Archive for
August 2021

Comments for Sunday, August 29, 2021, thru Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021:

August 30, 2021 -  It's difficult for me to imagine that anyone else would be interested in the arguments I've been having on the sci.physics.relativity forum, but to me they are very interesting, and the only place I have to write down my thoughts about them are here.

Yesterday I realized something I hadn't even thought about before. And it helps put a lot of pieces together.  Why is it next to impossible for me to communicate with mathematicians about how photons work?  It is because I visualize a photon in my mind and how it interacts with atoms, and all they do is build mathematical models - which may or may not have anything to do with reality. 

I have absolutely no problem visualizing an oscillating photon coming straight at me.  Here is what it basically looks like:
Oscillating photon
I don't think the electric and magnetic fields are actually that narrow, but if I showed an oscillating photon where the fields were spherical, then I would need all kinds of shading to show that the yellow field is strongest in vertical and fades to white in the horizontal.  The same with the blue field, it is strongest in the horizontal and fades to white when it hits the vertical.  As I visualize it, if the yellow line is the electric field, it will go through a vertical polarized lens as long as the yellow line is not tilted more than 45 degrees.

In the discussions on sci.physics.relativity, I'm repeatedly told that photons do NOT oscillate.  But, if photons do not oscillate, how can you can you have red light and  blue light?   Red light photons oscillate about 460,000,000,000 times per second and blue light photons oscillate about 630,000,000,000 times per second.  I wonder how they think we can tell the difference between red and blue light.  I suspect they'll say it is the "wavelength."  But there are no light waves. The "wavelength of light" is just the oscillation frequency per second converted to the distance between one oscillation peak and the next when light travels at 299,792,458 meters per second. 

Sigh!  When I turned on my computer after coming home from the gym this afternoon, I found TEN new messages from "Odd Bodkin," each of which would fill a typed page or more.  Fortunately, they are not all addressed to me.  He's arguing with several other people, too.

I really need to find a way to get them to FOCUS on one question at a time until an agreement is reached or until it is totally clear why reaching an agreement is impossible.

August 29, 2021
-  I've been sitting around listening to podcasts and wondering what I should write about on this web site or in science papers or a book.  The discussions I started a couple weeks ago on the sci.physics.relativity
forum had faded away.  But, since I check the forum every day to see if anything has been posted, I also look over the titles of the threads others have started to see if any would be of any interest to me.  A couple days ago, the title of one thread attracted my attention.  The title was:
In an Atomic clock? How many Cs atoms are watched?
Curious as to what the author, Mitchell Raemsch, was talking about, I opened his message.  It read:
and how could the changing atomic be counted?
by what macro machine?
Mitchell Raemsch is considered to be a "troll" by most others on the forum.  But it seems to me that he's just someone who has a problem with the English language.  His messages are always very short, and usually difficult to decipher.  It was clear this message was about the way atomic clocks work.  I didn't fully understand how atomic clocks work, either, so I responded by writing:
As I understand it, what they do is shoot a photon at a Cesium atom,
the Cesium atom immediately gets rid of that energy by emitting a
new photon, the atomic clock collects that photon and sends another
photon to Cesium atom, which is again rejected.

The clock counts how many times PER SECOND the Cesium atom
rejects the photons sent to it. The answer is: 9,192,631,770.
A second is 1/86,400th of an Earth day, and a Cesium atomic clock
ticks 9,192,631,770 times during that period of time.
I quickly learned that my understanding was incorrect.  Several different people posted messages about how atomic clocks use lots of Cesium atoms and some percentage of those atoms get hit by photons.  That reminded me of what I'd previously read about atomic clocks, but never fully understood.  So, I wrote a comment that summarized what I'd read:
Okay, so they shoot microwaves (a.k.a. "photons") at cesium atoms.
The microwaves oscillate AROUND 9,192,631,770 times per second.
The cesium atoms will change their energy state IF they are hit by
microwaves that oscillate EXACTLY 9,192,631,770 times per second.
The clock then fine-tunes the oscillation rate of the microwaves it
emits until it gets the highest percentage of atoms to change their energy states. When that happens, the clock KNOWS it is emitting photons that oscillate 9,192,631,770 times per second. And as long as it continues do that, it can COUNT 9,192,631,770 TICKS per second. 
Then Mitchell Raemsch posted another one of his very short messages.  First he quoted part of what I'd written:
As I understand it, what they do is shoot a photon at a Cesium atom, the Cesium atom immediately gets rid of that energy by emitting a
And then he posted his message:
How do they see that Cs atom?
Ah!  Good question.  How do they target a specific Cesium atom?  They don't.  I previously thought they did, but now I realized they didn't.  They shoot billions of photons at an unknown number of of Cesium atoms, and then they determine what percentage of the Cesium atoms were hit. I responded:
They do not need to see or target a specific atom. They shoot microwave photons at a STREAM of cesium atoms. They then measure the percentage of atoms in that stream that changed their energy states because they were hit by the microwave photons. The greater the percentage that changed their energy states, the more certain the clock is that it is emitting photons that oscillate 9,192,631,770 times per second. Cesium atoms won't change their energy state UNLESS they are hit by photons that oscillate 9,192,631,770 times per second.
But Mitchell Raemsch evidently didn't read past my first sentence.  He responded by quoting that sentence and asking a new question:
"They do not need to see or target a specific atom."

Then why would they need to be used you moron?
I responded,
They don't target a specific atom, they target a specific TYPE of atom.
They target a TYPE of atom that ONLY changes its energy state IF it is hit by a photon that oscillates 9,192,631,770 times per second.  That is what the cesium atom does.

