Thoughts on economics and liberty

Category: Science

Matter is an energy trap

[Note: On reflection, I've changed the title of this post from 'Mass is an energy trap' to 'Matter is an energy trap'.]

If you recall, a few weeks ago I raised the question of how matter can exist when only energy was created at the Big Bang.

The model I 'expounded' was based purely on some internal thinking. So I've now shortlisted some physics books to read over the next year or two [e.g. here and here]. The first of these (that I've just started reading) has persuaded me that I've probably proposed at least a viable solution to something that is bugging the physicists even today. Indeed, the more I think about it, it becomes obvious to me that matter is an energy trap (explained in my previous post, and briefly below).

It appears that theoretical physicists have been grappling with this problem (that to me was not a "problem" till it popped up inside my head recently!) for quite a while  now, without success.

'Mark Wise is a leading theorist working on particle physics beyond the standard model. At a recent seminar … he talked about the problem of where the masses of the elementary particles come from. "We've been remarkably unsuccessful at solving that problem," he said. … [W]e have no idea why neutrinos (or any of the other particles) have mass.' [Smolin, Les, The Trouble with Physics, London: Penguin, 2006, p. xi, xiii).

(I've just started reading this book, so I'll have something more to say after I've read it). 

I wonder if they've realised that there can be NO other explanation for mass apart from the energy trap theory. Why am I so confident about this energy trap model?
 
I say so because the only raw material available at the time of creation of the universe was energy. Nothing else. [Where this energy comes from is the next question, which the pantheistic model (advaita) explains simply by the tautology that God and the universe, including us, are essentially the same. Not very illuminating, but it is unlikely that science will ever breach this question and explain the first formation of energy.]
 
My point is that if energy is the only raw material, and energy has just a few properties (e.g. waves travel in a straight line and are limited by the speed of light), then mass can ONLY be explained as a combination of energy and space. Mass simply can't spring up from ether! It is made up of energy and space.
 
Intense energy is trapped inside a tiny, warped, space bubble, and travels at the speed of light in a straight line inside it for ever  (actually, the more one thinks of it, this can't occur merely at the speed of light. This must relate to a phase change – when energy travels FASTER than the speed of light). This warped space bubble distorts nearby space and creates the property of attraction and replusion that gives us the APPEARANCE of mass. There is, in this model, no mass, only energy. Mass is irrelevant, being only a property of high-intensity energy.
 
It would seem to me that this theory is fully compatible, in principle, with quantum theory and the uncertainty principle. 
 
Of course, this theory must have been been examined at length in the theoretical physics literature. Such an obvious explanation couldn't possibly have been missed. So in the next few weeks/months/years, in my spare time I'll read a lot more on this topic and clarify where things stand.
 
ADDENDUM
 
"The consensus among physicists is that particles began massless and got their mass subsequently from something known as the Higgs field—the search for which was one reason for building the Large Hadron Collider, a huge and powerful particle accelerator located near Geneva. Mass, then, is not thought an invariable property of matter." [Source]
 
Addendum
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The role of the sun in climate

In this blog post I continue my summary of findings from various readings in relation to climate change. This post deals with the role of the sun. (My other blog posts on the subject are here)

Where the sun fits into the scheme of things

To set the context we must look more broadly at the universe, from the more distant things to the more proximal things. The order in which we must look is:

a) Big Bang:  The Big Bang energy currently pervades the Universe as microwaves. This ensures a background temperature of 2.73 degrees Kelvin (i.e. -270.42 degrees centigrade). Does this radiation vary? No. So clearly this can't be responsible for climate change. [NOT IMPORTANT]

b) Galaxies: The Milky way and other galaxies spew out energy at higher wavelengths such as cosmic rays which hit the Earth and heat it up. This perhaps adds some degrees C to the Earth. Does this radiation vary? Yes, depending on the Sun's and Earth's magnetic fields. It also varies depending on the relative position of the sun in the spiral arms of the Milky Way. This effect is very slow, however, and unlikely to influence climate within the lifetime of an average human being. [NOT IMPORTANT] (http://www.sciencebits.com/ice-ages)

c) Sun: The biggest variable source of energy that hits the Earth is the Sun. It is a pulsing star, and its energy outputs goes through various cycles. It really PULSES! It started life as a rather dim star and has significantly increased in intensity over billions of years. The sun is the ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM that must be studied carefully if we are to find the causes of climate change. [IMPORTANT].

