Posts Tagged ‘physics’

OUR UNDISCOVERED UNIVERSE AUTHOR DISCUSSES EINSTEIN’S RELATIVITY THEORY AND ITS LINK TO NULL PHYSICS

Tuesday, October 7th, 2008 by Aridian PR

Terence Witt continues his podcast lecture series by discussing relativity and quantum mechanics .

Every month author Terence Witt discusses a different physics topic. In August, Witt discussed cosmology . This included the application of his Null Physics theory . In September, the discussion turned to one of the most fascinating topics of physics: black holes . The author discussed their nature and composition.

This month, a new podcast premieres on www.ourundiscovereduniverse.com . The subject matter includes a discussion about Einstein’s special and general relativity. Witt answers questions such as what is the difference between special and general relativity as well as what aspects of general relativity are germane to the development of Null Physics.

The second topic is quantum mechanics. Witt details quantum mechanics and describes how his description of quantum phenomena differs from contemporary physics.

“I enjoy the podcast lecture series because they enable me to discuss topics I find fascinating and they give me a chance to respond to many readers’ questions,” said Witt.

The podcast premiered October 3 at www.ourundiscovereduniverse.com . It is also available for download at iTunes.com.

About Terence Witt
Terence Witt is the founder and former CEO of Witt Biomedical Corporation. He holds a BSEE from Oregon State University and lives in Florida. Our Undiscovered Universe: Introducing Null Physics is his first book. To read more about Terence Witt and his latest breakthroughs go to OurUndiscoveredUniverse.com .

Victoria Lansdon
Public Relations Director
Aridian Publishing
(321) 773-3426
vlansdon@aridian.org

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Small Plane, Part I

Sunday, August 3rd, 2008 by Terence Witt

Most of the time, my struggles with Mother Nature occur on a purely theoretical level of foundational physics. On rare occasions, however, the struggle becomes far more personal and visceral .

I started flying a few years ago as a result of two related circumstances. First, we were routinely driving 4 or 5 hours to the Florida Keys to go scuba diving, which required transiting the Miami area. For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure, it’s probably safer to fly over Miami in a poorly maintained gyrocopter than to actually drive through it. The second data point was a good friend who became a pilot. Since he is the most accident prone person imaginable, I didn’t think his becoming a pilot was a good idea. Yet he was still alive after several years of flying. The only reasonable conclusion was that flying wasn’t as dangerous as it seemed.

Since I tend to do things in reverse of their customary order (you know, like releasing a new theory in book form and then publishing scientific papers), I started my flying experience by purchasing a new high-performance airplane (310 HP) prior to receiving even a hint of flight instruction. In my defense, the Cirrus salesperson had a great pitch and an incredible product. Go up, let the customer with zero flight time do a few turns at altitude, impress them with all of the cool, state-of-the-art technology, and then close the deal shortly after landing. I was hooked, and fell in love with the plane at first flight. On the drive home, however, it slowly dawned on me that I really would have to get a license to fly this thing. Oh, that. I flew about three times a week and got my license about two weeks before I picked up my plane in Duluth, Minnesota.

Florida is a strangely shaped state, and although its road system is superb, we have a lot of swamp here, and its highways take circuitous routes around many regions that, if you were unlucky enough to drive off the road, would never be found again. I’m not talking quicksand, exactly, but you get my meaning. So, for instance, if you wanted to drive from south central Florida to its panhandle, it might take 10 or 12 hours, depending on where you need to go. Or about an hour or so in my plane, regardless of where you need to go. So, as a result of Florida’s tortured and steaming geography, I have become somewhat of an air taxi for friends and family as the need arises.

The need arose last week when Lauren’s (not her real name) mother, who lives far out in Florida’s panhandle, found herself in the hospital with a sudden illness. I have made this trip before for similar reasons, and Lauren is a fairly nervous passenger, where ‘fairly nervous’ is defined as ‘afraid of one’s own shadow’. Because of this, I only fly Lauren when the weather is picture perfect. Unfortunately, on the day in question, the weather didn’t even come close to perfect. I told her there would be some ‘rough patches’ and received repeated confirmation that she needed to go and would deal with it.

