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Quack Science


xkcd had this great comic strip up today (shown above). Of course it got me thinking about how I have been neglecting my own pet physics notions and that I really fall into the same realm as the comic (what scientists respectfully call "quack science") with those notions. Let's face it, I do not have a degree in Chemistry or Physics (let alone a PhD), but I do have a few things going for me.

First, I have studied all the stuff I spout off about before I spout off about them. Actually, I studied advanced physics some 15+ years ago. Now, the ideas I come up with... well that is another story, but I do at the very least make sure I know what I am talking about before I talk about it.

Second, and this is actually one of the more import points, is that I outright asked for help/confirmation/criticism right when I came up with my idea in my first physics article entitled Spacetime and Quantum Mechanics. I even went so far as to sit down with the head of the physics department at a local college. It was what that physicist said that made me start my next series of posts on the subject, but we will get to that later (hint: he pissed me off).

Third, I am smarter than the average bear. Actually, my IQ is someplace well over a 100 points above average. To my surprise, there really was an "off the charts" when it came to intelligence quotients, so while I do not know my exact IQ as a result of this, I can comfortably say that I am probably smarter than any other scientist you have met. Unless you had met Tesla when he was alive and then I might have to amend my last statement. Of course Tesla practiced Quack Science, so I am good with that.

Lastly, after never getting any type of solid answer and/or feedback from any physical science type people, I have intentionally left tidbits of information out of each of my physics entries. I had hoped at least one person might bite and point out the opening I left so that I could start a discussion, but we already know no physicists (or even chemists) read my blog. It was a futile attempt, I know, but it had to be done.

So in the name of real science, let's correct a few of those wide open holes I left for the science community:

Orbitals Do Not Exist
Every Chemist, Physicist, Engineer, and (hopefully) first year college student (in previously mentioned fields at least) know that Orbitals Do Not Exist. They don't. Orbitals are graphical representations that correspond to the statistical likelihood that you will find an electron in a given area around the nucleus of an atom. They aren't real, they are statistics that say "yep, 90% of the time an electron is gonna be here if we look."

The problem is with the "if we look" part above. In order to see where an electron is (or was) you hit it with a light particle. Electrons travel very fast, so it is no longer there before you even had a chance to record the spot. Worse than that, when you hit that electron with a light particle, you transfer energy to that electron so that it is now travelling completely differently than it was previously. Basically, by looking at the electron path, you change that electron path. Oops. So scientists use orbitals because they have never been able to accurately predict the exact orbits (i.e. they have no mathematical law).

That was actually the point of this article. That there really is a mathematical formula that can accurately predict the orbit of an electron in an atom, and even model it through a graphical computer algorithm. But I lack the math background to come up with that exact formula thus far (I am working on it), so I threw everything out there that any scientist would need to know to create that model. No one has created that model because they all suck (partially joking).

The Nature Of Light
Pretty much everything I covered in my slit experiment section is dead on, except for the small part I left out to hook in a physicist: The actual wave disruption patterns created by light; i.e. the areas where overlapping light particles that cancel out, much like two waves on an ocean reaching the same point. It's kind of a big one, so I figured I would get at least one comment out of it. But no...

Anyway, the problem with this whole wave cancellation pattern thing of light is that all particles do this. Light, electrons, alpha particles, etc. Any free particle does this. The question is: why? The answer is NOT because they cancel each other out like the waves on an ocean, but rather because two particles occupying the same space are not the same thing as one particle.

Confused? Ignoring for a second the whole fusion thing, if you perform the slit experiment using hydrogen particles (not alpha particles, but actual hydrogen) and you recorded the pattern that the hydrogen hits a plate at, you would get a wave formation similar to light (and electrons and everything else). The reason is that you are looking for hydrogen atoms. When two hydrogen atoms occupy the same space, they are no longer hydrogen atoms. Instead you have one helium atom, but you weren't looking for that, you were looking for hydrogen. So you get a wave pattern on your plate, with blank areas wherever helium happened to have formed instead of the expected hydrogen. Same thing happens with light; you are looking for red laser light and instead get something else in those areas. Not cancelled; changed.

Einstein, bless his little heart, sort of understood this when he said that light can be treated as both a particle and a wave. EVERY particle can be treated as a wave, so he was dead on. But treating something like a wave and it actually being a wave are two totally different things. When you actually get down to the nitty-gritty of how light (and every other particle) behaves, you can just use that instead of wave mechanics.

This leads me to Einstein, or rather the religious zealot following of his theories in the science community. Whenever I have spoken with a physicist about my theory it inevitably winds up with the physicist saying these exact words, "because Einstein said so." Yea, that's solid science for you. Didn't work for my parents as a reason for anything, won't work for a physicist either.

Now, don't get me wrong, Einstein was brilliant and advanced physics a ton. Not as brilliant as Tesla, but that is neither here nor there. The problem is that he was wrong. The second problem is that his theories cover every possible contingency (almost) so that he can't be disproved. Thus, my own theory has to sit in limbo until he can be disproved, which set me about all the rest of these posts I have been covering. In order to prove my own theory, I have to disprove Einstein on several fronts.

