Physics is dead, long live physics

I was pleased to read about the launch of the James Webb space telescope on Christmas Day. I do hope everything goes smoothly. It will take about a month to get on station, about three months before it’s cold enough to function, and about six months before it’s commissioned. Unlike Hubble, which was in a low Earth orbit, Webb will be in a “halo” orbit around the L2 Lagrange point a million miles from Earth. Along the way there are 3 burns and 50 deployments with 178 release mechanisms. If anything goes wrong with those burns or deployments, or with the subsequent operation, it won’t be an easy fix. In fact, it probably won’t be a fix at all. So, fingers crossed, touch wood, and here’s hoping. Hubble was a great success, it opened our eyes to the awe-inspiring wonderful universe in which we live. I hope that Webb, with six times the mirror area, will be a great success too:

James Webb Space Telescope (artist’s impression) Credit: ESA (C. Carreau)

I was particularly pleased about the James Webb space telescope because 2021 hasn’t been a great year for physics and cosmology. The Nobel Prize in physics was a huge disappointment. Half went to Syukuro Manabe and Klaus Hasselmann “for the physical modelling of Earth’s climate, quantifying variability and reliably predicting global warming”. The other half went Giorgio Parisi “for the discovery of the interplay of disorder and fluctuations in physical systems”. I’m not a fan of the Nobel Prize at the best of times, because I think it sets science in stone and so impedes scientific progress. Heck, I think Alfred Nobel did a lot less harm with his god damn dynamite. But this year’s Nobel Prize in physics wasn’t even physics. It was climate change.

But I’m not a fan of climate change

I don’t know if you know, but I’m something of a green. I used to do all-day Sunday nature tasks with the Chief Keeper of the New Forest and the Curator of Poole Aquarium. My front garden is a garden, not a car park. My back garden includes a 6ft by 8ft pond which I dug myself. Then I put in the liner, then built the stone walls and laid the flagstones. I wish I’d made it bigger, but it is what it is. The newts love it, and it’s nice to hear the high-pitched croak of toads in the morning. As you can see, I have palms and ferns and other exotica. I’m going for the Jurassic look:

My pond, with 9-year-old human boy for scale

I grow vegetables of course. And of course, I’m concerned about deforestation and desertification and habitat loss, and about overfishing and whaling and bush meat. But I’m not a fan of climate change. I don’t doubt that the works of man can change the climate. I just dislike the way “climate change” legitimises the clear-felling of primal forests to feed Drax B, and the destruction of Indonesian jungle for palm oil plantations. I dislike the greenwash that says climate change is responsible for the reduction in the Kilimanjaro icecap, the demise of the puffin, desertification, and mass migration. That’s because I know that the real causes are deforestation, overfishing, overgrazing, and overpopulation. I also dislike the way they say “there is a scientific consensus”, then use this to silence all evidential challenge. If I don’t agree that last year was the warmest ever on account of my melons, then too bad, the scientific consensus says I’m wrong. I particularly dislike the use of the word denier. There’s no place in science for that, it’s the modern version of heretic. And more than anything else, I dislike the way climate change has been sucking up physics funding for years now. Like a parasite carried by the unwitting. Despite the climategate scandal that showed academics behaving very badly indeed. I am now a cynic. I now think climate change is a corrupted reverse-Robin racket which has just put your gas bill up by 70% and counting. I think of climate change as something that’s peddled and promoted by all those COP26 ZiL-lane billionaires who never mention China, plus the pampered princes of hypocrisy. You know, those condescending types who tell you that you shouldn’t own a car, even though they fly 200,000 miles a year in a private jet.

It just isn’t physics

Back on topic, I was similarly disappointed by the Physics World finalists for the 2021 Breakthrough of the Year. Whilst restoring speech to a paralysed man is a worthy achievement, it just isn’t physics, it’s medicine and computing. Making 30 lasers emit as one just isn’t physics either, it’s engineering. Meanwhile quantifying wave-particle duality is just hogwash, because particles are waves, and because Pascual Jordan solved the mystery of wave-particle duality way back in 1926. Hence I sighed when I saw the picture of the double slit experiment and read all the quantum bullshіt about complementarity:

Complementarity: A new twist on the double-slit experiment. (Courtesy: Shutterstock/Andrey VP)

I also sighed when I saw that the winner was Quantum entanglement of two macroscopic objects. Surely Joy Christian knocked all that on the head way back in 2007? He featured in Mark Buchanan’s New Scientist article Quantum Entanglement: Is Spookiness Under Threat? But no, what we have instead is “quantum technology has made great strides over the past two decades” when it absolutely has not. What we have is tiny resonating drums which are allegedly entangled, and where this so-called entanglement somehow “resembled a two-qubit gate”. That’s not physics either. That’s the jam-tomorrow two-bit quantum computing that’s also been sucking up physics funding for years now. The quantum computing that has almost killed off optical computing, and will never deliver anything useful at all. If you don’t believe me, read the Physics World article Quantum science & technology: Highlights of 2021. There are no highlights.

It just isn’t physics

There are no highlights in physics either. Take a look at the APS Highlights of the Year. What have we got? A Solar Rendezvous, about NASA’s Parker Solar Probe, which was launched in 2018. Without the fundamental gravitational experiment that was going to measure the fine structure constant near the surface of the Sun. Then we’ve got the Muon’s Escalating Challenge to the Standard Model which includes the usual lies-to-children about virtual particles:

Muon cartoon images from the Muon The Muon g–2 Anomaly Explained

I am reminded of something Peter Woit said: this nonsense continues to be heavily promoted in our most prominent and respected mass media”. As it happens he was talking about String Theory, but make no mistake, Standard Model physicists promote nonsense too. Anyway, the other APS “highlights” concern quantum primacy, more women physicists, green materials, time crystals, climate change fingerprints, MOND, neutron stars, and a spinning top. Quantum primacy, my arse. Green materials, green wash. Time crystals, FFS. It really is a poor show.

Relive 2021 at CERN

It’s a similar poor show in Relive 2021 at CERN. That’s a 6-minute video that tells you about things like the 13 gigapixel tracker for ALICE, how ATLAS detected three W-bosons, how CMS is homing in on the lifetime of the Higgs boson, and how LHCb has found hints of a violation in lepton flavour universality. Oh, they also “discovered” the odderon, but as ever the “discovery” was inferred, so you’ll just have to take their word for it. The video is great, the music is great, but the physics isn’t. Even though you can clearly see in that video that CERN have massive amounts of money to spend:

Screenshot from Relive 2021 at CERN

This is Big Science, no expense spared, but these are the guys who won’t tell you what an electron is. All they do say is that it’s a subatomic particle with a negative elementary electric charge. But hey, they have environmentally friendly beam lines, they’ve set out how they’re going to reduce their environmental footprint, and they’ve released a new version of their WebEnergy tool to better forecast energy consumption on site. This is CERN, the Centre European for Research Nuclear, who last mentioned Thorium: an energy source for the world of tomorrow in 2014. They aren’t doing the job they were set up to do, and they aren’t doing the job they decided to do instead. The inconvenient truth is that they get in the way of scientific progress because they’ve painted themselves into a corner with their “discoveries”. Hence they peddle myths like does antimatter fall up? even though everybody who knows anything about general relativity knows that it doesn’t. They won’t admit that an electron is a wave in a closed path, like Schrödinger said on page 26 of quantization as a problem of proper values, part II. If they did, you’d know that electron mass is just resistance to change-in-motion for a wave going around and around at c. Then you’d know that the lifetime of the fabulous Higgs boson is zero. It’s been nearly ten years since CERN “discovered” the Higgs boson. Fundamental physics did not advance then, and it hasn’t advanced since.

Timeline of fundamental physics discoveries

What have we had since 2012? The Wikipedia article on the Timeline of fundamental physics discoveries gives three items. The first was LIGO’s 2015 announcement that they’d observed gravitational waves. The trouble with that is that there’s an issue with black hole mergers. A gravitational field is a place where there’s a gradient in the speed of light. However a black hole is a place where this is zero. Hence the mechanism by which a body falls down just isn’t there. Hence something’s wrong. The second item was the 2019 announcement of the first image of a black hole. See Katie Bouman ‘hardly knew what a black hole was.’ Her algorithm helped us see one. They didn’t capture an image, they captured data which was used to create an image:

M87 depiction from Press Release (April 10, 2019): Astronomers Capture First Image of a Black Hole

Note this: “There’s an infinite number of possible images that could have been created from the sparse measurements that we took”. Also note this in the Wikipedia Event Horizon Telescope article: “the observed image is consistent with expectations for the shadow of a spinning Kerr black hole”. The trouble with that is that Kerr black holes are associated with time travel, wormholes, and other universes, which are science fiction concepts rather than science fact. In addition Kerr black holes are said to spin at nearly the speed of light. However a black hole is a place where this is zero. Hence it can’t be spinning at nearly the speed of light. Hence something’s wrong again. Especially since there are no gamma ray bursts. The third item is the 2020 discovery of the room-temperature superconductor, but that was at a pressure of 2.6 million atmospheres, so it doesn’t count.

Ruminations on Cosmology and Time

I think it’s important to appreciate why time travel, wormholes, and other universes are science fiction, not science. You know how I mentioned Peter Woit? In October he referred to Fields Medallist David Mumford. Woit said Mumford “moved into physics this month with a wonderful article about cosmology in the Notices”. Unfortunately Mumford is a total beginner when it comes to physics, and the article isn’t wonderful at all. He doesn’t understand time, and he didn’t even know about Philip Gibbs’s relativistic rocket. His article includes a depiction of Kip Thorne’s Interstellar black hole:

Black hole depiction from David Mumford’s Ruminations on Cosmology and Time

That’s Kip Thorne of MTW fame, who used Interstellar to try to pass off time travel as bona-fide physics. Only it isn’t, because time is a cumulative measure of motion. It’s only a dimension in the sense of measure, not freedom of motion. Hence I can hop forward a metre, but you can’t forward a second. You can travel fast in space or descend near a black hole such that you’re subject to time dilation. But time dilation is merely a slowdown in your local motion. You can’t actually travel forward in time, so you can’t travel backward in time either. Mumford doesn’t know this. Instead he talks about the FLRW metric which “starts with the assumption of homogeneity and isotropy of space”. He doesn’t know that Einstein described a gravitational field as a place where space is neither homogeneous nor isotropic. In similar vein Mumford doesn’t know that the speed of light is spatially variable. Instead he thinks the point singularities predicted by Hawking and Penrose are “pretty much inevitable in general relativity”. Does he know that Einstein didn’t share this view? I don’t think so, because he thinks the infalling observer falls through the event horizon in his own proper time, but never ever does according to outside observers. He even says “the seeming conundrum of the geodesic continuing in this way is clarified, following Eddington and Finkelstein, by changing the time coordinate in the Schwarzschild metric”.

The Kerr model is one whose geodesic completion allows time travel into the past

Unfortunately you can’t use seconds of infinite length to airbrush over the end of time. Mumford doesn’t realise this, and instead says the Kerr model is “one whose geodesic completion allows time travel into the past”. He also says “At this point, physicists throw up their hands and say enough is enough. But mathematicians do not and, in fact, there is an infinite chain of new universes connected by similar coordinate changes”. He’s talking about an infinite chain of new universes connected by wormholes. Sadly Mumford got lost in maths. Sadly he is not alone. Only last month in the news we had Black hole breakthrough as portal ‘wormholes’ could be shortcuts across universe. It concerned a Live Science article Wormholes may be stable after all, new theory suggests. This in turn referred to a paper in the International Journal of Modern Physics D. Amazingly, there are people who call themselves physicists who actually believe in this, and journals that actually print it. What must Joe Public think?

Joe Public now has a very low opinion of physics

Sadly, I don’t think Joe Public cares any more. Sadly, I think Joe Public now has a very low opinion of physics. I think he has a low opinion of science in general. Covid hasn’t helped. I have the Boxing Day Telegraph in front of me. The headline says ‘Dodgy data’ used in push for tighter restrictions. The letters page is headed up with Apocalyptic Covid projections have harmed the public’s faith in science. Joe Public has the wisdom of crowds. He knows that “with Covid” is not the same as “of Covid”. He knows that the original lockdown was to stop the NHS being overwhelmed. He also knows that Omicron is usually mild, and that the NHS isn’t going to get overwhelmed now. So he knows that another lockdown is not necessary. Ditto for Covid passports. Ditto for vaccine mandates. Ditto for masks, which were said to be useless a year ago. A mask will cut down airborne droplets from somebody who’s coughing and spluttering, but if they’re ill they should be staying at home. Joe Public knows that. He also knows that questioning the diktats doesn’t make him an anti-vaxxer:

Citizen Cattle image by Ben Garrison, see Citizen Cattle 2021 – Grrr Graphics

He knows about the government scientists going off-piste with alarmist BBC interviews. He knows about Jeremy Nelson’s revelation on the overly-pessimistic Covid modelling. He knows that the apocalyptic omicron claims by scientists at Imperial deliberately omitted B and T cell memory. He knows that two-thirds of new Covid hospital patients in England only tested positive AFTER being admitted. He knows that the unvaccinated do not comprise the majority of Covid patients. He knows that Doctors of Philosophy are posing as Doctors of Medicine to prophesy doom, and calling for restrictions which they’re now trying to rebadge as “protections”.

That cuts no ice with Joe Public

Aha, I hear you say. But Covid is the reason why it’s been a bad year for physics. That cuts no ice with Joe Public. He’s had to continue doing his job, driving a van or a truck or a forklift, or stacking the shelves or manning the till. He hasn’t been able to “work from home” like some of the better-paid people in society. Like those scientists who are forever banging the drum saying the unvaccinated are a danger. Joe Public knows that if he’s been vaccinated, he has little to fear from the unvaccinated. He knows full well that his children don’t get measles mumps or rubella when they’ve had their two MMR jabs. Besides, if the unvaccinated are a danger, does that mean Pfizer is ineffective? Is that why people are saying the AstraZeneca jab is behind the UK’s lower death rate? Then why has the AstraZeneca jab been dropped? It’s a mess. Things are getting ugly. The finger is getting pointed. Not just at politicians, but at scientists.

In 2021 campus cancel culture took an ugly turn

Scientists who are mostly academics. Academics who have been living their comfortable lives of ease whilst being utterly brazen about censorship. Joe Public knows full well that in 2021, campus cancel culture took an ugly turn. He takes a dim view of the censorship that “protects” those who pretend to be offended. He knows full well that “emotional safety” extends only to those who share the same set of woke values. He knows that others will be silenced and excluded by any means necessary. Joe Public knows that government measures to enforce freedom of speech were announced in May, but that universities are resisting it.

Joe Public doesn’t trust scientists any more

The bottom line is this: in 2021 Joe Public has seen that the mask has well and truly slipped, that too many scientists care nothing about honesty and fair play and deliver nothing of value. Joe Public doesn’t trust scientists any more. He doesn’t believe them any more. He knows he’s been lied to. To Joe, science is dead. Physics is dead. What he took for signs of life were just the minor movements of parasites feeding off the corpse. But this is not the end, because physics is the king of the sciences. A king might die, but he is replaced. Hence we say the king is dead, long live the king. And so it goes. When Joe Public gets to know about the real physics, as he will, he’ll believe in it again. Then it will be physics is dead, long live physics. Personally, I can’t wait. Long live physics!

This Post Has 13 Comments

  1. Doug

    Excellent article! Got me reading the TOE article again. Also I had no idea most hospital patients in the UK with COVID were vaccinated! Thanks for the link to the government statistics otherwise I wouldn’t have believed you. I hear in the US it’s mostly unvaccinated getting hospitalized, but now I think I should check the databases myself.

    1. Thanks Doug. I should have mentioned that table 8 is the place to look. It shows that only the majority of young patients are unvaccinated. That’s because like my younger son, they haven’t had the jab yet. He was going to have it in November at school but the medical team turned up with 200 doses for 1200 boys. He then caught Covid, but his symptoms were a only sniffle. He’s now scheduled to have his first jab in January. For the record the wife and I didn’t catch Covid from him, and we’ve had our three jabs. My older son who lives in London had it after he’d had his first jab, and he felt rough for a few days. His girlfriend had it after having two jabs and also felt rough for a few days. I think I had Covid in January 2020 when I was waking up at night in a hotel in London with catarrh and congestion. That was before it all kicked off.

