Saturday, July 2, 2016

The crisis in Physics

NPR Radio reports:
Of course, there are many scientists who continue to see great promise in string theory and the multiverse. But, as Marcelo and I wrote in The New York Times last year, it all adds up to muddied waters and something some researchers see as a "crisis in physics."

Smolin and Unger believe this crisis is real — and it's acute. They pull no punches in their sense that the lack of empirical data has led the field astray.
The "crisis" here is that we have good physical theories that explain nearly everything that is observed. Theoretical physicists like to speculate about unobservable parallel universes, but then they have no data to test their ideas.

1 comment:

  1. Roger,
    I fear there are more holes in physical theory than you acknowledge, any of which blatantly shows how miniscule our understanding of physical reality is. I'm not saying we know nothing, I'm saying we know precious little, most of that being heuristic descriptions of apparent behavior more than an underlying comprehension of the subject and how it works.

    We don't know how to properly describe a single photon, no it isn't a wave, a wave is a property of what something does, like an amplitude of a measured signal, no signal, no amplitude.

    We don't even have an accurate model of what an atom actually is, how it continues to move without an apparent energy source, and NO, it isn't a bunch of Rutherford monkey-bread with shell like satellites in concentric layers, a wave, or a vibration of nothingness or ridiculous mathematical probability floating around platonically without an acting object. Actions and behaviors are meaningless without an object.

    We have no working mechanism of how gravity functions that doesn't revolve around linguistic bullshit. No, it isn't curved spacetime. A model that can contain only one mass is NOT a suitable description of what holds countless galaxies together. Two dimensional imaginary rubber sheets are also not even sufficient to euphemistically describe anything other than the effects of actual gravity on rubber-sheets and bowling balls (i.e. a model is not just a demonstration of what you are supposed to be modeling).

    We have a mess of nuclear forces and properties that at best are deduced ad hoc excuses of why our precious nuclear models don't fly apart. When fudge is all that is holding your atoms together, it's time for a second look.

    Quite frankly, I think the multiverses, dark energies and Silly-strings are a natural result of shaky foundations that have enough loose slack to allow literally anything, given enough pompous sheepskins and a smokescreen of overly complex mathematics.

    There is an unfortunate correlation between government funding of science and its supplicants inability to do actual science, as their continued funding largely depends upon deceit.