Archive for
July 2021

Comments for Sunday, July 25, 2021, thru Saturday, July 31, 2021:

July 30, 2021 - On Wednesday, after writing my comment for that day, I found I couldn't work on my new book, nor on the paper about "Fundamental Ideas," so I sat down on my couch and started listening to a science-fiction audio book I got from the library.  The book was "Flashforward" by Robert J. Sawyer. 


I finished it yesterday evening.  It was 10 hours and 28 minutes long.  I was somewhat surprised to read that it was a "hit" TV series on ABC in 2009 and 2010.  I have absolutely no memory of that series, and I can't imagine how I would be unaware of any sci-fi series on a free TV channel.  I must have tried viewing it, didn't like it, and promptly forgot about it.  The book was first published in 1999.  The main story takes place in 2009.

Anyway, the book is about an experiment with the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, near Geneva, Switzerland, that goes wrong and causes everyone in the world to black out for about two minutes.  That results in tens of thousands of deaths as cars crash into things, people fall down stairs, or just fall down in the street, doctors fall down while doing operations, planes crash while taking off or landing, etc.  And while they are blacked out, nearly everyone sees visions of what they will be looking at just over 20 years in the future, on October 23, 2030.  The only people who do not see the visions are people who will presumably be dead on that day. 

The first part of the book was fascinating to me because of all the details the book provides about operations at CERN, and the middle of the book is fascinating because of all the predictions the book makes about what life will be like in 2030.  A few examples:
The President of the United States was African-American and male; there had apparently yet to be a female American president in the interim. But the Catholic Church did indeed now ordain women.

Cars couldn't fly-but they could levitate up to about two meters off the ground. On the one hand, road work was being curtailed in most countries. Cars no longer required a smooth, hard surface; some places were even dismantling roads and putting in greenbelts instead. On the other hand, roads were getting so much less wear and tear that those left intact required little maintenance.

George Lucas still hadn't finished his nine-part Star Wars epic.

Bill Gates lost his fortune: Microsoft stock tumbled badly in 2027, in response to a new version of the Year-2000 crisis. Older Microsoft software stored dates as thirty-two-bit strings representing the number of seconds that had passed since January 1, 1970; they ran out of storage space in 2027.  Attempts by key Microsoft employees to divest themselves of their stock drove the price even lower.  The company finally filed for Chapter Eleven in 2029.

Donald Trump was building a pyramid in the Nevada desert to house his eventual remains. When done, it will be ten meters taller than the Great Pyramid at Giza.

Pepsi won the cola wars.

The United States will finally go metric.

India established the first permanent base on the Moon.
Unfortunately, for me the last part of the book was tedious and difficult to follow because of all the things happening at once to a lot of different people.  When listening to audio books I sometimes have a hard time remembering names, and this book was such a case.  It's frustrating when something happens to Leo, and I can't remember if Leo was a good guy or a bad guy.  But, that's my problem and shouldn't bother most people who take my recommendation and read the book or listen to the audio book.  

July 28, 2021
- I spent the past few days going through a collection of 152 books in e-book format that I haven't yet read on my Kindle.  I'm not sure what I was looking for, but it's a form of research, and research is what I tend to do whenever I've hit some kind of roadblock preventing me from doing what I want to do.

What I want to do is either work on my new book about Logical Relativity or write a paper about Relativity's Fundamental Ideas.  But if I'm going to explain "fundamental ideas" of Relativity, I need to explain them in the right order.  With fundamental ideas, you need to understand Idea #1 before you even begin to understand Idea #2.

This morning I was browsing through a book titled "It's About Time: Understanding Einstein's Relativity" by N. David Mermin. When browsing through it a couple days ago, I noticed that it has a correct version of Einstein's Second Postulate on page 27:

The special theory of relativity is said to rest on two principles: the principle of relativity and the principle of the constancy of the velocity of light. In Einstein’s great 1905 paper, he did not use the word Prinzip for this second principle (as he did for the first). He characterized each principle as a “postulate” (Voraussetzung).  His second postulate was that light in empty space moves with a velocity that is independent of the velocity of the body that emitted the light.
While I didn't check every one of the books to see if it mentioned Einstein's Second Postulate, this morning I wanted to see if this one also had a correct interpretation of "relative motion."  It doesn't.  On page 63 it has this:
The slowing down of moving clocks is often referred to by the deplorable term “time dilation.” It is deplorable because it suggests in some vague way that “time itself” (whatever that might be) is expanding when a moving clock runs slowly. While the notion that time stretches out for a moving clock has a certain intuitive appeal, it is important to recognize that what we are actually talking about has nothing to do with any overarching concept of time. It is simply a relation between two sets of clocks. While it is commonly believed that there is something called time that is measured by clocks, one of the great lessons of relativity is that the concept of time is nothing more than a convenient, though potentially treacherous, device for summarizing compactly all the relationships holding between different clocks. If one set of clocks is considered to be stationary, synchronized, and running at the correct rate, then a second set, considered to be moving (and synchronized in the frame in which they are all stationary) will be found to be both asynchronized and running slowly, according to the first set. But if we consider the second set to be stationary, synchronized, and running at the correct rate, then according to the second set the first set will be found to be asynchronized and running slowly.
The author admits (in the first part that I highlighted in bold) that he has no clue as to what time is.  But in the second part (which I highlighted in red and bold) he somehow knows that "It is simply a relation between two sets of clocks," meaning that it is something mathematical, and he knows what that is.

No, time dilation is a relation between two sets of clocks.  Time itself is "what a clock measures," just as Einstein stated.  And every atom (and probably every particle within an atom) is a tiny clock measuring time at that location.

