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If you want my opinion ......
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Click HERE to go to my web site about the anthrax attacks of 2001.
Click HERE to go to my interactive blog where the anthrax attacks of 2001 are discussed.
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My interests are writing, books, movies, science, psychology, conspiracy theorists,
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hotography, photographic analysis, TV, travel, mysteries, jazz, blues, and ...

just trying to figure things out.


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A major interest: Fact Finding
                                  I have a fascination with Time and Time Dilation.                                Another interest: Movies Click on the above image to view a larger version.

My Latest Comments


Comments for Sunday, November 11, 2018, thru Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018:

November 13, 2018 - Yesterday, I finished reading an extremely interesting book titled "How The Right Lost Its Mind," by Charles J. Sykes: 

How the Right Lost Its Mind

I wasn't expecting to finish it until later this week, but it ended when my Kindle showed that I was 66% done.  The rest of the book is references and indexes. 

When I accessed the "My Clippings" files in the Kindle and copied all the passages I had underlined into a WORD file, the file was 31 pages long.

The author of the book, Charles Sykes, is a conservative and once had a right wing radio talk show in Milwaukee.  But he is also very anti-Trump.  So, his book has a lot of details about why he disagrees with all the "conservatives" who support Trump.  It's fascinating stuff, since I had no idea there were so many conservative radio talk shows, conservative web sites, conservative pod-casts, and other conservative media outlets out there.  I'd heard of Rush Limbaugh and Alex Jones, of course, but it's been many years since I looked at anything on the Drudge Report.  Yet, the book says,
If you want to understand the nature of the Right’s alternative reality, or its vulnerability to “fake news,” you need to start with Jones and Drudge. The Drudge Report consistently ranks as one of the top five media publishers in the country, often drawing more than a billion page views a month.  Media critic John Ziegler describes Matt Drudge as effectively the “assignment editor” for much of talk radio, many right-leaning websites, and a significant portion of the Fox News channel. “If Drudge wants a certain narrative to gain traction in conservative circles, he has more power to make that happen than anyone else,” he writes. The gravitational pull of the Drudge Report is so powerful, Ziegler notes, “that when it becomes clear what narrative Matt is favoring, a literal ‘market’ is created for stories which fit that storyline so that they might be linked on the Drudge Report.” Conservative media types were also reluctant to cross Drudge. “If … you can’t get your content linked on Drudge,” explains Ziegler, “or appear on Fox News, your career is, at best, stunted and, at worst, over.”
The book also describes Trumps many battles with conservatives: 
Charles Krauthammer was a dummy/loser/clown; George Will was “dopey”; Bill Kristol had “lost all respect”; Rich Lowry was the “worst”; and so on. Trump’s targets were unusual because they were not politicians or officeholders. But all of them were heirs to the conservative intellectual tradition and a culture that had once placed a value on thoughtfulness, experience, intelligence, and a coherent philosophy of man and his relationship to the state. What we were seeing was, in effect, a repudiation of the conservative mind.            
But gradually, the extremists took over the conservative agenda.  It became "us against them" and a form of tribalism.  Conservatives weren't "pro-Trump," they were anti-anti-Trump.  They were against those who were against Trump.  Another quote from the book:
The New York Times’s James Poniewozik notes that politics today” is attitudinal, not ideological. The reason to be for someone is who is against them. What matters more than policy is your side’s winning, and what matters more than your side’s winning is the other side’s losing.”
Another:
As the Right doubles down on anti-anti-Trumpism it will find itself goaded into defending and rationalizing ever more outrageous conduct, just as long as it annoys the Left.
There is probably no better example of that than the Christian Right supporting Trump, a known adulterer and moral scumbag.  Pat Robertson is a prime example.  However, the book also says:
There were powerful voices from within the church opposing Trump, including the magazine Christianity Today, which published a scathing editorial comparing support for Trump to “idolatry.” He has given no evidence of humility or dependence on others, let alone on God his Maker and Judge. He wantonly celebrates strongmen and takes every opportunity to humiliate and demean the vulnerable. He shows no curiosity or capacity to learn. He is, in short, the very embodiment of what the Bible calls a fool.  
I could go on and on.  Tribalism is the one aspect of pro-Trump voters that I'm most familiar with.  I have relatives who voted for Trump because their neighbors voted for Trump.  And when their neighbors changed their minds and no longer supported Trump, my relatives went along with that, too.  It seemed to have nothing to do with policies and right or wrong, it was just about supporting your tribe.  Us against them.  They seemed to have no idea why it was "us against them," they just wanted to remain part of "us."

November 12, 2018
- This morning, someone sent me an email mentioning an essay article by Isaac Asimov titled "A Cult of Ignorance."  A little research finds that it is from the January 21, 1980 issue of Newsweek.  Here's what seems to be the most frequently quoted passage from the essay:
There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way throughout political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."
That passage I highlighted in red should have been Trump's motto.  It seems to be what he constantly argues. 

Asimov's essay is primarily a lament over the lack of reading skills exhibited by the American public (and probably by the general public everywhere).  It caused me to turn around in my chair once again to look at the bookshelves behind me.  I recalled and found a book from 1980 titled "The Right Brain" by Thomas R. Blakeslee.  I have a hardcover copy that contains underlined and circled passages on about half the pages.  Here's a key passage from page 6 about some "split-brain experiments" done in the 1960s:
They found that each half of the brain has its own separate train of conscious thought and its own memories.  Even more important, they found that the two sides of the brain think in fundamentally different ways: While the left brain tends to think in words, the right brain thinks directly in sensory images. 

The two halves of the brain thus have a kind of partnership in which the left brain handles language and logical thinking, while the right brain does things that are difficult to put into words.  By thinking images instead of words, the right brain can recognize a face in a crowd or put together the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, which would totally baffle the left brain.
Ah!  That probably fits very well with the concept of "Thinking, Fast and Slow," where "thinking fast" means you see something that signifies danger and you automatically run away from it, or you see something that signifies pleasure, and your mouth starts to water.  "Thinking slow" means you see or hear something that seems strange or illogical, and you try to make sense of it.

One of the things that seems totally illogical is that anyone would believe anything Donald Trump says.  He's a conspiracy theorist who does not like to read and who evidently cannot think logically.  He clearly believes that any facts you can cite to support a finding he disagrees with can be directly challenged by "alternative facts" that he can simply dream up.  His ignorance is just as good as any knowledge you may have obtained by reading and doing research.

I could probably go on and on, but I want to get back to reading "How The Right Lost Its Mind."  

Meanwhile, this morning I received another email (#30) from one of the companies that sells my books.  The subject of the email is one I've seen a half dozen times before:
You have a NEW order awaiting your confirmation
And, of course, I need to sign into my account in order to respond to their email.  But, I cannot establish an account with them without first providing two phone numbers, one of which must be a mobile phone with the capability to run apps and to scan barcodes on products.  And doing that will allow them to bill me $99 per year for the privilege of having an account with them.  So, I'm just going to continue to ignore their emails.

November 11, 2018
- This is another one of those Sunday mornings when I'm supposed to write a comment for this web site, but I have absolutely nothing prepared.  I tried to start working on today's comment yesterday afternoon, but I just stared at the computer screen and wrote nothing. I wanted to write something about science, but I'm stuck on the problem that no one seems to know what a photon looks like or how it works.  To me that seems like an interesting problem that definitely needs to be solved, but to everyone else it seems to be an accepted situation.

I looked up "What is a Photon?" via Google Scholar and found lots of articles addressing that question, but most seemed to argue aspects of the question that are of no interest to me.  However, I also found a half dozen articles all in one place that seem to address the question logically.  One article begins with this:
Light is an obvious feature of everyday life, and yet light’s true nature has eluded us for centuries. Near the end of his life Albert Einstein wrote, “All the fifty years of conscious brooding have brought me no closer to the answer to the question: What are light quanta? Of course today every rascal thinks he knows the answer, but he is deluding himself.” We are today in the same state of “learned ignorance” with respect to light as was Einstein.
And it ends with this:  
To my mind, Einstein was right to caution us concerning light. Our understanding of it has increased enormously in the 100 years since Planck, but I suspect light will continue to confound us, while simultaneously luring us to inquire ceaselessly into its nature.
Another article seems to indicate that the problem was solved by accepting that photons seemingly have conflicting properties:
The conflicting views of the particle or wave essence of light were reconciled by the establishment of the quantum theory, with its introduction of the idea that all excitations simultaneously have both particle-like and wave-like properties.
Another article begins with this:
From the point of view of experience, “What is a photon?” is not the best first question. We never experience a photon as it “is.” For example, we never see a photon in the sense that we see an apple, by scattering diffuse light off it and forming an image of it on our retina. What we experience is what photons do. A better first question is “What do photons do?” After we answer this we can define what photons are, if we still wish to, by what they do.
But the article never gets around to actually defining what photons are.  That is probably because what photons do seems inconsistent.  I'm still stuck on conceptualizing how a microwave oven works.  How can a microwave photon be absorbed and then re-emitted by a single atom in the metal wall of the oven and yet be stopped by a screen that covers the window in the door of the oven.  The openings in the screen are far larger than individual atoms.  I do not think it is "illogical," I think there is something I do not yet understand that would make it "logical." 

Then I gave up and went into the living room to read a book on my Kindle.  I had temporarily given up on reading "Age of Anger" when I was only 10% completed, since it seemed to ramble and never get to the point.  I switched over to reading "How The Right Lost Its Mind."  I'm about 33% done with that book, slowed a bit by all the underlining I've been doing.  It's a terrific book, even though I think the author may have been viewing things from not quite the correct angle.  But he does make a good point when he shows that American politics has been going crazy for a long time.

And it makes the point that social media is making things worse.  No matter how idiotic your beliefs may be, there is someone out there who will agree with you and cite made-up "facts" to confirm it.  But, I'll go more into what is said in "How the Right Lost Its Mind" when I finish reading it.
 
All I need to do to confirm that things are becoming more and more complicated and confused is turn around in my chair and look at the bookshelves behind me.  One of the books on the shelves is "The Closing of the American Mind," by Allan Bloom, published in 1987.  My copy of the book has underlined and circled passages on about half the pages, often many of them on a single page.

Strangely, the book seems to argue that "the closing of the American mind" means that people (particularly college students) believe that "truth is relative."  It says on page 25,
The relativity of truth is not a theoretical insight but a moral postulate, the condition of a free society, or so they see it.    
And on page 26 it says,
The study of history and of culture teaches that all the world was mad in the past; men always thought they were right, and that led to wars, persecutions, slavery, xenophobia, racism, and chauvinism. The point is not to correct the mistakes and really be right; rather it is not to think you are right at all.
So, many students have supposedly closed their minds to the idea that anyone is more correct than anyone else.  That may be well and good when talking about tastes in food and music, but science isn't about opinions, it is about facts.  It isn't just a matter of opinion that the earth is a spinning globe moving through space in an orbit around the sun.  Solid scientific facts can demonstrate it. The Flat Earthers do not argue that it is just a matter of opinion, they argue that the earth is flat and that their facts confirm that.  But, their "facts" are not facts.  Simple experiments will show that their "facts" are really just mistaken beliefs.    

What the book "How the Right Lost Its Mind" explains in detail is how in today's Internet-powered world you can find support for virtually any screwball belief you can dream up, particularly if the belief is a challenge to authority.  Trump's argument that Barack Obama was a Muslim burn in Kenya is still accepted by many people.  Obama's birth certificate is simply dismissed as a forgery.  If you argue with the True Believers who hold that theory, they will just smile at you and chuckle over how dumb you are to believe a forged document.  They have "alternative facts" (i.e., unsubstantiated claims) to counter any facts you may have.

It all brings me back to the problem of people thinking emotionally instead of logically.  Many people believe the "facts" they like and that support what they believe, making them feel superior to the non-believers.  Instead of looking for correct answers, they are mindlessly competitive.

I am sometimes just amazed that we aren't killing each other more often than we are.  I'm seeing articles suggesting that we might be headed for another Civil War, but other articles show that today is very different from the 1850s.

It all reminds me of the curse the Chinese supposedly sometimes use: "May you live in interesting times."


Comments for Thursday, November 4, 2018, thru Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018:

November 8, 2018 - While staring at my computer screen this morning, trying to decide what I should work on or research, I decided to play another audio book, this time on my computer, instead of on my MP3 player or via CDs.  I listened to "The Pythons," an autobiography by the Pythons, i.e., Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin. 