When you shoot a stream of photons at a cloud of atoms, you are
bound to hit some of the atoms. You just need to build a device that
enables you to hit as many atoms as possible.
The sentences I highlighted in bold turned on a light bulb over my head.  Ah!  An atomic clock does NOT count "how many times PER SECOND the Cesium atom rejects the photons sent to it."  An atomic clock measures time by verifying that it can emit photons that oscillate 9,192,631,770 times per second. Cesium atoms won't change their energy state UNLESS they are hit by photons that oscillate 9,192,631,770 times per second.  And if you know you can measure 9,192,631,770 oscillations per second, then you can also count seconds and fractions of seconds using that rate.

I then had to go through some of my papers to see if I had written anywhere that atomic clocks measure
"how many times PER SECOND the Cesium atom rejects the photons sent to it."  I couldn't find any.  

I'd written a lot about radar guns emitting photons of in a frequency range of about 35,000,000,000 oscillations per second, but I'd learned that there was nothing exact about that frequency.  It evidently all depended upon the temperature of the gun.  A warm gun emits photons that oscillate at a higher frequency than a cold gun, but even then the frequency was an approximation.  The gun compares the frequency of the photons it emits to the frequency of the photons it gets back, but there is only a tiny fraction of a second between transmission and reception, so there is no time for the gun to change temperature.

The rest of the discussion was interesting, too, but not worth repeating here, until someone named "Townes Olson" made a statement that others on that forum have previously made, but which I never thoroughly argued.  The statement was:
photons do not oscillate
and he added:
To understand photons, I suggest consulting an actual text book on quantum electrodynamics.
Evidently, Quantum Mechanics cannot cope with a particle that oscillates.  Minutes later, "Odds Bodkin" jumped in to repeat something he's stated many times before:
Photons do not oscillate.
I quoted a bunch of on-line sources which state that photons DO oscillate, but they simply rejected those sources as "on-line" sources, and therefore not reliable.  The only reliable sources would be their Quantum Mechanics textbooks.

The argument is still going on, but arguing with someone who believes in the infallibility of Quantum Mechanics is like arguing with other True Believers.  There is NOTHING that will ever get them to change their minds.

This morning I found they had posted seven new messages from four different people, all addressed to me, and all on the topic of how Quantum Mechanics is in total agreement with Einstein's Relativity - once you understand what Einstein actually meant and not what he actually wrote.  I'll answer most of them. I know I can't change their minds, but explaining things in different ways helps me to understand things better.  And, maybe I'll learn something new.

Comments for Sunday, August 22, 2021, thru Saturday, Aug. 28, 2021:

August 25, 2021 - Groan!!!   Six years ago, when I first began digging into the strange things that people believe about physics and time dilation, I thought that I might be able to help explain things.  But it's now clear that no one wants to discuss anything, much less have things explained to them.  They just want to get everyone else to believe as they believe by arguing against whatever everyone else says. 

In the past 24 hours there were three more messages posted to the sci.physics.relativity thread that I started about two weeks ago on the subject of "Using a Pulsar to Measure Time Dilation."  One message was addressed to me, even though I haven't
posted anything in the thread in 9 days.  In that message,  tjrob137 first quoted part of what I wrote to start the thread:
What this thought experiment does is eliminate all arguments that people on earth will see my clock running slow while I will see the clocks on earth as running slow. We both used the SAME clock, and that clock ticked 10 times faster for me than for people on the "stationary" planets.
And then tjrob137 stated his belief:
Use a distant pulsar at rest in the same inertial frame as the rocket ship, and you'll get the opposite result. 
In other words, if the pulsar and my rocket ship are stationary, and the earth and Planet-X orbiting around Alpha Centauri are speeding through space at over 99% of the speed of light, then time dilation will apply to Earth and Planet-X and not to me. 

How can anyone think that way??  Rocket ships are built to travel at high speeds, but how do you get the Earth to travel at high speeds?  Answer: YOU CAN'T.  But mathematicians like tjrob137 evidently believe that, if I can imagine a rocket ship moving at nearly the speed of light away from the Earth, then it's perfectly valid to also imagine the Earth moving away from the rocket ship at nearly the speed of light.  Mathematically, it can be computed either way, and the logic of the situation is of no concern.  Only the math matters.

I didn't respond, of course.  But "AA" did.  His 3-paragraph response to tjrob137 is an argument against both of us, and "AA" argues his own beliefs about how the rocket would be moving toward the pulsar (only 5.7 degrees off) instead of at right angles to it, due to "
relativistic aberration."  That evidently makes perfect sense to "AA," but I don't think anyone else has any idea what he is talking about, even though he claims anyone with "even a rudimentary grasp of special relativity could tell you instantly" that he is right.

The effect on me is that I've pretty much given up.  I no longer have much interest in writing any papers on the subject of Relativity, nor a book about it.  My papers are still getting reads, particularly my papers about how radar guns will measure the speed of an object relative to the speed of light, but I don't know if there is anything more I can say about that subject.

So, what I'm doing instead is listening to science podcasts and wondering if I could find anything of interest if I put together a file of 100 of the top physics textbooks and just compared one textbook to another.  It seems like every textbook author has his own way of explaining things.  And I don't think I've ever seen a textbook that mentions the Hafele-Keating time dilation experiments. If they did, would the author argue that having Hafele and Keating fly around the world is mathematically the same as having Hafele and Keating somehow remain motionless in space while the earth spins under them?  After all, if you can mathematically compute it one way, then you can mathematically compute it in the opposite way, and who gives a damn if one way is possible and the other way is totally impossible?
August 23, 2021
- While eating lunch yesterday afternoon, I finished reading another library book on my Kindle.  The book was "On The House" by John Boehner.

