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Lewis Little's Theory of Elementary Waves: Book Review

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Someone want to tell Lewis' publisher that there is no >Vecton< Theory of Magnetism, ch 10.3 or 10.4? (amazon preview) These things leap out at me: I write patents for a living, so sue me. And no I don't want to register to the prodos & lewis show just to correct a spelling error.

stay focused,

aj

Since prodos emailed me privately, and I see nothing posted on this matter (sic), a clarification is in order.

Apparently there is a Vecton Theory of Magnetism in the corpus of LL's treatise. It is not a typo.

I asked for a thumbnail sketch of this concept, and was promised one, but it is possibly unfair to ask for something out of context, or for free.

Stay Focused,

<*>aj

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Good evening.

softwareNerd

... Your post sets up a false dichotomy between dogmatism and skepticism and campaigns for the former.

Very amusing.

But you've misrepresented my argument. Why have you done that?

softwareNerd

Secondly, it is fine to take all concrete instances of X shunning Y and classify them as a single concept of "shun". However, it is wrong to assume that all concretes under such a concept are good or bad. That would be like saying: that dog is dangerous, therefore all dogs are dangerous.

Since I didn’t make either the generalization you refer to, nor the assumption which you have improperly assumed I made, your chain of logic and therefore your conclusion does not apply to what I wrote. If it did apply you would have made a good point. But alas, no.

softwareNerd

The other mistake you make in your post is an argument that goes like this: since TTN and others made some arguments that are invalid (your claim), that somehow weakens their argument that one ought not associate with crack-pot theories.

No, I didn’t say that nor do I mean that.

What’s with all the straw men?

softwareNerd

As for amateurs and niche theories, they are fine. How can any Objectivist claim otherwise without obvious contradiction? However, any layman who wants to get deeper into economics would do well to read Keynes or something sympathetic to Keynes.

I don’t grasp your meaning. Could you please elaborate? I mean, the bit about Keynes.

softwareNerd

Regardless of those, to me, the bottom-line is this: if TEW and his supporters claim that his theory has nothing to do with Objectivism, well and good.

Hang on a sec. A statement such as: “TEW does not claim to be an Objectivist theory of physics” is significantly different in meaning from your: “TEW has nothing to do with Objectivism”.

Do you understand the difference?

And you really must tell everyone here at ObjectivsmOnline.net what you think of David Harriman's statement: "we must fight for Objectivism as the foundation of physics". Pretty please.

softwareNerd

This thread, and ones like it in other forums, won't dissuade a really curious person who wishes to pursue the field in more depth.

I like curious people. They make damn fine Objectivists.

softwareNerd

It simply makes explicit to the newcomer that Objectivists -- as such -- do not agree with TEW... and that's something you agree with.

“It simply” does that? How innocent and pure you make it all sound.

What about the elephant in the room? Any comments on that?

Grames

I did study it, up until the point I grasped that any reverse wave theory contradicted the results of the Aspect experiment.

I can understand why you would believe that.

However, my study of the Einstein, Podolsky, Rosen (EPR) experiments – including the Double Delayed Choice version - lead me to the conclusion that they do not and can not rule out the TEW.

(PM me if you’d like further notes or just email me directly: [email protected] )

Grames

It doesn't take a PhD to make it that far, so I have my doubts about what the PhD's that can't even reach that conclusion are really up to.

I don’t understand what you mean. Your sentence structure has an awkwardness about it which makes it hard to follow. My impression is that you seem to be attempting to communicate something through innuendo.

Grames

Objectivism comes into this in the following fashion: once one understands a particular idea is false, it is immoral to continue to act as though it were true.

I understand you to be saying something like this (to use my personal example): “If I understand how contradictory, wrong, and destructive ideas such as nonlocality in fact are, it would be immoral for me to act as if such ideas are true. Others – whether because they are wrong, dumb, dishonest, or evasive – may object to my position and even rail against it, but to deny what I know, what I understand, would be a grotesque act of immorality.”

If that is what you mean, I couldn’t agree more!

Grames

It becomes difficult to continue to associate with those who do not yet grasp their mistake, even if they are not immoral.

If I think you’re dead wrong about something which is important to me, I agree that there is indeed the potential for awkwardness between us. And this awkwardness and frustration may even reach a point where I decide I don’t want to continue communicating with you because you seem arrogant or unwilling to learn. Or even because it’s just too much effort.

But there are many other possible paths..

For instance . . .

