The Return of a Classic: Neal Adams' Bad Physics

Sep 21 2010 Published by under Bad Physics

Between work, trying to finish my AppEngine book, and doing all of the technical work getting Scientopia running smoothly on the new hosting service, I haven't had a lot of time for writing new blog posts.

But in the process of doing my technical work around here, I was browsing through some archives, and seeing some of my old posts that I'd forgotten about. And odds are, if I forgot about it, then there are a lot of readers who've never seen it. So I'm going to bring back some of the classic old material.

For example, Neal Adams. Comic book fans will know about Neal: he's a comic book artist who worked on some of the most famous comics in the 1970s: he drew Batman, Superman, Deadman, Green Lantern, the Spectre, the X-men. More recently, he's done a lot of work in general commercial art - for example, he did the animated nasonex bee commercials a few years ago.

Adams' PMP image But he's not just an artist. No, he's so much more than that! He's also a brilliant scientist. He's much smarter than all of those eggheads with college degrees. They're struggling to build giant particle accelerators to help understand things like mass. But Neal - he's got them beat. He's figured out exactly how things work!

According to Neal, there is no such thing as gravity - it's all just pressure. People trying to figure out stuff about how gravity works are just wasting time. The earth (and all other planets) is actually a matter factory - matter is constantly created in the hollow center of the earth, and the pressure of all the new matter forces the earth to constantly expand. The constant expansion creates pressure on the surface as things expand - and that constant expansion is what creates gravity! You're standing on a point on the surface of the earth. And the earth is expanding - the ground is pushing up on you because of that expansion. You're not being pulled down towards the earth: the earth is pushing up on you.

And according to Neal, the best part is the math works!. In the original version of this post, I had a link to Neal's page with his explanation of how the math works - but he has, since then, moved most of his science stuff behind a paywall - you now need to pay Neal $20 to get to see his material, so I can't provide a direct link. But it's in a video here, and you can see the original using the Wayback Machine.

According to Mr. Adams, there's really only one kind of particle in the universe, which he calls the "prime matter particle". The prime matter particle is actually made out of two particles, a positron and an electron. But it's all really prime matter particles, because the other two are just *half* particles. So when he says there's only one particle, he means that there are really two particles, which always come in pairs. Now, all of the universe is completely covered in prime matter particles, jammed up against each other, except when they're broken into electron/positron pairs.

Further, there are only two forces in the universe. One is the attraction of the electron and the positron, trying to get themselves back together into a prime matter particle. And the other is centrifugal force, because, you see, the universe is spinning, and the spinning tries to push everything apart. In his own words:

This new model says, there is only one Particle, the Prime Matter particle.

  1. The Prime Matter (the "Ocean" that is our universe.) Which is 1 whole particle (the other two are thrust from this.)
  2. The Electron. 1/2 particle
  3. The Positron. 1/2 particle

These single particles fill the universe from edge to edge. An ocean of Prime Matter particles.

Ah, beautiful, isn't it? But why do we ever see the half-particles? If the fundamental force of the universe is electromagnetism holding the two halves of the prime matter particle together, why do we see things with positive or negative charges? He's got an answer:

If one of these Matter particles is struck by a photon of energy, it is thrust in half, into two half pieces. These two half particles are the only two basic matter particles of the universe.

D'oh! Of course! A PMP gets hit by a photon, and splits into its positron/electron halves! But... where'd the photon come from? Good question. It's a shame he never bothers to answer that - or even to realize that it's an important question.

But there's a much more important problem. Even if we ignore the fact that his theory doesn't explain the existence of photons; if we assume that there is some mechanism by which photons can be explained by him: how does a photon get to a PMP in the first place?. Remember: according to his "theory", space is completely filled by PMPs. It's a complete packing of space - there is nothing between PMPs. There's no such thing as "empty space". So, suppose that in this theory, we can come up with some reason for there being things like the sun that produce photons. How do those photons get to earth? If they hit a PMP, the PMP splits into an electron and a positron. And there is no space between the PMPs.

