Tuesday, June 08, 2010

What's so misleading about Nassim Haramein?

"If a planet suddenly stopped spinning it would explode"
NH explains his Grand Unified Field Theory (here).

I've said a number of times that Nassim Haramein is misleading people, and I'd like to try to make it crystal clear why. 

Traducción al español y la discusión aquí.

Have a quick browse, or have a good old read... it's up to you.

I'm aiming to encourage people to think carefully about what he is telling them. I'm not out to discourage people from trying out any promising new ideas – what I want is to help people question what's out there for themselves. If they want to, of course. You may choose to disagree with my assessment of Haramein. I'm interested in your reasons if you want to share them.

Of course you're also free to doubt my assessment of my own motivations if you like – that doesn't bother me at all. All I ask is that you check out what I'm saying, and see if any of it fits with what you know.

There is no doubt that Haramein is a very talented communicator. It's clear that he's learned some very interesting facts and is eager to share them. But there are some very serious questions about his understanding and his integrity.

There are two things that it seems Haramein does, time and time again, that I feel no-one with any integrity should ever do:
  1. He misunderstands the most basic ideas of physics in video presentations and interviews, and presents papers that are flawed throughout;
  2. and at the same time, he claims to have insights into the problems that the top physicists in the world are currently working on, and to be solving fundamental issues in physics.
For me, anyone who can do both these things – whether it is deliberate or not – is acting irresponsibly and is misleading people. Surely if anyone is suggesting such a view of Haramein, and giving sound reasons for it, it should be taken seriously.

Below are some examples.


1. The hype and the Schwarzschild Proton

Haramein recently wrote a paper called The Schwarzschild Proton. The paper is full of assertions that conflict with what we know about protons and black holes.

(You can check out my analysis of that paper here if you want – I'm very open to challenges if you feel I've made any errors or false assumptions. I think it's pretty watertight.)

Here's one example:


a. The force between protons

(Please bear with me on this one, it's nothing complicated.)

Haramein's calculation of the force that holds two protons together in a nucleus, using his theory, gives a force of 7.49 x 10^47 dynes. To see why this is silly, all you need to do is look at what a dyne is, and try to find something comparable.

If I turned Mount Everest upside down and balanced it on my head, it would crush me with a force of 10^21 dynes.

If I stood one metre from a 50 megaton thermonuclear bomb and let it off, it would blast me with a force of about 10^22 dynes.

Haramein's result is more than a million million million million times bigger than either of these forces! How can this be the force holding protons together? You can separate protons from a nucleus by tapping them with a tiny electron in a small accelerator.

The issue here is not so much that he got something wrong, but that he is capable of presenting a theory in all seriousness that gives results that are so far from reality without even stopping to notice. If you're trying to present a theory that's supposed to represent reality, surely you would ensure that you (a) understand what your answers mean, and (b) take every opportunity to compare them with the real world?

This isn't the only example – There are many others. He also tells us that every atom of our body contains protons which have a mass of 885 million tonnes each. That ought to raise a few (very heavy) eyebrows too. [1]


b. Introducing the theory to the world: He's literally mathematically proved it!

Below is a clip in which Haramein introduces The Schwarzschild Proton theory at a "free energy" conference in 2009. [2]


At 4 minutes in he tells us, with his usual charm, how his genius enabled him to transcend mainstream physics. He goes on to say that he has some "new material which solves the equation that proves – literally, mathematically proves – that every single atom you're made of is a mini black hole."

He is talking about the same paper on the Schwarzschild Proton, the one that is full of discrepancies from reality. He does make some vague claims in it, but nowhere does he even mention 'proving' anything whatsoever. So why is he saying these things?

Is he blind enough to actually believe he's proved something, or is he deliberately misleading?
I don't know.

If you skip to 6:30, you'll find him explaining why it's important that he can prove that we're all one with the universe (and the vacuum energy). "Not one in an esoteric way that's not really palpable, that's not really able to be understood, but one with everything in an actual physical and mathematical way that I can write an equation and tell you why."

Of course he can't write any such equation – it's completely false. But what he says next explains why he wants to so badly:

"Because if we can write the equation, if we can make the mainstream scientific community understand the theoretical functions of it, then we stand a chance to be able to apply it in the most powerful way to our society"

This is very flawed way of getting people to do what you want. If you have results, you don't need to fabricate an equation for them – just present the results. If you don't have results (and he doesn't), why would making something up that has equations in it make it any better?

Science doesn't – will never and should never – work by someone having a 'vision' which he has convinced himself is the truth, and then trying to force some equations to fit the fantasy without any respect for evidence or for reasoning. Especially if in the meantime they go around claiming they've already proved it. Equations aren't a means of rhetoric. At least they're not in any decent society. In some messed-up world where people are encouraged to worship the equation despite not understanding what it means or what it implies, perhaps they are becoming a means of rhetoric.

If the aim is to influence scientists, it's not very clever.

I encourage you to watch the whole video, to check that I'm not taking these statements out of context. (He's a good speaker, isn't he. Good at emotionally charging what he says with promises of a magic perfect future, so that you actually really want to ignore any doubts you might have, and just believe it all.)


2. Misunderstanding basic physics

Haramein can often be seen in video presentations misunderstanding some basic ideas in physics so naively that it's amazing nobody in the audience said anything.

a. The "first law of physics"



Here's one. It's from his 8-hour presentation at the Rogue Valley Metaphysical Library in 2003. It's a long time ago, but this remains the most popular of Haramein's presentations on the internet.

Skip to 3:00 and he's quoting Newton's 3rd law of motion (which he refers to as "first law of physics") – every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Here's a good place to learn about it (perfect if you're under the age of ten).

Of course not everybody knows or cares about Newton's laws of motion – but remember this man claims to be a world-leading physicist. (Indeed, in this clip he gloats about how his "first law of physics" insight stopped all the other physicists in the room in their tracks... I can't help feeling that if they had "blank look on their faces" it might not have been for the reason he's suggesting.)

This law explicitly only applies to forces on a pair of interacting objects. If I kick a brick, the brick exerts a force back on my foot and it hurts. If I shoot a bullet from a gun (not that I ever have or would), there's a recoil. If I catch a baseball, hand applies slowing force to ball, ball applies hitting force to hand. That kind of thing.

Instead of this, he uses it for the volume of space in the Universe, which is about as far from Newton's 3rd law as it's possible to get. There are many, many reasons why this is silly.

Why would something need to contract anyway? If space itself expands, then there just is more space. Why would anything need to contract to make room for it? [3]

Seven years later, he's still milking the same story, and still misusing the same piece of 8th grade physics. [Sorry – that video seems to have been removed since I provided this link]

The point is that he's using this law despite it being completely irrelevant. He uses it to 'prove' that "obviously something is contracting". This becomes a big theme in many of his other ideas. There's nothing 'obvious' about it – unless your version of obvious is feeling like "yeah, looks obvious to me, and you look like you're convinced so I'll go with it."

It's terrible misinformation. I think people deserve better than this.


b. Why the night sky is black

Here's another example, again from his Rogue Valley presentation.



Skip to 2:25 and you'll find the following description of the Universe:

"The mass inside the Universe exceeds the escape velocity of light. That means if you shine a light in one direction... it'll bend around one star, bend around another star, bend around another star... and come right back! That means we live inside a black hole. That's why when you look up in the sky at night, it's black."

First off, a mass can't exceed an escape velocity. That's like saying there's more corn in your barn than the national speed limit – it doesn't make sense. I think he's trying to say that there is so much mass in the Universe that the escape velocity exceeds the speed of light. Perhaps it just came out mangled.

Secondly, he's describing a closed universe, which all observations in the last ten years seem to suggest is nothing like the one we live in. Thirdly, even if we do live in a closed universe, that doesn't mean light bounces around stars and comes back to you at all – it means that everything ultimately falls together in a big crunch at the end of time. (Kind of a re-union with the light, I suppose... but nothing like he makes it sound.) And fourthly, a closed universe isn't a black hole. (Unless you stretch your definition of black hole by a very long way.)

But his explanation of why the night sky is black really beggars belief. Surely the night sky is black because the observable universe isn't infinite, and the sources of light are much smaller than the spaces between them? I don't think that is a difficult or controversial idea – why start pretending it's because we're in a black hole? [4]

Again, even after seven years, he's still saying the same thing. [Sorry – that video also seems to have been removed since I provided this link.]


c. Peer review

Skip to 5:00 and he tells us he's just about to publish his ideas and they're being very well-received by scientists. Of course, it never happened. [5] This is another story we hear again and again in his presentations – he's always so sure, it's always just around the corner. Why does he string people along like this?

I guess he believes it, and wants us to believe it too.
(That's the most charitable way of seeing it.)


d. Atoms as mini white wholes / black holes

Skip to 7:30 in the same video. "Some of the largest, most comprehensive unification theories that are trying to be worked out now – and are incorrect because they're missing the fractal component – by Stephen Hawking, for instance, describe all subatomic particles as mini black holes. And the Hadron Collider that's being built in Geneva that I mentioned earlier is being built to search for these mini white whole/black holes for subatomic particles."

Haramein once again takes the opportunity to make his claim that mainstream physics is lagging far behind his 'unification theories' (which have 'the fractal component').

Is Stephen Hawking working on unification theories in which all subatomic particles are mini-black holes? Has he ever? No. At least, I haven't seen any – let me know if you have. [6]

Was the Hadron Collider built to look for Haramein's black hole particles, or anything remotely like them? No, of course it wasn't.

There will be searches for tiny black holes because some theories predict that if there are several extra dimensions of space, and if these dimensions are not too small, then black holes should appear in the collider experiments – and immediately evaporate, leaving a particular decay signature. These theories are absolutely nothing like Haramein's. The only similarity is that they both use the term "black hole" – they don't even mean the same thing when they use it.

Can he fit any more misinformation into one ten-minute chunk of a presentation?

