Real time is invariant! A different interpretation of GR... Comment please !

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Offline felixtheferret

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Hi all.
  My theory is that real, 'universal' time is invariant, I will describe the reasoning now with a thought experiment, and welcome comments.  None of the equations of relativity are violated.
  Before you dismiss this, for the first time ever recently I heard a respectable physicist allude to the same claim;  it was the 'physics for future presidents' lectures on Google video.

Fact 1:
  According to Einstein, time slows down the closer you are to mass.
This means, for example, that there exist 'time shells' around a planet.
This has been proved with atomic clocks:   An atomic clock, at the top of
a high tower, runs faster than its originally-synchronized twin on
the ground.  I accept this as totally true.
  So most people say : proven by experiment:  time can vary.
  End of story? Not so.

Fact 2:
  Relativity is based on something called the Lorentz equations.  The basic
problem was this:  The speed of light was found to be constant, irrespective of one's relative motion and frame of reference, by experiment.  Now this at the time  was a huge problem to physics because it broke the standard formula of speed = distance / time.  One of the ways of bodging the equation so that speed can remain constant is to allow the measures of distance and time to vary. 

 However this is a purely mathematical construct.  The idea of the measure of distance changing does not bother me at all, it is the idea that time can be treated so similarly to the other three dimensions. In my view it can't, although an EQUIVALENT EFFECT is caused by high speed or proximity to mass.

Now consider this diagram, it shows one-second snapshots of a man walking
along on a low-mass planet like the Earth :

        / \
      1 sec

                          / \
                       2 secs

                                             / \
                                          3 secs

Now consider the result of the same man moving along over 3 seconds near a black hole :

                           / \
                        1.5 secs       2.25 secs    3 secs

- according to many physicists trying to explain these concepts in
laymans terms via the idea of 'time-shells,' the legs would be traveling
much slower in time, as they are nearest to the black hole, (read concentrated mass) the arms a bit faster as they are in the next time-shell up, and finally the head moving fastest in time, being the furthest away from the spacetime-curving effects of the black hole.

Of course, I am over-simplifying, the time-shell 'layers' would be
far more gradual, more finer, maybe even infinitely so.

However, can you see the problem? Near a black hole, the man is instantly
killed, because where his head is, three seconds into the future, he
has no arms or legs.

If time really does change , then this must be an accurate picture of what
would happen near a mass.  But wait a minute - you don't need to be by a
black hole for GR to take effect!  GR is in effect on the Earth - it has been
proven, as said, with atomic clocks mounted on towers clocking a faster time
than the ones on the ground.  But hang on again - the observer on the ground
does not see the clock disappear from the top of the tower!  The skeptic will
say (as one CERN scientist replied to me who didn't get my gist!) that we are
only talking about zillionths of picoseconds of difference, if that. Are we really going to notice that?   The answer is - it doesn't matter, the argument is irrelevant:
If my head disappears off one picosecond into the future, then in the time-shell
of my body, I am dead!  So the thought experiment is simple:  If time really does vary in ways that it is understood to vary as per most people's interpretation of GR,  *biological life could not exist.*   

So what's the solution to this?  As said, I am now very very happy that I have heard a senior scientist mention this, but basically, if an atomic clock at the bottom of a tower is showing a slower time, has time slowed down in the understanding, according to most physics layman's book writers, of : 'in a different time-shell?'  My theory is - of course not - it is the *clock* that has slowed down!!   And I don't mean via faulty clockwork!
Something must have happened, due to spacial dimensions changing but NOT time, that gives THE EQUIVALENT EFFECT of LOCAL TIME SLOWING DOWN for the object in question.  I like to imagine a scenario whereby distance has increased in some extra spacial dimension that means that all atoms and subatomic particles and waves in my body and feet have, effectively, FURTHER TO TRAVEL in the same relative measure-of-distance that my head is experiencing.

What does this mean in practice?  Basically this :

 If time is infinitely granular, and I admit that I don't like this idea, then it means that my head is still attached to my body, but is a fraction of a zillionth of a picosecond out of *physical* alignment - my head has the orientation of its atoms in a state of motion one zillionth of a picosecond 'on' from where its alignment would have been had it been in the same time-shell as my body.  But wait - surely even a small time difference would make a difference on planck scales? Scaling the idea up, would veins and bones and neural pathways get broken?   Not so - because if my body passes through an *infinite* number of time-shells (read layers) then the 'physical misalignment' of my body as it passes through the so-called 'time shells' is *infinitely* smooth.  Near a black hole however, I would be killed , as the misalignment would be so great between head and feet.

