Ed Lake's web page
clipper cover
If you want my opinion ......
you've come to the right place.
Welcome to Ed Lake's web site!

I also have an interactive blog open for discussions
at this link: http://oldguynewissues.blogspot.com/

My latest comments are near the bottom of this page.
You can go directly to them by clicking HERE.

Click HERE to go to the site archives.

A Crime Unlike Any Other book
Available to read on Kindle.  Click HERE for details.

Available at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.

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Click HERE to go to my web site about the anthrax attacks of 2001.
Click HERE to access my scientific papers about time dilation, Special Relativity, etc.
Click HERE to go to my Facebook group about Time and Time Dilation. Click HERE to go to my notes about scientific topics discussed on this web site.

My interests are writing, books, movies, science, psychology, conspiracy theorists,
photography, photographic analysis, TV, travel, mysteries, jazz, blues, and ...

just trying to figure things out.

Astronomy example picture big sleep
time article
A major interest: Fact Finding
                                  I have a fascination with Time and Time Dilation.         Other interests: Movies and Science Podcasts Click on the above image to view a larger version.

My Latest Comments

Comments for Sunday, January 17, 2021, thru Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021:

January 22, 2021 - Just before lunch today, I finished reading another book.  I can't write a review for it, however, because the book was my sci-fi novel, and I finished proof-reading it.  I also can't show the cover for the book, because the next step is to create a cover for it, and then I'll send the whole book to the Copyrights office.  I also have to get an ISBN (International Standard Book Number) and a scanner bar-code.  Then I'll combine everything into one big file for printing, and I'll get a couple proof copies from Amazon to allow me to read it one more time before I make it available to the public in paperback and Kindle formats. 

The last time I went through all those steps was 9 years ago when I self-published "A Crime Unlike Any Other," my second book about the anthrax attacks of 2001.

I really enjoyed reading the book.  I hope others will enjoy it, too.  I think it is very funny in parts.  And the sci-fi aspects are mind-blowing.  The big problem will be making people aware of the book.  I have a budget of zero dollars for advertising.  So, it will be a matter of finding ways to advertise it for free.  The hope is that when people start reading it, they'll recommend it to others. But I still need to find ways to advertise it.

January 20, 2021
- Hmm.  Trump is gone!  Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have been sworn in as President and Vice-President.  So, now we can all take a deep breath and wait to see what happens next.  Will some of the nut-job conspiracy theorists rethink their beliefs?   It's next to impossible to change the mind of a conspiracy theorist, but one would think that some conspiracy theorists might not want to be combined with Neo-Nazis, cop murderers and anti-government mobs. So they might do some re-thinking.  Hopefully.

Meanwhile, I received the first comment about my revised papers explaining that a truck is not an inertial system, therefore you can measure the speed of a moving truck from inside the truck.  The response was posted as a comment after my paper "Relativity and Radar Guns" on Vixra.org.  Here's part of that comment:
On page 9 the author claims that a truck is not an inertial system. The author does not tell what "inertial" means here so apparently he tries to use it in its normal meaning, and fails. By the normal meaning of the word, a truck is inertial if its velocity with respect to some is constant. But more important is the Galilean principle of relativity: laws of nature are the same with respect to each of two reference frames if the velocity of one with respect to the other is constant. Therefore, no experiment inside a truck moving with constant velocity (i.e., without acceleration or turning) cannot determine the ground speed of the truck or whether the truck is stationary.
In the part I highlighted, it looks like he meant to write "some object" but left out the second word.  And he used double-negative in the last sentence.  But, maybe I should have explained what an inertial system is.  I state that the International Space Station (ISS) is an inertial system, but technically it is not, since an inertial system must move in a straight line.   According to Merriam-Webster, "inertia" is defined as
"a property of matter by which it remains at rest or in uniform motion in the same straight line unless acted upon by some external force."
So, technically, the ISS is not inertial and neither is the earth's surface, which experiences the effects of gravity.  But, according to Encyclopedia Britannica:
Strictly speaking, Newton’s laws of motion are valid only in a coordinate system at rest with respect to the “fixed” stars. Such a system is known as a Newtonian, or inertial reference, frame. The laws are also valid in any set of rigid axes moving with constant velocity and without rotation relative to the inertial frame; this concept is known as the principle of Newtonian or Galilean relativity. A coordinate system attached to the Earth is not an inertial reference frame because the Earth rotates and is accelerated with respect to the Sun. Although the solutions to most engineering problems can be obtained to a satisfactory degree of accuracy by assuming that an Earth-based reference frame is an inertial one, there are some applications in which the rotation of the Earth cannot be neglected; among these is the operation of a gyroscopic compass
So, the idea that "a truck is inertial if its velocity with respect to some [object] is constant" is still total nonsense, but my thinking that an "Earth-based reference frame is an inertial one" needed some qualifiers.   Radar guns work as if the earth was an inertial system, measuring speeds relative to that "inertial system."   But maybe I should have explained more about inertial and non-inertial systems in my papers.  The problem is that you cannot know what it is that others do not understand or would disagree with until you have shown them your views and get back responses.  That is what "peer reviews" are all about.  I'll have to think about what to do next.  I certainly cannot hope to convince a mathematician that a truck is NOT inertial if its velocity with respect to some object is constant.  But maybe I can figure out some way to make it clear that my truck experiment is worth trying. 

January 19, 2021
- Ah!  At 11:05 a.m. this morning I received word that the 3rd version of my paper "Relativity vs Quantum Mechanics Experiments" is now on-line.  I'm no sure what the delay was, but it's the latest version.  When the version I submitted on Sunday didn't appear yesterday (possibly because Monday was a holiday), I made a few additional minor changes and resubmitted it on Monday.  I was half-expecting the Sunday revision to appear with the Monday version as versions #3 and #4.  But it didn't happen.  The version I submitted on Sunday just vanished into the ether somewhere.

The fact that the speed of a truck can be measured from inside the truck by using the speed of light as a reference seems undeniable to me.  It can be done because the truck is a non-inertial system.  It is a container that moves because it is being powered by a motor.  That fact that it is moving at a constant speed, making it appear inertial, changes nothing, it is still a non-inertial system.  If the power supply is cut, the truck will slow down and stop, becoming part of the inertial system that is the earth's surface. 

What the truck experiment appears to measure is the difference in speed between the non-inertial system (truck) and the inertial system (earth).  It has nothing to do with the energy that is being used to make the truck move.  If you applied the brakes and used more energy to achieve the same speed, the experiment would produce the same results.  The radar guns are simply measuring the speed of the truck relative to the speed of light.  The speed of the truck does not add to the speed of light emitted on the truck, but it moves the walls of the truck toward or away from the oncoming light.   I definitely need to find some better way to explain that.  The difference between the way light works in inertial and non-inertial systems is something that I would think every scientist needs to understand.  Maybe they do, but I do not recall reading about it anywhere.

Meanwhile, I've gone back to work on my sci-fi novel once again.

January 18, 2021
- Yesterday morning, I revised my paper "Relativity and Radar Guns" to correct the error I described in yesterday's comment.  To my surprise, Vixra put it on-line as version #3 within an hour.  I then looked through another paper, "Relativity vs Quantum Mechanics Experiments" to see if that paper also needed to be corrected.  It not only needed to be corrected, it needed to be overhauled.  It's only a 5-page paper, so while the changes were major, it didn't take much time to make them.  I removed a lot of extraneous stuff about different kinds of radar guns and went straight to the key issue: A moving truck is NOT an inertial system, therefore you can determine the speed of the truck from inside the truck, contrary to the unshakable beliefs of many many Quantum Mechanics mathematicians.

I submitted the revised paper at about 1:45 yesterday afternoon, but, for some unknown reason, it still hasn't been put on-line as of 10:30 a.m. this morning.

The truck experiment described in those two papers is also an important part of my paper "Radar Guns & Einstein's Theories."  However, that paper is also about a lot of other things, and it doesn't focus on how mathematicians view the issue.  So, if I change that paper, it will be just to add a sentence, or part of a sentence, stating that a moving truck is not an inertial system, nor is a moving railroad train, which is what Einstein used in his thought experiments. 

I recall arguing with mathematicians on the sci-physics.relativity forum years ago about how a moving truck is not an inertial system, but I do not recall exactly what their response was.  I saved copies of 84 of those debates, some of them requiring as many as 20 separate files.  I can go through them to see what their arguments were, but I'm not sure what I'd do with the information if I found it.  Right now I feel like I found the final piece to a puzzle that has been bugging me for 6 or 7 years.  I'm wondering what I should do next.  Should I put it all into a book?   My papers are all on line, available for free, why would anyone pay money to buy a book I wrote that covers the same subjects?  If I wrote such a book, it would be mostly to bring an end to the whole subject by explaining things as I now see them.

Interestingly, my book about the anthrax attacks of 2001 is suddenly getting a "surge" in sales.  Amazon sold an e-book copy on December 28, another on January 6, and another on January 16.  That's three copies in three weeks!  The last time I sold a copy prior to December 28 was in August.  I wonder what the cause was for the "surge."  I suspect it is all the talk these days about conspiracy theorists.  I've probably mentioned conspiracy theorists and their beliefs about the anthrax case a thousand times in comments on this site.

Perhaps even more interestingly, when I woke up this morning I was thinking about my sci-fi novel that I was going to overhaul for one final time, while turning it from manuscript format into book format, back in December of 2019.  All that month I moaned about how I wanted to work on it, but radar guns kept interrupting my thought processes. 

When I woke this morning I suddenly remembered what that book is about:  It's about some scientists using a very unusual time machine to uncover and track a planned attack by right-wing Neo-Nazis on the White House and Capitol Building in Washington.   Hmm.  If I ever do get around to self-publishing it, I'm definitely going to have to mention the events of January 6, 2021, somewhere in the book.  And I need to think about whether the book would give someone ideas.  The attack is more of a military attack than a mob attack.

Lots to think about.  Maybe I should just read a book or listen to some podcasts until I can sort things out.

January 17, 2021
- Among the personal matters that I had to deal with last week was the fact that I needed to get my driver's license renewed.  Because of Covid-19, I dreaded the idea of sitting in the crowded DMV for an hour or two while waiting for my name to be called, and for some reason I worried about the eye test, even though my eyesight (while wearing glasses) is probably better than 20-20.  

On Friday afternoon I went to the DMV.  No line at all!  No waiting!  At the entry desk I showed them the form I'd obtained via the Internet and filled out at home, and they told me to go straight to the booth where they took my photograph.  There, after taking my photo, they gave me a number, then my number was immediately called for the final step of handing over the form and getting my eye-sight checked.   No problem.  I was out the door in probably less than 10 minutes after entering.  I didn't even get a chance to count how many others were there, but I doubt it was more than three or four.

While driving home, I wondered why that day's happenings at the DMV were so different from past experiences.  I decided it must be the new rule which allows most people under 65 to renew their driving licenses on-line.  Whatever it was, I was glad to have my part complete.

On Saturday morning I awoke thinking about science once again.  It now seems to me that most of the disagreements about Special Relativity that I've been involved with over the past 6 or 7 years stem from different interpretations of just two fundamental ideas: (1) The speed of light as described in Einstein's Second Postulate, and (2) Time being what clocks measure, as stated by Einstein.

Einstein Second Postulate is:
"light is always propagated in empty space with a definite velocity c which is independent of the state of motion of the emitting body."
It's a very simple and straightforward postulate, yet, as I state in my paper on this subject, mathematician physicists insist on twisting it to fit their beliefs, and most college textbooks use some twisted version.

All the postulate says is that, regardless of how fast the emitter is moving (or in what direction), light that the emitter emits will always travel at c, which is 299,792,458 meters per second.  (That also says that "emission theory" is wrong, the speed of the emitter is not added to the speed of light that is emitted.)  What it doesn't say is what Time Dilation is all about: Light is actually emitted at different speeds depending upon the motion of the emitter, however the faster the emitter moves the slower time passes for the emitter, so the emitter measures the same speed of light per second regardless of how fast the emitter is moving.