It appears I need to explain that "Fundamental Idea" before I explain anything else.  Then I can discuss light, which is emitted by atoms according to the atom's current time measurement.  Photons are emitted at the speed of light, and speed is a measurement of distance over time, so you need to understand time before you can discuss speed.

Now, hopefully, it is just a matter of sitting down and doing the writing.  Groan!

July 26, 2021
- After lunch yesterday, I sat down on my couch and finished reading a book on my Kindle.  The book was "Films from the Future: The Technology and Morality of Si-Fi Movies" by Andrew Maynard. 

Films From the Future

The book discusses
12 sci-fi movies that address interesting scientific issues, from resurrection biology as depicted in the movie Jurassic Park, to climate change as depicted in the movie The Day After Tomorrow, from predicting criminal intent as depicted in the movie Minority Report, to pharmaceutically enhanced intelligence as depicted in the movie Limitless.  I have 11 of the 12 movies in my DVD and Blu-Ray movie collection.  (I don't have the Tom Hanks movie Inferno, evidently because I rented it from Red-Box and didn't like it.)

Here's an interesting quote from the chapter about The Day After Tomorrow:
In July 2017, a massive chunk of ice broke off the Larson C ice shelf in Antarctica. The resulting tabular iceberg covered around 2,200 square miles—about the area of Delaware, and a tad smaller than the British county of Norfolk—and was one of the largest icebergs in recorded history to break off the continent. The event grabbed the attention of the media around the world, and was framed as yet another indication of the mounting impacts of human-activity-driven climate change. Thirteen years earlier, the climate disaster movie The Day After Tomorrow opened with a block of ice splitting off another of the Antarctic ice shelves, in this case the Larson B shelf. At the time, the sheer size of this make-believe tabular berg was mind-boggling enough to astound and shock moviegoers. But the movie-berg ended up being rather smaller than the 2017 one, coming in at a mere 1,212 square miles. Looking back, it’s sobering to realize that what was considered shockingly unimaginable in 2004 had become a pale reflection of reality in 2017.
One movie I was surprised to see mentioned was The Man in the White Suit, an Alec Guinness black and white movie from 1951.  It's about a chemist who develops a new material for clothing that never gets dirty and never wears out.  It might seem like a good idea, but it means that it will put countless people out of work who all depend on clothes needing to be washed or replaced.  The movie is a good example of an interesting idea that has disastrous consequences.

The last movie mentioned in the book is Contact, based upon Carl Sagan's book of the same name.  The last quote I highlighted in the book was:
We live in a stunning, awe-inspiring, pretty damn amazing world, with a million and one things that are just as mind-blowing as discovering aliens. And yet most of us simply don’t care.       
July 25, 2021 - I'm still only on the first two pages of my new book about Logical Relativity.  Sometimes I think I may have revised those two pages a thousand times. It's not that I cannot decide on how to begin the book, it is because how I decided to begin is by summarizing Relativity down to some "fundamental ideas," although it took awhile before I realized that was what I was trying to do.  Right now I have five fundamental ideas.  As I've pondered how to write about them, I've changed their order dozens of times, and several times I've merged two ideas into one and added another.

I'm hesitant to show them here, since I might revise them another thousand times before I'll feel I've got them right.  However, I've already discussed the first three ideas here many times in various contexts, so I might as well show them:
Fundamental Idea #1: The speed of light photons is the maximum speed allowed in our universe.  All other motion in the universe is relative to the speed of light photons and can be viewed as a percentage of the speed of light.

Fundamental Idea #2: Every particle and atom is a tiny clock that measures and creates time at its location.

Fundamental Idea #3: Motion and gravity cause those tiny “atomic clocks” to run slower relative to the speed of light.
My July 18 comment is all about a discussion of Idea #1 that I had on Facebook, getting lots of "likes" and upsetting a South American electrical engineering professor.  Weeks before, I had a similar argument with that same professor. Idea #2 is the topic that caused a different South American college professor (or one of his students) to post dozens of insults to my log file, and caused me to write about it in April and May.  Idea #3 just merges the first two ideas together with Einstein's Relativity.

Yesterday, I decided to try to put the five ideas into a science paper before putting them into a book.  Or the paper might turn out to be the opening chapter of the book.  Time will tell.

Meanwhile, I've downloaded a couple dozen more episodes of the "Daniel and Jorge Explain the Universe" podcast, and I've listened to a few more of the episodes that I had previously downloaded into my MP3 player.  Although Professor Daniel Whiteson and I fundamentally disagree on some of his views about Time Dilation, there seem to be many areas where we agree.  And, more importantly, some of those areas are areas where Professor Whiteson disagrees with other college professors I've encountered.

One example is in the episode titled "Is the Universe Infinite?"  In that episode, Prof. Whiteson basically says, Yes, the universe is probably infinite in size.  I've argued with many QM mathematicians who doggedly argue that the universe is NOT infinite, it ends at the farthest object.  What is beyond the farthest object?  To them that is not a valid question, since the universe ends at the farthest object.

I hope Prof. Whiteson responds to one or both of the two emails I've sent him via his web site.  I'd really like to discuss "relative motion" with someone who won't just immediately start hurling insults and telling me that I need to take some college physics courses and learn how to view mathematical models.

