Click to see Roy’s physics lecture:
Elements of truth breaking through. Click to hear:
Another gem. Click to hear:
Magnificent example of aggressive, raw delusion and deception. Click to hear (unreal):
This website addresses the physics writings and commentaries of Roy Masters of The Foundation of Human Understanding in Grants Pass, OR. It is intended on showing his listeners that if they believe there is a lot of sensibility in what he says (I would agree), that it, in fact, co-exists with avidly pitched lunacy. I’ve been advised to expand on this point. Many of us have found ourselves in dire emotional turmoil. Some of us run into people like Roy and hear resonating information. There are some who after many years see that they’re still stuck, not getting beyond a point, and inevitably need to deconstruct where Roy’s input is coming from. Our conclusion seems to be along the lines that in Roy you hear a lot of insight. However, when looking closer you realize that there is terrible misinformation strewn throughout his writings and commentary. To help disillusion the average “Roybot”, it seems very handy to take on his dealings with physics- now even broadcast weekly on his program “Finding God in Physics”. Here he engages his matter-of-fact, fully confident addressing of an advanced concept. However, it can be readily shown, with proper explanation, that he is very manically generating wrong-headed ideas and running with them in the wrong direction. I also believe that his stating his desire to be confronted on his program with any information proving him wrong, is intensely empty posturing on his part. Perhaps the ultimate message is that you find God in rationality and objective reality. With regard to the general topic of physics, Roy’s psyche seems to be stuck in a euphoric confusion. He meticulously sequesters non-flattering information from his science show. Above all, his conduct is reckless.
Here is a sound clip from Roy’s program, Finding God In Physics from 7/9/11. Comments are made by Roy and his friends Ken Wayne and Steve Grow. It is followed by a transcript with my response is overlaid in red.
Click to hear:
RM: “I want the best physicists in the world, if you’re out there, to give me a bloody good fight. I enjoy a fight. I don’t mean to intimidate you to fight, but I like a good argument. And then we can jump over the net and shake hands.” I have encountered this level of shameless lying in industry. It is practiced by people desperate to raise venture capital without them feeling a responsibility to succeed in their stated technical goals. This is part of Roy’s influence on people. He manipulates them through his aggressive willingness to practice such strong yet empty, boastful deception. I have never seen it so strongly practiced under the guise of holy intention anywhere else.
He comes off as very brave and filled with integrity. If he applied this apparent fortitude to attempting to read up on basic physics he would see how false his integrity and courage are. It is empty posturing.
SG: “And it doesn’t have to be a present-day best physicist. A future best physicist. Curious and interested in conversing.” Any physicist interested in valid and productive conversation will seek out more honorable company.
RM: “Alright now, so.”
KW: “Argument, by the way, is a very healthy thing. Because, we can all learn the error of our ways, and expand our understanding. A challenge from a friend.” Such argument cannot take place on this program. Roy is prepared to endlessly maneuver to avoid ever seeing that he has made such gross errors in his reasoning.
One email received at this site contains the comment, “It’s true, he can be totally correct and with the same fluid confidence say stuff that’s just scattershot bilge”. His venture into physics is a morass of half-truths, double talk and bastardized logic. Solid salesmanship, though. I’ll add that I think he gets so few calls on his science program because his listeners are picking up on the fact that while they may have a history of agreeing with him, he actually talks out of both sides of his mouth. If one listens carefully enough they will hear his deception in the form of a bobbing and weaving banter, where he very finely skirts central points, deflects valid criticism and childishly throws around terminology. Of late he has minimized his discussion of such issues as matter, energy and gravity – trying to salvage the program by talking about the “physics of the mind”.
Occasionally I’ve had emails suggesting my language is too strong. I do feel, however, that it is well warranted. I wishto get across that here Roy is wrong in his commentary that there is nothing innocent about it. Specifically I think it’s the energy of someone who’s bitter that he didn’t get a formal education. He wants to then keep his children ad anyone willing to lisen from getting one, then he wants to stand on a soapbox and declare his achievement in physics to the world. Actually, his preoccupation with self-glorification is a tip off to his deception. Actual competent scientists and engineers are only looking to do honest work. If they are seeking prestige they quickly lose that doing the legitimate work.
