|Comments for Sunday, December 27,
2020, thru Thurs., Dec. 31, 2020:
December 31, 2020 (B) - Yesterday afternoon, I finished reading another book on my Kindle. It was one of the books I mentioned in my December 27 comment: "Why Does E=mc2? (And Why Should We Care?)" by Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw.
I blasted through it in two days, reading nearly all day on Tuesday and until about 1:30 pm on Wednesday. And I've got 21 pages of notes.
But, I don't really have much good to say about it. Mostly it was borrrrrrring. I really had to strain to stay awake and keep my eyes open. Nonetheless, it was definitely worth reading, and there were some sections that were very thought-provoking. It avoids using math, but it does so in an tiresome way. It will say that it is about to get into some mathematics and you can skip over the next part if you want, and then it will go through some math. I didn't exactly skip over those parts, I skimmed through them looking to see if there was any text or equation that might be worth making a note of. There weren't many. Here are a couple:
At the simplest level, an equation allows you to predict the results of an experiment without actually having to conduct it.and
The wonderful thing about equations, however, is that they can also reveal deep connections between quantities that are not immediately apparent from the results of experiments, and in doing so can lead to a much deeper and more profound understanding of nature.For some reason, the authors do not refer to Einstein's postulates. They call them "proposals" or "axioms" (which I think are better terms than "postulates"):
At the heart of Einstein’s theory of special relativity lie two proposals, which in the language of physics are termed axioms. An axiom is a proposition that is assumed to be true. Given the axioms, we can then proceed to work out the consequences for the real world, which we can check using experiments.And they give screwball versions of those "axioms":
The first of Einstein’s axioms is that Maxwell’s equations hold true in the sense that light always travels through empty space at the same speed regardless of the motion of the source or the observer. The second axiom advocates that we are to follow Galileo in asserting that no experiment can ever be performed that is capable of identifying absolute motion. Armed only with these propositions, we can now proceed as good physicists should and explore the consequences. As ever in science, the ultimate test of Einstein’s theory, derived from his two axioms, is its ability to predict and explain the results of experiments. Quoting Feynman more fully this time: “In general we look for a new law by the following process. First we guess it. Then we compute the consequences of the guess to see what would be implied if this law that we guessed is right. Then we compare the result of the computation to Nature, with experiment or experience, compare it directly with observation, to see if it works. If it disagrees with experiment it is wrong. In that simple statement is the key to science. It does not make any difference how beautiful your guess is. It does not make any difference how smart you are, who made the guess, or what his name is—if it disagrees with experiment it is wrong. That’s all there is to it.”That first "axiom" is just a typical distortion of Einstein's Second Postulate, but the second "axiom" is a very interesting version of Einstein's First Postulate. It fits with my "truck experiment," since the radar guns do not detect "absolute motion," only motion relative to the local speed of light.
There were some parts of the book which really seemed crazy to me. When it talks about "length contraction," it suggests that if Joe is zipping through space at 86.6 percent of the speed of light, Joe will experience time passing at half the rate that Bill back on earth experiences it. I totally agree with that. But then the book will suggest that it is equally valid to say that distances for Joe are shorter than distances for Bill, because Joe is moving faster. That makes no sense at all. Here is one quote I copied:
If we could build a spaceship that could whisk us into space at speeds very close to light speed, then the distances to the stars would shrink, and the amount of shrinking would increase the closer to light speed we could travel. If we managed to travel at 99.99999999 percent of light speed, then we could travel out of the Milky Way and all the way to the neighboring Andromeda galaxy, almost 3 million light-years away, in a mere fifty years.It might seem like distances shrink because of your speed, just as it might seem like the distance to Walmart is shorter if you go 50 mph than if you go 30 mph, but it makes absolutely no sense to think of things that way. Your motion does not change distances. It only changes how time passes for you: time passes slower when you go faster, which is something the book says many times.
While the book was often a frustrating read, it was also thought provoking in that it gave me insights into the screwball way that mathematicians think, and that should help me understand them better, and enable me to create better arguments against their nonsensical beliefs.
December 31, 2020 (A) - I solved another mystery this morning. It was kind of bizarre. Yesterday, while grocery shopping at Walmart, I was checking out at one of the automated lines, and when I tried to pay with a $20 bill, the machine rejected the bill. I tried it a second time, and it rejected it again. So, I paid with a $10 bill that the machine accepted with no problem.
When I got home, I wondered why the bill was rejected. I examined it and discovered it didn't have a "magnetic strip" like all the other 20s I had at home. I never carry anything larger than a 20, and I get all my 20s from my bank. Did the bank give me a counterfeit $20 bill?? It looked like a new, crisp $20, which seemed like another indicator that it might be a counterfeit.
I thought about it overnight, and this morning I did a little research. I wondered how long the magnetic strip has been in use. When I researched it, I discovered that there is a lot of stuff I didn't know about.
Here's what that $20 bill looks like (this isn't mine, it's one from the internet):
Just like my $20 bill, the bill above is "Series 1985" (stated in small letters just above the second L in Dollars). Here's what the rest of my 20s look like:
They didn't add the magnetic strip until 1990. Nor did they add any of the other security features until 1990. So, my $20 bill appears to be a good $20 bill, even though it was rejected by the machine. Interestingly, crisp new $20 bills from 1985 are worth as much as $40 to collectors, IF they have a star after the serial number, as the lower bill above has. My $20 bill doesn't have the star.
So, I guess I'll have to get rid of my $20 bill from 1985 by handing it to a check-out clerk instead of inserting it into a machine.
Live and learn.
December 30, 2020 - Yesterday afternoon, as I was driving home after buying groceries, I finished listening to CD #9 in the 9-CD set for the audio book version of "Origins: Fourteen Billion Years of Cosmic Evolution" by Neil deGrasse Tyson and Donald Goldsmith.
While it's a great book, for some reason my local library only had the audio book version. I also made a BIG mistake by putting it on CDs and listening to it while driving. The Covid-19 pandemic changed things so that I drove my car only two or three times a week, and then just to the grocery store. So, it took a long time to get through the book. Worst of all, there were many many times when I wanted to make a note of what was being said, but that is next to impossible to do while driving. I should have read it on my Kindle or bought a paper copy.
Here's one passage from early in the book that I did manage to make a note of:
Like all attempts at human progress, the scientific approach works better in theory than in practice. Not all scientists doubt one another as effectively as they should. The need to impress scientists who occupy powerful positions, and who are sometimes swayed by factors that lie beyond their conscious knowledge, can interfere with science’s self-correcting ability. In the long run, however, errors cannot endure, because other scientists will discover them and promote their own careers by trumpeting the news. Those conclusions that do survive the attacks of other scientists will eventually achieve the status of scientific “laws,” accepted as valid descriptions of reality, even though scientists understand that each of these laws may some day find itself to be only part of a larger, deeper truth.After I find a Kindle or paper copy somewhere, I'm going to try to find the time to read the book so that I can make notes. It is the process of making notes that really sticks things into my memory. And there are a lot of things in this book I really want to remember. I don't agree with everything in the book, but I also want to remember the things I don't agree with. Those are the things I really want to learn more about and understand better.
I've already thrown the CDs into the trash. I also threw out the 450 other audio book CDs I had accumulated. It seems such a waste. And its probably bad for the environment to throw CDs into the trash. But there doesn't seem any way or place to recycle plastics anymore. It's really a crazy world where it is against the law to give away things others want, so you have to help destroy the world by turning those wanted objects into trash.
December 29, 2020 - Yesterday afternoon I finished reading another library book on my Kindle. The book was "Neither Here Nor There: Travels in Europe" by Bill Bryson.
