Archive for
June 2018

Comments for Sunday, June 24, 2018, thru Saturday, June 30, 2018:

June 30, 2018 - I was surprised this morning to see that the moderator on the sci.physics.research discussion forum had allowed my reply to the post by Tom Roberts to go through.  Robert's post to me (about my paper Simplifying Einstein's Thought Experiments) began with a personal attack (which the moderators didn't seem to care about).  It said:
These thought experiments describe and illuminate Special Relativity. In order to improve the quality and accuracy of your paper about them, first you must learn what Special Relativity ACTUALLY predicts. At present, your paper is completely useless because it describes YOUR mistakes and confusions, not Einstein's thought experiments and theory.
A major error is thinking that some observations are "correct" and others are "incorrect" (in your unusual sense that they are consistent with the laws of physics). So for a stone dropped from a moving train, on page 5 you claim the embankment observation is "correct" while the on-train observation is "incorrect". You have failed to grasp the first postulate, and the FACT that the relevant laws of physics are INDEPENDENT of frame -- BOTH descriptions are "correct" (in your unusual sense of consistent with the known laws; it's just that you did not apply the ACTUAL laws as they are known).  How can an observation possibly be "incorrect"?? -- after all, observers observe what they observe. Even with your unusual meaning of "correct", how can an observer possibly violate the laws of physics???
I highlighted that last part, because it is mostly what I addressed in my response:
If a moving observer notices no difference in the passing of time in his reference frame, but then COMPARES his time to the time of a non-moving observer, there will be a difference.  The moving observer's time passed at a slower rate.

So, his view that there was "no difference" in the passing of time while he was moving was INCORRECT.  There WAS a difference.  Time passed at a slower rate while he was moving.

If the moving observer drops a stone and sees it fall straight down,
while a stationary observer sees that stone fall in a parabolic curve,
their conflicting views cannot both be "correct."

The view that the stone falls straight down is INCORRECT because that view fails to notice the effects of inertia.

If the two observers sit down and discuss what they saw, they will agree that the stone did not and could not fall straight down from a moving train.  So, that view was "incorrect."  It was an "illusion."

It is also an "illusion" that you age at your "normal" rate when moving
fast.  That "illusion" is understood when the moving and stationary
observers sit down together and compare what happened.  The faster you move, the slower time passes for you - even though you notice nothing different happening.
I don't know if they'll let Tom Roberts respond, but if he does, it will almost certainly be mostly additional personal attacks.

June 29, 2018 (B) - Yesterday I received another email from one of the moderators of the sci.physics.research discussion forum.  I had tried once again to respond to a post on that forum that had criticized my paper "Simplifying Einstein's Thought Experiments."  The email said,
Unfortunately, the article you posted to sci.physics.research is inappropriate for the newsgroup because it's primarily a message to a single person, rather than an article for the whole s.p.r community.  You might try e-mailing directly to the person you wish to reach.

Please note that, since the article was posted to a moderated group and was not approved, it will not appear in ANY newsgroup.  If you want to post it to any unmoderated newsgroup, you must post it again, avoiding any moderated newsgroups.

Please also keep in mind that sci.physics.research posts are randomly distributed to one of the ACTIVE co-moderators.  At any given time, one or more of co-moderators may be inactive.  If, rather than resubmitting a post in the normal way, you email a moderator directly, it might arrive while s/he is inactive, causing an unnecessary delay.
I didn't post any "article."  I posted a response to a comment criticizing my "thought experiments" paper.  Did I address that response to a particular person?  I don't recall.  It's possible.  The message was deleted and I didn't save a copy. 

This morning there was another post criticizing my paper.  The new post was from Tom Roberts, who always disagreed with me on the sci.physics.relativity discussion forum.  In his post he wrote (including the portion in brackets):

Experiments have NOT confirmed what you said above, but they have
confirmed many times the ACTUAL predictions of SR. This includes "time dilation": clocks tick at their usual rate when measured in their rest frame, and are observed to tick more slowly by observers relative to whom they are moving.

     [Note that in SR this is due to the geometrical relationship
      between relatively-moving inertial frames, and not any effect
      on the intrinsic tick rate of clocks.]
So, he's saying what I said in my (A) comment that mathematicians believe: an astronaut in a space ship traveling away from the earth can legitimately claim that he is stationary and that his spaceship somehow caused the earth, the sun and the universe to move away from him.

I wrote a response that was not addressed to him specifically, and now I'm waiting to see if it will get past the moderators.  I assume not. 

It's frustrating to not be able to respond to posts, but it is doubly frustrating to not be able to tell people on the forum that I've tried to respond to their questions, but my responses are being deleted by the moderators. 

June 29, 2018 (A) - Yesterday, while researching something or other, I noticed a reference to an article from the February 3, 1972, issue of New Scientist magazine titled "The Clock Paradox Resolved" by John Wick.  When I did a Google search for it, I found a readable copy in a book of New Scientist articles.

The article is about the Hafele-Keating experiment which took place in October of 1971.  It describes the arguments that were raging at that time:
If one member at a set of twins travels from the Earth in a spacecraft and then returns at some later time, he will be younger than his sibling.  This statement, known as the twin paradox or the clock paradox, has been the most hotly debated prediction of Einstein's special theory of relativity.  But is it predicted by special relativity?  The issue is still very much alive as a recent article by Bernard Levin in the Times (21 December) supporting Professor Herbert Dingle, and the ensuing correspondence, instances.  It has also latterly received attention in an article in Physics Today (vol 24, no 9, p 25) in which Professor Mendel Sachs, a theoretical physicist from the State University of New York, Buffalo, claims the Einstein's theory really predicts no age difference between the twins.  Furthermore, he makes the strong statement that “should future experimental evidence refute Sach’s conclusion that the twins are the same age) , . . Einstein’s theory of relativity would be refuted".  Two Americans have just supplied the experimental evidence to refute Sachs' conclusion, but I doubt whether Einstein will fall as well.
Interestingly, I just had an argument about that subject this morning.  So, it's an argument about what Einstein meant.  Einstein clearly predicts that the twin that travels at high speeds will age slower than the twin who stays at home.  But there is no mention of any twins in his paper.  It just says that moving clocks tick slower than stationary clocks because time slows down when you are moving

The New Scientist article clarifies this point by saying,
Special relativity predicts that a moving clock (or twin) will lose time relative to (or age less than) a stationary clock (or twin).  The paradox of the travelling clocks, or twins, arises from apparent symmetry of time and space.  From the point of view of observers on Earth, a clock on board a spacecraft will be constantly moving and will lose time.  The amount of lost time increases with increased velocity of the moving clock.  Consider the vantage point of an observer who accompanies the clock in the spacecraft. He sees the Earth and its clock recede into the distance and then return at a later time.  He would think that the clock on Earth is the one that moved and lost time.  Clearly both clocks cannot each run slower than the other one.  This is the heart of the paradox.
Yes, that is the argument.  Mathematicians argue that time runs at the same rate everywhere, and it just seems that time runs slower for someone who is moving.  This is required by their mathematics, which seemingly cannot cope with any motion that is not reciprocal.  Therefore, if you spend 100 billion dollars to build a space ship to travel to Alpha Centauri, according to mathematicians, you cannot tell if the space ship will actually travel there or if the space ship will remain motionless while the Earth, the Sun and the entire universe inexplicably move away from the space ship.  Of course, that is totally absurd and illogical.  But the mathematicians do not believe in any logic that does not include mathematics.  They claim mathematics IS logic. 

How can anyone in the 21st Century believe anything so stupid?  I dunno.  But they not only believe it, they teach it in most colleges and universities.

June 26, 2018 - This morning, finding myself without anything more urgent to do, I finished reading "About Time: Einstein's Unfinished Revolution" by Paul Davies:
About Time by Paul Davies

I have to admit that I speed-read through much of the last two thirds of the book, slowing down and thoroughly reading sections only when they appeared to be of specific interest to me.  The last two thirds of the book seem to be mostly about speculation about time and the philosophy of time.  There seemed to be endless chapter after chapter (or section after section) about whether or not it is possible to go backwards in time, and whether time is real or just an illusion.  I'm not interested in those topics.  I'm only interested in how time works.

Here's a passage from the Prologue which explains the "unfinished revolution" mentioned in the title:
Yet, in spite of devoting his life to the task, Einstein did not succeed in achieving a complete physical theory. He liberated time,and space, from the unnecessarily severe strictures of Newtonian thinking, but was unable to stitch the newly freed concepts of a flexible space and time into a properly unified theory. The search for a unified field theory or a Theory of Everything, as it is known today is still at the top of the scientific agenda,and the goal continues to be elusive. Even within the subject of time itself, Einstein left things in a curiously unfinished state. From the dawn of history, the nature of time has proved deeply puzzling and paradoxical to human beings.   
The book was published in 1995, which doesn't seem that long ago, but evidently at that time we were still pondering of Black Holes really existed.  We hadn't yet actually discovered any. 

