|Comments for Sunday, October 28,
2018, thru Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2018:
October 31, 2018 - In my inbox this morning there were two more emails from the company that sells my books and also wants me to join some special program for $99 per year. They are the 25th and 26th emails they have sent me since the "hustle" began on October 15. The first email (sent at 2:03 a.m.) began with this:
Greetings,And the second email (sent at 8:32 a.m.) began with this:
So, the first email says the matter is closed, and the second email says the matter is open and will be closed in 5 days if I do not respond. Responding only generates more emails from "robots" who can only copy and paste standard responses telling me they need two phone numbers from me. Since I am not going to give them two phone numbers, responding solves nothing So, I did not respond. I'll wait to see what happens in 5 days.NEW orders recently sent to your company are waiting for your confirmation in your online ... account. In the future, please confirm your orders within 24 hours of notification. Orders which are not confirmed within 5 days will be closed.
Meanwhile, I started working on Chapter 1 of the book I'm trying to write about Einstein, time and time dilation. I began the chapter by trying to simplify and summarize Einstein's 1905 paper that introduced Special Relativity. I took the second paragraph from that paper (the paragraph which seems to be the cause of nearly all the arguments) and summarized its 216 convoluted words down to 124 easy-to-understand words.
Then I moved down the second page to section "I. KINEMATICAL PART § 1. Definition of Simultaneity." I'm certain that section can also be simplified and summarized, but the process requires reading it about a hundred times first. And I need to clear my mind of everything else and focus. But, I find that is difficult to do when I deep wondering about the "hustle" from the company that sells my books, and another "hustle" from one of the web sites that provide access to my scientific papers. The web site academia.edu keeps sending me emails saying that someone has mentioned a paper of mine in their scientific paper. But, to find out who mentioned my paper and what they wrote, I will have to "upgrade to Academia Premium." They do not say how much that would cost me, but whatever it is, it is probably too much. I'm not that curious.
I am, however, pleased to notice that just about every day someone new reads at least one of my papers. The last time no one new read any of my papers was on October 19. Yesterday, new people accessed three of my papers on vixra.org for the first time. Plus there was one new reader on academia.edu. I maintain a spreadsheet for the visits. In part, it looks like this (only much larger):
And writing about all this means I probably won't write much for my book today, since I have to take my car in for an oil change this afternoon.
October 30, 2018 - The "hustle" continues. This morning there was another email in my inbox from that same company that sells my books. It was email #24. The mail indicated that they have established a new case number for the problem. I think it is the 7th or 8th case number they have established. And, of course, the only way I can close "the case" is to provide them with two telephone numbers. And that would evidently obligate me to pay them $99 a year for joining their "program." So, I simply filed the email message away with all the others.
I also had 6 more website visitors yesterday than I had on the previous day. And the IP addresses indicate they are all from different divisions of that same company that sells my books. I can understand that they have an established procedure that cannot cope with someone who will not supply them with two phone numbers, and they have employees who are not allowed to deviate from the established procedure, but I do not understand the reason behind all the visits to this web site.
If I continue to simply ignore their emails, maybe they'll do something different. (They once tried to call me, but as soon as I picked up the phone, they hung up.) Ignoring their emails seems the only way to break the impasse.
Meanwhile, I've decided there is no good reason for me to continue working on a scientific paper about atomic clocks. If in the past 113 years no one has figured out exactly how a photon works, I probably won't figure it out, either. I definitely won't be able to figure it out by searching through scientific papers on the subject, since the authors of those papers couldn't figure it out. So, I wouldn't be able to describe with or without illustrations exactly how the microwave photons work inside the Ramsey cavity in an atomic clock.
What I did instead yesterday afternoon was to write a 3-page "Introduction" to a book about Einstein, time and time dilation. This morning I'm going to try working on Chapter 1. I don't know if I'll ever finish the book, but I really enjoy writing and the process of thinking things through as I write, so it will be a pleasant way to pass the time while I wait to see what happens with the email "hustle."
Plus, my scientific papers on vixra.org and academia.edu have been getting some attention lately. It could just be because a new school year has started, but it could also be because the papers have started discussions somewhere.
October 29, 2018 - In my email inbox this morning there was another order from one of the companies that sells my books. It's the same company I wrote about yesterday. I'd decided yesterday that I wasn't going to respond to any more of their emails, since they require that I give them two phone numbers, and one of the numbers must be for a mobile phone with the ability to run "apps" and scan bar codes on products. Nevertheless, I looked around their web site to see if there was some way to get through to them that I wasn't going to give them two phone numbers.
As I looked around, I found that if I gave them the two phone numbers I would be joining a "program" they have that requires I pay them $99 per year to remain in the program. Upon seeing that, I began kicking myself for wasting so much time on trying to get them to understand that I am not going to give them two phone numbers. I'm not going to pay them $99 per year, even if I had the right kind of phone that is required to participate in their program.
So, it's not a "scam." It's a "hustle." They are placing an order for a copy of my book to "hustle" me into joining their program, which will then enable them to bill me $99 a year for the rest of my life. Nope. Not gonna happen.
So, I filed away their 23rd email (and their third attempt to get me to join their program) and moved on to other things.
The next matter I addressed was the puzzle of why this web site is getting a surge in visitors. Yesterday, I had one more visitor than I had on the previous peak day, which was October 24 (check the yellow bars in the middle graph below):
And once again I could not find any simple explanation by examining the visitor logs. The logs do not show any unusual number of visitors -- UNLESS they are visitors who only look at the text on this site and do not view the images. "Normal" visitors are noticeable because they each generate 10 lines of data on the logs, one line for the text, one line for some kind of control file, and one line for each of the eight images on the main page. If they only look at the text, they would appear as a single line on the logs. An example:
126.96.36.199 - - [28/Oct/2018:00:17:49 -0500] "GET / HTTP/1.1" 200 422123 "-" "Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10_13_1) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/62.0.3202.94 Safari/537.36"The IP address is for a location in New York City. And they accessed the text on this web page (but not the images on this page) at 17 minutes after midnight yesterday morning. But why would there be a surge in visitors who only view the text? I'm not even sure how that is done, but it may be an option on cell phones and note pads if it takes more time and money to view images.
Hmm. I just checked the IP addresses of five other single line entries on the log, and four of them were from four different locations for the company I mentioned above that sells my books. So, mystery #2 might be connected to mystery #1.
I don't want to make them mad at me. So, I better not comment any further.
It's time for me to get back to working on the puzzle about how photons work.
October 28, 2018 - On October 15, I received an email from one of the companies that sells my books. Their email said they wanted to place an order. They didn't say what the order was for, but it could only be for copies of my first book, "Analyzing the Anthrax Attacks," which I self-published in 2005 (before I learned about "print on demand.") I still have copies in my garage:
The email required that I go through some steps to verify that I am who they believe I am. The fact that I received their email wasn't enough. Nor was the fact that they had my home phone number. They wanted me to go through an elaborate verification procedure they had concocted. But I couldn't follow the steps in their procedure because the steps required that I give them two phone numbers. I only have one phone number that I use, and that is my home phone number. My cell phone is just something I carry for emergencies. I think it is what is known as a "disposable phone" or a "burner phone," even though I've had mine for many years.
The procedure they want me to follow with the cell phone seems to require that it be a "smart phone." They want me to install an application on it, and to use it to scan codes. I'm not even sure my cell phone can do all that. I don't think it can. So, I just told them I have only one phone and that is my home phone.
So far, they've sent me 22 emails, and I've responded to most of them. When they send me multiple emails in one day, I generally respond only to the last.
From my point of view, it's like a science fiction movie where the hero (me) is trying to communicate with a bunch of robots who can only do what they were programmed to do. In this case, the robots are programmed to get me to give them two phone numbers. They are programmed to believe that everyone in the world has two telephones, and one of them is a cell phone, and those cell phones all have the capability to run applications and scan bar codes on store items. The robots are also programmed to believe that many people sometimes lose or break their cell phones. And, when that happens, the robots can lose contact with that person. The robots cannot cope with losing contact. So, the robots want everyone to have a second phone number to use when the cell phone is lost or destroyed.
I've often wondered if it isn't just some kind of scam. It seems like a setup where I will send them copies of my books with no record of them sending me an order. They won't mail the order to me. And they won't send the order via email. I have to extract the order from their web site. When I respond to their emails, I cannot send an email to them (leaving a record in my computer), I have to write the message in the email page on their web site. So, until recently, I didn't even have copies of the emails I sent in response to their emails. My last 3 responses were in the form of pdf files which included illustrations showing that their procedures do not work if I have only one phone.