Before getting into detail, I’ll respond to a few of the items he has written or discussed on his science” program. I believe the harshness of my criticisms are very warranted.
- Light slows down to pass through a denser medium such as glass, and then accelerates back to its former velocity. — Wrong
- Physicists can’t explain the change in the speed of light in transparent media. — Wrong
- Light does not need its emitting source for power. — Wrong
- There is no surface tension in space. — Wrong
- The present understanding of the behavior of light is purely speculative. — Wrong
- Physicists say there is no such thing as perpetual motion. — Wrong
- Scientists only know how to make gadgets. They don’t understand the underlying physics. — Wrong
- Einstein said that gravity is a property of the universe. — Wrong
- The Earth never slows down in its rotation. — Wrong
- Nobody can explain van der Waals forces or the Casimir effect. — Wrong
- Surface tension is caused by atmospheric pressure. — Wrong
- Having been a diamond cutter makes him an expert on crystals. — Wrong (It makes him an expert at cutting diamonds.)
- “If I’m wrong, I want to know I’m wrong.” — Core deception
Two things that Roy has said on his science program resonate. First is that if a physicist were to try to discuss something with him he will take charge of the conversation. I believe that. I also believe that he does this as an act of deception. Secondly, he commented that because he doesn’t have to earn a living at science he can think out of the box. I will add that he can, therefore, also:
1. Avoid reading any scientific literature.
2. Avoid putting his “theories” through rigorous tests.
3. Avoid confronting his own mistakes.
4. Avoid developing the discipline that comes with having to earn a living.
In order to earn a living in science and technology one has to address these matters relentlessly. The posturing and play-acting is seedy. Some innovators “think outside of the box”. So do all incompetent people, however.
About his “physics” Roy has said, “I claim it to be the unified field theory and I dare any physicist to call and challenge me.”. Conversely, I claim it to be the self-aggrandising rantings of a technical half-wit, and I dare Roy to blog on this website to the contrary. — Not likely to happen. His greatest pretense is the notion that he is amenable to seeing if he’s wrong. I find him to be so tenaciously ignorant and reckless – I wouldn’t, in fact, even hire him as a technician.
In elaborating on this last point, let’s consider that we are passing a laser beam from a carbon dioxide laser through a diamond window and on to a piece of steel, cutting through the steel. The speed of visible light in diamond is roughly one half that of the speed of light through space. It can then be easily shown that if the light is moving uninterrupted through the diamond (which it specifically does not) that it is losing three-quarters of its energy through the diamond and therefore picking up three quarters of the energy that arrives at the steel from the space between the diamond window and the steel. Let’s set the distance between the window and the steel at 4 thousandths of an inch, the thickness of a standard piece of writing paper. Therefore, three quarters of the laser beam’s energy would lie in this tiny bit of space. That’s an enormous concentration of energy. Why is it the case then that we can walk through this space 24/7 and not be burned alive?
Looking at Roy’s specific writings we can make the following comments:
Finding God in Physics:
pg. 113 “Contrary to the traditional view of lightning, I believe that wherever a column of moist air possesses sufficient density and reaches high enough into the atmosphere, the everpresent electric charge surrounding our planet is conducted to ground as lightning bolts.”
Clouds move through the air and pick up static charge. In addition, clouds contain ice crystals. The crystals smash into each other further enhancing their surface charge. Now the dielectric constant of the cloud increases and it can draw additional charge into it from its surroundings. When the associated charge density (voltage) exceeds the dielectric strength of the air, it discharges to the ground as lightning. Recently Roy ardently said that the cloud is the capacitor. That actually isn’t in dispute as he asserts.
pgs. 150-151 “light does not need its emitting source for power.”
Light needing its emitting source for power is, however, commonly observed, measured and engineered.
“Light slows down through the denser media of air, water, or glass, but upon emerging from the other side of any of those media, light instantly accelerates back to its precise former velocity.”
