University of California at Santa Barbara
Friday, October 7, 1983
Scientific Claims Raise Questions
[photo, not shown here, captioned:]
This is the picture seen on the SNUFF flyers that Williams claims illustrates a breakthrough in the laws of physics.
[photo description: This is the famous spinning ball trajectories photo showing against a black background using open camera shutter and 60 cycle strobe light the relative trajectories of a spinning vs non-spinning ball bearing where the spinning one given the same thrust rises higher and falls faster and hits the bottom before the non-spinning ball bearing. The DePalma spinning ball bearing experiment is written up at http://www.depalma.pair.com and discussed in other articles listed here, including one in January 1976 at http://www.angelfire.com/on/GEAR2000/list.html ]
Scientific Claims Raise Questions
By Laurence Iliff
Students for a NU-clear Free Future is a changing organization that is shying away from protest and civil disobedience, and actively embracing claims about new discoveries in physics instead, David Williams, advisor to the group, said. Williams is not associated with UCSB.
These discoveries are included in a flyer written by Williams and distributed by SNUFF, in which he attempts to show that some experiments with physical objects seem to contradict physical laws.
The flyer, which has a photo of two falling objects, has been distributed around campus and given to some UCSB physics professors. Some of these professors find the flyer unscientific and misleading.
Daniel Hone, chair of the physics department called the claims on the flyer "misleading to the uninformed."
Physics professor Harold Lewis commented that the flyer contained "no information, only claims," and added that the claims are completely unsubstantiated.
Although Williams said the physics department has not adequately examined the claims, Lewis responded that "there is nothing to address, nothing to discuss, nothing to adhere to scientific methods."
Williams acknowledged that scientific journals have completely rejected this material. He said these ideas have not been accepted because scientists "either have not opened their eyes, or because these ideas will have a great impact."
Lewis pointed out that Williams is not a physicist, and that the flyer "says you can violate the laws of conservation of energy. You can't." He commented that it is difficult for students to evaluate these claims and see that they are false because of the complexity of physics.
Recently SNUFF held a "teach-in" at which they hoped to expose students to new ideas about physics that Williams believes will bring about "worldwide harmony and abundance."
SNUFF plans to continue presenting their claims in "teach-ins" and through more flyers, Williams said.
SNUFF facilitator Evette Justus feels that presenting these ideas is a worthwhile endeavor for the group. SNUFF "is not a protest group," but a "group that is looking for a solution rather than getting engrossed in the problem," she said.
Currently the group is still solidifying, and is hoping to form some kind of unified body in the future, Justus said.
Justus believes ending the Atomic Age is within society's grasp, and that Americans are the ones who must change the way things are. "We started the Atomic Age, we must stop it," she said.
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