Saturday, July 30, 2011

Miscellaneous Links on Geocentrism & Relativity Denial

If this post was released through the scheduled posting mechanism, it means I've been too busy to complete a post this week.

So I use this opportunity to post a few links of interest I've accumulated.
Things are a bit hectic right now with some short travel for a talk and local conference.  I may extend the hiatus to make more progress on posts that have been on my 'To Do' list for too long.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Stupid Geocentrist Tricks

James Philips responded to “Heliocentrism's 'Vested Interests'...” with a number of comments which I will address in this post.

Most of Mr. Phillips' claims suggest he is either ignoring or (deliberately?) misrepresenting much of the material I have already described in earlier posts of how coordinate systems are defined and used in astronomy.  These coordinate systems, verified by many experiments, make it impossible to define an absolute frame of rest.

Here's some excerpts from previous posts defining these issues:

Geocentrism: Galileo was wrong?
Excerpt: Phil notes the distinction of geocentrism as a reference frame, a convenient way to relate measurements, and Geocentrism as a physically distinct frame that defines an absolute rest, so that the Earth is unmoving, unmovable, and not even rotating.  Astronomers use alternative references frames all the time - choosing the frames convenient for the analysis of the problem at hand - there are a number of them for the Earth and the Sun, which I utilize in my day job.

Geocentrism: Does NASA use Geocentrism?
Excerpt: Why would they not?  Why would you reference everything with heliocentric coordinates if you are in orbit around the Earth?  Or in orbit around Mars?  The heliocentric coordinates are just a coordinate transformation away from any other coordinate system you choose to use.

You use the model appropriate to the scale of the problem you are solving. A geocentric model can be sufficiently accurate near the Earth, but deviates as one moves further away from the Earth.  When traveling between planets, NASA routinely transitions between the frame of the Earth, to the heliocentric frame, and to the frame of the target planet when the spacecraft gets near.
The bottom line is that any coordinate can be used interchangeably, provided you do the correct transformation between them.

The use of any coordinate system, even geocentric systems, is generally a matter of convenience, and does not (and by relativity cannot), define any kind of frame of absolute rest, which is the general interpretation of Modern Geocentrism (wikipedia).  In the blue sections below, 'B' is Mr. Phillips' marking of quotations from the original post, “Heliocentrism's 'Vested Interests'..., while 'JP' indicates Mr. Phillips' response in the comment section.
B: As for my viciousness (maliciousness), why would anyone in their right mind listen to 'knowledge' which does not come from some actual accomplishment in the field they are claiming?

JP: But Dr. Bridgman, the knowledge posted on your blog by geocentrists (and others!) challenging you has come from peer reviewed and published scientific papers. What are you so afraid of?
Geocentrists are not promoting peer-reviewed science.  They are twisting the interpretation of peer-reviewed science.   Every time I check the details of papers referenced by Mr. Phillips and others, I find very inaccurate reporting of the results.  Mr. Bennett (mentioned later) directed me to some papers by R.V. Jones and others claiming the papers validated aether theory.  I finally retrieved the full papers and supporting citations and will have a future post with another example of gross misrepresentation of scientific results.
B: Would you accept medical advice from an actor or other non-medical professional?

JP: I think the best medical professionals agree that it is always wise to seek a second or even a third opinion, and that is what we shall do here, in a moment, and we shall request our second opinion from Dr. Einstein if you don't mind (or, frankly, even if you do).

But it does seem as if you are suggesting here that truth is determined by academic credential. Surely you must admit that the whole history of scientific advancement shows us the fallacy of your implication above. In fact, if we think about it, every single scientific discovery begins life as the act of one single mind, advancing an hypothesis in direct contradiction to the established wisdom of the rest of the scientific establishment, doesn't it?
By your 'lone mind going against the establishment' criteria and rhetorical games, we can cherry-pick our evidence and prove that the world is flat.  I have actually played this exercise with a creationist, where I used many of the creationist rhetorical games to 'prove' the Earth was indeed flat.  The creationist gave up after just a few rounds.

