Archive for ed-lake.com
December 2017

Comments for Sunday, Dec. 24, 2017, thru Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017:

December 31, 2017
- Boy, I'll be glad when this year is over!!  I was awakened this morning at around 3:30 a.m. by the fire alarm going off in the hallway outside of my apartment.  I had to put some clothes on and go out into the hallway to check things.  There was no indication of any fire.  No smoke, no cooking smells.  I could see one of the smoke detectors in the upstairs hallway had a red light on, indicating that it was the one that triggered the alarm.  I then had to call the fire department to get them to turn off the alarm.  I also had to wait around to let the firemen and two police officers into the building to check things over.  It was the third fire alarm in the past 8 days.  The other two were in daylight hours.

Then at around 5 a.m. this morning, the alarm went off again.  Again I called the fire department.  Again I got dressed to let them in. And at 6:40 a.m., the alarm went off again.  I called the fire department, but I guess I convinced them that it was a false alarm of some kind, since all they did was send around a police patrol car to turn off the alarm.  I didn't even have to let him in.  It seems they turn off the alarm somewhere outside, probably where the electric meters are located.

At 7:45, while I was shaving, the alarm went off for the 4th time this morning.  Again I called the fire department.  They sent a truck, I let them in, and apparently they called the apartment house management to advise them of the problem.  As of this moment, 10:55 a.m., there have been no more alarms. 

This morning's four false alarms made me realize that the daytime alarm on Wednesday and the daytime one last Sunday were probably false alarms, too.  Even though I neither saw nor smelled any smoke those times, I just assumed that those alarms where triggered by someone cooking and burning something on the stove, then opening the hall door to let out the smoke, which sets off the main alarm.  Five of the six times I was the one to call the fire department, although I can't be certain that someone else didn't call, too.  The one last Wednesday occurred while the apartment office was open, and they would hear the alarm, so I let them do the calling.  Only once did someone else open their hallway door to see what was going on.  

I guess the other tenants just leave it to me to take care of.  I don't mind, since even if one of them had called the fire department, I'd call them, too, just to be certain someone did. 

But it makes me think of the situation at the gym.  Once again someone has turned off CNN on the TVs.   The gym has 11 TVs mounted on the walls and hanging from the ceiling.  Both TVs that show CNN were working on Wednesday, but on Thursday they were both turned off.  I mentioned it to the manager the last time it happened (see my comments for October 26 and November 3).  It took them over a week, but they eventually turned CNN back on again.  The manager told me that the TV was broken, but obviously that wasn't true, since it was only the TVs showing CNN that were off, and I knew there was a campaign underway to turn off or change channels on TVs in gyms and airports and waiting rooms which show CNN.  (Donald Trump doesn't like CNN, so neither do his supporters.)

So, what should I do?  Should I ask the manager to turn CNN on again?  What if he is the one who turned off CNN?  If he didn't do it, who did it?  The night manager?  It's my understanding that the controls for the TVs are inside the wall somewhere.  Who would have access to them there? 

And if that isn't nutty enough, when Spectrum (Time Warner Cable) turned CNN back on again on November 3, they adjusted all 11 TVs so that they now show the wrong screen size.  All 11 TVs are now set to a "letterbox" setting, which would be fine for CinemaScope movies, but for regular TV it means the images are squished and there is a dark bar at the top and bottom (and CinemaScope movies are also squished, with even wider dark bars).  Why am I the only one who notices this?  Or am I the only one who cares and wants to see it corrected? 

Which, of course, makes me think of Flat Earthers.  I don't care if Flat Earthers believe the earth is flat, or if they are just arguing that the earth is flat in order to have something they can use to attack "the government" and all "authorities."  But, it bothers me that almost no one seems to care.  A couple days ago, I put a page about some Flat Earther beliefs on my interactive blog, but, as far as I can tell, no one has even bothered to look at it.  They visit other pages, but not that page.

Sigh.  And, of course, there are the scientific subjects I address in my papers, specifically the solid evidence that top colleges and universities are teaching absolute nonsense about how the speed of light is measured by outside observers.  No one seems to care.  Try as I might, I cannot even get anyone to intelligently discuss the subject.  I can tell by checking the site statistics that a few people are reading the papers, but I've never had anyone contact me about them.  And my attempts to discuss the issues on a Google forum just result in people launching insults and attacking me personally, instead of any kind of intelligent discussion.        
I keep thinking that Trump supporters seem to be angry with the system, so they elected Trump to fix things.  But Trump is part of the problem, not the cure.  He knows nothing about how things work, and when he tries to fix things, he just makes them worse.

I can only hope that in 2018 people will start paying attention to what is going on and will start discussing how the problems can be solved, instead of just sitting behind closed doors and expecting someone else to fix it all.  But I know it is just an idle hope and there is almost no chance of any improvement actually taking place.

I also hope that I'm not the only person on earth who thinks the image NASA has on their Astronomy Picture of the Day web site this morning is a great one.

Floating free in space

It was taken in 1984, and shows astonaut Bruce McCandless floating free outside of the space shuttle Challenger.  McCandless died last week at age 80.  Flat Earthers will undoubtedly argue that the picture is a fake and that McCandless never existed.  But, somehow that helps me to enjoy the picture even more.

December 29, 2017
- *^&#$*@&#!!!  I awoke this morning thinking about the scientific paper debunking "destructive interference" that I've been working on, and I got what might be some good ideas of how to attack the problem.  But then, as I continued to lay in bed waiting for it to be time to get up, I started to think once again about the crazy arguments from Flat Earth believers.  The two examples of their beliefs that I mentioned in yesterday's comment were chosen at random, and this morning I regretted not mentioning one of my favorites: the Flat Earther beliefs about airline flights. 

Here is #46 from
Eric Dubay's book "200 Proofs Earth is Not a Spinning Ball":
46) On a ball-Earth Cape Town, South Africa to Buenos Aries, Argentina should be a straight shot over the Atlantic following the same line of latitude across, but instead every flight goes to connecting locations in the Northern hemisphere first, stopping over anywhere from London to Turkey to Dubai. Once again these make absolutely no sense on the globe but are completely understandable options when mapped on a flat Earth.
And #47:
47) On a ball-Earth Johannesburg, South Africa to Sao Paolo, Brazil should be a quick straight shot along the 25th Southern latitude, but instead nearly every flight makes a re-fueling stop at the 50th degree North latitude in London first! The only reason such a ridiculous stop-over works in reality is because the Earth is flat.
And #48:
48) On a ball-Earth Santiago, Chile to Johannesburg, South Africa should be an easy flight all taking place below the Tropic of Capricorn in the Southern hemisphere, yet every listed flight makes a curious re-fueling stop in Senegal near the Tropic of Cancer in the North hemisphere first! When mapped on a flat Earth the reason why is clear to see, however, Senegal is actually directly in a straight-line path half-way between the two.
Below is the map most commonly used by Flat Earthers (note that there's a ring of ice (an "ice wall") all around the edge to keep people (and the oceans) from falling off the flat earth):

Flat Earth Map

The map above appears to be based upon the projection map below from 1892, which is not a "flat earth" map, but just a "projection" of the earth's surface with the North Pole in the center:

Map of
                  Earth - north pole view

Below is one image the Flat Earthers use.  Note that the routes are chosen so that they would cross Antarctica, and they ignore shorter, actual airline routes that go to and from the places depicted but do not require flying over Antarctica.  Plus, the route from San Paolo, Brazil, to Perth, Australia, shown on the map below as passing closest to the South Pole would be a 9,240 mile flight, and the maximum range of a Boeing 747-400 is 8,380 miles.

Air flights in southern hemisphere

Yesterday, I used Google Maps to check if there were any non-stop flights from New Zealand to Chile.  I found that there is one non-stop flight per week from Auckland to Santiago.  However, I also found there are five non-stop flights per week from Sydney, Australia, to Santiago, Chile. 

This morning, I decided to plot an around-the-world trip from Sydney to Sydney via flights that the Flat Earthers say "do not exist."  (All the costs mentioned below are for round trip non-stop tickets.) 

