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Archive for the ‘policy’ category: Page 63

Oct 29, 2012

The Kline Directive: Theoretical-Empirical Relationship (Part 5b)

Posted by in categories: defense, education, engineering, philosophy, physics, policy, scientific freedom

To achieve interstellar travel, the Kline Directive instructs us to be bold, to explore what others have not, to seek what others will not, to change what others dare not. To extend the boundaries of our knowledge, to advocate new methods, techniques and research, to sponsor change not status quo, on 5 fronts, Legal Standing, Safety Awareness, Economic Viability, Theoretical-Empirical Relationships, and Technological Feasibility.

In this post I discuss part 2 of 3, Mathematical Construction versus Mathematical Conjecture, of how to read or write a journal paper that is not taught in colleges.

I did my Master of Arts in Operations Research (OR) at the best OR school in the United Kingdom, University of Lancaster, in the 1980s. We were always reminded that models have limits to their use. There is an operating range within which a model will provide good and reliable results. But outside that operating range, a model will provide unreliable, incorrect and even strange results.

Doesn’t that sound a lot like what the late Prof. Morris Kline was saying? We can extrapolate this further, and ask our community of theoretical physicists the question, what is the operating range of your theoretical model? We can turn the question around and require our community of theoretical physicists to inform us or suggest boundaries of where their models fail “ … to provide reasonability in guidance and correctness in answers to our questions in the sciences …”

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Oct 28, 2012

The Kline Directive: Theoretical-Empirical Relationship (Part 5a)

Posted by in categories: education, ethics, physics, policy, scientific freedom, space

To achieve interstellar travel, the Kline Directive instructs us to be bold, to explore what others have not, to seek what others will not, to change what others dare not. To extend the boundaries of our knowledge, to advocate new methods, techniques and research, to sponsor change not status quo, on 5 fronts, Legal Standing, Safety Awareness, Economic Viability, Theoretical-Empirical Relationships, and Technological Feasibility.

I was not intending to write Part 5, but judging from the responses I thought it was necessary to explain how to read a journal paper – and a good read cannot be done without a pen and paper. If you are writing a paper, when you have completed it, I would suggest you set it aside for at least a week. Don’t think about your paper or the topic during this shmita period. Then come back to your paper with a pen & paper and read it afresh. You’d be surprised by the number of changes you make, which means you have to start well before your deadline.

Note, you can find articles on how to review or write papers and here is one, by IOP (Institute of Physics, UK) titled Introduction to refereeing, and is a good guide to read before reading or writing a paper. This is especially true for physics but applies to all the sciences and engineering disciplines.

Note, for those who have been following the comments on my blog posts, IOP explicitly states “Do not just say ‘This result is wrong’ but say why it is wrong…” and “be professional and polite in your report”. So I hope, we as commentators, will be more professional in both our comments and the focus of our comments. Thanks.

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Oct 26, 2012

Radioactive Pollution: Fishing for Answers off Fukushima

Posted by in categories: engineering, nuclear energy, policy, sustainability, treaties

A recent article in Science Daily reported on efforts to measure Cesium-137 and Cesium-134 in bottom dwelling fish off the east coast of Japan to understand the lingering effects and potential public health implications. As the largest accidental release of radiation to the ocean in history, it is not surprising that many demersal fish are found above the limits for seafood consumption. What is more significant is that the contamination in almost all classifications of fish are not declining — suggesting that contaminated sediment on the seafloor could be providing a continuing source. This raises a concern that fallouts from any further nuclear accidents would aggregate over time.

One would question if the IAEA is taking a strong enough position on the permitted location of nuclear power stations. It perplexes me that the main objections to Iran attaining nuclear power are strategic/military. Whilst Iran is not at risk to the threat of tsunamis as Japan is, Iran is one of the most seismically active countries in the world, where destructive earthquakes often occur. This is because it is crossed by several major fault lines that cover at least 90% of the country. How robust are nuclear power stations to a major quake? The IAEA needs to expand its role to advise countries on what regions it would be unsuitable to build nuclear power stations — such as Iran and Japan. Otherwise we are risking a lasting environmental impact to eventually occur — it is only a matter of time.