Using rhetorical logic, Zeno 'proved' it was impossible for Achilles to overtake the tortoise (wikipedia).  Such games in rhetoric, or 'logic' don't make it true, much less useful.  Also see Item 6 of: Seven Warning Signs of Bogus Science, by Robert L. Park, Ph.D, (Quackwatch)

Truth determined by academic credentials?  You have the cart before the horse.  Success at determining and expanding scientific understanding determined the academic credentials.  Many of those 'academic credentials'  were earned developing an accurate understanding of how atoms work that make small computers possible today, and understanding how gravity works which eventually made spaceflight possible.  I'm still waiting for a successful 'geocentrist' algorithm for interplanetary navigation.  Or are Geocentrists (again) going to opt for trying to steal, er, 'relabel' the standard coordinate transformation techniques and claim it is the same as the geocentrists theory? 
It is apparent that you want us to shut up and accept your word.

I submit this is hardly an authentic expression of the honest scientific mindset.
I don't want to you accept my word.

I insist that Geocentrists adhere to the same standards that real scientists must accept.  Hence it is the Geocentrists who must demonstrate the validity of their science through such tests as finding Lagrange points, etc. (see Geocentrism: Does NASA use Geocentrism?).  I want the Geocentrists to put their money where their mouth is.  Let's see the Geocentrists actually DO something with their 'science'.  If they can't do that, then it is they who is asking others to accept their word.
Are your readers not ashamed of you, since you are a teacher? And how unfortunate are your students if they are indoctrinated in this way, instead of being invited to work through these questions carefully and honestly.
Students ARE required to work through the theories carefully in physics and astronomy classes as anyone who's taken a real physics class knows.  Most physics students know that many of those equations in the engineering texts come from Newton's laws and other more fundamental principles.  A disturbing number of engineers seem to just blindly accept these equations and then deny much of the science behind them.  The better engineers understand the science behind the equations and can develop technology beyond rote applications of engineering formulae.
B: There are plenty of people that do that and worse (see What's the Harm?), and they can pay a high price for ignorance.

JP: But Dr. Bridgman, there is nothing in your link which addresses the question of whether heliocentrism has been scientifically proven. In fact, in a moment, we are going to allow Dr. Einstein to teach you that it has not been.
It is well known that you censor the comments of geocentrists such as Dr. Robert Bennett and Rick DeLano, who have already pointed out the key fallacy embedded in your article here; that is, you assert that only the heliocentric reference frame is scientifically valid, when even Dr. Einstein and his scientific heirs insist it is not.
There is NO preferred frame (beyond convenience for a given application).  Such a fact cannot 'prove' heliocentrism, but it is sufficient to disprove Geocentrism.

But the real hoot is Mr. Phillips resorts to spinning quotes of Einstein and other developers of relativity to support his position, even though those quotations favor the equality of ALL reference frames, with favor to none.  Of course, the Einstein arguments are only valid if RELATIVITY is valid.

So after spending a large part of his comments DENYING relativity, Mr. Phillips now invokes relativity when it is convenient?

Unfortunately, physical laws are not a cafeteria plan, where you can pick-and-choose which physical laws you wish to believe.

Bob Sungenis is your astronaut
B: If you convince someone that a toxin is not poisonous, and they take a dose of the toxin and die, who is morally responsible for the death? You? Or do you just claim that it was their choice and go on your merry way?
JP: Why, that would be *you*, Dr. Bridgeman. But please allow a geocentrist to apply the remedy.
This is exactly the type of answer I expected.  So let's put it in a clearer perspective.

You have a rocket (multi-stage) with a life support capsule capable of sustaining a human occupant for, say 10 hours or so. 

Bob Sungenis is your astronaut.

Mr. Martin & Mr. Phillips are in charge of designing the flight trajectory.  The goal is to successfully launch Dr. Sungenis into orbit, have him circle the Earth three times (to guarantee the flight has indeed achieved a sustainable orbit) and then return to Earth at a pre-defined destination.

The spacecraft will be built making sure the star trackers don't correct for aberration (or perhaps only an earth-based aberration), since the spacecraft will be in a different reference frame.  This error would be small, but perhaps not entirely negligible.  Mr. Martin & Mr. Phillips must calculate the amount of fuel needed to perform the trajectory (with some reasonable margin of safety).  They must also compute the times and angles needed to apply the thrust to direct the rocket into orbit and for the re-entry maneuver.

