Saturday, January 20, 2007

Flights of Fantasy: And Watching The Watchers

One of the main problems I have with Autodynamics is the way its adherents (The ADiots) can be extremely hypocritical in the way they choose to attack mainstream science (and Physics in particular).

The case that best sums this up is their behaviour regarding the humble neutrino, this is an elementary particle that is given off in many particle reactions, including those that fuse hydrogen to helium in the sun, in fact trillions of neutrinos from the Sun are passing through you right now. Now neutrinos are almost mass less and don't interact strongly with other particles (so they're not doing you any harm), but this makes it very difficult to detect them. Nevertheless many groups around the world do this on a regular basis, learning important facts about the Sun and particle physics reactions in the process, check out the wiki link at the top for a crash course.

Now the ADiots hate the neutrino for some reason I can't fathom, constantly saying it doesn't exist and that it was invented to plug gaps in special relativity (see here).

led to the invention of a second(1) powerful fantasy of the twenty century: The Neutrino.
All of their sites are littered with such pronouncements. It wouldn't really bother me except that Autodynamics has invented several new particles of its own, none of which have a single shred of evidence to back them up. This selective behaviour, in which the neutrino is attacked for being invented to plug holes in special relativity, whilst at the same time inventing new particles to plug holes in your own is pure hypocrisy. For a good example of a particle if not invented by Autodynamics then at least co-opted by it we have to look at the pico-graviton.

The pico-graviton is what ADiots use to explain gravity, seeing as they don't believe General Relativity to be correct. The pico-graviton required by AD is apparently 1x10-81 kilograms and travels at 27 times the speed of light, pretty impressive, but anythings possible if you don't have to obey physical laws. Now in the AD pages they actually don't give a lot of details about what the pico-graviton actually is, I haven't come across anywhere where they actually set out important parameters, like if it has standard properties of particle physics, like spin, charge, colour charge etc. They also didn't invent the idea, its basically just a renamed version of the Le Sage theory of gravity, the web pages do not make this too obvious though, to the casual reader it seems like Carenzani though the whole thing up himself.

The problem with the pico-graviton/Le Sage gravity idea apart from the obvious is that there are loads of problems with the Le Sage theory. See the wiki article for plenty of gory details, like the Earth being heated up by 10^26 degrees per second, oops. You can also read about the theory and its "push"-like nature there, its interesting as a history lesson about how people thought about gravity before relativity and while all they had at their disposal was classical mechanics.

I think it would be interesting to hear a few more details about the pico-graviton from the AD side, it would be nice to have actual numbers, something that can be examined and compared to experiment. Something like cross sections in reactions, spin, charge etc.

P.S I think some of the posts I have been making may have riled them a little. Their latest PhysicsPolice (TM) post is even less lucid than usual even for that bunch of crackpots. I urge everyone to check it out here, its even complete with a non too liberal dose of neutrino bashing.