Thermodynamics, Kinetics and Microphysics of Clouds

by Judith Curry

Our new book is now published.

Thermodynamics, Kinetics and Microphysics of Clouds by Vitaly I. Khvorostyanov and Judith Curry.  Look Inside at amazon.com.

Slide1

Excerpts from the Preface:

Cloud microphysics is a branch of cloud physics that studies initiation, growth and dissipation of cloud and precipitation particles. Cloud microphysics is governed by the thermodynamic and kinetic processes in clouds. The field of cloud microphysics has been intensively developed since the 1940’s when the first successful experiments on cloud seeding were performed. The field has received additional impetus in recent years from the challenges associated with forecasting precipitation and understanding aerosol-cloud interactions in context of climate change and feedback processes.

Thermodynamics, Kinetics and Microphysics of Clouds extends the subject of cloud microphysics beyond previous treatments. The goals and contents of this book are formulated to:

  • Present in compact form the major thermodynamic relations and kinetic equations required for theoretical consideration of cloud microphysics;
  • Review the currently known states of water in liquid, crystalline and amorphous forms, and the conceptual modern theories of water and equations of state for water in various states;
  • Formulate a closed system of equations that describe kinetics of cloud microphysical processes and is suitable both for analytical studies and for inclusion in numerical models;
  • Derive from theory generalized analytical parameterizations for aerosol deliquescence, hygroscopic growth, efflorescence, and for drop activation and ice nucleation in various modes;
  • Demonstrate that these theoretical parameterizations generalize and unify previous parameterizations and include them as particular cases; express previous empirical parameters via atmospheric and aerosol parameters and theoretical quantities;
  • Derive the kinetic equations of stochastic condensation and coagulation and obtain their analytical solutions that reproduce the observed drop and crystal size spectra; express parameters of empirical distributions from theory;
  • Outline a path for future generalizations of the kinetic equations of cloud microphysics based on the Chapman-Kolmogorov and Fokker-Planck equations.

In addition to advancing our basic understanding of cloud microphysical processes, the theoretical approach employed in this book supports the explanation and interpretation of laboratory and field measurements in context of instrument capabilities and limitations and motivates the design of future laboratory and field experiments. In the context of models that include cloud processes, ranging from small-scale models of clouds and atmospheric chemistry to global weather and climate models, the unified theoretical foundations presented here provide the basis for incorporating cloud microphysical processes in these models in a manner that represent the process interactions and feedback processes over the relevant range of environmental and parametric conditions. Further, the analytical solutions presented here provide the basis for computationally efficient parameterizations that include the relevant parametric dependencies.

 This book incorporates the heritage of Russian cloud physics that introduced and developed the kinetic equations for drop and crystal diffusion growth, the fast numerical algorithms for their solutions, and stochastic approach to cloud microphysical processes. This Russian heritage is combined with the best knowledge of cloud microphysics acquired and described in the western literature over several decades. A large amount of the material presented in this book is based on original work conducted jointly by the authors over almost two decades. Some of this research has been published previously in journal articles, and a large fraction of material is being published in the book for the first time, notably the parameterization of heterogeneous ice nucleation and the theory of aerosol deliquescence and efflorescence.

Integration of Russian and Western perspectives on cloud physics was facilitated by the 1972 bilateral treaty between the U.S. and USSR on Agreement and Cooperation in the Field of Environmental Protection, specifically under Working Group VIII – The Influence of Environmental Change on Climate. Its regular meetings and exchanges of delegations and information promoted international collaboration, provided the foundation for long-term cooperation and outlined proposals for joint research. With the advent of the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) in 1980, both Khvorostyanov and Curry subsequently became members of WCRP Working Group on Radiative Fluxes, which later became the Radiation Panel of the Global Water and Energy Exchange Experiment (GEWEX). The GEWEX Radiation Panel had regular annual meetings (where the authors participated and met), which initiated the collaboration that has lasted for almost two decades, resulted in more than 30 joint publications, and culminated in this book.

This book bridges Russian and Western perspectives of cloud physics. Khvorostyanov’s involvement in the evolution of the Russian school of cloud physics includes development of cloud models with spectral bin microphysics and applications to cloud seeding and cloud-radiation interactions. Curry’s early cloud microphysics research focused on aircraft observations of cloud microphysics and development of parameterizations for cloud and climate models. Over the past 18 years, Khvorostyanov and Curry have collaborated on a range of cloud microphysical topics of relevance to understanding and parameterizing cloud processes for cloud and climate models, that integrate the Russian perspectives on cloud microphysics into the broader community, and combine the eastern and western approaches to cloud microphysics. In addition to summarizing and integrating these perspectives and the broad body of recent research in cloud microphysics, throughout the book there are a number of new results as well as extensions and generalizations of existing ones.

The table of contents can be downloaded here toc

Correspondence principle

The integrating framework of the book is the correspondence principle.  Excerpts from section 1.2:

A framework for pursuing this strategy is the correspondence principle, a major principle in physics. The correspondence principle was formulated by Niels Bohr in 1913 in developing his model of the atom and was later generalized in order to explain the correspondence to, and remove the contradictions between, the new quantum mechanics and the old classical physics. Subsequently, the correspondence principle has been generalized over several decades and extended to other phenomena in physics and other sciences. The correspondence principle states that a new theory or parameterization should not reject the previous correct theory or parameterization but rather generalize them, so that the old (previous) theory becomes a particular case of the new theory. The new theory or parameterization contains a new parameter absent in the previous theory; when its value tends to some limiting value, the new theory transforms into the old theory. While the formulation of the correspondence principle is simple, it is nevertheless a very powerful methodological tool in understanding natural phenomena and developing correct generalizations of the existing theories and parameterizations. An important consequence of the correspondence principle is that a newer theory should be able to express the empirical parameters of the previous theories or parameterizations via the physical constants. The historical applications of the correspondence principle are beyond the scope of this book. Here, we emphasize that: When developing a new theory or parameterization, one should attempt to generalize previous theories and express the empirical parameters via physical quantities. A major goal of this book is to describe and develop further the theories that derive and generalize the known parameterizations of cloud microphysics, and to express the empirical parameters via the parameters of the theory and fundamental atmospheric constants. The correspondence principle provides an integrating framework for this book, and many examples of correspondence between the older and newer theories and parameterizations are described.

The theoretical approach taken in this book emphasizes solutions (primarily analytical) to limiting cases of the fundamental equations, that are then related to empirically derived relations that are applicable to specific conditions.  The correspondence between the newly formulated theories and previous empirical relations is thus illuminated.

JC reflections

Here is some additional context/history regarding the book.  In the 1980’s and 1990’s, clouds were the major focus of my research.  My research used field data (primarily collected from aircraft), satellite data, and models.  A major goal of my research during this period was to understand and model the the interactions between clouds and atmospheric circulations, with an objective of improving the treatment of clouds in weather and climate models.

In the mid 1990’s, I was becoming rather disillusioned the path I was on, since the time/space scales of clouds made them very difficult to observe and model.  I felt that cloud parameterization had devolved into a big model tuning exercise.   Since my Ph.D. thesis work circa 1980 on arctic clouds and radiation, I had been extensively reading the Russian literature, and I was aware that Russian cloud physics had evolved in a very different way from western cloud physics.

When I was approached by Vitaly Khvorostyanov to collaborate on modeling arctic stratus clouds, I jumped at the chance.  I was intrigued by the Russian research on the kinetics of stochastic condensation, but didn’t really understand it – here was an opportunity to learn more about this.

Vitaly wanted to model clouds, whereas I was very intrigued by his theoretical approach to cloud microphysics.  It seemed to me that significant progress could be made on the topic of cloud microphysics (in contrast to larger scale cloud processes).  I was particularly impressed with his ability to interpret the structure of equations, make appropriate approximations, and solve the equations analyticallySince I was an upper level undergraduate, I had been enamored with numerical analysis, solving equations numerically (recall, these were the days when you needed to write code using Fortran, Mathematica was not available!)  While in graduate school, I did take 4 applied maths classes, but continued to rely on numerical methods to solve equations.  Because of the relative unavailability to scientists of computers in the Soviet Union in the 1970’s and 1980’s, atmospheric scientists in Russia relied much more heavily on analytical solutions to equations than did scientists in the West.

Our first collaborative papers were published in 1999, and we have jointly published 23 journal articles (I have been second author on all but one of these papers).  The book synthesizes these articles in context of the correspondence principle, as well as introduces new research that has previously not been published.

This collaboration with Khvorostyanov has been the most satisfying one of my career.  Apart from the obvious productivity in terms of journal articles and and now the book, I have learned an enormous amount from this collaboration.  Most importantly, I feel as if I’ve contributed to something that is fundamental science (e.g. physics and physical chemistry), that I expect will stand the test of time (unlike the climate modeling exercise du jour) and hope will define theoretical cloud physics at the beginning of the 21st century.

One of the most challenging issues in climate change is the aerosol indirect effect (aerosol-cloud interactions);  this book provides the intellectual underpinnings for developing physically based parameterizations of the processes that contribute to the aerosol indirect effect.  So I hope that this book will be used widely by the atmospheric physics community, although I acknowledge that the extensive mathematics will deter some.  With regards to the mathematics in the book, most of it is accessible to anyone who has taken an upper level undergraduate course in mathematical physics, i.e. I can follow and interpret the mathematics in the book (although I would be hard pressed to solve any of these equations myself).

I also hope that the mathematical/theoretical approach of this book will make it appealing to a broader audience of scientists and engineers (e.g. physicists, physical chemists, chemical engineers) and so introduce them to this fascinating and important topic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

540 responses to “Thermodynamics, Kinetics and Microphysics of Clouds

  1. Tom Choularton

    Well done , its a long time since we had a new book in this area. I will be ordering a copy and using it as a reference work.

  2. nottawa rafter

    Terrific! I have been looking forward to the book since you first mentioned it. Goes to the top of my “to read” list.

  3. Judith

    You have spelt Vitaly I. Khvorostyanov incorrectly….naw, just joking, but the kindle price is obviously incorrect.$81 Dollars….. US? Can’t you get it subsidised by Big Oil, or Big Wind or Michael Mann or something?

    tonyb

  4. We struggled mightily to keep the price down (font size is a bit small to keep the page numbers down). Below $100 USD is a big deal, I hope the price stays low. Note my book Thermodynamics of Atmospheres and Oceans started at a price of $66 USD in 1999, it is now over $100 USD.

  5. Herringbone clouds are not likely to be described by the Fokker Planck equation.

  6. I need to reflect on the generalized principle…something about it (as expressed here) seems to trivialize the role the Bohr correspondence principle played in quantum theory… something is left out… back to Jammer and Whittaker trudge, trudge….

  7. Hi Judy – Congratulations!

    Your very effective collaboration with Vitaly Khvorostyanov shows how two different approaches can yield insight that could not be obtained by either approach by themselves. Such an approach was also used in atmospheric turbulence where the strong skills in analytic mathematics by Russian scientists greatly advanced that field.

    Roger Sr.

  8. R. Johnson-Taylor

    Just had the Kindle version of your book delivered Judith to my iPad. Prefer electronic books, saves space and can re size the font to suit.

  9. Rob McKenna had a little book, in which were entered two hundred and thirty-one different types of rain. These variaties include:
    ◾Type 11: breezy droplets
    ◾Type 17: dirty blatter (McKenna’s least favourite type)
    ◾Type 33: light pricking drizzle which made the roads slippery
    ◾Type 39: heavy spotting
    ◾Type 47: vertical light drizzle
    ◾Type 51: sharply slanting light to moderate drizzle freshening
    ◾Types 87 and 88: two finely distuingished variaties of vertical torrential downpour
    ◾Type 100: post-downpour squalling, cold
    ◾Type 123: mild cold gusting
    ◾Type 124: intermediate cold gusting
    ◾Type 126: regular cab-drumming
    ◾Type 127: syncopated cab-drumming
    ◾Types 192 to 213: seastorm types

    Douglas Adams (See wikia re ‘So long and thanks for all the fish’)

    • David L. Hagen

      Congratulations Judith. 3 cheers for Russian scientists using math skills.
      Wagathon ” two finely distinguished varieties of vertical torrential downpour”
      In Darjeeling’s monsoons we had “dry rain” where we stayed dry with an umbrella, and “wet rain” where it came through the umbrella!
      “Only” 200 inches (5000 mm) in 90 days. (i.e., only half of Cherrapungi’s 400″/year.) 23″/36 hours when a tropical storm blew in. A “thick fog” (aka monsoon cloud) meant you could not see a telephone pole 30 feet away!

      I look forward to how modelers can use your book to cover the full range of weather/climate. cf comparing the major impact of Solar UV on circulation from:

      A global warming perspective:
      Natural variability, radiative forcing and climate response in the recent hiatus reconciled by Huber M and Knutti R published in Nature Geoscience, doi: 10.1038/ngeo2228

      A Solar UV perspective:
      Natural variations and solar irradiance cause
      SUN’S ACTIVITY INFLUENCES NATURAL CLIMATE CHANGE

      Persistent link between solar activity and Greenland climate during the Last Glacial Maximum, Florian Adolphi, et al. Nature Geoscience 7, 662–666 (2014) doi:10.1038/ngeo2225

      • The difference between nimbostratus and cumulonimbus is of great interest to us pluviculture experts.

      • David L. Hagen

        Wagathon – Thx. Beware the pluviculturalist!
        See Ode to Pluviculture – aka
        The Rhyme of the Rain Machine by F. W. Clarke, 1891

        He fired a shot, and barely two,
        When the sky began to pale;
        The third one brought a heavy dew,
        But at the fourth tornadoes blew,
        With thunder, rain, and hail. . . .

        To check the flood you started, I’ve heard
        All efforts were in vain;
        Until the Bureau at Washington stirred,
        And stopped the storm with a single word,
        By just predicting – Rain!

        Now can we stop global cooling?

      • The San Diego City Council badly wanted water: the people needed Cjarles M. Hatfield. Their recently finished reservoir had lain bone dry for three years; and, they agreed to pay Hatfield $10,000 to fill it up — no rain, no pay, no risk: what could go wrong? Hatfield took the job. If successful the fee would’ve been like receiving $230,000 today. With his little brother’s help he built a 20-foot tower where he mixed and burned a secret mixture of chemicals, shot off bombs into the skies and lo, Hatfield caused it to rain. The people wanted rain and it did.

        For weeks it poured rain. It was the worst rain ever — worst flood in the county’s history. That was in 1916. Rivers rose, water topped and broke through dams, communities became islands, roads, bridges, rails and farm animals were washed away, houses floated down the river and out to sea, settlements disappeared and many people died in the “Hatfield Flood.”

        Murder charges against Hatfield were considered. Lynching was threatened. Rather than receiving a fee — that he walked 60 miles over broken roads to collect — the ex-sewing machine salesman turned moisture enhancer, Hatfield was forced to flee. Years later he sued for his fee in court and lost. Apparently, all of that rain was due to natural causes and not the action of a man.

      • David L. Hagen

        Wagathon: Has anything changed besides the players and the scale? cf
        China creates 55 billion tons of artificial rain a year—and it plans to quintuple that

        Last year, the head of the China Meteorological Administration (CMA) revealed that under its new “weather modification program” it would use cloud-seeding to boost precipitation by 254 billion tonnes (280 billion tons) . . .
        “[The Chinese government has] made some claims but there is no evaluation available that can substantiate their claims,” Roelof Bruintjes, a scientist at the US National Center for Atmospheric Research and a proponent of weather modification,

        Stormy Weather on Cloud-seeding

        in May, the head of the China Meteorological Administration (CMA) provided details on the new weather modification program, adding that the country would seek to increase precipitation by 3 to 5 percent in the next five years through cloud-seeding.

        OR Is this part of the essential effort to keep social stability?

        China was then, and remains, the major contributor to this global problem, accounting for approximately 40 million of the more than 100 million missing women at the turn of the twenty-first century (Klasen & Wink, 2003) . . .
        For every ‘missing’ woman there is a ‘surplus’, ‘excess’ or ‘unmatched’ man, and future projections suggest that by 2030 there could be close to thirty million Chinese men seeking a Chinese wife but unable to find one.

  10. Congratulations Prof. Curry. I’ll be buying it soon, and reading (hopefully understanding) as time permits.

    Just as a matter of curiosity, how much of what this book details is incorporated in current GCM’s? How much ought to be in your opinion? Can you estimate what it would take to do so? What the impact would be (on results)?

  11. Ha, for me — a chance to give myself another headache:)
    Up until now Steve McIntyre was giving me (a poor retired high school teacher; but with a larger physics, chem, math background than most) the largest headaches because I was so lacking in statistical analysis. Thank you for the opportunity. I will try to navigate through it only because I have come to believe that therein lies perhaps one of the largest areas of uncertainty.

  12. $63.20 on my kindle!

  13. It’s a puff of smoke. A bit of ejected debris. No! It’s a cloud!
    ====================

  14. Wow, the toc kind of blew my mind. Controversy aside, it makes me remeber how fascinating climate science and atmospheric science are. It would be awfully fun to read this and fire up a computer sim (assuming I could make any headway)….
    So many hobbies so little time….
    Congrats!

    • Thanks nickels. This is the kind of fundamental research that is needed to move climate science forward. Integrating it and translating into climate models is another problem, but we need to better develop the basic physical understanding to make progress.

      • Indeed. In the absence of this kind of thorough scientific understanding it seems that much of the “parametrisation” currently being done has been a polite way of dressing up fudge factors, tuned to fit modellers expectations and preconceptions.

        Congratulation on the edition. It must take a huge amount of effort to produce a volume like that.

  15. Congratulations Judith. I am delighted that you are contributing to our basic understanding of cloud-aerosol interaction and publishing with Khvorostyanov. My hope is that more scientists will continue to study the “basics” of climate science and demand more instrumentation and serious field work. ……….another step forward for mankind!

  16. Matthew R Marler

    It’s supposed to arrive today. I’ll keep you posted. I know, you are as excited as I am! Like the Chipmunks, I can hardly stand the wait. 8-)

  17. Congratulations Dr Curry.

    I also will buy mine. too bad we can’t get a signed copy.

    I have you Thermodynamics of Atmospheres and Oceans which you wrote with Peter Webster by my desk and look forward to this new scientific investigation.

    More study of the basics, more instrumentations and serious field work as stated by Hank will lead the path way out of this mess.
    Scott

  18. Looking up and you can see its a wide-open field –e.g., a Google search shows no nephologists in my area.

  19. Mallarmé, “Theater of clouds”

  20. WebHubTelescope

    I was scanning through the book and since I am an expert on nucleation and deposition in materials science, I was checking to see how good the science is.

    So right there in Section 8.2.3 is a bad description of statistical mechanics. Yes, Bose-Einstein stats are more general than Maxwell-Boltzmann stats, but it doesn’t apply to the kinds of particles you are talking about. Instead, in the case of Boltzmann should be if anything a simplification of Fermi-Dirac statistics which forbids two particles from occupying the same state.

    There is a phenomenon known as Bose-Einstein condensate which describes atoms (not photons) taking on Bose-Einstein statistics, but that requires special laboratory conditions using Helium and at very low temperatures. If you think that is happening with ice crystals or water droplets in the atmosphere, I don’t know what to say but stand incredulous. These particles don’t have integer spin, despite what you say in the book.

    If you indeed think that B-E statistics applies to condensation and deposition, you really should place a citation in your book. Good luck finding one!

    • Did you know that the Eskimos have over two hundred different words for snow… Thin snow and thick snow, light snow and heavy snow, sludgy snow, brittle snow, snow that comes in flurries, snow that comes in drifts, snow that comes in on the bottom or your neighbor’s boots all over your nice clean igloo floor, the snows of winter, the snows of spring, the snows you remembered from your childhood that were so much better than any of your modern snow, fine snow, feathery snow, hill snow, valley snow, snow that falls in the morning, snow that falls at night, snow that falls all of a sudden just when you’re going out fishing, and even though you’ve trained them not to, [yellow] snow your huskies have… ~Rob McKenna (Ibid.)

      • WebHubTelescope

        What kind of skiing? Downhill, X-country, telemark, water ?

        Free the heel and your mind will follow.

      • Slalom, Giant Slalom, and Super Giant Slalom.

      • “Did you know that the Eskimos have over two hundred different words for snow…”

        In one way that’s quite similar to climate science. It’s an exaggeration on top of an over-simplification of complex science.

        No they don’t have over 200 words for snow. They have lots of words for snow (so does English), they have many dialects, and they have lexemes and words — adding up to something quite different than English.

        For details see “Counting Eskimo words for snow: A citizen’s guide”, Anthony C. Woodbury (Prof Linguistics, U TX-Austin), July 1991 — “Lexemes referring to snow and snow-related notions in Steven A. Jacobson’s (1984) Yup’ik Eskimo dictionary”

      • @Editor of the Fabius Maximus website…

        Yeah. That’s what I said. With fewer words.

      • The beauty of English is that we have noun phrases. “Thin snow” and the others are just a good a way to talk or write as to create a new word for each of them. The implication that somehow in the area of snow the Eskimo language is more expressive than English is a incorrect.

      • Tell that to Rob McKenna (aka, the Rain God)

    • That’s a very interesting criticism, webby. Looks authoritative. It will be interesting to see Judith’s response. I think Joshie was about to lambast the B-E statistics thing, but he was going to complain about motivated reasoning, or big boy pants, again.

      • I enjoy watching webby flounder just as much as the next man, but can anybody produce a reference to anything that indicates that anyone has used B-E stats in relation to water molecules in the atmosphere, other than Judith and Vitaly? Hey, maybe they made a mistake.

      • Hi Don.

        It indeed has gotten a bit sloppy hasn’t it?

    • “since I am an expert on nucleation and deposition in materials science”

      That was funny!

    • WHUT, have you read the entire section 8.2.3, or are you just making reference to the TOC? The relevant text is (the notation sigma refers to surface tension):

      In the limit ΔFcr >> kT, the Bose–Einstein distribution converts into the Boltzmann distribution. The relation ΔFcr >> kT is valid in most cases.

      However, in some cases, when σvw is small (e.g., at very low temperatures or in the presence of strong surfactants or other pollutants that decrease surface tension), then may become comparable to or smaller than kT. Then, all of the previous derivations should be repeated using the Bose–Einstein statistics for particles with integer spin as the water molecules instead of the Boltzmann statistics.

    • WebHubTelescope

      Bose-Einstein statistics only applies to particles like photons. I can see what you are trying to do — torturing an equation to extract a prefactor. But it is based on the completely wrong premise, which is applying Bose-Einstein statistics to matter incorrectly. Water particles don’t have integer spin.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bose%E2%80%93Einstein_statistics

      As Feynman warned, it is easy to fool oneself.

      • Good grief! As Judith pointed out, the nuclear spin of a water molecule is integral. The isomers of water are para-water (I=0) and ortho-water.

        reference.

        WHT:

        I am an expert on nucleation and deposition in materials science,

        LOL. Yeah, sure.

      • I hope webby comes back.

      • I meant to also say that the ortho-water isomer has a spin of 1.

        Because the 16O has a zero net nuclear spin and the two hydrogen atoms each have a spin of 1/2, as should be obvious to an “expert”, water either has a net nuclear spin of 0 or 1.

        16O carries a net electric dipole moment and H2 is a zero electric dipole moment, so unlike H2, H2O has a net electric dipole moment. As I understand, has some interesting consequences.

      • WebHubTelescope

        Not in the context of Bose-Einstein statistics. If you can get all the water molecules to occupy the same quantum state, then you may be able to use Bose-Einstein statistics. LOL !

        The Pauli Exclusion Principle rules in 97% land !

      • You really are clueless.

      • If you can get all the water molecules to occupy the same quantum state, then you may be able to use Bose-Einstein statistics. LOL

        In the limit of large N and high temperature, Bose-Einstein reduces to the Boltzmann distribution. But as long as you are dealing with integral spin particles, the correct distribution is Bose-Einstein rather than Fermi.

        Judith provided an explanation of why the more exact description might be appropriate here. Perhaps you should comment on that instead of continuing on your reign of error.

        The Pauli Exclusion Principle rules in 97% land !

        That isn’t very kind to the other 97% to suggest that they are that ignorant of basic phsyics.

        Integral spin particles are not governed by the Pauli-exclusion principle, and hence the Fermi distribution, ever.

      • stevefitzpatrick

        Carrick,
        Consider the old Chinese expression:
        “It’s like playing piano to a cow” ( “对牛弹琴” )

      • Pauli exclusion principle is totally inapplicable to this case, because normal water molecules are bosons, not fermions. (WHUT seems to have misunderstood something badly.) It seems, however, highly unlikely that such conditions really occur in cloud formation where using Bose-Einstein statistics is justified.

        The chapter 8.2.3 is not problematic anyway as it only mentions that Bose-Einstein statistics applies, in principle, while the rest of the book
        is evidently based on Bolttzmann statistics.

      • Steve, actually cows do like piano and other instrumental music. (Getting them to stand still for Finntroll and other thrash ro

        Though I suppose you probably shouldn’t try to get them to play one.

        As an aside, cats can play musical instruments, as anybody who is owned by a cat and has tried to play a piano knows. Cats can also solo other instruments:

        http://www.youtube.com/attribution_link?a=00kICMo9aaI&u=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DbXn4_JkVFVo%26feature%3Dsh

        Arguably this is a more intelligent sub-thread than anything WHT has said here.

      • Clipped a sentence:

        “(Getting them to stand still for Finntroll and other thrash rock is more of a problem.)”

      • If you can get all the water molecules to occupy the same quantum state, […]

        Angels are clearly bosons.

        Anyway, AFAIK you don’t need all of them to. Just the fact that any two can occupy the same state changes their statistical behavior, doesn’t it? Such as “in the presence of strong surfactants or other pollutants that decrease surface tension”?

      • WebHubTelescope

        You do not use Bose-Einstein statistics in this case. The derivation of Bose-Einstein statistics requires a careful accounting of particles with respect to their states. Multiple photons can exist in the same state and therefore the Bose-Einstein statistics is important in deriving the Planck distribution. But not for physical matter such as water molecules, which obey the Pauli Exclusion principle and thus every molecule must exist in a different state.

        So where is the citation in the textbook for the claim that homogeneous nucleation can be modeled with Bose-Einstein statistics? Or was that just made up? No need to torture equations to get what you want to see.

      • Pekka:

        It seems, however, highly unlikely that such conditions really occur in cloud formation where using Bose-Einstein statistics is justified.

        I haven’t seen the chapter, but Judith Curry did provide some criteria for when classical treatment of the particles would not be appropriate.

        I imagine one might not need Bose-Einstein, but you can use Bose-Einstein to develop a semiclassical theory.

        I’m pretty sure, at the least, a semiclassical theory would be needed to model noctilucent clouds.