Not that long ago a fellow who believed I was quite wrong about an idea which he held dear and had as a consequence cut off ties with me for several years, phoned to apologize and tell me that I had been right after all and would now like to meet up for a coffee, if that was okay. I certainly didn’t expect that!

I can also recall several examples over the years where I have been quite wrong, but a patient (well, most of the time) friend has been willing to go over the issue with me repeatedly. Finally I “got it”.

Another example (which makes me chuckle as I type) was a friend whom I was thoroughly convinced was wrong. So wrong! As I tried for the nth time to convince him of his errors I realized that it was HE who was right and that it was ME who had been wrong all along!! Quite funny. That certainly taught me a valuable lesson. And I’m now very happy to have the opportunity to share it with you.

Prodos

Study everything.

DavidOdden

Up to a point. It does not take much study to understand why communism is false and not deserving of further study.

Are you saying, with your example, that there is no context within which it would be worthwhile to study Communism today? That there is nothing more to be gained by studying Communism? Would you include all strands of Communist ideology as well as the history of Communism’s implementation and promotion in your assertion?

I sincerely hope you’re not saying any of these things, and that I have mistaken your meaning. I would appreciate your clarification please.

Especially since I have myself been studying many aspects of Communist ideology and its offshoots over the last 6 months and have enriched my understanding considerably - even though I'm an ex-Commie who thought he knew a fair bit alredy. Nazi aesthetics is another very interesting field. And Kant, since the posthumous publication of some of his notes.

My statement "study everything" is probably better understood as an attitude or inclination.

Of course, you're right when you reply "up to a point". We can't really, literally study everything.

Anyway, try one of my "Capitalist Crosswords": http://discovercapitalism.com/capitalistcrossword/ (There are more, but I haven't uploaded them yet. If you want the answer page just email me.)

DavidOdden

A prima facie case for TEW must first be made:

Who would you suggest as the arbiter of what would qualify as such a “prima facie case”?

To whom would such a case be presented?

DavidOdden

Objectivism does not grant credibility to arbitrary claims.

Are you saying that TEW is based on “arbitrary claims”?

If so, could you name a couple please? I’d like to evaluate how you determine such things.

And I'd like to check how your standard of evaluation would work on non-TEW theories.

DavidOdden

The correct principle is "Study everything for which there is evidence of truth".

Well ... I get your gist ... but your formulation doesn't quite work for me.

I'll have to think further on this.

DavidOdden

The burden then is on a proponent of TEW to re-establish factual credibility.

To RE-establish? That wording seems to suggest that it once had “factual credibility” but lost it.

Or perhaps you personally once felt the theory may have had promise but are now convinced that it doesn’t.

Would one of the conditions for achieving the “factual credibility” you refer to be that TEW abandon locality? I hope not. I’m rather fond of the Law of Identity, Cause-and-Effect, and all that stuff. I’d kinda miss them if they left.

And would you mind too much if TEW preserved locality yet were still able to derive all the basic equations AND account for the results of known experiments and measured phenomena (Double Slit, EPR, speed of light, etc.)?

That wouldn’t put you off too much now, would it?

Oh and one more thing. Please pass this around: Anyone who disagrees with me is an evading, dishonest, you-know-what who should be shunned (yes, shunned!) if not drummed out of town. Oh, and if you do disagree with me (i.e. you are wrong) either now or in the future could you please not let people know you are an Objectivist? (Oh, oh ... I think I hear softwareNerd creeping up behind me with one of those devasting(ly funny) false dichotomy thingies he does!!)

Oh god! It's 1 am! I can't sit here chatting with you guys all night!

Bye bye.

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Prodos, if you think TEW is correct in the scientific particulars then you certainly ought to stand by it; however one doesn't help one's case by talking about everything except the theory under discussion. In the history of science there have been many a scientists who has been considered a kook or a crackpot because his theory seemed to contradict everything else every other scientist knew about their field, but they stood by the facts and kept presenting their case and won out on the facts and their understanding of the facts. You have yet to present the facts and how TEW answers those experiments.

As Objectivists, we certainly accept the idea that everything is causal and that everything is causally connected to everything else. But a rejection of TEW does not imply that we accept the idea of non-causality; it simply means that this particular theory, in our judgment, does not explain the facts of certain experiments. If you accept TEW and you understand it, then the way to convince those who do not accept it is to explain how it does explain the facts of those experiments.