Here's a quote from page 45 I highlighted about Einstein's mathematical abilities:
And, contrary to the legend, he was no mathematical genius. In fact, Hermann Minkowski, Einstein's mathematics tutor at university, even complained about his poor mastery of mathematics, to the extent of describing him as a "lazy dog." Einstein did, however, possess incisive physical insight.
Here's another quote from page 51 about Einstein's thought processes:
Einstein has been described as a "top-down" thinker. By this is meant that he began with certain grand, overarching principles which he believed must be true in the real world on account of their philosophical appeal or logical compulsion, and then attempted to project down onto the messy world of observation and experiment to deduce the consequences of these principles. If the consequences appeared strange and counter-intuitive at first, then so be it.
The part of the book that was of most interest to me was the part about time dilation and the so-called "twin paradox."  The section about it begins on page 59, but just rambles until you reach two paragraphs which begin on page 60:
It is important to realize two things. First, the twins effect is a real effect, not just a thought experiment. Second, it has nothing to do with the effect of motion on the aging process.  You must not imagine that the years spent in the rocket ship are somehow kinder to Betty on account of her confinement or movement through space. Suppose for the sake of argument that Betty leaves in the year 2000 and returns in 2020. Ann will have experienced twenty years during Betty's absence, and will of course have aged twenty years as a result. If Betty were to travel at 240,000 kilometers per second, then, according to Einstein's formula, the journey will take just twelve years in her frame of reference. Betty will return, having actually experienced twelve years, and having aged just twelve years, to Earth year 2020.  She may be surprised that twenty Earth years have elapsed during her twelve years, but her sister's aging will announce it.

The best way to view the twins experiment is in terms of events. There are two delimiting events: Betty's departure from Earth and Betty's return to Earth.  Both Ann and Betty must concur on when those events happen, because they witness them together. It is then the case that for Ann twenty years separates the events, whereas for Betty twelve years separates them. There is no inconsistency in this. You just have to accept that different observers experience different intervals of time between the same two events. There is no fixed time difference between the events, no "actual" duration, only relative time differences. There is Ann's time and Betty's time, and they are not the same.  Neither Ann nor Betty is right or wrong in her reckoning; it is just that they differ from each other.
These passages clearly state that time dilation is not reciprocal, in spite out what might be written in many college physics textbooks.  The twin that traveled the fastest (Betty) aged slower than the twin left back on earth (Ann).  When reading those paragraphs I have to wonder how mathematicians will interpret the second sentence in the first paragraph which says the twins effect "has nothing to do with the effect of motion on the aging process."  The author is saying that the traveling twin did not age slower, she aged at her normal rate, but time moved slower.  The point is also made in the last two sentences of the second paragraph:  "There is Ann's time and Betty's time, and they are not the same.  Neither Ann nor Betty is right or wrong in her reckoning; it is just that they differ from each other."   

That also hits upon the "asymmetry" of time.  Time always moves forward, and never backward.  It seems this is something else that mathematicians seemingly cannot deal with.  The author goes on and on about why negative time seems perfectly logical to some people.  He writes on page 282:
The theory that there may exist spacetime regions where time "runs backwards," or that the entire universe may be time-symmetric or even cyclic in time, is still popular in some quarters. There is plenty of scope for further investigation and disagreement. 
As I see it, we first need to figure out how time works.  Once that is done, then people can speculate all they want about whether or not it is "possible" that there is some universe or dimension where time goes backwards.  The way they waste their time on such questions won't bother me.  I'll have the answer I need.  

June 25, 2018 - Yesterday, someone posted a message to me in the thread I started on the sci.physics.research discussion forum.  He was responding to something I wrote earlier.  I'd tried to respond to something the same person wrote a few days ago, but my response was squashed by the moderator without explanation.   So, I tried responding to the new post.  His post was a series of statements and claims, so I interspersed my replies after each statement and claim.  The result (if the moderator would have allowed it to appear) looked something like this:
My original post said: If you have five people with identical clocks traveling at five different speeds, their clocks will tick at five different rates.  You can rank the five by their relative speeds - A is moving faster than B, B is moving faster than C, C is moving faster than D, and D is moving faster than E. 

His statement: The first issue is that you should consider your five clocks from one reference frame.

My response: Each considers the other 4 from its reference frame.

His statement: The second issue is to answer the question: which clock ticks the slowest.

My response: A is ticking slowest since A is moving fastest.  That is stated.

His statement: This raises immediate an new issue: is it possible to introduce a sixth clock which ticks more slower?

My response: Certainly.  Why not?  You can have clocks moving faster and faster and faster until you reach the speed of light.  You cannot go faster than that.

His statement In any way you can not solve this problem by means of a thought experiment.

My response: There is no problem to solve.  According to Einstein, time stops when you travel at the speed of light. 

The only question is: Is there some "stationary" point in the universe where time runs at its *fastest* rate?

If there is, that point would be the stationary point where the Big Bang occurred.  Every clock in the universe ticks slower than a clock at that point, UNLESS it is a clock that is stationary relative to the point where the Big Bang occurred.
This morning, I received this message via an email from the moderator (with my highlighting in red):
Your posting is not appropriate for the newsgroup since it contains highly misleading ideas on the big bang. Particularly there is, on the large-scale average, no distinguished point (nor direction) of the universe, "where the Big Bang ocurred". This is the fundamental assumption of cosmology, known as the cosmological principle, leading to the idea of maximally symmetric space times, i.e., the Friedmann-Lemaitre-Robertson-Walker pseudometric. The Big Bang is the singularity of these solutions of Einstein's Equations of General Relativity, i.e., it didn't occur anywhere, but it's rather the time of a fundamental observer, where the Hubble expansion, i.e., the increase of the overall scale factor of the FLRW spacetime began.
That's basically the same argument I had on Facebook on May 8 and May 13The moderator is arguing that the observable universe is the entire universe.  It's a fundamental misunderstanding, but it's evidently also mathematical dogma.  Here, once again, is my view of the Big Bang universe versus the observable universe.
                  observable universe versus the Big Bang Universe 
When I do research on the subject, the articles always say the same thing: The universe began as a singularity (or a small point) and then expanded, but it expanded everywhere, so there never was any singularity (or small point).

Example #1:

The Big Bang was not an explosion in space, as the theory's name might suggest. Instead, it was the appearance of space everywhere in the universe, researchers have said. According to the Big Bang theory, the universe was born as a very hot, very dense, single point in space.
Example #2:
When the Big Bang happened, everything was in one location. Think of it as an infinitesimally small point. Then that point expanded until we get the universe we have today. Notably, this point was the entire universe, and it expanded, so instead of the Big Bang happening in a specific part of the universe and stretching out from there, it happened everywhere.  All of space started expanding—the points between points started to stretch out—it wasn’t just growing at the edges and moving outward.
Example #3:
The Big Bang is the name scientists give to the events that started the universe. The Big Bang is often described as a huge explosion. But the problem with that picture is that an explosion has a central point where it starts, such as a bomb or a spark. The Big Bang wasn't like that, but an explosion is the closest thing in our everyday experience to help us understand it.

The Big Bang cannot have happened at a particular place in the universe, because before the Big Bang there was no universe! The Big Bang happened everywhere at once, about 14 billion years ago, bringing space and time into existence. The Big Bang kicked off a rapid expansion of space, and space has been expanding ever since.
Example #4:
If the known laws of physics are extrapolated to the highest density regime, the result is a singularity which is typically associated with the Big Bang. Physicists are undecided whether this means the universe began from a singularity, or that current knowledge is insufficient to describe the universe at that time.
I'd really like to discuss this with people on the sci.physics.research forum, but it doesn't look like I'll be able to do that.  I tried explaining the situation in my email reply to the moderator (who appears to be a college professor in Germany), but I doubt that he'll want to discuss it. 

It's like so much of physics.  You aren't supposed to ask questions or discuss anything.  You're not supposed to understand anything.  You're supposed to memorize the dogma so you can spout dogmatic answers on demand. 

June 24, 2018 - This morning someone sent me a link to an article dated a few days ago titled "Some science journals that claim to peer review papers do not do so."  The finding stated in the title is no surprise to me, but this paragraph from the article contains some surprising info:
Experts debate how many journals falsely claim to engage in peer review. Cabells, an analytics firm in Texas, has compiled a blacklist of those which it believes are guilty. According to Kathleen Berryman, who is in charge of this list, the firm employs 65 criteria to determine whether a journal should go on it—though she is reluctant to go into details. Cabells’ list now totals around 8,700 journals, up from a bit over 4,000 a year ago. Another list, which grew to around 12,000 journals, was compiled until recently by Jeffrey Beall, a librarian at the University of Colorado. Using Mr Beall’s list, Bo-Christer Björk, an information scientist at the Hanken School of Economics, in Helsinki, estimates that the number of articles published in questionable journals has ballooned from about 53,000 a year in 2010 to more than 400,000 today. He estimates that 6% of academic papers by researchers in America appear in such journals.
There are 12,000 science journals that publish 400,000 non-peer-reviewed papers per year?  I wouldn't have thought there were so many.  And it certainly demonstrates "supply and demand" in an interesting way.  The web site HERE lists and ranks 34,171 science journals.  I wonder how many from those 12,000 are on the list.  I'm glad I no longer think about publishing my papers anywhere. 

But, I do wonder who is reading the papers I have put on and  I check the viewer statistics for those sites every day to see how many new viewers have accessed my papers.  The statistics seem to change nearly every day, so people are reading my papers.  I just wish I was getting more helpful feedback from them.

