Einstein's wrong assertions: split from Do the mechanism in clocks really run slow?

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Offline David Cooper

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Rember that there is no such thing as a frame of reference whose velocity is absolute zero. All inertial frames are equivalent.

Strictly speaking, they don't "slow down" at all. "Slow" implies a change in speed, but there is no speed change because speed is a function of time. Assuming the clocks are good timekeepers they are both correct, even though they may differ. Time is purely local and it controls all processes.

That's all based on an assertion (Einstein's) which is demonstrably wrong. There has to be a preferred frame of reference, and clocks really do run slow if they are not stationary within that preferred frame.

If you send a photon away from the Earth and bounce it back off a mirror half a lightyear away such that it gets back to the Earth a whole year later, no time has passed for that photon, if you believe Einstein's interpretation of relativity. During that time, a whole year has passed on the Earth. The photon supposedly takes a shortcut into the future by getting there instantaneously, if we ignore the tiny delay at the turn-around when it hits the mirror. [It supposedly also does the trip by covering zero distance, but we needn't go into the details of that here.]

So, we have two different interpretations: (1) time slows for the photon (and anything else that moves relative to the preferred frame), so the photon has spent a year with its time slowed to a halt; and (2) time doesn't really slow at all, but fast moving things take shortcuts into the future, thereby making it look as if their clocks have run slow when they haven't.

So, what's wrong with the second interpretation of relativity? Well, how can anything take a shortcut into the future unless it is moving relative to a preferred frame? The only way these shortcuts into the future show up is when something makes a round trip so that the differences in recorded time show up. On either half of the trip, there should be no difference in the way the clocks run (neither having any mechanism available to them to take a shortcut into the future), but when both halves of the trip are combined you suddenly get a difference by magic.

That's bad enough, but there's a worse problem - if something's taking a shortcut into the future, it's going to get there before the future is built. The photon which travels a year into the future in zero time will arrive at a point in space and time which the Earth will take a year to get to, so all the events which take place on the Earth throughout that year would have to take place in an instant in order for it to be ready for the returning photon to land on.

"Ah ha!" I hear you say, "but you haven't understood it at all!" Wrong - I have. You imagine that different routes can lead from the same starting point to the same end point with different amounts of time recorded for them without time running at different rates on those different paths, but the only way you can do that is to deny that time runs at all. Time ends up being more like distance, leading you to the "block universe" model in which past, present and future all exist eternally, thereby making it dead easy for some paths to act as shortcuts into the future because the future is already built. The trouble with that, though, is that it can't account for how the block is built in the first place. To manufacture a block universe you actually have to build it up from one end (the past) to the other (the future), and that necessarily involves a kind of time that runs. This is absolute time, and the only frame which records absolute time is the preferred frame - all other frames will record a slower apparent time. Once your block universe is built, you can then imagine it working in a way that's compatible with Einstein's interpretation of relativity, but that cannot account for how a block universe it built. To build a block universe, you need a preferred frame and an absolute time, and once you have that you can get rid of the superfluous block universe while your about it and just have time that runs.

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Offline Geezer

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and clocks really do run slow if they are not stationary within that preferred frame

The word "slow" does not really apply in that context. The clock, is simply measuring time at its location. Unless the clock is defective in some way, it is neither slow nor fast.
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Offline David Cooper

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and clocks really do run slow if they are not stationary within that preferred frame

The word "slow" does not really apply in that context. The clock, is simply measuring time at its location. Unless the clock is defective in some way, it is neither slow nor fast.

Imagine a clock which uses sound in open air as part of its mechanism. If you move the clock at high speed, it runs slow, and if you move it at the speed of sound, it stops. Exactly the same thing happens with clocks using components governed by the speed of light: they run slow as you move them around, and if you could get them to the speed of light they would stop. The difference is that we can use the speed of light to help us determine what's going on with a sound clock, but it doesn't give us any answers when looking at a light clock. The fact that we can't work out whether a clock is moving or not does not justify making assertions that there is no such thing as stationary - Einstein got that bit wrong (as I demonstrated in my previous post). His maths works, but his interpretation most certainly does not.

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Offline Geezer

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Imagine a clock which uses sound in open air as part of its mechanism. If you move the clock at high speed, it runs slow, and if you move it at the speed of sound, it stops. Exactly the same thing happens with clocks using components governed by the speed of light: they run slow as you move them around, and if you could get them to the speed of light they would stop. The difference is that we can use the speed of light to help us determine what's going on with a sound clock, but it doesn't give us any answers when looking at a light clock. The fact that we can't work out whether a clock is moving or not does not justify making assertions that there is no such thing as stationary - Einstein got that bit wrong (as I demonstrated in my previous post). His maths works, but his interpretation most certainly does not.


I'm referring to an atomic clock.
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Offline JP

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The fact that we can't work out whether a clock is moving or not does not justify making assertions that there is no such thing as stationary . . .

That's precisely what it does justify if you confine yourself to working within space and time.  We're pretty sure we know what a stationary reference frame would look like within our universe, and we have experimentally and observationaly ruled it out.

