Thursday, November 29, 2007

What's Wrong With Driving Cars? (warning: disordered list)

It's spending ten minutes to an hour in contact with a non living mechanical device. I suppose that would be partially negated if the driver had an intimate working relationship with the mechanisms of his car, maintaining it etc... but most don't. Even so, the mechanism of the car is rather simple, does not have the subtle give and take or even wisdom of a horse or ones own feet.

You move faster than human experience relates to. I suppose humans can train themselves to relate to this speed, but it tastes to me like training for military service!

When driving a car, you are no longer in touch with your landscape. You certainly cant smell it, just stop at any moment and look closely at it, touch it, pay attention to details of it, details that spell its health or disease...

Unless you take on special military training, driving every now and then requires attention and reflexes that are beyond most of us, and even with the training, who wants to engage so much difficult attention just to drive home from seeing your friends at night?

Humans are inherently a little (or allot) dopey, sloppy, stupid, mean... Face to face, this results in an occasional annoying encounter or bar brawl. I think that we manage to weather this aspect of ourselves most of the time. I mean if someone isn't paying attention and knocks me over, i land on my ass. Big deal. The automobile, is an amplifier of human intentions, and inattentions, and thus our minor dopiness, stupidities, and meannesses, get amplified into major affronts. People get a little maniacal in a car. And if someone bumps into me at 60mph in a one and a half ton vehicle, they could fuck up my life permanently.

Frankly, I don't think it's reasonable to expect most people most of the time in their daily activities to engage the attention, intelligence and respect required of the military activity of driving a car. Period.

Two incidents. A teen I knew of had engaged in a little foolish robbery with his friends. They fled in a car. in the process they ran someone over, killed them, but certainly weren't about to stick around, so continued away. One of ‘em is serving a life sentence in jail for manslaughter. A man in my town suffered from manic depression, or who knows what, at any rate one day he drove his car onto a recreation trail and pulverized to death someone rollerblading. I don't think either of these people set out to murder anybody. The automobile amplifies petty human stupidity into tragedy.

When you are in your car you are insulated from the shit you turn your landscape into.

If you encounter someone you know while driving your car you can't stop and chat. I've had people whiz by me and honk their horns, and i can sometimes vaguely make out that it was someone i know, sometimes, and i find my self saying "so, what? if they wanted to say hello, they could have stopped and done it"

Driving a car, you are NOT controlling a machine, the pace of all the machines on the road is controlling YOU. You cannot change your speed at whim, you cannot drive off to the side to check something out. You cannot just stop and have a thought. You have become part of an incessant mechanical fluid who’s purpose is to make sure all its parts don't bump into each other at the ridiculous speed that they are going.

Driving a car for a half hour to an hour brings you through a landscape that you most likely have nothing to do with. You've not lived with it, gotten to smell it, gotten to know the people in it. Unless you stop every few miles and get to know it along the way.

You cannot read while driving a car.

When walking a crowded street you don't have to think very hard in order not to bump into each other, and if you occasionally do, its not much damage and you can mutter "pardon me" or even "fuck you". When driving crowded stretches of intersections you got to have your attention riveted, and if you bump into someone, you most likely do fuck him over, ruin his day, get each of you involved in hospitals, insurance, mechanics, lawyers, police, it's endless the trouble that driving enmeshes you in.

Maintaining a car puts a large segment of americans in a financial straight jacket. It is really expensive! And all the money goes down the drain, none of it is invested, as it would be if it where put into a house.

Because people have cars, investment bankers have strip malls built outside of towns, or even if no towns are nearby, in the middle of nowhere. These are inhuman environments, entirely crafted for the automobile. These strips put most of the local in town businesses out of business, and now every one has to drive to take care of there needs all the time and have no opportunity to share with each other a landscape with human scale.

Gasoline is very poisonous, and carcinogenic. AND NOBODY TALKS ABOUT THIS!

You can't grow gasoline at the rate we use it.

Gasoline is often procured by military action in other parts of the world that are easily destabilized, causing MUCH trouble. An occasional office building full of people gets demolished.

During routine driving at night at 40 or 50mph how the hell do you know there ain’t something on the road just around that turn that you know damn well you don't got time to stop for?

40,000 people are killed by each other with cars every year. most of them young.

100,000 people sustain some form of brain damage each year in car accidents.

People SLAM their cars into each other ONE MILLION times a year in this country involving some form of injury, and mucho inconvenience involved getting their cars in order again, involving hassles with those organizations mentioned above.

There is a shortage of donated blood in this country because people insist on stabbing each other with pieces of automobile metal and glass.

All this activity bloats the wealth of a bloated medical industry, and insurance industry. WE certainly ain't getting any richer by it.

I recall that the quality of interaction with my dad as a kid going on walks with him, either in the woods or with the shopping cart to the grocery when the car was broken down was worlds ahead of what it was when in the car with him driving. We could stop and share the world with each other while walking.

Driving encourages us to loose the habit of just stopping and appreciating existence.

Cars and young children DO NOT MIX.

The scale that driving encourages precludes construction of a world fit for young children to navigate on their own. And even if they were to try, if they got in trouble, no one would notice, because they are too busy whizzing by in their cars at 60mph.

The newspapers report car accidents thus: the driver lost control of his vehicle... the vehicle swerved into the opposite lane...

I recall when first learning how to drive, even driving around town at 25, 35mph, i realized, "what happens if some kid darts out between some cars in front of me while a split second my attention is on another part of the road? I don't want to be saddled with that responsibility every time i for chrissake just want to drive to class..."

So back to the 100,000 injuries per year, what does that translate into in terms of the chances i will injure someone every time i get into a car? say 720 trips per year times 100,000,000 drivers... hmmm i don't quite know the numbers. say 100,000 out of 300,000,000 is one in 3000. I could think of it as every time i get in my car that i know that one hundred people are going to be permenantly damaged this year in my county by automobiles. and 40 will be killed. In Ithaca about 18 people will be killed, mostly young people, by driving. I don't know why you guys are putting up such a fuss about wars all the way over in Iraq, there's a war going on right here in Ithaca. Some set of global organizations has forced us into a landscape and enticed us into these 'easy life' machines that is killing say ten of our youth every year. EVERY YEAR. FOR DECADES. NO END IN SIGHT.

Does 100,000 brain injuries/yr translate to something like one million brain damaged people over the past 50 years of driving? still alive? one in 300 of us brain damaged due to driving? I assume if you're brain damaged in some way you are a worse driver and will have even greater chance of injury. What the hell are we doing?

Cars are noisy.

Cars require light all over the place at night.

You cant walk most populated roads at night because every minute or so a car comes along and blinds you.