The reason mathematician physicists alter Einstein's Second Postulate to fit their beliefs is because at creates a situation that mathematicians consider to be impossible.  That situation is illustrated in Figures 1 & 2 below.

Moving trucks demonstrating
                                Einsteins Second Postulate

In Figure 1 the emitter is a light being held by a man standing on the road as a semi-truck passes by at 50 mph.  The man shines the light through a hole in the side of the truck, and the light hits the rear wall of the truck at c+v, which is the speed of light plus the speed of the truck.  Since this is how radar guns work (although they wouldn't use any hole in the side of the truck) there can be no doubt that light is emitted at c and the light hits the rear wall of the truck at c+v.

In Figure 2 the emitter is a light being held by a man inside the moving truck.  The man simply shines the light at the rear wall of the truck.  Since the speed of the light the emitter emits is still c, per Einstein's Second Postulate, the light still hits the rear wall at c+v.

This is where mathematicians scream and yell and start calling me names, because the distance between the emitter and the rear wall of the truck doesn't change in Figure 2 as it does in Figure 1.  The rear wall is moving toward the emitter in Figure 1, but it is not in Figure 2.  There is no disagreement about that.  The disagreement is about the fact that in both Figure 1 and 2 the rear wall is moving toward the oncoming light, which is traveling at c.  The light hits the wall at c+v which mathematicians consider to be impossible.  They argue that it means that the light is actually traveling at c+v, which is absurd.  How can they believe such nonsense?  Because they twist Einstein's Second Postulate to fit their beliefs, and their belief is that light is always emitted and received at c

This morning I awoke realizing something else. It could be the final piece to the puzzle.  It's been knocking around in my head for years, but now I see where it fits.  

In Figures 1 and 2 the light is received at c+v.  Why?  Because the moving truck is NOT an "inertial system.  Experiments always work the same way in inertial systems where one is moving and the other is stationary, but a truck is a powered system, it is not intertial.  If you turn off the engine, the truck will slow to a stop on the road.  The road is part of an inertial system, the spinning earth, and the stopped truck becomes part of that inertial system. 

In Figure 1 above, the man with the light is standing in an inertial system and he is measuring the speed of a NON-inertial vehicle.  In Figure 2 the man with the light is standing in a NON-inertial system (the moving truck) and is measuring the speed of a NON-inertial vehicle (the moving truck). 

I could go on and on, but I'll save it for a paper.  However, the realization that the key to understanding how the speed of a truck can be measured from inside the truck results from the FACT that the truck is a powered vehicle, NOT an inertial system, means I have to correct an error in my paper on "Relativity and Radar Guns."  In that paper I envision a device that will measure motion relative to the local speed of light, and I wrote:
In theory, the device can measure its own speed relative to the local speed of light wherever it is located. It can measure the speed of a moving truck while inside the truck, it can measure the speed of an airplane while inside the airplane, and it should even be able to measure the speed of the International Space Station (ISS) from inside the ISS.
The part in bold letters is wrong.  The ISS is an inertial system.  You cannot measure the speed of an inertial system from inside the inertial system.

I also need to find the best and simplest way to explain all this.  I realize there is no way to penetrate closed minds, but there are a lot of people who haven't yet reached the point where they have closed their minds.  And by explaining things in the simplest way, I may even get a better understanding of it myself.

Comments for Sunday, January 10, 2021, thru Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021:

January 14, 2021 - It's a bit difficult for me to write comments for this web site right now.  I've got a lot a personal matters on my mind, including the death of a nephew.  Plus, it sometimes seems like I've reached the end of my science quest. 

The quest began six or seven years ago when I couldn't make sense of how so many scientists could disagree with what experiments demonstrated to be true and real - specifically time dilation.  The argument continues today.  I just visited a Facebook group I hadn't visited in at least 5 years, "Science, Technology, and Society Discussion Corner, and I found an article titled "Time Might Not Exist Outside of Our Minds, Propose Scientists: Researchers create a new theory of time that goes against established physics."  It's an article from 2016, but someone posted it a few days ago.

Interestingly, although it's a science forum with 32,500 members, I had to dig through many interesting posts about Trump to find that article about science.  So, the forum is mostly about "society" these days.  And it seems to me that society these days is showing the same two sides that a lot of scientists show: There are those who think emotionally, and there are those who think logically.  And we are all learning that while you can always use logic to change the mind of someone who thinks logically, there is no way to change the mind of someone who thinks emotionally.

And in 7 or 8 years of arguing, I found that there is no point to arguing with someone who thinks emotionally.  The only benefit that can come from such an argument is that you might learn more about the science by looking at things from different angles, even if the other side is incapable of learning anything.

January 12, 2021 - Just before lunch this morning, I finished reading another e-book I got from the library.  I didn't read it on my Kindle, although that was the expectation when I borrowed it early yesterday morning.  I assumed it would be in Kindle format, but when I was preparing to downloaded it, I saw that it was going to be in .epub format.  My Kindle can't handle .epub files.  But, I downloaded the starter file into my computer anyway.  When I did so, I was surprised to see that it was an .acsm file.  Having no idea what an .ascm file is, I double-clicked on it and the book was downloaded into my computer in .pdf format.  My Kindle can't handle .pdf files, either.  So, I started reading in on my computer, reading about 40% of it yesterday and the rest this morning (it's only 238 pages long). 

Anyway, the book was "Thirty-Three Teeth" by Colin Cotterill.

Thirty-three teeth

It's the second book in the Dr. Siri Paiboun mystery series.  I'd listened to the audio book of the first book in the series two months ago and enjoyed it very much.  I enjoyed this one, too.  I already have the third book in the series in Kindle format.  As of this moment, there are 15 books in the series.  The mystery series features Laotian coroner Dr. Siri Paiboun, who is 72 years old when the story takes place, which is in 1977, a couple years after the Viet Nam war ended.  The crime that needs solving is what appears to be three bear attacks, all on women.  They don't have many bears in Laos, so the crimes are immediately suspicious.  While the crimes are very grim, the book is very funny in parts.  The humor is mostly satire about how things work (or don't work) in a country that was recently taken over by communists and where nearly everyone with skills or an education has fled to Thailand.  Dr. Paiboun is the only coroner in the country, and he was put into the job even though had no experience as a coroner.  He was just a country doctor when the communists took over.  Oh yes, I neglected to mention that he is also a shaman, of sorts.  He gets weird visions which help him understand the crimes he is trying to solve.  And he has a nurse and some friends and relatives who also help.  Fortunately, they all have great senses of humor.  It all takes place in one of the most backward countries in Asia, yet it is very interesting and funny, like looking into a strange, alien world.  I'm looking forward to reading the third book in the series.

Meanwhile, the troll who posts insults to my log file was at it again yesterday with five new messages, all of which are screwball arguments over words. Sigh.    

January 11, 2021
- Sigh. I thought for a moment that my careful explanation of what time is and how time works might have made the troll who posts to my web site log file realize the error of his ways.  No such luck.  This morning's log file contained multiple copies of four wild rants which show that he not only didn't understand what I wrote, he isn't interested in understanding what I write.

The rants were posted via a web site in Amsterdam, Netherlands.  Here's the first one (highlighted in red) with most of its log file coding included: - - [10/Jan/2021:13:50:25 -0600] "GET /Imbecile Ed Lake is too stupid to realize that with his definition of Time he contradicts his previous claim that 'Time is a thing'...it turns out that he defines TIME AS A MEASUREMENT ... AKA, an idea, measuring is a human endeavour not 'a thing' HTTP/1.1" 404 - "-" "Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; rv:78.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/78.0"
No, I did not define time as a "measurement."  I repeatedly defined time as "particle spin," which is a thing (like a sub-atomic particle) going round and round continuously.  That sub-atomic particle goes round and round at a regular rate.  And that regular rate is a measurement of time.  I said it is a "thing" because its spin can be slowed down by motion and gravity.  It is the troll who views time as an "idea."  A idea cannot be slowed by motion or gravity.

Here's the troll's second post with all the extra coding removed:
Imbecile Ed Lake is too stupid to understand that his definition of Time is-CIRCULAR:'the measured or measurable period [OF TIME] during which an action, process, or condition exists or continues'---What a clueless moron!
Hmm. Yes, spin is circular.  But that doesn't make "time" circular.  It just means that spin is part of a process that repeats itself.

Here's his third post:
Stupid Ed Lake can define Time whichever way he wants---HE is still measuring MOTION...NOT TIME ITSELF-   and what he is stating is that the MEASUREMENT OF MOTION began at the Big Bang ...NOT TIME ITSELF
Ah!  That's hilarious!!  What he is saying is what I've been saying about how  NOTHING can change the troll's mind.  Here's the quote from Paul Davies' book "About Time" that I used in yesterday's comment:
The point is, rather, that the only meaningful way to measure physical change in Einstein's universe is to forget time “as such” and gauge change solely by the readings of real, physical clocks, not by some nonexistent notion of “time itself.”
The troll is using "some nonexistent notion of 'time itself'," and is arguing that that is the only correct way to talk about time.

I explained in detail, and included quotes from scientists, how his definition of "time" is meaningless when it comes to science.  In science "time" is defined as
The Merriam-Webster on-line dictionary defines "time": it is "the measured or measurable period during which an action, process, or condition exists or continues.

The fundamental and measurable unit of time is one particle spin.  We use clocks which measure that particle spin indirectly.  It is because sub-atomic particles spin at a regular rate that clocks of all kinds that are constructed of sub-atomic particles will also tick at some regular rate.

Here's the troll's fourth and final comment:
Imbecile Ed Lake is too stupid to understand that for Einstein Time is a DIMENSION--%3EA mathematical construct used to plot the MEASUREMENT OF MOTION-and Time Dilation is just a variation on said dimension
That is how a mathematical model of space-time is constructed.  It is one way of viewing time.  When you view time as a "dimension," you are not saying that time is a dimension, you are saying that time can be used or viewed as a dimension in order to construct a mathematical model.  When Joe traveled from Point-A to Point-B in space, he also traveled from Moment-A to Moment-B in time.  It takes time to go from Point-A to Point-B.  Duh.

What the troll has demonstrated is that he doesn't care how Einstein, scientists or dictionaries define time.  He's defining time the way he believes time should be defined by everyone.  And if anyone disagrees, then they are wrong, because the troll (like Donald Trump and so many other closed-minded people who think emotionally, not logically) considers any disagreement with his beliefs to be an attack on on him personally.  So, he responds to an attack with name-calling and other attacks.  Like Trump, it is the only way he knows how to argue.
An example of Trump's logic.
Having confirmed that once again, I'm going to try to ignore any further crap the troll may put on my log file.             

January 10, 2021
- At about 2 p.m. on Friday afternoon, I finished reading another book on my Kindle.  The book was "About Time: Einstein's Unfinished Revolution" by Paul Davies.

About Time

It was a very interesting book, while at the same time being mindbogglingly tedious and boring in parts.  Of course, the tedious and boring parts were the parts where the subject was mathematics.  I just loathe going through page after page of discussions about all the various mathematical models of the universe.  Are there multiple universes or just one where everything is tied together with strings?  Are the past, present and future equally real and do they all exist at the same time?  Or is nothing real?  Is it all an illusion?  How many different mathematical fantasies about the universe can you create?

Fortunately, the interesting parts of the book made the tedious parts tolerable.  I have 30 pages of notes.  Looking over those notes, I see many pertain to something I mentioned in yesterday's comment.  If time began with the Big Bang, doesn't that mean that nothing can happen before the Big Bang?  There can be no cause for the Big Bang, because a cause comes before an event in time.

