- I neglected mathematics...because my intuition was not strong enough to differentiate the fundamentally important from the dispensable erudition. (Einstein 1900)
- The question whether the Lorentz 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. (Einstein 1911).
Continuing the recent posts on Einstein's mistaken idea of light of frequency $\nu$ as a stream of particles named photons, each photon carrying an energy of $h\nu$ with $h$ Plank's constant, let us recall the analysis of Einstein's 1905 Special Theory of Relativity SR presented in the book Many-Minds Relativity and blog posts on special theory of relativity, showing that SR is not a theory about physics. This was admitted by Einstein, who quickly gave up SR to turn to General Theory of Relativity in an even deeper state of confusion, see above quote. With Einstein's theories of relativity modern physics was misled away from the reality of Enlightenment into the fiction of Modernity, from real to fake.
Einstein describes the set up of SR as two observers $O$ and $O^\prime$ moving with constant velocity with respect to each other, each observer being equipped with a measuring rod to measure distance in space and a clock to measure time, with sticks and clocks of the same fabrication.
The essence of SR is a coordinate transformation between an Euclidean space-time coordinate system $(x,t)$ used by $O$ and a $(x^\prime ,t^\prime)$-system used by $O^\prime$ connected by the Lorentz (simple linear coordinate) transformation with $x$ and $x^\prime$ one dimensional space coordinates and $t$ and $t^\prime$ time coordinates, taking the form
- $x^\prime =\gamma (x-vt)$, $t^\prime = \gamma (t-vx)$, $\gamma =\frac{1}{\sqrt(1-v^2)}$,
- $x =\gamma (x^\prime+vt^\prime )$, $t = \gamma (t^\prime+vx^\prime )$.
where $\vert v\vert <1$ is viewed to be express that the two systems are moving with respect to each other with constant speed $\vert v\vert <1$. The Lorentz transformation has the property that a $x = t$ is transformed into $x^\prime = t^\prime$, which Einstein viewed to express the same speed of light = 1 in both systems, as the basic postulate of SR.
In particular, a light signal emitted at $(0,0)$ from a stationary source in the $(x,t)$-system is supposed to follow the trajectory $x=t$ for $t>0$ in the $(x,t)$-system, and similarly a light signal emitted at $(0,0)$ by a stationary source in the $(x^\prime,t^\prime )$-system is supposed to follow the trajectory $x^\prime =t^\prime $ for $t^\prime>0$ in the $(x^\prime ,t^\prime )$-system.
Lorentz had introduced his transformation well before Einstein took it up, but Lorentz had been careful to note that his transformation was not to be interpreted as a transformation between physical coordinates.
Unfortunately this was not understood by the young Einstein (with little training in physics), who instead came to believe that both systems must represent physical coordinates, because no system seemed to have any preference before the other as an expression of relativity.
This led Einstein to consider the light signals emitted at $(0,0)$ in the two systems described above to be the same light signal, and then described by coordinates in the two systems connected by the Lorentz transformation, thus subject to strange effects of space contraction and time dilation. But a light signal emitted at $(0,0)$ in the $(x,t)$ system, is not the same as a light signal emitted at $(0,0)$ in the $(x^\prime ,t^\prime )$-system, because the light sources are moving with respect to each other.
More precisely, a light source consists of a collection of atoms extended in space emitting electromagnetic waves over some period of time, and the physics of two such light sources moving with respect to each other is different even if overlapping at $(0,0)$. Einstein missed this completely crucial aspect by considering space time events supposedly identified by specific isolated space-time coordinates, but then events without physics.
The only reasonable set up from physical point of view is to require the observer/observational equipment to be stationary in the space coordinate system used, as explored in Many-Minds Relativity. A light source can be moving (then generating a Doppler effect), but the observer/observational equipment cannot be allowed to move in the coordinate system being used. To insist that this restriction must be broken, asking $O$ to make observations in the $(x^\prime ,t^\prime )$-system and vice versa, as Einstein did in his confused state, is to ask for mysteries/paradoxes, which cannot be resolved. Asking the speed of light to be independent of both source and observer is the same as introducing an ether medium common to all observers, which has never been found.
The unavoidable conclusion is that SR does not describe any real physics and so the strange effects of space contraction and time dilation of SR are not real but only fiction. This should come as a relief for all students of modern physics struggling without success to understand what is only confusion, while teachers of modern physics are expected to claim that they understand that SR for sure is a correct physical theory always agreeing perfectly with observation.
To take home:
- The rate of a clock whether mechanical or atomic cannot be influenced by inertial motion.
- With light second as new (1983) SI unit of space or measuring rod, the speed of light by definition is constant = 1 to all observers, and so Einstein's basic postulate is an agreement (matter of principle) without real physics. A theory based on postulates without real physics cannot say anything about real physics. The Lorentz coordinate transformation as the essence of SR, does not describe any real physics, because its basic postulate is rather an agreement than physical necessity.