Hans Christian von Baeyer is chancellor professor of physics at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. I’m sure that even the most discriminating mathematician would find his credentials impeccable. I’m all in favor of mathematics. Mathematicians, physicists and design engineers put Man on the Moon. They cobbled together an astounding performance at the high-genius level, to rescue Apollo 13 and get the men back safely. That does not mean all mathematicians are nice people. I have books full of serious charges against bank scams, stock market scams, bankruptcy scams, statistician scams, economist scams, legal scams, business leveraged-buyout scams and Revenue Canada scams; all perpetrated by mathematics professionals. Regarding “renormalization”, here’s what the highly esteemed Professor von Baeyer had to say in The Sciences, Sept-Oct/ 99, page 11. These quotes are intended as a compliment to him, and thanks, for an exceptionally well-written article in an age of trashy articles. If you think I have lifted it out of context, feel free to check the reference. “From the 1930s until the 1950s the troublesome infinite quantities in the quantum theory of light and atoms, which were caused chiefly by the need to think of electrons as points, called forth heroic mathematical efforts. To rid themselves of the infinities- or at least hide them- physicists concocted an elaborate scheme called renormalization. First, the equations are manipulated so that the unwanted infinities are grouped with the terms referring to the mass and charge of the electron. Then, in place of those theoretically infinite properties of the electron, the finite, measured values are blithely substituted. The scheme worked spectacularly: renormalization predicts experimental measurements with 10-figure accuracy. But despite that remarkable success, the physicist Richard P. Feynman, one of the architects of renormalization, called the procedure a “shell game,” a “dippy process” and “hocus-pocus.” But the hocus-pocus didn’t stop with electrons. When quarks were discovered in the 1960s, they too were described as points, and renormalization once again saved the day. By now, in fact, it has become so indispensable as a technical ingredient of the standard model, that theoretical physicists have overcome Feynman’s misgivings: they tend to describe renormalization as ingenious rather than dippy.” Page 12: “Renormalization proved to be ineffective for theories that introduced so-called gravitons as force carriers of gravity, analogous to the photons that convey electromagnetism.” Page 12: “The switch from points to strings exposes with uncommon clarity the conflict between mathematics and physics.” Page 13: “In an attempt to save mathematics from straying too far into a fantasy world divorced from commonsense…”etc. Page 13 “… constructivists, have not yet carried the day: for most mathematicians, their demanding strictures would eliminate too much of what is already accepted as valid mathematics. But their concerns about the legitimacy of the continuum should give pause to physicists bent on modeling nature with a construct that turns out to be so peculiar.” I strongly suggest you mathematicians study this article, then take up the matter of my “mathematical illiteracy” with him. Or if you want, to save you the trouble, I could just send your comments regarding my comments on renormalization to Professor von Baeyer. He might be more that happy to provide a little certified professional enlightenment to this chat club.
Meanwhile, in view of the continued ungrounded personal attacks, and the sleazy treachery displayed, where one of you has taken privately divulged information, and used it for the above cheap shot, I’m out of here. You may have the last word, I won’t be back. But as a personal favor to you, I’d like to help you upgrade your tendency to quote mindlessly from first year physics texts. And then I’ll help you break your addiction for attempts to defend them with glib, shallow remarks. Here is a sample of really truly-creative, sarcastic Language Removed that cuts right to the bone. I put this little ditty together last year. It does not apply to the candid, forthright, free-thinking mathematicians, and physicists like von Baeyer and Hawking, who freely admit they are still searching for answers amid confusion. It applies only to the gravy train bullshitters. My apologies to Einstein, Michelson, Morley, Hawking, Hubble and Alpher, with whom I certainly do disagree, but who also have my greatest respect. The poem is about physics in general, and it just swept them up in the raging current that possessed my mind at the time. Where I show quotes, I have bare-faced lied with the poetic licentiousness so often necessary to cram a thought into a line.
I call it:
THE CONTRARIAN TWIST
Michelson-Morley told us a story,
Of an Etherless Universe.
