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Friday, December 16, 2011

String Theory Gives Me a Headache

String theory is one approach to connect everything to everything. Nothing wrong with that, but I have trouble thinking in four dimensions much less ten. If you think string theorists are warped, you would be right. They pretty much have to be as a job requirement. They are the geek's geek.

In another post I mentioned disc models for wave propagation. Discs were used by Planck, Stefan, Boltzmann, Maxwell and most everyone in the day. That started because of a scientific challenge. I forgot the guy's name, but he challenged everyone to tell what was coming out of a hole in a furnace. A hole is pretty much a disc, so electromagnetic models are based on discs.

I don't have a problem with discs. Like a coin though, they have two sides. So a disc based radiant model should consider both sides of the coin. Once you take the disc out of the furnace wall, the infinite radiation source, you can apply conservation of energy to the disc model. That gives the flip side of the disc some meaning.

With the simple disc model, allowing for the flip side energy required, you get the classic 2 factor for the maximum interaction between discs. I went through that in the Fun with Radiant Disc Models. Which if anyone cares to decipher my scatter brain logic, kinda proves that the maximum impact of the atmospheric effect is two times the difference between the surface energy flux and the top of the atmosphere (TOA) energy flux. With roughly 390Wm-2 at the surface and 240Wm-2 at the TOA, 150Wm-2 is the difference 300Wm-2 would be the maximum.

I also mentioned that value is not necessarily a surface impact, since the atmosphere absorbs and reflects a portion of the energy. This should be obvious in my opinion, that the ratio of atmospheric to surface absorption matters and that there is a physical limit to the atmospheric effect. The Kiehl and Trenberth energy budgets screwed that up, so there is a great deal of confusion about what the atmosphere can and cannot do.

To get everyone on the same page, K&T has to go. Face it, it is just a cartoon, and while funny in a geeky kinda way, not very helpful. They are comparing combined flux impacts to just radiant energy theory and double counting some things and omitting others. That is a CF if you know what I mean. FUBAR for the guys with military experience.

So for all the wattabe redneck theoretical physicists out there, think about multi-disc radiant models and the 2 times thingy. Twice, half, about half, most, as in maybe greater than 50% and multiples of any of those, are all possible evidence in non-linear dynamic systems of changes in response to some variable. You can call that variable a forcing, a feed back or a thing-a-ma-jig.

For the title of the post, an infinitely long multi-disc model is like a string. In one dimension, it would be a dot, two and disc, three a cylinder and four a rope or string. Like I said, more that four gives me a headache, so I am going to try understanding the first three, then add the fourth. If there is enough Excedrin around, then I may ponder another. Right now, four should be enough to get a grip on the climate puzzle.

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