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15 February 2014 - 02:52 PMHi Bombadil,
I have been slow to answer you because I find it difficult to avoid being misunderstood. You should take a look at "The Foundations Of Physical Reality" on the "Physics and Math" forum.
I thought that I had made things pretty clear there but apparently I haven't as there have been no responses whatsoever. As a consequence, I have no idea as to what people think I am saying.
My attack is to lay out a specific logical representation capable of representing absolutely any information to be communicated without making any constraints whatsoever on what it is that is being represented. In essence, I totally lay aside the problem to be solved and instead work only with an absolutely universal representation of all possible solutions.
Absolutely everyone seems to presume I am developing a theory of some sort. I am not. I am merely trying to avoid being stupid! Religionists believe the foundations of their beliefs are absolutely true and most of them will go to extreme lengths to fight anyone who refuses to accept the correctness of their conclusions. Scientists believe the foundations of their beliefs are absolutely true and, again, most of them will go to extreme lengths to fight anyone who refuses to accept the correctness of their conclusions.
QuoteAs a conscious being I am involved in a story. The perceiving part of my mind tells me a story of a world around me. The story tells of familiar objects. It tells of colours, sounds, scents belonging to these objects; of boundless space in which they have their existence, and of an ever-rolling stream of time bringing change and incident. It tells of other life than mine busy about its own purposes. As a scientist I have become mistrustful of this story. Sir Arthur Eddington, 1934.
However, he offers no logical attack on the implied difficulty - the validity of that story!
Please note the signature I use on my posts, "Knowledge is Power -- The most popular abuse of that power is to use it to hide stupidity!" What one has to understand is just how difficult it is to avoid hiding your stupidity from yourself; certainly Eddington came up with no way to avoid it. The perceiving part of my mind tells me a story and believing that story may be totally stupid but survival itself demands possessing some rational prediction of expectations so I go with the flow wherever it leads me. Believing it is another issue entirely.
It is quite clear to me that you are attempting to interpret what I say in terms of that "story" you perceive to be reality. What I am presenting is a logical conclusion deduced from a universal representation "capable of representing absolutely any information to be communicated without making any constraints whatsoever on what it is that is being represented." What you clearly want to do is to put some constraints on what is represented. You want to "understand" it: i.e., you want to convert my conclusions into an explanation you can hold as believable.
I use a representation to represent any conceivable circumstance in terms of a finite set of concepts labeled by the set of numbers denoted as the unknowns "x". Thus any dialog can be represented by a collection of such circumstances. If is taken to represent the probability the represented circumstance is valid, "P" can represent any conceivable explanation of any collection of circumstances. This is no more than a representation. Either find a fault in the representation or accept it as what it is, a universal representation of any and all explanations of anything.
In my presentation on the Physics-Mathematics forum, I show that the expression
is true by definition even if P is not a mathematical function and, if were a mathematical function,
would be an absolutely required constraint. Of course, as defined is not and can not possibly be a mathematical function.
If you don't find the above rather astounding, I don't think you are following the logic.
But that is only the beginning. In my book, I carefully make subtle adjustments to my definition of "x", one step at a time. These adjustments in definition are made in order to circumvent the subtle problems of viewing P as a mathematical function. With every change in definition, I am very careful to maintain the absolute universality of the representation. Essentially, these labels were eventually transformed into points in a Euclidean geometry and the concepts they represented became represented by specific patterns of points. I gave the name "objects" to those specific collections of points.
In the end, I discovered that
is an absolute constraint required by the definition of "an explanation" and nothing else.
I discovered this equation in 1970 but could not find a solution and thus found it to be rather a worthless result (it is fundamentally a many body problem and not directly solvable). In 1982 I realized that Schrodinger's equation was in fact an approximation of my equation and was quickly led to a substantial collection of approximations identical to relationships found in modern physics. In fact, the entire field of modern physics appears to be little more than approximate solutions to my equation including electro magnetic theory, nuclear interactions, unification of the four forces, and both special and general relativity.
The point of all of this is the fact that it says absolutely nothing about reality. Everything I present is no more than absolute constraints required by the definition of "an explanation" and nothing else. If your beliefs are internally consistent, the numerical representation of the required concepts will obey my equation.
