Special inertial frame; does it exist?

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Offline Vern

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Special inertial frame; does it exist?
« on: 21/02/2009 18:00:16 »
I came across this paper that claims to be an analysis of past and present interferometer type experiments. It concludes that contrary to past findings, the experiments do show the absolute motion of the earth through space. I have never before heard of this. Is it real? Is it a hoax?

A New Light-Speed Anisotropy Experiment:

Quote from: the link
          SPECIAL REPORT
                              A New Light-Speed Anisotropy Experiment:
                                       Absolute Motion
                               and Gravitational Waves Detected
                                       Reginald T. Cahill
            School of Chemistry, Physics and Earth Sciences, Flinders University, Adelaide 5001, Australia

                  E-mail: Reg.Cahill@flinders.edu.au; http://www.scieng.flinders.edu.au/cpes/people/cahill_r/

                Data from a new experiment measuring the anisotropy of the one-way speed of
                EM waves in a coaxial cable, gives the speed of light as 300,000±400±20km/s in
                a measured direction RA=5.5±2 hrs, Dec=70±10◦ S, is shown to be in excellent
                agreement with the results from seven previous anisotropy experiments, particularly
                those of Miller (1925/26), and even those of Michelson and Morley (1887). The Miller
                gas-mode interferometer results, and those from the RF coaxial cable experiments
                of Torr and Kolen (1983), De Witte (1991) and the new experiment all reveal the
                presence of gravitational waves, as indicated by the last ± variations above, but
                of a kind different from those supposedly predicted by General Relativity. Miller
                repeated the Michelson-Morley 1887 gas-mode interferometer experiment and again
                detected the anisotropy of the speed of light, primarily in the years 1925/1926
                atop Mt.Wilson, California. The understanding of the operation of the Michelson
                interferometer in gas-mode was only achieved in 2002 and involved a calibration
                for the interferometer that necessarily involved Special Relativity effects and the
                refractive index of the gas in the light paths. The results demonstrate the reality of
                the Fitzgerald-Lorentz contraction as an observer independent relativistic effect. A
                common misunderstanding is that the anisotropy of the speed of light is necessarily in
                conflict with Special Relativity and Lorentz symmetry — this is explained. All eight
                experiments and theory show that we have both anisotropy of the speed of light and
                relativistic effects, and that a dynamical 3-space exists — that absolute motion through
                that space has been repeatedly observed since 1887. These developments completely
                change fundamental physics and our understanding of reality. “Modern” vacuum-mode
                Michelson interferometers, particularly the long baseline terrestrial versions, are, by
                design flaw, incapable of detecting the anisotropy effect and the gravitational waves.

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Offline lightarrow

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Special inertial frame; does it exist?
« Reply #1 on: 21/02/2009 18:27:24 »
It could be a general relativistic effect of light moving in a periodic varying grav. field: the grav. field varies periodically (in the Earth frame) because of the presence of the Sun, the Moon and other planets.

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Offline Vern

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Special inertial frame; does it exist?
« Reply #2 on: 21/02/2009 19:07:48 »
I might go along with that except that the author details very specific findings complete with all the maths that independently confirm the earth's absolute movement through space.  That absolute movement coincides with the Doppler speed and direction of the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation. Although not said in the paper; that indicates that there is a special inertial frame at rest in space and that frame is that of the CMBR.

If this guy is right; we have a bunch of re-thinking to do. Maybe that's why everybody is trying to ignore him.

I think if we ignore reality too much it might rise up and smite us verily [:)]
« Last Edit: 21/02/2009 19:15:40 by Vern »

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Offline Vern

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Special inertial frame; does it exist?
« Reply #3 on: 22/02/2009 14:14:23 »
It could be a general relativistic effect of light moving in a periodic varying grav. field: the grav. field varies periodically (in the Earth frame) because of the presence of the Sun, the Moon and other planets.

The paper does predict these variations and shows how they can be used to calibrate the device. What is amazing to me is; here is this guy sitting in his office with a measuring device constructed at that university who measures the absolute speed of the earth through space. Then he uses the calibration factors he derived to analyse past data and finds that the past data then shows the same results as his own measurements.
 

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Offline Vern

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« Reply #4 on: 22/02/2009 19:44:18 »
I think I can summarize the main points of the paper if someone would like to comment but don't want to wade through such a long winded report.

