måndag 19 augusti 2019

Basic Questions Without Answers Corrupts Science

If you have a curious mind, you may have asked the following questions to a professional aerodynamicist/physicist:
  1. What is a correct explanation of the flight of an airplane or bird?
  2. What is a correct explanation of the twin paradox of the special theory of relativity?
If not, try it yourself! I have done so and met the following first response:
  • This was settled long and can be found in many books.  
When you ask for details, you get (if your are lucky) pointed to a variety of mutually contradictory explanations, each one viewed to be incorrect by some group of scientists, but no explanation which is generally agreed to be correct. Many incorrect explanations, but no correct. 

When you point this out, you are met first with frustration, then with silence. This is unfortunate because unanswered basic questions, which are swept under the carpet, fosters corrupt science.

If you are curious you find answers to the questions on this blog.

lördag 17 augusti 2019

Galilean Relativity as Many-Minds Relativity

Many-Minds Relativity MMR explores an alternative to Einstein's special theory of relativity SR. The basic setting in both MMR and SR concerns observations made in different spatial Euclidean coordinate systems moving with constant velocity with respect to each other.

In MMR observers share a common time $t$ (Universal Common Time UTC as in the GPS system), while space coordinates in a system $X^\prime$ with space coordinates $x^\prime$ moving with velocity $v$ respect to a system $X$ with coordinates $x$, are connected by the Galilean transformation
  • $x^\prime = x- tv$
stating that the origin of $X^\prime$ moves in $X$ with velocity $v$. 

In SR there is no common time and space-time coordinates are connected by the Lorentz transformation mixing space into time in violation of Newtonian mechanics. SR leads to many strange effects such as "time dilation" and "space contraction" as effects of motion with constant velocity, which are deeply paradoxical. 

The basic assumption of MMR are (see also this post):
  1. All observers share a common time set by synchronised cesium clocks according to the SI standard.  
  2. The same Maxwell's equations for light propagation is used in all systems. 
  3. The length scale in each system is set according to the SI standard with the same speed of light in all systems in compatibility with 2.
  4. All observers share the laws of Newtonian mechanics.
A2 as Assumption 2 means that each system carries its own "aether" as the coordinate system used to express Maxwell's equations, in accordance with this post. MMR is a "many-aethers"-theory with as many "aethers" as spatial coordinate systems. A2 means that the speed of light is the same in all systems, by SI standard.

A3 means that the same length scale is used in all systems, by SI standard. 

A1 + A3 means that time and length scale is the same in all systems. There is no time dilation or space contraction in MMR. 

In classical Newtonian/Galilean relativity there is "one-unique-aether", while in MMR there are many  (non-unique) aethers. 

The reason Newtonian/Galilean relativity was replaced by SR was the Michelson-Morley experiment MM, which showed to be in conflict with a "one-unique-aether". On the other hand, the null result of  MM is in harmony with MMR, since each arm in the MM experiment carries its own coordinate system.

MMR is thus a "many-observer"-theory, where different observers use different coordinate systems moving with to respect to each other connected by the Galilean transformation, while they share time and length scale and the same Maxwell's equations expressed the same way in their respective systems.

Recall that SR shares the Lorentz transformation with a "Lorentz unique-aether"-theory, including time dilation and space contraction, with the difference that Lorentz considered these effects to be more illusion than reality. Time dilation and space contraction present a veritable night-mare to science with a wealth of "paradoxes" to handle, and so each possibility of getting out of the trauma must be tried. 

But different observers of MMR may not agree on everything, such as Doppler shifts because Doppler shifts depend on the motion of source and receiver, and the observers are moving with respect to each other. 

To see this consider a (1d) situation where at a specific time $X$ and $X^\prime$ with observers $O$ and $O^\prime$ in their respective coordinate origin overlap, while moving with velocity $w$ with respect to each other.  Consider the perceptions of a signal sent from a source at frequency 1, assuming the speed of light is normalised to 1, moving with velocity $v$ with respect to $X$. The frequency $f$ recorded by $O$ using $X$ will then be 
  • $f=\frac{1}{1+v}$
since the source is moving with speed $v$ (to the right say) and the receiver is fixed. On the other hand $X$ would attribute the following frequency to an observation made by $O^\prime$:
  • $\bar f =\frac{1-w}{1+v}$ for $X^\prime$, 
because $X$ sees the the receiver of $O^\prime$ moving with speed $w$ (to the left say). But the frequency $f^\prime$ de facto observed by $O^\prime$ will be
  • $f^\prime  =\frac{1}{1+v+w}$ 
since $v+w$ is the velocity of the source with respect to a fixed $O^\prime$. Computing we find that 
  • $\bar f - f^\prime =-\frac{w^2+vw}{(1+v)(1+v+w)}$,
which is second order in $v$ and $w$ compared to the speed of light = 1. Further aspects are given in  the MMR book.

The observers $O$ and $O^\prime$ will thus share the same time and length scale, but will have different perceptions depending on mutual motion, which can differ up the square of motion speed vs speed of light. With a speed of light of $3\times 10^8$ meter/second the difference would be of size $10^{-6}$ for velocities up to $300$ km/second. In short MMR appears to give a consistent description which can be shared by all observers up to second order accuracy in speeds. For observers on Earth $w$ may be up $1$ km/second and for observers in space up to $10$ km/second, far away from $300$ km/second.

We recall that the addition of two velocities $v$ and $w$ from composite Doppler shift in MMR reads:
  • $v+w+vw$,     
  since
  • $\frac{1}{1+w}\frac{1}{1+v}=\frac{1}{1+v+w+vw}$.
Altogether, MMR is compatible with the MM null result, and thus offers an alternative to SR which is compatible with Newtonian mechanics and electromagnetics (up to second order in relative light velocity).

The idea of a "many-aethers"-theory can be found in the work by the English mathematician Ebenezer Cunningham, but it was swamped by Einsteins "no-aether"-radicalism.

One can argue that the idea of a "many-aethers"-theory connects post-modern multiculturalism, while Einstein's "no-aether"-theory would correspond to a "no-culture-at-all".

PS1 Lee Smolin writes in Einstein's Lonely Path:
  • Special relativity was the result of 10 years of intellectual struggle, yet Einstein had convinced himself it was wrong within two years of publishing it. He rejected his own theory, even before most physicists had come to accept it, for reasons that only he cared about. For another 10 years, as others in the world of physics slowly absorbed special relativity, Einstein pursued a lonely path away from it.
Einstein thus gave up SR in 1907. It is high time for physicists of today to do the same thing.

PS2 The physics community views Einstein with mixed feelings: Sometimes as a God but more often as a crackpot. One may argue that "once champ always champ", or "once crackpot always crackpot". What is your view?

PS3 Of course there is no twin paradox to resolve in MMR, since all twins age at the same rate according to the same clocks, independent of inertial motion. Of course acceleration or gravity forces or temperature, pressure and friction may affect the workings of a mechanical clock and thus clock rate (all clocks are mechanical), but certainly not pure translation with constant velocity, against the core of SR.

onsdag 14 augusti 2019

What is the Correct Resolution of the Twin Paradox if Any?

In discussions with theoretical physicists I have met the following "resolutions" of the twin paradox of special relativity SR as the paradox/apparent contradiction of different ageing of two twins, one staying at home and the other traveling on a round-trip (showing to be younger at return):
  1. The different ageing shown in SR is real physics and can be explained within SR.
  2. SR says nothing about the physics of ageing due to round-trip travel and so there is no twin paradox to resolve.
  3. The different ageing shown by SR is real but can only be explained by the general theory of relativity.  
Since 1.-3. are contradictory, I have asked a panel of theoretical physicists about the correct resolution, and will report the answers, when received. You are also welcome to submit your own resolution as a contribution to the discussion.

My question is the same as posed in an Open Letter signed by 142 physicists and others directed to the physics community, which received a very vague response. Read and contemplate! You will find clear evidence that there is no commonly accepted resolution, only resolutions which are viewed to be incorrect by parts of the community.

It reminds about the explanation of flight, for which the aerodynamics community only offers a number of different contradictory versions listed on e.g the NASA website as all incorrect, but no explanation claimed to be physically correct. For a physically correct explanation, see The Secret of Flight.

My experience so far (which is the same as that recorded in the Open Letter) is that leading physicists  are not on request willing/able to present a resolution of the twin paradox. What you get is:
  • There is no paradox, because SR is free of paradoxes. 
  • The paradox was solved very long ago in some way which no longer has any interest. 
  • Take a look at what wikipedia says. 
  • It can easily be solved within SR by using simple space-time diagrams. 
  • A resolution can be found by invoking general relativity, but that is so complicated that details cannot be given. 
  • The twin paradox is of interest only to crackpots, not to professional theoretical physicists who have many much more urgent questions to tackle.  
What you don't get is anything claimed to be a correct solution accepted as such by the theoretical physics community. This is more than 100 years after the paradox was formulated.  If you think that what I say cannot be true, try out by asking the question yourself to your physics teacher or college. 

