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Discussion between 2 relativists and 1 anti-relativist

Discussion in 'Invitation Only Debates' started by Terry Sampson, Oct 31, 2019.

  1. Terry Sampson

    Terry Sampson Well-Known Member

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    This thread is a One-on-One Thread, by Invitation Only. If you haven't been invited into it, somebody's gonna whack you.

    @ratiocinator @Polymath257 @Terry Sampson

    Recapitulation of Terry's position [from the "Big Bang: Whodunit?" Thread]
    • In Post #5 of the Big Bang: Whodunit? thread, T.S. wrote: "The Big Bang is a crock of malarkey".
    • In Post #7 of the same thread, Polymath 257 asked: "what, precisely, do you think the Big Bang theory says and why it is a crock?"
    • In Post #11, I replied:
      • Not so precisely, it says that the universe initially was a singularity: i.e. an infinitely dense point of something (i.e. matter, space, and time or spacetime), which began to expand and has been expanding ever since it began to expand. The singularity has no "outside", only "inside". The age of the universe is calculated based on its rate of expansion.
      • Why do I think the theory is a crock? Because, as I understand it, the theory is rooted in Einstein's Theory of General Relativity (a.k.a. General Theory of Relativity [GTR]) which builds on/adds to his Theory of Special Relativity (a.k.a. Special Theory of Relativity [STR]). And, in STR, the doctrine of length contraction is a conjecture without evidence and in conflict with a similar doctrine of length contraction believed to be true by Neo-Lorentzian quasi-relativists, which is more correct than STR's version but still wrong because the Neo-Lorentzians don't subscribe to Newton's Absolute Space and Absolute Time.
    • In Post #15, ratiocinator wrote: "Both special and general relativity are supported by plentiful evidence and in fact the GPS system needs to take both into account to get its timings right (source)."
    • To which I replied in Post #20: "Strap on yer helmet, buckle yer seat-belt, and get a grip on yer steering wheel, kid. ... How comfortable are you with rudimentary Einstein's STR stuff, ... minimal calculations required?"
    • To which ratioccinerator responded, in Post #32: "Go right ahead..."
    • And Polymath257 added, in Post #34: "I'm quite comfortable with both SR and GR. Let's see what you got."
    • Then I wrote, in Post #42:
      1. Sorry, I was busy trying to find old stuff I needed. If I can't find it, I'll have to redraw what I need. Eventually, I'll get it all out here: piece by piece, probably. So, don't hold your breath waiting for me. I'll eventually lay out all my cards, ... when I can find them or make new ones.
      2. Just so's you know up front: I consider the forthcoming exchange to be a "win" for me. Either I make a case for my "inflammatory antirelativist position", in which case "I win", or you show me where I'm wrong and I finally get the information that I have wanted for so long that enables me to put my complaint against STR to rest ... and "I win".
    • Those are essentially the exchanges which inspired this thread.
    • In spite of my ambitious claim in Post #5, i.e. "The Big Bang is a crock of malarkey", my focus in this thread will be substantially more narrow, to wit: STR's Doctrine of Length Contraction.
     
    #1 Terry Sampson, Oct 31, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2019
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  2. Polymath257

    Polymath257 Think & Care
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    OK, should we start with Special relativity? That is the one that takes less advanced math to understand fully. So, nothing about universal expansion, for example--that is a general relativistic effect.

    Why focus on length contraction when it is one aspect that is very difficult to detect? For example, you don't expect to detect a length change in subatomic particles, right? It would only be really visible in larger objects and very few of those are moving at relativistic speeds.
     
  3. ratiocinator

    ratiocinator Lightly seared on the reality grill.

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    When you say you want to concentrate on length contraction, are you suggesting that you accept time dilation? The two are closely connected. One example of time dilation is the detection of muons at the earth's surface despite their short half-life (see here). In order to make sense of that in the muon's own reference frame, you have length contraction of the distance from the upper atmosphere to the surface.
     
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  4. Polymath257

    Polymath257 Think & Care
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    I'd also say you should be very clear about what, exactly, is claimed in the length contraction.

    Suppose a pole is at rest and has a length 10 feet in my reference frame. Someone goes past me at 60% of the speed of light and in a direction aligned with the pole. They measure the length of the same pole at an instant in their frame and determine it to be 8 feet long.

    Is that good for a start?

    I'm using that sqrt( 1- (.6)^2 ) =.8
     
  5. Terry Sampson

    Terry Sampson Well-Known Member

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    Good morning.

