Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The Big Bang--Where Physics Meets Metaphysics

Scientific American’s Winter 2015 Special Edition, entitled “Physics at the Limits,” is a collection of articles by physicists and physics journalists describing the current status of efforts to solve the deepest mysteries of the universe. Some of these problems have been worked on for decades and are no closer to being solved. Ideas that looked promising and inspired hope years ago haven’t  panned out. I found the overall tone of the issue somewhat downbeat. Nobody is predicting that success is just around the corner.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Ho-Hum, Another Rejection

Just received a rejection letter from Classical and Quantum Gravity for a paper I had submitted called “Inflation, Dark Matter, and Dark Energy: A New Paradigm.” Not a new experience for me. The reason given was that “The manuscript displays a superficial understanding of fundamental physics.” This shouldn’t have been a surprise—I told them I’m an engineer. The evidence was that I asserted that quantum entities have to be either fermions or bosons without stating that this only applies in 3 + 1 dimensions. I admit I was ignorant of that qualification, but since spacetime does have three dimensions of space and one of time, not explicitly saying so had no effect on anything else in the paper. The reviewer had nothing to say about the actual content of the paper. Since the reputation of a respected journal can be ruined by publishing a crackpot theory, I suspect that the editors simply didn’t want to take a risk with my new paradigm but couldn’t find anything wrong with the physics, so they rejected the paper on the basis of the author’s qualifications. I understood this when I submitted the paper, so the rejection was no surprise. Maybe next time…

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Gimme Predictions!

A question physicists always ask when someone pitches a new theory to them is, “What are some testable predictions of your theory?” If a theory doesn’t make testable predictions, they reject it immediately, unless it’s one of their own pet theories, such as string theory or the multiverse, both of which don’t make any predictions at all but are strongly supported anyway. Go figure. Anyhow, what are some predictions of the spacetime model featured in this blog?

Monday, October 12, 2015

Nobel for Neutrino Oscillations

Last week’s announcement that the Nobel Prize in physics had gone to the experimenters who first observed neutrino oscillations reminded me that I hadn’t covered the relevant physics in this blog. So here we go.

I told you what neutrinos are here, and I covered quantum superpositions of spacetime points here. In quantum mechanics a superposition of states is also a state, so superpositions of points are also points. Particles are resonances of points. In the latter post I showed how protons and neutrons and other baryons are resonances of superpositions of three points. Mesons are resonances of superpositions of two points. Electrons are resonances of single points. Thus, spacetime is really a superposition of spacetimes for different values of n, where every point in a particular spacetime is a superposition of n single or pure points. All of the particles observed so far are in the n = 1, 2, or 3 spacetimes, although there has been a recent report of a possible n = 5 sighting.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Hawking Solution Probably Not A Solution

In a talk given on August 28, 2015 at Hawking Radiation, a conference held at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Stephen Hawking presented his new theory of how information escapes from black holes. Sabine Hossenfelder blogged about the talk at Backreaction here, and again here, after a paper by Hawking appeared on the arXiv

Sabine thinks the theory “makes perfect sense” but doesn’t see how it solves the black hole information paradox.

The discussion of this problem will probably never end, because it’s become a complicated mess born of an incorrect spacetime model. As I explained here, given the correct spacetime model, there’s no paradox at all, and no problem. So far, however, nobody has asked for my help.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Physics Q&A #2: The Inflaton

I spend a lot of time on this blog explaining a physical spacetime model and the underlying metaphysics. In this series of posts, each entry poses a physics question for the spacetime model, along with the answer. A separate series of posts answers metaphysics questions.

Physics Question #2. What is the inflaton (the field responsible for cosmic inflation)? In my spacetime model, spacetime is self-generating. Spacetime itself is the inflaton. Points are defined recursively, with the result that the number of points increases from N to 2N at each discrete time step. This is an extremely rapid expansion. It never stops, so spacetime is always inflating.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Dark Matter Comment Draws Arrogant Reply

Sabine Hossenfelder, whose blog Backreaction is one of my favorites, has contributed a post on Ethan Siegel’s blog Starts With A Bang. It’s called “Ten Facts Everyone Should Know About Dark Matter.” I noticed that when she discussed some potential explanations for dark matter, she left out the one we know is correct, that is, dark matter is a result of incomplete decay of the oscillatory energy that appears at the end of the inflationary period and decays to form normal matter. My comment was:

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Paul Steinhardt Introduces The Anamorphic Universe

Paul Steinhardt has a new paper on the arXiv. Here is the abstract.