I'm really trying to understand how a radar gun can pick out the specific photons that were returned from the part of a vibrating tuning fork that was moving back and forth at the highest speed while ignoring all the other photons.  And probably more importantly, how can the radar gun sort through all the photons it receives in order to find the specific photons that it needs to compute the speed of a car?  It is not only receiving back photons that were originally emitted by the gun, the gun is also receiving countless photons from every object in front of it, including radio stations, trees, clouds, grass, cell phone towers, cell phones, satellites, the sun, distant stars, etc.  I gather the sorting it is done by a frequency "tuner," but I'm having a problem relating a radio frequency tuner to a radar gun frequency tuner.  I do not fully understand either.    

And when I can't find what I'm looking for after spending hours doing research, I sometimes change focus and look for answers to other questions instead.  Yesterday, I read the first 3rd of a book titled "About Time: Einstein's Unfinished Revolution" by Paul Davies.  The author and I seem to agree on most things.  And that means we agree that college physics professors are teaching a lot of nonsense.  But Paul Davies never seems to explain things in brief and easily quotable terms.  You have to quote an entire page in order to have something with meaning, and even then you have to explain what parts of it mean.

I'm tempted to quote from pages 1226 and 1227 of volume 2 of the 3rd edition of "Physics for Engineers and Scientists" by Hans C. Ohanian and John T. Markert and compare that information to material from pages 59 and 60 of Paul Davies' book, but doing that would probably take me the rest of the day.  Those pages represent two different views of the so-called "Twin Paradox." 

The more I study the textbook pages, the more it seems to be only about how to compute time dilation.  It says you cannot compute actual time dilation for the traveling twin using Einstein's formula for velocity time dilation because the formula assumes a constant speed for the traveling twin, and that isn't possible.  The traveling twin will have to accelerate in order to get to the cruising speed of Einstein's formula, and when the traveling twin reaches his or her destination, the spaceship will have to decelerate to slow down and turn around, and then will have to accelerate again to get back to Earth.  And, of course, the ship will have to decelerate when it gets near Earth in order to arrive safely home.  Einstein's simple time dilation formula does not account for any of that accelerating and decelerating. 

But then the textbook says,
A detailed analysis of the behavior of the Earth clocks from the point of view of the spaceship reference frame establishes that the Earth clocks indeed do also run slow as long as the spaceship is moving with uniform velocity, but that the Earth clocks run fast when the spaceship is undergoing its acceleration to turn around at Proxima Centauri. The time that the Earth clocks gain during the accelerated portions of the trip more than compensates for the time they lose during the other portions of the trip. This confirms that Stella will be younger than Terra, even from the point of view of the spaceship reference frame.  
Earth clocks don't run slow at any time during the trip.  Compared to clocks on the space ship, Earth clocks run fast.  Does acceleration produce the same effect on clocks as is produced by gravity?  I dunno.  If so, acceleration/deceleration are the same, and both will cause clocks on the space ship to slow down more due to gravitational time dilation while the reduction in speed causes the clocks to slow down less due to velocity time dilation.  So, clocks on Earth will probably run even faster than clocks on the spaceship during those period of acceleration and deceleration. 

Or maybe I'm wrong.  If I find that I'm wrong before the end of the day, I'll come back and modify this comment.  If I find out tomorrow that I was wrong, I'll decide tomorrow what to do.  Either way, this is the end of today's comment.  

Comments for Sunday, June 17, 2018, thru Saturday, June 23, 2018:

June 22, 2018 - I cannot stop thinking about radar guns and tuning forks.  This morning I created a new illustration showing how tuning forks must work when they are used to test radar guns:
                  different speeds of tuning fork vibrations
As you can see in the illustration, the radar gun is getting all kinds of different speed readings from the tuning fork, and those are also plus and minus readings.  The tip of the tuning fork moves at 25 mph first toward the radar gun and then away from the radar gun, and everywhere between the tip and the base the speed will be different.

Standard radar guns are built to display the highest speed measured and/or the strongest signal, and they cannot determine if that highest speed is toward or away from the radar gun. If that is difficult to believe, then a quote from a radar gun web site might help.  A source HERE says this about positive and negative speeds:
Since the circuitry in a radar gun only processes the difference of the frequencies of the retained and reflected signals, the exact same result would be shown whether a target vehicle is moving toward or away from the police radar gun. 
I spent all morning looking for something quotable about radar guns showing only the highest speed measured, but mostly they are just about how a stronger signal will interfere with a weaker signal.  The problem is, I also couldn't find anything that says the image I produced above is wrong.  It's like it's a subject that no one wants to address.  Sigh.

Meanwhile, a couple people on the sci.physics.research discussion group have responded to my posts about simplifying Einstein's thought experiments, but mostly they just argue that thought experiments don't prove anything.  One person wrote:
I have always had certain misfeelings about thought experiments, because how you can do an experiment solely in your mind.  
And another person wrote:
Thought experiments can not be used to learn anything about the world, only to gain insight into the laws of physics as you understand them.  Einstein's though experiments about the train allow you to understand the implications of the assumption that the speed of light is a constant for all observers, even observers moving wrt each other. These "experiments" prove nothing by themselves except what the assumptions imply.  You still have to do real world experiments to verify that the real world gives the same results as the thought experiment.  If they do not, then there is a faulty assumption somewhere.  The value of the thought experiment is to understand the implications of an hypothesis (i.e. assumption).
I've been trying to respond to say that most of Einstein's thought experiments have been verified by real experiments, but the moderator seems to be deleting my responses.  I'm getting the impression that the moderator will not allow anything to be posted that disagrees with his or her beliefs.

June 21, 2018 - I'm feeling overwhelmed by things to do, things to read, and things to think about, but amid it all I stumbled upon an animated gif of a vibrating tuning fork on a web site run by PennState University:
vibrating tuning fork

The animated gif clearly shows that the tips of the tines move a lot faster than the parts of the tines near the base (although both vibrate at the same rate).  So, if you are using a tuning fork to test a radar gun, the gun would show all sorts of different speeds -- if it is capable of doing so.  But a basic radar gun just shows the fastest speed of the objects it can detect.  Moreover, the basic radar gun cannot even tell you if the object is moving toward the radar gun or away from the radar gun.  The vibrating tines, when viewed edge-on, move toward the gun and then away from the gun.  The radar gun just shows the difference between the speed the gun is measuring for itself and the speed of the nearest tine.

I also found it interesting that there are different vibration "modes" for tuning forks.  The one above is the "fundamental mode."  There's also the "clang mode":
Vibrating tuning fork - clang mode
I'm going to assume that "clang mode" got that name because you get that mode when you hit the tuning fork against something metal.  Tuning forks are supposed to be hit against wood or plastic.  Checking site after site after site, however, I couldn't find a single one which explained how the mode got that name.  Some suggest "clang mode" results when you hit the tuning fork against something "hard," and other sites indicate it results when you hit the tuning fork very hard against a surface instead of just tapping it against a surface.

I still cannot imagine how someone who believes light travels as waves would illustrate light waves bouncing off of a vibrating tuning fork. 

June 20, 2018 - While I was having the oil in my car's engine changed this afternoon, I finished reading a book on my Kindle, "Spaceman" by Mike Massimino.   

Spaceman by Mike Massimino

It was a very readable and interesting book about becoming an astronaut, working for NASA, and going on two missions to repair and upgrade the Hubble telescope.  The Hubble orbits at 350 miles above the surface of the earth, which is about 100 miles higher than the International Space Station.  So, except for the trips to the moon, the astronauts who did repair missions to the Hubble flew higher than everyone else.  Here is part of Massimino's description of his first shuttle takeoff:
With a few seconds left, the auxiliary power units start. The beast that terrified you out on the launchpad? Now that beast is waking up. At six seconds you feel the rumble of the main engines lighting. The whole stack lurches forward for a moment. Then at zero it tilts back upright again and that’s when the solid rocket boosters light and that’s when you go. There’s no question that you’re moving. It’s not like Oh, did we leave yet? No. It’s bang! and you’re gone. You’re going 100 miles an hour before you clear the tower. You accelerate from 0 to 17,500 miles an hour in eight and a half minutes.
And here is his description of what things look like when you are spacewalking in the sunlight 350 miles up:
In space, sunlight is nothing like sunlight as you know it. It’s pure whiteness. It’s perfect white light. It’s the whitest white you’ve ever seen. I felt like I had Superman vision. The colors were intense and vibrant—the gleaming white body of the shuttle; the metallic gold of the Mylar sheets and the thermal blankets; the red, white, and blue of the American flag on my shoulder. Everything was bright and rich and beautiful. Everything had a clarity and a crispness to it. It was like I was seeing things in their purest form, like I was seeing true color for the first time.
and here is his description of what its like every 90 minutes when the sun sets:
When night comes in space, you feel it before you see it. The temperature swing from 200 degrees Fahrenheit to −200 degrees Fahrenheit occurs in an instant. The amazing thing is that your suit protects you from that; the temperature inside stays within a tolerable range, and you have a temperature control valve you can adjust to warm up or cool down as needed. So the 400-degree swing isn’t harsh, but you definitely still notice it. The best I can describe it is like when you’re in the ocean on a warm summer’s day and a cold current rushes past and it gets you down in your bones.
At night, without the sun, space becomes this magical place. In space, stars don’t twinkle. Because there’s no atmosphere to fog your view, they’re like perfect pinpoints of light. Stars are different colors, too, not just white. They’re blue, red, purple, green, yellow. And there are billions of them. The constellations look like constellations. You can make out the shapes and see what early astronomers were getting at with their descriptions.
The first mission to repair and service the Hubble telescope was done with the shuttle Columbia.  The next time the Columbia flew it disintegrated over Texas as it was returning to earth after a scientific research mission.  That delayed the next Hubble repair mission for years.  And due to lack of funding for the space program they almost left the Hubble to just remain in orbit until it totally stopped working and eventually fell back to earth.  But finally they made another repair mission to the Hubble, and Massimino was on that one too.
I only had about 5 pages left to read in the book when I arrived at the car dealer where the oil change was performed.  So, when I finished "Spaceman" I had to choose what book to read next.  I started on what would probably be best described as a psychology book, but it couldn't grab my interest, so I switched over to a travel book.  It's a book written by the same author that wrote the audio book I'm currently listening to, and it's about travels in the same country (England), but the trips are about 19 years apart.    