Streets are great places for kids to get together and play. Not when cars are around. Hell, 30 years ago out in a semi rural area, my friends and i used to hang out besides our road and explore the creatures living in the gully alongside it etc... Now that would be unbearably unpleasant. I think cars used to go by every few minutes, now there is a steady stream of them.

Most cars that get in major accidents are unfixable. or even to repair them its such a cost. It's so fuckin' irresponsible and disrespectful to take such a finely crafted complex expensive piece of machinery that costs on the order of $10,000 and then start slamming it around at 60mph with thousands of others... of cause you are going to destroy it.

Most people can't repair their own cars, and the way they are being built today, it becomes harder and harder for those of us who can repair our own cars to do so. People certainly can't build their own cars, or grow their own cars. A large proportion of people don't even own their own cars, they merely rent them from a bank.

Driving is a numbingly STUPID activity. nevertheless, one that you must pay attention to.

Most people don't know how to drive.

Cars take up too much precious space so needed in crowded human habitats. Space for highways, parkinglots, parking, retail parking, so much EXTRA parking because cars are always moving about. I wonder how many parking spaces there are in Tompkins county versus how many cars?

A car takes up one hundred times as much space as a human does. And that is just standing still. When moving it can take up to 1000 times as much space as a human does.

Cars divide human space up into two classes, space for cars, space for humans. They are pretty much mutually exclusive.

Cars poison the air.

Cars change the climate.

I am convinced that the act of driving year after year wears down the human nervous system.

Cars are not soft.

Kids can't play with cars.

You can't live in most cars. You can't farm with most cars.

Urban highways destroy neighborhoods.

you cant cross highways on foot.

little kids cannot cross roads safely.

Being around moving cars adds a certain element of fear in your day.

Car exhaust eventually turns everything black.

Spending hours a day sitting in a car and inhaling car exhaust instead of vigorously walking and breathing fresh air to get around helps to kill 500,000 people every year of cardiovascular diseases.

If tens of thousands of people can all drive to one place because of the existence of cars, then investment bankers will build huge airplane hanger like shopping centers which can be supported by such a large number of people. These businesses can outcompete smaller ones. And as you cannot yet drive through these monstrosities, you are forced to experience them in your soft human body.

What is evil

I'm a biologist. I think of living creatures, cells, people, ecosystems, nations, Europe.

People talk about evil, the inherent corruptibility of nature. Well, I see it this way. You've got patterns. Some, like crystals, are in static equilibrium. Some, like flames, are in dynamic equilibrium. Candle is always flowing through the stable pattern that we call flame. Some, like fog, have no pattern. A gas is what we call a system that is in 99.999999999999999999999% of the possible patterns that that system could take. It's the other .00000000000000001% of the patterns that we find interesting. It takes a lot of careful work to keep a system in that small range of patterns. It's so much easier for it to end up in one of the random gas patterns.

Now, you can beset a gas with all kinds of stupid random accidents and all that will happen is that you shift it into another of those 99.9999999999999999% of the patterns that we don't distinguish as different, so, nothing much happens to it. Gasses don't die.

Crystals are a little more delicate, but you have to hit them pretty hard or torch the hell out of them to do any damage. Even if you shatter one, it hasn't really changed its static pattern much. Anyway you wouldn't call it death.

A flame is a little more interesting. Flames are pretty sturdy and can even jump from one food source to another, but a slight gust of wind and, poof, it's out. Then again they are easily revived. Is it the same flame? It seems a little like death to put out a flame.

Now when the systems get more COMPLICATED and maintain themselves in DYNAMIC EQULIBRIUM (a flame is in dynamic equilibrium), things start to get scary. If, for instance you have ever written and run computer programs, you've noticed how a very minor accidental, random change in even one bit of computer memory can have what WE could call disastrous effects - sending the system into a sometimes bizarre, lurching dive from its .00000000000000000001% of the interesting patterns into chaos and eventually DEATH, where most things eventually end up anyway.

The more complicated the system, the more bizarre and drawn out that lurching dive can take. When you have a system as complicated as a grandmother (an integrated community of 100,000,000,000 cells each as complicated as our finest computers) and you flip one gene in one cell accidentally with a stray ultraviolet ray, or the wrong virus (there are right viruses), or a stray dioxin molecule, the system takes a grotesque trip through that state space, doing things that don't make SENSE in grandmothers, and finally after a few years returns to the soil and the air.

The point is, that 99.99999999999999999% of the possible ways that our local part of the universe can be in don't make sense to US. To make sense, parts of the system have to be correlated with each other, patterns have to match, and that is unlikely. What we take for granted as the normal way of things here in our life on Earth, are in fact highly unusual. Studying evolution, the history of Earth, physics, chemistry, thermodynamics, gives us the perspective of just how unusual our situation is, how delicate it is, how difficult it is to maintain. The situation requires a gratefulness, and awe that we are not capable of. I think it is incredibly rude of us to expect that God has set it all up this way with the flick of his bick. That this is the normal state of affairs, that we deserve it, that we should expect it.

Creationists, etc, are appalled at the idea that they are the product of merely four billion years of random trial and error. Rather they would like to be the product of six days of work by a super-powerful being. Work of that nature is CHEAP. It could probably be snuffed out and reinstated at the drop of a hat, like a flame. No one goes to the funeral of a flame. I can't imagine holding more PRECIOUS, work that took six easy days to complete than work that took four billion years of touch and go balance! Death and life are necessarily brother and sister. Horror and delicacy are necessary to define each other. [Is this why fresh innocent young girls and senseless destructive monsters ALLWAYS go together in so many stories and movies?]

There are sentiments to the effect that you have to be really sick to think that events like the holocaust are merely the results of accidental lacks of goodness... The belief is, rather, that they are the results of the work of some EVIL FORCE. But that is the wrong side of the coin. The horror of the Holocaust is that it took two thousand years of sustained nurturing FROM accidents to bring the living Jewish people that far. Or, a more detailed analysis, will bring us to wonder that all of Europe hasn't strangled itself yet, the balance between so many different greedy, stupid, and excitable peoples being so difficult to maintain.

According to the second law of thermodynamics, it is 10 to the 10 to the 26 times easier for the universe to be what we would call a luke-warm glob of random gasses and cold dead star cinders, than for there to have been a Jewish community of Homo sapiens surviving for two thousand years at all! And it has taken a hell of allot of hard work in the way of an Earth engine driven by millions of gigawatts of sunlight to create and sustain that people, and allot of miracles, besides.

It IS the nature of things that just the wrong anti-miracle can send the whole tennuous BALANCE tumbling down.

That possibility, or reality does not move me to postulate an inherent evil reality lurking around back there, unless you want to call the second law of thermodynamics evil. It does move me to great awe that such patterns can appear and be sustained for as long as they have been.

