Archive for
February 2022

Comments for Sunday, February 20, 2022, thru Mon., Feb. 28, 2022:

February 27, 2022
- Hmm.  Yesterday, I was about to stick my old laptop computer in a closet when I decided to try one last time to turn it on and log into it.  I didn't just shut the lid the last time I tried using it, I also turned it off.  So, this time I had to turn it on after opening the lid.  When I did so, it rebooted/restarted.  I suddenly realized: That meant that the hard drive was working properly!  The only problem was the keyboard.  When the computer presented the log-in screen, I just touched the shift key on the keyboard and the password box filled with dots. There was still no way to type in a password.

I called a local computer repair service, but their tech guy wanted me to become a "client" who paid them a sign-up fee and $59 per month.  Talking with that expert, however, confirmed for me that the only problem was with my keyboard.  He mentioned that I might be able to buy a new keyboard which I can connect to my computer via a USB port.  Yesterday, that's what I did and PRESTO!!! I was able to log in and access everything on my old computer once again!  And I can also access my emails at detect at outlook dot com once again.  

Before all that happened, I had purchased a new CD burner for my new computer.  When I opened the box I found a small instruction sheet that had a lot of warranty information and one sentence of instructions:  "Insert instruction CD to read instructions."   I was looking for instructions on how to connect it, and you have to connect it to read the instructions!  But, it turned out that all I had to do was connect it to a USB port on my PC via the connector cord that came with it, and it worked just fine, just like the burner/player that was built into my old computer.  And of course, now that my old computer works just fine, I no longer need the CD burner I just bought. 

The audio book I'm currently listening to via the CD player in my car is "Mick Nichols: A Life" by Mike Harris.  I'd "borrowed" it from my library in April of 2021.  I'm currently listening to CD #3. 
I wasn't sure it would be interesting, and it's a 17-CD book, so I had only burned the first 5 CDs.  Using my new CD burner and my backup hard-drive, I burned CD #6, #7 and #8.  Everything worked just as they did on my old computer.

So, it seems I may just have a few minor problems to work through, and then I'll be able to get back to work on my new book, "Logical Relativity."

Buying that new computer wasn't a mistake.  I definitely need to have a backup computer, and I definitely need to make sure all my files are properly backed up - including the emails I want to keep. 

February 24, 2022 - Wow!  I'm still trying to recover from the loss of the computer I'd been using for at least 10 years.  I had to buy a new copy of Microsoft WORD so that I could work on my book again on my new computer.  I still haven't been able to access my detect at outlook dot com email account.  Everything seems to work differently on my new computer.  And some things will clearly never be the same again.  I think it is because smartphones are the new "normal" for personal computers.

When I was shopping for a new computer, the most memory they had in any computer was 8 GB and the most disc storage they had was 256 GB. I think my old computer had at least 10 times as much memory and maybe a hundred times as much storage.  Plus, my old screen was 1920x1080.  My new screen is 1366x768.

My old computer also had a CD burner that I used to burn audio books onto CDs so that I could listen to them in my car.  My new computer doesn't have a CD burner, and my OLD-OLD computer (which cannot even access the Internet because it still uses Windows XP and doesn't have enough memory to load any new version of Windows) cannot burn CDs that have MP3 files that are over about 70 minutes in length.  So, it looks like I'll need to buy a separate CD burner. 

But there's another problem: My library no longer provides the ability to burn CDs for audio books.  They no longer provide audio books in MP3 format, so I can't put them on my MP3 player either.  All you can do is listen to audio books on your computer - or on your smartphone, if you have one.  I don't.  So, instead of listening to audio books, it appears I'll be listening to podcasts burned onto CDs.  I seem to be the only person in the world who doesn't have a smartphone.  I still use a Tracfone that flips open and doesn't connect to any cellphone towers.  I carry it only for emergencies.  And when I do that there's a problem because it's not traceable, which means the police view any calls from it as "suspicious".