The Pythons

There are evidently different versions of the audio book.  The version I obtained from my local library and listened to was the "abridged" version.  It was just 2 hours and 31 minutes long (the main reason I chose to listen to it).  That was plenty long enough, since it seems the Pythons were in different locations during the recording.  John Cleese seemed to be in a gymnasium somewhere, since his voice echoed whenever he spoke.  And others seemed to be in an office or at home, since they were occasionally interrupted by a ringing telephone.  The first hour was just okay, with a lot of details of the early lives of Chapman, Cleese, Gilliam, Idle, Jones and Palin.  (Graham Chapman died in 1989, so his brother was at the recording.)  Then the Pythons got together and the audio book got a lot more interesting as they talked about their skits and the initial reactions from audiences.  I had to hunt down one of their skits on YouTube, since I didn't remember a skit where sheep were learning to fly (some would call it "plummet.")

   
All in all it was a better way to spend the morning than just staring at a computer screen trying to decide what to write about.

November 7, 2018 (C)
- At 11:35 a.m. this morning, I finished listening to the 5-part (5 hour, 12 minute) MP3 audio book version of "
The Great Gasbag: An A-to-Z Study Guide to Surviving Trump World" by Joy Behar.

The Great Gasbag 

I think it's the first time I've listened to an entire audio book on my MP3 player in years.  While it was a very enjoyable book, and extremely funny in parts, it also reminded me of why I stopped listening to audio books on my MP3 player.  I constantly feel I should be doing other things.  I love listening to audio books on my CD player while driving from place to place in my car, but listening to audio books while laying on my couch just makes me feel I should be reading the book on my Kindle instead.  That way I could highlight passages.  There were lots and lots of hilarious "one liners" in Behar's book that I would have liked to underline and save.  But the best I can do now is show some alternative titles Behar considered for her book.  I can copy them from the "Look inside" view on Amazon:
Moby Dickhead
Con with the Wind
Pride and Very Prejudiced
Catcher in the Lie
Not Such Great Expectations
The Age of Ignorance
Gullible's Travels
A Farewell to the Constitution
The Son-in-Law Also Rises
War and Hairpiece
The book goes through the alphabet A-Z with Behar making jokes that are often very serious jokes.  Example:
A is for Alternative Facts.  Alternative facts is an oxymoron, like diet soda, deafening silence, and Donald Trump.
That one also stuck in my mind because I should have mentioned the term "alternative facts" when discussing arguments some physicists have against the endless experiments which show their beliefs are nonsense.  It explains why they refuse to listen to facts.  They see it just as a trick, nonsense others use to claim something can proved to be true when they know it cannot possibly be true. 

It was a very enjoyable book, but while listening to "The Great Gasbag" I kept thinking I should be working on a book or a scientific paper. That's why I stopped listening to audio books on my MP3 player while exercising on the treadmill and on the exercycle at the gym.  That time is better spent thinking about what I'll write about in some book or paper.  


November 7, 2018 (B)
- I don't really have much to say about yesterday's elections.  My state got rid of Scott Walker, but we replaced Paul Ryan with another Republican instead of the guy with the mustache and a police record of 9 arrests.  Elections do not always present clear choices. 

November 7, 2018 (A)
- This morning there was another email in my inbox from one of the companies that sells my books.  It is email #28.  It says in part,
NEW orders recently sent to your company are waiting for your confirmation

In the future, please confirm your orders within 24 hours of notification. Orders which are not confirmed within 5 days will be closed.
And then it explains how I have to log into my account on their web site to confirm the order, and, of course, doing that requires that I supply them with two telephone numbers, one of which must be a cell phone with the capability of scanning barcodes and running apps.  So, I'm just going to ignore the email and wait to see what happens.

November 6, 2018
- It's election day!  At last!  That means, after today I won't be seeing attack ad after attack ad whenever I turn on the TV.  Plus, I'll find out if my local Congressman Paul Ryan is to be replaced by another Trump-supporting Republican or by a guy with a mustache who has been arrested 9 times.  That's one of the choices to be made on today's ballot at my voting place.   

I can't even think about science.  Yesterday, instead of working on a book or a scientific paper, I decided I should just lay around and listen to an audio book on my MP3 player.  But then I spent hours in front of my computer trying to decide which audio book to listen to, ending up listening to bits and pieces of maybe a dozen different books.  I have a few audio books about Trump, all of which seem interesting:

The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump
Hacks
Unbelievable, by Katy Tur
Trump Revealed

The most interesting is probably "The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President."  But, "Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns That Put Donald Trump in the White House" also looks very interesting.  On the other hand, Katy Tur's book "Unbelievable: My Front-Row Seat to the Craziest Campaign in American History" is supposed to be a short read and very enjoyable.  Lastly, "Trump Revealed: The Definitive Biography of the 45th President" was written shortly before Trump was elected President, and it got terrific reviews.  But, some days I think I know all I want to know about Donald Trump.  And "Trump Revealed" consists of 17 CDs, which means it will take me about a month to listen to it as I drive around in my car and listen to CDs for about a half hour per day.

But, when I get into my car to drive to the gym and drive to my voting place this afternoon, I'll be listening to CD #2 of a 14 CD set for a science/history book.  And after that I'll probably listen to a short book by some comedian before getting into one of the Trump books I mentioned above.  One book in particular looks right: "The Great Gasbag: An A-to-Z Study Guide to Surviving Trump World" by Joy Behar.

Hmm.  I just sampled bits of a couple chapters from that audio book and those bits were hysterical.  So, I'm going to end this part of today's comment, and I'm going to go lay down on my couch and I'm going to start listening to it on my MP3 player.

After listening to it during lunch, I took it with me to the voting place, just in case the line was super long.  It wasn't.  There were about 20 people ahead of me in line, and the wait was about 25 minutes, partly because three others who were too ill to stand in line were allowed to go ahead of everyone else. 

There was also an interesting mystery.  There were two lines, one for people with last names beginning with A through L, and the other for M through Z.  There were 20 people ahead of me in the A-L line when I arrived, and no one in the M-Z line.  While I was waiting in line, approximately another 20 people arrived, about 17 got into the line behind me, but only three went directly to the M-Z table, not having to wait at all.  A man about 10 places ahead of me in my line thought that was amazing.  I did, too.  I couldn't even begin to explain it.

I listened to "The Great Gasbag" at the gym, while on the treadmill for 30 minutes and while on the exercycle for 20 minutes.  And, I'm going to listen some more as soon as I finish typing this.

November 5, 2018
- There was another email in my inbox this morning from the robots at one of the companies that sell my books.  It's email #27 in the string that began on October 15.  The subject of the email is "You have a NEW order awaiting your confirmation."  It's undoubtedly a new order for books, but they do not say which books. (The only book it could possibly be is "Analyzing the Anthrax Attacks," which hasn't sold a single copy in years.)  The email says, in part,
We require you to confirm your orders in 24 hours. Please confirm the number of copies you will be able to ship and the estimated delivery date.
Of course, in order to do that I have to sign in and give them two phone numbers, including one phone number for a cell phone with the capability to scan barcodes on items and the capability to run apps.  My cell phone doesn't seem to have that capability, and I wouldn't give them the number even if it had, because it would obligate me to pay them $99 per year for joining their sales program.  They have no phone number for me to call, and no email address to respond to.  I have to go to their web site and sign in.  But before I can sign in, I have to join their program, give them two phone numbers, and pay $99.  And then I can fill in boxes with my response.

Their previous email, sent 5 days ago, said:
Orders which are not confirmed within 5 days will be closed.
I didn't confirm that order, and they evidently closed it and opened an new order for the same thing.  Does this mean I'll be receiving emails from them every 5 days for the rest of my life?  Time will tell. 

November 4, 2018
- Yesterday morning while eating breakfast, I finished reading Bob Woodward's "Fear: Trump in the White House" on my
Kindle, and shortly afterward I wrote a comment about it for this web site.  Then, it was lunch time, and after I sat down to eat, I turned on my Kindle and saw it was still in the Acknowledgments section of "Fear."  I hadn't yet decided what book to read next.  So, rather than thinking about it, I just picked the most recent book I had borrowed from my local library: "Unhinged: An Insider's Account of the Trump White House," by Omarosa Manigault Newman. 

It started out great, with a detailed description of the scary way Newman was informed that Trump had just fired her.  But, when lunch was over, I wondered if I really wanted to read another book about Donald Trump.  And, if I did, why not read "Collusion" by Luke Harding?  It was also in my Kindle, and it looked more interesting.  But the same was true for a book that really made me curious, "How the Right Lost Its Mind" by Charles J. Sykes.  It appeared to be about the thought processes of the people who voted Trump into office.  I'm still stunned that anyone in their right mind would vote for Trump.  But, also in my Kindle awaiting me to have time to read it was  "Age of Anger" by Pankaj Mishra.  While a search through that book shows it uses the name "Trump" 14 times, it seems to look at the social phenomenon that elected Trump from a much broader historical perspective, and it has been truly highly praised by book reviewers.

Unhinged by Omarosa Harding Collusion by Luke Harding
How the right lost its mind by
                                Charles Sykes Age of Anger

I think there are probably a couple dozen other books about Trump in bookstores these days, including a few that praise him.  In theory, if I really wanted to know how anyone can think positively about Trump, I should read some of the books that praise him.  But, I don't have the stomach for that.  Most of them are written by Fox News reporters and hosts, some others by extreme right wing radio personalities.   I would be interested in what facts they might have, but facts are what they do not have.  What they have are opinions and beliefs.  They seem to view facts as tricks.  If you cite facts, you are trying to trick them into changing their mind about something they are absolutely certain is correct.

So, I am once again back on the subject of people who think logically versus people who think emotionally.  It's something that first came to my attention in May of 2015 when I read a book titled "Thinking, Fast and Slow," by Daniel Kahneman.  And it really stuck with me.  I see it everywhere.  I even see it when I discuss science.  Some people who claim to be physicists seem to think that experiments are tricks.  They claim all experiments prove their beliefs are correct.  When you challenge that and quote what the experiments actually proved, they argue that experiments do not really prove anything.  They claim that what experiments show could be or is just an illusion.  After all, you cannot prove it is not an illusion.  (You cannot prove the negative.)

Of course, you cannot simply divide people into two groups: those who think "fast" and those who think "slow."  Everyone does both, just in different amounts.  "Thinking slow" is figuring things out, putting the pieces together and thinking logically.  "Thinking fast" is reacting without much thinking.  It is reacting to emotions: mostly fear and anger, but also greed and lust. 

I did a bit of "thinking fast" about a week ago in the parking lot of the shopping center where my gym is located.  I was walking across one of the curved driveways toward the entrance to my gym and I heard someone gunning his car engine.  Then some guy in a Volkswagen came barreling toward me at about 50 miles per hour, engine roaring.  I was about half way across the driveway.  Seeing that I was in danger, I reacted without thinking and started to run to get out of his way.  But, instead of steering to pass behind me, the idiot steered to pass in front of me.  So, I was running toward where he was driving.  Again, seeing I was in danger and reacting almost without thinking, I stopped in my tracks.  And the guy passed in front of me, passing a good five or six feet away but clipping a curved curb with his left rear tire and knocking some concrete chips off of it.  Then, without stopping he roared on out of the parking lot.  I imagine he was cursing the "idiot" who almost ran in front of his car.

Here's the setting, with the dotted white line being my route from my car to the gym door and the dashed white line being the the route of the Volkswagen:

shopping center and site of near
                          accident

That experience involved two examples of "thinking fast."  I was reacting to fear. My brain simply told me to get out of the way.  And when I seemed to be headed into greater danger, my brain told me to stop.  "Thinking slow" is thinking logically, figuring out the correct and best way to do things.  There was no time for that.  And if I had the time, I probably would have done things the same way.

What was the guy in the car thinking?  He couldn't have been thinking logically, or he wouldn't have been gunning his engine and barrelling through a shopping center parking lot at 50 mph or more.  He had to have been thinking emotionally, probably angry at something and expressing his anger by gunning his engine to make everyone realize he was around and everyone should get out of his way.  

While sitting down to eat breakfast this morning, thinking logically, I decided to stop reading "Unhinged" and to start reading "Age of Anger."    
 


Comments for Thursday, November 1, 2018, thru Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018:

November 3, 2018 - While eating breakfast this morning I was surprised to discover that I had just finished reading another book on my Kindle.  The book was "Fear: Trump in the White House" by Bob Woodward.

