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FQXi BLOGS
October 22, 2019

CATEGORY: Blog [back]
TOPIC: Courageous PostDocs! [refresh]
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FQXi Administrator Brendan Foster wrote on Sep. 9, 2010 @ 15:22 GMT
FQXi is now offering a new award, for Most Courageous Postdoc! The $1,000 award was developed with the help of Sabine Hossenfelder, Assistant Professor at the Nordic Institute for Theoretical Physics, FQXi Member and essay contest winner. (Sabine herself may have been a prime candidate for the award just a few years ago.)

From the prize announcement: "The main criterion for the prize is the courage and effort a postdoc has put into his or her research on foundational questions in physics and cosmology...The candidate must have a PhD in physics or related field, but not have reached faculty level [and] must have demonstrated extraordinary passion for unraveling the secrets of the universe and big unsolved problems in FQXi's focus areas."

Nomination consists primarily of a short statement of why you think the nominee is most deserving of the prize. To read more about the qualifications, and to submit a nomination, visit this page.

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Roy Johnstone wrote on Sep. 9, 2010 @ 23:09 GMT
I would love to see one of the all too few brave souls working on De Broglie/Bohm interpretations of QM be rewarded in this way. This ontological interpretation has been criminally ignored for eight decades or more and those who dare take it seriously have historically been ridiculed and certainly not considered for funding from traditional sources. This has started to change for the better (eg. Durr et al via FQXi), but further recognition of this kind from FQXi would certainly help promote this type of model and perhaps make it more attractive for young postdocs to take on. Maybe then it can receive all the resources the "standard" Copenhagen based interpretation has *demanded* for so long yet is still fraught with questions about it's meaning and unexplained quantum-classical "jumps etc.

Almost any one of these people would be worthy.

Help the Bohmians!!

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FQXi Administrator Brendan Foster replied on Sep. 14, 2010 @ 15:31 GMT
I agree, but I'm not allowed to nominate anyone. If you know someone you think is worthy, get busy.

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Florin Moldoveanu wrote on Sep. 10, 2010 @ 13:48 GMT
Brendan,

$1000.00 is really a token. Beware of the consequences. The war of Troy started with an apple dedicated “to the most beautiful”.

What is courageous? Working on Streater’s list topics of lost causes: http://www.mth.kcl.ac.uk/~streater/lostcauses.html ? Being criticized by Lubos Motl?

How about something more practical and far more valuable: an invitation to a conference to present your ideas. Or carving out a day or two of experts to attempt to understand a new paradigm and offer feedback instead of brushing it aside? Or reaching an agreement with the archive and providing endorsements?

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Lawrence B. Crowell replied on Sep. 11, 2010 @ 00:05 GMT
Hell, being criticised by Lubos might be considered a badge of honor. I am not sure what to make of him. He can give lucid discussions about topics in physics and string theory, but he is off his rocker on the global warming stuff, and when he write political stuff he goes completely nuts. He wrote a bit on this prize , where he gets insulting. I occassionaly post something on his blog, though I try to avoid his political stuff since it is often utterly repulsive. Though when I need a colostomy done (fortunately I have a decade to go before then) I might indulge in reading his politics the day before --- it will help with the purging required for the exam.

Cheers LC

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Florin Moldoveanu replied on Sep. 11, 2010 @ 03:17 GMT
Lawrence,

Honestly, I did not know that Lubos already wrote about this prize when I wrote my comment.

Lubos is a very good physicist, and he does call out “the emperor is naked”. However, I kid you not, at work I do have a coworker just like him: extreme right wing republican who finds only liberal conspiracies around and who is also an extremely talented individual in matters of work. But I am sick and tired of this kind of paranoia attitude and “he who is not with us is against us” mentality. That is why I never posted anything on Lubos’ blog, and I will never do it in the future. (I do however read his blog because he makes good physics points and I try to skip over his foul language.)

And about his climate change expertise, he is just as qualified to issue opinions about it just as much as a climatologist is qualified to pass judgments on string theory.

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781227 replied on Sep. 11, 2010 @ 05:38 GMT
I was reading motl's blog too, trying hard to filter out his hate. Once, he praised the murder of some humanitarian civilians, and I decided to cut even the anonymous support I used to give him by visiting his site. It is a shame that this thread became about him.

Judging after her writing, Bee is a nice person, and this idea of prize is very good. I wish to congratulate her for having it and putting it into practice.

Florin, your idea of support is good too, and you should try to make FQXi or others to offer it. This should not be viewed as competing to Sabine's, or as being a criticism of her own prize.

Congratulations, Sabine!

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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Sep. 11, 2010 @ 12:55 GMT
Florin,

My experience with E. Europe is that this reflects a reaction against the Communist period. I think this amounts to a regrettable tendency for people to see polar opposites. So I see some people who after years of eating communist shit have decided the right wing bile coming out of my country is somehow "tasty."

This sort of thing is an unfortuate element from my country, and has old roots. A lot of this goes back to the old south, where there are underlying elements of racism and nativism here. The huge right winged reaction against Obama has this quality, where calling him a Muslim is really as way of saying, "He is not one of us." This stuff is the most shameful aspect of the United States, but unfortunately this have been on the rise for the last 20 years, or really maybe more that 30 years.

Cheers (or should I say groans) LC

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Ray Munroe replied on Sep. 11, 2010 @ 18:06 GMT
Dear Lawrence,

You don't need to slander entire parts of the world just because you disagree with or don't like Lubos.

As the sole outspoken Southerner on this post (I know that Tom Ray is from the South and has since moved on), I feel an obligation to respond to your comment "This sort of thing is an unfortuate element from my country, and has old roots. A lot of this goes back to the old south, where there are underlying elements of racism and nativism here."

The Old South did not invent racism, discrimination or slavery; and the Civil War did not end the occurance of these injustices around the world. My Great-great-grandfather did make a fortune off of another southern invention: Coca Cola. From my perspective (my wife is part Cherokee), I think that the people who got the worst deal in this country were the Native Americans - they were nearly "exterminated", but that was OK because it was war - right? (I'm being sarcastic...) And most every European nation that claimed land in this "new" continent was guilty of trying to elliminate or move the Native "Indians".

As you know, I live in Tallahassee, Florida - the only state capital east of the Missisippi that wasn't sacked by Yankee troops. Our local newspaper is called the "Tallahassee Democrat" because most Southerners became Democrats to protest President Abraham Lincoln (who was a Republican - remember?). As a businessman, I am too fiscally conservative to support the current Democratic spending and bail-out trends (I think that less government is better government), however the reaction from the extreme right also bothers me. I am more conservative than my town - which is a liberal seat of (excessive) government.

All I ask is - Let's not get too personal about our politics. I enjoy talking science with all of you!

I hope that Sabine's prize helps someone who needs it.

Have Fun!

