Saturday, May 18, 2013

An Introduction to the Work of Miles Mathis

For the last couple of weeks or so I've been reading the papers of Miles Mathis on milesmathis.com. From what I can tell his work is sound, and I'm tempted to already include Mathis with my other favorite authors, which is a list I hold in very high regard.

In this post, I will summarize my impressions from the essays I have read so far. There are over 300 in total, making up over 1500 pages.

Mathis is seeking to redefine our understanding of motion in more than one dimension. While I am not currently in a position to analyze the experimental validity of all of his claims, my impression is that his work is highly consistent. 

I think the reason Mathis's work still has not received broader recognition is that his writing style does not follow the expected academic conventions, and the complexity of the material places it just out of the reach of the average amateur scientist or mathematician. So I'm going to try to present some of his essential ideas to give first-time readers some direction.

Mathis claims, (and I believe him) that he is virtually the only one who is really taking seriously the full implications of Einstein's relativity regarding motion along a curve. His argument begins with an analysis of the concept of velocity:
Time is not a measurement of "time." Time is a measurement of the movement in or on a given clock: the vibration of a cesium atom, the swing of pendulum, the movement of a second hand. And this given clock is uniform only by definition. It is uniform relative to a standard clock. It is only believed to be more uniform, based on previous definitions and previous clocks. - http://milesmathis.com/time.html

Mathis's central claim, from which all his other arguments follow, is that the measurement two-dimensional motion requires the consideration of the time variable, which many present-day mathematical tools, including fundamental parts of calculus, ignore. Measurement is time-independent, motion which we record as a velocity, is time-dependent. As Mathis explained both time and displacement are measurements of movement. Time and displacement just measure movement in two separate ways.

Velocity tells us the ratio of these two measurements. Mathis is claiming that to calculate relativistic effects properly, movement along a curve invalidates the comparison. It does not work to compare movement along a curve to time directly, because movement along a curve changes the observer's frame of reference, so that relativistic shift occurs in their perception of time. Curved motion therefore must be broken up into its one-dimensional components before the velocity can be accurately measured.

These claims lead to the obvious question: where is Mathis's proof?

Mathis discusses experimental data regarding his analysis in depth on his website. Specifically, he talks about data concerning Mercury's orbit, anaylsis of fictitious forces due to the earth's rotation such as the coriolis effect and tides, the dark matter hypothesis, and many other more theoretical problems in higher-level mathematics and physics.

I have not reviewed Mathis's results concerning experimental data, and so cannot comment on these papers other than to say they exist. I was actually drawn to Mathis's work by the depth of understanding I hear in his writing, on math and physics, but also on art

Mathis's whole argument hinges on his claim that curved motion and straight line motion are fundamentally different. This is because movement in two-dimensions is not a simple translation.  Curved motion is two-dimensional--the analysis of curved motion requires multiple frames of reference to analyze it, and therefore it cannot be treated as if it were a motion on a straight line.

One recurring question is “what is time?” Time may be the fourth dimension, but the only way we have to measure it is in reference to physical space. There is no way to measure time without tracing the measurement back to some observable spatial displacement. As Mathis explains, “Every clock measures movement: the vibration of a cesium atom, the swing of pendulum, the movement of a second hand. Any given clock is uniform only by definition."

No type of measurement takes place outside of the three spatial dimensions. All measurement and all forms of quantification take place in terms of displacement. Every other unit we have is a translation from a measured displacement. We can hear a noise is really loud, but noise is the physical vibration of the air, translated into our ears. The word “observation” itself implies visual data.

Note that Mathis does not claim that Newton’s and Einstein’s equation don’t work at all. They work fine for many of the situations they are used. But Mathis is concerned with the future, not the present. In his view, the present level of theory in science has reached a new low, creating a situation in which so-called experts are clueless on foundational questions. So I want to again emphasize, Mathis’s critique is on the level of theory, not of practical application. He explains:
You may ask how physics has existed with such errors for so long. Shouldn’t all engineering be impossible with errors of this magnitude? Shouldn’t all of our machines immediately break and crash? Not necessarily. Because we make the same mistakes in all our equations, the equations are correct relative to each other. Most of engineering is concerned with relative numbers, not absolute numbers. For example, it is more important in physics—at least as a matter of engineering—that we know the how the gravity of Venus compares to the gravity of Mars, than that we know the real gravity of either one. If we are wrong about all of them in the same amount, most of our machines will still work. Only rarely will a mistake in absolute numbers affect engineering of any kind. - http://milesmathis.com/pi2.html