Adding to the problem is the fact that the "robots" all have names like Bhavya, Sandya and Manish, which almost certainly means that they are in India. Adding to that impression, their emails are filled with awkward sentences. Example:
I would like to inform you that the verification procedure for your business account.There doesn't seem to be any way to get them to understand that I do not have a smart phone, and I do not plan to buy one just so they don't have to worry if I lose it. And they're never going to get my cell phone number from me. As far as they are concerned, I do not have a cell phone.
Another complication is that they won't even tell me what they want to order. The emails are all generalized so that they fit everyone. They just copy and paste the same instructions over and over. And the instructions require that I supply two phone numbers, one of them must be the number of a "smart phone."
If it isn't a scam, and if it is a real request from a seller of my books, the whole situation seems to be the result of their wanting me to supply them with probably one paperback copy of "Analyzing the Anthrax Attacks," so that they will have a copy in stock at some new warehouse. But they haven't sold a copy of "Analyzing the Anthrax Attacks" in at least 7 years. I cannot even remember the last time they sold a copy. I don't even show it on my web sites, since it was effectively replaced by my 2012 book "A Crime Unlike Any Other."
This morning I wondered again if it couldn't be some kind of scam. But, if it is, it is a very elaborate scam. I am clearly posting my emails into a web site with an address that includes their name. And the emails I receive have their name in the email address. And the IP address in the email is their IP address.
The only tactic I haven't tried is just to ignore them. So, I'm going to try that to see what happens. Here's the last line of the email they sent me yesterday morning (their 22nd email):
I am moving this case to pending from your end and would like to inform you that you will be receiving notifications regarding the same and request you to acknowledge the auto reminders sent in order for this case to be open.So, it appears I am supposed to respond to their auto reminders so that the case will remain open and they can send more auto reminders.
If the situation wasn't so insane, it would be funny.
Meanwhile, unless the problem described above somehow becomes serious, I'll try to focus on my scientific interests. A few days ago, while looking for information about microwave photons and how they work inside a Ramsey cavity, I came across a paper from arxiv.org that is titled "Video recording true single-photon double-slit interference." The paper contains this:
To a great many, the word photon brings to mind a picture of a particle-like ball (or, perhaps, a ray that describes the ball's trajectory). Such a photon cannot exist. Yet these notions are so widespread that they have led to suggestions that physicists ought to receive special training and a license before being allowed to use the word "photon."1That small 1 at the end is reference #1, which is a published paper titled "Anti-photon" written by W. E. Lamb, Jr. That paper begins with this:
It should be apparent from the title of this article that the author does not like the use of the word "photon", which dates from 1926. In his view, there is no such thing as a photon. Only a comedy of errors and historical accidents led to its popularity among physicists and optical scientists. I admit that the word is short and convenient. Its use is also habit forming. Similarly, one might find it convenient to speak of the "aether" or "vacuum" to stand for empty space, even if no such thing existed.I tend to agree with the first quote. Photons are not "a particle-like ball." And clearly the second quote is wrong, since there is equipment that can detect individual photons. Those individual photons are evaluated in the "single- photon double-slit" paper that supplied the first quote. But if I try to visualize a photon, the best I can come up with is this:
It seems like a simple problem. But, after hundreds of years of arguing, scientists still haven't agreed upon whether light consists of waves or photons. The evidence says photons, but the evidence also says it cannot be photons that act the way particles act. Photons act like they have wave-like properties, but no one seems able to visualize such a thing in a way that explains everything.
Sigh. I guess I just have to do more research. Maybe I'll find something that triggers an idea that will result in everything making sense. Maybe.
|Comments for Sunday, October 21,
2018, thru Saturday, October 27, 2018:
October 27, 2018 - I had another surge of visitors to this web site yesterday, but once again the log offers no clues as to where the surge came from. I keep wondering if it is people looking for theories about the recent mail bomb case. It could somehow remind people of the anthrax case, or a previous mail bomb case that I may have written about. Or the surge might be about something totally different. There is so much data in my visitor logs that I'd need to write a computer program to hunt for an explanation for the surge. And I don't have the free time to do that.
Meanwhile, as I was looking through the news about the mail bombs and the mail bomber (a fanatical Donald Trump supporter named Cesar Sayoc), I noticed something that no one on the news has mentioned.
The guy misspelled "Florida" as "Florids" in the return address on all of the packages. And, of course, on the package in the image above he also misspelled "Brennan," which the media did mention.
I was somewhat relieved when the mail bomber turned out to be a rabid Trump fan who drove a van covered with images of Trump and Pence, and pictures of Democrats in the cross-hairs of a sniper rifle. The bombs were evidently real, they just didn't go off for some as yet unexplained reason. And that immediately got right-wing conspiracy theorists talking about a "false flag" operation, where Democrats sent "hoax" bombs and made them look like they were sent by some Republican fanatic. Apparently, some right wing nut jobs are sticking to that conspiracy theory even though it is clearly preposterous. Conspiracy theorists sticking to their beliefs despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary is something else I have written about in the past. So, maybe there is some connection to the two recent surges in visitors to this site.
Whether there is a connection or not, it is certainly an interesting news story to follow. Cesar Sayok was evidently living in his van. But it doesn't seem likely that he made the bombs there. So, there are still a lot of unanswered questions, even though the question of "Who did it?" has been clearly answered.
October 25, 2018 - Some days it seems like there are just too many mysteries that need solving. I still haven't figured out how the Ramsey cavity works; I still haven't figured out how the screen on the door of my microwave keeps the microwaves from escaping; I'm having some kind of problem with the company that sells my books because they seem to now require that I have a smart phone, which I do not have, and the "workaround" doesn't work around the problem; and this morning I noticed an unexplained surge in visitors to this web site. The graph below shows (via the yellow bar) that this web site had 183 visitors yesterday (about 40% more than normal). But I can't find anything unusual on my web site's visitor log. It seemed like a normal day.
When I have mysteries to solve, I generally do research and collect "evidence. That won't help the smart phone problem (am I the only person in the civilized world who doesn't have a smart phone?). And it didn't help with the visitors mystery. But, it might help with the Ramsey cavity mystery.
I do not seem to have any books or papers in my main collection which explain how a Ramsey cavity works in terms that I can visualize, so, I started going a second collection containing the 280 scientific papers I've downloaded from arxiv.org over the years. It's a tedious, yet interesting exercise. Yesterday, I found an interesting paper by Stephan J. G. Gift titled "Light Speed Invariance is a Remarkable Illusion." I evidently downloaded it on Sept. 18, 2016. Mr. Gift agrees with me that the speed of light is variable and only appears "invariable" because everyone measures the speed of light they create as traveling at the same rate. However, Mr. Gift believes the "ether" exists and that is his explanation for how the speed of light can be variable.
I have other papers by other authors who also advocate bringing back the idea of the "ether," because the authors cannot accept that is no "preferred frame" in the universe from which all movement can be measured. Reciprocal motion is just plain nuts. But, if motion isn't reciprocal, then it must be relative to something. And the only thing the authors can think of to which all movement would be relative is the "ether" which Einstein declared to be "superfluous" in his 1905 paper on Special Relativity.
Other papers argue that the speed of light cannot be the same for all observers, with which I also fully agree. Daniel Gezari's paper is the prime example. But the authors then argue that that would violate Einstein's First Postulate, which I think is nonsense.
The problem is organizing all these papers. Right now, they are all in a folder in order by arxiv number, and I have an index for that folder which just shows the title of the paper, the author, and an "importance" ranking I have assigned. The ranking runs from 1 which would be "most important" to 99 which would be "total crap." No paper is actually ranked higher than 10 or lower than 80. Most are ranked 50, which means I haven't decided on how to rank it.
I recently added a column for "subject," so that I can easily identify papers that are about "atomic clocks" or "speed of light" or "flyby anomalies," and I could even sort the file by subject. But that also means I have to assign a subject to each paper. And to do that I have to browse through each paper to see which subjects it is about. That's on my list of "things to do."
I don't see any papers with "Ramsey cavity" in the title. I did a search for "Ramsey cavity" in the abstract and found two papers, but neither is helpful.
I have at least a dozen that are about atomic clocks, but I've already gone through those, finding nothing worthwhile.
Maybe in the process of organizing things I'll run across a paper than solves some mystery for me. I can always hope that that will happen.
October 23, 2018 - I spent nearly all day yesterday studying various papers written by Norman Ramsey on the topic of his "separated oscillatory field method," for which he won the Nobel Prize in 1989. And I browsed through a bunch of other papers and documents on the same topic. The problem is: I cannot visualize what is happening inside the two arms of the Ramsey cavity.
And, if I cannot visualize what is happening, then I cannot describe it in writing. And if I cannot describe it in writing, then I cannot describe how it relates to time dilation. And, if I cannot do that, then I cannot continue with my paper on how atomic clocks work.