Here's some more:


e. Biological cells are black holes too

At 8:40 in the video, Haramein explains that proteins in cell membranes oscillate at 10^11 Hertz, and that if you use that to plot a cell on his Scaling Law graph it falls close to the line he plotted for black holes.

He seems to be trying to suggest that somehow this means a cell must be a black hole.

At 10:25, he says, "The cell biology - the biological resolution of a cell - actually obeys the Schwarzschild Condition of a black hole, because it generates so much energy. 10^11 is a huge number."

First of all, let's be clear, a frequency of 10^11 Hertz isn't huge – it's tiny. A single photon of light – the tiniest amount of light that it's possible to have – has a frequency of over a thousand times more than this. And a single photon of light doesn't generate a lot of energy. But that's an aside.


What does Haramein mean by 'the Schwarzschild Condition'? [7] The most obvious thing he could mean given the context is the condition of something being compressed so thoroughly that the whole of it lies within its Schwarzschild radius, making a black hole. But this formula tells us very clearly that to make a black hole the size of a cell, you'd need to compress more than a million million million tonnes into it.

That's very clearly not what biological cells are like.

It's difficult to get a sense of what he actually means when he says black hole. In his papers, he frequently uses the formulae from Einstein's General Relativity (the origin of all our concepts of black holes, and Schwarzschild's formula), which show unambiguously that every black hole has an event horizon beyond which nothing can be seen.

In fact that's what event horizon means.

Haramein uses the term event horizon all over the place. He uses it to mean the membrane of a cell at 8:55 in this video. Which makes no sense, because we can see inside a cell. [8]

So come on, why on Earth would anyone say something so ridiculous as biological cells are black holes? Whether or not you agree with or understand any of the physics involved, what he's saying just makes no sense.

In fact he doesn't stop there. In this video in the same series, we can see him explaining that a woman's vagina is an event horizon! [9]

I think this makes it clear that here is a man who really does not know what he's talking about, but is nevertheless prepared to play the role of the expert. Are these acceptable qualities for someone you should wish to follow?


3. Other examples of basic misunderstandings

There are so many videos of Haramein now on the internet, I could give example after example after example of him misunderstanding, misquoting and misrepresenting very basic scientific ideas.

a. Quantum mechanics and the strong nuclear force

In video 16 in the same series, he explains his understanding of quantum mechanics (getting it completely wrong in the process) before dismissing it as 'bunk'. He goes on to explain why the strong nuclear force was simply invented from thin air, and why he's sure there's really no need for it. [10]

I hope to do a separate post about this at some point. I'll put a link here when I've done it. Because this little bundle of schoolboy errors is the basis of his attempt to unify gravity with the strong force, which has been reported by some sources on the internet as if it's cutting-edge research. It's not.

I'll explain why I'm saying this at another time. In the meantime, don't take my word for it – check it out yourself. Investigate.


b. The phi spiral

I gave another example in my post here (number 3 on that page) that shows him being clueless with basic mathematics. I know this wasn't 'published material' – just a casual situation – but you can see how he gets his ideas.

In the video, all that happens is that he spots something on a graph that looks like somethings else. Does he...

(a) investigate it further?
(b) calculate it?
(c) announce that his 'discovery' relates to interference resonances and has profound implications for Einstein's field equations and matter spiralling into a black hole and that it links his theories to the 'Mathematical Fingerprint of God'?

Of course he goes for (c). Just a little pre-university mathematics would have shown that the whole thing was a complete mistake. The 'resonances' were another mistake; the black hole ideas were also wrong; and the other stuff was... I don't even have a word for it. (The mistakes are all explained here.)

True, anyone can make a mistake or four.

But what kind of person would jump straight to (c) and ignore the others? Seriously?



4. The Resonance Project website

Haramein's website is full of claims that do seem a little over-the-top, given what we've seen about him, and illustrate how readily he resorts to hype and hyperbole.


a. More claims for himself and his work
Of him, it says "As early as 9 years old, Nassim was already developing the basis for a unified hyperdimensional theory of matter and energy, which he eventually called the 'Holofractographic Universe.' " [11] He's keen to paint himself as a genius from an early age.

He claims his Schwarzschild Proton paper was "chosen by a panel of 11 peer reviewers, Haramein's paper won the prestigious 'Best Paper Award'." I've explained here why his use of 'peer review' is misleading, and the term 'prestigious' is something of an overstatement.

He claims that "this simple paper is already producing remarkable results!" and "This radical new view of the quantum world produces a unification of the forces and appropriately predicts measured values for the nucleon of atoms." I've explained here why these are absolutely untrue.

The Schwarzschild Proton paper also "lays down the foundation of what could be a fundamental change in our current understandings of physics and consciousness." (I'll leave that one to you to figure out.)

His Scaling Law paper "leads to theoretical and technological advancements that move us towards a sustainable future. This new approach to the physics of universal forces has the potential to solve the most pressing issues of our times." Is any explanation or justification given for such grand, save-the-world statements? No. (But see note [2], I guess.)


He claims that "scientists at the Resonance Project Foundation have found a new solution to Einstein’s field equations" – this is also untrue. They changed Einstein's equations in an attempt to fit what they wanted into them. [12]

And so it goes on.


b. 'Layman Paper' on the Origin of Spin

From the research section of his website, you can download a 'Layman Paper' on the origin of spin [Edit, May'13: the links to Haramein's website in this section are now links to archived material, as virtually all of the previous information on his activities has now been removed from his website]. In this paper, Haramein announces that he was way ahead of Stephen Hawking in his ideas on black holes, and he got there by using "pure logic" and geometric extrapolations from Hebraic and Egyptian texts. He takes the opportunity to compare himself to Isaac Newton! And, with characteristic humility, he explains that he's named his "landmark" amendment to Einstein's equations after... himself.


However, the very first sentence of the paper is false. This is a problem, because this sentence encapsulates the idea that motivates all Haramein's ideas about spin, torsion, Coriolis effects, vortices... the works. It's wrong because

(a) the Universe would evolve into spinning systems even if there is no spin to begin with – there are good reasons why it would be impossible for spin not to arise [13]. And

(b) the idea that spin (or angular momentum) would run down if there is friction within a system is also false. He illustrates this with an example of a spinning egg, which can easily be shown to be flawed – you can even demonstrate yourself with a simple experiment. [14]

Under Haramein's biography on his site, there is a link to a radio interview in which you can hear him present his own ideas. He starts with the nonsense about spin that I mentioned above, and within 3 minutes he's diverged so far from reality that he's telling us that "if a planet suddenly stopped spinning it would explode." Which is so sweet I couldn't resist featuring it at the top of this article.


c. Science

One other little quote from his website that I liked: in the advert for his DVD, he asks "Have you ever wondered why those science classes were at all important?"

xkcd's illustration of the original big bang theory predictions of the
cosmic microwave background (curve) and later observations from COBE (dots).
The theory was correct to a spectacular degree of accuracy.

Hopefully they were important because they encouraged us to explore, to question, to find out for ourselves. Not to take Haramein's word for anything, or my word for anything, or anyone else's word for anything, but to seek out convincing ideas and build up our own sound but flexible interpretation of the physical reality of the wonder-filled universe we find ourselves in. One that reflects reality, as truly as we can.

Ask yourself honestly. Are the natures of astrophysical objects, or the mysteries of high energy collider physics, really something you believe you can encompass with your intuitive experience? Do you seriously believe that you're better off relying on an inner sense of resonance in your soul – even more than investigating the world of experiments, observations and the interpretations that follow from them – for deciding whose theory of black holes you should agree with, or what the nature of a proton is?

If the answer is yes, then that's quite some inflated view of yourself you've got there.

If not, then please lay off the "I don't understand any of the physics but I just know in my heart that what Nassim is saying is true" business. I've heard that far too many times already. If you think any of the facts that I'm giving are wrong, tell me why. (And tell me why the facts are wrong, not how you think you can read my motivations from thousands of miles away, please. The facts are there. If they're correct, deal with it. If they're wrong, explain it. They won't go away.)

There's nothing open-minded about hanging on to a theory that's WAY outside anyone's intuitive experience, just because you really like it or you really like the person who told you it or you felt a spiritual response to it. If you want to know about cosmology or particle physics, go and find out about them. If you think you can do better than the scientists out there working on them, go and do it.

If not, just let go, and accept that there are things you don't know.
And I'll happily accept what I don't know.
It's very good for the soul.



5. A little thought

Haramein's physics world may appear solid, especially when you're in it... but it can all be evaporated by nothing more than a little thought. And once you're spared his fake sense of intuitive obviousness, you can get back to actually searching for the truth yourself. Which is a heck of an adventure.

An unfolding, enriching, genuine quest that can last a lifetime.


_____________________________________________________

Notes

[1] I've heard some of his latest suggestions as to how this 885 million tonnes can be explained away using relativity... I'll wait until he publishes them before I say what I think. [Edit: here they are. They're pretty absurd.] (return)

[2] In this video he's speaking at a "free energy" conference, so he's addressing an audience who believe or want to believe (in contrast to all reputable scientific opinion) that we can magically harvest limitless amounts of energy from a vacuum and save the world using impressive-sounding quantum wizardry. And where anyone who says otherwise is closed-minded and can't think outside the box and is part of the mainstream conspiracy to kill other people's creativity.

I mention it in this way because that last sentence may well contain defences that you have heard before. If you ever find yourself with legitimate reasons for questioning a set of ideas and the people defending it have no answers, they will often use these defences. If you think about each of them, you can see that they say nothing at all about the ideas being questioned, which means they're as easy to use for someone who is talking complete nonsense as they are for anyone else. They divert attention away from a complete lack of evidence or reason behind an idea, and onto the obviously wonderful emperor's clothes, without any clothes actually needing to be there.