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Florin Moldoveanu replied on Sep. 11, 2010 @ 20:17 GMT
Lawrence,

As I myself came from E Europe, I think I understand very clearly where Lubos is coming from. Also your description is a bit stereotypical. It is not about polar opposites. It's a reaction against the “establishment who control your fortunes” and is about the right to speak your mind freely (which was denied under communism and was trumpet by the “wood language” of the repressive regime and looks to have been replaced in the west by the “politically correct” speech).

To both of those, Lubos opposes individualism, freedom, and a persecution mindset not unlike the republican/tea party members who view liberalism as a way to reach inside their pockets to support laziness as a part of a galactic conspiracy. The only difference between Lubos and republicans is on religion, but they do share the self-righteousness trait.

What Lubos got wrong, is that in science you live in a state of confusion, and you constantly try and test new ideas. To view this as cracpotism runs counter to the spirit of science. To this Lubos might say (as my coworker often does) is that this is a naïve position contradicted every day by the “realpolitik” of groups of interest. Yes, in any domain, physics included, are groups of people pursuing their common goals and who will defend their objectives with less than honorable means, but the generalization is without merit.

In general I can skip Lubos’ foul language, but what I will not tolerate is his actions to complain about papers on the archive to the point that it got them reclassified. This is shameful and hypocritical, and is based on fearmongering that you will become his next target if you don’t act. It is also shameful on the archive administrators themselves because they indulged him and played along on his bullyism. When individual rights were trampled by higher considerations (like: those theories were decided, this is crackpotism, or delusional ideas I let go when I was only 13 years old, etc, etc) then the circle is complete and you are becoming the high inquisitor and the oppressor instead of the repressed.

And one more thing. There is the issue of quality control which is very dear to Lubos. Zero quality control is bad, and so is 100%. The best balance is very hard to get and is more an art than a science. Invariably when basics are questioned, there are a lot of self-delusional “experts” showing up and this “background noise” makes it extremely hard to separate truly new valid ideas. What I would like to see are honest proposals on how to improve the efficiency of supporting and disseminating new valid ideas and not sterile rhetoric supporting the two extremes. I don’t like the vixra or the censorship on the arXiv. I do like the recent idea of publishing rejected mathematical papers along with the rebuttals and the explanation of why the papers might be relevant. I do like FQXi, but I would fine tune it to dedicate more expert time on selecting the correct new ideas.

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John Merryman wrote on Sep. 11, 2010 @ 16:52 GMT
It will be interesting to see how this contest plays out, given the sense that physics is starting to go through its own post-structuralist moment of minutely dissecting and analyzing the coda while still being trapped in it.

It's safe to say that anyone at the postdoc stage is going to be fairly circumspect as to questioning the seaworthiness of the vessel they've spent much time and money trying to climb aboard, as opposed to simply finding a convenient hole to caulk.

They would get my vote if they were to find a way to do away with multiverses, as opposed to finding ways to support them.

As for physics and politics, it would be a benefit to society if the physics profession could develop a text book describing all the physical processes which animate political and economic processes, from the structural consolidation which gives rise to conservatism, vs the gravitational collapse that marks its demise. The energetic social expansion that animates the rise of liberalism, vs the fragmented dissolution which marks its end. The bottom up processes of democracy, vs the top down civil structure of a republic.

The dynamics of inflow and outflow, expansion and contraction that create and stabilize social and economic boundaries, etc. Possibly the logic of a publicly controlled monetary medium for a stable market function. Instead it seems physics contributions to society are ever greater advances in our tools and weapons, along with the occasional dispute with religion over the existence, or non-existence of God. We need to solve some rather serious problems with this world, if we ever want to build rocketships to other worlds.

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Florin Moldoveanu replied on Sep. 12, 2010 @ 03:03 GMT
John,

Very good points. Indeed, it is very foolish to question the basics until you get tenure. Not foolish, downright suicidal. But I guess this is how the world always was. Just consider the stories of the prophets and how they went to the desert and came back enlightened men. How many went there and never returned we will never know.

The multiverse idea makes perfect sense and I feel it is required. After all, to quote Guth, why would our universe happen only once? To think that, it is not only a huge leap of faith, but also a very depressing idea. On the other hand, it does feel that the God-of-the-gaps got replaced by the “multiverse-of-the-gaps” as advocated by Susskind.

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Eckard replied on Sep. 12, 2010 @ 08:04 GMT
Florin,

I agree on that many mere speculations are pointless. In particular speculating on a multiverse does not hurt anybody and does therefore not demand courage while rising really foundational questions is downright suicidal.

Didn't you in E Europe (Romania?) experience yourself that dissidence was suicidal at least until you got tenure and sitting pretty?

Given Tom Van Flandern was a young postdoc. Would you appreciate his courage?

Eckard

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John Merryman replied on Sep. 12, 2010 @ 14:46 GMT
Florin,

It was those prophets wandering in from the desert who proclaimed there to be only one god, looking down on us all. The basic logical fallacy of monotheism though, is that the universal state of the absolute is basis, not apex. So a spiritual, or physical, absolute would be the essence from which we rise, not an ideal from which we fell. The conclusion drawn from monotheism is that...

view entire post


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Eckard wrote on Sep. 11, 2010 @ 17:00 GMT
Will physics benefit from solutions to these problems? Perhaps, more courage is required for unbiased dealing with more foundational almost philosophical questions, e.g.: Given Lorentz contraction is an illusion as explained by Van Flandern, how to rewrite modern physics?

Eckard

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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Sep. 12, 2010 @ 18:19 GMT
Florin & Ray,

What you indicate with regards to E. Europe is an elaboration of what I said a couple of sentences. The "reaction" is basically what was meant by polar opposites. I think a similar thing happened with the end of the Third Reich, where the end of Fascism saw a decade where Communism was popular, until eventually people saw otherwise, as seen in the Budapest uprising of 1954...

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James Putnam replied on Sep. 12, 2010 @ 20:12 GMT
So that Dr. Crowell's continuing disinformation campaign against the GOP doesn't stick:

"I can't help but see this as being a return to some unfortunate aspects of this nation's past, where clearly we have not really gotten over the issue of racism."

The Republican Party has always been the party of equality for all. That phrase "some unfortunate aspects of this nation's past, where clearly we have not really gotten over the issue of racism." is not referring to the history of the GOP. It applies to a different party.

James

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Lawrence B. Crowell replied on Sep. 12, 2010 @ 21:17 GMT
I have a bridge in Brooklynn for sale if you really believe that. All the GOP really cares about is promoting the power and wealth of the powerful and wealthy. The GOP had a liberal (well sort of liberal) period during only one President, and that was Lincoln. However, in order to fight the civil war he entangled his administration and ultimately the party with corporate power to industrialize the Union Army. Lincoln even wrote about this pernicious influence in 1864. The Democratic party has a checkered history as well, but it has nowhere near the ideological power and media influence the GOP has.

Cheers LC

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James Putnam replied on Sep. 12, 2010 @ 21:35 GMT
Keep your bridge. The Democratic party doesn't have a checkered history, it has a racist history. You just can't bring yourself to credit the party, its leaders, and the white people who fought one of the worst wars in history and ended slavery. Pick away all you want; but the GOP has always been the party of equality for all.

