Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Donald Scott, of "The Electric Sky", presents at GSFC

On March 16, 2009, Dr. Donald Scott, author of “The Electric Sky” (of which I have written about in this blog and on my main site), presented at the engineering colloquium (http://ecolloq.gsfc.nasa.gov/archive/2009-Spring/announce.scott.html) at Goddard Space Flight Center.

I noticed this entry in the colloquium listing about a month ago and began preparing (which is why I haven't been keeping this blog very up-to-date). I contacted a few people I knew in the GSFC education groups to see if they were interested in attending but none of the people I contacted were actually in attendance.

At the colloquium, there were about 50-60 in attendance (about half the auditorium capacity). As part of his opening, Dr. Scott asked for a show of hands of number of astronomers/astrophysicists vs. engineers in audience. Maybe 10-15 hands were raised for each group. I'm not sure about those who did not raise their hands. Perhaps they were software programmers of which there are many at GSFC supporting the scientific mission.

Dr. Scott noted that this day was the anniversary of Robert Goddard's first liquid fuel rocket launch in 1926.

After opening with mention of a number of historical figures in plasma physics, Dr. Scott went into a presentation of plasma observations and principles that were covered in the book and which I discuss in my analysis (http://www.crankastronomy.org/anomalies/electriccosmos.html)

Complaint: Electric fields are not zero in plasmas
My response: This is an artifact of the ideal MHD approximation, where particle collisions dominate, resistivity is small (conductivity is very high, infinite in the ideal limit), and the length scales are much longer than the Lamor radius. It is still around for pedagogical reasons but most modern researchers try to find ways to relax the limiting assumptions. It's still gets a fair amount of use in press releases and education sites due to its simplicity.

Complaint: Illustrating magnetic fields by lines.
My response: I wish there were a better way to represent vector fields over a large region. This becomes even more problematic when the vector field varies in time. Interestingly, he made a few caveats that I had not read in his material but was mentioned in my analysis.

Complaint: Magnetic fields do not 'move things around'
My response: Generally true, but spatially varying magnetic fields will look like time varying magnetic fields to moving particles which means the particle will see an electric field in its own frame. This can change particle energies. In some of my historical explorations, I've come across some interesting history of the “moving line theory” misconception in electromagnetism.
The bottom line appears to be that the “Moving Lines of Force” concept appears to originate as a way to interpret induction in 'moving fields' without using relativity and the Lorentz transformations!

He mentions a number of other topics
  • Why don't double layers slam together? He claims this is because they are created by a dynamical process, in particular, current flows. But the problem is actually more complex than this. Double layers tend to form in regions where the differences between the electron & ion velocities are the largest. This is why they tend to form around the electrodes themselves, hence Langmuir's justification for calling the 'sheaths'.
  • A double layer in the chromosphere of the Sun may be a contributor to the solar flare particle acceleration mechanism. I actually have no problem with this. It is an consequence of the Pannekoek-Rosseland field. As mentioned in my analysis, this field has been known, but largely forgotten by the wider community, since the 1920s. (see R. Wildt, “Note on stellar ionization and electric fields”. MNRAS 97. 225-231 (1937). http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1937MNRAS..97..225W or J Vranjes and M Y Tanaka. “On Gravity Induced Electric Field in Space Plasmas”. Phys. Scr. 71 325-328 (2005). http://dx.doi.org/10.1238/Physica.Regular.071a00325 )
  • Structures in planetary nebulae as possible double layers. During this part, he seemed to paraphrase the statement in my analysis “It Looks like ‘X’ so it must be ‘X’”
  • Alfven's galaxy model
  • Peratt's galaxy model
  • Galaxies along filamentary structures
  • Pulsars as relaxation oscillators: Dr. Scott claims that these oscillators exhibit the same high period stability as pulsars. Pulsar fractional period variations have values on the order of 1e-14 to 1e-16, more stable than atomic clocks! Is Dr. Scott claiming this kind of precision for commercially available relaxation oscillators?? (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Relaxation_oscillator)
  • The problem with the decay of free neutrons and the nuclear 'line of stability'. He tries to refute the rebuttal that this is held together by pressure but doesn't seem to recognize that a 1.4 solar mass sphere of neutronium is at a lower energy state than the same mass sphere of protons or nuclei and free electrons. Once the pressure is sufficiently high, as is the case with several solar masses of matter 'above' it, this fact favors formation of the neutronium.
In the Q&A session, Scott's response to the first questioner included a statement that plasma cosmology had no answer for the origin of the Birkeland currents claimed to drive the formation of galaxies. This actually segued nicely with my question on the Peratt galaxy model.

I decided to ask about the Peratt galaxy model. My question consisted of two parts:
  1. What powers the currents which form the galaxies? His comment from the earlier question suggested that they had no idea where these currents could come from. Yet isn't that as big, perhaps even a larger mystery than 'Dark Matter'? Which is simpler, perhaps a particle which interacts so weakly that our technology can't currently detect it, or gigantic, invisible EMF generators floating around in the cosmos. I can't recall getting a definitive response on this as Dr. Scott's responses began to lead into question 2.
  2. Around 1990, Peratt began to examine the production of synchrotron radiation by these currents, in a attempt to see if a background created by them could explain the cosmic microwave background radiation (CMB) observed. (Note that we did not have an all-sky microwave map from COBE until 1993, and it had fairly low angular resolution.) He obtained numbers that could produce fluxes on the order of the CMB but this also implied we should see the current streams from nearer spiral galaxies (such as M31 and M33) clearly overlaid over the more distant background in the CMB maps, especially the higher resolution WMAP data. Some aspects of the paper also suggest Peratt's model would require much larger fluctuations in the CMB than measured by COBE. Peratt's model suggests streams on the order of 350 megaparsecs in length. For nearby galaxies, we should see these stretched across the sky. We don't see this at all, which suggests these galactic scale Birkeland currents do not exist. One member of the audience suggested this might be due to 'beaming' of the emission as in pulsars. However, in pulsars, the particle motions are believed to be highly-relativistic which beams the emission (energies in millions of electron volts). Peratt's electrons streams are non-relativistic, about 30 kiloelectron volts. Dr. Scott asked if I didn't believe Birkeland currents were real. My response was that we've clearly identified them in Earth's magnetosphere and even some of the systems which energize them with particles, it was galactic-scale currents capable of forming galaxies that is not supported by the observations.
Dr. Scott's presentation was considerably less confrontational than his book. A fact that was noted by others whom I spoke with after the talk.

After some 'splinter group' discussions, one of the colloquium organizers suggested I introduce myself to Dr. Scott. We had some discussions covering topics such as the detrimental effects of 'big science' and funding pressures on innovative research. We also had some 'shop talk' complaints about the multitude of units (esu, emu, mks) used in the electrodynamics community. Dr. Scott signed my copy of “The Electric Sky”, we shook hands and agreed to be “friendly enemies”. He also mentioned that his rebuttal to my analysis would soon be online.

The next day, one of the engineering colloquium organizers relayed a message that Dr. Scott wanted me to know that “he didn't hate me.”

I invite others in attendance at this colloquium to leave comments, Dr. Scott as well.

(Editing note: Opps! Had the year wrong in the opening date.)
Update: 1/28/2014: fixed broken link.

48 comments:

Anonymous said...

