Manifesto for Critics of Modern Physics

     Towards the end of the nineteenth century, the great majority of classical physicists were utterly confident that the evolution of human understanding of Nature was in its last stage through an ultimate unification of all Physics.
     This optimism originated in the great successes of Newton's earthly and celestial mechanics which brought great technological revolutions and immense knowledge in astronomy. The victorious wave theory of light along with the atomic and kinetic theory of gases lead to the mechanical understanding of most microscopic natural phenomena. With Faraday and Maxwell's theories, electric and magnetic forces were analyzed which revealed conceptual and mathematical similarities across all physical understanding. It became promising to hypothesize the existence of an all-pervading supermundane medium, the mechanism of which could tie all the loose ends together and unify classical physics. This unifying, hypothetical medium was called Aether.
     There was, however, a prolonged and unsuccessful search for a feasible, mechanical model of this Aether. Finally, James Clerk Maxwell, the father of electromagnetism and the electromagnetic wave theory of light, proposed a simple experiment which was supposed to empirically justify the existence of the luminiferous medium. His idea was that, if an Aether exists as the transmitting medium of light, electricity and magnetism, then the speed of propagation of these disturbances must be relative to the state of motion of the medium -- like that of sound in air. If so, then the measured speed of propagation produced by a source that moves in this Aether must differ in different directions. Thus, Maxwell believed if a light-source is on the Earth, which moves relative to a motionless all-pervading Aether, then its orbital speed should be manifested by a variation in the measurements of the speed of light in different directions.
     Maxwell's idea was first tested in the 1881 by Michelson and produced a shocking 'Null-result'. Since then, till today countless experiments, based on various theories, have been performed, mostly repeating the same Null-result. Thence came several decades of conceptual turmoil involving delicate and sophisticated duels between groups and individuals of the disintegrated scientific community. Mostly, minisculeous disagreements over the interpretations of various Null or nearly Null-results of various ingenious experiments.
     Nevertheless, the bulk of the scientific community (from which today's orthodoxy has evolved) took the easiest possible way out of the dilemma with Einstein's postulates. They simply viewed the Null-result as a fact of reality and dismissed the resulting unresolvable contradictions between the different departments of physics. According to relativity, classical logic and common-sense are not applicable to the phenomenon of light -- and the only thing science can do is to rely upon mathematical formulas which quantitatively correct the misconceptions and faulty predictions of classical physics. This technique of 'mathematical formalism' was developed by H. A. Lorentz originally based on the aethereal construction of electromagnetic matter in the 1890's and was redeveloped in a different way by demolishing the Aether and 'absolute motion' through Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity. -- Of course, we dissidents are all aware of this, but it must be repeated again and again in order to emphasize that this is it, and nothing more.
     In the same decade, Max Planck discovered a classically incomprehensible mystery of the distribution of energy in black-body radiation. He found no feasible classical theory or even by the molding of different theories, that would account for the experimental curve of the distribution of energy among different frequencies of light. Through an artificial mathematical interpolation of the formulas of the two best available, but evidently faulty theories, he discovered that radiation energy is discontinuous. The quantitative manifestation of this discontinuity was expressed by a remaining, miniscule disagreement between the new prediction and the experimental curve, as named by him; the 'quantum', that is, the smallest possible quantity of radiating energy.
     Planck's hypothesis only became accepted when Einstein acquired it for his light-quanta-photon theory, to help solve the perplexity of the photoelectric effect. Einstein's innovation, which won him the Nobel Price then lead to the next epistemological revolution; that two contradictory theories can be alternately accepted for the same phenomenon, namely to the theory of the Dual Nature of Light.
     A whole century has whizzed by us since, with its loud mushrooming of anti-classical, anti-causality, irrational and counter-intuitive ideas, theories and philosophies heard in every branch of science. Parallel to these, came the ever more silenced opposition to this insisting revolt against human comprehension. That silenced opposition is us, fellow dissidents.
     Today's education introduces the theories of Relativity and Quantum Mechanics in the first chapters of their textbooks in order to prepare students for putting classical mechanics and electromagnetism into their 'proper' place in the global structure of Modern Physics. Generations are growing up, never even imagining that there is any kind of understanding without formal mathematics. Abandoning of human comprehension, modern science merely concentrates on fabricating sophisticated mathematical formalisms to fit the graphs and curves of the proliferated experimental data.