James

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T H Ray wrote on Sep. 13, 2010 @ 18:14 GMT
Sorry, James, you _did_ engage in disinformation (while unjustly accusing another of doing so) by characterizing the GOP as the party of individual freedom (Lincoln and Goldwater are models) when that is a patent lie. The myth has been peddled effectively, but that doesn't change its content.

Yes, that's the last I'll have to say of it. As far as physics goes, when you ask a sensible and civil question, you'll get a sensible and civil answer.

Tom

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James Putnam replied on Sep. 13, 2010 @ 18:22 GMT
Tom,

Lie huh! Best wishes to you.

James

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John Merryman replied on Sep. 13, 2010 @ 19:19 GMT
Trying to objectively discuss politics is like playing catch with nitroglycerin.

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Florin Moldoveanu wrote on Sep. 14, 2010 @ 16:49 GMT
Back on courageous, here is a partial list o people I consider courageous (and I think everyone will agree with me):

- Julian Barbour for having the courage to work alone outside academia.

- Lee Smolin for daring to speak up against mainstream string theory.

- Irving Segal for challenging the expansion of the universe with his cosmological proposal.

- Scott Aaronson for betting his house against a recent P-NP proof.

- Roderich Tumulka for his work on “flash ontology”.

- Gerard ‘t Hooft for sticking with classical determinism.

- Leonard Susskind for support of anthropic principle.

None of those actions were popular and everyone on the list above put academic integrity and belief of what is right above personal considerations. Moreover, many already paid dearly for going against the mainstream. Myself, I don’t think many people on this list were/are right, but I can admire their integrity and courage.

What other people should be on this list?

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T H Ray replied on Sep. 14, 2010 @ 18:07 GMT
Florin, FWIW, you have my agreement on that list.

How far does one go with this? Is Petr Beckmann a hero or a crank, for sticking with Galilean relativity? There are bound to be those whom we admire for some accomplishments, and simultaneously shy away from for other reasons. Even Einstein in his later years suffered the derision of his colleagues, while nevertheless holding the highest position of respect. I feel much the same about Leonard Susskind, while being of the opinion that the (strong) anthropic principle is a superfluous assumption.

And what about Roger Penrose and his theories of consciousness? A superior mathematician, but ...

What we have to remember is that all these, and those on your list included, also made a creditable reputation outside of their "questionable" ideas.

Tom

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James Putnam replied on Sep. 14, 2010 @ 18:15 GMT
Hopefully someone skillful steps forward to free science from mechanical ideology.

James

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Jason Wolfe replied on Sep. 14, 2010 @ 19:00 GMT
Dear Tom,

I caught a glance of a comment/challenge that you had for my explanation of the Higgs field, but I can't find your post now.

Let me start by saying that the scientific communities accepted definition of Higgs field (a.k.a God particle) is the ubiquitous field that is responsible for inertial mass. At its lowest energy, the Higgs field is also referred to as the vacuum energy.

I believe in conservation of energy. Also, I am fascinated by the dependence of mass upon energy as



The Higgs field is responsible for mass AND mass is dependent upon the square of the speed of light. That was another clue that the whatever implements the laws of physics, it is dependent upon a characteristic of light, namely the speed of light c.

I have to use the Higgs field as a catch all for various characteristics because the Michelson Morley experiment disproved the aether. The aether cannot be like a gas because we would be able to detect our movement within the aether/gas.

Since the "aether" description is not available, I decided to use the Higgs field. The Higgs field has to be made out of wave functions. These wave functions transmit energy, particularly (virtual/real) photons. The Higgs field must also have gravitational energy levels that are dependent upon a property of light called red/blue shifting. This red/blue shift property is inversely proportional to time dilation and will explain the time dilation effects caused by gravity.

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Roy Johnstone wrote on Sep. 15, 2010 @ 03:32 GMT
Thanks Florin,

Nice to see someone include Roderich Tumulka on a "most courageous" list!

Cheers

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Sep. 17, 2010 @ 21:39 GMT
Tom,

Have you ever thought that it was strange the time dilation occurs for objects in a gravity well? When an object is in free fall, there is no time dilation. However, when an object is prevented from falling, that object experiences time dilation.

I believe in conservation of energy. I also believe that photons (light) traveling through a vacuum, will move at the speed of light, c. Photons that fall into a gravity well can't accellerate. They can only gain energy by blueshifting.

Does it make even a little bit of sense that blueshift and graviational time dilation might be closely related?

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T H Ray replied on Sep. 19, 2010 @ 10:28 GMT
Jason,

Time dilation is relative to the observer. One cannot speak of it as an phenomenon of its own.

For massless particles such as photons, time dilation does not exist at all.

Tom

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Jason Wolfe replied on Sep. 19, 2010 @ 16:15 GMT
Tom,

I'm afraid you and the rest of the physics community are grossly mistaken about the nature of the photon. It's not (just) another particle. To put it simply, it is a thread in the weave of space-time.

I can show mathematically that red-shift and time dilation are directly related.

You folks can continue to follow Stephen Hawking down a dead end. I promise you that the pursuit of the time machine will yield NOTHING.

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Lawrence B. Crowell replied on Sep. 19, 2010 @ 17:36 GMT
Jason, Tom is right. The proper time or invariant interval of a photon is zero. A photon carries no clock. Now there is a relationship between the measured red shifing of photons from a source and the observed rate of clocks (periodicities etc) on that source. Yet a photon has no intrinsic time.

Cheers LC

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Sep. 19, 2010 @ 20:39 GMT
Dear Lawrence,

I'm trying to set up the example right now. I am going to have a very very massive planet. There will be a space-elevator built into it with a height h. The elevator is frictionless and is designed to free fall. The surface will have gravity g. The elevator itself will have a He-Ne laser attached to its bottom.

In the first experiment, when the elevator is released, it will start to free fall. At that moment, the equipment inside will measure zero gravity, which means no time dilation. The laser on the bottom of the elevator will shine a beam of photons down to the wavelength/frequency detector at the bottom of the shaft, at the surface.

By the time the photons reach the sensor at the bottom, they will be blue-shifted. Since the sensor is located at the base of the elevator (the surface), it is experiencing time dilation just sitting there in a gravity field. Therefore, its clock will run slower than the elevator clock.

I want to show that the sensor will detect the photons with a slower clock. In doing so, it will detect the photons at a higher frequency (because its clock runs slower).

If I can relate the change in frequency to the effect of a slower running clock (time dilation), then that will prove that gravitational redshift is equivalent to gravitational time dilation.

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Lawrence B. Crowell replied on Sep. 20, 2010 @ 01:19 GMT
This is not too different from what I said. The photon does not red shift by having its clock adjusted. It is red shifted because there are two clocks at different regions the photon passes through which have different rates.

Cheers LC

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Jason Wolfe replied on Sep. 20, 2010 @ 01:37 GMT
Lawrence,

I think that the physics community is failing to recognize the special status of the photon. The photon is not just another run of the mill particle. The photon is uniquely equipped to,

1. carry energy E = hf,

2. carry momentum p = h/lambda,

3. travel at the velocity of light,

4. force all observers (usually electrons) to agree that it travels at velocity c.

