A canna’ change the laws of physics

Scotty, The Naked Time, stardate 1704.3, Episode 7

Fantasy physics and energy medicine

Posted by apgaylard on May 6, 2011

I’ve heard it said that, unlike the medical world, there is no such beast as alternative physics.  Whilst it’s true that made up* nonsense hasn’t penetrated physics education and practice in the same way as it has medicine, there is no shortage of people indulging in fantasy physics.  Perpetual-motion dreamers are prone to do this, as are advocates of so-called ‘energy medicine’.  In the case of the former, they are looking for excuses to support their claims for so-called ‘over-unity’ devices that are claimed to produce more energy than they consume.  The latter are looking for ‘explanations’ for how homeopathy, reiki etc. ‘work’.  Of course, neither of these communities actually have meaningful effects that require explanation.  This is about having some superficially ‘sciency’ prose to sell their wares, or reassure their devotees.

I’ve recently been pointed** at a cracking example of ‘energy medicine’ advocates indulging in some fantasy physics.  It’s hosted on the PositiveHealthOnline website and is called, Spirals and Energy in Nature, attributed to Robert McCoy.   It’s worth a look as an exemplar of the desperate nonsense that elements of the ‘energy medicine’ community dabble in.  It’s so rich a vein of fantasy physics that I’m sure that I’ll end up overlooking some howlers.  If I do, please feel free to point them out in the comments.

From Academic to Quackademic

First, I’d like to start by looking at one of the key authorities cited in the article, one Dr Valerie Hunt.  She retired as Professor of Physiology at UCLA in 1980; to quote her web biography:

“She was the first to develop the protocols and instrumentation necessary to detect and record the body’s high frequency energy fields with the spectral analysis of bioenergy patterns.  She discovered the neuromuscular patterns of non-verbal communication and her groundbreaking research has led to the first truly scientific understanding of the relationship between energy field disturbances, disease, emotional pathologies, human field communication and the energy spectrum of consciousness.”

Mentions of “bioenergy patters” and “the energy spectrum of consciousness”, amongst other things, flag Hunt as a pseudoscientist.  It appears that this was not always the case.  She has a PubMed publication record which reveals some (apparently) useful work in the 1960’s (Hunt and Weber, 1960; Hunt and Weber, 1964; Barrett, Hunt and Jones, 1967) before publishing study of Rolfing® the year before she retired (Weinberg and Hunt, 1979).  Rolfing®, sometimes called Structural Integration, has had many claims made for it.  A recent review by Natural Standard concluded that:

“There is little well-designed scientific research of this technique, and it is not known if Rolfing® structural integration is safe or effective for the treatment of any disease. People with fractures or spine disease, those at risk of bleeding, those with blood clots and pregnant women should avoid Rolfing® structural integration.”

During the latter part of her career at UCLA Hunt appears to have become quite taken with both Rolfing® and seeing evidence for fictitious concepts, such as chakras and ‘auric emission‘, in electrical signals associated with muscle movement.  Her enthusiasm for fantasy leaps off the page:

“Prior pilot studies during Rolfing, unconventional healing, meditation and altered states of consciousness had provided techniques for recording a high frequency low amplitude energy field not in the known muscular spectrum. This is believed to be an auric emission.  There was correspondence between these data and changes in chakra and auric field colors re-ported by aura readers.”  (Hunt et al, 1977)

However, it is this putative ‘high frequency low amplitude energy field’ that McCoy appears to have alighted on as some sort of mystical entity.  So, with this in mind, let’s have a look at some really bad physics.

Signal or Noise?

Hunt appears to have used electromyography (EMG), a method of recording the voltage potential generated by muscle cells when they are activated.

“What she discovered was a whole range of minute signals that had never been seen before – patterns below the pattern – like some sort of energetic Mandelbrot, they were in the audio range and could be amplified and heard as well as ‘seen’ by sensitives, as if they were the ‘sound of light’. No wonder no one had ever found them – who would have guessed! ‘Light’ you can listen to! And furthermore each one of these frequencies corresponded to a discrete characteristic of the human mind and body and each had a distinct waveform and colour. So frequency, waveform and colour were synonymous with different human characteristics.”

It sounds from the description like Hunt saw some meaningful small amplitude high frequency content in the signals she was measuring, or got carried away looking at noise in her experiments.  As there are no time histories or spectra presented, I can’t say one.  However, It’s not surprising that the little signals were in the audio range, to quote a manual on EMG (De Luca 2002):

“It is well established that the amplitude of the EMG signal is stochastic (random) in nature and can be reasonably represented by a Gausian distribution function. The amplitude of the signal can range from 0 to 10 mV (peak-to-peak) or 0 to 1.5 mV (rms). The usable energy of the signal is limited to the 0 to 500 Hz frequency range, with the dominant energy being in the 50-150 Hz range. Usable signals are those with energy above the electrical noise level.”

Here’s a time history and its frequency spectrum detected from the Tibialis Anterior muscle during a constant force isometric contraction at 50% of voluntary maximum (De Luca 2002).  It’s clear that there’s a lot of energy in the audio range (>20Hz).  It’s also true that muscles radiate acoustic energy (sound) that can be measured (AMG).  Now, for the comments attributed to Hunt.  Of course, if the electric signals in the audio range were amplified and sent to a loudspeaker they could be heard!  But that’s an artificial process and confers no special meaning.  The observation that these signals could be ‘seen’ by ‘sensitives’ (whatever they are) is nonsense. These electrical signals are not electromagnetic waves in the part of the spectrum that the eye can see.  The ‘sound of light’ idea presented here is physical nonsense as well.

The fanciful ideas now take full flight, “each one of these frequencies corresponded to a discrete characteristic of the human mind and body and each had a distinct waveform and colour.”  The author moves from an unremarkable electrical signal measured on the skin, to light, then undefined characteristics of the body and mind; a flight of fancy indeed.

Some Basic Definitions

Much of the rest of the article seems to be based on gross misunderstanding of basic concepts in physics: vectors and scalars, fields and waves.  So, here are some simple descriptions of these concepts.

Vectors and Scalars are easy: simply put, vectors have both magnitude (size) and direction, while scalars only have magnitude.  Common physical vectors include velocity: speed in a given direction.  On the other hand temperature is a scalar, having values at points within a physical system (i.e. ‘what’s the temperature here’) but no associated indication of direction.

In physics, fields are simply a region of space characterized by a physical quatity, such as temperature or velocity.  The quqntity must have a determinable value at every point in the region.  They can be either vector or scalar; this just refers to the type of physical quantity they are composed of.  For example, as temperature is a scalar, the distribution of temperature through the room you are sitting in is a scalar field.  Temperature takes specific values at each point in the room.  In contrast, if we think about the air velocity in the same room, its distribution through the room gives us a vector field, as velocity is a vector.  In this case we have two pieces of information at every point in the room: the speed of the air and its direction of motion.

A wave is a disturbance that travels through space and time, usually transporting energy.  If the direction of the disturbance is the same as its direction of travel, it’s a longitudinal wave.  Sound is an example of a wave of this type.   If the disturbance is at right angles (perpendicular) to the direction of motion, then it’s called a transverse wave.  If the disturbance is restricted to a single plane, then it’s called (plane) polarized.  From a wave perspective, light is a transverse electromagnetic wave; a combination of oscillating electric and magnetic fields. They oscillate perpendicular to each other and in a plane perpendicular to the direction of propagation (travel).  Light also has a vector nature, as both electric and magnetic fields are vector fields.

… And Now For Something Completely Different …

Now according to our intrepid author:

 “…the waveforms she displayed on her slides were what are known as vector waveforms …”

Not if they were measurements of the electric signals produced by muscles.  EMG records changes in voltage potential at specific points, a scalar quantity, so any waveform would be of the scalar variety.

 “… All known frequencies in the electromagnetic [EM] spectrum are vector waves.”

 Yes, but where has the electromagnetic (EM) radiation come from?  The actual measurements are electrical signals of relatively low-frequency.  No light, no EM signals of any kind.


“… Vector waves … can be displayed and measured.”

It’s not because of the vector nature though; as we have seen, scalars are by definition measurable to.

“… But there are other waves in physics that are known to be ‘below’ or ‘behind’ the vector waveforms that we can see and measure and these waveforms are referred to as scalars and they are not so easy to see or measure – or even describe.”

Scalars only underlie vectors in the sense that the magnitude part of the vector is a scalar.  As we have seen scalars are easy to describe – they are simpler than vectors after all.


“… scalars have been referred to, at times as the information ‘behind’ a vector waveform and that when a vector waveform is ‘collapsed’ the scalar information is ‘revealed’.”

The author appears to be confusing the quantum mechanical concept of wavefunction collapse, with a general property of vector waves.  This is silly.  As we have seen there is a sense in which scalars are ‘behind’ (actually part of) vector quantities, and it’s quite simple.

 “This is generally done by running a vector through what is known as a Caduceus coil, a winding twisting pair of wires which wrap the wave back around on itself so as to combine the waveforms in such a way as to negate them, like a homeopathic. But the information left behind is not like a radio signal that was modulated onto a carrier wave – a small vector riding on the back of a bigger vector – it’s the information that formed the wave itself… and that survives its destruction.”

Complete nonsense.  The Caduceus is the staff carried the Greek mythological character Hermes.  It features two entwined serpents (as opposed to the single serpent seen on the medic’s mythological symbol, the rod of Asclepius.)  Some fantasists think that by entwining wires in the same pattern (Caduceus coil) they can generate occult scalar waves, tachyons, enable time travel and perpetual motion.  Of course, it cannot and does not.  Any mention of ‘homeopathic’ is a clear indication that we are dealing with entirely bogus explanations.

“If the sum of the internal motions is zero, the external object seems to be sitting still and motionless to us (though it’s still moving through time with – usually – uniform motion).”

Here’s a thought experiment: imagine a completely rigid, solid ball moving through the air.  The sum of all the internal motions is zero, and yet it is actually moving.  The sum of all the internal motions within an object tells us nothing about whether it’s moving or not.   Of course it’s still ‘moving through time’ we all are, and in a uniform manner!  There’s no ‘usually’ about it, unless time is mysteriously speeding up or slowing down.

“A simple vector – one 360 degree ‘roller coaster’ – is created from two longitudinally coupled scalars – IE two whirlpools abutted lengthwise, end to end so to speak. In eastern cosmology there is a phenomena that comes tantalizingly close to the description of such a coupling of whirlpools and it’s called a chakra … A chakra is two longitudinally coupled rotating standing waves.”

A google search for the expression, “longitudinally coupled scalars” only finds versions of this article.  That’s a pretty clear indication that it’s meaningless.*** The meaningless babble continues apace: chakras are a myth, nothing more.  They have no physiological meaning and cannot be measured.

“As an analogy, a scalar is a system that is expanding or contracting on a sliding scale in multiple directions simultaneously – IE it’s changing its magnitude.”

Again, untrue: scalars don’t have to change, unless physical processes are at work, driving that change (like a fire in a room will change the scalar temperature field).  Neither do scalars exhibit directionality, that’s vectors!

“A vector translates directionally through space – IE spatially. So a vector that scales is a vector that expands or contracts in multiple directions simultaneously while translating in a specific direction through space.”

Vectors don’t move: they express size and direction at a point.  Waves move

“There is only one method in nature to accomplish that seamlessly and that is to spiral.”

And we have arrived at the spiral promised in the title of the article.  The journey has been both incoherent and nonsensical.  The nonsense wave propagating through the narrative now starts to build towards a peak.

“So could it be possible that what are often called ‘scalars’ in science may actually be coupled spinning pranic whirlpools composed of spiralling vectors, kinda like kundalini, and that this awe inspiring movement has not been adequately characterized?”

No, because these words have no physical meaning.

“Even ordinary analog vector signals are difficult to model so a three dimensional whirlpool – the ultimate compound analog device – at the level of a scalar, would most definitely be a forbidding challenge.”

Err, no, actually my day job involves very detailed models of three-dimensional vortices.  The two images below are taken from Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations of the flow around the German ICE train.  On the left is a visualisation of the flow in the gap between two carriages, a spiraling trapped vortex.  On the right is the (near) wake, with a pair of strong counter-rotating vortices drawing air down the rear powercar before spiraling off into the wake.  I did this work over a decade ago (Gaylard, 2001), and the capabilities of both CFD software and computer hardware have come on in leaps and bounds in the years since this work was completed.  There are difficulties, complexities and uncertainties; but no forbidding challenge! Personally, I’m really into spiralling flow.

Now one of the favorite quack canards now gets an outing:

“And why is an object so central to eastern cosmology so conspicuously absent from mainstream western scientific investigation? You’d think energy was confined to railroad tracks and that transverse sinusoidal waves were the ‘bee’s knee’s’ – the end of the story – in some frozen, eternal trolley car world. Something had to shape that hurricane and hurricanes are certainly not short on energy. IE: spiralling storms don’t come from straight lines. Straight lines do.”

All I really want to say about this is that science (belonging neither to the west or east, but rather the world) as much to say about longitudinal scalar waves, like sound, or highly complex patterns of spiraling flow.  Robert McCoy is in serious need of an education.

“But one really begins to appreciate the view when one takes the opposite journey inward – beginning with our spiralling vector. If such a phenomena exists, one would naturally ask what would lie ‘beneath’ it or ‘behind’ it and the answer would have to be a scalar – but a scalar on a much smaller ‘scale’. And that scalar would in turn be composed of even smaller spiralling vectors composed of still smaller scalars and on and on – spiralling vectors enfolding spinning scalars enfolding spiralling vectors on into infinity – Planck Length be dammed – an infinitely enfolding energetic Mandelbrot.”

It’s certainly a change of pace for a ‘energy medicine’ advocate to disavow quantum mechanics.  They are quite often fond of quantum flapdoodle.  Reading this odd little paean to a fantasy continuum mechanics and it’s like the early 20th century revolution in physics prompted by Planck never happened!  How quaint.  I’ve ignored quite a lot of mumbo-jumbo to arrive at the end of the article.  I’d just like to end on this delicious piece of straw clutching.


western science is finally coming close to validating Valerie Hunt’s empirical discovery decades ago of ‘sound you can see’ – a sort of ‘Synesthesia’, long known to the initiated and familiar to sensitives, and experiencers alike, it’s been a ‘long time comin’. http://www.livescience.com/health/080818-seeing-sound.html

Synesthesia is a neurological condition in which the stimulation of one sensory pathway leads to the involuntary stimulation of another.  In one form of the condition synesthetes hear a sound and this prompts an experience of colour.  All Hunt has done is measure electrical signals, notice that their frequency is in the audible range – if they had been sound – and claimed some ‘sensitives’ could ‘see’ something.  Synesthesia is neither a choice, nor a matter of training.  It is an involuntary characteristic of some peoples’ brains.

So, what to make of this article?  It’s almost complete nonsense, of course.  Its only value is as an exemplar of people who should know better misappropriating the language of science in the name of illusion.


I try to make sure that what I write is both accurate and fair.  If you think that I have got anything wrong please let me know.  If you are right I will happily change what I have written.

This is not medical advice.  If you need that see a properly qualified and registered doctor.


* There are of course controversies, along with mistakes.

** h/t @david_colquhoun
*** Scalars (and scalar fields) can, of course, be coupled. The value of the coupled scalar, being determined by the value of the scalar to which it is coupled. It’s the “longitudinal” part of this claim that’s unique.


I’d like to thank @david_colquhoun for pointing this nonsense out to me, via twitter, along with @mcmwright and @4tis for their helpful comments.


Hunt VV, Weber ME. Body image projective test. Journal of projective techniques. 1960 Mar;24:3–10. Available from: http://view.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14405438.

Hunt VV, Weber ME. Validation Of The Rathbone Manual Tension Test For Muscular Tension. Archives of physical medicine and rehabilitation. 1964 Oct;45:525–529. Available from: http://view.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14200247.

Barrett ML, Hunt VV, Jones MH. Behavioral growth of cerebral palsied children from group experience in a confined space. Developmental medicine and child neurology. 1967 Feb;9(1):50–58. Available from: http://view.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6031533.

Hunt, V., Massey, W., Weinberg, R., Bruyere, A., Hahn, P. (1977) Project Report: A Study of Structural Integration from Neuromuscular. Energy Field and Emotional Approaches. Boulder, CO. Rolf Institute of Structural Integration.  Precis available from: http://www.roygbiv.name/HuntStudy.htm

Weinberg R, Hunt VV. Effects of structural integration on state-trait anxiety. Journal of clinical psychology. 1979 Apr;35(2):319–322. Available from: http://view.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/457892.

Gaylard AP. 3. In: Rhodes N, editor. A Comparison of a Conventional RANS and a Lattice Gas Dynamics Simulation – A Case Study in High Speed Rail Aerodynamics. John Wiley & Sons; 2001. Available from: http://www.worldcat.org/isbn/9781860583520.

De Luca CJ. Surface Electromyography: Detection And Recording. DelSys Inc.; 2002. Available from: http://www.delsys.com/Attachments_pdf/WP_SEMGintro.pdf


09/05/2011. Note 3 added.


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32 Responses to “Fantasy physics and energy medicine”

  1. draust said

    Welcome back to blogging, AP. As you can see, the nonsense hasn’t gone away.

    Good to have another actual physicist pointing out what tripe these people talk.

    BTW, I would be very doubtful that Hunt ever worked in the actual UCLA Physiology Department. A reading between the lines of her web CV strongly suggests that she taught basic physiology to undergrad students within a physiotherapy (“Physical Therapy) programme/department. The difference may be subtle, but to a scientist it is significant – think of all the Woo that has emerged from Nursing Schools in the last decade or so. The actual UCLA Physiology Department (which would be part of the medical school) would, even back in the 60s and 70s, have been full of people who actually understood physics.

  2. [...] the attention of a real physicist, A.P. Gaylard, who made a very welcome return to blogging with Fantasy physics and energy medicine. He dismantles the physics, line-by-line, in a devastating critique. This sort of junk physics is [...]

  3. brunton said

    It’s certainly a change of pace for a ‘energy medicine’ advocate to disavow quantum mechanics.

    But note that what he’s doing here is disavowing the difference between the quantum scale and the macroscopic scale, which is essentially what most of the quantum flapdoodle relies on. “Planck Length be dammed” cuts both ways; if there is a continuity between the macroscopic scale and the infinitly small, then that continuity also exists in the opposite direction.

    Nice to see you blogging again.

    • apgaylard said

      @brunton. Thanks; I took his cascade of vectors/scalars downwards as an indication that the claim was for continuum mechanics applying at sub-Plank Length scales. I do like your observation though; it could be read that way. Having ones cake and eating it seems to be a theme in ‘energy medicine’.

  4. APGaylard: Good to see you blogging again. The nonsense isn’t likely to go away if no one’s looking, but that’s another story.

    There’s plenty of alternative physics or engineering out there, but they prefer other labels such as “visionary science”. With medicine, I guess the term “alternative” works well because a significant fraction the public is frustrated with the way medicince is practiced nowadays. Despite all the progress made during the last hundred or so years, not every disease can be cured with a simple magic pill, health costs are on the rise and it seems clear that public health systems will not be able to secure the best possible tratment for every single patient.
    As a whole, I think that our experience with technology is different. To oversimplify, stuff keeps getting better and better, but not really more expensive. It is probably not a coincidence that those who essentially see science and technology as a problem (i.e. as the cause of environmental problems) are prone to embrace “visionary science” (and alternative medicine for good measure).

    As a side note, and perhaps I’m giving Robert McCoy too much credit here (haven’t read his article), what may be meant by “scalars behind the waveforms” are vector fields that can be expressed as the gradient of a scalar field (i.e. when the rotation of the vector field is zero). Not that it matters much…

    It’s possible that with “Planck-length be damned”, McCoy wants to create a continuity between the classical and the quantum world. But it’d only show that he hasn’t understood quantum physics. The Planck constant is the one that roughly indicates at what scale quantum effects become relevant. The Planck length is on a much smaller scale than the Planck constant and rather indicates when quantum mechanics break down and have to be replaced by a theory of quantum gravitation. Of course, there is currently no consensus on hwo such a theory would actually look like…

    • apgaylard said

      Thanks for the comment, perceptive as ever. I do take your point that a claim could be made for, “vector fields that can be expressed as the gradient of a scalar field (i.e. when the rotation of the vector field is zero).” If you read the article, I think that you’ll find McCoy doesn’t have your physical insight …

  5. ganeshaone said

    Hello, my name is Robert McCoy and I wanted to pay my respects and leave a few words here to address some of the items mentioned in the review of my article “Spirals and Energy in Nature”.

    First off I wanted to point out that the remark about one of the passages being a “thought experiment” was an interesting observation as I considered much of what I concluded in the article to be a “thought experiment” – not just the passage mentioned. It’s what I do. And as no one up till now has used that term in their feedback to me I just wanted to say that this was actually – IMO – a good “overall” summary of what I was trying to convey. However that does not mean that the “experiment” is not based on what I consider to be valid scientific observations, theories and evidence which are referred to in the articles Postscript – its just that some of my conclusions are “experimental” thus by necessity, potentially controversial in the conventional scientific world. So to attempt to convey these experimental “possibilities” in the article is, IMO, a valid and useful exercise… even a required one, if the state of the art is to be advanced – that is… in my opinion.

    When I wrote that analog waves are difficult to model I had in the back of my mind the modeling or predicting of analog signal timing and waveform characteristics in the context of analog integrated circuit design which is often difficult to do. As such much of the first rev stepping fixes in any analog IC circuit is, by necessity, a modifying of the layout and device parameters of these circuits in order to bring the timing and waveform characteristics of their signals into line with the performance requirements of the chip. So I was attempting to extrapolate that difficulty from a conventional analog wave to a theoretical spiraling whirlpool at the level of a scalar (scalars being notoriously obscure territory) which would be… well… difficult to say the least, as I stated. To compound the problem, when sampling any waves (for purposes of software test signature modeling) in Test Engineering situations it is required to have a much faster signal at hand in order to get a comprehensive decent ‘sampling’ of the curving waveform characteristics of the slower wave. So when you combine the difficulty of the obscurity of a scalar with the extra potential of a 3rd (spiraling) dimension the sampling and modeling difficulties expand exponentially – as you would imagine. In fact, in my mind it is impossible with today’s technology. So if a scalar is in fact a whirlpool it would shock me if anyone were to claim to be able to sample one for modeling purposes. Therefore its no surprise that it hasn’t been done up till now. No shame to science there.

    As to the reference to a vector being “two longitudinally coupled” scalars I refer you to the quote and link below from Tom Bearden. As both Bearden and Tesla have both demonstrated an ability to manifest working (and patented) inventions based on their theories, their “opinions” (IMO) carry more weight than they would otherwise (IE – Bearden with his patented over-unity breakthrough (MEG) and Tesla for AC power amongst many other inventions). Also, I do believe it is necessary to prove to the patent office that an invention actually works in order to receive a patent – IE: you can’t patent an opinion. So an inventors opinions do carry extra weight if they are backed up by a patent… that is, in my opinion.

    NOTE: Because the link below is a cached link it will be necessary to hold down the Ctrl key when clicking on it in order for it to appear.

    “Rigorously, all vector fields are two-point functions and thus decomposable into two scalar fields, as Whittaker showed in 1903.

    It follows that any vector wave can be decomposed into two scalar waves. By implication, therefore, a normal transverse EM vector wave, e.g., must simply be two coupled scalar (Tesla) waves — and these scalars independently would be longitudinal if uncoupled.

    An ordinary transverse EM vector wave is thus two pair-coupled Tesla scalar longitudinal waves, and only a single special case of the much more fundamental electromagnetics discovered by Nikola Tesla.”

    Again – hold the CTRL key when clicking on this link in order for it to pop up…


    As to the reference about Dr Hunts waveforms being scalars instead of vectors I would argue that since they were in the audio range and that once amplified, they were quite audible – like any other audio recording, the only thing that differentiated them from any other audio vector wave was their amplitude. And as the reviewer points out, and as I mentioned in the article – all frequencies in the electromagnetic spectrum are vector waves – including audio frequencies. Therefore they would be vectors.

    As to the statement that scalars only have magnitude I refer you to the link below by Gopi Krishna based on the theories of D.B. Larsen in which he makes a case for scalar motion. In his argument scalar motion is primary and vector motion is a secondary effect of the primary scalar motion. To say that something only has magnitude is to say that it is a static phenomena and to say that a moving phenomena is based on a static one is by default open to argument IMO. To complicate things, in Bearden’s model scalars have inherent vector and scalar like properties so I would argue that scalars would then be anything but “easy” to describe. If Bearden’s argument is true then they would be essentially a paradox – IE indefinable in conventional terms – at least in Bearden’s model. And since paradox is acceptable in quantum theory I would submit it is not inconceivable that it is potentially a factor here. See Bearden interview linked below – both these links appeared in the article…

    Gopi Krishna link:


    Bearden interview on Scalars link:


    As to “Energy Medicine”. I refer you to the articles, books and interviews linked below in which James Oschman (Phd Biology) goes into excruciating detail to categorize the voluminous data and studies to verify the underlying science that it’s based on. He also goes into quite a bit of detail as to how scalars are derived from collapsing waves in a variety of different coils and quotes the studies to back it up (pg 203-8 in his “Energy Medicine – The Scientific Method”).

    Interview with James Oschman linked below…


    Link to AMAZON listing of Oschman books – again it requires a CTRL key to be held down when clicking on the link…


    If you are unable to open the link above see Oschman’s web site below for book info…


    Also see quote below from the article linked below it by James and Nora Oschman in which he describes the discovery by a Russian scientist named Albert Szent-Gyorgyi (Nobel for discovery of Vitamin C) of the fact that the proteins in the body are actually semi-conductors. The “problem” with this is that if the body’s ubiquitous collagen network is in fact made up of semiconductors then its not a difficult argument to make that it then puts these “devices” to good use… as in conducting energy.

    “Breakthroughs in cell biology now enable us to describe the scientific basis of this system.

    The first of these breakthroughs was the discovery that the molecules of which the body is formed are semiconductors. Conductors, such as the wires that go to a light or a toaster, carry useful energy. The wire to your telephone carries information. Semiconductors can convey both energy and information, and can do other things as well. Semiconductors are used to store information and to process signals–to make choices or decisions. Semiconductors are used to make sensitive detectors of energy fields. Semiconductors can transport large amounts of power. Semiconductors are the essential components of our modern electronics industry, and make possible the miracle of the computer we are using to write this article.

    In living systems, semiconductors probably play the same roles we have assigned to them in our technology. Living systems undoubtedly have developed additional tricks that have not yet been discovered by the electronics industry.”


    As per Dr Hunt and her qualifications I will leave it up to the reader to contact her directly to learn more about that. At the very least her video linked in the article is impressive to say the least.

    Lastly I would say that when I began to write this article I thought I had an idea of what a wave “was”. Surprisingly, by the time I had completed writing it I became equally convinced that I will never know what a wave “is“. It’s just too elusive. Paradoxically, I am also convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt, based on my own direct experience in writing the article (especially it‘s conclusion) that it is possible to know what a wave is about.

    The catch is that in order to know what a wave is about it’s first necessary to let go of the need to know what a wave is. The good news is that directly knowing by ones own individual experience what a wave is about is so satisfying that it’s no longer an issue as to what a wave is.

    What it’s about is, in my opinion… consciousness – the so called “hard problem” of physics.

    And I am working on an experimental practice (IE a simple “Thought Experiment!”) based on my experience in writing the article that may make the knowing of what a wave is about a repeatable experience. If I am successful I will no doubt be writing about that in the future.

    If any of the links above don’t work please feel free to contact me at the email address in the article and I’ll be happy to send them along. Also if anyone wishes to know more about the experimental “experiment” in knowing what a wave is about, they can also feel free to email me. It will get to me eventually through that address.

    • apgaylard said

      Thanks for your reply. It raises many issues beyond the scope of my post. However, I’d like to start by asking why you believe that Tom Bearden has successfully demonstrated an over-unity device? A peer-reviewed article in a decent physics journal would be a nice start. If this claim is true, then a Nobel Prize will no dount ensue.

      • ganeshaone said

        I have no information on Beardens device ever even being considered for such attentiuon – so if not then it would most likely be because of the explosive nature of what he claims. It would be a third rail to even consider it a possibility in polite circles so its easier to just ignore it I would imagine.

    • apgaylard said

      Another quick question. Were Hunt’s measurements a time history of voltage potential? If so, this is a scalar quantity.

      • ganeshaone said

        perhaps – I’m open to being wrong. I was wrong about waves and that paid off nicely

      • ganeshaone said

        PS – As to my reply above about your question about Hunts vector waves I do want to add a correction, PS or caveat to my first reply above which I wrote while I had been awake for over 30 straight hours so I was in a semi-comatose mental fog and didn’t have any energy to debate the point.

        I would say this in support of my opinion that Hunts waveforms were vactors and that is this: If they are indeed vectors and composed of whirlpool shaped ‘scalars’ composed of spiraling vectors that in turn are composed of smaller scalars then this would possibly be a model or potential ‘architecture’ for the infinite and fractal construction of waves and therefore matter and by extension the universe which would be in line with the Holographic theory of the Universe fostered by David Bohm among others and made popular by many authors in the 80′s and 90′d including Michael Talbot.

        To my knowledge, no one has ever actually proposed an actual physical architecture of fractal constructure in nature other than as a theoretical postulate. So to me this was an intuitive validation in my mind that what I was ‘on to’ was in fact a possibility which is what a ‘thought experiment’ is meant to do – disclose possibilities.

        If anyone knows of any other possible physical Fractal ‘architectural’ proposals out there I would be interested to know. If you reply to this Post I will be sent an e-mail copy of it. Or you can e-mail me directly at the address in my Bio on the original article at the link below…


        Robert McCoy

      • apgaylard said


        Thanks for your replies and clarifications. It’s certainly stimulated my physics brain. More on Hunt’s vector waves. I think that your reply relies on two very big IFs:

        (1) “If they are indeed vectors and composed of whirlpool shaped ‘scalars’ composed of spiraling vectors that in turn are composed of smaller scalars”

        (2)”which would be in line with the Holographic theory of the Universe fostered by David Bohm among others and made popular by many authors in the 80′s and 90′d including Michael Talbot.”

        My observation on (1) is that vectors and scalars are not entities in their own right, but characteristics of (in this case physical) quantities. So we can see that a vector quantity like ‘velocity’ expresses a rate of motion in a direction. The rate of motion is, of course, a scalar. So, when you invoke this vector/scalar cascade I have to ask, what physical quantities are being characterised?

        Looking at (2) I have read some of David Bohm’s work in the past, and he had some very interesting ideas (and made some substantial discoveries in quantum mechanics) but strayed into quantum mysticism. Talbot picked up Bohm’s holograph metaphor and seems to have stretched it somewhat. For me, these ideas have strayed from physics to metaphysics.

        My main problem with the holographic universe postulate (as Bohm left it) is that, at the very best it is a bold speculative framework. It hasn’t provided any extra explanatory power for our understanding of observations of nature: there are no observations of nature that cannot be quantitatively explained within current physical theories that can be quantitatively explained in Bohm’s holographic theory. Talbot then tries to invoke this as an explanation for effects that most likely don’t need explaining as they don’t exist.

        These are interesting ideas, but all Hunt did was measure a voltage potential. The physiological processes are pretty well understood. There’s no explanatory power in metaphysical overlays on the measurement.

        It seems to me that your exploration is distinctly metaphysical expressed in the language of physics. This moves it away from being testable. I wish you well with it, but, to me it seems to obscure rather than explain or clarify.

    • apgaylard said

      Another question on Hill’s work: it is predicated on the existence of auras, so can it be science?

      • ganeshaone said

        Hunts wrk is ALL about auras but that in itself doen not preclude it from being science IMO. She says in her video that she had to use the reports of “sesnitives” as “something valid” to compare her electronic readings to so that right there is going to cause a fury. Its predictable. But science is a history of validating what we can measure – not of what is… IMO – and if progress is made in another way to measure her auras to the satisfaction of all then her work will be re-visited I would assume. Until then it is going to draw skeptics no doubt – that too is predictable.

    • draust said

      Hmm. There’s a lot one could say here (!). I will content myself for now with some info on James Oschman PhD, whose books Robert McCoy/ Ganeshaone cites above. Oschman was in his time in mainstream science (60s and 70s), a notable ultrastructural anatomy / electron microscopy guy. This is NOT, note, an electrophysiologist, or particularly a biophysicist, or anything especially concerned with the physics of electromagnetic radiation… On the subject of which, Oschman is therefore about as much of a credible authority as Lionel Milgrom is on quantum mechanics.

    • apgaylard said


      “When I wrote that analog waves are difficult to model I had in the back of my mind the modeling or predicting of analog signal timing and waveform characteristics in the context of analog integrated circuit design which is often difficult to do.”

      I must admit that I didn't get that from your article, with the supporting picture of a beautiful atmospheric von Kármán vortex street and talk of whirlpools and thunderstorms, oddly I went straight to fluid mechanics. Perhaps, this indicates a need for clearer wording and illustration in your article? From this explanation, I would also say that you seem to be extrapolating from this difficult case to make a general observation that does not hold.

      As both Bearden and Tesla have both demonstrated an ability to manifest working (and patented) inventions based on their theories, their “opinions” (IMO) carry more weight than they would otherwise (IE – Bearden with his patented over-unity breakthrough (MEG) and Tesla for AC power amongst many other inventions)

      An ‘over-unity’ device has never been properly demonstrated. Many have tried, over hundreds of years, but all have fallen under scrutiny. That Bearden hasn’t demonstrated an over-unity device must surely undermine his theory – it’s a failure of confirmation.

      As for Tesla, AC power doesn’t contravene the first or second law of thermodynamics, and much of his work in this area is overlooked and, conversely, of great importance. Inevitably, not all of his ideas were correct. In later life he made some wild proposals; bold/controversial hypotheses are not a bad thing. The problem is that his legacy is undermined by those who continue to hold to some of his views in the face of overwhelming evidence (like his rejection of Relativity). This is not science. To paraphrase Huxley, we must allow ‘beautiful’ theories to be slain by ‘ugly’ facts.

      “Rigorously, all vector fields are two-point functions and thus decomposable into two scalar fields, as Whittaker showed in 1903.

      Now, there’s a chance that I might learn something here. Do you have a reference for this paper? Is it this Whittaker?

      • ganeshaone said

        I would suggest looking to Beardens site for that but after doing a quick search on the name it appears to be a likely match as he wrote on the History of Aether – it looks like his name may have a typo in the Bearden quote.

  6. ganeshaone said

    you don’t need to be an authority to point out good work. his book points to alot of good work.

    BTW my hats off to you for looking at Oschman…

  7. Now that I’ve come around to reading the original article and Robert McCoy’s reply I have to admit that it left my head spinning…

    It occurs to me that perhaps the way the words “scalar” and “vector”, as used by McCoy, do not really have the same meaning than in physics, even though, on the surface, they (may) have the same definition. For me, as a physicist, a scalar is essntially the same thing as a one-dimensional vector. A true vector should therefore have at least two dimensions and, as such, seems inherently more complex than a scalar.

    Perhaps a few comments are in order:

    Also, I do believe it is necessary to prove to the patent office that an invention actually works in order to receive a patent – IE: you can’t patent an opinion.

    I can definitely and from personal experience confirm that this isn’t so. The criteria for a patent are essentially that it the idea is new and significant, i.e. not a trivial extension of something that already exists. Many ideas that could work get patented all the time. Companies or inventors do this in order to secure their claim if the idea is later found to work (and to be profitable). There are plenty of fringe patents out there that amply demonstrate that a working prototype is not necessary in order to get a patent.
    Some patent offices, of course, refuse to assess claims of perpetual motion machines and such. But that is more or less because these claims would otherwise need to be taken care of (i.e. they create work) and taking care of them makes the patent office look foolish.