I'm not convinced about TEW, but I am also not writing it off as a kooky idea. It's been a very long time since I've actually done physics and I'm rusty on a lot of the details. So, prove your case: How does TEW explain the experiments that are in question?

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Prodos, if you think TEW is correct in the scientific particulars then you certainly ought to stand by it; however one doesn't help one's case by talking about everything except the theory under discussion. In the history of science there have been many a scientists who has been considered a kook or a crackpot because his theory seemed to contradict everything else every other scientist knew about their field, but they stood by the facts and kept presenting their case and won out on the facts and their understanding of the facts. You have yet to present the facts and how TEW answers those experiments.

As Objectivists, we certainly accept the idea that everything is causal and that everything is causally connected to everything else. But a rejection of TEW does not imply that we accept the idea of non-causality; it simply means that this particular theory, in our judgment, does not explain the facts of certain experiments. If you accept TEW and you understand it, then the way to convince those who do not accept it is to explain how it does explain the facts of those experiments.

I'm not convinced about TEW, but I am also not writing it off as a kooky idea. It's been a very long time since I've actually done physics and I'm rusty on a lot of the details. So, prove your case: How does TEW explain the experiments that are in question?

May I suggest starting with how " non-locality" as Travis has expressed it [supra-luminal speed] = a violation of "the Law of Identity, Cause-and-Effect, and all that stuff."

As well as how "TEW preserved locality yet were still able to derive all the basic equations AND account for the results of known experiments and measured phenomena (Double Slit, EPR, speed of light, etc.)? "

This seems to be central to the missunderstanding as far as I can tell.

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Prodos

Study everything.

DavidOdden

Up to a point. It does not take much study to understand why communism is false and not deserving of further study.

Are you saying, with your example, that there is no context within which it would be worthwhile to study Communism today?

I assume you can still see what I said. It takes very little study to understand that Communism is false, and that therefore there is no virtue to studying the false. Are you saying that man has an equal obligation to study the true and the false?

It's true that, if your interest is studying depravity, then as a case study in depravity you may want to study communism. However, I was addressing your imperative, not some hypothetical one, your claim that we should study everything. That is simply false. I sincerely hope that you do not believe that man has a moral obligation to put the false on equal footing with the true.

My statement "study everything" is probably better understood as an attitude or inclination.
Ayn Rand had a better way of putting it, I believe -- rather than indiscriminate "study everything", she advocated having an active mind. Exercise judgment. That is what I am advocating, as well.
DavidOdden

A prima facie case for TEW must first be made:

Who would you suggest as the arbiter of what would qualify as such a “prima facie case”?

Since I am the one judging whether the idea is worthy of my further study, I will be the one to make that judgment. You may disagree on standards for your own actions and the particular conclusion you would draw in this instance, but you surely must agree that if no case is made, then obviously no prima facie case has been made.
To whom would such a case be presented?
Me, in my case. To whomever might be interested.
DavidOdden

Objectivism does not grant credibility to arbitrary claims.

Are you saying that TEW is based on “arbitrary claims”?

No, I am saying that any claim that TEW describes reality is, in this context, arbitrary. Although I think it would be unproductive to pursue this question in depth here, in principle you could make that prima facie case, if you feel competent. I mean no personal insult by this, but I simply would not find your claim to be credible. I might have found Stephen's claim to be at least initially credible. But I would want to see a scientific reply to the points mentioned by Professor Norsen.
And I'd like to check how your standard of evaluation would work on non-TEW theories.
This is the heart of the matter: what are the proper moral principles regarding "less than certainty"? Should one refuse to draw any conclusions until one is absolutely certain of the correctness of their conclusion? I hope you agree that this is the wrong approach. You should integrate your entire knowledge. Now: tell me, if one has not reached absolute certainty as to the falsehood of a conclusion, what rational procedure should a man follow to decide how to spend his time -- studying communism, versus studying capitalism?
DavidOdden

The burden then is on a proponent of TEW to re-establish factual credibility.

To RE-establish? That wording seems to suggest that it once had “factual credibility” but lost it.

I base that judgment on multiple sources which indicated that a prima facie case had been made to some people -- as indicated in the OP, and in other places. I myself don't claim that the theory had any initial credibility, just that others who have more knowledge of the subject matter did so indicate.
Would one of the conditions for achieving the “factual credibility” you refer to be that TEW abandon locality?
No, that would be rationalism. I want the scientific criticisms to be refuted. Until then, there is no fact of reality that indicates that I should consider TEW any further, as a description of reality. The theory has no legitimate claim on my attention, any more than claims for cold fusion have a claim on my attention.

