Archive for
December 2021

Comments for Sunday, December 26, 2021, thru Fri., Dec. 31, 2021:

December 30, 2021 - When I was changing clothes in the men's locker room at the gym on Tuesday, I overheard two guys talking, and one of them said to the other, "No, I'm not vaccinated against Covid-19.  If you get the vaccination, you can still get Covid-19, so what's the point in getting vaccinated?"

That's a view I've encountered many times in other areas.  If you aren't 100% certain, then you don't know.  All the "experts" are just guessing!  When you do not have 100% certainty, you are taking a risk.  If there is a 1 in a million chance that my child is going to get sick from getting a shot, then I'm not going to take that chance.  That belief is usually coupled with a second belief: If my child gets Covid-19, it's the fault of the stupid scientists who don't know how to stop the disease.  

I've been arguing with some mathematicians on the RDForum for the past few days.  You'd think that mathematicians would understand "playing the odds," but they also seem to believe what they want to believe.  The only difference between the guys on the RDForum versus the people on the sci.physics.relativity forum is that on the RDForum they tend to agree with each other, and they'll join together to argue with an outsider, while on the sci.physics.relativity forum they endlessly argue with each other, and an outsider is just someone new to disagree with.     

The RDForum, of course, is just discussions about radar guns, and they have a common interest: beating and avoiding speeding tickets.  On the sci.physics.relativity forum, the arguments are about science of all kinds, and their only common interest is that each one wants to prove that they are right and everyone else in the world is wrong.

I haven't argued on the sci.physics.relativity forum since mid-November, and I've decided to end my discussions on the RDForum.  I'm going to try to focus on the paper I've been writing.  I could make a New Year's Resolution to focus on my paper and stop arguing on forums, but the odds are that I'll break the resolution just because making the resolution would cause me to constantly think about it, instead of just thinking about the paper I'm writing.

On Christmas Day, my brother-in-law called me and we talked a bit about the papers I've worked on.  He wondered: How can I be so interested in Relativity and Time Dilation, things that most people never give a thought about?  The answer is: It involves a conflict that has been going on for over a hundred years!  That makes it a puzzle and a mystery. Solving puzzles is fun!  Solving mysteries is fun!  And it's even more fun if you are an analyst who loves digging into the causes of conflicts and problems.

Some day, though, I'll have done all I can do with ending the conflicts over Relativity.  Then what will be my next obsession?  Time will tell.

December 27, 2021
- Yesterday, I started a discussion on the RDForum about "The Einstein Radar Gun Experiment" I had just devised.  It was a discussion about this illustration of the experiment:
                          Einstein Radar Gun Experiment

The illustration was designed to demonstrate 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.”  It also clearly and undeniably shows that the version of Einstein's Second Postulate used in most college physics textbooks is WRONG.

The experiment involves two police cars with radar guns.  Car #1 is moving down the road at 60 miles per hour and Car #2 is parked at the side of the road. Standing at the side of the road ahead of them is Albert Einstein wearing a shiny badge and buckle.  When Car #1 is exactly side by side with Car #2, men in both cars fire their radar guns at Einstein.  Even though one car is moving and the other car is stationary, the photons from both guns travel at the speed of light, c, and they hit Einstein at c.

Einstein’s shiny badge and buckle send new photons back to the radar guns.  The new photons also travel at c back to the two cars and the radar guns.

The question then is: What speeds will the radar guns display?

We know what the results will be:  The radar gun in Car #2 will show no speed.  The radar gun in Car #1 will show a speed of 60 mph.

The next question then is:  What does the 60 mph speed represent?  Clearly it is NOT Einstein’s speed.  So, it can only be the speed of Car #1 and the radar gun in it.  The returning photons hit the gun in Car #2 at c, and they hit the gun in Car #1 at c+v, where v is the speed of Car #1.  That causes the gun in Car #1 to show a speed of 60 mph when the photons it emitted are compared to the returned photons.

To my surprise, no one on the RDForum had any serious disagreement with the experiment.  The forum is a place where people discuss ways to beat speeding tickets in court and/or ways to speed while avoiding getting a ticket in the first place by using radar detectors.  They are real experts on radar guns.

I thought about going back and revising my paper "Radar Guns and Einstein's Theories" to include this experiment, but the more I thought about it, the more it became clear that I need to put it in a totally new paper tentatively titled "Radar Guns and Special Relativity."  Everything I plan to write would be totally new, and there's no point in creating a version #11 of that previous paper.  The new paper would just focus on how radar guns can demonstrate and resolve century-long disputes over Einstein's Special Relativity and its Second Postulate. It also means I need to set aside the paper I was working on, "Waves of Photons, a.k.a. 'Radio'."  The newer paper is a thousand times more important.

December 26, 2021
- While eating breakfast this morning, I finished reading another library book on my Kindle.  The book was "How to Think Like Sherlock: Improve Your Powers of Observation, Memory and Deduction" by Daniel Smith.