Things can still happen if there is no "time" as we measure it, there is just no way of knowing if they took ten seconds or ten trillion years by current methods of measuring time.  We can assume they happened in order, there was no effect before a cause, but there is no way to know how long it took for a cause to produce the effect.  Here's a quote from page 17 of the paperback book version's Prologue:
When scientists began to explore the implications of Einstein's time for the universe as a whole, they made one of the most important discoveries in the history of human thought: that time, and hence all of physical reality, must have had a definite origin in the past. If time is flexible and mutable, as Einstein demonstrated, then it is possible for time to come into existence—and also to pass away again; there can be a beginning and an end to time. Today the origin of time is called “the big bang.”
Here's a quote from the bottom of page 29 and the top of page 30 that fits well with the beliefs of the troll who posts insults into my log file:
For Aristotle, time was motion. This is hardly revolutionary: we perceive time through motion, whether the movement of the sun across the sky or the hands around a clock face. The concept of time as an independently existing thing, an entity in its own right, did not emerge until the European medieval age.
Time is not "motion," it is particle spin, which is a very specific type of motion.

The most interesting parts of the book for me were the parts where the author describes in detail how time and light work together.  This is the area where mathematicians (and their text books) get things totally wrong.  If light is emitted from the sun at 300,000 kilometers per second (kps), and if you are moving toward or away from the sun at high speeds, the light from the sun will still pass you at 300,000 kps.  Mathematicians argue that this means that light travels at c for all observers, but that is a very bad way to state things, since it causes crazy misunderstandings.  Here is how it is phrased in one college text book:
“The unusual properties of the velocity of light are: It is a constant for all observers, irrespective of how they are moving. It is a universal speed limit, which no material object can exceed. It is independent of the velocity of its source and that of the observer.”
That is greatly misleading.  It should probably say:
“The unusual properties of the velocity of light are: It appears to be a constant for all observers, irrespective of how they are moving. It is a universal speed limit, which no material object can exceed. It appears to be independent of the velocity of its source and that of the observer.”
The speed of the observer changes the length of a second for the observer.  So, when he measures light passing by at 300,000 kilometers per second while he is moving (assuming it were possible to do so), his second is longer than it is on the sun.  That means he is measuring a totally different speed than what was measured on the sun.  Therefore, it would have been even more accurate to say, "the speed of light can be very different for the emitter and receiver, since a second may be longer for the receiver, yet he will still measure the same speed of light per second."

In the book "About Time" it says this on page 52:
Let me try to illustrate this point in detail. Imagine switching on a flashlight momentarily, and sending a pulse of light off into space. The light will recede from you at 300,000 kilometers per second. Now jump into a rocket ship and zoom after it. Suppose the rocket achieves a speed of 200,000 kilometers per second relative to Earth. Common sense would say that the light pulse is now receding from you at only 100,000 kilometers per second. But, according to Einstein, this is not so: the pulse recedes at 300,000 kilometers per second both when you are standing on Earth and when you are zooming after the pulse at 200,000 kilometers per second. Whichever reference frame you measure the speed of the pulse from—Earth or rocket—you get the same answer! It doesn't matter how hard you chase the light pulse, you cannot reduce its relative speed by a single kilometer per second.
Speed is distance traveled per unit time, so the speed of light can only be constant in all reference frames if distances and intervals of time are somehow different for different observers, depending on their state of motion.
The "twin paradox" is also clarified in great detail, showing that there is no "paradox," since one twin has to accelerate to gain speed while the other twin stays on earth and does not accelerate.  So, contrary to the beliefs of countless mathematicians, we know who was moving.

Here's another quote from the book:

It is remarkable that, nearly a century after Einstein discovered the relativity of time, people are still thrown by the idea and keep raising the same objections. Even when they get a full explanation, many nonscientists simply don't believe it.
The book was first published in 1995, so now it has been well over a century since Einstein discovered the relativity of time.  And many nonscientists (and many mathematician physicists) still don't believe it.

Here's another quote that addresses the arguments I keep getting from the troll who posts insults to my web site log file:
The point is, rather, that the only meaningful way to measure physical change in Einstein's universe is to forget time “as such” and gauge change solely by the readings of real, physical clocks, not by some nonexistent notion of “time itself.”
Among the passages I copied into my notes file are some interesting quotes from other authors.  Here's a quote from the famous musician Hector Berlioz:
Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils.
I can highly recommend "About Time" by Paul Davies.  

Comments for Friday, January 1, 2021, thru Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021:

January 9, 2021 - Hmm.  The troll who posts insults into my web site log file really went on a rampage yesterday.  He posted multiple copies of 5 more messages filled with insults.  But what he was attacking me about is something that I realized I should have mentioned in the imaginary discussion I created yesterday.  So, I'll create another imaginary discussion to address that point:
Him:  Wait wait wait.  How can time have begun with the Big Bang?  There must have been something going on before the Big  Bang to cause the Big Bang.  So, how can time begin with the Big Bang?

Me:  Ah.  Yes.  We simply have different definitions of "time."  My definition is Einsteins' definition: "Time is what clocks measure."  You evidently have a more general definition that you cannot articulate.  Whatever happened before the Big Bang occurred when there was no time.  There were just events.  There was before and after, there was cause and effect, but there was no time.  That means we do not know how long anything took.  Whatever triggered the Big Bang could have taken 20 seconds or 20 trillion years.  There was no time, which means there was no way to measure how long it took for something to happen.

Him:  But things still happened!  And they happened in time!

Me:  Yes, things happened.  No, they did not happen in time.  Or more correctly, they may have happened in your general definition of time, but they didn't happen in Einstein's or my definition of time.  Your definition of time has no meaning: If something happened, it happened in time.  What is time?  It is where things happen.  Period.

Him:  And Event-A caused Event-B.

Me:  Yes.  We speculate that there must have been an Event-A to cause Event-B, because something caused particles to start to spin and measurable time to begin.  What is "unmeasurable time"?  It is your time.  It's time without meaning.  My idea of time begins when particles started to spin, creating measurable time that allows clocks to work.  It is time with meaning.

Him:  I think you are just making things more complicated than they need to be.

Me: Giving things meaning doesn't complicate them. It makes them understandable.  To define time as "when things happen" is just mouthing words with no real meaning.

Him:  I never gave that definition.  It is something you created.
Me:  Okay.  What is your definition of time?

Him: It's the dictionary definition.  I just looked it up.  It's "the indefinite continued progress of existence and events in the past, present, and future regarded as a whole."

Me:  That's your dictionary's definition.  My dictionary's definition is "the measured or measurable period during which an action, process, or condition exists or continues."

Him:  I like my definition better.

Me: Yes, and that is why people argue over the definition of time.  My definition is scientific, your definition is general and non-scientific. If you want to discuss science, you have to use my definition.  All your definition does is generate arguments.

Him:  I still like my definition better.

Me: If your goal is to generate arguments, your definition is definitely better.  My goal is to end arguments by determining what the facts are.  That's why I prefer my definition.

Him: It is not my goal to generate arguments!

Me:  Do you really want to start an argument about that?
No answer.  

January 8, 2021 - As expected, the troll who posts insults to my web site log file responded to the comment I wrote about him yesterday by posting more insults to my web site log file.  There's no point in showing what he wrote, since his attacks are basically the same as what he wrote the previous day.  When you argue with troll, or with conspiracy theorists and others with closed minds, all you do is cause them to close their minds even tighter.  You are challenging their beliefs, which they view as a personal attack.  So, they fight back with real personal attacks, typically in the form of name calling.

While there is no point in arguing with such people (except to help you organize your own thoughts), I can still imagine what a discussion would be like IF it were possible to discuss things with them.  It could be very informative for both sides.  Maybe it would go something like this:
Him:  What is time?

: Time is particle spin.

Him:  That cannot be.

Me:  Why not?

Him:  Because particle spin is motion, and motion occurs in time.  Therefore spin cannot be time.

Me:  Using that kind of reasoning, you are saying that time can only be a concept, it cannot be anything tangible that exists in time.  But we know time is not just a concept, since motion and gravity can slow down time.  We know that motion and gravity slow down particle spin, so time is particle spin.   We also know that photons are particles that do not spin, they oscillate.  And they can only exist in motion, traveling at the speed of light.  At the speed of light, they do not experience time.  You can argue that oscillations are motion, but oscillations are clearly not time.  So, motion and spin are not exactly the same.   

Him: But how can particle spin cause time?  Causes occur in time, they cannot be time.

Me: I didn't say particle spin causes time.  I said particle spin is time. Asking what causes time is asking what causes particle spin.  No one knows.  It appears to simply be how the universe is constructed.  It appears that the Big Bang produced particles which spin, and that started time.  Evidently, there was no time before the Big Bang because everything was so tightly compacted that nothing could spin.  When particles were released and able to spin, time began.  We can calculate how long it has been since particles began to spin by calculating how much time it must have taken for the expanding universe to reach its current state. 

Him: To me it seems that you are still saying that particle spin causes time.

Me: That is probably because you already have some idea in your head as to what time must be.  You probably believe that time is some kind of process, and you want to know when that process began and what caused it to begin.  Time is not a process.  It's not an idea.  It is particle spin.  Particle spin enables processes to happen, processes such as memory and aging and decay.  You can say that time "causes" memories, aging and decay, or you can say that particle spin "causes" memories, aging and decay.  Time and particle spin are the same thing.

Him: But particle spin is motion, and motion occurs in time, it cannot be time.

Me: Motion slows down particle spin, so they are not the same thing.  I suppose you could consider them to be two different "kinds" of motion.  And neither kind can exceed the speed of light, not separately nor together.  When a spinning particle moves through space it slows down.  The faster it moves, the slower it spins.  If it could reach the speed of light, the spinning would stop and time would stop.  Then we are once again in the realm of photons.  Photons are particles that do not spin, they oscillate.  And they travel at the speed of light.  They cannot go slower.  And they do not experience time.  They can travel though space forever.  Then we need to think about muons.  Muons are particles that are created when molecules in the air are hit by Gama ray particles.  Muons exist for only a very short time, but the faster they move, the longer they exist.

Him: Time might slow down for a muon, but we're talking about objects like humans and space ships. 

Me:  Muons are particles that spin.  Objects like you, me and space ships are constructed of atoms, which are in turn constructed of particles that spin.  If I am in a space ship, all the particles that are part of the space ship and part of me travel together at the same speed through space.  Our motion is nearly identical as we move through space.  So, we all experience time passing at the same rate - a rate that is slower than what is being experienced back on Earth.

Him:  Okay.  I can see that motion and spin are not always the same thing.  I
need to think this over.

Me:  You do that.    
Sigh.  If it were somehow possible to have such a discussion with a troll or a conspiracy theorist, how much more enjoyable this world would be!  

January 7, 2021 - We definitely live in very interesting times.  The election of those two Democrat senators in Georgia is like a great ending to a suspense movie.  And the "hero" of the movie is Donald Trump, since those two senators probably could not have won if Trump hadn't been supporting their opponents.  Voters turned out in record numbers to vote against the candidates supported by Trump. That is really a great ending to a suspense story.

And then we have yesterday's attack on and attempted takeover of the Capitol Building in Washington by Trump supporters, fully encouraged by Trump.  Four of the rioters died, including one woman who was shot by police.  And the end result, just like in a great suspense movie, was that Joe Biden was confirmed to be our next President. The only question now seems to be: Can we afford to leave Trump remain as President for another two weeks?  How much additional harm could he cause during that time?  Interestingly, it would be Republicans (Trump's cabinet) who would remove him and replace him with Mike Pence.  They're discussing it, but will it happen?  I suspect not.  Trump seems to have finally accepted that he won't be President after January 20, although he will undoubtedly believe for the rest of life that it was all the result of a conspiracy against him. 

It has also been a truly great demonstration of the idiocy of conspiracy theorists and how they think.  They are totally immune to logic and common sense.  I keep wanting to create a cartoon where Trump is ranting, "Everyone just needs to stop listening to people who disagree with me and listen only to those who agree with me, then you will see that I am right!!!!"

That is basically what his prime argument has been.  And his supporters agree.

Interesting stuff.  I imagine that in the next few months there will be dozens of books written about Trump's final days in office.

