The Århus Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics

Høj Snegl - A truly Tasty Pastry
The Høj Snegl

I am often struck by the Unreasonable Reality of a Truly Tasty Pastry. Try as I might, I cannot deny the imperative behind any such observation. I simply must eat it! Hence I am led to ponder this burning question:

Would Quantum Mechanics look different if Niels Bohr was born in Århus?

Niels Bohr had the misfortune to be born in that other Danish town: København. He probably had only minimal exposure to that most perfect of breakfast pastries: the Høj Snegl. Of course, you probably ate most every kind of danish pastry – except this one – which is a Jydsk specialty! Man, did you miss out. You really want to emigrate now. Poor Niels was stuck in that pastry desert: Copenhagen. No wonder he became despondent and confused about the nature of physical reality.

You have to appreciate that the Danes take their Weinerbrød seriously:

perhaps more so, than the French, Austrians or Turks.

Hell, the Danes invented Valhalla to better enjoy pastry.

You don’t want that experience to ever end…

The so-called High Snail is a specialty of Jydske Pattiserie, notably from Århus. You don’t get them in Sjaelland. This alone is a good reason to go to Århus. You won’t find a surer route to pure pastry bliss. Lashings of rich buttery pastry, standing high as a volcanic rampart to protect the ultimate prize within: a great caldera of marzipan beneath a towering dome of chocolate.

I defy anybody to withstand the charms of a fully loaded Høj Snegl!

Once you have eaten one, there is no doubting the existence of objective reality.


Ptolemy Cosmographia
Ptolemy Cosmographia of Black Sea States (1467)

One of the key reasons why I abandoned Academic Physics was the extraordinarily narrow-minded approach of the mainstream to scientific thinking. It was not always so, and certainly it did not feel that way in high school. However, once I got into the post-doctoral game it became clear that the operating ethos was political.

People did not appear to be responding to research results with dispassionate scientific interest. Rather the game had taken on some typical aspects of political economy. Pay attention to the existing structures of power, work out where the dominant economic interest lay and then dutifully do or say anything to support that clique.

This is not a bad way to live and probably quite sensible to build a career and to feed a family. However, it does not seem much like the Scientific Attitude which attracted me to study science as a child. Quite the opposite, it felt exactly like the religious environment of faith that I grew up with as a child. I had rejected Religion at the age of three, and did not want a physics career badly enough to concede defeat at thirty three.

So you proved mathematically that the Copenhagen Interpretation was incomplete? Who cares? We will still think that way because otherwise String Theory would not make any physical sense. We would prefer not to listen and will simply ignore you.

Did we ever get any evidence for String Theory? No! Who cares? You can get public funding to do String Theory so it must be right. In short, the game has become an economically driven contest for survival and not knowledge.

That is okay by the way. It simply means that Academic Science will cease to advance. It becomes a turgid backwater not unlike the Priesthood in Medieval times. In those days, the Monastery was a great storehouse of learning, but it did not really advance knowledge. It simply perpetuated the established and inherited views of classical Greece. The authority of Aristotle dominated and could not be challenged.

I am sure that the Medieval Scriptorium probably had a career structure with something like an H-index. The more you copied, the higher your reputation!

For some odd reason, which I do not comprehend, Western Society seems to have stepped backwards towards this old kind of close-minded perpetuation of established truths and verities. They even had a name for it. When you did an experiment and got exactly what you expected they called it a: Brilliant Confirmation!.

This situation is very odd. Indeed, the contemporary scientific literature is positively bulging with speculative innovations that purport to be new. However, what seems to unite this innovation thrust in physics is an unspoken agreement not to ever try and place any new idea in its proper historical context. Further, the Golden Rule of New Stuff is: don’t be stupid enough to make it testable.

It is okay to plant 10^1000 Angels on sundry pins in 10^500 Universes! However, thou shalt not explore anything testable which contradicts the Copenhagen Canon!