Comments for Sunday, July 18, 2021, thru Saturday, July 24, 2021:

July 23, 2021 - Yesterday afternoon and last night, I listened to seven more episodes of "Daniel and Jorge Explain the Universe."  While the first two I'd listened to were excellent, the seven I listened to last night were definitely a "mixed bag."  The first one, an episode from March of 2019 titled "What is Time Dilation?" was wildly wrong in many ways.   Then I listened to their episode from Dec. 25, 2019, titled "How does Relativity affect our perception of time?"  It contained the same errors as the March 2019 episode and one additional error that was totally absurd.  I'd never encountered it before, except that it seems to be a variation on something I noticed while browsing through their book

In the episode, Professor Daniel Whiteson describes a race between Joe and Mo (he used different names) and how different observers traveling at different speeds will see the race.  One of the observers sees Joe moving faster than Mo, and a second observer sees Mo moving faster than Joe.  That's okay, since they both see Joe crossing the finish line first.  But the third observer sees Mo cross the finish line first.  That is totally absurd!  How can someone see an physical event that never happened?  Professor Whiteson then gets into talking about Quantum Mechanics (he teaches physics at the University of California - Irvine and sometimes works at CERN) and he explains things by saying "They don't make common sense, but they make mathematical sense."  Ah!  The RELIGION of mathematics!  Believe what the math says and do not question it, since it is THE WORD OF GOD!

This morning I sent him an email, recommending that he take a look at my web page of experiments which demonstrate that light hits a moving observer at c+v or c-v.  I hope he responds, since I'd really like to find out what he thinks of those experiments.  Meanwhile, there are many more episodes of their podcast that I look forward to listening to.  The good ones are really good. 

July 22, 2021
- I keep finding new science podcasts that I never heard of before.  A couple days ago, I was looking at a list of podcasts on some web site, and off to one side on the screen there was a list of other podcasts that the site figured might be of interest to anyone viewing the podcast I was looking at.  One of the podcasts they showed was "Daniel and Jorge Explain the Universe."  Looking through the list of nearly 300 episodes, I downloaded about a dozen into my MP3 player.  Then, yesterday, I listened to a couple.  The first was their fourth episode, from back in 2018, titled "Is Time Travel Possible?"  It was an excellent episode, discussing the topic and also how movies depict time travel.

Then I listened to one of their more recent episodes.  It's from July 13, 2021, and it is titled "What do the Navy UFO videos really mean?"  At 1 hour and 22 minutes, it is also one of their longest episodes.  I'd seen news stories on TV about the government recently releasing six Navy videos which reportedly showed UFOs, but I hadn't really paid much attention to the stories.   To me, the videos obviously showed problems of various kinds with the camera that took the video.  And that is basically what the podcast said and explained in detail.  The podcast was mostly an interview with Mick West, the author of a book titled "Escaping The Rabbit Hole: How to Debunk Conspiracy Theories Using Facts, Logic, and Respect."  Hmm.  I'd never heard of that book, either.  I was able to obtain a copy, and browsing through it, I decided it will definitely go at or near the top of my reading list - which has about 40 other high-priority books on it.

The Mick West interview was really fascinating.  Since I've been researching conspiracy theories ever since the anthrax attacks of 2001, Mr. West and I seem to share nearly identical views about conspiracy theorists.  One disagreement we have is that he does not include the anthrax conspiracy theories among his Top 10, which are:
1.     Big Pharma: The theory that pharmaceutical companies conspire to maximize profit by selling drugs that people do not actually need
2.     Global Warming Hoax: The theory that climate change is not caused by man-made carbon emissions, and that there’s some other motive for claiming this
3.     JFK: The theory that people in addition to Lee Harvey Oswald were involved in the assassination of John F. Kennedy
4.     9/11 Inside Job: The theory that the events of 9/11 were arranged by elements within the US government
5.     Chemtrails: The theory that the trails left behind aircraft are part of a secret spraying program
6.     False Flag Shootings: The theory that shootings like Sandy Hook and Las Vegas either never happened or were arranged by people in power
7.     Moon Landing Hoax: The theory that the Moon landings were faked in a movie studio
8.     UFO Cover-Up: The theory that the US government has contact with aliens or crashed alien crafts and is keeping it secret
9.     Flat Earth: The theory that the Earth is flat, but governments, business, and scientists all pretend it is a globe
10.    Reptile Overlords: The theory that the ruling classes are a race of shape-shifting trans-dimensional reptiles
In addition, I think I may be a "conspiracy theorist" myself, since I somewhat believe in conspiracy theory #1.  It drives me nuts when I see ads on TV for prescription drugs.  No other country in the world allows that.  It encourages people to ask their doctors for specific drugs, because the patient has done an analysis of his own symptoms and concluded what his doctor should prescribe.

The only conspiracy theory on the list that I would remove and replace with anthrax conspiracy theories is #5.  I've heard of Chemtrail conspiracy theories, but they certainly do not seem very common -- and contrails appear over Air Force bases all the time, so why would Air Force pilots spray chemicals over the area where they live?  And why would just about every commercial airline pilot get involved with such a thing?  I would think that the only people who would believe that airplanes are spraying chemicals are people who have never flown on an airplane, don't live anywhere near a commercial airport, and who sometimes see small planes spraying crops with insecticides.

Anyway, I really enjoyed that podcast episode and look forward to listening to a lot more of them.  I might even send Daniel and Jorge an email asking them to discuss some favorite topic of mine.  But first I need to study what topics they have already covered, since I just noticed an episode from March of 2019 titled "What is Time Dilation?"  I think I know what Time Dilation is, but I'd like to hear the topic being discussed.

July 20, 2021
- Hmm.  This morning I received an email from my web site "host," advising me that they have been acquired by a much larger web hosting company.  That means that some time in the very near future, this web site will be moved from a computer in Huntsville, Alabama, to a computer in Lansing, Michigan.

I'm not sure what's involved, but I plan to shut down at that time, rather than move it.  I've only been keeping that site on-line as a public service, since it contains more information about the anthrax attacks of 2001 than can be found anywhere else.  I haven't had any reason to update the site since December 31, 2014, when I set up  Having a web site isn't free, and although the cost isn't very much, I don't see any reason to continue paying for something that I'm no longer updating.  That site still gets about 250 visitors per day, which is almost twice the number of visitors that this site gets.  But mostly the visits are from search engines and robots.  The Sogu Web Spider downloads my main web page at least a hundred times per day. (I keep wondering if that isn't one way that Chinese hackers cause problems.)