It all sounds like it was very interesting. I think it's worth mentioning that the Electric Cosmos has nothing to do with Creationism, and Don's own web site is www.electric-cosmos.org. And many thanks for the write up.

Anonymous said...

See also:

* March 23, 2008: "The Electric Sky, Short-circuited" (PDF) -- W.T. Bridgman

* March 18, 2009 "D. E. Scott Rebuts T. Bridgman" -- Don Scott

OilIsMastery said...

If you're against creationism in astronomy then why do you believe in the 17th century creationist hypothesis of gravitation?

"...lest the systems of the fixed stars should, by their gravity, fall on each other, he [God] hath placed those systems at immense distances from one another." -- Isaac Newton, mathematician, 1687

And why do you believe in the Big Bang which was invented by a creationist Catholic priest Georges Lemaitre in order for the universe to conform to a strict literal interpretation of the Hebrew Scriptures?

Monsignor Georges Lemaitre (1894-1966), a Catholic priest and president of the Vatican's Pontifical Academy of Science, originated the concept for the Big Bang with his "Hypothesis of the Primeval Atom" which was based on the doctrine of the Catholic Church that the Universe was created by God from a single atom, much as Christ's miracle of multiplying the loaves of bread and fishes. Pope Pius XII endorsed his theory because it tied Holy Scripture to science. Monsignor Lemaitre described his theory as "a day without yesterday... The Cosmic Egg exploding at the moment of the creation." In a paper written in 1922, he wrote that the universe had begun in light just "as Genesis suggested it."

W.T."Tom" Bridgman said...

To OillsMastery: The religious faith or other belief systems of a researcher is irrelevant if they are doing work that generates testable, reproducible results matching observations and/or experiments. Kepler was an astrologer, a fact that does not invalidate his three laws of orbital motion. A surprising number of researchers did significant work and then went a little wacky in their old age, spouting all kinds of nonsense that received more attention due to their previous accomplishments.

To Anonymous2: thanks for the link to Dr. Scott's rebuttal. A quick perusal suggests it is far weaker than I expected. Many of the complaints are in areas where my wording may not have been sufficiently clear, or where I was having difficulty interpreting Dr. Scott's models. Most require a clarification of my wording and perhaps an additional graphic. I'm looking at subjecting my write-up to a fairly major reorganization so it is easier to integrate some of the material I read from Thornhill.

To Anonymous1: Since moving into Electric Cosmos issues, I have found the connection with various flavors of creationism stronger than I originally expected. I have met several self-proclaimed creationists who stand behind Electric Universe claims due to its connection with Velikovsky.

OilIsMastery said...

Tom Bridgeman,

"The religious faith or other belief systems of a researcher is irrelevant if they are doing work that generates testable, reproducible results matching observations and/or experiments."

Thank you very much for your reply. I appreciate it.

Let me ask you then, have you ever observed a graviton? What reproducable experiments have you performed and tested on the gravitons that you've observed? I should like to repeat them.

Did you observe the Big Bang? What reproducable experiments have you performed and tested on the Big Bang that you observed?

"Kepler was an astrologer, a fact that does not invalidate his three laws of orbital motion."

So you agree that creationists in astromony can be perfectly correct?

OilIsMastery said...

And how about a neutron star? Have you ever experimented on a neutron star? Or a black hole? What experiments did you perform on the black hole? And have you ever observed Dark Matter? And do you have any Dark Matter that I could observe and test upon in the laboratory?

OilIsMastery said...

Please excuse the typos. Reprocible not reprocable...=)

W.T."Tom" Bridgman said...

Nor have I seen an electron or proton. No one has. I had a previous post dealing with these types of questions.
See Astronomy as an 'unprovable' science.

OilIsMastery said...

Tom,

Actually Tom, I have and so have millions of others. I would like to inform you that I have personally observed an electron with my own two eyes and I experimented upon electrons in the laboratory when I was only 21 years old.

Since you have never observed an individual electron, see here.

Not only that, but I have personally seen a nucleus with protons deflect alpha particles in the laboratory.

The scientific method requires observation which is why I believe in electricity and not mythology.

Anonymous said...

W.T."Tom" Bridgman wrote: "Since moving into Electric Cosmos issues, I have found the connection with various flavors of creationism stronger than I originally expected. I have met several self-proclaimed creationists who stand behind Electric Universe claims due to its connection with Velikovsky."

Just because one cause supports another, does not imply support the other way. Neither the Electric Universe or Velikovsky supports Creationism. See for example: Stansfield, William D. (2008). Creationism, Catastrophism, and Velikovsky. Skeptical Inquirer, 32 (1), 46-50, also mentioned here.

W.T."Tom" Bridgman said...

To OilIsMastery: Are you sure you've seen electrons? I've seen scintillation on fluorescent screens, tracks in cloud chambers and all kinds of effects on atoms created by the passage of electrons, but never SEEN an electron. We SEE electrons the exact same way we SEE all subatomic particles - indirectly. If you've got another method, I'd be delighted to hear about it.

To Anonymous: I suspect Tifft (quantized redshifts) and Arp (discordant redshifts) aren't creationists either, yet their work is claimed to support creation models to about the same level of predictive power as any of the Electric Universe claims. I also know a number of professional scientists annoyed at how their work is distorted into supporting claims by the creationist and EU advocates. I guess life isn't fair.

Anaconda said...

@ W.T."Tom" Bridgman:

I can't think of anything more "creationist" than the "big bang" hypothesis.

Something out of nothing, a "singularity expanding to the Universe", is ex nihilo.

Now, you may have abstract theoretical mathematical equations that give expression to the "big bang" hypothesis, but at the end of the day, it's still "something out of nothing".

Science doesn't do miracles.

And, by the way, a person's life experiences, their biases & prejudices, we all have them, even priests, do have an impact on how they view the world, and more important, interpret the world.

You contradict yourself, thoroughly, when you express the idea, in so many words: "My 'guys' couldn't possibly be influenced by their "calling", but your 'guys' are impossibly corrupted by their "calling".

If you can't see the stunning contradiction in your statements, no wonder you believe in the "creationist" doctrine known as the "big bang".

Dave Smith said...

Tom Wrote:

"... A quick perusal suggests it is far weaker than I expected. Many of the complaints are in areas where my wording may not have been sufficiently clear, or where I was having difficulty interpreting Dr. Scott's models. ..."

Don Scott wrote:

"... These following paragraphs are not a comprehensive dissection of each and every allegation he made. They are simply my reaction to what stood out as being most outrageously inaccurate, and uninformed. ..."

Why should Scott put excess time into something you've failed to understand yourself, yet offer a critique of? If you had done your homework properly, you may have actually understood the model. But your fixation on "creationism" and it's supposed connection with EU theory exposes both your bias and your total misunderstanding of EU. As many have already noted, the Big Bang is far more compatible with creationism than EU theory.

Cheers, Dave Smith (davesmith_au).

W.T."Tom" Bridgman said...

To Anaconda: Thank goodness the Big Bang only has to deal with the 'ex nihilo' problem at on point in time and space after which General Relativity/Gravity does most of the work. Take a look at the filamentary structures generated by this (cosmological model generator). Apparently you can even download it and run simulations on you own computers. Any EU guys doing that?