You seem not to have understood what I said. I do not proffer an expert evaluation of the crackpot nature of TEW. I reject your imperative "Study everything", because it detaches morality ("what you should do") from reality ("man's nature is to survive by reason, to engage in the non-contradictory art of identification"). Studying everything entails evaluating nothing, that is, not identifying. I can't do that.

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Prodos, if you think TEW is correct in the scientific particulars then you certainly ought to stand by it; however one doesn't help one's case by talking about everything except the theory under discussion. In the history of science there have been many a scientists who has been considered a kook or a crackpot because his theory seemed to contradict everything else every other scientist knew about their field, but they stood by the facts and kept presenting their case and won out on the facts and their understanding of the facts. You have yet to present the facts and how TEW answers those experiments.

As Objectivists, we certainly accept the idea that everything is causal and that everything is causally connected to everything else. But a rejection of TEW does not imply that we accept the idea of non-causality; it simply means that this particular theory, in our judgment, does not explain the facts of certain experiments. If you accept TEW and you understand it, then the way to convince those who do not accept it is to explain how it does explain the facts of those experiments.

I'm not convinced about TEW, but I am also not writing it off as a kooky idea. It's been a very long time since I've actually done physics and I'm rusty on a lot of the details. So, prove your case: How does TEW explain the experiments that are in question?

I have no idea whether TEW is correct or not and given my knowledge level I can't yet form an opinion about it, so I will not argue for or against it. Having read the book I do find his idea compelling and I have been able to make sense of much of it, although some of it I still don't understand.

Just as an aside, after having read his book and after having listened to his radio interview with Prodos, Dr Little comes across to me as honest, logical and highly intelligent. I mean, you can't help but notice his intelligence.

Now, to be sure, to really evaluate these things you have to plunge yourself into the facts and see how it all fits together. And if anyone has any questions, why not ask Dr. Little himself? The tewlip.com forum is open for questions.

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Good evening Arisotle,

Since prodos emailed me privately, and I see nothing posted on this matter (sic), a clarification is in order.

Apparently there is a Vecton Theory of Magnetism in the corpus of LL's treatise. It is not a typo.

I asked for a thumbnail sketch of this concept, and was promised one, but it is possibly unfair to ask for something out of context, or for free.

Actually, I did PM you the thumbnail sketch. Twice. :D

On March 31 and re-sent it to you via PM on April 05.

Here's a copy ...

Re:Vecton, Apr 5 2009, 06:35 PM

Good evening Aristotle,

I just saw that you posted a note about the vector/vecton issue. That's very good of you, thanks.

Actually, I did reply to you via PM a few days ago, as promised, with a note about "what is a vecton?" which Lewis Little provided me for that express purpose.

Perhaps you missed it or accidentally deleted it when clearing out your inbox? :)

Here is a copy of that message from my "sent" folder ....

Bye for now.

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And Dr Little has emailed his reply as follows (and granting permission to me and anyone else to quote this) ....

>A vecton is a (somewhat speculative) theoretical model of the particle photons responsible for electric and magnetic forces.

>Most of the principle effects described by classical electromagnetism, including the transformations of electric and magnetic "fields" into one another as an observer changes his frame of reference, are captured with a simple picture in which the vectons carry a single "push vector"--hence the name "vecton."

I searched the Electric Universe/Plasma Cosmology site for any enlightenment on or comparisons of EU with TEW. As I said, I don't really have the right to ask LL to spill the beans if he's selling a book, but in this case, and given my limited understanding of the issues, a thumbnail is not enough to understand or support the proposed concept.

Does anyone in this discussion own the TEW book and can they tell me if the theoretical ideas such as the vecton are grounded in observational evidence? I am still struggling with the various ideas in the EU literature such as Electric Sky by Don Scott, but it would be confirmatory if LL's theory had overlap with EU proponents. For that reason, if I can be convinced that there is sufficient observational support for the theoretical claims made, and if LL has used TEW to successfully predict new observations as EU theory has repeatedly done, then I'd be willing to order the book.

Stay Focused, (astronomical/epistemological pun)

<*>aj

Edited by aristotlejones

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Good afternoon.

[ ...]

As I said, I don't really have the right to ask LL to spill the beans if he's selling a book, but in this case, and given my limited understanding of the issues, a thumbnail is not enough to understand or support the proposed concept.

[...]