After writing the above paragraphs, I checked with my current web site host, and they set things up so that the site will shut down on August 5.  Whether or not there will be a transfer to Lansing is unimportant.  I just need to remember to remove the link that is at the top of this web page.

Meanwhile, I'm still trying to work on my new book.  I keep wanting to create a plain English version of Einstein's 1905 paper "On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies," but some sections are nearly nothing but mathematical equations, which are difficult to decipher.  Other sections, however, contain plain English statements that are definitely worth quoting.  Here's one from the next to last page, page 22:
Thus, when v = c, W becomes infinite. Velocities greater than that of light have—as in our previous results—no possibility of existence.
W is the energy of an electron.  The paper is about how motion adds to the energy (and mass) of an electron and thereby slows down time.  When you reach the speed of light, the energy (and mass) becomes infinite.  Here's a quote from the last page, page 23:
This relationship may be tested experimentally, since the velocity of the electron can be directly measured, e.g. by means of rapidly oscillating electric and magnetic fields. 
It says that you can determine the velocity of an electron by measuring how fast its electric and magnetic fields oscillate. Unfortunately, while c (the speed of light) is used in all the equations, Einstein never specifically states that the motion of the electron is relative to the speed of light.  I appears that if you can understand the equations, you understand that all motion is relative to the speed of light.

I thought it was worth quoting since photons also have oscillating electric and magnetic fields, even though it seems most mathematicians will argue otherwise, without ever attempting to explain how photons work.  When you ask them about photons, they just start talking about waves.    

July 18, 2021
- On Wednesday afternoon, I decided to start a new discussion thread on Facebook using the comment and image I mentioned here on that day.  The Astrophysics and Physics Facebook Group is moderated, so the image didn't get posted until 6:34 that evening.  The resulting discussion lasted just two days, ending on Friday afternoon with 99 comments, 22 "likes" and 2 "haha's".

                    discussion starter

It was a terrific discussion, mostly between me and a Minnesotan named Brandon, who posted 40 of the 99 comments, and that South American college professor named Miguel, who posted 8 messages.  I posted 39 comments in response to those messages and in response to a few messages from others who posted just one comment each.

I also saved a copy of the discussion, since some parts might be worthy of including in that book I am supposed to be writing. 

Brandon and I argued about the speed of light and whether it is possible for light to arrive at c+v, where v is the speed of the observer of the oncoming light.  He claimed that was not possible, but then he altered the discussion:
We're no longer arguing about the speed of the light, we both seem to agree it's c. We're now arguing about whether the car would see light from the radar gun blueshifted if it is the radar gun moving, not the car.
I responded,
I have a radar gun. I've studied it and others, and I've performed many experiments. Einstein's second postulate is confirmed: "light is always propagated in empty space with a definite velocity c which is independent of the state of motion of the EMITTING BODY."

The speed of the gun does not cause red or blue shifting of the photons that are EMITTED. It DOES, however affect the red and blue shifting of the RETURNING photons when the gun is moving.
And Brandon responded,
How do we determine if the car measures the light blueshifted or not from a [moving] radar gun?
I responded,
Einstein's Second Postulate says that blueshifting CANNOT be done by the emitter. Therefore it can ONLY be done by the receiver.
and I posted a link to a NASA web page about how radar guns can theoretically measure the speed of a car using a single photon.  Brandon's response was:
That's not our case. Our case is the car is at rest, the gun is moving. How do we determine if the light is blueshifted in the car's frame of reference, if the car is at rest, and it is the gun that is moving? The NASA link has the car moving. Doesn't answer our question. And it holds the same if the car wasn't moving, and it was the emitter moving instead, at least from my understanding of relativity. But you seem to think the light would NOT be blueshifted from the car's frame of reference if the car was at rest and the emitter was moving.
Ah!  That was what I was waiting for!  He shifted to mathematician mode and began talking "frames of reference" and mathematical models.  So, I responded,
When you start talking about "frames of reference," you are getting into mathematical models and AWAY FROM REALITY.

The car is NOT moving. The radar gun is moving. If you create a FANTASY where the car is moving and the radar gun is stationary, then your FANTASY has no basis in reality.

Radar guns work IN REALITY even if they do not work in your fantasies.
We continued to argue for awhile after that point, but neither of us could name an experiment where light from a moving emitter approaching a stationary observer is received "blue-shifted."  There are claims made by astronomers that light emitted by and received from distant galaxies is "red-shifted," but the Big Bang and our expanding universe says that we are moving away from other galaxies while those galaxies are also moving away from us.  So, there will be red-shifting due to our motion away from those galaxies.

Brandon then posted this:
Yep, a situation where the observer is stationary and the emitter is moving, then we're asking if the light detected by the observer (the receiver) is blueshifted or redshifted depending on if the emitter is moving away from or towards the receiver. In my head, that is identical to the receiver moving away from or towards the emitter.
And I responded,
Only in mathematics are they identical. In REALITY and LOGICALLY one is moving at a smaller percentage of the speed of light than the other, so the "reference frames" where each can be viewed as being stationary are PURE FANTASY and NOT VALID in Einstein's universe. In a talk Einstein gave to the Prussian Academy of Sciences in 1921, he stated, “As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain, and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.” Amen to that.

Thanks for the discussion, but let's end it here.
And that was the end of my discussion with Brandon.  It makes clear what Einstein meant by his statement to the Prussian Academy.  You cannot just change "frames of reference" and assume that an emitter will emit blue-shifted or red-shifted light because in the new "frame" the emitter is stationary and the observer is moving, when IN REALITY the RECEIVER is moving.