How to think like Sherlock

I had started to read it many months ago, but at about half way through, for some reason I switched to reading another book.  Then, five days ago, I finished reading a totally different book and returned to reading this book.

While it's an interesting and enjoyable book, I only got two pages of notes out of it.  Mostly the book is about common sense and paying attention.  Here's one quote worth remembering:
Holmes even stated: ‘Nothing clears up a case so much as stating it to another person.’ If there were gaps in his thinking, talking over his deductions with Watson was a sure way to expose them.
I use that bit of reasoning nearly every day as I argue about science with people on various forums.  I state my understanding, and in the process of writing it down I think it through.  Then when it is challenged, I write down my response and think that response through thoroughly.  Every counter-argument causes me to see things from a different angle -- until the counter-arguments become repetitious and a waste of time.

Another quote:
To paraphrase our founder and inspiration David Kelley: ‘If you keep making the same mistakes again and again, you aren’t learning anything. If you keep making new and different mistakes, that means you are doing new things and learning new things.’
Been there, done that.

There's a lot in the book about how to improve your memory, how to detect if someone may be lying, etc.  It's also interesting that Sherlock Holmes was not a walking encyclopedia.  There were lots of things he knew nothing about.  One example mentioned in the book is astronomy.  But, if Sherlock had a reason to figure things out, he was very very good at doing that.

It was an enjoyable book.  Finishing it reminded me of the many other books in my Kindle that I never completed.  I've reached a point where I don't see any new books that are of great interest at the moment, so I might go back and continue reading some books I started long ago and never finished.

Comments for Sunday, December 19, 2021, thru Sat., Dec. 25, 2021:

December 24, 2021 - While running some errands this morning, I finished listening to CD #8 in the 8 CD audio book set for "The Life-Changing Science of Detecting Bullshit" by John V. Petrocelli.

Detecting Bulshit

Wow!  If I had read the Kindle version, I would have at least a hundred pages of notes from this 336 page book.  And, of course, there was no way to take notes while driving, so the following quote was found on page 36 in the "Look Inside" section that Amazon provides:
Sometimes it is easier to accept bullshit than to fight it. Preferring bullshit over the truth is especially likely to occur when the bullshit aligns with our views of the world or the way we want or hope things to be. We like what we like—and sometimes what we like doesn’t correspond with the truth or the available evidence. It is not uncommon for people to prefer to believe the bullshit that global warming is a hoax than to accept the facts that icebergs are melting, floods and droughts are increasing, the Amazon rain forest is disappearing, and dangerous methane gases are bubbling up from the ocean floor all because global temperatures are rising.
Here's a good quote from page 2 that I found elsewhere:
In February 2017, just two days before the 2017 NBA All-Star Game, superstar Kyrie Irving made some interesting claims in a podcast that ended up receiving more attention than the game. He stated:
This is not even a conspiracy theory. The Earth is flat. The Earth is flat. The Earth is flat.… What I’ve been taught is that the Earth is round. But if you really think about it from a landscape of the way we travel, the way we move and the fact that—can you really think of us rotating around the Sun and all planets aligned, rotating in specific dates, being perpendicular with what’s going on with these planets [finger quotation marks on planets]? Because everything that they send—or that they want to say they’re sending—doesn’t come back.… There is no concrete information except for the information that they’re giving us. They’re particularly putting you in the direction of what to believe and what not to believe. The truth is right there, you just got to go searching for it.
Kyrie isn’t the only one. When online surveyor YouGov conducted a survey asking over 8,000 US adults, “Do you believe that the Earth is round or flat?,” only 84% of respondents felt certain that the Earth is round. A total of 5% expressed doubts, 2% affirmed a flat Earth, and 7% weren’t sure.3 Even more, over 226,000 Facebook followers of the Flat Earth Society dispute the Earth’s curvature by promoting the false belief that the Earth is flat.
A "bullshitter" is defined as someone who has no concern for the truth, who just makes things up in order to win an argument and to appear intelligent and knowledgeable.  It's not the same as lying, since a lie is a deliberate falsehood.  For all the bullshitter knows, what he says could be true.  He just doesn't care one way or the other.  He's just trying to appear to be intelligent and someone you should listen to.