If this is the case, why should we even care? What matters are the practical results right? Who cares about theory, as long as it still works? But that’s the whole problem--the theory is no longer working. Mathis is quite critical of the attitude that theory should be subservient to experimentation:
Due to specialization, the normal procedure is to publish experimental findings augmented by very limited theoretical suggestions. By and large, theory is left to a select and limited number of specialists. Those in the center of the field would claim that this is a sign of their maturity, humility, or other positive quality, suggesting that those on the margin who are rash enough to have their own ideas must be immature, immodest, or otherwise deluded. In doing this they neglect to notice that the entire history of science has proceeded along other lines, and that the contemporary hierarchy would be seen as abnormal, inefficient, and ridiculously regimented by anyone from the past, even by those from the recent past like Einstein and Planck and Maxwell. - http://milesmathis.com/central.html

So what are some of the possible ramifications assuming Mathis is correct?

How theory will play out in culture is impossible to predict specifically, but I will offer some intuitions. Just as Newtonian physics became a metaphor for the clockwork-universe run by invisible pre-set laws, I believe there is the potential within Mathis’s theory to redefine how our culture perceives time. Mathis takes the results of relativity seriously and insists on their even application within all our analytical tools. This means calculus itself is redefined to consider the role that time plays in our mathematical models of the world. Mathis outlines the problems with present-day mathematical culture, saying:
The more abstract the mathematical system became, the more successful it could be in avoiding foundational questions. ...
Einstein himself was very wary of abstract math, purposely avoiding it until 1912. Put simply, he 'did not trust it.' ...
A math of proper abstraction and complexity could be used to hide all error, to divert all effort, to deflect all criticism. It could be used like a very heavy, very highly decorated quilt, covering the bedbugs beneath. This new abstract math would come not with a foundation, but with a manifesto. It did not have axioms, it had public relations. It was not sold with an explanation, but with an 'interpretation', and this interpretation was to be accepted on authority. - http://milesmathis.com/death.html

Also, I made this youtube video which analyzes Mathis's alleged disproof of Isaac Newton's 6th Lemma in Principia: http://youtu.be/rAp1t7iDDTA

30 comments :

  1. "From what I can tell his work is sound..."

    I would encourage you to check out the watchblog at milespantloadmathis.wordpress.com. Any of the posts, and the comments. These are mostly mathematical refutations of Mathis' ideas. There's nothing sound about his math or his qualitative arguments for that matter.

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  2. "From what I can tell his work is sound"

    What is your definition of "sound"?

    Isn't Miles Mathis the guy who thinks that pi equals 4?

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  3. “His work is sound”?

    Check out the John Baez Crackpot Index. Miles chalks up some pretty impressive numbers – highest score ever.

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  4. He obviously has a gift for words. And so much so, he can make his reader's head spin, yes? On the other hand, he confuses dis-placement (how far from something) with dis-stance (how near to something). And by doing so he comes up with all kinds of proofs based on an error that go against what we are told is mathematally and scientifically correct by the science and mathematics esteblishments. BTW, I think he may be having fun with us his open to new ideas readers by using tautologies to point of even "proving" pi equals 4. But that is just my guess.

    In any case, for a thought-provoking and hopefully entertaining way to better cognitively see reality by exploring and then applying the above distinctions between displacing (going away from) & undistancing (coming towards), please see TGNOS.pdf via familycology.org. afterwhich, your unfettered critique is greatly appreciated. Regards.

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    1. Distance can be either observed or measured. Displacement is more specific in that displacement is always measured. I've never seen Mathis confuse these. Please include examples with your overly broad generalizations. :)

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  5. Don't waste your time on Miles Mathis, he's a screwball. Look at his theory of stacked spins (it's ridiculous). Mathis isn't a scientist, he's a wannabe painter (and he's failing at that too). My pet goldfish knows more about physics than Miles ever will. Mathis is a joke.

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  6. Didn't know Miles was still around. He took so much heat for the pi is 4 malarkey, I am surprised to hear that he is still trying to make it as a vanity published scientist. Has he come up with anymore wild theories?

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  7. Sorry, Tom, your comments about Mathis are not credible.
    First, you say you only became aware of the Mathis website on May 4, 2013.

    By May 10, 2013 you apparently understood all six Mathis articles you referenced well enough to uncritically champion them at length on this blog. These articles on Godel's Incompleteness Theorems, Minkowski's Space-Time Equations, Non-Euclidean Geometry, The Third Wave, Gravity and "Death by Mathematics" add up to 76 pages of reading.

    By this post, May 18, 2013, you additionally referenced "The Central Discoveries of This Book", "The Extinction of Pi" and "A Revaluation of Time", articles which add up to another 49 pages of reading.