Einstein agreed, But needed a pee,
When lightwaves needed a hearse.
He warped empty space, With face-saving grace,
By hiring a mathemateer.
He proved beyond doubt, With no protest shout,
That emptiness twists like a leer.
Hubble said, "Wow, just look at that,
The Universe just flew apart".
Alpher said, "Yeah, and now I know,
It started with a Big Fart".
Heisenberg wasn't sure, 'Muddle through", he said,
"We'll find where it's at".
Schroedinger said, "No, you're right the first time",
And proved it with a dead cat.
Physicists come and physicists go,
Ad Hoc theories abound.
Most go down like Weed Whackered weeds,
On the Ad Hoc merry-go-round.
The CosmoCon and the flying Photon,
Make the scene like a Graviton.
The quirky Quarks, Like Strange and Charm,
Are All-In-The-Family, With loopy bosons.
Are they just a Mid-Summer Night's Dream?-
A mad attempt to discern a scheme?
Or are they quite legitimate,
In spite of students' epithets?
Neutrinos play their phantom game,
Like Top Quarks inferred from lame,
Indications that totally rest,
On wishful thinking edu-guess.
They built great machines,
That have started to rust,
To pound Matter to Quantum Dust.
They built great 'scopes,
to peer agape,
At the Expansion increasing its rate.
Hawking the Man, stands tall and straight,
As a questioning heretic,
But his Pea Instanton's a theatrical bomb,
That gives my eye a tic.
Freedman followed, where Alpher leads,
Without appropriate thanks.
Now a veteran of the Hubble Wars,
Her prognostications “rank”,
With Weed Whackered weeds,
And all of their seeds,
In the Michelson-Morley compost tank.
Quantum Weirdness has escaped our attention so far,
‘cause books and magazines ain’t up to par.
Spooky action, “c” +, and psychic ‘lectrons,
Is all MM Ex mutant “throwback” spawns.
Goofy ‘nalogies and silly similes,
Food for thought, they is naught.
Authors shed less light than a campfire fagot,
Don’t eat that son, it’s enough to gag a maggot.
Redbourne said, "That's enough of the bull,
Let's put it all together.
Like a bird of the air, Nothing out of place,
Not so much as a feather".
His General Theory of Universe,
Structure and Dynamics,
Is bound to throw some physicists,
Into terminal panics.
He Invalidated the MM Ex,
And put the Ether Back.
Now String Things and Spatial Foam,
Are good for only garden loam.
CONTRARIAN PHYSICS*, is the book,
Bound to cause a stir,
As out with the old and, In with the new,
It does with a lion's purr.
If your interest is aroused,
Along with anger hot,
See my site for the free book,
And leave a small note jot.
At Ray Redbourne / Geocit,
You will find enlightenment.
Give your status quite a lift,
With theoretic heightenment.
Copyright January 2000, J Raymond Redbourne
*Contrarian Physics” was the adversarial, original title of the work. Now I’ve taken the high road, like Einstein.
In direct contravention of Hippocrates’ directive, almost all of these outstanding Theoretical Physics / Cosmological illnesses are iatrogenic.
Hawking says that every time he hears about Schroedinger’s cat, it makes him want to reach for his gun. Every time I see his 2-dimensional dog in A Brief History Of Time, falling apart because it’s split in two by the GI tract running from the mouth to the Language Removed, it makes me want to reach for mine.
By the way, if you read as well as you write, I suggest his The Illustrated A Brief History Of time. I have a piece prepared on Laminar, Turbulent and Explosive flow, to explain the distribution of galaxies, but your crude attempts to get me to do your thinking for you, shall atrophy from lack of further nourishment. I go now, to spar with brains that aren’t running on empty.
To the students in this chat club: keep asking your questions, but think for yourselves about the answers you’re given. You have my absolute respect. You will be the teachers of the future. Where two people always agree, one is dead from the neck up. Where two people disagree, at least one of them is wrong.