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Old 28th November 2014, 12:07 PM   #1
Darwin123
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The Thomas E. Phipps cult.

There are a lot of ‘skeptics’ who claim ‘there is are internal contradictions in relativity’. In other words, they claim that the theory of relativity as presented by Einstein is ‘ollogical’. These fellows have developed a large following on the internet, though there criticism seldom make it in ‘mainstream’ scientific literature. Very few of their articles pass peer review by scientists. They explain this as discrimination due to a dogmatic following of ‘authorities’. They claim to be iconoclastics, busting the ‘idols’ of relativity. I am skeptical of these skeptics.

Chief among these skeptics is ‘Thomas E. Phipps, Jr.’. He is an extremely toxic scientist. He bad mouths traditional scientists every chance he gets. He claims that relativity is a con game. Physicists have been swindling the public and other scientists. He claims that there is no evidence for relativity. Further, there can be no way to validate relativity because it contains logical contradictions. He has ‘self published’ books where he ‘debunks’ practically all of modern physics. However, he fills it with some very personal attacks on Einstein and the present day physics community. Therefore, I would like to discuss some of these claims with other ‘skeptics’.

I would like to discuss one of his articles that have been posted free on the web. This way, anyone who hasn’t read any of his articles gets a chance to do so before discussing. Here is a link.

http://redshift.vif.com/JournalFiles...F/V20N1PHI.pdf
© 2013 C. Roy Keys Inc. — http://redshift.vif.com
Apeiron, Vol. 20, No. 1, April 2013 3
‘A different resolution of the twin paradox’


Let me point out that he presents a straw man version of relativity. He presents false assumptions which he attributes to scientists that use relativity. The scientists do not make these assumptions, but he states with great certainty that they do. He does not cite actual articles where these assumptions are stated. Then he finds a logical contradiction based on this false theory of relativity which is his own false assumptions. Here is an example:

‘But the latter naïveté is fostered by the Lorentz transformation (LT) and its inverse, which imply symmetry of aging rates (symmetrical slow- running of clocks), a phenomenon never observed, and apparently contrary to experiment[1]. A typical one of these supposed resolutions[2] identifies acceleration as the agency of asymmetry, although the hallmark of SRT is its distinctive dependence on the unqualified motional symmetry implied by the relativity of motion; therefore seemingly not restricted to relative velocity but applicable to
all forms of relative motion, including the higher time derivatives of separation distance. In that case acceleration per se does not spoil the motional symmetry of the twins, and the “paradox” (actually a disagreement with experimental fact) persists. Note that the mere existence of any physical symmetry-breaker implies the descriptive invalidity of the mathematically symmetrical LT. ‘

False statements and truth.

False: ’the Lorentz transform and its inverse imply symmetry of aging rates (symmetrical slow - running clocks’

Truth: The Lorentz transform can be used to coma per aging rates in different inertial frames, not in non inertial frames. The original 1905 article where Einstein introduces relativity specifies a very specific type of reference frame. The reference frames in this article is restricted to reference frames connected to a stationary frame by a Lorentz transform. The stationary frame was defined in dynamic terms. So the clocks do not have to symmetrical age in any frame that is not derived from the stationary frame.’


‘If the LT is invalid, then SRT is invalid, since it offers nothing better. The Wikipedia assertion about the twin paradox that “it can be resolved within the standard framework” is consequently, to put it bluntly, no more than a tactic designed to protect the sacrosanct LT by stigmatizing any challenging of it as “naïve.” ‘

Note that he makes a false generalization. The Lorentz transform (LT) is valid between some frames but not valid between others. The Lorentz transform is valid between frames where linear momentum is conserved, as implied from the third law Of Newton.

Phipps lies by omission by not mentioning the Galilean transformation at this point. In a Newtonian universe, Principia is only valid in Galilean frame. This means that they are only valid in a frame which is connected to an ‘absolute space’ by a Galilean transformation. Principia was assumed to be valid in the absolute space.

Classical scientists, including Newton, knew full well that Newton’s Laws were invalid in an accelerating frame. Newton bypassed this limitation by saying that the simplest laws of mechanics were valid in the absolute space. If in any frame there are forces that violate the third law of mechanics, then it is not an absolute space.

So look at people on a merry go round. Here is a frame which can not be derived from the ground frame by a Galilean transformation. The Galilean transformation is invalid for people and devices attached to the merry go round. Newtons third law is violated for these people and devices, since the centripetal force is not associated with any one body. However, Newton’s Laws were still considered valid until the early twentieth century. ‘Principia' has no logical contradiction because the absolute space was defined by the dynamics. Phipps conveniently ignores this feature of Newtonian mechanics discussed very often by the ‘authorities’ in physics.

Phipps is not just disagreeing on a technical point. He accuses ‘the authorities’ of malfeasance.

‘Do relativists acknowledge their toyings with factual experience to be “lies”? No, that would be poor public relations. They speak of what is “calculated,” as if a calculated lie were a mitigated lie. Says Wikipedia: “The traveling twin reckons that there has been a jump discontinuity in the age of the Earth-based twin.” In any physical theory, what is calculated or reckoned is what is predicted.’


Note that he doesn’t merely claim scientists are making a mistake. He has made a proof made with false assumptions. Anyone who disagrees with these assumptions is a ‘liar’.


He also seems to twist words. Here is something he says.

‘It is important to note the exact wording of a valid relativity principle:
The form of the laws of nature is invariant under changes of inertial system.
This is an assertion of formal invariance, not of numerical invariance.’

The idea of a universal “time flow rate” that is preferred in nature is without logical support or physical substance. Hence the relativity principle in the above form is valid even if clock running rates vary with inertial system and with history of clock changes of action state, whether kinetic (motional) or potential (gravitational).’

Great. Here is is claiming that Eisntein is wrong because there is a ‘flow in time’. So where did Einstein, or anyone else, talk about a ‘flow of time’?

‘Age’ is a number, not a formal expression. This is why the muons can be different ‘ages’ in different inertial frames. Furthermore, the inertial frame is specified by the dynamics not the kinematics. The only physical way the instruments on the ground (ground frame) can be transformed into a frame where the muons are at rest (rest frame) is by applying a force. A Lorentz transform would not be enough.

Einstein never said that the Lorentz transform would always be enough. I challenge anyone to find any statement of his that the Lorentz transform is enough to determine the ‘age’ of anything at all. This is a fantasy restricted to Thomas E. Phipps, Jr.

Anyone else care to comment. Are you afraid of being called a liar?-)
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Old 28th November 2014, 10:09 PM   #2
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I hope he gets lost using his GPS.
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Old 29th November 2014, 12:58 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Darwin123 View Post
There are a lot of ‘skeptics’ who claim ‘there is are internal contradictions in relativity’. In other words, they claim that the theory of relativity as presented by Einstein is ‘ollogical’. These fellows have developed a large following on the internet, though there criticism seldom make it in ‘mainstream’ scientific literature. Very few of their articles pass peer review by scientists. They explain this as discrimination due to a dogmatic following of ‘authorities’. They claim to be iconoclastics, busting the ‘idols’ of relativity. I am skeptical of these skeptics.

Chief among these skeptics is ‘Thomas E. Phipps, Jr.’. He is an extremely toxic scientist. He bad mouths traditional scientists every chance he gets. He claims that relativity is a con game. Physicists have been swindling the public and other scientists. He claims that there is no evidence for relativity. Further, there can be no way to validate relativity because it contains logical contradictions. He has ‘self published’ books where he ‘debunks’ practically all of modern physics. However, he fills it with some very personal attacks on Einstein and the present day physics community. Therefore, I would like to discuss some of these claims with other ‘skeptics’.

I would like to discuss one of his articles that have been posted free on the web. This way, anyone who hasn’t read any of his articles gets a chance to do so before discussing. Here is a link.

http://redshift.vif.com/JournalFiles...F/V20N1PHI.pdf
© 2013 C. Roy Keys Inc. — http://redshift.vif.com
Apeiron, Vol. 20, No. 1, April 2013 3
‘A different resolution of the twin paradox’


Let me point out that he presents a straw man version of relativity. He presents false assumptions which he attributes to scientists that use relativity. The scientists do not make these assumptions, but he states with great certainty that they do. He does not cite actual articles where these assumptions are stated. Then he finds a logical contradiction based on this false theory of relativity which is his own false assumptions. Here is an example:

‘But the latter naïveté is fostered by the Lorentz transformation (LT) and its inverse, which imply symmetry of aging rates (symmetrical slow- running of clocks), a phenomenon never observed, and apparently contrary to experiment[1]. A typical one of these supposed resolutions[2] identifies acceleration as the agency of asymmetry, although the hallmark of SRT is its distinctive dependence on the unqualified motional symmetry implied by the relativity of motion; therefore seemingly not restricted to relative velocity but applicable to
all forms of relative motion, including the higher time derivatives of separation distance. In that case acceleration per se does not spoil the motional symmetry of the twins, and the “paradox” (actually a disagreement with experimental fact) persists. Note that the mere existence of any physical symmetry-breaker implies the descriptive invalidity of the mathematically symmetrical LT. ‘

False statements and truth.

False: ’the Lorentz transform and its inverse imply symmetry of aging rates (symmetrical slow - running clocks’

Truth: The Lorentz transform can be used to coma per aging rates in different inertial frames, not in non inertial frames. The original 1905 article where Einstein introduces relativity specifies a very specific type of reference frame. The reference frames in this article is restricted to reference frames connected to a stationary frame by a Lorentz transform. The stationary frame was defined in dynamic terms. So the clocks do not have to symmetrical age in any frame that is not derived from the stationary frame.’


‘If the LT is invalid, then SRT is invalid, since it offers nothing better. The Wikipedia assertion about the twin paradox that “it can be resolved within the standard framework” is consequently, to put it bluntly, no more than a tactic designed to protect the sacrosanct LT by stigmatizing any challenging of it as “naïve.” ‘

Note that he makes a false generalization. The Lorentz transform (LT) is valid between some frames but not valid between others. The Lorentz transform is valid between frames where linear momentum is conserved, as implied from the third law Of Newton.

Phipps lies by omission by not mentioning the Galilean transformation at this point. In a Newtonian universe, Principia is only valid in Galilean frame. This means that they are only valid in a frame which is connected to an ‘absolute space’ by a Galilean transformation. Principia was assumed to be valid in the absolute space.

Classical scientists, including Newton, knew full well that Newton’s Laws were invalid in an accelerating frame. Newton bypassed this limitation by saying that the simplest laws of mechanics were valid in the absolute space. If in any frame there are forces that violate the third law of mechanics, then it is not an absolute space.

So look at people on a merry go round. Here is a frame which can not be derived from the ground frame by a Galilean transformation. The Galilean transformation is invalid for people and devices attached to the merry go round. Newtons third law is violated for these people and devices, since the centripetal force is not associated with any one body. However, Newton’s Laws were still considered valid until the early twentieth century. ‘Principia' has no logical contradiction because the absolute space was defined by the dynamics. Phipps conveniently ignores this feature of Newtonian mechanics discussed very often by the ‘authorities’ in physics.

Phipps is not just disagreeing on a technical point. He accuses ‘the authorities’ of malfeasance.