      • WHUT,

        What you write is totally wrong. Bosons are bosons and fermions are fermions. No more accounting of particles is needed for that.

        Neither Fermi-Dirac nor Bose-Einstein statistics applies to molecules that do not consist of identical particles, but a large majority of water molecules have the same isotopic constitution and are bosons. Therefore B-E statistics applies to them.

        The conditions where B-E statistics makes any difference for three-atomic molecules like H2O are, however, rare.

      • WebHubTelescope

        So Pekka, why don’t you go over to the Wikipedia page for boson, and add water molecule to the list of particles having the properties of a boson?

        LOL !

        I am serious, go do it. See what happens.

      • WHUT,
        It’s clearly a boson, absolutely no doubt about that, but why should all bosons be listed in a Wikipedia article on bosons?

      • That H2O is a boson makes a difference only if a single state has an occupancy significantly different from zero. That’s not possible at high temperatures, because so many states are then available. Molecules in a lattice are also bound to their location so strongly that they do not switch place with their neighbors easily enough to make a difference.

        The best known example of Bose-Einstein statistics is the superfluid helium at very low temperatures. Under those conditions all helium atoms are free to move in a finite volume and have a significant probability of having essentially zero kinetic energy. That’s a single state (or a set of very few states). Under those conditions the symmetry of the state relative to switching particles makes a big difference, and it’s this symmetry, what makes bosons to have B-E statistics.

        I cannot imagine any conditions, where water molecules could have essentially zero kinetic energy and be free to move in a finite volume. When they are close to each other at very low temperature they are always in a molecular lattice.

        Having very small differences between energies of states is not the same thing as having a very small total energy. Therefore I cannot see any situation, where many water molecules involved in cloud physics could share the same quantum state and make B-E statics significant for their behavior.

      • It has been well known (since the 1930s!) that ordinary water has two nuclear spins, ortho-water (I=0) and para-water (I=1).

        From the spin–statistics theorem, we know that:

        Integral spin = bosons.
        Half integral spin = fermions.

        That is all.

      • @ Pekka Pirilä…

        Bosons are bosons and fermions are fermions. No more accounting of particles is needed for that.

        I find that hard to believe. When these “Bosons” are actually composite particles made up entirely of primitive Fermions. The question is whether the Fermion nature of these primitive particles can manifest itself when they are locked into configurations that are, for practical purposes, bosons.

        For instance, the two electrons that work together to create a covalent bond are Fermions, but the union of those two electrons can, for some purposes, be considered a Boson. But not all purposes, or every atom would look like a helium or lithium atom.

        @WebHubTelescope…

        Multiple photons can exist in the same state and therefore the Bose-Einstein statistics is important in deriving the Planck distribution. But not for physical matter such as water molecules, which obey the Pauli Exclusion principle and thus every molecule must exist in a different state.

        If it can happen with a helium atom, it can happen with a water molecule. The question is under what circumstances.

        Now consider superconductors: in these materials, at the appropriate temperatures, a pair of electrons can be “attracted” to one another, occupying states identical except for opposing spins. The resulting particle behaves as a Boson.

        For a long time, it was assumed that such phenomena required very low temperatures, however that assumption turned out to be overly simplistic. It’s even possible that “room temperature superconductivity” will become a fact.

        Similarly, you shouldn’t base a rejection of such possibilities regarding Bosons in cloud microphysics on obsolete and poorly understood “rules of thumb” you learned in graduate school.

      • pair of fermions can behave as a boson

      • AK,
        The Quantum Mechanical basis for the difference between bosons and fermions is that switching two identical bosons leaves the wave function unchanged while switching two identical fermions changes the sigh of the wave function.

        When other properties of the state make such switching likely enough this property of the bosons adds to the likelihood of the combined state formed by having two bosons in the same state, because (1+1)^2 = 4 while 1^2+1^2 = 2. Having two fermions in the same state is forbidden, because (1-1)^2 = 0.

        To have this enhancement for the bosons the two particles must be so closely in the same state that the effect adds up over the whole range, where the particles may move. Even slightly different momenta lead to incoherence, where the effect disappears.

        In supeconductivity the situation is different, because the effective masses are very low. For that reason the coherence may be present even at relatively high temperatures. (The theory of superconducivity is rather complex. I haven’t gone trough it in full detail in spite of the fact that I have lectured from a book that spends much space for superconductivity, but that was many decades ago.)

      • WebHubTelescope

        But no one abuses Bose-Einstein statistics in this way for ordinary matter. Sure they use it with photon statistics to derive the Rayleigh-Jeans law and then the Stefan-Boltzmann distribution, but for physical matter like this?
        LOL!

        They assume Maxwell-Boltzmann for thermal activation (fine) and then when they want to generate a different solution, they suddenly change it to Bose-Einstein because it gives them the answer they want?
        LOL !

        And they are doing all this strangeness without and kind of citation to back it up. LOL !

        That is the problem with these textbooks. No one has enough time to review them for logical consistency. A paper, yes, but not something of this magnitude, likely not.

      • I am actually feeling sorry for Web. Clearly out of his league.

      • WebHubTelescope

        Pekka said:


        The chapter 8.2.3 is not problematic anyway as it only mentions that Bose-Einstein statistics applies, in principle, while the rest of the book
        is evidently based on Bolttzmann statistics.

        In principle ???

        Flip the page and they ASSERT that nucleation rates are proportional to kT when the Bose-Einstein statistics are applied — and this is in the high temperature limit compared to the activation energy!!

        But the problem is that this then grows without bound; yet we know that real-world activation curves go like exp(-E/kT), which becomes proportionally less effective the higher the temperature.

        I have never seen someone abuse Bose-Einstein statistics in this way, and then have nothing to back it up by way of citations.

      • WebHubTelescope

        ceresco kid | September 4, 2014 at 6:26 pm |

        I am actually feeling sorry for Web. Clearly out of his league.

        Yeah, too bad that I am competing against the minor leagues. It’s almost beneath my dignity.

        But what can I say — the Harlem Globetrotters had to play the hapless Washington Generals.

      • WHUT,
        I don’t have the book, I have seen only that part of the chapter that you included in your message.

        That part of your argument seems to be correct that B-E statistics cannot be applied in the way the book appears to be doing. The energy differential must be calculated from a real effective minimum, not between two states at temperature far from the absolute zero. The possible states at a higher temperature are not nearly coherent enough to be significantly affected by the boson nature of water molecules.

        As a side remark, for one issue the bosonic nature of H2O might have observable influence. That’s the case of dimers at high altitude, where collisions are not too frequent.

      • AJ:

        For instance, the two electrons that work together to create a covalent bond are Fermions, but the union of those two electrons can, for some purposes, be considered a Boson. But not all purposes, or every atom would look like a helium or lithium atom.

        Well yes. There are many different physical properties that determine the behavior of a molecule besides whether it is a boson or fermion. H2O is obviously a much larger molecule than He2, it’s melting point is much higher, etc.

        I’m not sold that Bose-Einstein statistics is a very useful description of the dynamics of water molecules, but it’s not obviously wrong.

        On semi-classical physicals:

        One example where modeling the non-classical behavior of water vapor molecules is importan is the ice nucleation on supercooled water droplets. This was exampled at -40°C, so this apparently would have relevance to cloud formation physics.

        For supercooled water, it also appears that the bosonic nature of the molecule can matter.

      • AJ:

        It’s AK. AJ’s somebody else who comments here.

        One example where modeling the non-classical behavior of water vapor molecules is importan is the ice nucleation on supercooled water droplets. This was exampled at -40°C, so this apparently would have relevance to cloud formation physics.

        The tops of tropical “hot tower” convection cells reach lows of -70°C, so this definitely “would have relevance to cloud formation physics.”

        Looks like you’re found provided some of the references Webdummy’s demanding.

      • WebHubTelescope

        I will classify the chapter 8.2.3 in this book as “Not even wrong”

        The problem with science that is “not even wrong” is that many times one can not even gauge what the fundamental premise of the proposer’s argument is. I took a guess at what they are trying to do, but unless one can get in to their shoes and figure out exactly where or why they went south, we may never know.

        As it stands and IMO, they decided to pick Bose-Einstein statistics on a whim and then derived something without any experimental evidence or citation of previous work.

      • You would surely need to explore the microphysical states in cloud nucleation in which Stefan-Boltzmann gives way to Bose-Einstein statistics. Which were given as very low temperature and strong surfactants.

        More generally – the webbly is typically superficial and ultimately eccentric. Taking anything he says seriously is an error.

      • AK:

        It’s AK. AJ’s somebody else who comments here.

        AK, I apologize for the mistake.
        AJ, I also apologize for the mistake.

        :-P

        If somebody doesn’t even understand when to apply the Pauli Exclusion Principle, or what a boson is, it does seem unlikely that anything more technical he has to say on the topic is going to be of much value.

        So I admit I am more interested in the general questions of are there semiclassical physics associated with cloud condensation, and how would you model it?

      • WebHubTelescope


        If somebody doesn’t even understand when to apply the Pauli Exclusion Principle, or what a boson is, it does seem unlikely that anything more technical he has to say on the topic is going to be of much value.

        That’s too bad the authors haven’t a clue about how to apply statistical mechanics, eh?

        I guess they have been eaten by the Uncertainty Principle Monster.

      • Carrick, Pekka, thanks.

        WHUT, thanks for the entertainment.

        Dr. Curry, congratz!

      • WebHubTelescope


        For supercooled water, it also appears that the bosonic nature of the molecule can matter.

        But that is likely referring to the dynamics of phonons, which are vibrational quanta. These follow Bose-Einstein statistics because they are the vibrational equivalent to photons, but exist in a solid. Usually phonons are stronger in lattices but the search is on to find peaks or resonances in amorphous materials such as water.

        http://physics.aps.org/articles/v4/44

        This likely has little to do with your infatuation with water molecules being bosons on their own.

        Again, much of this discussion is entering the “not even wrong” territory.

        There was no reason to invoke Bose-Einstein statistics. My academic background is in growth and characterization of semiconductor crystals and so I know most of the science and won’t be snowed on these topics.

      • Carrick | September 4, 2014 at 7:29 pm |

        Great comment and references. One possible little wrinkle in context of discussion here…Cooperative behavior and collective excitations, etc.[papers] are language that suggest that bosons of interest here are the Goldstone(?) bosons. e.g., phonons, associated with the broken symmetry of a second order transition [Pruppacher p.1927]. Any thoughts on this qSWAG idea?

        Of all this is probably quickly answered by references in section 8.2.3 and being a retired old man I do not have that kind of money to spend on curiosity (sorry Dr C, the book does look interest…)

      • WHUT, I’ll just go ahead and post this abstract tidbit from Carricks other reference, The Boson peak in supercooled water

        “…We further find that, similar to other glass-forming liquids, the vibrational modes corresponding to the Boson peak are spatially extended and are related to transverse phonons found in the parent crystal, here ice “

      • Webby, please furnish references to peer reviewed papers on growth and characterization of semiconductor crystals authored by yourself, if you got ’em. We won’t look at the names of the authors, so as to preserve your anonymity.

        I still think your criticism looks authoritative, webby. Sneering and insulting to Judith and her loyal denizens, but authoritative. I been googling around and I don’t see a plethora/any evidence that B-E stats have been applied to ice crystals or water droplets in the atmosphere.

        As usual, I look to Pekka for the likely correct analysis:

        “I cannot imagine any conditions, where water molecules could have essentially zero kinetic energy and be free to move in a finite volume. When they are close to each other at very low temperature they are always in a molecular lattice.

        Having very small differences between energies of states is not the same thing as having a very small total energy. Therefore I cannot see any situation, where many water molecules involved in cloud physics could share the same quantum state and make B-E statics significant for their behavior.”

        I hope Judith comes back.

      • Matthew R Marler

        WebHubTelescope: Water particles don’t have integer spin.

        Do you have a reference for that? Carrick supplied a reference claiming that they do have integer spin.

        Probability laws can be reasonably accurate outside the region of knowledge narrowly prescribed by the assumptions used to derive them; as is true of lots of applied mathematics. From the same wikipedia article:

        Viewed as a pure probability distribution, the Bose–Einstein distribution has found application in other fields:

        In recent years, Bose Einstein statistics have also been used as a method for term weighting in information retrieval. The method is one of a collection of DFR (“Divergence From Randomness”) models,[5] the basic notion being that Bose Einstein statistics may be a useful indicator in cases where a particular term and a particular document have a significant relationship that would not have occurred purely by chance. Source code for implementing this model is available from the Terrier project at the University of Glasgow.

        Main article: Bose–Einstein condensation (network theory)

        The evolution of many complex systems, including the World Wide Web, business, and citation networks, is encoded in the dynamic web describing the interactions between the system’s constituents. Despite their irreversible and nonequilibrium nature these networks follow Bose statistics and can undergo Bose–Einstein condensation. Addressing the dynamical properties of these nonequilibrium systems within the framework of equilibrium quantum gases predicts that the “first-mover-advantage,” “fit-get-rich(FGR),” and “winner-takes-all” phenomena observed in competitive systems are thermodynamically distinct phases of the underlying evolving networks.[5]

        You have not provided much substance to your claim that K&C have committed an error that introduces much inaccuracy into the derivation.

      • Matthew R Marler

        WebHubTelescope: http://physics.aps.org/articles/v4/44

        This likely has little to do with your infatuation with water molecules being bosons on their own.

        Like you, I did not see the relevance of that article to the K&C derivation.

      • Anybody that brings up Bose-Einstein statistics in the realm of condensed matter physics is usually describing a very refined setup featuring exotic materials and extremely low temperatures, often bordering on absolute zero. I don’t think condensation or nucleation of water fits into this discussion.

        Apparently there is only one citation available that connects B-E and ice nucleation, and that involves the book that is being discussed.
        Try a DuckDuckGo search:
        http://duckduckgo.com/?q=%22bose-einstein+statistics%22+%22ice+nucleation%22

        Golly gee, only this book.

        The authors must know something that the entire condensed matter physics community has overlooked, and they simply assert it, with no experimental evidence to support the claim.

        Anyone notice the huge contradiction between an author that declares that all of climate science is bound by uncertainty, yet in the author’s own research, the physics is stated by assertion, with zero uncertainty implied? How convenient….

      • The attached notes discusses some of what WHT and Carrick is alluding to: http://www.physics.usyd.edu.au/~nigel/phys3012/Chapter4.pdf
        These lecture notes may be of some help in assessing what has been posted here.

      • If someone had claimed Fermi-Dirac statistics governed some common behavior of particles with mass, I would not have batted an eye. One can’t even derive the operation of a transistor without invoking F-D statistics. And Maxwell-Boltzmann statistics is everywhere as well.

        But what caught my eye here was that Bose-Einstein statistics were being used to explain common ordinary condensation and nucleation of water particles. Yet anyone that follows condensed matter physics would realize how rare a mechanism this is, and to find someone claiming that it actually occurs the wilds of nature is certainly worthy of skepticism. Notice the word skepticism — real skepticism, not the fake skepticism that climate deniers partake in.

        This is the big leagues of physics, the articles that get accepted into Physical Review Letters, and strong assertions such as this require strong evidence.

      • A small calculation tells about the possibility that the bosonic nature of water molecules has any influence.

        De Broglie’s wavelength sets the distance scale for such QM phenomena as the one considered here. At all temperatures of the atmosphere it’s less than 50 pm (picometers) for a water molecule. Picking two water molecules randomly from those present leads to coherence over a distance roughly equal to de Broglie’s wavelength, As the distance between neighboring molecules (oxygen atoms) in liquid water is about 280 pm, such coherence is far too weak to have any noticeable effect.

        B-E statistics might apply to some collective modes, but those modes are not dependent on the bosonic or fermionic nature of the molecules themselves.

      • ‘As the quantum concentration depends on temperature, most systems at high temperatures obey the classical (Maxwell–Boltzmann) limit unless they have a very high density, as for a white dwarf. Both Fermi–Dirac and Bose–Einstein become Maxwell–Boltzmann statistics at high temperature or at low concentration.’ Wikipedia

        I had assumed that was the case Pekka – that the quantum concentration was not sufficient for either Fermi-Dirac or Bose-Einstein statistics to be of relevance physically in that sense.

        However – I don’t know enough about the derivation or the dynamics to judge the application to the rate of nucleation. The sigma term – involving pollution, surfactants and temperature – seems to be the key.

      • Rob,

        The statement “the quantum concentration was not sufficient for either Fermi-Dirac or Bose-Einstein statistics to be of relevance physically” seems a bit imprecise, but in a way it’s correct. There are so many possible – and mutually so incoherent quantum states – that the concentration of states of the molecules is very small in all parts of the phase space.

      • Just curious, but which statistical treatments would allow for mixed phase clouds at -50C degrees? Since water appears to be able to exist in all three phases at temperatures as low as minus 50 C, that could be a limiting factor doncha know.


      • The sigma term – involving pollution, surfactants and temperature – seems to be the key.

        LOL.
        We were looking at surfactant-assisted epitaxial growth with Silicon and Germanium years ago. As it turns out, impurities such as Arsenic assist in the epitaxial growth of these materials, and this is fortunate in a way as those kinds of impurities also provide the electrical dopant necessary for optimal semiconductor operation. Of course this was all done in highly controlled lab conditions where we could watch what was happening in real time.

        Yet, the authors of this book assert that they know what is happening, and they assert it with no citations to be seen anywhere. Unbelievable!

        If you key in my name to Google Scholar with surfactant and growth, you will see the links. In one of the key papers I had written I did not mention surfactant, and only later did my colleague Copel hit upon the word surfactant and then got his PRL paper out. I blame it on limited vocabulary at the time.

        Oh well, told you I had some expertise … LOL. We’re all bosons on this bus.

      • We were looking at surfactant-assisted epitaxial growth with Silicon and Germanium years ago.

        Crystal growth? At what temperature(s)?

      • I have always suspected that you aren’t completely ignorant, webby. I am proud to know you.

      • Matthew R Marler

        WebHubTelescope: So Pekka, why don’t you go over to the Wikipedia page for boson, and add water molecule to the list of particles having the properties of a boson?

        It was kind of fun to read that “As Sw increases, … , the number of molecules in an embryo drops from 12496 to 43.” (p 292.) (of course, a reader must smile at the 5 significant figures. 8-) )

        Then “(1) Germs before nucleation have a spherical form … (2) the germs are distributed according to the Boltzmann statistics. Later some correction factors were introduced for non-sphericity of ice germs. The second assumption can also be revised and more general statistical distributions considered.” (p 293)

        Then “However, as we have seen in Chapter 3, the Boltzmann distribution is a particular case of the more general Bose-Einstein distribution:

        Then , all of the previous derivations should be repeated using the Bose-Einstein statistics for particles with integer spin as the water molecules instead of the Boltzmann statistics.” p. 299

        On p 301 you can see “… homogeneous freezing nucleation rates Jf,hom measured or estimated for pure water with various methods by several authors.”

        My recommendation for you and the denizens is that you might want to read the book. If that paper you cited about glass is relevant, you have not made the case. The paper that Carrick cited is closer to the mark.

      • Matthew R Marler
      • Matthew R Marler

        WebHubTelescope: We were looking at surfactant-assisted epitaxial growth with Silicon and Germanium years ago.

        Links or references to publications? The similarity of water to silicon is not apparent at first. You were doing these experiments at what temperature and pressure?

      • Matthew R Marler

        WebHubTElescope: Yet, the authors of this book assert that they know what is happening, and they assert it with no citations to be seen anywhere.

        Your claim that the authors reference no citations is false, as anyone can tell from reading the text.

      • Matthew R Marler

        WebHubTelescope: Oh well, told you I had some expertise … LOL.

        For some reason you always leave it behind when you come here to discuss and debate.

        You must think all the readers are as dumb as, well, nevermind. Plenty of readers have the expertise to check technical claims made by you and others.

      • Marler, I get my fill of yucks for the day when you comment at RealClimate and they depants you.

        I am sure that Marler has the hands-on experience running multimillion dollar epitaxial lab equipment, and that this translates into a deep understanding of nucleation and condensation processes. LOL.

      • Pekka, thanks for the comments on de Broglie wavelength…that makes perfect sense (and I agree with your calculation).

        While there may be the need for quantum corrections at e.g. high elevations (lower pressure) or supersaturated fluids, I would be surprised at this point if they had anything to do with Bose-Einstein condensates. (But bosons still aren’t governed by the Pauli exclusion principle.)

        On the “boson peak”, I agree that isn’t relevant. Mea cupla.

        I’l point on that the boson nature of ordinary water molecules is still important: The discovery that water has spin I=0 and I=1 was made spectroscopically. Here is a brief description:

        As is found in molecular hydrogen (H2), the hydrogen atoms in water (H2O) may possess parallel (paramagnetic ortho-H2O, magnetic moment = 1; the high spin state with three symmetric spin states +1 , 0 , -1 (↑↑, ↑↓+↑↓, ↓↓); this spin state always rotates with the lowest state 23.794352 cm-1 H216O, [607c], 23.773510 cm-1 H217O [607a] or 23.754902 cm-1 H218O [607a]) or antiparallel (nonmagnetic para-H2O, magnetic moment = 0 (↑↓-↑↓); the low spin state with one antisymmetric spin state 0; some of these will not be rotating even at room temperature) nuclear spin. Para-H2O does not interact with an external magnetic field, but ortho-H2O does. Conversion between these isomers is forbidden for isolated water molecules and they act as different molecular species. They can change spin state on interaction with another particle. The equilibrium ratio of these nuclear spin states in H2O is all para at zero Kelvin, where the molecules have no rotational spin in their ground state, shifting to the most stable ratio [1694] of 3:1 ortho:para at less cold temperatures (>50 K); the equilibrium taking months to establish itself in ice (or gas) and nearly an hour in ambient water [410].

        I think this has nothing to do with Bose-Einstein, but the integral spin of the molecule has meaningful physical consequences.

        Maybe Judith Curry can get Vitaly Khvorostyanov’s comment on this?

      • I’ve asked Vitaly to comment on this, haven’t received anything yet.

      • WHUT:

        I am sure that Marler has the hands-on experience running multimillion dollar epitaxial lab equipment, and that this translates into a deep understanding of nucleation and condensation processes. LOL.

        Knowing how to run a piece of lab equipment, regardless of its cost, demonstrates you have the competency level of an undergrad work-study student, or a lab tech. nothing more.

        But nobody who understands much about quantum mechanics would ever claim:

        But not for physical matter such as water molecules, which obey the Pauli Exclusion principle and thus every molecule must exist in a different state

        Pekka tried to explain this to you:

        Neither Fermi-Dirac nor Bose-Einstein statistics applies to molecules that do not consist of identical particles, but a large majority of water molecules have the same isotopic constitution and are bosons. Therefore B-E statistics applies to them.

        You happened to be right that Bose-Einstein is not useful here, but you weren’t able to state why. That isn’t a mark in your favor as being a real expert on this topic.

        Moreover your generally commentary is just wrong:

        I was scanning through the book and since I am an expert on nucleation and deposition in materials science, I was checking to see how good the science is.

        So right there in Section 8.2.3 is a bad description of statistical mechanics. Yes, Bose-Einstein stats are more general than Maxwell-Boltzmann stats, but it doesn’t apply to the kinds of particles you are talking about. Instead, in the case of Boltzmann should be if anything a simplification of Fermi-Dirac statistics which forbids two particles from occupying the same state.

        This is totally wrong. I think Pekka’s description is correct about the issue:

        That H2O is a boson makes a difference only if a single state has an occupancy significantly different from zero. That’s not possible at high temperatures, because so many states are then available.

        To error is human, but I don’t see evidence where you’ve shown the capacity to admit error. Is that broken?

      • Lots of characteristics of water that one can look at spectroscopically, that doesn’t prove that any of them apply in this case.

        The damage has been done. Google indexed the book and some poor sod searching the web will now believe that condensation and nucleation of cloud droplets and crystals will follow Bose-Einstein statistics under a certain regime with 100% certainty … LOL unless they see this comment section at the same time.

        The Uncertainty Monster giveth and it taketh away.

      • Carrick

        “On the “boson peak”, I agree that isn’t relevant. Mea cupla.”

        That aside, the papers to which you linked still are very interesting and indeed working from there to other googled papers on supercooled water seem pretty rich in interesting physics. (It is also interesting to see H.E.Stanley going strong. I still have his monograph on phase transitions and critical phenomena.) So, I enjoyed the excursion…gave up on this thread anyway. (Marler is correct in suggesting one should read it…)

      • WebHubTelescope

        Carrick seems to think that all the water molecules will occupy states close to the ground state so that the Bose-Einstein statistics can take over. And he wants the water molecules to supercool to near absolute zero so that he can get the E/kT exponent the way he wants it without phase transitioning into ice first. Really now. Do you always torture the equations that way?

        Apparently, no amount of just plain common sense will set him right on this topic. And it really doesn’t matter anyways because the original premise for invoking Bose-Einstein statistics was so badly made that it was “Not Even Wrong”.

        BTW, I started joking about the Pauli Exclusion Principle because a commenter at another physics blog said that the Skeptic Exclusion Principle was in effect, whereby no two skeptics can occupy the same position. LOL ! Then I got carried away. I over-reached ! Shoot me !

        The Skeptic Exclusion Principle can not be violated:

        http://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2014/09/01/our-final-century/#comment-30648

        Can’t happen, that would violate the Skeptic Exclusion Principle, which prevents any two contrarian ideas from conflicting with each other. (cf: ‘It’s not warming’ and ‘The warming is natural’)

      • Webbly’s fatuous irrelevance is more than a little tiresome. He should really stop arguing the same incorrect point over and over again – but that seems unlikely. He has been doing the equivalent eccentric song and dance for years.

      • Matthew R Marler

        WebHubTelescope: I am sure that Marler has the hands-on experience running multimillion dollar epitaxial lab equipment, and that this translates into a deep understanding of nucleation and condensation processes. LOL.

        this reminds me of an old saying. When the facts support you, cite the facts. When the theory supports you, cite the theory. When neither the facts nor the theory supports you, cite your experiences and expertise.

        I want to thank Pekka and Carrick for their several comments.

        curryja: I’ve asked Vitaly to comment on this, haven’t received anything yet.

        Maybe after everyone has had time to read and absorb the text. I look forward to his reply, but on evidence to date it might be premature. Yours and his choice, of course. That should go without saying, but most things that go without saying should be said.

        Congratulations to you on what looks to be a very fine book.

      • Matthew R Marler

        WebHubTelescope: Marler, I get my fill of yucks for the day when you comment at RealClimate and they depants you.

        They didn’t know the answers to my questions either, but they were sure that the answers didn’t matter.

      • WebHubTelescope

        This is not a “song-and-dance”. This is about correcting errors in a textbook. This is about preventing someone down the line assuming that an effect is proportional to kT instead of the accepted Arrhenius rate-law exp(-E/kT) , based on what a textbook asserts. This can have an impact on modeling of climate feedback since the former can create a strong positive feedback with a temperature increase while the latter is positive yet self-limiting. Has anyone even considered that repercussion?