We introduce "anamorphic" cosmology, an approach for explaining the smoothness and flatness of the universe on large scales and the generation of a nearly scale-invariant spectrum of adiabatic density perturbations. The defining feature is a smoothing phase that acts like a contracting universe based on some Weyl frame-invariant criteria and an expanding universe based on other frame-invariant criteria. An advantage of the contracting aspects is that it is possible to avoid the multiverse and measure problems that arise in inflationary models. Unlike ekpyrotic models, anamorphic models can be constructed using only a single field and can generate a nearly scale-invariant spectrum of tensor perturbations. Anamorphic models also differ from pre-big bang and matter bounce models that do not explain the smoothness. We present some examples of cosmological models that incorporate an anamorphic smoothing phase

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Physics Q&A #1: Discrete Spacetime

I spend a lot of time on this blog explaining a physical spacetime model and the underlying metaphysics. In this series of posts, each entry poses a physics question for the spacetime model, along with the answer. A separate series of posts answers metaphysics questions.

Physics Question #1. The model says spacetime is made of discrete points. OK, then what's between them? What keeps them apart? For that matter, what keeps them from flying away from each other? The first question has been used as a put-down ever since someone first suggested that spacetime might be discrete. The other questions are used in the same way. Actually, the answers to these questions are simple, although not obvious.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Converging To Nothing

Physics World magazine’s blog is one of my regular stops. This week they’ve been reporting on the Convergence conference held at the Perimeter Institute for Particle Physics in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, June 20-24

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Guest Post: A Letter from God

 No, not God, of course. Just the engineer, revisiting the metaphysics from this post as I imagine God might approach it. Here is my conception of a letter from God.

Hi, everybody! God here. We need to talk. We need to have The Talk. It’s time you learned who you are, who I am, and how we’re related..

Monday, May 25, 2015

Logic Isn't All It's Cracked Up To Be

I was browsing the Perimeter Institute’s video library the other day and came across a talk by Gerard t’Hooft on his new cellular automaton interpretation of quantum mechanics. The theory is in the early stages of development and I understood little of what he said, but based on his opening remarks, I would bet that the idea will go nowhere and will simply waste the time of this brilliant Nobel laureate, one of the most respected physicists in the world.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Dark Matter Isn’t Matter

 Dark matter is that mysterious stuff that’s known to form halos around galaxies and galaxy clusters, but can’t be seen or—so far—detected, We first met dark matter in this post. It’s energy left in spacetime after inflation.

Friday, April 10, 2015

The Black Hole Information Paradox...Isn't

Black holes are dead stars that have collapsed under the gravitational attraction of their own mass. The matter density at the center of a black hole is extremely high. Some say it is infinite and the center of a black hole is a singularity. The density is so high that a horizon exists outside of the black hole where the escape velocity exceeds the speed of light. Nothing that falls through the horizon can escape, even light. Thus, a black hole is  black because nothing inside can be seen from outside the horizon.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Yes, We Do Need A New Paradigm

Sean Carroll’s recent blog post is typical of the arrogant physicist confronting questions that he has no idea how to answer but is absolutely certain that no one but a physicist like himself could possibly find the answers. Musing about the origin of life, the origin of the universe, and the origin of consciousness, he says,

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Spin, Statistics, and Forces

While the physicists are thinking about the universe and coming up with nothing, they’re not giving me anything to blog about, so I’m going to make good on a promise I made in this post. I’m going to show how the law of spin and statistics is responsible for three of the four basic forces—gravity, electromagnetism, and the weak force.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Another Negative Positive Result

A report on the arXiv describes an experiment that searched for “chameleon fields,” a modified gravity theory that seeks to explain dark energy without a cosmological constant. The negative result rules out these fields in a large part of the parameter space, but not all of it.

In our model, dark energy is a true cosmological constant, as I explained here, so for us this result is positive and expected.

Friday, February 13, 2015

News of Interest

In terms of new ideas, things have been pretty dull in the physics community lately. However, there have been a few negative experimental results that are bad news for some old ideas and favorable news for the model I’m describing in this blog.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Whaddaya Mean, It's Not New???

As I explained here, dark matter in the universe is a remnant of inflation. At the end of the inflationary period, the universe is left in an oscillating state. These oscillations can be viewed as particles, or inflaton bosons, the inflaton being the scalar field that drives inflation. These oscillations decay to form matter particles, the stuff we’re made of.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Sorry, No Supersymmetry

An Economist article asserts that the main search target for the upgraded Large Hadron Collider, due to start up in a couple of months, will be supersymmetric particles, heavier partners of the standard model particles that have so far never been seen.  Supersymmetry is vital to string theory and to other theories aimed at solving standard model anomalies. Since no evidence of it was seen in the LHC’s first run, many physicists feel that it has already been falsified, but many others still think it will be found in the next, higher-power, run.

In the spacetime model I’m telling you about in this blog, there’s not even a hint of supersymmetry, so I feel confident in predicting that it doesn’t exist and won’t be found by the LHC or any future collider.