onsdag 11 maj 2016

Bergson with History vs Einstein without History: Tragedy of Modern Physics

The clash between Bergson and Einstein in 1922 about the physics of special relativity can be described as the clash between the physics of Herakleitos as change and Parmenides as no change.

Let us recall Einstein's position of no change with motionless space-time trajectories without beginning and end or "world lines" frozen into a block of space-time, expressed with the typical Einsteinian ambiguity:
  • ...for us physicists believe the separation between past, present, and future is only an illusion, although a convincing one.
  • Since there exists in this four dimensional structure [space-time] no longer any sections which represent "now" objectively, the concepts of happening and becoming are indeed not completely suspended, but yet complicated. It appears therefore more natural to think of physical reality as a four dimensional existence, instead of, as hitherto, the evolution of a three dimensional existence.
Einstein's special theory of relativity is defined by the following linear transformation between two space-time coordinate systems $(x,y,z,t)$ and $(x^\prime ,y^\prime ,z^\prime ,t^\prime )$ denoted by $S$ and $S^\prime$, named the Lorentz transformation:
  • $x^\prime  =\gamma (x - vt)$,
  • $y^\prime  =y^\prime$
  • $z^\prime  =z^\prime$
  • $t^\prime  =\gamma (t - vx)$,  
where $\gamma = \frac{1}{\sqrt{1-v^2}}$ assuming the speed of light is 1 and $0 < v < 1$. Here $(x,y,z)$ and $(x^\prime ,y^\prime  ,z^\prime)$ are supposed to represent orthogonal space coordinates and the origin $x^\prime = 0$ in $S^\prime$ can be seen to move with velocity $(v,0,0)$ in $S$. Einstein's strike of genius is to claim that the Lorentz transformation represents the coordinate transformation between two orthogonal coordinate systems "moving with velocity $(v,0,0)$ with respect to each other" both describing the same physics of light propagation at speed = 1 according to one and the same wave equation taking the same form (being invariant) in both systems.

In the physics of change of Bergson the wave equation in $S$ is combined with an intial condition in the form of position $u(x)$ and velocity $\dot u(x)$ of a wave with extension at a given time instant say $t=0$, which forms the history for subsequent evolution for $t > 0$ of the wave as described in $S$. And the same for a wave described in $S^\prime$.

But initial conditions are not invariant under the Lorentz transformation, because $t=0$ translates to $x^\prime = \gamma x$ and $t^\prime =-\gamma vx$, and not $t^\prime =0$ as in a Galilean coordinate transformation.  Two waves connected by the Lorentz transformation satisfying the same wave equation will satisfy different initial conditions and therefore represent different physical phenomena. No wonder that different waves can exhibit what is referred to as time dilation and space contraction if the different waves are identified!

Bergson's physics of change describes phenomena with different histories/initial values as different phenomena even if they happen to satisfy the same wave equation in subsequent time,  which is completely rational.

In Einstein's physics of no change there are no intial conditions for extended waves, which allows Einstein to claim that there is no way to tell that representations connected by the Lorentz transformation do not describe the same physical phenomenon. This is used by Einstein as negative evidence that indeed the phenomena are the same, which leads to all the strange effects of special relativity in the form of time dilation and space contraction. By covering up history Einstein thus can insist that two different waves with different histories are the same wave, and from this violation of logic strike the world with wonder. But of course Einstein's insistence to cover up initial values, is fully irrational.

Einstein circumvents the question of initial value/history by only speaking about space-time events without extension in space recorded by space-time point coordinates $(x,y,z,t)$. By focussing on points in space-time without extension in space, Einstein can cover up the crucial role of initial value/history for a phenomenon with extension in space. But physical objects have extension in space and so Einstein's physics of points is not real physics. Einstein's physics is about "events" as isolated points in space-time, but real physics is not about such "events" but about the position in space and time of physical objects with extension both in space and time.

What has existence for Einstein as extended objects are "world lines" as trajectories extended in time of spatial points without extension frozen into a block of space-time, not objects extended in space changing over time. This is so weird and irrational that rational arguments fall short and the tragic result is modern physics without rationality, where only what is weird has a place.

In other words, a picture consisting of just one dot carries no history, just presence. A picture with many dots can carry history. It is not rational to identify two different persons arguing that they are the same person because they were born at the same place at the same time and live under the same conditions, while forgetting that they have different ancestors and histories. Or the other way around, if you identify such people, then you obtain a strange new form of parapsychology of shifting  personalities and if you believe this is science then you are fooling yourself.

Einstein's special theory of relativity is about measurement of "space-time events" using "measuring rods" and "clocks", without ever telling what instruments these are and without caring about the underlying physics. It is thus a like an ad hoc tax system imposed by the government without caring about the underlying economy.

It is now up to you to decide if you think that the point physics of no change/without history of Einstein, is more useful for humanity than the real physics of change/with history of Bergson, or the other way around.

Maybe you will then come to the conclusion that it is a tragedy that modern physicists have been seduced by Einstein to believe in point physics without change and history, and even more tragical that no discussion of this tragedy has been allowed after 1922, by a dictate of leading physicists.

You can read more about the contradictions of special relativity in Many-Minds Relativity, with the non-invariance of initial conditions under Lorentz transformation observed in section 5.9.

1 kommentar:

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