5. mandate c = lambda*f for all electrons regardless of their individual velocities.

It's wavelength exactly correspond to length contraction.

It's frequency exactly corresponds to time dilation.

If I ask you what fundamentally causes gravitational time dilation, you will say it's caused by the Einstein equation. The only thing the Einstein equation can cause is a headache.

Gravitational time dilation, and the curvature of space-time itself, MUST be deeply connected to photons in some way. Personally, I think that the Higgs field is a froth of wave functions that exists throughout the universe. Photons are the excitations of these wave functions.

Gravity and frequency shifting have to be able to cause each other.

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Jason Wolfe replied on Sep. 20, 2010 @ 01:46 GMT
Faraday's Law says if I thrust a magnet through the plane of a wrapped coil, it will cause an electrical current throughout the coil. Likewise, if the magnet is at rest within the plane of the coil, the act of passing a current through the coil with cause the magnet to be forced out of the plane.

I am saying that frequency shifted photons enjoy the same kind of relationship with gravity.

Feel free to disagree. I just hope I am articulating clearly.

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Sep. 19, 2010 @ 23:10 GMT
Lawrence,

Gravitational redshift and Time dilation are equivalent. The Schwarzschild radius is given by



The time dilation outside a non rotating sphere is



By comparison, the equation for gravitational redshift is given by,



If the emitter frequency f_e = 1/t_f, and f_o = 1/t_o, then the two equations are equivalent.

If gravitational red shift and time dilation are equivalent,

and

time dilation is equivalent to gravity,

then,

gravitational redshift is equivalent to gravity.

Now can we talk about shift photons?

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Sep. 20, 2010 @ 19:41 GMT
While working on my space-elevator/time dilation model, I discovered something interesting about time dilation. Time dilation does not mean to get more time. Time dilation means that you take more time. Consider two positions, A and B. Position A is not time dilated. Position B IS time dilated in such a way that its seconds are three times (3x) longer than in position A. The result is...

Position B is annoyingly slow and takes 3x longer to do the same task. If position A transmits a signal, a laser of frequency f, position B will sample it like it normally does. Because its sampling is so slow, the incoming frequency will appear to be very fast. Location B will measure the frequency to be f' = 3f.

Position A, non dilated, can be in free fall and/or zero velocity.

Position B, time dilated, can be either moving at relativistic speeds and/or somewhere within a gravity well.

The difference between positions A and B can be easily understood by watching what a photon will do. If the time dilation is the result of a gravity well, then the photon will fall into it, its frequency will increase as it falls from a fast time zone into a slow (time dilated) time zone.

One could almost say that gravity is the effect of the clock slowing down.

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John Merryman replied on Sep. 20, 2010 @ 21:25 GMT
Jason,

So, essentially it means the clock moves faster/slower, due to external conditions, rather than finding a shortcut through the spacetime manifold.

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Jason Wolfe replied on Sep. 20, 2010 @ 22:20 GMT
John,

It's hard to find language and words that are meaningful to everyone. Have you ever heard of the "weave" of space-time? It's sort of like the weave (threads) that make up a pair of jeans; but these threads are wave functions. Wave functions are: all of the possible arrangements of energy for a quantum system. Wave functions are the pathway/road/highway for photons.

Have you ever climbed a mountain? If you're not athletic, then you will curse every step up the mountain. You know, deep down, that it doesn't matter what path you take up the mountain. You still have to climb the stupid mountain and it's hard work. There is no way to avoid the energy cost of climbing the mountain.

Why is this important? Because photons have to expend energy to climb the mountain too. The wave functions that make up the Higgs field have gravitational energy levels; gravitational energy levels MUST obey time dilation to prevent photons from violating conservation of energy.

I'm sorry that I can't articulate it better. Energy/time/photons/gravity are all interwoven into an inseparable energy conserved system. But because it's inseparable, we can take advantage of it. By synthesizing a photon with a changing frequency (shift photon) we can force it to spit out a gravity field (graviton?).

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John Merryman replied on Sep. 21, 2010 @ 00:14 GMT
Jason,

So when photons have to climb out of gravity wells and expand as ever growing wave fronts across the Higgs fields surrounding them, it causes redshift? And this explains why space appears to expand?

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Plato wrote on Sep. 22, 2010 @ 23:53 GMT
Low energy inertial/gravitational equivalency is theoretically possible given

balanced attraction and repulsion (i.e., contracted AND expanded space). This is the requirement of quantum gravity, and it would also give us the union of gravity with electromagnetism/light.

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Plato wrote on Sep. 23, 2010 @ 00:23 GMT
No gravity detectable/felt in outer space. No gravity detectable in atomic realm. Unite a smaller AND larger space to unite/balance:

1) inertia and gravity (this may be seen, briefly, as inertia INCREASES and gravity decreases).

2) electromagnetism/gravity

3) repulsion/attraction

We then we have Quantum Gravity as well.

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Sep. 23, 2010 @ 00:28 GMT
Since there is such severe skepticism towards my shift-photon idea, would it make anyone more comfortable if I took up string/brane terminology?

I've never gotten a good explanation as to what a super-string really is, from the point of view of a wave function. I assume that a superstring is really just a generalized wave function. If a string and a wave function are completely diferent, please tell me.

A brane is supposed to be something that a string sticks to (connects to). What are branes made out of? I thought they were made out of superstrings.

So my explanation of shift photons would work like this. A photon is an energized wave function (superstring). Space time itself is made out of wave functions (superstrings). I call this the Higgs field. But a universe filled with superstrings is a brane. So the whole of space-time is a brane, this space-time brane is made out of superstrings (wave functions).

Does any of this help?

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PLATO wrote on Sep. 23, 2010 @ 00:35 GMT
Addition/correction -- Inertial/gravitational equivalency is possible given balanced attraction and repulsion (i.e., contracted AND expanded space). This is the requirement of quantum gravity, and it would also give us the union of gravity with electromagnetism/light.

================

No gravity detectable/felt in outer space. No gravity detectable in atomic realm. Unite a smaller AND larger space to unite/balance:

1) inertia and gravity (this may be seen, briefly, as inertia INCREASES and gravity decreases).

2) electromagnetism/gravity

3) repulsion/attraction

4) energy (or force)/distance in space

We then we have Quantum Gravity as well.

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Constantinos wrote on Sep. 23, 2010 @ 01:56 GMT
James,

Your claim that all units in physics reduce to units of distance and of time has stuck in my mind as an intriguing curiosity. I am trying to see how this is possible. The closest I come to reducing units of all physical quantities involve three basic units, not two. Along with units of 'distance' and 'time', I need also units of 'ether' to be able to derive the units of all other quantities, imo. Energy for example acquires units of 'ether / sec' while momentum becomes 'ether / meter'. All these are preliminary 'thoughts of the moment'. But I did wanted to pass this by you, knowing how fundamental this issue of units is to you.

