Are billion dollar experiments such as LIGO justified ?


May 10, 2021
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What I have to say might not be popular, but it has to be said. A good point to start would be gravity waves. The LIGO experiment has made some sensational claims on the detection of gravity waves. Yet if one actually reads about LIGO we find that it needs a sensitivity of one 10,000th of half the width of a proton, (Proton Dia = 10^-15) so the sensitivity of that the LIGO interferometer has to possess has to be somewhere in the region of 10^-21m. Considering that we possess femtosecond lasers that are rapidly increasing in sophistication, the proposed interference detection capability sounds reasonable. But when making such an assessment one has to keep in mind that the mere footfall of a man weighing a hundred kilograms and at a distance of 1000 km from LIGO would be more than a million times stronger than the signal expected to be generated by gravity waves. This raises a whole lot of new concerns. The turning of a cog, the snapping on of a switch, the starting of a car engine, the falling of an object and so on ad infinitum, the instances multiply exponentially. The theory is that computers can sort through all of these noises and only respond to a very particular type of sound signal. The building of more LIGO like facilities around the world, would further help filter out these signals. But how realistic is this line of thinking? If the starting or revving of a car motor can be detected by LIGO from several thousands of kilometres away, it is probable that the same signal could be detected by multiple LIGO apparatus around the world. Keep in mind that LIGO cost in excess of 2.2 million dollars to build.

How about quantum computing? To begin with, the original intention of quantum computing was to use quantum entangled particles, in spite of a lot of hype this has not worked out, instead what is used to record data, is changes in the electrical fields of a Josephson junction which amounts to just a more sensitive everyday analog device. Google is offering a 5 million dollar reward for anyone who can come up with practical uses for quantum computers. How much has been spent on the research into quantum computing? In 2022 alone more than 2.2 billion was spent on research, in 2023 as enthusiasm waned, that amount fell to 1.2 billion dollars, still a lot of money.

The truth is that quantum mechanics is a dinosaur that has had its day, it is sadly outdated and offers inadequate explanations for the discoveries made by modern day technology. The spending of these huge sums of money on trying to validate these old and let us face it, unsupportable theories such as wave-particle duality, quantum entanglement and super position is increasingly reminiscent of fanatical religious scribes willing to go to any lengths to validate their beliefs and to discredit opposition.

Take the question of virtual particles, even ten years ago the idea of virtual particles would invoke, even amongst physicists, widespread amazement and mockery, today virtual particles have become part of the lexicon. But is this enough?

An examination of the circumstances under which virtual particles were first discovered might help in the understanding of what really happened. The year was 1947, just a year since the first atomic bomb had exploded over Japan. If people had not heard about E = mc^2 till then, everyone knew about it now. Science had superseded God in the minds of people. The Second World War had just ended and with the burgeoning development of technology such as radar, computers, and the atomic bomb security was at an unheard of level. It was in this atmosphere of super secrecy that Willis Lamb first made the discovery that electrons within the atom were constantly emitting and absorbing ‘Virtual’ photons. Lamb was an expert in the microwave field and he was able to confirm that the electron in the hydrogen atom was constantly emitting and absorbing ‘virtual’ photons of an energy that fell within the microwave range by a reproducible empirical experiment called the Lamb Shift. Hence the conclusion that these absorptions and emission related to the fine structure constant within the Hydrogen atom i.e., a split within two energy levels that were closely spaced and hence of low energy. This discovery was corroborated by Feynman, Schwinger, and Tomonaga who clarified Bethe's explanation of the Lamb shift: namely that it occurs when an atom emits and absorbs virtual, unobservable photons. It was found that virtual photons are not only emitted from the same atom and captured again, but can also be exchanged between different atoms. Willis E Lamb was of the firm opinion that ALL electrons experience the Lamb shift but that these interactions were masked, in multiple electron atoms, by the presence of other electrons and hence difficult if not impossible to distinguish in multiple electron atoms. The Lamb shift can either be a self-interaction by the electron emitting and re-absorbing photons either with itself or an interaction with nearby electrons.

The discovery of ‘virtual’ particles never made it to the public forum and therefore never enjoyed the benefit of a free public discussion. This is why the supposition that since the electron was self-regulating its own energy by constantly emitting and absorbing ‘virtual’ photons the prospect of its radiating away its energy and falling into the nucleus did not arise. This meant that the raison de etre for the adoption of wave-particle duality no longer existed. Wave-particle duality should have ended right then: it did not.

The whole edifice of quantum mechanics is based on wave-particle duality and the Schrodinger wave-function, without it there is nothing left. Think about it! This is what physicists are trying to protect.

What will replace quantum mechanics? I am pretty sure it will be a modified aether based theory based on the existence of virtual particles. The wisdom of the past is as good as the wisdom of the present.
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