In this thread, we have been talking about relativity and the common misinterpretations embedded in most representations.
After reading doctor dicks post I have to say that what the biggest problem has been is that I have been assuming that what relativity was introducing was the needed transformations to describe “how the universe looks if the speed of light is invariant under velocity transformations”. After reading doctor dicks post though, this is clearly not what he is saying, and not what the case is. After reading his post I decided to ask if we were to calculate what the universe looks like given a finite speed of light, in particular if a ship is traveling away from us at some speed v, how long will it need to be if it looks the same length as it was to start with.
When you bring up "how the universe looks ... ", your general picture (the story your mind spins for you) omits a great number of important issues. Scientists are very interested in coming up with approximate mathematical predictions of phenomena. These predictions are based upon their theories (those guesses as to what they think the rules of reality are) and they want their calculations to be as easy as possible (they want to be able to use the simplest calculations they can).
Take, for example, Newtons calculation of the orbit of the moon. First, it is an approximate calculation; he is not going to do it to the nearest inch. And second, the calculation would be very difficult if he used the center of his head as the origin of his coordinate system. The rough center of the earth is a much better choice though it certainly is not going to produce how things would actually look to him. You should comprehend at this point that scientists seldom even concern themselves with "how things actually look to them". Their interests are with regard to consequences to expect from experiments.
Anssi's concern with aberration effects center on the issue of how things look not on how to calculate the circumstance being examined. In fact, those aberration effects are calculated under the assumption light follows a straight line; i.e., when you go to consider aberration effects you are most definitely presuming you already know what is actually going on. When you go to consider phenomena involving light, your knowledge of what is actually going on must be very precise. An error of one millionth of a second is equivalent to an error of close to a thousand feet (light travels at about 186,000 miles per second).
So let us consider the problem of how a moving ship looks to us when it is traveling at a velocity close to the speed of light. As I said, you have to be very precise here. The first thing is to know exactly where each and every point defining that ship is. The length of the ship is clearly a function of the forces holding the thing together so we need to examine exactly how to calculate those forces in order to know the correct structure of the components making up that ship.
Now here is the first problem confronting us. In our frame of reference, the speed of the light on board the ship, going in the same direction as the ship, takes a long time to arrive at its destination. On the other hand, light going in the other direction is very quickly overcome by the arrival of its destination coming towards it. The problem we have is that according to modern physics, the electromagnetic forces holding atoms together are mediated by photon exchange. Just how can we be sure that moving does not yield changes in the shape and structure of the ship? In fact, as an aside,that is exactly what the Michelson-Morley experiments were all about! They were going to use the absence of change in structure to measure the speed at which the earth was moving. They got zero
Well, to make a long story short that problem was solved by presuming Galilean relativity was wrong! That is, you don't just add or subtract the associated velocities (as Galileo had guessed) but had to use the special relativistic coordinate changes. Those are the changes in coordinates we are talking about in this thread.
What I am trying to point out to you is the fact that the calculation of how that ship appears to the rest observer must include structure changes due to that inequity in photon exchange. The easiest way to include those structure changes is to make a special relativistic conversion to a frame of reference moving with the ship, presume all the physics is exactly the same as in our rest frame, guess that the ship will structurally identical to a its drawings when it was at rest and finally, construct the relevant image on your retina. That is not a simple procedure.
So just for the fun of it let us see how long that ship will appear to be (of course, assuming the above analysis is valid) if one photon is coming from the front of the ship and the other is coming from the rear. So let's look at one specific moment. I pick the exact moment the center of the ship passes a line through my eye perpendicular to its path. I picked that point for the simple reason that the result I expect will be that both photons will take exactly the same time to reach my eye. I will pick the time (in my frame) at which the front of the ship and the rear of the ship are exactly the same distance from specified point (it is after all, the position of the ship when I am making the measurement).
I will set the two coordinate systems such that their origins are on the intersection of that line through my eye and the path of the ship at the time the center of the ship crosses that line. Now, in the moving frame the front of the ship at t=0 will be at +x and the rear (at the same time) will be at -x (where x is half its length). The photons we are interested in are the ones which reach our eye at t'=dc where d is the distance between our eye and the path of the ship. What we have to do is back figure where these photons started as represented in the primed coordinate system (our rest frame). That is not a simple conversion of positions in the ships coordinate system.