On the House

It was a fairly interesting book, and not what I expected.  It's an autobiography, of sorts, telling Boehner's story about an Ohio kid who worked in his father's bar and eventually became Speaker of the House.  But it's also about guy who smokes, plays golf and poker, and likes to socialize.  Here's a quote from the book:
At first I smoked Lucky Strikes with no filter, but whatever brand I started smoking they kept taking off the market. Now I just hope Camel stays in business—fingers crossed. I’m not blind to the health risks, and I sure as hell don’t encourage kids today to smoke. But I’ve told my doctors that I’ve made it this far in life by smoking, and the damage has been done. They don’t stop trying to tell me what I should do, and I don’t stop ignoring them. And it works out fine.
The book also provided some insights into how things work in congress, including how some politicians try to scam every penny they can to line their own pockets.  When Boehner was first elected to Congress in 1991, there was a House Bank where elected officials could have a checking account.  And it was almost routine to write bad checks when you had no money in the bank:
On April 1, 1992, they published a list of the top 22 check-bouncers, and probably hoped that would be the end of it. But we fought for full disclosure, and finally, some two weeks later, the list of all members who had bounced checks at the House bank was released. Hardly anybody was spared. Speaker Foley was on the list, as was number-two Democrat Gephardt. Nineteen different committee chairmen had overdrafts on their accounts. Democratic representative Gerry Sikorski of Minnesota was one of the worst check-bouncers, having written nearly seven hundred bad checks from his account. He tried to pawn off the blame on his wife—a real classy move. Plenty of House Republicans were on the list too, including two rising stars: Newt Gingrich of Georgia and Vin Weber of Minnesota. Weber chose not to run for reelection, but Newt stuck it out. The hapless Buz Lukens, who had held my seat in Ohio’s 8th District before resigning over an improper relationship with a minor, was sent back to jail—this time for bribery—as a result of the House bank investigation.
And if that wasn't weird enough:
Then there were all the problems with the House post office — formally known as the Congressional Post Office. Members would buy stamps and charge them to their office account, and then use them as currency in an underground congressional black market. Stamps were being traded for cash. Under federal law, you can’t sell your stamps back to the government, but some members were getting away with it. One way the stamps were “laundered,” so the rumors went, was through late-night poker games where they would play in stamps. Thousands of dollars’ worth of USPS stamps were apparently changing hands. And you couldn’t just buy stamps at the House post office—apparently you could buy cocaine too. You couldn’t make this stuff up.
While Boehner is a Republican, he doesn't have any problems with being truthful about people like the Senate's "reckless asshole" and "head lunatic" Ted Cruz, or Donald Trump:
Trump incited that bloody insurrection for nothing more than selfish reasons, perpetuated by the bullshit he’d been shoveling since he lost a fair election the previous November. He claimed voter fraud without any evidence, and repeated those claims, taking advantage of the trust placed in him by his supporters and ultimately betraying that trust. It was especially sad to see some members of the House and Senate helping him along—although some of the people involved did not surprise me in the least. The legislative terrorism that I’d witnessed as Speaker had now encouraged actual terrorism. And it pissed me off. I called on Trump to resign, but I knew that wouldn’t be enough. My Republican Party—the party of smaller, fairer, more accountable government and not conspiracy theories—had to take back control from the faction that had grown to include everyone from garden-variety whack jobs to insurrectionists. If the conservative movement in the United States was going to survive, there couldn’t be room for them. Time will tell how successful that mission will be, but I hope to be able to do my part, even in retirement.
Boehner resigned from Congress on October 31, 2015, which was before Trump was elected.  Playing golf seems to have been his favorite pastime, and the image he gives of  himself is like that of a successful corporate official who likes red wine, good food, cigarettes and shooting the bull with friends, and who keeps a pickled pair of balls from a Cape Buffalo in a jar on his conference table. 

August 22, 2021
- That discussion I started on the sci.physics.relativity forum on August 12, about Using a Pulsar to Measure Time Dilation, still hasn't come to an end.  There are 31 message after my final comment, demonstrating that if they do not have me to argue with, they will argue with each other.

I made a copy of the entire discussion to save for posterity.  I still find many of their beliefs to be totally unbelievable. I also thought a bit about restarting the discussion on a new thread where I would simply argue that, if the speed of light is the maximum possible speed in the universe, then doesn't that mean that all slower speeds are some percentage of the maximum speed?  That means that, if one object is moving relative to another, you can determine which is traveling the fastest by simply determining which is traveling at the greater percentage of the speed of light.  How would you do that?  By firing radar guns at them.  If the radar guns have the ability to determine the speed of a target when the radar gun is also moving, then it can tell who is moving faster relative to the speed of light.  And there are many different brands of radar guns that have that ability.

As I thought about that, I browsed through my collection of physics textbooks, and I came across one that seemed to provide the answers that I could expect from the people on that discussion forum.  The entire 132-page book is available to download or read on-line.  It's "An Introduction to the Special Theory of Relativity" by Robert Katz, and it contains this on pages 24 and 25 of the book:

§14 The Special Theory of Relativity In order to explain the results of the Michelson-Morley experiment, we might propose that nature behaves in a way we would not have anticipated, that the Galilean transformation is incorrect, and that velocities do not add vectorially (at high speeds). Following Einstein, we reason that there is no purpose in postulating the existence of an ether if there is no way to detect it; that is, if no physical experiment can detect the absolute motion of an inertial reference frame. Thus there is no purpose in speaking of a velocity of light except with respect to the observer who measures it. We reason further that no one observer has a special place, superior to all others. The speed of light should have the same numerical value for all observers, so long as they are all resident in inertial frames. We propose, as a fundamental postulate of the relativity theory, that physical law must have the same meaning in all inertial frames. This postulate is called the postulate of covariance of physical law. As a first step in the application of the general principle, let us suppose that the constancy of the speed of light is a physical law; that is, the speed of light is the same in every inertial frame. Then the speed of light is the same in every direction and does not depend on the earth's speed through space or its speed with respect to an undetectable ether.
I highlighted some key parts in bold and in red and bold.  The key sentence is
The speed of light should have the same numerical value for all observers, so long as they are all resident in inertial frames. 
Of course, many experiments show that that is nonsense.  I have a web-page of experiments which show that claim is wrong.