And this gives us the responsibility to learn how to nurture such COMPLICATED systems amidst this flux of miracles and accidents. To learn how to thread our way through the complicated ecosystem of interactions that is Europe in order to heal her. And not to hide in a corner and make pacts with simplistic fairy tale characters named God and Satan.

why do we mistake experience for gods and demons

These are some sketches of a conversation I had with my little brother after we saw this movie called the MONSTER SQUAD.

Like enemies. People always like to invent enemies. Or pin the blame on someone. When you feel angry, what's your first response? To be angry at Danny, right? Like if you walk into the kitchen and see a pot of spaghetti lying on the floor all over the place, what's your first reaction? To yell "Blackie! [our dog] Why did you knock over the spaghetti?" When in fact what probably happened was:

Danny accidentally steps on Blackie's tail and Blackie barks at Danny so Danny hits Blackie and Blackie runs away and barks into Shanna so Shanna runs around the living room divider away from Blackie into the kitchen and Danny is running into the kitchen to go cuddle with mom and Blackie knocks Shanna 'cause he thinks Shanna is playing and Shanna falls on Danny and Danny hits the pot and pot falls all over the floor and so Shanna and Blackie and Danny all run down stairs 'cause they think mom is going to blame one of them which she does.

Many things that happen in life are due to these complicated dances and we are not often willing to take the effort to appreciate the complex ecology of dances, so we are very quick to pin the blame for something on someone. And especially if there is no one to obviously put the blame on we invent a monster or an enemy or a god.

Like the Frankenstien monster... He was neither good nor bad. He was just like a new born baby curious to find out about his world. The village in which he was born was ill, that is, the whole complicated ecosystem of the people and loving and being brother and sister and employer and employee and the police and the economy and the customs and such was somehow ill. And the poor people who were inside that ecosystem (so they couldn't quite find its skin, even if it had one) were too frightened and frustrated to study the ecology of their dance and so blamed the illness on this newborn child of Dr. Frankenstien. THEY created the monster. Notice how they incite him to violence, teach him that he is ugly... convince him that he is a monster, because they need someone to be the monster.

Now when that man who had been in the Nazi concentration camps said he had known some monsters, perhaps he meant that he thought the Nazis were monsters. Was each person caught up in the Nazi "illness" a monster or was Hitler the monster or was the word "Nazi" the monster or just what?

Germany was ill. Germany was a complex ecosystem. For that matter, it wasn't just Germany that was ill... or, where was Germany's skin? Germans traded with other countries, fought wars with other countries, learned other languages in school, shared stories back and forth with other countries... So maybe all of Europe was ill, or... Any way she had acute pains in Germany.

The German people were confused and frightened. They had been through the terrible World War I (and got the shit end of the stick for it, too) and through a terrible depression and not enough of them were strong enough to make the effort to study the ecology of their dance and find out why it was ill.

For that matter neither did the other people of Europe make the effort to study the ecology of their dance. Well... now, it's tricky. 'Cause people seem to be afraid of such big ecosystems and like to hide in easily definable skins. If they see that something about Europe is sick, they don't want to admit that it might have something to do with THEIR country, that maybe it has something to do with the way THEY interact with the people of the rest of Europe. Or if their country is ill, they don't want to admit that their country is a kind of myth. That it is so intimately linked to other countries for its very existence as its unique self that perhaps it isn't only exactly inside its own boundary. And they will have to understand someone else's country also in order to understand why the dance that their country is part of is ill.

So they took the easy way out and invented some monsters. They decided to blame the illness of their country, which was really the illness of all of Europe, on "the races which were making their Aryan people impure". The Jews became the focus as just such a race. But I really shouldn't say, "THEY decided", because it was all of Europe that was ill, not the individual people in Germany that were ill. Who made the decision? The illness? The German ecosystem? Even with our beginnings in the studies of bifurcations in cooperative systems, we are still not very capable of understanding such questions. But, as the Jews were not the CAUSE of the illness in Europe, perhaps the Nazis were not entirely the cause for the attempt to eliminate that mythical disease.

But wait a minute Barry! Aren't you always fond of saying that corporations don't kill, that large systems don't kill? That individual people, you and I, make the decision to kill that person or not? To comply with such a corporation or not? Yes, very complicated. Where is free will, where is evil, where is sin? Who (what kind of ecosystem, what level of nested dances) is responsible? TOUGH QUESTION!

So the Jews weren't the monsters as some people would have liked to believe, and neither were the Nazis the monsters. Or, ok, call the Nazis monsters, and you then have to call the Jews monsters also, because monsters are just the fantasies of small groups of frightened men. Even by calling the Nazis the monsters instead of the Jews, we still come no closer to understanding the subtle illness of the complex ecosystem of Europe. Calling the Nazis the monster, and then wiping THEM out, and naming what is really horrible about western civilization's illness as an easily compartmentizeable agent is the real danger.

So the point is that we get angry, we hurt, we get confused, depressed, and we aren't very good at diagnosing these illnesses and healing them. Or for that matter, on the other side, we get proud, or we develop skills, or we "become" powerful, or [expand...] and we don't quite know WHO HAS the power, or WHO is responsible for these fortunes either. Our misunderstanding of how these dancing ecosystems work especially mess up our relationship with power.
So, how to heal? Three steps.

1) Understand how these dancing ecosystems work. How we create these myths of selves inside skins, of causative agents.

2) Appreciate how difficult is the mystery of WHO, or WHAT LEVEL of the dance is responsible. We need to learn to appreciate the mystery of these situations. That they cannot always be 'solved' so quickly by finding simple causes.

3) We need to find sources of strength, calm, and softness in order to be able to live with anger, frustration, and hurt, while we thread our way through the complicated dances of which we are part. Sources of strength which will allow us to hold back from reacting immediately, even while it 'seems' as though we are being attacked.

Ok, let me tell you about monsters and Nazis and Jews and enemies.

This universe is full of living creatures, right? Now the thing about living creatures is that they are very complex dances of webs and cycles of dances, like rainforests and ecosystems and families and languages and cities and countries and people. Like even you, Josh, you are not exactly just you. You wouldn't be quite the same if you hadn't grown up with Shanna and Danny, or if you didn't live in a family where Shanna and Danny are always fighting. There is a little bit of dad, and mom and Danny and Blackie and Shanna and me and your teachers and you friends in you. Well not exactly IN you... Look at river. A river isn't just the water flowing IN it 'cause if you took a bucket of water from the river it would not act like a bit of river. A river is a response to water being born somewhere high up in the mountains and some place low in the valleys for it to flow into and some just weak enough spots of ground along the way through which the valley can call the water from the mountain towards it to cut out a river bed. But the mountain and the valley and the gravity and the soil are not IN the river. Like the people in the twenty third century calling you to get up and learn your Torah to pass on towards them, which the people thirty centuries ago put together. They all aren't exactly IN you, but if that pair like the valley and the mountain weren't IN RELATION to each other, then you would never need or want to learn Torah and you would be a different person than you are today.

