(Died: March 24, 2012)
Hon. Professor of Relativistic Quantum Physics,. Member of the Scientific Advisory Board, Internati
Interests: Relativity, Space, Time, Motion, Iaad, Mach's Principle Age: 81
N. Vivian (Viv) Pope worked for almost twenty years in the telecommunications industry, leaving to become a mature-age student at the University of Wales, Bangor. Graduating in the Philosophy of Science, he then became a lecturer at the Burton-on-Trent Further Education College, Staffordshire where he taught Liberal Studies and Philosophy. He was also tutor/counselor for the Open University. He took early retirement from these posts in order to concentrate on his researches into the philosophical foundations of modern physics. He has published numerous papers and books on the subject, both on his own and in collaboration with his younger colleague, Dr. Anthony Osborne.
Here is his fascinating story in his own words:
I am now (in 2011) eighty years old, physically disabled, but not mentally, thank God! This disability follows from an all-too vigorous young life (weightlifting, motor-racing - plus crashing) wrestling and general lunacy), all this in an eminently individualistic (i.e., un-clubbable) capacity.
As you may gather, I was a rather unruly youth. Educationally speaking, I was a 'dropout' - a 'dissident', you might say, right from the very start. During the Second World War, at the age of ten I was evacuated with my younger sister away from our home town of Swansea which was being heavily bombed. Separated from my sister, I was sent to a small country school in mid-Wales where the teaching was in the Welsh language. I am very Welsh as my DNA attests, but my family (apart from my maternal grandparents) did not speak the language. In the industrial town of Swansea. the English language was predominant, and I was not encouraged to speak my mother tongue. Thus, in the entirely Welsh-Speaking community into which I had been precipitated, I became educationally disadvantaged. The school was in Gelli Aur *(Welsh for 'Golden Grove'), and that is where I first learned to become an expert in truancy. In short, while everyone else was at school I went 'walkabout' in what I later described in a recent book on that era, as 'God's country'.
This expertise in truancy continued when I returned to my hometown, so that I twice failed my entrance examination for Grammar School (High School). However, I passed an intelligence test which, luckily for me, had no academic content to it. Thus, in 1943, I became a student at the Junior Technical School (JTS), Swansea. The workshop practice with files, lathes, shaping machines and so on was much to my liking; but when it came to academic, sit-down-and-learn subjects, Physics and Chemistry in particular, being desperately disappointed and bored with the way these subjects were taught, I found a way of escaping school altogether. In this way I gained my own brand of education in picking up interesting bits and pieces of junk in the local scrap-yards and testing my home-made radios with a fellow escapee in the same park (Cwmdonkin) that our famous countryman, the poet Dylan Thomas frequented and has written about. In general, then, from my earlier days, my days were occupied by inventing things and, on occasions, playing football with my friends, including my yet-to-become-famous, Cwmbwrla schoolmate, footballer John Charles. From then on, Most of my time was spent in physical and generally exploratory, sometimes dangerous, pursuits with a Forestfach gang of roustabouts of the same ilk. (The Welsh 'Cwmbwrla', by the way, means 'Valley of the Pure Voice'., and Fforestfach means 'Little Forest').
Marriage and family
At school, the sorts of pupils I most implacably detested were the scholars, the ones with the academic promise and aspirations. And then, in 1946, I met one of these detestable scholars, an Oxbridge hopeful named Mary Thomas, from the 'upper-crust' Girls' High School in Swansea. Through her, I obtained, by stealth and tender persuasion, the education in literacy and arts which I needed but could never have obtained through Educational coercion. We were married in 1953, she at twenty and I at twenty-two. We now have three daughters and eight grandchildren.
From the Tech, I was somehow transferred, at sixteen, to the Dynevor Grammar school from which, after half a term, I left to become a trainee draughtsman at the local steelworks (Cwmfelin, meaning Valley of the Mill ). After six months as an engineering draughtsman, I followed my father into the telecommunications industry, where I worked as a telephone engineer for eighteen years, interrupted by two years National Service in the Royal Air Force (1950-52) as a Radio Direction-finding and Air Traffic Control Operator, plus unofficial improver of the radio equipment. After the RAF I returned to my job, during which time my wife had begun her teaching career. After I left the RAF, through my father, Donald Edward Pope, who was an excellent male role-model and much respected amateur astronomer, as well as being a philosopher and far-sighted liberal thinker, I became interested in Astronomy and it was through membership of the Astronomical Society, at the Royal Institution, Swansea, that I was introduced to Relativity Theory.