The only way out in this hopeless situation is to opt for the "no paradox" version insisting that SR is logically consistent and as such free of paradoxes and beyond reach for physical paradoxes. But this would mean that SR is not a theory about some physics, which can (appear to) be paradoxical or be false, only a mathematical theory identical to the Lorentz coordinate transformation. The effect of such a step would be far-reaching, since modern physics is based on SR, and if SR is empty of physics that would make a lot of modern physics empty as well. So this way out is not possible...

PS If you repeat your question, because you don't get any reasonable answer, then you are met with anger and frustration, which is understandable if not very pleasant, or simply silence. 

Galilean Special Relativity as a Many-Aethers Theory

Einstein's special theory of relativity SR is based on the following postulates:
  1. Laws of physics take the same form in all inertial systems.
  2. The speed of light is the same in all inertial systems.
An inertial system is a Euclidean coordinate system in space together with a time coordinate and different inertial systems (with the same spatial orientation) are moving with constant velocity with respect to each other.  

Consider the following realisation of 1+2: Assume
  • Inertial systems are connected by a Galilean transformation. 
  • Newtonian mechanics.
  • Maxwell's equations for electromagnetics in each inertial system.
Newtonian mechanics is Galilean invariant and thus satisfies 1. Assuming that identical Maxwell's equations are used in all inertial systems makes 1 true by definition, and then also 2.

Using formally identical Maxwell's equations in all inertial systems can be viewed as a "many-aethers"-theory with each Euclidean coordinate system representing an "aether" for propagation of light. The speed of light will then be the same in all systems. Compare with this post.

This is the set-up in Many-Minds Relativity as a "many-aethers"-theory. It should be compared with Einstein's "no-aether" SR, where Galilean transformation is replaced by Lorentz transformation. 

A Galilean transformation connects the space coordinates $x$ and $x^\prime$ of two inertial system moving with velocity $v$ with respect to each other by the simple transformation 
  • $x^\prime = x-tv$
where $t$ is a time coordinate shared by both systems. A Galilean transformation has a direct simple realisation as a translation  with constant velocity, as the simplest possible motion. 

A Lorentz transformation mixes space coordinates with time and has no physical realisation. Even more disturbing: Newtonian mechanics is not Lorentz invariant and thus has to be given up in SR. Einstein paid his tribute in his "Newton, forgive me!"

How could then Einstein end up with his SR based on Lorentz transformation with all its mysteries and sacking of Newton, starting from the same basic postulates 1+2  as we saw could as well be satisfied by Galilean transformation without mystery and with Newton intact? 

The answer is hidden in Einstein's derivation of the Lorentz transformation from 1 + 2, which starts with light pulses initiated in two different inertial systems. By identifying the two light pulses to be one and the same taking different expressions in the two systems, Einstein then derived the Lorentz transformation. But the identification is unphysical in the sense that initialisation as coexistence at an initial time of a wave form in space necessarily takes different forms in different systems when space is mixed into time. It means that the identification of the pulses cannot be made and so Einstein's derivation of the Lorentz transformation from 1+2 is incorrect from physical point of view.

In his derivation of the Lorentz transformation Einstein relied on the concept of event  as something of unknown nature which has no extension in space, which can be labeled with a single space coordinate $x$ and time coordinate $t$. This made it possible for Einstein to view the launch of the  light pulses as one and the same event with different labels in the different systems and from that derive a connection between the labels in the form of Lorentz transformation.

An event labeled by $(x,t)$ carries unclear physics and can lead to misunderstanding of physics. The notion of particle as something without spatial extension but still physical presence, also can lead to misunderstanding.

Sum up: Einstein's SR is a "no-aether"-theory with strange physics in conflict with Newtonian mechanics. Many-Minds Relativity is a natural "many-aethers"-theory in harmony with Newtonian mechanics and electromagnetics.

PS To see the difference between one-pulse and two-pulse physics, consider two intertial systems which coincide at the light pulse launch. In the Galilean setting the launch physics will be the same in both systems which effectively means launch of two pulses with different translation speeds in two different "aethers", while in the Lorentzian setting they will be the same which is unphysical.


söndag 11 augusti 2019

Modern Physics in Free Fall Crisis

Modern physicists in joint free fall under quantum supergravity.
There are many witnesses of a modern physics in serious crisis. The process started at the turn to 20th century modernity with Einstein's special theory of relativity and Planck's derivation of the law of blackbody radiation based on statistics of energy quanta opening to quantum mechanics.

Evidence of the crisis can be seen in the 2019 Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics to a 1970 speculation about supergravity, which has resisted 50 years of experimental verification, see also Where are we now?. The Breakthrough website motivates the Prize to supergravity as follows:
  • In the four decades since its development, supergravity has had a powerful influence on theoretical physics. It showed that supersymmetry was capable of accounting for all the phenomena we see in the real world, including gravity. It represented a completion of the current understanding of particle physics – a rigorous mathematical answer to the question, “What theories of nature are compatible with the principles of both quantum mechanics and special relativity?” And it provided a foundation for the attempt – still ongoing – to build a full theory of quantum gravity that describes space and time at a fundamental level.
We see that the 2019 Breakthrough Prize concerns precisely the question discussed in this sequence of posts: How to reconcile the principles of quantum mechanics and special relativity? But the 1970 answer in the form of supersymmetry appears to have few proponents today outside the Prize committee as a (failed) "attempt". It is not impossible that the 2020 Fundamental Physics Prize will go to the discovery that special relativity is not fundamental physics, and thus that there is no contradiction with quantum mechanics.   

The shift to modernity was a break-off from classical physics as science of "what is" (ontology) into a modern physics as science of "what we can say" (epistemology) as expressed by Niels Bohr, in which a material world going around even without any (human) observer was replaced by a mist of statistics of (human) observation.

In the new view of modern physics causality/determinism was given up, under much agony because that had been the basic principle of physics since Aristotle, while the monumentality of the sacrifice added to its thrill.  But a sacrifice carries a cost and the cost is now showing up in the form of a modern physics in free fall without any thinkable connection to experiments as string theory in 11 dimensions and multiversa statistics of all possibilities.

What is then the effect of a physics in free fall? Is it helpful to humanity? What was the basic reason that forced Einstein and Bohr followed by generations of modern physicists, to give up causality and rationality?

Einstein was led to special relativity in an effort to handle the lack of physicality of a vacuum or "aether" as a medium for propagation of electromagnetic waves/light. It appeared in experiments like that by Michelson-Morley as if there was not just one single "aether", but many different as if each source/receiver system in motion would "drag" its own aether along. Einstein however could not handle the diversity of many aethers (put forward by e.g. Ebenezer Cunningham) and so took the radical step of declaring that there is no aether at all, in particular not many aethers causing confusing. In modern psycho-physiological terms it could be described as a syndrome of not being able to handle the many sometimes conflicting perspectives of life.

In any case the "no-aether" idea led Einstein into the his special relativity where all observers are compelled to share the same mathematical formulas under a banner of Lorentz invariance, however  without being able to agree on anything else of importance such as simultaneity, time and space. The scientific world met Einstein's special relativity with a yawn as epistemology without physics, which made Einstein turn to his general theory of relativity, which as a consequence of efforts to reconcile England and Germany after World War I in the hands of Eddington, took off in the media and then was turned into a pillar of modern physics.

The trouble was that this pillar was incompatible with the other pillar of modern physics, namely quantum mechanics founded on Schrödinger's equation, which resisted to Lorentz invariance. Modern physics has carried this incompatibility for 100 years as a basic trauma on which much of the present crisis can be blamed, with supergravity as failed attempt to reconcile quantum mechanics with gravitation. The rest of the blame can go to the use of statistics as a collapse of causality/determinism, which was forced from the multi-dimensional form of Schrödinger's equation.

Modern physicists bear witness of the crisis, but I have met little interest in possible ways to take off instead of falling down, by questioning Lorentz invariance and the necessity of a statistical approach to the physics of an atom. But the crisis goes on and maybe some day, discussion will be possible.

The similarity with a climate science dominated by one gospel of alarm is obvious. More precisely, the corruption of climate science today is made possible by the fact that modern physicists have retreated from the world.

The last sequence of posts give arguments that Lorentz invariance has no role to play in physics.
In Real Quantum Mechanics a variant of Schrödinger's equation free of statistics as a system in 3 space dimensions, is presented.

Comments from physicists are welcome. Is any form of discussion possible? Or is the crisis permanent?

