Good Math, Bad Math

Sorry for the ridiculously slow pace around here lately; I’ve been
ridiculously busy. I’m changing projects at work; it’s the end of the school
year for my kids; and I’m getting close to the end-game for my book. Between
all of those, I just haven’t had much time for blogging lately.

Anyway… I came across this lovely gem, and I couldn’t
resist commenting on it. (Before I get to it, I have to point out that it’s on
“viXra.org”. viXra is “ViXra.org is an e-print archive set up as an
alternative to the popular arXiv.org service owned by Cornell University. It
has been founded by scientists who find they are unable to submit their
articles to arXiv.org because of Cornell University’s policy of endorsements
and moderation designed to filter out e-prints that they consider
inappropriate.”. In other words, it’s a site for cranks who can’t even post
their stuff on arXiv. Considering some of the dreck that’s been posted an
arXiv, that’s pretty damned sad.)

In my experience, when crackpots look at physics, they go after one of two
things. Either they pick some piece of modern physics that makes them
uncomfortable – like relativity or quantum mechanics – and they try to force some
argument that their discomfort with it must mean that it’s wrong. The other big one
is free energy – whether it’s perpetual motion, or vacuum energy, or browns gas – the
crackpots claim that they’ve found some wonderful magical process that defies the laws
of thermodynamics in order to make limitless free energy. The cranks rarely (not never,
but rarely) go after the kinds of physics that we experience every day.

Well, this is something different. This guy basically wants to claim that
gravity doesn’t really exist. And along the way, he claims to have solved
the problems of dark matter and dark energy. See, we’ve all got it totally wrong
about gravity! Gravity isn’t a force where matter attracts other matter. It’s
a force where warm things attract other warm things! Gravity is actually
a force created when things radiate heat.

As evidence of this, the author claims to show how heating a copper sphere
changes its apparent mass! The author claims that if you put a 1068 gram
copper sphere above a 1000 watt heat element for 400 seconds will
increase its mass by 20 grams – almost two percent! And no
one
has ever noticed this before!

Even better – if you put a copper hemisphere placed concave side up, below
two spheres full of ice, and you turn on a 1000W heat element for 500 seconds,
the mass will change by nearly 10 percent! And once again, no
once noticed it
before our intrepid author!

Now, a sane person, looking at this, would immediately say that this
is almost certainly an error. I mean, think about what it means: you can,
using the burner on your stove, change the mass of an object by
nearly 10 percent in five minutes. Mass, which at non-relativistic
speeds is effectively constant – can be varied by a huge
amount just in your kitchen!

And yet… No one has ever noticed this before! Chemists, doing precise
measurements, have never noticed that the mass of their experimental apparatus
change when they heat them. Rockets, with precisely calculated thrusts to achieve particular
orbits, have actually changed their masses when they’re heated, and no one noticed.
The space shuttle gets dramatically heavier during re-entry – and no one noticed!.

These things are obvious. The magnitude of the changes that he claims to observe are
absolutely staggering. And yet, no one else has every observed them.

So, where’s the bad math? It’s an issue of magnitude and scale. On the one hand, he’s
producing absolutely huge numbers about how mass changes with moderate temperature
change – heating a piece of copper over your kitchen stove can produce a
ten percent change in mass! But he doesn’t consider the large-scale impacts
that this would have.

He works out, based on his observation of apparent mass changes in
his copper spheres, how much heat you need to radiate to create a particular
“gravitational” force. And he then uses that to work out how much difference you
would need in the amount of heat radiated by the daylight side of the earth
versus the night side of the earth to produce the earths orbit – according
to him, it works out to about 0.08% difference. According to his computations,
8 ten-thousandths difference in the amount of heat being radiated is enough
to produce the earths orbit.

And yet – differences of similar or greater magnitude don’t make a difference. He
treats the entire daylight side of the earth as being completely uniform in heat
radiation – when, in fact, it’s not. The parts of the earth close to the day-night
terminator actually radiate more heat that the parts of the earth close to the night-day line.
So shouldn’t the earths direction of acceleration be different because of that?

Why does the moon orbit the earth? Why doesn’t it show less attraction to
the earth when it’s on the dark side of the earth? Why doesn’t a new moon
(where the side radiating significant amounts of heat is faced away from the
earth) have less gravitational attraction than a full moon (where the radiating face
is full towards us)?

He simply doesn’t have a clue of what the numbers he’s (mis-)measuring mean. So
he’s drawing nonsense conclusions that make absolutely no sense. Any attempt to actually
understand the meaning of the mathematical results that he’s computing would show
that they can’t possibly be right. But he never does that.

Pathetic.

Comments

  1. #1 Brian
    June 8, 2010

    Your critique is insightful as usual. But it has made me wonder: I study philosophy, and when me or my fellow students elucidate an original thesis “well” in most aspects, while being completely false due to considerations not given full weight, we are normally praised. Yet you call this work pathetic for failing to account for the reasons you offer against its thesis. It seems very hierarchical to demean “bad math” for failure when honest intention and hard work was put into the effort.

    I sense that a part of the reason “bad math” gets hit so hard by professionals is that it sullies the reputation of the mathematical sciences. Nobody expects something in philosophy to be “the truth”, but the results of math and physics enjoy such regard. But the enterprises of philosophy and math and physics all depend on the ingenuity of the human mind, and efforts to manifest such capability doesn’t deserve such harsh derision.

  2. #2 Firionel
    June 8, 2010

    Hmmmm. Let’s face it, this theory is rich in entertainment value. And I feel somewhat challenged to try and work out a theory of gravitation based on energy emission just to raise awareness of global underdetermination.

    Then again, maybe things are not that underdetermined after all.

  3. #3 Eric Lund
    June 8, 2010

    The author claims that if you put a 1068 gram copper sphere above a 1000 watt heat element for 400 seconds will increase its mass by 20 grams – almost two percent!

    I’m going to take a wild guess that the observed mass increase is due to oxidation. Even at normal ambient temperatures, copper will acquire a greenish tint due to a layer of copper oxide forming at the surface. This chemical reaction will speed up if you heat the copper–the rule of thumb I remember from chemistry classes way back when is that reaction rates roughly double for each 10 C increase in temperature. The coinage metals (Cu, Ag, Au) have the highest thermal conductivities of any substance, so the copper will get hot pretty quickly. The oxygen that binds to the copper surface comes from the air, obviously.

  4. #4 onymous
    June 8, 2010

    That’s funny. I usually seem to weigh more in winter.

  5. #5 dean
    June 8, 2010

    sense that a part of the reason “bad math” gets hit so hard by professionals is that it sullies the reputation of the mathematical sciences.

    No, it gets hit hard because folks like this guy, not having a clue what they’re doing, produce “results” that are absurd, and the underlying reason is their inability to understand the basic physical and/or mathematical principles.

    Nobody expects something in philosophy to be “the truth”, but the results of math and physics enjoy such regard.

    So why shouldn’t incorrect assertions be pointed out?

    But the enterprises of philosophy and math and physics all depend on the ingenuity of the human mind, and efforts to manifest such capability doesn’t deserve such harsh derision.

    If the end result is garbage, and based on incorrect assumptions, it doesn’t matter one whit that the work might seem ingenious: the problems need to be pointed out.

    But the enterprises of philosophy and math and physics all depend on the ingenuity of the human mind, and efforts to manifest such capability doesn’t deserve such harsh derision.

  6. #6 Russell
    June 8, 2010

    Should we still be labeling QM and GR “modern”? Einstein’s first paper on GR will reach the century mark in five short years, and the Schrodinger equation 21 years after that.

  7. #7 Mark C. Chu-Carroll
    June 8, 2010

    @1:

    Philosophy is intrinsically fuzzy. In many (most?) philosophical discussions, there is no absolute right or wrong answer.

    Back in college, I was a philosophy minor. I was most interested in the existentialists. Which existentialist is most right? The question is almost meaningless. Will studying Buber’s writings about relationships between the self and the world be better for deciding how you’ll live your life than Sartre? There’s no universal answer to that. Even for an individual, the answer to that can vary from day to day, from situation to situation.