I do appreciate your thoughtfulness and consideration, however if there's anything specific you want to ask about any aspect of TEW, please let me know.

It will be my pleasure to assist as best I can.

Direct email is probably best: [email protected]

(But please make the subject line clear so my spam-filter-on-steroids doesn't accidentally trash your email)

You don't need to buy the book and you don't need to be a member of the TEWLIP forum.

Your questions, comments, and criticisms are most welcome. :)

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... if there's anything specific you want to ask about any aspect of TEW, please let me know.

Then I'll reiterate what I previously asked:

Does anyone in this discussion own the TEW book and can they tell me if the theoretical ideas such as the vecton are grounded in [any] observational evidence? ... if LL has used TEW to successfully predict new observations as EU theory has repeatedly done, then I'd be willing to order the book.

>A vecton is a (somewhat speculative) theoretical model of the particle photons responsible for electric and magnetic forces.

Boy I have been away for a long time. Photons responsible for EM forces? Maybe visa versa, (or in solar panels) but I always thought that em was ionized matter in aggregate having specific properties beyond that of its individual constituents, i.e. field interactions. (what causes those interactions is another question... what causes gravity?)

>Most of the principle effects described by classical electromagnetism, including the transformations of electric and magnetic "fields" into one another as an observer changes his frame of reference, are captured with a simple picture in which the vectons carry a single "push vector"--hence the name "vecton."

huh? Doesn't a vector denote a force in a specified direction, so the push is already implied?

Einstein said that one should be able to explain their field (sic) of study in simple enough terms that a 12 year old school girl can understand it.

Thanks for being a conduit prodos,

<Φ>aj

Edited by aristotlejones

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I suggest you post your questions directly at TEWLIP?

As I mentioned before, I don't really want to register for either prodos or the TEW site if I can have the conversation here. I would prefer to keep the discussion at a level where a simple student of objectivism can discover the merits or flaws of TEW or vectons in the company of those with a similar epistemology.

Are you implying that any answers to the questions I was invited to ask are going to be banned from this site?

Stay Focused,

<Φ>aj

Edited by aristotlejones

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Einstein said that one should be able to explain their field (sic) of study in simple enough terms that a 12 year old school girl can understand it.

Did he? Really? Then I am afraid he was wrong.

Alex

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Are you implying that any answers to the questions I was invited to ask are going to be banned from this site?
No, I was not implying that it would not (or would) be allowed. Since a forum exists where Little will reply, it seems much more direct to ask there, instead of relaying questions and replies through a third-party. Registering on that forum will probably take all of 2 minutes!

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My profile is your friend.

That's two arguments from authority to my lone misquotation.

Here's the shorter version:

If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.

-- Albert Einstein

Care to back up your assertion that Einstein was wrong in this statement with something more than a MSc Phys union card?

No, I don't believe it differs essentially from the one I posted.

Regards,

<Φ>aj

Edited by aristotlejones

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Greetings.

Lewis Little has been very busy lately, so I haven’t found the opportunity to forward him your questions yet.

(on top of which I was “busy” myself, being ill for a couple of weeks)

For now, therefore, I offer my own humble understanding in response to some of your questions.

Does anyone in this discussion own the TEW book and can they tell me if the theoretical ideas such as the vecton are grounded in [any] observational evidence?

In chapter 10 LL states: "Simply by applying the principle that behavior is necessarily behavior of something, and by remembering the principles of TEW, the correct theory of magnetism falls into place almost effortlessly."

I understand from this that the postulating of “vectons” is merely an attempt to apply the “principles of TEW” – as established earlier in the book - to electromagnetism, the behavior of electric currents and fields, and magnetic fields.

LL speaks of “the correct theory”.

From the viewpoint of TEW, the classical conceptions of fields - whether gravitational, electrical, or magnetic - are rejected.

Classical fields are treated by the TEW approach in a manner similar to the way quantum theory’s formalisms and quantum nonlocality are treated.

From section 10.1 of Lewis Little’s book:

The view that physics can be nothing more than a mathematical description of behavior was prevalent well before the 20th century and the advent of quantum mechanics. Physicists, even in the “classical” era, frequently treated objects as if they consisted of their behavior … Perhaps the worst example of such behavior reification lies in the classical concept of the magnetic “field.”

… much as occurred with quantum mechanics, physicists never went beyond this point to discover the nature of the real objects producing the magnetic forces. The magnetic field itself became the “real” object. Physicists to this day treat electric and magnetic fields as if they were the actual players involved in the phenomena of electricity and magnetism, despite substantial evidence proving that such a picture of things could not possibly be correct.