For instance, you find many thinking physicists today happily espousing the Everett theory of Many-Worlds. However, they generally fail to acknowledge that: 1) this is considerably less economical as a theory than the realist view of Erwin Schrödinger; 2) is not testable with any new predictions; and 3) is not robust to any failure of the super-position principle. Put simply: folks are inherently signing up to a world view (a Cosmographia) of positively Byzantine complexity which is:

1) at odds with direct experience (so must be sold as received wisdom)
2) not robust to changing a single assumption (such as relaxing quantum linearity)
3) computationally useless (provides no point of difference or expanded scope)
4) untestable for deviations (makes a real nice Faith but not a good Science)

This type of situation seems symptomatic of our time.

In the unrelenting thirst for Novelty at All Costs we seem to have forgotten the roots of science. As an antidote to this Scientific Rot I composed my own Cosmographical Glass. This diagram is my attempt to sum up the Conundrum of Modern Physics.

Is the Tree of Field Theory Forked?
Is the Tree of Field Theory Forked?

In this picture, I display a tree with a forked trunk. On one side, the views handed us by Bohr. On the other side, the views handed us by Schrödinger.

As my Newtonian Quantum Gravity paper showed, these are testably different theories.

The tree metaphor simply records that knowledge builds upon itself. It accretes over time, but must build on solid roots and a firm foundation. However, any student of history should know that the path of history is crooked. The tree is forked because Physics took a turn at the 1927 Solvay conference to socially endorse one true path (that of Bohr). As a result, interest in alternatives fell away and is now treated as a philosophical pursuit.

At one time we believe one thing; at another our view takes a turn on some nuance. The journalistic view of modern times is quite false in its assessments. We are supposed to believe that only the last three minutes matters and that all which came before is usurped in a day. Of course that is nonsense.

In the above diagram, I clearly display a real dichotomy of thought from the last one hundred years. The dichotomy stems from two separate (and ancient) contending views of Nature. Each was present in the Ancient times of Greece. On one view, Nature is discrete and composed of separated and separable pieces, particles, lumps… whatever. In the other view, Nature is continuous and composed of one holistic unity, wave, fluid… whatever. These two views contend today, as they have for 2000 years.

The scientific training of our time is exceedingly poor in that it fails to even acknowledge that such a story can be legitimately told about our understanding of quantum nature. Far worse, the collective progress of the last 87 years since the original papers of Schrödinger seems to be passively ignored, if not actively suppressed.

It is a situation akin to that wonderful poem by Robert Frost: The Road Not Taken. The mainstream has gone one way (Bohr), and I the other (Schrödinger).

Personally, I do not think this state of affairs is malicious. I simply think that humanity went through a major psychological disruption during the last century (World Wars, Atomic Weapons, Biological Weapons etc). This is now coming to a head with the present mass denial of Climate Change Science. It is (as if) the human race considers this moment to be always and perpetually disconnected and special, as though it has no real historical context. Hey, it is all Going up in Smoke so Who the Hell Cares?

Of course, this is a false viewpoint. Every social trend that happens today has occurred before: widespread fraud; banking crises; public distrust of leaders; the disconnect of plutocracy beside poverty; high learning and low conceit. There is nothing new under the sun. The forces of change forever contend with the forces of denial.

However, the Internet is as a force as Big as Gutenberg. That I firmly believe.

A little over a year ago, I dusted off some old scientific work to resurrect a few ideas in blog form. Now, through the power of the internet, I have discovered a community of like minds and a vast repository of search accessible historical literature. This is fantastic for the development of human knowledge.

While the Academy may struggle with the issues of the Medieval Monastery we have Freemen Now! The feudal days of Paying Obeisance to some Liege for Tenure are over forever. The world of Privateer Science is now alive and active with potentially enormous trans-formative economic power.

In the Cosmographic frame, let me fill in the above picture with one closing remark.

The left hand side of the tree is Copenhagen Physics.

The right hand side of the tree is Mongol Physics.

What is Mongol Physics? It is the systematic exploration and development of the un-named, un-explored, un-acknowledged Other Physics that Bohr, Heisenberg, Dirac and others refused to explore. It is what Schrödinger, Einstein, de Broglie, Barut and others thought feasible. It is a continuum field theory based upon a realist interpretation.

It is the knowledge that the Academy refuses to collate, develop, classify and codify.

It is Mongol Physics:

Taking over Physics, one equation at a time!

Saddle up and ride, Nomads. There is a Wide World of Physics to Conquer.

