The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: The dark ages of physics  (Read 21505 times)

Offline Nieuwenhove

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 27
    • View Profile
    • http://http://home.online.no/~avannieu/darkmatter/
The dark ages of physics
« on: 07/07/2006 07:52:53 »
I have no question this time, I just want to express my opinion on the present situation in physics. In many respects we are really living in the "dark ages" (or middle ages) of physics.

Some examples :

Dark matter : invented to solve some problems with galaxy rotation curves - never observed - everybody seems to believe in it
Dark energy : invented to solve the apparant expansion of the universe - never understood, never demonstrated
Higgs particle : Supposed to give mass to particles - never observed
gravitons : Particles supposed to mediate the gravitational force - an absurd invention and never observed
sterile neutrons : a newcomer with absurd properties - never observed
string theory : Many dimensions, nothing proven
I could go on for a while here.

Despite that these dubious concepts have no solid basis at all, most scientists seem to follow these ideas as stupid sheep.

So, we are not much better off now then assuming that everything is composed of earth, water, fire, air.

Let us hope things get better.


Rudi Van Nieuwenhove

PS : check also http://home.online.no/~avannieu/darkmatter/ [nofollow]


 

Offline Soul Surfer

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 3345
  • keep banging the rocks together
    • View Profile
    • ian kimber's web workspace
Re: The dark ages of physics
« Reply #1 on: 07/07/2006 09:32:41 »
At the limits of understanding there have always been many theories about how things are likely to progress and I assure you real precticing scientists have plenty of discussions about what competing theories may work and do not follow fixed popular ideas like stupid sheep.

If you wish to enter the argument with in any experienced group it is important to show that you first understand the chains of thought and the mathematics that causes the scientists to propose these theories seriously before you start to argue against them.

I suggest you first read Roger Penrose's book "The Road to Reality" that gives a clear exposition of the detailed thinking behind modern mathematical physics without any assumptions of detailed mathematical knowledge beond that of basic arithmetic

The problem nowadays that it currently appears that all the easy experiments have been done and only very extreme and difficult experiments can detect the very subtle dofferences that will select between competing theories.

There are however some areas where conventional physics may be able to give real insight into cosmology and thse are where normal materials have some of the properties that may be expected of space time under extreme conditions by enabling physical models to be built.

Learn, create, test and tell
evolution rules in all things
God says so!
 

Offline tony6789

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1127
    • View Profile
Re: The dark ages of physics
« Reply #2 on: 07/07/2006 22:19:39 »
waz there ever a light age of physics?

NEVER! underestimate youth
 

Offline thebrain13

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 442
    • View Profile
Re: The dark ages of physics
« Reply #3 on: 08/07/2006 01:26:09 »
Dont post that, we are in the brilliant age, for the first time ever. Scientists know everything, physics is not flawed in any way. All those things you said are false, you are an idiot, you dare disagree with scientists?
                            -signed everybody-

Move on, Ive allready posted this one, your wrong they are right.

But you know, It's interesting really, most people have some understanding of the history of science, and in particular the history of its failures. Yet in spite of this, they fail to acknowledge the possibility of everything they do now, may be flawed. Everyone from a later age always looks at previous ages in this manner. They always think that they are better than the others. They always think, weve really got it figured out. I guess it is just human nature, they dont understand that realisticly, it's a stretch to think ANY of that unpredicted bull**** you mentioned, is gonna stand up the tests of time.

Some of the enlightened ones however, may put it into perspective, and say that they indeed do understand the nature of science, and how its naive to think of physics, with hardly any validity, given the history of it. However anybody who devotes their life to physics, usually takes what they've been taught, with total, non-critical belief. And they probably say such things, because thats what they've been taught. But they dont connect the dots. Deep down they believe, they are the exception.

