onsdag 4 september 2019

Einstein Did Not Understand the Idea of Relativity

Continuing the previous post on the unphysical nature of the Lorentz transformation as derived by Einstein based on unclear physics of light signals, let us seek some clarification, because from shoddy waters muddy fish can be drawn.

We start noting that a light signal needs both a source for emission and an observer for receiving/recording. In the simplest model the signal propagates in time $t$ (as measured by a standard clock) with velocity 1 along a spatial 1d $x$-axis from a source and is recorded by an omni-present observer $X$, who is stationary with respect to the $x$-axis, which then acts as an "aether" for propagation of light with $(x,t)$ a corresponding space-time system. The source can be moving with (constant) velocity $v$ with respect to the $x$-axis with a corresponding Doppler shift of $\frac{1}{1+v}$ of the signal received by a stationary observer, assuming $\vert v\vert \lt 1$.

This is the set-up in Many-Minds Relativity MMR with several observers $X$ with spatial $x$-axes moving with respect to each other with constant velocity, each observer $X$ establishing a source-receiver relation on the $x$-axis in which $X$ is stationary, all observers using the same standard clock for measuring time $t$.

Each observer $X$ thus uses a $(x,t)$-system with $X$ stationary with respect to the $x$-axis together with a standard clock for measuring time $t$.  The basic question in MMR is then to what degree different observers can agree on the physics of light propagation (or more generally on other aspects).

Note that MMR directly reflects the 1983 SI meter standard as a certain fraction of a lightsecond which can be used to separately establish the length standard in each inertial system, using a standard cesium clock to set the time scale.

Note as a key point that it is natural to assume an observer $X$ to be stationary at whatever point on the observers $x$-axis signal reception is made, rather than making the source stationary.  This is because it is the reception of a signal which can recorded, but not in the same way the sending of a signal. We shall see below that allowing $X$ to move is the source of confusion in SR, and so in MMR we stay away from this option without real loss of generality.

In MMR there are thus as many "aethers" as spatial coordinate axes, with each coordinate axis "dragging" its own "aether" along with light signals propagating with velocity 1. This can be seen as an expression of a maximal form of relativity with no privileged observer or $x$-axis. It is compatible with the Michelson-Morley experiment supposed to give evidence that "there is no unique aether", by offering the possibility of "there are many non-unique aethers" (as an alternative to Einstein's "there is no aether at all").

But Einstein was not happy with (maximal) relativity without any privileged observer, and so set out to find a common ground for any two observers $X$ and $X^\prime$ with $X$ using a $(x,t)$-system and $X^\prime$ using a $(x^\prime ,t^\prime )$-system supposed to move with constant velocity $v$ with respect to each other. The common ground showed to take the form of a coordinate transformation, the Lorentz transformation, which Einstein established by asking for the view of $X^\prime$ on light propagation in $(x,t)$ in addition to $(x^\prime ,t^\prime )$.

To form the common ground Einstein started by introducing the origin $x^\prime =0$ in the $x^\prime$-system into the $(x,t)$-system to follow the trajectory $x=vt$ reflecting that the  $x^\prime$-axis is supposed to move with velocity $v$ with respect to the $x$-axis, or at least its origin $x^\prime =0$.

The $(x,t)$ system would then carry two types of motion: light signals propagating with speed 1 following $x=t$ and the origin $x^\prime =0$ moving with speed $v$ following $x=vt$. Einstein then established a connection between the coordinates in the $(x,t)$ and $(x^\prime ,t^\prime )$-systems through the following steps:
  1. Make the Ansatz $x^\prime =\gamma (x-vt)$ with $\gamma$ a positive constant, to account for the motion of the origin $x^\prime =0$ in the $(x,t)$-system. 
  2. Send a light signal in the $(x,t)$ system from $x=0$ at $t=0$ to be observed by $X$ as following the trajectory $x=t$. 
  3. Identify this signal with a light signal in the $(x^\prime ,t^\prime )$-system sent from $x^\prime =0$ at $t^\prime =0$ to be observed by $X^\prime$ as following the trajectory $x^\prime =t^\prime$.  
  4. From the identification connect $x=t$ to $x^\prime =t^\prime$ and conclude that $t^\prime =\gamma (t-vx)$ and then that $\gamma =\frac{1}{\sqrt{1-v^2}}$ as the Lorentz transformation $x^\prime =\gamma (x-vt)$ and $t^\prime =\gamma (t-vx)$, or the other way around as $x =\gamma (x^\prime +vt^\prime )$ and $t =\gamma (t^\prime +vx^\prime )$,
The Lorentz transformation connects the $(x,t)$ and $(x^\prime ,t^\prime )$-coordinates through a simple linear transformation by making an identification of two light signals in the two systems. According to Einstein (but not Lorentz) the transformation expresses space contraction and time dilation as true physical phenomena.

In the previous post we questioned the identification on physical grounds, and so also the Lorentz transformation and so the very essence of Einstein's special theory of relativity SR. The questioning thus concerns the capability of $X^\prime$ to properly record the light signal in the $(x,t)$-system although $X^\prime$ has not established a sender-receiver relation along the $x$-axis, because $X^\prime$ is moving with respect to this axis.

This is the key point noted above. The crucial point is thus the perception by $X^\prime$ of a light signal along the $x$-axis traveling with velocity 1, while $X^\prime$ is moving along the $x$-axis with velocity $v$, thus with relativity velocity $1-v$. How can this perception be harmonised with the postulate that light travels with velocity 1 with respect to all observers/inertial systems?