However, photons don’t “slow down” in a piece of transparent material. Their net speed is reduced because they keep getting interrupted in their motion by striking electronic bonds in the solid. The electrons absorb the photons and then re-emit them in the original direction of propagation. This occurs again as the photons hit the next set of bonds and so on. The process of absorption/re-emission takes a finite amount of time and thus the net speed is reduced. When Roy says that physicists cannot explain the slowing down of light in a transparent substance and the increase in its speed when it emerges, this is a fabrication on his part. The interaction of light with matter is actually understood exhaustively – so much so that his assertion that physicists are lost on the issue is sleazy. He regards the proper explanation as “mumbo jumbo” because he must reject the truth that he’s wrong.
Somebody has asked me for further clarification of this point. Here goes:
Consider an individual photon to be like the mayor of the town. He wants to walk from the barber shop to his office at town hall. If he went uninterrupted it may take him 15 minutes. When passing through a crystal with a refractive index > 1, the photon is still like the mayor. However, he/she stops momentarily into of every store along the way and shakes hands with the store owner, says, “I can’t chat. I’m late.”, then starts out the door and walking again. However, the mayor then stops in the next store and shakes hands with that store’s owner, as well. The mayor keeps doing this– stopping momentarily at regular intervals to shake hands. Now it takes the mayor 30 minutes to get to his office.
Likewise, a photon moves at 3 x 10^8 m/s. It does, however, momentarily stop when it strikes each and every electronic bond in the crystal. It gets absorbed, then it gets re-emitted at 3 x 10^8 m/s. This happens over and over and over until the photon makes its way through the entire crystal. We know this occurs for a slew of reasons including:
1. We can measure the emission spectrum from the crystal (we can even tailor it), and
2. We know and have studied in detail the atomic structure of crystals (they are an array of electronic bonds anchored by tiny nuclei).
Back to the book –
“If I throw a baseball through a plate glass window, will it emerge from the other side at the same velocity? Of course not. Then how on earth do photons do it? From what source do they derive the power to regain their velocity?”
The loss of energy from light is indicated in the lowering of its frequency and not in “slowing down”. Blue light has more quantum energy per photon than red light. When light passes through a “clear” solid, it can experience lowering of its frequency and/or a drop in its intensity.
“light is either pushed by an ether “wind”, or “light has some kind of infinite, self-regulating, internal propulsion. Obviously, the first is the only plausible line of inquiry”.
However, light does not draw on internal propulsion because its energy isn’t spent by pure motion.
“Do you want evidence that space-time is a three-dimensional shaping force from the smallest symmetries of fundamental particles and beyond to the shaping of stars? Then ask your professor why raindrops are spherical; he will tell you it is surface tension. Then ask him to explain why perfect ball bearings form when molten metal is poured into space. There is no surface tension there.”
Molten metal in space forms balls because of surface tension. There is as much surface tension in space as there is on Earth with 1 exception: In the specific case of molten metal being cooled, there will tend to be more surface tension in space. Space is an ultra-high vacuum environment and there will tend to be less surface oxidation on metal droplets. The idea that there is no surface tension in space is ignorant. This is discussed further down.
“Because of compression gravity, the earth will never cool or lose its magnetic field always rotating from the very same force spinning the elements at the quantum level.”
“Massive bodies capable of magnetic crystallization at their core explain why planets rotate on their axes.”
First, the Earth’s core is not cooling or cooling as fast as one might otherwise expect because it contains radioactively decaying potassium, uranium and thorium sustaining its heat. Secondly, planets rotate because they can only form from matter which is in a high state of angular momentum (swirling in the same plane). The matter comes together under gravity and the remaining spin represents the conservation of the cumulative angular momentum. In the specific case of the Earth, there is a strong theory that 4.5 billion years ago a large object struck it off-center creating debris that produced the moon and setting the Earth spinning making it a planet. There is, however, no continuous force being reapplied over and over again to the Earth’s rotation.
“The gravity field within a certain type of rotating wheel is not equivalence; it is real gravity. It requires no uniform acceleration; has no resistance; flows forever continuously doing work (work being pushing astronauts against the interior and keeping them grounded).”
“As a space station rotates forever with 360° of gravitational force radiating from the axis against the peripheral wall, it will produce work forever.”
