Archive for
May 2018

Comments for Sunday, May 27, 2018, thru Thursday, May 31, 2018:

May 31, 2018 - Okay, I seed my duty and I dooed it.  At 9:28 a.m. this morning, I submitted my newest paper Radar Guns and Einstein's Theories to vixra. org.  I'm already kicking myself for not making an important change to one of the illustrations before submitting it.  I kept putting off making the change because of its complexity, and then I became so keyed up about submitting the paper that I forgot about that change.  I don't think it is anything anyone but me would notice, so it really shouldn't affect reactions to the paper.

I have no idea what the reactions will be, except I can assume that the mathematicians on Google's Science, Physics and Relativity discussion forum will hate it and attack it (and me) without supplying any meaningful evidence of anything being incorrect in the paper.

Groan!  I just realized something else that bothered me that I failed to check out.  And it will give my critics some solid facts to use in their attacks.  The problem is: I don't know what the problem is.  There's something that disagrees with the logic in my paper, but I don't know why it disagrees.  It could be something that everyone else is misunderstanding.  I'll just have to wait and see what happens.  Arguing with people who disagree with me helps me understand things better.

Nuts!!!  I need to think some more about that one problem.  So, I cancelled the submission.  Grumble grumble.

May 30, 2018 - Yesterday I received via an email what seems to be only the second helpful suggestion regarding any of my scientific papers.  As with the first attempt to help (the suggestion that I modify Figure 3 in my paper about Einstein's thought experiments), the new suggestion was also from someone who evidently read my post to Google's sci.physics.research discussion group, the group that I learned has a moderator.  The emailer in Germany advised me that, in my paper about Einstein's thought experiments, I shouldn't use so many different ways to emphasize words.  Simple italics is enough, he wrote, don't also add bold or underlining or a combination or ALL CAPITALS. 

It's probably good advice, so I thanked him and told him I'd keep his advice in mind when I revised that paper.  Meanwhile, as I worked on my current paper about Radar Guns and Einstein's Theories, I applied his advice and removed all the extra emphasizing.  Only italics remain.  I probably did it because it gave me something to do while I trying to figure out how to conclude the paper. It is almost done.  I just need to find the right way to end it.  If all goes well, I may submit it to tomorrow.

May 29, 2018 (B) - The discussions on Google's Science, Physics & Relativity forum have turned into nothing but personal attacks and incoherent ranting.  So, I'm going to try to focus on my new paper about "Radar Guns and Einstein's Theories."  Yesterday, someone mentioned something in a comment that got me to thinking once again about that quote from Michael Massimino's book I used in my Sunday comment. Here's the quote once again:
When we talked he said he liked the fact that I was an industrial engineer, because it had given me some practical experience with human factors, something that most of the Good Will Hunting geniuses on campus didn't necessarily have .
Some comments people made on the Google forum seemed to hit upon that same idea that there are mathematician-physicists and practical physicists who use physics to build things and understand things. 

One poster who had never before posted anything in any of my threads wrote this yesterday:

Learn once for all, is not the speed of light which is measured, it is
impossible. But the beat frequency between the two, which is very low and achievable. This is the whole idea in having a homodyne or a heterodyne setup. You derive the speed of the car reversibly, out of that.

You people know everything about Relativity but nothing about Physics.
In what I hope is my final post to that thread I responded that I couldn't make any sense of what he wrote, but I liked the fact that he brought up homodyne and heterodyne setups.  From what I understand, they are the two different methods that engineers use when building radar guns.
Definition of homodyne. : of or relating to the process of detecting a radio wave by the aid of a locally generated current or wave of exactly the same frequency as that of the incoming wave. homodyne reception — see zero beat.  (old, stationary radar gun technology)

Heterodyning is a signal processing technique invented in 1901 by Canadian inventor-engineer Reginald Fessenden that creates new frequencies by combining or mixing two frequencies (new, moving radar gun technology)    
This morning I noticed a new thread in the Google forum.  The new thread was started by "rotchm," who I had recently added to my "Do Not Reply" list.  The thread was titled, "Alfred Einstein & ed lake."  It began with sarcasm about how I had mis-typed "Alfred Einstein" instead of "Albert Einstein" in my May 27 comment here on this website.  And then "rotchm" ranted,
why would you declare that 60 = 0 only for signs that are reflective?  (And what does daytime vs nighttime reading of radar guns have anything to do with the speeds??)
I have absolutely no idea where he got either one of those ideas from.  Did I say something that suggests reflective highway signs give different readings than other highway signs?  When?  Where?  And I certainly never even remotely suggested that radar guns get different readings in the daytime versus nighttime.

It seem those wrong ideas can only be from some language translator program incorrectly translating something I wrote.  I hadn't thought about it much before, but that now seems to be a major part of our communications problems.  We not only do not speak about physics from the same point of view, we are literally talking in different languages, which means the others have to translate what I say into their native languages via some automatic translator program.  And what they say may also get automatically translated from their language into English.  (And the only things that always get translated correctly are mathematical equations, which do not require translation.)

Sometimes the language translations work fine, such as when one poster in that new thread wrote this:

It is not a matter of physics, but technology.
However, then he rambled on incoherently in what I see as some automated translation of what he actually wrote in another language:
The radar gun does measure the 60.

But then it depends, if it is a simple stationary gun, or a  portable gun used in patrol cars.

The former will just show 60.
The latter will subtract the car speed wrt surface = 60 and will  show 0.
There could be something that would be helpful to know in that gibberish, but I cannot decipher it into anything meaningful.  In what situation does the radar gun "measure the 60"?

However, it seems clear I should be talking about how engineer-physicists think versus how mathematician-physicists think. 

Mathematician-physicists think of light as arriving in the form of waves, so the radar gun receives return waves of a different frequency than what were sent out.  The return waves are just like sound waves coming from a moving body.  They are closer together.  Here is an image from an Arizona University web site showing how sound waves work:
sound waves
The ambulance emits higher frequency sound waves in the direction it is moving and lower frequency sound waves in the opposite direction.

That same web site then shows this illustration for how light waves work:
light waves
Is that true?  It is certainly true for sound waves, since the sound has to travel through the air, and sound is literally created by waves moving through the air.  And those waves impact upon our eardrums, causing us to hear the sounds.  The air is the medium of transmitting the sound waves to our ears.  

But there is nothing in space to transmit waves of any kind.  There is no ether (or aether) to carry waves.  There is just a vacuum.  In the air, light travels slower as it works its way through all the atoms, but it still does NOT travel as waves.  It travels as individual photons.  And, according to Albert Einstein, (except for time dilation factors) those photons travel at the same speed whether they are emitted from the backside of a moving emitter or from the front side.  The speed of the emitter cannot be added to the speed of light being emitted.  That means that if the emitter is coming toward you or going away from you, the light photons will travel at the same speed.  And because there is no ether (or aether) to create "waves," the second image above is total nonsense.  The individual photons will oscillate at the same wavelength regardless of the direction in which they are emitted.  The only difference an observer in front of the moving observer will see is that the light is brighter, because he is receiving more photons in a shorter period of time than someone located behind the emitter.  I.e., the emitter emits a photon then moves closer then emits another photon then moves closer, etc.  The photons are thus closer together because the emitter was moving toward you.

moving emitter 

But there are no waves.  (I wrote about all this in my March 23, 2018, comment.)  And there is no "blue-shifting" in that situation.  To get blue- or red-shifting, the observer has to be moving toward or away from the emitter.  When the observer is moving toward the emitter, the photons the observer sees will be encountered at c+v, where v is the observer's velocity.   Receiving photons faster than they were emitted means the wavelengths of the photons will appear shorter.

moving observer
No matter how I look at it, I always get the same results.  And those results clearly conflict with what is written in virtually every college text book.  If I'm wrong, I need someone to explain to me - in plain English - where  I am wrong.  Spraying mathematical equations at me won't do it.  Neither will any argument which claims that the majority is always right, nor will any argument which claims that the person with the most impressive credentials is always right.

While waiting, I'll continue working on my papers.   

May 29, 2018 (A) - News reports this morning say that the Malaysian government has given up on trying to find the remains of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, which disappeared over 4 years ago.  Winter is approaching in the area in the South Indian Ocean where the plane disappeared, and the private ship that was searching for it on a "no find, no fee" basis has failed to find anything.

If history is any gauge, someday someone will realize something they hadn't thought about before, they'll try something new, and they'll find the plane.  Meanwhile, the conspiracy theorists have an open playing field to voice whatever fantasy-based opinions they want. 

