View Full Version here: : ITN: Hawking Radiation 'Observed' !

02-10-2010, 07:59 AM
In the News (how could I have missed this one ! .. dated Sept 28):

Physicists may have observed Hawking radiation for the first time (http://www.physorg.com/news204866995.html)

They created something called a "Refractive Index Perturbation" (RIP) in a dielectric substance, in which light can change the substance's refractive index. Interestingly, the RIP exhibited two event horizons (a black hole horizon and a white hole horizon). They also detected an unexpected photon emission which they've concluded was an indication of HR induced by the lab analogue of a black hole.

I wonder whether they were wearing a 'Fez' hat during the observations ?


02-10-2010, 10:36 AM
But Carl recently said something I feel could be applied to attempts such as we have before us so as to build in the lab a mini model of what could be expected to exist at larger scales ....(and his words could be said to be out of context in that when dealing with black hole science we are dealing with real science...:D)

to invent mechanisms pulled from a lab experiment and then somehow scale them up, with no consideration as to the the scaling difficulties which are inherently present in such an effort.

I know this is stirring the pot but I look forward to the well considered replies my comment/observation may generate;).

Yes it is cloudy here and I am bored :lol::lol::lol:


02-10-2010, 10:37 AM
Maybe one of the scientists was Tommy Cooper:):P

02-10-2010, 10:48 AM
Come on Carl have a strong coffee and pull your wonderful mind into gear and give me half a page of thought provoking comment raising points that will help all understand more about everything (and nothing).

Personally I dont like the concept that anything can escape our black hole I still think it offends the general premise of a black hole.

I think what is in operation is folk seeking to hang onto the coat tails of a great man and gain fame by proving him correct irrespective of the validity of the original premise....which is how black holes came into "reality" in the first place being a validation of GR in effect.

02-10-2010, 10:53 AM
Have you ever seen the Andrea Ghez videos of the observations of the centre of the Milky Way ? How do you explain the velocities and the movements of the stars there ?


02-10-2010, 10:53 AM
That's the proviso....if it is what they say it is.

You are right, Alex, in saying what I wrote in a previous thread still applies, however where my words could be said to be out of context, I don't see where in this case. The scientists are dealing with real science, just as my comments were dealing with real science. Black holes are real science...they are quantifiable entities and whilst their direct, visual presence (like here's the hole....nice black spot in space) hasn't been totally forthcoming, their indirect presence most certainly has been verifiably observed.

There's nothing unusual about event horizons in physics...anywhere there is a boundary condition either setup by the experiment or inherent in the system that is being observed, there will be an event horizon. So, the only thing that has to be proved in this case is that the RIP in the dielectric is, in fact, an event horizon. It most likely is, however the joker in the pack here is whether it is behaving like a BH's event horizon and the physics involved is similar.

02-10-2010, 10:54 AM
Well, Alex, Craig said one of them might be wearing a fez!!:):P

02-10-2010, 10:57 AM
“[W]e report experimental evidence of photon emission that on one hand bears the characteristics of Hawking radiation and on the other is distinguishable and thus separate from other known photon emission mechanisms,” the physicists wrote in their study. “We therefore interpret the observed photon emission as an indication of Hawking radiation induced by the analogue event horizon.”

The above sounds impressive but such a narrow interpretation will no doubt close the doors to any alternative interpretation one could reasonably conclude.


02-10-2010, 11:04 AM
Actually, Alex, something escaping a BH doesn't offend the general premise of a BH to begin with. It's a very common misconception of the public (and one, unfortunately, promulgated by scientists trying to be melodramatic about their science) that things cannot escape the pull of a BH. In truth, anything can escape the pull of a BH, so long as they have enough energy to keep from falling into and across the event horizon. Hawking Radiation forms from the creation of virtual particle pairs in the space above the event horizon of the BH. What happens is that one of the particles that is formed, loses energy and falls over the horizon, the other particle gains energy (transferred from the other particle) and escapes the BH. Over time this net loss of energy through the creation of virtual particle pairs robs the hole of energy (and therefore mass). The hole starts to shrink until it eventually gets to the stage where it's no bigger than a proton (and about as heavy as Mt Everest). Once it gets to that stage, the hole becomes unstable, the event horizon collapses and the hole explodes in a flash of gamma radiation...approximately equal to a 2 billion megaton (or so) nuclear device.

02-10-2010, 11:07 AM
I've been doing some research and reading on Scientific Modelling (following my post to Alex EU).

Here's a good paragraph to read (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_modelling#The_process_of _generating_a_model), Alex (Push). Try it on !

Here's another one (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_modelling#The_process_of _evaluating_a_model)

Have fun !!


02-10-2010, 11:09 AM
It's not so much as narrow, Alex, as it is exclusive of other mechanisms because its effects are not seen to be either causative of, or a result of the usual photon emission mechanisms.

