…) a lot of time reading their papers, so felt comfortable discussing them, not about to do the same in this case.

That is at first glance plain arrogant and unreasonable: if you “don’t want to spend time” trying to seriously read a paper, you’re not qualified to make any comment whatsoever about it.  However, we live in a world where any publicity is so precious that “all publicity is good publicity”, in other words, taking flack for supposed heresies and being crucified for it, whether your name is Jesus Christ or Donald Trump, may be the only way to motivate people to say anything, to have any real debate.

The withdrawn paper notice on sciencedirect.com states:

“This article has been withdrawn at the request of the Editors.  Soon after the publication of this paper was announced, several experts in the field contacted the Editors to report errors.  After extensive review, the Editors unanimously concluded that the results are in obvious conflict with a proven scientific fact, i.e., violation of local realism that has been demonstrated not only theoretically but experimentally in recent experiments. On this basis, the Editors decided to withdraw the paper.” (Emphasis added in bold type.)

Now, the problem of looking to conventionality to decide whether a new paper is right or wrong is sometimes called the Galileo problem: in other words, common sense and “established fact” has turned out wrong in the past.  The “flat Earthers” who could prove their ideas by experiments on samples of flat Earth and then extend the concept to the whole planet, were not censored out for being lunatics.  They were the ones censoring.  They censored the idea that the Earth is spherical, and refused to find the time to discuss evidence.

I know Bell’s work is based on the assumption of the correctness of first quantization, i.e. a single wavefunction that is indeterministic, as in the Schroedinger equation. In fact, second quantization shows that you have a separate wavefunction amplitude for each path or interaction with the real particle and an infinite number of offshell or virtual field quanta, which must be summed in the path integral. It is the addition of all these different path amplitudes, each proportional by exp(iS) where S is the action of the virtual particle interaction path, which produces the interference of these paths in the path-integral, and thereby causes all of the indeterminancy. Feynman’s 1985 book “QED” explains how this invalidates and replaces the old fashioned uncertainty principle of first quantization, such as Schroedinger’s equation, which Bell’s work is based on. Since Bell ignores this physical mechanism of multiple path wavefunction amplitudes interfering to produce indeterminancy, by Bell’s choosing to represent only a single wavefunction amplitude exp(iHt), all of his statistical analysis is obfuscating and misguided.

The path integral approach derives from the multiple virtual particles in the field (the field quanta) of Dirac’s relativistic equation which supersedes Schroedinger’s non-relativistic equation, in other words when you replace Schroedinger’s flawed non-relativistic Hamiltonian with Dirac’s spinor Hamiltonian, you are naturally led to the reality of field quanta and each interaction with a field quanta contributes a wavefunction amplitude.  The interferences of these amplitudes using the path integral replace the 1st quantization “uncertainty principle”, a fact that Feynman makes clear graphically for several examples in “QED” (the 1985 book, not the 1965 one he co-authored with Albert Hibbs!).

I downloaded Joy Christian’s paper On the Fatal Mistake Made by John S. Bell in the Proof of His Famous Theorem (also athttps://www.academia.edu/25514662/On_the_Fatal_Mistake_Made_by_John_S._Bell_in_the_Proof_of_His_Famous_Theorem) because I studied Bell’s work in detail while a physics undergraduate, and found that these facts about the failure of Bell to look at path integrals, which we’ve made clear on this blog for years, are ignored.  Instead, disappointingly, Christian tries to use the old trick of pointing out that Bell relies on unobservables: “That is to say, no physical experiment can ever be performed … that can meaningfully measure or evaluate the above average, since none of these quantities could have experimentally observable values.”

Let’s now make a comment about the current religion of the uncertainty principle.  Basically, the conventional textbook hype in modern physics is inverted from reality: almost all of the particles in the universe, leptons, quarks, even dark energy and dark matter, are producing effects on us all the time via their gravity fields and other fields.  To answer Einstein’s famous question to the Bohr-rights: “Is the Moon there when you are not looking?”, you are always “looking” at the moon and at every subatomic particle in the radioactive nucleus controlling the fate of Schroedinger’s cat, because the Moon and those particles have fields that are continually affecting us: gravity, dark energy, electromagnetism etc.  If the Moon really disappeared, massive tidal effects would occur.  Regarding radioactivity, the very clear differences in half lives between different nuclei point not to indeterminism but to a definite shell structure.