So will Dr. Sungenis make it back safely to Earth, or is he a potential Darwin Award candidate?

If Mr. Martin & Mr. Phillips' calculation result in the spacecraft being placed on a bad trajectory, and consequently Dr. Sungenis' death, are they guilty of murder?

Remember that NASA and other space agencies do these types of calculations routinely, launching humans into space (okay perhaps not so much for a while as the last space shuttle has just landed :^(.  Is Geocentrism's 'science' up to the task?

Note that this is strong test of the geocentrist claim that the Earth is not rotating.

Considering the extensive efforts being make to facilitate commercial access to space, this exercise may actually be testable in the not-to-distant future.  In fact, I'd be interested in working with other organizations to design an actual protocol for such tests, similar to the JREF paranormal challenge.
B: Real lives depend on the proper computation of spacecraft trajectories, and not just the lives of astronauts (more below). The Geocentrists have offered nothing but rhetorical games to back their claims - nothing of the rigor required by science and engineering beyond a word game to relabel the mathematics.

JP: Balderdash. The mathematics have been rigorously worked out and published nearly a century ago, in order to make mathematically precise the expression of Relativity's *foundational* postulate, that there exists no “best“ referencer frame.
[ stuff deleted ]
Again,  Mr. Phillips is apparently supporting relativity?  Relativity demonstrates the equivalence of ALL coordinate systems as a frame of reference.

Then Mr. Phillips flip-flops yet again, trying to deny the validity of relativity with the claim below:
JP: But wait a minute, Dr. Bridgman. Isn't it true that GPS uses a geocentric reference frame?

Why, it certainly is: ttp://

I dealt with this issue in Geocentrism: Does NASA use Geocentrism?  Since the great majority of GPS customers are on the Earth, why wouldn't we use the Earth as a key coordinate system?  If we built a GPS system in orbit around Mars, we would use a Mars-centered coordinate system, and but for the parameter values that describe the planet and its atmosphere, the equations would be identical (A GPS System for Mars).

So how does this prove Geocentrism, that the Earth defines a frame of absolute rest?

That GPS uses a geocentric system is irrelevant to geocentrism being a 'favored' coordinate system beyond matters of convenience.  They are already in planning for a positioning system to work ANYWHERE in the solar system.  Which coordinate systems do you think it will use?
In fact, it has been shown by Wang and Hatch that all of the JPL software used for GPS and deerp space satellite navigation does “the entire calculation“ in the Earth-centered inertial (ECI) frame:
Really? Mr. Phillips didn't check his 'facts' very carefully. 

While the JPL GPS software uses  geocentric coordinate systems, it also uses ICRF for celestial reference, as noted in Geocentrism: Ubiquitous Aberrations.  But that is not the software used for 'deerp (sic) space satellite navigation', where ephemerides are based on ICRF, a system based on the solar-system barycenter (as described in Geocentrism: Does NASA use Geocentrism?).
“…NavCom Technology, Inc. has licensed software developed by the Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) which, because of historical reasons, does the entire computation in the ECI frame. Because of some discrepancies between our standard earth-centered earth-fixed solution results and the JPL results, we investigated the input parameters to the solution very carefully. The measured and theoretical ranges computed in the two different frames agreed precisely, indicating that the Sagnac correction had been applied in each frame.“--Ruyong Wang and Ronald R. Hatch, Conducting a Crucial Experiment of the Constancy of the Speed of Light Using GPS, ION GPS 58th Annual Meeting / CIGTF 21st Guidance Test Symposium, 2002, p. 500.
So, Dr. Bridgman, it seems that *real engineers* writing *real software* for *real spacecraft* in fact use the very earth-centered frames you insist cannot be correct.
I've been accumulating some info on Mr. Hatch's claims for some months now.  Notice that Mr. Hatch's work has only been published in the ION CONFERENCE PROCEEDINGS (conference proceedings generally published papers from anyone who pays the conference fee), while none of his material has appeared in ION's peer-reviewed publication.  Mr. Hatch's errors are far too extensive to add to this already too-long post, so they're being collected for a future post.

Mr. Phillips apparently doesn't know what it means to 'license' software.  He also claims I say one cannot use geocentric frames, contrary to my statements in Geocentrism: Does NASA use Geocentrism?