    Science and math aren’t like that. In math science, things can be absolute. There are
    things that are right, and there are things that are wrong. When you, as a scientist, propose a theory, you’re supposed to have tested that theory. In fact, one of the fundamental things that *define* a scientist is that they try to shoot down their own theories. A theory is only seriously put forward if every attempt that its originator makes to invalidate it fails.

    In the case of this paper, he clearly hasn’t given the slightest thought to falsifying his theory. It’s obviously full of problems — huge problems — which he never considered. That makes him, at best, a really lousy scientist.

    But what he did is bad enough that it shouldn’t even fly in philosophy. In philosophy, you can study something in a particular context, and not consider its ramifications in contexts outside of your realm of discourse. For example, my friend Dr. Freeride studies scientific ethics. Some of the standards that she argues for are absolutely essential for the proper functioning of the community of scientists – but they’d make no sense for, say, the community of plumbers. That doesn’t invalidate them.

    But in philosophy, if you were to put forward a hypothesis that was contradicted by obvious features in the realm in which it was intended to address, your work would be condemned as worthless tripe. That’s exactly what this guy did in his gravity paper. He discusses how his “theory” works in gravitational systems – he discusses not just how it can account for the earth orbiting the sun, but for the structure of the sun itself, for the orbital paths of the stars in galaxies, and for the motions of the galaxies themselves. He’s specifically looking at how his alternate theory of gravity can account for orbital dynamics – and yet there’s a glaring counterexample to his theory sitting right in front of him, and he ignores it.

    That’s inexcusable.

  8. #8 Michael Maguire
    June 8, 2010

    While I do not believe the author’s findings are true, I must say I’ve always struggled with the definition of gravity. It seems we’re all describing something that “is” without understanding why it is.

  9. #9 Mark C. Chu-Carroll
    June 8, 2010

    @8:

    And how is that different from electromagnetic forces?

    (Actually, with relativity, we’ve got a pretty good explanation of why gravity behaves the way it does. The only problem is that it doesn’t really jibe with stuff that describes why other forces work the way that they do.)

  10. #10 Marianne
    June 8, 2010

    GREAT! He just discovered the BEST DIET EVER! If you put people who wants to loose weight into a freezer, then they’d loose mass, and be thinner! Great!
    He could make huge money with this idea. The only problem is that the fet people would have to remain cold forever, because if they are getting warm, they would gain weight again. That might be problem. He could perhaps manufacture ice-packs and make people wear them so they will loose weight locally. Just chill your tummy, and it would be flat as a pancake in less than ten minutes. (Will look weird if you are obese, but you’d have a flat tummy.)

    /sarcasm

  11. #11 eric
    June 8, 2010

    It seems very hierarchical to demean “bad math” for failure when honest intention and hard work was put into the effort.

    Hard work? How do you figure? He doesn’t seem to have done a relevant literature search on other experiments that might bear on his hypothesis, and he doesn’t seem to have done any tests of his experimental setup for possible sources of error (well, he did one to test whether his electrical leads were expanding).

    If someone spent a lot of toil writing a biography of Napoleon, but yet never bothered to read ANY historical source material about him, would you call that working hard at history?

  12. #12 eric
    June 8, 2010

    While I do not believe the author’s findings are true, I must say I’ve always struggled with the definition of gravity. It seems we’re all describing something that “is” without understanding why it is.

    You’d be in good company then. Feynman, from QED: “The next reason that you might think you do not understand what I am telling you is, while I am describing to you how Nature works, you won’t understand why Nature works that way. But you see, nobody understands that. I can’t explain why Nature behaves in this peculiar way.”

    Perhaps you are expecting science to give you something it never promised to supply.

  13. #13 brett
    June 8, 2010

    The funny thing is there are some serious theroies relating gravity to thermodynamics (http://arxiv.org/abs/1001.0785). Though gravity is not due to heat, it’s an entropic force arising from the second law of thermodynamics (like the elasticity of some polymers).

  14. #14 James
    June 8, 2010

    when me or my fellow students elucidate an original thesis “well” in most aspects, while being completely false due to considerations not given full weight, we are normally praised

    As I have a major in mathematics and entering graduate school in philosophy of science, I take offense to this characterization of philosophy. Some fields of philosophy (like the existentialists) are very fuzzy without much deep connection to reality. But others spend their days reviewing scientific literature in fields as diverse as biology, quantum mechanics, and mathematics. These fields do not admit the fuzzy prose of Sartre or Fichte. And if you were to wax as poetically as most existentialists do, you would be eviscerated at your prelims for saying nothing of importance.

    Nobody expects something in philosophy to be “the truth”

    Maybe not when discussing Camus, but I certainly think that at least some fields are able to divine some truth. This is especially so when logic is involved, e.g. bayesian logic is used by Elliott Sober to show how intelligent design proponents simply can’t make most of their claims.

  15. #15 Feynmaniac
    June 8, 2010

    Should we still be labeling QM and GR “modern”? Einstein’s first paper on GR will reach the century mark in five short years, and the Schrodinger equation 21 years after that.

    Well, considering Newton’s Principia is over 300 years old I guess we can take them as relatively (no pun intended) “modern”.

  16. #16 PhilG
    June 8, 2010

    The mass increase according to relativity and assuming all the heat is absorbed would of course be 1000J*400s/c^2 = 4 nanogrammes. Funny you did not mention that if you know so much about physics.

  17. #17 Tom
    June 8, 2010

    @1:
    I minored in philosophy and majored in physics and mathematics in my undergrad studies; I nearly went the other way and majored in philosophy. What decided me on physics was that philosophy seemed, to me, to be filled with hard work and well-intentioned theses that were a complete waste of time. Where this really struck home was when studying consciousness and free will: there’s maybe two thousand years of philosophizing on these issues, and only about fifty years of actual measurement. It seemed to me that even brilliant philosophers like Daniel Dennet fill book after book with speculative answers to questions that would be more clearly answered with an ounce of empirical observation and far less well-intentioned elucidation.

    “Bad math”–or “bad science”–gets hit hard because there’s no good justification for it if the tools exist to answer a question rigorously and empirically. A badly-wrong answer is still badly-wrong no matter how well-intentioned or how much work went into answering it. A little observation, and less reasoning, will get you closer to the truth faster and more accurately than good intentions divorced from measurement. This, I think, is the point of Mark’s criticism.

  18. #18 Rob
    June 8, 2010

    Well…long ago I learned that only a fool calls another a fool…if he is wrong then show what is wrong so he can understand…if you say…well I’m to smart to be able to explain that to him…then you aren’t smart at all…

  19. #19 Mark C. Chu-Carroll
    June 8, 2010

    @18:

    Yeah, well, I’d say that that makes you a fool.

    There are plenty of people in the world who aren’t interested in understanding why they’re wrong. They’re absolutely sure that they’re right, and there’s absolutely nothing in the world that’s going to convince them otherwise.

    Anyone who posts to viXra is almost, by definition, guaranteed to part of that group. The reason that people post things to viXra is because they don’t want to deal with the standards of arXiv.

    Really, do you think that someone who believes that your kitchen stove can change the mass of your pots and pans by 10 percent, but that no one before him ever noticed it is going to change his mind and realize that he’s wrong because someone patiently explains it to him?

    Look at the old debate here with John Gabriel – do you think that anyone could ever, in a million years, convince John that he was wrong about anything? Look at a Velikovskian like Ted Holden – do you think that here’s anything in the world that would convince Ted that’s he’s wrong? Look at a fundy-nut like Tim Lahaye – do you think that if god himself were to appear to him and tell him that his prophesies were wrong, that it would convince him? Hell, look back at George Shollenberger, who I argued with several times on this blog. Plenty of people wasted plenty of time patiently explaining the errors in his logic- it never made the slightest dent in his certainty that he’s one of the greatest scholars in the history of mankind.

    There’s no point being nice to cranks.