‘Do relativists acknowledge their toyings with factual experience to be “lies”? No, that would be poor public relations. They speak of what is “calculated,” as if a calculated lie were a mitigated lie. Says Wikipedia: “The traveling twin reckons that there has been a jump discontinuity in the age of the Earth-based twin.” In any physical theory, what is calculated or reckoned is what is predicted.’


Note that he doesn’t merely claim scientists are making a mistake. He has made a proof made with false assumptions. Anyone who disagrees with these assumptions is a ‘liar’.


He also seems to twist words. Here is something he says.

‘It is important to note the exact wording of a valid relativity principle:
The form of the laws of nature is invariant under changes of inertial system.
This is an assertion of formal invariance, not of numerical invariance.’

The idea of a universal “time flow rate” that is preferred in nature is without logical support or physical substance. Hence the relativity principle in the above form is valid even if clock running rates vary with inertial system and with history of clock changes of action state, whether kinetic (motional) or potential (gravitational).’

Great. Here is is claiming that Eisntein is wrong because there is a ‘flow in time’. So where did Einstein, or anyone else, talk about a ‘flow of time’?

‘Age’ is a number, not a formal expression. This is why the muons can be different ‘ages’ in different inertial frames. Furthermore, the inertial frame is specified by the dynamics not the kinematics. The only physical way the instruments on the ground (ground frame) can be transformed into a frame where the muons are at rest (rest frame) is by applying a force. A Lorentz transform would not be enough.

Einstein never said that the Lorentz transform would always be enough. I challenge anyone to find any statement of his that the Lorentz transform is enough to determine the ‘age’ of anything at all. This is a fantasy restricted to Thomas E. Phipps, Jr.

Anyone else care to comment. Are you afraid of being called a liar?-)
No - I might make one effort to help the dolt who calls me one recognize his ignorance has been exposed by doing so, but it raises no fear in me. I do not know Phipps or of him beyond the post. If he shows credentials and published papers from WELL respected journals in the field, cool. If not no interest. Don't have time to waste on duck noises.
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Old 29th November 2014, 08:24 AM   #4
W.D.Clinger
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From http://www.worldsci.org/php/index.ph...=Thomas_Phipps :
Quote:
Thomas E. Phipps, Jr., born in Champaign, Illinois. Educated at Harvard, AB, 1944; Ph.D., 1950 in Nuclear Physics. Worked during World War II in P. M. Morse's Operations Research Group in the Navy Department, subsequently returning to Harvard to do an experimental thesis on Molecular Beam NMR under Norman Ramsey. His career included a total of twelve years in the Pentagon — ten in systems analysis for the Navy and two in research management for the Department of Defense — as well as similar employments at Navy laboratories in California and Maryland. In 1980 he retired to form a small private physics laboratory in collaboration with his father, an emeritus professor of physical chemistry at the University of Illinois, in which they performed experiments in electromagnetism. In 1986 he wrote a book, Heretical Verities: Mathematical Themes in Physical Description. After his father's death in 1990, he has continued both experimental and theoretical investigations into basic physics.

See also

H Pierre Noyes. PHIPPSCHRIFT: Preface, Vita, Bibliography and Contents. Submitted to Physics Essays, Volume 8, Number 3, 1995. A preprint is online at http://www.euclideanrelativity.com/p...c-pub-6809.pdf
For $55 you can buy that particular issue of Physics Essays.

Noyes offers more biographical information than the paragraph above. His bibliography for Phipps lists 61 published papers in physics, 9 in mathematics, and 6 "miscellaneous". Not all of those are journal publications, but the mix is reasonable. Phipps is for real.

Last edited by W.D.Clinger; 29th November 2014 at 08:49 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 29th November 2014, 08:45 AM   #5
W.D.Clinger
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Originally Posted by Gord_in_Toronto View Post
I hope he gets lost using his GPS.
According to David Roscoe's Foreward to Phipps's Old Physics for New: a worldview alternative to Einstein’s relativity theory, Phipps accepts time dilation (hence the relativistic corrections used by GPS) but rejects length contraction. That implies denial of spacetime symmetry and rejection of the relativity of simultaneity.

David Roscoe is convinced. I am not, but I respect Phipps's realistic evaluation of his prospects:

Originally Posted by Thomas E Phipps Jr
Heading the parade of modern physics ugliness is Special Relativity Theory (SRT), an icon now so sacred that to breathe a word of negative criticism is to be automatically awarded the jester’s bells and mantle of “crackpot.” Many critics (misled by the tale of “The Emperor’s New Clothes”) have tried to laugh, expecting to evoke a chorus … and all such have left their bones to whiten the Juggernaut’s path. I anticipate no different fate, and am not concerned except to leave one more set of footprints on the path.
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Old 29th November 2014, 09:20 AM   #6
Darwin123
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Originally Posted by Gord_in_Toronto View Post
I hope he gets lost using his GPS.
Phipps does not deny that the GPS works. Nor does he deny that the designers used what they think is general relativity in making the GPS work.

Phipps is claiming that the designers of the GPS made a mistake in general relativity when they applied what they think was general relativity. However, general relativity was already wrong before they made the mistake.

So what Phipps is claiming is that Einstein made one mistake when he wrote general relativity before there was a GPS. Phipps is also claiming that the designers of GPS made other mistakes in applying general relativity to the GPS. Phipps concludes that the mistakes made by the designers precisely cancelled the mistakes made by Einstein resulting in a GPS that is precise.

Follow that ?-)
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Old 29th November 2014, 09:24 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Darwin123 View Post
Phipps does not deny that the GPS works. Nor does he deny that the designers used what they think is general relativity in making the GPS work.

Phipps is claiming that the designers of the GPS made a mistake in general relativity when they applied what they think was general relativity. However, general relativity was already wrong before they made the mistake.

So what Phipps is claiming is that Einstein made one mistake when he wrote general relativity before there was a GPS. Phipps is also claiming that the designers of GPS made other mistakes in applying general relativity to the GPS. Phipps concludes that the mistakes made by the designers precisely cancelled the mistakes made by Einstein resulting in a GPS that is precise.

Follow that ?-)
Yes . . . unfortunately.

Do I accept the explanation? No . . .
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Old 29th November 2014, 10:10 AM   #8
Darwin123
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Originally Posted by W.D.Clinger View Post
From http://www.worldsci.org/php/index.ph...=Thomas_Phipps :



See also

H Pierre Noyes. PHIPPSCHRIFT: Preface, Vita, Bibliography and Contents. Submitted to Physics Essays, Volume 8, Number 3, 1995. A preprint is online at http://www.euclideanrelativity.com/p...c-pub-6809.pdf
For $55 you can buy that particular issue of Physics Essays.

Noyes offers more biographical information than the paragraph above. His bibliography for Phipps lists 61 published papers in physics, 9 in mathematics, and 6 "miscellaneous". Not all of those are journal publications, but the mix is reasonable. Phipps is for real.
I am not sure whether most of these journals are not reviewed by professional scientists. 'Free Energy' is a journal, but I don't know how they review articles. I don't deny that some valid and innovative research may be published in 'Free Energy'. However, their criteria for publication is obviously strongly weighted for 'innovation' of 'accuracy'.

Phipps has some publications in valid journals early in his career. He did some experimental research regarding the position of some spectral lines. I don't deny that he may have done some valid research. However, one doesn't always have to know the details of their apparatus to do a research. I conjecture that he got fairly specialized in some fields.

Phipps may not fully understand the lock-in amplifier that he uses in most experiments. His description in 'Verities' is total nonsense. The lock-in amplifier is an electronic band pass filter. I conjecture that he may have used it properly in his early experiments, when the only noise he had to deal with came from room lights.

None of his work in his bibliography would have involved heterodyning. Heterodyning would have required him to know precisely what the phase on his lock-in amplifier. He used a saw tooth reference to eliminate the second harmonic from the filtered signal. This was clever, but insufficient. He would have had to use a sinusoidal reference to eliminate third and fourth order harmonics from the filtered signal.

Several people have praised his stressing on experiment. However, Phipps uses a wonky theory to interpret experimental results. No one seems to want to address the wonky theory.

Maybe you have the book, Vereties. Perhaps you can explain Phipps theory about how a lock-in amplifier works. It looks like mush to me. I think he has only a partial understanding of the electronics he worked with.

For example, you didn't address what I claimed in the original post. I pointed out that the inertial frames are formally defined using dynamics. I intentionally avoided discussing his formal qualifications, though perhaps I should have. You responded by pointing out all of Phipps qualifications. You did not address this issue of how the inertial frame was defined.

I understand full well that the phrase 'inertial frame' was not used in the 1905 article. However, Einstein carefully defined the type of reference frame used in special relativity. He defined 'reference frame' with regard to formal invariance. Phipps was right about it being a formal invariance, by the way.

Einstein first defined a stationary frame where the laws of physics are simplest'. There is some slop in this definition. However, he specified included Maxwells equations in their partial differential form. Einstein then defined the reference frame of special relativity as moving at a constant velocity with respect to the stationary frame.

This is a definition based on dynamics. The stationary frame was defined in terms of Maxwells equations in their partial differentiation form. Hence, the theory is self consistent as long as Maxwell's equations are used in their partial differential form.

Maybe Phipps has his own physical theory which is more accurate than Einstein's relativity. For instance, Phipps prefers electrodynamics described with total differentials. Fine, that is a valid hypothesis. However, Phipps goes beyond presenting a new theory. He claims to have found an internal contradiction in special relativity. This is nonsense since he has dismissed the hypotheses of special relativity from the very start.

Phipps claims that relativity is only about kinematics and nothing else. He says that there is no dynamics in relativity. Then he shows the importance of dynamics (physical interactions including forces) in these experiments. So he reasons that if the dynamics are important in these experiments, and relativity does not include dynamics, then relativity must be wrong. Since relativity consists entirely of kinematics, relativity must be a tautology. Am I mistaken about what Phipps claims?

Relativity includes dynamics. Scientists working in the field have to include forces all the time. Students are taught about relativistic dynamics. Phipps dismisses all this work by ignoring it.

Noyes was fooled. He may be a good theorist, but I don't think Noyes has ever been in the final stages of experimental design. I think Phipps was able to fool Noyes because Noyes really is a pure theorist. Phipps sent letters discussing the importance of experiments. Noyes said that he agrees. I don't think Noyes ever looked at the nuts and bolts of Phipps 'experiments'.

Phipps seems to have spent most of his career as a manager rather than a bench level scientist. Thus, he is a 'scientific authority'. If he had any technical understanding in the beginning of his career, then I believe he has lost it. If what I say isn't possible, then address my technical concerns which I posted.

Phipps has not really proved relativity is a tautology. Nor has Phipps proved relativity wrong. He has shown that there are people who are really mad at scientists for whatever reason.

Note that I gave some technical concerns. I invite you to tell me how I am wrong on the technical issues.
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Old 29th November 2014, 12:55 PM   #9
W.D.Clinger
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Originally Posted by Darwin123 View Post
I am not sure whether most of these journals are not reviewed by professional scientists. 'Free Energy' is a journal, but I don't know how they review articles. I don't deny that some valid and innovative research may be published in 'Free Energy'. However, their criteria for publication is obviously strongly weighted for 'innovation' of 'accuracy'.
Noyes didn't list any publications in journals named Free Energy, so I don't know what you think you're trying to say here.

