Archive for ed-lake.com
November 2019

Comments for Sunday, November 24, 2019, thru Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019:

November 29, 2019 - Yesterday morning, I thought I might want to spend some time listening to some recent science podcasts, so I downloaded a few into my MP3 player.  One seemed particularly interesting to me.  It was the October 17 podcast from BBC Radio 4's series "In Our Time," and the subject was the H.G. Wells' novel "The Time Machine."  I started listening to the discussion, and I found it to be very interesting, so interesting that I checked my local library to see if they had a copy.  They had both the Kindle version and the audio book version, and both were available for immediate downloading.  I chose the unabridged audio book version and was surprised to find that it was less than 4 hours long.  (The novel is actually a "novella" and is only 125 pages.)  

Last night, I listened to the entire audio book version  of "The Time Machine" by H. G. Wells. 

The Time Machine

It was a terrific book!  I've probably seen the 1960 Rod Taylor movie 3 or 4 times over the years, and I have the 2002 Guy Pierce version on DVD, which means I've seen it at least twice, but there are vast differences between the movies and the book.  The first thing that amazed me was how "modern" it seemed.  The book begins with a scientific discussion about the "Fourth Dimension," and how the "time dimension" differs from the three dimension of space.  There was almost nothing that reminded me that the book was published in 1895.  When the book mentioned telephones and Communism, it was a bit jarring, but telephones have been around since 1877, and Karl Marx began preaching Communism in the 1840s. 

The book is also interesting because it takes awhile for the time traveler (he has no name in the book) to realize what is going on when he visits the year 802701, over eight hundred thousand years in the future.  He begins with a lot of assumptions about the childlike Eloi and the ape-like Morlocks that turn out to be false.  As in the movies, his time machine is stolen by the Morlocks, and much of the story is about his efforts to get it back.  Before he returns to 1895, he goes further into the future, to about 30 million years from now, when all life on earth has been destroyed by the expanding sun.  That's something that wasn't in either movie.

Listening to The Time Machine was time well-spent. I really enjoyed it.

November 28, 2019 - I wish everyone a very happy Thanksgiving!

November 26, 2019
- This morning I found myself just sitting around and staring at my computer, trying to decide if I should go out and do some more radar gun experiments or not.  Then I decided that it would break up my entire morning routine if I went out in the morning to do experiments, and I just cannot make myself do that.  I only do outdoor experiments in the afternoon.

So, looking for something else to do, I finished reading a library book on my Kindle. The book is "Dancing Wu Li Masters: An Overview of the New Physics" by Gary Zukav. 

The Dancing Wu Li Masters

It's a 416 page book in paperback format.  On my Kindle, which doesn't show page numbers, it only shows a number that represents what percent of the book I have completed.  The book seemed to go on forever, finally finishing at the 77% point, where it started showing references.  I'd highlighted 47 pages of "notes," more than any other book I've ever read on my Kindle.  In fact, when I went to make a copy of the notes, I found that I'd been wasting time highlighting things for days.  There's a limit to the number of "clippings" you can do for a book.  I suspect it is some kind of safeguard to make certain people do not just copy the entire book.   So, at some point all that Kindle did was record this message over and over and over:

<You have reached the clipping limit for this item>

The book was very interesting in parts.  That is why I highlighted so many things to copy as my notes.  But toward the end, when it got deep into interactions between subatomic particles, it really got tedious. 

The title of the book is a bit misleading, since it certainly doesn't seem like the title for a physics book.  The title is about how Quantum Mechanics resembles Buddhism in some ways, since Quantum Mechanics is not always about what is "real" and is often just about what is perceived.  It's the third physics book I've read that digs into that idea or "fact."  (Is that "fact" real or just what is "perceived?")  I expect it will also be my last.  I think I know all I want to know about Quantum Mechanics. 

Here's one of my clippings or notes from the book:
The importance of nonsense hardly can be overstated. The more clearly we experience something as “nonsense,” the more clearly we are experiencing the boundaries of our own self-imposed cognitive structures. “Nonsense” is that which does not fit into the prearranged patterns which we have superimposed on reality. There is no such thing as “nonsense” apart from a judgmental intellect which calls it that. True artists and true physicists know that nonsense is only that which, viewed from our present point of view, is unintelligible.
Another:
In general, physicists do not deal in nonsense. Most of them spend their professional lives thinking along well-established lines of thought. Those scientists who establish the established lines of thought, however, are those who do not fear to venture boldly into nonsense, into that which any fool could have told them is clearly not so. This is the mark of the creative mind; in fact, this is the creative process.
I used those quotes in a comment I wrote on the sci.physics.relativity forum where they kept telling me that my understanding of Einstein's theories was just "nonsense." 

Interestingly, the author of the book is not a physicist.  Near the beginning of the book the author writes:
My first exposure to quantum physics occurred a few years ago when a friend invited me to an afternoon conference at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory in Berkeley, California. At that time, I had no connections with the scientific community, so I went to see what physicists were like. To my great surprise, I discovered that (1) I understood everything that they said, and (2) their discussion sounded very much like a theological discussion. I scarcely could believe what I had discovered. Physics was not the sterile, boring discipline that I had assumed it to be. It was a rich, profound venture which had become inseparable from philosophy. Incredibly, no one but physicists seemed to be aware of this remarkable development.
That's what I've said many times.  Only I've focused on the fact that they seem be view mathematics as the "Word of God," and they cannot conceive of any way their mathematics can be wrong. 

Here's another quote from early in the book that again seems to perfectly describe my dealings with the mathematicians on the sci.physics.relativity forum:
Many times my physicist friends have attempted to explain a concept to me and, in their exasperation, have tried one explanation after another, each one of which sounded (to me) abstract, difficult to grasp, and generally abstruse. When I could comprehend, at last, what they were trying to communicate, inevitably I was surprised to discover that the idea itself was actually quite simple. Conversely, I often have tried to explain a concept in terms which seemed (to me) laudably lucid, but which, to my exasperation, seemed hopelessly vague, ambiguous, and lacking in precision to my physicist friends.
That's why I wrote my papers.  My papers simplify what the mathematicians have not only made incredibly complicated but also distorted and misinterpreted.

But the quote below is probably the one that I seem to have stated (in different words) to the folks on the sci.physics.relativity forum at least a hundred times:
The fact is that physics is not mathematics. Physics, in essence, is simple wonder at the way things are and a divine (some call it compulsive) interest in how that is so. Mathematics is the tool of physics. Stripped of mathematics, physics becomes pure enchantment.
I could go on and on.  And I cannot help but wonder what great quotes I lost when my Kindle stopped recording what I was underlining. 

November 24, 2019 - Yesterday afternoon, while driving around doing chores, I finished listening to CD #5 in the 5 CD set for the audio book version of "You Can't Spell America Without Me: The Really Tremendous Inside Story of My Fantastic First Year as President" by "Donald J. Trump" (actually it's written by Alec Baldwin and Kurt Anderson).

You Can't Spell America Without Me

I'd "borrowed" it from my local library awhile back, when it suddenly became available, and until I accessed the cover picture above from Amazon's web site, I didn't even know that it was an actual book.  I thought it was just an "audio book," and I expected it to be a 6 hour comedy bit by Alec Baldwin, doing what he does on Saturday Night Live.  It definitely began that way, but the book also provided actual facts that seemed totally new to me.  The facts began on page 1, with this information about events that took place in January 1989:
I was in my thirties, and I'd just met one of my future wives, Marla Maples, who was twenty-one, maybe twenty-two, and at that time a nine-plus in the looks department, to be perfectly frank.  I was in Palm Beach, my wife Ivana was doing her thing, and I drove my Rolls- Royce over to The Breakers hotel to visit the legendary genius Roy Cohn, my extremely tough lawyer and personal friend.  Roy kept a suite at The Breakers, which had recently refused to let me buy two penthouses and combine them, the morons, because they'd now be so valuable as historic residences.  In the dozen years I'd known Roy, he had taught me about the importance of maintaining a strong, great suntan all year long, but I remember that day he was very pale, I guess he was sick by then.  AIDS, sad.  
That partial paragraph is filled with odd facts.  Examples: #1. Roy Cohn was Trump's personal lawyer.  (I just knew Cohn was Senator Joseph McCarthy's chief counsel during the Army–McCarthy hearings in 1954.)  #2. Cohn lived at The Breakers.  #3. Cohn died of AIDS.  And (#4) Trump wanted to buy and combine two penthouses at the Breakers Hotel?