  20. #20 SWT
    June 8, 2010

    This new finding has horrible consequences for measurement techniques such as thermogravimetric analysis … I guess all those measurements my graduate students have been making are wrong!

  21. #21 onymous
    June 8, 2010

    Actually, with relativity, we’ve got a pretty good explanation of why gravity behaves the way it does. The only problem is that it doesn’t really jibe with stuff that describes why other forces work the way that they do.

    I hate to be picky — oh, who am I kidding, what else are blog comments for, and I still have thirty minutes before the code I’m running completes and I can do anything useful — but this is really overstating the problem with gravity. At some level, we have an extremely similar understanding of how gravity and the other forces work: there’s some symmetry (the Lorentz group for gravity, a rotation of some phase for E&M, nonabelian versions of that for the other forces); making that symmetry local leads to some sort of “curvature”; and the lowest-dimension invariant operator involving that curvature gives the Lagrangian for the quantum mechanical theory of the corresponding force. Beautiful! Simple! Almost completely parallel.

    Now there are two problems with this quantum theory. One is that a few of the interactions are not well-defined at high energies; gravity is a nonrenormalizable quantum field theory, so it breaks down at high energies. The thing that people rarely mention is that the rest of the Standard Model has a similar problem: the hypercharge gauge coupling and the Higgs quartic interaction also don’t give well-defined QFTs, but they do in perturbation theory, so people feel somewhat more comfortable with them even though fundamentally it’s the same as the naive problem with gravity.

    The second problem with gravity is more subtle, and involves mysterious things that happen in the presence of black holes or other horizons, suggesting that a quantum theory of gravity has a very (very very) subtle form of nonlocality that the other forces don’t have. So there is some underlying weirdness.

    But the key point about both of these problems is that they never happen in any regime we’ve ever tested with any experiment! The first problem tells us that we don’t know what happens at very high energies — but probably other things we don’t know about happen long before we get to the Planck scale where this is a problem for gravity. The second problem tells us we don’t understand very subtle quantum effects which would only matter if you could measure, for instance, huge numbers of quanta of Hawking radiation coming out of a black hole. Neither of these problems are problems in the everyday world or even the world of experiments. (If they were, we would have done experiments and probably learned the answer by now.)

    So, for all practical purposes, the Standard Model + GR gives a consistent quantum theory that is valid for any question you might reasonably want to ask about any testable situation in the real world. That’s pretty good in my book.

  22. #22 sep332
    June 8, 2010

    No one noticed before because all science is done at STP.

  23. #23 Paul Murray
    June 8, 2010

    Hey! This explains why the earth goes around the sun! The afternoon side of the earth is warmer than the morning side, and this pulls the earth around! Inertia is bunk!

  24. #24 Paul Murray
    June 8, 2010

    “What decided me on physics was that philosophy seemed, to me, to be filled with hard work and well-intentioned theses that were a complete waste of time.”

    As I see it – philosophy has accomplished it’s aim: it has turned out that empirical inquiry works. The end product of the last 5k years is the scientific method. Job done. All the philosophers can give themselves a pat on the back and go home now.

    (running and ducking :) )

  25. #25 PhilG
    June 9, 2010

    Mark C. Chu-Carroll: “In other words, it’s a site for cranks who can’t even post their stuff on arXiv. Considering some of the dreck that’s been posted an arXiv, that’s pretty damned sad.)”

    @19: “There are plenty of people in the world who aren’t interested in understanding why they’re wrong. They’re absolutely sure that they’re right, and there’s absolutely nothing in the world that’s going to convince them otherwise. Anyone who posts to viXra is almost, by definition, guaranteed to part of that group. The reason that people post things to viXra is because they don’t want to deal with the standards of arXiv.”

    These statements are utterly misleading and as bad as the examples of bad math that this blog attempts to debunk.

    The ability to post on arXiv is mostly dependent on working for an accepted institution or having the backing of someone who does. This is only indirectly correlated to the quality of what is being submitted. That is why a significant amount of “dreck” can be posted on arXiv. It also means that some people who do good science cannot submit there and use viXra instead. A lot of papers submitted to viXra.org have been accepted in peer-reviewed journals.

    viXra operates by accepting all papers to ensure that everyone has a chance to archive their work regardless of who they are or who they know. Only a fool with no sense of logic would pick out a few examples of bad papers and conclude that this then applies to the whole lot.

    The history of science is littered with stories of researchers whose work was ridiculed or ignored for years before being recognised as a breakthrough. Many Nobel Prizes have been awarded to work that started that way. You can follow our series of posts at http://blog.vixra.org/category/crackpots-who-were-right/ for some examples. If you are going to set yourself up as someone who debunks bad maths and science you had better make sure you apply the highest standards of logic otherwise you may go down in history as someone who ridiculed good science. By calling everyone on viXra a crank you have guaranteed that fate.

  26. #26 Valhar2000
    June 9, 2010

    If you are going to set yourself up as someone who debunks bad maths and science you had better make sure you apply the highest standards of logic otherwise you may go down in history as someone who ridiculed good science.

    Unfortunately, by virtue of their prolificness and general worthlessness, the vast majority of cranks will not go down in history at all, which will skew the statistics in the eyes of the casual observer, and allow nincompoops like you to say things like “The history of science is littered with stories of researchers whose work was ridiculed or ignored for years before being recognised as a breakthrough” as if it were in any way relevant to anything.

  27. #27 MarkW
    June 9, 2010

    @25:

    The “they laughed at Galileo” gambit?

    They laughed at Bozo the Clown as well.

  28. #28 PhilG
    June 9, 2010

    @26, @27, nobody is claiming that everyone who is called a crackpot is a genius, but some of them are, and more than you realise. Your stawman is burning.

  29. #29 eric
    June 9, 2010

    PhilG @28: “Your stawman is burning.”

    First, MCC’s comment about viXra was a parenthetical aside. The main point of the post was that this is an unusual type of crankdom. Calling it a strawman agrument is incorrect because the post’s main point was not about viXra at all.

    Second, a strawman is a misrepresentation of a class. Are you arguing that an actual viXra publication misrepresents viXra publications? This argument would be on much stronger footing if you stopped trying to defend this guy and simply provided counterexamples. Here, I’ll start you off, all you have to do is cut, paste, and fill in the blanks: “Yeah this guy’s a crank, but there are some good papers on viXra too, such as [link] and [link].”

  30. #30 PhilG
    June 9, 2010

    @29, A strawman is not a missrepresentation of a class, it is a missrepresentation of an opponents position. For example you are using a strawman when you claim that I am defending the author of the paper. I am merely criticising the argument used to debunk him which includes the claim that everyone on viXra is a crank amongst other errors. That’s not at all the same thing.

    If you want me to cite some papers on viXra which I dont think are crank then I shall simply mention my own. There are plenty of others that I rate highly but I can defend my own better than other peoples work: http://vixra.org/author/Philip_Gibbs

  31. #31 Mark C. Chu-Carroll
    June 9, 2010

    @25:

    arXiv does not exactly have a restrictive standard for registered authors. Either be a member of a recognized research institution, or get one member of a recognized institution to support the claim that you’re doing legitimate research.

    It’s not even “one person to endorse the quality of your work”: just get *one person* to acknowledge that you’re doing research, and you’re approved for arXiv.

    If getting one person to support the claim that you’re a legitimate researcher is an unsurmountable barrier, then as far as I’m concerned, you are by definition a crackpot. Real scientists communicate with other scientists. If you don’t have a single scientist in the entire world who’s willing to say about you: “Yup, I know that person, they’re a scientist” – then you aren’t.

  32. #32 PhilG
    June 9, 2010

    @31: Mark, it requires far more than getting one person to acknowledge that you are doing research. That person must put their name on the line by endorsing you for arXiv. arXiv may still reject the work after that, and endorsers are warned that if they endorse inappropriate work then they may lose their own rights to endorse or submit. Because of such threats very few endorsers are willing to risk their rights other than for people they know very well or for work that is considered very safe.

