söndag 11 augusti 2019

Modern Physics in Free Fall Crisis

Modern physicists in joint free fall under quantum supergravity.
There are many witnesses of a modern physics in serious crisis. The process started at the turn to 20th century modernity with Einstein's special theory of relativity and Planck's derivation of the law of blackbody radiation based on statistics of energy quanta opening to quantum mechanics.

Evidence of the crisis can be seen in the 2019 Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics to a 1970 speculation about supergravity, which has resisted 50 years of experimental verification, see also Where are we now?. The Breakthrough website motivates the Prize to supergravity as follows:
  • In the four decades since its development, supergravity has had a powerful influence on theoretical physics. It showed that supersymmetry was capable of accounting for all the phenomena we see in the real world, including gravity. It represented a completion of the current understanding of particle physics – a rigorous mathematical answer to the question, “What theories of nature are compatible with the principles of both quantum mechanics and special relativity?” And it provided a foundation for the attempt – still ongoing – to build a full theory of quantum gravity that describes space and time at a fundamental level.
We see that the 2019 Breakthrough Prize concerns precisely the question discussed in this sequence of posts: How to reconcile the principles of quantum mechanics and special relativity? But the 1970 answer in the form of supersymmetry appears to have few proponents today outside the Prize committee as a (failed) "attempt". It is not impossible that the 2020 Fundamental Physics Prize will go to the discovery that special relativity is not fundamental physics, and thus that there is no contradiction with quantum mechanics.   

The shift to modernity was a break-off from classical physics as science of "what is" (ontology) into a modern physics as science of "what we can say" (epistemology) as expressed by Niels Bohr, in which a material world going around even without any (human) observer was replaced by a mist of statistics of (human) observation.

In the new view of modern physics causality/determinism was given up, under much agony because that had been the basic principle of physics since Aristotle, while the monumentality of the sacrifice added to its thrill.  But a sacrifice carries a cost and the cost is now showing up in the form of a modern physics in free fall without any thinkable connection to experiments as string theory in 11 dimensions and multiversa statistics of all possibilities.

What is then the effect of a physics in free fall? Is it helpful to humanity? What was the basic reason that forced Einstein and Bohr followed by generations of modern physicists, to give up causality and rationality?

Einstein was led to special relativity in an effort to handle the lack of physicality of a vacuum or "aether" as a medium for propagation of electromagnetic waves/light. It appeared in experiments like that by Michelson-Morley as if there was not just one single "aether", but many different as if each source/receiver system in motion would "drag" its own aether along. Einstein however could not handle the diversity of many aethers (put forward by e.g. Ebenezer Cunningham) and so took the radical step of declaring that there is no aether at all, in particular not many aethers causing confusing. In modern psycho-physiological terms it could be described as a syndrome of not being able to handle the many sometimes conflicting perspectives of life.

In any case the "no-aether" idea led Einstein into the his special relativity where all observers are compelled to share the same mathematical formulas under a banner of Lorentz invariance, however  without being able to agree on anything else of importance such as simultaneity, time and space. The scientific world met Einstein's special relativity with a yawn as epistemology without physics, which made Einstein turn to his general theory of relativity, which as a consequence of efforts to reconcile England and Germany after World War I in the hands of Eddington, took off in the media and then was turned into a pillar of modern physics.

The trouble was that this pillar was incompatible with the other pillar of modern physics, namely quantum mechanics founded on Schrödinger's equation, which resisted to Lorentz invariance. Modern physics has carried this incompatibility for 100 years as a basic trauma on which much of the present crisis can be blamed, with supergravity as failed attempt to reconcile quantum mechanics with gravitation. The rest of the blame can go to the use of statistics as a collapse of causality/determinism, which was forced from the multi-dimensional form of Schrödinger's equation.

Modern physicists bear witness of the crisis, but I have met little interest in possible ways to take off instead of falling down, by questioning Lorentz invariance and the necessity of a statistical approach to the physics of an atom. But the crisis goes on and maybe some day, discussion will be possible.

The similarity with a climate science dominated by one gospel of alarm is obvious. More precisely, the corruption of climate science today is made possible by the fact that modern physicists have retreated from the world.

The last sequence of posts give arguments that Lorentz invariance has no role to play in physics.
In Real Quantum Mechanics a variant of Schrödinger's equation free of statistics as a system in 3 space dimensions, is presented.

Comments from physicists are welcome. Is any form of discussion possible? Or is the crisis permanent?

PS In many respects modern physics appears as a game of poker, where the physicist player all the time can raise the bet and avoid being called by the public/tax payer. This is what Einstein did, when confronted with questioning of the special theory of relativity, by turning to general relativity, which when questioned was further raised to cosmology. Or when Schrödinger's equations for atoms was confronted with Lorentz invariance and the bet was lifted to Dirac's equation, not for atoms but only for one free electron, and then further to quantum field theory with a universe of infinities, which was handled by "renormalisation" and so on to string theory in 11 dimensions, which cannot be called because it is very far beyond both experimental conformation and refutation.

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