challengings of SR make me sad

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Luc Bourhis

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Oct 7, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/7/99
to
I have recently posted two messages in which I defend Special
Relativity. After finishing them, I could not help finding the situation
unreal. After almost one century of fundamental and applied physics
based on Special Relativity that results in some tremendous
achievements, there are still people fighting for the ideas of the XIXth
century. There were always "amateurs" that wanted to be at the origin of
the next revolution in physics by contesting well established theories
but unfortunately internet with its web pages accessible to millions of
people and its newsgroup gave them nowadays a power they did not have a
few decades ago.

This makes me think that I am extremely happy to have started to learn
physics in a time when I did not have access to newsgroups. Indeed what
can be the reaction of somebody with only a basic knowledge in physics
when he reads sci.physics.relativity ? He may have the impression that
SR is still a debated issue. Without an appropriate pedagogical support
it may be extremely difficult for him to have a clear opinion of the
subject.

What is even more sad is the fact that there is no progress on this
newsgroup. Some questions already answered by the FAQ more than two
years ago are still raised again and again. Some people seems to
discover the existence of some experiments that were again listed on the
FAQ pages in 1997. There is a general lack of humility and rigour here
that is properly astonishing. Those of my readers that submits papers to
renowned scientific publications should have the same feeling as me when
they compare the huge amount of work we must produce to convince our
collegues with the incredible arrogance of those that, on these
newsgroups, constests well established theories with barely scientific
arguments.

Readers and contributors to scientific newsgroups have to understand
that science cannot progress nowadays if it is practiced only as a
hobby. Those of them who are not professional researchers will never
produce an original scientific result. This is not because they are less
capable but simply they do not have enough time to deal with the
terrible difficulties of current researches - not to speak about several
years of intensive learning . Making science accessible to the layman is
the only goal achievable by such a forum - even if it is certainly not
the best medium for such a purpose because of the difficulties in
sending formula and especially sketches. Unfortunately a lot of good
will is lost in fighting useless battles instead of bringing really
modern science to the masses.

I know very well how useless is a message like this one. Those that I
criticized will find it arrogant whereas professional researchers will
find that it is a statement of the obvious. Anyway let me make it
somehow usefull by giving again the addresses of the FAQ :

USA:
http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/physics/experiments.html
http://www.public.iastate.edu/~physics/sci.physics/faq/experiments.html
http://www.weburbia.com/physics/experiments.html
http://www.corepower.com/~relfaq/experiments.html

UK:
http://hepweb.rl.ac.uk/ppUK/PhysFAQ/experiments.html
http://www.weburbia.demon.co.uk/physics/experiments.html

Netherlands:
http://www.xs4all.nl/~johanw/PhysFAQ/experiments.html

Germany:
http://www.desy.de/user/projects/Physics/experiments.html

Australia:
http://www.phys.unsw.edu.au/physoc/physics_faq/experiments.html

Taiwan:
http://www.phy.ncku.edu.tw/mirrors/physicsfaq/experiments.html

--
Luc Bourhis
Center for Particle Physics / University of Durham
United Kingdom

Charles Francis

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Oct 7, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/7/99
to
In article <1dzaq5x.10as6wz38jayeN%Luc.B...@durham.ac.uk>, Luc
Bourhis <Luc.B...@durham.ac.uk> writes

>I have recently posted two messages in which I defend Special
>Relativity. After finishing them, I could not help finding the situation
>unreal. After almost one century of fundamental and applied physics
>based on Special Relativity that results in some tremendous
>achievements, there are still people fighting for the ideas of the XIXth
>century. There were always "amateurs" that wanted to be at the origin of
>the next revolution in physics by contesting well established theories
>but unfortunately internet with its web pages accessible to millions of
>people and its newsgroup gave them nowadays a power they did not have a
>few decades ago.
>
These people are indeed frustrating. sci.physics.relativity seems
particularly badly afflicted. It is essential to understand a theory
before criticising it. Debunking established physical theory should be
pretty well out of the question. Reinterpreting, reformulating it,
discussing potentially deeper principles which lead to it, all of this
is possible.

>
>Readers and contributors to scientific newsgroups have to understand
>that science cannot progress nowadays if it is practiced only as a
>hobby. Those of them who are not professional researchers will never
>produce an original scientific result. This is not because they are less
>capable but simply they do not have enough time to deal with the
>terrible difficulties of current researches - not to speak about several
>years of intensive learning .

I can't go with you that far. Several years of intensive learning is
essential, but if someone has a clear insight into the fundamental laws
of physics, it is only necessary for them to concentrate on that, not to
keep up with the huge mass of largely ill founded research on lanl. I
know of two 'amateur' researchers in recent times with a number of
publications, and when I first went to a physics conference I was
rightly given a lot of stick by Professors who said that after their
teaching and other duties they doubted they had any more time for
research than I did.


--
Charles Francis
cha...@clef.demon.co.uk


Rbwinn

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Oct 7, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/7/99
to
>.10as6wz38jayeN%Luc.B...@durham.ac.uk>

>
>I have recently posted two messages in which I defend Special
>Relativity. After finishing them, I could not help finding the situation
>unreal. After almost one century of fundamental and applied physics
>based on Special Relativity that results in some tremendous
>achievements, there are still people fighting for the ideas of the XIXth
>century. There were always "amateurs" that wanted to be at the origin of
>the next revolution in physics by contesting well established theories
>but unfortunately internet with its web pages accessible to millions of
>people and its newsgroup gave them nowadays a power they did not have a
>few decades ago.
>

>What is even more sad is the fact that there is no progress on this


>newsgroup. Some questions already answered by the FAQ more than two
>years ago are still raised again and again. Some people seems to
>discover the existence of some experiments that were again listed on the

>s / University of Durham
>United Kingdom
>

Luc,
It is not just in this newsgroup that there is no progress. Now it is
wonderful that you can have a hobby that pays so well, but those of us who pay
taxes have a right to try to figure out what is being done with our tax money.
When the government spends trillions of dollars to make these projects, common
people like myself have the right to try to get some answers about what is
being done with the money.
So when we ask about velocity and get no intelligible answer, we wonder if
we are not just being danced around . All these
nuclear weapons and core meltdowns are very interesting, but do not seem to do
us much good, and as toys, they seem to be very expensive.
So maybe you can see the problem. You can only do these things as long as
you can keep people convinced that it means something, but to be honest, it
never did seem to mean much to me.
Robert B. Winn

DJMenCk

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Oct 7, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/7/99
to
Bourhis:
>I have recently posted two messages in which I defend Special
>Relativity. After finishing them, I could not help finding the situation
>unreal. After almost one century of fundamental and applied physics
>based on Special Relativity that results in some tremendous
>achievements, there are still people fighting for the ideas of the XIXth
>century.

Dennis: Hmmmm. So you are arguing that since the equations of
Lorentz-Poincare, Maxwell, and Sagnac have been validated time and time again
for nearly a century that therefore Lorentz-Poincare, Maxwell, and Sagnac are
obviously wrong--and anyone who suggests otherwise is a crackpot?
So you are saying that everyone on this newsgroup that supports an ether view
of relativity equations, whether SR or GR, are obviously wrong.
In fact, you believe they are so obviously wrong that their musings actually
leave you melancholy.

Bourhis:

>What is even more sad is the fact that there is no progress on this
>newsgroup. Some questions already answered by the FAQ more than two
>years ago are still raised again and again.

Dennis: Oh, I wouldn't say there has been no progress on these boards.

3 Years ago:

1) People used to argue that the speed of light is the same east as it is west
according to people on this Earth. If you suggested otherwise you were a
crackpot.

2) Some used to claim that Maxwell didn't use the ether when developing his
theory of EM fields.

3) One argued that the Sagnac effect could not be be explained via an ether

4) A few used to argue that the PoR was violated by sound

5) Some used to claim that electromagnetism had absolutely no physically
analogous relationship to fluid dynamics.

All of these misconceptions have slowly and steadily been corrected.
It's taken a while, but we are making progress.
--Dennis McCarthy

Tom Roberts

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Oct 7, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/7/99
to
Charles Francis wrote:
> These people are indeed frustrating. sci.physics.relativity seems
> particularly badly afflicted.

Look at its charter -- sci.physics.relativity was created _SPECIFICALLY_
to reduce this "frustrating" traffic in the other newsgroups.


> It is essential to understand a theory
> before criticising it. Debunking established physical theory should be
> pretty well out of the question. Reinterpreting, reformulating it,
> discussing potentially deeper principles which lead to it, all of this
> is possible.

Yes. Regrettably many people around here do not understand this,
much less understand the mathematics or physical theories being
discussed.


Tom Roberts tjro...@lucent.com

etherman

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Oct 7, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/7/99
to

Luc Bourhis <Luc.B...@durham.ac.uk> wrote in message
news:1dzaq5x.10as6wz38jayeN%Luc.B...@durham.ac.uk...

> I have recently posted two messages in which I defend Special
> Relativity. After finishing them, I could not help finding the situation
> unreal. After almost one century of fundamental and applied physics
> based on Special Relativity that results in some tremendous
> achievements, there are still people fighting for the ideas of the XIXth
> century. There were always "amateurs" that wanted to be at the origin of
> the next revolution in physics by contesting well established theories
> but unfortunately internet with its web pages accessible to millions of
> people and its newsgroup gave them nowadays a power they did not have a
> few decades ago.

It would be a very sad day when no one questioned the validity of a given
orthodox theory. Without people seeking to disprove the theory and/or
creating alternate theories science would stagnate. Unfortunately most
opponents of the orthodoxy don't even have a hint of a clue about the
theories they criticize. Nor do they have a sufficiently strong background
to create reasonable alternatives. That is sad indeed.

Etherman

ether...@hotmail.com

The relationship between the people
and her government is much like the
relationship between the bottom and the
top, except that the people do not have
a safe word.
Me

Luc Bourhis

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Oct 7, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/7/99
to
Charles Francis <cha...@clef.demon.co.uk> wrote:

> >Readers and contributors to scientific newsgroups have to understand
> >that science cannot progress nowadays if it is practiced only as a
> >hobby. Those of them who are not professional researchers will never

^^^^^


> >produce an original scientific result. This is not because they are less
> >capable but simply they do not have enough time to deal with the
> >terrible difficulties of current researches - not to speak about several
> >years of intensive learning .
>
> I can't go with you that far.

Sorry, I should know that one must never say "never" for these kind of
questions. So "almost never".


--
Luc Bourhis
Center for Particle Physics / University of Durham
United Kingdom

Rick Haub

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Oct 7, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/7/99
to

Rbwinn wrote:

> >.10as6wz38jayeN%Luc.B...@durham.ac.uk>


> >
> >I have recently posted two messages in which I defend Special
> >Relativity. After finishing them, I could not help finding the situation
> >unreal. After almost one century of fundamental and applied physics
> >based on Special Relativity that results in some tremendous
> >achievements, there are still people fighting for the ideas of the XIXth
> >century. There were always "amateurs" that wanted to be at the origin of
> >the next revolution in physics by contesting well established theories
> >but unfortunately internet with its web pages accessible to millions of
> >people and its newsgroup gave them nowadays a power they did not have a
> >few decades ago.
> >
>

> >What is even more sad is the fact that there is no progress on this
> >newsgroup. Some questions already answered by the FAQ more than two

> >years ago are still raised again and again. Some people seems to
> >discover the existence of some experiments that were again listed on the
>

> >s / University of Durham
> >United Kingdom
> >
>

> Luc,
> It is not just in this newsgroup that there is no progress. Now it is
> wonderful that you can have a hobby that pays so well, but those of us who pay
> taxes have a right to try to figure out what is being done with our tax money.
> When the government spends trillions of dollars to make these projects, common
> people like myself have the right to try to get some answers about what is
> being done with the money.
> So when we ask about velocity and get no intelligible answer, we wonder if
> we are not just being danced around . All these
> nuclear weapons and core meltdowns are very interesting, but do not seem to do
> us much good, and as toys, they seem to be very expensive.
> So maybe you can see the problem. You can only do these things as long as
> you can keep people convinced that it means something, but to be honest, it
> never did seem to mean much to me.
> Robert B. Winn

Actually I think this attitude is even sadder, "I don't understand it so it must
not be important".