I will presume the front photon came from +f on the line defining the path of the ship. The rear photon then came from -r. The distance traveled by the front photon was and must have started seconds before I saw it. Likewise, the rear photon traveled and must have started seconds before I saw it. In other words, I need to convert those two positions and times to the unprimed coordinate system in order to determine where they started in the ships coordinate system.
By definition, the center of the ship lies at t=t'=0. The front photon started at . Converting that time to the corresponding time in the moving frame, the front photon started at ...
How about someone out there calculate the supposedly correct answer. It would be fun to see what it would actually be.
I was just looking up the "latex" version of that time conversion needed here when I saw that Anssi had created an excellent reply to your post. This post of mine has already gotten so long as to be sort of "not worth reading". On the other hand, if you can follow the above, you should have a decent handle on what kind of calculations are necessary to get the supposedly correct answer. You have to convert the times above into the ships coordinate system and then figure out where the front and rear of the ship was at that time in the ships coordinate system. Then, having found that position, you must convert that position to the primed coordinates (where these points were when the photons started their trip). As I said, it is not a trivial problem and exactly what you should see is not near as simple a conversion as you see it to be. I think these are the aberration effects Anssi is talking about.
But getting back to what you will actually see, I again bring up that visual error of a millionth of a second mentioned earlier. It should be clear to you that your visual acuity is no where near the task if the speed of the ship is close to the speed of light. What you are going to see is a blur as it goes by and estimating its length will certainly be outside your visual abilities.
What I was trying to show is that the simple conversions you are thinking of are not up to the task. And, Anssi, regarding an earlier discussion we have had, if you want to know where you are going and when you will get there, your best bet is to simply work with a rest map of the universe and the time clock on your ship and just not worry about the fixed speed of light. I think I can pretty well show that, if interstellar travel is ever achieved, the ships will be accurately navigated by just such a procedure.
The central issue of the above argument has to do with my definition of time, that coordinate axis orthogonal to (x,y,z) and is what is measured on one's clock. The projection due to the quantization of mass (momentum in that direction) projects out differences and path lengths end up defining interactions.
Have fun you guys - I am tired of typing -- Dick
12 February 2014 - 02:24 AMyou know, after everything i've seen and obsevered, i'm in agreement with you.
i hope your theory becomes accepted one day.
you seem to have a very good head on you shoulders and i wish you best of luck in future ventures.
I have but a single complaint with your response. What I have presented is not a theory. All theories are based upon hypothesis (things which may or may not be true), see http://en.wikipedia....iki/Hypothesis. The only hypothesis I have put forth is "a valid explanation must be internally consistent". The standard interpretation of that constraint is: if it is not internally consistent, it yields different answers to the same question depending upon the path to the answer. The scientific community generally refuses to accept any explanation to any question if the answer is inconsistent. Such is the common fault with most "unscientific explanations".
You should take a careful read of my post "The Foundations of Physical Reality". I have just edited that post in an attempt to make things clearer.
On the other hand, there is a rather simple and straight forward solution to this specific difficulty.
If anyone here has any understanding of what I have just expressed, the results can be carried far beyond what I have expressed above and I would be happy to discuss the issues further.
I would love to have a response to that post.
Have fun -- Dick
09 February 2014 - 12:14 AMHi Phillip, I appreciate your response to my post though you have made a few subtle misinterpretations.
i'll try to summerize my understanding of what your saying.
light moves at the maximal speed because it is tangent to the time diamention.
No, this is clearly a misinterpretation of what I said. What Gamow said was that Einstein set "time" as another coordinate orthogonal to the ordinary three dimensional universe we perceive ourselves to exist within. This idea creates a four dimensional picture of the universe. In that picture, everything would be moving around in that four dimensional space.
