torsdag 31 oktober 2013

What Is Wrong with (IPCC) Climate Models?

CO2 alarmism is now falling apart because the global warming predicted by the IPCC ratified climate models show little similarity with observations of no warming the last 17 years. This is commonly viewed as evidence that mathematical modeling of global climate is impossible because weather and climate is "chaotic" and thus unpredictable.

It is true that weather is not predictable over more than a week, but climate as averaged weather may well be mathematically predicatble over long time. For example, the simple climate model of no change of global temperature, may well be a good model over centuries, until the next ice age.

The IPCC climate models predict global warming (at variance with observations) because they are so constructed, that is to show warming even if there is none, not because it is impossible to construct climate models which fit observations.

The defunding of mathematical climate modeling to be expected because of the failure of the IPCC models thus lacks rationale in a world in which prediction is needed and may be possible by clever use of computational mathematics.

In any case the question of the role of climate modeling is now on the table.  

tisdag 29 oktober 2013

NADAs Begravning Firas Stort på KTH

KTH inbjuder till firande av NADAs 50-årsdag enligt nedanstående affisch. Vad som inte omnämns i inbjudan är att NADA är nedlagt och inte längre finns med oss: Att det handlar om en begravning av något dött och inte ett födelsdagsfirande av något levande. Att Numerisk Analys (NA) inte längre är en egen institution utan har inlemmats i Matematik och nu går samma öde till mötes som Numerisk Analys vid Chalmers, som inte längre är ett undervisningsämne och därmed förlorat sin uppgift. Så motsvarar då NADA till slut sin betydelse på portugisiska, nämligen "ingenting", "nothing".

Att Numerisk Analys har gått i graven beror inte på att ämnet saknar aktualitet, hela vårt IT-samhälle bygger ju på Numerisk Analys i olika former, utan på att NADA stelnat i den form och med det innehåll NADA hade under pionjärtiden för 50 år sedan. Så kan framgång byggd på initiell kompetens och efterfrågan (jfr med Nokia) utvecklas till en tvångströja som kväver nytänkande och utveckling och därmed bäddar för undergång.  I inbjudan omskrivs detta som "lite nostalgi" och firandet fokuseras på "musik och sång" och "Demonstration av Historisk Klenod", kanske bysten av Germund Dahlquist, grundaren av NADA (en mycket sympatisk person som både kunde räkna och spela piano):


Informationsbehandling 1963 Numerisk Analys - Datalogi
Tid: Ti 2013-12-17 kl 13.30
Plats: E1 och Sing-Sing
För 50 år sedan installerades på KTH den första professorn i Informationsbehandling, särskilt Numerisk Analys, och institutionen grundades. Tisdag 17 december blir det tillfälle för oss på CSC och NA att fira.

Preliminärt program från kl. 13.30 (Obs!) i sal E1:

• Presentationer, framtidsorienterade och blandade med lite nostalgi av bland andra
Anna-Karin Tornberg, Anders Flodström, Jan Gulliksen, Ingrid Melinder, Bertil Gustafsson & Björn Engquist, Haibo Li & Kia Höök & Ylva Fernaeus, Patrik Fältström & Anders Hillbo, Johan Hoffman, Svante Littmarck, Leo Giertz, Jin Moen & Marie Björkman, Yngve Sundblad & Peter Graham
• Jubileumspublikationer
• Demonstration av historisk klenod
• Avslutande middag med musik och sång
c:a kl.18.30 i Sing-Sing


Alla på CSC och NA är inbjudna.
Övriga deltagare efter särskild inbjudan.


till Ann-Britt Isaksson Öhman senast den 29 november. (ange om du är med också på middagen)
Lennart Edsberg, Ingrid Melinder, Yngve Sundblad

Hans Rosling: Consider the Facts! Help the World!

Below are the answers to my questions to Hans Rosling posed in the previous post, delivered by Rosling with the following introductory comment:
  • Thanks for the questions, it is sad for me to learn that I was so unclear that you missed what I tried to say on so many points, but here are my answers to your not so easy to understand questions.
My general message to Hans Rosling is as follows:
  • You tell us that the living conditions for the poor people in the world are improving and you know that this is directly related to the increasing use of fossil fuels. 
  • You have uncritically accepted the IPCC founding dogma that CO2 emissions from burning of fossil fuels is causing dangerous global warming and thus have to be drastically reduced. This dogma is not fact-based since there is no scientific evidence that this effect is real. 
  • What you should do is to use your own Gapminder principle of fighting devastating ignorance with a fact-based worldview, and you should then start by reading the reports from the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC).
  • You will then find that there is no scientific fact-based reason to limit CO2 emissions, a message which you will greet with great joy and satisfaction since it allows poor people to improve their living conditions.      
My Question 1: You say that you are not at all involved in climate science, yet you assure the world that IPCC science is truely, truely good. Is this a fact-based message or does it rather reflect ignorance?

Roslings Answer 1: As you rightly write I commented on the summary for policy makers. I was explicit about not being a climate scientist, but my judgement is that this summary for policy maker is as good a summary of research as policy makers, public and researchers in other fields can ever hope to get.

My Comment 1: You make a judgement about climate science based on ignorance in climate science admitted by yourself.  Doing so you violate your own Gapminder principle to fight devastating ignorance with a fact-based worldview.  

My Question 2: You claim to know that humans are changing the climate, but not how much, how fast, in which way, or where this or that will happen. What do you mean by this statement? Does it have a content? Is that not an example of the devastating ignorance you are fighting?

Rosling's Answer 2: No it is not me claiming, it is IPCC claiming that humans are changing the climate, I accept their consensus on this point, but pointed out that their projections have a very wide range of uncertainty. I think I was very clear about the distinction between accepting the consensus that humans are changing the climate and my observations that the uncertainties in the projections are so wide that they range from almost negligible changes to potentially catastrophic.

My Comment 2: You accept the consensus of IPCC which you interpret to range from almost neglible change to catastrophic. According to NIPPC it is negligible. Why not accept NIPCC instead of IPCC?

My Question 3: You know that massive use of fossil fuel is required to improve the living conditions for billions of poor people, yet you support the idea that the use of fossil fuels must be reduced, drastically reduced. How are you going to resolve this contradiction?

Rosling's Answer 3: No I do not know how to solve this contradiction, but it do exist! My suggestion in the end is that the richest, that have by far the highest emission must lower their emission first before they demand restrictions by those with much lower emission.

My Comment 3: You admit to pose a contradiction, which you cannot solve as long as you uncritically accept IPCC. If you critically accept NIPCC after looking at the facts, the contradiction will disappear. Why are you stuck with a contradiction?  

My Question 4: You compare with smoking and cancer and HIV. What is the connection to climate science?