02-10-2010, 11:12 AM
Yes I certainly have:thumbsup:...clear evidence in support of the push universe:D
I could explain such observations and fit them into a push universe and offer an alternative:D.. but lets face it you will probably suggest I am wrong and honestly Craig I could not manage the rejection I would take from such a rejection.:rolleyes:


02-10-2010, 11:16 AM
If you can demonstrate (& convince the community) that the model fits the description from Wiki I forwarded you in my last post, then I would have no objections !! I'd be a believer !! (Not that this counts for much .. :))



02-10-2010, 11:21 AM
That is very interesting Carl and not offensive to common sense or to the science:thumbsup:
However at the risk of appearing stupid yet again may I question the aspect of the explanation that suggests energy is "robbed" from the black hole by our virtual particle...do we not still have a point where the general premise is offended in so far as something still manages to leave that which can not be left? does this mean that energy can escape a black hole whereas mass cannot?
alex :):):)

02-10-2010, 11:24 AM
Energy and mass are equivalent, remember. If the hole loses energy through the loss of a virtual particle, it also loses mass in the process.

02-10-2010, 11:26 AM
Isn't a black hole defined formally as a singularity and an Event Horizon ?

We should stop using the term "Black Hole" as there's more to one than this term suggests ..


02-10-2010, 11:32 AM
Thanks for the help Craig:thumbsup:.
I would love to build a model of the push universe to test the stuff I run in my mind models;) via the neck top. The math would handle itself without interfering with testing various premises so any observation made of the behaviors observed in the model would already have the necessary supporting math.

I could then place a galaxy into a push environment and see if the outer stars would travel in accordance with the observations and thereby eliminate the current sad reliance upon dark matter to patch our present gravity models.

It would be great to see if my concept of a black hole is supportable and capable of generating the "jets" via an alternate approach.


02-10-2010, 11:36 AM
Yes of course Carl:thumbsup:.
The point I am really attempting to make is I see little need to draw in Hawking ..their experiment is exciting in its own right and I feel the attempt to throw Hawking radiation into the mix really takes away from their work.


02-10-2010, 11:36 AM
That it would !!

The 'Alex jet model' we'd call it !!

Love to see it in action !!

PS: I'm enjoying this one !!

02-10-2010, 11:38 AM
Actually, the only BH that has a formalised singularity is a non rotating BH that obeys the Schwarzchild Metric. Since BH's will be rotating (because they formed from a rotating object), the actual presence of a singularity can be called into question. If defined, the singularity will not be a point but a ring shaped object because the hole is rotating. So, the physics of the "singularity" are different and the maths describing are as well. A BH with these characteristics obeys the Kerr Metric (discovered by Roy Kerr back in the early 60's). These types of BH's are a little more complicated than your Schwarzchild hole.

In any case, if you have a complete law of quantum gravity, you can dispense with the singularity altogether because at a quantum level, the energy and mass of the hole become part of spacetime/superspace.

02-10-2010, 11:39 AM
mmm I think Craig is running close to the edge of political correctness... one could read all sorts of things into such these days... never liked them myself the tassels look girly:D.


02-10-2010, 11:43 AM
Kristian Birkeland was always photographed wearing one whilst performing experiments on plasmas whilst investigating auroras … knowledge I have gained … courtesy of the other Alex (EU).
PS: Still, it is scientifically, politically incorrect !!

02-10-2010, 11:45 AM
You can't separate the experiment from the existence (putative or otherwise) of Hawking Radiation. That'd be like saying we can see the Sun shine, but we can't have photons being involved:)

02-10-2010, 11:46 AM
But if it's Cooper, at least we'll get a laugh out of it:):P

02-10-2010, 11:48 AM
That says it all...one big laugh:):P

02-10-2010, 12:06 PM
This is a valuable piece of information.

.. Probably the most valuable since the original post !
Thanks (again) Carl.

02-10-2010, 12:09 PM
Craig I have no desire or need to convince anyone of anything:eyepop:.

All that is important is that folk understand I am right:lol::lol::lol: and for them to also realize their approach will be no different than mine;)... few believe the reality they have constructed is not the best and the most correct...my study of science politics religion and humans in general suggest this to me.

I have learn t that finally even science depends a great deal upon belief and faith ...and I know folk get outraged if one suggests our science requires faith and belief but those folk must accept that even science is subject to such mechanics of interpreting our "reality". The advantage with science is there is observation and evidence to support the beliefs we arrive at... but finally a belief is born and when that belief plays in the game the evidence that brought that belief into being is not dragged out for review.. that is the beauty of belief we believe our science and the painstaking methods, experiments etc that got us to this point such that we do not need to review it daily...that is good and it is a pity that religion and politics dont follow the opposite;).