This galvanized me. It seemed absurd to be told that time was not the same everywhere in the way I had somehow automatically assumed. Plaguing my father about it, in exasperation, no doubt, he told me to 'ask Einstein'. I left it to Mary to find Einstein's address. This she did and, naively, I wrote to Einstein asking him to explain something which, as I learned afterward, was known as the 'Clock Paradox'. To everyone's amazement; - not least my father's - Einstein sent me a very encouraging reply which is now kept as a treasured item in the Swansea County Archives: http://www.swansea.gov.uk/westglamorganarchives. to be read only under staff supervision. This has appeared several times in the media including, most recently, on television where it was valued as some thousands of pounds.
During these years, continuing my work as a telecoms engineer, I embarked on the course set for me by Einstein's reply to my question, which at the time, I had failed to understand. Eventually, I came to realize that if what one person could discover about nature was true, then that same truth should be discoverable by others in different ways, otherwise that discovery could not be an entirely objective one.
A seminal, life-changing discovery
And this, indeed, is what I did discover; another way of reaching the same conclusion as Einstein regarding the dilation of time with relative motion. This was not by the conventional and highly complex mathematical-physics means of 'electrodynamics' and 'light-velocity' but by the very much simpler, purely graphical means of the geometry which I had learned to use as an engineering draftsman. This confirmed, independently, what Einstein had said in his letter, and concurred in correspondence with Herman Bondi, the Mathematical Physicist and Astronomer, that there is no such thing as the 'clock paradox'. Most significant, however, was my discovery of the fact that the same conclusions that Einstein had come to, regarding space and time could be deduced without reference to his mystifying concept of light having a 'velocity' which is constant, not only to space itself but also relative to all observers moving or stationary within that space. (This was also concurred by Bondi.) In other words, my lateral-thinking alternative showed that Einstein's Second Axiom of Special Relativity is redundant, hence so is all the conventional talk about 'electromagnetic propagation' in relation to relativity. It was this discovery which led, later, to my work on 'quantum instantaneity'. (lately, an article appeared in New Scientist reporting that more than just a few mainstream physicists have come to the same conclusion (See 'Shedding Light on Light', N.S., 1/11/08, pp. 28-31).
In my pursuit of this subject, in extramural contacts with various members of the Physics and Philosophy departments of Swansea University, I was invited to attend staff-student seminars. This was on an informal, day-release, basis in which I continued my job in telecommunications whilst getting involved in discussions about Wittgenstein and Linguistic Analysis. Then, in 1965, two of the Swansea University lecturers recommended me to the Principal of the Workers Education College in North Wales (Coleg Harlech) and, with my wife's encouragement, I became a student at that college. There, I set aside my technical training and studied Arts subjects, such as Philosophy, Psychology and Sociology, plus History of Ideas and Literature. Despite my earlier leanings towards scientific pursuits I took to all this like a duck to water and, in 1966 I was invited to study for a degree at the University College of North Wales, Bangor. Having moved my family to that region while I pursued my studies, in 1969 I graduated with Honours in Philosophy of Science, with ancillary subjects Logic, Sociology and Psychology. For the following year I stayed on at University to gain a teaching certificate n Adult Education, during which time I also started on my Dissertation for the further degree
In 1970 I became a teacher of these subjects, in Adult Education, at Burton-on-Trent Technical College in the Midlands of England. This became a centre for the then nascent Open University for which I became a Tutor, Counselor and Study-Centre Coordinator. (as already explained on the NPA 'Pope' page).
A few years later I became involved with MENSA, who published an article of mine entitled 'The Overdue Revolution' (see http://www.poams.org/ in the section: 'Seminal Publications'). This enjoyed a good reception among the membership of that organization, to the extent that I was invited to subscribe my ideas on a regular basis to the MENSA Science-Interest Group, SPACESIGNL, which I did for some time thereafter.
In 1975 I had the opportunity of visiting CERN the atomic research laboratory in Geneva. In the capacity of an editor/reporter for a philosophical 'Viewspaper', I interviewed, among others, the Director, V. F. Weisskopf, T. D. Lee (discoverer of the 'meson') and John Bell (of 'Bell's Inequalities' fame). I also observed some of the experiments. All of this I found profoundly enlightening. (My report on it was written up in phi the Philosophical Viewspaper: ISSN 0305-5833.)