Every particle of every sort is made of these three, or some combination of them, and the only field in the universe is the field between these two half particles, which is merely trying to bring these particles back together again, JUST as the universe is trying to hold the universe apart. (From spin.) These Prime Matter particles are invisible to us because their magnetic field is inward facing. A matter particle's (electro)-magnetic field is by comparison to its field like a fly in a baseball stadium. If that same field is flowing only within, the electron shell (bubble) to the positron at the core this is a very small field indeed. Though as strong as an electron positron pairs combined field. And only when a photon strikes a Prime Matter particle and splits it, does its magnetic field blossom out and become revealed and apparent to us, as matter.

Yeah, the magnetic fields are inward facing! Never mind that magnetic fields aren't directional like that; that's just another one of those stupid egghead mistakes. The inward-facing magnetic fields are why we can't see the all of those PMPs! Of course!

And here's where it gets *really* fun. Because, you see, the math works!

Every electron in the universe is matched perfectly, energy for energy, mass for mass, by the single positron that is inside each proton. Commonly it is thought that the proton does not contain a positron ... for a number of reasons ... yet in positive beta decay a positron is ejected. Most would say the positron is produced, but it is truly in there. One day soon ... a collider will pop out, (if it doesn't find an electron first.)

The positron is the "plus one" of the proton. All other particlesbalance out neutral, unless you 'manage' or 'fudge' the physics. In this theory it has to be there ... it is what built the proton and it provides the 'strong force' that binds it. It had to be in there! All other 919 particles that make up the proton are neutral prime matter "WHOLE" particles. Why such an odd number as 919?? Well the positron is the 920th (half) particle in the proton. When we add the other half-particle, the electron, we get 920 or...1840 electron 1/2 electron weight!

Just as electrons in shells exchange energy, the Prime Matter particles that make up the Proton and Neutron, exchange energy,...and so are mistaken for, what we call Quarks and such. Still, they are Prime Matter particles. At this level stronger than the electrons exchange rate in atom's shells. Prime matter particles, also, exchange or borrow and share CHARGE. Inner particles need greater charge so they borrow from the particles we call quarks. Too simple?

It has to be....simple, doesn't it? And first....the math works.

Funny. When I first heard that one of his claims for the validity of his theory was "the math works", at the very least, I expected something like a demonstration of how, using his theory, you can derive equations showing that the PMP theory's fundamental forces can explain gravitational forces... Or even better, some attempt to explain something that the standard model's theories have a problem with - like reconciling gravity with quantum effects. Or even just explaining quantum effects at all.

But no. In fact, when he says the math works, what he means is: if you take any particle in the standard model, by looking at its mass, he can tell you how many PMPs are in the particle. Yes, the math works because he arbitrarily set the "mass" of a PMP as the greatest common factor of the masses of the basic particles. And that's all that he means by "the math works". Why is a proton made of 919 PMPs plus one positron and one electron? Why is it that only 919 unbroken PMPs plus one broken PMP is a stable charged particle? Why is there only one stable configuration of PMPs that forms a stable neutral particle? There's no math to explain that. There's no math to explain how gravity works. There's no math to explain why/how PMPs form common matter particles.

Hell, even ignoring that, just think about simple things. What does mass mean here? It's the number of PMPs in something, right? But PMPs are everywhere. They're a dense packing, covering every bit of space. So why do some areas of space have mass and inertia? Why is the earth a large body that interacts with photons, gravity, etc., and yet all of the PMPs in space surrounding it don't? Why does a moving body like the earth not get slowed down by pushing all of those PMPs out of the way?

Well, he's got an explanation... sort of.

Let's say...for a minute we can use our small matter Galaxy as a model of this big super-universe, and some of the same rules apply relative to, say, movement. We say there are some areas of movement that our perception would consider random, (but which is probably not random at all), like the movements of galaxies. We actually see galaxies pass through other galaxies out there.

Let's say a portion of the super universe rides by another, say galaxies....or the gases on the outer surface of Jupiter. On the surface of Jupiter gases ride BY each other in layers. When this happens the layers are traveling at differing speeds, like trains riding by each other at differing speeds. One train going faster than the other causes a series of whirlpools of air between the trains.

On Jupiter we see the same thing. Two streams of gas side by side, one is faster than the other and so BETWEEN THE LAYERS we see rolling balls of gas. (The same thing happens to initiate the eddies that become the suns in a galaxy like ours.

In the super-universe one of those spinning balls of gas is our universe.

See, we're sort of the three dimensional version of the great red spot on Jupiter. The drag of all of those PMPs moving past each other in currents produces eddies, which turn into balls which are planets and stars.