Engineers forge useful tool from the material handed to them by scientist doing
basic research.


and...@attglobal.net

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Oct 7, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/7/99
to
Rbwinn wrote:

> Luc,
> It is not just in this newsgroup that there is no progress. Now it is
> wonderful that you can have a hobby that pays so well, but those of us who pay
> taxes have a right to try to figure out what is being done with our tax money.

So now your troll includes jumping up on a political soapbox.

John Anderson

and...@attglobal.net

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Oct 7, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/7/99
to
Luc Bourhis wrote:

>
> Rbwinn <rbw...@aol.com> wrote:
>
> > Now it is
> > wonderful that you can have a hobby that pays so well, but those of us who pay
> > taxes have a right to try to figure out what is being done with our tax money.
> > When the government spends trillions of dollars to make these projects, common
> > people like myself have the right to try to get some answers about what is
> > being done with the money.
> Yes this is a good point. But please do not even think that fundamental
> research is rich. We are in fact obliged to beg money here and there
> constantly and I can assure you that every cents of your taxes are
> extremey well used by academic researchers (almost all these fundamental
> researches are made in universities or public labs). First we are
> working a lot both in research and teaching and our income are more than
> average. Well at least it is the situation in Europe. I do not know for
> the USA.
>
> Moreover even the most expensive experiments like the modern
> accelerators are not that expensive when compared with other activities.
> For example the Tevatron installed at Fermilab cost $120 million. You
> can compare this for example to the estimated price of a B2 bomber -
> between $600 million and $1 billion - or to the benefit of Microsoft.
>
Sorry for the personal email, but Robert Winn is trolling.
He likes getting a rise out of people who respond to him.

John Anderson

Greg Dunn

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Oct 7, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/7/99
to
Luc Bourhis <Luc.B...@durham.ac.uk> wrote:

> I have recently posted two messages in which I defend Special
> Relativity. After finishing them, I could not help finding the situation
> unreal. After almost one century of fundamental and applied physics
> based on Special Relativity that results in some tremendous
> achievements, there are still people fighting for the ideas of the XIXth
> century.

Boy howdy, that is so true. I must congratulate those who put together
the FAQ, however; after a lot of head-scratching and debating, I
finally ponied up the $$$ for a copy of Misner, Thorne and Wheeler as
was recommended.

Almost overnight (even though I've only worked my way through the first
couple of chapters) I began to understand the tenets of GR a little
better. To my delight, this book lays down the facts and the results
side by side with the theory, and succeeds in making GR a grasp-able
subject. I'm still working through the advanced math (I stopped just
short of tensors during college), but every step reveals more of the
beautiful self-consistency of GR. As Luc implies, before criticizing
GR it is vital to UNDERSTAND it. Until you understand GR, there is
really no point in trying to poke holes in it or "create" a better
theory. Maybe these are possible, but certainly not by people who fail
to understand what GR is all about. Sadly, that seems to require a
fair amount of dedicated time and thought, which is all too hard to
come by. My hope is that some day I will understand GR well enough to
participate in the discussions, rather than merely trusting the
voluminous body of work generated in the 20th century which makes
successful use of it...

Luc Bourhis

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Oct 8, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/8/99
to
Rbwinn <rbw...@aol.com> wrote:

> Now it is
> wonderful that you can have a hobby that pays so well, but those of us who pay
> taxes have a right to try to figure out what is being done with our tax money.
> When the government spends trillions of dollars to make these projects, common
> people like myself have the right to try to get some answers about what is
> being done with the money.
Yes this is a good point. But please do not even think that fundamental
research is rich. We are in fact obliged to beg money here and there
constantly and I can assure you that every cents of your taxes are
extremey well used by academic researchers (almost all these fundamental
researches are made in universities or public labs). First we are
working a lot both in research and teaching and our income are more than
average. Well at least it is the situation in Europe. I do not know for
the USA.

Moreover even the most expensive experiments like the modern
accelerators are not that expensive when compared with other activities.
For example the Tevatron installed at Fermilab cost $120 million. You
can compare this for example to the estimated price of a B2 bomber -
between $600 million and $1 billion - or to the benefit of Microsoft.

--
Luc Bourhis
Center for Particle Physics / University of Durham
United Kingdom

jddescr...@my-deja.com

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Oct 8, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/8/99
to
In article <19991007131233...@ng-fn1.aol.com>,
djm...@aol.com (DJMenCk) wrote:
> Bourhis:

> >I have recently posted two messages in which I defend Special
> >Relativity. After finishing them, I could not help finding the
situation
> >unreal. After almost one century of fundamental and applied physics
> >based on Special Relativity that results in some tremendous
> >achievements, there are still people fighting for the ideas of the
XIXth
> >century.
>
> Dennis: Hmmmm. So you are arguing that since the equations of
> Lorentz-Poincare, Maxwell, and Sagnac have been validated time and
time again
> for nearly a century that therefore Lorentz-Poincare, Maxwell, and
Sagnac are
> obviously wrong--and anyone who suggests otherwise is a crackpot?
> So you are saying that everyone on this newsgroup that supports an
ether view
> of relativity equations, whether SR or GR, are obviously wrong.
> In fact, you believe they are so obviously wrong that their musings
actually
> leave you melancholy.
>
> Bourhis:
> >What is even more sad is the fact that there is no progress on this
> >newsgroup. Some questions already answered by the FAQ more than two
> >years ago are still raised again and again.
>
> Dennis: Oh, I wouldn't say there has been no progress on these boards.
>
> 3 Years ago:
>
> 1) People used to argue that the speed of light is the same east as
it is west
> according to people on this Earth. If you suggested otherwise you
were a
> crackpot.
>
> 2) Some used to claim that Maxwell didn't use the ether when
developing his
> theory of EM fields.
>
> 3) One argued that the Sagnac effect could not be be explained via an
ether
>
> 4) A few used to argue that the PoR was violated by sound
>
> 5) Some used to claim that electromagnetism had absolutely no
physically
> analogous relationship to fluid dynamics.
>
> All of these misconceptions have slowly and steadily been corrected.
> It's taken a while, but we are making progress.
> --Dennis McCarthy
>
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Excellent message Dennis! Congratulations on
your progress! If it wasn't for your strong
adherence to the historical facts of the
scientific method and exposures of how the
magic/mystic guys have always been wrong
(eventually) there would only be a few others
worth reading in this forum. I call these false
scientists, who have decreed that SR is a
settled theory, like flat earth,the king's men.
I wonder when the king declared flat earth wrong
so they got in step with the castle? In your list
of great scientists, who understood the material
nature (momentum and energy) of electromagnetics,
please add Sommerfeld. He was one of the giants
who wasn't intimidated by the magic/mystic king's
men of science.

You have obviously run into another of those
"so-called experts" who read the king's decree that
said SR is understood and now he, and the other
king's men will fight for the king's word to the
last slave. I see he calls us "the masses". I guess
that is progress compared to serfs. Britain is a
beautiful example of the huge gulf between the
king's men of science and the free people
scientists who think for themselves with original
thoughts. Not only do we see ( until we learn to
avoid them ) these "so-called experts" but we see
great scientists past and present like Berry,
Penrose, Bohm,.....They are so good, like Feynman
was, that the king's men can't suppress them forever.
Thanks again for helping us to distinguish them.
Good seeing. JD

------------------------------------------------------------------------


Sent via Deja.com http://www.deja.com/
Before you buy.

George Hammond

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Oct 8, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/8/99
to
Luc Bourhis wrote:

> I could not help finding the situation
> unreal.

> There were always "amateurs" that wanted to be at the origin of


> the next revolution in physics

> newsgroup gave them nowadays a power they did not have a
> few decades ago.
>


> This makes me think that I am extremely happy to have started to learn
> physics in a time when I did not have access to newsgroups

> There is a general lack of humility and rigour here
> that is properly astonishing.
>


> science cannot progress nowadays if it is practiced only as a
> hobby.
>

> I know very well how useless is a message like this one.

> Luc Bourhis


> Center for Particle Physics / University of Durham
> United Kingdom


Dear Luc:
As someone who took his advanced degree in Physics in 1967,
I can't agree more. What is a universal ham radio system
going to do for science?
The "protest" situation has become so acute now, that when a
conventional, traditional scientist like my self (read "old" maybe)
actually finds himself forced to confront some scientific
shibboleth, he is immediately mistaken for one of these millions of
scientific hecklers and "what if" type pseudo scientists.
Case in point: Below this article on your newsreader is an
article by me entitled "Relativistic proof of God". There was
a time when traditional scientists would actually take a few
minutes to read such a thing... but today, with a million
amateurs howling all the time.. there isn't a
qualified scientist in the world who would read such a
thing; on the Internet. Therefore, we now run the real danger
of actually loosing a major discovery simply because
no one can find the real thing buried in a morass of
amateur speculations..
They say that electronic publication will soon replace
paper publishing. Well, if printer's ink is the only way
you can seperate the professionals from the amateurs,
my guess is that the publishers have nothing to worry
about soon.
George Hammond, MS Physics 1967


Luc Bourhis

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Oct 8, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/8/99
to
DJMenCk <djm...@aol.com> wrote:

> 5) Some used to claim that electromagnetism had absolutely no physically
> analogous relationship to fluid dynamics.

^^^^^^^^^

You must deal very carefully with this word because cience tries often
to perform two contradictory tasks at the same time : a discrimination
between and also an unification of different concepts.

Let me take an example : charge and mass conservation gives an analog
equation. But mass conservation is a first principle in fluid dynamics
whereas it is a consequence of Maxwell's equations. As you see I search
analog concepts while discriminating between them.

In fact if one find perfectly analog concepts, we incorporate them in
the same model and they disappears as separate notions, replaced by a
more abstract concepts that summarises them completly - from the
theoritical and experimental point of view. This is exactly what
particle physicists did when they unified electromagnetic and weak
interaction for example.

On the contrary if the analogy between two concepts is not complete -
i.e. if we cannot prove that a general theory can encompass them - it
can still be useful for our intuition to work. But we must set a
powerful alarm in our mind in order to be warned when we reach the
boundary where differences start to appear between these concepts. This
alarm should stay set as long as we do not have for sure the
aformentioned general framework.

Unfortunately most people ignores these subtleties and fall in love with
analogies and goes too far with them. I do not speak for you here, of
course, since I do not know what analogies you had in mind. This is only
a general remark.

--

eric_...@compuserve.com

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Oct 10, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/10/99
to
On Thu, 7 Oct 1999 09:36:47 +0100, Luc.B...@durham.ac.uk (Luc
Bourhis) wrote:

>I have recently posted two messages in which I defend Special

>Relativity. After finishing them, I could not help finding the situation


>unreal. After almost one century of fundamental and applied physics
>based on Special Relativity that results in some tremendous
>achievements, there are still people fighting for the ideas of the XIXth
>century.

Don't make the mistake of assuming that progress in physics is a
simple linear path. Often it isn't.
You might as well crticise the QM folks for reviving the old
"discredited" C16th/C17th idea of the light-particle long after the
concept had supposedly been replaced by Huyghens, or trash general
relativity for reviving the "archaic" idea that gravity bends light,
or take the mickey out of Schwarzchild for reintroducing the crazy
idea of a radius at which gravity is strong enough to stop light from
escaping, more than a century after a dubious laPlace had deleted the
subject from his book.

Sometimes an idea is first presented in an incomplete form, when the
tools or experimental evidence that are needed to turn it into a
proper model aren't available. It can then take decades or even
centuries for the "discredited" idea to resurface again in a more
appropriate format.

