Saturday, 23 June 2007

Bell theorem refuted!!! Or just another pseudo-physicist.

Recently I have found a very curious piece of information on Bell Theorem.
And this was even stranger. The news came from Causation: International Journal Of Science.
It claims to be peer reviewed scientific electronic journal.

The front page boasts exploding graphics with a title Bell's
theorem …refuted!
in one inch letters .

Figure 1: That's what I call a scientific journal!
Not some dull, blank blue page as Phys Rev Letters...

Inside one finds two (!) peer reviewed papers by Ilija Barukčić:
Bell's theorem. A fallacy of the excluded
and Helicobacter pylori: the cause of human gastric cancer. Perhaps not surprisingly, the Editorial Board consists of — you guessed: Ilija Barukčić!

But I was curious to see, if indeed, this recent work has resulted in a refutation of Bell theorem (making a lot of my own effort to prove it for myself - succesfully - useless and wrong).

I dug into the first article (which was quite cumbersome — as the text is really overfull of mathematical formulae, repeated endlessly). The conclusions of the author are really bold:

As proofed above, Bell's theorem is fallacious because of specifically logical reasons. The logic of Bell's theorem is not sound. Bell's theorem contradicts classical logic, it is based upon a fallacy. In so far either
Bell's theorem is valid or classical logic is valid but not both. Bell's theorem is not compatible with the law of the excluded middle, it is a fallacy of the excluded middle. Bell has committed the fallacy of the excluded middle, commonly referred to as a false dilemma. This logical fallacy is sometimes known also as a false correlative, an either/or fallacy, a bifurcation or as black and white thinking. Bell's formalisation of local realism, his starting point, is incorrect and is based on a logical contradiction. Bell's theorem, as a false dilemma fallacy, refers to a misuse of the law of the excluded middle. Bell has misapplied the law of excluded middle at an maximum. An extreme simplification, a wishful thinking and a misapplication of the law of the excluded middle is the foundation of Bell's theorem. In so far,
Bell's theorem is the most profound logical fallacy of science.

Further, Bell's theorem is the definite and best proof known, that correlation analysis contradicts Quantum mechanics and Relativity Theory, that it is a useless and dangerous statistical machinery. Thus, as proofed above, Bell's theorem is refuted definitely, the book on Bell's theorem is completely losed.

Finally I got to the essence of the proof of refutation of Bells theorem. It may be found first on page 18 of the paper. I'll try to repeat here the most important step, taking the liberty of radically simplifying the notation. I ask the Reader to excuse the use of formulae here, but I think it is such a mathematical joke, that should be shared.

The Bell's theorem is given by Barukčić as:

( 1 − ( (1 − (At ) )· ( 1 − (Not At )) ) ) ≥( Not At) + ( Not Ct ) · ( ( At ) − (Bt ) ). (1)

Let's simplify it by denoting the left and right side of equation:

( 1 − ( (1 − (At ) )· ( 1 − (Not At )) ) ) = L (2)

( Not At) + ( Not Ct ) · ( ( At ) − (Bt ) ) = R (3)

This really helps, as there are really no operations on L and R in the `proofs'. Thus what we have is the inequality

L≥ R (4)

What Barukčić aims at is a proof by reductio ad absurdum, i.e., he assumes the theorem to be true, and looks for logical discrepancies. There are four `proofs' and I'll present the first of them, quoting the author as much as it is possible (some substitutions and cuts are put in here, the Reader interested in details can check the original paper).

The term R can take the values 0 or 1. In so far, let us assume, that R = 0. We
obtain equation L ≥ (R=0).

It is generally accepted, that a ≥ b means that a = b or a > b, both are equally allowed and
possible, if the inequality is true. In so far, Eq. 1 is true, if L=0.
Eq. 1 is equally true if L > 0. In this case, let us assume1, that
L = (R=0),
which satisfies Bell's inequality. On the other hand, Bell is respecting classical logic and thus the law of the excluded middle. The law of excluded middle in classical bivalent logic must yield L=1. Bell's inequality is respecting this law. We obtain

(L=1) = (R=0) (5)

Bell's inequality leads to a logical contradiction, it not true that 1 = 0. Therefore, our original assumption, that Bell's theorem is correct is false.

