Good Math, Bad Math

It’s that time again – yes, we have yet another wacko reinvention of physics that pretends to have math on its side. This time, it’s “The Electro-Magnetic Radiation Pressure Gravity Theory”, by “Engineer Xavier Borg”. (Yes, he signs all of his papers that way – it’s always with the title “Engineer”.) This one is as wacky as Neal Adams and his PMPs, except that the author seems to be less clueless.

At first I wondered if this were a hoax – I mean, “Engineer Borg”? It seems like a deliberately goofy name for someone with a crackpot theory of physics… But on reading
through his web-pages, the quantity and depth of his writing has me leaning towards believing that this stuff is legit.

It’s hard to decide how to take this apart, because there’s just so much of it, and it’s all so silly!

What Engineer Borg is on about is his revolution of physics. The central idea of his theory is that relativity is wrong – sort of. That is, on the one hand, he frequently cites relativistic effects as being valid and correct; but on the other hand, the fundamental idea of his theory is that all motion in the universe consists of orbits within orbits within orbits, all eventually centered on a fixed, unmoving body at the exact center of the universe. This is, of course, fundamentally gibberish… Relativity is fundamentally based, mathematically, on a particular kind of symmetry – and what that symmetry means is there is no preferred frame of reference. Take that away, and relativity falls apart. But Engineer Borg doesn’t let that concern him. After all, he’s got a whole new version of physics, and so he probably has his own version of relativity too.

After all, he’s reinvented just about everything else. He rejects the idea of particles of matter – the particle/wave duality is, to Engineer Borg, utter nonsense. Everything is electromagnetic waves. What we see as “particles” are really just electromagnetic “standing waves”; so, you see particles don’t really exist. They’re just a coincidence – a wave pattern that happens to be persistent because of resonance, or interference – or, well, anything that produces a standing wave. Nothing can actually move; what appears to be particles is just waves, and if the “standing wave” pattern is slightly unstable, you’ll get a moving wave – aka a moving particle. Does this make sense? No… The kinds of wave interference that he’s talking about just don’t work. He’s trying to create a basic source of all of these waves, and then claiming that they form perfectly stable interference and resonance patterns, even as things move around and interact. According to Engineer Borg, every possible interaction between these wonderful wave things always remains stable. After all, they have to, because otherwise, the theory wouldn’t work. Is there any math to support it? No. He waves lots of equations around at pointless times, but can’t be bothered to show how the math works for the actual hard stuff.

So, what creates gravity? After all, that’s the part of his theory that we started out with, right? Well, he’s actually got two different explanation of that. But hey, consistency is a just a crutch for small minds, right? First, his introduction:

This paper aims at providing a satisfying theory for the yet unkown mechanism for gravity. High frequency electromagnetic waves sourced by the fixed energetic core of the universe, referred to as Kolob, sometimes also referred to as zero point energy, is predicted from a steady state universe in oscillatory motion and pervades all space. Radiation pressure (Poynting vector) imbalance of such highly penetrating extragalactic incoming radiation, acting through all matter is held responsible for pushing matter together.

It comes back to his “universal” frame of reference gibberish. He believes that there’s a fixed point which is the exact center of the universe, and that there’s this thing called Kolob at that point, which is radiating waves that create everything.

One of his gravity theories is similar to Einsteinean gravity, but rewritten to be a part of his standing wave nonsense:

To visualise the effect of non-linear electromagnetic element volume (space-time) at a
centre of gravity, imagine the surface of a rubber sheet with a uniform grid drawn on
it, and visualise the grid when the rubber is pulled down at a point below its surface.
Such bending of space-time is a result of this non-linearity of the parameters present
in the dielectric volume. One method of generating a non-linear dielectric volume is to
expose the whole dielectric volume under concern to a non -linear electric field, with
the ‘centre of gravity’ being the centre of highest electric field flux density.

An example of this is our planet, which has a non-linear electric field gradient
with its highest gradient near the surface. Linear gravity does not exist,
gravitational force is always non-linear (an-isotropic) pointing towards its centre.
That is earth’s g=9.8 at ground level, but decreases at higher altitudes. Linear
gravity results in a linear space-time and is the same as zero gravity. Similarly, an
electromagnetic element exposed to a linear force field will reconstruct the objects in
it at zero energy transfer. However, when exposed to a non-linear force field, an
object moving within it will experience a force imbalance in the direction of the
highest force flux density. So the attraction of matter to centres of gravity is not a
result of matter itself, but of the spacetime ‘stretching’ and ‘compression’ infront
and behind the moving object. A massless dielectric, that is space itself, would still
be ‘accelerated’ towards the point of easier reconstruction. The mass movement is just
an indication of movement of its electromagnetic constituents.

You see, the particles don’t really exist, because they’re just waves. But still,
the non-existent particles continue to warp spacetime – just like relativity says they
do – because of a “non-linear electric field gradient”. Does this create gravity? Not
really. It doesn’t work. But if you claim that gravity actually isn’t a fixed force,
but varies, and ignore the stability of things like orbits, then you can wave your
hands, throw around a lot of jargon, and pretend that it works.

Then there’s his other theory of gravity – this is ignores that whole
dielectric field thing, and turns it into a direct pushing force from those waves radiated by Kolob:

This paper aims at providing a satisfying theory for the yet unkown mechanism for gravity. High frequency electromagnetic waves sourced by the fixed energetic core of the universe, referred to as Kolob, sometimes also referred to as zero point energy, is predicted from a steady state universe in oscillatory motion and pervades all space. Radiation pressure (Poynting vector) imbalance of such highly penetrating extragalactic incoming radiation, acting through all matter is held responsible for pushing matter together.

So, the “zero point energy”, which he elsewhere says is the same thing as the
cosmological constant – the force that is causing the universe to expand – is
really creating a kind of pressure, which pushes matter together.

Does he have any math for how this works? Well, sort of. It’s actually really funny math. You see, the main reason that we know that electromagnetic waves must be the actual force behind gravity is… They both follow inverse-square relationships:

Despite the precise predictions of the equations of gravity when compared to experimental measurements, no one yet understands its connections with any other of the known forces. We also know that the equations for gravitational forces between two masses are VERY similar to those for electrical forces between charges, but we wonder why.

The equations governing the three different force fields are:

  • Electrostatic Force F = KQ1Q2/R2 …. K=1/4πeo, Q= charge, R = distance
  • Gravitational Force F = GM1M2/R2 …. G= gravitational constant, M= mass, R = distance
  • Magnetic Force F = UM1M2/R2 …. U=1/u, M= magnetic monopoles strength, R = distance

We learn that electrostatic forces are generated by charges, gravitational forces are generated by masses, and magnetic fields are generated by magnetic poles. But can this be really true? How could three mechanisms be so similar yet so different.

Yeah… That’s pretty much it. They’re all basic inverse square relationships, therefore they must ultimately be the same thing. It all makes sense because he’s also reinvented the entire system of units – replacing SI with his own system called ST, which has only two units, S (space/distance) and T (time). All energy has unit T/S; all forces are in units (T/S2). The three equations end up being exactly the same in Borg’s system, because he’s redefined the units so that charge, magnetic field, and mass are all
the same – so the only difference between the equations are the constants G, U, and K.