Rosling's Answer 4: The connection is that the a scientific consensus regarding a causal link between smoking and cancer as well as between sexual transmission of HIV and Aids was of greatest importance for human behavior, as well as for health, economic and trade policy. The ways those consensus were reached and communicated were far more haphazardly done then IPCC, but then again I said that IPCC is in a more difficult position as they are making predictions rather than concluding about causal links in the present time.

My comment 4: You don't answer my question about the connection between human emissions of CO2 and smoking/cancer and HIV. I take it that you mean that there is no connection.

My Question 5: You say we have to get things done. What do we have to do?

Rosling's Answer 5: If we should avoid a possible catastrophic climate change we, that is we humans, have to reduce or at least stop to increase the CO2 emission.

My comment 5: Again, if you look at the facts, then you will understand that it is better for humanity to use its limited resources in a fact-based meaningful way to improve living conditions for the poor, instead of wasting these resources on meaningless non-fact-based restriction of CO2 emissions.  

måndag 28 oktober 2013

Hans Rosling compares AGW to Smoking and Cancer

             Hans Rosling and Bill Gates working together on the Global Poverty Project.

The Swedish media mega-star and Gapminder edutainer Hans Rosling releases all of his media authority (and Swedish home-made charm) in his talk 200 Years of Global Change in support of IPCC at the presentation in Stockholm September 27 of the IPCC AR5 Summary for Policymakers:
  • I am not at all involved in the climate research, heh, just standing at the side, looking at the factors that contribute to the climate change and the impact it will have on humans.
  • I can assess really as an outsider that this IPCC Summary for Policymakers is as good as science can do. It is a truely, truely, good report! (Applause)
  • I've been through quite a lot of similar things...smoking and cancer...bottlefeeding of young children...HIV...
  • I am completely independent...they didn't even pay me to come here...(laugh).
  • IPCC have spent all their effort up to the press conference just to see that the entire content is as correct, meticulously correct and well weighed as it could be.
  • When I read through the report as an experienced researcher and scientist, I like very much the way the arguments are weighed, and the different wordings: this we know, this is very sure, this we don't know so well, heh,  this is is as good we can... And it is especially difficult this report:    
  • Smoking and cancer was easier because it was a practice here and now and a disease here and now...this (report) is about future and future is is almost impossible to do research about, heh?
  • I think the work now being done in climate science will have importance and implications for science in many other fields that need to do predictions, how you should do and work.
  • I am not so much professor, I am mainly edutainer at Gapminder, an independent foundation, that fights devastating ignorance with a fact-based worldview that everyone can understand.
  • It is very clear that the sea level is rising......the uncertainties are shown so clearly...
  • As I read it, today the question, does human change climate, yes or no, that's over! That's over, that's set!
  • The big question now is, how much will it change, how fast will it change, in which way will it change and where will this or that happen? The background was already done by Arrhenius in 1900....
  • We must take this IPCC report seriously and get things done...
  • We think we have done more than we have and we haven't understood how much we have to do, thank you!
My questions to Hans Rosling are:
  1. You say that you are not at all involved in climate science,  yet you assure the world that IPCC science is truely, truely good. Is this a fact-based message or does it rather reflect ignorance?
  2. You claim to know that humans are changing the climate, but not how much, how fast, in which way, or where this or that will happen. What do you mean by this statement? Does it have a content? Is that not an example of the devastating ignorance you are fighting?
  3. You know that massive use of fossil fuel is required to improve the living conditions for billions of poor people, yet you support the idea that the use of fossil fuel must be reduced, drastically reduced. How are you going to resolve this contradiction?
  4. You compare with smoking and cancer and HIV. What is the connection to climate science? 
  5. You say we have to get things done. What is it we have to do? 
I invite Hans to answer as a comment. 

Watch the shocking alarming increase of atmospheric CO2 as humanity is lifted out of poverty 1800 - 2013.

PS1 Will Rosling answer my questions? I bet 100 Skr that he will not. My bet is based on long experience and many observations...

PS2 Rosling shows only one graph to support the CO2 alarmism he is selling , not over global temperature which does not rise anymore, but over global sea level which continues a steady slow rise since long before CO2 emissions started to grow:

PS3 In talks during 2012 Rosling supported his alarm message with the following picture of a quickly shrinking arctic ice cap:

But in 2013 Rosling keeps silent about the arctic ice cap since it is quickly growing and the reason for alarm is gone. What remains of alarm is a steady very slow rise of the sea level as the world is slowly recovering from the Little Ice Age. It is the alarm which is shrinking to zero, not the arctic ice cap.

lördag 26 oktober 2013

Quantum Contradictions 29: Elegance and Enigma

The book Elegance and Enigma: The Quantum Interviews gives a shocking account of the present state of quantum mechanics as foundation of modern physics:

