Physics is the one science that has lots of people looking for alternatives. These may be tenured physicists within universities, engineers who are used to solidity, practicality and physical explanation, those who see in physics a gateway to spiritual understanding, discussion sites where confident professionals rub up against alternative theorists and enquirers after wisdom, or simply link sites constructed by people who realise this is important, and just want to be part of the action.
Additionally, many of the central figures in the construction of physics theory in the early twentieth century were also critics. These include Albert Einstein, Erwin Schrödinger and Robert Millikan. Even Niels Bohr was critical of the hypothesis of the particle photon, which is the foundation of the Copenhagen Interpretation of quantum mechanics, created by Bohr and Heisenberg.
Einstein’s obsessive crusade against a perceived incompleteness in quantum mechanics is well known.
More interesting, perhaps, is Schrödinger’s critique of ‘indeterminism’.
Why so many critics?
This is something you do not see in other sciences.
Physicists see it as confirmation that their subject is too difficult for mere mortals, and indeed there are many errors made by critics.
The real problem is that modern physics is riddled with confusion and misinformation, and this makes an already difficult subject almost impossible to decipher. Commonly, a critic will identify one area of problems and focus on that. Errors most often occur when they overlook others.
I look at key confusions here. They include errors in the theories, sloppy thinking, a highly casual application of scientific principle, contradictions in key areas, and a highly effective attempt to cover these with a smokescreen of bluff and bluster.
‘Physics communicator’ is a new profession invented by the physics community. It is an invidious one. Being open and honest about the contradictions and problems of fundamental theory is the correct scientific and pedagogical approach, but one that has fallen far from favour in physics.
It is little wonder that this behaviour attracts critics.
This is indeed ‘rogue science’.
Some of the more famous dissidents are listed below (there is considerable information on each on the internet):
Dayton Miller identified a systematic effect in the Michelson-Morley results, and with Morley repeated the experiment, confirming the effect. Later repeats and analyses discount his results. A similar 'aether drift' was found in experiments with the paraconical pendulum by Nobel Prize winning economist, Maurice Allais.
Herbert Dingle, the author of a respected textbook on relativity, claimed later to demonstrate that general relativity is afflicted with logical flaws that it glosses over.
Walther Ritz was an early critic of Einstein’s first theory and hurled himself energetically against it until his early death in 1908. He produced an ‘emission’ theory in competition with special relativity.
Herbert Eugene Ives performed in 1938 a famous experiment that demonstrated an actual non-relativistic time dilation, in keeping with the Lorentz transformation. Dismissed at the time, this can today be understood as a similar effect to that found by Hafele & Keating.
The Australian Geoffrey Builder analysed this effect as one due to absolute motion, and his work has become a hidden part of modern theory.
Halton Arp has produced copious evidence to throw doubt on the distance estimates for quasars.
Georges-Louis Le Sage was not the first to present an ingenious theory that gravity is a push and not a pull, but that it appears as a pull because local bodies, such as the Sun, occlude or mask some of this push, with the result that the Sun appears to be attracting the Earth. A fierce advocate of this theory, right up until his recent death, was Tom van Flandern.
More information on these individuals and their ideas is found across this site.
Links to critics
There have been critics of relativity and quantum theory from the outset.
Historically, famous physicist critics include Niels Bohr, Henri Poincaré, Hendrik Lorentz, Max Planck, John Bell, Robert Millikan and Albert Einstein, and are detailed here.
The prescient criticisms made by Erwin Schrödinger are introduced here.
A selection of more modern critics from within the profession are detailed here.
The explosion of criticism across the internet is extensive. This site will have much more to say on these critics as it develops.
One critic, Esau James, is given a section of this site to offer his 'solutions'.
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