The BBC news web-site is reporting that physicists working in the Main Injector Neutrino Oscillation Search (Minos) experiment have inferred that neutrinos engage in "flavour-oscillating" which implies that they have mass:

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The discovery of the Neutrino might have some spin-offs.

When Newton put out his model and you had gravity which was attraction at a distance it was thought to be a bit Voodoo. How can you have such an attraction at a distance?

Because on terra firma we see no ability to pull. See that rope around the tree that we try and pull over the treed with. But its the rope at the back of the tree pushing.

So how could gravity work……

Enter the neutrino. Your average neutrino can go through the entire planet without hitting anything. But some of them will hit. But it will be hitting simultaneously all the way through….

If you have such a particle the possibility is for PUSH GRAVITY. Since gravity could be the momentum of trillions of neutrino-like particles passing through your body and a proportion of them hitting at great speed.

That is to say the attraction is really these things pinning you down.

I disagree with GMB, assuming the neutrino flux is roughly the same in all directions there will be no net effect. Even if the neutrino flux is assymetric, you can’t arrange the neutrino flux to account for the mutual pull of two bodies.

“So how could gravity work……” Einstein provided a wonderful explanation a long, long time ago – General Relativity.

I agree with you Tel. There is also the problem of have a neutrino flow could account for objects being held together under self-gravitation, or a problem such as a cloud of dust collapsing to form a proto-star. While a neutrino flow could be carefully arranged to “push” parts of a dust cloud towards one smaller area (the core of the proto-star), it seems difficult to imagine this happening for the myriads of objects in the universe.

No no. I’m not saying that the Neutrino is the Gravitron. I’m only saying that the knowledge of something as crazy as the Neutrino allows us to think along these other lines.

The thing is if the flux is going in all directions as you suggest but the larger the body is the more it absorbs the flux then the differential could set up the gravitational force no problem.

But I wasn’t suggesting that we could palm this off to the neutrino.

“So how could gravity work……” Einstein provided a wonderful explanation a long, long time ago – General Relativity.”

Einsteins solution is no solution. Feel the force of your butt on the chair. There is a real force there. But there is no space to warp.

Or should I say “space-time”. Its an wholly inadequate theory. Since we know there is a force acting, then to pretend that space (or as a sort of a hedge) space-time is warping…… Well that amounts to double-dipping. And it in no way solves the problem of the VooDoo of attraction at a distance.

“The thing is if the flux is going in all directions as you suggest but the larger the body is the more it absords the flux then the differential could set up the gravitational force no problem”

This could possibly be true for one body, and the neutrino flux could be carefully set up so that it is absorbed at just the right rate throughout the body to arrange for what appears to be a gravitational force. Let us suppose that this is true. How, then do you set up a neutrino flux to account for other more complicated arrangements, say for two bodies, or three bodies, or our solar system?

Isn’t a “force” as much Voo-Doo as warping of space-time? It was an invention of several hundred years ago to explain certain phenomenon. But Newton’s theory of gravitation is wrong, which can be seen by looking at the precession of the perihelion of Mercury, or just as famously, by looking at the curvature of light past the sun.

“Feel the force of your butt on the chair” – in general relativistic terms, my understanding is that this “force” can equally well be thought of as your butt being accelerated – just imagine if you were in a rocket being accelerated into space – same idea – the “natural” way for your butt to be is to be accelerated downwards towards the centre of the Earth, but there are things in the way (the ground/chairs) stopping this happening – they are accelerating your butt.

These ideas can take a bit of work to get used to – there are many good introductionary accounts, eg by Paul Davies.

There is no problem of “Voo-Doo of attraction at a distance” – this was an artefact of Newton’s theory, which has been superseded by General Relativity.

“Feel the force of your butt on the chair” – in general relativistic terms, my understanding is that this “force” can equally well be thought of as your butt being accelerated – just imagine if you were in a rocket being accelerated into space – same idea – the “natural” way for your butt to be is to be accelerated downwards towards the centre of the Earth, but there are things in the way (the ground/chairs) stopping this happening – they are accelerating your butt.”

There is no denying that there is a force. Yet there is no room for warping in space to account for it. Acceleration would imply a force. The space-warping idea is that the body is actually travelling in the shortest distance between two points. So according to this space is like some sort of material that is being stretched and squeezed so much that the earth that is travelling in an elipse is really travelling in a straight line. No-ones seen much evidence for such gross stretching and distortion of this clothe-like space. And it would not explain surface to surface force the existence of which would imply double dipping and leave us without a justifiable reason to believe this bizzare idea of a giant black rubber view of space.

They cannot make this fly really so they always say space-time because everyone really knows that space itself cannot be stretching all out of whack in this way.

Its not a case of getting used to the idea. Its a case of the idea not being a good one.

Like I said the Neutrinos aren’t the cause of gravity. Its only the basis that the majority of them can pass straight through the earth with a proportion of them hitting only that means we can postulate about push-gravity.

Well so far we haven’t been able to show that he was wrong. When you pull on a rope you are really pushing on the back of a tree. There is only push in the end and no pull.

So immediately we have the possibility of a guide for low-cost research. To take the known data and what with computer modelling try and come up with a whole other set of models that eliminate the need for attraction. Attraction at ANY distance.

You don’t know in advance if you’ll come up with anything of course. But you might wind up taking the VooDoo out of Quantum Physics and the extra dimensions out of mankinds belief systems.

This mightn’t be completely correct, but I think that one way to think of space being warped is to consider the “distance functions” between points in space.

What, I hear you cry? Yes, an important thing is how you calculate distances in space.

Now, in nice unwarped space we calculate distances between points A and B using pythagoras’s formula in 3-space. This is all well and good (although a couple of second year engineering students I once lectured didn’t know how to do this, but that’s a different story). The shortest path between A and B is the path that minimises the distance. Of course, in nice unwarped space, the shortest path is what we intuitively know as a straight line.

What if we now introduce a different measurement of “distance”, and I put this in inverted commas because this is not the usual euclidean distance – it’s not a distance as we usually experience it. We can define this new measurement, which I’ll call D, with a great deal of flexibility. Perhaps one way of defining it is by the “taxi-drivers metric”, which, as its name suggests, is the road distance between any two points in a city, as opposed to the distance in a direct line. There are all sorts of ways of defining different sorts of distance.