That part of the book and many other parts, tell me the authors must have done a lot of actual research.  That doesn't mean the book is serious, it is a satire, and it is very funny in parts, but mostly it is just amusing and interesting.  For example, it has Trump talking about getting a hole-in-one just about every time plays golf.  The term "hole-in-one" appears on 14 different pages in the paperback book, and undoubtedly multiple times on some of those pages.  

Alec Baldwin does his Saturday Night Live Trump impression all through the first CD and 2/3rds of the second CD, pretending to be Trump reading his own book about his first year in office.  Then someone else takes over, just reading, not doing any impression of Trump.  Then in the middle of the 4th CD, a third person takes over.  And about 20 minutes before the 5th and final CD ends, Alec Baldwin takes over once again to complete the book.

I can recommend the book, since it is both funny and educational.  The only problem, of course, is that you need to be able to figure out when the book is a satire and when the book is talking about actual facts.

As soon as CD #5 ended, I ejected it and inserted CD #1 of another audio book, a serious book about cyber crimes that I "borrowed" about a year ago.  And I'm pondering which audio book to put into the queue to start after that.  I have a LOT of interesting books in my listening queue.

Meanwhile, I'm still working on a new paper about Radar Gun Relativity Experiments.   I did a new experiment yesterday.  I used my radar gun to measure the "speed of the ground" behind me as I drove down an empty street.  As expected, it showed my car's speed as being the same as if the gun was pointed ahead of the car. 

My TS-3 radar gun's display has no way to distinguish between positive and negative numbers.  I wanted to measure the speed of cars in the opposite lane when the gun is pointed at their back ends, but unlike pointing a radar gun through the windshield to measure the speeds of oncoming traffic, if I wanted to measure the speeds of cars going in the opposite direction behind me, I would have to stick the gun out the side window.  I used the side rear-view mirror to see the gun's display when I was just reading my speed on an empty street.  But I was a bit concerned about doing that in traffic, so I didn't.  I need to figure out a way to do it in a way that won't startle or scare other drivers.

I sometimes assume the reading I would get would be the same as when the moving gun is pointed forward at the oncoming cars, i.e., patrol speed plus target speed.  At other times I really wonder if it will be the same, or if one speed will be positive and the other negative.  

Wondering about that made me realize something about "wave theory":  Wave theory only works if the emitter is stationary. 

radar
                      gun wave theory  
If you use the distance between waves to measure the speed of a target, that distance between waves will also be shortened by movement of the emitter.

So, if you are traveling toward a target at 40 mph, and the target is coming toward you at 40 mph, the gun will display 80 mph as the target speed without measuring any "ground speed."  But, supposedly, the gun is also measuring its own speed by bouncing waves off of the ground.  How does the gun know it shouldn't add the ground speed to the target speed in that situation?  If it did, it would get 120 mph.  (Answer: radar guns emit photons, not waves.)

LIDAR guns measure distances.  But they only measure the distance to the target that is seen in the gun's gun-sight.  And, since you have to look through the sight to view the target, you can't really use a LIDAR gun while moving, not without becoming a "reckless driver" yourself. 

Sighting a LIDAR gun on a target

If the gun is in a moving patrol car and is pointed at an oncoming vehicle by a second officer in the passenger seat, the gun will show the "closing speed."  And the passenger would then have to check the patrol car's speedometer and subtract that speed from the speed measured by the gun in order to figure out what the target's speed actually is.

I keep learning new ways to look at things, and when I do I often feel that I need to modify the beginning of my paper to include that material.  That means I am constantly adding and revising.

This morning I stumbled upon a test that is given to police radar gun operators in New Jersey.   The PDF file also includes the answers.  I have no interest in taking the test, but I am very interested in seeing what the examiners say is the correct answer to each question.  Here's the 3rd question on the test:
3. In X-Band traffic Radar, for every one mile per hour that a target vehicle is traveling, the reflected signal will be changed in which one of the following ways:
a. the speed of the reflected signal will be increased by one mile per hour.
b. the speed of the reflected signal will be increased 31.4 miles per hour.
c. the reflected signal will be shifted 5,280 waves per second.
d. the frequency of the reflected signal will be shifted 31.4 waves per second
e. None of the above
The provided answer is D, "the frequency of the reflected signal will be shifted 31.4 waves per second." 

X band radar guns emit waves at 10.5Ghz.  That is 10.5 billion waves per second.  If the target is stationary, the return waves will also return at 10.5 billion per second.  So, the question is about the frequency change if the target is not stationary.  I looked for a calculator to help me verify that number.  I found one HERE.  If I plunk in a radar frequency of 10.5 Ghz and a target speed of 1 mph, it gives me a Doppler shift of 31 Hz, which means 31 waves per second.  So, if you know what the X-Band frequency is, you probably also know enough to pick D as the correct answer.

If I spend as much time checking each answer in the test as I did with question #3, I should be done sometime in January.  Groan.


Comments for Sunday, November 17, 2019, thru Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019:

November 21, 2019 - I haven't been posting comments here for the past few days because I've been trying to focus on a new paper I'm writing about radar gun experiments.  It's been slow-going, since there are a lot of details that I don't think anyone has ever written about before.  I certainly haven't. 

This morning, my writing came to a screeching halt when I asked myself a question that had never come up before:  If I'm riding along on an empty road and my radar gun reads 50 mph when I point it at the road ahead, is 50 mph a positive number or a negative number?  Am I moving toward the ground, or is the ground moving toward me?  Which is negative, and which is positive?

Thinking about it for a minute or two, I decided it must be a positive number, since the gun will add together my speed of 40 mph with the 40 mph speed of oncoming traffic to produce a reading of 80 mph. 

That poses the question of why is it a positive number?  According to all the mathematicians I've been arguing with, all movement is reciprocal.  So, from my point of view, I am moving toward the ground, and from the ground's "point of view,"  the ground is moving toward me.  It seems like one speed should be positive and the other should be negative.

When I am traveling at 50 mph following behind a truck that is going 50 mph, the gun reads the speed of the truck as zero.  The truck's speed is negative, my speed is positive.  But, if I am right up against the bumper of the truck, the gun cannot be reading the speed of the ground.  The only thing it can read is the speed of the truck.  How does the gun measure the ground's speed if the ground is not within the radar beam?

To mathematicians, of course, the answer is that radar guns emit waves and measure distances between waves.  They do not measure speeds of c+v or c-v, radar guns just measure differences in distances between emitted waves and returned waves.  But how does wave theory work when the radar gun and the target are moving together at the same speed?  Do mathematicians believe the waves are the same distance apart when transmitted and when received back?  Why would they be? 

Groan!  I think there's something illogical very in all this.  I'm hoping that I can come up with an experiment that will show how illogical it is - whatever it is. 

November 18, 2019
- For the past 24 hours, since writing yesterday's comment, I've been mulling over "Fictitious Forces," specifically "centrifugal force."  I certainly wouldn't call it that.  I thought for awhile that "illusions" might be a better term, but that doesn't really fit either, and mathematicians really hate the word "illusion."  They argue that if you can see it, it's real, it cannot be an "illusion."  I would argue that if you can feel the force, it can't be an "illusion."