d) Earth's rotation around the sun: This significant shifts the amount of energy flowing into the Earth (seasons). Its tilt matters as well, although these are pretty much long term effects and can be mostly discounted. [NOT IMPORTANT]

e) Moon: Some energy is perhaps reflected back to the Earth by the moon. If tides are a result of the moon's gravitational force, then definitely some of solar energy reflected back to the earth should matter – but it is a regular phenomenon and can be excluded.  [NOT IMPORTANT]

f) Earth's core: The Earth is molten inside. But that doesn't explain its inner heat, which is largely attributable to radioactivity. That is why as you go deeper into the earth (e.g. as in a deep mine) it heats up dramatically. (I've been inside the Kolar Gold fields, and sure, it gets really hot below these deepest gold mines in the world) . Does the radioactivity at the centre of the earth vary a lot? Possibly only minimally. But it is still a crucially important unknown. [IMPORTANT].

g) Crust of the earth: The crust of the Earth is brittle and mobile. Tectonics releases a lot of energy into the Earth's surface, and includes volcanic activity. This is highly variable, hence likely to be quite important. [IMPORTANT].

g) Water: 2/3rd of the surface of the earth is water, and quite deep. Water absorbs heat slowly and releases it slowly. It leads a convection currents across the earth and has a dramatic influence on the Earth's climate. Snow and ice have properties that affect the Earth's climate significantly, as well.While the total amount of water doesn't change, its distribution and influence is constantly in flux. This must be important. [IMPORTANT].

h) Gases: Water vapour and methane are critical here, being powerful greenhouse gases, but CO2 also matters. [IMPORTANT].

g) Plant and animal life. This is absolutely crucial. [IMPORTANT].

h) Humans: This is another important variable given our significant re-design of the surface of the earth. [IMPORTANT].

I've noted some findings on other causal factors elsewhere so won't go into these things here. Just the sun.

The effect of the sun

Sunspots and other measures of solar activity

Have the changes in solar activity (sunspots) made an impact? 

The key issue here is whether the  above figure shows a relationship with the Little Ice Age that ended in about 1850. If solar activity has delayed impacts on the earth's climate (possibly through absorption of heat by sea water and slow changes on ocean currents), then a broad relationship exists between the little Ice Age that lasted till 1850, and the subsequent increase in temperature that we have seen in the last four decades. 

If the sun's impact is immediate, then of course the relationship is much weaker. However, there is no reason why the entire heat from the sun should instantly impact climate. If that were the case then we would see sea levels rise everyday in the afternoon and subside at night. Sea temperatures change very slowly, because of their depth. It seems plausible therefore that at least some portion of the effect is relatively longer term. In which case, the increased solar activity over mid-20th century could be leading to warming today, as the energy is released from within the deep oceans. 

Further, there seems to be clear evidence that there has been extra solar activity during the 20th century, particularly in the 1950s and 1990s (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modern_Maximum). This comes out clearly in the figure below:

Sourcehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Sunspot_Numbers.png (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_variation)

Claims that there are inaccuracies in the IPCC report on solar activity: http://climatechange.thinkaboutit.eu/think2/post/judithgate_ipcc_consensus_was_only_one_solar_physicist

This article seems to be particularly important and argues that "the original satellite data showed, that TSI (measured in Watts) increased from 1986 to 1996 by cca one third… But then Judith and Clause "laundered" the graphs and voila… solar output increase was gone. The people, who were in charge of the satellites and who created the original graphs (the best world astro-physicists: Doug Hoyt, Richard C.Willson) protested against this manipulation. In vain." (see here).

My view on this is that this is all too much for me to examine in detail given limitations of time. However, I've been compiling a few articles on the subject which might help me find the accurate position on this subject in the coming year/s. I'll keep adding information here. 

