Quantum gravity physics based on facts, giving checkable predictions

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Dr Peter Woit and Dr Chris Oakley

These people have a lot more knowledge of mathematics than I do. They both managed to succeed academically and to publish papers in mainstream physics journals. They know what they are doing, but they both still need to struggle against the powerful opposition of the quasi-religious string theory lobby. The area where their knowledge overlaps the most is probably quantum field theory.

There are some lovely letters in existence from a humble Michael Faraday to the mathematician James Clerk Maxwell. Faraday begs Maxwell to translate his equations into plain English. (We have to remember that this occurred in the mid 1850s, long before Heaviside reduced Maxwell's 20 long-winded differential equations to 2 neat little curls, 2 even neater divergences, and conservation of charge.)

Somewhere, Feynman remarked something about Dr Gell-Mann or Dr George Zweig going crazy in an effort to explain particle physics, before coming up with the quark theory. I think the same applies to Maxwell! The poor guy did die young from cancer, and if he had lived long enough to possibly discuss physics with Heaviside, then perhaps the Maxwell 'displacement current' equation would have been corrected for light speed charging, a century before CDW in WW.

It is interesting that Dr Zweig did not get a Nobel prize although in my view he probably should have one (http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview?id=25503). He also seems to be very cool about it, and not bothered. This makes you respect him greatly.

Feynman somewhere suggests that the common fundamental charges should ideally be labelled 1, -2, and 3. This is instead of -1/3, 2/3, and -1 which are used for the downquark, upquark, and electron, respectively. Perhaps one day there will be a new French revolution, where the SI system will be extended to modernise electrical units.

It certainly feels nicer to have fundamental charges like 1, -2, and 3, than two fractional charges and then a negative charge for the unit of electricity. You always have to remember in electricity, that electron drift current flows in the opposite direction to electric current! This paradox is created solely by the tradition of drawing an arrow from the positive terminal of a battery towards the negative terminal, which stems to a wrong guess made by Franklin.


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