Since the Renaissance the west has revelled in technological progress and scientific advances - even as the philosophical ideas underpinning these successes have been undercut and undermined. (Read more...)
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UC Irvine's Dr. Aaron Barth had an article in Skeptic Magazine discussing Mills' theory. Among other things he said:
# "The wave equation that Mills uses doesn't contain any terms which describe this electromagnetic force, and it doesn't have "bound state " solutions which could potentially represent an electron physically attached to an atom."
# "It's as though Mills were claiming that the waves should just stand still forever at a fixed distance from the spot where the pebble hit the water, rather than expanding away and traveling across the pond. The mathematical expression Mills gives for the charge-density function of the electron aren't solutions to any equation of motion at all."
# "The hydrino theory contains so many other severe flaws in its logic, mathematics, and physical interpretation that it would be impossible to list all of them here."
This has come up as a random article before and was annoyingly inaccurate when I read it the first time. I'd forgotten I commented on it and while I was thinking about what I'd say this time I noticed that I'd already said what I was planning to say. This article still pisses me off. So, I second my own comments in post 18. Hey, if Rand can reference herself so can I.
The "possible" technology enabled by quantum physics? I assume you've heard of a technology of minor importance known as "semiconductors". I wish you luck with understanding semiconductors without quantum physics.
Transistors, diodes, optoelectronic devices (solid-state lasers, solar electric cells, LEDs), and all other semiconductor devices depend on understanding of quantum physics for their design. Then, of course, there are the many other useful devices such as scanning tunneling microscopes.
I'm sure there's plenty I'm missing in the fields of nuclear physics, computational chemistry (including that used for computing protein folding today), but my own knowledge tends more towards semiconductors.
It's pretty clear from your claim that quantum physics has only "potential" technological applications that your own understanding of quantum physics' applications - potential and otherwise - is quite poor. Your conception is the popular one, but it is far from accurate. By leaving it online, you continue to mislead people on this point.
I'm no fan of QM myself, but a lot of what you said was based on a misunderstanding of what's really going on with the physics. QM is very non-intuitive and it doesn't translate well into coherent popular science, which has led to all sorts of people claiming that mysticism and science are becoming one. They're not, we just don't have a complete answer yet.
Bob Kolker responds:
You don't have to be a fan to use the results. For example this conversation which takes place on a computer network the creation of which is a direct result of applications of quantum physics.
Here is an empirically verifiable fact: Common sense, the sort we acquire by the age of 15 living in a world scaled to human existence (not too large, not too small, not too fast, not too slow), has turned out to be a poor guide to theories that really get at What is Going On. We can't perceive atoms. Fields are abstract. The Stuff of Existence cannot be directly perceived. To get at these you have violate the cannons of common sense and think wild thoughts. Einstein was a champion of productive day dreaming -- the Gedanken Experiment. He imagined what it would be like to chase along with a wave of light for example. The result - The Special Theory of Relativity and E = m*c^2 the consequences of which were NOT a daydream but a nightmare for the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
The universe is not Mysterious, but it is not scaled for the convenience of talkative primates with three pound brains either. We get to peek behind the Veil only by abstract reasoning. Out two best physical theories; Relativity and Quantum Physics are denials of Common Sense. They also work.
Aristotle's major failure was not that he made reason central to his philosophy. It was, rather, his failure or refusal to check his conclusions empirically. A ten year old boy could trivially refute the claim that heavier items (in general) fall faster than lighter items. If a kid could do it, why not Aristotle, who was one of the smartest people who ever lived?
One does not need advanced technology to drop a one lb. rock and a similarly shaped ten lb. rock from a high place and notice that that land at nearly the same instant.
It might be fruitful to begin again with a different philosophical approach - an Aristotelian one, beginning with the recognition that reality exists prior to our consciousness of it, and that reason is competent to understand it. To paraphrase David Harriman, who finishes his excellent lecture series The Philosophic Corruption of Physics by reminding us of Newton's famous quote about himself simply being like a boy playing about on the seashore, occasionally picking up a shell or two to examine: "The seashore is still there, if only the bastards would go outside to have a look!"
The physicists did go and look. The result is The Standard Model, which despite its incompleteness (it does not address gravitation) is the best physics theory every devised. It is the basis for most of our technology.
Question: What did David Harriman ever contribute to physics? About as much as Leonard Piekoff, I imagine.