Caslav Brukner:
  • Quantum theory makes the most accurate empirical predictions. Yet it lacks simple, comprehensible physical principles from which it could be uniquely derived. Without such principles, we can have no serious understanding of quantum theory and cannot hope to offer an honest answer—one that’s different from a mere “The world just happens to be that way”—to students’ penetrating questions of why there is indeterminism in quantum physics, or of where Schrödinger’s equation comes from. 
  • The standard textbook axioms for the quantum formalism are of a highly abstract nature, involving terms such as “rays in Hilbert space” and “selfadjoint operators.” And a vast majority of alternative approaches that attempt to find a set of physical principles behind quantum theory either fall short of uniquely deriving quantum theory from these principles, or are based on abstract mathematical assumptions that themselves call for a more conclusive physical motivation.
Jeffrey Bub:
  • We don’t really understand the notion of a quantum state, in particular an entangled quantum state, and the peculiar role of measurement in taking the description of events from the quantum level, where you have interference and entanglement, to an effectively classical level where you don’t. 
Christoffer Fuchs:
  • John Wheeler would ask, “Why the quantum?” To him, that was the single most pressing question in all of physics. You can guess that with the high regard I have for him, it would be the most pressing question for me as well. And it is. But it’s not a case of hero worship; it’s a case of it just being the right question. The quantum stands up and says, “I am different!” If you really want to get to the depths of physics, then that’s the place to look.
GianCarlo Ghirardi:
  • I believe that the most pressing problems are still those that have been debated for more than eighty years by some of the brightest scientists and deepest thinkers of the past century: Niels Bohr, Werner Heisenberg, John von Neumann, Albert Einstein, Erwin Schrödinger, John Bell.
  • To characterize these problems in a nutshell, I cannot do better than stressing the totally unsatisfactory conceptual status of our best theory by reporting the famous sentence by Bell: “Nobody knows what quantum mechanics says exactly about any situation, for nobody knows where the boundary really is between wavy quantum systems and the world of particular events.”
Daniel Greenberger:
  • I don’t think the measurement problem will be solvable soon, or possibly ever.
Lucien Hardy:
  • The most well-known problem in quantum foundations is the measurement problem—our basic conception of reality depends on how we resolve this. The measurement  problem is tremendously important. 
  • But there is another problem that is even more important—and that may well lead to the solution of the measurement problem. This is to find a theory of quantum gravity. The problem of quantum gravity is easy to state: Find a theory that reduces to quantum theory and to general relativity in appropriate limits. It is not so easy to solve. The two main approaches are string theory and loop quantum gravity. Both are deeply conservative, in the sense that they assume it will be possible to formulate a theory of quantum gravity within the quantum formalism as it stands. I do not believe this is the right approach.
Tim Maudlin:
  • The most pressing problem today is the same as ever it was: to clearly articulate the exact physical content of all proposed “interpretations” of the quantum formalism. This is commonly called the measurement problem, although, as Philip Pearle has rightly noted, it is rather a “reality problem.” 
  • Physics should aspire to tell us what exists (John Bell’s “beables”), and the laws that govern the behavior of what exists. “Observations,” “measurements,” “macroscopic objects,” and “Alice” and “Bob” are all somehow constituted of beables, and the physical characteristics of all things should be determined by that constitution and the fundamental laws. 
  • What are commonly called different “interpretations” of quantum theory are really different theories—or sometimes, no clear theory at all. Accounts that differ in the beables they postulate are different physical theories of the universe, and accounts that are vague or noncommittal about their beables are not precise physical theories at all. Until one understands exactly what is being proposed as the physical structure of the universe, no other foundational problem, however intriguing, can even be raised in a sharp way.
David Mermin:
  • In the words of Chris Fuchs, “quantum states: what the hell are they?” Quantum states are not objective properties of the systems they describe, as mass is an objective property of a stone. Given a single stone, about which you know nothing, you can determine its mass to a high precision. Given a single photon, in a pure polarization state about which you know nothing, you can learn very little about what that polarization was. (I say “was,” and not “is,” because the effort to learn the polarization generally results in a new state, but that is not the point here.) 
  • But I also find it implausible that (pure) quantum states are nothing more than provisional guesses for what is likely to happen when the system is appropriately probed. Surely they are constrained by known features of the past history of the system to which the state has been assigned, though I grant there is room for maneuver in deciding what it means to “know” a “feature.”
Lee Smolin:
  • The only interpretations of quantum mechanics that make sense to me are those that treat quantum mechanics as a theory of the information that observers in one subsystem of the universe can have about another subsystem. This makes it seem likely that quantum mechanics is an approximation of another theory, which might apply to the whole universe and not just to subsystems of it. The most pressing problem is then to discover this deeper theory and level of description.
Antony Valentini:
  • The interpretation of quantum mechanics is a wide open question, so we can’t say in advance what the most pressing problems are...What’s important is that we leave the smoke screen of the Copenhagen interpretation well behind us, and that talented and knowledgeable people think hard about this subject from a realist perspective.
David Wallace:
  • Just how are we to understand the apparently greater efficiency of quantum computers over classical ones?
Anton Zeilinger:
  • We have learned from quantum mechanics that naive realism is not tenable anymore. That is, it is not always possible to assume that the results of observation are always given prior to and independent of observation. To me, the most important question is to find out what exactly the limitations are. 
  • This can only be found out by carefully exploring quantum phenomena in more complex situations than we do today.
Summary: Everybody asks fundamental questions, and nobody even hints at any answers. That is the present state of quantum mechanics.

PS1 With measurement being replaced by computation in the model (some form of Schrödinger's equation), physics can be studied and inspected without interference from the observer. This changes the game completely by reducing the importance of the unsolvable measurement problem.

Quantum Contradictions 28: Schrödinger's Cat

Schrödinger presents his Cat Paradox in the article The Present Situation in Quantum Mechanics
published in 1935:
  • One can even set up quite ridiculous cases. 
  • A cat is penned up in a steel chamber, along with the following device (which must be secured against direct interference by the cat): in a Geiger counter there is a tiny bit of radioactive substance, so small, that perhaps in the course of the hour one of the atoms decays, but also, with equal probability, perhaps none; if it happens, the counter tube discharges and through a relay releases a hammer which shatters a small flask of hydrocyanic acid. 
  • If one has left this entire system to itself for an hour, one would say that the cat still lives if meanwhile no atom has decayed. The psi-function of the entire system would express this by having in it the living and dead cat (pardon the expression) mixed or smeared out in equal parts.
Schrödinger questions the central idea of the Copenhagen Interpretation that reality arises from measurement:
  • The rejection of realism has logical consequences. 
  • In general, a variable has no definite value before I measure it; then measuring it does not mean ascertaining the value that it has. But then what does it mean? 
  • There must still be some criterion as to whether a measurement is true or false, a method is good or bad, accurate, or inaccurate - whether it deserves the name of measurement process at all. 
  • Any old playing around with an indicating instrument in the vicinity of another body, whereby at any old time one then takes a reading, can hardly be called a measurement on this body.
Schrödinger concludes with:
  • The simple procedure provided for this by the non-relativistic theory is perhaps after all only a convenient calculational trick, but one that today, as we have seen, has attained influence of unprecedented scope over our basic attitude toward nature.

torsdag 24 oktober 2013

Quantum Contradictions 27: Schrödinger's Nobel Lecture

                  Schrödinger, Dirac and Heisenberg ready for the Nobel Banquet (Bunin left)

Erwin Schrödinger expresses in his 1933 Nobel Prize lecture The Fundamental Idea of Wave Mechanics his view that atomistic physics is better described by continuous wave mechanics than by discrete particles and discontinuous jumps. Schrödinger thus attacks the by then dominating Copenhagen Interpretation represented by Dirac and Heisenberg with whom he shared the Nobel Prize. After all, Schrödinger got a part of the Prize and thus could ask for a part of the truth, instead of nothing.

Schrödinger makes a parallel with optics:
  • In optics the old system of mechanics corresponds to intellectually operating with isolated mutually independent light rays. 
  • The new undulatory (wave quantum) mechanics corresponds to the wave theory of light. 
  • What is gained by changing from the old view to the new is that the diffraction phenomena can be accommodated or, better expressed, what is gained is something that is strictly analogous to the diffraction phenomena of light and which on the whole must be very unimportant, otherwise the old view of mechanics would not have given full satisfaction so long. 
  • It is, however, easy to surmise that the neglected phenomenon may in some circumstances make itself very much felt, will entirely dominate the mechanical process, and will face the old system with insoluble riddles, if the entire mechanical system is comparable in extent with the wavelengths of the "waves of matter" which play the same part in mechanical processes as that played by the light waves in optical processes. 
  • This is the reason why in these minute systems, the atoms, the old view was bound to fail, which though remaining intact as a close approximation for gross mechanical processes, but is no longer adequate for the delicate interplay in areas of the order of magnitude of one or a few wavelengths.
  •  It was astounding to observe the manner in which all those strange additional requirements developed spontaneously from the new undulatory view, whereas they had to be forced upon the old view to adapt them to the inner life of the atom and to provide some explanation of the observed facts.
In the end Schrödinger pays lip service to some form of complementary wave-particle theory in order in order not to turn the Nobel Banquet into a turmoil of shouting:
  • Only in extreme cases...we think we can make do with the wave theory alone or with the particle theory alone.
What Schrödinger meant was that the wave picture should cover 99% of the scene, and thus have 99% of the Prize. 