His assertion that this new dimension was different from the other three as it was "imaginary" (he meant that measurements in the time direction was by imaginary numbers -- see http://en.wikipedia....maginary_number ) but when I was in the third grade I had absolutely no concept of "imaginary numbers". I took it to mean something you couldn't see; that our three dimensional perception was analogous to "Plato's shadows on the wall" presentation. That is I saw the three dimensional universe we see as analogous to Plato's shadows when things were projected out in the "time" direction.
In Plato's picture, he uses light as what is causing the projection: i.e., creating the shadows. He clearly does not have light going between his shadows; he is using light as a mechanism creating the shadows. It should be clear to you that my child's mind could not use light as a mechanism projecting out the time dimension as light is a real component of our three dimensional universe one of the entities in our three dimensional perception of reality.
So, let's look at a universe represented by such an image. Note that everything is moving in that fourth axis "time'. However, if everything is at rest (nothing is changing position as time changes, that fourth axis being projected out) everything in the projection will appear to be at rest. In essence, every object is moving in the time direction at exactly the same rate. Now, in this picture, what is light? In my mind (consistent with Gamow's description) light would be an object moving orthogonal to the time axis, an object moving from point to point in that projection at the speed of light (being the maximum speed anything could move).
My concept of time was: two things at the same place at the same time can interact and that was what defined time, not what was displayed on a clock. On the other hand, what was displayed on the clock was measured on Einstein's time axis. Of course, in my mental picture, the time axis was being projected out. So, in my mind as a child, light being the fastest thing in the universe (the three dimensional shadow universe) was traveling in a direction perpendicular to the "time" dimension. You have to understand that Gamow had defined that dimension being "what clocks measured" and one of the facts of Einstein's relativity is that the faster you go, the slower your clock runs. That is, a clock traveling at the speed of light does not change at all in going from a to b: i.e., it must be traveling orthogonal to time measurement.
but i would like to point out that light doesn't travel instantaneously.
It does when the time required is measured on a clock traveling with the light. At least according to Einstein.
Quoteit does take a fixed amount of time for a particle of light to travel a certain distance, and we can measure how much time passes between those two moments
So long as we are not moving with that light (see above comment). That fixed amount of time (measured on our clock) has to be measured in our rest frame: i.e., in the three dimensional Platonic shadow projection.
Quoteand mass quantized, i'm not entirely sure what you mean by that. do you mean mass is a quantum enitity, and therefore can be in superposition of many states? i find that a tough pill to swollow.
I have a suspicion you don't comprehend the uncertainty principle. In quantum mechanics, the Fourier transform of a wave function expressed via the coordinate axis (the position) essentially defines the momentum of the entity being described. You need to check out the following website.
The uncertainty principle essentially relates the uncertainty in those two representations. If there is no uncertainty in the position of a particle, the uncertainty in momentum is infinite. Likewise, if there is no uncertainty in the momentum of a particle, the uncertainty in position is infinite. In wave mechanics, the uncertainty of position and momentum are intimately related.
Go back and look at what I said,
On the other hand, as I learned more physics, that projection began to bother me. Exactly what could the mechanism of such a projection be. By that time I was rather astonished by the fact that both pictures always gave exactly the same answers and became somewhat disturbed.
Note that I had left out that "WHAT" in the original post. I have now edited it back in.
In essence, the uncertainty principal asserts that if the momentum of a particle is known exactly, its position is infinitely uncertain. That says that if the particles momentum in the "t" direction is exactly known (commonly referred to as "quantized"), then its position in the "t" direction is infinitely uncertain. If that isn't a mechanism for projecting out the "t" axis, I don't know what is.
So, exactly what is required to generate such a projection? The momentum in the "t" direction must be quantized. Well, if light is something traveling perpendicular to the "t" axis, we would certainly not expect it to have any momentum in the "t" direction would we? So whatever it is that is quantized, when we apply it to light, its exactly known value is zero. Well it certainly pops into my mind that we could be talking about mass here as the mass of a photon is commonly taken to be zero.
Now how does such an interpretation apply to all the other "particles" in the universe. Their momentum in the t direction must also be quantized: i.e., exactly fixed (otherwise the "t" axis would not be projected out). Well gee guys, the masses of most of the stuff going to make up the universe we see around us (that three dimensional Platonic shadow we observe) is built out of stuff with fixed masses.