The "illusion" is which way the force is being experienced.  If you are in a rotating space station like that shown in the movie "2001 A Space Odyssey," the "artificial gravity" you feel and experience is not working like real gravity.

2001 A Space Odyssey space station

You aren't being pulled down by gravity, or pushed down by centrifugal force, you are being pushed upward by the floor and centripetal force.  To understand what's happening, you first have to understand Issac Newton's First Law of Motion:
Every object in a state of uniform motion will remain in that state of motion unless an external force acts on it.
Newton's first law wants you to go in a straight line when you move, but you are going in circles in a spinning space station.  The "external force" preventing you from moving in a straight line is exerted by the floor.  You want to go straight, but the floor keeps forcing you upward as you move.  The upward-moving floor forces you to move in a circle instead of in a straight line.  So, the floor is creating the "illusion" of gravity.  It feels the same as if gravity was pulling you downward, but in reality the floor is pushing you upward.  The "illusion" is the direction of the force.  The speed at which the space station spins is also a factor.  If the station wasn't spinning, you would experience the kind of inertia that astronauts do on the International Space Station, and you would float around.  

I can visualize starting out by floating, and then they fire rockets to get the space station to start spinning.  Initially, that force pushes you up against a wall.  The rockets continue until the constant changing of direction causes the centripetal force to be a greater force pushing against you that that exerted by the rockets moving the wall.  So, you are being pushed slightly against a wall, but the floor is pushing more strongly to move you upward.  Then, when the centripetal force equals 1G or whatever is most comfortable, the rockets turn off and you are no longer being pushed against the wall, you are only being pushed upward by the floor keeping you from moving in a straight line.  It's just like being on earth, except that you are walking on the inside of a rotating ring, instead of on the top of the ground.

I think a space station is a better way to describe centripetal force than a merry-go-round.  With a merry-go-round you have gravity pulling you toward the ground in addition to the forces you experience on a space station.  People may be more familiar with a merry-go-round, but a space station makes things simpler - and everyone is familiar with space stations that do not rotate. 

A lab centrifuge starts out with the tubes hanging downward, due to gravity.  Then, as the centrifuge speed up, the tubes lift until they are pointed straight outward, and the heaviest substances sink to the bottom because they are the heaviest and therefore they feel that change in direction more acutely.  They are the substances that most want to go in a straight line. 

It's interesting, but it's nothing worth spending any more time on.  I've got much more important scientific issues to think about.   

November 17, 2019
- The arguments I was having on the sci.physics.relativity discussion forum were becoming a waste of time, so I ended my participation yesterday afternoon, telling the others that I'd return when I had completed writing a scientific paper about "Inertial and Non-Inertial Systems."  Of course, when I turned on my computer this morning and checked that forum, I found that one of the participants was still arguing the same things, and a couple others were still just hurling insults at me.

The final disagreement was over what constitutes an "inertial system."  The people on that forum appear to be in general agreement with this definition as provided by "Paparios" in his latest post:

An inertial frame of reference in classical physics and special relativity possesses the property that in this frame of reference a body with ZERO NET FORCE acting upon it does not accelerate; that is, such a body is at rest or moving at a constant velocity.
I don't particularly like that definition, but it fits both what I consider to be an "inertial system" and what they consider it be an inertial system.  I consider an "inertial system" to be a system that is moving purely by inertia with no outside forces acting upon it.  The word "inertia" is generally defined the same way I define it:
a property of matter by which it continues in its existing state of rest or uniform motion in a straight line, unless that state is changed by an external force
As I see it, that only happens in outer space, where a ship or any kind of object can coast at a constant speed (i.e., uniform motion) forever.   Some force set the object in motion, like firing rockets or like a supernova, and the object will then continue in "uniform motion in a straight line, unless that state is changed by an external force."

That is NOT, however, how the mathematician-physicists see things.  In my final discussion with another poster (who may be Michael Moroney using a different login ID to get around the fact that he is on my "Do Not Reply list"), the disagreement was made clear.  We were talking about whether a truck moving at a constant speed on a road on earth is a "inertial system."  I said it wasn't:
Me:  It takes FORCE to move a truck.

Him:  It takes net force to change a truck's speed, but it takes zero net force for a truck to remain in uniform motion.  This is grade school physics.

Me:  It takes MORE FORCE to move a truck faster.

Him:  It takes no net force at all for a truck to move at any speed.  A truck will continue to move at its current speed, regardless of that speed, as long as zero net force is applied to it.  You're just getting confused because you are (amazingly) unacquainted with the basics of high school physics.  When objects encounter other objects, such as air, they exert mutual forces on each other.  The force provided by an engine through the drive shaft and wheels is equal and opposite to the forces exerted by other objects.  Net force is required to change the speed of an object, but not to maintain any speed.  The physics inside a sealed container depends only on the net force applied, i.e., the acceleration.

Me:  Friction does not negate the force.  Friction just determines how much force must be applied for the truck to reach a given speed.

Him:  Friction is a force, just like other forces.  The total net force on a uniformly moving object is zero.  It doesn't matter what combination of individual forces are applied, as long as they add up to zero.
The problem is that their definition of an "inertial system" ignores the fact that Einstein showed that acceleration is equivalent to gravity.  A moving truck traveling at a constant speed on earth cannot be an "inertial system" because it is constantly subjected to the force of gravity.  And gravity is equal to acceleration, so any object on earth is in an "accelerating system" whether or not it is moving.

And that is why a Type-1 radar gun can measure its own speed inside a moving truck.  The truck is NOT in a true "inertial system."

Yesterday, I started work on my paper about inertial systems by doing some research.  I wanted to see if textbooks actually say that a moving vehicle that moves at a constant speed under power is an "inertial system" where things work the same way as an "inertial system" in space.  How can they if one system experiences gravity and the other doesn't?  

I have 59 college physics textbooks in my digital collection in my computer.  But, that includes different editions of the same book, which brings the number down to about 47.  Then I have 425 science/physics books, some of which may also be textbooks.  I just didn't identify them as such.  Is "Understanding Physics: Light, Magnetism and Electricity" by Issac Asimov considered to be a "textbook," or is it just a book about physics?

I browsed through the spreadsheet where I keep track of my digital books and picked the 9th edition of "College Physics" by Raymond A. Serway & Chris Vuille as a place to start.  (The 10th edition seems to be a total rewrite.)   I did a search for the word "inertial."  I found this paragraph about Einstein's postulates on page 888:
The first postulate asserts that all the laws of physics are the same in all reference frames moving with constant velocity relative to each other. This postulate is a sweeping generalization of the principle of Galilean relativity, which refers only to the laws of mechanics. From an experimental point of view, Einstein’s principle of relativity means that any kind of experiment—mechanical, thermal, optical, or electrical—performed in a laboratory at rest must give the same result when performed in a laboratory moving at a constant speed past the first one. Hence, no preferred inertial reference frame exists, and it is impossible to detect absolute motion.
It looks to me like that explanation is geared to fit the absurd belief that "it is impossible to detect absolute motion," which is what Type-1 radar guns can do (and so can all other types of radar guns, but they do not clearly show it).

Looking back through earlier uses of the word "inertial" in the textbook, I found this on page 214:
Fictitious Forces in physics?

Fictitious Forces???  Centrifugal force is fictitious???  I didn't recall ever reading that before.  I immediately recalled the space station in "2001 a Space Odyssey" where people were walking on the inside of a rotating station where artificial gravity was produce by centrifugal force.

2001 A Space Odyssey space station

And also the situation where one of the astronauts was jogging in the rotating part of their space ship.