May 27, 2018 - A couple days ago, while reading "Spaceman" by NASA astronaut Michael Massimino on my Kindle, I came across the passage underlined in red below:
                  from "Spaceman" by Mike Massimino
Hmm.  That seems to be saying something about mathematician-physicists and how they have no practical experience with "human factors."  While "Good Will Hunting" was a terrific movie (I have it on DVD and have probably watched it at least 3 times), I'd never before thought of it as being about a mathematician-physicist, probably because I wasn't fighting with mathematician-physicists the last time I watched that DVD five years ago.  But, more importantly, the quote seems to say that Michael Massimino and/or the person with whom he was talking saw an important difference between engineering-type physicists and mathematician-type "geniuses."  It's a difference I'm seeing every day.

In my arguments with the mathematician-physicists on the Google forum, I thought about how, due to velocity time dilation, a moving radar gun will use a different length for a second than a stationary speed gun.  But, even if the gun is traveling at 100 mph, it is still a very very small difference in time.  And the difference would be in violator's favor.  Instead of getting a ticket for 100 mph, he'd get a ticket for traveling at something like 99.9999999998 miles per hour. 

Then something else occurred to me.  Not only would the length of a second be different for the moving radar gun, but the speed of light would also be different.  The speed of light when traveling at 100 mph is still 299,792,458 meters PER SECOND, but because the length of a second is longer, the speed of light emitted at that speed is slower.

Radar guns that are built to work while on a moving vehicle send out two radar signals, one to the target vehicle and another to the ground or to nearby stationary objects.  While the photons that are sent toward the ground travel slower and use a longer second, the photons returning from the ground will travel at the correct speed of light because they were emitted from a stationary body.  And a gun that measures speed by measuring the Doppler shift could be sensitive enough to detect that difference in the speed of light.

The problem is: How do I confirm that?  I found a web site run by Chiefs of Police that has a lot of information about radar guns.  But, it says,

Stationary radar is the old standard. An officer sits on the side of the road and watches traffic, waiting for a vehicle moving at high speed. When he sees one, he activates the radar, which measures and displays the vehicle’s speed. The radar will give a tone. If the tone is clear and the displayed speed matches the officer observations, the officer can make the stop.

Moving radar is more complicated because the system must look for two different speeds and compare them to come up with the motorist’s speed. The radar looks for the largest object in its field and assumes this is the background. Then it looks for the second most significant object and assumes this is the target. The radar measures the difference between the target speed and that of the patrol vehicle. The radar’s counting unit uses the following formula:

Target Speed (TS) = Closing Speed (CS) – Patrol Speed (PS)

The radar unit’s display will show two speeds: the target speed and the patrol speed. The officer must make sure the displayed patrol speed matches the speed on his speedometer to determine if the reading is accurate.
Note that in the second paragraph it says that the moving radar system "must look for two different speeds" and it finds them in (1) the background and (2) the target.  Then, in the part I highlighted in red, it says "The radar measures the difference between the target speed and that of the patrol vehicle."  Whaaa?  How do you get from measuring the speeds of (1) the background and (2) the speed of the target to computing the difference in the speed of (1) the target and (2) the patrol vehicle? 

The mathematician-physicists can make assumptions, and I can make different assumptions, but I need to find a good and quotable source that states how the speed of the background is turned into the speed of the patrol vehicle.  It works if you assume both are zero, and it works if you assume both are x mph.  The formula given in the quote indicates that you assume both are x mph.  But how did you get x mph?  The mathematician-physicists say that a standard radar gun moving at 60 mph would get a speed of 60 mph if the radar gun was pointed at the ground or a highway sign.  Albert Einstein, Willem de Sitter, the police officer I talked with last Monday, and I say that the radar gun would show ZERO as the speed of the ground and the sign.  BUT, if the radar gun can measure the difference in the speed of the light going to the ground and the speed of the light coming back from the ground, then you can get x mph.

I need to find some good and quotable source which explains how it is done.  Or I need to talk with more police officers to make sure there is no misunderstanding.

Comments for Sunday, May 20, 2018, thru Saturday, May 26, 2018:

May 25, 2018 - Hmm.  I awoke this morning thinking I need to modify my new paper about "Radar Guns and Einstein's Theories."  I thought I was almost done with the first draft yesterday, but something someone wrote in a comment on Google's Science, Physics & Relativity discussion forum was evidently bouncing around in my subconscious looking for an explanation.  My paper basically ignored time dilation as being of no consequence to the operation of a radar gun, but on the forum early yesterday morning "Voney" had asked me:
So tell us why a moving radar system needs two guns while an ordinary stationary handheld radar only needs one?

Remember, I know the answer, having worked on mobile radar systems...
I ignored the question, thinking it was just about how you need some way to establish zero when computing speeds.  Someone else had asked why a radar gun can't just assume zero and get rid of all the equipment used to establish zero.  A stationary radar assumes it's speed is zero.  But a moving radar needs to establish zero in order to compute the speed of the target. 

When I awoke this morning I realized that if you are establishing zero for computing speeds, you also need to establish the local length of a second for computing speeds.  A moving radar will use a longer second than the local standard second and will thus compute a slower speed for the target.

So, instead of being unimportant to my new paper, suddenly Time Dilation has become VERY important to my new paper.  I just need to figure out what additions and adjustments to make. 

Meanwhile, as I was doing my regular morning routine I noticed a news article titled "A Eulogy for the Luminiferous Ether."  The article is about a  "Science Wake: Eulogies for Failed Theories" to take place in New York City on June 6.  It’s a part of the "Underground Science Festival, an alternative science festival meant to spotlight how science really works as well as science’s forgotten voices."  The article says:
As early as the ancient Greeks, scientists and philosophers supposed that space was not truly empty. Instead, a mysterious substance filled the cosmos like a vast ocean, suspending the stars and serving as the medium through which light traveled.
After all, physicists have long known that light moved, either as a beam or a wave. And if light traveled as a wave, like sound, then surely it needed to travel through something. The greatest minds in history thought it to be true, so surely it must have been. Even physics great James Clerk Maxwell, whose equations reveal the speed of light, considered these ethereal ideas.

You were a sensical theory, luminiferous ether. And physicists love when things make sense. But science need not make sense—the universe doesn’t give a damn what human beings think.
I highlighted that last sentence in bold and in red because I think it is STUPID!  Science does need to make senseIf it doesn't make sense, then we are not understanding it correctly.  If you claim that science doesn't need to make sense, then you are saying you can make up any crap you like and call it "science." If mathematicians need something stationary in order to do their mathematics, then why not take my suggestion and use the theoretical point where the Big Bang occurred instead of an imaginary aether?  The "eulogy" concludes with this:
Science is a tool to get at the truth, but it is not the truth itself. And though you’re gone, we do not despair. Finding the truth requires new ideas, and it requires luminiferous ethers to disprove. We’ll never know what’s right unless we know everything that’s wrong.

Rest in peace... maybe. Perhaps someday we’ll find that you’ve been hiding in existing theory all along.
That last paragraph seems to suggest that maybe there is an ether after all, but we just haven't figured out how it works.  Grumble grumble grumble.

And I just spent over an hour writing this comment instead of working on my new paper.  
Grumble grumble grumble.

May 23, 2018 - I received an email this morning, time-stamped at 5:59 a.m., informing me that the revised version of my paper "Simplifying Einstein's Thought Experiments" is now at this link:  

I awoke this morning thinking about that paper and about the new paper I began working on yesterday,
"Radar Guns and Einstein's Theories."  As I lay in bed thinking about those papers, I did a "thought experiment" of my own, and the results of the experiment would have "blown my socks off," if I'd been wearing socks.  I can't even write about it here.  First I have to include the experiment in the "Radar Guns" paper and put the paper on  In the process of writing the paper I hope to think through every step of the experiment to make sure I'm not misunderstanding something.  It's so damn simple I cannot understand why there aren't already a hundred papers about it.

I'd like to perform the experiment myself.  It would cost virtually nothing, if I could borrow a radar gun and the vehicle I'd need, plus I'd need someone to drive the vehicle.  If I can't get some police department to help me, maybe I can get some local physics professor to help.  But first I need to write the paper.

Meanwhile, I see a physicist who has worked at Fermi-lab in the past has posted this to the Google forum:
All that matters TO THE [RADAR] GUN is the speed of the reflector RELATIVE TO THE GUN, because that is all it can measure (know). This is proven daily by police that use radar guns -- a gun in a car traveling down the highway at 60 MPH will measure a tree to have a speed of 60 MPH.
The police officer I talked with on Monday says that is NOT TRUE.  A radar gun in a car traveling down the highway at 60 MPH will measure a tree to have a speed of ZERO, in full agreement with Einstein and De Sitter

I tried to explain things this morning by posting a comment to the Google forum about the "two reflections" type of radar gun, which sends out photons to the ground and gets a speed of zero and sends out photons to the target car and gets a speed of 90 mph.   "Steve BH" then asked me:

A whole second radar just to subtract zero? And why don’t we just leave that out?
I responded:
Because the radar gun compares photon frequencies.  It needs TWO photons to make a comparison.