Mr Phillips is becoming a bore.

See how important it can be to get a second opinion, Doctor Bridgeman?

Well, I could continue on mano a mano with all the rest of your comments, but if anyone reading all that I've responded to still wants to keep a closed mind on the question of geocentrism there's perhaps not too much else to say at this point.

The greatest scientists have approached the great scientific paradigms of their day with an open mind, not a closed one. Truth be known, even the greatest ones today have not closed their mind to geocentrism even if many of them may be pre-disposed due to atheistic inclinations to reject it out of hand!

If we have a better world today as Dr. Bridgman talks about it is due at least in part to the fact that the great scientists retain an open mind not a closed one. This is a simple fact which should not even be necessary to point out.
And again Mr. Phillips' arguments degenerate into the standard drivel.

So let's summarize...

In his same set of comments, Mr. Phillips both advocates and denies relativity.

Mr. Phillips has incorrectly claimed that I have stated heliocentrism is an absolute favored frame and that it is invalid to use geocentric reference frames. In both cases I have referenced recent posts illustrating I have not made such claims.  This is the kind of 'bearing of false witness' so common in creationist circles, which give Christianity a bad name and which I have complained about before (Creationist Junk Debunked).

This suggests Mr Phillips is making stuff up to stay in the game (see Reason Seen More as Weapon Than Path to Truth).  Mr. Phillips has reached the point that he is arguing in circles and is wasting my time.  Similar nonsensical responses from him or others will be rejected in the comments.

Challenges for Geocentrists

Since Mr. Phillips has accused me of asking readers to 'take my word for it', let me clarify the questions that Geocentrists must answer, lest they be guilty of insisting readers take THEIR word for it.

First, when Geocentrists wish to respond to any comments on this blog, the must first clearly specify which flavor of Geocentrism are they supporting:  A totally non-rotating Earth?  Perhaps a rotating Earth but fixed in the solar system?  Some other 'flavor'?  Failure to do so will result in comment rejection.

1) If Geocentrists want to claim that the GEI/ECI/ECRF or GEO frames is favored, how would you tell?  What differences would one expect in the equations?  What make GEI/GEO a favored coordinate system, beyond personal preference?

2) Let's consider for a moment the possibility that Wang & Hatch are correct and that the speed of light is 'c' only in the ECI reference frame.  But Sungenis uses the null MMX result as evidence that the Earth is not rotating, i.e. that 'c' is fixed in the GEO frame.  But the GEO frame rotates relative to the ECI  frame!  Relativity explains this in full mathematical detail today.  How do Geocentrist's explain this inconsistency?

3) There are already proposals to install atomic clocks on Mars-orbiting satellites to make a GPS system to support rover and human operations on that planet (The global positioning system, relativity, and extraterrestrial navigation).  According to relativity, the equations for such a system in a Mars-centered coordinate system would look precisely like the Earth-centered system but for parameter values describing the planet's mass, size and atmosphere.  If relativity is incorrect, can the Geocentrists provide the equation systems needed to successfully support Mars exploration, or will Geocentrists be, like their 'science', limited to the Earth?

4) Some months ago, Rick DeLano claimed that Geocentrism could explain the Lagrange points, five points of stability in the restricted 3-body problem (Wikipedia), and one of the predictions of Newtonian gravity and laws of motion. I challenged him to demonstrate it, considering that we make use of these locations in a number of operating space missions.

The Geocentrists have been strangely silent on this so I add this to the official list.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Electric Universe: Measurement of the Electric Current in a Kpc-Scale Jet

A couple of weeks ago, I came across a paper on the Cornell preprint server that I suspected the Electric Universe (EU) crowd would pick up before long...

“Measurement of the Electric Current in a Kpc-Scale Jet”
Kronberg, Philipp P.; Lovelace, Richard V. E.; Lapenta, Giovanni; Colgate, Stirling A.

I'm sure the EUers will be all over this, claiming that it means mainstream science is finally coming around to their ideas.  But if they actually read the original paper, and not just the press-releases, they would discover that they were wrong (again)...