At least Big Bang cosmology doesn't have the problem of explaining where all those thousands/millions/billions/??? of cosmic-scale Birkeland currents come from! The EU community never seems to answer that! Then again, maybe these currents are like a deity for fundamentalists, you're not allowed to ask where they come from?

To Dave Smith: Most of the issues Scott raises are based on information in "The Electric Sky" that I found ambiguous and tried my best to fill in the details. Of course, I've never been able to find a clearly defined EU model for, say, the Sun or pulsars. If you don't have clearly defined models, then no one can use them for testing, which means no legitimate scientist has any reason to use them. I've been trying to test them, holding them to the same standards as the mainstream astronomical models, and I get nothing but excuses from you guys on filling in these details!

Anaconda said...

@ W.T."Tom" Bridgman:

One of the things I've noticed is that opponents of Plasma Universe theory rely on a lack of knowledge by the general public.

Bridgman states: "General Relativity/Gravity does most of the work [to explain large structures in the Universe]."

Are you kidding?

So-called "dark" (never been observed) matter is a result of the failure of "Relativity/Gravity" to explain galaxy rotation. So-called "dark" energy is another ad hoc addition because of the failure of Relativity/Gravity to explain a supposed acceleration of expansion.

So-called "black holes" have been drafted to be at the center of every galaxy because normal gravity doesn't provide the necessary gravitational pull and energetic activity at the center of a galaxy.

Bridgman states: "Take a look at the filamentary structures generated by this...Any EU guys doing that?

In one sense, electromagnetism doesn't have to. It is well established that filamentation is part of electromagnetism.

Also, Dr. Anthony Peratt using electromagnetic principles has a computer simulation of a spiral galaxy, no dark matter required.

Bridgman states: "At least Big Bang cosmology doesn't have the problem of explaining where all those
thousands/millions/billions/??? of cosmic-scale Birkeland currents come from!"

No, the "big bang" hypothesis invents crutches when it finds the patient can't walk.

I'd rather stick with science which says, "we don't know, yet," than "science" that makes things up to keep their theory from being falsified.

The electricity keeps being found on larger scales. Who knows how large the scales go.

What is beyond the finite Universe of the "big bang" hypothesis?

Please, your response suggests, not a serious challenge, but rather a cynical posture or ignorance or both.

Anaconda said...

@ W.T."Tom" Bridgman:

I'd almost forgotten, thanks for admitting the "big bang" is creationist. Thought up by a priest that wanted to rationalize science with faith, but apparently a "creationism" that even an atheist can love.

Does that mean the "big bang" goes both ways?

Anaconda said...

@ W.T. "Tom" Bridgman:

You asked me about the "big picture", where the Birkeland currents come from, I can't tell you, but check this article out from mainstream Astronomy.com, Galaxies like necklace beads.

And check out the schematic with the article. This is all consistent with Plasma Universe theory -- what does it look like?

A giant electrical torus or "donut" with filaments, no less.

The gravity "only" model has no explanation for this formation of galaxies.

Oh, and by the way the computer programs you touted in your previous comment, only work with the insertion of...you guessed it..."dark" matter to rejigger the equations, aka the "crutch" because the "Relativity/Gravity" model doesn't work without it.

Do you really think "dark" matter would have ever been thought of at all, but for the fact that the model didn't work?

Not a pretty picture for the gravity "only" model, I'm afraid.

Tim said...

@ W.T."Tom" Bridgman

First I want to say that I respect the work you have done, and intellect required, to earn your academic credentials and professional position.

I also do not adhere to the creationist paradigm, which prompts me to ask how you can support the big bang hypothesis, which is creationist both in its origins and concepts, while opposing the inherently NON-creationist electric universe model?

Creationists have endorsed, even originated, the big bang model, and some creationists/catastrophists have endorsed the EU model, each to suit their needs. This does not mean that either the big bang, nor the EU models, are inherently creationist, just because some fanatics take either concept to the extreme.
Nothing in the EU model requires, nor proclaims, a 'creation' event. Admittedly, a creation event is not excluded, nor is it necessary or even included in the general theory.

Since you claim that folks have been less than certain regarding a 'power source' for an electrically based universe, is there a definitive explanation for what triggered the 'big bang', with a description of the processes that led to this event?

Given, as you claim, that there was no beginning, nor are we moving towards an end, then the 'universe' is infinite in regards both space and time. Basically, the 'known' universe is no more vast than our ability to 'see' or 'calculate', given current instruments and accepted hypotheses.
Within EU theory, as I understand it, what we can detect is an infintisimally small portion of infinite three dimensional space.

So where does the electric current originate? It's inherent in the concept of an infinite, inhomogenous, tenuous plasma to experience perturbations and maintain regions of differing charge densities/voltage potentials, which drive charged particle motion with accompanying magnetic fields, producing filamentary and cellular structure resulting in the accumulation of 'mass', motion and heat. I see it as a self perpetuating feedback loop.

Anyway, thanks for being open to feedback.
peace,
Tim

rspeir said...

Tom,

You are really getting a lot of comments. Interesting conversation (I mean, somewhat interesting - you do seem to have some dingleberrys present). Tom knows that I am a hard-core creationist. Though I may have trouble with the long time scale, I must admit that I solidly accept the nugget of BB philosophy, namely, that everything expanded from nothing - to me, it does seem to underscore Genesis 1:1. Suits me just fine. Unfortunately (for some odd reason) my creationist superiors and peers seem to have an aversion to the BB theory. I have written some of them asking them if perhaps we can please stop trying to undermine a theory that essentially supports our creationist belief system. To date, I can tell you that my success rate is quite low. Sorry Tom, but I have to agree with others here - basic BB theory and creationism are not at odds.

Anaconda said...

@ T.W. "Tom" Bridgman:

I [Anaconda] stated: "The gravity "only" model has no explanation for this formation of galaxies."

My apology, as the Astronomy.com article states, "magic beans"...oops..."dark matter", possibly explains this axial alignment of the galaxies in a circular, or toroidal shape.

And that's the problem in a nutshell: Almost every observation & measurement that has been made that contradicts the "Relativity/Gravity" model is rebalanced with a healthy sprinkling of "dark" matter.

To invent a substance, "dark" matter, that has no known observable & measurable properties or characteristics other than it preserves a hypothesis (no matter how cherished) is alien to the scientific method.

But for the failure of the gravity "only" model -- "dark" matter would never have been thought of.

So, in a jocular manner I have substituted, "magic beans" for "dark" matter to illustrate the absurdity.

So at everyplace "dark" matter is mentioned in "modern" astronomy, substitute "magic beans" and it becomes patently obvious that "modern" astronomy is in a very difficult place with its current assumptions.

There is a better model, one that invokes one of the Four Fundamental Forces, electromagnetism, that has been studied and experimented with in the plasma physics laboratory, and has been confirmed as present in near-space by in situ observation & measurement.

Isn't that more consistent with the scientific method than invoking "magic beans" everytime the gravity "only" model fails?

W.T."Tom" Bridgman said...

Hi, Randy. Your paper is still in my reading stack awaiting a more detailed review. Do you have any updates of significance I should see?

These comments have reached the point of overlapping posts I have under development as well as posing a few new topics. Unless I see something more of interest, I'll refrain from responding to these comments to complete those posts.