Fear by Bob Woodward

I was surprised because, when reading a book on a Kindle, there is no good way to tell how close you are to the end of the book.  The Kindle doesn't show page numbers, and it only shows what percentage of the book you have completed.  Most non-fiction books end at about the 80% point, and the last 20% of the book is references, notes, acknowledgments, the index, etc.  That was what I was expecting for "Fear."  However, the text for "Fear" ended at the 65% point.  Then there was about 5% that was just pictures of the different people mentioned in the book, before getting into acknowledgments, notes, etc. 

I was also relieved to have finished it.  It wasn't a particularly enjoyable read.  There are just too many characters to keep track of.  However, I have about 8 pages of underlined (and thereby saved) passages from the book.  Here's one:
Trump gave some private advice to a friend who had acknowledged some bad behavior toward women. Real power is fear. It’s all about strength. Never show weakness. You’ve always got to be strong. Don’t be bullied. There is no choice. “You’ve got to deny, deny, deny and push back on these women,” he said. “If you admit to anything and any culpability, then you’re dead. That was a big mistake you made. You didn’t come out guns blazing and just challenge them. You showed weakness. You’ve got to be strong. You’ve got to be aggressive. You’ve got to push back hard. You’ve got to deny anything that’s said about you. Never admit.”
Trump seems to use that procedure whenever he is accused of anything, which sometimes seems to be about 50 times per day.  If I do a search through the book on Amazon, looking for the word "culpability,"  I find that word is only used twice in the book, and the passage I quoted above appears on page 175.  Here's another passage from page 205 I saved because it shows Trump's methodology:
Priebus, Porter and others continued to try to persuade Trump to curtail his use of Twitter. “This is my megaphone,” Trump replied. “This is the way that I speak directly to the people without any filter. Cut through the noise. Cut through the fake news. That’s the only way I have to communicate. I have tens of millions of followers. This is bigger than cable news. I go out and give a speech and it’s covered by CNN and nobody’s watching, nobody cares. I tweet something and it’s my megaphone to the world.
Here's a disturbing quote from page 288:
Trump was always asking everyone their opinions of everyone else, seeking a report card. It was corrosive and could become self-fulfilling — undermining and eating at the reputations and status of anyone and everyone.
It wasn't an enjoyable book, by any measure.  It was a tedious read, because there wasn't much in the book that was surprising to me.  It shows Trump to be an incompetent sleazebag.  I already knew that.  But it did confirm that Trump does not think logically, he thinks emotionally.  He is driven by emotions, and any attempt to use logic on him it viewed by him as trickery and game playing.  It makes me wonder if there isn't some kind of test we should be giving politicians to determine if they understand logic.  If they do not understand logic, how can they negotiate anything?  All they can do is what Trump advocates: threaten them and attack them until they concede.  If they do not concede, destroy them.  It seems to be the same kind of thinking that motivates his supporters.  I am constantly stunned to see how many people think that way and support Trump.

I did highlight one passage on page 275 that was very surprising, but it wasn't about Trump:
In another discussion with the president, Cohn unveiled a Commerce Department study showing the U.S. absolutely needed to trade with China. “If you’re the Chinese and you want to really just destroy us, just stop sending us antibiotics. You know we don’t really produce antibiotics in the United States?” The study also showed that nine major antibiotics were not produced in the United States, including penicillin. China sold 96.6 percent of all antibiotics used here. “We don’t produce penicillin.”
Wow.  The book says nothing about how that situation came about.

While I certainly recommend the book, it is a depressing read. 

November 1, 2018
- As I was driving around yesterday afternoon doing some chores, I finished listening to CD #5 in the 5-CD audio book set for "Thank you for coming to Hattiesburg" by Todd Barry.

Thank you for coming to Hattiesburg

While I was able to get through the book, and it was definitely worth listening to, I tended to wish I had picked a different book.  I chose the book because I assumed it would be funny (since it was written by a standup comedian), and it seemed to also be a travel book, which I tend to enjoy.  However, Todd Barry's comedy style seems to be one of complaining about everything, and the "travel" part of the book was mostly about looking for restaurants in the small cities where he was performing.  (Barry seems to love Mongolian barbeque.)  When he visited local scenic attractions, he basically just noted that he had done it.  Mostly the book seems to be about the trials and tribulations of being a middle-level comic who plays in small cities, and that can be fairly interesting.  It is certainly not a "normal" lifestyle. 

Barry describes flying or driving from city to city, often with another comic who would be the opening act before Barry's main attraction performance.   Barry seemed to mention the size of every hotel or motel room he stayed in, the cleanliness of the toilets in the restaurants and bars in which he performed, how he got paid at the end of the performance, the number of seats available in the performance locations, and whether or not people in the audience were talking while he performed.  And after each show, as part of his working day, he would go into the lobby or outside and sell posters about his shows for $15 each.

If Barry was performing in a restaurant theater, it was a big problem for him if the waiters presented their bills and collected their money during the last part of his performance.  Barry wanted the waiters to wait until his performance was over, but management didn't like doing that because it always seemed to result in some of the customers leaving with the crowd before paying their bills.  So, having waiter present bills to diners and collect payments during the performance was the lesser of two evils for management.

While the book was certainly interesting in parts, I cannot recall any big laughs in it or anything I would want to quote here, and I was glad that it was only 5 CDs long. 
     

Comments for Sunday, October 28, 2018, thru Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2018:

October 31, 2018 - In my inbox this morning there were two more emails from the company that sells my books and also wants me to join some special program for $99 per year.  They are the 25th and 26th emails they have sent me since the "hustle" began on October 15. The first email (sent at 2:03 a.m.) began with this:
Greetings,

After multiple requests we have not received a response to this case. Because you have not responded, we assume that your issue has been resolved. I am now closing this case.

If this issue is not resolved you can reopen this case to provide the requested information.
And the second email (sent at 8:32 a.m.) began with this:
NEW orders recently sent to your company are waiting for your confirmation in your online ... account. 

In the future, please confirm your orders within 24 hours of notification. Orders which are not confirmed within 5 days will be closed.
So, the first email says the matter is closed, and the second email says the matter is open and will be closed in 5 days if I do not respond.  Responding only generates more emails from "robots" who can only copy and paste standard responses telling me they need two phone numbers from me.  Since I am not going to give them two phone numbers, responding solves nothing  So, I did not respond.  I'll wait to see what happens in 5 days.

Meanwhile, I started working on Chapter 1 of the book I'm trying to write about Einstein, time and time dilation.  I began the chapter by trying to simplify and summarize Einstein's 1905 paper that introduced Special Relativity.   I took the second paragraph from that paper (the paragraph which seems to be the cause of nearly all the arguments) and summarized its 216 convoluted words down to 124 easy-to-understand words.  

Then I moved down the second page to section "I. KINEMATICAL PART § 1. Definition of Simultaneity."  I'm certain that section can also be simplified and summarized, but the process requires reading it about a hundred times first.  And I need to clear my mind of everything else and focus.  But, I find that is difficult to do when I deep wondering about the "hustle" from the company that sells my books, and another "hustle" from one of the web sites that provide access to my scientific papers.  The web site academia.edu keeps sending me emails saying that someone has mentioned a paper of mine in their scientific paper.  But, to find out who mentioned my paper and what they wrote, I will have to "upgrade to Academia Premium."  They do not say how much that would cost me, but whatever it is, it is probably too much.  I'm not that curious.    

I am, however, pleased to notice that just about every day someone new reads at least one of my papers.  The last time no one new read any of my papers was on October 19.   Yesterday, new people accessed three of my papers on
vixra.org for the first time.  Plus there was one new reader on academia.edu.  I maintain a spreadsheet for the visits.    In part, it looks like this (only much larger):

Readers of my scientific papers 
The column headings are along the bottom.  I began the spreadsheet on April 21, 2016, when I had only one paper.  It was the paper about "Time" and the first entry was when I already had 69 readers of that paper.  As of this morning, there have been 216, not including the readers on academia.edu.  I never bothered to break down the academia.edu readers by paper.  107 is the total for all of my papers there.  Only 48 people have read my paper on "Radar Guns" on vixra.org, and the last time anyone read that paper from there was on August 13.  Two people have read it on academia.edu.

And writing about all this means I probably won't write much for my book today, since I have to take my car in for an oil change this afternoon. 

October 30, 2018 - The "hustle" continues.  This morning there was another email in my inbox from that same company that sells my books.  It was email #24.  The mail indicated that they have established a new case number for the problem.  I think it is the 7th or 8th case number they have established.  And, of course, the only way I can close "the case" is to provide them with two telephone numbers.  And that would evidently obligate me to pay them $99 a year for joining their "program."  So, I simply filed the email message away with all the others. 

I also had 6 more website visitors yesterday than I had on the previous day.  And the IP addresses indicate they are all from different divisions of that same company that sells my books.  I can understand that they have an established procedure that cannot cope with someone who will not supply them with two phone numbers, and they have employees who are not allowed to deviate from the established procedure, but I do not understand the reason behind all the visits to this web site.

If I continue to simply ignore their emails, maybe they'll do something different.  (They once tried to call me, but as soon as I picked up the phone, they hung up.)  Ignoring their emails seems the only way to break the impasse.

Meanwhile, I've decided there is no good reason for me to continue working on a scientific paper about atomic clocks.  If in the past 113 years no one has figured out exactly how a photon works, I probably won't figure it out, either.  I definitely won't be able to figure it out by searching through scientific papers on the subject, since the authors of those papers couldn't figure it out.  So, I wouldn't be able to describe with or without illustrations exactly how the microwave photons work inside the Ramsey cavity in an atomic clock.

What I did instead yesterday afternoon was to write a 3-page "Introduction" to a book about Einstein, time and time dilation.  This morning I'm going to try working on Chapter 1.  I don't know if I'll ever finish the book, but I really enjoy writing and the process of thinking things through as I write, so it will be a pleasant way to pass the time while I wait to see what happens with the email "hustle." 

Plus, my scientific papers on vixra.org and academia.edu have been getting some attention lately.  It could just be because a new school year has started, but it could also be because the papers have started discussions somewhere.  

October 29, 2018
- In my email inbox this morning there was another order from one of the companies that sells my books.  It's the same company I wrote about yesterday.  I'd decided yesterday that I wasn't going to respond to any more of their emails, since they require that I give them two phone numbers, and one of the numbers must be for a mobile phone with the ability to run "apps" and scan bar codes on products.  Nevertheless, I looked around their web site to see if there was some way to get through to them that I wasn't going to give them two phone numbers.

As I looked around, I found that if I gave them the two phone numbers I would be joining a "program" they have that requires I pay them $99 per year to remain in the program.  Upon seeing that, I began kicking myself for wasting so much time on trying to get them to understand that I am not going to give them two phone numbers.  I'm not going to pay them $99 per year, even if I had the right kind of phone that is required to participate in their program.

So, it's not a "scam." It's a "hustle."  They are placing an order for a copy of my book to "hustle" me into joining their program, which will then enable them to bill me $99 a year for the rest of my life.  Nope.  Not gonna happen.

So, I filed away their 23rd email (and their third attempt to get me to join their program) and moved on to other things.

The next matter I addressed was the puzzle of why this web site is getting a surge in visitors.  Yesterday, I had one more visitor than I had on the previous peak day, which was October 24 (check the yellow bars in the middle graph below):

Web site visits for October 28,
                                2018

And once again I could not find any simple explanation by examining the visitor logs.  The logs do not show any unusual number of visitors -- UNLESS they are visitors who only look at the text on this site and do not view the images.  "Normal" visitors are noticeable because they each generate 10 lines of data on the logs, one line for the text, one line for some kind of control file, and one line for each of the eight images on the main page.  If they only look at the text, they would appear as a single line on the logs.  An example:
104.194.201.40 - - [28/Oct/2018:00:17:49 -0500] "GET / HTTP/1.1" 200 422123 "-" "Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10_13_1) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/62.0.3202.94 Safari/537.36"
The IP address is for a location in New York City.  And they accessed the text on this web page (but not the images on this page) at 17 minutes after midnight yesterday morning.  But why would there be a surge in visitors who only view the text?  I'm not even sure how that is done, but it may be an option on cell phones and note pads if it takes more time and money to view images.

Hmm.  I just checked the IP addresses of five other single line entries on the log, and four of them were from four different locations for the company I mentioned above that sells my books.  So, mystery #2 might be connected to mystery #1.  

I don't want to make them mad at me.  So, I better not comment any further.

It's time for me to get back to working on the puzzle about how photons work.  