My tentative conclusion

I've already come to the view that CO2 is a boon and that sea levels (and climate) always change. So regardless of whether the sun is a significant explanatory variable in the current  increasing temperatures of the earth (which are relatively minor, though), climate change is not a threat. That much is clear.

I am unable to figure, though, out why so much self-contradictory evidence is published regarding the influence of the sun, and look forward to the day when I'll be able to form a much clearer understanding on its role on the climate. It is highly implausible that the sun has a negligible influence on the earth's climate, as the IPCC has claimed. So if there was genuine fraud (see the article here, again), that's a serious matter for scientists to resolve. But even without the claims of fraud, there doesn't seem to me to have been sufficient evidence provided that the sun is not the MAJOR factor driving climate change. It is highly implausible that CO2 is the key factor in such change (that doesn't fit historical records).

I haven't had the time to fully read this particular academic paper here (this  paper is rather significant!), but over the next year I hope to read a lot more in my spare time and publish my findings as I arrive at various conclusions.

One thing is clear to me – that IPCC has NOT done the due diligence it needed to have done, before it arrived at its conclusions. If so much information is available in books, articles, and on the internet to contradict key claims of IPCC, then surely there is a real problem. I hope to write a blog post compiling key IPCC failures, in the coming weeks/months.
 
Prediction of likely cooling due to reduction in sun spots
 
 
Cosmic ray effects
Some articles claim that cosmic rays reflect the changes in solar activity.  

Articles of interest (too little time to summarise)

I hope to find time to summarise and classify these better in the coming weeks/months/years.

http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20727793.100-the-sun-joins-the-climate-club.html

http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20627640.800-whats-wrong-with-the-sun.html

http://www.climatechangefraud.com/climate-reports/7269-severe-weather-set-to-dampen-summer-spirits

http://www.appinsys.com/GlobalWarming/GW_Part6_SolarEvidence.htm

http://www.altnewsviews.com/forum/solarimg/solar-dynamics-observatory-the-'variable-sun'-mission/

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/3036032.stm

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article1363818.ece

http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/090827-sun-climate.html

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8615789.stm

http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2009/01apr_deepsolarminimum/

Things that aren't conclusive

Warming of Mars
This story came out some time ago but a number of people disputed it. So let it rest!
 
Reduced cloud cover
http://www.climatechangefraud.com/behind-the-science/6902-whoops-co2-has-almost-nothing-to-do-with-global-warming-discovers-top-us-meteorologist

http://stephenschneider.stanford.edu/Publications/PDF_Papers/DamonLaut2004.pdf

http://www.pmodwrc.ch/pmod.php?topic=tsi/composite/SolarConstant

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/03/030321075236.htm

http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/SORCE/sorce_04.php

ADDENDUM

General opposition to arguments of man-made climate change

http://www.globalwarminghoax.com/comment.php?comment.news.123

Ocean current effects: http://www.climatechangefraud.com/behind-the-science/7221-new-study-co2-only-rose-after-ice-age-ended-global-wind-shift-to-blame

http://www.worldclimatereport.com/index.php/2010/07/15/solar-control-on-tibet’s-climate/

PEER REVIEWED STUDY THAT CONFIRMS 100% THE ROLE OF THE SUN IN CLIMATE.

Cooling actually represents significant danger for humanity – but the media obviously don’t want to alarm you

Sun down (Economist, 18 june 2011)

Sun affects cosmic rays which affect clouds

 

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Why does energy “travel” in “circles” inside an atom?

I’ve been puzzled by a strange fact recently, and am publishing this issue in the hope of getting an answer to my question from the ether called the internet.

Three basic facts, first.
a) Energy can never be destroyed. Every drop of energy created at the Big Bang still exists and will continue to exist for ever.
b) Every object remains in that state of motion unless an external force is applied to it.
c) Energy is essentially a wave and will always travel in a straight line through vacuum (corollary of (b)).

This means that the wave-like energy created at the moment of the Big Bang never changes “direction” but ALWAYS and invariably travels in a straight line, for ever. We do know that the low energy radiation produced at the Big Bang is “visible” as microwave radiation today due to red shift. But we also know that most of the energy was converted into sub-atomic particles. Most of the Big Bang’s energy is therefore found inside matter (e=mc2).

