(Delbert J. Larson)
I have some thoughts on the most general and fundamental failures of modern Physics I would like to share. As I see it, there are three general and fundamental failures of modern physics:
Failure 1 - Abandonment of Objective Reality.
I believe that the first fundamental failure of modern physics is the forfeiture of the concept of an objective reality. This failure has it's roots in relativity and quantum mechanics. In their famous paper, Einstein, Podolski and Rosen (EPR) showed how, assuming an objective realty, quantum mechanics must be incomplete. Their argument was refined by Bohm, but it fell to Bell (name forever to be praised) to develop inequalities capable of testing whether or not quantum mechanics does indeed violate relativitistic causality. The tests have been done, (Aspect, et al, were the first, but there have been many more experiments since) and quantum mechanics does indeed predict the correct results of the Bell's inequality experiments. But underlying the EPR argument was an assumption. The assumption was that relativity was correct, and it is a readily obtained result of relativity that no cause can create an effect if the cause is separated from the effect by a relativistic spacelike interval. Faced with the conundrum of Bell's inequalities being an experimental reality, modern physics therefore faced a choice. One could either set relativity aside, or set objective reality aside. Modern Physics chose the latter.
I believe that the wrong choice was taken. Einstein was very clear in his reverence for an objective reality, and so am I. It is clear to me that relativity should have been set aside as a result of the tests of Bell's inequalities, and that the concept of an objective reality should have remained paramount. (Note that the Lorentzian theory has no problem with cause and effect being separated by a relativistic spacelike interval - what is important there, since simultaneity is absolute, is simply that the cause precede the effect. With absolute time, the concept of "precede" is well established in the Lorentz theory in all frames, and one does not need to specify event separations as "space like", "time like" or "light-like".) Also note that the Lorentzian theory leads to almost all of the same experimental predictions as relativity. I have discussed this, and other issues, more fully in .
Failure 2 - The Trend toward Complexity.
I believe the second fundamental failure of modern physics is it's continued growth into complexity. Renormalization theory, quark generations, mixing angles, and on and on, have been considered to be "revolutionary advances" in understanding. And, as each one individually has come about, each one, individually, does indeed advance understanding. But, physics has now reached the point where one really needs to study for decades to "understand" the present state of the art, as many, many single steps keep being added to the "standard model". I view this situation as being very similar to that which existed just prior to Copernicus. The "music of the spheres" was a celebrated theory to explain the motion of the stars and planets in the skies. Now, this theory is much maligned by present day physics, as it is clear now that the Copernican way (with Kepler, and later, Newton) was far, far simpler.
But rather than ridicule the "music of the spheres" it would be far better if modern physics stopped to think about what the science was at that time. It took a great deal of careful observations to map the stellar and planetary motions. It further took a great deal of detailed mathematics to understand the "music of the spheres" theory, as there were many such spheres that, as a system, came together to accurately - and correctly - predict the motion of all heavenly bodies. The theory was very complex, and took many years, and a high intellect, and mathematical study, to understand. But once understood, it passed all experimental tests! That is why it was so fevently held on to. It wasn't that the scientists of the time were stupid (as is often smugly inferred). Rather, the opposite was true.
They were very intelligent to understand such a complicated theory. And after devoting decades to understanding things, building upon the theory year after year, the practitioners were quite understandably reluctant to consider any simple alternative. Afterall, a simple alternative was - simplistic! And far less intellect was needed to understand it. Clearly Kepler was just naive!
I have had an amusing incident that is relevant here. I have come up with a "preon" model. It dovetails into the quark-lepton model, but it only postulates 6 fundamental particles, and it identifies the weak force as a radioactive decay, reducing the forces of nature from four to three. Hence, it is FAR SIMPLER that the standard model. (The standard model now employs 6 quarks, plus 6 antiquarks, and they each come in three colors. That's 36 quarks! Then there are 12 leptons. And gluons, photons, weak intermediate vector bosons and gravitons. Mixing angles are employed to further explain events. How many spheres do they need?) But in reviewing my paper for Physical Review Letters, the reviewer quoted Occoms Razor, saying that the Standard Model employed far fewer "spheres" than did my new proposal. Recalling Galileo (name forever to be praised) "Shall we Laugh, or Shall we Cry?"
Failure 3 - An Insistance on the Illusion of the Simplicity of Point-like Entities.
I believe that the third fundamental failure of modern physics is it's insistance on point-like particles. In some sense this harkens back to the ancient particle versus wave argument. But it is more than that, because a particle would not necessarily have to be of zero size. While the concept of a point is mathematically simple, it also leads directly to physical infinities, and the need for "renormalization". It is my view (again see ) that while the math might be more inconvenient with finite distributed bodies, nature might not be mathematically convenient. But I believe that nature will prefer finite solutions to her problems.
 "An Absolute Theory for the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies", Physics Essays, volume 7, number 4 1994 page 476.
 "The A-B-C Preon Model", Physics Essays, volume 10, number 1, 1997, page 27.
Also, if anyone is interested in a rigorous ether model, please see:
 "A Derivation of Maxwell's Equations from a Simple
Two-Component Solid-Mechanical Aether", Physics Essays, volume 11,
number 4, 1998.
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[A presentation of the author can be found at the end of his previously published paper]