    Having a look at the Tom Bearden article linked above, I’d say that while some of his explanations are valid, he more or less builds a straw man argument. Reading the interview gives you the impression that mainstream physicists believe some things that are clearly too simplistic. If they actually believed or taught these ideas, then he’d be absolutely right in making them look foolish for their primitive theories. The only problem: I’ve never seen an actual physicist or a physics textbook making these claims. One example is the distinction “vector=motion” and “scalar=motionless” that Bearden implies; for example, scalar fields can be in motion or gradients of scalar fields can cause motion (think of heat flowing from warm to cold), and vector fields can be static (think of the constant field of earth’s gravity). Another false accusation is that physicists only consider the external motion of some thing… apparently Bearden hasn’t studied any thermodynamics. A third example, for good measure, is his insistence on the fact that measurements somehow interfere with what is being measured. Sure: while I was at the university, I routinely had to supervise first-year students doing experiments on stone-age volt- and ampèremeters whose point was to show them how these devices affect the circuit being measured.
    From there, it goes downhill… but that’s another story for another time, maybe…

  8. ganeshaone said

    I believe you are right about the multiple contexts of vectors and scalars – its confusing. As far as the patent thing goes it may well be that trivial patents are awarded but in Beardens case the fact that his invention was given a patent is a testament to a higher bar that he had to pass at the patent office since there is a history of denial in the field he was attempting to overcome. There are supposedly missing sections in electromagnetic theory that Bearden argues were deliberately deleted from the original Maxwell and Heaviside(?) work. So his asserrion is that current professionals have been deliberately denied the whole truth of the theoretical picture in their textvook training due to interference from JP Morgan who had a fionancial interest in seeing it so. Based on what we know about these sorts of things historically I am not willing to say that this is absolutely not the case. See link below – there are more on Beardens site and in his books etc…


    Measurement interfering with that which is measured is supposedly a portion of quantum theory so I would say its possible??

  9. ganeshaone said

    PS – BTW the fact that your head was spinning after reading the article is to me an indication that it worked as intended. Its the reaction of the logical mind attempting wrap itself around a paradox… its inevitable. The upside of this is that it potentially leaves the mind open to a new view of things. And its the key to seeing what waves are about… IMO.

  10. Ganeshaone:
    Bearden’s patent still doesn’t impress me much. An over-unity device (which is just a fancy new name for a perpetual motion machine) is something that is not possible according to the laws of physics – laws that have passed countless experimental tests and work when applied in technological contexts – and I daresay none of us has ever seen a working one. It takes more than a single patent to convince me that Bearden’s on to something there. My admittedly cynical opinion is that he just tried hard and long enough to get his patent. It doesn’t prove much.
    We can all agree that peer-review removes or improves lots of bad scientific papers, but that doesn’t mean it’s perfect. Some awful papers manage to slip by the review process, and some pseudo-scientists have managed to publish papers in reputable scientific journals. Nice stunt, shows you can “beat the system”… not that a specific paper is right about something. Just as there are plenty of bad papers out there, there are plenty of patents for things that do not and cannot work.

    I’m certainly no expert on the history of science, but regarding alterations to Maxwell’s original work, until proof of the contrary, I’d say it’s a normal process. With time, scientists find better ways to derive or explain new theories and these refined versions are written down in textbooks… The theory becomes more accessible, but the new formulations are equivalent to the original ones. It wouldn’t surprise me if a modern physicist would find Maxwell’s papers very hard to read. But does it really matter today? The equations have passed every experimental test, they work in practice, and they were the basis of additional discoveries, not least among them special relativity. That doesn’t mean they cannot be expanded upon (as in quantum electrodynamics), but I’d say it’s convincing evidence that whatever it is they may be missing can not be that significant…

    Regarding your question whether “Measurement interfering with that which is measured is supposedly a portion of quantum theory”?, I’d say this is a popular misconception. True enough, the problem has been discussed at length within the context of quantum mechanics, but measurements also interfere with their subject in classical physics. My example of a voltmeter is typical: an ideal voltmeter has infinite internal resistance and no current passes through it, it thus doesn’t interfere with the circuit. A real voltmeter has large but finite resistance, it will draw a small current away from the circuit.
    The difference is that in classical physics, subjects of measurements will generally be large objects. They are disturbed by a measurement, but the disturbance caused by a good measurement device should be small and negligible. Quantum mechanics concerns itself with small objects like electrons. The smallest possible measuring device for an electron could be another electron or a photon, neither of which has negligible “impact” compared to the original electron. Therefore, generally speaking, the disturbance caused by the measurement is large and cannot be neglected.

  11. ganeshaone said

    I would agree about the volt meter. Lots of good examples out there on this. As for Beardens machine it is not so much ‘perpetual motion’ as ‘self supporting’ – that is in my quick looks at it. I would say that if free energy is where we need to go and the laws (known rules) of physics don’t support it then we have no choice to go with new laws (rules) if we want to get to where we need to be. Otherwise its not going to happen. So I’m open to it as to not be open to it is to ‘perpetually’ settle for what we have now which everyone seems to agree is not the answer to our problems.

    So I am not a respecter of “laws” when it comes to desperate times – they work fine in times of incremental change when the status quo is an asset to society but when the status quo is an impediment, society has a way of barging through these walls. So if I had to bet on the near future I’d bet that some laws – not all – will be “seen through” with new eyes in science that will facilitate a breakthroughs in consciousness.

    When the impossible happens in science its the equivalent to a ‘secular miracle’ (Marconi?) and when these ‘miracles’ happen it opens up our minds to unheard of possibilities – and that kind of breakthrough in consciousness will have a regenerating effect on society and IMO it will cascade into a rush of other breakthroughs that will be breathtaking… IMO. If nothing else its something to look forward to which in todays climate, is a rarity.

    • apgaylard said

      Now, I think, we get to the roots of the difference between us. Laws in physics are not the same as those in society: you cannot choose to disobey them. You can try, but it’s up to nature whether you succeed or not. Neither is success determined by need. We have to be humble enough to admit that nature places constraints on human activity that are non-negotiable. Wanting, wishing or needing won’t make any difference.

      Free energy claims usually require a violation of the first and/or second laws of Thermodynamics: [(1) Energy is conserved – you can't get something for nothing, (2) you can't even break even.] Despite centuries of trying, no one has been able to break these laws. The second law was actually discovered as a result of this effort. Equally, there are centuries of experiments to confirm these laws. Breaking these is the least likely result imaginable.

      If people, like Bearden, think that they’ve succeeded its up to them to provide the evidence to back this up. So far they have not.

      One way science progresses is by challenging what appear to be laws. However, we need to make sure that we listen to the messages that we don’t want to hear. Otherwise, the danger is, if we wish too hard and listen too little, we’ll start to see things that aren’t there (like auras) and invent physics to suit our dreams, rather than listen to what nature is really telling us. That’s how we end up, I think, with these theories that underpin things that don’t exist: working over-unity machines and effective energy medicine.

