Thread: Eric Dollard
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Old 12-01-2012, 10:27 PM
garrettm4 garrettm4 is offline
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Great Balls of Fire


I don't want to cause an explosion of useless argument but I think you have started to go on a crusade of wasted effort.

Since Heaviside has worded my thoughts better I will quote him on the matter of Mathematics and Physical Science:

"Shall I refuse my dinner because I do not fully understand the process of digestion?"

"Physics is above mathematics and the slave must be trained to suit the master's convenience" E.M.T. Vol. II, pg 414

"Mathematics is an Experimental Science

That the study of the theory of a physical science should be preceded by some general experimental acquaintance therewith, in order to secure the inimitable advantage of a personal acquaintance with something real and living, will probably be agreed with by most persons. After, however, the general experimental knowledge has been acquired, accompanied with just a sufficient amount of theory to connect it together and render its acquisition easier and more interesting, it becomes possible to consider the theory by itself, as theory. The experimental facts then go out of sight, in a great measure, not because they are unimportant, but because they become subordinate to the theory in a certain sense, and, we might also add, because they are fundamental, and the foundations are always hidden from view in well-constructed buildings." E.M.T Vol. II

In conclusion, Heaviside attained his historical significance by using real life to model his mathematical expressions and NOT the other way around. Mathematics is merely a tool that must be conformed to and judged by the real world where it is applied.

"Heaviside was not only a great mathematician, he was also a great physicist; and it is the knowledge of the the physics of the problems which guided him correctly in may instances to the development of suitable mathematical processes. He concerned himself little with formal proofs or rigorous demonstrations. As he remarked: 'In working out physical problems, there should be, in the first place, no pretense to rigorous formalism. The physics will guide the physicist along somehow to useful and important results, by the constant union of physical and geometrical analytical ideas'.'" L Cohen, Heaviside Electrical Circuit Theory, 1928, pgv

To finish here's a short expose of Heaviside's Electro-Magnetic Theory, given in the Philosophical Magazine,

"Every line of the book is important, and it is full of interesting digressions on all sorts of subjects. Though the converse may not be true, all clever men have a sense of humor, and it is therefore a pity that scientific writers emulate the ponderous dryness of the theologian. Mr. Heaviside's work bristles with humor of a type which he has invented."


[1] Ernst Julius Berg - Heaviside Operational Calculus, 1929
[3] Louis Cohen - Heaviside Electrical Circuit Theory, 1928
[3] Sir Oliver Heaviside - Electro-Magnetic Theory Volume II, 1889
[4] H.J. Josephs - Heaviside's Electric Circuit Theory, 1946


On the subject of earthquakes, this was repeated on the propaganda box earlier and fortunately it's also on youtube

Why Can't We Predict Earthquakes ? (BBC Documentary) - YouTube

The part at 40 minutes 45 seconds in particular is interesting and the guy that follows. By applying pressure to a rock, the rock starts to produce an electrical current. He believes before an earthquake the rocks could be producing thousands of amps.

There is a paper on the American Marconi Foundation's website regarding this phenomena, which you may find interesting.

I believe the effect to be due to displacement currents produced by changing the permittivity of the rock (via pressure / rupture) and the effective distance between two "boundary conditions", where one value of permittivity abuts or transitions into another[1]. All of this determines the effective electrostatic capacity present. It is essentially a hybrid of parameter variation in the electrical sense but also interspersed with chemical science as well, such as the tribo-electric and piezo-electric effects.

[1] Vladimir Karapatoff describes the junction between two dissimilar permittivities as best though of an infinitely thin conducting plane. Which aids in the calculation of capacitance for situations having layers of dissimilar dielectrics, like air and glass for a loosely spaced HV capacitor.

[1a] Vladimir Karapetoff - The Electric Circuit 2nd Edition, 1912, pg 164
[2] Ernst Julius Berg - Heaviside Operational Calculus, 1929, pg 197

Garrett M

Last edited by garrettm4; 12-02-2012 at 05:53 AM.
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