Donald Trump is mentioned as a constant bullshitter.  Here's a quote about Trump:
President Trump’s character-building and -assassination tactics are simple to employ because they are not based on genuine evidence. When Trump liked particular people, he promoted their character and said positive things about them with the very best of words. But when President Trump no longer liked these same people and fired them because they opposed his policies or methods, he had not-so-nice things to say about them.
And I was surprised to hear Deepak Chopra being mentioned as a bullshitter, nearly filling an entire chapter.  I don't recall much about Chopra, but he was certainly very famous years ago.  A couple quotes:
Deepak was trained in internal medicine and endocrinology, but claims to be an authority on “perfect health” and transcendental meditation. He gained popularity in 1993 after being interviewed about his self-help books on The Oprah Winfrey Show.
Deepak believes that a person can attain perfect health and become free from disease, pain, and aging. He speaks of the “quantum mechanical body” and how it is composed not of matter but of energy and information. Deepak believes that one’s state of mind can prevent chronic disease because “human aging is fluid and changeable; it can speed up, slow down, stop for a time, and even reverse itself.”
One excellent bullshit detector that the author appreciates is mentioned in this quote:
My ideal bullshit detector is Lieutenant Frank Columbo, played by Peter Falk in the 1970s television series Columbo. He was a homicide detective and famous for solving complicated “whodunit” murder mysteries by asking suspects “just one more question.” The last question would always be the one that cracked the case. If you analyze empirical research on critical-thinking skills, you will find many commonalities between the ideal critical thinker and Columbo.
I would recommend reading the book over listening to the audio book, since you can underline passages when you read a book (or copy and paste them to save them).  But I thoroughly enjoyed it, even though it sometimes seemed that the word "bullshit" was used at least ten times a minute.   

December 23, 2021
- Yesterday and this morning I received emails from two different people advising me of an interesting article on titled "People Got Sick at a Conspiracy Conference. They’re Sure It’s Anthrax."

Conspiracy conference?  Actually, it was some kind of "tour event" called "ReAwaken America."  Speakers on the tour included disgraced former national security adviser Michael Flynn, former Trump adviser Roger Stone, MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, and Eric Trump, the son of former President Donald Trump.  3,500 people attended when the tour event took place in Dallas, Texas, on  December 9, 10, and 11.

The poster below is from their Grand Rapids, Michigan, event in August:

ReAwaken America poster

During the Dallas conference, just over a dozen unvaccinated people spent a lot of time together in a "confined space," and they all developed symptoms associated with Covid-19: coughing, fever and shortness of breath.  Then, of course, since they are Right Wing conspiracy theorists, they created a theory that they were attacked with anthrax.  After all, the alternative would be to acknowledge that they made a stupid mistake when they didn't get vaccinated. 

And a lot of Right Wing leaders circulated the theory. According to an article on
Joe Oltmann, a far-right influencer with over 60,000 Telegram subscribers who spoke at the conference, wrote on his Telegram channel on Sunday that he was "sick with what could turn out to be an anthrax attack,"

David K. Clements, a far-right influencer with over 142,000 Telegram followers, wrote on his channel Monday that he spoke with Oltmann and that he, Jovan Hutton Pulitzer, and "a dozen other folks that were present in the green room" at the Dallas event were "suffering from symptoms related to an anthrax attack." Clements has shared anti-vaccine conspiracy theories and posts from supporters of QAnon, the far-right conspiracy theory movement.

Pulitzer is a right-wing radio show host and influencer who has propagated the baseless theory that the 2020 election was stolen from former President Trump.
Telegram channel?  It seems to be something like a podcast network.

It's interesting that they would jump to the conclusion that they were attacked with anthrax when their symptoms are so clearly identical to the symptoms of Covid-19, and virtually everyone in America knows what those symptoms are.  Later, some of them began to back away from their initial claims and acknowledged that it could be Covid.  Evidently there are some conspiracy theories that are just too ridiculous for even far-right conspiracy theorists to continue to support when they have absolutely no evidence and there is a mountain of evidence that says they are wrong. 
December 20, 2021
- While eating lunch this afternoon, I finished reading another book on my Kindle.  The book was "Anti-Science and the Assault on Democracy: Defending Reason in a Free Society" by various authors, edited by Michael J. Thompson and Gregory R. Smulewicz-Zucker:


While it was certainly an interesting book, it is also a collection of thirteen essays, all on the same general topic.  That makes parts of it somewhat repetitious.  Here's a quote from early in the book:
A contradiction resides deep in the heart of modern society. On the one hand, we inhabit a world increasingly dominated by science and technology, one where the progress of scientific knowledge and technical efficiency seems without end. On the other hand, there also exists a deep-seated opposition to scientific knowledge and to science itself as a form of knowledge. A trend has been gathering momentum in modern culture away from science as a means to think about human affairs and an approach to truth. Although technology and technological forms of rationality have transformed our world, hostility toward science as a method and as a way of comprehending the social and natural world has emerged as an obstacle to a more humane and more democratic society. From religiously motivated arguments against the teaching of evolution in public schools to the denial of climate change, new-ageist espousals of alternative medicine, the regular distortion or dismissal of social-scientific data, outlandish claims about the effects of vaccinations or the fluoridation of water, and widespread basic ignorance about concepts such as “theory” or “evidence,” anti-science viewpoints are becoming more and more manifest in our daily lives. This trend is one that we call here “anti-science,” and it is characterized by more than a skepticism of science as a body of knowledge about the natural world; it is also a hostility toward the very notion that objective truth claims can be defended. 
Another quote:
Hardly anyone will openly defend muddled thinking or disrespect for evidence. Rather, what people do is to surround these confused practices with a fog of verbiage designed to conceal from their listeners—and in most cases, I would imagine, from themselves as well—the true implications of their way of thinking.
Just a little under a decade ago, the internet was being hailed for its democratization of knowledge. Leftists readily rejoiced at the work of hackers seeking to foment chaos for the “lulz,” thinking this exemplified democracy in action. On the contrary, the internet has emerged as an excellent tool for feeding right-wing paranoia, developing its own world of truths, and serving as device for uniting people with fringe beliefs or recruiting people to Far-Right causes. The internet has cultivated a world where wildly popular right-wing provocateurs like Anne Coulter, Milo Yiannopoulos, and the psychologist Jordan Peterson, climate-change deniers, or the so-called “citizen journalists” of Breitbart News reign freely. Some engage in the dissemination of patently false information, while others, particularly Coulter and Yiannopoulos, simply revel in the pleasures of sophomorically thumbing their nose at authority by tossing around insults.
I've got sixteen pages of similar quotes.  Mostly they are long-winded ways of saying things I would like to see summarized.  While I can certainly recommend the book, I would only recommend it to someone who really wants to understand what a terrible mess we're in as a country and as a civilization due to irreconcilable political differences.  