  2. Doug

    I was very impressed with the data your government provides, nice breakdown by age and vaccine status. Seems like the vax worked well against the strains last summer. My brothers whole family just got COVID now, they just had two jabs, the wife said it was like a bad cold, my brother got a sniffle and cough, but he thinks he had caught it before in January in NYC in 2020, he got pretty sick then. The kids had a sniffle for a day but didn’t test positive. They’re really young tho.

  3. Doug

    Interestingly the data over here shows the opposite,, 10x less likely to die with the vaccine, but this data stops before December.

    In more recent data from Washington state (almost the size of the UK), vaccinated people over 65 are more than an order of magnitude less likely to be hospitalized with covid, even in December, even partially vaccinated,

    They’ll probably figure everything out in 5-10 years after covid is gone.

  4. It’s strange Doug. I don’t think there’s that much difference between the UK and the USA. Something’s not right. In addition, the CDC don’t say anything about the Pfizer/Moderna vaccine protection diminishing over time. That’s why we have to have a third jab, and the Israelis are even talking about a fourth. See this:
    It say this: “The results show that, compared with individuals who received only two doses five months prior, individuals who received three doses of the vaccine (7 days or more after the third dose) had 93% lower risk of COVID-19-related hospitalization, 92% lower risk of severe COVID-19 disease, and 81% lower risk of COVID-19-related death”. That 2 v 3 dose comparison sounds similar to the CDC’s 0 v 3 dose comparison. Something’s awry here.

  5. Doug

    What a mess! Some of the Universities here are mandating the booster already. I thought the whole point of going the mRNA route was so they could update for new variants! not just keep having more doses. Oh well, I’m hoping this is the final wave 🙂

  6. Sigh, I don’t know Doug. I was reading the news this morning about the “deltacron” variant, and about a Covid microchip that will be able to track your every move:
    FFS, what next? A barcode on my neck? I am sick to the back teeth of all this Covid control-freak crap. In other news, I was pleased to read about the James Webb telescope today. The sun shield is now extended, and the main mirror is fully unfolded. Fingers crossed:

  7. Doug

    I can’t wait to see the Webb images! Now that’s some public funding I can support!!

    1. Me too. I have to say though that I choked on my cornflakes when I read this. The Daily Telegraph is the most reputable newspaper in the UK.

      Thursday 13 January 1922 The Daily Telegraph

      I was duped by the Covid lab leak deniers

      That senior scientists saw evidence for theories that they trashed in public has shattered trust in science
      Inch by painful inch, the truth is being dragged out about this pandemic started. It is just about understandable, if not forgiveable, that Chinese scientists have obfuscated vital information about early cases and their work with similar viruses in Wuhan’s laboratories: they were suject to fierce edicts from a ruthless totalitarian regime.
      It is more shocking to discover in emails released this week that some Western scientists were also saying different things in public from what they thought in private. The emails were exchanged over the first weekend of February 2020 between senior virologists on both sides of the Atlantic following a meeting arranged by Sir Jeremy Farrar, head of the Welcome Trust, with America’s top two biologists, Francis Collins, director of the National Institute of Health, and Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infection Diseases.
      Freedom of Information requests sent last year produced farcical results in both Britain and America: ghost emails with all the contents redacted. Now the US government has been forced to make unredacted versions available to Republicans on the House of representatives’ oversight committee for an “in camera review”.
      Thankfully, staffers transcribed some of the contents. They show that Dr Fauci, Dr Collins, and Sir Patrick Vallance, our government’s Chief Scientific Advisor, were briefed, on and after February 1, by several virologists who thought at the time that the new virus showed signs of having being manipulated in the laboratory.
      Not only did they never breathe a word of this suspicion to the media or the public, they rubbished it. The meeting on February 1 led to an article from the very virologists who were making the case that the virus showed signs of having been in a lab. Yet, in the words of Dr Collins, the job of that article was to “settle” the matter and “put down the very destructive conspiracy” lest the rumours do harm to “international harmony”.
      Three of the five authors in that paper are shown in the emails to be leaning towards the conclusion either that a key part of the genome of the virus had been manipulated in a laboratory, or that the virus had mutated in human cells whilst in a lab. Yet they dismissed both possibilities in the paper they wrote.
      We do not know was in the first draft, prepared just three days after the meeting, but the final article, published in Nature Medicine on March 17, concluded that “we do not believe that any type of laboratory-based scenario is plausible”.
      By then, two other articles had been rushed into print. One, in The Lancet, set out to “strongly condemn theories suggesting that Covid-19 does not have a natural origin”. The other, in Emerging Microbes and Infections (EMI) by Liu Shan-Lu and colleagues, found “no credible evidence supporting claims of the laboratory engineering of the virus”. The Lancet article failed to disclose (for 18 months) the conflict of interest of several authors including Peter Daszak, a close collaborator of the Wuhan Institute of Virology who secretly orchestrated the article.
      The EMI article failed to disclose the fact that a senior virologist, Ralph Baric of the University of North Carolina, had agreed to help edit it, saying “Sure, but I don’t want to be cited in as having commented prior to submission. Scientific journals have not behaved with transparency.
      At the time, given that I had written extensively on genomics, I was asked often about the chances that the pandemic started with a lab leak and I said this had been ruled out, pointing to the three articles in question. Only later, when I dug deeper, did I notice just how flimsy their arguments were.
      For example the Nature Medicine paper included a passage saying the virus “would have then have then required repeated passage in cell culture or animals with ACE2 receptors, but such work has also not previously been described”. It is surprising to learn now that Sir Jeremey Farrar himself thought that this “passage” operation was a “likely explanation” of how the virus came to have its unique features. At the time I trusted senior virologists who told me the lab leak could be dismissed. Frankly, I was duped.
      Also see