Now, instead of dealing with space, we deal with a 4-dimensional space-time, and define a D function on points in space-time. For any two points in space time, we can calculate a D number for any path between these two points that we want. The path which has the least (or greatest) value of D is called a null geodesic. The cool thing is that light will travel between these two points along a null geodesic. Sweet!

Now, how does this relate to warping of space-time? Well, you can think of a warpage of space-time as the D function being changed. In nice unwarped space-time (if gravity just disappeared) you would have a certain D function, but in warped space-time you use a different D function.

So a warpage of space-time can be thought of as using different functions measuring distance along paths in space-time as opposed to the usual path-length function used in unwarped space-time.

An example from common life might be as follows. The cheapest way to travel between two points in a city is usually along the surface (on a road say). It would cost more to tunnel beneath the surface or to fly between the two points. So the cost function of travelling between two points is minimised when you travel on a road/rail (say), even though the shortest “euclidean” distance between two points might be a straight line through the air and underground. The cost function might change if a new tunnel or highway is built, and then your path with the minimised cost might change. We might say then that the change in the cost function reflects a warpage in the space of costs of paths.

This is all off the top of my head, so don’t take it as true! If it isn’t true I stand corrected of course 🙂

“The cool thing is that light will travel between these two points along a null geodesic. Sweet!”

SPOOKY!!!!!!!

But the fact is that the model was built specifically to sort out how light worked. So as I say when we cobble together a model to explain the data we ought not be surprised when it, as if by magic, explains the data.

The fact is that the objects are not simply travelling in the straightest line between two points. A force is in fact acting on them. What light does may have an whole other explanation.

See the female scientist go into the BBC offices. She is there to do an interview with Melvyn Brag and some other scientists. Everywhere she goes she carries a modified small trampoline and a ball.

Out comes the ball to show how space (no wait a minute! space-time) is warped. There she presses down on the tramp and round the ball will go. She presses ahead of the ball in order to show how the ball itself warps space (NOW WAIT A MINUTE….. SPACE-TIME!) on the run.

And the ball dutifully moves. Problem is she couldn’t even DO the demonstration if the kids were in a zero-gravity classroom. The ball moves round and round for the same reason that the Earth moves round and round. That part of the experiment she has right. In the demonstration the curve of the tramp and the force of gravity from the REAL earth sets up a force vector for the make-believe earth and round and round it goes.

Once it is known that a real force acts on the object then to talk about the object moving in the shortest distance between two points (yet going around and around) is double dipping.

The other day in an economics question Farrel mistook his model for reality whereas the supply and demand curves are just meant to model reality and we need to know the underlying assumptions before we can allow the model to stand-in as the tail and wag the dog that is the real deal.

And here also we see people getting the mathematical model mixed up with the real deal.

Now one doesn’t knock Einstein with impunity and I’m not doing that. He did the right thing. When the data can’t be explained its all well and good to get out there with a model to explain it. Any best fit model will do. The problem is that if another model is derived that explains the same phenomenon then any unnecessary suppositions of the first predictive model become arbitrary and must be looked at with some skepticism.

Einstein himself found an alternative way to derive E=M(C squared) and some other fellow had his own version of relativity that can be expanded to predict all the data without nearly as much baggage.

That ought to have been the process. Get out there and get a model together even though you have to make a bunch of assumptions that you don’t know for sure are true. That’s the way to do it. But then you or someone else should take the high-powered Occams power-saw to it. To see if you can bring such assumptions down to a minimum.

That’s how you do it. That’s the process. Take what you know and eliminate the extra assumptions. Keep cleaning the models up to bring down the extra assumptions, the reliance on Voodoo and or statistics.

This has always been the way of science. To reduce the Voodoo and simplify.

Sacha you have the technical skills. This is the basic process you should take to come up with something lasting.

GMB, all this is allright, but there is one problem. Einstein’s theory predicted bending of light rays that many people were very skeptical about. Until in the solar eclipse of 1928 (or 29) this bending was directly observed. The agreement was remarkable. Now this is not simply creating a model to fit the data.

But the model was to fit the already observed behaviour of light in Morley, Moorhouse experiments right?. And he would have had other data too on the behaviour of light.

So it was a model made to predict the behaviour of light based on what was already known about the behaviour of light.

So no mystery there when it comes through with a good prediction of the behaviour of light.

The observed bending of light that Boris mentioned wasn’t previously known. The observation fitted a prediction of the theory, rather than the theory retrodicting an already observed phenomena.

A prediction of general relativity is the existence of gravitational waves, which carry energy and are predicted to be generated by any accelerating object (eg me, you, a planet, a star). These hadn’t, to my knowledge, been postulated by anyone or any other theory prior to general relativity. There is a famous example of a pulsar in a double star system whose orbit is evolving precisely (within the limits of observation) in accordance with the predictions of general relativity, including the postulated emission by the system of gravitation radiation (effectively, this represents a loss of energy by the system, so the stars orbit closer and closer) see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gravitational_waves and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PSR_B1913%2B16

Of course, this doesn’t prove that general relativity is correct, but rather that there have been no observations at variance with its predictions.

“The observed bending of light that Boris mentioned wasn’t previously known. The observation fitted a prediction of the theory, rather than the theory retrodicting an already observed phenomena.”

Right well I knew that already. But its still all built around the behaviour of light.

And if Einstein got there first with a good working model with a bunch of assumptions then this is not to say that someone cannot later come along and predict those same phenomenon with less arbitrary assumptions. Why predjudice the first one past the post. To do so is to commit an error an set up a vicious circle. Everybody loves Albert. This is not personal.

If any model is to be predjudiced it would be the one that makes the least number of unproveable or dubious assumptions.

In fact this is the way science SHOULD work. The first guy getting there with too many assumptions and others coming along later to clean it up. It just stopped working that way for some reason.

So if you can prove to me that augmented Lorentz relativity cannot account for the pulsar then you may have something.

“Of course, this doesn’t prove that general relativity is correct, but rather that there have been no observations at variance with its predictions.”