1.  Sydney to Santiago takes 12 hours 20 minutes and costs $3,304.
2.  Santiago to San Paulo, Brazil takes 4 hours 10 minutes and costs $591.
3.  San Paulo to Johannesburg, South Africa: 10 hours 25 minutes.  Cost: $2,603.
4.  Johannesburg to Sydney takes 14 hours and costs $2,818.

Plotting the route on the Flat Earth map looks like this:

Flat Earth trip  
So, according to Flat Earthers, to get from Sydney to Santiago, you'd have to fly over Los Angeles.  And to get from Johannesburg to Sydney, you'd have to fly over Saudi Arabia and China.  And the people who regularly fly those routes evidently never notice that they have to travel much greater distances to get from place to place, and they have to fly distances that are far beyond the range of any commercial aircraft.  Do the Flat Earthers believe that the passengers are all hypnotized before departure so that they won't notice how long the trip actually takes and how they had to land in Los Angeles to refuel? 

When viewed on a projection map where the South Pole is at the center, the route looks very different.  It looks like this:

Trip around the south pole

It's interesting that the Johannesburg to Sydney route shown above does not cross much of Australia.  When you look at it on a globe, it's pretty much the same as above.  But, on Google Maps, the route cuts directly across Australia because they use a "flat earth" projection map like the one below:

world map 

If someone would pay the $9,316 round trip fare for me (plus $1,681 to go from Milwaukee to San Paulo, Brazil, and back to Milwaukee again), I'd certainly be happy to make the trip(s) to see where the hypnotizing takes place.   I'd even be willing to do it one way from San Paulo to San Paulo to save costs.

One positive thing I have to say about Flat Earthers is that it is very interesting to examine their beliefs and to compare their nonsense to known reality. 

But, I'm going to have to try to stop thinking about their beliefs so that I can get back to work on disproving the "destructive interference" nonsense that is taught in colleges and universities around the globe (or around the flat earth).


December 28, 2017
- I'm still trying to work on a scientific paper about the logic of light, but I'm not making much progress.  It's probably mostly because I haven't yet found the right way to explain the subject.  But, I also keep getting distracted by other things, like the increasingly popular screwball theory that the Earth is really flat, not a globe.

This morning I found that Eric Dubay's 35-page book "200 Proofs Earth is Not a Spinning Ball" is available for free.  So, I browsed through it.  One of the more interesting "proofs" is #15:
15) If the Earth were truly a sphere 25,000 miles in circumference, airplane pilots would have to constantly correct their altitudes downwards so as to not fly straight off into “outer space;” a pilot wishing to simply maintain their altitude at a typical cruising speed of 500 mph, would have to constantly dip their nose downwards and descend 2,777 feet (over half a mile) every minute! Otherwise, without compensation, in one hour’s time the pilot would find themselves 31.5 miles higher than expected.
How many adults on this planet, besides Eric Dubay, do not know how altimeters work?  Does he think that airline pilots are all part of "a global conspiracy" (pun intended), or does he think that they do not understand how altimeters work?  If you use an altimeter to keep 35,000 feet above the ground, it doesn't make any difference if the earth is round or flat.   So, why would an airline pilot need to make constant altitude corrections?

The book also contains a lot of arguments about how, if the world was a globe, you wouldn't be able to see as far as it is known you can see, because things would be beyond the horizon.  A lot of it is false arguments about various light houses.  An example is "Proof" #91:
91) The lighthouse at Port Said, Egypt, at an elevation of only 60 feet has been seen an astonishing 58 miles away, where, according to modern astronomy it should be 2,182 feet below the line of sight!
Port Said Lighthouse

Dubay provides no source for his claim that the lighthouse "has been seen an astonishing 58 miles away.  The counter argument is that the 58-mile number is a statement about how much light is produced by the lighthouse, not how far away you can see the light from some boat.  The lighthouse emits enough light for a human to see the light from a distance of 58 miles (but you'd have to be in an airplane to see it).  Plus, according to Wikipedia, the lighthouse is 56 meters high, which is 184 feet.  So, Dubay doesn't even bother to get his facts straight. 

Researching further, I found that claims have been made about how far you can see the Port Said Lighthouse since at least the 1880's.  Here's part of an article from 1889:

Article about Port Said Lighthouse
 
That made me wonder how far you should be able to see from atop Chicago's Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower) if the world was flat.  Shouldn't you be able to see the entirety of Lake Michigan?  The Willis Tower web site, however, says you can only see 40 to 50 miles (due the the curvature of the earth).

There's no point in telling a True Believer or conspiracy theorist that he made a mistake.  They'll just get angry, call you names, and attack you personally.  But, examining their arguments can be educational.  It makes you look at things in ways you never looked at them before. 

December 26, 2017
- I found I had some free time on my hands yesterday, so I listened to the entire 80 minute MP3 audio-book version of "Dave Barry's Greatest Hits."

Dave Barry's Greatest Hits

Dave Barry was a syndicated humor columnist for the Miami Herald, and the book is a collection of his columns.  It wasn't until this morning that I realized that what I'd listened to was an abridged version of the book.  Looking at the index of the Kindle edition via Amazon's "Look Inside" edition, while skimming through the audio version, I can see the audio version skips over most columns.

But, that's fine with me.  I probably wouldn't have been able to get through the entire book in audio form.  The humor is almost certainly best enjoyed by reading it, not by listening to someone else read it.  A few days ago, I borrowed and created a 4-CD set (4 hours, 16 minutes) for his book "I'll Mature When I'm Dead."  I'm going to put it at the bottom of my listening backlog.

I'm not saying I didn't like the book, or that I don't like Dave Barry's humor.  I'm just saying that it seems to be humor that is best read, not heard.   Here's a brief sample from the first column/chapter in all versions of the book, a column titled "Why Humor is Funny":
Ever since prehistoric times, wise men have tried to understand what exactly makes people laugh.  That's why they were called wise men.  All the other prehistoric people were out puncturing each other with spears, and the wise men were back in the cave saying: "How about: Here's my wife, please take her now.  No.  How about: Would you like to take something?  My wife is available.  No. How about ..."
I chuckled more while reading that brief section than I did while listening to the entire 80-minute abridged version of the book.  Reading that, I can visualize some cavemen gag writers sitting around dreaming up and arguing about one-liner jokes they are creating for a caveman version of Henny Youngman. When reading, you can easily pause to think about it.  You can't do that as easily while listening to an audio book.

I've got another Dave Barry book waiting to be read on my Kindle.  It's titled "Dave Barry in Cyberspace."  I've moved it up in the queue.  
      
Live and learn.

December 24, 2017
- Hmm.  It's Christmas Eve morning.  And, as I type these words, it's snowing outside.  Ho ho ho. 

This morning, NASA provided me with an interesting early Christmas present.  Their Astronomy Picture of the Day web site has this image of the SpaceX rocket launch plume over California from two days ago:

SpaceX rocket launch plume

The actual picture is about ten times the width and height of what I show above.  You can view the full-size picture by right-clicking on the image and doing a "view image," or by going to the link I posted above the picture.  You can also watch a 1½ hour YouTube video about the launch by clicking HERE

The video was shot "live," so the first 12 minutes is mostly just waiting for it to be launch time.  But there are also segments where aspects of the satellite system are explained.  Unlike most satellites everyone is familiar with, these satellites travel in a North to South orbit, instead of West to East.  That's why they were launched from Vandenberg AFB in California.  From there the rockets can head straight south over water, so, if something goes wrong, the debris won't fall on any populated real estate.  The separation of the second stage from the first stage rocket occurs at 2 minutes and 44 seconds after launch.  That's what the image above shows.  About an hour later, the rocket actually deploys TEN satellites, one at a time, during a period of about 15 minutes.  The launch of the 9th satellite at around the 1 hour 25 minute mark in the video is the most interesting, since the satellite is sitting right in front of the camera during the entire sequence.