                          Dirac, Heisenberg and Schrödinger with ladies in Stockholm in 1933.

onsdag 23 oktober 2013

Talk at NSCM26: Bluff Body Drag

The slides to my talk at NSCM26 at Simula Oslo Oct 23 - 25 to the honor of my friends and collegues Juhani Pitkäranta (65) and Rolf Stenberg (60), is now available as

tisdag 22 oktober 2013

Quantum Contradictions 26: There are No Particles!

                                                There are only waves and resonances.
                               There are no Quantum Jumps, nor are there Particles! (H D Zeh)
Niels Bohr brainwashed a whole generation of physicists into believing that the problem had                         been solved... (Murray Gell-Mann)

Schrödinger objected to the ruling Copenhagen Interpretation of quantum mechanics based on the concept of particle as a discrete pointlike object and quanta as a discrete packet of energy:
  • Particles are just schaumkommen (appearances).
  • There have been ingenious constructs of the human mind that gave an exceedingly accurate description of observed facts and have yet lost all interest except to historians. I am thinking of the theory of epicycles. 
  • I confess to the heretical view that their modern counterpart in physical theory are the quantum jumps.
  • There is a difference between a shaky or out-of-focus photograph (waves and resonances) and a snapshot of clouds and fog banks (particles and quanta).
Schrödinger claimed that only a wave picture can make sense on microcopic level and that discrete particles and quanta brings in classical macroscopic concepts into a supposedly revolutionary microscopic quantum mechanics, which is contradictory. 

Schrödinger saw modern physics being shaped from a lack of historical connectedness with an old primitive macroscopic concept like discrete particle suddenly being transformed into a new microscopic concept, which was so revolutionary that it was (and is) beyond grasp to everyone except a small inner circle pretending to understand (Gongorism):     
  • The disregard for historical connectedness, nay the pride of embarking on new ways of thought, of production and of action, the keen endeavour of shaking off, as it were, the indebtedness to our predecessors, are no doubt a general trend of our time. 
  • In the fine arts we notice strong currents quite obviously informed by this vein; we witness its results in modem painting, sculpture, architecture, music and poetry. 
  • There are many who look upon this as a new buoyant rise, while others regard it as a flaring up that inaugurates decay. It is not here the place to dwell on this question, and my personal views on it might interest nobody. 
  • But I may say that whenever this trend enters science, it ought to be opposed. There obviously is a certain danger of its intruding into science in general, which is not an isolated enterprise of the human spirit, but grows on the same historic soil as the others and participates in the mood of the age. 
  • There is, however, so I believe, no other nearly so blatant example of this happening as the theories of physical science in our time. I believe that we are here facing a development which is the precise counterpart of that in the fine arts alluded to above. 
  • The most appropriate expression to use for it is one borrowed from the history of poetry: Gongorism. It refers to the poetry of the Spaniard Luis de Gongora (1561-1627), very fine poems, by the way, especially the early ones. Yet also his later poems (to which the term more particularly refers) are well sounding and they all make sense. But he uses all his acuity and skill on making it as difficult as possible to the reader to unravel the sense, so that even natives of Castile use extended commentaries to grasp the meaning safely.
The modernity of the Copenhagen Interpretation was to combine the old idea of discrete particle with the new idea of statistics borrowed from statistical mechanics. Schrödinger objected (but was silenced): 
  • God knows I am no friend of probability theory, I have hated it from the first moment when our dear friend Max Born gave it birth. For it could be seen how easy and simple it made everything, in principle, everything ironed and the true problems concealed. Everybody must jump on the bandwagon. And actually not a year passed before it became an official credo, and it still is.
Bohr, Born and Heisenberg behind the Copenhagen Interpretation are all gone, but Schrödinger is alive and waiting for the right moment to open his mouth again...

måndag 21 oktober 2013

Quantum Contradictions 25: Damned Quantum Jumps!

                 Schrödinger 1955: I am moving against the stream. But the tide will change. 

Schrödinger, the founder of quantum mechanics based on Schrödinger's wave equation, did not like the  pointlike "particles" supposed to make "quantum jumps" as postulated in the Copenhagen Interpretation of quantum mechanics formed by of Bohr, Born and Heisenberg:
  • If we have to go on with these damned quantum jumps, then I'm sorry that I ever got involved.
But Bohr won the battle in the 1930s and so modern physics was born from an old primitive concept of particles and quantum jumps, instead Schrödinger's educated sophisticated concept of waves and resonances. The result today is a physics in grave crisis with the Nobel Prize this year to the Higgs particle as the final nail in the coffin of a Standard Model of Particle Physics now abandoned by educated physicists:
  • The Standard Model is regarded as a highly “unnatural” theory. Aside from having a large number of different particles and forces, many of which seem surplus to requirement, it is also very precariously balanced. If you change any of the 20+ numbers that have to be put into the theory even a little, you rapidly find yourself living in a universe without atoms. This spooky fine-tuning worries many physicists, leaving the universe looking as though it has been set up in just the right way for life to exist.
  • The Higgs’s boson provides us with one of the worst cases of unnatural fine-tuning. A surprising discovery of the 20th century was the realization that empty space is far from empty. The vacuum is, in fact, a broiling soup of invisible “virtual” particles, constantly popping in and out of existence.
Primitivism may be strong initially but runs out of steam over  time.  Maybe the time for a change of tide is now approaching...may finally the primitive idea of particle will be replaced by the educated idea of wave....

The book Schrödinger's Philosophy of Quantum Mechanics by Michel Bitbol gives an illuminating account of Schrödinger's continued struggle to maintain rationality in an increasingly weird world of elementary particles emerging from the Copenhagen Interpretation.  Read and think! 

Quantum Contradictions 24: Against Measurement

John Bell questions in Against Measurement Bohr's and Born's Copenhagen Interpretation of quantum mechanics (allowing physicists to speak only about what can be be measured and not what "is", and then in statistical terms): 
  • Surely, after 62 years, we should have an exact formulation of some serious part of quantum mechanics?
  • It would seem that the theory is exclusively concerned about "results of measurement", and has nothing to say about anything else.
  • What exactly qualifies some physical systems to play the role of 'measurer'? 
  • Was the wavefunction of the world waiting to jump for thousands of millions of years until a single-celled living creature appeared? Or did it have to wait a little longer, for some better qualified system . . . with a PhD? 
  • If the theory is to apply to anything but highly idealised laboratory operations, are we not obliged to admit that more or less "measurement-like" processes are going on more or less all the time, more or less everywhere? Do we not have jumping then all the time?
This is the same as asking if there is no sound in the desert if there is nobody there to listen? To claim that we are not allowed to speak about (and mathematically model) sound as an air vibration unless there is a physicists ear drum reacting to the vibration, would seem absurd.