Originally Posted by Darwin123 View Post
No one seems to want to address the wonky theory.
Life is way too short for sensible people to want to address every wonky theory that's ever been proposed. Maybe you should explain why you think this particular wonky theory needs to be addressed.

Originally Posted by Darwin123 View Post
Maybe you have the book, Vereties. Perhaps you can explain Phipps theory about how a lock-in amplifier works. It looks like mush to me. I think he has only a partial understanding of the electronics he worked with.
I don't have the book, but I can spell its title.

Originally Posted by Darwin123 View Post
For example, you didn't address what I claimed in the original post.
Correct. I don't even know what you claimed in your original post, which was tl;dr

Originally Posted by Darwin123 View Post
Am I mistaken about what Phipps claims?
I don't know and don't yet see any reason to care.

Originally Posted by Darwin123 View Post
Phipps has not really proved relativity is a tautology. Nor has Phipps proved relativity wrong. He has shown that there are people who are really mad at scientists for whatever reason.
Are you one of them? What are you trying to accomplish here?

Thomas E Phipps Jr is an 89-year-old man who earned his PhD over 60 years ago and spent most of his career working for the US Navy. He retired at 55 and amused himself by playing physicist and writing the sort of papers we call "crackpot" (as even he understood).

What more needs to be said?
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Old 29th November 2014, 05:31 PM   #10
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I have similar views to those expressed by W. D. Clinger about the value of getting concerned about what Phipps Jr. has to say, generally.

But, I did correspond with him briefly several years ago when I wanted to use a quote I saw attributed to him in some other Apeiron article. (It was "Whence cometh the energy of the Thomas precession?," which I think raises a valid point, and I wanted to give him proper credit for pointing it out.) I haven't concerned myself with his book or other writings. (On Amazon, it says he has a PhD in Nuclear Physics from Harvard from the 50s, iirc.)

It doesn't bother me that some people can't accept SRT but I certainly do.

Among anti-relativists, I read Petr Beckman's Einstein Plus Two book and found a lot of what he said interesting, but was not at all convinced he had explained or come close to explaining the origin of quantum theory as a result of Lorentzian relativity being (he thought) the correct interpretation.
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Old 30th November 2014, 01:26 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by W.D.Clinger View Post
Noyes offers more biographical information than the paragraph above. His bibliography for Phipps lists 61 published papers in physics, 9 in mathematics, and 6 "miscellaneous". Not all of those are journal publications, but the mix is reasonable. Phipps is for real.
It think you are mistaken. This is a standard all-crackpot bibliography.

1) One Phys. Rev. article, presumably his (not necessarily independent-thinking-based) Ph.D. research, and letters thereon. Yep, he has a Ph.D..

2) Some letters-to-the-editor in Nature arguing about a notoriously confusing question in special relativity. That sort of thing happened in Nature and Science letters sections in the 60s and 70s; Herbert Dingle generated a somewhat well known set of correspondence of this type.

3) Lots and lots of specialized all-crackpot physics journals. Physics Essays, Foundations of Physics (not all-crackpot any more but it was back then), Annals Fond. Louis de Broglie, Aperion, Galilean Electrodynamics, The Journal of Classical Physics (as in "the journal of rejecting quantum mechanics"), and the "Toth-Maatian review" (that's a new one for me---yep, all crackpots as far as I can tell).

4) A few things in Am J. Phys.. Am J. Phys is a real journal, but not of physics research---it's a journal of physics *education*, and hence publishes lots of extremely minor articles of the form "here is a clever way of looking at a simple problem, which the reader may want to use it as an example in your undergrad E&M class". Since there are plenty of interesting educational articles worth publishing about (say) different educational twists on understanding the twin paradox, occasionally a crackpot will sneak past review with an article that *misunderstands* the twin paradox.

5) A handful of engineering and numerical-methods articles. Yep, crackpots are frequently working engineers.

6) One 1990 article in Phys. Rev. A, unnoticed except by crackpots.

7) Some book chapters. Who knows? The only editor name I recognize is Selleri, a crackpot.
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Old 30th November 2014, 04:04 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Darwin123 View Post
There are a lot of ‘skeptics’ who claim ‘there is are internal contradictions in relativity’. In other words, they claim that the theory of relativity as presented by Einstein is ‘ollogical’. These fellows have developed a large following on the internet, though there criticism seldom make it in ‘mainstream’ scientific literature. Very few of their articles pass peer review by scientists. They explain this as discrimination due to a dogmatic following of ‘authorities’. They claim to be iconoclastics, busting the ‘idols’ of relativity. I am skeptical of these skeptics.

Chief among these skeptics is ‘Thomas E. Phipps, Jr.’. He is an extremely toxic scientist. He bad mouths traditional scientists every chance he gets. He claims that relativity is a con game. Physicists have been swindling the public and other scientists. He claims that there is no evidence for relativity. Further, there can be no way to validate relativity because it contains logical contradictions. He has ‘self published’ books where he ‘debunks’ practically all of modern physics. However, he fills it with some very personal attacks on Einstein and the present day physics community. Therefore, I would like to discuss some of these claims with other ‘skeptics’.

I would like to discuss one of his articles that have been posted free on the web. This way, anyone who hasn’t read any of his articles gets a chance to do so before discussing. Here is a link.

http://redshift.vif.com/JournalFiles...F/V20N1PHI.pdf
© 2013 C. Roy Keys Inc. — http://redshift.vif.com
Apeiron, Vol. 20, No. 1, April 2013 3
‘A different resolution of the twin paradox’


Let me point out that he presents a straw man version of relativity. He presents false assumptions which he attributes to scientists that use relativity. The scientists do not make these assumptions, but he states with great certainty that they do. He does not cite actual articles where these assumptions are stated. Then he finds a logical contradiction based on this false theory of relativity which is his own false assumptions. Here is an example:

‘But the latter naïveté is fostered by the Lorentz transformation (LT) and its inverse, which imply symmetry of aging rates (symmetrical slow- running of clocks), a phenomenon never observed, and apparently contrary to experiment[1]. A typical one of these supposed resolutions[2] identifies acceleration as the agency of asymmetry, although the hallmark of SRT is its distinctive dependence on the unqualified motional symmetry implied by the relativity of motion; therefore seemingly not restricted to relative velocity but applicable to
all forms of relative motion, including the higher time derivatives of separation distance. In that case acceleration per se does not spoil the motional symmetry of the twins, and the “paradox” (actually a disagreement with experimental fact) persists. Note that the mere existence of any physical symmetry-breaker implies the descriptive invalidity of the mathematically symmetrical LT. ‘

False statements and truth.

False: ’the Lorentz transform and its inverse imply symmetry of aging rates (symmetrical slow - running clocks’

Truth: The Lorentz transform can be used to coma per aging rates in different inertial frames, not in non inertial frames. The original 1905 article where Einstein introduces relativity specifies a very specific type of reference frame. The reference frames in this article is restricted to reference frames connected to a stationary frame by a Lorentz transform. The stationary frame was defined in dynamic terms. So the clocks do not have to symmetrical age in any frame that is not derived from the stationary frame.’


‘If the LT is invalid, then SRT is invalid, since it offers nothing better. The Wikipedia assertion about the twin paradox that “it can be resolved within the standard framework” is consequently, to put it bluntly, no more than a tactic designed to protect the sacrosanct LT by stigmatizing any challenging of it as “naïve.” ‘

Note that he makes a false generalization. The Lorentz transform (LT) is valid between some frames but not valid between others. The Lorentz transform is valid between frames where linear momentum is conserved, as implied from the third law Of Newton.

Phipps lies by omission by not mentioning the Galilean transformation at this point. In a Newtonian universe, Principia is only valid in Galilean frame. This means that they are only valid in a frame which is connected to an ‘absolute space’ by a Galilean transformation. Principia was assumed to be valid in the absolute space.

Classical scientists, including Newton, knew full well that Newton’s Laws were invalid in an accelerating frame. Newton bypassed this limitation by saying that the simplest laws of mechanics were valid in the absolute space. If in any frame there are forces that violate the third law of mechanics, then it is not an absolute space.

So look at people on a merry go round. Here is a frame which can not be derived from the ground frame by a Galilean transformation. The Galilean transformation is invalid for people and devices attached to the merry go round. Newtons third law is violated for these people and devices, since the centripetal force is not associated with any one body. However, Newton’s Laws were still considered valid until the early twentieth century. ‘Principia' has no logical contradiction because the absolute space was defined by the dynamics. Phipps conveniently ignores this feature of Newtonian mechanics discussed very often by the ‘authorities’ in physics.

Phipps is not just disagreeing on a technical point. He accuses ‘the authorities’ of malfeasance.

‘Do relativists acknowledge their toyings with factual experience to be “lies”? No, that would be poor public relations. They speak of what is “calculated,” as if a calculated lie were a mitigated lie. Says Wikipedia: “The traveling twin reckons that there has been a jump discontinuity in the age of the Earth-based twin.” In any physical theory, what is calculated or reckoned is what is predicted.’


Note that he doesn’t merely claim scientists are making a mistake. He has made a proof made with false assumptions. Anyone who disagrees with these assumptions is a ‘liar’.


He also seems to twist words. Here is something he says.

‘It is important to note the exact wording of a valid relativity principle:
The form of the laws of nature is invariant under changes of inertial system.
This is an assertion of formal invariance, not of numerical invariance.’

The idea of a universal “time flow rate” that is preferred in nature is without logical support or physical substance. Hence the relativity principle in the above form is valid even if clock running rates vary with inertial system and with history of clock changes of action state, whether kinetic (motional) or potential (gravitational).’

Great. Here is is claiming that Eisntein is wrong because there is a ‘flow in time’. So where did Einstein, or anyone else, talk about a ‘flow of time’?

‘Age’ is a number, not a formal expression. This is why the muons can be different ‘ages’ in different inertial frames. Furthermore, the inertial frame is specified by the dynamics not the kinematics. The only physical way the instruments on the ground (ground frame) can be transformed into a frame where the muons are at rest (rest frame) is by applying a force. A Lorentz transform would not be enough.

Einstein never said that the Lorentz transform would always be enough. I challenge anyone to find any statement of his that the Lorentz transform is enough to determine the ‘age’ of anything at all. This is a fantasy restricted to Thomas E. Phipps, Jr.

Anyone else care to comment. Are you afraid of being called a liar?-)
It certainly is something we have to watch for as we grow older.
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Old 30th November 2014, 06:42 AM   #13
W.D.Clinger
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Originally Posted by ben m View Post
Originally Posted by W.D.Clinger View Post
Noyes offers more biographical information than the paragraph above. His bibliography for Phipps lists 61 published papers in physics, 9 in mathematics, and 6 "miscellaneous". Not all of those are journal publications, but the mix is reasonable. Phipps is for real.
It think you are mistaken. This is a standard all-crackpot bibliography.
I accept your evaluation.

(By the way, it's nice to see you posting here. Just last night, I was wondering why I hadn't seen anything from you lately.)

To expand on why I don't think it's necessary to examine Phipps's relativity denial in detail: Phipps appears to be denying special relativity while accepting general relativity. That's an inconsistent position on its face, since special relativity falls out of general relativity as a special case. You can't deny special relativity without denying general relativity.

