Ed Lake's web page
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If you want my opinion ......
you've come to the right place.
Welcome to Ed Lake's web site!

I also have an interactive blog open for discussions
at this link: http://oldguynewissues.blogspot.com/
(And I have two science-related Facebook discussion groups, HERE and HERE.)

My latest comments are near the bottom of this page.
You can go directly to them by clicking HERE.

Click HERE to go to the site archives.

A Crime Unlike Any Other book
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Available at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.

Ed the famous
Click HERE to go to my web site about the anthrax attacks of 2001.
Click HERE to go to my interactive blog where the anthrax attacks of 2001 are discussed.
Click HERE to read my scientific paper titled "The Reality of Time Dilation".
Click HERE to read my scientific paper titled "What is Time?"

My interests are writing, books, movies, science, psychology, conspiracy theorists,
hotography, photographic analysis, TV, travel, mysteries, jazz, blues, and ...

just trying to figure things out.

Astronomy example picture big sleep
time article
A major interest: Fact Finding
                                  I have a fascination with Time and Time Dilation.                                Another interest: Movies Click on the above image to view a larger version.

My Latest Comments

Comments for Sunday, May 20, 2018, thru Saturday, May 26, 2018:

May 23, 2018 - I received an email this morning, time-stamped at 5:59 a.m., informing me that the revised version of my paper "Simplifying Einstein's Thought Experiments" is now at this link: http://vixra.org/pdf/1805.0251v2.pdf  

I awoke this morning thinking about that paper and about the new paper I began working on yesterday,
"Radar Guns and Einstein's Theories."  As I lay in bed thinking about those papers, I did a "thought experiment" of my own, and the results of the experiment would have "blown my socks off," if I'd been wearing socks.  I can't even write about it here.  First I have to include the experiment in the "Radar Guns" paper and put the paper on vixra.com.  In the process of writing the paper I hope to think through every step of the experiment to make sure I'm not misunderstanding something.  It's so damn simple I cannot understand why there aren't already a hundred papers about it.

I'd like to perform the experiment myself.  It would cost virtually nothing, if I could borrow a radar gun and the vehicle I'd need, plus I'd need someone to drive the vehicle.  If I can't get some police department to help me, maybe I can get some local physics professor to help.  But first I need to write the paper.

Meanwhile, I see a physicist who has worked at Fermi-lab in the past has posted this to the Google forum:
All that matters TO THE [RADAR] GUN is the speed of the reflector RELATIVE TO THE GUN, because that is all it can measure (know). This is proven daily by police that use radar guns -- a gun in a car traveling down the highway at 60 MPH will measure a tree to have a speed of 60 MPH.
The police officer I talked with on Monday says that is NOT TRUE.  A radar gun in a car traveling down the highway at 60 MPH will measure a tree to have a speed of ZERO, in full agreement with Einstein and De Sitter

I tried to explain things this morning by posting a comment to the Google forum about the "two reflections" type of radar gun, which sends out photons to the ground and gets a speed of zero and sends out photons to the target car and gets a speed of 90 mph.   "Steve BH" then asked me:

A whole second radar just to subtract zero? And why don’t we just leave that out?
I responded:
Because the radar gun compares photon frequencies.  It needs TWO photons to make a comparison.

In a standard radar gun, the gun compares the frequency of the photons it emits to the frequency of the photons it gets back from the target.

In the "two reflections" type of radar gun, the gun compares the frequency of photons returned from the ground to the frequency of photons returned from the target vehicle.
I'm awaiting a response to that.  It should give them something to think about. 

The experiment I thought about his morning will resolve the dispute.  I just need to finish the paper about the experiment and get the paper on-line.

May 22, 2018 - I awoke this morning deciding that I needed to create a second draft of my paper "Simplifying Einstein's Thought Experiments" before I begin work on my newest paper "Radar Guns and Einstein's Theories."  I wanted to add a lot of things to the Notes Section to show how college textbooks incorrectly describe the ideas behind Einstein's thought experiments, but haven't had time to work on that.  So, I only made three changes to create the second draft: (1) I changed the date on the paper; (2) I changed Figure 3 to the corrected version illustrated in my May 20 comment; and (3) I changed the second Experiment #10 to Experiment #11 (which it should have been in the first place).   I submitted the revised version of the paper to vixra.org at about 9:30 this morning.  There's a good chance that they will make it available later today.  If they do, I'll modify this comment to reflect that.

Meanwhile, someone on the Google Science, Physics & Relativity discussion group wrote a comment that I felt needed a response from me.  "Paparios" responded to my comment that I had discussed radar guns with a local police officer.  "Paparios" wrote:

You and your policeman do not know what you are talking about!!!

You see, Edward, radars only "see" metalic stuff, like cars, trains, airplanes and missiles. A tree is made of wood and not of metal, do you understand that?

You are way too dumb to understand any of this....
Although typical insulting nonsense, I felt it made one valid point.  When radar photons hit the polished surface of a car more photons will reflect back to the radar gun.  When radar photons hit the rough surface of a tree, the photons will be more scattered, and fewer photons will return to the gun.  So, I explained that to "Paparios" and told him I'd use metal highway signs instead of trees in future discussions with police officers (and in my new paper).  And, I explained that lidar (which is a form of radar) has no problem mapping the locations of trees.  I provided a link to lots of images of trees located by lidar.  The response from "Paparios" was:
Is a lidar a radar?

Do you even think before writing your daily nonsense?
Meanwhile, "rotchm" (who was recently added to my "Do Not Reply" list) stated that I needed to use parked cars instead of highway signs.  How could that make any difference?  It can't, but it says that if I use highway signs I'll just get more arguments from the mathematicians. 

It also occurred to me that I could have mentioned baseball radar guns to "Paparios."  They measure the speed of oncoming baseballs by bouncing photons off of a thrown baseball, which is not made of "metallic stuff, like cars, trains, airplanes and missiles."  Baseballs have a leather covering and are filled with non-metallic materials.   But, I imagine that "Paparios" would just claim that those are a different kind of radar gun, he'd claim they are radar guns specifically made for use with baseballs, and therefore nothing like police radar guns.  The claim would undoubtedly be false, but how could I prove it?  And if I could, I'm certain that "Paparios" would just find some new reason to dismiss my findings.  

So, I'll keep all that in mind as I write the paper.  

May 21, 2018 - I finally found some time to call my local police department to ask them how their radar guns work.  The officer told me that if the radar gun is in a car moving at 60 mph and they point the gun at a tree beside the road, the gun will show "no reading." 

radar gun

I made certain I was understanding what "no reading" means.  In the illustration above, the reading is 55 mph.  If the gun was on a moving car and it was pointed at the grass at the side of the road, the screen on the back of the gun would be blank.  It would show nothing because the gun has no difference in photons to compute.  The outbound photons are identical to the return photons.

I assumed that no one on the Google forum would believe I actually called the police department.  This afternoon's comments show that they all seemed to believe me, they just believe I misunderstood what the police officer told me.   So, I still need to find some on-line source that says the same thing in unambiguous terms.  But, talking with the officer was a big relief for me, since it made me more confident when arguing with a dozen people who all say I am wrong.

I ended the discussion on Google.  I'll now focus on writing a short paper about how radar guns confirm Einstein's theory of light.

I'm also thinking of asking my local police department if they will give me a ride to watch how the radar gun works, so that there can be no misunderstandings.  I have a larger town just across the street, so I may ask their police department, too.  Plus, that larger town is the county seat, so I might ask the sheriff's department if they will let me go along for a short ride.  I might show them the paper about radar guns to see if that helps convince them to give me a ride.

I also realized that I can use imgur.com to store quotes so that I can find them again if I need them.  Here are some quotes from Richard Feynman's book "QED: The Strange Theory of Light and matter":

Feynman quote
Feynman quotes page 15
As you can see, they are from Chapter 1 (the Introduction), pages 14 and 15, so it will be easy to find them again in the book if I need to do so.  I can use them when people claim that I'm the only one who believes that light consists of photons, not waves.

May 20, 2018 - Wow!  Some of my discussions about physics on Google's Science, Physics & Relativity discussion forum have become truly fascinating.  A few days ago, I tried posting a message about my new paper to a different Google physics discussion group and it took over a day for my post to show up on the  group.  The day after it showed up on the forum, someone responded, telling me that I needed to modify one of the illustrations in my paper.  When I tried to answer, I kept getting messages from Google saying that something or other was very slow and that I should try posting again.  I tried about a half dozen times and nothing happened.

Then the next day a message from the "moderator" appeared in the thread.  Moderator?  I didn't know that any Google discussion group had a moderator.  I'd never encountered one before.  The moderator agreed that my illustration needed to be modified and wrote:

Since there is no new physics here, I suggest that further comments be mailed to the original poster.
I'm the "original poster."  So, the guy who had responded sent me an email explaining his view in greater detail.  I agreed with him and said I'd modify the illustration.  Here are the before (incorrect) and after (correct) versions:
fixed Figure 3
The complaint was the stone dropped by the observer on the train (OT) would not bounce in the direction of the engine the way I had shown it.  That version implied that the stone was somehow moving faster than OT and the train.  As you can see, the modified version is better, since the stone never moves past OT.  It is still not totally satisfactory, since the stone would be slowing down and wouldn't actually be directly below OT after it had bounced a few times.  But I don't know how to illustrate that without getting another complaint that the stone didn't fall straight down from OT's hand.

But what really interested me in that response was that there was evidently no disagreement with the physics in my paper.  The guy who suggested the change evidently agreed with the paper, and the moderator felt the paper contained nothing new.  That made me really wonder if the scientists and physicists who share my understanding of Relativity try to avoid "social media" because they do not want to endlessly argue with mathematicians as I've been doing.

If there are lots of scientists out there who agree with me, why aren't they protesting against what the colleges and universities are teaching?  Is it because as soon as they open their mouths a hoard of mathematicians will start attacking them and insulting them?  I'm thinking more and more that that is the case.

Meanwhile, I have registered at imgur.com.  It's a place where I can store images and use them on this web site or in posts to various social media forums.  The image above was placed there instead of on my own web site.  Using an image placed on imgur.com instead of on my own site makes things a bit simpler, and it means I'll be using a lot more illustrations here in the future.  

Yesterday, my arguments with the mathematicians really hit one particularly fascinating area.  We were talking mostly about how police radar guns work.  It's an area where I can find a lot of on-line references which totally disagree with the beliefs of the mathematicians.  But, more than that, the discussions seem to have provided me with undeniable arguments to use against the mathematicians.  I just need to do some more research, and I may even try to contact my local police department to ask them some questions - if I can't find the answers on-line.

We all know that if I am in a police car on the side of the road and I aim a radar gun at a car coming toward me at 90 mph, the radar gun will show that car is traveling at 90 mph.  The question then becomes:  If I am in a moving police car traveling at 60 mph and I aim the radar gun at a traffic sign on the side of the road, what speed will the radar gun register for the sign: zero or 60 mph?

The unanimous answer from the mathematicians is 60 mph.  But, as I see it, that can only happen if the speed of light (c) emitted from the radar gun is added to the speed of the police car (v) I'm in.  That way, the outgoing light travels at c+v, it bounces off the stationary highway sign and returns at c.  The gun subtracts c from c+v and gets v, the speed of the police car (or highway sign).  But the speed of the emitter cannot be added to the speed of light.   I.e., a moving emitter cannot send out light that travels at c+v.  Light cannot go faster than c, the local speed of light.  That is a basic rule in Einsteinian physics and has been confirmed in countless experiments. 