Here is what is written in the rightmost column on page 58 of Ramsey's paper "Accurate Measurement of Time":
In simplified form, atomic beam resonance involves three steps. The first is to select only those atoms in the appropriate energy level. This selection is accomplished by using a specially shaped magnetic field, which acts as a kind of filter. It allows atoms in one energy level to pass and blocks all others by bending the beam. Only atoms in the correct energy level are bent the correct amount to reach and pass through the aperture that serves as the entrance to the cavity.I cannot visualize "an oscillating microwave field inside a cavity" when the "cavity" is U-shaped and has a microwave input at the bottom of the U, but no output, and the beam of cesium atoms appears to enter and exit through holes in the sides of the arms of the U.
I hadn't thought about it before, but I assume my microwave oven has no output. What happens to the microwaves inside the oven when I turn off the oven? I can visualize them bouncing around inside the oven until they hit something that can absorb them. Do microwaves bounce around inside a Ramsey cavity? It seems like the purpose of the cavity is to keep the microwaves from bouncing around, so that the atoms pass through a stream of microwaves. But you cannot have a "stream" without an input and output.
I also cannot visualize a microwave photon crashing into the screen on the door of my microwave oven. One source says,
Even though you can see into the microwave oven when your food is cooking, the microwaves are effectively blocked from getting out into the room because the holes in the metal screen on the microwave oven door are about 1 mm in diameter compared to a 120 mm wavelength for the microwaves. The wavelength of the microwaves is about 120 times the size of the holes, and can't "see" the holes to get out.That's like saying a spear cannot get through a porthole because the spear is much longer than the porthole is wide. Huh? Evidently, there is something I do not understand about microwaves and photons, and I have no idea what it is that I do not understand. So, I have no idea how to figure out a solution to the problem.
I'm just going to drop the idea of writing a paper on how an atomic clock works until I figure how exactly what happens inside the Ramsey cavity. And I don't even know where else to look for answers to that question.
One additional point: While reading another one of Norman Ramsey's papers, "Precise Measurement of Time," I highlighted interesting passages in yellow, I highlighted important passages in red, and I highlighted passages I disagreed with in green. Here are the only two sentences I highlighted in green:
Einstein's special theory of relativity does NOT say, "if two observers with clocks are moving relative to each other at a constant velocity, each will find that the other's clock is going at a slower rate than his own clock." Einstein's theory says that inside a closed inertial frame, everything will seem normal, BUT when you compare one frame to another, the frame that is moving fastest will have the clock that is ticking slowest. Or as Einstein put it: "Thence we conclude that a balance-clock at the equator [where the earth is spinning fastest] must go more slowly, by a very small amount, than a precisely similar clock situated at one of the poles [where the earth is spinning slowest] under otherwise identical conditions."
That is the second time I encountered reciprocal time dilation in the past week. It was also mentioned in Tony Jones' book "Splitting the Second." I wrote about it in my October 19 comment. In both cases it is something just mentioned in passing, not something explained in depth. It's like something the authors read about in school that was never of any great interest to them. So, all they can do is recite what they learned in school.
I'm not sure what I'm going to do next. I'll have to think about it.
October 21, 2018 - Yesterday, I looked back through all the passages I had highlighted and underlined while reading Tony Jones' book "Splitting the Second: The Story of Atomic Time," and I found three sections which somewhat addressed the problem I am having in describing the workings of an atomic clock. And those sections also clear up some of my confusion about how cesium atoms work.
On page 39, the book says this about the "spin-flip transition" that is at the heart of an atomic clock:
The spin–flip transition occurs at a frequency of 9193 megahertz, equivalent to a “vibration” of almost 10 billion times a second. The frequency of this “clock transition” is the highest of all the alkali metals and can be measured more precisely than any of the others. It corresponds to a wavelength of 3.26 centimetres, which lies right in the middle of the microwave radio spectrum.There is nothing new in that, except for relating the frequency of 9,192,631,770 Hertz to a wavelength of 3.26 centimeters, which has no significance at the moment, but will have later.
On page 40 the book says:
caesium is the biggest of all the atoms. As a more or less direct consequence of this, its outer solo electron is only loosely attached. It is easier to knock an electron off a caesium atom than any other atom, and this makes it easy to detect.I wasn't sure what that meant, but it clearly says that it is easy to knock off the outermost electron of a cesium atom and turn the atom into an ion. An "ion" is defined as:
an atom or molecule with a net electric charge due to the loss or gain of one or more electronsSo, if you knock off the outermost electron instead of just flipping it into a different orbit, that gives the atom a positive electrical charge, instead of being basically neutral. I suppose that makes it "easy to detect." But, that didn't mean much to me until I read what Encyclopedia Britannica had to say about it:
Because cesium is strongly photoelectric (easily loses electrons when struck by light), it is used in photoelectric cells, photomultiplier tubes, scintillation counters, and spectrophotometers. It is also used in infrared lampsOkay, that first part I highlighted in red is the important part. It says that hitting a cesium atom with photons in the visible light range can knock the outermost electron off of the atom and turn the atom into an ion. And we know from the previous passage that hitting a cesium atom with a microwave photon will just cause the outermost electron to "flip."
On page 48, the book also says this:
Caesium atoms are like very precisely tuned radio receivers. They will ignore passing waves of the wrong frequency but respond strongly to waves of the right frequency, namely 9193 megahertz. An atom in the lower state hit by a photon will absorb it and flip to the upper state. An atom in the upper state hit by a photon will release an identical photon and flip to the lower state. In each case the outer electron is turned over by the incoming wave and changes the state of the atom.I didn't highlight the part about "9193 megahertz" because it is misleading, since it implies other frequencies won't have any effect. The important part is what happens to the microwave photon when it hits the atom. It is absorbed by the atom if the atom is in the "lower energy state," and the atom then flips to the "upper state." However, if the atom is already in the "upper state" when hit by the photon, the photon will still be absorbed, but the atom will then eject a new photon. So, the atom went from a "upper state" to a "too high state" and then back down to an "upper state" once again when it emitted the new photon.
The key point is that different photons oscillating at different frequencies will have different effects on a cesium atom. And photons in the infrared frequency range will have a very different effect than microwaves or visible light. The book says this on page 164:
If a caesium atom is exposed to light of wavelength 852 nanometres, it will absorb a photon and almost immediately re-emit it again, as if the photon has bounced off the atom. Indeed, this process is known as “scattering” of light. When the atom absorbs the photon it receives a little kick of momentum in the direction the photon was travelling. When it re-emits the photon the atom recoils with another little kick in the direction opposite to the photon’s travel. At first sight one might think that these kicks would cancel out: for every incoming photon there is an outgoing photon too. But if the atom is in a laser beam, the absorbed photons all come from the same direction while the scattered photons are sprayed out at random. The kicks do not balance out and the atom in the beam gets pushed along by the light, scattering photons as it goesHmm. A wavelength of 852 nanometers puts the light just beyond the 750 nanometer edge of the visible light range and into the infrared range.
So, photons in the visible light range will knock the outermost electron off of a cesium atom, while photons oscillating at a specific longer wavelength in the infrared range will be absorbed and then ejected by a cesium atom, and photons oscillating at an even longer specific wavelength in the microwave range will merely cause the outermost electron to flip its orbit, but a new photon won't be emitted if the atom was in a lower energy state when hit.
What might be the most important fact is that virtually all photons oscillating at other frequencies will simply pass through the cesium atom as if it wasn't there. And that means that if the cesium atom is moving, it will encounter the oncoming photons as oscillating at a different wavelength than if the cesium atom was stationary. The section about infrared photons explains further:
Now suppose the atom is moving towards the source of the laser light. Does it absorb photons still? No, because although the photons are the right wavelength for a stationary atom, the Doppler effect (Chapter 2) ensures that the moving atom sees them blue-shifted to a slightly shorter wavelength. The atom sees photons streaming past that are too short to be absorbed and nothing happens. But if we now adjust the wavelength from the laser to make it slightly longer than 852 nanometres, then provided we get it just right the moving atom will see these longer photons blue-shifted to 852 nanometres and begin to absorb them!Bingo! That same effect would undoubtedly work with microwave photons, too! Microwaves at 9,192,631,770 Hertz and a wavelength of 3.26 centimeters will cause the outermost electrons on a cesium atom to flip. If, however, the cesium atoms start to move away from the microwave emitter, the atoms will encounter the microwaves as if they had a longer wavelength, and the outermost electrons will not be affected. They will not "flip." The photons will just pass through the atoms as if they didn't exist.
If you want to cause the outermost electrons of a moving cesium atom to "flip," you need to adjust the microwave emitter to a slower or faster rate. In cesium atomic clock, of course, there is a "feedback system" to make such adjustments.