Ecology is the study of such complicated dances that don't exactly stay inside their skins...

People don't like to take the effort to study the ecology of dances...

When such dances get sick, it's very hard to tell what exactly is wrong with them and how to readjust the steps to make them well again...

Especially when you are part of the dance. When people are part of such a dance/ecosystem and it gets sick, they invent a monster, who is SMALLER than the dance (or a MEMBER of the dance), to blame for the sickness and think they can cure the sickness by killing the monster.

The ancient Greeks invent Demeter to explain the fertility of fields, Athena to explain the way emotions work in the complicated ecosystems of their minds, families and societies.

Is God a monster? Right that's the monster we invent to get out of understanding the biggest ecosystem of all. Or all of them at once as they interact around our lives.

Just as the Nazis might have seen the Jews as the causative agent of an illness they didn't understand, (they didn't even understand exactly what "body" was ill) Just what is it that doctors do? And recall that many seminal leaders of the medical and chemical industries in our country came from the Nazi dance.

Don't forget to tell of Stephen King and his stupid story of "children Of the Corn". How in creating a phony monster, he totally misses the illness that is really there, the one in the American Agricultural Ecology.

what are rainbows, plants and people?

My little sister once had to do a nature collection for school. Leaves or rocks or beetles, I suppose. I suggested collecting say, ecological interactions. Uncomprehending stare. Well, soon enough, we were going about looking for seed dispersal and pollination strategies of plants and the animals that help them. She got the idea. Still, school is school, and so we had to yank off plant ovaries and genitals for the collection. Seeing how snapdragons learned to take advantage of passers by and having to protect a surprisingly rare orchid from motorbikers were highlights of our walk. When we got home, she began to take her plants out of the envelopes we had put them in. The Snapdragon was all wilted and flattened and the seedpods would not go "sproik". She was disappointed.

But Shanna, I said, do you really think that you collected what you saw out there? Nonsense! What you saw were waving green rivers being pulled up from the swampy soil by the sun into the misty air, funny shaped pink flowers being called to open up by pollinating insects, spring loaded seedpods being called into creation by the existence of wind, birds and mammals who could brush against them. All of it waving gently in the breeze, and being lit dappling by the afternoon sun through the leaves. You could no more collect a piece of snapdragon with your simple techniques than you could a river by lugging home a bucketful of its water and soil from its bank... or a square dance by bringing home one dancer. Think of that dancer trying to act out her part without her other fellow dancers around to interact with. She will walk forward expecting to be swung around by her corner, but nothing will happen and she will continue on out of the square, confused. No dance. No Snapdragon.

Or suppose, even more challenging, you wanted to collect a rainbow. Well, of course they are very rare. You have to wait for the right conditions after a storm. But there's one, lets go. I think it's just over that hill. So we climb up the hill. But, ho! Now it's over the next hill! Is it trying to get away? Look, you go around the next hill, and catch it from behind, and I'll stay on this one and maybe we can trick it... Well, did you catch it? No. But I see it right on your hill. No, its way down over those hills further on. Well I didn't see it move! Oh, it's going away anyway with the sun. Well where was the thing anyway? How did it fool us? I don't even believe it was out there at all!

Of course you can make your own rainbows with a garden hose on a sunny day, and do further experimenting. I think in optics such a thing is called a virtual image. As to questions like "where IS the rainbow?", and, "does it really exist?", well, I would say that the rainbow really does exist, but not anywhere in our Euclidean 3-space. You can't set up a system of 3 mutually perpendicular rulers on the ground (making a corner of a box) and do rainbow experiments with the hose and measure where the rainbow is in absolute space. Its position depends on the position of the viewers and the hose spray and the sun.

But if you set up a system of maybe seven mutually perpendicular rulers, plus one compass and one diameter inside a sphere then we can measure the CONFIGURATIONS of your head, a cloud of moisture, and the sun. We'll put the sun at the origin. For the three Euclidian distances of your head from the sun, and three more for the cloud of moisture we'll use six of the rulers. We'll use the last one to measure the size of the water droplets. Then the position of the diameter inside the sphere mimics the axis that you have your head tilted on, and the compass measures how far around you have your head turned. Now within a certain range of those measurements, i.e., the cloud must be between you and the sun and the droplet size must be within a certain range and you have to be looking the right way, you see a rainbow. We can say that the rainbow exists within that area of its configuration space.

Of course if you can't see colors then you don't see rainbows. And if you never saw a bow before you wouldn't call it a "rainbow". And if the Bible is part of your world-view, then you see something different again. Perhaps we should enlarge our measurement system of the rainbow's configuration space to include these conditions.

Perhaps what I have in mind is that our Snapdragon does not exist entirely in three dimensional Euclidean space, but some very high dimensional ecological configuration space. However, since the time of, let us say, Newton, Descartes, and Laplace, three dimensional Euclidean space has been THE space in which our experiences take place. Or perhaps it goes back further, back to when our ancestors learned to look for the surface of an animal running in 3-d space in order to catch it, or learned to manage the three dimensional space swinging in the trees, or looking a fellow flat in the face in order to communicate. However, this space is only one of any number that we could have learned to experience in.

In fact the physicists themselves have finally learned this. First there were the experiences (experiments) of the early explorers of the quantum realm. They were just unable to fit their results in our worldview of solid objects sitting in one spot of 3-D space at one time. Even today, quantum mechanics feel that they never quite develop intuitions about the quantum world. Not in the way that we all develop intuitions about crawling around in 3-space as infants. Even more recent are the explorers of supersymmetry space, the space where string theory thrives, who think that physical space has even more complicated dimensions than the one we used to locate rainbows in.

Or consider a fungus. Funguses interact with many kinds of creatures. If you were to imagine yourself a fungus and play at being a fungus for a while, what kind of space would you have your experiences in? Imagine an intelligent being who didn't move much, but communicated with his world by smell. What space would she have her experiences in? Think of how long scientists of her species would have to experiment before they discovered the three dimensional space in which solid objects move! According to some scholars (i.e. Heelan) we can even be conditioned culturally, or psychologically to see in different spaces. It is intriguing to speculate that perhaps people actually did not quite see in perspective before the invention of perspective drawing in the fourteenth century, or that perhaps Van Gogh actually saw the way he painted.

I wish to attempt to short circuit and reexamine some ancient strands of our culture/primate heritage: language, vision and consciousness. Our vision creates smoothly bounded objects and our language names and separates them out of experience. Our consciousness isolates them in time and stills their movement.

