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RECENT POSTS IN THIS TOPIC

Constantinos Ragazas: on 3/14/11 at 0:38am UTC, wrote Dear Shan Gao, “If the speed of light is constant, then light is a...

Cristinel Stoica: on 2/22/11 at 22:29pm UTC, wrote Dear Shan, If we start only from the assumption that l[sub]P[/sub] and...

Armin Nikkhah Shirazi: on 2/22/11 at 6:04am UTC, wrote M. Abramovich, I can see that you do not mince words with your criticism....

M. Abramovich: on 2/19/11 at 17:07pm UTC, wrote Dear Shan Gao, I can show this essay is meaningless and erroneous. The...

Dr. Elliot McGucken: on 2/12/11 at 20:49pm UTC, wrote Hello! The invariance of c--both its independence of the source and...

Efthimios Harokopos: on 2/8/11 at 15:10pm UTC, wrote Hello, This is interesting but how do you avoid a petitio principii, in...

Shan Gao: on 2/8/11 at 9:45am UTC, wrote Essay Abstract It has been argued that the existence of a minimum...


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FQXi FORUM
October 23, 2019

CATEGORY: Is Reality Digital or Analog? Essay Contest (2010-2011) [back]
TOPIC: Why the Speed of Light Is Invariant by Shan Gao [refresh]
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Author Shan Gao wrote on Feb. 8, 2011 @ 09:45 GMT
Essay Abstract

It has been argued that the existence of a minimum observable interval of space and time (MOIST) is a model-independent result of the combination of quantum field theory and general relativity. In this essay, I promote this result to a fundamental postulate, called the MOIST postulate. It is argued that the postulate leads to the existence of a maximum signal speed and its invariance. This new result may have two interesting implications. On the one hand, it suggests that the MOIST postulate can explain the invariance of the speed of light, and thus it might provide a deeper logical foundation for special relativity. Moreover, it suggests that the speed constant c in modern physics is not the actual speed of light in vacuum, but the ratio of the minimum observable length to the minimum observable time interval. On the other hand, the result also suggests that the existing experiments confirming the invariance of the speed of light already provide observational evidence to support the MOIST postulate.

Author Bio

Shan Gao is a PhD student at the University of Sydney under the supervision of Dean Rickles and Huw Price. He obtained the Postgraduate Scholarship in Quantum Foundations in 2009 and Lucy Firth Scholarship in Philosophy in 2010. He is the author of Quantum Motion: Unveiling the Mysterious Quantum World and God Does Play Dice with the Universe.

Download Essay PDF File

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Efthimios Harokopos wrote on Feb. 8, 2011 @ 15:10 GMT
Hello,

This is interesting but how do you avoid a petitio principii, in the sense that if MOIST is a postulate that leads to the existence of a maximum signal speed and its invariance how can the deduction be used validate the postulate?

The paradox of material implication tells us that the following implication

p => invariance of the speed of light

is true, regardless of whether p is true or false. Actually, p can be anything, like the proposition:

(2 > 4) => invariance of the speed of light

I would be very interesting in your approach to this problem. I found your essay interesting.

Thanks and regards,

E. Harokopos

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Dr. Elliot McGucken wrote on Feb. 12, 2011 @ 20:49 GMT
Hello!

The invariance of c--both its independence of the source and observer--derives from dx4/dt=ic.

This is proven here:

http://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/873

http://fqxi.or
g/community/forum/topic/511

http://fqxi.org/community/forum/t
opic/238

All the best,

Dr. E

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M. Abramovich wrote on Feb. 19, 2011 @ 17:07 GMT
Dear Shan Gao,

I can show this essay is meaningless and erroneous. The idea of essay is very simple: First Shan Goa saw the formula c=Lp/Tp in the textbook, that means that the speed c have to do something with Planck distance Lp and Planck time Tp, and all his article is a game around this formula. Let us look how Shan Gao proves the invariance of speed of light: Since c is the...

view entire post


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Armin Nikkhah Shirazi replied on Feb. 22, 2011 @ 06:04 GMT
M. Abramovich,

I can see that you do not mince words with your criticism. When I post comments to other entrants I make a conscientious effort to include at least some criticism (although much more gently) in the spirit that we can only learn from each other and improve our ideas in science if we provide constructive feedback, not by congratulating each other on how excellent our essays are.

I expect to be treated no differently and it is in this spirit that I'd like to invite you to read my entry to the first fqxi essay contest which tackled this very question about the speed of light invariance. The original essay can be found at http://www.fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/329 but an updated version which contains some minor corrections can be found here:

http://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/handle/2027.42/83152

The proposed solution to this problem contains a highly unfamiliar idea which does not ostensibly fit our current paradigms. But the same idea is shown in my entry into the current contest to be at the heart of one of the main features of quantum mechanics, the quantum phase:

http://www.fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/954

Should you take up my invitation, I look forward to your criticism.

Armin

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Cristinel Stoica wrote on Feb. 22, 2011 @ 22:29 GMT
Dear Shan,

If we start only from the assumption that lP and tP are minimal (MOIST), with no additional structure or conditions, then there is a symmetry between lP and tP. In the 2-dimensional case the theory is invariant to the transform x ct (and g -g, where g is the Lorentz metric). Then, there is no reason to assume that lP/tP is a maximum, because the symmetry would say that tP/lP is maximum too. That is, we would have both that c is a maximum speed, and that is a minimum speed. This is why I think that from MOIST only we don't obtain "the existence of a maximum signal speed".

Best regards,

Cristi

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Constantinos Ragazas wrote on Mar. 14, 2011 @ 00:38 GMT
Dear Shan Gao,

“If the speed of light is constant, then light is a wave”. I mathematically prove this proposition.

I look forward to your comments and your support as I seek to place my essay before the panel for review!

Best regards,

Constantinos

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