    I had submitted several papers to arXiv before they introduced the endorsement system. I have a PhD in physics and have published several papers that are reasonably well cited, yet I have no hope of persuading anyone to endorse my work for arXiv because I do not foster close connections with people who are accepted as endorsers. If you think that makes me a crackpot feel free to debunk my papers.

  33. #33 eric
    June 9, 2010

    PhilG: A strawman is not a missrepresentation of a class, it is a missrepresentation of an opponents position

    Okay, lets go with your definition: do you think MCC misrepresents this gentleman’s research as crank research? Forget the 100-word parenthetical aside and focus on the other 900 words (because we wouldn’t want to misrepresent MCC’s position by focusing on a mere 10% of his argument, would we?) – do you agree with MCC that this research is cranky, or do you disagree and think it represents good science?

  34. #34 PhilG
    June 9, 2010

    eric, I dont know why you want to draw me into a different discussion. I have never said that the paper was cranky or not cranky nor do I intend to.

    My claim is that not all work on viXra is cranky. If you do not want to discuss that it’s fine but I also do not want to discuss the details of this paper. In fact I have not even looked at it in enough detail to decide if it has any merit, and I dont have time to right now.

    Furthermore, though I may sometimes be willing to point out errors in a paper, I would never call a paper or its author cranky. That would be just pointless name calling which is not something I normally endulge in.

  35. #35 Anonymous
    June 9, 2010

    Regarding PhilG’s use of his work as a counterexample, I looked through some of his work. “A Fifth Smarandache Friendly Prime Pair” is mathematically correct. The heuristic given also looks reasonable. I don’t think this is mathematically very interesting. But it show that not everything on vixra is incorrect.

  36. #36 Joshua Zelinsky
    June 9, 2010

    Regarding PhilG’s use of his work as a counterexample, I looked through some of his work. “A Fifth Smarandache Friendly Prime Pair” is mathematically correct. The heuristic given also looks reasonable. I don’t think this is mathematically very interesting. But it show that not everything on vixra is incorrect.

  37. #37 Aaron Guerami
    June 9, 2010

    Ok, I am here to defend the crackpots.

    A field (Energy) cannot equal a scalar(mass)*a vector(c)^2. Your answer will always be a vector, not a field.

    If you have a major in math and cannot see the fallacy in Einstein’s work, well… Being that I am a disabled epileptic and not a mathematician, and I can see the logical failure of Einstein. Shows how easily you all are fooled.

    Of course temperature affects density.

    I explain the disproof of gravity at http://aaronsreality.blogspot.com

    If you can disprove what I am saying, please do so. I would really enjoy seeing the error of my ways.

    I would like to praise PhilG’s work.
    Aaron Guerami

  38. #38 NJ
    June 9, 2010

    Aaron’s reality != actual reality.

  39. #39 Aaron Guerami
    June 9, 2010

    How does Aaron’s Reality not equal actual reality? Being that I am one of those who cannot post to arxiv, I would really like to understand. Please post a real argument to my simple statement.

    Energy a field cannot equal a scalar(mass)* a vector(C)^2.

    You will always get a vector.
    Aaron

  40. #40 Mark C. Chu-Carroll
    June 9, 2010

    @37:

    Define “field”. It’s easy to play word games. Real math and science aren’t just words – they’re based on very precisely and formally defined terms.

    Energy in a quantity measured in units of mass*distance2/time2. For example, in SI units, it’s kilograms*meters2/secondsquared.

    Mass is, obviously, measured in units of mass – kilograms in SI. Speed is measured in distance/time – meters/second.

    So – let’s look at Einstein’s famous equation that you’re complaining about, using SI units: E=mc2. E is energy – measured in kg*m2/s2. m mass, measured in kilograms. c is a velocity, measured in meters/second.
    So c2 is meters2/seconds2. So, it’s
    kg*m2/s2 = kg * (m2/s2.)

    Where’s the problem now?

    The real problem is that you are redefining energy. Instead of meaning what scientists mean by energy, you’ve defined it as something else – something that you call a field. Then you want to take your meaning of the word energy, and substitute it for the scientific meaning of the word energy. Of course equations that hold for the physicists definition of energy don’t work for your definition: you’re not talking about the same thing.

    For example, I can decide to use the word “mass” to mean something new. In my new and improved definition, “mass” means the total number of protons and neutrons in a piece of matter. Now, if I use that definition, relativity doesn’t work. Relativity says that mass changes when you accelerate. The faster you go, the greater your mass becomes. But if mass is just the number of protons and neutrons, then it can’t change. Can I conclude that Einstein was totally wrong about the relationship between mass and velocity?

    Of course not. Because the quantity that I called mass isn’t mass. Mass, per physics and the equations of relativity, means something specific. My new definition of mass as the number of protons and neutrons can’t just replace what physicists mean by “mass”. Aside from the fact that it’s a stupid definition, it doesn’t measure the same thing as mass. It doesn’t mean the same thing, and it doesn’t have the same units. In fact, there’s not even any way of converting between my definition of mass, and the scientific definition of mass, because my definition doesn’t differentiate between protons and neutrons, which have different masses; and my definition doesn’t count electrons, which do have mass.

  41. #41 Mark C. Chu-Carroll
    June 9, 2010

    @39:

    c isn’t a vector. It’s speed, not velocity. It’s a scalar.

    You can’t even get the distinction between speed and velocity right, but we’re supposed to believe that you’re a serious scientist who’s being blocked by the eeeevil nasty people at arXiv?

  42. #42 Aaron Guerami
    June 9, 2010

    It is my prediction that since most people cannot understand matrix algebra, they will never understand the math that is required for ‘Variables involved in Baryonic Motion.’

    This conversation will not continue past 3pm est. If it does it will be just to flame and no real argument will be presented.

    Aaron

  43. #43 Mark C. Chu-Carroll
    June 9, 2010

    Yup, you’re a *real* scientist. You respond to criticism with non-sequiturs, and demands that everyone follow *your* arbitrary schedule.

    You’re ignoring the real questions: what do you mean by “energy is a field”? And why do you believe that *speed* is a *vector*?

  44. #44 Aaron Guerami
    June 9, 2010

    If c is not a vector but a scalar, then a scalar* a scalar^2 is still not a field. A field as defined is 3 dimensional + 1 dimensional time. (Maxwell)

    Mass is even less of a 3 dimensional structure. It is a Zero Dimensional structure. It has no length physical properties.

  45. #45 Aaron Guerami
    June 9, 2010

    I was responding to the != (what did you call it a non-sequiturs).

    I am not the one who defined matrix algebra. I am just showing that Einstein’s and Newton’s work do not match the dimensional analysis.

    kg*m2/s2 = kg * (m2/s2.)
    This is not 4 dimensional.

  46. #46 Mark C. Chu-Carroll
    June 9, 2010

    First – you’re still not bothering to define what you mean by energy. You’re claiming that “energy is a field”, and giving a woefully inadequate definition of what “field” means. (My best guess is that what you’ve got in mind is a vector field – but energy, as defined by physics, is not a vector field.)

    So – you still need to define just what you mean by energy. And then, you need to show that it’s what Einstein was actually talking about. Can you show any reasonable source that claims that when a physicist talks about energy, they’re talking about anything other than mass*distance2/time2? Can you show any reasonable source that claims that energy is, as you define it, a field?

    Second: what the heck does the dimensional structure of mass have to do with anything? Mass is a well-defined measurable quantity. And its units are a part of the unit by which energy is measured. Energy is measured in mass-distance2/time2. What does the dimensionality of mass have to do with that?

    Third: what do you mean by the fact that “mass” is a zero dimensional structure. Mass is measurable: it has a numeric magnitude. By definition, that gives it a single dimension.
    Unless, of course, you’ve redefined “dimension” so that it means something entirely different than what mathematicians mean by it. (Somehow, I guess that that’s what’s going on. You seem to love redefining terms, and then expecting everyone to accept your new definitions.)

