A canna’ change the laws of physics

Scotty, The Naked Time, stardate 1704.3, Episode 7

Archive for the ‘bad physics’ Category

Quantumwave laser quackery

Posted by apgaylard on May 23, 2011

I’ve wanted to revisit the world of low level laser therapy (LLLT) for a while.*.  Back in early 2009 I gave this therapy a look, after I came across the story of a woman in New Zealand who died from breast cancer after being ‘treated’ with a decidedly quackish variant of LLLT, called “Bioptron’.

I’ve been wondering if I missed anything when I was focusing on Bioptron and whether any more evidence has come to light since.

The Quantumwave Laser website** has given me the push I needed.  The website was fantasy physics meets fantasy medicine; though it looks like some excellent ‘FishBarreling’ has taken care of most of the medical claims.

Still, there’s plenty of made up physics left to enjoy, along with the excuse to look at low level laser therapy again.

First, what is low level laser therapy?

Low level laser therapy refers to the therapeutic use of lasers, generally applied externally to the skin, delivering low doses of energy in an attempt to treat various conditions.

There are various hypotheses for how LLLT might work, but any mechanism of action remains unclear.

Typically, lasers are chosen that operate in the red to near infrared part of the electromagnetic spectrum, though there are exceptions as we shall see. Because the lasers are low-powered the therapy is sometimes called “soft” or “cold” lasers.

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Posted in bad physics, Phototherapy | Tagged: , , , , | 5 Comments »

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:

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Posted in bad physics, Fluid Mechanics, Impossibe Machines, physics | Tagged: , , , , | 32 Comments »

 
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