PS In many respects modern physics appears as a game of poker, where the physicist player all the time can raise the bet and avoid being called by the public/tax payer. This is what Einstein did, when confronted with questioning of the special theory of relativity, by turning to general relativity, which when questioned was further raised to cosmology. Or when Schrödinger's equations for atoms was confronted with Lorentz invariance and the bet was lifted to Dirac's equation, not for atoms but only for one free electron, and then further to quantum field theory with a universe of infinities, which was handled by "renormalisation" and so on to string theory in 11 dimensions, which cannot be called because it is very far beyond both experimental conformation and refutation.

lördag 10 augusti 2019

The Seduction and Spell of the Lorentz Transformation

Modern physics is based on the idea of Lorentz invariance as the basic postulate of Einstein's special theory of relativity:
  • Laws of physics are invariant under the Lorentz transformation between different inertial systems, that is, laws of physics are Lorentz invariant.  
Recall that the Lorentz transformation connecting two inertial space-time coordinate systems $(x,t)$ and $(x^\prime ,t^\prime )$ for two observers moving with velocity $v$ with respect to each other, reads:
  • $x^\prime =\gamma (x - vt)$, $t^\prime =\gamma (t - vx)$,
  • $x =\gamma (x^\prime + vt^\prime )$, $t =\gamma (t^\prime + vx^\prime )$,
where $\gamma = \frac{1}{\sqrt{1-v^2}}$ assuming the speed of light is 1 and $\vert v\vert \lt 1$. We see that the space coordinate $x$ and time coordinate $t$ appear in symmetric form with a an apparent similarity between space and time, which Lorentz viewed to be a formality without physics, but Einstein took as a basis of modern physics with space mixed into time.

Which laws of physics are then formally Lorentz invariant? By the chain law, we have
  • $\frac{\partial}{\partial x}=\gamma (\frac{\partial}{\partial x^\prime}-v\frac{\partial}{\partial t^\prime})$,
  • $\frac{\partial}{\partial t}=\gamma (\frac{\partial}{\partial t^\prime}-v\frac{\partial}{\partial x^\prime})$,
and so 
  • $\frac{\partial}{\partial t}-\frac{\partial}{\partial x}=\gamma (1+v)(\frac{\partial}{\partial t^\prime}-\frac{\partial}{\partial x^\prime})$,
  • $\frac{\partial}{\partial t}+\frac{\partial}{\partial x}=\gamma (1-v)(\frac{\partial}{\partial t^\prime}+\frac{\partial}{\partial x^\prime})$,
  • $\frac{\partial^2}{\partial t^2} - \frac{\partial^2}{\partial x^2}=(\frac{\partial}{\partial t}-\frac{\partial}{\partial x})(\frac{\partial}{\partial t}+\frac{\partial}{\partial x})$
  • $=\gamma^2(1-v^2)(\frac{\partial}{\partial t^\prime}-\frac{\partial}{\partial x^\prime})(\frac{\partial}{\partial t^\prime}+\frac{\partial}{\partial x^\prime})=\frac{\partial^2}{\partial t^{\prime 2}} - \frac{\partial^2}{\partial x^{\prime 2}}$.
We see that the second order wave equation
  • $\frac{\partial^2u}{\partial t^2} - \frac{\partial^2u}{\partial x^2}=0$, 
is Lorentz formally invariant, in the sense of reading exactly the same in the $(x^\prime ,t^\prime )$ system.  On the other hand, for the first order wave equation:
  • $\frac{\partial u}{\partial t} - \frac{\partial u}{\partial x}=0$,
the multiplicative factor $\gamma (1+v)$ appears, and so only a form of restricted formal Lorentz invariance is in place.

The second order wave equation describes waves in an elastic string with clear material spatial presence or coexistence, as well as plane electromagnetic waves in a vacuum without material spatial presence.  

The idea of Einstein (picked up from Lorentz) was that since the wave equation takes the same form in all inertial systems connected by the Lorentz transformation (more or less), all inertial systems are equally valid (with in particular the same speed of wave propagation/light), which Einstein declared to be the essence of the new physics of the special theory of relativity. This was the seduction of Lorentz invariance which promised to solve the mystery on an "aether" medium for the propagation of electromagnetic waves in vacuum without material presence.   

For both wave equations we see the space coordinate $x$ and time coordinate $t$ appearing in symmetric form, which opens up to some invariance with respect to the Lorentz transformation with similar symmetry.

But the formal symmetry in space and time in the wave equations does not say that space and time have the same nature and can be mixed into each other. In the wave equations there is a clear distinction between space and time which is expressed in the initial condition complementing the wave equation in a mathematical description of a wave $u(x,t)$, which takes the form  
  • $u(x,0)=u_0(x)$ for all $x$, 
for the first order equation (with also an initial condition for $\frac{\partial u}{\partial t}$ in the second order case), where $t=0$ is an initial time and $u_0(x)$ an initial wave form with extension in space. With the initial condition a clear distinction between space and time is made. This is physics which is very obvious for the elastic string but also relevant for electromagnetic waves. The initial wave form shows spatial coexistence at different points $x$ for some common initial time $t=0$. 

And now comes the catch showing that the Lorentz transformation is not compatible with physics, even if the wave equation is formally (more or less) Lorentz invariant: The initial condition is not invariant under Lorentz transformation, because $(x,0)$ translates into
  • $(x^\prime ,t^\prime ) =\gamma (x, -vx)$, 
which does not have the form of an initial condition for $t^\prime =0$. The physics of coexistence expressed in the $(x,t)$-coordinates through the initial condition for $t=0$ does not carry over to physics of coexistence of an initial condition for $t^\prime =0$. This means that the physics expressed in the different inertial systems is different. The whole idea of relativity of expressing the same physics in different inertial systems thus collapses.

The formal symmetry of the space and time coordinates in the two forms of the wave equation misled a confused Einstein to believe that space and time could be mixed, because Einstein did not properly understand the physical meaning of the mathematics of the wave equations. The sad fact is that generations of physicists have followed in the footsteps of Einstein with a mantra of Lorentz invariance as a necessary requirement of a law of physics.

A traveling wave is a solution $u(x,t)$ of either of the above wave equations of the form 
  • $u(x,t)=f(x+t)$, 
where $f(\cdot )$ is a function of one variable. For example $f(y)=\sin(y)$ with 
  • $u(x,t)=\sin(x+t)$. 
The initial condition for $t=0$ would then have the form $u_0(x)=\sin (x)$ as a wave in space, while an observer sitting at $x=0$ would experience a wave in time of the form $\sin(t)$, but the observer would have no reason to mix the wave in space with the wave in time just because the mathematics looks the same. To do that as Einstein did, shows that the mathematics is misunderstood.

The second order (but not the first order) equation also has standing wave solution of the form
  • $u(x,t)=sin(t)sin(x)=\sin(\gamma (t^\prime +vx^\prime))\sin(\gamma (x^\prime +vt^\prime ))$,
with seemingly stationary spatial character in $(x,t)$-coordinates, but visibly not so in $(x^\prime ,t^\prime )$ coordinates. A standing wave solution is not Lorentz invariant. A standing wave for the observer using $(x,t)$-coordinates is not a standing wave for the observer using $(x^\prime ,t^\prime )$, of course not since the observers are moving with respect to each other.

In general the equations of mathematical physics do not show the symmetry of space and time of wave equations and thus do not show any Lorentz invariance at all. The physics is the same for all observers but its mathematical description varies between moving observers, as soon as the physics has some spatial presence, which is the nature of physics.  Only Maxwell's equations for vacuum can show formal Lorentz invariance, but not in the presence of charges and not with respect to initial conditions. The equations of physics are not Lorentz invariant. Not Maxwell with charges, not Schrödinger, not MHD, not Navier, not Navier-Stokes, not anything.

The net result is that the notion of Lorentz invariance has only a purely formal mathematical meaning and carries no real physics. If the spell of Lorentz invariance can be broken, then many possibilities  to progress seem to open up. But this is not something physicist like to hear. They will cling to Lorentz invariance no matter the cost and lack of reason. It is a spell.

Getting out of the spell means understanding that Leibniz distinction between space and time is valid also for modern physics:
  • space = order of coexistence.
  • time = order of succession.
But the spell has such strong grip on the minds of modern physicist that not even a basic discussion is possible.

torsdag 8 augusti 2019

Why so Difficult to Discuss Special Relativity with Physicists?

I fooled you. 
The attempted discussion with Swedish media physicist Ulf Danielson illustrates the difficulties met when trying to discuss aspects of the special theory of relativity SR with physicists, who must defend SR by all means to keep their academic jobs. The difficulties arise because, in a tradition mastered by Einstein, it is never clear what the premises are. In particular, there are several forms of SR:
  • SR = consequences of the two postulates of SR. (1. Laws of physics must take the same form in all inertial systems. 2. Measurements of the speed of light must give the same result in all inertial systems).
  • SR+ = SR + some physics.
  • SR++ = SR+ + some more physics.
The postulates of SR have the form of stipulations without concrete physical content and the Lorentz transformation derived from the postulates is a coordinate transformation between inertial systems, which as such has no concrete physical content. Postulate 1 says that laws of physics must take the same form in all inertial systems, that is they must be Lorentz invariant. SR is thus empty of real physics as a specific coordinate transformation, which has no truth value as being the result of stipulations without concrete physics. Einstein's used the term Postulate to signify that SR is based on stipulations without truth value and not propositions about physics, which may be true or false. Since Postulates 1 and 2 are not contradictory, a physicist can argue that SR is not contradictory.