The most simple conclusion is that mass is no more than quantized momentum in the "t" direction. That makes all the dynamic mechanics of special relativity in my picture exactly what we observe.
The interesting thing here is that I can carry exactly the same analysis out to general relativity. Oh, I don't get exactly the same results that Einstein got but I do get sufficiently close to his results that I am aware of no known experiment which differs sufficiently to measure the difference except one which I noticed in the last few years.
What bugs me is that no journal will publish my results because they don't agree exactly with Einstein's general relativity. The reason that bugs me is that the physics community, after a hundred years, still complains about the "conflict between quantum mechanics and general relativity". My representation of relativity is one hundred percent in agreement with quantum mechanics from the get go. And that goes right out to general relativity! But of course, I am a crack pot!
Have fun -- Dick
04 February 2014 - 02:31 AMAnssi, I will need to read your post over very carefully to see if you are making any errors in your representation of my assertions. If you have made errors (and I suspect you have) they are relatively subtle. For that reason, I will answer Bombadil's post first as most of his mistakes are quite clear.
So are you saying that when we use the Lorentz contraction to convert from one frame to another and then take into consideration the time that it takes for the light to get to us that the effect that the Lorentz transformation has vanishes and the universe once again appears Newtonian in nature?
Yes, if what you mean by "appears" is what you see with your eyes (essentially making the emotional assumption that the speed of light is infinite: i.e., the object you see is exactly where you perceived it to be when the photon hitting your retina arrives. This is not what physicists mean when they say "appears"! What they mean is where they presume it is when they set its position in what they consider to be the "correct reference frame".
QuoteI am of course referring here to the Galilean transformations when I say Newtonian in nature.
When I project a movie on the screen in a movie theater, the length of time it takes the photons to reach the retina of your eye is so small as to be totally unnoticed. The speed of light is thus not an issue in ordinary perceptions of "what is going on". I am not sure, but I think Newton was the first person to actually measure the speed of light. Essentially he measured the length of time it took one of the moons of Jupiter to go from being close to the earth (on the near side of Jupiter) to the being far from the earth (on the far side of Jupiter). If the speed of light were infinite, those two times would be the same (the moon would reach the far point exactly half way through its orbit). It turns out that the observed receding path took slightly longer than the returning trip. He explained that by the fact that the light coming from the moon at the far point had to travel farther. The speed of light was finite and I think he actually made an estimate of what the speed of light was.
Of essence here was the fact that, in order to calculate the correct orbit from the observations, one had to first correct for the finite speed of light. I think Newton had to correct for the motion of the earth during the period of interest. I went into theoretical physics because I thought theoretical physicists thought about theories. In fact, in my life, the only professional physicist I ever talked to who had any concern about theoretical physics was Richard Feynman and he died shortly after I talked to him. In actual fact, experimentalists design experiments to test the numbers the theorists calculate and theorists try to calculate the numerical results implied by the theories. Those calculations most often require a substantial number of steps. If the theorist thought he knew how to calculate a specific step correctly he generally did so. If he didn't know how to do it correctly, he would invariably presume the error was negligible and truck on.
That is essentially what you do when you present your device for measuring the speed of light. You have two disks on the same shaft, each with a hole at a specified radius from the shaft where the hole in one disk is at a different angle from the hole in the other. You then want to find the rotation speed such that light traveling parallel to the shaft goes through both holes: i.e., the time it takes the light to travel between the two disks is exactly the same as the time it takes the disks to rotate through that angular difference.
First (as to how the set up looks to an observer looking through the holes towards the light when the experiment is performed) he will see the two holes as perfectly lined up: i.e., he sees the light going straight through the holes to his eye! If he is looking at the device from any direction and the light going through the holes lights up the edge of the holes, he will see that reflected light as two points circling around the shaft. If he is on the center line orthogonal to the shaft, he will see those two lights perfectly aligned with the shaft. If he is off center, he will see the closer point slightly ahead of the other point. The distortion is exactly what he would expect knowing that the light which was traveling the greater distance would take longer to reach his eye. In other words he would be moved to correct for the finite velocity of light.