  47. #47 Mark C. Chu-Carroll
    June 9, 2010

    kg*m2/s2 = kg * (m2/s2.)
    This is not 4 dimensional.

    Yeah, so? What does that non-sequitur have to do with anything? Energy is mass*distance2/time2. By your apparent definitions, then, it’s not 4 dimensional either. So where’s the problem?

  48. #48 eric
    June 9, 2010

    How does Aaron’s Reality not equal actual reality? Being that I am one of those who cannot post to arxiv, I would really like to understand. Please post a real argument to my simple statement.

    Because for the past several decades about 25-30% of U.S. electrical power production has relied on E=mc^2 being correct. If one consequence of your math is the conclusion that no electricity should be flowing to your computer, and yet you can read this post, I suggest you recheck your math.

    I wouldn’t reply but this is another good example of MCC’s point. When you do science you can’t just do it in a self-contained box. You have to consider the results of other experiments, observatinos outside your lab, and think about what physical consequences would follow from your being right. We have many machines that seem to convert matter to energy. They do it quite well. They rely on the E=mc^2 relationship being right to operate. If you’re saying matter and energy aren’t inter-convertable, you’re going to have to explain why in a very large number of controlled, experimental, reproducible cases it appears to be happening.

    Consider these to be guidelines for which there may be a few exceptions (but don’t kid yourself into thinking you’re one of them): if your conclusion contradicts many other scientific observations made over many years by thousands of people, that may be a clue that you are operating in said box. If the theory you claim is wrong has been used as the primary operating principle to build some technology, and that technology works spectacularly well, you may be in said box. Or if, as in the original paper, your conclusion would result in some huge and obvious repercussion that no one actually observes – like the observation that heat flow can increase or decrease gravitational force – you may be in said box.

  49. #49 Aaron Guerami
    June 9, 2010

    1) (First – you’re still not bothering to define what you mean by energy. You’re claiming that “energy is a field”, and giving a woefully inadequate definition of what “field” means. (My best guess is that what you’ve got in mind is a vector field – but energy, as defined by physics, is not a vector field.)

    Energy as defined by Maxwell and Planck is 3 dimensions of space and one dimension of time.
    A photon as defined by Planck is
    dimension 1(temperature)
    dimension 2(wavelength)
    dimension 3(frequency)
    dimension 4(rotation – time)

    U(v,t) = ((8pi*h*v^3)/(c^3))*(1/(e^((hv)/(kT))-1

    That should answer part 1

  50. #50 Aaron Guerami
    June 9, 2010

    re. Because for the past several decades about 25-30% of U.S. electrical power production has relied on E=mc^2 being correct. If one consequence of your math is the conclusion that no electricity should be flowing to your computer, and yet you can read this post, I suggest you recheck your math.
    —–
    E=mc^2 is close to being correct. But like you stated it is only ~25% correct. Only 25% of electricity is understood by E=mc^2

    By discounting Maxwell’s correct understanding of electricity, you lose the relationship between electricity and magnetism.
    ——

    Lets look as mass. Mass is zero dimensional. Density is the structure that works in reality. Why?

    Because density is affected by electricity, magnetism, temperature and other densities. If I want to change the density of an object, I can use electricity, magnetism, temperature, or other densities.

  51. #51 eric
    June 9, 2010

    E=mc^2 is close to being correct. But like you stated it is only ~25% correct. Only 25% of electricity is understood by E=mc^2

    This is laughably wrong. I said only 25-30% of U.S. power relies on E=mc^2 being correct because that’s the rough percent of national electrical power generated by nuclear reactors. Its not 25% right, its 100% right for the plants that produce 25% of our megawattage.

    If you come out with math that says planes don’t fly, I’m going to point at a plane and ask you to explain it. If you come out with math that says fission doesn’t produce energy equal to the mass lost times c^2, I’m going to point at a nuclear reactor and ask you what you think is going on in there.

  52. #52 Aaron Guerami
    June 9, 2010

    If we are going to describe baryonic motion in a nuclear reactor, then we need to understand that a baryon is 3 gluons joined in rotation as a cone. A cone is a triangle in rotation. This baryon is affected by changes in electric, magnetic, temperature and density fields.

    hmmmm,
    Since I cannot use LaTeX here, it is difficult to produce equations that define the problem or the solution. They are listed in the papers on my site. As described in my paper ‘variables involved in baryonic motion’.

  53. #53 Peter Fred
    June 9, 2010

    My name is Peter Fred. I am the so-called crackpot that wrote that “lovely gem” that has got Mark Chu-Carroll so worked up. If heat mediates the gravitational force and not mass, to understand how it does, Dr. Chu-Carroll should at least try to understand how I believe heat is able to do this kind of attracting. He says “the guy basically wants to claim that gravity doesn’t really exist.” I do not believe that mass-based gravity exists. But I do believe heat-based gravity does. Heat moves from hot to cold. Thus, I do not claim that “warm things attract other warm things”.

    The sun is not only the most massive body in the solar system. It is also the most luminous or hottest. And guess what that luminosity varies inversely as the square of the distance as does the the gravitational force.

    I do not know why no one has thought strongly enough about the possibility that it could be the sun’s luminosity and not it mass that is doing the attracting to make the effort to do experiments and see whether or not it does. If I get positive results as I have done, then people should not get so bent out of shape and start calling me names. They should go out, if they are scientific minded, and do experiments and see for themselves whether or not heat is attractive. I do not claim heat per se is attractive. It is the transfer of heat through a test mass that is attractive. Notice in all five of my experiments that I have a hot source and a cold source and a test mass sandwiched in between them. Google with all its millions should spend a little time and a $100 on equipment and go out and see whether or not the transfer of heat is attractive as I claim. If this is true, it is a very important point and Google has every right to all the money it has made. Maybe we can’t find the dark matter or the dark energy which comprise 95% of the universe because we have erroneously believed to a man for 300 years, as Newton did, that is is the sun’s mass and not its luminousity that is doing the attracting of bodies around it.
    http://vixra.org/abs/0907.0018 .

  54. #54 Aaron Guerami
    June 9, 2010

    Nuclear reactions worked before Einstein and regardless of Einstein. You are stating that the only reason Nuclear reactions produce electricity is because of Einstein’s incorrect equation. That is laughable.

  55. #55 Aaron Guerami
    June 9, 2010

    Peter,
    Thanks for the interesting paper. I agree that mass is not relevant. I show it has to do with the interaction of 4 fields created by a baryon and 1 non-baryonic field.

    The sun’s surface, according to observation, is liquid Iron[1]. This fact explains the extreme magnetic fields created by the sun. Liquid Iron is hot enough to produce photons.

    [1] http://www.thesurfaceofthesun.com/

  56. #56 Mark C. Chu-Carroll
    June 9, 2010

    @53:

    Or, perhaps, before people start spending money on testing stupid ideas, we actually look at them first, and see if they make any sense at all.

    Your “theory” doesn’t explain why the moon orbits the earth. It doesn’t explain why a high-albedo moon of a planet like Jupiter doesn’t orbit any differently than a low-albedo one. It doesn’t explain why Neptune doesn’t orbit differently than earth, even though it’s vastly hotter.

    On the other hand, your “theory” does predict that there should be a significant change in the apparent mass of the combustion chamber of a jet plane. According to your theory, that change is large enough to have a measurable effect on the flight dynamics of the plane! Why is an F-15 aerodynamically stable at the speed of sound?

    Why doesn’t the shuttle fall to earth faster during re-entry? According to you, it should have a dramatically higher apparent mass – back of the envelope, according to your theory, its apparent mass should be around 20% heavier during re-entry. Why doesn’t that happen?

    All of these things – and many, many more – contradict your theory.

    Add in the fact that if your theory was right, it would be observed in dozens of ways in other experiments tests that are routinely done by physicists.

    Reality doesn’t match your theory. Very simply, that means that your theory is wrong.

  57. #57 eric
    June 9, 2010

    Aaron: You are stating that the only reason Nuclear reactions produce electricity is because of Einstein’s incorrect equation.