October 28, 2018
- On October 15, I received an email from one of the companies that sells my books.  Their email said they wanted to place an order.  They didn't say what the order was for, but it could only be for copies of my first book,
"Analyzing the Anthrax Attacks," which I self-published in 2005 (before I learned about "print on demand.")  I still have copies in my garage:

Books in my garage 

The email required that I go through some steps to verify that I am who they believe I am.  The fact that I received their email wasn't enough.  Nor was the fact that they had my home phone number.  They wanted me to go through an elaborate verification procedure they had concocted.  But I couldn't follow the steps in their procedure because the steps required that I give them two phone numbers.  I only have one phone number that I use, and that is my home phone number.  My cell phone is just something I carry for emergencies.  I think it is what is known as a "disposable phone" or a "burner phone," even though I've had mine for many years.  
My cell phone
The procedure they want me to follow with the cell phone seems to require that it be a "smart phone."  They want me to install an application on it, and to use it to scan codes.  I'm not even sure my cell phone can do all that.  I don't think it can.  So, I just told them I have only one phone and that is my home phone.
 
So far, they've sent me 22 emails, and I've responded to most of them.  When they send me multiple emails in one day, I generally respond only to the last. 


From my point of view, it's like a science fiction movie where the hero (me) is trying to communicate with a bunch of robots who can only do what they were programmed to do.  In this case, the robots are programmed to get me to give them two phone numbers.  They are programmed to believe that everyone in the world has two telephones, and one of them is a cell phone, and
those cell phones all have the capability to run applications and scan bar codes on store items.  The robots are also programmed to believe that many people sometimes lose or break their cell phones.  And, when that happens, the robots can lose contact with that person.  The robots cannot cope with losing contact.  So, the robots want everyone to have a second phone number to use when the cell phone is lost or destroyed. 

I've often wondered if it isn't just some kind of scam.  It seems like a setup where I will send them copies of my books with no record of them sending me an order. They won't mail the order to me.  And they won't send the order via email.  I have to extract the order from their web site.  When I respond to their emails, I cannot send an email to them (leaving a record in my computer), I have to write the message in the email page on their web site.  So, until recently, I didn't even have copies of the emails I sent in response to their emails.  My last 3 responses were in the form of pdf files which included illustrations showing that their procedures do not work if I have only one phone.

Adding to the problem is the fact that the "robots" all have names like Bhavya, Sandya and Manish, which almost certainly means that they are in India.  Adding to that impression, their emails are filled with awkward sentences.  Example:
I would like to inform you that the verification procedure for your business account.
There doesn't seem to be any way to get them to understand that I do not have a smart phone, and I do not plan to buy one just so they don't have to worry if I lose it.   And they're never going to get my cell phone number from me.  As far as they are concerned, I do not have a cell phone.

Another complication is that they won't even tell me what they want to order.  The emails are all generalized so that they fit everyone.  They just copy and paste the same instructions over and over.  And the instructions require that I supply two phone numbers, one of them must be the number of a "smart phone."

If it isn't a scam, and if it is a real request from a seller of my books, the whole situation seems to be the result of their wanting me to supply them with probably one paperback copy of "Analyzing the Anthrax Attacks," so that they will have a copy in stock at some new warehouse.  But they haven't sold a copy of "Analyzing the Anthrax Attacks" in at least 7 years.  I cannot even remember the last time they sold a copy.   I don't even show it on my web sites, since it was effectively replaced by my 2012 book "A Crime Unlike Any Other."     

This morning I wondered again if it couldn't be some kind of scam.  But, if it is, it is a very elaborate scam.  I am clearly posting my emails into a web site with an address that includes their name.  And the emails I receive have their name in the email address.  And the IP address in the email is their IP address.

The only tactic I haven't tried is just to ignore them.  So, I'm going to try that to see what happens.  Here's the last line of the email they sent me yesterday morning (their 22nd email):
I am moving this case to pending from your end and would like to inform you that you will be receiving notifications regarding the same and request you to acknowledge the auto reminders sent in order for this case to be open. 
So, it appears I am supposed to respond to their auto reminders so that the case will remain open and they can send more auto reminders. 

If the situation wasn't so insane, it would be funny.

Meanwhile, unless the problem described above somehow becomes serious, I'll try to focus on my scientific interests.  A few days ago, while looking for information about microwave photons and how they work inside a Ramsey cavity, I came across a paper from arxiv.org that is titled "Video recording true single-photon double-slit interference." The paper contains this:
To a great many, the word photon brings to mind a picture of a particle-like ball (or, perhaps, a ray that describes the ball's trajectory). Such a photon cannot exist. Yet these notions are so widespread that they have led to suggestions that physicists ought to receive special training and a license before being allowed to use the word "photon."1
That small 1 at the end is reference #1, which is a published paper titled "Anti-photon" written by W. E. Lamb, Jr.  That paper begins with this:
It should be apparent from the title of this article that the author does not like the use of the word "photon", which dates from 1926. In his view, there is no such thing as a photon. Only a comedy of errors and historical accidents led to its popularity among physicists and optical scientists. I admit that the word is short and convenient. Its use is also habit forming. Similarly, one might find it convenient to speak of the "aether" or "vacuum" to stand for empty space, even if no such thing existed.   
I tend to agree with the first quote.  Photons are not "a particle-like ball."  And clearly the second quote is wrong, since there is equipment that can detect individual photons.  Those individual photons are evaluated in the "single- photon double-slit" paper that supplied the first quote.  But if I try to visualize a photon, the best I can come up with is this:
The Photon  
And such a photon should be able to pass through the holes in the screen on the door of a microwave oven.  Visible light photons can do it easily.  But microwave photons cannot.  Why?  I'm still looking for an explanation that doesn't involve sending the photon through the hole sideways, where its length is too long to go through sideways.

It seems like a simple problem.  But, after hundreds of years of arguing, scientists still haven't agreed upon whether light consists of waves or photons.  The evidence says photons, but the evidence also says it cannot be photons that act the way particles act.  Photons act like they have wave-like properties, but no one seems able to visualize such a thing in a way that explains everything.

Sigh.  I guess I just have to do more research.  Maybe I'll find something that triggers an idea that will result in everything making sense.  Maybe.


Comments for Sunday, October 21, 2018, thru Saturday, October 27, 2018:

October 27, 2018 - I had another surge of visitors to this web site yesterday, but once again the log offers no clues as to where the surge came from.  I keep wondering if it is people looking for theories about the recent mail bomb case.  It could somehow remind people of the anthrax case, or a previous mail bomb case that I may have written about.  Or the surge might be about something totally different.  There is so much data in my visitor logs that I'd need to write a computer program to hunt for an explanation for the surge.  And I don't have the free time to do that.

Meanwhile, as I was looking through the news about the mail bombs and the mail bomber (a fanatical Donald Trump supporter named Cesar Sayoc), I noticed something that no one on the news has mentioned.

Mail bomb from Florida

The guy misspelled "Florida" as "Florids" in the return address on all of the packages.  And, of course, on the package in the image above he also misspelled "Brennan," which the media did mention.

mail bomber's van

I was somewhat relieved when the mail bomber turned out to be a rabid Trump fan who drove a van covered with images of Trump and Pence, and pictures of Democrats in the cross-hairs of a sniper rifle.  The bombs were evidently real, they just didn't go off for some as yet unexplained reason.  And that immediately got right-wing conspiracy theorists talking about a "false flag" operation, where Democrats sent "hoax" bombs and made them look like they were sent by some Republican fanatic.  Apparently, some right wing nut jobs are sticking to that conspiracy theory even though it is clearly preposterous.  Conspiracy theorists sticking to their beliefs despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary is something else I have written about in the past.  So, maybe there is some connection to the two recent surges in visitors to this site.

Whether there is a connection or not, it is certainly an interesting news story to follow.  Cesar Sayok was evidently living in his van.  But it doesn't seem likely that he made the bombs there.  So, there are still a lot of unanswered questions, even though the question of "Who did it?" has been clearly answered.


October 25, 2018
- Some days it seems like there are just too many mysteries that need solving.  I still haven't figured out how the Ramsey cavity works; I still haven't figured out how the screen on the door of my microwave keeps the microwaves from escaping; I'm having some kind of problem with the company that sells my books because they seem to now require that I have a smart phone, which I do not have, and the "workaround" doesn't work around the problem; and this morning I noticed an unexplained surge in visitors to this web site.  The graph below shows (via the yellow bar) that this web site had 183 visitors yesterday (about 40% more than normal).  But I can't find anything unusual on my web site's visitor log.  It seemed like a normal day.

Web site visitors for Oct. 24, 2018

When I have mysteries to solve, I generally do research and collect "evidence.  That won't help the smart phone problem (am I the only person in the civilized world who doesn't have a smart phone?).  And it didn't help with the visitors mystery.  But, it might help with the Ramsey cavity mystery.

I do not seem to have any books or papers in my main collection which explain how a Ramsey cavity works in terms that I can visualize, so, I started going a second collection containing the 280 scientific papers I've downloaded from arxiv.org over the years.  It's a tedious, yet interesting exercise.  Yesterday, I found an interesting paper by Stephan J. G. Gift titled "Light Speed Invariance is a Remarkable Illusion."  I evidently downloaded it on Sept. 18, 2016.  Mr. Gift agrees with me that the speed of light is variable and only appears "invariable" because everyone measures the speed of light they create as traveling at the same rate.  However, Mr. Gift believes the "ether" exists and that is his explanation for how the speed of light can be variable.

I have other papers by other authors who also advocate bringing back the idea of the "ether," because the authors cannot accept that is no "preferred frame" in the universe from which all movement can be measured.  Reciprocal motion is just plain nuts.  But, if motion isn't reciprocal, then it must be relative to something.  And the only thing the authors can think of to which all movement would be relative is the "ether" which Einstein declared to be "superfluous" in his 1905 paper on Special Relativity.      

Other papers argue that the speed of light cannot be the same for all observers, with which I also fully agree.  Daniel Gezari's paper is the prime example.  But the authors then argue that that would violate Einstein's First Postulate, which I think is nonsense.

The problem is organizing all these papers. Right now, they are all in a folder in order by arxiv number, and I have an index for that folder which just shows the title of the paper, the author, and an "importance" ranking I have assigned.  The ranking runs from 1 which would be "most important" to 99 which would be "total crap."  No paper is actually ranked higher than 10 or lower than 80.  Most are ranked 50, which means I haven't decided on how to rank it.

I recently added a column for "subject," so that I can easily identify papers that are about "atomic clocks" or "speed of light" or "flyby anomalies," and I could even sort the file by subject.  But that also means I have to assign a subject to each paper.  And to do that I have to browse through each paper to see which subjects it is about.  That's on my list of "things to do."

I don't see any papers with "Ramsey cavity" in the title.  I did a search for "Ramsey cavity" in the abstract and found two papers, but neither is helpful.

I have at least a dozen that are about atomic clocks, but I've already gone through those, finding nothing worthwhile.

Maybe in the process of organizing things I'll run across a paper than solves some mystery for me.  I can always hope that that will happen.      

October 23, 2018 - I spent nearly all day yesterday studying various papers written by Norman Ramsey on the topic of his "separated oscillatory field method," for which he won the Nobel Prize in 1989.  And I browsed through a bunch of other papers and documents on the same topic.  The problem is: I cannot visualize what is happening inside the two arms of the Ramsey cavity.

atomic clock
****************************************************************

Ramsey cavity
****************************************************************
Ramsey cavity
****************************************************************
Ramsey cavity
***************************************************************
And, if I cannot visualize what is happening, then I cannot describe it in writing.  And if I cannot describe it in writing, then I cannot describe how it relates to time dilation.  And, if I cannot do that, then I cannot continue with my paper on how atomic clocks work.

Here is what is written in the rightmost column on page 58 of Ramsey's paper "Accurate Measurement of Time":
In simplified form, atomic beam resonance involves three steps. The first is to select only those atoms in the appropriate energy level. This selection is accomplished by using a specially shaped magnetic field, which acts as a kind of filter. It allows atoms in one energy level to pass and blocks all others by bending the beam. Only atoms in the correct energy level are bent the correct amount to reach and pass through the aperture that serves as the entrance to the cavity.

The second and crucial step is to send the selected atoms into another energy level. The task is accomplished by passing the atoms through an oscillating microwave field inside a cavity. The atoms will go to another energy level only if the frequency of the applied oscillating microwaves matches their Bohr frequency.


The third step is to detect those atoms that have changed energy levels. At this point, the beam of atoms passes through another magnetic field filter, which allows only atoms in the correct energy level to strike a detector that records the atoms as current flow.
I cannot visualize "an oscillating microwave field inside a cavity" when the "cavity" is U-shaped and has a microwave input at the bottom of the U, but no output, and the beam of cesium atoms appears to enter and exit through holes in the sides of the arms of the U.  

