Passing of Dr. Thomas Phipps
A Genuine Renaissance Man
I first contacted Dr. Phipps in 2008 after reading a paper written in 1927 by his father, Dr. Thomas E. Phipps Sr., which measured properties of hydrogen using then-new atomic techniques. I was delighted to learn that Dr. Phipps Jr. was indeed the son of the same, that he had earned a PhD in physics from Harvard, that he had worked closely with Nobel Laureate Norman Ramsey, that his career connected him with several other amazing physicists, that his early retirement conducted experiments with his father aimed at reinterpreting conventional thinking in modern physics, and that he was among the most prolific writers and critics in the dissident universe. Wow! Though I realize the NPA’s Sagnac Award has impacted little, I will always keep a place in my heart for Dr. Phipps and the other 2010 recipients, whose contributions, in my opinion, compare favorably with the physics Nobel Laureates of the same year. Like Avogadro, Phipps’ interpretations of relativity will, I believe, ultimately prove correct.
Though he did not live to see all of his experiments conducted, he most certainly did propose specific tests that determine measurable second-order differences between conventional thinking about light, and his own neo-Hertzian relativity. But beyond thoughts of his own, Phipps was amazingly well-read, critiquing hundreds of books and papers of other dissident authors. This contribution alone merits him the title, renaissance man. I feel sorry for his online detractors, who never bothered to read his material, since Phipps’s credentials were so unimpeachable, his prose so lucid and delightful, his facts so clearly presented, and claims so understated. I consider it a great honor to have known him, and exchanged ideas with him.
He was a great man of science in the tradition of Newton, Maxwell, and well, Sagnac.
I was happy to have contributed a little to his enjoyment of his life-long love of physics during his final year.
I regret I did not know of his work earlier in my life, and his, but I did obtain his last book: “Old Physics for New”.
———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Tom Phipps
Date: Sun, Dec 6, 2015 at 2:45 PM
Subject: Re: “Relational Mechanics and Implementation of Mach’s Principle with Weber’s Gravitational Force”
To: James Bowery
I bought the book. It is a masterpiece, right up there with Newton’s Principia. It is also as big as the Chicago telephone book.
On Sun, Nov 29, 2015 at 2:30 PM, James Bowery wrote:
Assis has placed, online, his 2014 book “Relational Mechanics and Implementation of Mach’s Principle with Weber’s Gravitational Force”.
Chapter 16 of that book is titled “Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity”.
Passing of Thomas E. Phipps, jr.
“Heretical Verities”. “Old Physics for New”. The titles Tom Phipps has given to his great books are provocative, ironic, and they honestly tell what awaits his readers. It is most rewarding to study and re-study these works of a great “heretic” (we understand a heretic as a fighter against dogma), of a scientist de luxe whose trademark is the unique combination of justified and well-founded criticism, scientific clarity, and, yes, humor. Learning and laughing. His strict scientific approach and his humor are equally fascinating. Tom is one of the few who realize that we cannot deal with the follies of the establishment without a good dose of satire. His brilliant style proves it – one more good reason to dive into his books! Tom’s so refreshing taste of satire goes perfectly with the qualities of a true blue scientist who always keeps his feet on solid ground. He takes his readers by the hand and, unlike standard textbooks and university lectures, leads them out of the fog of misleading dogma. Take for example what he has to say about “inertial systems”, “invariance”, and “covariance”. Whenever Tom attacks a problem, it both very demanding and becomes immediately clear once we get the spirit of what he says. And it is most embarrassing – for the blind believers in relativity. Tom’s recipe is “beat them on their own field with their own weapons” – and he demonstrates how it is done.
Thomas E. Phipps jr. has passed away and we remain in sadness now that one of the great shouters in the desert has left us. He will certainly be remembered and missed by all who met him and who estimate his books and papers as one of a kind. It is easy to imagine his readers applauding while being captured by his impeccable logic and wit. As a bonus, he includes psychology in his considerations, a feast considering the present state of mainstream physics. His style, to repeat, is marvellous. He left us a message to enjoy in more than one way with all those gems in his writings. I had the great joy and honor to meet him at my first encounter with an NPA conference at Storrs in 2003.
We have lost a foremost heretic but his voice continues to be heard in his work.
Peter Marquardt (Germany)