Harsh words indeed!

Here’s how I see it, and it’s probably not the way Lewis Little sees it:

I treat TEW (and other theories) as “projects”.

The TEW project centers on attempting to provide a strictly local, strictly deterministic, strictly physical interpretation of all physical phenomena. At a narrower level, the TEW project sets out to re-examine the results of key experiments and the predictions of key equations and formalisms and apply a methodology which preserves locality, identity, cause-and-effect, non-contradiction at every step. The TEW approach also preserves special relativity at every point of its methodology, since special relativity is considered by TEW to be well-founded.

Is there any “observational evidence” for vectons? What about for Lewis Little’s reciprocal elementary waves?

I would answer: There is sufficient evidence to make these TEW notions worth studying further. And that these TEW notions have sufficient explanatory power in themselves AND in comparison to other theories to make them worth studying further.

But that doesn’t mean they’ve been proven.

... if LL has used TEW to successfully predict new observations as EU theory has repeatedly done, then I'd be willing to order the book.

As far as I know, the Theory of Elementary Waves has not predicted any new observations or offered any new experiments which would distinguish it from other current interpretations. There are no such predictions or experiments offered in the TEW book.

I raised this question in my November 2008 interview with Lewis Little which can be heard to downloaded @ http://tewlip.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=11

Lewis Little: A vecton is a (somewhat speculative) theoretical model of the particle photons responsible for electric and magnetic forces.

AristotleJones: Boy I have been away for a long time. Photons responsible for EM forces? …

I’ve been familiar with the TEW for a few years, and only first learned of the vecton approach at the time of reading LL’s book - and was quite taken aback by it.

Especially in section 10.4 where Lewis Little discusses moving electric currents, how they create the magnetic force, why the magnetic force acts in the direction that it does in relation to the direction of the electrical force, and most astounding of all in my view, the way relativity theory come into the explanation.

Lewis Little: Most of the principle effects described by classical electromagnetism, including the transformations of electric and magnetic "fields" into one another as an observer changes his frame of reference, are captured with a simple picture in which the vectons carry a single "push vector"--hence the name "vecton."

huh? Doesn't a vector denote a force in a specified direction, so the push is already implied?

I see what you mean. But the term “push” is not a redundancy in this case. It’s needed in order to distinguish “pushing” from “pulling”. Because electric fields and magnetic fields can sometimes push away (the way like charges repel) and sometimes pull in (the way opposite charges attract) it’s necessary to speak of a “push vector” to indicate the direction of the effect.

Einstein said that one should be able to explain their field (sic) of study in simple enough terms that a 12 year old school girl can understand it.

Did he really say that? I’m not doubting you, but I would like to know more about any such view by Einstein if you (or anyone else) happen to have a reference. Just my curiosity.

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The TEW project centers on attempting to provide a strictly local, strictly deterministic, strictly physical interpretation of all physical phenomena.

I can understand why a theory of everything must be deterministic and physical -- but why does it have to be local?

Why can't some entities have a nature such that, when you do something to them, they cause something to happen somewhere else?

The remote control for my TV has non-local effects. The TV is several feet away.

My cell phone has non-local effects: if I dial the right numbers it can cause the ringing of any one of millions of phones all over the world. Of course this says something not only about the nature of my phone but about the nature of those other phones.

Magnets affect each other well before they touch, and gravity as Isaac Newton discovered it is non-local.

Therefore I deal every day with primary (i.e., self-evident) entities which can cause or receive non-local effects.

Some of these non-local effects are caused by particles, but that seems like a mere detail of operation, not a philosophical requirement. One can always test for such particles, but I do not see why they would be philosophically required to exist. Why does non-locality have to become impossible at smaller scales?

What part of reality gives rise to the requirement of locality?

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I can understand why a theory of everything must be deterministic and physical -- but why does it have to be local?

Why can't some entities have a nature such that, when you do something to them, they cause something to happen somewhere else?

The remote control for my TV has non-local effects. The TV is several feet away.

I think you might be misunderstanding what is meant by locality in physics. For something like a remote control, one can show that the device sends out an electromagnetic wave that is then detected by your TV at the TV. So, it is not an issue of something happening far away brought about by some causal agent that moves from here to there. I think I agree with Lewis Little that non-locality implies no causality, in the sense that how can something here effect something over there, it there isn't anything going over there?