    I’m stating that his equation accurately predicts and explains the energy releases observed from nuclear reactions. If (you think) the equation is fundamentally wrong, how do you explain its accuracy? How do engineers build working fission reactors if no mass is being converted to energy? Do you think they secretly shovel in some coal when no one’s looking?

  58. #58 Aaron Guerami
    June 9, 2010

    Peter,

    I don’t want to discourage your creative thought. I do want to show that temperature does change density of an object.

    Lets look at a hot air balloon. When the air inside the balloon is heated the density decreases and the balloon rises. When the air inside the balloon cools its density increases and the balloon falls.

    This simple thought experiment does disprove your premise, by direction only. But it does not prove Chu-Carroll correct. It shows that you were on the correct path. Photons radiate away from baryons. The receiving baryon expands away from the emitting baryon.

  59. #59 Aaron Guerami
    June 9, 2010

    Eric,

    Fission reactors occur because of uranium, or whatever radioactive material is used. The same volume of He3 produces more electricity than the same volume of uranium. He3 is a more efficient producer of electricity. [Schmitt] He3 has so little density that it is repelled by the Earth’s magnetosphere.

  60. #60 NJ
    June 9, 2010

    It is telling when a comment by Mabus makes more sense than all of those by the cranks…

  61. #61 Joshua Zelinsky
    June 9, 2010

    Wow, this thread has taking a serious nose-dive. This seems to be connected to the real problem with the “sometimes crackpots are right” argument. Those people are not just rare, but even the rare examples are not nearly as crackpotted as the average crackpot.

  62. #62 eric
    June 9, 2010

    Fission reactors occur because of uranium, or whatever radioactive material is used.

    Used to do what? Do they convert mass to energy or not?

  63. #63 chaos_engineer
    June 9, 2010

    If heat mediates the gravitational force and not mass, to understand how it does, Dr. Chu-Carroll should at least try to understand how I believe heat is able to do this kind of attracting.

    It’s not a question of “how” you believe it happens. It’s a question of “why” you believe it happens.

    Specifically, what real-world observations aren’t explained by the current theory of gravity, and how does your theory explain them better?

    I didn’t read your paper because I’m lazy and also I’m an ignoramus, but it sounds like you might have heated some stuff up and noticed it got heavier. Before you write a whole new theory of gravity, could you maybe build on the work you’ve already done and make some graphs showing how weight increases as a function of temperature for different materials? (If the increase depends on the material, then maybe there’s something else going on, like the chemical changes that Eric Lund suggested up above?)

    That’s what separates crackpots from scientists with controversial theories. A scientist with a controversial theory will keep testing it and build up evidence for it over time. A crackpot will take one unexplained observation and run with it all the way to Cloud-Cuckoo-Land.

  64. #64 adagger
    June 9, 2010

    @Aaron
    Your attempt to assign 4 dimensions to a photon (comment 49) isn’t making sense to me. The energy, frequency, and temperature of a photon are not independent (energy = Planck’s constant * frequency, temperature = energy / Boltzmann’s constant), so it doesn’t seem helpful to call these three different dimensions. And I don’t know what you mean by rotation — spin? orbital angular momentum? both? something else?

    I think I might understand where the confusion on dimensionality of energy vs. mass is coming from, though as others have pointed out, it’s not clear what you mean by a field. I suspect you may be thinking of four-vectors, and in particular the four-momentum.

    Four-vectors, in the context of special relativity, are a collection of four scalars, like (t, x, y, z), with a “length” defined such that the length squared is the square of the first component minus the squares of the other three components: l^2 = t^2 – x^2 – y^2 – z^2.

    The four-momentum has the components (energy / c, x-momentum, y-momentum, z-momentum), and the square of its “length” [(energy / c) squared minus the magnitude squared of the three-dimensional momentum vector] is always m^2 * c^2. So for a mass at rest (zero momentum), this gives us energy / c = m * c, or energy = m c^2.

    So there’s no issue with equating a four-dimensional thing to a one-dimensional thing; we’re equating the (one-dimensional) NORM of a four-dimensional thing to a one-dimensional thing. As Mark already pointed out, the speed of light is a scalar, so everything lines up.

    @ Mark, sorry if I’m going too far off topic.

  65. #65 Feynmaniac
    June 10, 2010

    As if there wasn’t already enough crackpots on this thread, Mabus shows up @59.

  66. #66 Rr
    June 10, 2010

    http://xkcd.com/675/ The xkcd comic strip “Revolutionary”.
    Especially the alt-text is highly relevant:

    I mean, what’s more likely — that I have uncovered fundamental flaws in this field that no one in it has ever thought about, or that I need to read a little more? Hint: it’s the one that involves less work.” -the arrogant egoist.

  67. #67 PhilG
    June 10, 2010

    @67 progress in science comes about from the rare events. In the xkcd cartoon the first three pictures are much more important than the last one or the alt text.

    It is easy to see that there are plenty of people contributing to vixra.org who have far better qualification than depicted there. I’m not sure we can say the same for Mark. If someone wants to claim that everything on vixra is cranky they need to debunk the more advanced ones, not just pick out a few examples that their limited knowledge can grasp.

    The fact that Mark Chu-Carroll is not owning up to this error after I have provided examples of papers on viXra that are not crank shows that he is the one who is acting out the definition of a crackpot.

  68. #68 Aaron Guerami
    June 10, 2010

    I am glad to see we are finally calming down to ask reasonable questions. I spent my evening last night recovering. Lets try to keep the flaming down so I don’t flop like a fish.

    @adagger
    Lets take a look at the field of a photon first. A field is not four vectors. Vectors are 2 dimensional; direction and intensity. A field is 3 bits of information traveling over time. For a photon a field is Freq,Wave length, temperature and a counter.

    We actually see this in the Zeeman Effect. I show this http://aaronsreality.blogspot.com/2009/07/zeeman-effect.html

    When a photon passes through a magnetic field the photon stops rotating. You can see the 3 bits of information rotating around each other. When the photon exits the magnetic field the bits of information again start rotating. This is the direct cause of redshift.

    The baryon that expressed the photon also expresses everything but itself. This is the spectra. This process allows the receiving baryon to identify the expressing baryon.

    With all this information the receiving baryon can identify; the emitting baryon, The temperature, freq and wave length of the emitting baryon, the amount of magnetic resistance the boson traveled through. This is a field.

    Aluminium vibrates at a different rate then hydrogen at a specific temperature. A field is triple redundant systems of information in motion.

    Each type of vibration emitted by a baryon associates to a different boson; Photon – temperature, Z Boson – Electricity, W+/-Boson – Magnetism, and Gluon – density.

    I want to thank all of you for reading my work.
    Aaron

  69. #69 eric
    June 10, 2010

    Aaron, if you have such problems with the form of Einstein’s equation, the same basic principle can be stated as a conversion factor with no reference to fields or vectors at all: there are 9E13 J/g, or 931.5 MeV/amu.

    Since J/g is an extremely common measure of energy released during any number of physical processes, surely you can’t object to this unit combination.

  70. #70 Anonymous
    June 10, 2010

    @19:
    Mark C. Chu-Carroll says: “Really, do you think that someone who believes that your kitchen stove can change the mass of your pots and pans by 10 percent, but that no one before him ever noticed it is ….”

    I have mentioned before that just heating an object will not necessarily produce a change in weight. To observe a change in weight it is necessary to create conditions to insure that heat will flow in one direction. In all my experiments I have a heat source and a cold source. This tends to make the heat flow in one direction.

  71. #71 Mark C. Chu-Carroll
    June 10, 2010

    @71:

    Right, so, when I heat up my cast iron pan on a hot stove, and then I pick it up and move it to an unheated burner, I should be able to notice a roughly 10% difference it its weight:

    A cast iron pan heated on a stove to searing heat is around 260 degrees C. The unheated burner is around 20 degrees C. 260C/20C is not vastly different from 260C/0C. So why is there no difference?

