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How to make a scientist mad [29 May 2001|10:22pm]
Conversation with a scientist:

I think I've got them on the run.


The more I read of current research into catalysis, the more certain I am that my theory is correct. It is being substantiated as we speak.

<http://www-sbras.nsc.ru/eng/sbras/copan/mntk_sci.html "Catalysis is a backbone of the technical progress in chemistry, oil refinery and oil chemistry. About 90% of modern chemical technologies appear to be based on catalytic processes. Current commercial production of sulfuric and nitric acids, fertilizers, motor fuels, monomeric and polymeric materials can not exist without catalysts. Catalytic methods are rapidly penetrating into the fond industry, energetics, metallurgy and transportation. Currently, catalysts are used more frequently to solve important environmental problems. At the same time catalysis itself is a complex and multiform phenomenon. Among the problems of paramount importance is the prediction of catalytic action. To solve this problem it is necessary to know the nature of interaction between reactants and catalysts, the composition and structure of intermediates, the combination of consecutive steps of processes and the main properties of substances that determine the catalytic activity. The other promblems of primary concern are: development of methods for catalyst preparation and investigation of their structure and also elaboration of procedures for commercial process performance, optimization and simulation of catalytic reactors and reactions on the basis of detailed analysis of catalytic reaction kinetics. At present, the study of the nature of catalytic action and catalyst structure, development of both fundamental and practical approaches to catalyst preparation and performance are, in effect, not possible without various chemical, physical and combined methods. The quantum-chemical research is mainly directed torwards calculatioon of electronic structures of the models of activated complexes, intermediates and catalysts." I first came up with this theory back in the seventies, when I read Watson and Crick's book, "The Double Helix." I was at that time studying also electromagnetic wave propagation in regards to radio transmitting and receiving antennae. It struck me that the double-helix of dna resembled a helical radio antenna. That was all that was required to make the link. So I can say that catalysis is probably the result of electromagnetic resonance resulting from the shape of the catalyst molecule, and the paths followed by its electrons. Note that DNA is also a catalyst. I so far do not see anywhere any other theory as to how catalysts work. So, you see, it's not that anyone's theory is wrong, it is simply that they do not have a theory at all. Energy Everyone is working in high-energy physics. Low-energy physics has been ignored. All atoms everywhere are unlike planetary orbital systems in that atoms are awash in a "soup" of emr. An atom moving through an emr field cannot help but be affected by it. And there is a kaleidoscope of emr fields bathing every atom that exists. In our galaxy, anyway. Some push, others pull. So where do electrons gain the energy to keep them "in orbit?" Perhaps they are not in orbit at all, but are merely a cloud of probabilities. If electrons did produce extremely weak emr, its effects would be all but obliterated by the sea of other emr surrounding the atom. As an electron absorbs energy from the sea of emr, perhaps it also re-radiates it. This is the only theory which adequately accounts for the action of catalysts and enzymes and DNA. Responses.... 2001-05-29 13:13 "This is the only theory which adequately accounts for the action of catalysts and enzymes and DNA." What?!? Have you tried actually looking up whether or not entire fields of biochemistry and biophysics have a different explanation for this before claiming that this is "the only theory" which "explains" this? I'm sorry for jumping on you like this, but seriously, before claiming your own theories on how complex intermolecular interactions are explained, try investigating what the current explanation is first. Electons are not "perhaps" not really in orbit, it if quantum mechanics is at all a good approximation to the reality of the world, then electrons really are best described as waves of probability, and they don't emit radiation when the waves are basically static - but only when the wave changes shape in a specific way (like when an electron in the 1st exited state of hydrogen transitions down to the lowest state, emitting emr). Low energy physics is usually studied by condensed matter physicists, and there are many people trying to understand the complex dynamics of solid state systems at near absolute zero (esp. under high magnetic fields). The reason why most low energy physics (other than this field) is ignored is that it is understood. Classical Electrodynamics is a useful and accurate approximation when energies are low and distances are fairly long, nonrelativistic quantum mechanics are useful when velocities (and thus energies) are small but also distances are short, and both of these subjects are extrememely accurate in their proper realms, and the physics is mostly understood, so we move on, and deal with dynamics with both very high energy and short distance interactions, where Quantum Field Theory is needed. ogre 2001-05-29 14:41 Good idea. It's possible that someone failed to communicate the most recent discovery to me. I'll have to look it up. But if they say it's due to molecules' shapes "fitting" into "similarly shaped holes," then it's baloney. I have tried to follow scientific discoveries as they emerge, but I've seen nothing to describe how a catalyst or an enzyme or dna functions. All I've seen are guesses. And I have never heard of a "static wave." 2001-05-29 17:25 Static waves are all over the place - quantum mechanical waves need not be varying in time at all. The expectation value of momentum for the electron in the ground state of hydrogen is zero - i.e. the electron is not really "moving" at all. Re: ogre 2001-05-29 17:37 Then how does it avoid being "sucked into" the nucleus? 