Bell gives the reason driving modern physics into this form of absurdity:  
  • In the beginning, Schrödinger tried to interpret his wavefunction as giving somehow the density of the stuff of which the world is made. 
  • He tried to think of an electron as represented by a wavepacket - a wavefunction appreciably different from zero only over a small region in space. The extension of that region he thought of as the actual size of the electron - his electron was a bit fuzzy. 
  • At first he thought that small wavepackets, evolving according to the Schrodinger equation, would remain small. But that was wrong. Wavepackets diffuse, and with the passage of time become indefinitely extended, according to the Schrodinger equation. 
  • But however far the wavefunction has extended, the reaction of a detector to an electron remains spotty. 
  • So Schrödinger's "realistic" interpretation of his wavefunction did not survive. 
Bell here expresses the idea that we have to give up reality because we are supposed to believe that a pointlike blip on a screen cannot be generated by an electron wave extended in space. We are thus only allowed to speak about (and mathematically model) the blip effect and not the cause of the blip.
But an extended sound in the desert can give rise to a pointlike "oh" from the listener, and thus the logic  of requiring a pointlike input for pointlike output is missing.

Anyway, this missing logic is behind the Copenhagen Interpretation, which Bell cannot embrace:  
  • Then came the Born interpretation. The wavefunction gives not the density of stuff, but gives rather (on squaring its modulus) the density of probability. 
  • Probability of what, exactly? Not of the electron being there, but of the electron being found there, if its position is 'measured'. 
  • Why this aversion to 'being' and insistence on 'finding'? 
  • The founding fathers were unable to form a clear picture of things on the remote atomic scale.
  • They became very aware of the intervening apparatus, and of the need for a 'classical' base from which to intervene on the quantum system. And so the shifty split.
Bell tells us: 
  • We do not yet have an exact formulation of some serious part of quantum mechanics. 
Bell thus gives modern physics a bad grade. Bell supports his insistence to ask for an exact formulation (physically meaningful understandable formulation) with a quotation by Feynman:
  • We do not know where we are stupid until we stick our necks out. 
Bell did that but nobody wanted to listen to his questions as if the desert was empty.

söndag 20 oktober 2013

Quantum Contradictions 23: The Truth

  • Quantum theory represents one of the great and most beautiful structures in all of physics.  
  • Nonetheless, despite its uncontrovertible experimental successes, the theory has a very shaky philosophical foundation. 
  • The standard Copenhagen interpretation(whatever that is) requires us to accept so many assumptions that defy common sense that ever since the theory was first developed it has led to enormous debates concerning its interpretation. 
  • Most modern physicists accept it without qualification and, indeed, one can develop a creative intuition for using it. 
  • The fact that many of its founding fathers turned against the standard interpretation, whereas their followers have tended to accept it without second thoughts can only partly be ascribed to the circumstance that anything tends to grow more familiar with repeated use. 
  • Part of the explanation must be related to the fact that those very founders were much moreculturally well rounded than most modern physicists. 
  • They were philosophically trained and philosophically inclined and did not like what they saw.
  • In spite of their doubts, the subject grew rapidly and it became fashionable to avoid questions concerning the foundations. 
  • This attitude only started to change after Bell’s famous theorem in 1964. He showed that one could pose some of one’s intuitive doubts experimentally. 
  • Since then, a number of alternate interpretations have grown and new experimental tests devised.
  • Today, we know that the strange predictions of the theory hold up experimentally (even though the foundations remain shaky). 
  • We will never go back to classical physics - we must learn to accept and live with the world as it actually is.
  • What makes quantum mechanics so much fun is that its results run so counter to one’s classical intuitions, yet they are always predictable, even if unanticipated. 
  • That is why I like to say that quantum mechanics is magic, but it is not black magic. 
This may well be the truth about quantum mechanics as one of the two pillars of modern physics:  
  • A magic perfect theory counter to classical intuition, which we all have to accept without understanding its foundations and without asking the questions the founding fathers posed without ever giving any answers. 
  • A magic perfect theory which (self-proclaimed) physics experts (like Lubos Motl of the Reference Frame) pretend to understand perfectly well, but refuse to answer any question with the excuse that all questions were answered by the founding fathers.  
This is the truth also of the other pillar of relativity theory: a magic theory which we all have to accept without understanding, a magic theory which the experts claim to understand but are not willing to explain with the excuse that all questions were answered by its founding father Albert Einstein (who explained very little),  

The same phenomenon has come to dominate climate science with a magic counter-intuitive  "greenhouse effect" which we all have to accept without understanding, a magic theory which the experts claim to understand but are not willing to explain with the excuse that all questions were answered by the founding fathers (Tyndall and Arrhenius, who explained very little).

The same phenomenon has come to dominate modern fluid mechanics with a magic counter-intuitive boundary layer theory which we all have to accept without understanding, a magic theory which the experts claim to understand but are not willing to explain with the excuse that all questions were answered by the founding father Ludwig Prandtl (who explained very little).  

fredag 18 oktober 2013

Quantum Contradictions 22: The Scandal

N G van Kampen identifies The Scandal of Quantum Mechanics to be:
  • The article Would Bohr be born if Bohm were born before Born? by N Nikolić with its catchy title is a reminder of the scandalous fact that eighty years after the development of quantum mechanics the literature is still swamped by voluminous discussions about what is called its “interpretation".
  • The scandal is that there are still many articles, discussions, and textbooks, which advertise various interpretations and philosophical profundities.
Van Kampen finds discussions about the interpretation of quantum mechanics scandalous because
  • Actually quantum mechanics provides a complete and adequate description of the observed physical phenomena on the atomic scale. What else can one wish? 
  • It is true that the connection with gravity is still a problem, but that is outside this discussion.
  • The difficulty is that the authors are unable to adjust their way of thinking—and speaking—to the fact that phenomena on the microscopic scale look different from what we are accustomed to in ordinary life
  • That two electrons far apart may be entangled seems strange to someone who still thinks of electrons as individual particles rather than as manifestations of a wave function.
  • Even now many physicists have not yet learned that they should adjust their ideas to the observed reality rather than the other way round.
Van Kampen argues from a false premise or non sequitur logical fallacy (complete and adequate description of observed reality), where the real scandal that quantum mechanics is still not understood eighty years after its development, is covered up by the non-scandal that people are still seeking to understand what is not understood.  

Van Kampen twists the real effect (the discussion) of the real cause (the scandal that QM is not understood) into the cause of an invented scandal (the scandal of still discussing) based on a false premise.

