Friday, May 30, 2008

Crime Scene Investigation

Missing Energy! Whodunit?I recently talked to a friend who is all into crime novels and he continues to recommend books despite my obvious disinterest. I keep telling him I'm not much into whodunits, yawn, I spend my whole day investigating suspects and trying to figure out why they disagree and what the real story is. True, the suspects are the assumptions I've used and not the gardener and the wife's lover, but anyway. Then he goes on, yesyes, but did you read...?

Then I coincidentally came across an article titled "Even Scientist's Can't Decide". The crime committed in this title is the word 'even'. What it signals to me is that scientists are expected to present unchangeable facts. Fundamental truths. Possibly it has been the case for centuries that indeed when scientific research reached the public it was the already well established knowledge. Scientists have found. And what the scientists say is not to doubt. Reliable. Does not change from one day to the next. At least not generally. And if it does we call it a revolution and put it on the front page.

What is the image of the scientist that is distributed in the media today? A white haired man in a lab coat explaining you'll be happy for the rest of your life if you only eat two apples a day and brush your teeth three times, at least two minutes. And don't forget to floss. And btw, of course you shouldn't just take any toothpaste, but dentists recommend. Clinically proven. Trust him. He's a scientist. I encourage you to do a Google image search for 'scientist' - tells you all you need to know.

But look now, what ever happened to science? Nowadays, even the scientists can't decide! What is the world coming to! We can as well go back to superstition or religion. At least then we have fundamental truths. Unchangeable facts. It's so disturbing if the rules change over time, let's look them up in a book that's at least 2000 years old and not question them. What does the bible say about brushing your teeth?

So, look now, what ever happened to science? Nothing. But presenting only the outcome leaves out the process. And today when every piece of discussion is documented and reaches the public almost immediately, I'd think it's about time that people begin to understand how science works, and that investigation takes time during which there is uncertainty.

Of course scientists disagree with each other. They argue about the interpretation of facts, they argue about data analysis, they argue about the assumptions in their calculations, they argue about which approach is more suitable for which problem, or which conclusion more plausible, who said what first, and which place to go for dinner. You should be worried if they didn't argue, because that's what keeps science alive and healthy. And while scientists investigate the evidence and look for missing pieces their opinions might differ and change.

These processes take time. Questions can be around for decades and they get settled only gradually, until they become established knowledge.

Take for example neutrino oscillations. In first experiments starting with Raymond Davis in 1968 it was found that neutrinos from sun were only measured to be about one third of the prediction, which became known as "The Mystery of the Mission Neutrinos". It was proposed the observations could be explained with neutrinos decaying, or oscillating, or maybe there's something we don't understand about the sun, or maybe the measurement is just wrong. People discussed back and forth. Even I recall that the situation was far from clear and there was a lot of argumentation. More experiments were done. It was shown the effect can occur also for neutrinos from reactor sources and not from the sun. It was observed for neutrinos of different energies. It was shown that not only neutrinos of one flavor go missing, but instead they change into different flavors. The measurements were reproduced numerous times in dozens of experiments. The theory about neutrino oscillation became gradually more established. Today it's textbook stuff. (For a very nice introduction, see John Bahcall's Nobel Lecture - is it a coincidence he chose detectives as illustration?)

Another more recent discussion is the GZK-cutoff, a sudden drop in the spectrum of ultra-high energetic cosmic rays when the energy of the incoming proton exceeds a certain threshold energy. Predicted in the late sixties, it has been claimed to be there, to not be there, then to definitely be there, but there's still people who discuss it as I saw in a paper that was on the arXiv yesterday.

Is there a CMB background or is it pigeonshit?

Or take the Pioneer anomaly. Is it a real effect? Or a systematic problem in the data analysis? Is the situation settled?

Following these discussions and being part of the search is without doubt one of the most exciting aspects of being a scientist. It's quite addictive to hear what's going on, what came out of this experiment, who has a new argument, how does it fit in and what does this mean. And in the age of infotainment when busy bloggers pass on gossip from the corridors to the whole wide world, this search can pretty much be followed by everybody who is interested.