AND that means ...if you accept that your belief is say gravity works via attraction then nothing I say do to prove the opposite will change your mind..because my approach offends a basic belief... (that a force of attraction is available to explain observations)..my belief is simply that the observations support push rather than attraction...much like the EU folk have a basic belief as to how it woks we all hold a basic belief..it simply comes down to belief in so many respects and belief can not be changed from external pressure it can only come from change within..a personal thing we could say...I doubt if someone from EU will all of a sudden abandon the premise of electricty controls everything because their belief turns on that point... Just as with GR inspite of its complexity there is a point of acceptance that it is valid..so we believe in it and our experiments etc support the belief that it works.

I site the arguments that go on within the realms of current and acceptable and legitimate science but upon areas less contentious... there are various views within and upon big bang theory and yet all subscribe to the idea as such but the big bang will remain a given and it is the finer points that may come into argument.. scientist will have different views even when the nature of science suggests there will only be one truth...well there is only one truth but who knows what it is really.

As to areas that suggest extreme gravity (black holes) I can only present a model of something that one can not see other than relating its presents to observations of its apparent effect on bodies nearby:rolleyes:...


02-10-2010, 12:25 PM
Oh boy … here we go again .. !
I've mellowed a bit lately, Alex .. probably a result of eating a bit of humble pie over the last couple of weeks. Also from wrangling with Bert who has no room for faith (especially in Science) and Carl, who believes life can exist on an exoplanet in a 'habitable zone' and Alex (EU) who's into modelling.

So I think I might not bite this time !!

Let me ask ya a useful question … Do you think IIS would benefit from having an Alternative Science Forum, which would allow your kinds of ideas to develop and be tempered ?

I know some consider this heresy but its only a question to one of those who I can see might enjoy such a forum.


02-10-2010, 12:28 PM
I wish I felt confidence enough to disagree Carl.
Consider this however.
Say we did not have Prf H's input and at this point we know nothing of Hawking radiation..what then?
Well we have an observation that does not have to be interpreted in the context of HR......

02-10-2010, 12:48 PM
Hang on a minute …
That's not even a valid thought exercise !
These guys are querying into whether predictions from Hawking can be verified, or not.
Your thought exercise is mixing different phases of the process up and then trying to compare the results ?? This process is illogical !
PS: Bit at that one !! Ain't lost the passion, yet !! ;)

02-10-2010, 01:04 PM
That's your belief Alex not science. This is circular logic also employed by the other Alex who suggests that mainstream science operates like a belief base system through mathematics, but then we spend billions of dollars on experiment and observation. By doing that we are actually questioning the theory, so it cannot by definition be based on belief in the first place.

What's this about reviewing experiment/observation daily? If you don't like the answer then let's just continue the experiment/observation in the hope it's wrong and it comes up with an answer that supports our own beliefs.

It appears you are projecting your own prejudices on science.



02-10-2010, 01:18 PM
I think an Alternative Science section sounds appealing but I feel the reason for implementing such is the only matter that needs to be addressed.

AND that reason has more to do with managing personalities as opposed to doing something constructive with alternatives available.

I believe no one even in this most wonderful age has all the answers irrespective of the evidence they present.

GR EU or PU probably all hint at a truth we will never arrive at...

I am always suspicious of someone who believes they really have all the answers and even more suspicious of someone who explains all in the context of their beliefs to the exclusion of alternatives..that is a religious approach and when science becomes dogmatic it becomes even less than religion.

the problem for humans not science but the way humans site their beliefs as solid science...how many folk site GR and dont have a clue whats contained in the 11 field equations..they believe it is right on others views not their own investigation.... and I am not saying GR is not correct but how many folk understand it..few..
Science is as it is and how we interpret observations is what we need to be careful about...and clearly irrespective of your universe we all have the propensity to cherry pick to establish our view over others... GR is as guilty as Eu in my view but it is the people not the science where the problem lays.

I think this forum works very well simply because it enables folk with different approaches to interact... I think we have a wide selection of people who read or participate... and therefore learn of others views and approaches...

Folk think science is infallible (and it is without humans) such that anything that suggests that the humans working upon that science were wrong means we need an alternative...when in truth there will be only one truth... I like to think that science unlike religion and politics is open to various interpretations.

Big bang is a theory with a great deal of evidence in support and is right or wrong but how will we ever know...we can not so to hold anything as alternative suggests BB is fact beyond question... I dont think science can be happy with closing off inquirey and to settle upon something as fact is stupid.

This forum only suffers from folk getting upset with others not accepting the view they present as correct... I dont care if my views are not accepted and I dont need to destroy the EU in order to push a PU or a GR universe... I like to think I can learn something from everyone who makes a comment... be that a a fact or to observe good or objectionable behavior ... live and let live, treat all with respect irrespective of your belief that they are wrong or right.