    Or to be more extreme, iron foundries routinely melt iron for casting. The melting point of iron is around 1500 degrees C. And foundries make extremely careful measurements of weight. Why don’t they notice an increase in weight when they heat the iron? Why don’t they notice a decrease in weight when they cool a cast iron form?

    What you don’t seem to understand is that the observations you’re claiming to make, if they were true, would have huge, dramatic effects on everyday phenomena. And yet, none of those effects are ever observed. According to you, a rocket should experience a *huge* increase in mass when its engines ignite. As a result, it should require a significant increase in the amount of fuel and thrust needed to achieve orbit. And yet, that doesn’t happen. A jet engine on an airplane should have a significant increase in weight relative to the rest of plane – which would have a significant impact on the aerodynamic behavior of the plane. And yet, that doesn’t happen.

    None of the effects predicted by your theory actually happen. If they did, it would be obvious. But they don’t.

  72. #72 Peter Fred
    June 10, 2010

    @56:
    MarkCC says “Or, perhaps, before people start spending money on testing stupid ideas, we actually look at them
    first, and see if they make any sense at all.” Then he
    lists various kinds of reasons my heat-based gravity
    theory should not work.
    However, I can list a number of reasons why a heat-based
    theory should work. It is because of these reasons and
    failure of a mass-based theory to adequately account for
    the flat rotation curves of galaxies and the fact of
    cosmic acceleration that has motivated me to develop a
    theory based on the attractive power of luminosity. Here
    are some of those reasons:
    •All large bound systems in the universe such as planets,
    stars, galaxies and clusters all have a major heat source
    at their centers and a major heat sink at their outer
    edges giving them the ability to efficiently transfer heat
    from their centers outwards.
    •The disc-like shape of galaxies are ideal for causing the
    phenomena of light bending to come into play and force
    some of its central light to land at the galaxies outer
    edges. If this bent light is gravitationally attractive,
    then we have a possible explanation for the flat rotation
    curves which does not require the yet-to-be-detected dark
    matter despite millions spent in the attempt.
    •The Tully-Fisher relation explicitly states that the
    luminosity of a galaxy is directly proportional to its
    highest orbital velocity.
    •The amount of luminosity from a body varies inversely as
    the square of the distance from that body as does the
    gravitational force.
    •Stefan’s Law states that that if a body has a
    temperature, luminosity will radiate from it.
    •Stacy McGaugh’s work with rotation curves supports
    Renzo’s rule that “When you see a feature in the light you
    see a corresponding feature in the rotation curve” and
    raises the question, “Why does the baryonic tail wag the
    dark matter dog.” (see McGaugh’s 2006 KITP video at
    http://online.itp.ucsb.edu/online)

  73. #73 Aaron Guerami
    June 10, 2010

    Heating an object changes the density of the object. It does not change the weight of that object. Heating iron to 1500c changes the iron bar to liquid. This expands the iron baryons away from the heat source increasing the volume.

    Going back to e!=mc^2. C is variable to the medium it travels through. http://aaronsreality.blogspot.com/2009/01/speed-of-light-is-not-constant.html

  74. #74 Mark C. Chu-Carroll
    June 10, 2010

    #73:

    The problem that you keep ignoring is that your theory doesn’t work in everyday phenomena. If, as you claim, gravity is an effect of heat-flow, then there are millions of everyday phenomena that would be observably different than they are.

    If your theory is wrong for simple observable things that happen every day in kitchens everywhere, then it’s just wrong. It doesn’t matter if you believe that it can somehow account for the gravitational dynamics of galaxies if it can’t account for the gravitational dynamics of frying pans.

  75. #75 Aaron Guerami
    June 10, 2010

    Peter is correct that an increase in temperature decreases the effect you call gravity. That hot air balloon does show this effect.

    It is another simple disproof of gravity.

  76. #76 RBH
    June 10, 2010

    Brian wrote

    It seems very hierarchical to demean “bad math” for failure when honest intention and hard work was put into the effort.

    As I used to tell my college students, I’m not interested in effort, I’m interested in the quality of your work. Interestingly, even the professors in the undergraduate and graduate philosophy courses I took had much the same basic attitude. They never once asked me how many hours I put into a paper but rather graded it on content and coherence.

  77. #77 Aaron Guerami
    June 10, 2010

    Lets look at that bad math.

    F = G(M1*M2)/r^2 : Force = (The constant of Gravity * The zero dimensional mass 1 * The zero dimensional mass 2)/ The 3 dimensional length between them squared.
    So every object pulls every other object.

    Gravity is not that objects fall. It is a very specific equation as to how objects move.

    If I take 1 kilogram of iron and 1 kg of Helium and release them at the same distance from the earth, which one hits the ground first. Or at all.

  78. #78 william e emba
    June 10, 2010

    Lets take a look at the field of a photon first. A field is not four vectors. Vectors are 2 dimensional; direction and intensity. A field is 3 bits of information traveling over time.

    This is gibberish.

    A field, in physics, refers to a function defined on some spatial domain. If the function at each point is a scalar, you have a scalar field. If it’s a vector at each point, you have a vector field. Etc.

  79. #79 Aaron Guerami
    June 10, 2010

    It is obvious I neglected to use a question mark. This is probably why nobody viewed it as a question.

    So.
    If I take 1 kilogram of iron and 1 kg of Helium and release them at the same distance from the earth, which one hits the ground first?

  80. #80 Aaron Guerami
    June 10, 2010

    What is really interesting about this problem is that it does not matter if the two objects are released at different times. The helium will never hit the ground first.

  81. #81 Mark C. Chu-Carroll
    June 10, 2010

    @78, 80, 81:

    The only thing that’s interesting about that as a problem is that you think it’s a problem.

    In the real world, we don’t expect a gas to behave in the same way as a solid. In a vaccum, because of the weak bonds between the molecules, we expect it to disperse. Gravity doesn’t change that.

    We also don’t expect the mere existence of gravity to cancel out all other forces. In the real world, for many problems where we’re trying to work with gravity, we can treat a solid object as a point-mass at its center of gravity. That’s an approximation, because the “solid” object is actually made up of a huge number of particles, and gravity really acts on each particle individually. But because of the fact that at macroscopic scale, a solid object is rigid, we can pretend that it’s a point mass for the purposes of determining its gravitational interactions with another large body. A gas can’t be treated as a point mass. Gravity still acts on the individual molecules of a gas – but so do other forces. This isn’t a surprise to much of anyone. And it doesn’t invalidate gravity in any way.

    As usual for a crank, you just randomly redefine terms, and create non-sensical claims about what real science predicts.

  82. #82 Freak
    June 10, 2010

    If you do it an a vaccuum, then they will hit the ground at the same time.

    Not quite what you asked, but one of the Apollo astronauts did the experiment of dropping a feather and a hammer at the same time, and they hit the moon together.

  83. #83 Aaron Guerami
    June 10, 2010

    Really,

    Place the helium in a mylar balloon. That will contain the helium for a short period of time. As long as the helium can lift 1kg.

    What other forces are acting upon the helium that force it to act against gravity? If we change the temperature will we see a different result? No, Even if you heat the iron to its boiling point it will still hit the ground first. Is the Earth’s magnetic field going to keep the iron from hitting the ground?

    What terms have I re-defined to change the problem? A vacuum is not necessary or used in this problem.

  84. #84 CherryBomb
    June 10, 2010

    Now that suggests an experiment you could do. Sorta like Gallileo, you could drop two iron cannonballs at different temperatures from a tower. If the hot cannonball hits the ground first, you may be on to something.

  85. #85 eric
    June 10, 2010

    What other forces are acting upon the helium that force it to act against gravity?

    Buoyancy.

    And since buoyancy depends on displacement volume, which does vary with temperature for gasses, normal mainstream physics expects helium to rise when heated. No special gravity changed needed.

  86. #86 Elipson
    June 10, 2010

    @73

    MarkCC says “Or, perhaps, before people start spending money on testing stupid ideas, we actually look at them
    first, and see if they make any sense at all.” Then he
    lists various kinds of reasons my heat-based gravity
    theory should not work.
    However, I can list a number of reasons why a heat-based
    theory should work.