Why does that make sense? Well, because according to Engineer Borg, units analysis is fundamental to figuring out how things work. Any two things with the same unit are the same thing. So, since in Borg physics, all forces are T/S2, that means
that all forces are the same thing:

Analysing the three force field equations, one immediately observes that each one has got its own constant of proportionality, but otherwise, seem to be analogous to one another. Looking at the SI units of force that is kg*m/s2 doesn’t help much, but here is where the new ST system of units comes to rescue. The similarity between them can be best explained by analyzing the space time dimensions of force itself. The dimensions of ANY force field in ST units are T/S2…. T=time, S=distance. So, we see that the inverse square law (S-2) is not something directly related to magnetism, electric fields or gravity, but is contained in the definition of force itself. The spacetime diagram shows how one can ‘pinch’ space in the time direction in the presence of a force field. The geometric relation between space and time, or the relation between time and disk surface area is the same relation between energy (T/S) and distance (S). This is also confirmed by the mechanical law Force = Energy/ distance. This means that all forces can be accounted for by electromagnetic energy, in other words the effect of ANY force field must be electromagnetic in nature. It is therefore logically evident that the gravitation mechanism is also electromagnetic as for all other forces.

Yup, that’s it, it must be electromagnetic, because everything is electromagnetic, because the units match. And since it’s electromagnetic, and everything electromagnetic is ultimately created by “zero point energy” radiated by Kolob, that means that it’s all part of the grand revolving universe centered around Kolob. And don’t forget, because Engineer Borg can’t stress this enough: the math all works, because the units match.

Comments

  1. #1 Paul King
    February 20, 2007

    The reference to Kolob probably means that he is a Mormon (or ex-Mormon). It’s the planet where God is supposed to live according to LDS doctrine.

  2. #2 s. zeilenga
    February 20, 2007

    Can I just say, I love gravity?

    z.

  3. #3 Blake Stacey
    February 20, 2007

    A thousand years is as a day in the Lord’s sight, because years and days both have units of T. It’s all so clear to me now!

  4. #4 DieFundie
    February 20, 2007

    I take umbrage at your abject dismissal of the idea of particles being standing waves. Whatever other hokum this person slings vis-a-vis “the center of the universe”, this idea is spot-on. See Electron Holography by Akira Tonomura.

    Assuming that no particle exists makes Quantum Electrodynamics function. Indeed the particle does not “take all possible paths”, leading to such ridiculous assumptions as the many-worlds theory. However, all the possible paths do contribute to the observed path. Interference is the key.

  5. #5 Michael Zappe
    February 20, 2007

    I do have to say, he actually stops short of most GR researchers. It’s nice to just reduce everything to centimeters… :-)

  6. #6 MarkP
    February 20, 2007

    I’ve always found it damning of these alternative theories that not only do they disagree with mainstream science, they disagree with each other as well. Adams disagrees with Borg, and neither has anything to say in support of chiropractic, and none of the “knowledge” of those three has any positive implications for astrology. Oh, the alternative theorists will often vocalize support for each other, but the fact remains that their theories are like little islands of alternate unique realities, forever seperated. Contrast that to mainstream science, which paints a vast continuum where one can slide easily from one discipline to another, and show the consistency in each case, in any direction. This meta-argument has the advantage of not requiring specialized information and terminology often tossed about by cranks in order to bamboozle and confuse.

  7. #7 SLC
    February 20, 2007

    I know this is probably completely irrelevant to Mr. Borg but how does he explain what keeps the atomic nucleus together when all the charged particles therein have the same charge? If only electromagnetic forces exist, the atomic nucleus could not exist.

  8. #8 Blake Stacey
    February 20, 2007

    So, over at Ed Brayton’s corner of ScienceBlogs, they’re discussing “Conservapedia”, a wiki which is meant to counter the “consistent anti-American and anti-Christian bias in Wikipedia entries”. On their list of grievances, they say the following:

    Wikipedia has many entries on mathematical concepts, but lacks any entry on the basic concept of an elementary proof. Elementary proofs require a rigor lacking in many mathematical claims promoted on Wikipedia.

    They define an “elementary proof” thusly:

    he term “elementary proof” or “elementary techniques” in mathematics means use of only real numbers rather than complex numbers, which relies on manipulation of the imaginary square root of (-1). Elementary proofs are preferred because they are do not require additional assumptions inherent in complex analysis, such as that there is a unique square root of (-1) that will yield consistent results.

    Mathematicians also consider elementary techniques to include objects, operations, and relations. Sets, sequences and geometry are not included.

    The prime number theorem has long been proven using complex analysis (Riemann’s zeta function), but in 1949 and 1950 an elementary proof by Paul Erdos and Atle Selberg earned Selberg the highest prize in math, the Fields medal.

    Sets are not elementary?

    Of course, the complaint in Conservapedia’s list is groundless, since a Wikipedia article entitled “Elementary proof” does exist. It’s a stub, which begins like this:

    In mathematics a proof is said to be elementary if uses only ideas from within its field and closely related issues. The term is most commonly used in number theory to refer to proofs that make no use of complex analysis.

    My mind is boggling, so I’ll leave this alone now.

  9. #9 Mark C. Chu-Carroll
    February 20, 2007

    slc:

    Borg claims that there are no particles. According to him, an atom is not made up of a nucleus of protons and neutrons, surrounded by shells of electrons. He says that the entire atom is a single electromagnetic standing wave.

  10. #10 a little night musing
    February 20, 2007

    Blake: wait, wait, wait:

    Wikipedia has many entries on mathematical concepts, but lacks any entry on the basic concept of an elementary proof. Elementary proofs require a rigor lacking in many mathematical claims promoted on Wikipedia.

    Non-elementary proofs have a well-known liberal bias, is it? Ohhh, my head hurts.

    Back to the Borg theory (I’m loving thinking of it that way): Mark, I’m just a poor geometer-playing-number-theorist and ex-physics-student, but is there any content at all to this part:

    Linear gravity does not exist, gravitational force is always non-linear (an-isotropic) pointing towards its centre. That is earth’s g=9.8 at ground level, but decreases at higher altitudes. Linear gravity results in a linear space-time and is the same as zero gravity. Similarly, an electromagnetic element exposed to a linear force field will reconstruct the objects in it at zero energy transfer. However, when exposed to a non-linear force field, an object moving within it will experience a force imbalance in the direction of the highest force flux density.

    Specifically, what does he mean by “non’linear” (= “anisotropic”???) here? Clearly not what I mean when I say non-linear, unless I’ve missed something.

    Or, I guess what I’m asking (and keeping in mind how very long it’s been since I had any sleep) is, is this as garbled a passage of mathy-sounding blather as it seems? Or is there some (however small) germ of an idea here that might make it worth trying to figure out what the guy is saying?

    Oh my, I seem to have just asked you to write more on this subject. I apologize for that. A “yes” or “no” or “perhaps” will suffice, thanks.

    And you can count on my vote, FWIW, for the Koufax awards.
    Shall we have a big “get out the vote” drive?

  11. #11 Mark C. Chu-Carroll
    February 20, 2007

    musing:

    I think that it’s all just blather. I don’t think that there’s any way of making that actually make sense the way he thinks it does.

  12. #12 a little night musing
    February 20, 2007

    Oh, just one more comment on the Conservapedia/Wikipedia thing and then I’ll shut up:

    Taking this out with someone else, I mentioned the elementary proof of the prime number theorem (due to Erdös and Selberg) which is “elementary” in the sense of not using the Riemann zeta function, but hardly “elementary” in the sense of “simple”.

    And then I thought, well, if by “more rigorous” you mean “more demanding, wearing the reader out more throughly,”* then yes, the elementary proof is indeed “more rigorous.”