To Anaconda: Thanks for the pointer to the "galaxies like necklace beads" 'picture', I had been trying to track down the source of that since it was shown to me at Scott's talk. Check carefully, it is an artist's conception, NOT an actual observed set of galaxies! Do you see why? If you read the abstract of the original paper, it may even be a bad representation of the paper's results.

Since you bring up Peratt's model, you obviously didn't read #2 in the original post above. If Peratt's model is valid, we should see the current streams, yet we don't! I'll assemble more of this in a follow-up post.

Finally, there are those in these comments who seem to argue that the validity of the science is somehow related to the wider belief system of the advocate. I get a similar complaint from some creationists who view Big Bang cosmology as atheistic. For the EU advocates, do you not get MRI scans because one of the key developers, Raymond Damadian, was a creationist?

Thanks. More in future posts.

Anaconda said...

@ W.T. "Tom" Bridgman:

Anaconda: "And check out the schematic with the article. This is all consistent with Plasma Universe theory -- what does it look like?"

Notice I wrote "schematic", not picture.

Schematic doesn't equal picture.

I was quite aware it was an artist's rendering, that's why I used the word, "schematic."

Nice try, Bridgman.

Is that what you do on a regular basis, misquote somebody to try and discredit them?

I read Scott's rebuttal of your piece. Apparently, you have no compunction about misstating a person's position if that will make your argument sound better.

But it's easy enough to pick out your misstatements, as you did with my use of the word, "schematic".

Bridgman, it hurts your credibility, even with your own people.

Regarding Peratt's computer simulation: No computer simulation is perfect. The map is not the territory, you ignore that basic principle, and draw the conclusion that because the map (model) is not perfect, it can't reflect the dynamics in the territory. But no map ever does reflect the territory perfectly.

You should know that -- but you seemingly ignore that principle because it doesn't benefit your argument.

As a scientist, you are expected to be above the common short cuts and tricks of the debating "game".

But judging by the outright misquote of my statement, and the distortion you assigned to it in an apparent attempt to discredit me without subtantively answering any of my other points, I'm left wondering what your motivation is.

I brought up Peratt's computer simulation after you implied that Plasma Universe theory didn't have computer simulations to support it.

That was manifestly false.

Whether a computer simulation is subject to critique, is a seperate matter from whether one exists or not.

Again, a scientist should know that distinction.

In my book, a slippery scientist hurts his own credibility.

rspeir said...

Tom,

Yes, I have a short write-up I would like you to look at. As usual, your comments are very welcome (actually, your past comments have been instrumental in changing the way I approach science in general. thanks)

However, from the looks of things, it appears you might still have your hands full with EU issues !

Anaconda said...

W.T. "Tom" Bridgman:

I read in Don Scotts's rebuttal to your piece this passage:

"As his [W.T. "Tom" Bridgman] final "Homework Problem" [p 48] he challenges me to calculate the density of a binary pair of stars that orbit a common center in a period of one millisecond. Why? What has this got to do with anything I have said? Please read pages 173 to 188 in The Electric Sky. In there, one of the things I do say is, "The rate of this [pulsar] charge/discharge phenomenon depends on the strength of the input (Birkeland) current, the capacitances (surface areas of the stars) and the breakdown voltage of the (plasma) connection. It in no way depends on the mass or density of the stars." It is also independent of the orbital periodicity of any binary pair." -- Don Scott, electrical engineer

Dr. Bridgman, do you think it's proper and forthright to present those calculations without stating their significance or relationship to Cygnus X-1?

Why did you fail to identify the relationship to Cygnus X-1?

And may I suggest I now know what your motivation is. Your Ph.D. was earned studying Cygnus X-1. Obviously, wide-spread acceptance of Plasma Universe theory would mean the "black hole" hypothesis would be discredited.

In essence, you and your Ph.D. would become an anachronism, wouldn't it?

We can't have that, can we?

I'm sorry to have to be so brutally honest in pointing out your motivation and your prior distortions, but scientific integrity demands that your tactics and motivations be revealed for all to see.

Scientific advancement can't be allowed to get stopped by the personal bias & prejudice of individuals.

The benefit of Mankind must take precedence over the personal interest of individuals.

Anonymous said...

I do not intend going into the detailed criticism offered by Dr. Bridgeman of the work of Dr. Scott; to do so would, I fear, serve no real purpose. It seems more important for everyone to realise that scientists really know very little about the universe in which we live. Further, most of what we purport to know, is based on one model, a model solely dependent on the action of a single force - gravity! This model has served us well up to a point but still leaves many questions unanswered. The only way forward is for all concerned in the quest to be open-minded. This does not seem to be the case at present and quibbling over wording in a book - wording, incidentally, that has caused no problems for some - is hardly the way forward.
From what I read, the electric universe has no links with creationism but can the same be said of the conventional approach to studying the universe? It was Tommy Gold who said of the Steady State Theory that at least it wasn't Genesis! This is because the Big Bang theory may very easily be viewed as a rewording of the first nineteen verse of chapter one of Genesis; the remainder of the chapter giving a basic outline of evolution!
In our search for the truth, we must all be careful not to be over influenced by conventional wisdom. Gravity is a relatively weak force and there is little doubt that other forces, such as the electromagnetic force, must have a part to play. One of the attractions of the electric universe material is that so much can be demonstrated in the laboratory. This gives it a firm foundation, which is more than can be said for much of the standard model, which is based on highly abstract mathematical theory. In physics, it must always be remembered that the place of maths. is as a tool; it is not of itself of prime importance. This is reflected very well these days in much of string theory, where many of the investigators are pure mathematicians who are interested in the maths. for its own sake. Some even state they have absolutely no interest in possible physical applications.
Again, we must be careful that well-established results are, in fact, true. For example, in all the text books, the introduction to black holes is via an equation supposed to be Schwarzschild's solution to Einstein's equations, but a quick glance at Schwarzschild's original paper shows that this is not so. In the accepted theory, the foundations of this basic idea are sandy to say the least. The only sure theoretical foundation is that for the notion of a Newtonian body which possesses an escape speed equal to, or greater than, the speed of light - a so-called Michell dark body. That at least has a safe theoretical background, but whether such a body exists is another matter. Again, if criticisms of existing theory are to be explored, the whole idea of black hole thermodynamics is highly dubious. The Bekenstein-Hawking expression for the entropy of a black hole violates the Second Law of Thermodynamics. So, does that law not hold in the farther reaches of the universe, or is that law not universally true, or is the quoted expression simply wrong? No; the purveyors of conventional wisdom cannot have things all ways to suit themselves; they must choose at some point and do so openly.
Conventional theory simply does not explain everything. Adding in little bits, such as dark matter and dark energy, simply to preserve a model doesn't help. Surely the time has come to look afresh at the whole problem facing us and to do so with open minds, possibly constrained only by the honest observations of practicing astronomers and, even then, not excluding the work of some, such as Halton Arp, simply because their observations do not fit into some theoretical model devised by someone with a brilliant mind no doubt, but with little or no knowledge of what is out there to be viewed by professional and amateur star-gazers alike. I doubt the electric universe ideas will provide the entire answer but there the practitioners are perfectly happy to admit that gravity has a role to play. However, given the strength of the electromagnetic force, it does seem highly likely that it has a part, probably a major part, to play in a correct explanation of our universe. Surely it is for all scientists to band together in this quest, rather than continue fighting to preserve their own little corner.
If Dr. Scott's book achieves nothing other than to make people really think, he will have achieved a minor miracle!