Bill Bryson is one of my favorite non-fiction authors, and this book was as enjoyable as many other books of his that I've read. It's a travel book, the story of Bryson's journey alone through most of the countries of Europe sometime around 1990, beginning in the winter with a 30-hour bus trip from Oslo to Hammerfest, Norway, which is about as far north as you can go in Norway. Here's a quote from that point in the book:
The Meridianstøtten was an obelisk on a small elevation in the middle of a graveyard of warehouses. I later learned that it was a memorial erected to celebrate the completion in 1840, on this very spot, of the first scientific measurement of the earth’s circumference. (Hammerfest’s other historical distinction is that it was the first town in Europe to have electric street lights.) I clambered up to the obelisk with difficulty, but the snow was blowing so thickly that I couldn’t read the inscription, and I returned to town thinking I would come back again another day. I never did.This morning I took a look around the same spot using Google Maps. It shows how things looked in June of 2015. Google also has views of parts of that area in March 2020. Here a winter-time snapshot I found:
While I enjoyed my trips to Europe, I never got to Norway. But I did spend a lot of time wandering around alone. Most of my trips were "tours," where you travel with a group. But the trips I took always left a lot of time to explore alone. The tour would go by bus or train to some city, then there would be a half-day tour of the city, and for the rest of the day and maybe one or two days after that, you'd be on your own until it was time to get on the bus again to go to the next country or city.
For much of this book Bryson was basically repeating a trip he made with a friend in 1972. It's a back-pack trip. No schedule. Just decide where you want to go next, and go. Only this time he's alone. Both times it was a trip where the first thing you have to do when you reach a new city is find a hotel room. Then you have to find some place to eat. And when you leave you have to try to get the ticket clerk at the bus or train station to understand what you are saying and where you want to go. But you can spend as many days as you like wandering around.
While Bryson does visit places like Paris and Geneva and Rome and Florence and Capri, he also goes to places like Sofia, Bulgaria, which in 1990 was still communist and still run by a dictator. Bryson describes how people were constantly looking for things they could buy, mostly food but also for things they could use to trade for food. In one country he gets his pocket picked, and all of his travelers checks are stolen. That means he has to deal with a lot of people, including the police, who he cannot understand and who do not understand English. So, it's not only a travel book, it is somewhat of an adventure story.
I enjoyed the book very much.
While eating breakfast this morning, I started reading a science book.
December 28, 2020 - Sigh! I awoke this morning thinking about something else I probably need to add to my new paper "Motion Relative to the Speed of Light." Only this addition won't go near the beginning of the paper, it will go somewhere near the end. Or I might not add it into the paper at all, since it's something I explained in detail in my paper about Einstein's Thought Experiments. It's Einstein's thought experiment about motion relative to the speed of light, as described in his paper "The Principle Ideas of the Theory of Relativity."
In the thought experiment, Einstein has a man traveling away from the sun at 1,000 kilometers per second (kps). Light from the sun travels at 300,000 kps, and the question is: at what speed does light from the sun pass the traveler? Logically, it would be 299,000 kps, since the traveler is moving at 1,000 kps away from the sun. But, as Einstein explains in the paper, the traveler would actually measure the sun's light to be traveling by at 300,000 kps. Why? Because, due to the traveler's speed relative to the speed of the sun, a second is slightly longer for him than on the sun due to time dilation. And because his second is longer, he will measure the light as passing by at 300,000 kilometers per second.
Moreover, if the traveler were to emit light in any direction as he his traveling, that light will travel at 300,000 kps as he measures the length of a second.
Does this mean that the speed of the light that is passing the traveler from the sun is actually traveling at the same speed as the light the traveler is emitting? NO. The traveler measured the speed of the light that was passing him, and that light is actually traveling faster than the light the traveler emits, even though he measures them both to be traveling at 300,000 kps. When viewed from the sun, using time and the length of a second as it is measured on the sun, the light from the sun passes the traveler at 299,000 kps. When viewed by the traveler, using the length of a second as he measures it, the light passes at 300,000 kps.
In short, the light emitted from the sun is traveling 1,000 kps faster than light emitted by the traveler, even though both emitted light at 300,000 kilometers per LOCAL second.
In his paper, Einstein goes into considerable detail to explain all this. Here's a key part of the paper:
There is no audible tick-tock everywhere in the world that could be considered as time. If physics wants to use time, it first has to define it. In this endeavor it is apparent that this definition necessarily requires a body of reference, and that this definition makes sense only with respect to this chosen body of reference. It turns out that one can define time relative to this body of reference such that the law of the propagation of light is obeyed relative to it. This definition of time can be realized for bodies of reference in any state of motion. But it turns out that the times of differently moving bodies of reference do not coincide. A more detailed justification of this is found in my popular book about the theory of relativity. If two events occurring at different locations are judged simultaneous from a body of reference, then they are not judged so from a body of reference that is moving relative to it.And here's another translation from another source:
There is no omnipresent tic-tac audible in the universe that we could regard as time. If physics wants to make use of time, it first has to define it. In an effort to do this, it becomes clear that a reference body is needed for this definition, and that the definition only makes sense relative to this reference body. It turns out that one can define time in relation to this reference body in such a way that, relative to it, the laws governing light’s velocity are valid. This definition of time can be made for reference bodies in any state of velocity. However, it so happens that the times of differently moving reference bodies do not coincide. There is a more detailed proof of this matter in my popular book about the theory of relativity. If two events happen simultaneously in two different locations judged from a reference body, they are not simultaneous if judged from another reference body moving relative to the first.Those quotes fit well with the truck experiment I described in two papers and argued endlessly about on the sci.physics.relativity forum. The quotes both say that the speed of light will be measured to be the same inside a moving truck and on the ground outside the truck, even though the speed of light is actually different in the two locations.
In the truck experiment, however, the experiment is about measuring kinetic energy, not the speed of light. No "laws of electrodynamics and optics" are broken when the results inside the moving truck are seen to be different than results outside of the truck. You're just measuring something that is different inside the truck than outside the truck. You find there is a difference when you compare experiment results. If you could compare time as it is measured inside and outside the truck, there would be a difference there, too.
It's not that complicated. Physicists just make it complicated by including a lot of unnecessary information about what was believed in the past by respected scientists. If you just describe how things work without constantly going into lengthy discussions about how it is different than what was believed in the past, almost everything becomes easier to understand.
Unfortunately, that causes a different problem: Tomorrow someone might make a discovery that shows that what is currently believed is not entirely true. There could be a misunderstanding somewhere. That is probably why, in schools, they do not simply teach how things work, instead they teach what was believed in the past and how those misconceptions were corrected over the centuries. Hopefully, out of all that you will learn how things are currently believed to work, and if you see a problem, maybe you'll know enough to explain how to correct the problem.
December 27, 2020 - Groan! Last week I wrote that I wasn't going to write any more comments for this web site about what progress (or lack of progress) I'm making (or not making) in the writing of my latest paper "Motion Relative to the Speed of Light." I figured that no one wants to read about how I keep re-starting the paper when I realize there is something I hadn't previously thought about that I need to explain before I explain everything else. But, I also think the readers of this web site might want to know what I just thought about, like last week's comment about kinetic energy and how it can be used to determine which space ship is moving fastest. That's a "mind-blowing" realization!