In the case of "free energy", there is no evidence; and I have seen no reasons put forward for it that aren't fatally flawed from the outset. There are of course many reasons why many people would want it to be true (and for some people, if they want something and someone tells them it's possible, that's all it takes for blind faith to set in). It's wide open for charismatic and unscrupulous people to gain fame, followers and fortune by tapping into this. But there are some very powerful reasons as to why energy cannot be extracted from the vacuum, reasons which I would think virtually all physicists who deal with the quantum physics of the vacuum would agree on.

The most compelling argument is that the very same theory (quantum field theory or QFT) that predicts vacuum energy also predicts very clearly that it cannot be removed. It is only postulated to be there at all because it's an absolute minimum energy that a vacuum must have. So either you agree with QFT, or you don't – either way it's not available. The only way you could think it was available is by grossly misreading the theory.

Note that Haramein, and Stephen Greer, and other free energy advocates don't understand QFT. They either state explicitly that they don't (e.g. Greer), or dismiss quantum mechanics entirely (e.g. Haramein), or try to use it or to talk about it and in the process make it very clear that they're clueless (e.g. Haramein trying to explain renormalisation). Or a combination of the three.

People are free of course to research what they will, because one never knows. But that doesn't make it ok for these people to hold massive events in which they promise the world to happily-paying members of the public, when in fact they have nothing at all to give. Telling people there's no need to worry about the energy/climate crisis because soon they're going to make it appear out of nowhere is not going to help the real change that we need one bit. (return)

[3] If that doesn't make a convincing enough argument for you, the real reasons can be found in the beautiful theory of general relativity, which has so far stood up to every single experimental and observational test that a century of science has thought of to throw at it. I'd encourage anyone who's interested in the nature of space-time to study it. (return)

[4] Although if you want to explore further, it can get interesting. Haramein may be confusing an event horizon of a black hole with the cosmological event horizon. The latter is the furthest distance from which light could ever reach us in an accelerating universe. For the vast majority of the life of the universe, the cosmological event horizon is way beyond the current cosmological horizon that marks the limit of the observable universe. The two types of event horizons are very different.

Anyway, hang on, didn't he just say that all the light from the Earth (which is well-lit by the Sun) goes around a few stars and comes back to where it came from? If that's what it's like in Haramein's black hole universe, wouldn't that make the sky light again? (return)

[5] The paper he was referring to (Scale Unification – A Universal Scaling Law For Organized Matter) exists only as a preprint for conference proceedings. Conference proceedings are a collection of all papers presented at a conference. Preprints are the versions issued privately (e.g. to the conference-goers) before being published.

(How many of Haramein's papers have been published in a peer-review journal? Is the only possible reason for this the supposed fact that the peer-review process is corrupt? Discuss.) (return)

[6] Hawking did discover the theoretical necessity for black holes to evaporate by emitting thermal radiation. What I mean by that is that unless they do, several fundamental physical laws must be violated – in ways that we'd really expect to have seen elsewhere. Hawking's work implies that any black hole with a mass below 228 tonnes would vanish in a flash of high energy radiation in less than one second. (What would this mean for Haramein's black holes?) (return)

[7] There is no "Condition" normally named after Karl Schwarzschild – if there was, it should probably be the pemphigus that killed him. There's a Schwarzschild Criterion, but that has nothing to do with black holes either – it's about plasma flow within a star. (return)

[8] The same argument applies to anything else that he describes as a black hole – for example a proton. Hundreds of accelerators throughout the world have been used to see very clearly the internal structure of a proton. It's not an event horizon if information is reaching us from inside. (return)

[9] Scientists have seen inside those, too. (return)

[10] The things he says about quantum mechanics and the strong nuclear force in this video are remarkable. He takes no notice of the fact that people have been investigating the nucleus for a hundred years and actually finding out what it's like. Instead he makes something up based on misunderstandings of the kind of facts you find in school textbooks. And this is what's led him to produce his paper on the Schwarzschild Proton; even as we speak he's still trying to force it to work. Good luck to him. (As I said, I hope to find some time to explain why I think this in another post.) (return)

[11] This is because he had a vision on a school bus, which he describes here. No doubt a powerful one – powerful enough that he's clung onto it and spent decades trying to force physics to fit it instead of using physics honestly to find out what physical reality is actually like. (return)

[12] See the paper here. It's not recommended bed-time reading. At the top of page 157 it's announced that Einstein's equations will have to be altered. On page 161 the electromagnetic field has to be altered too. (return)

[13] I won't try to explain it fully here. Briefly, when a gas cloud condenses to form a galaxy, if anything has motion that is not directed precisely towards the centre then that would give rise to angular momentum. The overall rate of spin naturally increases as an object becomes more compact. Total angular momentum should be conserved: for every unit of spin in galaxies turning clockwise about any axis, there should be a unit of spin in galaxies turning anticlockwise about the same axis. The total angular momentum in the Universe can still balance out to zero.

Interestingly, there's a theorem that states that in a friction-free system, spin couldn't arise. Friction is really the key to how different parts of the Universe acquire spin – not, as Haramein would have us believe, a reason for why it shouldn't be there. (return)

[14] If you spin an egg on a table, to use Haramein's example, it only slows down because its spin is passed to the Earth. If the egg was on a table in space, the spin of the egg would slow and the table would start to spin. Friction within the system doesn't reduce the overall spin of the system. Friction merely passes spin from one part of the system to another.

So why does a raw egg slow down so much faster when you spin it? Because when you spin a raw egg using your fingers, you only set the shell and the outer part of the albumen spinning! The non-spinning core of the egg quickly slows it down. What would happen if you could set the whole egg spinning? To test it, attach an egg to the centre of a plate, set that plate spinning constantly for a minute or so, and then detatch the spinning egg onto a table. Time how long the egg spins for on the table, and you'll find that it makes no difference whether it's raw or boiled. The friction or viscosity within the egg doesn't slow it down at all.

There's no reason for the spin of the Earth or a galaxy or a star or the Universe to be slowed by the effects of internal viscosity or friction. In fact, angular momentum is an absolutely conserved quantity in every single reliable theory of physics. (return)

484 comments:

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Anonymous said...

Hi,
Thanks for the critics on a scientist work that ''seems'' partly dubvious in many ways. Maybe Haraheim is trying to hide something after saying it all... His he aware of this? Or maybe he's so close to understand the rest of physics that he may be confuse on how to conclude? At first seight, it seems that Haramein wants to be number 1 (one), followed by many 0 (zéros) = 10000000000000000... Now, who could not take interest in his work? All you need to do is put a $ in there... but i'm just a listener, not a follower... no guru can take our own place in this universe kids. I'm not saying he's a 0 (zero) followed by many enlighted pairs 0,000000000000000001 down to an infinite number that refers to a sort of meaning at the end (or at the origin of singularity with quantum mechanics). I think he's a great storyteller (too bad for his high pitch voice though). I kind of like his stress explanations for a neat and clear structure of the universe, but I can't buy it as it is... Will take some but not all of it.
A black hole is a strange object, but remains an object as any other, either star, neutron star, etc. It is it's infinite small size and density that differs from any other object. He could be right when he says we live in a black hole... but it is only a speculative idea once brought by sci-fi writer Asimov's. And it seems that it is the density of all these objects that makes an object a palpable world in relation with other worlds, just like a russian doll related to a bigger/smaller doll. So evidence is, it cannot be anything else than the center of gravitation that holds everything together. The void IS the central architect of the universe and it seems that Haramein understands this very well. Thank God. We can approch physics with a better understanding of the ultimate force... being nothing, the void, the emptiness of all matter. If I understand Haramein, what he's trying to do, his to explain the intrisic values of the structure of the quarks themselves... but I haven't heard once the word Quark (muster Mark). Yes, there are six quarks (three matter and three antimatter). His explanation of a quark is not clear but all I know is that the double torus makes sens. It could well be the inside structure of a single quark. Now, he needs to explain the overall mechanics of the quarks. My humble opinion is that's the easy part. Abstract reasoning will do the rest. Good inspiration to you gentlemen!

Bob said...

Hi Anonymous.

What a lot of opinions you have. If you're more interested in your own opinions and speculations than you are in learning about physics, challenging your views deeply and finding out what the Universe is actually like, then you'll just go around in funny little circles, getting seduced by anyone with a story that appeals to your preferences.

If what you care about is your preferences, then what you're doing is fine. Enjoy the ride. It isn't anything to do with the Universe, it's your own little echo chamber.

If you want to know about the Universe, you'll need to learn to let go of the pretty stories and spend some time finding out who you can rely on to be honest about what they know and how they know it.

Good luck, whichever path you choose.

P.S. Just to clear up any uncertainty: scientifically, Haramein is a zero :)

Anonymous said...

Not only this blog hopes to remove Nassim's remarks from the world... Wiki removed the page about Nassim... climing he isn't real - while Homer Simpson has a wiki page. Why should we believe anyone in this blog - pro or con? It seems we believe a Homer Simpson exists while a Nassim Haramein doesn't deserve to have his thoughts, right or wrong. Someone in Wiki wirld (read how the common man finds his 'facts' agrees with the writer of this blog.

Bob said...

This blog isn't about removing anything or anybody from the world. It's about shedding light on what Haramein says and what he does.

It's also not about telling people what to think or what to believe. It's for people who would like some light to be shed, and are interested in exploring for themselves, and interested in discussing the content of Haramein's theories.

I've been very very clear about both of these things in the blog. You'd have realised this if you'd read it.

I have no interest in anyone who is motivated by taking sides, or by their opinions, or by their little tribal allegiances. But if you want to follow this joker, nobody will get in your way.

Yes, you'll find that lots of people agree with the writer of this blog, and with the majority view of Wikipedia, that Haramein's theories are entirely bogus. There's a straightforward reason for why so many people think this. See if you can figure it out.

Anonymous said...