(posted by Jeremy Dunning-Davies)

Stephen said...

Dr. Bridgman,
Dear Sir,

Arguments relying upon black holes and big bangs are completely fallacious. General Relativity cannot violate Special Relativity. Indeed, according to Einstein, his laws of Special Relativity must hold locally in his gravitational field. Now the signatures of the alleged black hole are (a) an infinitely dense point-mass singularity and (b) an event horizon. Nobody has ever found either, and so all claims for black holes being found are just wishful thinking. Furthermore, a simple calculation using nothing more than high school algebra and the basic relations of Special Relativity demonstrates irrefutably that Special Relativity forbids infinite densities, for the requirement that material bodies acquire the speed of light in vacuum, or the equivalent requirement of infinite energy, which is impossible. Consequently General Relativity also forbids infinite densities howsoever they might be alleged to form in Einstein's gravitational field, because infinite density cannot be reconciled with Special Relativity, which it cannot violate. Thus, General Relativity forbids the infinitely dense point-mass singularity of the black hole, and hence forbids black holes. All the complicated mathematical gymnastics advanced by the astrophysical scientists cannot save the black hole from the simple truth that it is, according to the Theory of Relativity, just plain nonsense.

As for the alleged Big Bang phantasy, according to Einstein his Principle of Equivalence and his laws of Special Relativity must manifest in his gravitational field. Both the laws of Special Relativity and the Principle of Equivalence are defined in terms of the a priori presence of multiple arbitrarily large finite masses. Special Relativity is defined in terms of inertial frames, which are defined in terms of Newton's First Law, which is in turn defined in terms of the a priori presence of mass. Now the so-called 'Schwarzschild solution' (which is not Schwarzschild's solution at all) is a solution for the spacetime Ric = 0, which is a spacetime that by construction contains no matter. Furthermore, the Principle of Superposition does not apply in General Relativity, owing to its non-linear structure. It is therefore impossible for Einstein's Principle of Equivalence and his laws of Special Relativity to manifest in a spacetime that by construction contains no matter. Thus Ric = 0 fails. It immediately follows that Einstein's field equations form an identity with zero so that the total energy of his gravitational field is always zero; the energy-momentum tensor and the Einstein tensor must then vanish identically; so there is no possibility for the localisation of gravitational energy (i.e. no Einstein gravitational waves); and so General Relativity violates the usual experimentally well-established conservation of energy and momentum, taking with it the Big Bang, the black hole, and all associated paraphernalia. In addition, Einstein's attempt to save for his theory the usual conservation of energy and momentum by means of his invention of his pseudo-tensor, is fatally flawed, owing to the fact that his pseudo-tensor implies a first-order intrinsic differential invariant that depends only upon the components of the metric tensor and their first derivatives – but the mathematicians G. Ricci-Curbastro and T. Levi-Civita proved, in 1900, that such invariants do not exist! That is sufficient to completely invalidate Einstein's pseudo-tensor and all that relies upon it. Einstein's pseudo-tensor is a meaningless concoction of mathematical symbols. No doubt you are unaware of this 'minor detail' as well.

Now in place of electrical phenomena you would have all and sundry believe the flamboyant index raising and lowering astrophysical magicians, with their invisible and undetected black holes, their fanciful big bangs, their undetected Einstein gravitational waves, their mysterious dark matter and dark energy, their quintessence, all undetected and without any laboratory evidence whatsoever for such phenomena, when, to the best of our knowledge, most of the matter in the Universe is plasma, which can be studied in the laboratory. Nobody has ever observed a celestial body undergo irresistible gravitational collapse and there is no laboratory evidence whatsoever for such a process. General Relativity cannot account for the simple experimental fact that two fixed bodies will attract one another upon release.

Your audience is not as gullible or as technically challenged as you might like to think. Academics have no monopoly on learning. Laymen (like me) can think for themselves, and if provided with all the relevant facts and figures, can come to a rational conclusion as to what is right and what is wrong. Unfortunately, contemporary scientists treat we laymen as cannibals to which they think they can preach any nonsense they please, with impunity. Not so! The scientists must be and will be, ultimately, held accountable for their wanton squandering of vast sums of public money on demonstrable nonsense, and for their suppression of facts and figures that undermine their favoured conceptions and theories. Your scurrilous and uninformed attack upon Dr. Scott is indicative of the real problem with contemporary science – an inscrutable propensity to dictate rather than to objectively analyse and freely discuss ideas without fear or favour, with a concomitant all consuming vainglory and cupidity by which science has become a laughingstock.

Stephen J. Crothers.

Dave Smith said...

Tom Bridgman wrote:
"These comments have reached the point of overlapping posts I have under development as well as posing a few new topics. Unless I see something more of interest, I'll refrain from responding to these comments to complete those posts."

Are not the posts from Dunning-Davies and Crothers of more interest? In fact, you avoided responding to Tim too, one of the other more polite and sensible posts here. When people display intellectual integrity, do you ignore them?? The silence of your response to these three is deafening...

Cheers, Dave Smith.

Oliver said...

many thanks to Stephen J. Crothers for his clear voice!

and just for all to understand how a person might not hear any argument: "A powerful cause of dissonance is when an idea conflicts with a fundamental element of the self-concept, such as "I am a good person" or "I made the right decision." The anxiety that comes with the possibility of having made a bad decision can lead to rationalization, the tendency to create additional reasons or justifications to support one's choices. A person who just spent too much money on a new car might decide that the new vehicle is much less likely to break down than his or her old car. This belief may or may not be true, but it would likely reduce dissonance and make the person feel better. Dissonance can also lead to confirmation bias, the denial of disconfirming evidence, and other ego defense mechanisms." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_dissonance)

W.T."Tom" Bridgman said...

I have read some of Mr. Crothers' work on his web site linked from plasmaresources.com and am in very early stages of presenting a response pointing out some serious mathematical and physical misunderstandings.

In the meantime, I invite the GR doubters to take up the challenge of demonstrating a working GPS receiver without relativistic corrections. After all, GR corrections are part of the specification, as I note in my recent post:
Scott Rebuttal. I. GPS & Relativity.

W.T."Tom" Bridgman said...

Oliver: I just rejected your GPS comment under this thread. Repost it under my GPS topic and I'll let it through. However, you might want to check the math you reference a little more carefully before using it.

Dave Smith said...

Tom Bridgman wrote:

"I have read some of Mr. Crothers' work on his web site linked from plasmaresources.com and am in very early stages of presenting a response pointing out some serious mathematical and physical misunderstandings."Now this I've really gotta see. I look forward to it. You see, I've been in the privileged position of being able to see first-hand many of the communications between Crothers and hundreds of scientists, including a good number of "peer-review" 'experts' and some very eminent folk in their respective fields.

The ONLY ones who subjected Crothers' math to serious scruitiny (as against dismissive hand-waving arguments of ignorance) actually admitted that there is NO FAULT in said math, and no faults in the papers submitted for peer-review, but get this - that they 'believed' that black holes exist, and used the excuse that Crothers' papers were outside the scope of their publications, so could not be published - and this particular argument came from the managing editor of a publication of which the scope included the 'origin and physics of black holes'.