Einstein's answer is: Deny $X^\prime$ the possibility of making direct observations of the light signal in the $(x,t)$-system with manifest relative velocity is $1-v$, because that would be in conflict with light velocity 1,  and instead refer $X^\prime$ to follow the same light signal by identifying it with a light signal in the $x^\prime$ system traveling with velocity 1, which boils down to the Lorentz transformation with its change of space and time scales. The conflict between light velocity 1 and relative velocity $1-v$ of $X^\prime$ in the $(x,t)$-system, is thus circumvented by referring $X^\prime$ to make observations only in the $(x^\prime ,t^\prime )$-system with then a change of scale of space and time handling the conflict.

Let me give further perspective: The only physics expressed in the Postulates of SR is that light signals propagates with constant velocity 1 in all inertial systems. From this sole physics input a connection between coordinates in different inertial systems in the form of the Lorentz transformation is established, a connection which Einstein took as evidence of deep new physics of space and time, not only light signals. We thus go from simple input in the form of light signals propagating with velocity 1 in different inertial systems without connection, to a very precise connection between coordinates in different systems including completely new physical phenomena of space contraction and time dilation. This is viewed to be a result of the genius of Einstein as the ability like nobody else (e.g. Lorentz) to derive mind-boggling (but contradictory) conclusions about the deep real physics of space and time from almost no physics assumptions at all. This puts further doubt on the key step of identifying two light signals in two different inertial systems to be one and the same light signal. It is an unphysical assumption which leads to unphysical consequences.

It is a tragedy that modern physicists have closed their minds to questioning anything Einstein said about relativity, even when it is contradictory, including his derivation of the Lorentz transformation. Note that it is up to anyone believing that the space contraction and time dilation of the Lorentz transformation represent true physics, to show that its derivation is correct including the identification of the two light signals.

The above Einstein quote shows that Einstein himself had little confidence that his mathematical derivation of the Lorentz transformation was correct. So how confident can then followers to Einstein be?

With the Lorentz transformation as a travesty SR is reduces to nil, and what remains is then MMR. Try it out!

SR was by Einstein described as a "no-aether"-theory with the Lorentz transformation acting to unite observations of of different observers into one (privileged) common ground without relativity, to be compared with the full relativity of the "many-aethers"-theory of MMR with no privileged view.

As must be obvious to any physicist with connection to any physics reality, a "no aether"-theory is absurd by not offering any coordinate system for the expression of Maxwell's equations for the propagation of electromagnetic waves in the form of light.

PS1 Ian McCausland writes in The Dingle Affair: An Unresolved Scientific Controversy (1977);
  • If scientists are content to turn a blind eye to illogical arguments, and are concerned only that the "right" conclusion is reached but do not care how it is reached, then they are subscribing to dogma instead of searching for truth.
  • As we approach the centenary of Einstein's birth (March 14, 1979) there is a new motivation to assess the value of his life's work, a value that would still be enormous even if the special theory had to be abandoned. If the scientific world commemorates this centenary without expressing any concern about the unsatisfactory way in which criticisms of special relativity have been treated, then I think it will be fair to suggest that the scientific world is more interested in hero-worship than in the objective pursuit of truth.
40 years later the controversy is still unresolved, and the dogma has an even tighter grip on the physics community.

PS2 Recall the Einstein introduced the concept of event as some unspecified physics which can be labeled with a space-time coordinate $(x,t)$. The two light signals in the derivation of the Lorentz transformation thus were labeled $(0,0)$ in both the $(x,t)$ and the $(x^\prime ,t^\prime )$-systems, which was taken as evidence that the light signals could be identified.  But with the physics unspecified identifying two events lacks rationale.

It connects to the claimed experimental recording of gravitational waves in the LIGO experiment where an event in the form of a blip on a computer screen is claimed to be the recording of a gravitational wave created by the merger of two black holes, which is subject to increasing questioning.

PS3 The Postulates of SR speaks about the velocity/speed of light but says nothing about the nature of light e.g. as electromagnetic wave according to Maxwell's equations.  This is not helpful to the discussion because it opens to free speculation.

PS4 Of course I am not the first to say that the derivation of the Lorentz transformation is unphysical. It is made very clear in the talk by Thim Hartwig.

PS5 Recall Nikola Tesla (NYT 1935):
  • Einstein’s theory of relativity is a mass of error and deceptive ideas violently opposed to the teachings of great men of science of the past and even to common sense... a magnificent mathematical garb which fascinates, dazzles and makes people blind to the underlying errors. The theory is like a beggar clothed in purple whom ignorant people take for a king… its exponents are brilliant men, but they are meta-physicists rather than scientists. Not a single one of the relativity propositions has been proved.
PS6 SR based on the postulates of (i) relativity and (ii) constancy of the speed of light, can be identified with the Lorentz transformation connecting coordinates in two inertial systems, which appears to express space contraction and time dilation.  Only (ii) contains an element of physics, and so the question comes up if space contraction and time dilation are real physical effects or only illusion without reality. Lorentz said illusion and Einstein reality. To Lorentz space contraction and time dilation are forms of illusion similar to that of seeing the apparent size an object decreasing with distance, which to Einstein would mean an actual shrinking like that of the head shrinking practiced by certain tribes. 

3 kommentarer:

  1. What do you consider to be the physical phenomenon of an aether (not an aether made up of an imaginary coordinate system)?

  2. An aether is like a string without mass and charge connecting sender and receiver of light signals in the form of electromagnetic oscillations described by Maxwell's equations in a coordinate system fixed to the receiver.

  3. I would rather imagine The Aether as all electromagnetic waves of the Universe, not just light signals, and each wave can be represented by a coordinate system relative to all other.