There's two way one can deal with topics that are currently under investigation. One option is to just not talk to the public about anything before there is an established scientific consensus. Problem is, this would make many science journalists unemployed, cause bloggers and their readers withdrawal symptoms, and besides this a public interest in recent scientific research is beneficial for both sides. There would also be the problem to decide when the dust has settled enough, and whether or how that could be decided. This sounds very unappealing to me.

Then the remaining option is learning to live with arguments and uncertainties that come with transparency. That means dropping the idea that scientists are judges instead of crime scene investigators, or have to decide for either side when they instead are collecting the evidence.

“We are faced with all kinds of questions to which we would like unequivocal answers […] There is a huge pressure on scientists to provide concrete answers […] But the temptation to frame these debates in terms of certainty is fraught with danger. Certainty is an unforgiving taskmaker. […] If we are honest and say the scientists conclusions aren’t certain, we may find this being used as justification for doing nothing, or even to allow wiggle room for the supernatural to creep back in again. If we pretend we’re certain when we are not, we risk being unmasked as liars.”


Anomalous alignments in the CMB - who ordered that? Hole the size of the univserse missing! The Cosmological Constant: Wanted - Dead or Alive.

41 comments:

Phil Warnell said...

Hi Bee,


So you are not much interested in “who done its”, yet rather “what done its and how”. Personally, in as I am not a scientist, I have the luxury of being able to say I’m interested in “what done it and how,and also if there might be a reason it was done” :-)


Best,



Phil

Andrew Thomas said...

Very thought-provoking.

You have a happy and optimistic tone about science's ability to solve problems: "These processes take time. Questions can be around for decades and they get settled only gradually". But what happens if science can't answer a question?

I'm not as optimistic as your jaunty tone! We simply can't go on forever building larger and larger particle accelerators. We do seem to be coming to something an end of the experimental method in many areas. What happens if it's not so much "even scientists can't decide" but rather "scientists will simply not be in a position to decide for several centuries". Is the public just going to hang around for answers?

It's OK to say "science is going to have a degree of uncertainty" as you do (and that New Scientist article), but I'm not so keen on "these questions appear to be beyond science". I think that's a real problem. I don't like that kind of uncertainty at all.

Bee said...

Hi Andrew,

Interesting. I think nobody has ever called anything I said 'jaunty', so that's a first.

I didn't say science can answer all questions, and I certainly didn't say anything about the timescale. Instead, what I meant to say is that people have to live with the fact that you can't call up a scientist and ask for a final answer to whatever question, that's just not what science is about. Scientists don't reply with listing a lot of details because they want to annoy journalists but because that's the evidence they've collected. If one over-simplifies this process too much the outcome is a very distorted image of what science is. Basically I was trying to say, you can't leave out the story if you want to understand the status and just asking one or the other researcher what his opinion is doesn't accurately reflect the procedure.

Regarding the progress in theoretical physics, I think we shouldn't be too worried that we can't build arbitrarily large colliders. Unless the human race goes extinct fairly soon (which I regard possible, so much about my optimism) we'll find a way to examine more of nature's secrets some way. I think I've expressed previously many times that I believe the reason why there hasn't been much progress on the 'big questions' in theoretical physics for a while is partly due to the complexity of the problems, and partly due to the inappropriate organization of the academic system.

Best,

B.

X said...

Hi Bee,

Nice meet you again.

Bee:” What it signals to me is that scientists are expected to present unchangeable facts. Fundamental truths.”

The fundamental truth is not presentation of facts; the fundamental truth is presentation of the explanation of all known facts without exception.

Bee:” I encourage you to do a Google image search for 'scientist' - tells you all you need to know.

You suggest searching 12,500,000 pictures. I did that:

incredimazing.com/static/media/2007/10/16/f064a5e49e6446d/backmath.jpg

Now, the result is:
Did you mean: incredimazing.com/static/media/2007/10/16/f064a5e49e6446d/blackmouth.jpg

Your search - incredimazing.com/static/media/2007/10/16/f064a5e49e6446d/backmath.jpg - did not match any documents.

I was certain with this result in advance, just was curious to know whether I am right. “I am but mad north-north-west; when the wind is southerly I know a hawk from a handsaw.”


Bee:” Is there a CMB background or is it pigeonshit?”

Interesting and jaunty expression. Where you took it from?

Regards, Dany.

Bee said...

Hi Dany,

The fundamental truth is not presentation of facts; the fundamental truth is presentation of the explanation of all known facts without exception.