I love it when people use science for the be-all-end-all bearing for truth and authority in the same way religious people use their sacred texts. You criticize Haramein with some kind of divine understanding of all things science or physics related. If you truly are a scientist, and you are honest with yourself, at the end of the day, I think all you can really claim is that you just dont know what is going on. Science has always uncovered more questions than it answers.

Einstein really said it best......science is basically just a refinement of everyday thinking. People hold on to current scientific understanding like it's objective or absolute in its truth or relevancy. Step back just 500 years in time and try and convince someone that the planet was round, or not geocentric, etc.

Dont get me wrong, I love science. Its the best way to make sense of our surroundings. You make observations, you collect evidence, you test theories. Its simple and pure but not perfect. We laugh at the notion that people once thought the world was flat. At every paradigm shift, you can laugh at the ignorance of the previous understanding and applaud the visionaries bold enough to come up with new ideas. At the very least, I can promise you we are paradigm shift upon paradigm shift away from the finish line.

I like Haramein. I think he absolutely deserves more credit than you give him. So what if he's wrong? Steven Hawking now admits his understanding of black holes was wrong. Haramein suggests some of our current understandings of physics and science are wrong and physicists and scientists keep patching current models and equations with more complex and convoluted mathematics just so observation can support theory and now you start coming up with names like dark matter and energy. Bottom line, everything you say or claim, anything anyone has ever said or claimed.....theory. All of it. Obviously qauntum physics and classical physics work together but we dont know how. No one can explain the double-slit experiment. We have no idea how stuff works and I absolutely applaud Haramein and his willingness to shed all dogma and come up with new ideas. I dont care what you say, a civilization that had not incorporated the wheel into their repertoire of technical accessories did not build the pyramids. I hate to marginalize, but youre a complete moron if you believe "the Egyptians did it" is a better excuse than Haramein's vodoo-people-sungods-from-afar theory or however you wanna call it.

Bob said...

Nice of you to rock up calling me a moron for thinking it likely that the pyramids were built by Egyptians, and straw-manning me with the cliché about science as "the be-all-end-all bearing for truth and authority in the same way religious people use their sacred texts" (of course it isn't).

As you say, you don't care whether your guy is wrong or not, so I'm not sure what point there is in trying to discuss anything. Some folks care about investigation of the world around them on its own terms, and if someone bullshits them, they aren't impressed. Others just enjoy whatever ride takes their fancy. I have no disagreement with you if you choose the latter.

Anonymous said...

My argument is very simple. Science is NOT truth, it is a refinement of everyday thinking, which, in my opinion, is dogma thrown upon dogma. Its just as easy for me to say that your assessment of Haramein's physics is wrong. I mean, who are you? Youre no one special. And again, let me say it clearly.....if you think a civilization that hadnt even discovered the concept of a wheel built the pyramids, youre a complete idiot and your critique of a brilliant individual is void of any merit or credibility. Dogma on, friend. Dogma on.

Anonymous said...

I mean, seriously, man. Youre entire argument is......his physics is wrong. Ill bet my first born child Haramein has a better command of theoretical science and physics than you do, ever had, or ever will. He's a theoretical scientist. He works with theories. He's a brilliant and innovative thinker and I applaud him for pushing the paradigm shift science so desperately needs. Galileo was ostracized and imprisoned for the rest of his life for expressing his views on heliocentrism. You defend with stupid passion the status quo as sacred truth and all you can say is his physics is wrong. Are you going to discount everything Hawking has ever said or done because he now admits he was wrong about his theories on black holes?

Bob said...

Your first born child? :/

Anonymous said...

Copernicus and Galileo Galilei, two examples of how knowledge led them to death by simply thinking and seeing beyond others.

Bob said...

Yes, I'm aware of them. Neither were frauds. Neither were clueless. People who are clueless and who are frauds are not Galileo and they are not Copernicus. It's not a difficult argument to follow.

Anonymous said...

You are clueless, you are a fraud. Whatever you can assert with no evidence, so can I.

Anonymous said...

Youre too entrenched in dogma or too feeble-minded to try and think outside the box. I can say with assurance that your knowledge has come from someone else.....youre only preaching what youve been told. Youre a dogma junkie. Again, your only argument is his physics is wrong. What a pathetic and childish foundation for rhetoric. Haramein is a theorist. You have to listen to his ideas and concepts. Remember, if everyone believes that something which is wrong is actually right, it is still wrong. But dont worry, pal. Science or mainstream opinion has never been wrong. Ever.

Anonymous said...

I didnt even get through the first few paragraphs before I realized how misinformed and drunk off of stupidity you are. First, you confuse mass and weight. A proton can have a mass of millions, billions, kuh-zillions of tons and not weigh anything. Weight is a product of gravity. Your statement that protons having a mass of millions of tonnes "ought to raise a few (very heavy) eyebrows" demonstrates your failure to understand even the most basic and fundamental properties of physics. Under what authority or special knowledge do you have to critique the complex research of Haramein? NONE! You claim these results are "so far from reality." Really? The singularity of a black hole is INFINITELY smaller with INFINITE more mass, so how is Haramein's description of a proton within the boundaries of his theory a radical departure from reality? More ludicrous claims on your behalf.....I like how youre shell-shocked at Haramein's calculations of the force holding protons together when we "can separate protons from a nucleus by tapping them with a tiny electron in a small accelerator." Here is the demonstration of the pinnacle of your stubborn ignorance. Small accelerator? It has a circumference of 17 miles with speeds approaching the speed of light.

You pull everything out of context and speak in wildly vague terms. You fail to accurately grasp even the most simple of physics concepts and this is the authority you claim to criticize Haramein? These are the flagrant inconsistencies I found in the first few paragraphs. Seriously, youre an idiot.

Bob said...

Remember the part where I said there's no point discussing anything with you? That.

You have my permission to take that to mean you're right about everything and I'm wrong about everything, if it makes you happy.

Bob said...

What I can't understand is how someone can have so little self-awareness and so little honesty that they'll delude themselves that they've studied physics to some depth, when they haven't.

Surely you know that you haven't? I mean, you're actually you, aren't you? It's bizarre that you'd need other people to point this out.

Amber said...

Unfortunately my knowledge of physics is limited, and I have been trying desperately over the last year to learn and comprehend it. This is mainly from a spiritual need to understand the laws behind creation and my interest in sacred geometry. I found this site after viewing some of Haramein's work and trying to research more about the man behind the theories, and I just wanted to say "thank you". Although I am undecided about what to believe, I understand my ignorance on the subject would only grow if I did not have access to the reasons behind the controversies. So thank you for taking the time to explain your position, and for giving me some much needed solid points to consider!

Jared Stearns said...

Can you explain how the I ching is represented by his theory with the yin yang and the 64 star tetrahedron and why that is wrong?

Bob said...

This is a blog about physics. I can tell you about physics, and all Haramein's physics is wrong, he hasn't a clue, he knows he hasn't a clue, and he carries on pretending and selling himself as a physicist. He uses outright lies to sell his brand to the people who trust him, and misleads them utterly in everything he says about physics.

I'm committed to being honest, and to only speaking on things that I understand very well. So I won't comment on anything outside of his bogus physics claims (I've discussed hundreds and hundreds of these).

Would you really want to put your trust in any kind of theory by someone who routinely misleads his followers as much as Haramein does?

Michael Hansen said...

Oh my god. Honestly, Bob, I am very impressed with your perseverance for explaining why Nassim Haramein is very wrong. However, like you, I am intrigued and baffled by the strange wonders of physics and the Universe and I love to explain about the subject I am studying.

Let me give you a quick explanation why a proton could never be a black hole.
Lets look at how the mass works. According to General Relativity, mass bends the spacetime and therefore, a very massive object will bend light around it a lot.
So a black hole, however small it would be, would bend light around it and anything going beyond the event horizon would never come back.

So, lets look at the Earth. If we wanted to make a BH out of the Earth, we would have to shrink it the size of a golf ball. You can then imagine how big a proton would initially have to be, in order to become a black hole.
Lets say we go out on a limp and believe that the proton was actually created as BH. We humans, just about anything in the world, are comprised of a heck of a lot of neutrons, protons and electrons and if every proton was a BH, then how could neutrons attach to them, without getting sucked in? At that distance, the gravitational force would be immense. Furthermore, how could molecules of matter get together, without getting ripped apart by the immense force from the BH protons. Finally, why don't we get stuck to the table, the mouse, each other, every time we touch and lastly, why dont we bend light around us? If we are to believe that the proton is a black hole, then every proton would have a mass of 6.7x10^11 kg, which is tremendous. Then imagine what my combined mass would be, being comprised of an extremely amount of protons. We have actually measured the weight of the proton and let me tell you, it is not even close to 10^11 kg.

Another relevant example is when Haramein first writes "We now calculate the velocity of two Schwarzschild protons orbiting each other with their centers separated by a
proton diameter." and "nterestingly, recent evidence has shown
supermassive black holes, at galactic centers, seemingly have relativistic velocities." he is comparing apples and bananas.
When we talk about spinning black holes, we talk about intrinsic spin. When he is talking about is orbital rotation and not spin. And furthermore, the article he is referring to, talkt about rapidly spinning black holes, creating relativitstic jets. He also confuses the ideas about rotation and spin. Spin for a proton is not the same as the rotation for a black hole. The spin for a proton as a quantum mechanical effect and not a real rotation of the proton. You should not view it as a physically spinning ball. The spin comes when you solve the relativistic Schrödinger equation and is a part of the quantum numbers. Electron have +1/2 and -1/2 as spin numbers.

Even if we could see the proton as a actual spinning sphere, his calculation is still wrong.
When dealing with a relativistic effects you have to have motion in a reference frame. If an object moves from A to B all the elements in the body would experience the same speed and hence, the same relativistic effects. But a sphere does not experience the same speed everywhere. Therefore he would have to consider an element of the mass element of the sphere and then integrate over all elements, in order to get the real relativistic mass.

http://www.relativitydomains.com/Special/Assoc2/SpinningMasses1_0_1.pdf

Michael Hansen said...