Last week, when I restarted the paper to include information about kinetic energy before getting into other matters, I began doing some research to see who else may have written about the subject (other than Albert Einstein), and that led me into my collection/library of e-books. And that led me into a different problem. Months ago, someone on a Facebook forum asked me if I knew of any good books about Time Dilation. I responded,
Good books about time dilation are hard to find. I probably have the names of a few filed away. I'll check tomorrow.Then a day or so later, I wrote:
There might be books on time dilation somewhere, but mostly there are just scientific papers.What I should have done is tell them that books about Time Dilation are really books about Relativity, of which Time Dilation is just one interesting part. I realized that a couple days ago as I was browsing through my library of e-books. I decided I needed to create an index for my e-books. So, I set everything else aside and began doing that. It took about three days, since I had to examine each book to give it a "priority" ranking. I gave a top ranking to some books by my favorite physicist, Brian Cox. (Brian Cox is also one of the hosts of my favorite podcast, "The Infinite Monkey Cage.) At the top of the list I put his book, Why Does E=mc2? (And Why Should We Care?). Chapter 3 of that book is about Special Relativity, and it goes into a lot of detail about Time Dilation. Yet, somehow, I've never read it! I obtained a copy somewhere, I put it at the top of my reading list, but then I just kept adding more books at the top of the list, pushing that book downward.
Right now I'm reading a travel book! I can't just stop reading that book and switch to Brian Cox's book, I'm 83% done with the travel book. And it's a very interesting and funny travel book by one of my favorite authors, which is how it got to the top of my reading list. Groan!
But I'm definitely going to put Brian Cox's book at the top of my reading list once again. I'll start it as soon as I finish the travel book. And I'll move God and the New Physics by Paul Davies to second place on the list. Chapter 8 in that book is all about Time. Maybe I won't read the whole book, but I definitely want to read that chapter. And I'll move How to Teach Relativity to Your Dog by Chad Orzel to third place. It's a strange title for a physics book, but the idea is that the author is explaining things in very simple terms, which means he doesn't use mathematics. Chapter 3 is titled "Time Slows When You're Chasing Bunnies: Relativistic Time Dilation." It looks to be very funny while at the same time being informative and educational. I wrote a long comment about it on August 21, 2017, when I first learned about the book. In that comment I stated that I was going to put the book in the middle of my reading list, since I didn't like some of the things the author was teaching his dog. But, maybe I just needed to read it more carefully.
There are probably other books which describe Time Dilation in simple terms, but I've got enough to keep me reading for awhile. Just skimming through those three posed some questions I can't stop thinking about.
Meanwhile, back on November 26, that troll who posts insults to my web site log file posted some messages that I wanted to respond to, but I just never found the time. Here are his posts, edited to make them easier to read:
Stupid Ed lake does not understand Causality when he claims that *the cause of time will also occur in time* utterly stupidIf time is particle spin, as I stated in my paper on that topic, then everything else about Time is just effects, memory and records. The "cause" of Time is particle spin, and the effects are aging, decay, memories and records. That probably needs better phrasing and a longer explanation. I just need to find the time for that.
Groan!!! Finding time can be more problematic than understanding time!!!!
|Comments for Sunday, December 20,
2020, thru Sat., Dec. 26, 2020:
December 25, 2020 - I wish everyone a very merry (and safe) Christmas!
December 23, 2020 - Sigh! I think I need to stop writing comments about the paper I've been working on, the paper which I've tentatively titled "Motion Relative to the Speed of Light." I haven't stopped working on the paper, but I keep revising it as I think of new and better ways to explain what I want to explain. Writing comments about it here is just going to get people upset, because it will seem like I'm telling them about something I'm going to do that it also seems like I never get done.
So, I'm going to have to find something else to write about. That's another problem, because looking for something else to write about just slows down my work on that new paper.
One thing I can write about is how I'm wondering about how Covid-19 vaccine shots will be given. Right now, it seems that people from Walgreen and CVS are going to nursing homes and hospitals to vaccinate "front line workers" and the elderly with "pre-existing conditions." I suppose they might also go to fire stations and police stations to give shots there. But how will things work when it comes time for people to go to Walgreen and CVS to get their shots?
There's a Walgreen Drug Store within walking distance of where I live, but it's also on the other side of a major intersection with no cross-walk, so I'll probably drive there. But how will I know when to do so? Plus, there's a drug section in a grocery store on my side of that intersection, and they have been giving free flu shots every fall for years. Will they also be giving Covid-19 shots?
I guess I'll just have to wait and find out. What I'll need to do to get my shots will probably be all over the news when they finally start to inform people.
Meanwhile, there was another mystery that had me wondering for the past couple weeks. What happened on December 10? I've been keeping track of the Covid-19 pandemic, mostly to compare cases in Wisconsin to cases in Virginia, where my sister lives. I've been saving the graphs produced by Johns Hopkins University every day. On December 10 there was a strange jump in the number of cases. Here's today's version of a graph that they produce. It shows the strange jump, with data about the jump appearing when I put the cursor over that uptick:
The spread-sheet under the graph was created by me this morning. I created it by looking at the "Global Cases" for each day. On the morning of December 12 there was a big jump in the number of "Global Cases," a jump of 1,467,390 cases for December 11, which is very close to the 1.493 million Johns Hopkins shows for the 10th. Only the "Global Cases" data shows it was almost certainly some kind of error, since the next day there was a big drop in the number of cases. And the next day there was another jump. Yet something strange was going on, since the average for those three days is 870,628, which is significantly higher than the days before the 11th and after the 13th when the numbers were all under 700,000.
It looks like another mystery that I'll never solve. Such mysteries are very annoying, even if they are my fault for looking at things that no one else seems to look at or care about.
December 21, 2020 - Groan! Once again it seems I need to add something to the beginning of my new "Motion Relative to the Speed of Light" paper - or near the beginning - something that needs to be explained in order for the rest of the paper to make total sense.
When arguing with mathematicians, I sometimes argue that Einstein's Second Postulate says that light travels at the same speed, regardless of whether the light is emitted from a moving or a "stationary" emitter. While somewhat true, that is not exactly what Einstein's Second Postulate says. It says,
light is always propagated in empty space with a definite velocity c which is independent of the state of motion of the emitting body.A "stationary only" radar gun is never truly stationary. A radar gun in Chicago is moving at about 750 mph with the earth as the earth spins on its axis, it is moving at about 67,000 mph with the earth as the earth moves in its orbit around the sun, it is moving at about 486,000 mph with the earth as the sun moves in its orbit around the center of the Milky Way Galaxy, and it moves at about 1,342,161 mph with the earth as the Milky Way Galaxy moves toward the Hydra constellation.
And mathematicians will tell me all that when I explain how a "stationary only" radar gun works. With all that motion going on, they ask, how can a radar gun measure the speed of a target relative to a "stationary" radar gun?
The answer seems to be in the main topic of Einstein's 1905 paper on Special Relativity: Time Dilation. Time slows down for an object when it moves, and the faster it moves, the slower time passes. Plus, time slows down depending upon how close you are to a gravitational mass. The closer you are, the slower time will pass for you. So, when a radar gun emits a photon that travels at the speed of light, 299,792,458 meters per second, the length of a second at the location of the gun is determined by all those speeds at which the gun is traveling through the universe and its location relative to the center of the earth. That means that, at the location of the gun, "one second" has a different value than "one second" almost anywhere else in the universe. And when measuring a speed relative to the speed of light, you are measuring a speed relative to the speed of light per the unique length of a second at the location of the gun.
But there's more to it. When I started writing this comment, I thought that I would have it all figured out by the time I finished the comment. I don't. There are still some pieces that have to be fitted together, and it's almost lunch time. I could continue after lunch, but I have other things I need to do after lunch. So, I'm going to end this comment here, and I'll write another comment on this topic when I've identified those missing pieces. The pieces seem to have something to do with how light "fringes" work. Or maybe not. Figuring out which pieces are missing will determine that.
December 20, 2020 - Last week I was mostly focused on writing my new paper, tentatively titled "Motion Relative to the Speed of Light." I think it's coming along fairly well. I've mostly finished with doing research, and I'm almost totally focused on just writing it. I suppose I should have started with an outline, but I didn't, and as a result I'm constantly reorganizing the paper.