If you dont believe me just disagree with any part of physics. They'll go crazy. I guarantee it!
« Last Edit: 30/07/2006 21:41:16 by thebrain13 »
 

Offline daveshorts

  • Moderator
  • Neilep Level Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2583
  • Physics, Experiments
    • View Profile
    • http://www.chaosscience.org.uk
Re: The dark ages of physics
« Reply #4 on: 08/07/2006 10:16:16 »
Physics can't explain everything, it ain't perfect, but it is really not bad at explaining 99% of things 99% of the time. A lot of people have been trying to find problems with is for a long time (they are called physicists). So finding the holes in it, which undoubtabley exist, is going to at least involve understanding what the present theories are plus a lot of insight, some hard core equipment and or a lot of luck.

We are not saying there are no problems with it, just that most of the things that come up on science forums have already been dealt with.
 

Offline thebrain13

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 442
    • View Profile
Re: The dark ages of physics
« Reply #5 on: 15/07/2006 04:53:02 »
It doesnt explain 99 percent 99 percent of the time. It explains maybe 5 percent, 5 percent of the time. You/we just dont know enough yet. people used to think of aristotle physics, the same as we think of modern physics. Its great, maybe not perfect, but very close. There is no way modern physics is even close. We are no different from our predacessors. What makes us so damn special?
 

Offline Soul Surfer

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 3345
  • keep banging the rocks together
    • View Profile
    • ian kimber's web workspace
Re: The dark ages of physics
« Reply #6 on: 15/07/2006 16:45:39 »
You're talking rubbish brain13 please list the 5% of all things that physics explains and a good proportion of the 95% you think that it doesnt!  Its far nearer dave's answer anytime.

Learn, create, test and tell
evolution rules in all things
God says so!
 

Offline thebrain13

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 442
    • View Profile
Re: The dark ages of physics
« Reply #7 on: 15/07/2006 21:59:11 »
you think people from the year 2500 will think that.....
 

Offline Hadrian

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 2175
  • Scallywag
    • View Profile
Re: The dark ages of physics
« Reply #8 on: 15/07/2006 22:17:22 »
Things the go bump in the night
give you a terrible fright
Itís the hole in each ear
that lets in the fear
And that and the absents of light.
 [^]

What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.
 

Offline ukmicky

  • Moderator
  • Neilep Level Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3011
    • View Profile
    • http://www.space-talk.com/
Re: The dark ages of physics
« Reply #9 on: 16/07/2006 01:06:23 »
quote:
Originally posted by thebrain13

It doesnt explain 99 percent 99 percent of the time. It explains maybe 5 percent, 5 percent of the time. You/we just dont know enough yet. people used to think of aristotle physics, the same as we think of modern physics. Its great, maybe not perfect, but very close. There is no way modern physics is even close. We are no different from our predacessors. What makes us so damn special?


Well thankfully for us your statement canít be true otherwise we wouldnít be successfully putting men on the moon, sending probes to mars ,controlling probes on mars,  putting space stations in space ,building nuclear power stations, building scanning electron microscopes, nuclear weapons , navigation satelliteís(gps) (Galileo)  Communication satellites , Weather satellites, , Particle Accelerators (cern), Digital Radios, Microwave ovens, x-rays machines, Ultrasound scanners ,PET/CT  scanners, Hubble telescope , ipods, Computers, need I go on.

I wonder what makes us so special.:)

ps Hadrian NICE

Michael
« Last Edit: 16/07/2006 01:10:58 by ukmicky »
 

Offline thebrain13

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 442
    • View Profile
Re: The dark ages of physics
« Reply #10 on: 16/07/2006 03:56:53 »
You know any other ages that werent the most advanced of all time. Know any others that didn't view their science as awesome? I am merely pointing out that maybe, just maybe, its a little bit naive to think that we are going to be viewed in such high regard come the future.

In my personal opinion, our little era of physics( maybe 1970-2010 give or take a few years) is going to be seen in a completely different light. Its going to be seen as when physics gets out of hand.

In the future, people are going to say, I cant believe anybody thought that.

And another opinion of mine is that physics is about to take a dramatic turn. Its not going to be a crazy reworking of probabilities, addition of particles, more forces, nothing like that. Thats what most people would suspect(which is a pretty good reason in itself, to assume that wont happen). Whats going to be truely absurd about future physics, is how SIMPLE its going to be. Imagine that, physics will get so good, they'll learn that in fact almost all that stuff mentioned above is unnecessary. They'll unify the most complicated of phenomena with the most simple of laws. Wouldnt that be absurd?
 

