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07 March 2010 @ 08:05 pm
Stranger Whan We CAN Imagine: The Return of the ÆTHER!  
Posted for future reference:

The Key to Quantum Gravity May Lie in the Æther.

Expect the TIMECUBE crazies and the anti-science types who think that the Big Bang is part of "Darwinism" to jump all over this, shrieking, "See? Einstein was wrong!" and insulting the intelligence of everyone who doesn't immediately see that this proves their own particular brand of blather.
Araquan Skytracer: Sciencearaquan on March 8th, 2010 04:32 am (UTC)
You can't really satisfy anyone who sees the falsifiability of theories as a weakness of the system. Supplanting older knowledge with newer, more correct knowledge (which this will have to prove itself to be, but it may yet do so) is a bug, not a feature, to people like that.

But then look at the position they're arguing from.
Christopher Bradleycpxbrex on March 8th, 2010 06:12 am (UTC)
I'll believe it when they do something with it, hehe. Has anyone else noticed that all these unifications of quantum and relativistic gravity always start with the assumption that there's something wrong with relativity? Maybe it's because there's about 10,000% more money in quantum than relativity. :p
Your Obedient Serpent: Warning: Macroscale Quantum Systemathelind on March 8th, 2010 06:22 am (UTC)
Finally! An appropriate opportunity to use this icon!
... no, I haven't noticed that. Most of the attempts at Theories of Everything I've seen assume (within the limits of my layman's understanding) that both relativity and quantum mechanics are pretty solid within their respective domains, and then get caught up trying to build bridges. Actually, almost all of them operate under the assumption that the randomness of quantum effect just magically disappear on the macro-scale, blah blah blah statistics blah observation blah blah waveform collapse, so it's really quite the opposite, as far as I can follow.

(Added opportune link!)

Edited at 2010-03-08 06:24 am (UTC)
Christopher Bradleycpxbrex on March 8th, 2010 06:36 am (UTC)
Re: Finally! An appropriate opportunity to use this icon!
Oh, no. You look at those TOEs and all of them are started by and largely researched by quantum physicists. Like with string theory - very quantum centered as research priorities. You look at the CVs of someone like Leondard Suskind and you'll see it's all about chromodynamics and hadrons. And Horava is definitely a quantum guy. It's hard to find anyone involved in TOE who has astronomy as their primary focus. Overwhelmingly, the people who come up with the TOEs and who work on them are quantum physics guys.
Your Obedient Serpentathelind on March 8th, 2010 04:16 pm (UTC)
Re: Finally! An appropriate opportunity to use this icon!
Yeah, but they're usually trying to reconcile their side of things with relativity, because relativity makes a whole lot of rigorous predictions that have been successfully confirmed.

Christopher Bradleycpxbrex on March 8th, 2010 06:00 pm (UTC)
Re: Finally! An appropriate opportunity to use this icon!
Yes. So, of course, the quantum guys have a bigger stake in reconciling quantum gravity with relativistic gravity. Relativity works very well for almost all interactions that we have any hope of seeing. But the fields do meet in any one of a number of ways (most obviously, cosmology) and the "solutions" always have a quantum orientation. Do astronomers not have anything to say on the subject? Of course they do. But the lion's share of research dollars and research priorities go people who do quantum research. Since quantum research gets literally orders of magnitude more grant money than relativity - relativity having few military applications and almost all science is funded by the military's agenda one way or another - this is not surprising and, I think, explains the curious asymmetry of TOE research.
one in a billionsiege on March 8th, 2010 07:13 am (UTC)
Einstein was right; even he was uncertain about this.
Paka: coyote photopaka on March 8th, 2010 08:42 am (UTC)
I can see how it would be useful to have an absolute and a relative model for examining time, because if you're thinking about changes due to gravity, distance and velocity, especially near a starting point, that sounds really very fluid - and in that sense, absolute would be equivalent to laminar flow and relative to turbulent flow.