The audio book I'm listening to while driving is basically about the same topic, but the quotes would be just a simple sentence or two.  I should be done with that one in a few days.

December 19, 2021
- Wow!  It's been an interesting few days since I last wrote a comment here.  It began when I listened to a couple Astronomy Cast podcasts.  The site is hosted by publisher Fraser Cain and astronomer Dr. Pamela Gay. As of this moment, their main web site only goes back to podcast #605.  The first podcast I listened to was #603, which can be found on an alternate web site.  I enjoyed the episode because they talk about photons with different oscillation frequencies, a subject which would drive mathematicians nuts.  But it was episode #606 which really grabbed my attention, so much so that I downloaded the transcript of the show and studied it.  The episode is about Time Dilation.  And it appears that Mr. Cain has an incorrect view of how time dilation works, while Dr. Gay has a correct view.  Here's part of their conversation:
Dr. Pamela Gay: Well, so we actually got to see this with the Kelly twins. And the reality is that the astronauts on the International Space Station are experiencing time ever so much slower. And the way you figure out who experiences the change in time is you look to see who experienced the force. And who experienced that acceleration that got them to that faster velocity.  So, in this case, you accelerate yourself up to the International Space Station and to a velocity that keeps you circling the planet instead of falling back. And time slows.

Fraser Cain:  Right. And in that sort of very slightly –

Dr. Pamela Gay: Yes.

Fraser Cain:  And it’s more complicated because of course the International Space Station and the twin who’s on the ground are in a gravity well. But let’s say you have the one who accelerates up to close to the speed of light. Flies for 10 years, and then returns. And then the twins meet up. So, what you’re saying is that it’s not the speed.

Dr. Pamela Gay: Yes.

Fraser CainIt’s the acceleration that you experience to get yourself up to that speed.

Dr. Pamela Gay: That determines who is the one who is experiencing the time change.

Fraser Cain:  Got it.

Dr. Pamela Gay It’s the velocity that you accelerate to that determines how much time slows down.

Fraser Cain: Right. And so, twin No. 1 is sitting on earth. Twin No. 2 gets in a spacecraft. They accelerate – and that’s the key – to close to the speed of light. Compared to the twin who’s just sitting on the planet.

Dr. Pamela Gay:  Yes.
There's more to the discussion, but it seems clear that Fraser Cain believes that it is acceleration that causes time dilation, and Dr. Gay keeps trying to get him to understand that acceleration only determines who is going fastest.  The person who accelerated is going faster than the person who did not accelerate.  And, "It’s the velocity that you accelerate to that determines how much time slows down."

Time goes slower for the person traveling faster.  And the way to determine who is going faster is to determine who accelerated to that higher speed.

But a lot of people, possibly including Fraser Cain, believe that "all motion is relative," which translates to "all motion is reciprocal."  So, if we are clearly moving at different speeds, I can claim I am traveling faster than you, and you can claim that you are traveling faster than me.  It is what I list as the #1 dumbest belief in physics.  Somehow, those who believe it also believe that acceleration just means acceleration, it doesn't mean that you go to a higher speed.  Evidently they believe that, once you stop accelerating, you are again in the "all motion is reciprocal" situation.  That makes absolutely no sense to me whatsoever.

Meanwhile, on the RDForum, I was arguing about a somewhat different subject.  Someone who calls himself "Token" evidently lives in the Mohave desert, and he uses a ham radio to pick up signals from the International Space Station (ISS) .  When the ISS is approaching him, the signals are "blue shifted," and when the ISS is moving away from him, the signals are "red shifted."  Of course, he's not "stationary."  He's on the spinning earth, so his motion could play a role. 

My problem is to explain how that is a very different situation from a moving radar gun and a stationary target.  Token insists it is the same thing. The biggest problem is that the people on that forum ask long, complicated questions and often ask a bunch of questions in one post.  And those posts would be over a page long if printed out.  It's the type of situation where I will have to do a very careful analysis in order to provide an explanation.

