Misleading Science Articles

French, German and Hungarian physicists have taken another step in supporting Einstein’s theory of special relativity.

A brainpower consortium led by Laurent Lellouch of France’s Centre for Theoretical Physics, using some of the world’s mightiest supercomputers, have set down the calculations for estimating the mass of protons and neutrons, the particles at the nucleus of atoms.

According to the conventional model of particle physics, protons and neutrons comprise smaller particles known as quarks, which in turn are bound by gluons.

The odd thing is this: the mass of gluons is zero and the mass of quarks is only five percent. Where, therefore, is the missing 95 percent?

The answer, according to the study published in the US journal Science on Thursday, comes from the energy from the movements and interactions of quarks and gluons.

In other words, energy and mass are equivalent, as Einstein proposed in his Special Theory of Relativity in 1905.

All that is fine. What is misleading is the title of the article:

    e=mc2: 103 years later, Einstein’s proven right

Nothing here has been proven. Science never does that. What is seeks to do is disprove. The hypothesis here is that energy and mass are equivalent. In order to discover this, scientists attempted an experiment that, if falsified, would weaken Einstein’s great discovery. That isn’t what happened. It turns out that energy and mass are equivalent – in this instance. That doesn’t mean that in every instance that that will be the case. We cannot possibly know for certain that if the experiment is run again or a new experiment is created that the results will be the same. This is precisely what occurs in all of science. Evolution is not proven in the scientific sense of the word. Gravity has never been proven. We could find a slew of rabbits and sharks in the pre-Cambrian whose fossils fall up tomorrow, disproving both theories, at the very least disproving them in part.

Of course, it should be noted that we know these events to be vanishingly unlikely because of the strength of both theories; neither (modern) one has been disproven in any way meaningful to their overall statements. Despite the constant attempts of scientists to show these (now) theories to be incorrect, they have failed. These constant failures – which manifest themselves as monumentally beautiful and elegant discoveries, quite unlike anything we should normally call “failures” – are what make hypotheses into theories; they are what enable us to refer to so many worthwhile ideas as facts, even if they are tentative by their very nature. They are the core of science – a way of knowing that never seeks to prove anything.

5 Responses

  1. Hi,

    Re: Einstein’s E=mc2 proven right.

    Anybody who thinks that energy-mass equivalence is correct is sadly mistaken. Computers give answers according to how they have been programmed and on what information is fed into them. So, such data cannot be taken as proof especially in this case. If energy equals mass the first question to ask is – ‘what that energy is and what is the quantum energy?’ Because, the so called energy must be a fundamental element to turn into mass and there cannot be a fundamental element in the Universe without that being in quantum physical form.
    Obviously there is no quantum energy and the law of ‘conservation of energy’ makes modern astrophysics a farce.

    It is force gravity that equals mass. In fact, force gravity equals electric forces ans they in turn equals mass and electric charge that mass may carry. All that is due to force concentration at extreame temperatures. I am ready to publish a series of new theories in that respect and please find more information about them and on E=mc2 in my web site. pl write the following in one word and add .com – the grand thesis of the universe (www.thegrandthesisoftheuniverse.com)

    Please send me a feedback. Thank you.

    KInd regards,

    Vidooba
    23/11/08

  2. Michael:

    Yes, popular writers often use language which appeals to the intended audience, and they usually try to make it more important than it really is. Who wants to read of ‘just another piece of corroborating evidence’ when they can read that ‘Einstein was proven right’ (or better yet – wrong!)? It certainly doesn’t help the general public to know how science works.

    Matt

  3. It’s actually worse than that. This news story is horribly misleading. I’m one of the authors of the original paper (although I am neither French nor German nor Hungarian, but Austrian, which is telling of the quality of that story) and I can assure you, that we did *NOT* set out to prove E=mc^2 and we did not corroborate it any further than it already is.

    what we did was calculating the mass of the proton and other elementary particles from the underlying theory with controlled systematic errors, no more, no less.

  4. Einstein’s Physics Dollar Store on Campus
    MIT Harvard Cal-Tech
    Sponsored by NASA
    Why Relativity theory is not Physics and why Einstein’s “thought” = 0
    Walking the walk and talking the talk taking on all space-time confusion of physics by
    MIT Harvard and Cal-Tech and all other Physics dollar stores departments
    And why LHC burned itself

    Visual Effects and the confusions of “Modern” physics

    r ——— Light sensing of moving objects ——- S
    Actual object—– Light ——— Visual object
    r – ——-cosine (wt) + i sine (wt) – S = r [cosine (wt) + i sine (wt)]
    Newton– Kepler’s time visual effects — Time dependent Newton
    Particle ————– Visual effects ——————– Wave

    Line of Sight: r cosine wt

    r ——————- r cosine (wt) line of sight light aberrations

    A moving object with velocity v will be visualized by
    light sensing through an angle (wt);w = constant and t= time
    Also, sine wt = v/c; cosine wt = √ [1-sine² (wt) = √ [1-(v/c) ²]

    A visual object moving with velocity v will be seen as S

    S = r [cosine (wt) + i sine (wt)] = r Exp [i wt]; Exp = Exponential

    S = r [√ [1-(v/c) ²] + ỉ (v/c)] = S x + i S y

    S x = Visual along the line of sight = r [√ [1-(v/c) ²]

    This Equation is special relativity length contraction formula
    And it is just the visual effects caused by light aberrations of a
    moving object along the line of sight.

    In a right angled velocity triangle A B C: Angle A = wt; angle B = 90°; Angle C = 90° -wt
    AB = hypotenuse = c; BC = opposite = v; CA= adjacent = c √ [1-(v/c) ²]

  5. 23/05/11

    Isn’t it a shame to talk about energy/mass equivalence when there is no quantum energy in the first place? Those who uphold Einstein’s E=mc^2 only expose their ignorance in physics.

    It is sad that, our astrophysicists do not understand the laws of physics. If not, they won’t talk about the so-called energy being equivalent to mass. Mass must be of a force to move in space in reaction. Those who do not understand that fact are a disgrace to physics.

    Please visit my website ‘the grand thesis of the universe’ dot com to understand 17 new laws of physics and basic physics; without knowing which astrophysics has become a farce.

    Unlike in learning manmade physics which is engineering,please forget the need of mathematics to learn basic astrophysics.First try to understand any natural physical phenomenon with your intelligence and only when you know how it happens, you can apply maths to go any further to understand or explain that phenomenon. If not, without any basic understanding of the physical prosess of a phenomenon, one would only apply mathematics to his absurd imagination.Since mathematics is a developed science, his theory on his imagination may sound impressive but, only to the ignorant. Nevertheless, without any doubt, it would be utter nonsense wrapped up in mathematics.Einstein’s relativity theories are good examples on that fact. Enough said.

    Vidooba

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