The introduction of the paper reveals that this work is actually based on a model for galactic jets that dates back to 1976 with work by Roger Blandford (Accretion disc electrodynamics - A model for double radio sources) and independently by Lovelace (Dynamo model of double radio sources), one of the co-authors of the current paper. 

The model relies on the jets of plasma being collimated by a magnetic field and particle flows driven by an electric field created by an accreting black hole.    The model has been studied heavily since first proposed by Lovelace and Blandford.  The electromagnetic properties of the jet are determined through the rotation measure (RM) of the Faraday Effect (wikipedia).  Through this method, they obtained an electron density of 1.4e-5 electrons/cc and a current of 3.8e17 amps directed away from the galactic nucleus.

I suspect EUers will want to compare this result with the Alfven galaxy model, but there may be a problem with that.  The earliest reference I can find where Alfven suggested something similar is in a few paragraphs in a paper from 1977:

Electric currents in cosmic plasmas by Hannes Alfven.
Alfven describes a galaxy central radio source as a unipolar inductor, but the description is very qualitative.  There is not even a single numerical estimate of currents expected or the visible flux. 

Alfven went into a little more detail in 1978 with
Double Radio Sources and the New Approach to Cosmical Plasma Physics by Hannes Alfven

providing at least a graphic, but still no way to estimate the luminosity and other characteristics one could expect to measure from Alfven's proposed galaxy configuration.  An examination of the citation lists for both of Alfven's papers reveals no citations for either Blandford or Lovelace.  Two years after the fact, Alfven was not acknowledging others who not only preceded his effort, but developed the model in far more detail.

When you look at the contributions made by others prior to Alfven,  one begins to realize that Alfven's work described little that wasn't already known.  The only aspect of the model that could be considered as a contribution by Alfven could be recognizing the need for a return circuit in the 1977 paper.  However, I regard the rigor of the 'return circuit' questionable.  MHD simulation volumes are generally modeled as closed systems so the same flows have to return full circle, but the intergalactic medium (IGM) is not a closed system.  Charge imbalances can be remedied by charges flowing back towards the galactic center from the IGM, but nothing requires them to be the same particles emitted in original the jets of the galaxy, just that the quantities are sufficient to balance the charge.

Probably the greatest deficiency of Alfven's papers is that while Alfven describes the central engine as a unipolar inductor, there is NO information on how such a structure could be built in Nature.  Alfven's central source is a black box with no way to even estimate its power capabilities.  For all intents and purposes, Alfven's unipolar inductor could've been a machine built by alien civilizations in all these radio galaxies.

Meanwhile, mainstream astronomy had an object that fit the bill for creating a unipolar inductor (AKA a homopolar generator, Wikipedia): an accreting black hole.  The theory had sufficient mathematical development that one could develop testable predictions with it.  Accreting plasma around a black hole forms a highly conducting layer just outside the event horizon, making a near perfect conductor that couples to magnetic field generated by the differentially rotating accretion disk.  This idea is also related to work by Blandford and Znajek (Electromagnetic extraction of energy from Kerr black holes).   Black holes have also been treated as resistors and rotors in circuit elements in a number of configurations (see Black Holes: The Membrane Paradigm, 1986, and related papers by Kip Thorne).

It is ironic that objects EU supporters most deny exist (black holes & neutron stars) are the best known producers of large electric fields in the cosmos.

Problems for Electric Universe
  • Alfven was NOT the first to propose this configuration for radio galaxies.  He made, at best, only very minor contributions to the model, and nothing that contributed to testing the model against actual observations.
  • The Blandford & Lovelace model, like Alfven's model, is inconsistent with Peratt model because the current seen is strictly a product of the galaxy's central engine, and not due an external source.  See (Scott Rebuttal. II. The Peratt Galaxy Model vs. the Cosmic Microwave Background, Still no electric currents powering the galaxies...).
  • Perhaps the greatest problem it makes for EU is that it demonstrates that we can measure extragalactic currents.  This means the EU whines about undetectable 'dark currents' are moot.
  • In Blandford (1976), the author even notes that his proposed configuration “therefore acts as a unipolar inductor, generating an electric field, E, in the inertial frame.”  It demonstrates that astronomers have long considered the effects of electric fields and currents in the cosmos, in spite of EU denials.

