That Was 2017, That Was

With 2017 coming to a close, I can’t resist the urge to look back and see what happened from my point of view. I had plenty of time to contemplate because the first seven months were largely spent getting over various surgery. I had thought the recovery periods would be good for creativity. With nothing else to do, I could write and advance some of my theoretical work, but it did not work but like that. What I found was that painkillers also seemed to kill originality. However, I did manage one e-novel through the year (The Manganese Dilemma), which is about hacking, Russians and espionage. That was obviously initially inspired by the claims of Russian hacking in the Trump election, but I left that alone. It was clearly better to invent my own scenario than to go down that turgid path. Even though that is designed essentially as just a thriller, I did manage to insert a little scientific thinking into the background, and hopefully the interested potential reader will guess that from the “manganese” in the title.

On the space front, I am sort of pleased to report that there was nothing that contradicted my theory of planetary formation found in the literature, but of course that may be because there is a certain plasticity in it. The information on Pluto, apart from the images and the signs of geological action, were well in accord with what I had written, but that is not exactly a triumph because apart from those images, there was surprisingly little new information. Some of which might have previously been considered “probable” was confirmed, and details added, but that was all. The number of planets around TRAPPIST 1 was a little surprising, and there is limited evidence that some of them are indeed rocky. The theory I expounded would not predict that many, however the theory depended on temperatures, and for simplicity and generality, it considered the star as a point. That will work for system like ours, where the gravitational heating is the major source of heat during primary stellar accretion, and radiation for the star is most likely to be scattered by the intervening gas. Thus closer to our star than Mercury, much of the material, and even silicates, had reached temperatures where it formed a gas. That would not happen around a red dwarf because the gravitational heating necessary to do that is very near the surface of the star (because there is so much less falling more slowly into a far smaller gravitational field) so now the heat from the star becomes more relevant. My guess is the outer rocky planets here are made the same way our asteroids were, but with lower orbital velocities and slower infall, there was more time for them to grow, which is why they are bigger. The inner ones may even have formed closer to the star, and then moved out due to tidal interactions.

The more interesting question for me is, do any of these rocky planets in the habitable zone have an atmosphere? If so, what are the gases? I am reasonably certain I am not the only one waiting to get clues on this.

On another personal level, as some might know, I have published an ebook (Guidance Waves) that offers an alternative interpretation of quantum mechanics that, like de Broglie and Bohm, assumes there is a wave, but there are two major differences, one of which is that the wave transmits energy (which is what all other waves do). The wave still reflects probability, because energy density is proportional to mass density, but it is not the cause. The advantage of this is that for the stationary state, such as in molecules, that the wave transmits energy means the bond properties of molecules should be able to be represented as stationary waves, and this greatly simplifies the calculations. The good news is, I have made what I consider good progress on expanding the concept to more complicated molecules than outlined in Guidance Waves and I expect to archive this sometime next year.

Apart from that, my view of the world scene has not got more optimistic. The US seems determined to try to tear itself apart, at least politically. ISIS has had severe defeats, which is good, but the political futures of the mid-east still remains unclear, and there is still plenty of room for that part of the world to fracture itself again. As far as global warming goes, the politicians have set ambitious goals for 2050, but have done nothing significant up to the end of 2017. A thirty-year target is silly, because it leaves the politicians with twenty years to do nothing, and then it would be too late anyway.

So this will be my last post for 2017, and because this is approaching the holiday season in New Zealand, I shall have a small holiday, and resume half-way through January. In the meantime, I wish all my readers a very Merry Christmas, and a prosperous and healthy 2018.


6 thoughts on “That Was 2017, That Was

  1. Glad you like the posts, Audrey. As an aside, if there is something in the scientific posts that you don’t understand but would like clarification, let me know and I shall try to make a simpler post. In the meantime, all the best for a Merry Christmas for you, and a prosperous and healthy New Year.

  2. Happy winter Solstice, Ian!
    By the way, I replied rather extensively to you on my site about the size of the universe question (92 billion light years across, not 28….)

    Seems that we are on similar wavelength on the question of matter waves. Note that professional physicists are ignoring the most obvious experiment in physics:
    Here below, from:
    The preceding essay is a follow-up on:

    Einstein claimed that a “particle” was a lump of energy, even while in translation. He had no proof of this assertion, and it underlays all modern fundamental physics, and I believe it’s false. As I see it, this error, duplicated by 99.99% of 20 C theoretical physicists, led the search for the foundations of physics astray in the Twentieth Century. How could one prove my idea, and disprove Einstein?

    What Einstein wrote is this, in what is perhaps his most famous work (1905 CE): “Energy, during the propagation of a ray of light, is not continuously distributed over steadily increasing spaces, but it consists of a finite number of energy quanta LOCALIZED AT POINTS IN SPACE, MOVING WITHOUT DIVIDING…” [What’s in capital letters, I view as extremely probably false. Einstein then added nine words, four of which explaining the photoelectric effect, and for which he got the Nobel Prize. Those nine words were entirely correct, but physically independent of the preceding quote!]

    If those “energy quanta” are “localized at points in space“, they concentrate onto themselves all the mass-energy.