June 19, 2018 - I was thinking that I should stop writing about how tuning forks are used to calibrate (or test) radar guns until I am absolutely certain how it is done - and can prove it.  But then yesterday morning I noticed that the NIST document that caused all the confusion begins with this information:
In common use for traffic speed control is a Doppler radar gun. The basic principle of operation of these guns is that the radar signal reflected from a moving vehicle is shifted in frequency by an amount directly proportional to the speed of the vehicle relative to the radar gun. Intrinsically one sees that such a radar gun is a frequency measuring device.  The typical way of calibrating these radar guns is to place in front of the gun a vibrating tuning fork which produces a reflected signal to which the radar responds as though it were a moving vehicle.  There exists a well-known relationship between this signal and the speed of the vehicle provided the radar frequency is known.
The part I highlighted in red is exactly how I said a tuning fork is use to test a radar gun.  It also implies there is no "sympathetic vibration" involved.  Nor does the tuning fork simulate the "delta frequency" or "beat frequency" that the gun develops when it "beats" its emitted photons together with the returned photons.  The gun doesn't simulate anything.  It works the same way with a tuning fork as it does with a moving car.  The radar gun emits photons toward the tuning fork, and the tuning fork "reflects" Doppler-shifted photons back to the radar gun.  The gun compares the different photon oscillating frequencies and determines the speed of the object (car or tuning fork) it is measuring.  Period.  End of story.

I was confused by this section from the next page in the NIST document:
Suppose, for example, that a radar instrument which was designed for 10525 MHz had a microwave oscillator which was detuned (outside the FCC allocation) to 12000 MHz; then that radar instrument would measure a vehicle which was actually traveling 50 mph as traveling 57 mph even though a 50 mph tuning fork made for that gun would cause it to read 50 mph.  Similarly, if a 50 mph tuning fork made for a 21150 MHz type radar gun were used to calibrate a properly functioning 10525 MHz type radar gun it would cause the latter to read 115 mph! 
It's confusing because it talks about a radar gun that is not properly tuned.  I don't care what an improperly tuned radar guns shows.  And it's also confusing because it has a 10525 MHz radar gun and a 21150 Mhz radar gun.  A casual glance might suggest that 21150 is 2 x 10525, but it's not.  2 x 10525 = 21050 not 21150. 

I started writing this comment yesterday morning, but by the end of the day I was still trying to figure out how you can have 2 tuning forks, where one vibrates at twice the rate of the other, yet both will register as moving at 50 mph by a radar gun designed to work with each tuning fork.  And, as it says above, if you use the wrong tuning fork with a specific radar gun, you will get an incorrect reading of around twice what it should be.

I think the answer has to do with the fact that a high pitched vibration involves a back and forth motion that covers less distance in a shorter amount of time than a lower pitched vibration. 

When I try to visualize that, I see a car traveling at 50 mph between two points that are 1 mile apart.  In one hour, the car makes 25 round trips (vibrations) to travel a total of 50 miles.  If it travels at 50 mph between two points that are ½ mile apart, it will make 50 round trips (vibrations) to travel 50 miles. 

But, it's not as simple as that.  For each "vibration" the car has to slow to a stop and change directions.  And I assume the prongs or tines on a tuning fork have to do that also.  Moreover, a vibrating prong on a tuning fork will move farther and faster at its tip than at its base.

If I can ever describe in plain English exactly what happens when they use a tuning fork to test the accuracy of a radar gun, it may be the first time that has ever been done.  If it has been done before I certainly haven't been able to find it.  I'm going to work on it as another scientific paper, instead of bumbling through it on this web site.

And, it will be interesting to see if I can describe how the mathematicians' imaginary waves of light would react when they hit the vibrating prongs of a tuning fork.  It's easy to visualize "waves" of light bouncing off a moving car to produce the "Doppler effect."  But its not that easy to visualize waves bouncing off a vibrating tuning fork.

I just hope I have the patience to figure it all out.

June 17, 2018 (B) - Someone who reads this web site but who has never written to me before, sent me an email this morning.  It was about radar guns.  And part of it was also about how tuning forks are used to test radar guns.  That part said:
By the way, the test tuning fork just excites the delta frequency sensor in the speed gun at the delta frequency corresponding to the reference speed for a given transmitter frequency.  So, a tuning fork doesn't really test the transmitter calibration at all, it just tests the delta frequency receiver calibration, meaning the part of the gun that detects the difference between the transmitted and received frequencies.
Hmm.  At first I did not understand a word of that.  But it was very clear I needed to decipher it, since the last part of the last sentence looked very important to me.  I did a Google search for "Delta frequency receiver" and radar gun and got NO results if I have the quote marks around "Delta frequency receiver."  But Google showed me that without the quote marks there are some good references.  The first reference on the list was a book from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) titled "Time and Frequency Users Manual" that says this on page 56 (with my highlighting in red):
In much of the literature, the frequency error is referred to as delta-f (delta means a small difference).
That's all it means???  But what does that mean in the context of what was in that email I received?  I think I can decipher it, but it doesn't seem to answer any of my questions.  It doesn't tell me how emitting a sound can test a device that emits and receives microwave light photons.  The email seems to suggest there is some kind of "sympathetic vibration" going on.  I.e., vibrating the tuning fork somehow causes "the delta wave sensor in the speed gun" to vibrate at the same sound frequency.  But how does that relate to a light frequency?   Is the light "Delta frequency" so small that it is comparable to a sound wave frequency?  It seems that most books about radar guns use the term "beat frequency" instead of "delta frequency." 

Hmm.   I just found a web site run by a company that sells radar gun tuning forks.  It says,

Any X band tuning fork will work on any X band radar.  Any K band fork will work on any K band radar.  Ka band forks are specific to the manufacturer of radar.  This is because all 4 manufacturers have different Ka band operating frequencies.
All X band radars use same X band tuning forks.  All K band radars use same K band tuning forks.  Ka band forks are different for each radar manufacturer (i.e. Stalker, MPH, Kustom, Decatur)
So, a specific tuning fork will work on any radar of the type for which the tuning fork was created.  That brings me back to believing that I was right in my June 15 comment.  A radar gun measures the speed of the vibrations of the tuning fork at 55 miles per hour, which is the same you would get from measuring the speed of a car traveling at 55 mph.   But why doesn't any manual just say that????

It also means I simply misinterpreted the NIST manual which seemed to say I was wrong.  It just says you cannot use a X-band tuning fork to test a K-band radar gun.  If you do, you will not get the reading stamped on the tuning fork.

But I still NEED someone or some source to solidly confirm that the tuning fork vibrates at 55 mph when it produces a 55 mph reading on the radar gun, and that reading has absolutely NOTHING to do with sound.  (A source HERE seems to say so on page 6, but there's nothing in it that I can quote without generating an argument.)   Groan!  The more I think about it, the less certain I become.  If the gun measures the tuning fork vibrations as if the tines were moving toward and away from the gun, you should get the same results for every kind of gun.  What is it that I'm not understanding --- or that the books aren't explaining?   

June 17, 2018 (A) - I really need to figure out how a tuning fork works when it is used to test a radar gun.  There's nothing more frustrating than to think you have discovered something only to find out that what you discovered is apparently that you misunderstood something.  And it seems to be something that no one else understands, either, since no explanation they provide makes any sense.

But, meanwhile, before I made that "discovery," I was doing research trying to figure out how other things work, and I found some interesting passages in the 6th edition of a college textbook titled "Physics for Scientists and Engineers," by Paul A. Tipler and Gene Mosca.  The passages show that students are being taught that Einstein said motion was reciprocal.  (The same belief is in other text books, but this one is very clear about it.)  Below (underlined in red) is how it is phrased on page 1321 of that book:
image from
                  a physics textbook
On that same page, as show below, the authors make it clear that they are just stating what they believe Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity stated:
In 1905, at the age of 26, Albert Einstein published a paper* on the electrodynamics of moving bodies. In this paper, he postulated that absolute motion cannot be detected by any experiment. That is, there is no ether.  Earth can be considered to be at rest and the velocity of light will be the same in any direction. His theory of special relativity can be derived from two postulates. Simply stated, these postulates are as follows:
Postulate 1: Absolute uniform motion cannot be detected.

