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The Un-unified Field: and other problems

3.4 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1452005140
ISBN-10: 1452005141
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Sometimes called the New Leonardo, Miles Mathis is a wide-ranging thinker and creator. His two websites offer the reader everything from science and math to art, poetry, and criticism. Mathis is known worldwide for his fearlessness in attacking all power structures, and no one else on the web has produced such an impressive and extended analysis of modern art and science in so short a time. Some older critics have created greater bodies of work, but Mathis is unique in that he criticizes from within, as a working scientist and artist. In this way his critiques are never abstract or academic: they are instead blisteringly specific, down to the precise line where a famous proof goes wrong. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 364 pages
  • Publisher: AuthorHouse (June 28, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1452005141
  • ISBN-13: 978-1452005140
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,077,501 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By L. M. Butler on March 11, 2013
Format: Paperback
This guy is a crackpot, no doubt about it. He tends to argue in the following ways:

* Here's what everyone who has ever studied math/science thinks.
* Here's why they are all wrong, and perhaps even deceptive...without any experimental proof.
* Here's references to other papers I've written (sometimes even circular references)...rarely references to others' papers.
* Here's an appeal to someone who isn't a scientist, abusing notation, and dropping important things that really do matter (such as vector notation)
* Here's what others say about that view (which is not complete...and notice on his website, for example, he does not allow commentary).
* Here's why they are still wrong (again, abusing notation, dropping important things such as vector notation, etc).

From his website, take the example of the Virial Theorem.

He criticizes every step LaGrange made, whether it is right or not. He starts by saying the virial depends upon circular motion. He clearly doesn't even understand what the variables mean (as the virial does relate r * dr/dt, not r * v(tangential)). Yet, he still spends significant time criticizing the use of v for dr/dt even though it isn't tangential velocity. (He ignores the vector nature of r, in other words.) After producing this strawman to suggest some doubt to the uninformed, he goes on to say the radius of a circle is constant, and that dr/dt must be 0, since there is no change in the radius of a circle. He then says a popular critique by his "enemies" (whom he won't let speak for themselves on his site) is that there is of course acceleration, in the centripetal force. Then, he rants about how the radius in a circle is constant...
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Format: Hardcover
This is a vanity-published collection of theories by a self-styled "scientist" who, at the beginning of his bio blurb, anoints himself "the new Leonardo." Such a pathological absence of humility should be taken as a warning.

Miles Mathis is a curious case. On the one hand, he makes a few lucid points about the current state of physics, and asks some interesting questions that typically go unanswered. He may actually have a decent idea or two. But like your everyday crank, who toils away as isolated as the Unabomber, having never met a real scientist, Mathis peppers his writing with bitter screeds mocking not only prominent physicists but also the journalists who report on them -- typically attacking their wording and analogies more than their actual ideas. This does not reflect well on his attempts to be taken seriously.

Much worse, he often lapses into "theories" that border on the idiotic, as if he stopped paying attention to science class in the 6th grade. One is reminded of creationists who deride evolution (e.g., why don't we see life evolving in a jar of peanut butter), or even more so, parodies of creationists. Consider the following passage about atmospheric pressure: "Go look at your bathroom scale. The atmosphere should be pressing down on that scale right now. Why doesn't it register a number?" Great point, new Leonardo. Or, in a discussion about heat: "It has never been understood [it hasn't?] how a gas maintains its energy, despite a collosal [sic] number of collisions." Conservation of energy perhaps? Because any energy lost would be in the form of heat, which causes molecules to move faster? Or, finally, on why electrons have "spin": "The cause of the spin is a collision between quanta ... Off-center hits will cause spin, by simple poolball mechanics.
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Format: Paperback
When I stumbled across Mathis' stuff online I just had to show the other folks at the physics department. Not because it was insightful, oh no. My interest was piqued in the same way that a really poorly made movie can be worth watching just for the laughs. The guy is a complete crank. Some of his "papers" may fool the average non-scientific reader who stumbles across his ramblings, but thankfully he's seen fit to include multiple claims absurd enough to give pause to even the most scientifically illiterate, for instance, that pi=4, or that he has proven wrong every mathematician since Euclid.
Although this doesn't relate to his book specifically, it is worth noting that his online presence isn't limited to posting pseudoscience. Anytime someone has drawn attention to Mathis' site (usually to laugh at him), the Mathis "supporters" (read: aliases) are never far behind, writing in the same style as Mathis, and having an impeccable knowledge of Mathis very extensive works. He even admits to using multiple pen-names on his own site. I mention this only to warn people that the 5-star reviews of his book are very likely written by Mathis himself. For instance, Steven Oostdijk is a known Mathis alias. If any of the positive reviews for this collection of nonsense are actually written by sincerely impressed readers, I'll not only be surprised, but I'd feel quite sad for that person.
Becoming scientifically literate is a great aspiration, but don't be suckered by an opportunistic crank looking to offer the easy way out by claiming that everything from particle physics to astrophysics to integral calculus can be done using only high school math. If you're looking to learn, look elsewhere than this self-aggrandizing, pseudoscientific blowhard. If you're looking to laugh, look no further than this self-aggrandizing, pseudoscientific blowhard.
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