A theory of relativity is presented, which is physical, in contrast to Einstein’s special theory of relativity, which is non-physical.
Theories of Relativity
This knol connects to the knols:
- Did Einstein Not Understand Mathematics?
- Is One Dollar = One Euro?
- Does the Earth Rotate?
- Scientists and Science in Cartoons.
The End of Physics: No Unified Field Theory
Relativity Theory as Root of Trouble
The Nature of Mathematics
Einstein´s Special Theory of Relativity
Einstein´s special theory of relativity formulated in 1905 concerns observations of motion by different observers moving with constant velocity with respect to each other. It is based on the following two assumptions:
- (E1) all observers measure the same the speed of light
- (E2) there is no aether.
An aether would be a medium for the propagation of light, which would have the same function as the medium of air for the propagation of sound. The special theory came out from experiments by Michelson and Morley in the late 19th century indicating that
- (MM) detecting an aether medium common to all observers is impossible.
Einstein was led to his special theory in an attempt to handle the apparent contradiction between (E1) and (MM). To see the contradiction, compare with different observers moving through still/motionless air with different velocities, who can agree on the same speed of sound if they only compensate for their velocities with respect to still/motionless air, that is, if they compensate for their different air-winds.
So Michelson and Morley expected a compensation of the measured speed of light to be necessary depending on the motion of an observer, but could not detect that compensation was necessary. In other words, they could not detect any aether-wind in the motion of the Earth around the Sun with varying velocity (direction). It seemed that there was no still aether or no fixed vacuum through which light could propagate with a certain velocity. This was the contradiction which had to be resolved.
Einstein´s solution was radical: remove the aether/vacuum completely from the picture and thus replace (MM) by (E2). If there is no aether, there is no contradiction coming from variable motion through an aether without aether-wind, simply because there is no aether. Clever!?
We shall see below that this is too radical, resulting in a non-physical special theory, which does not describe any physical reality. We shall see that the special theory is a (trivial) purely mathematical theory without physical interpretation. This was understood by Einstein, who quickly left the special theory (and never returned) and instead raised the bet to his general theory of relativity, which is so difficult that nobody can understand it.
There is another less radical resolution, which is to handle (MM) by accepting that different observers
- (M1) all observers agree on the same the speed of light
- (M2) each observer has his own aether/vaccum in which he does not move.
In Einstein’s special relativity, there is no aether/vacuum, because observers cannot agree on a common aether/vacuum, while in many-minds Relativity different observers are allowed to have different aethers/vacui. To have nothing is not physical, to have something can be physical.
Einstein’s approach resembles the debate climate in Sweden, where an opinion is possible only if it is shared by everybody, which is an extreme form of democracy and can result in no opinion at all. On the other hand, many-minds relativity resembles the culture in France, where everybody is allowed (expected) to have a different opinion, which does not contradict common agreement to some extent.
We will below present both Einstein’s non-physical special relativity based on (E1)+(E2), and different forms of physical many-minds relativity based on more precise versions of (M1)+(M2) connecting mathematical theory to physics.
We shall then understand that (M1) really is an agreement to measure length in lightseconds, and thus is simply a definition, and we shall then understand that (E1) is also a definition expressed a little bit differently. If now (E1) is a definition and (E2) a negative statement, then there is no physical content of the special theory, since it is based solely on (E1)+(E2), and thus special relativity is a non-physical theory without physical relevance, which was understood by Einstein, although he kept it for himself.
Propagation of Sound
1/(1 + v)
if we count v negative in approach and positive in recession.
The SI Standard of Measuring Time and Length
Physics of motion is based on measuring time and length. According to the 1983 SI Standard, time is measured in seconds according to an atomic cesium clock showing Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) with
- one second equal to 9192631770 cycles of a cesium clock
- one meter being the distance traveled by light in 0.000000003335640952 seconds or 9192631770/299792458 cycles of a cesium clock.
- The constancy of the speed of light is an agreement or definition
- This hypothesis of Lorentz and Fitz-Gerald (space contraction) will appear most extraordinary at first sight. All that can be said in its favor at the moment is that it is merely the immediate interpretation of Michelson’s experimental result, if we define distances by the time taken by light to traverse them.
Poincare: Use the 1983 SI length standard of lightsecond!
Assumptions of Many-Minds Relativity
The assumptions of Many-Minds Relativity take the more precise form:
- (M1) all observers use identical cesium clocks and measure length in lightseconds
- (M2) each observer uses Maxwell´s equations in a vacuum to which he is a rest.
Note that (M2) means that Maxwells equations take the same form for all observers, in contrast
Specific Assumptions of Many-Minds Relativity
f = 1/(1+v) or 1+v=1/f or v=1/f - 1,
v1 f1 v2 f2
f12=f1f2 and v12 = 1/f12 – 1
v12 = v1 + v2 + v1v2.
