Author Topic: IGG: A Theory of Everything  (Read 6535 times)

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Offline EEVblog

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IGG: A Theory of Everything
« on: May 31, 2016, 04:10:18 am »
Haven't watched it yet, but it met its $30k target!
https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/a-theory-of-everything#/

« Last Edit: May 31, 2016, 04:12:49 am by EEVblog »
 

Offline photon

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Re: IGG: A Theory of Everything
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2016, 04:49:14 am »
Bullshit
 
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Offline BU508A

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Re: IGG: A Theory of Everything
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2016, 05:10:06 am »
When I saw this, I had a deja-vu.
There is a guy in Germany, Prof. Dr. Konstantin Meyl, he invented the so-called scalar waves as an extension of the Maxwell equations.

This was completely debunked as bullshit by Prof. Gerhard W. Bruhn from the TU Darmstadt, as you can read it here:
http://www.mathematik.tu-darmstadt.de/~bruhn/Maxwell-Skalar.htm (sorry, it is in German, but the mathematics behind should be international  :D )

The reason, why I'm very skeptical about this Indiegogo campain are sentences like this:  "If our hypothesis is true it will revolutionize not only physics but science in general and beyond.".    :blah:

I think I'll play this a bit and see what will going on here:


 :popcorn:

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Offline photon

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Re: IGG: A Theory of Everything
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2016, 08:59:03 pm »
These guys are academics looking for funding of their research. The cannot get funding for their research from the usual sources, ie peer reviewed sources. So they are pulling the same trick as Baterroo, ie getting funding from the ignorant masses. Notice what they promise for your hard earned money. Your name on one of their papers published in a prestigious journal. Bullshit. If they could get their paper published in a prestigious journal they would not need your money.
 

Offline edy

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Re: IGG: A Theory of Everything
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2016, 11:17:33 pm »
There is a reason for peer review and scientific scrutiny. There is also survival of the fittest. If an idea cannot be proven, well argued, and will not be accepted by others who are highly educated in your field and can understand the terminology... something is wrong with your "science".  That is not a reason to abandon normal sources of funding and keeping scientific rigor. These guys are publishing, so why do they need to crowd-source a bonus to their salary? Are they not employed? Are they not teaching somewhere or have a research lab?

They should have done a campaign to fund their book on QHD and that's it. Not to fund the salary on their research or "bonus" on top of whatever they are already making by teaching. I know it boils down to semantics.  But the campaign sounds to me like they can't get a job anywhere or got the plug pulled on their research, and they need the money to live on while they keep working away on it. Somethings smells fishy.

I'm not saying they are right or wrong, but if they are on to something, surely they can argue their point to scientific peers and obtain more funding? Seriously, do you think anyone else but a trained theoretical physicist would have a f**ing clue what this means and be able to tell if it is B.S. or not:

Quote
Quantum Holonomy Theory

Johannes Aastrup, Jesper M. Grimstrup
(Submitted on 27 Apr 2015)

We present quantum holonomy theory, which is a non-perturbative theory of quantum gravity coupled to fermionic degrees of freedom. The theory is based on a C*-algebra that involves holonomy-diffeomorphisms on a 3-dimensional manifold and which encodes the canonical commutation relations of canonical quantum gravity formulated in terms of Ashtekar variables. Employing a Dirac type operator on the configuration space of Ashtekar connections we obtain a semi-classical state and a kinematical Hilbert space via its GNS construction. We use the Dirac type operator, which provides a metric structure over the space of Ashtekar connections, to define a scalar curvature operator, from which we obtain a candidate for a Hamilton operator. We show that the classical Hamilton constraint of general relativity emerges from this in a semi-classical limit and we then compute the operator constraint algebra. Also, we find states in the kinematical Hilbert space on which the expectation value of the Dirac type operator gives the Dirac Hamiltonian in a semi-classical limit and thus provides a connection to fermionic quantum field theory. Finally, an almost-commutative algebra emerges from the holonomy-diffeomorphism algebra in the same limit.

