Thursday, March 30, 2006
New comment on Dr Motl's blog
Dr Lubos Motl, esteemed Harvard University string theorist, has a new post up on his blog: http://motls.blogspot.com/2006/03/searching-for-answers.html
There he says that because string theory is in his opinion the 'theory of everything', it may potentially be used by the police to decide what murder suspects to arrest:
'Such a theory might, in principle, also include the answer to the question Why did Mary Winkler kill her husband... The only problem is that our current knowledge of string theory is not sufficient to calculate observables such as the motive of this particular murder. It is also too primitive to be able to save Matthew Winkler's life ...'
For more about the con of string theory, see here and here. I notice that a forthright commentator on Lubos' blog has doubts, too. In case Lubos deletes the comment, it is reproduced here:
Before "theory of everything" - string theory - is used to predict murder suspects, it should be used to predict something about the subject called PHYSICS, you silly ...
Friday, March 17, 2006
Dr Lubos Motl and WMAP
Dr Motl provides entertainment both in his field of stringy theories and in climatic studies, and there is a funny new webpage about both: http://lubos-motl.blogspot.com/
WMAP results are out. Dr Motl uses it to bash someone sensible.
Dr Danny Ross Lunsford, author of a very interesting abstract unification of electrodynamics and general relativity (see a recent post on my other blog), has written on Peter Woit's blog of his slight disappointment with the uncritical attitude with which the data interpretation of WMAP is being being done:
D R Lunsford Says: March 17th, 2006 at 1:44 am
This is my last comment for this blog, I’m done with all of this. You can read me in forthcoming papers if you’re interested. Otherwise, my last comment is this:
Penrose completely destroyed the idea of inflation using nothing but entropy, yet we are supposed to believe, after years of looking and a long wait, that the octupole anomaly magically cleared itself up (and not a word was said about the ecliptic anomaly, so there was nothing to clear up). In fact, the work of Huterer, Copi, and Starkman was not even mentioned. Instead, we got a dissertation on applied inflation theory.
So, who should I believe? An authentic genius, or a star chamber of people with, shall we say, vested interests?
Science is dead. Nice job y’all.
For the context of his reference to Penrose, you need to recall Lunsford's earlier comment:
D R Lunsford Says: January 31st, 2006 at 1:04 am
John - even Penrose is ignored. He gives the simplest conceivable argument showing that inflation, to take an example, not only doesn’t fix what it’s supposed to fix, it actually makes it worse*. The alternative for it is to resort to anthropism. Since no one seems to be willing to abandon inflation, we can only assume that anthropism has already taken a seat.
Penrose’s argument can be understood by an undergraduate. So why doesn’t it have a prominent place?
Look for Penrose lecture “Fantasy”
D R Lunsford Says: February 1st, 2006 at 4:37 pm
Penrose’s lecture was fascinating. His bizarre visualization of phase space was sort of unnerving (like all fractals). Although you couldn’t call him a dynamic speaker, his argument was so clear that it held my attention. Well worth attending.
I've put a comment to reply to the stringy-theory dominated Cosmic Variance blog reports on WMAP findings (it has a good but too hat-raising-to-orthodox-ineptitude review of WMAP): http://cosmicvariance.com/2006/03/16/wmap-results-cosmology-makes-sense/
Science on Mar 17th, 2006 at 10:01 am
This is hyped up to get media attention: the CBR from 300,000 years after BB says nothing of the first few seconds, unless you believe their vague claims that the polarisation tells something about the way the early inflation occurred. That might be true, but it is very indirect.
I do agree with Sean on CV that n = 0.95 may be an important result from this analysis. I’d say it’s the only useful result. But the interpretation of the universe as 4% baryons, 22% dark matter and 74% dark energy is a nice fit to the existing LambdaCDM epicycle theory from 1998. The new results on this are not too different from previous empirical data, but this ‘nice consistency’ is a euphemism for ‘useless’.
WMAP has produced more accurate spectral data of the fluctuations, but that doesn’t prove the ad hoc cosmological interpretation which was force-fitted to the data in 1998. Of course the new data fits the same ad hoc model. Unless there was a significant error in the earlier data, it would do. Ptolemies universe, once fiddled, continued to model things, with only occasional ‘tweaks’, for centuries. This doesn’t mean you should rejoice.
Dark matter, dark energy, and the tiny cosmological constant describing the dark energy, remain massive epicycles in current cosmology. The Standard Model has not been extended to include dark matter and energy. It is not hard science, it’s a very indirect interpretion of the data. I’ve got a correct prediction made without a cosmological constant made and published in ‘96, years before the ad hoc Lambda CDM model. Lunsford’s unification of EM and GR also dismisses the CC. [Cosmological Constant]
Obviously this is too weak a defence of new ideas, but a comment which is too long/strong/on alternative ideas will be edited down or deleted altogether. All I can do is to continue studying Lunsford's system until I understand it well enough to write my own detailed review of it. The problem is that Lunsford is well into the category of Dirac-Woit type innovation, which is heavy going. Abstract mathematical physics can correspond to reality without being presented with a simple physical mechanism. Just because both Lunsford's system and the mechanism I'm working on are both consistent with zero cosmological constant, and 6 dimensions of which 3 describe matter, does not necessarily imply that Lunsford is a fellow-traveller. There is a similar problem with Woit and others. I feel free to continue down my road, borrowing wheels from others as and where necessary.
I'll credit whoever 'loans' a wheel I take. If they want to object to my approach, that's their problem. I'm only interested in determining what the facts of the universe are, not joining someone else's bandwaggon at a price to my freedom. On the topic of the spin foam vacuum, the question is precisely how the spin of gauge/vector boson radiation relates to the QFT -> GR proof given by Dr Lee Smolin. I know for sure is that the general principles involved are more solid than string theory, and the vacuum dynamics behind gravity are essentially important to quantum gravity.
Monday, March 06, 2006
String theorist calls all alternatives "crackpot"
An egotist has kindly informed us via his blog that Sundance O. Bilson-Thompson, Fotini Markopoulou and Lee Smolin have come up with a theory of everything. The egotist has tried to prevent anyone reporting this by concluding at http://motls.blogspot.com/2006/03/theory-of-everything-from-trinions.html: '... I am ... certain that crackpots will embrace it as a great idea. Sorry to say but this is exactly the way they think.'
The egotist has informed us here that people with alternatives to stringy M-theory are automatically to be dismissed and suppressed as 'completely moronic crackpots' and rants that alternative builders are science-haters. This gets to the bottom of the problem for alternatives to string theory: the mainstream masters a lot of hard stringy maths, and doesn't want to see the reality that they have all been wasting their time, at least insofar as the intended physical application of string theory goes. The maths developed for string theory may have other uses even if the intended physics is a failure.
Anyway, let's forget Motl's rant for a while, and examine http://arxiv.org/abs/hep-th/0603022, 'Quantum gravity and the standard model'.
UPDATE: Dr Dantas has a discussion thread for the paper here.