"A proton can have a mass of millions, billions, kuh-zillions of tons and not weigh anything."

In theory, yes. But if you wanted a proton to a mass of 10^11 kg and wanted it to weigh ~10^-28 N on a planet, it would have to have a tremendously low density and/or a very very small radius.

Fact. The relation between force and mass on earth is given by Newtons law F=ma, where a~10m/s^2. So a proton with a mass of 10^11 kg would weigh 10^12 N. It so happens that 10 N = 1 kg (weight, not mass) and our very massive proton would weigh about 10^12 N / 10 kg/N = 10^11 kg (weight).

So yes, it would definitely be some very heavy eyebrows.

Anonymous said...

I love this:
"MIT did once have a project to re-create the Arc of the Covenant but had to cancel the project due to the dangerious level of static electric it began to generate."

'Cuz, these smart fellers at MIT don't know anything about grounding straps or Faraday cages. They were askeered off by "static electricity". Too funny!

Anonymous said...

Bob, you are truly a saint.

In the most science-y way possible.

I'm not sure how you're responding to the most idiotic dogmatic (Its funny how the most dogmatic use that word so often, isn't it? By funny I mean incredibly annoying since they can't differentiate between dogma and science) 3 (4?) years after your original post.

Eddison S Titus said...

Hello,

I read your post concerning the Nassim fella who made the black hole videos.

I liked what you had to say and I would like to learn the necessary math and physics to start learning all this high level math stuff.....quantum, string, quarks, gravity, light, phi, the golden ratio....id like to learn as much as i can about all of it because I naturally dont like taking anybody's word about anything.

So I figured I would ask you...where do i start? What basic math should I start with and in what order should I progress?

By the way I plan on doing this on my free time. I just finished law school so this is just something to do on the side so i can make sense of "sacred geometry" and see whats real and whats not.

Ill also be posting this on your blog. hopefully it find you well.

Titus

Bob said...

Hi Titus,

That's quite a journey you're wanting to set out on!

Where you start depends on what maths you are familiar with now. The route you take depends on how rigorously you feel you need to follow the logic, and how carefully you feel you need to scrutinise the experimental evidence base. And where you stop depends on what it is you really want to know.

String theory is incredibly complex, requires a vast understanding of physics, and has no evidence base at all. I wouldn't recommend it. But it's not impossible!

For the rest... Lenny Susskind's lecture courses are the most concise. They're called "Theoretical Minimum", and they teach only the essential material, to give a thorough grounding in theoretical physics. There are 15 core and supplemental courses, with about 20 hours of lectures per course, and they go all the way to introducing string theory (if you really do want some string theory).

Before you start on those, you will have to become skilled in the language of algebra and calculus (at least as far as ordinary differential equations, and partial differentiation), vectors, some linear algebra (matrices), and some statistics (random variables). This is the mathematics that underlies the logic of physics. Of these, calculus is the most essential.

To get the mathematics background, you could use the Khan academy. You can start as far back as you need. A college course or two would be even better.

Khan can also get you up to speed on physics.

What Lenny Susskind's (or any) online lectures cannot give you is a sense of real world conviction. You want to test the claims of physics for yourself against the real world, and not merely take anybody's word. For that you need to carry out experiments, make observations, work in a lab or an observatory.

Alternatively, if you don't want to do lots of experiments yourself, you can study the work of the people who have done the experiments, perhaps by studying the history of physics.

As a rule, everything in physics is testable against observation of nature, and you needn't take anybody's word for anything. (String theory is an exception, which is why I don't recommend it.) Realistically, checking everything would take many lifetimes, so you should choose the things you feel most skeptical about.

More importantly, you should also choose to test the things you feel are most intuitive. Because your intuition is far more likely to lead you astray than anything else in physics. The one skill you need above all else is to be willing and able to let go of your intuitions whenever they are consistently contradicted by nature. Your personal preferences for how you'd like things to be, the stories you like the best, are the hardest to let go of, and they will be the worst things for preventing you from seeing things as they are.

If anything in physics is a spiritual exercise, it is this. It can be a very profound (and unsettling) exercise in letting go. :)

Good luck!

Eddison S Titus said...

Bob,

Thank you very much for the advice and the resources!

Wendy Langer said...

Hi Bob and Eddison! :) :)

I can heartily endorse Bob's suggestions of Susskind and the Khan academy, and especially with his advice about the overall approach and attitude to take.

It's hard to know exactly where to begin, with such a broad topic area and so many online resources, so I'm going to try to create a specific kind of 'course outline' or 'syllabus'

I'm going to outline a recommended course of study, after which you would be able to sensibly converse with any trained physicist in a rigourous way about many topics. This is pretty serious stuff - It would take an absolute minumum of two years to complete all this work, but will probaly take longer since you will be busy with your law work 'on the side' ;) However you may be happy to stop after the first three courses (6 months or so), in which case there is an 'exit' at this point where you will have a much more well-rounded understanding of physics thanb you started with, and you will be able to do rigourous calculations in some areas, but without the full rigorous treatment of everything.

Because Blogger (perhaps unsurprisingly ) won't let me post the entire syllabus I have so cunningly devised as a comment, due to length requirements (comments are 4096 characters max) I've dumped it as a post on my own blog, which you can view here:

http://lollipop.wordpress.com/?p=202

It's titled "So you want to teach yourself physics?", in case it may be useful to anyone else later down the track... (I havent;' finished editing it yet so pleas excuse typos etc!)

Cheers :)

Wendy Langer

Bob said...

Thanks Wendy - that's intriguing! Can't get the link to work though...

Wendy Langer said...

O dear, it seems I hadn't actually 'published' it yet, I had just 'updated' the draft... try this one!

http://lollipop.wordpress.com/2014/07/24/so-you-want-to-teach-yourself-physics/

Bob said...

Excellent :)

Dustin Stein said...

Don't be to quick to ridicule somone. I can tell by reading your criticism of Nassim that you, Bob, are not anymore knowledgeable of physics concepts than he is. I think he is misunderstood frequently and I think that may have something to do with how he speaks. It is true his ideas are very questionable and lack verifiable evidence but that is why they are presented as theory and doesn't mean they should be immediately discarded as nonsense. Some of his ideas do lend credibility! For one it has been postulated that the big bang could actually have been a white hole stemming from a black hole in a parallel or mother universe(which could account for the contraction you bitterly criticized) and that our universe could actually be inside a black hole. Yes these ideas are theoretical but are being proposed by legitimate scientists. I do not have a degree in physics but I have been studying physics for a decade in my free time and metaphysical ideas and eastern philosophy for four years and have had very profound and intuitive insights. By all means you should not take everything the man says as fact but I have noticed a lot of his ideas agree with my own intuition and he has been misinterpreted by a lot of critics. Also if you listen to other topics he talks about it is obvious he is a peace loving individual and makes valid points about the moral decline and materialistic obsession or society has stooped to. All eastern philosophy talks of oneness. I think you would benefit from looking into these ideas.

Bob said...

Hi Dustin, and thanks for your thoughts.

"Don't be to quick to ridicule somone. " - I've been looking into this subject for over four years. Haramein was ridiculous when I started and he's ridiculous now.

"I can tell by reading your criticism of Nassim that you, Bob, are not anymore knowledgeable of physics concepts than he is." - There are thousands of comments on the seven posts here, and still nobody has used physics concepts to find fault with any of the things I've said about Haramein's physics ideas. Lots of people give opinions based on their intuitions, with no physics content at all, and you're now another on that list. If you have a physics criticism of what I've said, let's hear it. Don't just claim that you can intuitively tell it's wrong.

"He is a peace loving individual and makes valid points about the moral decline and materialistic obsession or society has stooped to" - sure, lots of people can do this, and still be clueless about physics.

Personally I think there's something morally bankrupt about being clueless about physics and selling yourself to people as someone with radical ideas about physics. It is a lie, and I'd prefer a society of people who don't stoop to lies in order to gain a following.

"All eastern philosophy talks of oneness. I think you would benefit from looking into these ideas." - I spent over a decade living as a Buddhist. I benefited a lot, it's true. I recommend it too.

Honest speech - not misleading others for personal fame and fortune - is a big deal in Buddhist ethics. Trying one's best not to delude oneself is also a big deal. Being open to legitimate criticism is another. These are personal commitments for me.

If you have legitimate criticism of the physics I've presented, I'd be happy to acknowledge it. Opinions and intuitions that you think I should conform to - no thanks :)

flow said...

""if a planet suddenly stopped spinning it would explode.""
lol. we all know it would implode as the shell collapsed towards the hollow centre!
the ultimate fate of planets, though, is to fall apart once they've expanded too much and the shell has thinned past the ability of the lateral gravitational attraction to hold it together against its own momentum

Bob said...

Flow... planets don't 'expand', their shells don't 'thin' and they don't have 'lateral gravitational attraction'

Anonymous said...

Bob, thank you so much for writing this article. I just posted a link to it from my Facebook account, with the line "So glad someone wrote this so I didn't have to." Your analysis is right on the mark, as are all of your subsequent comments. Keep up the great work.

Bob said...

Thanks :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Bob, for writing a different point of view on Nassim. I've heard him speak at length in person in 2012 at a university conference and took a lot of notes. As a PhD philosophy student, his ideas on cosmometry and physics are intriguing. He also spoke about a number of ideas that were v e r y far out in left field, and I have notes on those as well. He was not polite to me when I challenged him on a topic that I do have good working knowledge of (Arc of the Covenant) during the Q&A, and that was not acceptable. His tone was noticed by the professors in attendance.

As for the deep physics validity, I do not have sufficient knowledge to credit or discredit him. It is sensible to look at all sides to evaluate anything, especially when it is as abstract as these physics topics. It is very sensible to have your point of view.

Thanks,
:) Anonymous from WA state

jmu said...

Hi Bob, 2 things are important in my view.