On the other hand, one can argue that Postulates 2  is a consequence of Postulate 1 and as such redundant, but not contradictory. 

SR+ = SR + Maxwell's equation for electromagnetic waves in a vacuum can be argued to be correct physics because Maxwell's equations for vacuum describe physics and are Lorentz invariant. But SR does not add anything to such a picture and can then as well be discarded.

SR+ with physics in the form of clocks and traveling symmetric twins with unsymmetric ageing leads to a paradox, which is "resolved" by adding some more physics like one twin staying at rest at home and the other traveling undergoing acceleration and retardation into a S++ with unsymmetric ageing seemingly without paradox. 

In this way SR+ can be just anything and as such can be twisted to fit with observations with the message that SR+ has experimental support including the postulates of SR, which in fact are stipulations beyond experimental verification. By adding some physics some experimental support can be constructed, but the role of SR itself is then unclear since the support concerns the added physics.

A physicist can thus ague that SR in basic form contains no contradiction, and in suitable SR+ form has experimental support. The message is that SR is a theory without contradiction, which has massive experimental support. It could not be better. With this message the physicist can keep his job.

But there is one form of SR+ which shows to be incompatible with experiments, and that is SR+ = SR+gravitation, which was the dream Einstein had to abandon as soon as SR was confronted with the reality of gravitational forces. A desperate Einstein tried to save his scientific life by cooking up a form of SR including gravitation, by effectively reducing to SR without gravitation by sweeping gravitational forces/acceleration away into geometry, named general relativity. Einstein thus gave up the basic stipulation of SR of Lorentz invariance to keep his job. The question is why today physicists have to in public confess to the sermon of Lorentz invariance to keep their jobs: When laws of gravitation are not Lorentz invariant. When Schrödinger's equation of quantum mechanics is not Lorentz invariant. When the equations describing the mechanics of solids and fluids are not Lorentz invariant. When Maxwell's equations with charges are not Lorentz invariant. Why cling to Lorentz invariance when doing so misses the whole cake? 

Summary: SR + Maxwell in vacuum is fine, but here SR has no role since Maxwell in vacuum carries itself. SR + gravitation does not work. The net result is that SR can be put into the wastebin of thought experiments without physics, and when that is done a step forward can be taken. Too long has physics been forced into a straitjacket of Lorentz invariance invented by the young ambitious Einstein from which the mature Einstein managed to escape but not his followers. 


Why the Speed of Light Can Be Independent of Translation of Source-Receiver

To see that it is most natural that the speed of light between a source and receiver is independent of translation with constant velocity of both source and receiver, as if the "aether" was moving along with the same velocity, consider the following mechanical analog: 

Connect a source to a receiver by waves carried by a stretched rope with the source at one end and the receiver at the other end, and assume that the whole system source-rope-receiver is subject to a translation with constant velocity. We would then make the observation that the speed of propagation of the waves from source to receiver through the rope would be independent of the translation. 

This is because the rope as the medium for wave propagation moves along with the source/receiver. The analog would be an "aether" as an immaterial medium for propagation of light waves, which moves along with the source/receiver. The idea is that the light source and receiver establishes a connection like a rope which is moving along with the source/receiver.  This would be compatible with the null result of the Michelson-Morely experiment.

There is thus no common background aether, but a multitude of aethers connecting and moving along with a multitude of sources/receivers.  The immaterial quality of aethers would then allow a multitude without conflict. This is the idea of Many-Minds Relativity. Think of that.

PS If the source and receiver move with respect to each other they could still share a common aether (connected to either source or receiver) with still  he same speed of light, while light frequencies would be subject to Doppler effects. 


Special Theory of Relativity Incompatible with Gravitation

Sorry to say, but I had to abandon my most beautiful special theory of relativity SR because it could not be combined with laws of gravitation. The demand of Lorentz invariance of course was not compatible with the presence of matter in space.
I thus turned to the general theory of relativity giving up Lorentz invariance for covariance, and never returned to SR. 

From its start in the 1905 article On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies, Einstein connected his special theory of relativity SR to Maxwell's equations for electromagnetic waves. From the two Postulates of SR (1. Relativity Postulate and 2. Constancy of speed of light). Einstein derived the Lorentz transformation connecting coordinates in different inertial systems moving with constant velocity with respect to each other. The catch was that Maxwell's equations in vacuum showed to take the same form in all coordinate systems connected by the Lorentz transformation and thus showed to be Lorentz invariant as required by the Relativity Postulate.

Einstein then tried to extend SR with its requirement of Lorentz invariance to gravitation, but failed and so Einstein abandoned SR for his general theory of relativity. The situation is the same today:
  • SR cannot be extended to include gravitation. 
  • Laws of gravitation are not Lorentz invariant.
This is shown in e.g. Relativistic Theories of Gravitation by Withrow and Murdoch giving a survey of attempts to extend SR to gravitation,  all failing because of incompatibility with observations. The trauma of modern physics can thus be captured as follows:
  • Newton's mechanics is Galilean invariant but not Lorentz invariant.
  • Maxwell's equations are not Galilean invariant, but Lorentz invariant (in a restricted sense).
  • SR is incompatible with mechanics including quantum mechanics.
The trauma is a result of insisting on the Relativity Postulate asking a "law of physics" to have the same formal expression in all inertial systems connected by the Lorentz transformation, that is to require Lorentz invariance. 

What then to do? 
  1. Allow the trauma to continue to paralyse modern physics? 
  2. Give up Lorentz invariance as a necessity to impose on laws of physics?  
I suggest 2. This means that SR is given up because it is incompatible with in particular laws of gravitation. Laws of gravitation cannot be Lorentz invariant if they are going to match observations. This was what Einstein understood when turning to his general theory of relativity. If a theory does not fit with experiments, like SR with gravitation, then it has to be given up.

What then would be the effect of giving up SR? Nothing! It is illustrated by the fact that GPS system works because SR is not included, not because SR is included.

What then about the null result of Michelson-Morley experiment, as the main motivation for asking for Lorentz invariance? Is it possible to explain the null-result without invoking Lorentz invariance? Of course, as will be shown in an upcoming post.

The reason Maxwell's equations in vacuum can be viewed to be formally Lorentz invariant, that is take the same in all inertial frames, is that the vacuum has no material presence in space. As soon as you introduce material presence in space in the form of charges or matter, the idea of Lorentz invariance collapses because necessarily the spatial motion of the inertial system vs the charges/matter must come in. Since SR is incompatible with any form of material/spatial presence, it has to be given up, as Einstein did. Galilean invariance is meaningful, but not Lorentzian.

I have argued that the two postulates of SR themselves are empty of physics. It is possible to give SR a restricted physical meaning by combining the postulates with Maxwell's equations in vacuum showing some compatibility with experiments.  But adding physics in the form of gravitation has shown to not be compatible with experiments. It is now time also for us to give up SR, following Einstein.

Or restrict SR to the domain of its postulates without combination with any physics, in which case SR is empty of physics and carries no incompatibility with observation of physics.

PS In the debate with Ulf Danielson in a previous post, it was not made clear what physics was appended to the two postulates of SR themselves empty of physics, which led to a lot of confusion. Let's see if UD will take up the challenge and comment this post...

tisdag 6 augusti 2019

Does the Period of a Harmonic Oscillator Change under Uniform Translation?

High speed trains in China in uniform translation with identical clocks.
The most basic of all clocks is a harmonic oscillator consisting of a body of unit mass connected by a linear spring to a fixed point, described by the differential equation expressing Newton's 2nd Law:
  • $\frac{d^2x}{dt^2}=(x_0-x)$   (1)
where $x(t)$ is the position of the body at time $t$ on an $x-axis$ and $x_0$ is the fixed point with $x_0-x$ the spring force. The solution $x(t)$ is periodic in time with period $2\pi$.

Suppose now we introduce another coordinate axis with coordinate $x^\prime = x-vt$, where $v$ is a given constant velocity, expressing that the $x^\prime$-axis moves with the constant velocity $v$ with respect to the $x$-axis in uniform translation. Substituting $x=x^\prime +vt$ into (1), we get
  • $\frac{d^2x^\prime}{dt^2}=(x_0^\prime-x^\prime )$   (2),
because $\frac{d^2(vt)}{dt^2}=0$. We see that (1) reads identically the same as (2) sharing the same time $t$. We thus see that the motion of a harmonic oscillator is Galilean invariant since the equation describing the motion reads the same in the two space coordinate systems connected by the Galilean transformation $x^\prime = x -vt$ of uniform translation.

One way to express our experience is to say that the motion of a harmonic oscillator including the period is independent of uniform translation. This is what we expect: It is unthinkable that the physics including the period of a harmonic oscillator, could be influenced by uniform translation. Your clock must tick the same rate waiting for the train in the train station and in the train in uniform translation. Anything else is unthinkable, based on the basic Newtonian mechanics of a harmonic oscillator. 

But the special theory of relativity SR says that the clock in motion ticks at a slower rate. 

What is your conclusion? Evidence that SR is correct or false from a physical point of view?

PS1 Note that (1) has the same form in all inertial systems under uniform translation and thus satisfies Einstein's Relativity Postulate. What is then wrong with (1) from the view of SR? Well, SR is obsessed with the speed of light, but a harmonic oscillator has nothing to do with light because it is a mass-spring system. So what is wrong with the harmonic oscillator form the point of view of SR is that it is mechanical, but is it anything wrong with being a mechanical system?  Isn't a harmonic oscillator an example of basic physics?  If not, what physics is then SR?

PS2 To see that (1) is not Lorentz invariant as required in SR, recall this post. It means that (1) from the point of view of SR is not a law of physics. Einstein thus claims that a harmonic oscillator is not physics.  Do you agree?

PS3 Things like this appears to be impossible to discuss with physicists seemingly brain-washed by special relativity.


Special Relativity Theory for One Observer?

A One-King system can be very stable.
Einstein's special theory of relativity concerns the relation between observations (of "events" without spatial extension recorded by space-time coordinates (x,t)) made by different observers using different inertial coordinate systems moving with constant velocity with respect to each other.

Suppose there is only one observer making observations in only one coordinate system in which the observer is at rest. Let us refer to this as a one-system situation. Can there be any special relativity theory for this one-system with its single observer/inertial system? Of course not. With only one  inertial system there is no room for comparison with observations in another moving inertial system. The special theory of relativity is empty for a one-system.

Now, the GPS system is a one-system based on the WGS84 spherical (ellipsoidal) coordinates system we are used to with latitude, longitude and height for spatial location, and an Earth based master clock setting common time, which is what your GPS receiver can report to you. The GPS system is thus a one-system and as such has no use for the special theory of relativity. In this one-system, the position of moving satellites are recorded by one master observer at rest on Earth and satellite clocks are synchronized with the master clock to UTC Universal Central Time (with nanosecond precision). There are no observers, sitting in the satellites making observations in moving inertial systems requiring coordination using the special theory of relativity. This is a one-master one-system for which the special theory of relativity has nothing to contribute.

This is yet another observation that GPS does not depend on the special theory of relativity.

PS We may compare with Deng Xiaopin's idea of one country - two systems, which we now see is collapsing in Hong-Kong. A one-system appears to be more stable, which is also what we expect from GPS.

måndag 5 augusti 2019

Does GPS depend on Theory of Relativity?

The story goes that without taking both the special and general theory of relativity into account, the Global Positioning System GPS would not work: It would be off by 11 km over a day. This is stated in e.g. Stephen Hawking's bestseller A Brief History of Time, and in some books about GPS, but not all. In particular, the Official U.S. government web site about the GPS and related topics, tells nothing about the use of relativity theory. Is US hiding something?

So what are the facts? The satellite clocks all use the same cesium atomic clocks, which at satellite launch are slowed down the fixed amount of 38.000 nanoseconds per day, which is about 0.5 nanoseconds per second.

Some sources present the offset as a tribute to both the special (+ 7.000) and the general theory of relativity (-45.000), but not all and not the Official U.S. Government GPS web site.

Other sources say that the initial offset is made because the environment of the satellite clock makes them tick a little faster than the master ground clock, not because of relativity but because the mechanics of the clock is influenced by temperature, pressure and gravitation. In any case, the satellite clocks are continuously synchronized to an Earth based master clock to within 1 nanosecond per second allowing to set Coordinated Universal Time UTC with that precision.

From this information alone, we understand that the initial offset of 0.5 nanoseconds per second plays no role whatever the reason for it may be: Even without initial offset the system would work fine by the continuous synchronization used.

Let us now see what effect 1 nanosecond per second, that is a relative precision of $10^{-9}$, can have on the precision of the system. We know that both the position and clock reading of a GPS satellite when sending a signal received by the GPS receiver in your hand, is encoded in the signal. With simultaneous readings from 4 satellites it allows the receiver to both synchronize its own clock with the synchronized satellite clocks and from that determine the signal transit time and then the distance to the different satellites and then finally its own position. The travel time of the signal is less than 0.1 seconds, and so the effect on position from a 1 nanosecond per second time offset is $10^{-10}$, which with a speed of light of $3\times 10^8$ meter per second, would be 3 centimeters. In any case the effect of a difference of 1 nanosecond in travel time of light is 3 decimeter = 1 foot as possible GPS precision.

From where does then Hawking pick his 11 km/dag? Well, it comes from multiplying $38.000\times 10^{-9}$ seconds/day with the speed of light $3\times 10^5$ km/second to get
$11=3.8\times 3$ km/day. But this has nothing to do with reality. It is deceptive fiction propagated by physicists like Clifford Will to sell the message that Einstein's theory of relativity has massive experimental support.

Why do physicists deceive us with fake-physics? How can 3 centi/decimeters be twisted into 11 km?

fredag 2 augusti 2019

The Special Theory of Relativity = Pseudo-Physics?

White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland: I don't know what time is, but I can measure it using my cesium clock.
In the last sequence of posts the question is raised if Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity SR is empty of real physics. The answer must be hidden in the two basic Postulates of SR:
  • 1. Laws of physics take the same form in all inertial systems (Relativity Postulate).
  • 2. The speed of light is the same in all inertial systems. 
Postulate 1 stipulates  that a "law of physics" must have a certain property, which is a ridiculus requirement sorting out almost all physical laws as we know them, but nevertheless does not itself express any real physics. Postulate 1 is thus empty of real physics.

Postulate 2 is according to the SI 1983 standard a definition of the length standard meter by stipulating that the speed of light is exactly 299792458 meter per second. A theoretical physicist claiming that SR is a theory about real physics, would say that Postulate 2 is both a definition/standard/convention/stiplulation and a statement about real physics in the sense that it expresses the fact that the speed of light "is" the same in all inertial systems. Both a definition/standard and physical fact. The claim is that standard works because the speed of light "is" constant, not only measured to be constant by definition. But is this reasonable? 

To get perspective, let us make a comparison with the SI standard for measure of time as second defined by the 
  • unperturbed ground-state hyperfine transition frequency of the cesium-133 atom as 9,192,631,770 Hz or 1/second.    
All observers following the SI standard will thus measure time with identical unperturbed (no exterior influence) cesium clocks. The rate of time will thus be the same for all observers (compare speed of light being the same for all observers in different inertial systems), by definition/standard. 

Would it now be meaningful to claim as a Postulate saying something about real physics that the SI time standard works, because the rate of time "is the same" as some form of deep physics, which can be expressed in the following analog of Postulate 2: 
  • 3. The rate of time is the same in all inertial systems. 
To me Postulate 3 does not make sense, because rate of time is what is measured by a cesium clock, by definition. It is meaningless to insist that the rate of time (or speed of light)  "is constant" in itself, when the fact is that it is a matter of measurement standard.  Speed of light and rate of time are derived entities depending on a standard and cannot be attributed having independent status as "being constant". Further, to "be constant" appears as antithesis of relativity.

This arguments indicates that Einstein's Postulate 2 does not make sense from a physical point of view. With the 1983 SI standard it is effectively only a definition void of real physics. It is a stipulation or prescription without physical truth content. 

As with all standards, in particular for meter and second, the real question is to what degree different observers under different conditions following the same standard, will agree. This is discussed in the book Many-Minds Relativity. The idea is to chose the standard so that it can be shared by many. In particular, a cesium clock can be expected to show no dependence on choice of inertial system, and only very weak dependence on exterior conditions, but there may be a small dependence on e.g. temperature and gravitation like for a pendulum clock, which has nothing to do with relativity theory.

How well does the time standard work? Pretty good as evidenced by the amazing functionality and precision of the GPS system: All satellite clocks tick at the same rate synchronised with an Earth based reference clock, without being subject to any time dilation by different motion as predicted by SR. GPS works because SR is pseudo-physics, not because SR is real physics as claimed by many physicists as experimental support of SR.   

We are led to conclude that both Postulate 1 and 2 of SR are empty of real physics, and so SR can only by pseudo-physics, not real physics.

PS1 Note that the SI standard specifies how to "measure time" (with an unperturbed cesium clock) as an operational definition, while the question what "time is" and even more specifically what the "rate of time is", can be left out.  This is a relief, since nobody has an answer.

