Doublethink, Triplethink, Etc. in Einstein's Schizophrenic World
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Pentcho Valev
2017-02-16 13:34:49 UTC
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Normally, Einsteinians are practitioners of doublethink - they both reject and worship some concept so that the gullible world can come to the conclusion that in science concepts and their negations harmoniously coexist. For instance, Lee Smolin unequivocally rejects Einstein's relative time:

"Smolin wishes to hold on to the reality of time. But to do so, he must overcome a major hurdle: General and special relativity seem to imply the opposite. In the classical Newtonian view, physics operated according to the ticking of an invisible universal clock. But Einstein threw out that master clock when, in his theory of special relativity, he argued that no two events are truly simultaneous unless they are causally related. If simultaneity - the notion of "now" - is relative, the universal clock must be a fiction, and time itself a proxy for the movement and change of objects in the universe. Time is literally written out of the equation. Although he has spent much of his career exploring the facets of a "timeless" universe, Smolin has become convinced that this is "deeply wrong," he says. He now believes that time is more than just a useful approximation, that it is as real as our guts tell us it is - more real, in fact, than space itself. The notion of a "real and global time" is the starting hypothesis for Smolin's new work, which he will undertake this year with two graduate students supported by a $47,500 grant from FQXi."

"And by making the clock's tick relative - what happens simultaneously for one observer might seem sequential to another - Einstein's theory of special relativity not only destroyed any notion of absolute time but made time equivalent to a dimension in space: the future is already out there waiting for us; we just can't see it until we get there. This view is a logical and metaphysical dead end, says Smolin."

"Was Einstein wrong? At least in his understanding of time, Smolin argues, the great theorist of relativity was dead wrong. What is worse, by firmly enshrining his error in scientific orthodoxy, Einstein trapped his successors in insoluble dilemmas..."

But Smolin not only rejects Einstein's relative time - he also worships it:

QUESTION: Setting aside any other debates about relativity theory for the moment, why would the speed of light be absolute? No other speeds are absolute, that is, all other speeds do indeed change in relation to the speed of the observer, so it's always seemed a rather strange notion to me.
LEE SMOLIN: Special relativity works extremely well and the postulate of the invariance or universality of the speed of light is extremely well-tested. It might be wrong in the end but it is an extremely good approximation to reality.
QUESTION: So let me pick a bit more on Einstein and ask you this: You write (p. 56) that Einstein showed that simultaneity is relative. But the conclusion of the relativity of simultaneity flows necessarily from Einstein's postulates (that the speed of light is absolute and that the laws of nature are relative). So he didn't really show that simultaneity was relative - he assumed it. What do I have wrong here?
LEE SMOLIN: The relativity of simultaneity is a consequence of the two postulates that Einstein proposed and so it is deduced from the postulates. The postulates and their consequences are then checked experimentally and, so far, they hold remarkably well.

The champion is undoubtedly Steven Jonathan Carlip, professor of physics at the University of California, Davis. Carlip is a practitioner of triple- and even quadruplethink. A synopsis of his teaching: The speed of light is constant by definition. Einstein said the speed of light is variable in a gravitational field - an interpretation which is perfectly valid and makes good physical sense - but after Einstein the speed of light in a gravitational field somehow became constant and is going to remain so forever. So constant that "it does not even make any sense to say that it varies". Finally, the speed of light falling in a gravitational field is twice as variable as the speed of ordinary falling bodies:

Steve Carlip: "Is c, the speed of light in vacuum, constant? At the 1983 Conference Generale des Poids et Mesures, the following SI (Systeme International) definition of the metre was adopted: The metre is the length of the path travelled by light in vacuum during a time interval of 1/299 792 458 of a second. This defines the speed of light in vacuum to be exactly 299,792,458 m/s. This provides a very short answer to the question "Is c constant": Yes, c is constant by definition! [...] Einstein went on to discover a more general theory of relativity which explained gravity in terms of curved spacetime, and he talked about the speed of light changing in this new theory. In the 1920 book "Relativity: the special and general theory" he wrote: "...according to the general theory of relativity, the law of the constancy of the velocity of light in vacuo, which constitutes one of the two fundamental assumptions in the special theory of relativity [...] cannot claim any unlimited validity. A curvature of rays of light can only take place when the velocity of propagation of light varies with position." Since Einstein talks of velocity (a vector quantity: speed with direction) rather than speed alone, it is not clear that he meant the speed will change, but the reference to special relativity suggests that he did mean so. This interpretation is perfectly valid and makes good physical sense, but a more modern interpretation is that the speed of light is constant in general relativity. [...] Finally, we come to the conclusion that the speed of light is not only observed to be constant; in the light of well tested theories of physics, it does not even make any sense to say that it varies."

Steve Carlip: "It is well known that the deflection of light is twice that predicted by Newtonian theory; in this sense, at least, light falls with twice the acceleration of ordinary "slow" matter."

