• Hachem
    384
    The Nobel Prize of Physics 2017 has been awarded to Rainer Weiss, Barry Barish and Kip Thorne. It is a great honor for physicists who have dedicated their life to physical sciences, and I would be the last one to begrudge them this honor. Even if I feel that Physics as a science does not deserve it.
    The trio certainly deserves it because they have worked incessantly within the accepted framework of the dual nature of light. The fact that this framework is universally accepted will make my objections sound quite petty and unimportant. Still, I need to express them,
    The dual theory of light is certainly a solid theory that is very difficult to falsify. In fact, I dare say that there is not any test or experiment known so far that could falsify it. Because it accepts two (at least seemingly) contradictory principles, it is able to justify anything within its metaphysical frame work.
    I wholeheartedly agree with Einstein that we still do not know what light is and I am therefore convinced that all cosmological claims must be regarded as suspect.
    Thorne's team work is based on a single device, the interferometer, which originally was invented, or at least perfected by Michelson, to prove the existence of the ether. We all know that ultimately Michelson (and Moreley) sounded the end of this concept.
    Still, the same device is still being used to justify the existence of gravitational waves.
    Let me be clear. I have no position regarding those waves. I wouldn't know how to confirm or deny their existence.
    All I say is that interferometers are not objective scientific instruments but are devices whose results can only be interpreted within the framework of the dual theory of light. It is something like mutual recognition: the theory gives justification to the device, which in turn gives legitimacy to the theory.
  • fdrake
    1.8k
    Have you considered starting a blog?
  • szardosszemagad
    150
    All I say is that interferometers are not objective scientific instruments but are devices whose results can only be interpreted within the framework of the dual theory of light. It is something like mutual recognition: the theory gives justification to the device, which in turn gives legitimacy to the theory.Hachem

    Measuring sticks are not objective scientific instruments, but are devices whose results can only be interpreted within the framework of distances. Measuring sticks do not measure time, temperature, or electric current. It is something like mutual recognition: the theory gives justification to the device, which in turn gives legitimacy to the theory.

    Weight scales are not objective scientific instruments, but are devices whose results can only be interpreted within the framework of force. Weight scales do not measure time, temperature, or electric current. It is something like mutual recognition: the theory gives justification to the device, which in turn gives legitimacy to the theory.

    Seismographs are not objective scientific instruments, but are devices whose results can only be interpreted within the framework of shakes. Seismographs do not measure time, temperature, or electric current. It is something like mutual recognition: the theory gives justification to the device, which in turn gives legitimacy to the theory.

    Do you see what I am trying to illustrate?
  • Hachem
    384

    Agreed. There is always a matter of interpretation. The question is whether the phenomenon in question is defined by the instrument or the other way around.
    Bergson did not think that clocks could measure "duration", but even he had to acknowledge the existence of what he called spatial time.
    The same way, nobody denies the conventionality of units of weight or distance, and even if there might be some confusion among laymen about the distinction between weight and mass, everybody knows what it is, and the idea of weighing or measuring something is as empirical as can be.
    Measuring sticks cannot therefore be said to define that which they measure, but to present a practical way of dealing with them and manipulating them.
    The idea behind interferometers is that, as you imply, it is exactly the same as with other instruments.
    There is a big difference though.
    Interferometers do not need to define light, we all know what it is. Just as scales do not need to define weight or distance. But interferometers still go much further than scales. They define fundamental properties of light. They tell us that light can go through two different paths at the same time, and also that its waves can reinforce or destruct each other. They show us some light patterns and ask us to believe that this is what is happening.
    Interferometers are in this sense much more complex than scales. They are a theory in themselves.
    https://philpapers.org/post/24298
    https://philpapers.org/post/25490 [see also the rest of the thread]
  • TimeLine
    2.7k
    I wrote about gravitational waves and LIGO in my blog a couple of months ago. I'm at the gym now, but super excited about this. They deserve it.
  • szardosszemagad
    150
    Hachem, how can you not recognize criticism enveloped in a sardonic comparison of your opinion with established truths?

    Of course I did not agree with you. Your proposition is false. My examples and your painstaking examination of them makes it clear that your proposition can't hold.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    5.2k

    Can you explain to me how an interferometer works, and exactly what it does?
  • Hachem
    384
    A Youtube clip, and there are many, shows how much the use of an interferometer depends on the beliefs of the observer. It is like pointing at a Santa in a mall to prove the existence of the mythical figure.
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