    It’s simple. According to me, the particle disperses while it is in translation (roughly following, and becoming a nonlinear variant of its De Broglie/Matter Wave dispersion, the bedrock of Quantum Physics as everybody knows it). That means its mass-energy disperses. According to Einstein, it doesn’t.

    However, a gravitational field can be measured. In my theory, SQPR, the matter waves are real. What can “real” mean, in its simplest imaginable form? Something is real if that something has mass-energy-momentum. So one can then do a thought experiment. Take the traditional Double Slit experiment, and install a gravitational needle (two masses linked by a rigid rod, like a hydrogen molecule at absolute zero) in the middle of the usual interference screen.

    SQPR, Sub Quantum Patrice Reality Is Experimentally Discernible From Einstein’s Version of Quantum Physics! Notice in passing that none of the physics super minds of the Twentieth Century seem to have noticed Einstein’s Axiom, which is ubiquitously used all over Quantum Physics and QFT!

    According to Einstein, the gravitational needle will move before the process of interference is finished, and the self-interfering particle hit the screen (some may object that, because photons travel at c, and so do gravitons, one can’t really gravitationally point at the photon; however, that’s not correct, there should be a delayed field moving the needle).

    According to me, the particle is dispersed during the self-interfering process: it’s nowhere in particular. Thus the mass-energy is dispersed before the collapse/singularization. Thus a gravitational field from the self-interfering particle can’t be measured from inside the self-interfering geometry.

    Happy Waves!

    • Patrice, Io Saturnalia! (Here, of course, it is the summer solstice, and we have a wretched drought to go with it.)

      In fairness to Einstein, I doubt he actually thought of the photon as a point, because if it were, Maxwell would be totally wrong. It has to have size, and now the question is, how much size? However, in my Guidance Wave interpretation, the waves transfer energy, and the square of the amplitude reflects the energy, therefore the wave has to regenerate itself, so it is really a pulse travelling on a line. I also invoke Euler’s complex number representation and argue the wave becomes real at the antinode, and I attribute that it is here the conservation laws are imposed on the particle. So the wave actually defines an inertial field when it is real.

      If you want something even more out of the box, there is enhanced attraction when the waves mutually reinforce when real. This suggests a a slightly different origin for gravity, and if correct, gravity would cease to be constant but would attenuate to zero as the number of particles decreased. The reason for the constancy of gravity is the predominant waves would be due to quark motion, and all matter is made of only two quarks predominantly. However, gravity is so weak I can’t see that being observed.

      So, Merry Christmas, wrap up well, and all the happiest waves for 2018!

      • Wretched drought in California too. This is it! Last year was freakish wet, and now the centennial drought is back, big time. Speaking desert rainfall so far this year. Time to grow cacti… Trees are dying by the millions. Soon they will burn like never before…

        You make an excellent point about the e-m Maxwell wave…. However Einstein couldn’t be any clearer:
        “Energy, during the propagation of a ray of light, is not continuously distributed over steadily increasing spaces, but it consists of a finite number of energy quanta LOCALIZED AT POINTS IN SPACE, MOVING WITHOUT DIVIDING…”

        This is arguably physics’ biggest mistake….
        All these possibilities show we are just scratching the surface…

        In my own theory, SQPR, the particle, when propagating dissolves in a sort of amoeba, the full matter wave W, which expands through (“phase”) space at the speed of light, c, when in translation. It becomes asymptotically a linear wave L (the one QM works with). However, W is nonlinear, hence unstable: nonlinear waves are a fight between singularization and dispersion. If too much amplitude gathers somewhere in its amoeba body, it starts to go singular there, gathering its mass-energy in that spot. It does this at speed TAU, which is something to be determined. Just out of spite, I will give it the cosmic inflation speed of 10^23 C… Now this process will happen without loss at short range, within a fixed time T.
        If the diameter of the amoeba is greater than (TAU) T, when singularization-localization starts, singularization will lose some mass-energy, Dark Matter is produced. And also the famous Cosmic Redshift and the Cosmic Background Radiation (as a DM for cosmic photons). We are talking serious revisions, here…

        Happy Solstice (Sol-Still works in summer as in winter)!
        Just curious: how dry is New Zealand now, and where do you live? Auckland??

      • Hello Patrice,

        In fairness to Einstein, he was probably trying to get rid of the idea that the energy was absorbed through however many crests were absorbed, but no, the wave cannot be a point otherwise the two-slit experiment would not work. I follow the idea of an associated wave that regenerates itself, so with a travelling wave it should have limited dispersion. The problem is, there is no observational evidence to indicate how dispersed it can get. Your travelling amoeba description would fit that.

        This year here has been really weird. We normally get a lot of rain in October/November, but this year we had about 15% over our annual rainfall by September, but then it has simply got hot and dry. So the first half of the year it would not stop raining, and now it won’t start, probably because very large high pressure systems with very warm air from Central Australia, instead of moving east, are also drifting south, or maybe just expanding. So from our farmers’ point of view, for the first half of the year, everything was a bog, and now it seems to be trying to turn into desert. I rather suspect we shall get some fearsome fires in the not to distant future, unless we can get some actual rain. I live in Lower Hutt, which is a satellite city of Wellington.

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