I did not say fundamental truth is a presentation of facts. There is a full stop inbetween these two items of the listing.

Best,

B.

Bee said...

The mentioning of the pigeonshit refers to an often told story that Penzias and Wilson when they detected the CMB radiation first blamed it on bird shit on their antennas. I have no clue whether they had pigeons around, but anyway. You find some notes on the history of CMB here.

Plato said...

I immediately thought of a painting that had to do with a "street scene." Can't recall the blog posting you did, but if I recall right it had to do about observations.

Lab coat and nerdy to boot:)

I mention this link to Clifford's "I am legend" because it is one of the only times that Clifford had responded on a level that he understood, I understood.

But congrats on your summation because this is a direction that I went. Laymen "can retrieve the consensus" as well, out of where research is going.

Your conversation about microstate blackholes was a case in point about understanding the fuller consequences of what the LHC represents and not just "boogie men.":)

"Jaunty" might be termed "the rant" and it is the truer source of information that comes out of you unimpeded. Is a very good way to reveal exactly what it is you know. Without of course "the emotive impetus and loss of control," what would it sounded like otherwise, Andrew?:)

Experimental processes used in respect of what nature is currently doing, and we are previewing what already exists in nature?:)

Plato said...

Ah! here it is.

The painting was called Crime scene.

Plato said...

Now if you were to think about adding that picture to your post it might become part of the evolution of this current post and your history?

This is what environmental scanning can do, and of course, a good memory about somethings.:) Links that we refer too and build upon, and conversations you had.

First there is the classroom and you guys all visit these lecture halls (the public can't in that sense) and in the purest content, do not have to worry about, but it is nice that you may these available by PIRSA. It would not hurt, to "include corrections" that were made, just as they update the entries on AXriv with notification.

The internet becomes a much larger Classroom just as this blog is, and in that considerations of the purest form, there is an introduction from that perspective which is always nice.

X said...

Hi Andrew,

“We do seem to be coming to something an end of the experimental method in many areas. I think that's a real problem. I don't like that kind of uncertainty at all.”

Don’t worry. Believe me, it can’t happen. Check a picture of the modern classical and quantum ED (classical and quantum optics, quantum computing, information, communication, etc.).

Notice the answer I received from computer:
“Your search did not match any documents.” That is the empirical way to know that C.E. Shannon answers are adequate.

Regards, Dany.

X said...

Hi Bee,

“The mentioning of the pigeonshit refers to an often told story that Penzias and Wilson when they detected the CMB radiation first blamed it on bird shit on their antennas. I have no clue whether they had pigeons around, but anyway. You find some notes on the history of CMB here.”

Bee, as an expert in “Experimental Evidence for Creation of the Universe through a Hot Big Bang” one should be careful with the definition of t=0. I know earlier source (perhaps pre Big Bang): “The First Three Minutes” (first ed., 1977, p.52-53; Bell Telephone Labs Photograph with Penzias and Wilson treating “a white dielectric material”).

For the curious layman: that is the experimental physics all about.

Regards, Dany.

Andrew Thomas said...

X, well, I guess I'm really thinking about the specific case of string theory which seems to be being presented to the public as "certainty" in the popular media when we've really got no hope of veryfying (or falsifying) it for decades or even centuries.

X said...

Hi Andrew,

“we've really got no hope of veryfying (or falsifying) it for decades or even centuries.”

Don’t worry. Believe me, it can’t happen. The theoretical physics community has marvelous ability to perform the spontaneous phase transitions practically instant. It occurs already several times during last 50 years.

Regards, Dany.

Andrew Thomas said...

Are you referring to this cosmic string universe in a test tube stuff: "There is evidence that M theory's extra hidden dimensions could be revealed next year when a Geneva atom smasher - the £4.4 billion Large Hadron Collider - begins experiments. But the Lancaster team offers another route to address this impasse. One idea is that a collision between a brane and an antibrane could have triggered the Big Bang itself. This can now be simulated in superfluid helium within the little test tube." It's all very ingenious - can you really prove string theory in a test tube, though?

X said...

Hi Andrew,

“Are you referring to this cosmic string universe in a test tube stuff?”

No, the mentioned above phase transition usually take place at room temperature. The coffee is considered a good catalyst.