Van Kampen argues as if quantum mechanics is adjusted to observed reality, when the truth is the opposite, that quantum mechanics dictates what observed reality can be.

torsdag 17 oktober 2013

Quantum Contradictions 21: The Reference Frame

Feynman at the Nobel Banquet 1965: I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics...I don't know anything about the Nobel Prize, I don't understand what's it all about or what's worth what. If the people in the Swedish academy decides that X, Y or Z wins the Nobel Prize, then so be it. I won't have anything to do with it. It's a pain in the neck...ha..ha..hah...If someone tells you they understand quantum mechanics then all you’ve learned is that you’ve met a liar.

Lubos Motl behind The Reference Frame does not like the questions about the physical meaning (foundation) of quantum mechanics being posed by the Spanish physicist Pablo Echenique-Robba in the article:
The title of the article connects to the famous "Shut up and calculate!" outburst by Dirac upon similar questions in the 1930s, which Lubos now follows up with:
  • The universal postulates of quantum mechanics, its probabilistic, proposition-based character, and its intimate connection with linear algebra are the main targets of the Spanish crank's assault when it comes to the ideas.. 
  • Richard Feynman, Niels Bohr, and the authors of almost all textbooks of quantum mechanics are victims of his ad hominem attacks... 
Lubos wants to silence anyone (including me) who dares to question "the universal postulates of quantum mechanics, its probabilistic, proposition-based character, and its intimate connection with linear algebra" and throws invectives instead of simply using the scientific method he prides himself to follow.

But the questions remain and "shut up" is not an answer, in particular not a scientific answer.

PS For more on my views on quantum mechanics see Dr Faustus of Modern PhysicsMany-Minds Quantum Mechanics and Quantum Contradictions 1-20.

onsdag 16 oktober 2013

The Higgs: Searching for an Elephant by Microscope

Modern physics is based on two supposedly incompatible theories for the four forces of physics acting on different scales
  1. gravitational force: macroscopic: relativity theory: cosmology 
  2. electromagnetic, weak and strong forces: microscopic: quantum mechanics: atoms  
The incompatibility has made a unified theory impossible and has driven modern physics into absurdities such as searching for the origin of macroscopic gravitation on microscopic atomistic scales.

The 2013 Nobel Prize for the Higgs particle falls into this tradition: The idea is that mass or matter as the subject of macroscopic gravitation is generated from subatomic interactions through the Higgs particle with the Higgs field as an endless ocean in which the Universe is floating. 

Since the manifestation of mass is gravitation, it means to search for macroscopics in microscopics, that is searching for an Elephant using a microscope (quantum loop gravity and string theory) . It does not seem to me to be a constructive approach.   

A different approach is sketched in my pet theory described in Newtonian Gravitation of Matter and Antimatter exploring the possibility that 
  • the basic element of the Universe is a gravitational field $\phi (x,t)$ depending on a space coordinate $x$ and time coordinate $t$
  • matter and antimatter of density $\vert\rho (x,t)\vert $ is created by differentiation with respect to $x$ of the field $\phi (x,t)$ through the Laplace operator $\Delta$: $\rho =\Delta\phi$ with matter where $\Delta\phi >0$, antimatter where $\Delta\phi < 0$ and vaccum where $\Delta\phi =0$
  • a gravitational force $F$ arises as the space gradient $\nabla$ of the field $\phi$: $F = \nabla\phi$.    
It is thus the gravitational field $\phi$ which 
  • creates visible matter where $\Delta\phi$ is positive and singular
  • creates visible antimatter where $\Delta\phi$ is negative and singular
  • creates dark matter and antimatter where $\Delta\phi$ is smooth  
  • separates matter and antimatter by gravitational repulsion
  • concentrates matter by gravitational attraction.
What about that? Hint: The Hen and the Egg of (Dark) Matter. This is something completely different from the Higgs as an "explanation" of the origin of mass.

söndag 13 oktober 2013

Lukewarmers and Cooling

The climate debate can be divided as follows depending on estimated global warming upon doubled atmospheric CO2:
  1. Warmers (IPCC): 1.5 - 4.5 C.
  2. Lukewarmers (Lindzen, Spencer): 0.5 - 1 C.
  3. Skeptics: 0 C. 
The observed "hiatus" of warming (slight cooling since 1998) presents a problem to both Warmers and Lukewarmers, since the absence of an expected steady warming under observed steadily increasing CO2, has to be explained as a cancellation effect from unknown natural variations.

The gap between Warmers and Lukewarmers is 0.5 C, which is within measurement error. 

A Skeptic has an easier job and does not have to explain anything different from expectation to rationalize the observations, and in this sense seems to be better off according to Ockham's razor.   

lördag 12 oktober 2013

Roy: Does More CO2 Cause Warming, Cooling or Nothing?

Roy Spencer confesses his deep inner conviction:
  • I’m far from a political moderate, but I’ve been tagged as a “lukewarmer” in the climate wars. That’s because, at least from a theoretical perspective, it’s hard (but not impossible) for me to imagine that increasing CO2 won’t cause some level of warming. 
  • Some level of warming can probably be expected, but just how much makes a huge difference. 
  • Lindzen and I and a few other researchers in the field think the IPCC models are simply too sensitive, due to positive feedbacks that are either too strong, or even have the wrong sign. But we still believe more CO2 should cause some level of warming. 
  • If the current lack of warming really is due to a natural cooling influence temporarily canceling out CO2-induced warming, what happens when that cooling influence goes away? We are going to see rather rapid warming return… 
So Roy believes that more CO2 should cause some warming, and if it doesn't as in the present slightly cooling "hiatus" since 17 years, then it is because it is temporarily cancelled by natural cooling and thus may well return with rapid warming...

But Roy also states that he (and Lindzen) believes that the warming effect of CO2 is smaller than that postulated by IPCC (which is already quite small and smaller in AR5 than in AR4), and thus may well be too small to ever be observed. Roy is not so alone to have this idea as he thinks.

Roy thus can easily imagine a broad spectrum from warming to nothing, but can hardly imagine slight cooling under increasing CO2 like in the present observed hiatus (which he admits is not impossible). A very moderate standpoint, I would say.

I write this as a comment to Roys article since Roy does not want my comments on his blog, but Roy is welcome to comment with hopefully some answer to the title question on this blog.

PS Roy sends the warning::
  • The Danger of Hanging Your Hat on No Future Warming
while with respect to the present hiatus, the more relevant warning would be:
  • The Danger of Hanging Your Hat on Future Warming.

fredag 11 oktober 2013

Abstract Nordic Seminar in Computational Mechanics Oslo Oct 23-25: Breaking the Spell of Prandtl

                                                          Movie is here

The abstract for my upcoming talk at NCSM26 in Oslo Oct 23-25 is now available as
The talk presents in particular the first ab initio direct computational simulation of the flow of air around an airplane at large angle of attack and low velocity at landing, in close accordance to measured pressure distributions. This represents a major breakthrough in Computational Fluid Dynamics blocked for hundred years by a spell of Prandtl requiring impossible computational resolution of thin boundary layers demanding trillions of mesh points. 