If I were to only be involved in say alternative science sites (alternative cosmology site is a great example) I would become opposed to GR and never learn about it ... I am sure GR Eu and PU all have something of value so segregating "science beliefs" may not be useful to me personally.

Being mellow is good to provide the patience to suffer a view one can find offensive to held beliefs and maybe give time to hold respect for the presenter of even for the craziest of ideas...

02-10-2010, 01:43 PM

There are so many things I don't agree with in your response that I just think I'll stick with this point (for the moment):

I understand your perspective and appreciate your thoughts.
Let me now present a couple of the reasons I see, (as distinct from your assumptions on my reasons):

- those developing alternative ideas should have the right to do this, in an environment which allows them to do so. Sometimes, most of these ideas are not well formed and these 'ideas' folk know it. This constantly gets interpreted by mainstreamers as matured thinking, which was never the intent;

- mainstream science is far more advanced in this regard and thus, has much of the 'ideas' and 'process', ground already covered. People would like to further their knowledge in mainstream science and would like to do this without having to regress into philosophical debate every time a new mainstream concept presents itself.

It would seem that separation of the two would provide far more satisfaction and a more efficient learning environment for both camps.

I'm sure I can think of many more reasons but these are the first, now that I've had a ponder.

It all depends on the views of the community. Astronomy and Astrophysics on the other hand, may be the only interest of the IIS folk. Somehow, I also feel the community interactions about non-Astronomy topics, hint at the likely interest in other topics.

A forum with a separate header such as "Alternative Ideas", at least, sets the expectations of the readers/posters before they step into something with other assumptions in mind.

Cheers & Rgds.

02-10-2010, 01:46 PM
[QUOTE=sjastro;641180]That's your belief Alex not science. This is circular logic also employed by the other Alex who suggests that mainstream science operates like a belief base system through mathematics, but then we spend billions of dollars on experiment and observation. By doing that we are actually questioning the theory, so it cannot by definition be based on belief in the first place.

I can see your point Steven and I am not in disagreement at all...
other than my approach is nothing like Alex EU...

What's this about reviewing experiment/observation daily? If you don't like the answer then let's just continue the experiment/observation in the hope it's wrong and it comes up with an answer that supports our own beliefs.

My point is we believe or more correctly know what we have arrived at to date is valid (because of the reasons you out line) and needs no review but is material we can rely upon to carry us forward and in this context I say that is our belief is science..we know its been done correctly and tested via math and reviewed by a peer group who can point out any error in the steps we take...so we believe (and entitled to do so) that to the current point we are on solid ground... GR holds true etc so we dont have to question that belief daily, we know what is there has been reviewed tested etc which enables us to believe we are on solid ground... our belief is simply that we have assembled stuff correctly to date.

I do not have the problem with math folk attribute to me...I believe for goodness sake... I made a comment once that math proves the premise and I dont sort through the math because I know (or believe the math will be supportive etc) that is a statement that I accept the maths without question really as backing up a premise and the folk doing the math are absolutely credible.

It appears you are projecting your own prejudices on science.

I deny I hold any prejudices on science or anything or anyone for that matter. I do accept I can be misunderstood ...but remeber this Steven my questions have been to seek answers rather than to destroy anything and you have always been helpful. It worries me that you perceive me same as ALEX EU that is not my style


02-10-2010, 01:54 PM

Does it worry you to have your views referred to as pseudoscientific views?

(Just wondering).


02-10-2010, 02:05 PM
You certainly present a compelling proposition Craig.

I like less rather than more.

I can see how professionals could be frustrated by folk with only a casual interest however if one were to open a thread on say ..er push gravity:D..then I am sure that title would alert professionals to stay away... and I know often they can not resist such a interesting concept...or EU how interesting that such a body of thought is out there...
AND it is good to have folk like Carl, Steven, Bojan and your good self to say hold on consider this or that...

I mean if in general chat I read a title "2012 the end of the world" that would flag for me not to open it and bother myself about all that 2012 crap and the foolishness that is drawn to it.

This forum runs rather well and although we may see each other as having different or conflicting views I think it is all good. I dont mind reading Carl' and ALexEU going at it... I dont mind seeing a little passion in a subject usually associated with dullness... I learn a great deal from here and think IIS is perfect beyond improvement I guess.


02-10-2010, 02:09 PM
ALSo maybe by having laymen engage a professional it could remind the professional that they may also require skills of argument and presentation that shows them in a better light such that folk understand the valuable work that is being done in science... science journalism perhaps causes problems that someone here can dispel.

02-10-2010, 02:36 PM

A simple answer would be yes in so far as I do feel folk give me little credit to the reading and attempts I make to understand science and my insistence upon scientific method... so it hurts I guess when folk think you are the opposite.. I dont buy anything unless it has evidence proof etc...I present my ideas but have always recognized their lack of science method and called them ideas and speculation

I have always presented my ideas as ideas and speculation with absolute recognition of scientific method and requirement.