Here's an image I created and put on imgur.com in about 10 minutes to illustrate this situation:
moving police car and stationary sign
But I haven't been able to find a source that says if you are in a moving car and aim a radar gun at a sign next to the road, the speed of the sign will register as zero velocity.  (That is what you would get if the radar gun sends out light at c instead of c+v and gets back a signal traveling at c.  c-c=zero.)  It isn't that the sources say that is wrong, it's that the sources say nothing at all about that situation.  Or they don't spell things out.  For example, one source I found says,
Radar guns measure the relative velocity between the radar gun and the target. If the radar gun is moving, that has to be accounted for in some way. Most modern guns do this by detecting both the return from the target vehicle and the return from the ground or terrain in the vicinity of the target vehicle, and comparing the two to determine the velocity of the target relative to the ground or terrain.
That implies that the speed of the ground or terrain is measured to be zero, but it doesn't say so.  Here's another quote from the same source:
There will be a number of returns in the radar gun’s received signal. The road, terrain, signs, trees, etc. will all be moving at one speed relative to the gun, and will return a signal Doppler-shifted by an amount corresponding to that velocity. Each vehicle that intercepts the beam will have a return with a Doppler shift that reflects its velocity relative to the gun. Most radar guns today will assume that the single largest return is the (presumably stationary) ground and the second largest return is the target vehicle, or vice versa, and report the difference in velocity between the two as the target vehicle speed relative to the ground.
Again it is implied that the speed of the road, signs, trees, etc. are moving at zero, but it doesn't say so.   I suppose it can be argued that the signal from the ground could indicate the police car is moving at 60 mph and that speed is either subtracted from the speed of an oncoming car (150 mph if the speeder is coming toward the police car at 90 mph) or added to the speed of the police car (30 mph if the speeder is going away from the police car), but the gun would have to be set differently for speeders moving away versus speeders approaching.  I need to have things stated in unambiguous terms, otherwise I'll get nothing but arguments from the mathematicians.  

One mathematician crossed the line in a post yesterday:  Someone who posts as "rotchm" wrote this:  

So it is now concluded that YOU LIE, that you intentionally misquote and change the quotes to serve your needs. Totally fraudulent and disgraceful behavior. I will report this to your publishers and the author of that new book (anthrax/fbi thing on your site). We dont need liars like you.
I immediately informed him that he is now on my "Do Not Reply" list.  But, I see four posts from him this morning.  I'll continue to read his posts, since they show his misunderstandings (which can be interesting and informative), but I won't respond to any of them.  There are a bunch of other posts from overnight which require responses, however, and it is now time for me to do that.

Comments for Sunday, May 13, 2018, thru Saturday, May 19, 2018:

May 16, 2018 - The arguments are coming in hot and heavy on Google's Science, Physics & Relativity discussion forum where I posted a link to my new paper about "Simplifying Einstein's Thought Experiments."  As of this moment, there are 61 posts in the thread, 22 of them from me, including the post that started the thread.

While a lot of it is just complaints that I do not use the words they use or explain things the way they learned those things, some of it is pretty interesting.  Paul Anderson posted links to seven papers he has on his web site which he claims all show that light travels at the same speed everywhere.  But, I think they just show that light travels at 299,792,458 meters PER SECOND within all inertial "frames of reference" even when the length of a "second" is different in those frames.  I'll check them out to see if I can use them as references in some paper of mine.  Here they are:
1. Kennedy-Thorndike
2. Michelson-1913
3. Babcock-Bergman
4. Alvager et al
5. Beckman-Mandics
6. Filippas-Fox
7. Bretcher
I already had copies of them all in my files, and I recall using #4 as a reference in some paper where I showed Alvager et al had no moving observer.  But, I plan to go through each one to see what it says about the speed of light.

Meanwhile, I slapped together a cartoon to use to start a discussion about my new paper on Facebook's Astrophysics & Physics group.  Here's the cartoon:
Einstein debates
This morning I see the cartoon and my comment have received 8 "likes" and 5 "Wows."  One person also responded by posting five comments.  All are his negative opinions.  Here is his first comment in its entirety:
Cheers, but given your track record, I’ll just read what Einstein himself wrote, have a look at the actual mathematics, and if I need to look elsewhere I’ll trust people like Bertotti who actually worked on the theories with him.

I’ve already seen your work, and I know what quality I can expect from people trying to seek attention with “independent papers”.
I couldn't recall the name Bertotti, so I looked him up on Wikipedia.  It says Bertotti was born in 1930, so he was only 25 when Einstein died in 1955.  It also says, "Bertotti was a visiting scholar at the Institute for Advanced Study in 1958-59" so he arrived in Princeton 3 years after Einstein died.  But, do I want to argue with the guy on Facebook about it?  I think not.

I also started a thread about my new paper on Google's Sci.,Physics,Research discussion forum, but it is clearly a forum that is rarely accessed.  It takes a long time for a post to show up there.  There was one (negative) response overnight.  I responded to it, but a half hour later my response still wasn't showing up.

Finally, it seems 23 people have viewed my new paper since I put it on vixra.org. That's not very many, but maybe it will get some "word of mouth" action.  Time will tell.

May 15, 2018 - This morning I see there are only 17 posts and 36 views in the thread I started yesterday on Google's Science, Physics & Relativity discussion forum.  None are particularly interesting.  No one seems to have bothered to read more than a few pages of the paper.   Maybe I shouldn't have used the word "simplifying" in the title of a 26-page paper.  If something is "simplified" it should be explainable in a 1-page paper.  Maybe I'll title the second draft "Reviewing Einstein's Thought Experiments."

Only 3 of the overnight posts required a response from me.  The first was a post from someone else to someone else, a post mentioning "length contraction," which I address in my paper.  So, I pointed that out to them.  The second was by someone who argue against Experiment #1 in my paper, complaining that it doesn't do what the experiment is supposed to do.  I explained to him that is because I do what he says the experiment is "supposed to do" in Experiments #2 and #3, because it is important to see the result of the same experiment performed in different ways.  The third comment requiring a response from me was from "Paul Anderson" who wanted to restart an argument from April, but I didn't disagree with anything he wrote last night, and I told him so. 

So, now I'm waiting to see if my responses generate new argument and if some of the regulars who haven't yet posted so far post comments during the day today.

Meanwhile, when I looked at the web page which shows all the papers recently placed on vixra.org, I saw several papers about subjects similar to the subject of my paper.  One paper posted on Sunday, for example, is titled "Einstein's Relativity of Simultaneity Argued Against."  It's written by someone in Hungary who seems to be arguing that Einstein shouldn't have said events are simultaneous just because they were viewed as being simultaneous.  Is that what Einstein wrote, or is that how Einstein's words are interpreted?  It is not how I interpret what Einstein wrote.

I'm thinking I should also post a comment to Google's Science, Physics, Research discussion group, to see what reaction I get there.  I never posted there before. (It doesn't seem to be a very popular group.  I see only one or two posts per day.)  I'm also thinking about posting something to Facebook about my paper, in an attempt to get a discussion going there.  But, I'd need an illustration to get those people interested.  I'm thinking of creating a cartoon where three groups of people are arguing with each other.  One group argues, "We agree that Einstein didn't mean what he wrote, and we agree about what Einstein actually meant!"  Another group argues, "We disagree with Group One and agree that Einstein meant what he wrote!"  And a third group argues, "We disagree with Einstein, we think he meant what he wrote, but we agree with Group One that Einstein should have written what they mistakenly believe he meant." 

I really hope I can get at least one person to discuss my paper and how it relates to what it taught in colleges and universities around the world.

May 14, 2018 (B) - Just before lunch this morning, I finished the first draft of my new science paper titled "Simplifying Einstein's Thought Experiments."  I then submitted it to vixra.org, and when I returned from a workout at the gym this afternoon I found an email in my inbox informing me that the paper was now available on-line at the link above.

So, of course, the next thing I did was to start a new thread on Google's Science, Physics & Relativity discussion forum asking for "constructive criticism on how to improve the paper or clarify the ideas."   I received the first response 10 minutes later.  Here it is in its entirety:

... it is essentially useless since the train/bank Gedanken is well understood and has never been misinterpreted by actual scientists. The only people who don't understand it are folks who do not have the math-physics background necessary to do so... like, for example, YOU, Ed...
So, we're off to a routine start with a dogma opinion and a personal attack.  Since it's time for me to shut down my computer for today, I'll find out tomorrow if there were any intelligent comments overnight.

May 14, 2018 (A) - Hmm.  Evidently, last night's edition of the Australian current affairs program "60 Minutes" was about Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.  This morning there are a number of news articles about it.  The article in the International Business Times is titled "MH370 Mystery: 'Premeditated Murder' Planned By Flight's Pilot, Experts Claim."  The experts are claiming that the pilot of MH370 committed suicide and took all of his passengers with him.  That's the same conclusion I arrived at back on May 10, 2015, because it seemed to be what most commercial pilots also believe.

The article also indicates that the search by an independent contractor that began about six months ago on a "no find, no fee" agreement is still in progress, even though it is now getting close to winter on that side of the world. 

May 13, 2018 - This is another one of those Sunday mornings when I do not have anything prepared and already written for my Sunday comment.  So, I have to start from scratch.

The reason I have nothing written is because I've been working on my new paper about Einstein's thought experiments.  I'm really excited about it, and I really want to get it on-line so I can get people's opinions about it.  In the process of writing it, I've been clarifying and organizing my own thoughts about Relativity, and I've been stunned at how simple it really is.  And it is also very clear that my view is Einstein's view, and the people with whom I've been arguing (and all the college textbooks they got their mistaken beliefs from) are wrong.  And I wonder how anyone will be able to argue that it is more complicated than how I describe it.  

Yesterday it was a choice between continuing to work on that paper or starting work on this comment.  I worked on the paper.  Right now, it looks like I should be able to put a first draft on Vixra-org sometime this week, maybe as early as Tuesday.

I keep changing the title.  The current title is "Simplifying Einstein's Thought Experiments."  But maybe it should be "Einstein's thought Experiments Simplified."  Or maybe "Analyzing Einstein's Thought Experiments" would be better.  Or maybe I should go a different route and title it "Simplified Relativity" or "Simplifying Relativity."  Or "Relativity Simplified."  We'll see what happens.

The current version is 24 pages long.  I think another 2 or 3 pages might be needed before I'll have a good "first draft."  A big part of the work has gone into the illustrations.  It has 27 illustrations, but 2 or 3 of them need to be overhauled before I release the "first draft."  A lot more can be improved, but I can do that in later drafts. 

Meanwhile, I've been continuing the discussion on Facebook's Astrophysics and Physics group about the difference between the Big Bang Universe and the Observable Universe.  It's an argument about things that aren't in the paper I'm currently working on, but probably should be in a different paper.  In the process of writing that different paper I may figure out some things that I'm not clear about. 

Back on May 8, I posted this illustration of the Observable Universe that I found on NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day website:

The visible universe 

The Earth as it exists today is at the center of the above illustration.  The outer edge of the disk is the universe as it existed 13.8 billion years ago.  The Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) is the spider-web yellow and pink stuff just inside of the outer edge of the disk.  So, the CMB surrounds us on all sides.

The problem is reconciling the above image to an image of the Big Bang Universe timeline as shown in the image below:

The Big Bang Universe
In the second image we are located in one of the "present day" galaxies at the far right.  The Cosmic Microwave Background is the green stuff on the left, between "The Dark Age"which is in dark blue, and the pink and yellow stuff that represents the "Age of Inflation," the period when the material from the Big Bang expanded at a much faster rate than today's rate of expansion.