We use a slip boundary condition modeling the small skin friction of slightly viscous air flow which does not generate and thus does not require resolution of boundary layers. We obtain pressure distributions using three millions of mesh points matching observations, and conclude that boundary layers have little impact (for slightly viscous flow) and thus do not have to be resolved. The spell of Prandtl is thereby broken.

onsdag 9 oktober 2013

Nobel Prize in Chemistry Awarded for Not Solving Schrödinger's Equation

              Picture from presentation of Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2013: Multiscale Models

Quantum mechanics based on Schrödinger's equation as the core of modern physics, is presented as an almost perfect mathematical model of the atoms and molecules making up the world. But there is one hook: Schrödinger's equation can be solved analytically only for the Hydrogen atom with one electron and computationally only for atoms with few electrons; already Helium with two electrons poses difficulties.

The reason is that the Schrödinger equation is formulated using 3N spatial dimensions for an atom with N electrons with each electron demanding its own three-dimensional space. If each dimension takes 10 pixels to be resolved (very low accuracy), 10^100 = googol = 1 followed by 100 zeros pixels would be required for the Arsenic atom with 33 electrons, which is deadly poison for any thinkable computer, since the required number of pixels would be much larger than the number of atomic particles in the Universe!

Schrödinger's equation thus has to be replaced by an equation which is simpler to solve, and this is what computational chemistry is about. The first Nobel Prize in this field was given in 1998 to Kohn and Pople for so called density functional theory which reduces Schrödinger's equation to computable three spatial dimensions with say 100 pixels in each dimension. The next one was given today to Karplus, Lewitt and Warshel for
  • the development of multiscale models for complex chemical systems:
  • Karplus, Levitt and Warshel...managed to make Newton’s classical physics work side-by-side with the fundamentally different quantum physics. 
  • Previously, chemists had to choose to use either or. The strength of classical physics was that calculations were simple and could be used to model really large molecules. 
  • Its weakness, it offered no way to simulate chemical reactions. For that purpose, chemists instead had to use quantum physics. 
  • But such calculations required enormous computing power and could therefore only be carried out for small molecules.
  • This year’s Nobel Laureates in chemistry took the best from both worlds and devised methods that use both classical and quantum physics. 
  • For instance, in simulations of how a drug couples to its target protein in the body, the computer performs quantum theoretical calculations on those atoms in the target protein that interact with the drug. The rest of the large protein is simulated using less demanding classical physics.
  • Today the computer is just as important a tool for chemists as the test tube. Simulations are so realistic that they predict the outcome of traditional experiments.
These prizes were thus awarded for not solving the Schrödinger equation, while the very formulation of the equation (and the similar Dirac equation) was awarded in 1933. 

In any case the prize was awarded to Computational Mathematics as an expression of The World as Computation.

Slinky as Alternative to Higgs Mechanism of Giving Mass to a Body

The popular description of Higgs' mechanism supplying mass to a body awarded the 2013 Noble Prize in Physics, goes as follows:  Imagine a celebrity (e.g. Brad Pitt) moving through a crowd of people drawing attention from inescapable interaction with the crowd, which can be imagined to generate some kind of resistance to the motion of the celebrity connecting to the amount of fame, or mass, of the star:

A more technical description from Wikipedia goes as follows:

The idea is evidently that a body acquires mass from interaction with some form of background field or crowd.Is this credible? Maybe. Maybe not. 

In any case, here is a reprint of a different mechanism that I reflected on some time ago as a possible resolution of Zeno's paradox of the impossibility of motion with a Slinky as mental image:

The basic idea is that the slinky moves so to speak by itself and not by interacting with a background field. The kinetic energy of the slinky = 1/2 x mass x velocity^2 equals the energy invested to compress or extend the slinky before letting it go. Mass can then be defined in terms of velocity and invested energy stored as kinetic energy through the motion. Mass is then something carried by the slinky through motion related to the stored energy, which can be released by letting the slinky run into a wall. Is this credible? Maybe. Maybe not.  Will Slinky get a Nobel Prize? Maybe not. 

The motion of a slinky suggests a resolution of Zeno’s Arrow Paradox as a combination of compression-release and switch of stability, where the the slinky appears as a soliton wave, which itself generates the medium through which it propagates.

Zeno of Elea (490-430 BC), member of the pre-Socratic Eliatic School founded by Parmenides, questioned the concept of change and motion in his famous arrow paradoxHow can it be that an arrow is moving, when at each time instant it is still?

In Resolution of Zeno’s Paradox of Particle Motion I argued that the paradox still after 2.500 years lacks a convincing resolution, and suggested a resolution based on wave motion.

A fundamental question of wave propagation is the nature of the medium through which the wave propagates: Is it material as in the case of sound waves in air, or is it immaterial as in the case of light waves in vacuum? If the flying arrow is a wave, which is the medium through which it propagates? It is not enough to say that it is air, because an arrow can fly also in vacuum.

We are led to the following basic question: can a wave itself act as the medium through which it propagates?

It turns out that a slinky can serve as an answer! To see this take a look at this movie . We see that the motion of a slinky can be described as follows:
  • oscillation between two forms of energy: elastic energy and kinetic energy compression stores elastic energy 
  • elastic energy is transformed into kinetic energy when the slinky expands
  • there is a critical moment with the slinky fully compressed in which the downward forward motion of the top ring is reflected in upward forward (and not upward backward motion which would lead to motion on the spot) 
  • the slinky forms itself the medium through which it as a wave propagates
  • the slinky acts like a soliton wave.
We understand that the slinky offers a model for resolution Zeno’s paradox as a wave which itself generates the medium through which it propagates.

What is Mass?

You can take this model one step further, and view the work required to compress the slinky from an uncompressed rest state, as an investment into kinetic energy of motion, just as a body can be accellerated from rest by the action of a force and gain kinetic energy.

This would mean that the slinky has inertial mass and that it can move with different velocities depending on the amount of work invested in the initial compression. We may compare with the propagation of massless electromagnetic waves with given fixed speed of light. This connects to the question Does the Earth Rotate? suggesting to define mass as inertial mass M in terms of kinetic energy K and velocity V from the formula K = 1/2 x M x V x V.

PS1 The difference between Higgs and Slinky is a bit like the difference between environment and genetics for living body, with Higgs only exterior environment and Slinky only interior genetics.

PS2 There is a connection to Wittengenstein's ladder which the user successively pulls up behind as the  climbing advances.