In 1990 I was invited to do a talk in Imperial College, London. This was for the PIRT (Physical Interpretations of Relativity Theory) association. My talk was entitled 'Instantaneous Relativistic Action-at-a-Distance'. An American professor who had attended the talk insisted on my publishing it, which I did, and persuaded me to attend the Cambridge based Alternative Natural Philosophy Association (ANPA). In this Association, I have presented many papers and became Secretary and Editor of the annual ANPA Newsletter (ISSN 1358-2240). I served in this capacity for about five years until I was forced to resign these posts due to ill health. Later, as a contributing 'back bencher', so to speak, a new President of the Association sought to ban me for being 'too Socratic'. (The 'Socratic Method' is to discover truth by the logical elimination of error. Pointing out errors in people's theories by logical reductio ad absurdum (reduction to absurdity) upsets people and is what led to Socrates, the Father of Natural Philosophy, being executed.)
But now comes 'the crunch' which, as I'm sure you will see, speaks volumes for the need of innovative thinking in education. In our concern for this, as teachers, my wife and I were invited, under the auspices of a Liberal Member of Parliament, Clement Freud, to attend meetings in Westminster, London, where we presented our case for encouraging creative free-thinking in our high schools and universities (de-schooling, or anti-scholasticism as it was called). Against the conventional mainstream, with its emphasis on the testing and examining of students for proficiency in the attainment of Educationally preconceived 'mostly commercial ' ends, it was, as we eventually told ourselves, 'like trying to swim up a waterfall'.
Falling foul of the Educational Arts-Science apartheid
Nothing was more indicative of this mainstream pressure towards educational conformity than what happened when, in 1971, I presented my Masters Thesis for examination. In my run-up to this thesis I first had to present to my professor at Bangor, C. K. W Mundle, a dissertation for pre-evaluation and guidance. My thesis was entitled 'A Philosophical Re-Examination of Some Present Physical Concepts' (1972). This proposed a philosophical merger of relativistic and quantum physics; but far from encouraging me to present this truly innovative piece of work, I was warned that I 'should not presume to tell physicists what they should and shouldn't do. 'If I persisted on that course,' I was firmly told, 'I would inevitably fail.'
And, inevitably, I suppose, it did fail - twice (1972 and 1973). Referred to Professor Sir Karl Popper for a second opinion, he declared that 'it was not the thesis that had failed but its examiners'. In any event, it was the ideas developed in that thesis which have since been advanced in international conferences and in what some people have dubbed my 'heretical' books and papers. This was in my later connection, from 1982, with Keele University, UK as a Research Associate of the Mathematics Department. The ongoing Physics/Mathematics collaboration with Dr, Anthony Osborne, in that department has become known as POAMS, the Pope-Osborne Angular Momentum Synthesis (see http://www.poams.org/).
Doctor or Not? (Now Professor)
This was written Earlier
Although I am often referred to as 'Doctor', the Doctorate under which my researches with Osborne in the Mathematics Department at Keele University were at first conducted soon ran into deep trouble, This was because my thesis, by its very nature, fell between the two very same warring Educational factions of Arts and Science that it sought to unite. For instance, asked by the Maths Department to take oversight of the Philosophical content of my work with Osborne, the Philosophy Department declined. This was on the basis that as an Arts department they felt 'not competent' to judge my peculiar admixture of Mathematical Physics and Philosophy. So although I am assured that my work is well over the standard required for a Doctorate, as an attempt to merge two conventionally separate disciplines it falls into an academic limbo where it is conventionally unclassifiable, hence un-examinable, So my academic advisers tell me that I should just 'forget it'. 'Doctor', 'Mister' or whatever, they advise, is quite okay, although in the end I personally prefer just plain 'Viv Pope'. But that, too, has been frowned upon by some of my colleagues as being 'too informal' for publications purposes. So I've given up on it and let it come as it may. The moral seems to be that there are no doctorates awarded for heresy, which means that my status in the Educational establishment, even as a bona fide lecturer, administrator and researcher, has always been equivocal, hence a 'running sore' of embarrassment to The System.
This was written later
Since the above was written I have been made an Honourary Professor of Relativistic Quiantum Physics and Member of the Scientific Advisory Board, International Institute of Theoretical Physics and Mathematics,Einstein-Galilei, Prato, Italy.
In sum, then, I am honoured to be referred to in academic circles as one of the 'top heretics on this planet' or, in some sectors, as 'The Sh**-Stirring Welshman'. I am honoured because it is a truism that all the significant advances in science have been 'heresies' in their day. My heresy is that I have sought to break the Arts-Science deadlock in contemporary Education by re-connecting Physics with Philosophy in what was originally known as Natural Philosophy. This is by earthing the conceptually airborne Relativity of Einstein in the quantised relativism of Einstein's philosophical mentor Mach. The result is a form of neo-Machian physics-philosophy known as Normal Realism, which, as compared to the theoretical extravagances of Modern Physics and Cosmology, has been called 'a triumph of commonsense'.