And, as I write, I'm analyzing what I'm writing. When writing about radar guns, for example, I'll write about how the oscillation frequency of a photon is altered when the photon hits an oncoming target. An atom in the moving target adds kinetic energy to the photon, sending a new photon back to the gun that has more energy than the photon the radar gun originally emitted.
By definition, kinetic energy is a "form of energy that an object or a particle has by reason of its motion." Also, "Kinetic energy is a property of a moving object or particle and depends not only on its motion but also on its mass." That poses the question that mathematicians continuously ask: "Motion relative to what?"
Suppose you have two rocket ships encountering each other in outer space with a closing speed of 10,000 mph. Mathematicians will argue that, since all motion is relative to some object, it can be argued that Rocket-A is moving at 10,000 mph toward Rocket-B, or that Rocket-B is moving at 10,000 mph toward Rocket-A.
But what happens if they don't notice each other and collide head on?
Answer: Their kinetic energy will show who is moving fastest. It will be like billiard balls on a table. The fast moving Ball-A will hit a stationary Ball-B with great kinetic energy, causing Ball-B to absorb nearly all of the kinetic energy from Ball-A and go shooting off to the corner pocket while Ball-A comes to a stop, because it transferred its kinetic energy to Ball-B.
With the two rocket ships, their kinetic energy will determine in which direction the collision debris will travel. If they are both moving at the same speed, the debris will go in all directions. If Rocket-A is the one that is moving, as is shown in the illustration above, all the debris will continue to travel in the direction that Rocket-A was traveling. Then you have to ask mathematicians: if both Rocket-A and Rocket-B were moving relative to one another, why did all the debris move in the direction Rocket-A was traveling?
The answer is that they were NOT moving relative to one another, Rocket-B was stationary relative to the speed of light, and Rocket-A was moving at 10,000 miles per hour relative to the speed of light. To put it another way, atoms at the location of the collision in space will emit photons that travel at 670,616,629 miles per hour, and Rocket-B was moving at 0% of that speed, while Rocket-A was moving at 0.001492% of that speed.
My original intent when I wrote the above part of this comment yesterday was to end the comment at this point. But, when I woke up this morning my mind was going through a whole list of interesting things that happen when you have a situation like the one described above, with two space ships meeting in space where one is traveling at 10,000 mph and the other is stationary.
For example, if the ships were not flying blind but had radar, what would their radars show?
It depends upon what kind of radar they have. If they have the kind of radar used in weather observations and forecasting, that kind of that radar does not measure speeds. It measures distances. It can calculate speeds by measuring the change in distance over time. So, if both ships had that kind of radar, both would measure the other ship as getting closer and closer. Neither ship would be able to tell who was moving, which is why Lidar guns are not supposed to be used while moving. Lidar guns also measure changes in distances.
If the two ships have the kind of radar that is used in police radar guns, i.e, radar guns that measure differences in kinetic energy and photon oscillation frequencies (but with the capability to measure much higher speeds), and each gun is pointed at the other ship, the radar gun in Rocket-A would measure its own speed as being 10,000 mph, and the radar gun in Rocket-B would measure Rocket-A's speed as being 10,000 mph.
But most interesting is something I hadn't thought about before: What if the two ships didn't have radar? What if they only had headlights pointed ahead of the ships to light their way through empty space? In that situation we are not talking about measuring speeds or distances, we are talking about the shifting of light frequencies, i.e. "red shifting" and "blue shifting." In one situation, Rocket-A is a moving emitter and Rocket-B is a stationary receiver, in the other situation Rocket-B is a stationary emitter and Rocket-A is a moving receiver.
Obviously, when moving Rocket-A receives light from Rocket-B, that light will be blue shifted. It's not blue shifted because Rocket-B is moving toward Rocket-A, it is blue shifted because Rocket-A is moving toward Rocket-B and Rocket-A is thus receiving the light "waves" at a faster rate than at which they were emitted by Rocket-B.
But what will Rocket-B observe? It appears that, according to Einstein's Theory of Special Relativity, Rocket-B will observe the light from Rocket-A as being RED shifted.
How is that possible? How can light from an object coming toward you be RED shifted? First, according to Einstein's Second Postulate, “light is always propagated in empty space with a definite velocity c which is independent of the state of motion of the emitting body.” In other words, light is emitted at the same speed per second regardless of the speed of the emitter. So, that seems to say that there should be NO shifting in the emitted light frequency due to the speed of the emitter. But the purpose of Einstein's Theory of Special Relativity was to explain TIME DILATION.
Rocket-A is moving at 10,000 mph. Time runs slower at that speed than it does for stationary Rocket-B. That means a second is longer for Rocket-A. That means that if the light Rocket-A emitted has a frequency of 520 Terahertz, or 520 trillion oscillations per local second, when that light travels to a location where seconds are shorter (like on Rocket-B), light at that receiving location will appear to have a longer wavelength than what was created by the emitter.
One key point: Time dilation at 10,000 miles per hour is VERY small. 10,000 mph converts to just 4.47 kilometers per second. And 1 second when stationary is 1.0000000001112 seconds when moving at 10,000 mph.
Nevertheless, I think I'll have to add the "Moving Rocket-A Stationary Rocket-B thought experiment" to my paper. It's certainly interesting.
|Comments for Sunday, December 13,
2020, thru Sat., Dec. 19, 2020:
December 19, 2020 - While I haven't been posting any new comments for the past few days, that doesn't mean I haven't been thinking about it. I'm still working on my "Motion Relative to the Speed of Light" paper, but meanwhile there have been a bunch of other things I've wanted to write a comment about. One topic was the many recent attacks on my web site.
During the month of October, there were 3 strange attempts to POST files to my web site. They were blocked, of course, but what was strange was what they were trying to post. It was a file with the name "/xmlrpc.php". Researching that file name, I found it is a type of file used by WordPress, that allows one web site to communicate with another. WordPress is a system for building web sites, and about 40 percent of all web sites on the Internet use it. Not mine, though.
I'm not sure how concerned I was with having three attempts to post that WordPress file to my web site, but in November there were about 170 of them, and so far this month there have been 350 of them, and the month is only about 2/3rds done. Then, just as I was thinking about writing a comment about them, they stopped! On Tuesday there were 15, on Wednesday there were 13, on Thursday there were 3, and yesterday there were none.
What's also strange about them is that virtually every one of the 350 was from a different IP address, and they were from about 30 different countries, everywhere from Roubaix, France to Singapore, from Los Angeles to Dhaka, Bangladesh, from Berlin, Germany to Auckland, New Zealand. That tells me it was no small enterprise. Plus, I assume that mine was just one of maybe thousands of web sites they tried to hack. I was just one that they failed to get into.
And, of course, I have to wonder if there is some connection to the hacking that was done to some of America's government agencies and thousands of companies around the world.
December 16, 2020 - While eating breakfast this morning, I finished reading another book on my Kindle. The book was "The Death of Expertise: The Campaign Against Established Knowledge and Why it Matters" by Tom Nichols.
Wow! What a book! I'd heard about it on a Big Picture Science podcast where they interviewed the author, and I was luckily able to find a copy. It's a book that explains why Americans elected someone like Donald Trump to be President. The explanations verify my thoughts on the subject, but also go into a lot more detail that I hadn't thought about. I've got 32 page of notes (copied passages) that I'd like to just display here, but that would probably violate copyrights. Plus, when taken out of context, the passages can seem like attacks on "average Americans."