Additionally, 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.
That is totally different than what that textbook (and many many other textbooks) says.  According to Einstein, the emitter determines the speed of light, and he said nothing about "inertial frames."  A speeding police car is definitely NOT an "inertial frame," yet a radar gun in the car will emit light at c, and that light will hit and oncoming car at c+v.  So will a radar gun fired from a parked vehicle, which would be an "inertial frame."  But I've found only one NASA web site which explains things that way.  All other web sites and books I've found pretend that radar guns emit waves, instead of photons.

radar gun example

The illustration above is an example.  Supposedly, waves are emitted by a radar gun and when those waves hit an oncoming vehicle they inexplicably bounce off the vehicle as if the waves hit a solid wall.  Do the waves all bounce off the nearest part of the car?  Why?  Wouldn't the waves also bounce off the windshield and other parts?  And wouldn't that result in a mixture of returned waves from different parts of the car? 

Additionally, the instruction manual for the radar gun I own says that the gun has a conical antenna and the "beam width" is 12 degrees.  The illustration above doesn't seem to involve any particular "beam width."  And how can the returning waves from the target have a "beam width"?

Here's an illustration from one of the first radar gun patents which shows the "waves" somehow being kept to a "beam width."
                    patent illustration The outbound beam is about 40 degrees wide, and the return beam is about 10 degrees wide.  How?  Why?  The patent doesn't explain.  But, evidently it is just easier to illustrate radar principles by using fictitious waves instead of real photons.  In my papers I use photons when describing how radar guns work.

radar gun
                    using photons

Hmm.  Another thought: If radars send out waves, how can weather radar systems detect rain?  A web site HERE explains:
Weather radar consists of a rotating dish protected by a large white dome; this dish sends pulses of energy (the radar beam) into the atmosphere to detect objects like rain or hail. If the radar beam encounters an object, some of the radiation will bounce off of it and return to the radar site.
The article says nothing about waves bouncing off of rain drops, which would be idiotic.  Instead it is about "pulses of energy (the radar beam)" bouncing off of objects. 

When you think in terms of photons, it is easy to visualize photons hitting individual rain drops.  So, why make things more complicated by using "beams" and "pulses of energy"?  The "beams" and "pulses" consist of photons!  I have a bunch of books about radar technology, and none of them ever use the word "photon."  Why?  Evidently, nearly everyone else thinks using photons will make explanations more complicated.  Or could it be that there are people who do not accept that a photon can have oscillating electric and magnetic fields?  So, if you do not mention photons, you do not have to argue with those people.

What is the purpose of arguing about Relativity if college textbooks say the speed of light is the same for all observers, even though radar guns and a great many experiments prove otherwise?  And Einstein said otherwise, yet mathematicians claim he didn't mean what he said and wrote? 

I got into this subject because I couldn't understand why textbooks do not quote Einstein correctly.  I now think I understand why they don't, but there's nothing I can do about it if no one else in the world who also understands the situation is willing to talk about it - evidently out of fear that arguing against what is in college textbooks is a death sentence for any career. 

I find it's just amazing how simple things are once you get past all the false beliefs.  But it seems false beliefs are a tradition.  And there is no arguing against tradition.  

Comments for Sunday, August 15, 2021, thru Saturday, Aug. 21, 2021:

August 19, 2021 - I thought the person on the sci.physics.relativity forum with the initials AA would change the subject when I asked him to name experiments which support his belief that time dilation is reciprocal (i.e., each person sees the other's clocks as running slow).  Instead, he wrote a 6 paragraph, 891 word response describing his beliefs.  And in the first and third paragraphs he mentions "the experiments of Kaufmann, et al."

I had to research those experiments.  Wikipedia summarizes them this way:

The Kaufmann–Bucherer–Neumann experiments measured the dependence of the inertial mass (or momentum) of an object on its velocity. The historical importance of this series of experiments performed by various physicists between 1901 and 1915 is due to the results being used to test the predictions of special relativity. The developing precision and data analysis of these experiments and the resulting influence on theoretical physics during those years is still a topic of active historical discussion, since the early experimental results at first contradicted Einstein's then newly published theory, but later versions of this experiment confirmed it.
Searching through maybe a dozen other sources, I found NONE that even mention time dilation.  The "Kaufmann," experiments were about how the velocity of an object alters its mass and energy.  An NONE even suggest that such experiments are reciprocal.  If you have two identical objects (such as electrons), and if Object-A moves faster than Object-B, Object-A will have greater energy and mass than Object-B.  Einstein said the same thing in his 1905 paper "On The Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies," only Einstein also added the important detail that Time would also go slower for the faster moving object. 

There is no reciprocity because there is no logical way that anyone can argue that Object-B can also be viewed as going faster than Object-A, and therefore Object-B can be viewed as having greater mass and energy than Object-A.

Mathematicians  like AA, of course, do not care about logic, so in one imagined "frame of reference" they see Object-A moving faster than Object-B, and in another imagined "frame of reference" they see Object-B moving faster than Object-A.  In one frame of reference they see a rocket moving away from the earth, and in another frame of reference they see the earth, the solar system and the universe moving away from the rocket.  The fact that it takes a lot more energy to move the universe than it does to move a rocket is irrelevant, since they only care about what happens after the rocket turns off its engines and starts coasting as an "inertial system."

I could explain all this to AA, of course, but what would be the point?  AA also wrote this:
I fully realize that these [experiments by Kaufmann] mean nothing to you, because your conception of physics deviates from that of normal people at a far more fundamental level. It would take a long time and a lot of study for you to reach the level of understanding necessary to understand experimental tests of Lorentz invariance. For example, you would need to learn what Lorentz invariance means, and in order to understand that, you would need to understand how the descriptions of the attributes of phenomena are quantified, which means you would need to understand coordinate systems, and so on. I'm not exactly sure how far down we would have to go to find the fork in the road where your thinking diverged from the thinking of most people.
So, I'm just going to stop responding and move on to other things.  I really should revise my 2015 paper in which I describe using a pulsar as a clock to measure time dilation.  It was my very first paper, and somehow it got buried under other papers about time dilation.  It's version #1 of 5 different versions of what are actually two different papers.  I evidently wanted to put a second paper on, but I ended up establishing the second paper as a second version of the first paper.  I'm not sure how to undo it, but the simplest way seems to be to just write a totally new version of the pulsar time dilation paper and set it up as a totally new paper.  The original is titled "Time Dilation Re-visualized."  I'll simply title the new paper: "Using a Pulsar to Measure Time Dilation."