In 2010 I was contacted by Masood Sanati, a physicist at Tehran University requesting my views on the mysteries of Charge Distribution. After much discussion on the subject he invited me to Iran to give some talks on the subject and to tutor his students. This was out of the question, not least duev tom my and Mary's health problems, but Sanati was very persistent in trying to get me an award for my work from the Khwarizmi Foundation. He then recommended me to Dr. Christian Corda who was setting up the International Institute for Theoretical Physics and Mathematics Einstein-Galilei at Prato in Italy. As a result, I am now a member of the Scientific Advisory Board with the title of Honorary Professor of Relativistic Quantum Physics.
More recently, in my new official status of Professor of Relativistic Quantum Physics in Prato Italy (see above) I am engaged in a an experimental project entitled, An experimental proof of predicted Changes in Newton's ?Gravitational Constant' G for Spinning Bodies'.
- 1986 'Abstract: Is Relativity Quantized?' Speculations in Science and Technology, Vol. 9, No. 4, p. 242.
- 1987 'A New Approach to Special Relativity' (with A.D. Osborne). International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology, Vol. 18, No. 2, pp. 191-198.
- 1987 (April) 'The Overdue Revolution'. MENSA, pp. 28-29.
- 1988 'Arts View of Science'. Times Higher Educational Supplement (Letter, November 11th.)
- 1988 'Floating Free'. Times Higher Ed. Suppl. (Ltr. Dec. 23rd.)
- 1989 'Experiments in God's Eye'. Times Higher Ed. Suppl. (Article, Feb. 2nd.)
- 1989 'The New World Synthesis'. Philosophia Mathematica (II) No. 1, Vol. 4, pp. 23-28.
- 1989 'Relativity is Kids' Stuff'. School Science Review, Vol. 70 (253) pp. 86-87.
- 1990 'Changing Philosophy'. Times Higher Ed. Suppl. (Ltr. May 4th.)
- 1990 'The Quantum is Kids' Stuff'. School Sci. Rev. Vol. 71, pp. 105-107.
- 1990 School Sci. Rev. (Forum) Vol.72, No. 258, p. 161.
- 1990 'Instantaneous Relativistic Action-at-a-Distance' (with A.D. Osborne). Proceedings of the 2nd BSPS conference: Physical Interpretations of Relativity (PIRT) pp. 460-488.
- 1992 'Relativity and Realism' (with A.D. Osborne). Proceedings of the 3rd BSPS conference: PIRT, pp. 281-287.
- 1992 'The Action-at-a-Distance Spectrum' (with A.D. Osborne). Proceedings of the 3rd BSPS conference: PIRT pp. 253-280.
- 1992 'Instantaneous Relativistic Action-at-a-Distance' (with A. D Osborne). Physics Essays, Vol. 5, No. 3, pp. 409-421.
- 1992 'The Sequential Paradigm', Proc. of the 13th Annual International Meeting of the Alternative Natural Philosophy Association (ANPA), Sept. 1991, pp. 55-65.
- 1993 'An Alternative Natural Philosophy', Proc of the 14th Annual International Meeting of ANPA, Sept 1992, pp. 113-130.
- 1994 'Normal Realism: A Challenge to Physicists'. Proc. of the 15th Annual International Meeting of ANPA, Sept. 1993, pp. 111-115.
- Also 'A Rustic Rediscovery of Relativity', pp. 116-130.
- 1994 'A Critical Review of the PIRT Conferences to Date'. Proc. of the 4th BSPS Conference: PIRT, pp 257-272.
- 1995 'In Search of the ANPA Philosophy'. ANPA Newsletter No. 15, ISSN 1358-2240, pp. 6-10.
- 1995 'Instantaneous Gravitational and Inertial Action-at-a-Distance' (with A.D. Osborne). Physics Essays, Vol. 8, No. 3, pp. 384-397.
- 1995 'The Lingering Death of Western Dualism', Proc. of the 16th Annual International Meeting of ANPA, ISBN 0952621509, pp. 117-121. Also 'The Language of Light Velocity', pp. 122-134.
- 1996 'The Two Aspects of Special Relativity', ANPA Newsletter, No. 16, p. 10. Also 'Empiricism and the Quantum', pp. 8-16.
- 1996 'Copenhagen, Yes or No?' Apeiron, Vol. 3, No.1, pp. 20-21.
