Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Physics/Archive August 2007

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

== Seeking input == i made i guy fly over trhe mon with my pecker, the caght him by his ball ans said cogh

A description of a "physical feat" on Bruce Lee's article is being discussed: "Lee caused a 235lb opponent to fly 15 feet away with a one inch punch." This is supposedly taken almost verbatim from the source, a book by John Little, who has written numerous books on Bruce Lee. This claim suggests that after punching someone from only one inch away, Bruce Lee caused the opponent to "fly" across for 15 feet or about 4.5 meters before stopping, essentially flying across an entire room. The claim does not indicate that the opponent merely stumbled. I am not aware of any objective evidence where any human being can do this. In the publicly available videos of demonstrations where Bruce Lee punches people, they only take a couple steps back and fall into a chair.(clip)

I find that the claim is either grossly exaggerated or inaccurate, but one editor feels that the author's claim is non-controversial and does not qualify as an exceptional claim, and that there is no need to state in the same sentence that the claim is "according to John Little". For the sake of developing consensus, I encourage editors to drop by Talk:Bruce_Lee#Bruce_Lee_Physical_Feats to suggest how this type of incredible but sourced claim may be presented in accordance with policies. Thank you. Shawnc 03:48, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

It looks like you're getting somewhere. Lists like the one in the "physical feats" section are generally a bad format for an article, anyway. Perhaps you could encourage someone to convert the most interesting items to prose. Gnixon 16:06, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

Expert review: Pressure extension

As part of the Notability wikiproject, I am trying to sort out whether Pressure extension is notable enough for an own article. I would appreciate an expert opinion. For details, see the article's talk page. If you can spare some time, please add your comments there. Thanks! --B. Wolterding 12:30, 3 August 2007 (UTC)


Can someone check out this article (and the related Spherical expansion‎ by the same author)? The author appears to work for Statements like "The SeraWorld Quarter-motion is the basis for all sciences from Quantum Physics to Biology." and "Spherical Expansion is the model which completes the Grand Unification Theory" set off my crackpot alarm, but I figured that someone with more physics backgound should make the call as to whether this should be kept, expanded, or deleted as spam/nonsense/whatever. Thanks. --Finngall talk 22:25, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

benign nonsense. delete both. Mct mht 22:42, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
Trying to sell subscriptions to the explanation and "proof" it looks like. I deleted both. — Laura Scudder 23:06, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

Content dispute in article Herbert Dingle

It would be useful to get input from other editors about the recent activity on that page. Tim Shuba 04:48, 26 July 2007 (UTC)