In a standard radar gun, the gun compares the frequency of the photons it emits to the frequency of the photons it gets back from the target.

In the "two reflections" type of radar gun, the gun compares the frequency of photons returned from the ground to the frequency of photons returned from the target vehicle.
I'm awaiting a response to that.  It should give them something to think about. 

The experiment I thought about his morning will resolve the dispute.  I just need to finish the paper about the experiment and get the paper on-line.

May 22, 2018 - I awoke this morning deciding that I needed to create a second draft of my paper "Simplifying Einstein's Thought Experiments" before I begin work on my newest paper "Radar Guns and Einstein's Theories."  I wanted to add a lot of things to the Notes Section to show how college textbooks incorrectly describe the ideas behind Einstein's thought experiments, but haven't had time to work on that.  So, I only made three changes to create the second draft: (1) I changed the date on the paper; (2) I changed Figure 3 to the corrected version illustrated in my May 20 comment; and (3) I changed the second Experiment #10 to Experiment #11 (which it should have been in the first place).   I submitted the revised version of the paper to at about 9:30 this morning.  There's a good chance that they will make it available later today.  If they do, I'll modify this comment to reflect that.

Meanwhile, someone on the Google Science, Physics & Relativity discussion group wrote a comment that I felt needed a response from me.  "Paparios" responded to my comment that I had discussed radar guns with a local police officer.  "Paparios" wrote:

You and your policeman do not know what you are talking about!!!

You see, Edward, radars only "see" metalic stuff, like cars, trains, airplanes and missiles. A tree is made of wood and not of metal, do you understand that?

You are way too dumb to understand any of this....
Although typical insulting nonsense, I felt it made one valid point.  When radar photons hit the polished surface of a car more photons will reflect back to the radar gun.  When radar photons hit the rough surface of a tree, the photons will be more scattered, and fewer photons will return to the gun.  So, I explained that to "Paparios" and told him I'd use metal highway signs instead of trees in future discussions with police officers (and in my new paper).  And, I explained that lidar (which is a form of radar) has no problem mapping the locations of trees.  I provided a link to lots of images of trees located by lidar.  The response from "Paparios" was:
Is a lidar a radar?

Do you even think before writing your daily nonsense?
Meanwhile, "rotchm" (who was recently added to my "Do Not Reply" list) stated that I needed to use parked cars instead of highway signs.  How could that make any difference?  It can't, but it says that if I use highway signs I'll just get more arguments from the mathematicians. 

It also occurred to me that I could have mentioned baseball radar guns to "Paparios."  They measure the speed of oncoming baseballs by bouncing photons off of a thrown baseball, which is not made of "metallic stuff, like cars, trains, airplanes and missiles."  Baseballs have a leather covering and are filled with non-metallic materials.   But, I imagine that "Paparios" would just claim that those are a different kind of radar gun, he'd claim they are radar guns specifically made for use with baseballs, and therefore nothing like police radar guns.  The claim would undoubtedly be false, but how could I prove it?  And if I could, I'm certain that "Paparios" would just find some new reason to dismiss my findings.  

So, I'll keep all that in mind as I write the paper.  

May 21, 2018 - I finally found some time to call my local police department to ask them how their radar guns work.  The officer told me that if the radar gun is in a car moving at 60 mph and they point the gun at a tree beside the road, the gun will show "no reading." 

radar gun

I made certain I was understanding what "no reading" means.  In the illustration above, the reading is 55 mph.  If the gun was on a moving car and it was pointed at the grass at the side of the road, the screen on the back of the gun would be blank.  It would show nothing because the gun has no difference in photons to compute.  The outbound photons are identical to the return photons.

I assumed that no one on the Google forum would believe I actually called the police department.  This afternoon's comments show that they all seemed to believe me, they just believe I misunderstood what the police officer told me.   So, I still need to find some on-line source that says the same thing in unambiguous terms.  But, talking with the officer was a big relief for me, since it made me more confident when arguing with a dozen people who all say I am wrong.

I ended the discussion on Google.  I'll now focus on writing a short paper about how radar guns confirm Einstein's theory of light.

I'm also thinking of asking my local police department if they will give me a ride to watch how the radar gun works, so that there can be no misunderstandings.  I have a larger town just across the street, so I may ask their police department, too.  Plus, that larger town is the county seat, so I might ask the sheriff's department if they will let me go along for a short ride.  I might show them the paper about radar guns to see if that helps convince them to give me a ride.

I also realized that I can use to store quotes so that I can find them again if I need them.  Here are some quotes from Richard Feynman's book "QED: The Strange Theory of Light and matter":

Feynman quotes page 15
As you can see, they are from Chapter 1 (the Introduction), pages 14 and 15, so it will be easy to find them again in the book if I need to do so.  I can use them when people claim that I'm the only one who believes that light consists of photons, not waves.

May 20, 2018 - Wow!  Some of my discussions about physics on Google's Science, Physics & Relativity discussion forum have become truly fascinating.  A few days ago, I tried posting a message about my new paper to a different Google physics discussion group and it took over a day for my post to show up on the  group.  The day after it showed up on the forum, someone responded, telling me that I needed to modify one of the illustrations in my paper.  When I tried to answer, I kept getting messages from Google saying that something or other was very slow and that I should try posting again.  I tried about a half dozen times and nothing happened.

Then the next day a message from the "moderator" appeared in the thread.  Moderator?  I didn't know that any Google discussion group had a moderator.  I'd never encountered one before.  The moderator agreed that my illustration needed to be modified and wrote:

Since there is no new physics here, I suggest that further comments be mailed to the original poster.
I'm the "original poster."  So, the guy who had responded sent me an email explaining his view in greater detail.  I agreed with him and said I'd modify the illustration.  Here are the before (incorrect) and after (correct) versions:
                  Figure 3
The complaint was the stone dropped by the observer on the train (OT) would not bounce in the direction of the engine the way I had shown it.  That version implied that the stone was somehow moving faster than OT and the train.  As you can see, the modified version is better, since the stone never moves past OT.  It is still not totally satisfactory, since the stone would be slowing down and wouldn't actually be directly below OT after it had bounced a few times.  But I don't know how to illustrate that without getting another complaint that the stone didn't fall straight down from OT's hand.

But what really interested me in that response was that there was evidently no disagreement with the physics in my paper.  The guy who suggested the change evidently agreed with the paper, and the moderator felt the paper contained nothing new.  That made me really wonder if the scientists and physicists who share my understanding of Relativity try to avoid "social media" because they do not want to endlessly argue with mathematicians as I've been doing.

If there are lots of scientists out there who agree with me, why aren't they protesting against what the colleges and universities are teaching?  Is it because as soon as they open their mouths a hoard of mathematicians will start attacking them and insulting them?  I'm thinking more and more that that is the case.

Meanwhile, I have registered at  It's a place where I can store images and use them on this web site or in posts to various social media forums.  The image above was placed there instead of on my own web site.  Using an image placed on instead of on my own site makes things a bit simpler, and it means I'll be using a lot more illustrations here in the future.  

Yesterday, my arguments with the mathematicians really hit one particularly fascinating area.  We were talking mostly about how police radar guns work.  It's an area where I can find a lot of on-line references which totally disagree with the beliefs of the mathematicians.  But, more than that, the discussions seem to have provided me with undeniable arguments to use against the mathematicians.  I just need to do some more research, and I may even try to contact my local police department to ask them some questions - if I can't find the answers on-line.

We all know that if I am in a police car on the side of the road and I aim a radar gun at a car coming toward me at 90 mph, the radar gun will show that car is traveling at 90 mph.  The question then becomes:  If I am in a moving police car traveling at 60 mph and I aim the radar gun at a traffic sign on the side of the road, what speed will the radar gun register for the sign: zero or 60 mph?

The unanimous answer from the mathematicians is 60 mph.  But, as I see it, that can only happen if the speed of light (c) emitted from the radar gun is added to the speed of the police car (v) I'm in.  That way, the outgoing light travels at c+v, it bounces off the stationary highway sign and returns at c.  The gun subtracts c from c+v and gets v, the speed of the police car (or highway sign).  But the speed of the emitter cannot be added to the speed of light.   I.e., a moving emitter cannot send out light that travels at c+v.  Light cannot go faster than c, the local speed of light.  That is a basic rule in Einsteinian physics and has been confirmed in countless experiments. 