2001 A space odyssey centrfuge jogging track
  
Those centrifuges were producing artificial gravity.  There's nothing "fictitious" about artificial gravity!  The absence of a centripetal force to offset the centrifugal force doesn't make the centrifugal force "fictitious" as the textbook says.  I did a Google search for the term "inertial systems" and found a Wikipedia page titled "Inertial Frame of Reference" and it uses the term "fictitious force" 22 times!  And they even have an web page article titled "Fictitious Force."  

Then I remembered the anthrax attacks of 2001.  So, we're supposed to believe that microbiologists use a "fictional force" when they use centrifuges to separate anthrax spores from growth and nutrient debris?  Really?

Groan!  The situation is worse than I thought!  And that makes me think that the paper I had begun writing about "Radar Gun Relativity Experiments" is more important than a paper about "Inertial and Non-Inertial Systems," and I really really need to find some way to get experiments done with a Type-1 radar gun.


Comments for Sunday, November 10, 2019, thru Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019:

November 15, 2019 - Another groan!, but also a Wow!  My subconscious awoke me again this morning with a new realization.  This time it woke me at 3:30 a.m., but I managed to get some sleep after my conscious mind finished thinking things through.  Suddenly I feel I need to write another new paper, before I write the new paper about my radar gun experiments.  The new new paper will probably be titled "Inertial and Non-Inertial Systems."

I recall reading a college textbook that stated that there are two types of systems, inertial systems and accelerating systems, in which Relativity experiments can be performed.  I remember arguing with someone that the train in Einstein's thought experiments was neither an inertial system nor an accelerating system.  It wasn't "inertial" because it was moving under power, an engine was pulling the car in which the experiments were being performed, and it wasn't "accelerating" because the engine was pulling the train at a constant speed.

The arguments I got from the mathematicians on the sci.physics.relativity discussion forum was that a train that is under power and is moving at a constant speed is "inertial."  And they believe that Einstein's FIRST Postulate says that all experiments work the same way in all inertial systems.  They specifically argue that the length of a second cannot be different in one inertial system versus another because that would violate Einstein's First Postulate: "the same laws of electrodynamics and optics will be valid for all frames of reference for which the equations of mechanics hold good."  

It wouldn't, of course.  A variable length of a second will produce different results in different "inertial systems" and "frames of reference," but no law of electrodynamics and optics would be broken, and all equations of mechanics would still hold good.   1+1=2 is just as valid as 1+3=4.

What I woke up thinking about this morning was gravity.  Suppose you have a true inertial system in a space ship coasting through space at 100,000 mph and a second system which mathematicians consider to also be "inertial," a train moving across a desert at a constant speed of 60 mph.  Virtually every experiment performed in those two "inertial" systems will produce different results.  The simplest experiment to perform to confirm that is dropping a ball to the floor from a height of 6 feet.  In the space ship, when you release the ball, the ball will remain where it is.  It will NOT fall.  There is no gravity to pull it downward.   On the train, the ball will fall to the floor.  The ball is affected by a significantly different amount of gravity on the train.  The results of those two experiments couldn't be more different, yet according to mathematicians they are both performed in an "inertial system" and cannot produce different results without violating Einstein's FIRST Postulate.

As I now see it, an "inertial system" can only exist in space, and there are several  different "non-inertial systems" in which us Earthlings can perform experiments, including an "accelerating system," which all will produce different results. 

I just need to find the time to write it all down in the form of a scientific paper.    


November 14, 2019
- Groan!  At about 4:30 this morning, my subconscious mind woke up my conscious mind to ask a question:  If radar guns emit waves that look like this:

radar
                    gun wave theory

what would happen if you tried to measure the speed of the whirling blades of a floor fan through the wire grid that surrounds the moving parts of the fan?

My
                    floor fan used in radar gun tests
 
It's not a problem with photons.  Photons are extremely small, they travel at the speed of light to a blade, and before the blade can change position, atoms in the fan blade almost instantly emit NEW photons back to the gun.  The difference in the oscillation rates of the photon's energy fields sent-versus-received determine the speed of the blade.  Since even different parts of the tips of the blades move a different speeds, the gun measures the fastest speed.  Photons that hit the metal wire grid measure the grid to be stationary.

How would that work with waves?  First you have the problem of the wire grid.  If microwaves were like the waves shown above (or like water waves), the waves are going to break into a kazillion tiny waves like the double slit experiment with hundreds of slits.  The double slit experiment:

Double slit experiment

And then the kazillion small waves hit different parts of the rotating fan blades.  And, according to wave theory, when the waves somehow make it back to the radar gun, the gun has to measure the distance BETWEEN the return waves to compare it to the distance BETWEEN the emitted waves.

It's easy to see how my subconscious mind found this to be puzzling.  I just wish it would have let me fall back to sleep again.  When I got up, I asked the folks on the sci.physics.relativity forum how waves work with my fan experiments.  So far, no answers. 

I also did some more experiments, measuring the speed of the tips of the rotating blades when the fan is running at low, medium and high speeds.  The reading at low speed is about 20 mph, at medium it is about 32 mph, and at high speed it is about 43 mph.  Again, that is easy to understand when discussing photons, but it seems almost unimaginable when discussing waves. 

November 13, 2019
- Yesterday, I did my first indoor experiments with my radar gun.  But, before I get into that, I want to describe another kind of "experiment." It involves how I ordered the adapter that allows me to use my TS-3 radar gun indoors.  As stated in yesterday's comment, I ordered it from Amazon where it costs $13.99.  However, Amazon charges shipping fees for all orders under $25. Plus, I had $11.33 worth of accrued points for using my Discover card when buying other things elsewhere, like gas for my car.  So, the adapter would actually cost me only $2.66 plus shipping.  I didn't know what the shipping costs would be, but I tend to want to avoid them if I can.

So, I took the opportunity to buy some DVD movies that I'd been hunting for, movies I'd seen a few years ago, and I hoped would eventually go on sale somewhere for around $5 so I could buy a copy for my movie collection.  I ordered 4 movies from Amazon, one of which cost more than $5 and put the total order cost over the $25 minimum and gave me free shipping.  I was advised that there would be two packages from two different shipping points, one package containing the adapter and one DVD, the other package containing 3 DVDs.  

Then came the "experiment."  Amazon advised me that I had a choice of delivering the packages to my apartment building or to a pickup point at the "Meineke Car Care Center" about a block away.  The weather was bad and it was forecasted to get worse, which made me worry about the postman leaving the packages outside if I wasn't at home at the time of delivery.  So, on an impulse I told them to ship it to the Meineke muffler shop.  Then, that afternoon as I headed for the gym, I stopped by the muffler shop to see how the delivery would work.  I expected to pick up the packages inside somewhere, but it turned out that there is a rack of lockers against an outside wall, and that was where the packages would be delivered.  I had never seen an Amazon locker before, or if I did, I didn't realize what it was.  I was curious as to how it worked.

Amazon pickup locker
 
The packages arrived while I was at the gym on Monday.  I got the notifications via emails and drove over to the muffler shop.  The notifications included 6 digit codes you have to enter to open a locker.  The packages were inside the lockers, safe and dry.  Easy peasy.  The locker "experiment" was successful. 

And yesterday I did my first indoor experiments with my TS-3 radar gun.  I set up a pedestal floor fan outside the closet where it had been stored for the winter, and, from the side of the fan, I pointed the radar gun at the rotating blades. 

Me
                      doing radar guns tests with my floor fan

As expected, the gun showed the speed of the rotating blades.  If I held the gun perfectly steady while pointed at the tips of the rotating blades as the fan was operating at its highest speed, the gun would show a max speed of 43 mph when the blades were rotating away from the gun.  When the gun is pointed at about the midway point between the tip and the base of the blades it shows about 20 to 25 mph.  When pointed at the base of the blades, the speed was between 11 and  15 mph, but, of course, at that point the tips of the blades would be moving past the gun vertically, so there would be a cosine effect.  And the beam was wide enough to get speeds that were not zero.  Yawn. 