There's an entire subgenre of relativity denial inspired by the fact that most experimental and observational tests of relativity involve predictions made by the general theory, and Phipps belongs to that subgenre. The deniers who fall into that subgenre don't realize the impressive body of experimental evidence favoring general relativity counts also as evidence for special relativity.
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Old 30th November 2014, 11:27 AM   #14
Darwin123
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Originally Posted by W.D.Clinger View Post
I accept your evaluation.

(By the way, it's nice to see you posting here. Just last night, I was wondering why I hadn't seen anything from you lately.)

To expand on why I don't think it's necessary to examine Phipps's relativity denial in detail: Phipps appears to be denying special relativity while accepting general relativity. That's an inconsistent position on its face, since special relativity falls out of general relativity as a special case. You can't deny special relativity without denying general relativity.

There's an entire subgenre of relativity denial inspired by the fact that most experimental and observational tests of relativity involve predictions made by the general theory, and Phipps belongs to that subgenre. The deniers who fall into that subgenre don't realize the impressive body of experimental evidence favoring general relativity counts also as evidence for special relativity.
Phipps does not belong in this sub genre. He bashes relativity, or at least bashes 'relativists', every chance he gets. What I think you mean is that he will say point blank that he doesn't understand general relativity. He thinks he understands special relativity, which he does not.

A lot of real scientists who understand special relativity don't understand special relativity. Special relativity is part of the physics undergraduate curriculum. General relativity is a more popular topic than special relativity, because it is more general. I don't think most of the public understands general relativity either. They 'understand' black holes, but not the equivalence principle. No matter, it is fun. However, Phipps is in a way bashing the general public for being interested.

I wouldn't refer to that subgenre 'relativity denial'. I have made similar statement many times. However, I was mistaken about the criteria for special relativity to be valid. The range of validity for special relativity is much narrower than I thought. So claiming that special relativity is invalid in a particular instance, while validating general relativity, is perfectly valid.

The GPS uses general relativity rather than special relativity. It would be more accurate to say that the GPS system validates general relativity than special relativity. clocks in the satellites are accelerating in different directions. The gravitational potential on the ground is different from the gravitational potential near the satellites. Therefore, special relativity can't possibly work in the GPS system.

I recommend the original articles of Hefele and Keating (HF) in 1971. They actually make analyze their results in special relativity. However, they separately make an analysis using special relativity alone. Then they subtract the full general relativity results from the special relativity results to show a 'general relativity component'. It runs out that the 'general relativity' component is negligible in the HF experiment. The difference between the full general relativity result and the special relativity result is lost in the noise. So one can do an analysis of the HF experiment using special relativity alone, and get perfectly valid results.

The reason that special relativity worked so well in the HF experiment was because the atomic clocks were going east to west or west to east. So they were following a geodesic very closely. Analogous experiments were done a few years later with clocks going north and south. Special relativity fails miserably in this case. One needs a full general relativity treatment to handle the north-south motion of clocks.

This is an interesting feature that Phipps doesn't mention. He seems to rely on one false hypothesis: relativity does not include dynamics. So what he does is he shows the importance of dynamics, and then concludes that relativity is wrong.


This is not what Phipps says. His claim is that general relativity is a tautology that is used to resolve the obvious contradictions in special relativity. This isn't true. Phipps dismisses general relativity on the grounds 'no one understands it', where by 'one' he means himself. He has nothing specific to say about general relativity other than it is 'ambiguous'.

Special relativity can even be used to analyze measurements made in accelerating reference frames, as long as the dynamics is carefully accounted for. Thus, the validity of special relativity does not automatically imply the validity of general relativity. General relativity is not needed to resolve the popular conundrums in special relativity, though it is often invoked to do so. Phipps exploits this common misconception, that special relativity 'needs general relativity, when attacking 'relativists'.


I consider 'Free Energy' a crackpot journal. There may be some valid research published there, but the majority of articles are pseudoscientific. However, I would rather not get into that. Suffice to say that many of the articles in 'Free Energy' cite Phipps.

I understand that this may be a matter of opinion. It is my opinion that frequent publications in 'Free Energy' and its ilk do not make a scientist 'the real deal'. However, that does not mean that I would reject a scientific conclusion just because it was first published in 'Free Energy'. I occasionally like to read articles in 'Free Energy' because even crazy people sometimes make a valid point.

My motivation is mostly entertainment. However, Phipps has managed to influence some right wing politicians. He denies there is a real energy crisis. He thinks that scientists are suppressing the operability of some perpetual motion machines. So if any of these politicians run for president (as once happened), it may be useful for people to know that the science behind it is bunk.

I especially like to argue with Creationists. I learned about Phipps when arguing with Geocentric Creationists. They sometimes cited Phipps to prove that the earth doesn't move. Therefore, the Bible is literally correct! I won't argue with God, but I will certainly argue with Phipps.

Last edited by Darwin123; 30th November 2014 at 11:29 AM.
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Old 30th November 2014, 04:16 PM   #15
W.D.Clinger
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Originally Posted by Darwin123 View Post
A lot of real scientists who understand special relativity don't understand special relativity.
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Old 1st December 2014, 07:44 PM   #16
Darwin123
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Originally Posted by W.D.Clinger View Post
Sorry. What I meant to say is:

A lot of scientists who don't know general relativity really know special relativity.
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Old 2nd December 2014, 03:32 AM   #17
W.D.Clinger
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Originally Posted by Darwin123 View Post
Sorry. What I meant to say is:

A lot of scientists who don't know general relativity really know special relativity.
Ah. That makes more sense. It might make even more sense if you're trying to say a lot of scientists who really don't know much about general relativity do know a little bit about special relativity.

General relativity is a beautiful theory, but its fundamental equations can't even be understood without knowing more mathematics than Thomas E Phipps Jr would have studied while completing his PhD in nuclear physics at Harvard circa 1950.

Phipps persistently refers to special relativity as ugly, and gives the impression he's rejecting it because (he thinks) it's ugly. That's just a variation on the usual crackpot reasoning, which is to reject relativity because the crackpot doesn't understand it.

If Phipps understood general relativity, he wouldn't think special relativity is ugly. He would also understand that his rejection of special relativity implies rejection of general relativity.
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Old 30th December 2014, 12:17 PM   #18
Darwin123
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Originally Posted by Eggs Ackley View Post
Among anti-relativists, I read Petr Beckman's Einstein Plus Two book and found a lot of what he said interesting, but was not at all convinced he had explained or come close to explaining the origin of quantum theory as a result of Lorentzian relativity being (he thought) the correct interpretation.
I do not believe that there is an inconsistency between Einsteinian and Lorentzian Relativity. I can't see a significant difference in the equations they used. Physical 'interpretation' is a matter of philosophy, not quantitative science. Further, Lorentz came around to claiming that Einstein's Philosophy is correct. So


Lorentz wrote a great deal explaining Einstein's work. He gave Einstein credit for relativity. He wrote essays describing the few differences there are between the Lorentz theory and relativity. I have read English translations of a great deal of H. A. Lorentz's articles and books.


Right now, this very instant, I am holding a copy of the book 'The Einstein Theory of Relativity' by H. A. Lorentz (Brentano's, 1920). on page 5 the a note by the publisher says, 'Profesor Lorentz is credited by Eisntein with sharing the development of his theory.' H. A. Lorentz on page 62 says, 'Einstein's work, we may now positively expect, will remain a monument of science. His theory entirely fulfills the first and principle demand that we make, that if deducing the course of phenomena from certain principles exactly and to the smallest details.'

I also have a copy of another good in my hand called, 'The Theory of Electrons' by H. A. Lorents (Dover, 1952) showing lectures that Lorentz delivered in 1915. on page 229 of my edition, H. A. Lorentz says that, 'I cannot speak here of the many highly interesting applications which Einstein made of this principle. His results concerning electromagnetic and optical phenomena (leading to the same contradiction with Kauffman's results that we pointed out in $179) agree in the main with those which we have obtained in the preceding pages, the chief difference being that Einstein simply postulates what we have deduced, with some difficulty AND NOT ALTOGETHER SATISFACTORILY, from the fundamental equations of the electromagnetic field. By doing so, HE MAY CERTAINLY TAKE CREDIT for making us see in the negative result of experiments like those of Michaelson, Rayleigh and Brace, not a fortuitous compensation of opposing effects but the manifestation of a general and fundamental principle.'

The capitals are mine. I am highlighting the fact that Lorentz agreed with Einstein on all scientifically important issues.

So what is the 'Lorentzian theory' that predicts results so much meter than the Einsteinian theory? I can't find a single thing in the writings of H.A. Lorentz that directly contradicts anything Einstein had to say. Lorentz doesn't give a clue as to how Einstein was wrong in any quantifiable, observable way. At least no so far as I can see.

So how does Phipps and other antirelativists claim Lorentz contradicts Einstein? I don't get it!
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Old 30th December 2014, 01:03 PM   #19
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He has a long slog ahead to overturn or re-tune SRT. That much should simply be acknowledged and accepted by any physicist.
Was Einstein wrong? Maybe in the same way that Newton was 'wrong'. If he can show he is correct and increase knowledge then his name may well be writ large in history. If not his will be another footnote of failed theories.

Would I be wrong in assuming that Einstein got a rough reception in the beginning as well?

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Old 30th December 2014, 08:57 PM   #20
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Darwin123, I didn't mean to imply that Phipps believes in Lorentzian relativity. I've only read tiny bits of what Phipps has written and haven't been very interested in it except about what he said about Thomas precession. I agree with him that Thomas precession is (at least seemingly) paradoxical, but where he would reject SR on that account, I only want to understand how it fits in and what its implications are, because I think SR is far too compelling to dismiss so casually.

I only mentioned Petr Beckmann because he's also a (more?) prominent anti-relativist, and I did read his book and I found a lot of what he said about wanting to unify classical and quantum physics inspiring. As I also said, I didn't find his argument ultimately convincing. I think he started the Galilean Electrodynamics journal (using the term loosely perhaps). I read his book a long time ago though and I'm not trying to convince you to read it. I think there is no need for anybody to spend time refuting the anti-relativists because they're not doing much more than wasting their own time so far as I can see. Anyhow, as I recall, Beckmann didn't accept the Einsteinian interpretation of (say) Lorentz contraction as an actual space contraction. (I wonder how he would account for the lengthening of relativistic muon decay times?) Wikipedia has an article on Lorentzian relativity that seems consistent with my recollection: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lorentz_ether_theory

Sorry to ramble, what I really wanted to mention is that I think it is inconsistent to argue that Thomas precession is a purely kinematic effect and then to turn around and say that it accounts for the reduction of the spin-orbit coupling energy by half, as Jackson and others do. Seems to me that is saying it is both kinematical and dynamical, but I think that (in this context at least) it can't be both. But, I think the wrong part is the dynamical interpretation, not the kinematical interpretation.

Jackson didn't by any means originate that argument as it is all in Thomas's 1927 paper. Unfortunately it's not posted online gratis anymore so far as I know. It's probably on Kirk McDonald's EM archive but he had to password protect it. I got it off of Paul de Haas' old Physis Project website. The physics journals clamped down on them both I am pretty sure.