This morning I awoke realizing that the explanation could be the subject for an very interesting new paper, which I might title "Radio: Waves of Particles" or perhaps "Waves of Particles: a.k.a. Radio." 

Here's a video that "Token" created:

Token argues that this is proof that photons from moving radar guns will hit the ground at a higher frequency than if the gun was stationary.  My argument is that it proves no such thing, because radar guns measure the changes in photon frequencies, and he is measuring changes in the frequency of WAVES OF PHOTONS.  I think it is a situation similar to "The Pioneer Anomaly" which was first noticed in 1980, over 40 year ago. Years ago, while studying the Pioneer Anomaly, I created this image showing photons being emitted by a moving light bulb:

                      light bulb
The individual photons all oscillate at the same frequency in all directions, but the photons are closer together ahead of the moving light bulb and farther apart behind the moving light bulb because the photons travel at a fixed speed (the speed of light) but the light bulb moves as it emits the photons.  In Einstein's terms, the emitter moves to catch up with what was emitted.  

To fully explain Token's observations and the Pioneer Anomaly, I would need to create a new illustration showing how RADIOS work.  Radios transmit photons of a specific frequency, but those photons are emitted in bunches that also have a pattern or frequency. That pattern determines how the speakers on your radio vibrate.

I need to write it all down - maybe in the form of a new paper - to explain it in detail.  It is so simple and basic that I cannot understand why it hasn't been explained a thousand times before.  Or maybe I'm misunderstanding something.  So, I better do some heavy thinking before I write any more public comments about it. 

Comments for Sunday, December 12, 2021, thru Sat., Dec. 18, 2021:

December 15, 2021 - Groan!  I just realized that my paper "Relativity vs Quantum Mechanics Experiments" is also all about that radar-guns-in-a-truck experiment that I now know will not work.  So, I submitted a form to have it deleted from and I deleted it from  That still leaves me with 15 papers, but it also makes me want to spend time doing other things for awhile, like reading novels and listening to podcasts.  And I should write about other topics on this web site.  We learn from our mistakes, but the lesson is already learned, so there's no point in dwelling on it anymore.  

December 14, 2021
- The revised version of my paper "Simplifying Einstein's Thought Experiments" is now on-line.  I'm still debating with myself over whether or not to mention it and/or the new version of my paper "Radar Guns and Einstein's Theories" on the sci.physics.relativity discussion forum

Meanwhile, however, I did start a discussion about them on the RDForum yesterday.  The RDForum is run by people who want to avoid and beat speeding tickets, so they research radar guns and discuss ways to defeat them on the highway and beat them in court.

On Dec. 7, 2020, after I stopped posting to a thread on the RDForum that I had started on Sept. 26, 2020, "SquirrelMaster" wrote this:

I have been meaning to ask where you ended up with your research after all of this?
A year and 6 days later, I responded:
I just did a total overhaul of my paper "Radar Guns and Einstein's Theories." It's at this link:

I saw the "error of my ways" and overhauled the paper to explain why you cannot use a radar gun inside a moving truck to measure the speed of the truck. I took me only a YEAR to figure out that I was misinterpreting one of Einstein's thought experiments. If you get a chance to read the paper, let me know what you think of it.
My reply got three "likes," one of them from "SquirrelMaster." But then it also got a long tirade from "Deacon."  In that tirade, he asked a question:
Out of curiosity, how do you envision the “oscillation” of a single photon, and how does that single photon itself have any particular frequency?
I responded:
The paper on radar guns describes how a photon oscillates, with the magnetic field expanding while the electric field contracts, and then vice versa. Figure 2 and Figure 3 illustrate it. The paper also explains how the "wavelength" is from a fully expanded magnetic field to the next time the magnetic field fully expands. And if you know the wavelength you can compute the frequency, since photon frequency is just how many times the electric AND magnetic fields fully expand and contract in one second.
And as part of another long tirade, "Deacon" wrote:
Second, it’s not only unclear what you think “oscillating” actually means as it pertains to the concept of a photon but even more so why you think trying to untangle the concepts of light as a particle or a wave has any meaningful bearing on the topic in any way. It doesn’t, in fact, but you seem to beat that drum hard without ever clearly concluding what makes you think it matters, to the point that your entire conclusion is radar guns prove light is a photon and not a wave. They don’t. And it doesn’t matter either way, regardless.
It doesn't matter????  To that part of his comment, I responded:
That can only be because you are content with having mathematics that work either way. It may not make any difference to MATHEMATICIANS, but any SCIENTIST would want to know and understand EXACTLY how light works.
Your argument seems to be: "If ignorance is bliss, it is folly to be wise." That is ANTI-SCIENCE.
"Deacon" is now arguing that if my papers were any good, I should be able to get them peer reviewed and published in recognized science journals. I told them that I tried that, but they all charge you hundreds or thousands of dollars to publish a paper.  I'm not in a "publish or perish" situation, so I just put my papers on where they do not charge you, they appear for free, and everyone can read them.

That seems to be the end of that particular discussion.