Here's an image I created and put on in about 10 minutes to illustrate this situation:
                  police car and stationary sign
But I haven't been able to find a source that says if you are in a moving car and aim a radar gun at a sign next to the road, the speed of the sign will register as zero velocity.  (That is what you would get if the radar gun sends out light at c instead of c+v and gets back a signal traveling at c.  c-c=zero.)  It isn't that the sources say that is wrong, it's that the sources say nothing at all about that situation.  Or they don't spell things out.  For example, one source I found says,
Radar guns measure the relative velocity between the radar gun and the target. If the radar gun is moving, that has to be accounted for in some way. Most modern guns do this by detecting both the return from the target vehicle and the return from the ground or terrain in the vicinity of the target vehicle, and comparing the two to determine the velocity of the target relative to the ground or terrain.
That implies that the speed of the ground or terrain is measured to be zero, but it doesn't say so.  Here's another quote from the same source:
There will be a number of returns in the radar gun’s received signal. The road, terrain, signs, trees, etc. will all be moving at one speed relative to the gun, and will return a signal Doppler-shifted by an amount corresponding to that velocity. Each vehicle that intercepts the beam will have a return with a Doppler shift that reflects its velocity relative to the gun. Most radar guns today will assume that the single largest return is the (presumably stationary) ground and the second largest return is the target vehicle, or vice versa, and report the difference in velocity between the two as the target vehicle speed relative to the ground.
Again it is implied that the speed of the road, signs, trees, etc. are moving at zero, but it doesn't say so.   I suppose it can be argued that the signal from the ground could indicate the police car is moving at 60 mph and that speed is either subtracted from the speed of an oncoming car (150 mph if the speeder is coming toward the police car at 90 mph) or added to the speed of the police car (30 mph if the speeder is going away from the police car), but the gun would have to be set differently for speeders moving away versus speeders approaching.  I need to have things stated in unambiguous terms, otherwise I'll get nothing but arguments from the mathematicians.  

One mathematician crossed the line in a post yesterday:  Someone who posts as "rotchm" wrote this:  

So it is now concluded that YOU LIE, that you intentionally misquote and change the quotes to serve your needs. Totally fraudulent and disgraceful behavior. I will report this to your publishers and the author of that new book (anthrax/fbi thing on your site). We dont need liars like you.
I immediately informed him that he is now on my "Do Not Reply" list.  But, I see four posts from him this morning.  I'll continue to read his posts, since they show his misunderstandings (which can be interesting and informative), but I won't respond to any of them.  There are a bunch of other posts from overnight which require responses, however, and it is now time for me to do that.

Comments for Sunday, May 13, 2018, thru Saturday, May 19, 2018:

May 16, 2018 - The arguments are coming in hot and heavy on Google's Science, Physics & Relativity discussion forum where I posted a link to my new paper about "Simplifying Einstein's Thought Experiments."  As of this moment, there are 61 posts in the thread, 22 of them from me, including the post that started the thread.

While a lot of it is just complaints that I do not use the words they use or explain things the way they learned those things, some of it is pretty interesting.  Paul Anderson posted links to seven papers he has on his web site which he claims all show that light travels at the same speed everywhere.  But, I think they just show that light travels at 299,792,458 meters PER SECOND within all inertial "frames of reference" even when the length of a "second" is different in those frames.  I'll check them out to see if I can use them as references in some paper of mine.  Here they are:
1. Kennedy-Thorndike
2. Michelson-1913
3. Babcock-Bergman
4. Alvager et al
5. Beckman-Mandics
6. Filippas-Fox
7. Bretcher
I already had copies of them all in my files, and I recall using #4 as a reference in some paper where I showed Alvager et al had no moving observer.  But, I plan to go through each one to see what it says about the speed of light.

Meanwhile, I slapped together a cartoon to use to start a discussion about my new paper on Facebook's Astrophysics & Physics group.  Here's the cartoon:
This morning I see the cartoon and my comment have received 8 "likes" and 5 "Wows."  One person also responded by posting five comments.  All are his negative opinions.  Here is his first comment in its entirety:
Cheers, but given your track record, I’ll just read what Einstein himself wrote, have a look at the actual mathematics, and if I need to look elsewhere I’ll trust people like Bertotti who actually worked on the theories with him.

I’ve already seen your work, and I know what quality I can expect from people trying to seek attention with “independent papers”.
I couldn't recall the name Bertotti, so I looked him up on Wikipedia.  It says Bertotti was born in 1930, so he was only 25 when Einstein died in 1955.  It also says, "Bertotti was a visiting scholar at the Institute for Advanced Study in 1958-59" so he arrived in Princeton 3 years after Einstein died.  But, do I want to argue with the guy on Facebook about it?  I think not.

I also started a thread about my new paper on Google's Sci.,Physics,Research discussion forum, but it is clearly a forum that is rarely accessed.  It takes a long time for a post to show up there.  There was one (negative) response overnight.  I responded to it, but a half hour later my response still wasn't showing up.

Finally, it seems 23 people have viewed my new paper since I put it on That's not very many, but maybe it will get some "word of mouth" action.  Time will tell.

May 15, 2018 - This morning I see there are only 17 posts and 36 views in the thread I started yesterday on Google's Science, Physics & Relativity discussion forum.  None are particularly interesting.  No one seems to have bothered to read more than a few pages of the paper.   Maybe I shouldn't have used the word "simplifying" in the title of a 26-page paper.  If something is "simplified" it should be explainable in a 1-page paper.  Maybe I'll title the second draft "Reviewing Einstein's Thought Experiments."

Only 3 of the overnight posts required a response from me.  The first was a post from someone else to someone else, a post mentioning "length contraction," which I address in my paper.  So, I pointed that out to them.  The second was by someone who argue against Experiment #1 in my paper, complaining that it doesn't do what the experiment is supposed to do.  I explained to him that is because I do what he says the experiment is "supposed to do" in Experiments #2 and #3, because it is important to see the result of the same experiment performed in different ways.  The third comment requiring a response from me was from "Paul Anderson" who wanted to restart an argument from April, but I didn't disagree with anything he wrote last night, and I told him so. 

So, now I'm waiting to see if my responses generate new argument and if some of the regulars who haven't yet posted so far post comments during the day today.

Meanwhile, when I looked at the web page which shows all the papers recently placed on, I saw several papers about subjects similar to the subject of my paper.  One paper posted on Sunday, for example, is titled "Einstein's Relativity of Simultaneity Argued Against."  It's written by someone in Hungary who seems to be arguing that Einstein shouldn't have said events are simultaneous just because they were viewed as being simultaneous.  Is that what Einstein wrote, or is that how Einstein's words are interpreted?  It is not how I interpret what Einstein wrote.

I'm thinking I should also post a comment to Google's Science, Physics, Research discussion group, to see what reaction I get there.  I never posted there before. (It doesn't seem to be a very popular group.  I see only one or two posts per day.)  I'm also thinking about posting something to Facebook about my paper, in an attempt to get a discussion going there.  But, I'd need an illustration to get those people interested.  I'm thinking of creating a cartoon where three groups of people are arguing with each other.  One group argues, "We agree that Einstein didn't mean what he wrote, and we agree about what Einstein actually meant!"  Another group argues, "We disagree with Group One and agree that Einstein meant what he wrote!"  And a third group argues, "We disagree with Einstein, we think he meant what he wrote, but we agree with Group One that Einstein should have written what they mistakenly believe he meant." 

I really hope I can get at least one person to discuss my paper and how it relates to what it taught in colleges and universities around the world.

May 14, 2018 (B) - Just before lunch this morning, I finished the first draft of my new science paper titled "Simplifying Einstein's Thought Experiments."  I then submitted it to, and when I returned from a workout at the gym this afternoon I found an email in my inbox informing me that the paper was now available on-line at the link above.

So, of course, the next thing I did was to start a new thread on Google's Science, Physics & Relativity discussion forum asking for "constructive criticism on how to improve the paper or clarify the ideas."   I received the first response 10 minutes later.  Here it is in its entirety:

... it is essentially useless since the train/bank Gedanken is well understood and has never been misinterpreted by actual scientists. The only people who don't understand it are folks who do not have the math-physics background necessary to do so... like, for example, YOU, Ed...
So, we're off to a routine start with a dogma opinion and a personal attack.  Since it's time for me to shut down my computer for today, I'll find out tomorrow if there were any intelligent comments overnight.

May 14, 2018 (A) - Hmm.  Evidently, last night's edition of the Australian current affairs program "60 Minutes" was about Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.  This morning there are a number of news articles about it.  The article in the International Business Times is titled "MH370 Mystery: 'Premeditated Murder' Planned By Flight's Pilot, Experts Claim."  The experts are claiming that the pilot of MH370 committed suicide and took all of his passengers with him.  That's the same conclusion I arrived at back on May 10, 2015, because it seemed to be what most commercial pilots also believe.

The article also indicates that the search by an independent contractor that began about six months ago on a "no find, no fee" agreement is still in progress, even though it is now getting close to winter on that side of the world. 

May 13, 2018 - This is another one of those Sunday mornings when I do not have anything prepared and already written for my Sunday comment.  So, I have to start from scratch.