Constantinos

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James Putnam replied on Sep. 23, 2010 @ 02:21 GMT
Dear Constantinos,

I say that all units must be reducible to distance and time because, all units have their origin in distance and time. We learn about all properties real or theoretical from measurements of distance and time only. There is no third unit of measurement. Energy requires the units of force multiplied by distance. Distance is clear. Force has been obfiscated by defining its units as being dependent upon the artificial units imposed upon mass.

Mass was arbitrarily, out of ignorance, accepted as being an indefinable property. It was not defined by means of expressions that included only distance and time. The units assigned to it also were not defined in terms of other pre-existing units. The only pre-existing units were distance and time. Mass is not an exception to the rule that I am saying is fundamental. Mass had to be defined in terms of distance and time or theory would become led astray right from the beginning. That is what happened. Mass was misdefined and theory immediately went astray. For your information the units of energy are meters. If this train of thought interests you, I can continue?

James

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Constantinos replied on Sep. 24, 2010 @ 21:06 GMT
Hi James,

Thanks for sharing these ideas with me. It does initiate a conversation on your views on physics.

I sympathize with your desire to reduce the units of physics to the absolute minimum. And certainly units of distance and of time are fundamental. But where I have trouble with your thinking is that in your view this is all that is needed. Perhaps further elaboration on you ideas may clarify this.

If everything in the Universe reduces to 'meters' and 'seconds' what in the Universe then is to be 'measured' and 'timed'? What in other words makes up the Universe? How do the 'stuff' of the Universe come about? And what would account for their varied properties? It seems to me that having only units of distance and of time reduces Physics to empty geometry. This is why I think we also need 'units' of 'ether'. With just these three units I am able to define energy, momentum, force, temperature, entropy.

Energy, for example, would be units of 'eta / sec', while force would be in units of 'eta / (meter-sec)'. How do you conclude that energy reduces to units of just 'meters'? And how does that then distinguish 1 m as distance from 1 m as energy? Curious.

Constantinos

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James Putnam replied on Sep. 25, 2010 @ 18:28 GMT
Constantinos,

Thank you for this challenging message that also shows genuine interest. I decided to just begin by giving you results. Obviously that is not sufficient. Then, if you remain interested, I can follow up with a simple model that will show how a variety of properties can be caused by something as singular as a variable speed of light. The following information was not arrived at in the order that I am giving them. However, they flow well from what I have already said about energy. I post them for your consideration.

Energy has units of meters. It follows that mass must have units of inverse acceleration. The inverse acceleration arises from the variable speed of light. Force is dimensionless. Working with such simple units can seem far too lean. However, I can add that energy is really one aceleration divided by another acceleration multiplied by distance. The units of the accelerations cancel out, but they don't have to. The point of working with distance and time is to express all units in terms of distance, time and their multiples.

So, energy is really not just meters. However, it is helpful to remember what each units reduces down to. For example, temperature works out to have units of meters per second. I know this does not represent velocity. I then conclude that it represents the time rate of change of energy with respect to time. It is the ideal rate at which molecules in thermal equilibrium continue to exchange energy back and forth.

I recognize it would be convenient to use old names, such as newtons and joules, for familiar properties and there is no problem with that so long as it is remembered that they are rooted in fundamental units of distance and time. There is one major exception. There is no need for electric charge. It is an invented property. The units for electric charge are clearly seconds for clear physical reason. Therefore, there is no point in carrying along the name coulomb's.

Once force is made dimensionless, actually a ratio of accelerations, and mass is recognized as inverse acceleration, and electric charge is eliminated, all other units become apparent. Momentum has reduced units of seconds.

Please let me know what you think?

James

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T H Ray wrote on Sep. 23, 2010 @ 11:42 GMT
Eckard,

There are no non-arbitrary endpoints. Classical physics describes continuous motion and time symmetry. That is why in the geometry of relativity, a rigid transformation, such as allowed by the endpoints of a line of invariant speed, demands a sort of "reversal of space" along with time reversal symmetry. This is obviously impossible unless spatial coordinates are combined with the time coordinate.

You can get an approximation to Lorentz transformation at low velocities such as you describe (speed of sound). The Galilean transformation that gets you that result, however, assumes absolute time. Using the universal invariant speed of light, absolute time no longer applies, and absolute spacetime becomes significant.

When Einstein generalized the uniform motion of special relativity to the accelerated motion of general relativity, solving such problems as the so-called twin paradox revealed just how profound this invariant speed is.* It's not really a paradox -- the straight line acceleration of the traveling twin, to the limit of c, requires that if the traveling twin returns to the stationary twin, a curved trajectory. A curved trajectory at speeds below that of light, is accelerated motion. Because c is invariant, however, the return of the traveling twin necessitates negative acceleration -- that's the transformation: the straight line sweeps an arc to return to the stationary twin, and the arbitrary endpoint where the traveling twin reversed direction is(from the viewpoint of the stationary twin) the "slow clock", while the stationary twin in her gravity field has been living by the "fast clock." Therefore, when the twins reunite their clocks are out of sync.

Tom

* Einstein thought that "the theory of invariance" was a better name for his theory, but history decided on "relativity" instead.

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T H Ray replied on Sep. 23, 2010 @ 21:12 GMT
npr relativity

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T H Ray replied on Sep. 23, 2010 @ 21:17 GMT
correction:

relativity

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Eckard replied on Sep. 23, 2010 @ 23:01 GMT
Tom, I wrote: ... "has moved" means they ... have already reached endpoints of their slow motion. Even in terms of SR I do not see any reason to apply the formulas for Lorentz contraction or Doppler effect so far. Correct?

Did you refer to that question of mine when you wrote: "There are no non-arbitrary endpoints"? The endpoints I considered were set at arbitrarily but symmetrically chosen distances d/2 to the left and to the right from a central starting point.

You wrote: "Classical physics describes ... time symmetry."

- Hm. Doesn't already any integration have a direction from lower to upper border? Advanced and retarded solution are indeed formally symmetric. However, there is only one realistic solution.

"That is why in the geometry of relativity, a rigid transformation,..."

- In what sense is what transformation rigid?

"... such as allowed by the endpoints of a line ..."

- Does a line have endpoints at all?

"... of invariant speed,..."

- What does 'line of invariant speed' mean?

"... demands a sort of 'reversal of space' along with time reversal symmetry."

- I argue: Differential equations are time reversal symmetric because they lost immediate connection with the reality that summarizes influences exclusively from earlier processes. Time reversal symmetry is an artifact of abstraction from reality.

"... This is obviously impossible unless spatial coordinates are combined with the time coordinate."

- Elapsed time fits to distance in that they are both restricted to positive values.

You mistook me: I see sound in air as well as light in vacuum just waves. RASS is a combination of both. Sound is not an approximation of light but well suited for investigating phenomena at velocities near the maximal speed of propagation, which is about a million times lower for sound. In principle, why shouldn't be a universal constant velocity of sound in air as of light in vacuum? Propagation of sound does also not depend on the velocities of sender or receiver, only on velocity of the medium air. Light is most likely its own medium. Where is the problem with absolute time and Galilean transformation? Are those who publish in Galilean Electrodynamics morons?