You can always make the argument (which you did above) that our theories are currently limited to the universe, and there might be some reference frame beyond it.  (After all, as you say, something had to 'build' our space-time.)  That's in the realm of philosophy, though, since you aren't offering any testable predictions.  It's always possible to say "outside the scope of this theory, this theory doesn't apply."  The problem is coming up with a scientific way of tackling the next theory, if one exists.  I'm always skeptical of claims that something had to create the universe and thus exists outside of it.  The idea of creation and outside require space and time as well as our familiar laws of physics to exist outside the universe.  But the universe contains all space and time (so far as we know), so there's no good reason to justify assuming that something exists outside the universe. 

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Offline imatfaal

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That's all based on an assertion (Einstein's) which is demonstrably wrong. There has to be a preferred frame of reference, and clocks really do run slow if they are not stationary within that preferred frame.

If you send a photon away from the Earth and bounce it back off a mirror half a lightyear away such that it gets back to the Earth a whole year later, no time has passed for that photon, if you believe Einstein's interpretation of relativity. During that time, a whole year has passed on the Earth. The photon supposedly takes a shortcut into the future by getting there instantaneously, if we ignore the tiny delay at the turn-around when it hits the mirror. [It supposedly also does the trip by covering zero distance, but we needn't go into the details of that here.]

  This above paragraph which seems to unpin your ideas is completely wrong.  Your assertion that time is frozen for a photon is baseless and certainly does not flow from E's relativity.  Similarly the assertion that the distance is infinitely contracted.  These come, I guess from an application of a time dilation factor and length contraction factor but using v as equal to c.  This is completely impossible within SR .  SR is premised on the fact that physical laws are identical between inertial frames of reference - a simple corollary to this is that there cannot exist a valid inertial frame of reference in which light (ie your photon) is stationary cos you have then shown there to exist a frame where light does not travel at c.  Once you have decided to use an idea that is at variance to an axiom then all bets are off and you cannot use SR or anything based on it.   If you have shown that a photon is ageless in another manner I would love to see it - and also see how it allows gamma-gamma interaction for a timeless particle.

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Offline David Cooper

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The fact that we can't work out whether a clock is moving or not does not justify making assertions that there is no such thing as stationary . . .

That's precisely what it does justify if you confine yourself to working within space and time.  We're pretty sure we know what a stationary reference frame would look like within our universe, and we have experimentally and observationaly ruled it out.

No it does not justify that - if you live inside a universe which you can't see out of such that you can't detect anything outside of it at all, to conclude that there is nothing outside the universe would be sheer stupidity. The only valid conclusion you can come to in such a situation is that you don't know if there's anything outside - not that there's nothing there.

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You can always make the argument (which you did above) that our theories are currently limited to the universe, and there might be some reference frame beyond it.  (After all, as you say, something had to 'build' our space-time.)  That's in the realm of philosophy, though, since you aren't offering any testable predictions.  It's always possible to say "outside the scope of this theory, this theory doesn't apply."

The claim that the theory rules out a preferred frame of reference is the part I'm objecting to - it does nothing of the kind, so it's a very unscientific interpretation of the known facts.

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I'm always skeptical of claims that something had to create the universe and thus exists outside of it.  The idea of creation and outside require space and time as well as our familiar laws of physics to exist outside the universe.  But the universe contains all space and time (so far as we know), so there's no good reason to justify assuming that something exists outside the universe.

Don't get stuck on the idea of creation - I'm talking about how a universe can be generated, and there's no question that there is a cause-and-effect structure to it running from past to future which shows that the future is generated from the past according to rules - it certainly couldn't be done backwards, and it couldn't just have existed eternally without ever being generated (from one end, the past) because there is that structure written through it showing that the future was generated from the past. When you try to account for the generation of the future from the past, that is where Einstein's interpretation of relativity goes wrong, because it cannot work without a preferred frame.

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Offline David Cooper

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This above paragraph which seems to unpin your ideas is completely wrong.  Your assertion that time is frozen for a photon is baseless and certainly does not flow from E's relativity.

I didn't say it was frozen for a photon, so you're attacking a straw man. Time passes for the photon, so on the trip I described a year goes by for it while it travels a lightyear. A photon doesn't do anything while travelling, so you could describe it as being frozen in one sense, but it's actually doing a lot: i.e. moving a very long way at a very high speed. But with Einstein's interpretation, no time passes for it at all on that trip.

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Similarly the assertion that the distance is infinitely contracted.  These come, I guess from an application of a time dilation factor and length contraction factor but using v as equal to c.  This is completely impossible within SR .

No, it comes from something else. My argument doesn't depend on using things moving at the speed of light - that simply shows things up more clearly by looking at the most extreme case, but you can do the whole thing using material with mass moving below the speed of light, and once you've done that you are forced to recognise that it must work the same way for light.

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SR is premised on the fact that physical laws are identical between inertial frames of reference.

And yet, it falls short straight away. Let's take a look at the popular thought experiment involving twins. One of them goes away in a rocket at 87% the speed of light and then returns at the same speed. She (let's make her female and her stay-at-home twin male so we can use the words "he" and "she" and know which is which) is away on her rocket trip for ten years according to her watch, while her twin brother who has stayed on the Earth records her trip as lasting twenty years.

