Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A Nasty Critique of Physicists, Oh NO!

I love Physicists, so I don't understand the tone of this vitriol:

The problem with the physics community is that theirs is an incestuous science that has been spawning hideous monstrosities for some time now. Their bunker mentality (the public is stupid and is the enemy) prevents them from considering other points of view, especially views that contradict their worldview. They have completely abandoned the search for a foundational understanding of nature and they insist on building up on their erroneous assumptions. Physicists do not even understand motion and yet they feel confident enough to create all sorts of silliness like wormholes, multiple universes and time travel. How dare they think that they are qualified to teach us about the origin of the universe when they are wallowing in ignorance about the most basic aspects of the universe?

WOW! WHO wrote that?! Not me! That was nasty.

As an exercise in analyzing the danger of quoting things out of context, let's look at the reply in toto:

Here We Go Again with the Crackpottery
"Accordingly, our own Universe may be the interior of a black hole existing in another universe." So concludes Nikodem Poplawski at Indiana University in a remarkable paper about the nature of space and the origin of time."

Wow. The only thing remarkable about Nikodem Poplawski's paper is that such pseudoscientific hogwash can originate from an institution of higher learning in this day and age. I say, shame on the University of Indiana. The very idea of a black hole is based on the concept of continuity, an idea that is not only illogical (it leads to an infinite regress), but is not even scientific in the Popperian sense of falsification. Even Einstein, Mr. Continuity himself, had doubts about continuity.

Worst of all is the idea that somehow time has a direction of flow, i.e., an arrow. The idea that we are moving in time in one direction or another is a conceptual disaster. Why? Because time cannot change by definition. This is the reason that Karl Popper called spacetime "Einstein's block universe in which nothing happens" (source: Conjectures and Refutations). Absolutely nothing can move in spacetime for this reason. Why isn't Poplawski aware of this fact and how did his Star-Trek voodoo physics paper pass peer review? This is truly a sad commentary on the state of modern physics. This stuff is not even wrong.

The problem with the physics community is that theirs is an incestuous science that has been spawning hideous monstrosities for some time now. Their bunker mentality (the public is stupid and is the enemy) prevents them from considering other points of view, especially views that contradict their worldview. They have completely abandoned the search for a foundational understanding of nature and they insist on building up on their erroneous assumptions. Physicists do not even understand motion and yet they feel confident enough to create all sorts of silliness like wormholes, multiple universes and time travel. How dare they think that they are qualified to teach us about the origin of the universe when they are wallowing in ignorance about the most basic aspects of the universe?

Ask a physicist to explain why two bodies in relative inertial motion remain in motion and you'll come face to face with abject ignorance. Vast and profound ignorance is the norm in the physics community.

Let me add that I am deeply disappointed that publications like TR are still printing such pseudoscientific fairy tales under the banner of legitimate science. Paul Feyrabend was right when he wrote in Against Method, "[...]the most stupid procedures and the most laughable results in their domain are surrounded with an aura of excellence. It is time to cut them down in size, and to give them a more modest position in society." He might as well have been writing about physicists like Nikodem Poplawski.

Who will rise up to deliver us from this mountain of cr@p?


Oh my! You can be sure THAT was responded to. Who, what, and where?

Click here to read the original article from whence it came.

Here, I'll reprint the article, but you should go to the actual webpage to read the replies:

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Why Our Universe Must Have Been Born Inside a Black Hole

A small change to the theory of gravity implies that our universe inherited its arrow of time from the black hole in which it was born.

"Accordingly, our own Universe may be the interior of a black hole existing in another universe." So concludes Nikodem Poplawski at Indiana University in a remarkable paper about the nature of space and the origin of time.

The idea that new universes can be created inside black holes and that our own may have originated in this way has been the raw fodder of science fiction for many years. But a proper scientific derivation of the notion has never emerged.

Today Poplawski provides such a derivation. He says the idea that black holes are the cosmic mothers of new universes is a natural consequence of a simple new assumption about the nature of spacetime.

Poplawski points out that the standard derivation of general relativity takes no account of the intrinsic momentum of spin half particles. However there is another version of the theory, called the Einstein-Cartan-Kibble-Sciama theory of gravity, which does.

This predicts that particles with half integer spin should interact, generating a tiny repulsive force called torsion. In ordinary circumstances, torsion is too small to have any effect. But when densities become much higher than those in nuclear matter, it becomes significant. In particular, says Poplawski, torsion prevents the formation of singularities inside a black hole.

