Lasted edited by Andrew Munsey, updated on June 15, 2016 at 1:57 am.
Having neither read Tom Bearden's book: "Energy From The Vacuum" nor spoken first-hand with Thomas Eugene Bearden, Martin Gardner launches a scathing assault upon both the book and Tom Bearden directly. http://www.csicop.org/si/2007-01/fringe.html Since Martin Gardner cannot credibly refute the physics, nor the 'novelty of fact' data presented in Tom Bearden's book, Martin Gardner has resorted to an ad hominem attack upon both the book and its author.
It is therefore fitting that I present an appropriate response, within this forum, by allowing Dr. Bearden an opportunity to answer indirectly these unique charges.
Actually, I got a real chuckle from Gardner’s typical exposition of his own foundations ignorance.
Heck, he can’t even spell some of the folks’ names right. Like "Marinov". And he admittedly did not read my book, but still condemns it! And of course for the "little shooter" I also included the fact that it uses the known and proven Venus countermeasures technique, to warp its wavefront. But it would be too much trouble for Gardner to go check out what such a warped EM wavefront beam will do to the body’s electrical control of the heart. I also had a witness with me who also got the effect of the shooter. Both of us are retired Army officers who have served in combat. Has Gardner ever been shot at or had his life threatened pointblank by weaponry?
Note how he danced around with regards to Hal Puthoff, a very capable physicist. And the Zero-point energy Puthoff is speaking of is also proven experimentally, with independent replications, in the hard physics literature. But Gardner is disappointed that Scientific American would mention Puthoff with approval! In short, damn the experimental proof it ain’t true!!! But of course Puthoff was also involved in mind research! Wow! That must be really "dirty" stuff! Last time I checked, everyone has a mind, and there is still no validated scientific theory of mind, or of the nature of mind, or of the mind and matter interaction. In scientific terms, it’s still an unknown area of science and therefore a fitting subject for scientific investigation.
Nowhere in his entire diatribe did he get into or explain a single technical thing. His article contains no technical content at all, just name calling.
So let’s see: he often condemns "dirty old perpetual motion", and does not address Newton’s first law being the law of perpetual motion (Gardner does not even know that without perpetual motion – one of his great no-no’s! – there could be no physical stability of formed matter and hence no observable ordered universe at all). He doesn’t know that sophomore solid state physics students in our leading universities regularly perform real perpetual motion experiments, using a superconducting current induced in a closed superconducting circuit. The current once induced theoretically runs forever, slowly decaying exponentially toward zero at infinite time, with "half value" point at about 10exp23 years – many orders of magnitude longer than the age of the present universe. A convenient reference (standard textbook) is Charles Kittel, Introduction to Solid State Physics, Seventh Edition, Wiley, New York, 1996, p. 359-360]. But of course Gardner already "knows it all", so to go check out a standard scientific reference would be beneath his dignity.
He did not address the rather definitive difference between the archaic old equilibrium thermodynamics, compared to the much more modern nonequilibrium thermodynamics, and he certainly did not mention that a nonequilibrium steady state (NESS) system is permitted to self-order, self-oscillate or self-rotate, output more energy than the operator inputs, self-power itself and its load with the environment inputting all the energy while the operator inputs none, and produce negative entropy. Indeed, the more disordered a situation becomes, the more the nonequilibrium system can generate longer range order at the next level! Quoting Nobelist Prigogine and Kondepudi:
"One aspect is common to all these nonequilibrium situations, the appearance of long-range coherence. Macroscopically distinct parts become correlated. This is in contrast to equilibrium situations where the range of correlations is determined by short-range molecular forces. As a result, situations which are impossible to realize at equilibrium become possible in far-from-equilibrium situations. This leads to important applications in a variety of fields. [Dilip Kondepudi and Ilya Prigogine, Modern Thermodynamics: From Heat Engines to Dissipative Structures, Wiley, Chichester, 1998, p. xii.]
"Equilibrium thermodynamics was an achievement of the nineteenth century, nonequilibrium thermodynamics was developed in the twentieth century, and Onsager's relations mark a crucial point in the shift of interest away from equilibrium to nonequilibrium. … due to the flow of entropy, even close to equilibrium, irreversibility can no more be identified with the tendency to disorder… [since it can] … produce both disorder … and order…" [Ibid., p. xv.]