This paradigm must go: a world peopled by objects surrounded by their smooth impermeable skins, controlled by some immaterial demon up in the top of each one, communicating superficially and safely, surviving independently of their environment and of each other. It is absurd to think that we or any other Earth creature could sustain our existence without being interfaces or rivers through which flow great local portions of Earth's dancing. Similarly absurd is the possibility that each of us (as a specie) could have evolved as anything but a response to the local dances around us. Or that any of our personalities and entire psychic lives could have developed as anything but responses to the interpersonal milleu around us.

Even thermodynamically, the image of the static solid object inside a sack must go. We are in fact rivers through which energy, molecules, information, and time must flow; offered to us by those who come before, and called forth from us by those who are next. Block either end, and sustainable pattern far from equilibrium collapses, for we are not crystals. And to finally throw out the whole materialist, reductionist game, even the physicists have now given up the idea of matter altogether. The 'material' substrate of 'atoms' has been sought for so long, and all that we keep finding are dances of dances of dances... all the way in.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

is physics in a slump this past 30 years?

Anybody read Lee Smolin's "the trouble with physics"?

i'm reading it now, along with:Ken Croswell's "the universe at midnight"

tryin' to catch up on the last 25 years since i took my physical universe course in college.

finally i'm gonna learn what this dark matter nonsense is all about.

Smolin says physics has hit its first slump since newton! we haven't found anything new in the past 30 years. except this dark matter problem. of course in midrange physics, there has been high temp superconductors, bucky balls and study of all kinds of dissipative systems...

where should we be looking?

the question is, is Smolin's contention about the last 30 years reasonable? how do i peruse this list to decide?

every 10 years physics

1570's Tycho Brahe collects data on geometry of solar system

1581: Galileo Galilei, constancy of period of pendulum
1581: Robert Norman, dip of compass shows that Earth is a magnet
1589: Galileo Galilei, showed that objects fall at the same rate independent of mass

1590s ?

1604: Galileo Galilei, distance for falling object increases as square of time
1609: Johannes Kepler, 1st and 2nd laws of planetary motion
1609: Galileo Galilei, builds a telescope

1610: Galileo Galilei, observes the phases of Venus
1610: Galileo Galilei, observes moons of Jupiter
1610: Galileo Galilei, observes stars in the Milky Way
1613: Galileo Galilei, principle of inertia
1618: Francesco Grimaldi, interference and diffraction of light
1619: Johannes Kepler, 3rd law of planetary motion

1621: Willebrod Snell, the sine law of refraction
1624: Galileo Galilei, theory of tides
1626: Godfried Wendilin, verification of Kepler's laws for moons of Jupiter

1630: Cabaeus, attraction and repulsion of electric charges
1636: Marin Mersenne, speed of sound

1640: Evangelista Torricelli, theory of hydrodynamics
1641: Ferdinand II, sealed thermometer
1642: Blaise Pascal, mechanical calculator
1644: Evangelista Torricelli, mercury barometer and artificial vacuum
1645: Ismael Boulliau, inverse square law for central force acting on planets
1648: Blaise Pascal, explains barometer as a result of atmospheric pressure

1650s ?

1660: Robert Boyle, sound will not travel in a vacuum
1661: Robert Boyle, corpuscular theory of matter
1662: Robert Boyle, Boyle's law for ideal gases relating volume to pressure
1665: Isaac Newton, studies the principles of mechanics and gravity, mass and force
1665: Francesco Grimaldi, his wave theory of light is published
1665: Hooke, Huygens, colours of oil film explained by wave theory of light and interference
1665: Robert Boyle, air is necessary for candles to burn
1666: Isaac Newton, studies spectrum of light
1666: Isaac Newton, begins work on laws of mechanics and gravitation
1668: John Wallis, conservation of momentum

1671: Giovanni Cassini, accurate measurement of distance to Mars and scale of solar system
1672: Jean Richer, the period of a pendulum varies with latitude
1672: Isaac Newton, variation of pendulum is due to equatorial bulge
1673: Ignace Pardies, wave explanation for refraction of light
1676: Olaus Roemer, measured the speed of light by observing Jupiter's moons
1676: Robert Hooke, law of elasticity and springs
1676: Edme Mariotte, pressure is inversely proportional to volume (Boyle's law) and height of atmosphere
1678: Robert Hooke, inverse square law of gravity
1679: Christiaan Huygens, polarisation of light

1680: Isaac Newton, demonstrates that inverse square law implies eliptical orbits
1684: Isaac Newton, inverse square law and mass dependence of gravity
1687: Isaac Newton, publishes laws of motion and gravitation
1687: Isaac Newton, publishes analysis of sound propagation


1702: Francis Hauksbee, rarified air glows during electrical discharge
1704: Isaac Newton, publishes corpuscular theory of light and colour

1714: Gottfreid Leibniz, energy conservation
1718: Edmund Halley, measures proper motion of stars

1720: Edmund Halley, early form of Olbers' paradox
1721: George Berkeley, space exists because of matter in it
1724: Gabriel Fahrenheit, supercooling of water
1727: Stephen Hales, makes oxygen
1728: James Bradley, speed of light and stellar aberration
1729: Stephen Gray, conduction of electricity

1733: Charles Du Fay, recognises distinction between positive and negative electric charge
1738: Daniel Bernoulli, kinetic theory of gas

1746: Leonhard Euler, wave theory of light refraction and dispersion
1747: d'Alembert, Euler, solution of equations for vibrating string
1748: Mikhail Lomonosov, conservation of mass and energy
1749: Thomas Melvill, early spectrscopy and yellow line of sodium in salt

1750: John Michell, magnetic induction
1750: John Michell, inverse square law for magnetic fields
1751: Benjamin Franklin, electricity can magnetise needles
1756: William Cullen, evaporation causes cooling

1761: Joseph Black, discovery and measurements of latent and specific heats
1766: Joseph Priestley, inverse square law for electric charge
1766: Henry Cavendish, hydrogen is an element

1771: Luigi Galvani, electricity in animals
1772: Antoine Lavoisier, conservation of mass in chemical reactions
1774: Nevil Maskelyne, gravitational deflection of plumb line by a mountain
1775: Alessandro Volta, electrical condenser
1777: Antoine Lavoisier, composition of air and burning as a chemical reaction

1781: William Herschel, discovery of Uranus
1781: Heinrich Olbers, Uranus is a planet, not a comet
1782: William Herschel, sun's motion through space
1784: Henry Cavendish, water is a compound of oxygen and hydrogen
1784: Pierre Laplace, electrostatic potential
1785: Charles Augustin de Coulomb, electric force proportional to product of charges and inverse square of distance
1786: Antoine Lavoisier, distinction between elements and compounds
1787: Jacques-Alexander Charles, law of gas expansion with temperature
1789: Antoine Lavoisier, Conservation of mass in chemical reactions

1796: Alessandro Volta, chemical batteries and voltage
1797: Henry Cavendish, measured the gravitational constant with a torsion balance
1798: Benjamin Thompson, heat generated equals work done
1798: Humphry Davy, Transmission of heat through vacuum
1798: Benjamin Rumford, experimental relation between work done and heat generated

1800: William Herschel, infrared rays from the Sun
1801: Johann Ritter, Ultraviolet rays
1801: Humphry Davy, Electric arc
1802: William Wollaston, dark lines in solar spectrum
1802: William Herschel, double stars are bodies in mutual orbit
1802: Thomas Young, interference and wave description of light
1802: Humphry Davy, Electrochemistry
1802: Joseph Gay-Lussac, Relation of Volume to Temperature of gases at fixed pressure

1811: Amedeo Avogadro, molecular theory of gases and Avogadro's law
1815: William Prout, atomic weights of elements are multiples of that for hydrogen
1816: Joseph von Fraunhofer, absorption lines in sun's spectrum
1817: Young and Fresnel, transverse nature of light
1819: Dulong and Petit, relation of specific heats to atomic weight in 12 solid elements

1820: Andre Ampere, force on an electric current in a magnetic field
1820: Hans Christian Oersted, an electric current deflects a magnetised needle
1820: Biot and Savart, force law between an electric current and a magnetic field
1821: Thomas Seebeck, thermocouple and thermoelectricity
1821: Michael Faraday, plotted the magnetic field around a conductor
1822: Andre Ampere, two wires with electric currents attract
1823: John William Herschel, suggests identification of chemical composition from spectrum
1824: Sadi Carnot, Heat transfer goes from hot body to cold body
1827: Robert Brown, Brownian motion
1829: Thomas Graham, gas diffusion law

1830: Charles Lyell, proposition that Earth is several million years old
1831: Michael Faraday, a moving magnet induces an electric current
1831: Michael Faraday, magnetic lines of force
1833: Michael Faraday, laws of electrolysis
1833: Joseph Henry, self inductance
1838: Bessel, Henderson, Struve, first measurements of distance to a star by parallax

1842: Christian Doppler theory of Doppler Effect for sound and light
1842: Justin von Mayer Conservation of heat and mechanical energy
1843: James Joule mechanical and electrical equivalent of heat
1845: Michael Faraday, rotation of polarised light by magnetism
1845: Christopher Buys-Ballet, confirmation of Doppler effect for sound using trumpeters on a train
1846: William Thomson (Kelvin), Incorrectly estimates Earth to be 100 million years old by heat
1848: James Joule average velocity of gas molecules from kinetic theory
1849: Armand Fizeau first accurate measurement of the velocity of light in the laboratory using a toothed wheel

1850: Jean Foucault, light travels slower in water than in air
1850: Michael Faraday, experiments to find link between gravity and electromagnetism fail
1851: William Thomson (Lord Kelvin), dynamical theory of heat
1851: William Thomson (Lord Kelvin), absolute zero temperature
1851: Jean Foucault, demonstrates rotation of Earth with a pendulum
1853: Anders Angstrom, measured hydrogen spectral lines
1855: James Clerk Maxwell, mathematics of Faraday's lines of force
1858: Wallace and Darwin, natural selection of species
1859: Hittorf and Plucker, cathode rays
1859: Bunsen and Kirchhoff, measurement of spectral line frequencies
1859: Urbain Le Verrier, anomolous perihelion shift of Mercury

1860: Gustav Kirchhoff, Kirchoff's Law and black body problem
1860: Maxwell and Waterston, equipartition theorem of statistical mechanics
1862: Anders Angstrom, observed hydrogen in the sun
1863: William Huggins, stellar spectra indicate that stars are made of same elements as found on Earth
1864: John Newlands, chemical law of octaves
1864: James Clerk Maxwell, equations of electromagnetic wave propagation in the ether
1867: James Clerk Maxwell, statistical physics and thermal equilibrium
1868: William Huggins, Doppler shifts of stellar spectra
1869: Dmitri Mendeleyev, periodic table of elements

1871: Dmitri Mendeleyev, prediction of new elements such as scandium, germanium, technetium, francium and gallium
1871: Ludwig Boltzmann, classical explanation of Dulong-Petit specific heats
1873: James Clerk Maxwell, electromagnetic nature of light and prediction of radio waves
1874: George Stoney, estimated the unit of charge and named it the electron
1877: Ludwig Boltzmann, Boltzmann's probability equation for entropy
1879: Josef Stefan, empirical discovery of total radiation law, (Stefan's law)
1879: Willaim Crookes, cathode rays may be negatively charged particles
1879: Albert Michelson, improved measurements of the speed of light

1880: Pierre and Jacques Curie, piezoelectricity
1881: Albert Michelson, light interferometer and absence of ether drift
1883: Ivan Puluy, prior discovery of X-rays
1884: Ludwig Boltzmann, Derivation of Stefan's law for black bodies
1885: Johann Balmer, empirical formula for hydrogen spectral lines
1887: Heinrich Hertz, transmission, reception and reflection of radio waves
1887: Michelson and Morley, absence of ether drift
1887: Michelson and Morley, fine structure of hydrogen spectrum
1887: Hertz, Hallwachs, photoelectric effect
1889: Rolond von Eotvos, torsion balance to test equivalence of inertial and gravitational mass

1890: Johannes Rydberg, empirical formulae for spectral lines and Rydberg constant
1893: Wilhelm Wien, derivation of black body displacement law
1894: Heinrich Hertz, radio waves travel at speed of light and can be refracted and polarised
1895: Jean-Baptiste Perrin, Cathode rays are negative particles
1895: Pierre Curie, loss of magnetism at high temperature, (Curie point)
1896: Pieter Zeeman, spectral line splitting by magnetic field
1896: Antoine Henri Becquerel, natural radioactivity in uranium ore
1897: Kaufmann, J.J. Thomson, measurement of electron charge to mass ratio by deflection of cathode rays
1898: Ernest Rutherford, alpha and beta radiation
1899: Joseph John Thomson, measurement of the charge and mass of the electron