It's a rapidly changing world, and I'm clearly not changing with it.  But, there were great advantages to the "old way."  When an audio book became available at the library, I could download it into my MP3 player and it would remain there until I had time to listen to it.  I've probably got a dozen audio books in my MP3 player that I haven't yet listened to.  The book I'm currently listening to, I probably borrowed a month or more ago.  With the "new way," it's like borrowing a hardcover book.  You can have it for two weeks, and then you'll be fined if you haven't returned it or renewed the loan. 

And the same is  now true for digital books for a Kindle.  You borrow the book and if you do not "return it" in two weeks you are fined.  With my very old Kindle, you never return anything.  I've got over 300 books in my Kindle.  However, as of this week there's just no way that I can borrow any digital books for my Kindle anymore.

I definitely prefer "the old way."

February 22, 2022
- On Thursday of last week, as I was shutting down my computer after routine Internet browsing, I spilled Pepsi on my computer keyboard.  I wiped it off, but the next morning I couldn't log into my computer.  I took it to Best Buy, but the folks there said there wasn't anything they could do.  It was a 15-year old computer.

So, I ended up buying a new computer.  Fortunately, I do full backups on the first of every month, and I'd done a backup of the WORD files for my new book just two days before, so all I lost from that was what I had typed on Thursday.

But, I also lost all the applications I'd been using, such as Microsoft WORD, OpenOffice, Firefox, etc.   I also lost access to my email account for detect at outlook dot com.  Regaining access to that account turned out to be real problem, since outlook wants you to go through their automated procedures, and if you guess wrong about what password to use, they assume you are a hacker.  I guessed wrong, and now I'm trying to get some person at outlook [Microsoft] to help me.

Comments for Sunday, February 13, 2022, thru Sat., Feb. 19, 2022:

February 15, 2022
- While pulling into the parking lot at my gym this afternoon, I finished listening to CD #14 of the 14-CD audio book version of "Churchill's Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare" by Giles Milton.  An excellent book.

Churchills Ministry

While it's definitely a non-fiction book about World War II, it sometimes reads like a novel, since it describes incredible adventure after incredible adventure as Churchill's small band of guerillas and saboteurs perform one spectacular attack after another against the German war machine.  I think some of the adventures were turned into movies, although the book makes no mention of that.  Ian Fleming, the author of the James Bond novels, was a member of the group, and Fleming supposedly based his character Miss Moneypenny on a woman, Joan Bright, whom he dated and who also worked in the group.

Most interesting to me was how the British military initially disapproved of such an organization because sneak attacks were "ungentlemanly," and that was still the prevailing attitude when the war ended, despite all the accomplishments by the group.  
Another very interesting part of the book is how the group invented incredible devices to help them in their work.  Here's a quote from the book:

They also produced a prototype anti-tank grenade that was a triumph of homespun engineering. The Sticky Bomb was invented for a specific purpose: to knock out German tanks as they thundered through the Kent countryside. It consisted of a glass flask filled with nitro-glycerine. This was then wrapped in a sleeve (to prevent it from fragmenting on impact) and coated in toffee-like glue. The glue was a unique concoction created by Mr Hartley, the chief chemist at a Stockport-based chemical manufacturer called Kay Brothers.

The Sticky Bomb was thrown by means of a glue-free handle. On hitting the target, the glass shattered inside the sleeve and fused the nitro-glycerine to the tank. It then exploded, creating a deadly inward blast that flung high-velocity shrapnel into the interior of the tank.

A prototype of the bomb mistakenly found its way to the Ordnance Board, whose officers expressed revulsion that such a dirty weapon could have been conceived by a civilized human being. They told Macrae that it ‘broke all the rules of the game and just could not be permitted’.

The group also invented "Limpet mines" which have magnets that a swimmer can attach to the side of an enemy ship below the waterline and blow a hole in the ship. They invented the Hedgehog depth charge, which were much smaller and cheaper than ordinary depth charges but didn't explode unless they hit something metal. So, destroyers could launch two dozen or more at a time, spread them over a large area, and when there was an explosion they knew they'd just sunk a submarine.  With regular depth charges, every depth charge exploded and you didn't know if you actually hit anything until debris floated to the surface. They invented a form of carborundum that they could smear on the wheels of German train cars, and when the train cars started to move, the carborundum would grind the wheels to a stop in such a way that they couldn't be fixed.
When The United States entered the war, we saw the kind of damage such a small group could do, and we created the OSS, the office of Strategic Services to do more of the same kinds of things to the Germans and the Japanese.  After the war, the OSS became the CIA, which is still around today.