This is not right. They just keep fudging it. The mainstream all know that they’ve got both theory and empirical evidence of things breaking light-speed. They fudge this and rewrite the model retrospectively.

As for gravitational waves I’d be very surprised if they weren’t thought of decades before. And have they been proven yet?

Einstein affected to deep-sixed the aether. So its hard to imagine why anything would travel in waves after that.

GMB, generally the approach that people want to take when trying to understand the world is by simplifying and reducing/removing any assumptions in their model. Eg the assumption in Newton’s theory of gravity that used absolute space was superseded in General Relativity where no such assumption exists. Generally simplification in models is the way to go, unless nature shows that you’re wrong!

I like it when people don’t just read other peoples work, but attempt to work things out themselves – in doing so you have to be careful that you havn’t fallen down an intellectual crevice. This is a big challenge in math, that’s for sure!

There was assumed to be a light-speed limit. I shit you not. That is to say it was simply assumed that NOTHING could move faster then 300 000km per second (approximately).

So your simplifying assumptions Tel are actually a rewrite. And quite a recent one at that. It comes from when the mainstream could not really sustain the former assumptions but were somewhat coy in coming out and saying that things have changed.

You are perhaps somewhat younger then me. But I assure you that a light-speed limit was always the assumption.

And it’s the default assumption now. How fast do gravity waves travel Tel? You simply assumed that they travelled at light-speed did you not?

In fact Einstein made light-speed (as THE maximum speed) the primary constant. And used 4-dimensional mathematics to work backwards holding that one thing constant.

And as I said that’s well and good. He did the right thing getting a working model out there. Its the new guys who have let the scientific process down.

Speak English Tel. Not to explain physics to me. But to make it clear to yourself.

The statement: “1. The laws of physics are the same in all inertial frames.”

Is not a single assumption when translated into English. It becomes a whole constellation of assumptions. Virtually all of them arbitrary. And its a fraudulent statement too. Because it tries to bring in the Scotty line that we all tend to agree with “Captain Kirk, You Canna Change the Laws a Physics” when what we are talking about is all these myrian of arbitrary claims to do with what happens if I’m travelling at light speed and you are travelling at half light speed and on and on……

“Eg the assumption in Newton’s theory of gravity that used absolute space was superseded in General Relativity where no such assumption exists. Generally simplification in models is the way to go, unless nature shows that you’re wrong!”

No this was a complicating assumption. And the assumption that there are three dimensions of space wasn’t Newtons. Its something that we see the reality of minute in minute out. We cannot deny this reality internally all the way through and still hope to make it to work in one piece.

Einsteins assumption that space can be stretched and compressed is entirely arbitrary however. There is no reason to believe it. You as a mathematician may have pondered flatland, the omniscience of a five dimensional God. And the 10 dimensional string theory. But the idea that anywhere at all there is or has ever been anything else but three-dimensional reality is entirely arbitrary.

And the idea that space can be stretched and compressed implies a never-ending set of assumptions for which there is just no reason to pursue outside of your own proffession.

GMB says “There was assumed to be a light-speed limit. I shit you not.”

Wrong. This follows from the second postulate of SR “2. The speed of light is constant (in vacuo).” It is not assumed by the theory.

GMB says: The statement: “1. The laws of physics are the same in all inertial frames.”
Is not a single assumption when translated into English.

It is an assumption also made by Newton and Galileo, commonly called the “principle of relativity”. It is the *second* postulate that distinguishes Einstein’s relativity from Galileo’s relativity. Whether it is a single assumption or not, it is a reasonable one.

GMB says “How fast do gravity waves travel Tel? You simply assumed that they travelled at light-speed did you not?”

I believe that is a question for Nature to answer. However, I also believe GR is correct and that the velocity of gravitational waves will turn out to be c, as predicted. On a side note, Van Flandern’s arguments on the infinite “velocity of gravity” are based on simplifying assumptions that have been shown to be incorrect by Carlip.

GMB says “Einsteins assumption that space can be stretched and compressed is entirely arbitrary however.”

Spacetime is 4 dimensional. Space and spacetime are different things, and it is spacetime that is deformed, not space.

How is it that you “know” whether spacetime can be compressed or not ? Is it not an arbitrary decision to presume as you have, that “spacetime is incompressible” ?

How do you presume to “know” the number of dimensions of the physical world ? I believe your presumption that space is 3 dimensional is arbitrary as well. By the way, GR presumes that space has three dimensions, so where’s the problem ?

1. No you are wrong stop being an idiot. But are you now admitting that light-speed has been breached? If so help out on the other thread hey?

2. This is pure sophistry. And it makes your initial claim ridiculous. You are just changing the meaning of the phrase. What are you saying you mean now???? That the laws of physics are always the same. For petes sakes tell stop being an idiot.

3. Three shows you are making an arbitrary assumption for no reason at all. It also shows you were lying before when you tried to claim that General Relativity didn’t assume a light-speed limit.

“I believe that is a question for Nature to answer.” This amounts to the single most fucking idiotic thing anyone has said all week. You are lying by the way. This is what I!!!!!! assume. You however assume its light-speed FOR NO REASON AT ALL.

4. There is no such thing as ‘spacetime’. This is an entirely arbitrary concept. AND IF ITS NOT SPACE THAT IS STRETCHED AND DEFORMED THEN IT DOES NOT SOLVE THE PROBLEM OF ATTRACTION AT A DISTANCE.

My goodness you are making a hash of things today.

5. We have evidence on a daily basis for the three dimensions of space. We have no evidence whatsoever for more dimensions. This is all I’m saying. No evidence. A model based on explaining the odd behaviour of light does not constitute evidence for a fourth or fifth or tenth dimension. Not a single scrap of reliable evidence for more then three dimensions exist in all of human history beyond reports of the activities of ghosts and various other apparitions.

Space-time is four-dimensional hey? No that’s bullshit.

1. There is no such thing as space-time. There never has been evidence for such a thing. Its a ludicrous concept that doesn’t know whether its Cliff Richard or Elvis.

2. And no there is no fourth dimension. There is no reason to believe that time is a ‘dimension’ its a foolsh characterisation of time. We have evidence for but three dimensions.