The question then becomes: Will things work the same way if the source of the photons is moving away from the cesium atoms? Answer: No. Einstein's Second Postulate 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.So, the microwave emitter within an atomic clock will emit microwaves at the same wavelength regardless of how fast the clock and emitter may be moving (or at what altitude they might be located), unless some kind of feedback system changes things.
According to my paper "What is Time?", the cesium atoms within the clock will slow their oscillation rate when they move faster and when they drop to a lower altitude. That would mean that the microwaves will just pass through them unless the microwave emitter changes the oscillation frequency of the microwaves it emits to match the oscillation frequency of the atoms. And that is, of course, exactly what the feedback system within the atomic clock is designed to do.
The problem is that it is very difficult to visualize exactly what is happening inside an atomic clock that is moving at high speed. Does it make any difference how the clock is oriented? Experimental results seem to say, no, it doesn't make any difference if the clock is moving sideways or backwards or up and down.
If you shoot microwave photons at a stream of cesium atoms that is shooting across the path of the microwaves, do the atoms hit the photons or do the photons hit the atoms? The photons supposedly have a length of 3.26 centimeters (1.28 inches), and they are passing in front of atoms that are 3.38 nanometers (3.38 billionths of a meter) in diameter, far too small to be seen. It would seem that the atoms are going to be hitting the photons, not the other way around. On the other hand, the photons are moving at the speed of light, and the atoms are just moving at the speed of an escaping gas.
The first cesium atomic clocks had the cesium atoms getting bombarded by microwave photons for the entire distance between Magnet 1 and Magnet 2. But in 1949 Norman Ramsey of Harvard University devised the U-shaped cavity configuration shown above that is used in modern atomic clocks. (The "cavity" is evidently the microwave-filled space inside the base and arms of the U.) On page 49 of "Splitting Time" it says this:
The caesium beam passes first through a hole in the end of one arm of the U and then through a similar hole in the other arm. At each pass through the cavity the atoms receive an identical burst of microwaves. If the frequency of the radiation corresponds to the transition frequency, the first burst puts the atoms into a ghostly quantum mixture of the two states and the second completes the transition to the opposite state. The sharpness of the transition frequency is now proportional to the length of time the atoms are coasting in limbo between the two bursts of radiation. The longer the coast, the more accurately the frequency is defined.I suppose it doesn't make much difference if the photons hit the atoms or if the atoms hit the photons if the clock is in a fixed location. But, I still haven't figured out what happens differently when the clock is moving, or what happens differently when you have identical clocks at different altitudes.
I feel I need to understand more about how things work inside the "cavity." I cannot visualize that part at all. I discovered I have a copy of a paper co-written by Norman Ramsey for Scientific American in 1993. It's titled "Accurate Measurement of Time." It looks like it might help me understand things. And I just found a paper written by Normal Ramsey in 1988 for American Scientist. It's titled "Precise Measurement of Time." Maybe I also need to study "Primary Atomic Frequency Standards at NIST" and see how much I can decipher from "NIST Primary Frequency Standards and the Realization of the SI Second." If I can't figure out what happens differently to two atomic clocks at different velocities and/or altitudes, maybe I can figure out some way to explain how the feedback system does not adjust for time dilation conditions, but the clocks will still differ in the amount of time they accumulate.
I was hoping I could figure things out as I wrote this comment. It didn't happen. I still think the feedback system is what causes the atomic clock to tick at different rates at different altitudes and velocities, but I haven't found what I need to confirm or disprove that hypothesis.
|Comments for Sunday, October 14,
2018, thru Saturday, October 20, 2018:
October 19, 2018 - Instead of working on my paper tentatively titled "Atomic Clocks and Time Dilation," I've been reading the book "Splitting the Second: The Story of Atomic Time," by Tony Jones. In a way, reading the book is part of working on my paper. It is research. The book will be a key source for material in my paper. It is a highly readable book, with virtually no mathematics and lots of very interesting details about how atomic clocks were developed, how they work, how they replaced astronomical time, and how time is measured. And it also gets into a few other areas of physics.
For example, this is from pages 146 & 147:
Several observatories around the world now make routine timing measurements of pulsars. The arrival times of pulses are recorded with atomic clocks to accuracies of a few microseconds, and these times are the raw data for numerous astrophysical investigations. By averaging over many years—and billions of pulses—the rotation periods can be determined to a few parts in 1014. ...The section I highlighted in red supports my paper on Einstein's Second Postulate, since it says that when the Earth is moving toward a pulsar, the light from the pulsar arrives at c+v where v is the speed of the Earth. And when the Earth is moving away from the pulsar, the light from the pulsar arrives at c-v. Many textbooks and nearly all the mathematicians on sci.physics.relativity would rabidly disagree with that obvious fact.
However, the book doesn't answer all my questions about atomic clocks. It doesn't seem to answer the key question: What is physically different within a clock atop a mountain and an identical clock at the bottom of a mountain that causes them to tick at different rates? Seeking an answer to that question (that I can quote) is the main reason I am reading the book.
The author also seems to go astray on at least one occasion. The book says this on page 134:
There are three relativistic effects we need to consider. The most famous of these is time dilation, summed up in the phrase, “moving clocks run slow”. A clock in an aircraft, for example, would be seen to run slow as judged by an observer on the ground. (Equally, clocks on the ground would appear to run slow as seen from the aircraft, but we do not have space in this book to discuss the subtleties of relativity!) Time dilation only becomes appreciable at speeds close to that of light—indeed at light speed time stops altogether — but with the nanosecond accuracy now possible with modern atomic clocks, time dilation has to be taken into account whenever clocks are moved.He doesn't explain why clocks on the ground would appear to run slow when viewed from an airplane, but the only explanation would seem to be a belief that velocity time dilation is reciprocal. And that belief stems from the absurd belief that motion is somehow reciprocal (#1 on my list of the 10 DUMBEST beliefs in physics). But, that belief doesn't change the fact that I think it is an excellent book. One flaw can be ignored, particularly since he doesn't dig into it.
Interestingly, beginning on page 136, the author also discusses three relativistic effects on time. 1. Gravitational time dilation. 2. Velocity time dilation. 3. The Sagnac Effect.
But his examples of the Sagnac Effect are Hafele-Keating-type experiments. And he says "the Sagnac effect is really time dilation in disguise." His view of the Sagnac effect seems a bit different from the "normal" view, but I don't think it can be described as "wrong." It's just not the "standard" view.
The book also provided an answer to one question I had about cesium atomic clocks. Such clocks contain an "oven" which heats up cesium atoms and shoots them out as a gas. I had a hard time visualizing that, since I tended to wonder how long the oven could do that before the supply of cesium atoms ran out. Do they have to add a new supply of cesium ever day? Every week? Every month?
On page 69, the book says,
Aside from unexpected breakdowns and interruptions for maintenance, caesium beam clocks eventually run out of caesium. It is boiled away at one end of the beam tube and transported to the other end. After running for a few years a caesium beam clock will need to be replenished.So, that question is answered. The book also answered a lot of other questions I had. It just doesn't seem to answer the key question. But no other book or paper I've found does either.
Added Note: At 11:39 a.m. this morning I finished reading "Splitting the Second: The Story of Atomic Time," by Tony Jones.
I've already commented on how interesting the book is and how easy it is to read, so there's not much point in adding a full review here. What I have to do now is mull over what I learned from the book so that I can cite it in my paper.
October 17, 2018 - I've been working on a new scientific paper, which I have tentatively titled "Atomic Clocks and Time Dilation," but it is slow going. I keep getting distracted. Yesterday, I tried doing a different Google search in hopes of finding some article that explains a detail about atomic clocks that still puzzles me. The search found a Scientific American article titled "How does one arrive at the exact number of cycles of radiation a cesium-133 atom makes in order to define one second?" The article raised more questions than it answered, but there were a couple of interesting things in it. The first was this:
In a collaboration between Essen and Markowitz, the relative durations of the astronomical and atomic (cesium) seconds were measured over an averaging time of 2.75 years with a final determination that the cesium frequency was 9,192,631,770.20 Hz.That was the first time I'd seen the cesium frequency with decimal places. More interesting, however, was the first part of the last paragraph:
The story of these measurements is nicely detailed in Splitting the Second: The Story of Atomic Time, by Tony Jones (Institute of Physics, 2000).When I looked through my collection of physics books, I found I had that one in my collection. It is a 199 page book that describes the workings of atomic clocks in great detail, particularly cesium atomic clocks.