Offline Nieuwenhove

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 27
    • View Profile
    • http://http://home.online.no/~avannieu/darkmatter/
Re: The dark ages of physics
« Reply #11 on: 05/08/2006 17:40:10 »
Coming back of holiday, I've been reading through the various new comments. It is through that our limited knowledge (mainly about electromagnetism and solid state physics) has allowed mankind to create a wealth of technological marvels and this shows indeed that the scientific process as such is bearing fruits. However, my initial comment was motivated by a sadness that so much brainpower is (probably) being wasted on ideas which are doomed to lead to a dead end. Suppose that 50 year from now, it turns out that string theory was hopelessly wrong, that dark matter or dark energy or Higgs particles or sterile neutrinos actually do not exist, ... then people will indeed say : "Physicists have been working so hard on the wrong concepts! All these papers and conferences were in vain, what a pity of all this effort. How different could science and technology have evolved if they only had seen that .... This was really a period of great confusion".
Of course, in retrospect it is always easy to say such things. However we could be more cautious now in following wild suggestions. Things get particularly bad when (new) theories are based on other unproven concepts or theories (such as theories of gravitation which are based on dimensions for which no experimental indications exist, or, theories of dark matter which are based on hypothetical particles, etc.) Then, things get really out of control and again a lot of energy is wasted. While theories like general relativity were based and guided by a few simple principles, such clarity and vision does not seem to exist today. That's why I used the term "dark ages" as the leading light is missing.
 

Offline Mjhavok

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 468
    • View Profile
    • http://cantmakeadifference.blogspot.com
Re: The dark ages of physics
« Reply #12 on: 06/08/2006 05:23:53 »
It's dumb to think what people in the year 2500 will think of us and our theories. We can only do the best with what we know and have learned so far.

Steven
 

Offline daveshorts

  • Moderator
  • Neilep Level Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2583
  • Physics, Experiments
    • View Profile
    • http://www.chaosscience.org.uk
Re: The dark ages of physics
« Reply #13 on: 06/08/2006 11:06:39 »
It is possible that people in 2500 will think our theories primative, but unless they are living in very different conditions to those we are in now the every day physics they use will have to be very similar to ours.

eg, quantum mechanics and relativity both give approximately the same answers as Newtonian mechanics at ordinary speeds, temperatures and length scales.

This has to be true as they are all explaining the same set of results in this region. In the same way any year 2500 theories may have to explain a load of new phenomena we don't know about, but they will still have to explain all the phenomena we have already noticed so will have to give approximately the same answers as our theories most of the time even if they are based on an entirely different principle.
 

Offline nexus

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 19
    • View Profile
Re: The dark ages of physics
« Reply #14 on: 10/08/2006 00:24:06 »
Niewenhove, I like the cut of your jib. Challenge that what doesn't make sense. Why should an unproven theory be correct? There are scientist out there that disagree with the same stuff you do. I believe many don't get published and others won't state there opinion.

The graviton is the one that gets me and please some one correct me if i'm wrong (in a consice manner if possible). For each particle that has mass it must emit a graviton to everyother particle in the universe. But how often? Every millisecond? Continously? And, what if another piece of matter got in the way? Would the particle in the gravitons "shadow" not be influenced by the mass?  That is how the idea of a graviton has me baffled. I like the analog idea --  a gravitation field. Gravity wells and the like.
 

another_someone

  • Guest
Re: The dark ages of physics
« Reply #15 on: 10/08/2006 02:49:37 »
quote:
Originally posted by daveshorts
It is possible that people in 2500 will think our theories primative, but unless they are living in very different conditions to those we are in now the every day physics they use will have to be very similar to ours.

eg, quantum mechanics and relativity both give approximately the same answers as Newtonian mechanics at ordinary speeds, temperatures and length scales.