Would love to argue, but your responses suggest you’re a tad incoherent (and that’s putting it mildly). Thanks for the laughs. Meanwhile I’m off to do a spot of science.

No I’m not incoherent. If you can’t suss out what I’m saying you aren’t up to the argument. The fact is you were being dishonest. And you are being dishonest again with this latest post. Clearly you are a dumb shithead. But if you want to try and debate with some sort of reason and intelligence do come back.

GMB, I’m leaving your comment on my blog so people can read it. One might well argue that saying “Clearly you are a dumb shithead.” reveals an inability to express oneself. This comment deserves to be left in public.

So there’s no such thing as space-time? Well all that space time is is an abstract entity combining space and time where each point in space-time represents a point in space at a particular time. See:

The fact that people have dreamt it up means that it exists. It is a model for reality.

Before throwing crap all over a theory, you should attempt to understand it first, but it’s apparent to me that you don’t. Come back when you’ve read through and fully understood the following page, including all the discussion on tensors:

If you want to do real science, then fine. But it takes a lot of work and effort, and you’ll get nowhere by shouting rubbish, as it shows that you don’t know what you’re talking about.

I do understand it. But one doesn’t confuse understanding with belief. The fact is that Tell was being a shithead. Using the same nonsense as Ken on the other thread. Lying and making a dick of himself.

I DO understand it. Better then you sans calculations. But one doesn’t confuse understanding with belief. Well you might and its fourtunate the Moonies or the Scientologists didn’t claime you. The fact is that Tell was being a shithead. Using the same nonsense as Ken on the other thread. Lying and making a dick of himself.

See the thing is if you or Tell simply assert this SPACE-TIME exists. I’m entitlied to just assert that it doesn’t exist. Otherwise real dipshits like Tell will always win. If we practice this predjudice where one person makes a baseless assertion then if the other person isn’t able to make the counter-assertion then this is a way of rigging the game so to speak.

Now unless you have some evidence that there is such a thing as SPACE-TIME. I’m saying its not there and you are being arbitrary. We are critiquing the model for the love of dumb blonde scientists with huge tits.

When we go to critique-mode on ANY model I expect Tel not to be such a retard as to try and attempt to justify the model based on the model. NO MODEL CAN BE JUSTIFIED BY ITSELF.

Stephen Edney tried this on for days on end at Prodeo. I like to think that finally he has seen his unreason in this matter.

Let us slow down here………

Suppose you say “THE MODEL IS TRUE BECAUSE THE MODEL IS TRUE”

Are you really making an argument of any sort here. No you are not.

I am not the least bit fucking interested in Tel reasserting an assertion based on and assertion that itself was an assertion. If he makes an assertion without great support for it the idea is for me to assert the opposite, wait for the dumb science worker to come round, and hope he comes up with something more substantial the a dumbass assertion.

Is this all you can do? Justify the model on the basis of the model? You do realise this is circulare reasoning don’t you?

You obviously don’t understand this area if you think that people, like Tel, “believe” the theory – at the present time the theory is, apparently, the best we have. That’s all. People’s minds are open to any new potential theory.

If you want to, you can come up with any theory you want – test it against the evidence, and see how it goes. If it’s better than existing theories, well great. Good luck though, ’cause these things are highly non-trivial.

I strongly suggest that you actually learn general relativity before criticising it, otherwise you will look like a fool if you talk about things you don’t know about.

Does space-time exist? How do you know that space exists and has three dimensions? How do you know if your experience is not deceiving you? How do you know that space is what it appears to you?

You don’t. You’re assuming your commonsense experience. Which is fine, but then you need your mind to be open to the idea that there may be more to it.

This is taking too much of my time and energy. GMB, if you want to set up your own blog, be my guest – just go to

Right. So I checked out the link on space-time. And its only a model.

So I was right and you guys were wrong.

And that’s my main thesis here that Physics has been taken over by Mathematicians posing as natural philosophers who keep getting their models mixed up with revealed truth……………….

. And here with people insisting that Space-Time is something real. But even that entry pointed to nothing real beyond some model.

No space-time isn’t just like every theory. It is not supposed to exist seperate from space and time. It is no seperate concept as distinct from space and time. Or to the extent that it is there is very little evidence for its existence.

It’s instead a way of turning things into a Geometric model. To say there is a seperate thing as space-time as distinct from space or time is like saying there is a seperate new cosmic thing called xy on any Cartesian graph.

That is why bully boy advocates of the status quo must piss or get off the pot. Space either stretches or compresses or it doesn’t. But oftentimes they will speak with great authority claiming “Oh Ho Ho you do not know the theory….. It’s Space-time (NOT SPACE!!!) that compresses and stretches”

But there is no SPACE-TIME. If I’m plotting Unemployment against Inflation I don’t pretend there is a new concept called UNEMPLOYFLATION which is distinct from unemployment and inflation.

This space-time is merely an artifact of doing that same cartesian plotting but in four rather then two dimensiona. It has no reality other then that.

See where I’m sitting now. We can position my situation RIGHT NOW with three co-ordinates using a clock (to get the one co-ordinate of time) and the GPS to get my precise longitude and latitude.

But were I out there in space we would need four co-ordinates to track the changes in position. To track the data as to my “space-time” as it were. The bogus thinking comes when you forget the derivation of where the space-time concept comes from and start getting all Voo Doo about it.

GMB, if you wish to dream up a theory in which space is compressed, extended, rigid, or whatever, then good luck and do it. If you can come up with a theory of gravity (or anything else) which corresponds with all existing observations and better predicts the outcomes of experiments yet to come than existing theories, then great. People will love it.

These are simple tests. Instead of going on and on about how spacetime doesn’t exist, dream up your new theory in which spacetime is not a concept. Go on, do it.

The discovery of the Neutrino might have some spin-offs.

When Newton put out his model and you had gravity which was attraction at a distance it was thought to be a bit Voodoo. How can you have such an attraction at a distance?

Because on terra firma we see no ability to pull. See that rope around the tree that we try and pull over the treed with. But its the rope at the back of the tree pushing.

So how could gravity work……

Enter the neutrino. Your average neutrino can go through the entire planet without hitting anything. But some of them will hit. But it will be hitting simultaneously all the way through….

