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Post 0

Monday, August 2, 2004 - 10:39pmSanction this postReply
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Luther,

Is the orbitsphere model describing a hollow interior space, between the sphere and the nucleus?  If so, could such a thing replicate the same behavior that we are taught happens with the s, p, d, and f "filled space" orbitals of quantum mechanics, which are shaped like doughnuts and dumbbells and so on?

Also, does Mills' theory account for things like the "dual slit" experiments?  Does it explain the "superluminal communications" between entangled particles?  Does it explain the "collapse of the wave function"?

Also, you know... I've never been comfortable with how I've always been told that Schrodinger's Equation "has no derivation".  Surely, it must have SOME derivation, however informal or intuitive. 

It does bother me... Has the physics profession deliberately cultivated an "unknowable mysticism" of quantum reality, where it is not warranted?  If so, has such a thing been created in order to create some illusion of "indispensible necessity" for their jobs, as the only "priest-kings" who can read the "sacred writings" of the quantum? 


Post 1

Tuesday, August 3, 2004 - 5:34amSanction this postReply
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Orion,

You raise questions commonly raised on the hydrino discussion list.  Follow the link in the article to the discussion list and search the archives for more complete answers.

I will attempt briefly to answer them here, but I make no guarantee of satisfactory answers.  We have argued over these questions on the list for four years already.

Basically, Mills' orbitsphere attempts to explain the same phenomena that standard quantum mechanics explains, including all the effects you mentioned.  Several list members have contended persuasively that the orbitsphere model fails to do this, while Mills and supporters retort that it does.

A more important question might be: What of the experimental evidence supporting hydrinos?  These, too, cause much consternation, with different camps arguing different interpretations of the raw data.

These widely differing scientific assessments of what we might consider "hard" science fascinate me and motivate me to keep the list going.  That intelligent and well-educated persons can so passionately differ over how to interpret "hard" experiments of science says something about why the rest of us can also engage in "rational and passionate" discussions while drawing considerably different conclusions.

For more insight, browse the list message archives.

Luke Setzer


Post 2

Tuesday, August 3, 2004 - 1:01pmSanction this postReply
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About deriving the Schrodinger equation...

QM textbooks usually try to explain how someone might plausibly have *guessed* the Schrodinger equation.

But it is my understanding that the Schrodinger equation, like many laws of physics, was discovered simply by *guessing*; and furthermore, nobody has ever discovered any way to derive it from any more fundamental laws of physics.


Post 3

Tuesday, August 3, 2004 - 4:07pmSanction this postReply
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Daniel O'Connor wrote:
But it is my understanding that the Schrodinger equation, like many laws of physics, was discovered simply by *guessing*; and furthermore, nobody has ever discovered any way to derive it from any more fundamental laws of physics.
Newton and many others, including Schrodinger, used induction rather than guessing to formulate their principles and equations.  They made many observations and then generalized to abstract yet universal propositions about the nature of things.  This is hard work and has a large opportunity for error.  You correctly state that Schrodinger's equation is as fundamental as, say, Newton's laws of motion in that all come directly from experimental induction rather than logical deduction.


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Post 4

Tuesday, August 3, 2004 - 5:40pmSanction this postReply
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Well, the process of induction you're describing *is* a kind of guessing, isn't it?

I mean, there comes a point when the physicist sits down and says, "maybe this is the equation..."  He tries it, he sees if it leads to the right results, and if it doesn't, he throws it out, and tries something else.  That's guessing!

I don't mean to say that this is a bad thing.  Far from it!  Guessing is one of the most important parts of science (including math)!  Guessing (after having made a great deal of observations) is probably the main way we discover new laws of nature!  And, it's extremely difficult to make good guesses about what a scientific law might be--there is an extraordinary amount of experimental evidence and previous knowledge that you have to keep in mind.

In The Character of Physical Law, by Richard Feynman (everyone knows who Feynman is, right?), he says:

"In general we look for a new law by the following process.  First we guess it.  Then we compute the consequences of the guess to see what would be implied if this law that we guessed is right.  Then we compare the result of the computation to nature, with experiment or experience, compare it directly with observation, to see if it works.  If it disagrees with experiment it is wrong.  In that simple statement is the key to science."

What you said is just a fancy way of saying that scientists make guesses.