QuoteThis is an edit of the above paragraph! I just read it and realized I had made an error in my description. The correct description should be: "If he is on the center line orthogonal to the shaft, he will see those two lights perfectly displaced by the original angle designed in the device.
Such errors are easy to make and it takes a careful analysis to assure no such errors have been made. I apologize for the error and can only comment that I am not perfect and do on occasion make errors, some of which can be quite serious. That is one of the reasons I post on forums such as Hypography. I want people to point out when I have made an error. Of real significance here is the fact that eliminating all errors is not an easy task.
Thanks for reading this!
Now let us look at the design of your device as you set up the thought experiment. Note that you assumed it was a rigid device. That was an error. When the device is made to rotate, it is necessary to apply angular acceleration. Since you do not know how to calculate the consequence of that acceleration (that takes a correct application of a general relativistic transformation) you simply presume the error in the assumption it was rigid was negligible and went on! But think about what you were presuming. If that error is truly negligible, then you are presuming the accelerating forces on both discs are identical. The means the application of that force arrived simultaneously at both disks: i.e., the length of time required for the mechanical force to transfer to the disks was zero. You have assumed whatever mechanical process transferred that force, it propagated faster than the speed of light.
Well, just as an aside, that force is generally assumed to be propagated by means of the forces between the atoms of the device. Those forces are presumed to be a consequence of electromagnetic effects and are thus very much influenced by the finite speed of light.
QuoteIf this is the case, is the Lorenz transformation just there to simplify parts of the math and is ultimately not needed?
What is and what is not needed is strongly dependent on what you are talking about. If you are talking about the image on the retina of your eye, the calculations are quite difficult because what you see depends upon how far those photons have gone: i.e., from that perspective the correct apparent dynamic orbit of the moon of Jupiter is not at all the simple orbital motion calculated via Newton's equations. Life is much simpler if you calculate in Newton's frame of reference and then simply correct what you see as depending on the finite speed of light. Physicists normally have little concern with what you see; their concern is how do you calculate the orbit: i.e., their results are analyzed in a specific frame of reference unassociated with what you see.
What you must comprehend is that exactly how things work out there is not a known fact. Everything the theorists calculate is essentially an approximation of one sort or another and they certainly presume all the currently accepted theories yield the correct answers: i.e., a careful analysis would take into account ALL the possible errors in their presumptions. Something no professional scientist has any desire to do.
Relativity is exactly what changes do you make in order to change from one frame of reference to another. Galilean relativity was long ago shown to be inconsistent with Maxwell's equations though it was entirely general: i.e., it did not depend on the dynamics of relevant mechanics. Special relativity (the case where there are no accelerations between those frames of reference) was quite quickly a solved problem and "general" relativity (which needs to include accelerations) has, in my humble opinion, never been correctly accomplished by the scientific community. I have a solution (it is in my book) but no professional has looked at it because I am held by the professionals to be a certified crackpot.
QuoteThis is represented by the dependence on x in the transformation on the time axis and an assumption about when to call events simultaneous in the experiment. But I am wondering, are you saying that this is also just an illusion as well, and that when the time that it takes for light to travel is considered, then any time dilation will also vanish?
No, I am not! In my opinion, the confusion here arises because of the physicist's definition of time. The scientific community uses two contradictory definitions of time and insists on making every possible misdirection of attention needed to avoid recognition of that fact. The first definition of time (the definition used by society for centuries) is that two entities can dynamically interact if and only if they exist at the same time: i.e., if we can touch each other, we exist at the same time. The other definition of time is clocks measure time. The difference between those two definitions is that the first does not allow action at a distance. Physicists like "action at a distance" because it simplifies a lot of the calculations required by their theoretical explanations of the universe.
QuoteAre you saying that this is not the case and that in fact the ship can arrive long before the observer on earth can even consider seeing him and then return to earth before a person on earth can ever see the ship returning?
No, I have never said any such thing. The definition of time I use in my analysis is "if we can touch each other, we exist at the same time". You should be able to comprehend that, under my definition of time, time is certainly not something which can be measured by a clock or any phenomena defined by simple dynamics (your heart beat or how long it takes you to turn your head). That is where the idea of theories comes in.
