# The Naked Scientists Forum

### Author Topic: Is distance an absolute invariant?  (Read 16325 times)

#### timey

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##### Re: Is distance an absolute invariant?
« Reply #75 on: 03/02/2016 20:32:52 »
Please do not misunderstand me and think that I cannot perceive or visualise what General Relativity is describing.  Or that I have not understood how General Relativity fits to experiment and observation.
that was not my intention.
I was confining my comments to SR because I was looking for a way to explain length contraction to The Box. He is obviously struggling with the link given to him hence the title he gave to this topic.

Colin.  No problem, in fact I think my post was just a symptom of my frustration at my inability to find anyone willing to undertake a 'progressive' discussion with me regarding GR.

When taking on board the difference between a length and a distance, by the remit of SR, a length in a reference frame that is accelerated relative to another, will appear contracted to the observer in the non-accelerated reference frame.  The observer on the length in the accelerated reference frame does not experience a contraction of his crafts length, and will instead experience a contracting of the distance he is travelling relative to what the observer in the non-accelerated reference frame observes of the lengths accelerated reference frames journey.
Finally, the lengths accelerated reference frames rate of time is running slower relative to the non accelerated frames rate of time.

Dispensing with the SR considerations for a moment, the observer in the non-accelerated reference frame is also viewing the length and its accelerated reference frame travelling through changes in the gravitational field.  These changes in the gravitational field also elicit changes in the rate of time that a clock runs at.  We have tested this theory by placing clocks in all manner of elevation, and measuring by how much faster they run relative to a clock at ground level.  (NIST atomic clock ground level relativity experiments 2010)... Even back in Einstein's day, it was known that a pendulum has a shorter swing up a mountain, than in the valley.

***Therefore, and based upon this sole observation I do believe, it has been decided that a gravity field slows time down.  And that the rate of time runs faster out in space.***

So the observer in the non-accelerated reference frame, observing the accelerated reference frame is also viewing the length in the accelerated reference frame travelling through a gravitationally induced change, or changes, in the rate of time of its locality.

According to GR, if light travels at the speed of light across units of distance experiencing local changes in the gravitational field, and therefore is experiencing changes in the rate of time over these units of distance experiencing changes in the gravitational field, and GR does not take these local changes in the rate of time into account, then distance does indeed become a variable.  It stretches!

Clearly the GR field equation's do also include these changes in the local rate of time into the mix to account for this stretching of distance that would otherwise occur.

Space Flow:  I notice that you have a notion that these distortions 'may' be a factor of our viewpoint.  I agree!  If you think about rates of time that are occurring faster, or slower, relative to our own, it could be that we quite simply are observing a lesser percentage of the light from the local of that reference frame as a result.

#### Space Flow

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##### Re: Is distance an absolute invariant?
« Reply #76 on: 03/02/2016 21:02:39 »
Space Flow:  I notice that you have a notion that these distortions 'may' be a factor of our viewpoint.  I agree!  If you think about rates of time that are occurring faster, or slower, relative to our own, it could be that we quite simply are observing a lesser percentage of the light from the local of that reference frame as a result.
Timey, I'm in limbo as to what I think about the entire situation.
I have always felt reasonably comfortable with my Understanding of Relativity and its effects.
And yet I can not now shake this doubt, as I can not see a way of disproving that most of the effect we are attributing to Time Dilation and Length Contraction is illusionary, because of the limited speed of information transfer.
At the same time I fully acknowledge that time dilation has been locally fully proven to exist and behaves as the mathematics predicts.
Given all that, I have to conclude that the problem is in fact in my head and probably not real.
I would just like to either see or be shown where my thinking is being derailed.
I hate these doubts.

#### Thebox

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##### Re: Is distance an absolute invariant?
« Reply #77 on: 03/02/2016 21:15:11 »

At the same time I fully acknowledge that time dilation has been locally fully proven to exist and behaves as the mathematics predicts.
Given all that, I have to conclude that the problem is in fact in my head and probably not real.
I would just like to either see or be shown where my thinking is being derailed.
I hate these doubts.

That is because timing is not time. There is a timing dilation which behaves as predicted, but not a time dilation.

An observer on Volcan times your journey, he times you had a faster speed and arrived faster than your own time that was recording your speed.

Clock A - 1000 mph

Clock B - 999 mph

added - just in case you don't get that , imagine a 1000 mile distance

your clock records one hour to travel the distance , 1000 mph

the clock at the destination records 1 hour and 10 mins for your arrival

so the destination records a slower speed of your spaceship

« Last Edit: 03/02/2016 21:42:42 by Thebox »

#### timey

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##### Re: Is distance an absolute invariant?
« Reply #78 on: 03/02/2016 21:21:23 »
Yes Space Flow, (chuckle)  I truly know the feeling!  Have you read 'The Trouble with Physics' Lee Smolin?