Let me try to argue that the T.P. is kinematical. Consider, it can be observed in a series of snapshots that could be taken by a sequence of different observers who were moving a different velocities, but not any of them accelerating, and of an object that is not itself accelerating. Suppose the object is simply sitting on the ground. Then, a bunch of guys fly by in rockets, not accelerating as they fly by, but flying at different, increasing, speeds, and each takes one picture at a precisely determined time, so that the sequence of the snaphots is equivalent to what a single accelerating observer could take. Then when you play the movie back of the snapshots, the object appears to rotate. But it is not really rotating at all, it is just sitting there. Also, since none of the rockets were accelerating everything can be described using just Lorentz transformations, which is pure kinematics.

As far as the dynamical interpretation is concerned, Thomas argued that because ordinarily the frequency of precession of a magnetic dipole in a magnetic field is relatable to the torque and total work it takes to re-orient the dipole in the field, that if the T.P. reduces the rate of precession in the magnetic field, it must also reduce the energy of re-orientation. (He didn't argue it in this primitive way, actually, but I think this is an equivalent argument.) But, I don't think it's possible to show that the T.P. affects the required force to change the orientation in any way. So I don't think it is dynamical.

You are completely welcome to your opinion, however, so far as I'm concerned.

The only article I know of offhand that argues that the T.P. has a torque associated with it is Richard A. Muller, Thomas precession: Where is the
Torque?, Am. J. Phys. 60(4), May 1992. So far as I know everyone else says something like Jackson, that it is "purely kinematical." But then on the other hand nobody but me and Phipps seems to find that inconsistent with the idea that it can reduce the spin-orbit coupling energy.

I'd encourage you to start with a clean sheet of paper and try to show how angular momentum can be conserved in the spin-orbit coupling problem as in Jackson in the presence of the Thomas precession. I think you will be surprised at the result. Thomas got that angular momentum is conserved "secularly" (i.e., when averaged over an orbit), but he didn't account for hidden momentum, which doubles the torque on the orbit due to the electron intrinsic dipole magnetic field, compared to what Thomas got. You have to use the force on a magnetic dipole in a non-uniform magnetic field in the third edition of Jackson, not the one in the second edition of Jackson. The one in the second edition is the same as what Thomas used, but Jackson and Griffiths and many other authors now agree it has to be different than what it was once thought to be.

I don't know if this apparent non-conservation of angular momentum particularly significant or not, but I think that all the textbooks that echo the claims of Thomas's 1927 paper are incorrect there. Also, I think the Thomas precession is very real and far more important than what it is usually (incorrectly) given credit for. I think it can account for unification of electromagnetic, strong and weak fundamental forces, and possibly provide a way to bind conjectured "preons" into quarks and electrons. But that's another topic, because I think it's Einstein being right, not wrong.

Last edited by Eggs Ackley; 30th December 2014 at 09:03 PM.
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Old 31st December 2014, 04:35 AM   #21
wogoga
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Originally Posted by Darwin123 View Post
So how does Phipps and other antirelativists claim Lorentz contradicts Einstein? I don't get it!

Still in June 1905, Poincaré described Lorentz' theory in this way:
"Lorentz was also led to assume that the moving electron takes the form of a compressed ellipsoid; ...

... and at the same time [one gets] a possible explanation of the electron contraction, in assuming that the electron, deformable and compressible, is subject to a kind of exterior constant pressure whose effect [travail] is proportional to the variations in volume. ..."
(See)
This is deformation of matter due to absolute motion in the ether. The main innovation (unfortunately causing also lots of paradoxes) of SR is its simultaneity concept:
"The only theory which is (in principle) experimentally indistinguishable from Special Relativity is SR itself. No theory based on absolute simultaneity such as (so called) Lorentz Ether Theory can be fully equivalent to SR. The SR time transformation t' = gamma * (t - v/c2 x) is more than a rather arbitrary convention concerning clock synchronization.

It is clear that the laws of nature themselves do not depend on the way we synchronize clocks. They depend however on what is REALLY simultaneous.

SR predicts reciprocal length contraction. The only possibility to simulate this result in LET consists in using the SR simultaneity concept." (Continuation)
If somebody thinks that Special Relativity and Lorentz Ether Theory are identical, then I ask: How can absolute movement in the Ether change simultaneity?

Cheers, Wolfgang
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Old 31st December 2014, 12:32 PM   #22
Darwin123
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Originally Posted by wogoga View Post
Still in June 1905, Poincaré described Lorentz' theory in this way:
"Lorentz was also led to assume that the moving electron takes the form of a compressed ellipsoid; ...

... and at the same time [one gets] a possible explanation of the electron contraction, in assuming that the electron, deformable and compressible, is subject to a kind of exterior constant pressure whose effect [travail] is proportional to the variations in volume. ..."
(See)
This is deformation of matter due to absolute motion in the ether. The main innovation (unfortunately causing also lots of paradoxes) of SR is its simultaneity concept:
"The only theory which is (in principle) experimentally indistinguishable from Special Relativity is SR itself. No theory based on absolute simultaneity such as (so called) Lorentz Ether Theory can be fully equivalent to SR. The SR time transformation t' = gamma * (t - v/c2 x) is more than a rather arbitrary convention concerning clock synchronization.

It is clear that the laws of nature themselves do not depend on the way we synchronize clocks. They depend however on what is REALLY simultaneous.

SR predicts reciprocal length contraction. The only possibility to simulate this result in LET consists in using the SR simultaneity concept." (Continuation)
If somebody thinks that Special Relativity and Lorentz Ether Theory are identical, then I ask: How can absolute movement in the Ether change simultaneity?

Cheers, Wolfgang
Okay, that question of yours is easy. However, it may be a little too abstract for you. I don't know that you will accept my answer. Suffice it to say that simultaneity can only be determined through forces.


If there is an ether, then it affects the forces on all material bodies and fields. More generally, the ether will also affect the interactions between different material bodies and fields. Synchronization is one type of interaction. Therefore, the ether has to affect synchronization.

Let me point out that this is how H. A. Lorentz initially looked at the problem. I won't cite the specific quotation. However, he says at several points in 'Theory of Electrons' that all interactions between bodies occur through forces. Therefore, even synchronization has to do with forces. He points out that the concept of equilibrium refers to a balance between forces. So you can't even make forces disappear merely by saying the system is at equilibrium. The state of any system is determined by forces according to H. A. Lorentz. So if like Lorentz you believe that the ether affects forces, then you have to believe that the ether affects forces.

Clocks are made of material bodies. Everything in the clock is either a material body or a field. The clock is really a composite made of material bodies. Therefore, the clock is going to be affected by the ether. If two clocks are 'synchronized', then some component in one clock has to apply a force on another component in the other clock. If you want to define a protocol for synchronizing clocks, then you have to specify the forces that you are using to synchronize them. If you don't utilize some force between clocks, then you aren't really synchronizing them.



Anyway, when did 'The Theory of Electrons' become 'The Lorentz Ether Theory'? I have two books by H. A. Lorentz on my bookshelves, and one long essay by H. A. Lorentz in my file cabinet. Yes, I also read them! I never saw him refer to his theory as 'Ether Theory'.

The ether gets only a few side references in 'The Theory of Electrons.' He doesn't do much with the concept other than call some effect 'the ether drag'. He did not come up with any formal proof showing that the ether wind affects the electrodynamic field. Nor does he specify any properties of the ether. Lorentz says that the concept of ether may yet find an important utility. Maybe it will.

The ether theory as visualized in the eighteenth century was a little deficient in explaining how it affected forces. Lorentz refers to such limitations but conjectures that they could be fixed. Maybe they can, or maybe you will. No amount of stiffness or flexibility can fix these problems in 'ether theory'. However, Lorentz was aware of some of the hurdles it has to overcome.

I know of some efforts made to fix ether theory, including some work by Maxwell itself. I have been reading some of his articles where he tries to fix ether theory. One is in my file cabinet, somewhere! I took it off the internet. I think it is still there. However, I am having a little trouble understanding it. The properties that he assigned to the ether do not appear entirely classical to me.

Maybe Maxwell was anticipating quantum mechanics. I don't know. However, this isn't the sensible 'plenum' loved by generations of optical scientists. The Maxwell ether is a monster.

This is my opinion. If you could be so kind as to explain the 'ether theory' of yours, and why you like it so much, then please do so.

In any case, I don't see how the Lorentz theory differs from the Einstein theory in terms of experimental prediction.
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Old 31st December 2014, 07:37 PM   #23
Darwin123
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Originally Posted by Eggs Ackley View Post
Darwin123, I didn't mean to imply that Phipps believes in Lorentzian relativity.

Okay. If you don't mention that idiot, I won't.



Originally Posted by Eggs Ackley View Post
I only mentioned Petr Beckmann because he's also a (more?) prominent anti-relativist, and I did read his book and I found a lot of what he said about wanting to unify classical and quantum physics inspiring. As I also said, I didn't find his argument ultimately convincing. I think he started the Galilean Electrodynamics journal (using the term loosely perhaps). I read his book a long time ago though and I'm not trying to convince you to read it. I think there is no need for anybody to spend time refuting the anti-relativists because they're not doing much more than wasting their own time so far as I can see. Anyhow, as I recall, Beckmann didn't accept the Einsteinian interpretation of (say) Lorentz contraction as an actual space contraction. (I wonder how he would account for the lengthening of relativistic muon decay times?)
Who cares? The time dilation phenomenon is not entirely kinematic either. There is no physical phenomenon that can be entirely kinematic. However, time dilation is worthy of another thread.

I won't mention Beckmann if you won't. If you want, then I will totally ignore the Galilean Electrodynamics Journal. I won't point out that the constitutive relations in electrodynamics are not Galilean invariant. Maxwell's equations are Galilean invariant only if one ignores electric charge and electric current.

If you want, then I will focus on Thomas, Einstein and Lorentz. I hope Phipps and Beckman are happy, somewhere. And I do ramble.

Originally Posted by Eggs Ackley View Post
I don't ,eam to ramble, what I really wanted to mention is that I think it is inconsistent to argue that Thomas precession is a purely kinematic effect and then to turn around and say that it accounts for the reduction of the spin-orbit coupling energy by half, as Jackson and others do. Seems to me that is saying it is both kinematical and dynamical, but I think that (in this context at least) it can't be both. But, I think the wrong part is the dynamical interpretation, not the kinematical interpretation.
Why can't it be both? Or let me ask an analogous question:

Does geography refer to kinematic physics or does geography refer to dynamical physics?

Modern geography starts with the hypothesis that the world is round. The earth is assumed to approximate a spheroid. All travel is restricted to being extremely close to surface of the spheroid, with minor deviations due to mountains, islands and continents.

I am not talking about relativity in this analogy. This is the surface of the earth as a navigator would look at it, or an airline pilot, before the GPS was invented. The motion of individual vehicles is satisfactorily described by Newtonian physics as presented in the book, Principia. There is no space time-continuum in this analogy.

One merely wants to sail from one point on the earth to another point on the earth in as little time as possible. We like to use two dimensional maps for convenience. However, every sailor these days knows that the earth is shaped like a spheroid.

Because travel is restricted to the surface of the spheroid, the straightest routes to different points do not satisfy Euclidean geometry. NonRiemannian geometry is implicit in all those projection techniques used to make maps.

Now is mapmaking a kinematic or a dynamical physics? Independent of relativity, what should we call the mapmaker?

Some would call it kinematic because the projection techniques used to make maps do not consider forces in any direct way. Projection techniques involve geometry and nothing else. Like the Thomas precession can be predicted without torques, a globe can be designed without 'Principia'.