    Somehow I doubt that’s what they had in mind.


    * Speaking strictly for myself, of course. YMMV.

  13. #13 Blake Stacey
    February 20, 2007

    Linear is one of those Humpty-Dumpty words which obfuscatory people take to mean whatever they want it to mean. Furthermore, because it has a set of valid uses only loosely related through etymology, one can make an “argument” by taking a statement which is valid under definition 1 and criticize it using definition 3. Consider, for example, the word science, which in common usage can take (at least) four fairly distinct meanings:

    1. The scientific method — hypothesis, experiment, etc. — by which we discover truths about the world and grant them tentative acceptance based on evidence;

    2. The body of facts which we have uncovered using this method;

    3. The community of people engaged in employing this method;

    4. The application of the facts (sense 2), which we can distinguish by the term technology.

    A typical non-argument might then go, “Science is the tool of the military-industrial complex [true under #4], and therefore [changing slyly to #1] empirical investigation is only the metanarrative of the patriarchal warfare culture.” One finds the same confusion, intentional or not, when “linear equation” is bundled up with “linear thought”. Glib assertions of social constructivists notwithstanding, one can deploy intuition, guesswork and other less-than-strictly “linear” thought techniques in solving a problem which uses only linear equations. I’d argue that a big part of teaching physics involves stimulating students to do exactly this.

    There should be a word, a sonorous Lewis Carroll-style word, for this particular kind of mumble-ty-mumble.

  14. #14 SLC
    February 20, 2007

    Re ChuCarroll

    If there are no particles, how does he explain the periodic table?

  15. #15 David Harmon
    February 20, 2007

    Meems like there’s another of these… every time you turn around. :-)

  16. #16 Blake Stacey
    February 20, 2007

    SLC:

    If there are no particles, how does he explain PYGMIES + DWARFS?!

  17. #17 Chris' Wills
    February 21, 2007

    Just a guess, as I couldn’t find an answer on the Borg site, but perhaps Xavier is a German/Austrian.

    This would explain the use of Engineer as a title akin to Doctor.

    In Germany, people with the requisite qualifications are refered to as Herr Engineer (Mr Engineer) just as medical doctors are addressed as Herr Doctor.

    In the anglo-saxon countries this seems odd as we use the term engineer for many different levels/types of jobs from natural daylight enhancement engineer (otherwise known as a window cleaner) upto Nuclear engineer. So we use it for those with no academic training at all upto those with PHds in Engineering.

    In Germany only a suitably qualified person is allowed (by law) to use the title engineer, France has the same type of rules, and it is legally enforceable.

    If Mr Borg is in fact a suitably qualified person from Germany or a country with a similair history then using Engineer as a title is not strange for his culture, just from our perspective.

    P.S. How do you stay calm when you come across such lunacy?

  18. #18 Matthias Schinacher
    February 21, 2007

    Just to expand on the comment by Chris’ Wills.
    The use of “Dr.” as part of the name is common in Germany/Austria and people with a Ph.D do use this on a regular basis even outside any professional setting. This used to be the same for “Engineer” in the past in Germany, nowadays an engineer would use his/her academic title usually only if the qualification is relevant (like in a job interview).

    But in Austria, to this day, people are madly fond of any title or degree, and people will often refer to others or themselfs by way of job-title or degree.

    So my guess: the guy should be from Austria.

  19. #19 Chris' Wills
    February 21, 2007

    Thanks Matthias,

    It has been a long time since I was in Germany so the update is appreciated.

    I did notice that in his text he prefixed Ing to his name (Ingeneer?) so perhaps he is French or from Quebec?

    Though it isn’t common, in my experience, for French engineers to use it as a title anymore.

  20. #20 Davis
    February 21, 2007

    There should be a word, a sonorous Lewis Carroll-style word, for this particular kind of mumble-ty-mumble.

    I wouldn’t say it’s especially sonorous, but typically this is called “equivocation.”

  21. #21 Davis
    February 21, 2007

    Specifically, what does he mean by “non’linear” (= “anisotropic”???) here? Clearly not what I mean when I say non-linear, unless I’ve missed something.

    What little meaning there is in that blather is completely trivial. Gravity is nonlinear (in the sense in which we math-folk think of the term), in that it’s proportional to 1/r2, where r=the distance between two masses. It sounds like that bit is trying to dress up a simple fact in complicated-sounding language. A clear sign of crankiness.

  22. #22 Mark C. Chu-Carroll
    February 21, 2007

    Davis:

    I think that there’s a little bit more to his crankiness about non-linearity than just terminology. He seems to have this idea that units analysis has deep meaning – that things with the same unit must be the same thing, and that exponents in units must have geometric (or at least topological) meanings. So to him, the fact that gravity is an inverse square force between two bodies rather that a linear means that the interaction between the two bodies must mean that there is something geometrically non-linear about the relationship between the bodies. According to him, if gravity were really just an attraction between two bodies, where the forces on the bodies were simple linear forces towards their mutual center of mass, then gravity would have to be expressed in linear units – but since it’s quadratic, that means that there’s something wrong with the force model of gravity.

    It’s all nonsense, but I think that he’s doing more that just blindly flinging jargon; I think that he thinks that there is a lot of depth in the meaning of the non-linearity of gravity.

  23. #23 Torbjörn Larsson
    February 21, 2007

    How could three mechanisms be so similar yet so different.

    Yes, isn’t it an impressive that longrange simple forces are constrained to have the same relationship to distance? It doesn’t look like a coincidence. Unless, of course, you consider other forces, like shortrange ones.

  24. #24 Torbjörn Larsson
    February 21, 2007

    DieFundie:

    You seem to draw conclusions from meager support here.

    I take umbrage at your abject dismissal of the idea of particles being standing waves.

    How does holography lead you to identify particles with standing waves?

    Indeed the particle does not “take all possible paths”, leading to such ridiculous assumptions as the many-worlds theory.

    How does path integrals lead anyone to MW theory? MW theory is an interpretation among others. It seems an interpretation of entanglement was Everett’s original motivation for his proposal.

  25. #25 Norm Breyfogle
    February 22, 2007

    Mark CC wrote: “There should be a word, a sonorous Lewis Carroll-style word, for this particular kind of mumble-ty-mumble.”

    I came across this word on a # of websites the other day; it seems to fit here:

    ‘pataphysics

    SYLLABICATION: pa·ta·phys·ics
    PRONUNCIATION: pät-fzks
    NOUN: (used with a sing. verb) The French absurdist concept of a philosophy or science dedicated to studying what lies beyond the realm of metaphysics, intended as a parody of the methods and theories of modern science and often expressed in nonsensical language.
    ETYMOLOGY: French pataphysique, alteration of Greek ta epi ta metaphusika, the (works) after the metaphysics (pseudo-title of a work by Aristotle modeled on ta meta ta phusika, the (works) after the Physics, Aristotle’s Metaphysics) : epi, after; see epi- + metaphusika, metaphysics; see metaphysics.
    OTHER FORMS: pata·physi·cal (–kl) –ADJECTIVE

    I’ve also seen the words ‘patapsychology and ‘pataphor, carrying meanings you can guess.

    In fact, for its appropriateness, I’ve changed my essay “Metacosmology” (which I posted on Mark CC’s blog titled “Math is bad because it isn’t Christian”) to “‘Patacosmology.”

