Monday, July 12, 2010

The Quantum Mechanic

If you are interested in quantum physics as I am I think you will find this paper very interesting: Modern Physics is Rotting [pdf]. You can also follow the discussion and read some words by the author at Talk Polywell.

You can also read more sections of Prof. Johan F. Prins's forthcoming book at Cathodixx.

Here are the opening paragraphs of the pdf linked above. He then goes on in this piece to give a simplified explanation of his theory with simple math.

Physics is considered to be the purest of all natural sciences. Scientists practising physics are supposedly those “special” people who search for knowledge with an “open mind”. New ideas and concepts are supposedly welcomed and objectively considered and tested. Since my own training is in physics and materials science, I also believed that this behaviour must reign supreme in science. I have applied these rules diligently while building my own career.

It thus came as a traumatic shock to discover when already approaching retirement that the real bigots in the world are to be found within the physics community, and more specifically amongst our modern-day theoretical physicists who have lost the plot many years ago when Werner Heisenberg (1901-1976) convinced them during the 1920’s that it is impossible to “visualise” what happens on the atomic scale.
His complete book is due out later this year and I will do a post on it when it is available.

Cross Posted at Classical Values


Jeff Gauch said...

I haven't read through it yet, but in my experience when someone start throwing words like "rotting" "Delusion" and "Dogma" around within the first three lines, then follows it up with the "Physics Cabal" trope it means their arguments and evidence are lacking. Maybe I'm wrong.

As far as visualization, there's no reason to believe that the universe must work in a manner we can visualize. Our minds evolved in the universe, in fact in a very narrow range of conditions within that universe. The fact that we can even develop a method to describe things so far outside our experience is amazing. To denigrate it simply because one cannot visualize it is petulant

M. Simon said...


We know from Climategate that the same kind of tricks go on in climate "science". So those kinds of accusations do not constitute a red flag for me.

I have read most of the page I linked to and the physics looks good to me. But I'm just an engineer.

I have a physicist friend who is going over what has been published so far. He says he will either come out of the exercise a believer or he will demolish the theory.

Neil said...

Heh. I'm pre-disposed to agree with the author, I guess. For some years now, the search for ever-more-energetic "God particles" to nail down a grand unified field theory has put me in mind of the Ptolemaic system's epicycles on top of epicycles. The fact was, Ptolemy's model could be made to represent the paths of the planets through the sky quite accurately, if enough complexity was introduced to the calculation. What Galileo did was to introduce a new concept that converted mathematical representation of those orbits into a true understanding of why the orbits were the way they were.

Most real scientific progress up to now has consisted of taking the overly complex and making it simple. I would not be surprised to find that the representational complexities of quantum mechanics will someday yield to elegant understanding.

M. Rigmaiden said...

Stern Gerlach experiment was seminal and proved some tenants of qm. I feel conflicted about the direction physics has taken in the theoretical realm with strings etc.

However, just because there are narrow minded bigots in the field does not mean that there is no progress. Certainly new paradigms are needed as we enter a new century. Same for economics and politics. We've been arguing over seventeenth century paradigms for faaarrrr too long.

As to visualizing what happens at the atomic level...well that is hard. I tend to agree that everything isn't supposed to be neatly packaged for our narrow human vision, but also concede that I don't know what to think sometimes.

Measurement theory=>particle can be doing ANYTHING but as soon as you measure it, it jumps into an eigenstate of its representative operator.

Golly that seems elegant and rather counterintuitive to me, but it makes sense from standpoint of distribution theory and generalized Heisenburg uncertainty principle...

OK so I await your buddies analysis of this book.

I'm not saying the author is incorrect, but I get suspicious when someone bashes practitioners of a discipline on such a large scale...

M. Rigmaiden said...

But don't get me wrong, sometimes disciplines need movers and shakers for the discipline to evolve and not go dead!

Neil said...

I agree, the name-calling is unseemly. If the author is incorrect about things, he's not going to look good at all. However, perhaps it is time to shake things up a bit.

M. Simon said...


I agree with your point about Epicycles. in fact I just made that point (before reading your comment) to the physics guy who is reviewing the paper.

Chuck said...

Thanks for the post and the link MS, most interesting.

I think we should note that Johan Prins is a prof at the University of Pretoria, a MAJOR South African University, so this is not some backwoods community college.

That said as another EE, I have to agree that from our perspective, most physicists are 'kinda weird'.

Anonymous said...

Sadly, Prof. Prins has exposed himself as a near raving lunatic. Just read his ridiculous posts over at talk-polywater.

He is retired Prof from a major BACKWOODS university in South Africa that has had zero impact on superconductivity research, he has no research program (and instead raves on and on about his inability to do research in his garage), and not a single person interested in his work.

But he sure does score high on the
Crackpot Index
doesn't he?

As for can always tell an engineer...

...but you can't tell him much!