Pentcho Valev
Pentcho Valev
2017-02-16 17:53:20 UTC
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Einstein was a powerful doublethinker - he was able to defend both thesis and antithesis with the same conviction, without any sign of remorse. So, before the advent of Einstein's general relativity, the traveling-twin-is-younger tale was more than vulnerable in an analysis taking into account only the valid inferences from Einstein's 1905 postulates. The youthfulness of the traveling twin was totally unjustifiable - the stationary twin sees his brother's clock running slow, the traveling twin sees his brother's clock running slow, and the "sudden change of direction" involving acceleration is immaterial, as Einstein himself explained in 1911:

Albert Einstein 1911: "The clock runs slower if it is in uniform motion, but if it undergoes a change of direction as a result of a jolt, then the theory of relativity does not tell us what happens. The sudden change of direction might produce a sudden change in the position of the hands of the clock. However, the longer the clock is moving rectilinearly and uniformly with a given speed in a forward motion, i.e., the larger the dimensions of the polygon, the smaller must be the effect of such a hypothetical sudden change."

In 1918 the "sudden change of direction" involving acceleration, which had been immaterial a couple of years before, became crucial and produced a miraculous HOMOGENEOUS gravitational field:

Albert Einstein 1918: "A homogeneous gravitational field appears, that is directed towards the positive x-axis. Clock U1 is accelerated in the direction of the positive x-axis until it has reached the velocity v, then the gravitational field disappears again. An external force, acting upon U2 in the negative direction of the x-axis prevents U2 from being set in motion by the gravitational field. [...] According to the general theory of relativity, a clock will go faster the higher the gravitational potential of the location where it is located, and during partial process 3 U2 happens to be located at a higher gravitational potential than U1. The calculation shows that this speeding ahead constitutes exactly twice as much as the lagging behind during the partial processes 2 and 4."

Today's Einsteinians are doublethinkers but not as subtle as Einstein. Most of them prefer Einstein 1911 and teach that the "sudden change of direction" involving acceleration is immaterial; a small minority sticks to Einstein's 1918 idiocy and teaches that the "sudden change of direction" is crucial:

Don Lincoln: "Some readers, probably including some of my doctoral-holding colleagues at Fermilab, will claim that the difference between the two twins is that one of the two has experienced an acceleration. (After all, that's how he slowed down and reversed direction.) However, the relativistic equations don't include that acceleration phase; they include just the coasting time at high velocity."

Gary W. Gibbons FRS: "In other words, by simply staying at home Jack has aged relative to Jill. There is no paradox because the lives of the twins are not strictly symmetrical. This might lead one to suspect that the accelerations suffered by Jill might be responsible for the effect. However this is simply not plausible because using identical accelerating phases of her trip, she could have travelled twice as far. This would give twice the amount of time gained."

David Morin, Introduction to Classical Mechanics With Problems and Solutions, Chapter 11, p. 14: "Twin A stays on the earth, while twin B flies quickly to a distant star and back. [...] For the entire outward and return parts of the trip, B does observe A's clock running slow, but enough strangeness occurs during the turning-around period to make A end up older."

John Norton: "Then, at the end of the outward leg, the traveler abruptly changes motion, accelerating sharply to adopt a new inertial motion directed back to earth. What comes now is the key part of the analysis. The effect of the change of motion is to alter completely the traveler's judgment of simultaneity. The traveler's hypersurfaces of simultaneity now flip up dramatically. Moments after the turn-around, when the travelers clock reads just after 2 days, the traveler will judge the stay-at-home twin's clock to read just after 7 days. That is, the traveler will judge the stay-at-home twin's clock to have jumped suddenly from reading 1 day to reading 7 days. This huge jump puts the stay-at-home twin's clock so far ahead of the traveler's that it is now possible for the stay-at-home twin's clock to be ahead of the travelers when they reunite."

Pentcho Valev
Pentcho Valev
2017-02-17 14:47:59 UTC
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There is nothing more dangerous for today's physics than questioning, let alone repudiating, of Einstein's 1905 false constant-speed-of-light postulate:

Joao Magueijo: "In sharp contrast, the constancy of the speed of light has remain sacred, and the term "heresy" is occasionally used in relation to "varying speed of light theories". The reason is clear: the constancy of c, unlike the constancy of G or e, is the pillar of special relativity and thus of modern physics. Varying c theories are expected to cause much more structural damage to physics formalism than other varying constant theories."

"But the researchers said they spent a lot of time working on a theory that wouldn't destabilise our understanding of physics. "The whole of physics is predicated on the constancy of the speed of light," Joao Magueijo told Motherboard. "So we had to find ways to change the speed of light without wrecking the whole thing too much."