PS2  To believe that something is true while not claiming real understanding,  which is the standard attitude vs SR, is one thing. Another thing is to understand that something is fundamentally wrong, which is the non-standard view on SR, which requires more insight than just believing.

onsdag 31 juli 2019

Gravitational Mass = Inertial Mass: Einstein or Galileo?

Einstein takes as postulate of his general theory of relativity that
  • gravitational mass = inertial mass.  
To Einstein this represented a deep insight into the inner nature of things, which he named the Equivalence Principle. To Galileo the same thing was a most natural consequence of his theoretical insight from experiments of dropping objects from the Tower of Pisa noting that all objects fall in the same way (modulo air resistance) and reflecting over the connection between force and motion.

Let us see if we can understand what to Einstein was beyond comprehension and to Galileo more or less self-evident. Newton's second law states that 
  • $m_i\frac{dv_i}{dt}=F_i$, 
where $m_i$ is the inertial mass of a body showing acceleration $\frac{dv_i}{dt}$ with $v_i$ velocity and $t$ time when subject to a force $F_i$. On the other hand, the same body when subject to a gravitational force $F_g$, shows an acceleration $\frac{dv_g}{dt}$ satisfying 
  •   $m_g\frac{dv_g}{dt}=F_g$,
where $m_g$ is the gravitational mass

To find out if $m_i=m_g$, let us consider the following experiment: Consider two identical bodies,  a body $A$ at rest on a frictionless table and another body $B$ in your hand with the two bodies connected by a weightless string stretched over a frictionless wheel attached at the end of the table, see picture in earlier version of this post. Then remove your hand and observe the action of the two-body-string system.  Observe that $A$ is acted upon by the horisontal string force $F_s$, while $B$ is acted upon by $F_g-F_s$ with $F_g$ the gravitational force acting on $B$. Since A and B have the same acceleration, we have
  • $\frac{F_s}{m_i}=\frac{F_g-F_s}{m_g}$.  
If we now observe that 
  • $F_s=\frac{F_g}{2}$,    (1)
then we can conclude that $m_g=m_i$ as a simple experimental verification of the Equivalence Principle. We can also argue that (1) must be true according to Leibniz' principle of sufficient reason, since there is no reason that the two-body-string system should not show this form of symmetry. We can also argue that (1) must hold if we re-orient the system to be all horisontal and pull $B$ with a certain force $F$ which must result in a string force $\frac{F}{2}$. 

Summing up, we have given simple evidence that gravitational mass = inertial mass, based on the insight that there is only one type of mass, namely inertial mass as a measure of acceleration vs force. Since gravitation is a force the measure of acceleration vs gravitational force as gravitational mass is necessarily the same as inertial mass. This is captured in the experiment with $B$ subject to (vertical) gravitational force (minus vertical string force) and $A$ to horizontal string force. 

The Equivalence Principle is thus a direct consequence of Newtonian mechanics, and as such a most questionable empty Basic Postulate for general relativity. As usual Einstein managed to create confusion rather than clarification. For more reason to this verdict see earlier posts on the Equivalence Principle.    

Special Theory of Relativity: Empty of Real Physics 2



Modern physics is supposed to be based on in particular on Einstein's special theory of relativity SR. In discussions with theoretical physicist Ulf Danielson recorded in a previous post, and in an upcoming post with physics philosopher Lars-Göran Johansson, my position is that SR is empty of real physics because the two basic Postulates of SR are definitions or analytic propositions true by definition (or stipulations without truth value), and not synthetic propositions about physics which may be false. To see this, recall the two basic Postulates of SR:
  1. Laws of physics have the same formal expression in different inertial systems.
  2. Measurements in different inertial systems (must) give the same constant speed of light.  
Inertial systems are space-time coordinate systems traveling with constant speed with respect to each other. 

Is Postulate 1 a synthetic proposition stating something about physical reality which may be false? No! It only states that a "law of physics" must meet a requirement of looking the same in all inertial systems.  It does not say what a "law of physics" is, nor gives any example, only states that it must look precisely the same in all inertial systems. It is thus a stipulation like a legal law, which has no truth value, or definition true by semantic construction. No physics in Postulate 1.

Postulate 2 is also a stipulation about the result of measurement of the speed of light by different observers using different inertial systems. Since speed is measured in terms of measures in space and time, Postulate 2 says that measures in space (meter) and time (seconds) must be chosen so that the speed of light comes out the same in all inertial systems. This is the SI standard since 1983 where the meter is defined as the distance traveled by light over a certain length of time as measured by a cesium atom clock.

Is Postulate 2 a synthetic proposition stating something about physical reality which may be false. No! It is a definition of the length scale to be used in different inertial systems, a stipulation or legal law to follow a certain standard, which again has no truth value. No physics in Postulate 2.

We arrive at the conclusion that since the Postulates of SR contain no physics, neither does SR.  Empty of physics = pseudo-physics!

Further evidence on the strange unphysical form the Postulates of SR is obtained from the observation that Postulate 2 appears to be a consequence of Postulate 1 using the following reasoning: If there is a law of propagation of light it must be viewed to be a "law of physics" and as such it must take the same form in all inertial systems by Postulate 1 and thus in particular express the same constant speed of light = the statement of Postulate 2. 

In fact, Postulate 1 is ridiculous and as such unphysical: Laws of physics in general have different formal expressions in different coordinate systems and so very few, if any, satisfy Postulate 1. Not even Maxwell's equations for the propagation of light waves in vacuum take the same form in different inertial systems since initial conditions change form and waves are extended in space and thus require initial values as wave forms extended in space at a specific time.  

Modern physics is thus based on empty physics, and so it is no surprise to meet modern physics empty of physics, such as multiversa and string theory. 

PS1 Recall Leibniz strict separation between space and time, in direct contradiction to the mixing of space and time in SR, with 
  • space = order of coexistence  (connecting to initial value),
  • time = order of succession.
PS2 In the upcoming discussion with philosopher Lars-Göran Johansson the question of analytic vs synthetic statement and Kant's synthetic a priori, will come up. LGJ will argue that the distinction between analytic and synthetic cannot be made and that there are propositions which are both analytic and synthetic, or neither. This can be a tricky debate, and to avoid getting bogged down in sophistry, I will seek to focus on the question which real physics is expressed in the Postulates of SR, if any.

PS3 Modern physics is based on Einstein's mechanics including SR, and not Newton's mechanics,  and thus it would seem to be one of the fundamental missions of education and practice of modern physics to subject SR to a critical analysis concerning form and physical meaning, right?

This is anyway the objective of the book Many-Minds Relativity. My conclusion is that SR is empty pseudo-science or fake-physics, which does not say anything of interest concerning the real physics of the world. But this is viewed simply as crackpot heretics, which a modern theoretical physicist can dismisses without any argument from a position that a critical analysis of SR is not needed nor possible, as shown in the discussion with Ulf Danielson.


måndag 29 juli 2019

The True Twin Paradox

Two twins C and S, Clever (Salviati) and Stupid (Simplicio), decide to part with mutually agreed speed $v$ equipped with identical cesium clocks and so decide to compare the readings of the two clocks, to test the validity of Einstein’s special theory of relativity SR, by exchanging light signals with the clock frequency. Both twins then record a redshift of frequency of the other clock of size $\frac{1}{1+v}$ (with light speed normalised to 1).

C says that this is just what is to expected from laws of physics and it does not say that the clock of S runs slow; it is only a red-shift effect. 

S says that the reduction in frequency,  which he records carefully, shows that the clock of C runs slow compared to that of S, and S becomes convinced that C ages more slowly as evidence of SR, which makes S unhappy.

Who is right then? C or S? Is the reason for S to get unhappy, reasonable?

A symmetrical situtation has turned into an unsymmetrical and this is the true twin paradox. What is your solution?

torsdag 25 juli 2019

Speed of Gravity? Newton or Einstein?


Tom Van Flandern (1940-2009) was a free-thinking physicist who with perplexion made the observation (along with Laplace and also Newton of course) that the Earth on its path around the Sun at every instant in time accelerates in the direction of the actual position of the Sun, which is about 20 arc seconds ahead of the position of the Sun as seen in the sky from the Earth, because of the 8 minutes it takes for light to travel the distance from the Sun to the Earth. See also this review of Van Flandern’s work.

This observation is in accordance with Newtonian gravitation, which is assumed to propagate with infinite speed. If gravitation propagated with the speed of light, the acceleration would be instead in the direction of the visible Sun, but this is not what is observed (because it would be unstable).

I have discussed this observation in various posts with conclusion that the connection between mass density $\rho (x,t)$ and gravitational potential $\phi (x,t)$ as given by Poisson's equation in Newtonian gravitation
  • $\Delta\phi (x,t)=\rho (x,t)$      
with $\Delta$ the Laplacian with respect to a space coordinate $x$ and $t$ being a time coordinate, is to be interpreted as a relation where mass $\rho (x,t)$ somehow is "created" at $x$ at time $t$ by the local operation of differentiation through the Laplacian $\Delta$ acting on the gravitational potential $\phi (x,t)$. 