My outbursts against inflation theory and dark matter is because I believe scientific method has been thrown out...Similarly I get upset that string theory is called such as it has no support via experiment or observation..to me it is no more than speculation and no matter how grand the math string theory fails to provide the basic requirements of scientific theory but I accept that I am getting caught up in the words used and that is silly. But these folk should know better than me that they speculate and what they present is not theory... I cant call my speculation theory why can they...and you are a string theory guy... no problems but I would call upon you to help me past how they get away with calling it theory...

As to my ideas being stupid I did say the pioneer would slow and they did...but that is treated as a mere guess.. I took a long time to make the call and having got it correct feel proud that I did... I feel I offer a reasonable explanation as to the Sun's corona which is dismissed without any other explanation on the books ... I say attraction has never been established as a force scientifically and that is a fact in my view. There is no experiment that prooves such a force...AND if attraction is real how does it work... Steven is the only person to offer a basis and experiment for attraction and I have asked that question over and over for years...so I find saying attraction is a force without an experiment objectionable... and although I disagree that the observations in Stevens experiment shows attraction it was wonderful to get a starting point on that aspect.

I dont find speculation upon a gravitational field consisting of some type of particle (push u) anymore difficult to accept than to speculate that dark matter is a given... I do not think GR and PU are in conflict.

Nothing worries me Craig but I do regard all here as very good friends and so when they think I am something I am not I feel "hurt" they dont understand the real me....

Still we have another thread running off the point and it is my fault...sorry my friends.

02-10-2010, 02:57 PM
I intended no offence nor did I want to hurt you, in any way. The question requires a knowledge of what defines 'pseudoscience', in order to answer it.

I don't know what to call string theory. However Steven pointed out the other day that whilst String Theory hasn't resulted in any testable predications, he did say something like:

"While we cannot directly observe the strings that make up String Theory, the effects of the strings may make the theory falsifiable.
For example QFT is unable to nail down the precise mass of the Higgs boson, but String Theory is able to accomplish this.
Is this analogous to the electron example? This is the debate."

I also found this the other day (http://www.universetoday.com/72531/scientists-say-they-can-now-test-string-theory/) …

I don't think it bothers me … like it did a few weeks ago .. does this mean I've mellowed, yet again ?

We only know you from what you write. Same goes for allof us… we are disembodied beings … minds driving keyboards in the aether ..

No worries … it was my thread. !!

Cheers, Regards and, I kind of enjoy rappin' with you !

02-10-2010, 03:18 PM
Pseudoscience is a claim, belief, or practice posing as science, but which does not constitute or adhere to an appropriate scientific methodology, lacks supporting evidence or plausibility, or otherwise lacks scientific status.[1]

Pseudoscience has been characterized by the use of vague, exaggerated or untestable claims, over-reliance on confirmation rather than refutation, lack of openness to testing by other experts, and a lack of progress in theory development. The term "pseudoscience" is inherently pejorative, because it is used to assert that something is being inaccurately or deceptively portrayed as science.[2] Accordingly, those labeled as practicing or advocating pseudoscience normally dispute the characterization.[2]

By one account, being able to tell science apart from "pseudo-science, such as astrology, quackery, the occult, and superstition"[3][4] is part of gaining scientific literacy. There is, however, disagreement among philosophers of science and commentators in the scientific community as to whether there is a reliable way of distinguishing pseudoscience from non-mainstream science.[5][6

The bold type probably catches me:lol::lol::lol:


02-10-2010, 03:22 PM
Just thought of something else …
I'm reading up on String Theory at the moment. I found this:

Two Complementary Questions:

Experimental Physics: How does the world work ?
- observe the universe;
- careful measurements
- is it reproducible ?

Theoretical Physics: Why does it work that way ?
- look for patterns
- mathematical models
- unified descriptions.

Food for thought. Whilst both questions are complementary, we should keep them separated in our minds as a way of recognising where particular scientific statements are coming from. "Truth" is not found in any of this.


02-10-2010, 03:24 PM
<<<gets the beat goin'>>>

"Ima model, you know what I mean, I shake my little tush upon the cat waaaaaaalk............":):P:P:P

02-10-2010, 03:28 PM
You must've missed out on our thread about "Fraud in Science".
Here's another one from that thread (we're all gulity of this one .. me included):


02-10-2010, 03:29 PM
OMG !!
He's baaackk. (Carl, that is)

02-10-2010, 03:35 PM
Thanks for that.
I have so many questions is my only problem and starting out with a belief that all answers were available if one looked and I find that is not the way it is...
I think I got off side with string theory via the Elegant Universe which was my introduction...I know it was to appeal to the general public etc but it just upset me with so many of the unsupported proposals they presented.
But its all good now.


