fredag 2 juli 2010

Dark Age of Science

In my work I have found that
share the following features representing a Dark Age of Science:
  • many fake understanding 
  • nobody understands
  • original scientific sources obscure
  • collective consensus supposed to replace genuine individual insight
  • suppression of skeptics, criticism intolerable.
The discussion following the two previous posts gives direct illustration of these features 
as concerns AGW and my homepage, this blog and  Book og Knols give more evidence, for those interested in analyzing and understanding these aspects of 20th century science. 

It is natural to connect these signs of decline of science to the economical decline of Europe and America relative to the BRIC countries as observed in a recent talk by Vaclav Klaus. Collective fake of understanding of an economy without rational basis, may not be so functional.

23 kommentarer:

  1. Personally I wouldn't put Statistical Mechanics, Relativity and Light Energy Quanta in the same category as the so called Greenhouse "Effect". They differ in that they have given rise to predictions of empirically testable and subsequently verified phenomena. Quantum mechanics (and maybe relativity) have some serious conceptual problems on a fundamental level, notably in the so called measurement (observer) problem, but that is another story. No real physicist believes that physics is an entirely logically self-consistent framework. As an illustration, it can be verified in the lab that light (whether it be a wave or a particle) exerts a force (if absorbed or reflected) on material particles in the direction of propagation. On the other hand, no experiment has shown that IR-active gases acts so as to install temperature gradients in systems that were in thermal equilibrium in their absence.

    SvaraRadera
  2. Since physicists accept AGW by CO2, as a physical fact based on particle nature of light, I see no real reason to make a distinction. If physicists did not give support to CO2 warming, AGW would be dead, right?

    SvaraRadera
  3. Claes - help me out on this - I wrote elsewhere that the Clausius formulation of the second law of thermodynamics can be stated as "energy from the hotter body has left that body - it therefore cools down. The smaller amount of energy from the cooler body cannot fully replace that lost energy; it just slows the rate of cooling."
    Is the last part "it just slows the rate of cooling" a correct statment? I ask because in the context of AGW the corresponding statment would be "Since greenhouse gases cannot add any energy or 'work input' to the system, and are colder than the surface of the earth, they cannot cause additional warming of the earth; they just slow the rate of cooling." Does slowing the rate of cooling necessarily imply radiative confinement?

    Also, if 'greenhouse gases' DO inhibit the flow of heat to space, why does the earth emit to space the same amount of thermal energy as it gets from the sun? i.e. energy out = energy in.

    SvaraRadera
  4. One way to view this phenomenon is by Fourier's law of heat conduction :

    q = - kappa grad u

    with q rate of heat flow, u temp and kappa heat conductivity, which states that heat flows in the direction opposite to the gradient of temp, that is from hot to cold. Decreasing kappa means to slow the rate of cooling. Together with conservation of heat in the form div q = f this
    gives Poisson's equation -div (kappa grad u) = f.

    One model of radiative heat transfer is this equation. If kappa is decreased, then grad u will increase to keep balance of heat in = heat out. I don't know if there is a reasonable mathematical model of backradiation, with heat transfer from cold to hot. This seems to be an unstable unphysical process which should not be possible to observe.

    SvaraRadera
  5. Well, it is a disgrace that physicists endorse the greenhouse effect, and they do it against better wisdom. I would estimate that 99.9 % of all physicists are unwitting climate deniers. The greenhouse effect is not a necessary consequence from the corpuscular nature of light, rather the opposite I would say.

    SvaraRadera
  6. So your answer would be that slowing the rate of cooling does not necessarily imply radiative confinement?

    SvaraRadera
  7. The physics of radiative confinement or "heat trapping" is unknown to me,
    and seems to be different from the familiar process of heat conduction or
    diffusion described by Fourier's Law.

    SvaraRadera
  8. If 99.9% of all physicists pay lip service to a non-existing atmospheric greenhouse effect, it is no wonder that they do the same to curved space-time, complementarity, the Copenhagen interpretation of QM, Big Bang and string theory...which nobody understands...