This is different from the standard interpretation where instead the presence of mass $\rho (x,t)$ at a specific point in space at time $t$ contributes to $\phi (x,t)$ for all points $x$ somehow through instant action at distance. Like Tom Van Flandern I view instant action at distance as physically impossible, while local instant action may be physical. The creation of mass from gravitational potential through the Laplacian thus may be possible, while its detailed physics remains to be discovered...

In any case the observation of the acceleration of the Earth towards the actual position of the Sun is only compatible with a speed of propagation of gravitational waves (if they exist), which is much bigger than the speed of light. This observation is in accordance with Newton's mechanics (with both the new and old interpretations of the mass-potential connection), but not with Einstein's mechanics.

What is your conclusion concerning who describes physics of gravitation best? Newton or Einstein? Be careful when you look at the Sun for answer.

The current wisdom among physicists is that despite the above Earth-Sun observation, for sure there are gravitational waves because Einsteins so says, waves which propagate with the speed of light and that these waves can be detected, not gravitational waves from the Sun, but from distant mergers of black holes and stuff. Do you buy this?

Sorry to say Tom passed away in 2009, but his ideas live.

PS Of course there is a cover up suggesting that also in Einstein's mechanics does the Earth accelerate in the direction of the current position of the Sun, even if the speed of gravitational waves is the finite speed of light,  because there is a subtle cancellation of the effect of the 8 minute delay from another effect, a most happy and welcome cancellation which allows a stable observable planetary system not only according to Newton but also for Einstein. But why Einstein if Newton explains what is observed? No wonder that Einstein begged for pardon in his: "Newton, forgive me!".

måndag 22 juli 2019

Einstein: The Illusionist


What would Einstein answer to this question: Is the time dilation and space contraction of special relativity real physics or only illusionary physics?

Here is his answer published in Physik Zeitschrift 12, p 509, 1911:
  • The question whether the Lorentz contraction (time dilation and space contraction) does or does not exist is confusing. It does not really exist in so far as it does not exist for an observer who moves (with the rod); it really exists, however, in the sense that it can as a matter of principle be demonstrated by a resting observer.
This ambiguous answer is typical of Einstein and makes discussion so difficult. One way to interpret Einstein's statement is that time dilation and space contraction are both real and illusionary physics at the same time and one can always choose whatever fits the discussion best. 

If a skeptic says that the physics is contradictory a physicist can say that the contradiction is only an illusion so it is no real contradiction, and if the skeptic complains that it is illusion the physicist can say that this is only a misinterpretation of something which is real physics.

This is why the discussion becomes so confusing, even to Einstein, and all his followers as thousands and thousands of modern physicists.

An example of illusion of contradiction connecting to space contraction, is to consider two twins looking at each other at distance both stating according to physical input that the other appears to be smaller.  Of course you say that the smaller size is only an illusion depending on view at distance and that the twins in fact remain physically equally tall.  

It is like two twins both appearing to age slower than the other which could be an illusion of similar form if the twins are equipped with identical clocks and are traveling with a mutual velocity difference $v$ each one able to record the frequency of the other clock through a light signal subject to Doppler shift scaling with $\frac{1}{1+v}$ with the speed of light normalised to 1. Both twins would then be able to record a redshift when parting and blueshift in approach and state that their instruments record a different rate of ageing. All illusion of course, depending on Doppler shift.

A discussion with Swedish media physicist Ulf Danielson can be followed in comments to the previous post. This is hot topic so follow closely! Is it confusing or illuminating?

Note that Danielson immediately plays the following card suggesting that I am a crackpot representing pseudoscience:
  • In a time when theories that the Earth is flat and conspirations around moon landings are flooding the net, it is not so surprising that questions like this (my questions) come up.
  • (I en tid när teorier om att att jorden är platt och konspirationer kring månlandningen florerar på nätet tillsammans med pseudovetenskap av olika slag är det kanske inte så överraskande att en fråga av detta slag dyker upp.)
This is one approach to debate. Let us see how effective it is this time. Danielson's professional work concerns string theory, by many viewed today as illusionary physics rather than real physics. This may explain why Danielson is not sensitive to a distinction between illusion and reality, or definition and fact as discussed in previous posts.

Dingle Destroyed as Scientist by Questioning Relativity Theory

   It is ironical that, in the very field in which Science has claimed superiority to Theology, for example—in the abandoning of dogma and the granting of absolute freedom to criticism—the positions are now reversed. Science will not tolerate criticism of special relativity, while Theology talks freely about the death of God, religionless Christianity, and so on.

Herbert Dingle (1890-1978) was a prominent English physicist who came to question Einstein's special theory of relativity in an intense scientific controversy in late 1950s, see Questioning Relativity 1 with more as 2-20.

Dingle pointed to the logical contradiction of two traveling twins both ageing more slowly than the other.  Dingle concluded that since physics cannot be contradictory, the special theory of relativity with its Lorentz time dilation and different twin ageing cannot be a theory about physics. This is also my standpoint 60 years later.

The reaction from the physics community to Dingle's heretics was harsh and Dingle was destroyed as scientist, like Bruno in 1600. Dingle recorded his experience of this process in Science at the Crossroads:
  • They are, briefly, that the great majority of physical scientists, including practically all those who conduct experiments in physics and are best known to the world as leaders in science, when pressed to answer allegedly fatal criticism of the theory, confess either that they regard the theory as nonsensical but accept it because the few mathematical specialists in the subject say they should do so, or that they do not pretend to understand the subject at all, but, again, accept the theory as fully established by others and therefore a safe basis for their experiments. 
  • The response of the comparatively few specialists to the criticism is either complete silence or a variety of evasions couched in mystical language which succeeds in convincing the experimenters that they are quite right in believing that the theory is too abstruse for their comprehension and that they may safely trust men endowed with the metaphysical and mathematical talents that enable them to write confidently in such profound terms. 
  • What no one does is to answer the criticism.
The situation today 60 years later is the same: The accepted truth is that Einstein's special/general theory of relativity is correct and experimentally verified over and over again, but this cannot be questioned because no real physicist can understand the theory nor the experiments. Only crackpots like Dingle can understand that something is wrong.

I have asked Ulf Danielson as a Swedish media physicist about his view.

PS1 Read Tom van Flandern on the (non)use of SR in GPS.

PS2 For a detailed presentation of my criticism of special relativity theory, see Many-Minds Relativity (download)

PS3 Listen to Louis Essen, designer of the atomic clock:
  • No one has attempted to refute my arguments, but I was warned that if I persisted I was likely to spoil my career prospects. …the continued acceptance and teaching of relativity hinders the development of a rational extension of electromagnetic theory." - Louis Essen F.R.S., "Relativity and time signals", Wireless World, oct78, p44. ‘Students are told that the theory must be accepted although they cannot expect to understand it. They are encouraged right at the beginning of their careers to forsake science in favor of dogma.’
PS4 More Dingle from the Crossroads:
  • Lorentz, in order to justify his transformation equations, saw the necessity of postulating a physical effect of interaction between moving matter and æther, to give the mathematics meaning. Physics still had de jure authority over mathematics: it was Einstein, who had no qualms about abolishing the æther and still retaining light waves whose properties were expressed by formulae that were meaningless without it, who was the first to discard physics altogether and propose a wholly mathematical theory...
PS5 Here is short summary of the exchange of comments with Ulf Danielson:

CJ Question1: What is the real physics of the Postulates of SR? Are the Postulates only definitions empty of physics?
UD Answer:??

CJ Question2: In what way does GPS depend on the special and general theory of relativity?
UD Answer:??

CJ Question3: Are there any physical laws that are Lorentz invariant, when not even Maxwell's are so with respect to initial conditions and presence of charges? If yes, which?
UD Answer:??

CJ Question4: Does translation with constant velocity influence the physical action of a pendulum or atomic clock?  If so, what is the physics of the influence? 
UD Answer:??

There are many more questions, but with this poor result we both felt that continued discussion was meaningless. UD appears in media as an authority on modern physics and so it would have been very interesting, for me in particular but maybe also for the world, to get some illuminating answers on pressing questions, and so we have to wait for answers with patience. The questions remain and authorities on physics must be expected to have some form of answers.

PS6 Dingle pointed to an apparent physical contradiction in SR (asymmetry of symmetric twins), but that argument did not bite on modern physicists used to view contradictions as signs of deep physics. So the contradiction did not kill SR, but Dingle instead.

I try with another approach pointing to the fact that SR is empty of physics, and as such does not contain contradictions of physics. Maybe it is more difficult for a modern physicist to dismiss emptiness than contradiction. We shall see.