>There were always "amateurs" that wanted to be at the origin of

>the next revolution in physics by contesting well established theories

True. But that's also a fairly accurate description of what Einstein
was trying to do about a century ago. This forum is partly a
consequence of those efforts.

>but unfortunately internet with its web pages accessible to millions of

>people and its newsgroup gave them nowadays a power they did not have a
>few decades ago.

You think that this is unfortunate?
Then why exactly are you here, joining in?
Shouldn't you be voicing your opinions in a mainstream peer-reviewed
publication instead? <g>

>This makes me think that I am extremely happy to have started to learn

>physics in a time when I did not have access to newsgroups. Indeed what
>can be the reaction of somebody with only a basic knowledge in physics
>when he reads sci.physics.relativity ?

Perhaps they would come away with the impression that relativity
research is an interesting field that provokes passionate and lively
debate on a number of topics.

> He may have the impression that SR is still a debated issue.

... which would be a correct impression, wouldn't it ...

>Without an appropriate pedagogical support
>it may be extremely difficult for him to have a clear opinion of the
>subject.

... development of critical skills when assessing claims and
counter-claims ... is this neccessarily a bad thing?

People who want a simple clear-cut, black-and-white worldview where
everthing is nailed down and available in book form probably shouldn't
be getting into research. Advise them to consider joining an organised
religion instead.

> What is even more sad is the fact that there is no progress on this
> newsgroup.

There has been /some/ recognisable progress (quite a lot, IMO), but it
is true that some of the long-running arguments here (both "for" and
"against" SR) do tend to get a bit stale.

>Some questions already answered by the FAQ more than two

>years ago are still raised again and again. Some people seems to
>discover the existence of some experiments that were again listed on the

>FAQ pages in 1997.

So?
Welcome to the wonderful messy world of human beings.
Lots of professionals are woefully out of date about a lot of things.
Some physicists are only just catching up with key research that was
done by Newton and others more than two centuries ago. <g>

On a more serious note, there /is/ a structural flaw in the way that
newsgroups and web FAQ's link together.
In a perfect world, someone would have a banner-funded website that
would allow one to type in something like

http://www.faq.com/sci/physics/relativity/

To get a redirection to any newsgroup's FAQ pages.

But it hasn't happened yet.
(ooh look, a _genuine_ money-making idea being given away for free on
the internet! these things do sometimes happen!)

>There is a general lack of humility and rigour here
>that is properly astonishing.

Perhaps you astonish rather easily! <g>

Humility is NOT an attribute often applied to physicists <g>, and a
newsgroup discussion isn't really the sort of place where you expect
people to supply ten-page proofs, carefully transcribed into ascii.
Those things are usually better uploaded to the individual's website.

>Those of my readers that submits papers to
>renowned scientific publications should have the same feeling as me when
>they compare the huge amount of work we must produce to convince our
>collegues with the incredible arrogance of those that, on these
>newsgroups, constests well established theories with barely scientific
>arguments.

Places like this are for discussion. If someone wants to spend time
carefully crafting a ten-page masterpiece of rigourously argued math
to present to the world at large, the discussion group probably isn't
the appropriate place to put it -- these things are often better put
onto a web page.

If you want peer-reviewed information, use the standard publishers.
If you want an individual's considered personal views on a subject, in
a form that is intended to be a proper considered public statement of
their position, visit the individual's web-page.
If you want moderated "homework questions"-type discussion, then visit
a commercial moderated forum on the Compuserve or AOL networks, or set
up your own guestbook or listserver.
If you want free discussion, visit the newsgroups.

>Readers and contributors to scientific newsgroups have to understand

>that science cannot progress nowadays if it is practiced only as a
>hobby.

I've never seen anyone here ever suggest such a thing.
Where did you read this?
;-)

>Those of them who are not professional researchers will never

>produce an original scientific result.

Now, I know that physicists have a lousy reputation for not knowing
about their subject's history, but this really does sound /too/
ignorant to be allowed to pass without comment.

Einstein's 1905 papers were produced when he wasn't a professional
researcher. Does that mean that this 1905 work wasn't important and/or
original?

If you are complaining about newsgroup folk presenting ill-considered
arguments, I think you'll have to include yourself as one of the
possible culprits.

> This is not because they are less
>capable but simply they do not have enough time to deal with the
>terrible difficulties of current researches - not to speak about several

>years of intensive learning . Making science accessible to the layman is
>the only goal achievable by such a forum - even if it is certainly not
>the best medium for such a purpose because of the difficulties in
>sending formula and especially sketches. Unfortunately a lot of good
>will is lost in fighting useless battles instead of bringing really
>modern science to the masses.

Luc, I don't think you've quite understood how these new media work.
If your goal is "making science accessible to the layman", then you
should probably be thinking of writing a book or a set of webpages.

If you really are capable of producing a good educational product,
then your site should be very popular ... but complaining about other
people having freedom of speech in a forum that was only created in
the first place because so many people wanted to discuss these issues
freely is not going to win you many friends.

==

By the way, a quick word of advice -- it's usually not a good idea to
put a job title or paper qualifications or work address in your
signoff. Someone else can explain why.

=Erk= (Eric Baird)


eric_...@compuserve.com

unread,
Oct 10, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/10/99
to
On Thu, 7 Oct 1999 15:17:15 -0400, "etherman" <ether...@hotmail.com>
wrote:

>The relationship between the people
>and her government is much like the
>relationship between the bottom and the
>top, except that the people do not have
>a safe word.
> Me

funny!

=Erk=


z@z

unread,
Oct 11, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/11/99
to
Erk (Eric Baird) wrote:
| Luc Bourhis wrote:

Interesting post:

Gruss, Wolfgang

jddescr...@my-deja.com

unread,
Oct 11, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/11/99
to
In article <3800b8cf...@news.compuserve.com>,

>------------------see original---------------------------------

Excellent comments. You mention moderated groups in AOL
and Compuseve. Are these groups run by subscription
[ open membership similar to magazine subscription rates ]
and are the moderators respected experts with their own
"schools" of expertise? I've been looking for such groups,
where all subscribers input is accepted but maybe put in
front or behind at the moderators choice, without success.
It would be the best combination of openness and membership
(common interest) that I seek. The banner ads would still
be used but they would be more valuable because the
membership character would be approximately known. Would
you know how I might find them if they exist? Thanks. JD

Luc Bourhis

unread,
Oct 11, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/11/99
to
<eric_...@compuserve.com> wrote:

> On Thu, 7 Oct 1999 09:36:47 +0100, Luc.B...@durham.ac.uk (Luc
> Bourhis) wrote:

> >I have recently posted two messages in which I defend Special
> >Relativity. After finishing them, I could not help finding the situation
> >unreal. After almost one century of fundamental and applied physics
> >based on Special Relativity that results in some tremendous
> >achievements, there are still people fighting for the ideas of the XIXth
> >century.
>
> Don't make the mistake of assuming that progress in physics is a
> simple linear path. Often it isn't.
> You might as well crticise the QM folks for reviving the old
> "discredited" C16th/C17th idea of the light-particle long after the
> concept had supposedly been replaced by Huyghens, or trash general
> relativity for reviving the "archaic" idea that gravity bends light,
> or take the mickey out of Schwarzchild for reintroducing the crazy
> idea of a radius at which gravity is strong enough to stop light from
> escaping, more than a century after a dubious laPlace had deleted the
> subject from his book.

This is a very good example of what I criticized. You are playing with
non-scientific analogies here; you are comparing verified scientific
theories with pure guesses; and analogies are extremely dangerous in
science (cf. my contribution in this thread on this subject).

Indeed, there is no connection at all between the light-particles
popular until the middle of the XVIIIth century and photons. The former
are pointlike bodies that have definite trajectories and are modeled in
a deterministic framework whereas the latter are quanta of a quantum
field within a probabilistic theory. Also the idea that gravity bends
light was only a guess in the XVIIIth century for there was not a single
experimental fact supporting it. Moreover physicists that played with
this idea where working within a Newtonian framework that has nothing to
do with General Relativity.

It is very important to understand that the modern concepts of photons
and of gravitationnal influences on light propagation have not their
roots in the earlier concepts you cited. They are consequences of
completly different theories. For example Einstein did not make GR in
order for light to be deflected by masses. This phenomenum is just a
particular consequence of a theory built from much more general
principles.

I agree that the progression of science is not a linear path but it is
much more linear than you think. By the way a very nice example of
"non-linearity" is the Aether concept.


>
> >There were always "amateurs" that wanted to be at the origin of
> >the next revolution in physics by contesting well established theories
>
> True. But that's also a fairly accurate description of what Einstein
> was trying to do about a century ago. This forum is partly a
> consequence of those efforts.

Are you saying that Einstein was an amateur ? This is a beloved and
hyped part of his legend but the real situation was much more
complicated. What the media did with Einstein's image is really damaging
for science because it gives a completly wrong idea of what is really
the work of a researcher.

Einstein was obsessed by physics since he was approximately ten and he
was doing physics almost full-time when he was in university (he was
known to attend only the physics lectures and to work outside during the
other courses) and when he was working in the patent office in Berne
(this work gave him a lot of spare time). He was working between eight
and ten hours a day on his researches. This is not what I call an
"amateur". Physics was his life, his hobby and eventually his job when
somebody was clever enough to give him a position.

Moreover, Einstein is almost the only modern scientist that did an
important discovery while he had not a position in some research center.
You cannot prove your point by using as an example a very particular
exception. Anyway it is utterly funny that you cited Einstein as an
example of an amateur that was able to contradict the major scientists
of his time whereas you seems to defend the concepts advocated by them.

Of course many researchers are also lecturers and therefore they seem to
be in the same situation as somebody who has a job and does researches
during his spare time. However one start a research career by a PhD -
two to four years completly dedicated to researches. Then it is often
possible to do all the teaching for a few months per year and therefore
one can have at least six months dedicated only to researches. This is
very important since perseverance and total concentration on one subject
are necessary to succeed. Moreover in some european countries there are
also scientists who do not give any courses. The most prestigious french
(CNRS, CEA), german (Planck Institutes)) and italian (INFN) institutes
in fundamental physics are in this case for example.

> >but unfortunately internet with its web pages accessible to millions of
> >people and its newsgroup gave them nowadays a power they did not have a
> >few decades ago.
>
> You think that this is unfortunate?

Because wrong ideas can be promoted much more efficiently than before.

> Then why exactly are you here, joining in?

For various reasons. First, I like to debate, especially in english.
Then I thought naively that I would be able to share my knowledge. But
there are people here whose understanding of SR is at least as good as
mine and therefore I am not really needed here. But debating is fun.

> Shouldn't you be voicing your opinions in a mainstream peer-reviewed
> publication instead? <g>

No peer-reviewed scientific publication would accept my paper discussing
Aether theories. Why ? Because I would not be able to say something
original about it. Hundreds of papers have already discussed every
interesting details of the problem.

> > He may have the impression that SR is still a debated issue.
>
> ... which would be a correct impression, wouldn't it ...

But debated by whom ? Do you think the scientific community waited for
the newsgroup sci.physics.relativity to search possible flaws in Special
Relativity ? *Of course, not*. It is perfectly possible to discuss
alternative interpretations of SR. For example I understood that some
Aether theories indistinguishable from SR were discussed here. On the
contrary it is very different to say that SR can be contradicted by
experimental facts although it is supported directly by dozens of
experimental results and indirectly by modern physics as a whole since
SR is the framework in which every fundamental interactions are modeled
(with the exception of gravity) - and the result is extremely coherent.
And what is the alternative ? A theory (LET), which did not evolved
since 1900, which is entirely focused on electromagnetism and which can
therefore hardly provide a general framework in which to study the other
interactions. This is utterly ridiculous.

> >Without an appropriate pedagogical support
> >it may be extremely difficult for him to have a clear opinion of the
> >subject.
>
> ... development of critical skills when assessing claims and
> counter-claims ... is this neccessarily a bad thing?