That's interesting for a number of reasons. First, it has important implications for the way the Universe must have grown when it was close to its minimum size.

Astrophysicists have long known that our universe is so big that it could not have reached its current size given the rate of expansion we see now. Instead, they believe it grew by many orders of magnitude in a fraction of a second after the Big Bang, a process known as inflation.

The problem with inflation is that it needs an additional theory to explain why it occurs and that's ugly. Poplawski's approach immediately solves this problem. He says that torsion caused this rapid inflation.

That means the universe as we see it today can be explained by a single theory of gravity without any additional assumptions about inflation.

Another important by-product of Poplawski's approach is that it makes it possible for universes to be born inside the event horizons of certain kinds of black hole. Here, torsion prevents the formation of a singularity but allows a HUGE energy density to build up, which leads to the creation of particles on a massive scale via pair production followed by the expansion of the new universe.

This is a Big Bang type event. "Such an expansion is not visible for observers outside the black hole, for whom the horizon's formation and all subsequent processes occur after infinite time," says Poplawski.

For this reason, the new universe is a separate branch of space time and evolves accordingly.

Incidentally, this approach also suggests a solution to another of the great problems of cosmology: why time seems to flow in one direction but not in the other, even though the laws of physics are time symmetric.

Poplawski says the origin of the arrow of time comes from the asymmetry of the flow of matter into the black hole from the mother universe. "The arrow of cosmic time of a universe inside a black hole would then be fixed by the time-asymmetric collapse of matter through the event horizon," he says.

In other words, our universe inherited its arrow of time from its mother.

He says that daughter universes may inherit other properties from their mothers, implying that it may be possible to detect these properties, providing an experimental proof of his idea.

Theories of everything don't get much more ambitious than this. Entertaining stuff!

Ref: arxiv.org/abs/1007.0587: Cosmology With Torsion - An Alternative To Cosmic Inflation



And where did I get that from? From this article at About.com:Physics by Andrew Zimmerman Jones.

7 comments:

coffeekraken said...

I'm an amateur physicist, if you will, and I am also an avid listener of podcasts such as Skeptic's Guide to the Universe, which is as science-based as the lay public usually gets. My only thought from reading the article and the comments is that the people who are going after physicists and contemporary science in general are simply misguided and looking to make a name for themselves. The classic debate that comes to mind is the one about whether or not scientists should give any time or recognition to people like them, because if scientists do debate them then it seems as though they have a certain level of legitimacy or truth to their arguments, when they really have none whatsoever. Take for example the comment on the article that you posted. In that comment the commentor links to a blog called Rebel Science. This blog has an air of science about it, but really the blogger makes absurd claims about free energy and ancient human civilizations using levitation to create structures like Stonehenge or the pyramids. It's just more pseudoscientific attacks against established science that leave the public wondering if there really is somehting wrong with contemporary science when the only thing that is wrong is that scientists (actually, it's usually journalists and sometimes even politicians) are giving these pseudoscientists a soap-box to stand on and make false claims. It's sad. My personal opinion is that it is best to ignore these people (the pseudoscientists) so long as they are not doing anything illegal. The more we reproduce their arguments, especially when we reproduce them without clearly denouncing them, the more the lay public will wonder if there isn't some truth to them.

Steven Colyer said...

Very well said, coffeekraken. Join me if you will in the study of Group Representation Theory in Mathematics, with an eye on the prize of Differential Geometry, THEN applying those to Physics (to the extent that "Physics" is actually known), and I believe both you and I will lose our "amateur" status.

Although lest we forget, "amateur" doesn't mean "ignorant" or "newbie", no, it means "self-studier." One can very much therefore be both an "amateur" and an "expert" at the same time.

I wish to ADD one thing to what you said, and that is the guy rejects EINSTEIN! For God's sake, no. Oh no. Crank shoals ahead? I think so, well, the odds are in favor of it.

The REASON I posted this thread is that because in spite of his highly potential crackpottery, the guy seems to be intelligent. I was utterly shocked at his viciousness, but not at his use of language, which is better than most.

I accept that we're all fallible humans, a set that includes "Physicists." The real problem here may be the misquoting of said experts by Science "Journalists" in presenting the experts opinions to the public, and with just a LITTLE bit more education that they already have (Math isn't THAT hard ... it's just a language), the failure of crackpotic yet otherwise intelligent people to NOT MAKE ARSEHOLES of themselves ...