While that discussion was going on, I was also engaged in a discussion with Miguel, one of the two college professors from South America, about something similar, but using different physics.
I posted this comment:
One of the most ABSURD beliefs in physics is that all motion is relative, therefore when viewing an accident it is equally valid to say that a speeding car hit a stationary wall as it is to say that a speeding wall hit a stationary car.
And I posted this image:

                    space ships

Using that image, I argued that when two identical space ships encounter each other in empty space it is possible to tell who is moving faster by the difference in their kinetic energy.  The space ship that is moving faster will cause more of the debris to travel in the direction he was traveling.  According to Einstein, the faster ship will have greater mass due to its speed relative to the speed of light.

The South American college professor responded by posting a link to a YouTube video showing a car hitting a wall which he claimed would not show any difference if the wall hit the car.  It was the same argument I was having with Brandon, the mathematician's belief that "reference frames" are interchangeable.  Miguel was arguing that if a moving car hits a stationary car, the damage is the same as it would be if the "reference frames" were reversed and the stationary car hit the moving car.

I responded with this:
That Mythbusters episode is about how a car crumples to absorb the energy of a crash.

Your claim is the same as saying that when playing pool, a fast moving pool ball will hit a stationary ball and they will both remain in place [or bounce away from each other].

In reality, of course, the fast moving ball-A hits the stationary ball-B and transfers its kinetic energy to the stationary ball-B. Ball-B then speeds away from Ball-A, which has come to a stop.

The crashing of spacecraft would be like suspending glass ball-A from a string and then throwing glass ball-B at ball-A as hard as you can. Do you really believe the speed of Ball-B won't matter, and the pieces of both balls will scatter equally in all directions? It seems like an easy experiment to perform.
The college electrical engineering professor responded,
I don't have time to teach you basic physics. The point remains that [your claim that] "One of the most ABSURD beliefs in physics is that all motion is relative" is total nonsense.
That pool balls (or billiard balls) example was right on the mark, as far as I was concerned, and I can see why the professor simply ignored it.  It conflicts with his beliefs, so it is not worth discussing.   I'll definitely use it when writing about kinetic energy in my book.  And it really seems that Einstein's statement to the Prussian Academy of Sciences could have been about mathematical frames of reference being interchangeable, when many simple experiments can show that they are NOT interchangeable.

That Facebook discussion was truly productive for me.  I didn't change any minds, but the number of "likes" says I was not alone on my side of the debates.  I was just the only one willing to argue with the mathematicians.   The discussion also generated a bunch of "unique IP downloads" for my paper about Einstein's Second Postulate and my two papers about Radar Guns and Relativity.  So, people are interested in the topic, even if they do not want to publicly discuss it.

Comments for Sunday, July 11, 2021, thru Saturday, July 17, 2021:

July 14, 2021 - That discussion thread I started on July 11 at 2:49 PM on the Astrophysics and Physics Facebook group is still going strong, but it's getting somewhat tedious.  It now has 28 "likes" and 2 "loves," and it has 196 comments.  The problem is that that professor from South America is still arguing that, regardless of what experiments and science papers show, motion does NOT slow down clocks, motion actually causes clocks to travel a different route through "spacetime," which results in the clock showing a different time than a stationary clock when the two clocks are compared.

Clearly nothing is going to change his mind.  I've showed him document after document that says motion slows down the tick rate of clocks, but he just finds something somewhere in the paper that he can twist to support his beliefs.  And he has also found a few sources that agree with his beliefs.

Meanwhile, I've been thinking of starting a NEW thread using this image:

Max speed in the universe

The question is:  Why do you need an "ether" if all speeds are a percentage of the speed of light?  If I am going at 0.01% of the speed of light, and you are going at 0.02% of the speed of light, you are going faster than I am.  By no stretch of the imagination can you claim that I am going faster than you are.  Motion may be relative to some other body, but if the two bodies are not stationary relative to one another, one of them is moving at a higher percentage of the speed of light.  That is why Einstein stated that his theory made the luminiferous ether "superfluous."

I just don't know if I want to start a new argument on Facebook.  On the other hand, if I don't post the image and get opinions, there could be something to it that I'm missing.  And I don't know what the naysayers' opinion is.

July 12, 2021
- Yesterday, at 2:49 PM, I started a new discussion thread on the Astrophysics and Physics Facebook group.  I started it with this image:

What is Time?

And this comment:
It appears that Time is a "thing."  Time Dilation experiments show Time is something that can be affected by motion and gravity.  Illusions and concepts cannot be affected by motion and gravity.  Einstein seemed to think that every atom is a tiny clock whose tick rate can be affected by motion and gravity.  That would make time the same as particle spin.  Slow particle spin and you slow time.
As of this moment today, the thread has 19 "likes," 2 "loves" and 1 "wow."  Plus it has 82 comments, with more appearing every minute.  That college professor from South America is posting again, arguing the same things he argued before, that clocks do not slow down when moving, the moving clock just travels a different path through "spacetime" which causes the difference in elapsed time when the clocks are side-by-side again.

It appears that the people who "like" and "love" and "wow" my post do not write comments.  The people who write comments are people who post wisecracks, like this:
Time is a concept created by man, because humans cannot fathom everything happening at once.
Or nonsense like this:
Motion and gravity are also illusions.
Or disagreements, like those posted by the South American professor. 

Unfortunately, arguing in that thread is preventing me from working on my book, but it might clarify what points I need to address in my book to make certain I explain everything clearly and as thoroughly as is practical.

July 11, 2021
- That Facebook discussion I had with that college professor in South America last week is still on my mind.  The discussion provided a lot of pieces to the puzzle I've been trying to solve for at least 6 years: How can mathematicians believe what they believe about Relativity and the Universe when experiment after experiment clearly shows they are WRONG?  And why does nearly every college physics textbook have a different version of Einstein's Second Postulate?  The answer seems to be: The authors cannot reduce Einstein's theory to a simple Quantum Mechanics mathematical model, so they create one of their own and use that model as if it was Einstein's.