Meanwhile, the troll who posts insults via my web site log file posted six more of them yesterday morning via a location in Cheyenne, Wyoming.  Here's what the first one said: - - [06/Jan/2021:11:11:40 -0600] "GET /Stupid Ed lake does not understand that %22Time does not tick%22 it is highly illogical and it violates Causality HTTP/1.1" 404 - "-" "Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; rv:78.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/78.0"
Did I say that time "ticks"?  I said that "time is particle spin."  Particle spin is the cause of time, and time is the effect of particle spin.  Here's his second message, stripped of all the log file coding:  
Stupid Ed lake does not understand that Time Dilation only occurs in Relativity--alongside Length Contraction--   you can NOT have the one without the other
Time Dilation only occurs in Relativity?  That makes no sense at all.  Time dilation occurs virtually everywhere.  Relativity is just the theory that explains Time Dilation.  The third message:
Stupid Ed lake does not understand that in Relativity Time is a DIMENSION not a "thing"
I understand that "Relativity Time" is only a dimension if you want to build a mathematical model that works that way.  Fourth message:
Stupid Ed lake does not understand that Time Dilation is a MATHEMATICAL TRICK courtesy of that mathematical construct named SPACETIME
Hmm.  I agree that "spacetime" is just a "mathematical construct," but Time Dilation exists without mathematics.  Under the right conditions, Time Dilation can be seen.  You can see a pulsar flashing faster when you are moving faster through space.  No mathematics are needed.  It's flashing faster because your seconds get longer when you move faster, while one second at the pulsar remains unchanged.  Clearly the troll and I are not communicating.  Probably because of the stupid way he does his arguing.  His fifth message was:
Stupid Ed lake does not understand that Time Dilation is Mathematical Metaphysics    Its an AXIOM
Huh?  Metaphysics is the study of things that do not involve material reality.  Is he saying that Time is not real or that Time Dilation is not real?   An axiom is something that is accepted as being true.  So, is he saying Time Dilation is not real but it is accepted as being real?  Why can't he just say what he means????  His sixth and final message was:
Stupid Ed lake does not understand that its equaly as stupid to say that space expands in space and to say time slows down in time
I fully agree.  And the troll is the only one who has ever said such a "stupid" thing.  I've said that material from the Big Bang expands into empty space, and that motion and gravity slow down time, just as many experiments have verified.  Time is particle spin.  Time is the cause of aging and decay.  Everything else we know about time is memory and records and what we learn from memory and records.

My memory and records show that arguing with the troll is mostly a waste of time.  But, just like showing how conspiracy theorists think, showing how trolls argue can be also be interesting and educational.  In the end, you just shake your head and wonder: How can anyone think that way? 

January 6, 2021 - On my Kindle, I've been reading a book "about time" that contains a lot of excellent information.  At the moment, I'm only 40% done, so I don't want to write a review yet, but I want to mention that the book explains in great detail how it can be easily determined who is moving relative to whom. The simplest example is that the person who moves faster must accelerate to get moving faster.  The "stationary" person does not accelerate, but remains in an "inertial frame."  The moving person accelerates to get moving faster, and then cuts the engines and starts coasting in an "inertial frame."  So, there can be no doubt that the person who accelerated to a higher speed is the one moving faster.

And the book describes in detail how time slows down for the person who is moving faster, and how that can be verified in various ways.  Then the author wrote something that directly related to what I had written yesterday about "Time is Particle Spin."  The book says,
A breakthrough came in mid-1912, about the time the Einsteins moved back to Zurich, where Albert took the post of professor at his alma mater, the ETH. Einstein came to the conclusion that a fully satisfactory general theory of relativity could be obtained only by giving up the normal rules of geometry. It was wrong to think that gravitation causes a distortion or warping of time, he realized—gravitation was a warping of time! More generally, both space and time must be warped. A gravitational field is not a field of force at all, but a curvature in the geometry of spacetime.
I had just written that gravitation causes particle spin to slow down, and the slowing of spin causes time to slow down.  So, am I wrong, or was Einstein just looking at things mathematically?  In a mathematical model of the solar system or the universe you can imagine how spacetime affects gravity and time.  But we can measure differences in time on a local scale, in some local building.  Time ticks slower on the ground floor than on higher floors.  How can that be time causing gravity?  And if speed also causes time to slow down, doesn't that say that time is slowed on a local level?  You can view things from a cosmological point of view and see thing differently, but I still think that time is particle spin.  Besides, when Einstein was writing his papers they didn't even know that particles spin.   Particle spin wasn't discovered until the 1920s.

Interestingly, this also fits into the book I'm listening to while driving to the bank and grocery stores.  Here's a passage from that book:
Over the past decade, airlines have also learned the dangers of the authority bias. In the old days, the captain was king. His commands were not to be doubted. If a copilot suspected an oversight, he wouldn’t have dared to address it out of respect for—or fear of—his captain. Since this behavior was discovered, nearly every airline has instituted crew resource management (CRM), which coaches pilots and their crews to discuss any reservations they have openly and quickly. In other words: They carefully deprogram the authority bias. CRM has contributed more to flight safety in the past twenty years than have any technical advances.    
My mind is open to being shown to be wrong, but I'm not going to accept being wrong just because I disagree with something Einstein wrote or said over 110 years ago.  I don't agree with "length contraction" either.  It's never been confirmed, and I think it could just be an idea Einstein came up with because he had no way to know about (or even imagine) how particle spin is time. 

Meanwhile, yesterday I did some digging around and found what I think was my first paper.  It's titled "Time Dilation Re-visualized," and it's dated May 31, 2015.  It's basically just my early 2014 web page "Time Dilation - as I understand it" turned into a science paper.  It describes how you can tell who is moving faster through space by using a pulsar as a clock.  The pulsar will appear to pulse faster for the person who is traveling fastest (assuming both are moving at right angles to the pulsar, not toward or away from it) because that person will count more pulses per his longer second.  

After more than 6 years of research into this subject, I still find it fascinating.

January 5, 2021
- When I went through my web site log file this morning to see how many visitors I had and who was visiting this site, I found three more messages from the troll who puts personal attacks into my log file.  Mentioning those attacks just encourages him to post more, but this time I think they are worth mentioning.  Here are the three messages he posted via a web site in Roosendaal, Netherlands, which he has used before: - - [04/Jan/2021:15:58:12 -0600] "GET /STUPID  Ed  lake  still  does  not  seem  to  realize  that  ANY  type  of  spin  OCCURS  IN  TIME  so  spin--of  any  type--can  not  be  TIME  ITSELF HTTP/1.1" 404 - "-" "Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; rv:78.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/78.0" - - [04/Jan/2021:15:59:02 -0600] "GET /STUPID  Ed  lake  still  does  not  seem  realize  that  PARTICLE  SPIN  speeds  up  IN  TIME---and  PARTICLE  SPIN  slows  down  IN  TIME---so  particle  spin  can  NOT  be  TIME  ITSELF HTTP/1.1" 404 - "-" "Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; rv:78.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/78.0" - - [04/Jan/2021:15:59:37 -0600] "GET /STUPID  Ed  lake  still  does  not  seem  realize  that  particle  spin  is  A  TYPE  OF  MOTION  and  as  such---IT  OCCURS  IN  TIME  so  particle  spin  can  not  be  TIME  ITSELF HTTP/1.1" 404 - "-" "Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; rv:78.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/78.0"
As you can see, he's viewing time philosophically or conceptually, as if it is just an idea.  Time is simply something that is always there ticking away. 

But that view is OBVIOUSLY WRONG, since it cannot account for time dilation.  Notice, too, that he does not state what time is, he only says what it is not.

We know that time can speed up and time can slow down, and we know what causes that change in the rate of time.  We know that time ticks at a slightly different rate just about everywhere in the universe, depending upon the speed and location of the object that is experiencing time.  That says that time is NOT just a concept or idea or philosophy.  It is a thing that can be affected by motion and gravity.

Remember, too, that when Einstein described time, he simply described what was measured with a clock.  And any object which spins or ticks at a regular rate is a clock.  And every object in the universe is constructed of particles which tick (or spin) like tiny clocks.  That is because they are clocks.

Memories and records are not time.  They are memories and records of what occurred in time.  So are aging and decay, which relate to particles.  Muon particles exist longer when moving faster.  Atomic clocks are based upon the idea that particles operate at a constant rate as long as the atomic clock is not moved.

We also know a lot of things about "The Big Bang" that suggest that time may not have existed before the Big Bang, i.e, there may have been a time when there was no time.  The theory is that there was just a "singularity," or some highly compressed object which had no way to measure or experience time.  Then that object exploded, beginning with a period of "cosmic inflation."  During that brief period, things moved much faster than the speed of light.  If there is no time, there can be no speed of light, because "speed" is distance over time.

The troll seems to believe that you can have time without any means to measure time, since time is just an idea or concept.  If that were true, then there would only be one time.  In our universe, time passes at a different rate almost everywhere, although the difference is usually too small to notice.

Maybe the next time the troll posts his insults to my web site log he will explain what he believes instead of just posting insults and how he does NOT believe what I am saying.  What does he believe that time is if it can be affected by motion and gravity?  It cannot just be an idea or concept.  If it can be affected by motion and gravity, it must be a "thing."

January 4, 2021 - We definitely live in interesting times.  This morning the news is mostly about Trump's "crime boss" phone call to try to overturn the election by forcing and intimidating people to lie and cheat and steal for him.  I searched around and found that the York News-Times has a transcript of the entire hour-long call, plus a complete audio copy which can be downloaded in MP3 format.  I'm listening to it as I type this comment.  (The New York Times web site, The Wall Street Journal's web site and other sites have the same thing, but you have to be subscribers to get to them.)

It's interesting that the phone call was recorded, but Trump either didn't know about it or didn't care.  The news outlets are calling it "unprecedented."  It is definitely an amazing example of trying to argue with a rabid conspiracy theorist. Here is one bit I copied from the transcript:
Raffensperger: Mr. President, the problem you have with social media, they — people can say anything.

Trump: Oh this isn't social media. This is Trump media. It's not social media. It's really not it's not social media. I don't care about social media. I couldn't care less.  Social media is Big Tech. Big Tech is on your side. I don't even know why you have a side, because you should want to have an accurate election. And you're a Republican.

Raffensperger: We believe that we do have an accurate election.

Trump: No, no you don't. No, no you don't. You don't have. Not even close. You're off by hundreds of thousands of votes. And just on the small numbers, you're off on these numbers and these numbers can't be just — well, why wont? — Okay. So you sent us into Cobb County for signature verification, right? You sent us into Cobb County, which we didn't want to go into. And you said it would be open to the public. And we could have our - So we had our experts there they weren't allowed into the room. But we didn't want Cobb County. We wanted Fulton County. And you wouldn't give it to us. Now, why aren't we doing signature — and why can't it be open to the public? And why can't we have professionals do it instead of rank amateurs who will never find anything and don't want to find anything? They don't want to find, you know, they don't want to find anything. Someday you'll tell me the reason why, because I don't understand your reasoning, but someday you'll tell me the reason why. But why don't you want to find?
There are probably a hundred better quotes in the transcript that show how conspiracy theorists think.  They constantly argue beliefs against facts, and they argue that you just need to listen to people who agree with them instead of people who disagree with them, and then you'll see what "the truth" is.

It is truly an amazing discussion - something for the history books (and probably a lot of psychology books).

January 3, 2021
Yesterday morning I awoke realizing something.  For weeks I have been constantly modifying and adding new stuff at the beginning of a new paper tentatively titled "Motion Relative to the Speed of Light," and it now seems what I was really looking for to start the paper was what I wrote nearly 5 years ago in another paper, "What is Time?"  It's also something I mentioned in my December 27 comment, when I quoted a troll who wrote this in my log file:
Stupid Ed lake does not understand that when he says *Time=Particle Spin* what he is really saying is *Time=Motion*   Motion occurs in Time---Motion stops in Time---Motion slows down in Time
No, I'm not saying that "Time=Motion."  I'm saying that "Time=Particle Spin." I'm saying that there is a very important difference between particle spin and the motion of a particle.  The basic energy of a particle is a measurement of its spin, while the motion of a particle is its movement through space (which can add kinetic energy to the particle).  But more importantly, I'm also saying that every sub-atomic particle in the entire universe is a little clock that constantly ticks off time as it spins.  And, each sub-atomic particle ticks off time at a slightly different rate depending upon its motion and speed through the universe and its proximity to a gravitational mass.

