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RECENT POSTS IN THIS TOPIC

Eckard Blumschein: on 10/29/09 at 16:06pm UTC, wrote Dear Armin, I got the impression your strength is critical thinking. May...

amrit: on 10/19/09 at 18:19pm UTC, wrote Armin WE know from experiments that velocity of clocks depends on gravity....

Steven Oostdijk: on 10/13/09 at 19:14pm UTC, wrote Dear Armin, I had a few questions about your essay: 1. Why did you base...

Armin Nikkhah Shirazi: on 10/5/09 at 10:39am UTC, wrote Essay Abstract The Lorentz Transformations imply that time and...


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FQXi FORUM
October 14, 2019

CATEGORY: What's Ultimately Possible in Physics? Essay Contest (2009) [back]
TOPIC: On the Impossibility of Separating Clocks from Rulers by Armin Nikkhah Shirazi [refresh]
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Author Armin Nikkhah Shirazi wrote on Oct. 5, 2009 @ 10:39 GMT
Essay Abstract

The Lorentz Transformations imply that time and length are in some sense interconvertible, much in contrast to our ordinary intuitions. This paper attempts to present an approach which is supposed to make it intuitively evident that time and length are in fact interconvertible and, furthermore, that this approach is compatible with two well-known phenomena predicted by SR, namely time dilation and length contraction. This is accomplished by demonstrating how a clock can be used as a ruler, and vice versa, leading to the realization that length contraction and time dilation directly imply each other in the context of the motion of the same measurement device. What makes both kinds of measurements using the same device really possible in the first place is the existence of a finite upper limit on motion. Because of this limit, length measurements cannot be completed without involving the passage of time, and time measurements cannot be completed without involving finite displacement. But that means any clock or ruler really measures both time and length. Hence one constraint on what is fundamentally possible in physics is our ability to build measurement devices that can be exclusively used just as rulers or just as clocks.

Author Bio

Armin Nikkhah Shirazi currently studies physics and philosophy at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Download Essay PDF File

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Steven Oostdijk wrote on Oct. 13, 2009 @ 19:14 GMT
Dear Armin,

I had a few questions about your essay:

1. Why did you base your paper on abstract clocks and given Lorentz formula's? You could have simply started with the fact that photons are the defined rulers of both space and time as given by our current physics standards. The SI system says the meter is distance covered by light travelling vacuum in 1/299 792 4581 s and it states the second unit is 9 192 631 770 periods of radiation from the cesium 133 atom. This shows that both properties are reciprocally related to photons. I wonder how your essay would have looked like if you just would have taken the wavelength or frequency of the photon as the clock and the tickmarks of that local photon clock as the distance marks.

2. You are talking about length contraction and time dilation. That is for an object travelling away from an observer. What happens if an object travels towards another observer? Please check with one observer and photons emitted from an object moving towards or from him. You will find first order Doppler effects, not Lorentz formula's.

Good luck with the contest!

Steven Oostdijk

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amrit wrote on Oct. 19, 2009 @ 18:19 GMT
Armin

WE know from experiments that velocity of clocks depends on gravity.

Physical time is run of clocks in space

and space itself is timeless.

Time and space cannot be coupled in one physical reality because they are two.

see my articles on vixra - quantum gravity

yours amrit

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Eckard Blumschein wrote on Oct. 29, 2009 @ 16:06 GMT
Dear Armin,

I got the impression your strength is critical thinking. May I suggest to you looking for subjects that are both fundamental and important? Maybe, my essay can provide some food for thought. I am arguing: Any process cannot be separated from the very moments when it happens and when it can be observed. The conclusion requires blaming Einstein just a believing physicist and explaining the T-symmetry just an improper interpretation. It looks as if SUSY and quantum computers are based on belonging mistakes. You can prove wrong either me or a lot of pretty incredible physics. I would appreciate both.

Just do it,

Eckard

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