Regards, Dany.

Andrew Thomas said...

I was wondering what you were on about!

stefan said...

Dear Bee,


thanks for the post, and the very appropriate examples - they are really great to show that things are often complicated and that it takes a long time and a lot of effort to figure out what is going on!

The "scientist" image search results are really scary.

Cheers, Stefan

X said...

Hi Andrew,

Let me describe an event that clarifies what the collective phenomenon is. Years ago I was traveling with my kids and friends in Egypt. The evening before we leaved Luxor we spent at small restaurant. My son ordered pigeon and was very pleased. Next day at 14 we were supposed to leave to Hurghada and Sharm.
I sent them at 12 to eat and remained at hotel check out and keep a luggage. At 13:45 they still were absent and I started to worry. At 13:50 they arrived after long run. I asked what the matter was. It turned out everybody ordered pigeons. The owner accepted the order and sent his workers catch all available pigeons at Luxor. It took some time. Finally they got their pigeons at 13:40 but they were totally uneatable.

Regards, Dany.

Phil Warnell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Phil Warnell said...

Hi X,

Totally unrelated yet I have to ask:

“The owner accepted the order and sent his workers catch all available pigeons at Luxor. It took some time. Finally they got their pigeons at 13:40 but they were totally uneatable.”

On the menu were they referred to as pigeon or squab? I ask since in North America if referred to as pigeon I wouldn’t expect they would be serving many.

Best,

Phil

X said...

Hi Phil,

“Totally unrelated yet I have to ask: On the menu were they referred to as pigeon or squab? I ask since in North America if referred to as pigeon I wouldn’t expect they would be serving many.”

IMO there is no more relevant question than that. Scientifically the story must be well defined first of all. Let me introduce the auxiliary definitions:
1)your question is related to the elementary particle components of the system;
2)the menu referred to pigeon;
3)evening before my son got a squab;
4)for the described event I lack the necessary information what was actually delivered; my guess that under circumstances it was not a matter (mixture);
5)North America is essentially different from Egypt: for the owner it was not a matter the money but the Eastern notion of self respect. In particular, the pigeons/squabs spent no more than three minutes on the pan but he proudly consider he solved rather difficult and unexpected problem.

Here are the roots of my arguments against Bee. I do not consider words as the matter of semantics but the matter of definition. If you noticed, we have no difference of opinions, but she uses rather journalistic style of expressions, for example, “fundamental truths”. For me it is the achievable top and the ultimate truth doesn’t exist. Any other intermediate steps should be described less bombastic.

Regards, Dany.

Phil Warnell said...

Hi Dany,

I’ll give you credit for being able to focus on almost anything and somehow claim it relates to and supports your position. However, your answer still did not address the question, which was the item on the menu referred to as pigeon or squab? It seems to me that perhaps the proprietor didn’t realize the distinction and that explains what transpired.

The point then would be is that everyone must take it upon themselves to be careful of what meaning is to be held to words. That is primarily why science supplements this with logic, structure and language which is less likely to be ambiguous. In the end however, fundamental truth is something that always remains just in front of them, as the carrot to the donkey. Therefore it is this pursuit of truth and not its possession that forms both the value and the trust one should assign to science. This is precisely what I understand to be what Bee was trying to communicate.

Best,

Phil

Phil Warnell said...

Hi Bee,

“I encourage you to do a Google image search for 'scientist' - tells you all you need to know.”

It is in some ways quite laughable and yet mostly disturbing for the first image presented is of a “Mad Scientist” when your search term was simply “scientist”. It is true then this is all you need to say for these rankings are based on relevance in terms of citing. This then serves as proof that the public consensus (perception) is that science is evil and yet is it not strange that whenever many such people look to give substance to their own opinions they point to science as their truth. I then wonder what a psychiatrist would call this as to attempt to classify this phenomena?

Then again, perhaps scientists are justified in being mad. Oh sorry that should be angry:-)

Best,

Phil

X said...

Hi Phil,

“However, your answer still did not address the question, which was the item on the menu referred to as pigeon or squab?”

??? See 2)above:” the menu referred to pigeon”

“It seems to me that perhaps the proprietor didn’t realize the distinction.”

Sure. See 3)above: “evening before my son got a squab”. But it seems to me that the understanding the distinction wouldn’t help him.