    SvaraRadera
  9. Claes,
    Would you agree with the statement that "radiative confinement" decreases entropy and thus is in violation of the 2nd law?

    SvaraRadera
  10. I would think "radiative confinement" would violate the 1st Law expressing heat in = heat out. Entropy connects to turbulent dissipation and I don't see a connection to "radiative confinement" whatever it is.

    SvaraRadera
  11. I would say that, (at least in the context of statistical mechanics), creating a temperature gradient does always decrease entropy and can only occur if more entropy is created somewhere else. However, it is generally believed that the atmosphere prefers a temperature gradient, as is indeed reported by "thermometers", but I don't think that statement has been put under enough scrutiny so far. The rate of increase/decrease of entropy is given by

    dS/dE = 1/T

    If you have two systems that cease to exchange net heat energy, then, assuming maximum entropy, the temperature is the same in both systems.

    SvaraRadera
  12. As regards curved space-time. There are a couple of observations that fit into that framework, bending of light in gravity field, gravitational red-shift, corrections to the precession of the orbit of Mercury, and later black holes. Isn't understanding a luxury in our business, wasn't it J. von Neumann that said "In mathematics you never understand anything, you just get used to it". Anyway, what is remarkable with the Greenhouse proponents is that they introduce a non-standard thermodynamics in which radiative heat flux does no longer act to eradicate temperature differences but precisely the opposite, and claim, without any reference to lab-experiments nor convincing observations from other planets, that the whole thing follows from "known physical laws" and refuse a debate. I would put these people under trial if I had the opportunity.

    SvaraRadera
  13. Creating a temperature gradient is easy: just connect two objects of different temperature. Diffusion/conduction seeks to decrease gradients
    without forcing while to increase gradients requires forcing. You don't need to invoke statistical mechanics (which nobody understands) to understand this.

    SvaraRadera
  14. Science is all about understanding. Einstein claimed that he did not understand relativity and curved space-time, and my impression is that
    nobody else does, if you really ask for understandable answers. I claim that I understand that at least special relativity is a triviality (trivial Lorenz transformation) without physical meaning.

    SvaraRadera
  15. The reason I invoked statistical mechanics was because of a related question about entropy and the 2nd law. My point is that in the entropy framework: equilibrium <=> temperature the same everywhere. Which is obvious from the definition of entropy. However, climatologists, who like to use SB-law (which ultimately rests on equilibrium statistical mechanics) portrays a system which is in equilibrium but still has a temperature gradient. This is obscure to say the least.

    SvaraRadera
  16. I agree that it is obscure. I don't think statistical mechanics has much to offer.

    SvaraRadera
  17. 當一個人內心能容納兩樣相互衝突的東西,這個人便開始變得有價值了。............................................................

    SvaraRadera
  18. How are your simulations going by the way? Do you sometimes do simulations of molecular dynamics as well as Navier-Stokes. I was wondering if there could maybe be some information drawn if one were to simulate an ensemble of molecules interacting with for example a Hartree-Fock potential in a gravity field. How many molecules can you invoke before the computation turns to heavy?

    SvaraRadera
  19. Molecular dynamics of macroscopic fluid dynamics (atmosphere and ocean) is unthinkable. Navier-Stokes is possible and seems to contain
    the essential fluid dynamics.

    SvaraRadera
  20. A complete atmospheric system is of course too much, I was more thinking a an experimental toymodel with sufficient amount of particles to do some statistical averages. Is 1000-10000 particles too much on modern computers?

    SvaraRadera
  21. You can probably do 10^6 particles, but that seems way too few to capture turbulent incompressible fluid flow, and what form of interaction are we talking about?

    My experience is that only a continuummodel such as Navier-Stokes is thinkable even for fluid dynamics on human scales. But a discretized NS model can be interpreted as a form of particle model (with the nodes the underlying triangulation acting like "particles", with the great advantage that the interaction between the "particles" is automatically set up by the fem-discretization of NS.

    SvaraRadera
  22. "nobody understands"

    Speak for yourself, Claes!

    SvaraRadera
  23. You are right on with The Dark Age of Science and as a scientist it makes me sad.

    SvaraRadera