If I am right, what does this mean?
 - there's nothing wrong with the Lorentz Equations as they stand. It is just
   the interpretation of 'varying time' by most people that must be wrong.

 - The special relativity idea of time slowing down for a high-speed object
   is fine, as long as this is interpreted to mean 'CLOCK MEASURED TIME'
   and not universal time .  True, the concept in GR and SR is of course
   frame-of-reference time relative to another observer.  However I believe
   that this frame-of-reference time must always be relative to a universal

 - The science-fiction idea of going back in time ( a concept openly thought
   a possibility in the cutting edge of real-world quantum and theoretical
   physics as well! ) is absolute nonsense.  If such a 'local' effect is
   possible, then that is equivalent to negative spacial dimensions in the
   only-spacial-dimensions-are-allowed-to-vary way that I look at it, and
   the idea of negative spacial dimensions (i.e. a size smaller than nothing!)
   is just as absurd as negative time.

 - A spaceship leaving Earth just under the speed of light carrying an atomic
   clock would arrive on a distant planet at precisely the same real, universal
   time (read universal time to mean that measured by a motionless clock near
   no mass at the centre of the universe, the centre being the point of the
   big bang) as that of an Earth-bound atomic clock.  The spaceship's clock
   of course indicates a date far in the PAST of the earth-bound observer,
   and the astronauts are still, in real time, much younger than their aged
   friends on Earth.  This is caused by the spacially-slowed motion of their
   constituent parts due to the high speed, giving the EFFECT of local time
   having changed.  In reality, they exist in the same moment, the same
   'tick,' of universal time, it's just the clock of the astronaut is now
   measuring the 'wrong' time (slow) when compared to our theoretical
   clock-at-the-centre-of-the-universe.  Our astronaut can travel back to
   Earth, and true, he will meet and shake hands with his elderly Earth
   friends, and the reason they can do this is that they exist in the same
   moment of real universal time, and always have done !

In summary, my non-mathematical armchair theory is that some extra spacial dimensions have stretched, meaning all waves and particles have a LONGER PATH to travel through in space, giving the EFFECT of local time slowing down relative to a slower observer.

The Lorentz equations showing time in a reference frame as changeable MUST be simply a fortuitous mathematical equivalence to a more detailed, undiscovered equation that allows light speed to remain constant for two observers traveling in different frames of reference; one that would use maybe extra spacial dimensions to create the same effect.

My assertion here basically is that the idea of 'time-shells' is wrong, as
biological life could not exist, as per my thought experiment.

comments please!

I can't remember it off the top of my head, but if anyone is interested, I will find and post the link to the Google video of the respected physics lecturer alluding to the same thing.

« Last Edit: 09/06/2007 01:22:02 by felixtheferret »
It's the clocks that are slowing down, not time !!!


Offline Batroost

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My advice would be to wait for the results from NASA's Gravity Probe B - probably out by the end of this year.

If this provides convincing measurements of the geodetic effect and of frame-dragging then I expect most people will find themselves supporting the existing interpretations of GR.

- It would almost be more fun if the results gave us something unexpected...?
Never express yourself more clearly than you are able to think.


Offline lightarrow

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- The special relativity idea of time slowing down for a high-speed object
   is fine, as long as this is interpreted to mean 'CLOCK MEASURED TIME'
   and not universal time
.  True, the concept in GR and SR is of course
   frame-of-reference time relative to another observer.  However I believe
   that this frame-of-reference time must always be relative to a universal
What is, physically, time (or any other physical quantity), if it's not what you measure?


Offline Soul Surfer

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What you are describing is the process of "spagettification" that would occur in an intense gravitiational field near a small (stellar mass) black hole  no solid objects can exist in gravitiational gradients like this and with smaller black holes even atoms and nucleii will be torn apart.

Mind you it is possible to drift into a billion stellar mass black hole without even noticing it
Learn, create, test and tell
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Offline ukmicky

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Sorry felixtheferret 
I need to move this to the new theories section.