What has happened here? Time has run in the rocket at half the rate it did on the Earth, on average, although there's no way of knowing that it didn't run faster on one half of the journey and a lot slower on the other half - the Earth could be moving such that throughout the first half of the rocket trip the rocket may have been stationary and resulted in its clocks running twice as fast as clocks on the Earth, but once it turned round and raced to catch up with the Earth, they would have run much slower than those on the Earth, to the point that by the time it got there only ten years would have been recorded on the rocket's clocks. The way relativity works makes it impossible to find out whether clocks are running faster or slower relative to each other while they are in different frames - all we can measure is the average difference when clocks are separated and then reunited.

Now, if all frames have identical laws, there can be absolutely no mechanism there to allow for the travelling twin's clock to run at a different rate from her brother's, so they must be running at the same rate. The same applies to the return trip as there is no mechanism to allow them to run at different rates. There should therefore be no difference between the amount of time that's passed for the twins - they should still be the same age. But that's not how it is: there is a difference between frames which allows the clocks to run at different rates. You can treat any frame as if it is the preferred frame and the maths will then work out perfectly, allowing him to age twice as much overall as her while she is away. It requires a preferred frame to provide the mechanism, but it does not allow you to work out which frame is actually the preferred one. Because you can pick any frame to use as a preferred frame, that makes them all seem equal, and yet they cannot be - if there is no preferred frame, there is simply no mechanism there to enable the clocks run at different rates, unless you want all of them to be preferred frames at the same time and to determine that the clocks in the rocket were running both slower and faster than the ones on the Earth at the same time, but that's adding an infinite amount of unnecessary complexity to something which can be accounted for much more simply. What we actually have is a theory which depends for its functionality on a mechanism provided by something which the theory then denies - a preferred frame.

Now, let's do an extreme version of the twins experiment. Let's make the rocket move at a fraction less than the speed of light on both halves of the trip such that it makes the whole trip in one second if you measure it by its clocks. On the Earth, twenty years have gone by. From the female twin's point of view, all the events of those twenty years must have gone by in a single second. Imagine these events being generated, the results of earlier ones having causal inputs into the events which follow them - the generation of these events must happen strictly in sequence, so while they are being generated, the events in the rocket have to be generated much more slowly. Move the rocket at even higher speed and only a tenth of a second would go by during its trip, by its clocks. At even higher speeds, it's a single millisecond, or a microsecond, or nanosecond, etc. - it's heading for zero time, and if it could move at the speed of light it would clearly be zero time. We have a clear difference in the rates of time for different players. When you look at it from the point of view of a preferred frame though, time doesn't vary for any frame of reference - only apparent time varies, but real time is passing at the same rate for all frames. Clocks run slow, but their components are still running at full speed - they just have further to go to complete circuits, so you get an apparent slowing and a reduction in apparent aging.

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Offline imatfaal

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This above paragraph which seems to unpin your ideas is completely wrong.  Your assertion that time is frozen for a photon is baseless and certainly does not flow from E's relativity.

I didn't say it was frozen for a photon, so you're attacking a straw man. Time passes for the photon, so on the trip I described a year goes by for it while it travels a lightyear. A photon doesn't do anything while travelling, so you could describe it as being frozen in one sense, but it's actually doing a lot: i.e. moving a very long way at a very high speed. But with Einstein's interpretation, no time passes for it at all on that trip.
"But with Einstein's interpretation, no time passes for it at all on that trip."
"no time has passed for that photon, if you believe Einstein's interpretation of relativity"
These are the straw men to end all straw men!  I apologize if I didn't understand your theory (which lets be honest you have exactly expounded in detail); you terribly misreprented SR (which is well documented) and I assumed that your mistaken theory included rather than denied the misrepresentation

/..snipped

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SR is premised on the fact that physical laws are identical between inertial frames of reference.

And yet, it falls short straight away. Let's take a look at the popular thought experiment involving twins. One of them goes away in a rocket at 87% the speed of light and then returns at the same speed. She (let's make her female and her stay-at-home twin male so we can use the words "he" and "she" and know which is which) is away on her rocket trip for ten years according to her watch, while her twin brother who has stayed on the Earth records her trip as lasting twenty years.

What has happened here? Time has run in the rocket at half the rate it did on the Earth, on average, although there's no way of knowing that it didn't run faster on one half of the journey and a lot slower on the other half - the Earth could be moving such that throughout the first half of the rocket trip the rocket may have been stationary and resulted in its clocks running twice as fast as clocks on the Earth, but once it turned round and raced to catch up with the Earth, they would have run much slower than those on the Earth, to the point that by the time it got there only ten years would have been recorded on the rocket's clocks. The way relativity works makes it impossible to find out whether clocks are running faster or slower relative to each other while they are in different frames - all we can measure is the average difference when clocks are separated and then reunited.
  Sorry server just booted me out after 15 mins of writing - you are gonna have to have the short version.  Twin paradox is not unexplained, nor a logical flaw in SR.  Read Physics Faq - the Doppler Shift Explanation will deal with your exact problem of what is happening THROUGHOUT the voyage



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Now, if all frames have identical laws, there can be absolutely no mechanism there to allow for the travelling twin's clock to run at a different rate from her brother's, so they must be running at the same rate. The same applies to the return trip as there is no mechanism to allow them to run at different rates. There should therefore be no difference between the amount of time that's passed for the twins - they should still be the same age. But that's not how it is: there is a difference between frames which allows the clocks to run at different rates. You can treat any frame as if it is the preferred frame and the maths will then work out perfectly, allowing him to age twice as much overall as her while she is away. It requires a preferred frame to provide the mechanism, but it does not allow you to work out which frame is actually the preferred one. Because you can pick any frame to use as a preferred frame, that makes them all seem equal, and yet they cannot be - if there is no preferred frame, there is simply no mechanism there to enable the clocks run at different rates, unless you want all of them to be preferred frames at the same time and to determine that the clocks in the rocket were running both slower and faster than the ones on the Earth at the same time, but that's adding an infinite amount of unnecessary complexity to something which can be accounted for much more simply. What we actually have is a theory which depends for its functionality on a mechanism provided by something which the theory then denies - a preferred frame.
One twin accelerates - frames are no equivalent, can tell the difference and calculate which ages .