If you have such a particle the possibility is for PUSH GRAVITY. Since gravity could be the momentum of trillions of neutrino-like particles passing through your body and a proportion of them hitting at great speed.

That is to say the attraction is really these things pinning you down.

I disagree with GMB, assuming the neutrino flux is roughly the same in all directions there will be no net effect. Even if the neutrino flux is assymetric, you can’t arrange the neutrino flux to account for the mutual pull of two bodies.

“So how could gravity work……” Einstein provided a wonderful explanation a long, long time ago – General Relativity.

I agree with you Tel. There is also the problem of have a neutrino flow could account for objects being held together under self-gravitation, or a problem such as a cloud of dust collapsing to form a proto-star. While a neutrino flow could be carefully arranged to “push” parts of a dust cloud towards one smaller area (the core of the proto-star), it seems difficult to imagine this happening for the myriads of objects in the universe.

No no. I’m not saying that the Neutrino is the Gravitron. I’m only saying that the knowledge of something as crazy as the Neutrino allows us to think along these other lines.

The thing is if the flux is going in all directions as you suggest but the larger the body is the more it absorbs the flux then the differential could set up the gravitational force no problem.

But I wasn’t suggesting that we could palm this off to the neutrino.

“So how could gravity work……” Einstein provided a wonderful explanation a long, long time ago – General Relativity.”

Einsteins solution is no solution. Feel the force of your butt on the chair. There is a real force there. But there is no space to warp.

Or should I say “space-time”. Its an wholly inadequate theory. Since we know there is a force acting, then to pretend that space (or as a sort of a hedge) space-time is warping…… Well that amounts to double-dipping. And it in no way solves the problem of the VooDoo of attraction at a distance.

It just replaces it with other VooDoo.

“The thing is if the flux is going in all directions as you suggest but the larger the body is the more it absords the flux then the differential could set up the gravitational force no problem”

This could possibly be true for one body, and the neutrino flux could be carefully set up so that it is absorbed at just the right rate throughout the body to arrange for what appears to be a gravitational force. Let us suppose that this is true. How, then do you set up a neutrino flux to account for other more complicated arrangements, say for two bodies, or three bodies, or our solar system?

Isn’t a “force” as much Voo-Doo as warping of space-time? It was an invention of several hundred years ago to explain certain phenomenon. But Newton’s theory of gravitation is wrong, which can be seen by looking at the precession of the perihelion of Mercury, or just as famously, by looking at the curvature of light past the sun.

“Feel the force of your butt on the chair” – in general relativistic terms, my understanding is that this “force” can equally well be thought of as your butt being accelerated – just imagine if you were in a rocket being accelerated into space – same idea – the “natural” way for your butt to be is to be accelerated downwards towards the centre of the Earth, but there are things in the way (the ground/chairs) stopping this happening – they are accelerating your butt.

These ideas can take a bit of work to get used to – there are many good introductionary accounts, eg by Paul Davies.

There is no problem of “Voo-Doo of attraction at a distance” – this was an artefact of Newton’s theory, which has been superseded by General Relativity.

“Feel the force of your butt on the chair” – in general relativistic terms, my understanding is that this “force” can equally well be thought of as your butt being accelerated – just imagine if you were in a rocket being accelerated into space – same idea – the “natural” way for your butt to be is to be accelerated downwards towards the centre of the Earth, but there are things in the way (the ground/chairs) stopping this happening – they are accelerating your butt.”

There is no denying that there is a force. Yet there is no room for warping in space to account for it. Acceleration would imply a force. The space-warping idea is that the body is actually travelling in the shortest distance between two points. So according to this space is like some sort of material that is being stretched and squeezed so much that the earth that is travelling in an elipse is really travelling in a straight line. No-ones seen much evidence for such gross stretching and distortion of this clothe-like space. And it would not explain surface to surface force the existence of which would imply double dipping and leave us without a justifiable reason to believe this bizzare idea of a giant black rubber view of space.

They cannot make this fly really so they always say space-time because everyone really knows that space itself cannot be stretching all out of whack in this way.

Its not a case of getting used to the idea. Its a case of the idea not being a good one.

Like I said the Neutrinos aren’t the cause of gravity. Its only the basis that the majority of them can pass straight through the earth with a proportion of them hitting only that means we can postulate about push-gravity.

gmb,

Have you been reading too much De Cartes? I believe that his whole vortices idea was based on the idea that there was only pushes and no pulls.

Well so far we haven’t been able to show that he was wrong. When you pull on a rope you are really pushing on the back of a tree. There is only push in the end and no pull.

So immediately we have the possibility of a guide for low-cost research. To take the known data and what with computer modelling try and come up with a whole other set of models that eliminate the need for attraction. Attraction at ANY distance.

You don’t know in advance if you’ll come up with anything of course. But you might wind up taking the VooDoo out of Quantum Physics and the extra dimensions out of mankinds belief systems.

This mightn’t be completely correct, but I think that one way to think of space being warped is to consider the “distance functions” between points in space.

What, I hear you cry? Yes, an important thing is how you calculate distances in space.

Now, in nice unwarped space we calculate distances between points A and B using pythagoras’s formula in 3-space. This is all well and good (although a couple of second year engineering students I once lectured didn’t know how to do this, but that’s a different story). The shortest path between A and B is the path that minimises the distance. Of course, in nice unwarped space, the shortest path is what we intuitively know as a straight line.

What if we now introduce a different measurement of “distance”, and I put this in inverted commas because this is not the usual euclidean distance – it’s not a distance as we usually experience it. We can define this new measurement, which I’ll call D, with a great deal of flexibility. Perhaps one way of defining it is by the “taxi-drivers metric”, which, as its name suggests, is the road distance between any two points in a city, as opposed to the distance in a direct line. There are all sorts of ways of defining different sorts of distance.

Now, instead of dealing with space, we deal with a 4-dimensional space-time, and define a D function on points in space-time. For any two points in space time, we can calculate a D number for any path between these two points that we want. The path which has the least (or greatest) value of D is called a null geodesic. The cool thing is that light will travel between these two points along a null geodesic. Sweet!