My first impulse was to visually scan through it to see if it answered the question I have. But I'm not sure what the question is that I have. Basically, it is just something I do not fully understand. Exactly what speeds up when an atomic clock is raised to a higher altitude? According to mathematicians, nothing speeds up, the two clocks just take different routes through a mathematical model of spacetime that the mathematicians concocted. But we know that if you have two identical atomic clocks in front of you, one higher than the other, the higher clock will tick faster. They can't take different routes through a mathematical model when you have one observer watching both clocks. So, the concocted mathematical model does not represent reality. Reality says that the higher clock ticks faster.
Here's an illustration and text from page 135 of "Splitting the Second":
Why even have a debate when one observer can view both clocks concurrently? All the use of different "inertial frames of reference" accomplishes in this instance is to complicate a very simple situation. High clocks run faster than low clocks. Period. Inertial frames are irrelevant.
That brings us back to my original question: Exactly what speeds up when an atomic clock is raised to a higher altitude?
If the entire clock speeds up, the quartz crystal microwave generator serves the same routine function at the higher altitude as at the lower altitude: it simply corrects for minor fluctuations in the quartz crystal oscillation rate due to minor unfixable imperfections in the design of the clock. If the oscillation rate of the cesium atom increases when the clock is raised, but the quartz crystal microwave generator continues to generate microwaves at the same frequency as at the lower altitude, then the change in the oscillation frequency of the cesium atom will cause the microwave generator to generate matching microwaves.
Which is it?
It seems to me to be an easy question to answer, but no one is answering it, probably because no one else is asking it. Here is a typical diagram for the workings of a cesium atomic clock:
As I understand it from browsing through "Splitting the Second," the above diagram represents an atomic clock viewed from above. That means that the microwaves come in from the side and hit the cesium atoms at the same altitude where the microwave generator is located. The question I'm trying to resolve seems to be: If the microwave generator is at a different altitude than the cesium atoms would that affect the time shown by the clock? In other words, if the above diagram with the cavity "fork" pointed upwards was a side view, and if you flipped the image around 180 degrees to produce a second side view but with the cavity fork pointing down, will the two versions of the clock show different tick rates because the "Frequency Synthesizer" is lower than the "interrogation cavity" in one clock and higher than the "interrogation cavity" in the second clock?
There's probably a better way to phrase that question. I'll have to think about it before I ask the question again in my paper. And what I've done here once again is get sidetracked. I've spent nearly all morning writing this comment instead of working on my paper. But, it hasn't been totally wasted time, since this comment is a record of my thought processes, and I think I now have a better understanding of exactly what it is that I do not understand.
October 15, 2018 - The Flat Earthers are at it again. They had some kind of gathering in a park in Arcadia, California (a suburb of Los Angeles), over the weekend. I noticed a CBS news story about it when I was doing a check of the news as part of my morning routine.
Interestingly, this weekend's gathering seems to have involved a lot of women. Past gatherings seemed to consist exclusively of men. Or maybe it is just the fact that the CBS reporter was a woman, so she mostly interviewed women:
Netta Hagler, who arranged the meet-up of the Flat Earthers, questioned the fact that Earth is spinning through space at 1,000 miles per hour. “But we can’t feel it. I don’t believe I’m spinning right now. No,” said Hagler.I keep wanting to compare the Flat Earthers to the Time Dilation Deniers. They all seem immune to scientific evidence, and they can rationalize away every argument against their beliefs. Here's more from the CBS article:
Did we really go to the moon? “No. We didn’t go to the moon,” said Steere. “And we don’t have a rover on Mars. And we didn’t do a fly-by of Pluto. We’ve never been to space. Period. End of.”And if they haven't personally observed time dilation, then it cannot be real.
It would seem that it should be easy to come up with an experiment that can determine which side is right. If you put a Flat Earther on an airplane and fly him around the world, how will he argue that he didn't really go around the world but went around a flat surface? Answer: It doesn't make any difference how he will deny it, he will deny it. So, no one is going to pay to fly a Flat Earther around the world to prove a point, when you know he won't believe the point. And nothing you can say or do will change his mind.
I keep coming back to the conclusion that it is all about which part of the brain they are accustomed to using. Do they use the part that works with logic, or do they only use the part that is driven by emotions? If they only work with emotions, no logic can change their minds. If you argue that they are wrong, they will view that as a personal attack and as a threat. And they will defend themselves to the death. If you then try using logic to change their minds, they'll just see it as an attempt to trick them in some way.
The only good part of arguing with them is that it makes people who use logic think more deeply about how things really work. You may never be able to change the mind of someone who only thinks emotionally, but the arguing may help you see things more clearly and understand things you never even thought about before.
October 14, 2018 - Yesterday, I decided to stop arguing with the mathematicians on the sci.physics.relativity discussion forum - at least for awhile. I felt I needed to work on a couple papers, one about how atomic clocks measure time dilation, and maybe another about simplifying Einstein's 1905 paper that introduced Special Relativity to the world. It's like all the arguments I've been having for the past couple years boil down to disagreements over those two subjects. According to the mathematicians, an atomic clock does NOT run faster when you raise it higher. They believe it takes a different route through "spacetime." And the mathematicians (and a lot of other physicists) are absolutely certain that if clocks ran at different speeds at different altitudes it would violate Einstein's First Postulate in his 1905 paper on Special Relativity, which they seem to view as the not-to-be-questioned word of God. In reality, Einstein's First Postulate is a postulate, which means it is something that is simply raised as the topic for discussion. And Einstein explained that it doesn't work at all the way the mathematicians believe it does. The whole paper is about how time moves at different speeds at different velocities.
I went to bed last night feeling good that the debates with the mathematicians were "on hold" for awhile so that I could work on those papers. Then, about 4:30 this morning I awoke when my subconscious mind suddenly threw a monkey wrench into the workings of my conscious mind. My subconscious was telling me that I have a logic problem in my understanding of how atomic clocks work.
It also made me realize that "logic problems" are probably behind all scientific discoveries. The universe is very logical, but you have to figure out the logic. One logical idea may work for awhile, until a discovery shows that there is something illogical about it. Then you have to resolve the logic problem. Mathematics only comes into play when you need to do measurements.
This morning I realized that my understanding of how an atomic clock works required that time be measured at two different speeds within one clock, and the clock adjusts one speed to match the other. But that IS how an atomic clock works. A feedback mechanism keeps the quartz crystal clock ticking at the same rate as the cesium atomic clock.
That poses the question: Would a quartz crystal clock by itself show time speed up when you raised it to a higher altitude? If not, why not? It should, but it might simply be incapable of showing such small changes in time without having the atomic clock attached. Plus, it would show a different number of ticks per second.
That poses another question: How many ticks per second do you get when measuring time with an atomic clock that uses a different kind of atom? That's an easy question to answer. According to one source:
All atoms have naturally consistent vibrational frequency (for strontium its about 430 trillion times per second) and the measurement of these movements is used to create the clock's "tick."And according to another source:
All commercial rubidium frequency standards operate by disciplining a crystal oscillator to the rubidium hyperfine transition of 6834682610.904 Hz.So, we have three different atom clocks ticking at three different rates:
6,834,682,611 ticks per second for rubidiumQuartz is not an atom. It is a molecule consisting of silicon and oxygen atoms. Its tick rate is related to the power source that causes it to tick.
So, a second is only 9,192,631,770 ticks of a cesium atomic clock. For every other kind of atomic clock a second is a different number of ticks.
In reality, of course, one second is 1/31,557,600th of a year. An atomic clock second is just an attempt to refine that number down into smaller increments in order to do very precise measurements of events unrelated to a solar year. After all, a year has a different length on every planet.
Which brings me back to the question that woke me up this morning. Does an entire atomic clock run faster when raised to a higher altitude, or do only the cesium atoms within the clock run faster, and the "feedback system" then causes the other parts of the clock to adjust to that faster rate?
The answer is that the cesium atoms run at one rate, and the feedback system causes the rest of the clock to adjust to that rate.
Mathematicians wrong in believing that the clock doesn't change tick rates at all, that it is just the rate of some "signals" from the clocks that change, making it appear that the clock changes rates.
That, of course, would mean that if you had two strontium atomic clocks in front of you, one six feet higher than the other, and if there was some way to display their tick rates down to 430 billions of a second, according to mathematicians the two clocks would always show the same amount of time has passed. Meanwhile, scientists say that the higher clock will show that time is passing at a faster rate than what the lower clock shows. And the mathematicians will argue that that is not possible, because it would violate Einstein's First Postulate.
Why hasn't anyone done such an experiment?!
The NIST did an experiment something like that, but, unfortunately, their atomic clocks were not stacked one atop the other so that one observer could view both clocks, the clocks were in different rooms. That means that "signals" were required to make any comparison. Sigh.