Mongol Philosophy

Mongols and Marmots: A Happy Symbiosis
Mongols and Marmots: A Happy Symbiosis

I used to have a problem with bureaucracy. However, now I am over that.

When you run companies you need dedicated clever folk to keep you: solvent; legal and fully operational. The problem arises when you put those people with boundless bureaucratic ambition in charge of those with ideas.

The result of that is foreseeable: it is Crime and Punishment.

The only things that will happen will be those things which found a way around whatever rules were designed to keep the people with ideas from actually doing anything.

Regulation is necessary but Over-Regulation encourages the wrong kind of creativity.

It is much better to have the folks with ideas in charge of the bureaucrats. That makes the bureaucrats work hard and grow their ambition to have ideas. Whenever the ideas pay off and your business expands you can always hire more bureaucrats.

This is a bet things will go wrong eventually and is thus an example of prudent planning. When things do go wrong, as they surely will some day, then the bureaucrats will certainly help fix things. Furthermore, If things go really really wrong then you will have plenty of folks who are surplus to future requirements.

This is the Mongols and Marmots Theory of Society.

I will admit it is a tad simplistic, but I can’t handle complicated ideas – they make my head hurt.

You need Crazy Mongols with big expansive ideas to take over the world but you also need Cuddly Marmots to carry the plague and keep the population of crazy ideas in check. Otherwise, the world is just one big disaster waiting to happen.

When you think of things this way society makes some degree of sense.

Let the Marmots go forth and multiply…

They are pretty cute, actually – but they also taste mighty good.

If things go really really bad one can always Eat Marmot.

Moral of the Tale: Just don’t be the last person to contribute an idea.

Mongol Cosmology

Source of the Primordial Hairball
The Original Camel: Source of the Primordial Hairball

When physics sucks some comedy will keep the ghosts of Faddeev and Popov at bay.

Since every man and his dyspeptic dog has a kooky cosmology we shall have one too!

Here follows The Great Secret of Mongol Legend.

Mongol Cosmology – The Book of Genesis
The Universe started when a lone Bactrian camel, wandering the formless wastes of the Interstitial Gobiverse, coughed up a Cosmic Hairball.

This is is the Primordial Hairball of the Bactrian Camel.

Prone as they are to gastric incidents the Original Camel then farted.

This ignited the Primordial Hairball and gave birth to all that we see around us.

On the Seventh Day, there were Marmots.

This was good because they carried Plague which rid the world of Bureaucracy.

The Marmot: Carrier of Plague and Tasty as Well
The Marmot: Carrier of Plague and Tasty as Well

The Great Kahn ate one and saw that it was good.

So Endeth the Beginning.

Aether Redux


Not the unmemorable movie with Charlize Theron in such Memorable Leather!

However, I have to admit it beats physics. There are some equations you don’t ever need to write down to fully appreciate. Call that a gift from Nature.

No, the reason to revive the aether has to do with another obsession of a dark nature. I believe that the quantum theory we all know and love might be up for replacement. Theories are like buses, miss one and there will be another before too long!

However, having you catch that bus is no sure thing. The central question, as always on this blog, is was Erwin Schroedinger right? Are matter waves real?

On this front, I have just returned from a fine holiday in beautiful Langkawi, off the coast of Malaysia. While bobbing around like some stranded porpoise in the calm and warm waters of the Andaman Sea there was one single thought that struck me.

Waves ain’t so bad… especially between Margaritas.

I thought, momentarily, that I might be suspended by a bunch of over-agitated particles. However, that thought was well gone after the third Margarita. Only waves may be so kind as to transport you to dreamier dreams when the bar tab is well-extended.

So my mind is made up.

Waves it is. I am done with those pesky particles. They shall become history.

There is a flux across the Aeons… and within it I perceive a current of great comfort.

Introduction to Mongol Physics

Mongol #1: Erwin SchroedingerMongol #1: Erwin Schroedinger
In my view, the Academic Physics Community remain light years from comprehending their task to Fix Quantum Theory. This is why we embarked on the idea of Privateer Science and the Mongol Physics project.