Now, how does this relate to warping of space-time? Well, you can think of a warpage of space-time as the D function being changed. In nice unwarped space-time (if gravity just disappeared) you would have a certain D function, but in warped space-time you use a different D function.

So a warpage of space-time can be thought of as using different functions measuring distance along paths in space-time as opposed to the usual path-length function used in unwarped space-time.

An example from common life might be as follows. The cheapest way to travel between two points in a city is usually along the surface (on a road say). It would cost more to tunnel beneath the surface or to fly between the two points. So the cost function of travelling between two points is minimised when you travel on a road/rail (say), even though the shortest “euclidean” distance between two points might be a straight line through the air and underground. The cost function might change if a new tunnel or highway is built, and then your path with the minimised cost might change. We might say then that the change in the cost function reflects a warpage in the space of costs of paths.

This is all off the top of my head, so don’t take it as true! If it isn’t true I stand corrected of course 🙂

“The cool thing is that light will travel between these two points along a null geodesic. Sweet!”

SPOOKY!!!!!!!

But the fact is that the model was built specifically to sort out how light worked. So as I say when we cobble together a model to explain the data we ought not be surprised when it, as if by magic, explains the data.

The fact is that the objects are not simply travelling in the straightest line between two points. A force is in fact acting on them. What light does may have an whole other explanation.

See the female scientist go into the BBC offices. She is there to do an interview with Melvyn Brag and some other scientists. Everywhere she goes she carries a modified small trampoline and a ball.

Out comes the ball to show how space (no wait a minute! space-time) is warped. There she presses down on the tramp and round the ball will go. She presses ahead of the ball in order to show how the ball itself warps space (NOW WAIT A MINUTE….. SPACE-TIME!) on the run.

And the ball dutifully moves. Problem is she couldn’t even DO the demonstration if the kids were in a zero-gravity classroom. The ball moves round and round for the same reason that the Earth moves round and round. That part of the experiment she has right. In the demonstration the curve of the tramp and the force of gravity from the REAL earth sets up a force vector for the make-believe earth and round and round it goes.

Once it is known that a real force acts on the object then to talk about the object moving in the shortest distance between two points (yet going around and around) is double dipping.

The other day in an economics question Farrel mistook his model for reality whereas the supply and demand curves are just meant to model reality and we need to know the underlying assumptions before we can allow the model to stand-in as the tail and wag the dog that is the real deal.

And here also we see people getting the mathematical model mixed up with the real deal.

Now one doesn’t knock Einstein with impunity and I’m not doing that. He did the right thing. When the data can’t be explained its all well and good to get out there with a model to explain it. Any best fit model will do. The problem is that if another model is derived that explains the same phenomenon then any unnecessary suppositions of the first predictive model become arbitrary and must be looked at with some skepticism.

Einstein himself found an alternative way to derive E=M(C squared) and some other fellow had his own version of relativity that can be expanded to predict all the data without nearly as much baggage.

That ought to have been the process. Get out there and get a model together even though you have to make a bunch of assumptions that you don’t know for sure are true. That’s the way to do it. But then you or someone else should take the high-powered Occams power-saw to it. To see if you can bring such assumptions down to a minimum.

That’s how you do it. That’s the process. Take what you know and eliminate the extra assumptions. Keep cleaning the models up to bring down the extra assumptions, the reliance on Voodoo and or statistics.

This has always been the way of science. To reduce the Voodoo and simplify.

Sacha you have the technical skills. This is the basic process you should take to come up with something lasting.

I have high hopes for you.

GMB, all this is allright, but there is one problem. Einstein’s theory predicted bending of light rays that many people were very skeptical about. Until in the solar eclipse of 1928 (or 29) this bending was directly observed. The agreement was remarkable. Now this is not simply creating a model to fit the data.

But the model was to fit the already observed behaviour of light in Morley, Moorhouse experiments right?. And he would have had other data too on the behaviour of light.

So it was a model made to predict the behaviour of light based on what was already known about the behaviour of light.

So no mystery there when it comes through with a good prediction of the behaviour of light.

The observed bending of light that Boris mentioned wasn’t previously known. The observation fitted a prediction of the theory, rather than the theory retrodicting an already observed phenomena.

A prediction of general relativity is the existence of gravitational waves, which carry energy and are predicted to be generated by any accelerating object (eg me, you, a planet, a star). These hadn’t, to my knowledge, been postulated by anyone or any other theory prior to general relativity. There is a famous example of a pulsar in a double star system whose orbit is evolving precisely (within the limits of observation) in accordance with the predictions of general relativity, including the postulated emission by the system of gravitation radiation (effectively, this represents a loss of energy by the system, so the stars orbit closer and closer) see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gravitational_waves and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PSR_B1913%2B16

Of course, this doesn’t prove that general relativity is correct, but rather that there have been no observations at variance with its predictions.

“The observed bending of light that Boris mentioned wasn’t previously known. The observation fitted a prediction of the theory, rather than the theory retrodicting an already observed phenomena.”

Right well I knew that already. But its still all built around the behaviour of light.

And if Einstein got there first with a good working model with a bunch of assumptions then this is not to say that someone cannot later come along and predict those same phenomenon with less arbitrary assumptions. Why predjudice the first one past the post. To do so is to commit an error an set up a vicious circle. Everybody loves Albert. This is not personal.

If any model is to be predjudiced it would be the one that makes the least number of unproveable or dubious assumptions.

In fact this is the way science SHOULD work. The first guy getting there with too many assumptions and others coming along later to clean it up. It just stopped working that way for some reason.

So if you can prove to me that augmented Lorentz relativity cannot account for the pulsar then you may have something.

“Of course, this doesn’t prove that general relativity is correct, but rather that there have been no observations at variance with its predictions.”

This is not right. They just keep fudging it. The mainstream all know that they’ve got both theory and empirical evidence of things breaking light-speed. They fudge this and rewrite the model retrospectively.

As for gravitational waves I’d be very surprised if they weren’t thought of decades before. And have they been proven yet?

Einstein affected to deep-sixed the aether. So its hard to imagine why anything would travel in waves after that.

GMB, generally the approach that people want to take when trying to understand the world is by simplifying and reducing/removing any assumptions in their model. Eg the assumption in Newton’s theory of gravity that used absolute space was superseded in General Relativity where no such assumption exists. Generally simplification in models is the way to go, unless nature shows that you’re wrong!

