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RECENT POSTS IN THIS TOPIC

David Fahrner: on 3/2/18 at 5:33am UTC, wrote Juan, Thank you for your reply. I am aware of the current treatment of...

Juan Ramón González Álvarez: on 3/1/18 at 19:33pm UTC, wrote The above is me.

Anonymous: on 3/1/18 at 19:33pm UTC, wrote "The concept of velocity is therefore dependent on an observer, a...

David Fahrner: on 2/27/18 at 2:51am UTC, wrote John-Erik, Thank you for your comments. I am not sure what it would mean...

John-Erik Persson: on 2/26/18 at 19:31pm UTC, wrote David Fahrner I think that you use too strong words here. If you were more...

Steven Andresen: on 2/22/18 at 7:08am UTC, wrote Dear David If you are looking for another essay to read and rate in the...

David Fahrner: on 2/22/18 at 2:00am UTC, wrote Peter, Thanks for the nice comments and the boost to keep from "bring up...

Peter Jackson: on 2/21/18 at 20:30pm UTC, wrote David, I'd made a note I'd commented, but now can't see it! (that's...


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FQXi FORUM
October 23, 2019

CATEGORY: FQXi Essay Contest - Spring, 2017 [back]
TOPIC: Light Has No Speed by David M Fahrner [refresh]
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Author David Fahrner wrote on Jan. 30, 2018 @ 22:36 GMT
Essay Abstract

The concept of speed or velocity do not apply to light. Our primary and fundamental means of awareness(including all measurement) is mediated by light or electromagnetism, so any attempts to measure light speed is an invalid attempt to measure that on which measurement depends, a violation of the hierarchical relation between light and measurement.

Author Bio

BS/MS Mechanical Engineering, San Jose State University and MS Economics Purdue University. David M. Fahrner

Download Essay PDF File

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Heinrich Luediger wrote on Jan. 31, 2018 @ 10:42 GMT
Dear David,

very interesting out-of-the-box thinking! You may want to consider also this: the equations of motion involve position and its first and second derivatives with respect to time, i.e. velocity and acceleration (force). Now, humans have genuine senses for ‘position’ and ‘force’, but not for velocity. And wouldn’t the ‘world’ be over-determined if we had a genuine velocity sense? Is ‘velocity’ the joker in the equations of motion or, as you say, merely epistemological?

Heinrich

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Author David Fahrner replied on Feb. 14, 2018 @ 16:44 GMT
Heinrich,

Thank you for your comment. I wouldn't say "merely" epistemological because there are two essentials at the base of all knowledge; 1) what do we know? (metaphysics) and 2) how do we know it? (epistemology) and both are equally important.

Regarding velocity it is important to note that velocity is an advanced concept and is inextricably tied to Newton's calculus. By definition an object in motion has no specific position so "instantaneous" velocity is a bit of a misnomer. It is actually a precise, mathematically defined type of average that is very useful for calculating change but it may need to be revised. To incorporate the finite "speed" of light Einstein chose to modify the concepts of space and time whereas a better approach may be to modify Newton's calculus to avoid misapplying the concept of velocity to light as discussed in my essay.

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Armin Nikkhah Shirazi wrote on Feb. 5, 2018 @ 23:23 GMT
Dear David,

I sympathize with your attempt to try to make sense out of the speed of light (something that my essay attempts as well). I would like to make some suggestions, in the spirit of constructive criticism, to help you present your ideas in a manner so that others can better understand your approach:

1. The biggest thing I missed in your essay was a dissection of an experiment...

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Armin Nikkhah Shirazi replied on Feb. 5, 2018 @ 23:25 GMT
Somehow there was a glitch in the formatting of the paragraphs. It added the letters "nl" where there should have been new lines. Oh well

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Author David Fahrner replied on Feb. 14, 2018 @ 17:25 GMT
Armin,

Thank you for your comments. I will try to reply to each item as ordered.

1) As I mentioned in note [2] my essay was strictly a conceptual analysis of what I consider to be a conceptual error; misapplication of the concept of velocity. In my view, all knowledge rests on our sensory data and I think it is a well established scientific fact all senses (sight, sound, touch, taste, feel) are dependent on electromagnetism in various forms as the means.

2) Historically the use of the term "infinite" was used so that is what I used. Moreover, there is a lot of confusion on what the concept of infinity really means, especially from the math departments. I am a follower of Aristotle and believe that the essence of existence is identity so any form of metaphysical infinities cannot exist. Aristotle believed only in potential infinities as an epistemological concept, such as the open-ended, indefinite sequence or process of the natural numbers.