“and that explains what transpired.”

It seems to me that the proprietor didn’t expect ever an order of 20 pigeons simultaneously. Give him the credit for the courage.

“I’ll give you credit for being able to focus on almost anything and somehow claim it relates to and supports your position.”

Phil, I think there is nothing wrong with jokes in general and in Bee/Stefan blog in particular. I don’t consider my comment above the explanation of the collective phenomena and phase transitions. I didn’t notice that Andrew even required any explanations of that.

Regards, Dany.

P.S. Let me add something about causality which I dropped above. During that entire time interval I was sitting in lobby and it was boring. Then I looked what happen on the street out there. I saw suddenly a “mad” man jumping to catch a pigeon. Apparently even a pigeon didn’t comprehend the reality at the beginning. However when he did that he simply took off and leaved the arena. The last thing that might come to my mind was that the observation is causally connected with my friends and my son. And I never saw the donkey eating the carrot.

X said...

Hi Phil,

P.P.S. It follows from my description that my son as well as everybody else didn’t realize the distinction. That distinction belongs to your individual (subjective) information base which is completely irrelevant for the case in question. In terms of communication everything was perfectly all right at that evening. I guess that if you were there and started to explain to the proprietor the distinction between the pigeon and squab and claimed that you should get a pigeon, the proprietor would simply made you take off his restaurant in spite that you are completely correct. BTW it is the qualitative difference between the statistical and the elementary particles physics. Y. Aharonov did very deep and interesting investigation of that.

Regards, Dany.

X said...

Hi Phil,

“I’ll give you credit for being able to focus on almost anything and somehow claim it relates to and supports your position.”

X:”“fundamental truths”. For me it is the achievable top.”

I take the advantage with you credit and will discuss yet another “anything”:
Time count vs time direction.

It is well known convention to perform inverse time count during the launch:
10,… 9,… 8,… 7,… 6,… 5,… 4,… 3,… 2,… 1,… TOP.
Everybody relevant knows the content of that code: that means the time remain for the SELECTED group of individuals to prevent apparently the event. Any one of them may or may not to delay or even to cancel temporarily the launch. However, that is the summit point of joint collective effort; nobody can avoid it. Top time point makes the process irreversible. And it is the initial condition for the new process. Now time count is conventionally normal.

Phil:” Therefore it is this pursuit of truth and not its possession that forms both
the value and the trust one should assign to science. This is precisely what I understand to be what Bee was trying to communicate.”

No. Bee/Stefan are the professionals in the theoretical physics. And I am trying to communicate that TOP=NOW.

Regards, Dany.

Andrew Thomas said...

Dany: "I don’t consider my comment above the explanation of the collective phenomena and phase transitions. I didn’t notice that Andrew even required any explanations of that."

Wellll, I must admit I couldn't really understand a word of what you were saying, but I gave you the benefit of the doubt because you clearly struggle a bit with your English.

I think if people want to contribute their thoughts to a blog then it's good to encourage them, even if sometimes it's hard to understand them. People should be encouraged to contribute even if they don't make a lot of sense. I'm not sure Bee feels the same way, though.

In my book, there's no such thing as a "crank" or "crackpot" - I find the terms insulting. But others have less patience.

In general, I don't understand a word of what you say, and I honestly do try and read it and try and figure out what you're going on about. But in any case it's all quite entertaining! I'm trying to figure out your radical new "top time point" theory - I've never heard that "TOP=NOW" before! It'll no doubt change the way I view the world.

(But, take a tip, be a bit careful or people are going to shout at you ...)

Andrew Thomas said...

Dany, it's always a good idea to try to read a bit more - maybe a physics textbook, or some good popular science books (I could recommend Brian Greene's Fabric of the Cosmos) - to try to improve your understanding of the fundamentals of the subject. Then your postings would be better received.

Plato said...

Had to try it, and sure enough, the distinctions between "Scientist" and "mad scientist" by "image search" are really not that far off.:)

"We do know" they have a methodicalness about them, don't we?:)

But to offer support for Dany, even though some do not understand him, I do, and his "artistic flare in writing" in support of "experience and relative associations," are quite intriguing from my "layman perspective.":)

Yes though too, to the need to understand the "implication of string theory" and the relevant associations presented, too indicate, there is some understanding, and as well, and still some consternation that a layman mind could actually understand these things.:)

Anyway, back to the observations of the Crime Scene. While taking note, and "drumming up associative recordings of the past experiences" here in back reaction(Dany now knows what this means by example), what is the message, if it is not understanding that "labels are not being assigned" to the place where the scientists in their scenes, actually are defined by, "what actually took place?"

