Scientific Claims Raise Questions, SNUFF - UCSB
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
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 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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