This has to be true as they are all explaining the same set of results in this region. In the same way any year 2500 theories may have to explain a load of new phenomena we don't know about, but they will still have to explain all the phenomena we have already noticed so will have to give approximately the same answers as our theories most of the time even if they are based on an entirely different principle.



Is this rather like we think of phlogiston theory as merely a primitive version of the modern theories of combustion?

The proponents of  phlogiston theory were trying to explain observations that we still must explain today, but few of us today would normally regard  phlogiston theory as merely a primitive subset of modern combustion theory.




George
 

Offline lightarrow

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 4586
  • Thanked: 7 times
    • View Profile
Re: The dark ages of physics
« Reply #16 on: 25/08/2006 12:51:37 »
In my personal opinion, even if I don't agree with such a strong statement as "In many respects we are really living in the "dark ages" (or middle ages) of physics", some physics is, a little, loosing the road of real physics; sometimes because we seem to have already discovered almost everything (but it's not, of course), sometimes because people like to create complicated mathematics or to show their very high level of difficult things knowledge ecc.

This doesn't really worries me; I think we should let our creativity express in any way. What worries me a little is that we, "normal people" risk to lose completely really phisical concepts, contact with reality. Let's remember that the more a new theory can be linked to everyday reality, the more that theory is deep and full of meanings and implications. I found many years ago how much more knoweldge could give me just thinking and analyzing deeper simple and basic things. Just think: what is space? What is time? What is a photon, or an electron? Why do photoelectric effect happen? What actually means the  physical action (the one of least action principle)? Where does momentum conservation or energy conservation principles come from?

When I studied physics at university, many years ago, I had the lucky to study Landau's "Mechanics" and there, for the first time,I discovered that, actually, momentum conservation is "the homogeneity of space" and energy conservation is "the homogeneity of time". What really deep insight of nature!

Physics nowadays probably lacks something like that.
 

Offline syhprum

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 3823
  • Thanked: 19 times
    • View Profile
Re: The dark ages of physics
« Reply #17 on: 26/08/2006 13:49:08 »
I think Nexus puts forward a sound argument for the non existence of gravitons but I believe there is adequate evidence for the existence of dark matter from light lensing observations as well as galatic rotation

syhprum
 

Offline Nieuwenhove

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 27
    • View Profile
    • http://http://home.online.no/~avannieu/darkmatter/
Re: The dark ages of physics
« Reply #18 on: 29/08/2006 19:41:11 »
quote:
Originally posted by syhprum

I think Nexus puts forward a sound argument for the non existence of gravitons but I believe there is adequate evidence for the existence of dark matter from light lensing observations as well as galatic rotation

syhprum


I do not believe in dark matter at all. Galactic rotation curves can also be explained without dark matter ; see http://home.online.no/~avannieu/darkmatter/ [nofollow]
If 50-60 year of searching for dark matter has not resulted in finding it, it is really time to admit that it simply does not exist.
 

Offline Mjhavok

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 468
    • View Profile
    • http://cantmakeadifference.blogspot.com
Re: The dark ages of physics
« Reply #19 on: 30/08/2006 02:55:31 »
Fortunatley for dark matter to exist it doesn't require anyones belief.
 

Offline lightarrow

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 4586
  • Thanked: 7 times
    • View Profile
Re: The dark ages of physics
« Reply #20 on: 30/08/2006 05:48:50 »
quote:
Originally posted by Mjhavok

Fortunatley for dark matter to exist it doesn't require anyones belief.
Do you mean that you have objective proofs of its existence? We are very interested in!
 

Offline bostjan

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 107
    • View Profile
Re: The dark ages of physics
« Reply #21 on: 30/08/2006 05:55:47 »
why is the existance of gravitons absurd?

i think string theory is very beautiful, even though i have a handful of issues with some of the details.  any experiment to directly observe string theory would require too much energy, but there ought to be clever ways of indirrect observations.  unfortunately, i feel skeptics will deny any evidence without coming up with any conter-theories.
 

