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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.

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The Nature Of Light

At 8:00am I wake up, drink some coffee, shower and am into work at 8:30am. You work directly with me and spend the entire morning from 8:30am until 12:00pm along side me, following my every movement. At 12:00pm we go to lunch together, returning to work at 1:00pm. From that time until 5:00pm you never leave my side. At 5:00pm we leave work and head out to dinner together where we discuss the day's findings and observations. At 9:00pm we depart the restaurant and each head to our separate homes. At 9:15pm I have a few glasses of mead at home and go to bed at 9:30pm.

While this is completely unrealistic for my actual schedule and does not allow for separate bathroom breaks at the work place it will suffice for the topic at hand; and that is the nature of light. Of a 13 hour and 30 minute day, you would have spent 12 hours and 30 minutes with me, or 92.6% of my waking day. From the time spent with me you could observe that I am capable of walking in a straight line. As a matter of fact, you could infer that 100% of the time I am capable of walking in a straight line. With me so far?

What you do not see is the 2 minutes when I first wake up and wander to the coffee pot for my first cup of coffee, often bumping into the walls of the hallway on my journey for caffeine. Nor do you see the 2 minutes between when the alcohol from the mead kicks in and I make my way back into bed. For those 4 minutes or 0.49% of the day I am not capable of walking a straight line. 4 minutes of the day that 99.99999% of the world will never observe, unless you were stationed with me in the Navy, at which case you saw me stumbling drunk a lot.

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Orbitals Do Not Exist

Once upon a time in the land of Bohr's atom, scientists tried to explain electrons floating around the nucleus and came up with the magical faerie tale of orbitals. Orbitals are on par with medieval Christian medicine; that is, the physicians explained ailments in terms of demons, curses and sin. Sometimes the physicians got lucky with the diagnosis and treatment, but there was no concrete method to prove when they were wrong, it was just the sinner's disbelief that killed them, not a misdiagnosis. You have just got to love absolute truths. Orbitals are one of those truths.

Orbitals are a faerie tale. A story. A guess. An educated guess perhaps, but a guess all the same. When you describe something as being "90% likely to be located someplace in this region" you are guessing, just like medieval physicians did. They based their guess work on the religion of the Christian God; modern scientists base their guess work on one incorrect theory, which in turn grew to hundreds and thousands of incorrect theories. Or at least, incorrectly based theories.

Let's put a little truth back into those theories. For simplicity's sake we are only going to talk about the "original three" subatomic particles: electrons, protons and neutrons. The remainder of the particles actually fall in line and make much more sense with what I am going to point out. Ready then?

Electron's move in logical, predictable orbits around the nucleus of an atom.

Bold and brash, right? Wrong. Here's the simple understanding of it all.

1) Electrons are influenced by the positive-to-negative electromagnetic pull of the nucleus of the atom. Given this, an electron should get sucked into and become part of the nucleus of the atom (this is why physicists first started to make stuff up).

2) The distance between the source of a given force and an object the force is acting upon changes the strength of that force. Meaning an electron located in North Carolina is not going to get sucked into the nucleus of an atom located in Virginia. Still means that electron is going to get sucked into its own nucleus though.

3) Enter my Hypothesis (I'm about ready to do a nice write up to move this officially to a theory, as well as a slight rewrite to bring it more inline with scientific wording): The faster an object is moving relative to a source of energy/force, the less influence said force exerts upon the object. You can read my initial write-up entitled Classical Mechanics Rule to see how this affects an electron. Basically, electrons move too damn fast to allow the electromagnetic pull of the protons to suck it into the nucleus; instead the force gets reduced thanks to the electron's speed and a stable orbit is created.

Based on this first part, a hydrogen atom in a complete void would have an orbital pattern that looks exactly like what everyone thinks an orbit should look like. There is even a mathematical formula for this orbital pattern, because it is the same mathematical formula for any circular orbit. Of course, not all atoms are hydrogen atoms and none reside in a complete void, nor are all hydrogen atoms simple one proton nucleus atoms. This is where things really are complicated. If only there was a mathematical formula that could accurately describe that complicated orbit just as well as one describing a circular orbit, but surely if there was such a mathematical formula someone would have come up with it by now (and won a Nobel Prize as a result).

The good news is there is one. The even better news is that, to my knowledge, no one has won a Nobel Prize for it yet. There might have been, and I just missed it, but given that the world is still using (and teaching) quantum physics, I am fairly certain that no one has released said formula. What is the mathematical formula then? I don't know. Crap, so much for that Nobel Prize.

Alright, that is partially a lie or I wouldn't be bothering to write up an entry about all this. I know almost all the pieces of the formula, or rather I know what all the pieces are and the mathematical formulas for most of those pieces. Being a nice person, and thinking science should be expanded for sciences sake, here are the components that make up the mathematical formula of a stable orbit (planets, electrons, black hole event horizons, etc):

1. The mathematical formula for a standard orbit (Trigonometry, baby).
2. The mathematical formula for force applied based upon distance (available in Physics or Chemistry books incase you don't know it by heart).
3. The mathematical formula for force applied based upon speed (yea, this is the missing one, but can actually be easily figured out. Heck, someone might actually know it already, but if not, there are simple experiments).
4. The mathematical formula for force applied to an object through specific barriers (neutrons are a barrier, as are certain solar phenomena).
5. The constant values of each force for each object.
6. The speed of each object.

