Re: Common Sense Science

From: george murphy (
Date: Sun Feb 10 2002 - 07:46:17 EST

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    Glenn Morton wrote:

    > >-----Original Message-----
    > >From: []On
    > >Behalf Of Scott Tucker
    > >Sent: Saturday, February 09, 2002 9:06 PM
    > >
    > >I have been given a reference to this organization and website:
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > >I am not qualified to evaluate their claims, but the tone of the material
    > >makes me suspicious. Has anyone reviewed their "physical model" theories?
    > >Can any of you all supply some insight, criticism, factual
    > >perspective, etc?
    > At least 4 of the CSS scientists are young-earth creationists. Barnes, who
    > just passed away a few months ago, was a friend of mine. He was a bit
    > misguided about the dangers of modern physics and never liked chance in
    > quantum and did not like the relativity in Relativity. He preferred an
    > absolute space but could be forced to admit that one had to use relativistic
    > equations to build a cyclotron (I know, he admitted it to me). Barnes wrote
    > several articles attempting to replace gravity and all other forces with
    > electromagnetism (his field). He wanted a classical explanation for the
    > world. Barnes taught at El Paso and was an occasional consultant for a
    > geophysical company that made geophones. To give you a flavor of where
    > Barnes was trying to go, this is an accurate description from one of CSS's
    > newsletters:
    > "In 1978, Barnes [19] showed that if one takes into account the finite size
    > and elasticity of
    > charged elementary particles, then Faraday’s Law, Ampere’s Law, and Gauss’s
    > Law predict a feedback effect on charged particles in motion. He showed that
    > the induced magnetic fields due to the charged particle’s motion change the
    > equilibrium shape of the particle, e.g. from spherical to ellipsoidal.
    > Barnes derivations showed that this change in shape due to the motion of a
    > charged particle is responsible for the so-called “relativistic” change in
    > the electric and magnetic fields of the particle, its change in mass, and
    > its change in decay half-life. Thus Barnes was able to show that the
    > fundamental laws of electrodynamics combined with the Galilean coordinate
    > transformation are able to predict all the observed “relativistic”
    > phenomena for elementary particles in agreement with Poincaré’s argument
    > from logic."

            I think that Glenn has been rather generous about the quality of Barnes
    ideas concerning relativity and quantum theory, which can be found summarized in
    his book _Physics of the Future_
    (ICR, 1983). Its thesis is the the physics of the future is the physics of the
    past - i.e., ~1890.
            Some of the arguments against relativity are just ridicule - e.g.,
    references to "rubber" measuring rods &c. Some of his supposed discoveries are
    really ancient history. E.g., his "discovery" that the electrical energy E of a
    charged particle increases its inertia by m = E/c^2 was made by J.J. Thomson
    ~100 years before Barnes. This discovery (like the similar one of Hasenoehrl
    for blackbody radiation) does not take the place of Einstein's discovery of a
    _general_ relationship between mass & energy.
            In this book Barnes showed no awareness of much of the modern work
    (i.e., since about 1930) on relativity. His treatment of the observations of
    gravitational deflection of light all have to do with the old eclipse
    observations & he never mentions the more recent ones (but well before his book
    was published) with radio waves from quasars which have confirmed Einstein's
    prediction to within ~ 1%.
            In dealing with quantum mechanics, his book again shows no awareness of
    modern quantum theory - i.e., the theories of Heisenberg & Schroedinger. One
    gets the impression that he thought the Bohr model of the atom was the latest
    thing. & his attempt to develop a classical model of the atom (Chapter 11) is
    an exercise in futility: He doesn't even _try_ to get the Rydberg formula for
    the hydrogen spectrum.
            Barnes may have been a nice man (Glenn can speak to that) & he knew
    classical mechanics and E&M. But his work on modern physics was worthless.



    George L. Murphy
    "The Science-Theology Interface"

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