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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Something is rotten in the state of QED

Check out something is rotten in the state of QED. It’s a paper by Oliver Consa, who has done some excellent detective work on the history of quantum electrodynamics (QED). He has delved deep into the claims that QED is the most precise theory ever, and what he’s come up with is grim: Consa says the much-touted precision of QED is based on measurements of the electron g-factor, but that “this value was obtained using illegitimate mathematical traps, manipulations and tricks”. I think he’s right. I…

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Why clocks go slower when they’re lower

This is in response to a query from Jonas K. See my post you can lead a horse to water, and take a look at the comments. OK, I’ll start again from the beginning, Jonas, you're blue: Textbook optical clocks of the bouncing-photons-kind go slower when lower in a gravitational field, yes. So do Cesium-based atomic clocks, by exactly the same amount. Why is that? It’s because a Cesium-based atomic clock has an electromagnetic nature. Take a look at the NIST caesium fountain clock: Image courtesy…

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