  26. #26 Norm Breyfogle
    February 22, 2007

    Here’s my attempt to insert a link to the Wikipedia article on this and related words:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%27Pataphysics

  27. #27 Norm Breyfogle
    February 22, 2007

    Interestingly (and in my opinion, perhaps appropriately) I’ve seen string theory and even quantum theory referred to as a kind of mathematical ‘pataphore (or as ‘pataphysics). Of course, this may be interesting to me merely because I have difficulty understanding quantum dynamics and I’m absolutely hopeless with string theory …

  28. #28 Jonathan Vos Post
    February 22, 2007

    Maxwell’s Silver Hammer

    Joan was quizzical, studied pataphysical
    Science in the home
    Late nights all alone with a test tube
    Ohh-oh-oh-oh…
    Maxwell Edison majoring in medicine
    Calls her on the phone
    “Can I take you out to the pictures
    Joa-oa-oa-oan?”
    But as she’s getting ready to go
    A knock comes on the door…

    Bang, bang, Maxwell’s silver hammer
    Came down upon her head
    Clang, clang, Maxwell’s silver hammer
    Made sure that she was dead…

    [Maxwell’s Silver Hammer by The Beatles
    Album: Abbey Road
    Date: 1969]

    I always wonder if Maxwell Edison’s making an oblique reference to James Clerk Maxwell… Relates to Thomas Edison, who in an ad hoc way was applying Maxwell-Faraday results…

    Or am I being too nonlinear?

  29. #29 Chris' Wills
    February 22, 2007

    On the importance he places on the units, this may come from his engineering training.

    A long long time ago, when I was reading engineering the lecturers repeatedly told us to check the dimensions on both sides of the equation; by this they meant check that the units on both sides of the equation are the same (a good check as it happens, as was doing rough magnitude checks (no calculators allowed in my day)).

    This could explain the importance that he places on the units and the relationship he makes between the units and geometry. Different uses of the word dimensions.

    Oh, he also appears to claim to have created a perpetual motion machine (more out than goes in), though as he only claims a COP of 1.75 it is doubtful that he has.

  30. #30 Norm Breyfogle
    February 22, 2007

    Jonathan Vos Post:

    I’ll be … I didn’t know the word pataphysical was in that Beatles tune, though I well recognize the song. Thanks, Jonathan!

  31. #31 Norm Breyfogle
    February 22, 2007

    Heh. Now I see the ref to that Beatles song right there on the Wiki article page I linked.

  32. #32 Norm Breyfogle
    February 22, 2007

    Wow, talk about nonlinearity. The Wiki article about that Beatles song indicates concidences between its lyrics and the Manson murders and trials, which occurred a month after the song was written. I suppose there’s a ‘pataphysical explanation for how McCartney exhibited the power of prophecy (lol).

    Also, since in the song Maxwell kills a ‘pataphysicist, perhaps the silver hammer represents an alternate tool of Occam? Perhaps Maxwell Edison’s middle name is Occam?

  33. #33 Torbjörn Larsson
    February 22, 2007

    by this they meant check that the units on both sides of the equation are the same (a good check as it happens

    Interestingly, units contains more information than that. This permits predicting relationships between quantities and scaling laws in phenomena, even when they are too complex for an explicit solution.

    Examples of such information is knowing that each dimension form a group, scalar arguments are dimensionless, vector components are orthogonally distinct, dimensionless constants are naturally of order unity, and of course Buckingham’s theorem on the number of independent parameters.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dimensional_analysis has a rather thorough description. (But it could be a subject for a basics physics article too, I guess.) So yes, what’s not to like about dimensions?

  34. #34 Victor
    February 23, 2007

    well i am an artist and a very creative person i know i can explain anything about this theory, yesh i will make it up for you it is very simple, you can explain the periodic table by saying that it is just our interpretation of the amptitud and Frequency of the standing wave, also i have found the center of the univerce or kolob as we the creative people now call it i have the mathematical equations that prove it but this thing is bad for that tipe of notation, but now think of it we are made of just energy, like richard bach said in jonathan savior seagul just think, by electro magnetic refraction we could be cloned or a projection of that magnetism “astral projection” can be used for remotely studing the universe, you see when we die we come one with kolob and therefore are recycled into the evrything, yesh evryone knows that is what is keeping my feet stuck to the ground.

    so if any of you have any doubt with this theory i will iluminate you, just aslong as you can forgive my aufull speling in inglish.

    much love to all you haters.
    and remember if you do not know evrything about the universe anything is posible to be the truth.

  35. #35 W. Kevin Vicklund
    February 23, 2007

    yesh i will make it up for you

    The only relevant portion of Victor’s post.

  36. #36 Torbjörn Larsson
    February 23, 2007

    The only relevant portion of Victor’s post.

    Obviously, since he having “my feet stuck to the ground” is refuted by the rest of the gibberish.

  37. #37 Andrew Wade
    February 23, 2007

    Linear gravity results in a linear space-time and is the same as zero gravity.

    Basically if you have a gravity force, F, that is independent of position, you can remove it from your Newtonian equations of dynamics through through the appropriate coordinate transformation. I don’t believe this is true of Special relativity though (at least not without making a complete hash of your equations), and in General relativity the premise isn’t well-defined to start with.

    All this is assuming that the author has no clue what “linear” or “isotropic” means, as the force I’m describing above is decidedly an-isotropic. As for “linear”, it’s not really clear what that would mean in this context, “constant” would be more usual term, or perhaps “homogeneous”.

  38. #38 John Owens
    February 23, 2007

    You see, the main reason that we know that electromagnetic waves must be the actual force behind gravity is… They both follow inverse-square relationships:

    Wow, so electromagnetism and gravity are both really just our interpretation of effects naturally caused by sound waves! Who knew?

  39. #39 Norm Breyfogle
    February 23, 2007

    Victor: Try slipping on a banana peel or starting a pie fight instead.

  40. #40 Andrew Wade
    February 23, 2007

    I must admit I just skimmed the source and probably gave the author more credit than he deserves. After reading more I’m starting to think I’m just projecting sense onto a Rorschach inkblot of woo.

  41. #41 Norm Breyfogle
    February 23, 2007

    Wooblots are fun and can even be profoundly meaningful(though often they’re just dumb), but they aren’t science.

  42. #42 attotheobscure
    February 24, 2007


    When I Hie to Kolob

    Joseph Smith invented the idea of Kolob. He claimed it is a planet or star nearest to the throne of God. Whatever that means. But hey, if your a 19th farmer-prophet trying to wow other farmers into unquestioning obedience before you marry their wives and daughters, you got to pull out all the bells and whistles to appear like the real deal. The Mormon doctrine of Kolob is one of the red flags that those investing the LDS religion usually find waving in their faces that helps them to a conclusion that Joseph Smith was a crackpot just pulling strange ideas out of his derriere. Their is even a painfully old-school hymn lauding Kolob.

    If you could hie to Kolob In the twinkling of an eye,
    And then continue onward With that same speed to fly,
    Do you think that you could ever, Through all eternity,
    Find out the generation Where Gods began to be?

    Or see the grand beginning, Where space did not extend?
    Or view the last creation, Where Gods and matter end?
    Methinks the Spirit whispers, “No man has found ‘pure space,’
    Nor seen the outside curtains, Where nothing has a place.”

    The works of God continue, And worlds and lives abound;
    Improvement and progression Have one eternal round.
    There is no end to matter; There is no end to space;
    There is no end to spirit; There is no end to race.

