About ‘Reality Check’

Reality Check is run by Dr Grahame Blackwell      subscribe (free)

If you’re interested in science – though not necessarily a scientist – and you think that maybe our picture of reality isn’t quite as complete as it could be, then Reality Check is written with you in mind.
[Every post on ‘Reality Check’ starts with a summary. You can then decide whether you want to check out the detail.]

We all need a reality check from time to time. We need to be sure that we’re basing our actions on solid facts, not just assumptions. We also need to be sure that we’re as well informed as possible, so that we can make the best decision in any situation.

The same applies to 21st century physics. Our lives are influenced in various ways by the views of a relatively small bunch of specialists in that field. It’s very reassuring that those specialists seem to agree on the major concepts – concepts that are held as true because they match and explain the realities of the universe around us.

But do they?

The universe has thrown us a lot of clues to tell us that things aren’t quite as we think they are. The fact that a number of people believe something doesn’t make it true, even if they’re very well-qualified people – history is littered with evidence of that. This goes double when those people have all been schooled in seeing things in a particular way for over a century.

If we’re misreading the cosmic signposts, or just not spotting some of them, then our chances of finding our way to the best possible future are seriously reduced. At this point in the life of our species and our planet we really can’t afford to sit back and kid ourselves that we’ve got it all sorted – the reality is that we’ve barely scratched the surface of reality.

Time for a no-holds-barred scientific Reality Check. Read on …
Where We Are Today

Einsteinian Relativity says black holes can’t happen – but they do. Infinite terms are routinely dropped from quantum physics equations in a process known as renormalisation, flagged as suspect by at least two Nobel laureates. There’s no known explanation for the ‘collapse’ of a light wave from many miles across to a single point, or for the electron’s ‘jittery motion’ first documented by Schrödinger nearly a century ago.

Perhaps most significantly, interactions between particles are said to be mediated by gauge bosons. These virtual particles are absolutely key to the so-called Standard Model of physical reality. But they don’t actually explain anything, they simply replace one question with a whole set of new ones – whilst giving the superficial impression of having dealt with the issue.

The fundamentals of why and how the universe behaves as it does – at both sub-microscopic and astronomical scales – have yet to be answered in any meaningful way.

Thinking Inside The Box

The first thing to realise is that the present particular* way of seeing things contains implicit assumptions in both the language and the maths of the generally accepted model of reality.
[* In the sense both of ‘specific’ and ‘particle-based’.]

The language of physics majors on objects and interactions between those objects. Nobel nominee David Bohm saw this emphasis as seriously limiting to our ability to even think about the universe in terms of flowing processes.

The Lorentz transformation matrix of Special Relativity has built into it an assumption about how two observers see each others’ speed of motion. Paradoxically that matrix is used to derive results that are then offered in support of that assumption – in effect, a circular argument.

Such bias first crept in because ‘that was the way it had to be’ – it wasn’t possible to imagine it being any other way. But now, as other possibilities are becoming apparent – they’re rejected, even ridiculed, because they don’t fit that limited world-view. Never mind that new findings could render that world-view obsolete – it’s informed the thinking of every physicist, every physics text-book, for a hundred years, how could it possibly be wrong?

They said that about the sun going round the earth. They said that about phlogiston, the stuff with negative weight that caused things to burn …

So Where Do We Go From Here?

It gets even better. Any new research paper has to go through the filter of the peer review process. And that filter quite understandably requires supporting maths – in the present standard format. A bit like saying: “Ok, prove that the earth goes round the sun – without letting go of the assumption that the sun goes round the earth.”

But the times are too important to play games like that. We need to know who we are and where we are, the nature of our own being and the nature of the universe we’re in. So welcome to Reality Check. If you want you can register for free notifications of every new post (probably once every week or two).

In these posts you’ll hear of issues relating to the present way of interpreting reality and why those issues might be important. You’ll also hear of an exciting new paradigm that’s supported by a wide range of research findings, a paradigm that could totally transform our view of the universe and our place in it.

It could also open doors to amazing new possibilities …



Get started with:
The latest post
Quantum Leaps and Tibetan Singing Bowls
The Large Hadron Collider & the Marx Brothers

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