  12. ganeshaone said

    Actually I do believe Bearden is not the front runner in the “free energy” race as Wall St is Backing BlacklightPower, a company that is claiming to produce heat from a catalyst and water that turns an electric turbine. It is more realistic in the short run IMO but it violates certain quantum certainties so it too is controvertial in science. None the less they are steaming full steam ahead. Any systems dealing with energy from the aether so to speak are going to meet with all sorts of unforseen issues in every realm – literally, IMO. They may even be dangerous if not handled properly in ways we can’t foresee. But Blacklightpower is a potentail interim solution if it suceeds. And it has no aetheric backlash downside or pollution side effects that I am aware of. To replace coal fired power plants in the next few years with BLP power would be huge IMO.

    Another interesting innovation out of Europe is the Air Car out of France. No fuel except compressed air. Doesn’t get any better than that IMO. So I’m a bit of a gradualist on these things myself but I do realize that BLP’s claim to shrink wrap the electron is going to violate some certainties. But I am willing to bet they succeed – but that’s just my opinion.

    I agree whole heartedly that nothing is “Free” in energy, life or anything else on the planet. Its just a handy term but one that is thrown around too loosly including by me. I like your aproach about listening to nature and being respectful of and humble before nature. And no one wants invented laws as they wont work anyway. That’s why I prefer the BlacklightPower approach – its dipping the toe into this thing without a radical change and all the unforseen consequences of such an approach.

    Nature is about balance and if we get too far ahead of ourselves we can innovate ourselves into oblivion (another Atlantis??) just as fast if not faster than in doing nothing. So the future is a tricky business – no guarantees indeed.

    I also agree you can’t get something from nothing. But there isn’t “nothing in the air” – its full of energy and as long as people see that they will be trying to coax it out. I’d say a tornado is a good example… and if you look to Viktor Schaubergers work he gives lots of hints as to how it all works IMO. He too was a “respecter” of nature.

    In any case my intention here wasn’t to babble on about my opinions as even my opinions bore me at times which is why I almost never participate in discussions on line. And I certainly don’t want to overstay my welcome so to speak. So at some point here I’ll be signing off – I do appreciate the discussions – your sites views are just as required as mine in this world. We all need opposition in order to climb. No walls – no climb.

  13. ganeshaone said

    Robert McCoy here… I wanted to leave an additional comment about the article that I neglected to mention and that is the following – the conclusion that I wrote proposed a possible physical architecture for the fractal and recursive nature of waves which would be in support of the Holographic Theory of reality as we know it. Until I came to this hypothetical conclusion, I was not aware of any other explanation for an actual physical construction of such other than as a theoretical postulate.

    What I inferred was that vector waves were constructed of whirlpool shaped scalars which in turn would be constructed of spiraling vectors. Thus these spiraling vectors would be likewise composed of scalars and they in turn would be composed of smaller spiraling vectors. So vectors composed of scalars composed of vectors composed of scalars would in effect be an “infinite regression” – a fractal like infinite regression which in theory would never bottom out and would in fact be infinite in nature.

    To me, this is the value of a “thought experioment” – coming up with possibilities based on imagination.

    If anyone knows of another proposal of a physical architecture for an infinite regression in nature I would appreciate hearing about it. I can be reached by e-mail at the address in my Bio on the sidebar of the article that inspired this string – see link below…


    Robert McCoy

  14. I am not a physicist. I have ‘A’-level physics. Scalars, vectors are easy. I don’t pretend to understand quite a lot of the rest. I am an ex-homeopath.

    While you all are concerned about the physics in the article I’d like to put this sort of article in a social context. Most of us in our society will not understand most of what is written by McCoy. This includes most of us who are well educated.

    The majority of those reading about energy medicine will not have your knowledge or ability to criticise. If they live in the New Age world (where this type of work is produced) critical evaluation will have fallen out of their repertoire. This article will be taken at face value and as truth, even though those individuals accepting it do not know what the words really mean or imply in physical terms. They will believe, trust and have faith and ‘know’ that McCoy is right. That is how that world operates. How priveledged are these individuals who understand the amazing insights here, when you, with a lot of knowledge of physics can’t?

    You say your heads spin. When reading this sort of work, and while I was still a believer, mine spun too. I sometimes wondered if that was the desired effect. To bludgeon my brain and impress me with the intricacy and complexity of the ideas – a sort of ‘these people are so much cleverer than me, and know so much, how can we be wrong’.

    The sadness is many of these people will read and believe McCoy, without any understanding or even knowing that they don’t understand. I can say this because I’ve done it myself and seen plenty of others do it. There is not a chance of criticism or considering actually proving any of it. (I noticed McCoy happy to talk about ‘thought experiment’. All of that world is thought experiment and in energy medicine terms thought actually is energy.)

    That is where the social line-in-the-sand is. I am not entering the physics arguments. I do not accept McCoy’s honesty or integrity in his writng. He is in a world where his words are used to show how clever he is and how right they all are. That is what I’ve witnessed and that is my experience.

    Thank you very much for undertaking the physics in this. I’m sorry your heads spun. You behaved very politely to someone that I consider totall ego-driven and an enemy of humanity. Thank you for allowing me to say my piece.

  15. skeptichamster said

    I recently had a run-in with a Reiki practitioner who spammed me via Facebook. You can see the whole exchange here: http://skeptichamster.wordpress.com/2012/02/21/reiki-is-science-citation-needed/
    and here:
    She ended by informing me that I need to research Quantum Physics- which is quite amusing because I do that all the time for fun- though I’m not going to claim I understand it. I in turn asked her to join me in a discussion of any part of Quantum theory but I’m still waiting. I’d love to know how any part of QM backs up Reiki- if I can just get this info then I could be the first non-physicist to win a Nobel prize in physics!

    • apgaylard said

      @Skeptichamster Thanks for the comment. I always enjoy a bit of quantum flapdoodle. This type often hides behind the excuse that ‘no one understands QM’, while not understanding what is already understood. It’s a basic QM = has mysteries => any claimed mystery is ‘validated’ by QM.

      In more advanced forms, it has maths! Here’s a treasure-trove of deconstruction of some of its more advanced proponants.

      • skeptichamster said

        Thanks! That’ll keep me going for a while! Plus I just posted about homeopathy so- if I get some replies form the homeoquack world- I can throw some of this at them! :)

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