QM + GR = black holes cannot exist

Discussion in 'Physics & Math' started by RJBeery, Sep 24, 2014.

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  1. Declan Lunny Registered Senior Member

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    @ brucep,

    Laura has produced many, many peer reviewed papers. This paper hasn't been through the referee process yet because she only submitted two weeks ago. You can bet the farm that it will be published, AND it will probably receive as many citations as any of her previous work. She is very well thought of in the theoretical physics community at large, and greatly esteemed at the University of North Carolina. Her work is top shelf.

    I think what the popular press and readers are missing in this is: Her specialty, her focus is on THEORETICAL physics. It's the game of taking all possible questions, constraining as far as practical with known physics and 1st principles, developing self consistent maths and see where it goes. This type of work is not presented or intended as a "fundamental truth" or reality, it is for testing the limits of theorizing. It is the practice of modeling methods taken to the extreme.

    I can assure you, that in her classes, she will never teach "black holes can not exist". She would not even say that in an informal conversation with cosmologists, astrophysicists, or general physicists. I can say that with confidence because I am associated with the same school she is at. This work is not meant to be mistaken as cosmology or astrophysics, it's more in line with string theory or quantum loop gravity theories, it's speculative, not experimental.

    She's brilliant, but she is a theorist who uses maths few mortals can hope to master, so I hope everyone will note that theorizing is not experimental or observational physics. We see to many varied manifestations of phenomena associated with black hole to think they might not exist. Observation and experiment always trumps theory. And she will teach exactly that. (That's what seperates cranks, crackpots and pseudoscientists from out of the box thinking physicists like Laura.)
     
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  3. Declan Lunny Registered Senior Member

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    @ brucep P.S.

    If ever, and no one is close yet (in my humble opinion) QM and GR are unified into a single "theory of everything" it will fall out of work just like this. My gut feeling is that they may not be unifiable. The best minds that have ever existed have put herculean efforts into it for 70 years, and they all fall apart at some point. SUSY was looking good, until the experiments got better, now that is starting to receive serious doubts. Strings are still beyond our ability to falsify.
     
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  5. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    Nicely put, both of you, and actually just how I viewed the paper and whole debate.
    As a layman, I'm rather proud I recognised that fact.
    Again, well put bruce and Declan.
     
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  7. RJBeery Natural Philosopher Valued Senior Member

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    This thread is simply evidence that humans, all humans, have a major problem accepting evidence which contradicts their world view. At first the paper was meaningless until it was peer-reviewed and published...but it already had been. Then the published paper is meaningless because of "dying pulse trains", with speculation that the author is naive on the subject (bwhahaha!!). Then it was that the author is speaking in purely theoretical terms and doesn't actually believe what she wrote, and we know that this critic speaks with authority because he went to University of NC where she resides...umm wow. OK.

    Read the OP. Read the paper. Read the press release. The author(s) are stating facts about the incompatibility of black holes with QM, and they aren't being subtle about it. Only time will tell if there's a problem with the paper, but until then I'd like to point out that some of you are displaying the closed minds of crackpots.
     
  8. OnlyMe Valued Senior Member

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    RJ, I normally respond to Farsight with a response like this.... Context is everything...

    Go back and look again at Declan's comments, the paper is THEORETICAL. While the press and lay public often become confused about the difference between theory and fact, I don't believe the author of the paper has the same problem. In this case to understand the context you must separate the paper from the press and keep in mind it is a theoretical exploration of the issue. there is al,ost always some distance between theory and fact or reality.
     
  9. RJBeery Natural Philosopher Valued Senior Member

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    OnlyMe, I appreciate the difference but look at it from my perspective: rebuttals to this paper are statements like "yeah but look at that dark area in the sky!" and "but, but dying pulse trains!" I'm less concerned with what Declan said and more interested in what the paper said; QM and black holes are theoretically incompatible. In other words, our current understanding of QM would not allow for black holes. Maybe QM is wrong? Perhaps it is, but I'm willing to bet that it isn't.

    I asked for a clarification on bruce's "dying pulse trains" because it's my opinion that the only thing they have proven is gravitational redshifting, NOT black holes per se. The lack of evidence of collision between the infalling matter and the gravitational mass should be expected if visual confirmation of such a collision was subject to the same redshifting that caused the matter to fade into nothingness in the first place. He remains silent on this issue, yet persists on his conviction. This is exactly what crackpots do.
     
  10. Declan Lunny Registered Senior Member

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    I employed at UNC. And know Laura well. She is not an experimental or observational physicist. Read her CV to gain some insight into the work she does and how much it applies to astrophysics in an observational sense.