How the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant, which sits just miles away from the notoriously active San Andreas fault was allowed to be located there let alone operate for a year and half with its emergency systems disabled (according to a 2010 safety review by the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission). It seems as if there’s a missing link worldwide between the IAEA and regional planning authorities. Or perhaps it is simply down to responsible government.

Oct 25, 2012

Bad Year for Security Issues

Posted by in categories: defense, ethics, existential risks, geopolitics, homo sapiens, particle physics, policy, rants

2012 has already been a bad omen when it comes to humankind solving the dangers ahead. Perhaps an early review will make next January 1 brighter.

There has been strong information questioning the existence of Hawkins Radiation, which was a major reason most scientists think Black Hole Collider research is safe, without any increase in a call for a safety conference. Once, due to classification keeping it away from the general public, there was a small debate whether the first atomic explosion would set off a chain reaction that would consume the earth. On March 1, 1954 the Lithium that was, for other purposes, put in what was intended to be a small Hydrogen Bomb test, created, by far, the dirtiest atomic explosion ever as the natives on Bikini Island woke up to two suns in the sky that morning. History would be different had the first tests gravely injured people. Eventually people in the future will look back at how humankind dealt with the possibility of instantly destroying itself, as more important, than how it dealt with slowly producing more doomsday-like weapons.

With genetic engineering the results are amazing, goats with hair thousands of times stronger than wool would offer some increased protection from its predators. Think what would happen if, 1 foot long, undigestible fibers possibly with some sharp spots gets accidental inbreed in goat meat, or very un-tasty animals spread in the wild throughout the ecosystem. In 2001 Genetic Insecticide intended only to protect corn to be used in animal feed spread by the winds and cross breading to all corn in the northern hemisphere. Bees drinking corn syrup from one discarded soda can can endanger an entire hive. Now there is fear of this gene getting into wheat, rice and all plants that don’t rely on insects in some way. The efforts to require food to be labeled for genetically modified ingredients doesn’t address the issue and may actually distract from warning of the dangers ahead.

There are some who say bad people want to play God and create a god particle, likewise some say evil Monsanto,with bad motives, is trying to prevent us from buying safe food. This attitude doesn’t help create a safer future, or empower those trying to rationally deal with the danger.

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Oct 21, 2012

The Kline Directive: Theoretical-Empirical Relationship (Part 4)

Posted by in categories: business, cosmology, defense, economics, education, engineering, nuclear weapons, particle physics, philosophy, physics, policy, scientific freedom, space

To achieve interstellar travel, the Kline Directive instructs us to be bold, to explore what others have not, to seek what others will not, to change what others dare not. To extend the boundaries of our knowledge, to advocate new methods, techniques and research, to sponsor change not status quo, on 5 fronts, Legal Standing, Safety Awareness, Economic Viability, Theoretical-Empirical Relationship, & Technological Feasibility.

In this post I have updated the Interstellar Challenge Matrix (ICM) to guide us through the issues so that we can arrive at interstellar travel sooner, rather than later:

Interstellar Challenge Matrix (Partial Matrix)

Propulsion Mechanism Relatively Safe? Theoretical-Empirical Relationship?
Conventional Fuel Rockets: Yes, but susceptible to human error. Known. Theoretical foundations are based on Engineering Feasible Theories, and have been evolving since Robert Goddard invented the first liquid-fueled rocket in 1926.
Antimatter Propulsion: No. Extensive gamma ray production (Carl Sagan). Issue is how does one protect the Earth? Capable of an End of Humanity (EOH) event. Dependent on Millennium Theories. John Eades states in no uncertain terms that antimatter is impossible to handle and create.
Atomic Bomb Pulse Detonation: No, because (Project Orion) one needs to be able to manage between 300,000 and 30,000,000 atomic bombs per trip. Known and based on Engineering Feasible Theories.
Time Travel: Do Not Know. Depends on how safely exotic matter can be contained. Dependent on a Millennium Theory. Exotic matter hypotheses are untested. No experimental evidence to show that Nature allows for a breakdown in causality.
String / Quantum Foam Based Propulsion: Do Not Know. Depends on how safely exotic matter can be contained. Dependent on a Millennium Theory. String theories have not been experimentally verified. Exotic matter hypotheses are untested. Existence of Quantum Foam now suspect (Robert Nemiroff).
Small Black Hole Propulsion: No. Capable of an End Of Humanity (EOH) event Don’t know if small black holes really do exist in Nature. Their theoretical basis should be considered a Millennium Theory.