It was all as expected.  Nothing unusual.  I did the experiment several times to be certain.  The most interesting result was that the highest speed when the blades were rotating away from the gun was 43 mph, and the highest speed could measure for when the blades were moving toward the gun was about 30 mph.  I attributed that to the fact that when the blades were moving away from the gun, the gun "saw" a lot of the flat part of the blades, while when the blades were moving toward the gun the gun was just seeing the edge of the blades. I went around to the other side of the fan and repeated the experiment.  Yes, the highest speeds were measured when the blades were moving toward the gun and the gun could "see" the flat side of the fan blades. 

Then, when I was about ready to shut down the experiment, it suddenly occurred to me that I needed to do experiments when the gun was in TEST mode.  So, I again pointed the gun at the rotating tips of the fan blades and pressed the TEST button.  The gun showed "60 mph," the "internal calibration speed" it is supposed to show.  But I had expected the fan to act like a tuning fork.  It didn't.  The gun acted as if the fan wasn't there.  It just showed "60 mph" when I pressed the TEST button while holding the trigger.  And when I took my finger off the test button the gun showed nothing until I released the trigger and pulled it again.  Then it would read the fan blade speeds.

Hmm.  So it evidently needs an actual tuning fork to do the tuning fork test.  And, when you look at tuning fork tests on YouTube videos, NONE of them ever show a test result that isn't exactly what the tuning fork is supposed to produce.  It was like the test is to get an exact match on speed - or nothing at all. 

According to the web site HERE, the TS-3 is supplied with a 35 mph tuning fork. I didn't get a tuning fork with my used radar gun.

Then I was done with experiments for the day.  That evening I watched one of the DVD movies I had bought, and, when it was bed time, I went to sleep.  Then, at about 6:45 a.m. this morning, as I lay in bed, thinking about radar experiments while waiting for it to be time to get up, a terrific idea suddenly occurred to me.  I needed to do another experiment.  Unfortunately, it was another experiment that I had no way of doing without help and without the expenditure of more money than I am willing to spend.  It would involve performing the same tests I had just performed, but doing it inside a moving truck

However, I think I need to describe the experiment in a scientific paper, not here.  I also need to think it through very carefully.       


November 12, 2019
- Groan!  I'm really feeling overwhelmed.  I'm getting so much information that needs to be sorted out, that I can't easily keep track of it all.  And it takes a lot of time to think things through.  Yesterday was a case in point.  On the sci.physics.relativity forum, Paparios advised me of a YouTube Video HERE which shows a guy who seems to be a lawyer explaining how tuning forks work with a dual Type-2M radar gun which when in a patrol car has one gun pointed forward and a second gun pointed behind the patrol car.  I probably watched the demonstration five times, but I could get nothing useful from it.  There is a much better tuning fork video HERE.  The problem is that both videos use a Type-2M radar system, which isn't what I have.  All my questions relate to how Type-2S radar guns work as compared to Type-1 guns.

Also yesterday, someone sent me an email about the differences between a "cheap" radar gun like my TS-3, which costs $500 when new, and a Stalker II SDR, which costs $1,600 when new.   I don't consider $500 to be cheap, since I could buy a new Bushnell Velocity for less than $100. But his point was that  there are other differences in radar guns besides the fact that Type-1's do one measurement and  Type-2's do two measurements.  I knew that, and I knew the Stalker II SDR can measure target direction, which the TS-3 and Bushnell Velocity cannot do.  But those other functions have nothing to do with the experiments I want to perform.

Then someone else sent me an email with a link to a copradar.com web page that has some interesting things on it.  The page is titled "Radar Gun Test and Calibration."  One type of radar gun test says:
Set radar to Receive Only mode and scan for interference at operation site.
Receive only?  My radar gun doesn't seem to have that capability, and I had to wonder what such a capability would enable me to do.

That web page also has a test that says,

The Range Control is actually the receiver sensitivity setting. Long range, most sensitive, may make the radar susceptible to local interference. 
Hmm.  I hadn't been paying much attention to what the two knobs on my radar gun do, other than that they seem to control the signal strength and the sounds the gun makes to indicate different speeds.

TS-3
                      radar gun controls

The "VOLUME" knob on the lower left seemed to control the sound volume to indicate different measured speeds.  The "SENS" knob on the lower right seemed to do the same thing by controlling the strength of the transmitted signal.  But it is the "TEST" button in the middle that makes me most curious.  Unfortunately, it is 8 degrees outside right now, and that makes it a problem to do road tests with the window open or the heater turned off.  It was snowing for the past few days, which is also a problem when doing tests.  So, I didn't do any.

But I did do one thing worthy of note: last Thursday I ordered a power adapter from Amazon for $13.99.  The adapter should allow me to use the radar gun in my apartment to measure fan speeds.  And it should allow me to experiment with the TEST button and the VOLUME and SENS knobs.   The adapter arrived yesterday afternoon.  Now I just need to find the time to use it to do various experiments.  I spent at least two hours writing this comment this morning, and there are a bunch of posts to the sci.physics.relativity forum that I would like to respond to.  Plus, my computer seems to be running very slow, which means I need to reboot it.  And in about a half hour it will be lunch time, and then it will be time for me to head to the gym.   

There just aren't enough hours in a day!

November 10, 2019
- I spent much of the past week arguing on the Google UseNet sci.physics.relativity discussion forum.  But I also took some time to go back and modify my post for November 4 to show that the cosine experiments I did with my radar gun were not as clear-cut as described.  And I now know they were mostly just me misunderstanding what I was doing with a radar gun that I didn't really know how to operate.
  What I was trying to do is still valid, but the TS-3 radar gun (and probably most other Type-2S guns) evidently do not give a reading unless it can perform TWO measurements: (1) the speed of the gun (which it measures internally) and (2) the speed of an external target.  When pointed in the air, there are usually no solid external targets in range - except for power lines, birds, and spots on my windshield, which means it usually cannot do measurement #2.  Therefore, it displays nothing.

I just noticed that I never gave a detailed description on this web site of the differences between the three types of radar guns.  Here they are as described in the paper about my radar gun experiments that I am writing:

Type-1 radar guns do just one measurement.  They emit photons to the target and receive photons back from the target.  The gun then measures the difference in the oscillation frequencies of the emitted and received photons and computes the speed of the target.  Type-1 radar guns are considered to be “stationary only” guns, evidently because they produce controversial results when moving.

Type-2M radar guns do two measurements: (1) They measure the speed of a target and (2) they measure the speed of the gun.  They were designed and built to be used while moving.  When traveling at 60 miles per hour toward an approaching target that is traveling at 70 miles per hour, the gun will show a “patrol speed” of 60 mph and a “target speed” of 70 mph.

Type-2S radar guns also do those same two measurements.  However, Type-2S radar guns are intended to be used only while stationary.  When traveling at 60 miles per hour toward an approaching target that is traveling at 70 miles per hour, the gun will show a “relative” speed of 130 mph.  The gun has no ability to show two speeds.  If you use such a gun while moving, you need to logically figure out for yourself what speed the gun is displaying.   

The paper also says this about Type-1 radar guns:

Type-1 radars seem to be relatively few in number.  I was able to tentatively identify only one Type-1 radar gun, the fairly popular Stalker II SDR manufactured by Applied Concepts, Inc., in Richardson, Texas.  However, there could be others.  The Stalker II SDR’s list price is $1,600.

The "controversial" results Type-1 guns give while moving are that, according to people I've talked with who are familiar with  the gun, it shows no speed when pointed at the road ahead while moving, and it shows 60 mph when in a car going 60 mph while the gun is pointed at the back of a truck that is also going 60 mph.  That is "controversial" because mathematician-physicists claim it is "impossible."