Post 5

Wednesday, August 4, 2004 - 6:51pmSanction this postReply
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I took a course last semester on artificial intelligence. The professor who taught the course was in the camp that does not believe humans will ever be able to program a computer/machine to emulate human intelligence. The professor emphasized, over and over again, that the largest obstacle to programming an intelligent machine is the phenomenon of guessing. Even when humans are in a situation where they have insufficient data to make a truly informed decision, they don't do nothing. Obviously, if a human was paralyzed every time he didn't have sufficient data, he wouldn't last very long in the real world. So humans evolved the unique ability to guess, to follow hunches, to act accordingly to what is merely *probable* as opposed to what *is*.

The professor also mentioned that the American philosopher C.S. Peirce got the closest to explaining the phenomenon of guessing. We didn't actually read any Peirce in class, so I'm just quoting what the prof said. From what I can remember, I think Peirce was a pragmatist, a friend of William James.

Tessa

Post 6

Wednesday, August 4, 2004 - 8:38pmSanction this postReply
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Newton and many others, including Schrodinger, used induction rather than guessing to formulate their principles and equations.  They made many observations and then generalized to abstract yet universal propositions about the nature of things.  This is hard work and has a large opportunity for error.  You correctly state that Schrodinger's equation is as fundamental as, say, Newton's laws of motion in that all come directly from experimental induction rather than logical deduction.
Nope, induction is not how science works.  This is a standard Objectivist fallacy caused by their faulty Aristotlean epistemology.

According to the standard story of how science works:  Newton and Schrodinger didn't use induction.  There was no generalization from many observations.  They formulated a number of different hypotheses, and made judgements based on which hypothesis seemed to explain the facts the best.  No reasoning from axioms, no contextual certainty and no induction.  Hypothesis are judged according to their relative explanatory power.  So multiple hypothesis are considered, to which different likelihoods are then assigned.  This is of course Popperian/Bayesian reasoning.


Post 7

Wednesday, August 4, 2004 - 9:11pmSanction this postReply
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But Marc, how do these scientists come up with hypotheses to begin with, and how do they know that they are plausible?


Post 8

Wednesday, August 4, 2004 - 9:32pmSanction this postReply
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But Marc, how do these scientists come up with hypotheses to begin with, and how do they know that they are plausible?
Simple, the process of formulating and testing hypothesis can be applied to itself (self-reference).  Reasoning does not need to be hierarchial.  Imagine a network of facts:  A, B, C, D, E, F say

A can support B, B can support A, C can support A... (each supports the others).

The critera for judging which hypotheses are 'better' are themselves hypotheses open to improvement. 

All that is needed for reasoning is a relative comparison of competing hypotheses.  Think of capitalism as an analogy.  Imagine multiple competing businesses.  All that is needed for a business to win the market is that it be better than all the others.  It does not need to be perfect, just better than the others.  It's the same with reasoning.  Science does not work by trying to find the absolute truth.  It works by weighing up competing hypotheses and choosing the one that is best relative to the others.


Post 9

Wednesday, August 4, 2004 - 10:20pmSanction this postReply
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Hi Marc,
Simple, the process of formulating and testing hypothesis can be applied to itself (self-reference).  Reasoning does not need to be hierarchal.  Imagine a network of facts:  A, B, C, D, E, F say.  A can support B, B can support A, C can support A... (each supports the others).
Can you give me an example of a self-referential process which tests hypotheses, i.e., which tests its own validity as a test?  Moreover, how do you know that A supports B, say?  Isn't that a hypothesis itself?
The critera for judging which hypotheses are 'better' are themselves hypotheses open to improvement. 
Okay, but can you give me an example of this?  Further, is the meta-hypothesis you've just invoked now the subject of an even larger hypothesis for it to have any weight?  Sounds like an infinite regress to me.
All that is needed for reasoning is a relative comparison of competing hypotheses.
Don't you need some kind of standard to compare things if you want your comparison to have any meaning?  We can't have science running around stating things like "hypothesis A is better than B is better than C is better than A," as above, using each as the standard for the other.  What does such a statement mean?
Think of capitalism as an analogy.  Imagine multiple competing businesses.  All that is needed for a business to win the market is that it be better than all the others.  It does not need to be perfect, just better than the others.  It's the same with reasoning.  Science does not work by trying to find the absolute truth.  It works by weighing up competing hypotheses and choosing the one that is best relative to the others.
Here, one has a unit of currency to determine to determine without any self-referential scheme which business has the most money.  Assuming no one is tied, you can always determine who has the best business.