I like it when people don’t just read other peoples work, but attempt to work things out themselves – in doing so you have to be careful that you havn’t fallen down an intellectual crevice. This is a big challenge in math, that’s for sure!

Uncle Albert’s assumptions, (SR)

1. The laws of physics are the same in all inertial frames.

2. The speed of light is constant (in vacuo).

Can’t get much simpler than that.

I tend to agree, Tel.

Well you are both wrong.

There was assumed to be a light-speed limit. I shit you not. That is to say it was simply assumed that NOTHING could move faster then 300 000km per second (approximately).

So your simplifying assumptions Tel are actually a rewrite. And quite a recent one at that. It comes from when the mainstream could not really sustain the former assumptions but were somewhat coy in coming out and saying that things have changed.

You are perhaps somewhat younger then me. But I assure you that a light-speed limit was always the assumption.

And it’s the default assumption now. How fast do gravity waves travel Tel? You simply assumed that they travelled at light-speed did you not?

In fact Einstein made light-speed (as THE maximum speed) the primary constant. And used 4-dimensional mathematics to work backwards holding that one thing constant.

And as I said that’s well and good. He did the right thing getting a working model out there. Its the new guys who have let the scientific process down.

Speak English Tel. Not to explain physics to me. But to make it clear to yourself.

The statement: “1. The laws of physics are the same in all inertial frames.”

Is not a single assumption when translated into English. It becomes a whole constellation of assumptions. Virtually all of them arbitrary. And its a fraudulent statement too. Because it tries to bring in the Scotty line that we all tend to agree with “Captain Kirk, You Canna Change the Laws a Physics” when what we are talking about is all these myrian of arbitrary claims to do with what happens if I’m travelling at light speed and you are travelling at half light speed and on and on……

“Eg the assumption in Newton’s theory of gravity that used absolute space was superseded in General Relativity where no such assumption exists. Generally simplification in models is the way to go, unless nature shows that you’re wrong!”

No this was a complicating assumption. And the assumption that there are three dimensions of space wasn’t Newtons. Its something that we see the reality of minute in minute out. We cannot deny this reality internally all the way through and still hope to make it to work in one piece.

Einsteins assumption that space can be stretched and compressed is entirely arbitrary however. There is no reason to believe it. You as a mathematician may have pondered flatland, the omniscience of a five dimensional God. And the 10 dimensional string theory. But the idea that anywhere at all there is or has ever been anything else but three-dimensional reality is entirely arbitrary.

And the idea that space can be stretched and compressed implies a never-ending set of assumptions for which there is just no reason to pursue outside of your own proffession.

GMB says “There was assumed to be a light-speed limit. I shit you not.”

Wrong. This follows from the second postulate of SR “2. The speed of light is constant (in vacuo).” It is not assumed by the theory.

GMB says: The statement: “1. The laws of physics are the same in all inertial frames.”

Is not a single assumption when translated into English.

It is an assumption also made by Newton and Galileo, commonly called the “principle of relativity”. It is the *second* postulate that distinguishes Einstein’s relativity from Galileo’s relativity. Whether it is a single assumption or not, it is a reasonable one.

GMB says “How fast do gravity waves travel Tel? You simply assumed that they travelled at light-speed did you not?”

I believe that is a question for Nature to answer. However, I also believe GR is correct and that the velocity of gravitational waves will turn out to be c, as predicted. On a side note, Van Flandern’s arguments on the infinite “velocity of gravity” are based on simplifying assumptions that have been shown to be incorrect by Carlip.

GMB says “Einsteins assumption that space can be stretched and compressed is entirely arbitrary however.”

Spacetime is 4 dimensional. Space and spacetime are different things, and it is spacetime that is deformed, not space.

How is it that you “know” whether spacetime can be compressed or not ? Is it not an arbitrary decision to presume as you have, that “spacetime is incompressible” ?

How do you presume to “know” the number of dimensions of the physical world ? I believe your presumption that space is 3 dimensional is arbitrary as well. By the way, GR presumes that space has three dimensions, so where’s the problem ?

Let’s number these bursts of unreason shall we?

1. No you are wrong stop being an idiot. But are you now admitting that light-speed has been breached? If so help out on the other thread hey?

2. This is pure sophistry. And it makes your initial claim ridiculous. You are just changing the meaning of the phrase. What are you saying you mean now???? That the laws of physics are always the same. For petes sakes tell stop being an idiot.

3. Three shows you are making an arbitrary assumption for no reason at all. It also shows you were lying before when you tried to claim that General Relativity didn’t assume a light-speed limit.

“I believe that is a question for Nature to answer.” This amounts to the single most fucking idiotic thing anyone has said all week. You are lying by the way. This is what I!!!!!! assume. You however assume its light-speed FOR NO REASON AT ALL.

4. There is no such thing as ‘spacetime’. This is an entirely arbitrary concept. AND IF ITS NOT SPACE THAT IS STRETCHED AND DEFORMED THEN IT DOES NOT SOLVE THE PROBLEM OF ATTRACTION AT A DISTANCE.

My goodness you are making a hash of things today.

5. We have evidence on a daily basis for the three dimensions of space. We have no evidence whatsoever for more dimensions. This is all I’m saying. No evidence. A model based on explaining the odd behaviour of light does not constitute evidence for a fourth or fifth or tenth dimension. Not a single scrap of reliable evidence for more then three dimensions exist in all of human history beyond reports of the activities of ghosts and various other apparitions.

Space-time is four-dimensional hey? No that’s bullshit.

1. There is no such thing as space-time. There never has been evidence for such a thing. Its a ludicrous concept that doesn’t know whether its Cliff Richard or Elvis.

2. And no there is no fourth dimension. There is no reason to believe that time is a ‘dimension’ its a foolsh characterisation of time. We have evidence for but three dimensions.

Dear GMB,

Would love to argue, but your responses suggest you’re a tad incoherent (and that’s putting it mildly). Thanks for the laughs. Meanwhile I’m off to do a spot of science.