You say about the speed of information transfer... If distance does not shrink or stretch, and the speed of light stays constant, but the rate of time that light travels through is quicker or slower, there lies the possibility that information transfer is 'not' reliant upon the speed of light, but the rate of time light travels through, as well as the possibility that as a result of frames of time being longer or shorter than our own, perhaps being unable to view a percentage of that frames light.
« Last Edit: 03/02/2016 21:24:11 by timey »

#### Space Flow

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##### Re: Is distance an absolute invariant?
« Reply #79 on: 03/02/2016 21:53:19 »
That is because timing is not time. There is a timing dilation which behaves as predicted, but not a time dilation.
Please understand that I have heard you make this claim countless times now, and I still don't see it as any kind of logic I can follow.
Timing is just a way to measure the flow rate of time.
The flow rate of time itself is what changes. What you use to measure the flow rate of time is just a way of tracking what the flow rate is doing compared with a different reference frame.
Timing as you say is not time. It is our only means of observing what time does.
If an atomic process has a certain half life, and by changing its environmental parameters we can show that this half life can be changed, then time is shown to have changed its rate within and because of the changes.
So unless you can logically make your point of view agree with the observations obtained experimentally or otherwise, or you can offer another logical explanation as to why these observations are consistently made, you can not expect to be taken seriously.

Timey, I have an appointment with my surgeon today but will delve further into your comment later.

#### Thebox

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##### Re: Is distance an absolute invariant?
« Reply #80 on: 03/02/2016 22:00:52 »
That is because timing is not time. There is a timing dilation which behaves as predicted, but not a time dilation.
Please understand that I have heard you make this claim countless times now, and I still don't see it as any kind of logic I can follow.
Timing is just a way to measure the flow rate of time.
The flow rate of time itself is what changes. What you use to measure the flow rate of time is just a way of tracking what the flow rate is doing compared with a different reference frame.
Timing as you say is not time. It is our only means of observing what time does.
If an atomic process has a certain half life, and by changing its environmental parameters we can show that this half life can be changed, then time is shown to have changed its rate within and because of the changes.
So unless you can logically make your point of view agree with the observations obtained experimentally or otherwise, or you can offer another logical explanation as to why these observations are consistently made, you can not expect to be taken seriously.

Timey, I have an appointment with my surgeon today but will delve further into your comment later.

''The flow rate of time itself is what changes. ''

Time has no flow rate , ligth has a flow rate, a caesium clock has a flow rate, but time has no flow rate because time does not move , the value is zero, anything after zero is history, you are all deeply confused , seriously . The stationary reference frame is the zero  of space , everything else including light moves relativetly to this,

« Last Edit: 03/02/2016 22:03:29 by Thebox »

#### Space Flow

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##### Re: Is distance an absolute invariant?
« Reply #81 on: 04/02/2016 03:38:12 »
Time has no flow rate , ligth has a flow rate, a caesium clock has a flow rate, but time has no flow rate because time does not move , the value is zero, anything after zero is history, you are all deeply confused , seriously . The stationary reference frame is the zero  of space , everything else including light moves relativetly to this,
Thebox, for all I know you could well be the modern day Einstein. I have no way of judging.
But when you make an extraordinary statement like that, to be given any credibility in any circle you have to back it up with extraordinary evidence. You see what you state is not only not supported by observational and experimental evidence, it is in fact diametrically opposed by it.
That does not automatically disqualify a new perspective, if that perspective can give adequate explanation for the data so far collected.
You just saying that this is the way it is, is neither extraordinary evidence in support of your point of view, or an adequate alternative explanation for observational and experimental evidence that clearly says you are wrong.
To agree with you in any way whatsoever under those conditions is not only a denial of the scientific method, but is totally illogical on any level.
You, believe it or not, have not earned the right to tell science how things work and have it taken as fact just on your word alone.
So unless you can do all of the above, your ideas are something worth dissection in a beer garden after a large number of beers. After several such sessions you may start to have something that would form the beginnings of a hypothesis, if you can meet the above mentioned criteria.
If you can ever get that far, you could then look at producing a testable prediction that would support your view and not support the current one. Then you could call it a theory.
As it stands it is illogical drivel.