The energy inside atoms has been goinground and round intinycirclesthrough vacuumfor about 13.7 billion years, and will do so for many more billion years. Nothing can make this energy change direction. Hence, unless an atom is impacted in a nuclear or fusion reaction, it is going to remain unchanged for ever. That much is clear.

The question I have is this:
If energy can only travel in a straight line, then under ordinary laws no atoms can possibly form (energy can never travel in circular paths else it will violate Newton’s laws). And yet, quarks, atoms, and the lot, do exist. So how did the energy generated at the Big Bang, travelling at speed of light, and in a straight line, become particulate?

My half-baked hypothesis:
I’ve got a half-baked hypothesis which I’m sure must have been examined by atomic physicists in the past, possibly decades ago, investigated, and rejected. However, I’d like to find out more about this issue from anyone who can point me in the right direction.

So I thought that what could explain the ‘circular’ shape (and I know this ‘circular’ shape is only probabilistic), is a law of physics whereby ultra high frequency energy at the Big Bang might have forced space to curve sharply – but only at the atomic level. Thereafter, that high frequency energy seemingly travels in a straight line but to us appears to travel in circles.

One can be reasonably sure that there is no reason for different laws to apply to different ‘things’ at the time of ‘creation’. All energy was necessarily the same, being a chip of ‘the same block’. Depending only on the probability of certain events (such as high energy radiation sharply bending space, and low energy radiation being unable to do so), various types of sub-atomic particles were presumably created, as well as the light and heat of the Big Bang.

Does this hypothesis make any sense? Has it been discussed in the literature? When, by whom? What was the consequence? If it is true, then do we know under what conditions energy impacts the space through which it is travelling so as to sharply bend it and create the strong atomic/nuclear force? I’d like to know the current state of knowledge on this question. Happy to be provided with references for me to read.

ADDENDUM 4 June 2009
This would mean the following:
a) Low frequency energy would travel straight for ever (visible, and the usual electromagnetic spectrum)
b) Energy that is about to reach a critical threshold would start getting “bent”, and should travel in a massive spiral shape forever, never finally collapsing into a “bubble”.
c) Energy the frequency of which exceeds a critical threshold would bend space so dramatically that it would get ‘caught’ inside a space bubble.

It would appear to me that the bending of space creates ripples in the surrounding space of two types: (a) gravitational and (b) magnetic. Both these are weak ripples, but the sum of all of them can add up considerably in large bodies.

Explaining the bonds between atoms (to form molecules):
It would seem likely that the distortions in space created by energy that has become particulate (e.g. an atom) creates a variety of opportunities for ‘bonding’ (such as ‘concavities’, which implies a kind of ‘force’ at work) that suit particular atoms better than others. Imagine a ‘cavity’ in the surrounding space of atom A that suits another atom B which can then happily ‘bond’ with A until the motion of A becomes too fast for B (as a result of heating AB, say), that the ‘slot’ created in the ‘hyperplanes’ of the two atoms split apart. I know this is getting really into the realm of fantasy, but I need to know of a single principle that will explain all atoms and all molecules. I find the depiction of the world in two parts: as matter and energy, deeply unsatisfactory. Matter is nothing but a bundle of energy bound in space, else the universe doesn’t make sense.

Note that if this perspective of the creation of atoms is even slightly true it almost certainly rules out the steady state infinite duration universe, for the creation of atoms requires an event that pumps out such huge amounts of energy, at such a large frequency and short amplitude, that it can only occur in a cataclysmic even of the Big Bang type.

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Get used to it: The climate always changes

The climate is always changing

The Earth can either become warmer or cooler. That is what it has done for hundreds of millions of years. Sometimes an ice age, sometimes an interglacial.

Figure: Annual Mean Temperatures in UK Since 1659, the longest thermometer series of temperature (here). (Click the above figure to make it larger).What do you notice in this figure? That the temperature constantly changes from year to year? If so, you're right!