The reason I have nothing written is because I've been working on my new paper about Einstein's thought experiments.  I'm really excited about it, and I really want to get it on-line so I can get people's opinions about it.  In the process of writing it, I've been clarifying and organizing my own thoughts about Relativity, and I've been stunned at how simple it really is.  And it is also very clear that my view is Einstein's view, and the people with whom I've been arguing (and all the college textbooks they got their mistaken beliefs from) are wrong.  And I wonder how anyone will be able to argue that it is more complicated than how I describe it.  

Yesterday it was a choice between continuing to work on that paper or starting work on this comment.  I worked on the paper.  Right now, it looks like I should be able to put a first draft on Vixra-org sometime this week, maybe as early as Tuesday.

I keep changing the title.  The current title is "Simplifying Einstein's Thought Experiments."  But maybe it should be "Einstein's thought Experiments Simplified."  Or maybe "Analyzing Einstein's Thought Experiments" would be better.  Or maybe I should go a different route and title it "Simplified Relativity" or "Simplifying Relativity."  Or "Relativity Simplified."  We'll see what happens.

The current version is 24 pages long.  I think another 2 or 3 pages might be needed before I'll have a good "first draft."  A big part of the work has gone into the illustrations.  It has 27 illustrations, but 2 or 3 of them need to be overhauled before I release the "first draft."  A lot more can be improved, but I can do that in later drafts. 

Meanwhile, I've been continuing the discussion on Facebook's Astrophysics and Physics group about the difference between the Big Bang Universe and the Observable Universe.  It's an argument about things that aren't in the paper I'm currently working on, but probably should be in a different paper.  In the process of writing that different paper I may figure out some things that I'm not clear about. 

Back on May 8, I posted this illustration of the Observable Universe that I found on NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day website:

The visible universe 

The Earth as it exists today is at the center of the above illustration.  The outer edge of the disk is the universe as it existed 13.8 billion years ago.  The Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) is the spider-web yellow and pink stuff just inside of the outer edge of the disk.  So, the CMB surrounds us on all sides.

The problem is reconciling the above image to an image of the Big Bang Universe timeline as shown in the image below:

The Big Bang Universe
In the second image we are located in one of the "present day" galaxies at the far right.  The Cosmic Microwave Background is the green stuff on the left, between "The Dark Age"which is in dark blue, and the pink and yellow stuff that represents the "Age of Inflation," the period when the material from the Big Bang expanded at a much faster rate than today's rate of expansion.

So, the disk version is like sticking a pin in our galaxy on the right in the second image and then spinning the second image around to create the disk version. 
In the Facebook discussions it became clear that the others couldn't make the leap between the long Big Bang illustration with the Earth at one end and the Big Bang at the other, and the disk illustration with the Earth in the center.  I then found the illustration shown below, which represents what a section of that disk would look like in 3 dimensions:

A slice of time and the universe
But there is still something that isn't quite easily understandable.  I visualize the problem as you and I standing side by side a very tiny fraction of a second after the Big Bang. Then you and I moved apart as the universe expanded in the seconds after the Big Bang.  We must have moved apart much faster than the speed of light if today we cannot see each other (although if we both moved apart from each other, each moving at nearly the speed of light, we would very quickly lose sight of each other).  It probably also relates to why we cannot see the Big Bang in all directions if we can see the CMB in all directions.  Another part of the answer is that there was nothing to be seen in the Big Bang.  It happened in darkness.  We can see the darkness.  And the "Age of Inflation" also happened in darkness, and during the "Age of Inflation" things did move apart much faster than the speed of light (there was no light).

But, all that thinking about that problem is doing is keeping me from finishing my paper on "Simplifying Einstein's Thought Experiments."  Or should it be titled "The Logic of Einstein's Thought Experiments"?  Or "Einstein's Logical Thought Experiments"?   

Comments for Sunday, May 6, 2018, thru Saturday, May 12, 2018:

May 10, 2018 - I really wanted to talk about my May 8 comment with someone, but I didn't want to get back on Google's Science, Physics & Relativity discussion forum to do that, so I decided to post a comment to the Astrophysics and Physics Facebook groupMy comment basically just summarized what I wrote here in my May 8 comment. 

While that Facebook group is a "public group," which means everyone can view it, unlike the Google forum, the Facebook group has one or more moderators, and you have to join the group to post to the group.  The moderators supposedly keep down the personal insults and spam.  The group has 82,023 members.  So, late on May 8, I posted a message.  It was reviewed by a moderator overnight, and it appeared on the group on May 9.  There was an immediate positive reaction with lots of "likes" and "Wows."  Right now there are 30 of them, with no negatives.  Plus, the first posted comment was wildly enthusiastic.

Then the nay-sayers showed up.  They disagreed with what I wrote but couldn't explain anything, of course.  They could only state their opinions.  Their opinions were all basically the same thing: "There is no center to the universe."  Period.  No arguments allowed.  And when I questioned what they were saying, they insulted me and attacked me personally. 

Here's a post by Iain Hilton after I questioned what he had written:

The problem is that an idiot like Ed posts something up like this, and people who don’t know but want to learn think “wow, that’s amazing! They blew my mind!” giving them a completely false idea about cosmology and astrophysics.
And when someone corrects them, instead of listening, they double down after making lots of genuinely interested people think they’ve said something profound instead of profoundly stupid.
Later, someone named Jayson Abalos posted a very long comment that would probably take 5 pages if printed out.  But seemed virtually incomprehensible.  Here's a small part of it:
The problem with the center of the universe idea is that it derives from the phrasing of the Big Bang's singularity, or the word, "point" in the description, but that phrasing and wording can be a bit misleading to how we are familiar with thinking. It also relies on dispersion to remain static in momentum and growth. The latter of these we know at this point to not be the case, as there has been enough time for a variety of interactions to have taken place to cause asymmetrical formation in some interesting ways throughout the observable universe, and by derivative relationship, the whole universe model; less highly successful models such as general relativity be grossly wrong, for which we have no evidence to support that position.

The best way I can explain the problem is to imagine a single firework inside of a huge pressure chamber. It explodes, and from it millions of constituent parts fling out. Milliseconds after it explodes, for some reason, the pressure in the chamber changes, and all of the constituent parts push outward in equal direction and rate consequent of the pressure change. Many of the constituents, which flung from the first firework, themselves are highly volatile and when they touch, they create secondary explosions themselves, and from these even more constituent parts fling outward. These secondary explosions do not occur in uniform timing, inherently, therefore, there is an asymmetry embedded here. From here, constituents continue to explode when they interact. Imagine 6 million secondary explosions, and each of those leads to 6 million explosions, and repeat this process to the power of 10. All the while, the momentum of everything previously has been retained until acted upon by a new force giving new momentum.
Since what he was writing didn't seem to have anything to do with the way the Big Bang worked, I was tempted to respond with some questions, but instead I just wrote a comment to everyone that summarized how I understood things, and then I said "bye bye."

Then, this morning, I saw there were a couple new comments from Laura Herzog who hadn't posted anything yesterday.  Both comments said basically the same thing:

since we know that the universe is expanding, if what you drew was true, the edge closest to the big bang point would be going slower the edge further would be going faster and the sides wouldn't appear to be moving at all.

We see equal movement in all directions.
That was such an interesting response, that I felt required to reply.  So, I wrote:
Laura Herzog, thanks for your response, but, as I see it, you are viewing things from the Big Bang universe perspective. There it would be clear that the edge closest to the Big Bang point would be going slower, etc., because everything is moving away from the center, and the farther from the center you are, the faster you are moving.

From the perspective of someone on Earth in the center of the OBSERVABLE universe, however, you would NOT see that.

Think of the universe expanding like a released spring. The bottom of the spring is fixed to the point where the Big Bang occurred. A spring doesn't expand like an accordion where you pull on it to draw one side away from the other. A spring expands all along its length. The space between each coil increases. So, if you are on one coil, you will see the coil ahead of you moving away FROM YOU just as fast as the coil behind you moves away FROM YOU. You have no way of detecting your motion away from the point of the Big Bang because you cannot see that point.

So, as everyone here seems to agree, the space between galaxies is increasing just like the space between coils of a spring increases.

If you view things from the Big Bang perspective, everything is moving away from the center.

If you view things from the center of the OBSERVABLE universe, everything is moving away from YOU. 
That response poses some Relativity questions for me to think about.  If we are moving away from the point of the Big Bang, and if objects behind us are moving slower than objects head of us as we move away from that point, would the difference in the speed of light from fast and slow moving emitters even things out?  Groan!  I don't want to have to think about that!  I've got a paper to write, and I have to avoid getting distracted.

Plus, yesterday someone gave me a free digital watch as part of some kind of sales promotion, and that means that sooner or later I will have to figure out how to set the time on the watch.  The instructions seem to say that I need "Bluetooth" to set it.  Now I just need to find some time to read the instructions and figure out how Bluetooth works and how to set the watch.  Groan.     