Don't be naive ! It is a good thing only if one can distinguish what is
wrong and what is right. The reader can realize that if he can
understand the principles of the experiments discussed here; if he can
redo the calculations with the Aether hypothesis and with the SR
hypothesis; if he can go beyond the rethoric used by some writers. There
are too much "if" here for many newbies and even for some professional
scientists. For example, being not an experimentalist, it could be
difficult to know exactly if I can be confident in a particular
experimental technique but fortunately I know people that can answer my
questions whereas this is not the case for most of the readers.
Therefore they will tend to be more puzzled than informed. This is not
necessarily a bad thing if this gives them the desire to learn more on
these subjects. However are they able to find these informations
somewhere ?

The task is complicated because newsgroups are not very well suited to
exchange equations and diagrams and because debates are in english which
is not perfectly understood by some non-native speakers.



> >Those of them who are not professional researchers will never
> >produce an original scientific result.
>
> Now, I know that physicists have a lousy reputation for not knowing
> about their subject's history,

Quite true ...

> but this really does sound /too/
> ignorant to be allowed to pass without comment.

... but Einstein is not a good example because his life is well-known
even outside the scientific world.

> Einstein's 1905 papers were produced when he wasn't a professional
> researcher. Does that mean that this 1905 work wasn't important and/or
> original?

I adressed this common place in details. Do you have other examples to
illustrate your assertion ? I would prefer scientists in this century of
course.

> >There is a general lack of humility and rigour here
> >that is properly astonishing.

> Humility is NOT an attribute often applied to physicists <g>,

If you mean that they do not accept easily the criticisms of their
collegues, you are right. But on the contrary most of them do not try to
attack a well established model only because rewards for a victory will
be high. They know that some more minor goals are easier to reach and
that they should start, at least their career, by such researches. On
the contrary some writers tries here to bring down one of the bases of
modern physics by working during their spare time. This is this lack of
humility I criticized.

> and a
> newsgroup discussion isn't really the sort of place where you expect
> people to supply ten-page proofs, carefully transcribed into ascii.
> Those things are usually better uploaded to the individual's website.

Between such long and argumented proofs and proofs by analogy using a
very imprecise language, one can find many intermediate solutions.
However I agree that it can be difficult to be precise without an
equation every four lines of text and this applies to me : when I read
again some of my own contributions I found them utterly vague.

Paul Stowe

unread,
Oct 11, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/11/99
to
In <1dzhcxn.1ihta9puwfx3mN%Luc.B...@durham.ac.uk>

Luc.B...@durham.ac.uk (Luc Bourhis) writes:
>
>
>> Then why exactly are you here, joining in?
>
>For various reasons. First, I like to debate, especially in english.
>Then I thought naively that I would be able to share my knowledge. But
>there are people here whose understanding of SR is at least as good as
>mine and therefore I am not really needed here. But debating is fun.

But what really did you 'expect' or want to do? I still to this date
(5+ years later) remember my first introduction to the groups. The hot
flaming argument then was in the thread "The Farce of Physics" the
original poster was Venon Vergon, though it certainly wasn't 'fresh'
when I first joined.

I naively thought that I would find at least some who would enjoy
discussing/exploring boundary concepts and my first post was titled "Is
this a Fluke?". Instead then, just as now, I found a very polarized
crowd with egos and mindsets that would make any midieval church
Cardinal proud.

You see, it really didn't/doesn't matter whether or not that an
agreement is reached, the fun is in the quest and debating properly the
topic material in detail (without personal attacks). It can really
improve one's understanding. On metaphysical principles one can indead
agree to disagree.

But the very idea that "we must protect" the uninitiated from "bad
ideas" simply IS the age old religous zealots or crank approach. This
mindset is simply not compatible with the true process of science. The
actual practice of science is confirmation or falsification of ideas by
observation and repeatable experiments. Anything else is outside of
its defined domain. So all ideas are equal, and those that are
falsified can be ligitmately discarded but should NOT forgottened.

Take a look at Steve Carlip's style of posting as a great example of
how this can be accomplished.

Your expressed viewpoint simply isn't founded in science but instead on
a belief system in which you are heavily invested, thus convinced is
'right'. Therefore, challenges to this paradigm is 'perceived' as
threating on a gut/instinctual level. This elicits a defense response
(which is a very natural reaction because it is perceived as a
psychological 'slap in the face') and therefore MUST be prevented from
'contaminating' others (which BTW naturally implies that 'these others'
are incapable of adequate reasoning ability to discern 'the proper'
answer). Thus this whole approach is founded upon a self centered
egotistical point of view.

I on the other hand accept that participants in these groups have both
the ability, and right, to think for themselves. This expressly
accepts their ability to come to decisions based upon presentation.
That is why, like papers presented in refereed journals, cited
references are important. One should NEVER have to just take someone's
word, but if interested, look up the information that lead that person
to their conclusion or position on a topic.

Good posts in these groups, just like in any written medium on science,
takes a lot of effort. And on too few occasions are posters encouraged
to strive to this standard.

I personally think challenges should be welcomed (as long as they fall
within the definition of scientific, a.k.a. testable) and any
metaphysical idea that attempts to explain a process considered.

I know some like Nathan Urban will immediately counter by saying; that
means that if I say that the earth is pushed around the sun by
invisible pink elephants, that's OK...

I counter with, what's the harm, you would be hard pressed to find many
that would 'accept' such ideas using the scientific method. IOW ideas
by themselves aren't threatening, it when they actually have some merit
and run counter to an ingrained 'belief' that they becomes perceived as
threatening.

Well, this is my two cents on this topic.

Paul Stowe

Charles Francis

unread,
Oct 11, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/11/99
to
In article <1dzhcxn.1ihta9puwfx3mN%Luc.B...@durham.ac.uk>, Luc
Bourhis <Luc.B...@durham.ac.uk> writes
>

>This is a very good example of what I criticized. You are playing with
>non-scientific analogies here; you are comparing verified scientific
>theories with pure guesses; and analogies are extremely dangerous in
>science (cf. my contribution in this thread on this subject).

Tell that to field theorists who claim that analogy is one of the most
useful methods of research in theoretical physics! It is precisely
because I do not accept analogy that my work is pushed to the fringes.


>
>Are you saying that Einstein was an amateur ? This is a beloved and
>hyped part of his legend but the real situation was much more
>complicated. What the media did with Einstein's image is really damaging
>for science because it gives a completly wrong idea of what is really
>the work of a researcher.
>
>Einstein was obsessed by physics since he was approximately ten and he
>was doing physics almost full-time when he was in university (he was
>known to attend only the physics lectures and to work outside during the
>other courses) and when he was working in the patent office in Berne
>(this work gave him a lot of spare time). He was working between eight
>and ten hours a day on his researches. This is not what I call an
>"amateur". Physics was his life, his hobby and eventually his job when
>somebody was clever enough to give him a position.

Nonetheless he was unquestionably an amateur at the time he produced his
most important papers, an amateur who put the professionals to shame.


>
>Moreover, Einstein is almost the only modern scientist that did an
>important discovery while he had not a position in some research center.
>You cannot prove your point by using as an example a very particular
>exception. Anyway it is utterly funny that you cited Einstein as an
>example of an amateur that was able to contradict the major scientists
>of his time whereas you seems to defend the concepts advocated by them.
>

There is a long history of research produced by 'amateurs' - most of
them more dedicated than 'professionals'. Tycho Brahe was an amateur, as
were many astronomoers for hundreds of years. Descartes was an amateur.
In 1846, Cayley had established his brilliance as a student but could
not get a post without taking holy orders, so became a lawyer. Riemann
could not get a salary until he was 29, Boole never held a university
position. Cauchy began his researches while working as a military
engineer. Galois did not even reach an age to hold a job. Even since
Einstein, Von Neumann made his first real contribution at the age of
nineteen, when he was still an amateur.


--
Charles Francis
cha...@clef.demon.co.uk


jddescr...@my-deja.com

unread,
Oct 11, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/11/99
to
In article <1dzhcxn.1ihta9puwfx3mN%Luc.B...@durham.ac.uk>,
Luc.B...@durham.ac.uk (Luc Bourhis) wrote:

-----------------------see original-----------------------------

Along with a number of important comments on your rejection
of the search for understanding and discovery in this forum
eric_baird wrote the following where his comments are
unmarked and your's are one(>) mark;

-------------------------excerpted--------------------------------------

>There were always "amateurs" that wanted to be at the origin of
>the next revolution in physics by contesting well established theories

True. But that's also a fairly accurate description of what Einstein
was trying to do about a century ago. This forum is partly a
consequence of those efforts.

>but unfortunately internet with its web pages accessible to millions of


>people and its newsgroup gave them nowadays a power they did not have a
>few decades ago.

You think that this is unfortunate?

Then why exactly are you here, joining in?

Shouldn't you be voicing your opinions in a mainstream peer-reviewed
publication instead? <g>

>This makes me think that I am extremely happy to have started to learn


>physics in a time when I did not have access to newsgroups. Indeed what
>can be the reaction of somebody with only a basic knowledge in physics
>when he reads sci.physics.relativity ?

Perhaps they would come away with the impression that relativity
research is an interesting field that provokes passionate and lively
debate on a number of topics.

> He may have the impression that SR is still a debated issue.

... which would be a correct impression, wouldn't it ...

>Without an appropriate pedagogical support


>it may be extremely difficult for him to have a clear opinion of the
>subject.

... development of critical skills when assessing claims and
counter-claims ... is this neccessarily a bad thing?

People who want a simple clear-cut, black-and-white worldview where


everthing is nailed down and available in book form probably shouldn't
be getting into research. Advise them to consider joining an organised
religion instead.

> What is even more sad is the fact that there is no progress on this
> newsgroup.

There has been /some/ recognisable progress (quite a lot, IMO), but it
is true that some of the long-running arguments here (both "for"
and "against" SR) do tend to get a bit stale.

>Some questions already answered by the FAQ more than two
>years ago are still raised again and again. Some people seems to
>discover the existence of some experiments that were again listed on
the
>FAQ pages in 1997.

So?
Welcome to the wonderful messy world of human beings.
Lots of professionals are woefully out of date about a lot of things.
Some physicists are only just catching up with key research that was
done by Newton and others more than two centuries ago. <g>

------------------------------------------------------------------------

The fact that you like the SR FAQ [and listing a reference
is NOT an explaination ] says a world about your own
knowledge and understanding of SR. The SR FAQ
is barely high school magic/mystic sloganeering. Some
of the people who signed off on that FAQ [ SR , I don't
know about the GR parts ] are obviously just quoting
the slogans they memorized in high school about Lorentz
"contraction", the headlight effect, the twin paradox,
....eric is talking about what I call the dusty
dinosaurs of physics but I worry even more about the
naive-new-agers who had some role in that FAQ. They
have somehow skipped all study of the classical physics
history of discoveries { Dennis tries to help them out
but I don't think most of them understand } and have
memorized "other worlds" and "action-at-a-distance"
and....One of them has multiple threads named after
himself as a boy genius [in his own mind].

One of the interesting facts that shapes this forum
is that one need not be a missile scientist [ or a
computer engineer as James D. Hunter likes to say ]
to see that there is a lot of mystic/magic stuff
being propagated as fact by some of the loudest
voices here. When a 14 year old Canadian girl showed
up here looking to learn SR [ she must have sensed
the mystic/magic stuff because her name was
mysticalgirl ] the naive-new-ager sent her over to
sci.math to learn some trigonometry formulas, thus
again demonstrating his level of understanding. A
closed area of science-no way! Another part of the
story is that relativity still doesn't matter much
because we almost never see such speeds. One of
Sommerfeld's discoveries is pertinent here. He
predicted that the electron orbits of the precious
metals ( particularly gold ) are so distorted that
relativity effects should show up in the spectra
and it did. He followed the LET approach in his great
6 volume physics. You asked why some scientists who
didn't reject all of SR are used as examples of the
need for open investigation and not the cover up you
are advocating ( stop the newsgroups ). It's because
of this importance question and the fact that the
memorizing, machinehead king's men of science are
always wrong (eventually) as Dennis has illustrated
so well and so often. To see the importance issue see,
for example, Feynman who didn't concentrate on SR
because it didn't interest him that much not because
he accepted all the high school slogans as memorized
truths. He had bigger fish to fry in physics.
Good seeing. JD

Ilja Schmelzer

unread,
Oct 11, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/11/99
to
Luc.B...@durham.ac.uk (Luc Bourhis) writes:
> No peer-reviewed scientific publication would accept my paper discussing
> Aether theories.