What I don't understand is why hundreds of scientists haven't addressed these same issues before. They seem to realize that there is an endless disagreement over the so-called "twin paradox" or "clock paradox." But no one seems to have ever tried to pin down the exact cause of the disagreement. Maybe it is because they do not want to get into opinion-versus-opinion arguments. If you tell someone that they are misinterpreting Einstein's First Postulate, that person will just say, no, YOU are misinterpreting Einstein's First Postulate, they are interpreting it correctly. And it seems nothing you can say will change it to a resolvable scientific argument. It will always remain just opinion versus opinion.
Performing experiments is supposed to be the way to resolve arguments. That is why Hefele and Keating did their experiments involving flying atomic clocks in different directions around the globe. They wanted to show that time dilation is real, and moving clocks really do run slower than stationary clocks. But the mathematicians will just smile and shake their heads in wonder over how anyone can be so stupid as to believe that time doesn't tick at the same rate everywhere.
In the process of discussing and researching these topics, I've accumulated nearly 500 physics books and close to a thousand papers and articles. While I've tried to keep them organized, they really aren't organized. I would put all the books and papers about Einstein's First Postulate in one place, books about the Second Postulate in another place, and books about time dilation in another place, but then I'll get into an argument about how atomic clocks work, and I have nothing that tells me which books have good material about that subject. What I'd do instead, is find new papers and books about atomic clocks, only occasionally finding that I already have some good sources about that subject.
Yesterday, while browsing through some of the books I have, I noticed several Richard Feynman books and realized I never checked them to see what they have to say about time dilation and atomic clocks. It says this on page 85 and 86 of my hardcover copy of Feynman's "The Character of Physical Law":
It is evident, is it not, that if you are in a space shipI wish I'd found that quote while I was still arguing with the mathematicians on the sci.physics.relativity forum. But, they'd undoubtedly just argue that Feynman wasn't saying what he seems to be saying. He's saying that time and clocks tick at the same rate everywhere, it's just that I am misinterpreting what he wrote because I have some irrational idea that time and clocks tick at different rates at different altitudes and velocities. That would violate Einstein's First Postulate.
|Comments for Sunday, October 7,
2018, thru Saturday, October 13, 2018:
October 13, 2018 - While driving around doing chores this afternoon, I finished listening to CD #10 in the 10-CD audio book version of Bill Bryson's "In A Sunburned Country."
I think it's either the fifth or sixth book by Bryson that I've read or listened to. And it is definitely one of his best. It's about Australia and about traveling around that country/continent/island by train, car and on foot. It also contains a lot of history about Australia, particularly about all the people who have died exploring it. If you don't die of thirst or sunstroke in the outback, Australia has more deadly animals, insects, snakes, fish and vermin than any other country in the world. And yet Bryson's book makes you want to visit every corner of the country. Even the trees are probably unlike anything you've ever seen before:
It was a highly enjoyable book, just perfect for listening to while driving back and forth in my daily routines. And at times it was extremely funny, too.
October 11, 2018 - As I sat watching TV last night, I kept thinking about how to begin a book about time and time dilation. If I write about arguing the subject of time and time dilation with mathematicians on the Internet, the readers will probably think I am nuts for arguing with people on the Internet. There are all sorts of people on the Internet who claim to be experts on things which they actually know nothing about. If you do not know exactly who you are arguing with, you cannot trust anything they say. And, even if you do know who they are, why are they arguing on the Internet instead of discussing things with their colleagues? The answer seems to be that their colleagues do not want to argue with them, so they take their screwball arguments onto the Internet.
I keep trying to find some scientist who will discuss time and time dilation with me via emails or in person, but they are all too busy to have long discussions with strangers. I began this whole "project" by taking a physics course, but that offered no way of having a discussion about things in the course that made no sense. And the professor stated in his course that if you didn't understand or had questions about what was being taught, then you needed to take the version of the course that delved into the mathematics of time and time dilation.
The arguments that I've been having on the sci.physics.relativity discussion forum recently have centered on how atomic clocks work. I appear to have a fundamental disagreement with the mathematicians about that. They claim that an atomic clock ticks at the same rate at all altitudes and velocities, regardless of what has been demonstrated by Hafele and Keating and all the other time dilation experiments involving atomic clocks. I say an atomic clock adjusts its tick rate to match the oscillation rate of cesium atoms, and those atoms change their oscillation rates when they are raised or lowered in altitude and when they are caused to move laterally.
This would seem to be a great subject for a scientific paper. So, I checked arxiv.org to see if they had any papers which explain how atomic clocks measure time dilation. A search found 210 papers with the term "atomic clock" in the subject of the paper. Scanning through those 210 papers, I was surprised at how many are about using atomic clocks to check for "dark matter." Many others were about making better atomic clocks by one method or another. However, some papers seem to be about time dilation and atomic clocks. One such paper (#94 on the list) is titled "Optical Atomic Clocks" and was written by scientists at the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST). It says on page 4:
As Maxwell realized, an atom can be an ideal frequency standard because, as far as we know, one atom is exactly identical to another atom of the same species. Therefore, if we build a device that registers the frequency of a natural oscillation of an atom, say the mechanical oscillations of an electron about the atom's core, all such devices will run at exactly the same frequency (except for relativistic effects discussed below), independent of comparison. Therefore, the requirement for making an atomic frequency standard is relatively easy to state: we take a sample of atoms (or molecules) and build an apparatus that produces an oscillatory signal that is in resonance with the atoms' natural oscillations. Then, to make a clock, we simply count cycles of the oscillatory signal.I highlighted one part in red, because it is about "relativistic effects," and those "relativistic effects" are described on page 9:
In addition to environmental effects that perturb an atom's internal states and clock frequency, there can be errors in our determination of the clock atoms' frequency, even when atoms are perturbation free. The most fundamental of these effects are relativistic shifts, due to the different frames of reference of the atoms, probing lasers, and other atomic clocks.The problem is that, except for the items in red above, it is difficult to find things that can make good quotes when arguing with mathematicians. The whole paper is an argument against their beliefs, but if it argues against their beliefs they either won't read it, or they'll claim I am misreading it. Here's one simple quote from page 30:
The dominant uncertainty of both clocks arises from time dilation shifts caused by micromotion and residual secular motion of the ions.That directly conflicts with claims from mathematicians, but they will never see things that way.
I'm now thinking that I need to write a paper about how atomic clocks measure and confirm time dilation. The NIST paper mentioned above will make a good reference. And if I ever write a book, it will be good to have a chapter describing how atomic clocks measure and confirm time dilation.
October 10, 2018 - I know I keep saying that arguments on sci.physics.relativity discussion forum are becoming a waste of time, but I just cannot understand how anyone - much less a physicist - can argue that when a physicist writes in a scientific paper that "moving clocks run slow," he really means that "moving clocks do NOT run slow." But that is what the mathematicians on the forum keep telling me. Today, one wrote:
Do you not realize that all scientists (including me) use a language which has been developed for over 100 years?His argument is that clocks do NOT run slow. TIME runs slow. Clocks tick at their normal rate. But TIME appears to slow down at lower altitudes when viewed from higher altitudes. His arguments often seem to be gibberish, as if he only knows how to explain things in mathematical terms, and trying to explain in ordinary English is next to impossible for him, because the math cannot be turned into ordinary English.
My argument is that you do not understand anything unless you can describe it in ordinary English so that everyone else can also understand it.
And that is what I plan to do in the book I keep mentioning. I'm not sure what I'll use as a title for the book, but my thinking at this moment is that I will title it "Logical Relativity: The Theory of Relativity as I understand it." I haven't yet written a single word. All I have is a folder into which to place everything.
And I'm pondering where to begin.
October 9, 2018 - Yesterday morning, I decided I'd try once again to discuss how radar guns work with a local police officer. The last time I talked with a police officer about radar guns was on May 21. I was hoping to talk with the same officer when I called them yesterday morning. Instead, I first had to call about five or six times before I could find someone who knew anything at all about radar guns. And when I finally got someone, he didn't know much about "single beam" radar guns. He said they only use two-beam radar guns.
He was willing to discuss the subject, but he seemed to be guessing most of the time. I asked him what speed a single-beam radar gun would show if the gun was in a police car traveling at 60 mph and the gun was pointed at the back of a semi truck directly ahead also traveling at 60 mph. His answer was that the gun would show 60 mph. Correct. But when I tried to discuss the implications of that reading, I lost him. He couldn't follow what I was saying. And he didn't know the answers to a lot of my other questions.
I finally gave up, thanked him, told him I hoped I hadn't wasted his time, and I hung up. I definitely cannot bother them again with more questions. I need to find some other way to get my questions answered.