On the other hand, projection techniques do not explain WHY the earth is round. The earths surface is a spheroid due to the many forces caused by the interactions between minerals including gravity and elasticity.

The forces that hold the earth together are hidden from the map maker. However, he only has to know the physical result of these forces. The earth is round. His work after that is pure geometry, not pure physics. The forces are the only pure physics.

The earth would not be round if it wasn't due to gravity and contact forces. Projection techniques do not show this, but they utilize the final results. So the curvature is the only dynamical effect that the mapmaker really needs. Everything else is kinematics.

Originally Posted by Eggs Ackley View Post
Let me try to argue that the T.P. is kinematical. Consider, it can be observed in a series of snapshots that could be taken by a sequence of different observers who were moving a different velocities, but not any of them accelerating, and of an object that is not itself accelerating. Suppose the object is simply sitting on the ground. Then, a bunch of guys fly by in rockets, not accelerating as they fly by, but flying at different, increasing, speeds, and each takes one picture at a precisely determined time, so that the sequence of the snaphots is equivalent to what a single accelerating observer could take.
I agree that the the sequence of shots is equivalent to what a single accelerating observer could take if they were taken at a precisely determined time. However, I do not think that any one of them could take a picture at a 'precisely determined time' unless he was interacting with another guy through some force. I think that two observers can truthfully agree to take a picture at the same time only when the two observers are close enough for their atoms to be touching. Even then, they could only interact if their atoms could exert forces on each other.

In order to take snapshots 'at the same time', they need to interact through forces. Unfortunately, all forces have a delay associated with them according to relativity. So ironically, the best chance they have of snapping pictures at the same time is a recommitment to act a certain way independently.

If you tried to have each of these guys agree to take snapshots on a previously determined time independently, then you have a situation analogous to a single accelerating observer. However, this observer is not an inertial observer.

Angular momentum is not conserved for an accelerating observer. If one is attached to the merry go round while turning, he is in a rotating frame. He will not see angular momentum conserved. He will see Coriolis force and centrifugal force. However, these are called imaginary forces precisely because they don't satisfy conservation laws.

Your composite observer is not an inertial observer. Angular momentum is conserved only for a true inertial observer. You can't assemble an inertial observer from the torn up scraps of several inertial observers.

Originally Posted by Eggs Ackley View Post
when you play the movie back of the snapshots, the object appears to rotate. But it is not really rotating at all, it is just sitting there. Also, since none of the rockets were accelerating everything can be described using just Lorentz transformations, which is pure kinematics.
Whatever these guys used to communicate was accelerating. If they used light flashes, the electrons in their eyes were accelerated by the light. The dynamics is hidden from the observer, the way the earths curvature is hidden from the map maker.

Since the composite observer is accelerating, you can not just use Lorentz transformations.

Please understand. Composite observers don't work very well in Newtonian mechanics. You can't 'just use' Galilean transformations on a composite observer according to Newtonian mechanics.

Pick up a graduate book on classical mechanics. You will see what I mean. Conservation laws don't work for composite observers.


Originally Posted by Eggs Ackley View Post
far as the dynamical interpretation is concerned, Thomas argued that because ordinarily the frequency of precession of a magnetic dipole in a magnetic field is relatable to the torque and total work it takes to re-orient the dipole in the field, that if the T.P. reduces the rate of precession in the magnetic field, it must also reduce the energy of re-orientation. (He didn't argue it in this primitive way, actually, but I think this is an equivalent argument.) But, I don't think it's possible to show that the T.P. affects the required force to change the orientation in any way. So I don't think it is dynamical.
1) So why the Lamor interaction energy divided by two?

2) Why is the total angular momentum (J) conserved?

3) If Thomas didn't say it in such a primitive way, then why attribute it to him?

Take credit for your own insights! Don't give him credit! Even if your are wrong, you get points for being creative! No guts, no glory!

Originally Posted by Eggs Ackley View Post
are completely welcome to your opinion, however, so far as I'm concerned.
We are both entitled to our opinions regardless of what the other thinks. However, I would like you to at least understand mine.

Originally Posted by Eggs Ackley View Post
The only article I know of offhand that argues that the T.P. has a torque associated with it is Richard A. Muller, Thomas precession: Where is the
Torque?, Am. J. Phys. 60(4), May 1992. So far as I know everyone else says something like Jackson, that it is "purely kinematical." But then on the other hand nobody but me and Phipps seems to find that inconsistent with the idea that it can reduce the spin-orbit coupling energy.
Maybe you two have a formal definition of kinematic that Thomas doesn't know about. Maybe Thomas has an entirely different concept of kinematic. Maybe I don't know what kinematic means.

I don't have a formal definition of 'kinematic'. I have a rough idea that kinematic has something to do with the symmetries of the force. Dynamics roughly corresponds to the magnitudes of force. However, I am not sure. I can't find a formal distinction between the two.

I go with the Mueller article. I don't know the difference between kinematic and dynamic. However, I think he successfully told me where the torque comes from.

So what does kinematical mean to you?

I think Jackson is wrong on this point. I think Thomas may be wrong on this point. However, we can meainingfully discuss it only if we have formal definitions for kinematic and dynamic.

Originally Posted by Eggs Ackley View Post
I encourage you to start with a clean sheet of paper and try to show how angular momentum can be conserved in the spin-orbit coupling problem as in Jackson in the presence of the Thomas precession. I think you will be surprised at the result. Thomas got that angular momentum is conserved "secularly" (i.e., when averaged over an orbit), but he didn't account for hidden momentum, which doubles the torque on the orbit due to the electron intrinsic dipole magnetic field, compared to what Thomas got. You have to use the force on a magnetic dipole in a non-uniform magnetic field in the third edition of Jackson, not the one in the second edition of Jackson.
Thomas compared to Thomas? Are there two Thomas here?
So what is wrong with a non-uniform magnetic field ?-)

Originally Posted by Eggs Ackley View Post
one in the second edition is the same as what Thomas used, but Jackson and Griffiths and many other authors now agree it has to be different than what it was once thought to be.

I don't know if this apparent non-conservation of angular momentum particularly significant or not, but I think that all the textbooks that echo the claims of Thomas's 1927 paper are incorrect there.
I think I agree. Thomas's 1927 paper calculates the right precession. However, Thomas somehow ASSUMES that the electron is still a closed system. It can't be a closed system because it is accelerating. So Thomas is ignoring a force.

Originally Posted by Eggs Ackley View Post
, I think the Thomas precession is very real and far more important than what it is usually (incorrectly) given credit for. I think it can account for unification of electromagnetic, strong and weak fundamental forces, and possibly provide a way to bind conjectured "preons" into quarks and electrons. But that's another topic, because I think it's Einstein being right, not wrong.
You mean Neinstein being right, not Einstein. Einstein did not make that claim.

I don't see how the Thomas Precession can unify these separate topics. I think any of these forces can cause a Thomas Precession, but that doesn't go the other way.

The Thomas Precession can't 'cause' a force. It occurs because of some force. Maybe that is what Thomas meant by the effect being kinematic. The details of the force don't matter. If the acceleration occurs in a certain way, relative to the spin, then it happens. <BAM> All that matters is the acceleration.

The effect is due to the dynamic acceleration. If a force doesn't cause the acceleration, then there can be no Thomas Precession.

Anyway, I am well out of my depth at this point. Good luck in unifying the four forces using the Thomas Precession. You don't have to share this achievement with either Einstein or Neinstein.
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Old 7th January 2015, 12:38 PM   #24
Darwin123
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Originally Posted by wogoga View Post
If somebody thinks that Special Relativity and Lorentz Ether Theory are identical, then I ask: How can absolute movement in the Ether change simultaneity?

LET and SR are experimentally equivalent. You are claiming that LET is a better theory. This is incorrect since they have the same experimental predictons.

Here is a link to an article on LET which says the two theories are equivalent.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lorentz_ether_theory
Lorentz ether theory
What is now often called Lorentz ether theory (LET) has its roots in Hendrik Lorentz's "theory of electrons", which was the final point in the development of the classical aether theories at the end of the 19th and at the beginning of the 20th century.

Today LET is often treated as some sort of "Lorentzian" or "neo-Lorentzian" interpretation of special relativity. The introduction of length contraction and time dilation for all phenomena in a "preferred" frame of reference, which plays the role of Lorentz's immobile aether, leads to the complete Lorentz transformation (see the Robertson–Mansouri–Sexl test theory as an example). Because the same mathematical formalism occurs in both, it is not possible to distinguish between LET and SR by experiment.’


Please note that I have read ‘Theory of Electrons’ well before I read this Wikipedia article. I have also read most of Einstein’s early articles.

What the article doesn’t state is that the ether hardly gets a mention in ‘Theory of Electrons’. Lorentz, like Einstein, mostly uses the field equations. He hypothesizes a distortion of the electrons shape into an ellipsoidal form which he conjectures is caused by the ‘ether drag’.

This formal justification for the ellipsoidal form actually comes from the Lorentz invariance of the electromagnetic equations. The simultaneity is implicitly in the Lorentz invariance. In other words, Einstein's simultaneity is embedded LET, regardless of whether the ether plays a role or not.

Unfortunately, Lorentz never truly had an ether theory. He had an 'invariance theory' with an ether metaphor. However, he never formally justified the role of the ether in his theory.

Lorentz never had a full ‘ether theory’. He presented an ‘ad hoc ether drag’.

Is this Wiki article correct? Is LET and SR experimentally equivalent?

You haven’t answered your replies, recently. Have you lost interest?-)
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Old 14th January 2015, 07:06 PM   #25
Darwin123
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Originally Posted by wogoga View Post
Still in June 1905, Poincaré described Lorentz' theory in this way:
"Lorentz was also led to assume that the moving electron takes the form of a compressed ellipsoid; ...

... and at the same time [one gets] a possible explanation of the electron contraction, in assuming that the electron, deformable and compressible, is subject to a kind of exterior constant pressure whose effect [travail] is proportional to the variations in volume. ..."
(See)
This is deformation of matter due to absolute motion in the ether. The main innovation (unfortunately causing also lots of paradoxes) of SR is its simultaneity concept:
"The only theory which is (in principle) experimentally indistinguishable from Special Relativity is SR itself. No theory based on absolute simultaneity such as (so called) Lorentz Ether Theory can be fully equivalent to SR. The SR time transformation t' = gamma * (t - v/c2 x) is more than a rather arbitrary convention concerning clock synchronization.

It is clear that the laws of nature themselves do not depend on the way we synchronize clocks. They depend however on what is REALLY simultaneous.

SR predicts reciprocal length contraction. The only possibility to simulate this result in LET consists in using the SR simultaneity concept." (Continuation)
If somebody thinks that Special Relativity and Lorentz Ether Theory are identical, then I ask: How can absolute movement in the Ether change simultaneity?

Cheers, Wolfgang
My delay in responding was not due to the speed of light, but instead is due to the necessity of rereading ‘Theory of Electrons’. I have not found in the book any mention of ‘absolute simultaneity’. Lorentz never assumes that actions can be synchronized simultaneously at a large distance by means of the ether.

Either your interpretation of Poincare's hypothesis is wrong, or Poincare's hypothesis is wrong. The Lorentz ether theory has no concept of 'absolute simultaneity'.