Accordingly, there is multiplethink when it comes to the false postulate - any idiocy that additionally brainwashes the gullible world and prevents it from seeing the falsehood is acceptable. So Einsteinians teach that, even if the speed of light is variable, special relativity remains unaffected:

Sabine Hossenfelder: "If photons had a restmass, special relativity would still be as valid as it’s always been. The longer answer is that the invariance of the speed of light features prominently in the popular explanations of special relativity for historic reasons, not for technical reasons. Einstein was lead to special relativity contemplating what it would be like to travel with light, and then tried to find a way to accommodate an observer’s motion with the invariance of the speed of light. But the derivation of special relativity is much more general than that, and it is unnecessary to postulate that the speed of light is invariant."

Tom Roberts: "If it is ultimately discovered that the photon has a nonzero mass (i.e. light in vacuum does not travel at the invariant speed of the Lorentz transform), SR would be unaffected but both Maxwell's equations and QED would be refuted (or rather, their domains of applicability would be reduced)."

Mitchell J. Feigenbaum: "In this paper, not only do I show that the constant speed of light is unnecessary for the construction of the theories of relativity, but overwhelmingly more, there is no room for it in the theory."

Jean-Marc Lévy-Leblond: "Il se pourrait même que de futures mesures mettent en évidence une masse infime, mais non-nulle, du photon ; la lumière alors n'irait plus à la "vitesse de la lumière", ou, plus précisément, la vitesse de la lumière, désormais variable, ne s'identifierait plus à la vitesse limite invariante. Les procédures opérationnelles mises en jeu par le "second postulat" deviendraient caduques ipso facto. La théorie elle-même en serait-elle invalidée ? Heureusement, il n'en est rien..."

Jean-Marc Levy-Leblond: "The evidence of the nonzero mass of the photon would not, as such, shake in any way the validity of the special relalivity. It would, however, nullify all its derivations which are based on the invariance of the photon velocity."

Other Einsteinians teach something equally as idiotic: Einstein's 1905 second (constant-speed-of-light) postulate is a consequence of the first (the principle of relativity):

Dave Slaven: "Einstein's first postulate seems perfectly reasonable. And his second postulate follows very reasonably from his first. How strange that the consequences will seem so unreasonable."

Professor Raymond Flood (5:05): "A consequence of Einstein's principle of relativity is that the speed of light in a vacuum has the same value in two uniformly moving frames of reference."

Lubos Motl: "The second postulate of special relativity morally follows from the first one..."

Chad Orzel: "The core idea of Einstein's theory of relativity can fit on a bumper sticker: The Laws Of Physics Do Not Depend On How You're Moving. Absolutely everything else follows from the simple realization that physics must appear exactly the same to person in motion as to a person at rest - the constant speed of light, the slowing of time for moving observers, E=mc2, black holes, even the expanding universe (I've written a whole book about this, explained through imaginary conversations with my dog)."

Michael Fowler: "Therefore, demanding that the laws of physics are the same in all inertial frames implies that the speed of any light wave, measured in any inertial frame, must be 186,300 miles per second. This then is the entire content of the Theory of Special Relativity: the Laws of Physics are the same in any inertial frame, and, in particular, any measurement of the speed of light in any inertial frame will always give 186,300 miles per second."

Vesselin Petkov: "One of the fundamental facts of modern physics is the constancy of the speed of light. Einstein regarded it as one of the two postulates on which special relativity is based. So far, however, little attention has been paid to the status of this postulate when teaching special relativity. It turns out that the constancy of the speed of light is a direct consequence of the relativity principle, not an independent postulate. To see this let us consider the two postulates of special relativity as formulated by Einstein in his 1905 paper "On the electrodynamics of moving bodies": "the same laws of electrodynamics and optics will be valid for all frames of reference for which the equations of mechanics hold good. We will raise this conjecture (the purport of which will hereafter be called the "Principle of Relativity") to the status of a postulate, and also introduce another postulate, which is only apparently irreconcilable with the former, namely, that light is always propagated in empty space with a definite velocity c which is independent of the state of the motion of the emitting body". As the principle of relativity states that "the laws of physics are the same in all inertial reference frames" and the constancy of the speed of light means that "the speed of light is the same in all inertial reference frames (regardless of the motion of the source or the observer)" it follow that the second postulate is indeed a consequence of the first - the law describing the propagation of light is the same for all inertial observers."

Do Einsteinians believe the idiocies they teach? Yes. They are victims of brainwashing themselves - in their early education Einsteinians were forced to repeat various absurdities until in the end they became indistinguishable from Bingo the Clowno:

Bingo the Clowno

Here is a clear example of the conversion of normal people into thoughtless bingos: Initially Joe Wolfe's students are sure that the speed of light cannot be the same for differently moving observers but in the end all of them get the name Bingo the Einsteiniano:

Joe Wolfe: "At this stage, many of my students say things like "The invariance of the speed of light among observers is impossible" or "I can't understand it". Well, it's not impossible. It's even more than possible, it is true. This is something that has been extensively measured, and many refinements to the Michelson and Morley experiment, and complementary experiments have confirmed this invariance to very great precision. As to understanding it, there isn't really much to understand. However surprising and weird it may be, it is the case. It's the law in our universe. The fact of the invariance of c doesn't take much understanding."

Pentcho Valev