And in a larger version of the same effect, our universe is just a larger eddy. And "the math works". Within the eddies, gravity, according to him, is magnetic effects of broken PMPs: It's a mighty tug of war between and on these 'lines'.

This one small ball of ...universal spin makes 'our' universe.....! That's all.

Though this, our, universe is NOTHING (to our perception). The spin pulls outward at this nothing.

But this....NOTHING doesn't 'want' to be" thinned out",...IT RESISTS!

THE PULLING WINS! But we don't get one big bubble of less emptiness. Planke sees to that. Billion upon billions of tiny bubbles are created, stretched out. Held by tendrils of force, (The same stuff, stretched out. The magnetic "lines" are the stretched stuff in-pulling. the spaces between the lines are the tear-aparts and they are negative.

See, he can invoke names of smart people like Planke, and wave his hands around, shouting "the math works! I'm a genius!"

This asks the question, do the magnetic line around the Sun hold the planets "ON" the lines, or does the space between the lines "PUSH" the planets to the lines? (Or both?)

Each bubble holds a portion of that pulling apart....At the core OF each bubble is the "Attracting" in-pulling point object. We call it a positron.

See, that's what replaces gravity. The earth orbits the sun because there's a magnetic line holding it there. 'course, that "magnetic line" is invisible, and unmeasurable. In fact, all orbits are just things stringing along magnetic lines. Can he explain how, for instance, the shuttle maneuvers in orbit?

Well, apparently, there must be an infinite number of these magnetic lines, because we can alter orbits of spacecraft and satellites in almost infinitessimally minute ways, and they behave pretty much exactly how newtonian gravitation and relativity predict that they should. Does he have any math to support this? No, of course not. He doesn't even understand that it's a problem.

He's got one more tiny bit of math in there, explaining how awful the standard model is, and how much more perfectly brilliant his system is:

Solid reasoning says...if there's a way we can use Positrons, Electrons and prime matter particles, to make all the other particles then we can show and prove there are only two basic particles.

It turns out that all these particles can be constructed from Electrons, Positrons and prime matter particles. Anti particles simply need a positron.

Even if this were only an outside possibility, this is far more valid and logical than the standard model...which REQUIRES NEW particles of unknown origin and fantasy far-out theory.

Two simple examples, the muon and the tau, (and their anti-particles).

The Muon: weighs 207 times the mass of an Electron.

It has 4 layers of prime Matter particles with 5 added to each corner .9 extended by the field.

That's 64 with 40 added (5 per each corner equals 104 (times) 2, (electron/positron ) minus 1, that's 207.

The Tau: Is an electron with 14 layers (in successive cube layers of prime matter particles with corner particles limited by the same field and ending abruptly.

That's 92 from each corner, times 8 corners

That's 726 Prime Matter particles which totals

2018 prime Matter particles. Double that and you get
4036 Electron weight.

Anti-particles, remove the core electrons and replace with positron.

Neutrinos:....Remove electrical.

All protons and neutrons have a core positron and 919 Prime Matter particles. The neutron has an added Electron.

That's 1838 wt. for the proton and 1840 for the neutron. More of the same.

His theory must be correct, because the math works. And what the math works means is nothing more than the fact that he can say how many PMPs are in any of the particles. That works, right, so the entire theory must be dead-on!

Talk about bad math... He takes the least greatest common factor of the masses of the primitive particles, declares it the mass of the PMP, and then uses the fact that it's the GCF to show that all of the masses are integer multiples of the PMP mass. It's a trivial circle.

And it doesn't touch on any of the important math of physics. The important things aren't just the masses of the particles: it's how they interact. And he never even attempts to explain any of the dynamics of how things work in terms of math. There's a very good reason for that: he can't.

He's got these densely packed particles everywhere. And yet, we've got motion that doesn't conform to any possible model of how densely packed particles would interact pushing against each other. He wants to claim that solid bodies like the earth are, basically, stable vortices in a giant turbulent system - and yet, nothing about the motion of real particles resembles that kind of turbulent system. There is no math based on this model that can account for observed phenomena. In fact, you can't even make simple chemistry work: you can't explain why hydrogen molecules are highly reactive with oxygen, or why water molecules have that particular geometry. It just doesn't work, at all.