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Now, let's do an extreme version of the twins experiment. Let's make the rocket move at a fraction less than the speed of light on both halves of the trip such that it makes the whole trip in one second if you measure it by its clocks. On the Earth, twenty years have gone by. From the female twin's point of view, all the events of those twenty years must have gone by in a single second. Imagine these events being generated, the results of earlier ones having causal inputs into the events which follow them - the generation of these events must happen strictly in sequence, so while they are being generated, the events in the rocket have to be generated much more slowly. Move the rocket at even higher speed and only a tenth of a second would go by during its trip, by its clocks. At even higher speeds, it's a single millisecond, or a microsecond, or nanosecond, etc. - it's heading for zero time, and if it could move at the speed of light it would clearly be zero time. We have a clear difference in the rates of time for different players. When you look at it from the point of view of a preferred frame though, time doesn't vary for any frame of reference - only apparent time varies, but real time is passing at the same rate for all frames. Clocks run slow, but their components are still running at full speed - they just have further to go to complete circuits, so you get an apparent slowing and a reduction in apparent aging.

Heading for does not equal reaching.  Approach is asymptotic.  Massive objects do not travel at c - EVER.   There is no inertial frame in which the photon is at rest EVER.  SR does not breach causality - quite the oppposite in fact.   There is great experimental evidence for this stuff - and whilst I am sure you won't admit it - it is clear that your understanding of Special Relativity is lacking.  You are attacking the ideas on the bases of incredulity and misunderstanding.

Sorry for terseness - but no way am I typing long version again.
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Offline David Cooper

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I have moved David's sidebranch dealing with Einstein's assertion which is demonstrably wrong to it's own thread in New Theories.

please can we keep this thread and others on the main boards restricted to mainstream ideas? 

many thanks

Then you've made a very embarrassing mistake - it is not a new theory, but an explanation of why the Lorentz interpretation of relativity is superior to Einstein's interpretation. Both theories are indestinguishable in terms of what they predict. Because of this, it is not demonstrably wrong, but on the contrary is demonstrably correct due to the fact it makes sense while Einstein's interpretation does not.
« Last Edit: 29/07/2012 20:09:56 by David Cooper »

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Offline David Cooper

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Why would you want to move this to new theories when the issue at question refers to the self same theory and the two rival interpretations involved come from Lorentz and Einstein. You are the one whose understanding of relativity is lacking - you have just displayed the most extraordinary amount of ignorance on the subject while the entire argument I've put before you has gone right over your head.

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Offline Geezer

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David,

It would be helpful if you can reference a published paper to support your assertion that Einstein got it wrong. I probably won't understand it, but others might.

Thanks!
G
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Offline JP

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The fact that we can't work out whether a clock is moving or not does not justify making assertions that there is no such thing as stationary . . .

That's precisely what it does justify if you confine yourself to working within space and time.  We're pretty sure we know what a stationary reference frame would look like within our universe, and we have experimentally and observationaly ruled it out.

No it does not justify that - if you live inside a universe which you can't see out of such that you can't detect anything outside of it at all, to conclude that there is nothing outside the universe would be sheer stupidity. The only valid conclusion you can come to in such a situation is that you don't know if there's anything outside - not that there's nothing there.

If you read my argument carefully, you'll see I said within space and time, which means we stay within our universe (which encompasses up all of our space-time).  You can make up whatever fantastic ideas you want about what lies outside the universe (I prefer unicorns and hobbits myself), but since we can't actually test it, it isn't science.  Absence of testability doesn't make an idea scientifically valid--in fact it makes it not science at all.

Working within the universe, it appears that there is no preferred reference frame, which is backed up by plenty of experimental and observational evidence.

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Offline JP

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Mod note:
David, the moderators are happy to review rulings if you keep it civil.  Reporting the post or politely asking us to review it is enough.  Telling a moderator that they just "displayed the most extraordinary amount of ignorance" is not civil and is a quick way to get the thread locked without review.

I will take this to the moderator forum for discussion, but as a moderator (and someone who knows physics very well), I can tell you why this thread belongs here. 

You are proposing a new theory.  Relativity theory works within our universe, and our universe includes all space and time.  Relativity theory also specifies that within this framework (our universe) there is no single preferred reference frame.  Relativity doesn't describe what there might or might not be outside of our universe.  This is primarily because science requires testable hypotheses and we don't know how to test this yet. 