December 13, 2021
- Around 4 p.m. yesterday afternoon, I submitted the revised version of my paper "Radar Guns and Einstein's Theories" to  Around 8:30 last night, they sent me an email advising me that the paper is now on-line as version vA.  Hmm.  I expected it to be version #10, but it seems they want version numbers to consist of just one character. So, when you get to 10, they switch to using the alphabet instead of numbers. 

I've never before created more than 6 versions of a paper.  Of my 15 other papers, 5 have 2 versions, 4 have just 1 version, 3 have three versions, 2 have 5 versions, and 1 has 6 versions.  Hopefully, version vA will be the final version of my Radar Guns and Einstein's Theories paper. 

On, I deleted the previous version and installed the new version.  They only show one version of a paper.

This morning I completed the changes to my paper "Simplifying Einstein's Thought Experiments" and submitted the new version to  It will probably appear later today as version #4.  It appears that my incorrect interpretation of Einstein's thought experiment where a light is turned on aboard a moving train began with that paper in the first version, which is dated May 14, 2018.  The first version of my Radar Guns paper is dated June 4, 2018.  I don't think that experiment is mentioned in any of my other 14 papers.  When I get the time, I'll examine all of them.

This morning, as I routinely examined the statistics for how many new readers there were for my papers, I found I had 5 new readers for the Radar Guns paper.  I don't know when did the count.  Was it after 8:30 last night?  It appears that those same 5 NEW people also read several of my other papers for the first time.  Is it just a coincidence, or were they somehow waiting for me to make those changes?  How could they be waiting for me to make the changes when they've never read ANY of my papers before?  All 5 have "Unique IP" numbers.  It's another one of Life's mysteries.

The next question for me is:  Should I mention the revised papers on the sci.physics.relativity and the Radar Detection and Counter-Measures (RDForum) forums?  

I decided to mention it on the RDForum, answering a question someone asked me just over a year ago.  When the Thought Experiments paper is on-line, I may mention both papers on the sci.physics.relativity forum.  It will definitely give them something to attack me about.  The overhauled papers almost certainly still contain countless things that mathematicians will rabidly disagree with.

December 12, 2021I've seen "the error of my ways"!  Hallelujah!  On Friday, I finally figured out what I was misunderstanding about Einstein's thought experiment where a light is turned on aboard a moving train.

Here's part of what I wrote on this web site on December 8:

No matter how I look at it, a moving truck is NOT an inertial system.  Nor is a moving train.
Einstein never called the moving train an "inertial system."  It was the mathematicians on the sci.physics.relativity forum who kept saying that.  Einstein just called it a "Co-ordinate system" or "C.S."  And here's how he and Leopold Infeld described co-ordinate systems on page 165 of their book "The Evolution of Physics":
          Suppose we have a C.S. such as a train, a ship or an aeroplane moving relative to our earth. Will the laws of mechanics be valid for these new C.S.? We know definitely that they are not always valid, as for instance in the case of a train turning a curve, a ship tossed in a storm or an aeroplane in a tail spin. Let us begin with a simple example. A C.S. moves uniformly, relative to our “ good” C.S., that is, one in which the laws of mechanics are valid. For instance, an ideal train or a ship sailing with delightful smoothness along a straight line and with a never-changing speed. We know from everyday experience that both systems will be “ good” , that physical experiments performed in a uniformly moving train or ship will give exactly the same results as on the earth. But, if the train stops, or accelerates abruptly, or if the sea is rough, strange things happen. In the train, the trunks fall off the luggage racks; on the ship, tables and chairs are thrown about and the passengers become seasick. From the physical point of view this simply means that the laws of mechanics cannot be applied to these C.S., that they are “ bad” C.S.
          This result can be expressed by the so-called Galilean relativity principle: if the laws of mechanics are valid in one C.S., then they are valid in any other C.S. moving uniformly relative to the first.
If you talk about an experiment performed inside a moving truck, it is no different from an experiment performed on a moving train.  As long as there are no sudden changes in speed or direction, the experiment is being performed in a co-ordinate system that does not have to be a "inertial system."

I'm nearing completion of a total overhaul of my paper "Radar Guns and Einstein's Theories."  For awhile, I was thinking of using this illustration of a man turning on a light aboard a moving train:

Revised Einstein-Infeld
                                        Thought Experiment

But instead, I just deleted all mention of that thought experiment entirely, since it does nothing but complicate matters.  According to Einstein and Infeld, w
hat the guy on the embankment sees is as follows:
In my system, the velocity of light is exactly the same as in that of the observer moving with the room. It does not matter to me whether or not the light source moves in my C.S. since its motion does not influence the velocity of light. What I see is a light signal travelling with a standard speed, the same in all directions. One of the walls is trying to escape from and the opposite wall to approach the light signal. Therefore, the escaping wall will be met by the signal a little later than the approaching one.
Einstein and Infeld then go on and on for page after page about how this experiment produces "a most astonishing result which flatly contradicts the apparently well-founded concepts of classical physics."  But, what it means to me is that a radar gun inside a moving truck cannot measure the speed of the truck, no matter how you modify the gun.

