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Scientific Books

Aristotelian Methodology in the Physical Sciences (Elements of Theory Book 1)

Part 1 introduces and outlines how to form theory, then considers five failures of theory, including polywater, greenhouse forcing, and a debate between two Nobel Prize winners that failed to reach a conclusion. Part 2 introduces some physics for chemists and some chemistry that a physicist might find interesting, and which provides the raw material for Part 3, in which the reader is invited to test their skill with 73 exercises.

These exercises ask the reader to form alternative theories on… then an answer is offered, to show it is possible. The reader is then offered the opportunity to analyse these answers. When an artificial "gravity" is generated in a spinning satellite, how does the satellite know that it is spinning? Why is the spin of an electron equal to ½? Did Alain Aspect really find violations of Bell's Inequality? Find an analytical "back of the envelope" calculation of the bond properties of the hydrogen molecule.

The final exercises ask the reader to find one principle underpinning quantum mechanics, then, with that offered, derive the Uncertainty Principle, the Exclusion Principle and interpret Complementarity, then develop an alternative causal interpretation of quantum mechanics by which the results of the 2-slit experiment and the quantum eraser experiments should follow.

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Planetary Formation and Biogenesis (Elements of Theory Book 2)

Why is our solar system different from most of the others we see? How common are planets like Earth that have life on them? Is there life under the ice of Europa? Why will alien life have similar systems to ours? How did we get homochirality, and more to the point, why? Planetary Formation and Biogenesis is designed to illustrate how to form a theory by inducing from the set of observations. There is a review of the literature with over 700 references, most presenting different aspects. This review shows there are significant problems with standard theory, including: there is no known mechanism to form the required planetesimals, there are no explanations for the fact that all the planets in our system are different from each other, the Martian surface is incomprehensible on standard theory, the initial conditions argued for Earth should not lead to life, there is no standard explanation for homochirality and standard theory fails to give clues as to when to expect life and what variations are possible.

Perhaps most critically, standard theory requires longer than 15 My to form Jupiter to the stage where gas can rapidly accrete, and the accretion disk usually lasts 1-10 My following stellar formation. Critically, LkCa 15b has formed in 2 My, it is three times further than Jupiter from a smaller star than the sun, and it is 5 times bigger than Jupiter. That requires new theory. The second part employs Aristotelian methodology to induce a theory. It proposes that accretion is actually a chemical phenomenon, that our solar system represents a solar system where the stellar cleanout was ca 1 My after stellar cleanout. It predicts four major ice cores, each with their

own characteristic composition, and shows why the four rocky planets have the composition they have. The biochemicals required for life arise naturally, it shows why homochirality arises, and why all carbon-based life will almost certainly commence with RNA, even though ribose is the least stable and least likely to be formed of the common sugars, why ATP is the energy transfer chemical, and it proposes some simple experiments to show how it probably developed. There are over 80 predictions, one of which includes no life under-ice on Europa.

At the end of each month, I shall post a blog summarizing the most relevant scientific papers published during that month.
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Guidance Waves An Alternative Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics

It is well-known that the quantal wave function is complex. What is less well-appreciated is, from Euler, that it becomes real at the extremes of crest and trough. This alternative interpretation of quantum mechanics is based on two assumptions: the wave function only imparts physical effects when it is real as opposed to complex, and its phase velocity is the same as the expectation velocity of the particle, so that it can be present to impart physical effects. With these two premises, the results of the two-slit experiment follow, as does a further experiment. The reason the electron in an atom does not spiral into the nucleus follows, the Uncertainty Principle and the Exclusion Principle are derived, Complementarity arises as do the conditions when it will fail, a simplified procedure for calculating the basic properties of the chemical bond follows and together with the concept that atomic orbitals do not correspond to the excited states of hydrogen, a hitherto unrecognized quantum effect is proposed for the chemical bond.

If this is correct, most computational procedures in chemistry are wrongly based. As an example, it argues with evidence against the widely held belief that the chemical properties of heavy elements are affected significantly by relativistic effects. The interpretation is causal and mainly local; it is shown that rotating polarizers do not demonstrate violations of Bell's inequalities, and it is suggested that further experiments are required for the delayed quantum eraser. Finally, and more speculatively, it is shown that the binding of deuterium is consistent with the binding being of electromagnetic origin.

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Biofuels An Overview

During the 1970s oil crisis, I was a Section Head at Chemistry Division, DSIR, New Zealand's national chemistry laboratory, and during this period I surveyed the technology available to make biofuels, and embarked on a program involving hydrothermal liquefaction. Now, with a further resurgence of interest in biofuels, I have repeated the exercise. This ebook summarizes the biomass resources that might be used to make biofuels, it considers the technologies available to convert such resources to fuel, and it outlines some of the physical constraints involved in converting a transport system based on oil to renewables.

There is no prescription of what will solve these problems because there are too few data, but it tries to outline what we know and what we do not know. There is not an indefinite supply of oil and the planet can only take so much burning of fossil fuels without serious adverse consequences. While wasteful use should be avoided we cannot close down a transport system. We must also grow sufficient food, and other resources such as wood. This ebook outlines at least some of the options that remain available.

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