Theory of Everything going no where fast!

The non amateur stuff. Hawking, black holes, that sort of thing

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Cliff
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Post by Cliff »

Dear Davep
Yet another attack on string theory, this time in the American mag "Astronomy" (January 2006), although to be fair as far as I can see the article really relates to one particular critic. However, the article does seem to suggest that more and more American scientists seem to be getting disillusioned with string theory and there may be moves to get string theory funding reduced and the money directed elsewhere.
As very much a layman on this issue I can only watch and see how things develope. I am still very slowly struggling with "Warped Passages", very slowly.
I have had two very disappointing observing nights recently, on top of that I set up this evening and it has clouded up. I will be checking the sky one last time in a few minutes and packing my gear away if it is still cloudy.
Best of luck for Christmas and the New year from the Grumpy Olds Codger Cliff
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Post by joe »

Cliff wrote: I am still very slowly struggling with "Warped Passages", very slowly.
I now have this book Cliff so don't tell me how it ends.
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Cliff
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Post by Cliff »

Dear Joe
With regards "Warped Passages" I suspect you may soon catch me up. So you will probably know the end beore I do. To be honest I have not touched it over the Christmas period at all. I read the newish "Briefer History of Time" (admittedly barely 200 pages) in 2 days. I have taken more than two months to read 200 pages of Warped Passages.
I will be interested to see what you make of the book.
I suppose I may become "particle physicist" in another dimension one day.
Interesting article in "New Scientist" (arguably should be talked about as a Space exploration topic but it does involve cosmology.
A paper by Droscher about possible Hyperdrive space propulsion a big American Institute of Aeronautics 2005 award. The ideas are based on theories by Buckhard heim (1925 - 1999). Heim developed his ideas in the 1950s . Spin off from his attempts to heal the rift between Quantum Mechanics ( space is a fixed passive stage, there for particles and also space must be made up of discrete quantum elements) and General Relativity (4 dimensions - 3 space 1 time).
Heim rewrote the General relativity equations in a quantum framework.
He suggested all fundamental forces including electromagnetis might emerge from a new different set of dimensions. originally he had 4 extra dimensions but discarded two, leaving a new two dimensional space time. The forces of gravity and electromagnetism are coupled together. An electron has both mass and charge. when an electron falls under gravity its moving electron charge creates a magnetic field. If you use an electro magnet to accelerate an electron you move the gravitational field associated with its mass.
But in 4 dimensions we know you cannot change the strength of gravity by cranking up the electro magnetic field.
Heim claimed it possible to convert electromagnetic enery into gravitation and back again.
He outlined his work in 1977 in the Max Plank institute journal but in an abstrusive way few physicists could understand. However, apparently Heim's formulae can work out particle masses starting from physical characteristics such as charge and angular momentum quite well.
The generally accepted "standard model" is incapable of predicting elementary particle masses. even "quantum chromodynamics" only gets between 1 and 10 % of the rifgt values!
Drosher and Hauser recently revived Heims Hyperdrive ideas and suggest an experiment.
A huge rotating ring coil placed above an intense magnetic field.
If the field is strong enough they reckon they can reduce the gravitational pull to a point where the ring floats free. counteracting earths pull.
150 tonne space craft would need 25 tesla. Existing pul;se magnets can briefly produce 80 tesla.
Apparently Droschler is still hazy about the details. Some physicists find Heim's theory hardwork!!! but it does supposed predict particle masses.
However, could be a long time before Heim is proved right (or wrong?)
Many engineers say the technology to make the required experimental tackle does not yet exist.
Roger Lenard, a space propulsion researcher suggests it might be possible to do experiments using scandia's "Z machine" to generate the necessary field intensifier.
Incidentally, apparently poor old Heim blew his arms of and lost part of his sight and hearing as a result of doing experiments when he was a youngster.
Best wishes for the new year from Cliff
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Post by davep »

I also noticed an interesting letter in the current New Scientist regarding a previously published editorial concerning String Theory and M-Theory.
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Post by davep »

Cliff wrote:Interesting article in "New Scientist" (arguably should be talked about as a Space exploration topic but it does involve cosmology.
Anyone wanting to read it can find it here. The Bad Astronomer has also written about it and some of the comments to that blog entry make for interesting reading.
Cliff
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Post by Cliff »

Dear Davep
Something i think I forgot to mention.
The "German" hyperdrive system if it works might get spaceships to Mars in 5 hours and to an 11 light years away star in about 80 days.
I presume we may be on the same wavelength on this hyperdrive topic.
I looked at the Bad Astronomy site as you suggested. I must admit I only looked briefly at the comments but as far as I am concerned they said nothing constructive. The main guy said that he did not understand the mathematics but he seemed sure the two Germans have got things wrong.
If I had said that though I think you would have demmanded that I make a full scientific justification.
Best wishes for the New Year from Cliff
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Post by davep »

Cliff wrote:I looked at the Bad Astronomy site as you suggested. I must admit I only looked briefly at the comments but as far as I am concerned they said nothing constructive.
Really? I thought there was some interesting and useful commentary in there. For example, the question regarding the prediction of mass of particles from first principles suggesting that they should also be able to predict particles themselves from first principles. I also thought that this comment raised some interesting points (they might not be valid or correct points, but they were interesting and made me wonder).

What would you have considered "constructive" in this regard?

It was also interesting to note that Richard Hoagland is somewhere in the mix too (albeit in a rather peripheral way).
Cliff wrote:The main guy said that he did not understand the mathematics but he seemed sure the two Germans have got things wrong.
Wrong? No. What he does say is that the paper set some alarm bells off for him in terms of some of the claims that appear to have been made. Alarm bells are good -- it's something for him to look into some more. Moreover, you've got to keep in mind what the BA site is about and how often it deals with ATM theories. If a theory looks like an ATM, walks like an ATM, and quacks like an ATM then it seems fair that it'd be his initial suspicion.

Also, as he points out, there's at least one falsifiable claim kicking about here so, to some degree, it's simply a matter of waiting.
Cliff wrote:If I had said that though I think you would have demmanded that I make a full scientific justification.
I know you'd be wrong to think that.
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Post by joe »

davep wrote:
Cliff wrote:Interesting article in "New Scientist" (arguably should be talked about as a Space exploration topic but it does involve cosmology.
Anyone wanting to read it can find it here. The Bad Astronomer has also written about it and some of the comments to that blog entry make for interesting reading.
Hmm, veeerry interesting (Taps fingers together in crackpot scientist manner), thanks both of you for the info.
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Cliff
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Post by Cliff »

Dear Joe and Davep
As I said, I only took a very brief look at the Bad Astronomy website.
So I may be doing Bad astronomy an injustice. Quite frankly I see no particular reason to assume "Bad Astronomy" is more right than anyone else. I can only assume that the comments I read suggesting that the writer did not understand the mathematics were not made the chap I assumed to be the "main man" but just another contributor.
However, one Bad Astronomy contributor suggested that he had never heard of the so-called aeronautical and astronautics institute who had given the german Droschler the 2005 award. Well all I can say is that I have never heard of the Bad Astronomy contributor either - "So what?"
As you know (up to now at least!) I am personally not a believer in "extra dimensions" (of course I could become a convert?). However to be fair on the Germans - who Bad Astronomy seemed reluctant to use their actual names, the original idea for this particular this particular "hyperdrive" was Heim (who died in 1999). Now apparently according to "New Scientist" heim's theory actually predicts various particle masses which from what they also say no other current theories can do. Now if that is true then one might be inclined to think there really could be something in Heim's ideas.
However, part of the problem seems to be that not many people (probably Bad Astronomy included can understand Heim's work). Of course it may be a total load of rubbish. However, it would seem to me that if Heim's Theory can correctly predict particle masses and no other theories can do it, then there might be some merit in following up his ideas.
I would also say that if the hyperdrive can be made to work on the principles Droschler and Hauser suggest, and of course it is a very big IF then even I might be inclined to take extra dimensions more seriously.
Davep briefly mentioned Richard Hoagland I assume as being associated with Hyperdrive idea. If Hoagland is the guy I think who has had what I think as way out ideas about Mars then I must say that would make me feel a bit suspicious, but there was no mention of Hoagland in the New Scientist article from what I recall.
Best wishes from Cliff
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Post by davep »