I hadn't thought about it before, but I assume my microwave oven has no output.  What happens to the microwaves inside the oven when I turn off the oven?  I can visualize them bouncing around inside the oven until they hit something that can absorb them.  Do microwaves bounce around inside a Ramsey cavity?  It seems like the purpose of the cavity is to keep the microwaves from bouncing around, so that the atoms pass through a stream of microwaves.  But you cannot have a "stream" without an input and output.

I also cannot visualize a microwave photon crashing into the screen on the door of my microwave oven.  One source says,
Even though you can see into the microwave oven when your food is cooking, the microwaves are effectively blocked from getting out into the room because the holes in the metal screen on the microwave oven door are about 1 mm in diameter compared to a 120 mm wavelength for the microwaves. The wavelength of the microwaves is about 120 times the size of the holes, and can't "see" the holes to get out.
That's like saying a spear cannot get through a porthole because the spear is much longer than the porthole is wide.  Huh?  Evidently, there is something I do not understand about microwaves and photons, and I have no idea what it is that I do not understand.  So, I have no idea how to figure out a solution to the problem.

I'm just going to drop the idea of writing a paper on how an atomic clock works until I figure how exactly what happens inside the Ramsey cavity.   And I don't even know where else to look for answers to that question.

One additional point:  While reading another one of Norman Ramsey's papers, "Precise Measurement of Time," I highlighted interesting passages in yellow, I highlighted important passages in red, and I highlighted passages I disagreed with in green.  Here are the only two sentences I highlighted in green:

Quote from Norman Ramsey
 
Einstein's special theory of relativity does NOT say, "if two observers with clocks are moving relative to each other at a constant velocity, each will find that the other's clock is going at a slower rate than his own clock."   Einstein's theory says that inside a closed inertial frame, everything will seem normal, BUT when you compare one frame to another, the frame that is moving fastest will have the clock that is ticking slowest.  Or as Einstein put it: "Thence we conclude that a balance-clock at the equator [where the earth is spinning fastest] must go more slowly, by a very small amount, than a precisely similar clock situated at one of the poles [where the earth is spinning slowest] under otherwise identical conditions." 

That is the second time I encountered reciprocal time dilation in the past week.  It was also mentioned in Tony Jones' book "Splitting the Second." I wrote about it in my October 19 comment.  In both cases it is something just mentioned in passing, not something explained in depth.  It's like something the authors read about in school that was never of any great interest to them.  So, all they can do is recite what they learned in school.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do next.  I'll have to think about it.    

October 21, 2018
- Yesterday, I looked back through all the passages I had highlighted and underlined while reading Tony Jones' book
"Splitting the Second: The Story of Atomic Time," and I found three sections which somewhat addressed the problem I am having in describing the workings of an atomic clock.  And those sections also clear up some of my confusion about how cesium atoms work.

On page 39, the book says this about the "spin-flip transition" that is at the heart of an atomic clock:
The spin–flip transition occurs at a frequency of 9193 megahertz, equivalent to a “vibration” of almost 10 billion times a second. The frequency of this “clock transition” is the highest of all the alkali metals and can be measured more precisely than any of the others. It corresponds to a wavelength of 3.26 centimetres, which lies right in the middle of the microwave radio spectrum.
There is nothing new in that, except for relating the frequency of 9,192,631,770 Hertz to a wavelength of 3.26 centimeters, which has no significance at the moment, but will have later.

On page 40 the book says:
caesium is the biggest of all the atoms. As a more or less direct consequence of this, its outer solo electron is only loosely attached. It is easier to knock an electron off a caesium atom than any other atom, and this makes it easy to detect.
I wasn't sure what that meant, but it clearly says that it is easy to knock off the outermost electron of a cesium atom and turn the atom into an ion.  An "ion" is defined as:
an atom or molecule with a net electric charge due to the loss or gain of one or more electrons
So, if you knock off the outermost electron instead of just flipping it into a different orbit, that gives the atom a positive electrical charge, instead of being basically neutral.  I suppose that makes it "easy to detect."  But, that didn't mean much to me until I read what Encyclopedia Britannica had to say about it:
Because cesium is strongly photoelectric (easily loses electrons when struck by light), it is used in photoelectric cells, photomultiplier tubes, scintillation counters, and spectrophotometers. It is also used in infrared lamps
Okay, that first part I highlighted in red is the important part.  It says that hitting a cesium atom with photons in the visible light range can knock the outermost electron off of the atom and turn the atom into an ion.  And we know from the previous passage that hitting a cesium atom with a microwave photon will just cause the outermost electron to "flip."

On page 48, the book also says this:
Caesium atoms are like very precisely tuned radio receivers. They will ignore passing waves of the wrong frequency but respond strongly to waves of the right frequency, namely 9193 megahertz. An atom in the lower state hit by a photon will absorb it and flip to the upper state. An atom in the upper state hit by a photon will release an identical photon and flip to the lower state. In each case the outer electron is turned over by the incoming wave and changes the state of the atom.
I didn't highlight the part about "9193 megahertz" because it is misleading, since it implies other frequencies won't have any effect.  The important part is what happens to the microwave photon when it hits the atom.  It is absorbed by the atom if the atom is in the "lower energy state," and the atom then flips to the "upper state."  However, if the atom is already in the "upper state" when hit by the photon, the photon will still be absorbed, but the atom will then eject a new photon.  So, the atom went from a "upper state" to a "too high state" and then back down to an "upper state" once again when it emitted the new photon.

The key point is that different photons oscillating at different frequencies will have different effects on a cesium atom.  And photons in the infrared frequency range will have a very different effect than microwaves or visible light.  The book says this on page 164:
If a caesium atom is exposed to light of wavelength 852 nanometres, it will absorb a photon and almost immediately re-emit it again, as if the photon has bounced off the atom. Indeed, this process is known as “scattering” of light. When the atom absorbs the photon it receives a little kick of momentum in the direction the photon was travelling.  When it re-emits the photon the atom recoils with another little kick in the direction opposite to the photon’s travel. At first sight one might think that these kicks would cancel out: for every incoming photon there is an outgoing photon too. But if the atom is in a laser beam, the absorbed photons all come from the same direction while the scattered photons are sprayed out at random. The kicks do not balance out and the atom in the beam gets pushed along by the light, scattering photons as it goes
Hmm.  A wavelength of 852 nanometers puts the light just beyond the 750 nanometer edge of the visible light range and into the infrared range.

electromagnetic











































                                                          spectrum
 
So, photons in the visible light range will knock the outermost electron off of a cesium atom, while photons oscillating at a specific longer wavelength in the infrared range will be absorbed and then ejected by a cesium atom, and photons oscillating at an even longer specific wavelength in the microwave range will merely cause the outermost electron to flip its orbit, but a new photon won't be emitted if the atom was in a lower energy state when hit.

What might be the most important fact is that virtually all photons oscillating at other frequencies will simply pass through the cesium atom as if it wasn't there.  And that means that if the cesium atom is moving, it will encounter the oncoming photons as oscillating at a different wavelength than if the cesium atom was stationary.  The section about infrared photons explains further:
Now suppose the atom is moving towards the source of the laser light. Does it absorb photons still? No, because although the photons are the right wavelength for a stationary atom, the Doppler effect (Chapter 2) ensures that the moving atom sees them blue-shifted to a slightly shorter wavelength. The atom sees photons streaming past that are too short to be absorbed and nothing happens. But if we now adjust the wavelength from the laser to make it slightly longer than 852 nanometres, then provided we get it just right the moving atom will see these longer photons blue-shifted to 852 nanometres and begin to absorb them!
Bingo!  That same effect would undoubtedly work with microwave photons, too! Microwaves at 9,192,631,770 Hertz and a wavelength of 3.26 centimeters will cause the outermost electrons on a cesium atom to flip.  If, however, the cesium atoms start to move away from the microwave emitter, the atoms will encounter the microwaves as if they had a longer wavelength, and the outermost electrons will not be affected.  They will not "flip." The photons will just pass through the atoms as if they didn't exist.

If you want to cause the outermost electrons of a moving cesium atom to "flip," you need to adjust the microwave emitter to a slower or faster rate.  In cesium atomic clock, of course, there is a "feedback system" to make such adjustments.

The question then becomes: Will things work the same way if the source of the photons is moving away from the cesium atoms?  Answer: No.  Einstein's Second Postulate says,
light is always propagated in empty space with a definite velocity c which is independent of the state of motion of the emitting body.
So, the microwave emitter within an atomic clock will emit microwaves at the same wavelength regardless of how fast the clock and emitter may be moving (or at what altitude they might be located), unless some kind of feedback system changes things

According to my paper "What is Time?", the cesium atoms within the clock will slow their oscillation rate when they move faster and when they drop to a lower altitude.  That would mean that the microwaves will just pass through them unless the microwave emitter changes the oscillation frequency of the microwaves it emits to match the oscillation frequency of the atoms.  And that is, of course, exactly what the feedback system within the atomic clock is designed to do.

The problem is that it is very difficult to visualize exactly what is happening inside an atomic clock that is moving at high speed.  Does it make any difference how the clock is oriented?  Experimental results seem to say, no, it doesn't make any difference if the clock is moving sideways or backwards or up and down. 

If you shoot microwave photons at a stream of cesium atoms that is shooting across the path of the microwaves, do the atoms hit the photons or do the photons hit the atoms?  The photons supposedly have a length of 3.26 centimeters (1.28 inches), and they are passing in front of atoms that are 3.38 nanometers (3.38 billionths of a meter) in diameter, far too small to be seen.  It would seem that the atoms are going to be hitting the photons, not the other way around.  On the other hand, the photons are moving at the speed of light, and the atoms are just moving at the speed of an escaping gas.

atomic clock

The first cesium atomic clocks had the cesium atoms getting bombarded by microwave photons for the entire distance between Magnet 1 and Magnet 2.   But in 1949 Norman Ramsey of Harvard University devised the U-shaped cavity configuration shown above that is used in modern atomic clocks. (The "cavity" is evidently the microwave-filled space inside the base and arms of the U.)  On page 49 of "Splitting Time" it says this:
The caesium beam passes first through a hole in the end of one arm of the U and then through a similar hole in the other arm. At each pass through the cavity the atoms receive an identical burst of microwaves. If the frequency of the radiation corresponds to the transition frequency, the first burst puts the atoms into a ghostly quantum mixture of the two states and the second completes the transition to the opposite state. The sharpness of the transition frequency is now proportional to the length of time the atoms are coasting in limbo between the two bursts of radiation. The longer the coast, the more accurately the frequency is defined.

Because the atoms are all streaming in nearly parallel lines and because the radiation is directed at right angles to the beam, the microwaves hit the atoms from the side, so to speak, rather than head on. That means there is no Doppler shift in the wavelength of the radiation seen by the atoms and so, unlike the ammonia clock, the frequency remains sharp.
I suppose it doesn't make much difference if the photons hit the atoms or if the atoms hit the photons if the clock is in a fixed location.  But, I still haven't figured out what happens differently when the clock is moving, or what happens differently when you have identical clocks at different altitudes.

I feel I need to understand more about how things work inside the "cavity."  I cannot visualize that part at all.  I discovered I have a copy of a paper co-written by Norman Ramsey for Scientific American in 1993.  It's titled "Accurate Measurement of Time."  It looks like it might help me understand things.  And I just found a paper written by Normal Ramsey in 1988 for American Scientist.  It's titled "Precise Measurement of Time."  Maybe I also need to study "Primary Atomic Frequency Standards at NIST" and see how much I can decipher from "NIST Primary Frequency Standards and the Realization of the SI Second."  If I can't figure out what happens differently to two atomic clocks at different velocities and/or altitudes, maybe I can figure out some way to explain how the feedback system does not adjust for time dilation conditions, but the clocks will still differ in the amount of time they accumulate.

I was hoping I could figure things out as I wrote this comment.  It didn't happen. I still think the feedback system is what causes the atomic clock to tick at different rates at different altitudes and velocities, but I haven't found what I need to confirm or disprove that hypothesis.    


Comments for Sunday, October 14, 2018, thru Saturday, October 20, 2018:

October 19, 2018 - Instead of working on my paper tentatively titled "Atomic Clocks and Time Dilation," I've been reading the book "Splitting the Second: The Story of Atomic Time," by Tony Jones.  In a way, reading the book is part of working on my paper.  It is research.  The book will be a key source for material in my paper.  It is a highly readable book, with virtually no mathematics and lots of very interesting details about how atomic clocks were developed, how they work, how they replaced astronomical time, and how time is measured.  And it also gets into a few other areas of physics.