Here's a passage that hits the mark for me:
The Internet is a magnificent repository of knowledge, and yet it’s also the source and enabler of a spreading epidemic of misinformation. Not only is the Internet making many of us dumber, it’s making us meaner: alone behind their keyboards, people argue rather than discuss, and insult rather than listen.I've probably tried a thousand times to start an intelligent discussion about some science subject on the Internet, but all I encounter is closed minds and insults. If you disagree with someone on the Internet, they take it as a personal insult. You are saying you are smarter than they are. No, I just disagree with them, and I'd like to discuss the subject intelligently in order to find out who is right and who is wrong. But they know they are right, so they just state their beliefs as if they are beyond dispute, and if you question something in what they said, they will not explain, they will just repeat word for word what they said and insult you for not being able to understand.
The book explains why:
We all want to be taken seriously and to be respected. In practice, this means we don’t want anyone to think we’re dumb, and so we pretend to be smarter than we are. Over time, we even come to believe it.The book also gets into conspiracy theories and why conspiracy theories are so firmly believed by some people. When I was investigating the anthrax mailings of 2001, I encountered many conspiracy theorists. It was like arguing with a phonograph record. The book says,
Arguing at length with a conspiracy theorist is not only fruitless but sometimes dangerous, and I do not recommend it. It’s a treadmill of nonsense that can exhaust even the most tenacious teacher. Such theories are the ultimate bulwark against expertise, because of course every expert who contradicts the theory is ipso facto part of the conspiracy.I can testify to that. The facts said that a lone American scientist was behind the anthrax attacks, but the conspiracy theorists saw only some vast conspiracy to cover up for who really did it. It was Dick Cheney, trying to start a war. It was Muslims. It was Jews. It was someone's next door neighbor. There were times when I feared for my life because I was arguing with people who believed that Muslim terrorists were behind the attacks, and if I disagreed, I must believe as Muslim terrorists believe. I must be one of them. Even though the attacks happened almost two decades ago, there are still web sites where conspiracy theorists argue the same beliefs they argued in 2001.
The book explains:
Unable to see their own biases, most people will simply drive each other crazy arguing rather than accept answers that contradict what they already think about the subject. The social psychologist Jonathan Haidt summed it up neatly when he observed that when facts conflict with our values, “almost everyone finds a way to stick with their values and reject the evidence.”But mostly the book is about how it is becoming much more common to reject the advice and findings of experts, even if the subject is something you know absolutely nothing about.
it’s normal for people to avoid saying they’re bad at something. As it turns out, however, the more specific reason that unskilled or incompetent people overestimate their abilities far more than others is because they lack a key skill called “metacognition.” This is the ability to know when you’re not good at something by stepping back, looking at what you’re doing, and then realizing that you’re doing it wrong. Good singers know when they’ve hit a sour note; good directors know when a scene in a play isn’t working; good marketers know when an ad campaign is going to be a flop. Their less competent counterparts, by comparison, have no such ability. They think they’re doing a great job.and
Doctors routinely tussle with patients over drugs. Lawyers will describe clients losing money, and sometimes their freedom, because of unheeded advice. Teachers will relate stories of parents insisting that their children’s exam answers are right even when they’re demonstrably wrong. Realtors tell of clients who bought houses against their experienced advice and ended up trapped in a money pit. No area of American life is immune to the death of expertise. The American public’s declining capabilities in science and mathematics are enabling multiple public health crises from obesity to childhood diseases. Meanwhile, in the worlds of politics and public policy—where at least some familiarity with history, civics, and geography is crucial to informed debate—attacks on established knowledge have reached frightening proportions.The last part of the book mentions Donald Trump quite often, since he is a prime example of an ignoramus nut-job who thinks he's smarter than everyone else.
At a Wisconsin rally in early 2016, Republican candidate Donald Trump unleashed an attack on experts. In earlier debates, Trump had often been caught at a loss for words over basic issues of public policy, and now he was striking back. “They say, ‘Oh, Trump doesn’t have experts,’ ” he told the crowd. “You know, I’ve always wanted to say this… . The experts are terrible. They say, ‘Donald Trump needs a foreign policy adviser.’… But supposing I didn’t have one. Would it be worse than what we’re doing now?” Trump’s sneering at experts tapped into a long-standing American belief that experts and intellectuals are not only running the lives of ordinary people, but also doing a lousy job of it.and
Consider the various ways in which Trump’s campaign represented a one-man campaign against established knowledge. He was one of the original “birthers” who demanded that Barack Obama prove his American citizenship. He quoted the National Enquirer approvingly as a source of news. He sided with antivaccine activism. He admitted that he gets most of his information on foreign policy from “the shows” on Sunday morning television. He suggested that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who died from natural causes in early 2016, might have been murdered. And he charged that the father of one of his opponents (Ted Cruz) was involved in the Mother of All Conspiracy Theories, the assassination of John F. Kennedy.and
Worse, voters not only didn’t care that Trump is ignorant or wrong, they likely were unable to recognize his ignorance or errors.We're all doomed! Unless we've somehow learned a lesson from having elected Trump. How could we do something so stupid? If you want the answer, talk with people who still support Trump and think he's the greatest President America ever had. Why? Because they're just as bigoted and ignorant as he is. And that is what they want an American President to be.
December 14, 2020 - Yesterday I finished converting to MP3 files all 192 of my cassette tapes of jazz and blues that I recorded off the radio and other sources over 25 years ago. The listings I produced of what songs are on the cassettes indicate that I had 150 tapes on January 10, 1996. On November 14, 1996, I produced another list of tapes #151 through #180, which I must have recorded during those 11 months. The last numbered tape in the collection is #242, but I never got around to printing a listing that contained the final batch. And I have no idea what happened to the missing tapes, since I have only 192. Presumably, 50 tapes snagged and were destroyed in the tape player, since I have vague memories of ripping tapes out of some cassette player. I don't recall that ever happening in recent years, although one tape snagged when I was copying it to an MP3 file. I simply unsnagged it and copied it again.
And, of course, about a week ago I figured out what was wrong with my cassette player's connection to my amplifier and large speakers, so I am now listening to the cassettes instead of listening to the MP3 files. That means I have to turn around and change or flip cassettes every 45 minutes, but it is good exercise. I listen to the MP3 files when I'm reading in the afternoon, something I haven't had time to do recently. And they'll be there when my cassette player finally goes blooey. I've probably had it for nearly a quarter century.
I also have 9 cassette tapes left to copy. They are pre-recorded cassettes I purchased many years ago. A box containing 2 of those cassettes is shown in the photo below along with the MP3 converter.
I'm going to try to copy them song by song, instead of creating one MP3 file for an entire tape as I did with the other 192 cassettes. That will require that I listen to the tapes as I copy them. So, it will require two or three full evenings of my time, instead of just a few minutes every hour and a half while I'm watching TV or listening to podcasts.
Meanwhile, I have another chore to perform. I need to get rid of about 475 CDs I burned from audio books I got in MP3 format from the library.
They are all the audio books I listened to while driving in the past few years. It's illegal to sell them or to give them away, so I'll have to dump them in the trash. I'm a guy who hates to throw anything away that once provided me with entertainment. That's why I still have them all. However, I'm determined to throw them away this week as part of some long-overdue house cleaning.
And today we'll all do a bit of housecleaning as the Electoral College votes to validate and designate Joe Biden as our 46th President. That means that on January 20, 2021, America will finally throw out the heap of trash that has been fouling up the system since 2016. That's a day I'm really looking forward to.
