Login Register

Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Spacetime is a Fairytale ..
#1
Hi all.

In a another thread, some discussion came up about spacetime. This reminded me of a paper I was surprised to see being discussed in Physicsforums years ago. The thread title there, was, again surprisingly, identical to the one I have given this thread.

I won't pretend to comprehend more about it than I have quoted below, (from the papers opening comments). But fancy that, eh ? And look at where it was published and the credentials of it's authors.

I hope you find it interesting.

http://arxiv.org/pdf/1110.3837

“Spacetime is the fairy tale of a classical manifold. It is irreconcilable with quantum effects in gravity
and most likely, in a strict sense, it does not exist. But to dismiss a mythical being that has inspired
generations just because it does not really exist is foolish. Rather it should be understood together with the story-tellers through whom and in whom the being exist. ”
Reply
#2
Hi ALT,

You may have a misunderstanding about this paper? They say spacetime is a fairy tale: sounds like similar attitude to Schmelzer and others at this web site. But no, it's the opposite. Schmelzer's ether theory replaces "4-d Minkowski spacetime" with good old 3-dimensional space and 1-dimensional time, as Newton and Kant believed. But this paper goes the opposite direction, for them spacetime is too traditional and sensible! They replace it with some sort of quantum foam or whatever (didn't bother to look into it).

So this paper agrees with Schmelzer ether theory that spacetime is wrong, but they want to make it even more ridiculous.

Perimeter Institute (PI) is not so reputable either, many mainstream physicists think they're more about publicity than science. Lee Smolin was (is?) the top guy there, and they say his publicity outweighs his papers. Note well, this is just hearsay; and I enjoy his books, he's a good pop-sci author. Anyway as a possible indicator of PI's low quality, here's a sentence from the abstract:

"In this paper we extend the construction of Shape Dynamics form pure gravity to gravity-matter systems and find that there is no fundamental obstruction for the coupling of gravity to standard matter."

The word "form" should be "from". Particlularly bad typo because "form" sounds Ok where it is ("Shape Dynamics form") so you have to read twice to figure out what's going on. And, this is in the abstract!

Also, from that "fairy tale" quote,

"Rather it should be understood together with the story-tellers through whom and in whom the being exist."

The last word should be "exists" not "exist"!

And this is not only in the abstract, but it's a quote which has appeared in a few papers!

Such lousy proofreading would be excusable if these people weren't native English speakers, but they're Canadians. Doesn't prove anything wrong with their physics but still, gives one a bad feeling about their intellectual rigor. It fits perfectly with the criticism I've heard about PI: they're about form (or should that be "from"?) not substance.
Reply
#3
Hi ALT,

Hi secur

You may have a misunderstanding about this paper? They say spacetime is a fairy tale: sounds like similar attitude to Schmelzer and others at this web site. But no, it's the opposite.

Ah .. then indeed I have a misunderstanding. As I said, I comprehended only the part I quoted. The rest of the paper is as useful to me as pretty wallpaper might be. .. particularly with all those squiggles in it ..


Schmelzer's ether theory replaces "4-d Minkowski spacetime" with good old 3-dimensional space and 1-dimensional time, as Newton and Kant believed.

Ah, cool. Kinda like my view. Also that of Ouspensky who was a great fan of Kant. I'm a great fan of Ouspensky. His 'Tertium Organum' is a real powerful book.

But this paper goes the opposite direction, for them spacetime is too traditional and sensible! They replace it with some sort of quantum foam or whatever (didn't bother to look into it).

So this paper agrees with Schmelzer ether theory that spacetime is wrong, but they want to make it even more ridiculous.

I understand now. Thanks for clarifying.

Perimeter Institute (PI) is not so reputable either, many mainstream physicists think they're more about publicity than science. Lee Smolin was (is?) the top guy there, and they say his publicity outweighs his papers. Note well, this is just hearsay; and I enjoy his books, he's a good pop-sci author. Anyway as a possible indicator of PI's low quality, here's a sentence from the abstract:

"In this paper we extend the construction of Shape Dynamics form pure gravity to gravity-matter systems and find that there is no fundamental obstruction for the coupling of gravity to standard matter."

The word "form" should be "from". Particlularly bad typo because "form" sounds Ok where it is ("Shape Dynamics form") so you have to read twice to figure out what's going on. And, this is in the abstract!

Also, from that "fairy tale" quote,

"Rather it should be understood together with the story-tellers through whom and in whom the being exist."

The last word should be "exists" not "exist"!

And this is not only in the abstract, but it's a quote which has appeared in a few papers!

Such lousy proofreading would be excusable if these people weren't native English speakers, but they're Canadians. Doesn't prove anything wrong with their physics but still, gives one a bad feeling about their intellectual rigor. It fits perfectly with the criticism I've heard about PI: they're about form (or should that be "from"?) not substance.

Noted. Yes, sloppy.

In closing, I would say I always find it interesting to look into opinions and theories that challenge the mainstream, in any direction. And as interesting, is the mainstreams reaction.

Cheers.

ALT


.. anyway, as I opened this thread, I may as well articulate my aporia concerning this weird thing called 'spacetime'.

First they told me about the trampoline analogy .. you know, a streched out trampoline with a heavy weight in the centre which causes a depression and thus, an orbiting sphere to spiral into it.

But .. but .. the obvious question that flows from that, is WHY ... ? Why does it spiral down into it ? If you were looking at it from the bottom up, would you say it spirals UP into it ? All you're really doing is transferring the mystery by one magnitude  - positing another mysterious force explain the first.

Then thy told me ..

Ahhh, but the trampoline analogy is a poor one .. you got to imagine this in three dimensions ..


And they backed it up by pretty diagram, basically raising everything one order of dimensionality .. you know, the one with the sphere that somehow bends all of space towards it and thus causes other objects to flow along that bent space toward it ..

Except, that the questions that then arise in my mind, are also raised by one order of dimensionality.

And then, they defer to the metaphysical .. the arcane, almost ..

'you got to understand this theory .. this language .. to comprehend this .. otherwise, you have no chance ..
Reply
#4
That you don't understand it shows you have good taste.

Many physicists are like the Red Queen: they can believe 6 impossible things before breakfast. Takes real talent :-)

That's not to say GR can't be understood! Easiest way is to understand the math, these "rubber sheet" analogies are not very good. But there's a book by John Archibald Wheeler - I forget the title, and can't overall recommend it (the poetry is atrocious). Nevertheless it makes the best attempt I've seen at giving intuitive explanations for these concepts. Don't think it's worth your while but you might check it out, see if it helps. It's his one popular book on general relativity, has a lot of pictures, should be in your local library.
Reply


Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)