The guy on the embankment may see the rear wall of the train light up first, then the front wall, but it's just an illusion.  The light is turned on when both observers are at equal distances to the two walls.  The observer on the train remains at equal distances to the two walls.  But by the time the light actually hits the walls, the rear wall of the moving train car has moved closer to the observer on the embankment, so the reflected light has less distance to travel to reach that observer.  And the front wall has moved away, so the reflected light has a greater distance to travel to reach the observer.

There is no c+v or c-v involved, it's just a matter of changing distances.  And as Einstein and Infeld wrote:
Although the difference will be very slight if the velocity of the room is small compared with that of light, the light signal will nevertheless not meet these two opposite walls, which are perpendicular to the direction of the motion, quite simultaneously.
The difference is so slight that it would require atomic clocks to measure the difference in the arrival times for the light.  The illustration above might make that more clear if the front and rear walls of the train car were a few miles apart.

In my December 8 comment I wrote:
Einstein and Infeld then go on and on for page after page about how this experiment produces "a most astonishing result which flatly contradicts the apparently well-founded concepts of classical physics."  But they never answer the question: Who is right? 
The answer is: The observer on the train is right.  What the observer on the embankment would see is just an illusion.

So, I now agree with the mathematicians on how radar guns would work inside a moving truck, but we would probably still totally disagree on the explanation.  To me it is now perfectly logical.  To them, logic is irrelevant, only mathematics are relevant.  And they will almost certainly totally disagree with virtually everything else in the paper.

I also need to fix what I wrote about that same thought experiment in my paper on "Simplifying Einstein's Thought Experiments."  I'll use the new version of the illustration in that paper.   I'll start work on those revisions as soon as I finish revising "Radar Guns and Einstein's Theories" and upload it to  There's a possibility that I might be able to do that tomorrow or the next day.

Comments for Wednesday, December 1, 2021, thru Sat., Dec. 11, 2021:

December 8, 2021 - That "surge" in sales for my book "A Crime Unlike Any Other" seems to have come to an end.  Starting on November 30, I sold a whopping 5 copies in 4 days, and nothing since then.  And I still haven't sold a single copy of my sci-fi novel "Time Work."  Every day, Amazon provides me with an updated graph showing my book sales.  It's kind of difficult to see when shrunk down to fit in this space, but you can right click on it to view it full size.

Book sales as of
                                            December 8, 2021 

Meanwhile, of course, I'm still revising my paper "Radar Guns and Einstein's Theories."  It seems that most of my time is spent just sitting and staring at what I've written and trying to figure out what bothers me about it.  It seems that what bothers me is that I may disagree with Einstein about something.  Or I may totally agree with Einstein, but I just cannot explain to my own satisfaction the science behind the agreement.  The actual problem is: I cannot explain to my own satisfaction why the radar-guns-inside-a-truck experiment will not work.

No matter how I look at it, a moving truck is NOT an inertial system.  Nor is a moving train.  In Einstein's and Infeld's thought experiment from page 187 and 188 of their book The Evolution of Physics, when the person on the train turns on a light, he sees both walls light up at the same time, while a person standing on the stationary embankment next to the train sees the rear wall light up first, then the front wall.

Train v embankment thought
The explanation Einstein provides for what the guy on the train sees is as follows:
The light signal travelling from the centre of the room will reach the walls simultaneously, since all the walls are equally distant from the light source and the velocity of light is the same in all directions.
And what the guy on the embankment sees is as follows:
In my system, the velocity of light is exactly the same as in that of the observer moving with the room. It does not matter to me whether or not the light source moves in my C.S. since its motion does not influence the velocity of light. What I see is a light signal travelling with a standard speed, the same in all directions. One of the walls is trying to escape from and the opposite wall to approach the light signal. Therefore, the escaping wall will be met by the signal a little later than the approaching one.
Einstein and Infeld then go on and on for page after page about how this experiment produces "a most astonishing result which flatly contradicts the apparently well-founded concepts of classical physics."  But they never answer the question: Who is right?  Does the light actually hit both walls at the same time?  Or is that just an optical illusion resulting from the fact that the light hits the rear wall at c+v because that wall is moving toward the oncoming light, and then photons from the wall hit the eyes of the man on the train at c-v because the man is moving away from the oncoming light?

The standard answer seems to be that they are both right because the train in an inertial system, and light within an inertial system will travel at c in all directions and will hit the walls of the system at c. 

But a train is NOT an inertial system.  Nor is a truck.  Both require some propulsion to keep them moving.  And that means that light will hit the walls at c+v and c-v.  Unfortunately, the proof that a truck or railroad car is NOT an inertial system is the FACT that light will hit the walls at c+v and c-v

So, I'm right back where I started from.  Except that the answer might be in a different question: When a moving radar gun gets a speed reading of 50 mph when pointed at the ground ahead, is that the speed of the ground or the speed of the radar gun.  It's obviously the speed of the radar gun, but how do you prove that?