And he certainly did not mention that the conservation of energy law itself fails in an appreciably general relativistic situation, even though it applies in any special relativistic situation. It is already known that, in a general relativistic situation when the Killing vector symmetry is violated, the conservation of energy law fails as does the conservation of momentum law. Some quotes on that little-recognized effect are:
Hilbert: "I assert... that for the general theory of relativity, i.e., in the case of general invariance of the Hamiltonian function, energy equations... corresponding to the energy equations in orthogonally invariant theories do not exist at all. I could even take this circumstance as the characteristic feature of the general theory of relativity." [D. Hilbert, Gottingen Nachrichten, Vol. 4, 1917, p. 21.].
Logunov and Loskutov: "In formulating the equivalence principle, Einstein actually abandoned the idea of the gravitational field as a Faraday-Maxwell field, and this is reflected in the pseudotensorial characterization of the gravitational field that he introduced. Hilbert was the first to draw attention to the consequences of this. … Unfortunately, … Hilbert was evidently not understood by his contemporaries, since neither Einstein himself nor other physicists recognized the fact that in general relativity conservation laws for energy, momentum, and angular momentum are in principle impossible." [A. A. Logunov and Yu. M. Loskutov, "Nonuniqueness of the predictions of the general theory of relativity," Sov. J. Part. Nucl., 18(3), May-June 1987, p. 179].
Penrose: "We seem to have lost those most crucial conservation laws of physics, the laws of conservation of energy and momentum!" [Penrose then adds the Killing symmetry arbitrarily, to get conservation again, when the Killing vector applies and gravity is separated.]. "These conservation laws hold only in a spacetime for which there is the appropriate symmetry, given by the Killing vector ?…. [These considerations] do not really help us in understanding what the fate of the conservation laws will be when gravity itself becomes an active player. We still have not regained our missing conservation laws of energy and momentum, when gravity enters the picture. ... This awkward-seeming fact has, since the early days of general relativity, evoked some of the strongest objections to that theory, and reasons for unease with it, as expressed by numerous physicists over the years. … in fact Einstein’s theory takes account of energy-momentum conservation in a rather sophisticated way – at least in those circumstances where such a conservation law is most needed. …Whatever energy there is in the gravitational field itself is to be excluded from having any representation…" [Roger Penrose, The Road to Reality, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 2005, p. 457-458.]
It only takes a simple thing to reveal the shallowness of a Gardner and such self-appointed professional skeptics. E.g., lay a charged capacitor or electret on a permanent magnet, so the E-field is at right angles to the H-field. By the standard Poynting theory in all our EE textbooks, there is a continuous and steady Poynting flow of EM energy S, from that silly contraption, given by the little formula S = E X H. So the "static" fields have to be steady flows of energy, hence thermodynamically a simple static field is a NESS system comprised of just such a steady flow. And it’s a steady and perpetual EM energy flow from any dipolarity. That silly thing will just sit there and freely pour out real Poynting EM energy, until the end of time, if nothing destroys it.
Van Flandern gave the perfect analogy. Quoting him on the question of a static field actually being made of finer parts in continuous motion:
"To retain causality, we must distinguish two distinct meanings of the term ‘static’. One meaning is unchanging in the sense of no moving parts. The other meaning is sameness from moment to moment by continual replacement of all moving parts. We can visualize this difference by thinking of a waterfall. A frozen waterfall is static in the first sense, and a flowing waterfall is static in the second sense. Both are essentially the same at every moment, yet the latter has moving parts capable of transferring momentum, and is made of entities that propagate. …So are … fields for a rigid, stationary source frozen, or are they continually regenerated? Causality seems to require the latter." [Tom Van Flandern, "The speed of gravity – What the experiments say," Physics Letters A, Vol. 250, Dec. 21, 1998, p. 8-9].
In the source charge experiment, of course, causality refers to the cause being an input of energy in a primary form, and the effect being an output of energy in a different form. Since that is a change of form of energy and work rigorously is the change of form of energy, the source charge is also continually performing real work. And since it continually absorbs ordered energy (a single virtual photon, while it exists momentarily in the statistically disordered vacuum chaos, is perfectly ordered individually), that is a true negative entropy operation and a true Maxwell’s demon. Then by changing each bit of ordered virtual energy to virtual mass energy of the already-unitary charge’s mass, it provides a true Feynman ratchet, coherently integrating the virtual bits of energy to the observable threshold. There the continual zitterbewegung buffeting of the charged mass simply "knocks out" an observable photon. The process continually iterates, hence Van Flandern’s continual flow of internal parts continually generating and continually replenishing the associated "static EM field".