Since I cannot afford the Stalker II SDR, I need to devise an experiment which will demonstrate that the TS-3 and most or all other Type-2S guns (and probably all Type-2M guns) measure their own speed internally.   

A TS-3 radar gun  
 
If a radar gun can measure that it is traveling at 60 mph by bouncing photons off of the semi-transparent radome that covers the front of the gun, then a radar gun that does only one measurement (i.e., a "Type-1" gun) can measure its own speed and the speed of a box truck while inside the back of a box truck.  Both are considered equally "impossible" by mathematicians.

In addition, the general belief is that radar guns measure speeds by sending out waves, not photons.  And that erroneous belief is fostered and promoted by countless web sites, books, and papers which describe light as waves, even though one of the top physicists of all time, Richard Feyman, stated:
“I want to emphasize that light comes in this form—particles. It is very important to know that light behaves like particles, especially for those of you who have gone to school, where you were probably told something about light behaving like waves. I’m telling you the way it does behave—like particles."
Albert Einstein, of course, won a Nobel Prize for explaining how light consists of particles, not waves, and that is how and why the photoelectric effect works.

So, any experiment which conclusively demonstrates that radar guns emit photons and cannot possibly emit waves would also be worthwhile.  I just need to figure out how to devise such an experiment. 

Looking for ideas, I began posting to sci.physics.relativity once again.  And I continued reading what the mathematicians there were arguing.

In one post, one of the mathematicians on my "Do Not Reply" list, Michael Moroney, provided his opinion about how tuning forks work:

[A tuning fork] "vibrates which means the speeds of the tines are constantly changing at the frequency of the fork in a sinusoidal fashion. In addition, the max magnitude of the vibration depend on how hard the fork is struck.
Huh?  What is the purpose of a tuning fork if the sound it makes due to its vibrations "constantly changes" and are dependent upon "how hard the fork is struck"?  The sole purpose of a tuning fork is to consistently give a specific tone for many seconds regardless of how hard it is struck, just as long as it was struck hard enough to produce the tone.  (Moroney also bragged once again about how he beat a speeding ticket by arguing with the police officer that holding a vibrating tuning fork stationary in front of a radar gun will not give a valid reading because the tuning fork itself is not moving, it is stationary.)

Interestingly, there is a lot of debate among mathematicians as to whether a radar gun that is pointed at a tuning fork is measuring the speed at which the tines vibrate or is it "listening" to the frequency of the sound the fork makes? 
That generated some arguments about how a radar gun listens to sounds, and that caused someone to bring up the subject of air conditioning and heater fans within the dashboard of a car producing false readings on a radar gun. 
The operator's manual for the GHD and Scout radar guns says this on page 25:
"7.4 Fan Interference
Fan interference is the most common form of interference that you
are likely to experience. It is caused when the radar measures the
speed of the vehicle blower fan. Changing the fan speed causes a
proportional change in the display speed. To correct this, relocate the
radar gun so it does not display spurious speeds or turn off the fan
motor."
I'm going to have to do some experiments to see exactly how and when and why the fan inside a dashboard causes "interference."

That also poses a question about the "TEST" button on my radar gun.  The TS-3 instruction manual says this on page 3:
3. Perform the internal test sequence by pressing the TEST button.
The unit should display 60 mph.  You will also hear an audio tone
if the volume is turned up because a 60 mph signal is being sent
through the circuitry to perform the unit's internal check.  On
release of the TEST button, 8.8.8. should be displayed to verify
display operation.

4.  Perform system check with certified tuning fork by striking the
fork until is rings then place it about 2 inches in front of the lens.
Pull the trigger and the unit will read the speed inscribed on the
fork.
Hmm.  Will the gun show "60 mph" if I press the TEST button while the gun is pointed straight ahead while moving at 30 mph?  I haven't tried that.  I definitely will.  

Meanwhile, as I'm writing this I'm wondering what would be proved if I put a vibrating tuning fork in front of a radar gun while in a moving car.   The gun would have to read the tuning fork as the "target" speed.  And it would almost certainly add together that speed with the gun's speed to display the combined speed.  If I then raise the gun to point it skyward and to get the cosine effect, as long as the tuning fork is in front of the gun, the target speed should be the tuning fork's speed, but the gun's speed should be the Cosine Effect speed.  Shouldn't it? Hmm.  If you and I were on an airplane and were playing catch by throwing a ball from Seat 24A to 24D, perpendicular to the aircraft's direction of travel, there is an "effect," since the ball is not traveling in  a straight line though space, but it's not the Cosine Effect. 
Hmm.  I have to think about that.  Plus,  I don't have a tuning fork.  There was no tuning fork in the package with the used TS-3 gun I bought on EBay.  And I don't know how to do that moving experiment by myself.  I'd need a second person to hold the tuning fork in front of the gun.  Hmm.  That's definitely something worth thinking about.


Comments for Sunday, November 3, 2019, thru Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019:

November 8, 2019 - I did some more experiments with my TS-3 radar gun yesterday, and those experiments told me that I need to be more careful in what I write here, on the sci.physics.relativity forum, and most especially in any scientific papers.  The experiments showed that when I do Cosine Effect readings while pointing the radar gun upward, the readings are very sporadic, and they should be continuous.   I thought the problem was because I didn't know exactly how the gun works:  If I held down the trigger continuously while pointing the gun upward, it would usually give no reading.  If I squeezed the trigger repeatedly, I would sometimes give a reading that matched what I expected.  However, when I pointed the gun at oncoming traffic, I would always get continuous readings.

Now it appears that the gun requires two readings.  It needs both a reading for the speed of the gun (which it performs internally), and it needs a reading for the speed of an outside target, before it will show anything.  So, when pointed in the air, it will still be able to measure the speed of the gun, but unless there is some object to bounce photons off of (like a telephone wire, or a bird, or rain drops, or a dirty windshield), there is no target, so the gun gives no reading.

That still means that when the gun is pointed at the road ahead while moving, the gun shows its own speed of 40 mph, not "the speed of the ground."  It is just that photons bouncing off of the ground gives a target reading of zero which the gun needs to subtract from the 40 mph speed of the gun.  The gun does not work without having some photons return from some object outside of the gun.

So, I need to find the right kind of experiment which will show that the gun does TWO readings, and one of them is the speed of the gun.  I don't think it will be hard to do, but I'm limited by having a radar gun that requires being connected to a cigarette lighter as a power source.  I may have to buy a Bushnell Velocity in order to do the right kind of experiments.  I need to think about it.

November 6, 2019
- The arguments about my radar gun experiments are still raging hot and heavy, but today I'll only comment on the audio book I just finished.  Yesterday, as I was driving out of the parking lot of the shopping center where my gym is located, I finished CD #12 of the 12 CD (11 hour 12 minute) set for the book "Apollo 8: The Thrilling Story of the First Mission to the Moon" by Jeffrey Kluger.
 
Apollo 8

It was an extremely interesting book, filled with fascinating details, not just about the first flight by humans to the moon, but also about all the preparatory missions that went before it, including horrific details about the fire on Apollo 1.

In some ways the book is mostly about Frank Borman, who was the lead astronaut on Apollo 8.  I gather that the author did extensive interviews with Borman, including one that is recorded at the end of the audio book.  There are also a lot of recordings of critical events mentioned in the book, such as what was said and heard when Apollo 8 took off, also when they fired their rockets to leave earth orbit and head to the moon, then when they fired retro rockets to go into orbit around the moon, then when they fired their rockets to leave their moon orbit and head home again, and lastly when the parachutes opened and they were able to descend safely to earth again.

Today, people mostly remember Apollo 11, which took place in July 1969, and landed the first humans on the moon.  Apollo 8 took place in December 1968, and is mostly remembered for the Christmas Eve message Borman, James Lovell and William Anders read to people back on Earth.  A recording of that message is also played at the end of the audio book. 