  8. Doug

    Good to see it making the big outlets! I read some articles about a year ago that convinced me it was likely from the lab and was just suppressed by all the top scientists since they were getting death threats from people. Corona came from Wuhan, the only place in China with a level 4 biolab, and there weren’t bat markets at Wuhan, so the bat story isn’t even that good a coverup.

    And then we know the NIH was funding the dangerous gain of function virus studies, likely at Wuhan, and that they often call them something very similar to avoid the extra regulations (why Fauci can deny funding gain on function research). But of course the NIH was funding it, they wanted oversight over the dangerous biolab in China, it was a good idea be involved instead of just letting China do everything by itself. It was always a risk that a giant outbreak could occur (there are lab leaks all the time with this virus research, the US has a long history of outbreaks at biolabs killing the scientists) but they figured they were happy with the risk, obviously were wrong and there should be more oversight. Luckily for them Trump had just reduced the regulations for this kind of science funding and got rid of the White House pandemic task force just a year or two before Corona hit. So all the head people wanted to say it wasn’t their fault, and China wanted to say the same, so blame it on nature. At least that’s my two cents on it.

    I think it’s really sad, because they are losing the public’s trust by lying, when people just want some honesty and good reasons to believe in science

  9. Doug

    Anyway, sorry about the poorly worded rant….


    I was reading the TOE article and this one some more, which really gets me excited for some new physics!
    I have been thinking about the spin 1/2 electron needing 720 degrees of rotation.


    But it’s quantum mechanics, so does the 720 degrees of rotation in the wave function actually relate to anything physical? For example, if you disagree with QM and believe a physical reality actually exists, is there still a 720 degree spin for electrons that makes sense.


    In QM, everytime you make a measurement, the wave function collapses, so is there still a 720 degree rotation needed now? Or when you take measurements is 360 enough?


    Almost everything I find on the web is either the Copenhagen interpretation (there is no physical reality for an electron you can only talk about probabilities for measurements so why talk about actual 720 degrees rotation because QM has no actual electrons existing before measurements, just these wavefunctions which they insist don’t represent realisty)… or it’s down the rabbit hole of many worlds theory, etc


    Wondering if you had any insight into this question. I did like you description of 1/2 particles in one of your articles showing how there are physical objects that need 720 degrees, I’m just wondering if you even need 720 or if 360 is enough and QM’s wave function is the problem.

    1. Doug, I have to go down for dinner now, but see and . Note this picture: . I am confident that the electron is a 511keV self-trapped photon in a double-loop “trivial knot” configuration. The spin is a real rotation. It’s 720 degrees because it goes round twice. That’s why the g-factor is circa 2. The electron goes round in circles in a uniform magnetic field because of Larmor precession, which is not unlike the gyroscopic precession of a boomerang. A left-handed boomerang goes round the other way. So does a positron.

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