Surface impacts

1. Ice: The amount of ice on Earth goes up, goes down

2. Sea levels: The sea levels go up, and they go down

3. Temperature: The temperature of the Earth's surface goes up and it goes down.

The current change in climate is not particularly special or unique, as even a cursory examination of the facts of the case clearly demonstrates. It is definitely not a matter of concern. Instead, we are LUCKY that the average temperature is slightly warmer, and there is more CO2 in the air. That is how we have been able to produce more food and sustain a much higher human population than ever before in history.

If we don't understand statistics we are destined to stew in our own sweat!

The 'common' man (including the common policy maker) is generally deeply ignorant about basic statistical facts:

a) Correlation doesn't imply causation. Two totally unrelated random variables can be perfectly correlated, quite accidentally, for some time. Always look for a clear theory to underpin a causal analysis.

b) Causality can only be confirmed through a theory. So the theory should be explicit, and the theory should be testable/ empirically verifiable. In general, even ONE fact that doesn't fit a theory's predictions will nullify the entire theory.

c) Causality in real life is usually very 'deep', meaning complex, inter-related, and multivariate. Conditional probabilities and feedback loops contaminate the analysis. That is why most 'real life' theories remain untestable or simply fail upon being put to the test.

d) Understand that even the best 'real life' theories tend to have a 'delta' or white noise variable that represents our ignorance as well as the innate randomness of phenomena.

e) Be very careful when you are presented with a graph! Watch out for its axes, and ensure you understand what is being shown. When looking at a graph that purports to talk about a long term trend, do look at long term charts. The overall picture can only be seen by looking back at long-term trends.

f) Be very wary of computer models particularly those that purport to predict the future. They are TOTALLY dangerous in the hands of the uninitiated, like the models that underpinned the USSR economy: recipes for disaster! To model the trends likely to be seen in the future, rely on an explanation that demonstrates a deep understanding of multivariate and complex factors at work, and not on computer models. That way you'll understand what is in the modeler's mind, and will soon realise where the modeler is wrong.

What has been happening on the climate change front?

Two UNRELATED facts have been the cause of much grief:

a) YES, the average temperature of the 20th century was definitely higher than the average temperature of the 19th century.

b) YES, the level of CO2 in the air was almost certainly higher (on average) in the 20th century than in the 19th century.

BUT (a) that doesn't mean that the rise in temperature in the 20th century was CAUSED by the rise in CO2. Correlation DOES NOT IMPLY causation. To understand why this correlation is UNRELATED is not a trivial matter, however. It requires significant understanding of the theory of the Earth's temperature, including how CO2 behaves.

AND (b) this correlation disappears the moment the 'graph' is extended beyond the past 150 years. The temperature on earth has only a very indirect relationship with CO2.

Therefore this is a spurious correlation.

A SIMPLIFIED THEORY OF GLOBAL TEMPERATURE

The equation for the Earth's surface temperature goes something like this (this is HIGHLY simplified):

Earth Temperature = f(HO, HR, S, G, W, ….) + Delta

where

HO = Heat output of the sun. This is HIGHLY VARIABLE, since the sun is a pulsing star. The sun, for reasons not yet understood, also seems to have cycles of activity – most likely related to the changing gravitational (and many other) impacts of stars in the Milky Way and even other galaxies;

HR = Heat received by the Earth from the sun = f(cloudiness, reflection from light surfaces like ice, and absorption by dark surfaces like green leaves, particulate matter in the air such as dust and soot, D). D is the distance of Earth from the sun which is a function of (orbital changes of the Earth, wobble of the Earth);

S = Ancient stored heat from 4.5 billion years ago, inside the Earth's bowel (heat that is emitted through volcanic and tectonic activity). Volcanoes supply this 'inner heat' in a fairly random and unpredictable manner;

G = Greenhouse effect (or atmospheric gas effect) = f (lograthmic function of CO2, appropriate other functions of other greenhouse gases, level of consumption and sequestration of greenhouse gases by plankton, bacteria, and other microbes which in turn is a highly 'responsive' to feedback loops since these tiny single-celled creatures multiply instantly and hence "eat" more CO2 the more of it is produced); and

W = Heat cycled through water = (deep sea currents, clouds and their formation, including significant self-adjusting cooling effect through evaporation from the sea)

Note that each variable has a varying marginal effect: the equation is therefore strongly non-linear, its form and shape not known or understood, as a whole. Note also the self-adjusting or feedback effects that nullify many changes.