LET can't be different than SR in terms of 'absolute simultaneity' because there is no 'absolute simultaneity' in LET. Let us look at what H. A. Lorentz actually said about length contraction and Poincare.

Lorentz shows that if electrons are deformed in a way consistent with the Lorentz contraction, the molecules and assemblies of molecules held together with these electrons have to contract in the same way. Therefore, If the Lorentz contraction applies to electrons then the Lorentz contraction applies to large composite objects also.

So if you don’t like the Lorentz contraction in Einstein’s theory, then you really should dislike it in Lorentz’s ether theory.

Lorentz does discuss some of the ideas of Poincare. He refers to a physical model developed by Poncare to explain how the ether deforms the electron in a way consistent with the Lorentz contraction. Lorentz then takes time to explain why the mechanism is totally irrelevant to the issues concerning measurement.

Here is Lorentz’s explanation of the Poincares theory of ether drag.

‘Theory of Electrons’ by H. A. Lorentz section 181-182 Page 213-214:
181. The nature of this new energy and the mechanism of the contraction are made much clearer by the remark, first made by Poincare, that the electron will be in equilibrium, both in its orientation and in its flattened form, if it has the properties of a very thin, perfectly flexible and extensible shell, whose parts are drawn inwards by a normal stress, having the intensity
<Expression for stress not important for current thread>
per unit area, and preserving this however far the contraction may proceed.
The value of S has been chosen that, so long as the electron is t rest and therefore the shape of the sphere with radius R, the internal force exactly counterbalances the electromagnetic stress on the outside which is due to the surrounding field. Now- and herin lies the gist of Poincares remark -the electron when deformed as stated will still be in equilibrium under the joint action of stress S and the electromagnetic forces.’

Lorentz then deconstructs Poincares theory by showing that it is irrelevant.
‘Theory of Electrons’ Section 182 page 215:

‘Notwithstanding all this, it would, in my opinion, be quite legitimate to maintain the hypothesis of the contracting electron if by its means we could really make some progress in the understanding of phenomenon. In speculating on the structure of these minute particles we must not forget that there may be many possibilities not dreamt of at present, it may very well be that other internal forces serve to ensure the stability of the system, and perhaps after all we are wholly on the wrong tract when we apply to the parts of an electron our ordinary notion of force.’

This appears to be a either a conjecture or a premonition regarding quantum mechanics. He points out that we really don’t need to understand the forces that keep the electron together since we don;t even know that the force concept is valid at that length scale. However, Lorentz continues to deconstruct Poincares theory.

‘ 182 Leaving aside the special mechanism that has been imagined by Poincare, we are offered the following alternative. Either a spherical electron must be regarded as a material system between whose parts there are certain forces ensuring the constancy of its size and form, or we must simply assume this constancy of its size as a matter of fact which we have not to analyze further, In the first case, the form, size and orientation of the moving ellipsoid will also be maintained by the action of the system of forces, provided all of them have the property expressed in our relation (300). In the other case we may rest content with simply admitting for the moving electron, without any further discussion, the ellipsoidal form with the smaller axis in the line of translation.’

There you have it, folks. Lorentz has just told you that the concept of ether is unnecessary in describing the dynamics of electrically charged bodies. The ether concept may be sufficient for describing the Michelson-Morley experiment, but only with the assumption of a particular type of ether drag.

The Lorentz transformation was derived by Lorentz himself with no concept of ‘absolute simultaneity’. Poincare came up with a weird explanation for the Lorentz contraction which Lorentz showed to be redundant.

Lorentz was very aware of Einstein’s work. He called special relativity ‘useful’. Nothing in his book indicates that Einstein’s theory is deficient or wrong in any way.

Poor Lorentz would spin in his grave if he saw what you were doing to his ‘Theory of Electrons’. It occurs to me that you could sound more reasonable if you would read ‘Theory of Electrons’ for yourself. You and Phipps hide behind Lorentz, but know nothing about him.
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Old 17th January 2015, 10:29 AM   #26
wogoga
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Originally Posted by Darwin123 in #22 View Post
Suffice it to say that simultaneity can only be determined through forces.

If there is an ether, then it affects the forces on all material bodies and fields. More generally, the ether will also affect the interactions between different material bodies and fields. Synchronization is one type of interaction. Therefore, the ether has to affect synchronization.
Originally Posted by Darwin123 in #22 View Post
The ether gets only a few side references in 'The Theory of Electrons.' He doesn't do much with the concept other than call some effect 'the ether drag'. He did not come up with any formal proof showing that the ether wind affects the electrodynamic field. Nor does he specify any properties of the ether. Lorentz says that the concept of ether may yet find an important utility.
Originally Posted by Darwin123 in #25 View Post
My delay in responding was not due to the speed of light, but instead is due to the necessity of rereading 'Theory of Electrons'. I have not found in the book any mention of ‘absolute simultaneity’.

Not especially mentioning ether or (absolute) simultaneity means rather agreement with the general view. And this general view did not put into question the existence of an ether as a medium for light propagation, or the concept of absolute simultaneity.

Anyway, the central "formal" error of modern physics is the Lorentz transformation, and a central "philosophical" error is Einstein's simultaneity concept. So the question whether Lorentz' or Poincaré's theories before 1905 implied shrinking of the ether with respect to moving observers is not that relevant. (See also.)

How do you concretely explain shrinkage of the ether by "interactions between different material bodies and fields"? With respect to a spaceship moving at 0.99995 c, an ether distance of 100 light years is reduced to 1 LY, as the Lorentz factor is 100.

Let us assume that technology allows (quite instantaneous) acceleration to 0.99995 c and that during 100 years, every year a spaceship starts to a planetary system 100 LY away from Earth. Because of shrinkage of the ether to 1 LY and time dilation, it takes only 1 year for the crew to reach the target. I ask you:
  1. What is communication transfer time from a ship to a ship having started one year earlier and to a ship having started one year later?
  2. Does it make sense for the spaceships to resynchronize their clocks during journey, and if yes, what concrete resynchronization do you suggest?
Cheers, Wolfgang

The less you understand, the more you have to believe
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Old 17th January 2015, 04:51 PM   #27
Darwin123
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Originally Posted by wogoga View Post
How do you concretely explain shrinkage of the ether by "interactions between different material bodies and fields"? With respect to a spaceship moving at 0.99995 c, an ether distance of 100 light years is reduced to 1 LY, as the Lorentz factor is 100.

Let us assume that technology allows (quite instantaneous) acceleration to 0.99995 c and that during 100 years, every year a spaceship starts to a planetary system 100 LY away from Earth. Because of shrinkage of the ether to 1 LY and time dilation, it takes only 1 year for the crew to reach the target. I ask you:
  1. What is communication transfer time from a ship to a ship having started one year earlier and to a ship having started one year later?
  2. Does it make sense for the spaceships to resynchronize their clocks during journey, and if yes, what concrete resynchronization do you suggest?
Cheers, Wolfgang

The less you understand, the more you have to believe
2) The clocks in the spaceships can be synchronized with the clocks on earth only at launch from earth. The clocks in the space ship can not be synchronized with the clocks on earth at any other time.

Similarly, the clocks on the space ship can be synchronized with the clocks on the distant planet only at the moment that the space ship is near the distant planet.


Two clocks can be synchronized only at that time they are so close together that signal delays are insignificant. Einstein says this. I think that is the innovation that Lorentz initially missed.

In any other type of synchronization, one would have to a priori know the precise speed of propagation. This number can only be known precisely if it is the same for all observers. If the signal velocity does vary with observer, then synchronization at large distances is ambiguous.


I think that Einstein's major contribution is stated in the last sentence. The synchronization of events that happen at large spatial distances would be intrinsically ambiguous unless there is at least one speed of propagation that is objective.



I can't really answer the rest of your questions until you answer some of mine.

1) What precisely is 'communication transfer time'?

Give me a concrete description of measurement for such a concept.

2) Are the clocks on earth and on the distant planet synchronized, and if yes, what type of concrete synchronization was used?




I don't think the clocks on earth and on this distant planet can be properly synchronized. Different observers will observe different measurements of the clocks on each planet. There is the problem.


Going back to Lorentz: Lorentz never showed that the ether is shrinking. He showed that composite systems shrink. Einstein just used the fact that composite bodies shrink.

Who cares if the ether shrinks? We measure the dimensions of composite bodies, not ether.

Poincare came up with a classical explanation of how electrons shrink. He used a sort of 'surface tension' with ether drag to explain why electrons shrink. However, we now know that quantum mechanics works better than classical theories. So Poincare's theory must be wrong.

Lorentz and Einstein are both right.
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Old 20th January 2015, 05:09 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by wogoga in #26 View Post
With respect to a spaceship moving at 0.99995 c, an ether distance of 100 light years is reduced to 1 LY, as the Lorentz factor is 100.

Originally Posted by Darwin123 in #27 View Post
Lorentz never showed that the ether is shrinking. He showed that composite systems shrink. Einstein just used the fact that composite bodies shrink.

Who cares if the ether shrinks? We measure the dimensions of composite bodies, not ether.

In order to get true relativity (i.e. no privileged inertial motion(s)) the following must be guaranteed:
  • Ether distances shrink in the same way with respect to a moving observer as moving objects shrink with respect to the ether
If you accept Special Relativity then you cannot ignore shrinking of ether distances with respect to shrunken "composite systems".

As I have in shown in Discussions over Lorentz-Ether-Theory and SR Simultaneity, Contraction & Expansion the shrinkage of the ether (or rest frame) results from Einstein's simultaneity concept:

  1. Simultaneity is a fundamental property of nature (i.e. more than a mere synchronization procedure or convention)
  2. Simultaneity is defined by the Lorentz transformation

Cheers, Wolfgang
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Old 20th January 2015, 10:19 AM   #29
Darwin123
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Originally Posted by wogoga View Post
In order to get true relativity (i.e. no privileged inertial motion(s)) the following must be guaranteed:
  • Ether distances shrink in the same way with respect to a moving observer as moving objects shrink with respect to the ether
If you accept Special Relativity then you cannot ignore shrinking of ether distances with respect to shrunken "composite systems".

As I have in shown in Discussions over Lorentz-Ether-Theory and SR Simultaneity, Contraction & Expansion the shrinkage of the ether (or rest frame) results from Einstein's simultaneity concept:

  1. Simultaneity is a fundamental property of nature (i.e. more than a mere synchronization procedure or convention)
  2. Simultaneity is defined by the Lorentz transformation

Cheers, Wolfgang
I am not sure exactly what you are trying to say in the last two sentences.

The Lorentz transformation is just mathematics, not an intrinsic part of nature. Therefore, simultaneity can not both be a fundamental property of nature and defined by the Lorentz transformation.

I think one problem is that the first statement needs a caveat. Simultaneity is a 'fundamental part of nature' only if the two simultaneous events occur at the same spatial point.

Einstein pointed out that simultaneous is unambiguously defined only when the two events in question are in the same location in space. This is because there is no delay in signal propagation within one point in space. If two events occur at the same point in space, then one can uniquely determine by measurement the time between these two events.

If the time can be uniquely determined by measurement, then it is a fundamental part of nature. If the two events happen at the same point of space, then the simultaneity of two events can be determined regardless of the velocity or acceleration of the reference frame making the measurement. One can also describe it by saying the time between the two events is 'objective' if they occur at the same spatial point.