For example, this is from pages 146 & 147:
Several observatories around the world now make routine timing measurements of pulsars. The arrival times of pulses are recorded with atomic clocks to accuracies of a few microseconds, and these times are the raw data for numerous astrophysical investigations. By averaging over many years—and billions of pulses—the rotation periods can be determined to a few parts in 1014. ...

One consequence of this high accuracy is that pulsar observations are very sensitive to Doppler shifts. The speed of the Earth around the Sun, about 30 kilometres per second, causes slight changes in the apparent frequency of the pulses which show up very clearly in the timing data. When the Earth is moving towards the pulsar the pulses come more frequently than when the Earth is moving in the opposite direction. Pulsar astronomers correct their observations for the Earth’s motion as a matter of routine.
The section I highlighted in red supports my paper on Einstein's Second Postulate, since it says that when the Earth is moving toward a pulsar, the light from the pulsar arrives at c+v where v is the speed of the Earth.  And when the Earth is moving away from the pulsar, the light from the pulsar arrives at c-v.  Many textbooks and nearly all the mathematicians on sci.physics.relativity would rabidly disagree with that obvious fact.

However, the book doesn't answer all my questions about atomic clocks.  It doesn't seem to answer the key question: What is physically different within a clock atop a mountain and an identical clock at the bottom of a mountain that causes them to tick at different rates?  Seeking an answer to that question (that I can quote) is the main reason I am reading the book. 

The author also seems to go astray on at least one occasion.  The book says this on page 134:
There are three relativistic effects we need to consider. The most famous of these is time dilation, summed up in the phrase, “moving clocks run slow”. A clock in an aircraft, for example, would be seen to run slow as judged by an observer on the ground. (Equally, clocks on the ground would appear to run slow as seen from the aircraft, but we do not have space in this book to discuss the subtleties of relativity!) Time dilation only becomes appreciable at speeds close to that of light—indeed at light speed time stops altogether — but with the nanosecond accuracy now possible with modern atomic clocks, time dilation has to be taken into account whenever clocks are moved.
He doesn't explain why clocks on the ground would appear to run slow when viewed from an airplane, but the only explanation would seem to be a belief that velocity time dilation is reciprocal.  And that belief stems from the absurd belief that motion is somehow reciprocal (#1 on my list of the 10 DUMBEST beliefs in physics).   But, that belief doesn't change the fact that I think it is an excellent book.  One flaw can be ignored, particularly since he doesn't dig into it.

Interestingly, beginning on page 136, the author also discusses three relativistic effects on time.  1. Gravitational time dilation.  2. Velocity time dilation.  3.  The Sagnac Effect.  

But his examples of the Sagnac Effect are Hafele-Keating-type experiments.  And he says "the Sagnac effect is really time dilation in disguise."  His view of the Sagnac effect seems a bit different from the "normal" view, but I don't think it can be described as "wrong."  It's just not the "standard" view.

The book also provided an answer to one question I had about cesium atomic clocks.  Such clocks contain an "oven" which heats up cesium atoms and shoots them out as a gas.  I had a hard time visualizing that, since I tended to wonder how long the oven could do that before the supply of cesium atoms ran out.  Do they have to add a new supply of cesium ever day?  Every week?  Every month?

On page 69, the book says,
Aside from unexpected breakdowns and interruptions for maintenance, caesium beam clocks eventually run out of caesium. It is boiled away at one end of the beam tube and transported to the other end. After running for a few years a caesium beam clock will need to be replenished.
So, that question is answered.  The book also answered a lot of other questions I had.  It just doesn't seem to answer the key question.  But no other book or paper I've found does either.

Added Note: At 11:39 a.m. this morning I finished reading
"Splitting the Second: The Story of Atomic Time," by Tony Jones.

Splitting the
                                                      Second by Tony
                                                      Jones

I've already commented on how interesting the book is and how easy it is to read, so there's not much point in adding a full review here.  What I have to do now is mull over what I learned from the book so that I can cite it in my paper. 


October 17, 2018
- I've been working on a new scientific paper, which I have tentatively titled "Atomic Clocks and Time Dilation," but it is slow going.  I keep getting distracted.  Yesterday, I tried doing a different Google search in hopes of finding some article that explains a detail about atomic clocks that still puzzles me.  The search found a Scientific American article titled "How does one arrive at the exact number of cycles of radiation a cesium-133 atom makes in order to define one second?"  The article raised more questions than it answered, but there were a couple of interesting things in it.  The first was this:
In a collaboration between Essen and Markowitz, the relative durations of the astronomical and atomic (cesium) seconds were measured over an averaging time of 2.75 years with a final determination that the cesium frequency was 9,192,631,770.20 Hz.
That was the first time I'd seen the cesium frequency with decimal places.  More interesting, however, was the first part of the last paragraph:
The story of these measurements is nicely detailed in Splitting the Second: The Story of Atomic Time, by Tony Jones (Institute of Physics, 2000).
When I looked through my collection of physics books, I found I had that one in my collection.  It is a 199 page book that describes the workings of atomic clocks in great detail, particularly cesium atomic clocks.

My first impulse was to visually scan through it to see if it answered the question I have.  But I'm not sure what the question is that I have.  Basically, it is just something I do not fully understand.  Exactly what speeds up when an atomic clock is raised to a higher altitude?  According to mathematicians, nothing speeds up, the two clocks just take different routes through a mathematical model of spacetime that the mathematicians concocted.  But we know that if you have two identical atomic clocks in front of you, one higher than the other, the higher clock will tick faster.  They can't take different routes through a mathematical model when you have one observer watching both clocks.   So, the concocted mathematical model does not represent reality.  Reality says that the higher clock ticks faster.

Here's an illustration and text from page 135 of "Splitting the Second":
Illustration from Spittling the
                                Second by Tony Jones
Why even have a debate when one observer can view both clocks concurrently?  All the use of different "inertial frames of reference" accomplishes in this instance is to complicate a very simple situation.  High clocks run faster than low clocks.  Period.  Inertial frames are irrelevant.

That brings us back to my original question: 
Exactly what speeds up when an atomic clock is raised to a higher altitude? 

If the entire clock speeds up, the quartz crystal microwave generator serves the same routine function at the higher altitude as at the lower altitude: it simply corrects for minor fluctuations in the quartz crystal oscillation rate due to minor unfixable imperfections in the design of the clock.  If the oscillation rate of the cesium atom increases when the clock is raised, but the quartz crystal microwave generator continues to generate microwaves at the same frequency as at the lower altitude, then the change in the oscillation frequency of the cesium atom will cause the microwave generator to generate matching microwaves.

Which is it?

It seems to me to be an easy question to answer, but no one is answering it, probably because no one else is asking it.  Here is a typical diagram for the workings of a cesium atomic clock:

Atomic clock diagram

As I understand it from browsing through "Splitting the Second," the above diagram represents an atomic clock viewed from above.  That means that the microwaves come in from the side and hit the cesium atoms at the same altitude where the microwave generator is located.  The question I'm trying to resolve seems to be: If the microwave generator is at a different altitude than the cesium atoms would that affect the time shown by the clock?  In other words, if the above diagram with the cavity "fork" pointed upwards was a side view, and if you flipped the image around 180 degrees to produce a second side view but with the cavity fork pointing down, will the two versions of the clock show different tick rates because the "Frequency Synthesizer" is lower than the "interrogation cavity" in one clock and higher than the "interrogation cavity" in the second clock?

There's probably a better way to phrase that question.  I'll have to think about it before I ask the question again in my paper.  And what I've done here once again is get sidetracked.  I've spent nearly all morning writing this comment instead of working on my paper.  But, it hasn't been totally wasted time, since this comment is a record of my thought processes, and I think I now have a better understanding of exactly what it is that I do not understand.        

October 15, 2018
- The Flat Earthers are at it again.  They had some kind of gathering in a park in Arcadia, California (a suburb of Los Angeles), over the weekend.  I noticed a CBS news story about it when I was doing a check of the news as part of my morning routine.

Interestingly, this weekend's gathering seems to have involved a lot of women.  Past gatherings seemed to consist exclusively of men.  Or maybe it is just the fact that the CBS reporter was a woman, so she mostly interviewed women:
Netta Hagler, who arranged the meet-up of the Flat Earthers, questioned the fact that Earth is spinning through space at 1,000 miles per hour. “But we can’t feel it. I don’t believe I’m spinning right now. No,” said Hagler.

Patricia Steere, who is one of what you might call the “stars” of today’s Flat Earth movement (which mostly orbits around YouTube), told [CBS correspondent Brook] Silva-Braga, “Probably most people who hear of it will laugh at it, think we’re idiots. But we’re not idiots; we’re intelligent people from all walks of life and all ages.”
I keep wanting to compare the Flat Earthers to the Time Dilation Deniers.  They all seem immune to scientific evidence, and they can rationalize away every argument against their beliefs.  Here's more from the CBS article:
Did we really go to the moon? “No. We didn’t go to the moon,” said Steere. “And we don’t have a rover on Mars. And we didn’t do a fly-by of Pluto. We’ve never been to space. Period. End of.”

In short, Flat Earthers don’t believe much of anything unless they see it for themselves. They believe NASA is just part of a broad conspiracy.

According to Steere, “It’s a giant game of chess. We, all of us in humanity, are the pawns. Part of the whole Flat Earth thing is keeping us locked down, not knowledgeable about who we are, who we really are as people, and what we’re capable of.”

National security expert Tom Nichols, who teaches at the Harvard Extension School, takes a dim view of Flat Earth. He told Silva-Braga he thinks something new is happening: “People have really become obsessed with the idea that, if it’s not part of their direct experience, it can’t be true.
And if they haven't personally observed time dilation, then it cannot be real.

It would seem that it should be easy to come up with an experiment that can determine which side is right.  If you put a Flat Earther on an airplane and fly him around the world, how will he argue that he didn't really go around the world but went around a flat surface?  Answer: It doesn't make any difference how he will deny it, he will deny it.  So, no one is going to pay to fly a Flat Earther around the world to prove a point, when you know he won't believe the point. And nothing you can say or do will change his mind.

I keep coming back to the conclusion that it is all about which part of the brain they are accustomed to using.  Do they use the part that works with logic, or do they only use the part that is driven by emotions?  If they only work with emotions, no logic can change their minds.  If you argue that they are wrong, they will view that as a personal attack and as a threat.  And they will defend themselves to the death.  If you then try using logic to change their minds, they'll just see it as an attempt to trick them in some way. 

The only good part of arguing with them is that it makes people who use logic think more deeply about how things really work.  You may never be able to change the mind of someone who only thinks emotionally, but the arguing may help you see things more clearly and understand things you never even thought about before.


October 14, 2018
- Yesterday, I decided to stop arguing with the mathematicians on the sci.physics.relativity discussion forum - at least for awhile.  I felt I needed to work on a couple papers, one about how atomic clocks measure time dilation, and maybe another about simplifying Einstein's 1905 paper that introduced Special Relativity to the world.  It's like all the arguments I've been having for the past couple years boil down to disagreements over those two subjects.  According to the mathematicians, an atomic clock does NOT run faster when you raise it higher.  They believe it takes a different route through "spacetime."  And the mathematicians (and a lot of other physicists) are absolutely certain that if clocks ran at different speeds at different altitudes it would violate Einstein's First Postulate in his 1905 paper on Special Relativity, which they seem to view as the not-to-be-questioned word of God.  In reality, Einstein's First Postulate is a postulate, which means it is something that is simply raised as the topic for discussion.  And Einstein explained that it doesn't work at all the way the mathematicians believe it does.  The whole paper is about how time moves at different speeds at different velocities.  

I went to bed last night feeling good that the debates with the mathematicians were "on hold" for awhile so that I could work on those papers.  Then, about 4:30 this morning I awoke when my subconscious mind suddenly threw a monkey wrench into the workings of my conscious mind.  My subconscious was telling me that I have a logic problem in my understanding of how atomic clocks work.

It also made me realize that "logic problems" are probably behind all scientific discoveries.  The universe is very logical, but you have to figure out the logic.  One logical idea may work for awhile, until a discovery shows that there is something illogical about it.  Then you have to resolve the logic problem.  Mathematics only comes into play when you need to do measurements.