Dingle's analysis and conclusion of incompatibility/contradiction of SR could be dismissed because the physics of the postulates of SR is so murky that it could twisted to support any claim ("event", "rigid measuring rod", "clock", "reading of a moving clock", "time" et cet).  The only way to get out of this swamp is to show that the postulates contain no physics at all, in which case twisting of physics no longer is possible.  

söndag 21 juli 2019

(Postulates of) Special Relativity Empty of Physics 1

  1. The laws of physics are the same in all inertial frames of reference.
  2. The speed of light in free space has the same value c in all inertial frames of reference.
In the light of the discussion in recent posts on relativity theory, we make the observations that the postulates state that:
  • It is necessary for a law to be a law of physics (but not sufficient) that it takes the same form in all inertial systems.
  • It is necessary for different observers to measure the same speed of light. 
We understand that neither 1. nor 2. contains any actual real physics, since they do not specify any law of physics,  only stipulate a necessary requirement to be satisfied by a physical law (invariance in the sense of taking the same form in all inertial systems) and stipulate what the result of a measurement of the speed of light must be. The postulates of special relativity thus are not postulates (assumptions) about real physics, but instead are stipulations or definitions concerning form (invariance) or procedure (measurement of the speed of light).  But form and procedure do not contain any real physics, and therefore special relativity has nothing to say about real physics. If the postulates of special relativity are empty of physics, this must be the case for any logical derivation from the postulates, and so the whole special theory of relativity is empty of physics. 

In particular, it is not enough to note invariance of a law to allow declaration that it is a law of physics.

Special relativity is a corner stone of modern physics, and if special relativity is empty of physics, this means that modern physics rests on emptiness. Viewing the result in the form of string theory and multiversa gives further evidence of this unfortunate state of affairs.

PS As stated in my comments to the next post, postulate 2. is a convention since by definition according to the 1983 SI standard the speed of light is specified to be exactly 299792458  meter per second, which is used to define the meter. Postulate 2 is thus a definition without physical content. Likewise, postulate 1 is void of real physics, since it is only a specification of what can be called a physical law. 

Special Relativity: Physics without Physical Laws




Unphysics of sawing a woman into two pieces.
The focus of both the special and general theory of relativity is coordinate systems with the idea that  coordinate systems hide truths about the world. Special relativity concerns Euclidean space coordinate systems moving with constant velocity with respect to each other, so-called inertial systems, while general relativity is expressed in general curvi-linear space-time coordinate systems with Einstein's equations expressing a connection between space-time curvature and mass-energy distribution.

Einstein's contribution to physics with the special theory is the postulate that physical laws have the same formal expression in all inertial systems connected by the Lorentz transformation, in other words are Lorentz invariant. Einstein thus postulates a formal requirement on what is allowed to be called a physical law: It must be Lorentz invariant.

Recall that the Lorentz transformation connecting two inertial space-time coordinate systems $(x,t)$ and $(x^\prime ,t^\prime )$ moving with velocity $v$ with respect to each other, read:
  • $x^\prime =\gamma (x - vt)$, $t^\prime =\gamma (t - vx)$,
  • $x =\gamma (x^\prime + vt^\prime )$, $t =\gamma (t^\prime + vx^\prime )$,
where $\gamma = \frac{1}{\sqrt{1-v^2}}$ assuming the speed of light is 1.

Einstein's contribution to physics with the general theory is Einstein's equations which express a physical law satisfying the invariance requirement by being covariant in the sense of having the same formal expression in different space-time coordinates as if allowing a coordinate-free representation in terms of curvature and mass-energy.

Which physical laws are then Lorentz invariant?  Does Newton's 2nd law $\frac{d^2x}{dt^2}=F(x)$ for a body of unit mass moving under the force $F(x)$ in the $(x,t)$ system take the same form in the the $(x^\prime ,t^\prime )$ system? Let us check out: By the chain law, we have
  • $\frac{\partial}{\partial x}=\gamma (\frac{\partial}{\partial x^\prime}-v\frac{\partial}{\partial t^\prime})$,
  • $\frac{\partial}{\partial t}=\gamma (\frac{\partial}{\partial t^\prime}-v\frac{\partial}{\partial x^\prime})$,
and conclude that 
  • $\frac{\partial^2}{\partial t^2}=\gamma^2(\frac{\partial}{\partial t^\prime}-v\frac{\partial}{\partial x^\prime})^2$.    
Does this show that Newton's 2nd law takes the same form in the two systems? Does not seem so, but to be sure let's take an even simpler case, that of a body moving with constant velocity $V$ in the $(x,t)$ system, with motion satisfying the physical law $x=Vt$ (with the initial condition $x=0$ for $t=0$), which in the $(x^\prime ,t^\prime )$ takes the form
  • $x^\prime =\frac{1-Vv}{V -v}t^\prime$.  
We conclude that only for $V=1$ does the physical law $\frac{dx}{dt}=V$ take the same form in the $(x^\prime ,t^\prime )$ system. In other words, the physical law of propagation with constant velocity $x=Vt$ is Lorentz invariant only if $V=1$, that is only if the physical law of propagation is the law of propagation of light. Of course you can save the situation by simply defining $V^\prime =\frac{1-Vv}{V-v}$ and then claim the $x=Vt$ and $x^\prime =V^\prime t^\prime$ have the same formal appearance (with and without prime), but opening this possibility would loose the meaning of Lorentz invariance in the sense that any law could be made Lorentz invariant by suitable manipulation of symbols. 

Einstein thus says that the physical law of propagation with constant speed less than 1 is not a physical law. The only physical law compatible with Lorentz invariance is the law of propagation of light at speed 1.  This means that special relativity is empty of almost all physics as a physics with the only physical law being that of propagation light.  That this is so, is clear from the only hypothesis of special relativity, which is constant speed of propagation of light. With (close to) zero real input the real output can only be (close to) zero.

Special theory thus does not contain even the most basic physics as Lorentz invariant physics, but instead a lot of unphysics such as time dilation and space contraction as a consequence of postulated Lorentz invariance.

General relativity is supposed to be a generalisation of the special theory and if the special theory is zero so is the general theory. More precisely general relativity is not Lorentz invariant, so there is a possibility that the general theory contains some physics such as Newton's 2nd law and gravitation, but without special relativity the rationale of replacing Galilean invariant Newtonian mechanics with new Einstein mechanics is missing. See Many-Minds Relativity for a generalisation of Newtonian mechanics different from Einstein's reaching into speeds comparable to the speed of light.

PS1 What about Maxwell's equations? Yes, they are Lorentz invariant insofar they express propagation of light with the same constant speed in all inertial systems, but not concerning initial conditions and the connection between electric and magnetic fields, as made clear in Chapters 5 and 17 of Many-Minds Relativity.

PS2 The starting point for Einstein in 1905 was that it is impossible to determine the speed of a train traveling in rectilinear motion with constant velocity (inertial motion) from an experiment made inside the train, if there is no possibility to look out into the environment. This is the same in Newtonian mechanics under Galilean invariance. Similarly it showed to be impossible (the null result in the Michelson-Morley experiment) to determine motion of the Earth vs a (stationary) aether medium carrying electromagnetic waves. Without an environment or aether as (stationery) reference,  inertial motion is impossible to detect; only relative inertial motion is possible to detect. But that does not hold for non-inertial motion, like rotation; an ice skating princess with closed eyes can certainly feel if she is spinning or not.

In any case the Michelson-Morley null experiment made Einstein claim that there is no aether at all, and postulated that therefore all observers independent of inertial motion must record the same (unit) speed of light, independent of any physics of propagation of light. This was not an assumption about physics,  but simply a human standard or recipe about how to measure time and space so that the speed of light comes out to be 1, independent of any physics. This made special relativity to a theory without physical content and as such without scientific meaning.

PS3 Many-Minds Relativity proposes a different way to explain the MM null result based on the following assumption with clear physics content: All observers share a common time (have identical clocks), travel with respect to each other with constant velocity and make observations in a Euclidean space coordinate system in which they are stationary. Different observers thus use different inertial systems or aethers, and there are thus as many aethers as inertial coordinate systems (in the spirit of Ebenezer Cunningham). Each observer assumes the validity of a wave equation in the observer's coordinate system which says that light propagates with unit speed in the observer's coordinate system and which effectively determines how to measure length (in light seconds). This is an assumption about physics which is consistent with the MM null result. The key question of focus in Many-Minds Relativity is then to what degree different observers will agree on lengths and motion in space.

Many-Minds Relativity is different from special relativity in that all observers use the same type of clock (with operation independent of inertial motion such as a pendulum) and thus can share a common time without time dilation by some suitable synchronisation, while all observers are tied to their own inertial system. The conundrum of special relativity of one observer making observations in two different inertial systems, then is not an issue at all and the paradoxes of special relativity all collapse to null.

To modern physicists special relativity and Lorentz invariance is viewed as such a holy cow that it cannot be subject to a critical analysis and only be swallowed without any questioning, despite all its paradoxes. My experience is that it is very difficult to find a physicist willing to enter into a discussion about special relativity and its role as pillar of modern physics.