Or do I need to prove that a truck and train are NOT inertial systems?  If so, how do I do that?  

December 5, 2021
- Last week I had a brief surge in sales for my book "A Crime Unlike Any Other."  I sold a whopping 5 copies in 4 days.  The last time I sold more than 2 copies in a month was back in March.  Then as now, I can only wonder what caused the surge.  Is it because it's the 20th anniversary of the attacks?  But the anniversary would actually be in September and October.  The only explanation I can come up with is that somewhere, for some reason, there were people discussing the attacks.

Or, it could also be because my web site no longer exists.  I shut it down back in August.  Back in 2012, when I was looking for a publisher for the book, I was told that since all the information in the book was available on-line on my web site for free, there would be no reason for anyone to buy my book.  Now that the web site is gone, maybe there will be a surge in sales whenever a bunch of people discuss the anthrax attacks, since they can no longer just go to my web site for all the answers.  I certainly hope so. 

While thinking about that, I also wondered why I haven't sold a single copy of my sci-fi novel "Time Work."   Is it priced too high?  On November 21, I started a thread about the book on the science fiction Facebook group, and I thought that would generate some sales, since it was the first advertising I'd done for the book.  Nope.  Nothing.

That made me click on the Amazon link to books by Edward G. Lake.  The link doesn't show "Time Work" as one of my books.  I'm not sure why.

December 7 is coming up in a couple days.  It's the 80th anniversary of the Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor.  My novel "Clipper" is all about that period of time, and it's based on a true story.  I also notice that the Kindle edition (the only edition there is) sells for $2.99.  That made me decide to reduce the price for the Kindle version of "Time Work" from $4.99 to $2.99.  I did that yesterday morning.  (If you're not selling any copies at $4.99, you definitely do not make more money at that price than at $2.99.)  It took just a couple hours for the price change to go into effect.  Will it make a difference?  Time will tell.

Meanwhile, I'm still revising my paper "Radar Guns and Einstein's Theories," more or less merging it with the paper I deleted, "Relativity and Radar Guns."  I don't expect to be done before the end of the year, even though I'm spending four or five hours on it every day.

December 1, 2021
- Hmm.  As I was revising my paper "Radar Guns and Einstein's Theories," I decided it might simplify things if I first explained how radar guns work, and then related that explanation to Einstein's theories, instead of first digging into Einstein's theories as the paper in now organized.  When I started doing that, the first thing I noticed was a comment I had written about "the Compton Effect."  Version #9 of the paper says this on page 6:
The 2-inch cone of photons will spread to about 75 feet in diameter by the time it hits a moving target if it is about 500 feet away. Only a tiny fraction of those photons will actually hit a smooth surface on the target vehicle, like its front bumper. Most will hit other parts of the car plus the ground, trees, parked cars, telephone poles and other stationary objects. As a result of the Compton Effect,[13][14] the atoms in all those objects will emit and scatter new photons in many directions, and only a very tiny fraction of those new photons will actually get back to the 2-inch receiver on the radar gun. The additional returned photons verify what could theoretically have been measured by a single photon.
In other words, the Compton Effect is the main operating principle of radar guns, although Einstein's Relativity also plays a key role.

References 13 and 14 are:
Here's part of what it says at the Wikipedia link:
Compton scattering, discovered by Arthur Holly Compton, is the scattering of a photon after an interaction with a charged particle, usually an electron. If it results in a decrease in energy (increase in wavelength) of the photon (which may be an X-ray or gamma ray photon), it is called the Compton effect. Part of the energy of the photon is transferred to the recoiling electron. Inverse Compton scattering occurs when a charged particle transfers part of its energy to a photon.
The Georgia State University (GSU) link is filled with  mathematics, but it is all about a photon transferring its energy to an electron.  Here's one quote:
Conservation of energy then tells us that the electron energy after the collision is 9.999744 GeV. So essentially all of the energy of the photon is transferred to the electron.
Both references are about PHOTONS hitting electrons and transferring the photon's energy to the electron.  The Wiki article then says the charged particle "transfers part of its energy to a photon."  It also says,
The effect is significant because it demonstrates that light cannot be explained purely as a wave phenomenon
Compton's experiment convinced physicists that light can be treated as a stream of particle-like objects (quanta called photons), whose energy is proportional to the light wave's frequency.
I've downloaded about a dozen articles on the subject of the "Compton Effect," including some that mention radar guns and radar astronomy.  I'll have to study them to see what they have to say that relates to how radar guns work.  Here's a key point from a paper titled "Compton Effect" by Dr. Shilpi Banerjee, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Physics,G. B. M. College, Gaya Magadh University:
The difference between wavelengths of initial photon and scattered photon is known as Compton Shift.
That's a term I definitely need to use in my paper.

Everything I've read so far more or less confirms what I've been saying, but I really should explain more about the "Compton Effect," and I would really like to find some authoritative quotes that I can use in my paper.


© 2021 by Ed Lake