It is quite obvious that the major impediments to interstellar travel are the Millennium Theories. Let us review. Richard Feynman (Nobel Prize 1965) & Sheldon Lee Glashow (Nobel Prize 1979) have criticized string theory for not providing novel experimental predictions at accessible energy scales, but other theoretical physicists (Stephen Hawking, Edward Witten, Juan Maldacena and Leonard Susskind) believe that string theory is a step towards the correct fundamental description of nature. The Wikipedia article String Theory gives a good overview, and notes other critics and criticisms of string theories. In What is String Theory? Alberto Güijosa explains why string theories have come to dominate theoretical physics. It is about forces, and especially about unifying gravity with the other three forces.

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Oct 20, 2012

The Kline Directive: Theoretical-Empirical Relationship (Part 3)

Posted by in categories: cosmology, defense, education, engineering, particle physics, philosophy, physics, policy, space

To achieve interstellar travel, the Kline Directive instructs us to be bold, to explore what others have not, to seek what others will not, to change what others dare not. To extend the boundaries of our knowledge, to advocate new methods, techniques and research, to sponsor change not status quo, on 5 fronts:

1. Legal Standing. 2. Safety Awareness. 3. Economic Viability. 4. Theoretical-Empirical Relationship. 5. Technological Feasibility.

In Part 1, we learned that Einstein was phenomenally successful because his work was deeply meshed with the experimental evidence of the day. In Part 2, we learned that to be successful at developing new useful theories and discovering new fundamental properties of Nature that will bring forth new interstellar travel technologies, we need to avoid hypotheses that are not grounded in experimental data, as these are purely mathematical conjectures.

In my book on gravity modification I classified physics hypotheses and theories into 3 categories, as follows:

Continue reading “The Kline Directive: Theoretical-Empirical Relationship (Part 3)” »

Oct 20, 2012

The Kline Directive: Theoretical-Empirical Relationship (Part 2)

Posted by in categories: cosmology, defense, engineering, philosophy, physics, policy, scientific freedom, space

To achieve interstellar travel, the Kline Directive instructs us to be bold, to explore what others have not, to seek what others will not, to change what others dare not. To extend the boundaries of our knowledge, to advocate new methods, techniques and research, to sponsor change not status quo, on 5 fronts:

1. Legal Standing. 2. Safety Awareness. 3. Economic Viability. 4. Theoretical-Empirical Relationship. 5. Technological Feasibility.

From Part 1 … “that mathematics has become so sophisticated and so very successful that it can now be used to prove anything and everything, and therefore, the loss of certainty that mathematics will provide reasonability in guidance and correctness in answers to our questions in the sciences”.

We need to note that there are several different relationships between the mathematics of physics and the physics of the real world.

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Oct 17, 2012

The Kline Directive: Theoretical-Empirical Relationship (Part 1)

Posted by in categories: business, cosmology, defense, economics, education, engineering, events, finance, human trajectories, particle physics, philosophy, physics, policy

To achieve interstellar travel, the Kline Directive instructs us to be bold, to explore what others have not, to seek what others will not, to change what others dare not. To extend the boundaries of our knowledge, to advocate new methods, techniques and research, to sponsor change not status quo, on 5 fronts:

1. Legal Standing. 2. Safety Awareness. 3. Economic Viability. 4. Theoretical-Empirical Relationship. 5. Technological Feasibility.