The rest of your post is simply confused as you are presuming what the physicists tell you is what you will see. The truth is that exactly what you will see is something they are trying to understand. But they really don't want to think about what it is that they want to understand (except for Feynman, he seemed interested)! Newton is accepted as one of the geniuses behind classical mechanics. He apparently invented calculus and via that calculus came up with some very powerful mathematical solutions to some simple dynamic problems. Since Galileo showed that an object dropped the same distance in the same time whether it was traveling horizontal or not (Galilean relativity), it occurred to Newton that perhaps that would explain the orbit of the moon.
If you assume the moon is falling towards the earth and traveling sideways sufficiently fast as to remain at the same altitude (that is, the same distance above the curved surface of the earth) you can quite easily calculate the expected orbital time. I did it once and obtained an answer along the line of a few minutes. In order to get the correct answer, you have to reduce the gravitational force on the moon by a rather large factor. Newton set the acceleration of gravity to be proportional to the inverse square of the distance from the center of the earth. Now do you think he did this because he had measured the difference in the acceleration of gravity at the top of a mountain compared to the gravity on the surface of the earth? I think he did that because it gave him approximately the correct answer: i.e., it took care of the discrepancy. So he had an explanation.
So he then calculated the orbit of the earth around the sun. I did that, assuming the moon calculation was the correct answer. I obtained a year length of centuries! In order to get the correct answer, you have to multiply the acceleration of gravity by a rather large factor. That factor turns out to be very close to the mass of the sun divided by the mass of the earth if you assume the whole volume of the sun has approximately the density of water and the earth is roughly the mass of rock. So Newton set the acceleration of gravity proportional to the mass of the gravitating body and managed to get the right answer. In fact, he used idea to set both the mass of the earth and the mass of the sun thus defining G. He never actually measured either. Henceforth, Newton's gravitational force which yielded the correct orbital times was used to define the mass of the gravitating body. Success! He had explained the whole solar system!
What I am getting at is that the theoretical attack on explaining the universe is a "by guess" and "by golly" attack. They guess some explanation and are quite often held to be crackpots until: "by golly" it gives the correct answer. Classical mechanics isn't taught today as it was fifty years ago (when I was a student). They used to spend a lot of time with Newton's equations changing the definitions of the variables so as to approximate various complex problems. It was that work which, in the old days, led to subtle relationships regarding how solutions changed with the variable changes. It was out of those complex "propagation of solutions" that the theories of quantum mechanics began. Again the theories developed by a "by guess" and "by golly" attack. String theory is pretty well still in the "by guess" stage today.
The issue is, exactly what the correct calculations to be done (to determine what you will see) is actually still an open issue. They are still guessing right and left and few people (including the professionals) actually know how to make the calculations even if their guesses were right. I have been pushing for a little logical examination of the problem for over fifty years (long enough to convince the professional physicists I am a crackpot). I tried to publish my ideas in some physics journals back in '82 and was told what I was doing was philosophy and of no interest to physicists. The philosophers told me it was mathematics and of no interest to them. And finally the mathematicians dismiss it as physics and of no interest to them. So I am trying to leave what I have discovered to future generations; that is why I wrote that book.
Have fun -- Dick
29 January 2014 - 12:18 AMAre there no professional physicists that moderate this area of the forum to respond to the false claim that it is impossible in theory to devise an experiment for humans to optically observe Lorentz contraction ?
Just as an aside, I personally have an earned Ph.D. in theoretical physics awarded by Vanderbilt University in 1971.
It constituted a calculation desired by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
When I was a graduate student I discovered that physics is divided into two categories: experimental and theoretical. I went into theoretical because I wanted to understand physics and I thought that was what theoreticians were interested in. It turned out I was wrong. Experimentalists spend time doing experiments to see if the numbers the theoreticians gave them agreed with the experiments. Theoreticians spend their time doing calculations to see what numbers the theories predict.
Being totally disgusted with the professionals, I started a business rather than continue dealing with the "professionals".
The only physicist I ever spoke with who showed any interest whatsoever in the questions which interested me was Richard Feynman. He promised to get back to me but apparently died before he was able to do so.
And, no, I don't think there are any competent "professional" physicists reading this forum.
Have fun -- Dick