This assumption is based on, "you have read "anything I wrote" in support of what first came to mind on this bog entry." as voice trails off to......:)

Observations?

I did respond to the example of neutrino oscillations and their history and the way in which you have studied them. Taking it "one step further" with, the use of the "plane of simultaneity."

Of course that was taking it to a "whole nother level" If you ever watched "Mad TV" you will know what I mean.

X said...

Hi Andrew,

Andrew Thomas:” Wellll, I must admit I couldn't really understand a word of what you were saying.”

Thank you, it was my intention.

Hi Plato,

Plato:” But to offer support for Dany, even though some do not understand him, I do, and his "artistic flare in writing" in support of "experience and relative associations," are quite intriguing from my "layman perspective."”

Thank you, it was my intention.

It was long weekend. I should back to work. I will visit here time to time but you know where to meet me if you will. I am already not a child, don’t need support and never did. And people never shout at me. I was on leave of absence to do something real for our children.

“Some do not understand him” is illusion. L.P. Horwitz said:” Just present your results, don’t explain anything; nobody need your explanations.” And N.Rosen said:” You can not imagine how I sad that A.Einstein had no opportunity to listen what you told us today. He would be very pleased with it.” And Y.Aharonov tried to explain how the solution of the measurement problem is important.

I hope see you later.

Regards, Dany.

P.S. "mad scientist" not bad, but they forget to mention F.Dürrenmatt and A. Dürer.

Phil Warnell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Phil Warnell said...

Hi Dany,


I also must admit that despite the attempt I fall into the same category in terms of understanding you as Andrew. As I have gathered you feel this then serves as evidence that what you contend is relevant and applicable. If you are thus convinced of this then you will be also pleased to know that in all likelihood this will hold true for many. This I can also assure you is stated without offense intended or taken.



Best,

Phil

X said...

Hi Phil,

You would not believe but the trigger for this comment is ref on Couder, Y, & Fort, E, PRL,97, 154101,2006. We discussed that paper at PF October 2006; also see:
http://www.physorg.com/news78650511.html.

In my comments there is nothing personal. There are serious problems inside the theoretical physics community and I do not consider the internal family problems are the matter of the strangers.

Bee asks what the science and scientist is.

Bee posted the “Backboard” 1.5 month ago. It contain ref on
incredimazing.com/static/media/2007/10/16/f064a5e49e6446d/backmath.jpg
This is called “Beyond the Standard Model”. I consider that picture the modern equivalent of A. Dürer “Melencolia I” which for me is the Renaissance answer. Notice two features:
1)The picture presents the entire achievements of the theoretical physics during 500 years;
2)The picture do not present anything related to the current “Beyond the Standard Model” (vev=0).
Indeed there exist always the perfect idiots (male and/or female) that may claim that I am “sexist”.

Regards, Dany.

P.S. I believe that everything I write one may read literally. And I didn’t deliver the quaternionic/octonionic (the 4 × 4 magic square) extension of the complex analysis yet. But that pigeon/squab is already on the pan (0801.3395). And JB was invited to climb with me in the same bunch:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3NU1W3AHdc&feature=related
No doubt it will be delicious dish (no room for divergences).

P.P.S. I was not completely sure that the donkey doesn’t eating the carrot. I ask my local friends. “Do you eat the carrot?” I said “Yes”. So, why you are asking?

Plato said...

I like the Magic square too.:)

Plato said...

Or this one

Professor R said...

Hi Bee, interesting post as always.

One point: I too distrust the appearence of certainty. Perhaps we scientists should think about establishing a 'scale of consensus', so that the general public can distingusih between mainstream science and way-out stuff..
...
E.g. a scale ranging from "few scientists in this field are convinced".... to "nearly all scientists in this field believe" etc etc...

I'm convinced a lot of the misinformation about science in the media concerns a misunderstanding of the difference between broad consensus, and unamimity (an impossiblity for humans!)