So, the disk version is like sticking a pin in our galaxy on the right in the second image and then spinning the second image around to create the disk version. 
In the Facebook discussions it became clear that the others couldn't make the leap between the long Big Bang illustration with the Earth at one end and the Big Bang at the other, and the disk illustration with the Earth in the center.  I then found the illustration shown below, which represents what a section of that disk would look like in 3 dimensions:

A slice of time and the universe
But there is still something that isn't quite easily understandable.  I visualize the problem as you and I standing side by side a very tiny fraction of a second after the Big Bang. Then you and I moved apart as the universe expanded in the seconds after the Big Bang.  We must have moved apart much faster than the speed of light if today we cannot see each other (although if we both moved apart from each other, each moving at nearly the speed of light, we would very quickly lose sight of each other).  It probably also relates to why we cannot see the Big Bang in all directions if we can see the CMB in all directions.  Another part of the answer is that there was nothing to be seen in the Big Bang.  It happened in darkness.  We can see the darkness.  And the "Age of Inflation" also happened in darkness, and during the "Age of Inflation" things did move apart much faster than the speed of light (there was no light).

But, all that thinking about that problem is doing is keeping me from finishing my paper on "Simplifying Einstein's Thought Experiments."  Or should it be titled "The Logic of Einstein's Thought Experiments"?  Or "Einstein's Logical Thought Experiments"?   

Comments for Sunday, May 6, 2018, thru Saturday, May 12, 2018:

May 10, 2018 - I really wanted to talk about my May 8 comment with someone, but I didn't want to get back on Google's Science, Physics & Relativity discussion forum to do that, so I decided to post a comment to the Astrophysics and Physics Facebook groupMy comment basically just summarized what I wrote here in my May 8 comment. 

While that Facebook group is a "public group," which means everyone can view it, unlike the Google forum, the Facebook group has one or more moderators, and you have to join the group to post to the group.  The moderators supposedly keep down the personal insults and spam.  The group has 82,023 members.  So, late on May 8, I posted a message.  It was reviewed by a moderator overnight, and it appeared on the group on May 9.  There was an immediate positive reaction with lots of "likes" and "Wows."  Right now there are 30 of them, with no negatives.  Plus, the first posted comment was wildly enthusiastic.

Then the nay-sayers showed up.  They disagreed with what I wrote but couldn't explain anything, of course.  They could only state their opinions.  Their opinions were all basically the same thing: "There is no center to the universe."  Period.  No arguments allowed.  And when I questioned what they were saying, they insulted me and attacked me personally. 

Here's a post by Iain Hilton after I questioned what he had written:

The problem is that an idiot like Ed posts something up like this, and people who don’t know but want to learn think “wow, that’s amazing! They blew my mind!” giving them a completely false idea about cosmology and astrophysics.
And when someone corrects them, instead of listening, they double down after making lots of genuinely interested people think they’ve said something profound instead of profoundly stupid.
Later, someone named Jayson Abalos posted a very long comment that would probably take 5 pages if printed out.  But seemed virtually incomprehensible.  Here's a small part of it:
The problem with the center of the universe idea is that it derives from the phrasing of the Big Bang's singularity, or the word, "point" in the description, but that phrasing and wording can be a bit misleading to how we are familiar with thinking. It also relies on dispersion to remain static in momentum and growth. The latter of these we know at this point to not be the case, as there has been enough time for a variety of interactions to have taken place to cause asymmetrical formation in some interesting ways throughout the observable universe, and by derivative relationship, the whole universe model; less highly successful models such as general relativity be grossly wrong, for which we have no evidence to support that position.

The best way I can explain the problem is to imagine a single firework inside of a huge pressure chamber. It explodes, and from it millions of constituent parts fling out. Milliseconds after it explodes, for some reason, the pressure in the chamber changes, and all of the constituent parts push outward in equal direction and rate consequent of the pressure change. Many of the constituents, which flung from the first firework, themselves are highly volatile and when they touch, they create secondary explosions themselves, and from these even more constituent parts fling outward. These secondary explosions do not occur in uniform timing, inherently, therefore, there is an asymmetry embedded here. From here, constituents continue to explode when they interact. Imagine 6 million secondary explosions, and each of those leads to 6 million explosions, and repeat this process to the power of 10. All the while, the momentum of everything previously has been retained until acted upon by a new force giving new momentum.
Since what he was writing didn't seem to have anything to do with the way the Big Bang worked, I was tempted to respond with some questions, but instead I just wrote a comment to everyone that summarized how I understood things, and then I said "bye bye."

Then, this morning, I saw there were a couple new comments from Laura Herzog who hadn't posted anything yesterday.  Both comments said basically the same thing:

since we know that the universe is expanding, if what you drew was true, the edge closest to the big bang point would be going slower the edge further would be going faster and the sides wouldn't appear to be moving at all.

We see equal movement in all directions.
That was such an interesting response, that I felt required to reply.  So, I wrote:
Laura Herzog, thanks for your response, but, as I see it, you are viewing things from the Big Bang universe perspective. There it would be clear that the edge closest to the Big Bang point would be going slower, etc., because everything is moving away from the center, and the farther from the center you are, the faster you are moving.

From the perspective of someone on Earth in the center of the OBSERVABLE universe, however, you would NOT see that.

Think of the universe expanding like a released spring. The bottom of the spring is fixed to the point where the Big Bang occurred. A spring doesn't expand like an accordion where you pull on it to draw one side away from the other. A spring expands all along its length. The space between each coil increases. So, if you are on one coil, you will see the coil ahead of you moving away FROM YOU just as fast as the coil behind you moves away FROM YOU. You have no way of detecting your motion away from the point of the Big Bang because you cannot see that point.

So, as everyone here seems to agree, the space between galaxies is increasing just like the space between coils of a spring increases.

If you view things from the Big Bang perspective, everything is moving away from the center.

If you view things from the center of the OBSERVABLE universe, everything is moving away from YOU. 
That response poses some Relativity questions for me to think about.  If we are moving away from the point of the Big Bang, and if objects behind us are moving slower than objects head of us as we move away from that point, would the difference in the speed of light from fast and slow moving emitters even things out?  Groan!  I don't want to have to think about that!  I've got a paper to write, and I have to avoid getting distracted.

Plus, yesterday someone gave me a free digital watch as part of some kind of sales promotion, and that means that sooner or later I will have to figure out how to set the time on the watch.  The instructions seem to say that I need "Bluetooth" to set it.  Now I just need to find some time to read the instructions and figure out how Bluetooth works and how to set the watch.  Groan.     

May 8, 2018 - Hmm.  I've occasionally mentioned on this web site and elsewhere my understanding of how the visible or observable universe is just a small part of the "Big Bang universe."  Because stars did not form until about 200 million years after the Big Bang, there was no light for the first 200 million years after the Big Bang.  And we can only see the light that has had time to reach us since the first stars turned on 13.8 billion years ago.  That means the visible universe is just 13.8 billion years in diameter, and the Big Bang universe is undoubtedly much larger.   And the Big Bang universe is filled with stars and galaxies we cannot see because they are so far away that the light emitted from them just hasn't had time to reach us.

I created the image below and have used it many times to illustrate what I'm talking about:

visible vs complete universe

To my pleasant surprise, today's featured image on NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day web site is this depiction of the visible/observable universe:

The visible universe

The text that explains the image says:

How far can you see? Everything you can see, and everything you could possibly see, right now, assuming your eyes could detect all types of radiations around you -- is the observable universe. In visible light, the farthest we can see comes from the cosmic microwave background, a time 13.8 billion years ago when the universe was opaque like thick fog. Some neutrinos and gravitational waves that surround us come from even farther out, but humanity does not yet have the technology to detect them. The featured image illustrates the observable universe on an increasingly compact scale, with the Earth and Sun at the center surrounded by our Solar System, nearby stars, nearby galaxies, distant galaxies, filaments of early matter, and the cosmic microwave background. Cosmologists typically assume that our observable universe is just the nearby part of a greater entity known as "the universe" where the same physics applies.
So, NASA uses them "observable universe" where I have been using "visible universe."  And so does Wikipedia.  I clicked on the first link in the quote above and it took me to Wikipedia's article about the "Observable Universe."  That article says,
The observable universe is a spherical region of the universe comprising all matter that can be observed from Earth at the present time, because electromagnetic radiation from these objects has had time to reach Earth since the beginning of the cosmological expansion. There are at least 2 trillion galaxies in the observable universe.[7][8] Assuming the universe is isotropic, the distance to the edge of the observable universe is roughly the same in each direction. That is, the observable universe is a spherical volume (a ball) centered on the observer. Every location in the universe has its own observable universe, which may or may not overlap with the one centered on Earth.
Some parts of the universe are too far away for the light emitted since the Big Bang to have had enough time to reach Earth, so these portions of the universe lie outside the observable universe.
Grumble grumble!  I agree that "observable universe" is better terminology than "visible universe," since "visible" implies only what we can see with our eyes, while "observable" includes microwaves, radio waves, ultraviolet,infrared and other wavelengths we can detect via special equipment.  But why do they both repeatedly say "universe" instead of "Big Bang universe"?   Is there a difference between "universe" and "Big Bang universe"?  The logic they use says they're talking about the "Big Bang universe."

As I recall, the arguments I had with mathematicians were about whether or not there was a Big Bang, and about their mistaken belief that if there had been a Big Bang we would be able to see the point where the Big Bang began and we would be able to see that everything in our visible/observable universe is moving away from that point.  Many mathematicians argue that there was no "point" where the Big Bang occurred, the universe just expanded "from everywhere."

Mostly I would bring up the subject of the visible/observable universe when I talked about the point where the Big Bang occurred as being the stationary point from which all movement in the universe can be measured (shooting down their screwball belief that "all motion is reciprocal").  At that stationary point, time would tick at its maximum rate, because it would also be unaffected by motion and by gravity.  (In theory, there is no effect from gravity at that stationary point because all matter in the universe was evenly distributed in all directions from that point.)  Also, light would be emitted at its maximum speed from that point.  

I don't know if I should go back and change every time I used the word "visible" to be "observable" instead, but I now have references I can use if I get into any further arguments with mathematicians who do not believe in the Big Bang, or who do not believe that there can be anything outside of our observable universe, or who believe that the universe didn't expand from a point but expands "from everywhere."

Of course, I know from past experience that they will use the #1 DUMBEST idea in physics to argue against me.  They'll argue that the people who wrote those articles didn't really believe or mean what they wrote, they were LYING to the public because the public is just too stupid to understand the "mathematical reality" of physics. 

May 7, 2018 - Yesterday during lunch, I finished reading the Kindle copy I got from my libary of "Endurance: A Year in Space, A Lifetime of Discovery" by Scott Kelly.

Endurance cover

Wow!  What a great book.  It was really a fascinating read.  It's filled with interesting details about flying space shuttles, and particularly about life aboard the International Space Station (ISS), where Kelly spent 159 days on his first stay in 2010 and 2011, and 340 days on his second stay in 2015 and 2016. 

One of the things you might not ordinarily think about is the fact that there is no way to take a bath or a shower on the ISS.  (They use Handi-Wipes.)  So, Kelly went 340 days without taking a bath or shower.  He wrote, "there is no laundry up here, so we wear clothes for as long as we can stand, then throw them out."  And brushing your teeth is done differently: "I brush, still in my sleeping bag, then swallow the toothpaste and chase it with a sip of water out of a bag with a straw. There isn’t really a good way to spit in space."

The ISS has had people aboard it since November 2, 2000, so it's been 17½ years "since all humans were on the earth at once."

They eat a lot of tortillas aboard the ISS, "because of their long shelf life and lack of crumbs."   Since there is no gravity, crumbs would float around for years or until they got sucked into a ventilator. 