PS3 The Higgs mechanism is described in the above picture to "slow down" the motion of an electron as an effect of some kind of viscosity. This seems strange since electrons are not "slowed down" by the mere fact that they have mass. Acceleration is "slowed down" by mass but not velocity.

tisdag 8 oktober 2013

From Impossible Fiction to Possible Reality in Quantum Mechanics

The wave function $\Psi$ as a solution to Schrödinger's equation supposedly describing the quantum mechanics of an atom with $N$ electrons, depends on N three-dimensional spatial variables $x_1,..., x_N$ (and time), altogether $3N$ spatial dimensions, with $\vert \Psi (x_1,..., x_N)\vert^2$ interpreted as the probability of the configuration with electron $j$ located at position $x_j$.

The wave function $\Psi (x_1,...,x_N)$ is thus supposed to carry information about all possible electron configurations and as such contains an overwhelming amount of information, which however is not really accessible because of an overwhelming computational cost already for small N with difficulties starting already for $N = 2$.

To handle this difficulty drastic reductions in complexity are being made by seeking approximate solutions as wave functions with drastically restricted spatial variation based on heuristics. There are claims that this is feasible using structural properties of the wave function (but full scale computations seem to be missing).

An alternative approach would be to seek $N$ wave functions $\Psi_1,..., \Psi_N$, depending on a common three-dimensional space coordinate $x$, with $\Psi_j(x)$ carrying information about the presence of particle $j$, as a form of Smoothed Particle Mechanics (SPM) as a variant of classical particle mechanics. The corresponding Schrödinger equation consists of a coupled system of one-electron equations in the spirit of Hartree, and is readily computable even for N large.

The solution $\Psi_1(x),..., \Psi_N(x)$, of the system would give precise information about one possible electron configuration. If this is a representative configuration, this may be all one would like to know.

As an example, SPM for the Helium atom with two atoms appears to give a configuration with two half-spherical electron lobes in opposition, as a representative configuration with other equally possible configurations obtained by rotation, as suggested in a previous post and in the sequence Quantum Contradictions.

Instead of seeking information about all possible configurations by solving the 3N dimensional many-electron Schrödinger equation, which is impossible, it may be more productive to seek information about one possible and representative configuration by solving a system of 3 dimensional one-electron wave functions, which is possible.

måndag 7 oktober 2013

Quantum Contradictions 21: Atomic Radii?

Quantum Mechanics (QM) based on Schrödinger's equation is supposed to give a very accurate description of the atomic world, yet theoretical predictions of atomic radii presented in the literature based on solving Schrödinger's equation, agree with observations to only about 5%. This is excused by saying that the radius of an atom is not well defined, and so a precise number cannot be given.

In any case, QM is postulated to be very precise, and a precise answer will be delivered if only the question is the right one: Asking about the radius of an atom is not a good question and thus will have no good QM answer.

In contrast, the spin factor on an electron is claimed to be predicted by Quantum ElectroDynamics (QED) to one part in a trillion, which following Feynman is presented as ultimate evidence of the correctness of QED and thus also of its a little (less precise but still very precise) cousin QM.

So we have to live with the fact that asking for the radius of an atom will get no QM answer: The precision is about the precision that can be obtained from the above chart.

söndag 6 oktober 2013

Whereof the Royal (Academy) Can(not) Speak

The Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf  is, according to the Swedish Constitution from 1975, not allowed to speak out on anything of importance and thus has only a ceremonial role.

However, the King being a devoted environmentalist with a sharp brain has found a canal to reach out to the Swedish people through his Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, in charge of the Noble Prizes  (delivered from the hands of the King) with the 2013 prizes to be announced the coming week.

In particular, the King made a statement in support of the IPCC Assessment Report 4 from 2007 sending the world a global warming alarm in the form of The Scientific Basis for Climate Change presented under Science in Society on the web site of the Academy.

Accordingly the Academy acted as the forum for the presentation to the world of the new IPCC Assessment Report 5 with even more alarm, supported by Climate Change: the state of science and a tribute to the first chairman of IPCC: Climate Change: Bert Bolin and beyond.

The King is now working on an update of his statement The Scientific Basis for Climate Change to make it accurately represent the increased alarm (from 90% to 95%) expressed in the new IPCC Assessment Report 5.

The Republican Party, which finds no scientific evidence of alarming global warming from human CO2 emissions, claims that the support of IPCC alarm expressed by the King and his Royal Academy violates the Swedish constitution and a constitutional crisis now seems inevitable. In the worst scenario the Royal Academy will have to be shut down along with all Royal Castles, which is alarming (96%) to Swedish interests all over the globe and thus to the world.

torsdag 3 oktober 2013

Quantum Mechanics Contradictions 20: Addendum

The smoothed particle model of atomic physics to be explored computationally in coming posts leads to the following simple model for the ground state energy of an atom with Z + 2  electrons (at most 10 to start with) with 2 electrons in a first inner shell of radius and Z electrons in a second outer shell of radius R, the same for all Z.

We assume the ground state energy is half of the kernel potential energy (in correspondence with the virial theorem) and motivate the constant radius of the outer shell from the idea that the "width" of an electron in the second shell scales like 1/Z and thus Z electrons could fill up a shell of constant radius, in accordance with the observation that atomic radii vary surprisingly little with the number (beyond one or two) of electrons in the outer shell.

The energy contribution e_Z from the second shell will then be Z x Z / D with D = 2 x R, which gives the following contributions with R = 1 with exact values in parenthesis:
  • Lithium: e_1 = - 0.5 ( - 0.2)
  • Beryllium: e_2 = - 2 ( - 1)
  • Boron: e_3 = - 4.5 ( - 1.9)
  • Carbon: e_4 = - 8 (- 5.25) 
  • Nitrogen: e_5 = - 12.5 (- 9.8)
  • Oxygen: e_6 = - 18 (- 15.91)
  • Fluorine: e_7 = - 24.5 ( - 24.2)
  • Neon: e_8 = - 32 (- 34)
We see a fairly good agreement with respect to the simplicity of the model (complemented by the energies for the inner shell) , which gives good promise to the coming computational exploration.

PS Continuing with a third shell of radius R = 2 and D = 2 x R = 4, we get with
e_Z = (Z -10) x (Z - 10) /D:
  • Sodium: e_11 = - 0.25 (- 0.18)
  • Magnesium: e_12 = - 1  (- 0.80)
  • Aluminium: e_13 = - 2.25 (- 1.9)
  • Silicon: e_14 = - 4 (- 3.65)
  • Phosphorus: e_15 = - 6.25 (- 6.2)
  • Sulfur: e_16 = - 9 (- 9.82)
  • Chlorine: e_17 = - 12.25 (- 14.5)
  • Argon: e_18 = - 16 (- 20.5) 
Again a fairly good agreement. Taking into account that the atomic radius decreases with increasing number of electrons within the band, improves the fit between model and observation,