1) Haramein comes up with new hypotheses, which is a good thing. The field of Fundamental Physics is very slowly progressing, so we don't get breakthrough technology from it. For example: Maxwellian theory on the Dynamical Theory of the EM field, Dec 1864 [p465-490] is 150 years old and contains a lot of angles that are still not main stream physics and still very relevant. He should produce proper theories.
2) Of course all theories need to be pure, shouldn't contain errors and should be backup-ed with real live, reproducable experiments. It is the job of the fundamental guys to test his usefull ideas with real experiments where possible and disregard or falsify where applicalble. Or they need to cone up with breakthrough ideas themselves. It seems to me that the real university PhD physics folks dont push the enveloppe as hard as they could and should. BR Jeroen (jagmulder@gmail.com)

Bob said...

Hi jmu,

1. The current understanding of Maxwell's theory (and its relationship to the rest of physics) is entirely self-consistent and entirely with all experimental observations. Please consider how many experiments have been done over the past 150 years, and how many thousands of the world's most creative and brilliant people have tried to demonstrate experimentally even a tiny deviation from this understanding. If you believe there's a problem with Maxwell's theory, bear this in mind. You'll need to be very clear about what you mean. If you even know what you mean.

2. Again, that is exactly what physicists are employed for. All physicists know that if they can convincingly demonstrate any fault with our best established theories - in particular the standard model of particle physics, general relativity and Lambda-CDM cosmology, they will be famous and their breakthrough will be celebrated for centuries. All academic institutions know this too, and they are desperate to catch the physicists who they think are most likely to achieve this kind of breakthrough.

People who make the kind of broad, baseless accusations about university physics that you're making (and that Haramein and his supporters love to make too) really have no understanding of what physicists are there for. Vague accusations based on ignorance are just expressions of prejudice. There's no truth to be found there.

jmu said...

Hi there Bob,

Ad 1: First of all I admire the work of James Clerk Maxwell. I think it is utterly brilliant: best physics ever in my personal view. His 20 quaternion equations that he put down in 1864 which were wrenched into 4 EM equations by Heaviside because the math was too complex for ordinary use, still leave a lot of room for exploration. Intuitively I find there is much more happening in nature, that "we" don't know about or we can explain. The good thing about Maxwell's work is that it is accepted science. So it leaves a base for further exploration.
I studied physics in grammar school, I am a chemical engineer, but frankly speaking I need to do a lot of reading to grasp the stuff that Maxwell put down there 150 years ago. I don't know your background, but you seem to be really into physics professionaly. So, you outflank me there.

But this also happens on a wider scale. Asking the simple intriguiging questions and making hypotheses on science is something for Everyone to do. It is not the province of Academics with PhDs in Science only. What is happening now, is that possible hypotheses - potentially valid ones - are rejected because some earlier premises in the line of reasoning contain some errors. It is like you are only allowed to speak to the professor if you have a PhD. It is like the student with some errors in his/her paper or test is expelled from the discussion or ridiculed. Physics got too complex for educated laymen to engage in discussions. But Physics is not for the intellectual elite.

I am not in favour of that at all, since it blocks technological progress for the common good. Academic scientists in Europe are publicly funded by taxpayers like myself. I rather would see a dialogue between the professionals explaining science in a very simple language / way like in high school and the people who are dubbed pseudoscientists. After all both groups are after the same objective: Try to understand/explain the mysteries of science. Ask just for yourself: what was the reason to study physics in the first place? Let's not be dogmatic.

Ad 2: I am accusing nobody. Physicist have done a great job on the Standard Model. However Gravity is not unified in it.

Progress in my eyes comes from wondering about simple questions, supported by experiments:

- what really makes the apple fall (Newton, 1687)? --> the Gravity Force is known, but what causes Gravity on an (sub)atomic level really?
- Is space really empty? Or does it contain energy / flux?
- What does make the world spin?
- What does make an electron spin?
- What is dark matter?
- What is dark energy?
- Why does light travel at the same speed in all directions?
- Is Ning Li's work for real? http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ning_Li_(physicist)
http://www.scansite.org/scan.php?pid=157

The Standard Model was the great theory after WW2. Are we making really progress in Fundamental Physics the last 20-30 years?

However, I find it a pity that a lot of physicists seem to play it safe. I would appreciate it if they take a stance and pursue bold audacious hypotheses on those simple questions. Haramein states : everything spins. Well it might be unconventional, it might be partly wrong. But why not utilize the 10% useful stuff from his hypotheses. There might be a lot of BS in it like you elaborately point out, but some things could be worthwhile to explore. It might lead us in new territory.

I am very strong on using reproducable experiments, then try to explain by theory, then make improved practical applications which are scalable. Theory in itself is not worth much in my humble opinion. I personally rather take a pragmatic engineering point of view.

After all people could fly in an aeroplane before they understood the aerodynamics of it. Once they understood the aerodynamics they were able to make better planes.

At the end of the day it is the application or end user experience that matters.

BR
Jeroen

Bob said...

"What is happening now, is that possible hypotheses - potentially valid ones - are rejected because some earlier premises in the line of reasoning contain some errors." - There's no rule in academia saying this is the case, and no mass blindness making people do it. Of course it will happen sometimes, but if it happens a lot in place A and less of the time in place B, then place B will be doing great physics and place A will fall behind.

Stating it as a sweeping generalisation, as you did, is just silly though.

It's the job of physics community to ensure that every one of the questions you have posed is either (a) modelled successfully and tested rigorously, or (b) being investigated from as many angles as possible that aren't obviously wrong from the outset, or (c) replaced with a question that makes more sense and then subject to (a) or (b). That's their job. Telling them they aren't doing their job is silly.

"Are we making really progress in Fundamental Physics the last 20-30 years?" - of course we are. Stop the lazy naysaying and find out about it. It's all open. Everyone can play.

"I find it a pity that a lot of physicists seem to play it safe. I would appreciate it if they take a stance and pursue bold audacious hypotheses on those simple questions." - some do sometimes, because all physicists are human beings and some humans are more risk-averse than others.

"Haramein states : everything spins." - the answer to which is: no it doesn't.

"But why not utilize the 10% useful stuff from his hypotheses." - there is no 10% useful stuff. There is 0% useful stuff.

Why make a vague claim that there's 10% useful stuff? Wouldn't it be better to either (a) ask how much of his stuff is scientifically useful, or (b) give examples of things you think are useful and we can discuss it if you wish.

"Theory in itself is not worth much in my humble opinion."

Please - no more daft empty claims. There's no point to them. You're have intelligence - try to engage it in keeping an eye on this tendency to make silly sweeping ignorant generalisations. If you can say clearly and precisely what you are interested in or concerned about, I'm interested.

Matheus Adorni Dardenne said...

It is funny how the guy who wrote this critique knows nothing about the holographic model.

Long story short, the cosmic horizon is like the surface of a black hole, but instead of being convex, it is concave (like if we were seeing the walls of a spherical room from inside). And just like the 3D matter entering the black hole can be converted in 2D information stored on the area of it's surface, all 3D matter in the universe can be only 2D information stored on the cosmic horizon.

The whole refutation is a huge strawman fallacy.

Bob said...

That's a nice story, Matheus.

I am familiar with the holographic principle, though.

Your second paragraph is all fine, but it isn't relevant to anything discussed in this post so it doesn't really work as a counterargument.

If you think there are fallacies in what I've said, please do point them out.

jmu said...

Bob, What does your critical mind make of these 3 Dirac/Hotson papers?
http://www.zeitlin.net/OpenSETI/Docs/HotsonPart1.pdf
http://www.zeitlin.net/OpenSETI/Docs/HotsonPart2.pdf
http://blog.hasslberger.com/docs/HotsonIE86.pdf

[JMU] "Let's keep the assertion that Dirac was right as it is an appealing idea. The Dirac formula is elegant: E^2= c^2*p^2+m^2*c^4 and perhaps ill understood. The idea is that there are 4 combinations of neutrons (or epo-pairs) possible: positive, negative, lefthanded, right handed where the Bose-Einstein Condensate has a central role. Is it accurate what Hotson writes?
------------------
analysis:

part 1
- is the idea of electron-positron pairs accepted ? p11
- For Hotson the BIG BEC (Vacuum) is the same as aether --> can (positive) matter dissapear in the BEC?
part 2
- p3/4: the part on neutrosynthesis. Neutron is 1836 vs 1838.6 electron masses explained. Reference is made to a Vortex effect in the BEC
- p5: strong nuclear force explained. 2000 factor (2055=15x137) between strong and Coulomb force. 137 (alpha= e^2/hc=1/137)
- p6: magnetogravitation g-factor 1.0011596522 explains for a tiny unbalance in magnetic moment
- p8 neutrino/antineutron: neutrons are ejected from the BEC in vortices into 4 dimensions: positive / negative. left- and righthanded
- p10-20: covers the Octave system in the solar system.
part 3
- summary on p17-18
- p20: gravitation acts faster than light at least in a time frame tau
- p21-22: explains the role of BEC in the atomic model --> can dark energy/matter be linked back to the BEC concept?
- p24: self organization effect of plasma's
- p26: LENR experiment on an TI isotope
- p27: here things are getting metaphysical ..
- p28: reality: quons(quantum objects) are recreated continuously every tau
- p30-31: effects on LENR from very thin surfaces
-----
[MMA]
"The electron / positron (epo) pairs have been observed temporarily during annihilation. Apparently the electron and positron never get closer than e.g. an atomic diameter. They then orbit each other in the configuration known as positronium (ortho or para depending on spins). And then they annihilate into 2 or 3 gamma ray photons with apparently nothing else left. The spin energy of the electron and positron simply evaporate, which is another reason to look for by-products of annihilation. There is a mechanism for how this could work on www.dirac-was-right.com/model-ABCD.php. It models the original electron / positron as 3-part composites, with 4 parts going towards the 2 photons and the final 2 parts going towards the residual epo. It all works from an electrostatic attraction / repulsion point of view, including the photons accelerating to light speed and the epo being stable in-situ.

jmu said...