    What does it matter that you can list a number of reasons why a hear-based theory should work? A theory rests not only on the number of experiments that validates it, but more so on the number of experiments that FAIL to disprove it.
    Mark has given you several examples as to where it seems that your theory fails. Unless you can address those issues, I fail to see what is gained by furthering the discussion on this ‘theory’

  87. #87 Aaron Guerami
    June 10, 2010

    It is humorous to see that you have changed the requirements of the problem. A feather is still more dense then the surrounding atmosphere. Far more dense then helium. A feather is made up of organics. Organics are more dense then the atmosphere. On the moon the feather will fall just as fast as a human.

    You had to change the atmosphere to a vacuum to show the dispersement of the volume of the helium.

    If you need the iron to be gaseous, then heat it to its boiling point. You will still find that the gaseous iron will fall and the helium will rise.

    I also agree that it is not relevant that you understand my theory. Others will and already have.

    Thank you for the conversation, it lasted 23 hours longer then I expected.

    Good luck to you with your book.
    Aaron

  88. #88 Mark C. Chu-Carroll
    June 10, 2010

    @85:

    Actually, a vacuum is required by this problem.

    The way that you’ve set up the problem, you’re trying to pretend that there are no forces acting other than gravity, and then using that to purportedly show that gravity is wrong. But no one who knows any physics would make that claim.

    A gas like helium, in an atmosphere, will be acted on by other gases – which can produce a net force greater that gravity to make it move upwards, until it reaches an equilibrium between the buoyant force produced by heavier gasses, and the downward force of gravity.

    If you were to take a balloon full of helium, and a lead ball of equivalent mass, and drop the two of them on the surface of the moon, they would hit at exactly the same time. Without other gases to provide buoyancy, you could see the force of gravity acting in isolation.

    What you’ve done is just define away any forces present in the environment other than gravity – and then proclaimed that gravity doesn’t exist, because you can see the effects of the other forces that you ignored.

  89. #89 Mark C. Chu-Carroll
    June 10, 2010

    @88:

    Yes, even gaseous iron will fall. Because iron atoms are considerably heavier than helium atoms. No surprise there. And nothing that isn’t perfectly explained by the good old theory of gravity plus basic fluid dynamics.

    Buoyancy isn’t a problem for the theory of gravity. We have a very good understanding of the forces involved, and why they behave the way that they do. Just because you *choose* to ignore a fact doesn’t make it any less of a fact.

    Your “density” rubbish can’t explain orbital dynamics with the same precision as gravity. Peter’s gravity rubbish can’t explain orbital dynamics with the same precision as gravity (or, in fact, at all).

    You’re just playing the standard crackpot game. Redefine problems so that they fit your predetermined conclusion.

    An earlier commenter stated the real principle of science just a little while ago: A good scientific theory isn’t a theory that can be supported by lots of experiments; a good scientific theory is a theory that can’t be invalidated even after lots of experiments.

    Both your and Peter’s “theories” fail that test miserably.

  90. #90 Reality
    June 10, 2010

    Posted by: Mark C. Chu-Carroll
    Or, perhaps, before people start spending money on testing stupid ideas, we actually look at them first, and see if they make any sense at all.
    You are right. Try to test http://vixra.org/abs/1006.0005.
    It should be a piece of cake.

  91. #91 chaos_engineer
    June 10, 2010

    C is variable to the medium it travels through.

    No, “c” is a constant equal to the speed of light in a vacuum. It even says that on the page you linked to, http://aaronsreality.blogspot.com/2009/01/speed-of-light-is-not-constant.html

    That said, you shouldn’t take that page as accurate. The author talks about the “maximum speed of light in a vacuum” which falsely implies that light can travel through a vacuum at other speeds.

    But that page references another page, http://www.rpi.edu/dept/phys/Dept2/APPhys1/optics/optics/node4.html. The author of that page got it right; when light travels through a vacuum its speed will be measured as “c” by all observers.

  92. #92 angrymonkey
    June 10, 2010

    Am I alone in thinking Aaron Guerami is a troll. At least Peter Fred seems to cling to some of the trappings of logic, even if he fails to acknowledge evidence against his theory. Aaron on the other hand just spews gibberish that is so wrong it doesn’t even form a coherent thought.

  93. #93 John Marley
    June 10, 2010

    I love GM/BM. You get the funniest cranks, Mark.

  94. #94 Anonymous
    June 11, 2010

    Redshift is caused by motion away from the viewer. The light wave is “stretched” by the fact that the object is receding, that is, the wavelength increases. Also, “organics” are not necessarily heavy molecules, and many, such as ethers, are quite volatile and will easily mix with air.

  95. #95 Tree
    June 11, 2010

    Am I alone in thinking Aaron Guerami is a troll

    I don’t know; he does have a blog, which suggests that he is not a proper troll and just thinks he is clever.

    59 has the right idea. “Hijacking in progress” indeed.

  96. #96 Peter Fred
    June 11, 2010

    @72 MarkCC said:
    “Right, so, when I heat up my cast iron pan on a hot stove, and then I pick it up and move it to an unheated burner, I should be able to notice a roughly 10% difference it its weight.”

    It is difficult to subjectively measure the weight of an object especially when it is hot. Remember my experiments have a substantial cold source above the heated test mass. An experimenter will not get a reliable change of weight unless the heat from the test mass is encouraged to flow in one direction. This arrangement where a substantial cold source is right above a substantial heat source does not occur that often in everyday life. We are talking about a 1% to 2% change of weight of a hot object immediately before it is allowed to cool down.

    I have cited five instances in nature that suggest that the transfer of heat mediates the gravitational force @73. You have dismissed these points because of hypothetical thought experiments of events that occur in everyday life. You talk about non experiments. I talk about experiments where objective measurements are made.

    One of my points which suggests to me that heat mediates the gravitational force is the Tully-Fisher relation which has been substantiated on many galaxies. Another important indication is that large gravitationally bound systems like stars, galaxies, clusters all have a major heat source at their center and a major heat sink in their outer parts. Since there is a high correlation between the mass and luminosity of a system, we do not know whether it is the mass or the luminosity that is doing the attracting of these large bound systems. To answer this question it is best that we do experiments to finally settle the question. The fact that we need the yet-to-be detected dark matter and the repulsive dark energy that supposedly resides in the vacuum is not too indicative that it is the mass of these large bound systems that is doing the gravitational attracting.

  97. #97 eric
    June 11, 2010

    It is difficult to subjectively measure the weight of an object especially when it is hot.

    Not really. I microwave a glass of water until just before it boils, then put it on my bathroom scale. No change in weight.

    An experimenter will not get a reliable change of weight unless the heat from the test mass is encouraged to flow in one direction.

    Glass is a great insulator. In my experiment above, the water is going to radiate heat out the open end a lot more than it does in any other direction. If you don’t think the directionality provided by glass is good enough, you could do the same experiment with an open thermos of coffee. (But my guess is that if you had some IR imaging gear, you’d see the heat radiation from a glass of water is more directional than your copper sphere with some ice next to it)

    So, why doesn’t my water change weight?

  98. #98 Composer99
    June 11, 2010

    You may not get this, Aaron & Peter, but “here’s your sign”.

  99. #99 Jon H
    June 14, 2010

    Peter: try doing some experiments with a Peltier device. Power it up and see if the mass changes. (Hint: it won’t)

    Aaron: “If you need the iron to be gaseous, then heat it to its boiling point. You will still find that the gaseous iron will fall and the helium will rise.”

    Have you considered that helium, chilled to the liquid state, does fall to the ground? I guess heat has nothing to do with gravity.

  100. #100 speedwell
    June 22, 2010

    OK, call me ignorant (I’m ignorant), but if I put a pot full of, say, lead over a flame, and bring it to a boil, is the fact that I have a bag of ice hanging over the top of the pot going to make a whole lot of difference? I mean, it is not going to prevent the sides of the pot from radiating heat, is it?