Postulate 2: The speed of light is independent of the motion of the source.
That is a good rewording of Einstein's Second Postulate, but Einstein did not postulate that "absolute motion cannot be detected by any experiment."  Nor did he say that "there is no ether."  He said,
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
"Superfluous" means "not needed."  So, Einstein was saying that his theory does not need an ether because his theory does not require an "absolutely stationary space" in order to work.  His theory was based upon the fact that the faster you travel, the slower time moves.  That can be proven by itself.  And by itself it shows that you do not need an ether.  If I can tell by how a clock ticks that I am going faster than you, it is not necessary to have an ether relative to which we can both measure our velocities.  I am going faster than you is demonstrated by the fact that time moves slower for me. 
The physics textbook continues on with this totally invalid "alternate version" of Einstein's Second Postulate along with the explanation that follows it:
Postulate 2 (alternate): Every observer measures the same value for the speed of light.
This result contradicts our intuitive ideas about relative velocities. If a car moves at 50 km/h away from an observer and another car moves at 80 km/h in the same direction, the velocity of the second car relative to the first car is 30 km/h. This result is easily measured and conforms to our intuition. However, according to Einstein’s postulates, if a light beam is moving in the direction of the cars, observers in both cars will measure the same speed for the light beam. Our intuitive ideas about the combination of velocities are approximations that hold only when the speeds are very small compared with the speed of light. Even in an airplane moving with the speed of sound, to measure the speed of light accurately enough to distinguish the difference between the results c and c+v where v is the speed of the plane, would require a measurement with six-digit accuracy.
The "alternate" postulate is absurdly wrong because Einstein's theories say just the opposite: Every observer (moving at a different speed) observes a different value for one second of time.  Thus, if everyone measures the speed of light to be 299,792,458 meters per second, and if everyone is moving at a different speed and has a different length of a second, then speed of light is actually different for everyone.

In addition, Einstein's theories (and countless experiments) say that the "arrival speed" of light will be measured to be different by different observers moving at different speeds relative to the source of the light.  The light will arrive at c+v or c-v, where v is the speed of the observer relative to the source of the light.

Lastly, radar guns routinely measure "the difference between the results c and c+v where v is the speed of the [target vehicle]."

I may have been wrong on how tuning forks work when they are used to test radar guns, but it is absolutely clear that time moves at a different rate depending upon how fast you are traveling (and how close you are to a gravitational mass).  So, all that is needed is for someone to make some official comparisons of the speed of light.  If the length of a second is longer in one laboratory than in another, then a speed of light measured to be 299,792,458 meters per second in both laboratories is not truly the same speed.  This appears to have been confirmed a million times, but it seems no one has ever done it officially.  

So, now I need to get back to trying to figure out how a tuning fork is used to test a radar gun and exactly how the gun compares the oscillation rate of emitted photons to the oscillation rate of returned photons.

Comments for Sunday, June 10, 2018, thru Saturday, June 16, 2018:

June 16, 2018Dammit!!!!  I looks like yesterday's comment was incorrect.  I added some information at the end of the comment to show what I've learned.  It basically says that if things worked the way I thought they worked, then a tuning fork would give the same reading for every gun.  But that is not true.  According to a new document I found (published by the National Bureau of Standards in May 1976), a tuning fork created to generate a reading of 50 mph for one type of gun will generate a reading of 115 mph if a different kind of radar gun is tested.   So, I have no clue as to how a tuning fork works on radar guns. 

Here's part of a quote I used at the end of yesterday's comment:

Suppose, for example, that a radar instrument which was designed for 10525 MHz had a microwave oscillator which was detuned (outside the FCC allocation) to 12000 MHz; then that radar instrument would measure a vehicle which was actually traveling 50 mph as traveling 57 mph even though a 50 mph tuning fork made for that gun would cause it to read 50 mph.
So, the radar gun's oscillator is malfunctioning, but the tuning fork still causes it to give the reading that is stamped on the tuning fork???  Then what's the purpose of the tuning fork????   I'm totally lost. 

June 15, 2018 - **(^@&$^%&^&#&%!!!!!  [Added NOTE on June 16:  This comment now appears to be in error. See the end of the comment for details.]  I awoke this morning realizing something about the tuning forks they use to "calibrate" radar guns.  Here's what some of those tuning forks look like:
radar tuning fork
Notice is says "65 mph" on the side of the fork. Here's another kind:
radar gun tuning fork
Notice it says "25.25 MPH" and "40.64 KPH" on the side of the fork.  It also says "34.7 GHZ."

When you strike the tuning fork against a piece of wood or metal (do not hit it against anything made of metal because the vibrations of the metal will affect the vibrations of the tuning fork) you can hear a tone.  If you listen to a video of how those tuning forks work, you can hear the tone.  And all the videos make a point of hearing the tone.  Some dash-mounted radar guns also include speakers which emit a tone that varies with the speed of the car being targeted.

I couldn't make any sense of that when I read various instructions manuals and papers about how radar guns work, but I didn't stop to figure things out because that wasn't the subject I was researching.  It didn't make any sense to me because radar guns work with light, not with sound.  So, what the hell does sound have to do with radar guns?  And, tuning forks cannot generate light.  So, how do they work?

Duh!  This morning it hit me.  So, I checked a bunch of manuals and papers and videos, but none of them explain anything.   However, they do show how the tuning fork is used.

testing a radar gun using a tuning fork 
In the picture above, note that the tuning fork is placed edgewise to the radar gun (the round object atop the box).   Below is another image where two tuning forks are being used at the same time to test a radar gun (note that both tuning forks are being held edgewise to the radar gun):

radar gun tuning fork test 

And here's one of those images of a tuning fork again:

radar gun tuning fork
What NONE of the manuals and papers (click HERE for an example) tell you is that, while the tuning fork is vibrating, the radar gun will measure the nearest side of the tuning fork as moving toward the gun at 25.25 mph and then moving away from the gun at 25.25 mph over and over and over. (They do tell you that you must strike the edge of the tuning fork against an object, do not strike the face of the tuning fork against anything.)
radar gun
                  and tuning fork

So, the tuning fork test for a radar gun has nothing to do with sound, it only has to do with radar photons emitted from the radar gun striking atoms in the side of the tuning fork at c+v and c-v,  where v is the speed of the side of the tuning fork moving toward the gun and moving away from the gun.  Those atoms then emit new photons oscillating at the different wavelengths back to the gun.  So, the tuning fork works the same way as a moving car works.

The tuning fork doesn't "tune" anything, nor does it "calibrate" anything.  It just tells you if the radar gun is working properly.  (You're supposed to test the gun with the tuning fork once per day, or at the start of every shift, to verify that the gun is working properly.)  The manuals tell you that, but they do not tell you the relationship between 25.25 mph and 34.7 Ghz.  One is velocity, the other is frequency over time.  But, a little research indicates that 34.7 Ghz is the photon oscillation frequency of the type of radar gun to be used with that particular tuning fork.

But why isn't any of that explained anywhere?  Am I wrong?  How can I be wrong if it makes total sense?  And how can I be wrong if nothing else makes any sense?  (%^$&#%^^#@!!!!!!

Okay, I definitely could be wrong.  If I was right, then every radar gun should give the same results for every tuning fork.  You wouldn't need a different tuning fork for every gun.  I found a document at the NIST web site that says,
Some of the available FCC allocated frequencies for law enforcement radar include 10525 MHz and 24150 MHz; the vast majority of current radar guns use the 10525 MHz allocation.  Suppose, for example, that a radar instrument which was designed for 10525 MHz had a microwave oscillator which was detuned (outside the FCC allocation) to 12000 MHz; then that radar instrument would measure a vehicle which was actually traveling 50 mph as traveling 57 mph even though a 50 mph tuning fork made for that gun would cause it to read 50 mph. Similarly, if a 50 mph tuning fork made for a 24150 MHz type radar gun were used to calibrate a properly functioning 10525 MHz type radar gun it would cause the latter to read 115 mph!
So, I'm back to square one.  I have absolutely no idea how a tuning fork causes a radar gun to show a specific speed.   Normally, a radar gun doesn't work unless the vehicle being measured is at least 10 feet away.  But tuning forks are placed just inches away from the gun.  And the gun is probably set to "Test mode."  So, it could all depend upon how "Test mode" works.   