This morning I realized that my understanding of how an atomic clock works required that time be measured at two different speeds within one clock, and the clock adjusts one speed to match the other.  But that IS how an atomic clock works.  A feedback mechanism keeps the quartz crystal clock ticking at the same rate as the cesium atomic clock.

That poses the question: Would a quartz crystal clock by itself show time speed up when you raised it to a higher altitude?  If not, why not?   It should, but it might simply be incapable of showing such small changes in time without having the atomic clock attached.  Plus, it would show a different number of ticks per second.

That poses another question: How many ticks per second do you get when measuring time with an atomic clock that uses a different kind of atom?  That's an easy question to answer.  According to one source:

All atoms have naturally consistent vibrational frequency (for strontium its about 430 trillion times per second) and the measurement of these movements is used to create the clock's "tick."
And according to another source:
All commercial rubidium frequency standards operate by disciplining a crystal oscillator to the rubidium hyperfine transition of 6834682610.904 Hz.
So, we have three different atom clocks ticking at three different rates:
      6,834,682,611 ticks per second for rubidium
      9,192,631,770 ticks per second for cesium
430,000,000,000,000 ticks per second for strontium
Quartz is not an atom.  It is a molecule consisting of silicon and oxygen atoms.  Its tick rate is related to the power source that causes it to tick.

So, a second is only 9,192,631,770 ticks of a cesium atomic clock.  For every other kind of atomic clock a second is a different number of ticks.

In reality, of course, one second is 1/31,557,600th of a year.  An atomic clock second is just an attempt to refine that number down into smaller increments in order to do very precise measurements of events unrelated to a solar year.  After all, a year has a different length on every planet.  

Which brings me back to the question that woke me up this morning.  Does an entire atomic clock run faster when raised to a higher altitude, or do only the cesium atoms within the clock run faster, and the "feedback system" then causes the other parts of the clock to adjust to that faster rate?

The answer is that the cesium atoms run at one rate, and the feedback system causes the rest of the clock to adjust to that rate.  

Mathematicians wrong in believing that the clock doesn't change tick rates at all, that it is just the rate of some "signals" from the clocks that change, making it appear that the clock changes rates. 

That, of course, would mean that if you had two strontium atomic clocks in front of you, one six feet higher than the other, and if there was some way to display their tick rates down to 430 billions of a second, according to mathematicians the two clocks would always show the same amount of time has passed.  Meanwhile, scientists say that the higher clock will show that time is passing at a faster rate than what the lower clock shows.  And the mathematicians will argue that that is not possible, because it would violate Einstein's First Postulate.

Why hasn't anyone done such an experiment?!

The NIST did an experiment something like that, but, unfortunately, their atomic clocks were not stacked one atop the other so that one observer could view both clocks, the clocks were in different rooms.  That means that "signals" were required to make any comparison.  Sigh.

What I don't understand is why hundreds of scientists haven't addressed these same issues before.  They seem to realize that there is an endless disagreement over the so-called "twin paradox" or "clock paradox."  But no one seems to have ever tried to pin down the exact cause of the disagreement.  Maybe it is because they do not want to get into opinion-versus-opinion arguments.  If you tell someone that they are misinterpreting Einstein's First Postulate, that person will just say, no, YOU are misinterpreting Einstein's First Postulate, they are interpreting it correctly.  And it seems nothing you can say will change it to a resolvable scientific argument.  It will always remain just opinion versus opinion.

Performing experiments is supposed to be the way to resolve arguments.  That is why Hefele and Keating did their experiments involving flying atomic clocks in different directions around the globe.  They wanted to show that time dilation is real, and moving clocks really do run slower than stationary clocks.  But the mathematicians will just smile and shake their heads in wonder over how anyone can be so stupid as to believe that time doesn't tick at the same rate everywhere.

In the process of discussing and researching these topics, I've accumulated nearly 500 physics books and close to a thousand papers and articles.  While I've tried to keep them organized, they really aren't organized. I would put all the books and papers about Einstein's First Postulate in one place, books about the Second Postulate in another place, and books about time dilation in another place, but then I'll get into an argument about how atomic clocks work, and I have nothing that tells me which books have good material about that subject.  What I'd do instead, is find new papers and books about atomic clocks, only occasionally finding that I already have some good sources about that subject. 

Yesterday, while browsing through some of the books I have, I noticed several Richard Feynman books and realized I never checked them to see what they have to say about time dilation and atomic clocks.  It says this on page 85 and 86 of my hardcover copy of Feynman's "The Character of Physical Law":
It is evident, is it not, that if you are in a space ship
going at 100,000 miles a second in some direction, while I
am standing still, and I shoot a light beam at 186,000 miles
a second through a little hole in your ship, then, as it goes
through your ship, since you are going at 100,000 miles per
second and the light is going at 186,000, the light is only
going to look to you as if it is passing at 86,000 miles a
second. But it turns out that if you do this experiment it
looks to you as if it is going at 186,000 miles a second past
you, and to me as if it is going 186,000 miles a second past
me!

The facts of nature are not so easy to understand, and the
fact of the experiment was so obviously counter to commonsense,
that there are some people who still do not believe the
result! But time after time experiments indicated that the
speed is 186,000 miles a second no matter how fast you are
moving. The question now is how that could be. Einstein
realized, and Poincare, too, that the only possible way in
which a person moving and a person standing still could
measure the speed to be the same was that their sense of
time and their sense of space are not the same, that the
clocks inside the space ship are ticking at a different speed
from those on the ground, and so forth. You might say, 'Ah,
but if the clock is ticking and I look at the clock in the space
ship, then I can see that it is going slow'. No, your brain is
going slow too! So by making sure that everything went
just so inside the space ship, it was possible to cook up a
system by which in the space ship it would look like 186,000
space-ship miles per space-ship second, whereas here it
would look like 186,000 my miles per my second. That is a
very ingenious thing to be able to do, and it turns out, remarkably
enough, to be possible.
I wish I'd found that quote while I was still arguing with the mathematicians on the sci.physics.relativity forum.  But, they'd undoubtedly just argue that Feynman wasn't saying what he seems to be saying.  He's saying that time and clocks tick at the same rate everywhere, it's just that I am misinterpreting what he wrote because I have some irrational idea that time and clocks tick at different rates at different altitudes and velocities.  That would violate Einstein's First Postulate.  


Comments for Sunday, October 7, 2018, thru Saturday, October 13, 2018:

October 13, 2018
- While driving around doing chores this afternoon, I finished listening to CD #10 in the 10-CD audio book version of Bill Bryson's "In A Sunburned Country."
 
In a Sunburned Country

I think it's either the fifth or sixth book by Bryson that I've read or listened to.  And it is definitely one of his best.  It's about Australia and about traveling around that country/continent/island by train, car and on foot.  It also contains a lot of history about Australia, particularly about all the people who have died exploring it.  If you don't die of thirst or sunstroke in the outback, Australia has more deadly animals, insects, snakes, fish and vermin than any other country in the world.  And yet Bryson's book makes you want to visit every corner of the country.  Even the trees are probably unlike anything you've ever seen before:

Australian trees

It was a highly enjoyable book, just perfect for listening to while driving back and forth in my daily routines.  And at times it was extremely funny, too.

October 11, 2018 - As I sat watching TV last night, I kept thinking about how to begin a book about time and time dilation.  If I write about arguing the subject of time and time dilation with mathematicians on the Internet, the readers will probably think I am nuts for arguing with people on the Internet.  There are all sorts of people on the Internet who claim to be experts on things which they actually know nothing about.  If you do not know exactly who you are arguing with, you cannot trust anything they say.  And, even if you do know who they are, why are they arguing on the Internet instead of discussing things with their colleagues?  The answer seems to be that their colleagues do not want to argue with them, so they take their screwball arguments onto the Internet. 

I keep trying to find some scientist who will discuss time and time dilation with me via emails or in person, but they are all too busy to have long discussions with strangers.  I began this whole "project" by taking a physics course, but that offered no way of having a discussion about things in the course that made no sense.  And the professor stated in his course that if you didn't understand or had questions about what was being taught, then you needed to take the version of the course that delved into the mathematics of time and time dilation.

The arguments that I've been having on the sci.physics.relativity discussion forum recently have centered on how atomic clocks work.  I appear to have a fundamental disagreement with the mathematicians about that.  They claim that an atomic clock ticks at the same rate at all altitudes and velocities, regardless of what has been demonstrated by Hafele and Keating and all the other time dilation experiments involving atomic clocks.  I say an atomic clock adjusts its tick rate to match the oscillation rate of cesium atoms, and those atoms change their oscillation rates when they are raised or lowered in altitude and when they are caused to move laterally. 

This would seem to be a great subject for a scientific paper.  So, I checked arxiv.org to see if they had any papers which explain how atomic clocks measure time dilation.  A search found 210 papers with the term "atomic clock" in the subject of the paper.  Scanning through those 210 papers, I was surprised at how many are about using atomic clocks to check for "dark matter."  Many others were about making better atomic clocks by one method or another.   However, some papers seem to be about time dilation and atomic clocks.  One such paper (#94 on the list) is titled "Optical Atomic Clocks" and was written by scientists at the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST).   It says on page 4:
As Maxwell realized, an atom can be an ideal frequency standard because, as far as we know, one atom is exactly identical to another atom of the same species. Therefore, if we build a device that registers the frequency of a natural oscillation of an atom, say the mechanical oscillations of an electron about the atom's core, all such devices will run at exactly the same frequency (except for relativistic eff ects discussed below), independent of comparison. Therefore, the requirement for making an atomic frequency standard is relatively easy to state: we take a sample of atoms (or molecules) and build an apparatus that produces an oscillatory signal that is in resonance with the atoms' natural oscillations. Then, to make a clock, we simply count cycles of the oscillatory signal.
I highlighted one part in red, because it is about "relativistic effects," and those "relativistic effects" are described on page 9:
In addition to environmental eff ects that perturb an atom's internal states and clock frequency, there can be errors in our determination of the clock atoms' frequency, even when atoms are perturbation free. The most fundamental of these eff ects are relativistic shifts, due to the di fferent frames of reference of the atoms, probing lasers, and other atomic clocks.
The problem is that, except for the items in red above, it is difficult to find things that can make good quotes when arguing with mathematicians.  The whole paper is an argument against their beliefs, but if it argues against their beliefs they either won't read it, or they'll claim I am misreading it.  Here's one simple quote from page 30:
The dominant uncertainty of both clocks arises from time dilation shifts caused by micromotion and residual secular motion of the ions.
That directly conflicts with claims from mathematicians, but they will never see things that way.

I'm now thinking that I need to write a paper about how atomic clocks measure and confirm time dilation.  The NIST paper mentioned above will make a good reference.  And if I ever write a book, it will be good to have a chapter describing how atomic clocks measure and confirm time dilation.  

October 10, 2018 -
I know I keep saying that arguments on sci.physics.relativity discussion forum are becoming a waste of time, but I just cannot understand how anyone - much less a physicist - can argue that when a physicist writes in a scientific paper that "moving clocks run slow," he really means that "moving clocks do NOT run slow."  But that is what the mathematicians on the forum keep telling me.   Today, one wrote:

Do you not realize that all scientists (including me) use a language which has been developed for over 100 years?

We use some words and terms which, for someone like you, may appear to be nonsensical (black hole, time dilation, spin, genetic algorithms, ant colonies, hot potato, etc. etc.) but we know to what they refer.

"Clocks tick faster", "clocks run slow", "time runs slow", etc., are all
terms we understand refer to the PASSING OF TIME. We are not confused nor we are mistaken. We know the language!!! You do not know the language!!!!
His argument is that clocks do NOT run slow.  TIME runs slow.  Clocks tick at their normal rate.  But TIME appears to slow down at lower altitudes when viewed from higher altitudes.  His arguments often seem to be gibberish, as if he only knows how to explain things in mathematical terms, and trying to explain in ordinary English is next to impossible for him, because the math cannot be turned into ordinary English. 

My argument is that you do not understand anything unless you can describe it in ordinary English so that everyone else can also understand it. 

And that is what I plan to do in the book I keep mentioning.  I'm not sure what I'll use as a title for the book, but my thinking at this moment is that I will title it "Logical Relativity: The Theory of Relativity as I understand it."  I haven't yet written a single word.  All I have is a folder into which to place everything. 

And I'm pondering where to begin.

October 9, 2018
- Yesterday morning, I decided I'd try once again to discuss how radar guns work with a local police officer.  The last time I talked with a police officer about radar guns was on May 21.  I was hoping to talk with the same officer when I called them yesterday morning.  Instead, I first had to call about five or six times before I could find someone who knew anything at all about radar guns.  And when I finally got someone, he didn't know much about "single beam" radar guns.  He said they only use two-beam radar guns.