The second stage separation was on the news last night, and it seemed like half the people who took videos and pictures of it thought it was the end of the world, or, at minimum, an alien invasion.  Of course, I'm not sure what I'd have thought if I'd been driving down some California highway and saw it as it happened.  No doubt it would have sent cold shivers up my spine.  But, I'd like to think that I'd have pulled over to the side of the road so I could just watch it as I tried to figure out some earth-based explanation for it.  And, I'd be aware that Vandenberg AFB was not far away, located right where the smoke trail came from.

It, of course, reminds me of the research I did last week into the Flat Earther movement.  I have to wonder what they think about it.  They probably believe it is all just a show for the masses, to make us think some private company is really putting satellites into orbit, when, in the Flat Earther reality, what we ignoramuses think of as expensive satellite communications is actually done with ordinary, cheap ground-based antennas, so that the evil people who control the government and everything else can pocket the monetary difference.
 
Last week, while I was working out at the gym, I happened to mention to the guy on the machine next to me that a convention of "Flat Earthers" had been held in October in Raleigh, North Carolina, and a sell-out crowd of about 400 people attended.  I thought the guy would be amused by it, as I was, but, instead, he asked me how did I know they weren't right.  As we talked, it became clear to me that he felt such things were just a matter of opinion, and everyone is entitled to their opinion.  The phrase he used was "You have to respect their view."  My response was, "No, I don't."  I explained that you can see where they are wrong as they explain things.  But, that made absolutely no impression on him. 

I didn't press the matter, since in past discussions I learned that he had a very quick temper and gets very angry if you disagree with him.   

Yesterday, I was going to look at some videos made by Flat Earthers and found a YouTube video about the convention.  Here it is:



It's tempting to create some kind of web page where I could go through each one of their claims and show that simple experiments will prove them to be nonsense. But others are already doing that.  And I need to focus on how photons work.

I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas!


Comments for Sunday, Dec. 17, 2017, thru Saturday, Dec. 23, 2017:

December 20, 2017
- I don't really have anything to write about this morning, but I feel I should write something anyway.  If I don't, the regulars who read this web site might think I've died.

I'm still spending a lot of time researching the double-slit experiment, looking for a version of the experiment which would answer the questions I have.  But, I haven't been able find any such version.  Most experiments just demonstrate what is taught in college physics courses, teaching that light has properties of both waves and particles.  I'm trying to figure out what the properties of a photon are.  How can a photon act like a wave sometimes and act like a particle at other times?  I can imagine how some of it happens, but I need to find experiments which would help me confirm what I envision.  And all videos and articles and books seem to skip over that aspect.

I'm also studying what Thomas Young wrote about his first experiment, which didn't involve any slits.  He put a card edgewise into a beam of light coming from a pinhole.  Like so:
Thomas Young's card experiment

And he observed that there were narrow lines of white light in the shadow the card cast upon a wall. He called the lines "fringes."  Plus there were "fringes" in the light on either side of the shadow, and those were different colors.  Here's what he wrote:

Besides the fringes of colours on each side of the shadow, the shadow itself was divided by similar parallel fringes, of smaller dimensions, differing in number, according to the distance at which the shadow was observed, but leaving the middle of the shadow always white

Then he says he blocked the light that was going around one side of the card by placing a "screen" into that part of the beam.  He wrote:

For, a little screen being placed a few inches from the card, so as to receive either edge of the shadow on its margin, all the fringes which had before been observed in the shadow on the wall immediately disappeared, although the light inflected on the other side was allowed to retain its course, and although this light must have undergone any modification that the proximity of the other edge of the slip of card might have been capable of occasioning.  

Presumably, that means that the screen was moved to where its shadow lined up perfectly with one edge of the shadow of the card.  So, in theory, he was not blocking the light that caused the "fringes."  But, the "fringes" all disappeared anyway.  Not just "fringes" from one side, but from both sides.  Including the color "fringes."

He then says,

When the interposed screen was more remote from the narrow card, it was necessary to plunge it more deeply into the shadow, in order to extinguish the parallel lines; for here the light, diffracted from the edge of the object, had entered further into the shadow, in its way towards the fringes.

Which means, if the screen was moved farther away from the card, and if you wanted to block all the fringes, you have to move the screen deeper into the shadow of the card. 

I've been trying to find illustrations of this, since "a picture is equal to a thousand words."  And I don't want to be misunderstanding a single word.  The only illustration I could find is clearly wrong.  Here it is:

Thomas Young's card experiment 

The illustration is wrong, because the mirror is supposed to be outside the room where it can capture the light from the sun and direct the light to the pinhole at the right angle to cause light from the pinhole to pass on both sides of the card.  It's also wrong because, obviously, the light from the pinhole cannot create such a large pattern on the screen in the corner.  What you would get is a tiny spot of light with the shadow of the card in the center of the spot.  And Thomas Young then took a magnifying glass and examined the shadow of the card to see that there were white lines ("fringes") inside the shadow.

I can't find any illustrations that show what I want to see.  So, I'll have to create the illustrations myself, based upon my interpretation of what Young wrote.

The lab experiments done these days do not really involve any shadow of an object in a beam of light, they involve a fine point of coherent (single-colored) light from a laser being divided by a wire, which results in multiple spots on the wall.  So, all you see is darkness and the pattern that the light going around the wire makes.  Like this example with green laser light:

diffraction pattern

Meanwhile, greatly confusing the issue (but perhaps providing more "clues"), I found images of shadows of objects where the "fringes" seem to be in the light, not in the shadow.  These seem to be the "fringes" that Thomas Young saw in his experiment that were different colors.  Laser light is used, however, so the light fringes shows only a single color with lighter and darker lines. Here's an example of diffraction fringes around the shadow of the handles of a pair of scissors in what appears to be blue laser light:

diffraction fringes around a pair of sissors

Why aren't there any fringes inside the shadow?  Why do the "fringes" of light in this example seem to bend away from the obstacle, while in other experiments they seem to bend around the obstacle.  Why are these "fringes" like the ones in Young's experiment that were in color?  If Young saw white fringes inside the shadow, wouldn't those have to be a combination of wavelengths?  There is no white light in the visible spectrum.  White light appears when red, green and blue light are combined.  And if you have a combination of wavelengths creating a white line, then "destructive interference" must be NONSENSE.  All the light must be going to the white lines, and no light goes to the dark lines.  Of course, that was already shown on this web page when it was made clear that "destructive interference" requires the destruction of energy, which would violate the Law of Conservation of Energy.  Hmm.

I wrote last week that I wasn't going to do any more "thinking in writing" in these comments, but that's clearly what I was doing while writing this comment.  I guess it was either that or to write nothing at all.

December 17, 2017
- Yesterday, a True Believer with an unshakable theory about who committed the anthrax letter attacks of 2001 seemed very upset that I was mentioned "in the first sentence" of Scott Decker's forthcoming book "Recounting the Anthrax Attacks."  The book, of course, identifies Dr. Bruce Ivins as the anthrax killer, which makes the True Believer also very upset with Scott Decker, since the True Believer truly believes - and has truly believed for sixteen years - that al Qaeda was behind the anthrax attacks of 2001.  And no facts or evidence can ever change what a True Believer believes. 

Scott's book won't be out until April 7, 2018, so I had to try to figure out how the True Believer knew what is in the book.  The obvious first place for me to look was Amazon's "Look Inside" feature.  But it didn't show the first sentence in the book, which, as it turns out, is on page ix in the Acknowledgements section. 
Google doesn't have any sample pages at all.  Neither does Target's web site or allbookstores.com or booksamillion.com or indiebound.orgBarnes & Noble doesn't even have a picture of the cover.  But, when I checked the publisher's web site, I was allowed to temporarily look at the Acknowledgements section.  But that ability was no longer available to me when I tried it again later.  Fortunately, I had done a screen capture of page ix on the first try.  It turned out that I'm actually not mentioned until the second sentence.  Here's what it says (I added the info about the book in the upper left corner):

Scott Decker's Acknowledgement page 
I'm at the top of a long list.  The acknowledgements go on for the rest of page ix, through all of page x, and part of page xi

Via Amazon's "Look Inside" feature, I was able to check to see if I am also mentioned in the Index.  I am.  The Index lists 5 other places in the book where I'm mentioned, all of them in footnotes.

Index entries for me

I was able to access and check 4 of the 5 footnotes where I'm mentioned.  They mostly mention my anthraxinvestigation.com web site and documents Scott found there.  Here's one example ("231n12" = page 231, footnote #12):

example footnote 

However, at least two footnotes reference my book A Crime Unlike Any Other.  That made me wonder if I was also mentioned in the Bibliography section, so I checked for my name there, too.  Yup, I'm listed three times.

Mentions in the bibliography

So, now I have to wait and see if Scott's book sells well, and if it does, we'll see if it generates any sales for my books.

Of course, I'm very pleased that Scott acknowledged me that way.  It certainly made my day today, since it also gave me something to write about in this Sunday comment other than the lack of logic in "destructive interference" and in the wave theory of light
.


Comments for Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017, thru Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017:

December 14, 2017
- Yesterday afternoon, I got tired of thinking about "destructive interference," and so, since I was already over 85% done, I sat down on my couch and finished reading the Kindle version of "The Gilded Rage: A Wild Ride Through Donald Trump's America" by Alexander Zaitchik

The Gilded Rage

It's basically a series of interviews with people who voted for Trump, and an attempt to understand what motivated them to vote for such an idiot.  The answer seems to be fear and anger.  Trump supporters are mostly people who are afraid of what is happening in the world (which is understandable), and somehow they feel that Donald Trump will make things better (which is NOT understandable).  They just seem to like what Trump was saying.  Trump seems to be angry about the same things that anger them, so they voted for him.  The fact that Trump didn't have any intelligent ideas on how to make things better wasn't an issue.  His supporters just wanted someone who declared he was going to make things better. Trump told them what they desperately wanted to hear.

I've got several other books about Trump "on reserve" at my library.  I'm #55 on waiting list for 8 copies of a book the author talked about on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert a couple nights ago.   On that show, the author of the book suggested that Trump appeals to "tribalism," and that "tribalism" is what got Trump elected.  Tribalism is the "us against them" mentality that breaks society down into small groups who do not trust anyone outside of their group.  The groups can be unions, neighborhoods, towns or even counties.  Of course, it can also be religion or race.  Whatever the group is, the group is tired of "cooperating" and the members want to change things back to the way they were.  Back to the good old days when there were lots of good-paying manual labor jobs in coal mines, steel mills and automobile factories, and you didn't have people who look different or pray differently competing for your job.    

I keep trying to fit all that with the fact that my town just signed a 3 billion dollar deal with a Taiwanese company that plans to build a gigantic plant to make flat screen liquid-crystal TVs less than 2 miles from where I live.  They're going to hire 13,000 employees.  The population of the town is 26,400.  What makes it profitable for a Taiwanese company to build a plant in my town, while American companies move their manufacturing to Mexico?  The only guess I have is that making cars is very different from making "state-of-the-art liquid-crystal TV displays." Clearly, they aren't going to bring back "the good old days."  Instead, things will continue changing and changing and changing.  


December 12, 2017
- This is going to be another "thinking in writing" comment, i.e., I'm going to be writing this comment while trying to figure out what my thoughts are telling me.

This morning I awoke thinking I need to go "back to the drawing board" on how "interference patterns" are created.  I remembered one of Thomas Young's first experiments, circa 1801, when he put a thin card (about twice the thickness of a playing card) edgewise into a beam of light. 
card in beam of light
It created a very narrow "interference pattern" in the shadow of the card on the wall, and when the card was at the right "focus" distance from the wall.  When Thomas Young used a second card to block the light going around one side of the card, the entire "interference pattern" vanished.

That experiment was the birth of the double-slit experiments.  Instead of two slits, Young simply put a thin obstacle in the beam, and the obstacle created multiple shadows.  But when the light that was going around one side of the card was blocked, all the shadows disappeared.   That was later converted into blocking one of the slits in the double slit experiment.

But, as was pointed out in yesterday's comment, if you have a single slit where the card is located (directly in the light path) you get an "interference pattern" with a bright line in the middle and dark lines on the sides.  Only, it's not called an "interference pattern" when done that way, it's called a diffraction pattern.

So, you get a "diffraction pattern" if the light goes straight through a single slit located directly between the light source and the wall, but it seems you do not get a "diffraction pattern" or "interference pattern" if the light has to travel at a slight angle to reach the single slit.   Likewise, you get a diffraction pattern around an obstacle if the obstacle is directly in the beam of light, but you do not get a diffraction pattern if light can only travel around one side of the obstacle.

And, you get a very clear diffraction pattern if there is no obstacle in the light path and the light is going through a pinhole, instead of a slit. 

I recall Einstein and Infeld wrote about that on page 279 of their book "The Evolution of Physics."  They wrote:
A photon passes through the [pin]hole. We could expect the screen to appear light if the photon passes through and dark if it does not. Instead, we find light and dark rings. We could try to account for it as follows: perhaps there is some interaction between the rim of the hole and the photon which is responsible for the appearance of the diffraction rings. This sentence can, of course, hardly be regarded as an explanation.  At best, it outlines a programme for an explanation holding out at least some hope of a future understanding of diffraction by interaction between matter and photons.
Yes, it seems there must be some "interaction between the rim of the hole and the photon."  And between the sides of the slits and the photons.  And between the sides of the card and the photons.  But how does that "interaction" work?  It appears to be some cause and effect situation.  Passing very close to the rim of the hole causes the effect of changing the path of the photon.  But, no one seems to care exactly how it works, i.e., exactly what causes the effect.  They just know that it seems to make light act like waves, they know how to use the effect to make mathematical calculations, and that's all they care about.

Wikipedia's article about "diffraction" begins with this:

Diffraction refers to various phenomena that occur when a wave encounters an obstacle or a slit. It is defined as the bending of light around the corners of an obstacle or aperture into the region of geometrical shadow of the obstacle.
That definition seems to state that you start with a shadow and some light is bent around edges to cause the bright lines to appear within the shadow.  That very definitely implies "destructive interference" is total nonsense Hmm.  That is a very interesting piece to the puzzle.

So, I've still got a "mystery" that is basically the same mystery that has puzzled physicists for centuries.  But, I should probably stop writing about it here until I've got it figured out - or until I give up, whichever comes first.

December 11, 2017
- This morning, someone who read the comment I posted yesterday sent me a short email consisting of this question:

The interference pattern in the two slit experiment can't be solely due to diffraction from the slits as you seemed to suggest today because if one slit is closed/covered, the interference pattern disappears. (Why wouldn't the remaining slit still diffract the light, by your reasoning?)
The answer that I provided in yesterday's comment was that the interference pattern disappears when one slit is closed because there is nothing to cast a shadow.  The dark lines are shadows of the bar between the slits.  And I stated that the question then becomes: Why are there multiple shadows for a single bar?  And my answer was that the slits are diffraction lenses. You "focus" the lenses by moving the wall.  Anywhere closer than 2 meters and you get a blur.  But at two meters, you get the "interference pattern" of dark and bright lines.  If you widen the bar between the slits, you have to move the wall farther away to eliminate the blurring and to get the interference pattern (presumably with wider dark lines).

If you block one of the slits, you can't get a pattern at the same focal distance because there is no bar to create an image on which to focus the light.  (You can focus on an image of a house, but you can't focus on an image of a white sheet.)  The bar between slits puts the diffraction pattern in the middle of the image.  If you just have a single slit, any diffraction pattern would have to be along the edges, not in the middle.  And that seems to be why single tiny pinholes produce a diffraction pattern like this:

pinhole diffraction pattern
 
Can you get the same pattern with one slit covered over in a double-slit setup?  I dunno.  I found a web page that suggests you do.  It shows this image:
single slit diffraction pattern

And if you click HERE you will be taken to another web site that says the same thing.  It uses this image:

slingle slit diffraction pattern

But, I can't find any actual pictures of what you get if you cover over one of the slits in the double-slit setup.  The problem with doing that is that the slit would not be directly in the light path, it would be slightly off-set, so it is not like the two images above.  That could mean the focusing might be different, or there could be other problems.