If the two events are separated by a significant distance, then the time interval between the two events will depend on the velocity of the reference frame doing the experiment. Thus, the time interval between two events occurring at two different points is ambiguous unless one 'knows' the velocity of the reference frame. The velocity of the reference frame doing the measurement can be a 'convention'. Another way to say this if two events occur at widely separated spatial points, the measurements of time between these two events is 'subjective'.

A measurement consists of an observer starting the measurement and the response of the system being measured. The start the measurement and the response of the system are two events. If these two events occur at the same point of space, simultaneity can be unambiguously determined. If the system is a large distance from the observer, there will be an 'ambiguity' that can only be resolved if we know the state of the observer (e.g., forcefully accelerating or not forcefully accelerating).

A remote measurement is defined by me as one where the start of the measurement is one event and the property being measured is another event. If someone on the floor tries to measure the speed of light near the ceiling, then he is doing a remote measurement. The speed of light on the ceiling will vary with the gravitational potential or acceleration of the observer.

Simultaneity of two events occurring at the same location is a 'fundamental part of nature'. Simultaneity of two events occurring at two far apart locations is a 'matter of convention'.

The following is my personal way of approaching a special relativity problem when I see it in a text book. I think this is consistent with all those articles that I have read by Einstein and Lorentz.

The absence of force is a fundamental part of nature because it does not depend on the velocity of the observer. Any observer examining an event can determine if an external force was present or not regardless of the reference frame that the observer is in. Thus, the 'simultaneity' of two events occurring at a large distance apart may uniquely be determine by the mutual forces of interaction.

Hence, I start a problem in special relativity by drawing a force diagram. I have only seen Mueller do this when he analyzes Thomas Precession. However, I don't know how many other student who explicitly do this. I also don't know if this would make sense to Tesla, Ives, Poincare or Phipps, but I don't care !-) Readers are invited to comment on the Darwin123 technique !-)
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Old 20th January 2015, 04:00 PM   #30
Darwin123
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Originally Posted by Eggs Ackley View Post
Darwin123, I didn't mean to imply that Phipps believes in Lorentzian relativity. I've only read tiny bits of what Phipps has written and haven't been very interested in it except about what he said about Thomas precession. I agree with him that Thomas precession is (at least seemingly) paradoxical, but where he would reject SR on that account, I only want to understand how it fits in and what its implications are, because I think SR is far too compelling to dismiss so casually.
I just acquired a copy of 'Old Physics for New' by Thomas E. Phipps, Jr. I did a quick scan. I just noticed something about his 'theory' that I never noticed before. I don't thinking that Phipps knows about radiation pressure. Further, I don't think he knows that electromagnetic fields can store momentum.

The Thomas Precession (not the same Thomas) does not preserve mechanical angular momentum. That is, if mechanical momentum instantaneously contained by all material bodies (material meaning other than the electromagnetic field) is not conserved. However, the mechanical momentum (angular and linear) is not entirely in the material bodies.

In the Thomas Precession, the angular momentum transfers back and forth between the material particles and the electromagnetic field.
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Old 22nd January 2015, 04:45 AM   #31
wogoga
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Originally Posted by wogoga in #26 View Post
Let us assume that technology allows (quite instantaneous) acceleration to 0.99995 c and that during 100 years, every year a spaceship starts to a planetary system 100 LY away from Earth. Because of shrinkage of the ether to 1 LY and time dilation, it takes only 1 year for the crew to reach the target. I ask you:
1. What is communication transfer time from a ship to a ship having started one year earlier and to a ship having started one year later?

Let us assume that the first spaceship 0 starts in the year 2200 and the last spaceship 99 in the year 2299. Because of time dilation, a clock in the first spaceship will show year 2201 when reaching the target in 2300 (ether time). A clock in the last spaceship 99 will show 2300 at arrival in 2399.

The distance between two neighboring spaceships (e.g. between spaceships 50 and 51) is 0.99995 LY. Communication between neighboring spaceships is possible via electromagnetic signals. Such signals obviously propagate at c relative to the ether (resp. rest-frame).

Let us assume that spaceship n sends at t = t0 (ether time) a message to both neighboring spaceships. Let us call the event when back spaceship n+1 receives the signal EventBack, and when front spaceship n-1 receives the message as EventFront. In the ether, EventBack occurs at
tB = t0 + 0.99995 LY / (c + 0.99995c) = t0 + 0.5 years
and event EventFront occurs at
tF = t0 + 0.99995 LY / (c - 0.99995c) = t0 + 20 000 years
With respect to the ether, EventFront occurs 20 thousand years after EventBack! Yet with respect to the moving frame, these two events are simultaneous. Only by declaring events simultaneous, happening however at very different times, light speed can be made the same in all directions (i.e. in direction to a front spaceship and to a back spaceship). Otherwise light speed backward would be roughly 20 000 (1.99995 c / 0.00005 c) times higher than in forward direction.

As the whole journey at v = 0.99995 c only takes 100 years, it is obviously impossible to send a message to a spaceships in front.

Using moving, time-dilated clocks, we get (roughly):
tB' = t0 + tB / 100 = t0 + 0.005 years
tF' = t0 + tF / 100 = t0 + 200 years
So whereas it takes only 1 year to reach the target planetary system, message transfer time to a spaceship in front would need 200 years (resp. 20 000 years ether time).

Only by resynchronizing all clocks of all spaceships (except one), light speed invariance could be restored. This could be done by adding (roughly) 100 years to the clocks of spaceship 1, 200 years to 2, … and 9900 years to spaceship 99.

When reaching the target planetary system, this resynchronization by up to 9900 years obviously must be cancelled again. (See also again.)

Even within the moving spaceships, only clock-resynchronization can avoid light speed measurements ranging from 0.00005 c to 1.99995 c.


Originally Posted by wogoga in #26 View Post
2. Does it make sense for the spaceships to resynchronize their clocks during journey, and if yes, what concrete resynchronization do you suggest?

Cheers, Wolfgang

We humans tend to believe what we want to be true, and we want to be true what we already believe
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Old 22nd January 2015, 11:34 AM   #32
Darwin123
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Originally Posted by wogoga View Post
As the whole journey at v = 0.99995 c only takes 100 years, it is obviously impossible to send a message to a spaceships in front.

Using moving, time-dilated clocks, we get (roughly):
tB' = t0 + tB / 100 = t0 + 0.005 years
tF' = t0 + tF / 100 = t0 + 200 years
So whereas it takes only 1 year to reach the target planetary system, message transfer time to a spaceship in front would need 200 years (resp. 20 000 years ether time).

Only by resynchronizing all clocks of all spaceships (except one), light speed invariance could be restored. This could be done by adding (roughly) 100 years to the clocks of spaceship 1, 200 years to 2, … and 9900 years to spaceship 99.

Originally Posted by wogoga View Post
reaching the target planetary system, this resynchronization by up to 9900 years obviously must be cancelled again. (See also again.)
The observer in either space ship has no measurement available to determine either when the other ship started out or the speed of light in the ether frame. Either speaker can determine when in his own time he has received a signal from the other spaceship.

Thus, there are two unknowns. His own speed and the speed of light in the ether frame. There is only one constraint. He knows when he receives a message from the other ship. Therefore, he can't figure out the speed of light in the ether frame.

He can not use reading from the planets that he passes because this is a 'ship communication time'. The 'absolute time' in the different planets have not been synchronized.

He could measure the speed of light in his own spaceship as observed in his inertial frame. If you believe ether theory, then the speed of light in the ether may be very different.

The observer on the different planets can't unambiguously synchronize their clocks because the signal has a hypothetical time delay. Further, the planetary don't know what their relative velocity is compared to the ether. So the planets don't know their relative velocity with the ether, either.

If there is an interaction direct interaction between the observer and the ether, the ambiguity becomes worse not better. This is because the ether is going to change the equilibrium lengths of all bodies in motion. According to LET, the length of all bodies HAVE to change if they are held together partly with electromagnetic forces. This includes every device ever made for measuring length, including meter sticks. All devices have atoms with electric charges in them. So according to LET, an observer in motion has no way to determine whether his meter stick is distorted or not.

This shows that what you called the 'communication time' does not tell him the speed of light in the ether frame. An observer moving at a uniform velocity relative to the ether can not tell the speed of the ether unless he can signal an observer made of 'ether'.


The ether is the hypothetical medium by which electromagnetic radiation propagates. Hypothetically, the only way it manifests itself is through electromagnetic interactions. Electromagnetic interactions have a finite speed of propagation.

Therefore, the ether does not provide a means of 'instantaneous signaling'. It was actually Lorentz, not Einstein, who first pointed it out. Einstein pointed out the problem this fact poses with respect to synchronization. The 'instantaneous synchronization' is your invention and yours alone.
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Old 23rd January 2015, 02:49 PM   #33
Darwin123
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Originally Posted by wogoga View Post
In order to get true relativity (i.e. no privileged inertial motion(s)) the following must be guaranteed:
  • Ether distances shrink in the same way with respect to a moving observer as moving objects shrink with respect to the ether
If you accept Special Relativity then you cannot ignore shrinking of ether distances with respect to shrunken "composite systems".

That is not true. If that were true, then the composite body would be physically affected by the pressure differential of the ether.

Think of the either as a fluid. Consider a composite body in the shape of a piston emerged in ether that is initially isobaric and homogenous. The temperature is close to 0 Kelvin degrees. Hence there is very little electromagnetic radiation inside or outside the ether. Both the static pressure and density is nonzero and equal both inside and outside the piston. Now push the piston in.

Case 1: The ether shrinks as the piston contracts.

There is then a difference in static pressure between the inside and the outside of the piston. Thus, the ether pressure and ether density is higher inside the piston than outside the piston.

The speed of light inside the piston will be different from the outside, which can easily be determined by optical experiments. Since the piston is obviously interacting with the ether, the differential pressure of the piston will push it outward. If the piston is transparent, one can measure the speed of light in the piston using laser pulses. If the piston is opaque, then the infrared radiation won't get out. This would effect the heating characteristics of the piston.

This is the case where the the inertial frame of the piston can be easily determined without electromagnetic waves. If the piston is moving in material vacuum, one can determine its velocity by measuring all the effects of that are caused by differential intensive properties. One could determine the position and speed of the piston. Thus, this case violates special relativity (SR).


Case 2: The ether passes through the material of the piston without effect.

Then there is never a differential in pressure between the inside and outside of the piston. There is never any static pressure differential between inside piston and outside piston. The piston isn't forced outward. Further, the speed of light inside and outside the piston is always the same.

This is the case where the inertial frame of the piston doesn't matter. If the piston is in a material vacuum, then one can't determine the position or velocity of the piston. Therefore, the inertial frame of the piston arm can't be determined without electromagnetic waves.This satisfies SR.


The experimental reality is the second case. The only pressure of a closed container is from blackbody radiation that exists at a finite temperature. The static ether has no effect on any properties one can measure.

The conclusions are independent of the ether's equation of state. It doesn't matter if the universe is filled with gas ether, liquid ether, or solid ether. The stiffness of the ether doesn't matter. If the ether shrinks with the composite body, one can make a test of absolute velocity by looking at the electromagnetic properties inside and outside the composite body.

It is a lot of fun discussing things with you. Keep it up !-)

Last edited by Darwin123; 23rd January 2015 at 02:59 PM.
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