I invite someone to submit a lay-person explanation of this abstract. Feel free to be creative and funny.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2016, 11:19:28 pm by edy »
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Offline EEVblog

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Re: IGG: A Theory of Everything
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2016, 12:26:44 am »
Someone just emailed me this the other day wanting me to do a video on it:
http://vixra.org/pdf/1403.0387v2.pdf
Some Australian professor has supposedly detected gravitational waves using zener diodes and a scope.
He originally had government funding for his research, but then magically found he couldn't get any more funding and then ended up presenting at a quack pseudo-science conference.
Claims the mainstream scientists are suppressing his idea  :blah:
 

Offline amspire

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Re: IGG: A Theory of Everything
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2016, 01:09:41 am »
I think these are genuine academics with a theory they want funds to pursue and I don't see a problem giving crowd funding a go. More and more university funding is being based on commercially viable research - in other words, research into things we already understand pretty well. Getting funding at universities for theoretical research can get very political especially if you are contradicting the Standard Model, and these guys want to go a new way.

There are precedents for this. Roger Penrose, one of the best living mathematicians wrote a book in 1989 called "The Emperor's New Mind" with some very controversial ideas he had about the way consciousness and the mind works at a quantum level. By asking ordinary people for money for the book instead of going down the peer review path, he was doing the same thing as these guys. If you read the book, you will probably get your money's worth in even if he is totally wrong. I think it is bad if the peer review process ends up preventing us from seeing new ideas because of an ultra-conservatism.

The academics behind this campaign state clearly that they know they may "be working down the wrong alley".

But if they are correct - if they are going down a useful track, the consequences will be extraordinary. It would be revolutionary. I do not have a problem with them saying that. If you have a $55 signed book, it will be worth a fortune in 50 years.

If they are wrong, the book can be used as a doorstop. Chances are they are wrong, but who knows? There is already huge money invested into string theory research and it could all be wrong.

At the end of the day, all you can do is to choose to invest in the people. In the field of Quantum Physics, it usually takes decades for a theory to become part of the standard model, and so it may be that we don't live long enough to find out if they are right.

If they do develop a new algebra, then right or wrong, the existence of a new algebra is very valuable. It is a new tool that may find unexpected applications.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2016, 06:46:22 am by amspire »
 

Offline edy

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Re: IGG: A Theory of Everything
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2016, 02:42:15 am »
There are precedents for this. Roger Penrose, one of the best living mathematicians wrote a book in 1989 called "The Emperor's New Mind" with some very controversial ideas he had about the way consciousness and the mind works at a quantum level.
.
.
.

If they do develop a new algebra, then right or wrong, the existence of a new algebra is very valuable. It is a new tool that may find unexpected applications.

This reminds me of how "Chaos Theory and Fractals" came into being. Many main-stream mathematicians thought it brought nothing new to math and science, and was just a descriptive method for analysis without providing any more insight... and a way to make "pretty pictures". The number of papers that then came out that had "fractal" and "chaos" in their titles mushroomed... everything from people describing biological systems to physics to markets. The big question was, did it actually help us understand the systems and made predictions better or was it just a new way of categorizing or describing processes? Was it a like a new type of mathematical taxonomy?
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Offline iampoor

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Re: IGG: A Theory of Everything
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2016, 06:41:21 am »
Seems completely legitimate, if not very far out there!. I dont see the snake oil here.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2016, 07:51:04 am by iampoor »
 

Offline ivaylo

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Re: IGG: A Theory of Everything
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2016, 07:05:21 am »
This reminds me of how "Chaos Theory and Fractals" came into being. Many main-stream mathematicians thought it brought nothing new to math and science...
Sources? I don't remember anyone being supressed and then vindicated in the area, it's always been considered important.
 

Offline edy

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Re: IGG: A Theory of Everything
« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2016, 11:54:11 am »
I remember there being some friction between Mandelbrot and the established mathematical community over the lack of rigorous proofs and utility of Fractal Geometry at the time, and concern about the "hyperbole" of popularity. Perhaps it was resentment that Mandelbrot was getting so popular and mainstream, while many hard-working mathematicians were getting no love from the public. Here is the article I referenced:

http://www.mimuw.edu.pl/~pawelst/rzut_oka/Zajecia_dla_MISH_2011-12/Lektury_files/Math.%20Intelligencer%201989%20Krantz.pdf

The article is an interesting read... It shows how political mathematics can be. At the end, in case you don't want to read the linked article in full, Krantz summarizes by saying:

Quote
The subject of fractal geometry is young, we should
watch its development closely. Who knows? In 300
years it may prove to be as important as calculus.
Meanwhile, the books under review provide a delightful
invitation to the subject. The prose is clean
and dear, the illustrations profuse and attractive, and
the concepts are enjoyable. One of the principal emphases
in these books is the description of algorithmic
techniques for generating fractal graphics images on a
computer system. In this respect the books are a great
success. However, as to the assertion that they provide
a glimpse of a new science or the language for
developing a new analysis of nature, I would say that
any contribution that fractal theory has made in this
direction has been accidental. In short, the emperor
has no clothes.