Just a follow up on this situation. The page was s-protected for a while and is now unprotected again. The talk page continues to be essentially useless for collaboration or reasoned argument, with several disruptive IPs, and one editor who has deemed it useful to refer to me personally as a LYING two-faced little shit, desperate to drag Herbert Dingle's name through the mud, and most recently, a vandalizing POV-pusher who is wrecking the page. I am not personally bothered by this invective, nor have I responded in kind, and I realize this is not a place to formally report it even I were so inclined. However, I would appreciate some feedback and/or edits regarding my latest contribution to the article, which has at this time already been reverted twice, once in full and once in part.
My edit here reintroduced a previously deleted clause and included a citation:
...and Dingle's claim is no longer an active area of debate within the mainstream physics community.[1]
  1. ^ Will, Clifford M. (2006). "Special Relativity: A Centenary Perspective". In T. Damour, O. Darrigol, B. Duplantier and V. Rivasseau. Einstein, 1905-2005: Poincaré Seminar 2005. Birkhäuser Basel. Over the years, special relativity has been subjected to a series of tests, not of its experimental predictions, but of its very logic. Many of its predictions, such as the slowing of time on moving clocks, were deemed to be so strange, so beyond normal experience, that there had to be something wrong with the theory. The idea was to find “paradoxes”, simple situations where the theory could be shown to be logically inconsistent. Of course, there are no paradoxes! To be sure, the idea of time dilation may be hard to understand or to swallow, but there is absolutely nothing paradoxical about it.  line feed character in |quote= at position 88 (help); External link in |chapter= (help)
Not only is this citation solid, the quote from the reference specifically relates to the substance of Dingle's claim as presented in the article. I cannot see any justification for the removal of either this citation or the quote it contains. Tim Shuba 00:21, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
The reason I was ambivalent about the quote was simply because it seemed unnecessary. What does it add to the article about Dingle? The ref itself is all that is necessary to support the claim that Dingle's ideas are no longer discussed. --Starwed 01:27, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
Well, the arxiv article by Will is 24 pages long, so I chose the part that is clearly and obviously relevant. I can't imagine what else the "quote=" field in the cite book template is for. So other than directly addressing the claim in the article using many of the exact same words while unequivocally supporting a statement with a reliable source, I guess it doesn't add a thing. I'm asking for an opinion here from EMS, who is now on record as stating that including this quote from Will constitutes an NPOV violation and is "shoving it down people throats that Dingle was wrong". Barring any sensible reply, disengagement from the article seems my best option. Tim Shuba 07:35, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
For what it's worth, I did actually try to find some documentation/consensus on when the quote= field should be used, but the only discussion on the template talk (and archives) I could find seemed to be consensus that it be removed... not sure what happened there, since obviously it remained. :) It's more of a style issue than anything, since the presence/absence of the quote doesn't affect the nature of the claims in the article. You don't need the verbatim quote to support a statement in the article, the link to the source accomplishes the same thing. --Starwed 07:57, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
My view is that putting in words that "there is absolutely nothing paradoxical about [SR]" in the Dingle article is a way of saying the "Dingle was wrong! Dingle was wrong!". Note however that the issue is the presense of the quote and not the presense of the reference. The statement being referenced ("Dingle's claim about special relativity was never accepted by the mainstream physics community, for which it is no longer an active area of debate") is perfectly NPOV, and says all that needs to be said in the article. Also, the reference itself does a wonderful job of tearing Dingle's claims down, and IMO works better as a whole.
There are emotions on both sides here. Usually in the science srticles being right is an important component of being NPOV, but this is biographical article about a scientist! As such, neutrality means not making an explicit judgement about the subject, but rather reporting the judgements of others. Even then the judgements should be reported in as calm a manner as possible. I don't see any calmness in that quote, and that is my objection.
FWIW, because I do oringinal research in relativity while also supporting much of Einstein's work, I have my feet in both worlds (that of science and also that of the "crackpot"), and can see how certain things appear in both contexts. I asked myself if Electrodynamist has just cause to be upset over that quote, and came up with a "yes" on it. So I call on people to give this devil his due. After all, the reference itself I will defend. --EMS | Talk 14:55, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

WP:PROD on Superforce

Superforce has been prodded by user:Creelbm on 04:08, 31 July 2007. 22:42, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

I removed the PROD tag. User:Creelbm wants to merge the article into grand unified theory, which may be a reasonable suggestion. However, adding a PROD tag is not the way to do it. -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 05:26, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
Is this a real term? I can't find it at all in an arXiv search. -- SCZenz 05:42, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
It is the title of a 1985 book by Paul Davies. Sounds sexier than "Grand Unified Theory". I don't know whether the term was coined by Davies or whether it was in use already; obviously it never caught on as part of physics jargon. PaddyLeahy 08:03, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
I found that after some searching, yeah. It's used occasionally, but never in the scientific literature. I've redirected to Theory of everything. -- SCZenz 08:11, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
Since you've been bold, perhaps you could merge the content? The target article should refer to "superforce" or the redirect will be more than a bit confusing. Also the diagram is rather useful (worth a thousand words etc)...and will likely be quickly deleted if it is not used in an article. PaddyLeahy 08:18, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
The diagram isn't a separate image or file, just some text using {{Familytree}} template, so it will be preserved in the history. As for the content, there isn't much that isn't in ToE already, and some of it is inaccurate. As for explaining the word "superforce"... hrmmm, how about a disambiguation page...? Let me know what you think of my new try momentarily. -- SCZenz 08:25, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
FWIW, here's the diagram. 23:15, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

Electronuclear force
Color force
Electroweak force
Strong force
Weak force
Electric force
Magnetic force
Thanks, incorporated in Theory of Everything now. Article still needs a lot of work! PaddyLeahy 00:14, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

Why 10 dimensions? nominated for deletion

There is an AFD discussion for the article Why 10 dimensions?. It seems to me to be in need of some informed opinions. If you are interested, please read the article and contribute to the discussion.

Thanks. -- Dominus 03:14, 14 August 2007 (UTC)

Requesting an independent assessment

I've worked on Mass ratio for some time, and it's in a fairly stable state now, though it's very short. Can I request that someone do an assessment on this article so I can decide what to do next? --Doradus 17:10, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

I'm no rocket scientist, but it looks good to me.PhysPhD 02:09, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

  • Same here and I think it looks good as well. I did have some questions though which I left on the Mass Ratio talk page. - JT 02:29, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

Talk page policy

I've recently taken part in discussion at Talk:Herbert Dingle and Talk:Magnetic field. No doubt the general shape of these discussions is familiar to anyone who has edited wikipedia physics articles. The proponents of some fringe theory show up and seek to advocate their particular view. They make direct challenges to "mainstream" editors to prove them wrong, and this drags the talk page discussions straight down into hell. Typically person insults, cries of persecution/suppression, and a rather emotional attachment to a particular POV are all seen on the way down.

I've come to believe that it is necessary to resist the temptation, however strong, to respond to their challenges once it becomes clear that they are advocates for a particular view. The talk pages of articles are to aid in improving the articles, not debating physics. Perhaps some templated "canned responses" to use in talk pages might help. (Warnings to stick to the subject of the article, to provide reputable sources for claims, etc...)

Anyway, I'd like to see what others think of this. It's obviously a big time-sink for physics editors, and it would be nice to have a concerted plan of attack that helps reduce the frustration.  :) --Starwed 08:11, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

You could use {{Off topic warning}}, but I don't know if it'd actually help. — Laura Scudder 13:27, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
Well, the key would be actually enforcing the policy. Is repeated disruption of a talk page a block-worthy offense? --Starwed 01:50, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
You can enforce it by simply deleting off-topic postings from the talk page. If a talk page posting violates the rules, then you can revert any reinsertion without violating the 3RR rule. Count Iblis 02:03, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
To answer Starwed's question: yes. It falls under the clause "persistently violating [...] policies or guidelines, where there is a consensus among uninvolved users that the violation is disruptive" on WP:BLOCK. However, it's hard to get somebody blocked for it, and personally I'm very reluctant to block for this reason, but it does happen. The best strategy is to ignore them, but that usually does not work in practice. I'd recommend moving all discussion which does not relate directly to the article to a subpage. See for instance Talk:0.999... and its subpage Talk:0.999.../Arguments for discussions about whether 0.999... really equals 1. -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 02:42, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
Careful, Count Iblis. I am pretty sure your reading of the three revert rule is not kosher. The exceptions are spelled out clearly at WP:3RR#Exceptions, and they do not give you a license to revert other rule violations with impunity. There is an exception for vandalism, but vandalism does not include people making bad edits in good faith. You can't enforce rules just by reverting what is in your judgment a violation of "rules".
Ultimately, you may be able to get a block for disruption, as Jitse Niesen points out. The subpage idea is a good one; I have applied that in my own user space, where I have a lot of latitude. But you can't just revert stuff that you personally deem disruptive. Any deletion or modification of comments by other people on a talk page is generally considered a very bad idea. Duae Quartunciae (talk · cont) 02:51, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
I agree that editors should not do this all by themselves. Of course, you must first debate the issue of the off topic edits itself on the talk page. If there is a consensus for deleting comments, no one (except the single disruptive editor) disagrees, then the comments can be deleted without problems. The 3RR issue then won't be a problem if there are a few editors watching that page... Count Iblis 15:17, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
Excellent point. A consensus for removal of irrelevancies can be maintained by a number of editors against a lone objecter, simply because no individual editor will be violating WP:3RR. If dispute involves more than one individual, this could become disruptive; but for handingly one person with no idea of consensus, I think you are right. Duae Quartunciae (talk · cont) 00:21, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
One can use this tag: Count Iblis 20:38, 11 August 2007 (UTC)