        If someone offers you constructive scientific criticism, it is your responsibility to take it and then say thank you. This thread wouldn’t have gone on so long if it weren’t the for the ankle-biters playing gotcha games on my clarity in pointing out what I consider to be a problem with the physics.

      • Webster, “If someone offers you constructive scientific criticism, it is your responsibility to take it and then say thank you.”

        I believe that would depend on how the criticism was offered and whether it was correct. I asked a question earlier that you must have missed, which statistical treatment allows for mixed phase clouds at temperatures of -50 C degrees? There has been a bit of controversy over the simplifications made in the climate models and estimates made in Earth energy budget in the polar regions especially the Arctic, over the impact of mixed phase clouds. How about solving that issue for us briefly?

      • Pop quiz:

        Who said: “I cannot see any situation, where many water molecules involved in cloud physics could share the same quantum state and make B-E statics significant for their behavior.”

      • The same person who said:

        (The theory of superconducivity [sic] is rather complex. I haven’t gone trough it in full detail in spite of the fact that I have lectured from a book that spends much space for superconductivity, but that was many decades ago.)

        I don’t claim to be an expert in quantum theory, but I’ve seen plenty of “many decades ago” expertise (or at least scholarship) turn out to be wrong. I remain very skeptical.

      • WebHubTelescope


        Knowing how to run a piece of lab equipment, regardless of its cost, demonstrates you have the competency level of an undergrad work-study student, or a lab tech. nothing more.

        Yes, and certainly devising the experiments, analyzing the results, writing research papers, and presenting at conferences doesn’t count either. A VoTech grad could that too — some pretend to on the interwebs, at least, LOL

      • Proportional to ‘kT instead of the accepted Arrhenius rate-law exp(-E/kT)’.

        Not even close. Look at the equations.

      • Matthew R Marler

        WebHubTelescope: This is about preventing someone down the line assuming that an effect is proportional to kT instead of the accepted Arrhenius rate-law exp(-E/kT) , based on what a textbook asserts.

        In which equation did they do that?

      • I’ll try again:

        I enjoy watching webby flounder just as much as the next man, but can anybody produce a reference to anything that indicates that anyone has used B-E stats in relation to water molecules in the atmosphere, other than Judith and Vitaly? Hey, maybe they made a mistake.


      • In which equation did they do that?

        In the one that they messed up. You claim to have purchased the book, so you can look it up.

      • The ones he linked to at the top of this absurd thread.

        Still not even close.

      • Matthew R Marler

        WebHubTelescope: assuming that an effect is proportional to kT instead of the accepted Arrhenius rate-law exp(-E/kT) , based on what a textbook asserts.

        It must be my eyes: on screen here and in my text, eqns 8.2.43 and 8.2.44, have the rate proportional to 1/{ exp(E/kT) -1}, not proportional to kT, and they note a limit in which the “-1” is removed, making the rate proportional to exp(-E/kT).

        A rate proportional to kT appears in a Taylor series expansion of an exponentiation in eqn 8.3.14, but it is clearly labeled as an approximation for a clearly stated case.

        I hope that more people than us read this carefully soon.

      • It seems that Chief has been reading all this, as he has already pointed this out upthread Matthew.

        The question of the general applicability of B-E statistics to water crystals still remains moot, however, and I would be most interested to hear Vitaly’s response to WHT’s critique.

      • It is very simple in that they give the case where E is much greater than kT and also the case E much less than kT. Given that the range of E is that wide, you would think they would have a citation or experimental evidence to back that the latter case (the degenerate case) is even operable in the atmosphere. And if it doesn’t exist then why include it? Or are they just guessing?

        That’s what set off my sanity-check radar. This is not a common phenomenon, and so they need credible evidence to back such a strong claim.

      • Chapter 3 seems to be the relevant background – and I believe these are empirical or semi-empirical equations for which webbly’s idee fixe on the impossibility of transition to a supercritical state would be absurdly irrelevant.

        And the prospect of webbly passing a sanity check seems remote.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Rob Ellison: The ones he linked to at the top of this absurd thread.

        those equations do no do what WebHubTelescope claims of them.

    • stevefitzpatrick

      Carrick,
      “Steve, actually cows do like piano and other instrumental music.”
      But how would you know? ;-) Even if cows do like piano, it seems some people aren’t willing to listen.

    • since I am an expert on nucleation and deposition in materials science

      Titter!

    • I wouldn’t pretend to know but perhaps that’s the whole point; carry B-E to the state of change:

      http://phys.org/news/2013-04-super-heated-bose-einstein-condensate-critical-temperature.html

  21. Congratulation to Dr. Curry and Professor Khvorostyanov
    Exemplary Russo-American cooperation at the time of mutual distrust and deteriorating relations.

  22. So in the 1980s you studied clouds, not knowing that clouds would become the centre of a huge, bitter world-wide debate concerning the future of the planet.

    Cool.

  23. Congratulations! I hope to read it! I also hope many future climatologists read it! Best wishes!

  24. Well done for writing this book and for your partnership . I like Russian scientists and it is a great shame we do not see more from their historic archives.
    tonyb

  25. “Even doubling or tripling the amount of carbon dioxide will virtually,” says New Zealand professor Geoffrey G. Duffy, “have little impact, as water vapour and water condensed on particles as clouds dominate the worldwide scene and always will.”

  26. John Smith (it's my real name)

    sorry to go off topic …
    I just tried to comment on Real Climate and was rejected –
    don’t think I wrote anything out of line –
    they seemed to have the moniker that I’ve only ever used here –

    tainted as result of following Judith Curry?

    If so. I’m honored

  27. Well done Dr. Curry, I am going to get a copy of this book to keep my personal informstion up to date,
    Ramesh

  28. Judith, congratulations. Moving cloud understanding forward fills IMO a big hole in climate science. Clouds do much more than provide an albedo feedback mechanism. Their formation by condensation releases latent heat of evaporation at altitude which affects OLR. And precipitation removes water vapor, so regulates what is by far the biggest GHG. It is my hypothesis that both processes constitute key portions of an expanded version of Lindzens original ‘adaptive iris’ sufficient to explain the CMIP5 upper troposphere equatorial hotspot that is not observed by either radiosondes or satellites.
    I look forward to reading the book, but not to the reminder of how rusty my formerly decent math skills now are.

    • … and, cloud condensation removes aerosols from the atmosphere.

      • … and, cloud condensation removes aerosols from the atmosphere.

        For that fraction of cloud droplets that actually reach the ground, rather than re-evaporating during entrainment.

      • In an annual global mean, about 80–90% of aerosol particles are removed from the atmosphere by in-cloud and below-cloud scavenging (wet deposition). Remaining part of particles is removed by different ways of dry deposition. (István Lagzi, et al., Atmospheric Chemistry, © 2013 Eötvös Loránd University)

      • In an annual global mean, about 80–90% of aerosol particles are removed from the atmosphere by in-cloud and below-cloud scavenging […]

        But the key question is: how many times, on average, does a particular particle get to serve as a CCN?

      • The chemical composition of ‘a particle’ changes when dissolved in water…

      • The chemical composition of ‘a particle’ changes when dissolved in water…

        And again when it dries out. Not necessarily the same particle (depending on its composition), but potentially still a CCN.

        And, of course, many particles aren’t completely soluble…

      • Isn’t the presence of CCN the opposite of drying out?

      • Sorry, I assumed you understood this stuff, and I was just reminding you.

        A particle capable of becoming wet functions as a CCN. Thus, it’s in (roughly at the center of) a (cloud) droplet. Several things can happen to this droplet:

        It can become caught up in a larger hailstone/droplet, ultimately falling as rain. Most of this rain will reach the surface, some will re-evaporate, producing a (usually) much larger particle made up of all the non-volatiles contained in all the original CCN’s.

        It can get caught up in entrainment of some sort, mixing with dry air. Depending on circumstances, the resulting mixture may join a downdraft, or otherwise undergo (wet/pseudo-)adiabatic heating, wherein the water will evaporate and the particle dry out.

        It can become involved in snow creation, where the vapor pressure over the (supercooled) water of the droplet is higher than that over ice, and most of the water evaporates and condenses as ice/snow. Depending on how hygroscopic the particle is, it may dry out, or remain wet with a bit of the droplet left, due to reduction in vapor pressure due to dissolved matter.

        There may be other things that can happen to the droplet, that I haven’t remembered to include.

        In two of the cases above, the particle can potentially be “recycled”, functioning more than once as a CCN. In addition, the mini-droplets surrounding hygroscopic CCN’s can also dry out once the source air mixes with dryer stratospheric air. The key question is: how often do all of these things happen; how much is the original aerosol load “multiplied” by such recycling?

      • Perhaps what you didn’t remember is the deposition of cloud droplets on vegetation at high elevations.

        You also seem to be saying that no one understands this stuff –e.g., why is it that, “the particle can potentially be recycled, functioning more than once as a CCN,” becomes, “the key question?”

        Your example of a droplet that dries out may be unimportant. If it is important, then we must consider all of the factors (turbulent and Brownian diffusion, sedimentation, impaction, interception) that are a part of ‘dry’ deposition processes and what bearing they have on whatever you see is the ‘key’ concern you have in putting forward your ‘key’ question and whether such concerns are on a global or a regional scale.

      • Perhaps what you didn’t remember is the deposition of cloud droplets on vegetation at high elevations.

        The vast majority of cloud activity takes place at elevations above 6 Km. Not much vegetation there, AFAIK.

        You also seem to be saying that no one understands this stuff –e.g., why is it that, “the particle can potentially be recycled, functioning more than once as a CCN,” becomes, “the key question?”

        AFAIK most people who work in weather/climate (as well as many amateurs) understand this stuff. Just not you.

        As for why it’s a “key question”, that’s because the primary interest in aerosols is how they function as CCN’s. I.E. the relationship between aerosol production and cloud behavior. And, more importantly, the relationship between changes to aerosol production and changes to cloud behavior.

        The process by which aerosol production affects cloud behavior, then, depends on how often, on average, each type of particle acts as a CCN. The more often it’s recycled, the more changes to production are multiplied.

        Also, if there are broad-scale changes to convection that affect this recycling rate, they can have an effect on cloud behavior equal to or perhaps greater than changes to aerosol production.

      • …and, what is the ‘key’ concern of all of those who understand this stuff?

    • Himalayan Monsoons are product of the clouds shifting water from the Indian Ocean to foothills of Himalaya, and so exert changes in the Earth’s rotation rate (LOD), being responsible for one of three strongest (decadal change) components in the geomagnetic variability spectrum (other two being Hale cycle and the ENSO). In turn the geomagnetic variability has effect on the GCR modulation, and consequently the cloud formation, source of the monsoon; the climate feedback loop, ignored by both the climate scientist and the model designers alike.

      • David L. Hagen

        vukcevic re thanks for the perspective.
        PS Note: South Asia Monsoon
        The SUMMER monsoon carries moisture from the Indian Ocean (especially the Bay of Bengal) to rain out over the Himalayas.
        The WINTER monsoon coming over Tibet carries little water.

      • Spectral composition of Himalayan monsoon and LOD
        http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LOD-HM.htm
        from 1870 – 2010 shows strong correlation, and is unlikely to be coincidence.
        Where the geomagnetic field comes into it (28 year periodicity) :
        See Hiroko Miyahara’s the world foremost expert on the Maunder Minimum presentation on the GCR modulation (from 15 min in)

  29. Steve Fitzpatrick

    Cloud physics seems an interesting field, and one that is crucial for advancing the accuracy of GCM’s. I have often wondered about the thermodynamic instability of cloud droplets/crystals (tendency for Ostwald ripening and drift toward ever larger droplets/crystals over time), since the rate of ripening will almost certainly influence the magnitude of all secondary aerosol effects. Is this a subject that is covered in your book?

  30. Very cool. Congratulations.

  31. Judith
    Hearty congratulations to you and Professor Khvorostyanov! The book seems a very impressive achievement; I hope it gets the attention and recognition it deserves. Well done for writing it. The subject is absolutely central, inter alia, to the questions of how much effect aerosols have had and on how the climate will respond to increasing greenhouse gas concentrations.

  32. So much cloudiness in climate. I must buy the book, fer even
    a serf may learn – if assisted by a scientist nephew.

  33. Congratulations, Professor Curry!

    The book is a mark of success in your academic career.

  34. Cloud microphysics has long intrigued me. why do clouds form and grow? This book seems to have many off the answers. ” Because of the relative unavailability to scientists of computers in the Soviet Union in the 1970’s and 1980’s, atmospheric scientists in Russia relied much more heavily on analytical solutions to equations than did scientists in the West.”, Yes, I remember this period well, Attending international meetings with Soviet scientists during the cold war was a strange experience, although I always found that their old-school academicians invariably polite. I even have a SPUTNIK badge given to me by one of them.

    At the time we all had plenty of equations to solve, Analytical solutions were great if you could find them. and as Judith said, the Russians had every incentive to do that. Another approach was to build your own computer which we did in Australia, with British help. It is amazing that despite the secrecy and our better computers, we came up with about the same results. However I am not suggesting we dispense with secrecy in national defence, because wars are won by surprise.

  35. Thank you
    Blog fantastic
    Good luck
    ……………….
    http://www.8ii.in

  36. Average cloud altitude, modulated by the weak signal from sunspots and combined with an approximation of net ocean cycles, accurately explain more than 400 years of observed climate change on earth. The simple analysis of the effect of average cloud change on average global temperature is at http://lowaltitudeclouds.blogspot.com/

  37. David Sivyer Western Australia

    Judith, terrific to see this development on the importance of “cloud creation” and the role of aerosols.

    I have held the notion that if we joined the dots from this:
    Charles Thomson Rees Wilson shared 1927 Nobel Prize for physics “for his method of making the paths of electrically charged particles visible by condensation of vapour”, to Svensmark et al and follow up work at CERN; the demand for further research stands out as an important path to develop.

    We in Oz have many common trees in the eucalyptus genus which seem to breathe out eucalyptus oil aerosol. It is now acknowledged that these aerosols may be important in rainfall, particularly in the dryer eastern wheat-belt region of WA, where widespread land clearing was followed by reduced rainfall.

    The excellent book “Wine Terroir and Climate Change” by the late, great West Australian, Dr. John Gladstones, gives an excellent parry to the thrust of the AGW warriors and identifies the loss of vegetation as a significant event.

    Once again, many thanks for this contribution.

  38. Judith, congratulations!

    Sea of clouds:

  39. Rigorous theoretical development from first principles is always welcome, especially when closed-form solutions to problems provide analytic insights usually unavailable from numerical techniques. Rigorous empirical validation of theory, nevertheless, is still required! It will be interesting to see in future years how much in K&C translates into properly validated science leading to more realistic treatment of meso-scale cloud physics, presently a crucial lacuna in GCM models.

    In particular, any solid improvement in understanding the formation, spectral emissivity, and dissipation of clouds of various thicknesses and altitudes would be very helpful. Clouds are, after all, what modulates the nearly constant TSI at TOA, turning it into unpredictably variable insolation that thermalizes Earth’s surface.

  40. The correspondence principle states that a new theory or parameterization should not reject the previous correct theory or parameterization but rather generalize them

    keyword: ‘correct’. Desirable but not sufficient. This may be about as useful as the precautionary principle. Better to say that the new theory should explain all the known facts as well or better than the old theory. Even so it is usually a hard sell.

  41. Here is the Google preview of Judith’s book.

    Link

    It includes the page in which WHUT was disputing the use of Bose-Einstein physics

  42. Link got butchered by word press I think. Try again with raw link.

    books.google.com/books?isbn=1316060713

    • Carrick wrote

      “It includes the page in which WHUT was disputing the use of Bose-Einstein physics”

      Just FYI
      ‘Pages 293 to 303 are not shown in this preview’…same as before. Section 8.2.3 ~1 p. starting on 299…maybe WHUT post entire section. If so that is a little thin. Hope it was done as a correspondence moment. ;o)

      Oh, well…enough of this silliness.

      • “Hope it was done as a correspondence moment.”

        should be

        “Hope it was not done as a correspondence principle moment. ”

        [Shouldn’t have ‘Thom Hartmann’ on in background]

      • The same incorrect formulation is also in the section on freezing. And still no citations. They simply compounded the problem. Repeating the same mistake elsewhere does not make it right.

      • ‘You have to defend vile behavior, dishonesty, and stunning hatred and malice as a standard way to deal with dissent.’

        Citations? Is there greater expertise than Vitaly Khvorostyanov in the topic?

        http://scholar.google.com/citations?user=eb3P7vAAAAAJ&hl=en

        Or a lessor one than the webbly?

        It hardly seems dissent even – merely not singing from the same hymnal. Any objection – no mater how absurd – will be harped on endlessly in the collective blogospheric venues to create an air of fulminating vitriol.

      • It’s difficult to find really relevant references for the discussion of the significance of the bosonic nature of molecules for any other case than the basic derivation of the Bose-Einstein statistics for ideal gas of identical particles. Ideal gas means in this case also that the particles must be essentially non-interacting. (The most likely reason is that the issue is really moot for real atoms and molecules with the exception of helium at very low temperatures.)

        In the case of the B-E ideal gas the energy in the exponential is relative to the chemical potential fixed by the average number of particles in the grand canonical ensemble. The derivation is done for discrete states of particles in a finite volume. Generalizing such results to non-idealized real world situations requires good understanding on the relationship between the ideal case and the non-ideal case.

        The formulas of the book apply the idealized B-E formula to a very different case. Deciding, whether that’s justified requires going trough the quantum mechanical description of the actual situation. Without such justification it’s not permissible to pick a formula out of the literature, notice that H2O is a boson and assume that the formula is applicable. That’s even less permissible, when there are strong arguments to think that the formula is not applicable at all. What’s meant by the chemical potential in the derivation of the B-E distribution is probably not at all the same thing than what the chemical potential is in the applications of the book. Moving the zero point of the energy scale in the exponential to the right place is very likely to make the exponential huge in comparison with the 1 of the denominator. That huge additional factor in the exponential is automatically compensated by other coefficients, it’s only effect is to bring back the Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution.

      • The same incorrect formulation is also in the section on freezing. And still no citations. They simply compounded the problem. Repeating the same mistake elsewhere does not make it right.

        Seems like a typical example of arrogant ignorance. Let’s see what Wiki (not necessarily correct, but usually in tune with the “consensus” for non-controversial subjects) says:

        Both Fermi–Dirac and Bose–Einstein become Maxwell–Boltzmann statistics at high temperature or at low concentration.

        AFAIK such a statement should be interpreted as “When you can ignore certain parameters as trivial (too small to matter), “Maxwell–Boltzmann” statistics can be used as a good approximation of “Fermi–Dirac” and/or “Bose–Einstein” statistics.

        This statement, in turn, would mean that “Fermi–Dirac” and/or “Bose–Einstein” statistics are always the correct formulation, but under many more usual conditions (“high temperature or at low concentration”) you don’t need to waste computing power with them, but can use “Maxwell–Boltzmann” statistics as an acceptable approximation.

        If the foregoing is correct, then the disputed formulation is not only not an “incorrect formulation”, but completely in line with the “correspondence principle”:

        The correspondence principle states that a new theory or parameterization should not reject the previous correct theory or parameterization but rather generalize them, so that the old (previous) theory becomes a particular case of the new theory. The new theory or parameterization contains a new parameter absent in the previous theory; when its value tends to some limiting value, the new theory transforms into the old theory.

        Perhaps, if any real physicists (i.e. not Webdummy) are involved in (or wish to be involved in) the discussion, they might comment.

        One more question I have involves the origin of the myth that

        Quantum effects appear if the concentration of particles satisfies,
        N/V≥n[q]
        where N is the number of particles and V is the volume and n[q] is the quantum concentration, for which the interparticle distance is equal to the thermal de Broglie wavelength, so that the wavefunctions of the particles are barely overlapping.

        I don’t understand why the mean free path, or some formula based on it, shouldn’t be used in place of the “thermal de Broglie wavelength”, in a gas.

        Certainly particles, like photons, can exhibit interference effects over distances of even meters, under the right conditions. This means that any particle’s wave function will be expanding since its last collision (assumed to have broken down the previous wave function), so it could interact with another, identical, particle as quantum wavefunctions. If two identical particles with wave functions expanding since their last collisions overlap wave functions, couldn’t they potentially undergo new collisions with a third particle (present in the region of overlap) such as to “scatter” them into the same state? If so, shouldn’t “Fermi–Dirac” and/or “Bose–Einstein” statistics be used when the chance of such scattering becomes non-trivial? Why should the need for them be limited to such short distances as the “thermal de Broglie wavelength”?

        I’m interested in real theoretical discussion of the fundamental physics here, not rote repetitions of “rule of thumb” formulas somebody learned in school. Thanks.

      • Don’t try to play stump the chump with me AK.

        AK being some sort of SysAdmin doesn’t seem to understand that the issue in the book is whether the water molecules can enter this degenerate configuration state where the full Bose-Einstein formulation is required. And the authors apply it to both the nucleating ensemble (the germ) and to the flux, which requires double the rationale.

        It looks as if they are deriving this degenerate case formulation because they can, not because there is any experimental evidence for it, or previous research to suggest that it should apply. They do not even include a chemical potential in their B-E expression, leaving it in the photon statistics mode, where the density is unbounded. What is N anyways? They don’t say, making it very opaque what their rationale for doing any of this is.

        Water vapor has strong intermolecular forces and so is not the best (most ideal) ideal gas, and ideal gases are the ones most amenable to analysis by statistical mechanics. One needs a high concentration for the quantum effects to show up and the problem with water is that liquid or ice is the state with a higher concentration than gas, and once it goes into that state the B-E statistics don’t apply. So they are trying to apply it in this very narrow window of assumed validity.

        The reason that you don’t find anyone talking about Bose-Einstein statistics in the context of water is that the problem is MOOT. Reality gets in the way and scientists don’t talk about it like they don’t talk about negative finding in lots of areas. Like you won’t find scientific texts stating that Kleenex tissue is not magnetic — the universe of negative logic is essentially unbounded and so no one goes there.

        If one reads the preface of the book, you find that they say that there are many new ideas presented that have not been published elsewhere. Could this be one of them?

        There is a great deal of certainty applied by Curry and co-author here on what is actually happening in the atmosphere, which belies the fact that she claims uncertainty over other researchers’ efforts. Pretty convenient, eh?

      • Don’t try to play stump the chump with me AK.

        I wasn’t talking to you.

        AK being some sort of SysAdmin doesn’t seem to understand […]

        Argument from authority? I’m posting here as an amateur.

        […] that the issue in the book is whether the water molecules can enter this degenerate configuration state where the full Bose-Einstein formulation is required.

        No, that’s your straw man.

        I’m making two points: as far as I can tell the “full Bose-Einstein formulation” remains correct whether or not it’s “required.”

        Second point: water molecules may not need to “enter this degenerate configuration state” for “the full Bose-Einstein formulation [to be] required”. It might well be more appropriate just for entering the liquid/solid state.

        And if it is, wouldn’t the precautionary principle mandate using the “full Bose-Einstein formulation”?

        Water vapor has strong intermolecular forces and so is not the best (most ideal) ideal gas, and ideal gases are the ones most amenable to analysis by statistical mechanics.

        IOW there’s good reason to doubt that “Maxwell–Boltzmann” statistics would be sufficient.

        One needs a high concentration for the quantum effects to show up and the problem with water is that liquid or ice is the state with a higher concentration than gas, and once it goes into that state the B-E statistics don’t apply. So they are trying to apply it in this very narrow window of assumed validity.

        Let’s see… Would that “very narrow window of assumed validity” be the transition from gas to liquid/solid?

        There is a great deal of certainty applied by Curry and co-author here on what is actually happening in the atmosphere, which belies the fact that she claims uncertainty over other researchers’ efforts.

        Actually, no. What there is is uncertainty whether the simplistic “Maxwell–Boltzmann” statistics would be sufficient. Again, the precautionary principle might suggest using the “full Bose-Einstein formulation” instead.

        BTW, what’s your position WRT using the precautionary principle for “fixing the global warming problem”?

      • Applying the precautionary principle out of a concern that the accepted theory is wrong? Wow, that’s a new one, I guess one could call that to the shotgun theory of physics research — shoot everything at the wall and see what sticks, LOL!

        The issue is that the activation energies of nucleation are on the order of 1 eV and at room temperature, kT is about 0.026 eV, and obviously at lower upper atmosphere temperatures it is even less. Do the math, see if the degenerate case of B-E applies.

        So they talk about surfactants and whether these can reduce the activation energy by a factor of 50, enough to reduce E to below kT. Where are the citations? Obviously cloud seeding is known and is a similar kind of surfactant or catalyst, but where is the connection? Is there other experimental work that seeding requires invocation of the degenerate limit of Bose-Einstein statistics? This is a breakthrough theory if no one else has made the connection, right?

        They also say that lower temperatures are a key. Wrong direction if E needs to be much less than kT.

        That’s why my stink radar was signalled in the first place. Something smelled fishy in all this. Why bring up the degenerate limit of Bose-Einstein statistics if it doesn’t apply? Lots of things don’t apply, but there is no reason to write about it. That’s what makes reading many of these textbooks a slog.

      • AK

        At this juncture—with incomplete information—I would agree that the disputed formulation(s) are in line with the generalized correspondence principle. The problem is that at this time this may be the only justification for the appearance of the formulation. As Pekka notes, ”It’s difficult to find really relevant references for the discussion of the significance of the bosonic nature of molecules for any other case than the basic derivation of the Bose-Einstein statistics for ideal gas of identical particles.” The fact is that in its present form the discussion in the book appears to beg the question where is this used or potentially used in cloud physics? That is, where, when and under what conditions in cloud physics might one expect the conditions of low temperature and low surface tension to occur? Either that information could be explicitly stated or the authors could highlight the material as one of their generalized correspondence principle moments. Pekka’s observation on references, consistent with my own short experience in searching, lead (past tense) me to conclude that the function of the sections may be more pedagogical and/or obeisance to theoretical physicists’ sense of tidiness. However, if there is no presently known or anticipated physical regime in cloud physics in which there is application of the material, then there is the potential for great confusion given a lack of relevant example conditions.

        If the material from sections 8.2.3 and 8.3.2 posted by WHUT is all that there is then—this is an opinion—the authors have in effect only exercised the generalized correspondence principle. Cringe.* Anyone with some reading in physics or physical chemistry of course will be aware at some level of the nature of the relationships between the Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution and the Bose-Einstein distribution and the Fermi-Dirac distribution, so reference to that aspect really neither closes nor advances the discussion at this time—what is the context of the particular BE presentation(s)? One way to handle the incorporation of such material is to use sidebars–a different creature than a subsection. Distinction can be clarity.
        ——
        *Earlier in this book post I indicated discomfort over the generalization of the Bohr Correspondence Principle, or more precisely discomfort over referring to it as the Correspondence Principle. This is mostly a question of naming, not content. Also, recovery of prior ‘correct’ theory seems superfluous, being subsumed by a requirement of ‘agreement’ with observation.