Because things float away, it's easy to lose tools and tiny metal parts.  They just drift away and get lost among all the equipment that is Velcroed to all the walls around you.  Kelly writes, "Occasionally one of us will dislodge a tool or part that has been missing for years. Eight years is the record, so far, for a missing object reappearing." 

Of course, going to the bathroom is different in space, because things do not fall downward as they do on earth.

There are also other tasks that need to be performed, but which you wouldn't ordinarily do.  "Haircuts are one of the many tasks ISS crew members have to perform for one another (in addition to giving simple medical tests, drawing blood, doing ultrasounds, and even performing basic dentistry)." 

One of the  more interesting things described in the book is how the outside of the ISS looks.  It looks like bullets have been fired at it.  There are tiny craters where tiny particles hit while traveling tens of thousands of miles per hour.  Kelly wrote this about one space walk: "I’m immediately struck by how damaged the outside of the station is. Micrometeoroids and orbital debris have been striking it for fifteen years, creating small pits and scrapes as well as holes that completely penetrate the handrails, creating jagged edges. It’s a little alarming—especially when I’m out here with nothing but a few layers of spacesuit between me and the next strike."

I could go on and on, but suffice to say: It was a very interesting and enjoyable book. 

May 6, 2018 - As I work on my paper about Einstein's thought experiments, I'm finding more and more evidence that the mathematician's belief that "all motion is reciprocal" is beyond absurd

Yesterday, I wanted to find some sources that claimed that "all motion is reciprocal," so I did a Google search for that exact phrase.  To my surprise, I got only 6 results, and 3 of those were to things I had written.  As a further surprise, one of the hits that was not my writing was to something from Ralph Waldo Emerson. It's from page 124 of "The Complete Sermons of Ralph Waldo Emerson."  In Sermon CX (110) Emerson said
"All motion is reciprocal and so all influence spiritual influence." 

That doesn't help.  The next hit led to a University of Chicago web site and an on-line article titled "The Chicago School of Media Theory." It says,

“Thanks to the third dimension of space, all the images making up the past and future are … not laid out with respect to one another like frames on a roll of film … But let us not forget that all motion is reciprocal or relative: if we perceive them coming towards us, it is also true to say that we are going towards them” (Bergson 142).
When I checked that (Bergson 142) reference I found it's a quote from page 142 of the book "Duration and Simultaneity" by Henri Bergson.  The 6th hit also went to a page containing that same quote.  I found the quote in Bergson's book, but the book seems to be a rant against Einstein's theory that time is a variable and can "dilate."  I'll have to study it further to figure out exactly what Bergson is arguing about.  A little additional research found a book titled "The Physicist & the Philosopher: Einstein, Bergson, and the Debate that Changed Our Understanding of Time."  That book looks even more interesting.

But, all I'm doing is demonstrating how easy it is to get sidetracked and to end up spending hours researching something that may turn out to be a total waste of time and of no value whatsoever to what I'm writing about in the my new paper.

Checking back on what I wrote on this web site, I found that on April 29 I had quoted from a Tennessee community college web site which stated:

Time dilation is reciprocal.  If Δt is the proper time for a clock in S, then the two observers in S' would measure Δt' = γΔt.  If this effect were not reciprocal, there would be a way to distinguish between inertial frames.
My latest search didn't find that quote because the quote is about time dilation, not about motion, plus it doesn't contain the word "all."  If I leave the word "all" out of the search and just search for "motion is reciprocal", I get 11,800 results, but I'd have to study each one to see exactly what it is saying.

I also remembered writing something said by a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  I quoted him in my May 21, 2017 comment:

It is a meaningless question in relativity to ask whether you are moving relative to me or whether I am moving relative to you, it doesn't matter.  All that matters in Special Relativity is the relative motion.  So, you can always think of yourself as standing still and make the source of electromagnetic radiation move to you or away from you, relative to you.
As I see it, it is not a "meaningless question" at all.  It is absolutely essential to understanding relativity.  What the Theory of Special Relativity says is that you can absolutely tell who is moving and who is not if you are two independent "reference bodies" observing one another across space.  However, you cannot tell who is moving and who is not if you are enclosed within different "Inertial Frames of Reference" where one "Frame" is moving and the other is not.  There is no known scientific test that you can perform inside a closed inertial Frame of Reference to determine if you are moving or not.

The paper on which I'm currently working shows very clearly, in simple step by step thought experiments created and described by Einstein in his various writings, that two different observer reference bodies can see motion and time differences that cannot be seen inside a closed inertial Frame of Reference.  And that is what Relativity is all about: how what you see can be different from what I see, and how what one of us sees can be conclusively shown to be "incorrect."

Now, I have to end this comment and get back to work on that new paper.  It is coming along well.  I have the beginning and much of the middle, I just need to find the best way to end the paper.

Comments for Tuesday, May 1, 2018, thru Saturday, May 5, 2018:

May 3, 2018 (B) - I awoke this morning realizing that I failed to make an important additional point in yesterday's comment.  That point relates to these two translations from Einstein's paper "The Principal Ideas of the Theory of Relativity":

First version Second version
Now imagine the sun later hurls a body into space such that it flies with a velocity of 1,000 kilometers per second in the same direction as the ray of light. This is easy to imagine. We now can similarly imagine this projected body as an alternative body of reference and ask ourselves: what is the propagation velocity of light in the judgment of an observer who does not sit on the sun but rather on the projected body? The answer seems simple. When the hurled body runs after the light at 1,000 kilometers per second, the ray of light advances against it by only 299,000 kilometers per second. Now imagine the sun hurling an object after this ray of light, so that it moves through space in the same direction with a velocity of 1,000 kilometers per second. This is easy to imagine. Now we might as well select this ejected object as a reference body and ask: what is the velocity of propagating light when judged by an observer who does not sit on the sun, but on the ejected object? The answer seems simple. If the ejected object races behind the light with a speed of 1,000 kilometers per second, the ray of light is only able to advance against it at a rate of 299,000 kilometers per second.

In both versions Einstein says that an observer traveling at 1,000 kps (v) away from a stationary source of light will see light rays from that source moving past him at 299,000 kps, which is c-v. 

Of course, if the observer were looking in the other direction, i.e., back at the source of the light rays, the observer would measure the light rays reaching him at 299,000 kps, which is again c-v.

And that confirms what I have said is the #4 DUMBEST belief in physics: "The speed of light is always measured to be the same by the emitter and all outside observers, regardless of their own velocity."  That incredibly dumb belief that the observer traveling at 1,000 kps will see the light rays passing at 300,000 kps, NOT at 299,000 kps, is routinely taught in colleges and universities around the world.

The quotes above may be the only time Einstein made things so clear, but I'll continue hunting for other quotes where he says something similar, so that I can use them in a scientific paper.

May 3, 2018 (A) - Yesterday and the day before, I spent some time in what might be considered to be a "group therapy session."  Unintentionally, I played the role of the therapist.  The "session" began when I posted the image below to FaceBook's Science, Technology and Society Discussion Corner:

Space shuttle Endeavour launch  
It's a photo of the space shuttle Endeavour punching a hole through the clouds and heading for space on May 16, 2011.  It was launch #134 of a total of 135 shuttle launches in the program.  I thought it was an awesome and beautiful picture (particularly when viewed full size), however I'd shown it to someone I know who told me it gave him "the shivers and an unexplainable sense of premonition."  When I asked him what he meant by that, he responded by saying he'd just told me it was "unexplainable."  So, I asked the folks in that FaceBook group what they thought he ("the subject") might have meant.

The first person to respond told me that maybe it was "
Because it looks like one of those things from Dune?"

I had no idea what that "patient" meant, so I ("the therapist") asked him to explain, and I was provided with this picture of a Sandworm from the novel "Dune":

Sand worm from Dune.

I was certain that wasn't what "the subject" had been thinking about, since "the subject" had absolutely no interest in science fiction.

The second person to respond suggested, "
Phallic symbolism?"  To me that said more about the woman "patient" who made the suggestion than about the man who is "the subject," since I could think of no reason a typical man (like "the subject") would get "the shivers and an unexplainable sense of premonition" by looking at a phallic symbol.

The response that initially seemed to make the most sense was that the image somehow reminded "the subject" of the Challenger disaster, where the space shuttle Challenger exploded during takeoff.  A second possibility was that it made "the subject" think of the launch of a rocket with a hydrogen bomb warhead, maybe launched from North Korea.  I initially tended to favor the former, now I'm almost certain that it was the latter.  I'd say there is a 90% probability that the image made "the subject" think of the news stories he's seen recently on TV of North Korean missile launches, news stories which say which the North Koreans might someday send such missiles carrying hydrogen bombs toward targets in the United States. There's maybe a 5% chance that "the subject" was thinking about the Challenger disaster, and there's maybe another 5% chance that he was thinking about something else that simply hasn't occurred to me.

Perhaps the most interesting response during the "therapy session" was from a "patient" who was upset that I was trying to figure out what someone else was thinking.  He found that to be "creepy."  I responded the way a good "therapist" might, by provoking him with another idea.  I told "the patient" that trying to understand what someone else was thinking was essential in today's world if we want to understand how Donald Trump got elected.  What could the people who voted for Trump have been thinking?  Or were they just voting their emotions and not thinking at all?   

That same "patient" then wrote (with my highlighting in red), "
Dragging someone's inner thoughts into a forum with thousands of readers, after that person has declined to explain his thoughts to you, verges on stalking (alleviated by the fact that you haven't identified your target). I advise you not to start stalking me in a similar manner."

I responded by writing, "Hmm.  
Paranoia is another emotion that conservatives seem to share."  And I added, "As you say, I did not identify him, plus there is near ZERO chance that he will ever read this thread. He has very little interest in the Internet.  Meanwhile, I'll continue studying conservatives in general, since I believe it is important to find a way to get them to THINK the next time they vote, instead of just following their angers and fears and their paranoia."

I told that "patient" that this was going to be my last post in the thread, but he responded, "
Apparently you've decided that I'm a conservative Trump voter.  This suggests that you're really bad at guessing how other people think. You might consider not doing so in public."

I didn't respond, but yes, I thought there was a very good chance that he had voted for Trump, and since I consider "conservative" and "hypocrite" to be synonyms, I tended to disbelieve his implied denial.

It was an interesting "group therapy session" while it lasted. 

May 2, 2018 - Yesterday, I got a little lesson in language translations.  I saw a reference to a paper written by Albert Einstein with the title "The Principal Ideas of the Theory of Relativity."  It was a paper I couldn't recall ever having read, so I found a copy of it HERE.  I then created a pdf copy of it so that I could highlight the interesting passages and copy and paste some of them into yesterday's comment.  My copy had more words per page, so while writing yesterday's comment I wanted to mention what original page some quote was on.  When I looked for the on-line version again, I found a second version HERE.  When I tried to find the quote by searching for a key word, I couldn't find it.  It took me awhile to realize that the translations are very different, even the first sentences are very different. 

First version
Second version
Ask an intelligent man who is not a scholar what space and time are, and he will perhaps answer as follows. If we imagine all physical things, all stars, all light taken out of the universe, what then remains is something like a giant vessel without walls called "space."
If you ask someone who is intelligent but not learned to define space and time, he might answer as follows: imagine the universe without matter, stars and light, then all that remains is some kind of giant vessel without walls, something we simply call “space.”