02-10-2010, 03:46 PM
Yep, well Alex (EU) thinks he's too sexy for science:):P:P

02-10-2010, 04:37 PM
Although I do not agree with Alex’s Push gravity or other Alex’s Electric Universe I think that Alex makes very valid point about faith and science. It is not “circular logic” but rather holistic point of view based on life long observations of human society. Over and over in those discussions emerges the point of view that separates scientists from reset of the humanity. They do not have normal human failings. They are incorruptible, without self-interest and so on, with only the truth and nothing else then truth in they minds. Something like the politicians do like to present themselves. Well, regardless what path in our life we follow; we are only humans with all the faults (to large or lesser extend) that being human implies.
It got to the point when any other scientific discipline other then physics and mathematics is looked upon as if it was lesser science. History, Psychology and the Philosophy is just kind of pseudo science nonsense. Although they don’t say that, they imply it in their conclusions. And yet to understand the Universe we have to first understand ourselves. I would like to see the comment by Steven and Craig when they are in their sixties and seventies.
Equivalent of billions of dollars were spend many hundreds years ago by Crusaders to annex Holy land and to find Holy Grail. Probably even large amount of money has been spend to maintain believe that the Earth is the centre of the Universe.
The theoretical scientists are themselves to blame for ever-rising dissident against their theories and conclusions. If they communicated their theories in the form – according to our current level of technology and our understandings the Universe seems to work like this – it would be more acceptable then saying – we measured light curve of A1 supernova and there for GR and BB are correct (I do realise it is not as simple as this).
Few hundreds or thousands years from now most of conclusions of today’s Cosmology will be just as laughable as the concept of the Earth being centre of the Universe is today.

02-10-2010, 04:51 PM
The problem, Karl, is that many of us do communicate the science we study in just that way, but the public at large (no thanks to the media) still get the bull by the tail...most of the time. For the most part, the science has to be watered down, otherwise no one would understand it. But trying to couch it in terms that most people can understand is not an easy task...most scientists aren't equipped with the language skills or the right personalities to be able to do this effectively. Those that can are few and far between. Many are adequate enough to be able to manage, but for the most part to be really effective you have to have a rare combination of talent....Carl Sagan and David Suzuki come to mind as just such scientists. Brian Greene is another. Neil deGrasse Tyson is another as well.

02-10-2010, 05:16 PM
I do understand and accept what you are saying. I used to write user manuals (with my poor English) for the product we made. Simply, because no one else want to do it. It takes lot of though and effort to write manual that most of users can understand for something as simple as multifunctional timer. So I do understand the difficulty to explain very complex ideas behind today’s physics and cosmology. However, those researches are mostly funded by general public in one form or other. It is extremely important that the conclusions of such a research is presented to the public as “ current understanding” and not as final and absolute truth.

02-10-2010, 05:24 PM

I find a have a much more humanistic approach to most issues arising in this forum, compared with others, and I frequently express this.

I'm feelin' ya, man !!

But at times the application of logic leads to clarity.

Peer review, in Science, keeps most authors honest.

I agree that clear communication requires a deep familiarity with the games we humans play as a good self-check. Sometimes self-checks are not enough when it comes to Science.

PS: Age has little to do with it. Wisdom does. Cheers.

02-10-2010, 05:31 PM
Nothing we presently know is final or absolute, just as it was 100 years ago and so it will be in a 100 years time. For anything to be final and absolute requires that science, or the people undertaking it, be omniscient. However, all we have to go on is observation, experimentation and theory and none of those would allow for any omniscience. If you were, you wouldn't need them.

02-10-2010, 05:35 PM
Yes, logic. Listen to the man:)

02-10-2010, 06:34 PM
It is interesting how we can happily entertain star trek .... and curious that many of the things they speculated upon are now realities (inventions not life forms)

02-10-2010, 06:42 PM
Man … Star Trek is 'The Source' …. !!
Get with the flow, man !!


02-10-2010, 06:44 PM
Yep, dreams do and can become reality:)

What was once impossible and/or outlandish may some day be commonplace and normal.

Science, invention, technology and the drive to wanting to know what's over that horizon is what makes things happen.

02-10-2010, 07:44 PM
To be omniscient is to be a God. Lot of humanity strives for it and it is not bad goal as long one realises that there is very very long way to go to achieve this. If ever. But it keeps the humanity going forward.

