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A new idea and a not so new one

Two new papers grabbed my attention on my long unread list of journal tables of contents in Google Reader. 

1) The first was

Ideomechanics of transitory and dissipative systems associated with length, velocity, mass and energy
by G.C. Sih

where it is stated that

" One of the rules of the development of IDM is that the “flow of nature” takes precedent when deducting and/or constructing quantitative results. It is hoped that

Ambiguities from man-developed theories could be mitigated by using the ideograms and following the flow of nature.

The basic postulates of IDM for natural science can be stated as follows:

Postulate I – Matter exists as an a priori while mass depends on mind-conceived models.

Postulate II – Interfacing parts for the whole with the arrow of time is dissipative.

Postulate III – Sustainable mass activates/inactivates (AIA) by direct-absorption/self-dissipation (DASD) of energy.

Postulate IV – Activation/deactivation of mass is associated with expansion/contraction (EXCO) of matter.

Postulate V – Non-uniqueness of the parts makes the whole with uncertainties."

I have no idea what Prof. Sih is talking about.   Can someone explain?

2) The second paper reminded me of a book proposal that I had reviewed a couple of years ago.

A note on the two temperature theory with dual-phase-lag delay: Some exact solutions
by R. Quintanillaa and P.M. Jordan

The introduction to the paper  tells us

"As Maxwell (2001) appears to have been the first to point out, the classical linear theory of heat conduction, which is based on Fourier’s law for the
thermal flux, predicts that a thermal disturbance at some point in a material body will be felt instantly, but unequally, at all other points of the body, however distant. This behavior, which is often referred to as the “paradox of heat conduction” (Dreyer and Struchtrup, 1993), is physically unrealistic since it implies that thermal signals propagate with infinite speed. It is therefore not surprising, given this non-causal aspect of the classical theory, that numerous alternative theories of heat conduction have been put forth since Maxwell first made his observation in the latter half of the 19th century (see, e.g., [Bargmann and Steinmann, 2008], [Caviglia et al., 1992], [Chandrasekharaiah, 1986], [Chandrasekharaiah, 1998], [Christov, 2009], [Dreyer and Struchtrup, 1993], [Hetnarski and Ignaczak, 2000], Ignaczak and Ostoja-Starzewski, 2009 J. Ignaczak and M. Ostoja-Starzewski, Thermoelasticity with Finite Wave Speeds, Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK (2009).[Ignaczak and Ostoja-Starzewski, 2009], [Ostoja-Starzewski, 2009] and [Reverberi et al., 2008] and the references therein)."

Does anyone know of any experimental data that lends support to one of these alternative theories over others?


Rich Lehoucq's picture


Thank you for your post. You give the title of a paper by R. Quintanillaa and P.M. Jordan but clicking on the link does bring up the paper. A subsequent search using google scholar does not bring up the paper you bring to our attention. Can you provide the doi or recheck the link?


thanks, rich


I've updated the links.  Thanks for pointing that out.

-- Biswajit 

Dear Biswajit,

1. Regarding the first paper: When I began reading your above (topmost) post, I initially thought: "Why, the first couple of postulates *seem* straight-forward... May be it's a question of just looking up the paper and getting definitions and explanations for the other terms..."

Then, I tried to go through the paper itself! ... I know what I am about to write isn't going to be very polite but very frankly, there is no other way to put it... My reaction is: I am aghast! ... I mean, the contents don't look like a paper from a journal from an engineering field at all... Indeed, this journal paper looks almost like one of those bizzarre paperbacks that Californians seem so especially adept at churning out year after another year---I mean the paperbacks which (arbitrarily) assert parallels between physics (say quantum mechanics) and Eastern mysticism!

Well, in the past, I have had some acquaintance with Prof. Sih's earlier work in fracture mechanics, and I carry a fine impression about his opus. I think I am not going to let just one paper disturb it either. But, yes, sure, this paper actually put me in a sudden burst of LOL---esp. when I came to those colorful diagrams near the end. ... 

In summary, I would just wind it up by saying that I think that in this paper Prof. Sih overgeneralizes, and writes *very* vaguely. Let me let it go at that. (I am not going to debate this my opinion of mine with anyone.)

2. The second paper was interesting because it touched on a certain part of my own PhD work. ...

... And yes, it was nice to know a specific reference to the effect that it was none other than J.C. Maxwell himself who had first noticed the instantaneous action-at-a-distance (IAD) character associated with the diffusion theories. However, I am not at all sure whether Maxwell attributed its cause to the Fourier theory itself (as he should have) or whether he attributed it to the diffusion equation itself. This distinction is important. A lot of people---in fact, all of them in my extensive but still, limited literature search---attribute it, IMHO wrongly, to the diffusion equation itself. They should, in fact, have been attributing it to Fourier's theory (or, if you wish to go back in time, to d'Alembert's even earlier assertion taking for granted separability of variables for all such problems.)

BTW, the paper you mention talks something about instability in the new theories... Here, one would like to have a more general and simplified account explaining this particular issue in some more detail. (Unfortunately, I don't have much background in instability/nonlinearity---not yet, anyway.)

3. BTW, if I may add as an aside:

There is yet another theory (or a type of theories, actually) that (i) models the diffusion phenomenon, (ii) without necessarily implying instantaneous action at a distance (IAD). That theory is the much celebrated stochastic theory of diffusion, discovered independently by Bachelor and Einstein (the latter, in connection with the Brownian motion). And, since you ask about experimental validation, let me note that Jean Perrin got his Nobel for, inter alia, empirically validating Einstein's theory. 

All in all, a very peculiar pair of papers! Thanks for pointing out some interesting reading! (Even the first one was very interesting in its own right!! (And, my apologies in advance if I hurt anyone's feelings---no matter how inadvertent this might have been. But yes, to stay honest, I must also mention that I did laugh out aloud!))

PS: Sorry for the delay in the reply.... These days, just can't make the time to make replies at iMechanica everyday... I can just about barely browse through the posts rapidly once a day or so...

PPS: 450+ reads for this post by now, and yet, not a single fellow had written anything regarding the actual contents of either paper... Hey, is iMechanica changing these days or what...


Thanks for your comments on the diffusion paper and for pointing me to the stochastic theory of diffusion.  I'll have to look up Jean Perrin's work.

-- Biswajit 



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