Inspired some comments from me.
Just added some background notes here: http://nigelcook0.tripod.com/. The on-line editing tool has deleted paragraph indentations, but as I'm not bothered whether anybody reads background information about me personally, I couldn't care less. If you just want the science: http://feynman137.tripod.com/
List of crazy professors who should be censored from the media
TO ALLOW SOME SPACE FOR GENUINE TESTED INNOVATIONS!
‘Oh, my dear Kepler, how I wish that we could have one hearty laugh together! Here at Padua is the principal professor of philosophy [Professor Cremonini] whom I have repeatedly and urgently requested to look at the moon and planets through my glass, which he pertinaciously refuses to do. Why are you not here? What shouts of laughter we should have at this glorious folly! And to hear the professor of philosophy at Pisa [Professor Giulio Libri] labouring before the Grand Duke with logical arguments, as if with magical incantations, to charm the new planets out of the sky.’ – Letter from Galileo to Kepler, 1610 (Sir Oliver Lodge, Pioneers of Science, London, 1913, Chapter 4).
1. Double Dutch:
2. 'String theory has the remarkable property of predicting gravity'. - Edward Witten, Physics Today, April 1996, more at http://www.theonion.com/content/node/41454
3. Single Dutch: http://eskesthai.blogspot.com/2005/11/charlatans-who-use-gravitons.html
4. Royal Society: http://motls.blogspot.com/2005/11/royal-society-ban-science-on-web.html
5. 'Dark energy' nutters: http://motls.blogspot.com/2005/11/supernovae-lambda-is-constant.html
6. Pope Edward the Great Genius Witten: http://motls.blogspot.com/2005/12/witten-and-langlands.html
There is also an interesting Motl piece on quantum entanglement:
Measuring the spin of photons doesn't necessarily change then like measuring the spin of molecules that Einstein suggested. It is clearer to think of 1 m wide (transverse wavelength) radio waves, than photons. One electromagnetic pulse to the aerial gives you 'one photon'. You can measure the polarisation by means of a field strength meter connected to a straight aerial. You don't need an aerial as long as the wavelength of the radio aerial, because you can vary the resonate frequency of the receiver aerial by adding a loading coil. If you do that, you are detecting radio waves by affecting only a small part of the transverse wavelength! If you measure the spin of a photon (going at light speed), for any change to be caused by the act of measurement, you have to assume that an effect can pass throughout the photon's transverse extent instantaneously, otherwise the 'remainder' of the photon will have passed by before the rest of it can be affected.The assumption used in the theory behind the Bell test is crackpot. Therefore the result is crackpot.
On Multiple Universes Crackpotism
If I understand the crackpots at all, everytime I measure something, the wavefunction collapses, selecting the universe we are in. If it is a coin toss situation, then there are two parallel universes, one in which it lands heads and the other has the coin landing tails. If the situation has an infinite number of possibilities, for example a photon which may be emitted in any number of directions at random, then collapsing the wavefunction selects one out of not just two but an infinite number of parallel universes. Now you repeatedly measure things where they could go any direction, you create an infinite number of universes each time (each universe containing the photon going in a different direction). So when you look at it objectively, for N decisions involving wavefunction collapses that create an infinite number of universes of which ours is one, you have (infinity).N parallel universes, which exceeds infinity! I'd be prepared to stake my life on the fact that the photon spins correlate because Heisenberg's indeterminancy principle doesn't apply to measuring photon polarisations: you can't apply indeterminancy to light, only to electrons. This is because when you measure light, the measurement can't change it as its going at light speed.For the measurement process to affect a light photon, changing its polarisation or whatever, you have to assume that the effect goes faster than light so that the whole photon is influenced. This assumption is metaphysics. Indeterminacy doesn't apply to photons. If you stick to mechanisms, there is no reason why it should. (Of course, now I have to be written off by Lumos as a crackpot with a 'personal pet theory' instead of taken seriously.) The way officialdom interprets experimental results, I'm sure string theory will be experimentally validated soon. Peter Woit admitted a few days ago on this blog that he validated some of Edward Witten QCD theory work, so I'm waiting for Woit to come up with a validation of Witten's string theory. Woit could do it very easily, by observing an apple drop. Witten in April 1996 (Physics Today) wrote that string theory 'has the remarkable property of predicting gravity'. Notice: no prediction of numbers, so it can't be falsified. Therefore, it is accepted!
Gluon crackpotism and string theory
I've taken to calling people who deny general relativity 'flat earthers', since gravity causes the shape of the earth, and special/restricted relativity ignores the curvature due to gravity and (by the equivalence principle) other accelerations. To account for the real world you need absolute motions, such as rotation with respect to the rest of the matter in the universe, not with respect to an observer. People who deny this can get themselves into a spin dryer machine, and will find that even though they are not in relative motion to the clothes or to the inside of the dryer, all still experience accelerative force. Restricted relativity does't apply!
The issue of whether there are 10 or 11 dimensions in ST reminds you of the issue whether there are 8 or 9 gluons in QCD. James Bottomley and John Baez discuss this herehttp://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/physics/ParticleAndNuclear/gluons.html
Nine types of gluon:
green-antigreen, green-antired, green-antiblue,
red-antired, red-antiblue, red-antigreen,
blue-antiblue, blue-antired, blue-antigreen.
Why then are there only eight gluons? To make the physics work, you have to subtract one, but you don’t say which particular one you subtract. They concluded:
“If you are wondering what the hell I am doing subtracting particles from each other, well, that’s quantum mechanics. This may have made things seem more, rather than less, mysterious, but in the long run I’m afraid this is what one needs to think about.”
More crackpotism debunked
Comment on the last of these links:
Boltzmann's contribution was vital, but had a tragic outcome. Towards the end of the nineteenth century several puzzling facts (which eventually led to quantum theory), triggered a reaction against 'materialist' science, and some people even questioned whether atoms exist. Boltzmann, whose work was based on the concept of atoms, found himself cast as their chief defender and the debates became increasingly bitter. Always prone to bouts of depression, Boltzmann came to believe that his life's work had been rejected by the scientific community, although this was far from being true. In 1906, he committed suicide. If despair over rejection, or frustration over being unable to prove his point, were contributing factors the irony would be great indeed. Soon after Boltzmann's death, clinching evidence was found for atoms, and few would ever doubt their existence again.
It is nice that the scientific community is never wrong, and that so many people are never all wrong! It is nice that they don't call people egotists or ignore work (because of their religious belief in Mach's or Bohr's philosophy). Notice also that revisionist history avoids the statement that Jesus was crucified by the mass and only had 12 real followers, one of whom was a doubter and another of whom betrayed Jesus. Instead, revisionist history says Jesus was crucified deliberately to accord to supernatural scripture, and that Jesus was really a very popular figure! See http://archivefreedom.org/. The problem is, any revolutionary theory is going to be unpopular by its revolutionary nature. What you have to do, however, is to fight against lack of clarity but continuing to develop the simplicity, so that people understand it. The major weapon in favour of status quo is that it is (claimed to be) clear and concise (which is a lie, when you ask there are really 10 or 11 dimensions in M-theory, or 8 or 9 gluons in QCD).