I have not seen a publication which discusses problems of my "general
ether theory".

> And what is the alternative ? A theory (LET), which did not evolved
> since 1900, which is entirely focused on electromagnetism and which can
> therefore hardly provide a general framework in which to study the other
> interactions. This is utterly ridiculous.

My GET is focussed on gravity, but provides a framework for the other
forces too. Try to criticize.

>> ... development of critical skills when assessing claims and
>> counter-claims ... is this neccessarily a bad thing?

> Don't be naive ! It is a good thing only if one can distinguish what is
> wrong and what is right. The reader can realize that if he can
> understand the principles of the experiments discussed here; if he can
> redo the calculations with the Aether hypothesis and with the SR
> hypothesis; if he can go beyond the rethoric used by some writers.

Not necessarily. Crackpot theories may be distinguished from science
by a lot of informal criteria which may be detected even by laymen.

http://www.cyberpass.net/~ilja/science/crank.html

> There are too much "if" here for many newbies and even for some
> professional scientists. For example, being not an experimentalist,
> it could be difficult to know exactly if I can be confident in a
> particular experimental technique but fortunately I know people that
> can answer my questions whereas this is not the case for most of the
> readers.

On the other hand, they may learn here how to distinguish nonsense
from science. The point is that the success of science is almost
without doubt. Even if they are puzzled - the point is that the
puzzle has a solution - standard science is a success.

Here they learn how to solve such puzzles, may be they apply it in
other domains ...

> Therefore they will tend to be more puzzled than informed. This is not
> necessarily a bad thing if this gives them the desire to learn more on
> these subjects. However are they able to find these informations
> somewhere ?

That's the tool of the scientists to give this information. FAQs and
so on.

Ilja
--
I. Schmelzer, <il...@cyberpass.net>, http://www.cyberpass.net/~ilja

Aaron Bergman

unread,
Oct 11, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/11/99
to
In article <C56z9CAB...@clef.demon.co.uk>, Charles Francis wrote:

[Einstein]


>
>Nonetheless he was unquestionably an amateur at the time he produced his
>most important papers, an amateur who put the professionals to shame.

In what sense of the word was Einstein an amateur?

Aaron
--
Aaron Bergman
<http://www.princeton.edu/~abergman/>

Jackie & Barry

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Oct 11, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/11/99
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Aaron Bergman wrote:

> In what sense of the word was Einstein an amateur?

In the sense that "professional" means for a fee, i.e. for money, and
"amateur" means for love, i.e. for joy.

Einstein did it for joy, not for money, i.e. he was an amateur.

Barry

Joe Rongen

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Oct 11, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/11/99
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Aaron Bergman <aber...@princeton.edu> wrote in message
news:slrn8042p9....@tree0.Stanford.EDU...

> In article <C56z9CAB...@clef.demon.co.uk>, Charles Francis
wrote:
>
> [Einstein]
> >
> >Nonetheless he was unquestionably an amateur at the time he
> >produced his most important papers, an amateur who put the
> >professionals to shame.
>
> In what sense of the word was Einstein an amateur?

Einstein said in around 1910 while in Zurich:

"In my relativity theory, I set up a clock at every point in space,
but in reality I find it difficult to provide even one clock in my
room"

Maybe this is part of the reason why Einstein
never arrived at a complete definition of Time. :-)

Best regards Joe

Glird

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Oct 11, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/11/99
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In article <1dzhcxn.1ihta9puwfx3mN%Luc.B...@durham.ac.uk>,
Luc.B...@durham.ac.uk (Luc Bourhis) writes:

> ... It is perfectly possible to discuss alternative interpretations of SR.
>
You seem to be equating SR with the Lorentz Transformation Equations
and allied equations that have been experimentally verified. In fact, the
same equations are used by various different physical theories. SR
is ITSELF only one interpretation of what underlying physical realities
are required in order for the equations to hold good, thus what the equations
rest and therefore impose.

>For example I understood that some Aether theories indistinguishable
>from SR were discussed here.
>

Again, you are equating the equations, which are held in common, with
the difference between the physical theories themselves. There is NO Aether
theory that is "indistinguishable" from the SR theory that the space between
"ultimate particles of matter" is completely empty.

Be aware, then, that we are not here arguing about the validity of the
equations; we are arguing about the nature of physical reality itself, i.e.
What must *physically* exist and what must *physically* happen in order
for the equations to hold good?

Some of us thought out the answer to that question, and thereupon disagree
with the THEORY of relativity. Others of us, such as the relativists on this
newsgroup, only know how _to do_ the mathematics and don't care what it
means. Perhaps that's why they remain relativists.

>On the contrary it is very different to say that SR can be contradicted by
>experimental facts although it is supported directly by dozens of
>experimental results and indirectly by modern physics as a whole since
>SR is the framework in which every fundamental interactions are modeled
>(with the exception of gravity) - and the result is extremely coherent.
>

The "predictions" of the (shared) equations are verified. Obviously, that
doesn't decide which interpretation (i.e. theory) is correct.
Has it ever occurred to you that the reason modern theoretical physics
thinks that the world is a "mystery", which the human mind is incapable of
ever understanding, is precisely because that MODEL (sTr) is totally false?

Stick around, Luc. If you have an open mind and can think for yourself when
analyzing all sides of every logical and/or mathematical argument, you will be
surprised by how much you will learn. If you are dedicated to discovering
"what's
right" rather than - as most relativists on this newsgroup - proving at all
costs
that YOUR theory (sTr) already is, your arguments will be VERY welcome here.

glird

sh...@my-deja.com

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Oct 11, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/11/99
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Glird wrote:

> Be aware, then, that we are not here arguing about the validity
> of the equations; we are arguing about the nature of physical
> reality itself, i.e. What must *physically* exist and what must
> *physically* happen in order for the equations to hold good?
>
> Some of us thought out the answer to that question, and thereupon
> disagree with the THEORY of relativity. Others of us, such as the
> relativists on this newsgroup, only know how _to do_ the mathematics
> and don't care what it means. Perhaps that's why they remain
> relativists.

Let me try to edit this so it makes sense for me...

There is one group (G1) who rejects SR immediately because it
doesn't conform to preconceived notions. Another group (G2)
understands the mathematics of SR.

The set of members of {G1 AND G2} is damn near empty, and
gets even more empty as the understanding increases for G2.
Perhaps that's why most remain relativists.


---Tim Shuba---

Aaron Bergman

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Oct 11, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/11/99
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In article <38021EE2...@netcom.ca>, Jackie & Barry wrote:

>
>Aaron Bergman wrote:
>
>> In what sense of the word was Einstein an amateur?
>
>In the sense that "professional" means for a fee, i.e. for money, and
>"amateur" means for love, i.e. for joy.
>
>Einstein did it for joy, not for money, i.e. he was an amateur.

I doubt there's a single theoretical physicist in existence who
does it for the money....

Jwrrock

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Oct 11, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/11/99
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>Maybe this is part of the reason why >Einstein never arrived at a complete
>definition of Time. :-)

>Best regards Joe

But he did Joe.

"Time is what we measure with clocks."

Jackie & Barry

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Oct 11, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/11/99
to

Aaron Bergman wrote:

> Barry wrote:

> >In the sense that "professional" means for a fee, i.e. for money, and
> >"amateur" means for love, i.e. for joy.

> >Einstein did it for joy, not for money, i.e. he was an amateur.

> I doubt there's a single theoretical physicist in existence who
> does it for the money....

What you say probably also relates to actors, baseball players, etc.
etc. It is possible to be both amateur _and_ professional at the same
time.

Nevertheless, you asked for a justification for using the word amateur,
as related to Einstein at a given time, and I gave it. I went over this
once before, in this ng, and there is definite resistance to using the
word "amateur" for Einstein. I suspect that many see the use of the word
"amateur" in an emotive fashion, as a kind of insult, which it need not
be.

As a separate issue:

What proportion of published papers are by physicists whose remuneration
comes via an occupation in physics, as opposed to those who are employed
in other endeavours?

And how many continue to publish after they are no longer in paid
employment as physicists?

These stats would separate the true amateurs from the mere
professionals.


Barry

Aaron Bergman

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Oct 11, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/11/99
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In article <38025E57...@netcom.ca>, Jackie & Barry wrote:
>
>
>Aaron Bergman wrote:
>
>> Barry wrote:
>
>> >In the sense that "professional" means for a fee, i.e. for money, and
>> >"amateur" means for love, i.e. for joy.
>
>> >Einstein did it for joy, not for money, i.e. he was an amateur.
>
>> I doubt there's a single theoretical physicist in existence who
>> does it for the money....
>
>What you say probably also relates to actors, baseball players, etc.
>etc. It is possible to be both amateur _and_ professional at the same
>time.
>
>Nevertheless, you asked for a justification for using the word amateur,
>as related to Einstein at a given time, and I gave it. I went over this
>once before, in this ng, and there is definite resistance to using the
>word "amateur" for Einstein. I suspect that many see the use of the word
>"amateur" in an emotive fashion, as a kind of insult, which it need not
>be.

Actually, I see it as an attempt by people to justify their
commentary on things that they don't understand. The perception
might be that, if Einstein, as an amateur, made significant
contributions to physics, then so can amateurs today. This ignores
the fact that Einstein had a PhD in physics and had already made
significant contributions to physics pre-relativity.

The simple fact is that one has to study and understand modern
physics if one wants to critique it. Most of the commentary on
this group fails to realize that physics has progressed since
1915. The attacks on quantum field theory and the like are
attacks on caricatures of the theory half understood from various
popularizations.

As arrogant as it sounds, the simple fact is that it is next to
impossible for an amateur to make any significant contribution to
physics these days unless they spend a number of years of self
study. Reading even the best popularizations simply isn't going
to cut it. You can't postulate a theory for quarks if you don't
understand Bjorken scaling. You can't postulate a theory for
gravity if you don't understand the binary pulsar tests and all
the other tests. You can't come up with an alternative to special
relativity unless you understand that it's not just a theory of
electromagnetism. The list goes on.


>
>As a separate issue:
>
>What proportion of published papers are by physicists whose remuneration
>comes via an occupation in physics, as opposed to those who are employed
>in other endeavours?
>

I would guess that the vast majority come from academia or R&D in
industry. There is a non-trivial number of PhDs in stuff like
investment banking and CS, so I wouldn't be utterly astounded if a
significant result came from one of those venues especially as
stuff like lanl makes it easier to keep up with the field.

>And how many continue to publish after they are no longer in paid
>employment as physicists?

I would guess that there are major time constraints here.

leste...@earthlink.net

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Oct 11, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/11/99
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On Thu, 7 Oct 1999 09:36:47 +0100, Luc.B...@durham.ac.uk (Luc
Bourhis) wrote:

>I have recently posted two messages in which I defend Special
>Relativity. After finishing them, I could not help finding the situation
>unreal. After almost one century of fundamental and applied physics
>based on Special Relativity that results in some tremendous
>achievements, there are still people fighting for the ideas of the XIXth

>century. There were always "amateurs" that wanted to be at the origin of


>the next revolution in physics by contesting well established theories

>but unfortunately internet with its web pages accessible to millions of
>people and its newsgroup gave them nowadays a power they did not have a
>few decades ago.
>

If not mistaken, Ptolemaic astronomy was around considerably longer
and lasted a couple of hundred after being debunked.

>This makes me think that I am extremely happy to have started to learn
>physics in a time when I did not have access to newsgroups. Indeed what
>can be the reaction of somebody with only a basic knowledge in physics

>when he reads sci.physics.relativity ? He may have the impression that
>SR is still a debated issue. Without an appropriate pedagogical support


>it may be extremely difficult for him to have a clear opinion of the
>subject.
>

Admittedly the same questions are asked over and over regardless of
the answer. But it would help if the answers were correct to begin
with. No one asks about basic arithmetic because the answers are
apparent to all. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for SR or the
ultimate constituents of matter, etc. These are still current issues
until an adequate analytical foundation existis for the mutual
comprehension of all.

>What is even more sad is the fact that there is no progress on this

>newsgroup. Some questions already answered by the FAQ more than two


>years ago are still raised again and again. Some people seems to
>discover the existence of some experiments that were again listed on the

>FAQ pages in 1997. There is a general lack of humility and rigour here
>that is properly astonishing. Those of my readers that submits papers to


>renowned scientific publications should have the same feeling as me when
>they compare the huge amount of work we must produce to convince our
>collegues with the incredible arrogance of those that, on these
>newsgroups, constests well established theories with barely scientific
>arguments.
>

>Readers and contributors to scientific newsgroups have to understand
>that science cannot progress nowadays if it is practiced only as a

>hobby. Those of them who are not professional researchers will never
>produce an original scientific result. This is not because they are less

It is becoming compelling apparent that the only people capable of
genuine scientific insight are those who are not already part of the
scientific establishment.

>capable but simply they do not have enough time to deal with the
>terrible difficulties of current researches - not to speak about several
>years of intensive learning . Making science accessible to the layman is
>the only goal achievable by such a forum - even if it is certainly not
>the best medium for such a purpose because of the difficulties in
>sending formula and especially sketches. Unfortunately a lot of good

Discussing alternative approaches to the foundations of science is
also a purpose of the sci. websites. A scientist is not someone with a
certain number of years doing science; a scientist is someone who
knows what he is doing.

>will is lost in fighting useless battles instead of bringing really
>modern science to the masses.
>

>I know very well how useless is a message like this one. Those that I
>criticized will find it arrogant whereas professional researchers will
>find that it is a statement of the obvious. Anyway let me make it
>somehow usefull by giving again the addresses of the FAQ :
>
>USA:
>http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/physics/experiments.html
>http://www.public.iastate.edu/~physics/sci.physics/faq/experiments.html
>http://www.weburbia.com/physics/experiments.html
>http://www.corepower.com/~relfaq/experiments.html
>
>UK:
>http://hepweb.rl.ac.uk/ppUK/PhysFAQ/experiments.html
>http://www.weburbia.demon.co.uk/physics/experiments.html
>
>Netherlands:
>http://www.xs4all.nl/~johanw/PhysFAQ/experiments.html
>
>Germany:
>http://www.desy.de/user/projects/Physics/experiments.html
>
>Australia:
>http://www.phys.unsw.edu.au/physoc/physics_faq/experiments.html
>
>Taiwan:
>http://www.phy.ncku.edu.tw/mirrors/physicsfaq/experiments.html

>
>--
>Luc Bourhis
>Center for Particle Physics / University of Durham
>United Kingdom

Regards - Lester

ref http://home.earthlink.net/~lesterzick


Joe Rongen

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Oct 11, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/11/99
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Jwrrock <jwr...@aol.com> wrote in message
news:19991011171416...@ng-fv1.aol.com...

Well...if someone were to ask you:
What is the definition of "Volt"
Surely, you would not answer that definition with:
"Volt is what we measure with Voltmeters"

Einstein never gave a complete answer (to my knowledge)
for the question "What is the definition of Time?"

That definition may state something entirely different like:
"Time: Occupation of different places for different durations."
(And those events are unrelated to any man-made clocks.)

Regards Joe


greyw...@my-deja.com

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Oct 12, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/12/99
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In article <1dzhcxn.1ihta9puwfx3mN%Luc.B...@durham.ac.uk>,
Luc.B...@durham.ac.uk (Luc Bourhis) wrote:

[snip]

>
> No peer-reviewed scientific publication would accept my paper
> discussing Aether theories. Why ? Because I would not be able to say
> something original about it. Hundreds of papers have already discussed
> every interesting details of the problem.
>

[snip]

At last! A "regular" physicist admitting that one will not be ALLOWED
to publish a paper on Aether theories in any peer-reviewed publication!

This, of course, shows you WHY no aether theories have been developed
(which you complained about).

I know from personal experience that the first sign of the word "aether"
or the concept of a physical medium will immediately terminate any "peer
review." The rejection letters usually just say "not suitable for
publication at this time." But don't say why.

Occasionally you get the following replies:

1) "Is there any basis for believing in theories of this sort?"

2) "most scientists are simply going to ask why you are trying to
replace a theory we understand with one we don't."

Reviewers have admitted that they are unwilling to even read the papers
-- because they are "obviously wrong."

So it is not -- as you claim -- that nothing new can be added. I
challenge you to cite even three of your "hundreds of papers" that have
already discussed every interesting detail of the problem.


--
greywolf42

jddescr...@my-deja.com

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Oct 12, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/12/99
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In article <i3gvh8e...@fermi.wias-berlin.de>,
Ilja Schmelzer <schm...@fermi.wias-berlin.de> wrote:

> Luc.B...@durham.ac.uk (Luc Bourhis) writes:
> > No peer-reviewed scientific publication would accept my paper
discussing
> > Aether theories.
>
> I have not seen a publication which discusses problems of my "general
> ether theory".
>
> > And what is the alternative ? A theory (LET), which did not evolved
> > since 1900, which is entirely focused on electromagnetism and which
can
> > therefore hardly provide a general framework in which to study the
other
> > interactions. This is utterly ridiculous.
>
> My GET is focussed on gravity, but provides a framework for the other
> forces too. Try to criticize.
>
> >> ... development of critical skills when assessing claims and
> >> counter-claims ... is this neccessarily a bad thing?
>
> > Don't be naive ! It is a good thing only if one can distinguish
what is
> > wrong and what is right. The reader can realize that if he can
> > understand the principles of the experiments discussed here; if he
can
> > redo the calculations with the Aether hypothesis and with the SR
> > hypothesis; if he can go beyond the rethoric used by some writers.
>
> Not necessarily. Crackpot theories may be distinguished from science
> by a lot of informal criteria which may be detected even by laymen.
>
> http://www.cyberpass.net/~ilja/science/crank.html
>
> > There are too much "if" here for many newbies and even for some
> > professional scientists. For example, being not an experimentalist,
> > it could be difficult to know exactly if I can be confident in a
> > particular experimental technique but fortunately I know people that
> > can answer my questions whereas this is not the case for most of the
> > readers.
>
> On the other hand, they may learn here how to distinguish nonsense
> from science. The point is that the success of science is almost
> without doubt. Even if they are puzzled - the point is that the
> puzzle has a solution - standard science is a success.
>
> Here they learn how to solve such puzzles, may be they apply it in
> other domains ...
>
> > Therefore they will tend to be more puzzled than informed. This is
not
> > necessarily a bad thing if this gives them the desire to learn more
on
> > these subjects. However are they able to find these informations
> > somewhere ?
>
> That's the tool of the scientists to give this information. FAQs and
> so on.
>
> Ilja
> --
> I. Schmelzer, <il...@cyberpass.net>, http://www.cyberpass.net/~ilja
>

------------------------------------------------------------------------

You indirectly support and validate the king's men of
science, the antithesis of freedom thinking truth
seekers when you promote kook tests or "cranks and
crackpot" indicators. It's not too strong a statement
that; no decent scientist was ever closely associated
with the king's men of science or with the science
institutions for a significant time. That obviously
not only includes Einstein and Feynman {remember how
he learned that he was exploited in the space
incident } but many others. The ones I like to site
are WR Hamilton, who essentially withdrew his last 20
years of work (quaternions) from the king's men review,
and Heaviside who lived in poverty because he wouldn't
crawl for the king's men. Science history is repleet
with these examples because the opposite of freedom
and truth seeking is king's men subjugation.

Of course there are different levels of viciousness
in these king's men attacks and some are just going
along to get along with the king. In general, the
argument they make is they are very,very smart and
know almost all the decreed truth of the king's
cookbook. Thus they they have time to go kook,crackpot,
crank, amd crazy hunting on the public dole since
there is no more truth for them to find with their
expertise. If you buy that, then I've got a bridge.

These kook tests are how the king's men of science
manipulate the truth and they can thus be helpful to
see the truth in reverse or inverted. If we see people
talking that way then likely the targets of their
taking efforts are good scientists. I remember as a
youth hearing about the biggest kook-crackpot of all;
Tesla. Of course, Tesla was one of the giant scientists
of this millennium. If I had known then what I know now
I would have noted who was propagating the vicious
attacks on his accomplishments and recognized them as
king's men of science. Good seeing. JD

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Luc Bourhis

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Oct 12, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/12/99
to
Glird <gl...@aol.com> wrote:

> In article <1dzhcxn.1ihta9puwfx3mN%Luc.B...@durham.ac.uk>,


> Luc.B...@durham.ac.uk (Luc Bourhis) writes:
>
> >For example I understood that some Aether theories indistinguishable
> >from SR were discussed here.
> >

> Again, you are equating the equations, which are held in common, with
> the difference between the physical theories themselves. There is NO Aether
> theory that is "indistinguishable" from the SR theory that the space between
> "ultimate particles of matter" is completely empty.
>

> Be aware, then, that we are not here arguing about the validity of the
> equations; we are arguing about the nature of physical reality itself, i.e.
> What must *physically* exist and what must *physically* happen in order
> for the equations to hold good?

Then I am sorry to say to you that you do not understand what are the
goals of science. Science do not deal with the physical reality but only
with a mathematical model of it. This model must be able to make
experimentally verified predictions for any experience one can build.
Therefore if two theories have the same mathematical equations, they are
not distinguishable from a scientific point of view and the debate
becomes a metaphysical one. Let's take the Aether as an example : if you
manage to make it unobservable, this is not a scientific concept. I can
discuss it as a scientist if and only if one can do an experiment for
which SR and Aether theories predicts different results.

> Some of us thought out the answer to that question, and thereupon disagree
> with the THEORY of relativity. Others of us, such as the relativists on this
> newsgroup, only know how _to do_ the mathematics and don't care what it
> means. Perhaps that's why they remain relativists.

You should learn more about epistemology. You can try Popper for
example.

> >On the contrary it is very different to say that SR can be contradicted by
> >experimental facts although it is supported directly by dozens of
> >experimental results and indirectly by modern physics as a whole since
> >SR is the framework in which every fundamental interactions are modeled
> >(with the exception of gravity) - and the result is extremely coherent.
> >

> The "predictions" of the (shared) equations are verified. Obviously, that
> doesn't decide which interpretation (i.e. theory) is correct.

There is no such thing as the interpretation of a theory in science.
This is the job of the philosophers. It is an interesting activity but
it is not science.

> Has it ever occurred to you that the reason modern theoretical physics
> thinks that the world is a "mystery", which the human mind is incapable of
> ever understanding,

These questions are not adressed by science ...

> is precisely because that MODEL (sTr) is totally false?

... therefore one cannot deduce such a conclusion from your questions in
a scientific framework.

Luc Bourhis

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Oct 12, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/12/99
to
<greyw...@my-deja.com> wrote:

> In article <1dzhcxn.1ihta9puwfx3mN%Luc.B...@durham.ac.uk>,
> Luc.B...@durham.ac.uk (Luc Bourhis) wrote:
>
> [snip]


>
> >
> > No peer-reviewed scientific publication would accept my paper
> > discussing Aether theories. Why ? Because I would not be able to say
> > something original about it. Hundreds of papers have already discussed
> > every interesting details of the problem.
> >

> [snip]
>
> At last! A "regular" physicist admitting that one will not be ALLOWED
> to publish a paper on Aether theories in any peer-reviewed publication!