One confusing aspect of this in physics is the idea of electric, magnetic, and gravitational fields, which were never really thought of as going from here to there to bring about their effects. Instead such fields were conceived as filling all the space around them bringing about certain effects. However, even with that conception, the influence of the fields is still local in the sense that the gravitational field of the earth exists far away from the earth -- i.e. the gravitational field exists 100 mile out in space. Whether or not fields are caused by something moving from here to there is debated within physics, because the idea of action at a distance (with no causative factors) really doesn't make sense (i.e. it is non-local).

So, yes, something here can effect something over there, but there has to be some means of conveying that effect (even if one contends that space or space-time are distorted in the presence of certain matter). To say that something here can effect something over there by no means is to call for non-causality -- or magic. I mean, how else could it work?

I'm not here claiming Lewis Little is right about TEW, but only that I think he is right about non-local causality -- that it does not and cannot exist in reality, as it is really a violation of causality.

But part of the controversy about TEW and other aspects of QM is that there does seem to be effects not brought about by anything traveling or existing from here to there, which, in my understanding, means that one ought to look for the cause instead of claiming it is non-local causality.

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I can understand why a theory of everything must be deterministic and physical -- but why does it have to be local?

Why can't some entities have a nature such that, when you do something to them, they cause something to happen somewhere else?

The remote control for my TV has non-local effects. The TV is several feet away.

My cell phone has non-local effects: if I dial the right numbers it can cause the ringing of any one of millions of phones all over the world. Of course this says something not only about the nature of my phone but about the nature of those other phones.

Magnets affect each other well before they touch, and gravity as Isaac Newton discovered it is non-local.

Therefore I deal every day with primary (i.e., self-evident) entities which can cause or receive non-local effects.

Some of these non-local effects are caused by particles, but that seems like a mere detail of operation, not a philosophical requirement. One can always test for such particles, but I do not see why they would be philosophically required to exist. Why does non-locality have to become impossible at smaller scales?

What part of reality gives rise to the requirement of locality?

All of those events you speak of take *time*. They aren't instantaneous.

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LL speaks of “the correct theory”.

From the viewpoint of TEW, the classical conceptions of fields - whether gravitational, electrical, or magnetic - are rejected.

-----------

Is there any “observational evidence” for vectons? What about for Lewis Little’s reciprocal elementary waves?

I would answer: There is sufficient evidence to make these TEW notions worth studying further. And that these TEW notions have sufficient explanatory power in themselves AND in comparison to other theories to make them worth studying further.

------------

Did he really say that? I’m not doubting you, but I would like to know more about any such view by Einstein if you (or anyone else) happen to have a reference. Just my curiosity.

Hey Prodos,

I will try to respond to what I can understand.

The above statement rejecting all classical conceptions of field theory is broad in scope, and needs evidence that LL's proposed theory explains successfully more observational evidence than the existing theories. When you say no comparison is shown, nor even any connections between LL's theory and even a few observational anomalies, heretofor unexplained by conventional theories, I cannot in all objectivity buy into his theory.

Just because a proposed theory claims sufficient "explanatory power" without demonstrating its connection to contextually complete observations, or by predicting observations that previous theories cannot, that claim must be judged "arbitrary", in the objectivist definition of said concept.

As for the Einstein quote: I posted the accurate quote in this thread above, but I also stand by my recollection that there is a more complete quote referring to a 12 yo girl, who in fact he was tutoring at the time, and who was the source of the more concrete quote. (Maybe Feynman quoting Einstein?) If one can think in essentials, then they can see that my ad hoc quote and the one most recorded is conceptually the same idea.

At this point, even though I don't have LL's complete treatise, I am willing to extend him the benefit of the doubt without the complete story. However, with the claims that his theory is without a demonstratable observational foundation, and because it cannot seem to explain anything that conventional theories have not, nor can it predict anything new, and that we should simply reject all field theories without sufficient reason, I then have to judge it as "unproven" to use an Irish legal concept.

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

Stay Focused,

<Φ>aj

Edited by aristotlejones

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Good evening AristotleJones. Thanks for your comments.

The above statement rejecting all classical conceptions of field theory is broad in scope, and needs evidence that LL's proposed theory explains successfully more observational evidence than the existing theories.

Let me share with you the following …

In section 10.2 of the TEW book Lewis Little notes:

Lewis Little (TEW book): A single moving charge allegedly generates a magnetic field. Yet, at the same time, to an observer moving with the charge – to an observer relative to whom the charge is not moving - there is no magnetic field.