You claimed that Lorentz transformation was not fabricated ad hoc. Where may I find more? Since Voigt arrived at the same formulas for an elastic mechanical model, I guess he and Lorentz might have made the same basic mistake to be revealed. Both authors dealt with a system of differential equations of second order. Voigts Ueber das Doppler'sche Prinzip and Lorentz 1895 were written in German. Did you compare them?

Please be patient. I will add the promised continuation from what I begun writing yesterday with some delay after reading Jones.

Regards,

Eckard

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T H Ray wrote on Sep. 27, 2010 @ 10:57 GMT
Eckard,

Which book by Beckmann? I only recall reading _A History of Pi_ and that was quite a few years ago.

You write, "I do not yet understand why absolute time doesn't obviate complex spacetime coordinates."

I don't understand. Complex coordinates don't apply to real time. At any rate, Minkowski space (space-time) obviates absolute time because the time coordinate is continuous with space.

"I am still looking for a justification to the Lorentz contraction which I tend to interpret as the Doppler effect forward and backward together."

Two different things. LT describes the foreshortening (only in the direction of motion) of mass points. The Doppler effect describes foreshortening or lengthening of wavelength -- not mass points -- in both directions.

"You are blaming all deviating views including mine, Van Flandern, Beckmann, Essen, Vukelja, et al. for being based on false assumptions and premises without taking issue in detail."

One has only so much time. I apologize. If someone has proposed a physical experiment whose result would contradict what we already know about the Lorentz contraction, I would critique that to the best of my ability. I have already made the point that I am not interested in the mathematical theory -- because any possible correction there would not affect the physics. (No more than solving the problem of division by zero in the calculus prevented us from using the method to make correct physical predictions.)

Tom

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Eckard replied on Sep. 30, 2010 @ 18:27 GMT
Tom, and first Peter: Mankinson was not helpful to me. I did not find a reference to 'Lodges 1891 Stellar Aberration experiment' in Jones. Jones quoted himself 1961 and of course the perhaps very influential paper 'On Aberration Problems' by Lodge 1893. Unfortunately I did not manage getting access to it. Since motion is always relative, I feel not in position to judge whether the utterance by Lodges you quoted in italics is wrong or not. My intention is to understand on what basis FitzGerald, whose idea was promoted by Lodge, and Lorentz fabricated the length contraction. Lorentz himself considered it ad hoc and was not satisfied with this deficit. You merely mentioned Fresnel but did neither provide a mathematical approach nor did you quote Fresnel 1818.

Now to Tom: "LT describes the foreshortening (only in the direction of motion) of mass points." A point cannot be made shorter. You meant the distance between two points. Frequency and wavelength are reciprocal to each other. The reason for the quadratic dependency on v/c is the consideration of forward as well as backward distance. The consequence is paradoxical independence from direction.

Eckard

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T H Ray replied on Sep. 30, 2010 @ 19:20 GMT
Eckard,

I meant that the measure of contraction is only between two mass points, and only in the directiin of motion. Has nothing to do with frequency and wavelength -- it is a geometric transform.

Tom

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Eckard replied on Oct. 1, 2010 @ 16:14 GMT
Tom, Lorentz contraction is to blame for a lot of problems in physics. FQXi's Paul Davies explained the twin paradox by superposition of Lorentz contraction (LC) and a stronger Doppler effect (DE). You are wrong. Both the DE and LC can easily be calculated from c-v and c+v. DE uses either c-v or c+v depending on decreasing or increasing distance, respectively. LC uses both together, i.e. as Einstein wrote: From A after reflection at B return to A.

Eckard

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Peter Jackson wrote on Sep. 27, 2010 @ 12:02 GMT
Eckard

If we reconsider and invert the transformation equations, also allowing for the correction I referred to of (Galilean) Voigts x' = v - t to v + t (to allow o = o'), they can indeed represent a simple re-statement of Christian Dopplers effect on wave transformation.

This is anyway consistent with mass as a measure of energy, which Tom's rather rigid interpretation doesn't consider. Walter Babin's very clear derivation, which I've only recently found, agreed with my own on this, using and better explaining the SR postulates (any translation). The Quantum Mechanism I identified from classical optics then allows removal of paradox via the field. (there is also the QED equivalent previously referred).

I also agree that there is now overwhelming evidence of deviation without using 'false assumptions', which a close study of the papers clearly shows, though I agree with Tom that many 'conclusions' drawn, or rather 'theories' drawn up, are probably wrong and no more falsifiable than LT.

You've seen that Lorentz only resorted to his solution on the strength of Lodges 'observer frame' error (were you writing something about Jones repetition of it?) and SR can be completed consistently with both GR and QM once the error is recognised and corrected.

I believe you've now absorbed the point re Jones, that the Earth's observer frame is the one in motion, giving very different observations for angle, frequency and wavelength.

It's all very well claiming things like SR are wrong, even with empirical evidence, but that just leads to argument and insult. The value is in accurately determining what. This allows the extension to be identified and a more consistent and falsifiable final model derived, far more resistant to challenge.

Peter

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T H Ray replied on Sep. 27, 2010 @ 12:57 GMT
Eckard,

Okay, you got to me. I forced myself to go look up Petr Beckmann's wikipedia site and link to relativity detractors -- to see if my memory is bad or if I am being unfair in my assessment. I went to Tom Bethell's rant, "Rethinking Relativity," and read this far:

"No one has paid attention yet, but a well-respected physics journal just published an article whose conclusion, if generally accepted, will undermine the foundations of modern physics -- Einstein’s Theory of Relativity in particular. Published in Physics Letters A (December 21, 1998), the article claims that the speed with which the force of gravity propagates must be at least twenty billion times faster than the speed of light. This would contradict the Special Theory of Relativity of 1905, which asserts that nothing can go faster than light."

Why did I read only this far? Because it's complete nonsense. SR does _not_ assert that "nothing can go faster than light." GENERAL relativity, which is the theory having to do with gravity, shows that signals between massive bodies cannot be communicated faster than the speed of light in a vacuum; however, there _is no_ "force" propagating between bodies -- such a "force" was an assumption of Newtonian mechanics and requires action at a distance.

It's just this kind of nonsense that strains the credibility of relativity-bashers. If one has a better theory of gravity that supesedes relativity, let them present it independent of relativity. It does not do to simply not understand relativity, then in one's ignorance claim that's it's wrong, and then furthermore claim that the foundation of modern physics is underminded.

Tom

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Eckard replied on Sep. 27, 2010 @ 15:24 GMT
Tom,

IIRC, Tom Bethell is a journalist who commented on Beckmann's book. I am rather interested in the latter. Maybe, it contains compelling reasoning. Maybe, it did not yet reveal a hidden fallacy. Maybe, it is not always correct. I agree that Einstein provoked a lot of nonsensical reaction up to antisemitism. When Louis Essen frankly described his judgment of Einstein's 1905 paper Zur Elektrodynamik bewegter Koerper, his criticism was not unjustified.

