Subject: Cosmos without Gravitation FollowupTo: An interesting paper. In Cosm

Master Index Current Directory Index Go to SkepticTank Go to Human Rights activist Keith Henson Go to Scientology cult

Skeptic Tank!

From: James Meritt Subject: Cosmos without Gravitation Organization: MITRE Corporation, McLean VA From: m23364@mwunix (James Meritt) Message-ID: <> Followup-To: Newsgroups:,sci.astro,sci.physics An interesting paper... In _Cosmos_Without_Gravitation_, Immanuel Velikovsky writes: > >Phenomena not in accordance with the Theory of Gravitation: I would say, not in accordance with his understanding... >1. The ingredients of air - oxygen, nitrogen, argon and other gasses - though >not in a compound but in a mixture, are found in equal proportions at various >levels of the atmosphere despite great differences in specific weights. A nicely mixed meda, for sure... >2. Ozone, though heavier than oxygen, is absent in the lower layers of the >atmosphere, is present in the upper layers, and is not subject to the "mixing >effect of the wind." There is no suprise at finding an unstable substance near its source and that it be less common the further away from the source it gets. It breaks down. Carl J Lydick writes: >Obviously the creationist (or equivanent thereof) who posted the original >question has never been to Los Angeles! :-) >3. Water, though eight hundred times heavier than air, is held in droplets, >by the millions of tins, miles above the ground. A suspension. William D. Sears adds: > A poing of information: water stays in the air about 7 days on average. > You might want to point out RAIN here, since obviously the water does > not stay up in the air. >4. Even if perfect elasticity is a quality of the molecules of all gasses, the >motion of the molecules, if affected by a mechanical cause, must subside >because of the gravitational attraction between the particles and also >because of the >gravitational pull of the earth. He appears to thing that there is some kind of gravitational collapse here? I would think that a brief study of the kinetic property of gasses would easily show the fallacy in this statement. William D. Sears asks: > Ask him where the thermal energy would go. Carl J Lydick writes: }No, it's just that the moron has never heard of (or didn't understand) }statistical mechanics. In particular, the names Maxwell and Boltzman are }clearly foreign to him. >5. The weight of the atmosphere is constantly changing as the changing >barometric >pressure indicates. yup. It is a dynamic media that is often out of equilibrium. >6. Laplace... came to the conclusion that the atmosphere...must be >lenticular in form, >its polar and equatorial axes must be 35,000 and 52,000 miles respectively; >at the >equator the atmosphere must extend more than 21,000 miles....From the >measurement of >the pressure of the earth's has been deduced that the >atmosphere is but >17 miles high. Observation of the flight of meteorites and of the polar >auroras >lead to the conjecture that the atmosphere reaches...130 miles...or over 400 >miles. >Radio measurements yield about 200 miles for the upper layer recognizable >through this >method of investigation. So Velikovsky has shown that Laplace had an incredible misunderstanding of the atmosphere. The "17 miles high" seems to assume that an elastic gas behaved inelastically. I am not especially suprised when ignorance does not agree with misconception. >7. ...As the movement of anticyclones cannot be explained by the mechanistic >principles >of gravitation and rotation, it must be concluded that the rotation of >cyclones is also >unexplained. I do not recall any such problem. Carl J Lydick writes: }But the moron in question appears to be of the opinion that he can observe the }coriolis effect using a toilet a foot from the equator. >8. ...the unequal distribution of masses (land in northers vs southern >hemispheres) >does not effect the position of the earth...Also, the seasonal distribution >of ice and >snow, shifting in a distillation process from one hemisphere to the other, >should >interfere with the equilibrium of the earth, but fails to do so. What does "effect the position of the earth" and "equilibrium of the earth" mean, and how large effect should a tiny fraction of one percent have? Carl J Lydick writes: }I think that the moron assumes that, if we get too much snow in the southern }hemisphere, it will make the earth flip :-) >9. Mountainous masses do not exert the gravitational pull expected by the >theory of >gravitation. News to me. He's quoting 1855 reports. What does more recent observation indicate? I've been directly involved in a project where the seabed was mapped using this trick - I recall no such problem. Carl J Lydick writes: }News to NASA, too. They've had to take mascons into consideration for quite }some time now. >10. Over the oceans, the gravitational pull is greater than over the >continents, though >according to the theory of gravitation the reverse should be true... huh? This appears to be from a 1939 paper. Any recent observations? Del Cotter wrote: >Okay, if you've been involved in seabed mapping you know more about this >than me, but it sounds right that the gravity should be greater at sea level >ie. closer to the Earth's centre. Probably Velikovsky was thinking 'Ah, >land = more mass = more gravity'. But the land has the *same mass* as the >ocean bed. It floats like an iceberg because it has lower density. Can you >say 'isostatic equilibrium', Immanuel? >11. The atmospheric pressure of the sun, instead of being 27.47 times >greater than the >atmospheric pressure of the earth (as expected because of the large solar >mass), is much >smaller... Del Cotter wrote: >'The atmospheric pressure', what's that? Pressure in the Sun's atmosphere, >like that in the Earth's, varies with depth. Comparing the Sun's outer >atmosphere with the Earth's at sea level is comparing apples with oranges. >12. Because of its swift rotation, the gasseous sun should have a >latitudinal axis >greater than the longitudinal, but it does not have it. Why should it? Does someone have the supporting calculations that Velikovsky's paper does not provide? Del Cotter wrote: >It should, and it does, but not to the naked eye. Some observations, >Immanuel, are not obvious. And the correct terms are polar radius and >equatorial radius. Read the literature. >13. If planets and satellites were once molten masses...they would not have >been able to >obtain spherical form, especially those which do not rotate, as Mercury or >the moon (with >respect to its primary) I do not see this conclusion. Even drops of water, not rotating, go spherical in free fall. William D. Sears adds: > His point is that tides should warp the blobs into oblongs. Of course, > he is wrong about Mercury not rotating wrt the Sun and even for the Moon > we believe it formed rotating asynchronously and later obtained its presetn > rotation state. Note that all observed planets that I know of are NOT > spherical, they are slightly oblate. Carl J Lydick writes: }But, you see, the moron doesn't understand that if you seek to minimize }gravitational potential of an homogenous substance, you end up putting it in a }spheres. Obviously he's also got an anti-gravity machine he wants to sell us! Del Cotter wrote: >The water drops are minimising surface energy, and the molten planets were >minimising potential energy. The big ones would have done so even if they >were not molten. Mountain ranges are ephemeral phenomena. Rotation has >nothing to do with gravity, unless you are a crank. otter wrote: >14. ...The Newtonian orbits (calculated) differ from the Keplerian, found >empirically. How so? (Do they?) The space program seems to do quite well with Newtonian calculations... William D. Sears adds: > The real point that should be noted here is that the Keplerian orbits are > not as precise as the calculated ones. Therefore the REAL orbits differ > from the Keplerian ones, and are much closer to the calculated ones. Del Cotter wrote: >Kepler's orbits would fit Newton's exactly in the two-body case. Newton >allows for the perturbation caused by third, fourth etc. bodies. Einstein >allows for changes in the shape of spacetime. Science gets better, Immanuel. >15. Perturbations of planets due to their reciprocal action are pronounced >in repulsion >as well as attraction. huh? In his paper he gave no references to this. Anyone know anything? William D. Sears adds: > I would love to hear more about this one, unless he is referriing to the > fact that the attractive forces can interact with the orbital motions in > such a way as to move the items further apart. This is not a repulsion. Del Cotter wrote: >Sounds like complete gibberish to me. Where are your data, Immanuel? >16. The perturbating activity appears unstable in the major planets...As >these planets >did not increase in mass in the meantime, this change is not understandable >from...theory >of gravitation, which includes the principle of the immutable gravitational >constant. The time is 1898-1899. What happened? William D. Sears adds: > Unstable does not necessarily mean that anything is changing. After all > a pencil balanced on its point is unstable and will most likely fall, > but nothing in the nature of gravity has to change to have this happen. > Also see recent ideas of chaos theory. >17. The pressure of light emanating from the sun should slowly change the >orbits of the >satellites...but this change fails to materialize; a regulating force seems >to overcome >this unequal light pressure on primaries and secondaries. I may be incorrect, but photonic/solar wind pressure seems several orders of magnitude for this to have an observable effect. William D. Sears adds: > Try MANY orders of magnitude for planet sized objects. Refer to the > concept of solar sail spacecraft. Carl J Lydick writes: }Even it that weren't the case, the moron has missed an important point: Light }pressure on the Earth in January is equal and opposite to light pressure in }June. The net effect of this light pressure is to increase the diameter of the }Earth's orbit. trygve lode adds: }One minor quibble, and one that doesn't detract from your point at all, is }that the light pressure (and, for that matter, the solar wind) exerts a }force on the earth that is equal and opposite in June and January, but }this force is not entirely radial and acts to reduce the angular momentum of }earth slightly throughout its orbit. Thus, instantaneously, the orbit is }minutely larger than it would be without the solar radiation, but over }time it acts to reduce the size of the orbit (also minutely). >18. The sun moves in space...This motion, according to Lodge (1918) must >change the >eccentricties of some of the planetary orbits to an extent that far exceeds >the observed >values. Anything more recent than a 1918 calculation not borne out by observation? What did he do wrong? William D. Sears adds: > I have not seen this calculation, but even Newtonian relativity should > indicate that there should be no effect. The only thing that I can > think of here is the tidal forces might have an influence. However, > I suspect that the effect of passing stars will be larger. >19. The motion of the perihelia of Mercury and Mars and of the nodes of >Venus differ >from what is computed with the help of the Newtonian law of gravitation...the >irregularities in the movements of venus and mars cannot be accounted for by >Einstein's >formula. What irregulatrities? William D. Sears adds: > He is referring to the precession of the orbits. However, the input into > these calculations is not known well enough to eliminate any remaining > problem from being just errors in the input rather than the calculation. > I am not aware of exactly what he is referencing here, though. Del Cotter wrote: >The motion of the perihelion of Mercury differs signicantly from Newtonian >calculations. This is accounted for by General Relativity. The rest is >unsupported assertion. >20. Unaccounted for fluctuations in the lunar mean motion were calculated >from the >records of lunar eclipses of many centuries and from modern observations. And are they accounted for now? Del Cotter wrote: >Yes, the lunar mean motion has been decreasing due to tidal interactions >with the Earth for at least 600 million years. This was considered to be >sufficient explanation at the time, but Velikovsky chooses to ignore this. >Too inconvenient. One problem was that the current rate, extrapolated >backward, would have had the Moon crashing into the Earth 600 million years >ago. Very Velikovskian, but unfortunately, the timescale is not biblical >enough. Anyway, we now know that the current rate of recession is unusually >high because of the current arrangement of the continents, particularly >South America, Africa and Australia. >21. (paraphrase: variance in altitude of ionosphere as observed through radio >transmissions cannot be explained by tidal forces) What does tide have to do with ionospheric effects? Solar radiation, yes. William D. Sears adds: > Tides should have some effect, however it is not a major one. Your point > is well taken. Del Cotter wrote: >The variation of atmospheric height caused by thermal radiation is >incorrectly known as 'thermal tide'. Neither this nor the other kind >of tide has anything to do with ionosphere height, which is caused by >UV radiation. >22. The tails of the comets do not obey the principle of gravitation and >are repelled by >the sun. He should read his own paper, item 17. The solar wind (streaming protons) combined with photonic pressure explain this phonomena quite well. >23. The change in the angular velocity of comets is not in accordance with the >theoretical computations based on the theory of gravitation. He refers to a german encyclopedia article. What is current data? William D. Sears adds: > Unknown, however, I hope that whoever wrote that article takes into > account the random effects of 'jets' or plums from the surface. These > will act like rockets and change the orbit of the comet. Del Cotter wrote: >Did you see those pictures of Halley by the Giotto probe? Huge geysers >shooting out of the ground as the comet warms up. The comet is small >enough that this has a significant effect on the orbit. This was known >in Immanuel's time. >24.Meteors, after entering the terrestrial atmosphere at about 200km above >the ground, >are violently displaced towards the east. What is he talking about? Del Cotter wrote: >Gibberish. Because the earth is spinning anticlockwise as seen from the >north pole, meteors statistically have a mean *westwards* velocity relative >to the ground. They do not suddenly acquire this on contact with the >atmosphere. Carl J Lydick writes: }Well, if you send something toward the center of the Earth, then to an object }on the surface, it looks like it's moving east. Once again you've denied one }of the moron's premises: The Earth is the fixed, unmoving, center of the }universe. You're assuming the Earth rotates. The moron should castigate you }for that heresy! >25. As the principle of gravitation leaves no room for the participation of >other forces >in the ordinary movements of the celestial mechanism... Sure it does. I'd be amazed at anything that claimed otherwise. Velikovsky's "theory" may be necessary to "explain" his misunderstandings, but the 'problems' he mentioned simply do not exist. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ ------- Who's who in my additions: William Sears Lunar and Planetary Lab Info: I am a PhD candidate in Planetary Science at the University of Arizona. Carl J Lydick | INTERnet: CARL@SOL1.GPS.CALTECH.EDU | NSI/HEPnet: SOL1::CARL Del Cotter -- James W. Meritt: - or - The opinions above are mine. If anyone else wants to share them, fine. They may say so if they wish. The facts "belong" to noone and simply are.


E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank