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 Be the first pioneers to continue the Astronomy Discussions at our new Astronomy meeting place...The Space and Astronomy Agora Note To Aurino! Forum List | Follow Ups | Post Message | Back to Thread TopicsPosted by Richard D. Stafford, Ph.D. on August 13, 2002 17:33:18 UTC

Hi Aurino,

I read a few of the comments on the astronomy.net forum every once and a while so I am sure I miss a lot but the there is too much Bull on the forum to tolerate on a daily basis. On the other hand, I think there are a number of reasonably intelligent people there (and I include you). When I saw the confusion in your interpretation of my comment "clocks do not measure time", I thought I would try again.

Physicists: Clocks measure time!

Dick: Clocks measure time in their own rest frame only!

Physicists do not disagree with me, they simply think it is unnecessary to add that phrase: they take it as understood and not worth mentioning. In fact they tend to resent having the issue pointed out.

Physicists: Physical rulers measure distance!

Dick: Physical rulers measure distance in their own rest frame only!

Physicist do not disagree with me, they simply think it is unnecessary to add that phrase: they take it as understood and not worth mentioning and generally resent having the issue pointed out.

Now let us add to that Einstein's "invariant interval", a measure in his geometry which is independent of one's frame of reference. The invariant interval between two given events is given by the square root of the square of the change in physical position (taken with the ruler) minus the square of the speed of light times the change in time (measured on your clock). This relationship is usually expressed in a differential form: i.e., for infinitesimal changes.

So, calculate the invariant interval between any events occurring at a clock: i.e., in the clocks rest frame. Since, in the clocks rest frame, the change in physical position of the clock is zero, the invariant interval is exactly the reading on the clock times ic (the square root of minus one times the speed of light -- a constant). It follows that one can say that the reading of the clock is exactly the "proper time" as measured along its space time path: a direct consequence of Einstein's definition of "proper time". Thus it should be clear that, if you want the "invariant interval" along the path of a clock which is not in your rest frame, all you need to do is record the readings off that moving clock!

In exactly the same fashion, one could say that a ruler measures the "invariant interval" in its own rest frame; however there is a subtle and significant difference. In order for you to use a ruler to measure an "invariant interval" in its own rest frame (when you are not in that frame), you would have to establish simultaneity in its rest frame because you need to take two measurements at the same time (in the rulers frame) which requires a temporal reference. You would need two clocks set together - one at each position on the ruler.

When it comes to the clock, sure you have to again take two readings just like the case with the ruler; however, in this case, not only does the clock provide you with the "time" readings, it also provides you with the zero spatial reference: its position does not change in its rest frame. Even it its own rest frame, the events which make up the ruler change their time coordinates.

That makes clocks rather unique measuring devices. The reading on a clock is a significant measurement independent of your frame of reference.

My complaint with Einstein and the conventional physicists is not with their mathematics but with their interpretation of what they are talking about. As I have said many times, the essence of magic is misdirection of attention. With it magicians can prevent us from seeing the obvious. The physicists invariably do their very best to direct your attention away from the fact that clocks directly measure the invariant interval along their paths. They may not know they are hiding anything from view but they certainly are: they are hiding an alternate solution to Maxwell's difficulty.

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Aurino: I just wanted to point out that Dick is proposing going back to the "mandatory universal single time" which created the very difficulties Einstein so brilliantly solved.
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No, I am not doing that at all. I am using an alternate attack which turned to out not to produce those "difficulties Einstein so brilliantly solved".

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Aurino: Now Dick may have solved those difficulties himself, the problem is with his claim that his theory is simpler than Einstein's in spite of the fact no one understands it (by Dick's own admission!)
I'm still curious as to what Dick has to say about that.
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No one understands it because no one will make any attempt to follow it! If they were to listen to me, they would find it quite simple.

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Aurino: Dick has not solved the problem, he's insisting we should disregard what clocks measure ....
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No, I am insisting one should look very carefully at what clocks measure! And everyone seems iron bound not to look!

Again, I know this post is going to serve no purpose but it is fun to see the lengths to which people will go to avoid paying any attention to what I say.

Have fun -- Dick