Failure of principle in New Scientist welcome to Smolin’s Phase Space

New Scientist writer, Amanda Gefter is in deep trouble, endorsing a ‘theory’  in which observers can’t agree on measurements made in space-time. It breaches the fundamental principle of a universe independent of observers. Secondly it breaches causality – space and time coordinates are not interchangable in causal physics, as Hilbert stressed/proved in the 1920s.

Smolin was one of the physicists criticising string ‘theory’ because its principles are undefined. His ‘phase space’ theory has the same basic flaw. To claim a ‘principle’ of relative locality  is verbal sophistry.

In writing it’s “momentum and energy in the form of mass that warp space-time”, Gefter overlooks the essential non-linearity in the Einstein-Hilbert equations (‘general relativity). Field energy has effective mass that also gravitates. Like in Einstein’s 1939 analysis of the ‘black hole’ problem, this allows non-singular solutions of the spherically contracting cold-star, with contraction increasingly slowly onto a mass-shell around a high-gravity core (Fields tell matter how to move).

So Smolin’s claim to shed light on the black hole information-loss paradox is worth little; the “time at which you thought the elephant had fallen in” is infinite rather than ‘fuzzy’. The paradox dissolves because the black hole it describes is unphysical and falling-in is unachievable.

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