Does that make any sense?  I'm doing what I call "thinking in writing."  I'm writing my thoughts down to see if they make sense.  It's as the writer E. M. Forster wrote in Chapter 5 of his book "Aspects of the Novel":
How can I tell what I think till I see what I write?
I spent the entire morning writing on this topic, but I came up more questions than answers.  Now it is nearly time for lunch and to go to the gym. 

So, I cut and pasted the rest of this comment over to a work file that isn't on-line.  It's like the answers are all there, they just aren't in focus.  I could leave all that I wrote here, but there is no end to it.  I come to no conclusion.  And, a lot of what I wrote could turn out to be irrelevant.

So, for now, the answer to the question of why you do not get a diffraction pattern when you block one of the slits in a double-slit experiment setup is because you need an obstacle to create a shadow to focus upon. The obstacle is the bar between the slits.  I think there is a lot more to it, but I haven't thought it through, yet.   Sorry about that.   

Added note: After I returned from the gym, I did a Google image search for "single slit light pattern" (without the quote marks) and I found a seeming endless supply of web sites which show the single slit diffraction pattern.  One site even shows 1-slit, 2-slit, 3-slit, 4-slit and 5-slit patterns.  And a site in India has a photograph of a single-slit "interference" pattern:
single slit interference pattern
The interference seems to be along the edges, while the center clearly gets the most photons.  This seems a bit different from the double slit pattern where the bright lines are all pretty much the same size.

single and double slit interference patterns
 
I could probably go on and on about this, but it's time to shut down for today.

December 10, 2017
- Back on December 5, I wrote a comment here about an idea that occurred to me that morning as I was laying in bed waiting for it to be time to get up.  For the next couple days I walked around like a man in a trance as I tried to sort out the implications of that idea.  Then I started over on the paper I was writing.  The paper is currently titled "The Logic of Light."  It's no longer about whether light is a wave or a particle.  As far as I'm concerned, that argument has been settled.  Light consists of photons, which are neither a particle nor a wave, but have some properties of both waves and particles.  There is no point in me writing a paper to that effect, since all I'd be doing is rephrasing things that others have written.

Instead, I plan to write a paper about how light photons work.  And in the paper I plan to debunk a lot of what is taught about light in college physics courses - particularly the asinine notion of "destructive interference" in the Double-Slit experiments.  That is easy to do, since "destructive interference" requires the destruction of energy, and every student of physics should know that the law of conservation of energy says that energy can neither be created nor destroyed.  It can only be transformed from one form to another. 

That means that the countless Double-Slit experiments that have been performed do not show "destructive interference" as the experimenters, textbooks and college professors claim. 

So, what do the experiments show when an "interference pattern" like the example below appears on the wall? 


double slit interference pattern     

We know that the bright lines represent areas where photons hit the wall and are "reflected" (i.e., re-emitted) back to your eye, but what do the dark lines represent?

For awhile I thought that the dark lines might represent areas where visible light was transformed into ultraviolet or infrared light that is not visible to the eye.  But, now I think the answer is that the dark lines simply represent areas where photons did not hit the wall.  That is why the double-slit experiments that use single photons instead of a constant flow of photons show the same pattern but cannot possibly show "interference."  Those experiments clearly show that the only areas where photons actually hit are the areas that are seen as bright lines.   

Another annoying aspect of what is taught in colleges and universities around the world is how the illustrations that are used in textbooks distort the problem.

Typical illustrations for the Double-Slit Experiment initially performed by Thomas Young between 1801 and 1804 look similar to the one below.  The illustration shows the experiment as theoretically viewed from above, so the slits become holes with width but no height. 

The
                  double-slit experiment

The illustration is very misleading in other ways, too.  It's as if they are deliberately trying to make the "waves" look like waves in a pond.  In reality, the two slits look nothing line what the illustration shows.  One single-photon double-slit article I found on Harvard University's web site describes their experiment in detail.  The article states that
the S0 slit is just 5µm (5 millionths of a meter) wide in order to prevent more than one photon from passing through the slit at a time.  Each of the double slits (S1 and S2) is 3 millimeters high and 1 millimeter wide (1 thousandth of a meter).  And, most importantly, the divider between the two slits is also 1 millimeter wide.  So, in the illustration above, the distance between the two slits should be the same width as one of the slits. 

The second-most important aspect of the experiment is even more wildly distorted in the illustration above.  The illustration shows the distance from the two slits to the wall to be roughly four times the distance between the slits.  In reality, the distance from the two slits to the wall is generally about two thousand times the distance between the two slits. 

Below is an illustration of the device used for the Harvard single-photon double-slit article I found.  

double slit experimental equipment

Instead of having the photons hit a wall, which requires someone to be able to view the wall, the experiment uses a CCD (Charge-Coupled Device) like that used in TV cameras.  That allows the experimenter to see the "interference pattern" on a TV screen outside the device.

Depending upon the size of your computer screen as you read this, the area in the illustration identified as the "double slit" could be about 3 millimeters high and 3 millimeters wide, with two 1-millimeter slits separated by a 1-millimeter divider.

But also note that the distance from the double slit to the CCD is 2 meters, or two thousand times the width of a single slit.  So, if I look at the illustration above with my arms outstretched, the double-slits would be just beyond the tip of my left middle-finger, and the EMCCD camera would be just beyond the tip of my right middle-finger.  And, I'd have to do that again to show the distance from the polarizer to the double slits.

The Harvard single-photon article also says,
Although a slit separation greater than 1.0mm would make it easier to cover each slit with a separate filter and would provide a greater number of interference fringes in the image area of the CCD, the distance between the doubleslit and the CCD would become inconveniently large if one wishes to be in the far field region.
I had to look up "far field region."  Basically, it seems to be the area that is far enough away from the source of the radiation to produce clear patterns on the CCD or a wall.  If you are in the "near field region," the light is all intermingled.  The Harvard single-photon article also says,
We found that increasing the slit distance from 50 cm to 2m indeed made the interference pattern much cleaner and sharper, in the sense that the light intensity goes to zero in the destructive interference regions. 
That is just a obfuscating way to say that the slits work as diffraction lenses, and when the wall or CCD is closer than 2 meters, the light is NOT FOCUSED, therefore you get a blur on the CCD or wall.  However, at exactly 2 meters no light at all reaches the dark so-called "destructive interference" areas in the "interference pattern" and the light is focused.

This means the dark lines are shadows of the barrier between the double slits.  If you remove the barrier, the shadows of the barrier go away.  Duh!  If you have only one slit, there is nothing to cast a shadow and you get a solid area of light.  Duh!  The only question is: Why are there multiple shadows?  The answer is: diffraction.  Of course, college professors will then hold up their textbooks like preachers holding up Bibles and declare that diffraction produces "destructive interference" which produces the dark lines on the wall, and if you do not accept that you are doomed (i.e., you will flunk the course). 

But there can be no "destructive interference" when you use a single pinhole and properly FOCUS the light.  Yet, if you do that, you get this pattern:

Lens diffraction

The pattern shows that the light is FOCUSED.  The image reproduced above is from an article about LENS DIFFRACTION on a photography web site HERE. The light is focused to create bright circles where the most photons hit, and dark circles where few or no photons hit.  The pinhole works as a lens - a diffraction lens.  And slits must also act as diffraction lenses.  If you have two slits, you have to adjust the distance from the slits to the wall to focus the light so that the bright areas from one slit line up with the bright areas from the other slit.  And the dark areas are simply areas where no light photons hit.

Now I just have to figure out how to present it in the form of a scientific paper.

Added Note: A few hours after writing the comment above, I found an unpublished article on-line titled "Does Destructive Interference Destroy Energy?"  The article asks:
In principle, a pair of counterpropagating waves (with separate sources) whose waveforms are the negative of each other can completely cancel at some moment in time. Does this destructive interference also destroy the energy of the waves at this moment?
And then it answers:
While the answer is well-known to be NO, and energy is conserved in the superposition of waves, discussion of this is sparse in textbooks.
The rest of the article is mostly mathematics, but I wondered how "superposition" could conserve the energy.  Superposition generally applies to waves traveling through some "medium," like sound through air, and, as the word "super" implies, it generally means adding together two positive values.  When used with light, according to the sources I find, "superposition" means  
When two or more light waves meet at a given point, their electric fields combine (interfere) according to the laws of linear superposition:
The waves can add together either constructively or destructively.