December 13, 2020 - Groan! I've been working on my new paper, which is tentatively titled "Motion Relative to the Speed of Light," but it is very slow going. I just spent about two days downloading, organizing and glancing through dozens of science papers about the Sagnac Effect, and then I spent more time studying the papers to see if they contained anything at all of value to me. Some did, but it was usually part of something larger, making it difficult to quote it in my paper. For example, the quote below is from page 217 of a book titled "Frontiers of Fundamental Physics," a book of scientific papers presented at a 1993 International Conference on Frontiers of Fundamental Physics, held in Olympia, Greece. The quote is from a paper titled "What is and what is not essential in Lorentz's Relativity" by Jan Czerniawski of Jagellonian University in Krakow, Poland:
The principle of relativity is another such concept. Negative attitude of some Lorentzians with respect to it is the result of confusing of this physical principle with the philosophical principle of relativity of motion. While the first one, stating that the laws of nature have the same form in all inertial frames of reference, is quite sound and empirically well confirmed, the second one, stating that it only makes sense to speak about motions of bodies relative to other bodies, is not only wrong, but also incompatible with the very theory of relativity!The part I highlighted in red is what I keep telling the mathematicians I argue with on the sci.physics.relativity forum. They adamantly insist that the motion of an object can only be relative to another object. But, from Einstein's point of view (and mine), such a belief is totally incompatible with Einstein's Theory of Special Relativity, since that theory says that all motion is relative to the speed of light.
This is from the next page:
Thirdly, almost all Lorentzians reject Einstein's second postulate. Some points need to be clarified in this context. First of all, literally understood, this postulate states nothing more than the independence of light velocity of the motion of its source, which is common to the relativity theory and all ether theories, contrary to "ballistic" theories, like the one of Ritz. Unfortunately, this rather weak assumption is often confused with the so-called "constancy of light velocity hypothesis" (CLV), according to which the value of light velocity is always equal to the universal constant c in any inertial frame of reference. It is CLV that is usually contested under the misnomer "Einstein's light postulate". In fact, it is not identical with the second postulate, but it is a consequence of both postulates, taken in conjunction.Is it "Lorentzians" who reject Einstein's second postulate? I always thought of them as Quantum Mechanics mathematicians. Could it be both? Unfortunately, it is unclear if the author is stating in the section I highlighted in red that it is also the Lorentizians who confuse the "constancy of light velocity hypothesis" with Einstein's Second Postulate. It sometimes seems like half the papers I read contain a claim that Einstein's Second Postulate is his "constancy of the speed of light" postulate. It is nothing of the kind, and the authors of the papers NEVER actually quote Einstein when they write their nonsense.
Another problem I'm having is that I will write something, and then I'll realize I need to explain something else before anyone reads that part. So, I then add something in front of the first thing I wrote. And while doing that I realize that I need to explain something else before that part, so I'd add a third part in front of the second part which is in front of the first part. It's like writing a book of 15 chapters by starting on chapter 15, then writing chapter 14, then 13, etc.
But its all part of the writing process, and so is staring at a paragraph and modifying it again and again and again for an hour or more because it just doesn't look right, but you're unsure of how to fix it.
|Comments for Sunday, December 6,
2020, thru Sat., Dec. 12, 2020:
December 9, 2020 - Hmm. I've researched the "Sagnac Effect" in the past, but it was never a real focus of my interests. I merely researched it because it was another experiment that shows that light photons hit a moving receiver at c+v or c-v, depending upon whether the receiver is moving toward or away from the emitter at velocity v, which mathematicians claim is impossible, but which is just one of the experiments I have on my List of Variable Speed of Light Experiments, showing that it is not only possible, it is fairly routine.
Yesterday, I started going through my collection of scientific papers about the Sagnac experiment and the "Sagnac Effect," while also looking for new ones. Georges Sagnac's 1913 paper describing his experiment (when translated from the original French into English) is titled "Regarding the Proof for the Existence of a Luminiferous Ether Using a Rotating Inteferometer Experiment" and argues that "I showed that an interferometer using a closed optical path enclosing a given area and rotating in the plane of the path, detects the movement of the system relative to the ether in space." In other words, his experiment detected that his device was moving, even though the components of the device were stationary relative to one another. While Sagnac believed this was because of the ether, it was actually because of what Einstein stated in his Second Postulate: "light is always propagated in empty space with a definite velocity c which is independent of the state of motion of the emitting body."
Wikipedia describes the Sagnac Effect this way:
The Sagnac effect, also called Sagnac interference, named after French physicist Georges Sagnac, is a phenomenon encountered in interferometry that is elicited by rotation. The Sagnac effect manifests itself in a setup called a ring interferometer. A beam of light is split and the two beams are made to follow the same path but in opposite directions. On return to the point of entry the two light beams are allowed to exit the ring and undergo interference. The relative phases of the two exiting beams, and thus the position of the interference fringes, are shifted according to the angular velocity of the apparatus. In other words, when the interferometer is at rest with respect to a nonrotating frame, the light takes the same amount of time to traverse the ring in either direction. However, when the interferometer system is spun, one beam of light has a longer path to travel than the other in order to complete one circuit of the mechanical frame, and so takes longer, resulting in a phase difference between the two beams.That last part, which I highlighted in red, describes what happens in the truck experiment in a different way. Instead of saying that light traveling from the rear of the moving truck to the front will hit the front wall at c-v, it is saying that because the truck is moving, "light has a longer path to travel" than it would if the truck was not moving. Instead of discussing and arguing about the speed of light, it becomes an argument over how long it takes light to reach the front wall from the rear wall. It is agreed that light travels a c, but if it has farther to travel in one situation than in another, then it will take longer to get to a target.
So, while my proposed experiment would measure a difference in light frequency due to light hitting the front wall at c-v, if you have some way to measure the time from emission to reception, it will definitely take longer if the truck is moving than if the truck is stationary. However, that is the same as measuring the one-way speed of light, which no one knows how to do. Nevertheless, it does create a different argument about how the speed of a truck can be measured from inside the truck. If it takes longer to get from Point-A to Point-B in a moving truck than it does in a stationary truck, how is that possible if the distance from Point-A to Point-B does not change? I'll have to ask the mathematicians on the sci.physics.relativity forum about that when I get some time.
A paper titled "Testing Einstein’s second postulate with an experiment of the Sagnac type" by Gianfranco Spavieri of Venezuela and published in the Physics & Astronomy International Journal, is also interesting because it falsely states "The second postulate of the special theory of relativity reflects Einstein’s assumption that the universal one-way speed of light c is constant." The paper mentions Einstein's Second Postulate over 40 times, but never quotes it. And the paper endlessly argues that light will hit a moving receiver at c+v or c-v which conflicts with Einstein's Second Postulate, which makes Einstein wrong.
In reality, of course, it is the author of the article who is wrong. He is not using Einstein's Second Postulate as Einstein wrote and explained it, he is evidently using Einstein's Second Postulate as it is distorted by the authors of numerous college physics text books.
The same is true in other papers about the Sagnac Effect. The papers argue that the Sagnac Effect shows Einstein was wrong, because light can hit a moving receiver at c+v or c-v, which is contrary to "Einstein's claim" that light is always measured to be c. But Einstein never made such a claim.
So, we have mathematicians claiming that light cannot possibly hit a receiver at c+v or c-v, because light is always measured to travel at c, in accordance with Einstein's Second Postulate, and we have a lot of people in a second group who claim that the Sagnac device demonstrates that light hits a receiver at c+v or c-v, which they believe shows Einstein's Second Postulate to be wrong. Then there is a third group which argues that Einstein only said that light is always emitted at c, he never said light is always received at c, but people in that third group don't write many papers on that topic, because they have nothing in Einstein's Theories to argue against, and there is not much point in arguing against the other two groups, since people in those groups usually have closed minds.
I'm in that third group, except I see a point in arguing against those other two groups. The point is to clarify what is right and what is wrong.