These are the main points I get from the paper:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
There is an anomaly in measured light speed depending upon the directional orientation of the measuring device. The earth's absolute direction and speed can be obtained by analysis of this anomaly. The direction obtained is consistently the same and points perpendicular to the plane of the Milky Way galaxy. The speed is consistently about 400 km/s. Data from eight past experiments, beginning with Michelson-Morley experiment, show the same direction and the same speed.

Past experiments were erroneously reported as null at the time because no one realized that the Lorentz length contraction must be accounted for.

A correction factor, k, must be used to account for the Lorentz length contraction of the distance between reflecting surfaces.

The anomaly is not present when the light is contained within a vacuum.

The anomaly is not present when the light is contained within a fiber-optic cable.

The anomaly is present for a radio frequency signal in coaxial cable.

The anomaly is present for light in any gaseous medium.


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Offline yor_on

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Special inertial frame; does it exist?
« Reply #5 on: 23/02/2009 17:00:36 »
Vern, I tried to download your link, but the paper (pdf) was all 'black' with two images showing and no text.
Do you have another link for it?
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Offline Vern

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Special inertial frame; does it exist?
« Reply #6 on: 23/02/2009 17:25:02 »
Strange; the link works every time for me using Firefox in Linux. I'll boot up into Windows and see what XP thinks about it.  I think it is the Adobe Acrobat Reader that can see pdf documents.

Here's the home page where the document root is. I'll look around for an HTML version.

Edit: My windows XP can't read the link; I guess I don't have the right browser in Windows.

Here is Prof Cahill's home page.
« Last Edit: 23/02/2009 17:33:47 by Vern »

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Offline LeeE

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Special inertial frame; does it exist?
« Reply #7 on: 23/02/2009 21:42:35 »
Are you sure about:

"The anomaly is not present when the light is contained within a fiber-optic cable."

and

"The anomaly is present for light in any gaseous medium."

That seems inconsistent to me.
...And its claws are as big as cups, and for some reason it's got a tremendous fear of stamps! And Mrs Doyle was telling me it's got magnets on its tail, so if you're made out of metal it can attach itself to you! And instead of a mouth it's got four arses!

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Offline yor_on

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« Reply #8 on: 24/02/2009 01:34:54 »
Thanks Vern.
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Offline Vern

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Special inertial frame; does it exist?
« Reply #9 on: 24/02/2009 12:07:06 »
Are you sure about:

"The anomaly is not present when the light is contained within a fiber-optic cable."

and

"The anomaly is present for light in any gaseous medium."

That seems inconsistent to me.
I just reported what was in the paper. Fibre optic cable is engineered so that the very small core transmits light at greater velocity than the surrounding glass fibre. This allows for shorter duration pulses by preventing the pulses from growing in length as they move through the cable. So that might be a difference that could affect Cahill's results.

Cahill has been discredited somewhat in the mainstream scientific community, but I'm not ready to dismiss his efforts just yet. I keep going back to his ability to point to a consistent direction and cite a consistent speed just by examining his data and the data from past experiments.   
« Last Edit: 24/02/2009 14:43:34 by Vern »

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Offline swansont

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« Reply #10 on: 24/02/2009 17:33:31 »
Some drawbacks, from a quick scan of the paper:

He cites himself a lot.  What you really want is independent confirmation.

The work that agrees with his is very limited.  Timing labs all over the world use RF signals to connect clocks — how come it's only two labs that report this effect?  6 ns for a 500m run is a huge effect.

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Offline Vern

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Special inertial frame; does it exist?
« Reply #11 on: 24/02/2009 22:10:43 »
Yes; I am finding other problems with his paper also. In the paper linked in the OP Cahill clearly states that the anisotropy does not appear in fibre optic cable. Yet he has a 2008 publication on his home page that concludes as follows:
Quote from: Cahill home page
The detectors operate by exploiting light speed anisotropy in optical-fibers. The data confirms previous observations of light speed anisotropy, earth rotation and orbit effects, and gravitational waves.
   

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Offline DocNelsonPT

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Special inertial frame; does it exist?
« Reply #12 on: 12/05/2010 01:59:23 »
Has any further study of this topic been done?