In constructive interference, the amplitude of the resultant wave is
greater than that of the individual waves.

In destructive interference, the amplitude of the resultant wave is
less than that of the individual waves.

In other words, energy is destroyed.  Reduction of amplitude is reduction of energy.

A Google search for "destruction interference requires destruction of energy" shows that a lot of people have asked questions about this, and all the answers are total bullshit.  The answers are just gibberish, mostly arguing that because the wave is gone that doesn't mean the energy is gone.  But they do not explain what happened to the energy, other than to bizarrely claim that a wave flattened out is still a wave. 


Comments for Friday, December 3, 2017, thru Saturday, December 9, 2017:

December 6, 2017 - A few days ago, while researching single photons and the double-slit experiment, I found a web page at this URL http://www2.hawaii.edu/~pine/book1qts/chapter8qts.html which very eloquently describes the problem, and does so virtually without any mathematics.  Here's part of one paragraph:
As physicists conducted further experiments with subatomic phenomena, they found that all subatomic phenomena display this same ambiguity. This ambiguity has come to be known as wave-particle duality. This result was not easy to accept. One of the most fundamental principles of science seemed to be mocked by these results: the notion that we are dealing with, and can know the details of, an objective world.
Elsewhere it states very clearly that this was Niels Bohr's point of view, and it says:
Wave-particle duality is nature's way of informing us that cannot impose our human concepts on the subatomic level. Just as Einstein had discovered that we cannot impose our normal assumptions of space and time to all levels of reality, so quantum physics reveals that we have no empirical justification to impose our most basic thoughts about the nature of reality on the subatomic realm.
Einstein believed that we could figure out how things work by using thought experiments and real experiments. 

I saw that what I was reading was a web page from the University of Hawaii's web site.  I also noticed that the URL link contains "chapter8" which implies that it is part of a book.  The web page indicates that the title of the book is "Science and the Human Prospect," by Ronald C. Pine.  A little research found the entire book appeared to be on-line at this link: http://www2.hawaii.edu/~pine/book1-2.html  And it is also available in print at Amazon.com

The book is beautifully written, yet it is also a book that describes scientific problems from the mathematician's perspective.  It basically preaches the same nonsense about Einstein's theories that most other physics textbooks preach, but Pine's book does it in plain English, virtually devoid of mathematics. 

I've often complained that mathematicians don't understand anything about science, so they cannot explain anything about science.  Ronald C. Pine explains the mathematician's beliefs very well, making it very clear that what they believe is dogmatic crap.  With a little ingenuity, I was able to make .docx copies of chapters 7 and 8, so that I could highlight key passages and make notes.  The only problem is that I cannot cite specific page numbers, because Amazon doesn't provide any "Look inside" option for this book, and the web site has one page per chapter.     

Chapter 7 is about "Understanding the Theory of Relativity."  One particular situation is the one Einstein presented in his book Relativity: The Special and General Theory.  It involves two simultaneous bolts of lightning as seen by an observer on a fast moving train and by an observer on the embankment next to the train.  While looking for an illustration to use here, I found that parts of Pine's book had been reproduced by someone at http://personal.tcu.edu/dingram/edu/pine2.html which is the web site of Texas Christian University in Fort Worth.  Here's the image they copied from Pine's book:

Einstein's train thought experiment

Pine's book says in the section titled "Cosmic Trains" in Chapter 7:
If Y is close to the equator of the Earth, he is moving at about 1000 miles per hour. From the point of view of the Sun, Y is moving at approximately 66,600 miles per hour. And from the point of view of the center of our galaxy, he is moving at a speed of over 500,000 miles per hour. Where is the right place? Why can't X assume that Y is the one who is moving?

A Newtonian might object that X could use the Galilean transformation to detect his motion, and on the basis of this he could calculate the simultaneity of the lightning flashes. If the addition of velocities assumed in the Galilean transformation is universally valid, then X should be able to measure the velocity of light coming from A as being the normal speed of light plus another three-fifths the speed of normal light and the speed from B as only two-fifths the speed of normal light. By using these values and measuring the time he receives each flash, he could calculate the "real" time of the original flashes, which would then agree with Y. However, in the case of light nature does not cooperate with the Galilean transformation and our common sense notion of the addition of velocities. If X had the proper equipment to measure the speed of the incoming light signals from A and B, he would find that the speeds of each beam are the same, the normal speed of light. Similarly, if Y had the proper equipment, he would also find the beams coming from A and B to have the same speed. Thus, both observers are entitled to adopt the perspective that they are at rest and the other is moving.

Einstein's solution states that we must obey the empirical facts. The speed of light, as a universal law of nature, is the same everywhere for every observer, and this is true no matter how each observer is moving relative to another. We cannot just make a unwarranted metaphysical assumption. Time must be tested and the belief that there is a "right" place where time is absolute is just an assumption for which there is no evidence.
That is definitely NOT what Einstein said or implied.  But it shows how the mathematicians misinterpret Einstein.  Einstein said that X (the observer on the train) would see the light from the two strokes of lightning arriving at different times, while Y (the observer on he embankment) would see them arriving simultaneously, because the two observers are in different frames of reference.  But Pine and other mathematicians say,
If X had the proper equipment to measure the speed of the incoming light signals from A and B, he would find that the speeds of each beam are the same, the normal speed of light.
And then their thinking really gets crazy:
Thus, both observers are entitled to adopt the perspective that they are at rest and the other is moving.
In other words, the person on the embankment can "correctly" state that he is moving and the person on the speeding train is actually "at rest" or standing still.  That's just plain crazy!

Pine's book makes it very clear how the mathematicians twist things.  Einstein said the person on the train can be considered to be "at rest" in his frame of reference, and if he performs an experiment, he will get the same test results as the person on the embankment who is also "at rest" in his frame of reference.  HOWEVER, although the test results are the same, if they compare their input data, they will find that their data is different, which means their test results were actually also different. (Test results involving a measurement of time, specifically the length of a second at different velocities or altitudes, are the data that typically change the test results.)

Ronald C. Pine and mathematicians twist this to say that since both test results are "valid" in their frames of reference, that means all frames of reference are equally valid.  So, when we send an astronaut off into deep space, and the astronaut looks back and sees the solar system moving away from him, his view is equally valid to the people on earth who are watching the astronaut travel away from the earth and the solar system.  That's absurd.

It ignores all other science, specifically Newton's Laws of Motion.  FORCE was applied to cause the astronaut move off into space.  Not even a mathematician can argue that the same amount of force can move the solar system away from the astronaut.  So, one frame of reference is essentially correct and the other is basically just an illusion.  The mathematician's counter argument, of course, would be to simply repeat the part of Pine's book that I quoted above:

If Y is close to the equator of the Earth, he is moving at about 1000 miles per hour. From the point of view of the Sun, Y is moving at approximately 66,600 miles per hour. And from the point of view of the center of our galaxy, he is moving at a speed of over 500,000 miles per hour. Where is the right place? Why can't X assume that Y is the one who is moving?
In the grander scheme of things, it is certainly "possible" that the astronaut is actually traveling toward the spot where the Big Bang occurred, while the solar system (and most of rest of the universe) is moving away from the spot where the Big Bang occurred.  Thus, from that perspective (the Big Bang's "frame of reference"), the astronaut could be standing still while the solar system could be moving away from him.  BUT, without knowing exactly where the Big Bang occurred and how fast our solar system is moving away from that point, all you have is an absurd theoretical (or mathematical) argument.

