Friday, December 19, 2008

At the risk of giving offense....

I see that New Scientist has an article effectively making fun of the Department of Defense for asking their major scientific advisory panel, JASON, to look into a company's claim that it could use gravity waves as an imaging tool. JASON rightly determined that this was not something to worry about. Seems like a non-story to me. Thank goodness New Scientist has never actively promoted something manifestly scientifically wacky on their front cover, like a microwave cavity that violates conservation of momentum. Oh wait.

10 comments:

Uncle Al said...

Diddling outside orthodox theory is low priority. Uncoupling gravitational and inertial mass reweaponizes ballistics: Opposite parity mass distributions in Weitzenböck spacetime. Calorimetry allows ~10^(-12) relative divergence.

Eötvös balances detect 5x10^(-14) relative. Cultured single crystal quartz (SiO2) or cinnabar (HgS) in enantiomorphic space groups P3(1)21 and P3(2)21 as light or heavy atom opposite parity test masses.

Theory is jabber absent experiment. Do the experiment. No Equivalence Principle test has ever not nulled. Outcome will be acceptable or spectacular.

DanM said...

Could somebody please translate this man's posts into some Earth language?

Doug Natelson said...

Dan, Uncle Al is an internet fixture. I've seen his postings going back to usenet in the early 1990s. What he wants is for someone to check that the equivalence principle holds for masses that are identical except for parity. In other words, he wants someone to make sure that left-handed and right-handed screws fall at the same rate (though he wants to use objects that have a much larger difference in parity per unit mass).

DanM said...

An internet fixture, you say? Going back to the 1990s? Hm. I still say he's a space alien.

Uncle Al said...

All fundamentals except the strongest forces display chiral symmetry breaking. Gravitation is candidate for being the weakest interaction. A parity test runs in existing apparatus forever measuring nothing but zeros anyway.

Physics admits covariance with respect to reflection in space and time is not required by the Poincaré group of Special Relativity or the Einstein group of General Relativity. Anomalies must exist. Physics is blind to chemical mass distribution that is the test.

Talk, talk, talk... somebody should look. "It has never been done before" is absurd. Theory predicts what it is told to predict. Teleparallel gravitation already predicts a parity anomaly. Pull out your thumbs and look.

DanM said...

Need I point out that Al's writings are grammatically incorrect? This may or may not be relevant to the scientific merit of the message, but it is most certainly annoying.

DougHuffman said...

DanM said, "Need I point out that Al's writings are grammatically incorrect?"

Specifically how are Al's writings grammatically incorrect? They seem to comport with all rules of grammar, certainly sufficient for intelligibility by the functionally literate.

Either we are equal or we are not. Good people ought to be armed where they will, with wits and guns and the truth. NRA KMA$$

DanM said...

"Physics admits covariance with respect to reflection in space and time is not required by the Poincaré group of Special Relativity or the Einstein group of General Relativity."

Sorry dude, this sentence has two verbs, which are inconsistent with each other. Grammar matters, and not just because my mom was a teacher.

Doug Natelson said...

Sweet! The drummer from Boston reads my blog!

Bernard said...

"Physics admits covariance with respect to reflection in space and time is not required by the Poincaré group of Special Relativity or the Einstein group of General Relativity."

Not to throw fuel on the fire (well, OK, a little bit to throw fuel on the fire) but that sentence is not necessarily grammatically flawed. As physicists we are conditioned to read "space and time" as a single conceptual unit, but the sentence could work as two conjoined sentences:

"Physics admits covariance with respect to reflection in space, and time is not required by the Poincaré group of Special Relativity or the Einstein group of General Relativity." (Note the comma I added between "space" and "and".)

In other words, we already have covariance for reflection in space. Additionally, the Poincaré and Einstein groups do not require time. OK, I have no idea what that's supposed to mean, but it does parse in English.

As for being an Internet fixture, I too am aware of all Internet traditions :) and this guy Uncle Al is just a piker when compared to the great and wonderful Abian of Usenet fame...