Your claim seems to essentially be that since relativity doesn't outright forbid a preferred reference frame outside the universe, then one exists.  This is a new theory on two counts.  First, you're proposing the existence of "stuff" outside our universe.  Second, you're calling it a "reference frame" which is defined in relativity to mean exclusively things within our space-time, i.e. within our universe. 

If I'm misinterpreting you on this, let me know.  If you are working within the framework of relativity and your theory isn't proposing any add-ons to it, then it certainly can be moved back into the mainstream fora, provided this discussion remains civil.

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Offline David Cooper

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This above paragraph which seems to unpin your ideas is completely wrong.  Your assertion that time is frozen for a photon is baseless and certainly does not flow from E's relativity.

I didn't say it was frozen for a photon, so you're attacking a straw man. Time passes for the photon, so on the trip I described a year goes by for it while it travels a lightyear. A photon doesn't do anything while travelling, so you could describe it as being frozen in one sense, but it's actually doing a lot: i.e. moving a very long way at a very high speed. But with Einstein's interpretation, no time passes for it at all on that trip.
"But with Einstein's interpretation, no time passes for it at all on that trip."
"no time has passed for that photon, if you believe Einstein's interpretation of relativity"
These are the straw men to end all straw men!  I apologize if I didn't understand your theory (which lets be honest you have exactly expounded in detail); you terribly misreprented SR (which is well documented) and I assumed that your mistaken theory included rather than denied the misrepresentation

"No time passes for the photon" does not mean the same as "time is frozen for the photon" - with Einstein's interpretation, no time passes for the photon - there is no time on any photon's journey for it to be frozen because its journey from its point of view is instantaneous.

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Twin paradox is not unexplained, nor a logical flaw in SR.  Read Physics Faq - the Doppler Shift Explanation will deal with your exact problem of what is happening THROUGHOUT the voyage

I don't call it the Twin paradox precisely because it is not a paradox and is not unexplained. I used it here in an entirely different way from the normal one, pointing out how Einstein's interpretation provides no mechanism by which it can be made to work out, other than by borrowing the mechanims of a preferred frame from Lorentz to do the work before denying the existence of that mechanism. Einstein's interpretation is a farce.

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One twin accelerates - frames are no equivalent, can tell the difference and calculate which ages.
The usual beginner's mistake with the acceleration aspect - the acceleration is not sufficient as a mechanism. Do the work and think it through.

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Heading for does not equal reaching.

In this context that is not relevant - it doesn't need to reach there. You're getting hung up on trivial aspects that aren't crucial to the main argument.

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SR does not breach causality - quite the oppposite in fact.   There is great experimental evidence for this stuff - and whilst I am sure you won't admit it - it is clear that your understanding of Special Relativity is lacking.  You are attacking the ideas on the bases of incredulity and misunderstanding.

There is no experimental evidence that can separate the Lorentz interpretation from Einstein's. Science has simply made a collective decision to back the wrong one on the basis of poor philosophical understanding - they aren't avoiding philosophical interpretation, but actively choosing inferior philosophy over superior philosophy and then denying that they're doing philosophy at all. The misunderstanding is yours and not mine. As for incredulity - yes, I don't believe in magic, but Einstein's interpretation depends on just that, wheras that of Lorentz doesn't.

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Offline David Cooper

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Mod note:
David, the moderators are happy to review rulings if you keep it civil.  Reporting the post or politely asking us to review it is enough.  Telling a moderator that they just "displayed the most extraordinary amount of ignorance" is not civil and is a quick way to get the thread locked without review.

When I put across a serious idea about relativity and my objection to the standard interpretation of it, I don't expect to have my contributions flung into New Theories as if I'm some kind of crackpot - I expect serious discussion.

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You are proposing a new theory.  Relativity theory works within our universe, and our universe includes all space and time.  Relativity theory also specifies that within this framework (our universe) there is no single preferred reference frame.  Relativity doesn't describe what there might or might not be outside of our universe.  This is primarily because science requires testable hypotheses and we don't know how to test this yet.

The Lorentz interpretation of relativity is not a new theory.

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Your claim seems to essentially be that since relativity doesn't outright forbid a preferred reference frame outside the universe, then one exists.

You haven't understood the argument either! The argument is that Einstein's interpretation of relativity destroys the only mechanism available to it to make it work. If all frames are equal, that mechanism is gone.

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This is a new theory on two counts.  First, you're proposing the existence of "stuff" outside our universe.

My argument doesn't depend on any stuff outside the universe whatsoever.

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Second, you're calling it a "reference frame" which is defined in relativity to mean exclusively things within our space-time, i.e. within our universe.

The preferred frame of reference is in the universe - fine. It doesn't actually need to be, but that's another discussion entirely which can bring in ideas of things outside of the universe. I didn't bring that up because it's completely superfluous to the argument.

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If I'm misinterpreting you on this, let me know.  If you are working within the framework of relativity and your theory isn't proposing any add-ons to it, then it certainly can be moved back into the mainstream fora, provided this discussion remains civil.

You have misinterpreted it, and I am working entirely within everything that is known through experiment about relativity.
« Last Edit: 29/07/2012 21:18:34 by David Cooper »

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Offline David Cooper

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That isn't easy to do, beacuse there is no difference between Einstein's version or relativity and that of Lorentz that can be shown up by experiment - they are completely equivalent. It is only the interpretations that are different, and one makes more sense than the other because it doesn't depend on magic. I prefer the one that doesn't depend on magic - the one which doesn't depend on a mechanism which it simultaniously denies.