A radar gun pointed at the back of a semi truck traveling at the same speed as the gun would show 60 mph, not zero. And certainly not 120 mph. And, if the gun shows 60 mph when pointed at the back of a semi-truck moving at the same speed as the gun, then if the gun is redirected to point at a highway sign, the gun must show a speed of zero. If the gun showed the speed as 60 mph, it would be the speed of the gun, not the speed of the sign. And the gun would be worthless, because it shows the speed of the gun, not the speed of the target.
I just need to find some source that I can quote which says that.
Knowing exactly how single-beam radar guns work would disprove one of the most widely held beliefs in physics.
This is from page 957 of the 4th edition of “Physics for Scientists & Engineers with Modern Physics” by Douglas C. Giancoli:
First postulate (the relativity principle): The laws of physics have the same form in all inertial reference frames.If a single-beam radar gun is in a police car traveling at 60 mph and is pointed at the back of a semi-truck traveling at 60 mph, and the radar gun gives a reading of 60 mph, then you would get the same reading if you were inside the trailer of the semi-truck and pointed the radar gun at the front wall. In other words, you can tell in an inertial reference frame that you are not at rest but are moving at constant velocity of 60 mph. That directly contradicts the sentence I highlighted in red above.
Of course, those who believe the First Postulate is equivalent to the word of God will argue that any object on the surface of the earth cannot be "inertial," because the earth spins on its axis, and "inertial frames" must move in a straight line, they cannot go around in circles. And that means, of course, that the First Postulate has no meaning in this universe, since there is no laboratory or test facility on Earth that truly moves in a straight line, plus the Earth moves in an orbit around the sun, and the sun moves in an orbit around the center of the Milky Way Galaxy.
It's really not that complicated. I really need to get to work on a book that shows just how simple Relativity and time dilation are.
Meanwhile, I keep thinking that my arguments with mathematicians on the sci.physics.relativity discussion forum are coming to an end. I've found a key point where we disagree and where they have no intelligent answers. The mathematicians claim over and over that the scientists who perform time dilation experiments showing that clocks run at different rates at different altitudes and different velocities do not mean what they write when they write such things as "Another consequence of Einstein's theory is that clocks run more slowly near massive objects." The mathematicians claim that the scientists are "dumbing down" their findings to make them easier to understand, even when they are describing their findings in scientific journals. And in the process of "dumbing down" their findings, they write things that are just the opposite of what they really mean.
I'm trying to get them to explain why scientists would do such a thing. I'm going to try to hammer away with that question until they provide answers.
One mathematician who is on my "Do Not Reply" list because of his personal attacks and actual threats, just wrote:
Ed, we know this, because many of those authors have TOLD YOUNo author of any scientific paper about using atomic clocks to measure time dilation has ever said such a thing. I think "Rotchm" is arguing that some of the mathematicians on the forum have explained to me why they believe the scientists "dumb down" their findings, and some of those mathematicians may have written scientific papers. But, clearly the claim is nonsense. It's just another false argument created in an attempt to avoid answering my question.
October 8, 2018 - The arguments I've been having with mathematicians on the sci.physics.relativity discussion forum seem to be coming to another impasse. I provided them with a large number of quotes from scientific papers, quotes stating that clocks tick at different rates at different altitudes and different velocities, but the mathematicians just claim the quotes do not mean what they say. Or as Michael Moroney wrote:
You do copy stuff correctly and post it here, but then you come up with a completely goofy claim about what the quote means.Since all the quotes say basically the same thing, "According to Einstein, fast-moving clocks run slow (special relativity), and high-elevation clocks run fast (general relativity)," I asked them to provide me with scientific papers or books that state that clocks do NOT change their tick rates with changes in velocity or altitude. I have over 1,200 scientific papers and books in my collection, and while some of them make very bizarre claims, I do not recall any that say that clocks tick at the same rate when moving at different velocities and when at different altitudes.
What Michael Moroney was trying to do, of course, was turn the discussion into an opinion versus opinion argument about who is misinterpreting what is in the scientific papers written by time dilation experimenters. Opinion versus opinion argument are never resolved, and they are just a waste of time. But the person who has the better credentials can claim his opinion is superior.
Meanwhile, I updated my web page about Time Dilation Experiments to include a lot of relevant quotes, so that I can easily access them and their sources, or I can just refer people to that page.
The mathematicians arguments seem to be claims that time is not a clock. So time can work in one way while clocks work in another way. In his 1905 paper on Special Relativity, Einstein wrote:
It might appear possible to overcome all the difficulties attending the definition of “time” by substituting “the position of the small hand of my watch” for “time.” And in fact such a definition is satisfactory when we are concerned with defining a time exclusively for the place where the watch is located.Then he goes into discussing how time can be different in different locations. But, even so, watches in those different locations will show the time "for the place where the watch is located." I also found this quote from "Relativity and Common Sense: A New Approach to Einstein," by Sir Hermann Bondi:
Time is that which is measured by a clock. This is a sound way of looking at things. A quantity like time, or any other physical measurement, does not exist in a completely abstract way. We find no sense in talking about something unless we specify how we measure it. It is the definition by the method of measuring a quantity that is the one sure way of avoiding talking nonsense about this kind of thing.I couldn't have said it better myself. The mathematicians appear to be talking about time in a totally abstract way, as if it has no real relationship to clocks. And there seems to be no way to get them to discuss clocks changing tick rates if time, as the mathematicians view it, is the same everywhere. So, further arguments on this subject would just be a waste of time.
October 7, 2018 - I'm still arguing on the sci.physics.relativity discussion forum. I've been trying to get the people there to discuss how atomic clocks work, since I see it as a possible way to resolve a lot of disagreements. Incredibly, there is a big disagreement over whether atomic clocks tick at a constant rate everywhere or tick at different rates depending upon altitude and velocity.
It's difficult to believe that anyone can think that atomic clocks (actually all clocks) tick at the same rate everywhere when so many scientific experiments confirming time dilation confirm beyond any doubt that atomic clocks tick slower at lower altitudes and at higher speeds.
Then, yesterday, in a discussion with three mathematicians on the forum, the cause of the disagreement was made crystal clear.
First, Michael Moroney stated:
GR predicts that more time is experienced in lower gravitational potentials than higher, science knew about this since Einstein's first GR work in 1915.And then Tom Roberts responded:
Yes. And this happens WITHOUT a clock ever changing its tick rate; it's just geometry.My jaw dropped open when I read that. Geometry can cause time to pass at different rates? How can geometry cause anything? He was giving some God-like power to mathematics! So, I responded:
Tom, aren't you saying that we can forget reality, where clocks tick at different rates, and just look at the math (geometry) where you can CLAIM that every clock is "at rest" (i.e., stationary) in its own reference frame and therefore ticks at the same rate as every other clock that is IMAGINED TO BE "at rest" in its own reference frame?This morning I see there is a response from Tom Roberts. He wrote:
Nope. Because you are WRONG -- there is not one single instance of an experiment showing that identical clocks actually tick at different rates. In EVERY CASE you ignore something essential: either the signals used in the comparison of tick rates, or the different paths through spacetime of the clocks in the comparison of elapsed proper times. The aspects that you ignore are what actually generate the observed differences, not clocks ticking at different rates.How far removed from reality can a mathematician get? Every time dilation experiment that uses clocks has shown that identical clocks tick at different rates at different altitudes and velocities. That is the purpose of the experiments. But Tom Roberts imagines that the "signals used in the comparison of tick rates" somehow make it appear that clocks tick at different rates while the clocks actually tick at the same rate. (He seems totally incapable of explaining how this happens.) OR, the clocks move in different paths through spacetime, and that makes it appear that the clocks tick at different rates.
I've had this argument with Tom Roberts before. When I show him all the experiments which show that clocks run at different rates at different altitudes and velocities, and that the experimenters clearly state that clocks run at different rates at different altitudes and velocities, Roberts claims the experimenters do not really mean what they say and write. He says they are just "dumbing down" the science for the general public, because the general public is too dumb to understand how time dilation really works.
It's insane. I'm hoping to get him to say that same thing again, so I can ask some questions I've been wanting to ask. He tends to disappear when the questions start to show that his beliefs disagree with the words of the experimenters.
In yesterday's discussion, right after Tom Roberts wrote his comment, Paparios wrote something along the same lines (with my highlighting in red):
All real experiments COMPARE the elapsed readings of these clocks to verify what SR and GR models predict. They are not comparing the instantaneous clock rate. In the Hafele-Keating, the elapsed time was 636 hours and 140000 seconds in the Chou at al experiment.To which I replied with this question:
In order to have "elapsed readings," clocks MUST tick at different rates. You make no sense. How can clocks have different "elapsed readings" if they did NOT tick at different rates?And Paparios responded with this:
Easy...because when reunited (see Hafele-Keating), the clocks are showing the elapsed readings of their different paths through spacetime. This should be easy to you to understand: The ground clock had coordinates (x1,y1,z1,t1) the same coordinates than the flown clocks, AT THE BEGINING OF THE EXPERIMENT. The path the ground clock followed is clearly different from the path the flown clocks followed.This agrees with earlier arguments in which they claimed that clocks are like odometers. When you travel a shorter route in a car, the car's odometer shows fewer miles were traveled. And when you travel a shorter route through spacetime, clocks show less time has elapsed.