        ==================================
        Along the line AK stated, ”No, that’s your straw man. …”

        “Second point: water molecules may not need to ‘enter this degenerate configuration state’ for ‘the full Bose-Einstein formulation [to be] required’. It might well be more appropriate just for entering the liquid/solid state.”

        It is the ‘enter this degenerate configuration state’ that catches my attention. I’m surprised if no-one has really pulled on that thread. ;O)

        Well focused comments as usual, AK. Thanks
        ==================================

        Pekka.

        Thank you for your status sumary and your clarity. It is a big help.
        ==================================

        Most troubling to me (in regard to this long thread) is that it is exceedingly difficult and unfair to comment on a book that most of us have not and likely will not read. This is particularly the case when so much content is compiled and provided. However, WHUT has the material and proffered a select criticism—one that despite real or perceived attitude and real or perceived attitude inaccuracies merits legitimate discussion. I regret that early on after Dr, Curry’s initial response to WHUT someone else did not just respond, This information is not sufficient. Is there other material elsewhere in the book that might provide more context here or make things more obvious.. Discussion is now a coughed-up hairball.

      • mwgrant, Based on the first review, “I was able to review parts of the textbook online to see whether it is worth it. In the sections describing models of condensation and nucleation of droplets and ice crystals, the authors apply Bose-Einstein (B-E) statistics to a particular regime. They then create an activation dependence that trends as kT, where T=Temperature, instead of the accepted Arrhenius-rate law exp(-E/kT) — with no backing citation or experimental evidence to support this claim. This is likely incorrect in that this kT regime has not been found in nature, and is really more closely associated with photons that obey B-E stats than with a condensed matter transition. Anybody that does climate modeling using these results needs to be aware that it will have an impact of estimating thermal feedback.

        The question is why someone would write a textbook to present unverified claims such as this. I have a feeling that this book has not been adequately given a critical review, so researcher beware.” by Paul Pukite aka WHUT, I believe the relevance of this thread has been raise a notch, by the King of the Arrhenius Equation.

        Perhaps Webster could volunteer which is the “a particular” regime.

      • mwgrant said:


        me to conclude that the function of the sections may be more pedagogical and/or obeisance to theoretical physicists’ sense of tidiness

        Perhaps for you but to me this is the exact opposite of that. This is sloppiness at its worst, with no sanity check to see if it makes any consistent sense.

        A semiconductor physicist applying Fermi-Dirac statistics knows the operating regimes inside and out, and is constantly referring to the Fermi level to understand the population of carriers depending on the potential applied. It helps that all of this can be accomplished under controlled conditions, with all geometries and impurities specified.

        Alas, none of that is operable in the clouds. It is very sloppy guesswork. And they are getting scolded for that sloppiness.

      • You are confusing a theoretical text with the motives of applied science. We are looking to put observations of cloud processes into a broad theoretical context, and to provide a broad theoretical context for other applications, including clouds on other planets, in very different regions of thermodynamical space.

      • captD

        mwgrant, Based on the first review, “I was able to review parts …”

        To be absolutely clear …you are quoting WHUT throughout. I do not want any mistaken identity here ;O

        AK I’m making a specific response here in order to not detour your turned page with a minor clarification. Regarding said new page…Bravo!

        Judith You are confusing a theoretical text with the motives of applied science.

        Who? If me, I think that I am covered with “Is there other material elsewhere in the book that might provide more context here or make things more obvious”, as well as the earlier “it is exceedingly difficult and unfair to comment on a book that most of us have not and likely will not read. “ Besides I made it clear that I was stating opinion. [short answer]

        Congratulations on getting the book out. Based on the TOC and material I’ve seen it could be a good reference tome. It is ashamed that you couldn’t just post the announcement and enjoy some good vibes from folks here.. Wishing you many successive editions.

      • Judith:

        . We are looking to put observations of cloud processes into a broad theoretical context, and to provide a broad theoretical context for other applications, including clouds on other planets, in very different regions of thermodynamical space.

        Thanks! That context helps.

      • mwgrant, “To be absolutely clear …you are quoting WHUT throughout. I do not want any mistaken identity here ;O”

        Yep, that’s the webster. Follow the amazon link. I hear Karma is a Byatch.

  43. I’m not sure the bose-einstein statistics are being used as they would be for an atomic gas. The statistical method is used for many things having nothing at all to do with gas such as the distribution of organelles in cells and population dynamics.

    • It appears to be an empirical equation – not one based on first principles. And not really the thrust of the idea of an extension of classical nucleation theory.

      i.e. http://www.atmos-chem-phys.net/12/9275/2012/acp-12-9275-2012.html

    • I think steven is correct. It is not being used as it would be for an atomic/molecular gas. The discussion of de Broglie wavelengths of H2O molecules turns out to be a red herring.

      I’m not sure that helps though. Before we had something that was right but not useful. Now we have something that it isn’t clear is even right. Pekka is correct that you can’t simply take the fact that an ordinary water molecule is a Boson, start with what looks to be a phenomenological equation, then extend it using B-E statistics.

      • When the argument is built on the fact that H2O is a boson, then de Broglie wavelength is a relevant factor. The book contains such arguments. When such collective modes are discussed, where similar results may apply, it’s not of significance that H2O is a boson. Then the energy present in the formula is the energy of such a collective mode, not that of a H2O molecule.

      • I have been uncomfortable with assertion/assumption/speculation that VK and JC’s use of the Bose-Einstein (BE) distribution requires the molecules be in a low energy degenerate state, i.e., the authors are talking in terms of a BE condensate. If this is indeed what he or other are saying then that just does not make sense to me. If one has all of the molecules(integral spin entities–another thread) in the same state* then why does one need a distribution function? Also it appears reasonable to me at this point that it is likely that all of the machinery needing rework in a BE formulation alluded to in the book is at first blush going to look much the same as the classical molecular case(s) except the partition functions, of course, are based on all multi-boson states in the entire distribution at the given temperature. Change the partition functions and bang, one is off to the races…no concern about ‘special’ states.**In particular, there is nothing in such a formulation that restricts the ensemble to a special particular state. After all, partition functions (be they micro, canonical, grand canonical) incorporate energy levels and temperature.

        My suspicion is that this (BE condensate state) is an initial assertion/assumption/speculation on the part of WHUT that found its way in at an early stage of the process, e.g.,

        WebHubTelescope | September 4, 2014 at 12:01 pm | Reply

        was subsequently propagated in the discussions, took on a life of its own generating a lot of unnecessary back-and-forth hairball Lebensmittel, and is not an assertion of the authors. But I do not know this to be the case. Why raise the point? Because if this ‘read’ has validity then that matter should be set straight as it it is a misfire and one that is grossly unfair to VK and JC. If it is an assertion of the authors–something I very, very, very much doubt—well that would be interesting.

        As an aside, if BE has any physical relevance to nucleation it is probably phonons and heat transfer at that small scale. So one again comes back to the behavior near the Widom temperature (~-43C). The scent is there—possible higher order phase transition,accretion of ice in chunks, etc. Of course that problem while involving bosons would look very different and more than likely be formulated in terms of field operators and transition state or activation theory also would be gone. As for the book, with an upfront emphasis on the generalized correspondence principle I think the whole BE distribution developments in the two sections are more of a pedagogocal aside.

        Waiting for Vitaly’s comment, and this is really all thrown out in the spirit of the monthly betting at Lucia’s.

        Blog comments can confound in unforeseen ways.
        ——
        * Inferred from the wording—an independent particle approximation, leading to a typical (even parity) boson product state function? But be aware that there seems to be some real slop thru out the comments (and by repetition here) in using the concept of ‘state’–blurring independent particle (molecular) states and ensemble states. I’m not touching that. It’s late.
        ** ‘Special’ system states, e.g., the BE condensate.

      • The problem with assertions that are “not even wrong” is that it often takes a lot of effort to deconstruct the premise to figure out what the original intent was.

        After studying the issue of the misapplication of Bose-Einstein statistics in more detail, it appears that a key piece is a missing chemical potential factor, μ. That is needed to calculate the partition function, which is required for normalizing the probabilities given the number of particles occupying a volume. Obviously, the chemical potential is not needed for Bose-Einstein photon statistics as the number of photons that can occupy a volume is unbounded. The chemical potential appears for massed particles, which means that μ needs to be specified for water …. DUH !!! Incidentally, the chemical potential in Fermi-Dirac statistics is also known as the Fermi level and this is absolutely required for the theory of semiconductor junctions and just about all of sold-state electrical behavior.

        So when the Bose-Einstein probability gets close to the degenerate condition, or as the denominator asymptotically moves toward a singularity, the chemical potential may also adjust with temperature. This will change the degeneracy point and so any Taylor series expansion will now reveal the chemical potential factor. The bottom-line is that this formulation is not for the weak-hearted. There is a reason that you don’t see this done often in the literature, and if you do then it is for a highly controlled situation where scientists are interested in some fundamental property of the system.

        To casually toss off that surfactants are involved is a facile argument that tries to conceal a poorly thought-out premise.

        n_i(\varepsilon_i) = \frac{g_i}{e^{(\varepsilon_i-\mu)/kT}-1}

      • I am sure Vitaly has an answer for that, webby. Or he is looking for it. He should be along any minute.

    • mwgrant, “Waiting for Vitaly’s comment, and this is really all thrown out in the spirit of the monthly betting at Lucia’s.”

      Well in that case :) I rarely need the relativistic parts of heat conduction in my day to day dabblings, but if I were in the need of extreme accuracy I know it is there just in case. I have also noted in the past that the relativistic heat equation could be of use at the extremely low temperatures of the atmosphere especially the poles. Around 65 Wm-2 you have an interesting situation where CO2 can condensate. It doesn’t HAVE to condensate, but it can condensate. Since clouds aren’t particularly unique to Earth, I can see including more than just the basics in a 700 plus page text on the subject of clouds.

      • captD : Gack!!!!!!

        relativistic??? oh, you must think that because of ‘field operators’. no! no! no! Thinking in context of non-relativistic many-body theory! Used in solid state physic, quantum chemistry.

        no! no! no! no! no! no! no! no! no! no! no! no! PLEASE!!!!! Stop it. here! now!
        regards

      • mwgranr, “captD : Gack!!!!!!”

        I know, i know, it is a bitter pill, but the relativistic heat equations use the speed of second sound instead of the speed of light, to describe the mysterious interactions of phonons.

        Just think happy non-relativistics thoughts and I am sure it will all disappear shortly :)

      • In view of the my above comment on ‘condensate’ related hairball creation I did/do not want to be responsible for a second hairball. I would hate’ to see where comments might go at ‘relativistic’ speeds :O) Sorry if I reacted too quickly….

        In any case happy thoughts are generally short-lived.

        Again ” this [speculation] is really all thrown out in the spirit of the monthly betting at Lucia’s” and about has the same prospects in outcome as my bets there.

  44. I’m starting this thread over, because it’s beginning to look interesting, and mwgrant likened previous discussion to “coughed-up hairball.”

    The question is whether conditions exist in cloud conditions where “the full Bose-Einstein formulation [might be] required”. I don’t claim to be an expert on the subject, but I do have an amateur’s grasp of what’s going on in clouds, and will therefore address WHUT’s challenge:

    So they talk about surfactants and whether these can reduce the activation energy by a factor of 50, enough to reduce E to below kT.

    A google search on ‘surfactant “negative surface tension” water’ yielded several references of which I’ll offer two:

    On the structure of organic‐coated water droplets:
    From “net water attractors” to “oily” drops
    by Purnendu Chakraborty and Michael R. Zachariah JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH, VOL. 116, D21205, doi:10.1029/2011JD015961, 2011. From the abstract:

    Organic‐coated aerosols are believed to play an important role in atmospheric processes thereby influencing global climate. In our earlier works involving water droplets coated with hydrocarbon chains (12C, dodecanoic acid) we found that these particles prefer an inverted micelle structure with an aqueous core and a hydrophobic surface. Such particles maintained their overall spherical shapes (with a spherical water‐fatty acid interface) leading to a negative surface tension. […] [my bold]

    AFAIK this “negative surface tension” is probably somewhat metaphorical, I would be interested whether it actually can “reduce the activation energy by a factor of 50”, or even to negative values. It would certainly make sense that, if the authors don’t know whether the “negative surface tension” analogy extends to “activation energy”, they would include the caveat, just in case. I certainly would. Nor would I necessarily include references unless I actually had a good idea that it does.

    Chapter 3 “Effective’ Negative Surface Tension: A Property of Coated NanoAeorsols Relevant to the Atmosphere of Molecular Dynamics Studies of Organic-coated Nano Aerosols By Purnendu Chakraborty. Same issue WRT to “negative surface tension”. Transcribing: (couldn’t make copy/paste work)

    […] In particular it has been found that for particles preferring an inverted micelle structure, the lower chain-chain interaction, with increasing radial distance from the water-organic interface, results in a negative internal radial pressure profile for the organic layer. As a result, a coated particle behaves as though the surface tension is ‘negative’ which implies that such a particle will inherently have an inverse Kelvin vapor pressure effect, resulting in increased water condensation.

    […]

    Understanding the structure and properties of these coated aerosols is important as they may significantly affect the processing of water vapor in the atmosphere, cloud formation, and the radiation balance of the earth.

    • Yeah, it’s a hairball. Can anyone find any evidence that in human history there has ever been a discussion on:

      The question is whether conditions exist in cloud conditions where “the full Bose-Einstein formulation [might be] required”.

    • For the record, I’ll mention that the aerosol particles that serve as CCN’s aren’t all “fresh” from their source. Some fraction (don’t know how much) is “recycled” after earlier droplets were entrained in downdrafts and underwent adiabatic heating and drying. The role of hygroscopic and or surfactant molecules here seems very interesting. Also important for modeling purposes.

  45. Paul Pukite (WHUT) has posted the following review at amazon.com (1 star):

    I was able to review parts of the textbook online to see whether it is worth it. In the sections describing models of condensation and nucleation of droplets and ice crystals, the authors apply Bose-Einstein (B-E) statistics to a particular regime. They then create an activation dependence that trends as kT, where T=Temperature, instead of the accepted Arrhenius-rate law exp(-E/kT) — with no backing citation or experimental evidence to support this claim. This is likely incorrect in that this kT regime has not been found in nature, and is really more closely associated with photons that obey B-E stats than with a condensed matter transition. Anybody that does climate modeling using these results needs to be aware that it will have an impact of estimating thermal feedback.

    The question is why someone would write a textbook to present unverified claims such as this. I have a feeling that this book has not been adequately given a critical review, so researcher beware.

    ——–
    I would appreciate anyone reading the book who would submit a review to amazon.com.

    • I’d still appreciate comments from Vitaly Khvorostyanov if he can find the time.

      These comments by Pekka seem relevant in particular.

      References that include experimental verification of what appear to be novel ideas would be appreciated.

      • Comments from Vitaly are forthcoming

      • AK:

        A lot of us have known for a while who he is. I went and looked at papers he’s credited with (unless there’s another Paul Pukite), and he does seem to have some stuff on epitaxial growth. All hot growth for semiconductors, though

        I allow he’s written a few papers on the topic, but none as far as I can see have had much prominence. The Wikipedia definition of expert says:

        An expert (About this sound pronunciation (US) (help·info)) is someone widely recognized as a reliable source of technique or skill whose faculty for judging or deciding rightly, justly, or wisely is accorded authority and status by peers or the public in a specific well-distinguished domain.

        Writing a few papers that have been poorly cited by other research doesn’t make you an expert, which is my point. The guy is not an expert but claimed he was. That makes him something, but expert isn’t the first word that comes to my mind.

        But it’s pretty clear he’s just being nasty, probably like other alarmists, who’ll do almost anything to harm anybody they consider a “denier”.

        Judith is worse than that, I’m afraid. She’s neither a denier nor a skeptic, she’s a “critic of the current direction of climate science”.

      • ==> “What makes you suddenly an authority on what I think, more so than me?”

        Heh. I think you should ask your bud, mosher, about that one. Or your bud, Lucia for that matter.

        But unlike mosher, I don’t think that I am more of an authority on what you think than you. I never claimed to be an “authority” on what you think. I just don’t think your claim is plausible.

        I just don’t believe that you “actually” suspected him to be a high-schooler. It seems more plausible to me that you’re just trying to score some rhetorical points. I’ve seen you make other ridiculous claims for the purpose of scoring rhetorical points and then back-track. So maybe given enough time to reflect, you’ll backtrack this time also?

        And I certainly don’t buy your justification. In fact, based on my experiences of working with extremely bright (and sometimes troubled) youth, I’d say that having worked with that population of students would make it even less likely to have “actually suspected” for a “long time” that WHT is in high school.

    • Judith

      Few of us are able to comment with authority on this highly technical point that WHT is making.

      Is it an important point that fundamentally affects the information you are putting over in the 720 pages or is it a trivial matter?

      it really needs some input from Vitaly.
      tonyb

      • Vitaly is preparing a statement, will start a new thread once I receive it.

        I would appreciate general reviews on the book at amazon.com, not getting into the detail that concerns WHUT

      • Are you really asking for reviews that don’t mention webby’s criticism? If so, that’s a little weird.

      • WHUT’s criticism is about one page from a 720 page book. I would prefer any reviews to be about the book, not about WHUT’s criticism of one page.

      • I thought she was asking for something besides a flame war.

      • Carrick, if you or Pekka, or some others repeated on amazon what you have said about the issue here, it wouldn’t be a flame war. If mikey mann requested that people post reviews on amazon about his books that ignored controversial issues, somebody would holler about it.

      • I would prefer not to have this particular issue discussed at amazon, but would appreciate broader comments from people that bought/read the book.

      • I haven’t read the book, so it’s not appropriate for me to review it. If I were to comment there, it would only be carrying over the gacked-up furball that this thread has devolved into, over there.

        Were I to comment on Pukite’s review I would say:

        Based on his very thin track record on the topics he’s criticizing, this reviewer lacks the expertise to make a judgement over the issues he is criticizing, and has demonstrated previous antagonism towards one of the authors. This review appears to just be a petty attempt at a payback.

        We can take Judith’s word that he is WHUT, but since he’s “outed himself”, that doesn’t matter. We can look at Pukite’s vita, and it appears his claim that he is “an expert on nucleation and deposition in materials science” is entirely specious.

        I see no text books written by him on the topic. No fellowship at major engineering societies in recognition of his work. No flagship research papers on the topic. Just a putz with an ax to grind.

      • I just checked at amazon.com. only 1 out of 5 people have clicked that Pukite’s review was helpful

      • Carrick,

        So webby is a creep. However, your response to webby’s review on amazon doesn’t include any substantive refutation of his criticism. My guess is that if someone could persuasively debunk webby’s criticism, Judith wouldn’t be unhappy if that appeared in a review on amazon.

      • We can take Judith’s word that he is WHUT, but since he’s “outed himself”, that doesn’t matter.

        A lot of us have known for a while who he is. I went and looked at papers he’s credited with (unless there’s another Paul Pukite), and he does seem to have some stuff on epitaxial growth. All hot growth for semiconductors, though.

        But it’s pretty clear he’s just being nasty, probably like other alarmists, who’ll do almost anything to harm anybody they consider a “denier”.

      • I haven’t seen the book. While I’m certainly somewhat curious on its content, I have already too many books waiting to be read to buy it for that reason.

        Based on the limited information that I have available the critique of WHUT is totally out of proportion. I cannot avoid the impression that he has done his best to find fault in the book.

        I do still think that those statements about B-E statistics are erroneous, and that the boson nature of H2O is insignificant in the processes being considered. The low relative chemical potentials that may appear in some of the reactions are not of the same nature as the small energies essential for the derivation of the B-E statistics.

        In spite of the further statements of WHUT my understanding is still that this likely mistake is in no way essential for the value of the book.

      • AK, I posed a comment in response to you on the wrong subthread.

        link

        Sorry ’bout that.

      • “curryja | September 6, 2014 at 3:36 pm |

        I just checked at amazon.com. only 1 out of 5 people have clicked that Pukite’s review was helpful”

        Your denizens are supporting you. You are far more popular here than is little webby. Doesn’t mean his basic criticism is wrong. I hope that Vitaly has something substantive to say.


      • Based on the limited information that I have available the critique of WHUT is totally out of proportion. I cannot avoid the impression that he has done his best to find fault in the book.

        I apply the cockroach theory of criticism. If I were to turn on the lights and see a cockroach scurrying across the floor, I assume that there are probably hundreds of others hidden away.

        So if I crack open the book and immediately see a glaring error, then I assume there are lots of others. Buyer beware !

        Yet there is also the matter of psychological projection and general hypocrisy. Isn’t it odd that they routinely apply the typical skeptical ploy of trying to find fault with a research finding, but they don’t like it when the tables are turned?

        And so you see the predictable action of Team Denier fortifying their defenses. I started out by pointing out an error in the book without having to fawn over it it like an overeager schoolboy. If I did my best to find fault with the book, what’s wrong with that? Isn’t that what scientific criticism is all about? If I was given an assignment to review a technical document, on the first pass I will try to find egregious high-level errors, which are best exposed by a fast scan. But since this is the internet, I reported what I found with a dash of sarcasm, knowing full well that the defenders would come back and attack me however nicely I had said it.

        Skeptics are in almost unanimous agreement that my review is by definition unhelpful. You all are so very predictable.

      • It remains to be seen whether this is an ‘error’ or not. My concern with your review at amazon.com is that your cockroach approach to reviewing a lengthy theoretical treatise is inappropriate, for a variety of reasons.

      • Skeptics are in almost unanimous agreement that my review is by definition unhelpful. You all are so very predictable.

        Well, it was certainly unhelpful to me. As it would have been even if I weren’t familiar with your long record of supporting the standard economic/political line with ill-informed pseudo-scientific junk.

      • webby, webby

        Unless you can find some other errors in the book, you will come out of this looking like a cockroach. you may be correct on the B-E thing, but the Amazon review is gratuitously nasty.

      • I don’t think that anyone really interested in a specialized 780 pp. book gives much weight on a “review” as thin and narrow as that.

      • Other problems with the research in the textbook. You call log-normal the “newer” approach to particle/aerosol size statistics and power-law the “older” approach to aerosol size statistics.

        That is wrong. You really should follow the current research on superstatistics. The log-normal is a heuristic that has been superceded by properly uncertainty quantified models.

        Gee whiz, I thought you were an expert on uncertainty quantification.

        I have an overall question though.

        Why do you have to go running to your co-author about a significant issue with a theory in the textbook?

        Can’t you answer the question yourself?

        I would never have the audacity or lack of integrity to attach my name to a textbook or article where I did not understand all the details of the physics. Not being able to argue this issue is telling with respect to your grasp of the subject matter.

      • WHUT, you appear to know nothing about the history of cloud microphysics research, which provides much of the context for what is in this book. I can provide a superficial answer to your question on B-E. However, VK actually wrote that text, and apparently knows more about it than I do, so I am deferring to him to provide a response. As mentioned in VK’s brief email, you are referring to a half page segment of the book that is in no way central to anything else in the book.

        Perhaps you do not have much experience with coauthorship. Coauthors are usually invited for their complementary expertise, and the best collaborations are when the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Coauthors sign on as taking responsibility for the whole thing, defending it where appropriate, and responding to questions/critiques. Expecting each coauthor to have equivalent expertise on all aspects of the work is pointless.

        I regard it as a massive failure of integrity on your part to write a one-star review at amazon.com based on reading a half page of a 720 p book, without understanding any of the context. This appears to be churlishness based on your dislike of my position in the AGW debate.

      • “Other problems with the research in the textbook. You call log-normal the “newer” approach to particle/aerosol size statistics and power-law the “older” approach to aerosol size statistics. That is wrong. You really should follow the current research on superstatistics. The log-normal is a heuristic that has been superceded by properly uncertainty quantified models.”

        I will respond to this one. You have no idea what you are talking about. The log normal distribution represents a counting of the number concentrations of aerosol particles of various sizes. The log normal distribution is a newer approach than power law distributions and gamma distributions. Superstatistics is completely irrelevant here, and we are not talking about uncertainty, but rather we are counting aerosols of different sizes.

        This goes to show how far off base you can go by reading a few random pages of a book on a topic you know nothing about.

      • Paul, why don’t you read the book and write a review that adheres to your own standards of professional conduct?

      • Don, I think you are seeing what Paul Pukite/WebHubbleTelescope thinks is professional conduct.

      • Paul Pukite/WebHubbleTelescope:

        Why do you have to go running to your co-author about a significant issue with a theory in the textbook?

        You really need to retire yourself from this thread. You have just gotten nastier and more vitriolic and are adding nothing of substance, and given that this behavior is reflecting on you professionally, you really need to think about how you choose to continue with this disgusting, unwarranted nastiness.

        Let’s see: We have two people co-writing a long manuscript, so any response would reflect on both authors. And Paul thinks the other author shouldn’t be consulted.

        I have written long, highly technical technical documents and it is not at all uncommon to leverage on different people’s expertise for different sections of the book. So it is natural to ask the person with the greater expertise to respond to questions for the section that person wrote.

      • I doubt that Paul acts like webby in his professional life.

      • Oops: “highly technical technical documents”

        Just “highly technical”.

        I’ve never written a highly technical technical document before, nor successfully designed an amplifier that goes to 11. ;-)

        Back to the NFL games. Laterz.

      • Don: “I doubt that Paul acts like webby in his professional life.”

        This is an extension of his professional life.

      • I would never have the audacity or lack of integrity to attach my name to a textbook or article where I did not understand all the details of the physics. Not being able to argue this issue is telling with respect to your grasp of the subject matter.

        Actually, based on my observation of your behavior here over the last few years, I’m confident you would do exactly as Prof. Curry did if you thought it would advance your position in the discussion. Everything you say is designed to manipulate readers’ impressions. Your criticism has much more to do with tribalism than any consistent integrity.

        I seriously doubt any of your fellow alarmists who, like you, come here primarily to undercut our hostess’ credibility will disavow this trick of yours, despite the fact that you’ve actually undercut your own credibility with anybody but your own little alarmist tribe. By not doing so, they demonstrate their own tribalism and lack of integrity.

        After all, look how often they criticize their tribal enemies for the same sort of thing.

      • Curry said:


        You have no idea what you are talking about. The log normal distribution represents a counting of the number concentrations of aerosol particles of various sizes. The log normal distribution is a newer approach than power law distributions and gamma distributions. Superstatistics is completely irrelevant here, and we are not talking about uncertainty, but rather we are counting aerosols of different sizes.