First, the static pressing of astronauts does not constitute work being performed. Secondly, a rotating object represents a very finite, single state of energy. If it performed work, it would have to lose energy from its rotation. To produce work forever the rotating space station would represent an infinite amount of energy. We can, however, stop the rotation with a very finite amount of energy and the rotation will not begin again on its own.
“If there is no gravitational field, what then could push a weightless astronaut against the peripheral wall of the space station?” This is simply centripetal force toward the center.
“Electrons actually spin from the field and not the copper coil. It is the changing magnetic state that pulls electrons from the field into the copper windings.”
There are no electrons in the electric field. The field emanates from the electrons flowing through the wire.
On a recent broadcast of his Saturday science program, Roy said that the Earth’s magnetic field is due to iron in the core forming a “perfect magnet” (whatever that means). The Earth’s core is largely iron with a little nickel. This cannot form a permanent magnet. Such material is ferromagnetic at room temperature- requiring an external magnetic field to bring out its own amplified field. In the case of the Earth’s core, however, even this does not apply. The core is hotter than the Curie temperature of all ferromagnetic materials and all magnetic material in the core is only paramagnetic responding only slightly to an external field. It is generally regarded that the Earth’s mild magnetic field is generated from slight eddy electrical currents forming from the molten metal flow in the outer core which in turn is enhanced by coupling with ferro- and para-magnetic material throughout the Earth’s entire structure.
It is difficult for many people to see the dichotomy of Roy Masters—that he can be correct about some things and completely insane on others. I think the ratio of sensible information to lunacy is actually at a ratio of about 1:2. The illusion of deep logic is aided by interlacing the two messages.
Roy commented that before writing “Finding God in Physics” that he did not first read anything on physics because he “wanted to do something new”. I assert that he didn’t read anything on the topic because he is terrified of becoming disillusioned with himself.
- cutting me off,
- twisting what I say, and then
- hanging up.
He operates off of burgeoning manipulation and vanity. The overall game works like this: If you’re confronted with information that will expose you, trivialize it. If that won’t work, stonewall it. Another tactic was shown when one of Roy’s “experts” asked what experiment could be conducted to demonstrate gravity as a pushing force. Roy’s response was that it cannot be proven and need be “taken on faith”. —- Note: “Religion is the last refuge of the scoundrel.” – Thomas Paine.
If you listen to Roy’s science program no true technical discussions ever ensue. One caller told him that surface tension is caused by the bonding of the molecules of the liquid. While correct, I would state it like this:
Chemical bonds (positive and negative charges) in the liquid attract the atoms to one another. Very simply, the surface is a discontinuity of the bonds so there is a net force tugging in the surface giving it tension (nothing is tugging back). Bonds pull atoms inward. Surface becomes tensed – hence surface tension. [Roy recently refered to droplets of water as forming spherical shape in zero gravity environment as being thought to be a result of “surface pressure”, thus illustrating his confusion.]
In addition, the electrons on the surface repel each other. In order to minimize the energy of the surface, the surface wishes to contract. The smallest surface area for a given volume is a sphere (i.e. a droplet forms). This is a very well understood concept and not a speculative theory. We can even take this further. If we take a metal such as lead, indeed, in a molten phase small quantities will form droplets. Electrons orbit the nucleus of an atom. We often regard these orbits as being grouped in different “shells”. These are a group of neighboring energy states. If we look at metals from the left hand side of the transition metal section of the periodic chart, their outer shells are largely empty and would love to receive some electronic. Accordingly, if we add a little chromium, for example, to lead, you will see a dramatic drop in its surface tension (many of the electrons on the surface of the droplet fall into the unoccupied energy states in the chromium. Lower energy, lower surface tension.).