Interesting stuff.  I highly recommend the book

February 14, 2022
- Groan!  I regret writing yesterday's comment.  I wrote it while trying to organize my thoughts about five years worth of emails between me and a scientist who doesn't believe in Time Dilation.  I wrote about the Lorentz Invariants, which is a key issue with that particular scientist.  But, when researching the topic yesterday afternoon, I find it's not much of an issue at all in physics textbooks.

The point of departure between Einstein and scientists like the one I've been exchanging emails with seems to be the lack of an agreed upon "preferred frame of reference."  Mathematicians need some object to measure all speeds against.  Einstein said you can use the speed of light to measure all other speed against.  The speed of light is the fastest possible speed in our universe, and therefore all other speeds are relative to the speed of light, i.e., they are a fraction of the speed of light.

But mathematicians cannot accept that.  They require an object to measure speeds against.  That is why the ether (aether) was dreamed up by mathematicians.  Without an ether, to mathematicians all speeds become relative, i,e., if I am moving at 50 mph relative to you, you are also moving at 50 mph relative to me. 

The first physics textbook I looked at yesterday was "The Fascination of Physics" by Jacqueline D. Spears & Dean Zollman.  The entire book is on-line HERE.  It says in Chapter 4, starting on page 60:
Suppose you are driving past a sign advertising hamburgers.  Light travels from the sign to you as you move along....  Suppose your speed relative to the earth is 20 m/s. [meters per second].  The speed of light relative to the earth is about 300,000,000 m/s.  Using the concept of relative speeds and velocities, we would expect the speed of light relative to you to be 300,000,000 m/s + 20 m/s, or 300,000,020 m/s, as you approach the sign.  If you pass the sign and move away from it, then we would expect the speed of light relative to you to be 300,000,000 m/s - 20 m/s, or 299,999,980 m/s.  If you decrease your speed to 10 m/s, the expected speed of light relative to you would be 300,000,010 m/s as you move toward the sign and 299,999,990 m/s as you move away from it.  We expect the speed of light relative to ourselves to depend upon our motion.  As we shall see, these expectations are contradicted by experiments.
The book then briefly describes just one experiment, the Michelson-Morley experiment.  And then, according to page 61 of the textbook (with my highlighting),
"but the Michelson-Morley experiment tells us that the speed of light is always 300,000,000 m/s, regardless of the observer's motion.  In terms of our example, light travels toward us at the same speed whether we are standing still or moving toward or away from the hamburger sign.  The speed of light is independent of the observer's motion.

By assuming that the speed of light is constant in all reference frames, the special theory of relativity offers us a solution to the apparent contradictions posed by the Michelson-Morley experiment.  It begins with just two postulates:

1. The principles of physics are the same in all reference frames moving at a constant velocity relative to one another.

2. The speed of light in a vacuum is the same value regardless of the motion of the observer relative to the speed of light.
That is definitely NOT Einstein's Second Postulate.  And, the Michelson-Morley experiment did NOT tell "us that the speed of light is always 300,000,000 m/s, regardless of the observer's motion." It told us that there is no ether to measure speeds against.

Albert Michelson followed up on that experiment with the Michelson-Gale experiment which clarified the issue.  The Michelson-Gale experiment showed that c+v and c-v are possible, just as in the Sagnac effect. Light will hit a moving observer at c+v or c-v depending upon how the observer is moving relative to the oncoming light.

So, the point of departure between Einstein and mathematicians seems to be the mathematicians' need for an object to measure speed against.  The cited textbook undeniably says that without an ether to measure the speed of light against, the speed of light is the same value for all observers.  It's total lunacy!  Radar guns show that it is wrong!  The Sagnac effect shows that it is wrong.  Reflections off of mirrors on the moon show that it is wrong.  Other experiments show that is wrong.