        That is not true. I wrote about aerosol particle statistics — example here
        http://mobjectivist.blogspot.com/2010/04/dispersive-and-non-dispersive-growth-in.html
        and have this reproduced in a book I authored.

        The problem is that the log-normal is a hack for someone that doesn’t want to do the growth dispersion calculation properly.

      • I have wanted to do a post on the growth of crystals for a while. Although on a totally different size scale (microns) and time scale (hours) than that of oil reservoir growth (million barrels and eons/ages), the essential behavioral notions behind the two cases of growth remain much the same.

        I suggest that in the most disordered environments, the role of entropy overrides other factors enough so that some simple dispersion arguments can explain the size distribution completely.

        The guy’s a nut. Reasoning by analogy, with no reality checks. He’s let his “successes” in semi-conductor theory go to his head.

      • I think that webby has tried to hide his activities here from his professional life by maintaining anonymity. Now he has blown his cover with that nasty review on Amazon. I hope he cleans up his act.

      • ” based on reading a half page of a 720 p book, ”

        That’s incorrect. The findings involved mistakes in TWO half-pages in separate sections of the book. Unfortunately, you will find that the errors add up.

      • Judith: The log normal distribution is a newer approach than power law distributions and gamma distributions.

        Interesting. We find log-normal distributions in other aspects of atmospheric measurements too (small scale atmospheric turbulence near the surface). Is your case data driven too?

        All of this nonsense with Pukite has convinced me to order a copy of the book using my overhead, so there is an upside here. ;-)

      • Yes, our use of the lognormal distribution is data driven. Well I’m glad that all this has convinced you to buy the book :) I look forward to your comments.

      • Paul Pukite/WebHubbleTelescope: and have this reproduced in a book I authored.

        The one with zero citations?

      • Don:

        I think that webby has tried to hide his activities here from his professional life by maintaining anonymity. Now he has blown his cover with that nasty review on Amazon. I hope he cleans up his act.

        Anonymity isn’t a very strong argument for publicly exhibitions of dysfunctional behavior. But I hope he cleans his act up too.

      • You guys really are slow. You see that link on my handle? That leads directly to my blog, where I place my non-spam email address at the bottom, and I have links to many of my white papers in the menu. That has been there for a long while. It really does not take a genius to figure out who I am. Others on this forum have figured it out long ago, but now that I have pointed out errors, suddenly my identity apparently becomes very important. WHUT’s up wid dat?

      • Paul Pukite/WebHubbleTelescope: You are assuming we cared enough to look.

      • Whatever, webby. The point I am trying to get you to see is that you could have more influence here if you acted like the learned professional (Paul), rather than the nasty partisan hack (webby). Emulate Pekka, and Carrick.

      • “Emulate Pekka, “

        Yes, and then you get attacked anyways — like this one “Pekka is so full of cr@p his eyes must be brown. “.

        You give what you get, and this forum is just a klown circus. In the movies, the guy that politely tries to break up a ruckus ends up getting a pie in the face anyways.

      • AK said:


        He’s let his “successes” in semi-conductor theory go to his head.

        Actually, my biggest success is in electron diffraction theory, which is pure quantum mechanics, nothing specifically to do with semiconductors. Check it out, I have two named theories that you can evaluate on the Argonne National Lab interactive X-ray diffraction server.

        http://sergey.gmca.aps.anl.gov/TRDS_sl.html

        I am comfortable with quantum mechanics but my rustiness waxes and wanes as I get further afield on other topics. Ain’t it fun?

      • Actually, my biggest success is in electron diffraction theory, which is pure quantum mechanics, nothing specifically to do with semiconductors.

        No wonder you think everything is a Fermion. But it doesn’t stop you from being a nut, although it explains it a little better. Did you ever work with Alpha particle diffraction?

      • Marathon finishing times?
        Glass houses web

      • WHUT: “You give what you get, and this forum is just a klown circus”

        More typically, you get back what you give. But seriously, you think are a victim here??? You’re virtually a one-man verbal abuse army, and what people have dished out is very measured compared to your behavior.

        I don’t see you influencing anybody on “your side” favorably, and you’ve painted yourself in a very negative light here. So what exactly have you gained?

        I really suspected for a long time you were just some schmuck high-school student based on the clear lack of technical expertise shown in your comments, and by the over-all juvenility of your behavior. (And I actually tempered some of my comments with concern that I might be dealing with a juvenile.)

        I was actually a bit surprised to find you’re a full adult.

        If something happened and you needed to find a new job (with the looming defense cuts this is a real issue if part of your funding relies on defense related work.), and an employer were to look at your behavior on the internet, do you actually think how you behave here would be viewed in a positive light?

        When I hire people, I do an internet search. It gives me insight into their personality. Is this really how you want to market yourself?

        Please consider this a courtesy wake-up call.

        That is all.

      • webby, webby

        Pekka stays above the crap, while you wallow in it.

      • Carrick said:


        I really suspected for a long time you were just some schmuck high-school student based on the clear lack of technical expertise shown in your comments

        Alas, the jury is still out on you, dear Carrick.

      • AK | September 7, 2014 at 3:09 pm |

        No wonder you think everything is a Fermion. But it doesn’t stop you from being a nut, although it explains it a little better.

        Yet the theories I formulated also apply to x-rays, as the link I supplied showed. Apparently you think that x-rays are Fermions. Is that right? LOL

      • WHUT, the jury is out on you (some might say it’s come in and rendered a verdict).

        You said in comments on this very thread:

        . But not for physical matter such as water molecules, which obey the Pauli Exclusion principle and thus every molecule must exist in a different state.

        So where is the citation in the textbook for the claim that homogeneous nucleation can be modeled with Bose-Einstein statistics? Or was that just made up? No need to torture equations to get what you want to see

        and this:

        So right there in Section 8.2.3 is a bad description of statistical mechanics. Yes, Bose-Einstein stats are more general than Maxwell-Boltzmann stats, but it doesn’t apply to the kinds of particles you are talking about. Instead, in the case of Boltzmann should be if anything a simplification of Fermi-Dirac statistics which forbids two particles from occupying the same state.

        You tried to wave this off as “joking”. But this is not joking: You are substantively wrong on the very issue that you are ankle-biting Judith’s book over. You got one part of an argument partly right and flubbed the rest.

        Why should people take you seriously? You aren’t able to converse as an adult, and what you do write is riddled with mistakes.

      • Schoolboy Carrick,

        yes, perhaps what I should have done is what any professor would have done when grading a student’s exam solution– placed a big X over that entire section followed by a series of ???

        My mistake was going down to their level and trying to reason with the logic. I admit that I was perplexed by why singling out as a boson had any significance on what they were trying to do. Spin this, spin that ! Trying to reason with insane theories is not the easiest thing to do.

        Why didn’t they try to look into reducing the molecular dynamics simulations into a simpler expression, if that can even be done?

        Tanaka, Kyoko K., Akio Kawano, and Hidekazu Tanaka. “Molecular dynamics simulations of the nucleation of water: Determining the sticking probability and formation energy of a cluster.” The Journal of chemical physics 140.11 (2014): 114302.
        http://arxiv.org/abs/1401.1899

        This paper has got the simulations, the theory, and the experimental results. These guys surmise that the strong interactions of water molecules via a strong intermolecular potential, and how this differentiates it from an ideal gas is the critical factor.

        sure … but surfactants …. LOL

      • Having followed this thread with some interest over the past few days it seems I’m not alone in being appalled by the lack of professionalism demonstrated by Web Hub Telescope (aka Paul Pukite). I have no issue with raising technical criticisms, indeed scepticism requires it. However many of his comments are inappropriate for one professional commenting on another.

        My understanding from Paul’s profile is that he works for BAE systems. As with all blue chip companies BAE have a code of conduct (http://www.baesystems.com/our-company-rzz/corporate-responsibility/code-of-conduct) which has the following helpful advice.

        If in doubt ask yourself these questions:
        – Is it consistent with BAE Systems values?
        – Does it comply with the BAE Systems Code of Conduct?
        – Am I setting a good example?
        – Would I be comfortable explaining what I did to my colleagues, family and friends without shame or embarrassment?
        – Would I or BAE Systems be comfortable if the action was written about in a newspaper?
        – Have I consulted others who have knowledge of the topic and sought advice to help me make an informed decision?

        If the answer is ‘No’ to any of these questions, or if you are not sure, stop and seek further advice.

        BAE Systems also provide some examples in a Q&A section.

        Q. One of my colleagues posted some comments about a colleagues’ physical appearance online whilst at home. He said it was done on his own time and on his own personal page, which makes it, in his judgement, his own business. Is this a concern for the company?

        A. We all need to be aware that expressing personal views in a public forum, including on line social media can have an adverse impact not only on us, our work environment or our colleagues, but also on our reputation, customers and suppliers. In these situations, a lack of good judgement could have adverse consequences.

        Need I say more.

      • WHUT:

        My mistake was going down to their level and trying to reason with the logic.

        Actually no.

        Your mistake was that you said things that were flat-out wrong, then refused to admit it when it was pointed you were in error.

        So let me summarize what somebody might take away from this thread were he/she looking at your job application:

        • We can’t trust you to act professionally when your boss isn’t watching you.
        • We can’t trust you to fairly critique colleagues.
        • We can’t trust you to accurately state your level of expertise.
        • We can’t trust you to be accurate in what you claim as true (to know the limits of what you know).
        • We can’t even trust you to come clean when you make errors.

        What’s not to like? *hire this man*

        LOL.

        Did I say lol enough times?

        Lol. Lol. Lol.

        >.<

      • ==> “I really suspected for a long time you were just some schmuck high-school student…I was actually a bit surprised to find you’re a full adult.”

        Yeah. That’s believable…

        Perhaps Carrick considers such nonsense qualification for employment?

      • On the other hand – behaving like an immature schmuck is something Joshua can identify with.

      • Joshua, I really consider the possibility he might be a high-school student.

        So, no problem.

        Thank you for your concern.

      • ==> “Joshua, I really consider the possibility he might be a high-school student.”

        Carrick – sorry bud, criticize his interpretation of the science as you will (or his propensity for name-calling for that matter) – but I don’t believe you “actually” thought he might be a high school student, and what I think is that instead you are using that ploy as as a form of insult.

        Further, you might consider that your name-calling is not something you should list as a qualification on your resume.

      • Joshua, I don’t give a crap what you believe. But I have as much right to have my opinions and state them as you do. You are attacking my opinion because *you* with your *vastly world experience* don’t see me thinking WHUT might be a teenager as credible. With zero evidence.

        That’s really professional eh?

        To clarify, there are high school students who publish peer reviewed scientific research. There are even people who received their Ph.D. while still a teenager (I know somebody who just missed the cutoff).

        So even if one perceives WHUT’s technical expertise as that of a “genius”, that doesn’t frame his age.

        Now perhaps you think WHUT behaves like an adult. To me he comes off as quite childish and immature.

        You might even view him as having expertise in this area. But you admit you don’t really have the background to make a judgment.

        My judgment was that most of what I saw from him could have been done with a (good) high school training and access to Microsoft Excel. Nothing that indicates any formal training in data processing, nor anything that suggests a particular proficiency in it.

        It seems nature to consider the possibility that he might have been a minor, for which the saying “don’t eat your young” certainly applies.

        So yes, it is a factual statement and, obviously fully believable to me, that I might be dealing with a teenager and perhaps even a minor.

        I think an apology is in order from you for accusing me of lying without credible evidence, but I don’t expect it.

      • Carrick –

        ==> “Joshua, I don’t give a crap what you believe. ”

        I never thought that you did. But that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t tell you. I find your claim that you considered that WHT might be a high school student to be implausible.

        ==> “But I have as much right to have my opinions and state them as you do.”

        Of course you do. I’d never consider otherwise. It’s strange that you seem to think that because I’m saying I find your claim unbelievable that therefore I think that you have less right than I do to express an opinion. Anyway, it isn’t so.

        ==> “You are attacking my opinion because *you* with your *vastly world experience* don’t see me thinking WHUT might be a teenager as credible.”

        Attacking your opinion? Maybe. But not your right to have an opinion – even when your claim of having a certain opinion seems higly implausible.

        ==> “With zero evidence”

        True. I have no evidence that your claim is false. But it your claim seems highly implausible to me. I don’t believe that anyone reading these threads “actually” considers the possibility that WHT is a high-schooler.

        ==> “I think an apology is in order from you for accusing me of lying without credible evidence, but I don’t expect it.”

        Hmmm. No, I’m not going to apologize because I still don’t believe that you “actually” considered the possibility that WHT is a high-schooler. It seems highly implausible. I think it is much more likely that you think that saying that you “actually” thought WHT might be a high-schooler is an effective way to score rhetorical points. So am I accusing you of lying? It’s an interesting question. I won’t say that you’re lying because I think that would require a higher bar of evidence. I think it is theoretically possible that you’re telling the truth. I just don’t believe that you are. If I were to say that someone is lying, I feel that I’d need hard and fast evidence.

      • Carrick –

        BTW, let’s look again at the claim I said I didn’t believe.

        ==> “I really suspected for a long time you were just some schmuck high-school student…”

        So you didn’t merely say that you thought it was a theoretical possibility, but that you “really suspected for a long time” that he is a high-schooler.

        Usually, when someone uses “suspect” in that context it means “think is true” or “believe.” So it seems that you were saying that you believed for a long time that WHT is a high school student. Yeah. I don’t believe that you really did believe for a long time that WHT is a high school student because it means that you would have been reading WHT’s comments for a “long time” which would include statements about his life that would make it highly unlikely.

        Of course, if you want to clarify your statement to mean that you considered for a long time that it is theoretically possible that WHT is a high school student, I would consider that to be much more plausible. I mean if asked, I would say that it is theoretically possible – even now – that WHT is a high school student. What with the “universe” theory and all that – I suppose even stranger theoretical possibilities can’t be ruled out.

      • Sorry about that. I meant “multiverse” theory….

      • Carrick, it does seem implausible that you would think that webby might be of high school age. But you very obviously ain’t a liar, so I believe you. Don’t take what little runt joshie says to heart. He doesn’t count.

      • My comment landed in the goofy moderation system for the l*** word. I’ll try it this way:

        Carrick, it does seem implausible that you would think that webby might be of high school age. But you very obviously ain’t a prevaricator, so I believe you. Don’t take what little runt joshie says to heart. He doesn’t count.

      • Joshua:

        So you didn’t merely say that you thought it was a theoretical possibility, but that you “really suspected for a long time” that he is a high-schooler.

        Yes and that’s what I actually meant to say.

        I said it because I really did suspect it, to the point it affected my responses to his comments.

        You don’t know me, you don’t have my experiences.

        What makes you suddenly an authority on what I think, more so than me?

      • Don Monfort:

        Carrick, it does seem implausible that you would think that webby might be of high school age.

        Then, I think this must be an experiential thing. It seems very natural and not at all implausible to me.

        As part of being in an educational environment, I’ve come in contact with many very bright and sometimes troubled youth. As one example, I have helped students with high school science fair projects for 20 years now, and I’ve met quite a few very gifted students, some of whom obviously were suffering from “personality quirks”.

        Since this is a technical blog, it is going to select out for bright youth, as opposed to the derpy ones.

        But you very obviously ain’t a prevaricator, so I believe you. Don’t take what little runt joshie says to heart. He doesn’t count.

        Thank you. I will admit I will cross the line sometimes with my language, but I’m pretty nobody is perfect. I’m also pretty good about manning up when I do.

        The idea that Joshua is suggesting without having anything remotely like my life experiences, that I somehow would deny, it is just obnoxious behavior on his part.

        In other words, good resumé fodder. :-P

        Can you point me to anything WHUT has done that he has posted as his pseudoname that would be a tip-off he couldn’t be a juvenile posing as something more?

      • Carrick –

        ==> “As part of being in an educational environment, I’ve come in contact with many very bright and sometimes troubled youth. …

        […]

        …The idea that Joshua is suggesting without having anything remotely like my life experiences,”

        ———–

        Actually, I have worked a great deal with many extremely bright (and troubled youth)… high-schoolers and undergraduates just a bit older. Not just come in contact with, actually, but worked with in a professional capacity.

        You’re making claims w/o evidence. Just sayin’

      • Oops –

        Hopefully I’ll get this in the right place, this time:

        https://judithcurry.com/2014/09/04/thermodynamics-kinetics-and-microphysics-of-clouds/#comment-625734

        And re: Lucia:

        http://hiizuru.wordpress.com/2014/07/23/interesting-perspective-on-the-consensus-debate/

        Anyway, Carrick – this is waaaaaay beyond silly at this point, eh?

        Have a nice night.

        You too, Don

        (oh, that’s right, you don’t read my comments. I keep forgetting that you’ve told me that over and over. Oh. My sides.)

      • So to recount, Joshua *assumed* that I was saying something snarky about WHUT, he assumed it was done to belittle WHUT (he doesn’t explain why thinking somebody is younger is belittling), and I now have to prove that Joshua’s judgement wasn’t flawed.

        LMAO. What a derp.

      • Carrick –

        Actually, I will indulge in the silliness a bit more because I thought of one more interesting point.

        When did you first start trading insults with WHT? Was it before or after you saw enough evidence to alter your long held suspicion that he’s in high school? I don’t bother to look back – but I have to wonder if it wasn’t before – and if so, then it means that you seemed to think it appropriate to trade insults with someone in high school?

        Since you have so much experience working with kids, I’m wondering why you would think it appropriate to trade insults with high school kids? Do you think that they’d gain some kind of valuable experience about life? That by modeling such behavior, you’d favorably impress them with how to act as an adult?

        Actually, I doubt all of that. And I don’t think that you could offer any other plausible explanation for why you’d trade insults with a high school kid. So if it is true, indeed, that you traded insults with WHT while suspecting that he is in high school, I have to wonder what you learned from working with high school kids.

        I prefer to think, actually, that you were just playing rhetorical games with the whole “I suspected for a long time that you were in high school” ploy (paraphrasing) and don’t want to admit that it was hyperbole.

        And actually, from what I have seen of your character (from admittedly a woefully inadequate information base of just reading some of your blog comments) – it seems more likely to me that you were engaging in hyperbole. I tend to doubt that you’re someone who would think it appropriate to trade insults with high school ,kids (assuming, of course, that you did trade insults with WHT prior to getting enough information to dispel your previous suspicion about his age). Just doesn’t seem plausible to me.

      • Carrick –

        => “(he doesn’t explain why thinking somebody is younger is belittling), ”

        Ok, Right. You said that for a long time you thought he was in high school, along with making many other belittling comments about his expertise – but you didn’t intend that saying for a long time you thought he was in high school be interpreted as a belittling comment.

        Yeah. That’s plausible!!!!!!! To funny.

        What do you think, Don?

        No likely “prevarication” there, eh?

      • Joshua, losing argument so you’re trying another now?

        Good show.

      • Nice duck, Carrick.

      • And btw –

        I like this subtle shift…

        => “(he doesn’t explain why thinking somebody is younger is belittling)

        Thinking an adult is actually in high school isn’t “belittling.”

        Saying after finding out that they aren’t in high school that you thought for a long time (based on reading their blog comments which, among other things, discuss highly technical scientific issues) that they were in high school is more than likely intended to be belittling.

        So “thinking he is in high school” ≠ saying you thought he was in high school for a long time.

        No wonder willard engages with you as much as he does. It’s fun.

      • OK – I really am out now. I promise. Although it is (silly) fun, it’s more fun watch Manning take apart defenses.

      • Glad you are have a good time. Enjoy.

    • Doctor J, I might think of getting a copy, hard bound of course, then I could leave a rational comment, but I did feel that webster’s comment wasn’t helpful and hit that button on the amazon site. It felt kind of nice actually.

      • I thought I heard grin….

      • Let us know when it get’s to 97%.

      • I wonder if I posted some of Pekka’s comments outlining the reasons the book is probably wrong on the B-E thing, would it meet with such overwhelming disapproval from the general public (Climate etc denizens). This popularity contest is getting silly and Judith should not have counting.

      • “curryja | September 6, 2014 at 3:36 pm |

        I just checked at amazon.com. only 1 out of 5 people have clicked that Pukite’s review was helpful”

        Judith should not have started the counting. It’s unseemly for one of her stature.

      • It’s 2 out of 20. Keeping up his stats at least.

        The gist of the problem seems to be that cloud nuclei are not Bose-Einstein condensates. This is not at all a relevant point for the statistics of nucleation rates.

        What he would need to show is that the distribution is not approximated by Boltzmann or indeed Bose-Einstein distributions. He has not the slightest clue as to why even that this is the significant point.

        And if you think he has any clue about anything much – you’ve got rocks in your head. It is clear as well what the motivation is – the same odd impetus to self aggrandizement and – the other side of the coin – abuse and aggression. It all has about the same level of sophistication as his eccentric ‘science’.

      • Don Monfort, speaking of shilling for favorable reviews of your work and critical reviews of work that disagrees with it,
        see the latest from Michael Mann::

        Via Tom Nelson we learn that Michael Mann is misbehaving again. This time he’s soliciting favourable Amazon reviews of his execrable book and he’s also soliciting unfavourable ones of the Hockey Stick Illusion.

        Apparently the climate community attracts a lot of mental unhealth.

    • I have noticed that Pukite is quick to judge the technical work of others even if he is largely ignorant of the technical details. And his tone of contempt is a sad commentary on him as a person.

      There is a pattern with some people on the left who allow their political prejudices to lead them into pejorative characterizations of whole classes of their opponents as anti-science or worse “Christians” whose views are simply dismissed because they have some irrelevant opinion the left doesn’t like.

      I’ve seen this operate with you Judith where you have been dismissed as changing your views based on moving to Georgia Tech so that they would be more in line with the culturally backward prejudices endemic in those parts. Fortunately, Utter hogwash, but some seriously say it. To raise the level of discourse, these views need to be relegated to the smoke filled barrooms where they properly belong.

      • David Young, agree on the lack of technical expertise on Pukite’s part. Regarding “There is a pattern with some people on the left” and speaking very much from my own experience and perceptions, I think it’s not a “left-right” thing, but part of an “activist” mentality.

        I’ve been plodding through Rex Weyler’s book on Greenpeace. The opening lines of that book are telling:

        World changers, artists, and social misfits stumble upon history and make the best of it. Or they make a mess of it. In either case, they ‘touch the flesh of the matter,’ as Greenpeace strategist Ben Metcalfe once dreamed.”

        It’s not “getting it right” that matters to these people, it’s being part of some that “matters”, something that touches the “flesh of the matter”.

        I think this explains how Patrick Moore (sometimes credited as being a founder of Greenpeace before his falling out) can almost flip 180° and be equally as evangelistic for his new-found religion, and why the reaction of the people from his old group is to “excommunicate” him, rather than to address the degree to which he is now right nor not. He has committed the sin of “lack of loyalty to the cause”. It matters not whether the cause is valid or not, the only validation needed is the fervency in people’s stated opinions:

        Hence the emphasis of this group on consensus. And on whether a person’s motives are “pure” (this person takes money from fossil fuel and therefore “Satan”.)

        This “activist personality” congregates more often on the left-side of the spectrum in American politics, but I think that is just an accident of recent US history.

      • Thanks, Carrick. I mostly agree with your observation. I would say the left usually is against the status quo and is more likely to be activist.

      • David –

        ==> “There is a pattern with some people on the left””

        What fascinating logic. What do think it means that you describe a pattern with “some people on the left?”

        I think that it means that you see a pattern and then try to superimpose, onto that pattern, an association with the left (because of motivated reasoning rooted in your own identifications) without have an evidence-based reason for doing so.

        Otherwise, it would either be a pattern with some people (on the left and presumably on the right also) or a pattern among people on the left.

      • I was wondering when joshie would discover this thread. There are a lot of anklebiting opportunities for you here, joshie.

      • ==> “I would say the left usually is against the status quo and is more likely to be activist.”

        In such a short comment, David, you have offered a lot of interesting material to chew on.

        I wonder what folks like GaryM, Wags, Cwon, Don, Chief, AK, Matt, jim2 , rls, and the many, many, other left-bashing “denizens” (we’d get a much smaller number, I think, trying to count those who aren’t) might have to say about that comment?

      • I don’t care what part of the political spectrum is “more activist.” Whatever that means.

    • Matthew R Marler

      curryja: I would appreciate anyone reading the book who would submit a review to amazon.com.

      Sorry, I can’t. It will take me a year to read it. Meanwhile, did I misread it ? c.f. my commennt beginning with my eyesight. Or my reference to figure 8.2 on p. 301? See also figure 8.4. p 324. It looks to me like the issue of accuracy of approximation is addressed head-on, not finessed.

      I don’t concern myself with who Nom de Plume really is or what his or her expertise really is. My expertise is statistics in biomedical research and modeling/statistical analysis of dynamical systems in biology. I’ll concede right away that numerous people know more than I do about numerous topics. What I look for is actual evidence and thought relevant to a Question or Claim, and sometimes people who evidently know more than I do just go on and on about general stuff without addressing specific points. I track down the links and citations provided for most claims. However much WebHubTelescope may know about epitaxial growth of silicon crystals, I think he has mischaracterized the text that he has criticized, and cited a paper with no demonstrated clear relationship to the text that he criticized.

      For anyone who cares about my opinion, the text requires and will repay careful reading. I am pleased to report that I did find a typo — evidence at least of not sleeping though the whole thing — but on the whole it is carefully written. It is 730 pp of very small type, full of equations and graphs. It has a 9 page glossary of notations, and 30 pp of references, many of which are very recent, at least some of which refer to Russian research. It summarizes much work, and is likely to be used as a handbook by researchers and graduate students. So far, I have not found what might be called an “oracular” or “messianic” tone suggesting that this is the Last Word, or The Revelation. This is a summary of research work for advanced research workers.

      If WegHubTelescope’s criticisms have merit, I have missed that merit.

      I look forward to responses by Vitaly Khvorovstyanov, but really folks, you need to read the text, and the foundations in Chapter 3.

      The epigraph, “The Cloud”, by Percy Bysshe Shelley is a good touch. Just right.

      As to cost, it is a little over $0.1/page, which with this much mathematical typesetting is a near miracle. Maybe that is because it is all black and white. That is not a problem.

      • […], but really folks, you need to read the text, and the foundations in Chapter 3.

        And I’m guessing Chapter 3 wasn’t among the parts available for Webdummy’s “review [of] parts of the textbook online to see whether it is worth it.”

  46. If the matter is of fundamental importance to the whole book AND WHT is correct 1 star might be fair enough. If the matter is trivial within the context of a 700 page book it seems a somewhat churlish rating.

    We will wait for Vitaly to see which is which.

    tonyb

    • As far as I can tell it will remain a peripheral issue, until one finds a place where the description is contradicted by data.