I have just recently run into this at the page Talk:Newton's law of universal gravitation. I used another notice: {{Off topic warning}}, rather than the {{notaforum|editors' personal theories}} illustrated above. Here is the milder box (without using "subst")

Pick the one that works... Duae Quartunciae (talk · cont) 01:06, 19 August 2007 (UTC)

An interesting idea.

An interesting idea i just thought of would be to provide a daily summary of the recent journals published in physics that day, perhaps in WikiNews and then updating the wikipedia with the information that they contain. I'll do it on my own, if needs be -- but if there's anyone else who would like to contribute, then by all means -- satisfy your daemons! :-) Uxorion 21:21, 17 August 2007 (UTC)


All the physics timelines are a mess. Timeline of other background radiation fields ! There isn't even a Timeline of background radiation fields, what's the other about? All the other timelines are so messy I couldn't even find one to suggest merging it to. Rmhermen 17:20, 18 August 2007 (UTC)

List of people known as father or mother of something

Please help us to restore this article at Deletion Review: Aug 13, 2007. I didn’t even know this happened, it was closed at 14 keeps and 11 deletes; with admins reopening and closing the article on an alternating basis, e.g. see the deletion log history. Thank: --Sadi Carnot 16:16, 13 August 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for everyone’s help in getting this restored. The article is now called people known as the founder, father, or mother of something, it has a “reason” column, is being ordered by “subject”, and only important world-view people are being included. Note also that the terms founder of, father of, and mother of link here; if you edit related historical articles, please link these to this article. Thanks and come and help build this fun article. --Sadi Carnot 17:03, 19 August 2007 (UTC)

Title Dispute: Requesting assessment

We're having a minor dispute over the merger of the articles expectation value (quantum mechanics) and expectation value (quantum physics). Which way should the merger proceed? - JT 23:33, 18 August 2007 (UTC)

This seems to be part of a larger concern over whether the term "quantum mechanics" is being used too widely in the rest of Wikipedia articles for everything to do with quantum physics. It's a question of the proper use of terminology. For the particular merge in question, I'll comment on the discussion page. Duae Quartunciae (talk · cont) 00:25, 19 August 2007 (UTC)
Well, I'm actually a physicist and from what I've come across, both in literature and in informal discussion, is simply that the two terms are pretty much interchangeable. Why? I don't know but it may be due to the impact quantum mechanics had on the physics community making it the more "popular" one. Thanks for your comments, but at this point it's still a "draw" and any other opinions would be appreciated. - JT 20:57, 19 August 2007 (UTC)

Lagrangian (disambiguation)— distinction without a difference?

See Lagrangian (disambiguation). Is this not a distinction without any difference? JRSpriggs 17:30, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

I am not sure I understand your concern. It looks to me like that page links to three different articles that people who look for "lagrangian" might be looking for, and that's exactly what disambiguation pages are for. -- SCZenz 17:47, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
The point is that "Lagrangian" means the same thing in all three cases. The articles are about the same topic from three different view points. JRSpriggs 18:38, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

National Ignition Facility GA/R

One of this project's Good Articles, National Ignition Facility has been mentioned for Good Article Review. All are welcome to contribute to the discussion on the article's GA status. Drewcifer3000 06:05, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

allowing unconverted metric units in scientific articles

I'm seeking consensus at MOSNUM talk for a change in the wording to allow contributors, by consensus only, to use unconverted metrics in scientific articles. Your opinions are invited. Tony 15:23, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

Accelerating Universe

I have just noticed some recent changes made on August 20 to Accelerating universe, by Gevgiorbran (talk · contribs). The result seems to have all kinds of subtle problems. I'll have a closer look; but another view would be appreciated. Duae Quartunciae (talk · cont) 05:01, 27 August 2007 (UTC)