But it is what the cited textbook teaches, and it is what many other textbooks teach.  And, those textbooks illustrate the widening gap between reality and mathematics, clarifying what Einstein meant when he said

Einstein quote

February 13, 2022
- I've pretty much completed the first draft of the first part of my new book, Logical Relativity, in which I describe my understanding of Einstein's Relativity.  That means I've reached the point where I have to start the second part of the book, the part in which I describe the 115-year-old conflict between Einstein and Mathematicians and how it still affects things today.

For over five years I've been exchanging emails with a physicist-mathematician who has been willing to answer my questions, and with whom I sometimes agree but more often disagree.  For the past few days I've been putting all those emails into a WORD file so that they can be more easily searched and studied.  The file contains 102 emails, about half from me and half from the scientist. 

I first contacted him about 5 years ago because he'd written something very interesting in a paper that I'd come across, and it seemed we were in total agreement about Einstein's Special Relativity.  But it wasn't long before he informed me that he totally disagreed with Einstein and didn't accept the idea of Time Dilation at all.  He stated that just 3 days after my first email.  

Somehow I forgot about that critical point as we continued to argue.  I found it again last week as I assembled all of our emails.  And I found another point which seems to explain why he doesn't accept the idea of Time Dilation.  His beliefs are based upon his understanding of "Lorentz Invariance."  Until I came across his mention of it while digging through our emails, I evidently didn't have the slightest idea what the term meant. I viewed it as just another mathematical term that he constantly used in his arguments, most of which I didn't bother to decipher.  Finding his mention of the term while sorting through his emails last week, however, caused me to research it. 

Hendrik Antoon Lorentz was a Dutch physicist who shared a Nobel Prize in 1902 with another physicist, but also who wrote two papers in 1899 and 1904 which mentioned many of the same things that Einstein wrote about in 1905 in his paper about Special Relativity.  In fact, on page 19 of his paper, Einstein mentions "the electromagnetic basis of the Lorentzian electrodynamics and optics of moving bodies."  

It is difficult to find a clear and official definition, but Lorentz Invariants are evidently quantities which will measure to be the same in any two inertial systems, even if one system is "stationary" and the other is moving at very high speeds.  Examples:

1.  The electrical charge of a particle.
2.  The speed of light.
3.  The mass of an elementary particle.
4.  The spacetime interval between any two points in Minkowski spacetime

So, at first glance, Einstein and Lorentz appear to have been in general agreement on these factors, but it was Einstein who first spelled out the idea of Time Dilation in his Theory of Special Relativity.  That theory was first called "The Lorentz-Einstein Theory." 

The mathematican-physicist with whom I was exchanging emails appears to have interpreted "Lorentz Invariants" as being measurements that are truly the same in different inertial systems moving at different speeds.   In other words, Time does not vary depending upon speed.  That's why the Lorentz measurements are "invariants."  But, according to Einstein, all of the Lorentz Invariants are simply quantities which will measure to be the same in different inertial systems moving at different speeds and therefore experiencing different rates of time, but will actually be different if you could somehow see into both systems at the same time.

Wow!  That appears to be where Einstein and mathematicians began moving in different directions.  Scientists followed the facts and experiments which confirmed Einstein's Theories, and mathematicians followed the math as described by Lorentz.  And, according to the mathematician I've been arguing with for over five years, that means that when photons from a stationary radar gun hit a moving car, they do not hit at c+v, they hit at a different c.  The car is a different reference frame in which the speed of light has a different value!

Over the years I've had dozens of arguments on the sci.physics.relativity discussion forum where I've been told that there is no such thing as c+v.  It is just a "closing speed," which to them has some special meaning.  I'll have to dig through those discussions to see if anyone explains why there is no such thing as c+v. 

The impression I have at the moment is that Hendrik Lorentz presented a mathematician's view of "the laws of electrodynamics and optics" in his papers, a view which simply says light travels at different speeds in different "frames of reference" without affecting how light is measured in those different frames of reference.  Einstein then produced his view which said that light is emitted at 299,792,458 meters per second in the emitter's frame of reference, regardless of how fast the emitter is moving, but the length of a second will vary when the emitters are moving at different speeds.  He also mentions what an observer will measure, but does so by explaining that the speed of the observer toward an emitter increases the energy of the light that is observed (just as is demonstrated by radar guns) until "It follows from these results that to an observer approaching a source of light with the velocity c, this source of light must appear of infinite intensity."

