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Unformatted text preview: Electronic copy available at: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1271310 The Obama-Tribe Curvature of Constitutional Space Paper is Crackpot Physics F. J. Tipler Department of Mathematics and Department of Physics, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 (Dated: October 26, 2008) The Harvard Law School professor Laurence Tribe published a paper entitled The Curvature of Constitutional Space, wherein he argued that the strict constructionist interpretations of the U.S. Constitution were obsolete, being based on a Newtonian world-view, and need to be replaced by a more modern relativistic and quantum mechanical world-view. I shall show on the contrary that in using general relativity and quantum mechanics, we have never left the Newtonian world-view. It was shown in 1923 by the greatest geometer of the twentieth century, Elie Cartan, that in Newto- nian theory, gravity is curvature just as it is in general relativity. The greatest twentieth century theoretical physicist in Poland, Andrzej Trautman, showed in 1966 that the equations of general relativity are mathematically equivalent to Newtonian gravitational field equations interacting with the luminiferous aether. Physics Nobel Prize winner Lev Landau showed in the 1930s that the Schrodinger equation, the basic equation of quantum mechanics, is a special case of the Hamilton- Jacobi equation, proven in 1837 to be the most powerful formulation of Newtonian mechanics. Erwin Schrodinger himself proved that his equation had nothing to do with probabilities or fundamental uncertainties. Since it was demonstrated mathematically decades ago that twentieth century physics is Newtonian mechanics, then by Laurence Tribes own argument, it follows that all objections to strict constructionism are without merit. Tribes physics is not post-Newtonian but pre-Newtonian, the physics of Aristotle, in which the arbitrary will of the powerful is the dominant influence in reality. Tribes politics is, like his physics, profoundly reactionary, replacing unalterable law with the ever changing personal preferences of judges. As I shall demonstrate, the recent Boumedienne vs. Bush decision is a particularly egregious example of such replacement. Furthermore, Tribes main books on Constitutional law are adversely influenced by his bad physics. The key thesis of the paper The Curvature of Con- stitutional Space, written by Laurence Tribe with the assistance of the then editor in chief of the Harvard Law Review B. Obama, is contained in the opening three sen- tences of its abstract: Twentieth-century physics revo- lutionized our understanding of the physical world. Rel- ativity theory replaced a view of the universe as made up of isolated objects acting upon one another at a dis- tance with a model in which space itself was curved and changed by the presence and movement of objects. Quan- tum physics undermined the confidence of scientists in their ability to observe and understand a phenomenon without fundamentally altering it in the process .without fundamentally altering it in the process ....
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