I can highly recommend "Apollo 8."   And, in case you are wondering, yes, I was listening to "Apollo 8" while I was also doing my radar gun experiments.


November 5, 2019
- Although my plan was to wait until I had completed my paper about my radar gun experiments before posting anything more to the sci.physics.relativity discussion forum, this morning I felt I needed to know what the mathematicians there think about the experiments before I finish the paper.  So, at 9:47 a.m., I started a thread titled "Experiments with my radar gun."

The first response was from Paparios at 10:21 a.m.  It was just nonsensical arguments.  Then at 11:19 a.m. Tom Roberts posted a comment.  It was filled with more screwball arguments, like how can you point a radar gun upward when you are inside a car?  There's a ceiling above you, he argued.  Of course, most cars have windshields that are at about a 45 degree angle for streamlining.  All I had to do was put the gun against the windshield pointed upward.  But mostly what I did was put the radar gun in my left hand and stick my left hand out the side window.  How can anyone argue that that is impossible?

In the same post, Tom Roberts also argued:
The beam width of a TS3 is 12 degrees, so it sees MUCH MORE to the side than you look at when you point it.
What planet is he from????  My range of vision is close to 180 degrees!  A TS3 that emits a beam 12 degrees wide.  Using the calculator HERE, a 12 degree beam shining at a target 50 feet away will create a target area 11 feet wide.  100 feet away, the target area will be 21 feet wide.  And, of course, a typical car is only about 6 or 6½ feet wide.  So, less than 10 percent of the emitted photons will hit the target, and only a tiny fraction of those will be returned to the gun.

The arguments were on my mind when I went to the gym for my regular routine, and while I was on the treadmill I realized something very important that I need to add to my paper.  When I returned home, I posted this comment to the new thread:
I suddenly realized the primary difference between the Type-2M and the Type-2S radar guns.  It's obvious!

Type-2M radar guns perform TWO measurements and SHOW THEM BOTH.  The guns have ways to display "Patrol Speed" AND "Target Speed."  There's a video here about a Type-2M radar gun: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XlnYO_G_IxA

Type-2S radar guns also perform TWO measurements but, since the guns are intended to be used "stationary only," they just show ONE speed, which SHOULD BE the target speed.  If you use such a gun WHILE MOVING, you have to FIGURE OUT LOGICALLY for yourself what speed it is displaying.

Also, the fact that the Type-2S gun doesn't need all the hardware and
software required to show two speeds means it can be made for less cost.  That is undoubtedly one reason you can buy a Type-2S for around $100.
This is all fascinating stuff to me.   And it tells me I really need to find some way to borrow or rent a Type-1 radar gun.   

November 4, 2019
- I took my TS3 radar gun out to do some more experiments yesterday afternoon.  The main experiment wasn't anything special, I just parked my car in a parking lot next to a highway and pointed the TS3 at cars going away from the radar gun.  While being stationary, I had previously only measured the speeds of targets coming toward the radar gun. 

There was nothing surprising in the results.  The gun accurately measured the speeds of the receding targets.  When displaying a speed while stationary, the gun doesn't show if the target is coming or going.  However, when moving, the gun will compare the gun's speed to the target's speed.  It will add the numbers together when the target is approaching and subtract the target's speed from the gun's speed when the target is receding.  The Bushnell Velocity sports gun works the same way.

I also took the TS3 to a stretch of Highway 31 north of town where you can see for miles and the speed limit is 50 mph.  I did more experiments to demonstrate that the gun measures its own speed internally, it does not measure my car's speed by sending out "waves" that bounce off the ground.  I did "the cosine experiment" over and over, pointing the gun straight up, where it shows no speed, then bringing it down lower as it shows 20 mph, 30 mph, 40 mph and then 50 mph when the gun is pointed ahead but not toward the ground.  And it stays at 50 mph, which is my car's speed, as I lower the gun to where it is pointed at the road ahead.  So, there can be no doubt that the gun is measuring its own speed internally, it is NOT measuring its speed by bouncing photons off of the air - or the ground.

Added note (Nov. 9):  In my excitement, I was overstating my findings.  In reality, the cosine readings were sporadic, and not entirely consistent.  Later experiments showed that the radar gun will NOT work as described above.  The gun requires TWO measurements (gun speed and target speed) before it will give any kind of reading, and most of the time when the gun is pointed skyward it  will not be getting any kind of target speed reading.  It only gives readings when power lines or raindrops or a spot on the windshield are measured as targets.     

When I returned home I realized that a terrific demonstration would be to point the gun above oncoming traffic in the opposite lane, where the gun will just show the gun's speed (and my car's speed), and then to lower the gun to where it is pointed at the oncoming traffic.  It will suddenly show speeds in the range of 90 mph or so.  How would the mathematicians explain that?  They cannot possibly argue that the gun is bouncing waves off the ground when it is pointed above oncoming traffic in the other lane.  I'll do that experiment today or tomorrow, so that I can mention it in a paper about my first radar gun experiments. 

I also need to decide if I'll just write a paper to add to my collection on vixra.org, or if I should see if Science magazine or Nature magazine will be interested.  If they are not interested, that would be an interesting point to make in my paper.

Groan!  So much to do, and so few hours in a day.
 

November 3, 2019
- On Monday, October 28, I watched a YouTube video where a guy was doing demonstrations with a Bushnell Velocity radar gun.  I've seen many similar YouTube videos, but they were all several years old.  This video was relatively new and the guy on the video had just responded to someone's post.  So, I posted this message to the guy:
I'm thinking of buying one for a science experiment, but I'm wondering how it works while moving.

Have you ever used it in a moving vehicle, pointing it out at the ground or at highway signs ahead? The operator's manual says that it will show "the speed of the vehicle you are in." I'm wondering if it shows the speed of the vehicle you are in, or if it shows the speed of the gun.

So, what I would need to do is first point it out at the ground ahead and then lift it to point it at about a 30 degree angle toward empty sky. If it still shows the speed of the vehicle, it isn't showing the speed of the vehicle, it is actually showing the speed of the gun. I'd buy the gun if it shows the speed of the gun when pointed at the sky ahead. I wouldn't need it if it shows no speed when pointing at the sky ahead

The guy in the video responded:
I've used it in a vehicle clocking the speed of on coming traffic. From what I've experienced it wouldn't read anything if pointed at the sky as the radar waves would have nothing to bounce back from.
So, he never used it while moving.  And it didn't seem he would be likely to do an experiment for me.  He believed the Bushnell Velocity radar gun emits waves and would therefore operate according to common beliefs about waves.

I decided it was time for me to buy a radar gun.  I began by browsing the Internet looking for the cheapest Bushnell Velocity radar gun I could find.  The cheapest one cost $59.99 plus $4.98 shipping costs.   However, it was a Chinese company, and I couldn't figure out where it would ship from.  I assumed it wouldn't be shipped from China, but not knowing who was actually selling the gun made me uneasy.  I knew that Amazon charges $97.99, plus $5 tax for the same gun.  But I didn't want to pay that extra cost.

Then, somehow, I stumbled into Ebay.  And I found they had used Municipal Electronic's TS3 radar guns for sale at a price of $69 plus $12 shipping.

TS3 Radar gun

The ad said it was guaranteed to be in working order.  The TS3 was supposed to be a "basic" radar gun.  There was no price listed on Municipal Electronics' web site, but when I communicated with them via emails and phone calls they had offered to sell me a "reconditioned" TS3 for $300.  (Later I found that the list price is evidently $500.) 

I could definitely afford to pay $81 for a TS3 if there was any chance that it was truly a "basic" radar gun.  When I talked with people at Municipal Electronics about the TS3 back in August, they were somewhat vague.  They said the TS3 "should" meet my criteria for a "basic" radar gun.  I wanted something more definite than that before I'd pay $300 for a used but "refurbished" gun.  But, for $81 I was willing to take a chance, particularly since I could return it if I wasn't satisfied, and I would only be out my shipping costs for the return.