    I sure hope so, cause that's about as far as I bothered to go in the pool. Tried the deep end where GTR is, but the water was murky, so I pretty much stayed out of it.

    That's why.

    I readily accept that there are clocks which function more slowly the faster that they are moved. I know about the Hafele and Keating experiment.

    Indubitably, to be sure. Just won't do for one of us to be saying it's one thing and each of the other of us saying it ain't.

    But first, maybe you two will critique my reasoning, in my post #11, where I wrote: "Why do I think the [Big Bang] theory is a crock? Because, as I understand it, the theory is rooted in Einstein's Theory of General Relativity (a.k.a. General Theory of Relativity [GTR]) which builds on/adds to his Theory of Special Relativity (a.k.a. Special Theory of Relativity [STR])."

    So, whaddya think? Is that a fair statement or not? I ask because, if the Big Bang theory can stand on its own two feet, whether Einstein's GTR is true or not OR the Big Bang theory stands or falls with the GTR but GTR can standon its own two feet whether Einstein's STR is true or not, then I need to raise a white flag, pack up, and go home.
     
  6. Polymath257

    Polymath257 Think & Care
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    OK, so the problem isn't that we haven't detected it (because that wouldn't be expected given our current abilities), but that it violates some other ideological position?

    It is relative, not absolute motion that is relevant, though.

    Well,

    1. GR is an extension of SR to the case of a non-flat spacetime. This includes gravitational effects, for example. SR is the special case where spacetime is flat.

    2. As an analogy, if we do not move too far, we can consider the Earth to be 'locally flat', even though it is curved on the large scale. Euclidean geometry is a good approximation if we stay close. SR is locally a good approximation if we don't move too far in either space or time.

    3. So, in a sense, SR is a special case of GR, but GR is based on spacetime being locally like the SR description.

    4. The Big Bang was originally formulated as an application of GR to the universe as a whole. But, spacetime is then found to be curved, so to deal with questions of cosmology, we need the full GR treatment and the local SR concepts can fail. Sort of like trying to use Euclidean geometry on the whole Earth.

    5. There have been other theories of gravity proposed that allow for/predict an expanding universe from a hot, dense state.

    Does that clarify the relation?
     
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  7. Terry Sampson

    Terry Sampson Well-Known Member

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    IMO, yes.

    You know, you could have just accepted my statements as evidence that I'm not completely crazy and said "Okay". That the relative motion of clocks is relevant is not evidence that there is no absolute motion.

    Thanks for reminding me just how much I always hated asking knowledgeable relativists questions. The ignorant ones would have just said "Yes" or "No". I'll take your response under advisement, keep my white flag handy but lowered, and have my bags packed and ready to go. :D
     
  8. ratiocinator

    ratiocinator Lightly seared on the reality grill.

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    Well, you could have answered my question by saying yes or no. Time dilation isn't quite the same as "there are clocks which function more slowly the faster that they are moved". I'd still be interested in your answer as to whether you accept time dilation.

    This is strictly true - yes.

    Wouldn't it be much easier if you posted your actual objections to SR? I do understand that you said that you'd need to find or reproduce what you had before but until you spell out what you think the problem is, it's rather hard to answer your questions in a relevant way.
     
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  9. Terry Sampson

    Terry Sampson Well-Known Member

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    I found my documents and am reviewing them in order to ensure that I dotted most, if not all, my "i"s and crossed most, if not all, my "t"s. Hope to have that done soon, i.e. today.

    Are you aware that Neo-Lorentzians do not, as far as I know, challenge existing experiments? And I'm sure that you do NOT know that there was a devout Anti-relativist I was acquainted with who accepted the results and interpreted them differently, all the while steadfastly affirming absolute space, absolute time, and absolute motion.
    So, if I answer "yes" to your question, am I answering as a relativist, a neo-lorentzian quasi-relativist, or an anti-relativist who believes in absolute motion? The first two, IMO, are wrong. So how should I answer? "Yes", "Yes, but ...", "No", or "No, but ..." ?
     
  10. Polymath257

    Polymath257 Think & Care
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    Well, one aspect that is frequently misunderstood is that, while in SR there is no preferred frame of reference, in GR (especially in BB cosmology), there *can* be.

    For example, in BB cosmology, each point in spacetime has a preferred frame where galaxies are expanding uniformly away in all directions (so, isotropy). One problem is that these preferred frames from different points, even 'at the same time', can be in relative motion.
     
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  11. Terry Sampson

    Terry Sampson Well-Known Member

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    Here's my first document: Chronological Order and the Double Triplet Scenario.
    No need to plod through the whole thing. The Introduction on Page 1 and Pages 7 through 13 should be sufficient to demonstrate my understanding of STR. You'll holler if you don't like it, I'm sure.

