You are using an outdated browser. For a faster, safer browsing experience, upgrade for free today.

Science

The following describes my scientific work, and is divided into two sections. The first covers those aspects that have been, or are intended to be, expanded in my scientific ebooks. Currently, these cover four topics: the nature of theory and how to form theories (link to the first), planetary formation and biogenesis (link), my alternative interpretation of quantum mechanics (link to Guidance Waves) and Biofuels (link). The second section lists some of the rest of my more significant scientific work.

E – Publication

(a) The Nature of Theory.

My recommended procedure for forming theories follows Aristotle, where observation provides the problem, the use of set theory helps induce propositions, these are worked through, then we see whether what we have agrees with observation.

(b) Planetary Formation and Biogenesis.

The standard theory of planetary formation assumes that in the stellar accretion disk, dust and solids accrete into a reasonably uniform distribution of planetesimals, which then gravitationally accrete into planets. However, there is no known mechanism for planetesimal formation. My contribution is to consider that initial accretion occurs through chemical processes. This explains why every planetary system in our solar system has a different overall composition from the others. This, and some further chemical processing, is why Titan has an atmosphere, and Ganymede does not, and why there should be no life in an under-ice ocean on Europa.

Since the ebook was published, no observations have been made that trouble it, although minor rewrites and additional data would be required for a second edition. Some pieces of evidence that should occur under this theory have been obtained. An example is the recent finding that samples of Martian basalt have embedded carbonaceous material in them. This was absolutely required for the initial basalt, although it was somewhat unexpected that such material remains now.

(c) Quantum Mechanics – Guidance Waves.

The two-slit experiment shows unambiguously the presence of wave-particle duality. Either there is a physical wave, and while standard physics concludes there is not, I follow de Broglie and Bohm in asserting there is. The standard theory assumes that despite the fact there is no wave, the quantum systems are defined by the Schrödinger equation, which in its more basic form, free of operator formalism, is

The wave function ψ is given by

where A is the amplitude, S the action, and h is Planck's quantum of action. It is generally held that ψ is complex, but from Euler's complex number theory, when S (which evolves with time) equals h, then ψ = A, which is real. Accordingly, my interpretation assumes the antinode of the wave defines the expectation dynamical properties. My second assumption is that if the wave is to cause the diffraction in the two-slit experiment, it has to arrive at the slits at the same time. If so, the wave must transmit energy, and ψ.ψ* is not defined by probability, but A2 defines the energy of the motion. From this I obtain, the Uncertainty Principle and the Exclusion Principle. What follows is that atomic orbitals do not correspond to hydrogen-like solutions of the Schrodinger equation, but rather the wave function is a combination of all possible paths, and the screening constant is a function of quantum numbers. A possible explanation is given for the delayed choice quantum eraser, which, if correct, predicts the results of further experiments. I also argue that the assertion that Alain Aspect proved violations of Bell's Inequality is not correct. The experimental results are fine, but logically there are too few proper variables to put into Bell's Inequalities.

(d) Biofuels.

My approach has been to assume the critical step is to convert the solid biomass to a liquid. Hydrothermal liquefaction of lignocellulose rapidly produces an oil containing hydrocarbons suitable for high-octane petroleum and jet fuel, together with a phenolic fraction that can be further hydrotreated for fuel. Microalgae are one promising feedstock, and besides fuel, some highly valuable chemical feedstocks can be isolated.

Other published scientific work.

(e) Chemical strain.

My PhD work related to whether there is electron delocalization from the strained ring cyclopropane to adjacent unsaturation. Standard theory says it does, and this was "confirmed" by quantum computations, however the same code was used to "verify" the stability of polywater. My interpretation was to consider staring the system produced polarization fields. To illustrate the basics of what followed, consider two charges at A and B on one side of a wall W, and an observer O, thus

A B |W|O

The observer O can detect a combined electric field E from A and B. Now, suppose charge A moves closer to B; O now sees a change in electric field, and two interpretations are possible: charges has moved closer, or further charge was added. In each case, the same work has to be done (the strain energy) on the charge. The two possibilities are indistinguishable, and while we know charge moved in the strained molecule, it is impossible to calculate by how much. If, however, we assume a constant structure and we add a pseudocharge, the calculation is much easier. (This is like using centrifugal force ina calcularion; in principle there is no such force, but it does make calculations easier.) I have put a review on the web that shows there are about 60 different types of observation that show that the unusual effects of strained rings are due to such polarization fields resulting from moving charge rather than from electron delocalization.

(f) Chemical bond localization.

If there is a physical wave, as per my guidance wave theory, chemical bonds are localized if the delocalized path is bent such that wave refraction is required, but the required impedance differences are not exactly present. Aromaticity arises as a consequence of the Exclusion Principle not permitting a classical structure, and the bond lengths are determined by the weighting of the canonical structures. Aromatic bond localization can occur through the alteration of the refractive index for quantal waves by the focusing of polarization fields. Resonance energy is not a consequence of some "quantum mechanical effect with no classical equivalent", but rather a consequence of the de Broglie wave equation, and the requirement that momentum be conserved between canonical structures.

(g) Carbenium ion stability.

I have proposed that the gas-phase stabilities of carbenium ions are determined by the polarization of adjacent bonds by the ionic charge. The required relative permittivity for the given bonds are in good accord with bond refractivities. Accordingly, I argue the concept of hyperconjugation is unnecessary.

(h) Atomic nucleus.

The stability of the atomic nucleus with respect to radioactive decay can be expressed in terms of phase relationships of electro-weak quark-quark interaction wave functions. The relevant journal no longer functions and the article has not seemingly been put onto the web, however information is available on request. The proposal requires a slight modification to account for nuclear spin.

Bond bending.

The electric field vector from the rest of the molecule is directed along the line of a bond with zero deformation, I proposed that the mechanics of bond bending is not simple harmonic, but approximates to the mechanics of a pendulum. The differences become more significant as the amplitude of the vibration increases, and anharmonicities for some molecules were obtained in good agreement with observation.

Elements 2 offers a review of current opinion and observations, then a theory by which the initial growth of planets is chemically driven.

Seaweeds.

(1) Processes have been developed for manufacturing agar from unsorted seaweed, high gel strength agars, agaroses and agaroid derivatives, including an agarose-like material the gel of which does not melt at ambient pressure; a xylosylated pyruvylated 'agarose'; agaroses with low gel melting temperatures but with gel strengths higher than most current examples, and Nemidon gels. More details are found here.

(2) An improved method has been developed to desulphate sulphated polysaccharides. Alkaline desulfation also occurs in the presence of reducing agents, and some materials such as ferric oxide, which requires the removal of such agents when carrying out methylation analyses.

(3) The use of set theory logic applied to a number of simple procedures was used to develop a faster means of determining the structures of red algal galactans. This was applied to standard agars and carrageenans, mixed diads, and then more complicated galactans such as Chladhymenia oblongifolia. The method was extended to a number of further phycocolloids, and samples that have potential biological activity are available.