Such institutionalized bias should have no place in science, yet this is typical of the way Crothers' work is received. If some of the best mathematicians and physicists in the world cannot fault Crothers' math, I doubt you will find any valid arguments against it Tom.

Cheers, Dave.

W.T."Tom" Bridgman said...

Dave,

I find it funny that you try to make a big deal of 'problems' in General Relativity that don't seem to impact experimental prediction while cowardly avoiding problems of EU claims that are SIGNIFICANTLY contrary to observation. Considering that your models imply particle fluxes near the Earth that imperil the lives of astronauts, the EU community is somewhat morally obligated to explain these discrepancies.

If EU models can't be used to reliably predict space weather conditions, then EU models are USELESS and therefore WRONG.

It's funny how the EU crowd claims they're talking about the science but seem to avoid it. I've not had a response from the EU crowd on ANY of the threads below, and these are the ones with the hard science.

I plan to ignore you until you present a clear SCIENTIFIC and RELEVANT response to at least one of these topics:

Scott Rebuttal. I. GPS & RelativityElectric Cosmos: The Solar Resistor ModelElectric Cosmos: The Solar Capacitor Model. I.Electric Cosmos: The Solar Capacitor Model. II.Electric Cosmos: The Solar Capacitor Model. III.Be sure to post to the appropriate topic.

And while you're at it, answer this question:
I toss a rock from a cliff of height h. It leaves my hand with a speed v, and angle theta from the horizontal. The rock hits the ground, h=0, at some time t, yet the quadratic equation that explains the motion has *two* solutions! According to the math, the rock must hit the ground twice? Is even Newtonian gravity mathematically inconsistent? Explain.

I await your insights.

Dave Smith said...

Tom wrote:
"Dave,

I find it funny that you try to make a big deal of 'problems' in General Relativity that don't seem to impact experimental prediction while cowardly avoiding problems of EU claims that are SIGNIFICANTLY contrary to observation. Considering that your models imply particle fluxes near the Earth that imperil the lives of astronauts, the EU community is somewhat morally obligated to explain these discrepancies."
Tom, I find it funny that you seem to make a big deal out of 'problems' with EU theory which don't seem to impact on creationism in astronomy, while cowardly avoiding the valid and relevant questions and points those who have contributed to this thread raise.

Tom wrote:
"If EU models can't be used to reliably predict space weather conditions, then EU models are USELESS and therefore WRONG."If the standard model can't be used to reliably predict galaxy rotation curves (without invoking the unobserved, physics-defying, mystical dark matter) then at least that part of it is USELESS and therefore WRONG. EU, on the other hand, finds much confirmation in space weather phenomena. BTW I find it funny that you resort to using UPPERCASE to make your HANDWAVING louder, whilst throwing RED HERRINGS all over the place.

Tom wrote:
"It's funny how the EU crowd claims they're talking about the science but seem to avoid it. I've not had a response from the EU crowd on ANY of the threads below, and these are the ones with the hard science."It's funny that you somehow expect the EU crowd to even be bothered looking at ANY of your other threads, as you still have not displayed a genuine interest in the model, but rather some drive to connect it erroneously with creationism, a subject not related to EU in any manner. As you display the characteristics of a zealot, no-one cares what you write. Said non-responses are a good indication of this.

Tom wrote:
"I plan to ignore you until you present a clear SCIENTIFIC and RELEVANT response to at least one of these topics:"I don't care one iota if you plan to ignore me, I am not a scientist, nor do I pretend to be one, nor do I aspire to be one. My concern is that you are prepared to engage those of us who are not scientists, whilst leaving the more valid and scientific points alone. Why is that? Do you find it easier to "talk down" to non-scientists? You cannot order me to respond to anything.

Tom wrote:
"And while you're at it, answer this question:
I toss a rock from a cliff of height h. It leaves my hand with a speed v, and angle theta from the horizontal. The rock hits the ground, h=0, at some time t, yet the quadratic equation that explains the motion has *two* solutions! According to the math, the rock must hit the ground twice? Is even Newtonian gravity mathematically inconsistent? Explain."
And while you're at it, answer this question:
I fart in the forest with a force f, and it leaves my butt with a speed v, and angle theta from the horizontal, and no-one is nearby to hear it, does it make a sound s? Does it even smell phew? Explain. This has about as much relevance...

I await your insults.

Cheers, Dave.

fromthesideline said...

Bridgman wrote:

"I toss a rock from a cliff of height h. It leaves my hand with a speed v, and angle theta from the horizontal. The rock hits the ground, h=0, at some time t, yet the quadratic equation that explains the motion has *two* solutions! According to the math, the rock must hit the ground twice? Is even Newtonian gravity mathematically inconsistent? Explain."This is a simple high school problem and so requires only high school methods to solve, although Bridgman has introduced some falsehoods into his rendition of the problem. Whether or not he did this deliberately is anyone's guess. So readers with no mathematics beyond high school will have no trouble at all with this problem, and it is they whom I address.

We know from high school that the position 'x' of a point moving with constant acceleration 'a' along a straight line is given by

x = xo + vo t + (at^2)/2

where xo is the initial position, at t = 0, and vo = the initial speed. Usually we take t to represent time. So x is a function of t, i.e. x = x(t).

If we neglect drag due to the atmosphere and, if h is not large, any variation in the acceleration attributed to gravity, and if we take t as time, then x = h is construed as the height of an object (actually point) at time t >= 0 and xo = ho at the time t = 0 and a = -g, the acceleration (downward) attributed to gravity when h is taken positive upwards. Then the height of the object taken as a moving point, as a function of time, is given by

h = ho + vo t - (gt^2)/2.

If the initial velocity is at an angle theta above the horizontal and over the edge of the cliff (so that 0 <= theta < 90 degrees) then the equation becomes

h = ho + [vo sin(theta)] t - (gt^2)/2.

For the height of the cliff, ho > 0.

Setting h = 0 yields the quadratic equation Bridgman alludes to,

0 = ho + [vo sin(theta)] t - (gt^2)/2.

Using the well-known expression for the solutions to a quadratic equation which we learnt in high school, we get the two solutions

t = {vo sin(theta) + or - sqrt[ vo^2sin^2theta + 2g ho]}/g

Taking the plus sign in this expression yields a value t > 0, for when the object hits the ground, below the cliff, at a distance D = vo cos(theta) t, at this value of t, in the horizontal direction away from the cliff. Since the quantity under the radical sign is positive and greater than vo sin(theta), taking the minus sign gives a value of t < 0. But we know from the very construction of the problem that t >= 0 is required for a physical correlation, and so any t < 0 does not have any relation to the problem, and so it is not involved. Thus, there is only one instant when the object hits the ground, not two, assuming that it does not bounce after impact. The physics of the problem sets restrictions upon the permissible values of t subsequently obtained from the purely mathematical operations. So the claim by Bridgman that the mathematics says that the object hits the ground twice is false. The mathematics says no such thing; it merely gives two roots of a quadratic equation and says nothing about hitting the ground. Hitting the ground involves physics whereas the formal solution to a quadratic equation does not. Bridgman's mixing of mathematical formalities with physics to suggest two bounces is disingenuous. That the quadratic equation has two solutions is an issue in algebra (roots of polynomials), not with Newtonian gravity.