      One star over a technical issue is embarrassingly unprofessional behavior. E.g., the behavior we see from WHUt on a daily basis. lol. You know, that. lol.

      Did I say lol enough times.

      Lol.

      >.<

    • This matter is NOT of fundamental importance to the book, in any event.

      • How important is it? If it’s an error on your part, what do you do?

      • Most manuscripts of this sort are going to contain errors.

        They represent a somewhat blurry snap shop of the “state of the art” circa the publication date. As the state of the art improves, there are likely going to be advances that contradict stated beliefs in a given manuscript.

        When discovered, the errors get addressed in later editions of the book. If they are important enough, you include a published (usually free to download these days) corrigenda.

        This is a big deal for books like “Table of Integrals, Series, and Products” by Gradshteyn, Ryzhik and (now) coauthors,which are widely used in analysis. Here’s their corrections to the 7th edition:

        http://www.mathtable.com/errata/gr7_errata.pdf

      • * “snap shot”

      • Move through it.

      • Carrick

        That was an interesting list. There are surely better ways to deal with mistakes , if there has been one, than writing an unflattering review and posting it on amazon. Contact with the authors and publishers would seem the most obvious route.
        Tonyb

  47. Sorry about mispelling Vatily.

    Does WHUT have qualifications and reputation he seems to assign himself?

    Scott

  48. Five star review from Amazon:

    *****
    Note from coauthor Judith Curry
    By Judith A. Curry on September 6, 2014
    Format: Kindle Edition
    Please see my blog post on the book
    https://judithcurry.com/2014/09/04/thermodynamics-kinetics-and-microphysics-of-clouds/

    which provides further context for the book. At this time there are over 200 comments on the book. In particular, Paul Pukite’s criticism of section 8.2.3 is discussed at length.

    I welcome any questions or critiques of the book, I will check here frequently, or you can post comments/questions on the blog

  49. For those interested in digging deeper into nucleation as we forge ahead here is a source for some background material. Be advised that the material provides background only from the ‘classical’ perspective and does not get into into the application BE or FD distributions–dear to our hearts at the present. I just put the link here because if you can tolerate/grok the maths and want to dig in a little perhaps the tome can be useful. Also as VK and JC are contributors it might inform you some on the content of their book where they have broadened the intended audiences. For those not familiar with transition state theory or in need of a review (me) Chapter 16 looks like a nice tutorial.

    Here is the link:
    http://theor.jinr.ru/meetings/2013/nta/NTA2013.pdf

    and basic info:
    Nucleation Theory and Applications
    Special Issues
    Jürn W. P. Schmelzer and Olaf Hellmuth (Editors)
    Review Series on Selected Topics of
    Atmospheric Sol Formation: Volume 1
    Olaf Hellmuth, Vitaly I. Khvorostyanov, Judith A. Curry,
    Alexander K. Shchekin, Jürn W. P. Schmelzer, Rainer
    Feistel, Yuri S. Djikaev, Vladimir G. Baidakov
    Selected Aspects of Atmospheric Ice and Salt
    Crystallisation
    Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, Dubna, 2013

  50. I’ve received a brief email from Vitaly:

    Dear colleagues,

    I am preparing a more detailed reply, will be posted later. Perhaps the
    following brief excerpt from my reply may cool the discussion of B-E:

    Except for these 2 brief hypothetical sections, 8.2.3 and 8.3.2 (half a page each), where B-E statistics is hypothesized as a possible candidate for generalization at low T (but these sections are never used in any calculations in the book), all the other considerations of the nucleation processes and all calculations and parameterizations in this book are based on the traditionally accepted Boltzmann statistics used in classical nucleation theory.

    Thus, this discussion of B-E statistics, initiated by WebHubTelescope and comment at Amazon by Paul Pukite is “Much ado about nothing” in context of this book.

    If somebody read the other sections of the book and have any comments, we would appreciate them.

    Cheers, warm greetings from cold Moscow (very cold soon),

    Vitaly Khvorostyanov

    • Pukite has a talent for humiliating himself publicly. I believe psychologists have described this disorder, but I don’t remember the details.

      • Why would anyone give such an unpleasant and one sided review over a couple of seemingly minor aspects of a 700 page work?
        If they are worth pointing out, why not do it to the authors or the publishers?

        It appears to be tribalism at its worst unless Webby is able to convince us that the fault he believes he found affects the whole basis of the book.
        tonyb

      • tonyb

        It is ironic that WHUT own words apply:

        “The problem with assertions that are “not even wrong” is that it often takes a lot of effort to deconstruct the premise to figure out what the original intent was.

        Critique is not the objective–control of perception is. WHUT did not convince people but he did force a clarification. Curiously that is both bad and good. I think that there is a lot of 20-20 hindsight to be found here.

      • The bottom-line rationalization is that this was all “hypothetical”. When you say something like “nucleation rate has the form”, the “has” typically implies that one is asserting this as a scientific conjecture. If you want to weasel-word this as a hypothetical assertion, then one should clearly label this as hypothetical. Like “I don’t know if this is right or not, but isn’t it odd that if you do a Taylor series approximation around the degeneracy condition, one gets this”. But that would not look too professional, right?

        Weak rationalization, check.

        So what other reason to explain what they did? Perhaps the dude wants to pad the book with extraneous stuff so that he can get the page count up? And he does it TWICE, once
        in the section on condensation from vapor and once on nucleation on ice. He is essentially saying that it doesn’t matter if it is wrong, that it was just idle shooting the breeze theorizing stuff, la de da.

        And the co-author is totally oblivious to what is going on.

        This is a lot of fun. You finally get to see how these people deal with the physics that is taught in a college statistical mechanics course.

      • I am going to help you, webby. This would have been more persuasive:

        Paul the professional says:When you say something like “nucleation rate has the form”, the “has” typically implies that one is asserting this as a scientific conjecture. If you want to represent this as a hypothetical assertion, then one should clearly label this as hypothetical.

      • Matthew R Marler

        WebHubTelescope: The bottom-line rationalization is that this was all “hypothetical”. When you say something like “nucleation rate has the form”, the “has” typically implies that one is asserting this as a scientific conjecture. If you want to weasel-word this as a hypothetical assertion, then one should clearly label this as hypothetical. Like “I don’t know if this is right or not, but isn’t it odd that if you do a Taylor series approximation around the degeneracy condition, one gets this”. But that would not look too professional, right?

        Actually, in context section 8.2.3 is interesting intelligent speculation for advanced students of the field. The opening sentence is: “The previous derivation of the nucleation rates was based on the Boltzmann distribution of the g-mers. However, as we have seen in Chapter 3, the Boltzmann distribution is a particular case of the more general Bose-Einstein distribution: … .”

        They discuss the conditions in which the B-E distribution might be more appropriate, and outline how a derivation they already did for Boltzmann might be generalized to the B-E distribution. They do not claim that anything in particular “has” the B-E distribution: it is an obvious research topic for someone in the next generation.

        I want to thank Vitaly for clarifying that this section was not used in the rest of the book. In a few days of reading, that would not have become clear to me.

        Perhaps the dude wants to pad the book with extraneous stuff so that he can get the page count up?

        Clearly he is an interested scholar who wants to share his ideas with his colleagues. Nobel Prize winners in the past have shared half-baked ideas with their colleagues by publishing them.

        Equally clearly, when progress is made in this field, it will be due to the book by K&C, with nothing traceable back to WebHubTelescope by any of his names.

      • Matthew R Marler

        climatereason: Why would anyone give such an unpleasant and one sided review over a couple of seemingly minor aspects of a 700 page work?

        As far as I can tell, they were not even mistakes, just intelligent conjectures of the sort that are published all the time in surveys and research monographs.

      • That’s the most convincing retort to webby’s attack that we have seen so far, Matt. Let’s see if Vitaly can add anything. This could have been over, days ago.

      • I just edited Vitaly’s response and sent it back to him, should be posted tomorrow a.m.

    • “warm greetings from cold Moscow”

      See, AGW isn’t all bad.

      Andrew

    • Personally, I thought, and still think, he went looking for some rationale to give it a 1-star review. Out of tribalism. Or just plain nastiness.

  51. Да что вы говарите… :o) Thank you.

  52. Congratulations on the publication of the book, Dr Curry. It’s way beyond my level of expertise, so I won’t be reading it – sorry! :) But judging from the comments so far, it seems to be a significant piece of work which pulls together a lot of loose threads in the field.

    As for the sniping from a certain individual, it is like an irritating fly at a picnic, and is about as important, IMO. Even if the criticism is correct (and I have no way of judging it personally), it comes across as petty and vindictive. Surely if someone has a question about an issue, they could just phrase it politely as a question?

    And yes, the whole point of collaboration is that the parties each bring different skills to the table. When Rodgers and Hart co-wrote Pal Joey, questions about the lyrics would be directed at Hart, and questions about the music would be directed at Rodgers. What on earth is controversial or dodgy about that?

    • Imagine if Webby applied his rating scale to the works of Michael Mann.

      Mann’s books would be minus 1,000 stars.

      • I am pretty sure that minus five stars is the limit on that scale. I think you could approximate your proposed ignominious minus 1000 star assessment by giving mikey’s stinking hockeystick book the dreaded, rarely applied Five-Cockroach Rating. As webby has reminded, when you see five cockroaches there are really about a thousand.

      • I see your 5 cockroaches and raise 5 rats.

  53. Virtue bursting out all over the place, birds singing, flowers blooming…tribal thing?

  54. Here is some more information for trying to understand what is going on in the book.
    Figure 8.2 shows the homogeneous freezing nucleation rate Jf. The experimental data, theory, and one’s intuition says this rate should decrease as the temperature increases towards the freezing point. The Wikipedia article on Nucleation explains the shape of the rate curve quite clearly.

    Unfortunately, the section 8.3.2 leaves the reader with the impression that the freezing nucleation rate Jf increases with increasing absolute temperature, T. That is the opposite slope as shown in Figure 8.2. The normalizing factor C has a dependence on T but it is not clearly explained that this can change the sign of the slope .

    • The starting point for most of my comments is the following excerpt from the book posted by WHUT (I’m uncertain on some subscripts)

      ==

      8.2.3. Application of Bose—Einstein Statistics for Condensation and Deposition

      The previous derivation of the nucleation rate was based on the Boltzmann distribution of the g-mers. However, as we have Seen in Chapter 3, the Boltzmann distribution is a particular case of the more general Bose—Einstein distribution:

      c(g) = c_{sat,w} \frac{1}{exp(\Delta F_g/kT)-1} . (8.2.43)

      With the Bose—Einstein statistics. the homogeneous nucleation rate of drops nucleation in supersaturated vapor (Eqn. 8.2.38) can be rewritten as

      J_{hom} = c_{sat,w} j_g^{(+)} A_g Z \frac{1}{exp(\Delta F_{cr}/kT)-1} . (8.2.44)

      For \Delta F_{cr} >> kT, we have an inequality exp(\Delta F_{cr}/kT) >> 1, the Bose–Einstein distribution converts into the Boltzmann distribution. c(g) = c_{sat,w} exp(-\Delta F_{cr}/kT) and (Eqn. 8.2.44) converts into (Eqn. 8.2.38). The relation \Delta F_{cr} >> kT is valid in most cases. However. in some cases, when \sigma_{vw} is small (e.g.. at very low temperatures or in the presence of strong surfactants or other pollutants that decrease surface tension), then \Delta F = \sigma_{vw}^3 may become comparable to or smaller than kT. Then, all of
      the previous derivations should be repeated using the Bose—Einstein statistics for particles with integer spin as the water molecules instead of the Boltzmann statistics.

      ==

      The first surprising detail is referring to the B-E distribution as more general rather than just another distribution valid in some cases and not in others. This observation is relevant only as a sign of the depth of thinking put in this chapter.

      Another detail appears to imply an actual error. That’s the reference to the nature of water molecules as particles with integer spin and therefore bosons. They are, indeed, bosons, but that’s almost certainly relevant only under conditions really remote from those possible in the atmosphere. If that’s relevant for water molecules under any conditions, it’s unlikely that the B-E distribution applies even then, because it’s derived using assumptions that water molecules do not satisfy. The derivation is valid for ideal gas of very weakly interacting particles, not for particles with an interaction like that between water molecules.

      What’s not as implausible is that some collective phenomena are involved. Then the B-E distribution might be relevant for the collective excitations in the same way it’s relevant for phonons in a solid. I cannot see, how even that could really be the case for condensation and deposition, but neither can I exclude totally such a possibility. If that turns out to be the case, it’s likely that extensive theory development is needed before even qualitative conclusions on the consequences can be presented.

      The case of freezing of supercooled water is somewhat different. The phenomenon of freezing is closer to the phenomena of lattice vibrations and phonons than to condensation. Collective states of low excitation might have a role in that. Thus also the statistical properties of these excitations might be relevant. On first thought B-E statistics might be more likely applicable to the distribution of germs than to diffusive flux.

      • Thanks Pekka and Carrick for your interesting posts on WHT’s critique and on the general applicability of B-E statisics to water crystals. I don’t pretend to fully understand the issues here but found the discussion interesting, notwithstanding that it may have been unnecessary.

      • Particles don’t have to be IDEAL in order to use B-E stats.

      • Peter

        Good appraisal. When it comes down to it WHT should have put his comment into context as two possible small concerns in a 700 page book which ultimately has no effect on anything it appears. Unless he can convince us otherwise that the 1star rating was merited?

        tonyb

      • It will be good to see what the co-author says about this because no one has yet commented on why the freezing nucleation rate as predicted by K&C will increase with temperature (8.3.13 and 8.3.14 and elsewhere) instead of decreasing with temperature as shown in the experimental results of Figure 8.2.

        Lots of stuff like this is what caught my eye as an auditor of mathematical physics.

        And if this is simply hiding the underlying behavior by way of opaque constants, the authors are not doing a very good job of explaining and educating.

      • webster, “K&C will increase with temperature (8.3.13 and 8.3.14 and elsewhere) instead of decreasing with temperature as shown in the experimental results of Figure 8.2.”

        I doubt that K&C actually used BE for this, but Arctic Mixed Phase Clouds tend to have an unusual temperature relationship where water forms at colder temperatures thanks to surface and advected energy.

      • As I have seen only the short excerpts, I cannot tell, why the formula (8.3.14) grows with temperature except that the full formula (8.3.13) does the same and so does the formula that results from dropping the terms ‘-1’ from the denominator. Thus the sign is not due to the introduction of B-E statistics as far as I can see.

        While the sign does not depend on temperature the high temperature behavior does depend strongly on that the statistics, which seems paradoxical as the argument is that the effect might be important at low temperatures, not at high temperatures. The resolution must be in the size of ΔF, but if this value is strongly dependent on the temperature then the given formulas by themselves tell nothing about the temperature dependence.

      • Pekka,
        The overall behavior for freezing nucleation is approximately exp(-T/(deltaT^2)) according to the Wikipedia entry on Nucleation, where T is absolute temperature and deltaT is the amount of supercooling below a critical temperature. This matches the bending profile on the semiLog graph of Figure 8.2.

        This formulation involves several competing effects that I shouldn’t have to explain but I assume are well described in the book, right ?

      • Matthew R Marler

        WebHubTelescope: according to the Wikipedia entry on Nucleation,

        OH, Good Grief! Wikipedia?

      • Matthew R Marler

        WebHubTelescope: This formulation involves several competing effects that I shouldn’t have to explain but I assume are well described in the book, right ?

        There was a perfect opportunity for some constructive criticism, and a chance to demonstrate your vast knowledge. You passed on it. You might reconsider, and write something it will be worthwhile for us to read.

        It might be incorporated into the second edition, if what you write is good enough.

      • Pekka has made some good points. I have not had to think much about quantum physics since my physics undergrad days, so take this as a non-expert comment. BE statistics only apply to indistinguishable non-interacting particles with integer spins. Water molecules would not be indistinguishable unless they were all in the same vibration and rotation state, most likely achieved at very low temperatures when both are near the base state. For rotation states to be stopped requires very low temperatures, less than the cosmic background radiation. If the rotation states are not stopped, these particles are distinguishable and BE stats won’t apply, unless you somehow got them all to be rotating and vibrating identically. As Pekka says, maybe there is some phonon interpretation, but this would have nothing to do with free gases.

      • Jim D

        Early on Carrick at September 4, 2014 at 7:29 pm gave a couple of good links. One in particular ( http://www.nature.com/srep/2013/130617/srep01980/full/srep01980.html ) is looking at boson peaks in supercooled water. Indeed googling on ‘boson peakss in supercooled water’ can be quite interesting.

      • For general blog comment clarity. I should have noted in my comment to Jim D…here phonons are the bosons. Also to tie into other comments…phonons are a type of ‘collective excitation’. And for completeness, reference to cooperative phenomena is at times is suggestive of collective excitations. I hope this is due-enough diligence. ;O)

      • Oh, yeah…none of this has a thing to do with BE condensate! Nothing, nothing, nothing

      • Maybe someone who has the book can search for the word “phonon” in there. Perhaps we can establish that these are not bosons in the electromagnetic wave/particle sense, but in the lattice vibration/phonon sense. We find that phonons are indeed bosons from the Wikipedia article about them for example. They are lattice vibrations in the same sense as photons being EM vibrations and represent a collective behavior of the molecules in the lattice.

      • Jim D

        “Perhaps we can establish that these are not bosons in the electromagnetic wave/particle sense, but in the lattice vibration/phonon sense. “

        Whether ‘phonon’ is in the book does not matter and to suggest a goosechase looking for it does not accomplish anything. There is nothing that needs to be shown.

        FYI here is a quote from the abstract of the paper–note the date and note the bold:

        mwgrant | September 4, 2014 at 9:11 pm |

        WHUT, I’ll just go ahead and post this abstract tidbit from Carricks other reference, The Boson peak in supercooled water…

        “…We further find that, similar to other glass-forming liquids, the vibrational modes corresponding to the Boson peak are spatially extended and are related to transverse phonons found in the parent crystal, here ice “

        I think that the authors and the other researchers are managing just fine on their own.

      • I think what confused everybody was when someone said water vapor molecules themselves are bosons, which was what set off most of the comments. It appears that statement would be irrelevant if we were talking about lattice vibration states from the beginning.

      • The rate laws with the exp(-E/kT) are known informally as Arrhenius rate laws. They have the common characteristic of rates increasing with temperature.

        Yet the freezing nucleation is a kind of inverted rate law whereby the rates increase with decreasing temperature — below the conventional freezing point as applicable. That is what Figure 8.2 refers to in the book, as this is based on observations.

        The Wikipedia article on Nucleation succeeds in being able to explain this behavior mathematically, whereas the textbook section completely obscures the temperature dependence, making the reader think that the freezing rate increases with increasing temperature.

        So the suggestion is to put a clear temperature dependence into the cluster formation activation energy. If the goal is education then one must accommodate the readers so they don’t have to do all the mental gymnastics in their head.

        That’s what makes these textbooks a slog versus a textbook on thermal physics such as Reif a wonder to behold.

        F.Reif, Fundamentals of Statistical and Thermal Physics.

      • Jim D

        Pekka notes in this comment [ Jim D | September 8, 2014 at 1:24 pm | ] that the text from the book states:

        Then, all of the previous derivations should be repeated using the Bose—Einstein statistics for particles with integer spin as the water molecules instead of the Boltzmann statistics.

        So around and around…. I wonder where Mz Judy keeps the whiskey around here?

        Regards

      • After I noted the rather obvious flub, Pekka also asks


        I cannot tell, why the formula (8.3.14) grows with temperature except that the full formula (8.3.13) does the same and so does the formula that results from dropping the terms ‘-1′ from the denominator.

        Yes, why do they have math that shows the freezing nucleation rate increasing with temperature?

        If the free energy term also changes with temperature to compensate for this, are they going to use B-E statistics on that as well? A temperature dependence indicates some form of thermodynamics or statistical mechanics is needed to explain the behavior. You certainly don’t want to be accused of picking and choosing your physics.

        Another to file under “not even wrong”.

        When is the errata sheet for the book coming out?

      • nottawa rafter

        Web
        Given your absence on the Vitaly post I was beginning to feel sorry for you because your errors were so obvious. I even thought your embarrassment was so great you may never show up again. Silly me. No, there is no embarrassment. You are over here talking to yourself trying to repair your self esteem given the shellacking the world has witnessed. Take it like man! Address the Vitaly points one by one. You will feel better for it. It will pave the way for your recovery. Think of all the great men of history who admitted their mistakes and redeemed themselves. What great company you could be in.

      • Yeah, I was pretty dismayed to see he’s still at it. No better than Michael or Joshua.

      • ==> ” Address the Vitaly points one by one. ”

        Yes. Wait until Judith does that with Gavin’s response to her, and her analysis of Salby’s work…..then follow her lead.

        Although “Take it like man! “ doesn’t quite apply in those cases.

    • Matthew R Marler

      WebHubTelescope: Here is some more information for trying to understand what is going on in the book.

      I am glad to see that you followed up on my suggestion to look into figure 8.2.

      Unfortunately, the section 8.3.2 leaves the reader with the impression that the freezing nucleation rate Jf increases with increasing absolute temperature, T. That is the opposite slope as shown in Figure 8.2.

      Clearly readers’ “impression[s]” will change if they read more than one page. The text might be even more informative to readers who read the pages sequentially and think about them a while.

      If someone offers you constructive scientific criticism, it is your responsibility to take it and then say thank you.

      In this thread, you have not offered any constructive criticism, so no one owes you any gratitude. No one.

      Well, … .Maybe Joshua — I see that he jumped in despite knowing nothing of relevance on the topics.

    • Your comment makes no sense to me.

      There are two approximations made – one to Boltzmann and the other to the case where ΔF << kT. In NEITHER case does the approximation change the sign of the derivative relationship between J and T. This is basic mathematics, and quite separate from the argument about the applicability of B-E statistics.

      Unless you are now arguing that Boltzmann does not apply over the data range considered, your analysis is incorrect, and provably so.

      Since this flawed argument seems to form one of the central planks in the criticism you placed on Amazon, I would suggest for your own good that you investigate whether there is a route to withdraw your Amazon review comment voluntarily. If I were you I would not want that comment to remain there like a blinking neon testament to your professional credibility.

    • I have just noted that Pekka is making the same point as I do above, more or less, in comment Pekka Pirilä | September 8, 2014 at 9:55 am |.

  55. Tomas Milanovic

    First congratulations Judith and Vitaly.
    The book is too specialised on an issue that I am not following so that I will not be buying the book but I find the idea to extend the correspondence principle to matters in classical physics an interesting and certainly fruitfull idea.
    .
    A short note to what I see as a quite ridiculously irrelevant polemics which has unfortunately squatted practically all 300 posts (even I feel compelled to add a comment) – the B-E statistics.
    .
    Carrick got it right and his first post should have been enough to stop the delirium and go over to more important and interesting matters.
    B-E statistics is the law that describes the energy distribution for bosons.
    If one deals with bosons then B-E is the right formula for energy distribution.
    Period.
    All the rest was a confusion between classical physics and quantum physics.
    For instance temperatures or Broglie wave lengths are irrelevant.
    Both allow to check whether we’ll have typical QM effects (like B-E condensate or superpositions of quantum states) but this is is irrelevant because the chapter is talking about generalities concerning energy distribution and doesn’t look for some typical quantum effects.
    .
    Using B-E statistic on bosons is ALWAYS right.
    However when the classical approximation is correct and one doesn’t need to explicitely do QM calculations, then B-E converges to M-B.
    As in most cases we deal with (and I suppose the book does that too), we are indeed doing classical physics, then M-B is the right and simplest approximation.
    If QM was necessary (f.ex low temperatures, low number of particles) then using M-B would be grotesquely wrong and one should use B-E.
    There is really nothing more to say about this non-issue.

    • Using B-E statistics for bosons is correct only when it’s done correctly.

    • Perhaps I should have written:

      Use of B-E statistics for bosons is correct only when it’s done correctly.

      That’s what I meant.

    • “A short note to what I see as a quite ridiculously irrelevant polemics which has unfortunately squatted practically all 300 posts (even I feel compelled to add a comment) – the B-E statistics.”

      Thank God Your Eminence saw fit to come by and clear it up in one swell phoop. Your timing in impeccable. Thanks Tomas!

      Walk in the shoes, baby!

    • Thanks Tomas, the number of people who have the scientific background for this area of climate physics are relatively few on the ground around here. Equating the distribution properties of the B-E statistic with QM effects is like comparing apples with oranges and even a non-scientist like me can see the truth in this.

      • If you read even the bit posted by DuhHubbleTelescope, you can see it is very nuances and qualified with varying assumptions. I would jump to any contusions based on DHT’s blatherings.

      • I WOULDN’T jump … not WOULD – obviously.

    • Tomas, if using B-E stats on all bosons is always correct, why hasn’t anyone here been able to find and reference another textbook, paper, discussion on the subject of B-E statistics and water molecules in the atmosphere?

      • Cloud physics has traditionally been based on 19th century physics. One of the things we have done in our book is introduce some 20th century physics. So hopefully motivated by our book, there will be more investigations along these lines.

      • But what is the justification for suggesting in your textbook that use of B-E statistics is appropriate for water vapor molecules in the atmosphere. A lot of science and scientists have come and gone , since the 19th century. It doesn’t appear that any of them, except your co-author, have contemplated or discussed using B-E stats on water vapor in the atmosphere. If I had spent a lot of time and effort writing a 720 page textbook that I want to sell, I would be here defending it against an allegedly spurious attack, if I had something to work with. This has really gotten silly.

      • Vitaly does not ‘get’ blogs, and is not tuned into the ‘urgency’ of responding to comments on a blog. He is treating these comments as ‘reply to editor’ for a journal paper review. He is also on a vastly different time zone, and lives in a very remote location with spotty internet access. I emailed him last nite proposed revisions to his response, along with new comments from Tomas, Pekka, and WHUT. I have not yet heard back from him, I typically hear from him around 5 p.m., and unfortunately I am traveling this eve. So pls be patient. If somehow I have not heard back from him by 9 p.m. this eve, I will post my revised version of his response.

      • Here is a quick excerpt from Vitaly’s forthcoming response:

        Why did we come to this idea? We worked together for almost 2 decades on ice nucleation, and our experience here is reflected by papers cited in the book by Khvorostyanov and Curry. Many hundreds numerical experiments and comparisons with experimental data were performed with various sets of parameters. Unfortunately, despite almost 90 years of developments of CNT since 1920s, the values of parameters are still uncertain. This is especially true for the surface tension σ. It is known that surface tension decreases with decreasing temperature, the rate of decrease is different in different sources, but it is known that at low temperatures (can be around Tlim  -70 to -100 C), σ becomes very low, even for pure water without surfactants, and may become even negative in some extrapolations to the low T, which prevents calculations at these T. Since the critical energy of activation ΔFcr ~ σ3, the enery ΔFcr also becomes very small (or negative), and eventually can become comparable to or smaller than kT, so that ΔFcr ~ kT or ΔFcr > kT. Thus, we come to a dead end: calculations of nucleation become impossible below Tlim, although many cirrus clouds may form at these T (especially in the tropics), polar stratospheric clouds, playing important role in ozone depletion, noctilucent and mesospheric clouds form at even lower T (Chapter 4 in the book).