June 14, 2018 - I spent much of this morning watching astronauts replace and fix things on the International Space Station.  It was a live link at this YouTube address:  Because it is "live," there's no telling what you might see if you click on that link.  The space walk repair job I'm watching as I write this only has about an hour left to go.  It's can be pretty spectacular when you view it in "full screen" mode on a large computer screen - or my big screen TV.   It can also be very tedious if you listen to the dialog exchange between Houston and the astronauts as they got through all the steps involved in attaching "TMA3" to "A7YS."   Here's a screen capture:

Space walk
                June 14 2018 screen capture

Much of the time the view is from a camera attached to the astronaut's helmet.  Here's a sample of that taken after the astronaut closed that cover:

June 14
                2018 spacewalk screen capture closeup

Meanwhile, I also found an interesting web page titled "What exactly is a photon? Definition, properties, facts."  Here's an interesting part from it:
On 14 December 1900, Max Planck demonstrated that heat radiation was emitted and absorbed in discrete packets of energy — quanta.  Later, Albert Einstein showed in 1905 that this also applied to light. Einstein used the term Lichtquant, or quantum of light. Now, at the dawn of the 20th-century, a new revolution in physics would once again hinge on the nature of light. This time, it’s not about whether light is a corpuscle or wave. It’s whether it’s both or not.
I can answer that question.  It's something that appears to be a particle (but it isn't solid in any way) and it oscillates as it travels, which gives it its wavelength property while eliminating any regular "frequency" associated with waves.  Each photon travels as a separate unit unconnected to any other photon.

June 13, 2018 - When I looked at my email inbox this morning, I found two new messages.  One was from a scientific journal inviting me to submit my papers to them.  Hmm.  Since, except for using my name at the beginning, it was a "form letter" that didn't mention any of my papers by their titles, I wasn't particularly excited by the email, but I definitely wondered why they chose this particular moment to send me the email.  Then I did some research and found the journal they were talking about is an "open access" journal, and they charge $299 for the first 16 pages and $25 for each additional page.  I suspect they watch some Google forum or and send out emails to everyone who seems likely to be desperate to get their paper published.

I've pretty much give up on the idea of having my papers published by some scientific journal for free.  And I'm not willing to pay any journal to publish them.  There is no benefit to me to offset the cost.  (Some day I may pay to self-publish a book that contains all (or most) of my papers.  The benefit there would be that I'd have copies of the book to give to people I know, and Amazon and Barnes & Noble might actually sell some copies.) 

The other email in my inbox this morning was from a scientist who works at CERN in Switzerland.  I'd sent him an email on May 15, along with the version of my paper Simplifying Einstein's Thought Experiments that was current at that time.  I asked him if he'd like to discuss the conflicts between my paper and a paper he had written about Einstein's thought experiments.  His email said he'd very much like to discuss those conflicts.  So, that's what I'm going to be working on for awhile - maybe a day or two, or maybe just the rest of today.

Meanwhile, I awoke this morning realizing I need to learn more about how radio tuners work.  A radar gun contains a tuner that it uses to separate the frequency it wants to listen to from the countless other signals that are hitting the receiver.  That tuner is critical to understanding whether my papers are correct or incorrect. The problem is: Every source I see on the subject is full of jargon that I need to decipher.  For example, one on-line source says,

Tuners work using a principle called resonance. That is, tuners resonate at, and amplify, one particular frequency and ignore all the other frequencies in the air. It is easy to create a resonator with a capacitor and an inductor (check out How Oscillators Work to see how inductors and capacitors work together to create a tuner).
I gather the radar gun has an "oscillator," which is like an atomic clock or a pendulum clock (or tuning fork) in that it ticks or oscillates at a given rate.  That rate determines the oscillating frequency of the photons the gun sends out.  And it is what the return photons are measured against.  But I do not understand how that comparison is done.  The sources say the two rates are combined and the difference is produced and measured, but I cannot visualize it.  I cannot visualize capturing a photon without having it slam into an atom and create a new photon.  And, if it slams into an atom and creates a new photon, the gun's velocity is added to the speed of light.  I cannot see how that would produce the results the gun produces.  It doesn't look difficult to understand.  It just requires time to understand.  And I'm really unable to find spare time at the moment. 

June 12, 2018 - This morning, the moderator on the sci.physics.research Google discussion group allowed my newest post to appear.  The new post includes a link to the latest version of my paper on Simplifying Einstein's Thought Experiments and the post says I'd really like to get people's thoughts about it.

Meanwhile, I've been getting requests from people on Facebook who want to join a Facebook group I created and abandoned years ago.  The group was titled "Rational Scientific Methodists & Their Beliefs."  Back then I as arguing with Bill Gaede and his cult followers.  I gave up after arguing for probably a year because the arguing accomplished nothing.  It was like arguing with flat earthers. 

I don't know why people suddenly want to join a group I abandoned years ago, but I'm hoping they are people who read my papers or read my posts in the Google groups and do not want to post there, preferring Facebook.  If so, there is a group I did NOT abandon, I just haven't posted to it for a long time because I've been so busy writing papers and arguing on Google's forums.

So, today I decided that, instead of trying to attract attention to my papers by posting messages to various science-related Facebook groups, I should start by posting new comments to my own Facebook group, Time and Time Dilation.  And that is what I did.  We'll see what happens.

While writing a new post there, and looking for an image that shows how photons are created, I found a couple web pages that I could have used before.  Both pages are titled "How light bulbs work" and the first page contains the image I was looking for - How atoms emit light:

how light is created

The second page goes into more details about light bulbs.  The word "photon" is used many times in the two pages.  The only use of the word "wave" in the two pages is in this quote:
The wavelength of the emitted light (which determines its color) depends on how much energy is released, which depends on the particular position of the electron. Consequently, different sorts of atoms will release different sorts of light photons. In other words, the color of the light is determined by what kind of atom is excited.
If light is not emitted as waves, it cannot reflect as waves. 

June 11, 2018 - I submitted the revised version of my paper on "Simplifying Einstein's Thought Experiments" to yesterday afternoon, and this morning there was an email in my inbox informing me that, as of 5:44 a.m., the new version is on-line at this link:

So, that new version of "Simplifying Einstein's Thought Experiments" and my paper on "Radar Guns and Einstein's Theories" now agree that you can tell if you are moving if you are in a closed Frame of Reference and have a radar gun with you.  The two papers are either both right or they're both wrong.  

I also put both papers on  I never had versions of either paper on before.  I'm not sure how many readers scientific papers get there.  They keep telling me that other people are mentioning my papers in their papers, but the number of "views" they show for my papers rarely changes.  Plus, they keep wanting me to pay money upgrade to their "premium" version so that I can see who is mentioning my papers in their papers.  I think they have at least one other "Ed Lake" (someone in England) putting papers on their web site, and they might be getting us confused.  

I also searched for instruction manuals for radar guns to see what they might say about the question I need answered (what speed the gun measures if it is traveling at 60 mph behind a target traveling at 60 mph).  There's nothing in the Bushnell Speedster III manual, nor the Decatur Scout Manual, nor in the JUGS sports radar gun manual, nor a half dozen other manuals I found.  But, then I found a manual from the Illinois State Police dated 1992 that says this on page 8 and 10:
In summary, relative motion will occur only when the solid object and the RADAR are not moving in the same direction, at the same speed. It will occur if
a. The RADAR is stationary and the object moves;
b. The object is stationary and the RADAR moves; or
c. If they both are moving, as long as they move at different speeds or in different directions so that the distance between them changes.
In each case, the Doppler Principle says that the transmitted signal and the reflected signal will have different frequencies if there is relative motion between the RADAR and the object.  
Hmm.  Note I highlighted situation "b" above in red.  Will a moving standard radar gun emit photons oscillating at a different wavelength than a stationary radar gun?  If so, that says that you can tell if you are moving or not by looking at the oscillating frequency your gun is using, just as if it were an atomic clockThat's Time Dilation.  It says a moving atomic clock (or radar gun) will run or tick slower than a stationary clock (or radar gun).  That's true, but it is not what radar guns measure.  If you fire a moving standard radar gun at a stationary object, the difference in oscillating frequency due to Time Dilation will NOT give you a reading.  The difference is too small.  Plus, due to Time Dilation, the photons emitted from a moving radar gun oscillate slower, not faster.

Can a moving radar gun emit photons that oscillate faster than photons emitted from a stationary radar gun?  I say: No.  There is nothing to cause the photons to oscillate faster.

Interestingly, that manual does not contain the word "photon."  Everything is described in terms of "waves."  But it can be used as a source to argue against my papers.  So, what is needed is an experiment to show who is right.

June 10, 2018 - I really need to find some quotable source that explains exactly what a regular radar gun would measure in these two situations:
1.  The gun is moving at 60 mph and the target is stationary.
2.  The gun is moving at 60 mph following a target moving at 60 mph.
The police officer I talked with back on May 21 answered the first question.  If the gun is moving at 60 mph and the target is stationary, the gun will show "no reading," which is equivalent to showing a speed of zero.  It makes perfect sense if you understand that no matter how fast the radar gun is moving it cannot send out light photons faster than c (the speed of light).  So, if the gun is stationary and is pointed at a stationary target, it will show zero.  And if the gun is moving and is pointed at a stationary target, it will also show zero, because the light emitted by the gun does not travel faster when the gun moves.  It travels at the same speed as when the gun is stationary.