That is also the essence of Einstein's theories.  Here's a quote from a PBS article:
Then it suddenly hit him, the key to the entire problem. Einstein recalled, "A storm broke loose in my mind." The answer was simple and elegant: time can beat at different rates throughout the universe, depending on how fast you moved. Imagine clocks scattered at different points in space, each one announcing a different time, each one ticking at a different rate. One second on Earth was not the same length as one second on the moon or one second on Jupiter. In fact, the faster you moved, the more time slowed down. (Einstein once joked that in relativity theory, he placed a clock at every point in the universe, each one running at a different rate, but in real life he didn't have enough money to buy even one.) This meant that events that were simultaneous in one frame were not necessarily simultaneous in another frame, as Newton thought. He had finally tapped into "God's thoughts." He would recall excitedly, "The solution came to me suddenly with the thought that our concepts and laws of space and time can only claim validity insofar as they stand in a clear relation to our experiences.... By a revision of the concept of simultaneity into a more malleable form, I thus arrived at the theory of relativity."
So, every point in the universe has its own time, ticking at its own rate, and at each of those points the speed of light is measured to be 299,792,458 meters PER SECOND according to the clock located at that point.

That means that motion through space is very different from particle spin.  Einstein evidently didn't know about particle spin.  It appears that he believed that time slows down the faster an object is moving because he believed distances and lengths shorten when moving. That makes no sense to me.  As I see it, one kind of motion affects the other kind.  Motion through space slows particle spin.  And time is particle spin, which means that motion through space slows time.  A particle that moves through space but does not spin does not experience time.  It's called a "photon."  A photon oscillates, it does not spin.  It is pure energy.  A particle that spins is matter.  Turning matter into energy involves turning a spinning particle into a particle that consists of pure energy and moves through space at the speed of light.  Lengths and distances have nothing to do with anything, and that is why "length contraction" has never been confirmed.

Einstein once said: "I very rarely think in words at all. A thought comes, and I may try to express in words afterwards."

That is probably true of all of us.  Putting an idea into words that will properly convey its meaning to others can be very difficult.  "Time is particle spin" is something that I can visualize and it makes perfect sense to me, but if someone else sees no difference between motion and spin, then explaining the idea to them can be very difficult.  What it says is that, in full agreement with Einstein, every particle in the universe is a little clock ticking off time at its own rate, a rate that varies depending upon its motion through space and its proximity to any large mass.

And, my idea for a paper titled "Motion Relative to the Speed of Light" hits a snag if I try to explain that theoretically, since every particle is a tiny clock that ticks at its own rate, that means that every atom that emits a photon of light emits a photon that travels at a slightly different speed than photons emitted by every other atom.  In practice, the difference is not measurable because (1) it can be very very small, and (2) because no one knows how to measure the one-way speed of light. 

So, every object in the universe is moving at zero percent of the speed of light as the speed of light is measured by that object, but every other object in the universe that is not stationary relative to the first object, is moving at some percentage of the speed of light as measured by the first object.  That is what Einstein's time dilation equation says:

Einstein's time dilatio formula
Unfortunately, mathematically there is no way to tell who is moving and who is stationary.  It is simply assumed that the observer inside the frame of reference is stationary.

If you want to know who is actually moving, you evidently have to use LOGIC to do that.  I may think I am stationary and the sun, moon and stars are all in orbits around me, and I can develop mathematical equations to confirm that, but simple logical experiments will show that it is not true.

The question now is: Do I continue to modify my paper on "Motion Relative to the Speed of Light," or should I update my paper "What is Time?" to incorporate all these other ideas.

Or maybe I should just lay down on my couch and read a book. 

January 2, 2021
When I read about that suicide bomber in Nashville, I could not help but think that he was some kind of conspiracy theorist.  And the same with the pharmacist who destroyed more than 500 doses of the Covid vaccine in Grafton, Wisconsin.  And, of course, we have a Conspiracy Theorist in Chief in the White House who refuses to accept the results of the election and thinks he lost because of some vast conspiracy to change votes for him into votes for his opponent.

It's totally insane.  How could anyone believe that so many people could keep such a secret?  Do they think the thousands of election workers are all hardened CIA agents posing as elderly people from the community?  But it also fits with what I read in "The Death of Expertise," the book I mentioned in my December 16 comment.  More and more people are becoming more and more vocal about not trusting experts.  Instead, they think they know more than any expert. 

After finishing "The Death of Expertise," I found a lot of similar books going back decades.

It all seems to fit into what I've written about before, that there are people who mostly think logically, and there are people who mostly think emotionally.  Everyone thinks both ways, but there appear to be a large number of people  who mainly think emotionally.  Fortunately, they do not seem to be the majority.  But they can be the voting majority when those who think logically lose interest in whatever the issue is.  Then it is the ones with the strongest emotional reasons who vote the most, and those with less emotional reasons just don't bother to vote.  The majority voted emotionally to put Trump in office, then the majority voted emotionally to get rid of him.  Logically, it is insane that he was ever elected in the first place.

January 1, 2021 -
Happy New Year!

Comments for Sunday, December 27, 2020, thru Thurs., Dec. 31, 2020:

December 31, 2020 (B) - Yesterday afternoon, I finished reading another book on my Kindle.  It was one of the books I mentioned in my December 27 comment: "Why Does E=mc2? (And Why Should We Care?)" by Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw.

Why does E=Mc2?
I blasted through it in two days, reading nearly all day on Tuesday and until about 1:30 pm on Wednesday.  And I've got 21 pages of notes. 

But, I don't really have much good to say about it.  Mostly it was borrrrrrring.  I really had to strain to stay awake and keep my eyes open. Nonetheless, it was definitely worth reading, and there were some sections that were very thought-provoking.  It avoids using math, but it does so in an tiresome way.  It will say that it is about to get into some mathematics and you can skip over the next part if you want, and then it will go through some math.  I didn't exactly skip over those parts, I skimmed through them looking to see if there was any text or equation that might be worth making a note of.  There weren't many.  Here are a couple:

At the simplest level, an equation allows you to predict the results of an experiment without actually having to conduct it.
The wonderful thing about equations, however, is that they can also reveal deep connections between quantities that are not immediately apparent from the results of experiments, and in doing so can lead to a much deeper and more profound understanding of nature.
For some reason, the authors do not refer to Einstein's postulates.  They call them "proposals" or "axioms" (which I think are better terms than "postulates"): 
At the heart of Einstein’s theory of special relativity lie two proposals, which in the language of physics are termed axioms. An axiom is a proposition that is assumed to be true. Given the axioms, we can then proceed to work out the consequences for the real world, which we can check using experiments.
And they give screwball versions of those "axioms":
The first of Einstein’s axioms is that Maxwell’s equations hold true in the sense that light always travels through empty space at the same speed regardless of the motion of the source or the observer. The second axiom advocates that we are to follow Galileo in asserting that no experiment can ever be performed that is capable of identifying absolute motion. Armed only with these propositions, we can now proceed as good physicists should and explore the consequences. As ever in science, the ultimate test of Einstein’s theory, derived from his two axioms, is its ability to predict and explain the results of experiments. Quoting Feynman more fully this time: “In general we look for a new law by the following process. First we guess it. Then we compute the consequences of the guess to see what would be implied if this law that we guessed is right. Then we compare the result of the computation to Nature, with experiment or experience, compare it directly with observation, to see if it works. If it disagrees with experiment it is wrong. In that simple statement is the key to science. It does not make any difference how beautiful your guess is. It does not make any difference how smart you are, who made the guess, or what his name is—if it disagrees with experiment it is wrong. That’s all there is to it.”
That first "axiom" is just a typical distortion of Einstein's Second Postulate, but the second "axiom" is a very interesting version of Einstein's First Postulate.  It fits with my "truck experiment," since the radar guns do not detect "absolute motion," only motion relative to the local speed of light.

There were some parts of the book which really seemed crazy to me.  When it talks about "length contraction," it suggests that if Joe is zipping through space at 86.6 percent of the speed of light, Joe will experience time passing at half the rate that Bill back on earth experiences it.  I totally agree with that.  But then the book will suggest that it is equally valid to say that distances for Joe are shorter than distances for Bill, because Joe is moving faster.  That makes no sense at all.  Here is one quote I copied:
If we could build a spaceship that could whisk us into space at speeds very close to light speed, then the distances to the stars would shrink, and the amount of shrinking would increase the closer to light speed we could travel. If we managed to travel at 99.99999999 percent of light speed, then we could travel out of the Milky Way and all the way to the neighboring Andromeda galaxy, almost 3 million light-years away, in a mere fifty years. 
It might seem like distances shrink because of your speed, just as it might seem like the distance to Walmart is shorter if you go 50 mph than if you go 30 mph, but it makes absolutely no sense to think of things that way.  Your motion does not change distances.  It only changes how time passes for you: time passes slower when you go faster, which is something the book says many times.

While the book was often a frustrating read, it was also thought provoking in that it gave me insights into the screwball way that mathematicians think, and that should help me understand them better, and enable me to create better arguments against their nonsensical beliefs.

December 31, 2020 (A) - I solved another mystery this morning.  It was kind of bizarre.  Yesterday, while grocery shopping at Walmart, I was checking out at one of the automated lines, and when I tried to pay with a $20 bill, the machine rejected the bill.  I tried it a second time, and it rejected it again.  So, I paid with a $10 bill that the machine accepted with no problem.

When I got home, I wondered why the bill was rejected.  I examined it and discovered it didn't have a "magnetic strip" like all the other 20s I had at home.  I never carry anything larger than a 20, and I get all my 20s from my bank.  Did the bank give me a counterfeit $20 bill??  It looked like a new, crisp $20, which seemed like another indicator that it might be a counterfeit.

I thought about it overnight, and this morning I did a little research.  I wondered how long the magnetic strip has been in use.  When I researched it, I discovered that there is a lot of stuff I didn't know about.

Here's what that $20 bill looks like (this isn't mine, it's one from the internet):

$20 bill old 

Just like my $20 bill, the bill above is "Series 1985" (stated in small letters just above the second L in Dollars).  Here's what the rest of my 20s look like:

New $20 bill

They didn't add the magnetic strip until 1990.  Nor did they add any of the other security features until 1990.  So, my $20 bill appears to be a good $20 bill, even though it was rejected by the machine.  Interestingly, crisp new $20 bills from 1985 are worth as much as $40 to collectors, IF they have a star after the serial number, as the lower bill above has.  My $20 bill doesn't have the star.

So, I guess I'll have to get rid of my $20 bill from 1985 by handing it to a check-out clerk instead of inserting it into a machine.

Live and learn.

December 30, 2020
- Yesterday afternoon, as I was driving home after buying groceries, I finished listening to CD #9 in the 9-CD set for the audio book version of "Origins: Fourteen Billion Years of Cosmic Evolution" by Neil deGrasse Tyson and Donald Goldsmith.


While it's a great book, for some reason my local library only had the audio book version.  I also made a BIG mistake by putting it on CDs and listening to it while driving.  The Covid-19 pandemic changed things so that I drove my car only two or three times a week, and then just to the grocery store.  So, it took a long time to get through the book.  Worst of all, there were many many times when I wanted to make a note of what was being said, but that is next to impossible to do while driving.  I should have read it on my Kindle or bought a paper copy.