I apologize if all this is too complicated, but I haven't yet figured out how to uncomplicate it.  I'll definitely try to do that in Chapter 10 of my book, a chapter which is tentatively titled "Einstein versus Lorentz."  But first I need to search through the dozens of college physics textbooks I have to see what they say about Lorentz and the "Lorentz Invariants."

Comments for Sunday, February 6, 2022, thru Sat., Feb. 12, 2022:

February 9, 2022 - After I finished writing Sunday's comment about how difficult it was for me to watch Donald Trump on the news, talking to a crowd of his supporters about how the election was stolen from him, I started thinking about what might happen if Trump ran for President again in 2024 and got elected.  Would he insist that schools teach how the 2020 election was stolen from him, and why he believes the whole election process is corrupt - except for when he wins?  Of course he would.

Fortunately, I didn't think about that for too long.  Yesterday I contacted a scientist who I had exchanged emails with in 2016, 2017, 2019 and 2020.  I sent him a description of "The Einstein Radar Gun Experiment" I described here on December 27 and asked him what he thought of it.

Einstein radar gun experiment

Somehow, that resulted in our discussing "The Doppler Effect."  And I saw that I need to explain in my new book how "The Doppler Effect" is very different for light than it is for sound:

1.  The Doppler Effect is about sound waves moving through a medium, like air or water.  Sound cannot travel through a vacuum.

2.  Light consists of photons, not waves.  The wave effect results from a photon's oscillating electric and magnetic fields.  Photons travel fastest through a vacuum.  Air and water are an obstacle course for photons.

3.  The Doppler Effect also about how sound waves appear closer together when the source is moving toward you and farther apart when the source is moving away.  Additionally, the sound waves seem closer together when you are moving toward the source, and farther apart when you are moving away from the source. 

4. There is no Doppler Effect for light when the source of the light is moving toward you.  There is only a Doppler Effect for light when you are moving toward the source of the light.  That is what Einstein's Second Postulate says.

The scientist and I agree on that last point.  That is why I contacted him in the first place back in 2017.  Unfortunately, most college physics textbooks disagree with us.  And that is what my new book is all about - how facts and evidence show we are right and the textbooks are wrong.

February 6, 2022
- It's difficult to watch Donald Trump on the news, talking to a crowd of his supporters about how the election was somehow stolen from him, without being both amazed and appalled that so many people just sit there and nod in agreement.  It's got to be one of the dumbest and most unbelievable conspiracy theories of all time, and yet there they proudly sit, nod, cheer and listen.

The late night talk show hosts sometimes send reporters out to talk to Trump  supporters, particularly Trevor Noah on The Daily Show on the Comedy Central network.  It's fascinating how proud Trump supporters are to accept everything he says as the truth, while also getting very mad and walking away if they are questioned on the logic of their beliefs.  In that way they're no different from Flat Earthers.  They accept total nonsense as being true, and they get angry if anyone tries to discuss facts and evidence with them to show them that what they believe is total nonsense.

It would really be funny if it wasn't so scary.  As they work to overthrow the legitimately elected President of the  United States, they also openly work to prevent those who disagree with them from being able to vote in future elections.

As I work on my new book, I cannot help but see similarities between how Trump supporters think and how many mathematicians think.  Logic and facts have no meaning to them.  Only their beliefs matter.  And if you challenge their beliefs, they view it as a personal attack and they respond with vicious personal attacks.  The weirdest part of it is that they do not even agree with each other.  Each seems to have his own theory and his own beliefs. 

Every morning, as part of my daily routine, I check to see what is being discussed on the sci.physics.relativity forum.  Virtually every thread is a heated argument of some kind, usually based upon mathematics.  On December 13 of last year, someone started another argument claiming that the moon landings were faked.  Looking through the 154 posts in the thread, it seems that about 85% of the people on the forum disagree and accept that the moon landings were real.  But 15% agree that the landings were faked.