The beginning of the 90 minute west-bound flight was uneventful. I had filed a flight plan and was discussing the deteriorating weather conditions with Jacksonville Center, trying to find the smoothest way through so as to minimize Lauren’s trauma. My first hint that Lauren was going to have a life-altering experience was when we hit some barely perceptible turbulence and she grabbed the overhead support handle. Hmm. The storm was big, dark, and we were about 25 miles offshore over the Gulf of Mexico, cutting across Florida’s ‘armpit’. Unfortunately for Lauren, there was an occasional break in the clouds, and she could see the roiling sea below us. There was a solid wall of moderate rain from Atlanta to well into the Gulf, and I was looking for the quickest, smoothest way through it. My plane is equipped with satellite weather, so I can see almost everything that the ground controllers can see. Unfortunately, nothing either of us saw looked calm.

Soon enough, we were ‘in it’. The plane started bucking, the rain drummed on the windshield, and it got very dark in the cockpit. I kept trying to reassure Lauren, talking her through it, and I thought I was doing ok until I noticed that one of her pant legs was ‘fluttering’. I thought this was caused by flow from her air vent, but then noticed that the vent was off and she was literally quaking in her seat. Poor lady. Moments later we broke out into the blue, and were on our way to our destination. Sadly, Lauren’s trauma wasn’t quite over yet, because the storm was waiting for us.

I was watching it come in as we approached our destination airport, and I knew it was going to be close. I had managed to calm Lauren somewhat at this point, but alas, there was a flight ahead of us, and this delayed our landing just enough so that the storm arrived at the same time. I was about two feet off the runway, already flared for landing, when a 20 knot wind shear hit and literally ‘pulled the air out from under my wings’, causing, in spite of my immediate countermeasures, the plane to drop onto the runway and bounce (at 90 mph). Actually, it was more of a splash-bounce, since there was at least two inches of standing water on the runway.

This of course, was the last thing Lauren needed, and she was preternaturally silent as I taxied through torrential rain to the terminal. We talked in the terminal for a while, and she was surprised when I told her that she was probably the bravest passenger that I’ve ever had. “No way”, she exclaimed, “I was terrified the whole time!”. Yes, and that’s the point. Getting in a small plane and flying through bad weather to check on your sick mom isn’t brave if you aren’t afraid of flying. But she did it anyway, and she’s afraid of almost everything . That’s bravery.

Tune in next week for my report on my return flight. After I dropped Lauren off and headed back to my home base, the weather got bad .

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Skepticism

Sunday, June 29th, 2008 by Terence Witt

I have a friend who’s a medical professional, but is incredibly skeptical about a wide variety of scientific topics, physics in particular. He doesn’t believe a word I tell him about anything to do with physics, from the equivalence between mass and energy to the power output of the sun. He doesn’t believe, for instance, that light is composed of photons. When I press onward, trying to establish a baseline of mutual understanding between us, digging for a common denominator, he will eventually relent that “of course the moon causes the tides!” or “of course the sun burns hydrogen!”, then look at me as if I’m an idiot. Yet this same person will believe the most ridiculous fishing anecdotes that you can possibly imagine. He’s a self-described skeptic, and for the life of me, I can never isolate the boundaries of his skepticism. But it is fun trying. Sometimes it’s difficult to resist the obvious temptation: “no, the sun actually burns coal…”.

During the course of releasing my book, which contains a number of new physics ideas, clouds of skepticism have enfolded me like a weather pattern. Remarks such as “I’m too skeptical to read something like that” or “I’m skeptical about anything that the scientists don’t agree with” are common. I’m left with the nagging suspicion that most skeptics don’t really know what it means to be a skeptic. Or, to quote the wonderful movie The Princess Bride, “I don’t think that word means what you think it means…”. The ‘skeptics’ that I’ve met seem to treat it like fashion, where they are free to choose, for no apparent reason, the subjects to which their skepticism can be liberally applied.

I am guilty of this as well, but I like to think that I reserve it for extreme examples. If I get an email from someone claiming to have been Werner Heisenberg’s confident, and who has secret knowledge of the inner workings of Area 51, I tend to be a little skeptical. If, however, someone thinks that they can produce a photovoltaic cell with an efficiency of 30%, I’ll listen for a while, trying to determine if what they say makes sense, regardless of their background. Skepticism is a powerful tool, but only if you use it for the purpose for which it was originally intended. It is not a shield that protects ignorance; it is a looking glass that promotes introspection. If what you believe can’t survive a few playful, penetrating questions, perhaps there’s something wrong with it. If there are topics that are, because of their nature, simply beyond question, or if you think consensus constitutes evidence and won’t ask questions if other people seem convinced, you might not be a skeptic after all. If you’re the only one in the room asking questions, you probably are a skeptic. True skeptics are a definite minority.