The issue is not any lack of intelligence on the part of Academics. On the contrary, it is probably an acute excess of misspent brain power and a marked deficiency in practical commonsense. In particular, the Academic community seem to be unprepared for the idea that they will need to rebuild the entire quantum theory. Yes, you heard me right… all of it. Not incremental improvement, but radical improvement.

This may seem a little drastic, but I for one am quite convinced that this is necessary. Not only do I think it is necessary, I also think it is feasible within five years from now.

In actuality, I think it could happen a lot faster than that. However, Academics are slow learners and seem poor at taking direction. They are unlikely to comprehend the need or the necessary focus for effort. They are all trying to be brilliant in small ways rather than wise in expansive fashion. This has made them: discovery ineffective.

Hence my target of five years is really a target that calls on the skills of dedicated amateurs. Ordinary Mongols like you, out foraging on the Steppes of the Internet.

I will write more on this in the next weeks and months, but I also have businesses to run and revenue to raise. People in the Real World do not have the luxury of Pontificating from an Ivory Minaret. We Mongols actually have to work for a living!

However, to kick things off please consult this resurrected conference post-print:

Quantization as a Nonlinear Eigenvalue Problem

In it you will find a statistical interpretation for nonlinear field theories.

In Academic land, you would spend a few centuries debating whether this was a good interpretation. In the world of Mongol Physics, this one is perfectly adequate for all practical purposes. If it is simple and works, just use it!

The important thing about it, the statistical interpretation that is, is that it functions fine as a means to compute the observable quantities of the theory. These are not spelled out in great detail in the above paper, but are generally things like one-body charge densities and currents. The very things Maxwell knew how to observe.

One does not actually need to dwell on this very much, because the real work comes when you re-build quantum field theory. To do that one has to accomplish several additional tasks. These are mainly to do with re-tracing the history of the original development of QFT and taking a different road at each major turn.

That you can do this represents the fun part of Mongol Physics.

The Academic Community don’t know there may be an alternative quantum field theory because they never actually looked for it. They always assumed there could not ever be one, which is why we don’t ask them for help. They are certain there is none.

In short, they won’t help with this project because they can’t help. Their mental blinkers prevent them from even looking and you won’t find it if you don’t look!

However, you, my Good Mongol, can help.

All you need to do is start thinking like Erwin Schroedinger

The above paper deals with the first steps along that road: realizing that the problem of quantized values can be understood as a nonlinear eigenvalue problem.

That means: no operator fields required.

Once you get past that first hurdle, things get a lot easier.

Think of this whole Mongol Physics caper as being like the plot of that very cheesy war movie: The Final Countdown. The one where the Nimitz Aircraft Carrier goes back in time to fight the Japanese at Pearl Harbor.

The Mongol Horde go back in time and come back with a Superior Quantum Field Theory! Superior in every way… non-perturbative, and finite, with added gravity.

The rest, as they say… is History.

Takin’ Care o’ Business

Book of the Samurai
Hagekure: The Book of the Samurai

“Even if it seems certain that you will lose, retaliate. Neither wisdom nor technique has a place in this. A real man does not think of victory or defeat. He plunges recklessly towards an irrational death. By doing this, you will awaken from your dreams.”

HAGAKURE, Yamamoto Tsunetomo (1659-1719)

In the outrageous 1974 film Network, an important new worldview was exposed, perhaps even more important and socially penetrating for this exact social moment than the tired and cliched stereotypes of Coppola’s The Godfather. A worldview explained in the marvelous dialogue between the supposedly radical Mr Beale and the Chairman:

The famous Corporate Cosmology scene.

This worldview has much in common with the Many-Worlds philosophy of Hugh Everett III, as well as to the possible future of the “Academy”. What is a University when they are now offering their lecturing material for free through the internet?

It seems that the ponderous Medieval Scholastic academic profile, so celebrated through the ceremony, fancy hats, robes and all, is now officially a dinosaur. The meteorite has struck! It is a dying relic of the past in a world where computing machines become more and more intelligent and decision making is awarded and divided between both man and machine alike. They must now form a team and get along with one another.

(Ed. Bravo, my good Mongol! We are now on a journey to the Post-Medieval World).