2001-05-29 17:38 The Heisenberg uncertainty principle. ogre 2001-05-29 14:50 Here is a link to how they describe enzymes working: <http://web.ukonline.co.uk/webwise/spinneret/other/enzyme.htm As you can see, they mention "shapes" and "pockets," and they have absolutely no idea how they work. that is a description for laymen, not the way chemists understand it. 2001-05-29 15:04 "The accompanying diagrams are intended to illustrate a generalised account of the action of digestive enzymes." i.e. this is partly metaphor, resembling how we actually understand this to work, but vastly simplified. And enzymes do have "shapes" - even water molecules have a distinct triangular shape oweing to the dynamics of the valence electrons of oxygen (which is why water is polar, an experiment 7th graders can verify). Similarly, benzene really is a "ring" of carbon atoms, and buckballs really are spherical in topology. Re: that is a description for laymen, not the way chemists understand it. ogre 2001-05-29 16:17 Yes, I understand. The shape of the molecule *is* necessary, just as the shape of a transmitting or receiving antenna is necessary to its function. ogre 2001-05-29 17:22 The shared electrons, at least, (in a molecule) are not static. They are in motion, first around one atom, then another. They are what is referred to in chemistry as "bonds." You know, chemistry has been around since alchemy. Chemistry did not explain chemical reactions, physics did. Say, are you objecting more to my theory, or to my lack of credentials? 2001-05-29 17:28 The shared electrons in a molecule are not necessarily moving around, from one to the other: they are in a quantum mechanical state in which the probability of the particle being around one of the atoms is roughly comparable to the probability of it being around the other. This is not the same as "moving around one, then around the other". I'm not objecting to your credentials, but to your lack of understanding of modern physics. Re: ogre 2001-05-29 17:38 You mean the current view of quantum mechanics. 2001-05-29 17:48 No, i don't believe that's what I meant. ogre 2001-05-29 14:59 In the online compton's encyclopedia it says: "The substrate and the enzyme fit together at the active site like a lock and a key. This accounts for an enzyme's specificity for a particular substrate." Molecules never actually come into contact. What they're saying is actually a good way of picturing the electromagnetic resonance which is the actual method by which catalysts and enzymes work. ogre 2001-05-29 15:01 OBTW, the link to that is this: <http://www.comptons.com/encyclopedia/ARTICLES/0050/00609536_A.html 5511764 2001-05-29 16:05 "Molecules never actually come into contact." Right - the static electromagnetic fields set up by the particular geometric arrangement of the molecules attracts and repels the enzyme molecules so as to lock them into particular locations near the larger molecule. The analogy to lock and key is thus made - only if the geometry of the enzyme is right will the attraction happen. Re: ogre 2001-05-29 16:21 But the static electric fields will not cause the catalysis. Only the dynamic resonance resulting from the paths of the electrons in the catalyst or enzyme can influence the paths of the electrons in the substrate. (Reply to this) 2001-05-29 17:20 This is not true. "Dynamic resonance" is not required for catalysis, and static fields most certainly can influence the structure of a molecule in such a way as to change its interactions with other chemicals: the static electric field attracts nearby polar molecules (such as enzymes) until they fall into the locations near the edge of the molecule which "fits" them. ogre 2001-05-29 18:01 So you're saying that a molecule which has a net electrical charge of zero can still have a localized static field? 2001-05-29 18:07 Most definitely! This is why water molecules are polar? You can verify this very easily: take a glass rod, and rub it with wool (the same direction, repeatedly, to strip off electrons, and charge the rod slightly), then hold it near a stream of water coming out of a water faucet - it will attract the stream, because one side of a water molecule is positively charged, and the other is negatively charged, all while the net charge is zero. emr and atoms The thing of it is, emr generated by electrons in orbit around atoms is so weak and of such a high frequency (in the "hard" x-ray region and above) that it is undetectable at present. Undetectable means unprovable. Yet theory says this emr is generated by each and every atom. So? What's the big deal? Well. Now for the "kicker." Just as electron movement in a transmitting antenna causes like electron movement in a receiving antenna, electron movement in atoms and molecules can affect electron movement in other molecules. As proof, I direct you to the catalyst and enzyme effects. Atoms and molecules which, by their mere presence, cause "chemical reactions" in other molecules. Not to mention, of course, DNA, which causes all sorts of effects within the cells it inhabits. People imagine these molecules as being like "cutouts" of particular shapes, which thus by their shape "encourages" other atoms to assemble in a particular way. The presence of electromagnetic radiation would also produce this