I am surprised by your surprise. A research with the word aether or
ether in articles database reveals easily that articles discussing
Aether questions are not published in peer-reviewed publications.

> This, of course, shows you WHY no aether theories have been developed
> (which you complained about).

Anybody can send articles on online databases like those maintained by
CERN or SLAC. Therefore people who wants to advocate Aether theories can
use this opportunity in order to be read by a lot of people around the
world. For example a search on SPIRES
<http://www-spires.slac.stanford.edu/find/hep> reveals dozens of papers
about Aether.


> I know from personal experience that the first sign of the word "aether"
> or the concept of a physical medium will immediately terminate any "peer
> review." The rejection letters usually just say "not suitable for
> publication at this time." But don't say why.
>
> Occasionally you get the following replies:
>
> 1) "Is there any basis for believing in theories of this sort?"
>
> 2) "most scientists are simply going to ask why you are trying to
> replace a theory we understand with one we don't."
>
> Reviewers have admitted that they are unwilling to even read the papers
> -- because they are "obviously wrong."

The first paper you have to write is one where you show that several
experimental results cannot be explained with Special Relativity.
Considering that the list of experiments that support SR is huge, you
have to come with a sizeable one filled only with very precised and
unambiguous experiments. If one consider that you discovered recently a
well-known experiment made in 1963, you may have a hard time doing this.

But the first step would be to get a PhD in physics preferably with a
subject close to fundamental physics. Nobody will take you seriously if
you did not obtain a PhD.

> So it is not -- as you claim -- that nothing new can be added. I

> challenge you to cite even three of your "hundreds of papers" that have
> already discussed every interesting detail of the problem.

I think in fact that a few of them would be enough. Perhaps even one of
them because Robertson has published in 1949 ( Review of Modern Physics
21, p. 378) a summary report that did a combined analysis of a few
experiments in order to show that this excludes any Galilean Aether
theories. You should definitively read it and try to find a flaw in
Robertson's demonstrations. If this is the Robertson of the
Robertson-Walker metric as I think, I wish you the best of luck.

Joe Fischer

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Oct 12, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/12/99
to
Charles Francis (cha...@clef.demon.co.uk) wrote:
: Bourhis <Luc.B...@durham.ac.uk> writes
: >Are you saying that Einstein was an amateur ? This is a beloved and

: >hyped part of his legend but the real situation was much more
: >complicated. What the media did with Einstein's image is really damaging
: >for science because it gives a completly wrong idea of what is really
: >the work of a researcher.
: >
: >Einstein was obsessed by physics since he was approximately ten and he
: >was doing physics almost full-time when he was in university (he was
: >known to attend only the physics lectures and to work outside during the
: >other courses) and when he was working in the patent office in Berne
: >(this work gave him a lot of spare time). He was working between eight
: >and ten hours a day on his researches. This is not what I call an
: >"amateur". Physics was his life, his hobby and eventually his job when
: >somebody was clever enough to give him a position.
:
: Nonetheless he was unquestionably an amateur at the time he produced his

: most important papers, an amateur who put the professionals to shame.

If you mean 1905, by then he was published about
25 times, and was writing reviews of other papers since
1901 in Annalen der Physiks.

: >Moreover, Einstein is almost the only modern scientist that did an


: >important discovery while he had not a position in some research center.
: >You cannot prove your point by using as an example a very particular
: >exception. Anyway it is utterly funny that you cited Einstein as an
: >example of an amateur that was able to contradict the major scientists
: >of his time whereas you seems to defend the concepts advocated by them.
:
: There is a long history of research produced by 'amateurs' - most of
: them more dedicated than 'professionals'. Tycho Brahe was an amateur, as
: were many astronomoers for hundreds of years. Descartes was an amateur.
: In 1846, Cayley had established his brilliance as a student but could
: not get a post without taking holy orders, so became a lawyer. Riemann
: could not get a salary until he was 29, Boole never held a university
: position. Cauchy began his researches while working as a military
: engineer. Galois did not even reach an age to hold a job. Even since
: Einstein, Von Neumann made his first real contribution at the age of
: nineteen, when he was still an amateur.

Instead of calling them amateurs, please call
them students, since they have to study to know enough
to add to knowledge.
I don't think all professionals would object
to being called students.

Outsider students have done a lot of original
work, and made discoveries, but more in constructions
rather than in physics. All you are saying is that
not all experts are employed.

Joe Fischer

jddescr...@my-deja.com

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Oct 12, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/12/99
to
In article <1dzjnoi.1yxs6ar1n1qn0zN%Luc.B...@durham.ac.uk>,
Luc.B...@durham.ac.uk (Luc Bourhis) wrote:

-----------------------excerpted,see original---------------------------


> The first paper you have to write is one where you show that several
> experimental results cannot be explained with Special Relativity.
> Considering that the list of experiments that support SR is huge, you
> have to come with a sizeable one filled only with very precised and
> unambiguous experiments. If one consider that you discovered recently
> a well-known experiment made in 1963, you may have a hard time doing
> this.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

When you defend the "so called" SR experts [ it's my
impression that the best physicists sense there is
something wrong with the usual text "explainations"
and are very careful about what they say ] and claim
that it has been experimentally validated, did it ever
occur to you that the most important experiments have
not been performed? These "so called" experts say that
Special Relativity(SR) is a closed topic like flat
earth but many people here disagree. What do you say
when people remind you that as recently as about 1960
all the "so called experts" were startled by a physicist
from your country, Roger Penrose, when he showed that
the Lorentz contraction was a fiction. He proved ,
theoretically that a fast telescope photo [ what
everyone means by seeing, not the distributed coordinate
frames that these "experts" now talk about ] would show
a high speed object as rotated and not contracted at all.
This was more than half a century after the initial
Einstein theory. How could such a huge error in
understanding occur with the experts? Good seeing. JD

Charles Francis

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Oct 12, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/12/99
to
In article <EIuM3.11$YY6...@198.235.216.4>, Joe Rongen
<joer...@whisp.com> writes

>Jwrrock <jwr...@aol.com> wrote in message
>news:19991011171416...@ng-fv1.aol.com...
>
>Joe writes:
>> >Maybe this is part of the reason why Einstein never arrived
>> >at a complete definition of Time. :-)
>> >
>
>Jwrrock writes:
>> But he did Joe.
>>
>> "Time is what we measure with clocks."
>
>Well...if someone were to ask you:
>What is the definition of "Volt"
>Surely, you would not answer that definition with:
>"Volt is what we measure with Voltmeters"
>

On the other hand, perhaps you should come up with this answer. With the
answer "time is what we measure with clocks" Einstein was nearer than he
could have imagined to an explanation for the laws of quantum mechanics
which he found so hard to explain. For analysis of the implications

http://xxx.lanl.gov/abs/physics/9905058
A Theory of Quantum Space-time
http://xxx.lanl.gov/abs/physics/9909047
A Model of Classical and Quantum Measurement

--
Charles Francis
cha...@clef.demon.co.uk

Charles Francis

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Oct 12, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/12/99
to
In article <7tu1sn$prh$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>, greyw...@my-deja.com writes
>In article <1dzhcxn.1ihta9puwfx3mN%Luc.B...@durham.ac.uk>,
> Luc.B...@durham.ac.uk (Luc Bourhis) wrote:
>
>[snip]

>
>>
>> No peer-reviewed scientific publication would accept my paper
>> discussing Aether theories. Why ? Because I would not be able to say
>> something original about it. Hundreds of papers have already discussed
>> every interesting details of the problem.
>>
>[snip]
>
>At last! A "regular" physicist admitting that one will not be ALLOWED
>to publish a paper on Aether theories in any peer-reviewed publication!
>
>This, of course, shows you WHY no aether theories have been developed
>(which you complained about).
>
The real reason that no aether theory will be accepted is that it is
mathematically proven that no aether theory can have a scientific
content, i.e. that no aether can affect the laws of physics in any way.
If you want to come up with an aether theory, you would first have to
understand and discredit the proof. But if you did understand special
relativity correctly, I do not believe that you would attempt to
discredit it any more than you would try to proof that 2+2=5.
--
Charles Francis
cha...@clef.demon.co.uk


Charles Francis

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Oct 12, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/12/99
to
In article <3802...@news.iglou.com>, Joe Fischer <joe...@iglou.com>
writes

> Instead of calling them amateurs, please call
>them students, since they have to study to know enough
>to add to knowledge.

Likewise I think you will find that the world amateur snooker champion
does one hell of a lot of practice.


>
> Outsider students have done a lot of original
>work, and made discoveries, but more in constructions
>rather than in physics. All you are saying is that
>not all experts are employed.
>

I am objecting to the inference apparent in Luc's post that you can
write off a contribution to science simply on the grounds that the
author is not a professional, not on the grounds of the content or the
scientific rigour (or lack of it) with which it is expressed.

--
Charles Francis
cha...@clef.demon.co.uk


Ilja Schmelzer

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Oct 12, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/12/99
to
jddescr...@my-deja.com writes:
> You indirectly support and validate the king's men of
> science, the antithesis of freedom thinking truth
> seekers when you promote kook tests or "cranks and
> crackpot" indicators.

I do not bother if my argumentation "indirectly supports" somebody
else. I bother if my argumentation is sound.

Gerry Quinn

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Oct 12, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/12/99
to
In article <7ttpcj$jt5$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>, sh...@my-deja.com wrote:

>Glird wrote:
>
>> Be aware, then, that we are not here arguing about the validity
>> of the equations; we are arguing about the nature of physical
>> reality itself, i.e. What must *physically* exist and what must
>> *physically* happen in order for the equations to hold good?
>>
>> Some of us thought out the answer to that question, and thereupon
>> disagree with the THEORY of relativity. Others of us, such as the
>> relativists on this newsgroup, only know how _to do_ the mathematics
>> and don't care what it means. Perhaps that's why they remain
>> relativists.
>
>Let me try to edit this so it makes sense for me...
>
>There is one group (G1) who rejects SR immediately because it
>doesn't conform to preconceived notions. Another group (G2)
>understands the mathematics of SR.
>

Unfortunately, you have failed to show that members of G2 do not reject
any ideas because they do not conform to preconceived notions. You also
construed "thought out the answer to this question" as "immediately
rejected" (a change which you referred to as "editing it so it makes
sense to you").

Your shoddy logic regarding sociology provides little evidence that your
relativistic metaphysics are valid.

- Gerry Quinn

Gerry Quinn

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Oct 12, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/12/99
to
In article <1dzjlye.tg4xp2ozpyflN%Luc.B...@durham.ac.uk>, Luc.B...@durham.ac.uk (Luc Bourhis) wrote:
>Glird <gl...@aol.com> wrote:

>> Be aware, then, that we are not here arguing about the validity of the
>> equations; we are arguing about the nature of physical reality itself, i.e.
>> What must *physically* exist and what must *physically* happen in order
>> for the equations to hold good?
>

>Then I am sorry to say to you that you do not understand what are the
>goals of science. Science do not deal with the physical reality but only
>with a mathematical model of it. This model must be able to make
>experimentally verified predictions for any experience one can build.
>Therefore if two theories have the same mathematical equations, they are
>not distinguishable from a scientific point of view and the debate
>becomes a metaphysical one. Let's take the Aether as an example : if you
>manage to make it unobservable, this is not a scientific concept. I can
>discuss it as a scientist if and only if one can do an experiment for
>which SR and Aether theories predicts different results.

Are you claiming that (for example) questions relating to the
interpretation of quantum mechanics, or what an astronaut would see if
he fell into a large black hole, are no part of science?

Positivism is not the sole metaphysics compatible with science.