[ABA]
"Hotson noted: "...A perturbation, as Dirac pointed out, must cause transitions from states of positive energy to those of negative energy. Quantum mechanics must be symmetric with respect to energy. Since our reality has a large positive energy balance, symmetry requires another reality with a large negative-energy balance...." 1.11

Similarly, he also showed that 'perturbations' of the epos comprising the vacuum (Big BEC) lead to: "...Epos vibrating in one “real” dimension form the electromagnetic field. Vibrating in two “real” dimensions, they carry angular momentum around at the speed of light: the “photon.” And vibrating in three “real” dimensions, they form matter...." 2.23

The quiescent state of the BEC is massless, that is, only 'negative energy' epos (which do not vibrate in 'real' directions, only 'imaginary' ones) comprise it. So the epos of the vacuum can also be made to vibrate in 'real' directions. This happens when bare charges, like an electron, are 'introduced' into the BEC. It also happens within atoms, which maintains a stable relationship between the electrons and the nucleus.

BTW, the 1,2,3 sequence of epo vibrations would seem to indicate the relative 'propagation cost' of travel through the vacuum:
One 'real' direction: the EM field and gravitation, 1 tau time of travel.
Two 'real' directions: EM waves, c, velocity of travel.
Three 'real' directions: matter, < c , velocity of travel.]

Matter, the energy that makes our reality, which we call positive energy, is the ugly stepdaughter of the Universal BEC, the vacuum. Hotson states the epos are active, essential parts of the atom. Not only do they comprise the electron, proton, and neutron, but they also form the connecting structures between the atoms nucleus and surrounding electrons. Stable matter cannot exist unless its constituent epos are arranged in very specific configurations.


[HDE]
"... I am not sure where Hotson is coming from with regard to the spin energy. Whatever that portion is, it will be subsumed in the electron's rest mass. I can see how the energies of virtual particles can cause discomfort but as far as I am concerned the energy balance with regards to accounting for particle spin is just fine".

Bob said...

whoa, whoa... what's this got to do with anything in this blog?

Bob said...

I read some of Hotson's paper - it's full of misunderstandings of Dirac's work and how it has been interpreted. He is really quite confused about it. I don't think there's anything to learn from it, other than the fact that it's always best to understand first and write papers later

jmu said...

Could you indicate where Hotson is taking the wrong turn? There is a summary in the first pages of the last part 3. Too bad there are many misunderstandings and confusions, Hotson is no physicist. His concepts are interesting tough - if true or possible.

Would you be willing to make a separate blog thread on Hotson's work like you did for Nassim H?

Bob said...

I don't see a 'wrong turn', just someone attempting to talk about a theory that he (a) hasn't understood, and (b) doesn't realise he hasn't understood.

When you see (a) and (b), it's almost inevitable that you'll also see (c) a conviction that he's understood it in a way that the whole of the physics community in the preceding 75 years have missed.

(Here's a little example: Hotson repeatedly refers to h/4π as an energy, when it is a unit of action or angular momentum. Any first year physics undergraduate would be ashamed of that kind of error; and they don't even start learning anything about the Dirac equation until their 3rd or 4th year. I could list hundreds of errors just from a brief look at a couple of pages, as could anyone with a background in relativistic quantum theory.)

His ideas don't seem to have made an impact on many people, so I don't see much point in writing about him.

What is it about them that you like? Perhaps I could help you find some genuine physics ideas that you'd find satisfying?

jmu said...

That sounds constructive. The quickest way is to read Hotson are the summaries of part 1 and of part 2 and the first 2 pages of part 3

http://blog.hasslberger.com/docs/HotsonIE86.pdf


Not sure if you agree with these:

1) the idea of the negative BEC (Bose Einstein Condensate) is a big placeholder with aetherlike capabilities.

2) the g-factor idea explaning for a slightly unbalanced magnetic moment in electrons [part 2, p.6]: magnetograviation.

3) "gravitation reacts to changes in mass instantaneously (or at least in time t : ca. 1e-24sec.) "This explains that the Earth and Sun don’t form a “couple,” and why the Earth “feels” gravitation from the Sun at the Sun’s instantaneous position, rather than its retarded position, as is shown by astronomical observations (Van Flandern, 1998)". [part 2, p.6] Not familiair with this article.

Bob said...

1. There are people working on Superfluid Vacuum Theory who advocate something like this as an alternative to QFT. I don't know much about the details of this theory.

2. The g-factor is well understood: the magnetic moment of electrons was predicted correctly by QED (one of the QFTs in the Standard Model) to 1 part in a trillion - the most accurate prediction in the history of physics. Hotson appears to be claiming the BEC theory predicted it, which is not true.

3. Van Flandern's claims about gravity being instantaneous were disproven soon after that paper. He had made a number of false assumptions. See, for example
(Carlip, 1999).

jmu said...

Thanks for validating.

I think 1) SVT is a sound theory.

Why is there so much opposition against the idea of an aether?
Einstein mentioned it/revisited the idea in his 1920 speech in Leiden. This idea comes back repeatedly. With Maxwell, Dirac etc. See also this quote.

"Recapitulating, we may say that according to the general theory of relativity space is endowed with physical qualities; in this sense, therefore, there exists an ether. According to the general theory of relativity space without ether is unthinkable; for in such space there not only would be no propagation of light, but also no possibility of existence for standards of space and time (measuring-rods and clocks), nor therefore any space-time intervals in the physical sense. But this ether may not be thought of as endowed with the quality characteristic of ponderable media, as consisting of parts which may be tracked through time. The idea of motion may not be applied to it."

Albert Einstein, Leiden, 1920

[http://www.spaceandmotion.com/Physics-Albert-Einstein-Leiden-1920.htm]

2) Could you help link the g-factor to gravitation? Hotson refered to the same study. He links it to the BEC theory.

3) The experimentation side of Van Flandern's theory is not clear to me.
http://www.metaresearch.org/cosmology/speed_of_gravity.asp

Bob said...

Yes, SVT is a sound theory, although I don't believe that it is correct, and neither would the vast majority of physicists. Physics isn't about belief, it's about observation and understanding, and it is (just about) possible to have a deep understanding of physics and the observations made in the past few hundred years and still advocate this theory, and some people do.

I wouldn't say that there's opposition to the idea of aether - just that it hasn't been found to be very useful. It's a nice story, but if you don't get anything directly related to reality from a concept then it won't be widely adopted.

1920 is a long time ago. A lot of things have been learned since then.

2. There is no link between Dirac's g and gravitation. It stands for gyromagnetic ratio.

3. As I said, Van Flandern's paper is discredited. If you're interested in the experimental side of the theory of gravitation, try this paper (click the PDF link for the full paper). There are 113 pages and 415 references, and Van Flandern isn't mentioned once - not because of any kind of prejudice, but because his ideas have not contributed anything significant to any of our current understanding of gravity. There's a discussion on the speed of gravity on page 44, and links to several other related papers. Experimentally and theoretically it is indistinguishable from the speed of light.

Anonymous said...

Bob, thank you for exposing the "ramblings" of this poor soul...I read his FB posts and saw some of his videos...lol. What a joke! Once someone starts promoting himself on & on & selling dvd's! Their true nature is exposed. He should stop being a "physicist" and just be another new age guru!

Apparently there is a huge thirst for knowledge and meaning of Life. But Nassim is confusing the masses with his pseudoscience and trying to make a living without really working.

Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

Not a Scientist but it seems to me in efforts to explain something new, the same terms are being used to fit an existing paradigm and this is confusing their meanings. Like those blind men examining an elephant...

Kadillac said...

HOLY SH#T ! JUST EMAIL EACH OTHER PERSONALLY ALREADY SO SOMEONE ELSE CAN COMMENT IF THEY WANT. OH, I GUESS NOBODY ELSE IS INTERESTED.

Bob said...

Hi Kadillac. Don't know what you mean. People can comment if they want, and they still do even though this post is five years old. (I've tried communicating with Haramein. It's a waste of time.)

JMC said...

Congratulations everyone it's finally happening... We are working together to figure this all out. When we will know the truth is when there will really be no more reason to talk about it anymore. Until then though we may as well entertain ourselves. Thankyou for the learning and fun.

Peter Devita said...

This sounds like science fiction not real science.
Even so, these folks claim to have a free energy generation product. Has a reputable Lab bought one and done a test on it - someone like the DOE in the US or NRCan in Canada???

peter devita,
peterdev@devita.com

Bob said...

If he were ever to get any half-sensible results, science journalists would be all over it. He has a large cult following - reputable science news sites would love for him to get something right.

If he made a claim that appeared to be based on any kind of understanding of physics, the science community would be all over it, even if they thought he was wrong. (Especially if they thought he was wrong.)

If it's a dishonest stream of self-publicity and fake claims (which it is), of course they won't touch it.

Howard Pinch said...

I am visiting this site because of a posting on Face Book. It cited Nassim Haramein: "The Unified Theory and Beyond." I have never heard of him and the comments on that posting sounded intriguing. So I decided to Google him and find out what he was all about. I read a little and found his material was available at a cost. Wondered why?
Then I saw the link to your link: "UP: Nassim Haramein - Fraud or Sage?" I decided to check this out..First, I have never bothered with blogs. Second, I did not realize I was going to be reading a detailed physics argument.
Let me say, that I have had very little training in physics (10 credits) but always interested. And after reading your arguments, I could only conclude, Nassim is a fraud and I totally agreed with your assessment.(Reminds me of Jim and Tammy Baker, Oral Roberts, etc - money, money, money.
I then went on to read the comments on your blog. I was astounded to say the least. As many said you have unbelievable patience and really kept your cool at some of the arguments and comments leveled at you. Your tolerance is to be commended and your stance of asking only for examples of how Nassim's physics is right on any level debunked any attempt otherwise.
I would like to thank you for taking the time you have spent with this effort and it opened my eyes and will save me the time and effort of learning about NH.
I hope your blog is still active as I note the dates of the postings I read. I will share this on Face Book.