I also think I should rewrite my paper titled "An Analysis of Einstein’s Second Postulate to his Theory of Special Relativity."  Misinterpreting Einstein's Second Postulate seems to be the fundamental error behind all of the textbooks which twist Einstein's theories to suit mathematician beliefs, instead of just presenting what Einstein actually wrote. 

If I stop arguing on sci.physics.relativity, I'll have all the time I need to do those rewrites and others.  Then maybe I can work on putting them all into a book.   

August 18, 2021
- Hmm.  There was an email in my inbox this morning from a guy who wrote several books about Relativity.  One is titled "Religious Roots of Relativity" and another is titled "Infinite Universe Theory."  In addition to mentioning those two books in his email, the author wrote:
Hi all:

Before continuing with relativity, please read RRR, which shows that it is completely, utterly bogus. The perfectly empty space on which it is based does not exist.

Infinity forever,
When I researched him, I found he also wrote a book titled "The Ten Assumptions of Science."  I was able to browse a small part of that book on Amazon, and it appears he is doing what so many others do: He blames Einstein for all the nonsense theories created by mathematicians.

While I'd definitely like to browse through "Ten Assumptions" to see exactly what those "assumptions" are, I certainly wouldn't pay money to do so.

Meanwhile, this morning I saw a new message from "AA" addressed to me on the sci.physics.relativity discussion forum that I felt compelled to respond to.  It was a long message with responses to about ten different statements I made in my last post to AA.  His responses were all mostly gibberish, but the last comment caught my eye.  I had written,
To which AA responded,
No, as you may recall, we invalidated all your purported counter-examples, because they all refer to either difference in gravitational potential or accelerated clocks. Reciprocal time dilation applies to the reciprocal slowness of each clock in terms of the *inertial* coordinates in which the other clock is at rest. This has been abundantly verified experimentally, and there are no counter-examples.
That prompted me to delete everything else in his message and respond only to that part.  I wrote:
Okay, you are saying all KNOWN time dilation experiments do NOT
support your BELIEFS because they involve gravity and acceleration.

Yet you appear to CLAIM there are some experiments which support
your BELIEFS. Why are you unable to name them and discuss them?
That does seem to be the situation.  He's just babbling about mathematical models where ONLY velocity time dilation is involved.   But no actual experiment can do such a thing, since you have to accelerate a body to get it to move faster than another body.  Flying on airplanes involves acceleration. 

It might be interesting to see exactly what beliefs he claims have been "abundantly verified experimentally."  I assume he will just change the subject in some way, but if he tries that I'll try to get him back on track.  It might be interesting to see what he believes are experiments which show that velocity time dilation is reciprocal.

August 16, 2021
- This afternoon, just before lunch and before going to the gym, I brought an end to my discussions on the sci.physics.relativity discussion forum.  While the discussion were very interesting for awhile, they eventually became tedious and repetitious.  I would try to explain things in a different way every time I responded to some argument, but the other person basically just repeated himself over and over and over, without making any attempt to clarify what he was talking about.  Plus they would claim there are experiments that support their beliefs, but they usually cannot name them.  And when they do name them, what they name aren't experiments, and they provide no explanations for why or how The Cassini probe, the Huygens probe and the New Horizons probe confirm something they have been arguing.  It undoubtedly has something to do with a transmitter moving away from a receiver on earth, but there's no explanation for what that has to do with anything we've been arguing.

It's like trying to discuss something with someone who speaks a totally different language, and when discussing things on the Internet there is no way to make hand gestures to help get through the language barrier.

What we discussed boils down to 3 fundamental disagreements.  They believe:
1. All motion is reciprocal.
2. Time dilation is reciprocal.
3. The speed of light is c for all observers.
For me,
1. All motion is relative to the speed of light.
2. Time dilation applies to the faster moving object.
3. The speed of light is c for all emitters.
While the discussions were sometimes fascinating for me, I have to wonder if they are of any interest whatsoever to the people who read what I write on this my personal web site.  And writing about them here might just be causing people to go elsewhere.  But, I can't really help what interests me.  Relativity has interested me ever since I discovered that almost no two college textbooks contain the same wording for Einstein's Second Postulate.  Today it sometimes seems like no two physicists agree on anything, but it also seems like the only people who are willing to discuss physics on the Internet are people who have their own personal beliefs.  And they claim to agree with Einstein, but not with what Einstein actually wrote, only with what they believe Einstein meant.  

I've got a backlog of science podcasts to listen to, and I really want to do some research to see what college textbooks say about Relativity experiments such as the Hafele-Keating experiment.  I have dozens of such textbooks that I obtained to research what they say about Einstein's Second Postulate, but I cannot recall a single book that mentioned Hafele-Keating or any other Relativity experiment.

Interestingly, during on recent discussion, a person who calls himself "Odd Bodkin" provided a link to a video explanation of the Hafele-Keating experiment:

I found it an excellent video and found nothing wrong with it (except for the fact that the teacher says that there were 4 clocks on earth, while in reality there was only the ONE clock at the U.S. Naval Observatory).  Odd Bodkin then explained that it showed I was wrong when I supposedly said that the spin of the earth controls time.   Of course, I said no such thing.  So it was just another example of me writing one thing and them reading something different, something that is not word for word what they have memorized about Relativity. 