Bee said...

Hi Professor,

It's a suggestion that lies at hand, but I am not so very much in favor of it. Reason is, it comes pretty close to taking a vote. It's not only that I think a one-dimensional breakdown of opinions like this does not appropriately reflect the complexity of the subjects we're dealing with (this is also the essence of my argument here, though it seems to be difficult to understand for economists). It also opens the door to all kind of social and political problems. E.g. I had to notice on varios completely different and unrelated topics that the opinions researchers will express in private conversation can substantially differ from the opinion they will put forward when aimed at the public. Start with the general sense that whatever they are working on is of course the most exciting topic one can work on, and the key to the future and so on. You've been working with them, you know that's the last of the reasons they had in mind. Unfortunately (and this shouldn't be the case) if people think it can potentially affect their funding this goes on the expenses of scientific integrety, and I think one should avoid pushing people into such situations. Best,

B.

X said...

Plato:” Or this one ->
In 1931 Dirac gave a solution of this problem in an application of quantum mechanics so original that it still astounds us to read it today.”

What you say is known as selective or wishful thinking: you ignore the equally beautiful results of others: E. Schrödinger, H. Weyl, EPR, R.P.Feynman, C.N.Yang & R.L.Mills and AB. The alternative question may be raised: if so, why magnetic monopole doesn’t exist in nature? Using my metaphor, you should comprehend that at mountains there is no GPS and if you did single mistake in navigation, you are dead.

Regards, Dany.

P.S. Melencolia II I consider the outrageous example of stupid egomaniac that don’t know to respect A.Dürer and his masterpiece. To support my statement, look at 4.3 “The Pauli spin matrices” insert: the writer has no idea what the math is (however, it is not clear whether that insert is “masterpiece” of the same author). Indeed, you may claim that I am lack sense of humor, but IMO it is a matter of acceptable social norms (see Bee new post).

Plato said...

Loosen up Dany:)

"The adventure of our science of physics is a perpetual attempt to recognize that the different aspects of nature are really different aspects of the same thing" -- Richard Feynman

Prof.dr R.H. Dijkgraaf is not a fool.

The context and relation that I wanted to point out is that although one should be able to write the algebraic maths, Dirac had a ability that I give credit too, to those whose vision incorporates the geometrical implications.
PAUL DIRAC:

When one is doing mathematical work, there are essentially two different ways of thinking about the subject: the algebraic way, and the geometric way. With the algebraic way, one is all the time writing down equations and following rules of deduction, and interpreting these equations to get more equations. With the geometric way, one is thinking in terms of pictures; pictures which one imagines in space in some way, and one just tries to get a feeling for the relationships between the quantities occurring in those pictures. Now, a good mathematician has to be a master of both ways of those ways of thinking, but even so, he will have a preference for one or the other; I don't think he can avoid it. In my own case, my own preference is especially for the geometrical way. See Dirac and projective hidden geometries.
Feynman's Toys model are derived from this experience?

X said...

Hi Plato,

“"The adventure of our science of physics is a perpetual attempt to recognize that the different aspects of nature are really different aspects of the same thing"

Ethical and esthetical criteria are also the different aspects of nature. Perhaps I missed something terribly important but I never saw his supervisor call himself professor dr. In addition, I didn’t see that in order to enhance the scientific value of his investigation (made being master student of M.J.G. Veltman) his supervisor put ugly and unprofessional drawing on the front page.

“Now, a good mathematician has to be a master of both ways of those ways of thinking. See Dirac and projective hidden geometries.”

See physics/0504008 and P.A.M. Dirac, Proc. Roy. Irish Acad., 50A, 261 (1945) referred there.

A few words about thirties. Everybody was targeted on what we call today The Principle of Local Gauge Invariance. The fundamental answer was given by C.N.Yang and R.L.Mills. G.'t Hooft and M.J.G. Veltman demonstrated that that it. Period. There is no room for the magnetic charge either in ED (U(1)) or in EW (U(2)).

Regards, Dany.

X said...

John Baez:“This paper may finally bring this neglected subject some of the attention it deserves!”
בלמ"ס
ב' סיון, תשס"ח
5 יוני, 2008
JB אל:
DS :מאת

נדון:תאורית שדות כללית נוע בברכה
דני