Monday, May 14, 2018

Entertaining discussion of physics and metaphysics

One of the places I hang out every day is William Briggs' blog.  In the linked entry, there's been a particularly interesting discussion of quantum physics, relativity, and Bell's theorem.  Plus the usual debates and discussions on statistical analysis and Christian theology.

It's an interesting place.  Go check out WM Briggs, Statistician to the Stars.

Here's an extract of the latest comments there, for easy reading.

Lee Phillips - 
Some may think at this point that McChuck and YOS must be just trolls, but I don’t think so. They may be deceiving me, but I really think that they sincerely believe they have achieved such a deep understanding of reality that the mere Einsteins and Bells of the world are as but children in comparison, playing with toys that they’re not sophisticated enough to understand.
Humor us, McChuck. Explain how “gravity” “obviously” “can surpass the speed of light”.
Enlighten us, YOS. Explain how the cosmological constant enters into QM, and how QM requires it to have a particular value.

McChuck - 
  1. Lee – Through very careful tests, it has been observed that the Earth is attracted to where the
    sun is, not where it was eight minutes ago. The simplest explanation for this is that the speed
    of gravity is effectively instantaneous. The mathematical equations are obviously kludges to
    make the theory very nearly match the observations. They reek of epicycles.
    The earth moves to the current position of the sun. The moon moves to the current position
    of the earth. The sun moves about the current position of the galactic center. The galaxies
    themselves orbit about their cluster’s current center of gravity, not where it was hundreds
    of thousands of years ago.
    If you agree with Bell (as I do, I just find the argument to be weak), then instantaneous action
    at arbitrary distances must be possible. Both Bell and Einstein cannot be correct. At least one
    must be wrong, as they directly contradict each other. Choose.
    Here is my choice – They are both correct, but require limits. Bell’s theorem, as Bohm points
    out, only prohibits local hidden variables. Global hidden variables are perfectly acceptable,
    and enable instantaneous action. Waves are examples of local actions. No wave can travel
    faster than c. Normal, every day gravity is not a wave function, but a global variable effect.
    Gravity waves are, of course, waves, and thus localized functions. No contradictions here,
    and everything accords with observations.
    Assume a quantum field. Give it an enormous positive strength. From this field, all other fields
    draw their strength, instantaneously (field, not wave), dissipated in root-square fashion. This
    field governs motion, and we may name it “gravitational potential energy” for convenience.
    Particles exist as localized waves within this field, with their upslopes directly behind them,
    and downslopes directly before.
    The instantaneous slope of field strength determines everything about a particle’s 4-velocity.
    The sine of the slope is velocity (and gravitational acceleration), as fraction of c The cosine of
    the slope is the particle’s perceived time (and distance), as a fraction of 1 (no dilation).
    Enormous energy with very little practical effect at cosmic distances – check. Gravity – check.
    Time and space dilation – check. Red and blue shift – check. Accordance with quantum field
    theory – check. Accordance with relativity – check. Conservation of energy – check.
    Conservation of momentum – check. Lack of epicycles – check. Lack of contradictions – check.
    Simple explanation for complex behaviors – check. Possible explanation for ‘dark energy’ –

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