In any case, I'm not sure I'm getting the gist of your response-- some examples of these self-testing tests and standardless comparisons would help.

Nate T.


Post 10

Wednesday, August 4, 2004 - 9:30pmSanction this postReply
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Nate wrote:
>But Marc, how do these scientists come up with hypotheses to begin with, and how do they know that they are plausible?

Scientists use their imagination to create theories in order to solve problems. As Feynman says: they first guess.

They then use 1)rational argument and 2) experiment and experience to test the validity of their theories. It's "survival of the fittest".

That seems to be the situation.

Jana wrote:
>The professor also mentioned that the American philosopher C.S. Peirce got the closest to explaining the phenomenon of guessing. We didn't actually read any Peirce in class, so I'm just quoting what the prof said. From what I can remember, I think Peirce was a pragmatist, a friend of William James.

Pierce mightily impressed Karl Popper. Popper calls him one of the greatest philosophers of all time, and said that he wished he had discovered him earlier - it would have saved him a lot of work.

Pierce had a number of different insights, but one of the most interesting is his comparison between the precision possible in abstractions - infinite, basically - and in the physical world, which is good but not perfect by any means. This turns into an interesting argument against strict physical determinism (which is always handy!)

- Daniel



Post 11

Wednesday, August 4, 2004 - 11:36pmSanction this postReply
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In any case, I'm not sure I'm getting the gist of your response-- some examples of these self-testing tests and standardless comparisons would help.

Nate T.
Well I should just note you've mis-interpreted a bit.  There are standards for comparison emerging from what works in the real world ie. which hypotheses turn out to have explanatory power.  It sounds like you need to read some good books on the scientific method.  I recommend 'The Fabric of Reality' by David Deutsch (which also argues for the Many-Worlds-Interpretation of QM).  If you want a link to go on with try this:  it explains 'Critical Rationalism' (i.e Popperian/Scientific method) as a self-referential system:

 Pancritical Rationalism


Post 12

Thursday, August 5, 2004 - 7:20amSanction this postReply
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Hi Marc,

Instead of pointing to some books which I have no time to read (I'm leaving town in a few days), could you just explain what was wrong with my objections and give me those examples?  I think I just need a quick overview of this idea of a self-referential system of hypotheses, since it seems at first glance to suggest either a system of floating abstractions or a system which leads to infinite regress.

Nate T.



Post 13

Friday, August 6, 2004 - 1:17amSanction this postReply
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Hi Marc,

Instead of pointing to some books which I have no time to read (I'm leaving town in a few days), could you just explain what was wrong with my objections and give me those examples?  I think I just need a quick overview of this idea of a self-referential system of hypotheses, since it seems at first glance to suggest either a system of floating abstractions or a system which leads to infinite regress.

Nate T.
No simple explanations are possible on this one.  My phrase 'self-referential system of hypotheses' is actually my way of summing up the whole of correct epistemology and the scientific method. ;)  You need to read the books on that to understand fully I'm afraid.  Or click on the link I gave above for a good introduction.

The self-referential system of hypothesis can include references to observational facts (hence avoiding a system of floating abstractions) and all of the hypothesis in the system are tentative in nature - they are always open to further refinement (hence avoiding a system which leads to infinite regress).


Post 14

Sunday, September 26, 2004 - 7:45pmSanction this postReply
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A derivation of the Schrodinger equation isn't non-existent, it's just freakin long. My QM book doesn't derive it but I found this derivation

http://chaos.swarthmore.edu/courses/phys6_2004/QM/07_QM_Deriv_S_Eq.pdf

The S.E. is essentially a conservation of energy argument. The punchline boils down to E=E.

As for how Schrodinger himself came about it, I'll have to look into it.

In my experience, hypothesis forming boils down to educated guessing. Take what you see, take what you know, try to think of a way to fit what you see into what you know, if it doesn't agree with reality try again. The real fun starts when what you see contradicts what you know on a basic level, then you have all this confusion like with the quantum world.

Post 15

Monday, July 28 - 4:23pmSanction this postReply
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This third-party validator of the theory at the 1 hour 5 minutes mark addresses how logical positivism drove physics off the rails in the 19th century and how the Mills approach using classical induction methods will put it back on the rails.



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