« Last Edit: June 01, 2016, 11:56:11 am by edy »
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Offline hamdi.tn

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Re: IGG: A Theory of Everything
« Reply #11 on: June 01, 2016, 12:47:23 pm »
 
Quote
What happened at t=0 at the big bang?
 What is dark matter and dark energy?
 What happens at the singularity of a black hole?
 Are the laws of physics unique?
 Will the universe expand forever?

you need way way waaay more than 30K$ to do research for that !
 

Offline amspire

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Re: IGG: A Theory of Everything
« Reply #12 on: June 01, 2016, 01:14:15 pm »
Quote
What happened at t=0 at the big bang?
 What is dark matter and dark energy?
 What happens at the singularity of a black hole?
 Are the laws of physics unique?
 Will the universe expand forever?
you need way way waaay more than 30K$ to do research for that !
They admit that more research is needed. The $30K is to get their current ideas down into a book next year by 2021. If the campaign can raise something like $400K, that will pay for full time ongoing research. I gather they feel they have the right model, but I imagine learning to apply the model to the whole of physics would be a different thing totally. The killer discovery would be a new prediction that comes out of the model that is testable.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2016, 02:14:41 pm by amspire »
 

Offline hamdi.tn

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Re: IGG: A Theory of Everything
« Reply #13 on: June 01, 2016, 01:38:06 pm »
Quote
What happened at t=0 at the big bang?
 What is dark matter and dark energy?
 What happens at the singularity of a black hole?
 Are the laws of physics unique?
 Will the universe expand forever?
you need way way waaay more than 30K$ to do research for that !
They admit that more research is needed. The $30K is to get their current ideas down into a book next year. If the campaign can raise something like $400K, that will pay for full time ongoing research. I gather they feel they have the right model, but I imagine learning to apply the model to the whole of physics would be a different thing totally. The killer discovery would be a new prediction that comes out of the model that is testable.

well good luck with that ... they need some billions $ and 3 life time to be able to test it. Most theory of the last century are not testable on humain scale and they some of them remain just a math equation. i think if they are not just missing around, having a model that can be approved by the scientific community is enough. but for what they announce to be searching for, i think most respected university around the world have dedicated team of physicists, well equipped labs and huge budget that cover years of research and they will be too happy if someone show up and say well i have what it  look like a solution for what you spent 100 years so far looking for.
it look hinky
 

Offline amspire

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Re: IGG: A Theory of Everything
« Reply #14 on: June 01, 2016, 02:08:50 pm »
well good luck with that ... they need some billions $ and 3 life time to be able to test it.
No they don't. They just have to publish their ideas in a way that makes other physicists stop and think - "Maybe they are onto something here." If they have stumbled onto a better model, there will be plenty of Nobel prizes to be shared by plenty of physicists over plenty of years.

When Einstein did his great works, he didn't know how to apply it to the whole of physics. He wasn't able to empirically prove any of his ideas when he published them.
 

Offline hamdi.tn

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Re: IGG: A Theory of Everything
« Reply #15 on: June 01, 2016, 02:43:18 pm »
well good luck with that ... they need some billions $ and 3 life time to be able to test it.
No they don't. They just have to publish their ideas in a way that makes other physicists stop and think - "Maybe they are onto something here." If they have stumbled onto a better model, there will be plenty of Nobel prizes to be shared by plenty of physicists over plenty of years.

When Einstein did his great works, he didn't know how to apply it to the whole of physics. He wasn't able to empirically prove any of his ideas when he published them.

yeah exactly that's what am saying after that sentence  :P they need that money to test it , but they don't have to test, they only have to prouve that their model is worth discussing
 

Offline photon

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Re: IGG: A Theory of Everything
« Reply #16 on: June 01, 2016, 05:19:09 pm »

When Einstein did his great works, he didn't know how to apply it to the whole of physics. He wasn't able to empirically prove any of his ideas when he published them.
But Einstein got a real job until his ideas were validated.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2016, 06:46:14 am by photon »
 

Offline matt1685

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Re: IGG: A Theory of Everything
« Reply #17 on: March 01, 2021, 04:34:01 am »
These guys are academics looking for funding of their research. The cannot get funding for their research from the usual sources, ie peer reviewed sources. So they are pulling the same trick as Baterroo, ie getting funding from the ignorant masses. Notice what they promise for your hard earned money. Your name on one of their papers published in a prestigious journal. Bullshit. If they could get their paper published in a prestigious journal they would not need your money.