A couple years ago, I dissected his papers and simulated the fiber optic interferometer that he specifies and, IF there were a preferred frame, it would be measurable at least in principle.  A real world FO interferometer aliases every 90 degrees, so, over a 24 hr observation, one should see four periods of 6 hrs. If this preferred frame existed, and one leg of an interferometer were pointed at it, the device would not know if we flipped that leg over so it points the other way, Likewise, the interferometer can't tell which leg is affected, so rotation by 90 degrees repeats the pattern. Hence, the output should display a 6 hour periodicity. Do we find that in Cahill's data?

G Nelson

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Online syhprum

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« Reply #13 on: 12/05/2010 06:21:02 »
There is no difficulty displaying the PDF using windows 7 and IE8, I am puzzled by why there should be a difference between vacuum and gas results.
syhprum

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Offline Farsight

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« Reply #14 on: 14/05/2010 13:11:03 »
I'll read the paper, Vern. Meanwhile see CMBR dipole anisotropy where it says "From the CMB data it is seen that our local group of galaxies (the galactic cluster that includes the Solar System's Milky Way Galaxy) appears to be moving at 627±22 km/s relative to the reference frame of the CMB...". The CMBR does appear to offer a de-facto absolute reference frame for motion through the universe.
« Last Edit: 14/05/2010 13:19:25 by Farsight »

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Offline lightarrow

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« Reply #15 on: 14/05/2010 19:35:22 »
but of corse this has nothing to do with the existence of an electromagnetic ether.

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Offline Vern

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Special inertial frame; does it exist?
« Reply #16 on: 15/05/2010 11:42:53 »
Very good thinking in all the posts. I'm left with the opinion that perhaps Prof Cahill's conclusions may not be exactly right, however, there is still left the question:

Does there exist a special inertial frame in space.

You will automatically, without thinking, say no, there does not. Then, consider this, is the inertial frame occupied by the CMBR the same everywhere in space?

If so, why?

If not, why not?

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Offline thebrain13

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« Reply #17 on: 15/05/2010 23:23:35 »
In the response to the question, "is there a special inertial reference frame in space?" My opinion is the answer is yes, but it's a little tricky to see at first. For example, you could take a "consensus" of all the objects in the universe. You could pool up all the velocities and masses of every object, and find a one true "average momentum" of everything. There is some velocity out there, that would represent the lowest possible momentum. That is, there is a certain velocity that if you traveled any faster in any direction, the new summation of momentums would have to be greater. You could call that state, the inertial frame if you wanted.

I think this idea is backed by the fact that the strength of the cmbr is dependent on your velocity relative to the motion of the cmbr. Thus cmbr IS frame dependent.

To your second question, is the inertial frame of reference the same everywhere? I'm not sure what modern physics says about the question, but I know what my theory says (and I'm a quack so you can read on if you wish). My theory says that the inertial frame of reference (which is what determines the speed of light in my theory) is dependent on the summation of all objects momentums divided by the inverse of their distances. Since the acceleration and density of the universe is largely homogenous, you would find that the velocity of the inertial frame varies smoothly with distance. That is, the further away two objects became in distance, the more their average momentums would be pointing in the opposite direction. I think, The speed of light, and all the other relativistic effects are dependent on this frame. So the new speed of light would be c + the speed of the inertial frame at that specific location.

This is how I reconcile the fact that objects that are very far away from earth, and likely would have very high receding velocities, wouldn't be time dilated the same way as two objects with more similar frames (objects that are close to one another). To be more specific, time dilation would be determined, by the relative velocities of two objects, relative to each objects frame at that specific location. So its (relative velocity-frame velocity) compared to the others (relative velocity-frame velocity).

So if two objects were moving away from each other at .7c, but they were both at rest relative to the other objects in their area (thus very far apart in space) they would view no time dilation. If they were traveling at .7c and they were a mile apart (which in normal scenarios means they exist in "almost" the same frame) then time dilation is witnessed. And lastly, if an object was traveling at.9c from an object in an area so far away that most objects were traveling at .7c then the time dilation would be that of an object traveling at .2c, relative to the other.

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Offline Vern

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« Reply #18 on: 16/05/2010 02:25:48 »
I think I know what your said. It doesn't work for me.

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Offline thebrain13

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« Reply #19 on: 16/05/2010 02:31:05 »
why not?