effect. Emr of specific frequencies and modulation will produce a resonance effect which will "encourage" atoms to assemble in a particular way. Further evidence of this effect is that x-rays and ultraviolet emr are known to cause damage to various types of molecules, not the least of which is our DNA. Responses.... see my comment in the previous post... 2001-05-28 18:51 x-ray radiation is very easily detectable, actually, and you're right - if atoms were emitting it all the time, the most obvious way we would detect it would be that we would die of radiation poisoning. (and remember, undetectable and unprovable are two very different things: *nothing* in physics is "provable", only provably *false*. (direct) detection, on the other hand, is useful for gathering evidence to support a theory, even while it never *proves* it. proofs only exist in math.) 5465942 Re: see my comment in the previous post... ogre 2001-05-29 03:51 5483944 5483944 You persist in thinking of x-ray emr as being "high energy." What if there were a variety which was so weak that it dissipated by the time it was more than four molecule widths away from the source? Explain the action of catalysts. 5483944 Re: see my comment in the previous post... 2001-05-29 12:57 Einstein showed in the photoelectric effect (and it has been verified countless times in the subsequent 96 years) that the energy of a photon is inversely proportional to it's wavelength: E = h*\nu (where \nu is the frequency of the phton). Gamma rays have very short wavelength (this is what defines them), and are thus very high energy. What exactly do you need explained about catalysts, specifically? 5504239 Re: see my comment in the previous post... ogre 2001-05-29 14:24 5509627 5509627 You keep mentioning photons. I am not discussing particles. All that experiment proves is that you need lots of energy to detect high-frequency emr. The higher the frequency, the shorter the wavelength, the more energy it must contain before you can detect it with photoelectric detectors. Explain how a catalyst affects the structure of other chemical compounds. 5509627 Re: see my comment in the previous post... 2001-05-29 14:41 well, first of all, all emr is made up of photons. You don't need lots of energy to detect high-frequency emr - bubble chambers use hardly any energy, nor do emulsion plates - it is the high-energy photons themselves which carry the energy, making them very easy to detect. I personally don't know much about biochemistry, but I think that different catalysts operate in totally different ways, depending on whether the chemical bonds affected are covalent or ionic, whether they are large, polarized structures, or simple ones. But you're definitely right about one thing: the interaction is most certainly electromagnetic - all of chemistry depends wholly on the electromagnetic forces. The difference is that it's not the "oscillating electrons" that fire back and forth high energy emr, it is that there are static EM fields set up by the configurations of molecular electrons which can affect polar molecues, in the case where it's done by van der Waals forces. But if I remember right, much of the time catalysts work by allowing a short circuit reaction to take place, one which has a lower activation energy to reach the same result. But I don't know how much the structure of the compounds is affected, at least in the general case. Re: see my comment in the previous post... ogre 2001-05-29 16:37 5517243 5517243 You persist in equating high frequency with high energy. 5517243 Re: see my comment in the previous post... 2001-05-29 17:42 That's because it is an experimental fact that this is the case, allways for photons. In fact, it's also true in general, for all particles, due to quantum mechanics: the quantum mechanical operator which tells you how much energy a particle has is the derivative with respect to time (times i\hbar), so a particle with oscillatory time dependance with frequency f will have energy \hbar * f. This has been experimenally verfied for nearly a century. Question It would be really nice if I could post something earth-shaking in here. Yet, I know of something which if it were true might do that. Here's the question: Does or does not an electron in motion produce an electromagnetic field? Related question: If the electron is moving back and forth very rapidly, would the wavelength of the produced emr not be equal to the total distance the electron moves in its oscillation? One cycle thereof. Do not atoms which are assembled into a molecule have shared electrons which circle not only their original atom but also the neighboring ones? Thus lengthening the path of their oscillation. I have read that the diameter of a water molecule, when compared to wavelengths, is in the x-ray region. True? Responses.... e&m 2001-05-28 09:51 a charge moving produces a magnetic field, a magnet moving produces an electric field 5441543 Re: e&m ogre2001-05-28 10:45 5443606 5443606 The electrons moving in a radio antenna create an electromagnetic field which travels to the receiving antenna. N'est pas? 5443606 Re: e&m 2001-05-28 11:10 but there's metal there, that's the dfiffernce 5444596 Re: e&m ogre2001-05-28 11:14 5444729 5444729 Neh. An electron is an electron. Isn't it? 5444729 Re: e&m 2001-05-28 14:28 read the other one 5453094 Re: e&m ogre2001-05-28 14:35 5453397 5453397 The point is, anywhere you have moving electrons, you're going to be generating electromagnetic fields. The fields generated in atoms and molecules are so weak, and of such a high frequency that they cannot be detected. One would have to have a quantum event detector to even notice these fields. 