    There is no end to virtue; There is no end to might;
    There is no end to wisdom; There is no end to light.
    There is no end to union; There is no end to youth;
    There is no end to priesthood; There is no end to truth.

    There is no end to glory; There is no end to love;
    There is no end to being; There is no death above.
    There is no end to glory; There is no end to love;
    There is no end to being; There is no death above.

    Those last three verses are particularly creative and must have taken years to write.

    For more on Kolob and to listen to the Mormon hymn about
    it visit this site.

    Going to Kolob

  43. #43 Jonathan Vos Post
    February 24, 2007

    Fascinating song.

    I’ve read quite a number of papers on Medieval Jewish Philosophy.

    The point is, quite a bit of this is hairsplitting argument on whether Space is infinite, and whether Time is infinite.

    The centuries-long conversation between Islam, Christianity, and Judaism is fascinating, albeit pre-Science.

    The key person in all this? Aristotle. Once his works were translated from Greek to Arabic, and from that to Hebrew and European vernacular, everyone had to choose sides: Pro-Aristotle, anti-Aristotle, pro-Arabic-interpretation-of-Aristotle, anti-Arabic-interpretation-of-Aristotle,
    pro-Hebrew-commentary on-Arabic- interpretation-of-Aristotle,
    anti-Hebrew-commentary on-Arabic- interpretation-of-Aristotle,… and so on, ad infinitum.

    Mormon Theology might be taken in the context of this pre-scientific speculation, and as modernized by the Fantasy and Science Fiction of the former #1 Mormon playwright (now displaced by Neil Bute): Orson Scott Card.

  44. #44 Victor
    February 24, 2007

    I am sorry i am a layman!
    i never ment any disrespect to the inteligent people posting here, the advance of science is the most noble persuit for a human being and as a painter i have taken as my topic glorifing this search. But even in my ignorance just going over this stuff this ficcion of mr. engenier borg i can tell it is a bunch of well toght out b.s.
    again MarkCC i never ment dissrespect to you or you’r noble calling.
    and as far as I can see with my minds eye science will replace religion one day soon, evry one will realise that what all religions intend is to explain the universe and that they do with out following a method.
    all of you that here post in use of reason, i bow to you for you are as priest to my humble sigth.

  45. #45 Torbjörn Larsson
    February 24, 2007

    Wooblots are fun

    At least they admit a fun term. Thank you Norm for introducing such a beautiful word to me!

    I will immediately go and whack some wooblots. I think I saw some in the web over there…

    Pro-Aristotle, anti-Aristotle, pro-Arabic-interpretation-of-Aristotle,

    I heard that song before. How does it go now; “99 Aristotles of beer”? Or perhaps “Aristotle drove me to the bottle”?

  46. #46 Chris' Wills
    February 25, 2007

    So yes, what’s not to like about dimensions?
    Posted by: Torbjörn Larsson>>

    The other simple thing we did with dimensions/units in engineering was, of course, to help us work out the model to describe the experimental results. You initially balanced the dimensions for the inputs against the outputs.

    Thanks for the wikipedia article link, I’ll have to read that a few times I suspect but it is fascinating.

  47. #47 Norm Breyfogle
    February 26, 2007

    Don’t know if I’m the first to do so, but I made up “wooblot” on the spot. Maybe the Lewis Carroll-style word (or phrase) Mark CC is looking for is “‘pataphysical wooblot”?

    Torbjörn wrote, “I will immediately go and whack some wooblots. I think I saw some in the web over there…”

    Don’t forget to bring Occam’s hammer!

  48. #48 tom
    February 26, 2007

    anyone familar with tom bearden? you can check his credentials. in fact you can go knock on his door down in huntsville, ala and he’ll tell you things that will blow your mind while he tells you the formula for free energy and the second half of the receipe that tesla found over 100 years ago but nobody wants to acknowledge as valid.

    i don’t know about the blaze stuff but it fits into this pix somewhere. and bearden will be happy to show you how orthodox science has done to tesla exactly what you accuse blaze of doing.

    but watching this vid and a little elementary checking into his credentials, claims, and the history lesson will save you the trip to huntsville and maybe save us all from the quakesville we are currently serving… http://novakeo.com/?p=806

    here’s his website… http://www.cheniere.org/

    here’s some bio i picked up off the web on the retired army lt. colonel and grad of guided missle staff officer’s course… http://homepages.ihug.co.nz/~sai/Beard_bio.htm

    quote: He and his wife Doris live in Huntsville, Alabama where Tom is retired from aerospace, continues private research, and serves as a special consultant to industry on scalar electromagnetics processes.

    there is other stuff elsewhere from other visionaries/crackpots. like buckie fuller. like michael tsarion. and others. connect these dots and then start figuring out how to develope instead of how to dis-credit. how to prove it instead of how to dis-prove it. maybe the way to do that is to develope it and let it prove or dis-prove itself. you might as well get on board cuz its already being done. you wouldn’t want to be left behind would you?

    then, if we can do something about the ultimate challenge, the human condition, and not blow ourselves up by using this stuff for sinister agendas we WILL be able to become fossil fuel independent, we WON’T have to hijack soverign nations for their resources, and we CAN get on with cleaning up this planet. maybe you’d rather be part of the opposite. part of the problem instead of part of the solution.

    the choice is ours.

  49. #49 Mark C. Chu-Carroll
    February 26, 2007

    tom:

    I haven’t heard of Bearden, but I will take a look.

    But you’re playing a classic stupid rhetorical game.

    Borg, the subject of this post, is wrong. It doesn’t matter what kind of politics you espouse; it doesn’t matter whether you’re an investor in oil wells or a scientist working on cheap clean energy: facts are facts. Borg is wrong. His stuff makes no sense – it is utter quackery.

    As it happens, I’m very liberal. I hate the idiotic war we got ourselves into. I’m an environmentalist who gives part of my income to a variety of organizations that try to either preserve untouched lands, or clean up polluted land. I hate the way that various business interests sabotage attempts to find methods of conserving energy and/or producing clean energy.

    But none of that has anything to do with whether crackpottery like Borg’s gibberish has any shred of validity to it. Wanting something like a perpetual motion machine to generate power doesn’t change the fact that creating a perpetual motion machine is impossible. Facts are facts; math is math: and the facts and the math show that Borg’s theory is a crock of nonsensical gibberish.

    To decide that any opposition to crackpot nonsense is equivalent to actively supporting everything bad about the status quo is just dumb. It pretty much guarantees that you’re going to do nothing but waste your time.

    In terms of energy, we could spend our time working to reduce energy consumption, and find clean ways of producing it that minimize environmental damage. Or we could spend our time shouting about how wonderful the free power provided by Borg’s electromagnetic fields would be – and then waste time, money, and resources building something that we could have known wouldn’t work, because it’s based on a nonsensical theory that bears no resemblance to reality.

    Finally, in response to your list of validated crackpots, I’ll just bring back my classic response. They laughed at Einstein. They laughed at Edison. They laughed at laughed at Tesla. And they laughed at Bozo the clown.

  50. #50 tom
    February 26, 2007

    mark,

    thanks for your attention. i’ll respond to each of your 8 paragraphs…

    1) good

    2) perhaps after bearden you’ll have a different opinion. frankly i don’t care about your opinion of me. what i care about is your reaction to what bearden has to say and what you then do next. you run a very well respected site here. it is appreciated.

    3) you’re quakery conclusion may well be right. my physics is limited to 1 semester in high school over 40 years ago. i never said borg is right. bearden may not be either. but to a layman, he sure sounds like he’s on to something that we could have been on to many years ago. and, he’s transparent and, unlike borg, is right here in front of our noses. you can go shake his hand. i have some friends who are discussing both blaze and bearden and are drawing parallels. just how i don’t know. but my understanding is it has something to do with the 2nd half of the receipe. the shadow. the anti. the thing. the mirror. thats the same thing tesla was accused of quakery over isn’t it?

    4) me too.

    5) i don’t think what bearden is talking about has anything to do with a perpetual motion machine. when i think of the word machine i see hardware. that will never happen. one might be inclined to call how the forces of the universe work a machine though.

    6) you miss my point my friend. perhaps it was dumb of me to attempt to make it. you did much better than i did in your para 8. this was my point.

    7) agreed.

    8) agreed.

  51. #51 Andrew Wade
    February 27, 2007

    here’s his website… http://www.cheniere.org/

    Ooomph. I’m reading his explanation. It’s been a while since I’ve done this physics, but I don’t think he’s correct.

    Discussion 1: Potentials are real and force fields are derived.
    The old notion that potentials were merely mathematical conveniences has long been falsified, particularly by the Aharonov-Bohm effect {2}, extended to the Berry phase {10}, and further extended to the geometric phase {11}. There are some 20,000 physics papers on geometric phase, Berry phase, and Aharonov-Bohm effect.
    In quantum electrodynamics, potentials are primary and force fields are derived.

    Physicists nowadays don’t much worry about what is “derived” and what is “real”; it’s a distraction that has no bearing on what theories actually predict. The Aharonov-Bohm effect is but one of a large number of non-local effects in quantum mechanics; and while very strange is indeed well-established physics.

    The force fields only exist in mass, and are the effects of the interaction of the “force-free fields” in space that exist as curvatures of spacetime.

    This is just plain wrong. Leaving aside the question of what it means for a force field to “exist in mass”, electromagnetic fields/potentials/whatever do not exist as curvatures in spacetime. These fields can exist in perfectly flat spacetime, and in fact the relevant equations are only known for flat spacetimes. Gravity is an effect of curved spacetime, but the (“gravity”) metric of general relativity is a very different beastie than the E.M. potentials being discussed here.

    There are no force fields in space; there are only gradients of potentials. Spacetime itself is an intense potential. Quoting Feynman {12}:

    I suppose the metric of GR is vaguely analogous to a potential… The Feynman quote is unrelated.

    The distinction between E-field and B-field is blurred. As Jackson {13} points out: …

    This is fine.

    In other words, one can have a magnetic component and at least partially turn it into an electric component, or vice versa. This is important to the MEG’s operation.

    And this is not. One can partially “turn” a magnetic component into an electric component through a coordinate transformation. This is not a physical process, what is occurring is that there there is there are many ways to mathematically describe the same situation, and some of those descriptions may have, say, magnetic fields only, and some may have both magnetic and electric fields. This is what happens with electromagnetism in special relativity.

    The author appears to be confusing these coordinate transformations with the guage transformations below. Guage transformations are also transformations between equivalent mathematical descriptions of the same situation, but they’re not the same transformations as the coordinate transformations here.

    Skipping ahead…

    It is stressed that, in the AB effect, a regauging has taken place.

    This is bogus. If you don’t get the same outcome with the AB effect for all guages, then your theory is inconsistent.

    The potential outside the localization zone has been freely changed, with an extra spacetime curvature and extra energy transferred there by gauge freedom, at no cost to the operator.

    In the AB effect, the potential outside the localization zone has indeed been changed (for whatever guage you wish to use), but there is no extra energy and no spacetime curvature there. At least not in standard physics, and the author does not explain how he calculates the energy density of an E.M. potential.

    The author goes increasingly off the rails from here on out, but there’s only a couple more points I wish to address:

    The special nanocrystalline core material used in the MEG has a very special characteristic: The material itself freely localizes an inserted B-field (from the input coil, or from a separate permanent magnet, or both) within the core material itself.

    His “very special characteristic” is shared by all soft magnetic materials. It may be special in how well it does this; in transformers even small losses to hysteresis can be significant.

    By inputting nearly rectangular pulses to the input coil, the rise time and decay time of each pulse edge produces a resulting sharp change in the external A-potential, producing an E-field by the equation E =  A/t.

    This is a well known phenomenon called induction, and has bugger-all to do with the Aharonov-Bohm effect. Crucially, induction must work both ways; if you try and tap this E-field, you will induce a field in the source coil, and the source will need to do work to overcome it. There is no free lunch to be had here.

    In conclusion, there is a reason this person is hawking his wares on a website to people who don’t know the physics rather than publishing papers in peer-reviewed journals with peers who do know the physics.

  52. #52 Caradoc
    February 28, 2007

    At least Neal Adams draws a wicked Batman.

  53. #53 Prof.Debono
    March 12, 2007

    To Mark and all,

    I’ve been a close collegue to Xavier for some years, and I am really disappointed about the way you are treating this respectful person here. Xavier is considered a typical genious in our country, which by the way is far from the US. For those not used to Borg as a surname, you will find it very common in Finland, Sweden and some European countries. The title engineer is required to be stated by law and virtually becomes part of the qualified persons’ name. He is also well respected by other professors across europe. You can see this from the fact that he has been granted the use of some european university labs to conduct his research. See for example:

    http://www.blazelabs.com/l-vacuum.asp

    Let me remind you, he preceeded NASA in their same experiment, and was the first one to publish the results regarding the vacuum tests.

    He has setup various research teams in his own university where I still teach, he is very creative with experiments and as far as I know, most of his research makes a lot of sense…yes, including the EMRP gravity theory. As he says, this topic has been given serious thought by many scientists like Lorentz, H.Poincare, F.Brush, Secchi, Leray, V.Thomson, Schramm, Tait, Isenkrahe, Preston, Jarolimek, Waachy, Rynsanek, Darwin, Majorana, J.K.Harms, Sulaiman .. of whom we have other of their own theories established in our present books. We also have the proof that Newton himself derived his equation for gravity using the same principle. Also, you do not have to scandal yourself when he states that matter is electromagnetic standing waves, that’s the biggest achievement De Broglie is known for. Regarding his Space time system of units, he seems to be the first person on earth who has numerically derived a multitude of experimentally found constants using his simple and yet genious unified units table. He shows all his maths, and all his results, and no body here could find any cheat or inconsistency:

    http://www.blazelabs.com/f-u-allconstants.asp

    For the lazy ones, he also worked out a java converter which works perfectly:

    http://www.blazelabs.com/si-stconv.asp

    and any one understanding java, can look at the java source and see that the results are being honestly worked out.

    As to relativity, it seems that he is more against GR than SR, and he has good reasons for that. As I see it, GR can be explained in terms of EMRP for the condition c=constant, which we know is not.

    Regarding references to Kolob, he is definitely not an ex-mormon, in fact he clearly stated his source of information, and said that Kolob just fits perfectly into his scientific model, so he kept the same name. All astromoners know that our galaxies rotate around some other point in space which is possibly rotating as well around some other point. We have no proof that the heirarchy given by him is not the correct one. I see his theories agree with Mach’s principle more than Einstein’s GR does.
    I’ve been teaching mainstream topics all these years, and I can tell you, that when one analyses the fundumental laws of our established laws of physics, he finds them to be very vague and giberish. So, think twice before discrediting him, as his theories might as well be in tomorrows books.