August 15, 2021
- Hmm.  I spent nearly the entire week arguing with people on the sci.physics.relativity discussion forum.  First I started a thread about my latest paper "Relativity's Fundamental Ideas." Then, when that thread started to just be endless repetition of the same arguments, I abandoned it and started a second thread titled "Using a Pulsar to Measure Time Dilation" to see if the discussion arguments could become more clearly defined, so that I can address a specific claim and ask that it be more clearly stated.
  That is exactly what happened, and the results were mind-blowing for me. 

I began by creating a typed illustration to describe how the pulsar works.  The illustration looked like this:


The circle on the right is the pulsar.  The dotted horizontal line is the beam of light from the pulsar that sweeps around in a circle like a light beam from a lighthouse.  Once every ten seconds the rotating light beam hits that vertical line on the left, which is the distance from Earth to Alpha Centauri.  Earth is at the bottom of the line, Alpha Centauri is at the top.  My space ship travels from Earth toward Alpha Centauri at
99.4988339567% of the speed of light.  At that speed, one second for me is ten seconds for people back on Earth.  So while they see one pulse from the pulsar every ten seconds, because I experience longer seconds, I see one pulse every second.  It's an idea I first described in a paper I wrote in May of 2015.
Some of the responses I got on the discussion forum where fascinating.  I previously wouldn't have believed that people can believe what the folks on that forum believe - or more correctly, what someone with the initials AA believes.  Here is part of what AA wrote in his last message yesterday (with my highlighting in bold):
According to special relativity (as described in detail in Einstein's 1905 paper), different inertial reference systems are related to each other in such a way that they exhibit mutually reciprocal time dilation, which means that (for example) each of two relatively moving clocks runs slow in terms of the inertial reference system of the other clock. There is abundant empirical confirmation of this.

I had previously given him a situation where a spaceship burns fuel to leave Earth and get to some high speed in space, and then the engines are turned off and the ship begins to coast.

According to AA, while the ship is burning fuel, clocks aboard the ship will run slower than clocks back on Earth and the ship experiences time dilation.  BUT, when the engine turns off, the clock on the space ship will no longer run slower than the clocks back on Earth.  Now you will have "reciprocal time dilation," meaning that people on Earth will see the ship's clocks as running slow and people on the spaceship will see clocks on Earth as running slow.

That is not true, of course.  His beliefs make absolutely no sense whatsoever.  When we put a GPS satellite in orbit, its clock runs slow by 7 microseconds per day due to velocity time dilation.  It also runs slow by 45 microseconds per day due to gravitational time dilation.  There is NO "reciprocal time dilation."

When I explain that to AA after I finish this comment, how will he respond?  Time will tell.

In another argument with a woman with the initials SE, she argued that I cannot have a pulsar in the experiment because there is no pulsar in Einstein's thought experiments.  She wrote,
"In a discussion about clock rates in special relativity, you don't get to make an arbitrary choice of clock. Your clock has to run at its proper rate in your frame, which the pulsar does not."
And I responded,
"That is why I use a pulsar. Each clock in the thought experiment ticks at the "proper rate" for its "frame," INCLUDING the pulsar."
And this morning SE replied,
"Your clock has to run at its proper rate in YOUR frame."
In other words, my clock cannot run slow, PERIOD.  So her mind is closed to the whole idea of time dilation.

In another part of the discussion, several people mentioned "relativistic aberration and longitudinal Doppler," which I had to research to learn what they were talking about.  It's very interesting, since it says that when I am traveling at 99% of the speed of light at right angles to the pulses from a pulsar, most of the light from the pulsar will come in my front window, not my side or top window.  The full light pulse from the pulsar would only be visible through my side or top window if I was standing still.  When going at 99% of the speed of light, I'm going to be hitting most of the photons at right angles from the side.  It's like driving at high speed through rain.  If my windshield was broken, the rain would come into the car horizontally through the broken windshield.  It's true, but it's also irrelevant and meaningless to the experiment.  I'm still going to hit the same number of waterfalls, i.e., I'm still going to encounter the same number of pulses from the pulsar. 

I'd never before thought about hitting photons from the side.  I viewed a photon this way:
If you hit a photon from the side, would you be able to measure the oscillation  frequency of its electric and magnetic fields?   If so, then the photon cannot look like the image above.  And if it doesn't look like the image above, how would polarized lenses work?

That's why I sometimes really enjoy the discussions on sci.physics.relativity.  They make me think about things I've never thought about before.  Unfortunately, the people on that forum are generally incapable of explaining anything.  All they can do is recite what they learned in school or read somewhere.  To explain something you first have to have some understanding what you are explaining - even if it is wrong.  When all you know is what you memorized in school, then all you can do is recite what you memorized - over and over and over and over and over and over again. 

Comments for Sunday, August 8, 2021, thru Saturday, Aug. 14, 2021:

August 11, 2021 - As of this morning, 35 people have read my newest paper "Relativity's Fundamental Ideas" at    So far, no one has read the copy I installed at

For the past couple days I've been trying to discuss the paper via a discussion thread I started on the sci.physics.relativity forum.   As I stated in Monday's comment on this web site,
I didn't expect to get any intelligent discussion going about the paper, but it is a possibility, and it cannot happen unless I make people aware of my paper. 

The discussions that have resulted haven't been totally hostile.  Mostly they just treat me as some mental case who has to be pitied.  And then they argue among themselves about wording and whether it is worthwhile to respond to me at all.

All the benefits I get from the discussions come from my having to rephrase and explain things in different ways to counter their arguments.  When you explain something a dozen different ways, it really helps in your own understanding.  But for the other person, too often it seems like no explanation can work unless it is a word for word explanation that is identical to what they read in some textbook.  They do not understand the ideas at all.  They just understand the mathematics.

August 9, 2021
- There was an email from in my inbox this morning, time-stamped 8:38 PM last night, advising me that my latest science paper "Relativity's Fundamental Ideas" is now on line at this address:    As of 9 AM this morning, there were no accesses logged for the paper, but someone named "

Then I mentioned the paper on the sci.physics.relativity forum, getting an immediate response from a troll called "Dono" who merely posted this:

> snip cretinisms>
I don't expect to get any intelligent discussion going about the paper, but it is a possibility, and it cannot happen unless I make people aware of it.  The next step will be to advise some scientists about it, scientists who seem to have the right view about Relativity.  Then maybe I'll get to work on putting it all into a book.  