... could be avoided, thus adding LESS noise to the world, hmm?.

coffeekraken said...

How would I go about joining you in the study of Group Representation Theory? I made it to multivariate calculus at university, but haven't really been back since (8 years). I'm just getting back into math and physics. I've got an introductory text on modern algebra, but haven't started it yet. I liked the reviews on that book, Fearless Symmetry, so I'll probably purchase that soon. My goal is to get back to university within two years for a degree in physics. I'd love to get a head-start now, but so far it's been slow going. I'm interested in too many of the more theoretical aspects of physics and I haven't found a spot to jump-in at. I was thinking about starting with orbital mechanics since it was more concrete and has a good historical basis. I like where you started with Hamilton and Quarternions, but I assume you already have an engineering background (I think that's what your profile says) which gives you a lot of the basic physics.

Steven Colyer said...

How would I go about joining you in the study of Group Representation Theory? I made it to multivariate calculus at university, but haven't really been back since (8 years).

By multivariate calculus I assume you mean Calc II and Calc III, the two boring Calculuses (Calculi?)? That's an important start, but that which truly launched Mathematics into the stratosphere was Calculus IV, the Study of Differential Equations, or Diff-E-Q for short.

Master DiffEQ, and you should understand half of all scientific papers in Physics. Complete your basic MathPhys education with Linear Algebra. Excruciatingly boring, yet vitally important, especially when you study Heisenberg/Born/Jordan's Matrix Mechanics.

Learn who Hermann Weyl was, and why he was important. This and so much more can be found in Roger Penrose's The Road to Reality, the one popularly available Physics book which I strongly feel everyone should own.

If you wish to get into General Relativity, begin with a study of Non-Euclidean Geometry, which begins with Carl Friedrich Gauss and was hammered home by his student Bernhard Riemann. There are many internet sources to help further your studies from there. I am currently skim-reading Einstein's Mirror by Hey and Walters for a review.

Penrose's book is chock full of Math. To get a "grand overview" of state-of-the-art issues in MathPhys, you can't go wrong with Peter Woit's Not Even Wrong.

Woit is a Master of exposition. The so-called "hard parts" in the middle of his book are key. He brilliantly describes, in prose form, how quantum mechanics developed and thanks to Paul Dirac, was unified with Special Relativity, and from there things really took off. QM is a linear theory, but Quantum Field Theory is non-linear. This is what Dirac gave us: Quantum Field Theory beginning with Quantum Electrodynamics. QFT ==> QED. Oh look, a Representation! :-)

Gauge Theory developed from there, and from that came The Standard Model.

But before you read any of those books, read The Age of Entanglement by Louisa Gilder. She has a terrific way of making the early Quantum pioneers come alive as real people, especially Pauli, the class clown of Physicists in his day. :-)

Perhaps the best book I have ever read on Quantum Mechanics is The New Quantum Mechanics 2009 Updated Edition, also by Hey and Walters. It is especially brilliant for tying in real-world applications of the field. It also has a step-by-step solved problem using Schrodinger's wavefunction equation, that is to say just enough math to whet your whistle and get you started.

Good luck!

coffeekraken said...

Thank you for the advice. I should be able to do a lot with it. Sometimes all it takes is talking to someone who has the right experience. For example, my current circumstance, teaching English in South Korea, does not offer me a way to visit a library. So when I hear about good books for self-study I also need to know the context, which is what you provided in your advice, because I have to determine whether or not to spend the money to purchase the book. Anyway, the pieces are coming together nicely now; I can see a way forward. Thank you again!

Steven Colyer said...

Well, you're more than welcome! Once we're both up to speed, I see no reason not to at least think of starting our own Institute for Advanced Study, or Advanced Logic, which would be my call. But not to fret, we have years to go before we sleep and move on. :-)

Not decades, years, and that's important to keep in mind. We needn't DERIVE all these wonderful equations, we need only understand the logic behind the derivations, especially the beautiful Dirac Equation. We will get there.

Before the books you just ordered from Amazon come in however, I would advise you click here which is Andrew Thomas' "What Is Reality?" website, andd read at least the articles. A fellow admirer of Penrose, he accomplishes the seemingly impossible, which is to reduce Penrose's very thick tome into 12 neat webpages of exposition and discussion.

Focus on the first 5 chapters in particular, and read the rest for pleasure as they get increasingly speculative after that. Good luck!

Eugen Frunza said...

Guys, any updates on your progress?