May 8, 2018 - Hmm.  I've occasionally mentioned on this web site and elsewhere my understanding of how the visible or observable universe is just a small part of the "Big Bang universe."  Because stars did not form until about 200 million years after the Big Bang, there was no light for the first 200 million years after the Big Bang.  And we can only see the light that has had time to reach us since the first stars turned on 13.8 billion years ago.  That means the visible universe is just 13.8 billion years in diameter, and the Big Bang universe is undoubtedly much larger.   And the Big Bang universe is filled with stars and galaxies we cannot see because they are so far away that the light emitted from them just hasn't had time to reach us.

I created the image below and have used it many times to illustrate what I'm talking about:

visible vs complete universe

To my pleasant surprise, today's featured image on NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day web site is this depiction of the visible/observable universe:

The visible universe

The text that explains the image says:

How far can you see? Everything you can see, and everything you could possibly see, right now, assuming your eyes could detect all types of radiations around you -- is the observable universe. In visible light, the farthest we can see comes from the cosmic microwave background, a time 13.8 billion years ago when the universe was opaque like thick fog. Some neutrinos and gravitational waves that surround us come from even farther out, but humanity does not yet have the technology to detect them. The featured image illustrates the observable universe on an increasingly compact scale, with the Earth and Sun at the center surrounded by our Solar System, nearby stars, nearby galaxies, distant galaxies, filaments of early matter, and the cosmic microwave background. Cosmologists typically assume that our observable universe is just the nearby part of a greater entity known as "the universe" where the same physics applies.
So, NASA uses them "observable universe" where I have been using "visible universe."  And so does Wikipedia.  I clicked on the first link in the quote above and it took me to Wikipedia's article about the "Observable Universe."  That article says,

The observable universe is a spherical region of the universe comprising all matter that can be observed from Earth at the present time, because electromagnetic radiation from these objects has had time to reach Earth since the beginning of the cosmological expansion. There are at least 2 trillion galaxies in the observable universe.[7][8] Assuming the universe is isotropic, the distance to the edge of the observable universe is roughly the same in each direction. That is, the observable universe is a spherical volume (a ball) centered on the observer. Every location in the universe has its own observable universe, which may or may not overlap with the one centered on Earth.
Some parts of the universe are too far away for the light emitted since the Big Bang to have had enough time to reach Earth, so these portions of the universe lie outside the observable universe.
Grumble grumble!  I agree that "observable universe" is better terminology than "visible universe," since "visible" implies only what we can see with our eyes, while "observable" includes microwaves, radio waves, ultraviolet,infrared and other wavelengths we can detect via special equipment.  But why do they both repeatedly say "universe" instead of "Big Bang universe"?   Is there a difference between "universe" and "Big Bang universe"?  The logic they use says they're talking about the "Big Bang universe."

As I recall, the arguments I had with mathematicians were about whether or not there was a Big Bang, and about their mistaken belief that if there had been a Big Bang we would be able to see the point where the Big Bang began and we would be able to see that everything in our visible/observable universe is moving away from that point.  Many mathematicians argue that there was no "point" where the Big Bang occurred, the universe just expanded "from everywhere."

Mostly I would bring up the subject of the visible/observable universe when I talked about the point where the Big Bang occurred as being the stationary point from which all movement in the universe can be measured (shooting down their screwball belief that "all motion is reciprocal").  At that stationary point, time would tick at its maximum rate, because it would also be unaffected by motion and by gravity.  (In theory, there is no effect from gravity at that stationary point because all matter in the universe was evenly distributed in all directions from that point.)  Also, light would be emitted at its maximum speed from that point.  

I don't know if I should go back and change every time I used the word "visible" to be "observable" instead, but I now have references I can use if I get into any further arguments with mathematicians who do not believe in the Big Bang, or who do not believe that there can be anything outside of our observable universe, or who believe that the universe didn't expand from a point but expands "from everywhere."

Of course, I know from past experience that they will use the #1 DUMBEST idea in physics to argue against me.  They'll argue that the people who wrote those articles didn't really believe or mean what they wrote, they were LYING to the public because the public is just too stupid to understand the "mathematical reality" of physics. 

May 7, 2018 - Yesterday during lunch, I finished reading the Kindle copy I got from my libary of "Endurance: A Year in Space, A Lifetime of Discovery" by Scott Kelly.

Endurance cover

Wow!  What a great book.  It was really a fascinating read.  It's filled with interesting details about flying space shuttles, and particularly about life aboard the International Space Station (ISS), where Kelly spent 159 days on his first stay in 2010 and 2011, and 340 days on his second stay in 2015 and 2016. 

One of the things you might not ordinarily think about is the fact that there is no way to take a bath or a shower on the ISS.  (They use Handi-Wipes.)  So, Kelly went 340 days without taking a bath or shower.  He wrote, "there is no laundry up here, so we wear clothes for as long as we can stand, then throw them out."  And brushing your teeth is done differently: "I brush, still in my sleeping bag, then swallow the toothpaste and chase it with a sip of water out of a bag with a straw. There isn’t really a good way to spit in space."

The ISS has had people aboard it since November 2, 2000, so it's been 17½ years "since all humans were on the earth at once."

They eat a lot of tortillas aboard the ISS, "because of their long shelf life and lack of crumbs."   Since there is no gravity, crumbs would float around for years or until they got sucked into a ventilator. 

Because things float away, it's easy to lose tools and tiny metal parts.  They just drift away and get lost among all the equipment that is Velcroed to all the walls around you.  Kelly writes, "Occasionally one of us will dislodge a tool or part that has been missing for years. Eight years is the record, so far, for a missing object reappearing." 

Of course, going to the bathroom is different in space, because things do not fall downward as they do on earth.

There are also other tasks that need to be performed, but which you wouldn't ordinarily do.  "Haircuts are one of the many tasks ISS crew members have to perform for one another (in addition to giving simple medical tests, drawing blood, doing ultrasounds, and even performing basic dentistry)." 

One of the  more interesting things described in the book is how the outside of the ISS looks.  It looks like bullets have been fired at it.  There are tiny craters where tiny particles hit while traveling tens of thousands of miles per hour.  Kelly wrote this about one space walk: "I’m immediately struck by how damaged the outside of the station is. Micrometeoroids and orbital debris have been striking it for fifteen years, creating small pits and scrapes as well as holes that completely penetrate the handrails, creating jagged edges. It’s a little alarming—especially when I’m out here with nothing but a few layers of spacesuit between me and the next strike."

I could go on and on, but suffice to say: It was a very interesting and enjoyable book. 

May 6, 2018 - As I work on my paper about Einstein's thought experiments, I'm finding more and more evidence that the mathematician's belief that "all motion is reciprocal" is beyond absurd

Yesterday, I wanted to find some sources that claimed that "all motion is reciprocal," so I did a Google search for that exact phrase.  To my surprise, I got only 6 results, and 3 of those were to things I had written.  As a further surprise, one of the hits that was not my writing was to something from Ralph Waldo Emerson. It's from page 124 of "The Complete Sermons of Ralph Waldo Emerson."  In Sermon CX (110) Emerson said
"All motion is reciprocal and so all influence spiritual influence." 

That doesn't help.  The next hit led to a University of Chicago web site and an on-line article titled "The Chicago School of Media Theory." It says,

“Thanks to the third dimension of space, all the images making up the past and future are … not laid out with respect to one another like frames on a roll of film … But let us not forget that all motion is reciprocal or relative: if we perceive them coming towards us, it is also true to say that we are going towards them” (Bergson 142).
When I checked that (Bergson 142) reference I found it's a quote from page 142 of the book "Duration and Simultaneity" by Henri Bergson.  The 6th hit also went to a page containing that same quote.  I found the quote in Bergson's book, but the book seems to be a rant against Einstein's theory that time is a variable and can "dilate."  I'll have to study it further to figure out exactly what Bergson is arguing about.  A little additional research found a book titled "The Physicist & the Philosopher: Einstein, Bergson, and the Debate that Changed Our Understanding of Time."  That book looks even more interesting.

But, all I'm doing is demonstrating how easy it is to get sidetracked and to end up spending hours researching something that may turn out to be a total waste of time and of no value whatsoever to what I'm writing about in the my new paper.

Checking back on what I wrote on this web site, I found that on April 29 I had quoted from a Tennessee community college web site which stated:

Time dilation is reciprocal.  If Δt is the proper time for a clock in S, then the two observers in S' would measure Δt' = γΔt.  If this effect were not reciprocal, there would be a way to distinguish between inertial frames.
My latest search didn't find that quote because the quote is about time dilation, not about motion, plus it doesn't contain the word "all."  If I leave the word "all" out of the search and just search for "motion is reciprocal", I get 11,800 results, but I'd have to study each one to see exactly what it is saying.