     This is what we should call, the science of EXPERIMENTAL MATHEMATICS.
     But if you think that we, independent thinkers are in great trouble, consider the potential that future generations will not even miss what they never learned!
     The Lorentz Transformation had long lost its initial conceptual origination from the Aether and became a dead device to demonstrate the authority of the Postulates. In Minkovski's innovation, the Lorentz-Einstein formula became the mathematical tool of the four, or umpteen dimensional space-time manifold, -- obviously, totally unreachable by any one else but the new breed of 'Meta-mathematicians'. Similarly, no ordinary mortal could ever grasp Bohr's Copenhagean wave-probabilistic 'reality' which only exists when 'measured' by classical physics. - Next, by a sophisticated little twist of Experimental Mathematics, the formalism of probabilistic wave-equation directly collapses into the dark tunnel of Super-luminality. Hence comes an exploding overpopulation of elegant mathematical formalisms striving for the ultimate equation; The Theory of Everything, which is not only far beyond ordinary human perception and control, but explicitly requires GigaComputers to crunch out the super complex mathematical predictions.
     And this is the exact point where the distinction must be established between understanding and predictivity.
     Sadly, though unavoidably, the concept of 'understanding' was misconstrued quite early on in the dictionary of Natural Philosophy. - We'd like to think that we 'understand' classical physics and that only modern physics is beyond our comprehension. However, the real truth is that already from Newton onward we didn't really understand anything. His statement of 'Hypotheses non fingo' was the first epistemological excuse for accepting a mere quantitative description of the phenomenon of gravity. Likewise, we never really understood Newton's other mechanical concepts of 'force', or his 'fictitious force' of 'inertia' either. Since then, we discovered the four 'fundamental forces' of nature, all of which are incomprehensible 'actions at a distance' forces. They became neat symbols in numerous equations without having any 'understandable' conceptual content. Quantitative 'predictivity', on the other hand, masquerades like a product of understanding, but in fact, has nothing to do with anything but algebra and mathematics.
     From the first equation of Galileo, expressing uniform acceleration due to gravity, to the present newest formalism of superluminal information transportation via the collapsing wave-equation of QED, mathematics represents an astonishing power of predictivity, but without the faintest trace of 'understanding'. Experimental Mathematics is the science of predicting curves without the need for human comprehension.
     Thus, the monumental difference between the two eras of physics is not whether we understand one and not the other, but that classical physics never ever gave up the hope to comprehend Nature, while 'modern' physics, from Einstein to Bohr and beyond, directly postulates the irreversible epistemological denial of any possible human comprehension of reality. Could it be just a fatal coincidence, that the 180 turn away from the scientific optimism of the nineteenth century physics towards the depressive submission to modern 'senseless' mathematical formalism happened at about the same time that Einstein abolished the Aether? -- Or is this 'coincidence' another typical case of throwing the baby out with the bath-water!?
     What if, one day in this era of denial and compu-robotics, a lazy research laboratory assistant gets the bright idea of taking a convenient shortcut? His job is delivering voluminous experimental data, produced by research robotics, to the equation crunching 'brain-robot', at the other end of which the solution comes out, neatly spelled in currently fashionable scientific jargon. This bulk of paper then supposed to be delivered to the reigning professor of 'theoretical physics', who will search for a next mathematical formalism to cover the 'almost negligible' differences between prediction and data.
     So, what if this little laboratory worm, in order to save a few calories, acquires a suitable length of multi-conductor cable and makes a direct connection between the experimental facts and mathematical formalism... and one more wiring for a feedback to readjust the formalism and the justifying experimental objectives accordingly?
     Who would dare to disconnect this marvelous looping, which is already and continuously crunching out the most astonishing scientific discoveries, which could be directly forwarded to the ever hungry media?
     Do you think this is just another science fiction nightmare?