- 1996 'A Philosophical Analysis of the Concept of Motion in Relation to Action-at-a-Distance', Apeiron, Special Issue, ed. M. W. Evans. (accepted but did not appear, due to a difference of opinion with editor).
- 1996 'A Response' (to M. W. Evans), Apeiron, '@ Issue' section, Vol. 3, No 3-4, pp. 124-125.
- 1996 'The Dogma of the Photon', in 'Philosophies', the Proceedings of the 17th Annual International Meeting of the Alternative Natural Philosophy Association, pp. 175-188.
- 1997, 'A Quantum-Digital Theory of Light', in The Present Status of the Quantum Theory of Light, Eds. Jeffers, Roy, Vigier and Hunter, (Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, Netherlands.)
- 1997 'Is ANPA an Altogether Non-Philosophical Association?' Newsletter 17 of the Alternative Natural Philosophy Association (ed. N.V. Pope) 12-14.
- 1997 'The Gateway to Paradox' and 'The Cinematic Model of Quantum Touching' in Mereologies, the Proceedings of the 18th International Meeting of the Alternative Natural Philosophy Association., 62-66, 134-135.
- 1998 'Shedding Light on Light' in Causality and Locality in Modern Physics, Eds. G. Hunter, et al,, Kluwer, Academic Publishers, Dordrecht NL, pp 187-194.
- 1998 'A Relativistic Quantum Phenomenology', Proceedings of the 5th International Conference; Problems of Space, Time and Motion, St. Petersburg, Russia. June, 1998.
- 1998 'Solving the "c" Conundrum of the Velocity of Light Relative to the Vacuum', Proceedings of the Physical Interpretations of Relativity Theory, London, September 1998.
- 1999 'Newton is Dead, Long Live Newton', in Instantaneous Action-at-a-Distance in Modern Physics: Pro and Contra, Editors: A. E. Chubykalo, Viv Pope and R. Smirnov-Rueda, published by Nova Science. NY.
- 1999. 'The Complete Physics Heresy', Galilean Electrodynamics, ed. C. Kolb-Whitney, Mass. USA.
- 2000. 'Too Many Theories, Too Few Syntheses', Physical Interpretations of Relativity Theory VII Proceedings, ed. M. C. Duffy.
- 2000. 'A Logical Reconciliation of Einstein and Newton or a Synthesis Relativity and Quantum Theory', Journal of New Energy, Ed. Hal Fox, Vol. 5, No. 1.
- 2001. 'An Angular Momentum Synthesis of Gravitational and Electrostatic Forces' in Physics as a Science Symposium Proceedings, publ. in Journal of New Energy, Vol. 5, No. 3.
- 2001. 'The Tantalising Two-Slit Experiment' in Recent Advances in Relativity Theory, Vol. 2.: Material Interpretations, Es. M. C. Duffy and M. Wegener, Hadronic Press, Florida, USA.
- 2001. 'Umbala: a Polemic Against Jargon Addiction in Modern Science', Proceedings of the 22nd annual International Meeting of the Alternative Natural Philosophy Association Ed. Arleta Griffor, publ by ANPA.
- Osborne , A. D. and Pope, N. V., 'An Angular Momentum Synthesis of "Gravitational" and "Electrostatic" Forces', Galilean Electrodynamics, Vol. 14, Special Issue 1, Spring 2003, pp. 9-19.
- 2008, A Critical Perspective on Modern Physics: a talk delivered at the PIRT Conference, Imperial College, London, UK Sept. 2008. 'NASA's Need of New Physics'.
- 1999 Instantaneous Action At A Distance in Modern Physics, Pro and Contra, Eds.: Andrew E Chubykalo, Viv Pope and Roman Smirnov-Rueda, Nova Science NY, USA.
- 2005, Immediate Distant Action and Correlation in Modern Physics: Eds. N. Vivian Pope, Andrew E. Chubykalo and Alan F. T. Winfield, Edwin Mellen Press, Lewiston, NY, USA.
- 2007, Light-Speed, Gravitation and Quantum Instantaneity, Anthony D. Osborne and N. Vivian Pope, phi Philosophical Enterprises, Swansea, UK. ISBN 0-9503790-6-9.
- 2010 Wondering in the Wilderness, A. M. and N. V. Pope, phi, Swansea, ISBN 978-0-9505790-7-4.
- 2010 God's Country, N. Vivian Pope, phi, Swansea, ISBN 978-0-9503790-8-5
- 2011 A Critical Review of Contemporary Physics and Cosmology, Pope and Osborne, (to appear).