I also remembered writing something said by a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  I quoted him in my May 21, 2017 comment:
It is a meaningless question in relativity to ask whether you are moving relative to me or whether I am moving relative to you, it doesn't matter.  All that matters in Special Relativity is the relative motion.  So, you can always think of yourself as standing still and make the source of electromagnetic radiation move to you or away from you, relative to you.
As I see it, it is not a "meaningless question" at all.  It is absolutely essential to understanding relativity.  What the Theory of Special Relativity says is that you can absolutely tell who is moving and who is not if you are two independent "reference bodies" observing one another across space.  However, you cannot tell who is moving and who is not if you are enclosed within different "Inertial Frames of Reference" where one "Frame" is moving and the other is not.  There is no known scientific test that you can perform inside a closed inertial Frame of Reference to determine if you are moving or not.

The paper on which I'm currently working shows very clearly, in simple step by step thought experiments created and described by Einstein in his various writings, that two different observer reference bodies can see motion and time differences that cannot be seen inside a closed inertial Frame of Reference.  And that is what Relativity is all about: how what you see can be different from what I see, and how what one of us sees can be conclusively shown to be "incorrect."

Now, I have to end this comment and get back to work on that new paper.  It is coming along well.  I have the beginning and much of the middle, I just need to find the best way to end the paper.

Comments for Tuesday, May 1, 2018, thru Saturday, May  5, 2018:

May 3, 2018 (B) - I awoke this morning realizing that I failed to make an important additional point in yesterday's comment.  That point relates to these two translations from Einstein's paper "The Principal Ideas of the Theory of Relativity":

First version Second version
Now imagine the sun later hurls a body into space such that it flies with a velocity of 1,000 kilometers per second in the same direction as the ray of light. This is easy to imagine. We now can similarly imagine this projected body as an alternative body of reference and ask ourselves: what is the propagation velocity of light in the judgment of an observer who does not sit on the sun but rather on the projected body? The answer seems simple. When the hurled body runs after the light at 1,000 kilometers per second, the ray of light advances against it by only 299,000 kilometers per second. Now imagine the sun hurling an object after this ray of light, so that it moves through space in the same direction with a velocity of 1,000 kilometers per second. This is easy to imagine. Now we might as well select this ejected object as a reference body and ask: what is the velocity of propagating light when judged by an observer who does not sit on the sun, but on the ejected object? The answer seems simple. If the ejected object races behind the light with a speed of 1,000 kilometers per second, the ray of light is only able to advance against it at a rate of 299,000 kilometers per second.

In both versions Einstein says that an observer traveling at 1,000 kps (v) away from a stationary source of light will see light rays from that source moving past him at 299,000 kps, which is c-v. 

Of course, if the observer were looking in the other direction, i.e., back at the source of the light rays, the observer would measure the light rays reaching him at 299,000 kps, which is again c-v.

And that confirms what I have said is the #4 DUMBEST belief in physics: "The speed of light is always measured to be the same by the emitter and all outside observers, regardless of their own velocity."  That incredibly dumb belief that the observer traveling at 1,000 kps will see the light rays passing at 300,000 kps, NOT at 299,000 kps, is routinely taught in colleges and universities around the world.

The quotes above may be the only time Einstein made things so clear, but I'll continue hunting for other quotes where he says something similar, so that I can use them in a scientific paper.

May 3, 2018 (A) - Yesterday and the day before, I spent some time in what might be considered to be a "group therapy session."  Unintentionally, I played the role of the therapist.  The "session" began when I posted the image below to FaceBook's Science, Technology and Society Discussion Corner:

Space shuttle Endeavour launch  
It's a photo of the space shuttle Endeavour punching a hole through the clouds and heading for space on May 16, 2011.  It was launch #134 of a total of 135 shuttle launches in the program.  I thought it was an awesome and beautiful picture (particularly when viewed full size), however I'd shown it to someone I know who told me it gave him "the shivers and an unexplainable sense of premonition."  When I asked him what he meant by that, he responded by saying he'd just told me it was "unexplainable."  So, I asked the folks in that FaceBook group what they thought he ("the subject") might have meant.

The first person to respond told me that maybe it was "
Because it looks like one of those things from Dune?"

I had no idea what that "patient" meant, so I ("the therapist") asked him to explain, and I was provided with this picture of a Sandworm from the novel "Dune":

Sand worm from Dune.

I was certain that wasn't what "the subject" had been thinking about, since "the subject" had absolutely no interest in science fiction.

The second person to respond suggested, "
Phallic symbolism?"  To me that said more about the woman "patient" who made the suggestion than about the man who is "the subject," since I could think of no reason a typical man (like "the subject") would get "the shivers and an unexplainable sense of premonition" by looking at a phallic symbol.

The response that initially seemed to make the most sense was that the image somehow reminded "the subject" of the Challenger disaster, where the space shuttle Challenger exploded during takeoff.  A second possibility was that it made "the subject" think of the launch of a rocket with a hydrogen bomb warhead, maybe launched from North Korea.  I initially tended to favor the former, now I'm almost certain that it was the latter.  I'd say there is a 90% probability that the image made "the subject" think of the news stories he's seen recently on TV of North Korean missile launches, news stories which say which the North Koreans might someday send such missiles carrying hydrogen bombs toward targets in the United States. There's maybe a 5% chance that "the subject" was thinking about the Challenger disaster, and there's maybe another 5% chance that he was thinking about something else that simply hasn't occurred to me.

Perhaps the most interesting response during the "therapy session" was from a "patient" who was upset that I was trying to figure out what someone else was thinking.  He found that to be "creepy."  I responded the way a good "therapist" might, by provoking him with another idea.  I told "the patient" that trying to understand what someone else was thinking was essential in today's world if we want to understand how Donald Trump got elected.  What could the people who voted for Trump have been thinking?  Or were they just voting their emotions and not thinking at all?   

That same "patient" then wrote (with my highlighting in red), "
Dragging someone's inner thoughts into a forum with thousands of readers, after that person has declined to explain his thoughts to you, verges on stalking (alleviated by the fact that you haven't identified your target). I advise you not to start stalking me in a similar manner."

I responded by writing, "Hmm.  
Paranoia is another emotion that conservatives seem to share."  And I added, "As you say, I did not identify him, plus there is near ZERO chance that he will ever read this thread. He has very little interest in the Internet.  Meanwhile, I'll continue studying conservatives in general, since I believe it is important to find a way to get them to THINK the next time they vote, instead of just following their angers and fears and their paranoia."

I told that "patient" that this was going to be my last post in the thread, but he responded, "
Apparently you've decided that I'm a conservative Trump voter.  This suggests that you're really bad at guessing how other people think. You might consider not doing so in public."

I didn't respond, but yes, I thought there was a very good chance that he had voted for Trump, and since I consider "conservative" and "hypocrite" to be synonyms, I tended to disbelieve his implied denial.

It was an interesting "group therapy session" while it lasted. 

May 2, 2018 - Yesterday, I got a little lesson in language translations.  I saw a reference to a paper written by Albert Einstein with the title "The Principal Ideas of the Theory of Relativity."  It was a paper I couldn't recall ever having read, so I found a copy of it HERE.  I then created a pdf copy of it so that I could highlight the interesting passages and copy and paste some of them into yesterday's comment.  My copy had more words per page, so while writing yesterday's comment I wanted to mention what original page some quote was on.  When I looked for the on-line version again, I found a second version HERE.  When I tried to find the quote by searching for a key word, I couldn't find it.  It took me awhile to realize that the translations are very different, even the first sentences are very different. 

First version
Second version
Ask an intelligent man who is not a scholar what space and time are, and he will perhaps answer as follows. If we imagine all physical things, all stars, all light taken out of the universe, what then remains is something like a giant vessel without walls called "space."
If you ask someone who is intelligent but not learned to define space and time, he might answer as follows: imagine the universe without matter, stars and light, then all that remains is some kind of giant vessel without walls, something we simply call “space.”

And here are how two key sections are translated differently:

First version
Second version
Now imagine the sun later hurls a body into space such that it flies with a velocity of 1,000 kilometers per second in the same direction as the ray of light. This is easy to imagine. We now can similarly imagine this projected body as an alternative body of reference and ask ourselves: what is the propagation velocity of light in the judgment of an observer who does not sit on the sun but rather on the projected body? The answer seems simple. When the hurled body runs after the light at 1,000 kilometers per second, the ray of light advances against it by only 299,000 kilometers per second. The same situation would prevail if the ray of light were not sent by the sun but rather by the projected body, because we know that the velocity of light does not depend upon the state of motion of the light source.
Now imagine the sun hurling an object after this ray of light, so that it moves through space in the same direction with a velocity of 1,000 kilometers per second. This is easy to imagine. Now we might as well select this ejected object as a reference body and ask: what is the velocity of propagating light when judged by an observer who does not sit on the sun, but on the ejected object? The answer seems simple. If the ejected object races behind the light with a speed of 1,000 kilometers per second, the ray of light is only able to advance against it at a rate of 299,000 kilometers per second. It would be the same if the ray of light were not emitted by the sun, but rather by the ejected object; because we know that the velocity of light does not depend on the state of motion of its source.