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Offline Murchie85

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« Reply #20 on: 16/05/2010 12:19:20 »
I think the problem lies in that the paper didn't exactly make it to nature... It can claim lots of interesting things but like swansont mentions he cites himself too much and this sort of conclusion would be a bombshell if proven true.

 I do not think people would dismiss the idea if it had tangible chance of success, more likely there has been something overlooked as the 7 experiments are of similar design. I personally would love it if he was right, to see a new view in physics come forth today would be very exciting but he aims to high with things like "could explain dark matter and quantum gravity". However I am not completely dismissing the idea, I just think it would merit further scruitiny and possibly investment if the idea took weight when considered by a funding body for example.

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Offline Vern

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« Reply #21 on: 16/05/2010 15:39:42 »
why not?
You consider that time itself is dilating. It is more reasonable to consider that matter in motion experiences time differently because of its motion. Then we can know why it does so. That takes us right back to one sentence that explains it all.

The final irreducible constituent of all physical reality is the electromagnetic field.


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Offline thebrain13

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« Reply #22 on: 16/05/2010 20:34:52 »
I'm not sure I know what you mean when you say, "you consider that time itself is dilating".

However, I agree that the cause of an object experiencing time differently is relative motion. I was not arguing something else. My point was that the relative motion is set relative to each individual point in space. And that different points in space, can have different "drift" components added to them.
« Last Edit: 16/05/2010 20:37:09 by thebrain13 »

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Offline Vern

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« Reply #23 on: 18/05/2010 00:14:03 »
Maybe we are not that far from agreement. I tend to suspect that time itself is merely an experience that material things undergo as they exist in space. Our definition of time is such. It is the amount of vibrations experienced by a caesium atom. We count the vibrations, and say that they represent the passage of time.

When we move a caesium atom relative to other caesium atoms, we notice that the count of the number of vibrations they experience is different. I think we can all agree up to here.

Now the question is this: Is there some inertial frame in space that will always experience a greater number of caesium atom vibrations than any other inertial frame?

Because we can know for certain, if there is a special inertial frame in space representing no movement, it will experience time as being faster then any other inertial frame in space.



   

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Offline Farsight

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« Reply #24 on: 18/05/2010 17:06:39 »
Good question Vern. Sounds as if it's worth thinking through, maybe with muons. 

"From the CMB data it is seen that our local group of galaxies (the galactic cluster that includes the Solar System's Milky Way Galaxy) appears to be moving at 627±22 km/s relative to the reference frame of the CMB (also called the CMB rest frame) in the direction of galactic longitude l = 276±3°, b = 30±3°."


 

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Offline Vern

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« Reply #25 on: 18/05/2010 18:00:50 »
Yes; I think it's worth thinking through. But I don't know how muons would contribute. Do you mean the time experience of muons as they come crashing into earth?

I know the scenario, but don't see how we could relate that to the CMBR.

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Offline Farsight

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« Reply #26 on: 18/05/2010 19:29:46 »
Yes, they have a mean lifetime of 2.2 microseconds, you'd be looking for a direction of motion with the shortest mean lifetime. But I haven't thought it through, and I don't know if there any practical way to see any anisotropy. Could be Michelson-Morley all over again. 

Edit: there was something in the Cahill paper about 6 hours which had me thinking about tides and the moon and gravity. That makes me think of the Aharanov-Bohm effect and the electromagnetic potential A is seen as being more fundamental or "real". Hmmmn. Have you seen the Ehrenberg-Siday paper? I'll send you a copy if you like.    
« Last Edit: 18/05/2010 19:46:34 by Farsight »

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Offline thebrain13

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« Reply #27 on: 18/05/2010 22:50:43 »
"Is there some inertial frame in space that will always experience a greater number of ceasium atom vibrations than any other frame?"

It's a good question, but I think it is way more complicated than it sounds. Because let's say the answer to that question is yes. An object traveling faster relative to some special frame would experience time slower, how would you know? What if you were in a rocketship without windows, and inside it you had clocks, ceasium atoms, and radioactive substances all keeping time for you. No matter how much you used your thrusters, you could never measure any difference in time based on your motion, even if time did slow relative to the outside. Because, the measurements of time of all the things inside your rocket ship would have to agree (they are all traveling at the same speed). The only way you could ever determine if the rocket ship was indeed experiencing time slower is by comparing it to something on the outside.