#### Space Flow

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##### Re: Is distance an absolute invariant?
« Reply #82 on: 04/02/2016 04:06:04 »
If distance does not shrink or stretch, and the speed of light stays constant, but the rate of time that light travels through is quicker or slower, there lies the possibility that information transfer is 'not' reliant upon the speed of light, but the rate of time light travels through, as well as the possibility that as a result of frames of time being longer or shorter than our own, perhaps being unable to view a percentage of that frames light.
Again an interesting speculation. Yet again another non testable idea. With all our information coming to us by light, and light no matter how we measure it always displaying the one speed, there is no way to know if it has gone through regions that this speed was different. For whatever reasons. We think we understand how some things work, but can we be sure?
For example we talk about what will be seen by someone on Earth watching a spaceship accelerate to almost the speed of light in terms of time dilation and length contraction. What about the fact that the redshift of such an image will tell us that the ship we are watching is moving through to billions of years into the past. Is that not how we measure distance to the extremes of our observable Universe, by redshift?
When that ship approaches light speed it will also be observed by redshift to be 13+ billion light years away. How come no one talks about that?
We are a long way from a proper understanding of everything.
We have some very elegant equations that seem to make part sense of things close to us (with a bit of normalisation here and there), and we are clever enough to make some projections from this knowledge into the rest of the observable Universe and beyond.
We always have to remember that any projection we make that we can't directly test, is open to being wrong no matter how high the probability that it's right.
Therefore the door remains open for us to speculate. You, Me, Thebox, and anyone else that wants to have a go, could well turn out to be right. It's not likely, but it's not impossible either.
History says that a lot of human advancement has come from unexpected places.

#### Space Flow

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##### Re: Is distance an absolute invariant?
« Reply #83 on: 04/02/2016 04:21:34 »
Yes Space Flow, (chuckle)  I truly know the feeling!  Have you read 'The Trouble with Physics' Lee Smolin?
No I have not read his book and to tell you the truth I have no intention to.
I 110% agree with his views and basically have learned to avoid the subjects of "String theory", "M theory", "God", Multiverse, or any other religion you want to name.
There is a definition of what can be classed as a theory within the confines of the scientific method and none of those qualify.
Therefore I have no interest in reading or hearing any more about them.
If your idea can not make a testable prediction, it is not a "scientific" theory.
At best it is a hypothesis.

#### Thebox

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##### Re: Is distance an absolute invariant?
« Reply #84 on: 04/02/2016 09:29:38 »
spaceflow-
I do honestly understand what you are saying, especially beer garden conversation, you do however miss the axioms, A Caesium clock is not time, the rate of the caesium clock is not time, a clock is not time, these are things for recording history, Predictions are not time.  Name one observation that reveals time ?

Axioms are the strongest evidence, history and future just is, we just make a diary .

P.s I think some of Einstein's work is of stupidity.

#### alancalverd

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##### Re: Is distance an absolute invariant?
« Reply #85 on: 04/02/2016 09:40:40 »
Wrong. Axioms are not evidence: they are definitions or assumptions.

You will get a more sympathetic hearing if you use the same language as everyone else.

#### Thebox

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##### Re: Is distance an absolute invariant?
« Reply #86 on: 04/02/2016 09:53:35 »
Wrong. Axioms are not evidence: they are definitions or assumptions.

You will get a more sympathetic hearing if you use the same language as everyone else.

What ? an axiom is something that is self evidently true, things that are true are true, you can not change or twist things that are true.

True things are real facts and real science, make believe is for religion.

#### Ethos_

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##### Re: Is distance an absolute invariant?
« Reply #87 on: 05/02/2016 18:26:33 »

What ? an axiom is something that is self evidently true, things that are true are true, you can not change or twist things that are true.

True things are real facts and real science, make believe is for religion.
You're confusing a presumed truth with evidence. The production of evidence through a repeatable observation results in an assumption or presumed truth.

Truth: The assumption of a reality.
Evidence: The tested observations which lead to an assumption.
« Last Edit: 05/02/2016 18:41:27 by Ethos_ »

#### Ethos_

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##### Re: Is distance an absolute invariant?
« Reply #88 on: 05/02/2016 18:49:20 »
you are all deeply confused , seriously . The stationary reference frame is the zero  of space
There exists absolutely no "zero of space", as you are so fond of defining it. No point in space can be considered as motionless, all frames are in motion.

#### jeffreyH

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##### Re: Is distance an absolute invariant?
« Reply #89 on: 05/02/2016 20:49:04 »
you are all deeply confused , seriously . The stationary reference frame is the zero  of space
There exists absolutely no "zero of space", as you are so fond of defining it. No point in space can be considered as motionless, all frames are in motion.

Well I beg to differ. Every point in space could be considered motionless if an observer is there. To each observer every other point in space may be considered to be either in motion or stationary. The problem in relativity is exactly that we do not have a fixed background. No one knows exactly how fast any object is actually moving with respect to themselves since they cannot be sure that everything they see is not moving at the same rate in some preferred direction. This could include rotational motion. GR is so complex that even if we find solutions to the vacuum field equations are we certain that we would actually recognize them?