    And you put up a YouTube video on Mathis trying to disprove Newton's Lemma by May 18, 2013

    And you say you did all this while still in college or studying for your certification as a teacher?

    I don't believe you, Tom. Nobody can be so gullible as to rocket off the mark and read 76 pages in depth of somebody's personal website and write a blog post on it in just six days,
    May 4 to May 10 2013.

    I think Mathis either told you what to say here or he wrote it himself.

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    1. I discovered his work while researching a 20 page math paper I had to write for my MTH 604 class and NC A&T University in Greensboro. I cherry picked from the articles and probably did not read every word. I first e-mailed Miles on May 9th to express interest in his work and also because at the time on his art site he mentioned something about summer workshops, so to ask him about that.

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    2. Your account is not believable, Tom.

      The date of your "discovery" of the Mathis website is 5-4-13, in the middle of your 20-page math paper for school, and already by 5-10-13 you are a full blown Mathis supporter and by 5-18-13 you're writing more about him and posting YouTube videos as well?

      Your account was already not believable and you've made it even less so by adding that you were doing a 20-page math paper in addition to all your flacking for Miles Mathis.

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    3. It was supposed to be 20 pages, but I only wrote 12 pages, double-spaced. Admittedly it's not great writing: https://goo.gl/FmwW5D
      Luckily it was for a math education class, so the standards of rigor were pretty low.

      It was not a great time in my life. I had been feeling depressed for about a month, and on April 26th, I had caused a wreck that totalled two cars: https://goo.gl/cDed3E

      Look, not all of Miles' scientific claims are true. He would admit as much also. On his website he is writing in a style that assumes they are, and that's a stylistic choice on his part. He lives in a small house that doubles as his art gallery, and has almost no scientific tools, so it would be impossible for him to create a correct electro-magnetic theory in that setting. I am drawn to his work because he uses his intuition to analyze mainstream science. Mainstream scientists have turned off their intuitions in their work for the last century, and I believe the field has suffered greatly as a result.

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    4. Is your account now that you did less school work and more flacking of Mathis? Remember that you only discovered his website on May 4, 2013. Yet the very next day you took the time to read all of what was written about Mathis on Amazon and post defenses of him...

      Amazon.com
      In reply to an earlier post on May 5, 2013 6:41:26 AM PDT
      Thomas P. Burwell says:
      [Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Hide post again. (Show all unhelpful posts)]
      D.J. Fisher,
      I don't get it. An amateur surgeon would be putting people's lives in danger. How is being an amateur physicist even remotely analogous?

      Mathis has never, to my knowledge, corrected any of his articles, much less Pi=4. Yet he flatly states that "...every single physical equation with π in it must now be thrown out and redone." This isn't a "style", it's an assertion. And he does this all the time.

      Honestly, Tom, why did you jump the gun and start promoting and defending Mathis within hours of discovering his website? It seems you short changed your school work to do so. That doesn't bode well for your "Trying to See Reality".



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    5. "Honestly, Tom, why did you jump the gun and start promoting and defending Mathis within hours of discovering his website?"

      I'd say partly because I was trying to rationalize my poor grades as a physics major at Wake Forest, and Miles' criticisms gave me a lot of ammunition to do so when before I had found very little. Partly because Miles is a good writer and a lot of his criticisms are spot on.

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    6. I am sorry you were misled by Mathis. None of Mathis' criticisms or theories are ever, as far as I've seen, backed by evidence. This is why Mathis has failed to reach an audience other than among low information conspiracy believers. He doesn't prove anything, he merely tries to persuade people that he's right.
      Persuasion is not evidence.

      Rationalizing your poor grades with the criticisms of Mathis can't be done. You didn't get poor grades because you lacked Mathis' criticisms of physics to rely upon, so latching on to them wasn't going to help. After all, you were in school and Mathis thinks your textbooks are wrong. None of what he says is evidence of anything except his own opinion. His opinions can't get you anywhere and they certainly can't help your grades.

      Pi is still 3.14..., for instance, and the derivation of it still stands and proof of it being otherwise is still nonexistent. So your grade, so far as pi is concerned, lay with learning it's correct derivation and usage, not with faulty proofs and untested notions that pi=4. The same applies to anything else in math and physics. The value of pi wasn't verified by proofs and persuasion, but by experiment in both static and kinematic situations.
      The word of Mathis is not evidence.