And why does it seem that no one has noticed that nearly every college physics textbook has a different version of Einstein's Second Postulate?  The only answer I can come up with is that they don't care. They assume that the professor who chose or wrote the textbook knows what he is talking about.  My discussions with such two such professors showed that they do NOT KNOW what they are talking about.  Time after time they state things that can be clearly shown to be untrue.  The prime example:  They claim that clock tick rates do not slow down when the clock is moving. Instead, they claim that moving clocks travel a different route through imaginary "spacetime" which results in the moving clock showing less time has passed than what is shown by a stationary clock.  Then they twist and distort things to claim that that is what Einstein stated, too.  When it is shown that it is NOT what Einstein stated, they claim it is what Einstein meant.

In addition, that most recent discussion caused me to look at my own understandings from a different angle, and as a result I was able to find some missing pieces to my own version (and Einstein's version) of Relativity and the Universe.  When you see things more clearly, you can explain things more clearly.  And that is what I'm trying to do as I get back to work on my book about "Logical Relativity."

It is all absolutely fascinating to me, but I still cannot believe that no one with the authority to change textbooks cares about any of this?  Is it just because they can't find any teachers who are willing to teach Einstein's version of Relativity?  Or is it because if they teach Einstein's version, they will be teaching a version that most other schools do not teach, and that will put their students at a disadvantage if they change schools.

When I finish my book, will anyone read it?  I don't know. Possibly not.  But, I'm not writing it for others to read, I'm writing it to clarify everything in my own mind.  Writing things down causes me to see them more clearly and sometimes differently.  I'm an analyst.  I enjoy analyzing puzzles and figuring them out.  And the Relativity vs Quantum Mechanics puzzle is one that people have been arguing about for over a hundred years -- even if Quantum Mechanics mathematicians claim there is no such dispute, there is just what they believe and there are people who are mistaken and not worth listening to. 

Comments for Thursday, July 1, 2021, thru Saturday, July 10, 2021:

July 9, 2021 - Groan!  What I don't need right now is another mystery! But that is what I got when I looked at my web site log file this morning.  For some unknown reason, people from 11 different cities in Poland visited my site just to view my web page about Time Dilation experiments.

IP                         TIME     CITY      09:03      Gdansk, Poland      09:59      Krakow, Poland        12:32      Szczecin, Poland        13:00      Lubraniec, Poland        13:47      Minsk Mazowiecki, Poland      14:07      Lodz, Poland        14:31      Katowice, Poland      14:49      Poznan, Poland        22:52     Wroclaw, Poland      23:41      Siedice, Poland    23:50      Katowice, Poland         

If it was someone telling the others about my web page, you would think that there would be multiple people in the same city, or that the visits would be clustered around the time they were all told.  But there are no two visits from the same city, and the times are scattered throughout the day.  And there were NO visitors from Poland the day before.  And there were NO visitors from any other country yesterday who viewed my page about Time Dilation experiments.

I can make no sense of it at all. 

Added NOTE: Early on July 9 there were two more accesses from Poland to my web page about Time Dilation Experiments:      2:46            Warsaw, Poland    3:21             Piaseczno, Poland   

Note that the two cities are not on the list of accesses for July 8, and the two new access times are within 24 hours of the first access.  And there have been no such visits from Poland since. The mystery deepens.

July 8, 2021
- At 10:59 AM this morning, the discussion of Einstein's Theory of Special Relativity that I was having with a college professor from South America on the Astrophysics and Physics Facebook group came to an end when the professor posted this:
Ok, you have your fixed ideas about this and I will stop the discussion here. The difference between principle and postulate is that principle is a fundamental assumption while postulate is something assumed without proof as being self-evident or generally accepted, especially when used as a basis for an argument.
I'm not sure what he was trying to argue with that last comment, but it seems he was just trying to explain why he pays no attention to Einstein's postulates.

In a comment less than an half hour earlier, he wrote this after I tried to explain to him that the Hafele-Keating experiment involve propelled airplanes, not some magical moving inertial systems:
Hafele-Keating experiment has nothing to do with Einstein 1905 paper.
I responded by quoting two places in Hafele's and Keating's first paper where  they mention Einstein's Theory of Special Relativity.  Here's the first quote:
SPECIAL RELATIVITY predicts that a moving standard clock will record less time compared with (real or hypothetical) coordinate clocks distributed at rest in an inertial reference space.   
The professor, like other mathematicians, argued that the Hafele-Keating clocks did not run slower, they were just taken on a longer path through "spacetime."  "Spacetime," of course, does not exist.  It is purely a mathematical idea.

The entire conversation was terrific and I saved a copy in html (web page code) format.  Then I converted it to a Word file.  It's 23 pages long.  I plan to include it (or parts of it) in my new book, somewhere near the end, to show what an argument with a mathematician is like, and how there seems no way to convince them that clocks actually run slower when they are transported at high speeds.  I may also convert it to a pdf file and put it on my web site somewhere once I remove the professor's full name and replace it with just his first name or a fake name. 

I really really enjoyed the conversation and posted this as my final message:
Thank you for the TERRIFIC DISCUSSION! You showed me how mathematicians are unable to comprehend Time Dilation, so they IGNORE Einstein's postulates and just make up stuff using various principles from one place or another. It is CRAZY!
Maybe tomorrow I can get back to work on my book. 