Lucky for me, I do have a way of doing that. Unlucky for me, I do not have the time, money, or equipment to do that. As I mentioned once before, a modified Shapiro experiment will disprove Einstein (and most current physics theory). So here it is:

1. Put a satellite in low orbit around Jupiter (big enough gravity force that it should show the Shapiro Time Delay effect).
2. Sync the clock on it without using Einstein's theories to do so (which is what has allowed for GPS satellites to have their clocks in sync) by sending several signals and responses back and forth until you get it right.
3. When the satellite is alongside the planet (by line of sight) in that low orbit, you ping it with a radar signal.
4. Instead of an echo, the satellite waits until a specific time (synced to time on Earth as mentioned above) to respond back. That response is just the time that the satellite received the radar ping, and nothing more.

What the results should (will) be is that the signal to the satellite takes less time than the return signal, despite the distances being the same. If I am right (and I am in this case), this would disprove the whole space-time thing and allow my theory to actually be taken seriously. But, someone needs to run the experiment first, and what are the chances of that?

The nice thing is, despite my not having the resources or academic clout to get my theory out there and accepted, I know it is true (or as close to true as science can ever be). This means that someday I will get to utter those words to the physics community that I have said to every other community I have disagreed with: "I told ya so." And I am good with that (for now).


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Jason on :

Very nice article. I'm not a scientist but I'm aware of some of the modern myths. Your article shows a lot of potential and I think that you should write more about this problem.

Taylor on :

I thought I should quickly clear something up that you seem to have misunderstood. Specifically, you said "Oops. So scientists use orbitals because they have never been able to accurately predict the exact orbits (i.e. they have no mathematical law)."

This is a misunderstanding of why orbitals are used. It isn't that electrons travel in some clearly defined orbit but we are just helpless to figure out what that orbit is. The issue is that electrons, as with all other fundamental particles, don't travel in orbits at all. The entire point of the Heisenberg uncertainty principle was to say that these particles by their very nature never occupy a definite location and don't have a definite speed. Physically, it's a strange thing to think about but the most correct way to think about electrons in an atom is not the same way we think about planets orbiting the sun. Rather, it is most accurate to think of electrons as being a probability of locations which are swept out around the atom. In other words, we use orbitals because orbitals 'exist' in a more real sense than our previously held and incorrect notions that electrons travel in an orbit.

Andrew Maxim on :

Thanks for the post Taylor. I hate to say it, however, but the Heisenberg principle is crap. No offense, although hopefully I would only offend Werner by saying that (really, he would have loved the conflict). Hopefully I can explain why it is crap (it's a little late, so give me a bit of slack here).

Ok, in the middle of an open area I have a 6 foot long metal pole (2 in. in diameter if you must know) sticking straight out of the ground (perpendicular to the plane that is the ground) with a 1 in. groove cut 1/4 in. deep along the circumference at 4 feet above the ground. Coating this pole is a special paint that has an outer surface that is completely frictionless (if you can have radiation particles that appear out of no where, collide, and disappear but have never been observed despite billions of dollars spent in research, I can have frictionless paint on a metal pole).

Tied around this groove is a braided rope with 3 feet of length extending from the pole. Attached to the end of the rope is a ball, 6 in. in diameter. The rope and the ball are both coated with another special paint that causes the objects to be frictionless to gaseous particles and immune to the force of gravity (if you can have an infinite number of Universes and an infinite number of dimensions, none of which are observable, I can have my special paint).

Now, you grab that ball and throw it around the pole as hard as you can. Is the ball orbiting the pole? Potato, potato. Ok, I am very very old, so am weak and unfortunately blind (not really, but if you can have exotic matter that can't be seen, has a gravitational pull much larger than regular matter and only affects things on the galactic level, but has never been observed; I can pretend to be old, frail, and blind). Someone tells me there is a ball rotating around the pole at about 4 feet off the ground.

Being the curious person I am, I walk close to where the person indicates and reach a hand out for a moment. Bam. The ball hit my hand at about 4 feet off the ground and approximately 3 feet away from the pole. But I am weak, as I said, so I can only extend my arm out there for a fraction of a second. I move around the pole, staying out of what the person described as the region the ball was spinning, and every once-and-a-while I get the strength up to extend my arm out only to feel the ball hit my hand about 90% of the time. However, when I get up the strength to reach both my hands up at the same time, the ball hits my right hand on the right side but doesn't continue on to hit my left hand on the right side. Sometimes it is opposite that, hitting my left hand on the left side, but not the right. Sometimes it hits the right on the left side at a downward angle.

So now, when I describe this mysterious ball spinning around a pole I can say that about 90% of the time, the ball can be found in a helix around the pole about 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 feet away from the pole. Yet, the ball does not appear to be orbiting the pole, because if it was then it should strike both hands from the same direction in a predictable pattern. Instead, the ball just seems to randomly show up 90% of the time in this helix around the pole.

My question to you, as a person with sight watching this whole fiasco, do you jump on the band wagon and say, "My God, that old, frail, blind man is right." Or do you politely say, "It only appears to be that way because of your limited senses and ability to determine what is going on with the ball, really the ball is orbiting it but your observations keep affecting the orbit making it appear random." Seeing as you are a believer in the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, we know the answer. But hopefully one day you will change that answer.

In the meantime, think on this. There are leaders and there are followers. The world needs both or nothing new would occur or nothing would get done. Sometimes leaders are right; sometimes they are wrong. Sometimes followers follow the wrong leaders. It is the way of the world and what makes it interesting. The unfortunate thing is that the leaders, like Einstein and Werner Heisenberg, have come and gone in the physics community. Where are their replacements?

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