Cheerio, Tel

No I’m not incoherent. If you can’t suss out what I’m saying you aren’t up to the argument. The fact is you were being dishonest. And you are being dishonest again with this latest post. Clearly you are a dumb shithead. But if you want to try and debate with some sort of reason and intelligence do come back.

GMB, I’m leaving your comment on my blog so people can read it. One might well argue that saying “Clearly you are a dumb shithead.” reveals an inability to express oneself. This comment deserves to be left in public.

So there’s no such thing as space-time? Well all that space time is is an abstract entity combining space and time where each point in space-time represents a point in space at a particular time. See:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spacetime

The fact that people have dreamt it up means that it exists. It is a model for reality.

Before throwing crap all over a theory, you should attempt to understand it first, but it’s apparent to me that you don’t. Come back when you’ve read through and fully understood the following page, including all the discussion on tensors:

http://scienceworld.wolfram.com/physics/SpecialRelativity.html

If you want to do real science, then fine. But it takes a lot of work and effort, and you’ll get nowhere by shouting rubbish, as it shows that you don’t know what you’re talking about.

One must understood a theory before being able to critique it.

I do understand it. But one doesn’t confuse understanding with belief. The fact is that Tell was being a shithead. Using the same nonsense as Ken on the other thread. Lying and making a dick of himself.

I DO understand it. Better then you sans calculations. But one doesn’t confuse understanding with belief. Well you might and its fourtunate the Moonies or the Scientologists didn’t claime you. The fact is that Tell was being a shithead. Using the same nonsense as Ken on the other thread. Lying and making a dick of himself.

See the thing is if you or Tell simply assert this SPACE-TIME exists. I’m entitlied to just assert that it doesn’t exist. Otherwise real dipshits like Tell will always win. If we practice this predjudice where one person makes a baseless assertion then if the other person isn’t able to make the counter-assertion then this is a way of rigging the game so to speak.

Now unless you have some evidence that there is such a thing as SPACE-TIME. I’m saying its not there and you are being arbitrary. We are critiquing the model for the love of dumb blonde scientists with huge tits.

When we go to critique-mode on ANY model I expect Tel not to be such a retard as to try and attempt to justify the model based on the model. NO MODEL CAN BE JUSTIFIED BY ITSELF.

Stephen Edney tried this on for days on end at Prodeo. I like to think that finally he has seen his unreason in this matter.

Let us slow down here………

Suppose you say “THE MODEL IS TRUE BECAUSE THE MODEL IS TRUE”

Are you really making an argument of any sort here. No you are not.

I am not the least bit fucking interested in Tel reasserting an assertion based on and assertion that itself was an assertion. If he makes an assertion without great support for it the idea is for me to assert the opposite, wait for the dumb science worker to come round, and hope he comes up with something more substantial the a dumbass assertion.

Is this all you can do? Justify the model on the basis of the model? You do realise this is circulare reasoning don’t you?

Tel’s still a dumb shit.

You obviously don’t understand this area if you think that people, like Tel, “believe” the theory – at the present time the theory is, apparently, the best we have. That’s all. People’s minds are open to any new potential theory.

If you want to, you can come up with any theory you want – test it against the evidence, and see how it goes. If it’s better than existing theories, well great. Good luck though, ’cause these things are highly non-trivial.

I strongly suggest that you actually learn general relativity before criticising it, otherwise you will look like a fool if you talk about things you don’t know about.

Does space-time exist? How do you know that space exists and has three dimensions? How do you know if your experience is not deceiving you? How do you know that space is what it appears to you?

You don’t. You’re assuming your commonsense experience. Which is fine, but then you need your mind to be open to the idea that there may be more to it.

This is taking too much of my time and energy. GMB, if you want to set up your own blog, be my guest – just go to

http://wordpress.com/

Right. So I checked out the link on space-time. And its only a model.

So I was right and you guys were wrong.

And that’s my main thesis here that Physics has been taken over by Mathematicians posing as natural philosophers who keep getting their models mixed up with revealed truth……………….

. And here with people insisting that Space-Time is something real. But even that entry pointed to nothing real beyond some model.

As I said, it’s a model. Like every theory.

Question: how to you determine “revealed truth”? If you want to, be my guest. You’re in the realms of theology there.

Any further abusive comments will be deleted forthwith.

No space-time isn’t just like every theory. It is not supposed to exist seperate from space and time. It is no seperate concept as distinct from space and time. Or to the extent that it is there is very little evidence for its existence.

It’s instead a way of turning things into a Geometric model. To say there is a seperate thing as space-time as distinct from space or time is like saying there is a seperate new cosmic thing called xy on any Cartesian graph.

That is why bully boy advocates of the status quo must piss or get off the pot. Space either stretches or compresses or it doesn’t. But oftentimes they will speak with great authority claiming “Oh Ho Ho you do not know the theory….. It’s Space-time (NOT SPACE!!!) that compresses and stretches”

But there is no SPACE-TIME. If I’m plotting Unemployment against Inflation I don’t pretend there is a new concept called UNEMPLOYFLATION which is distinct from unemployment and inflation.

This space-time is merely an artifact of doing that same cartesian plotting but in four rather then two dimensiona. It has no reality other then that.

See where I’m sitting now. We can position my situation RIGHT NOW with three co-ordinates using a clock (to get the one co-ordinate of time) and the GPS to get my precise longitude and latitude.

But were I out there in space we would need four co-ordinates to track the changes in position. To track the data as to my “space-time” as it were. The bogus thinking comes when you forget the derivation of where the space-time concept comes from and start getting all Voo Doo about it.

Ground Hog Day.

GMB, if you wish to dream up a theory in which space is compressed, extended, rigid, or whatever, then good luck and do it. If you can come up with a theory of gravity (or anything else) which corresponds with all existing observations and better predicts the outcomes of experiments yet to come than existing theories, then great. People will love it.

These are simple tests. Instead of going on and on about how spacetime doesn’t exist, dream up your new theory in which spacetime is not a concept. Go on, do it.

In any event, GR isn’t concerned with neutrinos.

Any further comments on this thread not connected to neutrinos will be deleted forthwith.

GMB, as your last two comments weren't about neutrinos, I'm deleting them – see my previous comment.

This thread has run its course.