I haven't posted anything on that forum in many months.  Since I know what the responses will be, there seems no purpose in posting anything there, unless I want to see if they have anything new to say.  They usually don't.  When I finish my new book, though, I'll definitely tell them where they can buy it.  I have to assume that there are people who just read the forum for amusement and do not participate in the arguments.  They might find the book to be interesting.

I'm currently working on Chapter 8, which could be 15 pages or so, the longest chapter in the book so far.  I also think it may be the last chapter before I start discussing the beliefs of the mathematicians who disagree with Einstein but claim they do not as they distort everything Einstein wrote in order to make it conform to their beliefs.  Here's what the Table of Contents looks like as of this morning:
Introduction                                Page   1
Chapter  1  -  What is Time?                Page   3
Chapter  2  -  Time Dilation                Page   7
Chapter  3  -  The Twin Paradox             Page  12
Chapter  4  -  Relative Time                Page  19
Chapter  5  -  What is Light?               Page  23
Chapter  6  -  The Variable Speed of Light  Page  31
Chapter  7  -  The Big Bang                 Page  36
Chapter  8  -  Radar Guns and Relativity    Page  47
Chapter  9  -  Logic vs Mathematics         Page 

Comments for Tuesday, February 1, 2022, thru Sat., Feb. 5, 2022:

February 4, 2022 - I'm making good progress on my new book, Logical Relativity.  I'm about to start on Chapter 7, which begins on page 36.  That means that, when taking into account the 2 page introduction, the typical chapter in the book is just 5 or 6 pages long.  I don't know if that means what I've written so far will eventually just turn into an outline, or if it means the complete book will be only about 70 pages long - or 100.

It's certainly taking all of my time between breakfast and supper, except for lunch and going to the gym.  In the evenings I still think about the book, but I don't actually sit at my computer and work on it.  I need the time off to organize my thoughts and to think about things I need to add or change.

I'm not sure what Chapter 7 will be about, but if it is about the Big Bang, this is what the Table of Contents will look like:
Introduction                                                      Page   1
Chapter 1   -    What is Time?                          Page   3
Chapter 2   -    Time Dilation                            Page   7
Chapter 3   -    The Twin Paradox                    Page 12
Chapter 4   -    Relative Time                           Page 19
Chapter 5   -    What is Light?                          Page 23
Chapter 6   -    The Variable Speed of Light    Page  31
Chapter 7  -     The Big Bang                           Page 36

Or I might decide I need a new Chapter 2 - or 3 - or 4.  Time will tell.

February 1, 2022
- I'm making some progress on my new book, Logical Relativity.  I'm currently working on Chapter 3, but, after the 2 page Introduction, Chapter 1 is only 4 pages long, Chapter 2 is only 5 pages long, and Chapter 3 is only 7 pages long.  So, I'm only on page 18.
  But I like very much what I have so far.

The problem is: I don't have a plan or outline.  But each chapter is based upon one of my science papers, so the next chapter will undoubtedly also be about what's in another paper.  What is in one chapter kind of leads into what's in the next chapter.  Here are the first 3 chapter titles:
1.  What is Time?
2.  Time Dilation
3.  The Twin Paradox
Chapter 4 will probably have something to do with light and the speed of light - if I don't find that I need another chapter about time.  Then I'll get into writing about the Big Bang.  Then maybe particle-wave duality or the Double-Slit experiment.

And then, after I've exhausted all the subjects in all my papers, I'll start writing about the arguments from mathematicians and other naysayers.

At least that's the plan.  Maybe somewhere along the line I'll create an outline for the remainder of the book, but right now I like working without an outline.  Or maybe the first draft of the book will turn into a detailed outline and I'll have to fit a lot off additional information into what I already have.  Or maybe I'll get a new idea that I hadn't written about before, and I'll have to figure out where it fits in the book.

I could probably write a lot more about what I'm doing and what I'm planning, but every minute I spend on writing a comment for this web site is a minute I could be spending working on the book.   


© 2022 by Ed Lake