It's classic bad math. He does the easy part in a crazily circular way, and then declares success. For the actual hard part, he pulls out the very worst kind of math: no math at all. He just waves his hands, and says that it must work, because, after all: "the math works".

27 responses so far

  • eric says:

    Even in terms of muliplying masses his math doesn't work. An electron's mass is not 1/1840th of a proton. Its not any simple fractional amount of a proton' s mass. See here.

    So, if an electron is half of one of these prime matter particles, protons must be composed of some non-whole number of them.

  • Andrew S says:

    I loved Neal Adams before today. Thanks for ruining my day, Mark. ;)

  • JHGRedekop says:

    The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe interviewed Adams a few years back. It's even worse than what Mark has here:

    Steven Novella followed up the interview with an email discussion with Adams. They're supposedly at this URL, but it wasn't coming up for me just now:

  • Michael says:

    The setting: murky wine bar off an alley somewhere downtown, Anytown, US
    The time: somewhere after midnight

    This reminds me of many conversations had late at night with people who seem fascinating whilst sipping on a drink but in hindsight are just full of bovine scat.

  • @JHGRedekop The useful utility confirms that is down at the moment. I'm off to listen to the podcast.

  • Nelson says:

    So, I buy a comic book and within it's pages bullet's bounce off superman. This is the same thing.

    In a day and age when basic physics (such as a concept of mass and gravity) is taught to every child (in America) at some point, pretty much anyone can see that this is just a lot of self-indulgent fiction.

    And if you ever tried to use any of it, it wouldn't work. The kind of people who buy this stuff are looking for that kind of thing. If they wanted real math and physics they'd be in school or seeking the opinion of someone more credible.

    What else could they expect from a comic book artist? Do they really think that they are learning anything at all from this non-sense? They're deluding themselves if they do, and my guess is that's exactly what they are paying for. A comic book.

    The man is just getting paid for having a crazy imagination. In my opinion, it's like the Douglas Adam's quote, "Mostly harmless."

    • eric says:

      What else could they expect from a comic book artist?

      Perhaps to understand that his beginning efforts in particle physics may be no more succesful than a particle physicist's efforts in comic book illustration. Which is not to say they are automatically incompetent. Everyone can learn. But it is to say that, faced with the result of "no one buying your product," any reasonable adult should at least consider the possibility that they may not have learned to do it as well as they think they have.

  • James Sweet says:

    Hahaha, okay, so the observed effect of gravity is because the Earth is expanding, eh? In order for that to work, the Earth would have to be expanding at 9.8 m/s^2, right?

    By my calculations, at that rate the Earth would have enveloped the entire Milky Way galaxy in less than 500 years.

    • MarkCC says:

      Yeah, but see, everything else is expanding *at the same rate*, so we don't see it. See, according to him, right now, we're millions of times bigger than the milky way was a million years ago, but the milky way got bigger at the same rate, so it's that much bigger now, and the space between us and it is packed with PMPs so it's also grown at the same rate, so we're farther away from it, so it appears to be the same size to us.

      No, it doesn't make any sense.

      • Alan Kellogg says:

        What makes it even worse is that worlds larger or smaller than the Earth have different gravitational acceleration, and would therefor be expanding at different rates. Which means that over the course of millions of years Mars would've been expanding slower than the Earth and so would have to be much smaller now than it was just a few million years ago.

        My memory is failing me know, but if Jupiter, say, was expanding at a rate equal to her gravitational acceleration, wouldn't she be much larger than she is now?

  • James Sweet says:

    I don't want anybody to call me out on my imprecise language:

    Earth would have to be expanding at 9.8 m/s^2

    So let me revise that to: Earth would have to not only be expanding, but the expansion would have to be accelerating at 9.8 m/s^2. Better?

    • James Sweet says:

      Eh, and of course I'm ignoring the speed of light constraint, but who says c is a real constraint in Neal's model?

      • Michael says:

        You've missed his point -- the constant c doesn't exist in this model because everything can be done using just two basic constants (a and b). c is just the constant a with a few corners shaved off.

  • James Sweet says:

    Hrm, reading the rest of the post, I suspect he might be at least mildly mentally ill. It's not as funny now :(

    This obsession with seeing connections... yeah.,..

  • Sphere Coupler says:

    I think y'all might be missing something, my waistline is expanding and it must be from positron/electron pair production, because it certainly CAN NOT be from the fettucine alfredo...nothing so terrible can come from something this good, it's just, too good!