And here are how two key sections are translated differently:

First version
Second version
Now imagine the sun later hurls a body into space such that it flies with a velocity of 1,000 kilometers per second in the same direction as the ray of light. This is easy to imagine. We now can similarly imagine this projected body as an alternative body of reference and ask ourselves: what is the propagation velocity of light in the judgment of an observer who does not sit on the sun but rather on the projected body? The answer seems simple. When the hurled body runs after the light at 1,000 kilometers per second, the ray of light advances against it by only 299,000 kilometers per second. The same situation would prevail if the ray of light were not sent by the sun but rather by the projected body, because we know that the velocity of light does not depend upon the state of motion of the light source.
Now imagine the sun hurling an object after this ray of light, so that it moves through space in the same direction with a velocity of 1,000 kilometers per second. This is easy to imagine. Now we might as well select this ejected object as a reference body and ask: what is the velocity of propagating light when judged by an observer who does not sit on the sun, but on the ejected object? The answer seems simple. If the ejected object races behind the light with a speed of 1,000 kilometers per second, the ray of light is only able to advance against it at a rate of 299,000 kilometers per second. It would be the same if the ray of light were not emitted by the sun, but rather by the ejected object; because we know that the velocity of light does not depend on the state of motion of its source.

There's nothing really startling in the translation differences.  They both basically say the same thing.  "Races behind" is not quite the same thing as "runs after," and while "advances against it" and "advance against it" are basically the same, they seem to imply that the ray of light is catching up with the object, rather than the object falling farther and farther behind the ray of light.  I would probably have written the German equivalent of "While the ejected object follows behind the light at a speed of 1,000 kilometers per second, the ray of light is only able to outdistance the object at a rate of 299,000 kilometers per second.

When the ejected object emits a ray of light, that ray of light also outdistances the object at a rate of 299,000 kilometers per second.

The problem with Einstein's explanation is that he paints a picture of the ray of light from the sun traveling at the same velocity as the ray of light emitted by the object, but he's also saying that cannot be true because the ray of light from the sun is traveling at 300,000 kps, while the ray of light emitted by the object travels only at 299,000 kps.  Then he explains:

First version Second version
The law of light propagation is the same, whether the sun or the projected body is chosen as the body of reference. The same ray of light travels at 300,000 kilometers per second relative to the sun and also relative to the body projected at 1,000 kilometers per second. If this appears impossible, the reason is that the hypothesis of the absolute character of time is false. One second of time as judged from the sun is not equal to one second of time as seen from the projected body.
The law of light propagation is exactly the same, whether you choose the sun or the ejected object as a reference body. The same ray of light travels with 300,000 kilometers per second whether it is emitted by the sun or by the ejected object traveling at 1,000 kilometers per second. If this seems impossible, it is only because the hypothesis of the absolute character of time is wrong. One second judged from the sun is not one second seen from the ejected object.
So, the sun ejected light at 300,000 kilometers per SUN SECOND, and the object emitted light at 300,000 kilometers per OBJECT SECOND.  Since a second is longer for the object, if someone on the sun could see the light the object emitted, they would see that light traveling at 299,000 kilometers per SUN SECOND.

No matter how you look at it, Einstein is saying that virtually every object in the universe that emits photons (visible light or not) could be emitting those photons  at a different velocity.  And, as we have seen with GPS satellites, you have to compensate for the "per second" differences between the emitter and receiver if you want to do correct calculations.    

May 1, 2018 (B) - I awoke this morning thinking that I found the final "clue" I needed to get my thoughts organized about Einstein's Theories of Relativity.  I just needed to try to figure out why Einstein didn't specifically mention that "clue," or maybe he did and I just failed to notice it.  Or, more likely, he mentioned it in some very complex and convoluted way that I couldn't decipher correctly.

Yesterday, while doing research as I tried to figure out what I wasn't understanding in Einstein's convoluted explanations, I found an article that used as a reference a paper Einstein had written some time after December 1916 (and apparently never published) titled "The Principal Ideas of the Theory of Relativity."  The paper was evidently later found and included in volume 6 of his "collected papers."  (I appear to have two different translations of that paper, and the quotes below do not match with what is at the link above.) It says on page 5:
If physics wants to make use of time, it first has to define it. In an effort to do this, it becomes clear that a reference body is needed for this definition, and that the definition only makes sense relative to this reference body. It turns out that one can define time in relation to this reference body in such a way that, relative to it, the laws governing light’s velocity are valid. This definition of time can be made for reference bodies in any state of velocity. However, it so happens that the times of differently moving reference bodies do not coincide. There is a more detailed proof of this matter in my popular book about the theory of relativity. If two events happen simultaneously in two different locations judged from a reference body, they are not simultaneous if judged from another reference body moving relative to the first.
I put together train-embankment illustrations showing the section red to be true, but my feeling was "So what?!  That's obvious!"  If light travels at 300,000 kps and two observers are at different distances from the point of emission when the light reaches them, of course it is going to take longer for the light to get to the person who is farther away.  But that is not Einstein's point.  Einstein's point is that if I am moving and you are stationary, time moves slower for me.  More importantly, if an emitter is moving, time moves more slowly for that emitter.  So, when the moving emitter emits light, that light will travel slower than light emitted from a stationary emitter.

In the paper, Einstein seems to beat around the bush without saying what I just wrote in red.  He wrote,
Based upon many experiments, physicists became convinced that light propagates through empty space at a speed of c = 300,000 kilometers per second, entirely independent of the velocity of the body that emits this light. Imagine a ray of light sent by the sun in a distinct direction. According to the law just stated, this ray travels a distance of c per second. Now imagine the sun later hurls a body into space such that it flies with a velocity of 1,000 kilometers per second in the same direction as the ray of light. This is easy to imagine. We now can similarly imagine this projected body as an alternative body of reference and ask ourselves: what is the propagation velocity of light in the judgment of an observer who does not sit on the sun but rather on the projected body? The answer seems simple. When the hurled body runs after the light at 1,000 kilometers per second, the ray of light advances against it by only 299,000 kilometers per second. The same situation would prevail if the ray of light were not sent by the sun but rather by the projected body, because we know that the velocity of light does not depend upon the state of motion of the light source.
So, Einstein seems to be saying that, if the "projected body" emitted light, the light would be seen by an observer on the "projected body" to travel at 299,000 kilometers per second.  But how can that be?  That would mean that light from the "projected body" traveled at a slower rate than light from the sun.  After a lot of complex and convoluted explaining, Einstein finally comes to the point:
Therefore, the considerations given above must have contained an error. The law of light propagation is the same, whether the sun or the projected body is chosen as the body of reference. The same ray of light travels at 300,000 kilometers per second relative to the sun and also relative to the body projected at 1,000 kilometers per second. If this appears impossible, the reason is that the hypothesis of the absolute character of time is false. One second of time as judged from the sun is not equal to one second of time as seen from the projected body.
So, the observer on the "projected body" would actually see the light he emitted as traveling at 300,000 kilometers per SECOND, not 299,000 kps.  However, since the length of his second is longer due to time dilation, the light he emitted was actually traveling at 299,000 kilometers per second.

This complicates "simultaneity" because you have to know how fast the emitter was moving when it emitted light.  If you see the light from two flashes arriving simultaneously, the sources no longer have to be the same distance away.  The light from one source could have traveled at a different velocity than the light from the other source.

That's what I haven't explained in the paper I'm writing.  The problem is: It will be VERY difficult to find a simple quote from Einstein that supports that finding. And, of course, it will drive everyone nuts who believes that light always travels at c.  Light does always travel at c within a closed frame of reference.  But it does not travel at the SAME c when one emitter is moving and the other is not because a second is longer for the faster moving emitter. 

Einstein evidently found that very difficult to explain.  I feel I can certainly find a relatively easy way to explain it, but who will acknowledge and agree that Einstein and I are saying the same thing?  I'll probably have to add a section to my paper in which I will I quote all the times Einstein tried to explain that light from every star in the night sky could be traveling to us at different speeds, even though although at the location of every star the light would be seen as being emitted at 299,792,458 meters per LOCAL SECOND.

May 1, 2018 (A) - This morning someone sent me an email with a link to another news story about Flat Earthers.  The link was to an article in yesterday's issue of Russia Today titled "Flat Earthers unite in UK’s first convention to discuss science, proof, and… Pac Man?"  So, the Flat Earthers had another convention?  They just had one in North Carolina last November, less than 6 months ago.  Checking further, I found more articles HERE, HERE and HERE

This latest convention was held in Birmingham, England, last weekend, on April 27, 28 and 29. 
More than 200 believers paid £107 to attend the three-day convention.  (That's $145 U.S.)  The Pac-Man reference is to a guy who believes that when you travel straight in one direction you do not go around a globe, you reach the end of the flat earth at some point and you automatically reappear at the other end of the flat earth so that you can continue moving on the flat earth. 

As in previous conventions, some speakers argued the Earth is a flat-disc with an outer ring of frozen ice walls, while others insisted it has a domed roof.  At this convention, Darren Nesbit, a Bolton-based dance musician who spoke at the conference, claimed Earth is diamond-shaped and supported by pillars.

Former England cricketer Freddie Flintoff attended the convention, and he asked a reporter, “Why, if we’re hurtling through space, why would water stay still? Why is it not wobbling?"   That's a question that was answered hundreds of years ago.  Interestingly, it also pertains to inertia and frames of reference, illustrating that an observer on the earth sees the water as flat and the earth as "stationary," while an observer on the Sun sees the Earth and the water moving at 67,000 miles an hour around the Sun.

All it takes to believe the Earth is flat is to close your mind to the idea that it may appear different to another observer viewing from another "reference body."  Who is correct?  The water is smooth and not "wobbling" to both observers, so, in that sense they are both "correct."  However, the idea that the earth is flat is definitely "incorrect," since observers on the moon and elsewhere can definitely see that it is a globe.  And if an observer on Earth looks at all the evidence and understands what is happening, he will also agree that the Earth is a globe.  If he does not understand what is happening and if he also thinks everyone who tries to explain things to him is lying, then he is not only wrong, he is a True Believer. 

Comments for Sunday, April 29, 2018, thru Monday, April 30, 2018:

April 29, 2018 - I awoke at around 4:30 a.m. this morning and started thinking about today's comment.  I wasn't able to fall back asleep, so I tossed and turned for nearly three hours as I tried to sort out my thoughts.  I'd worked all day yesterday on today's comment.  I'd awakened yesterday morning realizing that I needed to reduce the scope of the scientific paper I'm writing about Einstein's train-embankment thought experiments.  I keep adding new things to it, and I've run into some topics which I do not yet fully understand, each of which requires that I do some research to see if I can figure things out and understand them.  But that often leads to something else I do not fully understand, and that can lead to me never being done with writing the paper.

For example, Einstein makes it clear in his book "Relativity: The Special and General Theory" that motion is not reciprocal in his theories, yet mathematicians spin things to claim that Einstein not only stated that all motion is reciprocal, but that time dilation is reciprocal as well.  It sometimes seems like I'm the only one arguing that Einstein did not say what the mathematicians claim he said.  Then, yesterday, while looking for some simple way to explain Einstein's time dilation formula, I found a University of Georgia news article from December 2014 titled "UGA study finds possible alternative explanation for dark energy" that says:
Einstein’s general theory of relativity indicates that time dilation in response to gravity is directional in that an object in high gravity will have slower time than an object in low gravity. In contrast, Einstein’s theory of special relativity describes reciprocal time dilation between two moving objects, such that both moving objects’ times appear to be slowed down relative to each other.

The new paper makes the case that instead of being reciprocal, time dilation in response to movement is directional, with only the moving object undergoing time dilation.

The study, “Implication of an Absolute Simultaneity Theory for Cosmology and Universe Acceleration,” was published Dec. 23 in the journal PLOS ONE.
Special relativity is supposed to be reciprocal, where both parties will experience the same time dilation, but all the examples that we have right now can be interpreted as directional time dilation,”[University of Georgia professor Edward] Kipreos said.
Like so many mathematicians, the author of the paper is saying that the idea that velocity time dilation is reciprocal is Einsein's theory.  It's NOT.  It is just what is being erroneously taught in many colleges as Einstein's theory.   The author also suggests that if velocity time dilation is not reciprocal, if it is "directional" like gravity time dilation, then the whole idea of "dark energy" becomes nonsense.  I've had thoughts along that line myself. 