  54. #54 Mark C. Chu-Carroll
    March 12, 2007

    Prof.Debono:

    For all your complaints about my post on Borg, you don’t actually address any of my complaints in anything approximating a real way. The math of Borg’s theory is completely invalid – as I explained.

    He can handwave away relativity all he wants – but parts of his math are absolutely dependent on the math of relativity – in particular, the group theoretic symmetry of relativity. You don’t get to pick and choose when to apply the theory without justification – but that’s exactly what he does. When the math of relativity is convenient, he uses it. When it’s not, he drops it. That’s just indefensibly wrong.

  55. #55 Torbjörn Larsson
    March 12, 2007

    For those not used to Borg as a surname, you will find it very common in Finland, Sweden and some European countries.

    The jokes is on the Borg’s of engineer occupation, since rumor has it Björn Borg’s singleminded concentration on the playing field was the in-joke behind naming the android collective opponent of Star Trek Next Generation as “the Borg”.

    Darwin,

    Charles Darwin was mainly a biologist, and there is no reference that he worked on this. References, please.

    One can say a lot about the misconceptions of physics in the comment, so I will address just one which shows the problems:

    matter is electromagnetic standing waves, that’s the biggest achievement De Broglie is known for.

    De Broglie’s hypothesis, the one he got the Nobel prize for, was that any moving particle or object has an associated wave. But that is a quantum mechanical description, not an EM one. It led both to Schrödinger’s QM formulation where the absolute square of the wave function describes a probability density for finding a particle, or the (falsified) de Broglie-Bohm QM formulation where the wave is a pilot wave.

    The electron waves of de Broglie was a predecessor designed specifically to explain the quantization of light in emission or adsorption by atoms.

  56. #56 Prof.Debono
    March 12, 2007

    Torbjorn,

    The Darwin I was referring to is another Darwin, who is known for studying Le Sage/ push gravity concept- reference G. H. Darwin. Proc. Roy. Soc. London, 76, 1905

    Mark,

    I must say you have quite an original way to put complaints. You have mixed up 2 different parts from his website, one part taken from his EMRP theory, and another taken from a section where he showed that gravity is not generated by earth’s electric field gradient.
    Then you are shifting the theory of relativity status from that of a theory into that of an undeniable truth, and conclude that the author is totally wrong because he does not agree with the whole thruth. The only references I see which clearly make use of the relativity theory is where it comes to time dilation and length contraction effects, which strictly speaking is Lorentz work not Einstein’s. You also do not differentiate between GR and SR. I do not see Xavier supporting any part of GR, and the part he does support, which is mainly the Lorentz part within SR, can be easily derived by assuming matter to be a standing electromagnetic wave form. I see you complain about the existence of a central core, but you simply have no proof of the opposite. Personally, I think a central core within a stable universe makes more sense than a big bang originating from nowhere. His model is analogous to an atom, which we have evidence of existence. As for the big bang, it’s just another theory, which not even most scientists agree on. And yes, he explicitly talks about a fixed frame of reference, which would break down SR, but still consistent with Mach’s principle, something that Einstein was not able to keep within his final GR version. Again, we are not talking about religion, this is science, and Einstein could be right on some things and wrong on others. For example I have documentation of Newton’s work on perpetual machines, and yet, we do not learn about them because they form part of Newton’s wrong ideas.
    As to the maths of how the push gravity creates a force equal to GMM/r^2, you have to contact him. I recall he was recently working on some project in Russia but I am sure he will send you all maths you request, assuming you change your approach.

    As to Chris Wills, note that nowhere does this engineer claim anything about any perpetual or overunity machine. We worked together on the Aquafuel project, and our main aim was to discredit the overunity claim done at that time by a crazy French free-energy guy. Note a COP>1 is far from claiming a perpetual machine. In fact Borg’s findings on aquafuel show that you always need more energy input than you can obtain from burning the generated gas. He had also successfully converted a Mazda RX7 rotary engine to run on compressed aquafuel gas, accumulated during the week by a solar powered gas generator, as one of our university projects, all at his own expenses.

  57. #57 Mark C. Chu-Carroll
    March 12, 2007

    Prof.Debono:

    I have no intention of “changing my approach”. I read Borg’s writings as he presents them, and they are pure, utter, bunk.

    One of the beauties of fields like math and science is that politeness *does not matter*, fame *does not matter*, status *does not matter*. If the math is wrong, the math is wrong – and whether I point out its problems in a mocking way or a kind and respectful way, the fact remains that *the math is wrong*.

    And even as you defend him, you’re basically admitting that you don’t have a clue about how he allegedly did his math. You’ll argue that his theory makes “more sense” than relativity, while simultaneously admitting that you don’t understand his explanation of one of the most fundamental things that he claims to explain. Tell me, exactly how is it that you know that his theory “makes more sense” than relativity if you don’t even understand how his fixed-reference-point theory can explain the observed behavior of gravity?

  58. #58 Blake Stacey
    March 12, 2007

    I just discovered this, and I need to get the poison out of my system. What better place to rant than a thread devoted to physics crackpottery? This example comes from, of all places, The American Scholar — yes, the quarterly publication of the Phi Beta Kappa society. Robert Lanza, a cell biologist, gives us “A New Theory of the Universe“. What was so terribly wrong with the old? Well, you see, we need a new idea, “biocentrism”, which “builds on quantum physics by putting life into the equation”.

    Our science fails to recognize those special properties of life that make it fundamental to material reality. This view of the world–biocentrism–revolves around the way a subjective experience, which we call consciousness, relates to a physical process. It is a vast mystery and one that I have pursued my entire life. The conclusions I have drawn place biology above the other sciences in the attempt to solve one of nature’s biggest puzzles, the theory of everything that other disciplines have been pursuing for the last century. Such a theory would unite all known phenomena under one umbrella, furnishing science with an all-encompassing explanation of nature or reality.

    We need a revolution in our understanding of science and of the world. Living in an age dominated by science, we have come more and more to believe in an objective, empirical reality and in the goal of reaching a complete understanding of that reality. Part of the thrill that came with the announcement that the human genome had been mapped or with the idea that we are close to understanding the big bang rests in our desire for completeness.

    But we’re fooling ourselves.

    Lanza is at least candid about admitting that biology is not a likely place to look for answers to the fundamental Cosmic mysteries. Nevertheless, he perseveres:

    But at a time when biologists believe they have discovered the “universal cell” in the form of embryonic stem cells, and when cosmologists like Stephen Hawking predict that a unifying theory of the universe may be discovered in the next two decades, shouldn’t biology seek to unify existing theories of the physical world and the living world? What other discipline can approach it? Biology should be the first and last study of science. It is our own nature that is unlocked by means of the humanly created natural sciences used to understand the universe. Ever since the remotest of times philosophers have acknowledged the primacy of consciousness—that all truths and principles of being must begin with the individual mind and self.

    He says that the additional dimensions of string theory have not been observed (true), and then lumps Einstein’s spacetime into this same category (WTF?), along with the luminiferous ether (this guy’s problems are now in the WTF-complete class). Moments later, he’s delving into the Anthropic Principle: “Modern science cannot explain why the laws of physics are exactly balanced for animal life to exist.”

    Quick, point this man to Victor Stenger. Or Sean Carroll. Or Skatje Myers, for crying out loud. Before we do that, we should also recall the wise words of Carl Sagan:

    There is something stunningly narrow about how the Anthropic Principle is phrased. Yes, only certain laws and constants of nature are consistent with our kind of life. But essentially the same laws and constants are required to make a rock. So why not talk about a Universe designed so rocks could one day come to be, and strong and weak Lithic Principles? If stones could philosophize, I imagine Lithic Principles would be at the intellectual frontiers.