Bob said...

Hi Howard - thank you for sharing your thoughts, I really appreciate it :)

bikash maharjan said...

hey dude... existing and comming in physics are just theories. Only nature knows the real truth. Universe is not human centric..It all our mess of thoughts.Thought only know by duality . Light and dark, up and down etc only by disecting.Can I know you by disecting your body.I may physical stucture of body.I would never know you as person.Truth is beyond duality.We have to transcend mind to know truth.

Let go of these all theories of mind. Your life is biggest happening here on universe.Don't you believe that.Close your nose for minutes...then you will tell , hell with these theories...I want to live.

So be conscious about your aliveness.your constant transaction and contentedness with nature around your on many level(physically breathing)...,Be conscious,Be conscious,Be conscious,Be conscious...before its too late ..

So if you want to know..if your really want to know then.. query about your exitence..what is its nature..what is its full potential...body is greatest gadget in the earth..we even don't know fully about a single cell....and here were are talking/discussing/arguing about what I belive and what you belive...forget about my believe...truth is beyond believe..Don't believe in anything to know whoever he is. Don't even believe in Einstein. He may seem right so far..but may be proved in future. Who know..But you are alive here existentially. Then Truth will reveal to you by itself.

Bob said...

Hey bikash. I often see comments by people who make great claims on the pointlessness of rational human thought. Firstly, if that's the case, who in hell are you to know what is or isn't truth? Are you a god? But more importantly, what you're talking about is metaphysics and faith, and has nothing to do with what science is about. Science is all about letting go and finding ways to see beyond what you think you know. That's the whole point of it.

There's nothing enlightened or enlightening about dismissing entire disciplines of human endeavour as a waste, or as not really conscious. It's lazy and arrogant. If you are interested, learn to understand the subject, learn to appreciate the lives of the individuals who devoted themselves to it.

If you're not interested in science as a way of finding out more about the universe, just be honest about it. There's nothing wise about claiming your vision to be superior and dehumanising people who don't share your convictions.

bikash maharjan said...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DSgVN4IEq54

Bob said...

Hi Bikash - thanks for the link.

I have a lot of respect for people like Sadhguru here. It's clear that the scientist talking with him (David Eagleman) does too. It doesn't seem that they are able to truly hear each other's perspective very well in that interview, but that probably shouldn't be a surprise given the very different directions from which they are approaching the subject. Still, it strikes me as a generous and insightful interview.

Unlike Haramein, there is nothing dishonest here and nothing transparently pretentious. Unlike Haramein, Sadhguru isn't misleading people about science or any other discipline, he's presenting a different perspective, eloquently and intelligently.

I won't extend that respect to whoever made the film, though. Adding a kind of cathedral reverb to Sadhguru's voice to make him sound like some kind of booming God cliché, while leaving Eagleman sounding like a human, is a pretty naff trick. That sort of creepy manipulation doesn't assist any kind of truth.

Creepy sound manipulation aside, the interview is definitely worth watching. I love to see people presenting good arguments that go beyond or even against the principles and assumptions of science, so long as they're honest, genuine and intelligent. My issue with Haramein is not that he strikes out against the mainstream - that is a bold and wonderful thing that is always needed. My issue with Haramein, is that he does it dishonestly, pretentiously and stupidly, and that he feeds and relies on ignorance and prejudice.

Anonymous said...

I tell you one thing about NH, all there is on his Illustrious table, is the intent of selling "charged" crystals to new age hippies. That us the extent of his "scientific" work currently!!

Anonymous said...

Check www.toraeon.com

Anonymous said...

http://www.quantumgravityresearch.org/

Bob said...

Wow. Toraeon LLC? Yet another way of getting people to fund projects whose promise is based on Haramein's entirely bogus reputation as a research scientist.

In what fantasy world could anyone say this is not fraud?

So much money-making on the back of blatantly misleading pretend science.

(The other one looks pretty kooky too, but it isn't obviously connected to Haramein)

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately there are some willing to fund scam artists. I bet NH is laughing all the way to the bank, nice way of making a super living at the expense of others, no?

Bob said...

Indeed.

Anonymous said...

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-connected-universe-film#/

Anonymous said...

www.theconnecteduniversefilm.com

Bob said...

Indeed. There's plenty of information here and here

The story hasn't changed at all: Haramein's physics pretence is laughable and false, he's a showman and a salesman with a very lucrative brand and an obsession with self-promotion.

Show this movie to a physicist and the sheer stupidity of it will make their toes curl :)

Anonymous said...

Changed their domain to http://www.torustech.com

They are working on "charging" crystals for selling to new age hippies ..how bout that for science ?!

Bob said...

Cool, thanks. What a bunch of pricks.

Good luck to them :)

Arr Wiley said...

I just wanted to say, thanks for maintaining this for so long, Bob. It's given me the time and space to be introduced to Haramein's work, think it was pretty cool, sit on it for a few years, go to college, find this blog and get more critical, take chemistry and physics as a highly interested adult, get the basics of what you're talking about, read this again and go , man, this IS a line of bullshit. Doesn't help that it seems to get worse all the time, he's got links to "articles by resonance scientists" on his web site, but they're just third party links and. I can't find any published connection between the authors and Haramein. Do physicists get pissed when they just get linked to by him?

Anyway, thanks again for your longstanding patience and commitment to honesty. I know you know you're right, but with all the crap at gets piled up on you on this page, for what it's worth, I think you're right too.

Ryan
California Maritime Academy

Awragash said...

Bob, in the hopes you may still see this, i'd just like to give thanks to you for taking the time to attempt to verify Nassim Haramein's claims. It must have been a bit if a slog but i hope you know that as it has stood on the web for many years now, it has surely saved many people from being caught up in what is quite simply a trap.

I do see though, when reading the blog posts, many instances of when i feel it people who have fallen into this "trap" would be turned off due to the wording or approach (although it is some of the most tactful and courteous writing i have seen from a critique)

In my experience, it is more efficient to try to first find what is good and agreeable in someones beliefs and then go on to explain what it is about their ideas that still leaves you with questions. For example "I can really get behind nassims' distrust of the scientific community and his wish for people to live in harmony with each other but i doesnt seen to go far enough for reasons such as..."

What you can agree on with the person your speaking with will become the foundations for the bridge that allows them to see your point of view. If they can see that you share with them their basic values, then they can be open to the idea that these values are still valid even if their beliefs are not. It can be shameful to admit being fooled and it is not easy to have your self image shaken. One must take extra care to assure a person that there is nothing wrong with being misinformed without being patronizing. Very difficult, but maintaining that any person can see the truth is useful. The question is if the individual is worth your time.

Thank you again, you have done the world a service.

Peace

Bob said...

Thanks Ryan!

I don't know any physicists who aren't inundated by oddballs who think they've found a magic theory of everything. Either that or they think they've proved Einstein wrong, or they're convinced that their favourite charismatic guru has the solutions that the world's physicists have missed. Or some combination of all three. Maybe some physicists find them annoying, but most seem to quickly get used to them and ignore them.

Jim Al Khalili's "sweet souls" comment sums it up very nicely. I'm sure he has Haramein in his box folder.

I used to reply to them, but I soon learned that this never worked out well.

Here's an article you might like, by someone who's turned it around in a way that benefits both sides. She's well-known for not taking any shit and not holding back when she disagrees with other scientists, but I imagine she'd be good with these people.

Twenty years ago, Haramein might have been one of those sweet souls who'd write to Jim or Skype with Sabine, but sadly he's not that any more. He's had years of adulation and cash from fans of his crackpot stuff, so he's stuck with it now.

All the best
Bob

Bob said...

Hi Awragash

Yes, I agree with you. I don’t always say the right thing to people who see things differently. Sometimes I have the patience to try to respond in the spirit you suggest, but at other times I don’t. In particular, when people openly accuse me of something awful, or insist on demanding that their understanding is correct and all of mainstream physics has to listen to them, I often stop caring at that point.

On the whole, I do try to assume everyone is coming from a good place. But I’m no counsellor, and I have a lot to learn about how to communicate with people whose distrust makes them hostile.

As you say, it’s extremely hard for people to admit to having been fooled, and the path of least resistance or least pain so often seems to be to cling ever more strongly. It’s a very tricky web to untangle.

Thanks for your thoughts, I appreciate it. I think the skills you’re describing are needed more and more in this world, given recent events.

Anonymous said...

Having worked with this guy, UNFORTUNATELY, I can tell you he is a complete douchebag , an ignorant dick wannabe that never misses a chance to remind everyone how great he is ,NOT...a megalomaniac prick of the worst kind...he continuously hallucinates profusely about aliens, probably of all the drugs in his system

Taylor Westmore said...

You made a comment about the vacuum energy ground state being the lowest energy it can possibly be. This is incorrect. The Casimir-Polder forces show that non-zero, positive or negative energy density ground-state can occur if the EM field modes are suppressed or enhanced as long as their 4-vectors sum to zero. This can be thought of in terms of vacuum polarization where virtual particle flux is biased, muted or enhanced in the region of the scalar or higher order tensor field gradient produced by the dot product of the EM 4-potential.

Bob said...

Hi Taylor

If you have a vacuum in a region of space, and two metal plates (or molecules or other objects) a long way apart, it's possible to extract work by allowing the plates to move closer together via the Casimir-Polder force. I agree that this can be thought of as a lowering of the energy density of the vacuum in that region of space.

This is a local effect that relies on there being significant departures from the vacuum nearby (e.g. metal plates made of particles).

In the bigger picture, the energy of this system would be lower if the metal plates were not present.

In quantum field theory, the vacuum state is a global state, and is the lowest state possible by definition.

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