  • Marc says:

    @Sphere Coupler: Now you've landed on the real unified theory! By linking Neal Adams and Fettucine Alfredo, you've unwittingly proven that the source of all the PMPs and half particles is The Flying Spaghetti Monster! And you know what? THE MATH WORKS!!!!1! :D

  • Dunc says:

    I can only conclude that Neal Adams, like a terrifying number of other people out there, has absolutely no idea what real physics actually looks like. People get these dumbed-down introductory analogies to complex topics from the popular science press and the Discovery Channel, and they assume that that's all there is to it. He probably wouldn't even recognise Newton's Laws of Motion if he found them in his breakfast cereal...

    • Jon H says:

      "I can only conclude that Neal Adams, like a terrifying number of other people out there, has absolutely no idea what real physics actually looks like."

      More likely, he learned it at some point, but has decided that real physics is wrong, or only superficially correct, and he knows how it *really* works.

  • Olorin says:

    When you finish taking Neal Adams apart, you might wish to start on Mark "The Final Theory" McCutcheon, whose book went into a second edition last February.

    McCutcheon also posits expansion as the source of gravitation. His beef with real physics is that gravitation requires a constant creation of energy, thus violating the first law of thermobubblynamics. (The source of the energy that powers his universal expansion is left as an exercise for the reader.)

    My review of the first edition was expunged from Amazon by the author, as were several other detailed negative reviews. One of McC's contentions is that a photon consists of bunches of electrons. I pointed out that the mass of a single electron exceeds by millions of times the energy of a radio-wave photon. Maybe that's what killed the review.

    McCutcheon and Adams sound like kindred kooks.

  • I might consider reading his pages on how the math works, if and only if he paid ME at least $20.00.

  • LT says:

    According to the physics of Neal Adams, the world is expanding pretty darn fast, and it has taken up alot more space than it used to. Which means North America should be several times as large, and we should have a lot more space for development. To counter this, you might state that humans and everything we own is expanding too, but that doesn't work, because if everything is made of electrons and whatjamacallit-trons, we must be expanding at the same rate, and we would all fall off. My disproof of Neal Adams' theory of the world.

  • [...] of dinosaurs. The craziest, and most elaborate crank theories of the expanding earth come from the angry artist Neal Adams. Plate tectonics can’t work anyway because the reptiloids of the inner earth wouldn’t have [...]

  • [...] of dinosaurs. The craziest, and most elaborate crank theories of the expanding earth come from the angry artist Neal Adams. Plate tectonics can’t work anyway because the reptiloids of the inner earth wouldn’t have [...]

  • […] of dinosaurs. The craziest, and most elaborate crank theories of the expanding earth come from the angry artist Neal Adams. Plate tectonics can’t work anyway because the reptiloids of the inner earth wouldn’t have […]

  • Kirk Tingblad says:

    Adams is a creationists who thinks you can use comicbook science and say it's real science. He is also incredibly insulting and childish whenever someone challenges his stupid ideas and asks for proof and science-y stuff of that nature. He also likes to mix in the stupidest conspiracy theories into the mix which makes the whole thing just a bunch of bullshit. It's sad because he did some really nice comics in the 60s and 70s but now is know as the expanding earth idiot.

  • says:

    You know, most all these comments are so childish. I am a "scientist" with multiple degrees, and any nitwit that looks at the evidence for an expanding earth model (dinosaurs, continents, etc) can see that planets/moons have expanded, as Neal has presented with his images of the planets/moons in the solar system. Statistically, it is impossible for such easily identifiable expansions to be the result of mere randomness/chance. OK, so maybe Neal's math and theories suck, but so do most scientist's drawings.

    There are many possible causes of this: the solar system passing thru clouds of matter in the Milky Way and getting bombarded, large meteor/comet collisions in the past, heavy bombardment of cosmic and less energetic radiation (H + He and other nuclei), general accumulation of space dust, the causative factors behind abiotic oil due to unknown physics of matter creation in the center of large planets/moon (energy creating matter, m=E/c2), etc.

    To make a mockery of Neal's math in order to mock the whole idea is idiocy at best. The real idiocy is from "scientists" that dismiss the overwhelming evidence tha tlarge planets and moons are expanding and gaining in mass.

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