        So, we have a situation when clouds form at very cold temperatures, but we cannot calculate crystal nucleation rate at these T because of inapplicability of the Boltzmann statistics and cannot simulate these clouds. This situation is not characteristic of only our work, but is a common problem for many researchers who try to deal with low T.
        What to do? Wait for another 50-90 years when the new data on σ, latent heat, etc, will become available at low T? But there is no hope that any reliable data will be available in the near future, because experiments are usually limited to -38 to -40 C and are difficult or impossible at lower T (“No Man’s Land”, see Chapter 4), and the available theories of water at low T are still incomplete, proceed slowly, and does not provide reliable values of σ. The only way to solve the problem now was to try another statistics, valid at at low T. A possible candidate is the Bose-Einstein statistics, valid to very low T, even close to 0 K. It is more general than the Boltzmann statistics and includes it as a particular case at sufficiently high T. We just hypothesized it, but did not develop in detail and did not use in this book. This is just a hypothesis that can be verified or rejected by any researcher who has appropriate experimental or theoretical tools at very low T. But the use of B-E statistics at low T cannot be rejected until it is proven that it leads to the wrong results. To our knowledge, such data at very low T are absent.

      • Don,

        I don’t think that this is a serious issue about the book as whole, only a detail that should be clarified when brought up.

        in addition this kind of discussion offers a possibility of bringing up some issues of physics. Some are likely to learn to understand points that they haven’t understood before, others may get an impression of things physicists ponder about.

      • . . . , why hasn’t anyone here been able to find and reference another textbook, paper, discussion on the subject of B-E statistics and water molecules in the atmosphere?

        Apparently because conditions for which B-E is applicable are not attained in the regions of Earth’s atmosphere where water vapor and clouds and associated phenomena and processes occur. There is not a single indication that results of the B-E concept are actually used in the present book.

        The material is discussed in four short sections in the book. The material has very likely been presented as a matter of complete discussions of the concepts. And maybe the possibility that other condensable vapors are present in the other atmospheres of other bodies in the universe.

      • Don M. – welcome to the bleeding edge!

      • Based on that preview of the answer, my impression is that the issue is worth being studied theoretically. Statistics of the collective modes involved in the physical processes might have a significant role in such an analysis. Saying much more is probably premature as long as such analysis has not been done.

      • Thanks Judith and Pekka. That’s all I need to know about this subject.

        I am all for webby getting his little comeuppances, but I also want his beatings to be well deserved. In this case he may or may not have a point, but his review on Amazon was premature and it was a low blow. I don’t believe that webby is an idiot. He got some skills. It would be nice if he cleaned up his act and gained some respect here.

      • I have a comment in the silly moderation for use of the I word:

        Thanks Judith and Pekka. That’s all I need to know about this subject.

        I am all for webby getting his little comeuppances, but I also want his beatings to be well deserved. In this case he may or may not have a point, but his review on Amazon was premature and it was a low blow. I don’t believe that webby is an i____. He got some skills. It would be nice if he cleaned up his act and gained some respect here.

      • Matthew R Marler

        curryja: Here is a quick excerpt from Vitaly’s forthcoming response:

        That was a good comment. I look forward to more from him.

      • curryja:
        “Here is a quick excerpt from Vitaly’s forthcoming response …”

        and

        Pekka:
        “Statistics of the collective modes involved in the physical processes might have a significant role in such an analysis. Saying much more is probably premature as long as such analysis has not been done.”

        I’m getting the ‘warm’ fuzzies. ;O)

        Seriously…Good stuff. Thanks

      • Don

        Obviously webby isn’t an idiot but he certainly needs to learn how to conduct himself on blogs and when going public on what seems to be trivial elements of a vast book.

        I have picked up mistakes in historical references by well known authors. The obvious thing to do is to tell them or their publisher personally not post a stinking review condemning the entire work.

        tonyb

      • That’s what I said, tonyb. I will add that those who denigrated what we know of webby’s professional accomplishments need to clean up their ad hom act. I hope my son becomes POTUS, but if he accomplishes in his chosen professional career what Paul “webby” Pukite has accomplished, I will still be proud of the little rascal.

      • Don Monfort wrote:

        “I will add that those who denigrated what we know of webby’s professional accomplishments need to clean up their ad hom act. I hope my son becomes POTUS, but if he accomplishes in his chosen professional career what Paul “webby” Pukite has accomplished, I will still be proud of the little rascal.”

        Yes. Well stated. Needed to be said.

      • WHT seems to have reached some sort of tipping point in his solo efforts to persuade readers of CE to be concerned about global warming. I sincerely hope that he learns from this and moves on – even if he chooses to move away from Judith’s blog.

        He has put a lot of unpaid work into what he believes in and he does indeed have a solid background in the sciences of math and physics which I have always respected.

  56. A search of the Kindle edition shows that the Bose-Einstein concept is discussed in the text in Sections 3.2.4, 4.5, 8.2.3 and 8.3.2. The hit in Section 8.3.2 is the last hit in the text of the book. Equations 8.3.13 and 8.3.14 for the nucleation rate, which seem to be the results of interest, are not ever cited. This indicates to me that the Bose-Einstein results are not used whenever validation and applications of the models and methods is the focus.

  57. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    At this year’s International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM), Artur Avila received the Fields Medal for his fundamental work relating to (among other things) the fundamental thermodynamics, kinetics, and micro-kinetics of ice-crystal growth in clouds (and similar crystallization/liquefaction processes).

    Mathematically-minded Climate Etc readers — math-minded climate-science students especially — may enjoy watching Etienne Ghys’ laudation of Artur Avila’s work, for which Tim Gowers provides a lively and humorous background survey

    Remark  21st century mathematical physics has advanced far beyond the dated (and now generally deprecated) thermodynamical concepts of Prigogine’s generation.

    \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    • Matthew R Marler

      a fan of *MORE* discourse:

      from the Wikipedia entry that you linked to:Clearly, I am hostile to all this; but in the interests of fairness, before consigning From Being to Becoming and its kindred to the flames, I should enumerate Prigogine’s intellectual benefactions. First, he really did do excellent work on non-equilibrium thermodynamics in the early days; his Thermodynamics of Irreversible Processes is a model of lucidity, and while inevitably dated (the last revision was in 1967), suffers for the most part from the omission of new results, not the commission of definite errors. Second, he tried to push forward a rigorous and well-grounded study of pattern formation and self-organization almost before anyone else. He failed, but the attempt was inspiring. Third, and related to the previous item, his example encouraged many people to take up the same problems, and do better than he had. Fourth he helped inspire some of the earliest and most mind-bending of Bruce Sterling’s science fiction.

      It isn’t his scientific work that is “deprecated” but his philosophizing and some exaggerated claims made on his behalf. As the Wikipedia entry makes clear, there is an intellectual tradition going back at least as far as Laplace (an much earlier in non-mathematical literature). I think that anyone claiming to “know” exactly and completely the reason why the processes of the world are irreversible is exaggerating.

      It was interesting to read that, mathematically and physically, it is still the case that only processes close to equilibrium are close to being well-understood. The Earth climate system is not “close to equilibrium”, and is not close to being well-understood.

      For a possibly illuminating parallel, consider that Newton’s idea of light “corpuscles” was long deprecated, before being revived as light “quanta”; all of Newton’s theological and alchemical work (greater in paper volume than the scientific work for which he has been extolled) has been deprecated.

      • From the Bible.

        2 Peter 3:10-15New King James Version (NKJV)
        The Day of the Lord

        10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.[a] 11 Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, 12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? 13 Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
        Be Steadfast

        14 Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; 15 and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation—as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you,

        I understand this is still a long way off, however when you consider the time that these words were written and the terms being used to describe a future date, they seem to be in direct conflict with one another. AGW, evolution, flat earth… interesting isn’t it?

  58. We are talking about a cloud of condensation nuclei with droplets (or ice crystals) being formed around them at differing rates. This is a process of heterogeneous nucleation. Or alternatively spontaneous nucleation of supercooled water. Homogenous nucleation.

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2008JD011197/full

    Just as the velocity distribution varies with temperature in an ideal gas.

    The rates of nucleation in an air parcel vary with temperature, pressure and the saturation ratio and have a statistical distribution.

    It is not fermions, energy states, bosons, Bose-Einstein condensates or integer spin that is discussed but the extension of classical nucleation theory – which uses the form of the Boltzmann statistical distribution – by what is being called Khvorostyanov-Curry (KC) theory.

    The entire discussion seems much too narrow and focused on notions of particle physics that are irrelevant and so not of much interest or utility. There is more than a little of Alice down the rabbit hole in this -led by the Mad hatter.

    • Thanks Chief. Your comment hits the nail on the head. The text book by Vitaly and Judith seems to be concerned with finding a best distribution function to use when analysing cloud nucleation phenomena. Particle physics is not being discussed in this context.

      • Peter Davies. I would neither want to discourage anyone or myself from stretching on a comment. Indeed I stretch because that is one way I learn. I was just trying to clarify Rob’s terminology–confusion has been abundant here for the past several days. I appreciate your comment–given in your always gracious style. I regret if anyone mistakes awkward attempts at conciseness as sanctimonious.

        Don Monfort, excellent read. I am pleased :O)

        Now for just the record, I have been using :op to denote mild bemusement–both here and elsewhere–for some time now. No one has complained. Also, I regret if anyone mistakes awkward attempts at conciseness as sanctimonious. As for Rob, well I don’t play his games. Someone else will have to fix him or toughen him up.
        ——-
        Rob,Liebchen, look at some cartoons. Figure it out. Small eyes, big nose, tongue sticking out to the side… :Op

      • Housekeeping …Housekeeping …Housekeeping (very late)

        …this comment was misplaced and re-posted at the correct spot, mwgrant | September 8, 2014 at 9:37 pm |

    • Rob, Peter

      Understand that in general quantum statistical mechanics is not a subdomain of particle physics and plays a fundamental role in describing many-body phenomena (typically non-relativistic). However, there are conceptual and methodological linkages between the fields. I do not recall seeing any comments where particle physics was being used nor would I expect to. I would not muddy the ‘who said what’ water further by throwing in ‘particle physics’. The discussions–correct and incorrect–was simply basic quantum statistical mechanics. The discussion went of the rail early on with the focus on the low temperature BE condensate although IMO some comments provided early missed opportunity to get it back on track.

      regards

      • mwgrant,
        These words of the book contributed to going of the rail:

        using the Bose—Einstein statistics for particles with integer spin as the water molecules

        Can you explain, how these words are relevant for anything not of the rail.

      • Hi Pekka

        “Can you explain, how these words are relevant for anything not of the rail.

        No, I surely can not. You are definitely correct. That text loosened the rail. From my perspective–and every one’s perspective is different–the rail was jumped when the WHUT took up the topic and in his comment went a step further bringing up to the condensate, i.e., the very low temperature regime. Then the focus became specialized and shifted away from more general consideration of boson statistics at finite temperatures. We missed the opportunity to get back on track that time or at least within a couple of iterations.

        The whole situation was made worse because 1.) we were speculating about material to which we had limited access (though response seemed needed) and 2.) the authors did not sense a need to step-in in any meaningful way till late. To be fair I suspect that everyone thought things would move on to other subjects and deconstructing the original comment would take enough time so that any response would be moot. We missed–all of us.

        I should be clear that I do not think that WHUT’s comment was particularly out of line–afterall as you note, the invitation is in the text.

        I think that this whole affair was pretty unfortunate, though I did learn some things.

        [I guess this is why Tomas’ Johnny-come-lately comment today irked the hell out of me.]

        regards,
        mwgrant

      • WHUT’s comments here are not at all out of line for this blog; however, I do object to the ‘cockroach’ approach to reviewing a book on amazon.com

      • Pekka, if you know the use of the term as read is wrong but agree that the statistical method is valid for things other than condensation of molecular gases, an alternative reading of that sentence could simply be a short explanation of how the statistical methodology was derived. I know almost nothing on the topic and am just waiting for the explanation from the person that did the writing.

      • Judith,

        I think your objection is on the mark. I also commend you for your high road to handling it. Better yet, it was no surprise.

      • Thanks for your comment mwgrant. Your point is accepted and I will in future endeavour not to stray too far into areas that require more depth of knowledge than I have. I know that I don’t know much about the subject of this thread whereas some body else (whose name shall not be mentioned) apparently thought he was an expert.

      • I also would like to acknowledge your contribution to the thread Steven and your succinctness was appreciated!

      • Misplaced this above…sorry

        Peter Davies.

        I would neither want to discourage anyone or myself from stretching on a comment. Indeed I stretch because that is one way I learn. I was just trying to clarify Rob’s terminology–confusion has been abundant here for the past several days. I appreciate your comment–given in your always gracious style. I regret if anyone mistakes awkward attempts at conciseness as sanctimonious.

        Don Monfort, excellent read. I am pleased :O)

        Now for just the record, I have been using :op to denote mild bemusement–both here and elsewhere–for some time now. No one has complained. Also, I regret if anyone mistakes awkward attempts at conciseness as sanctimonious. As for Rob, well I don’t play his games. Someone else will have to fix him or toughen him up.
        ——-
        Rob,Liebchen, look at some cartoons. Figure it out. Small eyes, big nose, tongue sticking out to the side… :Op

    • ‘… using the Bose—Einstein statistics for particles with integer spin as the water molecules…’

      It doesn’t imply that Bose-Einstein condensate is a relevant process – simply that that the distribution was derived for bosons in very cold conditions. It is very little on which to base a complaint.

      As for particle physics – this is simply the study of the nature of constituents of matter and energy. In which quantum mechanics has some role. Neither quantum mechanics or particle physics – bosons and fermions being types of fundamental particles – has much role in the theory of cloud nucleation.

      • Hi Rob,

        If you are addressing me, thanks for raising the point. It seems I typo-ed ‘off the rail’ as ‘of the rail’. I do not know which way Pekka took it but not catching the typo I responded with the former (‘off’) in mind. … in particular in the context of ‘contributed to’. And yes, if a jump is made to the quantum regime without sufficient exposition in a text, it can result in confusion. We have seen that, so there is nothing to prove. The big cow paddy was still the evolution of BE condensate in thread(s).

        “Neither quantum mechanics or particle physics – bosons and fermions being types of fundamental particles – has much role in the theory of cloud nucleation.”

        Yes and no. It would seem that in its present state cloud nucleation is largely classical in nature—a few things like transition state theory may appear but that already is ubiqitous in nonQM contexts, e.g. chemical reactions, for decades and decades. No big deal.

        I think enough has been said and done to support that using quantum statistical mechanics to bear as the research unfold may be a fruitful direction investigate. As for ‘particle physics’ no one said it had a role and indeed I was asking why you and Jim2 even uttered the phrase. If you grok my perspective fine; if not, well that works for me too.

        Now I am off read Vitaly’s post…

        regards

      • Complaining about the use of the term particle physics seems misguided quibbling of the first order.

        And although quantum mechanics has a place in sub-atomic energy transitions it is not really germane to the statistics of energy states in a parcel of molecules. Nor is classical cloud nucleation theory more than loosely and partially based on the velocity distribution – bringing in Maxwell-Boltzmann statistics – of a parcel of air.

        But hey – if retailing sanctimonious nonsense with not much in the way of an understanding of just what the physical processes are in reality rocks your boat – don’t let me stop you.

      • … velocity distribution of molecules in a parcel of air…

      • I’m walking away, Rob. You are dense.

      • ‘The Maxwell statistics is formulated in terms of velocities and used usually in cloud physics for evaluation of the kinetic vapor fluxes around a growing drop or crystal.’

        Of course it is. The velocity distribution is required for this and getting into questions of theoretical particle physics just confuses the issue.

        By all means walk away – not much point if you are missing the essence for silly pontification and immature insults. I suggest you join the webbly club instead.

      • Dense.

      • You were walking away I believe? Not reiterating juvenile insults no one gives a rat’s arse about.

      • Complaining about the use of the term particle physics seems misguided quibbling of the first order.

        And although quantum mechanics has a place in sub-atomic energy transitions it is not really germane to the statistics of energy states in a parcel of molecules. Nor is classical cloud nucleation theory more than loosely and partially based on the velocity distribution – bringing in Maxwell-Boltzmann statistics – of a parcel of air.

        But hey – if retailing sanctimonious nonsense with not much in the way of an understanding of just what the physical processes are in reality rocks your boat – don’t let me stop you.

        Better yet why not play silly games.

      • I guess Rob is assuming webby is not coming back. He seems to be angling for a new antagonist. It looks like mwgrant is not going to play.

      • ‘I think enough has been said and done to support that using quantum statistical mechanics to bear as the research unfold may be a fruitful direction investigate. As for ‘particle physics’ no one said it had a role and indeed I was asking why you and Jim2 even uttered the phrase. If you grok my perspective fine; if not, well that works for me too.’

        In classical nucleation theory Maxwell-Boltzmann distributions are used to describe velocities of molecules. This is clearly the thrust of the exercise and has been so for a long time.

        Bosons and fermions are clearly fundamental states of matter – and to go further – defining these states as not relevant to the problem of the distribution of velocities in the vicinity if a droplet or crystal seems – despite the long winded pontification by all and sundry about bosons and fermions – entirely reasonable.

        Yes I ‘grok’ his perspective – it simply lacks any real substance. As does the blogospheric equivalent of sticking his tongue out. This guy just keeps getting sillier.

      • Not going away like he said he would? I just don’t like liars and fools.

      • Your comment is awaiting moderation.

        ‘Not going away like he said he would? I just don’t like li@rs and fules.’

        My comment is under moderation? The question Monfort should ask himself – besides justifying insults and abuse from a very silly person – is what value he ever adds in endless trivial quibbling with Joshua. .

      • Chief –

        ==> “what value he ever adds in endless trivial quibbling with Joshua. .”

        Dude. Just like you, he never reads my comments.

        I love you guys. No, that actually isn’t strong enough. I lurve you guys.

      • I hope webby comes back, robby. You will be very lonely here without your northern hemisphere alter ego. That’s all I have for you. Period.
        .

      • I read perhaps 1 in 20 Joshua comments – perhaps – sometimes I go for whole months without bothering. Just reassure myself occasionally that it is the same churlish snark.

        And talk about churlish – Donny’s one skill.

      • Aggregations of atoms at small numbers exhibit quantum effects. I wouldn’t write any of this off at this point. If you google “metal clusters” you will find a lot on the quantum effects of small clusters. Also, try the same for water. As an example, I found this. (I knew the degree in Chemistry would come in handy here from time to time :) )
        From the article:

        Our results show that tritiated water clusters exhibit an r(OT) distance shorter than the r(OH) distance in water clusters, not significant changes in the Phi(HOH) angle, and a lower average dipole moment than water clusters. We have also carried out classical simulations with the rigid TIP4PQ/2005 model showing that the rotational kinetic energy is greatly affected by quantum effects, but the translational kinetic energy is only slightly modified. The potential energy is also noticeably higher than in classical simulations.

        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20121175

  59. David Springer

    CO2 is the control knob for cloud formation. None of us needs to know any more than that.

    /sarc

  60. David Springer

    WebHubTelescope | September 4, 2014 at 6:37 pm |

    “Yeah, too bad that I am competing against the minor leagues. It’s almost beneath my dignity.”

    Given the inordinate amount of time you spend here arguing with Aussie climate cranks it’s difficult to imagine what might really be beneath your dignity. Whale turds on the bottom of the Mariana Trench, perhaps, but even that’s arguable…

  61. Blog posts should be like futbol matches. A horn sounds and the game is over.

  62. Pingback: Vitaly Khvorostyanov responds | Climate Etc.

  63. WebHubTelescope (@WHUT) | September 7, 2014 at 12:57 pm

    I would never have the audacity or lack of integrity to attach my name to a textbook or article where I did not understand all the details of the physics. Not being able to argue this issue is telling with respect to your grasp of the subject matter.

    And yet you still promote CSALT as actual science. That takes a lot of audacity!
    So, either you know it’s meaning less trash, and still do it, or you don’t understand it’s meaningless trash, and do it.

    I’m inclined to go with you know it’s meaningless trash, and just use it to bait skeptics. But you could just be clueless!

  64. Congrats on the new book! How is your Russian? Having spent some time there in Moscow and in Siberia, I can honestly say I love the land and the people. The government? Not so much. I’ve found most of the people warm and friendly, despite being wary of Americans.
    Dr. Curry,

    The effect of clouds on weather and climate has fascinated me for several years now. It started when I read a post by a NASA climatologist who made a statement that our ability to properly model for clouds was going to take computers and processors more more powerful than what we have by several orders of magnitude. This was just a few years ago, and I’ve forgotten the NASA scientist who said this. After searching through the net and all over NASA, I can’t find this particular nugget to save my life. So, are the Russians far ahead of us in cloud physics, and would you agree with this particular statement I read from a NASA page? When I think of modeling at very small resolutions, it makes my head hurt. I know we’ve made advances, but do you think we can take this resolution down even smaller? I know it’s a wicked problem but I’m optimistic that if we throw enough processor cycles at it, we’ll be able to refine our resolutions like never before.

    Thanks!

  65. (I’m placing this at the bottom here because the subthreads have become so complex as to be unnaviagable.)

    Pekka Pirilä wrote:
    >Perhaps, if any real physicists (i.e. not Webdummy) are involved in (or wish to be involved in) the discussion, they might comment.

    Pekka, I am a real physicist: Ph.D. from Stanford in elementary-particle physics, later worked in semiconductor-device physics (so, I know, e.g., all about the Fermi surface to which WHT has alluded).

    I took QM and intro to elementary-particle physics from Nobelist Richard Feynman at Caltech as an undergrad; I took quantum field theory from Nobelist Steve Weinberg at Stanford (Steve was on sabbatical visiting Stanford). I know about bosons and fermions, a fair amount about bosons and fermions.

    On that issue, Web is simply and deeply wrong. There are an even number of fermions in a standard neutral water molecule. That gives an integral spin (an even number of half-integral spins gives an integral spin). Integral spins give bosons. QED.

    It really is as simple as that.

    I assume anyone reading this can count up the number of fermions (electrons, protons, and neutrons) in a water molecule and note that the number is even.

    No one who has studied college physics should need a cite to show that integral spin particles are bosons, but for anyone who does: The Feynman Lectures on Physics, vol III, p.15-6 “particles with integral spins are bosons…” Note that this was intended to be a sophomore physics text (and the physical copy I am quoting from is indeed the copy I used my sophomore year at Caltech).

    Anyone who doubts that “particles” include composite particles should remember that this is the explanation of superfluidity in normal helium: a normal helium atom is a boson because it has integral spin.

    Anyone who does not know all this lacks basic competence in physics.

    I am not casting aspersions on the details of WHTs professional work. But, when it comes to fundamental physics… well, what he said about bosons speaks for itself.

    I will add that I too am skeptical that the bosonic nature of H2O is relevant to its behavior in clouds, but, then again, I am not sure of that, not being a cloud expert, and I do not know exactly what Judith and her co-author said on that, since I do not have a copy of the book yet.

    But, WHT would dramatically increase his credibility if he would admit that he was wrong in saying that a normal H2O molecule is not a boson. (Web, if you admitted it above and I missed it, sorry for missing it.)

    Dave Miller in Sacramento

    • Please don’t blame that on Pekka, that was me. I was actually asking for comments regarding my interpretation of a Wiki entry as meaning:

      “Fermi–Dirac” and/or “Bose–Einstein” statistics are always the correct formulation, but under many more usual conditions (“high temperature or at low concentration”) you don’t need to waste computing power with them, but can use “Maxwell–Boltzmann” statistics as an acceptable approximation.

      Thank you for your comment, although both Tomas Milanovic and Vitaly Khvorostyanov have confirmed my (informed) speculation.

      • Sorry for the misattribution, AK.

        I mainly wanted to point out that WHT’s error is an error in sophomore physics.

        This does not prove that WHT is a moron — even bright people can make errors in sophomore physics!

        Dave

      • @physicistdave…

        I don’t have a problem with it, hope Pekka doesn’t. I would be interested if you have any input regarding my other question:

        I don’t understand why the mean free path, or some formula based on it, shouldn’t be used in place of the “thermal de Broglie wavelength”, in a gas.

        Certainly particles, like photons, can exhibit interference effects over distances of even meters, under the right conditions. This means that any particle’s wave function will be expanding since its last collision (assumed to have broken down the previous wave function), so it could interact with another, identical, particle as quantum wavefunctions. If two identical particles with wave functions expanding since their last collisions overlap wave functions, couldn’t they potentially undergo new collisions with a third particle (present in the region of overlap) such as to “scatter” them into the same state? If so, shouldn’t “Fermi–Dirac” and/or “Bose–Einstein” statistics be used when the chance of such scattering becomes non-trivial? Why should the need for them be limited to such short distances as the “thermal de Broglie wavelength”?

        If you can tell me anything about the origin/derivation of this, I would appreciate it. Frankly, in trying to understand how single molecules of enzymes can operate in small cellular compartments, the only explanation I can come up with is that the equations developed on statistical grounds, or something like them, actually applies to the wave function of a single molecule.

        Which in turn would imply (I think) that the wave function doesn’t actually “collapse” under these conditions, but is involved in a series of entanglements of some sort, with the newer overlaying the older without completely destroying (collapsing) them. I’m certainly not sure about this, but I also suspect that some of the implications of entanglement haven’t actually been extended to conditions typically met within the cell. Which might well imply similar for conditions inside a cloud droplet. And around.

      • AK,

        Sorry for the delay in replying — I’ve been mulling over your question to see if I have a good answer.

        In short, I’m afraid I don’t. Pekka earlier said, “The derivation is done for discrete states of particles in a finite volume. Generalizing such results to non-idealized real world situations requires good understanding on the relationship between the ideal case and the non-ideal case.” I agree: one of the shortcomings of “textbook” presentations (perhaps inevitably, given limitations of time and space) is that they cover an ideal case, and then move on, without discussing what happens in a non-ideal, real-world situation.

        My naive guess is that both the mean-free path and the thermal de Broglie wavelength are relevant, but I emphasize the word “guess” — I don’t really know.

        Four years ago, a very interesting book by Maximilian A. Schlosshauer, Decoherence: and the Quantum-To-Classical Transition came out: I have only worked my way through the first sections of the book, but what I am coming away with so far is that, when you can actually calculate details of how decoherence works, the results are a surprise to most physicists. (For anyone happening upon this, no, I do not think decoherence explains the “spookiness” of quantum mechanics, but it is relevant to more mundane questions such as the one everyone has been discussing here.)