1900: Lord Rayleigh, statistical derivation of short wavelength black body law
1900: Ernest Rutherford, first determination of a radioactive half-life
1900: Antoine Henri Becquerel, suggests that beta rays are electrons
1900: Lummer, Pringsheim, Rubens, Kurlbaum, failure of Wien's black body law at short wavelengths
1900: Max Planck, light quanta in black body radiation, Planck's black body law and Planck's constant
1900: Paul Villard, gamma rays
1900: Friedrich Dorn, element 86, radon
1900: Pyotr Lebedev, radiation pressure measured
1901: Max Planck, determination of Planck's constant, Boltzmann's constant, Avogadro's number and the charge on electron
1902: Philipp Lenard, intensity law in photoelectric effect
1902: Heaviside and Kennelly, Ionised layer capable of reflecting radio waves
1903: Ernest Rutherford, alpha particles have a positive charge
1903: Curie and Laborde, radioactive energy released by radium is large
1904: Albert Einstein, energy-frequency relation of light quanta
1904: Ernest Rutherford, age of Earth by radioactvity dating
1905: Albert Einstein, explains Brownian motion by kinetic theory
1905: Albert Einstein, light-quantum theory for photoelectric law
1905: Albert Einstein, special relativity
1905: Bragg and Kleeman, alpha-particles have discrete energies
1905: Albert Einstein, equivalence of mass and energy
1906: Albert Einstein, quantum explanation of specific heat laws for solids
1906: Joseph Thomson, Thomson scattering of X-ray photons and number of electrons in an atom
1907: Albert Einstein, equivalence principle and gravitational redshift
1908: Geiger, Royds, Rutherford, identify alpha particles as helium nuclei
1909: Johannes Stark, momentum of photons
1909: Geiger and Marsden, anomolous scattering of alpha particles on gold foil
1909: Robert Millikan, measured the charge on the electron

1911: Victor Hess, high altitude radiation from space
1911: Heike Kammerlingh-Onnes, superconductivity
1911: Ernest Rutherford, Infers the nucleus from the alpha scattering result
1912: Joseph Thomson, mass spectrometry and separation of isotopes
1912: Henrietta Leavitt, period to luminosity relationship for Cepheid variable stars
1912: Robert Millikan, measurement of Planck's constant
1912: Max Von Laue, X-rays are explained as electromagnetic radiation by diffraction
1912: Vesto Melvin Slipher, observes blue-shift of andromeda galaxy
1913: Niels Bohr, quantum theory of atomic orbits
1913: Jean-Baptiste Perrin, theory of size of atoms and molecules
1913: Bragg and Bragg, X-ray diffraction and crystal structure
1913: Hans Geiger, relation of atomic number to nuclear charge
1913: Johannes Stark, splitting of hydrogen spectral lines in electric field
1914: James Chadwick, primary beta spectrum is continuous and shows an energy anomaly
1914: Harry Moseley, used X-rays to confirm the correspondence between electric charge of nucleus and atomic number
1914: Ejnar Hertzsprung, measured distance to Large Magellanic Cloud using Cepheid variable stars
1914: Rutherford, da Costa Andrade, gamma rays identified as hard photons
1915: Albert Einstein, prediction of light bending and explanation for perihelion shift of mercury
1916: Robert Millikan, verification of energy law in photoelectric effect
1916: Arnold Sommerfeld, Further atomic quantum numbers and fine structure of spectra, fine structure constant
1917: Vesto Melvin Slipher, observes that most galaxies have red-shifts
1917: Arthur Eddington, gravitational energy is insufficient to account for the energy output of stars
1917: Rutherford, Marsden, artificial transmutation, hydrogen and oxygen from nitrogen
1918: Harlow Shapley, measured distance to globular clusters using Cepheid variable stars
1918: Harlow Shapley, determined the size and shape of our galaxy
1919: Ernest Rutherford, existence of the proton in nucleus
1919: Francis Aston, hydrogen fusion to helium will release a lot of energy
1919: Crommelin, Eddington, verification of Einstein's prediction of starlight deflection during an eclipse

1920: Harkins, Eddington, Fusion of hydrogen could be the energy source of stars
1921: Bieler and Chadwick, evidence for a strong nuclear interaction
1921: Stern and Gerlach, measurement of atomic magnetic moments
1923: Compton and Debye, theory of Compton effect
1923: Arthur Compton, verification of Compton effect confirms photon as particle
1923: Louis de Broglie, predicts wave nature of particles
1923: Davisson and Kunsman, electron diffraction
1924: Edwin Hubble, measured the distance to other galaxies using Cepheid variables proving that they lie outside our own
1924: Wolfgang Pauli, explanation of Zeeman effect and two-valuedness of electron state
1925: Walter Elsasser, explanation of electron diffraction as wave property of matter
1925: Vesto Melvin Slipher, red-shifts of galaxies suggest a distance/velocity relationship
1925: Robert Millikan, rediscovery of "cosmic rays" in upper atmosphere
1925: Werner Heisenberg, transition amplitude theory of quantum mechanics
1925: Born and Jordan, matrix interpretation of Heisenberg's quantum mechanics
1925: Goudsmit and Uhlenbeck, electron spin
1926: Wolfgang Pauli, derivation of spectrum of hydrogen atom by matrix methods
1926: Erwin Schroedinger, the particle wave equation
1926: Erwin Schroedinger, derivation of spectrum of hydrogen atom using the wave equation
1926: Max Born, probability interpretation of wave function
1926: Paul Dirac, distinction between bosons and fermions, symmetry and anti-symmetry of wave function
1926: Ralph Fowler, suggests that white dwarf stars are explained by the exclusion principle
1926: Werner Heisenberg, the uncertainty principle
1927: Davisson, Germer, Thomson, verification of electron diffraction by a crystal
1927: Paul Dirac, quantisation of electromagnetic field, bosonic creation and anihilation operators, virtual particles, zero point energy
1927: Eugene Wigner, conservation of parity
1928: Paul Dirac, relativistic equation of the spin-half electron
1928: Willem Keeson, phase transition in liquid Helium
1929: Edwin Hubble, first measurement of Hubble's constant leading to the conclusion that the Universe is expanding
1929: Bothe, Kolhorster, cosmic rays are charged particles

1930: Becker, Bothe, observed neutral rays later identified as neutrons
1931: Wolfgang Pauli, neutrino as explanation for missing energy and spin in weak nuclear decay
1932: Raman and Bhagavantam, Verification that photon is spin one
1932: James Chadwick, identified the neutron
1932: Carl Anderson, positron from cosmic rays
1932: Cockroft and Walton, linear proton accelerators to 700 keV and verification of mass/energy equivalence
1932: Karl Jansky, first radio astronomy
1932: Dmitri Iwanenko, Neutron as a constituent of nucleus
1932: Werner Heisenberg, Nucleus is composed of protons and neutrons
1933: Blackett and Occhialini, electron-positron creation and annihilation
1933: Esterman, Frisch and Stern, measurement of proton magnetic moment
1933: Baade and Zwicky, collapse of a white dwarf may set off a supernova and leave a neutron star
1933: Fritz Zwicky, dark matter in galactic clusters
1934: Chadwick and Goldhaber, precise measurement of neutron mass
1934: Chadwick and Goldhaber, measurement of nuclear force
1934: Francis Perrin, neutrino is massless
1934: Esterman and Stern, magnetic moment of neutron
1934: Fermi and Hahn, fission observed
1937: Pyotr Kapitza, superfluidity of helium II
1939: Bloch and Alvarez, measurement of the neutron magnetic moment
1939: Rossi, Van Norman, Hilbery, Muon decay