      "It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are. If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong." - Richard Feynman

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  8. "You didn't get poor grades because you lacked Mathis' criticisms of physics to rely upon"

    That wasn't my point. My point was maybe I intuitively felt there was something wrong with the way science was being taught. I did actually think this at the time, because the professor who clearly had the best theoretical understanding of physics had almost no authority regarding research positions, because he wasn't good at (or chose not to play) office politics and grant writing. This seemed bizarre to me at the time, because he very clearly seemed to have the best scientific judgment.

    Check out my post on naturalphilosophy.org:
    http://www.naturalphilosophy.org/site/thomasburwell/2015/02/27/post-modern-science-vs-scientific-natural-philosophy/

    It's not just Mathis who thinks today's textbooks are wrong. Nikola Tesla and Louis Essen, inventor of the atomic clock, both rejected Relativity. Author Curtis White and scientist Rupert Sheldrake both released (different) books, both titled "The Science Delusion", both of which are good accounts of the corruption in our scientific establishment. The artificial-rewards of grades and money serve to corrupt educational institutions, transforming them into apologists for the status quo. I encourage you to keep an open mind and read about the history of what you are interested, something that "A" students are rarely required to do.

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    1. "My point was maybe I intuitively felt there was something wrong with the way science was being taught."

      Changing the way science is being taught is not going to change the need to understand the material.
      Complaining about grades isn't helpful. Neither is making out that "Physics is corrupt", which is what Mathis does. Why take anyone's word that the "scientific establishment" is corrupt while you were a student?

      Did you post the following on the Miles Pantload Mathis site?

      "Tom said:
      I’m quite sure at least a few of those quotes are not actually contradictions if one were to read them each in context.
      People bash Miles a lot, but I have only very rarely seen anyone even attempt to disprove him through direct means. He “coincidentally” derives numbers that match mainstream numbers more often than someone buys one of his books, and he seems to deserve some scientific attention at least in some cases. He’s not going to be right all the time, but his charge field theory may very well be the future of physics…"

      https://milespantloadmathis.wordpress.com/2013/02/17/contradictions-galore/#comments

      If this was your post you apparently missed the many disproofs of Mathis' theories and articles.

      How is it "Trying to See Reality" when you've never given your own examples of where Mathis is wrong. If you want to learn who rules you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.

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  9. Right because Miles has so much power and influence in our society that many budding physicists' careers will be ruined because of the comment I made on your blog supporting him. It's not going to keep me up at night,

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    1. It's not my blog. And I didn't say Mathis had any power or influence in society or in physics. He doesn't. It simply seems he had a very sudden influence on you starting from a time when you were depressed.

      Your Miles Pantload Mathis post I quoted was made on
      April 2, 2013 at 9:33 pm.
      Three days later you posted the following...

      "Tom
      on April 5, 2013 at 8:45 am said:
      The posters on this forum are far brighter than I – I am but a lowly computer programmer I know nothing about physics, but I do know that Mathis rarely gets a fair trial when it comes to his theories. I would really like to see a professional “working session” if you will between Mathis and those like you (maybe a those like you who, but who are a bit less standoffish) to really hash out his ideas and why they are so wrong. When current theorists talk about “Dark Matter”, and “Borrowing from the vaccuum”, to us layman that sounds a bit far fetched. It’s refreshing to hear Mathis talk in terms of “pool ball mechanics” as he calls it. As a layman, I prefer to believe that the latter is where the future lies. It’s hard to deny that much of present day physics is about head-in-the-clouds ideas that cannot be proven, and Mathis takes a shot at something different – for which he is persecuted.

      Did you purposely leave his Charge Field ideas out because they are not subject to the contradiction problems you have posted here? I’m just wondering if you maybe agree with his ideas on charge, or any of his other ideas. It seems that this page is not intended to only point out his contradictions, but to label him as an overall crank. If he were in fact right about his charge ideas, and wrong about his argument against Newton’s Lemmae, I would say that would still make his contributions important to consider. Put another way…You say the paper’s you have linked to prove that Mathis is wrong… Do they prove he is wrong about everything he has written about? Maybe he is wrong in those papers (though I wouldn’t dare to try to prove it one way or the other… You guys seem pretty vicious and I’m certainly not as smart as all of you), but Mathis has created hundreds of papers so pointing out 7 examples to deface an entire man’s work seems a bit weak… And a bit petty."

      Note that you only discovered Mathis' website on May 4, 2013. Yet you started posting on Mathis' articles in early April, 2013 on Miles Pantload Mathis.

      Did he help you write your posts in support of him? Or did he provide you with a text to quote from when composing your supporting posts on this blog and elsewhere?


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    2. That's a different "Tom". I've never been a professional computer programmer (just dabbled in SQL and PHP back in the day).