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Offline JP

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The preferred frame of reference is in the universe - fine. It doesn't actually need to be, but that's another discussion entirely which can bring in ideas of things outside of the universe. I didn't bring that up because it's completely superfluous to the argument.

"The universe" is not a reference frame within special relativity.  Reference frames are defined within spacetime.  All spacetime itself is not a reference frame.

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Offline Geezer

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David,

I'm just catching up on this thread, but I'm warning you that one more accusation of ignorance directed at any other TNS poster will get you banned.

G
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Offline David Cooper

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But they can make nasty accusations against me as much as they like? Not a fair playing field.

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Offline David Cooper

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The preferred frame of reference is in the universe - fine. It doesn't actually need to be, but that's another discussion entirely which can bring in ideas of things outside of the universe. I didn't bring that up because it's completely superfluous to the argument.

"The universe" is not a reference frame within special relativity.  Reference frames are defined within spacetime.  All spacetime itself is not a reference frame.

Did I say it was? Look at the word "in" and think about what role it has in the sentence "The preferred frame of reference is in the universe". No one reads anything carefully here, so what's the point of trying to discuss challenging ideas?
« Last Edit: 29/07/2012 21:24:51 by David Cooper »

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Offline JP

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You're right.  I misread your statement. 

I've actually been arguing against your post:
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To manufacture a block universe you actually have to build it up from one end (the past) to the other (the future), and that necessarily involves a kind of time that runs. This is absolute time, and the only frame which records absolute time is the preferred frame - all other frames will record a slower apparent time.

Since thinking about "building" a universe requires that you somehow exist outside of it.  Your argument with imatfaal appears to be about Lorentzian relativity.  I've responded to that on the more mainstream thread.

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Offline JP

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Geezer, he's talking about an interpretation of relativistic effects that does involve keeping an "aether" but making it undetectable.  If we can't detect the preferred reference frame in any way, then all our experimental results will look the same as if there is no preferred reference frame.  This has fallen out of favor mostly because it is experimentally indistinguishable from special relativity (which has no preferred reference frame) and introduces extra complexity.

David, if both interpretations are equivalent in terms of predictions, then you can't make the claim that Einstein's is somehow scientifically flawed.  If either is to be discarded, it's Lorentz's interpretation, since it adds complexity without adding any new predictions, which is generally frowned upon in physics.  In fact, you can always take an existing theory and add some undetectable feature to it to make a new theory, so the simplicity test is a pretty useful feature in science.

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Offline Geezer

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Geezer, he's talking about an interpretation of relativistic effects that does involve keeping an "aether" but making it undetectable.  If we can't detect the preferred reference frame in any way, then all our experimental results will look the same as if there is no preferred reference frame.  This has fallen out of favor mostly because it is experimentally indistinguishable from special relativity (which has no preferred reference frame) and introduces extra complexity.


I was just about to say that :)
There ain'ta no sanity clause, and there ain'ta no centrifugal force ćther.

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Offline David Cooper

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Since thinking about "building" a universe requires that you somehow exist outside of it.  Your argument with imatfaal appears to be about Lorentzian relativity.  I've responded to that on the more mainstream thread.

You can think about the universe building itself - it is created at the big bang and grows from there. This can be done in two ways, one of which involves creating a block universe and the other which doesn't, but which considers whatever exists at one point to be a continuation and replacement of the past. Either way, there is no need to consider what might be outside of it. The issue is about how the universe grows the future out of the past, which it has to do regardless of whether you're looking at it as a block universe or not. During that process of growth, clocks will necessarily run slow in some frames of reference when compared with others - they cannot run at the same rate or they would get ahead of other things in the universe which they have to interact with - things which would have no possible way of getting there in time to interact with them otherwise.

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Offline David Cooper

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This has fallen out of favor mostly because it is experimentally indistinguishable from special relativity (which has no preferred reference frame) and introduces extra complexity.

David, if both interpretations are equivalent in terms of predictions, then you can't make the claim that Einstein's is somehow scientifically flawed.  If either is to be discarded, it's Lorentz's interpretation, since it adds complexity without adding any new predictions, which is generally frowned upon in physics.  In fact, you can always take an existing theory and add some undetectable feature to it to make a new theory, so the simplicity test is a pretty useful feature in science.

It's Einstein's interpretation that adds the extra complexity - it depends on the very same extra complexity of the Lorentz interpretation to provide a crucial mechanism for its functionality, and then denies that that mechanism exists, leaving it all to happen by magic instead.

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Offline Geezer

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 and then denies that that mechanism exists, leaving it all to happen by magic instead.


Yes, you mentioned that already. What's the magic trick? Is it that c is invariant?

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Offline David Cooper

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 and then denies that that mechanism exists, leaving it all to happen by magic instead.


Yes, you mentioned that already. What's the magic trick? Is it that c is invariant?

The trick is using a convenient frame as if it is a preferred frame so that time can be treated as if it's running slow in other frames, then once the work's all been done, the mechanism that's just been used is denied and the assertion is made that time doesn't run slow in any frame.

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Offline David Cooper

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A rogue moderator is wrongly moving all of this out of the thread it legitimately belongs to and into a forum to which it clearly does not belong. I am going to make an official complaint to the owners of the forum.