    This comes from his book Pale Blue Dot (1994). Sagan’s chapter on the Anthropic Principle demolished the sort of pseudo-arguments that Lanza puts forth, yet thirteen years later, we still see the same inanities bubbling up like methane from the marsh of sophomoric vanity.

    A few paragraphs later, he’s bungling a description of quantum entanglement:

    Another aspect of modern physics, in addition to quantum uncertainty, also strikes at the core of Einstein’s concept of discrete entities and spacetime. Einstein held that the speed of light is constant and that events in one place cannot influence events in another place simultaneously. In the relativity theory, the speed of light has to be taken into account for information to travel from one particle to another. However, experiment after experiment has shown that this is not the case. In 1965, Irish physicist John Bell created an experiment that showed that separate particles can influence each other instantaneously over great distances. The experiment has been performed numerous times and confirms that the properties of polarized light are correlated, or linked, no matter how far apart the particles are. There is some kind of instantaneous—faster than light—communication between them. All of this implies that Einstein’s concept of spacetime, neatly divided into separate regions by light velocity, is untenable. Instead, the entities we observe are floating in a field of mind that is not limited by an external spacetime.

    Actually, it’s pretty well established that information doesn’t travel faster than light in Bell-type experiments. Only a scientifically illiterate buffoon can turn a phrase like “spacetime turns out to be incompatible with the world discovered by quantum physics”, when in fact quantum theory and spacetime mesh together like chicken and curry, in quantum field theory.

    As the villain once said in an old DangerMouse episode, “Curses curses squared!” Until now, I’d had a favorable impression of The American Scholar, thanks to Brian Boyd’s illuminating smackdown of “cultural critique” and Literary Theory (Autumn 2006 issue). Now, this unmitigated dreck has put me in a foul mood. Maybe I can erase it from existence by suitably altering the quantum vibrational frequencies of my perceptions. “Without perception, there is in effect no reality.” If I don’t see it, then it can’t exist!

  59. #59 Torbjörn Larsson
    March 13, 2007

    The Darwin I was referring to is another Darwin, who is known for studying Le Sage/ push gravity concept- reference G. H. Darwin. Proc. Roy. Soc. London, 76, 1905

    Ah, the physicist George Darwin. I could quibble with your implication of the more famous Charles Darwin, but that is besides the point. The point is that the kinetic theory of gravitation doesn’t involve EM at all, so you are listing irrelevant authorities, besides the irrelevancy of using authority at all.

    I also note that you don’t explain the factual points of your faulty recount of de Broglie’s results. This is in anyone’s eyes an admittance of error.

    As for the big bang, it’s just another theory, which not even most scientists agree on.

    “[j]ust another theory”, the usual admittance of scientific illiteracy. And yet the concept and use of theories and their verification are so basic and simple things…

    Big bang theory is verified, in fact the details are know beginning to be clarified ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lambda_CDM_model ). And again an irrelevant appeal to authority.

    The use of commenting in support of crackpot theories when it is readily apparent that the commenter not properly understand neither the crackpot theory nor the simple basics of science eludes me.

  60. #60 John
    March 17, 2007

    I don’t think its very wise to judge Mr. Borg by what Mr. Chu-Carrol has to say about him. Go to Mr. Borg’s site and see for yourself what he has to say about hard particle theory. http://www.blazelabs.com/f-p-intro.asp

  61. #61 Mark C. Chu-Carroll
    March 17, 2007

    John:

    You know, of one the things that’s fascinating to me is how just about every time I write about one of these bizzare crackpot theories, someone like you always comes along, and either implies or directly states that I’ve unfairly represented the theory.

    But somehow, those people – you included – never say anything to address any of my critiques.

    Borg’s theory is a pile of rubbish. And my post explains exactly why the mathematical part of it is rubbish. So if you want to claim that there’s something about Borg’s theory that isn’t rubbish, how about you try looking at my criticism, and telling me where it’s wrong? If you *can’t* do that, then you clearly also can’t understand the math that underlies Borg’s theory. And if you don’t understand it’s math, then you have absolutely no way to judge whether it’s an accurate description of reality.

    All of which reduces to: put up, or shut up.

  62. #62 Vigilant
    February 11, 2008

    http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Magic_number_%28physics%29&oldid=189224755

    «A non empirical derivation for all magic numbers has been shown in the work published by Xavier Borg [4], where all magic numbers, including the theorized magic 184, are derived systematically from a hyper geometrical model based on two simplex stacked structures within the nucleus. A highly simplified version of this is the shell model with a deformed harmonic oscillator potential and spin-orbit interaction.»

  63. #63 Jonathan Vos Post
    February 11, 2008

    Yes, yes, all true. And yet, I hasten to point out, under General Relativity, there is a non-crackpot intertpretation of electrogravitic and magnetogravitic effects. They are significant, for example, near charged, spinning, black holes.

    As wikipedia stubs (two subs, actually):

    (1) “In general relativity, the tidal tensor or electrogravitic tensor is one of the pieces in the Bel decomposition of the Riemann tensor. It is physically interpreted as giving the tidal stresses on small bits of a material object (which may also be acted upon by other physical forces), or the tidal accelerations of a small cloud of test particles in a vacuum solution or electrovacuum solution.”

    (2) “In general relativity, the magnetogravitic tensor is one of the three pieces appearing in the Bel decomposition of the Riemann tensor. The magnetogravitic tensor can be interpreted physically as a specifying possible spin-spin forces on spinning bits of matter, such as spinning test particles.”

    Not that lunatics usually demonstrate any computational ability with Riemannian or Pseudoriemannian spaces. Even though there are such nice things to say about the latter since John Forbes Nash, Jr., published definitively in the field.

    As Eric W. Weisstein clarifies:

    Suppose for every point x in a manifold M, an inner product < ·,·>_x is defined on a tangent space T_xM of M at x. Then the collection of all these inner products is called the Riemannian metric. In 1870, Christoffel and Lipschitz showed how to decide when two Riemannian metrics differ by only a coordinate transformation.

    SEE ALSO: Compact Manifold, Line Element, Metric Tensor, Minkowski Metric, Riemannian Geometry, Riemannian Manifold.

    References:

    Besson, G.; Lohkamp, J.; Pansu, P.; and Petersen, P. Riemannian Geometry. Providence, RI: Amer. Math. Soc., 1996.

    Buser, P. Geometry and Spectra of Compact Riemann Surfaces. Boston, MA: Birkhãuser, 1992.

    Chavel, I. Eigenvalues in Riemannian Geometry. New York: Academic Press, 1984.

    Chavel, I. Riemannian Geometry: A Modern Introduction. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1994.

    Chern, S.-S. “Finsler Geometry is Just Riemannian Geometry without the Quadratic Restriction.” Not. Amer. Math. Soc. 43, 959-963, 1996.

    do Carmo, M. P. Riemannian Geometry. Boston, MA: Birkhãuser, 1992.

  64. #64 Mikael
    February 3, 2010

    MarkCC I suggest you do what you do best and leave the things you don’t understand to rest.

    If it does not make sense… try to wipe your blurred lens.

    You work for google you say?

    Hmmm and still look past a lot on a clear day?

  65. #65 Anonymous
    June 20, 2010

    bamboooozleeeeee!!!!!!!

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