December 8, 2020 - Groan! So much to do, so few hours in the day! I've started work on my newest science paper, tentatively titled "Motion Relative to the Speed of Light," and it was going very well until I got to the point where I planned to describe step-by-step how the 1925 Michelson-Gale-Pearson (MGP) experiment worked. I had written less than a page of that description when it became clear that I needed to know a lot more about how "fringes" work. In 1925, no one had any means of measuring differences in light frequencies, other than by measuring "fringes" when one light beam is matched against another. And the MGP experimenters did not take pictures of the "fringes." They only described them.
I've been researching what others have written about the MGP experiment, but that also requires a lot of deciphering.
So, it seems clear that I need to explain other experiments, such as the Sagnac experiment and how radar guns work, before I explain MGP. If I get to the point where I can intelligibly explain MGP, I can then move it nearer to the top of the paper if I think it fits better there. But right now it has brought my writing to a halt as I do the research.
Meanwhile, the troll who posts messages to me via my web site log file posted 12 copies each of three more messages in yesterday's log. In the log there are underline bars to separate words (example: Narcissist_Ed_Lake). Here are the messages with the underline bars replaced by spaces:
Narcissist Ed Lake sure loves to play the GALILEO GAMBIT He LOVES to claim that He-and he alone-is right and everybody else (and their gramdma) is wrongA narcissist is defined as:
I've use the term "narcissist" when describing Donald Trump. I don't see how anyone can apply that word to me, since all I am doing is trying to resolve a conflict of ideas that has been going on for 115 years. That's all. I'm on the side of Einstein and those who understand what Einstein wrote, and I'm arguing against those who do not understand and distort what Einstein wrote. Whenever I quote someone who agrees with Einstein, the trolls argue that that person was just "dumbing down" things for people who are too dumb to understand what Einstein really meant and what is really happening.
I probably should have been keeping a record of all the books and papers that use the same interpretation of Einstein's theories as I do, but haven't been doing that. It might be worth doing, and it might be worth listing and describing them all in another paper, perhaps titled "Relativity: The Two Sides." All that is needed is a LOT of research. Groan!
December 7, 2020 - I've started working on my new science paper tentatively titled "Motion Relative to the Speed of Light." I don't know if I'll ever finish it, but at the moment it's coming along very well. It's kind of interesting to research experiments where they proved that motion is relative to the speed of light, while the experimenters believed that their experiment proved that motion is relative to an imaginary and invisible "ether" that they believed fills the universe. And they also believed that light always travels at c, is always emitted at c and is always received at c. Meanwhile, since that time, numerous experiments and undeniable facts (which mathematicians nonetheless routinely deny) have shown that light is received at c+v or c-v, where v is the speed of the receiver toward or away from the emitter.
When I was working on yesterday's comment for this site, the first version I wrote contained a long argument from someone on the sci.physics. relativity discussion forum. I ended up deleting that part of the comment because I didn't have the time to think about everything to make certain my comments were correct. I still do not have that much time, but here's the comment that "Henry Yeuro" posted at 12:13 p.m. on Saturday afternoon anyway (I've highlighted the key issues):
Now, when you (Ed) talk about "the speed of an object relative to the speed of light", that doesn't parse, because a speed isn't an object nor a system of reference. A speed doesn't establish the positions of an object. If you just mean you are going to express each speed as a fraction of the constant c, that's just a choice of units, and has nothing to do with what people mean when they talk about speeds relative to different systems of reference. You could say the truck's speed is 40mph/c, or 1000mph/c, or 67000mph/c, but that doesn't tell us which of those speeds we are talking about. If you said "the speed of an object relative to a particular pulse of light", then that would at least parse, but it would be wrong in special relativity because a pulse of light is not at rest in terms of any inertial coordinate system.I never responded to that comment, nor to several others which said much of the same thing. Instead, I worked on comments for this site, and I'm now also writing a paper that will address all the issues that Henry Yeuro mentions.
I don't know if any of the readers of this site are interested in this topic, but it's absolutely fascinating to me. I sometimes want to write something about Trump and his attempts to turn this country into a dictatorship where he determines what is right for the American people, instead of the American people determining that for themselves. But you can see stuff about that in the news every day. There's nothing much that I can add. I can see solutions to science problems that have been argued for 115 years, but I don't really see any simple solution to the problem of getting large sections of the public to look at facts and evidence, instead of just working with beliefs, opinions and conspiracy theories.
Conspiracy theorists also fascinate me, but I learned long ago that there is no way to change their minds. The best you can do is give them a different conspiracy theory to believe in, one that is less idiotic. But that's not easy, either.
December 6, 2020 - A couple days ago, I once again stopped arguing on the sci.physics.relativity discussion forum. It was a very interesting discussion, but it had become repetitive, and I decided my time would be better spent working on a paper about what I've come to realize during the course of the discussions.
This morning, as I lay in bed waiting for it to be time to get up, another piece of the puzzle fell into place. I realized that when I am talking about Einstein's discovery that all motion is relative to the speed of light, it simply means that if you are moving anywhere in the universe, and if you are moving toward a light source, that light will hit you at c+v, where v is your speed relative to the speed of light, and if you are moving away from the light source, the light will hit you at c-v.
I've probably written those same words a thousand times in arguments on the Internet, but now all the pieces fit together and I think I see the whole picture.
I've realized that my proposed radar gun experiment, where the speed of a truck is measured from inside the truck, is very much like the Michelson-Gale-Pearson (MGP) experiment in 1925 where the rotation speed of the earth was measured inside some pipes. The pipes were laid out in two rectangles with mirrors at the corners. Here's the illustration they used in their paper:
The long part of the rectangle is positioned east-west, and the shorter part of the rectangle is north-south. When measuring the rotation of the earth, you are doing an east-west or west-east measurement of the device's speed relative to the speed of light emitted within the device. A north-south measurement should give you zero as a speed, and that is what the device was designed to do.
The Michelson-Gale-Pearson device measured differences in light wave (photon) frequency by comparing "fringes" when light at one frequency is overlaid atop another. (In 1925 it was the only way to compare light frequencies.) The paper says on its third page:
The fringes to be measured were those formed by the beams going in the opposite directions around the circuit ADEF. As a fiducial [fixed] mark from which to measure the displacement, a second set of fringes was formed by the mirror system ABCD. The area inclosed by this circuit was much too small to give a measurable displacement of the fringes, and the shifts actually recorded were those between the central fringes of the two sets.So, the fringe created by sending light counter-clockwise around the small north-south ABCD rectangle showed almost no motion for the earth when compared to the fringe created by sending light clockwise around the large east-west ADEF rectangle, which showed a faster speed.
The contraption is based upon the false idea the earth spins relative to a stationary (but imaginary) "ether" that fills the entire universe, but the device also demonstrates that light is always emitted at a fixed speed, c, the speed of light, but it will be received by a moving receiver at c+v or c-v, where v is the speed of the receiver relative to the speed of light.
And, in some ways, that 1925 experiment was much like the Sagnac device created in 1913, which was also created as an experiment to determine if the imaginary "ether" was stationary or moved with the earth. What it actually demonstrated (without anyone realizing it at the time) is that it shows an emitter that is stationary relative to a receiver can nonetheless be used to measure their combined movement together through space. Here's a typical drawing of the Sagnac device:
What the drawing doesn't show is that the device is fixed to a rotating platform that spins the device around a point that is in the direct center of the rotating square. So, none of the parts in the illustration are moving relative to one another, yet the device can measure its rotation speed by using light and measuring the difference between the actual speed of emitted light and the measured speed of received light. Since the speed of light is c and the received light is received at c-v or c+v, then v is the speed of the device. The fact that the device is rotating is just a way to create motion inside a small area. You would get the same result if you straightened out the pieces, laying the sides end to end with the light source at one end and the detector at the other end, removing the mirrors, and then moving the whole thing through space at the same speed it took to move one corner to the next corner when rotating.