It is with no small amusement or irony that, by releasing my book, I’ve incurred the gestalt wraith of thousands of would-be ‘skeptics’ across the globe. The reason I wrote the book, after all, is because I am a skeptic. If you tell me something that isn’t entirely evident or seems a little odd, I will be asking questions. In some cases, lots and lots of questions. If you tell me the universe came from a primordial fireball 13.7 billion years ago, I’m going to keep asking questions until this story makes sense, and your answers don’t carry more weight just because you are the world’s leading cosmologist and believe in them with all your heart. Regardless of how artfully and strenuously we try to dodge the universe’s inevitable and immutable nature; regardless of how heroic our mathematics or strained our interpretations, logical consistency continues to matter, because it is the glue from which comprehension emerges. A lie told a thousand times might seem more believable than the truth, but only if you’re not a skeptic, and repetition doesn’t make it any truer.

So when the physicists tell you that the universe “doesn’t need to be rational” or “has nothing to do with common sense” or “your question is meaningless”, little bells should be going off in your head. I’m not saying that you need to treat modern cosmology like a scam, but it helps.

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On Philosophy

Thursday, June 26th, 2008 by Terence Witt

Nothing like limiting a subject to a managable scope…

When comparing null physics to contemporary physics, the subject of philosophy invariably comes up because many things that are important to null physics are labeled, somewhat disparagingly, as ‘philosophy’ by physicists. Philosophy, we are told, is not science, and according to many of the physicists I have talked to, it is not particularly important in and of itself. Philosophical tidbits of note in null physics include such trivia as ‘why the universe exists’, ‘why is energy quantized?’, and ‘why does the universe have universal constants?’

Modern physics’ stance on philosophy is incongruous on a number of levels, but let’s just hit the highlight reel today. Here are the main categories.

Judgement call

To begin with, as has become clear during the course of many conversations, I doubt that the majority of physicists really know enough about philosophy to be able to recognize it when they see it. Reading the great book ‘Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance’ might be a good way to ease into the subject, but then they would be left with the false impression that philosophy has little to tell us about the natural world. So I don’t think people who are familiar with physics, but rarely delve into philosophy, are best suited to judge the line that separates the two. Not that philosophers are too eager to venture into physics either. Daniel Dennett forages through the life sciences to support many of his assertions, but he would seem to be the exception.

Unavoidability

What physicists don’t seem to realize is that philosophy is, by its nature, an intrinsic part of every human activity, and there’s far more to it than arguing over the meaning of beauty or good. It rests at the very essence of physics, such as the ‘scientific method’. The thing that defines physics cannot, in and of itself, be a part of physics, because it separates physics from ‘everything else’. So it is philosophy that tells us where physics begins and ends, not physics.

lnconsistency or merely hypocrisy?

As noted, many physicists woud claim that a question such as ‘why does the universe exist?’ lies outside of physics, yet cosmologists are always telling us that they search for the hidden ‘secrets of the universe’. When I talk about null principles or null geometry, I’m often told something to the effect that “If you can’t measure it, it doesn’t exist. Since we don’t have access to what came before the universe, it’s a philosophical issue.” As this is being written, cosmologists are looking for patterns in the cosmic microwaves that might tell them something about the state of the universe prior to the Big Bang. Yet to look at the contemporary universe for signs that it is the internal structure of nothingness is…philosophy.

Call me silly, but I think that there’s a fundamental difference between a debate over the meaning of beauty and a debate over the reason the universe exists. The universe is, ultimately, the reason why we have ‘physics’. No universe, no physics. The way the universe is, such as ‘really big’ and ‘filled with stuff’ is related (and the connection between the dots is very close here) to why it exists or where it ‘came from’. A chicken, for instance, makes a lot of sense if you’re in a barnyard and there’s chickens, eggs, and chicks coming out of eggs. A chicken would make so sense at all if you’re in a volcano or on the surface of the sun, because its properties would be entirely inconsistent with the environment.

So I guess the question is what is more ‘philosophical’. Using the known properties of our contemporary universe to deduce its geometry and most essential nature, or talking about things that are thought to have happened 13.7 billion years ago that we, by definition, have no way of accessing today?

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