5453397 Re: e&m 2001-05-28 11:14 and i don't think the e&m waves are created in the antenna itself, but in the radio somewhere 5444708 Re: e&m ogre2001-05-28 14:33 5453274 5453274 Yes, you have an oscillator which varies the voltage in order to move the electrons in the antenna. 5453274 a classical description of a quantum problem... 2001-05-28 18:46 an electron undergoing *accelleration* does emit radiation, and the wavelength of the emitted photon is proportional to the wavelength of the oscillating electron. the problem is that electrons in atoms and molecules don't radiate (typically), because the above description is a classical (non-quantum) one. the quantum mechanical electron in reality finds the lowest energy stable orbit in it's atomic system, and once there, it *doesn't radiate at all* - no accelleration is going on, for it's not "orbiting" the nucleus. so short answer: stable atoms and molecules do not continually radiate emr of any wavelength (if they did, where would the energy be coming from? classically, it would be the electron spiralling down into the nucleus, where it would eventually just fall to rest *on it*. but this we see does not happen experiementally - the reason: quantum mechanics [in particular, the Uncertainty Principle] ) 5465649 Re: a classical description of a quantum problem... ogre2001-05-29 03:45 5483835 5483835 Ye are thinking in terms of photons. Light. It's a very good question, where does the energy come from. Yet all molecules everywhere are being impinged upon by all sorts of electromagnetic radiation. Take a box, remove all the energy from it that you can, and there is still energy going through it. 5483835 Re: a classical description of a quantum problem... 2001-05-29 12:52 all electromagnetic radiation is photons - "light" - we just call short wavelength ones x-rays and gamma rays, and the long wavelength ones microwave and radio. Molecules are impinged by photons all around them, but it's an easy enough experiment to see whether the amount absorbed is equal to the amount emitted, and currently, none is seen to be emitted under most circumstances. What do you mean by "there is still energy going through the box"? This statement may be true, but you'd have to qualify what you meant for it to have meaning... 5503874 Re: a classical description of a quantum problem... ogre2001-05-29 14:32 5510147 5510147 That would be a logical misnomer to refer to all electromagnetic energy travelling through space as "photons." This implies that any detectable quantity of it would have particle behaviour. There is 60 hz electromagnetic energy going through transformers, and there is no way it can be thought of as "photons." I see that you are the product of the current educational system, you know what is known. I was referring to zero-point energy, and the "microwave background radiation" which permeates space. If nothing exists except what is known, then one cannot learn about things which are presently unknown. Not all things in the universe are describable in terms of what is known. 5510147 Re: a classical description of a quantum problem... 2001-05-29 14:54 There is most certainly a way to think of 60hz oscillations as photons - it may not be the best way to do a calculation, because it is in a regime where classical E&M does a marvelous approximation, but the most accurate current approximation would be to say the macroscopic 60Hz EM field is made up of a quantum superposition of a vast number of very low energy (planck's constant times 60Hz low) photons. The "wave particle duality" that everyone gets taught is the the true misnomer, it's not that photons "sometimes are a wave, and sometimes a particle" - this is just a metaphor to help people understand something counterintuitive: photons allways are particle-like exitations which manifest their location based on quantum mechanical (read: wave-like) principles. The MBR is also photons, and COBE detected them - they originated as extremely high energy gamma rays, emitted soon after (in cosmic timescales) the big bang, but redshifted due to the expansion of the universe over the next 15 billion years. I agree that not all is understood yet, but you have to understand what is currently known before jumping on to things unknown - typically the unknown is understood by refining, only slightly, that which is currently known. 5511408 Re: a classical description of a quantum problem... ogre2001-05-29 16:34 5517057 5517057 Okay, I will accept that you can come up with a way to fit photons into electromagnetic theory. I do not accept, however, the accepted explanation for MBR, because I don't think the doppler effect is the correct explanation for the red shift. And I do not accept the big bang theory. Mainly because it is a result of an attempt to explain the red shift. It is my position that I do understand the known. I've been studying it for better than forty years. I haven't been that interested in quantum theory because they're using it mainly for interpretation of the results of particle accelerators. All the energy they're putting into particle accelerators is bound to create more matter than the splitting of matter. 5517057 2001-05-29 17:37 i won't get into big bang arguments with you, as it will clearly get me nowhere. but you have shown from the past few posts that you do not understand modern physics, regardless of how many years you have been studying it - not if you don't buy the fact that high frequency is high energy, for example, or that all emr is photons, or that you think QFT is only useful for particle accellerators: how do you think the transistor works? or the your monitor? or superfluidity, or semiconductors, ... these are all technologies which would not exist were it not for our extremely accurate predictions from quantum theory.
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