Here's one passage from early in the book that I did manage to make a note of:
Like all attempts at human progress, the scientific approach works better in theory than in practice. Not all scientists doubt one another as effectively as they should. The need to impress scientists who occupy powerful positions, and who are sometimes swayed by factors that lie beyond their conscious knowledge, can interfere with science’s self-correcting ability. In the long run, however, errors cannot endure, because other scientists will discover them and promote their own careers by trumpeting the news. Those conclusions that do survive the attacks of other scientists will eventually achieve the status of scientific “laws,” accepted as valid descriptions of reality, even though scientists understand that each of these laws may some day find itself to be only part of a larger, deeper truth.
After I find a Kindle or paper copy somewhere, I'm going to try to find the time to read the book so that I can make notes.  It is the process of making notes that really sticks things into my memory.  And there are a lot of things in this book I really want to remember.  I don't agree with everything in the book, but I also want to remember the things I don't agree with.  Those are the things I really want to learn more about and understand better.

I've already thrown the CDs into the trash.  I also threw out the 450 other audio book CDs I had accumulated.  It seems such a waste.  And its probably bad for the environment to throw CDs into the trash.  But there doesn't seem any way or place to recycle plastics anymore.  It's really a crazy world where it is against the law to give away things others want, so you have to help destroy the world by turning those wanted objects into trash. 

December 29, 2020
- Yesterday afternoon I finished reading another library book on my Kindle.  The book was "Neither Here Nor There: Travels in Europe" by Bill Bryson.

Neither Here Nor There

Bill Bryson is one of my favorite non-fiction authors, and this book was as enjoyable as many other books of his that I've read.  It's a travel book, the story of Bryson's journey alone through most of the countries of Europe sometime around 1990, beginning in the winter with a 30-hour bus trip from Oslo to Hammerfest, Norway, which is about as far north as you can go in Norway.  Here's a quote from that point in the book:
The Meridianstøtten was an obelisk on a small elevation in the middle of a graveyard of warehouses. I later learned that it was a memorial erected to celebrate the completion in 1840, on this very spot, of the first scientific measurement of the earth’s circumference. (Hammerfest’s other historical distinction is that it was the first town in Europe to have electric street lights.) I clambered up to the obelisk with difficulty, but the snow was blowing so thickly that I couldn’t read the inscription, and I returned to town thinking I would come back again another day. I never did.
This morning I took a look around the same spot using Google Maps. It shows how things looked in June of 2015.  Google also has views of parts of that area in March 2020.  Here a winter-time snapshot I found:


While I enjoyed my trips to Europe, I never got to Norway.  But I did spend a lot of time wandering around alone.  Most of my trips were "tours," where you travel with a group.  But the trips I took always left a lot of time to explore alone. The tour would go by bus or train to some city, then there would be a half-day tour of the city, and for the rest of the day and maybe one or two days after that, you'd be on your own until it was time to get on the bus again to go to the next country or city. 

For much of this book Bryson was basically repeating a trip he made with a friend in 1972.  It's a back-pack trip.  No schedule.  Just decide where you want to go next, and go.  Only this time he's alone.  Both times it was a trip where the first thing you have to do when you reach a new city is find a hotel room.  Then you have to find some place to eat.  And when you leave you have to try to get the ticket clerk at the bus or train station to understand what you are saying and where you want to go.  But you can spend as many days as you like wandering around.

While Bryson does visit places like Paris and Geneva and Rome and Florence and Capri, he also goes to places like Sofia, Bulgaria, which in 1990 was still communist and still run by a dictator.  Bryson describes how people were constantly looking for things they could buy, mostly food but also for things they could use to trade for food.  In one country he gets his pocket picked, and all of his travelers checks are stolen.  That means he has to deal with a lot of people, including the police, who he cannot understand and who do not understand English.  So, it's not only a travel book, it is somewhat of an adventure story.

I enjoyed the book very much. 

While eating breakfast this morning, I started reading a science book.

December 28, 2020
- Sigh!  I awoke this morning thinking about something else I probably need to add to my new paper "Motion Relative to the Speed of Light."  Only this addition won't go near the beginning of the paper, it will go somewhere near the end.  Or I might not add it into the paper at all, since it's something I explained in detail in my paper about Einstein's Thought Experiments.  It's Einstein's thought experiment about motion relative to the speed of light, as described in his paper "The Principle Ideas of the Theory of Relativity." 

In the thought experiment, Einstein has a man traveling away from the sun at 1,000 kilometers per second (kps).  Light from the sun travels at 300,000 kps, and the question is: at what speed does light from the sun pass the traveler? Logically, it would be 299,000 kps, since the traveler is moving at 1,000 kps away from the sun.  But, as Einstein explains in the paper, the traveler would actually measure the sun's light to be traveling by at 300,000 kps.  Why?  Because, due to the traveler's speed relative to the speed of the sun, a second is slightly longer for him than on the sun due to time dilation. And because his second is longer, he will measure the light as passing by at 300,000 kilometers per second.

Moreover, if the traveler were to emit light in any direction as he his traveling, that light will travel at 300,000 kps as he measures the length of a second.

Does this mean that the speed of the light that is passing the traveler from the sun is actually traveling at the same speed as the light the traveler is emitting?  NO.  The traveler measured the speed of the light that was passing him, and that light is actually traveling faster than the light the traveler emits, even though he measures them both to be traveling at 300,000 kps.  When viewed from the sun, using time and the length of a second as it is measured on the sun, the light from the sun passes the traveler at 299,000 kps.  When viewed by the traveler, using the length of a second as he measures it, the light passes at 300,000 kps.

In short, the light emitted from the sun is traveling 1,000 kps faster than light emitted by the traveler, even though both emitted light at 300,000 kilometers per LOCAL second

In his paper, Einstein goes into considerable detail to explain all this.  Here's a key part of the paper:
There is no audible tick-tock everywhere in the world that could be considered as time. If physics wants to use time, it first has to define it. In this endeavor it is apparent that this definition necessarily requires a body of reference, and that this definition makes sense only with respect to this chosen body of reference. It turns out that one can define time relative to this body of reference such that the law of the propagation of light is obeyed relative to it. This definition of time can be realized for bodies of reference in any state of motion. But it turns out that the times of differently moving bodies of reference do not coincide. A more detailed justification of this is found in my popular book about the theory of relativity.[3] If two events occurring at different locations are judged simultaneous from a body of reference, then they are not judged so from a body of reference that is moving relative to it.
And here's another translation from another source:
There is no omnipresent tic-tac audible in the universe that we could regard as time. If physics wants to make use of time, it first has to define it. In an effort to do this, it becomes clear that a reference body is needed for this definition, and that the definition only makes sense relative to this reference body. It turns out that one can define time in relation to this reference body in such a way that, relative to it, the laws governing light’s velocity are valid. This definition of time can be made for reference bodies in any state of velocity. However, it so happens that the times of differently moving reference bodies do not coincide. There is a more detailed proof of this matter in my popular book about the theory of relativity.[3] If two events happen simultaneously in two different locations judged from a reference body, they are not simultaneous if judged from another reference body moving relative to the first.
Those quotes fit well with the truck experiment I described in two papers and argued endlessly about on the sci.physics.relativity forum.  The quotes both say that the speed of light will be measured to be the same inside a moving truck and on the ground outside the truck, even though the speed of light is actually different in the two locations. 

In the truck experiment, however, the experiment is about measuring kinetic energy, not the speed of light.  No "laws of electrodynamics and optics" are broken when the results inside the moving truck are seen to be different than results outside of the truck. You're just measuring something that is different inside the truck than outside the truck.  You find there is a difference when you compare experiment results.  If you could compare time as it is measured inside and outside the truck, there would be a difference there, too.

It's not that complicated.  Physicists just make it complicated by including a lot of unnecessary information about what was believed in the past by respected scientists.   If you just describe how things work without constantly going into lengthy discussions about how it is different than what was believed in the past, almost everything becomes easier to understand.  

Unfortunately, that causes a different problem: Tomorrow someone might make a discovery that shows that what is currently believed is not entirely true.  There could be a misunderstanding somewhere.  That is probably why, in schools, they do not simply teach how things work, instead they teach what was believed in the past and how those misconceptions were corrected over the centuries. 
Hopefully, out of all that you will learn how things are currently believed to work, and if you see a problem, maybe you'll know enough to explain how to correct the problem.

December 27, 2020
- Groan!  Last week I wrote that I wasn't going to write any more comments for this web site about what progress (or lack of progress) I'm making (or not making) in the writing of my latest paper "Motion Relative to the Speed of Light."  I figured that no one wants to read about how I keep re-starting the paper when I realize there is something I hadn't previously thought about that I need to explain before I explain everything else. 
But, I also think the readers of this web site might want to know what I just thought about, like last week's comment about kinetic energy and how it can be used to determine which space ship is moving fastest.  That's a "mind-blowing" realization! 

Last week, when I restarted the paper to include information about kinetic energy before getting into other matters, I began doing some research to see who else may have written about the subject (other than Albert Einstein), and that led me into my collection/library of e-books.  And that led me into a different problem.  Months ago, someone on a Facebook forum asked me if I knew of any good books about Time Dilation.  I responded,
Good books about time dilation are hard to find. I probably have the names of a few filed away. I'll check tomorrow.
Then a day or so later, I wrote:
There might be books on time dilation somewhere, but mostly there are just scientific papers.
What I should have done is tell them that books about Time Dilation are really books about Relativity, of which Time Dilation is just one interesting part.  I realized that a couple days ago as I was browsing through my library of e-books.  I decided I needed to create an index for my e-books.  So, I set everything else aside and began doing that.  It took about three days, since I had to examine each book to give it a "priority" ranking.  I gave a top ranking to some books by my favorite physicist, Brian Cox.  (Brian Cox is also one of the hosts of my favorite podcast, "The Infinite Monkey Cage.)  At the top of the list I put his book, Why Does E=mc2? (And Why Should We Care?).  Chapter 3 of that book is about Special Relativity, and it goes into a lot of detail about Time Dilation.  Yet, somehow, I've never read it!  I obtained a copy somewhere, I put it at the top of my reading list, but then I just kept adding more books at the top of the list, pushing that book downward.

Right now I'm reading a travel book!  I can't just stop reading that book and switch to Brian Cox's book, I'm 83% done with the travel book.  And it's a very interesting and funny travel book by one of my favorite authors, which is how it got to the top of my reading list.  Groan!

But I'm definitely going to put Brian Cox's book at the top of my reading list once again.  I'll start it as soon as I finish the travel book.  And I'll move God and the New Physics by Paul Davies to second place on the list.  Chapter 8 in that book is all about Time.  Maybe I won't read the whole book, but I definitely want to read that chapter.  And I'll move How to Teach Relativity to Your Dog by Chad Orzel to third place.  It's a strange title for a physics book, but the idea is that the author is explaining things in very simple terms, which means he doesn't use mathematics.  Chapter 3 is titled "Time Slows When You're Chasing Bunnies: Relativistic Time Dilation."  It looks to be very funny while at the same time being informative and educational.  I wrote a long comment about it on August 21, 2017, when I first learned about the book.  In that comment I stated that I was going to put the book in the middle of my reading list, since I didn't like some of the things the author was teaching his dog.  But, maybe I just needed to read it more carefully.

There are probably other books which describe Time Dilation in simple terms, but I've got enough to keep me reading for awhile.   Just skimming through those three posed some questions I can't stop thinking about.

Meanwhile, back on November 26, that troll who posts insults to my web site log file posted some messages that I wanted to respond to, but I just never found the time.  Here are his posts, edited to make them easier to read:
Stupid Ed lake does not understand Causality when he claims that *the cause of time will also occur in time*   utterly stupid

Stupid Ed lake does not understand that he can sit on other peoples lap but HE CAN NOT SIT ON HIS OWN LAP

Stupid Ed lake does not understand his claim that *the cause of time will also occur in time* is like saying that TIME SITS ON IT'S OWN LAP   utterly stupid

Stupid Ed lake does not understand that when he says *Time=Particle Spin* what he is really saying is *Time=Motion*   Motion occurs in Time---Motion stops in Time---Motion slows down in Time

If time is particle spin, as I stated in my paper on that topic, then everything else about Time is just effects, memory and records.  The "cause" of Time is particle spin, and the effects are aging, decay, memories and records.  That probably needs better phrasing and a longer explanation.  I just need to find the time for that.