Surprisingly enough, both Marx and Popper always considered the traditional professional Guilds as enemies of an open society. We may think of this as still being true apart from any Messianic attitudes towards history.

(Ed. Guilds are anti-competitive. The Monastic Academy is the Biggest Guild of all. IMHO.)

There is evidence that future society will be a far more Open Society than ever. Consider the Mars One mission now in preparation. This is a truly private mission that garnered global private funding along with support from the Nobel Laureate Gerard T’Hooft.

The Mars One mission and mission philosophy is Radical.

It proposes to start Mars colonization inside ten years but at a price of a one-way ticket! After landing, there will be no turning back. You are Martian for good or ill!

(Ed. A classic Point of No Return strategy. Crash through or Crash. Shatter the Gloom Barrier, or Die Trying! Very Hagakure! No Frequent Flyer points on offer.)

From Mars One company data, it seems that there are already about 40,000 or so applications for an apparent suicide mission. Compare this with the very famous Shackleton Advertisement for the Voyage of the Endurance:


(Ed. Booyah! Men are not born Mice: they are only made so by weak leadership. Leave it to the Marines to get the job done! Lock and Load: Now ship those battle wagons out!).

Having heard this, I started thinking what would a future Martian educational system be like, as there will be families. It is known from evolutionary biology that isolation helps drive diversity. This is one of the reasons, for example, that animals in Australia seem to be so unique and strange. They spent millions of years in isolation from the other continents .

(Ed. Music to my furry little Aussie marsupial ears! We evolved Cold Beer you can Drink.)

I am really eager to see the University of Wild Marslands and how it will function. Pioneers are more practical as they have to resolve any number of new and unexpected situations for survival. As in the Yester-Years of American Colonization, old habits inspired by the European Aristocracy and Papal Authority gradually gave their place to new, more libertarian forms of social arrangement. This is the famous Frontiersman Spirit.

This time though, there will also be a new companion in the form of huge A.I. systems that will be created in the next decades and apparently they will also follow the human path to Mars and beyond in a purely symbiotic form.

(Ed. Never send a Fleshbot to do a Droid’s work in the Photosphere.)

An key element in Evolutionary Computing Strategies is the use of simultaneous alternative viewpoints. Academic stubbornness and conservatism will not help in an unknown terrain with lots of possible challenges along the way.

(Ed. Agree. Traditional Academia is now Combat Ineffective).

In order to cultivate this attitude, it seems imperative to abandon the follower’s stance of a dogmatic truth and develop an inner dialectic where one remains calm in the face of paradoxical and conflicting data.

(Ed. In Confucian China, the classical text the I Ching was used to mold minds prepared for command to accept the reality of change and opposites. This is vital under the Fog of War. Certainty is Certain Death. The Japanese Samurai tradition trained all warriors to be less certain of their logic. They must cultivate Intuitive Perception also, to maintain the supple mind. This is the skill of the Scouting-Warrior, the soul of all true Ninja.)

People that are treated from their childhood to have no clear cut and sharp distinction between opposites like “black” and “white” are perhaps a bit better at doing so.

Some teachings of Soft Martial Arts suggest the absolute complementarity of all movement. This is the art of leaving any mistakes to the opponent, even to eliminate the concept of opponency itself! In Zen philosophy, there is no opponent only a shared dynamic which creates an outcome.

A recent example of this Attitudinal Rigidity problem came from an interesting paper titled

Full characterisation of polarization states of light via direct measurement

which has been published in the eminent science journal Nature.  

But ain’t that supposed to be impossible? Would not a full knowledge of the quantum state come into conflict with Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle and undermine the whole Copenhagen School of Physics viewpoint?

(Ed. I have stated my own views on this already.)

The authors of course claim a certain use of strong and weak measurement that avoid collapsing the wave-function and so leave the system unperturbed.

But wait a minute! Ain’t that even more preposterous? And what do these crazy “weak” measurements really mean after all? I read a while ago in another blog about these Weakers being apostates of the worst kind. An unwelcome lot during the Recitation of Divine Liturgy. I think the blog was that of a sturdy Wavewatching Buccaneering Sailor from that shadowy harbor, down Treasure Island way!

But then, who cares any more? Computers of the future will still spit their own nice results, new incomprehensible theories will rise and fall, and most of all new territories will still be there to conquer on Mars or elsewhere.

Who will remember some old academic that had a vision problem a century from now?

Most of all, will it become possible to build a new kind of science closer to the Chairman’s vision in the Network movie? A nice, ecumenical company where everyone will hold a share of stock?

That I think would be worth pondering.

The Mongol Way

shootbackThe Mongol Way
I Genghis, Scourge of the High Priests of Quantum Zealotry, and fond admirer of the Color Blue of Eternal Heaven, do hereby declare:

1) The Mongol Horde shall only trade in: Marketable Theories of Something.

2) Trade in Theories of Anything, Everything and Nothing is: Punishable by Death.

3) Jousting for Mind Fluff, is permissible, but only on Feast Days, which are held daily.

4) Those traveling without a passport stamped “j” will be the: Object of a Game of Polo.

5) When a choice of color is involved it shall: involve Blue.

6) When no choice of color is involved it shall: be Blue.

7) There is no choice for the square root of minus one – It Shall be “j”, The Mongol Way.

8) Those under the banner of “i” shall be hunted down mercilessly – You “i” You Die!

9) Loyalty to “The Mongol Way” enjoins: Merchantable Solutions to Many Problems.

10) The Mongol Way is based on merit. You solve it, you enjoy the: Spoils of Plunder.

The Mongol Horde may lay siege to any problem under the: Blue of Eternal Heaven.

The Spoils of War are Yours when: The Back of Opposition is Broken.

Bury your Gold. Lock up your Horses, your Women and your Goats.

The Mongol is Coming!

The Mongol Horde

220px-YuanEmperorAlbumGenghisPortraitGenghis Khan
A striking feature of the Academic Physics Community is the failure to engage with its own diaspora. I left because I was completely bored with academic research. I had no shortage of new results, but the culture of physics research in those days was toxic.

Firstly, there were the infantile rejection letters and stupid priority fights. Secondly, there was the unashamed plagiarism, which I experienced first hand. Finally, there was the ignorant Sun King attitude of leading professors when you showed them something different that they did not already know.

Let them Eat Cake and Dine on Stringy Ectoplasm.

Not for any of these people a research path that may actually lead to success!

When you deal with that kind of nonsense at a formative age it kind of changes your view of the world. I made up my mind in 1995 that Academic Physics was certainly headed for a Titanic Fall from Grace. I just up and left in search of greener pastures.

However, now I can discern how that very fall might encompass a rise in the general level of research quality and a fuller public engagement for Physics – The Enterprise.

As I see it, the central issues to be addressed are these:

1) The Academic Physics Business Model is Busted

2) It is Illogical that The Physics Diaspora are effectively excluded from research

3) The push for New Physics is delusional with regard to the claimed social benefits

Let us take each of these in turn and then propose a partial remedy.

The Academic Business Model is Busted Since the 1950s and 1960s expansion there has been a near universal business model for the conduct of physics research. Outside of a handful of industrial labs such as Bell labs and IBM Research the bulk of physics research was academic and grant funded.

Success in this world required tenured status as a Professor followed by expansion of the venture through public grant moneys to hire and employ graduate students.

Result: a huge expansion in product, both research papers and PhDs.

Sometime around the 1980s and 1990s this business model began to break. It is no surprise why. It has the properties of a pyramid scheme.

To progress a career one needed to manufacture more PhDs. Very soon there is no room for all the PhDs and they get sent out into the big wide world. Nothing wrong with that! However, as the Professors who stay behind compete ever more furiously for grants they get more and more specialized.

Worse the product is research papers which can only be read by other specialists.

That is where we are now. Overly specialized PhDs who come out knowing a great deal about the abstruse and speculative elements of the research frontier. The vast bulk of what they know is not established in any way shape or form as Science. A great deal of it is Pure Junk and useless to society at large. Worse, the poor PhD never learned any of the eternally useful old-fashioned physics that describes how Nature actually works.

Result: a glut of hyper-arrogant know-nothing specialists in speculative souffle subjects. These people are useless to hire in any engineering enterprise and dangerous when set loose in financial markets. You give them a Vanilla Mortgage and they make a Constant Proportion Portfolio Insured Portfolio of Synthetic Collateralized Debt Obligations with a Neat Auto-Destruct feature when the capital buffer falls below 5%. Light fuse, RUN!