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    3. My first correspondence with Miles an e-mail I sent on May 9th, 2013:

      Hi Miles,

      I found your writings on the problems of using one-dimensional tools to analyze two-dimensional curves the other day (I was reading up on math history and googled: "variable acceleration" Newton Leibniz ) , and was struck by the depth of the analysis.

      I am very interested in the idea of attending a workshop this summer, and wanted to know more details. Are the workshops open to anyone?

      Thank you,
      Thomas Burwell

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    4. "Right because Miles has so much power and influence in our society that many budding physicists' careers will be ruined because of the comment I made on your blog supporting him. It's not going to keep me up at night,"

      So, to be clear, your account is that you made the following April 2, 2013 post on Miles Pantload Mathis? But the April 5, 2013 post, with the reference of being a computer programmer, was not made by you but by another "Tom"?

      "Tom on April 2, 2013 at 9:33 pm said:
      I’m quite sure at least a few of those quotes are not actually contradictions if one were to read them each in context.
      People bash Miles a lot, but I have only very rarely seen anyone even attempt to disprove him through direct means. He “coincidentally” derives numbers that match mainstream numbers more often than someone buys one of his books, and he seems to deserve some scientific attention at least in some cases. He’s not going to be right all the time, but his charge field theory may very well be the future of physics…"

      https://milespantloadmathis.wordpress.com/2013/02/17/contradictions-galore/#comments

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    5. No that was not mine either. When you first quoted it earlier, I didn't remember if I had said that or not, because it sounded like something I might have said, and I had commented on that blog.

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  10. I had no knowledge that Miles or any of his work existed until I googled ["variable acceleration" Newton Leibniz] on May 4th, 2013 at 4:20pm. Here is the screenshot from my Google search history:
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BxNE7WJVmZJSZTBROFROMTZGZTQ/view?usp=sharing

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    1. Did Mathis help you write your posts in support of him? Or did he directly provide you with a text to quote from when composing your posts supporting him on this blog and elsewhere, and on youtube?

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    2. No not at all. Miles doesn't care about internet threads, that's why he bought his own domain.

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    3. You should do some research before you make such statements.

      Mathis is on record as caring very much about internet sites and their threads. He takes the time to write entire articles criticizing single persons.
      http://milesmathis.com/david.html
      http://milesmathis.com/crank3.pdf

      He also admits to going on sites under pseudonyms.
      Steven Oostdijk was one such name. This was a real person whose name was put on articles and posts Mathis wrote. As Oostdijk himself put it, it was Oostdijk's name but Mathis did the writing.

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  11. Tom wrote: "Look, not all of Miles' scientific claims are true. He would admit as much also."

    When has Miles Mathis ever admitted that any of his theories are wrong? Can you please give a few specific examples?

    To this very day, Mathis is still promoting the pi=4 theory.

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  12. Tom, I read that you had serious problems with physics as an undergrad. Simple reason being the pedagogy is junk. I'll give you an example. We were told that all physics happens at the margin. Great, so we asked what does that mean? Not one prof ever bothered to explain that point, not one textbook ever delved with the consequences of that axiom. Common sense would demand that if that one statement was the starting point of method of thinking, there would be a great deal of time and effort given to its explanation. Each new topic would begin with that thinking and the teaching and text would proceed in validating that all physics happens at the margin. Nope, nada, nothing. Instead of any real teaching, not lecturing, teaching, all physics happens at the margin was some un-lanced boil left to rot in the middle of the room.

    But the explanation is simple, there is no physics unless there is a an energy change. That's the basis of it all which anyone can understand. That understanding leads to questions of what is potential energy, why is latent and what is the catalyst which causes it to no longer be potential but actualized. What is a force, how does it work as a catalyst for energy transformation? If any of the guys, and yeah, my profs were guys, had bothered to do their jobs of explanation rather than regurgitation, physics and the underlying math would be far more available to most of us. Instead, we get the same failed methodology recycled time and again. And why can we say it's a failure? Because OECD data shows that of the top 22 developed nations, the U.S. is dead last in math/science academic achievement for the age group of 16-24 year olds. Given those results, several unis have taken to use the paradigms/capstone pedagogy, due to the fact that prior to its inception, many unis were graduating people with degrees in physics that didn't know physics. So know that you weren't alone and that many of these posters are shills and don't understand much of what Mathis is claiming anyway....

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    1. What nonsense. Perhaps if you asked questions of your professors when you had the chance you wouldn't be complaining about their explanations now.

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  13. Miles pi=4 is correct in dynamic situation, see his student experiment in you tube brilliantly prove it!

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