I hazard that the COMBINED explanatory power of these variables (the marginal effects of which are not yet fully understood) is around 30 per cent – at best, with at least 70% of the causes of the Earth's temperature not yet known. In other words, if you were to plug in all relevant variables into the above "equation" you COULD NOT MIMIC the precise climate of the Earth over the past 4.5 billion years. Therefore, the possibility of mankind predicting the future climate is close to ZERO. When we will be able to replicate the entire past history of the earth's climate, we can then consider predicting the future.

Under these circumstances of highly limited knowledge, ONLY FOOLS confidently "predict" the direction of climate change from the knowledge of one TINY tiny sub-variable (e.g. CO2)! Such great folly is typical of mankind, though, and does not surprise me at all (ref. the folly of 'economists' who predict the path of interest rates, and therefore 'manage' interest rates, distorting the world's economy badly).

NOTHING KNOWN TO MAN SO FAR IS SUFFICIENT TO RECONSTRUCT THE WORLD'S CLIMATE HISTORY. HENCE PREDICTING THE FUTURE OF THE CLIMATE IS AN OCCUPATION THAT ONLY FOOLS UNDERTAKE.

Even in the past three thousand years, there have been, arguably (there is virtually conclusive evidence on this), at least two major periods (Roman and Medieval warming) with temperatures FAR HIGHER than the warmest temperatures experienced in the 20th century. .

NO ONE HAS YET explained why temperatures were so high then – well before the industrial revolution. Remember – one fact, just one fact, that can't be explained generally flunks a theory. But this is just ONE of the hundreds of facts that the theory of anthropomorphic climate change can't explain.

And yet there are people (allegedly 'scientists', but for whom the word 'quack' would perhaps be far more appropriate!) who purport to predict the future of the world's temperature! Take a coin and toss it. That would give an equally good prediction (given mankind's current hopelessly poor state of understanding of climate change).

The effects of CO2

CO2 effects (as a greenhouse gas) are dramatically limited after a particular level (100 ppmv). In addition, the carbon cycle is based on highly responsive self-adjusting feedback mechanisms. Virtually all the carbon generated by burning coal is immediately absorbed by plants on earth and microbes in the oceans. The microbes then feed other forms of life in the oceans, which finally gets sequestered into the bottom of the ocean. Carbon is removed from the atmosphere at almost as fast a rate as it is produced. Read my detailed blog post on CO2 to better understand the way CO2 works. Remember CO2 is FOOD: it is sucked/swallowed out of the atmosphere virtually as soon as it is put into it.

CONCLUSION:

Yes, there is a slight global warming. Climate change is TRUE. It is a fact of life. And will always remain a fact of life.

Yes, CO2 has increased SLIGHTLY in the atmosphere in the 20th century than in the 19th century (please note that levels SIGNIFICANTLY higher than current CO2 levels were measured even in the 1820s, for CO2 is placed in the atmosphere primarily from natural causes: man's did not create CO2 in the first instance, and its level varies naturally).

BUT that doesn't mean increased CO2 is causing the currently experienced global warming. Proving that CO2 is the cause needs replicating the ENTIRE history of climate change first. Only then can it be conclusively proven that CO2 is the ONLY cause of change this time around.

HENCE "controlling" CO2 and expecting to 'regulate' the world's climate is a like trying to create gold inside a chemistry lab. Alchemy. Witchcraft. But luckily this fad too shall pass, albeit having drained a lot of our taxes in witch-hunts against CO2 "polluters" in the process! The truth always wins in the end. Satyameva Jayate.

Man survives. Will survive. We are a (relatively) sturdy species, resistant to the repeated harm caused us by fools.

SEA!

And yes, the sea levels TOO change! – if you didn't know that. Check out my blog post on sea levels. If you are scared about sea level change, please don't buy property near the beach. Or you may find the sea disappear for miles from the beach, or frozen over. Be prepared!

Addenda (things that I find in support or even against, my view expressed above, noting that I do not endorse any of the links below but am compiling them as part of data that may be relevant)

 

 

DUST as a factor in climate


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