A Relativistic Newton’s 2nd Law
Differentiating the velocity composition v12 = v1 + v2 + v1v2 with v1 constant and v2 a velocity increment satisfying Newton´s second law mdv2/dt = F, where m is the mass of Y and F the force applied to Y, gives dv12/dt=(1+v1)dv2/dt=(1+v1)F/m so that setting v1=v12=v since v2 is an increment, we obtain the following relativistic Newton’s 2nd Law:
mv dv/dt = F where mv = m/(1 + v)
What is Relativistic Mass?
An Illuminating Example
Assume Y has mass m = 1 and is accellerated towards X at O with a constant force F = -1 from rest at a position s(0) > 0 at t = 0. From Newton’ s 2nd Law dv/(1+v) = -dt, we find v(t) = exp(- t) -1, showing that
E=mc2 or P = mc
P = mc
The Michelson-Morley Experiment Today
Suppose you want to check the Michelson-Morley experiment today. You would then measure the speed of
Einstein’s Special Theory Relativity
The Lorentz Transformation
Einstein´s Special Theory of Relativity is based on (E1) and (E2) supposedly leading to the Lorentz transformation
where g2 = 1/(1-v2) with g > 0, which connects the coordinates of two coordinate systems (x,t) and (x’ ,t’ )
Einstein’s Principle of Relativity
- (E2′) physical laws take the same form in different (non-accellerating) coordinate systems.
Einstein’s Equivalence Principle
Einstein’s Special Relativity is Non-Physical
- Length contraction and time dilation are ways of regarding things and do not correspond to physical reality. (Born)
- A transformation of the time was necessary. So I introduced the conception of a local time which is different for all systems of reference which are in motion relative to each other. But I never thought that this had anything to do with real time. This real time for me was still represented by the old classical notion of an absolute time, which is independent of any reference to special frames of coordinates. There existed for me only this true time. I considered my time transformation only as a heuristic working hypothesis. (Lorentz)
- Poincare never spells out how he interpretes the primed coordinates in the Lorentz transformation….and like Lorentz believes in local time…. (Sartori)
- The question whether the Lorentz contraction does or does not exist is confusing. It does not really exist in so far as it does not exist for an observer who moves (with the rod); it really exists, however, in the sense that it can as a matter of principle be demonstrated by a resting observer. (Einstein)
- ... the general theory of relativity. The name is repellent. Relativity? I have never been able to understand what the word means in this connection. I used to think that this was my fault, some flaw of my intelligence, but it is now apparent that nobody ever understood it, probably not even Einstein himself. (Synge)
- Thus we can sum up: general relativity can not be physical, and physical relativity is not general. (Fock)
- Many people probably felt relieved when told that the true nature of the world could not be understood except by Einstein and a few other geniuses who were able to think in four dimensions. They had tried to understand science, but now it was evident that science was something to believe in, not something which should be understood. (Hannes Alfven, Swedish Nobel Laurate in physics)
- Time and space are modes in which we think and not conditions in which we live. (Einstein)
- In 1905 Einstein recognized that Lorentz contractions and local time were not mathematical devices and physical illusions but involved the very concepts of space and time. (Born)
- It is hardly possible to illustrate Einstein’s kinematics by means of models. (Born)
- It is certainly remarkable that these relativity concepts, also those concerning time, have found such rapid acceptance. (Lorentz)
How Smart was Einstein Really?
There are many stories and cartoons joking with the stupidity of Einstein as the smartest physicist ever, who could not understand much, in particular not relativity theory:
- In 1931 Charlie Chaplin invited Einstein, who was visiting Hollywood, to a private screening of his new film City Lights. As the two men drove into town together, passersby waved and cheered. Chaplin turned to his guest and explained: “The people are applauding you because none of them understands you, and applauding me because everybody understands me.”
- Scientific American once ran a competition offering several thousand dollars for the best explanation of Einstein’s general theory of relativity in three thousand words. “I am the only one in my entire circle of friends who is not entering,” Einstein ruefully remarked. “I don’t believe I could do it”.
Can Anybody Understand Relativity?
- The relativity of space and time is a startling conclusion. I have known about it for more than 25 years, but even so, whenever I quitely sit and think it through, I am amazed.
- It is not the depth of mathematics that makes Einstein’s special relativity challenging. It is the degree to which the ideas are foreign and apparently inconsistent with our everyday experience.
We understand that physicists do not understand relativity, but the mere fact of not understanding is taken as evidence that the theory is correct. If you could understand the theory you would understand that it is pseudo-science without significance to physics, but since you cannot understand the theory, you can only accept it as a profound truth beyond human understanding and rationality.