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#### jeffreyH

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##### Re: Is distance an absolute invariant?
« Reply #90 on: 05/02/2016 20:58:31 »
Considerations of length such as contraction or the dilation of time can be examined with the use of quadric surfaces. An examination of how energy changes when those other properties change may give some new insights. This is rather circumventing Einstein and starting again.

#### Ethos_

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##### Re: Is distance an absolute invariant?
« Reply #91 on: 05/02/2016 21:24:16 »

Well I beg to differ. Every point in space could be considered motionless if an observer is there.

I think you know that I'm aware of this Jeff, I was referring to Mr. Box's definition of "zero of space". He seems to think that one can be motionless to the essence of space itself.

#### jeffreyH

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##### Re: Is distance an absolute invariant?
« Reply #92 on: 05/02/2016 21:47:35 »
My apologies. There seem to be a lot fewer people to have a sensible conversation with these days.

#### Ethos_

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##### Re: Is distance an absolute invariant?
« Reply #93 on: 06/02/2016 03:48:51 »
My apologies. There seem to be a lot fewer people to have a sensible conversation with these days.
No apologies necessary my friend, I do understand why you might have taken exception to my remarks. In my attempt to convey to Mr. Box where he's going wrong, I cut a few proverbial corners when I said; "all frames are in motion." Technically, we can only classify our particular frame as in motion when relative to another or while under acceleration or due to centrifugal forces resulting from rotation. There may be other issues that I'm unaware of but these are the few cases I could recall off hand. I know you're aware of these scientific facts Jeff, I just listed them in case Mr. Box is taking notice.

From what I've gathered from his posts, I think he assumes we can gage our motion relative to nothing more than empty space itself. And we both know that's not possible.

#### alancalverd

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##### Re: Is distance an absolute invariant?
« Reply #94 on: 06/02/2016 08:59:06 »

What ? an axiom is something that is self evidently true, things that are true are true, you can not change or twist things that are true.

Aether, phlogiston, the impossibility of heavier-than-air flight, and the geocentric universe, were all held to be axiomatic in the past. Axioms are human creations.

#### Thebox

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##### Re: Is distance an absolute invariant?
« Reply #95 on: 06/02/2016 10:04:17 »
you are all deeply confused , seriously . The stationary reference frame is the zero  of space
There exists absolutely no "zero of space", as you are so fond of defining it. No point in space can be considered as motionless, all frames are in motion.

All frames are not in motion, relative to the observer space is a stationary reference frame,

defining space  has empty space, not defining space has the whole containing bodies and light, A void is timeless, lengths of distance do not contract or expand, there is no substance to do this,

the stationary reference frame is space, we see bodies moving through a stationary reference frame. FACT

#### Thebox

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##### Re: Is distance an absolute invariant?
« Reply #96 on: 06/02/2016 10:05:52 »
you are all deeply confused , seriously . The stationary reference frame is the zero  of space
There exists absolutely no "zero of space", as you are so fond of defining it. No point in space can be considered as motionless, all frames are in motion.

Well I beg to differ. Every point in space could be considered motionless if an observer is there. To each observer every other point in space may be considered to be either in motion or stationary. The problem in relativity is exactly that we do not have a fixed background. No one knows exactly how fast any object is actually moving with respect to themselves since they cannot be sure that everything they see is not moving at the same rate in some preferred direction. This could include rotational motion. GR is so complex that even if we find solutions to the vacuum field equations are we certain that we would actually recognize them?

SENSE FROM SOMEBODY AT LAST, THUMBS U TO jEFF

#### alancalverd

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##### Re: Is distance an absolute invariant?
« Reply #97 on: 06/02/2016 14:32:55 »
No one knows exactly how fast any object is actually moving with respect to themselves since they cannot be sure that everything they see is not moving at the same rate in some preferred direction.

No! The starting point for relativity is the commonsense position that we can measure motion with respect to ourselves (and we do it all the time). Experimentally we find that there is no "preferred direction" in space. Now read on.....

#### jeffreyH

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##### Re: Is distance an absolute invariant?
« Reply #98 on: 06/02/2016 14:47:27 »
No one knows exactly how fast any object is actually moving with respect to themselves since they cannot be sure that everything they see is not moving at the same rate in some preferred direction.

No! The starting point for relativity is the commonsense position that we can measure motion with respect to ourselves (and we do it all the time). Experimentally we find that there is no "preferred direction" in space. Now read on.....

I do realize all that. What I was discussing was the absence of a fixed background in relativity. If you don't appreciate the deeper problems associated with the absence of a fixed background it isn't my problem.

#### alancalverd

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##### Re: Is distance an absolute invariant?
« Reply #99 on: 06/02/2016 17:02:21 »
I am unaware of any problem arising from the absence of a fixed background, that is not attributable to human vanity!

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##### Re: Is distance an absolute invariant?
« Reply #99 on: 06/02/2016 17:02:21 »