If ho = 0 then the object is launched from ground level at t = 0. Then the quadratic equation becomes

0 = [vo sin(theta)] t - (gt^2)/2

which has the solutions t1 = 0 (as expected, from construction) and t2 = [2vo sin(theta)]/g > 0, as expected. The object is on the ground twice; at launch (t1 = 0) where horizontal distance is D = 0, and at impact (again assuming no bounce) at distance from D = vo cos(theta) t2.

Note that there is no appeal to Newton's Universal Law of Gravitation required in this analysis. The forces that give rise to the motion modelled by the equations are not considered in the analysis at all, and so this is not a problem in Newtonian dynamics:- it is a problem in kinematics. So Bridgeman's suggestion that Newtonian gravitation is somehow involved is also patently false. His association of the quadratic equation involved with Newton's theory of gravitation is misleading.

Bridgman's assertion that the quadratic equation "explains the motion" is also false, because the equation explains nothing: it merely describes how a point will move given initial position ho and constant acceleration a = -g. The quadratic equation cares not what its terms are taken to correspond to in any physical problem it is used to model. The fundamental expression is, as given above,

x = xo + vo t + (at^2)/2

where x is the location of a point on the number line, with location reckoned from x = 0.

Bridgman's scenario is an example of obfuscation in action: attempting to lead people up the proverbial garden path. One can only wonder as to the mental processes involved in presenting such a scenario in the first place.

W.T."Tom" Bridgman said...

Congrats to 'fromthesideline'.

I have two points of disagreement.

1) The point is relevant to Newtonian gravity as a similar issue arises in the general 1/r^2 case, elliptical orbits. I just thought solving the full Kepler equation would be a little too involved. Perhaps I should have specified as Galilean gravity.

2) It was a simple case that illustrates apparent mathematical inconsistencies which arise due to limited ways of expressing the problem. Some 'inconsistences' in GR may be more due to our interpretation of the problem. Similar 'inconsistencies' exist in QM which generate non-local effects in experiments and appear illogical to our 'classical' thinking.

I'm open to a better, simple example.

Tom

fromthesideline said...

Bridgman wrote: "I have two points of disagreement.

"1) The point is relevant to Newtonian gravity as a similar issue arises in the general 1/r^2 case, elliptical orbits. I just thought solving the full Kepler equation would be a little too involved. Perhaps I should have specified as Galilean gravity.

"2) It was a simple case that illustrates apparent mathematical inconsistencies which arise due to limited ways of expressing the problem. Some 'inconsistences' in GR may be more due to our interpretation of the problem. Similar 'inconsistencies' exist in QM which generate non-local effects in experiments and appear illogical to our 'classical' thinking."
That Bridgman has posted my previous comments without alteration is to his credit, and so perhaps all is not lost for free and open scientific discussion, although we are, generally speaking, very far from achieving that kind of forum within the global circles of scientific inquiry, as the current parlous state of science testifies damningly against itself.

Now Bridgman makes two points in disagreement in relation to my previous post. He says that what he initially presented is relevant to Newtonian gravity. But this is certainly incorrect. The scenario he presented has nothing to do with Newtonian gravitation whatsoever. Newton's theory of gravitation plays no part in the situation Bridgman presented, which is clear from the fact that Newton's law of gravitation is not involved in the mathematical model for the situation. As Bridgman has now conceded, the situation he initially presented is not Newtonian, but Galilean in nature, insofar as its physical aspects are involved. Bridgman's initial scenario, I reiterate, is one in kinematics, not dynamics, and hence not a problem in Newtonian gravitation. Newton's theory of gravitation accounts for Kepler's empirical laws of planetary motion. The two scenarios are very different in character, contrary to what Bridgman has now indicated. A problem in kinematics has nothing to do with forces, but Newton's Law of Universal Gravitation involves forces. Bridgman has confused the two types of problems. At best, a similar issue involving the physical interpretation of solutions of equations arises in Newtonian gravitation, as I described in my previous post (on Bridgman's initial scenario, which has nothing to do with Newtonian gravitation), where t < 0, although a solution to the quadratic equation, is irrelevant by the very construction of the physical problem the equations are used to model. That is not an issue in pure mathematics, which leads me directly on to Bridgman's second element of disagreement.

On his second point of disagreement, Bridgman is again incorrect. There are no mathematical inconsistencies, apparent or otherwise, in the equations used to deal with the scenario he initially presented. A polynomial of degree n has n roots, pure and simple. In the case of the quadratic equation, which is degree 2, there are two roots, as were obtained in my previous post. The mathematics involved there is not in any way inconsistent (otherwise it would not be legitimate mathematics). The confounding of mathematics for physics is a mistake that is very often made by physicists, Bridgman included, as his initial presentation betrays. Such errors are made either in ignorance or by failing to think carefully enough about the statement of the problem, or deliberately to mislead. Which was the cause of Bridgman's inaccuracies I will not hazard a guess (guessing is not scientific). He now mentions General Relativity: but General Relativity actually contains genuine mathematical inconsistencies, i.e. it violates the rules of mathematics, yet it is supposed to be mathematical physics, fundamentally; and so General Relativity is fatally flawed. In addition, the physicists have compounded their genuine mathematical inconsistencies related to General Relativity with contradictions in their application of the very physical principles upon which General Relativity is founded, producing a meaningless mess that pretends to be profound but is in reality anything but. This is very different to the picture Bridgman has now tried to paint of General Relativity. One cannot arbitrarily identify a definite mathematical entity as one pleases, in many different ways, in order to manufacture various objects, such as black holes, and then proclaim derivation from a theory, as the relativists do, or invent apparent mathematical entities (apparent because they look like mathematics but actually have no mathematical existence) for similar ad hoc purposes, as Einstein did. This is not a matter of interpretation, but one of fundamental logic, particularly of the mathematical kind, from which the relativists will find no escape. I wonder if Bridgman would concede that black holes, and indeed General Relativity, are fatally flawed, if confronted with the simple proofs. I have yet to see a relativist, when confronted with the facts, do anything other than put his head in the sand and hope that the inconvenient truth goes away in time for lunch. For some unscientific reasons that they hide, relativists can't tolerate the very idea that their hero Einstein made a botch of things. Hero worship itself has no place in science: it is childish, and pernicious, and leads directly to intellectual decrepitude; but relativists revel in it.

W.T."Tom" Bridgman said...

A reply to Dave Smith has been posted under Whines of the Electric Universe...

Ian said...

With regards to Peratt's model, you may want to have a look at Anthony Peratt's Plasma Model of Galaxy Formation on the JREF forum.

The real problem with the results from his computer simulation seems more basic than you would imagine. He generates the maps of the positions of plasma particles (essentially a mass distribution). These are then compared to optical images of (for example) spiral galaxies. These match.
But the mass distribution in spiral galaxies is not in actual spirals as in the optical images! The mass is found in a disk plus a central bulge. The disk has some variation in density but never goes to zero as in Peratt's results.
Another example is his comparison of double lobe radio galaxy mass distribution to their radio output. But radio galaxies are actually hosted by elliptical galaxies (possibly not known in 1986).

W.T."Tom" Bridgman said...

Ian,

Thanks for the pointer. I've posted my main piece on the Peratt galaxy model here. The JREF link currently appears to be offline but I'll add it in the comments for that thread at a later time.

Anonymous said...

I doubt this comment of mine will be read by many people, but at least it will be public (if you allow it through moderation Tom), and so should come up when a search is done on Scott's rebuttal of "The Electric Sky Short-Circuited" (ESSS) (the rebuttal is entitled "D. E. Scott Rebuts T. Bridgman", and the copy I'm working from is subtitled "(Revised 3/20/09)").

Scott "It is also ironic that Bridgman should object so strongly to my suggestion that, in so many cases in his field, totally erroneous early pronouncements have been corrected only after we have gone there and made close (in situ) observations". In the century since Birkeland, we have been able to make some in situ measurements of the IPM (interplanetary medium, a.k.a. solar wind) as well as several planetary magnetospheres and on several solar system bodies (including their atmospheres: planets, moons, asteroids, comets). Within the lifetime of people reading this today (6 August, 2009), a limited region of the ISM (interstellar medium) and some parts of the heliosheath will also likely be studied in situ, as will parts of the Sun's corona (and, just possibly, its chromosphere and photosphere). The results from these in situ studies will certainly inform astronomy, especially stellar astronomy, but it will remain a science based on remote observation.

In other words, Scott does not actually address Bridgman's point.

Further, "in so many cases" is an underwhelming tactic ... are these the only such cases? how many cases are there where "early pronouncements" were confirmed by later in situ observations? What is the relative importance of each type of case? How can all such cases - erroneous and spot-on and in between - lead to improvements in who we do science?

(to be continued)

Nereid

Anonymous said...

(continued)

Scott: "GRAVITATIONAL LENSING TB says I "describe gravitational lensing (GL) as untested." This is a total fabrication. I resent it. A complete reading of that section of TES will reveal that, in my opinion, it is not that GL is untested but rather that it has been misapplied in ways that Einstein never intended. He described it as being an effect between two stellar (point) sources. In order to interpret it as being an effect observable between a galaxy and a distant QSO, the galaxy would have to behave in a way such that all its mass is acting at a point, a so-called 'point-mass singularity'. There is no astronomical (or laboratory) evidence of infinitely dense point-masses. When relativists discuss 'point-masses' what they mean is a mathematical abstraction – the center of mass – which is not a physical object.

So my opinion is that the original Einstein prediction has been hijacked for purposes of explaining away enigmatic observations to which its application is inappropriate.
"

I think this is (yet another) example of how Scott seems to have a fundamentally different view of the nature of science than Bridgman (and almost all other scientists).

Scott seems to be saying Einstein is inerrant not only wrt the scientific theories in his published papers, but also wrt their application; i.e. if General Relativity (GR) was not applied, by Einstein, wrt problem X or in situation Y, then it can never be so used! IIRC, Scott has much the same attitude (opinion) wrt the works of Alfvén.

The similarity with creationism (biblical inerrancy) is striking; it would be interesting to know if there are any counter-examples.

(to be continued)

Nereid

Anonymous said...

I don't know how I could have missed this earlier ...

Scott: "What TB ignores is that I do start by stating a simple obvious fact, "There is no way that a measurement taken at only one end of a transmission channel can reveal changes that have occurred farther up the channel." That is what the SNO researchers did and it is a blatant logical error in their experimental procedure." (bold in original)

I'm sure I'm missing something really important here (Scott can't be saying that, can he?), but I can't see what.

Here goes: substitute "photons" for "neutrinos", and read Scott's statement again (the one in bold).

We make measurements at one end of "a transmission channel" - using CCDs, or silver halide crystals say, at the focus of a telescope on a mountaintop - and build an entire branch of science on the assumption that these measurements "can reveal changes that have occurred farther up the channel", through the chromosphere, corona, solar wind, Earth's magnetosphere, and its atmosphere (if we're discussing the Sun), or through the interstellar medium (ISM) of the source, the medium between said galaxy and ours, the ISM of the Milky Way, the heliosphere, etc (if a high-z quasar), etc.

Somebody - preferably a keen student of Scott and his EU ideas - please tell me that Scott has not, using this logic, declared the whole of astronomy to be built on "a blatant logical error"? And - assuming I'm wrong - how does he address the apparent inconsistency of being OK with measurement at one end of a transmission channel revealing changes further up the channel for photons, but not OK for neutrinos?

W.T."Tom" Bridgman said...

Good catch. I was going to concentrate on the neutrinos.

However, claiming that the particles/light we receive from space tells us nothing about the source would really invalidate all of astronomy.

This is very similar to the "Light created in transit" argument used by young-earth creationists. Another tidbit to add to part two of The Electric Universe & Creationism.

Anonymous said...

Scott: [Bridgman] ridicules Halton Arp‘s statement that "we cannot see through Seyfert galaxies" and presents a hand-waving argument [...] to 'show' that we can indeed see through galactic disks. Really? Well, take a look at this image that I took [from my observatory]: [...] and tell me you would be able to see a star (QSO) far beyond this galaxy, directly behind it. And this galaxy, M31, isn‘t even a Seyfert. He also states (using all upper case letters) that, "We see through the disk of our own galaxy." This is simply a false proclamation thrown down from authority. There are many completely opaque dark nebular regions within our galaxy. But a galactic core can also be opaque because it is too bright to see through.
This is so good, as parody, it's almost worthy of being published in the Onion! :-)

For starters, Scott was only able to make that image of M31 because he could see through the disk of our Milky Way galaxy.

Then there's the fact that Seyferts are no different from ordinary spiral galaxies wrt their arms (they're Seyferts because of the unusual brightness of their nuclei, and the presence of strong narrow and/or broad emission lines in the spectra of those nuclei).

How clearly one can 'see' through a galactic disk is partly a matter of resolution; at the resolution of Scott's M31 image, individual stars are not resolved, and the transparency of the disk not intuitively obvious. However, images taken with greater resolution - such as by the Subaru telescope - demonstrate that the solid wall of colour is an illusion.
(http://subarutelescope.org/Pressrelease/2001/09/07/index.html)

Images from the Hubble Space Telescope, taken for the ANGST project, illustrate this even better.

Scott is also in error re the brightness of the nucleus preventing one from seeing background objects. A good illustration of this is in a paper entitled "A search for the most massive galaxies: Double Trouble?": giant elliptical nuclear velocity dispersion outliers are found to be overlapping galactic nuclei!
http://fr.arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0510696
(link is to the abstract of the arXiv preprint).

Nereid

DR said...

First link in the entry does not work.

W.T."Tom" Bridgman said...

To DR: Thanks. It's fixed now.

Anonymous said...

"I have read some of Mr. Crothers' work on his web site linked from plasmaresources.com and am in very early stages of presenting a response pointing out some serious mathematical and physical misunderstandings."

Well it's been over 15 months now and we're still waiting - does it really take this long to point out "serious mathematical and physical misunderstandings." ? I don't think I can hold my breath for much longer.

W.T."Tom" Bridgman said...

To Anonymous:

Some Preliminary Comments on Crothers' Relativity Claims

A Paper Illustrating More of Crothers' Relativity Errors

The comments in the second article have been quite active of late. Clearly you are new here or you haven't been paying attention...