There are a lot of very interesting things in the article, and there seem to be quite a few news articles about it, including one on astronomynow.com.  However, I can more easily find many web-pages which say that time dilation is reciprocal.  This one is from Pellissippi State Community College in Knoxville, TN:

Time dilation is reciprocal.  If Δt is the proper time for a clock in S, then the two observers in S' would measure Δt' = γΔt.  If this effect were not reciprocal, there would be a way to distinguish between inertial frames.
The paper I'm working on shows how Einstein explained very clearly via his train-embankment thought experiments that you CAN very easily distinguish between inertial frames.  You just cannot do it if you are inside a windowless laboratory where you cannot see any other inertial frame of reference.

I can also find many
places which seem to say, as Prof.  Kipreos seems to have previously believed, that velocity time dilation is reciprocal but gravitational time dilation is not.  Another such place is page 29 of a text book "The Geometry of Special Relativity - A Concise Course" by Norbert Dragon.  But, I didn't find many that argue as Prof. Kipreos now claims, and as Einstein and I have always claimed, that velocity time dilation is not reciprocal. Maybe I just need to look harder.  On the other hand, I found a very interesting article titled "What Happened to the Principle of Relativity" which says Einstein's theory was "deliberately ambiguous," and that contributed to its success.

Yesterday I realized I need to break down my paper about Einstein's train-embankment thought experiments into two or more shorter papers.  Plus, the first paper should specifically address Einstein's undeniable evidence that motion and velocity time dilation are NOT reciprocal.  It seems to be the key to understanding a lot of other subjects. 

What I also realized this morning was that Einstein made a mistake of omission in his 1905 paper "On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies." 
His thought experiments involved logic, not mathematicsWhen he stated that his theory made the aether "superfluous," and that his theory did not require "an 'absolutely stationary space' provided with special properties," he was looking at things logically, and he evidently didn't realize how it would affect mathematicians.  Mathematicians need "an 'absolutely stationary space' provided with special properties" to measure all movement against.  If they do not have it, all movement becomes reciprocal.  When Einstein didn't give them a replacement for the aether, the mathematicians had to assume that Einstein was declaring that all motion is reciprocal, and so is time dilation.  It was the only way they could make sense of his theory.

Today, I can give them the theoretical stationary point where the Big Bang occurred to use in place of their imaginary aether.  But they prefer the aether.      

As evidence that they prefer the magical aether belief, back on April 13 I noticed a new thread had just been created on
Google's Science, Physics & Relativity discussion forum.  The new thread was titled "The #1 DUMBEST Belief in Physics."   (It attracted my attention because, on April 7, I had created a thread titled "The #4 DUMBEST Belief in Physics,  and on April 10, I had created a thread titled "The #8 DUMBEST Belief in Physics"   Prior to those, I'd created a thread about what I considered to be the #1 dumbest belief in physics, but I didn't title the thread that way because I had not yet created or organized the full list.)  The new thread started on April 13 was by "Benj."  Here it is in its entirety:
So what is the number 1 dumbest belief in physics?

That has to be the view of the aether deniers.

Their view is that electomagnetic waves do not need a medium. To sum up their religion, it is that light, heat, radio etc. are all produced by "probability waves in nothing at all"! By denying aether they make the bold assertion that nothing at all can have properties. That the
"nothing" of space can have properties. When it comes to electromagnetic phenomena, they suggest that behavior can exist without anything which possesses the behavior. It's clearly an insane view.

Take the case of waves. Waves by definition are stresses in SOMETHING that can propagate outward from one point to another. Can one stress "nothing at all"? The question makes no sense at all. Hence if radio energy is waves then it is stresses of some kind in space that propagate outward. If space is "nothing at all" then WHAT is being stressed?

The whole aether denier theory has sunk into a morass where only blind religious belief can save it from the mental hospital. It clearly is NOT science, so what is it doing there?
Who are the "aether deniers"?  Benj doesn't say, but I am certainly one of them.  Einstein didn't deny the existence of the aether, he just said it wasn't necessary for there to be such a thing as the aether.  Energy travels as photons through a vacuum, not as waves through some magical aether.  "Benj's" argument is self-confirming.  He wrote, "if radio energy is waves then it is stresses of some kind in space that propagate outward. If space is 'nothing at all' then WHAT is being stressed?"  The obvious answer would be that energy does not travel as waves, it travels as photons, so the question is meaningless.

Interestingly, one of the people on my "Do Not Reply List" found the argument to be compelling.  "David (Kronos Prime) Fuller" was the first to post a response.  He wrote "
Your [sic] my best friend now...", and he provided a link to 15 papers he has on viXra.org, all in the Quantum Physics category.  I checked out the one that has had the most views (46).  It is 11 pages long and is just a mass of mathematical equations with probably less than 10 complete sentences, and those sentences are only there to explain factors used in the equations.  It doesn't even have an abstract, nor does it mention the name of the author or the date it was finished.  The same with his 2nd most viewed paper

My current plan is that I'm going to now look at pulling parts out of my paper about Einstein's train-embankment thought experiments to create a new, shorter paper tentatively titled "Motion, Time Dilation and Einstein's Train-Embankment Thought Experiments."  It will explain how Einstein's experiments demonstrated that all motion is relative but NOT reciprocal.  And it will also explain once again how Relativity works, since that is key to understanding how the thought experiments work.  And it is something else the mathematicians simply do not understand.

Comments for Sunday, April 22, 2018, thru Saturday, April 28, 2018:

April 25, 2018 - My paper on Einstein's train-embankment experiments is now 19 pages long.  I suspect it won't be more than 25 pages when I finish.  I worked on it all afternoon on Sunday and all day Monday and Tuesday.  That's why I haven't written any comments here since Sunday morning.  And I may not write any further comments here until it's time once again for my regular Sunday comment.

I can barely wait to put the paper on vixra.org, where others can read it.  I really want to see what the people on Google's Science, Physics and Relativity discussion forum have to say - other than calling me names and saying they simply don't believe what my paper shows to be true.  I also keep thinking I should try mentioning it on some Facebook physics pages, perhaps before mentioning it on the Google group, just to see what happens.   

Stepping through Einstein's various train-embankment thought experiments one by one is very enlightening.  You can almost see what Einstein was thinking and how he reached his conclusions.  Most interesting is how Einstein was able to determine that it is possible (and relatively simple and straight-forward) to see which "reference frame" is "stationary" and which is moving (or which is moving faster than the other) by direct observation.  That is something mathematicians cannot deal with.  Here is part of what I wrote in my paper:

Einstein wrote in his 1905 paper on Special Relativity:   

The introduction of a “luminiferous ether” will prove to be superfluous inasmuch as the view here to be developed will not require an “absolutely stationary space” provided with special properties, nor assign a velocity-vector to a point of the empty space in which electromagnetic processes take place.

He’s saying that his train-embankment experiments show that it can be determined by experiment that one object is moving relative to another (or moving faster than another) without any requirement for any “luminiferous ether,” and without all motion being reciprocal. 

It also helps that I can explain everything using Einstein's examples and words, without having to add my own ideas into the paper.  If it can be determined by experiment that A is stationary and B is moving (or that A is moving slower than B), then there is no need for me to refer to the point where the Big Bang occurred as a place that is truly stationary.  It is enough to show that it is possible via experiments here on Earth to show who is moving faster than whom, and that while all motion is relative to some other body, all motion is definitely and conclusively not reciprocal.  In other words, I can tell that in reality I am moving away from you at a given velocity and that you are NOT moving away from me at that same velocity -- except in some incorrect mathematical model.  

And, I need to stop writing here so that I can get back to working on my paper.  This comment has already occupied well over an hour of my time.  But, I should add one other thing:

Yesterday, Amazon sold a paperback copy of my book "A Crime Unlike Any Other."  It's the third copy of my book that I've sold in the past two weeks.  (The other two were Kindle copies.)  I can't remember the last time that happened, but it was probably back in late 2012 or early 2013 just after my book was first published.  I have no doubt that the recent increase in sales is due to people learning about my book by reading Scott Decker's book "Recalling the Anthrax Attacks."  The weekly sales of his book seem to be increasing as more and more people become aware of it.  Hopefully, that will also mean the sales of my book will be increasing.  

April 22, 2018 - I think I've finally found the beginning for my book.  Up until now, every time I'd pick a subject to use to start my book, I'd soon realize that I needed to explain something else before getting into that subject. Now it appears that working on my paper about Einstein's train-embankment "gedanken" experiments has brought me to the right and proper place to begin.  Before I can describe the first train-embankment experiment, I needed to explain what a "coordinate system" was according to Einstein.  And before explaining what a "coordinate system" is, I need to explain what a "gedanken" experiment (thought experiment) is.  And that is where I have to begin the book.  And that is also where I am beginning my scientific paper about the train-embankment Gedanken experiments.

Interestingly, when I did a Google search for Gedanken experiment yesterday, I found a Wikipedia page which says,

A thought experiment (German: Gedankenexperiment,[1] Gedanken-Experiment[2] or Gedankenerfahrung[3]) considers some hypothesis, theory,[4] or principle for the purpose of thinking through its consequences. Given the structure of the experiment, it may not be possible to perform it, and even if it could be performed, there need not be an intention to perform it.
Gedankenerfahrung?  That translates to "thought experience."  That seems to fit with my April 19 comment where I said the translator of Einstein's book seemed to often use the word "experience" when the word "experiment" would have been more meaningful and appropriate.  I really think Einstein meant "experiment" where his translator used "experience."  I also learned that "experiment" is both a German word and an English word and it means the same thing in both languages.

So, I've begun writing my scientific paper about Einstein's train-embankment thought experiments (plural).  It's being written for the average person with an interest in science, instead of being targeted only toward professional physicists.  That means that, instead of using the illustration used in Einstein's book or the translated version, which looks like this:
train-embankment illustration
I'm going to use easier to understand illustrations.  Using Google image search, I found a copyrights-free clip-art train that I can use to make things more clear.  The original clip-art train looks like this:

clipart train

Using paint.net, I added a boxcar in the middle of the train by duplicating one of the two passenger railroad cars and blocking out the windows of the added car.  I then plunked a man atop the boxcar as the observer on the train ("OT"), and instead of just an observer standing on an embankment I'll use a duplicate boxcar and man standing atop it ("OE") for the stationary observer on the embankment.  And I'll have the lightning strikes be "simulated" by some kind of flash device.  So, the setup for the experiments now looks like this:

train embankment thought experiment

And that setup will allow me to use paint.net to produce modified versions of that image to illustrate different steps in the experiment as light from the lightning bolts moves toward the observers.  And further modifications can be used to illustrate several different Gedanken experiments in which what is learned from one experiment can be an aid to understanding what happens in the next experiment.  It seems that may have been what Einstein intended, too, but Einstein was really targeting physicists (even though he claimed to be writing for the intelligent layman), so he spent most of his time writing about alternate theories from history which were either being supported or debunked by his theory, and that often makes his explanations seem almost incomprehensible.  

The first train-embankment thought experiment in my paper will be the standard one where OE sees the lighting bolts strike simultaneously while OT first sees the B strike and then the A strike. 

Somewhere, probably after describing experiment #1, I'll have to define what is meant by the word "true" according to Einstein and I.

The second experiment will re-position the B lightning simulator to a point further down the tracks, which will result in OT observing simultaneous lightning strikes while OE observes the A strike first and then the B strike.