Offline Nieuwenhove

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 27
    • View Profile
    • http://http://home.online.no/~avannieu/darkmatter/
Re: The dark ages of physics
« Reply #22 on: 30/08/2006 07:02:56 »
quote:
Originally posted by bostjan

why is the existance of gravitons absurd?

i think string theory is very beautiful, even though i have a handful of issues with some of the details.  any experiment to directly observe string theory would require too much energy, but there ought to be clever ways of indirrect observations.  unfortunately, i feel skeptics will deny any evidence without coming up with any conter-theories.



Let us assume (for a short moment) that gravitons exist and consider the attraction between an apple and the earth .. So, one has gravitons moving in between these two to mediate the gravitational force. However, these gravitons should also feel the gravitational force BECAUSE the Einstein field equations are nonlinear (curvature as a source of curvature). This means then that there should be graviton - interactions inbetween the gravitons. But these gravitons interacting between gravitons should also be subject to gravitation and hence even more gravitons are needed. Easy to see that this leads to an infinity of gravitons (for an arbitrary small volume of space). This looks an absurd situation (to me) and hence one is led to conclude that gravitons do not exist.

As regard to string theory : There are many signs now that string theory is loosing ground (mainly because it does not seem to predict anything useful) and that other theories like loop quantum gravity are looking more promising.
 

Offline bostjan

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 107
    • View Profile
Re: The dark ages of physics
« Reply #23 on: 30/08/2006 11:23:39 »
why not have interactions between gravitons?  this doesn't mean that two gravitons form a third graviton in the interaction.  anyway, who says they interact directly?

string theory was one way to have gravitons without infinities, but loop quantum gravity seems promising as it doesn't depend on the existance of gravitons.  the dimentionality of four and use of the same metric at all scales and energies could be great, but are just as bold of assumptions as most of the assumptions string theory makes, so i don't see it as a significant breakthrough just yet.  it is a very interesting move, though, and may well be the kind of progress we need to keep things fresh.
 

Offline Soul Surfer

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 3345
  • keep banging the rocks together
    • View Profile
    • ian kimber's web workspace
Re: The dark ages of physics
« Reply #24 on: 30/08/2006 14:25:44 »
You are not thinking through the situation properly. In most physical situations it is important to think about the true scale of things.

Let us start by thinking about how electrons and electromagnetic radiation works.  When an electron changes its orbit in the outer layers of a atom  a photon is either emitted or absorbed the interaction produces visible light light with wavelengths of less than one micron and frequencies of hundreds of terahertz. The frequency of the radiation is a measure of both the energy change and the time the interaction takes.  Large lumps of material like the surface of the earth have a temperature and emit infra red radiation as heat at room temperature as a result of the molecules jostling together.  One of the coldest natural things we are aware of is the cosmic microwave background which peaks at a two and a bit degrees kelvin. This radiation is still in the gigahertz region of freqiencies.  in other words the interactions take less than a thousanth of a millionth of a second.  

Remember also that the energy of the photon is Plancks constant times the frequency so the lower the frequequency the lower the energy in the individual photon (or graviton).

Now consider gravitiational interactions in the same context and the frequency of the gravitational radiation involved in the interaction.  Planets take years to go round their stars do their gravitational radiation is measured in fractions of cycles per year  If I drop something, it falls through the air under gravity in seconds and stops in milliseconds.  The fastest large scale gravitational interactions are expected to be two orbiting stellar mass black holes merging and this produces frequencies in the low to mid audio band of around  1kHz  All these are at least a million times slower than even the coldest photons descrobed in the first section of this note.

This means that the gravitons are incredibly low frequency and low energy things and that there are a very great number of them involved in producing the attraction.

Gravitationl interactions producing gravitons with energies in the region of even the lowest energy microwave photons were only happening way back in the first tiny fraction of a microsecond after the big bang  long before there were any atoms.  Is it surprising that we haven't detected them!

Learn, create, test and tell
evolution rules in all things
God says so!
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

Re: The dark ages of physics
« Reply #24 on: 30/08/2006 14:25:44 »

 

SMF 2.0.10 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums