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The Mantra of Theoretical Physics: Relativity Reigns

Roger A. Rydin
Year: 2010 Pages: 6
Theoretical Physicist, Lee Smolin, laments in his book that very little progress has taken place in theoretical physics since 1980. This is primarily because almost all the funding and faculty positions in physics have gone to string theorists, who have produced theories that cannot be experimentally verified. It is his opinion that more promising new directions are needed, led by seers and thinkers like Einstein, such that the great mysteries of the universe can be solved. His own special preference is for Quantum Gravity research. His approach is to develop new theories, find experiments to test them, and then show that they produce unexpected predictions that can be verified. Experiments come in after the theory has been developed, and not before. All acceptable theories must contain the successful aspects of Special Relativity, General Relativity, and field theory ala Maxwell's equations, and those theories should be compatible with the Standard Model of particles. His goal is the unification of as much as possible in physics.

The approach taken in this paper is to show that all of Smolin's criteria for valid new theories contain flaws, and these criteria have not been proven to be true experimentally as he asserts. Errors have crept in since Einstein's development of Special Relativity and General Relativity that have set theoretical physics back a century. Maxwell's equations should be stated in terms of potentials rather than fields, which doom the Standard Model. Indeed, we need to go back and find out where we went wrong, and develop a new particle model and a new theory of movement in the universe.