     Not likely. This must inevitably happen, because all other channels are plugged up and history shows that we can never ever block the evolution of technology, whether it was helping us... or killing us. - This is the juncture where We, Dissidents, Halfwits, Cranks and other Retarded Free Thinkers come into this manifestum.
     We can sit back and watch the birth of an automatic mathematical superstructure based on the algorithm of a self-preserving, Experimental Mathematics, which is no different than a total denial of human comprehension.
     We can spend another century of nitpicking Einstein's and Bohr's admittedly absurd logic - franticly searching for some so astonishingly absurd results, that even they would have to reject it!
     'Gotcha!' -- But who is listening? - Besides, they will never run out of new epicycles!
     We can disrespect and try to discredit modern physics, because this is a free country, but we are fooling ourselves and over-crediting modern theoretical physics if we assume that they alone invented, planned and built this whole labyrinth.
     No, Sir! Modern Theoretical Physics inflicted no greater damage, than by its postulating that certain domains of the physical world cannot be explained by the commonly interpreted rules of causality, logic, common sense and the laws of classical physics. Then extended that axiom as the fundamental law of all knowledge.
     Modern Physics had not even attempted to re-interpret, or amend, or replace classical conceptualization, but simply declared those areas as the 'no man's land' for human comprehension. -- Right there, classical physics had been fossilized.
     If we believe that modern physics took the wrong turn, then we must also believe that the source of confusion and its resolution lies somewhere within those fossils -- the buried misconceptions of classical physics.
     Thus, exhumation is our first task!
     We must dig back as far as necessary to find and review those hidden misinterpretations because they might be the only threads of Ariadne, which leads us out of the labyrinth, and back to comprehension.
     With the last breaths of the failing classical endeavor, physicists were desperately looking for a feasible model of the Aether to unify our comprehension of all reality. Why couldn't they find one?
     Ample reasons were accumulated throughout the centuries to support the existence of an all-pervading medium. Thus, there must have been better reasons against it than Einstein's ad hoc, jiffy postulate of its non-existence. He abolished the Aether because that was the fashionable thing to do -- for the sake of the disappointed model-searchers and for relieving science from the impatient pressures of technocracy. Admitted by Einstein himself, even he had to bring the Aether back to save the metrics of his empty space for the sake of the Geometrization of Gravity!
     In this passing twentieth century theoretical physics was mostly fabricating equations to fit the experimental facts and justifying itself, but we must give credit to this method for finally forcing mathematical philosophers to admit the existence of an 'all-pervading zero-point energy field' -- so similar to the nineteenth century's 'childish' A-e-t-h-e-r, that even peer-allowed official texts starts mentioning its sacrilegious name again.
     With denial in full tilt, here at the end of this turbulent century, we find the resulting disintegration of physical thoughts in the three main department of Natural Philosophy; classical, relativistic and quantum physics. Each has its independent, linguistic and mathematical formalisms undecipherable by the other two. The artificial mathematical thread of the Correspondence Principle is the only feeble connection between the modern theories and the classical laws, but even that offers no excuse for the unresolvable contradictions that exist between the two modern physics.
     As you all must feel in your bones, we do not have a great amount of time on hand to remedy this situation. We've just heard the proud pronouncement of the new 'Express Lane' on the 'Information Super Highway' where we can download the thirty-five giga-bytes of the Encyclopedia Britannica during the time it takes to say 'one-thousand-one'. How far can you get by arguing with this?
     The problem is, we are all dizzyingly 'high' on our latest feat of lap-top computer technology, and are on the brink of drunkenly feeding all of our accumulated 'understanding' into a 'GigaComputer' through this disastrous 'denial-algorithm' of modern physics and have no psychological power to stop It... or ourselves!
     Is this the checkmate of a pessimistic Startrek story? I would rather believe, that this is a sci-fi action thriller where the good guys can still win! But how ?
     And this is the whole point, critics of modern physics! The only way to control the 'Giga-monster' is to feed It by some alternate, common-sense based algorithms. Not merely denying and postulating the dangers of Experimental Mathematics - but striving for a simple, alternative understanding Nature.
     Isn't it obvious that we must come up with some comprehensive, alternative theory, and in a hurry, before the epicycle mass-producing 'Giga-monster' becomes the fully automated shredder of all human comprehension?