That is a thoroughly broken business model.

The Excluded Diaspora As anybody who did leave graduate school can attest, the attitude of the professors to those who leave is often rather arrogant. They look down on PhDs who entered commerce in search of a living as “not cut out for research.”

This is a stupid attitude. There are now far more physics PhDs outside of Academia than there are inside. The critical mass of brain power is not in the Ivory Tower.

It exists outside the Walls of the Citadel.

It is a Mongol Diaspora, happily living out on The Barbarian Steppes of Commerce.

Far more significantly, and against the professorial prejudice, the folks outside of the Academic environment are often among the more engaged, capable thinkers and creative problem solvers. They typically entered graduate school because they were gifted academically and chose physics since they liked to think about how things work. However, once exposed to the arrogance of professional research and the stupidity of its mores they simply left in search of a more stimulating and rewarding environment.

I know many many physics PhDs around the world who fit this description to a tee. Furthermore, since they were forced to make new careers in a host of different fields they are much more open minded about science than the typical academic. They actually have very fertile minds and great preparation for cross-disciplinary work.

This is where most scientific advances are made. However, Academics typically prefer to specialize. Once you are an established expert in a tiny area, cross-pollination is viewed as an existential threat.

The Push for New Physics is Delusional I myself am involved in a privately funded effort to develop a New Quantum Theory based upon the Barut Self-Field Quantum Electrodynamics. Therefore, this last point may seem a bit contradictory. How can you say New Physics is Delusional when you are pursuing exactly that?

The point I would like to make is that genuinely new physics generally springs from exposure to important problems. One of my associates and collaborators is involved in fracture mechanics. This is a key area of materials science and engineering. The other day he shared with me how old fashioned the models are. We agreed to work together on it. We saw a huge opportunity overlooked by the Academics.

The delusional element in the typical push for new physics from Academics is the idea that they will find it by pursuing a grant application. The risk calculus of research grant applications is that you should never ever write one unless you already know the answer to the problem being posed.

Ergo… they are a complete and total waste of money.

The best way to find new things is to be exposed to a rich array of hard problems that matter. Academics generally shun such dirty, messy real world problems because they mess up the grant application! The Research Hamster spins ever faster to make the stuff we already know less readable. Hell, Physics with Functors! Why Not?

I see this now with the on-going D-Wave quantum computing saga. In various of my own business interests I deal with solid commercially minded enterprises who are evaluating the technology.

About this development I have some bad news for the quantum computing zealots. The feedback I have is that this new architecture is well suited to complement more traditional processing for constraint problems.

The buyers of D-Wave computers (we are up to #4 now) do not give a Rat’s Arse what the dang thing is called. They do not fundamentally care if it is called a quantum computer or not.

Hell, you could have called it the Windows 666-Box and they still would have bought!

They just care about solving a commercial problem.

That is commerce 101. Meanwhile, back in Academic Zealot Land we have spent billions of public dollars to work out that $$15=3\times 5$$. You get the point. Superconducting electronics now has an emerging marketplace. Thanks to who?

Thanks to D-Wave.

The Mongol Horde – A Remedy Academic Physics has Jumped the Shark. It promised this World, a Teleportation Machine to New Worlds, and a whole new Parallel Universe of your own. In place of that we got:

Icky-Sticky Pea-Brained Stringy Ectoplasm and A Splendid Theory of Nothing.

The Citadel is now chock-full of Quantum Jumping Half-Crazed Lunatics.

The PhD trained physicists that I correspond with are all members of the Academic Diaspora. They all pretty much shake their heads in unison about how sad and twisted physics has become. Reading the headlines of the science reporting magazines is one long succession of Psychobabble, Fudge and Souffle.

I believe there is genuinely New Physics in the wings but I do not trust any Academic to find it. It would seem to me that they are diligently ignoring the specific evidence about where they should look for it.

Recognizing this fact, I think we can introduce a New Business Model for Physics.

