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Archive for the ‘Richard Feynman’ tag

Nov 4, 2012

The Kline Directive: Technological Feasibility (2a)

Posted by in categories: defense, education, engineering, ethics, military, open source, philosophy, physics, policy, scientific freedom, space, transparency

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 set of posts I discuss three concepts. If implemented these concepts have the potential to bring about major changes in our understanding of the physical Universe. But first a detour.

In my earlier post I had suggested that both John Archibald Wheeler and Richard Feynman, giants of the physics community, could have asked different questions (what could we do differently?) regarding certain solutions to Maxwell’s equations, instead of asking if retrocausality could be a solution.

I worked 10 years for Texas Instruments in the 1980s & 1990s. Corporate in Dallas, had given us the daunting task of raising our Assembly/Test yields from 83% to 95%, within 3 years, across 6,000 SKUs (products), with only about 20+ (maybe less) engineers, and no assistance from Dallas. Assembly/Test skills had moved offshore, therefore, Dallas was not in a position to provide advice. I look back now and wonder how Dallas came up with the 95% number.

Continue reading “The Kline Directive: Technological Feasibility (2a)” »


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 …”

Continue reading “The Kline Directive: Theoretical-Empirical Relationship (Part 5b)” »


Oct 21, 2012

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

Posted by in categories: business, cosmology, defense, economics, education, engineering, nuclear, 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.

Continue reading “The Kline Directive: Theoretical-Empirical Relationship (Part 4)” »


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)” »