So think about this. What if, for the reasons I stated above, philosophers in the 1500's decided that normal clocks were not good timekeepers, and they were aware of the cosmic microwave background radiation. Thus they decided that true time was based on the strength of the cmbr. (which is dependent on your speed relative to it) And therefore, based on their definition of time things do slow relative to an inertial frame.

So I'll admit that I can't prove Einstein wrong, but I wouldn't want to. But can you prove the 1500's philosophers wrong?

P.S. if you use a lot of addition of velocities stuff to do it, you will force me to invoke the 1500's philosophers(my) analog to relativity of simultaneity, in their (not my) preferred frame. My theory proclaims, all frames are right, even the "consensus" driven ones. Just because Einsten's frame works, does not exclude others, 'cause more than one works.

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Offline Farsight

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« Reply #28 on: 19/05/2010 00:39:28 »
You don't need to look out of the windows. You measure the fine structure constant via the Quantum Hall effect. It's a running constant. It isn't constant. It varies as your speed varies.

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Offline imatfaal

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« Reply #29 on: 19/05/2010 11:05:16 »
You don't need to look out of the windows. You measure the fine structure constant via the Quantum Hall effect. It's a running constant. It isn't constant. It varies as your speed varies.

Are you sure Farsight?  I thought the fine structure constant was one of the free dimensionless parameters of the standard model (ie other things are based on it not vice versa) and was unvarying.  the 'run' of a coupling constant is surely to do with the scale at which is it examined or the energy with which it it probed.  This is beyond my ken and I am not contradicting you just trying to understand better.  Its just that I had always assumed that the fundamental physical constants did not vary in time or space.  Hoping to be enlightened - Matthew
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Offline amrit

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« Reply #30 on: 19/05/2010 19:40:45 »
Inertial frames do not exist.
SR and GR are valid for all observers in any point of space.
See more on: http://jcer.com/index.php/jcj/article/view/11
yours amrit
« Last Edit: 19/05/2010 19:44:15 by amrit »
amrit sorli

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Offline thebrain13

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« Reply #31 on: 19/05/2010 20:27:53 »
Ditto Imaatfal. Farsight, I haven't heard anything about the fine structure constant varying with speed. I read about it possibly varying with "time". In other words the fine structure constant might not be the same 10 billion years ago as it is today, but not about it varying with speed.

It seems like that statement would open up a whole new can of worms. I don't know, if you could elaborate a little more, that would be helpful.

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Offline Vern

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« Reply #32 on: 19/05/2010 21:08:00 »
Quote from: Farsight
It isn't constant. It varies as your speed varies.

If the fine structure constant does vary with speed it might be a clue for what exactly it is.

It seems to be some kind of ratio related to the charge magnitude of the electron.

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Offline imatfaal

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« Reply #33 on: 20/05/2010 10:53:43 »

If the fine structure constant does vary with speed it might be a clue for what exactly it is.

Let's work it out - we can share the Nobel prize  [;D]

In other words the fine structure constant might not be the same 10 billion years ago as it is today, but not about it varying with speed.

Didn't know that Brain - will read up.  Found this lecture handout on the web - it says no experimental evidence so far for variation over great periods of time.  It also had this great quote

“It has been a mystery ever since it was discovered more than fifty years ago, and all good theoretical physicists put this number up on their wall and worry about it.” Feynman talking about α QED: The Strange Theory of Light
and Matter, Princeton University Press 1985, p. 129.
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Offline Vern

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« Reply #34 on: 20/05/2010 11:55:17 »
There are other constants that might vary under certain conditions and give us insight.

There is Planck's Constant. It should be less in a strong gravity field, and greatest where there is no ambient gravity.

Another thing. How can we measure ambient gravity?

We notice things like the Great Attractor that everything seems to be headed toward. Maybe that is an indicator. 