He was willing to discuss the subject, but he seemed to be guessing most of the time.  I asked him what speed a single-beam radar gun would show if the gun was in a police car traveling at 60 mph and the gun was pointed at the back of a semi truck directly ahead also traveling at 60 mph.  His answer was that the gun would show 60 mph.  Correct.  But when I tried to discuss the implications of that reading, I lost him.  He couldn't follow what I was saying.  And he didn't know the answers to a lot of my other questions.

I finally gave up, thanked him, told him I hoped I hadn't wasted his time, and I hung up.  I definitely cannot bother them again with more questions.  I need to find some other way to get my questions answered.

A radar gun pointed at the back of a semi truck traveling at the same speed as the gun would show 60 mph, not zero.  And certainly not 120 mph.  And, if the gun shows 60 mph when pointed at the back of a semi-truck moving at the same speed as the gun, then if the gun is redirected to point at a highway sign, the gun must show a speed of zero.  If the gun showed the speed as 60 mph, it would be the speed of the gun, not the speed of the sign.  And the gun would be worthless, because it shows the speed of the gun, not the speed of the target.

I just need to find some source that I can quote which says that.

Knowing exactly how single-beam radar guns work would disprove one of the most widely held beliefs in physics. 

This is from page 957 of the 4th edition of “Physics for Scientists & Engineers with Modern Physics” by Douglas C. Giancoli:
First postulate (the relativity principle): The laws of physics have the same form in all inertial reference frames.

The first postulate can also be stated as: There is no experiment you can do in an inertial reference frame to tell if you are at rest or moving uniformly at constant velocity.
If a single-beam radar gun is in a police car traveling at 60 mph and is pointed at the back of a semi-truck traveling at 60 mph, and the radar gun gives a reading of 60 mph, then you would get the same reading if you were inside the trailer of the semi-truck and pointed the radar gun at the front wall.  In other words, you can tell in an inertial reference frame that you are not at rest but are moving at constant velocity of 60 mph.  That directly contradicts the sentence I highlighted in red above.

Of course, those who believe the First Postulate is equivalent to the word of God will argue that any object on the surface of the earth cannot be "inertial," because the earth spins on its axis, and "inertial frames" must move in a straight line, they cannot go around in circles.  And that means, of course, that the First Postulate has no meaning in this universe, since there is no laboratory or test facility on Earth that truly moves in a straight line, plus the Earth moves in an orbit around the sun, and the sun moves in an orbit around the center of the Milky Way Galaxy.

It's really not that complicated.  I really need to get to work on a book that shows just how simple Relativity and time dilation are. 

Meanwhile, I keep thinking that my arguments with mathematicians on the sci.physics.relativity discussion forum are coming to an end.  I've found a key point where we disagree and where they have no intelligent answers.  The mathematicians claim over and over that the scientists who perform time dilation experiments showing that clocks run at different rates at different altitudes and different velocities do not mean what they write when they write such things as "Another consequence of Einstein's theory is that clocks run more slowly near massive objects."  The mathematicians claim that the scientists are "dumbing down" their findings to make them easier to understand, even when they are describing their findings in scientific journals.  And in the process of "dumbing down" their findings, they write things that are just the opposite of what they really mean.  

I'm trying to get them to explain why scientists would do such a thing.  I'm going to try to hammer away with that question until they provide answers. 

One mathematician who is on my "Do Not Reply" list because of his personal attacks and actual threats, just wrote:

Ed, we know this, because many of those authors have TOLD YOU
that what they wrote doesn't quite mean what they mean. They have told you that they are dumbing down.
No author of any scientific paper about using atomic clocks to measure time dilation has ever said such a thing.  I think "Rotchm" is arguing that some of the mathematicians on the forum have explained to me why they believe the scientists "dumb down" their findings, and some of those mathematicians may have written scientific papers.  But, clearly the claim is nonsense.  It's just another false argument created in an attempt to avoid answering my question.   

October 8, 2018
- The arguments I've been having with mathematicians on the sci.physics.relativity discussion forum seem to be coming to another impasse.  I provided them with a large number of quotes from scientific papers, quotes stating that clocks tick at different rates at different altitudes and different velocities, but the mathematicians just claim the quotes do not mean what they say.  Or as Michael Moroney wrote:
You do copy stuff correctly and post it here, but then you come up with a completely goofy claim about what the quote means.
Since all the quotes say basically the same thing, "According to Einstein, fast-moving clocks run slow (special relativity), and high-elevation clocks run fast (general relativity)," I asked them to provide me with scientific papers or books that state that clocks do NOT change their tick rates with changes in velocity or altitude.  I have over 1,200 scientific papers and books in my collection, and while some of them make very bizarre claims, I do not recall any that say that clocks tick at the same rate when moving at different velocities and when at different altitudes. 

What Michael Moroney was trying to do, of course, was turn the discussion into an opinion versus opinion argument about who is misinterpreting what is in the scientific papers written by time dilation experimenters.   Opinion versus opinion argument are never resolved, and they are just a waste of time.  But the person who has the better credentials can claim his opinion is superior.

Meanwhile, I updated my web page about Time Dilation Experiments to include  a lot of relevant quotes, so that I can easily access them and their sources, or I can just refer people to that page. 

The mathematicians arguments seem to be claims that time is not a clock.  So time can work in one way while clocks work in another way.  In his 1905 paper on Special Relativity, Einstein wrote:
It might appear possible to overcome all the difficulties attending the definition of “time” by substituting “the position of the small hand of my watch” for “time.” And in fact such a definition is satisfactory when we are concerned with defining a time exclusively for the place where the watch is located.
Then he goes into discussing how time can be different in different locations.  But, even so, watches in those different locations will show the time "for the place where the watch is located."  I also found this quote from "Relativity and Common Sense: A New Approach to Einstein," by Sir Hermann Bondi:
Time is that which is measured by a clock. This is a sound way of looking at things. A quantity like time, or any other physical measurement, does not exist in a completely abstract way. We find no sense in talking about something unless we specify how we measure it. It is the definition by the method of measuring a quantity that is the one sure way of avoiding talking nonsense about this kind of thing. 
I couldn't have said it better myself.  The mathematicians appear to be talking about time in a totally abstract way, as if it has no real relationship to clocks.  And there seems to be no way to get them to discuss clocks changing tick rates if time, as the mathematicians view it, is the same everywhere.   So, further arguments on this subject would just be a waste of time. 

October 7, 2018 - I'm still arguing on the sci.physics.relativity discussion forum. I've been trying to get the people there to discuss how atomic clocks work, since I see it as a possible way to resolve a lot of disagreements.  Incredibly, there is  a big disagreement over whether atomic clocks tick at a constant rate everywhere or tick at different rates depending upon altitude and velocity.

It's difficult to believe that anyone can think that atomic clocks (actually all clocks) tick at the same rate everywhere when so many scientific experiments confirming time dilation confirm beyond any doubt that atomic clocks tick slower at lower altitudes and at higher speeds.

Then, yesterday, in a discussion with three mathematicians on the forum, the cause of the disagreement was made crystal clear.

First, Michael Moroney stated:
GR predicts that more time is experienced in lower gravitational potentials than higher, science knew about this since Einstein's first GR work in 1915.
And then Tom Roberts responded:
Yes. And this happens WITHOUT a clock ever changing its tick rate; it's just geometry.
My jaw dropped open when I read that.  Geometry can cause time to pass at different rates?  How can geometry cause anything?  He was giving some God-like power to mathematics!  So, I responded:
Tom, aren't you saying that we can forget reality, where clocks tick at different rates, and just look at the math (geometry) where you can CLAIM that every clock is "at rest" (i.e., stationary) in its own reference frame and therefore ticks at the same rate as every other clock that is IMAGINED TO BE "at rest" in its own reference frame?
This morning I see there is a response from Tom Roberts.  He wrote:
Nope. Because you are WRONG -- there is not one single instance of an experiment showing that identical clocks actually tick at different rates. In EVERY CASE you ignore something essential: either the signals used in the comparison of tick rates, or the different paths through spacetime of the clocks in the comparison of elapsed proper times. The aspects that you ignore are what actually generate the observed differences, not clocks ticking at different rates.
How far removed from reality can a mathematician get?  Every time dilation experiment that uses clocks has shown that identical clocks tick at different rates at different altitudes and velocities.  That is the purpose of the experiments.  But Tom Roberts imagines that the "signals used in the comparison of tick rates" somehow make it appear that clocks tick at different rates while the clocks actually tick at the same rate.  (He seems totally incapable of explaining how this happens.)  OR, the clocks move in different paths through spacetime, and that makes it appear that the clocks tick at different rates.

I've had this argument with Tom Roberts before.  When I show him all the experiments which show that clocks run at different rates at different altitudes and velocities, and that the experimenters clearly state that clocks run at different rates at different altitudes and velocities, Roberts claims the experimenters do not really mean what they say and write.  He says they are just "dumbing down" the science for the general public, because the general public is too dumb to understand how time dilation really works.

It's insane.  I'm hoping to get him to say that same thing again, so I can ask some questions I've been wanting to ask.  He tends to disappear when the questions start to show that his beliefs disagree with the words of the experimenters. 

In yesterday's discussion, right after Tom Roberts wrote his comment, Paparios wrote something along the same lines (with my highlighting in red):
All real experiments COMPARE the elapsed readings of these clocks to verify what SR and GR models predict. They are not comparing the instantaneous clock rate. In the Hafele-Keating, the elapsed time was 636 hours and 140000 seconds in the Chou at al experiment.
To which I replied with this question:
In order to have "elapsed readings," clocks MUST tick at different rates.  You make no sense.  How can clocks have different "elapsed readings" if they did NOT tick at different rates?
And Paparios responded with this:
Easy...because when reunited (see Hafele-Keating), the clocks are showing the elapsed readings of their different paths through spacetime. This should be easy to you to understand: The ground clock had coordinates (x1,y1,z1,t1) the same coordinates than the flown clocks, AT THE BEGINING OF THE EXPERIMENT. The path the ground clock followed is clearly different from the path the flown clocks followed.

Hafele-Keating clearly give the equations which describe this difference of path, specifically equation 2:

T-To=[gh/c^2 - (2R Omega v + v^2)/(2c^2)]To

So the clocks, being extremely accurate and not changing their tick rates, were able to measure these elapsed times differences.
This agrees with earlier arguments in which they claimed that clocks are like odometers.  When you travel a shorter route in a car, the car's odometer shows fewer miles were traveled.  And when you travel a shorter route through spacetime, clocks show less time has elapsed. 

space time and curved
                                            space

In the illustration above, one clock is traveling along the straight line and the other clock is traveling along the path that is curved by gravity.  And therefore the clock on the curved path should show that more time has passed if you consider a clock to be like an odometer.  

Here is one description of how spacetime works:

General Relativity effects are caused by the altitude of the flying clock - space time near the surface of the Earth is more steeply curved than at the height of the aircraft, so the airborne clock (and everything else on the aircraft) is travelling through space-time that is slightly less 'stretched' than it is at the Earth's surface. This stretching of space-time is what makes time run slower on the ground relative to on the aircraft.
So, in the illustration above, spacetime is less stretched at high altitudes.  That means that time passes faster there than at lower altitudes where spacetime is more stretched.  If, however, a clock is like an odometer in a car, the clock will show that more time has passed at the lower altitude, not less as was claimed by Paparios.  I cannot find any spacetime illustration which shows that less time passes for an object due to its velocity.

I'm not sure how to argue with Paparios.  One problem is that there is no good way to use illustrations in arguments on sci.physics.relativity. 

All I can do, it appears, is to show them what the experimenters say about their own experiments.  They claim over and over and over that moving clocks and clocks closer to the earth run slower.  I agree with what the experimenters write and say.  But Tom Roberts and Paparios claim that I disagree with what the experimenters say, because Tom Roberts and Paparios know and believe that the experimenters do not mean what they say.  I.e., when the experimenters say over and over and over that the faster a clock moves the slower the clock ticks, and the closer the clock is to a gravitational mass the slower it will tick, they don't mean it.  What they actually mean is that identical clocks tick at the same rate when traveling at different velocities and at different altitudes, just the opposite of what they say.  Why?  Because that is what mathematicians believe must be true.  Otherwise, the mathematicians would be in total disagreement with the experimenters and their experiments.  And the mathematicians cannot believe such a thing is possible.








Other interests:

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

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