Cliff wrote:Quite frankly I see no particular reason to assume "Bad Astronomy" is more right than anyone else.
Did somebody suggest you should?
Cliff wrote:I can only assume that the comments I read suggesting that the writer did not understand the mathematics were not made the chap I assumed to be the "main man" but just another contributor.
That would be a wrong assumption. Phil made it very clear that he, like many people, finds the original work hard to follow. What you should note, however, is that he wasn't calling into question the original work, he was noting his personal skepticism about the chances of building an FTL drive based around it. I pointed to it because some (by no means all) of the followup comments made by other readers contained some interesting snippets and some useful looking questions.
Cliff wrote:Now apparently according to "New Scientist" heim's theory actually predicts various particle masses which from what they also say no other current theories can do. Now if that is true then one might be inclined to think there really could be something in Heim's ideas.
Indeed. It isn't Heim's ideas that were called into question in the article, it was the possible outcome of an idea based on a derivation of that work that was being commented on. And, as I pointed out above, there's an interesting question that follows on from the fact about mass prediction: if a theory can predict the mass of all known particles then should it not be able to predict the mass of all particles -- known and unknown?
Cliff wrote:Davep briefly mentioned Richard Hoagland I assume as being associated with Hyperdrive idea.
No. One reader of the article commented that Hoagland is on the board of directors of an organisation called American Antigravity and some connection between the work on the idea of the drive and them was hinted at. I wouldn't read too much into it, but it's an interesting line to followup.

As an aside: Here's something that might interest a few people. While digging around a little I found a Who's Who in Antigravity.
Last edited by davep on Wed Jan 11, 2006 6:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by orion f6.3 »

please put this in order :- clutching-straws-at
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Post by davep »

Care to expand on that Orion? What are you referring to?
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Post by orion f6.3 »

a lot of time looking for what may not be there. if/when found what will it prove?
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davep
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Post by davep »

Sorry, I'm still not sure what it is you're driving at. Who is looking for "what may not be there"?

What do you mean by "if/when found what will it prove"?
Cliff
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Post by Cliff »

Dear Davep
I can only answer your question by saying, perhaps both of us.
But with regards to Hoagland I personally do nor recall having mentioned him and from what I remember I do not think the New Scientist article mentioned Hoagland either. Interestingly if I recall correctly the New Scientist article actually said that Droschler and Hauser clained that their Huperdrive was not an anti gravity machine, although I think New Scientist did say the idea had some connotations with respect to the possibility of anti-gravity.
As far as I am concerned, although admittedly not actually really knowing that much about him, I would take absolutely no notice at all about anything that Hoagland might say on almost any subject (of course I might be being unfair).
Personally I have very big doubts that the Droschler\Hauser Hyperdrive will actually work (but I can only say I do not know). However, I did think that the simple principle (Heim's idea really I think) on which the Hyperdrive seems to based seemed quite easy to understand and neat.
Of course the trick will really be making the Hyperdrive actually work and I suspect it probably won't ?
Actually I raised this Hyperdrive topic not really because of its possible use for space travel but because it seems to be based on Heim's ideas and he was involved to some extent with ideas of extra dimensions.
Since Joe is reading the dreaded "Warped Passages" about such things I do not want to expound on my thoughts about these things which are related to this particular book, at least not for now.
Best wishes from Cliff
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