To me, the only what counts are arguments concerning the very basics of Lorentz transformation and all undoubtedly related reasoning and facts including experiments as well as implications that are understandable to me. Admittedly I did never deal with questions concerning GR and gravity.

I got the impression I am the only one who tends to put already Lorentz theory and Poincaré's synchronization in question. Van Flandern quotes those, including Beckmann, who in principle accept Lorentz while they do not abandon the ether assumed by him. Van Flandern calls Lorentz Contraction an "illusion introduced in special relativity by the lack of remote simultaneity". Didn't already Poincaré introduce the latter in 1900 (La Theorie de Lorentz et la Principe de Reaction)?

Instead of believing in the possibility to directly synchronize remote clocks by means of signals I imagine that transmission of signals always needs a correction by the time of flight as to not contradict to an ubiquitous time.

Maybe, all scientists of the imperial epoch were unable to escape their belief in an anticipated future eternity combined with trust in determinism?

Eckard

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Steve Dufourny replied on Sep. 27, 2010 @ 16:45 GMT
hihihi very interesting all that, very interesting.

Dear Eckard hihi REVOLUTION ....copenaghen EPR ....THIS RELATIVITY REALLY IMPLIES MANY CONFUSIONS.

They claim what the relativity is this or that but they don't undeerstand its real meaning in fact.The relativity is to relativate in fact.....thus why these confusions ....because simply they don't understand.

The time is not a dimension but an irreversible constant in the local moment .......that helps thus to calculate our evolution.....the real topology and its pure dynamic inside a closed evolutive spherical system.The relativity is just that.

I love the 3 films of SPIELBERG ...BACK TO THE FUTURE...............but it's a film !...Now of course sme people can relativate but some people can't .....

Steve

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Anonymous wrote on Sep. 27, 2010 @ 16:11 GMT
Eckard

With regard to Doppler and the wavelength/frequency reciprocity on transformation this may interest you; http://www.vip.ocsnet.net/~ancient/

I've found a slightly surprising conclusion from the discrete field model giving a limited condition of length contraction on transformation observed from a privileged frame. You may visualise it as a condition of excessive blue shift where a massive object, say a ladder, not waves transforms between frames. As 'c' cannot be exceeded locally (by mass or waves that is) the LT curve must be valid with the same exponential profile as the power input profile/speed of the LHC.

This does rely on the evidence that it takes exponentially increasing power to accelerate mass through the vacuum, held (to meet the conservation law) by the parasitic 'photoelectron' cloud, proportional to speed. So it would appear only the original extra 'assumption' divorcing SR from the field qualities of GR was incorrect

Peter

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Steve Dufourny replied on Sep. 28, 2010 @ 09:43 GMT
Hi,

dear Peter,

you say

I've found a slightly surprising conclusion from the discrete field model giving a limited condition of length contraction on transformation observed from a privileged frame.

Could you develop please Peter ?What kind of contraction?

regards

Steve

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Anonymous replied on Sep. 28, 2010 @ 10:52 GMT
Hi Steve

There are two ways to look at contraction. The conceptual model basis is, say, that light entering the train through the front windscreen will be Doppler shifted entering the new inertial frame of the train in proportion to it's speed v.

Waves will be closer together inside the train (blue shifted) If you prefer photons,- they'd also be closer together. You'll recall from the model ( Huygens/ Fourier/ E-O Extinction etc.) that both apply, as standard optics, propagating each other as phase transitions.

Now we consider not the train but one of Einsteins 'regions of space in relative motion', perhaps the visible limit of the EM field of LL Orionis, preceded by it's bow shock. What will happen when it meets a ladder, end on, in space?

Now consider a massive particle as a complex set of wave bundles, giving it it's inertia/momentum energy. (at m^c2). The ladder is made up of lot's of these. It will feel massive acceleration, and not only may the wavelengths within the particles Doppler shift, (compress), but the ones at the end entering first will also be slowed first.

The logic of length contraction at frame transition could thus be given a real physical mechanism, when viewed from the privileged rest frame allowed by the 'discrete field' model basis. Frankly it seems difficult enough comprehending how wavelength and frequency are balanced from each frame to allow local constancy of 'c' and conservation of energy, so the contraction may be a bridge to far at this stage!

How did that sound to you?

Peter

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Anonymous replied on Sep. 29, 2010 @ 15:43 GMT
Hi Peter,

Thank you very much for this beautiful answer,it's nice.

How did that sound to you?

That sounds very interestings.I begin I imagine a kind of accelerator of the maximum ,this c.

In logic that seems not possible in our referzential and our laws.If the gravity implies effects, thus the superimposings of all spheres can help,butr for that we must know their volumes ,their mass and their rotations, spinals and orbitals.....quantics or cosmologics, now mvV

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Sep. 28, 2010 @ 05:39 GMT
Dear Peter,

I haven't picked apart the Lorentz transform the way you guys have. However, I'm wondering if it's possible to reconstruct relativity/time dilation using "photons" that span between two reference frames. Such photons will of course frequency shift. The idea is to relate the frequency shift to a time dilation equation.

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Peter Jackson replied on Sep. 28, 2010 @ 11:25 GMT
Hi Jason

With regeneration the essential 1st element is destruction. It seems energy, whether as photons or waves, can't 'span between' frames as it has to transform. The standard optics mechanism is actually 'extinction.' See my reply to Steve.

As even Wheeler now agrees, a 'photon' particle does not travel across space for billions of years without a gas station, slowing down in massive media, then accelerating instantly back up to 'c' in the field. It's obvious particles can't condense from nothing. In optics they condense from wave energy at perturbation on a medium change, sending out new waves. These are almost certainly different to the short life local ones physically ejected as excess energy.

The new waves travel at the new local 'c' of the new co-moving medium. So, as Constantinos agrees, will naturally always be measured locally at 'c' without needing the field to be removed. Their apparent rate of change of position can of course still be observed from the old frame at c +/- v because they send out waves (reaching us at 'c' in our frame) giving away their position at any time.

So; A 'signal' can 'span' between two frames, but only because it's made up of a 'train' of integrated superposed waves, with photons coming and going, being condensed and absorbed (or 'evaporated' or in QED 'annihilated', or classically made 'extinct').

However. There is indeed a massive 'surplus' of energy generated at all bow shocks. (see the data from Voyager2!) so you'd think that there could also be serious deficits to ground state elsewhere in the field, which may give you a theoretical opening for by-passing the speed limit?

Peter

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Sep. 28, 2010 @ 19:07 GMT
Dear Peter,

I'm not trying to get everyone lost. I'm trying to take all of the tested physics of GR, SR and QM and find a simple explanation for it. All roads lead to the photon and photon properties. But the photon is the packet of energy that collapses the wave function and hands of the energy to one particular eigenfunction. The all pervasive ether (a.k.a. Higgs field) is a froth of wave functions. Those wave functions can also be inertial frames of reference. Photons of light will transition in frequency as they transition between reference frames. Wave functions make up inertial frames, but also they make up the transitions between inertial frames. If a photon happens to transition between inertial frames, it will follow along the "transitional" wave function. A transitional wave function transitions between inertial frames. It has time dilation built into it in such a way that it satisfies the mathematics of relativity.