July 7, 2021
-  I'm still discussing Einstein's Theory of Special Relativity with a college professor from South America on the Astrophysics and Physics Facebook group (A&P).  I've been saving the discussion, and I might include it as part of my new book.  The discussion is absolutely fascinating to me.  It's like a detailed examination of all the debates I've had with mathematician physicists over the years.  Only this time the mathematician isn't just calling me names and demanding that I take some college physics courses, he is trying to explain where I am wrong.  And in the process I am explaining to him where HE is wrong.

Here is what he wrote a few minutes ago (with my highlighting):
In any theory in science, the postulates or principles defined are the equivalent of axioms used in mathematics. Postulates or principles are stated as true and they do not need to be justified. You are reading too much on the "which is only apparently irreconcilable with the former" words used by Einstein.
I responded,
If you present two POSTULATES that APPEAR TO CONFLICT, then you MUST explain how they do not conflict. Today WE KNOW THAT TIME DILATION RECONCILES THE TWO POSTULATES. Time dilation is what the paper is about.
And the professor responded:
An axiom, postulate or assumption is a statement that is taken to be true, to serve as a premise or starting point for further reasoning and arguments.
And I responded:
Yes, I KNOW that. But what if you have TWO POSTULATES THAT APPEAR TO CONFLICT? Then you MUST explain why they do NOT conflict as part of your "further reasoning and arguments."

The TWO POSTULATES do NOT conflict because of TIME DILATION. The paper explains how Time Dilation works.

I don't know if we will reach an impasse on this or not.  He's saying the postulates are unimportant.  His beliefs are based upon two "principles" that are described on page 4.  To me that is incomprehensible.  The postulates are the setup for the entire paper.  The two "principles" are just part of Einstein's theory about "Length Contraction," a theory that has NEVER been confirmed.  As I see it, Einstein used "length contraction" to explain how Time Dilation works.  He believed that the faster an atom moves, the smaller and more heavy it becomes, thereby slowing down time for that atom and what it is part of.  That is not too far off from my theory that the faster an atom moves, the slower its components move, thereby slowing down time for that atom and what it is part of.  The slowing down of atoms and their components is how atomic clocks are able to measure Time Dilation.  There is no reason for an atom to get smaller.

I think I'm going to have to re-start my book.  I need to explain Time Dilation at the very beginning.  Then I can later get into all the conflicts over how it works.  At my current rate, I should be done with the book in about 30 years.

July 5, 2021
-  I'm still discussing science on the Astrophysics and Physics Facebook group (A&P).  I've started to save some parts of the discussions because they are really interesting and thought-provoking.  For example, late on Saturday, Felix Jhunrey Poblete Limpag (who is apparently a boxing promoter in the Philippines) posted this question:
Hi:) I have a question.
What I've known lately in school is that when light passes through a glass, light bends and somehow losses speed. (If I'm not mistaken, energy also). Then after surpassing the glass, it will regain it's original speed like wow! But how?
That has always puzzled me, too.  It is not logical for a photon to slow down as it passes through glass and then speed up when it exits the glass.  That would require some force to cause the photon to speed up.  I wondered if the photon might slow down because it has to weave its way through the atoms in the glass, but it's not logical for the photon to weave its way through atoms without hitting the atoms.

The first person to respond was Jeffrey Zurek, who posted this:

All waves do this.
Light specifically doesn’t loose energy by doing this. Sorta…..
There is no such thing as fully transparent matter. So some of the light will be reflected and the rest will pass through. “Speed” will depend on the medium (glass, water etc).
So energy is lost with respect to some being reflected and scattered
That answer doesn't address the question.  It just says that some light gets scattered.  It says nothing about how light gets back to full speed once it exits the glass (or water, etc.).

HOWEVER, the article at the link does answer the question.  I dug into it looking for the word "photon" and found this:
Every photon (bundle of electromagnetic energy) travels between the interatomic void at a speed of c; yet time delay involved in the process of being absorbed and reemitted by the atoms of the material lowers the net speed of transport from one end of the medium to the other. Subsequently, the net speed of an electromagnetic wave in any medium is somewhat less than its speed in a vacuum - c (3 x 108 m/s).
light through a medium

Ah!  That's an answer that makes perfect sense, but it is still hard to imagine.  In my response, I quoted that passage and added this:
In other words, a photon does not travel "through" water. A light photon hits an atom in the water (or air), and it is absorbed by the atom. The atom cannot hold the extra energy, so it emits a NEW photon. The NEW photon travels at the speed of light to the next atom. This process continues, atom by atom, until the energy leaves the water or air and gets back into the vacuum of space where it once again becomes a single photon that travels at the speed of light.
Photons travel from atom to atom at the speed of light. But the process of being absorbed and re-emitted as a NEW photon countless times means the light will take longer to get from one side of a substance to the other than it would if the substance wasn't there.
That means a photon going through a piece of glass is actually absorbed and recreated a gazillion times as the energy travels from atom to atom through the glass. And doing all that only slows the light by a tiny tiny fraction of a second.  But it explains how the photon can return to traveling at the speed of light when it exits the glass.  It boggles the mind, but its perfectly logical.  My response got a "Wow" emoji from the guy who asked the question.

A different discussion pitted me against a man named Miguel, who is evidently a Professor of Electrical Engineering at a Catholic University in a South American country.  Interestingly, we argued some of the same things I previously argued with another college professor from the same country, the professor who kept posting insults into my log file.

The discussion about light and the speed of light, and my part in it began with a post by Davyking Caerlsberg asking:
I wonder why people are giving different answers. That brings another question. Is science constant or it depends on the scientific view of scientists!?
I responded that there has been a debate between Relativists and Quantum Mechanics mathematicians for over a hundred years.  They see things differently.

And Miguel responded,
Well, to start with, there is no "battle" between physicists working on Relativity and those working in QM.
I responded by providing link to a Guardian article about the "Battle for the Universe" being waged between Relativists in QM mathematicians.