This was the first of the four `proofs'. Of course, if one assumes to use equality and to use R=0 condition then one gets contradiction. But it is not the Bell theorem that `
contradicts classical logic and leads to a logical contradiction' — it is the author himself.

Emphasis mine. There is no emphasis on this assumption in the original paper...

This document was translated from LATEX by

Wednesday, 20 June 2007

Będąc Młodym Fizykiem

For those who do understand Polish, I highly recommend the scientific absurdities WEB page
Będąc młodym fizykiem

A collection of misuse of science and scientific journalism, ranging from mildly amusing to horrifying.

Tuesday, 19 June 2007


Some time ago I have learned about the Amazonian tribe of Piraha, who, apparently have very, very simple system of mathematics. (as described by Rochel Gelman and Brian Butterworth ):
"The Munduruku language uses the count words for 1, 2 and 3 consistently, and 4 and 5 somewhat inconsistently. The Piraha do not even use the words for 1 and 2 consistently. How would members of these groups perform on various non-verbal tasks involving numerosity?
The amazing result was that both groups succeeded on non-verbal number tasks that used displays representing values (in one study) as large as 80."

I recall the Piraha story because of totally unrelated paper by
Irene M. Pepperberg called Grey parrot numerical competence: a review .
The abstract of the paper states:

"The extent to which humans and nonhumans share numerical competency is a matter of debate. Some researchers argue that nonhumans, lacking human language, possess only a simple understanding of small quantities, generally less than four. Animals that have, however, received some training in human communication systems might demonstrate abilities intermediate between those of untrained nonhumans and humans. Here I review data for a Grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus) that has been shown to quantify sets of up to and including six items (including heterogeneous subsets) using vocal English labels, to comprehend these labels fully, and to have a zero-like concept. Recent research demonstrates that he can also sum small quantities. His success shows that he understands number symbols as abstract representations of real-world collections, and that his sense of number compares favorably to that of chimpanzees and young human children."

Does make you think, doesn't it?

Monday, 18 June 2007

Quantum question

A recent preprint on Time in Quantum Theory by Dieter H Zeh has brought my attention
to the question of the `speed of quantum changes'. While the classical discussions of nonlocality
in Quantum Mechanics (QM) and consequences of Bell's Theorem are widely published, 
there are some other situations where nonlocality is rather hard to grok.

Consider a hydrogen atom in excited state. The electron wavefunction has some specific form, extending via exponentially vanishing factor, to infinity.
Now, when the atom emits a photon (preferably for this analysis in spontaneous emission)
the wavefunction changes. 
Question: does the wavefunction change at the same moment in the whole space?
Or, as Zeh suggests, is there a `wave' of changing wavefunction, spreading our from the atom?

Anyone knows any solution / references to this problem?

Sunday, 17 June 2007

Dark Energy, dark matter and all that

For those interested in the incredible story of modern astrophysics, especially the dark matter/dark energy puzzles there is an excellent guide to resources. 
Pre-print of the Resource Letter BE-1: The Beginning and Evolution of the Universe,
by Bharat Ratra and Michael S. Vogeley, which has just appeared in arXiv has 
not only a very comprehensive list of sources, but readable introductions into what is what.

The only negative remark I can find, speaking from the point of view of an amateur follower of science, is that the publication is too conservative with respect to `official channels' of science dissemination. Yes, I know that there are copyrights and that scientific journals usually do not have free access. And it is `proper' to give references to peer-reviewed journal publications. 

But we do live in the Internet age, and astrophysics is, in fact, one of the fields where
e-pre-print is very much alive. As the Resource Letter publication shows itself. So, I find it a bit disappointing that there are no links to pre-prints in the publication. 
It would make the life so much easier...

Starting the blog

The decision to start the blog - in addition to writing the book - has been prompted by the difficulty in coping with all the science news streaming in. While I try to incorporate some of the discoveries, stupidities, questions into the main theme of the book, in some cases it is simply not possible. These news are not necessarily real news, sometimes they are just my own discoveries, as I go through google scholar or arXiv. Or via chain-reading various publications.

A word of warning to the Reader: do not expect expert knowledge here. I have long ago ceased to be an expert, even in my own discipline, solid state physics. I am, what one might call, a curious wanderer, going randomly through many disciplines in the realm of Science. I hope that the things that I discover might be interesting for other people. If so - I look forward to any comments.