The third experiment is one which Einstein never described.  It
will involve two asynchronous lightning bolts which would be perceived as being synchronous by an observer who just happens to be the right distances away from where the two lightning bolts hit.  It won't involve the train or the embankment.  It will be illustrated by two concentric circles with an observer at the center.  When lightning strikes anywhere along the outer circle, the light will move toward the observer.  If a second lightning bolt hits anywhere on the inner circle just as the light from the first lightning bolt arrives at any point on the inner circle, the light from both lightning flashes will arrive at the observer simultaneously.  And it doesn't make any difference if the observer is moving or stationary.   He just has to be at that center point when the light from both lightning bolts arrive.    
The fourth experiment will be where OT drops a stone as he passes by OE, and while OT sees the stone fall straight down, OE sees it fall in a parabolic curve.

The fifth experiment will be an invalid thought experiment as performed by mathematicians where they invalidly imagine the embankment as moving and the train as standing still.   I'll explain that, while all motion may be relative, all motion is definitely not reciprocal.  And I'll explain how the fantasy of all motion being reciprocal is confirmed to be  "invalid" because it violates what is known to be " true" as a result of experiments #1, #2, #3 and #4.  Plus, it simply makes no sense in any known universe.

The sixth experiment will be about duplicate experiments which are performed by OT and OE inside the laboratories that are inside the closed boxcars.

I'm also thinking of adding a seventh experiment which would involve OT walking inside the train from the rear toward the front.  It is one of Einstein's train-embankment thought experiments, and it shows that OT's speed is w+v relative to OE, where w is the speed at which OT is walking and v is the speed of the train.  OT's speed relative to the embankment is his speed plus the speed of the train.  This is then compared to light emitted at the rear of the train toward the front.  Unlike with OT, the speed of the train is not added to the speed of the light.   

And, I might add an eighth experiment where the observer on the moving train experiences time dilation while the observer on the embankment does not.

I'm not sure how many pages it will take to do all this, but it will almost certainly be the longest scientific paper I've written so far.  And, if all goes right, I may expand it further to create the first part of the book I plan to write. 

That's my thinking as of this moment.  But, as experience has shown, as soon as I make a plan, something happens to change that plan.

Comments for Sunday, April 15, 2018, thru Saturday, April 21, 2018:

April 20, 2018 (B) - While pulling into my garage after driving home from the gym this afternoon, I finished listening to CD #3 in the 3-CD audio book version of "Our Dumb World" by The Onion magazine.

Our Dumb World
It's an hilarious book and exactly what I needed to listen to after the depressing political book that I'd heard before this one.  "Our Dumb World" is a satire, which means there is something in it to offend everyone as it describes one country after another, and many individual States in the United States.  For example, it mentions
Afghanistan, "Allah's Cat Box," the Ukraine, "the Bridebasket of Europe," and the USA's own Nevada, "Where Everyone's a Loser."  One of the last bits that I heard just before pulling into my garage was about Australia, which was originally a British penal colony "because the people of England evidently couldn't think of a worse punishment for their criminals than to send them to a warm and sunny place."

After ejecting the last CD of that book, I inserted CD #1 in a 17 CD set for a book about science and what the future looks like for mankind.   It will probably take me about a month to get through it.  There seems to be only about 42 minutes of listening material on each CD, instead of the normal 70 minutes or so.

April 20, 2018 (A) - I saw something the other day that keeps nagging at me because I keep feeling I should have made a note of it.  I saw a Facebook page about the current state of the art in 3-D printing, where objects are constructed out of plastic or other materials by a relatively inexpensive "3-D printer."  The article showed pictures of some incredibly tiny 3-D objects that had been 3-D printed.  When I went looking for that article today, I couldn't find it, but I found some even more interesting 3-D sculptures by doing a Google image search.  Here's one image I found:

3D printed miniature racing car

It is about 400 nano-meters long, which means you could put a thousand of them end to end and they wouldn't measure a full inch in total.

Here's an interesting sculpture of a woman atop a human hair. 

tiny sculpture atop a human hair

The hair is real.  It is there to show the size of the sculpture.  Here is the same sculpture inside the eye of a needle:

sculpture inside eye of a needle

It doesn't have anything to do with anything I've been writing or thinking about, but I find it fascinating and worth remembering.  Note the scale in the picture above.  It measures out 300 microns, which is a little more than 1/100th of an inch.  And you have to wonder how many sculptures with their fingertips touching would fit inside that space.

April 19, 2018 - Well, I told the folks on Google's Science, Physics & Relativity discussion forum that I'm going to take a break from posting there in order to focus on writing a couple new scientific papers.  But I awoke this morning wondering about what Einstein would have thought about the #3 dumbest belief in physics: "all motion is reciprocal."  A lot of mathematicians seem to argue that that screwball belief comes from Einstein.   After all, Einstein did write this in his 1905 paper on Special Relativity:
The introduction of a “luminiferous ether” will prove to be superfluous inasmuch as the view here to be developed will not require an “absolutely stationary space” provided with special properties, nor assign a velocity-vector to a point of the empty space in which electromagnetic processes take place.
There is nothing "stationary" about space.  It is emptiness.  But Einstein never makes clear why not requiring an "absolutely stationary space" does not mean that "all motion is reciprocal."  I can only guess that that particular idiotic idea never occurred to him.  He describes all motion of an object as being "relative" to some other object or location, but he seems to say that experiments show that one object is truly moving while the other is not.  Unfortunately, in the English translations he also seems to to use the word "experience" when "experiments" would be a more meaningful term.  After all, how can you have an "experience" in science without an experiment?    

It appears that Einstein would argue that it is simply "true" that the train is moving, not the embankment.  ("True" is a word that mathematicians hate, and I've probably gotten into hundreds of arguments because I often use the term.)  How does Einstein define "true"?  On page 6 of the pdf copy I have of Einstein's book "Relativity: The Special and General Theory," Einstein explains:
Geometry sets out form certain conceptions such as "plane," "point," and "straight line," with which we are able to associate more or less definite ideas, and from certain simple propositions (axioms) which, in virtue of these ideas, we are inclined to accept as "true." Then, on the basis of a logical process, the justification of which we feel ourselves compelled to admit, all remaining propositions are shown to follow from those axioms, i.e. they are proven. A proposition is then correct ("true") when it has been derived in the recognised manner from the axioms. The question of "truth" of the individual geometrical propositions is thus reduced to one of the "truth" of the axioms. Now it has long been known that the last question is not only unanswerable by the methods of geometry, but that it is in itself entirely without meaning. We cannot ask whether it is true that only one straight line goes through two points. We can only say that Euclidean geometry deals with things called "straight lines," to each of which is ascribed the property of being uniquely determined by two points situated on it. The concept "true" does not tally with the assertions of pure geometry, because by the word "true" we are eventually in the habit of designating always the correspondence with a "real" object; geometry, however, is not concerned with the relation of the ideas involved in it to objects of experience, but only with the logical connection of these ideas among themselves.

It is not difficult to understand why, in spite of this, we feel constrained to call the propositions of geometry "true."
The above is also an example of the annoying and convoluted way that Einstein explains things.  (And, in the last sentence, why did his translator use the word "constrained" when "compelled" would make things much more clear?)   I would reduce everything that Einstein wrote above to one sentence:
Something is "true" if it agrees with the laws of physics and has been demonstrated to be "true" by experiments. 
The problem then, of course, is that mathematicians have their own screwball interpretations of experiments and of Einstein's postulates.  That means that when I say that something is "true" because experiments have shown it to be "true," they'll argue that I do not understand anything and they have experiments which show their beliefs to be true.

Sigh.  I really need to put all of this into some scientific papers.  

April 18, 2018 - I awoke this morning with another minor Eureka! realization.  I realized the difference between a "coordinate system" and an "inertial frame of reference."  It seems people on Google's Science, Physics & Relativity discussion forum use the terms interchangeably.  And, because they did, I occasionally did so, too, even though I was never really comfortable in doing so.  Then yesterday, as part of an argument on the forum, I did a Google search for "coordinate system" and Einstein and I found a web site apparently run by the Max Planck Institute which first defines an "observer" this way:
An observer is anyone who casts a mathematical net over time and space, establishing conventions to describe locations in space and points in time.
And then it defines "coordinate system" this way:
All in all, there is a plethora of different possible observers - each with a specific way of imposing mathematical order onto the world. The differences lie not only in the different location of the observers, or their different motions, but in the infinity of variations that is possible for conventions of how to choose space and time coordinates. In fact, in our definition, the term "observer" is equivalent to that of "space-time-coordinate system", or just "coordinate system".
So, an "observer" is basically equivalent to a "coordinate system"? 

When I did a Google search for "frame of reference" and Einstein I got a lot of web locations where "frame of reference" is described as being similar to or the same as "coordinate system."  And that made me realize that while the terms may be similar in meaning, they are definitely not the same thing. 

In fact, defining the terms is something that I will have to do before writing almost anything else in the book I've been planning.  And it will be a key part of the paper I'm writing about Einstein's train-embankment thought experiment.

The train-embankment thought experiment with the lightning bolts is definitely about "coordinate systems."  It's about one observer on the moving train and another observer on the embankment.  And they are viewed as  "coordinate systems" when you compute the differences in what they saw. 

When you talk about a "frame of reference," however, the key word is "frame."  A frame encloses a given space. You are no longer talking about an observer.  You are talking about an enclosed area.  So, if you use "frames of reference" in a train-embankment thought experiment, it becomes a very different experiment.  First, the "frames" become a laboratory inside a moving railroad car, and another laboratory inside an identical railroad car that is parked on a siding next to the tracks the moving train is using.  If you want, you can have a dozen observers inside the "frames," since it is the frame that is key to the experiment, not the observers.  The point is that you can perform an experiment inside one of the frames and you will get the same results you would get if the same experiment was performed in the other frame.  There would be no difference due to the fact that one frame is moving and the other is not.  

It is only when an observer opens a window and looks outside that he would find out which frame he is in.

That makes me wonder if the word "frame" isn't much more clear in German than in English.  A quick search through Einstein's book "Relativity: The Special and General theory" shows that the word "frame" appears as part of the word "framework" 5 times and only once as "frame" when he mentions ideas "which have already been fitted into the frame of the special theory of relativity."  And in that context, "frame" is a framework of the special theory of relativity.

In his 1905 paper on Special Relativity, Einstein only uses the word "frame" once, and it is in its plural form.  It is when describing his First Postulate: "the same laws of electrodynamics and optics will be valid for all frames of reference for which the equations of mechanics hold good."  And clearly that is not about an observer but about an enclosed framework.

Some day, I'll have to examine exactly how Einstein uses "coordinate system" and "frame of reference" in his other writings, but I feel fairly confident that he never used them interchangeably.  And when he used the term, the English translation would more accurately be "framework." 

Live and learn.

April 17, 2018 - I'm really trying hard to break out of the arguments on Google's Science, Physics & Relativity discussion forum.  But some of the discussion are truly fascinating and educational.

I've also decided that now is not the right time to work on a book.  I first need to write a couple scientific papers, one tentatively titled "The Two Doppler Effects," which would be about (1) the photon wavelength Doppler effect and (2) the photon frequency Doppler effect, and how each works (as opposed to how college text books claim they work).  The other would be about Einstein's train-embankment "gedanken" (thought experiment), which I wrote about here yesterday and the day before.