Craig, to be wise at age twenty is as just as unlikely as being good driver at age 6. You need accumulation of good and bad experiences, disappointments and downright betrayal. Lots of time to observe and to understand yourself, the world and the society around you.
Since age of about 5 I was atheist. My granny’s readings from the Bible seems to me to have something unreal in it. So I reject it.
My parents used to scare me that if I don’t behave, when the Saint Nicolas comes (on 6 December - you don’t observe this in Australia) the devil will smack me with his broom. Right, I thought to myself. I got one of the kitchen knives and stuck it underneath of kitchen table. When St Nicolas and the devil came to our place I dived under the table, got the knife and went for devil (my aunt in devils costume). Lucky they disarmed me before I could do some real damage.
Until about ten years ago I was describing myself as an atheist. Then I had good look on my believes. And I come to conclusion that I’m a hypocrite. I did vehemently deny existence of any god without any proof of it. So I had to modify my worldview and describe myself as Agnostic. I still don’t believe in existence of superior being – but it is just my believe, not the knowledge.
When you are four years old you would not think twice to step on the road in front of 20 tons truck doing 80km/h. As you grow older you will learn what is possible and probable and what is not. Most of it without using any mathematic. It is called common sense. And with ever decreasing exposure to adverse conditions most of today’s society seems to sadly lack of it. As the years go by and our experiences and education accumulate, some of us will develop holistic point of view on the world around us. I do not claim that this point of view is going to be free of bias resulting from our experiences. But worldview of seventy years old person will reflect more accurately workings of world that surround us then point of view of someone who is twenty years old.
I must add that when I was twenty I would vehemently disagree with mayself.

02-10-2010, 07:56 PM
Let me read in between the lines.

Since human nature has crept into this thread, let's throw in the Tall Poppy Syndrome for good measure. Scientists make easy targets for individuals who resent the fact that they (the scientists) may excel in areas that are beyond others.
It's interesting that you should equate scientists with politicians given that it is human nature to resent individuals that are in positions of power irrespective of how good or bad the individual may be.

They don't say it but they imply it....:shrug:. Who are "they" exactly and why should this be the case.

For your information Philosophy makes up a large percentage of Mathematics.

Inflation theory wasn't developed by a cosmologist or a mathematician but by a particle physicist. The mechanism behind co-valent chemical bonding wasn't done chemists but by physicists and mathematicians. The synthesis of increasing heavier elements in nucleur physics is a task performed by both physicists and chemists. There are stacks of other examples. One of the strengths of science is the co-operation between different disciplines.

What is your opinion based on?

The appeal to the common man is one of the mantras of pseudoscience.
Science doesn't have to convince Mr Average or engage in popularity contests. If 99% of the population doesn't understand GR it doesn't make GR wrong. Ninety nine percent of the population doesn't understand brain surgery either, yet the vast majority will put their lives in the hands of a skilled surgeon if necessary.

And you know this? The ancient Greeks to their credit at least attempted to rationalize the Universe unlike those who know nothing at all or left it to the supernatural.

Newton's theories have been around for 300 years, no one is laughing yet.


02-10-2010, 08:10 PM
So Karl;

You are saying that a youth is incapable of exhibiting wisdom ?

I say wisdom is a perspective able to be acquired .. just like science or mathematics.

It also involves awareness and perceptiveness. Perhaps evolution has bestowed these upon us.

I have met wise twenty year olds. How can that be ?

To say otherwise is denying youth its ability to self-guide, develop and interpret the world around it.


02-10-2010, 09:19 PM
Steven, I do appreciate that we always had different point of view on almost anything. You may be under false impression that I do resent your talent and knowledge of mathematics. Far from it I do admire your talent and ability. But not everyone can be good musician, singer, mathematician, writer or any other of human endeavour in which some excel and some do not. Beside of hard work it takes talent to be good on something.
You don’t need to read between the lines – I do not refer to “ Tall poppy syndrome” I was simply saying that Alex makes very valid observation about science and faith. I do also believe that Alex got Degree in Law and dismissing his observation about human nature of scientist and faith is just as bad as him dismissing the nature of gravity.
Unless you disagree ( peer reviewed paper required) scientists are humans. Therefore any observations of human behaviour is just as valid for scientist as it is for politicians, cleaners, bus drivers, police officers or people in any profession you can think of.
If you consider yourself different – I got no problem with that, as I don’t know you personally. But for the rest of the scientific community – they exhibit same good and bad traits as rest of the humanity.
Science doesn't have to convince Mr Average or engage in popularity contests.
Yes it does. If it is funded by public money. Try to make living working in any company that derive their income from the public and use your Mr Average philosophy. I wonder how long you are going to last in your position.
If the project it is funded by private funds the scientists working on it got right to be as arrogant and dismissive of the Mr Average as they wants to be.

02-10-2010, 09:51 PM
Craig – generally speaking – yes. And as I have say previously some forty years ago I would vehemently disagree with what I’m saying now. But it is not that simple.
You are well read guy and most likely in your tweenies. Your interests encompass astronomy and physics. You know more then I can ever hope to know about those subjects. Does it make you “wise”? No – as I see it. But because of not being “wise” you may purse idea that “wise” man would consider hopeless. You may succeed or you may fail, but you have taken path that wise man would not. In that endeavour you may contribute to the cumulative human knowledge and taken further to being “wise”

03-10-2010, 06:04 AM

One needs to differentiate between Science and scientists. Scientists being human beings have all the frailties of others and some scientists may operate on the basis of faith. However Science itself doesn't work that way.