In his discussion of physics Roy relies on games of rhetoric and misinformation to misrepresent his ideas as rational. The primary word to decribe his conduct is “chickenshit”. Recently he ranted about how new ideas are originated as completely fresh by given individuals. He cited the Wright Brothers (airplane) and the development of calculus. The history of science is such that all ideas are extensions of previous ideas. Calculus was developed by Newton and Leibniz out of the work of many earlier mathematicians, in particular, Cavalieri and Descartes. Einstein, who incidentally had a PhD in physics and whose papers were highly scientific and cited key references, built upon the work of such scientists as Michelson, Riemann, Lorentz, Maxwell, Planck and Poincaré. Five years before Einstein reported that E=mc^2, Poincare published m=E/c^2. Roy plays on the naiveté of his listeners when he suggests that Einstein’s ideas, for example, were completely self-inspired and did not require his formal education. Here he preaches a folksy stupidity. Many of his listeners are impressed with his “out of the box” thinking. They cannot grasp that one can think out of the box and be completely wrong.
A central point to be made is that I explained to Roy, and have posted here, that photons do not “slow down” as they pass through a transparent solid. This idea of the speed of light being slower in a transparent solid is beautifully set up to illustrate Roy’s confusion. He believes that it means that the light moves as it would in space, just slower. As described and as well understood, it does nothing of the kind. If nothing else we should consider that a solid, transparent or otherwise, is not a continuous thing. It is an array of electronic bonds anchored by tiny nuclei with space between the bonds. He continues, however, to tell it his way and terms this “common sense”. It is, however, a prepubescent inability to take an honest look at oneself. Roy illustrates that we cannot create or engineer our own good intentions. Here he thinks he’s sincere. He does, however, not have the guts to get an education or to look critically at himself, but is so narcissistic, he rationalizes that he doesn’t need any detailed education on the subject.
Atomic structure is an array of electronic bonds anchored by tiny nuclei. The electrons in the bond move so rapidly that they are displayed by sparse “clouds”. Therefore, even a dense material like lead or steel is made up mostly of empty space.
Roy has carried on about how matter spins for billions of years and that this contradicts the concept that there cannot be perpetual motion and therefore something (gravity) keeps it spinning. However, physicists do not object to the idea of perpetual motion as he asserts. The objection is specifically to perpetual motion “machines”. A machine performs work and, therefore, expends energy. The energy state cannot, therefore, sustain itself indefinitely. It is true that electrons orbit nuclei and also spin for billions of years. This is because at the quantum level the electrons do not have any opportunity to transfer their energy to another body. If you turn off the engine of a car moving on flat road it will slow down specifically because of friction between the tires and the road, friction between the wheel axle and its gearing, and air resistance. An electron doesn’t encounter these forces. If we throw a baseball in space it keeps moving. This is not because something keeps pushing on it, but because nothing is stopping its motion. In addition, any force applied to a solid designed to impair electron motion must be inelastic. You can lower electron activity by cooling down the solid. In addition, the concept of “spin” originated to explain magnetic moment coming from electrons. It is not required, however, that this indicate actual physical rotation of the electrons.
Ether was an idea felt necessary in order to explain the observed “wave” behavior of light. Light passing through a narrow slit would create interference patterns as if the light travelled in waves. The interference pattern is the interference of oscillating electric fields coming from the light. There would be only two possible ways in which this occurred: Either the motion of light is a geometric wave or it is varying in its intensity as it propagates forward. In the first case we need to explain why there is wavy motion. In the second case the problem is that if the intensity of the field is varying, where is the changing energy going to and coming from? The resolution to this conflict is that light actually exists as two waves; an electric wave interchanging with a magnetic wave. Therefore, when we say that light is a wave, we do not mean a geometric wave, but fields oscillating in intensity while propagating forward.
Roy says that physicists claim that gravity is a property of matter while Einstein claimed it to be a property of the universe. In actuality, Einstein described gravity as a property of space warped by the immediate presence of matter. He also explicitly calculated the speed of gravity as the speed of light. In his description of gravity Einstein essentially “operationalized” it. This means that it was a successful way to consider gravity but that it does not eliminate the possibility of a more detailed, mechanistic description.
Roy has carried on about how the “global warming” arguments are baseless. I am not a proponent of “global warming” but I hear interesting arguments on both sides. I do object, however, to Roy trying to support his position by saying that there is no global warming as indicated by the cold weather in the northeastern United States last winter. It’s lame and chintzy.