While I was researching & assembling this post, Nereid pointed me to this on the Thunderbolts site:
Universe's Highest Electric Current Found
Funny, it appears some thunderbolt forum members actually read the paper, but I have yet to see any acknowledgement of how long ago this model was actually proposed.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Heliocentrism's 'Vested Interests'...

I guess since the facts are against the Geocentrists, they have nothing better to argue.

James Philips (link): Please allow me to make the following observation. I note that generally those who seek to counter (not necessarily including yourself) John Martin and others who hold to the geocentric model of the universe on various blogsites (and sometimes websites) do so with a certain and peculiar viciousness. Such viciousness (maliciousness?) includes sarcasm to the nth degree and various gratuitous ad hominem attacks such as questioning the sanity or asserting the insanity of those who would even question the heliocentric model. This common type of rottweiler/pit bull seemingly fanatical kind of response to those who simply disagree with or question the heliocentric model certainly leaves one to wonder why the degree of viciousness.

To James Philips:

As for my viciousness (maliciousness), why would anyone in their right mind listen to 'knowledge' which does not come from some actual accomplishment in the field they are claiming?  Would you accept medical advice from an actor or other non-medical professional?  There are plenty of people that do that and worse (see What's the Harm?), and they can pay a high price for ignorance.

If you convince someone that a toxin is not poisonous, and they take a dose of the toxin and die, who is morally responsible for the death?  You?   Or do you just claim that it was their choice and go on your merry way?

Real lives depend on the proper computation of spacecraft trajectories, and not just the lives of astronauts (more below).  The Geocentrists have offered nothing but rhetorical games to back their claims - nothing of the rigor required by science and engineering beyond a word game to relabel the mathematics.

If Geocentrists want to essentially claim 1+1=3 with no evidence other than their say-so, and they are doing it in such a way that OTHERS will pay the price of Geocentrist ignorance, then Geocentrists are in no position to complain about the level of disrespect they are given.

My goal is that no one pays for Geocentrists' ignorance except the Geocentrists who are propagating (and a number of them are profiting) from spreading the ignorance.

James Phillips (link): “One thing is certain: the lives and careers of a good number of individuals in the scientific community are strongly tied to an ironclad maintenance of the heliocentric model.“

Indeed.  And not just in the scientific community... 

There are the lives of astronauts who must be able to trust their navigation.  Where's those geocentric navigation algorithms for them to compute their trajectories?  Haven't seen one yet, and suspect I never will.  So no Geocentists will be traveling beyond the Earth.

There are also the lives of people on Earth depending on earth and space weather forecasting that requires satellites in space.  Global communications depends on satellite technology.  If you don't know where your satellite is, you'll have a heck of a time getting the data back from it. 

YOUR life is better because of the heliocentric model, whether you choose to acknowledge it or not.

If someone wants to pontificate Geocentrist nonsense, then I suggest they move to a undeveloped country which does not have these advantages, where their ignorance will be welcomed and they can do less harm.  Otherwise they just look like hypocrites, reaping advantages of a technology that they clearly have no clue how it actually works.  Others who do know how it works will reap the benefits of better-paying jobs and other economic advantages.

Choose that route, and you'll have to give up your computer, your GPS-enabled cell-phone, any satellite-TV or similar service.  Since modern weather forecast simulations are initialized and checked using data from orbiting satellites, you'll have to give up using long-range weather forecasts.  If you get energy from any main power grids, the safety of those grids from eruptive solar phenomena is monitored by a fleet of solar-observing satellites, such as ACE, GeoTail, SOHO, STEREO (YouTube: Sentinels of the Heliosphere).  And these are just the first order benefits.  I could go on about the spin-off benefits of the supporting technologies that were developed to achieve these capabilities.

Give up heliocentrism, and everyone in a modern society loses.  You lose as well, regardless of whether you are willing to believe it, or admit it.

But then, history is full examples of societies that fell from their pinnacle due to their collective dogmatic acceptance of some ignorance.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Challenges for Electric Universe 'Theorists'

I've been mining the rather substantial amount of content which I have developed on this site and via email correspondence and attempting to consolidate it into a form suitable for summary and reference.

See "Challenges for Electric Universe 'Theorists'" in the sidebar.

I expect to expand this as new content is developed here.