Now if that steady EM energy flow is correct, then all the textbooks have to be changed because they treat a static field as having nothing dynamic or ongoing energy flow at all. And the classical electrical engineering texts certainly do not include absorbing, integrating, and outputting real energy from the seething virtual state vacuum. Further, The Poynting energy flow theory does not give any observable energy input, so is the silly contraption steadily creating all that energy from nothing? Or is it using the proven broken symmetry of a dipole to continually convert absorbed virtual state vacuum energy into real emitted EM energy (real emitted photons)? After all, according to Nobelist Lee – one of the two scientists who predicted broken symmetry, which caused a giant revolution in physics – a broken symmetry means that "something virtual has become observable". If Gardner is not capable of addressing such foundations issues in a sane and unemotional scientific fashion, he isn’t even a scientist, but just a name-caller.
If that steady EM energy flow is incorrect, then all the textbooks have to be changed because the Poynting energy flow they teach is false.
The question at issue is always, of course, the long-suppressed source charge problem: How does a source charge just sit there and steadily pour out real, observable, usable EM energy continually, with no observable EM energy input?
Also note that in modern physics the "classically isolated" charge actually polarizes its surrounding vacuum with opposite charge. Indeed, even a single electron charge is comprised of two infinite charges, each having infinite energy. So from this standpoint alone, a single "isolated classical charge" can sit there and continually emit a finite rate of real EM energy, for any finite time no matter how long, and not "run down" or dissipate its energy. That simply follows from the mathematical nature of infinity.
E.g., quoting Nobelist Weinberg:
"[The total energy of the atom] depends on the bare mass and bare charge of the electron, the mass and charge that appear in the equations of the theory before we start worrying about photon emissions and reabsorptions. But free electrons as well as electrons in atoms are always emitting and reabsorbing photons that affect the electron's mass and electric charge, and so the bare mass and charge are not the same as the measured electron mass and charge that are listed in tables of elementary particles. In fact, in order to account for the observed values (which of course are finite) of the mass and charge of the electron, the bare mass and charge must themselves be infinite. The total energy of the atom is thus the sum of two terms, both infinite: the bare energy that is infinite because it depends on the infinite bare mass and charge, and the energy shift … that is infinite because it receives contributions from virtual photons of unlimited energy." [Steven Weinberg, Dreams of a Final Theory, Vintage Books, Random House, 1993, p. 109-110.].
So every joule of observable EM energy in the universe has come from a source charge or dipole, in that fashion. Yet we have (at present) no accepted explanation of how the source charge continually emits all that EM energy without ceasing, and perpetually.
In my view, anyone not struggling with such recognized foundations issues, or is at least aware of them and seriously considering them, is not contributing anything to any advance of science.
Don’t sweat the professional skeptical community! One cannot find any substance in them at all, if one poses a foundational question or issue.
I guess he also must have included Einstein in his sweeping context of unorthodox scientists I quote and admire. If so, then obviously Einstein was grossly misleading us when he exhorted:
"...the scientist makes use of a whole arsenal of concepts which he imbibed practically with his mother's milk and seldom if ever is he aware of the eternally problematic character of his concepts. He uses this conceptual material, or, speaking more exactly, these conceptual tools of thought, as something obviously, immutably given something having an objective value of truth which is hardly even, and in any case not seriously, to be doubted. ...in the interests of science it is necessary over and over again to engage in the critique of these fundamental concepts, in order that we may not unconsciously be ruled by them." [Albert Einstein, "Foreword," in Max Jammer, Concepts of Space: The History of Theories of Space in Physics, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1969, p. xi-xii.]
For the still-struggling "energy from the vacuum" or "new energy" arena, Ex-astronaut Brian O’Leary says it this way:
"…don't rely exclusively on those mainstream scientists, journalists and pundits who deny the reality of new energy. They are just as ignorant as those scientists who denied the practicality of aviation even after the Wright brothers were flying. But to expect the Wrights to immediately deliver a 737 would have been unrealistic." [Brian O’Leary, Open Letter from Brian O'Leary to Al Gore - Energy Innovation Act of 2007 - New Energy Movement, at http://newenergymovement.org/olearygore.aspx.].
February 13, 2007