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Offline Farsight

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« Reply #35 on: 21/05/2010 14:54:12 »
You don't need to look out of the windows. You measure the fine structure constant via the Quantum Hall effect. It's a running constant. It isn't constant. It varies as your speed varies.
Are you sure Farsight? I thought the fine structure constant was one of the free dimensionless parameters of the standard model (ie other things are based on it not vice versa) and was unvarying. The 'run' of a coupling constant is surely to do with the scale at which is it examined or the energy with which it it probed. This is beyond my ken and I am not contradicting you just trying to understand better. Its just that I had always assumed that the fundamental physical constants did not vary in time or space. Hoping to be enlightened - Matthew
I'm not 100% sure, Matthew, but the fine-structure constant is definitely a running constant, see http://physics.nist.gov/cuu/Constants/alpha.html. And there's been talk of measuring it near the sun in solar-probe experiments, such as SpaceTime Mission: Clock Test of Relativity at Four Solar Radii

"SpaceTime is a mission concept developed to test the Equivalence Principle. The mission is based on a clock experiment that will search for a violation of the Equivalence Principle through the observation of a variation of the fine structure constant, α. A spatio-temporal variation of α is expected in some string theories aimed at unifying gravity with other forces in nature. SpaceTime uses a special tri-clock instrument on a spacecraft which approaches the sun to within four solar radii. The instrument consists of three trapped ion clocks based on mercury, cadmium, and ytterbium ions, in the same environment. This configuration allows for a differential measurement of the frequency of the clocks and the cancellation of perturbations common to the three. The observation of any frequency drift between each of the clocks, as the tri-clock instrument approaches the sun, signals the existence of a scalar partner to the tensor gravity. Some relevant details of the mission design are discussed in the paper."[/QUOTE]

Note that I see this as a relativity matter not a string theory matter, and a variation in the fine-structure constant doesn't invalidate relativity, it refines it a little. The fine structure constant is expected to vary because the "spatial energy density" down near the sun is higher. If you're blitzing through space, something like the Unruh effect should make the spatial energy density look higher too, hence the fine-structure constant ought to be lower.

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Offline Farsight

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« Reply #36 on: 21/05/2010 15:11:11 »
If the fine structure constant does vary with speed it might be a clue for what exactly it is. It seems to be some kind of ratio related to the charge magnitude of the electron.
It's a very interesting thing, the fine structure constant. The wiki article is pretty good, see the  physical interpretations section, where the second paragraph says it's:

"The ratio of two energies: (i) the energy needed to overcome the electrostatic repulsion between two electrons when the distance between them is reduced from infinity to some finite d, and (ii) the energy of a single photon of wavelength λ = 2πd"

Then the fourth paragraph says:

"In quantum electrodynamics, α is the coupling constant determining the strength of the interaction between electrons and photons."

This strength is the strength as compared to the strong force. So why does this ratio appear for electrons and photons? Because the strong force is still lurking around. Think about low-energy proton-antiproton annihilation to neutral pions, which decay in circa a femtosecond into gamma photons. Where's the strong force gone? It's the fundamental force that keeps quarks and gluons together as a proton, it's totally disappeared, and yet there's this seeming trace of it in the electron photon ratio. Take these electrons and photons down near the sun, and if the fine-structure constant changes because space changes, the inference is that a gravitational field is a gradient in the relative strengths of the electromagnetic force and the strong force.

Sorry to be wandering off topic, but it is interesting stuff.

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Offline imatfaal

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« Reply #37 on: 21/05/2010 18:20:42 »
Thanks for those links Farsight - will read and digest.  I think I had misinterpreted you as saying that α varied as a function of speed, but yes I think you are right that at high enough energies then you will see a variation as the fundamental constants run and all forces are unified.  Matthew   
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Offline Farsight

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« Reply #38 on: 22/05/2010 13:47:46 »
I don't think they ever truly unify though, Matthew. The electromagnetic interaction gets stronger, but it and the strong interaction are still different. As different as bending a piece of coathanger wire is different to stretching it out. The weak interaction and gravity are different again.     

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Offline imatfaal

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« Reply #39 on: 24/05/2010 16:06:40 »
Farsight - the physics is beyond me, but I thought the idea of the ever higher energy probing was the search for a Grand Unified Theory which would unify e-m, strong and weak and the coupling constants for all three would equalize. and thenceforward to a theory of everything that unifies all three with gravity
There’s no sense in being precise when you don’t even know what you’re talking about.  John Von Neumann

At the surface, we may appear as intellects, helpful people, friendly staff or protectors of the interwebs. Deep down inside, we're all trolls. CaptainPanic @ sf.n