In Part 1 of this post I will explore Theoretical-Empirical Relationship. Not theoretical relationships, not empirical relationships but theoretical-empirical relationships. To do this let us remind ourselves what the late Prof. Morris Kline was getting at in his book Mathematics: The Loss of Certainty, that mathematics has become so sophisticated and so very successful that it can now be used to prove anything and everything, and therefore, the loss of certainty that mathematics will provide reasonability in guidance and correctness in answers to our questions in the sciences.

History of science shows that all three giants of science of their times, Robert Boyle, Isaac Newton & Christiaan Huygens believed that light traveled in aether medium, but by the end of the 19th century there was enough experimental evidence to show aether could not be a valid concept. The primary experiment that changed our understanding of aether was the Michelson–Morley experiment of 1887, which once and for all proved that aether did not have the correct properties as the medium in which light travels.

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Oct 14, 2012

The Kline Directive: Economic Viability

Posted by in categories: business, complex systems, defense, economics, education, engineering, finance, military, nuclear weapons, philosophy, physics, policy, scientific freedom, space, sustainability

To achieve interstellar travel, the Kline Directive instructs us to be bold, to explore what others have not, to seek what others will not, to change what others dare not. To extend the boundaries of our knowledge, to advocate new methods, techniques and research, to sponsor change not status quo, on 5 fronts:

1. Legal Standing. 2. Safety Awareness. 3. Economic Viability. 4. Theoretical-Empirical Relationship. 5. Technological Feasibility.

In this post I will explore Economic Viability. I have proposed the Interstellar Challenge Matrix (ICM) to guide us through the issues so that we can arrive at interstellar travel sooner, rather than later. Let us review the costs estimates of the various star drives just to reach the velocity of 0.1c, as detailed in previous blog posts:

Interstellar Challenge Matrix (Partial Matrix)

Propulsion Mechanism Legal? Costs Estimates
Conventional Fuel Rockets: Yes Greater than US$1.19E+14
Antimatter Propulsion: Do Not Know. Between US$1.25E+20 and US$6.25E+21
Atomic Bomb Pulse Detonation: Illegal. This technology was illegal as of 1963 per Partial Test Ban Treaty Between $2.6E12 and $25.6E12 . These are Project Orion original costs converted back to 2012 dollar. Requires anywhere between 300,000 and 30,000,000 bombs!!
Time Travel: Do Not Know. Requires Exotic Matter, therefore greater than antimatter propulsion costs of US$1.25E+20
Quantum Foam Based Propulsion: Do Not Know. Requires Exotic Matter, therefore greater than antimatter propulsion costs of US$1.25E+20
Small Black Hole Propulsion: Most Probably Illegal in the Future Using CERN to estimate. At least US$9E+9 per annual budget. CERN was founded 58 years ago in 1954. Therefore a guestimate of the total expenditure required to reach its current technological standing is US$1.4E11.

Note Atomic Bomb numbers were updated on 10/18/2012 after Robert Steinhaus commented that costs estimates “are excessively high and unrealistic”. I researched the topic and found Project Orion details the costs, of $2.6E12 to $25.6E12, which are worse than my estimates.

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Oct 10, 2012

The Kline Directive: Legal Standing

Posted by in categories: business, complex systems, defense, economics, engineering, ethics, finance, philosophy, physics, policy, space

To achieve interstellar travel, the Kline Directive instructs us to be bold, to explore what others have not, to seek what others will not, to change what others dare not. To extend the boundaries of our knowledge, to advocate new methods, techniques and research, to sponsor change not status quo, on 5 fronts:

1. Legal Standing. 2. Safety Awareness. 3. Economic Viability. 4. Theoretical-Empirical Relationship. 5. Technological Feasibility.

In this post I will explore Legal Standing.

With respect to space exploration, the first person I know of who pushed the limits of the law is Mr. Gregory W. Nemitz of The Eros Project. He started this project in March 2000. As a US taxpayer, Nemitz made the claim that he is the Owner of Asteroid 433, Eros, and published his claim about 11 months prior to NASA landing its “NEAR Shoemaker” spacecraft on this asteroid.

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