Susskind’s book

An honest writer on the subject of physics has to continuously check that what he writes or proposes is in line at least somewhat reasonably with the latest progress in physics. This behooves a responsibility to read and study as much as possible, even doing homework of various sorts. I picked up a very well written book by Leonard Susskind called The Black Hole War, where Susskind describes his efforts to persuade Stephen Hawking that Hawking’s claim that black hole evaporation causes a different entropy level (information is lost) is wrong. The cool thing about well written physics books for laymen is that if the physicist is at the leading edge, a lot of time he spends time not only on the subject at hand, but also talks a lot about supporting physics, which can give amateur physicists a lot of well summarized information (sans mathematics) of the latest physics thinking. Susskind’s book is one of the very best books I’ve seen in this regard, and his ability to write and explain clearly is on a par with Feynman.

The only trouble with this approach is sometimes you read something that contradicts your own pet theories, so the mark of the physics crackpot is to either not read or disregard what he has read. I’m trying hard not to be a crackpot, so I have very carefully read this very well crafted book with an eye out for why physicists have not gone down the road of twist rings (you know for certain that some large number of physicists have to have already considered this at some point, and I wonder why they chose not to pursue such a promising approach).

One thing among many that I didn’t know–he says two important thoughts about the point source electron (which my paper and the twist ring attempt to show as wrong). He said that while experimental scattering results show the infinitesimal cross section, all physicists actually believe that there will be electron structure at the Planck length scale (far tinier than what I propose). He also said that when they concluded point sources for the electron, it was because it wasn’t possible to add rotational energy to the electron (I had said in my paper that they determined that the electron was a point source because of scattering angles and momentum tracks, but Susskind is saying it is because the angular momentum of the electron cannot be increased, thus implying no interconnection energies can be added, thus implying there are no interconnections).

So far, nothing I’ve read seems to directly contradict my pet theory of twist rings, since there’s no possible way to add interconnect energy or other angular momentum elements to the twist ring (it is a soliton and does not have more than one stable energy state). My arguments against the point source are not discussed in this book–and nothing he writes about the Planck scale electron addresses or solves any of these arguments–so, so far, I’m not going to abandon the twist ring approach.

It’s tough to be conscientous and just want the truth when you’ve invested a lot of thought and think you might have a valid theory!! I am almost done with this book, at least for a first reading, and will see if anything else might show up that blows away twist rings…


PS: I read the wonderful description of the black hole entropy issue in Susskind’s book, but hated the reference to “information loss” in black holes. Physicists came up with a lousy word for entropy issues: “information” or “information loss”. I’ve always been confused by “information” and now understand what is really meant, number of unique states permitted with a particular system. Entropy is the log of that, and thus could be considered the quantity of basis states that covers the set of possible states. “Information” is an imprecise word for that, in my humble opinion…

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