However, that makes no sense to mathematicians who insist that motion is relative (which they seem to interpret as also meaning "reciprocal") and therefore if the gun is moving at 60 mph relative to a parked car, the parked car is also moving at 60 mph relative to the radar gun.  If that seems preposterous (and it is), the mathematicians explain that in the moving radar gun's "frame of reference" it is stationary and the parked car is moving at 60 mph, while in the parked car's "frame of reference" the parked car is stationary and the radar is moving at 60 mph. 

                versions of Relativity

I did research to find out how the radar gun issue first came up.  It came up in a May 19 argument on Google's sci.physics.relativity discussion forum where I argued that photons from the radar gun hit the oncoming target at c+v, where c is the speed of light and v is the velocity of the target.  Atoms in the target absorb the photons and emit new photons back toward the gun that oscillate at a shorter (higher and more energetic) frequency than the original photons.  Below is the reply argument from "danco":

No, the light pulses propagate at c (in both directions) in the rest frame of the gun, and the round trip distance each successive pulse must travel is less because the on-coming car is getting closer.  As a result, the reflected pulses arrive back at the emitter at a higher frequency than they were emitted.  This gives the result that the velocity of the car (relative to the gun) is (we-wr)/(we+wr), where we is the emitted frequency and wr is the received frequency.  We get the same result if we work in the rest frame of the on-coming car, in which the speed of light is also c.
That is (sort of) how lidar guns work.  It is not how radar guns work.  But, so far, nothing I've been able to show to the mathematicians has changed their minds.  And I've been researching radar guns for at least 3 weeks.  I have found at least a dozen papers (and one short book) on the subject, yet not one of them answers those two questions I asked at the top of this comment.  Instead, you have to try to interpret what is written to see if it contradicts what I say, or if it says what I say but in a much more convoluted way.  When you have to do that, it's not something you can quote and use in an argument.  The counter-argument will always be that I didn't interpret the paper correctly.

It's also frustrating that no one comments on my papers via emails (except for the two that resulted from my post to sci.physics.research.  I tried sending an email to my local sheriff's department, but they just suggested I try emailing radar gun manufacturers.  I tried that once and got no response.  I suspect that if I get a response it will be that I should purchase one of their radar guns and test it myself to see how it works.

I could try asking questions on some Facebook groups, but I've never had much success there.  Mostly Facebook users just click on "like" and never answer any complicated questions.  Only the mathematicians on Facebook seem to give opinions.  This morning I joined the Niel de Grasse Tyson Facebook group.  But, I'm not sure if it is a group Tyson started, or if it is a group his fans started to talk about him.  One thing I am sure of, however, is that I like this flat earth illustration that I found there this morning:
flat earth, other planets are globes

I've also been thinking of creating some cartoons, like the one about Relativity near the top of this comment, in order to start discussions about Relativity on Facebook.  The trick on Facebook is to grab people's attention.  Cartoons are good at doing that.  They don't have to be funny, just eye-catching.

On Friday and Saturday I revised my paper on "Simplifying Einstein's Thought Experiments" to include as a new Experiment #11 the same thought experiment I have in "Radar Guns and Einstein's Theories."  The current version of the Simplifying paper includes several things that I say are wrong in the latest version of Radar Guns.  They are things that mathematicians would agree with, but I didn't realize were wrong until I started examining how radar guns work.  (When I wrote the Simplifying paper I thought that you couldn't tell if you were moving if you were inside a closed "frame of reference."  But, since then I've realized that, by using a radar gun, you can tell if you are moving.)

The new version of Simplifying Einstein's Thought Experiments that I plan to submit later today will correct those errors.   Or, maybe I should say the repairs will put my two most recent papers in agreement, right or wrong.

You would have thought that someone would have pointed out to me that the two papers do not agree on some key points.  But no one has done so.  So, either no one is really reading them, or no one wants to risk getting into an argument. 

Comments for Sunday June 3, 2018, thru Saturday, June 9, 2018:

June 9, 2018 - While driving around doing chores this afternoon, I finished listening to CD #17 in the 17-CD set for the audio book version of "Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow" by Yuval Noah Harari:

Homo Deus

It was a really great book, almost as great as the previous book of his, "Sapiens," that I listened to a couple months ago.  However, I kept constantly wishing I also had the Kindle version handy, so that when the reader of the audio version read something really interesting I could make some kind of note of it.  I probably would have been highlighting and making notes of about half of what was in the first half of the book.  "Homo Deus" means man-god or man as god, and the first part of the book was about how man is learning to fix things so that he can live longer have more control of nature and things around him.  Later in the book, however, the author gets more into how the tools (specifically computers and the Internet) that man has created to do work for him are likely to cause problems. 

A scan of the "look inside" version of the book on Amazon shows it uses the work "algorithm" 83 times.  I would have estimated it was at least five times that number.  And now it seems that I'm hearing that word somewhere every day.  One definition is that it is "a set of guidelines that describe how to perform a task."  So, it's a lot more than just a mathematical term.  It applies to recipes and instruction manuals, too.  And the book says more and more things are getting defined as algorithms, so that routine chores can be done almost without thinking.  Just follow the instructions and you've got it.

Anyway, it was a great book.  I highly recommend it - but, if you haven't read it, I recommend reading "Sapiens" first. 

On my way home from doing chores, I started listening to a travel-humor book that consists of 10 CDs.  I truly recommend listening to non-fiction audio books as a way to make the time pass faster if you have to drive somewhere every day.

June 6, 2018 - According to vixra-org's statistics, my new paper on Radar Guns and Einstein's theories had 19 new downloads in the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 21 so far.  That's just short of the 23 unique downloads my previous paper about Simplifying Einstein's Thought Experiments got in its first 24 hours.

                  for June 6, 2018 - my papers

What is probably most interesting to me is that every one of my seven papers had at least one new "unique download" during the past 24 hours.  That doesn't happen very often, and I have to wonder what caused it.  According to's FAQ page, this is how they define a "unique-IP download":

It is a count of the number of times the PDF document has been downloaded for reading. In order to not count multiple reads by the same user we look at the IP address and only count once for each unique IP. Downloads of different versions of a paper are added together to give a single number. The method is not perfect because many people have dynamic IP addresses that change when they reconnect to the network, and some IP addresses are shared. However it is the best approximation possible to the total number of people who have read the document. It should never be regarded as exact.
So, a person can actually download a paper a hundred times, but it will only register as 1 download if he used the same IP address every time.  I checked how many downloads have been registered for a half-dozen other papers that were posted around the same time as my paper was posted.  I found the lowest number was 2 and the highest number was 11.  So, I'm doing comparatively well.

Unfortunately, I'm not getting what I want from the paper.  I want people to make suggestions for improvements, or to tell me where the paper is wrong.  The only thing they do on Google's sci.physics.relativity discussion forum is argue that my papers conflict with their beliefs.  They never suggest a way to determine who is right and who is wrong.  I suggest ways, but they just claim those ways will confirm their beliefs, and, of course, they cannot explain how. 

You'd think there would be a hundred places on the Internet where they explain in detail how radar guns work when the guns are used to measure the speed of a car.  There are probably that many, but none of them get down to quotable specifics.  In addition, they always explain things in terms of waves, not photons.  They always say that waves "reflect" off of vehicles.  But what does "reflect" mean?  How does "reflecting" work?  The articles about radar guns don't explain. 

When you research "reflection" you find there is "specular reflection" and "diffuse reflection."  

Specular and diffuse reflection

Specular reflection works the way mirrors work: Light is emitted away in the same angle that it arrived.  Diffuse reflection works the way light bouncing off walls and rocks (and speeding cars) work: Light is emitted away in random directions.  Both (but particularly diffuse reflection) are typically described in terms of how rays of light work.   So, they stop talking about waves of light and start talking about rays of light.  But there are no rays and there are no waves.  There are only photons.

This morning I found a BBC article from 2015 titled "What is a ray of light made of?"  It begins with this:
Light is what allows us to understand the world we live in. Our language reflects this: after groping in the dark, we see the light and understanding dawns.

Yet light is one of those things that we don't tend to understand. If you were to zoom in on a ray of light, what would you see? Sure, light travels incredibly fast, but what is it that's doing the travelling? Many of us would struggle to explain.

It doesn't have to be that way. Light certainly has puzzled the greatest minds for centuries, but landmark discoveries made over the last 150 years have robbed light of its mystery. We actually know, more or less, what it is.
Later, the article says,
Einstein realised that the photoelectric effect was easier to understand by thinking of light in terms of Planck's quanta.

He suggested that light is carried in tiny quantum packets. Each quantum packs a discrete energy punch that relates to the wavelength: the shorter the wavelength, the denser the energy punch. This would explain why violet light packets, with a relatively short wavelength, carried more energy than red light packets, with a relatively longer one.

It also explained why simply increasing the brightness of the light made less of an impact.

A brighter light source delivers more light packets to the metal, but it doesn't change the amount of energy each light packet contains. Crudely speaking, a single violet light packet could transfer more energy to a single electron than any number of red light packets.
Einstein called these energy packets photons, and these are now recognised as a fundamental particle. Visible light is carried by photons, and so are all the other kinds of electromagnetic radiation like X-rays, microwaves and radio waves. In other words, light is a particle.

At this point physicists decided to end the debate over whether light behaved as a wave or a particle. Both models were so convincing that neither could be rejected.

To the confusion of many non-physicists, the scientists decided that light behaved as both a wave and a particle at the same time. In other words, light is a paradox.
The problem is: if you believe light actually travels as waves, you are WRONG.  But people who believe that way have endless support for their beliefs.  And it means if I were to show this article to the people on the Google group, they would just argue that the author of the article is LYING in order to simplify things for the ignorant layman, and only mathematicians understand reality.  That belief still remains as the #1 DUMBEST belief in physics.  

