We have to talk about LIGO

I’ve mentioned LIGO a couple of times in passing. You know, LIGO, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory. Rainer Weiss of MIT had a lot to do with the idea back in the 1960s, as did Kip Thorne of Caltech. Things got serious in 1980 when the US National Science Foundation funded prototypes at Caltech and MIT, and funded Weiss to lead a study into a full size interferometer. Construction eventually started in 1994 and was finished in 1997. Observations eventually started in 2002 and stopped…

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The black hole charlatans

When you read the Einstein digital papers, you understand how gravity works. Einstein said things like “the curvature of light rays occurs only in spaces where the speed of light is spatially variable”. Note that he never abandoned this, and he never said light curves because it follows the curvature of spacetime. Instead he said a gravitational field is a place where space is “neither homogeneous nor isotropic”, he referred to Huygen’s principle, and he talked about “the refraction of light rays by the gravitational field”. So did Newton, see…

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Most laymen completely misunderstand what a black hole is

I saw Luboš Motl’s blog post Most laymen completely misunderstand what a black hole is. When I read the title my irony meter skipped a beat, so I thought I’d take a closer look. Especially since he said this in his opening paragraph: One of those invalid memes that I want to discuss… is the idea that the point of the black hole is the singularity. That is what makes a black hole a black hole and that's also where the mysteries of black holes hide.…

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The trouble with physics

Many years ago I gave evidence at the Old Bailey. It was a fraud trial, and I was an expert witness for the prosecution. During the case I got to know DI Frank Cooper of Holborn nick. He told me about his "copper's nose", and what bank robbers and the like are really like. He said I shouldn’t think of them as lovable rogues like in the old movies. He said “They’re career criminals, they’re contemptuous of people like you”. Or words to that effect. Along…

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Physics blogs

Last time I mentioned a few physics blogs in the context of propaganda and censorship in physics. I thought I ought to give a round-up of the other physics blogs out there. After that I thought I’d prepare a list of all the physics blogs I can find and put up a page here that gives one line for each. Of course, there will be blogs that I don’t know about. If you know of any, including your own, please let me know and I’ll add…

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Propaganda and censorship in physics

Last time, I was talking about propaganda and censorship in politics. As most people know, things have been getting rather Orwellian recently. Free speech is under attack. People have lost their jobs because “all lives matter” is somehow racist. Left-wing activists are pushing for censorship on the pretence that all opposing views are hate crimes. On top of that certain so-called journalists are peddling fake news and doublespeak “fact checks” in a patent blatant fashion. I’d say Bari Weiss’s resignation letter is a sign of the…

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Propaganda and censorship in politics

I remember a time when the The Guardian was a respected newspaper. It's owned by the Scott Trust, which was created in 1936 to “safeguard the journalistic freedom and liberal values of The Guardian free from commercial or political interference". Sadly the Guardian is no longer a liberal newspaper. Instead it engages in political interference for a living. It's renowned as a Marxist mouthpiece which peddles left wing lies and PC claptrap. It is famous for being a hotbed of propaganda and censorship. There once was…

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How to tell science from pseudoscience

I have to wait for something at the moment, so I thought I’d have a read of Sabine Hossenfelder’s latest blog post. Then I thought I’d say something about it. Hossenfelder is green: Is the earth flat? Is G5 is a mind-control experiment by the Russian government? What about the idea that COVID was engineered by the vaccine industry? How can we tell apart science from pseudoscience? This is what we will talk about today. Well, it isn’t the Russians trying to track me on my…

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A brief history of black holes

I read Sabine Hossenfelder’s latest blog post yesterday. The title was A brief history of black holes. I left a couple of comments. One was a reply to Louis Marmet, and referred to Oppenheimer’s 1939 frozen star black hole. I said I think the black hole grows like a hailstone, from the inside out. The other was addressed to Hossenfelder, and referred to Einstein talking about the variable speed of light. I said that IMHO this had to mean Penrose/Hawking singularity theorems were wrong. I found…

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L-shaped contrails

Sorry I haven't posted much lately. I've been run off my feet with work. Like that woman at the end of Twelve Monkeys, I'm in insurance, and work is pressing. But anyhow, very briefly, I wanted to show you something I saw yesterday evening: L- shaped contrails. At least that's what they looked like: There appears to be two, one lower, one higher. Here's another picture I took a few seconds later: I was in Poole looking west, at circa 18:53 GMT.  Interesting, that! NEXT

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