Archive for September, 2012

Alternative Medicine Gets Raked Over Alternative Coals

Posted by on Tuesday, 25 September, 2012

Penn and Teller are “illusionists with a psychotic twist” (in other words, funny guys). In this bit, they take a look at medical hucksterism. They aren’t big fans of alternative medicine. Their language is a little earthy but their science ain’t bad.


Hey Einstein! What About Dark Energy?

Posted by on Thursday, 20 September, 2012

Al Einstein


Einstein’s General Theory Of Relativity has a flaw. Shouhong Wang, and Tian Ma found it,

Here’s the story.

Wang – Dr. Shouhong Wang of Indiana University’s Science’s Department of Mathematics –  and  Ma –   Dr. Tian Ma of Sichuan University – were at the candy store discussing the Yankees when Dr. Wang said, “Hey, Tian? How come energy and momentum don’t add up in that general relativity thing? Aren’t they supposed to?”

Dr. Ma said “Course they should.”

“Well they don’t.”

“You aren’t doing it right, knucklehead,” said Ma

“Here’s the slide rule, genius, “ said Wang. “You do it.”

“Geez. I see what you mean! Maybe he should have included dark matter and dark energy.”

“Holy Moly!” Wang said, “The difference between the new field equations and Einstein’s equations is the addition of a second-order covariant derivative of a scalar potential field; Gravity theory is fundamentally changed and is now described by the metric of the curved spacetime.”

“Huh?” said Ma.

This is an almost true story of the way that Wan and Ma discovered a crucially important (to about 14 physicists) thing – that Einstein’s general theory of relativity which has dominated modern science since 1915, needs modification to account for dark matter and dark energy which (as they point out) hadn’t been discovered when Einstein shocked the world with his incomprehensible explanation of energy, matter, time, and light and so on that he called the general theory of relativity.

Dr. Ma and Dr. Wang are on to something. Dark energy and dark matter constitute much too much of the universe to be ignored in the basic equations of physics and their second order adjustments appear mathematically sound. If the work is validated empirically (always somethin’, right?) they can be mighty proud.

ScienceAintSoBadRating = 9 . Still needs to be proved but a fearless effort.

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Thank you Creative Commons for the photo from Madame Tussaud’s museum, Amsterdam.

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