To one observer a field exists; to another observer no field exists. Were an observer who was initially stationary relative to the charge suddenly to move, a magnetic field would allegedly spring into existence, even though nothing had actually been done to the charge or its surroundings; all that had happened was that the observer moved.

The “field” theory says, furthermore, that even when there is a magnetic field at a particular location, the field won’t affect a charge at that location unless the charge is itself moving. If an observer is stationary relative to a charge, a magnetic field won’t affect the charge. But if the observer moves – so that the charge is now moving relative to the observer – suddenly the magnetic field affects the charge. According to this theory, then, an observer – even one located at a remote distance from a charge – can cause the effect of a magnetic field to switch on and off merely by moving!

I don’t believe conventional theories are able to explain this.

In contrast, the Theory of Elementary Waves (TEW) is able to offer an explanation. One that is not based on fields and one which involves no nonlocality, thus meeting an essential criteria of objective/realist theories - a criteria which other electromagnetism theories lack.

Such an advantage however does not of course, in and of itself, prove that TEW is correct.

When you say no comparison is shown, nor even any connections between LL's theory and even a few observational anomalies, heretofor unexplained by conventional theories, I cannot in all objectivity buy into his theory

As far as I know, no distinguishing experiment with a distinguishing prediction has been offered by Lewis Little at this point in time. Whether or not such an experiment gets offered at some future date, either by Dr Little or some other scientist, I don’t know.

I note that Lewis Little does write about many, many problems/anomalies with existing standard quantum and classical theories - especially their frequent departure from the rules of objectivity.

Of course, criticism of other theories and interpretations - even if valid - are not in themselves proof of TEW's validity.

Just because a proposed theory claims sufficient "explanatory power" without demonstrating its connection to contextually complete observations, or by predicting observations that previous theories cannot, that claim must be judged "arbitrary", in the objectivist definition of said concept.

If by “arbitrary” is meant this: http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/arbitrary.html

… then I don’t believe Lewis Little’s theory or any of its aspects can rightly be termed “arbitrary”. Not even the “speculative” idea of the “vecton” fits into my understanding of “arbitrary”.

Regarding the “explanatory power” of the Theory of Elementary Waves I consider it impressive because the same postulated entities which the TEW introduces – not arbitrarily, but through inference and induction - in order to account for a wide variety of quantum mechanical observations are ALSO able to account for special relativity phenomena AND offer a promising explanation for various classical electromagnetic phenomena which have been described by conventional theories but never explained. I know of no other theory whose explanatory power has such scope or effectiveness.

At this point, even though I don't have LL's complete treatise, I am willing to extend him the benefit of the doubt without the complete story. However, with the claims that his theory is without a demonstratable observational foundation, and because it cannot seem to explain anything that conventional theories have not, nor can it predict anything new, and that we should simply reject all field theories without sufficient reason, I then have to judge it as "unproven" to use an Irish legal concept.

The “rejection” of field theories by TEW is not a rejection of the utility of their equations. And the same holds true of the equations of quantum mechanics.

I agree we should not reject field theories without sufficient reason.

It is not correct that the TEW “is without a demonstrable observational foundation”.

Many of the “conventional theories” you refer to are not in fact explanations. They consist of useful – indeed, magnificent - models and equations, but they don’t, in my view, meet the criteria of a physical theory or physical explanation.

Notwithstanding the merits or deficiencies of the Theory of Elementary Waves, classical electric fields, magnetic fields, and gravitational fields do contradict locality and physicality. It’s not necessary to study or like or know anything at all about TEW to recognize the deficiencies of field theories as physical accounts of the physical world.

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

Indeed!

As for the Einstein quote: I posted the accurate quote in this thread above, but I also stand by my recollection that there is a more complete quote referring to a 12 yo girl, who in fact he was tutoring at the time, and who was the source of the more concrete quote. (Maybe Feynman quoting Einstein?) If one can think in essentials, then they can see that my ad hoc quote and the one most recorded is conceptually the same idea.

Sure. Thanks.

Best Wishes,

Prodos

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Good evening AristotleJones. Thanks for your comments.

I don't even have time to read your comments right now, but Sammo put me onto a wiki quote that confirms my Einstein quotes:

You do not really understand something unless you can explain it to your grandmother.

variant: If you can't explain something to a six-year-old, you really don't understand it yourself.

Frequently attributed to Richard Feynman

So, I'm not completely decrepit.

<Φ>aj

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