Today I looked through scientific papers I had started writing in the past and never finished.  One of them, dated July 27, 2017, is titled "Analyzing Einstein’s Train/Embankment Thought Experiment."  It's 9 pages long, but it will have to be totally rewritten, not because it is wrong, but because it views things from a different angle than I now view things.  I also brings back to mind some issues I'd basically forgotten about, such as Einstein in his book "Relativity: The Special and General Theory" describing how a man on the train walks from the rear of the train toward the front at speed w, while the train moves at speed v.  So, his speed relative to the embankment is w+v.  But, if a light is emitted from the back of the moving train toward the front, the light will travel at the speed of light, c, not at c+v.   

He also writes about dropping a stone out of a window in the moving train and how an observer on the train will see the stone fall straight down, while someone on the embankment will see it travel in a parabola from the window to the ground.   Is there a "correct" view?  I guess it all depends upon what is meant by "correct."  The view from the embankment is certainly "correct" in some ways, and the view from the "train" appears to be only "correct" in that it is what the observer on the train saw.  I can imagine a lawyer in court asking, "You saw the stone fall straight down, is that correct?"  And the witness would say, "Yes, that is correct." But is it "correct" in any other way? 

Sigh.  Maybe tomorrow I'll have more time to work on the papers.

April 16, 2018 - Groan!  I'm really feeling overwhelmed.  I recently posted recommendations to my library that they buy Kindle copies of Scott Decker's book "Recounting the Anthrax Attacks" and James Comey's book "A Higher Loyalty."  While I have a signed hard-cover copy of Scott Decker's book, I do most of my book reading during breakfast and lunch, and I like to highlight things.  I don't want to highlight things in the hardcover copy, nor do I want to accidentally splash salad dressing or milk on it.  I mention this to someone, and two days ago, that person sent me a link to a 39 page report titled "A Report of Investigation of Certain Allegations Relating to Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe."  It was written by the Office of the Inspector General U.S. Department of Justice.  It looked extremely interesting, but I was in the middle of arguing with people on Google's Science, Physics & Relativity discussion forum, and I didn't want to break my  train of thought.  So, I set the article aside.

Yesterday, I wrote that long comment about Einstein's train-embankment "gedanken," and then I argued about it on the Google forum for most of the day.  I awoke this morning with the idea that I should write a similar comment about what needs to change in order to make the person on the train see the lightning bolts strike simultaneously, while the person on the embankment sees them strike at different times.  All that has to change is that one of the simultaneous strikes has to occur at a different location, a good distance further down the tracks and farther away from the front of the train, not immediately in front of it.  I got up anxious to start writing that comment.

Then, in this morning's emails, I found someone had sent me a link to an article titled "This Philosopher Helped Ensure There Was No Nobel for Relativity."  It's about a heated debate in 1922 between Albert Einstein and philosopher Henri Bergson, which supposedly caused Einstein to not win a Nobel Prize for his theory of Special Relativity, but instead he got one for his theory about the photoelectric effect.  I created a pdf file of the article so that I could highlight passages, and I studied it.  As I understand it, Bergson was a philosopher who felt that time does not exist except as viewed by humans.  Einstein felt that time existed both psychologically and physically, and time would pass whether humans were there to observe it or not.  It was an interesting article. 

So, now I need to decide if I should get into the arguments on the Google forum again or write a comment about my early morning thoughts.  I'm going to write about my early morning thoughts.  There's nothing very interesting among the overnight posts to the Google forum (except that one comment seems to claim that nothing exists except when viewed by humans).

First of all, I wanted to address the question of whether or not there is any "frame of reference" where the guy on the train (me) sees himself as stationary and the railway embankment as moving.  Yes, of course there is.  That is what my "frame of reference" is all about.  All the seats and the floor and ceiling of my railroad car are moving at the same rate and in the same direction I am moving, so they are all "stationary" relative to me.  And if there was an airplane directly above me, flying in the same direction and at the same speed, it would also be "stationary" relative to me.  And as long as the pilot of the plane was directly above me, we would both see the lightning bolt hit at the front of the train before we saw the lightning bolt hit at the rear of the train. 
But so what?  That doesn't mean we are really stationary.

And it certainly does not mean that the person on the embankment is moving.  The person on the embankment is stationary relative to the earth.  But some reference frame on Mars or near Alpha Centauri will see the earth spinning and moving around the sun, so they will see the embankment as moving.  So what?  It changes nothing.  The train and I will move past the smoking hole where the lightning hit, but the guy on the embankment won't.  So there's no debate over who is moving relative to the point where the lightning bolts hit.  Even the guy on Mars and near Alpha Centauri will agree that the guy on the embankment does NOT move relative to where the lightning bolts hit.  He only moves relative to Mars and Alpha Centauri.  But so does the guy on the train.

Okay, so how can the guy on the train see the lightning bolts hit simultaneously?  As stated above, all you need is to have the B lightning bolt hit much further away in front of the train.  So, like yesterday, we start with a "gedanken" (thought experiment) with me (M) on the moving train and you (Y) on the stationary embankment as we approach each other:

|-------------M-------------| ->

Then, just as you and I pass each other, two lightning bolts strike the train tracks.  But, unlike yesterday's strikes, although the A strike occurs in the same spot, the B strike occurs quite a ways away from the front of the train.

  |-------------M-------------| ->
A|-------------Y-------------|    B

The light (a&b) from strikes A & B moves toward us at the speed of light.  Again, neither of us is yet aware that there were any strikes, since the light has not yet reached either of us.  The only difference is that the b light has further to travel than yesterday.

   |---a---------M------------b|  ->
A|----a--------Y------------|b    B    

The third illustration shows me moving farther away from you while the light from the A &B strikes continues to move toward us.

   |-------a------M------b-----|  ->
A|--------a----Y--------b----|    B    

The fourth illustration shows the light from the A strike reaching you.  So, at that moment you perceive that there was only one lightning strike.  I have not yet seen the light from either strike.

    |----------a----M-----b------|  ->
A|------------aY---------b----|    B

The fifth illustration shows the light from both lightning bolts reaching me at the same time, which would lead me to conclude that they occurred at the same time (and they actually did). 

     |--------------aMb-----------|  ->
A|-------------Y---a b--------|    B

And then, of course, you will encounter the light from the B strike and conclude that there were actually two strikes, which where not synchronous.

       |---------b-----M-a----------|  ->
A|-------------Yb-------a-----|    B

And thus, you can argue that the lightning strikes were not simultaneous, while I can argue that they were.  And, of course, if we sit down and intelligently discuss the situation, we would realize that the strikes were not really simultaneous for either of us.  I just perceived the bolts as hitting simultaneously because of my movement toward one of the lightning strikes.  After our discussions we would both agree that in your frame of reference, the lightning bolts actually did hit simultaneously, but you did not perceive it that way because the light from the B bolt had to travel further to get to you than did the light from the A bolt. 

Like yesterday, today's "gedanken" again had the lightning strikes hitting the earth simultaneously, but this time they were not at equal distances from either of us. There's probably some way that the bolts do not hit simultaneously, yet one of us still perceives that they do, only because of how fast we were traveling in a given direction.  But I don't think I'll have time to examine that "gedanken."  But it poses the question of who says the strikes were simultaneous.  Answer: Einstein says.  Humans do not have to be there when two lightning bolts strike the earth simultaneously.  It still happens.  We can come around later and observe the holes in the ground, their temperature and other remnants that tell us that the two strikes were simultaneous.  And I doesn't matter if philosophers agree or not.

April 15, 2018 - I'm still heavily involved in arguments on Google's Science, Physics & Relativity discussion forum.  A couple days ago, I used Einstein's train-embankment "gedanken" (thought experiment) to make a point about an observer encountering light arriving at c+v where v is the observer's velocity.  Since there is no way to use illustrations on that forum, I used typed characters to create a makeshift illustration to help argue my point.  Even that was a problem, since the Google software uses variable width characters, and my point is best made with fixed width characters.

Anyway, below is one such illustration using fixed width characters.  "M" is Me on a moving train traveling a very high velocity (probably around 25% of the speed of light).  "Y" is You standing on the embankment beside the train tracks.   The first illustration shows me moving toward you as the train moves past you.

|-------------M-------------| ->

Then, just as we are next to one another, and I can wave to you as I go by, two lighting bolts (A & B)  strike the train embankment simultaneously just in front of the train, and just behind the train.  The second illustration shows this.

  |-------------M-------------| ->

Neither of us is yet aware of the lightning strikes, since it takes time for the light photons to travel to our positions - even at 299,792,458 meters per second.  In the third illustration I show photons (a & b) from lightning strikes A & B moving toward us.   Meanwhile, I'm moving toward the point where lightning bolt B struck the embankment.

   |---a---------M-------b-----|  ->

In the fourth illustration below, I encounter the light photons from lightning bolt B.  Of course, since I am moving toward the source of light b, I encounter the light at c+v, even though mathematicians cannot comprehend such a thing.  Meanwhile, you have not yet seen the light from either lightning strike.

    |------a--------Mb-----------|  ->

In the fifth illustration below, you encounter the light from BOTH lightning bolts simultaneously and conclude the lightning bolts hit simultaneously.  Meanwhile, I've still only encountered the light from lightning bolt B.  So, as far as I am concerned, there was only one lightning strike.

     |---------a-b---M-------------|  ->

Finally, in the sixth illustration below, I encounter light from lightning strike A, which I perceive as arriving at my location at c-v since I am moving way from the source of the light from that strike.

      |----b---------aM--------------|  ->

This "gedanken" appears to me to be very simple to understand and virtually beyond any argument or doubts.  How could anyone not understand or disagree with what happened in that thought experiment? 

The problem comes from not looking at it from a scientist's point of view, as was done in the presentation above.  The problem also comes from having Me and You initially argue about what we saw without having any understanding of what actually happened.  I would argue that the first lightning strike (B) hit the embankment in front of the train, and then, some time later, the second lightning bolt (A) hit the embankment at the rear of the train.  You would argue that the two lightning bolts hit at the same time.  In physics, this called "The Relativity of Simultaneity." 

Of course, by having the scientist explain what happened, I would nod my head and agree.  Although I saw the lightning bolts hit at different times, and almost everyone else who was not in the exact position you were in would agree with me, in your specific location (and any other position equidistant from the points where the lightning bolts hit) you would have justifiably thought that the lightning bolts hit simultaneously.  And having the scientist explain things, you would agree that it was just your unique perspective that caused that view. 

Only mathematicians would disagree.  They will argue that I could never see light arriving at c+v or c-v.  "Light must always arrive at c!!!!!!!" they would declare and insult anyone who disagrees.  And they would somehow declare that there is some "frame of reference" where I am stationary and the earth and you are moving.  And they would declare that in such a frame of reference, I would see the lightning bolts hit simultaneously.   Then I would argue that that is not possible, and they would argue that they can construct a mathematical model which shows me and the train standing still and the light from the lighting bolts reaching me simultaneously while you on the embankment would see the B lightning bolt hit first, and then the A lightning bolt second.

And I would argue that that shows that the mathematical model they created does not represent reality.  And I would then explain that I looked outside as I passed the point on the embankment where lightning bolt B struck and I saw the charred earth at that point.  Meanwhile, you would acknowledge never having seen or passed that point.  So, clearly, I am the one who was moving.  And you would nod and agree.

And the mathematicians would start hurling insults and calling us names, and they would declare that we must read what they read and take the college courses they take, so that we will believe as they believe - because theirs is the only "true" belief!!!!.  Hallelujah

I'm also seeing that I really need to put this in book and/or paper form.  But, without that argument on Google's forum I may never have come up with such a clear and undeniable illustration of how the Relativity of Simultaneity works.  Even Einstein never mentioned that charred spot on the embankment!  I've seen arguments where others did, but they didn't explain things as clearly.

Other interests:

fake picture of snow on
                    the pyramids
 Click HERE for an analysis of this fake photo.

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