Groan!!!   Finding time can be more problematic than understanding time!!!!

Comments for Sunday, December 20, 2020, thru Sat., Dec. 26, 2020:

December 25, 2020 - I wish everyone a very merry (and safe) Christmas!

December 23, 2020
- Sigh!  I think I need to stop writing comments about the paper I've been working on, the paper which I've tentatively titled "Motion Relative to the Speed of Light."  I haven't stopped working on the paper, but I keep revising it as I think of new and better ways to explain what I want to explain.  Writing comments about it here is just going to get people upset, because it will seem like I'm telling them about something I'm going to do that it also seems like I never get done.

So, I'm going to have to find something else to write about.  That's another problem, because looking for something else to write about just slows down my work on that new paper.

One thing I can write about is how I'm wondering about how Covid-19 vaccine shots will be given.  Right now, it seems that people from Walgreen and CVS are going to nursing homes and hospitals to vaccinate "front line workers" and the elderly with "pre-existing conditions."  I suppose they might also go to fire stations and police stations to give shots there.  But how will things work when it comes time for people to go to Walgreen and CVS to get their shots? 

There's a Walgreen Drug Store within walking distance of where I live, but it's also on the other side of a major intersection with no cross-walk, so I'll probably drive there.  But how will I know when to do so?  Plus, there's a drug section in a grocery store on my side of that intersection, and they have been giving free flu shots every fall for years.  Will they also be giving Covid-19 shots?

I guess I'll just have to wait and find out.  What I'll need to do to get my shots will probably be all over the news when they finally start to inform people.

Meanwhile, there was another mystery that had me wondering for the past couple weeks.  What happened on December 10?  I've been keeping track of the Covid-19 pandemic, mostly to compare cases in Wisconsin to cases in Virginia, where my sister lives.  I've been saving the graphs produced by Johns Hopkins University every day.  On December 10 there was a strange jump in the number of cases.  Here's today's version of a graph that they produce.  It shows the strange jump, with data about the jump appearing when I put the cursor over that uptick:

Strange jump in Covid-19 cases

The spread-sheet under the graph was created by me this morning.  I created it by looking at the "Global Cases" for each day.  On the morning of December 12 there was a big jump in the number of "Global Cases," a jump of 1,467,390 cases for December 11, which is very close to the 1.493 million Johns Hopkins shows for the 10th.   Only the "Global Cases" data shows it was almost certainly some kind of error, since the next day there was a big drop in the number of cases.  And the next day there was another jump.  Yet something strange was going on, since the average for those three days is 870,628, which is significantly higher than the days before the 11th and after the 13th when the numbers were all under 700,000.

It looks like another mystery that I'll never solve.  Such mysteries are very annoying, even if they are my fault for looking at things that no one else seems to look at or care about.

December 21, 2020
- Groan!  Once again it seems I need to add something to the beginning of my new "Motion Relative to the Speed of Light" paper - or near the beginning - something that needs to be explained in order for the rest of the paper to make total sense. 

When arguing with mathematicians, I sometimes argue that Einstein's Second Postulate says that light travels at the same speed, regardless of whether the light is emitted from a moving or a "stationary" emitter.  While somewhat true, that is not exactly what Einstein's Second Postulate says.  It says,
light is always propagated in empty space with a definite velocity c which is independent of the state of motion of the emitting body.
A "stationary only" radar gun is never truly stationary.  A radar gun in Chicago is moving at about 750 mph with the earth as the earth spins on its axis, it is moving at about 67,000 mph with the earth as the earth moves in its orbit around the sun, it is moving at about 486,000 mph with the earth as the sun moves in its orbit around the center of the Milky Way Galaxy, and it moves at about 1,342,161 mph with the earth as the Milky Way Galaxy moves toward the Hydra constellation.

And mathematicians will tell me all that when I explain how a "stationary only" radar gun works.  With all that motion going on, they ask, how can a radar gun measure the speed of a target relative to a "stationary" radar gun?

The answer seems to be in the main topic of Einstein's 1905 paper on Special Relativity: Time Dilation.  Time slows down for an object when it moves, and the faster it moves, the slower time passes.  Plus, time slows down depending upon how close you are to a gravitational mass.  The closer you are, the slower time will pass for you.  So, when a radar gun emits a photon that travels at the speed of light, 299,792,458 meters per second, the length of a second at the location of the gun is determined by all those speeds at which the gun is traveling through the universe and its location relative to the center of the earth.  That means that, at the location of the gun, "one second" has a different value than "one second" almost anywhere else in the universe.  And when measuring a speed relative to the speed of light, you are measuring a speed relative to the speed of light per the unique length of a second at the location of the gun.

But there's more to it.  When I started writing this comment, I thought that I would have it all figured out by the time I finished the comment.  I don't.  There are still some pieces that have to be fitted together, and it's almost lunch time.  I could continue after lunch, but I have other things I need to do after lunch.  So, I'm going to end this comment here, and I'll write another comment on this topic when I've identified those missing pieces.  The pieces seem to have something to do with how light "fringes" work.  Or maybe not.  Figuring out which pieces are missing will determine that.


December 20, 2020
- Last week I was mostly focused on writing my new paper, tentatively titled "Motion Relative to the Speed of Light."
I think it's coming along fairly well.  I've mostly finished with doing research, and I'm almost totally focused on just writing it.  I suppose I should have started with an outline, but I didn't, and as a result I'm constantly reorganizing the paper.

And, as I write, I'm analyzing what I'm writing.  When writing about radar guns, for example, I'll write about how the oscillation frequency of a photon is altered when the photon hits an oncoming target.  An atom in the moving target adds kinetic energy to the photon, sending a new photon back to the gun that has more energy than the photon the radar gun originally emitted. 

By definition, kinetic energy is a "form of energy that an object or a particle has by reason of its motion."  Also, "Kinetic energy is a property of a moving object or particle and depends not only on its motion but also on its mass."  That poses the question that mathematicians continuously ask: "Motion relative to what?"

Suppose you have two rocket ships encountering each other in outer space with a closing speed of 10,000 mph.  Mathematicians will argue that, since all motion is relative to some object, it can be argued that Rocket-A is moving at 10,000 mph toward Rocket-B, or that Rocket-B is moving at 10,000 mph toward Rocket-A.

But what happens if they don't notice each other and collide head on?

Colliding rockets demonstrating kinetic

Answer: Their kinetic energy will show who is moving fastest.  It will be like billiard balls on a table.  The fast moving Ball-A will hit a stationary Ball-B with great kinetic energy, causing Ball-B to absorb nearly all of the kinetic energy from Ball-A and go shooting off to the corner pocket while Ball-A comes to a stop, because it transferred its kinetic energy to Ball-B.

With the two rocket ships, their kinetic energy will determine in which direction the collision debris will travel. 
If they are both moving at the same speed, the debris will go in all directions.  If Rocket-A is the one that is moving, as is shown in the illustration above, all the debris will continue to travel in the direction that Rocket-A was traveling.  Then you have to ask mathematicians: if both Rocket-A and Rocket-B were moving relative to one another, why did all the debris move in the direction Rocket-A was traveling?

The answer is that they were NOT moving relative to one another, Rocket-B was stationary relative to the speed of light, and Rocket-A was moving at 10,000 miles per hour relative to the speed of light.  To put it another way, atoms at the location of the collision in space will emit photons that travel at 670,616,629 miles per hour, and Rocket-B was moving at 0% of that speed, while Rocket-A was moving at 0.001492% of that speed.

My original intent when I wrote the above part of this comment yesterday was to end the comment at this point.  But, when I woke up this morning my mind was going through a whole list of interesting things that happen when you have a situation like the one described above, with two space ships meeting in space where one is traveling at 10,000 mph and the other is stationary.

For example, if the ships were not flying blind but had radar, what would their radars show? 

It depends upon what kind of radar they have.  If they have the kind of radar used in weather observations and forecasting, that kind of that radar does not measure speeds.  It measures distances.  It can calculate speeds by measuring the change in distance over time.  So, if both ships had that kind of radar, both would measure the  other ship as getting closer and closer.  Neither ship would be able to tell who was moving, which is why Lidar guns are not supposed to be used while moving.  Lidar guns also measure changes in distances.

If the two ships have the kind of radar that is used in police radar guns, i.e,  radar guns that measure differences in kinetic energy and photon oscillation frequencies (but with the capability to measure much higher speeds), and each gun is pointed at the other ship, the radar gun in Rocket-A would measure its own speed as being 10,000 mph, and the radar gun in Rocket-B would measure Rocket-A's speed as being 10,000 mph. 

But most interesting is something I hadn't thought about before: What if the two ships didn't have radar?  What if they only had headlights pointed ahead of the ships to light their way through empty space?  In that situation we are not talking about measuring speeds or distances, we are talking about the shifting of light frequencies, i.e. "red shifting" and "blue shifting."   In one situation, Rocket-A is a moving emitter and Rocket-B is a stationary receiver,  in the other situation Rocket-B is a stationary emitter and Rocket-A is a moving receiver.

Obviously, when moving Rocket-A receives light from Rocket-B, that light will be blue shifted.  It's not blue shifted because Rocket-B is moving toward Rocket-A, it is blue shifted because Rocket-A is moving toward Rocket-B and Rocket-A is thus receiving the light "waves" at a faster rate than at which they were emitted by Rocket-B.

But what will Rocket-B observe?  It appears that, according to Einstein's Theory of Special Relativity, Rocket-B will observe the light from Rocket-A as being RED shifted.

How is that possible?  How can light from an object coming toward you be RED shifted?  First, according to Einstein's Second Postulate, “light is always propagated in empty space with a definite velocity c which is independent of the state of motion of the emitting body.”  In other words, light is emitted at the same speed per second regardless of the speed of the emitter.  So, that seems to say that there should be NO shifting in the emitted light frequency due to the speed of the emitter.   But the purpose of Einstein's Theory of Special Relativity was to explain TIME DILATION. 

Rocket-A is moving at 10,000 mph.  Time runs slower at that speed than it does for stationary Rocket-B.  That means a second is longer for Rocket-A.  That means that if the light Rocket-A emitted has a frequency of 520 Terahertz, or 520 trillion oscillations per local second, when that light travels to a location where seconds are shorter (like on Rocket-B), light at that receiving location will appear to have a longer wavelength than what was created by the emitter.

One key point: Time dilation at 10,000 miles per hour is VERY small.  10,000 mph converts to just 4.47 kilometers per second.  And 1 second when stationary is
1.0000000001112 seconds when moving at 10,000 mph.

Nevertheless, I think I'll have to add the "Moving Rocket-A Stationary Rocket-B thought experiment" to my paper.   It's certainly interesting.

Comments for Sunday, December 13, 2020, thru Sat., Dec. 19, 2020:

December 19, 2020 - While I haven't been posting any new comments for the past few days, that doesn't mean I haven't been thinking about it.  I'm still working on my "Motion Relative to the Speed of Light" paper, but meanwhile there have been a bunch of other things I've wanted to write a comment about.  One topic was the many recent attacks on my web site.

During the month of October, there were 3 strange attempts to POST files to my web site.  They were blocked, of course, but what was strange was what they were trying to post.  It was a file with the name "/xmlrpc.php".  Researching that file name, I found it is a type of file used by WordPress, that allows one web site to communicate with another.  WordPress is a system for building web sites, and about 40 percent of all web sites on the Internet use it.  Not mine, though.

I'm not sure how concerned I was with having three attempts to post that WordPress file to my web site, but in November there were about 170 of them, and so far this month there have been 350 of them, and the month is only about 2/3rds done.  Then, just as I was thinking about writing a comment about them, they stopped!  On Tuesday there were 15, on Wednesday there were 13, on Thursday there were 3, and yesterday there were none.