Einstein was trying to bring things back reality.  Pine states in Chapter 8, on the subject of whether light is a particle or a wave,
Einstein viewed quantum physics to be an incomplete theory. He argued that we simply do not know enough yet. Our knowledge is not complete. Because we cannot produce a consistent picture of subatomic phenomena, we obviously do not know exactly what these things are yet and enough about the mysterious forces governing their motions and manifestations. Einstein summarized his view with the famous statement, "God does not play dice with the universe." In other words, God has created one universe and does not choose to have it manifest itself as full of waves at one moment and as particles at another for no reason.
The same argument can be made about "who is moving?".  We do not have enough knowledge yet to state with certainty that the astronaut cannot be standing still while the solar system moves away from him.  But that doesn't mean we have to consider that wild "possibility" to be proof that everything we do know has no value or importance.  We can admit our ignorance and state that, until solid evidence is found to the contrary, the astronaut is the one who is moving away from the solar system.    

But, unfortunately, in our world, admitting to ignorance of anything immediately gives your opponent an argument he can use to dismiss your idea.  We saw that with Trump arguing that the person who admits his guilt is "guilty" while the person who denies his guilt is not "guilty."

December 5, 2017 - This morning, as I was laying in bed waiting for it to be time to get up, an idea occurred to me.  The idea was an incredibly simple solution to the problem of how light "interference" patterns are created if "destructive interference" is impossible because "destructive interference" requires energy to be destroyed.  But, I can't describe what the idea is until I've thought it through a bit more.  It's like it is too simple.  And I don't want to have to describe how I made another mistake if the idea turns out to be nonsense. 

When I started researching the question of whether light is a wave or a particle (or a photon), I began with the first mysteries about light, which were questions about how light coming through a pinhole (as in a "pinhole camera") creates the reversed, upside down image on a wall.

pinhole camera 

That kind of science goes back to ancient times when they used pinholes to safely watch solar eclipses.  They still use it today.
watching solar eclipse through a pinhole camera

Thomas Young's first experiments in 1801 did not involve any "double slits."  He worked with pinholes, not with slits.  And he started with one pinhole.  He inserted a card edgewise into the beam of light coming through the pinhole. 

Thomas Yount's single pinhole and card
                  experiment.

What Young got was not a single shadow, but multiple shadows, which he called "fringes."

Instead of trying to figure out how the card experiment worked, he evidently decided it was due to light arriving as waves, and he then set out to prove his decision was right. 
And he switched to using two pinholes, which other people eventually turned into two slits and the "double slit experiments."

But how does the card experiment work if light does NOT consist of waves, but of photons?  That's the question I need to think through.

It seems I now have the time to work on it, since it appears that the arguments I was involved with on Google's Science, Physics & Relativity discussion forum have ended.  I seem to have ended one of them by responding to a comment from "Lara Ashline."  I'd written about finding a complete copy of the 1921 New York Times article titled "Einstein Defines the Speed of Light" on page 103 in a book titled
"Albert Meets America: How Journalists Treated Genius During Einstein's 1921 Travels."  Lara responded:
Good appendix.  It's because Albert made his theory published in an useless language, german. Nobody understood anything in it. He had to flee that hole, heading a civilized country, re-publishing it in English. Which explains its success. Thank you, making this point obvious for the uninformed.
And I responded by simply quoting from page x of the book's Forward:
"Distinguished European scientists had begun traveling to America in the previous two decades, received enthusiastically by an academic community eager to adopt the practice of research-oriented scientific education that had taken hold, primarily at German universities, since the late nineteenth century. Physics, and theoretical physics in particular, had experienced extraordinary growth in Germany since Hermann von Helmholtz, Felix Klein, Max Planck, and other distinguished physicists had started the intellectual revolution leading eventually to quantum physics and relativity, fields in which Einstein had made his most remarkable and lasting contributions between 1905 and 1915. It had been customary for American students to travel to the great chemical and physical laboratories of Berlin or Leipzig for postgraduate work and then to return and recast American science departments at MIT or Caltech on the model of German higher education, emphasizing independent research as an integral component of scientific education."
Evidently, my response made it perfectly clear who was "the uninformed."  The discussion ended there. 

December 3, 2017 - As part of my morning routine, during which I gather statistics for my web sites and blogs, answer emails and check various news sites, I also check Google's Science, Physics & Relativity discussion forum to see if anything of interest has been posted in the past 24 hours.  Yesterday morning, I noticed someone who calls himself "Pentcho Valev" had started yet another new link-filled thread.  He seems to start one or two threads a day, virtually all of them attacking what he calls "Einsteinians," i.e., people who Valev mistakenly believes support the theories of Albert Einstein.  In reality, most of the links and quotes Valev puts in his posts are about mathematicians who twist and distort Einstein's theories to make them fit Quantum Theory.

Yesterday, Valev started a brand new thread titled "Variable Speed of Light: Face the Fact, Einsteinians!"  In his initial post, Valev included two animated GIFs.  The first shows light being received by a stationary observer:

stationary receiver

The second animated GIF shows light being received by a moving observer: 

moving receiver

Valev then wrote this comment:

By observing the two indicator lights, you can see for yourself that, once more, there is a blue-shift - the pulse frequency measured at the receiver is somewhat higher than the frequency with which the pulses are sent out. This time, the distances between subsequent pulses are not affected, but still there is a frequency shift: As the receiver moves towards each pulse, the time until pulse and receiver meet up is shortened. In this particular animation, which has the receiver moving towards the source at one third the speed of the pulses themselves, four pulses are received in the time it takes the source to emit three pulses."  [END OF QUOTATION]

"Four pulses are received in the time it takes the source to emit three pulses" means that the speed of the pulses relative to the moving receiver (observer) is greater than their speed relative to the source, in violation of Einstein's relativity.
Valev doesn't provide any link to who or what he is quoting, but Einstein never said that the speed of light couldn't appear faster than c to moving observer.  That is the bogus claim made my mathematicians that I dissect in my paper about Einstein's Second Postulate.  Einstein explained many times (particularly in his train analogies) that light would appear to arrive faster than c if an observer was moving toward the source of the light.

So, for the first time since mid-October, I posted a comment on the forum, telling Pentcho Valev that he was mistaken:

How many times does it have to be explained to you, Pentcho, what Einstein wrote and how MATHEMATICIANS interpret what he wrote are VERY DIFFERENT.

Einstein's Second Postulate is:
"light is always propagated in empty space with a definite velocity c which is independent of the state of motion of THE EMITTING BODY."
It is the MATHEMATICIANS who spin that and claim that what Einstein really MEANT was:
"the velocity of light in free space appears the same to ALL OBSERVERS regardless both of the motion of the source of light and of the observer."
Einstein meant what he wrote.  The Mathematicians' version is STUPID.  But, it is also what is taught is most colleges around the world.
And, of course, the mathematicians in the group immediately started attacking me.  But then Valev responded with another link-filled post.  The last link in the post was to a New York Times article with this headline:

EINSTEIN DEFINES THE SPEED OF LIGHT; Says Its Velocity Is Relatively Variable Based Upon Whether System Is in Motion. HE ALSO DISCUSSES TIME The Faster the System Moves the More Slowly Time Passes, He Tells N.Y. College Faculty.

Unfortunately, I'm not a subscriber to the New York Times, so the text of the article wasn't available for my viewing.  But, that didn't prevent me from doing some searches to see if I could find a copy of the article somewhere.  I did.  First, I found five images of different sections of the article HERE.   The first image looks like this:

NYT article - part 1

Wow!  That's my Time Dilated Light theory.  The article is from page 17 of the April 19, 1921 issue of the Times, so it's also (somewhat) Einstein's theory.  But I'd never read about it anywhere -- as far as I can recall.  I deduced it from my theory that time is particle spin.  If time is particle spin (instead of distance or length, as Einstein proposed), then when light is emitted from an atom it should be affected by that spin.   If the light is from a star that is moving at high speeds, Time Dilation affects the light.  If light is from the top of a mountain versus the bottom of the mountain, Time Dilation affects the light.  The speed of light is how fast light travels in a unit of TIME.  And if TIME runs slower because the source of the light is moving fast (or because it is closer to a gravitational mass), then the light will travel slower.  Or as one of the headlines in the article above says, Einstein "Says Its [light's] Velocity Is Relatively Variable Based Upon Whether the System Is in Motion."

