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I came up last night with a talk given by Stephen J. Crothers in which he claims that black holes and the Big Bang have no basis in general relativity. But is he really true? How legitimate are his claims?

Here is the talk on YouTube, "The Non-existence of the Black Hole and the Failure of General Relativity": Part One, Part Two.

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closed as too broad by Manishearth Oct 16 '13 at 13:28

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    $\begingroup$ This would be the same Stephen Crothers who seems proud of being expelled from his PhD course and has called Paul Davies and George Szekeres "inept". There may be occasions where one man is right and everyone else is wrong (Galileo?), but I don't think this is one of those occasions. $\endgroup$ – John Rennie Oct 12 '13 at 8:41
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    $\begingroup$ There is no way to answer this if you're a layman. On the one hand you have Stephen Crothers saying black holes don't exist. On the other hand you have every other physicist since 1916 saying they do. As a layman how can you tell who is right? The only way to learn enough physics to judge for yourself. Every argument I could make to a layman comes down to saying that history suggests the majority are right most of the time. $\endgroup$ – John Rennie Oct 12 '13 at 9:37
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    $\begingroup$ Einstein did not deny that the Schwarzschild metric was a valid solution to the equations of GR. He believed that in the real world a black hole wouldn't form due to rotation of the infalling matter. He subsequently discovered that his own equations predict that rotation cannot stop matter falling into a black hole once it gets closer than three Schwarzschild radii, and consequently changed his mind. The paragraph you cite says: This paper received no citations, and the conclusions are well understood to be wrong. $\endgroup$ – John Rennie Oct 12 '13 at 10:26
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    $\begingroup$ I did look on Crothers' site, and I glanced through his papers on vixra.org. I have also read Schwarzschild's original paper - in fact I read it many years ago. My point is simply that non-specialists are not in a position to judge the validity of his claims so how can I answer your question? Except to say, which is undoubtably true, that his view is not the mainstream one. $\endgroup$ – John Rennie Oct 12 '13 at 14:11
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    $\begingroup$ I'm downvoting for the reasons given here: meta.physics.stackexchange.com/q/4918 . If the OP wants to replace or supplement the video link with a link to Crothers' papers on vixra, I'll be happy to remove my downvote. $\endgroup$ – Ben Crowell Oct 12 '13 at 15:49
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See "Strange Misconceptions of General Relativity", where 't Hooft debunks Crothers, Loinger, and Lo. ('t Hooft uses initials rather than actual names, but I'm pretty sure C is Crothers.)

The link to 't Hooft is that Foundations of Physics Letters published a series of papers by infinite-energy crank Myron Evans. FoPL was later rolled into Foundations of Physics when 't Hooft took over as editor of FoP in 2007. 't Hooft was obligated to solicit papers debunking Evans and to publish an editorial disowning Evans' previous papers. Evans runs the "Alpha Institute for Advanced Studies (AIAS)", which, as Trimok has pointed out, has links to Crothers.

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Just for fun, the vixra papers of Crothers make reference to a "Alpha Institute for Advanced Studies", whose site is "http://www.aias.us/" and we may read claims as :

Recently the AIAS group has made some internationally acknowledged discoveries and critical refutations which are being studied around the world of science. These include: 1) The development of the first unified field theory. 2) Refutation of the Einstein field equation, big bang and black hole theory. 3) Discovery of the antisymmetry laws of electrodynamics and gravitation. 4) Refutation of the Einstein de Broglie equations and their replacement by R theory. 5) Development of the first single particle fermion equation. 6) Refutation of the dogma of negative energy in quantum field theory. 7) Demonstration that energy from spacetime does not violate conservation laws of physics. 8) Discovery of the quantum Hamilton equations. 9) Refutation of the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. 10) Discovery of the quantum force equation and pure quantum force. 11) Discovery of spin connection resonance in the laws of nature. 12) Discovery of the Evans identity of differential geometry.

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    $\begingroup$ Wow, that's some claiming. Wonder how this guy explains electron microscopes. $\endgroup$ – Jerry Schirmer Oct 12 '13 at 16:42
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    $\begingroup$ There are a mind-numbing number of papers published by Evans (around 250) listed in AIAS websites. It's amazing that his critics actually have the patience to go through all these papers, especially since a lot of them are handwritten. $\endgroup$ – dj_mummy Oct 12 '13 at 17:32
  • $\begingroup$ @dj_mummy That may actual be one reason that chap got so much attention to start with. Basically sounds like a Science Troll to me - but to be honest, I didn't bother to read even a single one of these papers, so you may call me wrong in a century or two... $\endgroup$ – Tobias Kienzler Oct 16 '13 at 12:05
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't black holes been observed? Well, not directly, but looking at stars in the vicinity of the center of our galaxy, we have good evidence for existence of supermassive black hole there

http://www.astro.ucla.edu/~ghezgroup/gc/

Also this: http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0210426

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    $\begingroup$ "Directly" is always the thing the kooks focus on. What would really be nice would be if we could get sufficiently high resolution images of Sag A* to resolve the event horizon. This may actually happen within the next decade. $\endgroup$ – Ben Crowell Oct 14 '13 at 18:55
  • $\begingroup$ @BenCrowell That's interesting. I would have pegged the timeframe in centuries, not decades. Then again, optical resolution is improving at an astonishing rate. $\endgroup$ – Manishearth Oct 15 '13 at 7:07
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    $\begingroup$ @Manishearth: See arxiv.org/abs/0906.3899 and eventhorizontelescope.org/index.html $\endgroup$ – Ben Crowell Oct 15 '13 at 15:08
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    $\begingroup$ Not to be a Negative Nancy, but we have video evidence of Aldrin & Armstrong on the moon, yet that has not stopped people from invoking conspiracies. $\endgroup$ – Kyle Kanos Oct 17 '13 at 14:01

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