Edit: official complaint sent and copies of both threads stored.
« Last Edit: 29/07/2012 23:02:19 by David Cooper »

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Offline JP

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David, if you want to argue for Lorentzian aether, then it might be best to just come out and say you prefer it, but both are equivalent in their predictions.  Coming out of the gate insisting Einstein's theories are wrong and involve "magic," doesn't help your argument.  It also amounts to essentially arguing against a widely-accepted century-old theory because you don't care for the philosophical interpretations.  Also, coming up with pejorative names for the theories you disagree with ("magic") and name-calling doesn't help. 

As I mentioned above, you can create an infinity of relativity theories by introducing undetectable features.  In science, we don't choose one from among those because it happens to be the most comfortable to our preconceptions of how the universe should work.  We choose one by (generally) using Occam's razor to remove all unnecessary features.  We then worry about the interpretation of what's left.

If we're going to start introducing undetectable features because we feel more comfortable with them in the theory, who decides which features to allow and which to reject? 

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Offline David Cooper

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Coming out of the gate insisting Einstein's theories are wrong and involve "magic," doesn't help your argument.

I'm saying his interpretation is wrong, and it's demonstrably inferior - it does depend on magic because it depends on a mechanism which it denies.

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It also amounts to essentially arguing against a widely-accepted century-old theory because you don't care for the philosophical interpretations.

No, it's arguing against a philosophical interpretation which is clearly wrong.

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Also, coming up with pejorative names for the theories you disagree with ("magic") and name-calling doesn't help.

What can I call it other than magic? If you depend on a mechanism which you simultaneously deny exists, you render that mechansim magical - I'm using it as a technical term.

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As I mentioned above, you can create an infinity of relativity theories by introducing undetectable features.  In science, we don't choose one from among those because it happens to be the most comfortable to our preconceptions of how the universe should work.  We choose one by (generally) using Occam's razor to remove all unnecessary features.  We then worry about the interpretation of what's left.

That is certainly how you should do things, but in this specific case you are doing the exact opposite.

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If we're going to start introducing undetectable features because we feel more comfortable with them in the theory, who decides which features to allow and which to reject?

Einstein's interpretation involves using an undetectable feature (the exact same one) which he relies on while at the same time denying the existence of it. That is not being scientific. If all frames are equal, he has no mechanism for time to record differently on different paths other than to borrow the idea of a preferred frame to do the calculation and then pretend there is no preferred frame on the basis that the frame chosen to serve as a preferred frame can't be distinguished from a different frame which might actually be the preferred frame.
« Last Edit: 29/07/2012 23:29:18 by David Cooper »

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Offline David Cooper

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Let me run through it again. This time we can start with two rockets which are sitting alongside each other, somewhere in open space. One of them accelerates away from the other and then coasts away for a long time. At some point, it decelerates, turns round, accelerates back towards the other rocket and then coasts back to it, decelerating to avoid an impact when it arrives. Now, where is Einstein's mechanism to cause its clocks to record less time if all frames are equal? He simply doesn't have one, so he has to borrow it from Lorentz and then deny the mechanism he's just used after using it, justifying this on the woeful basis that he can't tell which frame might actually be preferred. As soon as he does this, he renders all frames as equal, so either he can't have any clocks recording less time than others or he has to have an infinite variety of simultanious applications of the mechanism borrowed from Lorentz: one for every possible frame of reference. That isn't a simpler interpretation - it involves infinitely more extra features than the interpretation involving just one single preferred frame, all of them being duplicates.

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Offline David Cooper

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I chose two rockets for a reason. Each rocket has another rocket within it, and during the first phase while the two original rockets are moving apart, the other two rockets inside them are released and sent out on similar journeys, each moving away (but towards each other) and later returning (to the rocket they started in). Each case of this is identical to the original case - one of the rockets accelerates away from the other, then stops and accelerates back again, although almost all the whole of each of these trips is done by coasting.

Accelerations are shown by this to be inadequate as a mechanism - one acceleration of a rocket causes that rocket to record less time passing, while an identical acceleration of another rocket causes that rocket to record more time passing - the frames are not equal. This issue can be brushed under the carpet by only accepting the result of a round trip, not allowing more time to be recorded after one acceleration and less to be recorded after the other, but that's a cop out. The mechanism only works as a mechanism if there is an actual difference between the two halves of a round trip. Einstein refuses to accept that and insists that the mechanism doesn't apply to either half the trip, but only to both halves once added together. The only rational way to account for that is to allow one half of the trip to be recording both less time and more time at the same time, an infinite number of instantiations of the mechanism being used all at once in order to make all the frames equally valid. That is not a simpler explanation of anything!

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Offline Geezer

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Edit: official complaint sent and copies of both threads stored.


That being the case, this thread is locked pending resolution.
There ain'ta no sanity clause, and there ain'ta no centrifugal force ćther.