What's also strange about them is that virtually every one of the 350 was from a different IP address, and they were from about 30 different countries, everywhere from Roubaix, France to Singapore, from Los Angeles to
Dhaka, Bangladesh, from Berlin, Germany to Auckland, New Zealand.  That tells me it was no small enterprise.  Plus, I assume that mine was just one of maybe thousands of web sites they tried to hack.  I was just one that they failed to get into.

And, of course, I have to wonder if there is some connection to the hacking that was done to some of America's government agencies and thousands of companies around the world

December 16, 2020
- While eating breakfast this morning, I finished reading another book on my Kindle.  The book was "The Death of Expertise: The Campaign Against Established Knowledge and Why it Matters" by Tom Nichols.

The Death of Expertise

Wow!  What a book!   I'd heard about it on a Big Picture Science podcast where they interviewed the author, and I was luckily able to find a copy. It's a book that explains why Americans elected someone like Donald Trump to be President.  The explanations verify my thoughts on the subject, but also go into a lot more detail that I hadn't thought about.  I've got 32 page of notes (copied passages) that I'd like to just display here, but that would probably violate copyrights.  Plus, when taken out of context, the passages can seem like attacks on "average Americans."

Here's a passage that hits the mark for me:
The Internet is a magnificent repository of knowledge, and yet it’s also the source and enabler of a spreading epidemic of misinformation. Not only is the Internet making many of us dumber, it’s making us meaner: alone behind their keyboards, people argue rather than discuss, and insult rather than listen.
I've probably tried a thousand times to start an intelligent discussion about some science subject on the Internet, but all I encounter is closed minds and insults.  If you disagree with someone on the Internet, they take it as a personal insult.  You are saying you are smarter than they are.  No, I just disagree with them, and I'd like to discuss the subject intelligently in order to find out who is right and who is wrong.  But they know they are right, so they just state their beliefs as if they are beyond dispute, and if you question something in what they said, they will not explain, they will just repeat word for word what they said and insult you for not being able to understand.

The book explains why:
We all want to be taken seriously and to be respected. In practice, this means we don’t want anyone to think we’re dumb, and so we pretend to be smarter than we are. Over time, we even come to believe it.
The book also gets into conspiracy theories and why conspiracy theories are so firmly believed by some people.  When I was investigating the anthrax mailings of 2001, I encountered many conspiracy theorists.  It was like arguing with a phonograph record.  The book says,
Arguing at length with a conspiracy theorist is not only fruitless but sometimes dangerous, and I do not recommend it. It’s a treadmill of nonsense that can exhaust even the most tenacious teacher. Such theories are the ultimate bulwark against expertise, because of course every expert who contradicts the theory is ipso facto part of the conspiracy.
I can testify to that.  The facts said that a lone American scientist was behind the anthrax attacks, but the conspiracy theorists saw only some vast conspiracy to cover up for who really did it.  It was Dick Cheney, trying to start a war.  It was Muslims.  It was Jews.  It was someone's next door neighbor.  There were times when I feared for my life because I was arguing with people who believed that Muslim terrorists were behind the attacks, and if I disagreed, I must believe as Muslim terrorists believe.  I must be one of them.  Even though the attacks happened almost two decades ago, there are still web sites where conspiracy theorists argue the same beliefs they argued in 2001.

The book explains:
Unable to see their own biases, most people will simply drive each other crazy arguing rather than accept answers that contradict what they already think about the subject. The social psychologist Jonathan Haidt summed it up neatly when he observed that when facts conflict with our values, “almost everyone finds a way to stick with their values and reject the evidence.”
But mostly the book is about how it is becoming much more common to reject the advice and findings of experts, even if the subject is something you know absolutely nothing about.
it’s normal for people to avoid saying they’re bad at something. As it turns out, however, the more specific reason that unskilled or incompetent people overestimate their abilities far more than others is because they lack a key skill called “metacognition.” This is the ability to know when you’re not good at something by stepping back, looking at what you’re doing, and then realizing that you’re doing it wrong. Good singers know when they’ve hit a sour note; good directors know when a scene in a play isn’t working; good marketers know when an ad campaign is going to be a flop. Their less competent counterparts, by comparison, have no such ability. They think they’re doing a great job.
Doctors routinely tussle with patients over drugs. Lawyers will describe clients losing money, and sometimes their freedom, because of unheeded advice. Teachers will relate stories of parents insisting that their children’s exam answers are right even when they’re demonstrably wrong. Realtors tell of clients who bought houses against their experienced advice and ended up trapped in a money pit. No area of American life is immune to the death of expertise. The American public’s declining capabilities in science and mathematics are enabling multiple public health crises from obesity to childhood diseases. Meanwhile, in the worlds of politics and public policy—where at least some familiarity with history, civics, and geography is crucial to informed debate—attacks on established knowledge have reached frightening proportions.
The last part of the book mentions Donald Trump quite often, since he is a prime example of an ignoramus nut-job who thinks he's smarter than everyone else. 
At a Wisconsin rally in early 2016, Republican candidate Donald Trump unleashed an attack on experts. In earlier debates, Trump had often been caught at a loss for words over basic issues of public policy, and now he was striking back. “They say, ‘Oh, Trump doesn’t have experts,’ ” he told the crowd. “You know, I’ve always wanted to say this… . The experts are terrible. They say, ‘Donald Trump needs a foreign policy adviser.’… But supposing I didn’t have one. Would it be worse than what we’re doing now?” Trump’s sneering at experts tapped into a long-standing American belief that experts and intellectuals are not only running the lives of ordinary people, but also doing a lousy job of it.
Consider the various ways in which Trump’s campaign represented a one-man campaign against established knowledge. He was one of the original “birthers” who demanded that Barack Obama prove his American citizenship. He quoted the National Enquirer approvingly as a source of news. He sided with antivaccine activism. He admitted that he gets most of his information on foreign policy from “the shows” on Sunday morning television. He suggested that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who died from natural causes in early 2016, might have been murdered. And he charged that the father of one of his opponents (Ted Cruz) was involved in the Mother of All Conspiracy Theories, the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
Worse, voters not only didn’t care that Trump is ignorant or wrong, they likely were unable to recognize his ignorance or errors.
We're all doomed!  Unless we've somehow learned a lesson from having elected Trump.  How could we do something so stupid?  If you want the answer, talk with people who still support Trump and think he's the greatest President America ever had.  Why?  Because they're just as bigoted and ignorant as he is.  And that is what they want an American President to be.  

December 14, 2020 - Yesterday I finished converting to MP3 files all 192 of my cassette tapes of jazz and blues that I recorded off the radio and other sources over 25 years ago.  The listings I produced of what songs are on the cassettes indicate that I had 150 tapes on January 10, 1996.  On November 14, 1996, I produced another list of tapes #151 through #180, which I must have recorded during those 11 months.  The last numbered tape in the collection is #242, but I never got around to printing a listing that contained the final batch.  And I have no idea what happened to the missing tapes, since I have only 192.  Presumably, 50 tapes snagged and were destroyed in the tape player, since I have vague memories of ripping tapes out of some cassette player.  I don't recall that ever happening in recent years, although one tape snagged when I was copying it to an MP3 file.  I simply unsnagged it and copied it again.

And, of course, about a week ago I figured out what was wrong with my cassette player's connection to my amplifier and large speakers, so I am now listening to the cassettes instead of listening to the MP3 files.  That means I have to turn around and change or flip cassettes every 45 minutes, but it is good exercise.  I listen to the MP3 files when I'm reading in the afternoon, something I haven't had time to do recently.  And they'll be there when my cassette player finally goes blooey.  I've probably had it for nearly a quarter century. 

I also have 9 cassette tapes left to copy.  They are pre-recorded cassettes I purchased many years ago.  A box containing 2 of those cassettes is shown in the photo below along with the MP3 converter. 
cassette converter

I'm going to try to copy them song by song, instead of creating one MP3 file for an entire tape as I did with the other 192 cassettes.  That will require that I listen to the tapes as I copy them.  So, it will require two or three full evenings of my time, instead of just a few minutes every hour and a half while I'm watching TV or listening to podcasts.

Meanwhile, I have another chore to perform.  I need to get rid of about 475 CDs I burned from audio books I got in MP3 format from the library.

audio books on CDs

They are all the audio books I listened to while driving in the past few years.  It's illegal to sell them or to give them away, so I'll have to dump them in the trash.   I'm a guy who hates to throw anything away that once provided me with entertainment.  That's why I still have them all.  However, I'm determined to throw them away this week as part of some long-overdue house cleaning.

And today we'll all do a bit of housecleaning as the Electoral College votes to validate and designate Joe Biden as our 46th President.  That means that on January 20, 2021, America will finally throw out the heap of trash that has been fouling up the system since 2016. That's a day I'm really looking forward to.

December 13, 2020
- Groan!  I've been working on my new paper, which is tentatively titled "Motion Relative to the Speed of Light," but it is very slow going.  I just spent about two days downloading, organizing and glancing through dozens of science papers about the Sagnac Effect, and then I spent more time studying the papers to see if they contained anything at all of value to me.  Some did, but it was usually part of something larger, making it difficult to quote it in my paper.  For example, the quote below
is from page 217 of a book titled "Frontiers of Fundamental Physics," a book of scientific papers presented at a 1993 International Conference on Frontiers of Fundamental Physics, held in Olympia, Greece.  The quote is from a paper titled "What is and what is not essential in Lorentz's Relativity" by Jan Czerniawski of Jagellonian University in Krakow, Poland:
The principle of relativity is another such concept. Negative attitude of some Lorentzians with respect to it is the result of confusing of this physical principle with the philosophical principle of relativity of motion. While the first one, stating that the laws of nature have the same form in all inertial frames of reference, is quite sound and empirically well confirmed, the second one, stating that it only makes sense to speak about motions of bodies relative to other bodies, is not only wrong, but also incompatible with the very theory of relativity!
The part I highlighted in red is what I keep telling the mathematicians I argue with on the sci.physics.relativity forum.  They adamantly insist that the motion of an object can only be relative to another object.  But, from Einstein's point of view (and mine), such a belief is totally incompatible with Einstein's Theory of Special Relativity, since that theory says that all motion is relative to the speed of light.

This is from the next page:
Thirdly, almost all Lorentzians reject Einstein's second postulate. Some points need to be clarified in this context. First of all, literally understood, this postulate states nothing more than the independence of light velocity of the motion of its source, which is common to the relativity theory and all ether theories, contrary to "ballistic" theories, like the one of Ritz. Unfortunately, this rather weak assumption is often confused with the so-called "constancy of light velocity hypothesis" (CLV), according to which the value of light velocity is always equal to the universal constant c in any inertial frame of reference. It is CLV that is usually contested under the misnomer "Einstein's light postulate". In fact, it is not identical with the second postulate, but it is a consequence of both postulates, taken in conjunction.
Is it "Lorentzians" who reject Einstein's second postulate?  I always thought of them as Quantum Mechanics mathematicians.  Could it be both?  Unfortunately, it is unclear if the author is stating in the section I highlighted in red that it is also the Lorentizians who confuse the "constancy of light velocity hypothesis" with Einstein's Second Postulate.  It sometimes seems like half the papers I read contain a claim that Einstein's Second Postulate is his "constancy of the speed of light" postulate.  It is nothing of the kind, and the authors of the papers NEVER actually quote Einstein when they write their nonsense. 

Another problem I'm having is that I will write something, and then I'll realize I need to explain something else before anyone reads that part.  So, I then add something in front of the first thing I wrote.  And while doing that I realize that I need to explain something else before that part, so I'd add a third part in front of the second part which is in front of the first part.  It's like writing a book of 15 chapters by starting on chapter 15, then writing chapter 14, then 13, etc.

But its all part of the writing process, and so is staring at a paragraph and modifying it again and again and again for an hour or more because it just doesn't look right, but you're unsure of how to fix it.

Other interests:

fake picture of snow on
                    the pyramids
 Click HERE for an analysis of this fake photo.

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