There seem to be pieces of the article that are missing, so I'm going to have to hunt for a better version (and any transcript of Einstein's talk I might find).  However, it is certain that the article ends with this paragraph:
Professor Einstein used mathematics to demonstrate the relations between moving bodies.  He said that time passed more slowly the faster the system moved.  The constancy of the velocity of light forced us to these conclusions by mathematical processes which admitted of no doubt, although direct experimental verification was not possible.
Where Einstein and I disagree is that I say that experimental verification IS possible.  It's not only possible, it's done virtually every day.  But no one does the comparisons.  They get the same speed of light when they measure it at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in mile-high Boulder, Colorado, as they do when they measure it at near sea level in New York City, yet they KNOW that time passes at different rates in those two locations.  And if the length of a second is longer in New York City, yet the speed of light per second is that same as in Boulder, then the speed of light must actually be slower in New York City. 

It's a terrific example of Relativity.  The speed-of-light test results are the same in the two frames of reference (NYC & Boulder), but, if they would ever compare the input data between frames, they would find that TIME (the length of a second) is different, therefore the results are NOT the same.  The speed of light is faster in Boulder than in New York City.

Not only that, in theory, the speed of light is different virtually everywhere, since virtually every point on Earth is either moving faster than another point (due to the Earth's spin and that fact that the surface of the Earth moves faster at the equator than away from the equator) or the point is either nearer or farther from the center of the Earth.

Why aren't they doing more tests to prove this?  It seems they do not want to upset the mathematicians who currently control things.  Or maybe they somehow believe that "direct experimental verification" is "not possible."  That is a really sad state of affairs.

ADDED NOTE: After writing the above comment, I did more research to see if I could find a better copy of the New York Times article.  I found the entire article was printed, starting on page 103 in the 2006 book "Albert Meets America: How Journalists Treated Genius During Einstein's 1921 Travels," edited by József Illy.


Comments for Friday, December 1, 2017, thru Saturday, December 2, 2017:

December 2, 2017 - During breakfast yesterday morning, I finished reading the Kindle version of "The Explorers: A Story of Fearless Outcasts, Blundering Geniuses, and Impossible Success" by Martin Dugard.

The Explorers

It was a pretty interesting book.  Evidently, the author started out planning to write a book that was just about two explorers who tried to find the source of the Nile, Richard Burton and John Hanning Speke, but the book gradually expanded to include other explorers and other types of exploring.  Plus it contains a lot about the psychology of explorers and exploring.  I was particularly surprised to see this on page 88:
The difference between people like Burton, however, and those who don't make use of the brain's more freewheeling capabilities, is a vestige of our primitive selves that has been dubbed "the reptilian brain" -- or more colloquially, the lizard brain.  This prehistoric portion of our brain is, quite literally, the sort of brain that a chicken or lizard possesses.  The lizard brain is devoted to staying alive and propagating the species -- or more specifically, to fear and pleasure. 
That's a variation on the idea that mankind is divided between "slow thinkers" who think logically, and "fast thinkers" who think emotionally (i.e., out of fear and pleasure).  I wrote a comment and a blog page about how Donald Trump seems to be someone who thinks emotionally instead of logically.  I got the idea from a book titled "Thinking, Fast and Slow."  It seems more true every day.

Anyway, I enjoyed the book.  It's really incredible how much pain and suffering explorers like Burton and Speke went through to get the "pleasure" and "glory" of being the first to find some spot in a jungle.  The odds seemed to be that they'd be chopped up for stew meat before they reached their goal, yet when they initially failed, they went back again and again.  Their "lizard brains" evidently wanted the pleasure of glory more than anything else life had to offer.

December 1, 2017 - Microsoft keeps changing things in their Windows software. I've noticed that lately I have to be more careful and "refresh" web pages more often when I access them.  Even my own web site.  If I access the main page after updating it, the updates may not appear.  Instead, I get the most recent "cache" copy that was stored inside my laptop.  I have to click on "Reload" to get the newly updated version from the website.  It's probably a way of saving time and bandwidth for people who view websites on their I-phones.  They instantly get a copy that is stored in their I-phone instead of going out and downloading a fresh copy every time they turn on their phone.  Windows has always been doing that, but something has changed to make it more noticeable now.

Some time within the past week they also changed how "Slideshow" and viewing photos works.  When I double-click on a photo I have stored in the "saved-misc-images" folder in my computer, the screen now looks like this:

slideshow full screen

The option bar at the top is different.  Some options are missing, but it also has some new options in the upper right corner.  Clicking on the new "Edit & Create" option shows this in the upper right corner:

slideshow edit options

So, I now have the ability to use the photo viewing software to crop and edit the photos.  I've been using paint.net for that.  Experimenting for about 10 minutes shows that the edit features I tried are very easy to use.  ADDED NOTE: These features may have been available for a long time, but I never noticed.

One feature that was formerly in the options bar at the top was "Slideshow."  It wasn't removed as an option, but you now need to right-click on the mouse to get the list of options that includes the Slideshow option. 

slideshow options

That also means that now when I go through images one by one, clicking on the arrow to change images, there are no menus or option bars blocking some of the picture or taking some of the screen space.  That's a very nice improvement.  There also used to be a 30 image limit to the fully automated slideshow.  But, that went away about 6 months ago.  Now, when I click on slideshow, the program starts showing me every photo in the folder, beginning with the one I just viewed, even if the folder contains 366 photos, as my "saved-misc-images" folder does, or 1,272 photos as my "astronomy" folder does.  (It seems that with most new computers, all those pictures might have to be stored on a flash drive, instead of on the computer's much smaller hard drive.)  Times are a changing.

Meanwhile, readers of this web site might recall that in the past I've mentioned several times how I get a lot of thinking done while I'm on the treadmill at the gym.  I wrote this on May 9th:

Yesterday, while doing my regular routine on the treadmill at the gym, I suddenly wondered what reaction my papers would get on the various science groups to which I belong on Facebook.
And I wrote this on June 23, 2016:
I used to get a lot of intense thinking done while walking on the treadmill and peddling the Exercyle at the gym.
A few days ago, I found that the audio book I'm currently listening to while driving contains this:
Recently, researchers have begun to investigate scientifically the link between walking and creativity. In a recent study, Stanford University psychologists Marily Oppezzo and Daniel Schwartz divided participants into two groups: walkers and sitters. They then administered something called Guilford’s Alternative Uses test, in which participants come up with alternative uses for everyday objects. It’s designed to measure “divergent thinking,” an important component of creativity. Divergent thinking is when we come up with multiple, unexpected solutions to problems. Divergent thinking is spontaneous and free-flowing. Convergent thinking, by contrast, is more linear and entails a narrowing, rather than an expanding, of your options. Convergent thinkers are trying to find the one correct answer to a question. Divergent thinkers reframe the question.

The results, published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, confirm that the ancient Greeks were onto something. Creativity levels were “consistently and significantly” higher for the walkers versus the sitters. Curiously, it didn’t matter whether participants walked outdoors in the fresh air or indoors on a treadmill staring at a blank wall. They still produced twice as many creative responses compared with the sedentary group. It didn’t take a lot of walking to boost creativity, either—anywhere from five to sixteen minutes.

And the book I'm currently reading on my Kindle says this;
An accumulation of life’s wisdoms prevents us from making the same mistake twice, or allows us the forethought to prevent that mistake from happening at all. Research has shown that this rational thought process can be assisted by aerobic exercise—running, long walks, cycling, paddling, and the like. These simple physical acts make changes to our body through the regulation of dopamine and serotonin, acting to reduce impulsivity and encourage wise decision-making.
Hmm.  I knew I was doing something right.  Now I just have to find some way to focus on revising my paper about the particles vs wave theories of light.  I was going to get to work on it first thing this morning, but then I started checking out the new slideshow features in Windows.  And then I wrote a comment about it.  And now it's time for lunch, after which it will be time to go to the gym.  Unfortunately, while walking on the treadmill and peddling the Excercyle might help me think, it doesn't help me to get done the actual work of writing.









© 2017 by Ed Lake
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