Miguel responded that that was about the struggle to find a theory of Quantum Gravity.  He claimed there was no "battle," it was just very difficult to fit everything in to a single theory.

So, we argued a bit more and then came the key point.  Miguel stated:
When Einstein uses the word "stationary", it means the location of an observer, which considers himself at rest. A physics laboratory, inside a building, is usually an example of a stationary system. The fact that Earth is rotating and orbiting the Sun does not affects in a meaningful way the experiments of that laboratory. When Einstein writes "emitted by a stationary or by a moving body", it is a matter of logic to conclude that the stationary observer will also receive the light at speed c. If that were not the case then "emitted by a moving body" could not be true!!!
I responded,
Einstein STATES that "stationary" applies to A SYSTEM OF COORDINATES, NOT TO ANY OBSERVER.

A stationary observer INSIDE a "stationary system of coordinates" WILL receive light at c. HOWEVER, a MOVING OBSERVER inside a "stationary system of coordinates" will NOT receive light at c.
And Miguel wrote:
That is not logic. You may well have a stationary light emitter sending light to a moving observer, which is totally equivalent to a moving light emitter sending light to a stationary observer.
And I responded,
NO!!!!! ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!! You do not understand a key part of Einstein's theory. A stationary emitter sending light to a moving observer will result in the observer observing the light to arrive at c+v or c-v.

A moving emitter sending light to a stationary observer will result in the observer observing the light to arrive at c. So will a stationary emitter sending light to a stationary observer.

Einstein's Second Postulate: "light is always propagated in empty space with a definite velocity c which is independent of the state of motion of the EMITTING body."

That means that no matter how an emitter is moving (or not moving) the emitter will always emit light at c. It says NOTHING about how an OBSERVER will receive that light. The Doppler shift says a MOVING OBSERVER can receive that light at c+v or c-v.

This is FUNDAMENTAL physics and optics.
And the discussion stopped there for the day.  We were in a fundamental disagreement. I am stating what Einstein stated about the emitter, and I am stating what is known by experiment about the Doppler Shift.

Many people believe that the Doppler Shift will be observed when the emitter is moving toward a stationary observer.  Why?  Because it is TRUE FOR SOUND WAVES.  A moving train will emit sound waves that are closer together for anyone in front of the train.  That is because as the train moves, it moves a bit between emitting every sound wave.  So it emits waves that are closer together. But that is NOT true for light.  Why?  Firstly, because Einstein said light is emitted at c independent of the emitting body.  Secondly, because light does NOT consist of waves.  Light consists of photons.  So, an observer may get more photons per second if he is in front of the moving emitter than if he is behind the emitter, but that just means the light will be brighter.  The oscillation frequency of the light photons is the same in both situations.  It is a wholly different situation than you get with sound waves.     

And if I ever get back to work on my book, I'm going to have to find a place somewhere to describe how light "slows down" when it goes through glass and then "speeds up" again when it leaves the glass.  And I'm going to have to find a place to describe the difference in how the Doppler Effect works with light versus sound.  I don't think either point is in any of my papers.

Added NOTE: This morning, Miguel started arguing about "inertial systems."  I've been explaining to him that Einstein never used the word "inertial" in his 1905 paper on Special Relativity.  His paper is only about moving and stationary systems.  Inertial systems are mathematical models that mathematicians create to allow them to compute certain effects. Unfortunately, they often assume that a laboratory on Earth is an "inertial system.  It is not.  Gravity is a FORCE that is being applied to the laboratory and everything in it.  Plus, different speeds are being applied to laboratories in different locations on our spinning Earth.  

July 4, 2021
- I wish everyone a happy Independence Day - the 4th of July!

July 3, 2021
Wow!  Some of the discussions I've been having on the Astrophysics and Physics Facebook group (A&P) are really interesting and thought-provoking.  The discussions are vastly different from the countless arguments I've had on the sci.physics.relativity (SPR) UseNet forum.  On A&P people actually ask interesting questions.  And no one insults you if they do not like your answer.  They just frame the question in a different way and try again, like intelligent people normally do.  The same thing with the claims they post.  If they claim something that I believe is false, I'll post my understanding, usually along with some source, and then they'll respond by questioning whether my source really says what I'm claiming it says.  And we go from there.

And I keep getting "likes."  I started a thread about radar guns, and as of now it has 31 "likes."  And I get more "likes" on individual comments.  SPR had no way to post "likes," but I doubt anyone there would post any even if they had a way.

I keep wanting to write a comment here showing some of the questions and answers, but every time I start on it, I get a signal that someone has posted a message to me on that group.

There just aren't enough hours in a day!  And I'm supposed to be working on my new book!

July 1, 2021
- Groan!  I'm supposed to be working on my new book, but what am I doing?  I'm sitting here staring at my computer screen trying to think of something to write about in order to start a new month of comments.  While doing that I also checked the Astrophysics and Physics Facebook group to see what they are arguing about there.
I found an argument about the Doppler effect.  Someone was arguing that the Cosmological Doppler effect results from the fact the universe is expanding.  They claimed that, when stars get farther and farther apart, the light waves from the stars get farther and farther apart. 

I countered with this:

I think the key is that light consists of photons, not waves. You can fantasize about waves getting farther and farther apart, but when you talk about photons you are talking about something that remains unchanged from the time it is emitted until it hits something.
Wow!  That's an argument I'd may never have used before when discussing astronomy.  And it seems to have brought the discussion to a halt.  It says that the only way you will see the Doppler effect with light is if you, the observer, are moving away from the source of the light.  And it seems there may be hundreds of astronomy articles that say otherwise - because they discuss light as consisting of waves, not photons.

I've said the same thing in my papers, but never before in a discussion.     


© 2021 by Ed Lake