I know this post is old, but I want to clear up what I think is a misconception, as well as give my perspective on why a genuine researcher (neither a scammer nor a kook) might be crowdfunding. As for the misconception, "peer-review" is a process by which articles are accepted to journals. There are not "peer-reviewed" sources of funding, to my knowledge. People are not paid by journals for submitted articles. Funding comes from people who are providing money, not peers. That could mean grants, either governmental or private, or an academic position that provides ample time for research (because it is expected for the job, and also usually requires some sort of teaching duty unless one is a rock star). The way the system works is if one is not in an academic position it is much harder to get funding through grants.

The author of the indiegogo seems to be somewhat of a nonconformist. The following is my firsthand knowledge of how things work in the math world. I assume physics is similar. The expected thing to do after one gets a PhD is to get a postdoc where one aggressively searches for publishable material. That means perhaps forgoing what one really wants to pursue in order to find a sufficient enough volume of publishable results to find a tenure-track job offer. Note that these publishable results should be in things that people are interested in hiring you for, and not merely perhaps good ideas. Institutions with, say, a strong commutative algebra department are going to look to hire people working in commutative algebra.  So it helps to be in an in-demand field. If one does successfully get a tenure-track job offer then if one wants to be offered tenure at that institution then one again must aggressively pursue publishable results.  Having read the indiegogo creator's book, it sounds like theoretical physics is a bit more tribal than mathematics. In mathematics I am aware of hiring fights between different fields in a department, each wanting to get more of what they are working on. I've also seen, for example, algebraists pooh pooh point-set topologists. But, if what is described in the book is true, there is a tribal attitude among string theorists and loop quantum gravitists (a word?) even as far as accepting the theories themselves and the work on them. That is, string theorists tend to gravitate together and Loop Quantum Gravity (LQG) people tend to gravitate together. The author's theory is a bit of an off-shoot of LQG, but seems to very much be outside of it, and therefore of little interest or even evoking hostility from LQG-ists. That seems far beyond the difficulties one would have in mathematics. Although I do wonder the job opportunities for someone pursuing a field in math considered dead such as point-set topology. That's not to say that it would be impossible for the author to have got a job at a university if he so wished. He just would have had to forgo pursuing his real interests until he had tenure. That would be expected to be about 10 years, assuming one is successful (it can be done faster if one is very successful).

So the author says he didn't want to teach, and presumably he was unwilling to put his ideas aside for 10 years while he aggressively joined the publish or perish rat race. He got some grants but eventually the offers dried up. His partner in the project, a mathematician, did have an academic position, by the way. And together they wrote papers that were published in peer-reviewed journals. They published what the author claims is the beginnings of a theory worth pursuing (is it really? I have no idea), and the author wrote his promised book. I didn't contribute to the indiegogo. I hadn't even heard of it. But I did purchase and buy his book, which was worth the read. It talks about his philosophy and his process of developing the theory. It also describes the basics of the theory in extremely watered-down terms, for people with no physics or math background.

I don't think there was an attempt at fraud here. As I said, the papers that have been written have in general been accepted to peer-reviewed journals. The problem in the modern academic scene of working on the big ideas and on your own ideas is a very real one. The problem of working outside of the "hot zones" is again a very real one. I had a friend who was in math graduate school with me who got a PhD and pursued various different methods he could make money independently in a way that would leave him with time to do his own research, because of those very problems. He wanted to pursue the problems that he found interesting instead of joining the "find the smallest significant publishable result that will keep your ball rolling" rat race for 10 years. As far as I know he failed at finding such a way of making money and ended up working full time in software development, giving up his dream of math research. It seems the author here took it one step further, he pursued his interests anyway for 10 years without finding an independent means of making money, and finally, I guess when he felt he was out of all other funding options and had a body of work on the project he thought was respectable, opened a crowdfunding campaign.