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Offline David Cooper

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What is the mechanism behind time dilation in SR?
« Reply #34 on: 09/08/2012 20:54:34 »
What is the mechanism behind time dilation in Special Relativity? When calculating how things behave in different frames of reference there appear to be a few different methods based on a mechanism dependent on there being a preferred frame of reference, but none of them can be an actual mechanism if there is no actual preferred frame of reference. Clearly these methods are fine for working out how lengths appear to shorten and clocks appear to slow, but they have nothing to say about how things actually work in reality if there is no preferred frame. Worse than that, any attempt to use them as a mechanism leads to an infinite number of contradictions.
« Last Edit: 09/08/2012 21:05:58 by David Cooper »

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Offline yor_on

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Re: What is the mechanism behind time dilation in SR?
« Reply #35 on: 09/08/2012 23:24:48 »
When we measure something we use local time and a local ruler, then we measure some other locality relative that. NIST shows us that even on Earth you will find different 'frames of reference' based on gravitational time dilations in actual real experiments with atomic clocks. If it is so that two clocks on earth, synchronized resting beside each other on a table, start to diverge as you move one to the floor in their time measurement then you need to explain why they can do so.

A 'frame of reference' is a position in space and time, you have one, I have another, and our clocks will most probably differ. But if I would travel to you and put my clock beside yours we would find that they measure the exact same (hopefully being correctly synchronized once before we split up)

As for a preferred frame of reference? You have yours and I have mine :) What we share is 'locality' meaning the constant 'c' we can measure locally using our ruler and clock. Locally there should be no difference between your measurements and mine if using our own measuring devices but when we compare our own frame of reference to some other we will find that there is a discrepancy in 'time' and possibly in our definition of distance too depending on the relative motion measured between us. And that's where my head starts to hurt a little :) thinking of a system A. and B. Where A and B from a third observer C. is found to have different uniform motions relative him, but from A measuring B only, and B measuring A only, also can be defined as both having anything from 'zero motion' to having 'all the motion' assuming all moving uniformly.

If you think of it, having two objects moving uniformly A and B from eachother, can yhou prove which one 'really' is the culprit? You could use possibly use very distant 'fixed' stars, or the CBR (cosmic background radiation) but? Then you need to prove without doubt that those don't 'move'. So far there exist no proof for that, although I've seen some suggesting using just fixed stars as a practical reference point for 'motion'. Remember that all uniformly moving planets behave the same. If Earth went double the speed it has today through the universe, still uniformly, it wouldn't mean a thing to us as far as I can see. All experiments would behave the same as long as we're not talking about its rotation.
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Offline yor_on

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Re: What is the mechanism behind time dilation in SR?
« Reply #36 on: 09/08/2012 23:32:31 »
Although, there might be a way if getting to relativistic speeds, thinking of LorentzFitzGerald contractions, but that assumes that you accept relativity. And then we have the radiation of course that would become blue shifted in a very fast speed, but that is also a relativistic phenomena. There is also the way the light would behave, describing the 'room' you see thinking of it :)
=

You need to find a frame that won't 'budge' to disproof relativity. The only 'frame' I can think of there is 'c' and if you use that one as your proof :) Then you will reach very interesting conclusions, in fact you will reach relativity as 'c' is a local definition to me, although shared by all frames of reference.
« Last Edit: 09/08/2012 23:41:37 by yor_on »
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Offline JP

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David, starting new topics to continue an argument that was moved to new theories is a quick way to get your posts removed.  I've unlocked this thread so you can continue the discussion here if you want, but please keep it on topic and don't bring it back to the mainstream boards again.

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Offline David Cooper

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David, starting new topics to continue an argument that was moved to new theories is a quick way to get your posts removed.  I've unlocked this thread so you can continue the discussion here if you want, but please keep it on topic and don't bring it back to the mainstream boards again.

This discussion does not belong in new theories. Why are you so scared of such a simple question? I'm simply asking what your rational mechanism is for time dilation without a preferred frame, and you have none.

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Offline David Cooper

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This forum has a connection through Chris to Radio 5. It consequently has a responsibility to treat its users with more respect than this, and to treat questions fairly. I don't want to have to get in touch with Radio 5 to tell them how people are treated here.

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Offline daveshorts

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I don't think that Einstein proposed a mechanism for the time dilation - he just produced a set of equations which neatly combined electromagnetism into one force, and have since been shown to work again and again.

Whether equations need mechanisms on a fundamental level is really quite deep philosophy, and every mechanism will end up with 'because that's how the universe is' after digging down through enough layers, and it is not obvious to me that is a great problem, unless you can find evidence for another deeper layer of mechanism underneath it.

A lot of problems with special relativity stem from trying to apply it to situations which it wasn't designed for. It only works for inertial reference frames - moving at a constant velocity, this means that the twin paradox can't be solved using it - moving two twins apart and then moving them back again involves accelerations, which are not included in special relativity.

To deal with these you need General Relativity, which is 'difficult', seems to involve a 1000 page A4 text book which sits 'waiting for a couple of years' to read on most academic physicist's shelves and which I avoided at undergrad. But I am assured by people who would love to prove it wrong (Nobel prize anyone) that it fixes the problems everyone has with special relativity.

I am not saying that there can't be problems with General relativity (though it has passed all the tests it has had so far) but that to propose them you need to understand it at lot better than I do. Happy reading....
« Last Edit: 13/08/2012 15:57:00 by daveshorts »

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Offline David Cooper

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This topic has moved to another place and will not be returning here.

Link removed by moderator
« Last Edit: 23/08/2012 00:53:30 by imatfaal »