Science is greater than the individual. Considering that scientists are a collection of atheists, agnostics, religious fanatics, moderates, left wing, right wing, anarchists, royalists etc, doesn't leave much scope for the influence of the individual.

The Scientific Method doesn't allow Science to develop into a dogma. A theory stands or falls through observation or experiment. If Science is dogmatic then there is no necessity for experiment or observation.
Hence my earlier reference to Alex's comments being a circular argument.

No it doesn't. The public doesn't determine the budget strategies of governments. A certain percentage of the budget is allocated to Science. Science needs to convince the politician for funding, not Mr Average.

For being a "clever country", the percentage of GDP invested by Australian goverments in Research and Development is low when compared to other major economies.



03-10-2010, 08:33 AM

Wisdom is a human quality available to all. Knowledge is part of what defines wisdom, as are: perceptiveness, self awareness (identity), freedom of choice, questioning, values and decision, just to name a few.

All of these are available to youth, because I say so.

They are not available to youth because you say so.

Which of these perspectives is the wiser ?


03-10-2010, 10:55 AM
And now, we've got someone "hawking" radiation!!!!:):P

I wonder how much they're selling it for??:):P

03-10-2010, 10:20 PM
I always am rather amused when people want us scientists to explain our work to them in detail. I would have difficulty explaining what I did for work all my life to third year University science students. They just do not have the tools or basic knowledge to fully comprehend. A hand waving type explanation does not cover the depth let alone the breadth of cutting edge research. Three years working in the lab with at least an MSc and you might pick up a rudimentary knowledge to at least start to understand some of what is going on.

How many people here can tell me how their mobile phone works, remote control for any appliance, jet airliner etc etc and last but not least the computer you are reading this thread on. Your explanation should be good enough to build a working example to someone who has never seen one before. One intelligent layman to another and you would both be struggling to get to a basic diagram let alone a real solution.

The vast majority of members of our modern society do not have a clue how even everyday stuff works. They all take it for granted and then have the nerve to say that science is boring!

I have even been told by young people that I was just jealous because I did not have computers and mobile phones when I was a teenager like them. I simply ask them who invented all these devices your generation takes for granted. They are shocked when I tell them it was our generation wot did it.

Science is not obvious by applying common sense as most of science is counterintuitive.

This is alright for vacuous stuff like philosophy and religion as it is just circular arguments of made up stuff to prove other made up stuff by applying logic and common sense to argue what is total nonsense. It is all delusion posing as logical thought.

All that matters is more real knowledge backed up by real experiments!

As for the results or inferences of this experiment to simulate an event horizon by cunning manipulation of photons and matter I would like to see some sort of control experiment. Are these photons produced in the system when the 'simulated event horizon' is not there?

Anyone remember M rays?


04-10-2010, 08:50 AM
I'd like to raise the point that Science is rooted in Philosophy. The philosophical principles (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophy_of_science) behind science are a vital basis which separate Science from religion/belief. We need to re-inforce these philosophical differences, by demonstration (if that involves using logic, so be it). Not doing this, will result in science being seen alongside all of our other delusions, and will collapse. This is the real issue I see that we are confronting in these conversations. Therefore, questioning the philosophy underpinning science is a valid/useful exercise. (Albeit, very tiresome :) )

After reading thru the paper again, it seems that the Event Horizons were created because of (a) the dielectric chosen and (b) because of the use of carefully, (intentionally), selected laser pulse characteristics. Thus, if either of these do not meet certain specifications, no Event Horizons could be inferred, and thus no photons with Hawking Radiation characteristics (?)

Have to read up on that one !

Cheers & Rgds

04-10-2010, 08:54 AM
Philosophy is vacuous? Is this a blanket statement about philosophy or does it relate to certain areas of philosophy?


05-10-2010, 04:17 PM
I did not want to denigrate philosphy per se, just the misuse by many for their own ends. The term circular is the important word. Then it becomes vacuous.

I was still amazed at the fool who said that Dawkins is ignoring philosophy and religious knowledge so everything he says is wrong!
This from people who have invisible friends.

Lately I have been amazed at the total lack of knowledge with optical fibre vs wireless claims, where the proponents of wireless and copper wish to overturn the laws of Physics as far as bandwidth is concerned. They always allude to some yet undiscovered technology that can be better than optical fibre when applied to radio or satellite transmission.
This statement is made as fact when they do not even understand the current technology.

I won't go on as I will wear out my keyboard.

I do realise that nothing we observe is real as it is all based on our senses and our brain just interprets the stream of neurones firing.
Or are we in someone elses dream?
Nothing is therefore real?

A firm smack will restore reality to this sort drivel!