Pretty simple right? Number five is a "gotcha" in that not only does a proton pull on an electron and a star pull on a planet, but electrons repel one another and planets have gravitational forces of their own. Number six is an easy one, except when additional energy is applied, but that can be factored in; we do after all know the speed of an electron in a vacuum, and, well, between the electron and the nucleus is a vacuum (pretty clever).

When you throw all this together you can model a complete, stable orbital system. Sooner or later I will get around to producing this formula in its entirety. Of course this will require all the textbooks to be rewritten as well as many of the existing theories (like, because I mentioned them previously, a ton of the stuff on black holes), but that is what science is all about. Change based on new information, and currently the new information is that Orbitals do not exist. Do the math and you will agree.

Classical Mechanics Rule

In the entry I Bit My Tongue Off, I spoke about getting thoughts on my brain and needing to let them out. Well, this hypothesis is one of those things. It has had me bouncing ideas off people all day. It has had me reading up on physics, which I have not studied since Nuke school in 1992. It has wormed its way so far around my brain that I just climbed out of bed to write about it.

I do not know if my hypothesis holds water or not. I do not know if it is even an original idea or not, but it is stuck in my head and so I have to try and find out. Let me start by stating the hypothesis again.

Hypothesis: The faster an object is moving relative to a source of energy/force, the less influence said force exerts upon the object.

At this moment, to me, it really is not a hypothesis. More of a postulate (meaning it is a given, a natural fact). But it disrupts so much of the world of physics that I can not assume it to be a fact. Even I am not so arrogant. Ok, maybe I am. So allow me to explain what this hypothesis implies.

Quantum mechanics is a sub-field of mechanics in the realm of the physical laws (physics), the other being Classical mechanics. Quantum mechanics deals with really really tiny things (atomic level and below), while Classical mechanics deals with normal sized things. Basically, everything you can see falls under classical mechanics, everything too tiny to see falls under quantum mechanics, and they both have entirely different rules.

The reason for these two sub-fields is that when physicists (like Einstein) try to explain the behavior of atomic sized particles they run into road blocks with the classical mechanics (the laws and theories people like Newton came up with). The rules seemed to not apply, such as how an electron can just fly around the nucleus of an atom without a degrading orbit (i.e. why doesn't the electron get sucked in by the electromagnetic force of the nucleus). Like good scientists, they made up new rules: Quantum Mechanics. And rather than dealing with absolutes (or things that make sense), quantum mechanics deals mostly with probabilities (or guess work).

Yes, I know; that is a little over simplified and not completely accurate. Bite me.

The implication of this hypothesis is that the classic rules (Classical Mechanics) apply to really tiny things once again. It means that time is linear (no more spacetime). It means that faster than light travel is possible. It means there is only one universe. And it means if you can get going fast enough, you can travel straight through a planet without messing up a hair on your head. Pretty cool, right?

The thing that has really kept this thought going in my head is that all of the evidence I can find to support quantum theories also support (prove) this hypothesis. Even better, the stuff I can find that throws a wrench in quantum mechanics support this hypothesis. I have to go with Occum's Razor on this one.

Let's just cover one of the founding principles of quantum mechanics: stable electron orbits. According to classical mechanics the electron should get sucked in by the nucleus of an atom because of electromagnetism. They don't, so obviously classical mechanics don't apply. Unless you throw in the above hypothesis and then things start to make sense with classic physics.

1. Fact: Electrons travel extremely fast. They travel even faster in an atomic orbit than free flowing. Let's call the speed of an electron M.
2. Fact: Electrons are negatively charged. Protons in the nucleus of an atom are positively charged. This generates an electromagnetic field producing a certain amount of force. Let's term this force X.
3. The amount of force applied to an object varies with things like distance to the source of the force, etc. Let's call the actual applied force on an object A
4. As M approaches zero (0), A approaches 100% of X
5. As M approaches infinity, A approaches 0% of X

The faster the electron travels, the less the electromagnetic force can influence the electron. Electrons do not travel at 0; they travel very fast relative to the nucleus of an atom. Considering the base strength of X is not super strong and with the electron traveling at electron speeds, A has barely enough influence on the electron to keep it in any kind of orbit at all. Just enough force under normal conditions.

Electrons also do not travel in consistent orbits, but the nice thing about an orbit is that the speed relative to any given point on the edge of a nucleus varies. As an electron gets closer to the nucleus, its speed relative to the closest point of the nucleus increases; farther away and it decreases. This provides for a natural adjustment to the change caused in A due to varying the distance between electron and nucleus.

In layman's terms: if you are standing still, I can reach out and grab you with my hand and pull you towards me. If you are walking past me at 3 mph, it is more difficult to do. If you are running at 50 mph, I will probably just break my hand trying. Not an exact comparison, but enough of an analogy that the point should come across.

Anyway, that is the basis of the hypothesis. It explains a lot more than what I have here, but this will work for the time being.

Please tell me where this hypothesis is wrong or what I am missing. Thank You.

Spacetime and Quantum Mechanics

Hypothesis: The faster an object is moving relative to a source of energy/force, the less influence said force exerts upon the object.

Can some physicist explain to me what is wrong with the above hypothesis (postulate) and why it doesn't get rid of quantum mechanics and spacetime entirely? Thank You.