1941: Rossi and Hall, Muon decay used to verify relativistic time dilation
1944: Lars Onsager, general theory of phase transitions
1946: James Hey Discovery of radio source Cygnus A
1947: Powell, Occhialini, negative pion found
1947: Willis Lamb, fine structure of hydrogen spectrum, the Lamb shift
1947: Hans Bethe, renormalisation of Lamb shift calculation
1947: Kusch and Folley, measurement of the anomolous magnetic moment of the electron
1948: Tomonaga, Schwinger, Feynman, renormalisation of QED
1948: Goldhaber and Goldhaber, experimental proof that beta particles are electrons
1948: Snell and Miller, Decay of the neutron
1949: Leighton, Anderson, Seriff, Muon is spin half

1952: Walter Baade, resolves confusion over two different types of Cepheid variable stars
1952: Joseph Weber, described the principle of the maser
1953: Gell-Mann and Nishijima, strangeness
1953: Gerard de Vaucouleurs, galaxy superclusters and large scale inhomogenieties
1953: Charles Townes, maser
1955: Martin Ryle, radio telescope interferometry
1955: Ilya Prigogine, thermodynamics of irreversible processes
1955: Chamberlain, Segre and Wiegand anti-proton
1956: Reines and Cowan, neutrino detection
1956: Cork, Lambertson, Piccioni, Wenzel, evidence for anti-neutron
1956: Block, Lee and Yang, weak interaction could violate parity
1956: Reines and Cowan, anti-neutrino detection
1956: Cook, Lambertson, Piconi, Wentzel, anti-neutron
1957: Friedman, Lederman, Telegdi, Wu, parity violation in weak decays
1957: Bardeen, Cooper, Schrieffer, BCS theory of superconductivity

1960: Pound and Rebka, measurement of gravitational red-shift
1960: Matthews and Sandage, optical identification of a quasar
1961: Sheldon Glashow, introduces neutral intermediate boson of electro-weak interactions
1961: Jeoffrey Goldstone, Theory of massless particles in spontaneous symmetry breaking (Goldstone boson)
1961: Gell-Mann and Ne'eman, The eightfold way, SU(3) octet symmetry of hadrons
1961: Robert Hofstadter, necleons have an internal structure
1961: Ghiorso, Sikkeland, Larsh, Latimer, element 103, lawrencium
1961: Edward Lorenz, chaos theory
1962: Lederman, Steinberger, Schwartz, evidence for more than one type of neutrino
1963: Samios et al, Baryon Omega minus found
1963: Schmidt, Greensite, Sandage, quasars are distant
1964: Brout, Englert, Higgs, Higgs mechanism of symmetry breaking
1964: Hoyle, Taylor, Zeldovich, big bang nucleosynthesis of helium
1964: Steven Weinberg, baryon number is probably not conserved
1964: Christenson, Cronin, Fitch, Turlay, CP violation in weak interactions
1964: Gell-Mann, Zweig, quark theory of hadrons
1964: Salpeter and Zel'dovich, black holes power quasars and radio galaxies
1964: Salam, Ward, SU(2)xU(1) model of electro-weak unification
1965: Thomas Kibble, Higgs mechanism for Yang-Mills theory
1965: Greenberg, Han, Nambu, SU(3) colour symmetry to explain statistics of quark model
1965: Penzias and Wilson, detection of the cosmic background radiation
1965: Dicke, Peebles, Roll, Wilkinson, indentification of cosmic background radiation
1966: X-ray source Cygnus X-1 discovered
1967: Steven Weinberg, electro-weak unification
1968: Joseph Weber, first attempt at a gravitational wave detector
1969: Kendall, Friedman, Taylor Deep inelastic scattering experiments find structure inside protons.
1969: Raymond Davis, solar neutrino detector

1970: Stephen Hawking, the surface area of a black holes event horizon always increases
1971: Kenneth Wilson, the operator product expansion and the renormalisation group for the strong force
1971: Bolton, Murdin, Webster Cygnus X-1 identified as black hole candidate
1972: Fritsch, Gell-Mann, Bardeen , Quantum Chromodynamics
1972: Salam, Pati, SU(4)xSU(4) unification and proton decay
1972: Tom Bolton Cygnus X-1 identified as black hole
1973: Ostriker and Peebles, dark matter in galaxies
1973: CERN, Evidence of weak neutral currents
1973: Klebesadel, Strong, Olson, Gamma Ray Bursts are cosmic
1974: Taylor and Hulse, binary pulsar and relativistic effects
1974: Stephen Hawking, black hole radiation and thermodynamics
1976: Levine and Vessot precision test of gravitational time dilation on rocket
1977: Fermilab, bottom quark
1977: Klaus von Klitzing, quantum Hall effect
1977: Tifft, Gregory, Joeveer, Einasto, Thompson, clusters chains and voids in galaxy dustributions
1977: Berkley, dipole anisotropy on cosmic background radiation
1978: Taylor and Hulse, evidence for gravitational radiation of binary pulsar?
1978: Prescott, Taylor, elctro-weak effect on electron polarisation
1979: Walsh, Carswell, Weymannquasar doubled by gravitational lensing
1979: DESY, evidence for gluons in hadron Jets

1980: Frederick Reines, Evidence of Neutrino oscillations
1980: DESY, measurement of gluon spin
1982: limits on proton lifetime rule out many Grand Unified Theories
1983: Carlo Rubbia et al, W and Z bosons at CERN
1986: Bednorz and Mueller, high temperature superconductivity
1987: Masatoshi Koshibas, detection of neutrinos from a supernova
1989: SLAC, evidence that number of light neutrinos is 3 from Z width

1990: John Mather, black body spectrum of cosmic background radiation from COBE
1991: CERN, confirmation that number of light neutrinos is 3
1991: BATSE, Gamma Ray Burst distribution is isotropic
1992: Mather and Smoot, angular fluctuations in cosmic background radiation with COBE
1994: Hubble Space Telescope, Evidence for black hole at the centre of galaxy M87
1995: Mayor and Queloz, first extra-solar planet orbiting an ordinary star
1996: Steven Lamoreaux, measurement of Casimir force?
1997: BepoSAX, location of Gamma Ray Bursts demonstrates that they are extragalactic
1997: SLAC, photon-photon scattering produces electron-positron pairs
1998: Super-Kamiokande, neutrino oscillation demonstrated
1998: CERN, Fermilab, time reversal assymetry observed for K meson decay

2000: Fermilab, tau neutrino observed