It seems the wave versus photon "paradox" could be easily resolved by examining the workings of radar guns, but it would mean that mathematicians would have to memorize new equations.  And they do not want to do that.

June 5, 2018 - My new paper on Radar Guns and Einstein's Theories isn't getting much reaction.  I'm not sure why.  This morning's statistics for my papers on show that only two people had viewed the paper since it was uploaded about 24 hours ago.  And one of those two people could be me.  But, I have no way of knowing when the data for the daily statistics was collected.  It could have been an hour after the paper was put on the site.  Tomorrow's statistics should give me a better idea of how many people are reading it.

The response to the message I posted to Google's sci.physics.relativity discussion forum announcing that the paper was available for viewing has also been very sparse.  Right now, there are only 15 posts in the thread, and 5 of them are from me (including the post where I created the thread).  7 are from people on my "Do Not Reply" list who do nothing but call me an "idiot" or "imbecile."  One of the remaining three posts simply asked me why I waste my time on this.  That was easy to answer:  I find it all to be absolutely fascinating.  How can universities and colleges all around the world be teaching absolute nonsense, and yet no one cares?  I care.  And I want to understand what is going on.  If I am wrong, explain to me where I'm wrong.  Don't just tell me I'm wrong because I disagree with the textbooks or because I disagree with some "expert."

The first non-insult response to my post was a recommendation that I view a 1 hour 17 minute video of a college physics course being taught by Professor Walter Lewin, now retired from teaching at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  I wrote about Prof. Lewin and his lectures back in May 2017, and I commented on that particular lecture in my May 21, 2017 comment.  All I can say is what I said back then:  Professor Lewin is wrong.  And he can be easily shown to be wrong.  He argues the mathematician's "all observers theory" which I debunked in my 2017 paper about Einstein's Second Postulate.  

The remaining post that wasn't just a personal attack was from "Steve BH" who argued his beliefs about photons, beliefs which conflict with every source I can find about photons.   I politely cited a few facts for him.

And then things went quiet.  No further responses.  But the last non-insulter to post to the thread was "Steve BH," and his post was time-stamped 13 hours hours ago, as of this moment.  So, I may have to wait until tomorrow for responses to my responses.

Meanwhile, I should probably mention that I sent the paper off to a science journal yesterday afternoon.  I received a rejection this morning.  So, that is another dead end.

June 4, 2018 (B) - One of my morning "chores" every day is to check NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day websiteThis morning's entry is a video taken last week during the full moon.  It's really spectacular.

The video not only shows a spectacular view of the moon setting behind a bunch of people on a mountain top, it is also one of the best examples I've seen of how a telescopic lens will make a distant object appear closer than it really is.  It's also mind-blowing when you realize that it isn't "fast motion."  It is just as you would see it if you were behind the telescope and camera.

June 4, 2018 (A) - Yesterday, at about 11 a.m., I submitted my new paper "Radar Guns and Einstein's Theories" to  This morning, there was an email in my inbox, time-stamped at 5:55 a.m., informing me that the paper is now on-line at this link:    Interestingly, while the statistics for the paper say no one has yet read it, there is a comment after the paper written by someone in Russia, who just rambles on about his own paper.  I've never had that happen before.

Once I saw that had placed the paper on-line, I immediately posted a comment about it to the sci.physics.research Google discussion group.  However, because that group is moderated, I couldn't be sure the moderator(s) would let it appear.  I quickly received an email telling me:
Your posting is inappropriate for sci.physics.research since it is overly speculative.
I responded by telling them that there was no speculation in the paper at all.  I had researched the paper by talking with police officers about how radar guns work, and the rest of the paper is just a logical explanation of how that research matches Einstein's theories and disagrees with many college text books. I don't know if that argument will change any minds.  I assume not, but I'll just wait to see what happens. 

I also posted information about the new paper to the mathematician-dominated  sci.physics.relativity Google discussion forum, which isn't moderated, and where it appeared almost immediately and had a couple views within a few minutes.  Hopefully, someone there will read the paper before attacking it and me.

I'm pondering whether I should also send the paper to some scientific journal.  But, I think I'll wait to see what the reaction is on the Google groups first. 

Meanwhile, it's just a big relief to have finished that paper.  It might even be my final paper, since it is undoubtedly my most important paper.  It is also a paper that contains a lot that all my other papers also said, but does it in just ten pages.  My next task will be to go back and make revisions to my previous paper.  

June 3, 2018 - I think I'm ready once again to submit my paper "Radar Guns and Einstein's Theories" to  I plan to do it first thing tomorrow morning (or maybe this afternoon).   One reason I deleted my first attempt was because I had included a photograph in the paper that I was worried might run into copyrights problems.  I'd converted a color photo of a radar gun into black and white, and I'd modified it in other ways, but someone might still have grounds for claiming a copyrights infringement.  So, I created a new drawing that I use instead.

The main reason I deleted that first attempt, however, was because I began to worry that I hadn't sufficiently addressed the issue of the Doppler effect from a moving emitter.  The target car becomes a moving emitter when it sends back photons to the radar gun.  Each returning photon oscillates at a different frequency than the frequency of the photons that were originally sent from the radar gun, but there are no returning radio waves or waves of photons.  It can be argued that, when the target is moving toward the radar gun there will be less space between photons than if the target was stationary, and that would be true.  But, is that really "the Doppler effect"?  There are no waves involved.  Isn't "the Doppler effect" for light the change in oscillating frequency of the individual returned photons?


One of the illustrations I use in my paper is shown above.  It shows a lightbulb that is moving from left to right at high speed.   Each photon emitted by the bulb is emitted in a totally random direction, so there can be no oscillating wavelength difference for those photons emitted in one direction versus another.  There would be no cause for such a difference.  And since every photon is emitted in a totally random direction, there can be no waves of photons.  However, the photons emitted in the direction the lightbulb is moving will be closer together, because the lightbulb is moving in the same direction those photons are moving. That means the bulb is, in effect, following those photons while emitting more photons in the same direction.  If the bulb was stationary, the photons should be fairly evenly distributed in all directions. 

Does the image of the lightbulb illustrate the Doppler effect?  It seems that many astronomy text books say it does (when applied to stars instead of lightbulbs).  But that "Doppler effect" is very different from the "Doppler effect" that results when a radar gun fires billions of photons at a target vehicle and the target encounters some of the photons at c+v where v is the target's speed.  The target then emits back to the radar gun a few photons that have a shorter wavelength. 

In that instance, the photons headed in the target's direction of movement may be more closely spaced than photons heading in other directions, but there would also be more photons (and thus more closely spaced photons) if the target car has a polished chrome bumper instead of a rusty bumper.  Chrome reflects light back toward the emitter better than rust.  There would also be less space between returned photons if the target is a large truck instead of a small car.  Bigger objects reflect more photons than smaller objects.  In those instances, there is less space between photons because MORE photons are being returned per unit of time for other reasons, not due to any "Doppler effect."

I guess the question is: Can there be TWO Doppler effects occurring at the same time: (1) the change in the oscillating frequency of the photon, and (2) the larger quantity of photons per square meter and per unit of time?  

Answer #2 isn't really true, since billions of photons were emitted by the gun toward the target and only thousands or hundreds or less were returned from the target to the gun.

You can tell the speed of the target by the difference in oscillating frequency of the returned photons.   You cannot tell the speed of the target by the number of photons returned when the targets have different reflection characteristics.

But how will mathematicians see it?

Comments for Friday June 1, 2018, thru Saturday, June 2, 2018:

June 2, 2018 - I just noticed an NBC news article titled "Why some scientists say physics has gone off the rails" and subtitled "Has the love of 'elegant' equations overtaken the desire to describe the real world?"

Ah!  It feels nice to know that there are actual scientists who are seeing the same things I'm seeing and writing about.  The article says,
"All of the theoretical work that's been done since the 1970s has not produced a single successful prediction," says Neil Turok, director of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Canada. "That's a very shocking state of affairs."

This doesn't mean physicists aren't busy; the journals are publishing more research than ever. But Turok says all that research isn't doing much to advance our understanding of the universe — at least not the way physicists did in the last century.

Physicists today "write a lot of papers, build a lot of [theoretical] models, hold a lot of conferences, cite each other — you have all the trappings of science," he says. "But for me, physics is all about making successful predictions. And that's been lacking."
In a new book entitled "Lost in Math: How Beauty Leads Physics Astray," [Sabine] Hossenfelder [a physicist at the Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies in Germany] argues that many physicists working today have been led astray by mathematics — seduced by equations that might be "beautiful" or "elegant" but which lack obvious connection to the real world.

"I can't believe what this once-venerable profession has become," she writes. "Theoretical physicists used to explain what was observed. Now they try to explain why they can't explain what was not observed. And they're not even good at that."

Why haven't there been more books and articles about this?  And why haven't more people been complaining about the WRONG lessons being taught in college physics courses?  Hossenfelder's book will be coming out on June 12, and it appears to be written for the layman.  Or maybe the author just felt it would be counter-productive to fill such a book with mathematics.

© 2018 by Ed Lake