    The incompatibility of QM and black holes in particular, and QM and General Relativity in general have been known since the 1920's. There is no great "gotcha" in that. Anyone who has even the slightest understanding of the topic knows that that is great the much sought "Holy Grail". Unifying Relativity and QM. SUSY, String Theory, Quantum Loop Gravity are just a few of similar type works that "prove" with maths what can't be. But all them have failed (so far) because they don't pass the ultimate and final condition, they must agree with the observations and experiment.

    Laura just found a new way of "proving" that QM does not allow black holes. Another worker can just accurately "prove" that black holes must exist using other maths. Both are just as valid, because "proofs" are the purview of maths. That is why this paper is not a game changer as far as the current understanding of astrophysics is concerned. Others have "proved" this or that with maths, but as always, observation and experiment are the final arbiters of which is the best description of "reality".
     
  11. RJBeery Natural Philosopher Valued Senior Member

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    Fair enough Declan. Do you agree that QM, as a theory, forbids traditional black holes? And would you agree that QM is incomplete or even wrong if black holes do "exist"? My final question is, which is right (in your opinion): black holes or our current understanding of QM?
     
  12. Declan Lunny Registered Senior Member

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    Quantum theory is not my area. But it has been tested to an exquisite degree and found robust. I do not agree that it forbids traditional black holes because the observational evidence is more than compelling that they do exist.

    Wrong, or incomplete are not the words I would choose. I am confident that black holes exist. I am confident that QM is robust and well tested. But there will always be places in the body of current understanding where one tries to apply a well confirmed theory to a situation or phenomenon for which it was not originally developed.

    That is how we discover the need for new theories and new methods to apply to the old theories. It may be as simple as some investigator discovering a new parameter or metric to insert, or it may be as difficult as discovering a new physics, or paradigm changing theory.

    Always start with simple solution first, and seek out the exotic new physics as a last resort. Keep what works, I mean, until you have something that works as well with old stuff and is better in all ways than the thing you attempting to replace. That is what people like Laura do, test the limits and sees what falls out. But until it passes observation, and experimental falsification, it's only a maths construct no matter how solid the "proofs".

    Both are correct. We just are not at the place where we "know" how the intersection functions. No one can deny General Relativity, it's been tested to an exquisite degree of confidence. No one can deny Quantum Theory, it has also been tested to an exquisite degree of confidence. All that is lacking it how to model the interface of the two. That is the area that this paper deals with, the unknown border of two very robust theories in physics. It's not an "either/or" problem, It's an "and" problem. It's been an ongoing problem for almost 90 years, since the birth of GR and QT.
     
  13. RJBeery Natural Philosopher Valued Senior Member

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    OK Declan, if you would humor me for a moment, let's discuss black holes. What observational evidence are you referring to? I understand that there are areas of enormous concentrations of mass, and they are black. Is it possible that light is simply redshifted in that region to the point of being practically undetectable?
     
  14. Declan Lunny Registered Senior Member

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    The best documented and most telling are the binary systems which have a "missing" partner that can only be explained by massive object MUCH more massive than the observed partner. If you can observe the smaller companion, you should also observe the larger, unless it is a black hole. Determining the mass of each object, the one "seen" and one "unseen" is very straight forward Newtonian mechanics, nothing controversial about it'.

    And that is the bottom line. For the observations show that a mass so massive in such a compact volume of space, there are no other explanations. If it were not so, we would be able to image it directly.

    The question involves not only the observed/unobserved light, but must also address the associated phenomena, I.E, mechanics, the spectroscopy of closely situated matter interacting with the black hole. It is not just a single phenomenon inferring it's "there", it's an entire range of different phenomena that must be explained, black holes are the only model that deals with ALL the observations in a self-consistent manner using only known physics. Any other explanations introduces paradoxes and they are not allowed.

    If the object is massive enough to redshift light to that degree, it must be a black hole. There is no other object that can contain that much mass in so compact space. What you are asking is can something be so massive that it's gravitational field is so extreme that we can't see it. Yes it can, it's called a black hole.

    One thing you might be unaware of. With any gravitational redshift, for a distant observer, there will be corresponding blueshift. As light approaches a very massive object or a strong gravitational field, it will be blueshifted by the same amount it redshifted when leaving. That is how we can tell gravitational redshift from recessional (cosmological) redshifts and Doppler (relative motion) redshifts.
     
  15. RJBeery Natural Philosopher Valued Senior Member

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    I've bolded the phases that I take umbrage with. You exhibit a predilection in favor of the existence of black holes, seemingly without even considering the possibility of other explanations. In fact, you do this claiming that other explanations are wrought with paradoxes, just after you declare that QM and GR are both true and also contradictory...! Is that not a paradox? What about the information paradox of black holes? What about the physical singularity?

    I'm hoping that perhaps you simply haven't considered alternatives. I assume you would agree with the standard explanation of the appearance of a body falling into a black hole, correct? The infalling body would appear to the outsider as gradually slowing, redshifting, and fading as it approached the event horizon. Now simply consider this phenomenon as the infalling body asymptotically approached the EH; at some point prior to reaching the EH, the body would no longer be detectable by the outsider due to our imperfect instrumentation, agreed?

    If you agree with that premise then you already have the knowledge needed to accept that a black hole is not necessarily the only explanation for a dark area of enormous mass. Any area which exhibits asymptotic gravitational redshifting would appear to be black to a distant observer.
     
  16. Declan Lunny Registered Senior Member

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    Hey you can "take umbrage" to anything you like. It makes on difference to me what so ever. How do you know I have never considered any other possibilities? I just have not considered another possibility which I find compelling.

    I thought we were discussing light? Light is not an "infalling body", as long as it is outside of the event horizon, it is moving at speed "c". The redshift is not caused by the light falling in, the light falling in is gone and not available for us to see. The gravitational redshift is the result of the photon giving up some of it's energy to counter the gravitational field. Once the object crossing the event horizon crosses, doesn't matter how the light is being shifted or not shifted, it is lost to us for observing.

    There is no reason that we can not observe any body prior to it crossing the event horizon. So no, I do not agree.

    I sure you know what you are thinking, but I'm not understanding what you are trying to express.

    That is gobbledygook. Toot-A-Loo. Take umbrage with me not taking you seriously any longer.
     
  17. RJBeery Natural Philosopher Valued Senior Member

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    Then you don't have a complete qualitative understanding of matter falling into a region of enormous, concentrated mass. Our ability to detect energy, in the form of light or matter, gradually diminishes and is reduced to zero prior to reaching the event horizon due to our imperfect observational instruments
    That is gobbledygook. Toot-A-Loo. Take umbrage with me not taking you seriously any longer.[/QUOTE]
    Doesn't surprise me. Didn't take long to expose your shortcomings. What is your position at UNC, exactly?
     
  18. Russ_Watters Not a Trump supporter... Valued Senior Member

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    It is, however, the only current explanation that doesn't contradict observations. Will someone someday come up with another solution? Perhaps, but this one isn't/doesn't claim to be it.

    In any case, you just accidentally agreed that the "black hole" explanation is at worst no worse than any other. In other words, it is the best explanation, and at worst others may be tied with it.

    Also - and I need to look into this more - I don't think a remote observer ever sees the infaller decelerate. But either way, the relativistic effects don't happen *gradually" - nothing unusual happens until a tiny fraction of a second before the object disappears.
     
  19. RJBeery Natural Philosopher Valued Senior Member

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    Then you don't have a complete qualitative understanding of matter falling into a region of enormous, concentrated mass. Our ability to detect energy, in the form of light or matter, gradually diminishes and is reduced to zero prior to reaching the event horizon due to our imperfect observational instruments
    Doesn't surprise me. Didn't take long to expose your shortcomings. What is your position at UNC, exactly?

    *** cannot previous post? ***
     
  20. Russ_Watters Not a Trump supporter... Valued Senior Member

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    Also, while it is certainly true that an object is never remotely observed to cross the event horizon, it is also never observed to stop. At the event horizon.

    Put another way: it is possible to calculate what time an infaller crosses the event horizon on its clock. For any time before that, a signal can reach the outside world in a finite time.
     
  21. RJBeery Natural Philosopher Valued Senior Member

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    Well put, but not true. My explanation works just fine.
    I have no problem accepting the black hole explanation. I only ask for a truth which is consistent across all accepted models, and BHs are incompatible with QM. In my opinion QM wins.
    No problem, but you'll find that you're mistaken. The infalling body slows down, and fades into nothingness. Without perfect instruments the object would become undetectable prior to hitting the EH.
     
  22. RJBeery Natural Philosopher Valued Senior Member

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    You need to brush up on what is theoretically observed to happen, Russ.
     
  23. Russ_Watters Not a Trump supporter... Valued Senior Member

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    Moreover (sorry, no editing allowed...), prior to the formation of the black hole, it is possible to communicate with objects inside what will become the event horizon. And there is a specific time when that is no longer possible - the time the BH forms.
     
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