- Gerry Quinn

Glird

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Oct 12, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/12/99
to
In article <7ttpcj$jt5$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>, sh...@my-deja.com writes:

>> ... we are arguing about the nature of physical


>> reality itself, i.e. What must *physically* exist and what must
>> *physically* happen in order for the equations to hold good?
>>

>> Some of us thought out the answer to that question, and thereupon
>> disagree with the THEORY of relativity. Others of us, such as the
>> relativists on this newsgroup, only know how _to do_ the mathematics
>> and don't care what it means. Perhaps that's why they remain
>> relativists.
>
>Let me try to edit this so it makes sense for me...
>
>There is one group (G1) who rejects SR immediately because it
>doesn't conform to preconceived notions.
>

That excludes those who understand the math and "thought out the
answer to [the given] question".

> Another group (G2) understands the mathematics of SR.
>

That includes those who answered the question thus
know where and why the THEORY of relativity is false.

>The set of members of {G1 AND G2} is damn near empty, and
>gets even more empty as the understanding increases for G2.
>Perhaps that's why most remain relativists.
>

You left out (G3), those who can do the math but neither know nor
care what it physically rests on and imposes; which is why they remain
relativists. THAT set is very full.

glird

greyw...@my-deja.com

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Oct 12, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/12/99
to
In article <1dzjnoi.1yxs6ar1n1qn0zN%Luc.B...@durham.ac.uk>,

Luc.B...@durham.ac.uk (Luc Bourhis) wrote:
> <greyw...@my-deja.com> wrote:
>
> > In article <1dzhcxn.1ihta9puwfx3mN%Luc.B...@durham.ac.uk>,

> > Luc.B...@durham.ac.uk (Luc Bourhis) wrote:
> >
> > [snip]
> >
> > >
> > > No peer-reviewed scientific publication would accept my paper
> > > discussing Aether theories. Why ? Because I would not be able to
say
> > > something original about it. Hundreds of papers have already
discussed
> > > every interesting details of the problem.
> > >
> > [snip]
> >
> > At last! A "regular" physicist admitting that one will not be
ALLOWED
> > to publish a paper on Aether theories in any peer-reviewed
publication!
>
> I am surprised by your surprise. A research with the word aether or
> ether in articles database reveals easily that articles discussing
> Aether questions are not published in peer-reviewed publications.
>
> > This, of course, shows you WHY no aether theories have been
developed
> > (which you complained about).
>
> Anybody can send articles on online databases like those maintained by
> CERN or SLAC. Therefore people who wants to advocate Aether theories
can
> use this opportunity in order to be read by a lot of people around the
> world. For example a search on SPIRES
> <http://www-spires.slac.stanford.edu/find/hep> reveals dozens of
papers
> about Aether.
>
> > I know from personal experience that the first sign of the word
"aether"
> > or the concept of a physical medium will immediately terminate any
"peer
> > review." The rejection letters usually just say "not suitable for
> > publication at this time." But don't say why.
> >
> > Occasionally you get the following replies:
> >
> > 1) "Is there any basis for believing in theories of this sort?"
> >
> > 2) "most scientists are simply going to ask why you are trying to
> > replace a theory we understand with one we don't."
> >
> > Reviewers have admitted that they are unwilling to even read the
papers
> > -- because they are "obviously wrong."
>
> The first paper you have to write is one where you show that several
> experimental results cannot be explained with Special Relativity.
> Considering that the list of experiments that support SR is huge, you
> have to come with a sizeable one filled only with very precised and
> unambiguous experiments. If one consider that you discovered recently
a
> well-known experiment made in 1963, you may have a hard time doing
this.
>
> But the first step would be to get a PhD in physics preferably with a
> subject close to fundamental physics. Nobody will take you seriously
if
> you did not obtain a PhD.
>
> > So it is not -- as you claim -- that nothing new can be added. I
> > challenge you to cite even three of your "hundreds of papers" that
have

> > already discussed every interesting detail of the problem.
>
> I think in fact that a few of them would be enough. Perhaps even one
of
> them because Robertson has published in 1949 ( Review of Modern
Physics
> 21, p. 378) a summary report that did a combined analysis of a few
> experiments in order to show that this excludes any Galilean Aether
> theories. You should definitively read it and try to find a flaw in
> Robertson's demonstrations. If this is the Robertson of the
> Robertson-Walker metric as I think, I wish you the best of luck.
>
> --
> Luc Bourhis
> Center for Particle Physics / University of Durham
> United Kingdom
>

--
greywolf42

Charles Torre

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Oct 12, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/12/99
to
aber...@princeton.edu (Aaron Bergman) writes:

> In article <38021EE2...@netcom.ca>, Jackie & Barry wrote:
>>
>>Einstein did it for joy, not for money, i.e. he was an amateur.
>
> I doubt there's a single theoretical physicist in existence who
> does it for the money....
>

Money? Money? Nobody told me about any money.

DJMenCk

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Oct 12, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/12/99
to
>>
Bourhis: >> >There were always "amateurs" that wanted to be at the origin of

>> >the next revolution in physics by contesting well established theories
>>
>JD: > True. But that's also a fairly accurate description of what Einstein
>> was trying to do about a century ago. This forum is partly a
>> consequence of those efforts.
>
Bourhis: Are you saying that Einstein was an amateur ?

Dennis: As in not a paid physicist or professor at the time of SR, JD is right,
yes, he was an amateur.

Bourhis: This is a beloved and


>hyped part of his legend but the real situation was much more
>complicated. What the media did with Einstein's image is really damaging
>for science because it gives a completly wrong idea of what is really
>the work of a researcher.
>
>Einstein was obsessed by physics since he was approximately ten

Dennis: We're all obsessed by physics here. Every etherist that has come up
with his own theory spends many hours a day on the subject.
The point is you are blindly dismissing all non-professional physicists who try
to take on the establishment--and Einstein fits into this category.

Bourhis: and he


>was doing physics almost full-time when he was in university (he was
>known to attend only the physics lectures and to work outside during the
>other courses) and when he was working in the patent office in Berne
>(this work gave him a lot of spare time). He was working between eight
>and ten hours a day on his researches. This is not what I call an
>"amateur".

Dennis: Well, then you shouldn't call any etherist on this boards an amateur
ether, because almost all of us fit that criteria.

Bourhis: Physics was his life, his hobby and eventually his job when


>somebody was clever enough to give him a position.

Dennis: Luckily, the person who was clever enough to give him a position
ignored those who dismissed him for being an amateur who was taking on
establishment physics.

Bourhis:

>Moreover, Einstein is almost the only modern scientist that did an
>important discovery while he had not a position in some research center.

Dennis: Except of course for Mendel, Darwin, Farnsworth, Edison, Reber,
Faraday, Herapath, Waterston, Wegener, etc, etc, etc,

Bourhis: >You cannot prove your point by using as an example a very particular
>exception.

Dennis: How about the 9 more exceptions I just mentioned?

--Dennis McCarthy

DJMenCk

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Oct 12, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/12/99
to
>
>
>Aaron Bergman wrote:
>
>> Barry wrote:
>
>> >In the sense that "professional" means for a fee, i.e. for money, and
>> >"amateur" means for love, i.e. for joy.
>
>> >Einstein did it for joy, not for money, i.e. he was an amateur.
>
>> I doubt there's a single theoretical physicist in existence who
>> does it for the money....

Barry:

>What you say probably also relates to actors, baseball players, etc.
>etc. It is possible to be both amateur _and_ professional at the same
>time.
>
>Nevertheless, you asked for a justification for using the word amateur,
>as related to Einstein at a given time, and I gave it. I went over this
>once before, in this ng, and there is definite resistance to using the
>word "amateur" for Einstein. I suspect that many see the use of the word
>"amateur" in an emotive fashion, as a kind of insult, which it need not
>be.

Dennis: Exactly. What they want to do is mock people who are not earning a
paycheck in physics as "amateurs" But of course, Einstein was an "amateur" in
this sense in 1905.
When this is pointed out to them, they forget their original insult and say,
"Oh, yeah, but Einstein worked on physics a lot in his spare time."
Great. And so do many modern etherists, right?
--Dennis.


DJMenCk

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Oct 12, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/12/99
to
>
>In article <38025E57...@netcom.ca>, Jackie & Barry wrote:
>>
>>
>>Aaron Bergman wrote:
>>
>>> Barry wrote:
>>
>>> >In the sense that "professional" means for a fee, i.e. for money, and
>>> >"amateur" means for love, i.e. for joy.
>>
>>> >Einstein did it for joy, not for money, i.e. he was an amateur.
>>
>>> I doubt there's a single theoretical physicist in existence who
>>> does it for the money....
>>
>>What you say probably also relates to actors, baseball players, etc.
>>etc. It is possible to be both amateur _and_ professional at the same
>>time.
>>
>>Nevertheless, you asked for a justification for using the word amateur,
>>as related to Einstein at a given time, and I gave it. I went over this
>>once before, in this ng, and there is definite resistance to using the
>>word "amateur" for Einstein. I suspect that many see the use of the word
>>"amateur" in an emotive fashion, as a kind of insult, which it need not
>>be.
>
Bergman: Actually, I see it as an attempt by people to justify their

>commentary on things that they don't understand.

Dennis: It's very simple: If someone makes a factual or logical mistake, point
out that mistake. Don't try to dismiss arguments ahead of time by pointing to
the circumstances surrounding the author.

Bergman: The perception


>might be that, if Einstein, as an amateur, made significant
>contributions to physics, then so can amateurs today. This ignores
>the fact that Einstein had a PhD in physics and had already made
>significant contributions to physics pre-relativity.
>
>The simple fact is that one has to study and understand modern
>physics if one wants to critique it.

Dennis: Obviously.

Bergman: Most of the commentary on


>this group fails to realize that physics has progressed since
>1915.

Dennis: Oh, we know. That's why we find more and more articles in Physics
Today, NYT science section, and many LANL pre-prints backing the ether theory.


Bergman: The attacks on quantum field >theory and the like are


>attacks on caricatures of the theory half understood from various
>popularizations.

Dennis: Often, what are called "popularizations" today--were well accepted
theoretical aspects of qm or SR for past decades that have been refuted by
dissidents. Once this happens, the refuted aspect is quicly labelled "naive"
or a "popularization"--and the "real" explanation is then made known to the
grad students.
Take for example the orignal well accepted Einstein derivation for
relativistic aberration.
This was used and taught for decades until various dissidents and relativists
realized the error--and challenged the explanation. Another example is the
commonly known SR explanation for Sagnac. This was used and taught for decades
as well until recently refuted (challenged) in this newsgroup, on lecture
circuits, and then formally by Selleri.
Now, the old explanation is "naive" and a "popularization."
A lot of heads this dragon has--and you can't blame later dissidents if they
try to chop one that's already gone.
--Dennis McCarthy


DJMenCk

unread,
Oct 12, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/12/99
to
>
>Glird wrote:
>
>> Be aware, then, that we are not here arguing about the validity
>> of the equations; we are arguing about the nature of physical

>> reality itself, i.e. What must *physically* exist and what must
>> *physically* happen in order for the equations to hold good?
>>
>> Some of us thought out the answer to that question, and thereupon
>> disagree with the THEORY of relativity. Others of us, such as the
>> relativists on this newsgroup, only know how _to do_ the mathematics
>> and don't care what it means. Perhaps that's why they remain
>> relativists.

Shuba:

>Let me try to edit this so it makes sense for me...
>
>There is one group (G1) who rejects SR immediately because it

>doesn't conform to preconceived notions. Another group (G2)


>understands the mathematics of SR.
>

>The set of members of {G1 AND G2} is damn near empty, and
>gets even more empty as the understanding increases for G2.
>Perhaps that's why most remain relativists.
>

Oh, Mr. Shuba, thank you again for pointing out your belief that critics of
SR do not understand its math. You challenged me for a mathematical argument a
little while ago--and I gave you two such arguments. However, you never
responded. Would you like to do that now?
I could repost them for you if you like?
--Dennis McCarthy


DJMenCk

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Oct 12, 1999, 3:00:00 AM