I'll have to create an illustration to help explain that in my new paper.
The "List of Variable Speed of Light Experiments" I put on this web site last year includes 6 more experiments in which speeds of objects are measured relative to the speed of light. Inexplicably, mathematicians refuse to do that. They will only measure the speed of one object relative to another object.
I had much more to add about all this, but I ran into problems I still have to think through. Hopefully I'll make it all more clear in my new paper "Motion Relative to the Speed of Light," which I haven't yet started to write.
|Comments for Tuesday, December 1,
2020, thru Sat., Dec. 5, 2020:
December 3, 2020 - I've gone back to arguing on the sci.physics.relativity discussion forum. I had been thinking of doing some kind of revision to some science paper, or starting a new paper, but I decided I needed to argue some more. There were pieces of ideas that I needed to fit together. So, I took a day off to write down all the facts I could think of related to measuring the speed of a truck from inside the truck, and in the process I recalled the Michelson-Gale experiment in 1925. Just like the truck experiment, Michelson-Gale measured the speed of an object from inside that object. In the Michelson-Gale experiment, the object's speed being measured was the speed of the rotation of the earth.
The experiment was performed inside metal tubes where the only thing that moved was light. The experiment showed that the rotation speed of the earth could be measured inside those tubes by emitting light at c and having that light hit detectors at c+v and c-v where v is the rotation speed of the earth. The tubes were laid out in the form of a square, with mirrors in the corners. Measurements could then be made of the earth spinning eastward toward the light (c+v), westward away from the light (c-v) and, of course, while traveling north to south and south to north, there was no movement relative to the light.
Just before turning off my computer yesterday afternoon, I mentioned the Michelson-Gale experiment in a comment I posted to no one in particular.
The first response overnight was from "Henry Yeuro." He argued that the purpose of the Michelson-Gale experiment was to debunk the idea that there is some kind of stationary ether that fills the universe, so, in his view, my comments are not applicable.
I responded by telling him it does not matter what the "purpose" of the experiment was. If the experiment showed that the speed of an object can be measured from inside that object by comparing the speed of the object relative to the speed of light, that shows that everyone is wrong who said that that was not possible.
Then a troll named "Odd Bodkin" posted this:
Nope. The measurement was of the rotation relative to a non rotating frame tied to distant stars. Not relative to speed of light.I found that response to be hilarious. Inside a pipe they can measure the speed of the pipe "relative to a non-rotating frame tied to distant stars"??? Their previous argument was that all measurements inside the truck can only be relative to objects inside the truck, but in Michelson-Gale the measurements they were somehow able to measure speeds relative to distant stars that cannot be seen, much less measured????? I responded:
The measurements were done ENTIRELY inside metal tubes. The ONLY thing that moved relative to the inside walls of those tubes were PHOTONS. Any screwball "non-rotating frame tied to distant stars" is PURELY IMAGINARY, concocted to avoid using the speed of light light to compare movements. .I also wrote a long comment that contained most of what I'd written down yesterday as I was trying to clarify my thoughts. It was mostly about "the local speed of light" and how it can be used in the Michelson-Gale experiment and my truck experiment, because it is not a speed relative to some distant star or galaxy, it is only relative to the location on Earth where the light was emitted.
I keep thinking there is some other undeniable fact that I'm just not seeing that will end the arguments in favor of my truck experiment. And it seems the only way to find that "fact" - if it exists - is to continue arguing.
December 1, 2020 - I'm still spending a lot of time arguing with people on the sci.physics.relativity forum. As of this moment, there are 121 messages n the argument thread, exactly 100 more than there were before the discussion restarted on November 26. Yesterday, I tried to take a break from the discussion, so that I could put some new ideas into my paper about "Relativity and Radar Guns," but, as usual, when I try to do that the people on the forum start ranting that I'm running away from the discussion because I can't respond to their arguments.
In reality, I just need time to think. In yesterday's discussions, I came up with a new way to perform the truck experiment which measures the speed of a moving truck from inside the truck. The argument from the mathematicians on the forum is always that photons are not only always emitted at c, but are also always received at c, therefore a radar gun cannot measure the the speed of the truck by measuring the speed of the truck relative to the speed of light, c, either inside or outside. They believe that radar guns emit waves, not photons, and an object has to be moving relative to the radar gun in order to be measured. None of those beliefs are true.
Their argument is that, inside the truck, the four walls are stationary relative to the gun. So, if the truck is moving at 40 mph and you point the gun at the front wall, that wall is stationary relative to the gun, so the gun will read the speed of the wall as zero. My argument is that is true, but NOT because the gun is measuring the speed of the wall as zero but because photons from the gun hit the front wall at c-v, where v is the speed of the truck, and the returned photons from the front wall hit the radar gun at c+v, giving you c+v-v=c, or a speed of zero.
To measure the speed of the wall (and the truck) from inside the truck, you have to measure movement in only one direction. In my "Relativity and Radar Guns" paper, I proposed a way of doing that by having one radar gun emit the photons and a second radar gun receive the photons.
The problem is that no known radar gun emits photons which oscillate at an exact known frequency. It may be stated in the manual that the gun operates at 35 Gigahertz or 35,000,000,000 Hertz, but in reality that is just an approximate frequency. In reality, the gun could be operating many thousands of Hertz higher or lower than that approximate frequency. It is able to compare the frequency it transmits to the frequency it receives and measure traffic speeds correctly because 40 miles per hour is a difference of 4,167 Hertz between emitted and received frequencies, whatever those frequencies are.
So, to do the proposed experiment, you need two guns that transmit at nearly identical frequencies, with no more than a 500 Hertz difference.
During the discussions on the forum yesterday, a different experiment occurred to me. Unfortunately, it also needs special equipment that may not readily exist.
Instead of two men holding radar guns, you need an automated transmitter and and automated receiver, so that the times of emission and reception can be determined down to the millisecond or better. You need one transmitter and receiver to be exactly 45 feet apart inside the truck, and another transmitter and receiver to be exactly 45 feet apart outside the truck, on a stationary platform at the same height as the pair inside the truck.
Then you need to have a way to trigger both transmitters at the same instant. Then the truck is driven at high speed past the stationary equipment, and when they receivers and transmitters are exactly parallel, the transmitters are both triggered.
Photons from the stationary transmitter will still travel exactly 45 feet to reach the stationary receiver, but photons from the moving transmitter will travel a shorter distance to reach the moving receiver, because that receiver is moving toward the oncoming photons.
According to the Second Postulate of Einstein's Theory of Special Relativity, photons are emitted at the same speed, c, regardless of whether the emitter is moving or not. So both emitters emit photons at the speed of light, c, but the moving receiver receives photons at c+v while the stationary receiver receives photons at c.
The difference is that you have two experiments and one is seen to be moving while the other is seen to be stationary. The fact that the emitter inside the moving truck is surrounded by walls that are stationary relative to the emitter, and the gun is fired at a receiver that appears to be stationary, does not mean that they are actually stationary.
Mathematicians will argue that the stationary equipment is not really stationary either, since it is on a planet that is rotating at about 1,000 mph and its moving in orbit around sun at 67,000 mph. But that is just a way of avoiding the fact that photons hit a moving receiver at c+v or c-v, which they say is not possible.
If you truly believe that you are stationary in a moving truck just because the walls around you are stationary relative to your location, then there are also other ways to show that that is nonsense. If the truck passes a clanging railroad crossing signal, you will hear the source of the sound passing the truck. Do you really believe the truck is stationary and the railroad crossing is moving?
I should be writing all this in a paper, instead of doing it here. But, maybe I also need to see what the mathematicians on the forum have to say about the new experiment.
Lots to think about.