August 8, 2021
- I finally managed to finish that science paper that I had been working on for weeks (or was it months?).  The paper is titled "Relativity's Fundamental Ideas," and it ended up being only 8 pages long.  As I recall, it started out as an opening chapter for a book about "Logical Relativity."  It might also become that, but first it will be a science paper that I plan to put on on Monday.  As soon as that is done, I'll put it on  

It might also be the last paper I write, since it basically summarizes all that I have learned and written about in the past 6 years, beginning with my first paper "Time Dilation Re-visualized" which I finished on May 31, 2015.  The main idea comes from my paper "What is Time?" which I first put on-line on February 22, 2016.  And, of course, all of the ideas originated with Albert Einstein and his 1905 paper about Special Relativity.  As I see it, my paper merely simplifies Einstein's "fundamental ideas" from that 1905 paper.

The six fundamental ideas I describe in the paper are the same six I mentioned in my August 1 comment, except for some polishing I've done:
1.    Every atom is a tiny clock that creates time at its location.

2.    Light is the transmission of energy in the form of photons from one atom to another.

3.    Atoms emit photons at the speed of light, which is 299,792,458 meters per second.

4.    A second lengthens when speed and/or gravity increase for the emitting atom.

5.    A second shortens when speed and/or gravity decrease for the emitting atom.

6.    Nothing can go faster than photons emitted from the slowest moving atom.
The key "fundamental idea" is Idea #1, the realization that time is a property of atoms.  I'd really like to have a discussion about that, since it seems so obvious and undeniable.  The more I study these fundamental ideas, the more clear-cut they become.  The problem seems to be that most people cannot separate the idea of Time from life and observation and memory.  But Time also passes where there is no life.  Metal rusts, materials decay, atoms combine into molecules, etc.  The main problem seems to be that Quantum Mechanics mathematicians will never accept it, since they cannot quantize something that can slow down and speed up.  The fact that Quantum Mechanics cannot deal with Time Dilation is well known and the subject of many articles and papers.  I even found a book titled "The Problem of Time: Quantum Mechanics Versus General Relativity," but, of course, it says nothing of value in resolving the issue.  There's a web site HERE that examines Time from many different angles.  It says,
Clearly time is not an object or substance we can touch or see. But neither is it merely a dimension, quantity or a concept.
Is an atom "an object"?  Is an electron "an object"?  The web site doesn't specifically address that question, but I'd say yes.  And I say such an "object" can also be Time when you understand that it is not just one atom or electron, but ALL atoms and electrons.  We are built of tiny clocks which are Time and create Time as we know it.  I can find no source which views Time that way.  If there is an argument against atoms and particles being Time, I'd like to know what that argument is.  When I argued it on the Astrophysics and Physics Facebook group, the only counter argument was "Time is not a property of atoms and particles!"  Why not? They couldn't explain.  All they could do was state their opinions and make declarations.  That is not a counter-argument, since there is no reasoning behind it - other than that it disagrees with someone's beliefs.

Once the paper is on-line, I then plan to mention it on the sci.physics.relativity UseNet group.  I know they will just rant and rave and attack the paper and me with insults, declarations and opinions, but I don't know where else to discuss it.  And it might be interesting to see if any of the people on that forum can actually write something meaningful. 

As stated above, I previously discussed some of the fundamental ideas on the Astrophysics and Physics Facebook group, and those discussions were helpful and pleasant, but I don't think I can discuss an unpublished paper there.  Maybe I'll try contacting scientists who have written on the subject of Time.  All they need to do is answer one simple question:  Since we know that every atom and particle is a tiny clock, why can't Time be a property of atoms and particles?

Comments for Sunday, August 1, 2021, thru Saturday, Aug. 7, 2021:

August 5, 2021 - This morning as I performed my morning chores, I tried to access my web site and found that it did not exist. So, I've reached the end of an era.  The site was operational for 20 years.  And I maintained it on a nearly daily basis for 15 of those years.  I kept it active for the past 5 years just as a public service.  But when my web site host went out of business and sold everything to another host, I decided it was time to shut down my anthrax site.  I was paid up through August 4, apparently, so they shut it down sometime yesterday or this morning.  I didn't have to do anything except remove the link I had at the top of this site.  Here is part of the statistics I downloaded yesterday morning:

Final anthrax statistics

Note that the site was still getting about 250 visitors a day.  The vast bulk of those were probably search engines and robots, but it's still a good number.  A couple years ago it was still about 450 visitors per day. 
The anthrax conspiracy theorist web sites, of course, are still active.  One of them posted the following message dated July 29:

“Over 15 million Chinese have signed an open letter calling on the World Health Organization (WHO) to investigate the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick (USAMRIID). Published on July 17, the petition appealed to the WHO to investigate the lab and urged the U.S. to answer the call from people around the world.”
It doesn't appear to be about the anthrax attacks, however.  I think it's a different conspiracy theory which claims that the Covid-19 virus was created at Fort Detrick.  His last message about the anthrax attacks seems to have been posted on May 26.   I imagine that it is difficult to find things to say about the attacks after 20 years of posting nearly every day.

August 4, 2021 - I decided to give most of my collection of movie scripts to Goodwill.  I kept only the five sci-fi screenplays.  On my way home from the Goodwill location this afternoon, I finished listening to CD #26 in the 26-CD, 23-hour and 26 minute audio book version of "The Dark Side of Genius: The Life of Alfred Hitchcock" by Donald Spoto.