There's nothing really startling in the translation differences.  They both basically say the same thing.  "Races behind" is not quite the same thing as "runs after," and while "advances against it" and "advance against it" are basically the same, they seem to imply that the ray of light is catching up with the object, rather than the object falling farther and farther behind the ray of light.  I would probably have written the German equivalent of "While the ejected object follows behind the light at a speed of 1,000 kilometers per second, the ray of light is only able to outdistance the object at a rate of 299,000 kilometers per second.

When the ejected object emits a ray of light, that ray of light also outdistances the object at a rate of 299,000 kilometers per second.

The problem with Einstein's explanation is that he paints a picture of the ray of light from the sun traveling at the same velocity as the ray of light emitted by the object, but he's also saying that cannot be true because the ray of light from the sun is traveling at 300,000 kps, while the ray of light emitted by the object travels only at 299,000 kps.  Then he explains:

First version Second version
The law of light propagation is the same, whether the sun or the projected body is chosen as the body of reference. The same ray of light travels at 300,000 kilometers per second relative to the sun and also relative to the body projected at 1,000 kilometers per second. If this appears impossible, the reason is that the hypothesis of the absolute character of time is false. One second of time as judged from the sun is not equal to one second of time as seen from the projected body.
The law of light propagation is exactly the same, whether you choose the sun or the ejected object as a reference body. The same ray of light travels with 300,000 kilometers per second whether it is emitted by the sun or by the ejected object traveling at 1,000 kilometers per second. If this seems impossible, it is only because the hypothesis of the absolute character of time is wrong. One second judged from the sun is not one second seen from the ejected object.
So, the sun ejected light at 300,000 kilometers per SUN SECOND, and the object emitted light at 300,000 kilometers per OBJECT SECOND.  Since a second is longer for the object, if someone on the sun could see the light the object emitted, they would see that light traveling at 299,000 kilometers per SUN SECOND.

No matter how you look at it, Einstein is saying that virtually every object in the universe that emits photons (visible light or not) could be emitting those photons  at a different velocity.  And, as we have seen with GPS satellites, you have to compensate for the "per second" differences between the emitter and receiver if you want to do correct calculations.    

May 1, 2018 (B) - I awoke this morning thinking that I found the final "clue" I needed to get my thoughts organized about Einstein's Theories of Relativity.  I just needed to try to figure out why Einstein didn't specifically mention that "clue," or maybe he did and I just failed to notice it.  Or, more likely, he mentioned it in some very complex and convoluted way that I couldn't decipher correctly.

Yesterday, while doing research as I tried to figure out what I wasn't understanding in Einstein's convoluted explanations, I found an article that used as a reference a paper Einstein had written some time after December 1916 (and apparently never published) titled "The Principal Ideas of the Theory of Relativity."  The paper was evidently later found and included in volume 6 of his "collected papers."  (I appear to have two different translations of that paper, and the quotes below do not match with what is at the link above.) It says on page 5:
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. 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.
I put together train-embankment illustrations showing the section red to be true, but my feeling was "So what?!  That's obvious!"  If light travels at 300,000 kps and two observers are at different distances from the point of emission when the light reaches them, of course it is going to take longer for the light to get to the person who is farther away.  But that is not Einstein's point.  Einstein's point is that if I am moving and you are stationary, time moves slower for me.  More importantly, if an emitter is moving, time moves more slowly for that emitter.  So, when the moving emitter emits light, that light will travel slower than light emitted from a stationary emitter.

In the paper, Einstein seems to beat around the bush without saying what I just wrote in red.  He wrote,
Based upon many experiments, physicists became convinced that light propagates through empty space at a speed of c = 300,000 kilometers per second, entirely independent of the velocity of the body that emits this light. Imagine a ray of light sent by the sun in a distinct direction. According to the law just stated, this ray travels a distance of c per second. Now imagine the sun later hurls a body into space such that it flies with a velocity of 1,000 kilometers per second in the same direction as the ray of light. This is easy to imagine. We now can similarly imagine this projected body as an alternative body of reference and ask ourselves: what is the propagation velocity of light in the judgment of an observer who does not sit on the sun but rather on the projected body? The answer seems simple. When the hurled body runs after the light at 1,000 kilometers per second, the ray of light advances against it by only 299,000 kilometers per second. The same situation would prevail if the ray of light were not sent by the sun but rather by the projected body, because we know that the velocity of light does not depend upon the state of motion of the light source.
So, Einstein seems to be saying that, if the "projected body" emitted light, the light would be seen by an observer on the "projected body" to travel at 299,000 kilometers per second.  But how can that be?  That would mean that light from the "projected body" traveled at a slower rate than light from the sun.  After a lot of complex and convoluted explaining, Einstein finally comes to the point:
Therefore, the considerations given above must have contained an error. The law of light propagation is the same, whether the sun or the projected body is chosen as the body of reference. The same ray of light travels at 300,000 kilometers per second relative to the sun and also relative to the body projected at 1,000 kilometers per second. If this appears impossible, the reason is that the hypothesis of the absolute character of time is false. One second of time as judged from the sun is not equal to one second of time as seen from the projected body.
So, the observer on the "projected body" would actually see the light he emitted as traveling at 300,000 kilometers per SECOND, not 299,000 kps.  However, since the length of his second is longer due to time dilation, the light he emitted was actually traveling at 299,000 kilometers per second.

This complicates "simultaneity" because you have to know how fast the emitter was moving when it emitted light.  If you see the light from two flashes arriving simultaneously, the sources no longer have to be the same distance away.  The light from one source could have traveled at a different velocity than the light from the other source.

That's what I haven't explained in the paper I'm writing.  The problem is: It will be VERY difficult to find a simple quote from Einstein that supports that finding. And, of course, it will drive everyone nuts who believes that light always travels at c.  Light does always travel at c within a closed frame of reference.  But it does not travel at the SAME c when one emitter is moving and the other is not because a second is longer for the faster moving emitter. 

Einstein evidently found that very difficult to explain.  I feel I can certainly find a relatively easy way to explain it, but who will acknowledge and agree that Einstein and I are saying the same thing?  I'll probably have to add a section to my paper in which I will I quote all the times Einstein tried to explain that light from every star in the night sky could be traveling to us at different speeds, even though although at the location of every star the light would be seen as being emitted at 299,792,458 meters per LOCAL SECOND.

May 1, 2018 (A) - This morning someone sent me an email with a link to another news story about Flat Earthers.  The link was to an article in yesterday's issue of Russia Today titled "Flat Earthers unite in UK’s first convention to discuss science, proof, and… Pac Man?"  So, the Flat Earthers had another convention?  They just had one in North Carolina last November, less than 6 months ago.  Checking further, I found more articles HERE, HERE and HERE

This latest convention was held in Birmingham, England, last weekend, on April 27, 28 and 29. 
More than 200 believers paid £107 to attend the three-day convention.  (That's $145 U.S.)  The Pac-Man reference is to a guy who believes that when you travel straight in one direction you do not go around a globe, you reach the end of the flat earth at some point and you automatically reappear at the other end of the flat earth so that you can continue moving on the flat earth. 

As in previous conventions, some speakers argued the Earth is a flat-disc with an outer ring of frozen ice walls, while others insisted it has a domed roof.  At this convention, Darren Nesbit, a Bolton-based dance musician who spoke at the conference, claimed Earth is diamond-shaped and supported by pillars.

Former England cricketer Freddie Flintoff attended the convention, and he asked a reporter, “Why, if we’re hurtling through space, why would water stay still? Why is it not wobbling?"   That's a question that was answered hundreds of years ago.  Interestingly, it also pertains to inertia and frames of reference, illustrating that an observer on the earth sees the water as flat and the earth as "stationary," while an observer on the Sun sees the Earth and the water moving at 67,000 miles an hour around the Sun.

All it takes to believe the Earth is flat is to close your mind to the idea that it may appear different to another observer viewing from another "reference body."  Who is correct?  The water is smooth and not "wobbling" to both observers, so, in that sense they are both "correct."  However, the idea that the earth is flat is definitely "incorrect," since observers on the moon and elsewhere can definitely see that it is a globe.  And if an observer on Earth looks at all the evidence and understands what is happening, he will also agree that the Earth is a globe.  If he does not understand what is happening and if he also thinks everyone who tries to explain things to him is lying, then he is not only wrong, he is a True Believer.  

© 2018 by Ed Lake