So, I ordered it.  It was the first time I'd ever purchased anything via Ebay. The expected delivery day was given as Tuesday, November 5.  On the afternoon of Thursday October 30, I was startled to hear my door buzzer sound.  I knew what it had to be.  I raced downstairs and there was the package from Ebay on my doorstep.  When I opened the package, the TS3 looked very worn and beat up, but that didn't really matter.  I was still pleased that it had arrived so quickly.

Me and my
                TS-3 police radar gun

Within the hour, I was in my car experimenting with it.  It didn't come with any instructions, but it didn't look that complicated.  At the rear of the gun, the OFF ON switch at the top of the controls turns it on.  You can also turn on the audio signal by turning the "VOLUME" knob.  Just like most radios, it clicks when you turn it on, and from there on it increases the volume of the sound that represents, via changes in pitch, the speed of the target.

Controls
                  for the TS3 radar gun

The first test I did was to take it to a nearby shopping center parking lot, where I parked my car near the street and did some readings by pointing the gun through the windshield at the oncoming traffic.  The gun worked perfectly, but taking pictures of the digital display turned out to be a problem.  I didn't look at the pictures until I returned home, and then I found that when I snapped the pictures, in most cases only one of the digits for a 2-digit speed would show up in the image, most likely because the digits were changing at the instant my camera shutter clicked.  But I did get one shot with both digits. 

First test
                  of my TS3 radar gun 
In reality, both digits of the number 26 were as bright as the 6, but it seems the 2 was probably in the process of blinking on or off.

So far, so good. Then I took it on the road.  It is a "stationary only" gun, which means it is not intended for use while moving.  But my main experiments involve what happens when a "stationary only" radar gun is used while moving.

I don't have any pictures, since that would involve me driving with one hand manipulating the camera while my other hand is manipulating the radar gun, and no hands left to manipulate the steering wheel.

It was quickly very clear that the TS3 is NOT a "basic" radar gun.  When I was driving up Highway 11 at about 40 miles per hour, which is the speed limit, I pointed the gun at the oncoming traffic, and all the readings were around 80 miles per hour.  The gun was showing speeds ranging from about 75 mph to 83 mph.  It was adding together the speeds of oncoming cars and the speed of the gun.  That is exactly what a representative of another radar gun manufacturing company, Applied Concepts, Inc., told me that their GSD and Scout model "stationary only" radar guns would do.  That is why they state in their User Manuals that those guns do not "work" while moving.

Hmm.  It also seemed to mean that the TS3 somehow measures its own speed.  It added its own speed of 40 mph to the 40 mph speed of the oncoming cars to get 80 mph. And that meant I needed to verify that the gun was NOT measuring its own speed by bouncing imaginary waves off of the ground.

It was simple to do.  All I had to do was point the gun away from the ground, say upward at about 30 degrees.  I did so, and the gun showed a speed that exactly matched the speed shown on the speedometer of my car.  When I sped up or slowed down, the speed displayed by the radar gun matched my car's speed. 

Then came the ultimate test:  I measured the "cosine effect."  While traveling at about 40 mph, I pointed the gun straight up and pulled the trigger.  It showed NO measurable speed.  I then lowered the gun slowly and it started to show speeds beginning at 12 mph, then increasing to 20, then 30 and then 40 mph when the gun was pointed at about a 30 degree angle away from the ground.  The area was open and devoid of trees and telephone wires, so there was nothing that fantasy waves could be bouncing off of.  The gun was measuring its own speed by either bouncing photons off of the transparent radome that covers the front of the gun, or by some similar method that is also purely internal to the gun.

That is something the mathematicians also believe is totally impossible.

How a radar
                  gun measures its own speed.

It seems clear I need to put these experiments into a scientific paper.  Maybe it will cause someone to figure out and describe to the world exactly how a radar gun measures its own speed.  Then, every time someone describes a radar as measuring its own speed by bouncing waves off of the ground, it will be clear that that person is either lying or ignorant of how radar guns and light actually work. 

Added Note:  When I completed posting the above comment, I checked to see if anyone had posted anything new to a sci.physics.relativity thread where I'd been arguing about my new web page "A List of Variable Light Experiments."  Early this morning, before writing this morning's comment for this site, I had posted a comment there, telling them that I was done arguing in that thread, and that I'd bought a radar gun and would return to start a new thread about it when I finished writing a scientific paper about my own radar gun experiments.

To my stunned surprise, "Michael Moroney," who is on my "Do Not Reply" list because of his insults and personal attacks, had just posted a long comment in response to my telling them I'd bought a radar gun similar to the Bushnell Velocity.  Here is his comment in its entirety:
What a coincidence. I bought the Velocity myself a little while ago, just before the last time you ran away.

I have done a few experiments myself.

I was going to wait until I made a Youtube video but I thought it may be all for naught since you disappeared.  But a quick summary so far:

The Velocity records the highest speed seen while the trigger is held down.

When used as intended, stationary, it records speeds as expected.  When a car appearing to do about 50 is approaching, the stationary gun does display 50.

When used from a moving car: (not used as intended):

No other traffic around:

The gun displays my speed. This is as expected as the reflections from the road, trees, parked cars etc. is Doppler shifted to my road speed in the frame of the gun (which is moving at my road speed).


Oncoming traffic:
Oncoming traffic is displayed as moving at a high speed. If I am going 45 on a road with a speed limit of 45, oncoming traffic results in speeds around 90 or so.

Following traffic:

The gun almost always displays my road speed.  This is because the reflection from cars in front of me is that of the speed difference and that is always lower than the ground speed reflection, unless a real speeder passes me (hasn't happened yet).

Careful aim when passing a slow box truck sometimes displays a low speed.  This has happened twice, and only when (apparently) the ground reflection isn't strong enough.


Inside a moving box truck:

Not quite, but I did bring it onto a commuter rail train. (Fortunately at the end of the line so I moved into an empty car so passengers wouldn't be worried about this guy with a radar gun walking around).  The cars are metal with windows, including windows in doors between cars but enough metal for this purpose.

Front of car aiming to rear of train: No reading.
Rear of car aiming to front: No reading.
Aiming at ground out window: A speed consistent with the apparent speed of train. (also changed the angle to see cosine effect in action).

Summary: 100% consistent with what is expected from SR and Einstein's predictions, allowing for the fact the gun displays the highest speed, not necessarily the current speed. 

I had told Michael Moroney many times that the Bushnell was NOT a "basic" radar gun, but he kept arguing as if all radar guns work the same way.  What his experiment shows is that the Bushnell Velocity works exactly the same way as the Municipal Electronics TS3 that I just bought and tested.  However, I did the one test that Michael Moroney did not do:  I tested whether the gun would or would not show the gun's speed when pointed in the air, where it is not possible for imaginary waves to bounce off of anything.  There seems no doubt that his Bushnell Velocity will also show the speed of the gun (not the ground speed) when pointed into the air away from the ground.

The part of his post that I highlighted in purple is a test I have not yet fully tried.   What it says is that if I am behind a truck that is traveling at about the same speed I'm traveling, the gun will measure the negative speed (c-v) of the truck ahead as less than my (c+v) speed and will therefore show my speed as the highest speed.  If, however, I am close enough to the truck so that my radar gun's speed measurement is weaker than the truck's speed measurement, the gun will add the truck's (c-v) negative speed to my (c+v) positive speed and it will display the gun's minimum measurable speed.

Fascinating!


Comments for Friday, November 1, 2019, thru Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019:

November 1, 2019 - While impeaching a President doesn't necessarily mean that he will be removed from office, I still feel I need to show this poster
again:
Pence
                  could be worse than Trump











© 2019 by Ed Lake
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