Note that even if there really is something to this theory it's still going to take a trailblazer to take it up because an older physicist is unlikely to dive deep into something completely new and a young physicist is still going to face risks pursuing it. There've been times in the past where good ideas or insightful experimental observations were ignored for decades for one reason or another until they were finally taken up. Getting a new theory off the ground really takes a certain amount of marketing.
 

Offline DrG

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Re: IGG: A Theory of Everything
« Reply #18 on: March 01, 2021, 06:07:10 am »
"There are not "peer-reviewed" sources of funding" That is false.

Your stated intent is to clear up misconceptions and your very third sentence is simply incorrect and, in fact, creates a blatant misconception.

Grants ARE typically peer reviewed in the US (probably many other countries as well). I have personally sat on review boards for large grants. Let me explain to you how a typical grant works, based on my experience over decades of being a research scientist.  Grants are announced for specific purposes and how specific those purposes are can vary greatly. It could be something as broad as “Innovative Approaches to Plastics Manufacturing” or something as specific as “Defensive Systems against Drone Attacks” (I am making these titles up). There is a grant announcement which describes the funding opportunity in detail. Even high-risk, high-payoff opportunities are looked for and can be funded (e.g., DARPA). All kinds of grants are out there and there is always more than enough people going after them.

In a typical situation of a large award, boards of ~30 people are formed on the basis of specific subject matter expertise. One is invited to participate based on some kind of reputation (normally from publishing in related areas). If invited, there was a professional "duty" to serve, but I would have to justify why it was important to my job performance to serve on a review board (I was not some kind of professional reviewer and never knew anyone who was). I was not permitted to accept any kind of payment for the service (Academicians could get some kind of small stipend), but once approved, I was making salary over the time spent and it could easily be 3 days and, at least 8 hours a day – in the review. Even if they were only paying for a hotel room or a per diem, I had to get specific permission to accept anything at all.

Everyone was expected to read every grant and, after discussion, assign a score to each grant (maybe 70-80 in a section). After lengthy discussion, a chair would collect and record feedback commentary which was read aloud and crafted to a point where everyone could agree. Then the scores were announced by each participant, collated and averaged. There were even situations where wide score differences would result in further discussion.

Reviewers were assigned grants as a primary, secondary or tertiary reviewer. You might get 3 grants in each of those categories. The primary would present the grant with additional presentation input from the other two. Then it was discussed and at some length. Specific questions were raised. Strengths and weaknesses were discussed. Prior experience of the researchers…everything was scrutinized and always with the specific needs as per the grant announcement. There was plenty of dissent and, at times, it could be somewhat contentious.

If any of the authors worked for me at any time, or if I worked for them, or if I simply knew them beyond some passing acquaintance, I would recuse myself. When you are recused, you leave the room and wait outside until they are done (someone comes out and gets you). It is common to see many such recusals.

You are forbidden from discussing the material, the conversations or the score outside of the review- period. The grants from all of the sections were then collated with commentary and used toward establishing cutoff scores. The applicants received notification and with commentary. Excellent scores did not always get funding because there is a limited pot of money. It is a grueling process for the reviewers and everyone took it very seriously.

That is how a typical large scale formal grant review works. Smaller grants might have less stringent requirements, but still always have a level of review.

I don’t know about this book, this guy or his theories. I am not claiming any SME in that area. Crowd funding for “open” research raises some red flags for me, but that is me.

It is fine to have an opinion, but saying “to my knowledge” at the end of a false statement does not absolve you of all responsibility. Here is my beef – you didn’t know this and you could have found out by spending less than an hour looking into grant opportunities.

I don’t want you to leave here thinking (or ever writing again) that grants do not undergo peer review. I especially do not want anyone reading your post to think that, because it is not true.

« Last Edit: March 01, 2021, 06:33:39 am by DrG »
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Offline matt1685

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Re: IGG: A Theory of Everything
« Reply #19 on: March 01, 2021, 08:16:58 pm »
Thanks for the correction.

Regarding crowdsourcing funding for open research, I wonder why it raises red flags for you? I can think of some reasonable concerns people might raise with respect to research associated with a product, service, or policy (and I can also think of strong counterarguments to those concerns), but I can't think of any related to the issue at hand: the development of a theory to describe the universe.  Do you care to explain?
 

Offline DrG

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Re: IGG: A Theory of Everything
« Reply #20 on: March 01, 2021, 08:26:48 pm »
Thanks for the correction.

Do you care to explain?

No thanks.
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