|Subject: Fw: a discussion with
Mom and Dad about physics
Date: Wed, 16 Jul 2003 21:51:32 -0700
Hey, glad you're back, and hope you and Greg enjoyed the trip. Watch them waterholes, though, they could clog up your cooler! Bad thing in that heat.
Your father's reaction is perfectly understandable. In my personal experience, about 80% to 90% of the EEs simply cannot get into the foundations aspects. Simply not their nature.
I found that a few can see the problem of the source charge, once it is presented, if they are really interested. Even fewer can see the problem in the "definitions" of the field and the potential, which do not define the field or the potential at all, but only state what is diverged from it by an assumed unit point STATIC charge at each point.
In other words, most cannot believe that the "defined" E-field and B-field and phi and A, do not and cannot exist in mass-free space. Even Jackson has difficulty with that, and he avoided it this way:
He also stated:
"Most classical electrodynamicists continue to adhere to the notion that the EM force field exists as such in the vacuum, but do admit that physically measurable quantities such as force somehow involve the product of charge and field." [Ibid., p. 249].
So if Jackson -- one of the very best classical electrodynamicists --- couldn't face it, please don't blame your father for not being able to!
Feynman, being a physicist with a turn for foundations, faced it squarely on:
So note that Feynman could look it full in the face: What exists in mass-free space(time) is a change in spacetime only, and it is a "potentiality" for producing a force, should some charged mass be placed therein. It puts you squarely into general relativity.
In another quote I used somewhere in an early paper (and haven't got in my quotes listing), Feynman also pointed out that the "field" in space did not exist at all in the form we usually think, and not as a force field at all, but only the "potentiality" for that force field, should some charged mass be inserted.
In short, the familiar E-field and B-field (the EM field) we detect, say, in an antenna, is NOT the field that is incoming from massfree space. Instead, it is the forcefield created by the incoming SPACETIME CURVATURE interacting with the waiting free electrons in that antenna (and the positive charges of the atoms where the electrons in the Drude gas left). We normally just use the field shown by the electrons. However, eerily (and I could find no book that did this), if one examines the interacting Drude gas in a wire antenna, the electrons move longitudinal down the wire only about 4 inches per hour, in a nominal type case. Meanwhile, the electrons have spin and do precess laterally. So they move laterally much easier, since such a great number of other repelling electrons is ahead of any one electron.
NOTE CAREFULLY: the electron precession gives us the total notion of those "transverse" EM waves! Those are not what is in space at all, but only what is in the detecting electron gas (or other charges). I pointed out that, since a gyro precesses at right angles to the disturbing force, then this PROVES that the waves incoming in space, before interaction, are longitudinal waves --- just as Tesla stated. That of course was just too much for even the radicals, so I soft pedaled it in later years. But it's true, and just another incidence where the foundations of EM are terribly flawed, from more than a hundred years ago.
Feynman also pointed out the tremendous difficulty in defining force precisely, in this statement:
"One of the most important characteristics of force is that it has a material origin, and this is not just a definition. … If you insist upon a precise definition of force, you will never get it!" Richard P. Feynman, Robert B. Leighton, and Matthew Sands, The Feynman Lectures on Physics, Addison-Wesley, Reading, MA, Vol. 1, 1964, p. 12-2.
Wheeler (and Feynman also) further clarified that business of "the field" being a "potentiality" of space itself. He said:
"...in essence, the curvature in space created by the electromagnetic field is the electromagnetic field; and this curvature can in principle be detected by purely geometric measurements." John A. Wheeler and Seymour Tilson, "The Dynamics of Space-Time," International Science and Technology, Dec. 1963, p. 72.
But note also the sheer mindboggling problem still remaining:
So finally we "get at" what the field really is: simply a curvature of spacetime. No force at all, just curvature. Spacetime is also pure energy density, and a curvature in ST is a change in that energy density from one spacetime point to another.
But unless one really does some deep thinking on all that, and unless one is highly motivated to do such thinking, all that just rolls off one's head like water off a duck's back.
Interesting thing about all the stuff I read on force and force field: I never encountered any statement that that mass was a COMPONENT of force, and that the old mechanics notion of a separate force acting on a separate mass was false, even though both Feynman and Wheeler (and others) were waltzing all around it, as was Jackson. One gets that simply by recognizing that no equation is a definition; a definition must be an IDENTITY. An equation only compares the magnitudes of entities; it does not tell what any entity IS. So physicists err mightily when they ubiquitously use equations as "definitions".
So, using the => as the "identity" (3-lines, not the two of an "equals"), one must change the F = d/dt(mv) so called "definition" of force to F => d/dt(mv). In the expansion, both terms have a mass term in them. So that directly makes mass a component of force.
Another bad case they ubiquitously use is to say that B = curl A is the DEFINITION of A. Now use B => curl A, and you see they just got it backwards. Given A, it defines B! The B-field is just a curled A-potential. If B is zero, then the curl of A is zero. Doesn't mean that A cannot exist, but only that if it exists it is UNCURLED or field-free. That of course is the Aharonov Bohm effect. By having a B-field in space, you have a curled A-potential there, a priori. But if you LOCALIZE that curled A (that B-field) to a local region (as inside the coils of a toroidal coil), then OUTSIDE that localized region the A-field that was formerly out there still exists, but now it is UNCURLED. We just decided to use that extra "energy reservoir" sitting outside the core of the MEG, as a free and "extra" energy reservoir from which extra EM energy could be extracted FOR FREE.
Now note how much difficulty electrical engineers etc. have in understanding the MEG! They simply cannot overcome the errors in classical EM and electrical engineering. Else they would have used it long ago for power systems.
I had a chance to talk (briefly!) with my Dad - a retired EE - about your work. He seemed to listen politely, but then pointed out that if any of what I was saying were true, it would imply the existence of a vast conspiracy. Since he did not believe that such a large conspiracy could exist and remain concealed, he did not want to pursue learning any more information about the new physics and energy from the vacuum. This is unfortunate, because he is one of those people with a well-equipped lab, test equipment, etc. and the capability of doing bench experiments. An independent thinker, in most respects.
Sad. Smart man, but used an advanced rationalization to justify arriving at exactly the same beliefs as my Mom, whose beliefs originate mainly from an emotional basis.
Isn't it funny how some of the biggest conspiracies of all time, that hoax the greatest number of people, are those that are concealed simply by remaining in plain sight. The conspiracy that our country is a republic, the conspiracy that little pieces of paper with green numbers on one side represent wealth, the conspiracy that each political party truly represents opposing points of view, the conspiracy that rules out half of the permissible EM systems, etc. are all in plain sight and widely disbelieved by an overwhelming majority.
Well, that's okay. We really didn't expect to get into deep discussions with my folks. In practically all respects it was a nice visit. Boy my Mom can sure cook up a storm!
Hope you and Doris are doing OK and keeping your sense of humor.
The creek dried up while we were away. Expected, but disappointing nonetheless. The little puddles that remain are being fought over by phalanxes of buzzing insects, and one can see lots of little footprints in the sand. It was a convenient source of water for our evaporative cooler, which eats about 20 gal. a day when it's hot out. Other water sources exist but are much less convenient. C'est la vie. We're pretty comfortable here anyhow.