        I hope that Schlosshauer’s book is a sign that physicists are realizing that we need to move beyond the naive idealized textbook derivations and look in more detail at what happens in non-ideal real-world situations. Of course, that is a lot harder!

        By the way, I hope everyone understands that I am in general agreement with Pekka’s various comments on the issues raised here — not surprising since we have very similar backgrounds.

        Dave

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Physicistdave, you should be aware that Schlosshauer’s book provides good foundations for reading Howard Carmichael’s (more advanced) texts on quantum unravelling, which in turn motivate the above-mentioned (and below-referenced) on-line notes by Carlton Caves!

        It is very regrettable that (to the best of my knowledge) no undergraduate quantum-dynamics texts even hint at the existence of this wonderful literature; neither do the below-referenced works by Carmichael, Schlosshauer, and Caves reference one another … even though their respective formalisms dovetail very naturally!

        “As a graduate student working in quantum optics I encountered […] deep irritation caused by the work I was doing, something quite fundamental that I did not understand. […]

        Certain elementary notions that are accepted as starting points for work in quantum optics somehow had no fundamental foundation, no verifiable root. My inclination was to mine physics vertically, and here was a subject whose tunnels were dug horizontally. […]

        I now appreciate more clearly where my question was headed: Yes it does head downward, and it goes very deep. What is less clear is that there is a path in that direction understood by anyone very well. […]

        Here one must face those notorious issues of interpretation that stimulate much confusion and contention but few definite answers.”

        — Howard Carmichael

        Happy learning to Climate Etc readers!

        @book{Author = {H. J. Carmichael}, Publisher =
        {Springer-Verlag}, Series = {Lecture Notes in Physics,
        New Series M18}, Title = {An Open Systems Approach to
        Quantum Optics}, Year = 1993}
        
        @book{Author = {H. J. Carmichael}, Publisher =
        {Springer}, Title = {Statistical Methods in Quantum
        Optics I: Master Equations and Fokker-Planck
        Equations}, Year = 1999}
        
        @unpublished{Author = {C. M. Caves}, Note =
        {On-line memorandum to C. A. Fuchs and J. Renes:
        \url{http://info.phys.unm.edu/~caves/reports/lindblad.
        pdf}}, Title = {Completely positive maps, positive
        maps, and the {L}indblad form}, Year = 2000}
        
        @book{Address = {Berlin; New York}, Author =
        {Carmichael, Howard,}, Publisher = {Springer}, Title =
        {Statistical methods in quantum optics 2 :
        non-classical fields}, Year = {2007}}
        
        @book{Author = {Maximilian Schlosshauer}, Publisher =
        {Springer}, Title = {Decoherence and the
        quantum-to-classical transition}, Year = {2008}}
        

        \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      • @A fan of *MORE* discourse…

        Thank you for that. I hadn’t forgotten the last time you posted a comment I found useful, like this one it involved advanced (quantum?) physics.

        @physicistdave, A fan of *MORE* discourse…

        Thank you for the discussions. While I’m not an expert in quantum physics, I consider myself a (self-taught) “expert without portfolio” in identifying holes in paradigms that might lead to “paradigm shifts” sensu Kuhn. I’ve also taught myself a good deal of biochemistry (see some of the early posts on my blog), and come to the conclusion that there are quantum effects involved in the behavior of enzymes that aren’t part of current theory, especially where enzymes appear (AFAIK) to act in ways only predicted on statistical grounds by classical theory, even though they are present in single copies. (In, for instance, a vessicle where the low enzyme concentration works out to around 1 molecule/vessicle.)

        If my suspicions are correct, I see every possibility for similar behavior in cloud droplets, especially considering the varying nature of organic constituents of the aerosol load, itself a highly variable feature of the atmosphere.

        Which, in turn, means that the speculations that have produced so much (acrimonious) discussion might actually turn out to be, in the terms of future textbooks, “prescient”.

      • Thank’s for the reference to Schlosshauer. His book seems to discuss extensively issues I was pondering about 40 years ago while reading many different books on QM and also trying to find ways to teach QM when I was given that task very early in my career.

        This seems to be a book, I’m prepared to pay for just to satisfy my own curiosity.

      • @”A fan”

        Thanks. I’ll be able to pick up one of Carmichael’s books this week at the library.

        Dave

    • PhysicistDave,
      You apparently don’t understand the nature of “not even wrong” arguments. It was odd for scientists such as these to even broach the idea that the full Bose-Einstein treatment would apply. The logic is that no science has ever revealed that Bose-Einstein statistics would apply to water in any real-world capacity, except maybe as vibrational phonon properties. Yet, phonons exist within the material independent of what spin state it is. Surely as a semiconductor guy you can accept that, right?

      And that’s why the idea of associating a water molecule as a boson seemed completely foreign to me. The water molecule as a boson obeying Bose-Einstein statistics never comes up in everyday scientific conversation. Because it doesn’t. I started off by saying I was incredulous, which means “unable to believe something”. All my education in statistical mechanics and my reading of research papers would never lead me to believe that the boson nature would be meaningful in any way. If a physics student had stated that it was important on an exam question, they would have been given an F-grade. Physics education is ruthless in that regard. Feynmann would have been very disappointed that you couldn’t do first-order physics and think like a physicist.

      As a sanity check, take a look at their Figure 8.2. The theoretical curve is an exponential that one can extrapolate all the way back to an absolute temperature of zero As a red curve, I plotted the simplest classical nucleation extrapolation, which is the equation: N*exp(-c/(T-Tm)^2/T)

      The absolute value of the exponent in the exponential never drops below 3 over the entire range, and that occurs close to absolute zero, which is meaningless for real world situations. It has a minimum value of 50 on the range shown on the curve.

      Now the “equivalent” B-E statistic in this situation would be:
      1/(exp(50)-1)
      makes the B-E factor of -1 in the denominator irrelevant. The value of exp(50) is ~5e21, which is much greater than 1 the last time I checked :)

      Curry and co-author made a huge strawman argument out of the B-E premise and they are being called on it. They don’t like it and her minions don’t like it, but that’s the way these things roll.

      • Steve Fitzpatrick

        WHT,

        When it comes to describing things as “not even wrong”, you ought to consider the accuracy of your many alarming projections of declining petroleum production. (http://www.eia.gov/analysis/petroleum/crudetypes/pdf/crudetypes.pdf).

        Add to that your estimates of high climate sensitivity… based on a silly curve fit model where you choose to ignore ~40% of the total GHG forcing (even after that gross error has been pointed out to you multiple times)…. and it becomes clear that you have near zero technical credibility. I am sure you sincerely believe you are justified in nit-picking a few pages in a 700 page book, but you most certainly were not justified in writing a critical review of a book you did not even read. You are the very last person on Earth who should be talking about ‘not even wrong’.

        When in a deep hole, first stop digging.

      • Uh, ‘huge straw man argument’? Two paragraphs, that are not referred to further in the text?
        Yours is the straw man argument, that this somehow mattered to the book.

      • There is some good advice and some vindication for you in what Physicist Dave has said, webby. You were mistaken on the water molecule is boson thing. You forgot that water was boson stuff. Admit it and move on. Dave is skeptical that B-E applies to water molecules in the atmosphere. Both Carrick and Pekka have supported you on that point:

        Pekka: “That part of your argument seems to be correct that B-E statistics cannot be applied in the way the book appears to be doing.”

        Carrick:”You happened to be right that Bose-Einstein is not useful here, but you weren’t able to state why. That isn’t a mark in your favor as being a real expert on this topic.

        Pekka is correct that you can’t simply take the fact that an ordinary water molecule is a Boson, start with what looks to be a phenomenological equation, then extend it using B-E statistics.”

        I haven’t noticed that they have reversed those opinions following Vitaly’s post. I still believe that the absence of any discussion in human history of B-E stats being used on water molecules supports your contention. You haven’t been proven to be wrong on your basic point. Declare victory and move on.

        Judith has said that your comments here are not objectionable. But you crossed the line when you posted that review on Amazon. Did you ask Amazon to remove your comment?

      • Matthew R Marler

        WebHubTelescope: Curry and co-author made a huge strawman argument out of the B-E premise and they are being called on it. They don’t like it and her minions don’t like it, but that’s the way these things roll.

        Everyone makes mistakes. This time it was you.

        I thought it was good of you to withdraw your review (unless the site managers did it over your objection?), but now you are back to defending your mistake. That’s bad. You ought to just grind your teeth and get over it.

        Instead you are insulting the people who pointed out your mistake and changing your ground (Curry and co-author made a huge strawman argument, is simply not correct; don’t like it refers here to the people who pointed out your mistake). Eventually, no doubt, you will find an actual mistake in the book, perhaps a misspelling, and claim that you have been correct all along.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Don Monfort: I haven’t noticed that they have reversed those opinions following Vitaly’s post. I still believe that the absence of any discussion in human history of B-E stats being used on water molecules supports your contention. You haven’t been proven to be wrong on your basic point. Declare victory and move on.

        I think you missed the point about it being a novel conjecture. Had WebHubTelescope merely asserted that it was a novel conjecture that he thought probably wouldn’t work out there’d have been no debate. Hypotheses about probability distributions may be accurate even when not derivable (as I wrote in one of my early posts), and they may be inaccurate when derived. Here is a situation where the “standard” distributional hypotheses had weaknesses and a generalization of the standard was presented as a possibility.

        Start over from the beginning, maybe? WebHubTelescope asserted positively that water droplets could not obey the B-E probability law because they were not bosons. He was wrong from his initial post, and changed his ground as he went along.

      • I haven’t read the book, Matt. Did it say in the textbook that it was a novel conjecture? If it had, I am guessing that webby would not have squawked about it, or his squawk would have been different. If they did not describe it as a novel conjecture in the textbook, do you not think it would have been advisable for them to have done so, since nobody in human history had apparently discussed B-E stats use on water molecules in the atmosphere? I am trying to rehabilitate webby. Let’s give him a break and let him feel like he can get a fair hearing here. Or do you think he needs to be punished some more?

      • “I haven’t read the book, Matt. Did it say in the textbook that it was a novel conjecture?”

        Don, I haven’t read the book either, but from the Vitaly’s explanation, it’s clear that they say in the textbook that it was a novel conjecture. You’re giving Webby too much credit.

      • Thanks, Edim. I will wait for Matt, who has actually read the book. That’s why I asked him.

      • Don Monfort commented on Thermodynamics, Kinetics and Microphysics of Clouds.

        Thanks, Edim. I will wait for Matt, who has actually read the book. That’s why I asked him.

        Curious, the author’s word on what the intentions of his words were isn’t adequate?

      • Micro, you are also not Matt. I am asking Matt if by only reading the book he understood that authors clearly explained that the B-E thing was novel conjecture. I hope no other random character shows up here to answer for Matt, unless the random character has actually read the book.

      • Web,

        You said that an H2O molecule was not a boson. You were wrong. Definitely and clearly wrong. You should just accept that and acknowledge it.

        And, yes, in principle a truly exact quantum calculation of the behavior of water molecules would indeed have to take into account their bosonic nature.

        As a practical matter, does the fact that an H2O molecule is a boson actually matter in carrying out the approximate calculations that can actually be done by human beings in dealing with condensation? No, probably it does not matter. I’d be hard-pressed to prove that, though, so I see no reason to be dogmatic.

        But, you were just wrong to say that an ordinary H2O molecule is not a boson, and you would look better if you would just admit that error and move on.

        Everyone makes mistakes. Here, you did.

        Dave

      • Web wrote to me:
        >If a physics student had stated that it was important on an exam question, they would have been given an F-grade. Physics education is ruthless in that regard. Feynmann would have been very disappointed that you couldn’t do first-order physics and think like a physicist.

        Well, yes and no. Obviously, if you claimed that a term was dominant when it was insignificant, you made a mistake. On the other hand, no, Feynman was not averse to “in principle” discussions that were irrelevant to practical experimental observations.

        A good example is the one and only case where I actually caught Feynman on a substantive error. I pointed out that it would take an infinite amount of time for the proverbial hapless astronaut to actually fall into a black hole as measured by standard coordinate time. Feynman thought I was wrong.

        In fact, the calculation is fairly simple, and I believe the fact that I was pointing out to him is now widely known.

        Both of us knew that this point was utterly irrelevant to, say, observations of “real” black holes, such as Cygnus X-1. But, Feynman did not dismiss the point as mere nitpicking.

        In fact, the issue is relevant to Hawking radiation, to the “information-loss” paradox, and to the current “black hole firewall” debate. When all of those matters are fully understood, the point I made to Feynman will probably be part of the explanation.

        Who cares? Well, there seems to be a contradiction between QM and general relativity. Most physicists seem to think that understanding all of this may help us to resolve that contradiction and advance our understanding of nature. Nitpicking has its uses, as you can see if you read about the initial debates on the meaning of QM among the early quantum theorists.

        And, indeed, your own outbursts here have caused me to think more about what goes on in B-E condensates, and I now plan to look back at, e.g., helium superfluidity and see if I now am able to understand it more clearly.

        Should Judith and Vitaly have avoided mentioning B-E statistics? Well, I think I have learned a bit from the ensuing discussion.

        Dave

    • What I know about these issues is not from having done research in any related area. The part of my career I was involved in physics research was in theoretical elementary particle physics, not material physics or “Quantum Theory of Many Particle Systems”.

      I put that in quotes, because that’s the name of the book of Fetter and Walecka I know from having given lectures that covered somewhat less than the first half of the book. Preparing and giving those lectures was the activity, where I got closest to issues relevant to this thread – and that was 38 years ago.

    • Matthew R Marler

      Don Monfort: I am trying to rehabilitate webby. Let’s give him a break and let him feel like he can get a fair hearing here. Or do you think he needs to be punished some more?

      He was criticized, not punished. He got a “fair hearing”. Section 8.2.3 opens “The previous derivation of the nucleation rate was based on the Boltzmann distribution of the g-mers.” After about a half a page explaining that the Boltzmann distribution is a special case of the Bose-Einstein distribution, the very next section resumes the development based on the Boltzmann distribution.

      How he might have reacted had the section been labeled differently I can not speculate.

      • There has been a lot of ad hom crap and piling on of poor webby. A lot of it looks like to punishment to me. You can call that a fair hearing.

        “Section 8.2.3 opens “The previous derivation of the nucleation rate was based on the Boltzmann distribution of the g-mers.” After about a half a page explaining that the Boltzmann distribution is a special case of the Bose-Einstein distribution, the very next section resumes the development based on the Boltzmann distribution.”

        Is that the part where the authors made it clear that their discussion of B-E stats and water molecules in the atmosphere is novel conjecture? Rhetorical question. We are done here.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Don Monfort: Rhetorical question.

        Rhetorical answer: These particles don’t have integer spin, despite what you say in the book.

  66. As far as I can tell from looking at the chart in the free preview of the book there is no difference between bose-einstein and boltzmann distributions above a particular temperature and density combination so above that point it doesn’t matter which one you use. That would make sense since it is at that point that there is limited interaction between molecules and they would behave in a similar manner. Below that point you must determine which type of molecule you have to determine which distribution to use as there is now molecular interaction. My understanding is at this point that the boltzmann distribution is no longer functional and one must selct a new distribution base upon the type of molecule. Can someone that knows what they are talking about tell me when the interaction among molecules would be small enough to require that bole-einstein not be used but not so small as to require it? As far as I can tell, and I am ignorant on this topic so that doesn’t say much, anytime the boltzmann distribution is a legitimate choice the bose-einstein distribution is also a legitimate choice.

    • steven, I ain’t the guy knows, but the main reason to use the Boltzmann distribution is to simplify calculations in the range where it is a valid assumption. Unfortunately, water didn’t study Maxwell-Boltzmann statistics well enough to understand it shouldn’t be in liquid phase below -30 C degrees in any persistent significant quantity. Since the k in the kT is based on an ideal gas which water vapor isn’t, it will require a bit of creativity to correct the lower temperature issues encountered with the Boltzmann approximation. You could derive a real gas constant for water vapor in proximity with water/ice mixed with various impurities which doesn’t sound like much fun or you could try BE distribution with some modifications since it doesn’t work straight away either. It looks like one of those you can’t get there from here problems. That to me means you can try about whatever you like and if it improves the results ya done good, if not, try something else.

      • Dallas, from what I can tell the only advantage to the boltzmann distribution is that it is easier. That doesn’t make the bose-einstein distribution wrong. It just means you need to spend additional time with your calculator. I can’t figure out why this is an issue but I am waiting for someone that actually knows to explain it to me in a manner even their grandmother could understand.

      • steven, I responded because I don’t think anyone really knows which is the reason BE was mentioned IMO. Vitaly mentioned in his response that polar and very high clouds are an issue and most model had assumed no mixed phase clouds would exist below about -35 C. That turns out not to be the case in the Arctic and it caused a lot of issues with the energy balance estimates.

        ftp://ftp.cira.colostate.edu/ftp/Seaman/CLEX_10/papers/zhang_wang_liu_2010.pdf

        That paper discusses midlevel liquid layer topped stratiform clouds. “The fraction of mixed-phase MLTSC increased as the cloud top temperature decreased, with a sharp increase between -10 and -15C and a noticeable latitude difference.”

        So I hope you get a good answer, but for now I don’t think mine is all that bad.

      • And as a p.s. generally when I have a semi technical response, someone smart comes a runnin’ :)

      • Dallas, I wasn’t trying to be critical of your answer. I’m just trying to figure out under what circumstances you could use boltzmann and not be able to use BE. It is clear that there are times when you have to use BE and can’t use boltzmann. That there is a particular situation where you don’t know which one to use only indicates that we don’t know if there is enough molecular interaction to make boltzmann imappropriate but that regardless of how much molecular interaction there is the BE distribution would still be at least as good as the boltzmann since it takes into account the lack of interaction at higher energy/less dense levels. That is how I am reading it anyway and I’m trying to find out where I am going wrong and that this is really an issue.

      • Here Dallas, this is what it says right before figure 3.1 where it shows how close all the distributions become

        As is the case with BE statistics, if (EK-U)>>KT,then 1 in the denominator of (eqn 3.2.37) can be neglected and we obtain the boltzmann distribution.Thus, FD statistics is another generalization of the boltzmann distribution in agreement with the correspondence principle, and all the predictions of all 3 statistics coincide for the case (EK-U)>>KT.

        so in cases of high energy they are all the same to the point of unimportance in difference. It sounds to me like the only time they differ is when you should go to the respective equation for the right integer spin due to a low energy state or high density.

      • steven, ” It sounds to me like the only time they differ is when you should go to the respective equation for the right integer spin due to a low energy state or high density.”

        Those would apply, but you are really only looking for something else once the Boltzmann (classical) approximation isn’t good enough. Clouds can have a variety of special cases where classical methods miss important details. If BE can describe those cases somewhat better, it would be a better choice. If you need to start a new Boltzmann relationship with a different k at some T starting point, that would work as well. You are just trying to find the simplest solution to the special cases.

        With the MLTSC you have a situation where mixed phase increases with decreasing temperatures. Since they are liquid topped, the liquid phase change dominates instead of the solid phase change, for what ever reason. If you can describe that with classical methods, no need for anything else. If not, what would improve modeling of MLTSC? If that happens to be BE, figuring why would be nice. It could be because there is a higher density of x(H2O) combinations in a thin layer, don’t know, but you need a better way to describe what is going on. V&C indicates that B-E MIGHT apply not that it does (based on what has been posted).

      • btw steven, I brought up this situation with mixed phase clouds long ago. When you have a liquid water surface, for whatever reason, you would also have a hiccup in the CC estimation. A liquid water layer, even a very thin one, would change the effective “surface” for several of the approximations.

      • Dallas, let me explain my comment this way. I’m not arguing there can’t be exceptions to the calculations per classical physics. I am arguing that if you are going to claim the use of a calculation is wrong as per classical physics you have to be able to show that is possible using classical physics.

      • steven, “I am arguing that if you are going to claim the use of a calculation is wrong as per classical physics you have to be able to show that is possible using classical physics.”

        Huh? The inequality is >> all you need to do is find the point in the >> range where the break occurs depending on the accuracy you need. That is the no mans land.

      • Dallas, right and before the break BE and boltzman give the same answer and after the break for a boson you use BE. So using classical physics you can always use BE for a boson as far as I can tell.

      • steven, right, but between <> you can have an issue. If you tons of data no problem, but you don’t and you have a number of special cases that occur in the <> range. You are not trashing classical physics by trying to how to get a better fit or probability distribution in the no mans land range.

      • Dallas, I wsn’t arguing that you or anyone else was trashing classical physics. I’m arguing that you can’t say someone is wrong for using BE instead of boltzmann for a boson.

      • steven, “Dallas, I wasn’t arguing that you or anyone else was trashing classical physics. I’m arguing that you can’t say someone is wrong for using BE instead of boltzmann for a boson.”

        Correct. It is more an issue of why bother. That is why this is a tempest in a tea cup. It did start me wondering when e^(-E/kT) starts breaking down.

      • First, -30 C is 240 K, which in cryogenic terms is quite toasty, so one would expect that even at much lower temperature the Bose-Einstein distribution would have approached Maxwell-Boltzmann to the point that even Steve McIntyre could not make a big deal about the difference. Second, while Maxwell derived his distribution for an ideal gas, Boltzmann generalized this to cover any ensemble and it has been extended to quantum systems. Third, in kT, T refers to the temperature of the system under study measured by a perfect gas thermometer and the system can be anything. Need Eli pick a few more nits?

      • Eli, “Third, in kT, T refers to the temperature of the system under study measured by a perfect gas thermometer and the system can be anything. Need Eli pick a few more nits?”

        And the k refers to what? I believe in macroscale problems kT can be simplified to RT and while -30 is toasty for an ideal gas it isn’t toasty for water, not so ideal a gas. So while He4 would be a B-E slam dunk, water vapr that can nucleate to Ice or condense to water the subliminate from ice to vapor all in the same toasty temperature range might be more interesting.

    • “Can someone that knows what they are talking about tell me when the interaction among molecules would be small enough to require that bole-einstein not be used but not so small as to require it?”

      Let me correct myself. Replace small with large for the interaction between molecules here.

  67. After much discussion, it seems that the learned amongst you have decided that phonons may be the quanta that are exhibiting the Bose-Einstein statistics. Like photons, phonons are bosons so that part makes sense.

    Yet, remember that phonons are a property of the host lattice and the host lattice could be bosons or fermions, making the point that H2O has an integral spin moot.

    These two sections continue to be a gold mine for understanding how facile assumptions have repercussions.

  68. It seems that in both sections 8.2.3 and 8.3.2, which are about homogeneous nucleation into the liquid and solid states, a mechanism calling for surfactants is invoked. Does that now make it closer to heterogeneous nucleation since the surfactant impacts the free energy of formation ? And how does the spin of the surfactant molecules now play into this?

  69. It is interesting that the very similar arguments are used in sections 8.2.3 and 8.3.2, which are about nucleation into the liquid and solid states of water, respectively. Intuition tells us that these happen at very different temperature ranges. Yet the text says that low temperatures are what is needed for the B-E statistics to work. One of these sections is immediately wrong, wouldn’t you think? Which section is more wrong than the other one?

    Logic is funny that way.

  70. Fundamental errors are found in a few pages of a much bigger book — so its not fair to single these out for criticism.

    Upside-down Tiljander was a limited data set in a much larger data set — yet it is fair to single that out for criticism.

    Its not fair that the set of criteria for criticism are not fair.

  71. It seems that all I hear are crickets on the sanity check I did earlier

    To repeat:

    As a sanity check, take a look at their Figure 8.2. The theoretical curve is an exponential that one can extrapolate all the way back to an absolute temperature of zero As a red curve, I plotted the simplest classical nucleation extrapolation, which is the equation: N*exp(-c/(T-Tm)^2/T)

    The absolute value of the exponent in the exponential never drops below 3 over the entire range, and that occurs close to absolute zero, which is meaningless for real world situations. It has a minimum value of 50 on the range shown on the curve.

    Now the “equivalent” B-E statistic in this situation would be:
    1/(exp(50)-1)
    makes the B-E factor of -1 in the denominator irrelevant. The value of exp(50) is ~5e21, which is much greater than 1 the last time I checked :)

    This would also make a great home assignment if this is used as a textbook, don’t you think?

  72. Prof. Curry, Congratulations on the publication of your new book.

    Can you recommend a similarly comprehensive book which deals with the Ocean / Atmosphere interface, one of the other major aspects of the climate system?

    • Hi Mike, best book on O/A interface is Kantha and Clayson, with the unlikely title

      Small Scale Processes in Geophysical Flows

      While ocean waves are the most visible example of oceanic mixing processes, this macroscale mixing process represents but one end of the spectrum of mixing processes operating in the ocean. At the scale of a typical phytoplanktoic diatom or larval fish inhabiting these seas, the most important mixing processes occur on the molecular scale – at the scale of turbulence. Physical-biological interactions at this scale are of paramount importance to the productivity of the seas (fisheries) and the heat balance that controls large scale ocean climate phenomena such as El Niño and tornadoes. This book grew out of the need for a comprehensive treatment of the diverse elements of geophysical fluid flow at the microscale. Kantha and Clayson have arranged a logial exposition of the various mixing processes operating within and between the oceans and its boundaries with the atmosphere and ocean floor. The authors’ intent is to develop a volume that would provide a comprehensive treatment of the fundamental elements of ocean mixing so that students, academics, and professional fluid dynamicists and oceanographers can access this essential information from one source. This volume will serve as both a valuable reference tool for mathematically inclined limnologists, oceanographers and fluid modelers.

      http://www.amazon.com/Processes-Geophysical-Volume-International-Geophysics/dp/0124340709/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1410347052&sr=8-2&keywords=kantha+clayson

      More info at google books
      http://books.google.com/books/about/Small_Scale_Processes_in_Geophysical_Flu.html?id=c9BsNjRd9oYC

      Btw, Clayson was my Ph.D. student, there is much material from her Ph.D. thesis in this tome, Kantha was my colleague at U. Colorado.

      This book deals extensively with the surface skin layer, fluxes between the atmosphere and ocean, and ocean mixed layer. This is the definitive ref on this topic.

      • Many thanks for the recommendation – the title of that book is certainly not what I would have thought relevant to the subject!

        As for all the discussion of Bosons and Fermions, it’s making me all nostalgic for CERN in 1982 and the W and Z bosons we discovered with the UA1 experiment…

  73. Schrodinger's Cat

    Judith, I sense from your comments that the old fashioned approach (thinking, theorising, calculating) give more understanding and insight about mechanisms than the more automated modelling which is probably faster but may short circuit a certain amount of thinking.

    Am I reading too much into this? I tend to think that both approaches have significant benefits but the absence of the old fashioned approach loses something.