Electron spins likewise determine the magnetic fields of magnets.  Sure, there is randomness as observes in mechanical situations as in Brownian motion, but the fact is that the alleged non-relativistic 1st quantization wavefunctions (even if such a non-relativistic model were valid) are always “collapsed by measurement” into a definite state condition, as we observe when we measure the average properties of a good sample size to eliminate small-scale randomness.  The half life of plutonium-239 nuclei is deterministic for large sample sizes, and differs from the half life of  Americium-241 nuclei.  And you don’t even need a large sample: alpha particles are emitted with discrete energies (like nuclear gamma rays, unlike beta particles) and Gamow’s tunnelling formula (better understood with 2nd quantization, i.e. a particulate field barrier which offers a statistical penetration probability by a particle “missing field quanta” by analogy to a football missing a crowd of defenders and scoring a goal, than by classical 1st quantization field concepts!) relates half life with alpha particle energy.

You can measure an individual alpha particle energy with a zinc sulphide phosphor, a photomultiplier and a pulse height discriminator, therefore, and get a pretty good estimate of the half life. Americum-241 always emits 5.486 MeV alpha particles, corresponding to a half life of 432.2 years; plutonium has longer half life (24,110 years) because it emits lower energy alpha particles, 5.245 MeV which therefore take longer to break through the barrier of virtual pions and other discrete particles that act to bind the nucleus together.

As Feynman explains in that 1985 book “QED” which we keep referring everyone to read, every electron in a block of glass is influencing and being influenced by every other one, which explains the otherwise counter-intuitive fact that a photon has a probability of reflecting off the front face of a block of glass that depends on the thickness of the glass, something that a photon merely interacting with the front will not be affected by, unless – as is in fact the case – the electrons vibration frequencies are a function of the thickness of the glass, so that even the electrons on the front of the glass are affected by the thickness of it, before the photon arrives.

On the topic of heresy, a question in a comment on the previous post stimulated a reaction from me on quantum gravity:

Yes, quantum gravity as I show at http://vixra.org/pdf/1302.0004v2.pdf as well as http://vixra.org/pdf/1301.0187v1.pdf and with diagrams that are easy to grasp and understand at http://vixra.org/pdf/1111.0111v1.pdf or http://vixra.org/abs/1111.0111 does predict all non-Newtonian gravitational contraction effects, which replicate and derive general relativity’s predictions precisely, just as you list! In fact, Einstein’s own original derivation of the field equations show that energy conservation accounts for the contraction numerically, which is precisely what we’re doing physically. Newton’s equation ignores the fact that a falling apple can’t acquire kinetic energy from nothing. What’s occurring is that the gravitational field’s potential energy is being reduced as the apple acquires a corresponding amount of kinetic energy.

All of the general relativity predictions that differ from Newton’s come from the contraction term, which Feynman showed (see his 1963 Lectures on Physics) is a contraction, a gravitational version of the Lorentz-Fitzgerald contraction of restricted or special relativity.

The contraction due to the distortion of space is small for most Newtonian situations; in fact it is something like 1.5mm for Earth’s mass equivalent. You get it by replacing v in the Lorentz transformation with escape velocity, and dividing the resulting contraction by 3 to account for the fact that only 1 dimension is contracted by linear motion (the dimension in the direction of that motion), whereas gravitational compression contracts three spatial dimensions.

In fact, the key differences between Newtonian gravitation and the mechanism of quantum gravity in http://vixra.org/abs/1111.0111 are that the quantum gravity mechanism predicts additionally (1) all of local general relativity predictions, (2) predicts dark energy quantitatively, which general relativity fails to do, and (3) predicts the quantization of masses, which neither Newtonian gravity nor general relativity does.

I think it is time that http://vixra.org/abs/1111.0111 was rewritten and improved from the popular standpoint.  The physics snobs are flat Earth “facters” when it comes to new ideas that contradict their money-spinning quackery, and they are also hypocrites, usually with regard to claiming vocally to demand equality when their actions enforce inequality.  (Though maybe some of them claim they’re communists and will give away all their money as soon as everyone else does.  Conveniently, they back equality only where it can never exist, and resist equality where they could make a difference! But power tends to corrupt scientists more than politicians.  At least Trump and Hillary are having debates.)