The Dark Side of Genius
Groan!  Each CD cost me about 15 cents, so burning 26 CDs cost me about $3.90!  I wasn't sure I'd want to listen to 23 hours of talk about Hitchcock, so I began by just burning the first 10 CDs, then when it looked like I'd get through all of those, I burned 7 more, and then when I was almost through with those, I burned the final 9.  Twenty-three and half hours!  That's a lot of time listening to the story of a man who the author basically describes as a total creep.  But, I'm a life-long movie fan, and it was interesting to read all the details about the making of such classic movies as North by Northwest, To Catch a Thief, Psycho, Dial M For Murder, Foreign Correspondent, Lifeboat, Rear Window, The Birds, The Lady Vanishes, The 39 Steps and dozens of others.  During the period of time that I was listening to the audio book, I watched North by Northwest, Rear Window, To Catch a Thief and Lifeboat again.

The picture on the cover of the book is a good one, since the book describes Hitchcock as an overweight, unattractive, grumpy guy who seemingly got great pleasure from watching women get assaulted.  He'd spend days storyboarding the assaults and setting up camera angles to get the greatest effect on the audience.  In The Birds, Teppi Hedrin had live birds tied to her blouse so that they could peck at her as she screamed, because fake birds just looked too fake.

Hitchcock was nominated for Best Director Academy Awards several times, but he never won.  He got a lot of "lifetime achievement" awards, however, and was even knighted by Queen Elizabeth four months before his death in 1980 at age 80.  All in all, it was an enjoyable book and worth every penny of the $3.90.    

August 3, 2021
- Groan!  Not only am I hung up on trying to write a book and a science paper, I'm also sitting and staring at my computer trying to think of a comment to write for this web site.  There are lots of things I want to write about, but I don't think anyone wants to read about how I recently bought Seasons 2, 3 and 4 of "Battlestar Galactica" and now I'm binge-watching Season 1, which I bought and last watched in April of 2009, so that I can get set up for Season 2 and the rest.  Would anyone find that interesting?  I bought used copies of Seasons 2, 3 and 4 for about $20 each at an FYE store in the mall where my gym is also located.  Yawn!

Or maybe I could write about how I need shelf space for my DVD collection, so I'm thinking of getting rid of my collection of movie screenplays.  It's not a large collection, but it contains some interesting movies.

                          screenplay collection

You can click on the image to see a larger version.  In case it is too difficult to see clearly, the screenplay at the top of the right stack is for "Ghost," the 1990 movie with Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore.   The stack on the left contains some issues of "Scenario," a now defunct monthly magazine that sold for $20 a copy and contained 4 screenplays in each issue.  One issue contains the screenplay for "His Girl Friday," the 1940 movie with Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell.  I didn't subscribe, and I don't remember where I got the copies.  Probably at Barnes & Noble.

I have DVD copies of most of the movies in the collection, and I don't really need the screenplays.  I just bought them because, about 20 years ago I was busy writing screenplays, and I bought screenplays for my favorite movies to study them. I even had an agent in Hollywood, but he was never able to sell anything of mine.

I was thinking of giving the screenplay collection to Goodwill.  I suppose it's possible that someone might want to buy the collection, but the only place I have to advertise them is here.  Maybe I'll mention them on the Science Fiction Facebook group.  Aliens, Alien III, Predator, Tremors, and Star Trek IV are definitely classic sci-fi movies.  I'm not sure that they'll allow me to write a comment that is basically a sales pitch.  But, if I can get around that problem, it might be interesting to see the comments.

August 1, 2021
- Sigh!  On Friday I started working on my new science paper again, and things seemed to go fairly well.  But on Saturday morning I realized I was going about things in the wrong way once again.  The paper was tentatively titled "Relativity's Fundamental Ideas."  One problem I had was that I didn't like the word "ideas."  I want to use the word "facts."  But using the word "facts" will just generate arguments from people who feel the "facts" have not been sufficiently established as being "facts."

Another problem I had was that I could not figure out the order of the ideas, i.e., the order in which they would they best be presented.  I'd already changed the order dozens of time, and on Saturday I saw that the latest order still wasn't right.  But I also realized that I shouldn't be presenting the "ideas" one by one, discussing each before moving on to the next idea.  I should present all of the ideas before discussing how they work together.  As of this moment, there are just 6 ideas:
1.    Every atom is a tiny clock that creates time at its location.
2.    Light is the transmission of photon energy from one atom to another.
3.    Atoms emit photons at the speed of light, which is 299,792,458 meters per local second.
4.    A second lengthens when speed and/or gravity increase for the emitting atom.
5.    A second shortens when speed and/or gravity decrease for the emitting atom.
6.    Nothing can go faster than photons from the slowest moving atom.
A clock second, of course, has no natural meaning.  It is purely a man-made idea.  According to one on-line source:
The Persian scholar Al-Biruni first used the term "second" around 1000. He defined it—as well as the day, hour, and minute—as fractions according to the lunar cycle. The first mechanical clocks to mark the second appeared in the 1500s, and in 1644 French mathematician Marin Mersenne used a pendulum to define the second for the first time, leading to the international adoption of grandfather clocks by the end of the 17th century. In the 19th century, scientific institutions worked to define the second in astronomical terms, and in the 1940s an international agreement defined the second as 1⁄86,400 of a mean solar day.
So, I need to explain how atoms create time, which allows humans to measure time.  Einstein explained how the oscillation rate for electrons slows when the electron moves.  That is, in effect, slowing down time as measured by the clock that is the electron.  Einstein also explained that electrons gain mass when they move, and that is why their oscillation rate slows down and causes time to slow down.  But how does gravity slow down an electron's oscillation rate?  If you view gravity as equal to acceleration, then it is like motion, just not like constant motion.  I can visualize an electron gaining mass just because it is near some massive object, but is being kept from falling into the object, which would eliminate that added mass.  But I'm not sure how to describe it.  And that means I'll probably try describing it, decide that I didn't describe it in the best way, and I'll then start over again.  Hopefully, I won't spend the rest of my life on it.

© 2021 by Ed Lake