This is an idea borrowed from an article published in the The Clute Institute Journal:

Big Physics At Small Places : The Mongol Horde Model Of Undergraduate Research

The central thrust of that experiment was to engage undergraduate students in a big physics project at the accelerator labs. Through bringing eager students into the process of detector design and development the researchers hoped to get more value for their grant dollar and also some able young minds on the job.

The most delightful idea in this paper lies embedded in the title: The Mongol Horde Model of Research. I love this idea so much I am going to run with it.

However, I aim for a much more ambitious experiment. Given the earlier work I did in nonlinear field theory I think it is feasible to build a New Quantum Theory. I am going to release my own bottom drawer research as start-up capital to seed this project.

The Mongol Kernel Fork of the New Physics will be hosted at

There is plenty of work to be done, so I am happy to crowd source the parts that I am missing. The product will, of course, be modified equations, but much more importantly it will be software that implements them. The focus will not be the Delusional Dance of New Physics but the practical commercial goal of Non-Perturbative QED.

We will see if the Mongol Horde can accomplish what the High Priests could not.

A Genuine Theory of Something.

Privateer Science

Pirate_Flag_of_Jack_Rackham.svgJolly Roger of Calico Jack Rackham

The ongoing multicore parallel computing revolution seems to have gone up a gear or two in the last few years. As I have written before, this is the Age of Amdahl’s Law: what matters is the serial bottleneck.

Work comes in two basic kinds: serial and parallel. The first cannot be sped up by adding new resources but the second can.

In my view, this is the least understood of all economic laws and the one with the greatest consequences for business and social innovation.

Hierarchical decision-making structures are replete with bottlenecks. Think of any bureaucracy. To get a form you stand in line. The first line is to get a number, so you can wait. You wait so you can get in line. The second line is to get the form. However, that form is the wrong form so you go back to stand in line. Then you get a number…

You get the picture. In any society that does this habitually very little gets done.

Of course, this problem is not limited to Government. Business suffers greatly from this problem. So too does Academic Research.

Call me a cynic, but my experience of academic research in physics taught me that before you were allowed to discover something you had to get in line.

The first line was about doing stuff that made you an Academic. Usually that process was so long and drawn out that you wound up forgetting what the line was for.

It turns out you could just go right ahead and discover a whole bunch of things right of the bat. However, then you were Not in Line. Get back in line!

This is a perfect example of a serial bottleneck.

However, once you understand the power of Amdhal’s law then things look different.

Here are the game changers:

1) all physics is an algorithm
2) algorithms can be turned into software
3) software can be protected and is valuable

Finally, in this new world of Google Compute Engine you can spin up a cluster for rent. Hence the capital cost barriers to radical innovation in algorithms is low.

So what are the real barriers?

The social bottleneck of Academic “publish-or-perish” screw-you syndrome pretty much ensures nobody with any good idea will get anywhere.

Chalk that up as a good thing.

The negative network economy of Academic Rivalry pretty much stalls all real advances for at least one generation until all opponents have finally died out.

The Academic flotilla may have all the Pomp and Pretty Pennants of the Spanish Main, but they are: Dead in the Water.

So how does one exploit this?

I think the answer is Privateer Science.

Academics are not crash-hot at business.

For decades, they enriched publishers by madly competing to publish in journals that nobody read. Now they are madly competing to pay top dollar to be published in journals that the public can read for free.

Okay, so first barrier down.

You can read what they did for free while they fight each-other for scraps.

What does a modern Privateer do in this circumstance?

Focus on the profitable bottleneck.

In quantum mechanics, that is many-body theory with strongly correlated fields.

I know, I know, every wanna-be genius in Physics will duke it out on quantum computers.

Okay, cool… but where is the market?

The market for strongly correlated fields is Chemistry, Superconducting Electronics, Photovoltaic Devices and Nano-structures among other things.

These are Big markets, here today, and served by existing Multi-Physics software companies with real product.

And it is all about parallel algorithms

That is what any budding Tesla or Edison of today should focus upon. The Big Score.

Work out a better QED that is simpler for strong self-interactions and you are done.

Better yet, if you find one – keep it a secret. Exit the rat-race of Publish-and-Perish.

Raise the Jolly Roger and load those cannons with grape shot…

All is Ripe for Plunder on the High Seas.