3b)If I included a complete discussion of all my metaphysical and epistemological assumptions I could not meet the length requirement of the contest, i.e. it would have been a book length discussion. It would also be impractical to go in depth into these important topics in a web forum comment. However, I believe that induction (properly defined) is as valid as deduction and the idea that logic=deduction is too narrow.

3c) If my essay argument is correct, i.e. the concept of velocity does not apply to light, then all the examples you mentioned are various forms of circular reasoning. The implication of my argument is that these examples are NOT "distinct quantities" because defining and measuring them uses light or electromagnetism. It is tantamount to trying to "measure" the unit meter stick, it always comes out as 1.0 in the equations by definition. I discussed this issue in note [5] of my essay.

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Satyavarapu Naga Parameswara Gupta wrote on Feb. 13, 2018 @ 11:55 GMT
Good thinking sir,

By the way have look at my essay also...

Here in my essay energy to mass conversion is proposed...……..….. yours is very nice essay best wishes …. I highly appreciate hope your essay ….You may please spend some of the valuable time on Dynamic Universe Model also and give your some of the valuable & esteemed guidance

Some of the Main foundational...

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Peter Jackson wrote on Feb. 21, 2018 @ 20:30 GMT
David,

I'd made a note I'd commented, but now can't see it! (that's happened before). Anyway, nice original idea and thinking. I agree we really do need to break away from complacent assumptions! Mine also shows a way, but I fear no entrenched academic will do more than glance and run! My score will boost you up a bit.

Best

Peter

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Author David Fahrner replied on Feb. 22, 2018 @ 02:00 GMT
Peter,

Thanks for the nice comments and the boost to keep from "bring up the rear". As soon as I get the time I will read and comment on your essay.

I did see your earlier comment but I was sick with the flu, by the time I came back to reply it was gone along with 2 or 3 other's comments. I complained to the admin but nothing came of it. Good news though, a friend has a copy of your original comment and I will try to send that to you so you can repost and then I can reply.

Regards,

David

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Steven Andresen wrote on Feb. 22, 2018 @ 07:08 GMT
Dear David

If you are looking for another essay to read and rate in the final days of the contest, will you consider mine please? I read all essays from those who comment on my page, and if I cant rate an essay highly, then I don’t rate them at all. Infact I haven’t issued a rating lower that ten. So you have nothing to lose by having me read your essay, and everything to...

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John-Erik Persson wrote on Feb. 26, 2018 @ 19:31 GMT
David Fahrner

I think that you use too strong words here. If you were more modest you would get more respons. I think that you are touching something very important, since there is, in my opinion, a very important difference between common speeds and the speed of light. However, you express this idea in too strong words. Perhaps we should call light speed a kind of process instead.

Best regards from John-Erik Persson

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Author David Fahrner replied on Feb. 27, 2018 @ 02:51 GMT
John-Erik,

Thank you for your comments. I am not sure what it would mean to use "soft words" but I just tried to express my idea as clearly as possible. Many people have been intrigued by my idea and think that it is an interesting approach. Unfortunately I haven't developed a full theory or anything like that and most essays in the contest are far more developed than mine.

I agree that one possible path forward, as you suggest, is to have a different concept for light so the special nature of light can be kept separate from normal velocities instead of confounding two very different things in one concept.

Regards,

David

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Anonymous wrote on Mar. 1, 2018 @ 19:33 GMT
"The concept of velocity is therefore dependent on an observer, a distinguishable entity being observed, their relative position and a change in that relative position." It can be demonstrated that speed of light is invariant among observers in relative motion.

"It is a form of circular reasoning to apply the concept of velocity to light". Light doesn't have velocity. Photons aren't localizable particles. But light has speed and it is denoted by c.

All the discussion about attempts "to measure light speed" is irrelevant.The speed of light is a exact quantity, not a measured quantity in the SI.

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Juan Ramón González Álvarez replied on Mar. 1, 2018 @ 19:33 GMT
The above is me.

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Author David Fahrner replied on Mar. 2, 2018 @ 05:33 GMT
Juan,

Thank you for your reply. I am aware of the current treatment of light in physics which you reiterated in your comment but this is the approach that my essay is questioning. You ignore the history of actual attempts to measure light speed (as discussed in my essay) which is not irrelevant to how we got where we are today. This work culminated in the work of Einstein and the constant...

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