    Note: You won't see any calculations in any of the pages, but a clever person ought, IMO, be able to figure out that, if the traveling ships are about half the size of the "stationary" ships and both would be identical in length at rest with respect to each other, v = about (0.867)c. I'm not in school and my paper ain't for publication purposes. In other words, the paper is an
    informal exhibit and has not and won't be submitted anywhere for "peer review", 'lessen you consider yourselves my peers. :D

    Chew through it as best as you can. If something stumps you or sticks in your craw, holler and I'll see if I can find somebody to explain it to you.
     

    Attached Files:

  12. Terry Sampson

    Terry Sampson Well-Known Member

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    By the by, indubitably you have sufficient reading material of your own, however I'm attaching four documents from my hard drive library.
    Nothing new in the first three; maybe something kind of new or supplementary in the fourth.
    • Module 603, The Spacetime World: Introduction to Spacetime
    • Module 601, The Spacetime World: Foundations of Special Relativity Theory
    • Module 602, The Spacetime World: The Minkowski World
    • Module 603, The Spacetime World: Loedel's Spacetime Diagram
    Just putting them in this thread for the benefit of folk casually passing by, who might be interested in Relativity subject matter.
    The fourth, Module 603, introduces my favorite kind of STR diagram, albeit in a manner that I don't care for. I'll hunt for one or two that I put together using polar graph paper that helped me better grasp relative simultaneity.
     

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  13. Polymath257

    Polymath257 Think & Care
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    I did an admittedly brief scan, but the basics seem to be good. A good example of the relativity of simultaneity, actually.

    So what is your issue with the SR description?
     
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  14. Polymath257

    Polymath257 Think & Care
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    All of these seem fairly basic.
     
  15. Polymath257

    Polymath257 Think & Care
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    I might suggest adding another observer that is the 'center of motion' observer. i had to run through the calculation, but it is one who is moving at 57.7% of c with respect to both observers. In this frame, both the original two are 'contracted' by a factor of .816 and the simultaneity diagram looks similar to the Newtonian one.

    This is the one in which the Lodel diagram is the reference frame.
     
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  16. ratiocinator

    ratiocinator Lightly seared on the reality grill.

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    OK, I'm on UK time, so I'll not be able to go through this in detail until tomorrow now, but glancing through (and I see @Polymath257 has beaten me to it) it looks like you discovered the relativity of simultaneity.
     
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  17. Terry Sampson

    Terry Sampson Well-Known Member

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    IMO, the relativity of simultaneity is the single-most important feature of STR AND the one least-well grasped by beginners and, I dare say, the most aggressive anti-anti-relativists that I encountered. When I figured out the rudiments of the doctrine, I was able to annoy a couple more than once by "prophesying" that their ignorance of relative simultaneity would eventually be discovered by a more competent relativist and they'd get a whack on the head for it if they didn't figure it out. And every one of them did, indeed, get a whack on the head.

    I'll take that under advisement for now and play with it elsewhere off-line later.

    Still have a document (shorter) to post that needs work on it. Ir's the one that is important, IMO.
     
    #17 Terry Sampson, Nov 1, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2019
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  18. ratiocinator

    ratiocinator Lightly seared on the reality grill.

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    Having read through it, I'm still not sure what you think is wrong with SR or exactly what you want to replace it with. It is an example of the relativity of simultaneity.

    You didn't give any maths for the neo-Lorentzian scenario, perhaps that would clarify things. If we have frames in the standard configuration (F' moving in the positive x direction with velocity v, relative to F)

    Then, in the Newtonian case, we have:
    [​IMG]

    In SR, we have the Lorentz transform:
    [​IMG]
    where
    [​IMG]
    In your neo-Lorentzian view:

    ???
     
  19. Terry Sampson

    Terry Sampson Well-Known Member

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    I didn't give any maths for the neo-Lorentzian scenario because it uses the very same Lorentz transformation that you use in Special Relativity, BUT it affirms a priveleged frame and absolute simultaneity.

    I just finished reworking my second document and should have it posted in a few minutes.
     
  20. Terry Sampson

    Terry Sampson Well-Known Member

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    My second document is attached to this post.

    Give me back absolute simultaneity, acknowledge that acceleration results in clock retardation and length contraction, admit that SR length contraction is bogus, and change what needs to be changed in order to get rid of the Paradox of the Light Spheres.
     

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    #20 Terry Sampson, Nov 2, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2019
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