In the illustration above, one clock is traveling along the straight line and the other clock is traveling along the path that is curved by gravity. And therefore the clock on the curved path should show that more time has passed if you consider a clock to be like an odometer.
Here is one description of how spacetime works:
General Relativity effects are caused by the altitude of the flying clock - space time near the surface of the Earth is more steeply curved than at the height of the aircraft, so the airborne clock (and everything else on the aircraft) is travelling through space-time that is slightly less 'stretched' than it is at the Earth's surface. This stretching of space-time is what makes time run slower on the ground relative to on the aircraft.So, in the illustration above, spacetime is less stretched at high altitudes. That means that time passes faster there than at lower altitudes where spacetime is more stretched. If, however, a clock is like an odometer in a car, the clock will show that more time has passed at the lower altitude, not less as was claimed by Paparios. I cannot find any spacetime illustration which shows that less time passes for an object due to its velocity.
I'm not sure how to argue with Paparios. One problem is that there is no good way to use illustrations in arguments on sci.physics.relativity.
All I can do, it appears, is to show them what the experimenters say about their own experiments. They claim over and over and over that moving clocks and clocks closer to the earth run slower. I agree with what the experimenters write and say. But Tom Roberts and Paparios claim that I disagree with what the experimenters say, because Tom Roberts and Paparios know and believe that the experimenters do not mean what they say. I.e., when the experimenters say over and over and over that the faster a clock moves the slower the clock ticks, and the closer the clock is to a gravitational mass the slower it will tick, they don't mean it. What they actually mean is that identical clocks tick at the same rate when traveling at different velocities and at different altitudes, just the opposite of what they say. Why? Because that is what mathematicians believe must be true. Otherwise, the mathematicians would be in total disagreement with the experimenters and their experiments. And the mathematicians cannot believe such a thing is possible.
|Comments for Monday, October 1,
2018, thru Saturday, October 6, 2018:
October 4, 2018 - Yesterday was another one of those days. I sat down to write a comment for this web site, but I had so many things bouncing around inside my head that I couldn't focus. How can you convince someone that a postulate is not the same as a principle if they truly believe they are the same? How can you convince people that the first section (page 1 and the top of page 2) of Einstein's 1905 paper "On The Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies" is not the "abstract," when they truly believe it is an "abstract." How can anyone even think it's the abstract? An abstract would be a summary of what is in the paper. The first part of Einstein's paper is a "setup" or "introduction." It presents an idea that is going to be examined in detail in the rest of the paper.
When I have a puzzle to solve, one way to try to find a solution is to do a Google search for some part of the puzzle. I'm not sure what I searched for yesterday when I found part of a Stanford University physics course titled "Einstein's starting point: the two postulates" as presented by Academic Director Larry Randles Lagerstrom.
I watched it twice looking for something I could quote to resolve some argument, but everything Lagerstrom says could be argued by the mathematicians on the sci.physics.relativity forum to mean something else. He calls the first part of Einstein's paper the "introduction," and does a great job of describing the puzzle about magnets and rings that got Einstein to wondering about the principle of relativity that had been around for centuries.
But he never actually says anything that would firmly resolve any argument. And he doesn't get into the second postulate in the lesson I watched. I'll have to search around to see if I can find that part without actually signing up to take the whole course (it's free, but I dislike signing up for things and giving out my email address).
Anyway, at the end of the day yesterday I hadn't even started on writing a comment for this web site, I was fed up with getting nothing but opinions from the mathematicians, and I kept thinking about ways to get them to discuss facts and experiments instead of opinions, so I told them I was going to end my participation in the thread about "Time Dilation as I understand it." The thread had over 600 comments in it, and threads that long are difficult to work with. Google keeps condensing and hiding parts of the comments. Then, purely on impulse, just before shutting down operations for the day, I started a new thread about "How Atomic Clocks Measure Time." I immediately regretted it, but the more I thought about it the more I saw it as a way to stop them from arguing mathematics and to start talking about the science of atomic clocks. Plus, I can quote from many different sources to shoot down the mathematicians' beliefs instead of creating my own arguments.
This morning I see there are 10 new comments. Four are just personal attacks, three are arguments between posters, but three are questions addressed to me that I need to answer. And I think I can do so. I think there is a VERY important lesson about time dilation within the workings of an atomic clock. And if I can explain it to others in a few dozen different ways, maybe it will become clear and simple to me and everyone else. We'll see.
Meanwhile, as I was looking at my web site logs this morning, I saw that some from Iqaluit, Nunavut, Canada had visited this site yesterday. Iqaluit, Nunavut? I had never heard of the city or the province. It's a village on the southern end of Baffin Island, at about the same latitude as Iceland. Live and learn.
October 2, 2018 - I was planning to write a comment yesterday, but I first had to do a complete backup of all my computer files. I make partial backups on the first of every month, and I make complete backups on the first of every quarter. After doing the backups, I made the mistake of first responding to a comment on the sci.physics.relativity forum. And then another, and then another, then I was in the middle of a fascinating argument. And before I knew it, the day was over and I hadn't written any comment.
The argument was fascinating because it made me realize that the people I was arguing with didn't know what the word "postulate" means. And, when I did some research into what is said about Einstein's postulates in various textbooks, it was clear a lot of physics teachers also do not know what a postulate is. They assume a "postulate" is the same as a "principle" or maybe even more of a "fundamental truth" than a "principle."
I know I wrote about this on September 30, but one of the people I was arguing with found a different translation of Einstein's 1905 paper on Special Relativity. It's HERE, on page 140 of the second volume of books containing Einstein's papers. The papers in that book were translated from German to English by Anna Beck, while the version of his 1905 paper that I've been using (click HERE or HERE or HERE) was translated by someone else. And, as I was searching to find who translated that second version, I found a third translation in the 1998 book "Einstein's Miraculous Year: Five Papers That Changed the Face of Physics" by John Stachel and others. It says at the bottom of page xv that the translations are all "new" and it lists a bunch of people who did the translating.
The important point, however, is all three of those versions use the word "postulate." But, in my September 30 comment, when I used Google's translator program to translate that key paragraph from the original German to English, Google did not use the word "postulate." Instead, Google used the words "conjecture," "assumption" and "conditions."
That suggests to me that "postulate" was a common word used by scientists in 1905, but it is no longer a common word (as a noun). And it is certainly clear that the people on the sci.physics.relativity forum do not understand what the word means. And instead of looking it up, as I did, they just assumed it means whatever fits with their beliefs.
In comments posted overnight, I see these three statements from two different people:
Einstein was clearly "raising" the conjecture to a postulate, in the sense that, he is elevating/strengthening/defining it as a postulate.That last section in red is the direct opposite of what I claim. It seems very clear to me that Einstein was taking an established truth (a "principle") and was turning it into a "postulate" (a topic for argument). And his paper says that, while this principle appears valid:
the same laws of electrodynamics and optics will be valid for all frames of reference for which the equations of mechanics hold goodin reality, the "laws" contain variables, which means even though you measure the speed of light to be the same in two different frames of reference, the speeds are actually different because time is a variable, and that makes the length of a second variable when measuring speeds.
I wanted to say a lot of other things when I started this comment, but when I browsed through "Einstein's Miraculous Year," I found a few things I need to quote in new arguments with the folks on sci.physics.relativity. One example from page 18:
After a profound critical study of the concept of simultaneity of distant events, Einstein realized that the principle of relativity could be made compatible with Maxwell’s equations if one abandoned Newtonian absolute time in favor of a new absolute: the speed ofThat seems to be clearly saying that there is no such thing as "absolute time," yet the speed of light PER SECOND is "the same in all inertial frames." But who would agree with that? They'll just say I am misunderstanding it.
I was about to close this comment when I decided to look up "postulate vs principle" via Google. At a web site HERE I found this:
A postulate is an (usually fundamental) assumption a writer makes in order to discuss a subject in a coherent fashion. Examples of postulates are the Born rule in quantum mechanics (which defines how the wave function is to be interpreted), or in classical mechanics the existence of a Lagrangian (which defines the starting point of theoretical mechanics).That is almost word for word what I argued, particularly the last sentence. But, I cannot find any other quotes that say the same thing. I'd need a LOT of quotes if I want to avoid just generating claims that I am misunderstanding things.