     Harrison Ford (that's you and me and all the other heroic crazies) must get to the railroad switch in time, to throw the lever over to the right track before this superluminal runaway train of Modern Science whizzes by us and hits the apocalyptic end of all physical thoughts.
     But to do this we must have the right track ready!
     This dramatic conclusion is not unfamiliar in the history of Natural Philosophy. Aristotle's philosophy survived 2000 years of dissident argumentation until Galileo's Principle of Inertia, coupled with Newton's Gravitation and mechanics gave a simpler, more comprehensive alternative. The Ptolemaic, earth-centered universe reigned for some 1,500 years, by a never ceasing addition of new epicycles until Copernicus, Galileo and Newton had replaced that sophisticated algorithm with an incomplete, but vastly simplified theory of a Sun-centered gravitational system!
     There are numerous other examples which show that reigning theories are not just easily de-throned by semantics, but rather by some potentially simpler alternative theories, rooted in common-sense and fit to battle against the orthodox.
     But can we produce that powerful alternative?
     Unless Einstein's authority somehow still prohibits us to reinstate it, we already have a most powerful algorithm in the form of the all-pervading Aether. Just in the last century this hypothetical medium fueled the minds of all serious scientists on working towards a unified comprehension of all natural phenomena.
     This is not the right forum for a detailed demonstration of the possibly faulty conclusions and hidden misconceptions that lead to the unsuccessful search for a right model of the Aether which caused its temporary abolishment. But the fact still remains, even today; that nothing since the birth of Eastern philosophy in Asia or Western philosophy in Greece has survived the metamorphosis of human thoughts longer and stronger than the Aether. Our faith is bolstered by great thinkers such as Democritus, Descartes, Huygens, Faraday, Maxwell, Lorentz and thousands of other scientists who believed in the unavoidable existence of a supermundane luminiferous Aether, which after all, also the best to serve Einstein's own dream of a 'Unified Field'. How about the new all-pervading, mathematical 'zero point energy field'?
     Of course, the reinstatement of Aether will not be born of another Einsteinian jiffy postulate. It is not simply a dusting off procedure. As mentioned above, the source of confusion and its resolution too, must lie somewhere within those fossils of the buried misconceptions of classical physics.
     An obvious example should be mentioned here: the oversimplified theory of the polarization of light-waves, based on the primitive mechanical analogy of a waving rope and wooden grids, forced the acceptance of the transverse oscillation theory of light two centuries ago. This in turn, restricted the search for an Aether model into the category of immensely dense and rigid solid models with huge restoring forces.
     If one could cancel this restriction by an alternate explanation of polarization, Aether would be free to be an Ideal Gas again and light would be directly analogous to sound in air, - as Huygens originally suggested.
     Evidently, a general exhumation of classical physics is our first task!
     But once we get back there and find the stumbling block of the search for a feasible Aether model, then we must drastically employ Occam's razor, cutting the new hypothesis down to the bare bones of logic and causality, allowing the least number of concepts and assumptions; i.e., matter, motion and collision. Generate the simplest possible, approximative, conceptual algorithm and carefully collect all the alleged 'solutions' of the perplexing problems of modern physics.
     Then, assuming that we can ever get to it, - we should feed all these into the Giga-monster' and simply order It to "go and crunch", animate and virtualize each of the immense diversity of natural phenomena...
     But this time we are not interested in quantitative predictions or millimicron matching of experimental curves. We want understanding, we want associations between distant phenomena via the rules of causality. We want the ruling of simple mechanics, in primitive agreement with our instinctive, intuitive common-sense to comprehend Nature....
    To finally understand physics.
     If 'Giga' is really that almighty smart, if we can 'search-engineer' through Boolean algebra and order 'It' to find 'something similar', or 'opposite' or 'sound-like it', etc., -- who says that we cannot use its mechanistic perseverance for the tedious job of building an all-embracing super-bridge of associations between the overwhelming diversity of Natural Phenomena and the immense depth of human comprehension...
     What else can we lose but our ignorance ?...

MAY 1998

( HOME ) ________________ ( COMMENTS ) ________________ ( PREV. )