If you want to transition into hyperspace, and gain access to a faster speed of light, you have to repel the Higgs field from around your spaceship. You don't need that much energy to operate a hyper-drive. Nuclear power will probably be sufficient.

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Constantinos wrote on Sep. 28, 2010 @ 20:59 GMT
Tom, in a post to John you write

"We depend on the kinetic theory of matter in physics, … as a placeholder until we figure out how to talk in more fundamental terms." (T H Ray replied on Sep. 28, 2010 @ 18:22 GMT)

In my paper The Temperature of Radiation I provide just such a 'fundamental definition' of temperature. This definition does not depend on 'the kinetic theory of matter' and using this approach I can mathematically derive Planck's Law and show its equivalence with Boltzmann's famous entropy equation.

Must there be 'strings attached' for a 'fresh view' of physics to be considered?

Constantinos

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James Putnam wrote on Sep. 28, 2010 @ 22:54 GMT
The scale used to measure temperature is not temperature itself. First there is the observation that a physical effect is and has repeatedly occurred. If that effect and its patterns cannot be credited to previously accepted properties, then it is treated as a fundamental property. As a fundamental property it needs its own units of measurement and its own scale of measurement. Neither the units, nor the scale are the property. In the case of temperature, it is a physical property with or without the scale or scales used to measure it.

James

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James Putnam replied on Sep. 28, 2010 @ 23:31 GMT
Theoretical physics needs to be made clear. Even when effects are observed to be strangely different, there needs to be put forward a sensible reason. In this context sensible allows for the cause to be unknown. After all, that is not strange since all cause is unknown. A sensible reason is one that explains different aspects of a single fundamental cause such that the new effects can be attributed to an aspect that can clearly be attributed to that single cause. It is never necessary to explain the cause. We do not know what cause is. However, it is necessary for theoretical physics to present a model of a single cause and to present its aspect that can possibly be the reason for the new strange effects.

James

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John Merryman wrote on Sep. 30, 2010 @ 20:25 GMT
News alert:

Now that multiverses have been fully accepted by the physics community, here is the next level of cutting edge abstraction:

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn19513-coun
tdown-to-oblivion-why-time-itself-could-end.html

I would like to offer some snarky comment, but I cannot think of anything to do it justice.

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Steve Dufourny replied on Sep. 30, 2010 @ 20:39 GMT
ahahah this is the end, beautiful friend, the end...........ahaha it's the end of Strings, Multiverses and thus thedibility of MIT

oooops for my frank attitude.

But after all the truth is the truth, isn't it??? MIT Dear Mr....please let's be serious a little,

I am going to give you a course about the 0 and the infinity.You infinites sets are winds ..........Cambridge wake up REVOLUTION.

Dark Vador is the governor of MIT OR WHAT AHAHAHAH ooops Steve keep quiet .They are dangerous and VANITIOUS? eat your stupidities poor thinker(S)

hihihihi sometimes the truth is so beautiful, isn't it ? mit mit wake up dear young scientists, youngs students.hihihihih

Massachussets ...New York ...wall street ...please what is this circus .....well I am dead.....this is the end......beautiful friend the end.....

Regards

Steve

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John Merryman replied on Sep. 30, 2010 @ 20:55 GMT
Steve,

Dammit! Your meds are in the cupboard. This is SERIOUS! THESE ARE THE PEOPLE RUNNING THE WORLD!!!!

Maybe I should just take my own and be happy.

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Jason Wolfe replied on Sep. 30, 2010 @ 21:20 GMT
End of time? How about the end of doing meaningless mathematics. This is a good indication that physicists have lost sight of reality.

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John Merryman wrote on Oct. 1, 2010 @ 02:31 GMT
Ray,

Remember it was Guth that saved Big Bang Theory with Inflationary Cosmology. You may not believe me and may not want to believe me, but the problems with physics go very deep into its point like little mathematical heart.

Steve,

Just so long as the levetiracetam keeps working, I'm doing just fine.

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Dr. Cosmic Ray replied on Oct. 1, 2010 @ 13:32 GMT
Dear John,

I embrace Guth's Inflationary Theory and the phase transition that caused it. I'm OK with the Free Lunch Hypothesis that the total energy content of our Universe may be zero (counting attractive gravitational potentials as negative energy). And I'm OK with defining time in terms of entropic change, such that a truly steady-state (steady-state at the quantum level requires everything in its ground state - that is a bit of a stretch) Universe would not experience the passing of time.

My problems are "Dark Energy" and Scales.

In my models, it is fully expected that the same phase transition that created Inflation also created Scales. Philosophically, a truly finite Universe probably has a finite lifetime, but scales introduce the possibility of an infinite Multiverse. "Dark Energy" or the "Cosmological Constant" may be a "leakage" of energy from another scale into our scale. If so, then our Universe might never achieve a steady-state solution (although our species will be long-extinct from fighting over diminishing energy resources). Perhaps time will continue, but the scale of measurement will be radically different from ours. Even the Randall-Sundrum membrane model has a more complex "Cosmological Constant" that has properties of the bulk and brane tensions. As such, we may consider the possibility of energy "leakage" from other branes. Of course, Tom seems to have considered that possibility in 10-D, but I'm playing around with more advanced models.

Either way, I expect us to all be dead long before any possible thermodynamic "heat death" (literally "freeze death", but it is thermo-related) of our Universe, so who's going to be here to verify this hypothesis experimentally?

Have Fun!

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John Merryman replied on Oct. 1, 2010 @ 17:16 GMT
Ray,

Yes, a true steady state would be lifeless, ie big flatline on the heart monitor, but all evidence points to a balance between expansion and contraction within the context of what we already observe. I think we will eventually work our way through all the complex math and find it sums down to a much simpler equation than anyone is currently considering.

As it is now, we think it's monumentally complex and we are finding it accordingly exponentially complex. At the very least, it will be an education.

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John Merryman replied on Oct. 2, 2010 @ 00:15 GMT
Ray,

I think I may have read this at the time, but just came across it again:

http://www.physorg.com/news190027752.html

Discovery that quasars don't show time dilation mystifies astronomers

"Since expansion occurs throughout the universe, it seems that time dilation should be a property of the universe that holds true everywhere, regardless of the specific object or event being observed. However, a new study has found that this doesn’t seem to be the case - quasars, it seems, give off light pulses at the same rate no matter their distance from the Earth, without a hint of time dilation.

There’s also a possibility that the explanation could be even more far-reaching, such as that the universe is not expanding and that the big bang theory is wrong. Or, quasars may not be located at the distances indicated by their redshifts, although this suggestion has previously been discredited. Although these explanations are controversial, Hawkins plans to continue investigating the quasar mystery, and maybe solve a few other problems along the way."

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